"Oh, the Places You'll Go"

"Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away!"

That's how one of my favorite books begins.

Steve Roller here, your guest editor of The Writer's Life this week.

If you didn't recognize the subject line in this email, that's the title of this great little book.

It's a kids' book by the great Dr. Seuss, but since I'm a kid at heart, it has a prominent place on my bookshelf, right next to my dog-eared copies of Breakthrough Advertising and Ogilvy on Advertising.

And it's probably helped me as much as those two classic copywriting books.

You know, Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss's real name) actually got his start as a copywriter. His early career was devoted to creating ad campaigns for Standard Oil, which he did for 15 years.

During World War II, his focus shifted to writing political cartoons. He also started getting published in Life, Vanity Fair, and other magazines.

But his first book, And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, got rejected 27 times before being published by Vanguard Press.

The rest is history.

I can relate to Ted's midlife career shift, and his determination and persistence inspires me. That spirit runs through my favorite Dr. Seuss book.

The thing I love about copywriting is that age doesn't matter.

If you've chosen to jump into this wild adventure of copywriting, it doesn't matter if you're 22 and just out of school, 44 and on the verge of a midlife crisis, 66 and looking for an alternative to the normal retirement, or somewhere in between.

The slate is wiped clean, and you can start fresh.


First, you have to build a solid foundation. This isn't a get-rich-quick scheme. And the Accelerated Program is a great place to start. The skills you learn from it will serve you the rest of your life.

While I firmly believe that copywriting is a learned skill that anyone can develop, it isn't easy.

And I'm glad it's not.

If it was really easy to do it well, everyone would be doing it. And none of us would be making any money at it.

If you saw my piece on April 18, "Yes, the Money Rocks," you know that's not the case.

So, how do you build a solid foundation? What can you do to give yourself every opportunity to succeed?

That's what we're going to talk about this week.

Join me each day for a little fun as we get specific about what it takes to do well.

Tomorrow, we're going to get our hands dirty and build a house. On Wednesday, I'm going to tell you about the best investment for 2011. Thursday, we're going to go on a little bike ride with my friend Albert. And Friday, well, that's a surprise.

When you do the proper things in a logical order, you'll improve your chances of success tenfold.

And as Dr. Seuss says …

"And when things start to happen, don't worry. Don't stew. Just go right along. You'll start happening, too."

Fasten your seatbelt, and hang on! Things are going to start happening …

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Published: May 2, 2011

2 Responses to “"Oh, the Places You'll Go"”

  1. Steve:

    Thanks for writing this article.

    It was like a breath of fresh air.

    What struck me is your message of hope.

    Copywriting seems to be one of the few things you can pursue to earn a living that has nothing to do with your age.

    As long as you master the skillls, you have a shot at success and wealth.

    Your words of wisdom hold a lot of promise for young people as well as senior citizens, who may feel intimidated by the age-ism of the job market. Have a good one. Cheerio.

    Archan MehtaMay 17, 2011 at 1:52 am

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