Step Four in Making Forward Progress this Week
It’s all about forward progress towards living the writer’s life this week …
Today, we’re going to tackle step four in my “make significant forward progress in a week” plan. But before we jump in, just a quick reminder …
The special New Member offer for the Professional Writers’ Alliance ends today, which means tomorrow it will cost twice as much to join.
If you’re serious about writing professionally – and living the writer’s life – you should definitely check it out. As a member, you’ll get immediate access to a long line of skill-building resources, live learning events, job opportunities, and business-building guidance.
Plus, you’ll become a member of a thriving and active community of writers – beginners and pros alike – all committed to each other’s success.
Learn more about PWA here. (And make sure you check out how you can put your membership fees towards AWAI programs whenever you want. It’s my favorite perk!).
Now let’s move on to step four …
Yesterday, we talked about how important it is to do something every day to build your business. Marketing yourself and your services is something you’ll never stop doing – no matter how successful your business gets.
The same holds true for learning. As a professional writer or freelancer, you’re not just going to take a program and be done with learning forever.
You’ll always be learning … acquiring new skills … becoming a stronger writer … finding new ways to persuade your readers … and ultimately becoming more valuable to your clients year after year. And more value means more money!
However, for many, continued learning can quickly become a crutch. And instead of moving you forward in your career, it can actually hold you back.
You get caught up in taking “just one more program” or reading “just one more book” before you plan to move forward in your career.
Well I can assure you, there will ALWAYS be just one more “something” out there for you to learn. The key is to plan your continued learning strategically so that it continues to move you forward, rather than slow you down or stop you altogether.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself when evaluating your next learning opportunity:
- How will this impact my business?
- Will I be learning a new skill? Strengthening my writing? Learning to market?
- What is the value of what I’m learning?
- What will I be giving up to learn? (Remember to consider time AND money.)
- How does this compare with other things I’m hoping to learn? (Other books you’re looking to read, other programs you want to take.)
You can’t do it all, so you need to prioritize. And you can’t just keep learning – you also need to spend time marketing your services and actually doing work for clients.
Be realistic with your learning plans, and just like with achieving your goals, PLAN what you’ll spend your time on.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t take advantage of good deals when a program you know you want to take goes on sale. But once you acquire the program, you still need to plan when you’re going to take it so that you don’t get caught up in taking program after program and not making any forward progress.
And that leads me to your action item for today …
What is the next thing you’re going to learn?
Take a look at your goals, think about the options you have available to you, and evaluate them to see which one makes the most sense for your business.
For example, if you’re a copywriter, maybe attending your first (or second, or third) Bootcamp is next on your list. Or if you’re specializing in B2B copy, maybe it’s time you add White Papers to your list of skills.
Just remember …
Always be learning. And always be marketing.
Which means you actually have two action items for today …
The first is to decide what you’re going to learn next. Once you’ve got it, share it with me below.
And the second is to perform yesterday’s action item again:
Come up with one thing you can do tomorrow to build your business.
Finding the balance between learning, marketing, and working on projects is a necessity.
And after this week, you will have started some great habits that will help you naturally find – and keep – that balance.
See you tomorrow for your last step!
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »