Some People Don't Like Ice Cream Either

This week, I’ve been writing to you about the benefits of working with groups, something many people are reluctant—even fearful—to do. I hope you’ve felt your confidence building this week.

However, there may still be some things holding you back. If you are concerned about losing your individuality, please read Monday’s message. Or, if you think you won’t learn anything, go back to what I wrote on Tuesday. I really want you to overcome these worries. And I think when you understand all the benefits of forming your own mastermind, you’ll be eager to recruit members.

My career was, in a way, launched by meeting with a group. And I still gain from meeting with others. Don’t limit your career just because of fears you’ve built up. Earlier this week, I explained the concept of “resistance fears.” Essentially, you’re resisting doing something, so your mind is making up an excuse—usually irrational—to justify inaction. Today, I want to talk to you about:

Resistance Fear #3 – I don’t work well in groups.

Or more commonly stated, “I work better alone.”

Fact is, you do not work better alone.

Sure, you may be able to think more clearly at times when you’re by yourself. You enjoy the freedom of being “on your own” and not having a boss or coworkers.

But there is a big problem with working solo. One that breaks into our core as humans. If you insist you work alone—keeping yourself from reaching out to others in your field—you become just that. Alone.

We often talk about the great things living the writer’s life can bring—freedom, options in life, the ability to provide for our family and still have time for them. Those truly are great things and I wouldn’t want to trade them for anything …

But it is important to stick your head out of your shell every once in a while. You can do this in a number of ways. In the beginning, it doesn’t even have to be work related. Just find a group you already feel comfortable with and join them for lunch or dinner. Just hearing others talk about current events can stimulate ideas and give you insights into different markets.

Then if you are an “introvert” or “shy” or “live in the middle of nowhere,” that’s no longer an excuse. You can get online or form an email group very easily.

In my article, “The Justice League For Freelance Success – Part Two,” I share several ways to reach out to other people and join groups, especially when you hit those “snags” that every freelancer suffers and you need help.

Now to my three points about why you need groups:

First, groups keep you motivated. Nothing pushes me more than when I know others are keeping me accountable on my work. When I meet with my mastermind group, they’re going to ask me how my week went. They know the major projects I’m working on. They’ve each vested some time into them by brainstorming with me and advising me. Just that keeps me on track. How can I let them down after they’ve actively engaged themselves into my work?

Secondly, groups keep you positive. Even little victories in your career mean so much more when you have a group of peers congratulating you. Again, they’ve become a part of your work, and they will be genuinely excited when you bring back good news.

Possibly more important, they’ll be there for you when something goes wrong. If you lost a big client, or if your last promo bombed, few things keep you looking up more than the encouragement of people who actually understand the gravity of that situation.

Finally, groups keep you moving forward. It’s hard to be writing if you are feeling down. Having a group who knows what I am going through is often just what I need to keep moving. Just having someone to talk to who gets what you do is unbelievably uplifting.

On slump days—or weeks—they’ll be the first to push me a little further. On days where I’m flying high, they’re the ones who keep the momentum rolling. Getting together with a group will be one of the best things you’ve done for your career. And I urge you to follow my advice and get started forming your own group right away. You’ll get to the writer’s life that much faster.

If you have any questions or comments for me, feel free to post them below.

Tomorrow, I’ll hit the last fear many freelancers have—that groups are a waste of time.

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Published: September 7, 2011

8 Responses to “Some People Don't Like Ice Cream Either”

  1. I have been reading the blogs on this site for several months now, trying to learn everything I can about copywriting and AWAI. Truth is, almost ten years ago, I stumbled upon an ad for AWAI in the Writer's Digest Magazine and, since I have subscribed to their newsletters I get emails from them encouraging me to buy the course. When I first learned of AWAI, I knew this was what I wanted to do but, as I've read in some of the blogs, I hindered myself from actually pursuing my dream by telling myself I could never do it. Now, years later, I still sometimes hear those discouraging words but choose not to let them control me. As of February 2012, I fully intend to pursue my dream and live the writer's life as I've always wanted to do. So, I want to thank everyone at AWAI for reminding me of my dream and I can't wait to learn more. Right now, I'm doing everything I can to teach myself persuasive writing with the limited resources I have available to me. Thank you, AWAI.


  2. I appreciate your topic this week. I have always been a loner, most writers are. I joined a couple online groups a couple years ago, and belong to an online writing group. I know the excitement when you tell the group your greatest achievements, which for me is being published for the first time next year. I have only one comment about the program I purchased - the Six Figure program. I'm having a hard time with it, not because I don't get it, but because I don't feel the accountability.

    Guest (Valerie)

  3. So awesomely important to be in a be successful and everything. I need one.
    Thanks for writing, John

    Guest (JR Copy)

  4. With two little kids I have to jump through a lot of hoops to get "writing alone" time. But I always look forward to meeting with my writing group (made up of moms) because they help me improve fast.

    Mandy Marksteiner

  5. Thanks for your article, Sean. This week I was able to share a couple of victories with my Master Mind group - and it felt good when they shared in my excitement.
    We also have a "Hot Seat" section if one of us needs in-depth input and brainstorming with and from the others.
    I was grateful to be invited to join this group earlier this summer.

    Ann Jordan-Mills

  6. I have worked with other writers in the past, on projects involving a wide range of topics, including comedy. And I know how the juices can flow. The possibility of getting to work on something through all this is exciting to me.

    Michael F Rogers

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