Start writing your 2012 Bootcamp story now.

 Copywriters are not your typical crowd.

The ones I'm meeting at this year's Bootcamp are enthusiastic, entrepreneurial, creative, forward-thinking types.

Instead of fearing the future and fretting about the present, copywriters here are forging ahead to achieve their personal version of the writer's life.

There are 250 people here, and each person has a story to tell.

I'll share a few stories in a moment, but first a few highlights from opening night …

AWAI Executive Director Katie Yeakle kicked things off by challenging us to be decisive about the money we want to make. Because she explained, money brings us freedom and options.

What do you want?

Then we wrote down three numbers: the amount of money we want to earn in 2012, the amount of money we want to be earning five years from now, and the amount of money we'd like to have socked away for a secure future.

If we're going to achieve those numbers, we need to improve our copywriting skills, our client-getting skills, and our belief structure about ourselves.

The key is to find the very next thing to do in each of those areas.

It's not always easy. Just ask copywriter and entrepreneur Joe Sugarman. He claims he's failed more than anyone he knows. Yet copywriting has given Joe a wealth of colorful stories (and millions of dollars.)

During his keynote speech, Joe revealed that over the course of his career, he's been a CIA spy in Germany during the Cold War, the creator of the Batman Credit Card (a colossal failure), and the genius behind BluBlockers sunglasses (a direct-response phenomenon for 25 years).

Great stories come from taking risks.

What's your story?

The thing is, everyone here has a story, from Wall of Famers to first-timers.

Joshua Boswell was desperate for the writer's life so he could take care of his growing family, and hungry for the freedom that would allow him to spend time with them.

Starr Daubenmire went after the writer's life after getting laid off. She's had steady copywriting work ever since, and now collaborates on projects with a legend in the industry.

Zoë Rabinowitz has a thriving psychotherapy practice and two Masters degrees. She's here for the first time because she has a desire to help people through alternative health.

Amy O'Donnell is an IT professional in her other life, but has a strong independent streak and longs to be in charge of her own destiny.

Me? One of my emotional purposes is to give my four kids opportunities that I didn't have.

I want my son to follow through on his dream of going to Yale, regardless of how much it costs. I want my daughter to get the best voice and piano lessons and apply to Julliard in seven years. I want them all to travel the world with me in the few short years I have with them.

What's your very next step?

How do you apply these stories to your own situation, and move forward in your career? Let me leave you with two simple action steps:

  • Figure out which area you need to work on most. Is it your copywriting skills? Getting clients? Breaking down mental barriers?
  • Decide on the very next thing you can do in that area. Don't worry about changing everything this coming year. Start with one small thing now.

Today's sessions are all focused on either getting clients or improving your skills, so I'll have some specific answers for you in tomorrow's post.

What are you going to focus on? Have you figured out your "why"? If you don't mind making it public, I'd love to hear about. You can leave a comment below.

One last thing. Over five hours of sessions today covered getting clients. I'll cover some of it tomorrow, but if you're not here at Bootcamp with us, you can get everything in the 2011 FastTrack to Success Bootcamp Home Study program.

Even if you can’t be here in person, AWAI has arranged for you to get the entire Bootcamp experience from the comfort of your own home … for a fraction of the price … with the 2011 Fasttrack to Success Bootcamp Home Study program. This amazing presentation package is the closest thing you can ever get to being at Bootcamp: EVERY presentation, ALL the support material and learning resources, EVERY spec assignment – and a free teleconference series to get you rolling.

You can learn more here.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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 »


Click to Rate:
Average: 5.0
Published: October 27, 2011

7 Responses to “Start writing your 2012 Bootcamp story now”

  1. my current goal: Finish the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting and send off my first spec Direct Response email letter. I'm champing at the bit.

    Guest (Dana White)October 27, 2011 at 5:31 pm

  2. Hello Everyone,

    I just received my course this week and I am excited about all of the possibilities.

    I have read many copy letters received in the mail and hated every single one of them....because I knew what they were doing. Now I look at them and I say....I can do that! And I am going to.

    I will be 60 years old in March without a dime saved for retirement, and past my nose in debt. I had also resigned myself to working until I die.....with no retirement in sight...but not any more.

    My why is making enough money in the next six years so that I can retire from my job with the federal government.... some place warm.....like Panama.....with a nice place to live and enough money to visit my children once a year.

    So I am going to do this with a smile on my face every single day....and keep reading all of those copy letters....at least ten times.... until they sink into my brain and I can write as good as the rest of them.....because all of a sudden...my life is worth livi

    Carrie TOctober 27, 2011 at 10:44 pm

  3. Hi Steve!

    I'm here at bootcamp with you, haven't met you yet though. what i discovered through Thursday nights exercise with Joshua Boswell is that I need to work on breaking down those mental barriers.
    Hopefully I'll meet you tomorrow.

    YulandaOctober 28, 2011 at 9:41 pm

  4. Hi Steve, BC was really a turning-point experience for me!I walked in the door feeling really "green" but left convinced I had chosen the best possible path for me!
    I sure enjoyed meeting you and all the other inspiring people there! Yes, I´m new, so honing those copywriting skills is a must but my take-away was the importance of self-promotion and how it can affect my business exponentially!! I have my plan mapped out and I´ll see you in 2012! ;)
    Greetings from Germany!
    Jan Marie

    Guest (Jan Marie Mueller)November 1, 2011 at 8:01 am


Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)


This name will appear next to your comment.


Your email is required but will not be displayed.


Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters


Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)