The Five People You Meet at Bootcamp

In Mitch Albom’s New York Times best-selling book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, he tells the story of a man named Eddie who goes on an afterlife journey to discover the five people who significantly yet unknowingly affected the direction of his life. He would never have guessed that those five people played such important roles in shaping his destiny, but as they were revealed to him, it made perfect sense.

I’ve been thinking about that book because it’s so true that people can affect your life in major ways … and at the time, you may not even realize it.

In some cases, you may only come across someone for a brief moment, but he or she does or says something that can alter your life’s path.

So when you have a chance to look back and reflect on the significant moments of your life, the people who made a huge difference may surprise you.

That’s what happened to me when it comes to my freelance copywriting career. A number of people have inspired or guided my path to success, and I only realized this when Denise Ford, the AWAI FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair Conference Director, asked me to explain why I’m excited to be coming to the 2012 event in October; my seventh time at this event. Yes — it will be my seventh time at the AWAI Bootcamp! I wouldn’t miss it, and here’s just one of the reasons why.

I set aside some time this morning to think about what I look forward to the most every year when it’s time to attend the Bootcamp, and suddenly I thought about the PEOPLE. I’ve met dozens, if not hundreds, of wonderful people at this event over the years … so who could I list as my “Top Five” most significant?

This is a difficult choice because there are many, many more than five.

For example, each year, the AWAI team brings together an astounding panel of experts to enlighten us on what works in copywriting today. I’ve had a number of “WOW” moments hearing from powerful, entertaining, and brilliant speakers, and walked away with hundreds of incredible tips for success. Imagine choosing just one significant person from the superstar roster of Bob Bly, Herschell Gordon Lewis, Clayton Makepeace, Bill Bonner, Michael Masterson, Joe Vitale, Dan Kennedy, Brian Clark, and so many other highly successful, secret-sharing masters I’ve been lucky enough to hear from at Bootcamp over the years.

Plus this year, the featured speakers include Brian Kurtz, Executive Vice President of Boardroom Inc., and Jenny Thompson, President of NewMarket Health. I can’t wait to hear their insights about copywriting success.

Not only have the speakers been amazing, I’ve met numerous fellow copywriters I admire, plus aspiring copywriters full of passion and excitement about transitioning to the writer’s life. Their energy and camaraderie have certainly fed my soul and made me feel as if I’m part of a connected community, willing to help each other at any time.

It’s even prompted me to join a number of copywriting buddy groups that are still active today. This is important when you work mostly in a home office, with just your dog by your side. :-)

And then there’s the entire AWAI team, a terrific group of professionals who champion our growth and progress every day. They make the AWAI Bootcamp feel like one big family gathering, with enthusiastic support for each of us, every step of the way. They’re responsible for putting together the Job Fair, where all the Bootcamp attendees (including you) get to talk firsthand with clients who are eager to hire talented writers right away. And the support continues long after you’ve gone back to your own life.

Gosh, in all these years of attending the AWAI Bootcamp, I’ve made all kinds of important connections and friendships that I expect to last the rest of my life.

You can quickly see that Bootcamp is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to connect with any number of people who could alter your copywriting path in important ways, right? That’s what makes it so hard for me to come up with just five people.

Therefore, instead of listing “The Five Important People You Meet at Bootcamp” for me, I’m only going to list one here as an example of how a single person can impact your life.

Bob Bly.

Bob is the prolific author of 80 books (and counting!) and an authority on copywriting that works. He’s also a very generous supporter of new writers, and I met him at Bootcamp in 2005.

The first thing that struck me about Bob was his mix of humor, brilliance, and kindness. After delivering a jaw-dropping presentation, where I took so many notes my right wrist needed a major shakeout … he mingled with new copywriters and even offered to sit and advise some of them.

This generous spirit affected me in a major way. I was witnessing a thoughtful “pay it forward” moment that I’ve taken to heart as I encounter new writers. His example has shown me that it’s always a blessing to freely share tips with others. To keep paying it forward.

Another reason Bob is on my list is because he inspires me to take action as a writer; to really go for it in a big way.

A couple of years ago during his featured presentation, he described a copywriter who decided to become “The Insurance Industry’s Copywriting Expert” by writing and self-publishing an insurance marketing guide. Bob explained how that book helped the copywriter establish himself as the authority in the insurance niche and enjoy a long, fruitful career.

That one example, mentioned in just a sentence or two by Bob, inspired me to co-author a self-published pet-industry marketing guide. Our mission, as marketing advisors in the pet industry, was to finally provide relevant guidance, examples, and resources specific to their world of marketing to pet owners and other pet businesses.

I got back from Bootcamp and started working on the book immediately. We proudly released our 334-page/58,000+-word book, Wildly Profitable Marketing for the Pet Industry, a mere month ago after seven months of intense work.

This might never have happened if Bob hadn’t inspired me. (80+ books! How does he do it? He continues to be a shining example to me.) I even told Bob about our pet-industry book and he said, “I like your approach.”

See what I mean?

This is just one individual, one small example of how the people at AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair will help you launch or expand on a thriving “Copywriter’s Life.”

You may hit it off with a client at the Job Fair and become their new star.

You may meet a fellow copywriter who’s eager to create a “let’s get it done!” mastermind group with you.

Or one of the speakers may say something that speaks to your heart, crystalizing your entire vision as a successful copywriter.

Who knows which people will inspire you there … and someday be on your list of “The Five Important People You Meet at Bootcamp”? I hope you’ll join us to find out.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: I know Pam JUST talked about the great impact meeting Bob Bly had on her — and how much meeting him will mean to you. But when you’re at Bootcamp, be sure to take a moment to stop and talk to Pam as well. She’s one of the kindest, most interesting copywriters you can expect to meet there.

Click here to learn more about what you will experience at this year’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair. And, remember – to save $200, register before Sept. 1st.]

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: August 6, 2012

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