Match Rockets, Pencil Lead, Light Bulbs, and Copywriting Success
Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes. If you’re wise, you let it appear naturally, and follow it when it offers itself to you.
Here’s what I mean. I just got back home from volunteering in my local middle-school science class. The students in this class were my inspiration for this week’s Golden Thread. They’re also a continuing source of inspiration for me as a copywriter.
I venture to say, if you knew them, they would inspire you as well.
“But I’m a copywriter,” you might be thinking. “What on earth could I learn from a bunch of 12- to 15-year olds?
Let me give a little background first. I live in a rural community where 88% of the students qualify for free or reduced breakfasts and lunches. We are rural. The nearest ‘big city’ is an hour south and has a population of 80,000. Most of the kids haven’t ridden in an airplane. Many haven’t even ridden in an elevator.
These children face tremendous challenges in their everyday lives, including poverty, hunger, drug-addicted parents, and homelessness. And they face them with grace.
It’s not about how hard it can be …
But that’s not what inspired me today.
Today was the student’s final day for completing their Science Fair projects. So what did inspire me was the persistence and determination these students have shown over the past two weeks working on their projects.
Take Amy, for instance. She’s trying to separate different types of black pen ink into component colors using crude paper chromatography. Today was the fourth time she’s tried this experiment with only marginal success. But she performed one more trial, knowing it meant she’d have to get to school early in the morning to analyze the data, type it up, and put it on her display board before the Science Fair at 8:45.
Or there’s Lucas and Austin. They’ve been building ‘match rockets.’ (Don’t worry; they have supervision.) Their success rate? Out of 25 trials, they had three successes. If they had time today, they would have tried a few more.
Twelve percent success rate? Could you have shown that much determination? What about when it comes to seeking clients, could you keep coming back like this 12 and 13-year old did?
The path to success reflected in a young person’s spirit …
Certainly, some of the students were more successful than others. But every single one of the projects didn’t work right off the bat. The students had to redesign … and revise … and do it all over again.
Isn’t this what a successful copywriter does? We write knowing that our first draft will never be perfect. But we write that draft anyway, knowing that we’ll have to redesign … revise … and do it all over again.
We know we’ll have to do it. But we don’t always have the determination to follow the difficult path like Anthony did with his ‘barking bottle’ experiment or Kata with her pencil lead light bulbs.
I wish I could have had you beside me over the past two weeks to watch these young scientists, these inspirations for all of us. In spite of huge obstacles in their lives, they do not give up. Every single one of us could learn the single most important lesson about success there is to learn.
Never ever give up.
I love these kids. More important, I respect them. And I thank them for inspiring this Golden Thread … and for inspiring me on a daily basis.
I’d love to hear who provides you with inspiration. Post a message in the comments below and let me know.
Until next week, keep writing!
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