Applying the 4 “C’s” of Copywriting Success
It's actually a pretty simple series of cause-and-effect events:
Confidence is the result, or effect, of clarity.
Clarity is the result of consistency in thought and action.
Consistency is the result of a true inner commitment that won’t allow any obstacle, real or imagined, to stand in your way.
And Commitment comes from an overwhelming, all-encompassing desire for change.
In 2008, I was running my own handyman business. I was setting my own hours, and I was my own boss. But the work was unfulfilling and frustrating.
In September of 2008, I had just finished a very successful week as a handyman. But I realized that it was as good as the handyman business would ever get.
It was then that I committed to being a full-time copywriter by 2009 — just over three months away. About 100 days.
I immediately began preparing for my new life as a copywriter by consistently doing things a copywriter would be doing. I even rearranged my schedule with my handyman business so I only took appointments Monday through Wednesday. I stayed home and worked on copywriting Thursday and Friday.
I consistently wrote Spec Assignments, started a few content websites, and studied my Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. I also researched and prepared for the Job Fair at Bootcamp, which was coming up in just a few months.
For instance, I targeted the companies I thought I’d want to write for. I printed out their Spec Assignments and visited their websites so I could ask good questions when I met with them.
As I went through this process, I got more and more clarity that writing was indeed what I should be doing with my life at that time.
Then, once I got to Bootcamp, I received even more clarity from the speakers and from winning the Bootcamp Spec Challenge.
But it didn’t stop there. Because I was committed and being consistent, I saw things at this Bootcamp I had completely missed three years earlier. Doors were opened and, this time, I stepped through.
By January of 2009, I had not one, but two, job offers from marketers at Bootcamp.
Each of those clarifying events also brought confidence. And the writer’s life became reality.
It’s been an amazing ride. But it all started with commitment. It was followed by consistently doing what a writer would do and acting how a writer would act.
As I did, the road opened up and became more and more clear. And today, I’m confident that the writer’s life is where I was meant to be all along.
Now, I wish the same for you.
So here’s what I suggest …
Take 40 minutes of complete and total silence. This may need to be in your car over lunch or at 2 a.m. when the house is quiet. But you must be alone with your thoughts.
The only other items you’ll need are a legal pad and a pen. No computer. No smartphone.
In the first 10 minutes, do nothing. Instead, simply let all the thoughts about what you "should" be doing … or "need" to be doing come and go. In other words, just clear your mind as best you can — by the way, if you've never done this, it's one of the more difficult things in life to do. But it's worth it.
Then, over the next 10 minutes, write down 10 things you think you might like to commit to. Don’t edit. Just write.
So, we're 20 minutes into your 40-minute exercise.
Now, over the next 10 minutes, think through each one. Then discard those you know are someone else’s dream. Now focus on just your dreams — things you are willing to commit to doing because they excite you.
Finally, during your last 10 minutes, pick one item —one dream — one goal — one person you want to be and commit to being that person.
You may need to go through this process several times or you may be so disgusted with where you are in life right now that you are ready to commit just like I was in 2008.
Either way, if you start moving towards your dreams, you will find them if you keep moving.
What do you think?
What questions do you have?
Let ‘em rip in the comments here. And you don't have to wait for me to answer, talk amongst yourselves and help each other out.
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Excellent week of commentary and advise, all tied together at the end with classy McCool style. Much appreciated, as were your comments and support of my project at Clayton's VSL conference. Many thanks for all the positive feedback and support both in person and in print.
Really great week of articles, Sean. Have you considered writing for Psychology Today? I think this series would be great for their site as this would help with anyone's dreams & goals.
Cheryl Sharp –
Thanks for this week, Sean. It has stirred the fires within me remembering my own disgust, commitment, consistency, clarity, and emerging confidence. And it's an ongoing organism within me with a life of its own. The cycles continue just as you've described them as I venture forward into each new stage.
What a wonderful thing to be consumed with a passion that is not about putting in 40 hours a week somewhere, but to satisfy my innermost dreams. We're a blessed people.
Thank you for this week's articles. From the first one about commitment I was provoked to ponder what commitment to copywriting would be for me and I appreciate your forthrightness. I know that for me to sign up for the Boot Camp would mean I am in. I have been checking airlines and calculating the cost, but commitment as you said is the beginning and sets it all in motion.
Whoa...with Bootcamp looming a mere 8 weeks away, this is just the nudge I needed. Definitely need to take the 40-Minute challenge!
Alan Steacy –
Great article Sean! Your "Living Life by the Four "C's" article is a simple, step-by-step process that has kick-started me into taking action and renewing the commitment I had made over a year ago when I first ordered AWAI's "Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting." I had allowed "life" to get in the way of staying commited, but I now feel armed to concentrate on Commitment to retain that all-encompassing desire for change--a change to truly pursue "The Writer's Life."
Guest (Burton Bliven) –
To one and all... I'm humbled by your words. Inspired by your desire to not settle for the 9-5 and someone else's dream.
Someday you'll be telling your story with a grateful sigh...
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Sean McCool –
Excellent article Sean! This brings me another step closer to this dream of a writer's life!
I am very excited about implementing the 4 C's and the 40 minute challenge! It feels as though I'm definitely heading down the right path now! Thanks Sean!