Isn't It About Time …

When you’re a writer, inspiration comes from unexpected places.

The inspiration for today’s issue of The Golden Thread came from two very different sources. The first was an email from Jason Holland at AWAI. He needed answers to some questions about my role with Circle of Success … and some examples of how I’ve seen it benefit members.

The second source of inspiration came from a program on NPR about life coaches. I’ll get back to that inspiration later in this note.

Jason’s question was easy to answer. I’ve been the Master Instructor for COS since its inception. When Denise first proposed that title to me, I was reluctant to accept it. The word “Master” seemed a little highfalutin to me. A little self-important.

But, when she explained my role as Master Instructor, it made sense. First off, along with her, I’d be responsible for the content of the not-yet-developed Targeted Learning Programs. These programs are where COS members get direct instruction from working copywriters … copywriters who love to teach. Copywriters like me.

Long hours, lots of work, and the joy of success …

I remember back to 2007 when Denise and I were developing the first Targeted Learning Programs on headlines and leads. We put in a lot of hours.

Our goal was to end up with content that would rival a college course on copywriting … if such a thing existed. But the content had to be accessible, easy to understand, and easy to present. Like copywriting is supposed to be.

The content went through a lot of drafts. But we succeeded. However, if you were to take those programs today, the content is different from what you would’ve taken when we first developed it. That’s another one of my roles.

Along with Denise and the other instructors in COS, we’re constantly looking at program content. We revise content to match the times we’re teaching in and the ever-changing world of copywriting.

The joy of seeing others succeed …

It was easy for me to tell Jason about my second most enjoyable role as Master Instructor. This is my role as one of the copywriters who teaches the “Headlines and Leads” Targeted Learning Program.

You may already know that before becoming a copywriter, I spent 25 years in my first career as a teacher. It was a career I adored. Copywriting is my second career. And I adore it, too. Working as a COS instructor has allowed me to combine those two of my loves.

The teaching I do for COS is done online (except for the COS-exclusive classes at Bootcamp). Teaching online, I don’t get the visual payoff teachers get by working face-to-face with students – the payoff of seeing the “light bulb” go on when a student truly understands a concept.

I thought that would be missing with online training sessions. But it isn’t. While I can’t see it, I can hear it in the members’ voices, in the answers they give online, and I read it in their work.

True teachers of all kinds love to see their students progress. And the biggest payoff for me in being a COS instructor is seeing the members grow from raw rookies into really competent copywriters.

And I’m not the only one who sees this. The businesses who’ve hired COS members are ample testimony to the huge strides COS members make.

Sometimes all you need is a gentle nudge …

However, my favorite role as Master Instructor is being a “cheerleader” for the COS members.

Members always have access to their instructors during their Targeted Learning Programs. They can – and frequently do – ask for help with concepts or come to their instructors for inspiration. But as Master Instructor, I’m the person those members come to at anytime if they’ve hit a rough patch in their motivation or inspiration.

I truly love being this cheerleader. COS members have made a firm commitment to their success as copywriters. That’s what joining COS is really about. The commitment to succeed. The commitment to yourself. But we’re all human, and every so often something comes up that can stall us as we move toward our goals. I hope my words have helped those members who’ve turned to me for a little cheerleading, for that extra push.

Which brings me to my second source of inspiration: the NPR program about life coaching.

I was listening as I was getting dinner ready for my sweetheart, Linda. I wasn’t paying much attention though, but one phrase snagged my ear. The life coach told the interviewer that sometimes it’s necessary to tell her clients it’s time to “get off your butt.”

I knew exactly what she meant. If you came up to me at Bootcamp and asked me a question about copywriting, I would never try to sell you on the idea of joining COS. This is a program designed to accelerate success. And somebody who was given the hard sell probably wouldn’t succeed.

But I’ve had quite a few AWAI members approach me at Bootcamp and say something like …

“I’ve been planning on joining Circle of Success, but …”

The “buts” all sound like good reasons for not joining yet. Usually they’re around the problems of not having enough time. Or something like that.

These “buts” sound like good reasons … but they’re keeping inexperienced copywriters from becoming skilled copywriters. These “buts” are keeping good copywriters from becoming great copywriters.

So, paraphrasing that life coach: “Sometimes you just have to tell yourself to get off your ‘buts.’”

AWAI has now opened enrollment for COS … for a very limited time. They do this only twice a year. They limit how often they open enrollment because they want to make sure the members who join get the best possible experience.

I hope you’ll click the link at the end of this article to learn more about COS … and the many, many benefits it can bring to your life both as a copywriter and as a person who wants to succeed.

And, when you read all those benefits, ask yourself: Is it time for me to get off my buts?

Please click here for more information about COS … and how it will change your life.

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 »


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Published: May 5, 2014

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