Open Your Own Doors to New Opportunities
Jen Adams here, kicking off a week together focused on the most useful “non-writing” things you can do for your writing career.
And, I can promise you – if you stick with me all week – you’ll be enjoying results by Friday.
All you have to do is make a small change in your mindset … one that I foolishly resisted for years.
You see, I was never very comfortable talking about my writing career. I wasn’t active in online groups for writers, I participated in a mere handful of the offline networking groups around me, and I rarely brought up my writing life in normal conversation.
Looking back, I guess I didn’t want to be seen as pushy with marketing my writing services or come across as fake in my relationships with others.
But the reality was that I created a worse situation. I became a total mystery to others … no one had any idea what I did for a living!
And that kept my career putt-putting along, when I wanted it to be racing forward.
So, let me tell you what I learned that made a huge difference for both my career and my nervous psyche:
When you open up, so do new opportunities.
I learned this by accident. A friend stopped by the café where I worked in the afternoons, and we got to chatting about some new article writing techniques I was working on at the time.
It reminded her about another friend that needed exactly that kind of marketing help. One quick phone call later … I was in touch with a new prospective client and locked down the job in just a few minutes.
I was surprised at how fast it all came together. I’d been all set to do some serious pitching and persuading about my skills to the client. But, since I had a warm introduction, I didn’t have to do any of that. I remember being shocked at how easy it was to get them to hire me.
Just a few minutes of social conversation was all it had taken … simple enough! Definitely painless. And not pushy or fake at all.
So, I started opening up about the writer’s life I was living.
Suddenly it seemed like new opportunities were crawling out of the woodwork. They were all opportunities that had actually been available to me for a long time, if I’d just let the people closest to me know what it was I even did. (And, by extension, what I could do for them!)
It definitely felt like I was onto something magical – except this was magic I could make happen over and over, simply by opening my mouth and spreading the word about what I could do for others to people who didn’t have any idea about my skills.
And, it’s not just me who’s experienced this fast-acting effect. Fellow AWAI member Li Vasquez-Noone found a new client while having wine with a friend. Michele Peterson landed a $4,000 project through a fellow baseball mom. Robert Rice got his first project from a random conversation over coffee.
So, bringing new opportunities into your own life really can be as simple as opening up a bit. And you can test this with a small action today …
Ask a few of your closest friends, family members, and acquaintances to describe what they think you do as a writer.
If they don’t know or seem confused, congratulations! You’ve just opened the door for a great conversation about your skills and abilities … one that could lead to any number of wonderful new opportunities coming your way.
Share how it goes in the comments. I’ll look forward to hearing your stories – my own fiancée confessed he thought I was some kind of patent registration officer when we first met …
And tomorrow, I’ll show you how to turn this newfound awareness of your skills into more solid writing opportunities.
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