This One Shocked Me!

In this last installment of my “hack your way to success” series I’m going to share what I think is the most revealing (and perhaps most surprising) hack so far.

Before I do that, I want to tell you how I discovered it.

It was during my first AWAI Bootcamp. And on stage was a fairly new copywriter who had been hired to write multiple promos for a very well-known direct-marketing company.

I was so happy for her. She’d achieved great success, and I could tell she had worked hard to get there.

But then, it hit me …

This lady is no smarter than I am!

I mean, I didn’t know for sure. It’s not like she shared her IQ or anything. But I just knew that she didn’t have anything that I didn’t have.

Sure, she worked hard. She studied. She went for it. All those essential requirements we all know about.

But she wasn’t any better, smarter, more talented than I was.

And that little revelation quickly became the spark that kept me going over the next three years. It’s what motivated me to push through all the obstacles, all the fears and doubts, all the “head trash.”

And that’s today’s hack — the recognition and acceptance that success as a freelance writer is NOT about having above-average intelligence. Or a natural gift for writing. Or the right age. Or even luck.

Since that Bootcamp, I’ve had the honor of meeting and knowing some of the best freelance writers in their respective niches. And I have to tell you … most of these people (myself included) are probably no smarter than you are.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that my colleagues and I are stupid. I’m saying that most of us simply have average intelligence. We’re not gifted. We’re not natural-born writers. And we’re not lucky, either!

So, what DO we have? How did we achieve this level of success as freelancers?

When you boil it down, I really believe that it’s a combination of three things: desire, belief and action.

Just look at the successes around you — the successful CEO, the movie star, the influential spiritual leader.

I guarantee you it wasn’t IQ that got them there. It was the combination of wanting it badly enough … unshakable belief … and steady, persistent action.

So, forget about the notion that those who’ve made it are better than you. Because chances are you’re just as smart (maybe even smarter) than we are!

Here’s my challenge for you today …

Go back through each installment in this week’s series. And, if you haven’t already, take the simple action I asked you to take at the end of each article.

Can’t do them all today? That’s fine. Pick one or two you can do today, as soon as you finish reading this. And schedule the rest for Monday.

There’s magic in taking fast action. And the compounding effect of implementing these ideas will propel your business forward like you won’t believe!

I wish you all the best in this exciting journey.

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: June 20, 2014

2 Responses to “This One Shocked Me!”

  1. I am just new with two days of soaking myself with the bountiful sources of knowledge that AWAI is offering, but I already feel empowered to do the small steps that is needed each and everyday in order to be successful. Thank you ED for your inspiration and tips and I look forward to reading and learning more from you as I embark this newly found and exciting profession,freelance copywriting.

    YDejeneJuly 1, 2019 at 2:38 pm

  2. I’m new, signed up today. Thank you for all the great tips. I am inspired.

    SuzieQ13July 8, 2020 at 11:32 pm


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