Single Most Important Person for Your Success

Welcome back for Day 5 of my series of Circle of Success blog articles I’m sharing with you this week. I’m hoping my words have helped you become a better, more successful writer. That excites me.

Yesterday we talked about four productivity strategies that have helped me be successful and that have kept me (moderately) sane. My hope is that they’ll do the same for you.

I promised that today I’d introduce you to the one person who has the greatest impact on your success.

“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

You are the sole engine of your writing success. You are the person who determines how far you’ll go in this wonderful gig called freelancing. All your emotions come into play in your quest for success, but none is more important than this:

Belief in yourself!

Frank Lloyd Wright’s quote says it better than I could. The thing you really believe in always happens.

I’ve seen this truth played out many times in Circle of Success and AWAI members. When I meet someone at Bootcamp, for instance, I can pretty quickly tell if this person is going to succeed.

It has nothing to do with skills and knowledge … and everything to do with that sense of belief in self that shimmers through shyness and uncertainty.

I could give you dozens of names to prove this, but where do I stop? I wouldn’t want to leave out a single one of these gallant pioneers exploring the wilderness of their own future.

You’ve made a commitment by being here. You’re determined to learn what you need to learn to succeed. Not just succeed and make money, but succeed and make your mark. It’s inside you. The determination. The drive. The passion.

And, the self-doubt. There’s not one successful person who doesn’t confront self-doubt regularly.

Self-doubt as barrier … or as motivator

I was a very successful teacher of severely disabled students before becoming a copywriter. Successful enough that I trained other teachers for the state. Parents asked to have their children in my class.

I knew I was good at what I did. And loved it. But at least once a week, I looked myself in the mirror and thought I was looking at a fraud.

I asked other successful teachers in the county where I worked if they ever felt the same way. “All the time” was the typical answer.

I’ve asked the same question of many people in other professions – including copywriting. They all acknowledge the same undercurrent of self-doubt.

Why doesn’t this overwhelm them? Why shouldn’t it overwhelm you when you feel it?

Simple. The strength of your belief in yourself is stronger. It has to be.

I’m convinced that the single biggest contributor to self-doubt for you as a writer is this: “It’s not happening fast enough.” Or, so you feel.

Certainly, the desire to succeed is powerful and necessary. But the desire to succeed too quickly can undermine your belief in yourself. You’re not in a sprint when you became a freelancer. You’re in for the long haul.

Believe in yourself. The folks here at AWAI do.

And I do, too.

I’ve loved being with you this week. I hope we’ll meet again in another series for The Writer’s Life. And, who knows – and this is a fervent desire of mine – maybe we’ll chat again in the COS Blog or one of the COS Targeted Learning Programs.

Until then … I have a favor to ask. I’d love to read your comments and questions. You can leave them here in the comment section. Let me know what you think.

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Published: July 31, 2015

37 Responses to “Single Most Important Person for Your Success”

  1. Thank YOU, Will! I've been filled with self-doubts--less about my writing ability and more about whether I'll exercise the DISCIPLINE to do each next thing required. It's rooted in my childhood, but that's a later topic for Dr. Phil. Bottom line: it IS what I BELIEVE about myself...and making a CHOICE. After 7 years I recently experienced a soul-shaking confirmation about my niche that infused me with hope for my copywriting career. I'm glad I held on until the truth was revealed in my spirit.


  2. Very timely reminder. It's a strange paradox: I've written scripts and promos for years, yet when I think about copywriting, the doubt creeps in and says "What if you blow it, big time?" "What if all the rules and principles and checklists are followed, and it still bombs?"
    (I don't have my first client yet, but hope to soon).
    Nice to hear, at least, I'm in good company. Even the seasoned copywriters see the "impostor" staring them back in the mirror. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Guest (Neal)

  3. Thank you so much for these words of advice. "Self-doubt" and "fear" are the greatest drawbacks to accomplishing anything.

    Believing in one's ability to achieve is key! Practice makes perfect. I do find myself becoming overwhelmed by feelings of self-doubt and fear. I have had some experience writing for newsletters, grants, creating posters, flyers, etc.

    I am going forward with the mantra, "To ensure success all depends on "ME!"

    Looking forward to reading more of your tips!


    Guest (Interested OnlookerSoon-to-be-Writer)

  4. Very timely. Still going through the course, and hoping for my first client, but I think, "What if it looks great, I follow all the rules, do the checklists and it still bombs?" I've written promos and scripts for two decades, but not copywriting as such.
    At least I'm in good company--even the seasoned copywriters can get the "impostor syndrome." Thanks for the encouragement.
    Appreciated your perspective this week.

    Neal Browne

  5. Hi Will;

    I know that your niche is fundraising and my niche is Cause Marketing, do these two fields of writing cross over a lot in the real world?


    Guest (Cissy)

  6. I have enjoyed reading your messages, they are really motivating and I do need that right now. Thank You.
    I am sure we will meet in another forum because I am determined to succeed.

    Guest (Jackie Warburton)

  7. Hello Mr Newman,

    I love reading anything and everything you write. Your writing is very uplifting and insightful.
    Great information that can be put to use immediately.
    Thank you for taking your valuable time to share with us and teach us.


    Marcellus Greene

  8. This article really speaks to me! I have been back and forth, over and over, wondering if I have got what it takes. If the time is right, in my life to make this happen. I have always loved to write and I am a major people person. I work in housing management right now, and it really feels like I am hurting people more than helping them, some days, and that is not who I am or who I want to be. I WILL, make the time and find the ways to become a Freelance Writer, today. Thank You for your inspiration!

    Guest (Tara)

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your insight and wisdom! Being Type A, I know I need to slow down...I will continue to study The Accelerated Program and do it slowly so I can absorb this valuable knowledge! Blessings to you!

    Guest (Scintillae)

  10. This is the best advice to come along in a long while. It's a welcome relief from the make money hype and focuses on the real reason why you want to be a freelance copywriter; because you love writing and helping people more than money.

    Thank you, Will. You are one of the writer's that reach me with your writing.

    Joan M

  11. Will, I appreciate the encouragement, my first paid article made $12! That's enough to discourage anyone but I tell myself, you have to start somewhere! I will keep going, practicing and getting better! I know I can do it if I work hard enough!

    Kim Smyth

  12. Thank you, this is a good pep talk. This is why I waited before telling some people the I was learning to be a copywriter, I wasn't ready to hear any negativity. Now I've made up my mind and going for it, regardless.

    Guest (Sarah F)

  13. Hi Will, Your thoughts this week. Today's words of wisdom particularly hit home with me though.

    Self doubt is inescapable I think. plagues me too. At the same time though, I truly believe I will make it as a copywriter. This and the tiny gains here and there propel me forward.

    I also see self-doubt/self-belief at work on my partner, who is an accomplished actor-musician.

    In both of us, I now can clearly see that self-doubt sets in when success isn't, as you said, happening fast enough!! What a revelation Will. We have to have faith in the process, right?

    Thanks for the wise words. Have a great weekend.

    Guest (Lee Nourse)

  14. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. It has been more helpful than you know.


    Guest (Alan)

  15. Hi Will, I had the good fortune of growing up hearing I could do anything, and that if I could conceive it, I could achieve it. As an adult I have always had a 'can-do' attitude. However as you indicated things that I have accomplished thus far was never without that tinge of doubt, yet I did it! I am so glad I finally realized I am supposed to write as it has been a joy, not perfect, ever since I started in March and everything just seemed to fall into place. I mean as good a writer as I am, I could not have scripted it!
    Thanks and make it a great day as I am sure you are well on your way to.


  16. Thank you Will, I needed to hear this on many levels today.
    Now to finish the 6 Figure course I signed on for ages ago.

    Elizabeth Barlow

  17. It's amazing how a message appears right when you need it...and this letter came right when I needed it most...I know I can become a good copywriter; however, self-doubt always seems to find cracks to come through and throw me off.

    Thanks for a great week of thought provoking messages!

    Guest (CarolynNR)

  18. particularly insightful and helpful

    Guest (Joseph Mulhern)

  19. Art's consistency depends on BOTH the imagination stirred AND truth sought, despite the latter's cant on completion. Art's enchanted gardens, for example, and math's Platonic world, when conjoined, pits work's purpose alongside life's meaning; taxed in self-doubt whence confidence is all the more prized. Suddenly, goose bumps aren't so vestigial. And only knowing "your lover when you let her go" is a blessing w/o which free will's never very trying. And objects sought is not subjectivity's sport.

    Guest (Chris Morrisda)

  20. Hi Will, Iam so sorry this week is over.I saved the articles and I hope to meet you one day.
    Thanks for the time and effort you put into the Writers Life it is appreciated Thanks Brenda

    Guest (Brenda)

  21. Howdy Will: Not sure how to begin...this is the first installment I have seen in my mailbox of this series!

    Could you please send me the first 4? Thanks, Tom Kelly


  22. It isn't the thought of not being able to write as much as learning to deal with the business end of it. Landing a client, being knowledgeable enough about the niche I choose, the subject/content, negotiating payment. I just started to learn about copywriting about a month ago.

    Guest (Sue)

  23. This works for me in other areas: learn from excellent mentors (like Will here), use what you learn in your own work, and simultaneously teach or help others from a confident vantage point. You self-justify your expertise because you’re repeating a mentor's ideals not yours. Get your re-purposed expertise in the public’s eye in a blog or local workshop with your own flair, and you will have other’s asking advice and perhaps get projects. Result? A full-bloomed self-confident writer.

    Guest (Brad)

  24. Will, I am an empathetic person. I have never considered it an asset before; instead feeling the emotions going on around me can zap my energy, and my energy level is at the basis of any self doubt that may occasionally arise.
    Traditional business considers feelings unprofessional. They are obviously an asset. Thanks for spelling these things out - for empathizing with me. Your advice will help me deal better with the huge job of getting my freelance business up and running.

    Linda Verde in London Ontario

  25. Thank you dear will, I am excited to hear these great motivations from you.

    Guest (Muhammad)

  26. Dear Will:
    I can not thank you enough for this information, it is one thing to branch out on what you know, it is a completely different animal to step out in faith about yourself on uncharted waters.
    You have put fire under my bottom and courage in my heart, thank you so much. This whole week has been great.
    God bless you Faye

    Guest (Faye Weedon)

  27. Will,I would like to thank you for your strong words of encouragement, that let me know that you support our Awai journey.


  28. The key is you must believe in yourself. I'm just starting out in this, but I know I can do it. I used to teach disabled kids, too, but it only had it's moments. It had its memories, but I'd never go back to it in America.

    Maybe I'll bump into you at bootcamp!

    Good Job!

    Guest (JJ)

  29. Here's a quote I have on the fridge...

    “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on it’s own wings. Always believe in yourself” – Unknown

    I see it every day.

    No room for self doubt, trust in yourself.

    James Edwin

  30. Certainly will. It is one's belief in himself which drives him to success. Your belief in yourself is a very strong power tool behind your success and mark. You can, if you have self belief, do things even which are not in your reach. this is the most essential driving power in you which fills you with courage and fire. this article is actually a fire lighter. It is also true that with the self belief, there are doubts also. these doubts can be eliminated with self belief. I am putting this article to my blog so that others who don,t have reach to AWAI must read it also.

    Guest (Mahesh seelvi)

  31. Wonderful insight and advice all week, Will. Many, Many thanks!!

    Guest (dave)

  32. Hi Will, loved the info on self-doubt. Sometimes I question why I decided to take this on when I work long hours, single parent and still recovering from a head injury. After reading the article I was reminded that I am in charge of my life's direction. Writing appeals to me on such a deeper level so I have to learn to be gentle with myself and remind myself to continue forward on matter how big or small the step is.

    Thanks for the articles.

    Guest (Jacqueline)

  33. I'm a "New-Be",to copywriting but my interest is in writing so I'm dying to find out,'if some of, or any of', the skills I learn here coincide with any of the techniques I've used or have applied in the past. I hesitate to take on other concepts of the same idea at the same time until I understand the basic first. I guess to see if I'm out of my league or not. Would that be considered a barrier or a test to success?


  34. Thank you Will, I really enjoyed the whole week with you Dave E.

    Dave E Australia

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