The Power of Association to Teach and Inspire


Will Newman

Thank you for coming back today for our second look into the Power of Association. (If you missed Monday and Tuesday’s articles, you can go here and here to read them).

I’m not by nature a social beast. I am, as Linda calls me, a cave bear.

This personality quirk flies in the face of why I moved to the small, rural community I call home … to get involved, particularly with the youth.

Fortunately, I discovered Rotary – the international service organization that’s now the only service club in town. That discovery has enriched my life over the last almost twenty years.

That enrichment comes from the Power of Association … a universal human principle that ensures growth through sharing with each other.

And nowhere has this power benefited me so much as its ability to inform, teach, and inspire.

My association with Rotary affects both my personal and copywriting life. These two parts of my life are so intertwined that I can’t separate them.

Inspiration from an unlikely place

Even before I switched from writing alternative health copy, I relied on contacts and information I’d gained through Rotary to enliven my copy.

At one district conference (yes, I’d left my cave to attend it 400 miles from home) I talked to four people who’d used alternative health solutions for a problem I was writing about. Three of them were frustrated with the lack of effectiveness of what they’d tried. The fourth was very satisfied with the same approach my product took.

Did those contacts make it into my copy? You bet! Would I’ve been able to make similar contacts if I didn’t belong to a group like Rotary? Not likely.

Notice I said “a group like Rotary,” not Rotary. While I love Rotary, I’m convinced the power I’m talking about lies in the act of associating with others in a group like this.

Using what I know from my association to teach others

Let me give you another example of how my Rotary association inspired me. I used an ad from the Rotarian Magazine for an example in the Circle of Success Leads Targeted Learning Program.

This ad demonstrates two important concepts. First, it presents a prime example of what’s known as a promise lead: “Make a donation today, and ensure a polio-free world for tomorrow.” This ad was part of Rotary Internationals ongoing End Polio Now campaign.

The second concept is the crucial importance of knowing who your audience is. This ad is directed toward Rotarians. As a group, we’ve donated over $1.2 billion to the effort to eradicate polio. We’re believers. We are perfect prospects for this ad.

But if you’re not part of Rotary, this ad might come across, as John Forde said, as unbelievable.

The Power of Association has helped me achieve the writer’s life. My challenge to you today is to look at your own life. What associations do you have that can inform, teach, and inspire? How can you make those associations if you don’t have them now?

I look forward to seeing you here again Friday when I talk about the greatest impact my association with Rotary has had on my life.

Until then, we’d love to have you share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Published: March 23, 2016

6 Responses to “The Power of Association to Teach and Inspire”

  1. Thanks for the great insight on becoming a professional writer through AWAI.

    Guest (Paul Fields)March 23, 2016 at 12:39 pm

  2. I just happened upon this site by some fluke, however, I'm glad I stopped surfing and clipped through most of the articles, concerning becoming a copy writer. It has given me much to consider, as a life style changer. It just goes to show what can happen if one has an open mind. The possibilities are endless.

    Guest (Gwendolyn Worthy)March 23, 2016 at 5:54 pm

  3. Hi Will, I have recently decided to become a writer to supplement my social security income. I have just begun to read your articles on the Writers Life and appreciate your viewpoint from the vantage point of years of experience and accumulated wisdom. I, too, tend to "cave up"! :) But I do understand the wisdom of associating and getting involved in one's community! I know that one thing alone will provide a goldmine of experiences that will enhance my life and my writing! Thank you!

    Kat BMarch 23, 2016 at 7:02 pm

  4. Just joining a group of people and meeting them is not enough. You need to do things together on occasion, so you have time to talk. It has been helpful for me to keep a list of people I've met with other relevant info I have gleaned from our conversations.

    Guest (Mary O)March 23, 2016 at 8:12 pm

  5. I am working on becoming that social person again. My friend and her family are helping me with that. In the past three years I have been unemployed, divorced after 25 years, estranged from my mom and sister, in the process of losing my home and I have lost 6 fur babies.
    I feel like it has been a miracle that I found AWAI. I can see my new life taking form and I am so very happy. I believe everything happens for a reason. I feel blessed and I will pass my on my happiness to others.

    BarbMarch 25, 2016 at 8:29 pm


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