Living the Writer's Life: Lisa Christoffel
She Crept, Not Leapt, Toward Copywriting (And Found Enormous Payoff!)
Lisa Christoffel held a distinguished job with international responsibilities, but the toll it took on her family and her physical health propelled her to find an alternative. Copywriting was the obvious answer, but her transition was slow. Discover how she finally made the leap, and find out which notable writing organization she now runs.
Take us back to your life before writing. What did you want to get away from?
Thankfully, those memories are fading now. I was middle management at a Fortune 500 company for a long time, and I had global operations responsibilities. One month, when my children were elementary, middle school, I was in the Philippines for four total months of that year — not all at one time, but traveling back and forth. I missed birthdays, concerts, baseball games … a ton of stuff. Anniversaries too, to include my husband.
I enjoyed my time doing that until I looked around and said, “Holy cow, I’m 100 pounds heavier. I’m stressed. I’m missing all this stuff. I can’t keep doing this.”
What led you from there to writing?
I discovered AWAI through Mark Ford’s Palm Beach Research Letter. I used to love to write. So I said, “Maybe this is something to explore.” And then right after I started it, I got laid off from my corporate job — temporarily. And I said, “Okay, I’m getting a severance package. I’m going to try to do this copywriting thing.” I fell in love with it but wasn’t making the corporate money that I had been by the time they called and said, “Hey, we need you back.” And I was like, “Yeah, I’ve got to come back. I have kids in college.” But that’s what got me started.
How did you eventually make the full leap?
I kept my full-time job for the majority of the time that I was learning copywriting, and then 2020 hit. And I got furloughed every other week, which was another opportunity. The layoff was an opportunity, so I learned the craft and built my business. The furlough was an opportunity to really build my business, take on more clients, get the income coming in. I ended up keeping my half-time corporate job at the end of 2020 when they wanted me to come back full time. And then I ratcheted down from there. So it actually wasn’t until January of this year that I quit.
Congratulations. That’s terrific!
Literally seven years in, I finally don’t have a corporate job. When I say creep, I mean creep. I didn’t leap. I “creeped”!
What’s been your biggest reward so far with this slow and steady transition to copywriting?
I wake up every morning, and I spend an hour and a half to two hours on me, doing crossword puzzles and reading books and doing what I want to do. And then I work several hours during the day. I can take a break. I take the dog for a walk. I’m not packing my bag and traveling halfway across the world for two weeks and then coming back and working 24/7. I get to decide when I work. I get to decide when I take off.
Right now you are the managing editor of B2B Writing International. Can you tell us a little bit about that and what it offers?
We have a terrific website with all the content and training you need to write B2B [business-to-business]. We have a book club. Every month we have several challenges where people can win money or win the rights to write for us, and the the Facebook community is pretty awesome. I hold a once-a-week Ask Me Anything coaching hour where anybody can put a question out to the group at any time and lots of people jump on and give their feedback and their input and support. And everybody is doing the same thing. They all are doing B2B writing, so it’s easier to talk about what the problems are, because everybody sort of understands that space.
This is for people who are brand new to B2B writing as well as veterans to this niche, correct?
We have everybody across the board. It’s a great community of newbies all the way to experienced copywriters. And it’s amazing. Coming from my corporate background, when I first started engaging with copywriting communities, I was like, “What is with these people? Everybody’s helping everybody.” That is not what I was used to in the corporate world. There’s just so much love and opportunity.
Lisa's Living The Writer's Life story was originally published in Barefoot Writer. To learn more about how you can start living your dream writer's life too, click here.
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