Copywriting Frees Environmental Scientist From the Eight-to-Five Grind

As a copywriter for professional development powerhouses, Krista Jones sets her own hours, writes about topics she’s passionate about, and helps others reach their potential.

But at one time, this ideal life was far from reality.

Earlier in her career, Krista felt weighed down by her corporate job. As an environmental scientist, she co-managed a $300 million–plus contract with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and assessed the risk of chemical spills and other hazardous situations. Krista was doing well and making a good salary — but she wasn’t happy.

The idea of helping the environment had sounded good when her high school counselor suggested it. But over time, Krista realized it wasn’t her dream.

“After I had been in the field for a while, I just wasn’t feeling excited about it,” Krista says. “Also, I really wanted to work from home. I didn’t want to wear a dress every day, and I was sick of the commute. The eight to five is just not who I am.”

A Life-Changing Letter

When a mailer arrived from American Writers & Artists Institute (AWAI), her interest was piqued. The letter described how, through AWAI programs, she could learn to write marketing copy and earn good money — working from home, or anywhere.

Over the following months, the letter kept coming to mind and Krista realized it felt like the right thing to do.

“What struck me about the AWAI letter was the promise of being able to work from home or the beach, make a good six-figure income, and write for the clients that I wanted to,” Krista says. “That was very appealing. The program sounded intriguing, and affordable, so I was willing to try it.”

Krista ordered The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting (now The Accelerated Program for Seven-Figure Copywriting). She created a study schedule and made sure she stuck to it, even cutting back on social events to stay on target.

Her persistence paid off when she attended her first AWAI FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair. In a copy challenge, an assignment in which writers demonstrate their know-how, Krista jumped at the chance to test her skills.

“I thought, ‘I don’t know how well I’m going to do, but I’m going to try it,’” she says. “And that’s what ultimately ended up launching my career.”

First Paid Project Leads to More

Krista not only won the challenge — her first paid assignment — but she impressed the AWAI staff, who referred her for more projects. While still working full-time, she continued gaining writing skills and reeling in assignments, which grew her confidence.

Krista joined an AWAI mentoring program with Will Newman, who helped her learn to write in a more personal style that better connected with readers. Through Bootcamps and other AWAI projects, she met Katie Yeakle, Bob Bly, and others who would also impact her career. And over time, Krista overcame another concern: She had never considered herself a “salesperson.”

“I thought, ‘I don’t like marketing. I don’t like sales. I can’t write to sell somebody something,’” she says. “But I’ve learned that if I believe in the product, and take it into my heart, then I can write about it. And if it helps other people, it’s nice to know that I’m doing something meaningful.”

Over time, Krista cut back her day job hours, first to 24 hours weekly and then 16. Fortunately, her boss appreciated whatever hours she could work until, at last, her final day in corporate America arrived.

Flourishing in the Personal Development Field

When she first started copywriting, Krista took whatever assignments she could. Then, she began focusing on her dream client: Nightingale-Conant, a personal development company. She’d listened to their audio programs for many years and dreamed of writing for them back when she was thinking about ordering The Accelerated Program.

“I thought that if I could have a client like Nightingale-Conant, I’d love to do copywriting, because I love personal development,” Krista says. “That’s what I saw in my mind.”

Krista was thrilled when, through AWAI contacts, she landed a coveted project with Nightingale-Conant, which soon became her favorite client. She freelanced there for the next 12-plus years, writing a wide range of copy for well-known self-help experts.

Eventually, Nightingale-Conant faced financial struggles and stopped using freelancers. Krista was heartbroken but took the opportunity to pause and re-evaluate. After a couple of years, she wrote in her journal that she wanted to write for a client like Nightingale-Conant again.

“Literally two days later, I received a call from someone who worked with Bob Proctor — whom some called the ‘grandfather of personal development.’”

The in-house copywriter at Nightingale Conant had recommended Krista to Bob’s company. Her excellent work and contacts had paid off again, and Krista worked with Bob for the next several years.

COVID Brings a New Opportunity

Like many, Krista found the pandemic challenging, but it also became a turning point for her.

“Copywriting was the first major thing that transformed my life,” she says. “COVID’s quarantine was the other major thing that transformed my life. Going through the pandemic was tough emotionally, especially with all the social unrest going on.”

During COVID, Krista became drawn to a television character played by actress Tina Lifford. When Tina published a personal development book, Krista read it and attended some of Tina’s online programs. “I fell in love with her work — it’s right up my alley,” Krista says. “It changed my life during the pandemic when things were tough. It really helped me emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.”

Tina recruited Krista for some copywriting projects, and the two clicked. Krista had been feeling ready for a change, and in 2022 she joined Tina full-time to build The Inner Fitness Project.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Krista says. “And I know that the work has transformed a lot of people’s lives. It’s gratifying!”

“I’ve Never Been Happier”

As Krista looks at her journey with AWAI and copywriting, it still feels unreal at moments.

“At times, I literally think, ‘I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this!’” she says. “I would do some of this for free.” She adds, laughing, “I wouldn’t tell my clients that. But it means a lot when you feel like you’re doing what you love.”

Copywriting has also made an enormous difference in Krista’s quality of life. In addition to matching her previous income and then some, she no longer has the expense of work clothes and dry-cleaning bills. More importantly, copywriting allows her to work when and where she wants, which is currently on her five-acre farm.

“I love being able to work out when I want or go out with my dogs three times a day,” she says. “I’ve never been happier. I can’t imagine going back to an office — I just couldn’t do it!”

Not least, the relationships and support gained through AWAI have impacted Krista and opened doors in so many ways.

“AWAI has absolutely changed my life and given me opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise,” she says. “It’s been like a family, and the feeling of belonging and having shared goals has always meant a lot. I still have such a warm place in my heart for everybody I’ve met through AWAI.”

Krista’s Tips for Copywriters

  • Listen to your heart — If copywriting is something you feel called to do, then do it!
  • Do your work — You need to open the books and do the work if you want to succeed.
  • Believe in yourself — Be persistent and keep going.

Ready to pursue the writer’s life?

Learn more about the program that helped launch Krista’s career, The Accelerated Program for Seven-Figure Copywriting.

Krista Jones
Case Study:
Krista Jones
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I love being able to work out when I want or go out with my dogs three times a day. I’ve never been happier. I can’t imagine going back to an office — I just couldn’t do it!

Krista Jones
Atlanta, Georgia
Other Careers:
Environmental Scientist
How She Got Her First Client:
At her first AWAI Bootcamp, Krista won a copy challenge, which led to referrals through AWAI.

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