It’s What You Learn After You Know It All That Counts

growthSidebar:

I enjoyed reading the following article by Tom Kavala, Managing Editor of AWAI’s Spare-Time Biz Success.  Grab one or more of the many quotes in the article.  I hope it inspires you to make learning a daily habit.

My Uncle Mike always told me, “Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.”

He also observed that some people are so narrow minded they can look through a keyhole with both eyes at the same time.

The world changes constantly.  Unless you change with it, you’re destined for mediocrity or worse.

If you don’t stay abreast of new developments in technology and changes in the marketplace, you will be left far behind … or, at best, you’ll experience only a portion of the success that might have been yours.

The good news – make that the great news – is that you don’t have to live your life “just like always.”  You can choose to build a successful business.  You can choose to change careers.  You can choose to get better.  You can choose to change.

Status Quo – That’s Latin for “The Mess We’re In”

Change.  Every time I heard the word as a kid, I would flinch a little.  It usually meant I had to fix something – as in change the tire or change the oil in the car.  I’m not the handiest guy around so, sooner or later, I was going to be in grease right up to my elbows.

More often than not, it meant I had to fix me – as in “You’d better change your ways!”

Either way, I was in trouble.

Today the word doesn’t bother me at all because I realize that you cannot grow without change.  If you can’t change your mind, you can’t change anything.  Change is the hinge on which your life turns.  And when you’re building a spare-time business, don’t kid yourself … your life is at a turning point.

What all business builders want is progress – but you can’t have it without change.  The person, who never changes his opinion, never corrects his mistakes.  And the road to success is always under construction.

What succeeded yesterday often fails today.  Consider what the founder of the IBM, Thomas Watson, once said: “There is a world market for about 5 computers.”  Luckily, Mr. Watson was able to change.  Would there even be an IBM today had he not?

You can’t become what you were meant to be by remaining what you are.  I’ve heard it said that only fools and dead men don’t change their minds.  Fools won’t.  Dead men can’t.

When you change, your opportunities will change.  The same kind of thinking that got you to where you are will not necessarily get you to where you want to go.

But when patterns and tradition are broken, new opportunities come together.  Progress comes from those who are not satisfied to leave well enough alone.

Only Hungry Minds Can Grow

Have you ever noticed how many people you know are literally in the same place they’ve been for years?  They have the same dreams, the same opportunities, the same problems and the same alibis they’ve always had.  They have simply refused to change.

Why?

Because their minds are like concrete – all mixed up and permanently set.

It’s a hard truth, but whatever you’ve got, you’ve traded time for.  Whatever you’re not, you haven’t made time for.  The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.

I’m sort of a fanatic about this.  I always have something to read or write whenever I have any spare time.  I’m always trying to learn something and I’m not real picky from whom I learn it.  It’s been said that the passion of the protégé can be measured by his pursuit of his mentor.

From one person, I may learn what to do, while from another, I learn what not to do and why not to do it.  I try to learn from the mistakes of others, because I’ll never live long enough to make all the mistakes myself.

You can learn more from a wise person who is wrong than you can from a fool who is right.  The best way to keep growing is never to stop learning.  Only hungry minds can grow.

Life changes and teaches us by giving us new problems.  Your rewards in life are determined by the kinds of problems you solve for others.

With learning, you gain knowledge.  Act on that knowledge and you gain experience.

Experience is a permanent possession that keeps us from repeating the past in the future.

With knowledge and experience, you gain wisdom.  If you want to increase your wealth, you have to increase your wisdom.

Automotive designer and motorcar racing legend Carroll Shelby once asked, “Speed costs – how fast do you want to go?”

It’s the same with your professional education.  Gaining wisdom takes time, effort and money.  But if you think education is expensive – just try ignorance.

End Note:

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) Spare-Time Biz Success, a free newsletter that gives you information on the hottest work-at-home opportunities that allow you to make extra money in your spare time and enjoy the financial benefits of a full-time career.  For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/spare-time-business/.

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.

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Last Day to Save $200 on Copywriting Success Summit 2009

Buzzing BeesThis is s friendly reminder to let you know that this Thursday is the last day to secure your seat at Copywriting Success Summit 2009  at the early-bird discount rate (a $200 savings, 40% off the regular price!).

Remember: this is the premier online event for writers (from beginners to veterans) who want to generate better-quality leads, win higher-caliber clients and earn more.

Go here now:  http://tinyurl.com/nuv2q3.

ABOUT THE EVENT

Copywriting Success Summit 2009 is the largest online event dedicated to helping writers generate better-quality leads, win higher-caliber clients and earn more.

Here’s a sample of some of the sessions:

  • Write Marketing: How to Attract Opportunity by Shining the Spotlight on Others
  • Using Social Media to Grow Your Writing Business
  • Maximizing the Income Potential of Your Freelance Writing Business
  • How to Turn More Prospects Into Clients
  • How to Win Copywriting Clients With Direct Marketing
  • Painlessly Mastering the Process of Prospecting
  • How to Get Customers Coming Back for More
  • Attracting Prospects With Blogging
  • The Faster, Safer Way to Make the Leap to a Full-Time Copywriting Business

Go here to see all of the sessions.  http://tinyurl.com/nuv2q3.

GREAT BONUSES AWAIT YOU

The event organizers just added all of last year’s sessions as a bonus for signing up for Copywriting Success Summit 2009.

Here’s a sample of the dozen really valuable bonuses we’re giving away:

  • Becoming a $125-per-Hour Writer and Beyond
  • Your 60-Minute Marketing Plan
  • Becoming the King (or Queen) of the Hill in Your Niche
  • Making Top Dollar Writing White Papers
  • Making Money Writing Case Studies
  • Pricing Your Copywriting Services

Go here now to learn more:  http://tinyurl.com/nuv2q3

Wishing you much success!

P.S. This event does not require any travel.  You simply attend sessions, meet the experts and network with peers from the comfort of your home or office.

To see how this works, go here:  http://tinyurl.com/nuv2q3.

P.P.S. Remember, the $200 early-bird discount expires THURSDAY, September 24.  Go here now: http://tinyurl.com/nuv2q3

How Old Is Too Old?

HourglassSidebar:

I enjoyed reading the following article by Tom Kavala, Managing Editor of AWAI’s Spare-Time Biz Success.  I thought you might draw some insights from it.  It’s your dream.  Live it!

 

A resume client recently said to me, “Yeah, but I’m too old.”

I wanted to grab him by his lapels and shake some sense into him.

I’m here to tell you …

If there’s something you’ve always wanted to do – but have been putting off – now would be a good time to do it.

A woman once walked up to well-known author and inspirational speaker Wally (Famous) Amos, after a seminar he had given and said, “If I go to law school at my age, I’ll be 55 when I graduate”.  Amos asked her, “How old will you be if you don’t go?”

So let me ask you a question, “If not now, when?”

Too Old For What?

Just what is it we’re supposed to be too old for anyway?

People will tell you that advancing age results in lower energy levels and diminished capacity for getting things done.

Really?  Consider the following, courtesy of the UC Berkley Wellness Letter:

Verdi composed his “Ave Maria” at age 85.

Harlan Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken at the tender age of 65 and became a multi-millionaire.

Grandma Moses – the renowned American folk artist – didn’t start painting until she was in her 70s and didn’t achieve success until she was in her 80s.

Michelangelo was carving the Pieta when he was 89.

Martha Graham – one of the foremost pioneers of modern dance – performed until she was 75 and choreographed her 180th work at age 95.

Marion Hart, sportswoman and author, learned to fly at age 54 and made seven nonstop solo flights across the Atlantic, the last time in 1975 when she was 83.

John Kelley finished his sixtieth Boston Marathon at the age of 83.

Jack LaLanne, at age 62, swam the length of the Golden Gate Bridge underwater, against treacherous tides, towing a 2,000-pound boat.  At age 65, he was swimming in Lake Ashinoko, Japan, handcuffed, shackled and towing sixty-five boats loaded with 6,500 pounds of Louisiana wood pulp!  At age 70, once again handcuffed and shackled, and fighting blustery winds and currents, LaLanne hit the water and succeeded in pulling seventy boats and seventy people – one person per boat – an astonishing one and one-half miles.

The remarkable accomplishments of these people are not just personal triumphs; rather they are triumphs of the human spirit.  They demonstrate that whether you start early or late in life, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to.  Whatever you can conceive, you can achieve – regardless of age.

Forget Those Who Say You Can’t

I wonder why so few people feel their age is “just right”.

Being “too old” is just an excuse – an excuse that has closed the door of opportunity to thousands of individuals.  They think they are the wrong age, so they don’t even try.

I hear all kinds of people saying you reach a point where starting over, or starting a new endeavor, just isn’t practical anymore.

Let me tell you something – people who know the least, know it the loudest.

The person who is fond of saying, “It can’t be done”, is invariably interrupted by the person who just did it.

When I was a corporate sales trainer, an older salesperson – who should have known better – told me that I didn’t understand the circumstances he was under.

I asked him, “The circumstances you’re under?  What are you doing under there?  Get out from under there!  Who told you to go under there in the first place?”

There are no circumstances you can’t handle.  There are only challenges to be met.  Every challenge contains within it an opportunity for you to excel.

Start Where You Are

However old you are – you are.  So look at your age positively.

A friend of mine, who just turned 70, confided to me that he hated the thought of getting old.  I told him it was a lot better than the alternative.  If you’re not getting older, you’re dead.  I’ll take old over dead any day of the week.

Instead of thinking, “I’m already too old”, think, “I’m still young.”  Look forward to new horizons and gain enthusiasm for new things.

Invest time in doing what you really want to do.  Whether you’re 29 or 69, it’s never too late.

So stop thinking, “I should have started years ago”.  You’re here now, so start now.  Your best years are ahead of you.

Just ask our own Shelby Beckett.  The newest addition to AWAI’s Wall of Fame, Shelby didn’t start copy writing until she was 71.  In fact, if you check out the Wall of Fame, you’ll see a lot of gray hair there.

Think about how much productive time you have left.

If your life was an hourglass and you could see the sand passing through it, what would you do today?

The cemetery is full of unwritten books, unsung songs, great deeds left undone, and discoveries never made.  Most people die with their dreams still in them.  Don’t let the “too old” excuse keep you from living the life you’ve always wanted.

“For of all sad words, of tongues or pen, the saddest are these: I might have been …”

End Note:

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) Spare-Time Biz Success, a free newsletter that gives you information on the hottest work-at-home opportunities that allow you to make extra money in your spare time and enjoy the financial benefits of a full-time career.  For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/spare-time-business/.

 

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.

Swing till you hit!

On TargetSide bar:

I enjoyed reading the following article by Tom Kavala, Managing Editor of AWAI’s Spare-Time Biz Success.  I will admit to being practically clueless about sports metaphors, but even I got the gist of Tom’s lead-in.  I hope you draw some insights from the story and persevere.

The little guy was having a tough time.  My two-year-old nephew and I were in the living room, playing baseball.  I was pitching a Wiffle Ball to him as he continued to fan the air with his little plastic bat.

My wife told us to take it outside before we broke something, so I continued to pitch to him in the backyard.  I’d pitch the ball to him and he’d swing – and miss.  Pitch … swing … miss.  Pitch … swing … miss.  Thirty to forty pitches … thirty to forty misses.  I could see he was starting to get discouraged.

Every time he missed, I’d tell him, “You can do it.  C’mon, swing for the seats.  You’re the best hitter there is”.  And still he missed every single one.

Now I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but after thirty to forty swings, I noticed that every time he swung the bat, he swung in the same place.  It didn’t matter whether my pitch was high or low, he always swung in the same place.  So I aimed at his bat.

Whack!  He hit it!  He got so excited, he dropped the bat!  He’d never hit a ball before!  He didn’t know what to do!  So he just ran in place squealing with delight, with his eyes wide, and his little arms flapping like wings.

I laughed and yelled, “Run to first base”.  He ran the wrong way.

I said, “This way”.  Around the bases he ran … all the way home … right into my arms.

We fell backwards, laughing and giggling, into the soft spring grass.  It was the best day of my life.

How ridiculous it would have been if I had just given up on him after one or two swings.

He wasn’t a good hitter when he started, but he stepped up to the plate every time … and kept swinging.

Stay With It

Nothing can defeat you unless you first defeat yourself.  When asked what the greatest attribute of a soldier was, Napoleon Bonaparte answered, “Endurance”.  It wasn’t loyalty … or courage … or skill at arms.  It was endurance – the ability to keep going no matter what.

Whatever you want to accomplish in life will take persistence.  Nothing worthwhile comes easily.  Work – continuous, hard work – is the only way to accomplish anything that lasts.

In life, you will pay one of two prices.  You will either pay the price of persistence or you will pay the price of regret.  The price of persistence weighs ounces.  The price of regret weighs tons.  So never give up on what you really know you should do.

One of the greatest examples of persistence is Dr. Theodore S. Geisel.  He wrote a book.  He went from publishing house to publishing house.  All he heard was “No”.  He kept knocking on publishers’ doors and after hearing “No” a staggering twenty-three times; he finally heard “Yes”.

If you have kids – or if you ever were a kid – you know him by his pen name: Dr. Seuss.  His books have sold over 220 million copies.

Then there’s the lady who went to seventeen publishers and got seventeen rejections.  Number eighteen knew a winner when he saw it and published her work.  The book was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – the first of the fantastically successful Harry Potter series.  Today, with over 400 million copies sold, and published in 65 languages, J.K. Rowling, is one of history’s most successful authors.  Suppose she had stopped at rejection number ten.  The world would be a poorer place indeed.

Home run legend Babe Ruth also held the record for striking out.

Basketball great Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

Harlan Sanders, of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, is today a household name.  But there was a time when, believe it or not, nobody would endorse his chicken recipe.  He was rejected a mind numbing 1,009 times, but he persisted.

Talent, brains and athletic prowess are all wonderful things to be blessed with, but you can’t always rely on them.  Talent comes and goes with different success stories, but persistence is a constant.  Persistence is the hammer that drives the nail of success.

Keep Looking for Opportunities

So what do you do?  Anything.  Something.

So long as you don’t just sit there.  If you screw it up, start over.  Try something else.  If you wait until everything is perfect, you may find that it’s too late – opportunity will have passed you by.

One of the most powerful success principles is, never give up!  The choice of giving up or going on is a defining moment in your life.  You may not be able to turn back the clock, but you can wind it up again.

When I was launching my resume business, I noticed that business tended to drop off periodically.  At the time, my business consisted mostly of writing resumes for graduating college students.  The problem with student resumes is that they’re seasonal.  I’d see a spike in business for two months or so before graduation, then it would peter out.

So I went in another direction.

I joined my local Chamber of Commerce and networked until I found a couple of executive recruiters who absolutely hate to write resumes.  They are too busy trying to find and match job candidates to openings their client companies have.  They have neither the time nor the patience to help some candidate write a killer resume.

That’s where I come in.

Now whenever they get a good client with a weak resume, they hire me to spruce it up.  I get a ton of business from them, and here’s the best part – it’s steady work, because these recruiters are busy.  And since their candidates are all executive level job seekers, I make a lot more money per resume.

Opportunities are everywhere; you just need to look for them.  You can look at a setback as a blessing or a curse.  Just having an opportunity to consider things that were previously out of your realm of interest can produce incentive to move in a new direction.

Your choice is simple.  You can either stand up and be counted, or you can stay down and be counted out.  Defeat never comes to people until they admit it.

So keep chipping away as quickly as you can, but even if you need to slow down for a time … or move in a different direction … still keep chipping away as much as you can.

Do today what others will not, and you’ll live tomorrow as others cannot.

End Note:

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) Spare-Time Biz Success, a free newsletter that gives you information on the hottest work-at-home opportunities that allow you to make extra money in your spare time and enjoy the financial benefits of a full-time career.  For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/spare-time-business/.

 

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.

How to Compete with Low-Ball Writers Who Try to Steal Your Project By Working for Pennies

desk-and-pen

Sidebar:

I enjoyed reading the following article by Rebecca Matter, Managing Editor of AWAI’s The Wealthy Web Writer.  I thought you might draw some insights from it.  Use freely and prosper!

Someone else just offered to do the project for a quarter of the price you quoted the client …

What now?

Last week, I showed you how to effectively price projects.  And afterward, AWAI Member Lydia Armetta sent me this message:

“Do you have advice for dealing with low-ball writers out there?  Specifically the $50/hour web writers I run up against from time-to-time.”

It’s bound to happen.  At some point in your freelance career, regardless of your specialty, you will run up against a competitor who has less to offer clients than you, or is simply unable to write copy as well as you.

They’ll try to compete with you on price — since it’s really their only option.

So today, I want to make sure you know what to do when it happens to you.

As a marketer who knows the value of good copy, not to mention the value of my own time, I can’t imagine hiring a copywriter who tried to sell himself on cheap pricing.

If that’s a copywriter’s biggest selling point … no thank you, I’ll pass.

But, I’m sure that offer is tempting to some marketers … especially when they don’t believe in their product.  They want to risk as little money as possible, and therefore, may skimp on the marketing expenses to set a low breakeven point.

In my opinion, that’s not the client you want to work with anyway.  But I know that’s easy for me to say, sitting on this side of the desk.

So, to get some advice on how to handle this situation, I went straight to the “horses’ mouth,” and asked five copywriters I know have been successful playing this game.

You get what you pay for …

What clients need to know is that ‘you get what you pay for’ is often true.  A skilled copywriter can get more customers to open their wallet.  They know the value of their skills and charge appropriately. 

You may occasionally come across a copywriter who undervalues their skills and get a deal — good luck with that.  However, often the lower-risk, higher-reward decision is to go with the skilled copywriter who charges more … because the higher level of sales will be more than worth the extra fee up front. 

As a copywriter, all you can do is present this argument with conviction.  If the client bites, great.  If not, move on, because they don’t value your skills and there are plenty of others who will.  Your time is better spent connecting with clients who respect your skills than trying to change the minds of cheapskates.” — Roy Furr

It will actually cost you more in the end …

I’ve recently had a few calls from clients who used those cheapy writers and then had to finally pay a decent writer for copy that works. 

I will often say to the client … ‘Have you seen samples of that copywriter’s work?’  ‘Did that copywriter provide you with references or better yet, case studies of the results his work generated for clients?’  ‘Does that copywriter have a website that makes you comfortable with his work? 

The biggest thing is to see proof of what that other copywriter can do — not just the writing, but the results his copy generated.  It will tell quite a story.”– Pam Foster, Author of The Web Copywriter’s Clear Path to Profits

Go ahead and do it …

You take the ball out of their hands.  In the rare situation when a client has told me they can hire another copywriter who charges less (and they usually name a low hourly rate), I say, “Go for it.” 

I tell them to hire the other person.  When I’ve said this, the game stops because I’ve taken the ball from their hands.  Either they go away (often coming back later), or all talk about money ceases on the spot.  It’s just a game that I refused to play a long time ago. 

Then, we just talk about how I’ll help them achieve their goals.  It’s NEVER fun working with a client who plays the low-ball game.  I’ve done it, and you spend twice as much time for half the fee.  It’s just not worth playing that game, so I don’t.”– Sid Smith

The difference between a cheap copywriter and a good one …

I get cheeky and say something like $20 an hour?  Well, if you are looking for a really CHEAP copywriter you can do better than that by going to guru.com.  You’ll probably find someone who will work for $10 an hour.  But, if you want a really GOOD copywriter, rather than a cheap one, let’s keep talking.”– Nick Usborne, Author of Million-Dollar Secrets to Online Copywriting and How to Write Your Own Money-Making Websites.

And finally, web writers are not commodities …

My answer could be very long, but in short, I always move to a value-added, consultative role.  If you play the price game then you end up being a commodity.  Like Tide vs. Downy, the game goes to the cheapest player. 

But we are not laundry soap, we are masters of the written word and heroes of persuasion.  We build entire empires with the stroke of our fingers and crush competition with the fine art of our word-smithery. 

The way you let clients know and understand this is by giving them the three golden questions and making it about how much they will make, how powerfully you’ll meet their most pressing needs, and how you will free them of stress, pressure, and the angst of not producing results in this down economy. 

The three golden questions are: 1) What do you want?  2) What will having that do for you?  3) How will you know when you have it? 

Of course, those are the core questions and you have to adapt them for each situation, but that is basically the gist of it.  Once you have the answers to those questions, you hold the power in your hands.  Other writers can just deliver bland copy.  You solve all their problems and bring in the money. 

With that knowledge at your command, you simply say to them, “If I can {fill in the blank with the solution to their most pressing need/problem} does {$$$ give them an exact dollar amount} sound like a reasonable fee for my services? 

Finally, I’ll just say this, if you have a client who truly is just price shopping, then dump them faster than a hot potato.  They are trouble, trouble, trouble, and will never be worth your time. 

Plus, it will offend your own self-image because you’ll begin to see yourself as someone who is willing to sell themselves at the lowest prices. 

With that feeling inside, you’ll never, ever be able to write to the best of your ability.  Your copy will stink and you’ll resent the pitifully low fee you received for copy that stinks.”– Joshua Boswell, Motivating Mentor of Monday Morning Jumpstart.

Concluding thoughts

I know it can be tough to walk away from a paying project.  But in the end, it can be tougher to work with a client who doesn’t understand the value of good copy, and only values price.

Lydia was thankful for all of this useful advice and asked me to share with you all the lessons she learned last week:

I am a professional copywriter.  There will always be someone who hangs up a sign stating they can write, but they will not have my training and background. 

I need to keep my prices at a professional rate.  People perceive value based on what they pay.  If I charge a higher price, they know they are getting a higher-quality service. 

I need to reach out to AWAI more often.  I was overwhelmed with the amazingly quick response and wonderful information and support I received.  AWAI is a valuable resource that I will certainly use more often! 

Breathe and be thankful for good opportunities!  I believe you cannot be afraid to walk away from business that does not fit.  It leaves you open for a new opportunity, and allows someone who is a better fit to take the opportunity you left behind.”

End Note:

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) Wealthy Web Writer, a free newsletter for learning how to effectively write online copy and market products on the Web.  For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/web-writing/.

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009. 

You’re Not Making Progress – Now What?

Sun Worship

Sidebar:

I enjoyed reading the following article by Tom Kavala, Managing Editor of AWAI’s Spare-Time Biz Success.  I thought you might draw some insights from it.  Your business is your dream; keep it alive.

Let Tom Kavala’s words spur you on.

When I was a kid, one of my favorite toys was a Joe Palooka punching bag.  It was an inflatable plastic punching bag that had a weighted base and a picture of comic book hero Joe Palooka painted on the front.

When inflated, you could punch the bag as much as you wanted.  The trick was that, due to the weighted base and air-filled body, the bag would always bounce back up.

I spent hours trying to knock it down and it always bounced right back up.  No matter how hard or how many times I hit it, it always bounced back up.

That’s the way you must be.  It’s not over ‘til you win.  When you have a positive attitude and a positive perspective, you develop resiliency – the ability to bounce back.

Resiliency plays a major part in turning a setback into a setup for a comeback.  It is the ability to recover and adjust to challenge and change.  The key is that you quickly recover from the setback and refuse to let it keep you down.

Failure Is An Event – Not A Person

Failure is a fact of life.  We all fail periodically.  In fact, the more successful you are, the more likely you’ve failed a lot in the process.

Failure is an event that happens to you.  Failure isn’t who you are.  Whenever you experience a setback, pick yourself up and get ready for the next event in your life.

Anybody who is currently achieving anything in life is simultaneously risking failure.  Failure is often the first step towards success.  If we don’t risk failing, we won’t get the chance to succeed.  When we are trying, we are winning.

The greatest dreams, plans and actions will lead to nothing – if we allow failure to turn us back along the way.

Remember that it isn’t what happens to you in life that determines whether or not you achieve your dreams.  What matters most is how you respond to what happens to you.

When it comes to overcoming failure, you need to absolutely refuse to settle for unwanted results.  For those who want to succeed, failure is not an option.

To be successful, you need to turn failures into opportunities to learn and become stronger in the process.  The fact that you’ve failed is proof that you’re not finished.  Failures and mistakes are bridges, not barricades, to success.

Get Up One More Time Than You’re Knocked Down

When I was launching my resume business, I had a hard time penetrating the college market at first.

It seemed that every college and university in the area had a Department of Student Services that, among other things, was charged with helping graduating students prepare resumes and other job search materials.

And as anyone who has ever been anywhere near academia knows, department heads are very protective of their students.  They didn’t want some slick salesman coming on campus charging exorbitant rates for resumes.  I got “no” after “no.”  For a minute, I thought my resume business was going to be stillborn.

So I changed tactics and made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.  I told them there is no such thing as a free lunch, that you get what you pay for, and offered to conduct a resume workshop for graduating seniors – free.  All I asked in exchange was that they simply allow me to put some of my marketing materials on campus.

They got a professional resume writer as a guest lecturer – one who could help their students get better jobs, faster, at higher compensation packages.  And the college didn’t have to pay me a dime.  That got their attention.

And me?  I got tons of business – everything from student resumes to updating faculty CVs.  And I got it from every college within a 50 mile radius of my office – because what worked on one campus worked on every other one in the area.

People Are Like Tea Bags: Not Worth Much Until They’ve Been Through Some Hot Water

No one has ever achieved genuine success that did not, at one time or another, teeter on the brink of disaster.  If you have tried something and failed, you are vastly better off than if you had tried to do nothing and succeeded.

One of the riskiest things you can do in life is to take too many precautions and never have any failures or mistakes.  Failure is the opportunity to start over more intelligently.

Experience is a hard teacher because it gives you the test first, and the lesson afterwards.  Experience is what you get when you’re looking for something else.

Success consists of getting up just one more time than you’re knocked down.  The best way to go on after a failure is to learn the lesson and not dwell on the details.  If the truth were known, 99% of success is built on former failure.

Thomas Edison was working with a lab assistant who was coming up dry after over 700 experiments.  Discouraged, the assistant told Edison that after all these failures, he simply didn’t think that the project was valid.

Edison quickly told him he wasn’t wasting his time and that the assistant now knew more about the project than anyone alive.  Edison wisely observed that the assistant hadn’t failed, but instead had acquired an education as to what didn’t work.  Needless to say, the assistant went back to his project with renewed vigor.

I’m glad he did.  Otherwise we’d still be in the dark.

End Note:

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) Spare-Time Biz Success, a free newsletter that gives you information on the hottest work-at-home opportunities that allow you to make extra money in your spare time and enjoy the financial benefits of a full-time career.  For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.awaionline.com/signup/spare-time-business/.

© Copyright Rachel Agheyisi and Report Content Writer’s Blog, 2009.

10 Ways to Make More Money As A Freelance Writer

bullhornWe’re all looking for ways to improve the revenue streams from our writing business.  Who better to learn from than writers who’ve made it in the business?  This article highlights success tips from top authors like Peter Bowerman, Michael A. Stelzner, and Steve Slaunwhite.

These successful writers share one common trait — they market themselves using very easy-to-implement tactics.  They all say demand for writers is skyrocketing.

Here’s how Mike Stelzner, one of America’s top-paid freelance writers, puts it:

“Never before in the history of words has the demand for freelance writers been so high.  Yet I constantly hear from copywriters, journalists, technical writers and copyeditors that ‘marketing’ is a four-letter word.”

According to a recent Junta42 study, 6 in 10 businesses are spending more for content production.  The need for case studies, ebooks, newsletters, articles, websites, white papers and press releases is growing at an unprecedented rate.

To land more work from higher-paying clients, Stelzner and nine other top-billing freelancers suggest the following easy-to-employ tactics:

Success Tip #1:  Stop Billing by the Hour:

“Pricing projects by a fixed fee, not by the hour, increases your chances of landing the job.  Don’t say, ‘My fee to write your e-newsletter is $75 per hour.  ‘Say, ‘My fee to write your e-newsletter is $800”. – Steve Slaunwhite, author of Start & Run a Copywriting Business.

Success Tip #2:  Write About Your Target Industry:

“Identify some of the biggest names in your target industry.  Interview a few of them, create a great article and shop it to a few major online or offline publications.  The free press will help you gain exposure and be read by an audience of prospective clients.  Plus, the experts will be happy to help you again in the future”. – Michael A. Stelzner, author of Writing White Papers.

Success Tip #3:  Stay Top of Mind by Keeping in Touch With Clients:

“It doesn’t matter how good a job you did for a client before.  When even a little time has passed, if you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind.  Pick a way to stay in touch-by phone, personal email, newsletters or social media.  Doing so may even remind clients they need to get started on a project–and they’ll call you”. – Casey Hibbard, author of Stories That Sell.

Success Tip #4:  Leverage Social Media Marketing:

“In this age of Google and social media, your prospects are even more distracted, cynical about sales messages and rightly motivated by their own self-interest. Make your promotional content brief, attractive and to the point.  Always offer significant value before asking for anything.  When making a request, frame the action as a way for the prospect to get even more benefits”. – Chris Garrett, content marketer and co-author of ProBlogger.

Success Tip #5: Ask for Referrals From People You Know:

“Whether or not you’re new to freelance copywriting, approaching people you already know about your freelance business, such as previous employers, is always the best place to start prospecting.  These folks know and trust you.  Even if they can’t hire you, they’re usually more than willing to introduce you to those who can”. – Ed Gandia, author of Stop Wishing and Start Earning.

 

 Wishing you much success!