In my last post we talked about why you shouldn’t wait for others to validate your big ideas. I told you about my four kids and their big plans, including little Miss Z. (above in front of the Tribune Building in Chicago and to the right at Radio City Music Hall in New York.)
When she was only eight years old, we found her online researching Julliard, where she plans to go to school for singing or acting. Not only did she check it out, she made sure we did a campus tour when I took her on a trip to New York last year.
Did she wait for someone to validate her big idea? Does she realize the small odds of getting accepted to a prestigious school? No, and that’s the beauty of it. She’s stepping out in faith and youthful exuberance.
Like I said the other day, people want you to succeed, but you have to be bold and make the first move in confidence.
How does this relate to you? Well, I’m guessing you might have plans to leverage your copywriting skills into a full-fledged business, or maybe an intriguing, slightly offbeat lifestyle.
Me? After testing my idea two summers ago of living in Ecuador, I’ve decided that I’m going to own a home there within five years. I’m also going to run my business from wherever my wanderlust takes me, whether that’s Buenos Aires, New York, or Paris. I’m going to put my energy into writing, publishing, training other copywriters, and traveling.
Are your dreams a bit outside the norm? Are you a bit of an oddball (and I mean that in a good way)?
Here are a few tips to start making things happen:
- Go with your gut instincts. Listen to your heart. The cool thing about freelance copywriting is that you can go in any number of directions. Don’t feel like you have to follow the normal path that experts before you have followed.
Strike out on your own like my friends who are indulging in their passions in life, traveling the world, writing books and doing speaking tours, or opening up small niche businesses with both a physical location and online presence.
- Stay true to who you are. Don’t try to be something you’re not. If you have no interest in the financial world, don’t write a spec assignment just because you could land a big project.If your nature is soft and caring, don’t try to emulate Dan Kennedy’s brashness. If you couldn’t care less about the non-profit world, don’t try fundraising copywriting.
Figure out who you are first, then find a direction, not the other way around.
- Act on good ideas, but on a small scale. Test out a new niche before diving in all the way. Do one or two projects before you fully commit. Write an ebook before you spend the time on a full-length Kindle book. Try out your idea with a Facebook group before you launch a full-fledged website. Once you feel you’re on to something, then …
- Don’t wait for someone to validate your good idea. See if it has potential, for sure, but if you wait for someone to tell you it’s great, you’ll be waiting forever. Make your move and show confidence in it.You won’t become a star overnight, and you may grind away for years before anyone even knows your name.
Don’t let that stop you.Hopefully, you find one trusted friend or adviser who gives you encouragement and support. But be prepared to forge your own path.
Let me leave you with the words of Daniel Burnham, chief architect and co-author of “The Plan of Chicago”:
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die.”
What is one of your Big Ideas? What do you plan to parlay your copywriting skills into? I’d love to hear about it, and so would my readers. Leave me a note below.
And if you want to see what a small group of writers and I will be doing next week at the Ultimate Writing Retreat™ to leverage our Big Ideas, be sure to read next week’s blog posts live from Chicago. More here: http://cafewriter.com/chicago/