Quest 2016: Payoff

Quest 2016 Theme, Day 7: Payoff, from Visionary John Jantsch

Today’s prompt comes from John Jantsch, marketing consultant, speaker, and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, and other books.

Today’s prompt:

What can you stop doing in 2016 such that it would allow you to focus on higher payoff activities?

:: First and foremost, I can stop saying (and thinking) “I don’t have time.”

:: I can stop my ingrained habit of doing client work first each day, with the promise that, “once I get that out of the way, I’ll work on my own writing & creative projects.” Ha! Because invariably, by the time I’ve put in 5-6 hours of focused time on client deliverables, my creative energy for the day is spent. Better to give myself one hour in the a.m. to work on the creative projects that are meaningful to me before I do work for anyone else.

:: I can stop checking my email a dozen times a day (at a minimum). That’s what trips me up. Not Twitter, not Facebook, not any social media platform whatsoever, BUT EMAIL.

:: And while I’m at it, I can unsubscribe myself from at least half of the newsletters I receive, because that list is looooong (and because I’m curious and I love to read, I actually read most of the newsletters that come into my in-box). Huge, huge time-suck.

Overall, I can spend much less time consuming, and much more time creating.

Quest 2016: Miss You

Quest 2016 Theme, Day 6: Miss You, from Visionary Seth Godin 

Today’s prompt comes from Seth Godin, author of 18 bestselling books, including two of my personal favorites, Tribes, and Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable.

Today’s prompt:

Would they miss you if you were gone? What would have to change for that question to lead to a better answer?

This one was painful to contemplate. But I’m glad to have the opportunity, because connection and fellowship is something I deeply desire to have more of in my life, and it has to start with me.

Family and friends would miss me, I’m sure. But I also know that I am not nearly as connected, involved and there for my family and friends as I would like to be.

As an introvert and a writer, I spend lots of time alone. But the truth is, much of the time, I simply don’t make the effort to connect with others socially; I’m far too passive in that area.

I wait for the invitations to get together to come to me. And they do, often enough.

But when they don’t? I’m happy to spend time on my own, reading, writing, and indulging my addiction to Bravo TV. And I don’t feel lonely, which keeps me mired in the same habit of always being the responder to, and never the instigator of, plans.

I’m not proud of this.

Going back to my response to the last prompt, one of my core desired feelings is connection, something I have less of than I’d like in my life right now, but only because I don’t “put myself out there.”

For example, at the end of 2014, I promised myself I would visit with out-of-town family and friends at least 6 times in 2015, and I made those visits just twice this year. I could have easily planned a couple of additional short trips, but didn’t.

In many ways, I’m a ghost already. A present ghost, but a ghost.

So, if I’m so seldom around to start with, how much would my loved ones actually miss me if I were gone? Maybe not so much, and maybe the missing would evaporate quickly.

Hmm, that sure doesn’t feel too good to write.

What would have to change to lead to a better answer to this question then, is for me to follow through on my commitment to be “there” more for my loved ones, both the local ones and the distant ones. To call them up, just because. To visit them, even when it’s not a special occasion or holiday. To regularly inquire how they are, what they’ve been up to, what they might need. To write them letters. [Oh, how I miss letters!] To send cards on birthdays and graduations and other important milestones. To reach out much more frequently, and be the asker and inviter, rather than merely the passive accepter, of invitations.

Essentially, to be less cadaverous and more present & alive to the important relationships in my life.

Quest 2016: Daydream

Quest 2016 Theme, Day 5: Daydream, from Visionary Scott Barry Kaufman

Today’s prompt comes from Scott Barry Kaufman, published author, scientific director of the Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, co-founder of The Creativity Post, and blogger at Beautiful Minds.

Today’s prompt:

What recurring daydream for 2016 inspires you to do business as unusual like never before?

It’s all about my core desired feelings (thank you, Danielle Laporte). Mainly, I want to feel creatively fulfilled, spiritually nourished, and financially empowered.

Also, connected, liberated, abundant, vibrant, ALIVE, generous, loving, on purpose, courageous and expansive.

My recurring daydream involves doing all things I’ve identified that will make me feel that way: carving out time for, and committing to, several hours a week to work on my personal creative projects; being more social; getting back to a regular yoga practice; taking salsa lessons; and in the summer, swim lessons & surf lessons; finding a just-right volunteer opportunity/giving back; visiting with family and friends MUCH more frequently; gifting myself a DIY writer’s retreat at a house on the beach for a week in the off-season; feathering my nest (& maybe moving my nest . . . so I can get a dog); expressing love to the important people in my life on the regular, in word & deed; writing about everything on this list, and putting my work out in the world in a bigger way.

Quest 2016: Future Self

Quest 2016 Theme, Day 4: Future Self, from Visionary Dr. Tina Seelig

Dr. Tina Seelig is a faculty director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), the entrepreneurship center at Stanford University’s School of Engineering.  

Today’s prompt:

What advice would your future self a year from now give you today? 

My future self a year from now would say:

:: The wheels won’t come off the bus if you take time to work on writing not related to your business or client projects. And I don’t mean an hour here or there either, I mean a few hours per week. Yes, that’s right, I said a few hours each and every week, without fail. {COMMIT}

:: In fact, I believe and declare that lasting happiness in your creative life, and even great success in your freelance business, is related to doing this very thing. C’mon, you know it’s true.

:: I know that as a freelance writer/copywriter trying to get traction in your business, you sometimes feel like spending time on writing that doesn’t earn money makes you irresponsible, but that’s just resistance talking.

:: And I promise – I promise, I promise, I promise – if you spend this next year devoting yourself to writing, you will be rewarded beyond what even your wildest imagination can gin up right now. I can’t say how, and I can’t say when, but it will happen.

Because remember what we said on Day One of Quest 2016  . . .

Your dreams are as valid as you are prepared to make them.

So git after it.

Quest 2016: No Failure

Quest 2016 Theme, Day 3: No Failure, from Visionary Debbie Millman

Today’s Quest 2016 prompt:

How would you do business as unusual in 2016 if you knew – no matter what you chose – you would not fail?

For my copywriting business:

:: I would pitch higher profile pubs for guest posting opportunities, rather than just the ones that feel “safe.”

:: I would plan and deliver a hands-on, in-person, local copywriting workshop to a small group of 10-12 participants 1-2 times this year.

:: I would get over my resistance and fear, and finish writing my damn copywriting guide for creative entrepreneurs already! (And self-publish it to Amazon.)

:: I would create and deliver an online copywriting & marketing course targeted specifically to creative entrepreneurs.

:: I would create other products and services that my audience would truly love and benefit from, all of which would incorporate beautiful design and my quirky approach to doing things, which is not business the way most people teach it.

:: I would FINALLY start interviewing creatives for my Creative Rebel Profiles project!


:: I would submit 3-6 pieces of my “other” writing – essays, narrative non-fiction, etc. – this year, and even enter my work in a few writing contests.

:: I would begin work on my book about surfing in earnest. First, I would figure out what this book is even going to be, because you know, I know nothing about surfing. 😉

:: I would create and deliver a writing workshop/brunch in my town at a local restaurant and get 6-8 participants for yummy food, mimosas, and fun, deeply satisfying, writing projects that could be completed in a 2-3 hour period.

:: I would find a local group of talented writers to hang out with who would up my game & hold me accountable to my writing goals and dreams, and who would also be a total blast to spend time with.

:: I would find a volunteer opportunity where I could help kids discover the beauty, joy and magic of writing, and help them develop & improve their creative and expository writing skills, etc.

In general:

:: I would stop telling myself “I don’t have time,” 87 times a week (rough estimate), and simply find a way to work on the creative projects that are truly important to me.

And there you have it, the very short list of ways I’d do “business as unusual” in 2016 if I knew I would not fail.

Quest2016: What Am I Willing to Give Up?

Quest2016_What's Knocking_blog image


Today’s Quest2016 theme is: What’s Knocking

The Quest2016 Prompt today, from Visionary Jonathan Fields:

You wake up to discover a knock at your door. A wealthy uncle you barely knew has passed and left you a fortune. It’s more than enough to live out your days in glorious splendor, but there is a condition. To be eligible to collect, you must commit your full-time working energies to the pursuit of an answer to a single question of your choosing for the next 12 months.

You are welcome to continue that pursuit after the year ends, for years or decades if it warrants, but you must remain fully focused on seeking the answer until the last minute of the 365th day. A minute shorter, the entire inheritance goes to your annoying and equally long lost cousin, Philly.

What is your question?

What am I willing to give up to make my writing dreams, plural, come true?  

The biggest of which is to get something published in one of my very favorite online pubs this coming year, a publication whose name I dare not mention in case it’s ridiculous & laughable to even think I have a shot in H-E-double hockey sticks of seeing my byline there.  

Related questions: How hard am I willing to work to make this happen? How early am I willing to get up in order to focus like a laser beam on this piece of writing before the business of the day begins? How much Bravo TV/Modern Family re-runs/Empire episodes am I willing to miss? How many daily distractions will I let go of? And how committed will I remain to the practice of completion and shipping, so that no matter what the eventual outcome, this piece of writing comes into the world this coming year? 

And because I want to keep these Quest2016 responses short and sweet, now I go off to ponder an equally important question: what to have for dinner.  

Quest2016: What I Most Need to Tell Myself About 2016 Is . . . .

Every Tuesday and Thursday during the month of December, I’m replying to Quest2016 prompts, put on by the fine folks over at Tracking Wonder.

Today’s prompt comes from New York Times best-selling author, speaker, and mindfulness expert, Susan Piver.

Today’s prompt is #TellYourself.

What I Most Need to Tell Myself About 2016 Is . . . .

 My dreams are as valid as I am prepared to make them.


Which means, in 2016, unlike in 2015, darn it all, I WILL MAKE TIME FOR MY OWN CREATIVE PROJECTS OUTSIDE OF CLIENT WORK.

(Sorry to resort to shouting, but I’m shouting at myself here. Because I sorely need to hear this, and more importantly, act on it.)

My biggest and most important creative project for 2016 is, dah tah dah dah . . . working on my book.

There: now it’s “out there.”

3 Things I’m Obsessed With This Week

Obsess Definition

If there’s one  low-brow, pop-culture thing I love (actually, there are so many it’s hard to choose, but . . .), its Bravo TV’s late night, interactive talk show, “Watch What Happens Live,” which comes on Sunday – Thursday at 11:00 pm. It’s wildly entertaining, silly good fun. Definitely not your standard, boring, run-of-the-mill talk show.

How could it be? It’s full of oddball games, celebrities swilling cocktails live on air (and sometimes getting visibly & hilariously inebriated), and show host Andy Cohen’s signature goofiness, all of which I happen to L-O-V-E, love.

There’s this one thing Andy does every night that I tune in for, even I don’t end up watching the rest of the show (girl needs her beauty sleep, dontcha know) called, “Three Things I’m Obsessed with Tonight.”

Inspired by his nightly list, I made my own list of three things I’m obsessed with this week: 

:: This recently released video of Missy Elliott’s new single “WTF (Where They From)is wildly creative, visually absorbing, and inexplicably mesmerizing. I’ve watched it at least three dozen times in the last two days. (I said obsessed, didn’t I?)

My favorite description of the song comes from Slant Magazine: “’WTF’ pairs Pharrell’s paint-can beats with deep, sinuous 808s, and if the track lacks an obvious hook, it makes up for it with sheer swagger. Of course, Missy doesn’t miss a beat, spitting rhymes like it’s 2005.”

:: This short film (8 minutes long), called “Arctic Swell: Surfing the Ends of the Earth,” about surfing in Antarctica, is a beautifully shot work of art, and demonstrates the lengths people will go to when they’re passionate about something, even if that something is decidedly dangerous.

:: Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. I read it the first time inside a week, then immediately turned back to page one and started reading it all over again. Despite what the New York Times reviewer says (and I love the New York Times, but, c’mon, “magical mumbo jumbo?”), Gilbert’s book is well worth a read if you’re a creative person (and we all are) who struggles to do the creative thing that lights you up because of fear, self-doubt, naysayers or other irritating gremlins.

And there ya have it, three things I’m obsessed with this week.



P.S. Do you enjoy reading about art, creativity & the creative process, how other creatives get their work done, and other assorted (and sometimes counter-intuitive) stories of inspiration? Then you should probably sign up for Austin Kleon’s newsletter. It’s one of my favorites, and I’m on hundreds of newsletter lists. (I am not making that up.)

Feeling Down About the State of Your Business? Make an Asset List to Pull Yourself Out of the Funk

Make Your Business Asset List

If you’ve spent any time doing personal growth work, then you’ve likely heard some variation of the expression, “what you appreciate, appreciates.”

Also known as:

“Energy flows where attention goes.”

“What you focus on expands.”

“You attract what you think about.”

“Energy follows thought.”

And so on.

Practicing an “abundance mindset” or “prosperity consciousness” (or simply a positive outlook if you don’t happen to be into personal growth lingo), is very important to the success of your business.

You’ve no doubt experienced this.

When things are going well, you feel unstoppable, on top of the world, insert your favorite cliché here, and you’re more motivated than ever to do the next big thing on your business to-do list, the thing that will get you closer to your dream scenario, even if it feels huge and uncomfortable and scary.

You’ve probably noticed that when you feel positive about your business and act from that state of consciousness, more good things come your way.

But when things aren’t going so well – your last promotion launched to crickets, you made very few sales last month and your income ain’t looking too damn skippy this month either, no one is reading your blog posts or opening your emails, and you don’t have enough clients, no matter how much marketing you do – well, then, it can be a tad harder to feel motivated to keep at it.

Me, you, and everyone else we know who has a successful business doing big things in the world has experienced the above not-so-wonderful scenario. The trick is to not let yourself spiral into a negativity funk that becomes your permanent state of mind and prevents you from making progress on your business goals and big vision.

How Creating an Asset List Helped Me Transform from Cranky Pessimist Back to Cheerful Optimist

Back in August, I went through a couple of very trying weeks. It’s wasn’t any one big thing, but a long series of minor annoyances, stressors, irritations and challenges, that piled one on top of the other in rapid succession, left me feeling overwhelmed, cranky, and defeated.

And it just kept coming. From a slow business month to a minor car accident to a call-back after a routine medical test (turned out ‘twas nothing) to a few other unsavory things, and I was hitting the Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla Caramel Fudge like nobody’s business. Practically nightly.

Now, I’m generally a very positive person, but during those two weeks in August, I’m sorry to say I spent a little bit too much time dwelling on what I did not have.

In my business, I wished for more income, more clients, a bigger email list, a new website, and a best-selling book. In my personal life, I wanted more time to visit friends, time to write for myself, a lavish vacation off the grid for a couple of weeks, and a few other things I’d be too embarrassed to share in a public venue.

I felt hamstrung and stuck by what I perceived to be my “lack” of this or that thing.

But the “lack” is a big fat lie. It’s a myth.

The truth is, I have everything I need, right now in this moment, to create exactly the business and the life I want, while enjoying the really wonderful life I already have. 

When I succumb to that nasty lack mentality in my business, what pulls me out of it every time is focusing on the benefits, resources, opportunities and advantages I do have, by making an asset list.

An asset list for your business includes things like:

:: Your current clients, past clients, and clients on their way to you now, even if you can’t see them yet

:: All those people who have inquired about working with you or buying your products or services, but who haven’t become clients or customers yet. Let’s call them “potential clients.” (I dislike the terms “leads” and “prospects” to describe this category of people because of how transactional it sounds, but that’s essentially what it is.)

:: Your blog, website, Etsy shop, Shopify store, or other online venue that makes it possible for you to sell online 

:: Your email subscribers, blog readers and social media followers

:: Your products and services

:: Your body of work

:: The talents, skills, gifts and abilities you possess that allow you to do the work you do and earn an income from it

:: The sales you made this week, this month, this year

:: The ideas and inspiration you have for new products and services you can offer

:: Access to the internet and other miraculous technology that make doing business easier these days than it’s ever been before

:: Your beautiful, beautiful mind

:: And so on and so forth

Once I made my own asset list, which includes everything on the list above and more, I felt much, much better about those two terrible weeks in August, which in truth, weren’t that terrible after all.

In fact, because things were a little slow business-wise in August, I was able to go home to visit the family for a few days, focus a big chunk of time researching and outlining my book, and map out my 4Q plan, all things that wouldn’t have happened had I been booked solid with work.

And, since it’s a law of the universe that what you focus on expands, when I paid attention to the assets in my business, rather than the so-called lack, new opportunities came my way. I got six new clients, an uptick in email subscribers, an introduction to what could be a huge source of referrals for my business, and a few other pretty great opportunities that will play out over the next few months.

So if you’re feeling down about the state of your business, bemoaning all the things you think you lack, sit down and make your asset list. You’ll feel a whole lot better when you do.

And when you focus on all the good you already have, more good will come to you.


[Want to learn to write magnetic web copy that attracts, engages and sells to your dream clients? Sign up for free weekly updates and get instant access to the CREATIVE REBEL GUIDE TO WRITING A CLIENT-ATTRACTING ABOUT PAGE, plus copywriting & web marketing tips and other fun stuff for creative freelancers & biz owners that I only share with my subscribers, delivered straight to your inbox each Tuesday.]

From Full of Excuses and Failing in Business to Self-Made Multi-Millionaire: How a Dead Broke Carpet Cleaner Turned It All Around Using the Power of Copywriting and Direct-Response Marketing

Why is it that we so often stubbornly resist what turns out to be the most life-changing advice about achieving business success from those who’ve been there, done that, and know a thing or two, and refuse to do the one thing that might change things for the better and get us to the point of actual traction in our business?

The thing that might transform a wheezing, sickly, underperforming business from breathing its last dying breath into a revenue-generating, full-time income-producing thing of beauty we can be proud of? A business where the number of email subscribers, new client inquiries, and yes, sales, actually increases consistently?

I’d wager fear of the unknown and the natural tendency to avoid discomfort is probably right up there at the top of the list, wouldn’t you?

The trouble is, we often let this fear and avoidance dynamic keep us stuck inside our wretched comfort zones, where dreams go to die, all the while banging our heads against a wall, expecting something to change even as we won’t, as we go on doing the same ineffective thing day in and day out to get our business to grow.

Sometimes even to the point where the business withers and dies, and we have to – gasp – go back to work for “the man.” Oh, the horror!

Granted, not everyone reading this is in that position.

But plenty of business owners are – gravitating by default to the familiar and comfortable when it comes to marketing and selling, instead of doing something that might be uncomfortable, yet will yield far greater results.

Well, listen up as I tell you a story about a dead broke carpet cleaner who was failing miserably in his business until he discovered the power of copywriting and direct response marketing, then used this knowledge to turn things around.

And turn things around he surely did, going from flat broke and on the verge of giving up, to charging $25,000 per half day for his consulting services, and hanging out with the likes of people like Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Bill Clinton.

Joe Polish is the guy.

As a lifelong student of marketing and copywriting, I’m always on the hunt for people in the copywriting field who are more – and I mean WAY more – knowledgeable and successful than I am, so I can soak up their wisdom and apply it to my business where it makes sense. Joe Polish is one of those people.

Polish is the Founder and President of Piranha Marketing Inc., founder of the Genius Network Mastermind, and co-founder of a highly popular free weekly podcast on iTunes called I Love Marketing. After creating mega-success in his carpet cleaning business, he went on to teach what he learned about marketing to others in that industry, then created a highly profitable marketing consulting business.

But once upon a time, before the accolades, the successes and the abundant income, he was that practically bankrupt carpet cleaner.

Joe’s Story

You can check out Joe’s full story in his own words here, but in a nutshell, when he was in his early twenties and struggling in his carpet cleaning business, as in, on the verge of bankruptcy, dead broke and living on credit cards struggling, he got invited on a weekend trip that would change the course of his life forever.

On this jet-ski trip to the lake with his buddies, Joe met and struck up a conversation with the multimillionaire real estate investor who owned the jet skis, a man he rightly assumed he could learn a thing or two from. He told the guy about his carpet cleaning business and how poorly it was doing. He shared that he was thinking about getting into another, more lucrative kind of business. He asked the multimillionaire for recommendations for what kind of business he could get into where he could make more money.

The multimillionaire asked him, “Are there people in your industry making money?”

Joe replied that yes indeed there were, and that a few of those companies were even making over a million bucks a year. But he said those companies had an advantage, because they’d been around for years, and had lots of employees and were well-established in the market, with name recognition that he couldn’t compete with as a newbie.

After listening to these and many other excuses Joe made for why he wasn’t successful, the multimillionaire said to him, “If there are other people in your industry doing well and making money and you’re not, there’s nothing wrong with your business, there’s something wrong with you.”

He told Joe he sounded like one of those people who think “the grass is always greener on the other side,” and that going into a new business wasn’t the answer. What he really needed to do was learn and apply fundamental business principles to his current business to make it work, said the multimillionaire.

In Which Our Hero Makes a Very Wise Decision

Our hero Joe takes this advice to heart, and decides he will do whatever is in his power to make his business successful, “or die trying,” as he said.

Cut to advertising and marketing. Except, instead of using traditional image-based or brand advertising, which essentially attempts to create a positive feeling or image around a product or company and build awareness of the brand – think car commercials and fancy perfume ads, for example – Joe decides to use the timeless, proven principles of direct response marketing, which have been working like gangbusters for nearly every kind of business, company and cause for over a hundred years, thank you very much. 

What exactly is direct response marketing you ask, and how does it differ from image and brand advertising?

Unlike brand advertising, which seeks to raise awareness, direct response marketing’s goal is to stimulate an immediate response or action, via print (yes, still!) or web communications. So on the web, that could mean things like getting someone to sign up for your email list, call you for an appointment, set up a free consult, reach out for more information about your products or services, or make a purchase of said products and services.

Direct response marketing works because, as Joe says, “it educates, motivates, and calls your consumers to take action.” (Unlike the Jeep commercial that leaves you full of daydreams about the rugged and adventurous life you might lead if you owned the latest version of the Grand Cherokee, but doesn’t provide a mechanism that allows you to take immediate action.)

And the thing that makes direct response marketing work its wonders? Persuasive writing – copywriting – writing meant to encourage action.

According to AWAI (American Writers and Artists Inc., where I got some fabulous copywriting training):

Unlike news or editorial writing, copywriting is all about getting the reader to take action. That action might be to purchase, opt-in, or engage with a product, service, or company.

But back to our hero . . .

Joe was determined to make his business a success and willing to try direct response marketing to get there. As a result, he went from grossing $2100 per month to grossing $12,300 per month, in just 6 short months. Within a year, he had turned his carpet-cleaning business into a six-figure business.

He began a second business teaching others in his industry the direct response marketing techniques that helped him go from dead broke to six-figure success. He eventually sold the carpet-cleaning business and now generates millions in revenue from his marketing training business.

All because he got out of his comfort zone, stopped complaining about what wasn’t working and opened himself up to something that did, and took action by applying what he learned.

But Will This Work for Me?

Now, you can do “image advertising” or a “brand awareness” campaign if you want to, there’s nothing wrong with that, but just know that it might take months and months to see any kind of traction from your efforts.

Whereas with direct response marketing & effective copywriting, you can create web copy and other communications today that get potential clients and customers reaching out to you tomorrow.

I encourage you to read Joe’s story here, where you’ll learn a lot more about what direct response marketing is and how to apply it, if you’re interested. At the end of his story, Joe shares four proven strategies for marketing your business that worked incredibly well for him and over 6300 business owners in his industry.

And before you go thinking, “But I don’t own a carpet cleaning business, those strategies won’t work for me,” or, “I’m not comfortable using ‘aggressive’ marketing tactics,” keep in mind what I said earlier: the timeless, proven principles of direct response marketing have been working like gangbusters for nearly every kind of business, company and cause for over a hundred years.

And you can adapt those principles in a non-aggressive way to your business and your marketing comfort level. (But don’t get too comfortable, mind you, because your comfort zone is where dreams go to die, and we actually want results here, right?)

Please note, I’m NOT saying you have to actually mail things to people or use the kind of direct response ads Joe talks about in his story (though that works too), but you can practice direct response marketing principles on your website.

If you click on the link above to read Joe’s story, pay special attention to what he says about the difference between marketing and selling, and his definition of what selling really is. I think you’ll find Joe’s definition of selling comforting.

The Takeaway

Over the years I’ve had several clients who don’t feel comfortable “asking for the sale,” or in some cases, even alluding to the fact they have something for sale.

You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that those people make far fewer sales of their products and services than people who know they have to get comfortable with marketing and selling to be successful in business, or act in spite of their discomfort with it.

(By the way, I find it easy as pie to help other people with their marketing, but I’m not that terribly comfortable doing it for myself, despite providing marketing & PR services to my clients for over a decade. But I act in spite of my discomfort, because if there’s one thing I’m wildly passionate about, it’s having a successful business so I never, ever, E-V-E-R, have to go back to work for “the man.”)

That said, I get that Joe Polish’s style may not be right for everyone. I understand the strategies and tactics of other wildly successful marketers I’ve mentioned on this blog before, people like Dan Kennedy, Ben Settle, or John Carlton may be a little too aggressive for your taste.

I get it.


From Polish, Kennedy, Settle, Carlton and other classic marketing mentors, to brilliant marketing types like Naomi Dunford, Ashley Ambirge, Marie Forleo and others – I take what works for me, what I can adapt to my shy-ish, sensitive and creative sensibilities, and leave the rest.

No reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as I see it. Instead, I learn and adapt, learn and adapt.

At the end of the day, if solopreneurs and small business owners who are afraid to sell, or think there’s something inherently wrong or sleazy about selling – and therefore resist learning how to effectively market online – would let go of that one very detrimental mindset, they’d be a lot more successful.

And I can say this, because I had to learn this lesson myself in the early days when I was first launching what was then my generic freelance writing business. I fervently wish I hadn’t wasted a year and half and then some working my fingers to the bone doing what was comfortable but wasn’t working, and applied tried-and-true principles of copywriting and direct response marketing instead.

But better late than never, eh?

So my plea to you is, become a student of copywriting and marketing. Even if you don’t learn from me, that is A-OK my friend, but find someone whose teachings and trainings you do resonate with, and learn from them.

Because as Dan Kennedy says, copywriting is the #1 skill to master if you want to increase your income. I wouldn’t be in the business of writing copy for my clients, or helping my clients optimize and improve their current copy, if I didn’t believe that.

In my case, learning from masters like Kennedy, Polish, Settle, Carlton and other copywriting greats has given me a priceless return on my time investment, many times over.

I wish the same for you.


By the way, if you’re ready to get one-on-one strategic guidance to help you to write a magnetic website that attracts, engages & sells to your dream clients {without becoming a pro copywriter}, I’ve got something that will help.

It’s not right for everyone, but if you’re interested in the details, you can check them out here:

The Shape Up Your Website Copy to Start Making More Sales 30-Day Fast Start: A Private Writing & Marketing Mentorship


If you’re ready to transform your website copy from lackluster to luminous, so it’s more compelling and client-attractive to your target audience and generates more client inquiries and sales this might  be a good fit for you. Click on the link above for details.