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Famous Last Words: “Yeah, I know what to do…”

You can study and you can study…

…but until you’re in it, you don’t know what you’re doing.

This is the hardest truth about building a freelance copywriting career.

And to illustrate, let’s talk about the time I picked up a motorized death machine for the first time.

Stopped before I even started

In our back yard, we have a box elder tree that produces – quite literally – millions of these stupid bugs.

They infest our house inside and out, and it’s been a major problem this year.

Since the tree is where we would like to put a garden anyway, we decided to take it down.

That meant I finally got to go to the hardware store and buy a chainsaw.

Here’s the problem: I’d never used a chainsaw before in my life.

Zero experience.

When I bought it, the guy at the hardware store took me around back and showed me how to use it.

He explained how to fuel it, and I watched him as he started it up for the first time and operated it.

Seemed simple enough.

After all, I’d dealt with plenty of small engines.

But once I got it home and I was ready to cut down the tree, I was stuck.

The chainsaw wouldn’t start, no matter what I did.

I yanked and pulled at the chain to start it. I did everything the guy showed me.


All I was doing was flooding the engine.

In my brain, it made no sense. I had done so much research on how to properly operate a chainsaw. I watched the guy explain it all to me.

But when I went to put it into practice… I couldn’t get it to work.

This is why support is so necessary

I was sweaty and crabby as I went through every troubleshooting step I could.

I dug into the manual to figure out what I was doing wrong.

I Googled a bunch of YouTube videos on un-flooding the engine.

Eventually… after about an hour of wasted time… I got back on track, fired up the chainsaw, and cut down the tree.

But a job that took about half an hour took nearly two hours because of all my mishaps and struggles.

I assumed I knew what I was doing.

I didn’t.

If I had ongoing support behind me, I could have asked and had an answer within a few minutes.

I could have cut my learning curve to a fraction of the size.

And most importantly, I could have saved myself a ton of trial and error.

You don’t know everything…

When I talk to aspiring freelance copywriters about how they are going to get clients, I get a handful of them who say, “Yeah, I’ve read a bunch of stuff on it. I’m going to go do some cold outreach and get some clients.”

I ask them what their confidence level is in that plan, and they inevitably say, “Pretty high. I know what to do.”

And I let them be.

Because I know, 3 months from now, they’ll be exactly where they are now.


They don’t know the game yet.

They haven’t been in the arena.

And they are just making assumptions about how straightforward it will be.

They’ll get a hiccup or a hurdle, and then they’ll panic.

Their plans will derail.

And they’ll waste a lot of time.

Successful freelancers have confidence in themselves… but they are also humble.

They recognize that, to be successful, they have to learn from people who are experienced.

And they have to invest in a support system when they need guidance.

The best laid plans

You can have the perfect plan.

But if you’re counting on that plan to be perfect all the time, you’re going to get in trouble.

And you’ll probably quit when the going gets tough (and it will).

Connect with and put real, experienced freelancers in your corner.

People you can lean on and go to when you need help.

Otherwise, you’re going to take 3x as long to get where you want to go.

If you get there at all.

Lay the groundwork for your copywriting business in just one week of work. In this free guide, I hand you all the basics to get you started fast. No catch – just the cheat sheet.

Want a profitable, sustainable copywriting career? Tap into my 15+ years of copywriting experience and build a $3,000-$10,000/month income.