It doesn’t matter what you want. What matters is what works.
As I remodel my office, I plan to turn the large wall to my left into a gallery-style wall.
I’m going to put some canvases, some framed posters, and artwork to create a pleasing atmosphere for myself.
On the wall behind me, I want to install some floating shelves and fill them with knick-knacks and items that reflect who I am.
I’m very aware that these shelves will be behind me when I record videos or take Zoom calls, which is almost every day here.
Those shelves excite me, as it’s something that I have always wanted to do.
In the meantime, I have two pieces hanging on that wall: an amazing painting of a man with a dog’s head playing the banjo (long story), and the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness.
For those unfamiliar, the Pyramid of Greatness is a prop from an episode of Parks and Recreation, one of my all-time favorite shows.
Ron Swanson has a stint coaching a boys’ basketball team and presents this pyramid diagram to teach them about what it is to be a man.
- HAIRCUTS: 3 acceptable styles: High and Tight, Crew Cut & Buzz Cut.
- ATTIRE: Shorts over 6” are capri pants. Shorts under 6” are European.
- SKIM MILK: Avoid it.
- CURSING: There’s only one bad word: Taxes. If any other word is good enough for sailors, it’s good enough for you.
- HANDSHAKES: Firm, Dry, Solid. 3 seconds.
It’s hilarious, and doubly hilarious for anyone who is a fan of the show.
When the remodel is complete, my plan has been to move the Pyramid over to the gallery wall.
But I’ve run into a snag in that plan.
It’s a FANTASTIC ice breaker.
Conservatively, around 75% of my Zoom calls will lead to the other person commenting on the Pyramid of Greatness hanging behind me.
It disarms everybody.
We all share a laugh, bond over a little familiarity, and go on with the call.
I even tell them that I’m considering moving it to a wall not within the camera view, and 100% of the time, they tell me, “You HAVE to keep it behind you, it’s great!”
I don’t really want to.
But you know what?
Chances are, when the remodel is done, I’m going to keep it behind me.
Because it doesn’t matter what I want.
Yes, I want this office to be pleasant for me. I want it to look the way I desire.
However, the point of this office is to make me money.
This is a purely business environment in here.
Fun and pleasure is NOT the sole purpose.
So I plan to adjust my design for the office to keep the Pyramid behind me and on camera.
This attitude is why I win… and you’re losing.
You have no idea how many writers tell me they are working on a “brand” so that they can get clients.
I tell them all the time: I have never used a “brand” to get clients. I just go get them directly.
And they say, “Yeah, but I would rather have them come to ME. Isn’t that better and more efficient?”
There are multiple reasons why this statement is wrong. I talk about it on X all the time.
But the biggest reason is the core of the argument.
“Better” based on what?
If I go out and get clients myself, I can get them faster and get paid more often.
If I build a brand in hopes of having clients come to me, I’m going to be building for years (minimum). And there’s zero guarantee that it’s going to work.
How is that better?
I’ll tell you what they are REALLY saying…
“This plan is better because it’s what I would rather do.”
When I talk about cold outreach, I hear, “Yeah, I tried that and it’s really frustrating and it didn’t work for me.”
In this case, didn’t work for me is code for It wasn’t much fun.
I won’t lie: direct outreach is NOT fun.
But it’s not supposed to be.
It’s supposed to make you money.
Fact is: there are tried-and-true methods of building a business.
They are unpleasant at times.
They are exhausting at times.
But they work.
Over and over again.
Are you really avoiding that because you’d rather have clients come to you automatically?
Hey – I would too!
I’d also rather have my belly fat melt away, my neck pain to disappear, and my digestive issues to resolve themselves.
None of those things are happening in reality.
I have to face the uncomfortable truth that I have to cut my calories and exercise more, strengthen the muscles in my neck and shoulders, and fix my poor diet if I want to see the results I’m after.
I don’t live in a fantasy world.
I live in the real world.
You want to win? Fix your focus.
Your attitude makes or breaks your efforts.
If your focus is how you FEEL while you’re doing these things, you’re going to fail over and over again.
If your focus is executing without attaching yourself to the efforts, you have a much better shot at winning.
That said, it’s possible that your outreach efforts are failing because you are working on the wrong things.
And that’s where I come in.
Once you learn what to fix, success kicks in pretty fast.
I gave Zach the tools, and in 2 weeks he landed a solid retainer contract:
Sara is beating salaried paychecks working part-time and buying frivolous things for her kids:
And Trent bagged a $5K/month retainer contract himself:
The first thing we fixed is what you just learned: how to separate yourself from your business efforts so that you can execute day in and day out.
That’s how you get results.
These three writers – plus 150+ more – all have lifetime access to me and my 15+ years of copywriting experience.
They get all of the methods that built my six-figure copywriting career and direct support from me.
For as long as they want.
On October 1st, the membership fee is no longer going to provide lifetime support.
Instead, it’ll get you a year.
That’s more than enough time to make these things happen yourself.
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