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No TV Tuesdays and the Curse of Overthinking

Why worrying too much about the results can keep you from anything good in your career.

So many positive things in your career are on the other side of overthinking.

I would argue that you could be a lot farther along if you stopped overanalyzing every step and just started going.

Case in point: my family’s No TV Tuesdays.

This is a new-ish tradition in our home that I introduced after I realized how “off” everybody had been.

But could we actually do it? It was intimidating…

I grew up on TV

Not literally. I’m not a child celebrity.

But I had relatively disengaged parents (long story for another day), a lot of free time on my hands, and a black box in the living room.

“What’s a black box?” You ask, completely revealing how young you are.

Kiddos, there once was a time when you didn’t have access to everything you wanted, whenever you wanted.

The cable guy would come by and hook up a cable box that unscrambled the number of channels you were paying for.

But many cable guys would keep a few spare boxes – completely unlocked – for unscrupulous cable TV watchers like my father.

For $50 or whatever, you could pay the cable guy under the table and get a cable box that played everything.

In our living room, despite living near the poverty line my entire childhood, we had all the cable channels available at the time, including HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and more.

We even had all the pay-per-view channels. This meant we could watch the latest movies before they hit regular TV. And because we were avid fans of the WWF and WCW, we could watch all the monthly pay-per-view wrestling events as well.

TV was a mainstay of our home.

We had TVs in the living room, the basement, the kitchen, and every bedroom. If we had room to cram one in the bathroom, we probably would have.

As a parent, TV has become a bit of a crutch.

Relying (too much) on the tube

TV can be an excellent babysitter, unfortunately.

With 3 kids, there are spaces of time when you just have to take the easy route and turn the TV on for them so that you can get some things done.

Kids are up and I have to make breakfast? TV.

Time to make dinner but the kids won’t give me space? TV.

We have to clean up the house before the kids go to bed? TV.

And I’m not here to demonize TV. I like TV! And we’re very intentional about what we put on.

But it also becomes something that is too relied upon.

The kids expect TV. They go for the remote immediately when they walk into the room. And my wife and I wind up turning something on the TV at night and lounging instead of spending intentional time together.

Lately, I’ve noticed the kids treating each other poorly. My wife and I have been yelling a lot more. Everybody is staring at the screen instead of interacting with each other and learning how to handle each other.

So I brought back something my wife and I used to enjoy earlier in our marriage.

The Scary Solution: No TV Tuesdays

After our kids get home from school, the new rule is we keep the TV completely off on Tuesday evenings.

For everybody.

I’ll admit: I was a little scared by this.

How would the kids handle it? Would they be in our hair constantly whining about being bored? Would I be bored after they go to bed? What if I played a game of Madden? Would that count against it?

Truth be told, I knew the kids would handle it okay. I just didn’t know how long it would take for them to adjust.

As it turned out, everybody was on board.

It worked like a charm

After the boys did their homework and chores, they played outside with their sister.

I sat on the couch and read a magazine.

After dinner, we all horsed around – me throwing the kids on the bean bag and laughing together.

Once they went to bed, my wife worked on a puzzle. I grabbed two decks of cards and played Spider Solitaire on the floor while Frank Sinatra played on the Sonos.

It was… peaceful.

We were more intentional with our time.

We were more present with our kids.

There was less yelling. More joy.

It worked.

If I had sat and workshopped all the different things that could go wrong… or game-planned everything into oblivion… it might not have worked out so well (or at all).

But by ignoring the resistance and just going for it right away, we made a dramatic shift in the quality of our time together as a family.

Where are YOU overthinking your career?

When I talk to aspiring copywriters, I get a bunch of reasons why they haven’t gone out and gotten clients yet:

  • “I’m trying to build my portfolio the right way”
  • “I need to get experience first”
  • “I don’t know how to juggle clients”

There’s not really a game plan for getting past this.

As humans, we think that we have to have the answer for everything before we get moving.

We have to have all the plans lined up perfectly.

In reality, that never happens.

So anything that we try to do, we fail to even get started because we’re too busy answering questions that have never come up.

It’s a trap of overthinking, and it kills your potential for success.

7 Overthinking Traps in Your Copywriting Career

  1. Doing cold outreach. At the core of effective cold outreach is one simple rule: start a conversation. We overthink the different tactics on how to get there, because we want to do it perfectly.
  2. Building a portfolio. What samples to include? How do I know if this is good or relevant enough? Does it need to all be paid work? There are a million questions we ask ourselves when we could just write a few pieces and move on.
  3. Rejection. The mind swirls with fear when we think about rejection. Nobody likes being rejected, so we avoid it at all costs – and we don’t have to.
  4. Feedback on our copy. What if they don’t like it? This fear paralyzes even the most experienced copywriter from time to time.
  5. Actually writing good copy. Frameworks, templates, formulas, practice… everybody has an idea for how to produce good copy. Which one is the right approach?
  6. Getting paid. What’s the most professional solution? How do I create an account and accept payments?
  7. Failure. The biggest overthinking trap of them all. If things don’t work out right away the way you want them to, what happens next?

There is a solution to all of these overthinking traps.


Yeah, it sounds too oversimplified.

But here’s the truth: the people who are succeeding in the way you think YOU should be succeeding don’t sit around overthinking every step of the way.

They just… go.

They take action.

They move forward and adjust as they go.

By moving forward, you build experience, you get feedback, and you get better at all of it.

In time, you don’t need to build a perfect game plan because you already know what to do naturally.

And you don’t stop to overthink anymore.

Just like No TV Tuesdays, your career will probably pan out a lot better than you expect it to.

It won’t if you sit on the sidelines, though, trying to answer all the questions.

Just go.

Start doing cold outreach, even if you don’t know what you are doing.

Start getting feedback on your efforts.

What’s the worst that could happen?

Nobody is going to kill you.

And once you get past overthinking, magical things can happen in your career… and your life.

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