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The Terror in My Basement (or “Why Experts Are Worth Paying For”)

I thought we had a mouse problem.

I was wrong.

We bought a house in January, and while the bones of the house are very strong, the finishes and little details of the place are downright terrible.

The house was poorly maintained, and with 4 acres of field surrounding it, one of the first concerns I had was pests.

Just a quick scan of the house – and the basement in particular – showed me bug infestations and regular appearances of mice.

We took drastic steps to address all those issues.

One day, however, I noticed some mouse poop in the basement.

Then a little more.

Clearly, our methods of dealing with the mice weren’t working. So I set some snap traps up with some peanut butter (which worked wonderfully in our last rental).

Every day for a week, I checked the traps: nothing. Yet, more poop in the basement.

I left the traps in hopes that the poop would stop, signaling that the mouse or mice had gotten into the poison left out and went somewhere else to die.

That is… not what happened.

Losing my ever-loving mind

About a week later, I strolled down to the basement at about 7pm to grab some canning lids.

When I turned the corner, I saw something rather large on the basement wall. Before my brain could process what was going on, the thing went NUTS.

I yelped and ducked. The thing was flying so fast, I couldn’t even figure out what it was.

Eventually, after watching it swoop around half a dozen times, I determined it was a bat.

Get it out of the house! my brain screamed.

Fortunately, we have a walk-out basement, so I scrambled over to the door and opened it wide, figuring the bat would go straight for it.

No dice. The bat just kept doing loop after loop, skipping right past the wide-open door to freedom.

I sprinted upstairs and grabbed a broom.

Why? Because I needed something.

Once I got back to the bottom of the stairs, my brain went: Okay, you’ve got a broom. What’s the plan?

I didn’t have a plan. I just had a broom.

While this thing continued to swoop all over the basement, dropping poop at a frankly-impressive rate, I darted over to the bathroom door and closed it, hoping to contain the animal.

Then I gradually worked my way to each light switch, throwing light on the nocturnal creature in hopes that he would eventually work his way to the night sky that he could reach by the open door.


He settled into the living room area of the basement and began frantically doing laps.

I had no choice, in my mind. I had to stop him.

“I wish we had a camera…”

Lifting the broom over my head, I leapt from safety and began swinging.

But every time I tried to get him, the bat would cut his route short and fly right past me.

Over and over I swung the broom, 15-20 times, as high as I could.


I was sweating, I was cursing. My muscles burned. I gradually moved from fearful to pissed off that I couldn’t hit the stupid thing.

(When telling this story to friends and family, my wife laughs and says, “I wish we had a camera down there so I could’ve seen that!”)

Finally, I got a piece of him. Stunned, he slid under the closet door and remained motionless on the basement concrete.

I ran to another closet, grabbed a bucket, and placed it on top of him. Then  I slipped a rimless baking sheet under the bucket very carefully, carried him out the door, and released him into the back yard where he immediately flew away.

I was exhausted. My nerves were on edge. And I was terrified: were there more in my house?

All the Googling in the world gave me so many different answers that I couldn’t diagnose it myself.

I had to call in a professional.

The difference an experienced pro can make

When the pest control guy came the following Monday, it took him all of 30 seconds to give me every answer:

  • How to tell the difference between mouse poop and bat poop
  • Where the bat likely got into the basement
  • The extent of the bat problem in the house
  • How “bad” it is
  • What to do if and when another bat gets into the living area
  • Why Googling the issue wasn’t helpful

And so on.

In one half-hour visit, this guy gave me all the knowledge I needed to calmly and confidently deal with the bat issue in my home.

Sometimes, you think you know how to handle a situation.

“There’s a bat in the house! Get a broom!”

But as my brain reminded me at the time: just because I have a broom doesn’t mean I have a PLAN.

I’m no closer to a solution than before. I’m still terrified and confused… I just have a broom in my hand.

Or you think that you can Google your way out of it.

But just 10 minutes of Googling told me:

  • I have hundreds of bats in my house
  • Or, I had one bat in my house
  • This is extremely rare
  • This is extremely common
  • I shouldn’t worry about rabies
  • I should get a rabies shot immediately or I’m going to die in a couple months

You get the idea.

Sitting on this wealth of knowledge and information doesn’t help when all the information is conflicting or misleading.

3 reasons you need an expert from time to time

By contrast, hiring an expert to work through it for me offered tremendous benefits and advantages.

  1. He was able to draw on real-world experience to give me information. Anyone can read information out of a book or take a course on something and think they can teach it. This guy told me at least half a dozen relevant stories directly related to my situation. The value behind that was massive.
  2. He could help me sift through the conflicting information I was seeing. Not only could he help me understand what I was reading, he could tell me WHY something was right or wrong. This put my mind at ease and allowed me to focus on what really mattered.
  3. He had solutions that could save me a massive amount of time and energy. My approach to getting rid of the bat involved being scared, yelping like a poodle regularly, sweating, and swearing while straining my muscles. He gave me tips on how to calmly and easily get the bat out fast, without wasting all that energy.

Frankly, there was no replacing that level of experience.

And being able to tap into that brought me up to speed far faster than frantic Googling could do.

Do you see where I’m going with this yet?

Put a pro in your corner – and results can skyrocket

There are 1,000+ different ways to build a freelance copywriting business.

Problem is, you don’t know what works.

Most of the information out there is written by people who had one good month, or had a year or two of getting clients.

So when you hit a problem or a roadblock, they have no idea how to help you because they never went through it themselves.

You get a bunch of solutions that contradict each other… and you are never closer to fixing YOUR issues.

You flail around, trying to get traction, and you have no idea why it’s not working.

Tapping into the experience of a true expert – someone with firmly established experience – gives you a resource that can accurately and thoroughly diagnose your struggles and get you closer to a solution.

And until you do that, you’re just wildly swinging a broom at a bat in your basement, just praying to make contact.

If you want to avoid all that unpleasantness, then I can help.

  • I’ve been a freelance copywriter for 15+ years.
  • I’ve made six figures and I’ve barely survived.
  • I’ve worked with small clients and multibillion-dollar corporations.
  • I’ve done it on the side and I’ve done it full time.
  • I’ve done it in soaring economies and I’ve done it during economic crashes.

I have the experience other “goo-roos” don’t… and I can get you taking action and getting closer to clients in a matter of days.

If you’re willing to invest in your career – with a reasonable expectation that you can make back that investment in 30-60 days – then it’s time to hire an expert to work with you.