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To Go Forward, You Have to Step Backward

I thought I had it made in 2008.

I started working for myself.

I lived by myself.

My girlfriend lived overseas, so I had tons of time to spend on the business.

Smooth sailing ahead, right?

Not even close.

I built an income… but for the next 3 1/2 years, my frustration grew.

I couldn’t scale up my business.

I couldn’t seem to “break out” in any meaningful way.

Every day, I mustered up the strength to write low-paying projects, even as I worked hard to become a better copywriter.

Didn’t matter. I was stuck.

By mid-2011, my frustration had reached a breaking point.

“I need this.”

My wife and I had been married for less than a year.

We could barely keep a budget together.

Our bills were just narrowly being paid.

And we were discussing whether or not I could invest in my career.

It wasn’t “responsible”. It was risky.

We had, at best, $50 left over every 2 weeks to spend on ourselves.

I pinpointed a program that I believed would get me to the next level.

And it cost about $2000.

To put that into perspective, $2000 in 2011 money is almost $3000 today.

Not a small chunk of change, especially to newlyweds still trying to figure out this whole life thing.

But I was serious with her.

“I need this. I’m not going to get to the level of income that I want to be at until I start investing in this thing. Three years of struggling is long enough. It’s going to hurt initially, but I promise I will make this pay off.”

We pulled the trigger.

Multiplying my rates 10x

This course taught me about some other forms of copywriting, but it mainly taught me about different kinds of copy clients.

Different industries I could target.

When I applied what I learned about client-getting to these new industries and new kinds of copy… my “self-guarantee” paid off.

My very first paid project as a result of this program was $2500.

Keep in mind, to this point, I had spent 3 years being paid $25/project.

So I 10x’ed my project income right there.

Even better, I had already turned a $500 profit on my investment into the program to begin with.

The investment was uncomfortable. Painful. And scary.

But I wouldn’t have crossed into that new income level without taking that step.

4 Reasons a Painful Investment Can Be the Best Thing for Your Career

There are so many free resources available to the aspiring freelance copywriter today.

And when funds are limited, why not just rely on those?

Making that bigger-than-you-are-comfortable-with investment in your career actually benefits you in some significant ways:

  1. It creates urgency in you. It’s easy to say, “I’ll look at that tomorrow or when I have time” when you don’t have any skin in the game. By making a hard investment, you light a fire under your butt that moves you forward. You MAKE time, and you get to your goals faster as a result.
  2. Investing gives you accountability. Often we don’t make the right moves because we’re trying to motivate ourselves to do it on our own. By making a significant financial investment, we put a little accountability behind our actions. They mean something, and now you have more responsibility on your shoulders to make it pay off – because the only person who can guarantee a return on your investment is you. (Bonus points if the program you’re investing in has built-in accountability.)
  3. It makes you uncomfortable. Comfortable people don’t do great things. Achievement is built on the backs of the uncomfortable. If you’re just getting by and bills are paid, it’s easy to slack. Making an investment creates discomfort in you that makes you take action. It’s impossible to get lazy when you’re uncomfortable.
  4. The investment gives you access to resources you wouldn’t have – all in one place. You can cobble together enough resources to build your career. But that takes a lot of time – and you have to figure out who’s worth listening to. If you have a voice that you trust and you can get all their best tips in one place… that will save you hours, potentially weeks of your time trying to put together yourself. Valuing your time is what gets you to the next level, and investing your career gives you more time to work on building your income.

How do you invest in your income when you have no money?

Look around you. There are tons of ways to do it (this is not financial advice):

  • Find a crappy loan somewhere. If you look long enough, you can find someone to lend you money online. I looked for ages at everything from banks to online lenders to credit cards to P2P loans throughout my career. Even in my worst financial situation (which was worse than most of you will ever go through, trust me on that), I was able to get an online lender to give me a loan that I could use to invest in my career. It’s out there.
  • Sell stuff to scrape the money together. Plenty of places you can sell stuff online to get a quick $1K together. Again, I speak from experience.
  • Take some crappy Fiverr jobs or something. Again, making $1K online isn’t that hard. Look around at places you can do some fast work to make some money. Get resourceful.

Truth is, there won’t be a time where you’ll feel “comfortable” making the investment.

And that’s okay.

You’re not supposed to.

But that discomfort is a good thing. It’s what forces you to make it work. It’s how you guarantee your own success.

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.