I started this blankly staring into the computer screen, determined not to budge until something came out of it.
And frankly, when I started out on my own, four years ago, I had no idea where I was going. I’d love to make up a story about how I always knew I’d be a copywriter and strategist one day. Nope.
All I knew was that I was out of the corporate bubble and that I’d never work for a day in my life. I was going to do what I’d always postponed to do. The stuff you muse about on the midlife crisis wintery nights. I was hyped.
I also had money in my bank account for at least half a year of exploration and flight tickets lined up for a month of places I’d never been before, including my first surf spot ever.
And explore I did. I plunged into filming a documentary about my aikido buddies. That flexed my create-from-nothing-with-tools-you-never-used-before muscle. Also, the look-like-you-got-it-while-you-clearly-don’t. All in all, excellent practice.
As one of my favourite people to ever walk the earth said, “it was the brave thing to do. I was marching into the unknown armed with nothing.”
Then my first batch of would be clients emerged. Friends who needed websites or were launching products. And so the kitchen counter writing frenzy started.
It felt a bit off not to dress up in the morning and curse through traffic. I got used to it. (Now I have writing practice, meditation and yoga instead. Woo-hah!)
I was staying up tinkering home pages and making sense of their course materials. I’d been doing that in my corporate jobs for years, anyway. Now it was online.
So I got educated. I went to B-school, wrote with the amazing Laura Belgray, who also recommended Selena Soo, and charmed me into the Money Boot Camp (worth it). At her workshop I met my friend Monicka, who’s got this cool retreat for supergirls, and couldn’t shut up about the 90 Day Year.
I took the 90 Day Year, too. There’s life before and life after. (Actually, during. It’s still going.) But more on it some other time. I’ll just say all the odd bits and pieces of paper on my desk I used to make lists on are gone.
Looking back I remember the landmarks: first day out of the job. First client. First copywriting and strategy client. First course. First time I called myself a writer in public. In groups. To strangers and to people who knew me. First website. First serious breakdown. First client I never knew before.
And especially first time I called myself a copywriter and strategist for innovators and thought leaders.
This is not a your-heart-will-lead-you-home piece. Although it will. This is a jump-in piece.
If you’re struggling to voice out your choice from a sea of options out there, you have my utmost and complete compassion. I’ve had my guts massacred with the agony. (I had bills to pay so I kept going.)
But I know this: I can’t catch a wave from the shore.
So if your idea is not that clear yet and you only have half of an innovation or the embryo of a thought, get it in front of the people it’s for. It doesn’t have to be big. Work it. Test it. Get the right pair of eyes on it. I’ll reason with you for 20 minutes. It’s a start.
PS. The line in the title is from Bhagavad Gita. (Not that I read it. I’d like to, though. One day.). To me it’s a crisp way of saying you have a core. And you replicate it again and again, like a DNA. That’s your work. And while you’re alive, it never stops. Book.