Let me just start off by calling out a big success myth…
“Do what you love and the money will follow.”
We all have plenty of things we love that are great for US, but that are NOT a way to make a real living. Heck, that aren’t even enough to buy us a coffee…
I love playing hockey. But I’m Sunday night beer league at best. I may have dreamed of being better at one point, but it’s a no-go. And I can’t — with a straight face — tell you that I’ll ever be good enough to make a living playing hockey. Doesn’t mean I don’t love it. But no matter how much I love it and do it, the money isn’t following.
The opposite end of the spectrum — just go where the money is — is also a recipe for disaster…
I’ve seen this in copywriters a lot.
“I want to get into financial or health copy because that’s where the money is.”
“Are you interested in finance, economics, and investing?”
“No, not really…”
“Are you into health — and especially alternative health and supplements?”
“Are you actively pursuing either one, with the idea that you WANT to get into them, and not just to write copy for them?”
If you’re not interested in a topic, have no real history of interest, and aren’t actively pursuing the topic to figure out what makes it interesting…
What’s saying you’re going to suddenly find it interesting enough to do the research and digging and thinking around the topic required to write great copy?
Further, if you’re not interested in the topic and you’re not really compelled to dig in, how are you going to be able to get into the mindset of your prospect to get a sense of what will be fascinating to them?
The same thing applies to business owners, too. I’m just talking to copywriters, because this is who I hear this from the most frequently.
Don’t just go into a market because you’ve been told that’s where the money is. There should be something more driving you to do it.
Otherwise, even if you are successful, you’ll quickly find yourself feeling a little bit empty… And then a little more… Unmotivated… Lost… Floating along.
And you won’t be that successful, either.
Sure, the money may drive you for a while — and in markets like financial and health, once you start to succeed, the money can flow pretty fast.
But that won’t sustain you for the long term…
If you can’t follow your passion, and you shouldn’t just chase the money, what option is there?
Well, it becomes less of a trite saying, and more of a set of criteria.
— You need to do what you love or at least enjoy…
Building a business is hard. Succeeding as a copywriter is hard. It takes work. It takes time. It takes uphill battles. It takes slogging through some pretty deep mud. It takes getting back up again and again, as you get knocked down over and over.
You need to feel positive toward the work you do. You need to enjoy it, to be interested in it. Loving it is even better. But you at least need to have some level of interest in it.
— You need to be good at it…
You don’t have to be good at it today, but it needs to be something you can get good at. If you’re a complete and total math-hater, and you can’t stand adding two numbers together, don’t get into investing. If you failed biology three times, even though you tried hard, maybe health isn’t for you.
If you absolutely, positively can’t sit in front of a computer and write out a simple letter, but you thrive talking to prospects, don’t be a copywriter. Be a salesperson. If you’ve taken lessons for 10 years and still can’t play your keyboard, you should probably give up your dreams of being a concert pianist.
While it’s nice to believe that everybody is capable of everything — and we’re usually capable of more than we realize — it’s naive to think we’re all created equal in all areas. It’s far easier to create success on the back of your strengths than your weaknesses.
— And people have to be willing to give you money for it…
So, you have something you enjoy, and that you’re good at… Maybe, playing chess. But it’s not highly-marketable. There aren’t a ton of people lining up to watch you sit and think and move carved wood pieces around on a board. Well, then it’s not a career — it’s a hobby.
Similarly, the foam wing cutting video I did with my dad wasn’t enough to make a living off of. There are just too few people interested in building their own model airplanes, and fewer still in cutting foam wings versus all the other ways to make a wing. It was a good side project, and provided some income — but it wasn’t a way to make a living.
You must find something that’s marketable. Something where there’s enough people willing to give you enough money that you can make a living at it.
Just to recap…
If you want to create financial success in your life — in copywriting, in building your business, in your work — you can’t JUST do what you love. You also can’t JUST go where the money is at. Neither will result in long-term success.
Rather, when picking a niche, a career path, when evaluating business opportunities…
Pick something you enjoy, something you’re good at (or are actively getting good at), and something that people are willing to give you money for.
Maybe for you that is financial or health direct response copy. Maybe it’s a subset of those. Maybe it’s something else entirely. You know better than I do.
Whatever you pick, if it meets those three criteria, you know you are dealing with a climbable mountain. Big successes are always mountains that must be climbed. But picking the right one for you goes along way toward ensuring you’ll make it to the summit.
A 4th X-Factor…
There’s another higher-level factor that I don’t have room to get into here, but that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. And that’s “purpose.”
If an opportunity meets all the above criteria AND it fits into some greater purpose you’ve identified in your life, you’ll be willing to work longer and harder on it than without that purpose in place.
And so if you have a greater purpose in life, and you’re able to align it with something you enjoy doing, that you’re good at, and that people will give you money for…
Well, look out for you!
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets