29 Years of Gratitude as a Freelance Copywriter

Celebrating 29 years as a freelance copywriterHard to believe that January 1, 2018 marks my 29th anniversary in business for myself as a freelance direct response copywriter. It’s been a roller coaster ride with many highs and many lows.

To celebrate the occasion, I decided to share 10 things I’m grateful for:

1. My father.
My first goal when I opened my doors for business, was to stay in business three years (“they” said if you get through the first three years, you’ll be okay). However, at two and a half years, my financial resources were dwindling. My dad made me a small loan, which I fought at first, but am SO grateful I accepted. It got me over the “hump.”

2. Paying my father back.
I forget how long it was before I paid my dad back, but when I did, he was proud of me. He said he was so proud that he wanted to save the check rather than cash it.

3. My mother.
My mother passed from cancer years before I started my own business. However, she was a role model for me because she changed careers several times. She went from being a nursery school bus driver to hospital administrator. Then, she started her own real estate firm with a few girlfriends. And when she decided she wanted to be a travel agent – and had no training – she walked into an agency, expressed her desire to learn and got the job!

4. My mentor (and first paying client).
The first person I wrote content for was the legendary direct response copywriter Eugene Schwartz. When I met him, I didn’t know who he was or how highly respected he was in the direct marketing community. However, I am forever grateful to him as he became my mentor as well.

5. Connections (aka referrals).
I met Eugene Schwartz because Milt Pierce (another well-respected direct response copywriter who had been my instructor in a copywriting course at NYU) introduced me to him. You know that word-of-mouth marketing is the most cost-effective marketing there is so I’m grateful to Milt for the referral. And, grateful to all my clients, friends and colleagues who have connected me with other professionals for copywriting projects and/or speaking engagements.

Freelance Creative Cooperative6. My first “real” office.
After working out of my home, a colleague asked me if I’d be interested in sharing office space with her and several other colleagues. I hesitated at first, thinking, “I can’t afford that.” But, I did it. That move made a difference, it made my business feel “real.” No longer were friends calling me mid-day saying, “Hey, what are you up to?” They knew I was at the office working. And, my business thrived as well.

7. Supportive family, friends and colleagues.
I’ve long said, “You may be in business for yourself, but you’re not by yourself.” Sometimes I forget to turn to others for support, but the good news is that I know I have a supportive network I can turn to when I need it. As I mentioned earlier, being in business for my self has been a roller coaster ride – good days, bad days, frustrating days, sad days. There are days I’ll tough it out alone and others when I remember that support is only a phone call away.

8. My health.
Let’s face it, your health is SO important. Yes, there are those who face health challenges and get through to the light and shine brightly! I admire their fortitude and stamina. Gratefully, any health issues I’ve faced have been minimal. I have lost loved ones who suffered diseases and those losses have affected my emotional health on and off over the years. I miss those people dearly and carry on with joyful (and inspirational) memories of them in my mind.

9. Writing a book.
When I started my business, so many people said to me, “When are you writing a book?” I’d explain that I wasn’t that type of writer. “I don’t write books, I writing marketing and promotional content.” However, when I began my path as a professional speaker, the book idea blossomed and I’m grateful not only for the result – Millionaire Marketing on a Shoestring Budget – but for those people who purchased the book, those hosts/hostesses who invited (and continue to invite) me to be a guest on their podcasts, those who posted glowing reviews on Amazon and those who have invited me to speak on the topic.

10. Mobility and longevity.
Marketing from Kauai, HIWell okay, that’s two things rolled into one. Thanks to the Internet, I’ve had a business that I could travel with. I was fortunate to move to the island of Kaua`i and operate for 10 years on the majestic and magical Garden Island.

I’m grateful that I’m here, 29 years later, writing this post. Do I feel old? Yes. Would I like to retire? Yes. However, I continue to write and speak whenever I can. I have to admit, that things might shift as time goes on, but I like feeling productive, serving and helping others who reach out to me and I’m proud to say “I’m still standing.”

As the image (and quote from my book) says at the top of this post, “When you focus on gratitude you realize that, no matter what else is going on, you have so much to be thankful for.” Thanks a million for taking the time to read this post and for being a part of my journey.

If you’re in business for yourself, how many years have you been at it? And, what are you grateful for? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below because I’ve love to hear from you.