Motivation, the tortoise, the hare and the copywriter

People often ask me how I stay motivated and it's difficult to find an answer, I don't want to sound over-enthusiastic and I don't want to sound too self-deprecating either. But the fact remains that I stay motivated because I really, really love what I do. I mean REALLY. And that is a bit enthusiastic.

It's not always easy, after all running a business never is. But if you are going to run one, make sure you choose something you enjoy doing, because you'll be doing it all day, every day, for the foreseeable. And if you get tired of it, then you're in a terrible predicament, because it's hard out there, and changing direction has the potential to get messy.

I've had some awful jobs, and I had to stick them out because I needed the money and I had to support my family, and I''d have done anything for my family, and I mean A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. In some jobs, I had to be careful I didn't go to the bathroom too many times, in case someone thought I was going too often, and I might have to explain myself. Or I had to fill in a sheet excusing myself to the supervisor and explaining why I'd taken 3 days off in a month off-sick, in fact I'd have to go into the said supervisor's office and explain, in person, what was the reason for my absence.

Freelancing is a breeze in comparison to that.

Although I did pick up some excellent skills along the way, on my 9-5 path, skills I get to utilize in my copywriting each and every day. If you've come from a day job you HATED, think hard about what you learned and how you can apply that to what you do now. You'd be surprised. You've got some serious SKILLS.

I'm not saying that freelancing is a roller-coaster ride of fun all the time.

It isn't.

It can be really hard sometimes and you feel like throwing the towel in and covering yourself in a blanket in the corner. But for all that I'm still in it for the long-haul, and trust me, I've been no overnight success, if you compare the tortoise and the hare, I'm the tortoise.

And the tortoise won....BIG TIME.

Because sometimes, going at a slower pace is good, you learn, you get better and you eventually supersede your own expectations and everyone else's in the best way possible. And my expectations are HIGH. You don't always have to rush to the finish line and be the biggest and best all at once, that can lead to burnout, and you see plenty of that. Learn, make mistakes and find out what you're good at, feel the pain and feel yourself getting that little bit stronger and better each and every time.

And whatever you do -

  • Don't work all the hours, you need to eat and sleep
  • Don't work for peanuts
  • Don't work for so many hours each day that you wind up HATING what you do.

And the plus side for me, being a copywriter, is that I get to do what I love all day, every day - and that's writing. Creating the perfect sentence, that beautifully crafted set of words makes it all worthwhile. Doing what I do, and getting better and better at it, and becoming aware of the fact I'm getting better at it is soooo good.

And I LOVE technology, and picking up new skills, and finding different ways of doing something faster and better by learning to use a fancy bit of software, and being able to convert this into a valuable service for a client. You have to be hungry for it enough to make it real.

And that's all you have to do, be eager, be motivated, work hard and love what you do

as I do.

How do I stay motivated?  I work hard to be bigger, better and good at what I do, and the people that benefit are my clients, who then get to go off and make money from the pretty words I put together for them. AND I LOVE IT.

And it really doesn't matter whether you're a hare or a tortoise. But be a tortoise, really, they're lovely. And they inspired the Roman military who formed rows, holding their shields above or directly in front of them, testudo formation from the Latin for tortoise. Fighters through and through, and they can hold their breath for a REALLY long time.

See?

Resilient with added fighting spirit.