#098: Work With What You’ve Got (to Get to Where You Want to Go)

Today’s message is a bit shorter than normal. And it’s primarily geared towards new and aspiring freelance writers and copywriters.

But it also applies to more experienced pros who are trying to get to the next level of success.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

You Don’t Need to Impress IBM

One of the biggest fears/concerns of new freelance writers: “Who’s going to hire me?”

That fear is based on the following assumption: that you need to impress “IBM.” But that’s an incorrect assumption. You can’t be everything to everyone.

I’ve met very few successful freelancers who got a very impressive start and didn’t struggle to get to where they are today. Most success stories are messy! The hero spent most of their journey getting “No’s” and barely scraping by. But all we hear is the end result.

I talked about this in Episode 16: If a prospect needs to see a proven track record, they’re not a good prospect for you today. Instead, you’re looking for someone who’s willing to give you a shot based on what they see right now.

Work With What You’ve Got

In other words…

Work with what you’ve got to land the right kind of work.

This scene from the movie “Bridget Jones’ Diary” illustrates this idea well:


This guy didn’t care about her lack of experience or her reasons for leaving her last job. He needed to fill a spot. He was in a hurry. And Bridget seemed like a good-enough choice for the job.

Here’s another way to think about it:

  • When you’re at 0 is to try to get a 2.
  • Once you get a 2, you can go after some 2’s and 3’s.
  • Once you get those, you can go after some 3’s and 4’s.

Interestingly, somewhere in that process you’ll often land a 6 (maybe because a prospect has an urgent need or doesn’t have time to continue researching options)

And again, this applies to all of us, not just new freelancers. For instance:

  • You’re going after a new industry or target market
  • You’re going after a different level of clientele
  • You’re offering a new service

Stair-Stepping Your Way to Success

Incremental improvement is not sexy. But it’s how most successful creative pros got to where they are.

Deep down most of us recognize that this is a proven path. I bet that when you look at your life’s accomplishments, many of them followed this incremental pattern with a few spikes along the way.

Focus on stair-stepping your way to where you want to go. And forget about this notion that you have to impress the IBM’s of the world right out of the gate.

Instead, focus on finding prospects who are willing to work with you based on what they see TODAY… or due to some fluke you could have never engineered yourself (e.g., urgent need and they don’t have time to keep looking).

Are You Trying to Launch a Commercial Writing Business?

If you’re trying to get your B2B writing or copywriting business off the ground — or if you’ve already launched but are still struggling to break past that $1,000-per-month income ceiling — I may be able to help you.

One of my superpowers is helping freelancers get their business off the ground quickly and with less risk. And I do this through B2B Biz Launcher 2.0 — my coaching and training program for new and aspiring freelance commercial writers.

If we work together, I’ll show you how to get results faster, land progressively better clients and gain serious momentum.

I don’t make these coaching and training opportunities available very often. But I’ve just opened a window. So if you fit the description above, this might be something you’ll want to explore.

You can learn more about it here: