I am totally in love with Jeff Goins and I love his webpage http://goinswriter.com/
Iam sure you will love it too!!!
If you think all you need to do to succeed as a writer is practice writing, you are fooling yourself. Writing all the time is exhausting. It depletes your creative reserves and requires them to be full again before you can produce more work. So how do you replenish, then? You have to invest in yourself.
It wasn’t until I invested in my growth that I started to see measurable success with my writing. Now I don’t believe you need to “spend money to make money.” Nor do I think you should go into debt to pursue a dream. But I do believe the craft of writing is worth whatever resources you have to invest. If you don’t invest in your growth, who will?
Looking back, there are five investments I made (and continue to make) that have meant the difference between starving and thriving, and I hope they help you, too.
Investment #1: Get a Coach
Successful people do not succeed alone. They get help.
While working a day job, I found a group coaching opportunity I knew would help me, so I asked my boss to pay for it. He said yes. This program was where I first called myself a writer.
Today, I consider coaches essential to the work that I do – ranging from informal mentors to biweekly counseling sessions. Some of these people are paid, some are not. The point is that I have finally let go of my ego and asked for help and guidance in areas where I am less experienced. Without the insight and perspective of these guides, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Coaching opportunities can take many forms, from small groups to one-on-one sessions with an industry expert. The challenge, then, is to begin. Here’s how to get started:
Action step: Find an opportunity that can help you get where you want to be. This should be more than an infrequent meal with a mentor, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a formal coaching opportunity, either.
It does need to include time with a trusted expert who has succeeded in ways that you have not.
If it costs money, find a way to pay for it. Some coaching arrangements may even overlap with the responsibilities you currently have at your day job, which means your organization may likely support you or even pay for it completely.
If you can’t afford it, find a more cost-effective or free alternative. Be sure to ask about scholarships and possibly trading services in exchange for some coaching.
And of course, there’s always the option to find a mentor who is willing to invest in you for free. Be sure to follow my 10-step process for approaching influencers and getting them to invest in you.
Investment #2: Take Smart People Out to Lunch
Successful people spend time with people who are smarter than them.
I learned this from Dan Miller who taught me that if you’re the smartest person in the room, then it’s time to find a new room.
When I was first getting started as a writer, I didn’t have much money. But I knew it was rude to ask an influencer out to lunch to pick their brain and not offer to buy their meal. So I set aside a few bucks once or twice a month and started asking people to coffee.
What surprised me when I started doing this was how many said yes, and how some even tried to pay. What I learned was this: it’s not paying for their meal that impresses an influencer; it’s offering in the first place.
I am not exaggerating when I say that my first book deal began with buying someone coffee. It sounds simple because it is, and because in the very noisy world we live in today, we’ve forgotten that human connection is always going to get you further than writing the perfect email asking someone to share your stuff.
If you want to pick someone’s brain, don’t start there
. Instead, offer to buy their lunch or at least a cup of coffee and ask a few questions about the choices they’ve made and why.
Here’s one question that always works to honor the person in front of you and get the conversation going:
“What’s one thing you would do differently if you had to start over today?”
If you don’t live near the people you want to connect with, no worries. Start by showing up in the comments of their blog or find them on Twitter.
Get familiar with their message and make yourself available to serve in some way. Doing favors for people is the best networking there is.
Investment #3: Study the Work of Other Writers
Successful people are students of success. They study what others have done and pattern their own success after the masters who have come before them.
When I started out as a writer, I knew I didn’t know what I didn’t know, so I figured the best place to start was to learn about the lives and practices of other writers, creatives, and entrepreneurs.
It was Josh Kaufman who taught me that one of the best, most cost-effective investments you can ever make in your success is books. His Personal MBA book list consists of 99 business books that, yes, might cost a few hundred dollars—but that’s $100,000 cheaper than getting an actual MBA. And let’s not forget that compiling that list helped Josh secure his own book deal with a major publisher.
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