Everyone has a different definition of success when it comes to their careers. To some, success means earning six or seven-figures. To others, it could be the ability to have the right work/life balance. Or perhaps it’s doing something that makes a difference in people’s lives.
Being a freelance copywriter gives you the ability to take any of those desired paths toward success.
Heck, it could be all three!
However, most of the time, we don’t see ourselves as successful as we should because we take our day-to-day successes for granted.
This is a condition all humans experience. It’s a process psychologists call Hedonic Adaptation.
This is the natural tendency to tune out the emotional effect of positive or negative stimuli over time and revert back to a base-level emotional state. Or in layman’s terms, we never allow ourselves to be too happy or too sad.
For example, let’s say you land your very first writing project as a freelance copywriter, and you’re thrilled and super grateful.
Then you land your second project, and you’re a little less excited. After that, you get a coveted retainer project, which as time goes on, you may actually start to view as burdensome work.
Psychologists say the way to experience more happiness is to break the cycle of Hedonic Adaptation by adapting an overall attitude of gratitude.
This also translates to careers.
When we are grateful, we are happier. When we are happier, our perceived levels of success are higher, while actually achieving greater levels of success in the long run.
Be Grateful for the Little and Big Things
I’ll be the first to admit, this idiom is a little played out. But what’s true is true.
What’s the point of a successful freelance career if you don’t have your health or loved ones? Your health allows you to do the work, and loved ones are why you do it. Those are big things.
But there are also the little things, like enjoying a hot cup of coffee with your crossword puzzle in the morning… or getting out for a fresh air walk as spring temperatures climb.
Amid a global health crisis, it should be much easier to step back and reflect on these things and be grateful for them. When you do this, the “little things” you may tend to take for granted aren’t so little after all.
This is the first step in understanding why it’s crucial to develop an attitude of gratitude in everything you do.
Be Grateful for Your Journey
There are a few exceptions, but most great copywriters have not been copywriters their whole lives. They all have different and fascinating back-stories that greatly shaped their careers.
Take a look at AWAI Co-Founder Mark Ford. He worked in everything from carpentry to restaurants, he’s extremely successful, and he has a Ph.D. I’ll bet he’s grateful for every part of the journey that got him to where he is now.
Before copywriting, I spent four years in kitchens learning the ropes before I moved up to the title of chef. And once I got there, it was another two years before I really knew what I was doing.
Although I’ve moved on from the chef life, I’m grateful for what it taught me. Hard work really does pay off.
The secret to keep moving forward is to picture your end result, what success looks like to you, and then work backward.
There’s a large gap of uncertainty until you get back to where you are currently. But then, keep looking back in time. Look at the progress you’ve made to get here and be grateful and proud of those decisions.
I can say with utmost certainty that I’m a better writer than I was one month ago. And one month ago, I was better than I was one month before that.
Every misstep along the way, I learned from and was grateful for the lesson. Every achievement I recognized and was thankful for the work I put in to get there.
Anyone who is a successful writer will tell you the key to success is persistence. The more you work towards something, the better you get, and eventually you become good at it. Then you become successful.
As I type this, I’m not yet what I’d consider to be a successful writer. But, I won’t stop until I’ve reached my goal.
AWAI has played a massive part in my drive, giving me the knowledge and tools I know will allow me to succeed. My responsibility is to apply those skills.
I’m not going to say it has always been easy. It’s human nature that when we set out to learn any new skill, we want to be good at it NOW.
But everyone knows nothing worth doing is ever easy.
Be grateful for courage and understand that your journey will be unlike anyone else’s. By doing so, you can be more accepting of the current phase of your journey. By recognizing that this is just a step along a path, it makes it more exciting to continue.
Be Grateful for Your Support System
No one gets where they want to be in life without a little help. Most of us are fortunate to have family, friends, or professional colleagues to support us along the way.
Being a freelance copywriter can be a lonely profession at times. You have to rely on yourself to find answers for clients and for your business. It can occasionally get overwhelming.
It’s essential to take a step back and be grateful for the support you do have instead of what you don’t. When you stop to say thanks, not only does it make those who help you feel better, it makes everyone involved fight harder for your success.
So don’t be afraid to write a quick email or even a handwritten letter of thanks to those who have been there for you. It will not go unnoticed.
By being a B2B Writing Success member, you already have a fantastic support system right at your fingertips.
Outside of the wealth of educational information, just think of all the other support systems you can access.
- B2B Copywriters Facebook Group
- The Barefoot Writer Facebook Group
- AWAI Member Forums
- AWAI Member Success Team
The amount of times I have contacted AWAI’s Member Success Team since I became a member is embarrassing. But every time, they got back to me with answers to my questions and even advice.
How to Be More Grateful
Becoming habitually grateful takes some practice.
I’ve found a good way to start is taking five minutes every morning to meditate and visualize in my mind’s eye all the things that make me happy.
A deeper dive is to write it all down. Keep a gratitude journal and write in it daily.
Some people also like to have a gratitude totem. A totem can be a little widget for your desk, and every time you look at it, it reminds you of something you’re thankful for.
It could even be a coin or a stone in your pocket… Every time you touch it, you know to be grateful.
When it comes to career goals, I like to create a timeline that shows every step needed to get where I want to be. It can be long term or short term. If you do this, every time you cross a point on your timeline, reward yourself with a treat.
Showing gratitude for your accomplishments is a big deal as a freelancer. Recognition is something that every employee needs on some level. But not every client is that thoughtful of their freelancers.
Since we’re our own bosses, we’ve gotta break out the bubbly for a job well-done every once and a while.
How do you maintain an attitude of gratitude or celebrate your successes? Leave a comment below and let us know!