One Sentence Stood Between A New Life And Me

The Power Of The Right Words

Greg Blake
4 min readAug 4, 2020

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Photo by Paolo Bendandi on Unsplash

When I first started copywriting, it was entirely by accident. Well, sort of, it was in an email marketing course. I discovered I had a knack for writing emails that made sales. It changed my path in life in a way I never expected!

Though it feels odd to me to share this story, maybe even embarrassing. Or as though it may belittle my learning ability. I want to share it for anyone else who has a similar struggle. So if that’s you, I hope this helps keep you going on your mission!

The Learning Curve

Even though I had discovered a knack for writing emails, I still had so much to learn. I knew how to write (being awake for English finally paid off)and had even written short stories for my entertainment. This experience helped, but was only a small piece of what I needed to know.

I started consuming everything I could on the subject. I read tons of books, watched YouTube videos, and took courses. I was wrapping every moment I could into learning this skill. Regardless of what I learned, it still felt like I was missing something. Some magic chunk of wisdom that would validate my present knowledge and tell me I was ready.

I still haven’t found that piece of information to this day, but I found something better. I was reading a book I came across online. I usually avoid ebooks because I rarely make the same connection with them that I do with a physical book. But this one attracted me, I don’t know if it was the copy on the sales page or the visual aesthetics, but I had to have this one.

I spent hours at work (I didn’t want to be there) reading this book. I had heard about aha moments, but this was when I had my first one. The author compared writing good copy with creating a breathtaking picture. This comparison (as simple as it sounds), so much of what I had already learned, was now clearer.

Photo by Joshua Fuller on Unsplash

Word Art

Art and music were always significant parts of my life. I was a songwriter and artist. I spent hours focusing on little details in every piece I created. I would play the same six notes over and over with one small variance each time until I got the phrasing I wanted. I would work on shading in one minuscule section of a picture until it looked the exact way I pictured it. I was a passionate perfectionist.

Understanding how this focus worked together with writing to create copy changed everything for me. I couldn’t believe that with all I had learned, one sentence was all it took for everything to make sense to me. Of course, I understand that there are probably hundreds of analogies that can be used. This one rang with me.

It’s not to say that all my struggles were over, far from it actually, but I finally felt like I knew something. Before this, I felt like I knew a ton of otherwise useless information or how to do something but not how to apply it. Either way, it was discouraging, not to mention frustrating.

Between all of what I had learned and was continuing to learn, as I studied copy in the wild, I started to feel ready. But for some reason, I didn’t feel my work had any value to it. Looking back now, I realize it was just an excuse to stay in my comfort zone. The thing was I just couldn’t get passed it.

Photo by Ashley Jurius on Unsplash

All It Took Was A Shove

Despite my self-doubt, I had one major thing going for me, the right friends. Even though they all encouraged me, one, in particular, got me to take action. He managed to find a way to coax me out of my comfort zone comfortably. I was subtle shoved into getting my first testimonial and starting my freelancing career.

One step outside of your safe zone makes such a huge impact. You don’t realize it until you’ve walked so far away that you can’t look back anymore. All it took was a little push.

In this journey, I’ve made a lot of friends, had many mentors, and read many books. But the first few who helped me build the foundation of my new life and business will be the ones I never forget.

A Closing Note

If you’re starting on a similar path, there are a few things I hope you’ve taken away from this.

First, everyone has self-doubt when they start something new. It’s called imposter syndrome, and we all deal with it. Once you push past it, everything gets more comfortable and eventually almost comes naturally. Just remember it’s a sign of personal growth and is a good thing.

Second, it doesn’t matter how much you learn if you don’t take action. Even if it isn’t perfect on your first try, imperfect action will always be better than perfect inaction!

Third, in the online world, we deal in relationships. The most substantial part of my business was built on the relationships I have with others. The friends who got me started believed this as well. If it hadn’t been for those relationships, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now.

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Greg Blake

I’m a copywriter from West Virginia sharing the lessons I learned in life and business.