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How to Double Your Income While Doing Fewer Tasks

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Jesse Moskel Financial Copywriter

 

 

 

 

 

Last week I talked to another copywriter, on his way up…

He was telling me how he wanted to be at a certain income level, but thus far, his best month was roughly just half of that target income…

I offered a few pointers, and we hung up.

Well, this morning, I realized: the big BIG “mover” that took me from his position: doing half of what I wanted to be doing, to where I am now, at the successful achievement of my target income every month without much effort or thought at all…

Here’s the trick: specialization.

In the “old days” (meaning: six to twelve months ago) I was not “just a copywriter.”

I was also a designer, project manager, researcher, errand boy, layout specialist, software operator and a copywriter.

Switching constantly from one task to another, I wasted countless hours of energy…

And what’s worse, I tried to save time by hiring mediocre helpers to do what tasks I absolutely couldn’t.

That simply meant getting flustered regularly when things went wrong.

 

And go wrong they did!

In the end, I gave all that up.

I eliminated all the other “stuff,” and got razor-focused on one thing only. To be great at something you must stop doing everything else…

I started putting it in my contract: “this is ONLY for the words that sell. I will deliver a text document containing the copy you’ve contracted me to write. I don’t use HTML, I don’t press send or manage anything else. Words only!”

(It was as much for me, as those I did business with.)

…it was that day, I became a true specialist.

And what happened?

My income jumped 53% that first month.

Another 38% the next month…

And this past month I was 22% over my target monthly income.

Specialist = Goal, achieved.

The message for me, is that being a Jack of all trades meant Mediocre results…

Master of ONE means more job satisfaction, more positive vibes, AND happier customers.

 

So here’s a question for my readers: suppose you do two primary things, very well. Should you only do one of them? And how to choose?

9 Replies

  1. Man. You hit the nail on the head. In addition, as someone who interacts with a lot of marketing people, it is confusing when you sift through a list of offerings, like choosing at McDonald’s. Making the right choice as to what you should focus on is the challenge. Great post.

    1. Thanks Bill. It’s definitely the “mile deep and inch wide” philosophy working for me these days. Cheers!

  2. I agree. I’ve done the same thing with my photography business. I stopped doing kids portraits and birthday parties and senior sessions… and focused only on weddings! Huge difference.

    And now that you are “only” a copywriter, it makes it easier for you to collaborate with other professionals who are trying to do it all and aren’t great at copy!

    1. Ah ha! That’s very true, Corey. I’m glad to hear this worked in your biz, too. Say, you have quite a reputation around Columbia as a top wedding photographer…must be working! JM

  3. Angela Hill

    “Hello,” Jesse.

    I think this statement is fairly appropriate for individuals that suffer from one of two extremes, namely,

    1) he has not discovered themselves through their limitations or 2) he attempts to excel at everything.

    The common denominator between the two characteristics is that some engage and practice in this ritual

    to ultimately please themselves. Meaning, that by appeasing others, even at one’s own expense, it gives

    him a sense of self-worth and affirms his existence, even though it is really false.

    A discerning individual will recognize that first, he can never please man. And once he is anchored with this

    mindset, he is purposeful only in situations that he is gifted for and these “strengths” are only employed in

    aid or in service of others. He can now “stand tall” because he has discovered that he has to lean on others

    to use their strengths or gifts along with his own to accomplish the “task at hand.” People who really discover

    this earlier in life understand its impact because it results in reducing the burden (i.e. work) and stresses of

    everyday life.

    Angela

  4. This was really hard for me… and scary. Because I felt like if I followed this advice I’d lose out on money…

    Just the opposite has happened. The “less” I choose to do, the “more” money I make. Another thing I’ve noticed is there’s more respect and enjoyment I get from my work and my clients… it’s assumed I’m a professional rather than a jack of all trades.

    What are your thoughts on the relationship between pricing and client relationships? Do you find that the higher you climb (in terms of value contribution and compensation) the more enjoyable your client relationships are?

    T

    1. T, that little “wall of fear” you hopped over is something, sadly, that many will never pull off. Kudos to you for overcoming your “humanness” and doing what makes you grow. Getting uncomfortable is a habit I’m working on cultivating, more and more…the results have been terrific! …and to your question, pricing and value? My opinions on this have been evolving significantly as my relationships with clients have moved past the (well-documented) dollars for hours malaise. Royalty-based arrangements will be the norm for me, going forward. This way, my efforts are directly tied to results and everyone is happy and well-paid. As Clayton Makepeace says: There’s gold buried at the feet of every businessman!” …it’s our specialty as copywriters to be able to dig out and share.

      Cheers, mate!

  5. Morgan

    Hi Jesse!

    First, I like the narrow format better than the simple email text format. It seems informal yet professional.

    Second, I would have a conversation with the “goal-less” person as follows:

    1. Your life is like a ship floating freely on the waters. Picture yourself on that ship with no destination, no goal. You just sail and sail and sail. It just goes wherever the wind blows. Does that sound like your life?

    2. Realize that you don’t have to become a total “goal-aholic” like Jesse! But you DO have to begin to set SOME goals to arrive where you’d like to in life.
    You may feel that goal setters have a different personality. That is okay. That does not mean that you can’t set SOME goals that will give you direction.

    3. Start with ONE SIMPLE CHANGE — one simple goal. You see, goals are just changes. Like the ship, just one simple change in the rudder’s angle can AIM the ship right into the port!

    4. What is one simple change for YOU? Write ONE more sales letter this week? Make ONE more sales call a day? Read ONE book on goal setting this month?

    5. I don’t know how you feel about fun, informative, easy to read (or listen to) books but I like them better than micro font textbooks! In fact, I prefer to LISTEN to an audio book when it is read by an enthusiastic, passionate author!

    Here is a classic that I recommend you get immediately to help you set some reasonable goals to get you moving in the right direction: Zig Ziglar’s Goals: Setting and Achieving Them on Schedule.

    http://www.amazon.com/Goals-Setting-Achieving-Them-Schedule/dp/B00AFV4D34/ref=pd_sim_129_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1P4Q5BZVANA3HW7FZRSM

    Make just ONE simple change by reading or listening to Zig Ziglar and you will be AMAZED at what will happen in your life!

    All the best!
    Morgan

    1. Love Zig Ziglar, Morgan. And it sounds almost like you are writing a speech here… wait? What’s that? You are? No? Ah, you did… Great speech yesterday, Morgan. I really am flattered, both that you used this, and also that you did such a terrific job with it. Glad we’re on this Toastmasters journey toward better speaking together. All the best! Jesse

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