36 writers. 5 hours. 5 invaluable lessons about life, business, and writing.
I recently wrapped up my Live Training Program on how to start a money-making writing career. There were 36 writers from different parts of the world who shared their goals as a writer, the struggles that currently plague them, and what steps they will take moving forward.
These five days were an incredible, power-packed period with so many new lessons to learn each day. I’m so blessed to be able to serve so many ambitious souls. Each session paved the way for a healthy discussion, so everyone could put their questions and thoughts forward and together take the next step in their journey as a writer.
In this post, I’ve compiled the five biggest lessons I learned on this journey and how I’m going to apply them ahead in life. These are not lessons strictly related to writing but can be applied to personal development and any kind of business as well. Read on, and don’t forget to let me know your thoughts in the comments.
1. Knowing your WHY can be the biggest asset
“If you know the why, you can live any how.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
The first question you should ask yourself when you set out on your writing journey is: why do you want to be a writer?
If you asked me the same, my answer would be that I don’t want to be a writer. I am a writer.
All through my childhood, the only way I learned to express my emotions was through art. Before I learned to write, I used to make sketches. I used to color my imagination on the walls and tell stories of the animals, flowers, and plants in my wildest dreams. Now, my writing is the outlet for my imagination.
Another motivation: I want freedom in my life. Freedom to do what I want, how I want it. Only writing can give me that opportunity, as of now.
What is your why?
Once you know that, you’ll see all your hows (How do I make time for writing in my life? How do I get over writer’s block? How do I think of what to write about) start having easy answers.
2. Gamification can be a powerful way of constantly upgrading your skills
If you feel stuck with no progress or success coming your way, use the concept of gamification and visualize it as a video game. That’s how I’ve been treating online writing for the past one and half years.
Your current circumstances indicate you’re at Level 1.
The moment you start feeling there’s been no progress for a while, or all the excitement has saturated, maybe it’s an indication you’ve reached the next level, and your current skills won’t be enough to navigate through the new rules.
Now, you need to upgrade. You need to learn new skills, polish your old ones, and practice more so you can keep moving forward.
Unlocking each level will unleash more superpowers, and will take you forever ahead on your journey as a writer.
3. You’ve to be prepared for the worst-case scenario always
No matter how much you prepare, some situations are ALWAYS out of your hands. I prepared as much as I could for my live training program.
- I gathered the info and prepared slides.
- I made sure I had meals on time so I could be ready for the sessions.
- I canceled all other appointments at these times.
But after two kickass sessions, I woke up on Day Three with a terrible headache. My doctor said it’s menstrual migraine, and I’ve never been in so much pain in my life before. There are sudden flashes of intense pain on the left side of my brain, and when they come, I have to clench my teeth and close my eyes with pain.
There was no way I could have taken a class and given my 100% in this case, and I had to reschedule the class because of this.
I worried about how my students would react. I worried what would happen if no one turned up after the small break.
But I shouldn’t have doubted in the wonderful community of writers ready to crush their writer goals.
Yesterday, I took the session even though I was sick. But the comments from the people made my day.
There were so many, I can’t share them all, but I captured the ones that made my heart melt.
“Each day I’m getting more motivated to write after attending your sessions,” — that’s what a student said.
So yes, sick or not, I’m committed to delivering value to this community of amazing writers.
4. Building a personal brand means losing out on a few opportunities
Day FOUR of my Live Training Program ended on a high note. We talked about how to post consistently and nurture your personal brand the right way.
A cool insight that evolved during the live session was this:
When you’re starting your writing journey, you can spend your first year in the industry doing either of the following:
- Doing $3 for 1000 word gigs on Upwork and Fiverr that suck your soul & leave you miserable.
- Writing 365 posts on any ONE social media platform (I shared a few days ago about what’s the BEST platform to start as a writer in 2022), building a strong personal brand, and selling your NAME vs your TIME when you start charging for your efforts.
In the first case, you’ll probably earn $5000 in a year. In the second, you’ll have 5000 followers on some social media platform, which will put you in a WONDERFUL place to pitch to clients or sponsors for highly-paid gigs.
In the first case, it will take you YEARS before you can earn $5000 in a month. In the second, it will take you 1 year 7 months (A figure I counted based on the median/most common I’ve seen in my writer friends and ex-students who started from scratch and carved their way up the ladder. I also share in my course the HOW to do this).
If you had to pick between option ONE and option TWO, which one would you pick?
5. What you create is not about YOU
After the final day of my live training program, I was overwhelmed by the love and positive energy of the 36 participants. Their comments made the session come truly alive!
I was super nervous about putting this course together. I worried so much about what others would think of me that I didn’t even promote much on Twitter or Instagram.
But now, after the course is complete, I realize that all this while, the focus was never on ME. The focus was on my COMMUNITY.
It doesn’t matter what other creators think of me. If even ONE person benefits from the course and the lessons they learned here can change their lives, my job as a coach is done.
Judging by the encouraging comments, it seems the training program was a life changer for several people.
The moral of the story: You don’t create for yourself. You create for that one person who you know will benefit from your creation.
I didn’t build this course because I wanted an income stream. I built it so no other talented writer has to waste YEARS of their lives trying to figure out what they want to do in their careers.
Doing a training program like this was way out of my comfort zone. But I did it, and I might have impacted quite a few lives down the lane. So grateful that I was courageous enough to take such a step.
What’s something crazy you did that was way out of your comfort zone? What lessons did it teach you? Let me know in the comments.