Archive for the 'Success' Category

How many drafts do you need to do to get it right?

February 24th, 2017 by Bob Bly

Subscriber RL sent me this comment from the late suspense
novelist Robert B. Parker — one of my favorite commercial authors:

“I do first draft. I don’t revise. I don’t reread. I send it in.
They edit it. But they don’t make any significant changes.”

By comparison, Hemingway revised every morning. He claimed to
have written one of the pages of “A Farewell to Arms” 59 times.

George Plimpton asked him why. Was there some technical problem?
What was so hard?

Hemingway replied: “Getting the words right.”

Poet Donald Hall said he rewrote one of his poems 600 times.

And William Zinsser wrote, “The secret to good writing is
rewriting.”

Yes, but how MUCH rewriting?

The problem is this…..

For most of us, if we don’t revise and rewrite enough, our
writing is not as good as it could be.

On the other hand, if we do endless rewrites and edits, the piece
never gets finished — and if we are working on a flat project
fee, we end up making less than minimum wage.

To answer this question about the ideal number of rewrites, I
made a short video on the subject of “How many rewrites should
you do before you consider the piece finished.”

You can watch it free here:

I agree with actor Michael J. Fox, who said, “Strive for
excellence, not perfection.”

Share

Category: General, Success | No Comments »

The 4 Secrets of a Successful and Happy Life

September 16th, 2009 by Bob Bly

Decades ago, in Ted Nicholas’ newsletter, I read an article that outlined the 4 conditions required to enjoy a happy and successful life.

I have since read versions of these rules many times from numerous authors, and through this and my own limited experiences, believe them to be true.

So without further ado, here are the 4 things you need for a happy and successful life (note: the list below gives you WHAT you need, but not HOW to get them; that will be covered in upcoming blog posts):

1?Money.

A greater-than-average income and net worth free you from money worries, increase your self-esteem, and give you greater security and peace of mind than 97% of the rest of the world enjoys.

2?Work.

The second key to happiness is to find a career that you not only enjoy but are actually passionate about.

As the late Les Paul said, if you do your hobby for a living, you?ll never work a day in your life.

3?Relationships.

Your life will not be complete without friends, family, and others you care deeply about and who care deeply about you.

4?Health.

In a way, health is the most important of the 4 criteria, for without good health, it is exceedingly difficult to attain the other 3 ? or enjoy them if you already have them.

Are there any items here that you do not agree with? Any missing that you would add?

Share

Category: Success | 756 Comments »

Secrets of Making Six Figures as a Freelance Copywriter ? or in Practically Anything Else

March 23rd, 2005 by Bob Bly

In his post on this blog, John Thomas asks, ?What counter-intuitive ?secrets? would you say there are to becoming a successful direct response copywriter, since that would be a particular business you are familiar with??

I assume he means ?freelance? direct response copywriters, since most of the top DM copywriters are in fact self-employed.

The answer, John, is the same for freelance copywriters as it is for dentists, optometrists, financial planners, attorneys, CPAs, and anyone else offering professional services on a freelance or independent basis:

Assuming you are reasonably skilled in the service you provide, the differentiating factor between those practitioners with the highest incomes and the others in the same field is the ability to marketing and sell their professional services to clients.

In other words, success at self-promotion is the biggest (but not the only) factor separating the $50,000 a year copywriter from the $500,000 a year copywriter ? or the financial planner writing $1 million in premium (and earning $65,000 a year) from the one writing $10 million in premium (and earning $650,000 a year).

Do you agree? Are those who make the most money in any profession the best salespeople and marketers ? or the best craftspeople and technicians?

Share

Category: Success | 102 Comments »

Work for the Money, Not Your Passion

February 10th, 2005 by Bob Bly

My colleague CM, one of the world?s most successful DM copywriters, shocked me when I asked him about his success.

?Forget all that advice about ?do what you?re passionate about,?? CM told me. ?Work is about making money — as much money as you can.

?For instance, if you love horses, don?t study to be a veterinarian. Instead, go into a business where you make a lot of money. That way, you can own as many horses as you want.?

I?ve always taken a different tact: follow your passion. Do what you love to do, then find a market or application where you can make good money doing it.

Most successful people I know worked hard to get where they are. And you won?t put in long hours unless you truly love what you do.

Whose approach do you like: CM’s or mine? And why?

Share

Category: Success | 1,114 Comments »