Classroom to Copy #2 - REVEALED: The Surprising Risk that New Copywriters Take To Catapult Their Careers
2:01PM Apr 5, 2023
full time job
Hey, what's up everybody? So I started this conversation about everyone who switches careers from something else to copywriting, especially teachers. And it started this whole big conversation on copy chief, the copy chief forum, and I'm really grateful for that. Reading through all of the responses has been really inspiring because, you know, it brought up some thoughts that I realized had been lying dormant in my head and you know, TN put it best he said, you know, don't stay in your IT job and your copywriting phase for too long you will burn out, you know, and you'll feel like you're working all the time around the clock. And I've also seen posts by, you know, to other people who are currently working in it. So, Thomas Davis, you know, also talked about, you know, working his nine to five and then trying to work on copywriting on other times at other times of the day. And same thing with Natalia. And last night, I was on a call with the accelerator group. And I talked to another math teacher, then. And you know, the conclusion that I'm drawing from all of this so Ben himself also said that he wasn't juggling teaching full time with copywriting. He actually took a break from teaching and gave himself some time to just focus solely on copywriting. And obviously, this means you know, it takes some saving up you need to save up some money. Put aside a rainy day fund, make sure that you can, you know, go a few months without any income at all to just focus on copywriting. And I know not everyone has that privilege. But I'm just noticing this common thread. And this, you know, consensus that it's it's common sense, right? It's really challenging. To study, copy, build your portfolio, start attracting clients, while you're knee deep in a nine to five job. I know that I myself, would not have been able to do that in my six years as a full time teacher, juggling, you know, two subjects and teaching hundreds of kids a day. I tried to maintain my fine art career on the side and, you know, it was a very fast track to burnout. So I want to preface what I'm about to say with you know, if you are kind of stuck between the two worlds right now your full time job and copywriting, you know, you're amazing, right, you're doing something that I don't think I would have been able to do. That said, you know, a discussion needs to be had about how sustainable and healthy that is in the long term. And whether stepping away from that full time job if you have the capacity and the privilege of doing so, whether that could actually accelerate your journey into copywriting far more than, you know, kind of straddling the two worlds. So, personally, what I did was I knew that my teaching contract was six years long, technically, the full contract was 10 years long. So four years of college where they you know, they told me what to study every semester. And then I would teach on during the summers for them. And then I came back to Singapore and I worked for them for six years. So I kind of knew that I wanted to travel the world at the end of those six years. I knew very early on so technically, I've been saving up for six years. I saved up my money like crazy because I knew I wanted to travel. And I wasn't sure what was next for me in terms of a livelihood. So the first few months I was still waiting for the pandemic. This was I think it was in the middle of 2021 and I was waiting for the pandemic to die down. I was waiting for more certainty so that my partner and I could figure out where to move. And we figured that Tbilisi Georgia would be the easiest. And in September of 2021, we moved all the way to Tbilisi, Georgia. And at that time, copywriting was not on my radar yet. And I was just trying to get my tutoring business off the ground. And then the the biggest market back then for online tutoring was mainland China, and the government in China decided to I don't remember the specifics, but they made access to online tutors like foreign online tutors like illegal they banned us. So I was like, Whoa, that there goes you know, my entire plan. And, you know, I was not averse to like writing content. I found a few free communities and but then I start getting closer and closer to copywriting. Like, what is this? Why do people say it's such a lucrative career? You know, because I had never heard at any point in my life that I could possibly be paid well to write. So once I got clear on what direct response copy was, how it worked, you know which niches I wanted to focus on.
I basically spent you know, I think it was just six months just studying copy. Every day, you know, and I go back to the three pillars on my foundation, you know, reading and marking up copy every day, creating one big idea every day, and writing one piece of copy every single day. So those were, like the six months where I wasn't working a full time job. I managed to still attract some clients from Singapore for tutoring. So that was enough to like cover the basic expenses. You know, life is really affordable here in Tbilisi, but most of my time was spent just on copy and I didn't have to think about anything else. And I wouldn't have done it any other way. I think that's one of the biggest things that helped me, you know, accelerate this journey so quickly. And I'll talk about the other, you know, big factor. Here, I'll talk about the other big factor in another post. But you know, today I just wanted to highlight this, that if you are kind of treading water in between your current career and copywriting you know, firstly, don't be too hard on yourself. And please take care of yourself. And ask yourself, you know, How sustainable is this?
How much are you willing to sacrifice to take your copywriting career off the ground? You know, and what resources and backups like backup plans do you have? You know, to help you feel safe enough to make this huge jump and take this huge risk? So I know everyone's circumstances are completely different, especially in different parts of the world. But the common thread that I've heard is to save up, you know, so that you can get by for a while, for as long as you think you might need to focus on coffee, to focus on it as as much as possible and that might be just a lot faster than juggling the two trying to get coffee done on weekends when you should really be resting and you know, spending time with loved ones, and to be compassionate with yourself while also having that honest conversation with yourself. So that's my two cents for today. And I really appreciate everyone who has joined in on this conversation