If you didn’t reread your list of New Year’s resolutions last night and this morning, do it now. Yesterday, you promised yourself that you would develop a skill that had the potential to make you big money. Today, you are going to promise yourself to make it happen. Here’s what I mean by “make it happen” . . .
A month ago, I was talking to my dance instructor, PL, about his life and career. He’s a very ambitious guy who shares many interests with me: Jiu Jitsu, screenwriting, and dance, to name a few. PL is well on his way to making his screenwriting dream come true. He’s written more than a half dozen screenplays and he’s had most of them optioned. He has not just one but several Hollywood agents working for him. But he’s still been poor as a church mouse, struggling to pay for his life and his Jiu Jitsu lessons on a dance instructor’s salary. I explained my idea about developing a financially valuable skill (yesterday’s Promise #4 for the New Year) and he agreed that, other than writing screenplays (which hasn’t yet paid off), he had none. I told him about the American Writers & Artists Institute copywriting program — how it is designed to make six-figure copywriters out of ordinary people. He was interested. I offered the program to him and the next day, he called to arrange to pick it up.
I have offered this program to many people in similar situations. What has amazed me is how few of them follow up on it. This despite the fact that those who have finished it have gone on to make six-figure incomes (while working from home). What usually happens is that they accept the basic program (worth $500) with a modest “thank you” and put it on their desks or in their bookshelves and never look at it. If they call me again for help, I remind them that until they’ve finished that program, there is nothing I can do for them.
Well, yesterday, after my lesson, PL told me he had finished the program. I almost didn’t believe him. This is a course that should take six months to finish. A very motivated person can do it in half that time. PL had done it in four weeks. But something even more dramatic happened. He handed me a sample copywriting assignment — modeled on one of the assignments in the course but aimed at a mail-order business idea he had come up with. The copy was very good — way better than I’d expect from someone who had put in the full six months of work.
It’s so good, I’m making some contacts on his behalf and I’m going to personally mentor his next few projects. I’ll be very surprised if he’s not making six figures within 12 months. And also have plenty of free time to write a few more screenplays. But there’s even more. The business idea that he wrote about in his sample copywriting package is so promising, I’m hoping he’ll let me invest in it! If PL can do it, so can you. So promise yourself that you will get off your ass this year and get things done . . . and not just done eventually, but done in record time. Astonish yourself. Be successful.[Ed. Note. Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]