stop waiting. pick yourself.


I used to think I needed permission to be a freelance copywriter. Up to four years ago, I didn’t dare believe people would pay me to write.

I didn’t have any prior experience as a copywriter, I didn’t have a fancy piece of paper from an established institution saying I was good enough to call myself a copywriter. In fact, going by the rules of our conventional world, I had no business wanting to be a copywriter, much less freelancing as one.

These “beliefs” held me back for the longest time, stifling my desire to explore the possibility of writing for a living. At one point, I even convinced myself I wouldn’t be any good at it, despite receiving compliments time and again by colleagues and bosses to the contrary. But the voice in my head persisted, so one day I decided the only way to know for sure was to put my writing out there and let others be the judge of it.

So I started blogging. That led to a couple of different things, including the opportunity to write 500 Google Glass app ideas. Not all 500 ideas were published, but it was an interesting experience nonetheless. Then I set up a professional website branding myself as a copywriter. I was really nervous about it – what if people thought I was rubbish? But I dug my heels in and persevered.

The day I got my first writing commission, I was both elated and terrified. Someone actually wanted to pay me to write! One client led to another, and when I started getting requests from clients based in the US and Europe to do writing for them – I was ecstatic. Me, a freelance copywriter with paying clients. Who would have thought?

If I hadn’t stopped waiting for permission to be a copywriter, I wouldn’t be writing this today. If you have a burning desire to explore a different path, you owe it to yourself to do it. You don’t need permission. You already have it.

“Once you understand that there are problems just waiting to be solved, once you realize that you have all the tools and all the permission you need, then opportunities to contribute abound. Not the opportunity to have your resume picked from the pile, but the opportunity to lead.

When we take responsibility and eagerly give credit, doors open. When we grab a microphone and speak up, we’re a step closer to doing the work we’re able to do. Most of all, when you buckle down, confront the lizard and ship your best work, you’re becoming the artist that you are capable of becoming.

No one is going to pick you. Pick yourself.” – Seth Godin (The Icarus Deception)

The good news is, no one’s stopping you from picking yourself – no one apart from you, that is. There’s never been a better time for it. Your audience is out there, waiting to discover you – but you have to show up first.

So stop waiting and pick yourself.