(Written by John McIntyre)
As the clock dings 12am, the crowd erupts around me.
Scantily clad bodies, in various states of inebriation, cheer and scream. Fast-paced dance music pulses through the crowd. Fireworks explode overhead in a dizzying array of colors.
I’m on Haad Rin Beach in Thailand. It’s NYE and we’re kicking off 2013 with a helluva party.
“Happy new year!”, someone shouts at me as they head to a drinks vendor. They’ll grab a bucket of red bull, Thai whisky and coke. It’s what everyone drinks here.
Over 50,000 people have swarmed the beach for the party. As I move through the crowd, I wonder… what are they celebrating?
It’s an interesting question.
I’m celebrating my newfound freedom.
That’s right, baby…
In 2012, I replaced my day job.
. . .
In 8 months, I replaced my day job. I now earn more than enough to live a comfortable lifestyle in Sydney, one of the most expensive cities in the world.
But since I don’t have a day job, I can live wherever I want… For now, that means Thailand, an amazing country with some of the world’s best parties.
In this article, I’ll tell you exactly how I did it (and why I think you can do the same with the information I give to you).
It All Starts With Copywriting
I had a website. It was mildly successful. After changing the title of one of my products to something result-oriented, sales tripled.
That’s when I realized the exponential power of copywriting.
I decided to become good at selling stuff. Really good.
The date was 23rd April 2012.
In June 2012, I sent my first invoice for my first sales letter. I made $100.
By November, my sales letter fee had jumped to $1,000 (just 5 months after beginning).
In December 2012, I made more than enough money to live in Sydney, Australia; one of the most expensive cities in the world.
And I only worked for 20 days of the month.
On December 20, I turned my laptop off and spent three days exploring the mountains in Northern Thailand. After my brief mountain retreat, I high-tailed it to Bangkok and spent the rest of December partying with friends.
In 8 months, I went from charging $100 per sales letter to $1,000 per sales letter. Throughout it all, I set my own schedule… I traveled and took time off whenever I wanted to… and I now earn more than enough cash to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
…and I did it all while living in Thailand.
I get paid to write.
The funny thing?
I dropped out of high school AND college. I’ve never had any formal writing training and I never had a job for more than a year.
Tell that to my high school English teachers!
How I Replaced My Job (And How You Can Too)
In a moment, I’ll explain how you can replace your day job, fire your boss and do whatever the hell you want.
But first, let’s get something out of the way –
“Hustle” is a fancy word for hard work.
Without hustle, you are guaranteed to fail.
If you don’t work hard (either because you make excuses or because you’re lazy and like to sleep in), keep your day job because this is not for you. While you’re at it, read 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person.
The process I’m about to share is simple and straightforward.
But without hard work, it’s bound to fail.
Time to get your hands dirty.
STEP #1: Become Really Good At Something
I chose copywriting.
I signed up to CopyHour in April 2012. CopyHour is a simple program that teaches you how to write great copy. You get a list of books to buy and read. Plus, a classic sales letter from the ol’ days is sent to your inbox. When it arrives, you take a pen and write the sales letter out by hand.
That’s all it takes to be a kick ass copywriter.
Reading a few select advertising and marketing books, plus putting in the time to write out sales letters by hand.
It’s simple, but HARD.
It requires that all important ingredient… hustle.
You’ll need to set aside an hour day, for at least two months, to get really good at it.
But if you do it… well, you’ll be a better sales copywriter than 99% of other people, including many people who call themselves copywriters.
You see, most people would never do something like write sales letters out by hand.
“WTF? Who does that!?!?!?”
Those people are weak.
How do you get an instant advantage over your competitors?
Work harder than they do.
Does it have to be copywriting? No. You could get really good at website design or programming.
But if you have a choice, go with copywriting. Copywriting is written sales. Sales is about bringing in the money. And if you’re good, you can demand ridiculous fees. You can make your clients thousands of dollars.
STEP #2: Strategic Networking
There is a lot of hoo-hah on the topic of networking.
But here’s the thing – there’s only so much time in the day.
You can’t network with each and every person you bump into. You don’t want to be the guy sending emails all the time, to all sorts of random people.
You want to be strategic about it.
To make money as a copywriter, you need clients. To get clients, you need to start a relationship with people who need your services.
You can do this with cold-calling, cold-emails and advertising.
That’s what most people do.
But as Mark Twain says, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect”.
For me, a CRUCIAL step in my journey was becoming friends with an influencer. An influencer is someone who is friends with many other people. They are a connector. I became friends and made myself useful to someone.
Eventually, he offered me paid work. I made sure I kicked ass. Next, we did a podcast together. That podcast positioned me as an expert in the eyes of his audience. It shot me out of the gate and got me to where I am now.
You can do cold calls or follow some other marketing strategy.
But the quickest way to move up the ranks is to find people with an audience and find a way to get in front of them… period.
Think like a copywriter.
You have to give them what THEY WANT. What do influencers want? What everyone wants…
Find out what value they want and give it to them. Eventually, you’ll find a way to get in front of their audience.
It’s essential that you don’t try and do this randomly.
Think about your target prospect. Then find someone who has an audience full of those target prospects.
For example, don’t waste time networking with people who teach beginners. Beginners are notoriously cheap and are unlikely to spend money. Find people with money and get in front of them. People who recognize the value of sales and marketing.
If someone doesn’t see the value in copywriting and marketing, they’re not your target prospect. You don’t want to work for those people. Nor do you want to work for cheap people. Don’t try to teach people about the value of marketing, nor convince them to spend more money than they’re used to spending.
It’s a waste of time.
Focus exclusively on people who a) recognize the value of marketing, and b) have money to spend.
Replace Your Day Job With Two Steps
Remember the formula?
- Become really good at something.
- Strategic networking.
These two steps are the ticket to replacing your day job.
Pick a skill that is related to profit or income generation…
Marketing and sales is about making clients more money. Web design is about building websites. If you’re the guy that knows how to make other people money, you can command ridiculous fees. Forget web design and become a marketer.
Start with copywriting. Follow Gary Halbert’s advice.
I’m currently based on Chiang Mai, Thailand. If you’re in the area, get in touch!