Copywriting has taught me many things.
Psychology, decision making, sales, persuasion and more.
But it also helped me develop another less frequently mentioned, often overlooked skill.
It’s the skill of being ruthless.
I was thinking about it as I was editing some copy. Trimming it down to its most essential core elements, to convey the message I wanted it to carry.
If you want to be a good copywriter, or just a good writer and thinker, you have to be ruthless.
Being ruthless also means not being attached to the outcome, but rather embracing the process and allowing it to unfold.
In a way, you have to detach from your emotions.
Which is counterintuitive when as copywriters we always think of ourselves as highly empathetic.
We have to embrace and entertain this paradox.
It’s the same exact thing when I start a new project.
The first few steps of “writing copy” after the research is done, might literally just involve me sitting in front of my laptop thinking and exploring ideas.
No writing in sight.
And that’s part of the process.
But you have to ruthlessly allow it to be so.
Being ruthless also means being honest with yourself.
About whether or not what you’ve just written is the best you could possibly have done, or if you need to go back and explore further.
The point is that often, these meta-skills are the most valuable, but least noticeable and appreciated.
We should be aware of this and aim to get better at them, through the work and the process.
Your client and customers will thank you.
And at first, you might have no idea why.
Quote and reflection of the day:
“Successfully completing a lesser purpose doesn’t feel very good for very long, because it is simply preparation for advancing toward a greater embodiment of your deeper purpose.”
David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
Success is never a destination, nor does it mean getting rid of work. It’s a continuous advancement towards new and meaningful work at each specific stage of life.