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What if you had to start from scratch?

My younger brother is thinking of getting into freelancing.

So, yesterday he was asking for some advice on how to get started. I already shared some of the courses I’ve taken and he’s already learning some of the tools of the trade.

But one big piece is missing…

…he doesn’t know how to set goals for himself.

Ah! The good old side hustle.

Back when I started out around 2015, I wondered how you even forget the initial steps, the struggles, the complete silence after applying for a job and all the learning.

Now, I have a hard time remember what I did and how I approached things.

It’s the course of knowledge (and the hedonic treadmill in part).

Rather than the practical how tos, rather than each step, we are left with a foggy memory because we know “too much”.

In hindsight I wish I kept a journal back then. I used to have a to do list on paper, but it was very hit or miss and not a habit.

Nowadays I journal every morning and keep a running list of tasks on my laptop that I could go back to anytime (I wrote about it in my monthly newsletter).

It would be gold if I did it back then and had to start from scratch (or teach someone how I did it).

Instead what I can do is to try and transfer the mindsets that took me where I wanted to go, and the major milestones I went through.

I saw a youtube interview a while ago where 80 year old millionaires where giving advice on what they’d do differently if they could go back. One of the guys said he’d “write more stuff down”.

I agree. In business and in life, documenting your progress is fundamental if you want to learn from your mistakes, but also from your successes, so you can repeat them.

Even if you just write whatever comes to mind, I find it frees up a lot of mental “RAM” and gets your idea machine working.

This very same newsletter is a meta example of writing stuff down. I’ll be able to revisit these in the future and get an idea for how my thinking and writing evolved.

It’s the same when it comes to writing copy and researching your customers. Keep a running log of everything they say, every review, every piece of feedback (chat transcripts are a goldmine), especially if negative.

You’ll want to address that in one way or another.

Then, make it a point to do something with it.

Whether it’s adjusting some of your messaging to incorporate direct wording from customers or brainstorming a different pricing structure if you see the same complaints about it over and over.

In the end our only weapons to defeat the course of knowledge are external feedback and our own recorded thought process.

I can help you get the feedback you need and put systems in place for you to track and organize it. Just get in touch.

Cheers,

Chris

brain dump?

Every day (yes!) I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

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