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The “Shortcut” to Writing and Blogging Success

July 19, 2013

Today’s tip is about utilizing the knowledge and experience of those who have gone before you…and succeeded.

100 dollar billWhether you’re a writer looking to become better at the art of writing or you consider yourself a blogger and you’re more concerned with getting traffic and developing a platform, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. The “heavy lifting” for most things you need to know has already been done.

I see a ton of creative people ignore this advice. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard musicians say, “I don’t want to take lessons because I don’t want to sound like anybody else.”

And how many writers do you know who refuse to read other writers for similar reasons?

If you know people in this situation, I can almost guarantee you one thing — they’re amateurs.

Don’t try to figure everything out on your own. Learn by observing other people who are already successful, take what works for you, and leave the rest.

Pros know the more information you have to work with, the better your creation is going to be. Beyond getting ideas from watching others, doing so also gives you a sense of where you are on the talent spectrum and what you’ll need to do in order to compete.

Nobody ever releases an album of music or publishes a book thinking, “This is no good.” We all think we have something to offer the world.

But how can you be sure?

Watch people who are more successful than you are.

Where can you find these people? Here are three suggestions…

1. Conferences and Seminars – It’s not uncommon for seminars and conferences to cost $1000 or more, just to get in the door. Add the cost of travel, hotel, and time off to attend and attending could easily cost you several thousand dollars.

Money doesn’t always mean “success” in life, but the level of commitment it takes to pay $1000 or more just for a ticket can be a good filter to help you find successful people.

Don’t have any money for an event of this type? If you can stay away from the hype and keep your wallet in your pocket, “network marketing” events can be a good introduction to people working on a success mindset. They may not all be successful yet, but you’ll be sure to find people acting the part, which is a good lesson in itself.

As long as you don’t sign up to be part of the program being pitched, the only investment will be your time. At the very least, you’ll get some good ideas for sales presentations, because if there’s one thing a network marketing event has, it’s people who know how to sell.

2. Professional Organizations – As I mentioned in my post about crushing common writer comfort zones, I think Toastmasters International is a great organization to get better at the very needed skill of public speaking. It’s also a great organization to immediately connect you with successful people within a multitude of different industries. Other good options include local entrepreneur groups and business incubators.

3. Coworking Spaces – Coworking is not only about having a shared place to work; a big part of its appeal is the coworking community that comes with it.

Not everybody you meet will be a personality match or somebody whom you’ll want to model. In fact, most people you meet won’t be either. But by constantly putting yourself in situations successful people would be interested in, you’ll connect with the quality people you’re looking for.

And remember, while you can learn a lot from watching people who are more successful than you are, you can also learn a lot from watching people who aren’t as successful.

Action Step:

Do something right now to connect with other creative entrepreneurs today. Meetup.com can point you to something being organized in your area and, if not, is a great place for you to organize something yourself.

ABOUT THIS SERIES: Every Friday, I give tips on how to build the foundation needed to have a successful business and platformSee other posts in this series here and, if you have a request for me to cover something specific, let me know via Twitter.

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