FIRST, LOVE WHAT YOU DO, SECOND, GET PAID DOING IT

by, Colleen Szot

This is an excerpt from Unlocking The Secrets of Successful Women (story collector, Joan Kennedy)

 

“I knew I would be a writer from an early age, and I sold my first article for a dollar at the age of nine. Throughout my adolescence and well into my twenties, I wrote articles for a host of well-known publications: Scholastic, Teen, Highlights, later Redbook, Esquire, Ladies Home Journal. I discovered if I researched and wrote an article with no timeframe attached to it, any newspaper would jump on it, rather than have a reporter do all the legwork. Plus by selling to newspapers around the country, I kept the copyright and the byline and could sell the same article several times over. I wrote stories about the first Christmas tree, the tradition on Christmas cards, the History of St. Patrick’s Day, why fireworks and the Fourth of July are so closely related and many, many more.

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I went on to write thirty to forty TV scripts for The Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family, One Day at a Time, and Rhoda. But of those thirty plus TV scripts, I only sold seven or eight. If Redbook rejected an article I had submitted, dozens of other publications would accept my story. But with TV, you simply can’t take a script for All in the Family and re-write it for MASH.

I discovered advertising –or, rather, it discovered me. I was freelancing at a radio station when they asked me to do a public Service Announcement for an anti-drug campaign, which, meant I wouldn’t get paid.I said sure. I did, and coined the phrase, “Don’t be a dope about dope,” which became, “Why do you think they call it dope?” It was parodied on Saturday Night Live, and LL Cool J wrote a song titled, “Why Do You Think They Call it Dope?” You never know where an opportunity can lead.

I went on to work for some top agencies in Chicago. I994, I decided to open my own freelance company. I returned to TV and decided to specialize in Direct Response, creating one-or two minute TV spots featuring an 800#. I was blessed to cut my teeth with the Iconic Nordic Track brand. I have written four George Foreman Grill Shows, countless more for Sleep Number bed, Oreck, AARP, Sharper Image, Tony Robbins, Sony Pictures and many, many more. I wrote the first-ever infomercial for Deepak Chopra, and other shows for Olivia Newton John, Joan Lunden, Kathy Lee Gifford, Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul), and a dozen more celebrities.

The lesson here is to never pass up an opportunity. If you’re an up-and comer, take on occasional spec work, ask for copies of the published or broadcast work, and always, always ask for written testimonials. I have dozens on my website, and even some on my client reel.

Think of writing as something to help you earn a living. Research what free-lance writers are charging on an hourly or per-project basis, and build your professional portfolio to showcase your (paid) talents.

Let’s say you love decorating or touring houses. Did you know you can get paid for writing up creative house descriptions for real estate companies? Are you a foodie or just someone who enjoys gourmet food? Get paid for writing restaurant menus or reviews – enjoy some of the best meals in your town. Are you spiritual? Many ministers and pastors pay for someone to write their sermons, or a column in the church newspaper. There’s also a growing market in writing blogs. Many CEOs, artists, speakers, and other people, simply don’t have the time to write their own blog, so they give a freelance writer a list of topics and pay to have them penned.

What are you passionate about? Find it, follow it and do it, and you’ll never regret it.

The key to success: Success to me was and is doing something I love to do and get paid.

For more information on Colleen, visit:
http://www.wonderfulwriter.com

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/liviacristinalc/3402221680/”>Lívia Cristina</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a&gt;

REINVENTING NEW CHAPTERS IN YOUR LIFE

If you missed the talk and book signing at the Marsh, here’s the first in a series of video clips from that wonderful night.

Our first clip features Nadia Giordana speaking on reinventing her own new chapters. Click on Nadia’s name to see more about her work.

Does Your Comfort Zone Keep Shifting?

Nadia Giordana is a featured success story in the book. We are thrilled to have her here as a featured guest blogger sharing her thoughts on comfort zone.

Does Your Comfort Zone Keep Shifting?
By Nadia Giordana – Author, Mentor, Motivator & Speaker
Visit Nadia’s website here.

Nadia GiordanaI don’t know about you, but my comfort zone keeps broadening and shifting. Those who know me personally, know that part of my success story revolves around having overcome a paralyzing fear of public speaking (and being on camera).

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that one of the reasons I set out to produce my own cable access TV show, was to keep myself speaking regularly without some of the inevitable surprises that come with appearing on a set over which I had no control. That doesn’t get me off the hook completely (I wouldn’t want it to).

Happily, I often do get asked to do things that take me outside of my comfort zone. One such occasion recently was co-hosting as a guest on SPNN’s “It’s A Woman’s World.” I enjoyed the entire experience, but was a bit nervous even though I had been in that studio two or three times before.

For most of us, it takes repetition to become comfortable. Once we are, then we must reach beyond what is comfortable and continue to stretch ourselves. This is how we grow. My list of fears used to be long. Lately, all I worry about is getting tongue-tied, or drawing a blank when it is my turn to speak. I can deal with it.

Think about this quote by Claire O’Connor:

“Do you have enough self-love to allow yourself to be a clumsy beginner?”

Share your thoughts  on the quote in the comments below.