Archive for April, 2015

The following is from my friend Will Newman at AWAI and courtesy of The Golden Thread

The Golden Thread

The Myth of the “Road to Success”

I want to debunk a common myth.

I decided to write to you about this myth the other day when I got an email from Circle of Success member Cecil … an email much like others I’ve gotten from AWAI members.

“I’m really concerned, Will. I hope you can help me. I was really excited when I started out in The Accelerated Program. I still am. I want this new career to work, but I’ve run into a bunch of problems that have stopped me in my tracks. I don’t want to give up. I love what I’m learning. But I’m stuck. Please help!”

The power … and problem … of metaphors

When Cecil says he’s stopped in his tracks, that he’s stuck, he’s using a common metaphor about success. This metaphor envisions the journey to success as being along a road. We even talk about the “road to success.”

This metaphor is all wrong.

We use metaphors in our speech and writing because they help us understand complex situations in simpler terms. We use them because they work. That’s the power of metaphors.

When talking about success, it’s as if we start out in San Francisco on a drive to New York. Straight line. Few changes of direction.

Seems harmless enough.

But there’s a danger here. Metaphors not only give us a simpler view of reality; they also shape reality. Talking about success like a journey along a road leads people to feeling “stuck” like Cecil did.

A blown out tire. A burned out fuel pump. Worn piston rings. These problems stop you in your tracks. They halt forward progress.

Yes, you can get them repaired and start moving forward again, but …

All too often that feeling of being stuck in our quest for success keeps us from starting up again.

A new metaphor for your journey to success …

I wrote Cecil back and told him I no longer think of success this way. I use a different metaphor for this journey.

If you’re traveling from San Francisco to New York by plane, that airplane doesn’t stay on course. Cross winds, updrafts, down drafts, and other unforeseen events push the plane off course.

But the plane keeps moving forward and makes it where it’s going. Why?

The pilot and navigator constantly make mid-course corrections.

So, as simplistic as it sounds, I told Cecil that he is not stuck. He needs to make—and continue to make—mid-course corrections. And, so do you as you travel toward your inevitable, undeniable goal of copywriting success.

Putting meaning into metaphor …

The airplane metaphor works. But only if you take these two steps to keep yourself making those mid-course corrections.

First, find yourself a good “navigator”

You need someone who’ll guide you in your mid-course corrections. AWAI’s forums are the best place to find that navigator. Many of your peers have gone through the same problems you might be having. Or, that crop up later along the way.

Or, you could choose a particularly close friend who wants you to succeed as much as you do.

Regardless of whom you choose for your navigator, find someone who can give you support and guidance all along the way to help you make the mid-course corrections.

Second, keep moving forward … no matter how small the movement

I’ve heard from AWAI members who have faced serious illnesses (their own and family members’), job loss, increased work at their jobs, hurricanes, and any number of daunting events.

One member stands out, though. She faced a number of personal disasters I won’t go into here. She wrote me and apologized for being behind on her Circle of Success program work.

But, she also told me that, while these problems had slowed her down, she wasn’t giving up. She’d put aside 15 minutes a day to study The Accelerated Program and do her COS work.

She wanted to do more. She’d planned to do more. But she was doing as much as she could.

She kept moving forward, slower than she’d hoped at first. But she didn’t stop. She kept her momentum going.

So, this is what I told Cecil. And, this is what I tell you. Don’t allow yourself to be stuck. If “life gets in the way” (boy, how many times have I heard that?), take a mid-course correction around it. Do something—anything—that moves you forward.

Read a book that will help you be a better copywriter. Study an AWAI program, even for 15 minutes a day … or a week, if that’s all you can spare. Write as much as you can—letters, emails, notes to your coworkers—using the skills you’re developing here.

But keep moving forward!

Yours for a successful copywriting career,


Will Newman

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit

American Writers and Artists, Inc.

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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Lead By Example

Lead By Example

Lead By Example

Lead By Example

The first leadership principle I ever learned was to lead by example. Although it sounds simple, it never ceases to amaze me how few so-called leaders actually lead by example.

Remember the old adage “Never ask your subordinates to do anything you wouldn’t do?” It’s one completely ignored by many in leadership positions today.

Here’s a question: When Mr. or Ms. Leader did you ask one of your people to work on a weekend but you yourself won’t work on weekends?

How about working on holidays or at certain times of the day? Do you take the initiative to work all schedules you ask your people to work?

Are you the type of leader who takes all the good deals but gives the bad deals to your subordinates? Read the rest of this entry

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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What’s the Best Leadership Style?

What’s the Best Leadership Style?

What's the Best Leadership Style?

What’s the Best Leadership Style?

It’s probably a pretty good assumption that as a business owner you’ll never have to give an employee a life or death order. Or make a life or death decision. Thankfully very few professions compel leaders to make decisions and give orders that could lead to a subordinate’s deaths.

A military leader and a business leader are not faced with the same extremes, yet they are faced with life and death matters. In the military decisions about life and death refer to human beings. In business, decisions about life and death refer to your business.

It would seem therefore, that leadership styles needed for the military would be different than those needed in business. I don’t agree with this assumption. Read the rest of this entry

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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Leader or Manager or Both

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Leader or Manager or Both

Leader or Manager or Both

Leader or Manager or Both

We had a saying when I was in the service, “What the Air Force needed was more leaders, and what the Army needed was more managers.” The joke was every officer and noncom in the Army considered themselves a leader, while every officer and noncom in the Air Force considered themselves a manager.

Is there a difference between a leader or manager? Absolutely, there’s a big difference between the two. Over the next couple weeks we’ll look at that difference and see how it impacts your business.

Leaders lead people and managers manage things. People versus things is the big difference between leading and managing. As a good friend of mine puts it, “No one ever managed themselves out of a crisis.” It takes leadership, leaders to get out of a crisis, not bean counters.

How to Know the Difference

As I mentioned we manage things. Work schedules, benefit packages, training programs are all part of management. All necessary to any business. However, plugging a name into a schedule or designing one size fits all benefit packages isn’t leading.

Leading is knowing your people, their needs, wants, desires. Leading is knowing what makes them tick and being the leader who inspires them to achieve more. Read the rest of this entry

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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