AWAI Bootcamp 2014 — Final Day

The mood in the grand ballroom was mixed today as last night’s Luau and party-till-you-can’t-party-anymore session left more than a few a bit…oh shall we say…tired? The party may have lasted until dawn leaving a lot of folks tired but the excitement was still high for the final day. At the same time, there were also feelings of relief…hey it is a bootcamp and we do have other lives; disappointment…we met a lot of great folks, learned a lot, and felt the excitement of Project Freedom. Could this really be the end?

AWAI saved some of the best for last on Saturday. The lineup today included a touching message from Sean McCool, a kick-butt Circle of Success session with Will Newman, Jen Stevens, and John Forde…oh and a simultaneous session with Joshua Boswell (wink to all the attendees about that) and the topping on the cake for learning sessions…copywriting legend Clayton Makepeace!


AWAI Bootcamp’s Over-Now Get to Work!

Clayton’s concluded his superb talk on How to Beat Any Control by the announcing this year’s winners of Clayton’s Spec Challenge. Yes, I said winners! Two new CUB copywriters will be working with Clayton this year and even though they each won over $12,000 you can’t put a price on the ability to work with Clayton and his kick-butt team.

AWAI gave a free lunch…yes, there really is such a thing…and concluded the day with those hard-working folks who’d submitted specs to AWAI and won $1000 each. A tip of the hat and congratulations to all of the winners this year who’ve earned the opportunity to work closer with Katie and Rebecca and all the staff at AWAI.

Rebecca Matter had the pleasure of introducing AWAI’s Copywriter of the Year for 2014, Nick Usborne. She did a great job although she has a challenge with public speaking and was a bit choked up since Nick’s been a mentor to her. Congratulations Nick, it’s well deserved and we’re all very happy for you.

The final award today was the annual AWAI $10,000 challenge. Steve Coombs of New Hampshire was the much-deserved winner this year. Not only had he submitted specs to AWAI, he’d worked with Katie and Rebecca to help improve courses and copy throughout the year. We’re proud of you Steve and your story is extremely inspiring to all aspiring copywriters.

With that, the conference was over. Some of us had flights leaving that day. Others will stay a bit longer and take advantage of the sun and surf in the Delray Beach area.

A Few Thoughts on AWAI Bootcamp 2014

I met a lot of folks here at the bootcamp and was a bit surprised at the number of “newbies”. I made it a point to talk to as many of them as I could in order to get a feel for the type of person who signs up for AWAI courses.

My journey with AWAI began over 10 years ago when I signed up for the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting. I completed the first half of the course before “life got in the way” and I had to put the course on the shelf. I found out at this bootcamp that I wasn’t the only one this had happened to…it’s nice to be in a group.

I also learned that, like me, a lot of the newbies here had the same overriding question, “Is this for real? Can I really make six figures as a copywriter?” Well, I think most of came away with the same answers, YES, it’s for real, and YES, you can make six figures but like any craft or profession it takes study, practice, dedication, and action.

And those my friends are the questions that will be answered only by each attendee. Will they study their craft, will they practice craft, and will they dedicate themselves to their craft, and finally will they get out there and do it? We’ll see how they did next year at the AWAI Bootcamp in 2015.

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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