Heart, Hustle and How-to: Bolt from the Blue Copywriting
When Rachel and I first connected, I was really excited to share her story on Heart, Hustle and How-To! I feel like her story of success (and the path to it) is similar to mine. Not only did she have an international move in order to try and figure out what she wanted in life, but she also just sort of fell into the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
Rachel shares her struggles with us about having anxiety around her business and I think she makes an amazing point about businesses essentially being spam to everyone until they can carve out a service that customers need (and value!). Rachel has been beyond successful with Bolt from the Blue Copywriting and I can’t wait for you to read her story!
When and why did you start your business? Give us the backdrop to your story!
I never planned on being a copywriter. In fact, I fell backwards into the job when I graduated with an honors double major in journalism and Asian studies … right into the height of the recession. After sending out 200 resumes, the only job I was able to get was unpacking boxes on the 6AM shift at Old Navy.
I stuck it out for 6 months, then decided to move to Hong Kong and look for work there. While I was looking for work there , I took on some freelance writing jobs, “just as a stopgap”. It turned out that I really liked it and was really good at it, so I turned it into the business I run today.
Now 9 years later, it’s seen me live in four countries and visit over a dozen others. It’s seen me doing meta descriptions at 65 cents a piece to consulting for hundreds of dollars an hour. But for me, the best part has been seeing the difference it makes for the people I work with — that moment when their businesses finally come off of mute and their words really start working for them is like nothing else in the world.
How is running a successful business different than what you thought it would be?
I would never in a million years have thought of myself as a business owner before I started doing it, so everything about it is different than what I expected. If I had to pick just one thing though, I think it would be the type of mindset required to run a successful business without running yourself into the ground. I did the hustle thing for a long time — and I mean really did it, with 10 – 15 hour days and 340 work day years — and I was fairly successful that way.
But as soon as I wrapped my head around what I actually wanted running this business to look like day to day, I cut out so much of that hustle, and things took off like I would have never expected.
I would describe myself as:
Introverted, Thoughtful, Unique, Rebellious
What is the biggest thing you struggle with as an entrepreneur? Either past of present.
I went through a time when I was really struggling with anxiety in my business. Funny enough, it was when the business first started to do well. [bctt tweet=”From the outside, it looked like I was living the dream, working from a laptop on a Greek island.” via=”no”]
On the inside, I was a wreck. I finally figured out that it was because this was so far outside of the way I thought my life would go that I was really doubting myself. It took a few really rough months, but I came out the other side of it more in love with my work than ever.
Describe to me the most exciting minute of your entrepreneurial journey.
What an amazing question — to break things down to the minute! If I had to choose one minute out of this whole process, it would have to be the minute I first got paid for writing. It was a piece for a content mill that I only made about $3.00 on, but just the chance to actually get paid to do something that I love so much, and the world of potential that opened up in my mind to do this as a full time business, was incredible.
What was the tipping point for your business?
My business has been a continual series of tipping points. There was the one I just talked about, the first time I got paid. There was the first time I got paid over 10K for a project. There was the first time I had to fire a client. There was the moment I realized that: [bctt tweet=”Given the choice to do literally anything in the world, I would still choose this.” username=”madisonfichtl”] They just keep coming.
What do you consider to be your single greatest achievement (personal or business)?
I’ve done a lot of things as part of building and running this business … but I have to say that my greatest achievement happens over and over again. It’s this very clear moment when I’m working with a client, and we’re talking about something that really matters to them, and they look at me and say “Oh my God, yes! You actually get it.” Being able to get into people’s minds like that and then translate what they’re trying to say in the way that their audience needs to hear it? That’ s what it’s all about for me.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow as an entrepreneur?
People tell you all the time that how you grow as a person is how you grow as an entrepreneur, and it’s really true. So I combine things like listening to podcasts and reading books (about business, but also about the science of communication, writing, and anything else that catches my eye) with the things that keep me in the right state of mind and body to work, like drinking loads of water, moving around in a way that makes me feel good once a day, and having non-negotiable time away from my phone and computer.
Share some knowledge! What is one tip that everyone can use in your niche?
[bctt tweet=”You’re spam until you prove otherwise. ” username=”madisonfichtl”] It’s so, so easy to forget this, but access to other people’s brainspace is a privilege every single time. The more you can remember that and come at your communication with people from a foundation of mutual respect, the better your writing will be, the more people will be attracted to your work, and the better off your business will be.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? (Yes, you can only pick one.)
Reese’s Blizzards from Dairy Queen. Not technically a flavor; I think of it as more of a calling 🙂
Rachel Allen runs Bolt from the Blue Copywriting, which helps small and brave business owners (that’s you) shake up the world one industry at a time with devastatingly incisive copy and content that gets right to the heart of who you are and makes your readers’ synapses sparkle. Find more about Rachel here: Website, Facebook, Twitter
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