This last week, my family and I went on a three-day backpacking trip up into the Sawtooth Wilderness.
The Sawtooth is one of those places where Nature seems determined to outdo itself around every corner.
We spent our time three miles from the trailhead, camped by Alpine Lake with a mountain looming over us that I have yet to come up with a word for that does justice to its magnificence.
We talked. We sat quietly. We played cards. We explored. We looked at stars. We napped.
On the hike back down, we crossed paths with a man and a woman on their way up. Truth be told, they had barely gotten started. “We’re about halfway there, right?” one of them asked me, optimistically.
In keeping with my bad habit of blurting honest answers, I said, “No,” more abruptly than I meant to.
The woman’s face fell. They were new to hiking… and it’s hard work. My husband tempered my answer by giving them more details of what was to come, including some of the views they would enjoy along the way.
The man grinned and said, “Well… we’ll hike as far as we can go, and then we’ll head back down.”
That’s the right attitude to have about life. It’s optimistic. It’s experimental. It pushes your comfort zone. And you’ll always accomplish more if you’re willing to see how far you can get… rather than decide you can’t get all the way and stop before you start.
I have no idea if that couple reached Alpine Lake or not. I do know that no matter how much further they hiked, they got some ridiculously beautiful views for their efforts… they got farther along that trail than they had been before… they had new experiences… and they got to test their limits.
That’s a good day, if you ask me.
So, ask yourself… are you holding back from trying until you’re sure you can succeed? If you are, knock it off. Get started anyway. See how far you can go. You’ll probably surprise yourself.
Even if you fall short of your goal, you’ll be further along by trying to reach it than not. It sounds simple, but so many people make this mistake in their writing business.
You will always accomplish more by doing than by waiting until the timing is just perfect.
New on the Site
Project meetings can be invaluable. They help you stay on the same page with your team. You can ask questions. Bounce around ideas. Get inspiration. Of course, that’s when they go well. But so many project meetings get off track and end up wasting time. John Torre shares how to keep project meetings on point and effective.
Let’s say you found a project where you could build your authority in your niche… get your name in front of high-value potential clients… make new connections… meet interesting people… and get paid. Liz Farr has been using just this type of project to build her business and you can too.
Don’t forget to join in our latest Practice Assignment. Up this month, writing an effective case study. Case studies are fun. They involve a story element. And they can be very persuasive without sounding like they’re trying to be persuasive… if you know what I mean. Check out the details for this month’s Practice Assignment right here.
Mark Your Calendar
July 10th: Tomorrow, Search Engine Optimization pioneer Heather Lloyd-Martin is joining me for an interview. We’ll be talking about what’s new in SEO, along with what’s changing. If you want to stay on the cutting-edge of web-writing, you’ll definitely want to join us. This call starts at 3 p.m., Eastern Time. Learn more, right here.
Around the Web
If you’re struggling with your marketing, it might be that your message isn’t lining up with the problem the client is hoping to solve. Michael Katz explains here.
Ah, the feast or famine cycle… the bane of so many freelancers. Ed Gandia has four commonsense ideas to help you break out of that cycle.
If you’re new to freelancing, you’ve probably run into the “I need samples to get work, but I need work to get samples” problem. Fortunately, Nick Usborne has your solution right here.
From useful job boards to putting together a solid portfolio to tools that help you improve your skills, you’re sure to find something useful in this round-up of resources for freelancers.
That’s all for now. Make it a great week!