Sean McCoolQ: What’s your current occupation?

A: Copywriter

Q: What’s your former occupation?

A: Most recently, I owned my own handyman business. But I have sold insurance, annuities, home improvement products, and even knives. I have delivered pizza, newspapers, and flyers. I have worked 3rd shift in a factory, waited tables, worked at a tradeshow display company, and have been a corporate slave, just to name a few.

“Sometimes you just have to recognize an opportunity when it comes.”

Q: Best piece of advice for new Barefoot Writers?

A: Nothing happens until you’re willing to truly commit to being a copywriter. One of my copy chiefs told me, “You can make a lot of money in this business just being good. Be great, and you’ll be rich.”

And be open to opportunities to write and learn even if it’s not the path you had planned. In 2008, when I met Mike Palmer, copy chief of financial newsletter publisher Stansberry Research, I had no plan to be a financial copywriter. And certainly had no intention of being a staff writer. But when I heard Mike say he needed two people to come work with his team in Baltimore, I threw my hat in the ring.

Ninety days later, I had moved my family and became his new staff writer. Now, the important thing to understand is not that everyone has to be a staff writer; it’s that you have to be open to accelerated avenues of success. I knew the quantum leap being a member of that team would create for me. I knew it would actually save me time on my career path even if it required me being on staff for several years.

For others, it might be taking on freelance work outside of your initial scope of work. It might be introducing yourself to someone at a party you were not expecting to meet. It could be a million things. And very few of them will be planned or orchestrated through a goal sheet.

Sometimes, you just have to recognize an opportunity when it comes. Then evaluate – honestly – how it could help you get what you want sooner or easier.