Four years ago, I worked in a cubicle in a basement office in San Francisco’s financial district. The pay was decent. I worked in sales for a litigation support company. But putting on business-casual garb, schmoozing with paralegals and hitting the phones…sucked.
So I did something about it. I broke my lease. I sold my belongings. And I gallivanted around South America for 14 months. I surfed the Peruvian coast. Lived for a few days in a Hare Krishna community. Ate trout on Lake Titicaca. Explored the moon-like salt flats nestled between Bolivia and Chile. And finally found an apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina and a job with an American-based publishing company.
That’s where I learned for the first time how copywriting could completely transform my life. I got a bit lucky, I must say. Though I had no prior writing experience, the company gave me a chance to pursue copywriting full time (if you’re not sure what copywriting is, this link explains it all).
So why did I do it? I saw a future that would allow me to work-from-anywhere, travel anytime, and break free from the shackles of the cubicle—forever.
Last November, thanks to an opportunity paid for by my primary copywriting client, International Living, I flew down to Quito for the Live and Invest in Ecuador event. In between copywriting work, I luxuriated in a Turkish bath and swam laps in the heated pool at the five-star Swissotel I was put up in. I dined on white tuna sashimi, Uruguayan rib eye and flaky artichoke tarts.
Yes, there was work to be done. But when I think back on the trip, I don’t remember the time I spent writing promotional letters. Instead, I think about dancing salsa till the wee hours of the morning in Plaza Foch, the city’s prime nightlife district. About flirting with waitresses in Spanish. And about dining on tangy octopus, mussel and fish ceviche.
On the same trip, I traveled west to the beautiful horseshoe bay in Salinas on Ecuador’s arid, southern coast. I looked at some shockingly inexpensive condos just a stone’s throw from the beach. I wrote copy from my laptop. But more than anything else, I just enjoyed sunny days and cool nights, watching fisherman cast large nets—by hand—into the swelling tide and pull in a bounty of sardines.
At some point during my stay, I realized how much life had changed. Just four years ago, I depended entirely on someone else’s schedule. What time to wake up…what to wear…how to act. Now, I set my own schedule. I can wear whatever I want. And I travel whenever and wherever I want to with my laptop in tow.
Those really are the biggest benefits of becoming a copywriter. And I truly believe that anyone with even a basic understanding of how to write can produce winning sales copy and start living this travel-anywhere lifestyle. You won’t learn overnight. But if you have a dream of exploring the world, working for yourself and setting your own schedule, then copywriting is for you.
Editor’s Note: Copywriting is one of those jobs anyone can do—but not many know about. This explains how it works.