by John Wood

Sometimes we focus too much on learning all the great tips, strategies, and techniques for mastering a skill … while we ignore the “mechanism” that’s responsible for putting them into action.

Recently I was reading best-selling author and internationally known speaker Brian Tracy’s “How You Can Start, Build, Manage, Or Turn Around Any Business” program. He starts off his program by talking about the five essential personal qualities you need to be successful.

Not surprisingly, these qualities are the same qualities you need to achieve success in copywriting. Because if you don’t possess them, truth be told – all the know-how in the world won’t get you to where you want to be in life.

The good news is they’re not things that only a select few are born with. They can be acquired by anyone.

Here are Brian Tracy’s five must-have personal qualities to achieve success in business and in life (with a “copywriting twist” to each, added by me):

  1. Have an intense desire to be successful. How badly do you want to be a copywriter? Is it just something that if it happens, it happens … and you’re okay if it doesn’t? To be successful at something like copywriting, you have to want it badly. You have to be passionate. Your desire for success must be overwhelming. And just as importantly, the actions you take have to reflect your intense desire. So, what is your “copywriting career level of desire,” and what sacrifices are you willing to make to turn it into a reality?
  2. Have clearly defined goals. No secret here. As long as we survive on this planet, somebody will be telling somebody somewhere that they should write down their life goals. What are your copywriting career goals? Have you written them down? Have you added a timeline to them? Without firm goals and a schedule to meet them, chances are you’ll just plod along and never accomplish anything significant in life. So if you don’t have a goal-setting and achieving system in place, there’s no better time than right now to put one into action.
  3. Have an unwavering belief in yourself. Do you believe in yourself? Do you really think you can be a six-figure copywriter? Or do you think it’s too difficult? Perhaps you feel you’re not smart enough … or you just don’t have the time, etc., etc. If you don’t believe you can do something, you’re probably right. To be successful you must refuse to participate in negative thinking about yourself. Never doubt for a minute that you’ll become a successful copywriter. You must believe in yourself.
  4. Have patience. It takes time to be successful. There are no overnight successes in the world of copywriting. So, if you don’t feel you’re progressing as fast as you should, make the necessary adjustments. Success will come.
  5. Know when to delay instant gratification. You must be prepared to sacrifice today for rewards in the future. A perfect example of this is Olympic sensation, Michael Phelps. He swam every day from the age of 12 to 17. He swam on holidays, and on his birthday … he didn’t miss a day. I’m not saying you have to write a promo on Christmas morning … but to be a successful six-figure copywriter, you have to adopt the “Michael Phelps mindset.” You have to commit to do whatever it takes – and accept any sacrifices you have to make – so that tomorrow you’ll have a better, more enjoyable, and fulfilling life.

Work on developing these five personal characteristics, and you’ll be successful. Because in the end, it’s not what you do, but who you are that makes all the difference.

This article appears courtesy of American Writers & Artists Inc.’s (AWAI) The Golden Thread, a free newsletter that delivers original, no-nonsense advice on the best wealth careers, lifestyle careers, and work-at-home careers available. For a complimentary subscription, visit