Put it in your rearview mirror

Jan 27, 2023

Hopefully I’ve helped you empty out your “mind trash” so far this week.

Clearing out the mental garbage that’s holding you back is crucial if you want to find your “happy place” in this crazy copywriting and direct marketing business… and in life.

Because once you get better at setting boundaries… banishing writer’s block (and imposter syndrome)… taking risks and learning from failure (like my mentor Brian Kurtz says, “You either get a winner or you get an education”)… and using feedback to improve your skill set and deliver better results…

The sky truly is the limit!

But the truth is, sometimes even yours truly can get herself rankled or even discouraged by an idiotic stray remark, a long-running control that eventually fizzles out and gets beat, or other such commonplace or inevitable events.

In fact, I remember 8 or 9 years ago working with a new client. And for whatever reason, they abruptly decided after I submitted the second full draft of copy to cancel the project.

Actually I have my suspicions why… but here’s how it went down: the first draft was mostly positively received, with minimal feedback or changes needed.

Then, suddenly, the second draft wasn’t right. Hmmm… just when the second half of the payment would be due, plus royalties if it became the control.

(I’ve only had this happen to me two other times in more than 22 years of writing copy, including dozens of promos. And all 3 times, I suspected they wanted to rework my copy in-house using my ideas, and avoid paying me royalties.)

In any case, I later shared my frustration about the situation with none other than the legendary top copywriter Parris Lampropolus. I had the good fortune to work with him on a slew of promos over the years for Soundview and Advanced Bionutritionals, since he copy chiefs everyone who writes for them.

I’ll never forget the excellent advice Parris gave me that day:

“Just put it in your rearview mirror.”

When something doesn’t go right with a client… someone says something that makes you hoppin’ mad… or you strike out yet again on landing that new job or project, it’s tempting to let that one bad thing bring you down.

Even worst, you may use it as “proof” that “I really DO suck” and “no one’s ever going to hire me again” and “they’re all going to figure out I don’t know what I’m doing” and all the other negative self-talk that’s rattling around your brain.

But DON’T let it.

Follow Parris’ advice, which I decided to do…

Well, AFTER my lawyer sent a scathing letter to the client’s legal department warning them not to use any of the copy they “cancelled” and if they did, that the royalty agreement would apply… and AFTER I had said lawyer update my client agreement to make it even more “bad client-proof”…

THEN I left it in my rearview mirror. (-;

I’m finding it’s a great skill to master… being able to selectively “forget” this kind of bad stuff. I suppose it’s part of building resilience: not constantly ruminating on things that don’t work out or the painful things that you’ve had to endure.

I’m not sure I’ve even thought about this, let alone written about it, in more than 8 or 9 years. Because I knew then, and I know now, that it DOES NOT DEFINE ME.

And those failures, bombs, mistakes, insults, or whatever else has you smarting… and that happen to ALL of us because we’re human…

They don’t define you, Kim, either.

Put it in your rearview mirror… hit the gas… and let’s head off to the next wonderful challenge or adventure life throws at us.

Because that’s what we do. And it’s all good.

Yours for smarter marketing,


P.S. Missed any of my “Mindset Week” issues from earlier this week? You can find them on my blog here.

P.P.S. If you’re interested in getting regular copy feedback, mindset coaching, and other advice from me on a one-on-one basis, I’ve got a new mentoring program in the works. You can get on the wait list here to be among the first to hear about it.