Classroom to Copy #5: More Done Than Perfect — The Value of Community and Mentorship in Copywriting

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Meet Chris Pearson and Ben Henken.

They very kindly allowed me to interrogate them for a SUPER special episode of my podcast (which I finally named), Classroom to Copy.

Check out Episode 5, “More Done Than Perfect — The Value of Community and Mentorship in Copywriting”!

(So, although Chris didn’t transition from teaching, he’s got a really cool story that I believe anyone can learn from.)

We talked about:

– How Chris went from quitting his job without a plan, with only two months of savings… to clearing $20K in total gross revenue last month and working on a huge deal with an agency to build their email department…

– How Ben went from being a Math teacher and assistant principal… to becoming an email list manager for DTC eCommerce brands, information clients, and ed-tech clients within a year!

– Why you shouldn’t overlook (1) your use of time, (2) your budget, and (3) your short-term sacrifices to successfully make the transition into full-time copywriting

– How Chris and Ben took vastly different approaches to generating leads and clients for their freelancing businesses

– Chris’s surprising “trick” for making great sales calls, and Ben’s interesting perspective on Upwork as a “front-end offer” for his funnel

– The ONE thing all 3 of us have in common that accelerated our progress and transition (we all wish we’d discovered it sooner)


Tania Yeo 0:02
Hi everyone. So today I’m doing something a bit special. And Chris is just turning on his record. Okay, so, like I said I was going to interview two of my friends from coffee chief. So we have Chris Pearson and Ben Hanken. Do I pronounced that right? All right, and we’re gonna find out more about how they transitioned into copywriting because everyone takes a completely different path into this profession and it’s always such a cool story to hear about, and I’m excited to hear about their stories. Chris, why don’t you introduce yourself first, like what do you currently do?

Chris Pearson 0:43
Yeah, so my name is Chris Pearson. And right now I’m in partnership at an agency. We essentially helped you to see calm brands make more sales. With email and marketing.

Unknown Speaker 0:54
Well, but you Ben,

Ben Henken 0:56
I’m similar path to Chris. My name is Ben Hank and former teacher similar to Tanya. I currently work as an email list manager for DTC comm clients as well as clients in the information space and ad tech space.

Tania Yeo 1:12
Cool. So whoever wants to go first. How did you find out about copywriting and, you know, what was that journey? Like?

Ben Henken 1:27
So spent 12 years as an educator was math teacher zero background in marketing, really zero idea of what digital marketing was and what it entailed and what the opportunities were, until about two years ago, after the pandemic happened, and had an opportunity during a lockdown to spend additional time with both of my kids. My son was born in April 2020 A month after the lockdown happened. So after spending five or six months with them, started looking for other opportunities, what else I could do to kind of create some more freedom and flexibility in my work schedule. As I was looking, looking around, doing research, I was served up with a few YouTube ads different money making opportunity, and that was really my first entrance to the world of digital marketing. Spent a few more months just kind of researching looking at different opportunities. And then I found some other YouTube videos on copywriting and that kind of been the grabbed my attention. It’s what really pulled me into into this space.

Unknown Speaker 2:33
Are you Chris?

Chris Pearson 2:35
Copywriting was it was kind of a desperation but for me because I had been in marketing since 2014. And for about three years, I was working in an agency and I wanted out so essentially what I did and I started looking around and like different ways to do marketing and sales. I was primarily focused on branded marketing, and I wanted more of a direct response. style as I later found out what that was, because I wanted to know if somebody clicked on something about something that I get attributed back to what I was doing the efforts I was making. So I up and left a director role, with no plan and just the urge to go do something other than work for a corporation. And, yeah, I had baby, maybe two months of savings and I just figured it out. I didn’t learn how to fly after I jumped. So it was super scary, super nervous. And up until that point I’d spent about six months studying copywriting and just figuring out okay, what is this direct response stuff? And that’s essentially an unfounded

Tania Yeo 3:37
Okay, clarify like the chronology of events. So you’re saying like, you had two months of savings, was that part of the six months where you’re studying copywriting or before after Yeah,

Chris Pearson 3:52
so the the two months was essentially just what I had in my bank account. So I had roughly two months of savings in my bank account, and I still died just with that I was comfortable with leaving the job and trying to figure it out. So looking back in hindsight, that was a really, really, really dumb, risky thing to do. With the role that I had the money I was making, I probably should have saved up more but I was at a point where I had to do something because I was not happy where I was at all.

Ben Henken 4:17
So you spent about six months learning copywriting while you were still working. Yeah,

Chris Pearson 4:20
I discovered copyright because I started looking around there was about six months and I was okay, this this seems like something I could do. It’s adjacent to what I was already doing. But yeah, the transition period it’s after I made the leap. It’s been about two years to get my feet under me. So it’s, I probably should have waited, but I didn’t.

Ben Henken 4:37
Yeah, I had about the same same kind of run up. I spent about almost a year my last year in education, getting to know what copywriting was and what digital marketing was, was really January of 2022 was when I really really started learning focus on email marketing at that point. And was doing for from January till June of that year was really working three jobs between schoolwork doing about 12 to 15 hours a week running copyrighting and then rest the time with with family. And then in June of 2022 was when I took my leap and just ended this full full time. i We had about six months of savings at that point. Put away still risky, but with having the two kids at home and family that was yet at an even more kind of importance to actually figure out how to make this work but being being a math guy and a numbers guy I’d run all the scenarios at that point. I knew okay if I made X amount of money, I can make it till this date if I made $0 I can make it till this date and so that was that was definitely a week gone to Okay, finish out the school year and then I’m going to do this figured out because when I when I made that leap some of you I had I had one Upwork client that I was working with at the time paying $25 Now I read a couple emails every once in a while so it was just it was just it was faith and a wing and a prayer.

Tania Yeo 6:09
I think that’s something that I haven’t really heard. copywriters talk about and they’re new and there’s so many courses, teaching you how to start how to become one but then we didn’t talk about the financial aspect of it. Right. What were you looking back? Would you do things any differently as questions for Chris?

Chris Pearson 6:30
Yeah. Honestly, probably not. Primarily because if I didn’t have that push to go and figure it out, I probably wouldn’t have done it. Because just as much as I was in pain in that job that I was in and just not liking it. That pain is what drove me to change something. I’m a I’m a quickstart I’d like to go and do things and figure it out as I go. I just naturally move that way. But yeah, if I didn’t have that pain, I probably would have gotten complacent. And I know that a lot of people around me who didn’t leave who are still at that company. They’re sitting there saying I wish I would have done something because it’s it’s getting pretty bad from what I’ve heard, but the from a finance standpoint. It’s I had to face a really, really scary truth of I have to talk to people. I have to talk to people, I have to ask them to trust me. I have to ask them to trust that I can figure out how to make them more money by giving me money. So that was like the main thing that I had to figure out as soon as I left that job is how do I start those conversations? How do I turn them into money? How do I help these people? So finance I would have changed it. But I realized now like again, how risky and just how kind of crazy it was to do that.

Tania Yeo 7:43
So I definitely want to circle back to the whole you know, stepping out of our comfort zone and turn those conversations in the money for Ben like what would you say to you know, other copywriters who because you also you’re working and studying copywriting at same time, what would you say to them that could help? I know that it’s not equal for everyone in terms of like finances, and, you know, some of us we have, you know, more privilege to quit the job sooner than others. But why would you say to someone who’s kind of treading water and still in like still in their full time jobs and studying copywriting? What do you what would you say to them to, I guess, encourage them and what are some like practical things they could do to expedite the process. That’s such a long window. Oh my god. What advice do you have for people who are transitioning, it’s all

Ben Henken 8:47
said as far as encouragement goes, I think you could look in so many different areas in so many different arenas and you can find examples of people that have made this switch made the transition and everybody’s story is different. My situation my experience, the background, and life circumstances are different than yours time to differently. Pinterest is different than other people that we know that have made a similar transition. So just because your situation and circumstances are unique doesn’t mean you can’t do the same thing. So first and foremost, it’s possible to do. Secondly, as far as kind of practical things go. The first thing you have to do is look at your budget, right? If making that switch is something that’s important to you. You’ve got to get in touch with your budget how much you’re making and how much you’re spending and where you can cut back. The having having a safety net and it’s going to be dependent, whether you two months or three months or six months or what that’s going to be figure out what is it that how much do you need to save to make that how long is it going to take you and if it’s if you can always save a couple $100 a month and start there. But start looking for ways that you can cut back on lifestyle expenses every month, so that you can put money away so you can ultimately make the leap that you want to make what sacrifices can you make today that will allow you to make that change in two months, six months a year and maybe it takes longer. But in order to achieve something great. You’ve got to be able to make sacrifices in the short term. And that’s, for me the biggest sacrifice was not money because fortunately, not having planned for this week. My wife and I still had a six month emergency fund with two kids knowing that anything could happen. So that part was having all that was fortunate on our account the sacrifice that I had to make. Was that for six months. I was up at 430 every morning and I worked for an hour on my business before I left for work at 530 And then I’d spend from 530 to 30 I’d be home around 330 for something I didn’t have coverage. And it’s been another hour continuing to work on my business before then making dinner and spending a little bit of time with family so my sacrifice was for six months. I give a lot of family time with my kids knowing that when June had I’d be able to recoup a lot of that time and I have a lot more time freed back. So what sacrifices are you willing to make today for the next six months or the next year, whatever that’s going to take to put you in a position where you can make the change you want to make?

Tania Yeo 11:26
Wow, yeah. I I think that Ben’s perspective is super available because I cannot imagine like full time job. Parents have two kids, you know, so and I know a lot of copy chief members definitely have kids and they mentioned like juggling between the two. I mean for me my sacrifice was you know just moving to Tbilisi being far away from family because I mean, long story short, I just moved there because I needed an easy way to be with my boyfriend during the pandemic and Tbilisi was the easiest place to go to and it also helped me save a lot of money. So like, like Ben mentioned, right? Knowing your budget, cutting back on expenses, so living in a place like that helped me to save us a lot of money. I don’t think I could have done what you did like getting up at 430 in the morning. I am an absolute demon at that hour. And I don’t think I could have done what you did like the two month runway that you set for yourself like I know it’s like gave you that kind of pressure hanging over your head yeah, of course. I think for me and you kind of already have marketing wasn’t direct response, but you you were Yeah. I don’t know copy is the strange thing or like you have to get in the headspace to be able, for me at least to be able to really see what makes it tick and how to write it. And I needed like a long like I was I knew that I could get by the entire year if I just had my tutoring clients and it was just three students. I could still get by the entire year and still focus on coffee and I needed that. I was fortunate to have that like to be in a relaxed state of mind to study coffee. Yeah, I do want to

Chris Pearson 13:27
some other practical stuff I think too is take stock of your time. So like actually sit down and be honest with yourself of like how you’re spending in each day. Because something I found a little later on after getting kind of my feet under me is we waste a lot of time doing things that we probably don’t need to be doing. Also transit time if you have any kind of transit time that’s 30 minutes to an hour could be spent either if you’re riding a train or or bicycle or in a car or something. There’s there’s pockets of time that you have during the day that you could put something in. So listen to a podcast or listen to a lesson or I know of one of my buddies, that’s a copywriter, he actually will ride his bicycle around and speak and he’ll he’ll record audio and that’s how he writes. So we’ll be doing something physical so he put stuff in in that time. So I found taking stock of your time and saying cool, I’m willing to again sacrifice an hour here of you know, flipping through Instagram or doing this X, Y and Z and give it to this other thing. I’m building. I found that really helpful too. It’s just making sure you’re tracking what you’re doing.

Tania Yeo 14:29
Recording copy while biking. Yes. Wow. I feel like I’ve saved so much time on my comments. As a teacher. If I’d started back then I would just like talk my phone on the way to work. That’s really interesting. So I wanted to circle back to what you said just now. So how do you figure it out? How do I turn conversations into, you know, clients into

Chris Pearson 14:53
money, basically? Yeah, I mean, yeah, so initially, I am not akin to sales. I don’t like sales. I’ve never really enjoyed it. But after leaving agency, that’s kind of you kind of get forced into it because you have to be basically everything for everything in your business for your client, from reaching out to sales to marketing to everything fulfillment. So this the thing that I came down to, I read a couple dozen sales books. I tried to learn as much as I could, but the one thing that helped me is just having conversations with people identifying if and where they have problems and if my skill sets match solving a problem. That’s essentially what I boiled it down. To. And that took like, six, maybe seven months to figure out. I’ve tried I tried all the sales scripts, I’ve tried all the tactics, all those tricks to get people to close and stuff. And it’s like none of it works. But as soon as I just sat back started asking questions and listening and saying, Hey, what’s your problem? How can I help? Here’s my skill set. Do you think that would work? That shift of just trying to help people is what changed a lot for me and getting people to say, Hey, I trust you with my money for this project. Let’s try it.

Tania Yeo 15:58
Wow, that’s really cool. I definitely struggle with that. I feel I need a script to I’ve never closed a sales call. I just I go for job interviews, but then I on sales calls. It’s like the wild wild west. And, and I think that’s really cool to hear that shift. I think that’s super valuable to share.

Chris Pearson 16:20
Yeah, I think interviews and sales calls are really similar because if you if you look at it, that people are interviewing somebody, if you’re going for a position, they’re trying to find out if you can sell yourself and fit the role, right? So this is kind of a blanket phrase, but everything is sales. If you look at it a certain way is you’re you’re trying to persuade or convince people like I’m the right person for this or for the right person. They’re the right person for your role that you’re trying to hire for it. And yeah, just like what’s your problem? Can we identify? Can we define it? It’s a lot like copywriting. It’s like, what is the problem? What’s the pain points? You know, Can we walk through this? And then asking if they want help with it, because you can’t help them so

Tania Yeo 17:01
well, thank you. So much for sharing that, you know, if I’m ever cast back into I mean, that’s the one thing like I I get impostor syndrome sometimes because I’ve never I never really have freelancing. Career Experience that i feel like i i I want to know if I can make it in that and for now, I won’t know you know until you know maybe if I do more in this like helping teachers transition copywriting thing, but yeah, I’ve always wondered like what your secrets

Chris Pearson 17:35
the secret is keep it real simple.

Tania Yeo 17:38
And keep it real, right. That’s how you connected people.

Chris Pearson 17:41
Yeah, it’s It’s wild. How many times you get on a call you

Chris Pearson 17:45
you’re there to identify a problem and see if you can help them. And you’re talking about the person’s dog, or their kid comes home from school. And they’re like, Oh, they’re just going to school. Sorry. It’s like, No, it’s okay. What you know, what grade are they in? Whatever is connect with them. You have to build a rapport with them, though, that I believe that type of conversation actually gets more trust, and they actually trust you with a decision, as opposed to just saying, Okay, I’m gonna read my script. Yeah, I’m supposed to ask you this question. Even though you answered the two questions ago. I’m just gonna ask it again. Like that. That I’ve seen is just be human be real. And if you feel nervous, it’s okay. If you feel scared, it’s okay. They’re nervous too, because they’re talking to a stranger.

Tania Yeo 18:25
That gives me a lot to think about and because I’m correct me if I’m wrong, but your journey was different, like you were with Upwork. And I’m really interested to hear how you because you turn that into like working with an agency and then now you have like, a source of leads. And the thing that’s super cool, so

Ben Henken 18:45
yeah, so I I can’t say I’ve gotten a lot of work from Upwork. I’ve had a few contracts, or two that I’ve turned into bigger and better things. The first one being the ad agency that I’m partnered with right now. They were my the first client that they applied to and Upwork posts back in March of last year, $25 an hour to write a few emails. And it’s like Chris said they want to clients want to talk to somebody real who’s got a good personality, who they feel like they can work with. So after doing one project with them, ended up doing working throughout work for another month or two, doing a couple other projects, and then it turned into a partnership off of off the back of that. And that’s a partnership that’s now gone on for over a year now. I’ve got through that through that one opportunity. I’ve got six clients that I’m actively working on a different levels to that account. And then another one, the ad tech client that I’m working with that was also an Upwork Upwork client, same kind of thing that hired me to write a few emails for him. I really, really liked the work that I did really liked their conversations and was able to turn that into a second or third and then showed both that connection also the value that I provide and then turn that into a three month retainer contract. So it’s, it’s all about connections and that’s especially thinking about the Teach teacher turned a copywriter idea is that as a teacher, one of the best things you do is you build connections, right with your students, with your students, parents with other teachers, and that that doesn’t go away and being able to, to make the decisions we make as teachers instantaneously problem solving, and building those connections and finding common ground. All of those are incredible assets to have. Whether you’re a freelancer like I am or whether you are, do more full time work like you’ve done tiny but being able to make that connection whether it’s in an interview or a sales call. That will never go and that’s always going to be as an essential skill. And I one of the reasons I believe that teachers do have a leg up once you get past all of the other imposter syndrome that I know we both have fought and the idea that I was a teacher for 12 years. What business do I have running marketing campaign? But it all boils down people want to work with people that they’re not that they like? Yeah.

Tania Yeo 21:21
So with what would you say to someone who feels they’re they’re stuck on Upwork and they you know they want to move beyond the platform or like do what you did like any, would you how would you put in like in the series of actions I guess

Ben Henken 21:44
so Upwork is like a front end offer. Right? Most clients are good clients that are on Upwork. They’re posting on Upwork to try to because it’s an easy way to find somebody that knows what they’re doing, theoretically. So if you can find a way to cut through the noise and to really put a proposal out there that shows a you know what you’re doing b You can connect and see you’re the right person for the job. And then you can get in and you can do that job. But having that forward thinking to what else could this become so with ad agency, for example, they wanted me to come in and actually write their own email sequence, right. They had a they had a lead gen offer. And they wanted me to write four or five emails that from that Legion offer that would then book into sales calls for their for their own clients. But in conversations with the agency owner, realize that they’re serving all of these front end clients on Facebook and Google ads and they didn’t have anything running email back end happened that some of their clients were inquiring about email at that time who was able to make that connection and that turned that into a bigger greement between the two of us and a working partnership. And then similar with the Ed Tech client, after writing some emails and kind of building out and got trying to get a vision for what they wanted to do, was able to propose a couple additional district writing gigs we can be you. We’ve got this audience that we’re appealing to Iranian fields, let’s create rather than just a single email, we’re better off with five emails theory prints over the two week free trial that’s going to lead them through and keep them engaged and hopefully get them from the free trial into a purchase. And then from there was more talking about strategy and how do we continue to operate with the end in mind? So there’s going to be some clients on Upwork that it’s the one time yea, they need a couple emails written that’s all they want. But in many cases, people that are on Upwork they’re looking for somebody who’s competent, who can do the job and who can think bigger and who can take find something that needs doing and then continue to say okay, you got one thing that needs doing, you probably have other things that that that need doing or need improve that you can continue to build on. But having that vision and the foresight ticket and the confidence to go in and say, Hey, I think we could also do this or hey, let’s try this.

Tania Yeo 24:10
Yeah, yeah, I think you hit on like a really important point. There like being able to see the big picture beyond what was posted on Upwork. And offering that value to the client. I think that’s really important. I mean, I did Upwork for a month. But I think were different for me was like I did the thing where I was like, hey, well, but what if we did these other things too, and they weren’t ready? They’re like, No, this is just a one time thing. So

Ben Henken 24:49
I’ve done a few of those two, I’ve done a few one times on up work and then a whole lot of proposals in that park that I heard nothing back from so it’s you got to be willing to throw a lot out there. You’re not going to do I’ve before I had to edit to say I did there are two others a real estate thing. I wrote a handful of property descriptions for a guy on Facebook and then there was something else and a bunch of proposals that I put out there that I heard nothing back on. So you’ve got to be willing to do whether it’s you’re sending cold outreach, cold DMS cold emails, making calls, building your network doing Upwork whatever you’re doing, you there’s there’s gonna be a lot of work on that front end where you’re just you’re putting a lot out there, because the more that you put out there, the better chance you have of finding something. That needle in the haystack that one client who’s who is who fits you who who’s ready to do more who can turn into something that’s bigger and better. But you’re not if you if you do it once and find that that amazing cloud on the first try. You just got really really lucky Yeah,

Tania Yeo 25:49
we got put in the reps, got to put in the reps. For me in financial copywriting I bugged so many people and, you know, just sending it felt like I was sending emails out into the ether. And even if they do, respond, you know, it’s that long process of like, getting them on a call and then whether or not it’s a good fit

Ben Henken 26:13
with them with the editing said that Facebook or that Upwork proposal I think I submitted at the beginning of March. I initially heard back it was a quick question, responded back. It was then what they wanted to do a test assignment was two hours. I’ve charged them two hours for a test. Couple of test emails but the timeframe, but there was days and weeks in between like the sort of between what I initially submitted and when we finally said okay, let’s do this. It was at least five weeks. So that follow up to that being staying on top of it and continuing to work through it and to to muddy through those waters now. We’re gonna keep working on it. So there’s, there’s a lot you do in the in between that just keep those they put in the reps, continuing to follow up and continuing to to make those connections.

Tania Yeo 27:14
So I am curious about how you think coffee chief had like how, how much of a boost. Do you feel it’s given, like both your careers and the community and the resources that we have there?

Chris Pearson 27:35
I think what it told me here that trash because like like Ben says the Muddy Waters and getting through those just seeing that other people were struggling with me and also to you’re succeeding around me that was super helpful to see there is there is light at the end of the tunnel there is a there’s an outcome that I like on the other side of this so I can keep working toward that. The the other piece too is I I can’t remember who shared this with me if I if I do a whole telling you telling you but I don’t I don’t remember who told this but it’s always helpful to have an ideal situation you’re working toward. So in copy chief, there are people around me or ahead of me in the game that I’m playing, that I can look and see the ideal situation they’re in. They’ve created the outcome that I want already. Maybe there’s a minor tweaks here and there based on my lifestyle choices and things but like 80% of it, that’s what I want. So I can see that. Once I see that ideal outcome that motivated me a lot to keep working toward it even through the tough times even through last fall when I was down to basically 2k a month and I had one client less than I thought I was gonna have to go back and get a job. And I was like you read that post. Do you remember that? Yeah, I was like, I am terrified. I might have to go get a job because I felt like I couldn’t do it. And literally like two weeks after that a client hit me up and then another one did another one and just like okay, cool. This is great. Thank you. But yeah, the ideal situation having somebody you know a week, a year, a couple years ahead of you doing what you want to do. That’s what copy chief has given me, because like Chris was a kowski Russell Lachlan, people like that, who came before us and copy chief there. I’m chasing them basically because they have something that I want and it’s just it’s easy to see because I’ve already done it. So yeah, that’s that’s what I’ve gotten those two things. Awesome.

Tania Yeo 29:25
I’m curious, like, how did those you said that you had like a moment of despair and then the clients showing up? How did they find you? Is it from your

Chris Pearson 29:34
it was from authority content? It was from stuff that I’d done six months prior. Kind of like Ben said, There’s time between you asking for something and you getting something? Something that I did a little different. I didn’t I never did Upwork but I had a network that I tapped into. And it was family, friends, people I’ve worked with, I just called around and said hey, this is what I’m doing now, do you and I didn’t ask them for anything. I said, Do you know anybody that could use my help? And what that did is it put little postcards and messages out into the world saying Hey, Chris is doing this thing. If you know anybody let them know. So stuff like that. A coach one time told me if you don’t have work, your job is to get work. So if you’re not working right now, you spent eight 910 hours a day, whatever the time is to get the work. So there’s like three parts to it is work to get the work to fulfill the work like it’s it’s a whole process. But yeah, it’s all the stuff that I’ve been doing prior authority content and talking to people, essentially asking people Hey, can I help you? Do you have this problem and how to solve it. So it takes effort. It is like pushing a boulder up a hill. But once you get it over on the other side and get some momentum, that’s when things get really fun because then you can call somebody and say, Hey, I have this thing going on. I have momentum to join and it just amplifies it. So

Tania Yeo 30:49
before we go back to talk quickly, because you went from you know that stage to like this year you’re doing amazing. Yeah. Can you share with everyone like what like, what that looks like? Yeah. And then what you’re accomplishing these days?

Chris Pearson 31:05
Yeah. So roughly Well, it was at October, November. About eight months ago. Yeah. Nine months ago. I was in a place where basically was thinking I was looking at job listings like I was going to go get a job again. And from there to Now essentially what happened is I invested in myself. So instead of backing off and saying, Okay, I’m gonna go get a job. I’m going to I’m going to change direction here. I stayed on the path I was on. And I let my fiance Lea know that hey, I might not have income in the next couple of months, but I’m not changing paths. Just to let you know you like it might get tough for a little bit. And so just having making making the decision and having the intention of like, I’m going to figure this out. It put me in a space where it’s like, there’s no other option like I’m going to I’m going to do this and it’s it’s amazing. I see other people do that I did it myself. And when you make a decision and you have the full intent to figure it out. Yeah, it might suck for a little while. And you might go through some tough things, but eventually you will figure it out. Humans are amazing, amazing creatures like so at the time I absolutely terrified. Absolute terrified. I was I didn’t want to have to call my parents and say it costs money. I didn’t want to have to call some friends. Hey, can I sit with your couch? That stuff was running to the back of my head like this is going to go terrible. But yeah, after getting to the head trash. I was an accelerator with Kevin Rogers. And I think both of you right? Yeah. So both of you an accelerator. put my head down, started doing the work. I was about nine months or eight months out of Chris horsies, opa system or OPA program. And I just went all in on figuring out how to become an email list manager. Because also at the time I had a few other things going and my intention was just split everywhere. And so I say cool, get rid of all that. Stuff, do this one thing, put my head down work and figure it out. And now this last month is the first one that actually cleared 20,000 revenue, total gross and then I’m also working on an agency deal to build their email department. And that’s potentially it is going to be a multiple six figure deal annually. So within the span of 910 months, things can be so different just by staying on the path of trying to figure it out.

Tania Yeo 33:24
Yeah, and think that’s very important for everyone who’s listening in and you feeling stuck because if I heard Chris’s stories or like Ben’s stories, you know, we’ve helped so much so that it’s really amazing and thank you so much for sharing that as well. But you been about coffee chief and like its role in your life.

Ben Henken 33:45
I’m gonna second a lot of what Chris has said I mean, for me, having people in, in my network that I’m around that have done what I want to do, or where I want to be mean, Chris, for me as a prime example. Chris has almost a year out as far as being through VA as far as doing the email game, so I looked at what Chris has done. Now that that’s that’s where I want to be in a year, right? That’s where I want to be by the end of this year, beginning of next year, which is huge. Having people like that that are in your circle, that you say okay, I know I can do that the idea of making 20k or more in a month when I was in education. What do you think you’re talking about right? That’s ridiculous. Yeah. So there’s those big things mean? We’re talking like at the Knoxville talking about a guy that can read bang men who are making millions of dollars through financial copywriting and promos that he had written and having your mind expanded about what you can do what’s possible. That’s been one of the biggest things I mean, all the trainings that are there. I look back at all the other money that I spent through trainings and through all the learning because like i All I needed was in copy chief all you need as a copy chief, yearly subscription, you can get all of the foundational, copywriting trainings, resource, all you need is there. So I mean, the biggest thing for me was joining the accelerator program because I’m somebody that like many other introverts, I’m happy to sit on the sidelines and be the lurker on all the forums, read everybody else’s posts. So getting into accelerator investing myself that way and being pushed to do more and and put out more authority content, talking about what I’m doing more, trying to be more active in those types of in those forums has been huge. So just being around other people that are doing what you want to do that are that are where you want to be, whether it’s a year out or 10 years out, has been hugely powerful.

Tania Yeo 35:50
Oh, yeah, I can’t add to anything on there because that that journey in coffee chief that they’ve just described is mine too. And I was looking to people like Joshua Lee Henry and Carolyn and Dania and financial, you know, and, like my favorite thing to do is just like go to their profile and read their old posts because their entire journey is already there. And like, just find the person who’s kind of closest to you in terms of where you want to be and then try to, like you said, model it, tweak it based on, you know, where you want to be. there anything else you would like to share with anyone listening? What do you wish you had known when you were starting? If you could go back in time and tell yourself something

Ben Henken 36:47
to sign up for coffee chief sooner. I don’t know that I would have done or change anything different than like the story that I told earlier. But my path from what I said, Okay, I want to do something different. And all of the dominoes that fell and the people that I listened to in the email, email list that I was that was on the podcast that I listened to. And just the way that all that came into my life and led me from all I know is education, to there’s this other world out there. online digital marketing, to okay copywriting is part of that too. Okay, email, copywriting and email marketing is part of that. And finding my way through that and having the time and the space to process. Okay. Copywriting looks fascinating. Do I want to do ads do I want to do VSL I don’t want to try to figure out what a long form sales pages do. Oh, email, or email I can do there’s data and email and smaller form. I can learn that too. Learning from guys like Ian Stanley and Rob Allen and Justin golf and those those kind of guys that are much further in the game than we are but from there and then Chris Georgia kowski and getting into copy chief and getting to know the members there and then getting to know Lulu, Lolita and Rachel and Kevin and everybody else as part of the accelerator. Just I don’t I don’t know that I would have changed anything. There’s part of this as well. I wish I had done this 10 years earlier, but then again, I wouldn’t have my experience in education. The spark that led me to do this was my son being born during the pandemic during lockdown so there’s that how would it change? No, I don’t know that I would have changed.

Chris Pearson 38:31
I don’t know if I would have changed anything either the decision of course not because where I’m at now, I didn’t imagine when I said I’m leaving. This job. I’m starting to stay cold freelancing and building a business and stuff but the one thing I would have told myself that if I could is don’t get it right, get it done. So something I try to I try to be as accurate as I possibly can. And that gets in the way it slows me down a lot. So that’s something I’m working on. I would I would try and I would try and tell myself and I still to this day say hey, it doesn’t have to be accuracy to be done. There’s a lot of stuff in business that doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to it just needs to fulfill a need and fulfill if it fulfills the need. It’s good enough move to the next day. I honestly believe that if I could have told myself that earlier I would have been I would be a little bit further along than I am now. But that’s not to say that the path I took was wrong. It like I said everything prior to me making a decision to make the leap to go do this. The years of marketing constructional things and school and all that stuff. It’s it’s amazing to look back and connect those dots and say while I was actually building up to this decision, I just didn’t see it yet. Yes. Right. All those dots connect backwards and it’s like, like, you can start seeing the pieces come together as you look through your history. So yeah, don’t you just have to be right, it should just be done. And the sooner you fail, the sooner you’ll learn what to do next.

Tania Yeo 39:47
Yeah, I feel like we need to make an Instagram graphic of you and your beard and that quote, doesn’t have to be right. It just has to be done.

Chris Pearson 39:56
I feel like a lot of people think I think I feel like a lot of people get stuck on it. There’s a right answer, right? It’s not a multiple choice quiz or test. It’s a choose your own adventure and that realization for me the right thing that’s what switch for me was like it’s choose your own adventure. Make it what you want. I’ve been having so much fun

Tania Yeo 40:14
since I realized that. Yeah, and I think that’s why it’s so important for me to like, be able to talk to you guys and share our vastly different journeys. Because I knew I’m gonna get very tired of talking to myself on this show very soon. And like the path you’re on is the path you’re on right now. None of our paths are ever going to be identical. And it’s just great to hear that variety. So I hope that was a pithy way to like something’s up because I am not Kevin Rogers and I don’t know how to podcast. Thank you so much for like spending the afternoon, you know, letting me bug you with questions and have a great rest of your week in St. Pete.

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