Here’s the secret — there is no secret sauce

Photo by Chris Barbalis on Unsplash

“Did you poop yet today?”

My grandfather would ask that question without fail every time I complained about anything — headache, feeling tired, right ankle pain — it didn’t matter.

He was actually more insightful that he knew. Nutrition plans often include tracking bowel movements as an indicator of hydration and fiber intake — both which can solve a whole host of problems in the body.

I thought of my grandfather last week during the final leg of a 2-month swing of travel.

This trip was the dessert on an amazing travel buffet that took me from North Carolina to Las Vegas to LA to Vermont to New York to London and back again.

My final trip of the fall, Copy Chief Live in St. Petersburg, Florida was the trip I’d most looked forward to all year. It’s because I get together with my closest virtual friends and colleagues — the people I talk to every day but see only a few times per year.

It’s like a family reunion if only your cool fun cousins attended and no annoying judgemental great-aunts.

Some of my favorites on stage talking freelancing at Copy Chief Live

Before this travel swing started in August, I’d been really making an effort with my health. I’ve lost nearly 30 pounds in the prior 18 months, cut way back on alcohol, and paid a lot of attention to what and when I’m eating.

Well a combination of the Florida humidity, the travel, and the celebratory all-night festivities with my friends, I woke up last Tuesday feeling awful. A vein issue in my leg was flaring up for the first time in months, I had a headache, and I couldn’t focus on my work.

My morning bathroom trip revealed that I was dehydrated. I started to think back about the previous couple of days and how little water I’d drank. I spent the day dutifully refilling my water glass during the event and felt back to normal by the evening.

It’s amazing how many ailments are instantly cured by “drink more water.”

We’ve all heard the same advice our whole lives. Things like: 1) Get better sleep 2) Limit sugar intake 3) Move every day 4) Read more books 5) Listen to people without judgment 6) Show your partner that you love them

All this advice is deceptively simple and yet if we follow it every day, we’ll have a marked improvement in our lives. Instead we chase new fad diets, ignore people, or spend too much time in our phones. Simple improvements take work and practice.

We see this in freelancing, too.

Over this past summer, my friend Chris Orzechowski and I ran a one day workshop all about how to get more freelance clients.

Between Chris and I, we’ve found and closed hundreds of clients and make multiple 6-figures each year with our client work. (Yes, we also make money with courses, coaching, and programs… but for each of us, client work is still the majority of our income.)

Recently, we made the workshop recordings available and inside, we break down 17 different strategies for finding clients. Everything from applying to jobs to and entire live-event prep and follow up system. We also provide two 30-plus page workbooks in addition to nearly 6 hours of training and two bonus modules.

Neither Chris nor I are private people. We share too much and often tell stories that others would never think of telling. The workshop is no exception.

We got real at the Get More Clients Workshop

We get really personal about our wins, our failures, bad client stories and how we did things when we were desperate. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen out there on the topic. This isn’t a green-screen, scripted course. It’s two people getting insanely real about what it takes.

I’m insanely proud of what we built.

But then I got the message. “What’s the REAL secret. Like what do you and Chris actually do to get clients?”

This assumes a few things. One, it assumes that Chris or I are even capable of holding back the “real stuff”… like we had a secret meeting before the class where we decided which of the really effective strategies we were going to hold back.

It also assumes that those strategies even exist. Like there’s a secret formula hidden on a mountain top that is protected by a dragon and only the worthy have access.

Here’s the secret… there is no secret sauce. Not for finding clients and not for improving your craft, and not for nearly anything in life.

Finding and getting clients is no different. It takes simple actions, done well over time. In the program, we create a simple framework for building a custom client-acquistion plan for the next 90 days.

By building and following this plan, it’s nearly impossible to not get a client in the next quarter. But very few in the program actually complete this step of the program. It seems too basic in the same way, “how much water do you drink?” seems like a ridiculous question when you aren’t feeling well, have chronic headaches, or try to lose weight.

But anyone that has replaced other beverages with water and consciously tried to increase their intake will tell you that an insane about of physical discomfort and pain is cured by simply sleeping more and drinking water.

A friend of mine is a personal trainer and always gets the question, “what supplements should I be taking.” His answer is nearly always the same, “water and vegetables.”

Supplements are meant to supplement an already optimized diet, not fix problems with a bad one.

Before looking for the new, complicated, high-tech system… maybe try the simple stuff first.

Form relationships with ideal clients. Publish content. Attend live events.

Once you do that, I’ll talk to you about your paid traffic client funnel. And your supplements.

First, did you poop today?

Been a direct response copywriter since 7th grade when I wrote a 30-page sales letter asking my crush to the dance. freelancecoop.org