Community is key. When I started my coaching business, I was not proactive about interacting with my community, and my social media stats reflected that. Now I spend more time interacting with my community. It’s a win-win because it helps to engage and grow my follower base, and it also makes me feel better to interact with others!
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Colleen Welsch, a beauty copywriter and a freelance writing coach. She helps new and established freelance writers to launch and grow their businesses. She recently released an online course called The Freelance Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, a small Rust Belt city in northeastern Ohio. From a young age, I was obsessed with writing. I loved Harriet the Spy, so I started keeping a diary and spying on my neighbors. Twenty-three years later, and I’m still keeping a diary (though I’ve stopped spying on my neighbors!).
I always say that I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up because my grown-up job didn’t exist when I was a child! I always loved writing, so when blogs became popular in the mid-2000s I was totally on-board. Later, I was able to leverage that blogging experience to write blogs for companies in the beauty industry. And thus my copywriting career was born!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I’m really into stoicism, so one of my favorite quotes is by Marcus Aurelius: “The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.” I think a lot of people accept a “normal” life by default. If you’re satisfied with a normal life, that’s great. People think that they’re “safe” by following the default path, but the default path is no safer than any other path. So why not go after the things you really want? Following the path of your choice begins with your thoughts, since you create your reality.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich introduced me to the Law of Attraction and how it relates to the world of business. It’s helped me to develop an abundance mindset, which has allowed me to be brave and take big risks in my business.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
Before the beginning of the pandemic, I was working as a freelance copywriter in the beauty industry. I originally went freelance in 2016, and my business was doing quite well. I actually just bought my first house in February with my freelance earnings, right before the lockdown began!
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
I work with a lot of beauty start-ups on their branding. So naturally, once the pandemic hit, new brands hit pause on their launches. I didn’t have as much work to do, so I started putting together a game plan to pivot my business. I knew that I would need extra help, so I hired a paid intern to help me with social media (which has always been my weak point). I refreshed my website, read a few books on coaching, and transitioned my social media accounts to promote my coaching business.
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
At the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of my friends were laid off. As a result, they started reaching out to me for advice on how to start freelance writing. I had been trying to manifest a source of passive income for some time, so when this happened, I realized that I had special knowledge that I could share with others. Thus, my coaching business was born.
How are things going with this new initiative?
Things are going well! I find that coaching and educating others is more fulfilling than writing sales copy for beauty products. In November, I launched my first-ever freelance writing course.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am so grateful for my intern, Lindsey. She’s been an enormous help throughout this whole process. Not only has she done incredible work, but it’s been so nice being able to talk about my business with another person. Being a freelancer and working remotely can be very isolating! So I’m glad that we get to work together, even though we live in different parts of the country.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been spending more time meditating and manifesting. Occasionally when I’m meditating a crazy business idea will pop into my head. I feel like these ideas are direct messages from the Universe, so I try to act on them quickly. One such idea was hiring help for my business, which has made all the difference!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- The success of your work does not determine your worth. My first course launch only resulted in three sales, which broke my heart. I felt really bad about myself, but, while reading one of Brené Brown’s lovely books, I realized that that so-called failure doesn’t make me a less worthy person. And in fact, I no longer view the launch as a failure because I did something hard that I never did before, and I made three sales!
- Don’t cut out self-care. There have been several times this year when I have been so stressed out by work that I started getting tunnel vision and cutting self-care out of my routine. For example, when hiring for an intern, I had several days of back-to-back interviews. I was so overwhelmed that I just wanted to scream. My self-care took a real nosedive, and as a result, I started to make myself sick. Now I realize that when the going gets tough, self-care is the most essential.
- You can learn as you go. You don’t need to have a complete plan to start taking action on your goals. I put off creating my course for a long time because I was stuck in the research phase. It was when I finally just started making the damn thing that I actually figured out what I was doing!
- People don’t value free things. To get some testimonials for my coaching business, I decided to offer free mini-coaching sessions to my followers. I scheduled six sessions, and not one of them showed up! I was very frustrated by this, but I realized that since the students didn’t have any skin in the game, they had no reason to show up. I have since stopped offering my time freely. Now I only offer free sessions as an extra value for course students during certain promotions.
- Community is key. When I started my coaching business, I was not proactive about interacting with my community, and my social media stats reflected that. Now I spend more time interacting with my community. It’s a win-win because it helps to engage and grow my follower base, and it also makes me feel better to interact with others!
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
I don’t follow the news at all. I get the New York Times daily email delivered to my inbox, but I rarely read it. I find that paying attention to the news cycle has absolutely no benefits for me whatsoever. I really haven’t missed it.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I just want people to love themselves enough to take steps towards making their dreams come true. Life is so short, and it goes by so quickly. Don’t wait until it’s too late!
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I would love to have lunch with Jenna Kutcher! I love her podcast and blog. She’s been a real inspiration to me, and I’m hoping to one day grow my business to her level!
How can our readers follow you online?
On Instagram (@colleenwelsch) on at my websites (http://colleenwelsch.com).
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!