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Esther Cooke
London-based copywriter @ | Former number cruncher @ 20th Century Fox, Dow Jones | Future children’s book author

Not cool guys, not cool

man sitting on car counting cash
man sitting on car counting cash
Photo by Moses Vega on Unsplash

I hate the term side hustle.

It has become my least favourite buzz word, with “low hanging fruit” coming in close second.

The illustrious side hustle has become too competitive and show-offy. It’s all my side gig is bigger than your side gig.

I’ve been drawn into the buzz of it all too, reading a bunch of articles with titles like ‘I made $30,000 last month from my side hustle alone!’ Because who doesn’t dream of an extra 30K in their bank account?

I swear I’m not just jealous of the successful hustlers. My issue isn’t with people starting up…

Bring on the bills!

woman swiping her credit card
woman swiping her credit card
Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

Most people have a dysfunctional relationship with money, me included.

We want it but we feel bad for wanting it, when we get it we attempt to hold onto it for dear life, and sometimes we make purchasing decisions solely based on the pain factor of losing it.

Did you know at Disneyland they specifically added the 20 minute boat/rail ride after you buy your tickets to give you enough time to forget the pain of handing over hundreds of dollars? So that by the time you enter the park you’re ready to have an enjoyable day.

I used to…

Man in suit and tie
Man in suit and tie
Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

According to the stats.

The first Fortune 500 list (of the top 500 U.S companies, ranked by total revenue) was published in 1955. The first female CEO, Katherine Graham, made the list in 1972 — 17 years later.

Skip along half a century, and the number has risen pitifully to 38, or 7.4% female. The representation is even lower on the Fortune Global 500, where just 13, or 2.6% of CEOs are female.

It’s 2021 — where are all the female CEOs?

Well, how can we expect women to take up leadership roles that weren’t created for us?

The solution to equality is not simply to replace men with…

No, not Tik Tok.

Woman holding alarm clock in the air
Woman holding alarm clock in the air
Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash

Have you ever had to explain to a client they now owe money because you missed a deadline?

I hope not! But as an accountant, missing a tax filing deadline meant penalties and interest charges for our client. So the importance of meeting deadlines was drilled into me hard. I didn’t know it, but it was great training for becoming a freelancer.

Because as a freelancer, your word is your brand.

And every single successful freelancer is a person of their word.

How you manage deadlines changes the perception of your professionalism. Trust is so easily broken down by small…

May 2020 was a real punch in the face

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

My relationship ended.

I lost my job.

We found out my Dad’s cancer was back.

And I was stuck in London in the middle of Covid lockdown. I was barely able to leave my flat, let alone fly 24 hours around the world to see my family. It was a hell of a month.

Sometimes life as you know it falls apart all at once like a tumbling Jenga tower.

And all you can do is watch as it tumbles around you.

Here’s what I learned in the process of picking up the pieces:

You need to acknowledge pain in order to move past it

This too shall pass.

We all…

A lot — according to these creators

Photo by Strvnge Films on Unsplash

A month into writing regularly on Medium, and my most popular story by far is on being a broke freelancer.

That wasn’t a strategic move, trust me, I would much rather be writing about how I made £10,000 last month — and you can too!

We have the option to curate ourselves and our content in a way we want to be seen. So why open ourselves up to the pain of sharing the messy stuff?

Well, when I think about the mountain of content I‘m exposed to everyday, there are only a few creators I loyally follow and who…

(That you absolutely should not ignore)

Photo by Jan Baborák on Unsplash

I wish when I was in my twenties, someone had told me being miserable 5 days a week was not compulsory.

Instead it took me a decade to admit I’d chosen my career based on what I thought would make everyone happy (except me of course).

Now making this list, I’m embarrassed that I spent so many years ignoring every one of these glaring signs.

So here are some signs to look out for, based on my personal experience:

The best parts of your job are not core elements of your role

I’ve made some of my best friends at work. …

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Before I was a copywriter, I was a rubbish blogger.

I wrote in long, waffly sentences.

My thoughts were unorganised.

I made it all about me.

Copywriting aims to persuade a person to take action, so the message need to appeal to them. This mindset change shifted my blogs from self centred diary entries to focusing on providing value to readers.

Here are 4 simple copywriting strategies for making an impact on your audience.

Economise your words

Copywriters aren’t paid by the word because our job is as much about deleting words as it is about writing them. …

Rid yourself of the subconscious beliefs that keep you stuck in the cycle

Photo: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

Last year I was able to let go of the beliefs that had kept me doing unfulfilling work for nearly a decade.

I want to tell you it’s possible to get un-stuck.

I also want you to know you’re completely justified in looking for more satisfying work, no matter your current job. Well-intentioned people may give you plenty of reasons why you should stay right where you are — “you’re lucky to have this job” / “you have security” / “you earn good money” / “the job market is terrible,” etc.

But this is your journey, not theirs. With peace…

Esther Cooke

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