Three years ago, Brian McCarthy did a copywriting job for James. While doing so, he was impressed by James’s approach to business and life in general – so impressed that it changed his own mindset.
In this podcast episode, Brian shares his efforts at a new work-life balance.
He talks about venturing into mindset coaching, and the fulfillment he gets from it.
And he and James discuss the importance of identifying one’s real goals in business and in life.
Table of contents
1. A lightbulb turns on
2. Compelling and impacting people
3. The importance of gratitude
4. It began with mindset
5. A long-time interest
6. Finding your true goals
7. An inventory of skills and heart
8. Where Brian is at in the transition
9. How copywriting and coaching overlap
10. The best type of client for Brian
11. Bringing in the customers
12. More inspiration coming up?
A lightbulb turns on
When Brian worked with James in 2019, it struck him how James, who was successful in business, actually lived a great lifestyle. The business owners he’d worked with till then would typically get their time at the beach after 14 hours glued to the computer.
This inspired Brian – as a result, he got into improv comedy and archery and made more of an effort to spend time with friends. He even joined Rhonda Britten’s program on coaching, and liked it so much he became a mindset coach.
Brian updated James on all this via email, thanking him for his influence. And James was appropriately touched, because after all, Brian didn’t have to acknowledge him.
There’s no need to be stingy with gratitude, says Brian. It makes everybody feel good – even he got the warm fuzzies writing the email.
Compelling and impacting people
James knows that in copywriting, research is critical. In fact, every single person he talks to who’s any good at anything does a tremendous amount of research and digging.
And it’s great when that research yields an engaging story based on facts. But it’s even more profound when it impacts the copywriter.
James recalls the videographer for his live events in Sydney, who became a member of his community. The guy had done a lot of events, but James’s content and guests always compelled him.
The importance of gratitude
James imagines gratitude is a big part of Brian’s toolkit as a mindset coach. It only entered James’s repertoire very recently, however.
When James’s business journey started, it was all about survival, especially when he started having kids. Gratitude, he thought, was for people who had made it, and he always thought that was over the horizon.
Now he thinks it’s the greatest thing ever. And gratitude in business and life is part of the coaching that he does every week with students, where they talk about a win – what are they happy about that they’ve achieved in the last week?
It began with mindset
James wants to mention Brian’s website, mccarthymindsetcoaching.com/join.
He’d like to hear about Brian’s transition between writing copy, having that light bulb moment, and becoming a mindset coach. What did that journey look like?
There were two light bulb moments, says Brian. One was working with James and realizing he could start enjoying his life in the now, without waiting to have this much in the bank.
The second came from working with a coach. It was there Brian realized much of his drive wasn’t about what he really wanted, but just trying to keep up with other people – this copywriter made that much money, so if Bryan didn’t do the same, he sucked.
When that sunk in, Brian asked himself, if he were writing sales pages 10 years from now, how would he feel? His response was visceral – marketing was a good career, but not something he wanted to do forever.
A long-time interest
Then at that time, Rhonda Britten’s life coaching certification program kept circling in Brian’s head. He’d done case studies for Rhonda, and heard her program was amazing, that people actually achieved change with her help.
Brian mulled over for a year whether he should do the program. And his interest went even further back – throughout his 20s, he was interested in being a life coach, but felt his own life was too much of a mess.
Even in college, Brian had toyed with the idea of being a therapist.
Then world events took an unusual turn, and Brian decided he needed to focus on something or lose his sanity. He joined Rhonda’s program thinking, at the very least, he could use those coaching skills to help friends and family.
When he started getting practice, actually coaching real people with real problems, Brian realized, This is it. He was meant to do this.
Finding your true goals
James loves it.
One thing he’d like to unpack is the matter of bad goals. As a coach, people tell him their goals, and in a great many cases he suspects they’re not what the clients really want.
For almost anyone who hasn’t yet made a million dollars a year, that’s the goal. And for anyone already making a million or so, it’s hitting $10 million a year.
When they dig below that, says James, those goals are typically revealed as a cry for significance. And if they strip things back, they find out what really drives the person.
James knew when he was with Mercedes-Benz that he did not want to sell cars at 60, so he steered clear of that. And the clues that tell what a person is really meant for come from the client – when you get clients who are doing something clever or good, pay attention to that.
An inventory of skills and heart
If a person is showing something that’s working, that excites them and that they have a natural gift for, there’s no need to try 100 business models, says James.
One thing he thinks is interesting in Brian’s story is the inventory of skills and heart, and the effort to align them. It’s a lot like James’s friend, Nick Kemp, who sent his book on ikigai to James – one of James’s most popular posts is on the topic.
As a copywriter, Brian has great skills – he has empathy, ability to research, an understanding of human behavior, and a knack for organizing and structuring things in a systematic way to deliver a consistent result.
Then he ties that back to his heart elements – he’s always wanted to help people, to solve problems for humans. What’s it like for him now, getting inside people’s minds and fixing them to get the client a result?
The process is just so fun and rewarding, says Brian. He weirdly enjoys being in the muck with people, letting them pour out their heart – he loves being in that space and helping them through it.
It’s fun finding the little hidden keys that unlock years’ worth of issues, discovering what people really want and unsticking them from old mental and emotional junk.
Where Brian is at in the transition
Where is Brian in terms of his business model change?
He still does a bit of copy, but he’s winding that down. He’s working mostly on stuff that he enjoys.
Then he has a handful of coaching clients, and is putting more emphasis now on building up his coaching business.
Has Brian had to write his own sales copy for the new project?
Not a proper sales page, says Brian. Some emails, and he’s recorded some awesome case studies that he’s sitting on.
He just launched his own YouTube show, and has other stuff going on that he’s super pumped to work on. And he hasn’t felt so excited, he says, to just work all the time in a while.
How copywriting and coaching overlap
Is there much skill set overlap between copywriting and his mindset coaching program?
Brian would say asking good questions and listening is the big part. He’s good at that – he can ask questions, he can be interested and get into problems with people.
But he didn’t know what to do with them once they got to the core problem. That’s where Rhonda’s program provided the process and the toolkit he needed to walk people through their issues.
The best type of client for Brian
Is there a kind of client Brian gets the best results for?
He has a client he’s been working for a couple of years, a former copywriter going into consulting. She closed $25,000 worth of work in consulting within the last two weeks.
She had a lot of mindset stuff keeping her stuck – feelings of overwhelm, buying courses and not using them. Brian helped her work through them.
With that support, she got her podcast out. She wrote the book she was working on, and got featured in entrepreneur.com and other places.
She started creating a number of offers, and recently, dialing that in, her efforts have really taken off.
Bringing in the customers
Nice, says James. And what does Brian do to get clients?
Going to live events, says Brian, direct outreach. He’s posted in a section of Copy Chief and got his first couple of clients there.
Even some of the people he does copy with have become coaching clients. One was stuck on writing a book proposal – after a couple of weeks with Brian, she got the proposal out and scored a quarter of a million-dollar book deal.
There have been clients through Brian’s email list – people sign up for case studies and he talks about mindset.
It’s very Ricardo Semler to have aligned business units, says James. He and his wife, for instance, provide virtual assistants for many of his community members through their company, VisionFind.com.
More inspiration coming up?
One of the areas James works on in his coaching is self. If you’re broken, he believes, your business is not going to be great.
With that in mind, he’d love if Brian could do a training for his members at JamesSchramko.com.
And if anyone listening is thinking about mindset and where to get help with it, they can reach out to Brian at mccarthymindsetcoaching.com/join.
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