Do you ever wonder what successful people have– or maybe what they’ve mastered to a different level than you have? It can be incredibly maddening if you have outrageous skills or an incredible product – yet, you see someone who’s leaps and bounds ahead of you in their business.

It makes you question.

“What the hell am I doing wrong?”

Last week I attended a copywriter’s conference in New York where the speakers took the stage and shared with an eager audience of copywriters (myself included), how they’ve achieved some of the success they have.


These are copywriters who have risen to the top of the crowd and grasped the attention of some pretty big names like Amy Porterfield, Jenna Kutcher, and other people I follow on a daily basis.

And while I’ve been successful in my business, I have experienced some of the same thing many of my clients talk about.

Things like overwhelm, setting boundaries, understanding how much to bill for my time. It can be a process where you’re always trying to get it right and the setbacks can be pretty tough to take.

So, after listening to speaker after speaker, I began to wonder, what really is the key to success?

Some might say work smarter, not harder.

Others might say it’s knowing the right people.

Even others might even say it’s important to network at events where your ideal clients hang out.

All of those were great tips, but what really stood out for me was when one of my colleagues spoke she began to talk about a word I hadn’t thought much about lately.

The key to her success she said was simple: clear determination.

Now, you might be reading this thinking . . . “Well, I have determination, but none of that is really amounting to success!”

True. But it isn’t really about having determination or tenacity – it’s about having CLEAR determination.

One thing that happens to most entrepreneurs and small business owners it that we get wrapped up in our daily grind and forget where we are going. We might get distracted by shiny objects and forget what we were doing in the first place.

Clear determination, on the other hand, is a vice-grip hold on our business vision so that we can execute well and find greater success.

As I set in the crowded conference room listening to my friend speak about her business, what struck me most is that while many of us may have tenacity (no one can rival me in how hard I’ll work to find solutions – who’s with me??), we don’t have clear determination.

We allow ourselves to step over our vision because fear takes hold of our dreams and we begin to focus on the short-gain and short-term wins instead of the long-term gain.

We treat our business like the wind – we follow the direction that is strongest in the moment. And that can be dangerous for long term gain.

When you have clear determination, you understand that every boundary violation, every yes when you mean no, every new course or direction you take, means that you’re veering off the road to higher returns. Instead you stay stuck wondering why nothing is changing.

Clear determination looks at your vision and remembers that it’s not just about clients, but that it’s about making sure that you’re managing every aspect of your business.

Not just your daily work, but your process, your billing, your timeliness, your focus.

People with clear determination look as if they’re lucky, but the truth is that they’re not afraid to show up where they need to and say “NO” to things that don’t align with that goal. They know where the people they need to support their business will be and they go there.

Even more importantly, they know how to ask for help!

They don’t think they have to go it alone the whole way and they identify the people who can really help get their job done.

I personally think I need to do everything myself and don’t always know when it’s time to ask for help until it’s too late. Until I’m way in over my head and realize that I can no longer go on this way.

Sound familiar?

When you have clear determination and don’t let go of where you’re going, you can clearly see what no longer fits when it comes to the way you run your business.

I think of clear determination as a philosophy we all have to adopt if we want to find the crazy, wild success we’re all working so damn hard to achieve.

And it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the copywriting business, the life coaching business, an attorney, financial planner or artist, finding that sweet spot of clarity can truly help you move forward in ways that make it feel as if you too . . . have become an overnight success.

This week then, I challenge you to come up with what clear determination might look like for you? What does it mean to focus so clearly in your day-to-day?

Does it mean saying no?

Setting better boundaries?

Asking for help?


Share with me, what is it that you need to do to truly implement clear determination in your life.

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