Far be it from me to go against Ben Settle, but…

I choose not to follow his work-on-your-own-business-before-even-thinking-about-doing-any-client-work advice.

Don’t get me wrong, “paying yourself first” is a rock-solid idea. And if anyone deserves your “best” first hour of your day, it’s probably you.

For a handsome Cheshire copywriter, that probably means I should be paying myself first by writing emails to my list email club or creating mouth-watering offers that make you dribble into your Aldi own brand cornflakes.

But… I don’t. 

And not because I disagree with the advice, but because I REALLY BLOODY agree with it 

“WHAAAAAAT???!” – you, I optimistically imagined when I wrote this.

Putting your own business before your clients is just ONE of the ways you can “Pay Yourself First”.

Another is doing whatever the hell you can to minimise your stress levels and have a semi-enjoyable day.

And that’s ^^^ how I choose to pay myself first.

Working on my own stuff when I have client deadlines looming is NOT enjoyable.

It fires up the nagging voice in the back of my head:

“Oh man, you’ve still got those emails to write… they’re due today, you know…”

Call it “Conscience”, “Your inner voice”, or “Francine”, whatever…

Having that whirl round my mind when working on my own stuff is more annoying than force-pumping me 10 hours of Baby Shark.

Getting client work done frees me up to focus on my own nonsense.

It might not make me the most productive copywriter on the planet, but…

… it makes me happier.

This is why blindly following motivation tips and tricks often doesn’t help.

Joining the “5 am club” so you can do some early morning deep work is all well and good, but if you know your creative cortex only works after 10 pm, you’re just shooting yourself in the foot.

Same with using “fill in the blank” copy templates…

Don’t just blindly copy, paste and fire them. Look a bit deeper.

Try and figure out why it’s written the way it is.

Read it out loud and think how your audience will take to it.

Do you need to change a few of the non “[INSERT NICHE’S 17TH PAIN POINT HERE]” bits to better suit your people?

How would YOU say this?

Oh, and if you’re ready to say goodbye to templates forever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever and ever… 

Check out my email writing course “Sent.”. 

John Holt