Write like you’re rich

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I play in a Thursday golf league here in Phoenix, and a few weeks ago one of the partners in my foursome made a comment that I felt I needed to write down: “You just gotta play like you’re rich,” he said.

Think, he said, about the über-wealthy who cruise in on their Gulfstreams to play the best courses in the world. The golf game is part of it, but so’s the camaraderie and the post-round cocktailing, and simply some time away from a high-intensity reality. A rich guy is likely hypercompetitive (read: Trump), and many of them are also highly skilled golfers…but on the other hand, many of them aren’t, and yet they still get enjoyment out of the game.

The thing is, when the round is over, nothing has changed about their business or life. They’re freaking capital “S” Successful, regardless of the score on the card.

It’s not a perfect analogy, of course. Trump and his buddies are playing golf for fun, and maybe making 5-figure wagers on a putt, whereas we’re writing for the same amount for our livelihood. Nonetheless, there’s a reason that popular freelancing books such as Peter Bowerman’s The Well-Fed Writer and Steve Slaunwhite, Ed Gandia, and Pete Savage’s The Wealthy Freelancer are titled the way they are:

The way you envision and carry yourself speaks volumes about how successful you are in business. The more successful you are, the more attractive you are to clients, because THEY think YOU can make them more successful, too. It’s a virtuous circle.

So, consider this as encouragement to write like you’re rich…even if, like me, the closest you might get to a private jet is writing about it for a magazine. I’m thinking it’ll be much more fun to retire on a Jeanneau sailboat in the Caribbean anyway.

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  1. says

    I have learned that when I speak authoritatively, with no “maybes,” “possiblies,” or “perhapses” my clients are willing to pay more. When you sound like you know what you are talking about people not only listen, they pay better.

  2. Dr. Freelance says

    I’ve called in some favors with my friends at the USPTO, and you are now officially Cash Cathy®!

    @dava, confidence is definitely an important tool—like the old acting adage, “Fake it till you make it.” Which isn’t to say that you should fib, but rather that you should as, you so nicely phrased it, speak authoritatively on topics in which you have expertise and/or experience.

  3. says

    I can appreciate this, Jake, and it’s true–you see the titles of the books (and even your Dr. Freelance title, if I may add) that create that kind of outlook on a livelihood that can sometimes feel unpredictable.

  4. Dr. Freelance says

    Thanks for commenting, Shakirah. The best we can do is manage the unpredictable in our favor—which means employing an entrepreneurial mindset rather than just thinking of ourselves as word-crunchers 🙂

  5. says

    Yea for sail boats… and I’ve written from them on occasion… fun. Hadn’t thought of writing rich as you talk about… I’ll try it. Maybe there will be a surge in stats!

  6. Dr. Freelance says

    Hey there, Anne. I love writing on a boat, just requires a bit more resourcefulness to get connected, though it’s getting easier all the time. (We sail once or twice a year out of your local harbor, as a matter of fact.) Once the kids are out of college, our tentative plan is to be afloat full- or part-time. Can’t wait!

  7. says

    Great advice. I had a weird encounter this week with a possible client who asked how old I was and how long I had been doing this and not so subtly implied I was a novice… and so I delivered a quick summary of my services, then let him know I didn’t need his business as I’m pretty flush with clients these days. Which I am. And sure enough, now he wants to hire me.

    I didn’t know you were a sailing man. I went to sailing camp for multiple summers as a kid and hated it. 🙂

  8. Dr. Freelance says

    Ah, the ol’ Peeps Want What They Can’t Have Principle. Nicely done! Glad to hear things are hopping for you.

    I sailed Sunfish and windsurfers as a kid, then my wife and I took a vacation a few years back to get bareboat cruising certified. It’s all kinds of awesome fun to charter your own sailboat—and a surprisingly affordable vacation since it’s your “hotel” as well as transportation. Did the Florida Keys last year, not sure of the next destination yet…but daydream about it constantly.