Josh and his wife spent years creating a life in Sacramento. For a while, it seemed like they had it all — steady jobs, friends and family nearby, and their own home. But not long after welcoming their first little one, something about their living situation didn’t feel quite right.
“We had been in Sacramento for several years — it felt familiar to us. But when my company sold, it kind of spurred a change. I wasn’t crazy about the new management, and my wife and I realized we had been itching for a change for ourselves and our kiddo.”
With open minds and a growing sense of adventure, they spent a lot of time considering their ideal living situation. They easily agreed on their dream location — coastal living in sunny Southern California.
“At first, we were just kind of tossing the idea around — someday we’ll move to Santa Barbara. But with the changes in my company, the timing just kind of felt right. We started thinking about it a little bit more seriously and decided to put some feelers out and see what our options were.”
Somewhat on a whim, Josh and his wife applied for a few jobs. Little did they know, they’d need to make some big decisions a lot sooner than they had expected.
“Even though we were still just looking into the idea of moving, everything just fell into place. We both nailed down jobs within a month. Things got very real, very quickly. So we went ahead and made the leap.”
Excited for new opportunities, they dove headfirst into their new lives in Santa Barbara. But beachside living came with a price.
“The cost of living is pretty ridiculous in Santa Barbara. Plus, we were moving away from our family and friends, so we didn’t have anyone to watch our little one without turning to a babysitter or daycare.”
Costs pile up
Despite the higher expenses, Josh and his wife felt like they had made the right decision for their family and were determined to work out the kinks.
“Luckily, we were prepared for the higher cost of living — that’s what we told ourselves, at least. We knew that the tradeoff was worth it — we were finally in a place that we actually liked. We’d just have to find a way to manage the costs.”
But even with their sunny outlook, they couldn’t ignore the new (and more expensive) bills that were piling up as a result of their move.
“Turns out daycare is a pretty huge expense. We also decided to keep our house in Sacramento as an investment — but that meant we were paying mortgages in two really expensive cities. Plus, everything is just more expensive down here. It started to feel like we were in a bit over our heads.”
And with both parents working full-time at brand new jobs it didn’t take long for them to feel the strain on their family life.
“Like I said — mentally, we felt ready for the bills. But actually getting them paid when they’re piling up is a totally different story. My wife and I were both hustling at full-time jobs, and we still weren’t really getting by. We were starting to get worried.”
With almost no time to spare even for his family, Josh was forced to shelf some pretty important personal projects.
“My older brother and I have a web design business on the side. We have a couple of clients, but it’s not quite where we want it to be yet. Once we moved, I had no time to dedicate to it. It sucked having to move it to the back burner because I knew it would never grow without my time and energy. But I didn’t have a choice.”
One big change leads to another
With sky-high bills leaving him no choice but to work non-stop, Josh quickly started to resent his 9 – 5.
“There was nothing really wrong with my day job, but it just felt so damn autopilot. I was going to work, coming home, rinse, and repeat. And all for what? It was barely even paying the bills. It was getting to the point where I just couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to figure something out.”
Even though he was desperate for a change, there was a lot at stake — he couldn’t just walk away from his day job. But he also knew that his family’s happiness was just as important as paying the bills.
“I started researching how I could make my own income and not have to worry so much. I wanted to be able to do something where I could do work that made me happy, and also have time to do things with my family. I knew there had to be something out there that would help me do all of that.”
With just a few clicks, Josh quickly found a growing online movement of people just like him — people who believed that work life and personal life don’t have to be at odds with each other.
“During my research, I came across Freelance To Win. It immediately stood out to me because it talked about Upwork, and I was already trying to make some money on the side with Upwork. It felt like a good place to start.”
A new way of thinking about writing
While Josh connected with the Upwork aspect of the FTW material, he wasn’t necessarily convinced about some of the success stories he read — particularly the ones about copywriting.
“I started looking more carefully at the copywriting tips on Freelance To Win. On the one hand, it seemed pretty lucrative. But I kept shying away from it because there were all these different types of copywriting I’d have to learn — emails vs. landing pages vs. web content and others that I didn’t even know about.
But he wasn’t quite ready to write it off completely. After all, copywriting seemed to be the ticket to success for so many others — why not him?
“The more I read, the more I realized that I was already kind of good at this style of writing. I never liked high school English because I wasn’t into the lengthy, factual papers. All the stuff on FTW said copy should be concise and casual. I started realizing that was to my advantage.”
Once Josh latched onto the possibility that he could make money copywriting online, he jumped right in.
“I had never done a single bit of copywriting in my life, but I just decided this was the path I wanted to go down. I started believing I had what it took.”
Premium rates with zero experience
All of his research helped him realize that he had a solid enough foundation to give copywriting a shot — but he wanted to start off with a strong lead.
“I thought there was a chance I could pull it off on my own but I wanted a bit more detail about the different types of copywriting. I just felt like I needed that extra edge.”
Knowing that Freelance To Win had helped get him to this point, he trusted that the Freelance Copywriter’s Code was the logical next step in his budding career.
“I had read about the course and I knew it was what I needed to get off the ground. The cost wasn’t outrageous — it seemed pretty on par for what I’d get out of it. It was more a matter of whether I had it in the budget. But I knew it would give me that little bit of extra edge so I went for it. I considered it an investment.”
Armed with strategies from the course (and a little help from the FTW blog), he started landing premium clients — and making money — right away.
“Using what I learned in the course and the Crystal Ball Technique to send out a few proposals, and I landed three jobs right off the bat. The best part was, once I actually got the jobs, I would just go into the specific FCC module that would steer me in the right direction for that particular client.”
Once he was hired, he got right to work establishing himself as an expert.
“One of the modules talks about how to communicate with clients. There were a ton of tools and questionnaires that work for every client — they helped me portray myself as a professional. Even if I could have figured out the copywriting part on my own, I never would have thought of all of that.”
In fact, his clients were so impressed that they’ve consistently come back for more of his work — so Josh can spend less time looking for new work and more time building relationships (and his bank account).
“One of my very first clients hired me for his homepage and he loved my work. So he’s going to have me do additional pages for his website. It was especially satisfying because he was a bit out of touch throughout the process but I was totally confident that I could complete the job successfully using what I learned from the course.”
The beginning of his dream lifestyle
Josh was tired of the “rinse and repeat” of his day job. Now, that’s taken on a whole new meaning — he’s using the proven strategies in the course to meet the needs of every client he works with.
“I have another client who works at, like, a thousand miles an hour. Let’s call him ‘easily distracted.’ But the lessons in the course helped me get all the information I needed right off the bat, so I didn’t need to bug him and I nailed it on the first try. And I can use that process with everyone I work with. It saves me so much time.”
And even though he’s still working his 9 – 5, things have taken a drastic turn.
“It’s been two months since I started the course. I’ve had three big clients, and my family has lived solely off the money from those jobs. We’ve paid every bill using the money I’ve made with copywriting. It’s pretty amazing how quickly things changed. It feels like we can finally relax and enjoy our new life.”
In addition to taking care of the bills, his copywriting career has opened more doors than he ever expected.
“The more I get into this, the more I realize that copywriting isn’t just a tool for making money — it’s a life skill that’s going to be useful for a really long time. Plus, I’m already seeing how it’s going to boost my side business. When I signed up for this, I never realized how far-reaching this would be.”
It won’t be long before Josh can transition from copywriting-on-the-side to full-time freelancer.
“I’d really love to do this full-time. I’m not quite there yet, but I know the more I do it, the easier it’s going to get. And now that our bills are totally taken care of, I have more energy to find a way to make that happen.”
Moving to Santa Barbara was the first step in creating a life that fulfills his family’s needs. Now that he’s launched his copywriting career, their dream lifestyle is well within reach.
“I’m just looking forward to living by my own rules. I know if I keep at this, pretty soon, I’ll be able to wake up one day and take my wife and kiddo to visit my extended family, or even to fly them out here to see our new home. I’m looking forward to just taking my family on a vacation without worrying. Our first trip is going to be Disneyland.”
Best of all, freelancing gives Josh that drive in his personal life that he had been forced to put aside — which guarantees that he’ll never stop improving.
“Copywriting is a creative thing, which I’ve never really been into before, so that’s good for me. But I also know that my clients pay me quite a bit for my work, and that makes me feel validated. I’m a naturally competitive person, so I’m always thinking how I can make things better. I’ve only just begun with this and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.”