Hey I received this question recently, “Where did your interest for marketing and advertising first begin?” In fact, I get it quite a lot, so I thought I’d share the answer with you here…

While working at the Tandy Electronics Advertising Department for 7 years, I was fairly happy. I knew there was a lot I liked about writing copy. But I wasn’t “pumped” about it. I just knew that someday in someway it would be a really valuable skill to have.

I worked in other places too. Like for a leading real estate agent in Paddington, Sydney for instance. I would go around to the houses that were for sale and take notes, then go back to the office to write the copy to sell that house. I liked that a lot. Showed me how to use my skills for a totally different product.

Actually I think the owner was the biggest inspiration, John McGrath. A self-made millionaire in his own right, his positive attitude was infectious. Anyway, after they sacked me, I was once again looking for a job.

Yes, unfortunately that job didn’t work out. I really liked it. But writing for 14 sales agents was near impossible. They each had their own likes and dislikes for how their copy was written. I thought I was getting the hang of it. But they exercised their right to “let me go” within the first 3 months of employment. Thanks very much.

I hated that feeling of being sacked, laid off or whatever you want to call it. That feeling became the seed of me wanting to start my own business, because I never wanted to feel that way again, or be at the mercy of someone else for my employment.

The next day, I walked into an advertising agency near where I lived in Penrith. I was actually feeling quite confident from that previous real estate job, because I’d challenged myself to do something different, to step out of my comfort zone.

I said to the manager:

“I’m Brett McFall. I’m a copywriter. I’ve just been sacked. And I’d like to write for your agency. What I’d like to suggest is that you try me out for 4 days and if you like what I do then we can talk, and if not I’ll go on my way with no head feelings.”

Well would you believe I got the job! In fact, they laid off the other copywriter and I took his place. I felt terrible. If only I’d thought to mention to him that all he had to do was go to another agency, ask to work for them for 4 days without pay, etc (just like I did!).

Now, while at this agency, I discovered a guy called, Jay Abraham. He was being marketed in Australia at the time as the world’s best and highest paid marketing consultant. I bought one of his courses, and in it I circled a small paragraph where he mentioned that copywriters could earn 10 times their regular wage if they changed HOW they worked.

He suggested working for results, not a fee. Meaning, you only get paid if the ad you write for your client works. If it does, you get paid a slice of the profits, or at least a very high fee. That concept blew my mind. I already knew by that stage I could write a decent ad – I’d written nearly 6,500 of them by then (3 ads a day over 9 years really adds up!).

And so it was then that I realised if I did this properly I could in fact have my own business. One that I could run from home. And that’s when my interest really peaked. I’d finally discovered a way to do what I loved and get paid a great wage too. Because up till then my salary was really quite terrible. But I loved what I did so much, I hung in there.

Very glad that I did too. Because getting those skills over the 13 years I was employed really set me up to have the amazing lifestyle that I do today.

I’d always believed it could happen. I just didn’t know how. By the time I’d finished working for someone else, I’d racked up over 10,000 adverts for 153 different industries.

Thanks to the insight of Jay Abraham, I was given freedom. (Little did I realise that within a matter of years I’d soon be a business partner with Jay – but that’s another story…)

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