Mentors are awesome. They speed up your success, help you avoid failure, and catch you when you fall. They also give it to you straight when you are being a jackass.
It’s no surprise that mentors are a crucial part of the hero’s journey.
In my own career, I’ve invested A LOT to have my work reviewed (AKA torn apart) by a few superb writers. Safe to say, I am 100% in support of investing in a mentor as soon as you’re consistently picking up projects.
Not just because you get better at copywriting, but for help with all the tricky business stuff (like getting royalty deals, higher project fees, how to ditch “red flag” clients, etc.).
And this applies to every area of business, especially ones where Schlep Blindness runs rampant.
What is Schlep Blindness
Originally a Yiddish word, Schlep, in American terms, means tedious or unpleasant tasks. The idea of Schlep Blindness was first introduced to me by my copywriting mentor Chris Wright (who’s one of the best copywriters on the planet). Chris described it like this:
Long story short, it’s where our unconscious brain stops us from seeing problems that are too scary to face. Like a promo flaw that would require a big ol’ rewrite to fix.
But it doesn’t just apply to copywriting. In fact, it runs rampant in entrepreneurship and business too.
Paul Graham talks about this in his essay on Schleps, as he finds out that most business is basically a bunch of Schleps put together.
The scary thing about schleps is that it’s mostly unconscious, which means it will be almost impossible to see. That’s schlep blindness.
Schlep Blindness In Copywriting
Schlep Blindness runs RAMPANT in copy – I’ll give you an example. A copywriter pours their heart and soul into a promo. They spend a month or two writing an ~8,000-word promo…
They’re emotionally drained and counting down the days until they can hand the copy into the client. But because they’re so drained, their subconscious is working overtime to protect them.
It hides away the glaring problem in their copy. A problem so big it can literally make or break the promo. The problem could be that the story they’re in love with isn’t right for the audience (ask me how I know, lol).
It could be a missing piece of logic that raises a make-or-break objection, or it could be something else.
Whatever it is, the subconscious stops the copywriter from seeing it and forcing a rewrite that’s going to drain even more emotional energy from the poor person.
This might sound familiar.
Especially if you’ve written in a market like financial publishing, where the copy can get so damn complex under the surface. The good news is, you don’t need to be blinded by Schleps.
How To Avoid Schlep Blindness And Skyrocket Your Success
In business, you can get away with schlep blindness by being ignorant. I’m sure most founders would agree that if they knew about the total amount of work and chaos that was needed to build their business, they wouldn’t have even started. I know I was that way.
Ignorance can’t solve everything though.
For copywriters, it’s a little bit different, because being ignorant can cost you money, time, and clients. The only way to avoid Schlep Blindness is to get someone else to look at your work – a partner, a copy chief, a mentor.
As long as you have a mentor – someone to regularly look over your copy – you’ll be able to spot the problem BEFORE they destroy your promo. Yes, it’ll suck having them pointed out, and it’ll suck even more having to rewrite entire chunks of your copy.
But that’s a fair trade for a better shot at some handsome royalties.
Get a mentor. Now.
If you can’t find one, then you will have to deal with Schleps on your own. IF that’s the case, I suggest you jump right in. Don’t shrink away from difficult work because it’s tedious – it may be the path to something extraordinary.
Note: This article was adapted and expanded upon a Facebook post by my copywriting mentor Chris Wright… who I literally hired the day after he posted that in a Facebook group.