‘Humanity survives on one generation’s ability to pass on their knowledge and skills to the next generation’ [Daniel Waldron, 2015].
A statement, in my opinion, which can be applied across all walks of life, whether it is parents inputting into their kids, a longstanding employee imparting to a new recruit or a business leader handing over the reins to the next person.
I’ve been a copywriter for 11 years+, operating a business for six of them. However, I employ no staff and recently a business mentor of mine asked me a really thought provoking question. ‘Daniel, are you equipping the next generation of copywriters?’
Ooooh, deep, but clearly the question had stirred something within me, hence the blog. In the immediate I thought to myself, no, I’m not equipping a new generation of copywriters.
Is it my responsibility? Do I have a duty to the copywriting profession to train up and coming copywriters to ensure the profession’s survival?
Training copywriters! That’s not my responsibility
The voice in my head said: ‘Of course it’s not your responsibility, you don’t employ any staff. There’s no one for you to share your knowledge and skills with. Leave the training to the massive copywriting agencies who have the resources.’
Ah, resources maybe, I said to myself. However, do such agencies have the freedom to give their most vital asset of all, their time?
Looking back over my copywriting career, some of the skills and knowledge I’ve acquired as a copywriter have come from acquaintances in distant lands who I’ve never had the privilege to meet in person.
However, these people have given their time to impart their knowledge of copywriting, helping me to become the writer I am today.
They were just like I am now, they didn’t employ staff, but they found that one person who asked for advice, saw an opportunity to equip the next generation [me] and gave one of life’s most precious commodities, time.
I suddenly realised I have the same commodity as these folks, the ability to give my time. When I was first asked the question by my mentor, I instantly assumed that I needed to employ some staff. However, while I do have ambitions to have a team of copywriters, it’s not a necessity for equipping the next generation.
The absence of staff to watch over means I have more time to give to one individual copywriter. This realisation led to a phrase popping into my head ‘equip one and they’ll equip the many.’
The person I equip will equip the next person who will equip the next person and so on. By equipping one, I’d be setting off a chain reaction and that would be my legacy to copywriting.
Folks, this principle isn’t just applicable to the copywriter, it’s applicable to life.
Therefore, I ask you… Are you equipping the next generation? If not, I challenge you to invest your time.