My Well-Fed Challenge Continues…


A couple of weeks ago I started my Well-Fed Challenge. My goal is to make 400 cold calls to local businesses in 20 work days, letting them know I’m a freelance writer and finding out what their needs are. August 20 is my deadline.

So how am I doing?

So far I’ve made 103 calls! Yay!

Of those 103 calls, about 58 agreed I could send them my online commercial writing portfolio. Mind you, many of them were secretaries who were probably trying to get me off the phone, but it counts. I can now add them to my snail-mailing list of potential clients.

Of the 58 who gave me their email addresses, 18 were “hot” prospects. Either they use freelancer writers or they were very interested in seeing my portfolio. One of them even wants to interview me for a part-time position teaching copywriting at their college. I have the interview next week!

The companies I targeted for this first round all have a website, and were listed as having 25-250 employees in my library’s database. They are also all local. I made sure to have a few website designers, graphic designers, and advertising agencies in there too (so I wouldn’t get a million no’s).

One of my tactics is to be sure to ask for an email address every time, even if the secretary agreed to send me to voicemail. This is something Peter Bowerman suggests in The Well-Fed Writer. I figure that once I have an email address I can send future correspondence by snail mail (postcards, letters, etc.). I’ll start my snail mail follow-up campaign in a week or two.

Now for the downside.

I had to alter my plans a bit. I wanted to make 20-25 calls every day, but child care wasn’t available every day. So several days had to be skipped. On days when I did have child care, I sometimes would only have 2 hours to make my calls (and research each company a little bit before each call).

Also, when I did make my calls for the day, I still had to find time to go back and send emails with a link to my portfolio. With limited child care, and with a limited amount of steam (I fall asleep at about 10pm, shortly after my daughter goes to bed), I found that I needed to create time to send those emails. Sometimes I had to take time away from calling to do that.

After all, making the calls doesn’t get my information in front of people. Most of my calls are for information gathering only.

Next week will be a challenge. I have that interview, a doctor’s appointment, and I’m going to investigate another childcare provider. I will probably only be able to make calls and send emails on just 2 or 3 days (I hope).

Even if I don’t make my goal, I’ll keep reaching for it. Stay tuned!

Do you give up when you realize you can’t make your goal, do you keep trying, or do you alter your goal?

46 Responses to “My Well-Fed Challenge Continues…”

  1. Eren Mckay says:

    That’s awesome Theda! You are really going for it and that shows that you’re a winner. I’ll pray and believe for positive outcomes for you. You can do it!
    All the best,
    .-= Eren Mckay´s last blog ..Gingerbread house decorations kits & gingerbread man cookie cutter =-.

  2. Three more days!!! How are you coming so far?

  3. i wish you the very best!!

    goals are not made by faint hearted!carry on my friend!

  4. Biber hapi says:

    yeah Theda keep going. dont stop…
    .-= Biber hapi´s last blog ..Besin Ay?klayarak Kilo Verme Diyeti =-.

  5. Ventrilo says:

    You are doing great. Don’t beat yourself up. 18 hot prospects out of over 100 calls made is a very good sign. The key thing is to keep trying and motivated. 🙂

  6. jess SEO says:

    i like the way you think have a challenge and you’re going at it..that’s the really teaches all of us to follow our goals and not quit..thankzz

  7. Emo says:

    There are challenges in life that we have to face. Its just in those challenges we don’t have to quit that easy or else we cannot face more challenges to come.

  8. You’re five days passed your deadline of your goal. How did you do? Probably one of the most valuable lessons you can learn is assessing any patterns of responses from the people you called.

  9. Erin says:

    You have a good strategy; don’t lose your enthusiasm in the process. Keep on going!

  10. kelly says:

    I think it’s hard enough figuring what you really want to do in life, let alone acting on it! So my guess you’re really on the right track. hope you’ll get where you want to get soon enough. I’m also considering freelance copywriting, but it’s really hard to get things moving…

  11. That’s good to hear about your progress. Hope you have completed your project because deadline is over
    .-= science health´s last blog ..Swine flu | Latest Update of confirmed cases of H1N1 Swine flu =-.

  12. Pdf search says:

    i wish you the very best!!

  13. It’s okay if you don’t reach your goal, the key is to keep trying for them anyway. It’s always good to set our goals just outside of our reach, so that we’re always reaching for them and doing the best we can. You have a positive attitude about this and you have already come a long way, so keep at it!

  14. Stu says:

    It takes a lot of guts to put your goals up there for everyone to see.

    Well done!

  15. Nope I don’t give up even when I know I won’t be able to reach the goal according to the schedule. As long as I know I am trying the best I can, the schedule can always be changed to adjust to the workload output. Or, it could also be a good indication that additional help is needed, internal or outsourcing.
    .-= Aaron @ Internet Business´s last blog ..Effective Link Building, Must Read SEO Resource =-.

  16. So how are the results of your challenge? Did you achieve your goal?

  17. Kristin says:

    You are really unique person and your post give not only good advices but make fell more positive.
    .-= Kristin´s last blog ..Why you need dog accessories =-.

  18. You are really going for it and that shows that you’re a winner. I’ll pray and believe for positive outcomes for you. You r doing great.

  19. Congrats what can be better than this you got contacted by the 103 firms out of 200 many cold callers didn’t make up to 50 you are far much better than those… Congrats once again 🙂
    .-= Ravi@How to make quick money´s last blog ..Free Unlimited One Way Backlinks =-.

  20. FrogPrincess says:

    It’s great to have goals like this, as it’s something to work toward. Awesome job sticking to yours, and best of luck!

  21. Pink Laptops says:

    Don’t give up Theda, keep trying to reach your goal. That’s the fun part when you set goal and you reach it.
    .-= Pink Laptops´s last blog ..MSI Wind U100 Pink Netbook =-.

  22. Theda, your approach is remarkable. Cold calls may or may not fetch you up the thing you are looking for, but its the ideal thing to start with especially promoting services like content writing. You can also hit on the freelance websites where numerous writing projects are listed everyday and they are being paid well too as far as i know. When it comes to SEO keeping up the content fresh and updated is always first on the checklist and website owners are really interested in getting new and quality content. I am sure with your type of writing quality you can get projects easy like a cake. One interesting thing i foresee is after you finish your calls, you have a successful database of companies and their secretaries. You can use them wisely too. All the best to you and let me know how things are shaping up.

    .-= Mack | Las Vegas Homes´s last blog ..Las Vegas Property Investments =-.

  23. SMS says:

    My good wishes are with you.
    .-= SMS´s last blog ..Khuda Kai Liay =-.

  24. we have to accept every challenge, in order to raise our business.. you are doint it too,spending 2hrs on the day of child care.

  25. I found that I needed to create time to send those emails. Sometimes I had to take time away from calling to do that.
    .-= music knowledge´s last blog ..Indian Symphonist – Maestro Ilaiyaraaja =-.

  26. Jennifer says:

    Even if you’re not quite making the goal, that is still a lot, and very impressive! That is a lot of phone calls, I know from experience that it takes a bit of courage to make yourself do it, so I think this is awesome 🙂
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..How Does Refinancing Work? =-.

  27. Wow, great personal goals! It’s always great to see a writer very serious not only about their craft, but also about the business end of a writing career. Great job so far, and I hope you find plenty of great new clients as a result!
    .-= Master Dayton´s last blog ..College Students as Part Time Writers, Part One =-.

  28. Way to go! That is the positive attitude towards achieving your goal. I will congratulate you in advance because i am sure will be reach your goal. Will keep posted.

  29. Blue-Air says:

    I agree with you, we need time to create,to send those emails or to make calls.

  30. Very motivating to hear this. I am working on something very similar as I look for an internship and I love hearing how other people do it.

  31. i am really impressed on how you managed to comply to do all those. you deserve the best, you can go a long way because of your determination and perseverance.. keep it up! ^^

  32. You are really going for it and that shows that you’re a winner. I’ll pray and believe for positive outcomes for you. Thanks for sharing.

  33. I wish you good luck. Especially with having more time with your children. Take care.

  34. Thanks for sharing your story! Keep working and don’t give up!

  35. TK Pandey says:

    Gr8!! idea and a great blog. Don’t beat yourself up. 18 hot prospects out of over 100 calls made is a very good sign.

  36. Herman says:

    Great progress with your goals! I’m really impressed and wish you the best of luck in the future.
    .-= Herman´s last blog ..Snake Proof Boots: The FAQ =-.

  37. Ganar dinero says:

    Sorry, nothing to say, I’ve been lurking for some months now. Just wanted t osay hi!

    .-= Ganar dinero´s last blog ..Como ganar dinero en Internet =-.

  38. Real failure is doing nothing at all wishing you would.

  39. punks says:

    Don’t give up. If you can at least get their emailaddress and put them on your list it’s already a little success.
    .-= punks´s last blog ..Medical makeup =-.

  40. Four hundred cold calls is ambitious, but nothing motivates like success! It seems like you have an incredibly high conversion ratio. For cold calls, even 1 or 2 percent is good.
    .-= Rancho Santa Fe Real Estate´s last blog ..La Jolla Homes Most Pricey In U.S. =-.

  41. The phone calls you’ve got hooked into are quite a number. But there’s nothing wrong with that. I wonder how it went. Of course, with that number, not all of the phone calls gave a positive response; at least you’ve got your prospects. You’ve got the boldness not everybody has and the determination to pursue.

  42. Ron says:

    Great idea, good luck!

  43. Charles says:

    More than half the battle is not giving up. If you can keep at it, you’ll be successful.
    .-= Charles´s last blog ..First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Extended =-.

  44. Satellite Tv says:

    I’d say it completely depends on what the goal is. For eg: some goals are long term and need to be continually pursued to be achieved.

  45. Wolf says:

    Yea, if you give up before you see results that wouldn’t be any good.

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