From Tragedy to Success: Corporate Escapee Propels Himself into the Writer’s Life
Between stressful projects and three-hour commutes, Laurent Duperval’s IT management job drained his vitality every day. By the time he got home, he didn’t have any energy left to spend quality time with his family.
“No matter what I accomplished in my job during the day, no matter how well I did, at the end of the day I felt zero personal satisfaction,” Laurent says. “My soul, my heart just wasn’t in it.”
He kept at it though. Laurent’s wife of 24 years was seriously ill, and he didn’t want his kids to worry about money on top of their mother’s illness.
“I chose to take those jobs because they paid very well,” Laurent explains. “And even though I didn’t get everything I wanted from it, in the end, it was really about the money.”
The Decision – the Leap – is Made for Him
When Laurent’s contract came up for renewal in early 2020, COVID decided his future for him. The company canceled all contracts, and Laurent was abruptly jobless. But instead of feeling devastated, he felt … relieved.
Laurent always saw himself as a writer at heart. So naturally, his interest was piqued when he received an email asking if he “could write a letter like this one?” It was Rebecca Matter’s sales letter for The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting from American Writers & Artists Institute (AWAI).
Yes, he could write one, Laurent thought – and more. He joined AWAI and invested in the Accelerated Program. Direct response copywriting not only offered a way to get paid well for writing, it also offered flexibility and the freedom he needed to work when and where he chose.
The possibilities presented by the writer’s life closed the deal. He needed simplified priorities – his wife, the house, and the family.
“Especially, I had time to be with my wife,” he recalls. “So, whenever she needed something, I was available. I didn’t have any competing priorities.”
Tragedy: An Uncommon Propellant
When his wife passed away at the end of the summer, Laurent knew he’d made the right decision to step away from a corporate job. He could take the time he needed to grieve.
As he moved forward, Laurent realized he needed help. A friend, who was also a business coach, helped Laurent to become more focused on his writing career.
Between the Accelerated Program and his friend’s guidance, when Laurent got his first real client, he was ready. That client came through a referral from his coach – and it turned out to be someone Laurent had worked with 20 years earlier but had lost contact with.
Laurent’s copywriting career has since taken off like a rocket, propelled by the skills he’s acquired from the Accelerated Program and particularly his participation in the Circle of Success (COS). COS is Laurent’s go-to resource whenever he has questions, whether that’s tapping into the trove of programs available or finding a mentor – giving him the courage to pursue greater opportunities.
The Escape Pays Off
With a competitive spirit, Laurent set out to win an AWAI writing contest – and ultimately did.
His opportunity came in early 2021 when AWAI held their Bright Future Scholarship Contest: a 2,000-word persuasive essay and a 500-word cover letter explaining the contestant’s background, why they decided to become a copywriter, and why they chose AWAI to help them succeed. Laurent almost didn’t submit an entry; it was a last-minute decision.
So, when he got the call, he was completely surprised. He’d won the Scholarship Contest – and a prize of $10,000!
Laurent thought the Bright Future Scholarship Contest was going to be the hardest one he’d entered. But it turned out to be the easiest – in part because it was very personal to him. He wrote about the challenges with his wife and the fact that everything he’s striving for now is partly in memory of her. He said he wrote it not so much as if for a client, but for himself.
Laurent reinvested the scholarship prize money in COS and enrolled in AWAI’s Content Marketing Mastery Mentorship.
At AWAI, every certification has a contest: write the best final assignment and you win an AWAI contract. Taking AWAI’s Content Marketing further ignited Laurent’s competitive spirit.
“One of the big drivers in taking Content Marketing,” Laurent says, “was to get that AWAI contract.”
Alas, he was a finalist, not the winner. However, he became all the more determined to win the next one.
He’s also built up a full workload in just seven or eight months. His tactic?
“It’s all referrals,” Laurent says. “It’s all by people who had worked with me before, other people from my past who contacted me for some project management work, and I said no, but I do copywriting now and many said they or somebody they knew could use this. I’ve also gotten clients through AWAI. My biggest client currently is someone I found through COS.”
Laurent already lives the writer’s life and can’t wait to see what‘s next!
Laurent’s Tips for Copywriters
- Participate in the forums – The forums are a place to be to be part of the AWAI and Circle of Success community, Laurent believes. “Everybody’s there to learn,” he says. “Not to hawk their services or products.”
- Invest in yourself - “The most important thing you can do is to invest in yourself,” Laurent says. “Invest where you can, how you can.”
- Believe in yourself – It takes self-confidence, confidence gained from AWAI’s programs, to know you can do the writing and get the clients.
Ready to pursue the writer’s life?
Learn more about Circle of Success – the program that propelled Laurent’s career into high gear.
“When I was a project manager, I had 5:36 a.m. wake-up calls. I now wake up around eight or nine, rarely because of the alarm, and I never get up saying, I have to go to work again.”
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
IT project management, training, and coaching
His first real client came from a referral from his business coach.
- The Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting
- Circle of Success
- Content Marketing Mastery Mentorship