A few days before my 68th birthday this month I landed a huge ghostwriting contract. Not bad. Better is that the assignment had put me in the hub of Millennial entrepreneurs involved with the web and mobile.
This big break started with the interview for a full-time writing job I had about 18 months ago on Milk Street in Boston at the MASSACHUSETTS LAWYERS WEEKLY. Back then I was still committed to the relatively low-paid field of journalism. So, what the hell. I drove there from New Haven, Connecticut and parked in one of those structures. I did all the right things like get there early, which was going to add to the parking fee. The interview lasted about an hour. When I went to redeem my car, I owed $32. The hell with this, I thought: If I got an offer, that meant moving to this pricey town for a gig under $60K. At a truck stop for dinner there was a notice in my email about a big ghostwriting assignment and I never looked back at journalism.
Except to remember that $32 parking fee. So, I answered a help-wanted for a freelance ghostwriter in Boston from a position of not giving a damn. When I was told I made the first cut and would be interviewed near Milk Street, I told them I wasn't going to pop for the $32 parking fee. They said fine, they would pick it up. I showed up. I didn't present myself as overly eager. And I was the one selected.
Since then I am a regular in Boston and the client picks up all the expenses. His network is bursting with money and talent under 30. I had gotten over being self conscious about my age. This new mindset has opened so many doors. Also, this month, from all my ghostwriting accounts I made more than I ever have in any other month in all my years in executive communications.
Lesson: Don't take crap. Don't apologize for anything.