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5 Lessons Rob Severson Taught Me about Success as a Freelance Writer

I’ve been reading a lot of books lately:

Books on marketing, business, psychology and anything else that can help me become a better person and a better freelance writer.

I recently had the opportunity to read Connecting Peace, Purpose & Prosperity A Survival Guide & Memoir by Rob Severson

It’s Rob Severson’s memoir, written for and addressed to his children.

What made the book particularly interesting to me was the fact that Rob is 65 and, being 18, I knew I could learn a lot from him.

Also, the concept of writing a book to one’s children and grandchildren is something that interests me, and I couldn’t just resist the fact that everything was based on Rob’s life history.

In other words, it was a story. And I love stories.

I gained a lot from reading the book and here are the 3 most important lessons I learned from Rob about being a more successful freelance writer and, most importantly, a more successful person.

1. Nobody is to be blamed for My Failure: I’m interested in successful people. Even if I don’t agree with their approach or what they do, the fact that they are successful – financially, socially or otherwise – makes me pay special attention to them to see what they’re doing right and what I’m doing wrong.

One thing I’ve noticed about successful people is that they blame nobody for their failures and as a result are able to move forward.

From constantly observing my life, I’ve also noticed that the more I focus on how to solve my problems and become successful instead of dwelling on the fact that someone or something is responsible for my failure, the more breakthroughs I make in life.

Instead of blaming the society, the government or even my environment, I learnt to focus instead on what I can do to make a change.

You might not be able to control who your parents are or what your background is, but you can control what you make of it.

2. It is Important to Always be Positive: This is especially important in business. Here’s an excerpt from the book:

I have heard that drinking alone is comparable to wetting our pants in a blue suit. At first, we feel warm inside, but no one notices it. Then it starts to smell and makes us uncomfortable, and maybe crabby. Hate and resentments are the same way except you do not feel warm inside—just angry. The people we resent usually do not even notice it; they just leave us alone. Then others notice it, but avoid us because of our griping and the negative attitude we adopt.

There’s so much happening around today to make one negative, but positivity is always important. By being positive, it becomes easier to communicate with my clients, those I constantly work with and even my friends.

It’s easier to be negative, but then it almost never ends. Positivity has its own rewards, though.

3. Getting to Know others is Very Important: It’s easy to get judgmental of somebody else, especially if they are not as “sophisticated” or as “experienced” as we are.

I could relate to Rob’s story about his experience working with a superior who he believed didn’t really understand how things would work. Except in Rob’s case, he was able to figure things out by getting to know the fellow (while I just blew it in my own case).

I didn’t really see anything wrong with this until I read Rob’s book.

This concerns my conversations with a potential client few months back. I didn’t really like the approach the potential client was using while we were in the negotiation stages, and it got to a stage where I got angry and decided not to reply to his emails again due to some of his remarks.

I felt I did the right thing then but, thinking about it today, that is someone else I could have gotten to know and who could have been my client. I estimate that cost me thousands of dollars compared to if I had worked with him for a few months.

I’m also learning similar lessons via the challenge I started over a month ago and my relationship with clients; sometimes, you just have to get off your high horse and get to understand the other party.

This is especially important when a business relationship is involved. Who knows, the client you didn’t agree with earlier could end up referring others to you.

In Rob’s case, he ended up becoming a friend of his.

Get “Connecting Peace, Purpose & Prosperity a Survival Guide & Memoir”

There’s a lot to be learned when it comes to marketing, sales, negotiating or succeeding in business.

Attitude is one thing a lot of us ignore, though, and this often costs us more than we could imagine. Whether mentally, emotionally or physically; most of the times we don’t even notice it.

Get Rob’s book “Connecting Peace, Purpose & Prosperity A Survival Guide & Memoir today; I read it in a sitting. It’s a good weekend read and can give you great insights on getting the best from life, especially from someone with 65 years of experience on earth.

11 Comments on "5 Lessons Rob Severson Taught Me about Success as a Freelance Writer"

  1. I think that you have read a good book and you would have got many useful lessons which you should follow. A writer always needs to follow some new tips and take new challenges to become better and better at writing.

  2. dan says:

    Hmmm… Bamidele, Kudos for this post.

    Positivity really, is the key to running a successful business.

    Your mindset, thinking, and thoughts contributes to your success or failure in life. That is why it’s important as Freelance writers, to frame our thoughts by thinking positively.


    By reading inspirational and motivational books like you did ( probably, that’s why you wrote this post).

    By surrounding yourself with positive minded people.

    By declaring faith proclamations.

    All these, are very important.

    You look the way you talk. In fact, you’re the character of your thinking.

    And, I can relate to what you said in this post.

    It is high time, people need to understand that their success,

    prosperity and greatness in life or business is not dependent on

    their geographical location– neither is it dependent on their

    financial state. In fact, the nation in which they live in, the

    economy in which they function ( though are very vital elements) are

    not the determining factors of their success or failure.

    The best thing is, to believe that your dreams are achievable; and

    this can only be possible if you develop a positive mindset.

    Thanks so much Oni for this post.

    I was really inspired

    • Bamidele Onibalusi says:

      I’m glad you love the post, Dan!

      Motivation is important and can be very powerful.

      Our mindset is everything, really. You’re what you think!

  3. Rob Severson says:

    Bamidele you are a remarkable young man! A quick study, an open mind and you are willing to help others…like me!
    I will sign any paper copies that are ordered through my web site.
    Thanks again!

    • Bamidele Onibalusi says:

      Thanks, Rob!

      I learned a lot from reading your book, your story resonated a lot with me, and I also love the way the book is written; as a story to your children and grand children.

      I hope readers of this site will check it out and enjoy it, too 🙂

  4. Khaja moin says:

    That`s a nice write uo Oni.

    And I agree with the first point. No one is reason for your failure. It`s we who need to be blamed not the one who suggests you.

    But when you reach the point for which you worked, don`t forget those who stood for you.


    • Bamidele Onibalusi says:

      I’m glad you agree, Khaja.

      The moment you realize that is the moment you start taking things more seriously and the moment you start getting real results.

  5. Hi Oni — reading widely is always smart. 😉

    Another book along these lines you might enjoy is The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch –

    Pausch was a university professor who gave a final lecture as he was leaving because he had terminal cancer. Also for the most part written for his children, it became a sensation and a book. He died in 2008, and his book lays out what really matters in this life in a brilliant way.

    • Bamidele Onibalusi says:

      Thanks Carol!

      I remember you’ve advised me several times on the importance of reading books regularly and that’s what I’m doing right now 🙂

      I’ve decided to read no less than one new book every week. This has turned out to be immensely helpful.

      I just added Pausch’s book to my cart on Amazon and I’d really love to read it. I’m sure I can learn a lot from him.

  6. Temitope Adewoye says:

    Hi Oni lovely post.I am a big fan of yours, I a quite agree with you on the point about being positive, someone rightly said that being bitter is like taking poison for someone else to die, so it really doesn’t do much good carrying resentments around.

  7. Terrence says:

    This is an insightful article. We often blame others for our problems because it’s easier to do so than to take responsibility. Whatever situation we find ourselves in is usually of our own making.

    Some of us blame our failure on faith; some of us blame it on family or friends. Our lives — social and private — are much richer when we take responsibility and move on.


Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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