Live Talk Recap: How Writing Saved My Life, Speaking Onstage at The Thing Conference 2021

Picture of Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy

Creator and Co-founder

the thing conference

On November 5, 2021, I had the honor of speaking on stage at Terry Weaver’s The Thing, an event for entrepreneurs in Orlando, Florida.

julia mccoy speaking

It was my first time back on stage in two years, post-lockdowns and the pandemic.

My talk was How Writing Saved My Life: How to Create a Self-Sustaining Online Business. It was the first time unveiling the power-packing talk I’ve now given several times on my webinar.

The event itself was terrific – the group of entrepreneurs there, along with the host Terry himself, has evolved into an environment that nurtures a family feel rather than a marketing conference. Terry Weaver has run this event for several years.

Here’s a recap of the event, as well as my full 30-minute stage talk you can watch on video.

the thing conference

Live Talk Recap: How Writing Saved My Life, Speaking Onstage at The Thing Conference 2021

5 Takeaways From How Writing Saved My Life (My Talk at The Thing Conference 2021)

Creative entrepreneurs! 📣

This talk is for you if you…

  • Need to figure out how to build your business sustainably, so it runs without you, like clockwork, WITH profitability
  • Want consistent and predictable income from your creative skills
  • Want to hire people you trust
  • Want to get out of the grind and get your life back (family time, YOU time, vacation time)
  • Aren’t afraid of hard work and going all-in to get to the right place

Where can you find this business freedom and impact?? Let’s dive in…

1. Writing Saved My Life… and Strategy Fueled My Success

Writing has been my lifeline, and it’s become my legacy.

My passion for writing is what gave me the means to escape from a cult at age 19. My passion for writing is what drove me to start my own business.

Was that passion enough to help us see steady growth and consistent success?


Passion without a plan and a strategy will ultimately lead nowhere. Don’t get me wrong…

Passion absolutely can get you out the door and on the right path.

Passion WILL push you forward and drive your actions. 🚀

But that’s all it will do. Passion is the fuel, but planning, strategy, delegation, and automation are what will see your business through for the long haul.

Unless you figure out the latter, you’ll stay stuck in the weeds.

serious business owner

2. Myth: You Need to Work 24/7 to See Results/Revenue

Trying to do everything yourself 24/7, hustling every day, glorifying the work and never taking a break —

That’s the road to mental burnout and breakdown.

If you want to be a serious business owner who creates a legacy and lasting impact, you need to get smart and strategic about not just your business, but your TIME.

I was on that struggle bus for the first four years after I started my business. I struggled to make $30k/month (and we were taking home $10-20k of that).

I finally had enough. I put my head down and formulated a content strategy with automation and delegation baked into it. I was going to invest in myself and my business and do less to get more.

With that map in hand, I took a running leap off the hamster wheel.

And never looked back.

Because I invested in the right strategy, I sold my business for $1M. I have written five books, created my own courses, and have been invited to speak at events around the world. I couldn’t have done it if I kept running myself ragged.

“Doing it all” is unsustainable for you AND your business.

3. Myth: You Can’t Delegate, Because No One Is Trustworthy/Good Enough

I’ve heard all the excuses before.

“I tried to delegate once but I got burned.”

“I’M the expert. My clients are hiring ME.”

These types of thoughts are what keep you in the hamster wheel.

There’s only one of you. And your party of one can’t scale unless you get help!

Delegation is not just necessary to a sustainable business. It’s essential.

All it comes down to is finding the right people. Once you have a system in place that helps you find the gems, hiring will change your life and super-charge your business.

4. Myth: Immediate Client Work Should Be Your Top Priority

When your fledgling business is floundering, you might be in that position because you’re a team of one. You’re doing everything yourself.

How on earth can you get out from under the mountain of client work long enough to strategize? To hire and delegate? To grow??

You might think, “I can’t.”

Unfortunately, that mindset is what will keep you stuck. You won’t grow unless you change up your approach. And you can’t switch it up if you refuse to even consider the possibility.

Guess what?

You CAN.

5. Mindset. Is. Everything.

There’s a theme running through all these points.

Mindset is everything. Your thoughts equal your results.

Responding to situations and opportunities proactively makes ALL the difference.

Instead of negative resistance, e.g., “I can’t do that,” “That won’t work for me,” “I’ll never find a good hire,” or “I HAVE to work 24/7 to turn a profit, that’s just how it is!” — try flipping the script.

Abandon the victim mindset and embrace the growth mindset.

For example:

“I’ll never find a good hire” becomes “What IF I found the right person?”

“That won’t work for me” turns into “What if I took a step back and learned how to outsource, automate, and delegate?”

What could happen? What if?

My Experience at The Thing

I enjoyed listening to all of the speakers at The Thing. One of my favorite talks and meetings had to be with former Disney Imagineer C. McNair Wilson. He recounted stories of getting to meet Walt Disney himself, and then being sent on mission to help build the adventure parks (Disney World in Florida). How incredible is that?! Here I am, pictured with Kelly (fellow speaker) and McNair.

disney imagineer

The other highlight was having artist Mike Brennan live sketch me while I was talking. I was blown away by the story he shared on stage, as well as the incredible art he drew. I’m going to order a copy of this beautiful illustration as a canvas for my office:

the thing canvas by mike brennan

The theme at The Thing was “The world needs YOUR THING.” The thing you do, what you’re good at, your passion and your talents. I’m all about this message.

Here I am below, pictured with the host Terry Weaver, right before I left to head back to Texas. He told me something I’ll never forget: “Julia, our theme was ‘shoot for the moon’ at this event. 2022 is your year to land on the moon. You are going to blow up. It’s happening.”

How kind is that?! I have kept these words in my heart ever since.

the thing terry weaver

The venue, Hyatt Place Orlando Florida, was terrific! Located very close to Disney World (we went to Disney Springs afterwards for dinner, and enjoyed the Christmas decorations, music, and atmosphere!), it had great conference space and comfortable seating.

In the picture below, can you tell I’m almost four months pregnant? Yes, I’m expecting baby #2 as I flew and spoke down here. I traveled out from Austin, Texas with my good friend Kelly Gonzalez (@kellyknowsaustin), and enjoyed having her along with me.

Ultimate Takeaway from The Thing Conference: Nurture Your Passion AND Have a Plan

What you love to do, the thing you’re the best at — it matters.

For me, my passion drove me to some of the highest points of my life.

It also got me through some of the worst times.

When I added a plan to my passion, I suddenly had the formula for a successful business.

It’s one you can use, too.

I built the Content Transformation System for this exact purpose. I’ve figured out the successful business formula — and now I want to teach others everything I know.

Ready to get more out of your life by building a powerful digital business through content, and leading a business and marketing plan that DOESN’T suck you dry? My coaching system for creative entrepreneurs, The Content Transformation System, will get you OUT of the grunt work and INTO the delight zone. 😄

serious business owner

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