If the thought of starting something new sounds intimidating to you — or maybe you’re feeling some imposter syndrome sneaking in — know you aren’t alone. 

Join me as I share how I still get that queasy feeling (even after being an entrepreneur for 20+ years!) when I dive into a new adventure and how you can push through those feelings to make your goals happen too.

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Intro: This is The Proofreading Business Podcast with Elizabeth Wiegner. For more, visit TheProofreadingBusinessCoach.com

Elizabeth Wiegner: Hello, and welcome to the podcast that almost never happened. I am Elizabeth Wiegner, your host, and The Proofreading Business Coach, and I am so happy that you’re here. So this podcast -- it almost never happened because, y’all, I was worried about a lot of things. I was worried about what other people would think.

I was worried if all the work that I’m putting into this podcast, if it would work in the long run, if it would be successful, or if, in episode, two or three or even just the first episode was going to be a total failure and I couldn’t stand what I said or how my voice sounded. I just -- I had all these thoughts going through my head. I was like, what if I don’t like doing it? What if it’s too much in my schedule that I have already? All these thoughts going through my mind on why I shouldn’t make it happen.

And along with those thoughts, I started -- those thoughts started channeling into my actions. I started finding every excuse possible to not work on my podcast. I would do -- I mean, I would do things to get my podcast set up. I ordered my mic. I learned how to use Garageband, different things that I needed to do for my podcast. And those are important things, and I needed to get them done if I was going to be able to launch this podcast for y’all.

And it was just little things that I would try -- I would spend a long time on very basic things that I knew I could set up and do very quickly. I would just spend a long -- like even just figuring out where to put my microphone. I took forever to do that because I just, in my mind, was trying to put off actually sitting down and recording this very first episode for y’all because I knew once I got the first one done, and if I liked it, I could keep going.

But it was just those things in my mind about what if this doesn’t work? What if all your hopes and dreams for this podcast -- what if you laugh at yourself down the road or feel stupid? Or what if other people think that about you? And I just couldn’t handle those thoughts, and it channeled into the actions that I was taking or not taking about my podcast.

And I’ve been doing this for a while. I’ve been a proofreader for quite awhile, and I’m an entrepreneur and starting other businesses, and I’m used to starting new things, but I still felt this way. So I know that, for you, if you’re considering starting a proofreading side hustle or you’ve already been in proofreading for a little bit, you still have things that come up in your business that are new that you have to grow in. And it can feel like I don’t know if I’m ready for this. I’ve done other things, hard things before. I’ve gone and tried -- I mean, everything that you do is new at one time, right?

But especially starting a side hustle, especially if you’ve already had a job, or us as adults, we’re used to our jobs where we’re -- we know what we’re doing. So starting something brand new is intimidating, and you have those thoughts about what are other people going to think about me? What am I going to think about me in the long run?

And so I get you. Starting this new podcast, doing this new thing for me, even though I’ve been doing businesses for quite awhile just helped further remind me of just the bravery that it takes to try something new and how much I admire you if you’ve already started your proofreading business or if you’ve been thinking about it. I get you, for one thing, if you have those thoughts where you’re like, oh, I don’t know if this is going to happen.

And if you have taken the leap and you’ve gotten started, I am so proud of you because I know what it takes to just muster up the courage to even say, hey, I’m doing this. I’m starting a podcast. That was my new scary thing to say. For you, it may be, I am starting a proofreading business. I’m going to be a transcript proofreader for court reporters, or I’m going to start proofreading books.

It takes bravery to do that. So believe me, I get you. And as I’m heading into starting this new podcast, or as you’re heading into starting a side hustle or maybe you already have a side hustle but you’re adding something new to your side hustle, I know you have all those thoughts just like I had about starting this podcast.

And if I had let myself stay in that, what are other people going to think about me -- what will I think about myself? What if I don’t like it? What if it’s too much? What if, after all this preparation, the money I’ve spent on it, the planning and the time I’ve put into it, what if it just is a flop?

What if you switch those thoughts? If you’ve had those same thoughts for you about starting a side hustle just like I’ve had about starting this podcast, what if we switch? Because for all the opposite -- or for all those negative emotions that I’ve had about starting this podcast, you’ve had about starting your side hustle or starting a new one or learning something new, there are opposite and better -- so much better on the other side.

So, for example, if I could be worried about what others think, what if I think about, you know what? Yes, there are going to be people who judge what I do. That’s just part of life, right? People aren’t going to like -- if you start your business, then they’re not going to like if you don’t start your business.

So what if you thought about all the good things that can happen, all the amazing clients you can help when you start your proofreading business? They’re going to love that they have somebody as amazing and awesome as you to proofread their transcripts or proofread their books or their websites and make it amazing so that they don’t have to stress over about errors and getting negative comments from people who, in case you didn’t get a proofreader, right?

Imagine all the -- how excited your family is going to be when you can help afford a vacation or going out to eat more or getting a better car or getting out of debt. Imagine how good you are going to feel when you can splurge on things that you’ve wanted to. For me, one thing that I absolutely love is -- one of the things that I loved about my proofreading business was I finally got a Peloton. I had been wanting one for a while. I got one, and I absolutely love my Peloton. I have spent so many happy hours on my bike. And that’s one thing that having a proofreading business, if I had held myself back from it, I wouldn’t have gotten to experience.

So what are -- think about the things that, yes, some people or yourself may think about all the negative things that can happen, but think about all the positive things that can happen if you do start. What if -- you could think of what if this doesn’t work in the long run? What if I’m not successful? Well, what if you are? What if it’s something that you do for even just a couple few years down the road or for the rest of your life?

Think about all the money you can make, the goals you can make happen, the confidence that you’ll have because you started your business that otherwise, like if you had just focused on the opposite of, well, what if it’s not successful? Well, what if you are? What if you don’t like it? Well, what if you do like it? What if it’s something that you fall so much in love with you’re like, I cannot believe that I stayed on my 9-to-5 job this whole time when I had something like proofreading waiting here for me where I could work on my own terms, set -- work with the clients I want to, set my own hours, and I loved it?

You may think, well, what if it’s too much trying to fit it in with my life, everything else? Well, yes, I hear you. Life is crazy. Trying to fit this podcast in with everything else I had going on, I was like, I’m not sure how I’m going to do this. Trying to start your proofreading business when you’re already working or you have kids or grandkids or you’re a caregiver, it’s like, what if it’s too much? Well, the awesome thing about proofreading is, or about this podcast is that you can fit it in when you have time. You don’t have to be set into this box that a boss gives you. You fit it in when it works for you. If you’re a morning person, work in the morning. If you’re an evening person or a night owl like I am, stay up late and work. Do it during your lunch hour.

You will find time for it if it’s what you want to make happen. But if you’re going to sit there and say, well, I don’t know if it’s -- it’s just too much. I can’t do it. Then you won’t find time. But if you tell yourself, I really want to do it, and I’m going to find a way to make it happen, you’re much more likely to find a way to make it happen, and then it just opens up this whole world in front of you.

So for all the negative things that are holding you back that makes your heart just get really tight and kind of gives you that feeling like you want to throw up a little bit, those thoughts that I had about starting this podcast, the same with starting your business, it is scary, and it’s okay to admit that it’s scary. And it’s also good to think about the opposite of those scary feelings that you’re having because what if it does work out? What if I love this? What if I make more money? What if this is something that opens the door to things I could have never even imagined that are so much better than where I’m at right now?

And you have to decide if that risk is worth it in the long run because I would sure much -- my attitude on it is I would sure much rather try it in the long run, and if I didn’t like it, then hey, at least I tried it. I don’t have to doubt myself wondering, well, what would it have been like if I had started my proofreading business or if I had started my podcast? I’d much rather have that experience and enjoy all the amazing benefits from it than have never experienced it at all because I held myself back.

[missing audio] I’ve had that entrepreneur bug for awhile. I was teaching piano out of my parents’ living room, and I eventually built it up through the end of high school where I had a studio -- I rented a studio out and had over 30 students a week. And when I realized that I could start making money doing something on my own terms, doing something I already loved, it just opened a whole world up to me.

And so when I graduated from high school, I loved to read. I loved grammar. I loved fixing errors, and I thought, you know what? Why not get paid to do this? And so I started -- in 2006, I started as a proofreader, and I have learned so much since then. The crazy thing back in 2006 was there wasn’t as much help online for people starting their business as there is now. There weren’t groups for me to join. There weren’t podcasts for me to listen to. There weren’t courses for me to attend. I had to figure it out on my own, and, y’all, it was -- it was a little rocky.

There are so many things that I wish I knew when I started because I left so much money on the table. I had so much stress, so much frustration that went on, and I actually pivoted a little bit after I got married. Even though I had been proofreading for a little bit, I pivoted after I got married and went into the workforce, working in a cubicle because I thought it might be fun to climb the corporate ladder, one of those things where it’s like I want to try it. I’m glad I did, never going back.

And if I I had had the help that I needed from day one as a proofreader, knowing how to not just be a good proofreader -- I mean, I was good at grammar, and I could spell, fix typos and all that. But there’s more to being a proofreader than just reading and fixing errors. There’s this whole aspect of how to run a business, how to treat your clients, how to treat yourself so that you enjoy your business.

And when I got started, there just weren’t a lot of resources for that. And one of the reasons why I’m starting this podcast, because I want to be a resource for those who are wanting to start their proofreading business or add another side hustle onto their current side hustle that they have so that you don’t have to go through the stress and the frustrations or maybe take turns that, if you had just been put on the right path from the start, it would just make your business so much better and so much more profitable and so much more enjoyable from the start.

So from teaching piano at 12 years old and then graduating high school and going into my proofreading business, there were so many things that, once I learned how to work online and start an online business because it’s a little bit different to do a brick-and-mortar business in person with things than it is to do online like you do with proofreading. Once I learned how to start a proofreading business and how to market and how to run a business, just a whole world opened up in front of me that I didn’t even know was possible.

So from proofreading, I went into writing and content management. I managed teams of people from around the world. I did reselling. I built websites. I’ve learned how to do a little bit of graphic design, run social media. I’ve been an executive assistant. I’ve been the CE of a multi-million-dollar business. I now own my own course. I coach other proofreaders how to have an amazing life as proofreaders. And now I’m a podcast host, something I never thought I would be saying back in 2006 when I started my proofreading career.

And so I am so excited for all the possibilities in front of you as you become a proofreader, start your proofreading journey, work on your proofreading journey, and that’s what The Proofreading Business Podcast is here for you.

So what to expect -- this is the very first episode. What to expect in upcoming episodes: Well, for one, I’m here to encourage you, to motivate you, to be your personal cheerleader as you’re working on starting your side hustle and keeping it going because I know from firsthand experience, even from just starting this podcast here, how much having somebody there to help guide you, to cheer you on, to keep you motivated when you feel like you have those doubts coming up in your mind like we covered at the very beginning. I’m here to help you with that.

From my years of experience, I mean, way back from when I was 12 starting a business, but especially starting as a proofreader almost 20 years ago to help bring that experience to you so that you can see all the possibilities that are open to you not just as proofreader but in your life in general, all the amazing things that can happen as a proofreader, as well as bring insight from my years of experience to help you have a business that you’re excited about that you’re proud of that you can tell people that you own your own business. You’re your own boss. You are in charge of your own life because you have a business that you love to do. That’s such an empowering feeling.

So I’ll have lots of podcast episodes about that. I have topics coming up like the kind of proofreaders, talking about what side hustles are and aren’t, talking -- FAQs that come up a lot with proofreading, talking about why getting clients shouldn’t be your first priority, talking about how your personality type applies to your business. There are so many topics that we’re going to cover related to proofreading and just running your business in general because, like I said, it’s not just about being good at fixing typos and grammar errors.

There is a whole thing about running a business so that you make the money that you’re supposed to make as a proofreader so that you can have a life where you aren’t stressed out about always when is your next client going to come, when is your next job going to come, or stressed about dealing with clients or different situations that come up. You’ll come in confident knowing what you’re supposed to do as you run your business.

And then beyond that, I’m going to bring on some of my grads who have graduated from my transcript proofreading course so you can get their perspective on it. It’s not just mine. There are so many people, so many different backgrounds and experiences and skills. And with their own set of struggles and concerns as they came into their proofreading business so that you can get insight from them and hear from them how they balance their life and manage a business and how they’ve become successful so that you can be encouraged and learn from them as well.

And then one thing I’m also really excited about too is having on guests who are expert in other side hustles besides proofreading because, like I mentioned, I had a whole world opened up to me. I mean, I don’t -- haven’t just proofed. I’ve also been a writer and a content manager and managed teams and resold things. I mean, so many different things. There are so many side hustles out there that you can include in with your proofreading business so that you always have a variety of things to do. You’re always making money. You’re never ever bored.

And some people, they’re proofreaders. They stay proofreaders. That’s their only focus, and that’s “all” they do, and I put all in quotes. I mean, that is a lot. And there are some people like myself where it’s hard to just stick with one thing. It’s fun to always explore, see what’s out there because once you learn what you can do when you can learn a skill like proofreading and make money off of it and run a business, the sky is the limit. It’s not -- the sky is not even the limit. There are no limits to what you can do if you’re willing to learn and run your business well.

And so I’m excited to bring on guests who will come talk about other side hustles that they’re experts in and so that you can learn about other side hustles, find ones that sound good to you if you want to add on to your proofreading business. And it’s going to be good. I am choosing to focus on the positive things about how much I can hang out with you all and talk to you about side hustles, talk to you about proofreading, talk to you about your life outside of proofreading because one thing about proofreading is it’s meant to support the life that you want to have.

Your life shouldn’t be constantly revolving around your side hustle and how are you going to make it happen. Your side hustle is there or your full-time business if that’s what you want to turn it into is there to help support the life that you want to live. There is more than just the traditional 9-to-5, work-in-an-office schedule like I tried to do, and it was awful.

So I’m very excited to share with you the world of proofreading and help you enjoy it more, to be excited about it more, to love your business. So the takeaway for today’s podcast is don’t let fear hold you back. If you are thinking about starting a side hustle or you are in the thick of it right now and you’re really trying to get it off the ground, stop listening to the side of you that says what if it never works? What if people don’t like it? What if I’m not successful? What if I just feel stupid? What if I feel like a failure?

Turn those things around. Focus on all the good that can happen because if you hold yourself back, if you only listen to the side of you that’s saying all those negative things, then you will never ever get to experience all the positive possibilities. And it would be awful if you held yourself back from something that you could have enjoyed that could completely change your life because you chose to listen to the side that’s telling you all the negative things.

So instead, focus on what could happen. Be willing to give yourself a try. Be willing to be uncomfortable so that you can have a future ahead of you that is just so amazing, to have a future -- I have absolutely loved my proofreading life. I’m excited to get to share it with you more. I’m excited for my grads to get to come share their lives that have changed because of proofreading, and yours can too.

So if you’ve been thinking about proofreading, then take the leap. Get started, and make sure to subscribe to The Proofreading Business Podcast so that you can get all the most recent episodes so that you can keep learning about proofreading, growing your side hustle, loving the life that you have ahead of you.

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Meet Elizabeth

Elizabeth Wiegner is a work-from-home proofreader and business coach who teaches other readers and typo fixers how to build a life of freedom as a proofreader. Her energy, love, and personalized support are second to none in the proofreading world.