Kate went from working full-time at a grocery store, reporting to a boss, and dealing with workplace drama to working completely for herself as a transcript proofreader.

How did she do it all? In this episode, Kate shares her zen approach to building a successful proofreading business while still working full-time and how instead of letting stress and overwhelm get to her, she actually enjoyed the process.

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

Elizabeth Wiegner: Welcome to another episode of The Proofreading Business Podcast. Kate is here. She is one of my transcript proofreading grads, and I absolutely love Kate’s story because she has taken an approach to transcript proofreading that a lot of people haven’t. And just her mindset, her attitude, her approach to it is so relaxing and encouraging. If you’re watching this video, you also see her cat in the background, which I just feel like brings on just the whole zen mood of Kate too.

And just about how to grow your business without being stressed out of your mind and worried about it because so much of us, as we’re starting our business, we’re excited about it, and it’s good to use that momentum. And it’s all part of the journey. You want to enjoy the journey and not hate the whole process or only enjoy the end good results but to enjoy the whole process. And Kate, I feel, has got that down to a T.

So we’re going to talk about that today. But, Kate, I would love to start off by asking you -- transcript proofreading -- it’s kind of unique. Not a lot of people have heard of it. So what got you interested in transcript proofreading to begin with?

Kate: Well, I have always been kind of interested in having my own business and working for myself. So I’ve been kind of trying to get into that for the last four or five years. And I was just doing some serious internet research probably last spring, and I stumbled upon a different proofreading course, but it was a general proofreading course.

And I was watching -- like there was a video for it, and it was all about making it your business, and it really sucked me in. I was like, oh my God, this is awesome. I’ve always loved reading, and I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I felt like being a writer for some reason, to me, sounded like too much pressure, and I wasn’t ready to put myself out there like that.

I mean, I write, but mostly it’s just for myself and figuring out my brain. So proofreading is the best way to slip in there and just do the -- do what I’ve always loved doing, which is read, and then find errors, which I’ve always been good at too.

And then -- so I did the general proofreading course, kind of got to the end of that and wasn’t really sure where I wanted to go, and I always kind of knew there was this transcript proofreading course too. But I didn’t feel super connected to that course I took, so I kind of did some more research, and I ended up finding your course, and I was so happy. I felt -- right away I was like, this is it because it felt so personal and so nice. And I just -- it appealed to me because it seemed very specific and niche and just a specific skill set, more so than just regular proofreading.

And I’m intrigued to be part of the legal world. I, of course -- at some point, I wanted to be a lawyer because I watched the movie [indiscernible_00:03:12]. And so I was like, oh, this is a great way to have a little view into that and do the proofreading, kind of be in the background of all this stuff, and it just sounded fascinating.

And I love that there was built-in clientele, it just seemed. That was what I struggled with with the general proofreading. I was like, who do I want to proofread for? There’s too many options, so going into something where I knew immediately from the start, okay, this is who my clients are going to be, and that’s what I’m working towards. It just made sense, and it’s been great ever since.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I love that you said it has your clientele built in because it really does help because, I mean, I did general proofreading for years before transcript proofreading, and I enjoyed it. I mean, there are a lot of different clients you can work with, and it’s almost like when you have too many options it’s hard to even get started because there are so many, whereas, with transcript proofreading, it’s like, obviously, the only persons you’re going to be working with are court reporters. It really helps you decide.

Kate: Yeah, and for my brain, that was just simpler. I was like, okay, I don’t have to really think about that part. It’s just going to happen and just focus on that one specific niche.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I agree. I totally agree that that makes it easier. And if you already love the legal world, I mean, talk about -- this is the ultimate way to be nosy and get paid to be nosy.

Kate: Yeah. It’s like -- I just -- even the little dramas between attorneys -- I don’t know. Just seeing all the stuff happen, and you’re like, oh my God. I had one deposition where someone left. I don’t know. There was drama at the end. She was being crazy, and it was just like -- I emailed my court reporter back, and I was like, that was crazy. I can’t believe -- I remember sometimes. I’m like, you all are just sitting there watching this for real? I get used to just reading it. But yeah, it’s so fun. What’s going to happen?

Elizabeth Wiegner: So as you were starting your business, so you thought, okay, transcript proofreading is the one I want to do. This sounds like fun. I feel like this is -- I know I can go into this niche. I know what to expect. There are still -- I mean, when you’re starting your own business, because you used -- tell me what your previous job before you started proofreading was.

Kate: I’d been -- in a local grocery store, kind of bounced around departments and did different stuff there. But it was just a local store.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So that’s very different from owning your own business and being a transcript proofreader.

Kate: Yes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So tell me -- I am sure -- I know you had a very zen approach to proofreading, and we’re going to talk about that here in a little bit. But tell me some things. When people start their own business, no matter if they’ve had a background in another business before or if it’s something totally unrelated like what you had, working in a local grocery store, how did -- what worried you most about, okay, I’m going to -- I learned how to be a general proofreader. You even tried another side hustle that just didn’t click like you had hoped it would.

What were some of the things that you were most worried about when starting a business, and how did you overcome those worries to make yourself be successful?

Kate: The biggest, I think, is always the worry of there not being enough work. You’re marketing, and you’re like, do people -- are there really enough court reporters? If there’s all these proofreaders already out there and there’s -- they all have their clients, how can there be enough?

But it’s the internet, and it’s endless. That’s one of the beauties of this job too. It’s like, you’re not just going out to your local courthouse, and it’s like, oh, this is the only clientele I have. It’s like, no, you’re kind of -- you kind of have endless possibilities, and it’s -- I mean, yeah, there’s always work. But I mean, I still have to walk myself through that sometimes where it’s like, there’s no clients.

But I think that that was one of the big ones and also just maybe all the technical stuff that comes along with the business and figuring that out, the business license and the CPA and taxes. But I ended up successfully doing my own taxes on TurboTax, so I --

Elizabeth Wiegner: Nice.

Kate: I feel like that was kind of a trial run though because I was only doing it the last few months of the year. So I was like, let me just see how it goes this year, and then next year I can make that decision again. But just the technical stuff. But most of it, I mean, you just have to take it day by day. So it’s not…

Elizabeth Wiegner: That’s a good point, taking it day -- because there is -- I mean, a lot of people say they want a proofreading business, and then it never happens because when they start -- I mean, it’s one thing to be good at grammar. It’s one thing to be good at catching typos. It’s a whole other thing to start your own business and get all the details down about it.

But I love that you said that you just have to take it day by day because if you think about everything that you have to do on day one, yeah, you’re going to quit because that’s a lot. But when you take it step by step, you realize, oh, I can do things I never even pictured myself ever doing.

Kate: Well, that’s why I liked your course so much because it really laid it out so just basically, and it’s just like, all right, here is week one. Here is week two. And it just made it small tasks each week to make it seem very doable. And as long as you’re not looking ahead and freaking out, thinking about it all at once, then it’s fine.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Right. It’s like if you think about the pictures -- the big picture because the course is big. I mean, yes. But I did try to make it like, okay, here’s a lesson. Here’s the -- here’s what you need to do to apply it and the next so that way, you aren’t feeling like you’re running around like crazy.

Kate: Yes.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So that’s one thing that -- so I don’t know if our listeners know that you actually -- so you started off as a part-time proofreader, starting your business while you’re working. And then all of a sudden you posted in the group, y’all, I’m quitting my job. And I could not have been happier. So tell me what got you to that point where you were ready to be like, bye grocery store; hello full-time proofreading.

Kate: Well, I had been building up to it for a while. I think that was my goal from when I started. I was like, okay, I’m going to get started on this, get a few clients, just kind of gauge it out and slowly kind of switched the gears so that I would be cutting back at my full-time job as I kind of geared up the proofreading. And then the job just kind of got to be too much. There was a lot of drama. It was a whole roller coaster kind of the whole time I was there, and I left once and came back.

So it was kind of just it got to the point where things changed again, and I was like, oh, I think it’s time for me to just kind of leave. I had cut down to four days, and I was like, oh, this is great. Then I cut down to three days, and I was really just going to go one day down at a time and then just slip away. But then this day came where I was like, oh no, it’s time. And I felt good enough. I felt -- even if I knew it was probably not going to happen right away to be full, full time, I felt good enough with where I was at to just rely on that and kind of put all my energy towards that instead of half and half. And I just did it.

And I don’t know. It’s all about having faith in yourself I think and faith that it will work out even if it seems like it’s not. But, like I said, I had been working -- I mean, I had been working quite a lot, it felt like, so it wasn’t like I -- I worked extra to kind of make up for this time I’ve kind of had to spend a little less busy the last month. It definitely -- it’s been nice just to have this just to focus on.

I get a transcript in, and it’s like, okay, when is that due? In two days. I don’t even have to worry about it right now. I don’t know -- as opposed to having a whole other work schedule to work around and being stressed out all the time. So it’s been awesome just to appreciate the whole process of just the proofreading part after kind of scrambling around my other schedule for so long.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I love that -- I don’t love that your job got crazy and that you felt stressed. I don’t love that part. I mean, I think everybody who works at a job and has had the drama is like, oh, I know exactly what Kate’s talking about right now. And I love, though, that you had the foresight to put the work into building your business, building your transcript proofreading business up so that you had the option when you were like, no, I can’t -- this is not how I want to live my life. I’m ready to make the switch.

And it’s not always easy to make that switch from full-time -- like the traditional schedule to full-time proofreading, especially if you don’t have your clientele exactly where you want it. But you’re so right that it gives you the time and the energy to focus on what you want to do as opposed to what you have to do when you have two different jobs and trying to do it both.

Kate: Definitely. And it has taken a little bit for me to just adjust because I’ve never worked from home, let alone worked for myself, so that’s a whole different thing. You know, it’s one thing, I think, to work from home to have still like a set schedule. But if you’re actually working for yourself in something like this, it’s like, whoa. So it’s definitely been an interesting adjustment.

But I still love it. Even when I feel all weird and I’m like, oh my God. What is my purpose? I’m still like, but this is so great because I can go outside and take a walk whenever I want or go to the store and not feel like I’m just trying to shove that in on top of everything else. It’s -- I think I was always meant to just live on my own schedule, and it feels good no matter how often I’m like, ah! But lately it’s gotten better. It’s been over a month now, so I’m like, okay, I think I’m a little more in the flow.

Elizabeth Wiegner: You know, that is a good point when you haven’t worked for yourself before. You’re used to somebody telling you you need to be at work from this time to this time, and here’s your lunch time and ask permission before you take time off. What would you say -- because I think everybody eventually -- not everybody. Some people like to “just” -- I put that in quotes because it’s not just a “just,” “just” have a side hustle. But some people dream of finally being my own boss, doing my own thing.

And, yes, it’s awesome just like you said. You don’t have to cram, or you can go for a walk. What were some of the challenges that you felt going from having somebody else tell you your schedule to doing your own thing? How did you discipline yourself to get the work done that you needed to? What were some things that you set up in place to help yourself feel structured and have a purpose?

Kate: That’s a good question. I think it took me a while to get to that point where I was actually holding myself accountable. It was like -- honestly, it was a couple weeks ago that I was like, wait. I have just been kind of sitting around waiting for work to come, but if I was working a full-time job, I would be sitting down for, like, six to eight hours a day putting all this time in no matter what I had to do even if there’s stuff due. So I kind of clicked then, and I had a lot of personal stuff going on.

Once I quit, I had some family stuff, and so I was kind of also just giving myself some time. But then it was like a couple weeks after that when I realized, wait. I need to treat this like a job. So I’m just now -- I’m still kind of getting into that and working on how to structure. I think it’s more a good thing to have is like a set workspace, which I’m still kind of working on that too, but I’m getting better at it, and just section out times.

I finally got a planner, and I love physical writing stuff down. I’m really not much of a -- like an app person, so I finally got a planner. And I realized if I sit down in the morning and write out my goals for the month, for the day, for the whatever, that really helps to just see it there and have it written. So I’m finally kind of figuring that out with myself.

And so just, I think, figuring out your own best methods and knowing yourself. I don’t know. I think to work for yourself, you kind of have to know yourself pretty well and your downfalls and your everything. But I’m definitely -- I’m getting there. I think it’s a process just like the business side, the other -- there’s all the different processes happening at once.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That is -- that you have to know yourself, that’s really good. And that means the good and the not so good, the parts that you need to improve on, which isn’t a bad thing to know that you need to improve on it. It’s actually good when you know you can see what you need to work on to improve.

So I love that you said you -- for you, it’s not -- I teach how to organize your work online when you -- but for you, if you know a planner works for you, then I love that you figured out, hey -- and I’m the same way. If I write something down, it’s so much easier to look back, see it, remember it.

So I love that -- and I love what you said too about you made your goals and then you look at them to remind yourself this is why I’m doing it.

Kate: Yeah, totally. And I found -- I lucked out. I was at Barnes & Noble and found an old planner that’s like -- it was like a manifestation type thing, and I was like, oh, this is perfect. It’s like all your goals. What are your short-term goals, your long-term goals? And I’m like, yes! I’m going to utilize this and create the business of my dreams, so it was cool.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I love that so much. All right, y’all, clearly Barnes & Noble is the place to go if you need some help with your motivation. Who doesn’t love Barnes & Noble though too? It’s dangerous going in that store.

Kate: You took the words out of my mouth.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So one thing about you -- and I kind of started off by saying this -- one thing about you is, when you approached it, it was very much a, I want to enjoy this process. Even though I’m working a full-time job -- I’ve got a lot of stuff going on. This is a whole new skill that I’m learning. I’m having to set up my business. I want to enjoy it. I think you specifically said I don’t want to be stressed over this.

My -- I definitely -- I stress over a lot of things. I think a lot of people do because they’re in such a rush to start their business, and I totally get that. I’m not judging by any means. But your approaches just stood out so much because you have said more than once, I just want to enjoy this process. So tell me how you are able to just be so laid back and yet -- I mean, here’s the thing. It’s -- a lot of times, people equate laidback to being lazy and not getting work done, but you were laid back and still quit your job and are working for yourself now. So tell me how you made this magic happen.

Kate: Well, I don’t know if it’s -- it’s more of like a life view I think. And I feel like I started implementing it probably a few years ago, but I can’t really say how I got to it. But I don’t know. It’s just about having trust in, I mean, I say the universe or like whatever you believe in that whatever you deserve will come to you. And it’s a little bit above the realm of lawyers and transcript proofreading that we’re talking about.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That’s the truth.

Kate: But I don’t know. It’s just about trusting in your life path and knowing that where you’re meant to be will -- if you just kind of let it take you there, it will go, and I think I learned that lesson a couple years -- probably when I was -- when my partner and I were getting together it was kind of like a waiting game. We worked together, and I was kind of -- I was interested, but then he wasn’t.

It was kind of like this thing where I knew. I was like, I just know that this is what’s supposed to happen, but it was taking a long time, and I really had to learn patience. So maybe it comes from that because I really -- it was a real journey in that. And there’s been other things like that that I just kind of realized, I guess, just life lessons over the last few years, just -- I don’t know.

Things will happen. You don’t really have to force anything. It will just happen for you. Life kind of just happens. There’s a lot about -- I don’t know. We’re very structured in our way of living these days and very busy and all the things. But really, I think, the best things happen when you’re kind of behind all that, looking at it from a different perspective and able to just kind of detach from it, I guess.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So it’s -- you know that if this is meant to be for you, it’s going to happen. That doesn’t dissolve you of your responsibility of working hard and getting there.

Kate: Right, yeah. I mean, that’s the thing I think is hard to explain because it does seem like, oh yeah, I’m not doing anything. But no, I mean, you still -- you’re still doing all the work. It’s just a matter of -- like we were saying earlier, one thing at a time, one day at a time, and not getting ahead of yourself.

I think our brains like to just jump so far into the future, and I was having that issue back before I even started, freaking out about marketing. And it’s like, okay, but I am back at this part of the course. I haven’t even gotten to the marketing yet. And it’s like that’s what our brains like to do, but yeah, it’s all about that. I kind of lost where I was going there.

Elizabeth Wiegner: You’re trusting -- I love that you said that because you’re trusting the process. You’re knowing that if you lay the foundation for it now, because that’s one of the biggest questions I get is -- and I’m going to have a podcast episode coming up on that is -- one of the biggest questions I get is not, how do you do this skill, not how do I know if I’m good at this. I mean, I get those questions.

But the biggest one is, how do I get clients? And that isn’t the most important question when it comes to proofreading. I mean, I understand, like you said, it makes sense that our brain jumps there because, duh, we want to make money off of this. And it’s not the most important thing as you’re learning. It’s taking it day by day, learning the skills that you need. I’m so glad you said that because that is such -- it’s easy to let our minds rush ahead and get stressed and not focused in the moment where we’re at and what we need to do.

Kate: Well, and I think -- I just thought of this too -- daily habits is a big thing. If you’re focusing -- I mean, this goes into the one-day-at-a-time thing, but that’s what I’m trying to build right now is if you can wake up each day and do these specific things, just work on -- like I’ve been waking up and I’ll study and then connect with people on social media or whatever. And if you’re just doing little stuff every single day, eventually you’re going to look back and you’re like, wow, look at where I am now. And you don’t even notice because it’s just about the daily stuff because all that really matters is the day in front of you. It’s not about everything else.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That is so good, yes. I couldn’t have said it better myself. That -- yes, and that’s why it’s so important about celebrating your wins along the way and recognizing what you’ve done because if you just look at the big picture of, man, I want to be able to quit my job and -- or make X amount of money a month, but you’re still in the learning process, you’re going to give up because that just seems impossible. But daily habits -- that’s what builds the end result that you want. And it’s a work in progress, like you said. You’re still working on it.

Kate: Yes. Everything is a work in progress.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So how do you stay -- this might be -- I feel I haven’t fully answered this question either, so I’m just curious what your thoughts are on it. How do you find that you stay content and fulfilled in the day to day when you still have big goals too? Because it’s -- that is hard to balance. I’m just hitting you with this huge life question here. Come up with it off the top of your head, Kate.

Kate: That’s a good question. I mean, I think it’s -- for me, it’s more about focusing on not just my business but other aspects of my life too. I’ve been wanting to focus more on getting better at preparing food and getting better groceries or focus more on that and spending time with my cats or whatever it may be. But I think it’s just all about not focusing on that one part of my life even though it’s all happening now in this space that I live in. I think it’s good to have that separation still and, I don’t know, just appreciate -- again appreciate every moment.

I’ll get out and study my Margie book, and I’m like, oh my God, this is so fun. It’s like school. I’m doing the workbook along with it, and it was just like -- so yeah, just enjoying everything. I was doing financial planning the other day, like ah. I just like it. It’s fun just doing these little things that are just for me and my business and not having to answer anybody else. So I don’t know. I appreciate it all from that sense, but I also might still just be in the afterglow of the leaving the job world.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh it -- at least for me it has -- and it’s been years since I’ve been in a -- walked into and had a cubicle or whatever. It’s still -- I said -- I’m like, I cannot believe that I’m doing this. Like I went and got my hair done in the middle of the day yesterday, and there’s no way I would have just taken off work, taken vacation time to get my hair done. And I was sitting there thinking, wow. Now, I still had a lot to do when I got home. Let’s not be kidding. But it’s still the flexibility to make your own decision.

But back to how you so well-answered that question, I could talk about that forever. Enjoying the moment that you’re in and appreciating it for what it is, that -- and I say this a lot, and I know -- I mean, I’m a business owner. I feel -- and I love to work, so it is easy for business to be all-encompassing. But I love that you said that to enjoy other areas of your life too and not let your business be everything because proofreading is meant to support the life that you want to have. It’s not -- your life is not meant for you to just be a proofreading machine 24/7.

Kate: Yeah, that would defeat the purpose of getting out of the job world.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes, exactly.

Kate: But I do love the flexibility because it’s like, if I want to, I can take the whole morning for myself and then do my work in the afternoon. And the other night, I got an immediate job that I was able to do. It was in the evening, and I was like, yeah, sure. I mean, just send it over, whatever. I haven’t worked -- I don’t have much work tomorrow. I’ll just do it tonight. I mean, it’s just fun. You don’t have to stick to any structure if you don’t want to. So I just -- I like that too.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Me too. I know some people definitely get very structured with their proofreading business. They’re like, I do it from this hour to this hour, and that works for them. I’m like you where it’s like, if it works, it works. I’ll just do it now. And that just attracts to my -- I don’t like people telling me what to do. I do it on my own terms, kind of thing.

Kate: Yeah. There was a while where I thought, oh, I need to structure my hours out. And then I’m like, why would I do that?

Elizabeth Wiegner: Like you’re back at work again.

Kate: Yeah, that’s horrible. I want to do whatever I want.

Elizabeth Wiegner: So you and your partner live together. How do you communicate to him that this is like I need time to focus? Is that something you’ve talked about, or how is that -- how have you worked that out so that you both are on the same page?

Kate: I mean, he’s generally really good about just not bothering me. I mean, it helps that he kind of does his own stuff too, and his schedule -- his job is weird right now. He works three really long days and then has three days off, so during those three days that he’s gone, it’s like, I just have my own life. So then it kind of makes up for when he’s here. He does creative stuff and music and stuff, so he’ll have his own little studio room, so he’ll just go and do his own thing if I have a lot to do. Or he’s -- he’s very respectful about my space and time and if I’m like, all right, I have to do this, he’s like, okay. Or if he is talking too much, I’m like, shh! And he’s…

Elizabeth Wiegner: Oh, I’ve done that a lot. But -- you said he’s respectful of your time. You communicated that with him too. That’s a big key is don’t expect them to read your mind that you need this time.

Kate: Yeah. Like for example, the other night when I got that immediate job, and it was due before 5 a.m., and so it was like it wasn’t like immediate, immediate, but it was like, okay, I have to finish this tonight. I told him right away before I even responded because it was his day off. We were hanging out and watching a movie, whatever, and I was like, okay, well, I just got this offer for this job, and it would be pretty solid. I’d like to -- I’m going to do that. And so he was like, yeah, okay, cool.

And then we were making dinner, and he was like, well, I’ll just make dinner. You do that so you can get it done mostly before dinner. And so it was like -- he’s very flexible about it, and he understands that it kind of is just going to happen whenever it happens.

But on the flipside, sometimes there’s days when I don’t even have anything to do if I don’t want to and if we want to spend time together. But I definitely think I have to work more on when I don’t have work to do, somewhat of what I was saying earlier, making that structure because it’s easy to get caught up if he’s off. And I’m like, oh, we can just hang out all day. It’s like, no, no, no. Even if I don’t have work, I’m still working. So I’m trying to find that balance

Elizabeth Wiegner: It is -- you know, you had mentioned this before we started the podcast that it almost feels like a vacation. It’s like you don’t have to report to anybody. It’s like, oh, okay.

Kate: Yeah. And even the emails because he used to work from home, and he was warning me before I even got into full-time working at home, and he was like, you want to set boundaries. And he used to have a crazy boss who, if he emailed him at 9 p.m., you had to respond, and I’m like, the only emails I get are a job offer, and it’s basically just like, all right, cool, thanks.

So I feel like I can just -- I don’t know. I feel like I just kind of do it whenever. I’m like, oh, I got an email! It’s 8 p.m. Who cares? But I don’t have to -- it’s not like I have to -- it’s just like, okay, that’s in my list now. I’ve got a transcript to do, but it’s not like I have to sit down and like, oh, I’ve got to do all this stuff at any given moment. It’s like the emailing is kind of just a side thing, and then it’s like the transcript proofreading you can do whenever within the due dates. So it’s like -- it’s so nice.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes. That just makes me so happy. I’m like, yes, this is why I love proofreading too.

Kate: You’re like, validation!

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes. It’s -- I think we’ve all at some point have had a crazy boss or know somebody who’s had a crazy boss or heard the horror stories. And when you get -- I mean, yes, you do report to your court reporters in the sense that, if they have the due date, you turn it in by that due date. That’s not -- you don’t have wiggle room on that. And you do need to invoice well or on time and have good work ethics.

But you’re your own boss. You set that -- and if a job comes in and you don’t want to do it or you don’t have the availability or you and your partner had something else planned where you’re like, you know, I think I should prioritize this right now, it’s not the end of the world if you say no either.

Kate: Yeah, it’s awesome. You’re not obligated to anything really except your bills.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Well, I mean, that’s a thing. Could you imagine telling your boss at the grocery store and be like, you know, I just don’t feel like coming in today? How long would you have your job?

Kate: Exactly. I was never even that good at calling out even if I felt I had to. It’s like, I don’t know. It was weird. But now it’s like, oh, I don’t have to worry about -- I just don’t like sharing -- part of the reason I don’t like calling out is because I didn’t like giving away any part of my personal life. I was like, you don’t deserve to know. If I come and just suffer, then I don’t have to talk to you.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Hey, I hear you. I hear you. There is -- you do feel like if you are sick for a certain -- I can’t remember. It’s been -- like it was two or three days. I don’t know. I think each place has their own requirements, but you need to bring a doctor’s note, kind of thing. But then you have to get in touch with your doctor and then give them the note. And it’s like if you tell your court reporters you’re taking a week off because you’re sick, they’re not going to be like, well prove it to me.

Kate: Right. It’s true.

Elizabeth Wiegner: And you don’t have to tell them why you were sick. You don’t even have to tell them why you’re taking off. You just say, hey, I’m not going to be here Tuesday and Wednesday, and they’re like, okay. And then you connect them with a grad who can cover for you. And then you get your client back when you’re back. It’s not like you said goodbye forever.

Kate: You’re not going to be written up about it.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That’s the other thing, yes, no more write-ups or end-of-year reviews where you’re just like, blah.

Kate: Hoping to get like a 30-cent raise or something.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Right. Hey, you set your own rates. You give yourself raises when you want. Isn’t that such a good feeling? It’s such a good feeling.

Kate: Yeah, it is.

Elizabeth Wiegner: And I remember trying to climb the corporate ladder, which you know is the American dream. I don’t -- that’s not how I feel America started. I feel like America started with you -- like what we do. You start your own business, and you set your own schedule. But it seems like the corporate ladder thing, how many times you had to do jobs you didn’t want to or just maybe even compromise your ethics or what you -- just to have a corner office with a window. When you get there, it’s not even that fulfilling to begin with.

Kate: Right. It’s kind of an illusion.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes. I know there are people who do love, and they’ve worked very hard for it, and I’m not trying to diss on those people who do because, I mean, hey. I was in oil and gas, and my goal was, yes, work my way up and have an office. And so I totally get the reason why, and if that’s where you’re at, great. And for those of us who have tasted the freedom of working on your own terms, it’s hard to -- I mean, you can’t go back.

Kate: Oh, I know. I’ve already realized, and I’m like, wow. I will probably never have a full-time job again.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Isn’t that -- isn’t it surreal?

Kate: Yeah. And I’m like, maybe there -- I could see myself maybe getting a part-time job if I -- if the need arose or it’s like, I’ll try something different. But it’s so nice to realize like, wow. I don’t have to work if I don’t want to, and I could only work part time if I want to. It’s just -- working full time is [indiscernible_00:35:34].

Elizabeth Wiegner: I agree. And that’s -- I like that you said you could get another part-time if you wanted. A lot of people who proofread end up starting their own -- a lot of people “just,” and I put “just” in quotes, start -- just do proofreading. But a lot of people start other side hustles too because they’re like -- they realize how fun it is to learn something new and make money off of it, or they go volunteer more. They had -- sometimes it’s hard to get into -- it is hard to get into part-time jobs when you need a full-time income. But now that you have proofreading, if you wanted to go do a part-time job somewhere, it’s like you have so much more flexibility to do it too. That was a good point.

Kate: I do feel like it’s opened up. It’s opened up all the doors that you could want, and volunteering and anything. You just have time.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Yes. And that -- you can’t put a price tag on that. Having time to do what fulfills you. Well, for somebody who’s thinking about transcript proofreading, maybe they’re a general -- gone through general proofreading like you did, they’re currently in a full-time job, and they’re just wondering I don’t know how this is going to happen. What would be your one piece or two or three pieces of advice that you would give to somebody who’s interested in transcript proofreading? Whether for part time or full time, what would you tell them?

Kate: I think you just have to be ready for anything maybe. I mean, you never really know what you’re going to read, and I think knowing the rules is the most important part. Even now, I’m reading through Margie Wakeman Wells’ book, and it’s like, whoa, I didn’t even realize -- there’s things I kind of knew from doing proofreading, but actually reading through all the rules, it’s like, oh my gosh, that makes sense.

And now I kind of know the details. But it’s not -- it’s just regular grammar. So I think that that’s the most important thing to realize when doing the actual work because it’s just -- it can be all over the place, or it can just not make sense. But you kind of have to be ready to just roll with it and make good, educated guesses.

Elizabeth Wiegner: I feel like that goes with your approach to your whole business in life in general is go with the flow. Appreciate the moment you’re in. Learn -- I think that’s my biggest takeaway from listening to you in this podcast is just appreciate where you’re at. Do your best. Educate yourself. And clearly, you’re taking the time to research and learn, and I mean, you’re already working with clients, but you’re still taking time to go back and read and learn and improve your skills. And you’re still enjoying everything while you’re at it. So I think that’s a really -- oh, there goes Mabel.

Kate: I was just like, I hope she doesn’t -- she loves to jump on the table and use that as her landing pad. I was like, as long as she just doesn’t jump.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That’s the thing. When you start working from home, you suddenly have -- you may not have any more human coworkers, but you have furry coworkers.

Kate: Yeah, and they’re very [indiscernible_00:38:55]. They are my boss.

Elizabeth Wiegner: That’s true. I guess when we have cats, you really aren’t your own boss. I guess we need to go back and correct that. That’s the only boss I don’t mind reporting to.

Kate: Yeah.

Elizabeth Wiegner: Well, Kate, thank you so much. We were talking about how important time is. Thank you for taking your time to come and talk with me, talk with everybody who’s -- like maybe you’re in the middle of transcript proofreading, and you’re like, okay, I’ve just got -- I’ve got to keep going, or maybe you have your own business, or you’re thinking about it.

Kate’s approach to just living in the moment, doing what you need to do right now, appreciating where you’re at, and then also still looking forward to the goals of quitting your job before you even knew you would be doing it. It’s -- I just -- Kate’s -- I always -- I frequently bring up Kate and her laid back approach.

So I hope you all have loved listening to Kate as much as I have, and of course, if you want to learn more about transcript proofreading, make sure to watch my free workshop TheProofreadingBusinessCoach.com/workshopregistration. And I’ll see you guys in the next episode.

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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.