Why You HAVE to Know Your Proofreading Whys (To Build a Successful Proofreading Business)


by elizabethjwiegner

Have you ever gotten started on a project you were super excited about (maybe even trying to start your own proofreading business), and then everything just, well, sputtered out?

You got tired or frustrated or overwhelmed, and you thought, Eh, I’ll focus on this tomorrow. And then tomorrow turned into next week, and the next week turned into a month…and then a year…

If you’ve had that happen, know you aren’t alone! You aren’t the only person — by a long shot! — who that’s happened to. 

It happens often when people start something exciting but then don’t do the prep work they need to set themselves up for success. 

My work-from-home journey started 20 years ago (teaching piano out of my parents’ living room)! And it has definitely been an experience.

I’m not going to lie: Even though working from home is ah-mazing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, it hasn’t always been exactly easy.

Mixed in with a whole lot of super-awesome days have been some tough days too.

On those harder days though, where I’m putting in some crazy hours and feeling super tired working on giant proofreading projects, what keeps me going is my proofreading whys — the reasons I decided to create this awesome proofreading side hustle to begin with.

But even even on the really, really good days, I still need direction — a reason — a WHY for what I’m doing.

Because without knowing why I’m putting in all the work to be the best proofreader I can be, I’d get lost on that crazy journey.

And the same is true for you! Whether you’re already proofreading or you’re just thinking about getting started, knowing your why (or whys!) is important crucial to being successful. In fact, it’s what you MUST do to be successful.

Knowing your why for building your proofreading business is actually the very first thing I go over with my students in Make Money Proofreading. We don’t jump into how market or how to manage our clients once we get them. We start by digging down into what each of our whys are.

That’s because your proofreading whys give you

  • Direction
  • Hope
  • Meaning
  • Security
  • Reason
  • Motivation
  • Encouragement

Without your whys, your goals will fall flat, your passion will die down, your motivation will disappear, and you’ll slowly let your proofreading dream slip away.

That’s because a successful proofreading business is built on solid, well-constructed goals. But without knowing your whys behind your goals, your business will end up going nowhere. Think of your whys as the energy that keeps your business running.

So whether you’re just starting out on your proofreading journey or you’ve been at it for a while and you need a boost, pause for a bit to think about why you want to have your proofreading business. 

What could some of those whys be? 

Maybe one of your proofreading whys is because you struggle with your health and need a way to work from home to supplement your income. Maybe you want to prove you can be successful starting your own business. Maybe you’re heading into retirement but still want to keep your mind active. Maybe you stay home with your kids and still want to be able to contribue to the household income. Maybe you want to travel more or put a good downpayment on a car or need a way to make rent every month.

Those are just a small handful of possible reasons why you want to be a proofreader!

Now, I know sometimes people who worry their whys/reasons they work from home may seem kinda lame or even selfish to other people.

But you know what? It doesn’t matter what other people think about your whys. 

What matters is if they motivate and encourage you.

That’s because they’re your whys — not anyone else’s. 

Take my whys for instance. My whys may seem a little weird to some people. I don’t have health issues that make it difficult for me to have a “traditional” job. And I don’t have kids.

But my whys work for me. (And who knows, maybe some of these could be your whys too!)

For instance, my whys for proofreading are so…

1. I can make money when I want. 

Proofreading is SO flexible! I can proofread when I want, where I want — which means I can make money whenever I want. If I want to make more money proofreading, I’ll market myself more. And if I don’t want more work, I’ll lay low for a month or two.

2. I can be my own boss.

I love being able to work for my own goals, not ones someone else has set for me!

There’s something extra powerful and motivating about having my own business, where I call the shots on how much I get paid, who I will and won’t work for, and what I will and won’t do in my business.

3. I can work in PJ pants and tank tops.

One company I worked for in the past had a — no joke — sixteen-page dress code. Y’all, it was terrible.

When I’m proofreading, it doesn’t matter one teeny, tiny bit what I wear! I can wear my PJ pants and tank tops if I want. And I LOVE that!

4. I can make money doing what I really, really love. 

Life is full of doing things we don’t want to do. And that’s okay. That’s just called being an adult.

But if you can find ways to enjoy life more, you’ll be happier, stress less, and potentially live longer!

And one way I choose to live happier is by making money doing something I absolutely love — proofreading!

5. I can have savings built up for a rainy day.  

I work my day job so the bills get paid. But with my proofreading side hustle, I can save up for whenever I want (or need) something. My most favorite thing I’ve ever spent my proofreading money on was my Peloton last year! It was a splurge…and a lot of hours went into that bike. But it’s been SO fun and such a stress reliever — totally worth it! And there was something extra special about splurging my own proofreading money to fully funded my Peloton.

Wrapping it up

See how my whys may be totally different than yours? Or maybe they’re super simliar!

Either way is completely fine.

What’s important is you find what motivates you. What keeps you going when life gets crazy. Or what gives you the drive to get started proofreading…right now!

Take action!

What are your whys to start (or grow) your proofreading side hustle? Take time to think about them and then let me know in the comments below!

And if you’re ready to start following your proofreading whys, let’s do this together! Tap here to get started with Make Money Proofreading.

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