How to make your own proofreading luck


Your proofreading side hustle won’t start or succeed by waiting around on luck.

It needs YOU to make it happen!

Waiting on luck is leaving your success up to something you don’t have to work on. You take the power of success out of your hands and put it on something completely intangible like luck. 

You won’t be lucky or successful if you sit around and wait for it to happen. Steve Blank said, “People talk about getting lucky breaks in their careers. I’m living proof that the ‘lucky breaks’ theory is simply wrong. You get to make your own luck… The world is run by those who show up… not by those who wait to be asked.”

So instead of waiting around for your proofreading side hustle to happen, instead of waiting for your lucky break, you need to make it happen. You have to make your own luck.

For those who want to sit around on their hands because they don’t feel lucky or are waiting on success to drop from the sky, I have bad news: proofreading success won’t happen without sweat and determination. But if you’re willing to work for it, the good news is you can make that luck happen for yourself! You don’t have to wait for it to come to you. Here’s how.

1. Get started 

Don’t wait to be perfect. 

Some reasons I hear on why people don’t get started on their proofreading business are I don’t know how to proofread or I don’t know how to get clients.

But you aren’t expected to know all the ins and outs from day one! First comes the desire, then comes the action to learn, and then you can have a successful business. 

Holding yourself back from starting because you don’t know how is just an excuse to feel better about not doing anything about it. 

You absolutely can learn! And then once you learn, you’ll know how.

Maybe you’ve been waiting to launch your business until you know how to build a website (which, btw, you don’t need a website to get started!). Or maybe you haven’t started marketing to get clients because you don’t feel like the expert you think you should be. 

If you just focus on what you can’t do, you’ll never get started! What’s important is you have the desire to learn. You can grow the skills you need to be a successful proofreader. 

And the sooner you get started learning, the sooner you’ll be ready to start making money as a proofreader.

2. Always be learning

A lucky (successful) proofreader never stops learning. Whether that’s learning the very basics of grammar, spelling, and how to use different proofreading software or that’s learning how to manage your business, how to market without feeling icky and spammy, and how to keep your clients happy, a good proofreader is always growing.

The more you know, the more you can apply yourself and the better you can find (and keep!) clients. Regardless of where you’re at in your proofreading journey, learning will be the key to your success (and the key to your proofreading luck).

I’ve been proofreading since 2006, and I am still growing! I learn new words and definitions constantly (Merriam-Webster is my most-used resource when I’m proofreading transcripts.). When I run into a weird sentence I’m not sure how to punctuate, I study grammar rules inside reference manuals. 

One of my favorite ways to keep growing my business is by taking courses. Instead of spending hours and hours trying to figure new skills out on my own, I can learn from someone who already has it figured out and has it explained to me either in a course or through coaching. It takes the stress and frustration out of learning on my own and lets me focus my time and energy on what my coach has outlined for me. (And I don’t have to guess if it’s right or will work or not!)

When I started proofreading years ago, I was largely self-taught, and I made so many embarrassing mistakes and felt very lost and overwhelmed trying to navigate not only learning a new skill but also starting my own business. I don’t wish that on anyone! (And it’s why I created my coaching programs for you!)

3. Take action 

Your successful proofreading business doesn’t happen through blind chance. It doesn’t happen by simply wishing it into existence and then twiddling your thumbs. 

You can start learning all the right things. You can be the best grammarian, speller, and researcher. You can know how to set your rates and work with clients. 

But all that knowledge doesn’t do you any good if you don’t put it into action. 

It’s like buying all the ingredients you need for your favorite chocolate chip cookies. You can have all the sugar, flour, and chocolate chips. You can have the recipe. You can have the mixer and oven. But if you let everything sit there, nothing will happen! You won’t have that melty goodness in your mouth until you actually put the ingredients together and bake the cookies.

Same with proofreading. You can learn and have all the proofreading tools you need, but if you sit back and wait on your business to magically come together, it won’t. 

You have to get started, you have to learn, and then you have to be willing to put what you learned into consistent practice. Whether you succeed or not is up to you to decide. 

You are in charge of creating your own proofreading luck.

There is nothing more empowering or exciting than to see a dream come to life because you applied yourself to it.

Take ownership of your success

As you get started, learn, take action, and see results, there will invariably be people who tell you you’re so lucky to have your own proofreading business where you can work on your own schedule wherever you want.

When that happens, you need to remind people that no, you’re not just lucky. You created your own luck. You earned where you are in your business. It’s not something that you can just attribute to blind luck. You created that luck through a lot of determination and hard work.

Don’t let anyone downplay the work you put into your success. 

And don’t let anybody – or even yourself – tell you that your proofreading business is up to blind luck. It’s up to you.

Go create your own proofreading luck today! Get started here.

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Find Success By Making Your own Luck In Your Proofreading Business - 3 Actionable Tips to Get Started

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.