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How Aimee Went from Fired to Successful Freelance Proofreader

Do you feel like you’ve tried lots of different careers and nothing has worked out?

Maybe your circumstances changed, and the job didn’t fit in with your lifestyle anymore…

Or you’re an introvert, and being around people all day exhausted you…

Or you got sick of always trying to sell something to your friends…

Don’t let these setbacks make you feel like a failure! It’s okay to keep trying different things until you find your calling.

Aimee was a freelance floral designer, worked in retail, and tried several direct sales jobs before she discovered the right fit for her — being a successful freelance proofreader. Now she gets to spend more time with her family, and she feels more confident and less stressed! Check out her story below.

Q: Hi, Aimee! Tell us a little about your background. What did your life look like before you crossed paths with PA?

From fired to freedom: Aimee bounced back and became a successful freelance proofreader

I always envied those who knew what they wanted to “be” when they grew up. That was never me. Freelancing as a floral designer was fun and rewarding until a sudden change in circumstances made that a difficult avenue to pursue for steady work. My husband has a demanding job, so my taking on more of the household management helps him succeed. We have three teens, so I’m a busy mom on the go!

For the last decade, I have worked part-time in retail. My feet hurt from standing all the time. Every Saturday was spent away from my family. And, even though I have a bubbly demeanor, I am an introvert all the way; being “on” all day exhausted me. I knew something had to change.

Q: Proofreading is the perfect job for an introvert! When did you start proofreading, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread transcripts?

I once read the term “serial entrepreneur” (maybe even in the PA group), and I thought that described me perfectly! While working in retail and running my household, I was constantly looking for a way to work for myself. I tried several direct sales jobs, but none of those worked out. Failure was taking a toll on me.

I have always enjoyed reading and writing, and I used to wonder how I could get paid to read. Browsing through Pinterest led me to Proofread Anywhere. I was intrigued but cautious. I took the free 7-day introductory course three times over the next year! March of 2017 would be the start of a new adventure for me. I signed up to start the course. Knowing I could purchase the course one section at a time was a big help. A year later, I would earn my first paycheck from my first real transcript proofreading job!

Q: Nothing wrong with trying different business opportunities until the right one comes along! What was the most challenging part of getting started?

Self-doubt really hindered me. With so many failed attempts at working for myself, I was hesitant to invest my time, energy, and finances into something that may wind up being another failure for me. So many “what-ifs” ran through my head. What if I’m not any good? What if I don’t like it? Or what if this doesn’t work out? I loved that I could start with Beginner Basecamp! Dipping my toes in was just what I needed.

Q: That’s exactly why I set up the Transcript Proofreading course that way! Beginner Basecamp lets you test out the course without making a big up-front investment. What was the most valuable thing you learned during the course?

From fired to freedom: Aimee bounced back and became a successful freelance proofreader

All of the course content is valuable. You must master the skills needed before you can even think about marketing yourself. I appreciated the emphasis on that. This course may have been the first place I had heard the term “Imposter Syndrome.” Having a name for that has helped me to manage those thoughts better.

 Q: So true! If you don’t master the skills first, you’re asking for trouble. How long did it take to find your first client? And how many clients do you have now?

I started marketing in February 2018. Imposter syndrome struck hard, and I was hesitant to reach out in ways I had planned. Timid marketing gets you nowhere! I even skirted around a few opportunities because I was so nervous. I finally pulled it together and landed my first client the last week of March. And I got my second one a few weeks later. Now I have five regular clients that send me varying amounts of work. Some of them are for small jobs or occasional work, but they’re consistent. I’m a backup for a few others, and sometimes I accept one-off jobs when reporters are in a pinch.

Here’s what some of Aimee’s happy clients have to say!

From fired to freedom: Aimee bounced back and became a successful freelance proofreader
From fired to freedom: Aimee bounced back and became a successful freelance proofreader

Q: How long did it take you to recoup your investment?

I’m happy to say I earned back the cost of the course in less than three months, working very part-time. The next month I billed over $1,000!

Q: What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the course to learn how to proofread? Is it worth the money?

First, be ready to work hard! And yes! Learning and mastering a needed skill in a specific niche is so valuable. The support of the PA community is incredible.

Q: What does your life look like now as a successful freelance proofreader?

It’s wonderful! My stress is down, and my confidence is up! Looking at my life a year ago, things are very different.

Last summer, while working through the course, I was completely blindsided when I was let go from my retail job. This wasn’t a corporate downsizing. I worked for a small, upscale, family-owned business. One day, I am a valuable member of the team, and the next day I don’t work there anymore. I was crushed. I pretty much cried for three days. Then I decided to take advantage of having more time and finished the course sooner than I would have been able to otherwise. This past summer, working as a freelance proofreader was so much better than previous summers spent working retail!

I was able to earn an income while hanging out with my kids. I have proofread at the beach, at theme parks, and in the car. My favorite thing is working on my front porch in the morning. I sip my coffee while my dog keeps me company. I no longer stress about sick days or school snow days. We have more time together as a family. I have the peace of mind of knowing I’m in charge of my work life now. It’s a very satisfying way to live.

From fired to freedom: Aimee bounced back and became a successful freelance proofreader
Proofreading allows Aimee to spend more time with her beautiful family!

Q: Being your own boss is the best! Anything else you’d like to share with the PA community?

It took me longer than anticipated to graduate. But the hard work is worth it! I would devour PA success stories while I worked through the course. And now I get to write my own story. Not just a Proofread Anywhere success story, but my own story for work and life! The work is there. Be trustworthy, reliable, and do excellent work. It’s yours for the taking.

Our Take

Aimee’s story is so inspirational because she didn’t let self-doubt after a few setbacks stop her from trying again. She kept going and found a job that fits her lifestyle and personality. Way to go, Aimee!

Your Turn

If you haven’t found your calling yet, don’t give up! Keep trying new things until you find the right fit for you. Maybe proofreading transcripts could be the perfect job for you! Check out my free 7-day proofreading intro course to find out.

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  1. I worked as an Administrative Assistant for many years. Proofreading documents and outgoing correspondence was a large part of my job. I think that doing a proofreading job from home would be ideal for me.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Chelsa! Yeah, sounds like this would be perfect for you! 🙂

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