A few weeks ago, Jacki sent me an e-mail with “Another Success Story!” in the subject line. I LOVE GETTING SUCCESS EMAILS! It never gets old.
Jacki’s email read:
Hi Caitlin, I’ve recently become another success story for your course! My boyfriend has worked remotely for years, and we both wanted to travel. I signed up for your course, quit my job, and we started our adventure in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a city FULL of people working “location independent” jobs. I completed the course after we got here, found my first court reporters, and just in the past week made my first dollar remotely, proofing transcripts.
WOW! One of the most frequently asked questions we receive at PA is “What if I live outside the US? Can this still work for me?” We have a FAQ post dedicated to answering that question, but when we reply to the question, we love to brag on all the PA program grads who are crushing it outside the US. It is so inspiring to hear. We’ve got proofreaders who are making money doing excellent work in Kenya, the Philippines, Ecuador, Costa Rica, the UK, Mexico, Canada … and now Thailand! The list keeps growing.
So I got this e-mail from Jacki and I *had* to know more, so we interviewed her as a success story on the site. Hold on to your hats for this one!
Tell us a little about your background, Jacki!
I studied abroad in New Zealand in 2006, and have had a passion for travel ever since. It bummed me out when I began to realize that I never had time to travel the way I wanted to (more than just 1-2 weeks) while working a “real” job in the “real world.”
When I met my boyfriend four years ago, he already had a successful business working entirely online, and the flexibility of his schedule and how many more trips he was able to take per year made me really see the benefits of work like his. However, I really didn’t think what he does is right for me. Sometime in 2014, we began discussing a big, 1-2 year adventure around the world, and I finally wanted this so bad that I began searching for work that I could do remotely.
My friend Katie met Caitlin’s husband Ben through an entrepreneur group they were both a part of, and he mentioned the course. Katie thought it would be perfect for me, and I did too, so I signed up, and now my travel adventure is a reality, because I can make money proofreading all over the world!
When did you start proofreading transcripts, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread transcripts?
I’ve only been doing this for two weeks so far! I think my answer above explains why I decided to learn.
For me, I only had a few hours a week to devote to the course at the beginning, and found myself having to review everything I had already gone through every time I sat down with it. So, I just put it on hold for a couple months until I knew I had the time to devote to it. From then on, it was smooth sailing 🙂 (Note: I think you can definitely have enough time to get through it while working full time. I was working full time and then had a bunch of other stuff come up that was taking up lots of time outside of my 9-to-5.)
What was/were the most valuable thing(s) you learned during the course?
Everything I learned was valuable, because I had no background experience or education in this, at all. Without this course I wouldn’t have had any clue as to how to get started in the field, so all of it was valuable and important!
How long did it take you to find your first client? How many clients do you have now?
It took me about a week to find my first client. I was already living abroad by the time I was looking for clients, so I felt a little concerned that would limit me in how I could look for them (couldn’t go into agencies or shadow reporters) but that wasn’t an issue at all! I have three clients now, and am definitely reading slowly at this point to make sure I’m doing great work. I feel like I will get much quicker with more practice, and will likely look to add clients soon. I may get some referrals through my current clients, but I’ve only emailed about a quarter of the names on the initial list I generated, so I don’t think I will have trouble finding a few more!
What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the course to proofread transcripts? Is it worth the money?
Definitely! Especially if you consider how much money (and time!) it would take to start many new careers. This is one course you can do online that gives you ALL the information you need, rather than several semesters of additional schooling. Additionally, it can start making you your money back really quickly, while starting many businesses can have high initial start-up fees and doesn’t actually make money for a while. My advice is the same as Caitlin’s, though, that you do need to already have an eye for this sort of thing, and be serious about learning the material. It is not going to be right for everyone and will take hard work, but if you are serious about it, you can be successful!
Anything else you’d like to add?
The support community of grads in the Facebook group is so, so helpful. I was kind of a “lurker” while I was still completing the course, just reading what was being discussed to learn more little tidbits along the way. Now that I have my own clients, I have questions that come up all the time, and they always get answered by the group. And I have more confidence and wisdom to answer questions posted by others, too!
We are so glad to have you as part of the PA Community!
Questions or comments for Jacki? Leave them in the comments below 🙂