Richard wasn’t financially ready to retire yet, but he also didn’t want to get back into corporate life. That’s when he reconnected with his childhood dream of proofreading.
Now that he’s proofing for court reporters, Richard is bringing in the income he needs while loving every minute of his pre-retirement life.
And he’s proving guys are awesome proofreaders!
Read on to see how this veteran-owned proofreading business became a huge success!
Tell us a little about your background, Richard! What did your life look like before you crossed paths with PA?
I was laid off from my engineering job back in October 2015 and began a job search while drawing severance pay and unemployment. My job prospects were looking very dismal around May/June 2016 and my severance/unemployment were just about used up. Even though I had a military pension upon my retirement from the U.S. Air Force in 1993, and IRAs and a 401(k) from my engineering job, I still needed “bridging” income till I could retire from civilian industry and collect my full social security in 2019. Even the prospects for just a part-time job at my age, experience level and salary requirement, were not promising. My wife suggested I look into proofreading since I always had a knack for grammar, spelling, and punctuation ever since I was a child, and I was always correcting something or other in the media.
I was always interested in the law and found Proofread Anywhere a perfect way to get involved in the legal industry, start my own business (which I always wanted to do), leave corporate America, and be my own boss with my own hours, my own clients, and no commuting hassles. I liked what I read about Caitlin and her course, so I signed up for the free 7-day intro course and got hooked. So here I am!
When did you start proofreading transcripts, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread transcripts?
Actually, the first time I proofread a transcript was in the course. I didn’t know what these documents were formally called, and I did not know that much about what a court reporter did. I did not know such a job as transcript proofreading even existed and where it fit in the grand scheme of the legal industry. Book proofreaders and editors are fairly common, but transcript proofreaders were a “special ops” group. From my online research, the field also was not saturated and wouldn’t even come close to being saturated in the near future.
What was the most challenging part in getting started?
The most challenging part was convincing my wife that I should invest in the course. The tuition for Caitlin’s course is actually very, very reasonable compared to a business college tuition (I have an MBA = $$$$). And the start-up costs of a transcript proofreading business are much less than a brick-and-mortar business. After I informed my wife that the course cost can be paid in three stages and after I explained the start-up costs model, she was in!
What was/were the most valuable thing(s) you learned during the course?
I was able to ask the instructor and the PA team questions and receive near real-time responses from a genuine person and not a computer. Also having the student Facebook forum was very valuable in asking questions, in forming relationships with fellow students, and in working as a team toward a common goal. The Graduate Huddle Facebook page is invaluable when you are setting up your business. Another asset was that the course material was always available even after graduation and that the course content was dynamic.
How long did it take you to find your first client? How many clients do you have now?
I launched my website on 1 November 2016 and got my first client on 4 November 2016 and my second client on 5 November 2016. Both clients are now regulars. I have a total of 7 clients as of 12 December 2016.
What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the course to proofread transcripts? Is it worth the money?
If you have an appreciation for the written word; if you like grammar, spelling, and punctuation; if you like having your own business; if you want to be part of the legal profession; if you genuinely want to help your clients; if you have good time management skills: then you should proofread transcripts! Is it worth the investment? Yes! I was able to recoup my course costs (non-deductibles) in 26 days! Carry on and proofread!
What does your life look like now as a working proofreader? Anything else you’d like to share about your journey?
Life is looking good! I own my own business now; I am my own boss; I have no commuting costs; I set my own hours; I read and learn about all kinds of new things; I make much more money than I would in a part-time job in much less time. This is the perfect “bridging” job that I was looking for in my journey. Owning your own business, accounting, marketing, client management, and time management are all part of the journey now.
What Are Richard’s Clients Saying?
Richard’s court reporters can’t stop raving about him!
Check out comment after comment from his clients.
Richard has joined Bonnie in proving that age really is just a number! What matters is the heart you put into wanting to make passion turn into success. Richard wasn’t afraid to study hard and then jump right into finding clients. Being proactive makes all the difference.
Thanks for sharing your story with us today, Richard!