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How This 63-Year-Old Air Force Veteran Makes Money Proofreading

Updated: December 30, 2016

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  1. Super story Richard. I will be following right behind you. I am 49 years old and a former Army Flight Engineer. (90-98)
    Your website was not listed in the text. Can we have that link?

      1. Thanks for sharing Sir. And yes, I do know those rules. Along with the one about making sure your coffee cup lid is secure as you never know when a negative G might show up. LOL!

  2. Hi Richard,
    I am 61 and about to retire from 38 years of teaching high school English. I passed Caitlin’s course two months ago and set out to find my first client. I have a website, I am on LinkedIn, and I have contacted court reporters in my local area (which is in Vermont … not many). Still nothing.
    Any advice? I thought finding clients would be easy.
    I am trying to be patient.

    1. Shouldn’t Caitlin’s course have taught you how to get clients?

      1. Please look at Modules 5-10 because the second half of the General Proofreading course, Ignite, contains all of the marketing and client-acquiring information you need to start your business. Thanks! 🙂

  3. Thank you, Richard for your inspirational story. This was exactly what I, and other students needed to read this morning. Congratulations on your new found business.

    1. Thank you, Ms Nette! It is certainly keeping me busy! I am usually proofing every day with a lull of a couple of days interspersed for flavor! The course will teach you how, but you have to turn the “hows” into action and do the work.. Good luck!

  4. Really encouraging to read of your success, Richard. It’s stories like yours that keep us all heading for that goal.

    1. Hello, Dee! Thank you for the kind words! Yes, a thriving and profitable transcript proofreading business is totally possible by applying what you learn in the course and your own drive to succeed – at any age! Keep moving toward that goal, and keep in mind what Sir Richard Branson always says, “Even if you fall flat on your face a few times, you are still moving forward!”

  5. Richard, thank you for you for sharing your truth and your service to our country while serving in the Air Force. Your story is inspiring in more ways than one. Take care and I look forward to connecting with you soon.

  6. Wow this is marvelous posting..! I really enjoy the reading, You are a great author. I will definitely bookmark your blog and I will come back in the future.Thanks for sharing valuable information.

  7. Richard,

    Are you still proofreading? If yes, what are a few of your current assignments?

    Do you still think the legal proofreading field is not saturated in 2021?

    I welcome updated advice.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Sandra! I reached out to Richard to see if I can get a 2021 update from him — I’ll let you know what he says. Having referred dozens of proofreaders in the last month alone, my gut tells me that proofreading is still not a saturated market.

      1. Hi, Richard. What an inspiration you are! I am a retired English teacher who would like to earn some extra $$$ and still have the energy to do so. With regard to transcript proofing, does one have to come into the field with a background on legal jargon? And what about the saturation level of the field in 2022-23?

  8. It is so awesome what Richard is doing. I would love, love, love to do it. I am just not in a position to secure the start up costs. I live on a very limited income.

    Honestly wish I could be doing what Richard is doing and I wish him all the best!

  9. I believe age is no barrier, I'm 65. But what about education? I do not have a college degree.

  10. Very inspiring, thank you for sharing. I will turn 65 in a couple weeks and have been feeling the pull away from corporate for a while. I’ve been working on the course, but a full time job makes it hard to focus.

    A voice inside is whispering to quit my job and turn my energy to finishing the course and launching. I am in a prime market – Washington DC metro. It’s that nagging fear of walking away from steady income despite being miserable.

  11. is there a way to find out about start up costs before enrolling?

  12. What a great success story! Congratulations to you, Richard! I am just getting ready to embark on the PTs. 😊

  13. Richard, do you use CAT, paper and (red and yellow) ink, a PDF editor, or something else? I want to learn which is best, as in easiest or most commonly used. Thank you for sharing!

  14. I so enjoyed reading about you, Richard! I am roughly the same age, and living in the same circumstances: I too need a 'bridge' income to stay home with a sick wife, make more money, and hopefully thrive until I can draw SS. I am currently in the general proofreading course, but could use some mentoring once I am ready to launch a business of my own. And now that I've read your story, I may have to consider the transcript course as well. We'll see. Right now, the medical bills are first priority.

  15. Richard, I too am an Air Force Vet. But I've been doing book editing for about 28 years. I like the idea of Transcript Proofreading, and just received a link from Caitlin to take a closer look at it. A fellow editor in my Christian Editing Network introduced the concept to me, having taken the course last summer.

    So where do you live and work?

  16. I have purchased the course but I haven’t started it yet, as I am currently finishing another course. Is transcript proofreading part of the Proofread Anywhere course or is it a separate course? Thanks from a 68-year-old on this journey.

    1. Transcript Proofreading and General Proofreading are two different courses. They are sold separately. The first part of Transcript Proofreading is included in the General Proofreading course.

  17. Congratulations Richard! I'm also a "seasoned" individual who is currently working remotely. However, my position ends with Tax Season so I invested in the course and slowly working through the modules. You alluded to other start-up costs. Would you be so kind as to give me a "ballpark" estimate. I want to make sure I put enough funds aside so I can launch quickly upon graduation. Thanks!

    1. As far as start-up costs for your freelance proofreading business go, I can’t itemize everything for you here, but as a freelancer, you can keep your costs minimal. And there are free and heavily discounted trial subscriptions for several services, e.g., Freshbooks (Module 12) is a premium invoicing service you can use to bill your clients and keep track of your accounts, and it even sends payment reminders with custom stationery with your logo to clients who are behind on a payment. Check out the pricing here: https://www.freshbooks.com/pricing. We also encourage students to use Weebly where you can create your customized website and pay for your domain name monthly for as little as $6-$12 per month (Module 9). If you use an accountant, that’s another expense, as well as buying a reliable and updated tablet or computer and any software programs you choose to use for your proofreading. Actively marketing yourself on social media platforms is free, so you really don’t have a large investment to make as far as additional costs.

  18. I’m new to PA, am 57, have a MA in teaching ESL, but have not worked in the field for 20 years due to raising children and assisting husband with his business. I love language and am know to read the dictionary for fun. However I am very nervous about making any mistakes after i finish the course and get my first client. My background should give me confidence as well as my strong desire to do an excellent job each time. I just am so worried i might not catch a mistake and would feel devastated. I know it happens, so how do you handle that both with yourself, and with your client if that happens? Thanks so much.

    1. Proofreaders are human, and we all make mistakes! The more you practice, the more you increase your accuracy which in turn will build your speed. Although it’s important to take the time to go over your work critically with laser focus, mistakes happen, and believe it or not, the majority of clients will be more understanding than you think. It’s important to have high standards for yourself and your work, but don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Establish a system of checks and balances and practice as much as you can to build your accuracy. Don’t stress yourself out so much! I’m sure you’ll do great!😉

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