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FAQ – Concerns About the Free 7-day Course

I Finished the FREE 7-Day Intro Course and I’m Not Making Money. I’m Disappointed. What’s Wrong With You? Why Can’t I Proofread for Court Reporters Yet?

This is a follow-up to the FAQ post  “Can you teach me EXACTLY how to get clients for FREE?”

I’m fully aware it may ruffle some feathers. But the people who get it, those are the people that need to be on my website. Those are the people who I want taking my premium course. Those are the people who understand proofreading transcripts is no joke. It’s not an easy way to make money. It’s not something that can be learned in 7 days. So, to those who demand otherwise or are upset at me for some reason because a free 7-day e-mail series didn’t bring them immediate results … please read on.

Before you read the rest of this post, please realize that I’m a human, just like you. I keep no secrets about that fact. I also work very, very hard to maintain the tons of free content on this website and ask for payment from no one unless they want to take things to the next level.

But my work and my time have value, just like yours.

Every now and then I get an e-mail from someone irritated with me that my free 7-day intro course “wasn’t that hands-on” or “didn’t teach me anything”.  The free e-mail series contains a generous handful of 100% free actionable tips to market yourself (I always wonder if people who complain actually did anything with these…), it lists out several mistakes to avoid before you make them, includes a really tricky, eye-opening grammar quiz, and many other resources.

The 7-day free course also includes a daily invitation to connect with me, the instructor, and ask any and all questions you have. I receive hundreds of e-mails a day. Hundreds. They all receive personal responses. On occasion, I have folks who write me only to express their disappointment — those folks never took advantage of my invitations each day. Trust me, I look. I do a search for e-mails from those people, and there are usually zero prior e-mail responses besides the one they write to express their disappointment that a free 7-day e-mail series didn’t make them an overnight success.

I explain to these folks, kindly, you never find a treasure map and the treasure in the same spot. I, and the several hundred students who have taken their “make it happen” journey to the next level, see the 7-day course as a treasure map. Learning how to proofread transcripts for court reporters for oneself and being in control of your own business is the treasure. It’s not easy work, and not something that’s even possible to learn in a mere 7 days. Students have shared with me that without the 7-day course — the treasure map — they would never have even known proofreading for court reporters was a real, legitimate way to earn an income. Without the testimonial videos, many have stated they never would have believed they could do it themselves, and without my personalized responses each day, they never would have known they could trust me to help them change their lives via my premium course.

know people are skeptical. Many people take me up on my invitations to respond and let me know they’re skeptical. I, in turn, answer any and all questions they have as thoroughly as humanly possible. I have even invited skeptics into our students-only Facebook group as guests to meet our student community and see that the course, in fact, actually works. 

But some people who take my 7-day course will never ask their questions throughout the course. They don’t see the forest through the trees. They expect the treasure to be nestled right next to the treasure map. Some folks are completely up in arms because they read seven e-mails and, instead of it magically changing their lives, they learned they had to actually do work to make it happen. Some folks are honestly unaware about how much work learning to proofread transcripts actually is, and expect it to fit quite nicely into a 7-day free e-mail series. Some are expecting a magic button to pop up somewhere in a free (read: free!) e-mail series that will transform them into a money-making machine and equip them overnight with the skills to do what I do without the necessary training. They fully expect it to be easy. There’s a lot of crap on the internet promising an easy way to make money.

If it were easy, it wouldn’t be a treasure, now would it? If it were easy, and I gave the entire treasure away — for the record, my premium course takes 2-4 months to complete and spans 42 lessons over 9 modules of content, plus includes over 3,000 pages of practice! — to the over 8,000 people who’ve taken my free course, this would be bad news not only for me, but for the folks who really want to work and make it happen. Imagine if the entire premium course were actually free. I’d have hundreds, even thousands of people using marketing techniques they learned from me, most skipping the practice content altogether, just ’cause they want to get to the making-money part. I would be overwhelmed with a ridiculous amount of questions from people who have no reason to value my time. I gave them the treasure for free already, I should darn well answer all their questions for free, too, right?

Plus, the market would be flooded, and I’d be getting a steady stream of e-mails from people upset about it. And you know what would happen then? People would start throwing out the word “scam”.


If I gave away everything I know, my entire life’s work, for free, it would be my fault that no one could find work, so people would think it doesn’t work and start calling it a scam.

I need to be repetitively clear about something: I’m a human being. Mean e-mails hurt. E-mails from people who demand something for free hurt. Why? Because it tells me they don’t value my time or my energy I put into building the course into what it is. It’s huge, guys. It truly is everything I know constructed into a logical sequence, with all the practice and tools you’ll need to learn the craft sandwiched in between.

I’m not going to give it away for free, and I’m not going to be apologetic about it.

Because I’m really only doing this for “some people”.

Now, both you and I know there are “some people” who would much rather have things in life handed to them. I think that’s sad, because they’re wasting a lot of time searching for magic beans instead of investing in what works upfront. What these people don’t realize is this: time is more valuable than money. We can always earn more money (in fact, many of my students recoup their costs very quickly after finishing the course) — but we can never replace our time. I feel sad for people who would rather be disgruntled that the treasure map and treasure are not in the same place; they’d rather continue wandering through the sand of the internet looking for magic beans instead of just following the treasure map. Following the treasure map is just too much work.  

 But I also know some people are tired of wandering in the sand.  Some people have figured out there are no magic beans. Some people have found a lot of too-good-to-be-true “treasure” on the internet many times already, and have been scammed more times than they can count. They’re weary, and they’ve realized nothing worthwhile in life comes without a price tag. They find my 7-day “make it happen” course. They’re searching for a way to really use their eagle eyes to create a new income stream, and they want to do it the right way. They may be skeptical initially, and that’s okay. They’ve been through a lot. But they respond to my e-mails. They find out I’m a real human being with something real to offer to those willing to put in the work. They ask me questions. They get answers. 

They’ve smartened up as a result of their time spent wandering.

They decide it’s worth it to invest in themselves and quit wandering in the sand looking for magic beans. 

Those people are the ones who are willing to put in some work. Those people are willing to do what it takes to be successful at this and invest in themselves — they just need someone to show them the way. That’s what the 7-day course does. It shows you the way. It doesn’t make it easy, it doesn’t make it magical or automatic. But it makes it possible, and much faster than spending years wandering. It’s like deciding to purchase a plane ticket from the US to Europe instead of rowing a boat. Nine to twelve hours and change versus years… or never.

But… but… I still want you to give me your life’s work for free!

You don’t want to do all your work for free, do you? Yet the hundreds of e-mails I receive from people every day who will never enroll in my premium course for whatever reason always receive a response. I work for free in a large capacity every day. I am only paid by the folks who purchase my intensive course. I don’t get paid to write FAQ posts, send newsletters, answer e-mails, or maintain the free course. It’s expensive and actually costs me money to maintain all of those things.
I cannot, nay, will not give away my entire life’s work for free, not in a 7-day free e-mail series that thousands of people have enrolled in (whose questions, again, always receive personalized answers, whether they enroll in my paid course or not). It gives you a solid overview of options in the proofreading field.
Again, it’s the treasure map. Not the treasure. You don’t get treasure for free, and certainly not in 7 days.

But it’s so expensive!

I disagree, and here’s why: We’ve already talked about how wasting time is expensive because time is irreplaceable. But going back to college is expensive, especially when you get out and can’t get a job because you weren’t taught any marketing for your skills, plus the huge mountain of debt most people have for years or even decades afterward.
For a comparatively very reasonable fee (some students even call it a steal!), I teach people not only a brand-new skill, but also teach them how to market that skill and manage an entire business. I teach them a whole new way to make an income. It’s the treasure. And I am not willing to give the treasure to over 8,000 people who have signed up for my free course all of that for free, nor am I apologetic for being unwilling.
I imagine if you had something similar in value to teach people, something that can and does change lives, you would not want to give it away to over 8,000 people, either, would you?

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  1. Wow. Frustrating, but (unfortunately) not surprising. I’m sorry you have to deal with this.

    You know, part of the reason I originally didn’t want respond to the 1st email in the free course was *precisely* because I figured you received a ton of emails; I didn’t want to add to that! I still haven’t moved on to Day 2, but I will reply to some of the emails in the course. 🙂 I’m looking forward to going through all of them!

  2. I hardly think a course that costs less than $500 that trains someone for a career is expensive considering that our local community college has only a few career training options that start at $2000 each. When you start getting into Associate degrees that run around $10,000, that makes this training expense look like pocket change! I can’t think of any college that guarantees you’ll get hired with their certification, career diploma, or degree, so I don’t understand why people would expect such from your course.

    I am an avid reader and have some legal experience working in a district attorney’s office, so I am definitely planning to learn more about your course. Thank you for offering it!

    1. Thanks, Jean!! 🙂 We are planning an increase on July 1 which will make the course more “expensive” but with that will come even more value — we’re tripling the amount of practice pages, adding TWO human-graded tests (including an actual transcript), and will be issuing a custom certificate of completion for students who pass those test. It’s exciting times here at PA 🙂 If you DO decide to enroll, though, the fee will get you all of those upgrades after July 1 at no extra cost 🙂
      EDIT — I mean to say if you enroll BEFORE July 1, the upgrades will be included 🙂

  3. Hi Caitlin,

    I found your course on Crystal Paine’s website. I am a stay-at-home mom looking for a way to make money by working from home. I would like to know how we pay for the course: can we pay in installments, pay as we go, or must we pay all up front? Do we pay before we take the course or after we have completed the course?

    Thank you for your time,
    Linda Smith
    [email protected]

    1. I’m sorry for that! I just tried it, and it’s working fine on our end. Try clearing your cache and use a Chrome browser to see if that works! 🙂

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