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Can Proofreading Help You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early? Nora Says Yes!

I want to know one important thing about you: What’s your goal?

Having a goal is what gives you the focus to keep going. Without clear goals, you have no incentive to push through the hard times. Without goals, it’s hard to see what you’ve achieved and how far you’ve come.

Achieving goals, making money, creating a viable business… none of this stuff is supposed to feel easy, and you’re never going to feel ready to tackle it. Impostor syndrome, fear, and even laziness are all waiting to get in your way.

But if you keep your goal to the front of your mind, it’ll give you that extra push when you need it.

Nora and her husband set a huge goal to pay off their mortgage before they turn forty. Proofreading is helping them get there! At first, she found it hard to find the motivation to keep going, but she persisted, and the hard work is paying off.

Here’s Nora’s story.

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

Nora is contributing to her family's income by proofreading

Before PA, I was a stay-at-home mom to an almost two-year-old and a two-month-old. I had left my position as a middle school Spanish and language arts teacher to be home with my girls. My family was transitioning to a one-income household, and I felt the need to contribute to our household’s bottom line. While my lifelong dream has always been to be a stay-at-home mom, I also wanted to contribute to our family’s finances. I had been searching for legit work-from-home jobs after the birth of my second daughter and came across Proofread Anywhere via a Google search.

Q: When did you start proofreading, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread?

I started the Transcript Proofreading course in late January of 2017. The intricacies of transcript-specific proofreading intrigued me. My background as a language teacher has always had me interested in grammar and syntax. I decided that proofreading would be a good fit for my family because it’s something I could do while my kids were sleeping. No two transcripts are ever the same, and I really enjoy reading and searching for mistakes. It took me a year and a half to complete the course. During that time I was dealing with sleep deprivation due to my newborn, the first anniversary of my sister’s death, and I gave birth to our third child.

Q: That’s a lot to deal with at one time. Kudos to you for getting through it! What was the most challenging part of getting started?

The most challenging part of starting for me was actually completing the course! I had many moments of laziness, impostor syndrome, and just plain “I don’t want to do this” thinking. BUT I am not one to quit once I have started something. As the due date for my third child approached, I imposed a deadline for myself to finish the course before his arrival (I hit my goal and used my first few weeks postpartum to get my website up and running). I also found it challenging to find the time to get through the modules, particularly the practice transcripts, while trying to stay afloat with two small children at home.

Q: What was the most valuable thing you learned during the course?

Got debt? Pay off your mortgage early by proofreading from home

I think the skills and disciplines of transcript proofreading can translate well into many different areas of my life. An eye for detail, prompt communication, and clear expectations are important in all aspects of my life, not just my business. I think learning about and overcoming the “impostor syndrome” was important for me. It took me a year and a half to finish the course! Impostor syndrome reared its ugly head more than a few times throughout that time period.

Q: So many people suffer from impostor syndrome. I’m glad you kicked its butt and finished the course! How long did it take you to find your first client? And how many clients do you have now?

All within two weeks, I launched my website, actively began marketing, and landed my first client. I actually found my first client through another PA grad who was sick and was unable to complete a job that she had accepted from one of her court reporters. I was happy to snag the job and launch myself into the freelance world. During the following two weeks, four other reporters contacted me to work with them. I was relieved to have my first jobs under my belt and, wow, were they sure confidence boosters! I currently am the primary proofreader for four court reporters, and I do backup and occasional work for five others. This past billing cycle (I bill every two weeks), I sent invoices to seven different court reporters.

Q: That’s one of my favorite things about our graduate group. Everyone is willing to help out another graduate or share work when they don’t have time to take on the job themselves. How long did it take you to recoup the cost of the course?

I recouped the cost of the course plus all of the reference materials that I purchased (Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation, Morson’s English Guide for Court Reporters, The Gregg Manual, and The Essential 99 Punctuation Rules for Court Reporters), as well as my website and miscellaneous items, within eight weeks of launching my business.

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

Got debt? Pay off your mortgage early by proofreading from home
Got debt? Pay off your mortgage early by proofreading from home
Nora's kicking butt as a proofreader

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

I would say, “Go for it!” I’ve actually mentioned what I do to two different people who asked for my contact information for their children; I’ve spoken to and recommended the course to two separate people thus far. I did hours of research about scoping and proofreading training programs. I was skeptical and was trying to find a way to debunk the legitimacy of Proofread Anywhere, but I really couldn’t find anything with enough merit for me to say “No.” The course is absolutely worth the money. Learning a niche set of skills sets you apart from general proofreaders. After completing the course, landing my first client terrified me, but I also knew that I was extremely prepared once that happened. The course prepares you to complete quality work every time.

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

I love that I am able to work at home around my family’s schedule. I like the variability and the ability to be a full-time mom while still contributing to my household financially. Recently, I underwent major abdominal surgery and was able to work from my hospital room and now at home during my recovery. My husband and I have an aggressive goal of paying off our house before we turn forty (nine years from now), and my income generated from proofreading is helping us plug away at the goal. We are also enjoying the wiggle room in our budget to do some home improvement projects and fun getaways.

Nora is contributing to her family's income by proofreading

Nora’s beautiful children!

Q: That’s amazing! I have no doubt you’ll achieve your goal to pay off your mortgage early. Anything else you’d like to share with the PA community?

When I was researching Proofread Anywhere, I was very interested in the income potential. If you are a skeptic like I was, you probably want to see the numbers. I’ll share some of my first months of income as an example.

  • Month 1 (two weeks’ worth of work): $416.18
  • Month 2: $896.40
  • Month 3: $1,344.85
  • Month 4: $1,585.74
  • Month 5: $1,060.20
  • Month 6: $1,138.52

Our Take

Wow! That extra money could certainly make a big dent in your debt repayment. I love that Nora and her family are setting big goals like paying off their mortgage early and are well on their way to smashing them with the help of proofreading! Well done, Nora, and thanks for sharing your success!

Your Turn

Looking for a way to achieve those big goals you’ve set? Check out our free 7-day email course to learn how proofreading can help you crush your goals!

What’s your goal? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Hello!

    This is so great to hear. We are also trying to pay off an auto and home loan and would love to finish both by the time we’re 50. I’d love to begin your course this winter. My other goal is to use money from proofreading to get my TEFL certificate and possibly start a blog in the future. It feels like this all ties together and I look forward to start on these goals this winter.

    1. Those are great goals, Leslie! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

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