Most of us have been there — letting society tell us how we should live our lives.
It’s the easy way out. Follow in everyone else’s footsteps and you’ll be just as happy as they are…
Except you’re not happy, and maybe they’re not either!
Getting stuck in the rat race might mean that you have the status and respect you think is important, but what about happiness, freedom, and more time to spend with your family?
When I got brutally fired from my job, I knew I wanted the type of freedom I could only have if I created it myself.
I couldn’t take another day job. I couldn’t deal with unreasonable bosses, stupid rules, or lifesucking commutes anymore. And I couldn’t settle for limited earning potential either.
Somehow, I was going to create the income — and life — I wanted.
YOU have the power to do that too. YOU can take action to create the life you want.
Your family and friends may not understand what you’re doing at first, but once they see the results you’re getting, they’re bound to share in your excitement. And they might even want to create a life of freedom for themselves!
Megan initially followed a path set out for her by other people, but she soon realized it wasn’t for her. Now she’s following her own dream of being a writer, and she’s using her word-nerd skills to earn money as a proofreader to fund this dream.
Keep reading to learn more about Megan’s story!
Q: Hi, Megan! Tell us a little about your background. What did your life look like before you crossed paths with PA?
I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in 2016 with a degree in communications and a minor in music. Then I took a job with the local school district as a substitute teacher for the next three years, learning I did NOT want to pursue a teaching degree to become a teacher.
I’ve always had a knack for English and, after much self-reflection, decided I want to be an author and write for a living. I also wanted to have my own business to help bring in more income while I wrote. I had known I wanted to work for myself for a long time but went to college and picked my major based on tremendous pressure from my family. One day in early 2019 at around 2 a.m., I came across Proofread Anywhere, and I purchased the General Proofreading course less than a month later. It’s one of the best things I could have ever done for myself.
Q: Many people feel pressured into following a certain path. I’m glad you could quit teaching and finally pursue work that interests you. When did you start proofreading, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread?
I started the course in March of 2019. I knew this would be a perfect fit for me because of my love of the English language, knowing I would be able to immerse myself in it and grow my skills. And also because I’m the one who people have always turned to when they needed help polishing the important documents in their lives. It’s a skill I’ve always had, and through this course, I honed those skills and have been able to build something for myself I am extremely proud of.
Q: What was the most challenging part of getting started?
I think the most challenging thing about starting your own business is not letting in all of the negativity from those closest to you. You have to do what is right for you, and no one else, no matter how much they think they do, know what that is. People will always try to bring you down in life, but that has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their own lives. Once you stop caring about what others say and choose the life you want, this becomes so much easier.
Q: Well said! We can’t live our lives to please other people. We have to look after our own happiness. What was the most valuable thing you learned during the course?
One of the most valuable things I have learned through this course was marketing, and consistently building a network with any and every person I could. While the actual proofreading skills are important, the business aspect is what was most valuable for me.
Q: You never know who in your network will be able to help you! How long did it take you to find your first client? And how many clients do you have now?
I completed the course and launched my business in early June of 2019, and I was working hard. Some close friends reached out to me for résumé help, and in exchange, they wrote me wonderful and helpful reviews on my website.
I kept working until the end of July when I had an unexpected health problem and was taken into emergency surgery. I was in the hospital for a week, and recovery was another two months, during which time I was unable to work. My body had to relearn so much, but I made it through stronger than before and came back to my business ready to get back to work.
I landed my first client that month in September and have steadily had new clients each month. Paying and non-paying (paid in reviews), I have worked with over a dozen clients, slowly building my reputation on Fiverr and my own website. My clients typically receive their work back within twenty-four hours. My biggest hits have been for résumés, college essays, and website proofreading. Each client has told me they would work with me again due to my work quality, professionalism, and kindness, and several have. Returning clients shows me that I am doing something right.
Q: Well done! Returning clients are definitely a sign that you’re completing high-quality work. How long did it take you to recoup the cost of the course?
Based on current numbers, I project to recoup the cost in the next one to two months.
Here’s what Megan’s happy clients have to say
Testimonials from my website meganaldridge.com:
“I was having trouble making sure my résumé was not looking plain or too simple. Anything extra or unnecessary I wanted removed. With graduating college this summer and having an interview in a couple days, I needed to make sure my résumé looked professional, but to the point. I saw Megan’s website and messaged her. She was extremely nice and helpful. She helped me on the spot. I sent Megan what I had completed. She replied back to me swiftly and said she would have it back to me before the end of the day. Not even 3-4 hours later she had it completed and looking amazing! It was very clean, organized, and to the point like I wanted. It was easy to read and follow through. She did a great job making sure it still resembled me and my accomplishments throughout my life. I am extremely satisfied and could not have asked anyone better to help me out. Oh, and after my interview they hired me on the spot! If you need any help with papers or your résumé I highly recommend Megan. It is completely affordable and the best help I have had.”
“Megan has proofread several of my papers from college and resumes, and I couldn’t have been happier with the results. She was very professional and quick to reply. I would highly recommend Megan to anyone looking to have their work proofread.”
Q: What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the course to learn how to proofread? Is it worth the money?
My advice to anyone that wants to proofread is to really reflect on yourself. Proofreading can be learned, but you must be someone that enjoys it if you want to have success with it. This is hard work and requires a major mindset shift from employee to business owner. Not everyone has that mindset, so they must be willing to work hard to learn that.
This course is absolutely worth the price in the value of proofreading skills as well as business tips. It gives someone a launching pad to the shift from employee to business owner, it’s just up to whoever is taking the course to put in the work. This course will frustrate you, make you proud, teach you, humble you, and encourage you. Once you get through it and see what you can build for yourself, you will see just how worth it all the pain was.
Q: Changing your life isn’t easy, but the hard work is worth it. What does your life look like now as a working freelance proofreader?
I work every day, and I mean every day, seven days a week (business owner mindset shift!), on proofreading for clients, social media posts and upkeep, website maintenance, research, studying, and constantly learning about every facet of my business. Even if I don’t have a client for a month, I work every single day. That’s what business owners need to be willing to do in order to succeed. Working a couple of hours a day Monday to Friday will not give you complete freedom, which is what I am working toward.
In the meantime, I have much more freedom in my life than I did before. If I don’t feel like working for a day because the sun is shining or I want to go for a walk with my husband, I can do that. I don’t have to answer to a boss that doesn’t care about me and worry about being fired because I have the flu. I don’t have to be constantly abused and bullied on the job and be told to just deal with it. And I work a schedule that fits into my life (night owl here) and can implement working strategies that help me be my best, and not have to follow some handbook to make sure I won’t get in trouble.
I finally can see mine and my husband’s dreams coming true, where I can make enough to support the both of us and live the life we desire full of travel, happiness, and love, and no more answering to people that couldn’t care less about us. That dream gets closer every day.
Kudos to Megan for finally pursuing her own dreams and creating the life she wants instead of trying to fit into the norm. I love her hardworking attitude and have no doubt she and her husband will achieve their dreams.
Do you want to quit teaching like Megan did? Not sure how to escape the box society has put you in? Why not see if proofreading could be your ticket to freedom by taking our free Intro to Proofreading workshop!