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The Secrets of People So Productive, It’s Almost Superhuman

Updated: June 16, 2015

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  1. Great article!! I will need to read this several times to absorb and take action in my life.

    Time to get specific and stay focused on how I want my life to look.

    Thank you.


    1. Thanks, Nancy!! I feel the same way — I will need to keep coming back to this same info when I feel myself losing steam!

    2. I love this article! I am more motivated than ever to begin my new journey!

  2. Amazing article and incredibly timely and on-point with our culture. We look at successful people and think it happened overnight without thought of what it took to get them there. Not to mention the entitlement mentality so many of us have adapted.
    I’m not really sure what my dreams are; I have a vague idea of what I’d like my life to look like, but this article nailed it for me to really get specific about where I want to go and how I should get there I love to proofread stuff (makes me feel like a detective), so I’m excited to get started on your course.

  3. It’s taken a long time for me to finally embrace the “why” in terms of living my dream life. Through trial and error, I realized that I needed to be specific about what I wanted and to take my time in defining my goals. I was also given honest advice to take “baby steps” in which to accomplish the goals. This article is spot on about instant success. Everything in life is by way of process. So now I’m taking that advice to heart and taking this new path toward success one day and one task at a time.

    1. YES! Baby steps. Not waking up and “climbing the mountain” but waking up and walking out the door, then walking to the corner, then to the stop sign to turn right, etc.!

  4. Thanks for the article. I feel like I have specificity in my life, meaning I know my goals and the steps to achieve them. My problem lies in saying no to the things that are not steps towards achieving my goals. This is what I need to work on. And probably watching a little less Netflix as well. At the end of the day, I feel tired and crave TV, but TV does nothing to recharge me. In fact, it may make me more tired.

    1. That’s really hard for me, too. Especially since Season 3 of Orange Is The New Black just came out … 😉 I try to pair it with exercise, though, and jump on my trampoline while I’m watching.

  5. This is a great reminder of what I need to do. The dream is good to have, but it requires goals, which require plans, which require specific steps. It’s time to get busy! Thanks for sharing, Caitlin. I can’t want for the next segment.

    1. Me either!! I gotta write it first. Already freaking out on how I’m going to do that between all the other stuff I’m doing, lol 😀 I also want to start a new series on “other” types of proofreading. I plan to pepper in the “mindset” stuff, too.

  6. I used to work at a women’s abuse and rape crisis center and was often asked why women stay in abusive relationships. One of the most consistent reasons, really, is because it’s comfortable. It’s not comfortable for the women to be abused, but the “knowing” of the situation makes it more comfortable than doing something unknown. The women know what’s coming before it happens, know what’s coming after it happens, and don’t know at all what would happen if they leave. It’s really no different than anyone wanting to do something different with their life from what they are currently doing. Stepping into the unknown, trusting that you have the wherewithal to follow through, and hoping that you have support along the way but not really knowing if you do, are all things that can stop us from doing what we want to do. In a way, we “abuse” ourselves by holding back. So, let’s get out there and stop wasting time! Let’s practice another transcript today, write a new article, search for a new client, lose another pound, create a new blog – whatever you want to do. And, when life starts bringing you down, or you are feeling overwhelmed, talk to the support people in your life including the proofreading Facebook group. Because we all hit the same bump and we can all get over it. My new motto? GET UNCOMFORTABLE!

    1. YES!!!!! That is the best motto, EVER. I love it. I am super, SUPER uncomfortable today. I’m working on a brand new online course and all the same feelings I had when I first created the one on this site are flooding back … it’s scary! I keep saying to myself, “One step at a time, Pyle, one step at a time!” 🙂

      1. This is everything, Kathryn! It’s so true that we hold ourselves down in a place of comfort or familiarity, even though it’s not even remotely comfortable. It’s difficult to make the switch from seeking external validation to providing it for yourself. Getting uncomfortable and striving for a better-feeling life is worth it! Life is just too short to not be enjoying it!!!

      2. A fitness coach I know says, “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Otherwise, you’ll never change what you want to change!

    2. Kathryn,

      Thank you for this reminder. I was in an abusive relationship for 28 years. I had to literally be pushed off the cliff before I left. I nearly ended up homeless as a result. The experience was terrifying! It also became an affirmation of my particular faith. I’ve been working this week on organizing my note system for the course and reviewing basic grammar. I was thinking last night about creating a journal/goal book and gamifying it with stickers and stars for each goal I complete. Thank you again for reminding me of what life is like on the “Merry-go-round.”

  7. Even if you’ve heard this 1,000 times, it’s ALWAYS good to hear again. We hear every day, every hour, every MINUTE, via every medium possible, that success is as easy as 1-2-3. So this isn’t a one-time reminder, especially for myself. I read this, get totally pumped, and then three days later, I’m sliding back into old habits.

    So this is something I’m going to definitely come back to and remind myself of on a regular basis 🙂

    1. Me too. Like tomorrow, I’ll be back reminding myself that each step counts, each step is getting me somewhere, and that the hard work is going to pay off!

  8. From the moment we start to walk and talk, we are told to shut up and sit down. Don’t interrupt. Don’t do anything “dangerous” – you can get hurt! Stay within the lines. Wait your turn. To be successful, you have to finish high school, go to college and get a degree, and then get in line for that awesome career path you’ve chosen. Anything other than this cultural “norm” and you are ridiculed by many people who you believe are supposed to be your biggest supporters. This is why we have people with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business or psychology flipping burgers, when what they always dreamed of was being an artist or a cosmetologist. Not everyone can succeed with just an education, particularly if their dream is something completely different. You have to have initiative, ambition, and as you’ve described here, some specificity and drive to accomplish your goal. But first, we have to overcome the “mustn’t do this, mustn’t do that” mentality that is instilled in us practically from birth.

    1. SO TRUE. It’s turning into a cookie cutter country in a way, isn’t it? We get the most powerful mouths speaking the same thing over and over again and before you know it, we’re all after the same “dream”!

  9. Good article, a reminder of things I did when I was younger, and a guide of things I need to do again. I know it works.

  10. I could not have said this better myself! This is a topic I recently began trying to implement in my life. It is a real struggle. The voice of discouragement and failure often cloud my vision as I try to set attainable goals—leading me to revert to my old ways. Thank you for this encouraging post! One thing I have learned about this is that we CANNOT do it alone, without the encouragement of others.

    1. YES. We can lean on each other and seek out the positive voices that encourage us to take the next step, that we ARE enough, and that we CAN succeed if we don’t give up.

  11. I was raised by parents who believed if you were meant to do something it would come naturally and, if it didn’t, you shouldn’t try again because you’d only fail. Perseverance? Important, yes, but only if you already had the necessary skills. Otherwise, no point wasting time or energy on it.

    That’s proven to be a lifelong challenge. With every stumble in any part of life it’s been tough not to automatically perceive myself as a failure. Still, I put everything I have into something, and insist on cutting myself some slack, because I learned early on in my adult life that I could look back on jobs, experiences, relationships, whatever, and not beat myself up…not reinforce “you must be a failure, then”, knowing I did my best. I don’t succeed at everything — who does? — but I can walk away in peace.

    I’m going to keep plugging away at this as well, viewing the tailoring of the skills I already have as an equivalent to learning a new language: hard at the beginning but easier over time.

  12. Love this! My husband and I have recently made a large list of goals for us/family/finances and this is a great reminder for me that we need to break those goals into specific steps. One of my goals was to bring in more income for our family, but we were not sure how: enter Proofread Anywhere! Looking forward to the next post.

  13. Great article, Caitlin! Very inspiring. Like the others, I also bookmarked it so I can read it again and again. I’m looking forward to the next Secret of People So Productive It’s Almost Superhuman.

  14. Hi. That was an awesome read! It conveys the most basic “lesson” that everyone must understand; hard work is the only way to get the results that you want! As you also pointed out, you must know where you want go/be/end up and to work towards that goal. It would be like getting in your car and knowing you want to go somewhere, but have no destination in mind. You would just drive around aimlessly until you had to stop because you or your car needed fuel.

    I am VERY interested in your course and appreciate the “heads up” on the price increase, but there is one more thing I would like to explore before signing up. I would like a page of the practice material to be emailed to me so that I can see how the material arrives and what the contents’ include.

    If you are not able to send the requested information I understand, and appreciate your time and consideration of this matter!

    1. Thanks, Karen! The practice materials are all in Module 5, and you will download on a regular ol’ PDF for each practice transcript, or PT, as we’ve begun to call them 🙂 There are close to 50 practice transcripts (not all of them have been added yet, but we’re working on it and they’ll be done by July 1). Each one has its annotated version in a separate module so you can check your work.

  15. I love this new article. I love all of your articles and the way that you spell things out! I grew up in an era that you were not allowed an opinion or to think for yourself, and unfortunately those ways of thinking have loomed like a dark cloud over my head my entire life.
    I am happy to report that the dark clouds have finally cleared and I am going to be ME! I am finally going to do something that makes me happy and that I have finally found my niche’!
    I love to read and I love to find errors as well. I am excited to be enrolled in your course. I am taking my time and reading very carefully all of the important information that you have so painstakingly taken the time to put together for all of us! I am savoring this knowledge, as I do not want to think that I am a smarty pants and finish too early and do myself in.
    I have re-invented myself so many times and was still not happy, but now I feel a sense of accomplishment in my near future. I work hard and I have goals, and I will meet this goal, one lesson and module at a time!
    Thank you for putting all of this together. I personally feel that this is an opportunity of a lifetime!

  16. This is great advice. It’s an excellent counter to the way our culture is distracting itself as a lifestyle choice. I banished TV except for sports years ago and found it increased my productivity (and saved my family $50 per month) a long time ago. I have found, though, that my brain works best with different projects. As I have been completing the course, I have also been remodelling my bedroom, gardening, and finishing my girls’ homeschool year. It helps me to be able to go through a PT and then go scrub some wallpaper off the wall, then go back through the PT, and them go weed a little bit. All the activities have their own specific goal for my family, and my brain gets to switch modes. I hope I’ll be able to do paid work the same way, but we’ll see, I guess.

  17. I realized after the fact that I entered niche the wrong way and I could not go back and edit. How embarrassing! 🙁

  18. Yeah, Denise, it’s always a little embarrassing when professional proofreaders (or those aspiring to be such) post something with a typo. We’re excellent but not perfect, right?

    I really appreciated this article. I’ve read it twice, and I’ll probably read it again. Its principles resonated as I contemplate my proofreading career, but also my goals for my family. I want to be a better mom, but that goal is too big and broad to really work on effectively. I need to get more specific, break my big goals down into little ones, then work at them with my whole heart, believing it will make a big difference.

    Thanks for the insight and inspiration, Caitlin.

  19. Found this on the WAHM site late last night. I’ve always been interested in the lega field. I wanted to be a paralegal but life got in the way. I thought of going to school to be a court reporter but that was way out of my price range. This proofreading transcripts seems to be just what I’ve been looking. I believe I’ll go for the free 7 day and then see how it feels. What I’ve been reading and researching is very encouraging.

  20. Oh great missed spelling legal right off the bat but at least I caught it:)

  21. Good ideas, although I didn’t read the entire thing. I’m compelled to point out that “…it looks differently for everyone.” (paragraph 11 if I counted correctly) should be “… it looks different for everyone.” “Looks is a linking verb in this case and “different” is a adjective complement (a.k.a predicate adjective, I believe).

    1. How ironic that my “critical” comment would, itself, have errors! I should proofread my OWN stuff better! Let me try again:

      I’m compelled to point out that “…it looks differently for everyone” (paragraph 11 if I counted correctly) should be “… it looks different for everyone.” “Looks” is a linking verb in this case and “different” is an adjective complement (a.k.a predicate adjective, I believe).

      1. And that, my friend, is why I choose to proofread spoken words … lol 🙂 Less pressure to get everything right 😉

    1. It’s taking me a while … lol. I’ve been exercising this first secret so well I’ve procrastinated the rest of them!!

  22. I have sabotaged myself in the past because I felt like a fake. I even knew what I was doing, but I couldn’t help myself. I am signing up for the course on Monday, and as I go through the course I will read and reread your blog posts. Extremely helpful and insightful.

  23. This 1st installment of the the 4 pillars is definitely resonating with me tonight. I have, for the longest time, believed that you have to love what you do! Nursing has been my love for 35 yrs but I have found another love to sink my heart and soul into and that is transcript proofreading! To be as specific as possible, let me say this, I WILL become a successful proofreader because I have found something I love and i am determined to follow my passion! Thank you Caitlin for making This course available to people just like me!

    1. Hi, Susan!

      THAT’S the right attitude! You WILL be successful if you keep that mindset! 🙂

  24. It is very difficult in starting out on a new career path not knowing for sure that you will prevail. However, we can be SURE we will prevail? How? I have the answer, friends. DECIDE not to give up until you are a transcript proofreader. It may take 2 month, 4 months, 6 months, a year, a year and a half, or 2 years. It may take even more time. If you choose to not stop until you succeed then your success is already manifested. It’s there. Right now.

    I had to take a VERY difficult for a job that I had teaching medical coding. It is the national CPC exam. I always was an excellent instructor of medical coding, but didn’t actually “do it” in the field. I went right into teaching it. So……success happened a bit fast for me. I was told get gain my CPC credential through AAPC. I had to get the credential to keep my $50,000 a year job. I studied hard and failed the test 3 times. I was about to give up. However, I got angry. I looked around me and saw people less smart than me passing the test. My sister is an educator and felt that I needed an ADA accommodation for the test of more time based on my SEVERE generalized anxiety. I went to my doctor and got a note, and got 2 extra hours on my test. My 4th attempt, I bombed. I was just too tired the day of the test to think . My 5th test, I nearly passed. I need more focus. The sixth attempt I passed. Our chapter president told me, “Dawn, it took me 5 times, I work in the field, and it was a timing issue for me.” Here is how I passed the CPC exam: I made a decision to continue testing until I passed. I decided to succeed. Friends, if it had taken 50 times to take the test, I would have done it because I don’t allow ANYTHING whip my a**.

    So, can anyone be a transcript proofreader? Some will say “no.” I say, “If YOU really want to, and decide to do anything and everything necessary to become proficient at this skill then you CAN become one. You need to know how to read. You need to know understand how to apply punctuation exceptionally well. This will take some people a few months. Others will take longer.

    My advice, if you enroll in Caitlin’s program as I am in April, get every single “optional” and recommended books she mentions. She may or not may not (I don’t know) get commissions off the book sales, BUT anyone in the legal professional that sees the list she recommends will understand that she’s not recommending them for the small commissions she may or may not get. It’s the books used in the transcript proofreading industry and you want ALL of them. Here course is realistically and fairly priced. You can get an IPD for $250. Get the one Caitlin recommends, and then start your new career. However, if your unsure if this is for you, make a decision before spending the money. Your decision needs to be one of these two: 1. I am relatively happy what I’m doing now. I don’t want to work really hard to learn something new, and if it it’s not easy for me, I’ll probably quit, so it’s best not to do it. 2. I promise myself right now that I am ALREADY a transcript proofreader because I will do ANYTHING it takes and for as long as it takes to become one. It may or may not come naturally to me, but if it doesn’t, that just means that I need to work harder because I can READ. I can be taught to catch errors. It might take me longer to be great at it. However, this moment, I commit to being a transcript proofreader. If you choose the the second option, my friend, YOU are a transcript proofreader, and I am a full credentialed CPC that has been published in the AAPC’s Healthcare Business Monthly many times. It doesn’t matter how long it takes….it doesn’t matter how many times you test. When you succeed, it’s called SUCCESS!

    My last word, there are not a lot of “regular income” fields to do at home and a lot of freaking scams out there. This is not a scam. I have long-time friends taking this course. This is how I found out about it. I don’t care what anyone says the MT industry is dying. There is legal transcription, General transcription (I hated that), scoping, proofreading as regular income streams. Then, of course, there are call center job (they do not pay well), Blog writing (can be pay well, but the income is come/go), and a few other things, but the TOP work-at-home careers are legal transcription, General Transcription, Scoping, Proofreading. MT is dying a slow death, my friend.

    1. Please excuse missing words, typos, etc. I typed it fast and, ummm. Well. I didn’t proofread it :).

  25. Hands down best article I’ve read in a long time. I needed to read this. Thanks. After starting the course I have written down my goals (what I want to achieve after the course) and stuck it in my work space, I look at it every day. So whenever I’m discouraged or overwhelmed I can remind myself to plod on and reach my goal.

    1. Awesome, Dharshika! Writing down goals is so powerful — and putting them somewhere where you can see them each day just amplifies that! Way to go.

  26. Caitlin,

    Thank you for this post! I’m very excited about this course. I’ve arranged to take the next semester or two off from my college courses in order to focus completely on this. I’ve also been laying the foundation for the course. I’m working on a mission statement that can be broken down into each individual step to help me fulfill this goal. I’ve also been anxious. Another opportunity has dropped into my lap. I suffer from a pain condition called Fibromyalgia and have begun a certain therapy for it. The person teaching that therapy has offered to train me to also teach it. I’m excited and afraid at the same time. I want to do both and I also fear taking on too much. The theraputic exercise is part of the foundation I’m building because it helps me keep the pain at bay. I’m honestly not sure how to balance the two opportunities. Thank you for being so authentic and for all the work you do!

    I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this series!

  27. Sometimes the universe delivers what you need to hear at the right moment. Thank you for this beautiful write up. The road to entrepreneurship is never dull and there is always room for self growth to accelerate the journey :). Create the life you want to live. Hugs, D

  28. I just read this for the first time. Like others, I will be reading it several times to truly embrace all of the excellent points. Thank you!

  29. Thank you for this article. I really needed this! I appreciate you taking the time and effort to write this. I enjoyed reading this article and it has motivated me to take action to live a better life! 🙂

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