I hear lots of reasons why people want to start proofreading for a living. These reasons range from wanting to stay home with kids to wanting to be the boss to wanting to pay down debt to wanting the freedom to travel full-time.
Personally, I have a soft spot for people wanting to travel more and live that digital nomad lifestyle. I created my Transcript Proofreading course while I was traveling in South America for a year. I loved the freedom of working from anywhere and getting to explore new countries while I grew my business. And I hope to do some more traveling very soon!
So it fills me with excitement when I hear of other people using their proofreading skills to create a life of freedom for themselves.
Elizabeth is one of those people. After a successful career that allowed her to travel some, she and her husband started RVing full-time — and proofreading allows her to earn money so they can stay on the road!
Keep reading to learn more about Elizabeth’s story!
Q: Welcome to the blog, Elizabeth! Tell us a little about your background. What did your life look like before you crossed paths with PA?
Before PA, I had enjoyed a successful career in aviation maintenance and had spent much of that time in quality assurance and regulatory compliance roles. My husband and I had always enjoyed traveling, and although my job had moved us all over the country and allowed us to do a decent amount of traveling, we were ready to do more traveling on our own terms.
Q: Wanting more freedom to travel is a great reason to make a career change. When did you start proofreading, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread?
I’ve always had a knack for finding errors in written documents, so I feel as though I’ve been proofreading in some form or fashion for more than fifteen years.
I found PA right at the time that my husband and I had decided to sell our house and transition into living and traveling full-time in an RV. I was looking for the type of work that I could do while on the road, and since I had always been good at finding errors in documents in previous jobs, the Transcript Proofreading course seemed like the perfect fit for me. Also, my sister is a certified shorthand reporter (CSR) in California, and she assured me that there was a need for good proofreaders for court reporters.
Q: How exciting! Traveling full-time in an RV is a dream for many people. What was the most challenging part of getting started?
I started the Transcript Proofreading course just a couple months after we began our full-time RV adventure, and I struggled with dedicating time to complete the course while also figuring out the ins and outs of full-time RV life.
Q: What was the most valuable thing you learned during the course?
It’s hard to pick just one thing from the whole course as being the most valuable, but I know that the practice transcripts were extremely crucial to me feeling as though I was actually ready for my first real transcript.
Q: Practice makes progress! How long did it take you to find your first client? And how many clients do you have now?
My sister was actually my first client, and she sent me my first job pretty much as soon as I completed the course. Over the last three years, I’ve worked with fifteen different clients. Some of those clients are official reporters who only send work occasionally, but I currently have six clients that send work on a very regular basis.
Here’s what Elizabeth’s happy clients have to say!
Thanksgiving thank-you email from a new client who has been a reporter since the early 1980s.
Q: Way to make use of your existing network! How long did it take you to recoup the cost of the course?
With just one client at the beginning, it took me five months to recoup the cost of the course.
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 tell anyone thinking about enrolling in the course that it is absolutely worth the money. The course will ensure that you are more than prepared to be a successful proofreader, and the Facebook groups continue to provide incredible support once you graduate and are working as a proofreader.
Q: What does your life look like now as a working freelance proofreader and digital nomad?
I am thankful every day for the amazing life I now have as a working freelance proofreader. I love the work that I do, and it provides the freedom and flexibility to travel that my husband and I were looking for.
You can proofread anywhere! Elizabeth’s husband made a desk for her that sits on the steering wheel of their RV while they’re parked; so the view from her “office” is ever-changing. This particular evening, it was a sunset over the Chesapeake Bay.
Wow! Imagine having the freedom to wander the country in an RV without having to worry about money. Elizabeth doesn’t need to imagine it; she’s doing it! I find it so inspiring to know that it’s possible to earn money while you travel full-time. Being a location independent proofreader is like having your cake and eating it too!
Think you can’t afford to travel? Think again! If you’d love to travel more on your own terms like Elizabeth does, why not consider proofreading court transcripts for a living? Check out our FREE 7-day Intro Course to see how you can get started.