May 22, 2014 - Personal    19 Comments

The Pot of Gold at the End of the Rainbow

Three summers ago, I started my transcription business. I could be considered a success in that it has grown steadily and I haven’t filed for bankruptcy yet. But it’s been a slog of mostly boring files and many, many clients who can’t understand why a transcriptionist deserves to be paid a living wage.

This winter, I knew I was cresting. I had a solid portfolio of reliable clients, mounds of experience, but the income I was making wasn’t commensurate with the amount of work I was doing. It was time to get really serious about finding better paying clients or give up and get a J-O-B. I’d put in too much effort to start over and I love having freedom over my schedule, so off I went in search of better paying clients.

Tired of general transcription, doing business webinars and the like, I knew that I wanted to do legal transcription, trials, police interviews, etc. However it’s a field that is hard to get into if you’re not already involved in the legal world. Thankfully, I’ve steadily gained verifiable legal transcription experience, enough to sell myself as being an experienced legal transcriptionist.

So I started cold emailing firms that do legal transcription. I especially wanted to do law enforcement work, typing up witness and accused interviews and statements, more than doing trials. I also really wanted a Canadian client so I could work in familiar jurisdictions and see how the Law works on this side of the border.

I got a few replies, most being from people looking for a slave. I continued.

And then, without fanfare, I won the freelance lottery jackpot.

I am now subcontracting for a Canadian firm that does the transcripts for several major police services in a particular province, as well as a number of RCMP detachments.  I’m still very much at the beginning/probation stage, but the company owner is confident that I will be a good match for the company and already has me booked for the next two weeks.

Like another client I picked up in the fall, this company schedules a week at a time. With two such steady clients, my days of sitting around waiting for work are done. I can see my week at a glance and fit in personal things much more easily. I have a few other clients who surprise me with small projects and that income will now be a bonus, not part of my main income stream.

So I finally have the work I’ve been hoping to get and a measure of certainty in my schedule and budget. That should be enough, right?

Well, there’s the cherry on the proverbial sundae. This company pays professional rates, rates that are going to change my life.

I’ve got a steep learning curve ahead learning the ropes of my new contract, but doing so in six-hour days, five days a week, after a winter of 50-hour plus weeks, with plenty of time (and sufficient funds) for Haven projects that will get me away from the computer, this steep learning curve sounds like a pleasant distraction more than a chore.

To paraphrase myself:

Building a business takes time and patience and ambition and determination. Gazing out at my beloved Prairies, I smile and know that it is worth the effort.

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19 Comments

  • Bravo & Congrats!

  • Very great news! SO happy for you.

  • Yeah for Rae!!! So glad for you!! Sushi time??

  • Good things go to good people. Happy for you.

  • CONGRATS!!!! We are so happy for you for making it happen in your life.

  • Wow. Wonderful news. You continue to inspire me! Congratulations.

  • Thank you everyone!

    Bast: what are you doing on my blog instead of having fun?

    Gina: I have to go to Moose Jaw in a few weeks so there is sushi in my future. 🙂

  • This is great news, Rae. You have been working towards this for a long time and it has finally come in! Congratulations!

  • Even better than being pregnant as someone speculated on your FB post! 😉 😉

  • So happy for you! I’ve never done transcription for a living, but when I did it as a part of my regular job, it was always fun – well, except when they mumble! Or have a broad Boston accent! ;->

    There are so many shortcut possibilities now with the “typewriter” part of the equation that the task is probably even more enjoyable, as well as paying a living wage. Do you have TypeIt4Me on your computer?

  • Croft, don’t even mention the P word. OMG, that would be disastrous! 🙂

    Judie, I use a different text expander called aText. Couldn’t do my job without it! TypeIt4Me is something like $20 and aText is just $5 and has all the features I need.

  • Yay! I am so happy to learn you will finally earn a living wage doing something you enjoy. Life will be even better now.

  • As I said to someone the other day “all appendages crossed” for you, you will do just fine on the learning curve.

    Back in another life in Montreal many years ago, I did typing from a dictaphone 8 hours a day five days a week. Only in English though.

    The work you get through in a day at Haven etc exhausts me just reading about it.

    Also loved the picture of the “new” you!

  • >>Bast: what are you doing on my blog instead of having fun?

    Reading your blog is fun. 🙂

  • Norma, typing from a dictaphone for 8 hours a day in an office sounds like my idea of hell. As for my days, they are pretty full, aren’t they? 😀

    Bast, I’m overdue to tell you how much I love you. *HUGS TIGHT*

  • What wonderful news,. Congratulations!!

  • Congratulations on reaching your goal. Now you can start living your dreams. It took a lot of energy and sacrifice on your part but now you can do anything.

  • That’s great news, Rae. I’m hopeful this is the client that stabilizes your life to where you may contemplate traveling again. Here’s hoping it all works out.

  • This is terrific news. I am very happy for you Rae. You set a goal and made it happen!

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