You Know You’re a Freelance Translator When… (Part 4)
You know you’re a freelance translator when…
Time management is something we will probably never fully master. We are constantly ‘on’ with our work projects plus the other things that need to be done in order to run our businesses, like invoicing, tax accounting, content marketing, and physical things like cleaning our home offices, buying new printer cartridges and emptying the shredder. On the other hand, because we work from home we are often a little too available for favours and other tasks. For example, if our child isn’t well and needs to come home from school early, who is the most likely choice to pick them up and care for them for the rest of the school day: the parent who has a boss and a 9-to-5 job, or the parent who runs a freelance translation business from home? It’s not always the fairest choice, but it’s the one that usually ends up being made.
Financial predictions are scary. We break into a sweat every time we are asked to predict our income for the following financial year. How could we know? Yes, we could put the same income that we earned the previous year, but surely we wish to improve upon that? What if we overestimate by too much? When you work for a fixed salary, estimating your income for the following year is a no-brainer. When you work in freelance translation, though, it involves a long meeting with your accountant, crystal ball in hand.
We’ve left friends in our wake. Most teenagers and 20 somethings have talked about starting a business at some stage. The majority, though, never take the first step, and for those of us that do, a large proportion of the businesses fail. We’ve all had friends that have gone their own way simply because they’re jealous that we’ve made our own businesses work. Most of the time, these former friends will find a way of blaming something else for our business success and their lack thereof. They’ll say that we had more capital to begin with, or a more understanding partner or less commitments in terms of children and mortgage payments. However the reasoning goes, it still means that our circles inevitably get a little smaller when we go down the entrepreneurship road.
It’s not just about the money. Starting a business from nothing and building it into a viable asset, a real entrepreneurship success story, is a pretty amazing feeling. We love the fact that we’ve built something from nothing and that people are now happily trading their money for the translation services that we provide. For some of us, our non-financial motivation is to genuinely help people with the services that we can provide, while for others it’s about building a legacy for our children. For me, it’s about the lifestyle and flexibility that comes with working from home and being a solo full-time parent – even if it does mean working until the early hours of the morning. I want to show my children that I can financially support them and physically be there for them at the same time.
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