The Pot of Gold

Before I reveal how I discovered the pot of gold…

I want to be very straight with you…


I want to be clear that I did not wake up one morning

and find huge deposits in my bank account

…from translating.

The truth is…it took me a long time to figure out what I am sharing with you here.

I wish I had known then…what I know now.

  • How to present myself as a freelance translator.
  • How to find companies willing to pay top dollar.
  • How to negotiate a translation contract.
  • How to know how much to charge.
  • How to make sure I got paid.

Why I Became a Translator

I needed money!

Quick money.

I was living in a new town with my wife and three kids


That is a great motivator.

I took an inventory of what I knew how to do

that I could turn into cash.

My Talents

I had a college degree

…but I was living in a different country

and the process to validate my education

was grueling.

I worked in all phases of construction

while going to school.

Those jobs paid very little where I was living

…if you could find one!

Translating- Starting Out

I decided to call myself a freelance translator

and see if I could get some work.

I spoke Spanish – poorly – but I could READ it fairly well.

Oh I was slow….very slow but I bought several dictionaries.

(This was WAY before Google and the Internet).

I ordered some business cards.

A Lucky Break

While waiting for my cards to be printed

I was invited to a wedding held on board

an exact replica of Christopher Columbus’

Spanish galleon -Santa Maria –

While visiting the head (nautical talk for bathroom)

I met the attorney -Eduardo- who printed the maps

…I told you about in the beginning.

Jobs are Everywhere

The places I thought would want/need my services

turned out not to be interested.

  • Restaurants with mistakes on their menus.
  • Banks with errors on their signs.
  • Tour companies charging top dollar with horrible promotional material.

They were thankful and  polite

but business was okay and they didn’t want to pay for

…reprinting…and then my fees on top.

Then I Stumbled Upon the Jackpot

I knew a lawyer that I had met through my kid’s school.

He had helped me out tremendously with immigration documents.

He never would take a penny…saying

One day you can return the favor.

Well I did.

It was a few months later…

Continued…..(3 of 4)