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
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!
I was living in a new town with my wife and three kids
…and DID NOT HAVE A JOB.
That is a great motivator.
I took an inventory of what I knew how to do
that I could turn into cash.
I had a college degree
…but I was living in a different country
and the process to validate my education
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…