How This Mom Found Freedom with General Transcription

Jun 18, 2018 by Janet Shaughnessy

When it's time to go, it's time to go.

That's exactly how Liesel felt in her full-time job. And after she came to this realization, she started on a journey that was both terrifying and incredibly fulfilling.

Because when you step out of your comfort zone and try something new, that's when the magic happens.

Read Liesel's story below and get inspired!

Q: Hi, Liesel! Can you tell us a little about your background? What did your life look like before you came across Transcribe Anywhere?

Prior to where I am right now, I had been working as a customer service representative for the same company for eleven years. In early 2017, I knew that I had come to a crossroads in my life, and it was time to be brave and make some big changes. Professionally, I wanted my life to have more meaning and purpose. After a lot of self-reflection, I realized that I wasn't going to find what I was looking for in my current place of employment. So, in June of 2017, I gave my letter of resignation with absolutely nothing lined up for myself. I was trembling like a leaf, but I knew this was the right decision. I took the summer off to gather my thoughts, did a bit of traveling, and got to know myself better. Through process of elimination, I quickly figured out what I didn't want to do. I knew that in order to feel fulfilled and gain purpose, I was going to have to work for myself, create my own hours, and be able to work from home or, really, anywhere I please. That was the dream, and I was fiercely determined.

Q: Wow! You took a huge leap, but it sounds like it was for the best. So when did you start doing transcription, and what made you decide to learn it?

The very first time I ever transcribed anything was when I was deciding whether or not to enroll in the Transcribe Anywhere course. I knew I was quick on the keyboard, and my grammar and punctuation skills were strong. I figured that was all I needed. So, to test myself out, I played a YouTube video while attempting to type along to it. Wow. Way harder than I imagined! That's when I knew that if I wanted to be a professional in this field (just like any other field), I would need some thorough training. I enrolled in Janet's course immediately.

Q: It's very common for people to think transcription is easy ? Good for you for recognizing you needed training! What was the most challenging part in getting started?

The most challenging part in getting started was learning to live on less while I built my business. I watched my bank account like a hawk and had to say no to my kids more times than I would have liked. But I kept my eye on the prize, and like I said, I was determined and knew that, financially speaking, this was just a temporary phase, and my hard work and patience would soon pay off.

Q: That's a great mindset to have! What have been the most valuable things you learned during the course?

The Transcribe Anywhere course was invaluable and extremely thorough. I sharpened my grammar and punctuation skills and developed an ear for listening that I never had before. The practice dictations exposed me to a wide variety of scenarios, formats, accents, audio quality, and more. Had I tried to jump into this field without the proper training, I probably would've fallen flat on my face. Once I graduated, my confidence was soaring, and I knew that I could professionally and impressively handle any sort of work that was thrown at me.

Q: And how long did it take you to find your first client? How many clients do you have now?

Upon graduation, it was time to finally start making money. At this point, I had been off work for almost six months, and Christmas was right around the corner. I was super excited to start my own business, but I knew that was going to take some time. So, within a few days of graduating, I completed the testing for a transcription company in California that I had my eye on. With glowing feedback, they offered me a position as an independent contractor. I was well on my way. Everything was starting to fall into place.

Now, those first few months were probably the hardest I ever worked. I was receiving an abundance of work as a contractor, which I gladly accepted. But at the same time, I was also creating a website, writing blog posts, building my business, and marketing myself to potential clients every chance I got. My company, The Transcript Guru, was born!

It's now been five months since graduation. I'm still working with the transcription company that I started with and have also successfully secured my very first client.

Q: What advice would you give anyone thinking about becoming a transcriptionist? Is it worth the money for training?

Definitely take the time to do the proper training. I always strive to be the best at whatever I do. In doing that, there's no taking shortcuts. You need to invest in yourself. Take the time to learn as much as you can so you can be amazing at whatever you do. Why would you ever want to be anything less than that?

Q: I completely agree, Liesel! In your opinion, what do you think it takes to be a GOOD transcriptionist? How about a GREAT one?

A good transcriptionist can listen to audio and accurately type what is heard. But you need more than that. You need to have strong listening skills, great attention to detail, knowledge of grammar and punctuation, and it doesn't hurt to be quick on the keyboard either. However, a great transcriptionist is also passionate about the work they do. Believe it or not, but that's reflected in every single transcript you produce. We're all consumers, and we all know that you get what you pay for. A great transcriptionist is no different. Know your worth and market yourself accordingly.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about being a transcriptionist? What about your least favorite?

Favorite thing about being a transcriptionist? Making my own hours, being accountable for my own success, and working from home would be the obvious answers. But what I truly love more than anything is listening to people's stories. Qualitative research is absolutely my favorite type of work. I have days where I get so lost in the interview that I forget that I'm even working. I have days where I'm so moved by the story that I'm crying all over my keyboard. As human beings, we could all take more time to slow down and hear what another human being has to say about their life or what challenges or successes they may be facing. Nothing shows kindness and compassion more than a listening ear. And while I'll never know these people, each one of their stories has touched me deeply. I feel like I'm a better person just for having been exposed to so many walks of life on a daily basis.

Least favorite? I honestly can't think of anything.

Q: That just made me cry all over my keyboard too! ❤ To wrap things up, what does a typical day look like for you? Anything else you’d like to share about your newfound freedom with general transcription?

I don't really have a typical day. It all depends on what sort of jobs I have lined up for that week. However, a few things always remain the same. I always take a break in the middle of the day to take my dog for a long walk, and I'm always here when my kids get home from school. Although, they're teenagers now, and being home probably means more to me than it does to them. I'd like to believe that they appreciate the little chats we have each day when they drop their backpacks and come barreling through the door.

Also, with the weather finally starting to get warm in Canada, I try to start my day early so I have more free time in the afternoon/evening. For example, today I was at my desk by 6:00 am with the hopes of wrapping my day up no later than 2:00 pm so I can head outside!

Our Take

I love hearing when students not only find financial success with transcription but when they also find that it touches them in ways they never imagined. Who would have thought transcription could do that?!

Your Turn

Are you looking to make a professional change but aren't sure if working from home as a transcriptionist is right for you? Sign up below for my free 7-day mini course that will answer all your questions!

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What separates a ho-hum transcriptionist from an excellent one? Is there even a demand for transcription? Who hires transcriptionists? 
 Can anyone be a transcriptionist? 

Get the answers to all these questions and more by enrolling in my free introductory course, Transcription Foundations.

For our legal transcription mini-course, click here.