What do technical writing, massage therapy, proofreading, and transcribing all have in common? Today’s post comes from Katherine Ferranti. We previously heard from Katherine about 18 months ago, and we are so excited to see how her life continues to be transformed with the help of transcription.
Take it away, Katherine!
Massage therapy might seem like a piece from a different puzzle, but it actually makes perfect sense once you know the story. And massage was what gave me the first taste of what it’s like to work for myself and build a business!
After 14 years as a technical writer in the corporate landscape, I needed a change. I wanted something physical that didn’t involve sitting all day, but that also tapped into my penchant for detail and organization. I didn’t want to assume too many student loans in my mid-thirties to go to school for physical therapy, so I chose massage. It was a wonderful fit in many ways. And it was massage therapy that gave me my first chance to work for myself and build my own business.
Yes, a business of one is still a business! You don’t need to have employees, offer multiple complicated services, sell retail products, or have a physical store/location in order to be a “real” business or even to be successful. You can work for yourself and only yourself doing something you really like and/or are very good at, have meaningful relationships with your clients, and make enough to pay your bills and eat, or finance your vacations, or whatever makes sense for you and your family.
The most important lesson I learned in my six year massage therapy career is that customer service is everything. I’d argue that 99% of business is customer service, and 1% is the stuff you were hired to do. That’s clearly an exaggeration for effect, but if you don’t do good work, you’ll get bad reviews and no repeat business. And you can do the best work in the world, but if you don’t really HEAR your clients and treat them well, they won’t come back or recommend you to their friends/family/colleagues. Being in a room one-on-one with a massage client forces that kind of service to the surface, but it holds true in any profession.
When I moved on from massage due to a health issue, I knew I didn’t want to go back to the corporate world and a traditional 9 to 5. I’d had a taste of the flexible lifestyle and proven to myself that working for myself was realistic and achievable. I also worked the last three years out of a home office, so saw firsthand how saving on rent dramatically improves a company’s bottom line! But I wanted to lean into the skills I already had.
With a little help from Transcribe Anywhere’s legal transcription course, I was able to build on the strong foundation of language and grammar that I already had and learn a new skill that fit very nicely into my work-from-home lifestyle. I landed my first client around the same time I finished the course, and they are still a client over two years later thanks to the practical skills I picked up as a complement to my customer service skills.
But transcription isn’t the final stop on this train. I realized that I could be doing more for more people so decided to venture into the next level of business ownership and start a broader business called Yellow Brick Small Business Services LLC where we specialize in providing remote support to small businesses so they can do what they do best.
I realized that I wanted to create the type of business I wished had existed when I was a massage therapist and knew I needed help in certain areas, but 1) I only had a very small amount of money to invest in my business, and 2) I didn’t always know where that money would be best spent. I want my business to make money, of course, but I also want to foster a sense of community so I have tried to keep that as the seed of my company’s mission.
So here I am again building on skills I have, learning something new, and getting a little bit of encouragement from people along the way. Janet has been a wonderful mentor as I have made this latest transition. She is great at what she does as a transcriber, course creator, and owner of several businesses. But she also always has time to offer guidance and support, and I am so grateful I stumbled through the internet and found her!
My best advice is to be brave! You can honestly do whatever you want to do in this life (as I hope I have shown), and you are also free to change direction when that feels right. You’ll be out of your comfort zone more than you might like, but nothing worth having ever comes without a bit of work and exploration. Go get ‘em!
Thanks for sharing that simple (but not always easy) reminder that the things worth having come with hard work, commitment, and the willingness to take chances. We are so please that Transcribe Anywhere has been an integral part of your continued success!
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