Redefining Success with Legal Transcription: Tracy's Story

Aug 06, 2018 by Janet Shaughnessy

If someone were to ask you how you defined success, how would you answer? Would it be the amount of money you make? Would it be that the hours you work are exactly the hours you want? What about finding a dream job that gave your life purpose?

Tracy’s story is all about redefining success and deciding what’s most important in her career as well as in her life.

I hope her story will inspire you to look at your life and realize the successes you already have and to work hard for the success you’ve always wanted!

Q: Hi, Tracy! Can you tell us a little about your background? What did your life look like before TA?

Before taking the TA course, I had been in the insurance industry as well as taught fitness at several gyms and a university.

Q: I love that you had two very different jobs and then changed to something entirely different! When did you start doing legal transcription, and what made you decide to learn it?

My husband had recently been transferred to another state and we needed extra income to support two households until we could sell our original home. We still haven’t sold it, but my new income has made it possible for us to not worry about selling it quickly. I was waiting for my son to graduate so we didn’t pull him away from his friends. I decided I wanted a career that allowed me to be home with him and my dogs, which is why I chose transcription.

Q: Transitions can be so hard! I'm glad TA was able to provide you a way to help your family during that time. What was the most challenging part of getting started?

Getting started was easy once I decided to take the course in March. Finding the time to complete the course was the challenging part. There was always something else I could do and I found myself neglecting my studies. However, one day last June, I just told myself to do it no matter what. I finished the course by the end of July 2017.

Q: You may say you procrastinated, but that’s still pretty quick! What have been the most valuable things you learned during the course?

I learned that, although I thought I was great with comma placement and grammar, this course quickly made me realize that I had a lot to learn. So the most valuable tools I learned from this course were grammar, comma placement, and document setup. The practice dictations were invaluable.

Q: There’s always more to learn! How long did it take you to find your first client? How many clients do you have now?

Once I finished the course, I began applying everywhere and calling many people to find work. Many attorneys already had people they used, but within a week and a half, I landed a full-time job with a company who transcribes government files. I still only have the one client, but it is more than enough for my needs. I am working at least forty hours per week, so I do not need any additional clients.

Q: Sounds like you hit the jackpot with that client! What advice would you give anyone thinking about becoming a transcriptionist? Is it worth the money for training?

To anyone interested in taking this course, I would recommend it wholeheartedly. It literally changed my life. The training is invaluable if you do, in fact, really work on the lesson skills and put in the time.

Q: What do you think it takes to be a GOOD transcriptionist? How about a GREAT one?

I was not as prepared as I thought I was to become a transcriptionist. I think the biggest mistake I made was thinking I could work about four hours a day while my kids were at school. In reality, work can come in at all hours (depending on the client) and you need to be flexible for your clients.

To be a GOOD transcriptionist, you need to be willing to help your clients when they need it. That might not necessarily be when it is most convenient for you.

To be a GREAT transcriptionist, you must be flexible, accurate, and accept criticism. Not every client adheres to the “rules” of transcription. You must adapt to your client’s preference, even if it goes against what you know is right.

Q: “The customer is always right” is one of those tough concepts that is not always true, but it’s a great attitude to have. What’s your favorite thing about being a legal transcriptionist? What about your least favorite?

My most favorite thing about being a transcriptionist is having the ability to work from home and stay with my animals and children.

My least favorite thing is being seated for such long periods of time. I have really had to learn to break up my day with workouts and walks to ensure I don’t fall victim to all the ailments that come with being seated all the time.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you? Is there anything else you’d like to share?

A typical day for me is I get up and walk my dogs, make breakfast, and transcribe from 7:30 until 11:00 or 12:00. I take a break to work out and shower, and then I transcribe from 2:00 until 5:00 or 6:00. When I get emergency work, I may need to transcribe into the night. I usually transcribe Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 to 12:00, but only because I want the extra money. Those days are not required.

Depending on how much I work, I have made as little as $350 per week and as much as $900 per week. On average, I make about $500-600 per week.

TA has truly changed my life. Without taking this course, I would not be working at home earning the money I do. Taking this course was the best decision I have ever made. If you are willing to put in the work -- and I mean REALLY PUT IN THE WORK -- this course will be worth every penny and every minute you spend training yourself. I have never regretted a second of this. The support staff at TA are truly amazing and are there to help you achieve your dreams and excel at them. You will not be disappointed.

Our Take

Tracy’s story shows that we sometimes need to adjust our mindset and our definition of success in order to find our true purpose. Are you willing to give more of your time so you can make extra money on the weekend? Will you give up some evenings so you can catch up on work you didn’t finish during the hours you set for yourself? Are you willing to be humble enough to let go of some “rules” in order to appease a client and their unique preferences?

Tracy also shows that these adjustments are worth it! When the freedom of working at home is important enough to you, you'll do what you can to find the success you’ve always wanted!

Your Turn

Are you ready to redefine your success? If so, try out our free 7-day mini-course!

success interviews




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.