There's no doubt that being an entrepreneur in the languages industry comes with many joys and challenges. We oftentimes talk about the challenges, as it's important for newcomers to know which they are, but today we want to focus on the joys. We absolutely love working for ourselves and wouldn't have it any other way. Now, in no particular order of importance, are three things we love about our small translation and interpretation business. These are things that go beyond the fact that we love languages and really enjoy solving linguistic puzzles.
- Freedom. We have the freedom to decide who our clients will be. We don't have any obligation to work on projects that don't offer the right terms (think payment, deadline, etc.) and we are independent contractors to all our fantastic clients. We have the freedom to turn down work and the freedom to choose our clients, which is fantastic. We also have the freedom to work as little or as much as we'd like. We usually do work quite a lot, but we love it.
- No boss. We are our own bosses, and we are tougher on ourselves than any boss we've ever had. However, it's incredibly liberating to not have to ask for vacation days, raises, sit through boring meetings, etc. It's empowering to be in charge of our own destiny and to make the decisions we believe are right for our company. We don't always make the right ones, but we are willing to assume the risks and the consequences of our decisions.
- Location independence. We both travel a lot for both business and pleasure, and routinely run our businesses from Europe, Latin America, South America, the US, etc. We usually discourage newcomers from getting too attached to the notion that being a freelance translator means you will sit on remote beaches with a laptop, as that's just not the long-term reality of any professional business, but it certainly is true that translation doesn't tie you to one place. The only aspect of our business that suffers when we travel is the interpreting side.
We love many other parts of our business, but if we had to pick three, we'd probably stick with these. What about you, dear colleagues? We'd be most interested in knowing what you enjoy the most about our profession.