The Four Stages of Translation Agency Growth. Stage One – Freedom

Stage One – Freedom

I took a long time to make this decision. I analyzed all the pros and cons many times. Then finally:

Honey! I decided to devote all my time to translation! – I declared with relief.

Are you planning on quitting your current job, after so many years in that company? – asked my wife, a bit surprised.

Exactly! I don’t want to hear the never-ending stupid comments from the head of my department any longer! I don’t want to have to follow all the – often conflicting – orders issued by our boss… – I continued the explosion of long-restrained dissatisfaction.

But… – my wife tried to calm me down.

No buts, darling! I’m tired of the rat race. I don’t feel like listening to a stupid boss. From now on I will be my own boss!

This way, for the first time, you’ll be able to work with a boss as smart as yourself. Congratulations! – she said, laughing.

Don’t make fun of me, please! – I protested, but in reality, I liked the prospect.

Let’s be serious. In fact, our salaries, although relatively high, need supplementing with additional work. You spend so many evenings working as a freelance translator… – my wife tried to find a common language with me, seeing my determination.

Well, at the moment, I work on translations two hours a day on average.

Really you should say “two hours an evening, not ‘a day’, – clarified my wife, a little sourly. – And don’t forget all those weekends you’ve spent at the computer.

Indeed, we both criticized my evening occupation repeatedly. Our social life suffered, we didn’t have enough time to meet our friends, and rarely had time for our favourite hobby, hiking, on sunny weekends.

Increasing the volume of work won’t be difficult, because I already receive regular jobs from several clients and they’ve already asked about the possibility of increasing the workload. – I said with conviction.

And will you rent a room for your mini translation agency? – she asked.

No, of course not! Here is my plan: I will work as an independent freelancer based at home. My home is my office, I’ll use the desk in our spare room.

A new meaning for “My home is my castle”. What a novelty! – she said jokingly, but she accepted my plan.

And think about additional savings: now I drive 12 km every morning to the office, dealing with traffic jams during rush hour. On the way home, another 12 km and even worse traffic jams. I lose so much time and the car consumes a lot of fuel…

Full of optimism, I handed in my notice and a few weeks later, I really was free. I could manage my professional life much more conveniently than before:

  1. I didn’t need to wake up to the sound of the alarm clock
  2. I didn’t have to hurry to shave anymore
  3. I could easily eat my breakfast without hurrying
  4. I stopped commuting
  5. My car mileage reduced by 500-600 km monthly
  6. I could also prepare something special for dinner for us both

All these manifestations of my freedom were brilliant. And best of all, I had enough time to meet all the deadlines even with the slowly growing number of jobs. I was more than happy.

Delighted with my newly discovered freedom, I didn’t see any disadvantages to this way of working.

The first comment about the change in my daily schedule came from an unexpected source. A neighbor met me in the elevator and asked with concern:

Is something wrong?

Why? – I was totally surprised.

In the past, I saw you every morning, leaving for work in your car. And now? Your car doesn’t budge from the parking lot. Don’t you have money for petrol?

Image
Jurek Nedoma
Jurek Nedoma has worked in the language industry for over 25 years. He is the founder and former manager of LIDOLANG Specialist Translations, which in 2015 was ranked the 16th translation company in the CEE Region (CSA Report 2015). In the period 2013-2015 Jurek was Treasurer of the European Language Industry Association (ELIA). Jurek Nedoma is also co-founder of the professional TMS software development firm XTRF Management System.
XTRF