5 Sources of Inspiration for Freelance Translators

It’s Monday and I can hear some of you moan all the way to here. Personally, I’m always very excited about the beginning of a new week because it is full of promises – anything can happen and it is up to you to change the game! This week is a bit peculiar as it is an official holiday in Belgium and in other countries. This gives you one more day to get ready! If the long weekend wasn’t enough to recharge your batteries and you need extra motivation, I’ve compiled a list of 5 sources of inspiration you can use to get back into track!

1. Business publications

As a freelance translator, you are an entrepreneur and it is fundamental that you see yourself like one. This huge difference lies in how you run your business: entrepreneurs are proactive people and don’t wait for potential clients to come across their profile and maybe (maybe!) contact them. If you know nothing about what skills running a business implies, there are many business blogs, magazines, books and podcasts that you can read or listen to in order to get a better grasp of the world of business. On the contrary, if you feel that you are stuck and need a little inspiration, many posts can help you as well. Here are publications that I regularly read:

  • Inc.com: My personal favorite! A fantastic resource for small business owners. You can find many top lists about skills to have, tools that help your productivity as well as many articles on the business world. Whenever I read an article, I can’t help but take notes for strategies to try out and things I need to remember whenever the dreaded famine arrives.
  • Entrepreneur: This one is a bit more diverse as it offers practical how-to guides for starters along with regular articles.
  • Forbes: A more formal website inspired by the renowned economy magazine. It’s a great resource to keep in touch with market trends. Besides, they offer articles on healthcare innovation and future tech which are part of my specializations.

2. Your colleagues

Have a look at what your colleagues are doing. I’m not saying you should imitate what they’re doing as everyone has their own way of running their business. But get inspired by their own motivation and by their endeavours to make things change.

3. Your target industries

Your potential clients are a big factor of how you will run your business. Indeed, you need to adapt the way you market your services to their needs and their habits. For example, clients from the IT industry will be more responsive to online marketing because that’s simply where they work and because the Internet plays a huge part in their daily lives. Even more so, I feel we can be so stuck within our own industry that it can be refreshing to have a look at what happens in other places. You’d be surprised by the number of strategies that these entrepreneurs are implementing and that could work for your own business too!

4. Children

This comes directly from my own experience. Have you ever seen a baby trying to stand up for the first time? This is the perfect metaphor to how things are when you first start out as a freelance translator. You might not get there the first time you try, but the more and more you push on those legs and use the right resources to achieve your objective, you will succeed, sooner and later. What can children teach us? That you need to be patient and that things never happen overnight but that of course, practice makes perfect.

5. Nature

Whether you like going for a run in the wilderness or discovering new places, I feel it’s important to take some me-time to reconnect with our environment. Let’s face the facts: you are a translator, a proofreader, a subtitler, a copywriter, a project manager, a sales manager, a CEO, a secretary, an account manager… How many more can you name? And let’s not forget about your personal responsibilities towards your family and friends! All of these are very demanding and can thus leave you completely exhausted, burned out and without a single ounce of inspiration or imagination left in your brain. Well, leave your desk. I’ve already written about this, but I can’t stress enough the importance of not working 24/7 (which, as freelancers, we’re always tempted to do, especially if we love our job, right?) This will create a vicious circle that will be hard to get out of. So turn off the computer, take your car keys and go somewhere you’ve never been. A breath of fresh air will do wonders!

What about you? Where do you get your daily dose of inspiration?

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