Today I want to try out something new. I got this idea while reading this post on Nikki Graham’s blog. I think that knowing where you stand is an important part of moving forward, so I decided to make the first Monday of each month a day when I step back and take a look at the events, achievements and lessons of the previous month. So let’s dive right into it!
The main event on my calendar in April was the BP16 Conference in Prague. It was my first event of the kind, so I was very excited about it and just a little bit nervous. I still have to write a post about the most memorable moments of the conference, but here’s just a couple of things I learned over those two amazing days in Prague:
The Internet and social media CAN help you with establishing contacts with your colleagues thus making your first live event not as scary as it might be otherwise.
I really couldn’t imagine myself going to a gathering of almost 200 people where I knew no one. Fortunately, that was not the case. I knew a couple of dozens of people from Twitter and it made a huge difference for me.
Knowing someone online was a great reason to come up to them and introduce myself. In fact, meeting some of my fellow translators felt like meeting old friends!
So I consider the time spent on Twitter, which is my favorite social media platform, a good investment.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
This was something Caterina Saccani mentioned during a Blabbing Translators episode and it was a very important piece of advice for me.
Let’s face it: if you’re used to working alone and spending time mostly with your friends and family, like I am, being at a conference, asking questions during some sessions, soaking up so much information, getting to know new people is stressful.
Besides I’m a perfectionist with a good imagination, which is great for someone doing marketing translations and transcreation. But it also means that I sometimes imagine how things should be and get disappointed when they turn out to be somewhat different. And it can be literally anything, like giving out fewer business cards than I expected.
Luckily I was able to prevent my perfectionist mind from becoming fixated on small and unimportant things that had ‘gone wrong’. Instead, I focused on all the good stuff that was going on around me and taking good care of myself.
The second important thing last month was, of course, going on vacation. I must admit that in spite of all the good intentions I had, I didn’t prepare for it as I had planned to and consequently wasn’t able to fully unplug. I still checked my emails, I was tweeting from time to time and I even had to finish the translation of an article for my I Love Mondays project.
This is something I definitely want to change next time, whenever it might be. I’ve heard a lot of good about doing an Internet detox for a month and I would love to give it a go.
April marked the 10th episode of Blabbing Translators, the first live talk show about translation and translators that I co-host together with my friend and colleague Dmitry Kornyukhov. We’ve been doing it for over two months now and it’s been a lot of fun.
I don’t know about you, but I get in the holiday mood a couple of weeks before the day when I actually leave. Probably that’s the main reason why I haven’t done much in terms of marketing my translation business in April. I’m not being too hard on myself for this, though: we all need a break from time to time. Besides, I’ve noticed that such lazy periods are usually followed by more active ones.
The last thing I want to share with you is the video I came across last month that has made a big impression on me. Simon Sinek, a speaker at TEDex event, explains that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it and gives some great examples to support this idea.
What about you? What have you been up to this past month?