Another month has flown by and it’s time for my monthly review. May was nothing like I thought it would be. In the last week of April, I came back from my road trip to Italy and I was sure that May will become a really productive month for me. But while going on vacation right after the BP16 conference was a smart way to avoid post-conference blues, I forgot that there would be the post-vacation one to deal with.
That was one of the reasons why the past month turned out to be the month of taking care of myself, which is actually a good thing. Of course, it was not all about going for long walks or sleeping in either. I do have regular clients and they kept me pretty busy. Here are some examples of the projects that I was working on in May:
- Translation of corporate documentation for a major transportation company
- Translation of product descriptions for a luxury watch brand
- Editing of Russian translations of movie synopses
- Editing of a fitness program description translated into Russian
- I have also translated 5 articles for my I Love Mondays newsletter
However taking care of myself was the main focus of the past month. And what better way to do that than to be more active, right? So at the beginning of the month, I joined the #1mm Challenge run by Tanya Quintiery and Zbynek Taborsky.
I love the simple idea of this challenge. Here’s how Tanya and Zbynek describe it:
“Our work includes hours on end either sitting at the desk or (in rare cases) standing at it and generally not going outside very much. Any physical activity will contribute to a healthier lifestyle, promote creativity and in the long run it just makes us fitter and happier.”
Any translator or interpreter can participate. The goal is for all the participants to cover 1 million miles by running, walking, swimming, biking or moving in any other way that they enjoy, over the period of one year. The campaign started on May, 1 2016 and will run until April, 30 2017. You can join at any time by signing up here.
Why did I decide to take part? Well, I can use some additional motivation to get out more. Besides, it’s nice to be part of a community united by a common goal.
Another thing that I did in May and that also had to do with my health was visiting a doctor.
I had been having a back pain for a couple of months, but I kept finding excuses to not have it checked out.
First, I had too much work, then I had to prepare for my vacation, after that I had to catch up with everything I missed during the holiday. Well, you get the idea.
But the truth is that our health is the most precious asset for our businesses. For many translators, they are their businesses, so if we get sick nothing gets done.
I hate going to the doctor. I always postpone it for as long as I can in the hope that everything will get better on its own and it often does. A little rest or a little exercise are often the best solutions to any problems I have (as is the case this time as well).
But there might be certain things you should know about your condition and only a doctor can give you the recommendations you need.
I sometimes wait for some kind of an external influence, a sign that I really should go and do something. If you’re like me, consider this post to be that sign and schedule your check-up.
Taking care of myself and translating texts for my regular clients were not the only things I did last month. I also did a fair bit of planning my marketing activities for the coming summer.
I sometimes wonder if my love of making plans might be a cover for procrastination as Liam Veitch suggests in this article I translated last week for my I Love Mondays newsletter.
But anyway, here’re some examples of what I came up with:
– I finally created a content marketing plan. Most of us do content marketing even if we aren’t aware of it. Blog posts, videos, comments on other people’s blogs and even tweets are all parts of content marketing.
For me, this is a fun and effective way of increasing my visibility as a translator. However as any other tool, content marketing is most effective when you have a strategy. And this was something that I hadn’t thought through.
Of course, I knew what content I wanted to create and for whom, but I wasn’t very consistent with that and often ended up writing more blog posts for fellow translators (because this is something that is easier for me) than for potential clients or stopping tweeting for a week or so just because I wasn’t in the mood for it.
So I hope that a content marketing plan will help me be more consistent and streamlined in what I’m doing as well as keep me focused on the reasons for using a particular platform.
– I decided to be more active in contacting direct clients. There are two things I want to work on the most: apps and non-fiction books that help people become the best versions of themselves: more organized, more focused, more healthy and ultimately happier.
While I have some experience with approaching app developers and it is a pretty straight-forward process, contacting authors is something I have never done before. Luckily we have a whole Blabbing Translators episode on working with self-published authors (and I will probably write another blog post on why I consider them to be my target audience) and I’m planning to use some of the tips shared by Rafa Lombardino during our conversation.
Speaking of Blabbing Translators, those of you who have seen last week’s episode know that it was an interview with my friend and co-host Dmitry Kornyukhov, who had his birthday on May, 31. Well, I must say that preparing that episode was one of the most fun things I did last month!
I asked all our past guests to come up with questions for Dmitry and they did. Some of them even called in during our blab to ask the questions themselves.
Interesting fact: almost all questions were different, which just goes to show how creative all translators are!
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in the preparation of this little birthday surprise for Dmitry.
Finally, I want to share a great source of inspiration and motivation that certainly made my month more vibrant. It’s a series of videos called 30 Days of Genius created by Chase Jarvis, a photographer and a co-founder of creativeLIVE learning platform. The series includes interviews with Richard Branson, Tim Ferris, Brene Brown, Seth Godin and many others (there are 30 videos all in all, as you’ve probably guessed from the name).
Here’s one of the videos, where Chase Jarvis interviews Gary Vaynerchuk. I personally find Gary’s energy contagious, so this video is a perfect pick-me-up for when I feel down or just uncertain of what to do next. Enjoy!