I have felt very distracted this week. Every time I sit down to write, something gets in the way. Even now, the words are not flowing even though I am at peace with the decision I’ve made. I’m choosing to start over and follow a different path, yet again and I want to share this process with you. Especially, if there is something in your life that it’s time to let go of.
I am choosing to let go of the transcription business idea. There have been so many obstacles beyond what is normal. First, there was the discrimination which I would get no matter the field, but this was so blatant that it was even a surprise to me. Then I decided that my time, energy and effort was worth way more than 17 cents. The pitiful amount that some of these transcription companies pay their independent contractors is absolutely appalling. As one transcription group member said, “it’s highway robbery.” Finally, I took the time to apply to a third company and was so happy when I passed their test. Then when I received the daily E-mail with the work assignments, everything is in Google Sheets. While I can read the spread sheet, I can’t tell which assignments are completed and which need to be worked on. Their ways of assigning and completing work are very confusing to me. It was at that moment when I decided I was done!
As I’ve thought about this more and more, I’ve realized that this isn’t something I’m truly passionate about. If you aren’t passionate about your business, you will not succeed. I have no desire to push through all the accessibility barriers with each company I contact. I thought my grammar skills were okay until I tried brushing up on grammar and punctuation rules. I realized I want to be creating content. I don’t want to be duplicating and editing someone else’s. I don’t want to have to nitpick about commas, dashes and colons. I don’t want to transcribe phone calls where people sound like they’re under water or crappy audio with a constant buzz in the background. Most transcriptionists have multiple transcribing and sound editing software programs so that they can make the files understandable. Also, each company has a different style guide you have to memorize. For example, some companies want you to take out filler words and others prefer you leave most of them in. One company insists you type the curse words and another company requires that you use * symbols instead. Those are the simple rules, but these style guides go on for pages. The appeal of my own business is to follow my own guidelines, not everyone else’s.
The thing that drew me to transcription was the idea that I could make content accessible to people who needed it. The thing is, the people who genuinely need something transcribed shouldn’t have to pay extra for it. For example, if someone can’t hear, should they really have to pay for equal access? I don’t believe so. It’s a double edge sword. You want to provide a service and get adequately compensated for it, but then you don’t want to charge for something that should be available to them anyway. I also understand that providing access is only one part of the transcription field. Of course, I liked that I could transcribe from anywhere and have a flexible schedule.
Now, here’s the good part. On that horrible day when I decided that enough was enough, I was scheduled to talk to a life coach. I had come across her in a parenting group on Facebook a few weeks ago. She is currently getting certified, so I asked her about the process and didn’t think much about it. I had almost forgotten about the call and when I realized it was scheduled for that night, I was dreading it. I was in such a horrible mood that I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I wanted to curl up with the blankets over my head. Not to mention that I hate calling anyone I’ve never talked to before, but I made the call anyway. I knew as soon as I heard her voice that I’d like her. She shared lots of information about the program and answered my endless questions. During our call, she did a mini coaching session and when she asked what my dream career would be, my first thought was coaching. I told her that I have really struggled finding a meaningful career and that I’d like to help others to get passed their road blocks and find what excites them. It became glaringly obvious to me that transcription didn’t even pop into my mind.
The next morning, I started researching coaching schools and coming up with great ideas for a business plan. This is something I’m actually excited about and so many of the barriers that are there with transcription won’t exist in the coaching business. When I look back, the signs were all there. Physically, I was exhausted, stressed and felt low energy. I rarely had time to transcribe actual files or to practice at night. I wanted to be the best that I could be and I wasn’t able to do that. The money wasn’t there. The business counselor I was supposed to work with has been impossible to set up a meeting with. At first, my instinct was to push through, but then I started focusing on my mind and body. How was I feeling? Was I still passionate about my idea? When I really tuned into my thoughts and feelings, I knew it was time to let this go. After I did, I felt like a weight had been lifted. I had my evenings back. I could work on my blog. I could exercise. I could relax. Once I gave myself permission to let go, I felt so much better.
What do you need to let go of? What are you no longer passionate about? What are you passionate about and how could you be doing that instead? Those are some questions to ponder if you are in a similar situation. How do you know when it’s time to let go of something? Let me know in the comments.