I first want to reiterate my stance that I do not delve into the political arena. Remember the maxim that is one of the pillars of my business, my profession, and one is a central tenant of my being: What is between you and I remains between just us: everybody else is on a need-to-know basis, and they don’t need to know. I did mention at that end of my last blog that I would next write about my daily schedule, a sort of, “A day in the Life of a Transcriptionist”-themed blog. That topic will be the theme of an upcoming blog, but due to extenuating circumstances, I have put that on hold as I really want to make it top-notch in quality with pictures, routines, and interesting content. Therefore, I want to expound upon the important values that we as transcriptionist should adhere to, and the values that should be if the bedrock-variety foundational to our society. Today I am going to introduce my next series. Hopefully, after this series, I will have my ducks in a row as it comes to my blog on, “A Day in the Life of a Transcriptionist.” In the light of what is transpiring in our politics; our daily lives; in the professional world. and with the mores of society as a whole, I wanted to delve into the opportunities that we have in our profession of transcription to make a real difference and hopefully to foment positive change.
One of the most enjoyable writing activities I loved teaching and exploring with my students was the writing of acrostic poetry. It is a fun way to improve one’s creativity with words and an efficient means to meld both creativity and thematic structure while stating a personal philosophy and a way of looking at things. I have come up with an acrostic which will be the basis for the theme of this series of blogs. I did mention in my previous blog that I would be presenting an article about my daily routine, but as I have had extenuating events that have slowed me getting my house and my home office in the format that I want, I am going to delay that article for a couple of weeks. So, today I will begin a new series, and it will be called Incredible. I am using this word as an acrostic so that each letter represents a particular value that is important to transcriptionists and the values that we hold sacrosanct in our profession. I chose Incredible because the word transcription is an incredible career and industry. You get the opportunity to get paid to learn and experience new knowledge and subject material. It has an incredible impact on many other industries, and we as transcriptionists have an incredible opportunity to promote positive change. Ghandi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” We can do our part as transcriptionists to do this by living the change
This article introduces a new series and will be presented as an acrostic that introduces each value. Each subsequent article will then delve deeper into each value and how it applies to the art of transcription and the life of a transcriptionist. Today, I will introduce the series of blog topics. Each blog will be shorter than normal, or I might combine two of the lettered values. Anyway, I will begin the series with an brief introduction and overview of the series.
I – Integrity. You need to keep your promises, meet your obligations to your clients, operate with fair and honest business practices, and you need to uphold and guard the reputation of your TA family and the transcription industry. Show gratitude for the help colleagues give you and be willing to do the same when colleagues need it.
N – Nuance. We can’t change the spoken word as at the heart of transcription you write what is said and; what you heard. Therefore, we make sure that with homophones and homographs that the right spelling and correct word is chosen, and we help to give voice and the intended nuance to the text by using solid, fundamental, and creative use of punctuation.
C- Confidentiality. Many clients are trusting us to keep audio and/or video content confidential and often require disclosure agreements. We are precluded by both ethics and law from divulging information to others. Confidentiality is sacrosanct in our industry. A great deal of trust is placed upon us.
R-Research and Review. Often times we may not have heard about a particular location, landmark, building, city, village, invention, scientific term, trade deals, a particular historical event, a person, yet we are tasked with spelling and punctuating these terms correctly and in a professional manner. It is imperative that we are good and efficient researchers. We also review our transcripts for errors and completeness, and compare our written transcript by reading it one last time while listening to the audio.
E – Ethics. We don’t cut corners or short-change or clients. They pay an agreed upon price for services rendered, or we have contractual agreements with a transcription company and are obligated to meet those obligations. We do not use text, trade secrets that we hear and learn about during the course of a transcription assignment to benefit monetarily, steal intellectual property, or brag, and certainly we do not gossip to others about what we learned. We are fair; we don’t poach clients from transcription companies, and we don’t undercut our colleagues or underprice our services to where it affects the ability for our colleagues to make a comfortable and honest living. In addition, we have an obligation and responsibility to our colleagues and mentors to protect the reputation of our industry and the TA name.
D – Discipline. It takes an incredible amount of discipline to make your home-based transcription business succeed. You should have realistic goals and a plan on how to achieve those goals. You have to be able to sit and concentrate on your work. Have a schedule and stick to it, but also do so creatively so that you can also enjoy the freedom of being your own boss. Freedom and flexibility do not have to be diametrically opposed to discipline. Practicing these values correctly, they will support each other. Set your schedule with preordained times to work, have breaks, go places, for recreation, for eating and relaxing. Find what works for you, but then follow that religiously. By all means, it is important to avoid that demon whose name is Procrastination. Be clean with your workspace, be very organized, and have a daily plan of action and stick to it.
I – Income. This is something we all think about, dream about, and certainly is one of the key motivators. Let’s face it, we have bills to pay, mouths to feed, and our future to save for. Let’s not make it our number one priority, however. We are not hedge fund managers. If we have integrity, discipline, practice proper ethics, the income will grow and take care of itself, most often to a greater degree than if that was our only focus. Set reasonable prices and fees, yet avoid setting below-market ones as that devalues the market, cheapens our profession, and cheats yourself out of your hard earned dollar. Again, be fair in your pricing but set them a little bit higher. Many of our potential clients are well off and expect to pay for professional services a professional wage. Truth be told, they become suspicious or concerned when prices are too low figuring that a transcriptionist is poorly trained, untalented, or not serious about their profession. Pricing yourself too low is counterproductive.
B – Build. You must build your business and work diligently at it. Success just doesn’t happen, it must be earned. Build to gain experience; build your client base; build your confidence; build a business that you can be proud of and enjoy doing. Also, don’t forget to build a system of contacts and referrals as that will help to sustain your business during times of low ebb, and it will help to continue building it during times of prosperity.
L – Love. Love what you are doing, otherwise why do it? Have a love of words and a love of language. Love to learn, because you have a tremendous opportunity to learn as a transcriptionist. Love what there is out there to learn about. Love being curious. Love improving your skills and business acumen and certainly while being serious about your work, love thinking about it as an adventure to be enjoyed and treasured. Love and respect your colleagues, clients, and your own determination, fortitude, and achievements.
E – Enthusiasm. Start each day with a generous dose of enthusiasm. Have enthusiasm for life; for relationships; for your freedom; for your opportunities, and certainly have enthusiasm for your work as a transcriptionist. Find all the positive attributes for transcription and your business, of which there are many, and focus on them. Enjoy what you are doing, and as you ethusiastically, professionally, and ethically grow your business, have enthusiasm for the fact that you are helping others succeed in theirs.
As transcriptionists, we have an opportunity to make a difference in society. By demonstrating and promoting professionalism, a strong work ethic, care for our clients, and most importantly, integrity, we are putting our stamp of endorsement on these important bedrock values. We can do our part to change the world by being that change.
I love this new career of mine as a general transcriptionist. I have the freedom to set my own schedule, I get to stay home with my wife, I get paid to learn new and interesting knowledge, and I can see my efforts bearing fruit. I am part of a fantastic and talented TA family where we support one another and continue to learn. I am forever grateful to have found Transcribe Anywhere, and to have received the valuable mentorship of Janet and Marsha, two individuals who epitomize the values I have expounded upon. Their hard work, innovative curriculum based on solid pedagogue, and the human investment they put into the success of their students and graduates cannot be priced. I now have the tools to be successful and make a comfortable living, on my own terms, as a transcriptionist. It is now up to me to make it work and grow my business. It is a journey, that while takes work, focus, and discipline, is one of adventure and wonder and chock full of opportunity. I sincerely hope that you would consider transcription for yourself. If you have the sincere desire, are willing to work hard, you don’t expect instant gratification and the promise of easy wealth, and have the perseverance necessary to make transcription your choice for business, then I invite you to click on the live link and find out if transcription is right for you. If you do take that step, promise me that you will give it a fair shot and finish the free mini-course.