Translators: beware of spelling mistakes during the Easter holiday!

Buona Pasqua!

Happy Easter!

¡Feliz Pascua!

Frohe Ostern!

Joyeuses Pâques!

Καλό πάσχα!

Feliz Páscoa!

复活 节 快乐!(fùhuó jié kuàilè)

Христос Воскресе ! (Xristos voskres)

المسيح قام ! (el maseeh qam)

Translator Fun

Easter bunny (click on the image to enlarge)
Easter bunny (click on the image to enlarge)

See this cartoon in Spanish.

Wishing you a happy Easter time!

You may also stop by Translator Fun Shop.

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Create. Make a difference.

 When you feel down and incomplete,

just take your pen, pencil, guitar, mic, trainers, ballet shoes, 

and

CREATE.

Regardless of what you love,
everything you do, can make a difference.

express
Foundations of being a translator.

 

everyday
Every day is the perfect day to start and learn something new. Every day you can make a difference in your life.

#translatorsgonnatranslate
#perlediunatraduttrice
#keepgoing

Affirmation.

Today, I want to share with you one of my favourite songs, back to 1999.
I draw inspiration from the lyrics.  Who else remembers this song? 🙂

 

 Music by Savage Garden

 

 Lyrics by Daniel JonesDarren Hayes

“Affirmation”

I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people’s hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it’s bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self-esteem
I believe I’m loved when I’m completely by myself alone
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye
I believe you can’t control or choose your sexuality
I believe that trust is more important than monogamy
I believe your most attractive features are your heart and soul
I believe that family is worth more than money or gold
I believe the struggle for financial freedom is unfair
I believe the only ones who disagree are millionaires
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye 
I believe forgiveness is the key to your unhappiness
I believe that wedded bliss negates the need to be undressed
I believe that God does not endorse TV evangelists
I believe in love surviving death into eternity
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye
[repeat ]

 

 

[Repost] A Scientific Guide to Saying “No”: How to Avoid Temptation and Distraction (by James Clear)

A Scientific Guide to Saying “No”: How to Avoid Temptation and Distraction

Posted on Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Learning how to say no is one of the most useful skills you can develop I found, especially when it comes to living a more productive and healthy life.

Saying no to unnecessary commitments can give you the time you need to recover and rejuvenate. Saying no to daily distractions can give you the space you need to focus on what is important to you. And saying no to temptation can help you stay on track and achieve your health goals. In fact not being able to say no, is one of the most biggest downfalls that successful entrepreneurs claim as their own key mistakes.

But how do we actually get past the urgencies of everyday life and avoid distraction, so that we can focus the things that are really important to us?

It seems like a big task, I wholeheartedly agree. And yet, research is starting to show that even small changes can make a significant impact for a better way of saying no. In fact, here’s one change you can make right now that will make it easier for you to say no, resist temptation and improve your productivity and your health:

How to Say No: Research Reveals the Best Way

In a research study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, 120 students were split into two different groups.

The difference between these two groups was saying “I can’t” compared to “I don’t.”

One group was told that each time they were faced with a temptation, they would tell themselves “I can’t do X.” For example, when tempted with ice cream, they would say, “I can’t eat ice cream.”

When the second group was faced with a temptation, they were told to say “I don’t do X.” For example, when tempted with ice cream, they would say, “I don’t eat ice cream.”

After repeating these phrases, each student answered a set of questions unrelated to the study. Once they finished answering their questions, the students went to hand in their answer sheet, thinking that the study was over. In reality, it was just beginning.

As each student walked out of the room and handed in their answer sheet, they were offered a complimentary treat. The student could choose between a chocolate candy bar or a granola health bar. As the student walked away, the researcher would mark their snack choice on the answer sheet.

Here’s what happened:

The students who told themselves “I can’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bar 61% of the time. Meanwhile, the students who told themselves “I don’t eat X” chose to eat the chocolate candy bars only 36% of the time. This simple change in terminology significantly improved the odds that each person would make a more healthy food choice.

Makes sense right? Now the findings didn’t stop there, here is what happened next:

How the “Right Words” Make It Easier to Say No

The same researchers were also interested in how the words “can’t” and “don’t” affect our willingness to say no when faced with repeated temptations and distractions. After all, most of us can turn down a candy bar once, but eventually we slip up. Similarly, you might be able to focus on your work when you’re pressed for time, but what about avoiding unproductive behaviors on a daily basis?

In other words, is there a way to say no that makes it more likely that we’ll stick to good habits and avoid bad ones? You bet!

The researchers designed a new study by asking 30 working women to sign up for a “health and wellness seminar.” All of the women were told to think of a long–term health and wellness goal that was important to them. Then, the researchers split the women into three groups of 10.

Group 1 was told that anytime they felt tempted to lapse on their goals they should “just say no.”This group was the control group because they were given no specific strategy.

Group 2 was told that anytime they felt tempted to lapse on their goals, they should implement the “can’t” strategy. For example, “I can’t miss my workout today.”

Group 3 was told that anytime they felt tempted to lapse on their goals, they should implement the “don’t” strategy. For example, “I don’t miss workouts.”

For the next 10 days, each woman received an email asking to report her progress. They were specifically told, “During the 10–day window you will receive emails to remind you to use the strategy and to report instances in which it worked or did not work. If the strategy is not working for you, just drop us a line and say so and you can stop responding to the emails.”

Here’s what the results looked like 10 days later…

  • Group 1 (the “just say no” group) had 3 out of 10 members who persisted with their goals for the entire 10 days.
  • Group 2 (the “can’t” group) had 1 out of 10 members who persisted with her goal for the entire 10 days.
  • Group 3 (the “don’t” group) had an incredible 8 out of 10 members who persisted with their goals for the entire 10 days.

The words that you use not only help you to make better choices on an individual basis, but also make it easier to stay on track with your long–term goals.

Why “I Don’t” Works Better Than “I Can’t”

Your words help to frame your sense of empowerment and control. Furthermore, the words that you use create a feedback loop in your brain that impacts your future behaviors.

For example, every time you tell yourself “I can’t”, you’re creating a feedback loop that is a reminder of your limitations. This terminology indicates that you’re forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do.

In comparison, when you tell yourself “I don’t”, you’re creating a feedback loop that reminds you of your control and power over the situation. It’s a phrase that can propel you towards breaking your bad habits and following your good ones.

Heidi Grant Halvorson is the director of the Motivation Science Center at Columbia University. Here’s how she explains the difference between saying “I don’t” compared to “I can’t”:

“I don’t” is experienced as a choice, so it feels empowering. It’s an affirmation of your determination and willpower. “I can’t” isn’t a choice. It’s a restriction, it’s being imposed upon you. So thinking “I can’t” undermines your sense of power and personal agency.

In other words, the phrase “I don’t” is a psychologically empowering way to say no, while the phrase “I can’t” is a psychologically draining way to say no.

How You Can Apply This To Your Life

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.
—Leonardo Da Vinci

There are situations everyday when you need to say no to something. For example, the waiter who offers you a dessert menu… or the urge to skip a workout and stay home… or the distracting call of texts, tweets, and updates when you should be focusing on something important.

Individually, our responses to these little choices seem insignificant, which is why we don’t make a big deal about telling ourselves that we “can’t” do something. But imagine the cumulative effect ofchoosing more empowering words on a consistent basis.

“I can’t” and “I don’t” are words that seem similar and we often interchange them for one another, but psychologically they can provide very different feedback and, ultimately, result in very different actions. They aren’t just words and phrases. They are affirmations of what you believe, reasons for why you do what you do, and reminders of where you want to go.

The ability to overcome temptation and effectively say no is critical not only to your physical health, but also for your daily productivity and mental health.

To put it simply: you can either be the victim of your words or the architect of them. Which one would you prefer?

About the Author: James Clear is an entrepreneur, weightlifter, and travel photographer in 18 countries. He writes at JamesClear.com, where he uses proven research and real-world experiences to share practical ideas for living a healthy life. You can get new strategies for sticking to healthy habits, losing weight, gaining muscle, and more by joining his free newsletter.

About the Author

James Clear

James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, where he uses behavior science to help you master your habits and improve your health. For useful ideas on improving your mental and physical performance, join his free newsletter. Or, download his free guide: Transform Your Habits.

[Repost] If You’ve Never Used These English Idioms, You’re Probably Not a Native English Speaker (by Lana Winter Hébert)

If You’ve Never Used These English Idioms, You’re Probably Not a Native English Speaker

LEISURE LIFESTYLE OCTOBER 9 BY 

 Those of us who grew up with English as our first language have been exposed to idioms and idiomatic expressions for most of our lives. They may have confused us a little when we were children, but explanation and constant exposure not only increased our understanding of them, but likely drew them into our own vernacular. If you’re in the process of learning the English language, you may come across some of these and not be entirely sure what they mean. Here’s a list of 20 that you’re likely to come across fairly often:

1. A Chip on Your Shoulder

No, this doesn’t mean that you’ve dropped part of your snack. To have a chip on one’s shoulder implies that the person is carrying around some grudge or bad feelings about something that happened in the past… like having walked through the wreckage of a building, and ended up with a chip of that building stuck to them for years afterward.

2. Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Like taking a HUGE bite of a sandwich that will fill your mouth up so much that you can’t move your jaw, this idiom implies that you’ve taken on more than you can handle successfully. An example would be agreeing to build ten websites in a week when normally you can only handle five.

3. You Can’t Take It With You

You can’t take anything with you when you die, so don’t bother hoarding your stuff or not using it except for “special occasions”. Live now, because all your stuff is going to be around long after you’re gone.

4. Everything But the Kitchen Sink

This implies that nearly everything has been packed/taken/removed. For instance, if someone said: “The thieves stole everything but the kitchen sink!” it meant that they took everything they could carry; it’s damned hard to remove a sink and carry it around.

5. “Over My Dead Body”

When the only way you’ll allow something to happen is if you’re no longer alive to stop it.

6. Tie the Knot

To get married. This is left over from the old tradition of handfasting, wherein the hands of the bride and groom would be tied together with a length of ribbon to symbolize that their lives were fastened together permanently.

7. Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover

Things aren’t always what they appear to be at first glance, so it’s a good idea to give something a chance, even if its outward appearance isn’t immediately attractive.

*The exception to this might be actual books that have hideous covers: those tend to be terrible all around, and in cases such as these, it’s best to contact the author or publisher and recommend a good graphic designer.

8. When Pigs Fly

This means “never”. Pigs aren’t about to sprout wings and take flight anytime soon, so if someone says to their kid that they can get a forehead tattoo when pigs fly, it’s not gonna happen.

9. A Leopard Can’t Change His Spots

Basically: you are who you are. Just like a leopard can’t concentrate really hard and change the pattern on its skin, people can’t change who they really are at heart.

10. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve

To freely show and express all of your emotions, as though your heart were on the outside of your body.

11. Bite Your Tongue!

Stick your tongue between your teeth (gently), and then try to speak. You can’t say a word, can you? To bite one’s tongue means to stay quiet: literally to hold the tongue still so it can’t make a sound. This goes along with:

12. Put a Sock In It

The idea behind this is that if you stuffed a sock in your mouth, you’d be quiet… so if you tell someone to “put a sock in it”, you’re telling them to shut up.

13. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

If a couple of dogs had been fighting and are now sleeping peacefully, it’s best to just leave them alone. The idea behind this one is to avoid bringing up old arguments so they’ll just be argued about again.

14. Foam at the Mouth

To hiss and snarl in anger like a rabid dog (whose mouth would be foamy as he jumps around like crazy and tries to bite people).

15. A Slap on the Wrist

A very, very mild punishment. To be slapped on the wrist doesn’t hurt much, and isn’t a deterrent from misbehaving again.

16. You Are What You Eat

This is the idea that everything you eat influences your health and well-being. If you eat nothing but junk food, you’ll end up unhealthy and malnourished, so be sure to eat a well-balanced diet.

17. “It’s a Piece of Cake!”

…meaning that it’s incredibly easy. No-one has a difficult time eating a piece of cake, do they?

18. It Takes Two to Tango

A person can’t dance the tango alone, nor can they fight by themselves either. If an argument has occurred, there were two people involved, so two were responsible.

19. Head Over Heels

To be incredibly excited and joyful, particularly with regard to being in love. Imagine someone so happy that they do cartwheels down the street: like that.

20. An Arm and a Leg

When something is so ridiculously expensive that you might have to sell your own body parts in order to afford it, it’s said to cost “an arm and a leg”.

Featured photo credit: Opened book with letters flying out of it on bright background via Shutterstock

[Repost] Clearing up the Top 10 Myths About Translation (by Nataly Kelly)

Nataly Kelly

Clearing up the Top 10 Myths About Translation

Posted: 06/13/2012 11:06 am

 

1. Translation is a small, niche market. The global market for outsourced language services is worth more than US$33 billion in 2012. The largest segment of the market is written translation, followed by on-site interpreting and software localization. The vast majority of these translation services are provided by small agencies — there are more than 26,000 of them throughout the world. These companies coordinate translation projects in multiple languages simultaneously, often involving many different file types, processes, and technology tools. The words themselves are translated and interpreted by the hundreds of thousands of language professionals scattered all across the globe. Many translators and interpreters also have direct clients, but most are freelancers whose work comes from agencies.

2. The need for translation is fading away. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsestimates that there will be 83,000 jobs for interpreters and translators by 2020 in the United States alone. This job market is expected to grow by 42 percent from 2010 to 2020, significantly higher than the average of 14 percent for all professions. Data from Common Sense Advisory shows that globally, the market has a compound annual growth rate of 12.17 percent.

3. Most translators translate books; most interpreters work at the United Nations. Literary translation and conference interpreting are two of the most visible specializations, but they actually represent very tiny segments of the market at large. Who are the biggest translation spenders? Military and defense agencies spend the most on translation, with the United States routinely spending billions on language services for defense and intelligence initiatives. On the commercial side, some of the largest segments of the translation market are manufacturing, software, health care, legal, and financial services. As a result, freelancers often work in these specialty areas — as financial translators, medical interpreters, legal translators, and court interpreters.

4. Any bilingual can be a translator or an interpreter. The ability to write in English does not make a person a professional writer. The ability to speak English does not make a person a professional speaker. Likewise, the ability to write or speak two languages does not mean that a person can translate or interpret. Plenty of people who are perfectly fluent in two languages fail professional exams for translation and interpreting. Why? Being bilingual does not guarantee that a person will be able to transport meaning from one language and culture to another without inflicting harm in the process. Most translators and interpreters are highly educated, with advanced degrees and training in either translation, linguistics, or a specialty field. Also, while not mandatory, professional certifications are widely recognized and strongly encouraged. In the U.S., translators are certified by the American Translators Association, and a variety of certifications exist for interpreters.

5. Interpreters and translators do the same thing. The all-encompassing term that the general public uses to refer to language professionals is “translators,” but the reality is that translators and interpreters have very different job skills. Translation refers to written language, while interpreting refers to spoken language. Translators must have great writing skills and training in translation, but they must also be adept at using computer-assisted translation tools and terminology databases. Interpreters, on the other hand, have to develop their short-term memory retention and note-taking skills as well as memorizing specialized terminology for instant recall.

6. Translators and interpreters work in more than two languages. One of the most common questions translators and interpreters are asked is, “How many languages do you speak?” In reality, many translators work in only one direction — from one language into another, but not in the reverse. For translators and interpreters, it is better to have in-depth knowledge of just two languages than to have surface-level knowledge of several. Why? Of approximately one million words in English, the average person uses only 4,000 to 5,000 words on a regular basis. People who are “educated” know between 8,000 and 10,000 words. The professions with the widest vocabulary, such as doctors and lawyers, use about 23,000 words. Interpreters and translators who work for these specialized professions often use this kind of advanced technical vocabulary in two languages. Some translators and interpreters do work in more than one language combination — for example, conference interpreters often have several “passive” languages that they can understand. However, translators and interpreters are not usually hyperpolyglots.

7. Translation only matters to “language people.” The need for translation crosses both the public and private sectors. In the business world, executives at companies of all sizes are beginning to recognize that translation is a pathway to enabling more revenue and entering new markets. A recent study found that Fortune 500 companies that augmented their translation budget were 1.5 times more likely than their Fortune 500 peers to report an increase in total revenue. Also, government bodies are increasingly taking an interest in translation. Indeed, even those involved in development and non-profit work need to pay attention to translation. A report on translation in Africa conducted for Translators without Borders in May 2012 showed that greater access to translated information would improve political inclusion, health care, human rights, and even save lives of citizens of African countries.

8. Crowdsourcing puts professional translators out of work. As online communities have become more popular, so has something called “crowdsourced translation.” This phenomenon typically emerges when online community members get excited about a product and want to use it in their native languages. Sometimes, these customers and fans even begin creating their own translations and posting them in user forums. Instead of leaving their customers to pontificate on the best translations amongst themselves, smart companies are giving these communities the ability to easily suggest their translations. Are companies harnessing the work of these volunteers to obtain free labor? Actually, as the research shows, saving money is not a primary motivation — setting up these kinds of platforms can cost companies more time and money than just paying for traditional human translation. They typically pay human translators and translation companies to edit the group-translated content anyway, but they believe the collective approach gives power directly to customers and users, enabling them to have a say in which translations they like best.


9. Machine translation is crushing the demand for human translation. 
The opposite is true. Machine translation is actually expanding the demand for human translation and fueling the market at large. How? Machine translation — especially the free online kind — serves as an awareness campaign, putting translation squarely in front of the average person. Translating large volumes of information is never free — it comes at a cost, even with machine translation. Machine translation technology and related services make up a tiny percentage of the total translation market. Of course, machine translation can achieve some feats that humans cannot, such as quickly scanning large bodies of text and provide summaries of the information contained within them. However, as with most technologies, humans are needed to use machine translation intelligently. As Ray Kurzweil points out, technologies typically don’t replace whole fields — rather, they more often help fields to evolve.

10. All translation will someday be free. The translation and interpreting industry adds tens of thousands of new jobs to the global economy each year and there is no slowdown in sight. Translators and interpreters are extremely important members of this industry — in fact, they are the very heart of it. However, much like other professional service industries, the translation industry also relies on countless other professionals: project managers, account managers, vendor managers, production managers, schedulers, trainers, quality assurance teams, proofreaders, desktop publishing professionals, engineers, product managers, salespeople, marketers, technicians, and even people who work in procurement, human resources, billing, and IT. Research from Common Sense Advisory shows thatdemand for translation is outpacing supply — so if anything, human translators are becoming even more important. However, they are part of a much larger ecosystem, one that keeps global business churning and international communication flowing.

Follow Nataly Kelly on Twitter: www.twitter.com/natalykelly

[Repost] Six Ways to Increase your Productivity as a Translator (by Dana Shannak)

Six Ways to Increase your Productivity as a Translator

Freelance translators work hard, but sometimes feel that their productivity is slipping for one reason or another. These are routines that I find help me to be more productive:

  1. Sufficient sleep. People need different amounts of sleep to function at their best. I find that if I am tired, I don’t work as quickly and efficiently as I do when I’m fully rested. Listen to your body, and make sure that you’re getting the correct amount of sleep. Remember that exercise helps your body to sleep, so spend a certain amount of time each day doing your favorite workout. One way to make sure that your brain is ready to rest is to feel that you’re in control of your work situation. Deciding at the end of the day what you’re going to do the next day helps. Which brings us to the next productivity tip.
  2. To-do lists. Setting goals is an extremely important part of freelance translation work. These goals may be how much money you need to earn per day/week/month or how many words you want to translate per hour/day. Once you know your goals, draw up your to-do list, breaking it into manageable sections. For example, before I tackle a job, I will do any research required—my to-do list entries state “research” and “translate.” Obviously, all translators have different goals and to-do lists, but the general idea is the same.
  3. Prioritization. Deadlines rule the lives of freelance translators. Usually, you’ll have jobs due at different times, so it’s important to work on them according to due date, rather than starting with the tasks that you prefer doing. I adore translating press releases, but I also do other types of translation work, so I have to be disciplined and make sure I don’t favor one over the other.
  4. Sprint short distances. Take breaks during the day when you start to tire. The human mind can only absorb so much information at a time and the body needs fuel to keep it going. Fifteen minute breaks for some fresh air, a beverage and snack, or to move away from your work station does wonders, and you’ll be able to work faster and increase your productivity when you return to the task in hand.
  5. Learn to say “No.” Discernment about jobs comes with experience. If a job offer raises red flags such as the amount of time allowed or the rate of pay being too low, then don’t take on that work. It’s all right to refuse work—if it’s for a regular client, it’s likely that they will be prepared to negotiate timing and fees.
  6. Rewards. It’s sometimes a good motivator to give yourself rewards when you’re working. Things like checking out social media and personal emails can be a good reward. Or, you may prefer rewards such as playtime with your pet or a walk in the park. Once you’ve finished a large job, taking time out to watch a movie or spending a morning with friends is great. In other words, pick a reward that will motivate you and aim to get there!

Some tips from other translators:

I wake up very early in the morning because it’s the quietest time of day. I can focus better and nobody is emailing me constantly. I enabled the pop-up feature of Gmail and it annoys me more than anything else because it breaks my concentration, although sometimes it’s handy for urgent matters.

Mar Saumell from MS Translation & Localization 

Creating and updating my glossaries (French, English, Spanish, Italian). Listening to the news in French, English, Spanish, and Italian. Reading a little bit (subjects/areas of interest, and articles in my field/industry-translation and consecutive interpreting), networking online and off-line.

 Nellie Anne Kafui Adaba

 

I’d love to hear your ideas about how you increase your productivity as freelance translators, so feel free to add your comments below.

Read more: http://www.danatranslation.com/index.php/dana-translation-blog/98-six-ways-to-increase-your-productivity-as-a-translator#ixzz2yqQgGXSB
Follow us: @DanaTranslation on Twitter

[Repost] 5 stupid things I did to get clients when I started my consulting business (by Greg Miliates)

5 stupid things I did to get clients when I started my consulting business

We all make stupid mistakes, and few “gurus” and self-proclaimed “experts” talk about their failures. Why not? Well, who cares whether an “expert” talks about their failures? What you care about is how YOU can achieve your dreams, your goals, your “secret plan”. (Yes, I bet you have a secret plan. For many of you, that may be quitting your day job.)

I’m not afraid to talk about how I’ve failed, because I know that many of you have experienced the same things. Yes, it can be embarrassing. But it’s also liberating, because we ALL fail sometimes.

And failure is actually a step toward success.

So long as you don’t crawl under a rock in abject shame after failing, you dust yourself off, and figure out what the lesson was. Then you go out and do things a bit better.

5 stupid things I did to get clients when I started my consulting business

Yes, there were a lot more than just 5 stupid things I did when starting out, but I’ll limit this post to the top 5.

Here they are:

Stupid thing #1: wasting time on marketing materials

I had some pretty novice ideas about how to get clients when I started out, and I pursued them in earnest.

I created a brochure, a business card, and a website. But I didn’t draft anything quick and start getting feedback. Nope.

Instead, I spent about 3 MONTHS drafting copy for them, and hired a graphic designer to help with the layout. I revised the copy, the wording, the layout, the fonts, the colors, even what the bullet points looked like.

I showed it to handful of close friends, got feedback, and kept revising and tweaking. (Never mind the fact that no one who I showed these things to were in my market, and therefore had no idea what my prospects cared about).

So, yes, I spent a solid 3 months on these things.

And those brochures? I only sent out a couple dozen, and of those, I never called to follow up.

Completely stupid.

I had no idea about marketing channels when I started out.

Now that I’ve learned from my mistakes, I’d ask my newbie self questions like:

  • Where were my prospects?
  • How can I systematically reach them?
  • Which are the most promising channels?
  • Which have the best likelihood of sourcing high-value clients?
  • What do my prospects actually care about? What value can I provide them right now?

Stupid thing #2: building a list of prospects, but taking virtually no action

Building a list of prospects sounds like a good idea, and it is. But I actually did 2 stupid things here:

  • I spent a shit ton of time building this list. I’m talking somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-60 hours over a period of months.
  • I didn’t DO anything with this list–except to delude myself into thinking I was working on my business.

Yes, a prospect list is a great idea, but not when you spend all your free time doing it, and especially not if you don’t do anything with it.

How many prospects did that list include? About 70.

How many did I actually contact? 4.

Stupid.

How did I expect to get results?

And yet when I sat down to “work on my business,” I gravitated to that damn spreadsheet, adding new prospects, and adding details for each.

Why didn’t I call more prospects? Because it was hard.

Calling prospects made me anxious, and I didn’t want to get rejected. Besides, I wasn’t sure what to say, how to have a conversation with them.

And I certainly didn’t think of myself as a salesperson. I had no idea how to sell.

So, the thought of calling prospects (even though I actually knew many of them) was scary. And instead of doing something outside my comfort zone, I stuck with something that felt safe.

Stupid thing #3: creating a menu of services

You might think that drafting a list of services you can offer is actually a good idea. It can be, but again, I spent an enormous amount of time on this task. I’m talking 20-30 hours. And this was while working the day job, being married, and having kids, so I already didn’t have a lot of free time.

And yet I chose to spend a crapload of hours and weeks on this thing.

Wasting time was the first stupid thing about this.

The second stupid thing about this was that I was focused on my SKILLS instead of what prospects and clients would be interested in.

It was an example of “look at all the cool stuff I can do!” without thinking what my market desperately WANTED.

Look at it this way: Imagine you’re walking down the street, hungry, and see 2 restaurants. One has a chef who’s telling you all about how they can chop, filet, sautee, broil, season, marinade, and julienne the food. From the other restaurant, your mouth literally waters from the smell of juicy grilled meat (apologizes to the vegans out there). You’d think, “Fancy chef or not, I want a friggin burger.” And you’d go to the burger place.

Give your market what they desperately want, not a boring CV or resume.

Stupid thing #4: agonizing over which business entity to choose

Yes, this was another thing that consumed far too much time when I first started. I read damn near every article I could find online, weighed the pros & cons of each for my situation and where I thought I might be 5 years down the road, then re-read all the advice, bookmarked sites, took notes, and agonized some more.

So what kind of business entity did I eventually choose? It doesn’t matter!

Did it get clients? Of course not.

No client cares whether you’re an LLC, s-corp, c-corp, or sole proprietor.

When you start consulting, keep in mind that you need clients to be a consultant and have a real business that brings in cash to your bank account.

No clients = no cash and no real business.

The stupid thing was again spending way too much time on something inconsequential.

LLC or s-corp, talk to an accountant for 30 minutes about your specific situation, make a decision, and move on.

Stupid thing #5: targeting ineffective marketing channels

Truth be told, I had no idea about marketing channels when I first started out. I meticulously:

  • made my prospect list,
  • called virtually none of those prospects,
  • spent 40-60 hours on brochures and business cards,
  • then was discouraged that I had no clients.

For the few prospects I called and, later, some additional prospects I called and/or emailed, who did I target? Decision makers who could green-light consulting projects?

No.

I talked to lower-level people and ineffective “consultants” who were struggling to get work themselves.

Stupid…

Why didn’t I talk to the kinds of people who could actually sign off on projects or refer business to me? Frankly, I was intimidated, and didn’t know how to talk to these people. Again, I didn’t think of myself as a salesperson, and hated the idea of selling, and it felt safer to talk to lower-level people.

Key takeaways

What was going on here? I was wasting time, getting no results, and feeling discouraged and anxious.

TRUTH #1: What feels safe won’t move you forward: Basically, I was doing what felt safe instead of pushing myself outside my comfort zone. Creating the prospect spreadsheet felt safe. So did drafting the copy for my brochure. To get beyond my current situation (day job + desire + secret plan to do consulting), it required doing things that, at least for a few moments, felt scary. Not scary like BASE jumping, but scary like calling a prospect.

TRUTH #2: Finding the shortest path to your goal maximizes your chances of success. Yes, I eventually figured out how to get clients, and built a profitable consulting business, but it took a long time. I was discouraged and frustrated a lot, and there were lots of times I didn’t think it was realistic, like it was just stuff I was doing that wouldn’t amount to anything. I’ve seen lots of people give up on consulting because they couldn’t get clients. They did some of the same stupid things I did when I started out, got discouraged, and went back to their day job.

All these stupid mistakes were like a long, winding road instead of a straight-line path. Would you rather take 2 years, 3 years, or 5 years to be able to quit your day job, and likely get frustrated, discouraged, and give up along the way? Or would you rather reach your goal in 6 months, 9 months, or 12 months, steadily building your orchard of clients along the way (where each client is a pipeline of consulting work)?

TRUTH #3: Getting help from experienced mentors puts you in the fastlane. For nearly every stupid mistake I made, I didn’t seek out help. Can you imagine if you had someone in your corner giving you guidance and coaching me along the way? How much faster and easier would it be? Even Michael Jordan had a coach. We ALL need help.

When I started, I was like a typical guy who got lost on a road trip: I didn’t bother looking at a map or getting directions. I tried getting useful info about starting a consulting business, but it was so generic, and nearly always by some “expert” who hadn’t actually struggled and created their own thriving consulting business. Those “experts” couldn’t tell me, step-by-step, what I needed to do to get clients. And they couldn’t tell me I was wasting my time on busywork.

I’m giving away something a lot of you have been asking for

A lot of you have asked me for proposal samples, examples, and templates. For those of you who attend Tuesday’s free webcast, you’ll get access to a proposal that I used which allowed me to earn over $300/hour. This template will ONLY be available to webcast attendees, and I won’t post the download on the blog.

Click here to register.

FREE: Mini-course this Tuesday (4/1/2014):

Creating a Consistent Pipeline of Clients (even if you have limited time)

This Tuesday, 4/1/2014, at 9 p.m. Eastern, I’m going pull back the curtain on my own consulting business like I’ve never done before.

A consistent pipeline of clients is possible, even if, like most of us, you’ve got a busy life: family and friends, a full-time job, or other responsibilities.

During Tuesday’s live webcast, I’ll show you how, including:

  • The “expert” advice you can skip.
  • How to create systems that bring clients TO YOU, even if you don’t have a single client right now, and have no idea where to start.
  • I’ll reveal the exact strategies I use to get consulting clients (and my specific revenue numbers) that bring me clients worth $1,000, $10,000, and even $100,000.

This is info I DON’T share on the blog, and I’ll reveal specific details of my consulting business that I’ve never discussed before.

Click here to register.

This is FREE, live, and starts at 9 p.m. Eastern. You can watch from anywhere.

There will NOT be a recording available (all my premium course material is recorded so you can watch it at your convenience).

Yes, I’ll be re-opening my Client Pipeline Mastery course, and I’ll briefly tell you how you can get access to this premium course. But I’ll spend the majority of the live presentation revealing my exact strategies and actual revenue numbers so you can start getting results in your own business.

Bonus: I’m giving away a special bonus during the presentation, but you need to attend the presentation to get access to the bonus.

Reserve your spot in 15 seconds (required).

See you on Tuesday!

– See more at: http://startmyconsultingbusiness.com/5-stupid-things-i-did-to-get-clients-when-i-started-my-consulting-business/#sthash.j4xqWIJ5.dpuf

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