Welcome to another Small Business Update, this time with Nicole Y. Adams of NYA Communications, who works primarily in editing and translating PR and marketing materials. We first met Nicole in November 2012 and then had an update in December 2013. At that point, when asked where she wanted to be in a year’s time, Nicole replied “I hope to continue to spend around 80% of my time on PR and marketing translation, and 20% on coaching services. I also wouldn’t rule out additional publications for the language industry. But PR and marketing translation will always remain my first love“. Now, one thing I’ve learned in my time publishing these interviews is that pretty well nothing goes exactly to plan (often in a good way!). Let’s find out how things have gone for Nicole …
Hello again, Nicole! So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Yes and no. I’ve published some more e-books for freelance translators just as I hoped I would, and I have continued to enjoy great working relationships with my clients. What has been a very welcome change is that I now translate and edit 100% of my time rather than just the 80% I’d hoped, which has been a very welcome change.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
The biggest change has been that I stopped offering coaching services at the start of last year and have instead created a comprehensive online course for beginning freelance translators, The A to Z of Freelance Translation. You could say I’ve gone back to my roots and once again translate and edit marketing and PR copy 100% of my time.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve learned that it’s crucial to dedicate your time to what you want to do in your business and not offer additional services because you feel you are expected to, because ‘everybody does it’ or because people ask you for them. I’ve had quite a few tempting offers to present webinars and speak at conferences, for example, but I’ve decided that I don’t wish to diversify into those areas because my calling is translation.
A year ago I still felt bad about declining fantastic offers because I felt I was expected to accept them, but I’ve come to realise that it’s important that we stay true to ourselves and only do what we are comfortable with and what fulfils us. In my case, that’s translating PR and marketing copy for my clients, and helping new translator colleagues through my online course. That means no webinars, no podcasts and no conference presentations – and no guilt about declining them
Any more hints and tips for people?
Take an introspective look at yourself and your business every year to determine if your business is aligned with your personal preferences and structured exactly how you like it. If not, make some changes to ensure you are (still) following your true calling.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
I’m not expecting any major changes. I’m perfectly happy with where my business is at the moment, and I’m hoping to continue in the same vein.
This interview has been very inspiring for me, personally. I’ve had quite a few requests – more and more as time goes on – to offer mentoring services to individual editors and transcribers. I love helping people, but I’m an introvert, and too much people-time burns me out and tires me. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, I’m (slowly) putting together some self-mentoring materials to work alongside my business books, and I’ll be creating a version of my two main business books aimed at editors, with the self-mentoring materials included, which should be out soon(ish). Nicole has helped me to accept that this is the right way to go – have a think about what you’re doing in your business and see if you can identify areas into which you’re putting effort but which don’t fulfil your needs. You shouldn’t be run by your business; you should run your business! So thanks for that, Nicole, and best wishes for a calm and balanced year!
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.