Over the last few months, my transition from being an employee of Corporate America to being the Chief Transmith/CEO/Accountant/IT Director/Jack-of-All-Trades has been marked with highs and lows. Let’s start with a low point: One aspect of translating within a corporate environment was the camaraderie and social life I enjoyed with my fellow translators, whether we spoke the same target language (Spanish) or not (Mandarin/Cantonese Chinese). Now that I established TT&I and became accountable at both the federal, state and county levels for my business, I have had to run this show on a solo basis, which means handling all the translating/interpreting and all the administrative matters. While I wouldn’t change my job for anything, I miss my fellow linguists dearly. I could always run things by them and count on their insight and experience. True, today’s technology allows me to keep in touch with them via phone or social media, but nothing can replace that in-person touch that comes from working in the same office space.
Every translator/interpreter is a universe unto itself. To quote from James W. Sire, everyone is a unique worldview, a “universe next door.”
Alas, a translator’s life can be a lonely one sometimes.XLLS
However, there have been quite a few high points lately. Given that TT&I is, for all intents and purposes, a small business with both a local and a global footprint, I have enrolled in an absolutely amazing Business Fundamentals class, provided by the New Jersey-based non-profit organization “Rising Tide Capital, Inc.” (risngtidecapital.org) The beauty of working alongside budding entrepreneurs in developing important business skills (i.e. payroll, bookkeeping, marketing, financing) and learning from non-linguistic fields of interest is having an enriching effect on everything TT&I stands for.
Additionally, Transmith T&I recently joined the list of translation and interpreting businesses sanctioned by the Small Business Administration! I am well on my way to establishing TT&I as a federally certified Veteran-Owned Business, and I am very thankful to the Department of Veterans Affairs for their assistance and guidance in making this progress. This is hardly an easy task, as there are monumental levels of red-tape and documentation that need to be provided to keep Uncle Sam happy.
Transmith T&I and Transmithing itself requires a multi-disciplinary approach in order to become a true craft, and these are the baby steps in that direction. There are going to be peaks and valleys, but what matters is how one navigates through them.
This is yet another example of how true these words are: “Attitude, not Aptitude, determines your Altitude”.