Judy Jenner is with us in Subject to interpretation today. You can find out more about her and her business by visiting: http://www.twintranslations.com/
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Speaker 1:0:01Hello everybody and welcome to our podcast. This is, I was team Delamora and I'm so happy that you joined us today and even happier because on the line with us is a very good friend and a person I met a long time ago when she was like probably six years old or something like that, a long, long time ago in Vegas and the ever seen I've seen her blossom into a very, uh, important and well recognized, interpreted in our feel. So, uh, without any further ado, I'll let her introduce herself. Here's my very good friend, jt Jenner.
Speaker 2:0:39No, everybody in the. Thank you. I will. Steven. I'm blushing. I feel like my mom wrote that or my, my dad. My Dad was.
Speaker 1:0:46Yeah, somebody from your family.
Speaker 2:0:49Yeah, I knew there was some sort of connection there. It's lovely to be here. Thanks for having me. Uh, I think podcasts are just a wonderful way for us to keep in touch with what's happening in our industry. So I'm super happy to be sharing a little bit about them. What I know or what I don't know because there's a lot of things I don't know, but as I said, I've been an interpreter for not as long as I will in. And actually what he forgot to mention is that he was actually a very first person who taught me everything about legal interpreting, which is, um, it feels like a long time ago, but I think it was about 10 years ago. That's pretty awesome. So that was when I was studying to become certified as a court, as a state certified court interpreter here in Nevada. And I've since become sort of fighting California and also a federally. So, so I'm one of the, uh, I'm proud to be part of the Elite Group of federally certified Spanish coordinator.
Speaker 1:1:51And, and you know, you, you've been very modest. You forgot to tell us that you're intrepreneurial language, the, you're a author, you're an adjunct professor, so you do it all.
Speaker 2:2:04Yeah. You know, I think it's very common for us in this industry for those of us who are as passionate about it as you and I are to wear many different hats. And I was a translator for a long time before a became an interpreter. I always had so much admiration for interpreters and I honestly wasn't sure if I could do it. So one day I just said, let me try to take some medical interpretation courses. That was before I met you. I will stand and I discovered that I had a lot more talent than I thought and then also added interpreting to West skillsets. But I'm a classic translator even though by, by temperament, I'm definitely more of an interpreter and I love sharing what I know and helping teach and sort of guide the next generation of interpreters and translators. I think it's something we need to do more in our country. I think we need to support each other and help each grow and elevate the professional as a whole. And uh, along those lines, I've been very, an honor to serve as a volunteer in many, many different functions. Um, most importantly currently as a spokesperson of the American translators association. So I represent our association as a volunteer of course, and I talk a lot the media try to rip them off the distinction of them. Well, the misconception that translation and interpreting or the same thing
Speaker 1:3:33correctly, right?
Speaker 2:3:35I don't know about that. I would sit down, I'm not sure, but I, I, you know, I, I, I am giving it the good old college effort whether it's working, I, maybe I'll keep on trying.
Speaker 1:3:48At least we have made some progress because first that's where I worked in one of the circuits in Florida. They would call it here's a translator and then we got them used to say interpreters and of course one of the judges that felt that we were more like an imposition. He called us the interrupters.
Speaker 2:4:09I've heard that that is a pretty mean, but it's unfortunately, it's what happened,
Speaker 1:4:15what we do interrupted. We say excuse me or whatever. Right?
Speaker 2:4:20Yeah, that's true. But we're just just trying to do our job. We just enjoy it so much.
Speaker 1:4:26That's right. So I, I really wanted to talk to you today because you are my girl as far as I know, Judy, uh, in, in respect of business
Speaker 2:4:39as in
Speaker 1:4:40introvert, nor interpreter, translator, linguist. I always tell people, hey, if you, if you need to know about business and the business of interpretation and translation and how to run your business as a business as judy and I was telling some of my friends, one of the things that I will never forget was hearing you a couple of years ago, maybe more than a couple, talk about how us interpreters and translators had they're really bad habit or have never raising our rates because we thought, oh my God, they're gonna leave me and now I'll have no jobs. And I, I remember you saying, well, if you want to make less money every year, go ahead and do that. But everybody else raises their prices. So I know you have a book out, so why don't you tell us a little bit about how did you evolve from translation interpreting to this business? Which by the way, a lot of us don't know much about.
Speaker 2:5:35Yeah, that's a good question. And you know, we just realized, um, when I say we, I refer to my twin sister and myself. I have a twin, uh, translating and interpreting twin who that's why our business is named twin translations. So we just realized relatively early on that there really wasn't much literature about the, the business side of our profession. It's translation or interpreting. And the reality is most of us who started running our small businesses, we sort of just wing it because many in Europe come from the humanities and for formally studied translation interpreting here in the US, it's more from different fields. But I think what most of us have in common is that we don't really have a clue about how to run a business and how would we even those who are trained formally at the few universities where you can get full degrees and TNI.
Speaker 2:6:29They don't really offer a lot of business skills. So we always thought, well this is really unfair that interpreters and translators are sort of roaming the business world. Trying to run these small businesses without any skills. And we recognized sort of a pattern there whenever we went to conferences and talk to colleagues, people were always just generally pretty clueless about it, but the business side. So we thought, well I actually did go to business school, I have an Mba in marketing and finance. So I figured, well in business school you don't really learn how to run your own business either, but you do learn a lot of skills that can be applied to the small business setting. So we started writing a blog called translation times where we shared some of these, which I thought were pretty basic business lessons, but turns out a lot of people just hadn't heard them.
Speaker 2:7:21And which is, which, you know, is both surprised me and made me sort of sad because I want to empower all my colleagues and friends and people I don't know yet. I want everybody to be happy and successful. So we thought, well, well let's write this blog. But then in colleagues kept on saying, you should put this into a book form. And we said, no, that sounds like way too much work, which I can guarantee you. It was, but we decided to do it and it was a true labor of love. It's actually been out for eight years and you can't believe how many requests we've gotten the for a second edition of the reality. It's really flattering, but it's also so much work that I. At this point, I just really don't A. I don't remember how we get it done the first time I have kind of blocked it out given birth maybe.
Speaker 2:8:11Exactly, exactly. That's from what I hear. Yeah, and so I don't know how I would do it at this point, but it has been. It has had a lot of impact all over the world. It's used at universities from Canada to Dubai and it's just pretty remarkable of it's sold thousands and thousands of copies, which we didn't really anticipate and it just kind of segmented that belief that we were right, that those skills were necessary and universities aren't teaching them, so we thought we'd kind of filled that gap with some pretty easy to apply advice and I hope it's working at least a little bit of it. Yeah, and I'm sure it isn't and it's interesting because I find some parents was, when I started in this business discovered
Speaker 1:8:57there was also no training for interpreters. I myself got a just to be interpreters at all. I remember being hired because, hey, I won't work for Berlitz. That's right. I remember that teacher, the guy who had me say, well those are very good. I don't know exactly what that means, but he hired me on the spot and the rest, as they say is true. Truth be told is the first time I went into a court of law to interpret. I really had no clue as to what I was doing. And I was lucky to have some friends of mine that, uh, helped me and really took me under their wing and taught me the business of interpreting. And then I saw them big gap between the bilingual person and then an interpreter. But what's really interesting is that I've been saying that for many years. Well, how can people expect you to be an interpreter? Just because you're being bilingual is like having a driver's license and asking me to drive during the day to one or $500 or something like that. But funny enough, many of us I would say a good 90 percent of the freelance interpreters I know have their own quote unquote company.
Speaker 2:10:13Exactly. Because you need to. The reality in this country is that there are relatively few in house positions for interpreters of any kind, especially for court interpreters are just are proportionally few. So. And that's what I tell my students because as you mentioned, I have the pleasure of being an adjunct that a couple of universities, which is also big labor of love. Let me tell you nothing to brag about. Yes, no, nobody does add drink teaching because the money is good. Actually. Um, when I got paid the first time, I couldn't tell if it was for that for the week or for the month and it was like, wow, that's not what I expected. I thought it was going to be more than that, but I've since come to terms with that and I'm training is absolutely of course crucial for, you know, for us at all levels, for, for interpreters and translators, but we also have to realize that there'll be, there'll be trading along the way right here in this country. We just don't have the setup that you can have a formal degree easily. Um, but the institute, you know, you have to take matters into your own hands and I tell my students that all the time, you have to find the training. The training exists baby as much as, as you'd wanted. But um, your organization feels a great gap with the training by the way.
Speaker 1:11:36Yeah, we do try, but you know, this comparison is valid for me because then I think here we are, here I am myself talking about, oh well people should be trained before they interpret it. And I'm thinking, well, shouldn't we be trained before we opened a small business at least on the basics. And I do see that a lot of us struggle. I, after I, after I heard you say that in that I think it was an an added conference, I immediately became home and say, wait a minute, let me look. And no lie. I mean, some of the customers I had, I had never raised. My price is not in one year, but in five years
Speaker 2:12:11I was so glad I was able to make an impact on your long standing business. Oh my God. Yes. I think it's very true. You have to adjust for inflation. At least you know, and you have to random news. Yes. Yeah. If you, if you were an employee, then your boss, even if you do a terrible job at your job, the boss will be like, Hey, here's your three percent cost of living adjustment. Even if you're the worst employee in the planet, right? You work for yourself. You're basically discounting your work by three percent every year or whatever inflation happens to be also depends greatly on where you live. Um, in terms of what the rate of inflation is. But I try to think as a business person, and if I don't, I don't have a boss who's gonna give me that three percent, so I need to put that three percent or whatever it is.
Speaker 2:12:58I need to increase that with my clients. And I think part of the problem we have sort of say as interpreters and translators, it's, it's a problem of self confidence. Maybe we don't really believe that we're worth it. We're always scared. It's almost like we haven't recognized our own value, our own importance yet. And we think that our services are so not important that at the slightest chance of increase of cost, the clients will run away screaming. But that is actually not the case. Why would they? They need us. We do a great job. Hopefully all of us do a great job and I haven't had one client complained yet that they'll say like, hey, thank you. Duly noted. New rates for 2018. Got It. They do it with their clients. You know, we're a business just like any other business and I think it's time we start behaving as such.
Speaker 2:13:50Of course, there's lots of other factors that you need to take to have your clients take you seriously, which sometimes I think we do a terrible job ed as a profession and the actually the two of them, I always say this, I will stay in whatever I'm talking to students or newcomers. I say one of my very first interpreting instructors I will steam said, you know what? The two biggest complaints are about court interpreters. Everybody's like, oh no, no. I said, I didn't know either and I will stand back. Then said it's that they were late and they don't interpret that. Remember thinking, that's terrible, absolutely terrible, but now more than a decade later, I can absolutely corroborate that. That is oftentimes the case, so we are our own worst enemies. Sometimes I say that with a lot of tough love, right? We. Because a business aspect, you can only implement being a business and demanding good rates and good working conditions. You could only demand that if you. If you fulfill the other side of the, which is also behaving like a professional business and not somebody who does interpreting on the side and is running 15 minutes late because that's just not acceptable. So that's, that's my little speech on that.
Speaker 1:15:05Yeah. And I think that's a great segway to talk about. What do you think in order to have a successful business, what are your keys to success? I'm going to say one of them is definitely be on time and be professional.
Speaker 2:15:18Exactly. And I'm so I'll focus on the interpreting side because that is obviously so much. That's pretty much exclusively in person, but I think being on time is. I never thought that this would be a lesson that have to highlight. Um, and I think it is sort of concerning and general that it has to be mentioned, but you'd be surprised how many of your colleagues you can also perform being early or being on time. Um, and again this is something that's very easily remedied. A, you could just be on time and I've actually heard of interpreters who are late for their own exams, their own sort of vacation is, I just don't, my sympathy for this is quite limited because these are problems that you can solve. You can google map it, how far it is from your house and you can maybe go there the day before.
Speaker 2:16:09But. So the, the main thing, one of the main ingredients is yes, being on time and being professionally dressed, um, especially for court and as a woman and a supporter of women in the workforce and as a feminist, that really pains me to say that it is usually women who are not dressed appropriately. I think I can without reservation say that unfortunately it is mostly with the women, the women. If somebody's not dressed professionally, it does tend to be too tight, too short, too revealing, sort of, sort of a kind of top of you don't ever want to discuss with anybody. So it's uncomfortable right in night.
Speaker 1:16:49It is, it is, it. Believe me, I, you know, I worked in a department in Orlando where everybody was female except for me,
Speaker 2:16:58I see, you know, well, what that feels like,
Speaker 1:17:01that was tough because sometimes you know, my own employees would show up with this mini skirts because hey, I'm going out after work, so right now just have the same outfit
Speaker 2:17:13because it's tough to have the conversation. It is so tough. And just the story from my own interpreting world, I mean I'm in the position that oftentimes outsource to other interpreters. I hire interpreters for a small conferences or even just to do assignments for me as my business has grown and there are some really outstanding interpreters that I just, I just can't hire them. I can send them to those law firms dressed like that. I just can't do it and it's not a conversation I want to have. So instead of having that conversation, I just don't retain them, which is, which is a pity, right? Part of you wants to say, okay, can we have this conversation? But it's such a personal conversation. Um, but it's a huge ingredient. Some of my, my number one advice, so is when you're in doubt, you should wear a suit.
Speaker 2:18:03You think, you think you got to be hot in the model too bad, you suck it up, you think it's going to be miserable in the car? It will be miserable. Maybe you can take your jacket off in the car and the wear like a tank top underneath. I don't care what you need to do to accomplish as A. Everybody has the same problems. I've live in Las Vegas where it's currently 113 and I still somehow managed to wear a suit. So if you ever wonder, is this too tight, too short, is it appropriate? The answer is your first instinct is probably correct. You should wear something else. Um, and in terms of professional is more ingredients for success beyond being on time and being professional, I think you have to understand that you are essentially a service provider who is there to solve a problem that a client has.
Speaker 2:18:51And that's the problem of language, right? So you're there to make things easier, not harder. Um, you know, I think you should demand good working conditions or at least decent working conditions because the reality is that the working conditions that we want aren't always possible, which is of course very frustrating, but that's something that was just the situation that you're in and you need to make things as easy on the client as possible while still being able to do your job. And I think sometimes there are sort of fine line between the complaining interpreter and the interpreter who just can't hear and Ergo can't interpret it. So think of yourself as a business. Think of yourself as a service provider and there are so many other factors. Um, and I could do, we could be talking about this till the year 20 slash 20, but just having a good reputation industry contributing to the industry. I'm being careful what you put online, what you say online. Would you post a thinking about how your work as a coordinator butter could potentially be affected by things that you do or don't do online? I think that's something we forget.
Speaker 1:20:03Yeah, that is so true. I mean, everybody knows if you're on facebook or snapchat or whatever you're doing and you're a professional interpreter, you're always thinking. You should always be aware that maybe somebody will see that and even even if you think, well, this my personal thing, you're always a business. So is that one of the things that we have to keep in mind. We're going to be a business first and foremost a business.
Speaker 2:20:27I think so. It's the difference between running a small business that you own or working for a big company that save your work for Microsoft and you'd go out and you have too much to drink one day and a bunch of pictures ended up at facebook. I don't think anybody's gonna say Microsoft is a bad company because you were drinking to watch because you personally full anita or Jane doe or drinking too much. That's not going to happen. People will say Microsoft is a bad company because our software isn't very good, but that's a different subject. But if you, as you know, owner off twin translations, if I go out and get drunk and there's pictures that end up on facebook, people will equip me with twin translations and because I am twin translation, so it's kind of hard to separate those things and um, you know, we forget how public lives are online and the first thing that people do is they google you.
Speaker 2:21:20I mean if I were looking to hire somebody and I googled my pool guy for Christ's sake, just to be sure that he had a license, you know, any thoughts and it's all good. So yeah, be careful what. What'd you do both online and also in your professional interactions with others? I think I come back to this point that sometimes we are our own worst enemies and I think we needed a little bit more solidarity with each other with the interpreting community at large. I think I've seen too much bad behavior in terms of interpreters, badmouthing other interpreters, trying to steal clients. I think in both the short and the long run, that's not very helpful for our profession. Right? I'm gossiping about each other. It doesn't really add anything, it just makes it sound kind of petty with the clients. Right. If you're telling this one attorney that you saw this other interpreter doing this and this, I don't think that's particularly useful.
Speaker 2:22:18I don't think it's collegial. I don't think it's appropriate. So I think you also need to work a little bit on your reputation. You want to be sort of the person that people come to and say, Hey, I have a question for you. Can you help me with this terminology? You don't want to be the person who has a reputation that he or she is not very friendly and is not helping others. We are all in this profession together and we can always wish and hope that it gets strengthened from the outside. But the reality is if we want to strengthen our profession, we have to do it from the inside and that means all of us. And that means not waiting for Nagid or for the Ata to come down with sort of a magic wand. Make it all better. Right?
Speaker 1:23:00And you know from here I want to do, do get down to business as they say. I would like you to tell me first of all, how do you know, how do you create a price for what you do? Because it seems to me that most interpreters out there just go and say, well, how much is barely charged? You'd have was johnny charging over there are charges, same or $5 more or $5. Last. Is there a better way to decide how much you charge for your services?
Speaker 2:23:27Well, there is this wonderful spreadsheet that I'll share with you and your listeners that it was developed by the Spanish Association of translators and interpreters asset. It was meant more to arrive at your per award price for translation, but I bet you can also modify to arrive at the cost of interpreting or the professional fee as Rosala likes to say, for for professional interpreting services. But the reality is when, when I started out as a court interpreter that the rates for the courts of course are set. There's nothing you can do about their rates records you've made. It basically can take it or leave it and the for some courts have decided to not take it because I, I just don't think it's a fair price. But on the private market, the reality is that I did also base my price largely on what others were charging because unfortunately in certain markets the clients get used to a certain price range at least let's say within 10, 20 percent.
Speaker 2:24:30Right. And then if you come up with something completely their friend, they'll say, well John Charges your rate minus 20 and then it is a difficult argument to present for somebody who doesn't know a lot about interpreting that skill levels are different and I never want to diminish my, my colleagues sort of accomplishments, but I do charge more than most interpreters because I'm one of the few federally certified interpreters and this and this market. There's only three of us here in Las Vegas. So when, when someone says, well, you know, this other person charges less as they. Well I am not only master level certified because here in Nevada we've got two state levels, but I also have the federal certification. So I think that's fair, but the reality is you can try to charge whatever you think the market can bear in, in other markets when I travel, because I do have the chance to travel a bit.
Speaker 2:25:25So when I go to New York I do charge a higher rate for New York, which I think is sort of in line with what other interpreters. It sort of my skill level charge. But I think in general I think we all need to think about the fee that we charge is something that needs to be a number that we can live with and live on. So if you decide to have a certain fee and then he constantly complained about it, I don't think that's very useful. You can't really change what other people do, but you can change what you do. So if you don't like the number, maybe you need to come up with a different number and see if the market can bear. That involves some, some willingness to take some risks. If you're completely risk averse, and I'd tell that to my students, you probably shouldn't run your own small business because there is risk and now you know there's some of the risks you can mitigate.
Speaker 2:26:21Some of it you can't. Then actually the other day I saw sort of purposely try to price myself out of some interpreting assignment and really was an interesting lesson than how much is possible, right? I just to want to do this. This is a online remote, complicated, difficult time slots, multiple languages. I thought, well, I don't know if this is worth the trouble, but let's, let's throw a higher number at it and see what happens, and that's of course completely legitimate. You're free to charge clients different price points. That's another point I want to make that so often. Colleagues say, well, I can't charge client x this rate. Then charged collide. Why this rate? I'm like, why not? Every business on the planet does it and we don't think about it, but let's say you go to dinner at your favorite restaurant and if you'd arrived an hour earlier and you'd sit at the bar, then you have gotten that same food at like 50 percent off or at least part of it, same food just because you're sitting, you know, a few yards away and you're an hour early.
Speaker 2:27:28It's called happy hour. See, there's a theme here with uh, with food if for me and pretty much every other business does it to the, the plane tickets are different prices, pretty much it, he goes skiing on a Friday, it's going to be more expensive than if you go skiing on a Wednesday. It's just that the price differentiation or price discrimination or whatever you want to call it is a very common and very much a loud business practice. So I don't think you have to charge everybody the same thing. I don't think you should. Some reality, some clients are more work than others or me sort of, you know, require more hands on or more just for me holding. Exactly. And I hear that attorneys do it too. I, I retained an attorney to do some stuff for me a few years ago and he said, well, I've got three different rates.
Speaker 2:28:23I've got the regular rates that I forgot the nice people rates and then I got the jerk rate to use a different word than jerk, but you can. And I said, Oh, which radar am I getting? And he said, well, the Nice people, right? Of course, but I have no idea if I'm getting a nice person or not. I don't have the foggiest idea, but I think we have to develop some more confidence to say my. There's a range. Maybe you charge more for trials, then you charge for the position. Maybe if you do an ime independent medical examination, maybe you have a three hour minimum and for the positions you have a four hour minimum. I don't know. I think that's all very.
Speaker 1:29:04I like that, that you. You are empowering people to think exactly how. Because I am certain that many of us had this idea of, oh no, I charge 70 bucks. That's it. 70 bucks is what I charge two hour minimum. That's what I tried. Well, you know, I guess there's a lot of factors that would make a difference if, if a guy is giving you a hundred hours a month, you get a better price and the guy who calls you every three months.
Speaker 2:29:32Sure. And I think you have to show some flexibility to, with a client. I had tried to say stay away from, from discounts unless somebody is asking for it because you'd be how often times colleagues will volunteer at this count. We haven't even asked for it and here's a special rate for you. I'm like, okay. And uh, I've seen attorneys telling me that too. They all say, I called this a interpreter and you said it's x an hour, but then she said, hey, for you on lock it down 20 percent. And he hadn't even asked yet. I think that's, I'm negotiating against yourself, I think is a bad business strategy. It shows that you're not very confident in your own rates and you need to develop some sort of confidence. You have to see like say like, this is the number and say it with conviction, you know, and I, I get it that sometimes people will want to negotiate.
Speaker 2:30:22I mean, I grew up in Mexico City. I love to negotiate. When I negotiated with my exactly the. I negotiated with my CPA but my taxes the other day, she said, it's X. I said, can we do why? She's like, absolutely not. Don't ask again. I said, okay. I just, I wasn't, she wasn't offended. I wasn't offended, but you have to understand that there's always some sort of flexibility. Like you say, if somebody's going to give you $100 a month, you could maybe think about some special pricing, but I would let the client proof that they're actually going to call you for 100 hours a month because I've heard that very often will use you a lot. I said, well, why don't we get to 30 hours a month and then I'll give you a discount. I don't like to give people discounts on the promise of potential future revenue.
Speaker 1:31:10Yeah. I love what you said that we do negotiate against ourselves, you know, even I remember at the very beginning I would say people would ask me how much he charged for, you know, a day of trading at $500 just to throw a number and the person will be silent for more than 2 million, 400 just because of were drinking water or something that they didn't answer right away. And that was
Speaker 2:31:34exactly. You get nervous. And I think that's very normal to have some sort of anxiety. The reality is negotiating professional fees is hard with scary. We want people to say yes and there is some hard work and learning how to do this and to stay sort of calm and collected. I don't always do it perfectly well either. Of course, of course I've got a lot of lot of things to learn. Um, but yeah, I think you also have to stand up for yourself as much as you can. And um, I have the same sort of, uh, doubts and fears that everybody else does, right? That, oh, if I don't get this client, I'll never get another client. Right. Is Irrational as that is. I try to teach my. Tell myself I do have plenty of business. Um, luckily I've built it, but I've also turned down a lot of business and um, there's a lot of clients that I don't get because I priced myself out of a market and um, and I'm okay with that. I think we need to insist on charging professional fees for our professional services. If we want to be seen as a professional service, we have to sort of demand that the rates that come with it, because the reality is people do respect you more for better or for worse if you're charge higher fees. That's just the way it is. I don't know why, but that's what people like Porsche, right?
Speaker 1:32:53I was thinking about that, that people are still buying cars and paying high end attorneys even though that they're not necessarily statistically any better than the guy that charges less. Since you are the guru of businesses for us, what are the typical questions you hear from from people that want to improve their business as translators or interpreters?
Speaker 2:33:19That's a super good question. I was seeing them. Glad you're asking it and some of them there are themes, right? I can kind of group them, but one of the more interesting ones is basically people being reluctant to market themselves so they're. They'll. They'll argue with me saying, I don't think I really need a website. I'd be like, okay, well I think you do need a website, but if but if you don't, if you don't want to do it, nobody's pointing a gun to your head, and then they asked me sort of the questions like how can I measure who's finding me online? And it is difficult to measure, right? Unless you have some sort of code that he gave people and say, hey, mentioned that you saw my website and I'll give you a discount or whatever. It's hard to measure, but you also can't measure what doesn't happen.
Speaker 2:34:04You don't know how many people would have found you if you did have a website, so I just try to tell people, I'm like, look, if you want to run a business in the 21st century, you need to have a website. I don't see how you could not have a website. I'm really trying to think of a scenario where you don't need a website and I can't quite come up with it. Maybe you work in a market that's so small that everybody knows you, but why would you not go into different markets? Right? The web is universal and you could open so many doors. So sometimes I feel like there's a reluctance of people to do online anything starting with a website. But I always say that having a business without a website is like not having had a phone and the previous century. Right? I mean having grown up in Mexico, my phone didn't work so we just have boyfriend call the neighbor. Right? So you want the curve, one of the eighties calling the neighbor for your website, for your business. I mean it just sounds, sounds kind of silly. So that's a huge reluctance I see. And the other big questions, people just don't know where to start. They say, I have no idea when I grow my business, but I don't have any idea how to do it. To which I said, well, there are some great books on that.
Speaker 1:35:21Let me see. Maybe the intrepreneurial linguists would be a good one to start with. I do
Speaker 2:35:26think that a lot of what you need is there, and especially on the translation side, there's other other grade books, especially Korean Mckay, the current president of the Ata and a dear friend of mine, pretty much the Bible for freelance translation. It's called how to succeed as a freelance translator at it pretty much tells you most of what you need. The other thing I see is I see an incredible reluctance with technology, which I find very, very surprising on the interpreting side, uh, because our industry is changing. Right? And I get a lot of questions from students if a new conversating water sort of the new trends. And I said, well, the new trends are remote, simultaneous, more video changing technologies, whether they're good or bad, they work or they don't work. That's a different subject. But the reality is they're coming in. So many people say, oh no, I just, Ah, if my son isn't home or my ex husband or my son, sister's cousin, brother-in-law, then I don't know how to do it.
Speaker 2:36:27And which I said, well, if you want to be in this industry, this is the reality of this industry. Ask yourself that question. Can you compete with the skills that you have now? If you don't think you can, how are you going to acquire those skills to stay competitive? Or You just got to stick your head in the sand and pretend that remote anything isn't happening. I think you have to take control of what you can control, which is your own skills. You can't control the market does, but you can control of how you fit into it. So those are some of the big topics that I see. General scared, scared, scared, scaredness of technology, business topics, not knowing where to start. And, and, uh, I think the other big issue is I, one I've already mentioned is the lack of self confidence. I have students telling me, Oh, I don't think, I don't know, I'm just, I don't think I can do it. And I say, well, if you don't think you can do it, nobody else is gonna think you can do it either. Right? So that's, and I wish I could have this again, the sort of magic wand wave over everybody's head. And I said, here, there you go, boom. Here's your instant sort of self confidence. But it doesn't happen like that. You have to talk yourself into it. That's true about any last advice for our listeners as far as
Speaker 1:37:53I went in. What's the first thing you want to have a website you want? How about negotiating with them
Speaker 2:38:00a four
Speaker 1:38:02for the job? I mean, how do you go get the job? So you go knock on doors, what was your strategy?
Speaker 2:38:07Oh, there's so many. And that's, that's probably a two hour answer, but the five minute answer is that you have to do a variety of things that are online and offline for the digital folks like myself, when we say offline, that basically just means anything that's not online. So it could be in person, it could be you buy a billboard or whatever. But the reality for interpreters, if you are active in the market in which you live, is that you have to go out and meet some people, write it. It's unfortunately in in a way like politics, right? The more people know that you exist, the more likely it is that you get votes or clients in this case. So if you just don't feel super comfortable going to networking meetings, that's perfectly fine. But then you have to have some other strategy to make up with it.
Speaker 2:38:55I actually do pretty frequently go to meetings from the Bar Association and from some I actually go to sometimes to professional development events for lawyers for the Nevada bar because you know, I can pay my 40 bucks and I may learn something and I'll. I'll definitely be the only interpreter there for sure. Um, so I have to put yourself out there. You have to go with their clients are, I don't think there's a lot of value in doing cold calling or cold knocking on doors. There is a lot to be said for word of mouth. If you're good at what you do and you go to depositions, you should give everybody your business card and it should be a nice well designed business card. Shouldn't be one of those free business cards where it says on the back, Hey, get your free business cards on vista print.
Speaker 2:39:44You'd be surprised how many of those I get. Um, and so you have to have some sort of combination of online and offline, right? I don't, I'd love to say that I had some sort of grand strategy when I first started out. I did have some strategic goals when I first started interpreting, I said, hey, I'm going to go to so many in person meetings a month where I know there will be lawyers there. So I did. I did stick to that. I didn't have a more complex grid of saying, okay, I expect to accomplish this and this, but I think you have to be realistic in your ambition as well when you're first starting out. I don't know if it's realistic to say I'm a new interpreter in the Miami market and I want to acquire 10 new law firms the first month. I think. I don't think that's realistic.
Speaker 2:40:34So, so set yourself up for some realistic goals and also be, be humble about it. But if you're just starting out, maybe you've just become certified. You have a lot to learn, right? Um, we, we forget that this is a very humbling profession. It's very humbling to me. There is, um, I had the chance to interpret a lions international yesterday, this so big international organization like Rotary Club, very big international organization and there's a lot of terms that I hadn't known before and that I looked up and we want to have the powerpoints. And I was like, wow, this is so interesting. You have so much to learn. So you have to think also be be humble and, and they don't expect that you can have a great business overnight and I think the most important thing is that of course you have to be good at what you do.
Speaker 2:41:22If all your businesses all fluff and smoke and mirrors and you've got an amazing website and you have all these elements, but you're not a good, or would you actually do if you're just not a interpreter, the best website in the world is not going to cut it. Right. So first and foremost, you have to always keep on working on your skills, right? If I have an hour in my day and I can, I say I could either update my website right now or I can do a quick interpreting practice assignment, which I do all the time. I just interpreted videos from speech fool that I'll probably choose the interpreting your practice because that is ultimately what makes me half the business that I have. It's my skills. It's not so much the website. It's says the skills. So I think that's important too.
Speaker 1:42:09All right. Well, Judy, I know you have things to do. I, I, I can't thank you enough for participating with us today. Uh, I, you just gave me such an inspiration that I'm going to acquire another intrepreneurial linguistic book and sending one of our listeners will find a way to do a contest or something.
Speaker 2:42:28Oh, that sounds lovely. Pink.
Speaker 1:42:30We will, we will do that because I think we need to share, as you said, and, and give back to,
Speaker 2:42:36uh, the community,
Speaker 1:42:38whichever way we can. So I appreciate your time and, and your, your, uh, expertise and I hope this is not the last time we chat about something like that.
Speaker 2:42:49I'd love to do it again. Thanks for having me and thanks for listening everybody and hopefully we'll see each other at a conference very soon. Alright, thanks so much. Bye. Bye.