A few months ago, I interviewed Andrea Jasmin, a graduate of my High-Level Proofreading Pro program. At the time, we discussed what working on her first book project was like as a freelance proofreader. She was also juggling a full-time job while side hustlin’ as a proofreader and copy editor.
Since then, Andrea has left the corporate world and now works from home as a proofreader, copy editor, editor, and book coach. Read on to find out how she made the big jump and to get her tips for preparing to work from home. She also shares what her typical day is like juggling work, self-care, and family.
There’s also a chance to grab a spot in our free masterclass, where you can learn how YOU can work from home or anywhere doing editorial work.
You recently left your corporate job to work on your proofreading and editing business full time from home. Why did you want to work from home?
I left my full-time role at the beginning of the year and it’s been awesome. I had endless reasons for going freelance!
- Flexibility and freedom with family – childcare, sports activities, volunteering at school
- Be my own “boss” – Of course you answer to your clients, but still, the freedom is fantastic.
- Travel – We moved from Connecticut and feel like we never have enough time there with family, but this summer we are able to spend a month there because of what I do now.
What made you feel ready to make the big change?
First, I was completely over my career and knew I needed a big change. Once I made that change and was well into my training with High-Level Proofreading Pro, what allowed me to decide when it was time to walk was securing my retainer clients.
If you want to learn how YOU can take your love of words and make money from it, I have a FREE masterclass on proofreading, copyediting, and marketing.
Why was it important for you to find retainer clients?
I have three, which gave me the security to be able to chase my book editing and proofreading clients while still being financially secure. The key for me to be able to do this was thinking outside of the box.
I knew that I needed a way to create a steady income as a proofreader and copy editor, so I planned to find retainer clients. My largest is a local nonprofit where I am a member of a small team as the marketing editor, working about 20 hours a week. I also provide monthly newsletter and blog support for a local real estate company, and I am a copy editor for an online magazine published quarterly. In addition, I edit 1 – 2 books a month.
How do you like working from home?
I love it! It really is a dream come true to be able to work wherever I have my laptop. I’ve created a home office space and I definitely feel like that helps me to get in a work zone. I originally thought working on the couch or somewhere else would work, but it doesn’t for my personality. I must be at the desk if I’m at home.
Is there anything about it that surprised you or required some adjustment for you and your family?
It takes a great deal of self-discipline, and establishing a routine has been harder than expected. I’m constantly reading books and heading to, what I refer to as, Podcast University for help in this area.
Can you tell us what your typical day is like?
My typical day starts with me waking up at 6:30 am. I make my children breakfast before they head to school. My husband is able to drop off the kids for the first time ever, which is nice so I am able to dive right into my day.
I recently cultivated a daily walking routine. I go for a 3 – 4 mile walk before starting my day. Before I leave I make my bed, and when I return I throw in a load of laundry and clean up around the house a little.
I then jump in the shower; after that I make myself breakfast and tea, and then I head to my desk to work. I don’t get dressed up for the day; I live in comfy clothes. If I have an afternoon appointment then I will get dressed when it’s time to leave.
I keep THREE calendars. One on my computer, one on my whiteboard, and a paper planner. I start my day by consulting my lineup before I dive in.
My mornings are usually devoted to the local nonprofit I work with, and then I spend time editing manuscripts for the clients I have at the time.
On my very best days I take an afternoon break and practice yoga in the afternoon. I also will take a break and read for my own enjoyment during the day.
I stop working around 4:00 pm to prepare dinner. I then have family time and get my children to their sports practices. I often take my computer and work during that time. I work again in the evening for about an hour until around 9:00 pm. To be honest though, I often become hyper-focused late at night and can’t stop editing!
But whatever time I stop I always try to end my day by setting up my calendar for the next day, even if it’s just jotting down a to-do list that I will block in my calendar in the morning. My ideal bedtime is 10:30 pm, and I usually watch something on TV with my husband before we go to bed if I haven’t become consumed with a project and blown past my bedtime.
What advice can you give for people who want to work from home?
My first point of advice — mindset shift! I had a mindset that the 9 – 5 was behind me at all cost. During this time I took a “bridge job,” a job that paid the bills and allowed me to focus on my end goal — having my own work-from-home business. I loved this route because I was able to focus on educating myself to do what I dreamed of doing without a stressful 9 – 5.
My second point of advice is educate yourself! That is when I enrolled in High-Level Proofreading Pro. Take the time to learn the skills you need to step out on your own to create a successful work-from-home business.
You have clients asking you to be their book coach. Can you tell us how this came about and how the course (HLPP) prepared you for it?
Book coaching has been a welcome, but unexpected, addition to my services. With my first book coaching client I was hired as an editor for a children’s book series. My client realized she was having a hard time sticking to her timeline and she also wanted a professional opinion about her storyline.
She didn’t need the skills a developmental editor would provide, but more so someone to have as a partner for the process and to bounce ideas off. We started meeting weekly to walk her through her process.
During this same time another potential client inquired about editing, but admitted that her manuscript was not complete. She asked to be coached and also offered to help me streamline my process. She was an engineer so this came very naturally to her. With this client we developed the system I use now.
As a book coach I focus on providing:
- Professional opinion
- Structured timelines to meet deadlines to reach your goal
- Professional editorial support
- Publishing knowledge
HLPP prepared me for this role in countless ways. Due to my education in the course, I was able to offer professional editorial support, my professional opinion, and publishing knowledge. HLPP not only taught me the nuts and bolts of editing but covered the industry norms and allowed me to walk away from the course as an editorial professional. I am now able to offer all that I learned as a service to my clients.
I hope you realize from this interview that working from home isn’t a pipe dream. It is absolutely possible, and with the right training and plan, you can make it happen.
Andrea Jasmin is a professional proofreader, copy editor, editor, and book coach in Charlotte, NC. She works with entrepreneurs, self-publishing authors, and bloggers. When she’s not nose deep in words, with a cup of tea in hand, she’s pretending to be a chef for her family or the kind of yogi that practices daily. You can learn more about Andrea and her services at www.acjasminproofreading.com.