830
8 min 44 sec

Bilingual Insurance Agent Translates Problem-Solving into Profits

After working for free doing odd jobs for friends, an insurance agent with a love of Chinese culture carves out a $40,000/year side business.
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What It's About

Bilingual Insurance Agent translates her skills into profit.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Language & Communication
Complexity
Low
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Jennifer suggests others who are interested in doing translation as a side hustle consider what they are knowledgeable or passionate about. Are you a multilingual college student who didn’t mind the college application process? You can assist others through that task. Do you enjoy typing and can do it quickly? Consider transcription.

Fun Fact

Translation is a 46 billion dollar industry! It is one of the the fastest growing industries with an anticipated 42% growth by 2020.

Notes from Chris

Episode 830

Jennifer Thomé is a longtime, serial side hustler. Just to name a few, she has moonlighted as an event planner, sold baked goods, and managed social media for nonprofits. These days, she’s earning extra money as a Chinese translator, specializing in solving real-life problems.

Jen moved to China when she was 20 and became proficient in the language. While living there and going to school, people would ask her for help with lots of simple tasks that required English. These days, back in the States and living in Los Angeles, she still does some traditional translation work, including interpretation and voiceover recording.

But her unique ability to help people solve those real-life problems is her specialty. Her first paid job as a translator was solving a legal problem. A couple’s children were wrongfully taken from them and didn’t know what to do. Within a short period of time, through research, making phone calls, and navigating the court system, Jennifer was able to get the kids back into the parents’ custody. She never asked for compensation, but the couple was so grateful, they paid her $8,000!

Dumbfounded she could make money doing something that in the past she’d just done as a favor for friends, Jennifer soon began doing translation as a paid side hustle. She discovered that the work was a fun and profitable way to maintain her language skills.

Jennifer had zero startup costs when starting her translation business, Turnkey Translator. Her first year’s profit was $27,000, and the second year was nearly $40,000. Once she began making money in this niche, she got to thinking about how she needed to teach others how to translate their skills into cash. She invested about $300 into creating an online course teaching multilinguals how to develop their own translation side hustle.

Close to 80% of Jennifer’s translation business is from referrals. She recommends if you want to start getting paid to translate, ask yourself: where would someone who needs my services be? And then go there. Mention it on social media, and join groups where you might be able to help people.

For Jennifer, the best part of having this side hustle has been her ability to help others in distress. She’s able to solve a huge legal or health problem for others, and in return, she receives a whole lot of gratitude from her customers.

Of course, she’s not doing it for charity—that money is real. It’s allowed her to transition to part-time work and spend more time with her kids. Using her language skills to solve problems has translated into real benefits.



MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Turnkey Translator: Get help starting a translation side hustle of your own over on Jennifer's website!

SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

CREATE YOUR ONLINE STORE

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Many Side Hustle School listeners are building sites using Shopify's easy-to-learn platform. Try it free today!

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GET YOUR FIRST 1,000 EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS

Social media is nice, but building an email list is still the single best way to get customers and clients for your hustle. It's not hard to get started—sign up for a 30-day trial and join the list-building challenge! You’ll be up and running in no time.


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Quote of the Day
"Put yourself out there, and let people in your network know what you are doing. They may not need you, but someone they know might."
—Jennifer Thomé #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau