How to Run a Translation Bussiness Series. The right mindset
marketing,  translation business

How to Run a Translation Business PART 5: Mindset

The last part of the series focuses on the right mindset when it comes to being a translator. I find this aspect extremely important, as running a translation business isn’t easy. In particular, in the first few years when most people are confused about what to do. The right mindset is also significant when you’re an experienced business owner, as it can prevent or help you deal with burnout.

As you requested, I’ve gathered my tips for running a translation business in one place. How to Run a Translation Business Series is divided into five parts, each of which touches on a different aspect: online presence, content, clients, finances, and mindset. As you’ve already seen, some of them alternate with the others. For example, online presence mentions content and clients; finances are connected with clients and mindset; and mindset is connected with all of them. In the first part of the series, I touched on online presence. The second one was about content. In the third part, I covered clients, and in the forth, I talked about finances.

We can analyze the mindset from different points of view.


Confidence comes from knowing your competences and developing them.

Be proud of yourself every day. Remind yourself of what you have achieved so far. Making a so-called “brag list”, i.e., a list of your achievements, and having it near you when working is a good idea.

Focus on what you have (skills and expertise) as well as what you can start with and develop. Search for trainings and courses you can do to become more specialized in your niche and be up-to-date with the latest trends.

Your thoughts create reality. So think well of yourself, your translation business, the people you work with, and your clients.

And above all, don’t give up. If it’s tough, it means that you’re developing.

Achieving goals

Visualize your goals. Say “I am…”, “I do X”, etc., instead of “I will be…”, “I will do X”.

Avoid comparing yourself to the others. Consider them an inspiration for achieving your goals. Accept the fact that they’re a few steps ahead of you. It can be either because they have more knowledge or experience or because they started earlier than you.

Make celebrating small wins a habit. You’ve found a new client? Got a reply from a prospect? You’re going to speak at a conference? A friend or fellow translator recommended you for a project? It all matters for your business!


Remember there’s always someone waiting for your offer, so don’t be afraid of marketing your services. As you already know, you have plenty of options to choose from, both in terms of platforms and types of content.

When talking to a client, make sure you’re not salesy. What does it mean? Start building relationships with a potential client by talking about things you have in common (so-called common points.) Sometimes getting first clients and projects is nothing but ups and downs, but you need to have a strategy and be patient and consistent in your actions.

Follow up your prospects and dormant clients (the ones you haven’t heard from since a while). We’re all extremely busy from time to time; they may not see your email right away or they forgot to reply to you. Or maybe your email went to spam? Stop overthinking and simply double-check whether the person got your offer.

Be open to business changes due to market changes. As you become more experienced, don’t undervalue yourself nor be afraid to raise your rates. BUT(!) don’t do it for all your clients at once—you may lose them if they don’t accept your higher rate or if you don’t compromise.

Don’t force yourself to anything. If you don’t like doing something, just don’t do it. Try different methods to find out what you’re comfortable with and what works for you (more on this in the first part of the series, point no. 2).

Getting help

Surround yourself with people who support you and are like-minded. Having someone to cheer you up, give you advice, or just listen to you is essential for your well-being. They’ll also support you when you doubt yourself.

As a business owner, you need to lead yourself and/or a team. But sometimes you need to be led by someone who has done the work before you. If you decide to have a mentor, pick ONE person to guide you through the whole process.

Having a mentor won’t help you manage your business, though. Hire people when it’s necessary. You may need a lawyer, an accountant, an analyst, a virtual assistant, a website programmer, a graphic designer, etc. They’re worth investing in, as they’ll help you speed up the growth of your business.

Free time

Leverage wisely the time when there are fewer or no project inquiries. You can spend it on CPD, family time, reading a book you wanted to read since so long, etc. Because…

…there’s life outside of work. And work-life balance is fundamental. Take breaks from your work (I recommend 45 minutes of work time and a 15-minute break). Go out. Go on holiday from time to time, relax, do sports, etc. to charge batteries and come back with new energy.

Why having the right mindset is so important

Our mindset affects our actions and, as a result, our business. Many times, we block ourselves from taking action just because we’re afraid we’ll fail or get rejected. We don’t contact a client because we think they won’t even open our e-mail. Although we know we should raise our rates, we don’t do it because we’re not confident enough or we’re afraid of losing a client. We aren’t courageous enough to speak at an event. (Don’t think it’s just you; I’m talking about myself too.)

Having the right mindset not only helps you interact with other people, including your clients, but also makes you feel more confident as a person, translator, and business owner.

A linguist, translator with 4 years of experience, and passionate photographer and traveler. I like meeting new people from all around the world and getting to know their culture. I graduated from 3 different universities in Poland and one in Spain. At przeTŁUMACZ Dorota Oleś, I offer into-Polish translation services of English and Spanish marketing content, mainly related to sports, fashion, tourism, and hospitality. I also run a blog on which I share my insights and knowledge as a translator and linguist.

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