5 No-Nonsense Quotes


Excellence might be a great selling proposition – why not try it for a while?

~ Sheila Wilson


There are actually potential clients out there, who are looking for quality translations, and who are not only looking at the price. There’s a market for quality and a market for speed, and something in between, but I prefer producing excellent quality – and the payment that goes along with it.


When you are own boss, you don’t have a (real) weekend.
At least that is my experience. I do have weekends, but they can fall on any days of the week.

~ Robert Rietvelt


When you are your own boss you’re free to choose work that you actually want to do. Why would you choose something that you could only stand doing Monday to Friday?

Being a freelance translator requires you to have a million hats to wear for each role you fulfill in your business. There’s an incredible variety of tasks that have to be done, and I really can’t see what that has to do with the name of the day.

If you by coincidence find yourself talking to a potential client during the weekend, isn’t that also work? You can’t dictate how the Universe lines up the opportunities for you and at what time it all clicks.

Besides, you can’t dictate either, when it’s the best time to help somebody you care about with something that’s not work related. There are an unlimited amount of pieces that can be moved around here to form the best service you can provide.


I prefer the medium to small agencies. They do the leg work and find clients, they support me when I need help, and they pay well. They keep me too busy to worry about big names too!

~ Christine Andersen


The big names might have a bigger budget for vendor management / recruiting freelancers, so as a freelancer it might be easier to get involved in a 20+ page Working Agreement and hours spent on vendor database registration, without any particular job in the end. On top of that the big agency might also be really optimized for growth or profit, leading to low rates for translators when the agency has to be extremely competitive.

It’s actually a bit curious – streamlining on a large scale should lead to high margins, but I haven’t seen that when it comes to big agencies. In fact, it seems to be the opposite when it comes to the budget available for the freelancer in the end.


When an agency resorts to reducing their rate, they are unfortunately already going down the slope, either financially or mentally. Unless they change their mind and resume the fight for quality and high rates with their customers, they will grab you by the ankle and drag you into the mud.

~ Tomás Cano Binder


It should be very simple: ask the translator what it will cost to make the translation, add the agency fee, and send the quote to the end customer. But then again, I’m no agency.

Not the other way around, letting the customer tell you what your cost of running your business is. It doesn’t make sense.

We should all resort to better marketing and sales, in order to find the customers who have an actual budget. Win-win, or no deal.


Yesterday a new prospect sent me some material, asking for a cost estimate, which I provided. Today she wrote me, asking for a discount. I told her that if I could give a discount merely because she asked for it, my first estimate would have been a most dishonest attempt to rip her off, possibly quite successful with less assertive clients.

~ José Henrique Lamensdorf


Are you kidding me? Perhaps try with a little negotiation.

If you don’t need that extra round of review from me, then I won’t have to spend time on it, and I can lower my rate. You give me something, I give you something.

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