Are you successful as a professional?


This blog post recaps a series of posts from Andrew Morris in the Translators & Interpreters ( facebook group.

A simple question. Unpack it or comment as you will. But all I’m going to ask for now is: 

Are you successful as a professional?

Feel free to be honest about how you feel – we're among supportive colleagues and we don't need to be falsely modest, or falsely immodest for that matter. 😃

And in equally concise manner, I’m going to step up first and simply answer “Yes”.

Take that as you will. I’ll expand on it a little more in the next post. In the meantime, intrigued to hear what you all have to say.

Read what the facebook group had to say about whether they were a success. Please note, you may need to join the group of almost 47,000 professionals (it's free) to read.  


Previously, I asked whether you were successful, and the answers were rich and varied, with many people claiming to enjoy success for themselves, and others denying the very existence of success.

I stuck my neck out and answered “yes” for myself, but that’s based on the understanding that success, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
And in this case, the only beholder that counts is you.

I once had an enervated translator wag his finger at me, saying: “But I don’t think you’re successful!” to which the only conceivable answer is surely: “Why on earth should I care what you think?” 😃

But I digress.

It means so many different things to all of us. Including those who said they were already successful but would like to be more so.

So what does it mean to you to be a successful translator, whether or not that describes you?

Let’s see how many different answers we can come up with. Money will be one of course, but far from the only one.

Read what the facebook group believed meant success


So far in this mini-series, we’ve been talking about success, and it’s heartening that the vast majority of the people who’ve taken the time to comment think that they’re at the very least on the way there, if not already there.

So here’s today’s question. Is success, like “luck”, something you’re more or less born with, or can you learn it, by picking up ideas from other people?

And a bonus question: who on your professional journey has been the most influential in guiding you towards success? Who have been your mentors?

Read what the facebook group commented about "luck", picking up ideas and mentors on the journey


So for the final post in this brief mini-series on success, I’ll share just a small selection of bullet points that inform what I think about success:

  • I don’t believe in luck as a major determinant of success.
  • It’s a mixture of skills, techniques, strategies, ideas and mindset.
  • Success can be learned.
  • Hard work is only one part of it.
  • Being a good translator is not enough.
  • Mental and physical wellbeing are both essential to success.
  • Who you hang out with professionally is crucial.
  • There’s no such thing as overnight success.
  • We can be our own worst enemies.
  • Success in external terms that ends up with you feeling miserable is not success.


Feel free to agree or disagree with any of these, comment below and read whether the facebook group agreed 

Now that you've been thinking about success, below is a special announcement video from training 


Are you ready for success? Join the eLearning course "10 Steps to Success" with Andrew Morris to develop the skills you need to succeed as a freelance translator or interpreter.

This course is for any translator at any level who wants to up their game and get more out of their job/life/themselves. It takes a novel angle on what you need to "succeed" (however you define that), involving not only quality and strategies, but mindset and much more besides. A chance to reset the way you approach your work, and then sit back and enjoy the results.



Mike Donlin

Written by Mike Donlin

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