I’ve already told my story from several perspectives, such as in My Life in Prague, so I’ll focus this one on the translation end of it.
Born in Prague, escaped with parents at the age of three from the Communist invasion, grew up in Canada, came back one year after the fall of Communism and the year I had graduated from university in Canada.
I had spoken broken Czech with my parents while growing up, so when I arrived back in Prague it took me a few days to train myself not to use any of the English words I was so used to peppering into the language I spoke with my parents.
I was so impressed by everything. Although the city and countryside were rather delapitated following decades of Communist repression, the people were enthusiastic and hopeful for the better.
I went back to Canada, put in a record grueling 8 months of treeplanting, saved up lots of money, built up $15,000 in available credit on four cards, and back I was with Midas touch notions, searching for that entrepreneurial pot of gold.
After my modeling agency and waterbed emporium failed (yes, I did actually combine the two occasionally), someone suggested I try translation.
After a year of pounding at that, using my free time to keep working on my waterbed business (the modelling agency was too time consuming and with too low returns), I decided I should expand into a translation agency.
After about three years of that I tried to expand my client base by hiring a Ukrainian to manually compile a list of emails of as many translation agencies as he could.
After a few years I decided I could offer this email list to other translators (hence this website and service).
Prague was fascinating the first eight years of my stay there, watching the slow transition from a repressed, grey landscape to an increasing hub of free enterprise activity.
But with such progress, I found things were becoming less interesting. Gone were the days when you could walk into almost any pub, drink a pint of beer for a quarter and listen to the locals play local music unplugged, as they did under Communism as a means of escaping the dull and dreary.
My travel bug came back to haunt me and I began to meditate on the possibility of taking my online job anywhere, including my translation agency.
However, after five glorious years of that I decided Europe was just too cold for me, so I set my sites on South East Asia.
Long story short, I fell in love with the Philippines, fell in love with a Filipina, and now we manage a boat tours business in what I consider the most beautiful part of the world I have ever seen. Coming from someone who has traveled to more than 50 countries while continuing with my translation income, that’s saying something.
I still take on some translation work, for reminiscing’s sake and also to hold onto our last, precious customer, but most of our income is now in other areas. My wife is a nurse so she helps me with these medical translations. I also hold onto our precious customer because they basically saved our lives, since the C0v1d nonsense shut down our tourism business, like it did to so many other small and medium sized businesses.
Because I was still receiving requests for this email blast service, in April of 2023 I decided to revive it. Considering the crazy events the last two years, income diversification seems always a good idea, and I enjoy helping translators get their foot into the game and, by doing so, keep my toe in the game myself. After all, it has become a big part of my life.
What concerns my translation agency, that is dormant at the moment, but is available if anyone wants to take the helm. Over the years I have learned to code and write accounting software, and have managed some pretty massive projects for very large companies. Automating many tasks, sometimes employing hundreds of translators, project managers and vettors from all corners of the planet who would log into my self-designed online system of translation project management.
But overall, I found the work overly technical and preferred to focus my attention on other areas.