Entrepreneurship

Your Voice; Keeping it Healthy

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If you work as an Interpreter, Dispatcher or even in a call center, your job depends on your “voice”, and you are considered an occupational voice user.
Meaning, you are “The Voice” and that is your tool and the most valuable tool you have in order to convey and get your job done.
So, whether your an Interpreter, Conference Interpreter, Dispatcher, or work in a call center, or as a scheduler, your voice is your only link with the customer, correct?
So, it’s important that you take care of your voice and that you maintain a healthy voice in order to get the job done.

Because just as neat professional attire is essential for face-to-face interactions, having a clear voice is essential for your day-to-day business operations.
A hoarse voice from an Interpreter, or call center agent (CCA), dispatcher carries the same negative impression as a worn-out outfit and can detract from building credibility and or doing your job the right way, do you agree?

 

Little Story: A few years back I was doing a Conference appointment for the State, I actually had a team interpreter (who was sick) and was coughing up a storm.  Having a sick interpreter onsite who’s unable to do his/her job (use their voice to speak) not only did it affect the overall assignment, but it was a major distraction and also put on more stress on me, because I had to complete the job myself because my partner was sick with laryngitis.

 

So a healthy voice is crucial, but because you are constantly talking and using your voice to do your job and if you don’t take care of your voice, you are at risk for damaging your voice and developing hoarseness.

 

A 2002 study on voice problems among CCAs reported voice problems in 31 percent of CCAs, with several negative outcomes, including:

  • Increased sick days
  • Fewer calls per hour
  • More breaks away from the phone
  • Needing to repeat themselves
  • Needing to force the voice out

Overall, Interpreters, Dispatchers, CCAs with voice problems are bad not only for the CCAs, Interpreters, Dispatchers, Schedulers, and those who use their Voice to work but at the end of the day it’s bad for business.

I’ve learned from some Voice experts who now think that voice problem is a form of repetitive motion injury because the vocal cords are being injured by overuse, similar to the way data entry personnel may develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

Did you know that when we talk, the vocal cords vibrate about 200 times a second for women and about half that for men? That can add up to more than a million cycles of vibration during a workday at a call center causing vocal injury this is also true for singers, interpreters, dispatchers, call centers, etc.

 

As a professional conference interpreter who’s constantly working and who uses her voice to work, it is so important to take care of your voice!

True Story: About 4 years ago (I was a major workaholic) 🤔😊working all day, every day and would not take breaks in between and didn’t like working with other colleagues (I had bad experiences with other agency interpreters), so I was working for a whole straight month non-stop during the winter months and around November while working at a conference my Voice literally starting squeaking, I could NOT Speak, my voice started sounding horsy like, my chest started to hurt, my throat was just feeling horrible, I started to sweat, got dizzy and literally passed out! Apparently, I had walking pneumonia and laryngitis and was in the hospital! I failed to listen to my body, I was just so excited about the work, I love what I do and was just “Go-go-go” non-stop that my body finally gave out in the middle of an assignment!  This little scenario ended up costing me months being out of work until I was able to get my Voice back and recuperate from this horrible experience!

So yes, dear interpreters, dispatchers, CCAs, Schedulers and all of you who use your work to fulfill your responsibilities TAKE CARE OF YOUR “VOICE”!

Here are some recommendations and things that I do and have done so since this episode.

Posture

Taking frequent breaks and being able to move around is so important because it reduces the tension in your body and will prevent you from having other joint/muscle problems.

Breaks

Taking frequent breaks will give your voice muscle a rest, so try to rest your voice – meaning no talking, or drinking cold drinks.

Voice Pacing

Voice scientists advise those who use their Voice to work “to think of voice pacing on three levels:

  • Breaks within phone calls
  • Breaks between phone calls during the workday
  • Breaks between workdays”

Tips

Besides posture, breaks, and vocal pacing, you must also practice good voice hygiene. These tips have helped me keep the throat moist and free from irritation so that my vocal cords are less likely to be injured:

  • Drinking lots of (room temperature) water (or non-caffeinated liquid) during the day.
  • Keep water with you at all times.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are drying to the throat.
  • Avoid excess coughing and throat clearing.
  • Don’t smoke! Smoking causes irritation and can lead to cancer and other health-related problems.
  • Don’t work if you have a hoarse voice due to a cold or upper respiratory infection.
  • Seek medical attention to manage any medical conditions that can cause throat irritation including acid reflux, postnasal drainage, allergies, asthma, and endocrine conditions, etc.
  • Avoid dry interior climates
  • Avoid high-risk areas they are known to cause damage to your voice.
  • Eat good and moist meals and avoid spicy foods, they cause acid reflux or GERD
  • Use a humidifier in your room or home, especially in dry climates.
  • Avoid mouthwash (it contains alcohol), if you need to gargle use lukewarm saltwater
  • Take vitamins or eat fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins, A, E, and C
  • Drink lemon tea with honey (instead of  coffee)
  • I made my own paste that I add to my teas and helps with phlegm and it also has helped me from getting sick; it includes:
    • Ginger
    • Honey
    • Coconut oil
    • Pepper, etc…I will include the paste recipe in my next food meal article.

Get Help Early; Listen to Your Body

Seek medical attention early don’t wait until you have lost your voice to seek medical help.

Pay attention to the signs that your voice is getting tired such as– dry throat, raw or tired feeling in the throat, increased mucus in the throat, feeling like talking takes more effort, feeling throat strain — in addition to a raspy or hoarse voice.NIDCD-TakingCareOfYourVoice-Figure1

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Entrepreneurship

Biz Start Up Tips

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Get your Biz Start-Up Tips…

As the end of the year is coming I want to share a bit more about Who I Am, What I Do and What I Provide and to share My Love and Passion for both Interpreting and Entrepreneurship.

So let me ask you; do you have a Special Skill?

Do you have a Product or maybe a Service that you want to share with the world? or;

Maybe you are Bilingual and want to Start Your Own Business?

So, if you answered yes to all of the above, let me ask you one more question; How would you like to use those “special skills, products and/or services” to create additional income and start your own business?

So many of you who already know me know that I’ve been on both sides of the aisle.  I started off as a freelancer working with agencies (and still work) with a couple of agencies. After a few months working as a freelancer and seeing the do’s and don’ts and the “Good, Bad and Evil”, I decided I no longer wanted to continue to work as a Freelancer and working for “pennies on the dollar” and personally I didn’t like the process and demands of agencies especially since I was a “Freelancer / Independent Contractor” and NOT an Employee.  Therefore, I decided to venture off on my own.

So as an Entrepreneur and Former CEO who’s been on both sides of the aisles and someone who started and built her business on her own, here are a few tips to get you started, learn from the voice of experience, learn from someone who started and built her business from the “ground up”.

Yes! I started my Biz 18+ years ago helping businesses tap into the Hispanic Market. I helped businesses “Break the Language Barrier in Communication”.

I built my business from the ground up, yes literally from the ground up…I built a team of 10 staff employees and a cadre of over 2,500 freelance interpreters and offered services in over 150 languages around the world. I built my services around my clients’ needs; Interpreting, Translation, OPI, Transcriptions, and Coaching…I had contracts with the State, County, City, Federal, Hospitals, Insurance, Law Firms, Nonprofits and so many more…and I can help you too!

But, in order to make my business work and grow I had to make sure I was ONLY contracting and training the best of the best; therefore I was able to help and continue to help “Bilingual Individuals” and those with “Specials Skills, Products and Services” Start their Own Business and I can help you too!

So here is what you need to know if you decide you want to venture out on your own…You need the “Basics”

Resume

Business Plan

Strategic Plan

Training

Experience (gain experience as a volunteer)

Affiliations or Organizations

Terminology

Now, these are some basics to learn and know if you decide to start.  You can also join my list and get your Freebies and learn more about my Training and Coaching.

#BossUpandRise and become the #CEOHustler you always dreamed of!

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Interpreter Training

Start Your Interpreting Career: Inside Secrets from Freelancer to CEO

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Let's get this Hustlin started

By Faviola Valencia, the CEO Hustler

Are you bilingual and want to start a career as a professional interpreter?

Want to learn the ins/outs of this billion dollar industry?

Do you want to learn what it takes to start your career?

Do you want to start your own business?

So, are you ready to start your career and take it to the next level?

“Speaking a Second Language DOES NOT make you an Interpreter, any more than having ten fingers makes you a pianist

Want to Learn what you need and what it takes to Start a Career as a Professional Interpreter?

 

Are you bilingual and love helping others and love to travel?  Then this might be the career for you!

 

Watch this FREE training and find out if this is the right training for you and if I’m the right Coach and Trainer for you…

 

This video will answer your questions…i.e, if this training is for you, if you have what it takes to start your Interpreting journey!

 

Send your questions directly to faviolatheinterpreter@gmail.com 

Watch & Learn if this is the right career for you, Get Trained!

Watch it for free . No registration needed. 

If you or anyone you know is interested in starting a career as an interpreter, or if your an interpreter who is “stuck” and doesn’t know how to increase their business, then contact me and start your Career today!

 

Don’t wait, start making what you WORTH!

 

Join today and SAVE TODAY!

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Entrepreneurship

Your Website is Your Business (Make it Count)

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Build your Webiste

Your Website is Your Business (Make it Count)

Today’s digital world means people’s first impression of your business likely comes from a screen. Your website is one of the biggest influencing factors that determine whether potential customers become clients or keep clicking. Read on for insights on how to make your site stand out and serve both you and your customers.

Content matters

No matter how visually-pleasing your website is, no amount of design can compensate for bad (or missing) content. The articles, blogs, videos, and images on your website should serve a purpose other than selling your services. Your customers want certain questions answered. Always list your hours of operation, contact information, and answers to commonly-asked-questions about your business. Providing your customers with relevant and useful content will keep their interest. Content, such as white papers, eBooks, and DIY videos, are excellent ways to draw clients in and may be offered for free (on top of your other content) in exchange for an email address. This will help you build your contact list while giving your customers something of value as a reward for their loyalty. A word of caution here: only email customers when you have something to say they will want to hear.

Sluggish websites get skipped

Your customer’s user experience doesn’t begin until they reach your site. And research suggests that nearly half of all searchers move on after just a few seconds if their content hasn’t loaded. You can speed up your site in a number of ways, including choosing a server appropriate for your content and using images sized and formatted correctly for display. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool can analyze your site and provide further suggestions.

Small business, big presence

You don’t have to have a billion dollar budget to optimize your presence online. Many small home-based businesses look much larger (and more professional) than they really are all because of their website. If you can’t afford to pay for web design services, you can still get your site up and running using GoDaddy’s drag and drop Website Builder. For less than $400 per year, you can create your own website with built-in security and mobile shopping capabilities. Your web presence doesn’t stop with your domain either. Utilize free social media tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to grab user attention and direct them to your business. Social Media Today’s Andrew Hutchinson offers a number of great tips on how to write an effective tweet in this post. Take steps to ensure your branding — logo, color scheme, business name, etc. — remains the same across all platforms.

Maps and apps

Make yourself easy to find by utilizing free apps for your site. For instance, your address should link your users directly to the Google Maps feature on their phone’s GPS. You should also enable one-click calling and link directly to your full site.

The workhorse of the web

Put your website to work for you by integrating it into your small business accounting and workflow software. QuickBooks, for instance, offers the option of syncing your website to your accounting. This will eliminate the time of having to do it yourself and improve your overall productivity. Depending on your business type, there are also a number of specialized workflow programs that allow orders from your site to go directly into production.

Remember, people are impatient and want a site that works without delays. People want relevant content and the ability to reach out without jumping through hoops. So, design your site with your customers in mind, and you’ll make your home-based business look and feel like a Fortune 500 without spending a fortune.

Need more tips on how to run a home business? Check out the Small Business Administration at SBA.gov and this article by Redfin for practical advice on everything from office design to achieving the ever-elusive work/life balance.

Your Website is Your Business (Make it Count)

Today’s digital world means people’s first impression of your business likely comes from a screen. Your website is one of the biggest influencing factors that determine whether potential customers become clients or keep clicking. Read on for insights on how to make your site stand out and serve both you and your customers.

Content matters

No matter how visually-pleasing your website is, no amount of design can compensate for bad (or missing) content. The articles, blogs, videos, and images on your website should serve a purpose other than selling your services. Your customers want certain questions answered. Always list your hours of operation, contact information, and answers to commonly-asked-questions about your business. Providing your customers with relevant and useful content will keep their interest. Content, such as white papers, eBooks, and DIY videos, are excellent ways to draw clients in and may be offered for free (on top of your other content) in exchange for an email address. This will help you build your contact list while giving your customers something of value as a reward for their loyalty. A word of caution here: only email customers when you have something to say they will want to hear.

Sluggish websites get skipped

Your customer’s user experience doesn’t begin until they reach your site. And research suggests that nearly half of all searchers move on after just a few seconds if their content hasn’t loaded. You can speed up your site in a number of ways, including choosing a server appropriate for your content and using images sized and formatted correctly for display. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool can analyze your site and provide further suggestions.

Small business, big presence

You don’t have to have a billion dollar budget to optimize your presence online. Many small home-based businesses look much larger (and more professional) than they really are all because of their website. If you can’t afford to pay for web design services, you can still get your site up and running using GoDaddy’s drag and drop Website Builder. For less than $400 per year, you can create your own website with built-in security and mobile shopping capabilities. Your web presence doesn’t stop with your domain either. Utilize free social media tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to grab user attention and direct them to your business. Social Media Today’s Andrew Hutchinson offers a number of great tips on how to write an effective tweet in this post. Take steps to ensure your branding — logo, color scheme, business name, etc. — remains the same across all platforms.

Maps and apps

Make yourself easy to find by utilizing free apps for your site. For instance, your address should link your users directly to the Google Maps feature on their phone’s GPS. You should also enable one-click calling and link directly to your full site.

Workhorse of the web

Put your website to work for you by integrating it into your small business accounting and workflow software. QuickBooks, for instance, offers the option of syncing your website to your accounting. This will eliminate the time of having to do it yourself and improve your overall productivity. Depending on your business type, there are also a number of specialized workflow programs that allow orders from your site to go directly into production.

Remember, people are impatient and want a site that works without delays. People want relevant content and the ability to reach out without jumping through hoops. So, design your site with your customers in mind, and you’ll make your home-based business look and feel like a Fortune 500 without spending a fortune.

Need more tips on how to run a home business? Check out the Small Business Administration at SBA.gov and this article by Redfin for practical advice on everything from office design to achieving the ever-elusive work/life balance.

Burges

Image via Pixabay

Article provided by: Dean Burgess

Excitepreneur.net | dean@excitepreneur.net  

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Entrepreneurship

What is the difference between Certified and Qualified Interpreter?

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What is the difference between certified and qualified?

understand that many businesses and corporations that require interpreting and translating services are not aware of specific qualification requirements or contracting laws; there are many interpreting agencies that do not follow strict guidelines in providing professional and proficient services.

A report done by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics for 2008-2009 (old report) found that 22 percent of interpreters and translators are self-employed.

If that is true, are agencies requiring them to verify a business license, qualifications, and certifications?

I would like to explain a few things about this particular industry in order to help potential clients make the right choice in choosing an interpreting services company.

What is the difference between certified and qualified Interpreter?

When I was operating as an Agency I had established a contract, with characterization for these terms that correlate directly with a definition given by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Certified interpreter is a person who has passed the California Court Interpreter Certification Examination and who have fulfilled the corresponding Judicial Council requirements are referred to as certified interpreters. The state personnel board also provides a certification test for medical and administrative hearing interpreters for California. Qualified interpreter is a person who is not a certified interpreter and who speaks the language to be translated into English fluently and who speaks English fluently and that poses a minimum of 2 years of interpreting experience.”

Interpreting and Translation
Business Coach

Different rates are established by the court system and interpreters themselves based on their experience and the number of years they have been in the industry.

Unfortunately, many interpreters will increase their rates based on a fellow interpreters increase. Businesses must recognize rates should be based on NOT ONLY certification, qualifications, experience, type of appointment and also whether or not the client requires a certified interpreter vs. a qualified interpreter.

In most cases a certified interpreter is not required; therefore businesses should NOT have to pay a certified rate.  More importantly, businesses need to realize that many “Certified” interpreters are NOT DEEM QUALIFIED for all Venues.  Note: I’m NOT YET CERTIFIED, yet I’ve had to replace many “certified interpreters” that have been excused from their assignments due to the “Lack of Experience, Qualifications with the terminology”…

I have over 17+ years of Professional experience in a variety of venues – from Legal to Environmental, Political, Medical, etc…

I also have experience in both Consecutive and Simultaneous mode of Interpretation vs. many interpreters who ONLY have experience in one or the other.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics wrote: There is currently no universal form of certification required of interpreters and translators in the United States.Although different states have implemented oral and written tests to verify capabilities, there are still many interpreters that base their experience and qualifications from translating for family members and having grown up in a bilingual household.

I would also like to point out that the term “certified” can be misused by the interpreters and many will claim they are certified to gain a higher rate of pay or more assignments.

Believe it or NOT! When I used to search for their information in the databases to verify certification, sometimes I was unable to locate their name(s) on the Judicial Council websites.  Note: There is a list available to the public with the names of persons who are deceased, retired, or de-certified – no longer certified to interpret in the court systems.

Often times interpreters will continue to claim they are certified to maintain a high pay rate or to get more assignments and agencies are unaware that they are using an interpreter who claimed to be “Certified” when indeed they were either no longer certified, de-certified, or ONLY have a Certificate, etc.
As the industry continues to grow with the diversity of our nation, so do the problems, processes, and procedures when it comes to the contracting and hiring of interpreters.  Therefore, I had to implement a strict screening process for interpreters and translators that pushed this industry into level professionalism that it deserved.

A teacher within their first year of teaching does not have the same experience or rate of pay as a tenured instructor; the same should be established for interpreters and translators.

Now on another note, if there are counties that require a business license for independent contractors then it should be implemented and not overlooked by agencies, businesses, doctors, lawyers, etc. – Why? Because just like employees, there is more and more “Independent Contract Interpreter both Certified and Qualified”, claiming to be Employees of the agency or the contracting party, meaning that more and more Law Suit abuse is occurring within this industry. That is why setting standards is very important to our agency, although management takes high measures in implementing these steps “employees” will not always adhere, causing problems for the agency.

We try our best to be an agency – who will NOT overlook requirements just to attain an interpreter for an assignment, or just to cover an assignment. We go the extra mile to ensure that our clients receive what they deserve.

If you are looking for a Qualified, Professional, Experienced Interpreter / Translator for any of your events, documents, or venues – please don’t hesitate in contacting me

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Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneur Coaching

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Become your own boss

 

Looking to START YOUR OWN BUSINESS? If so, what’s holding you back?

STOP THINKING and START DOING!

BEGINNING

Put all those handwritten ideas and visions to work! Elite Services 4 You has spent decades researching, training, developing tools and strategies to help you create a solid business plan and the real-life experience to execute your plan flawlessly. I’ve been where you’ve been and have seen all the opportunities on the other side and have had the opportunity to work in a variety of industries to ensure you have all your bases covered from start to finish!

My passion is coaching, training, and languages – what’s your passion?

READY FOR TAKEOFF

So, you are officially in business, and it’s all uphill from here, right? Not exactly. Unfortunately, business owners run into various challenges along the way. Despite these challenges, the ultimate goal is for businesses to run an efficiently profitable business without losing the passion along the way.

With my coaching experience in operations, team-building, business start-up, contracting, managing, you will overcome even the most difficult obstacles. I strongly believe that with my experience I will help you get the best handle on your business day in, day out.

GROW YOUR BUSINESS

Lean on my business expert advice and work directly with me to develop a strategy to gain new business while maximizing the growth of your business. I will fine tune your operations, marketing, sales approach and strategy to help you improve your bottom line and before you know it, you will turn your passion into your life’s greatest work!

Do What You Love, each and every day!

motivational business quotes
Thrive for Business!

Sell Online:

Shopify

Amazon

Health and Fitness Coach

Become an Interpreter or Entrepreneur

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