This is an interview-style post with Mahesh Kumar.
Hey Mahesh. What do you do?
I’m the Spokesperson of the Transcription Certification Institute, an Ellensburg-WA based educational institution that provides an in-depth online transcription training and certification course.
The online course, which is created by industry leaders, enables transcriptionists to gain a well-rounded understanding of the field and become a professional transcriptionist for better job prospects and higher wages.
How did you start your career?
I’ve started my career as a home-based transcriptionist and have experience of 8+ years in transcription industry. I’m currently on a mission to help work from home moms and make them aware of one of the straightforward and lucrative way of earning money from home, i.e., transcription.
I love writing and so I regularly share my words through my blog. At present, I am working as the spokesperson of Transcription Certification Institute.
What inspired your journey?
I was not cut out for regular jobs because of health and family issues. But, I wanted to earn decent money.
Most work from home jobs required me to be online during fixed hours. That did not work for me.
A friend referred me to a copywriter who needed transcription services in an extended time frame. This was my first assignment and exposure to the industry. I had issues with grammar and lots of difficulty in understanding accents. My transcriptionist friend gave me the very first lesson in punctuation. It was a great lesson.
That was the aha moment!
I wanted to share it online with all other new transcriptionists. My expertise in transcription was still limited but my interaction with other transcriptionists. And other work from home professionals found that there was no organized information in this industry.
That’s when with the help of the team we created an ebook as would serve as a handbook to transcriptionists. It was called ‘Everything You Need To Know About Work From Home: General Transcription Business Opportunities.’ It’s available on our website for free.
What is the transcription business about?
It’s a dream that allows parents, caregivers and those with disabilities to stay at home and earn.
We call ourselves Team TCI. None of us has complete skills but together we have made a dream into a business that is sustainable, profitable and manages to help others earn more.
We like to think of ourselves as not just one single successful business owner but a team of accomplished transcriptionists and hedonists who have come together to share their expertise on a platform that is globally accessible to all.
Our objective is to make you a better transcriber so that you can earn more at the same time.
Through our internship program, we ensure that new wannabe transcribers get a foothold in the industry. Our job board aims to bring transcribers and employers together on one platform to make hiring and finding jobs easier.
We are 9+ years old but the journey has only just begun.
What were your biggest challenges when setting up the institute?
Together, we had 2,459 dollars to spare! This was just enough to put up a website and host it for a year.
We had no budget, no marketing plan and no strategy.
More than the money we invested our skills, time and above all intent. When we launched, making money was not the objective. The objective was to share information, educate and in the process recover the costs.
We were totally bootstrapped. In fact, we all transcribed extra hours to generate money.
Each year we invested the money earned in the course, it’s upgrade, website upgrade and more. All exams are manually graded and that is expensive.
What do you offer on the website and who can benefit from it?
We offer a course in general transcription.
Our course is for anyone who wants to work from the comfort of their home, enjoy flexible timings and the ability to choose workload. The course is very popular with parents of young children who want to be around when they grow up, ex-serviceman with disabilities, single moms and others who want to work from home.
Some would say that there is nothing to be learned in general transcription but that would not be true. I did start out without training and if it not had been for the help I received my career would not have been successful.
In fact, as the popularity of transcription as a career option grows getting a foothold in the industry is becoming tough. That is why we came up with an internship program that gives hand on experience to new transcriptionists and exposure to the industry.
The job board benefits them by bringing employers and transcriptionists on the same platform.
What’s one thing you do to unwind?
We were introduced to meditation a few years back and to unwind we like to meditate.
What’s your favorite book?
It keeps on changing but time and again for inspiration, I find myself reaching out to The Alchemist by Paul Coelho. Never stop dreaming! Give context to your dreams!