Do you know what a digital nomad is? If you’ve seen pics of someone working on a laptop by a pool in Bali, you probably have come across it.
A digital nomad is someone who travels and works from anywhere in the world. They’re not location dependant for work. While many are freelancers who work for themselves, many also work remotely for companies.
After living in Belgium and working a high-stress job in IT that didn’t truly fulfill her, Bori Hoffbauer realized that it was time to focus on what she felt truly passionate about. That journey led her to proofreading and editing, and in this interview, Bori shares how she reached her decision to pursue editing, and how being a non-native English speaker and editor is her superpower.
Bori is currently living in Hungary, where she’s originally from, and where she runs her editorial business. Keep reading below to get a peek at what her average day is like!
Please give us a little background info on yourself. What did you do before becoming a proofreader and copy editor?
After having spent 15+ years in the corporate world in various positions and a short stint at a start-up, none of which ever felt a perfect fit, I came to realize that playing the 9 to 5 game as an employee, despite its obvious advantages, is just not for me. I craved the flexibility and freedom of a freelancer, and wanted to be my own boss. So I gave up my steady paycheck and took a leap of faith to start my own business and become a full-time proofreader and copy editor.
What is it about the digital nomad life that appeals to you?
I love travelling. I’m curious to explore foreign countries, cultures and languages, and to meet new people. I’m currently still single, and have no kids, so I made a promise to myself to use this independence and freedom while I still can, and travel the world. Eventually I want to settle again, but I don’t know yet where — first I need to check out some potential destinations! I might still move around every few years or so, we’ll see what the future brings.
I have travelled mostly only in Europe so far, with one exception, India, so there’s plenty to see. My plan is to set out to Southeast Asia, visiting Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and wherever else the road takes me. No firm itinerary yet. The year after, I’d love to travel through the Americas, from South to North. I will make sure to let you know when I make it to Canada!
What made you decide to take the leap and get into proofreading and copyediting?
I came across an online coaching program that helped me take a good, hard look at myself and my life; reassessing my talents, skills and abilities, my values and my passions, and find the type of job that would fit my personality and my desired lifestyle.
This self-discovery journey took me back to my roots and my love for reading and the English language, and I realized how those two had always played central roles in my life, ever since I was a little girl who’d just learned the alphabet. So by the time I finished this project, proofreading/editing stood at the top of my list of potential career choices.
Can you tell us about your editorial business and what you focus on?
As a non-native English speaker I know how hard it can be to communicate your message clearly in a language that is not your mother tongue. So the mission of Bori Hoffbauer Editorial is to assist copywriters whose first language is not English.
I’m offering proofreading and copyediting services to bloggers, other online content creators, self-published authors and fellow entrepreneurs who want their message or story to be refined into a flawless experience and to increase its potential to reach a wider audience.
What do you love about being a proofreader and editor?
First of all, I love the flexibility and freedom it gives me. It also allows me to travel because it’s a job that requires only a laptop and internet connection, which makes it almost completely location independent.
This is mainly the reason for establishing my company in Estonia because their e-residency program is ideal for digital nomads. A third big bonus is the variety of written content it introduces me to.
For someone who is naturally curious, it’s like lifelong access to a candy shop of information. I may not like everything I taste, but at least I get to try them!
If you want to learn how YOU can take your love of words and make money from it, I have a FREE masterclass on proofreading, copyediting, and marketing.
Can you give us a quick overview of what your average day is like?
I don’t think there is such a thing anymore in my life as an average day, haha! But ok, if I had to paint a picture, then, in very broad strokes, it would look something like this:
I’m single and have no kids yet so I don’t rise early unless I really must. During these summer days, I get up around 8 am and check my emails and messages in order to set up or adjust my to-do list for the day, while sipping a big cup of coffee.
Then I dedicate 30 – 60 mins before breakfast to some sort of exercise such as yoga, pilates or cycling because physical activity fuels my mental productivity. Around 11 am I sit down to work on projects until my stomach signals lunch break, usually around 2 pm. If I have any errands to run or housework to do, I prefer to take care of those in the early afternoon so that by 4 – 5 pm I’m back to work again.
I consider the workday to be over by 8 pm, and unless there’s any urgent work to finish that would keep me in front of my computer, I stretch out on the couch to read for my own enjoyment or to watch telly, or I go out with friends. Dinner is optional in either case. I go to bed around midnight, depending on the evening program.
How soon after completing your training in High-Level Proofreading Pro did you land your first client or project?
It took a few months to get there, but that was entirely due to my circumstances, not because the course didn’t prepare me well enough. Not only was I changing careers, I was about to give up almost every aspect of my life and start with a clean slate. Lots of questions had to be asked and answered, action plans created and followed through, and only after all that could I even find time to search for work.
Do you have any advice for people who are thinking of becoming proofreaders and copy editors?
Be honest with yourself and make sure that you not only CAN but WANT to do this. If your heart is not in it, then you may quickly get bored. Either you want to do it as a side hustle or as a full-time job, it’s important that you know WHY you want to proofread and edit, and I don’t mean the obvious “to make money” answer. Try to define a higher purpose that would keep you on track.
Would you recommend High-Level Proofreading Pro to anyone interested in pursuing proofreading and copyediting?
Definitely. In my opinion, your course covers all the important aspects and skills a proofreader and copy editor needs, in a clear and concise manner. Most importantly, it provides the guidelines on how to start a business on our own, which are simply invaluable.
But what made it truly special for me is your personal involvement, Phon, in the progress of your students, all the encouragement I have received from you, and that you have been there at every step of the way.
About Bori Hoffbauer
I’m Bori Hoffbauer, a digital nomad currently living in Hungary. I’m a proofreader, copy editor, and editor. I’m a freelance editor for a professional writing services firm, and I also work with bloggers, self-published authors, and entrepreneurs. I love coffee, books, travelling, and cooking. You can learn more about me and my services at my site, borihoffbauer.com.