Member of the Month Interview with Michelle Hill of Winning Proof
Our February Member of the Month is Michelle Hill, a veteran “Word Polisher” and owner of Winning Proof. Her website and blog reveal a deep interest in sports, and a warm, personal approach to editing. The client testimonials she shares on the website bear witness to her dedication and commitment to excellent customer service.
Q- Please share a little of your professional history with our readers.
I’ve been proofreading and copyediting for about 20 years now. I’ve done brochures, direct sales letters, teacher’s testing manuals, obituaries, e-newsletters, e-books, anywhere there’s bound to be typos and the need for word polishing. That’s who I am – I am a Word Polisher.
Q- How and when did you make this business a reality?
July 2008 officially. The how is simple – godaddy.com for a domain name, my local city government for a home-based business license, and some business cards and brochures.
Q- What are the most important lessons you’ve learned thus far in your career?
1. Don’t stay isolated – PLAN for a walk, lunch with a friend, make calls to uplifting friends who you can motivate and visa versa, join a networking group. It’s only a lonely journey by choice.
2. Know who to go to and who NOT to go to for emotional support. I recently wrote a short blog about this subject on my page of the NAIWE website.
3. Stay balanced in my work, play, and personal time. I love what I’m doing so I can get consumed in building my business to the exclusion of a social life or other functions.
Q- Are you working on any personal writing projects at this time?
I’m always working on and perfecting my business plan. I’m also working on a little inspiration/devotion type booklet called “Bathroom Prayers.” It will be comprised of short, uplifting prose or a saying for the day, which can be read standing up or sitting down, whatever the occasion calls for.
Q- What are some of the teachers, authors, and books that have influenced your professional life in a positive way?
The best business book I’ve read is The E-Myth Re-Visited by Michael Gerber. Making A Living Without A Job by Barbara Winter, and Stop Wishing and Start Earning by Ed Gandia. I read these authors’ books repeatedly.
Q- As a seasoned professional, what advice would you offer an independent writer or editor who is just beginning a career?
Research and study the competition, join trade organizations for support, engage in social networking with the top three like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Q- What inspires you?
Motivational “for the soul” books like Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneurial Soul and Chicken Soup for the Writers Soul. The Right Words at the Right Time books by Marlo Thomas. A walk at Huntington Beach Pier; hearing and seeing the waves are highly inspirational to my soul. On a personal note, my two grandchildren inspire me because their youthful vibrancy presents fresh perspectives and energy and tender hearts.
Q- What are your goals as a writer/editor?
I’d like to prove myself as an expert in the fitness field by writing White Papers and articles. I’d also like to write and self-publish short how-to e-books about staying motivated and inspired as a solopreneur writer.