Today marks the beginning of the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament or simply “the World Cup.” The world is paralyzed. There is a vibrant energy in the air. The TVs are on transmitting the games. Everybody is talking about it. It’s time for a soccer party.

For the very first time, the African continent is hosting this remarkable event that makes most nations in the world think just about soccer. For one entire month, the World Cup will be the most popular discussion topic in the conversation of the citizens of the world.

What makes this game so fascinating is that the 11 players of each team are continuously running to reach the opponent team’s goal post. It’s a game in which each team aims to shoot the most goals.  What most amazes me is to see what soccer players and true professional translators have in common: the Passion.

It’s all about passion…and more

Soccer and translation are both all about passion. Passion is that driving force that makes us get up at 3 a.m. without hesitation. Passion is what keeps us going during hard times, what boosts our energy when we face obstacles. Passion is about staying until late at night to complete a translation project for a client. Passion is about continually learning and becoming more experienced in the “translation business game.” Passion is what makes us continue trying without giving up or giving in. Passion is what brought us to becoming a professional translator. We just love it!

During my 20 years in the translation industry, I have always admired the pride that professional translators have in their profession.  True translators have a deep passion for their work. For true professional translators, converting one language into another one goes beyond the simple words. It involves much more than being bilingual or knowing the rules, grammar and nuances of the source and target languages. It’s a composition that transcends to “art.” But to be successful in our profession, we need to learn how to strategize and learn the rules of “the translation business game” in this fierce competitive field. We need to learn how we can play more effectively, focused and skilled, putting into practice business skills and marketing strategies for visibility and credibility that help us to attract good clients.

Becoming an advanced player

In order to become an advanced player in the translation business game, you need to identify your goals, strategy, mission and vision—what makes you unique and outstanding. Playing the translation business game is more than just loving your beautiful art. Learn from your team colleagues and your opponents. What are they doing and what can you do differently to surpass them?

You already have the passion. Now find the right direction for your business, determine in what playing fields you want to play, use a winning strategy, and always, always, always keep your goals in perspective. Do that and you soon will be as successful in your industry as Pele, Maradona, Beckham, and Ronaldo are in theirs. Time for the game!