June Featured Community Member: Aaron Pelot

Featured Community Member, June 2022

The LenovoPRO Community is pleased to spotlight Aaron Pelot, owner of Peloglot LLC as June's featured member. Aaron is a kindly wealth of keen intellect who's contributed above and beyond to this community. Aaron has made very timely, insightful and numerous contributions to many folks here, present company included. 

Read on to see why we are so thankful to have the skilled, kind and talented Aaron Pelot in the LenovoPRO Community. 

About Aaron & Peloglot LLC

I started out as a Japanese legal translator quite by accident, mostly because of an annoying Craigslist ad that kept popping up during my first job search. I wasn’t really finding many leads elsewhere, and the post looked semi-legitimate, so I clicked and found myself in a place which was a perfect yet unexpected fit for my skills and interests. So, someone in marketing at that law firm was doing their job right!

From that point on, I focused primarily on Japanese-English translation as a contract professional in legal and other industries. Over the years, proofreading, editing and language education elements have come and gone in that scope, but the legal translation has really been the main thing. Now that I have 10+ years’ experience as a professional in a variety of settings (automotive, electronics, big tech, nonprofits, etc.), I thought about revisiting the concept for my own translation and language consulting business, Peloglot LLC, and seeing what I could do with it.

One thing that has really been driven home over the past few years – and has been accelerated in importance due to the COVID-19 Pandemic – has been the move to cloud services and remote work as everyone has moved online. This has allowed me to explore more with the technical side of how we communicate and express ourselves in multilingual, multicultural settings, and my hope is to better integrate that into Peloglot’s service offerings going forward. It’s taken a bit to find that vision and shape Peloglot into something I’m excited about and addresses current needs, but I’m happy with the effort that’s gone into recasting the vision for Peloglot and for its “relaunch” later this summer!

“Peloglot” is a play on words: “pelo” is the first bit of my last name (and quite close to the French pronunciation), and “glot” is the Greek stem of the word for ‘tongue’ which we often use in language-related terms in linguistics. The irony is that, in Japanese, “pelo” is also the onomatopoetic sound the tongue makes when it moves, whether in the mouth or when doing something like licking. So, in English, “Peloglot” is a personal moniker that literally takes on a tongue-in-cheek meaning in Japanese.

Day-to-day Operations

I probably have an atypical “day-to-day” from the standard expectation of businesses, but with our new “post-COVID normal”, I think a lot more people can relate than before. I wake up bright and early with my kids, and we get our day going together. Then we kind of get into a decision tree scenario: Am I taking the kids the first half of the day, or is my wife? Depending on that, I either head out for play and do all the fun things with the kids; or, I shift gears and launch into whatever is on my plate for the day, which usually begins with e-mails and branches out from there on a priority basis. We sort of regroup around lunch/nap times as a family, and then trade off roles. So, whichever path wasn’t taken in the morning typically becomes my afternoon.

The second “half” of my workday usually happens at night, after the kids are in bed and we’ve had some down time. The lower priority things, including some e-mails, come then. So, if you ever get a response to an e-mail late at night from me, don’t be surprised – that’s normal for me. Night often becomes, if I’ve laid the foundation right during the day, the time too that I do a lot of the busy work, especially when I translate or proof/edit something, as it’s quiet and relatively distraction-free.

Of course, the demands of the work can change any of that, especially rush jobs and tight deadlines or turnarounds. But I enjoy it all the same, and I love that I can unwind at any point by taking a walk outside for some fresh air or check on the family. And the weekends are a blessing too, as they are less “me time” and more “us time” – definitely worth the trade off.

Q & A

How long have you been a part of LenovoPRO and what is your favorite Lenovo product? 

I have been a part of LenovoPRO for a little over a year now. My favorite Lenovo product is the ThinkPad – they are versatile notebooks that I cut my first laptop teeth on, and which I still use to this day. My X240 is still going strong 8 years and counting!

How has using your Lenovo equipment helped you accomplish things in your personal or professional life?

Lenovo has really helped me go places. I got my first laptop – a budget-friendly SL500 – just a couple of months before heading off to Japan for an exchange program in college. It really helped me stay connected with family and friends while abroad then and on a number of subsequent trips. I ultimately moved down in size but up in functionality to the X240 notebook as I found myself travelling more frequently for work as a translator from project to project, and I haven’t looked back since!

Now, I use the X240 with an Ultradock and two ThinkVision monitors for most of my professional work in a nice setup that allows me to move seamlessly through various configurations for whatever project I’m working on, supplemented by a cadre of other non-Lenovo tech. This has served me well up to this point, but I’m looking to make another big change here in the next couple of months as I formalize my business structure and take things bigger while embracing a couple of big life changes on the personal side.

So, in a nutshell, Lenovo has helped keep both my personal and professional lives on track for a number of years, and I expect it to continue to assist for many more years to come.

What is one of the greatest professional successes you've experience thus far?

That’s a tough question because I feel like I’ve had a lot of great successes along the way. I think one of the greatest has been to work in the legal industry as a non-attorney professional, seeing the inner-workings of how things are handled first-hand while also developing a passion for my work. This has often involved a lot of sacrifices and meeting tight deadlines, but it’s not often that you can say you’ve nearly single-handedly translated an entire Japanese law over a month or taken part in a 3-week, 5 million+ word global translation project as part of the lead team. Having these kinds of experiences makes it worth all the effort, and that it’s in the legal field is the unexpected diamond in the rough for me. I never imagined myself here, but I’ve enjoyed it every step of the way and hope to continue to do so.

What is one of the greatest professional challenges you've experience thus far?

Staying true to myself and my goals has probably been one of the greatest professional challenges I’ve faced. Especially in the high-octane settings legal environments can sometimes be, its rather easy to lose sight of the main thing if you’re not careful. It’s been a real challenge to acknowledge the success and recognition that often comes with being an attorney, and I’ve been tempted to follow that path a number of times. But, my interests and passions are better expressed in my current line of work, so I’ve had to make peace with the fact that I may never be the face of whatever project I’m working on. That has been difficult, but the silver lining is that it has allowed me to thrive in other ways and be recognized by teammates, colleagues and clients, which is what really matters.

What was one piece of advice that you got along your business journey that helped you? 

Spend time with the ones you love and don’t miss those opportunities for anything. That bit of advice came from a good friend I met on my first job, and its stuck with me ever since. While I’ve always held family in a high place in my life, I can get hyperfocused on my work at times and his advice has been a helpful, grounding anchor. I’ve even extended it to not just people but also to spend time doing the things I love. And I haven’t regretted it for a second.

What is one piece of advice you would give others?

Go out on a limb and take risks. And this is coming from someone who is not much of a risk-taker to begin with. It’s not easy to stay your course or chase after the things you really care about, but if you seek those things out in your professional and personal life then I think you’ll find that you’ll enjoy your work immensely and even discover new avenues you never realized were there before. That’s how I got started creating my own business, as I wanted to combine my passions into one coherent vision for my professional career. It hasn’t been easy along the way, and I’m still learning a lot as I seek to adapt and launch out on my own with fewer safety nets each iteration. But the rewards are well worth it.

Connect with Aaron & Peloglot LLC

Thank you for being such a valued part of the community, Aaron and congratulations on being June's Feature Community Member!