One Million Freelance Working Minutes Later: What Have I Learned, Enjoyed, Regretted, and Burned?
This number roughly translates to the seven years of hardcore freelancing. Have I gained the absolute freelance wisdom? I don’t necessarily feel wiser. I’ve gained some weight and I didn’t lose my faith in freelance, yet.
Usually, after an epic journey or life-changing experience, people tend to share useful thoughts. Is it because they want to feel good about themselves and give the years behind some meaning? Do they honestly want to help others? Something like I wish someone told me this and that a few years earlier.
I think that a million minutes of freelancing deserves a hundred minutes of writing for me and ten minutes of reading for you. So, let’s begin.
Is It A Curse Or A Blessing To Live In The Interesting Freelance Times?
I made my first freelance step on vWorker. I was just getting used to living and working as a freelancer when Freelancer acquired vWorker. This was one of many Freelancer's takeovers, but with a huge difference. It was allegedly worth millions of dollars. An unprecedented thing in the freelance industry.
Just when I thought I was done with freelance excitement and surprises, Elance and oDesk merged. I was working on an old-new platform called Upwork. In the meantime, Fiverr became a synonym for the gig industry. That wasn’t all freelance folks!
Upwork plans to go public. So, here’s another freelance historic event around the corner. What’s the moral of this brief freelance history of mine? You should sit down behind your computer, relax, and do your freelance work. There’s absolutely nothing you can do about the turbulent freelance industry that’s constantly changing. The stupidest thing you can do is to keep asking yourself, am I freelancing at the best or the worst time in freelance history? That’s something I used to do a lot.
Don’t Be Too Desperate To Get Your First Positive Review And Don’t Be Demolished After Your First Negative Review
When you are waiting for your first project the time can be quite relative. One minute can be as long as the whole day. The impatient freelancers are the favorite meal for online predators looking for free or humiliatingly cheap work. There’s really no need to rush or complicate things. Your first five-star review is waiting for you out there. You will get it, much sooner than later.
I was dead serious about giving up on freelancing for good after I got my first negative review. Why? Because my perfect score was ruined. Your last review is what your potential clients see first. What’s even worse, you can have hundreds or even thousands of positive reviews, but that one negative review will always stand out and be a finger in every client’s eye. This is true, but it’s not as bad as you think. The personal perception is a killer, especially when you’re blowing the things out of proportion. What is the solution? Just let it snow. I mean it. The new positive reviews will cover your negative review like snow. Eventually, you will forget about it. Your new clients will find it difficult to understand how come a good freelancer got a negative review in the first place.
If You Don’t Want To Be A Freelance Sheep Then Don’t Follow The Herd
I’ve wasted so much time and energy on the biggest and most popular platforms. Why? Because that was something I was supposed and expected to do. Eventually, I made it, but the ratio of what I gave and got in return was nowhere close to my expectations, hopes or something we may call a “justified investment.”
I burned all of my freelance bridges behind. I closed my account on Upwork. I “euthanized” my activities on Freelancer. I’ve never even tried Fiverr because I’m a freelancer and not a gigster. That was the best thing I could’ve possibly done. Finally, I was able to see the things clearly and read between the lines.
Where The Freelance Corporization Ends – goLancing Begins
I’m freelancing on goLance now. This platform is the exact opposite of everything and anything you may label as the “mainstream” freelance websites. If vWorker hadn’t been acquired in the first place, it would have had the same options and business philosophy as goLance.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned to do right as a freelancer that is to compare. It’s always fair to compare. So, compare all available freelance websites, features, and fees. Compare and choose only what’s the best for you, not what others tell you to do or follow blindly.
The time has come for me to make the next round of my freelance investment. I have made up my mind where to work next. How about you? Are you happy with where you are right now?