You may have read tons of freelance success stories all over the social media and perhaps learned at least a freelance lesson, but have you ever interrogated these people to know who they are and how they made it?
Maybe yes, maybe not.
That’s what I want to share with you today, so that it may shape your freelance journey in the right direction.
By the end of this post, I’m hopeful that you’ll have learned something and taken action.
So, let’s dive into the first lesson.
Freelance Lesson #1 You Don’t Need a Degree to Succeed in Freelancing
Yes. It’s true, and I’m not just saying it for the sake of it. Most of the successful freelance writers I know dropped out from campus.
His story is a little bit touching though. Walter says that he had the desire to pursue law. Instead, he was selected to take Architecture, which he never liked. He had just missed his dream course (which was also my dream course some years back)
As if that’s not enough, he lost 17kgs!
The architectural course had a unit called design – it was all about drawing. Walter didn’t know how to draw, but he tried, tried and tried. Unfortunately, he failed in the design unit.
In Architecture, if you fail in the design unit, you repeat a whole year. The worst of it is that when you repeated and failed again, you’d have to quit. He failed!
So, he had only two options; to either repeat the second year and get a pass in the design unit or drop out of campus. What would you do if you were in Walter’s shoe?
He dropped! Did he make the wrong decision?
Well, in Kenya, tons of people still have the traditional belief; if you don’t have a degree, you’re nobody. So, Walter had decided to be nobody. Painful!
He struggled, not for days, weeks, months, but years. And finally, at the age of 26, Walter found his feet once again. This time around, bigger and better!
Today, Walter has trained over 2,000 trainees on how to make money online. Additionally, he is the founder of the most popular blog in making money online niche and top-rated on Upwork.
He can comfortably take responsibility for his family and keep things rolling!
Keep struggling and turn things around, just like Walter did.
Whether you own degree or not, you will only get your pay for what you do, not what you know.
Do things that matter.
Freelance Lesson #2 You Can Get Fired and Still Make it
Jorden Roper was fired from her 9 to 5 job.
Wait. Have you ever imagined of what you’d do when you’re fired from your 9 to 5 job today? Think about it!
So, on the same day, her husband’s contract had just come to an end in the same workplace. A coincidence? Was it some lousy omen?
Maybe, maybe not.
Santiago, a character in the novel, “The Alchemist” would readily believe that was a bad omen.
Away from that. As if that is not enough, Roper had been diagnosed with skin cancer a week ago.
It would be regular bills + Medical bills + Stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. Was she to lose hope and blame her boss who fired her?
No! She took a bold step to start her full-time freelance writing.
She was broke, but she never cared.
After four months, she was earning $5000 per month.
Learn how she made $5,000 within four months here.
Freelance Lesson #3 Negative Feedback Shouldn’t Weigh You Down
The next freelance lesson is from my experience on Upwork.
“Bad English, Poor English,” a message from Upwork popped.
It was my second client on Upwork, and I thought it would have ended well.
In fact, I had to end an ongoing contract to work on this client’s project.
After doing all the eight articles, all he had to say was that the pieces are spin contents and he wouldn’t pay for them.
I tried to solicit the Bristol client to at least consider a revision, but he seemed to have made a decision.
So, what’s next Denzil?
Winners never quit, quitters never win.
Nonetheless, I let go!
I stopped bidding on Upwork for more than a week, thinking my writing was weak.
So, what did I do?
- I downloaded an application called HI NATIVE. I used this application to learn both American and British English and a bit of American culture.
- Joined several Facebook groups like Writing Revolters, which I’m still a member up to date.
- Read tons of freelancing blog posts.
- Subscribed to lots and lots of emails.
- Signed up for training.
Read more on how I used negative feedback to improve my writing here.
So, my point is; Never let any negative feedback weigh you down.
Instead, strive to always perfect whatever you’re working on and always prepare to meet hurdles in life because they are the bridge to your success.
In life, you’ll fall seven times and rise the eighth time, and stronger!
Freelance Lesson #4 Even the Disabled Can Make It
Another freelance lesson that would encourage you is Jonathan Morrow’s personal life story.
When he was one year old, he was diagnosed with the neuromuscular disorder; Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
Wait do you know Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)?
Let me take you through a bit so that you get the rough idea of what this is.
SMA is a neuromuscular disorder that’s caused by genetic defect. It leads to loss of motor neurons and progressive muscle wasting, which leads to early death. Usually, it attacks children, and it’s almost impossible to live more than two years.
So, Jon wasn’t going to live past that, right?
A miracle happened; He did live. In fact, more than anyone can ever imagine!
Besides God’s miracle, his mother did everything possible to make him live. He narrates how his mother slept in a chair beside him in hospital, sometimes up to 30 days consecutively. Today, he’s one of the most aged people with the SMA.
You can read more of his story here.
And finally, the last lesson is…
Freelance Lesson #5 You Will Be Paid for What You Do Not What You Know
Still on Jonathan Morrow. He narrates a short story of how he learned that you only earn for what you do and not what you know.
He gives a story of how his family hit a rough spot such that they couldn’t afford food.
They went to churches to find something to eat.
He thought he could make money by placing a plastic bucket and branding it, “please help, we need money.”
He put a bucket by the road and looked through the window to wait for someone to drop some money in it.
No one dropped any money.
A few days later, he noticed a girl scout going door-to-door selling cookies.
However, he realized one strange thing.
By the time the girl got to the end of the street, she had sold all her cookies and was holding some reasonable sum of money.
That’s when Jon Morrow learned that you don’t get paid for what you know but what you do.
So, he thought tentatively to decide on what he could do to also earn money just like the girl scout.
After much thought, he decided to write poems and sell them.
So, in the next few days, he wrote a series of poems and made some frames for them using popsicle sticks.
When he was through, he went door-to-door to sell his poems in a wheelchair.
That day, he made $36 sales – he sold all his poems!
So, Jon did it in a wheelchair!
From that, he learned that you shouldn’t just sit and wait for someone to give you money or think someone will give you pay for what you know.
You must work for it.
You might be struggling to set up your freelance business now. That shouldn’t worry you.
If you are not putting in more effort, attempt to do so.
If already you’re working hard, continue with the hard work.
Soon, you are going to bag your first $1000, and you will see the importance of hard work.