How to Quit Your Ho-Hum Campus Lifestyle, Move to Paradise, and Show the World You Can Do It Without a Degree
After all, isn’t that what you want?
Being a university student seem fun. In fact, that was my biggest dream – to qualify for campus.
But, look, forget all the fancy lifestyles you have read from campus magazines. It’s actually not real, especially if you don’t know where your next income is going to come from.
I joined campus but had such a fixed budget that if I invited friends for one meal, then I would stay hungry the next meal. But how can you stay on campus without the company of friends?
I don’t like sharing my stories, but I love doing one thing – ENCOURAGING OTHERS. So, that’s why I’m writing this story.
As I write this, I’m in my small room, somewhere around Jomo Kenyatta University. It is 00:39 AM, Sunday, the 28th day of October, the year 2018. It's my 23rd birthday and I'm happy that I've managed to reach this far.
Enjoy reading and see how possible it is to move from your ho-hum or workplace life, move to paradise, and show the world you can do it.
My Best Friend Secures an Online Job Worth $50!
HEARTBREAK! Yes, I know I should be celebrating or congratulating my closest friend for securing an online part-time job, but it’s not what you think. (hint: he did the unexpected to me.)
My friend landed a job with the Microsoft company and the worst of all is that he never informed me of the opportunity. He was stupid enough to inform me of it after the selection process had ended. I tell you it hurt me soooooo much.
I became jealous and decided to revenge. Tit for tat is a fair game, but does it really work? Read on to find what transpired.
Higher Educations Loan (HELB)
With my rancour still alive, I decided to do something unique. I needed money real quick and not just money, a lot of money.
After figuring how I could earn money quickly and live a fancy lifestyle like my friend, I thought I should waggle my HELB loan.
At that time, people were glued onto betting on games like soccer and they were winning good cash. So, I decided to try.
My account at that time read $200 and I was convinced that I could use the money to stake on single games and win some good cash.
My first match lost and $30 was gone. I tried the next day with $50 and it went too.
I thought I should wait for the weekend and try my luck one more time. The weekend came and there were a variety of games to pick on. Was it the opportunity? I tried one more time.
Oh no! My last stake was gone too. I was done. I remained with only $20 in my account.
$20 couldn’t pay my rent either take care of my upkeep. So, what was I going to do?
Should I call my dad? No, my dad knew very well I had received my HELB loan and it would be difficult explaining where the money had disappeared.
At that time, I was almost sitting for my end semester exam and you can figure out all the stress. I had to pay rent, I had to buy food, and I had to go through my notes in preparation for the end semester exams.
I became dull; all the happiness went down the toilet, and my eating habit became poor – making me lose weight abruptly. I thought about what I could do and finally decided to ask for help from my relatives.
Relatives Never Help at the Time of Need
“Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we're related for better or for worse and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.” - Rick Riordan.
All the same, I reached out to most of them.
For chrissake, others referred me back to my parents, yet I needed their help. Of course, I was aware my parents were alive, but I had a reason for reaching out to them.
After so many struggles, I gave up and knew none of them was going to help.
“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” - H. Jackson Brown Jr.
I Opted to Sell Most of My Valuables
Looking around, I only had three valuable items; a laptop, a sub-woofer, and my phone. So, I started weighing which was less important.
If I sold my laptop, I would remain poor because it was my source of income.
If I sold my sub-woofer, I would be forced to sell it cheaply and go at a loss.
What of doing away with my phone? Well, I loved chatting with friends. So, selling my phone would mean I would stay lonely. Who loves being lonely?
Goooooooooooooooood! What was I going to do?
After so much thought, I decided I would sell my phone and settle some of my bills. So, I sold the phone at a 70% loss.
If you were once a student (I mean in the 21rst century), then you know how hard it is to lack a phone, especially during the examination periods.
Examination venues and scheduled time always changed out of the blue. If you didn’t have a phone to connect with your classmates for updates, failing to sit for a paper was real, but who cares? After all, you’re a grown-up; you should organize yourself.
It was tough; I mean hard, but thank God I managed to manoeuvre my ways and sit for all the examinations.
My Generous Cousin Decides to Help Out of the Blue
Your greatest contribution may not be something you do but someone you raise, thanks to my cousin, Kevin.
At that time, I felt I was nobody; everything went. I just hated myself.
I, therefore, tried to search for anything I could do online and earn some little income.
I had heard of online writing; the most popular one in my country is academic writing. I decided to try it out.
At least my cousin offered to leave behind his tablet during work days. So, I had free access to the Internet.
I tried researching online writing and searched on Google if I could find some jobs to do.
I did my first job on academic writing and was scammed. My second job? Scammed. My third? Scammed. I lost hope.
I decided to look for something else more genuine. I wanted something that could enable me to land international clients because my faith with local clients had washed away.
Google Search Leads Me to the Right Path
I lost hope and felt that all online jobs were a scam. I did one more Google search to see where it would lead me. I searched, “freelancing in Kenya.” Guess what?
I found a website called Freelancer Kenya (https://www.freelancerkenya.com) and flipped through its pages.
On the home page, my eyes got glued to “FREE Must-Have Mini-Course for Freelance Writers.”I signed up and started receiving emails the next Monday.
I tell you the emails (Free Mini-course) changed my life; I learned a totally new approach to freelancing. I joined some of the Facebook groups Walter Akolo had recommended and started looking for writing jobs.
Walter’s Free Mini-Course Helps me Win my First Job
After two weeks, I got my first client on Facebook. The client wanted me to help him craft articles.
At the time, the client was willing to pay me $2 for every 500 words. The pay was low which forced me to wake up as early as 4 in the morning and sleep as late as 11 in the night.
The reason why I loved the client was that he paid on delivery. Each day, I was to submit 10 articles and he paid instantly.
In FOUR DAYS, I bought a new phone - the first phone I ever bought from hard earned money.
I was happy. I was motivated. I was encouraged, and...I believed I could make money doing what I loved – writing.
Life Hits Me Hard
After completing my first writing project, I went out looking for more jobs. I believed I was smart and could do more writing tasks.
The Facebook groups I joined turned to be my nightmare. The atmosphere in those groups were all about “Freelance Training. Freelance Training. Freelance Training.”
I knew I was better. So, why go for training?
I started opposing violently in those groups and after a few days, I was kicked out in all the valuable groups I was.
I was left with no group. I had no idea where to get jobs because the only place I knew was Facebook groups and they were now gone.
I gave up.
Life After a Tough Experience With Facebook Groups
I gave up on writing for some time to cool my brain. All I did was to watch TV the whole day.
After some time, I decided to visit Walter’s website and read some of his pieces. I got the motivation to continue with freelance writing. As I was going through the pages, I came across Walter’s freelance writing course that went at $30 at the time (the course currently goes for $40.)
$30 was a lot of money to me. I couldn’t afford it easily, but I believed I would one day touch the purchase button.
One day, I decided to open up to my dad about freelancing and made him aware that I had an interest in joining Walter’s course. He asked me how much the course cost and I told him $30. Surprisingly, he congratulated me on my brilliant idea and assured me that he would buy me the course.
One morning, I received an email from Walter, a post on how Daniel was skeptical about freelancing but still succeeded. Daniel was still young which gave me some motivation. Immediately, I finished reading the post, I sent my dad a text. In the text, I explained how badly I needed the course. I promised never to disappoint him.
After some few minutes, the reply popped, “I will send you the money today.”I can’t describe the joy I had. I was very happy.
Denzil Joins Walters Freelance Writing Course
At around 4 pm that day, dad sent me the cash and I immediately forwarded the cash to Walter. I sent Walter my details and he sent me the login details on my email.
Could I wait to start the training the next day? Hell no! This was something I had craved for. So, why would I postpone?
I started reading every detail in the course and the more I read, the more superior I felt. That day I slept at 12 midnight.
How my Freelance Business Took Off After the Training
Within one week, I had landed my first job and a month later, I had landed tons of jobs that made me start outsourcing some.
My biggest challenge was that I never had a writer’s website where I could showcase my skills. Convincing high paying clients was difficult.
The fourth job I got on Upwork was interesting. I had sent a pitch and after two months, the client hadn’t shown an interest in hiring me. Finally, I got a message from on Upwork. The offer came like money in the bank.
After my first milestone, the client decided to work with me outside Upwork. (note: never propose to your client that you work outside Upwork. Let the client propose.)
I got more than $200 for that project which was more than enough to create a simple writer website.
My Website is Hosted
$200 was enough to start a website. I, therefore, decided to set aside $50 for the design.
One morning, one of my U.S clients reached out to ask if I could help him rewrite a website copy.
He was one of my awesome clients. A brief on how we met:))
When I joined Upwork, I sent several proposals. In real sense, my proposals were boring and robotic; a serious client wouldn’t hire me with such kind of proposals.
Ignorantly, in one of the proposals, I included my phone number – which was a violation of Upwork terms (thank God they didn’t realize.)
So, Johnnie reached out to me via WhatsApp and asked me if we could work on future projects which I accepted.
I asked Johnnie which website hosting company was the best and he suggested a few.
I told Johnnie of my interest to host my website and he offered to host my website. Just like that! Why?
I had been loyal to him; following his instructions to a tee, delivering pure gold and above all, I accepted any mistakes I made.
After a long conversation, he accepted to host my site and sent the login details the following day.
How I Moved to Paradise
Have you ever felt like everything around you is a mess; you look at your small room and you feel like you hate yourself?
Well, that was exactly what I experienced in January 2018. I was sitting in my small room around my college, wrapped up in my duvet, wondering what I’d do next. The world had shown me how cruel it was.
For chrissake, I was just a third-year student, but I could still manage to freelance and earn some income to keep me going.
My biggest problem was that I didn’t know how to become a better freelance writer and command higher rates.
I took time to design my website and make it look more professional and then published some valuable blog posts that my readers ultimately loved and shared and boom! My blog became popular and clients started reaching out to me.
After my blog became popular, I took some few writing courses and my writing improved immensely. This enabled me to double my rates and start earning what I deserved. Weeeeuwee! All the struggles had finally yielded to something.
I could now pay bills, go out, and occasionally host my friends without worrying about anything. I moved into a more spacious room and I’m happy it happened out of my hard work. Thank God.
Lucky me, right? Maybe yes, maybe no. But the most important thing is that you can as well make it like I did.
You Can Also Do It
Because I learned the hard way, I would never want the same thing to happen to anybody starting out. I normally give some FREE basic training to anybody who reaches out to me.
Remember, freelancing is a game and at the same time a profession. You must work smart to be where you want. If you don’t, you’re going to fail terribly.
Implement everything you learn and you will write a story similar to this one or even write a better one than this. C’mon, you can do this. Yes, you!