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EXECUTION Journey From $0 to $XX,XXX in Freelance Web Design

Agbaya

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 13, 2018
10
29
22
Gilbert, AZ
Hey Everyone,

As the title states I'm starting this progress thread to document the growth of a freelance web design business. I am starting from zero sales, zero customers, and zero network. I have nothing but a desire to learn and grow, along with a strong work ethic to make this work no matter what.

I laid out my reasons for wanting to go into this business in my Intro thread but in short, I want to be able to live off the funds from freelancing then bankroll the extra profits into starting an eCommerce business.

Although freelancing is still trading time for money, it gives you a certain flexibility that a traditional 9-5 won't allow, and will help me cultivate entrepreneurial mindsets and ways of thinking rather than employee ones.

Why create a progress thread on the forum then?

Because by far my greatest weakness is analysis paralysis.

It's so bad, I spent 10 minutes trying to figure out a name to register on the forum with and then another 10 minutes figuring out my profile picture haha.

Publicly stating what I intent to do here will give me an extra boost to stick with my goals, even when times get tough and I start questioning my will to persevere.

So please if you detect any hint of analysis paralysis or action-faking in this thread call me out.

Be rude if you have to (to a point) I have thick skin and can take criticism as long as it comes from a good place.

By now you must be thinking: Agbaya this is all good and all but have you actually done anything yet?

Yeah I have. Here's the action I've taken in the past 24 hours:
  1. Created and account on Upwork and started sending proposals
  2. Created two mock web sites to add bring the total size of my portfolio to 5 different web sites
  3. Implemented the what I learned from the sales book SPIN Selling (which I highly recommend) to complete five cold calls of local businesses in my area
While I know I've gone ahead and tried to make things happen, its only a start. And I will be updating this thread regularly about my progress going forward.

Here are the goals I want to achieve by the end of September:
  1. Create website for two local business and get positive testimonials from both of them.
  2. Win at least one proposal on Upwork for a 5 star review.

If you've made it this far thanks for reading. If you have anything to share that will help out me or anyone reading please go ahead and comment. I don't care if you're @Fox or a brand new member, if you have something of value to add I'll listen.

Time to get to Work,

Agbaya
 

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Real Deal Denver

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
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Jan 13, 2018
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You have very defined goals. You know your strengths. You freely admit your weaknesses.

Hell, I'd say you're ahead of a lot of people right there!

And you have a great idea that can be profitable.

Go man go! The only one that can convince you that you can't do that is you - and I just don't see that happening! Bill Gates was successful way before he was rich. I put you in the same category. You know what you want, and you have everything lined up to get it!
 
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OP
Agbaya

Agbaya

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 13, 2018
10
29
22
Gilbert, AZ
Time for an update. I plan on doing these once a week on Sundays. I'll go over all the actions I took in the previous week and what I plan to do in the following one.

Since I started my thread on Tuesday I've made over a dozen calls to local businesses offering to update their website free of charge.

I didn't get a singe yes haha

Still, I did learn a lot and gained two or three leads that could turn into business in this upcoming week.

The first big thing I realized was that I was casting too wide a net. I called a couple gyms, a couple dentists, a couple moving companies, etc. Trying to be all things to all people was stressing me out and it resulted in me not sounding like I understood each business's specific problems on the phone.

To remedy this I've decided to niche down and only look to make websites for blue collar business first for a couple reasons:
  1. It's much easier to reach the decision makers. Often times I was able to get through to the owner of the company or someone who knew the owner personally. As a result I won't have to deal with as many gatekeepers and can make my pitch directly to the person I will be doing business with.
  2. Most of their websites are just atrocious. Redesigning them will be a huge value add that's impossible to miss.

As far as Upwork goes, I've decided to niche down on that platform as well. You'll hardily find any carpenters looking for a update on there, so I've decided to go into the eCommerce niche. Specifically, developing eCommerce sites for people. I like the niche because there's no shortage of people looking to set up a store on Shopify or Woocomerce and there's a slightly higher barrier to entry for those jobs: you have to be comfortable with PHP.

As a result I started learning PHP and MySQL for the purposes of getting the knowledge necessary to be able to apply for those jobs and I'm about 60% of the way there. My goal is to start sending proposals for those jobs by the end of next week.

Right now by biggest fear is moving too slow. I know that it's not good to compare yourself to others, but looking @Fox 's gold thread makes me think that I should be further ahead than I am now. If you guys think I'm spending too much time learning please let me know. Also going for eCommerce jobs and websites for local business could be splitting my effort too much. I think I can do it but I'm interested to hear what anyone has to say about that strategy.

Something that I feel deserves mentioning is that I started school again on Thursday. Fortunately it won't eat up too much of my time as I'll only have class three days a week, but being in a technical major will eat up some time that I would have had to work. Still no excuses. I'll just have to be more productive with the time I have.

Final couple thoughts before I sign off:

I was reading Unscripted last night when I got to the chapter where @MJ DeMarco talks about finding the meaning and purpose behind your Unscripted goals. I realized that I hadn't made these explicitly clear for myself and the next morning I immediately listed out the whys behind my goals in every area of life. I highly recommend doing this. It didn't get me excited to go out and work for 12 hours straight, but it gave me a sense of reassurance about my pursuit of the goals I have that will serve me in the face of adversity.

Secondly I recommend reading @Kak 's gold thread here: GOLD! - Where I have been this time... and why I'm famous at Wells Fargo

It taught me again about dominance or doing what it takes to get what you want in life. He'd gotten scammed and could have easily let the money he lost disappear forever, but he dug in firmly and did what it took to win. This is something that I have to work on and I appreciate the lessons @Kak taught me in that thread.

You have very defined goals. You know your strengths. You freely admit your weaknesses.

Hell, I'd say you're ahead of a lot of people right there!

And you have a great idea that can be profitable.

Go man go! The only one that can convince you that you can't do that is you - and I just don't see that happening! Bill Gates was successful way before he was rich. I put you in the same category. You know what you want, and you have everything lined up to get it!
Thanks @Real Deal Denver I appreciate the kind words :)
 

Real Deal Denver

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 13, 2018
830
1,949
543
65
Denver, Colorado
Time for an update. I plan on doing these once a week on Sundays. I'll go over all the actions I took in the previous week and what I plan to do in the following one.

Since I started my thread on Tuesday I've made over a dozen calls to local businesses offering to update their website free of charge.

I didn't get a singe yes haha

Still, I did learn a lot and gained two or three leads that could turn into business in this upcoming week.

The first big thing I realized was that I was casting too wide a net. I called a couple gyms, a couple dentists, a couple moving companies, etc. Trying to be all things to all people was stressing me out and it resulted in me not sounding like I understood each business's specific problems on the phone.

To remedy this I've decided to niche down and only look to make websites for blue collar business first for a couple reasons:
  1. It's much easier to reach the decision makers. Often times I was able to get through to the owner of the company or someone who knew the owner personally. As a result I won't have to deal with as many gatekeepers and can make my pitch directly to the person I will be doing business with.
  2. Most of their websites are just atrocious. Redesigning them will be a huge value add that's impossible to miss.

As far as Upwork goes, I've decided to niche down on that platform as well. You'll hardily find any carpenters looking for a update on there, so I've decided to go into the eCommerce niche. Specifically, developing eCommerce sites for people. I like the niche because there's no shortage of people looking to set up a store on Shopify or Woocomerce and there's a slightly higher barrier to entry for those jobs: you have to be comfortable with PHP.

As a result I started learning PHP and MySQL for the purposes of getting the knowledge necessary to be able to apply for those jobs and I'm about 60% of the way there. My goal is to start sending proposals for those jobs by the end of next week.

Right now by biggest fear is moving too slow. I know that it's not good to compare yourself to others, but looking @Fox 's gold thread makes me think that I should be further ahead than I am now. If you guys think I'm spending too much time learning please let me know. Also going for eCommerce jobs and websites for local business could be splitting my effort too much. I think I can do it but I'm interested to hear what anyone has to say about that strategy.

Something that I feel deserves mentioning is that I started school again on Thursday. Fortunately it won't eat up too much of my time as I'll only have class three days a week, but being in a technical major will eat up some time that I would have had to work. Still no excuses. I'll just have to be more productive with the time I have.

Final couple thoughts before I sign off:

I was reading Unscripted last night when I got to the chapter where @MJ DeMarco talks about finding the meaning and purpose behind your Unscripted goals. I realized that I hadn't made these explicitly clear for myself and the next morning I immediately listed out the whys behind my goals in every area of life. I highly recommend doing this. It didn't get me excited to go out and work for 12 hours straight, but it gave me a sense of reassurance about my pursuit of the goals I have that will serve me in the face of adversity.

Secondly I recommend reading @Kak 's gold thread here: GOLD! - Where I have been this time... and why I'm famous at Wells Fargo

It taught me again about dominance or doing what it takes to get what you want in life. He'd gotten scammed and could have easily let the money he lost disappear forever, but he dug in firmly and did what it took to win. This is something that I have to work on and I appreciate the lessons @Kak taught me in that thread.



Thanks @Real Deal Denver I appreciate the kind words :)
 

Real Deal Denver

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jan 13, 2018
830
1,949
543
65
Denver, Colorado
WAY to take the bull by the horns!

You might not fully realize it, but you are a flippin dynamo! Keep your head on straight - don't get overwhelmed, and don't get comfortable when you start gaining traction. You'll do well and go very far!

Inch by inch it's a cinch - by the yard, it's hard. (I got a million of them - don't piss me off and I won't throw anymore your way...!)
 
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Agbaya

Agbaya

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 13, 2018
10
29
22
Gilbert, AZ
Hey Guys back again for another update,

I'll be honest, I'm disappointed with my output in the past week.

As much as I'd like to say that school was the reason why I did not accomplish as much as I wanted, in reality it was action-faking fueled by laziness.

Ironically, here's the patterns that all my unproductive days follow:
  1. Wake up, go review my goals and plan out my day
  2. Take action towards my biggest task before breakfast
  3. Work for an hour then eat breakfast
  4. Hit a road block in my work
  5. Get distracted by something else (either Youtube videos or another task that won't move the needle)
  6. Feel bad about being distracted and try to make myself feel better by continuing to distract myself (while rationalizing that doing so will get me back on track.)
I've come to realize that I'm not as strong as I need to be mentally. I put a lot of pressure on myself and if something gets in my way or I start to feel like I'm not making as much progress as I should be, negative thoughts flood my mind and kill my productivity. This is something that I have to work on and is honestly what is behind my analysis paralysis. I'm unconsciously avoiding the failures that are a natural part of process by hiding behind my plans for action.

Despite the negative sentiment, I still did some things this week. I learned the basics of SQL and PHP while really getting my hands dirty with Bootstrap, a CSS framework that I'll be using to edit web templates for web design clients. My goal is to be able to start offering Woocommerce and Magento eCommerce services on Upwork within the next two weeks.

Before I sign off I want to thank @MJ DeMarco again for his books and this forum. Reading Unscripted every night before bed really helped to calm many of the frustrations I would have about an unproductive day, or a plan that didn't pan out. He always harps about process in the book and on the forums and one thing that I'm slowly starting to realize is that the returns of process is not linear. What I mean by that is X amount of focused action does not lead to X amount of forward progress. Sometimes you spend a lot of time going down a path that doesn't work or feel like you should be much further ahead than you already are. By remembering that the returns of process are not linear, it gives you the confidence to know that if you keep working, future actions you will take will reward you with a great deal of progress that builds the momentum necessary for true success.

Keep that in mind. It's helped me and I'm sure it could help a lot of people here.
 
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Agbaya

Agbaya

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 13, 2018
10
29
22
Gilbert, AZ
Have you tried Thumbtack or you find UpWork is a better source of leads?
Honestly I never knew there were web developers on Thumbtack. I just looked it up due to your post and its definitely a channel I'll look into. Thanks
 

Mr.J

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 8, 2018
8
11
18
Keep it up man, I'm in the same boat, learned HTML and CSS this month and am looking to get started with upwork clients in September.
 

lowtek

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While you may be disappointed in your lack of output, you should take solace in the fact that you have a high degree of self awareness.

You say that when you hit an obstacle, you tend to back off. One potential strategy to handle this is to divide tasks (by which I mean activities that will actually move the needle, not action fakes) into what you think will be difficult and what you think will be easy. When you hit a roadblock on a difficult task, don't stop working entirely, just go do an easy task. If you still feel bad, keep doing easy tasks until you regain momentum and confidence, and then switch back.

The most important factor in this game is momentum. Get in motion and stay there, even if you have to zig zag.
 

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Agbaya

Agbaya

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Aug 13, 2018
10
29
22
Gilbert, AZ
You say that when you hit an obstacle, you tend to back off. One potential strategy to handle this is to divide tasks (by which I mean activities that will actually move the needle, not action fakes) into what you think will be difficult and what you think will be easy. When you hit a roadblock on a difficult task, don't stop working entirely, just go do an easy task. If you still feel bad, keep doing easy tasks until you regain momentum and confidence, and then switch back.
This is a pretty interesting idea @lowtek It's analogous to what I do for my tests in college. I go through and find easy questions first to build my confidence, then return to the harder questions and breeze through them.

Normally, I start the day with my most difficult task in the morning then tackle the rest of my to-do list in any random order.

With this I'll have a bank of "easy questions" to turn to if I need to get back in rhythm.

Thanks
Rep+
 
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