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She Left a $60k Job to Freelance...

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Lex DeVille

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My wife isn't a member on this board, so I'm posting for her.

Back in February, she started freelancing. She's never had a side hustle. Never started a business. Never freelanced. She had a $60k salary at her full-time job. In her first month freelancing, she closed around $100 and doubted it was worth her time. Toward the end of March, when the pandemic picked up, she asked her employer to let her work from home. They refused. She quit.

Now we're in November. She never went back to a job. Instead, this month she'll pull $4,500 and may break $5,000 for the first time. Over the course of one year, she's doubled her income about once every three months. Today she works from home with me full-time and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't impressed.

She has the advantage of being around someone with a business mindset who trains freelancers. But I've provided little overall support in terms of advice. She simply hasn't asked for it, except when she's really stuck. Instead, she just looks at what others are doing and figures out how to be better.

The most noticeable takeaways I've seen from her progress are:
  • She went all-in even when she didn't know if it would work
  • She focused on daily action
  • She studied others and tested new ideas
  • She got rid of stuff that didn't work fast
  • She's committed to excellence in her deliverables
  • She committed to doing things others won't do to land clients
  • She took risks instead of cowering from them
  • She stuck with it for the long-haul
This month will be the first time she's fully replaced her old income. I don't think she'll stop there. Instead, she's likely to cross six-figures in 2021, and I think she'll see a 5-figure monthly income by March. She loves what she's doing, and when she commits to something, she has a one-track mind that lets her stay focused.

Anyway, thought I'd share this win this morning. It's pretty cool that we both work on our own terms, and neither of us works anywhere near full-time. She works a couple of hours per day, and I don't consider what I do to be work. Most days we spend with our daughter. Teach her things. Go to the park or for ice cream while others are at work.

Freelancing is still viable as a way to replace income. Doesn't have to be through Upwork. You just have to commit to figuring it out and make it happen. Stop making excuses.
 

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Raja

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Hey @Lex DeVille ,
mind sharing with us what channels she used?

also for my niche specifically Upwork have a very poor quality of the jobs, do you have suggestions for a non-US resident.
 

Lex DeVille

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Hey @Lex DeVille ,
mind sharing with us what channels she used?

also for my niche specifically Upwork have a very poor quality of the jobs, do you have suggestions for a non-US resident.

She started on Upwork, then took clients through referrals from other clients. Most of her clients are from referrals now, and are not through Upwork.

As for advice, if you know the jobs on Upwork are poor quality for your niche, then you either pick a different niche, learn a different skill, or find clients outside of Upwork. Has nothing to do with where you are from.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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First, I believe this is possible for anybody. Your threads are Gold for a reason- they’ve helped a ton of people. I think a lot of people need more than just encouragement though so I’m gonna ask a few questions if you don’t mind.

If she had a 60k job before freelancing most ppl will just assume she had skills in something before launching out on her own. She probably didn’t have to learn how to do whatever it is she’s helping clients with. Or am I wrong?

“She studied others..” Does this mean she looked at other people’s profiles on Upwork abd created her own like theirs or something else? I just don’t get exactly what that part looks like.
 

Lex DeVille

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First, I believe this is possible for anybody. Your threads are Gold for a reason- they’ve helped a ton of people. I think a lot of people need more than just encouragement though so I’m gonna ask a few questions if you don’t mind.

If she had a 60k job before freelancing most ppl will just assume she had skills in something before launching out on her own. She probably didn’t have to learn how to do whatever it is she’s helping clients with. Or am I wrong?

“She studied others..” Does this mean she looked at other people’s profiles on Upwork abd created her own like theirs or something else? I just don’t get exactly what that part looks like.

No worries. Ask away. I don't have the full details of everything she has done to get to this point, because I mostly stay out of her business unless she has specific questions. But I can answer based on my observations.

My wife has an Associates degree in Financial Management and a Bachelor's degree in Accounting. She previously worked as a Financial Management Comptroller for the Air Force, a Budget Analyst for the federal government, and finally as a Budget Analyst for a local company when we relocated. In short, she's packed with experience and education.

But her freelance skill has nothing to do with any of those. She started with a new skill and learned from scratch. I won't say which skill because she asked me not to, and she will read this thread at some point. But I can say that it is a skill she has never done before. She wanted a fresh start.

Studying others can mean a lot of things. In this case, as far as I know, she reviewed profiles, and more recently has spent time learning how others are using social media platforms like twitter, reddit, and linkedin to promote their services.

She's looking at people who offer the same service, and trying to identify their shortcomings. She's also used this to identify a niche she can serve within the industry and has stuck closely to that niche offering 2-3 core services to attract clients, then works hard to overdeliver when she lands one.

When she studies other people, she tries to identify what doesn't work that she can improve, and what does work that she can piggyback off of. I hope that answers your question.
 

Lex DeVille

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It does. Thank you!

It's also worth mentioning that she's started to expand beyond direct client services through her website to more scalable recurring revenue models. This is part of the amounts indicated in the first post. She can help more people with her paid membership, and cut back on the work she has to do to maintain current income levels while she grows.
 

Primeperiwinkle

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It's also worth mentioning that she's started to expand beyond direct client services through her website to more scalable recurring revenue models. This is part of the amounts indicated in the first post. She can help more people with her paid membership, and cut back on the work she has to do to maintain current income levels while she grows.
Yep, she’s amazing. You should keep her. Lol.
 

Andy Black

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Well done Mrs DeVille!
 

DiamondDog

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Well that's something!

Congrats to your wife.

I have been toying with the idea of learning a new skill from scratch AND working for free for forum members in the beginning.

This has inspired me to go forward with that. I'll post a thread soon with the details.
 

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Zahida A. Khan

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My wife isn't a member on this board, so I'm posting for her.
<snipped>
Freelancing is still viable as a way to replace income. Doesn't have to be through Upwork. You just have to commit to figuring it out and make it happen. Stop making excuses.
Hey Lex, congratulations to your wife and always a delight when I hear a husband praise his wife

You rock, dude!!
Cheers, Z'da
 

MrChud

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Awesome advice and your wife is an example of the correct mindset to have! Thank you for sharing this, it's inspiring!
 

_Seba_

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Send this thread to my girlfriend, she is one or two steps away from starting freelancing on her own, maybe it helps her to believe. Thanks for sharing Lex!
 

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