I have been freelancing for nearly six years now. Whenever I meet a fellow freelancer, I am always excited to exchange tips with them because I have so much to learn from others, whether their way of handling potential business or managing their time to be at their most productive state. So I am honoured to have this opportunity to chat with Stephen and gain some insights into his view of the freelancing world.
Thank you, Stephen, for accepting this interview. It is my honour to have this opportunity to understand what your job entails and provide others with a peek into your working world, so maybe someone can learn something from your experience. Please introduce yourself, and where are you from?
My name is Stephen. I am from Germany.
What is it you do in freelancing? What are your skills/speciality?
I specialise in consulting and providing services to ecommerce sellers on amazon. My skills consist of fluently speaking 5 European languages and reading and writing another 2, an extensive vocabulary, highly developed analytical skills.
Why do you freelance?
After successful endeavours in North and South America, I ran into a paradox situation when I returned to Europe. Not possessing a university degree disqualified me for managerial positions. But my management experience in international environments made my applications for entry positions appear non-credible.
What are the freelancing platforms you use?
Upwork, People per Hour, Guru, Freelancer are the my go-to platforms to find clients.
What were you doing before you venture into freelancing? Did you enjoy your last job?
Before I started freelancing for the last time, I sold basic grocery packages to habitats in rural areas of the Northeast of Brazil. I loved it.
How long have you been a freelancer? Can you survive on what you earn from freelancing?
I first freelanced from 2005 to 2007, then from 2009 until today. I am capable of accomplishing more than surviving on my freelancing earnings. I support a family of 4, mainly spending our life in the US, Brazil, and Europe, travelling to any place and any time that we like.
Please share with us any interesting stories or people you have encounter at freelancing.
I am afraid that I do not have any interesting story to tell. Freelancing was easy to start. There is no low job availability for my skills and performance level. However, I perceived ignorance and arrogance in many people procuring freelancers on the internet. They are either unaware of the cost of living or believe that everyone on a freelancing platform must be a day-taler desperate to make a dollar.
What is the prospect of freelancing? And what do you see yourself doing five years down the path?
Freelancing and home office work will increase, considering a change in attitude toward work/life balance and the available technologies. I hope that in 5 years, I will not be freelancing anymore, but having a business established that I can pass on to my children. If that does not work out, I will be continuing freelancing.
How do you find satisfaction in your work?
My results are measurable. My satisfaction is being found in achievements.
Building a track record of achievements, receiving recognition from my clients, adding to my reputation, being able to pay my bills
What does passion mean to you?
Passion means love for what I do. Passion means no compromises in quality. I am not an aggressive person at all. My passion is naturally stimulated by pursuing the highest levels of excellence.
Please do share one tip of yours in making freelancing a success.
Do not advertise skills that would not secure you a regular job.
Would you advise anyone to quit their job and go into freelancing full-time?
No, not everyone has the discipline, the positivism, the skills, or can advertise himself and his skills.
Any last words for someone who aspires to be a freelancer?
Don’t try to accommodate everyone. Specialise and train your considerable skills. Do not undersell yourself unless there are other substantial benefits.
I am a seasoned professional with international business development, marketing & sales experience, and a customer service background. I was born and raised in Europe and spent the past 20 years living and working in North and South America and Europe. I am married with two children. I speak five languages on a professional level and am highly computer literate. I specialised in amazon in 2009, and have become a leading amazon expert for Europe and North America, consulting and providing services to amazon sellers.
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