5 Lessons I Learned as an Online Freelancer in 2014

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5 Lessons I Learned as an Online Freelancer in 2014

2014 is so far, one of the best year in my freelancing career as it opened so many doors of opportunities for me in business, career and advocacy. But of course, all those will not be possible, without the help, trust and support of others. Most of all, I would like to thank you for constantly reading each and every blog post that I release for the past year. Expect that I will be blogging and sharing more useful tips, advices and resources this coming 2015.

It has been my habit to end a year with a reflection so that I can be much better person in the coming years. Allow me now to share with you the 5 things I learned in 2014 that will help you reach greater heights in your freelancing career in 2015. 

1) Keep learning and improving your skills and experience.

For the past 12 months of rendering different services to clients and also teaching others how to get started in their online freelancing career, It has become more evident to me that banking on your current skills to sustain you for a long time is not a clever idea. I've seen how many of the supposed specialized skills back then has become a common skills nowadays and those who didn't attempt to learn new skills and competencies got left behind by the new comers in the online freelancing industry who has more drive and eagerness to offer more and better skills and services. 

That is why www.OnlineJobsUniversity.com, a training website that I own and manage, continues to offer different training programs that will help current and aspiring online freelancers to continue growing and honing their craft. In a way, I can say that in online freelancing, it's either you keep growing or your earnings will stop sooner or later.

2) Online Freelancing has a Feast-Famine cycle, so be ready for it.

This is another important lesson that i've heard in the past but only fully experienced it this year. What do I mean by Feast-Famine? In simple terms, its like a roller coaster ride when it comes to your finances. Meaning, there are times where you are so full of clients and you are earning alot (feast), then there are months where you can't even earn a decent income to support you and your family(famine). So I guess you may be asking now, how to make sure that such cycle will not fully affect you? Well, you need a safety net. Let me list down what are those safety net you can set for yourself:

a) Always market your service to your potential clients. I am not referring to directly selling to them your services. What you should do is to always showcase your knowledge and expertise by answering questions in forums and social media, writing a blog post, or volunteering your services. This will give you milleage and increase your chances of having other people get interested in the service you are offering. 

b) As mentioned in Item #1, you should be constantly improving and adding skills and competencies as this will serve as your cushion in case your current skills are not needed anymore by your current client or the competition has become tougher that finding online jobs becomes harder. The stuff you can do and offer as service, the more chance for you to find paying clients. But one warning though, don't become a full-pledge jack-of-all-trades. Have an expertise but still be flexible enough to be capable of rending other forms of services. 

3) Surround yourself with people who will lift you up and push you to greater heights.

I can truly say that I am blessed and favored this year because many of the breaks and opportunities that I received came from people who trusted and believed in what I can do. I was able to travel around the country teaching students and professionals how online freelancing can help them. I was able to speak in different events, conferences, summits and seminars. I got featured twice on TV, got radio interviews, and the best part, I was able to expand my world and meet different people through the trainings that i've provided and through this humble website you are in right now. Let me share with you some tips on how to go about it.

a) Work hard and give your best! I am basically a one-man team in running this blog and onlinejobsuniversity.com during its early stages. Just imagine, creating blog post, recording the trainings, setting up the website, answering support questions, marketing and promoting the training, managing the online community and many more. I had many sleepless nights, missed gatherings, and had health concerns. But all of them paid off and got me noticed by people who can bring me to greater heights. 

b) Attended live events, meet-ups and networking events. Yes, although my work is purely online, it is vital that you also network offline as this will remind you that true relationships are built through face to face interaction and not just by a simple click of the "Add as Friend" button. Through the events that i've attended, i was able to meet people who has been instrumental and channels of many of the breaks that I've received this year. You may be probably asking, "So this means I have to spend money to join those events?". My answer to you is Yes. But don't consider it as an expense but rather an investment for yourself. If I kept on thinking about the money that I need to spend to join and participate on events, then I will not meet these great and wonder people. If you dont have enough funds, then save for it. It may take much longer for you, but atleast you are heading to the right direction. 

c) Be Generous and Geniune! I am not just talking about money although this is also an option. But in my case, I have more knowledge than money so that's what I've shared. It was my passion to teach people about online freelancing. I didn't hold back information that could greatly help those whom I am teaching. These actions opened doors for me to be invited to take part in a Online Freelancing training roadshow that brought me to different parts of the country for free. So my suggestion to you, Give and it will be given back to you, multiple folds. 

4) You will definitely make mistakes along the way, It's a sign of growth.

This is something that is hard to accept for many because who wants to make mistakes right? On top fo the success and blessings that i've received this year, I also commitment many mistakes but those led me and made me a better person. To be honest, many of those mistakes that i've committed is because of my ignorance on how things work and operate. I had mistakes in my work, in my client relationships, in my choices of action that made some people leave me. Yes, they are painful, but you must realize that mistakes are there to improve you and teach you new things. But be certain not to repeat the same mistakes again because if that happens, it's intentional already. 

Also, believe that things will turn out for the best, which happened to me as well. I realized that even though some people left me, I also gained new ones who understand my true worth and knows me in a much deeper level. In fact, many of those mistakes actually turned to be blessings in disguised. ;)

5) Don't forget your priorities and take a break

The last thing and i think the most important take away that I have for this year that I want to share is all about priorities. Some of you will say, "Yes we are very much aware of our priorities" and I said the same thing. But as you go through online freelancing and entrepreneurship journey, there will be so many things that will happen to you, most of them good and you haven't experienced. The tendency is for you to grab any opportunities that comes your way. Who wouldn't right? Anyway its an opportunity. 

But think about it. Not all good things are actually good for you or atleast will bring you to your dreams. Some of them will even alter or affect your priorities. If the opportunity doesn't bring you closer to where you want to go, then its just a distraction, no matter what it is. In a simple analogy, Being popular doesn't mean fulfillment of your dreams and goals, unless being popular is your goal. In fact, popularity can take you away from you goals and paths.

And most important of all, Learn to schedule breaks and rest. As an online freelancer, once client work starts pouring in, you have the tendency to just work and work. You may end up with many of those whom i know who works up to 12 to 16 hours per day and they are so happy about it. They were even inspired by those who were able to work 20 hours per day and which they can do the same as well. I don't know about you, but that is not the life that i want to have. All work and no play or even rest will take the joy out of your life and soon you will suffer. Stike balance. Schedule breaks. It's ok to work hard, but make sure you also rest and relax grander too :) 

So there you have it, my key take aways from 2014 that I will bring in 2015 and beyond. I hope your 2014 has been an exciting year and if it not, then you have a fresh start in next year :) Remember, there is a God who watches over us, guides us and protect us. Just be true, be honest and be good. What ever happens, things will fall in its right places. :) A Happy and Blessed New Year Everyone! 

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Genesis is an an Online Business Consultant, specializing in Web Development and Social Media Marketing. For years, He has been helping business owners establish and manage their online presence to increase business exposure, reach and sales. Read More


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