My First Experience Earning Extra Money on the Side and the Lessons Learned
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Guest contributor, Alexandra of Real Simple Finances
I’m a Fiverr Seller!
“Guess what, guess what? I got my first order!” I excitedly squealed, shoving the phone in my husband’s face. It was my first sale on Fiverr. My job: post 10 comments on blogs in the purchaser’s niche, using the purchaser’s URL and email address to drive traffic to his or her site. I knew I would easily fulfill the order, get a positive review, and start making thousands of dollars online. No problem.
Except, there was a problem. I was packing to leave on vacation with my family. I spent the morning getting everything together, and the afternoon on a 5 hour car ride. I couldn’t fulfill the order then, because I get extremely carsick when I read. I decided to wait until we got to the condo.
But wait, there’s more. The condo is in the mountains, and the internet connectivity there is painfully slow. By the time I was able to connect and start typing the request, the websites wouldn’t load, my email wouldn’t load, and my account wouldn’t verify. The only website that would load was Fiverr, showing me a menacing countdown of 4 hours, 32 minutes and 28 – no, 26 – seconds remaining. I was freaking out. I knew I was going to lose the sale, and I would never, ever make money on Fiverr again. (I’m a bit dramatic, can you tell?)
Tips to Handle Entrepreneurial Problems
Eventually, I got the job done, and I did get my positive review. But there are a few things I learned from this experience that are essential to being a successful entrepreneur.
1. While hoping for the best is a good starting place, you should always plan for the worst.
When I said I could post 10 blog comments in 1 day, I didn’t realize that my order would come in at midnight on a day that I needed to drive 5 hours, pack, and fight with the internet. While promising a quick turnaround is good for business, you have to make sure you’ve given yourself enough time so that setbacks won’t ruin your success.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
I nearly had to talk myself out of a panic attack when I feared I wouldn’t complete the order. I had to remind myself that this $5 order ($4 really, after Fiverr takes its fee!) wasn’t worth ruining the start of my vacation for. What was the worst that could happen? I would kick off my Fiverr career with a negative rating. I wouldn’t make $4. This person would never order from me again. It’s a big internet out there. There are plenty of other sites to make money from, and an endless supply of potential new customers. This wasn’t going to ruin my freelancing career.
3. Your time is valuable. Charge appropriately.
I didn’t account for how long this job would actually take me. If you factor in the headaches, the grumpiness my family had to deal with as I fought with my computer, and the high level of stress I encountered over that hour, it was a very difficult $4 to earn. While I think 50 cents per comment is a reasonable fee, I didn’t factor in research time.
I changed up my strategy for the next time. I am still offering 10 comments, but I have promised them in 3 days instead of 1. I received an order yesterday, just as I was finishing up cleaning my office, my husband and I were about to have lunch, and then I had a Jack and Jill party to attend. I would have stressed myself trying to finish the comments that day, and probably missed lunch with my husband. The 3-day buffer helps me when unforeseen circumstances arise.
Now, I have a regular customer. As a bonus, I’m more familiar with his niche; this cuts down on some searching time, as I already have websites in my arsenal I can bring up.
While I’m not getting rich on Fiverr, it was a very valuable experience that taught me a lot about
my ability to handle stress being realistic in my promises.
Yakezie Blog Swap Participants
Read about what others learned from their early employment!
- One Cent at a Time
- Digital Spikes
- FI Journey
- Little House in the Valley
- Money Smart Guides
- Mighty Bargain Hunter
- Evolving Personal Finance
- The Money Principle
- Edward Antrobus
image credit; google images_lethiel deviant
Have you ever freelanced? What were your experiences?