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lenaellis
Community Member

Featured Contributor Bill H.

Meet our Featured Contributor Bill H. and read about the interesting stories and experiences he's had. 

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What job category do you work in?

Management Consulting

 

When did you begin using Upwork?
Around 2006, as elance.

 

Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started Freelancing, or running your business online?
I was a freelance musician in the 1970s, writing and arranging music, playing and singing in clubs and recording studios. In the 1990s I helped friends and acquaintances with business issues part-time, and in 2003 started by business advising referrals and word-of-mouth clients. A colleague retired and gave me his account on a now-closed site, and I was online.

 

What do you enjoy the most/least about working online, Bill?

The best thing is the wide variety of clients. For example, I never knew there was such a thing as a consultant to escort services until one hired me. 
I am an issue-based, not expertise-based, consultant. I know at least a little bit about almost everything. Few of my clients know what the real issue is, and have devised the perfect solution to the wrong problem. The greatest value I ever provide is identifying the real problem, but online I have to give that away for free to get the work.

 

What was your most successful project/contract?

A European-based consultant in a microniche wanted help in pricing his software for licensing. I flew to Europe and in ten minutes knew what the issue was. Over lunch we hand-wrote a business plan on a piece of paper to expand into new markets and keep the software for himself. Twelve years later he still carries the business plan with him every day, he's featured in a recent issue of Forbes and dominates his industry. We still talk strategy and tactics for about an hour every month or two.

 

Do you have any advice for other users on Upwork?

The client determines your value, you determine what you will charge. The client-freelancer relationship is one of equals. You must always be prepared to walk away from work.

 

We want to know at least two fun or interesting things about you 🙂

I once talked my way out of a terrorist kidnapping. I once used a foreign country's president as a job reference. I taught local "magic" to Western-educated doctors in a small Pacific Island nation for use in controlling pain. It was hypnosis. I developed the means to keep Iraq's army in Kuwait pinned down in the wrong place while coalition tanks rolled across the border.

 

Anything else you want to add?

Acceptance beats understanding every time.

 

 

 

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11 REPLIES 11
wendy_writes
Community Member

Best advice ever:

 

"The client determines your value, you determine what you will charge. The client-freelancer relationship is one of equals. You must always be prepared to walk away from work."

 

Now if only people believed it and put these words into practice.

Just did this today. THe client just didn't know how much they were asking for.

browersr
Community Member

Loved this, Bill! Need to do a podcast in order to delve into these stories in more detail. Let's start with the whole consultant to an escort service thing.... 

christybesiner
Community Member

I agree with Scott. I love that you had a foreign president as a referral, as a recruiter I have had some interesting ones.. but that takes the cake! Great read!

"Loved this, Bill! Need to do a podcast in order to delve into these stories in more detail. Let's start with the whole consultant to an escort service thing.... "

 

The ones that sound fascinating are IRL dull. She was a former escort service owner in Canada, was consulting to other escort services and publishing books about the industry. The nitty-gritty was no different from my work for a consultant to garbage hauling companies.

 

"I love that you had a foreign president as a referral, as a recruiter I have had some interesting ones.. but that takes the cake!"

 

This one is actually interesting. I visited a newly-independent Pacific island nation to look through some historical records when writing a book on contract. My fist stop was the US Embassy, where I picked up the #2 official and we went to meet the Postmaster General. The Ambassador considered it a waste of my time, he was a minor official. Actually, he was the Elliot Richardson of the Pacific, having served as President of the territorial Senate and the territorial House of Representatives, and had come in second in the previous presidential election. The current president wanted him available to gve advice since he was the most respected person in the country.

 

We hit it off immediately, and during our visit he called his cousin and told him to be sure to meet with me. The Ambassador said they refused to have anything to do with the cousin; he was a drunkard and reprobate. All true. We also became good friends, and when he won the next presidential election he invited me to the inauguration. The invitation to the US Ambassador must have been lost in the mail.

Congratulations, Bill!

"Certa bonum certamen"

MURGA

Make Upwork Really Great Again
6408437a
Community Member

Great Thanks BIll

 

The client determines your value, you determine what you will charge. The client-freelancer relationship is one of equals. You must always be prepared to walk away from work.

verah2007
Community Member

Wow, what a piece of bold advice.... The client determines your value, you determine what you will charge. I will put this to practice, thanks. 

abdelrauof97
Community Member

Bill is amazing, i am still remember his words on a reply to my question 1 year ago, thank you so much Bill Smiley Happy

jacqdv
Community Member


I once talked my way out of a terrorist kidnapping. I once used a foreign country's president as a job reference. I taught local "magic" to Western-educated doctors in a small Pacific Island nation for use in controlling pain. It was hypnosis. I developed the means to keep Iraq's army in Kuwait pinned down in the wrong place while coalition tanks rolled across the border.

 



So, Bill, what you're saying is that hanging out with you at a pub is probably going to be a big snooze-fest.  🙂 

Jacqui,

 

I'm boring as watching paint dry. What should be interesting isn't, like the escort service. What shouldn't be interesting might be, such as being held at gunpoint by twenty angry Arab presidential guards. I was having a pleasant chat with their commander, in Arabic, and learned he grew crops on his farm for Zakat, to give away to the needy. I asked him how large his farm was. I had misheard the term, and asked him about the size of his phallus. Or, challenging my voice teacher more than fifty years ago about his instructions for interpreting a phrase in a Rachmaninoff piece; he said, "That's what Rachmaninoff told me."

 

I was a successful intelligence officer before becoming a management consultant. Boring. Two days of preparation, most of the day making sure I wasn't being followed, ninety-minute meeting, the rest of the day being sure we hadn't been observed, then five days of paperwork. Surveillance is only slightly less boring than interviewing woodpeckers. Never in a car chase, never shot at by a spy nor shot one, never blew up anything. The whole purpose of one's life is to be as boring as possible, unremarkable, fade into the background. Thus, people with a high need to brag are failures. For four years, whenever asked what I did, I replied that I was a urinal inspector, then tried to explain the intricacies of the job. Funny that nobody wanted to hear about it.

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