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Jun 07, 2022
These Seven Principles Made Me a Successful Freelancer

I was that young man who had the skills and talents but was broke to the point I couldn't afford a laptop when I started freelancing. I started, anyway, with a 1GB android phone. It was a very challenging period.


Today, that story has changed. Within my first 7-months on Upwork, I got a Top Rated Plus badge by offering top-notch content writing, editing, and video transcription services that earned me excellent reviews. Today, I can own a laptop warehouse if I wish, lol. I bought my first house in Lagos, Nigeria, a few days ago. All thanks to freelancing. Now, I set my sights on bigger goals and am determined to offer more excellent content writing and editing services to my clients across the world; their growth is my growth.


After devoting about an hour of deep meditation in the solitary of my study room, trying to figure out what hastened my progress as a freelancer, I eventually traced my success to the possession of seven traits. These, my friends, can help your career if you decide to take action after reading this piece.




Thus, below are the seven principles that helped me become a successful freelancer, which can also work magic for you:


1. Find your passion

Before becoming a freelancer, I was a passionate writer. If I wasn't a passionate writer, I might not succeed as a freelance writer; it's that simple. Therefore, it is essential first to find the niche you're passionate about and then develop your skill in it. Offering your passion to help achieve your client's goals will hasten your success as a freelancer.


2. Improve your skills and prepare for the big break

The high-paying gigs might not come at first. In fact, you may struggle to land your first gig as you'll have to compete with successful freelancers. When I started freelancing, there were times I went a few days without a gig. However, I used those dry periods to improve my skills. You can do the same. Take advantage of these idle periods to work on yourself, and by the time the bigger gigs start showing up, you'll be well-equipped to handle them and deliver excellently.


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3. Money should be an option, but it shouldn't be the first option

A quote I'll never forget from the Bollywood movie The 3 Idiots is "pursue excellence, and success will chase you." To succeed in the freelance space, focus on offering values, and money will follow. If your reason for freelancing is to become a millionaire overnight, think again because this is not a jackpot casino. If money is your sole driving force, you might lose the motivation to continue if it doesn't come as expected. In fact, you'll take jobs you can't do because it offers to pay more. Consequently, you may damage your freelance profile with terrible reviews for delivering low-quality jobs.


4. Without discipline, your progress will be slow, if, at all, you are lucky to progress

Excelling as a freelancer requires a lot of discipline. You have all the time to yourself, no boss to scold you for resuming late, you can wake anytime, can go anywhere, and can do anything. If you aren't disciplined, this freedom, as incredible as it seems, could work against you. Your level of success as a freelancer is, therefore, determined by your level of discipline.


5. Flock around the right people

Some days, you want to give up, perhaps because things aren't working as expected. You may even begin to think "freelancing is a scam." I understand this feeling because I've been there. Thus, having the right people around you is what will keep you going at this point. It helps if you join a community of freelancers around you. You can reach for help in such a community and get all the information you need from the successful people in your niche.


6. Take action

You may have all the plans in your head and all the energy you need to succeed as a freelancer. My friend, dreams without action are just dreams and ultimately fuel disappointment. Have dreams, but take action. Remember, the smallest implementations are always worth more than the grandest of intentions. If being a successful freelancer was easy, everyone would be doing it. 


7. Keep trying 

It won't be easy when you start, but if you can be consistent and keep the fire burning, you'll thank yourself for not giving up.

My friend, I started from the bottom and struggled to find my balance, but I did what had to be done; I made sacrifices and didn't give up. This is why I can tell my story to inspire you today. Remember this, my good friend, offer excellent services, and success will chase you.


Work with these lessons, stick them to memory, and you shall excel in this freelance space.


If I can do it, so can you!