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First time Freelancer

Active Member
Jackline M Member Since: Jan 16, 2019
1 of 21
Hey there,
So what was your first nasty experience as a freelancer? What was your first mistake on this journey?
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
2 of 21

I can't recall ever having had a significantly negative experience as a freelancer until a couple of years ago--nearly 30 years into my freelancing career. The mistake I made was giving far too much leeway to a prospective client because I had known of him by reputation for years and had several colleagues who had worked with him in the past. I cleared and held a significant amount of time for him based on months of ongoing conversation about a new initiative he was launching, only to have him change the start date repeatedly and then ultimately shift the parameters so dramatically that I no longer wanted to be involved...after sacrificing about $10,000 worth of time over three months (and a great deal of frustration).

 

Every decision I made on that path was one I would have counseled a newer freelancer against, but the combination of factors (my favorite type of work, his reputation in the industry, mutual connections) led me to make an exception.

Active Member
Jackline M Member Since: Jan 16, 2019
3 of 21
I'm so sorry about what you went through, on the brighter side,I believe the toughest moments in life make us tough😊
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
4 of 21

I almost fell for the "we'll send you a check and set up a full office in your home" scam when I first started. The only thing that saved me was that I didn't want a full-time job (which is what they were allegedly offering.) LOL

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
5 of 21

The time the loony bin lady raged that I was a liberal and started quoting Winston Churchill was interesting.

 

She messaged me around 9pm my time to give her my phone number so that she could call. My experience giving people my cell is that they think they can call any time including night. So I said she needed to schedule a call with me and I prefer Skype or some voice chat. She kept pushing that she just wanted to talk now and to give her my number. I said it was 9pm. 

 

So, she went loony tunes and said something about me probably being a liberal and quoting Winston Churchill saying liberals are stupid. Then ranted that my website is shady and she had so much work for me and I blew it.

 

I really wish I wasn't on Upwork for that one or I would have unloaded on her. 

 

That was probably the craziest lady I've run into on here, but I've had other fun filled LOLs on here. It's usually from **Edited for Community Guidelines** trying to argue about my rates. It's usually from my people too telling me I'll never get what I'm asking for instead of just skipping my proposal and moving on.

Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
6 of 21

Jennifer M wrote:

It's usually from my people too telling me I'll never get what I'm asking for instead of just skipping my proposal and moving on.


 I haven't had that often, but I've had a couple. "Okay, good luck with that!" Um...good luck with what? The same thing I've been doing successfully since 2008?

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
7 of 21

A few years ago, after FLing successfully for decades, I decided to shift focus and struggled to get going (before I discovered UW). Answered an ad on c-list to do some writing piece-work. The rate wasn't bad but the volume of work was low. But every little bit helps. Didn't read the contract closely because it was only a $35-50/week gig that I didn't think would go anywhere. And, for the first time every, didn't vet the client. She gradually suckered me into working full-time (for weekly fee) and for a few months it was great. She was a start-up with up to 10 FLs working for her (most of whom couldn't write well enough to be doing that work), so I wound up writing plus editing everyone else's stuff plus building workflow processes (she had none). It was gratifying and she paid me well for it until she stopped. I bought the excuses at first, then realized if I stopped production, cash flow would stop altogether. That's also when I realized she had built a little pyramid scheme. (I'm not sure she even meant to do that because it turned out she's nuts.) A few more weeks and then I refused to submit more work until we worked out a payment schedule for what she owed me. Within an hour, she had shut down my company email account, cut off my access to her Basecamp account, and written a huge screed about my perfidy, how I had sabotaged her business, etc. I had saved reams and reams of chats and emails proving otherwise. After she spit on my final invoice, I spent some time and energy trying to figure out how to recover what she owed me (several thousand dollars). Finally vetted her and discovered she really is a head case. (FB is not her friend.) Anyhow, I live in Georgia, she had been in a Mountain state (and was living in Germany by this point), and the contract we had signed had language referring to a West Coast state where she'd previously lived, which clouded jurisdiction for small claims court. I would've gladly traveled west on freq flyer miles for my day in court, but it wasn't to be. (I did consult a lawyer, who convinced me it was a fool's errand.) BTW, she'd cheated several of the other FLs, too, but was into me for the most money.

 

Meanwhile, I found UW and discovered a new niche market for my research capabilities. 

 

Scoundrels abound. Be careful who you're tying up with.

Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
8 of 21

It's always when things are working so smoothly and everything is great that a headcase client comes around and ruins your winning streak.

 

For whatever reason I don't understand, every single one of my disputes and very difficult clients where I had to say "enough we're done here" has been April and May. Every time. 

Community Guru
Scott B Member Since: Nov 20, 2015
9 of 21

Jennifer M wrote:

It's always when things are working so smoothly and everything is great that a headcase client comes around and ruins your winning streak.

 

For whatever reason I don't understand, every single one of my disputes and very difficult clients where I had to say "enough we're done here" has been April and May. Every time. 


 If the US, perhaps April federal taxes caught up to them. 

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
10 of 21

Jennifer M wrote:

It's always when things are working so smoothly and everything is great that a headcase client comes around and ruins your winning streak.

 

For whatever reason I don't understand, every single one of my disputes and very difficult clients where I had to say "enough we're done here" has been April and May. Every time. 


 Oh yeah! I've noticed that it's a spring thing. Thanks for the reminder. I will put a note in my calendar to not take new clients this coming flake season. LOL

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