I have been a freelancer since about 3 years now. I used to work on Fiverr.com then joined Freelancer.com (ultimately realising that it was a scam) and then back to Fiverr. This is a story about what happens when you have too much of anything.
In the dawn of my freelancing days, I was fresh with ideas and enthusiasm and earning just those $4 on Fiverr seemed to give me a great deal of delight. Slowly yet steadily the magnitude of my earning per gig increased as my ratings increased to the point that I was disgusted if someone only paid a standard $5 gig. There came a point where I started making excuses to people and cancelled most standard gigs because I was tired of working so much for only $4 but there was always the fear that more cancellations would make my level drop so I dropped Fiverr for a few months and blamed it on my academic curricula, both during school and college.
Meanwhile, Fiverr had dropped the ‘mutual cancellations will negatively affect ratings’ and thus I became even more lethargic. Ultimately, the number of messages and orders I got reduced from 8 messages and 2-3 orders to 1 message per 7 days and no orders at all.
A few days back I revived my Fiverr account and to my surprise, I didn’t receive jobs at all. None. Zilch. Nada. No replies even after I sent Buyer Requests (something I had stopped doing because orders came anyway). I was disappointed and shocked but I put it all under ‘because I was inactive for a long while’ but that wasn’t the case, I knew inside. I had pissed of so many returning customers by cancelling their gigs halfway through or not accepting jobs at all. I was back to the start now and it felt very, very bad.
Back to the Start
I was a newbie again. I lost my Levels because I was inactive. I had no messages, no orders and even if I replied to buyer requests, there was no follow-up. Slowly, I gained a gig and consequently my levels back. With one gig per 2 weeks it was still a long, dry spell. Until a few months later (after my dropping out of college) I received a message for a very big job. I won’t go into specifics because that would be wrong on a few levels but this client was a great person and had me do a few samples and I got the job last week. As I worked my way through the first week, I started getting my zeal back and now I’m kinda happy that this decline came where I suffered a drought of messages and orders. It made me ashamed, made me realise that those standard $5 jobs I hated so much were what Fiverr is ultimately about, the big jobs are the extras not the small ones.
I have come back to the point that I completed an order I had postponed since days with only 6 hours left to the deadline. The guy was surprised and happy with the work. I think I might be getting a hold of myself again. It feels awesome and it was all because I realised that to gain something, you had to work it out and that opportunities are around us, it is how we react to them. I could’ve cancelled my gig last night and not get those $5 which would’ve been sad because as soon as I delivered I got another order and I delivered it as well. (It is 3:00 AM we are talking about here) So in short, I still earned $8 last night just because I decided to get my ass up and not cancel that order.
The big job I got had a big role in this revival of my old self. I am excited and open to opportunities now, more than ever!