Finding Work After 50 – Episode #5 (My First Paying Gig)

Finding Work After 50 – Episode #5 (My First Paying Gig)

I got another invite from another client to bid on this particular project.

Seemed straight forward enough and even though the report was about Afghanistan, the client was from the US. This leads to another best practice:

Best Practice: Limit your proposals to clients only in the US and other western countries. Why? Two reasons. First, the language barrier. You may have a hard time communicating with clients in other countries. Second, money. Clients in western countries are willing and able to pay western country rates.

So, I went ahead and sent this proposal:

After receiving my proposal the client wanted to jump on a Skype interview right away. Unfortunately, I was having a bad Skype day, so we agreed to IM each other. Little did I know that would come back to bite me in the…

I agreed to do the project for the proposed fixed price of $150 (of which I’d get $120). I knew the task was worth way more than that, but I figured it was a good way to get my foot in the door (he said he had more work). And besides, he said if I agreed to do it for his price he would promise me a 5 star rating (see his communication below).

To make a long story short, the 35 pages turned into 50 pages (almost 20,000 words–a third of a book). And even thought we cemented the contract at noon on Wednesday and  he said I had until Friday at 6:00 pm, he reneged on that and made it due Friday at noon.

That meant I had to proofread 50 pages and write an executive summary and conclusion in 48 hours. I spent 20 hours on the project over the next two days, but I met his deadline (and I did a hell of a job). If you’re paying attention, that’s six buck an hour BEFORE taxes. This freelancing thing was definitely starting off slower than I had hoped.

So, naturally the client was delighted with my deliverable, right? His response shocked the hell out of me. You can read all about it in the next episode. And boy do I have some lessons to share with you.


Also published on Medium.

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