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The story of Fiverr and me


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Fall was quickly fading into the short light of winter. I had spent the season well, walking forest and field gathering mushrooms, picking raspberries, rhubarb, apples and squash . The fall had been abundant. I had made my soups, and pies, fed my friends and filled my mason jars with dried goods for the long winter. The forest has always been my teacher and I am ever it’s willing pupil.

This season the forest had decided it was time for me to learn more about the many species of edible mushrooms it has to offer. The forest had sent me a guide! His name was Will. Someone who I had known for years, spent hours and days with and only now, this year, did I find out he was a mushroom hunter. I was a quick study, as a child I had walked the woods with my Grandfather, Pop Pop. As we walked, he talked, and shared with me where to look for morels. One of the choice mushrooms. Ever illusive and incredibly delicious!

Morels were not the prize we sought though. In the cool days of Fall we would be searching for maitake. Grifola frondosa to be technical. Locally known as Hen of the Woods. Will had never found one before. He explained how they grow and in what conditions they could be found. Being the eager pupil I suggested a spot before he had finished his final sentence.

We decide to set out the next morning and were blessed with a light rain shower while we slept. The spot I had suggested was only a short walk down the old railroad line before heading west towards the mountains. As we walked down the rail trail I couldn’t help but feel blessed to be there. The sun was warm for a fall morning and rain from the night before left the forest painted in a crystalline glow.

As we walked down a small bank, and turned towards the mountains, the forest surrounded us. This was an old forest. It had been glacier washed and there were very few low lying bushes or scrub. It was open and airy with thick tall oaks and maples, mossy hills and a soft bed of fresh fallen leaves. It took only moments before I spotted a different kind of mushroom growing on the far side of a mossy knoll with an old oak stump crumbling from it’s apex like a ruined castle tower. Being ever curious I walked over to the unidentified mushroom to give it a gander. I never found out what kind of mushroom it was because as I rounded the velvety green mound I spotted our prize! A lovely little maitake. About the size of a football, it stood proudly growing from a split in the roots of the old oak.

I stood transfixed for a moment before I called out to Will. “You need to come take a look at this Will” I said. Trying to play it cool. “What? What did you find? There’s no way you found a maitake” he said as he crunched down the leaves burning a quick path to where I stood. I waited patiently with a small grin to reflect my feeling of pride in discovering the treasure we sought. As Will stepped around the mossy knoll his face lit up and he started laughing. “Holy Sh@t Brian! You found one!” he said while shaking his head in disbelief.

I was hooked. I looked forward to any free time I had to go mushroom hunting. There was a lot to learn and the season was coming to a close. In my quest to absorb as much information about mushrooms as I could I joined a message board dedicated to wild mushroom hunting. There were many other junior mycologists on the site and they were being taught by, coaxed and sometimes admonished by professionals in the field of mycology.

It was there, on that forum, that I decided to make myself a signature to go along with my posts. For me it was just another fun aspect of myself to share with my fellow mycologist. It didn’t take long before someone contacted me asking me to make a signature for them. “Sure” I said, “Why not”. I found myself saying that more and more often as others asked me for the same service. I made more and more signatures and time passed.

On a cold November evening while languishing in the afterglow of another fine Thanksgiving spent with family and friends I was thinking to myself, “I’ve made a lot of forum signatures” I wonder if I should start charging for them? I decided to take a look on a popular search engine and I found a listing for something along the lines of “I will make a forum signature for $5”. That got my attention and I clicked the link. I don’t have to tell you where that link sent me. I spent the next hour browsing through Fiverr.com. Looking at all the services available. The sellers. The buyers. The community of people sharing a mission to provide the best possible service at freelance prices.

I liked Fiverr right away. I decide to sign up and created my first gig.“I will create a custom signature, sig, for forums, email or blogs for $5”. My first order came right away. I was surprised and encouraged so I created another gig, and another, and another. I worked hard generating orders, providing top notch customer service, and making sure I delivered the best possible product I could for the orders I received. Before long I awoke to find an email saying "Holy cowabunga! You’ve just become a Level 1 Seller on Fiverr"

I was hooked! I had found a platform to offer my eclectic set of skills and get paid for them. My new level meant new features, so I took some time in figuring out what those features should be. I, of course, took advantage of the extra fast gig extra and came up with my own extras as well. Now the ball was rolling and building momentum in it’s wake. I doubled my marketing efforts. Checked the “gig request” list twice as often. I had a mission! The ever willing pupil was going to reach the coveted “Top Rated Seller” status!

The transition from a level 1 seller to level 2 came quickly. I kept my nose to the grindstone and did all I could to continuously provide top notch products coupled with superior customer service. My new level not only provided me with more options for my gigs but it gave me encouragement! My efforts were paying off! What started out as a walk in the woods had turned into a part time income.

I have yet to reach top rated seller status, but like finding my first maitake, it’s waiting for me just around this next mossy knoll!

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