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What are your weaknesses as a freelancer?


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Hello everyone!

Straightforward question: what are your weaknesses as a freelancer?

Weaknesses as in habits that harm you, hinder your business and things that you wish to improve upon.

Anyone who wishes to engage in this discussion, has to be comfortable being vulnerable or willing to improve upon this.

 

I will start with myself. I have two main weaknesses:

1. Being easy to bargain with.

Very often I will fall for some sob story to lower my rates or provide a shorter turn-in time at no extra charge. This is due to the agreeable style of my personality in conjunction with not having enough funds on the side. Being more firm in my negotiations, or not allowing negotiations, is something that I am striving towards. The older I get, the firmer I become. Many of us, artists, are people pleasers to begin with.

2. Overworking myself.

I have an addictive personality. I can exercise too much, consume too much, work too much, and it goes on and on. I learned to control this tendency through swapping my vices with exercise and sports. It's just substituting one thing for another. It is not a cure but rather, redirection of this energy.

 

I would love to hear your experiences!

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1. Limited Time: As a freelancer, you often have to manage multiple projects and deadlines at once, which can make it difficult to dedicate enough time to each one.

2. Lack of Benefits: As a freelancer, you dont receive any benefits such as health insurance, paid vacation, or other perks that come with full-time employment.

3. Self-Motivation: Working as a freelancer often requires a great deal of self-motivation and discipline. It can be difficult to stay on track and stay motivated when working on your own.

4. Difficult to Network: It can be difficult to find and create connections with other professionals when working on your own. Networking is an important part of success in the freelance world, so this can be a challenge.

5. Unpredictable Income: Freelancing can be unpredictable, and you may not always be able to depend on a steady stream of income. This can be a challenge when trying to plan for the future.

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My biggest weakness I think is that I get overeager when I hear about a fun project. Being happy to tackle something fun is GREAT, of course, but I often end up getting too into things and work even before an order is made or give big discounts on a whim (when I would need the money very much so.) I think I need to separate my personal interests (aka, games) away from work a bit more sometimes,  suppose? 

That being said, I DO get to work on some absolutely amazing games so it all works out, but sometimes I wish i didn't get so excited for say, some project that might not happen/etc. (or give away free work unintentionally.) A bit of that is fine, but if you have 20 orders a month, a bit of info per thing ends up being a lot.

(oh, and I am VERY impatient. If I submit something I NEED TO KNOW if someone liked it. Even if it's 40 pages long. I do NOT bother them asking how it is BUT sometimes I freak out inwardly if there's no response for a while. (this is probably more of a personal flaw but affects my work so...)

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1 hour ago, sunboatrecords said:

2. Overworking myself.

Yep, yep, yep! I used to work insanely long hours... And I got back into that habit again this year which isn't a good thing. When I say long days... it's basically ALL day. I've been so burned out by Fiverr this year that I was very, very close to quitting many times. Especially since what I do here isn't really my passion (working on getting to do that for a living instead). And there are only so many times you can translate a Terms of Service or a Privacy Policy before you go crazy.

After I came back from my summer vacation, I turned down so many jobs because I just couldn't do it. I couldn't get myself to translate. So, my profile hasn't completely recovered from that yet. It's getting there, but it's not totally what it was before August. And that's okay. I spend 95% of my day game developing, anyway.

Now, I have decided that I work Monday-Saturday 7 AM - 5 PM and not a second longer. I need to keep my sanity. Yesterday was the first day since mid-August that I had a full day off. It was so difficult to figure out what to spend a whole day on. I need to learn how to have fun again.

My second weakness is that I'm perhaps a bit too harsh when it comes to accepting new buyers. If they show the slightest sign of a red flag, I turn them down. It can be a good thing, but I do think that I've often ended up turning down good buyers in the process.

42 minutes ago, katakatica said:

My biggest weakness I think is that I get overeager when I hear about a fun project.

I love when sellers are like this. It makes projects so much more fun to work on as a buyer when you have an eager collaborator!

42 minutes ago, katakatica said:

(oh, and I am VERY impatient. If I submit something I NEED TO KNOW if someone liked it. Even if it's 40 pages long. I do NOT bother them asking how it is BUT sometimes I freak out inwardly if there's no response for a while. (this is probably more of a personal flaw but affects my work so...)

I understand this 100%. I'm totally like this about my writing, too. I think writing is a very personal thing in a way. I do kinda feel like I put part of myself on the page when I write if that makes sense.

Edited by vibronx
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

Patience: I prefer not to communicate with a client about the same thing over and over and over and over... It is frustrating for me to communicate with those who can't speak English fluently, but are sincerely trying to engage my services. I also find it tiring to continue to be pleasant when clients go on and on and on and on. #SMASHMYKEYBOARD

Health (Mental / Physical): During November, I didn't have many orders. I thought business would be slow, but within a few days, I had seven large orders. I worked 20 hours a day that week. I stress ate and gained 3kg in two weeks. 

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13 hours ago, vibronx said:

I love when sellers are like this. It makes projects so much more fun to work on as a buyer when you have an eager collaborator!

13 hours ago, katakatica said:

It's great but can also be stressful I suppose 😄 Being passionate is great until everyone is happy. The second you love your work but the buyer wants changes (which is ABSOLUTELY normal) you shatter lol (as in, I shatter, but you know what I mean!)
We SHOULD totally join a game jam together at some time though 😛 I don't code or art but have good ideas? sort of.

 

13 hours ago, vibronx said:

I think writing is a very personal thing in a way. I do kinda feel like I put part of myself on the page when I write if that makes sense.

For me, it's sometimes possible to remove myself from it when it's things that I'm not particularly interested in, but usually, I really give it my all, which makes it all the more delicate of a subject.

It's also kind of exhausting to be writing 'all day'? I mean there just seems to be a limit on how long I can be creative without my brain breaking. Not sure if that counts as a weakness but sort of I guess. 

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54 minutes ago, katakatica said:

It's great but can also be stressful I suppose 😄 Being passionate is great until everyone is happy. The second you love your work but the buyer wants changes (which is ABSOLUTELY normal) you shatter lol (as in, I shatter, but you know what I mean!)

I get this 100%. And it's not a nice feeling! But it shows that you care and that's a good thing!
 

54 minutes ago, katakatica said:

We SHOULD totally join a game jam together at some time though 😛 I don't code or art but have good ideas? sort of.

That would be so much fun to do someday! I've never worked on a game with someone else, so it would be very interesting to try! 
 

54 minutes ago, katakatica said:

It's also kind of exhausting to be writing 'all day'? I mean there just seems to be a limit on how long I can be creative without my brain breaking.

It is. I think it's a very draining activity. After I'm finished writing for the day, I feel totally done. I could just go straight to sleep sometimes. 4 hours I can consistently do if I'm not working on too many other things, 5 hours I can do if I really push myself but it's not sustainable for me. 

Edited by vibronx
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16 hours ago, sunboatrecords said:

Being easy to bargain with.

It happened to me at first too, but now I think I'm on the opposite side where I really don't bargain with prices. It has to be a very special project, those that make you want to lend a hand to work creating something that appeals to you or maybe for a really good buyer that has worked with you many times before and now, for some reason, needs a discount.

14 hours ago, vibronx said:

what I do here isn't really my passion

Yeah, I think that is easier getting burned when doing something you don't really like. I can't imagine doing my day job for 14 straight hours, however, as I started in Fiverr to do what I really love to do I've spent that many time working on some projects.

Nowadays I try not to work that much and even take some days free as my back started to be resented early this year.

1 hour ago, katakatica said:

We SHOULD totally join a game jam together at some time though

I'm up for it!

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36 minutes ago, vibronx said:

5 hours I can do if I really push myself but it's not sustainable for me. 

Sometimes I can write that long, but I need pretty big breaks - though I do write a fair bit (if I reaaaallly push myself, I can write 2k words in an hour - might not be a lot for some people, but it's... quite a bit for me!) I can't, however, do that forever. Spreading it out over the day (doing up to... 5-6k words absolute max. seems to wor best (but that of course doesn't include messaging, brainstorming, etc. etc.! Not saying writing for a living is bad (hope I don't feel complain-y!) just agreeing that doing too much in one go is... not good for you! 
 

39 minutes ago, vibronx said:

That would be so much fun to do someday! I've never worked on a game with someone else, so it would be very interesting to try! 

I work a lot with others, but doing something for 'me' would be different 😛 Sounds really fun though!
@shalock We should perhaps do Fiverr Forum - the game 😛 Complete with little pixelated people running around like crazy... 😛

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@sunboatrecords Well, I'm guilty of lacking of patience when changes reach certain level. I had to learn to take deep breaths and to sometimes say no in a convincing way that tells the buyer that its not that I don't want to change it, is that it makes no sense (or isn't within the budget).

Also, at first I worked too much I think, too many hours in comparison to the money I was doing, however, with time and some progress this has resolved itself, although sometimes I find myself working again 12 hours a day.

 

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1 minute ago, katakatica said:

I work a lot with others, but doing something for 'me' would be different 😛 Sounds really fun though!
@shalock We should perhaps do Fiverr Forum - the game 😛 Complete with little pixelated people running around like crazy... 😛

I had a similar idea. Us, creative regulars, could join forces and make a cartoon or something. But, there is a good chance that we will receive warnings ^^

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12 minutes ago, katakatica said:

Fiverr Forum - the game

🤣 what kind of game would it be?

A puzzle game: where you have to piece the messages to understand what they say?

A managing game: try to keep the chaos at bay while keeping the forum working (it also could work as an RPG or tower defense game).

A FPS: well, maybe that wouldn't be such a great idea, maybe too much.

So much possibilities!

Edited by shalock
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1 hour ago, shalock said:

🤣 what kind of game would it be?

 

A rougelike 😛 (nah, I don't think it'd be a good idea. But it'd be fun!)

An RPG or a managing game would likely work out the best 😄

(also sorry for hijacking the thread a bit but it WOULD be awesome lol)

1 hour ago, sunboatrecords said:

I had a similar idea. Us, creative regulars, could join forces and make a cartoon or something. But, there is a good chance that we will receive warnings ^^

Yeah, depending on how it's made 😛 
 

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I cannot handle too many orders coming to me within a short time. That is my weakness. I don't have the ability to multitask.

Like, once I had a huge number of clients who placed orders and it was so difficult for me to deliver them on time. I get overwhelmed easily because it is so stressful. Sometimes I even had to deliver products late and it was really embarrassing for me.

It is difficult for me to say no to somebody. It is like I have a hard time being rude to other people, so I agree to many requests that buyers make. This is my second weakness. I have to be more assertive when dealing with clients but it does not come naturally. 

Edited by noirparliament_
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17 minutes ago, noirparliament_ said:

I cannot handle too many orders coming to me within a short time. That is my weakness. I don't have the ability to multitask.

Like, once I had a huge number of clients who placed orders and it was so difficult for me to deliver them on time. I get overwhelmed easily because it is so stressful. Sometimes I even had to deliver products late and it was really embarrassing for me.

It is difficult for me to say no to somebody. It is like I have a hard time being rude to other people, so I agree to many requests that buyers make. This is my second weakness. I have to be more assertive when dealing with clients but it does not come naturally. 

You can build a team then handle easily everything.

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6 hours ago, katakatica said:

It's also kind of exhausting to be writing 'all day'? I mean there just seems to be a limit on how long I can be creative without my brain breaking. Not sure if that counts as a weakness but sort of I guess. 

I think this is just a fact and not a personal weakness. It still amazes me how fatigued writing a lot makes me even after so many years doing it!

One of my weaknesses is probably taking on too much all at once. I have real-life issues that make scheduling and organization very difficult, but I do have to get better at it.

I also lack patience sometimes with people who do not communicate clearly or efficiently enough. Of course, I remain professional! I'd love it if people got to the point and answered all my questions right away. 

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My BIIIIIGGEST weakness is intolerance and lack of patience. 

I'm a very efficient person and with very strong communication skills,  when I deal with people unable to keep up I tend to become very frustrated and a bit rude! 

I'm very aware clients only deal with you and sometimes they don't see lack of communication or misunderstandings as a big issue , but when you deal with hundreds of clients those miscommunications become part of your job routine and for someone with my type of personality might become very stressful. 

example: I send client a revision with 3questions: 

1-Is it red or black?

2-is it square or round? 

3-is it 1cm or 10cm

 

CLIENT REPLY: 

"Yes, correct"   

This is usually where I lose my patience! 

In time I learned to wait and count till 3h before replying but I'm still practicing. 😄 Sometimes I wish I had an assistant to deal with the communication part, so I only execute the work without reading a word! 

 

Edited by roxana_nesfintu
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11 minutes ago, roxana_nesfintu said:

1-Is it red or black?

2-is it square or round? 

3-is it 1cm or 10cm

 

CLIENT REPLY: 

"Yes, correct" 

One time I was hired by a videographer who had messed up the audio of a wedding ceremony.

He sent me a revision request to boost the dialogue by 12 decibels at 30hz.

This is the sub-bass region where you can feel the rumble of an earthquake as it begins.

I tried to explain. It didn't work out. 🙂

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22 hours ago, vibronx said:

my profile hasn't completely recovered from that yet.

For every established seller who works in the gig economy, one of the biggest insecurities is a slow start. There is a cool down period, followed by a warm up period. If sales do not pick up quickly, some sellers can go crazy.

 

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3 minutes ago, sunboatrecords said:

One time I was hired by a videographer who had messed up the audio of a wedding ceremony.

He sent me a revision request to boost the dialogue by 12 decibels at 30hz.

This is the sub-bass region where you can feel the rumble of an earthquake as it begins.

I tried to explain. It didn't work out. 🙂

You're lucky if happens once in a while then, I feel like I'm dealing with this on a daily basis. And yes the worse is when you deal with clients that have no idea about the technical aspects of the job but they're also being arrogant about.

Not long ago I made a technical sheet for a garment and explained the client wasn't possible to be done the way she wanted because simply was wrong and the factory will have issues with it, she didn't even read or wanted to understand what I was saying, she said "just do it like that I like it that way, we'll figure it out with the factory " so I delivered the work as she wanted.

1 week later she wrote back " there is a mistake on the sheet can please correct?" I told her we already discussed that issue and I've already pointed out the problem and she replied " Yes ok, but can you just correct and send back?". 

The most obvious reply would be "No, of course I CAN'T...you just fu*ked it up by yourself and now u want me to pay with my time and work for your arrogance. If you want it correct now, you have to pay for a new order."  But of course you can't say that, you just swallow things up and correct the work and send back with a smile! 

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1 minute ago, roxana_nesfintu said:

1 week later she wrote back " there is a mistake on the sheet can please correct?" I told her we already discussed that issue and I've already pointed out the problem and she replied " Yes ok, but can you just correct and send back?". 

The most obvious reply would be "No, of course I CAN'T...you just fu*ked it up by yourself and now u want me to pay with my time and work for your arrogance. If you want it correct now, you have to pay for a new order."  But of course you can't say that, you just swallow things up and correct the work and send back with a smile! 

It's all about the private survey at this point. 

If the client lacks common sense and is arrogant at the same time, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Yes, you can lose an hour of your time to do a revision on a completed order, but it is far better than losing thousands of dollars if your gigs are tanked due to a negative private survey.

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Some of the mentioned ones surely resonate, but the one that probably had the worst effect, looking at the big and broad and long picture, might be perfectionism, I've stood in my own way too often in my life, and didn't do things I should have done, because of it. It has its place and time, of course, but it can hinder you more than it should, too.

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