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I've been toying with the idea of writing a post about my journey to TRS ever since I got the badge. I mean, I'm not the type of person to blow my own horn and the thought of writing this made me feel like I would be gloating. Nonetheless, I had often perused this very forum to find tips and tricks to help me grow my Fiverr business, so I thought that perhaps my story could serve as inspiration for others too. Where do I begin!? Pandemic In March of 2020, as the world descended into scenes of empty streets and "We're Closed" signs, I found myself on the brink of financial ruin. My husband had been operating a catering company with his mother while I had just opened up a kindergarten. Before the pandemic hit, things seemed to be going ok for us financially, but our meager savings wouldn't be enough to get us through the impending lockdowns. Long story short, the catering company took a dip with no parties, weddings, or corporate events happening. Schools were closed and, let's be honest, having little ones sitting in front of a screen as part of an online kindergarten program was never really going to work - not with our curriculum anyway. As a play-based school with a director who was adamant on limited screen time for children under the age of 7 (me being that director😂), there was no way I could charge parents to hold their children's placements while we were closed. Funds dried up and we were on the verge of losing everything. I have always been a voracious reader, devouring everything from business books, to articles, and more - anything I could get my hands on really. One fine evening, I came across a CNBC Make It article about a young woman called Alexandra Fasulo. I say evening, but it must have actually been about 3 in the morning and I, struggling to sleep under the weight of my stress, was mindlessly scrolling through news articles. That article changed everything. After reading about the success she had on the platform, I decided to put my skills to use. I had already been ghostwriting on and off for about 10 years at that point, but I had no idea that I could make a career out of it. You see, living in a tiny, landlocked country in southern Africa (one that doesn't even come up on many platform lists of accepted countries), we have limited resources in terms of online work. July 2020 - Signing Up The next morning, I decided to give it try, holding my breath as I scrolled to see if Swaziland would be listed as an accepted country on the platform. Bingo! There it was. Like many of you have probably done, I spent most of the next morning watching Soren's introductory video, taking the test, and setting up my first few gigs. Being driven by the need to succeed, I set to work on bidding. I bid on almost every single buyer request that popped up on my feed and I made sure to bid a fraction of the listed price. Finally, I got my first bite - a proofreading gig for $35. I went all in, creating multiple versions of this customer's document with tracked changes and suggestions. This was my first order and the first of many 5 Star ratings. I was over the moon and there was no holding me back from there. I continued bidding, night after night until the orders began to roll in on their own. I quickly made it to Level One and it was a serious shot of motivation. I found myself checking my ranking requirements daily, pushing harder each day to reach my goals. February 2021 After almost a year on the platform, our tiny 2-bedroom house was starting to feel a bit cramped. We were at home ALL THE TIME. I was working from the master bedroom and mostly at night because my husband and I also have two precious little ones - aged 3 and 5 at the time. Between homeschooling, cleaning up the kitchen a million and one times a day, playing with the kids, and taking our 4 fur-babies for walks, I was exhausted on a daily basis. But - and this is a big old but - I had this vision. My mind constantly took me back to Alexandra's article and I thought to myself, if I can just make a quarter of what she's making, our lives will stabilize. Earning in US dollar and living on South African rand makes life a whole lot rosier. 🤣 So, I kept pushing myself and by April of 2021, we had moved out of our tiny house into a 4-bedroom home on half an acre, paid down half of our debts, signed up for premium medical insurance, and could actually afford to live comfortably. For the first time in our lives, we were also able to invest money in stocks and crypto. Then came Level 2. Once that gate was opened, it was like someone had flipped a switch and I was in overdrive mode, staying up as late as I could and working my tail off. October 2021 When October rolled around, I held my breath as I reached all of the milestones for TRS. I knew that the chances of me getting it were pretty slim since some people wait years to even be considered for this level. But, I had hope. The 15th of October came and went and I didn't get so much as a message to say that I was being considered for TRS. I felt a little disheartened, but I quickly picked myself up. I looked back on how much I had accomplished. I was flooded with this sense of gratitude because I was able to provide for my family. I had created an actual business out of something that I love: writing. I had a steady income, something that most people were struggling to maintain all across the globe. I smiled and carried on with my work as I had always done, telling myself "If it comes, great! If it doesn't, I'm still grateful." November 2021 It was a normal day when I got that fateful message. Well, normal in our household anyway. My husband was out running errands and I decided to take the time to decorate the house with our kids. *Gasp* Putting up Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving! How dare she! Look, we've all had a crazy year and I absolutely love the holidays, so I set up a little earlier than normal this year. I got the familiar ping on my phone and knew it was a Fiverr notification. I just wanted to sit there - to just be with my kids in that moment and finish decorating, but I decided to check the notification. It took me a while to register what I had just read: "Congratulations! You're now a Top Rated Seller." Say what now? I laughed, I cried, I did a little dance - the kids joined in, probably thinking that mom had finally gone crazy, but it looked fun enough so they laughed too. I was beside myself. I couldn't stop smiling. I paced around the house, called my mom, then my sister, and then waited for my husband to drive through the front gate (FYI all houses out here are gated - crime rates are a bit...yeesh). I ran out onto the driveway in my socks, waving my phone around like an insane woman. He could barely put the car in park before he jumped out to hug me. It was a huge, moment for us. My Tips If you made it all the way to the end of this post, kudos to you. I tend to ramble when I'm excited. 😅 My tips for sellers that want to make it to TRS: Try to live with an attitude of gratitude; Always look back on how far you've come; Don't compare yourself to other sellers; If there is anyone you should be competing against, it's you; Listen to your gut over and above any advice (including this advice); Start slow, build up momentum with your pricing, and always try to stay on par or below other sellers in your category; Develop a customer service mentality. No, the customer is not always right, but try to make them feel as if they are. Nothing comes easily. If you want this badly enough, you are going to have to put in the hours. You are going to be exhausted, but try to find a balance. I am by no means saying that anyone should push themselves to the brink of burnout, but understand that you are a business on Fiverr and you are on your own. You are the sales staff, the accounts department, the marketer, the creative, the tax specialist, and so on. You are a one-man band. You can look at that as a burden, or as an opportunity for you to perfect your business YOUR WAY. I have seen tons of comments where people say "draw the line with your customers", "don't work late", "don't stay up and bid." They all have merit and I am not discrediting the people who have posted such things in any way, shape, or form. HOWEVER, almost every person that has made a success of their chosen entrepreneurial efforts had to make sacrifices in the beginning. I watched an interview with Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and something that he said struck me. It went along these lines: We must do the things that make us uncomfortable - the things that we dislike, or that tire us out. We must do those things now so that we can enjoy the rewards later on. Depending on how much of the dislikeable stuff you do now, results in how quickly you'll get to those rewards. Now, guys, please don't fight me on this. I'm actually such a sensitive soul. 😂 Ultimately, this journey on Fiverr is yours and yours alone. No one is going to make the decisions for you. Trust your gut, work hard, and always be polite to your customers. How you treat people, shouldn't be hinged on how they treat you. To be honest, I haven't had that many problematic customers. As long as I communicate well with them, make small talk, get to know them, and create a relationship (no matter how short of a deadline we're on), I always find that the results are positive. I could be proven wrong at some point and, if I am, I will evolve with the new information I receive and keep on trucking. Best of luck guys. PS Use Grammarly Writing Assistant to fine-tune your bids if your English needs some work. People tend to make assumptions based on grammatical errors, even if your gig has nothing to do with writing. GWA is free!
What is your best inspirational quotes? Here is some of mine. 1. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde 2. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ― Mahatma Gandhi 3. “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.” ― Thomas A. Edison