How a stay-at-home mom went from Starbucks to making $100K freelancing


  • Jamie Johnson is a freelance author who 5 years in the past determined to be part of the workforce after seven years as a stay-at-home mom.
  • Her first job was at Starbucks making $eight an hour, however she rapidly determined she wanted a extra profitable function.
  • She joined Upwork and different freelancing platforms and commenced to market herself as a author, and now she makes over $100,000 a 12 months.
  • By beginning small, making her shoppers’ lives simpler as greatest she will be able to, and setting each day earnings objectives she has been in a position to attain this degree of success.
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Five years in the past, I discovered myself at a crossroads in my life. After spending seven years as a stay-at-home mom, I knew it was time for me to return to work. 

My youngest was simply coming into kindergarten, so it felt like the correct time to re-enter the workforce. The solely downside was, I would by no means graduated from school and had minimal work expertise. 

My family and friends all recommended that I end my diploma and get an entry-level job someplace. So I made a decision to get a job at Starbucks, reasoning that if I labored the early morning shift, I might nonetheless choose my children up from faculty day by day. And since Starbucks gives tuition reimbursement, I might lastly earn my school diploma and put myself on the trail to a profitable profession.

I labored at Starbucks for 9 months making about $eight an hour. The more money by no means appeared to go very far, and our household’s funds had been at all times tight. After a whereas, ending my diploma appeared to make much less and fewer sense financially. 

What I wanted was a means to earn extra money instantly, and I did not see school as a assured means to do this. I spotted that the normal route of “going to college so I could find a good job,” although proper for some individuals, is probably not the trail for me.

As likelihood would have it, in September 2016, a pal instructed me about a international freelancing platform referred to as Upwork. Since I’ve at all times loved writing, I made a decision I would strive to make it as a freelance author. 

In the start, my objective was to earn an additional $1,000 per thirty days. But over time, I grew to become a higher author, began getting higher-paying shoppers, and grew my earnings.  

This previous 12 months, I’ve introduced in over $111,000 as a freelance author. Here are 5 important steps I took to make it occur from scratch:

1. I made it my job to discover a job

When I used to be simply beginning out I did not even have any writing samples, however I made a decision I used to be going to begin on the lookout for work anyway. Applying for jobs on Upwork made sense to me due to the wide range of writing jobs that had been always posted on the platform, like weblog posts, copywriting, press releases, and extra. 

My objective was to ship a minimum of three proposals a day, six days a week. I figured that if I simply stored sending proposals then finally somebody would have to rent me. This technique paid off fairly rapidly, and inside a week I would landed my first writing job. 

When you are beginning one thing new, it is easy to inform your self that you just want extra data earlier than you may start. But typically, you simply have to begin taking motion and belief that you’re going to determine issues out alongside the best way. 

2. I used to be prepared to begin small

My very first job on Upwork was writing 5 750-word product opinions for $40. Not $40 per evaluate — $40 whole. Depending in your perspective, accepting such a low fee could possibly be seen as an embarrassing failure.

But in truth, I couldn’t have been extra enthusiastic about that job. I could not imagine somebody truly wished to pay me cash to write for them!

I adopted the consumer’s define precisely, and spent a lot of time writing and enhancing these product opinions. That effort paid off when the consumer gave me a nice evaluate. 

With a constructive testimony below my belt, it was simpler to discover extra freelance writing shoppers and slowly increase my charges over time. Once I had landed three or 4 shoppers, I raised my charges to $zero.10 per phrase. Today, I often discover shoppers who pay me between $zero.35 and $zero.50 per phrase. 

three. I made my shoppers’ lives simpler

In a means, my lack of schooling and expertise was a blessing in disguise. I knew I might by no means be essentially the most skilled freelancer within the room, however I made a decision I could possibly be essentially the most useful and the best to work with. 

I made a level of speaking with shoppers about due dates and expectations. I by no means miss a deadline, and check out to flip in work early each time potential. 

I do not put limits on the variety of revision requests I am going to settle for both, and I strive to at all times have a good perspective about suggestions on my work. I’ve discovered that if I can discover a means to make individuals’s lives simpler, there’ll at all times be loads of work out there for me. 

And it is normally the small issues shoppers will recognize essentially the most. Even simply responding to an e mail instantly as a substitute of making a consumer wait days to your response will go a good distance towards making them recognize you. 

four. I set each day earnings objectives

One of the issues I discovered in a short time is that freelance writing is a numbers sport. If you need to earn a sure earnings each month, you want to break that objective down into a smaller each day earnings objective.

For occasion, my very first objective was to earn $1,000 per thirty days. I spotted that if I labored 20 days per thirty days, this meant I wanted to make roughly $50 per day. From there, I targeted on sending sufficient proposals so I might at all times have a minimum of $50 of labor to do day by day. 

And that is a technique I proceed to use to this very day. Today, my minimal each day earnings objective is $500 per day, or $10,000 per thirty days.

5. I discovered what works for me

I’ve at all times discovered a lot of freelance work through the use of Upwork and different job boards. But as soon as I began networking with different freelancers, I discovered that almost all do not maintain Upwork in excessive regard.

Other freelance writers instructed me Upwork was stuffed with scammers and that I might be pressured to settle for pennies for my work. This at all times confused me, provided that I often discover high-paying shoppers on Upwork. 

Over these previous few years, I’ve discovered that different individuals can solely let you know what’s labored for them. For occasion, my household and buddies weren’t fallacious after they recommended I end my diploma — I simply had a totally different expertise than they did. And on the finish of the day, it is up to all of us to discover our personal path.  



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