I’ve gone to the dark side. Doing a whole week of Black Friday deals for my courses. It’s super straight-forward, though. Get 50% off any of my courses until Monday, Novemember 30th at 11:59pm CST. The discounts are already active and on the site. You’ll see them on the checkout page. To be clear, the buttons and such still say the regular price. But, when you click the “purchase” button you’ll see the discounted price… BEFORE you enter payment details and all that. Anyway, here’s the courses I currently have in my portal that are eligible: R2 Protocol Video Training
This won’t apply for 90% of the people reading this. If you’re a low-IQ freelancer — the people who have this weird split personality where they want people to hire THEM, but they screech and shriek and clutch their pearls every time anyone else tries to sell them. Doesn’t matter what I tell you… You’ll never do anything until you un-flub your own messed up thinking. But, for the very small percentage of you left… Let’s talk UBI. You may have heard of this. This idea going around in political circles of creating a Universal Basic Income. Basically, every person
It started at 9:30 am every morning. That’s when I’d come slumping in the back door. Black pants, company shirt… and “DON’T FORGET YOUR HAT OR ELSE!” Clock in and begin the riveting work of cooking chicken… at a pizza restaurant. A career full of meaning and purpose! Yeah right. “Hey, chicken boy, I want more legs.” “Hey, chicken boy, the potatoes are cold.” “Hey, chicken boy, your chicken is garbage.” Day after day, month after month — sucking the life out of me. A former college athlete, an Army veteran who’d successfully led a squad of soldiers in Iraq
It was the look in her eye. The way she’d laugh at the waiter’s jokes when we went out to eat. How she’d light up when we’d have her male co-workers over to the house. The way she seemed to flirt with her male friends in Facebook comments. Always on her phone. Laugh and immediately responding to new texts. I didn’t make her light up like that. She didn’t laugh like that at my jokes. She’d barely respond to the things I put on Facebook. When I would text her, she’d take hours to respond. If I called, it seemed
What if I told you there’s a place you can go… right now… to get a quick injection of cash? 500, 1,000, 3,000 and up. A kind of “safe space” from the recession we’re still in. Not some new “opportunity”… Or some shiny new technology. Nope, actually an old faithful. One that’s been there this entire time: Yep. Upwork. 17 hours ago, 18 hours ag0, 18 hours ago. 200, 6,000, 3,500. Brand new jobs posted in the last 24 hours. If the pandemic has you against the wall, the work you need to find your way out is STILL pouring
Was watching Below Deck on Bravo. And, this bloated pig on there says, “I wonder what the poor people are doing, today”. As he sits their on a yacht in the middle of the Caribbean. I’m talking pasty white, warts — wouldn’t touch with a 100-ft pole. Not gonna lie… As a kid who grew up in a mice-infested trailer house, that rubbed me the wrong way. The jimmies are definitely rustled. But, that’s how these people snicker and laugh at you. That’s what they think of you. No, not all of them, but more than you might think. It
I ain’t no dumb-dumb… I know when I say, “the flaw in Upwork’s algorithm”… it elicits an eye-roll or two. “Whatever, dude!” And, maybe I’m being my eccentric self when I say that, but what I’m pointing to is as real as death and taxes. And, it can send a bunch of new client work flooding your way… If you know how to exploit it. So, let me show you, sparky: What you’re looking at is an interview from Upwork’s former VP of Product and Marketing. It’s nauseatingly-boring corp-speak, but what she’s saying is Upwork’s growth and differentiation strategy is
Was telling my son Jantz this. There’s a reason Batman is the de facto “leader” of the DC heroes. No special powers. No mythological origin. Just a guy — with an uncanny focus and obsession with his mission in life. A perfect example is Justice League: Doom. The villain, Vandal Savage, systematically eliminated all the Justice League heroes (Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Wonder Woman, etc) so he could execute his evil plan without them interrupting. And Batman, of course, escapes the trap he was in. And discovers all the other Justice Leaguers are in trouble. And, he immediately knows exactly
I read this blog post the other day… Guy’s genius insight for pricing your freelance services was… “just make it up”. Probably SOUNDS good to some people out there, but it’s terrible advice. Because, ya know, you have actually get hired at the rate you charge. In any case, I decided to give you a real answer. If you’re a freelancer trying to figure out what you should charge… This is the video for you: Be sure to say hi over there, too. 🙂 Later, John Idea Engine LLC P.O. Box 245 Winona, MO 65588 Want to unsubscribe or change
Welcome to Biden’s America! 😉 Don’t worry… I’m not gonna go full Trumpian on you. In actuality, I couldn’t care less about who’s president. I barely even live in the U.S. anymore, so it doesn’t affect me much. (I know… I’m so privileged. But, in my case, it’s a privilege I created.) But, there’s that window. That first six months. They all blather on during their campaigns, making promises and somesuch… how they’re gonna “save democracy” and “fix healthcare” and “unity” and whatever nonsense it happens to be. But, that first six months… That where you really see. That’s what
Some might call it a flaw. Some a “loophole”. Whatever it is, it’s there and it gives freelancers NEW to the platform a huge advantage over even the most experienced Upworkers. Unfortunately, very few people know what it is… And, more importantly… how to EXPLOIT it. And, for the record… no, it’s not some shady “hack” or something that breaks their TOS. It’s simply a quirk in how it works, based on their own internal growth strategy, that can revive dead profiles and give new Upworkers a leg up. And can lead to things like this from Jithin: “John is
I know you’ve been DYING to hear my take on politics. So, let me go all Expensify on you for a second. It’s a pretty riveting take. You ready? Here it is: Meh. I’m old enough to remember when the last election was the most important one in the history of the Republic. And the one before. In fact, this is the 6th election I could have voted in — and every one was the life or death. And sure… Some of them of have affected me in ways… But, for the most part… eh. Even more, it’s complete nonsense
Today, Wall Drug Store does $10 million+ in revenue. It has 225 employees, a 76,000 square foot store and is visited by up to 20,000 people per day. But, in 1931, when Ted Hustead purchased the store — in a 231-person town in the middle of nowhere, South Dakota — business was slow. Hustead made just enough to stay open, but things didn’t look good. They were 2 years into the Great Depression… And, by 1936 — and the birth of second child — Hustead and his wife were beginning to question whether they should give up on their dream
There are three reason people don’t buy: They don’t want what you have They don’t believe you They don’t believe THEY can do it And, what I find is many freelancers get caught up on that 2nd one. So, they spend all their time conking potential clients over the head with “credibility”. Reviews, ratings, certifications, portfolio, etc. It’s all important. But, it’s NOT how clients decide who to hire. You’ve likely heard the saying: “People buy on emotion and justify with logic.” Credibility is logic. You don’t decide what car you want to buy by going to J.D. Power and
I’ve been a freelancer for a loooong time (15+ years). And, in that time, have gotten to know several CEOs well enough to have had serious personal conversations with them. Truth is… many are a train wreck. I know two, in particular, who whenever there’s any dip in sales or any adversity, they completely check out. Will literally disappear for a week — right when they’re needed the most. I never understood it. I wanna scream at them… “What the [email protected]# are you doing!?” That’s the time to check IN, not check out. I really do believe it’s how I
Anybody else tired of “hack” culture? “7 Hacks to Triple Your…” “A Secret Hack to Instantly Double Your…” “52 Little-Known Hacks to…” I asked my little brother this the other day: “How many ‘8 tips…’ type blog posts or videos have you read or watched in your life?” His response: 1000s. Then I asked: “How many of those ‘7 Steps’ were actually seven steps and worked how you were told they would?” His response: Very few. Sound just a teensy-weensy bit familiar? Business is like diet and exercise to me. The “secret” to getting healthy isn’t some “ultra-secksy” secret, at
FYI, I just uploaded my “magnum opus” on getting clients over on YouTube. Before I give you that secksy link, a word of warning… if you’re the low-attention-span, give-me-the-latest-bright-shiny-gimmick type, you’ll hate this. And basically everything I teach. Not even sure why you’re here, TBH. But, if you’re the serious type who is committed to making their life happen “come hell or high water” or you got mouths to feed and no time for a bunch of BS gimmicks and “hacks”, then you’ll love it. Because, if you simply focus night and day on the three things I show you
This is a lesson in what NOT to do. For the past month or so, this guy — we’ll call him Derek — has been harassing me about switching from Aweber, as my autoresponder, to using Constant Contact. Here’s his main pitch: — Constant Contact has a 97% percent email deliverability and a compliance department. Meaning that 9.7 out of 10 of your sent emails will get to the inbox and pass the spam filters vs other programs (Aweber) can only guarantee 7 out of 10 of your emails with no one to call. — It’s a compelling enough pitch.
This is what I mean by “content crack”. My brother sent me this Tik Tok video… which “eww” all on its own. But, this guy says he’s going to show you a “6-figure hack” that “no one else is doing” and you can “setup by the end of today”. Ooh… sounds great. What could it be? You go to Capterra and find the top-rated software products in a niche you’re interested. Then, you search Google for that product and see if they’re running any ads for searches of their own name. When you find one that isn’t… You join their
At some point in every freelancer’s career, you find your… ahem… cajones. For me, it was the project I worked on for Michael Hyatt. I’m not blameless. I was very new to freelancing, so I was naive. And, I didn’t get that it was MY job to set and manage expectations… No matter how “famous” or experienced the client is. But, however we got there, I had to draw the line. It was 9pm on a Sunday night (I bet you can guess where this is going). Unbeknownst to me, Michael and his team had been working a relaunch of
I had to sit my boys down. They’re good dudes. They’re smart boys. I’m confident they’ll do just fine in life. But… they’re pretty chill. Not really in a hurry, not really super drive or passionate about any one thing — at least, not yet. Chill, good dudes. Their little sister, however. SHE is aggressive. Driven. Focused. She’s only 1-year-old and it’s clear as day. She started trying to roll over almost as soon as she got home from the hospital. Driven to crawl. Driven to walk. Relentless in learning how. And, now she’s working on talking. And, she’s smart
Was just watching an episode of Bar Rescue. Highly recommend if you’ve never watched. Entertaining as hell AND lots of business lessons that can help you be a better freelancer. Anyway, this one was about Fairway Golf and Grill. And, there’s this scene where Jon Taffer is explaining how the theme of the bar didn’t match the demographics of the city they were in. The average age of golfers in America was 55-62. The city they were in had grown by 66%… But, the majority of that growth was people 21-29 years old. So, they were marketing themselves to a
Do you want to grow your freelance business through the Coronavirus pandemic instead of merely “surviving” it? Here’s the harsh reality… In every kind of world event like this (pandemic, recession, depression, war, etc)… in business, there are winners and losers. These events tend to separate the wheat from the chaffe. And, there’s often no middle ground. No just “getting by”. You either grow and come through it stronger or your business withers and dies. But, there is a way through it that I will show you in just a moment. But, before I do, in case you wonder how
No, I’m not just going to tell you to switch to fixed-price projects like everybody else seems to do. Don’t get me wrong… they’re right. But, changing your pricing model is only ONE way to start charging more. Let me show you how to figure out what to charge and then some ways to increase your rate — beyond just switching to fixed-price projects. How Much Should You Charge As a Freelancer? One approach is to take your income goal and use that to break down what you need to charge to hit that income goal. For example, let’s say
If you’re brand new to freelancing and don’t have any past client work or experience to lean on, then you’ll want to devour this email… Because I’m going to show you… How you can STILL get clients… Even if you have ZERO past client work or experience. And, create a 6-figure income with just two small projects per day. Quickly, some context… I’ve now taught over 26,000 freelancers through my classes… and the vast majority of them focus solely on Credibility when it comes to getting clients, charge more for their services, etc. Thing is… Credibility is only ONE of
There ARE still people who believe the future of work is NOT freelance. Hard to believe, but it’s true. They’re the people who put air quotes around “work” when you say you work from home. And couldn’t tell you what Zoom is. They’ll also be the people asking you how you did it in a few years. Try to be nice. I experienced something similar when I told people, way back in 2004, that the internet would be the future of business. “The Yahoo chat thing? Bahaha. Okaaaay.” they scoffed. We know how that played out. Meanwhile, big companies see
Ever had a client you were just sure was going to hire you… never pull the trigger? Or, bid on a job on a freelance site and the client disappears without hiring anyone? Or, worse, you never even get those “bites” to begin with? I had an almost client once that did this. We went back and forth for almost a month. He asked me, genuinely, close to 50 or 60 different questions about my services. I got very frustrated. And, ultimately, he ended up NOT hiring me. It was incredibly annoying. But, it did make me take a hard
Been binge-watching the show Lucifer on Netflix. Before that, it was season 5 of Legends of Tomorrow, which had a hell-centric storyline. And, I noticed an interesting theme kept popping up in both. One that’s a splash of cold water for most freelancers. But, when done right equates to consistent, long-term success. It’s the idea of making a “deal with the devil”. It seems no matter how vile you are. No matter how much you personify evil and treachery and all the dirty misgivings we humans are capable of… there’s one thing that’s still strictly off limits. That even the
I once had a client who was reluctant to work with me because he’d previously worked with a developer on Upwork and caught that freelancer watching porn when he was supposed to be working and tracking time for the client. I’ve had clients whose freelancers took their money and never delivered on the project. I’ve had clients who’ve worked with different developers for up to two years to try and get their site built, paying thousands of dollars, and still had nothing to show for it. I could go on and on with the horror stories I’ve heard from clients.
“Yeah well that’s just your opinion, man.” Sure as hell is. Of course, I could be preaching to the choir here, but it seems like this time of year these questions always crop up. “Is said dumb thing from last year still dumb?” Yes it is. Incidentally, I came across an article that laid out the numbers and it’s horrifying. Check this out: “According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees (fees may include the library, campus transportation, student government, and athletic facilities) for the 2016–2017 school year was 33,480 at private colleges, 9,650 for state
Of all the freelancing advice I hear the Instagurus throw around, this is by far the worst and most devasating. If you’ve ever heard this or worse believed it, go get a scrub brush and scour this out of your mind forever. It, without question, is hurting your business and costing you clients: “Freelancing is a numbers game” The idea being you just have to blast your name and your pitch out to as many people as possible and eventually you’ll get some clients trickling in. And that’s exactly what happens. Instead of a fire hose of new clients banging down
Another gem from the infamous Dan Kennedy: “Financial efficiency”. Sounds simple enough, but as Dan puts it… these two words are the “guarantor of business sustainability and wealth extraction”. Not views, retweets, Twitter followers, subscribers, etc. Why? Back to Dan: “If for no other reason, this is vital so that you can greatly outspend all competitors in investments in new customer acquisition and in customer retetention. This is the secret of growth.” “They are 4’5″ 98-pound weaklings trying to play pro football. You really don’t want to be that deficient little guy lined up across from a 6’3″, 340-pound, drooling,
“Change your math, change your business, change your life.” Those are the very first words in Dan Kennedy’s book, Almost Alchemy… which I’ve been reading lately. Highly recommended. In the section that quote precedes… He talks about the “den of thieves”… “media, agencies and related ‘professionals’” who were “engaged in a grand deception, if not outright criminal enterprise at the expense of deliberately confused clients.” There’s a similar thing that happens in our little freelancing world. If not intentional, still false and counterproductive. A “gaggle”, as Dan puts it, of experts out there who will lead you astray, in all
Towards the end of my deployment to Iraq, my first wife and I decided to get divorced. That’s a story for another day, but I suddenly found myself back in the dating world after four years of being off the market. Older. A young son. And, a lot more insecure given the divorce. So, I did what most introverts do when faced with a problem… I googled it. Makes me chuckle now, but this was the mid-2000s and the whole PUA (pick-up artist), online dating and “seduction” industry was booming online. And so, I found myself tumbling down the rabbit hole.
This is another Reddit thread. The post is actually just a link to this quote: “If I do a job in 30 minutes, it’s because I spent 30 years learning how to do it in 30 minutes. You owe more for the years not the minutes.” This seems to be the quote du jour for freelancers right now. Eh. I appreciate the intent and it’s certainly better than being timid about your pricing and undervaluing yourself. But, it still leads you down the wrong path. That’s why I want to talk about this comment on the thread: “Yep, skill doesn’t
To the uninitiated, these kinds of posts will feel like dirty lumps of coal in their stockings. “What? No fizz? No bubble gum [email protected]#. No hype. No sizzle. Nothing to get me wet in the shorts! How DARE he!” But, to the savvy… They recognize the truth in them. Take this from Jerome: Very few people/”masters” are good at explaining the why. In my opinion it’s because either they have a high IQ but never figured out the why for themselves(laziness?) or it’s because their IQ is too low to actually get to that level of understanding. You have mastered
There’s no magic to this developer/freelancer/make my living writing code thing. Persistence. Hard work. Enthusiasm. All boring, “yeah, yeah I already know that” non-secrets to success. Yet, the very things most of those who are still struggling lack. And, those who make it… finally get right. Take this email I just got from Ryan: You might remember this story from a while back, I had been offered a promotion to a jr. dev role and by the end of the day I the offer was revoked. I had been working towards this goal for a couple years at this point
This one comes from Reddit. A back and forth on raising rates and negotiating rates with your client. This comment, in particular, is what I wanna rap about, today: “I really recommend this free ebook from the makers of Freshbooks, Breaking the Time Barrier, which is about how important it is as a freelancer to break away from the time model. If you’re only ever selling your time, you’ve set a fixed upper limit for earnings. Instead, realise that people hire you because you add value. If you add 1000 value to a company, through increased sales, reduced costs or
Another tale from client hell… So I got this client that required them to provide all there new graphics, to create a video on how to demonstrate how to use there new website. They kept informing me it needed to be done immediately, so I provided them the cuts as fast as possible even working over the weekends. When I gave him the video they said that one part the timing was off, so I asked them what’s the time code off so I can adjust the timing appropriately. Then they told me I have to come in to know
This is the “paradigm” shift most freelancers I work with have to make to take the next step in their income. This is from a freelance Unity developer: “This made my blood boil” He’s, of course, the freelancer in this conversation. I think a lot people would look at this and get angry or wonder how to respond, what to do so people don’t lowball you like this, etc. I see it completely differently. Imagine I had a brand new gadget I wanted to sell, the latest and greatest phone or tablet, let’s say. I could try and sell that
A freelance digital marketer asks: “Recently send out a quote to a prospective client and they said my quote was on the high side? How do I approach this nicely without giving too much discount? How do you price your services? I’m a digital marketer.” TLDR; Don’t give a discount. Let me give you an example… I once had a prospective client ask me to discount my price. Luckily, I’d been through the ringer a bit and was on my [email protected], so I told him no. He said okay, then asked me to justify my price to him. I told
A fledgling freelance photog writes: I am writing this because I can’t sleep atm. It’s almost a year ago that I made the jump to kickstart my dream as a freelance photographer. So I began, calling up the magazines and business I really wanted to work for and booked some small successes in the beginning. Then, I tried a new approach of offering small businesses a free shoot. I started to make as much personal work as I could and promote them on Instagram. I also started going to business meetings where (small) business owners would meet to network and chat. This went surprisingly well
A budding product designer asks: “…hourly pricing as opposed to value pricing? What pricing models have worked out best for you and why?” TLDR: value pricing. Full story… A few years back, I got hired by a well-known blogger to build his membership site. At the time, I was charging 75/hour. After the project was complete, I suddenly started getting emails from acolytes of his who wanted me to build them a similar kind of site. I ended up creating a fixed price project and charging 3K for it. Dozens of his followers bought the package. And, I made more
A fledgling freelancer writes: I pitched a non-profit organization my services to revamp their (dreadful) website, manage the site for them, and offered the option of additional content creation… a few weeks later the biz manager replied that the board approved hiring me as their webmaster at the rates I pitched. I offered to send her a list of questions for the board to look over and respond to… I send her the questions and wait a few days. Instead of emailing me directly, the biz manager forwards my email with the questions to the entire board and me with this note:
This one is a doozy: “I have a client who has been an amazing advocate for me. She has brought me in to do work for her, has publicly praised my work, and has given my name to a number of people who have reached out to her for recommendations. The problem is, I think she thinks that is good enough reason to not feel obligated to pay me… she has owed me money for two solid months. I’ve asked for it many times. I’ve told her personal things to explain why, I don’t just want the money owed. I
A young freelance padawan asks: “…One of my ‘anchor’ clients, that has consistently sent me 1,500-1,700 work/month for the past year has inexplicably dropped off the radar and is now ghosting me. I’m worried that this is the latest account that has decided to stop working with me and found someone for half the price on Upwork instead. There’s a definite pattern there. I would say that this is an unusual week except that it isn’t. There always seems to be some form of instability or another. I’ve managed to get through my first year of full time freelancing relatively
That’s an actual article on Hacker Noon. You might think this kind of thing gets my jimmies rustled. Au contraire! I love it. It might be the most glorious summation of crap ideas about Upwork, ever assembled. Here’s a few of my favorites… “There’s no such thing as ‘competition’ in freelancing. Can we agree on that? Every freelancer is unique. Every freelancer plays his or her own game. You set your own price that makes you happy and you bid. You DON’T compete!” Nope. We can’t agree. That’s like saying the 100-meter dash isn’t a competition, because every runner has
From a new freelancer: “I’ve hit the point where I’ve run out of ‘favours’ from my network. I mean, anyone that I personally know from my network that would benefit from my consultancy has made a purchasing decision – they’ve either engaged me or decided they don’t need to/can’t afford to. I’m now reliant on my own marketing and word of mouth from previous clients. I’m having a lot of trouble converting leads in to engagements. People are very interested in what I do, love to talk about it, often ask for a proposal, but very few convert in to
An astute Upworker posteth: “I’m not sure why everyone says don’t use a generic letter, because my ‘generic’ letter works great. But when I start seeing examples of other people’s ‘generic’ letters, I start to understand. Boilerplate text is good to have and useful, and my generic letter is pretty successful. Yes, I do some personalization for each one. But the key is: is your generic letter any good? I get lots of responses to something I consider generic and not hurting for work, so we need to steer away from telling people they shouldn’t have a standard cover letter
From a wise freelancer: “There’s something to be said for not burning bridges. Especially in freelance, all of my work has come through past relationships and word of mouth referrals. I left this employer in 2014 when they wouldn’t give me a raise I asked for. I made sure to leave on as positive terms as possible. They reached out to me this week to see if I can help them with several websites that had become so out-dated that upgrading them and applying security fixes would be very difficult and likely to cause issues. My Freelance hourly rate is
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75 SEO and website clients now. My income went from sub zero to over 6K just last month. Tracking 10K for next month. Seriously, you changed my life.
By the way, just hit 95K for the year. I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve taught me. You’ve changed my life. Thank you!
I started this 3 days ago, following John’s suggestions, and I gained the Upwork Rising Talent badge in less than 2 days. I have a call with my first potential client tomorrow. Thanks, John!
John is the man! I followed his steps and I am flooded with interviews in a week. I got into two Talent clouds. The very next day, I got an invitation from the talent specialists from Upwork and a lot more. I wanna shout out, he is the best in this. Thanks John for helping me out!
After viewing John’s course, I made an Upwork account and it got approved the same day. Amazingly, I got my first job the very same day, I couldn’t believe it, I thought maybe I got it by coincidence. Anyways I completed the job and received my first earnings. Then, after two days, I got another job and within a week I got 3 jobs and completed them successfully. All the things he says seem to be minute but have a very great impact on your freelancing career.
I’ve been in an existential crisis for the last week about what the heck I’m doing as a business owner. Even though I’ve been a business for about a year, I’m constantly trying to think of how to prune and refine services. This was very personable and enjoyable to watch. Usually, business courses like this are dry and hard to get through…. repeating the same things over and over again. This was a breath of fresh air. THANK YOU.
I’ve definitely learnt so much in 2.5 hours than I’d learn watching different videos online on Youtube and reading tons of articles on the web. John has a natural way of teaching, where he is passionately diving in the topics and he makes it very easy to grasp — someone who wants you to really start running your business well by learning about the right tools and implement them in your online business. I will definitely share with many of the people I know who have been struggling for so long, I did find my answers and I’m sure will do too.
I have been following John Morris for several years now. His instruction ranges from beginner to advanced, to CEO-level guidance. I have referred friends and clients to John, and have encouraged my own daughter to pay attention to what he says. All of his teachings create wealth for me (and happiness for my clients!) I can’t speak highly enough about John, his name is well known in my home.
John is a fantastic and patient tutor, who is not just able to share knowledge and communicate it very effectively – but able to support one in applying it. However, I believe that John has a very rare ability to go further than just imparting knowledge and showing one how to apply it. He is able to innately provoke one’s curiosity when explaining and demonstrating concepts, to the extent that one can explore and unravel their own learning journey. Thanks very much John!
John has been the most important person in my freelance career ever since I started. Without him, I would have taken 10 or 20 years more to reach the position I am at now (Level 2 seller on Fiverr and Top Rated on Upwork).