Mechanical Engineer From Montana Finds Lucrative Side Hustle on Upwork

I just got this email from Dan: 

“I’m starting to do really well in my freelancing career, and it’s mostly thanks to you. Just today, I reached a 100% job success score on Upwork. I just wanted to say thank you, and share my story with you. Read it if you’re interested, skip it if you want (I get it, it’s long), but either way I think you deserve to know how big of an impact you’ve had on my success.

I just checked: I’ve been following you for over 3 years. I’m a mechanical engineer, and 3 years ago, a year out of college, I decided I wasn’t making as much as I wanted, so I started looking into things I could do on the side. Web development came up, and I decided that would be a good fit since I had some programming experience from college. I found a few of your videos (HERE) and blog posts (HERE) when I was looking for tutorials, and I subscribed to your email list for the Skillshare subscription (HERE).

Unfortunately, I quickly realized that being a web designer takes some artistic abilities (or at least an eye for color and design), which I didn’t have. That idea eventually fizzled out, and life got busy so freelancing was off my mind for a while.

Meanwhile, I was still subscribed to your email list, and although I wasn’t planning on being a web developer, I found your emails interesting, especially about freelancing in general. It didn’t take long to realize web development wasn’t the only way to freelance, so I started reading all your emails about freelancing (SIGN UP HERE) through the lens of a mechanical engineer, thinking about starting a freelancing business. It took a while for anything to come of it, but that was a game changer.

About 2 years later, I was 3+ years into my engineering career and working for a company where I knew my salary wasn’t going up anytime soon. I also had some time, so I talked my wife into letting me get a CAD software subscription and try my hand at freelancing in my spare time.

The initial investment was $810 for a 3-month Solidworks license, which was scary at the time. I really dug in to your guides about using Upwork (HERE) to get clients, and within a couple of weeks I had a few projects. I quickly learned what you meant by good clients vs. bad clients, and I had some of both. Once I got to a point where I knew I could at least break even, I wasn’t super motivated to get more projects because I had a few bad experience with clients. I also had a lot going on, so I was content to just work a few hours a week for one main client and make a few hundred bucks a month of profit. Not a great business plan, obviously, but I was content

A few months ago, my wife got accepted to medical school and we relocated to a different city, where I got a new job. Needless to say, our living expenses skyrocketed, and I knew I was going to have to be a lot more intentional about freelancing to make it work.

Fortunately, with all of your help, I was in a good position. I hadn’t really screwed anything up on Upwork, and I had a decent rating. No bad ratings, just a few projects with no feedback that took a long time to complete, which apparently the Upwork algorithm doesn’t like. I was getting a job invite every week or two, and I was landing most of the projects that I applied for. That’s all thanks to your awesome proposal writing strategies (HERE).

Within a few weeks, my rating was up, and I’m now getting 2-4 job invites a week! My portfolio isn’t even that good. My website is sparse. I’m not even looking for jobs anymore. I’m only putting 10-20 hours per week into this, and working full-time. I’m at a point where I know I could get enough clients to do this 40 hours a week and make as much as I make at my day job and freelancing combined if I really wanted to. I really like my day job and the stability it provides, but it’s nice to know I have that option.

Seriously, this is thanks to you. I haven’t done everything you suggest (I’m just starting to get into content development, I haven’t put much work into my portfolio, and my website barely meets the minimum requirements), but every single thing I’ve tried that you recommend has been a huge success. How to interact with clients. How to set rates (HERE). How to write a good proposal (HERE). How to build a strong Upwork profile (HERE). The list goes on.

Anyway, that rambled on way too long, sorry. The point is, you’re awesome. I’m a huge fan. Thank you for taking the time to put such great content out over the years, and doing it in a way that’s so genuine. That’s working. That’s what kept me coming back. Keep up the good work!”
 

Here’s the class Dan took: https://www.upwork101.com. The only difference between you and him, right now, is he acted on it. Will you? 

Later, 

John

You might also like

Real-world alchemy

Question: what’s a simple way to pandemic proof your business? Or what about the next recession? There’s always one around the corner for one reason

Read More »

$5,857.20

That’s been the top, so far. The highest I’ve hit on Skillshare. And that IS just Skillshare. Doesn’t count Udemy, sales on my own website,

Read More »
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
John Morris

JOHN MORRIS

I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

The simple secrets to high-paying freelance clients

What makes clients willing to pay $5,000, $10,000 even $20,000 and up for your services? Download and install my mobile app and I’ll show you. It’s free. Just click the button below:

Clients Like:

Inc. Magazine Logo
Lewis Howes Logo
Ray Edwards Logo

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

Lori Grant

John did an outstanding job on my project. I highly recommend him and look forward to working with him on future projects.

Lewis Howes

John is amazing at building membership sites. He converted one of my sites over from it’s existing (hardly working) platform over to the clean and simple to use WishList membership platform. I highly recommend using John and WishList for any of your membership site needs.

Bradley Smith

John and I have worked together on numerous projects. John is very quick and efficient and was a pleasure to work with.

Bob Patterson

Not only is John a very talented programmer and developer, he is also an excellent communicator. He has a talent for taking complex subjects and communicating them in terms that anyone can understand. This is a rare combination. This ability has enabled me to take my skills and knowledge to the next level. Thank you John for for all that you do.

Daniel Mohlendick

On the Freelancing on Upwork course: “This is by far the best course i have watched on Skillshare!! Thank you so much.”

Steve Dimmick

Steve Dimmick

John has provided expert knowledge and advice on multiple occasions that have helped me better serve my clients. John is a Rockstar!

Ray Edwards

I recommend John every chance I get. If every person I worked with were as committed to excellence, punctuality, value, and unquestionable integrity… the world would be a better place. Highest recommendation.

Jason Rumley

Jason Rumley

John has a habit of over-delivering on the expectations he sets up. That’s why he’s the best.

Aaron Gott

Aaron Gott

John has a particular knack for the development and training of others.

Andrew Malone

Andrew Malone

John Morris is exceptional in his ability to give focused insight into Freelancing and starting one’s business. His direct methods inspire confidence in his honesty.

Oliver Wainwright

Oliver Wainwright

I’m a fan. I have completed several of John’s courses. I find him very knowledgeable and he has a great delivery.

Xan Barksdale

Xan Barksdale

Very professional worker who is extremely knowledgable in WordPress and Wishlist Member. I would definitely hire again.

Chris Aitken

He significantly improved my site through his expert knowledge of PHP, CSS and Javascript. Would definitely recommend John to others.