Like many recent college graduates, Nicholas didn’t know what type of work he wanted to do after leaving school. But one thing was certain: He wanted to travel the world.
“I majored in philosophy and had studied abroad for a full year in France. So after graduation, all I wanted to do was go back to France and travel.”
He managed to turn his dream into a reality — but making ends meet was more of a struggle than he’d thought it would be.
“I went back to traveling as soon as I was done with college and tried a bunch of different things to support myself. I couch surfed for a while in Europe and even stayed at a retreat center for a few months where I worked for room and board.”
The inconsistent work made traveling unsustainable.
“I would coast on my savings for as long as I could, but eventually, I’d have to return to the US and stay at my parents’ house. I wanted to be able to stay abroad for a while…it was frustrating to have to bail just a few months in.”
Getting serious about his work
Eventually, Nicholas came to the realization that traveling had been getting in the way of establishing a real career.
“It felt like I wasn’t building anything while traveling. I still hadn’t figured out what do for a living and so traveling was just like an escape. And at the end, I would end up going back home to try to figure out what I was going to do with myself.”
Around that time, Nicholas started looking for remote work opportunities that would allow him to travel and build a career at the same time. “Luckily, I managed to use my network to land a gig as a remote digital marketer for a relationship coach in Boulder, Colorado.”
But even though he was getting paid to learn a new skill, Nicholas wasn’t thrilled with the work he was doing.
“I was working 25-30 hours a week, but I didn’t really enjoy it. I kept doing it only because I didn’t know what else to do.”
Experiencing a setback
Nicholas was grateful for the opportunity, but ultimately his lack of enthusiasm for the job became a barrier to moving forward.
“I was doing a lot of graphic design and Facebook ads for the client — but what I really wanted to do was write. I think I unconsciously sabotaged myself… The client definitely noticed that I wasn’t doing a very good job and cut me down to only 5 hours a week.”
That put a serious dent in Nicholas’s income and left him scrambling to find a way to support himself while on the road.
“I was living in Australia at the time and I really needed to find a way to make money or else I’d have to go back home…again. I really didn’t want to have to do that.”
Finding a way to consistently support himself
With the clock ticking, Nicholas frantically looked for a way to earn more and support the digital nomad lifestyle he loved. So when he heard about Secrets Of A Six-Figure Upworker, he was more than intrigued.
“Ramit Sethi sent out a case study where he mentioned Danny’s site Freelance To Win. It sounded like exactly what I needed. I read the blog posts and I knew I had to buy the course.”
Nicholas dove into SSFU head first. Right off the bat, he learned the counterintuitive psychology behind attracting high quality clients.
“It was extremely helpful to hear about the mindset of a high quality client. Now it seems obvious that a super long proposal that reeked of desperation would have high quality clients running for the hills.”
On top of that, Nicholas was pleasantly surprised to find that he didn’t need to charge rock bottom rates to get consistent work.
“I love how Danny teaches that you don’t need to charge lower rates to get jobs. In fact, good clients will actually avoid freelancers who charge super low rates just to get hired because they seem desperate.”
Getting started on Upwork
Nicholas used Danny’s proven system to start getting work on Upwork almost immediately.
“I got jobs within the first few weeks, even though I had no prior experience on Upwork. I love writing and I hadn’t written in a long time so I was excited to be able to start again.”
Once he’d completed a few projects on Upwork, Nicholas set his sights on charging higher rates.
“My first jobs really helped me get comfortable with the process of sending out proposals and working with clients. At the same time, I got to build up a work history and reviews that would help me charge more going forward.”
Meanwhile, Nicholas relied on the SSFU private community to keep himself optimistic and to keep pushing onwards.
“The SSFU forums really helped me stay motivated. Everyone is so supportive and it’s great to have a community I could rely on for answers to questions and feedback.”
Steadily growing his business
The next month, Nicholas saw a job posting that immediately piqued his interest.
“The client posted a job asking for a 500-word review of the dating site OkCupid and he mentioned that he was going to hire multiple people. Whoever wrote the best article would be brought on for a bigger project: Writing 76 of these dating site reviews.”
Nicholas decided to put Danny’s Crystal Ball Technique and the lessons taught in SSFU to the test.
“I applied with a killer Crystal Ball sample that I threw together at the last minute. The client was obviously impressed and I quickly landed the small job. I wrote a kick-ass review of OkCupid, blew the competition out of the water, and got the big project too!”
Now, Nicholas is steadily growing his freelancing business.
“I’ve continued to raise my rates and I’m starting to get high quality invites to new projects. I have a ton of work to do right now so I’m actually super busy. It’s great to have so many clients to choose from and I know there are more on the way.”
Helping his friends get started freelancing
In his spare time, Nicholas now helps out peers who are interested in experiencing the digital nomad lifestyle for themselves.
“A lot of my friends have actually asked me how I’m able to travel all the time. It’s really great to be able to help others my age and just point them towards the course and Upwork.”
Best of all, he’s helped the person who originally inspired his own writing career: His mom.
“One day I was telling my mom about my work and it occurred to me that she loved writing too. So I told her how she could get started on Upwork, just like I did. She got really excited about it and bought Danny’s course the next day.”
Enjoying life as a digital nomad
For Nicholas, traveling is no longer an escape — it’s a successful way of life.
“I don’t feel like I’m just going to travel for a short period of time before returning to the States to figure out what I want to do with myself. I’m actually building a business while traveling…it’s empowering.”
Building his freelancing career has even helped Nicholas hone his craft.
“Freelancing is going quite well for me at the moment. I’ve got a few regular clients. One of them is really pushing me to write better, which is difficult at times, but in the end I love it and I’m grateful for the chance to grow.”
Having found a way of working that fits in perfectly with the life he wants to live, Nicholas sees no end in sight.
“Since starting on Upwork, I’ve been to Australia, Thailand, Japan, and Holland. I’m supporting myself, traveling around the world, building really useful skills and spending my time doing what I want to do. I can envision a future where I’m making even more money and continuing to travel — and I’m so grateful for it.”