To the outside world, Daniel looked like the picture of success.
“I was earning a package that was just under $200,000 a year. A lot of my classmates didn’t get any jobs, and I had gotten one of the best. It was the envy of pretty much everyone who graduated with me.”
He was working for a big-name multinational energy corporation after graduating from the University of Western Australia with first class honors and a degree in electrical engineering.
But it wasn’t all upside.
“It was a “fly-in, fly-out” job, so I was away from home half the year for 28-day stretches at a time. I had just gotten married at the end of 2014, so being away for that long at a time was never a big hit with my wife.”
But it wasn’t just his wife who had problems with his job. Daniel himself also felt trapped…both mentally and physically.
“This was supposed to be a dream job, but I hated it. I resented being away from my wife. It was incredibly frustrating to see her struggling with stuff at home and me being powerless to do anything because I was stuck on some island with the most terrible internet connection.”
His work wasn’t exactly the most interesting and fulfilling, either…
“The work itself was dead boring. It was nothing like what I did at university. It was just papers and spreadsheets…the most mind numbing work.”
Daniel knew he wanted to quit. He just didn’t know what to do next.
“I felt depressed. I would have panic attacks from the stress of how much I hated that job.”
Stumbling into the world of online freelancing
It was late 2015 when Daniel stumbled upon the Freelance To Win blog. He’d never even heard of freelance copywriting before…
“I read one of the posts that was titled ‘How To Become A Copywriter Quickly Using My Crystal Ball Technique’ and I was just SOLD. It was exactly what I needed and it was a really, really good article.”
Hungry for more, Daniel signed up to get the top Upwork hacks Danny had used to grow his freelancing business to 6-figures in just 12 months.
“I’d never heard of Upwork before but the hacks were awesome in themselves. When I’d finally gotten onto the Upwork website, my mind was blown:
Here was this amazing place where you could do work and earn money from anywhere and I hadn’t known about it my whole life. I kept thinking, ‘How has no one ever told me about this before? How is this a thing?’”
An unlikely first Upwork client
Using Danny’s advice, Daniel managed to win a job writing articles and product descriptions for a company that sold beard oils.
“I don’t have a beard and didn’t even know that beard oils were a thing, but I blew the client away first with my proposal using Danny’s tips.”
After completing the job, Daniel wowed the client with his work — despite having almost no copywriting experience.
“I remember waking up and reading this message that said ‘I just don’t know how to describe this, this is far more than I ever imagined.’”
Daniel was on cloud nine after getting his first positive testimonial but he knew there was still a lot more he could do to build his freelance career.
“I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do this if I hadn’t looked at Danny’s stuff, so I decided that I needed to get his course.”
Building on his early success
Using the proven system outlined in Secrets Of A Six Figure Upworker, Daniel improved almost every aspect of his freelancing business.
“The course guided me through setting up a ‘sticky’ profile, pitching clients the right way, and all the psychology behind it. Now, I think to myself, ‘Why did I never bother to think about how a client feels?’ There’s all this stuff I didn’t know about. But now that I do, I’m just way better than 90% of the people out there who never bother to even consider anyone other than themselves.”
He loved having a step-by-step plan that he could put into action right away.
“I put everything in the course to practical use. There wasn’t any fluff. It was all about do this, do this, do this and you’ll get moving.”
Daniel was also relieved to realize he didn’t need to waste time going back to school for 5 years, putting together a portfolio, or getting experience before he could start freelance copywriting.
“I love the way Danny encourages you: ‘Don’t wait to get good, get good on the job.’ Just get started, build up experience, and as you get better you can offer more value and command higher rates. That is so much better than spending years before you’ll even dare to ask anybody for a cent.”
Best of all, using what he learned in the course, Daniel was quickly able to raise his rates.
“I started in late January…by the end of February or March I had raised my rates up to $75/hour and I was winning jobs at that rate.”
Conquering “Imposter Syndrome”
Even as Daniel’s hourly rate climbed, he couldn’t help but wonder if he was really cut out to do copywriting professionally.
“To be honest, sometimes I wondered whether I was actually qualified be a copywriter. I didn’t train for 5 years to become a copywriter. I trained to become an engineer.”
But the more he thought about it, Daniel realized that getting a degree isn’t the only way to become an expert and offer value to his clients.
“What really qualifies me is whether I can get results for my clients. And if my clients are delighted with what I’m doing, then I’m more than qualified!”
And Daniel made up for his lack of experience by quickly learning the ropes.
“To become a copywriter, I literally read some books and logged onto Upwork and started applying what I’d learned. It’s totally possible to be qualified without jumping through hoops, without doing it the way everyone else says you have to do it. There’s something really liberating about that.”
Once Daniel overcame his own internal barriers, he was ready dive deeper into the online freelancing world. Now, he just needed to get his family on board…
Gearing up to freelance full time
After squeezing in his freelance copywriting work between 12-hour shifts for several months, Daniel finally decided he was ready to take on more of the work he loved.
“I was really enjoying copywriting. In his Earn 1K course, Ramit Sethi says that if you can get 3 paying clients, your idea has legs. After I had gotten 3 paying clients I was thinking, “This is actually a real thing…maybe I can make the jump and do this full time.”
But his family wasn’t so sure. To them, it appeared Daniel already had his dream job — plus an enviable salary.Why would he want to do anything else?
“My wife and mother-in-law were pretty hesitant about it. Replacing a stable engineering job that was paying us well over 6 figures a year with this new online freelancing seemed like a pretty crazy proposition. My wife didn’t like the job I was doing but she would prefer I found an office based job back here in Perth, Australia.”
Yet Daniel was confident in his ability to thrive as a full time freelancer. So confident, in fact, that he inspired his wife to take a leap of faith with him.
“I just said to my wife, ‘I really think I can do this. You’re the only person who I need to believe in me. I don’t care if no one else believes in me.’ Finally, she said, ‘Ok, I really do believe you can do this.’”
That was all Daniel needed to put in his notice of resignation.
“Everyone told me that I was crazy, but I know that some of them were secretly jealous. In fact, my boss even told me, ‘I really wish I could do what you’re doing.’”
Daniel has big goals for his first year of online freelancing.
“I’m shooting to earn the equivalent of 6-figures yearly by later this year. Because Danny’s basically given me everything he learned over the course of 2 years for just a few hundred bucks, I think I’ll actually be able to get to my goal faster than he did.”
So far, he’s on track to meeting his goal.
“When I started freelancing in late January, I remember looking at Danny’s profile and thinking, ‘The day I can charge $150/hr like he is, I’ll know I’ve made it.’Now, not even six months after taking the course, I got my first job offers — yeah, two! — at $150/hr.”
The best part? Daniel’s clients are more than happy to pay his high hourly rate.
“It’s a really satisfying feeling to go from a guy miserable at his corporate job to being one of the highest-paid copywriters on Upwork. You know you’re really offering value when you can go into a job, offer a higher bid than everyone else, and win the job with a raving client.”
Loving the freelance lifestyle
Now that Daniel works from home and has full control over his own schedule, he has a lot of more time to focus on himself.
“I won’t work a whole day. When I wake up in the morning I spend a few hours to myself to have a coffee and make breakfast. And I make it a point to just read a book for 30 minutes everyday because there are so many books that will make me do better at my job that I never had time to read before.”
Daniel loves having the freedom to work from a coffee shop, or cook dinner for his wife when she gets home from work.
“You can’t really buy freedom. I would have accepted a lot less money at my old job for the freedom that I have now. But I never would’ve gotten that.”
And instead of staring at spreadsheets for 12-hour shifts, Daniel gets much more fulfillment from the work he does now.
“I would say there’s definitely resentment for my old job. It was just that boring. And on the complete opposite of that scale, it’s exhilarating for me to work on Upwork.”
Most importantly, Daniel can now be there to spend time with his growing family.
“I’ve been able to quit a job that kept me away from my wife for 28 days at a time. And now that we’re expecting our first child, the joy I feel from being home with my wife and family every day — and the love I have for my work — is, without exaggeration, the most life-changing thing that’s ever happened to me.”