The Galilea3 blog is a place where freelancers can exchange experience, tips and lifehacks to simply learn from each other. It also serves as a good opportunity to meet successful freelancers who can help you to run your own business. We publish interviews with freelancers from different parts of the globe regularly. Join us on this home-desk surfing experience and get to know how other freelancers roll.
Today we’re talking with Daniel Romero from Colombia. He's a financial engineer and a freelance article writer. He has worked for work at home pros, Laurus International PVT and www.ukbusinessgrants.org with successful results.
How about starting with a brief introduction?
I am a financial engineer. I have experience on credit analysis, international trade, and I have been working as a freelance article writer for over a year.
How long have you been working as a freelancer?
More than 1 year.
What is your area of expertise? Any specialization?
My studies are on Finance. I am also very good at writing!
Did you always consider yourself as an expert or did you become one later in your journey as a freelancer?
I have always dreamed of being a writer. While I have been an avid book reader for more than ten years, my desire to become a writer didn't materialize until I was 25 years old. I think I did pretty good on my first jobs and I have acquired experience ever since.
If you could go a few years back, what would you do differently?
I would definitely have started earlier. In fact, it was by chance that I ended up as a freelance article writer. I was looking for a job and one day I browsed the internet with little hope to find one. Later on, I realized that there was a huge demand for content writing so I took advantage of the opportunity right away...and have been happy ever since!
How did you get into freelancing? Did any friends or relatives influence you or didn't you just stumble into it?
By chance. Browsing freelancing platforms and applying for jobs. Initially I applied to any job available. After I was awarded my first job, I stayed with article writing. My friends and relatives have never thought of the possibility of earning an income online, so it was through personal search that I found and got into freelancing.
Did people from your closest environment, who are not freelancers themselves, encourage you to follow this path? Or did they say you should get a real job?
I have had different responses. My closest relatives encourage me. On the other hand some people are always there to criticize this path. Anyhow with the results I had, their opinions didn't matter anymore.
What do your friends, who have a 9-to-5 job, think about freelancing?
They are opposed to it. I don't know if it's envy or if I genuinely see myself as being below them (which in reality I am not). Anyhow, people can have a traditional mindset and that is understandable.
Did you ever have a so-called "normal" job? Why did you decide to become a freelancer?
Yes, I had three jobs in the past.
How long did it take you to start earning enough as a freelancer to cover all your needs?
I think it took around 4 or 5 months. However, the reason for it is that I didn't took it seriously from the beginning. I just perceived it as a side job until I got what I thought at that time was a "real job". If I had put all the efforts into freelancing I think that figure would have been close to 2 months or less.
What can you tell us about your income? Is it steady? If so, what are tips for earning a steady income as a freelancer?
My income is usually steady. The number one secret to getting steady income as a freelancer is getting regular clients! I write articles for many clients on a regular basis, which allows me to enjoy a steady stream of income almost every month. Sometimes I even see an increase in my income on some months when I do additional side jobs.
When you started freelancing, how did you overcome the fear of losing income stability?
I didn't have any income in the months before starting freelancing, so this fear was not present at all. On the contrary there was much to gain and nothing to lose!
How do you find work and are you always sure where your next project will come from?
I find work by applying for job postings on freelancing platforms. Since I have regular clients, my work is steady and I only have to look for other projects occasionally so as to make sure that I get another regular client in case one of my clients doesn't need my services anymore.
Have you ever used any marketplace for freelancers? What would you say are the advantage of using such marketplaces?
Yes I have. The main advantage is that it is one of the easiest places to find people who will hire you. I don't imagine how would it be to try to get clients by word-of-mouth in my hometown. Case in point, the supply of freelance services depends on the demand for them, and there isn't a clearer place to check out where the demand is than in freelance marketplaces
What would say is the most difficult part of being your own boss?
Discipline. I mean, if I had a boss I would write 8 hours straight. However, being one's one boss also means one isn't as strict with oneself as a third party would be.
What tools do you use in your day to day work?
I only use my laptop, and my computer eye glasses.
How do you communicate with your clients? How do they make sure you are doing your work?
Different ways, Skype, E-mail, etc. After they get to know me after working for a while with them, I start to trust them and they start to trust me.
What is the biggest problem that you face as freelancer?
Irregular schedules probably. Sometimes I get more work than what I expect, which means I won't be going to the gym that day, read, or do other activity I had planned doing.
What do you think is the future of freelancing? Will more people start working that way?
Yes, yes, yes. Freelancing is extremely convenient for both clients and freelancers. No transportation times and costs, make freelancing an efficient method of working as opposed to regular jobs.
If you were asked to convince someone to become a freelancer, what would you say?
Simple, do you hate traffic jams? Go for it (freelancing).
What do you think is the single most important thing that someone starting as a freelancer should know? Something that you wish someone had told you.
The single most important thing that someone starting as a freelancer should know is to pursue his own passion. Failing to do so, will just means that he or she will be quitting more sooner than later even if he succeeds at making money! Combining a job that provides you with income and that is also aligned to your interests and likes is the perfect mix for success. I wish someone had told me that freelancing full-time was an option. Had I been told that I would have started taking it seriously sooner and had saved myself from wasting my time.
We always end with the most difficult question. What do you think about Galilea3?
I think Galilea3 is a promising freelancing platform. I am aware of their competitive advantage, which is to provide a freelancer marketplace for several different languages which is above what most platforms offer. Another thing I like about Galilea3 is that payment is done in Euros which are valued higher than the dollar, which I have come to distrust due to the FED printing so much money carrying a great risk of lost purchase power.