Many of you must have seen my posts on Toogit wall and on the home page of Toogit, yes, I am Shilpi Goyal one of the featured freelancer on Toogit. I receive a lot of queries on my social media and Quora about how did I find my success in freelancing. But, I always wanted to tell you guys my real story. How did I make my place in freelancing and got success in it. Specially with zero technical experience and training in the past.
I am thankful to Toogit's team which has provided me this excellent opportunity to reach out to you guys via this post. I have named my story as "How to turn your yesterday's failure into future's success". So, here is my story.
Part 1 - Failure
I am an housewife and have been married for more than 11 years now. My husband was a software engineer and life was awesome. However, sometime in 2012 my husband got pink slip and was laid-off from this last company. He tried really hard to find a new job and keep the things moving. But, it seems destiny had a different plan.
Part 2 - Realization
While doing some internet research I came to know about freelancing. I registered myself on this awesome website called Elance, unfortunately! the site has been shut down and has been replaced by a very well known and very bad site you all know the name.
Anyways, While reviewing the incoming job posts on Elance, I realized most of the requirement are coming for either web scraping or website development work. Also, while web scraping work postings were more in number but the pay outs were not that great.
Hence, I decided website development is something which can help us out of this situation. Now I knew exactly what I have to do.
Part 3 - Preparation
My husband had a very nice collection of programming books from this college days. I started from the very basics. I spent days and nights going through all of them. Things which I didn't understand were cleared by my husband. I wouldn't say I got all of what I read but I started to get a sense of computer world.
During this period I also learned how to google and find answers to your technical queries. Specially the stackoverflow and w3schools. I didn't know how this would all help me in future but I kept going on.
By this time my husband started realizing that I am onto something but had no idea about what's going on.
Part 4 - Elance
Sometime in May 2013 I started submitting proposals on Elance. As I had set my mind already to do website development jobs, I started bidding on them. But, I got no success. Not a single reply. One afternoon on 6th June 2013 I submitted a proposal on simple ms access project. I had no idea about what ms access is, but anyways I was sure that I won't get a reply so I submitted it.
Something magical happened that day and I got the reply. Discussion started, client started sharing the work details and I started reading all of it. At the same time I started searching about how to do this and that. Most of the links took me to stackoverflow and most of the answers were in PHP.
Conversation started with the client and I started giving him my suggestions based on my internet research. He liked my ideas and project was converted into a PHP based website development work. From a fixed price project it was also converted to an hourly job.
Part 5 - Learn & Earn
I still remember it, my first task was to create a login page. I created a simple login page with white background and absolutely no colours anywhere. Database was MySQL and I used HTML not HTML5. On that day I wrote my first code to connect to database from PHP, fetch data from it, validate it and redirect the user on success. All of this was made possible by a simple understanding on "how to google" and a confidence that I can also code. From a mere housewife I had just turned into a software developer.
I learned an important lesson that day, have confidence and faith and don't stop learning. Accept it that "you don't know it yet but you can learn it". The moment you accept the fact that you don't know it but you can learn it, things change. Paths open and in very short time you start knowing it.
Using this simple principle I worked and continued on the same project for 5 years. The project was successful and earns a little short of millions every year from the very same website I built.
Part 6 - Upwork
In 2016 I paid our home loan with the earnings I made from the work. For the next 2 years I saved all the earnings. My husband got his job back in 2015. Everything was running fine then all of a sudden things again took a bad turn. First Elance died, Second my hourly billing to the job was reduced as one funder pulled his funds. Work demand also reduced so I had some spare hours each day.
Anyways, I started posting proposals on Upwork but things were looking really ugly here. No good jobs, even if there is a good job, you never hear back from client. Meanwhile, I also joined Seed infotech for some formal training in software development and SQL optimization.
Part 7 - Success
One beautiful day while sitting in Seed Infotech's classroom Toogit's team visited the campus. They introduced us to Freelancing in a new way. On Upwork and Elance I had to spend atleast 2 to 3 hours finding the jobs. However, with Toogit's auto-proposal I no longer need to do it. Auto-proposal sounded really special to me. I was still earning something from my previous project but work was not there. Therefore, I was eager to find new work.
I decided to invest 6000 INR per an annum into Toogit's auto-proposal program. It has helped me get 11 jobs so far.
So far, I have spent just 12,000 INR into Toogit's auto-proposal program and I have earned around 1,000,000 INR from this in last 1.5 years. I have 2 long term projects awarded to me on Toogit and I have a small team of 4 people now to help me with this work. One of the project is for website development while the other is in artificial intelligence domain on a patented technology.
I cannot say that I had been most successful in freelancing. But, I can surely say I am one of the most successful person on earth in freelancing with zero technical background. I had been still a housewife had life not taken that bad turn. Everything happens for a reason and you should try everything before you say you quit.
If you have failed in past in freelancing and want to succeed in it in future then I would recommend to invest in auto-proposal.
If you have any questions or need help or guidance with anything, please feel free to shout my name on Toogit's wall. I will be more than happy to hear from you.