After creating our freelancing / small business success stories series here on PFtoday, Ela Iliesi was one of the people who instantly gave me a lot of great feedback and encouragement. I found out she’s also freelancing and also running a small consulting business, so I asked her to tell us her story.
Let’s find out how Ela created a thriving online business just to escape the looong commute to her previous job.
Professionally I’m an author, entrepreneur, marketer and public speaker. I own a digital marketing training company where I occasionally still train the SEO courses. I’m also still freelancing to keep my self into the game – up with what’s new and important in the domain.
Personally, I’m an optimist, an introvert, a fighter, impatient for things to be done and for changes to come – a great combination I think for the new type of entrepreneur. And I believe the world, through the expansion of internet, is finally giving us, an opportunity to make it, by being ourselves.
What made you start freelancing?
I think I’ve always wanted to be my own boss. After I left my last job I knew I didn’t want to get another regular job – so I started to look at what other opportunities were out there. I decided to become a consultant and a trainer, but before enough people join the courses and book consulting hours to make a business out of it, I turned to freelancing.
How was the beginning?
I was enthusiastic to finally be able to work from home. Till then I was always obligated to travel about three hours each working day to reach an office, and get back home at the end of the program – this was because I lived a bit outside Bucharest, and it was always a cause of exhaustion, that led to me being fed up with jobs.
I was also content to work for a foreign company, with an international team, and to earn a payment that was bigger then the regular one. All this while staying in my country, in my home.
Would you consider you have reached freelancing success?
In a way yes, because I now find freelancing easy. I’m able to get the jobs I am interested in, I have 5 stars profiles, with proven abilities, and most importantly, happy clients. But success is hard to define, being something so personal. If I were to think of a general image I think a successful freelancer is someone that is much more involved and fulfilled by freelancing work alone.
What are the 3 top things you love about freelancing / running your small business?
That I can choose what, when and from where I do it. If I want to make use of a certain specialization I can find clients that need it, if I don’t feel like working some days, I can rest and catch up some other time, and if I have to leave the city, as long as the place I’m going will have internet, it’s never a problem.
What are the top 3 things you don’t like about freelancing?
- Freelancing websites – there are a lot of things I would change at the way they work. By now I’m sure they know what are the common difficulties for freelancers and clients, but I don’t see them trying to offer preventive help, something that could be as simple as a tips section when someone is posting or applying for a job.
- Some employers attitude – just the other day I received an invitation from someone who wanted specific marketing plans from freelancers, before awarding a job, thinking that only execution was worth paying for. A form of theft of ideas in my opinion. I’m having problems coming up with a third thing I don’t like – I guess that’s also saying something.
Do you have any plans to develop your business further?
I see freelancing projects as temporary jobs, not really a business, as they still imply exchanging time and work for money. If I were to develop freelancing into a business I would switch to a company profile and hire freelancers to complete the jobs. For now though I find freelancing from time to time exactly what I need.
What would you say is your best advice for someone to reach freelancing success?
Be fast, adaptable and resourceful. Fast to put into action the ideas you have, adaptable in order to develop new skills the market wants, and resourceful to find ways when difficulties appear.
Do you have a great freelancing / small business success story? Contact me and you’ll get featured here.