2019 was a strange year for us as a company. We didn’t achieve much. We passed many opportunities and kept waiting to do the right thing. While it appears like an average year on the surface as far as what we achieved is concerned, I don’t really mind it.
Because at this point in career, where I stand today, doing the right thing makes way more sense than doing things right. What I mean by that is we’re assessing all opportunities for their long term impact. We are passing the ones that are promising but only in the short term and still trying to find the ones that will make the most sense in the longest term. We want to work on opportunities where long-term value assets are created instead of opportunities where quick money can be made.
For early stage entrepreneurs, I think it makes the most sense to do things right, no matter what kind. For mid-stage entrepreneurs like us, I think the quest for doing the right thing makes the most sense.
When I first got involved in the digital space, my family was both supportive and skeptical. My father wanted me to go ahead, experiment and spend my time on this newfound hobby which he thought was productive. At the same time, my mother although also supportive, thought this was at best only a hobby. I was also occasionally reminded that this could be a great way to make an extra buck, but only that.
Over the long term, I have come to realization that internet is way more than extra buck. On the contrary, it is the greatest wealth generation tool ever made in the human history. Let me explain.
Just like any business, an online business also has customers or consumers. It also has some walk-in traffic and some footfall, often more than the physical counterpart. In fact I do not know of any physical business in the world with a potential footfall of 3 billion people. And just like any business, an online business is going to last for at least as long as you’re going to serve your customers, and sometimes evenlonger.
A few days ago, I posted a story about a failure that made me over $17,000 passively. Today, I wanted to give you another case study. In December of 2013, I published my last post on my music blog Koolmuzone. Over the past 6 years, Koolmuzone has continued to serve views day after day. In fact, yesterday it still served nearly 20% of the views that it served in Nov 2013 exactly 6 years ago. Which means the business could still potentially be earning 20% of the monthly revenue years after it was closed. And since closure, it has served content 15,785,164 times.
I can’t think of a better way of building wealth than years worth of free passive money and if you want to win this game, go ahead and make your first app, blog, Facebook page, vlog or website. Deploy it, fail or win, and let the passive number game be in your favor.
This blog post isn’t about Fiverr in general. It’s about freelancing, which I think is a great place to kick-start your internet journey from. I mentioned Fiverr over other platforms because it starts as low as $5 and that’s a great point to start from. But I’ll get back to this later.
As already mentioned many times over, I started in 2002 with a homepage, a music site and a web-forum. Given that I didn’t have $50 as a teen to buy a domain or a hosting, it was difficult to get started. Many other young Pakistanis and people from other emerging countries face the same problem even today; investment. They don’t have money as little as $50 to start their internet business. Which is why I love Fiverr. As a kid, I didn’t know you could earn a living on the internet by providing services. I only knew about the display ads and running a website needed investment. That has changed drastically over the past many years.
Why I Love It
You can basically get started today if you know anything at all. If you know a certain language, you can translate. If you are a fluent speaker, you can provide voice-over services. If you can click, I think you’ll find a job for that too. For clicking thousands of times everyday. And I love all of this because it is the simplest way to get started. It requires no money, little skill, and you can start selling. This is why I love Fiverr.
I also love Fiverr because selling services is not just about having a skill. It’s also about marketing, sales, customer service and more. And running a gig prepares you for all of that. You learn everything about selling end to end. Along the way you can make some mistakes, and it’s all going to be fine. Your customer only pays very little and expects a few mistakes. He’s gonna be some-what patient with you. Fiverr teaches you a lot. I think the hardest part is making the first $100 online and Fiverr makes that easier. $1,000, $10,000 and beyond comes fairly easily compared to the first $100.
So if you don’t work online at the moment, go ahead and sign up at Fiverr straight away. But if you’re already working as a freelancer, keep reading.
Why I Hate It
As mentioned already, I think Fiverr is a nice starting point, but just that; a nice starting point. I believe in value creation over the long-term, passively or actively, but over the long-term. None of that happens on Fiverr, or any other freelancing platform unless of course you’re running an entire company or agency over the freelancing platform.
One of the greatest investors ever, Warren Buffett, says
If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.
I believe in that. In making money while you sleep and it’s just not possible if you are only trading time against money. Time is limited and it is going to only make limited money for you and of course only while you’re awake and working.
Blogs, on the other hand, could provide long-term value. You could keep making money for many years even if you stop updating, or leave altogether. You could also sell it in the end for at least 20X your monthly profits. Software as a Service would also build long term value for you. Instead of providing your service individually and only once, you could be offering it to everyone again and again building not only nice monthly recurring revenue but a great value asset at the same time. Youtube channel, Instagram, Facebook Page; all of these can create long-term value. It doesn’t just have to be one of these things, but I highly encourage you to build a product or a user-base, no matter what kind.
Because I feel freelancing is great, but products are the shit!