Work-at-Home Success: How Nathan Mizrachi Took Control Over His Life and Started Working On His Own Terms!
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Nathan Mizrachi is a freelance writer who has called many different places home since 2013. He now resides in Portland but spent almost 3 years before that traveling (and working remotely) around Europe and the Middle East.
I was very unhappy working in sales after graduating from college with a degree in English back in 2012. After a year of unrewarding and stressful work, I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to Europe. 18 months later I was in Berlin and realized I was almost out of savings. To support myself I started writing blog posts and other content for clients I found through UpWork. I’ve put traveling aside for now and live in Portland, Oregon, but whether I’m here or in Rome or Morocco, I make it home and work from wherever I am.
1) How did you get started working from home?
I was traveling through Berlin, almost broke and read on some travel blog how to make a living as a freelancer. It was either freelance or go back to an office job!
2) How did you choose the work-at-home career you do?
I studied English lit in college and was comfortable writing. I also had lots of practice thanks to my personal travel blog.
3) How did you get started (basic initial steps)?
Though I’d never held a marketing position, I already had a portfolio thanks to my travel blog. So I uploaded that on the freelance website UpWork. That was all the experience it took!
4) How did you get your first client or customer or job?
I successfully pitched a graphic designer who wanted some help coming up with a domain name for his new business. The guy paid me $20 to spend 4 hours creating a list of names. Kind of weird, since he wanted them to be a combination of colors and animals. Like Bluepanda.com or Tealrooster.net. Everyone has to start somewhere!
5) How do you market your business?
Word of mouth and repeat business are like 80% of my income. My best clients have chosen me again and again for contracts or told their friends or associates about me. Also, I still use my UpWork account as a lead funnel; I get between 5-10 project proposals per month and rarely cold pitch.
6) What does your usual day look like?
I wake up at 8 or 9, make a strong Italian coffee, then handle flight searches for my free travel newsletter. By 11 or 12 I might take a Skype call (most of my clients are ahead of my time zone so video conferencing always happens by noon). Then I’ll bike or walk a few miles to one of my favorite cafes, get lunch somewhere on the way, and work from the cafe til 5 or 6. I’ll cook dinner and maybe do a little more work after, but usually after 8 I read, watch a few episodes of something on Netflix, and then it’s midnight and time to sleep.
7) What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I wish I’d started my own business sooner! Time is the most valuable asset you have, and when you start a business you’re in for a slog before success comes.. I’m experiencing the growing pains now at age 26 instead of 36, which is good, but I wish I’d started a few years ago.
8) What advice would you give someone who wants to work from home?
If you have flexibility with your current job, ask your boss for a trial run, and start slowly (like 1 day a week at home). It goes without saying, but you better have top-notch internet access. If you don’t have that flexibility but desperately want to work from home, you’re only getting older! Quit now because maybe you won’t have that option in five years.
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