Being a freelancer is not a victory, it's a path

5 months ago   •   5 min read

By Zekeriya Mulbay
Table of contents

Hi! I'm Evrim and I'm 35 years old. I started graphic design at a digital advertising agency about 11 years ago.

The field I studied at college was completely irrelevant from what I do now. I realized that I was interested in graphic design in the sophomore year of college, and I went to this area right after graduation.

I didn't have a chance to change my department. I couldn't leave college unfinished. On the one hand, I was working on different jobs to support my family and to get my allowance, but my dream was to design someday.

From puberty onwards, it became very important to me to be aware of what I wanted and to go after it (or to try to go). My parents have always tried to support me in my direction. So over time, I made it a habit of going after them -- dreams, aspiration, goals (what you want to say). In a culture that's not very open to new things like us, it's a part of everyday life to encounter a lot of frustrating rhetoric, but after a while, you become immune to these situations. :) In fact, "Why not?" it's a kind of advantage, actually.

I realized that after a while, I was an intern in one of my dream agencies, and I started working, and I had experience, this wasn't going to work out like this. I decided to leave the agency and work with my brother at the family company.

For about 5 years, I worked in a family company, in a way that I could somehow use my previous work experience. At the end of the fifth year, I felt incredibly limited. I was so unhappy. It wasn't like resigning from the agency, leaving the family company. It was a mess with our family ties. I made a very difficult decision with my husband and left the company. It was a very difficult time for me. I'm still suffering from that pain.

I was very interested in concepts like making money online, working remotely, and creating passive income. I started getting freelance jobs. I was obsessed with making money online. :) I took a few jobs as a freelancer, while I had many initiatives in areas such as dropshipping, mobile gaming, etc. I still didn't get the free work space and income I wanted, so I kept looking and trying.

In the process, my dear husband became my biggest supporter. One of the two incomes in the house was no longer regular, and it was hard for people like us to think about, you know, irregular income. We've been thinking a lot about it, we've talked about it, and I've resigned like that. If I was on my own, I'd probably have to move these initiatives in parallel with a full-time job. I'd say his regular work in the institution provided financial support that would lead us to our dreams.

Later on, I learned that I could sell Canva templates as digital products on sites like Etsy, Creative Market, and I was very interested. It's a job where I can earn foreign currency while I sleep! And because the product is digital, I could sell it without any hassle of stock. There was a lot of demand for these products.

I've seen videos on YouTube about it, and bought training sessions. And then I picked myself a niche, and I started making my products. I opened my Etsy store right after that, and the sales started slowly. It's a wonderful feeling that when I wake up in the morning, it's sold out! I had to apply for my store at Creative Market 4 times, but it was fine because I knew it would open eventually. :)

While I was thinking about how I could gain currency in parallel with my online shops, I was aware of the Freelancer Guide and the Upwork thanks to a very close friend. The idea of being included in this platform was very exciting to me because I needed to talk to someone about freelancer & online business initiatives, and exchange information/experience. It's been amazing to be involved in this formation. Even if I'm not very active on the channel, reading it later adds a lot.

Thanks to the Freelancer Guide, I started getting a job from Upwork. I'm at the beginning of my Upwork adventure. I'm incredibly happy and motivated to see friends who get jobs every day in the community.  I was recently invited to Canva’s “Creators” program. I'm designing content for Canva's library now. This is going to be one of my passive income.

I'm so happy, I feel like I've made it happen. I always thought something was missing on the job side, and I'd say, "I'm doing the job I love." "But" would stay that way. I'm doing the job I love again, so I work in graphic design, but I'm totally in charge. I set my schedule, and there's really nothing like this sense of freedom.

Let's go on with Q&A

How do you organize your desk?

Every morning, I clean my desk and I set it up and I start like that. I don't like a lot of things on the table. I make sure it's as simple and as minimal as possible. I'm distracted by the complicated or the mess. I'm afraid it's a bit of a waste of time, but this is what I do :)

Why do you want to earn money? What are your dreams?

I want to work wherever I want, travel the way I want, and make more donations. Even the idea of “being able to move where I want” feels free. My dreams include living in different countries during the period.

What makes you being a freelancer?

The feeling of being stuck, forced to go to work every morning, and the constant sadness in the vicious cycle.

Why export?

To plan freely without any future concern.

My ideal freelancer definition:

Whatever is good for the soul, do that.

What do I do when I am depressive?

I go out and take a walk. There's nothing as good as moving in my mood. This is definitely working for me. :) If I don't have any work to do and I don't have an urgent job to raise, I don't push myself, I take a break. Reading a book is another tool that immediately drives me away from my pessimistic state of mind.

In summary, I have been incredibly difficult from time to time during my freelancer and other business initiatives. I went into the "I can't do it" cycle. But I found the strength to keep trying, always with the support of my relatives. A great philosophy I learned in the process is "freelancer is not victory but the traveling." It was good for me to do my best and keep working, rather than think too many results focused and be disappointed. I recommend it. :)

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