Fiverr Forum

What I've Learned In My First Year On Fiverr (Mental Health + Balancing Life and Work)


#1

Some of you may not know this, but I have been selling on Fiverr for a little bit over a year. There was a little bit of a bump in the road awhile back where I freaked out and deactivated my old account(which I only slightly regret), and then I came back and started selling a couple months ago. This post is probably going to be a little bit long-winded and it might take awhile to read, so I encourage you to sit back, relax and enjoy my rant/storytime.

Just a short prelude to this story/a little bit about me. I’m 15 years old and a freshman in high school for those of you who don’t already know. I joined Fiverr when I was about 14. Outside of Fiverr, some of my favorite things to do are play volleyball, draw, paint, take pictures and hang out with my pets, friends, and family. Recently, I decided to become vegetarian or at least “plant-based” because I personally don’t think it’s right to constantly be eating animals and I don’t see why we treat cows, pigs and chickens any differently than dogs and cats. But, you’re entitled to your own opinion and life decisions and I’m not going to force my beliefs unto anybody.

Anywho, in order to properly illustrate my journey through life and Fiverr over the last year, I think it’s best to start at the very beginning-- even before I created my account and what I was expecting to get out of this website. Back before I even made my first account in December of 2016, I had one goal for Fiverr. I had recently gotten more into photography and I realized that I wanted to save up and purchase a DSLR camera. Outside of Fiverr, I started working odd jobs to try and make some money to put towards it, but it didn’t seem to be enough.

So, like any young teen who wanted to make money, but still wasn’t old enough to have a job, I decided to go to YouTube and Google for answers. Long story short, I somehow stumbled upon another teen YouTuber who used Fiverr in order to make money to fund his own interests/passions. I forget his name, but I am truly thankful to have found his videos because, without him, I may not have found this community and job opportunity.

Anyways, after talking to my parents about it to make sure it was okay with them, I created my first account. I set up a few gigs as fast as I could(out of the ones that I remember being proofreading services and story writing), and, like any good businessman… I just waited. (that was sarcasm if it was unclear

I didn’t do any research on how to make sales and attract clients or where to find them, I expected them to come to me– which brings up my first point.

  1. You can’t just wait for your sales to come to you.

In the beginning, it is vital to try to promote your sales the best you can and to find your clients or your intended audience. This can be done in many ways and there are many topics that can teach you how to do so, this is more about my experience on Fiverr, not a How-To guide on how to get sales.

Anyways, I quickly learned about Buyer Requests from the forum and after sending a few well-worded and client-specific offers, I finally got my first sale. Needless to say, I was a little bit more than excited. Even though I got the notification right as I was going to bed, I decided to just finish the order as soon as I got it.

I felt like I was on top of the world! I mean, $4.00 right in my bank account, nobody can compete!

Anyways, I decided that I was going to start putting more effort into Fiverr than before. I started waking up a little earlier to check and send buyer requests and stayed up late to check for messages and complete any orders. This is getting into the real reason for this post.

I kept on pushing and pushing and pushing myself on Fiverr just to get orders. I felt fine, but I didn’t realize at the time what this would do to me. School ended and everything became more manageable. I was able to focus more on Fiverr and Volleyball and not my schoolwork for once. I fell into a routine that I didn’t think mattered. I would play and have fun with my friends during the day, and then I would work into the night.

I even kept working when my family and I went on vacation and I thought it would be fine, but I, in turn, stressed myself out and created underlying issues that multiplied as time went on.

I slowly noticed myself losing motivation for Fiverr and most things outside of it. I started to let my stats slip and my DoT dropped to an all-time low. I went on vacation mode for a few weeks because I needed to catch up on my summer homework before school started. I got all of my work done and I decided to reactivate my gigs.

I didn’t see much work for the next couple of months and then I finally lowered my prices and started working really hard once again. I kept pushing myself into the school year and at a new high school with new people and new classes, I couldn’t take it.

I didn’t see it myself and I didn’t recognize it until it was too late, but my mental health was deteriorating. Time to get pretty serious. I’ve always struggled with some anxiety/mild depression and sometimes it gets to be too much. You can get over-stimulated by things and with the way I was treating Fiverr and my life and when I lost control of the balance, everything slipped right before me.

When I deactivated my account a few months ago, it was in the middle of one of my mental breakdowns where I could barely think and it seemed like the only logical explanation. I distanced myself from Fiverr, focused on school and sports and my friends and things got better.

When I came back to Fiverr, I had a lot of experience that I new would be more than helpful with how I’m going to sell now.

I’ve grown with Fiverr over the past year. I’ve seen new features like Available Now and Team Accounts introduced and I’ve learned a lot over the past year. I’ve discovered tips and tricks that will help me get sales, but to be honest, none of them really matter in my life compared to the one life lesson I’ve learned because of my experiences-- and that is, to maintain as balanced of a life as possible.

I know that for some of you, Fiverr may be the thing keeping you alive. I know that my experiences differ because I am still a student and I don’t have the responsibilities that adults have, but I’ve come to recognize that mental and physical health is way more important than making money.

Yes, I know that this should probably be obvious, but it is easy to become caught up in making money. It happened to me and I lost myself in freelance.

This time around, I’ve decided that there is a maximum amount of orders I’ll take at one time and that I will turn down projects that I believe will cause me more harm than good.

I may only be 15, but in the last year of my life, I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself as a person and keeping yourself healthy.

If you read this all the way through, thank you. Also, if you would like, I can make a more technical/how-to version of this because I have also learned a lot about that-- I just think this is more important and relevant with what I’ve seen on the forum recently.

Thank you for all that all of you have done to help me in the past and here’s to (hopefully) another year on Fiverr and many more to come.


#2

Yes, I did read the whole thing - through! :slight_smile:

I agree with you that “mental health and physical being” is way more important, regardless of age. I’ve been where you are and you will eventually be where I am.

The best part of being a teen is having friends and having fun. You can always put this on the back burner when you are getting overwhelmed. Many adults have difficulty balancing health and life - so, the fact you can manage it is fantastic.

Take care of yourself. You are way more advanced in responsibilities than I ever was at your age.


#3

Hey, Braden! :sunglasses:

I definitely made myself comfy before reading your story. :slight_smile:

WOW! You opening up here so candidly about something so personal. Hats :womans_hat: off to you, I’m sure others can relate. I’m still can’t believe you’re only 15-years-old. It’s good that you’re health-conscious, too. :ok_hand:t4:

You are a brilliant young person. The sky is the limit and I wish you the very best in life. So, spread your wings! :stars:
Hugs


#4

It may be personal, but once you share your experiences with others who may be going through something similar, it can help you feel less alone and you can help others. So, even if I might be compromising something about myself, maybe being able to help others in the process makes me feel better.


#5

Just wow!

Firstly, can I just thank you for sharing your story so candidly and while I knew bits of it, I didnt realize anything like what you have just written. I think a lot of us don’t realize just how important our mental health is and the reality that it is vital that we give our minds space to breathe. It is easier said than done and something that I big time struggle with personally. When I dont allow myself breaks, time off, changes of scenery etc, my work suffers as a result which is an indicator of there being an issue.

When I read about guys like you or others who are working at school/Uni (cos that’s what it is- work) AND working on Fiverr, even though I encourage it, I am a little concerned. Before any of you old folks think “oh, I had a part-time job when I was in school and I was ok”, you are not comparing like with like. Working on Fiverr is not the same as flipping burgers, delivering newspapers or picking fruit. It contains all aspects of running a business and is extremely difficult to share the stresses, pains and worries with others as it doesnt really translate to jobs they have. You can be on top of the world with a great client who tipped and gave 5 stars, only to get 3 dumb cancellations five minutes later which will cost you your hard-worked for level - as just one example.

This is why I always recommended the forum to you younger guys, where you can see others going through the same seller issues, who know what its like, to get advice etc. However, it is not enough by any means and while I hate that you went through the reason you deleted your account, I love that you did it to look after yourself and managed to recharge and reflect. It is a great sign and something that some may not do - many would have struggled on and allowed things to get worse which is not the right approach as any good business person would tell you.

Mod Note: If anyone is struggling with issues regarding mental health, please do seek out help in the same way you would seek a doctor if your leg was falling off. It is the same thing. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness and it is smarter to take a step back and regroup your thoughts and plans than to try “power on through”.


#6

I understand where you’re coming from here.

Hence, the reason why I’ll share something with you. Sometimes my life gets really chaotic and I’m always on the go. Dealing with academic, and work stuff and other responsibilities. You can say I’ve always been an over-achiever and a perfectionist. This causes problems and it takes a toll on me sometimes. Just like you I’m always pushing myself endlessly and trying to meet sometimes exceed my goals. I’m the type of person people reach out to for help and I try my best to be there for them. My sleeping :zzz: habit is wayyyyy out of wack, my Doc told me to slow down, relax & try not to over exert myself. I’m usually up late studying, exercising, editing/recording, other business-related work, and journaling.

I’m really into meditation and started to get into yoga as well. My diet is excellent, I’m intermittent fasting now, and sustaining a healthy lifestyle is a must for me. Working on a Medical degree is VERY draining somedays my :brain: is totally fried. I don’t get a chance to have fun with friends often as I’d like too. I think to myself - I can use that time to perfect my craft, and work on my mile long to-do list. So, having more FUN is what I need to do as well! I :heart: to travel, the outdoors, studying languages, ancient history, going to museums, DIY projects and concerts and much more. It’s difficult for me to balance it all, but one day, I’ll get to master it. :smile:

I’m all about living life, being happy and discovering the undiscovered. :slightly_smiling_face:


#7

This was actually one of the first things I noticed starting to happen. I noticed that my writing just wasn’t up to my standard on some of my projects and something just wasn’t clicking. After the break that I took, I noticed that my writing was back to what I originally was planning on selling/up to my own standards.

Thank you for recognizing this. Even though I don’t have specific hours that I’m working, a lot of the work that part-time jobs introduce just isn’t the same as Fiverr. This is a lot more mental, and the work isn’t just “brought to you” like it is in retail or food services. You have to find your clients here and sustain your own business whereas other jobs are more like hubs where you can find work(if this makes any sense).

I can’t stress this enough. Even just talking to a friend or family member to help calm you down can change your world.

Thank you, Eoin.


#8

I actually felt like I was getting a little bit too stressed out over the last week or so, so I decided that I would take the weekend off and just complete the orders I already have. I’m trying to find my oil paints right now so I can try and paint like Bob Ross. His work is so inspirational.

Thank you for sharing your own experiences/tips with what works for you, Nika!


#9

You know, one way for people to actually do this is to count “head space time” as part of work time. Allowing space in between projects or breaking up larger projects will result in a better job being done. It is something I have been trying to do myself with a mix of success and failure but I notice the difference when I do it.

Even that is a major thing - no specific hours. As a McDonalds “chef” you can count your hours a week in advance and plan life around it whereas here it is much more difficult to do that - especially in the beginning and for part time sellers. Also, someone (It may have been you) once told me that they were going out with family to do a family day - that is a great thing to do - but it can be unplanned and therefore interfere with your work plan. Its another consideration that most full-timers dont have - the times when parents say “you need to stop what you’re doing and do this instead”.


#10

Hi Braden,
It is near my :sleeping_bed: time so I bookmarked this thread so I can come back to read it. And that is something I look forward to doing! :grinning:
I will comment on it tomorrow. :dizzy:


#11

Thank you for sharing. That was such an inspiring and informative post.

I’ve also found that this is the best approach for working on Fiverr part-time. I used to beat myself up over turning down orders because they were stressing me out; nowadays I do what it takes to keep me at a good place with my academics and life. That’s much more important than the amount I could potentially make from certain orders.


#12

Hey Vickie! Did you get a chance to read this over?


#13

Is this allowed for 15 years old work here on fiverr?


#14

Yes, the age limit is 13 and up as stated in the ToS.


#15

Braden, thanks so much for your post. Although I’m a good deal older than you, I can relate to much of what you shared.

You are wise beyond your years and it’s heartwarming to know that you’ve already learned some incredible lessons on taking care of yourself.

I’m very grateful that you were willing to be vulnerable and share your experiences as an encouragement to others.

Your post certainly was an encouragement to me.


#16

Wow Braden, you have totally blown me away! My son is also 15 and I think he is fairly mature compared to many of his friends, but your sense of self, being able to realise what is happening to you in this situation, my god, it’s quite remarkable - I think you are wise well beyond your years!!! I know people my own age not brave enough to be so vulnerable and put themselves out there like you have, so major respect!

I am so happy to hear things are more manageable for you now and you’ve found a way to make it work for you. So much great advice for you already, but I will also stress the importance of self-care. No $5 order or stressful client situation is worth your health and happiness, so keep looking after yourself.

You have such an amazing future ahead of you - running your own freelance business at 14/15 is brilliant, you have learned so much already and the fact that you can recognise how important your physical and mental health is at your age blows me away! I can see big things for you Braden :hugs:


#17

I truly am glad to hear that, Sophie. Thank you for your kind words and as I’ve said before, my goal of this post was to help others who may be going through similar situations. Putting myself out there and “exposing” my mental health was the least of my worries. Mental health needs to be talked about a whole lot more than it already is discussed-- not just on Fiverr, but worldwide.

Mental health can impact you just as much, if not more in some cases, than physical illnesses such as colds or injuries, but for some reason, there is a stigma that is associated with mental illnesses and they are often ignored because “you should be able to push through it”. I may only be reaching out to a very specific community, but the stress that can come along with running your own business can really take a toll on your mental health.

I love hearing that I seem mature to others and I take it as a great compliment, so thank you!


#18

Thank you!

When I first came to realize this, it actually truly changed my mental state. I used to be super worried about canceling or even just not taking up a $5 order so I would send an offer even if I wasn’t very interested or if I wasn’t 100% confident I could do something, just because of the fear I had with losing $4.

It sounds pretty stupid now that I think about it because, in America at least, $4 is pretty much nothing. I try to prioritize the mental health and physical health of myself, my family members, and my friends as much as possible because it is more important to live a balanced, happy, and healthy life than to be overwhelmed by the daily stresses associated with school, work, and maintaining a social life.


#19

Somehow I forgot to reply to you when I first saw your response, well, here I go.

Lately, my mental and physical health has become my top priority-- as it always should have been. I’ve come to realize that everything(like school, grades, sports, and Fiverr) is temporary. While it is important to take care of these things, it is more important that you keep the machine that makes these things possible oiled, up to date, and ready to run-- your mind, body and soul.

Think of it this way; if you let the machine break down and don’t keep up with its maintenance, why would you expect it to last a long time? We’re constantly buying new car parts, updating our computers, replacing parts in our sinks or dishwashers, so why would we treat our bodies any different?

If you start to feel like you’re breaking down, take a break, pinpoint your stresses and reasons for pain, and try your best to alleviate them. While some may say if it isn’t broken don’t fix it, I like to think of the saying in a different way. Instead of waiting for something to break to fix it, try to keep everything running smoothly throughout the entire process.

Waiting for a mental breakdown or something to happen to you physically won’t help your overall health in any way. There are ways to prevent these things from happening and it’s more important to build a support structure to lessen the chances of something happening than to just wait for your health to crumble to the point where you’re split into a million pieces.

It may not be easy, but I am trying my best and it seems to be working-- for the most part. I recently hit a low point and I tried to take a weekend off so I could focus on sleeping, eating well, relaxing, and destressing with art and photography. It seemed to do the trick.

I’m thankful for all that you have done and helped me learn about here on the Forums, Gina. I can say with confidence that your purchases have helped me expand my knowledge and abilities-- and that is one of the many things I love about Fiverr.


#20

I’ve been down that road so many times. I’ve suffered depression and been fighting the blues as long as I can remember.

Having suffered to near exhaustion, mentally draining and physical pain - I’m actually terrible at consoling others. It feels awkward to me and I don’t know what to say to make others feel better.

I understand how it feels, I just can’t put in words for others.

My teen years were just awful. I’ve cried so much, still do. I’ve tried to end my life - as you can see, I’ve failed at both attempts.

I’m trucking along like a zombie, sometimes I feel dead inside.

You, unlike me, are young and so smart. You have so much more to offer the world than someone like me. I can see success in you. I really envy you.

My post was my feeble attempt to console you without trying to patronize you or treat you like a kid. Physically, you may be young but mentally, I can see that you are so much more mature than I was at 15.

On or off 5r, I am looking forward to seeing you succeed. Weird thing about me is I really enjoy seeing people succeed, especially people I like.

Take care of yourself.

:blue_heart: , G.