People say “Freelancers are earning 1000’s dollars every week. He can work whenever he wants to and can enjoy the free time.” Wow! what a dreamy life. Here in this article, I am sharing my experience of my first freelance work as a full-stack mobile app developer.
A faulty start
It was an afternoon and one of my college mates called me. I picked up the call and he told me that his friend is planning to start a restaurant and needs a mobile application for taking the orders from tables.
In those days, even famous restaurants in our city were using paper and pen for order taking. This will be a revolution and I am going to be a part of it.
My first job as a freelancer! I took my bike, ride 20 kilometers, and met with the guy he mentioned. We discussed the project, the latest technologies for mobile app development, and the deal happened. The gentlemen also bought me juice before I leave.
Quote for the right amount and time frame
Wow! Happy. I will complete the frontend and backend works, make the project live and maintain it for 3 months. All of this will be done for an amount of 10000 rs (~$130).
Freelancers usually calculate the hours to complete work and quote the amount in an hourly manner. Here, I didn’t do any references before making a quote.
Learn before entering the work
I need to start the development from the night of the day itself.
But the main issue was, I didn’t know any technologies to develop a mobile app. Yes! The one and only project I have made live on the internet in my entire life was a web application developed using a framework called Laravel.
The development starts on December 1st. and the delivery date is December 31st. They need to inaugurate the restaurant on January 1st itself.
I have a whole month in front of me.
I searched the internet for the best technologies to develop a mobile app.
React Native by Facebook! Great. I am already using Facebook for more than 7 years.
Be aware of the clock
I have chosen React Native framework, set up the project, and display a “Hello World” on the screen.
I am a genius!
Looked at the calendar and there are 10 more days for the delivery.
What !!! Just 10 more days?
Sleepless nights hugged me and worked until 2 am, 3 am and even 5 am.
Even semicolon errors took days to solve. Consulted with friends to solve major issues and implement use cases.
It’s the last of the year 2017. People around the world are partying and my friends are also.
I was sitting on my chair and looking to complete the app before the sun raises.
You must ask for an advance before entering to a freelance work
After 2,3 days of the new year, my boss, the person who assigned the job called me and told the sad story that the restaurant plan is dropped because of some complexities in government formalities.
He also added a sorry for the hard work that I have done in the past month.
But sir, I am ready to deliver the project this week and can you please pay the quoted amount? No! that was a signal propagating inside my brain and my tongue could not deliver it to him.
Freelancers should ask for an advance amount before starting the work. Do not enter just because of the trust.
Don’t blame your client always
I could see freelancers are blaming their clients in most cases. For not getting the quoted amount, For shouting towards the worker for delivering the project at the correct time, etc. Here, as freelance workers, we need to make clear our stand before making a deal.
We have all freedom to accept or deny the work just before committing to the work. Afterward, it’s our own responsibility to handle the pressure.
In my experience, I also wanted to take the responsibility for the business failure just because of not asking for the advance payment and not making a good deal with the client.
Here in this article, I explained my experience of my first freelance work as a full-stack mobile app developer. I did not explain the complete events that occurred during these stressful days. Break-in relationship, couldn’t spend time with my family and friends, no entertainment. Also, some health issues like neck pain, stomach pain, etc. So I would suggest referring well before entering freelance work.