What is the price of dreams?
Ask Lauren and she’ll have one great story to tell.
From braving a soul sucking job that pushed her on the road at 5 am to working late into the night, she’s seen it all.
Looking for a better way to live life on her own terms, she went down the rabbit hole of freelancing and surprised herself with how far she’s come in 5 years.
From humble beginnings to becoming one of the top rated bestseller on Fiverr and getting featured on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine, this is one inspirational story that you don’t wanna miss.
Read on…get inspired, and start living life on your own terms!
Let’s hear it from Lauren…
Tell us about who you are and what’s your story
Hi! My name is Lauren Gouws (Neé Meikle) and I am a professional copywriter.
After earning my qualification in Film and TV production in 2011, I quickly realized I was fascinated by the writing side of things.
I worked for a few companies in my early 20s full-time, but working for a boss was never for me.
I lived in another city from where I worked, so I would have to get up at 5am every morning to face traffic just to get to a place I didn’t want to be at – to earn just enough to make ends meet.
I wanted to work for myself, so I Googled “How to make money online” as I’m sure everyone has…and I found a list of “Gig Economy” websites to sign up on.
I registered on all of them, not thinking anything would actually happen…and one of them was Fiverr.
Little did I know that finding that article that day in 2015 would change my life forever.
I started to get a few jobs in…then a few more…and more…but the only time I had for Fiverr work was in the evenings after getting back from the office late in the evening.
I hardly slept or saw my husband (then-boyfriend) for months.
Eventually, I was making enough money on Fiverr to confidently quit my job and pursue Fiverr full-time.
Since then, I’ve bought a huge house, managed to pay for the wedding of my dreams, and I have a beautiful baby girl.
The only reason I can afford to live the life I do is because I was so determined to work for myself – and I was willing to work incredibly hard to do so. I still do!
Why did you start freelancing
I started back in 2015 on the side while I was still working my full-time job.
Working a full day at the office then writing all night on freelance projects really took its toll on me, but to say it’s paid off would be an understatement.
It’s been almost 6 years since I first started on Fiverr, and I definitely wouldn’t call myself a freelancer anymore.
I’m blessed to have grown my freelance side-hustle into a fully-fledged business where my husband runs all client communication and I have 4 other writers working under me.
If I think back now, I really can’t believe how far I’ve come. The gig economy has so much potential for anyone who can offer a service digitally. It’s incredible, and the possibilities are boundless.
I even wrote for Emirates New Zealand in my first month of freelancing on Fiverr.
What has been your greatest success so far
I was featured on the front cover of Entrepreneur Magazine in 2018 for my success on Fiverr.
They first told me they were going to write an article on me for the December issue, which was incredible enough as it was.
They then randomly popped me an email informing me that I needed to come in for a photo-shoot because I was to be featured on the front cover along with two other successful entrepreneurs.
I have several copies around my house today, including one framed.
Aside from my personal success, I have a huge portfolio of success stories whereby my writing has helped my clients raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in crowdfunding.
What have you changed about your process as you have grown as a freelancer
I’ve always been pretty OCD and a meticulous perfectionist, but working for myself has taught me a LOT about scheduling and time-management.
As I started to get busier and busier on Fiverr back in 2015, I started implementing a “Block” system on my calendar that works fantastically for me to this day.
I have around 20-30 client projects to write a day, so I determine how much time will be needed depending on the word count and research involved for each project. I use color-coding and internal terminology to help me keep track of projects.
I’ve also created a lot of template responses for client communication purposes. Of course, I personalize each one, but having those basic foundations as templates really helps me streamline communication and my daily schedule.
I’ve also learned not to take criticism to heart or get emotional if I’m dealing with a particularly difficult client.
I used to let one piece of negative feedback affect my entire week, believing I was a bad writer. But then I realized there’s simply no pleasing everyone. I have 99.99% positive ratings and 8,000+ 5-star reviews online, so I’ve learned that running a business as an entrepreneur means truly rolling with the punches (and the praise!)
Is there anything that you would do differently if starting all over again
Probably not. I’m thrilled with how my career has turned out and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m sure business will keep evolving over the next few years though, so ask me again in another 5 years!
What’s next for you and your business
My husband handles client communication, and I write thousands of words a day and operate as Head of Creative to guide my other writers (of which we have five including me).
Still, even with all of this support, we are permanently inundated with work.
Even 6 years in, I’m still working until 10-11pm every night (weekends included) which is certainly not sustainable. Especially not with my gorgeous little toddler who needs her mother.
So, the next step would be to hire more people to handle client communication as well as more writers to tackle projects.
It’s a scary thing hiring someone new – as every new employee is a financial obligation which is definitely enough to keep you up at night.
But that’s the risk you take when running a business and building an empire. I’m excited for the future and I can’t wait to see what the next six years have to hold!
Any specific course or resource that has helped you grow and become a top freelancer?
Everything I know I taught and learned myself…I simply threw myself in the deep-end and endured years of trial and error to build my own organizational systems and develop my skills as a writer.
I firmly believe you are your own best source of inspiration, and by truly listening to yourself instead of relying on others for motivation, you’ll be surprised at what you’re capable of creating.
How does it feel to be a Top rated seller & how do you rate your journey up until now
I’ve been a top-rated seller for about 4 years now, but I never get complacent and the gratitude is at a permanent high.
I know what it’s like to have no money and to struggle to make ends meet.
I feel so fortunate to be in a position where I literally have to turn down work, because I need to sleep too.
I try my best to stay grateful no matter how tough work gets, remembering what life is like on the other side.
Would you offer a special discount to our audience for your great services
I offer various exciting packages on my Fiverr profile – but any readers here are welcome to contact me for specials 🙂
What’s the best way to connect with you and your work online
You can find me on Fiverr at www.fiverr.com/laurenmeikle.
I’m also on Instagram: @LaurenKirstyGouws
And on Facebook
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