Grinding: From Being An Employee in Russia to Successful Design Freelancer in Europe with Evgeniya Pautova

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Case Studies, Immigration, Lifestyle, Podcast0 Comments

What is up? Everybody? I hope you’re having a great Tuesday morning. So we have a fun show this week, I met an amazing woman in Bangkok – my friend’s girlfriend, Evgeniya and she’s a Russian entrepreneur freelancer artist. She’s a top performer on Fiverr now and she’s an illustrator. She’s she’s very passionate about drawing. Evgeniya will tell us about her progress from working full-time in Russia to becoming a freelancer, getting out to Fiverr, getting her payments, building her business – the ups and the downs.

So without further Ado, let’s get into the show.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Intro Evgeniya

  • Life and Work in Russia

    How was the beginning of your work career in Russia?

  • Coming to Prague, as a Russian Immigrant

    Trips to Czech Republic

  • Immigrating to Czech Republic From Russia

    Partnership visa with our friend Simon, how was the process.

  • Differences Working With Russian Clients and International Ones

    How was it to work as a freelancer in Russia?

  • Starting as a Freelancer online

    Moving from offline to online

  • Going into Fiverr

  • Payment Solutions

    Transferwise and cross border payments

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

√ Movie: Green Card
√ Evgeniya’s VIP Experts Page
√ Evgeniya’s website Wow Yellow
√ Also check out GoREmitHK cross border payments for Asia
√ Book Show Your Work

Episode Length 42:53

All right. Thank you Evgeniya for sharing. I hope people enjoyed that and we keep it real here at Global From Asia.

Download Options

Listen in Youtube:

Show Transcript


[00:00:00] Episode 253 of the global from Asia podcast and we are talking about Russia to Europe. Welcome to the Global from Asia podcast where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight-up actionable advice. And now your host Michael Michelini. What is up everybody?

[00:00:25] I hope you’re having a great Tuesday morning. I don’t know. Do you listen to these on Tuesday when it came out? We do get some I do get some feedback from people in various groups and the emails that they do listen to these right away. So that’s awesome to hear. We are. We are rocking and rolling to the Trump

[00:00:44] fight with China the Cold War or whatever we want to call it now is real actually and people have been saying hey, I want to buy from Thailand factories. They’ve been here and I’ve been meeting some factories here something we will work on getting some conversations about you know, what some funny things that happens.

[00:01:04] I’ve invited some people on the show here in Thailand and a lot of people are afraid to go online publicly. Not just for normal exposing their business but more about their immigration policies here. They’re on retirement visas. There’s some really multi-millionaire successful business people

[00:01:24] I’ve met in my time here in Thailand and a lot of them are just saying, oh, I’d love to share my experiences, but I’m just paranoid to share because my I’m technically on retirement Visa in Thailand. Maybe that’ll be me one day. I don’t know but for me, I’m a guardian Visa. So maybe I shouldn’t shouldn’t host this show anymore, huh?

[00:01:45] But whatever. I’ll get handcuffed one of these days. I guess it’s just part of part of putting yourself out there. So we have a fun show this this week. I don’t know. I think you know, it’s borderline relevant to the Global from Asia, but I met an amazing woman in in Bangkok, my friend’s girlfriend, Simon Pain – Evgeniya and she’s a Russian entrepreneur freelancer artist. And she has a pretty cool story.

[00:02:19] She’s like a top performer on Fiverr now. She’s an illustrator. She’s she’s very passionate about she’s drawing all the time. Even at dinner on a napkin when I’m sitting there with her and Simon in Bangkok. She’s always making illustrations very very talented. We discussed kind of the journey of immigration from Russia to Czech Republic little bit of their story how they met. Some, you know fun stuff there and of course her progress from working full-time in Russia to becoming a freelancer getting out to Fiverr getting her payments building her business the ups and the downs.

[00:03:00] So I hope you guys are if interested in joining this I did this in person at a coffee shop in Bangkok. And we had a fun conversation and it’s a I think a beautiful story and inspirational. I think of course females I should have more women in the show. I’m happy to have her I should have more women speaking at our events.

[00:03:24] I’ve gotten feedback like that and I do want to support female entrepreneurship. There’s amazing amazing women in business world. So I’m really happy to have her on the show and sharing her story. It’s a first time for her to be on any podcast as well. I like to do that too. I hope you all enjoy after the show

[00:03:43] I’ll do my blah blah blah kind of maybe some tips and tricks maybe some other freelancers and hustlers can get started with their business. So without further Ado, let’s get into the show. Are you making payments cross-border? Then you should support our sponsor GoRemit.HK they’ve been around for years helping companies like Global from Asia around making payments to the Philippines for our amazing team creating this show, suppliers in China, suppliers in Thailand, and the other places around Asia.

[00:04:17] Definitely a good choice for you to save some money from the normal bank fees when using cross-border payments in Asia from Hong Kong banking. Check them out free to sign up very low exchange rate fees www.GoRemit.HK. Thanks again for sponsoring our show. And if you appreciate this show, want to your support check them out.

[00:04:42] Thank you so much.  All right. Thank you everybody for tuning into Global from Asia podcast. We are here in Bangkok Thailand and I get a cool chance to interview Evgeniya. Did I say that right? Yeah sounds about right about right for my American accent. Yeah, and we know each other through Simon Simon Pain your boyfriend.

[00:05:05] Yes. Husband’s? Boyfriend. Boyfriend and we have a cool interview today. So you’re here. You’re like a freelancer illustrator, right? That’s true. And I met you I think first time in Czech. Maybe we met in Bangkok true. Yeah, we’ve met a few times in different parts of the world. So I think it’s great and we are in a pretty cool coffee shop that also is roasting downstairs and it’s it’s pretty cool.

[00:05:40] So always creating content on the go. So today’s topic. We’re going to talk about you know, Actually some interesting stuff, you know coming from Russia, you know starting you’re freelancing business working with Fiverr, you know, some of your payments stuff and of course talking about your growth of your business.

[00:05:58] So I think are you paying the bills now? So nothing for Simon? Yes, I find it again invite him to the restaurant. Yeah. Yeah pretty badass finally. Nice. So do you want to maybe just give us a little bit of background about your from from Russia and and some of your your background your full name?

[00:06:23] Okay. This is my full name is Euvgeniya Pautova. Euvgeniya means noble from Greek Nice. I go with Jeniya and for my clients I go with Jen because it’s just easier for Americans pronounce. Yes. Us Americans – difficult, great. So I have a big run have Masters actually in preschool psychology.

[00:06:48] Hmm. That’s where it all started. Okay. After that for a few years, I tried to make it as a graphic designer just the office job in Moscow, which was tough. It was a crisis time in Russia. It was really stressful always overworking working on the weekends. And but I thought that’s what I want. So I kept going and growing my skills.

[00:07:23] And eventually I got sick of all of that office depression and it just was a breakthrough moment. I think. About six years ago. Okay. when I quit my job after I quit my job. I just wanted to take some time and just rethink the whole situation what I’m going to do next. I just realized that 9-5 is just not who I am and it just didn’t work anymore and it made me constantly irritated and just unhappy about everything.

[00:08:05] Okay. Oh, so I was just waiting when the decision will come up and I got just like one freelance order from a previous client of mine and I was like, okay this feels like allow me going maybe for one more week. So I didn’t need to find a job yet. I just wait finish this order and see. So I finished that.

[00:08:30] And another order came up. It was like small orders and I think my first freelance months it was living like from something starting from two hundred to two hundred dollars in Moscow. I didn’t know it’s possible. Apparently it was and I just kept phoning like searching for real job for a new better and real job and I think it’s how I stack on freelance.

[00:08:59] Okay, and then kept going for about a year out until luck happened to me. It was just a coincidence. My best friend was getting married and they decided to make the wedding in Prague because of all the castles and beautiful city and like romantic stuff. So I went there as a maid of honor and I realized I’ve been in Prague a couple of times before and I really like it again like re-connected to the city and it felt really good there.

[00:09:39] As a Russian I have two more months allowed like I could stay in Europe within the month. So I decided to give it a try and just again there I sub rented a room from my friend’s apartment and that’s how the Prague story started and during this trip actually met Simon. Yeah, so it was historical for me. That’s the magic moment.

[00:10:11] Yeah, so let’s talk about the relationship. So you had your two months visa in Czech. Yes in Prague. So you had wedding and you met Simon our amazing mutual friend or your boyfriend and my really good friend here. We know for many years. So you guys started dating. And I know it’s difficult for an..Russians.. Actually had one just one day the day before I needed to go back to Russia.

[00:10:40] There you go. And I didn’t know it was a date Simon thought it was a date not quite agree on that. Interesting. Yeah, and after that the next day I left to Russia and I realize I was like very naive it was my first time trying like a long long time travels in Europe. So I came I thought I just renew my Visa and get back like in a week again in Russia.

[00:11:08] I started to Google the Visa policies and I realize I need to spend 90 days back to Russia and just like to kind of sit and wait for my new Visa like. You can spend 90 days for half a year in Europe on so I texted to Simon like hey, I seem to stuck in Moscow. See you in Spring hopefully and then he said he’s going to visit me for a month and that was it.

[00:11:40] That’s the .. you found a great guy. Yes I should mention it was January. So it was Russia and it’s January. So it was very romantic. That is like no people doing this. Like ever. That must be he must have had a really good feeling about it there many years and so let’s talk and then you because I’m yeah we met in Bangkok and then we also had met when I visited Prague for a while and you guys were together.

[00:12:11] So, how did it. How did it progress I mean, I let’s not talk as much about the love part but with the the immigration part. So I know I joke with you the other day when we were hanging out like I lived in the US and I had like polish friends that were immigrants and they’re like, oh I’ll pay you 5,000 for a

[00:12:30] “Marriage” and to get the visa. Of course, these guys had a real relationship wasn’t for about that. But you went through some hurdles. I know that’ll be worth sharing and yeah, it’s true when I get back the Prague-in next spring after 90 days we moved in together almost immediately like few days after and

[00:12:55] I get another 90 days only extended European Union. So we started to think what would be the next step. How should we live? Like for two countries like three months in Russia three months in Czech Republic or should we just like travel some first countries were like, none of us need a visa and we figured we contacted few agencies which help with visa stuff and most of people say Rick you got you guys should get married just get married and we were dating like a month. Wow, that’s a little fast. Yeah.

[00:13:33] I think we would go for it just out of desperation but just one lady one agency taught us this dating visas so-called dating visa in Czech Republic. It means but you don’t need to be legally married on paper to get the partnership visa for your partners so your spouse and is considered a spouse no matter if it’s in your passport or not.

[00:14:03] So we started to aim for that. It was also a bit early to apply for it because it was like a new relationship but the application process took us so long. So and then a relationship are like already proven and like stable and long-term it took me nine months the whole process and when it was pretty much like the movie Green Card, do you know his movie?

[00:14:33] It’s kind of like an old American movie from 90s or something. It’s about a couple faking a marriage for American visa for the green card. So we’re learning all about each other. And we do the awkward interview. So we had it all..had the police visiting our apartment and checking on us checking like if there’s like my personal belongings toothbrush pillows and it was pretty weird actually because Simon was living with his brother at that moment.

[00:15:08] And I was living with them. So when the police visited we were traveling somewhere nearby and we were not at home. So the brother of Simon opened the door and the police asked so is there you’ve gained…over here living here and the brother he’s like pretty laid back like a really nice guy.

[00:15:30] I don’t know if you met him. I dont think so. He knew Miss Jeniya so he was like. Who is Evgeniya Pautova. It was like the worst thing you can say to the police officers checking for the visa but eventually I think they figured it was like the same person. Yeah..Evgeniya and Jeniya so it turned out well, but it was still quite romantic.

[00:15:57] A lot of paperworks our families needed to write letters to the police about our relationships like what they think about our relationships and how they feel about us and stuff like that. What else? Yeah. I mean, I think that’s a good summary. Let’s dive into the business side. Yeah. Okay. Sure. Let’s take a quick break.

[00:16:27] Okay, we’re back. So we went through the little bit of the the interrogation of of cross-borderacross culture married. Well that I’m married now. But yeah, I see legally it’s the same call it whatever. But now I think I heard you yesterday. Simon says you must really have feelings because you could leave now, right?

[00:16:51] Yes we joke about it. Now I have a permanent stay first my Visa was attached to Simon and basically if we would broke up. I would lose my Visa because it was just based on him. My ….ya and finally he has Czech Republic approved me. And now it looks like we’re together for the right reasons.

[00:17:15] Okay, that’s good. That’s good. So it wasn’t a transaction. It wasn’t like a financial financial or business transaction. It was for the right reasons. So now let’s go back on the business side. You’re growing your your freelancer business and we mentioned first part was you had in.. you had a digital project.

[00:17:37] In Moscow and it went well and then then you went to this wedding and now you’re between Moscow and Prague and more time in Prague. So all this time you were how was the business freelancer? Yeah, it was moving to Prague. It was a big thing overall and not just for personal life, but for my career’s well because I found out.

[00:18:00] First of all, it’s harder to work remotely with Russian clients mostly in Moscow. Some of them wanted me to come to their offices to discuss stuff. We love discussing stuff. Drink vodka. Not bad and eventually like the other factor the important one was the price level in in Russia.

[00:18:29] For freelance it wasn’t like I couldn’t support my living anymore with Russian clients working for Russia. And I had no idea how to get an international client. How does it work how to do how to make an invoice like what program do you use and anything like that where to find clients nothing. But I it was just like a breaking point and I just needed to do something and I had no idea what. Okay.

[00:19:01] Yeah. So then how did you break through? Was it Simon to the rescue? Yes, it’s definitely when you’re surrounded by the right people it helps a lot and Simon was already like international knowing this cool expats and stuff. So my first order is for actually friends and family and it was this real orders.

[00:19:28] It was illustration. I also decided to shift from graphic design, which was not so creatively satisfying anymore. I thought like okay. I seem to hate graphic design. Okay, what do I hate least and seems like I like doodling. I like drawing for myself. I went to Artistic school as a kid, but I never really used it for my career.

[00:19:53] And in Russia, it’s a common belief, that artistic career is not a career. It’s not a job and what you should get a real job, but I can’t and I’m not sure engineer doctor or something like that. Yes. So even in America I think yeah, it’s somewhat like that. It’s still an issue, but I think in America you have like we have now great examples of what artists could have great careers.

[00:20:24] Now I found out for myself it’s true and I’m really optimistic about Artist and one of my missions actually is to show illustrators artistic people that could have really good life and we could make a full-time career from Art and it could be great for everyone. Nice. So then you’re getting friends and for family clients and I

[00:20:53] I mean, I know that you’re doing well on fiverr so. Yes. It was it’s before fiverr and eventually yeah, but it was like unreliable because some month you have some order you feel great, but you don’t know if we come next month if something is coming and like how you gonna pay your check deals and how you’re check life.

[00:21:19] So it’s some point I was like in the headed down moment and I was like talking to Simon about what should I do? Do you think I where should I move now. I’m just like it’s so unpredictable. And he said, you know, I’ve heard this Fiverr site like it just like for very simple orders. It’s a $5 Gigs.

[00:21:44] And but the thing is like you can make a very very simple gig very like small offer like one icon or like a teeny tiny drawing or sketch and sell it for $5 and is expected to be like if you sell many of it you can have some decent income and I think the key point was it didn’t look too scary for me because I get this mindset that artists we can’t have good life.

[00:22:14] I can’t have real jobs. And this look like small. It’s like the smallest step which is not like scary for you to make it still took me like two months I think to get on it. Eventually, I decided to put just like my first gig I really I over I over thought it so much. I was like really writing like pages of notes.

[00:22:38] Like how should I upsell? How should I make like the ways of the gif all this stuff and not moving at all. It was just like I’m a thinker. I just love thinker. So eventually I scraped together with coloring book geek and my first Fiverr income was like four dollars. The guy’s only take the fee right.

[00:23:01] Yeah, it’s five dollars and fiverr takes 20% commission and it’s four dollars, but it was like real it was international client from the internet not from friends. Yes. It’s pretty exciting. So my next order I think was like. $15 in first month, I might something about like a hundred dollars. They were like very encouraging like it sounds.

[00:23:31] Like not so much but the idea of like where our money in the internet and it works if you give it like the right push it was just like stunning for me. That’s great congrats. And that was a few years ago. Yeah. It was about three years ago 2016-15. Yes 15. It was in summer. Okay, and eventually it just started going from it.

[00:24:01] Maybe it took me a year to go to some kind of solid minimal level which could which afford me to live from it. And I was just really I don’t know. I’m Fiverr’s girl. They treated me well, and I was just going for all the Innovations with we go. Their new wedding. Yes, like they have a success program individual like success manager and it just went through it.

[00:24:38] I was like, how could I help you help me.. to make money to make it more effective. They have something like a Fiverr pro program and I was like one of the first applying for it, and eventually I think for now it’s about maybe fifty percent of my income because now I have clients of my own inside the fiverr but about  50 percent of my income still through fiverr.

[00:25:07] What’s also I think you’re getting paid more from Fiverr. I know I’m a buyer. I’ve I sold one gig in my whole life on Fiverr. What was it? A paid tweet. It’s cute. I should have done more continue to offer my gig but I know their prices have gone up. Yeah, it’s true good for you. And right now we’re shifting to Quality Geeks.

[00:25:33] I think we get sort of a reputation of like just being cheap with moderate quality work. Like it’s like a lottery. You don’t know what you get. What kind of stories yeah and for me I try to set up my prices high to also because freelance it also in risk. We’re different clients clients who don’t know what they want and clients who just like we ordered something and were not gonna use it.

[00:26:03] So we want to refund because I’m not gonna use it. So I think high prices is good mention for everyone. It’s like a filter of quality and it shows confidence like really I would be I would not trust the five dollar gig myself personally. Sometimes I order something and I am somewhere in the middle like not the highest range but not the lowest too. Okay.

[00:26:31] Well congrats on this and I think in the show, we like to talk about the structure so you’re doing you have a company or you did in your..what kind of like, what do you do in business. I’m a it’s an individual entrepreneur. In Czech? In Prague? In Prague. I have a Czech license. I guess I’m Czech resident. Okay, how do I pay..And then you love transferwise?

[00:26:56] I know you said. Yes. Transferwise is really amazing. I just recently switched to it and it’s truly awesome because they give you a mid bank rate for money conversion currency conversion, and it seems pretty decent and they give you I don’t know how we make it. But with these very very small, affordable and it works.

[00:27:24] Just amazing. Nice. Nice, and so now you have your own website Yes, check it out. She’ll help you out. So so then you have clients coming from your website as a referrals, as Fiverr. That’s kind of like the structure now? They come now from just sometimes it’s word of mouth.

[00:27:49] Some group of clients, they came from Fiverr originally, but when they googled me and they started to work with me directly, can’t stop them from doing that. My Instagram so it’s like from multiple sources and my websites finally starting to bring some attention too. Congrats, so so basically summarized you know, I’m yeah, I think you should be proud of yourself.

[00:28:21] You know, you came out you started your own business you found… you know you found your new way in Prague and your yeah, things are things are growing. What would you kind of recommend? Somebody may be listening that that’s interested to do what you’re doing. Like how would they get started or…

[00:28:41] Yes, you mean in case of failed..Well I guess freelancing creative maybe creator and freelancer. Yeah, I think I really like this book by Austin Kleon called Show Your Work and he says basically be findable, be online, be there and be a good guy. It means like keep doing the good work because the people they will get back to you.

[00:29:10] If you do good work and I will recommend you to my friends to the clients of theirs and you should be online you just put yourself there and just go for it. And I think for the artists if any artists are listening it’s just art is real career. Great. And it’s really awesome. I’m like, it’s really happy and I love my clients.

[00:29:38] I like most of my projects it took me some filtering like a few years of filtering like what I don’t like to do that kind of clients may not necessarily understand each other and just by filtering like the wrong ones I got with I honestly think with my clients are the best people if you hear me you are the best guys. Awesom. And just my work makes me happy and it could be true and fight fight with people who tell you get a real job settle down find a stable job in the office.

[00:30:14] If you feel like it’s your cup of tea in the freelance it’s totally beautiful and it’s totally awesome.  More power to you. It’s true I mean but of course it wasn’t always I’m sure there was ups and downs with you know, I think..Yes sure it is like a roller coaster it was. Right now it’s stable. So it feels I could forget the bad stuff really quickly, but it was like moments when I was literally crying over my website because I didn’t know how to apply some kind of blog or some social media stuff and it just it’s unpredictable, but it’s a way of life and the benefits of having freedom and flexibility

[00:31:01] definitely overweight the negative stuff at least for me. I mean, I think people who like stability and who made to be in office to have like a predictable and reliable work and source of income were all in the offices and right now it’s for them. So if you have any doubts if you unhappy maybe it worth to research the

[00:31:30] freelance side of things. Great. Thanks so much and we’ll link up a lot with things we mentioned in the show notes, and I have some of your stickers and stuff too so thanks again for sharing on the show. Yeah, thank you so much for having me. Do you want to meet other amazing people from this show and other listeners then check out our fourth annual conferences coming October 22nd and 23rd in Guangzhou China right in the middle of phase 1 and 2 of the trade shows.

[00:32:05] So if you like to meet amazing speakers multi-day event as well as amazing network opportunities as well as deals we’ve had amazing feedback from our past three years always in Shenzhen and now our first time outside over in Guangzhou City of China, check it out at We’re building it up as we go we’re getting amazing request for speakers from around the world to come and share their amazing knowledge and Amazon cross-border e-commerce import export manufacturing product design and more.

[00:32:43] We really are excited about this. I hope to see you there All right. Thank you Jeniya for sharing. I hope people enjoyed that and we keep it real here little maze. I think that’s cool I mean of course it’s my show I can kind of do whatever I want right? I mean that’s the amazing thing about the internet we can pull out my recorder and put some microphones make some interesting conversations and I hope you guys learned from that.

[00:33:13] I I learned a few things I mean man. Honestly immigration is just such a hassle everywhere. I guess the world wants us to to any of us listening to not leave our home country not do business outside of our home country walls are getting put up between countries, you know seems like honestly my wife and I’ve been talking about this just seems like there’s a little bit of a backward movement at least in the government side.

[00:33:39] Maybe they’re finally catching up to this whole digital nomad or living and working anywhere working online movement. You know, I think it’s maybe it is true governments are a little bit slower to adapt and now they’re just realizing. Hey, it’s all these people are just be able to move and live anywhere that they want to based on anything that they are.

[00:33:59] Are doing and I hope that they can then realize. Hey, we should let attract people to live in our country. We should make policies that make people want to stay or move to where we are not try to force people to stay where they currently are. Anyway, I said I would blah blah blah bout hustling to become a freelancer to build your own business.

[00:34:25] I think I think that’s important skill. I think you know freelancing is a great gateway into building your own business. I’ve of course done a lot of freelancing or consulting myself over the years and fiverr – I’ve I sold one thing on fiverr I don’t know if I said it during the interview or not. I did sell a tweet for five

[00:34:48] buck’s back in 2011 or something like that. I should have maybe built that up. I’ve known other Freelancers that built great businesses on Fiverr as well where it’s not fiver used to mean five dollars. And yeah, I used to get some amazing stuff. Now, it’s like more like $50 $100. So I mean people like Jeniya are able to build pretty good businesses where they can add more expensive services on this platform, but I think the beautiful thing of fiverr is it’s productized.

[00:35:20] I literally just use it for some rendering of photos for Amazon and you can get an upfront quote and an upfront price. So if you’re the customer or client or the buyer or person paying the money you can avoid that dreaded amount of hours. How much time is it going to take? Whereas the seller the freelancer the service provider has to say it’s going to be X dollars for that project.

[00:35:46] So what I would do or what I recommend if maybe you want to get into the entrepreneurship space is leverage fiverr and try to think a very focused fixed-price projects that you can do that you have a skill in that’s what really Fiverr is. It’s not about five dollars. It’s about fixed price projects for very clearly defined deliverables.

[00:36:12] So. You know, there could be like giving somebody a Chinese name. I’ve seen that a lot on Fiverr. You can say for five bucks. I’ll give you a Chinese name or maybe a cost more. Or translating something. It’s a bit just really is about prioritizing. I think the customers are the people on the internet today are tired of saying custom proposal custom price or hourly rates, you know, of course, there’s the popular Upwork as well and it’s just hourly rate and then the freelancer just gets paid per hour.

[00:36:45] So me is the normally the person paying and it’s scary. How many hours is this going to take? What’s my weekly invoice or my monthly invoice going to be so if you’re trying to get into freelancing, I would strongly recommend. I always tend to make a website or make a blog at Mike’

[00:37:04] My personal blog. I do have like a start a blog section where I dump my brain about how to do that. I still think it’s worth making a website. Even if you’re a Facebook person or you know fiverr person you need to have your own space and I would just start to really outline fixed-price productized services whether you’re putting on Fiverr or your own website or both.

[00:37:26] Think of something that of course and I know you’re scared. You’re like what if it takes me more time. What if it’s more difficult? Well, you can cap it off by having a certain amount of revisions. I know that as a freelancer as a consultant or you know service provider you can get something called scope creep creep where.

[00:37:45] The client the person paying you will keep asking you to change this to change that I a lot of times the big problem is the person the client doesn’t know exactly what they want. I’ve gone crazy making websites for people where they almost use your first version as the way that they get the ideas of what they should make and then they say, oh change all this change all that.

[00:38:08] The best is to get all the information up front from the person that you want that you want to do business with and then later you can go back and say I’ll give you two revisions. The hardest work is actually to get the clearly defined scope of work from the person paying so if you can do that up front and make it repeatable so that you don’t have to always figure out what the customer wants and say if you give me.

[00:38:40] These inputs I need to know what color your logo, you know the text if you give me all this information up front, I will then be able to give you a result for a fixed price. And then your quote-unquote done, you know, then you can even build a build it and then I guess you would build it outside of being a freelancer and individual use yourself delivering it it would then become a business so you could hire people to work for you and you can figure out you know, if you get 10 clients paying you $50.

[00:39:14] That’s $500 and then how much does it cost much time does it take or you can even pay your freelancers that work for you a fixed price and then you know exactly how much profit you’re making. So I think maybe Jeniya or listening could grow her business in the future by finding more amazing illustrators and maybe also training them making SOPs making systems making team culture communication.

[00:39:43] Putting it all together and making a fixed-price illustration type work with a certain amount of revisions and a requirement list of what the client needs to provide you and then you can then hire a client services manager to deal with the client communication you would have maybe maybe you could still she can still do the illustration but then she can have a marketing person to do Facebook ads to do content on our website internet marketing, you know, she could build that out to be

[00:40:11] more than just a freelancer business of just a one-man show running everything. Whereas if she gets sick or she can’t check it because she’s traveling from Bangkok to Czech Republic. She could build it so that she has a team 24/7 or at least, you know, nine-to-five one shift somewhere. Checking the incoming emails replying to customers helping even maybe do the actual illustrations or at least doing the bookkeeping doing all the different parts so that you can kind of start by doing it all yourself and then start to hire out first probably the stuff you don’t like to do and then after that maybe even other people to do what you like to do, but there’s some amazing management books.

[00:40:50] I’ve read like Clockwork by Michael Michalowicz, excuse me for the messing up of the name, but it’s an amazing book just came out late 2018. I read it two times maybe but it’s about finding what you are Queen B-roll qbr is what you are really really good at and hiring and finding other people to do everything else that you just focus on that one core skill that you are uniquely capable of doing that so very hard for somebody else to do.

[00:41:19] So, that’s what usually you can do really well. So of course Jeniya is a skilled illustrator, but she probably should build out her team as she grows to find marketing people Client Services people to find all these different departments to build out and grow so she can also spend more time doing what she’s really good at and what she really likes to do and maybe in the long-term hiring people even do that so that she’s totally out of the process and builds a business that isn’t reliant on her having to be there to do every single part of it.

[00:41:49] I hope this all helped hopefully and also women should could do this, you know, wholly may be get it from Jeniya as a determined talented woman to build out a freelance company. I hope more can do it. I hope more maybe could even contact us to speak at the cross-border summit about their experiences and doing business internationally and cross-border e-commerce, there should be more female entrepreneurs selling on Amazon.

[00:42:14] That would be really cool. I’d love to know more of them. Enjoy the rest of your week. Thank you so much for listening through the show the interview and the end of this blah blah blah episode 253 is wrapped up and just in time for my kids come back from school. That’s a pretty good timing. I hear them coming up the stairs now.

[00:42:34] Enjoy. Take care. Bye bye. To get more info about running an international business, please visit our website at that Also be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in.

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