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 An Investment That Paid Off

Karyn Martin was cautious about launching her freelance career online, but she soon got results:

"I remember the days when I dreamed of being a freelancer," she says. "The word seemed magical to me somehow. Romantic, almost. Now, after having actually been a freelancer for a while, the scales have been lifted from my eyes and I have seen the light. You pay for being able to manipulate your time. You pay by working more, working harder, and - hopefully - working smarter. But what you get in return is priceless. Now I can call the shots about when I work, for whom I work, and how much I make."

One day, Karyn decided she was no longer willing to commute in smog-laden traffic to sit in a cubicle for eight hours, come home, eat, sleep, wake up, and then do it all over again. Going through the same routine, day after day, week after week , only to wake up one day old and tired - wondering how life might have been if she'd had the guts to go it alone.

So she decided to become a freelancer - but how would she find work? She had spent endless hours surfing the 'net, signing up with one freelance site after another. Yet there was an incredible amount of competition. She never seemed to win any bids, and was adamant about not lowering her hourly rate. 

"Then I discovered Freelance Work Exchange," she says. "I had heard "don't pay to work!" repeatedly, and I was too poor to risk getting scammed, but I took a chance one day when I was flush and sent twenty bucks to gain access to the Freelance Work Exchange Professional Edition.

"Since then, I've edited a sales letter, a follow-up letter, an 11-page Web site, and a brochure. I'm 'on call' to do pinch-hit proofreading for a medical newsletter editor in Florida while he's on vacation, sick, etc. And I've landed a gig editing a new Canadian magazine coming out this fall. All this from taking a $20 chance on Freelance Work Exchange."

Of course, it helped to send prospects a few previous work samples she'd had the presence of mind to scan and save on disk. Also, since she has been 'in the business' for more than five years, she has a fairly good résumé with some experience to back up the claims, along with a strong list of references.

"For every one of you out there feeling a little discouraged, and especially for those of you on the verge of throwing in the towel, I'm here to tell you this. There may not be a Santa Claus, but there is a place to find work without paying some ridiculous "transaction fee" or never knowing whether or not the projects are 'fresh' - and even the name is easy to remember - Freelance Work Exchange."

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