Astrid, known on Fiverr as Astridyoung, is a professional touring musician and a wine professional. When the pain from a spinal deformity ended her career, Fiverr helped her find hope; renewed her passion for art, artistry and entrepreneurship; and gave her a newfound faith in humanity. Here is her story.
Most of my professional life was spent in cars, lugging heavy equipment and cases of wine. It’s fast-paced physical work. I had been living with a spinal deformity for many years but until last year I was able to control my pain and mobility issues with exercise and mindfulness about my limitations.
Twice in 2014, however, I sustained injuries to my back to the point where I couldn’t even walk. After many trips to the ER and trying to “work around” my issues, I had to face the reality that I wasn’t going to be able to earn a living in the same way.
Finding an Alternative Revenue Source
I spent about three months in a frenzy trying to find out what my options were, both medically and with regard to work. Disability wasn’t an option. Being self-employed, I had never paid into such a program. Things were looking pretty grim. Then I remembered about Fiverr. I had heard about it from a music business colleague and had signed up some months earlier with the intention of purchasing services for my own edification, but now I came back to it with a different perspective and spent a couple of days browsing the endless categories, searching for something that spoke to me.
I have a background as a writer and have had a book published (it was actually a best seller in Canada) so writing seemed like a no-brainer. I set up a couple of Gigs® just as an experiment and almost immediately started getting orders.
Finding my Niche
One of the Gigs I set up was directed towards musicians like me, creative individuals who might be in need of a bio. The sheer volume of requests I got was incredible – and it was really inspiring in so many ways. I started to focus less on my own predicament and more on the talent that was coming across my desk. It got to the point where I was far more interested in what other artists were up to than what I was up to myself, and in a way it re-established my love for great art and my admiration for the passionate people who make it.
My second Gig was more focused on web content, and between the two Gigs, I’ve had the pleasure of working with smart, driven, talented people from almost every industry: architects, travel sites, clothing designers, web developers, engineers, artisans, photographers, digital artists – people whose work can literally take your breath away – all entrepreneurs, all of them inspirational in their own way.
Fiverr Helped Me Develop and Build up My Confidence
In becoming a seller on Fiverr, I went from a place of absolute despair to finding a market for talents I already had. Even more than providing an income for me, Fiverr helped me develop and build up my confidence. My work continues to improve, and I am still passionate about the people I get to work with and the people and subjects I get to write about. About 90 percent of my business is now repeat, and I love that I have been able to develop meaningful working relationships with people whose loyalty is as much of an inspiration as they are themselves.
Case in point: after a year and a half of doctors, specialists, physiotherapy, medications, and treatments of all kinds, I was finally able to connect with a doctor who had a plan to fix my back.
It Wasn’t Going to be Easy
To straighten out the 60 degree curvature in my spine, remove all the arthritis and get me walking upright again, they would have to fuse my spine from T9 to S1 – basically my entire lumbar region plus a couple vertebrae on either side of it. I was in hospital for eight days and am expecting to be in recovery for up to six months. I am doing better now, but still have a great deal of sciatica, numbness and nerve pain as everything settles. I’m on a ton of drugs, but things are getting better every day.
Before the surgery, I notified all my best buyers on Fiverr that I would be offline and did not have an estimated return date. I made it clear that I did not want to stop any of them from looking for another seller, but they were not only patient enough to wait until I was well enough to work again, but also are now making a concerted effort to help me ease back into things at a pace that works for me. This has given me a newfound faith in humanity, and I feel so blessed on so many levels.
I Have No Intention of Going Back to My Previous Life
This experience has been nothing short of an epiphany for me. When I’m able to take on more work, I hope to add more services, but for now I’m going to go with the flow. Thank you Fiverr!
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