My desk in Sucre...

Having got things going in Buenos Aires, but not really managed to add much to my savings, I was keen to try and make a bit more headway as I settled into life in Sucre. Using my own contacts to try and find work as well as webistes like elance.com and odesk.com, I was hopefull that in super cheap Bolivia I may be able to save some money… I certainly needed to!

Well, as I get ready to leave I´m happy to report that it´s been a very successful month all things considered. Motorvista – the Spanish motorbike part supplier and distributor who gave me a small web design job in Buenos Aires came through with 3 new projects. I finally got going on a branding and web project for a high-profile Financial Communications business – this is a project I´d been trying to secure for over a year, so it was exciting that it came together at just the right moment. Raindance also came through with a couple of projects (although they will overrun to next month) – so my own contacts were proving to be reasonably fruitful.

On top of that my persistence on Elance started to pay dividends. After many ignored proposals, several small jobs came through – mostly simple logo fixes – before I finally managed to secure a branding project for a small Recruitment start-up in London. This was both an exciting and frustrating project. I was very pleased with the result creatively and the job itself ran smoothly and on time, but the Elance factor meant that the client wanted far to much for far to small a fee. At this stage I´m happy to try and build my reputation on Elance, working cheaper than I´d like (much like you might in the real world) to build up my points and feedback. But in this particular case the client marked me down on cost based on my suggestion (which he very much liked) to use a stock photograph. So I did a huge amount of work, for a very small fee – only to have my overall Elance star rating lowered! I´m still on 4.8 out of 5, but I was very disappointed that the client in this instance was so unfair with their referencing. It was definitely a lesson learned in terms of Elance clients and I´m hopeful I´ll be able to avoid similar situations again by having a clearer idea of the level of expectation people sourcing suppliers that way have – especially regarding cost.

One scary, but exciting fact is that I´m now running completely on money earned. My 6 weeks in Sucre have produced enough for me to see the rest of Bolivia, Machu Picchu and Peru and get into Columbia via Ecuador… but I´ll have to have another good month or so working there if I´m going to keep going much further.