Elance Blog

The Envelope Please … Announcing Our Contest Winners.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a story to Elance’s International Freelancers Day contest. They were truly heartfelt and incredible.

First and foremost, let’s point out that everyone was a winner. Not only did your submission earn you Connects, but it also won our hearts (and the hearts of fellow Elancers who drew inspiration from the story). So much, in fact, that we raised the number of prizes available to award! Now, on to the winners:

Grand Prize Winner (Apple iPad 3 + $100 iTunes Gift Certificate + 12-month Elance Premium Membership):

Karsyn F, Elance username Sytten. Here is Karsyn's story:

"My name is Karsyn and here is my Elance story… Here in the Philippines, It’s very hard to find a job, especially if you have not finished your studies. Just like me it’s hard for me to find a good job because I never had the opportunity to finish my studies. I grew up in difficult life, day by day working first so I can eat and so I can help my mom who is sick and help my nephew to go school so they can study. We live in the mountains, no electricity and away from civilization. All day I dream to have a good house for us to live in. Six months ago, I decided to leave our home and find a job to help my family, and dream to buy a generator that we can use in our house to put a light at night. At that time I found a job, I worked as a front liner ( I do Xerox copy, and printing some rush id) even if it give me small wages I attended this, but almost every day always bad things I hear from the owner.

So I decided not to go to work and take the two weeks’ salary that I worked. The owner gives me 1,890 pesos, then I send all this funds to my mom so they can buy food. While I have no job I begged a friend to stay on their house while I'm looking for a new job. My friend had a laptop and an internet connection. I joined on facebook and I contact my former classmate who offer a rent to own house that has its own electric meter and water and it’s near on schools. In that time, I tell to myself that I need to make a way to get money to pay the down payment of that house. My friend where I lived suggests to me to find an online job that can help me and then I found Elance.

August 2012, I sign up on Elance, I send application on some jobs that suit me or I must say some job I can do like data entry. And someone trust me and hire me and give me job.

I worked as an online data entry operator and was paid $15 if I completed a file, those files need to finish before the week end. But because I really need money, I work to finish those files in little of time. My boss here in Elance ask me how I can finish those file in a little time. I tell to my boss about my dream, my dream to earn $300 which I can used to pay the down payment in the house I dream for my family. My boss here in Elance gave me more and more work.

September 14, 2012 I withdraw $300 on Elance, that is my first salary here, and the first time I held my hard-earned money. At that time I give the down payment to the owner of the rent to own house. After I pay the down payment, We started to paint the house and moved. And this following day, my family working now to transfer all of my nephew on school near on the new house we have.

I will not stop looking and finding job here in Elance, because Elance is the one who give light into my life. And will be the one who will help me to fulfill all my dreams for myself and for my family.
Thanks Elance!!"

Inspiring, eh? We hope you’re inspired too. That’s the sort of story that makes it easy to hop in the shower and come to work at Elance every morning. Want more? Well, you're in luck. We're awarding two runner-up prizes, featured below:

Second Place Winner (Kindle Fire HD + $100 Amazon Gift Certificate + 12-month Elance Premium Membership). Congratulations Daniel Borba and Becca Faith Heyman:

Check out Daniel Borba's fun and inspiring video below:

And check out Becca Faith Heyman's story below:

"Whoever first called New York City a “concrete jungle” was being more literal than he knew.

Sure, the soil might be cement, and roving bands of feral animals are actually yellow cabs, but the city’s similarity to overgrown wilds goes far deeper. In New York, natural selection plays out in every possible venue; from the subway to the boardroom to the chicest new restaurant—Assert your territory! Get a seat!—everyone is just trying to carve out a niche, find some breathing space, catch a glimpse of the sunlight beyond the canopy.

My husband and I have always been a couple from a different breed.

Don’t get me wrong—we love New York. We love the thrum of energy pulsating through the streets, the everywhere culture, the people-watching that can’t be beat. New Yorkers have city pride unmatched by any other place in the world—or so our pride would have us believe.

But in 2010, it became clear to us that living in NYC had become a matter of survival. My husband was working tireless hours at a thankless job. I was hustling to establish myself as a yoga instructor. All our money went to rent on our run-down Brooklyn apartment. It seemed half our lives were spent commuting—two transfers and the occasional bus just to get onto the island. We were tired all the time, and a bit listless. We were stuck.

By then I’d been on Elance for a little under a year. Like everyone else, I had started with piecemeal jobs for too little pay and gradually worked my way up. It was an incredible blessing to feel a direct link between my efforts and their results; not to mention, I had wanted to be a book editor since forever and was, incredibly, living my childhood dream.

My Elance success gave me the confidence and courage to sit down with my husband (then fiancé) and tell the truth: New York was killing us. We weren’t living, we were just…existing. We weren’t happy. It was time for a change.

A handful of months later, we had packed up that dilapidated apartment, put most of our belongings in storage, and moved into a house on Long Beach Island. We woke each morning to sunrises over the Atlantic; we watched storms roll in from the horizon; we let the sea air fill our lungs and drank good wine while our toes buried themselves in the sand.

And I worked.

At a kitchen table facing nothing but dunes and vast saltwater, I nurtured my Elance business and watched it thrive. We spent six months traveling around the East Coast, considering various living options and job opportunities, always returning to our temporary home by the sea. The whole time, I stayed connected to my clients via a beat-up laptop and a smartphone.

Today I am writing from a decidedly un-jungle-like suburb of Boston. We're married now. We have a cat. I have not been on a subway for…well, in a mercifully long time.

Elance gave me freedom. It helped—and continues to help—me be a more compassionate, flexible, supportive partner to my wonderful husband, because I can remain productive and engaged in my work wherever life takes us.

And who knows? Maybe a real jungle is next…"

Third Place Winner ($200 Amazon Gift Certificate + 6-month Elance Premium Membership). A tip of the cap to Emmanuel Marquez:

Nice job everyone, well said. Since we've received so many great stories, we've also increased the number of finalists (each a proud winner of a $100 Amazon Gift Certificate + 3-month Elance Premium Membership). To read the inspiring stories of the other finalists, visit our first blog post and second blog post on the contest, and the Elance Facebook page.

And here is the list of the additional winners. We'll be reaching out to all of the winners directly to award your prize. Thanks a million and congratulations to them and everyone.

Subhash Sree
Daniel Futerman
Martynas Petkevicius
Mara Gillott
Mike Barnes
Richard Thomas Reilly
The Rabbiter
Mike Rob


Congrats to One and All :)

its me karsyn..
im not a facebook addict user.. i only join facebook when i heard about story telling on elance..
I dont have a personal computer. I only live and stay with my friend house.

Sorry if u are not convice with my story. But it is true.

I cannot please everybody to like me or to like my story.
what i tell is true and in my heart.

Thanks to all..


Congrats Karsyn! Don't mind those guys. They are just overly jealous to you.. I pity them. =D

Thank you!

Congratzzz,,, For wining

I have employed Karsyn and the story is true. I am willing to help any employee who is working well if it is in my power. Congratulations Karsyn, you deserve this award. I am happy for you. If you need to know any more details contact me at greg@ag.org.au

Thanks sir Greg

Karsyn, I believe your story and it is truly heartwarming. The only advice I would give you is this. You are a freelancer. You do not have employers, you have clients. They didn't give you a job, like from an Ad in the paper, you were awarded a job after bidding against your fellow service providers.

This is an important distinction going forward. When you are under the mindset that you are an employee of a person or Company, you may feel the need to do or say things, you may not want. You are your own independent person. Also, please remember, no matter what your situation is, to charge what you are worth. Or what the going rate is. Don't charge low, because you need the money. This sets you up to always receiving low pay. Lastly, you have done well here. Although that is true, I would advise reading the Water Cooler. It has some great advice. It helped me become a top provider in the Administration category in one year. (I'm number 32 overall).

Good Luck and keep up the great work. Blessings to your family as well. Congratulations!

I need to remember this as well. I'm just starting out. I put in so many proposals, but got no hits. I had to lower my price in order to get anything, but in doing so I limited myself to a lot of work for a small amount and no gain. Thank you for this reminder.


Thanks Madam for the advice...

Congrats Karsyn


Hooray! Thanks Elance!

Congratulations Karsyn and to all of the winners! Thank you Elance!

Thanks Maam..

Congrats.I wish you all success here in elance and in your life.

congrats to all winners, specially to karsyn who also represent our nation Philippines, you deserve. God bless us all.

Congrats you guys! ^_^

Hello i have posted the story but not received my connects
Please reply

Congrats Kabayan! Don't mind them. We all Filipinos always discriminate us.. You don't have to say something to please them.. :) happy for you and very DESERVE IT!!!

Thanks maam..

Congrats Karsyn. Am proud of you and am greatly encouraged

Thanks Maam.. God Bless U

Congrats Karsyn you did it

Thanks Sir david

Congratulations, Karsyn! I'm sorry that some people are being jerks; please don't let them spoil this great moment for you!

Becca, congrats on winning 2nd; your story was beautifully written, and I envy the view from your workspace. :)

Thanks sir.

Thanks, KN! Like an idiot I didn't realize until this morning that the results had been posted, so please excuse this mega-delayed reply :0)

Great !

Thanks Elance for the connects. But I got only 10! Shouldn't it be 20 connects ?

Elance said "10 connects in September and 10s in October".

And, i'm enjoying the result . I'm not upset for NOT getting any prizes.

I'm just busy with my job. ha h ha ha.......

Thanks a lot Elance for the connects
Ebrahim Khalil

Congrats to karsyn she found work here by looking and being in pursuit of her dreams and not giving up. She earned everything she has and it wasn't easy for her.

Thanks sir delfino

Great job to you Karsyn. I'm blessed to have more than I need sometimes. Rock on and build a business that works for you!!!!

Thanks for Med4You

Congratulations and may you have success in life.
God bless you E-lancers. Love you all.

Vikkar Rana & Shaheen Vikkar

Thanks pluivelu

Thank you very much Elance! The major winners certainly deserved their win, congratulations to you all! :)

Thanks Maam

Hello Sytten,

I told you at facebook that "you should be given the first prize" and you got it!

Ebrahim Khalil

Yes i remember that. Thanks a lot!

I though there's a free 10 connects for every contestant...

Hello Sytten,

Really, yours is the heart-touching story. Wish you greater success in life !

Thank you Elance !

-TMonger Studio.

Thank You Sir.

I was just wondering about when we would get the connects? I submitted a link to my story via Facebook but so far I couldn't see any extra connects on my account.

Im pretty low on connects :) Sure could use those promised ones...

Congratulations Karsyn.
I am convinced that persistence is key to success. Being a relatively new entrant and still winning when you most needed it would have worked wonders to your morale. I am happy for you. Your success has renewed my faith that one day the jobs will come my way too. Like you, I am also a new entrant, having enrolled with ELANCE just a few days back. I had already begun to think about the consequence of my decision and whether to continue following ELANCE and then I saw your success story here. This gives me reasons to continue.

Best of luck and regards


Thanks Sir.. Good Luck to you too..
ELANCE will truly help you

Wow, what an inspiration!! I wish I knew about this and applied. Yet I'm so happy for all the blessed winners...enjoy your prizes :-) your stories were all beautiful and motivating.

These stories do ring a bell. Congrats all.