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Meet the 16-year-old drop-out making $120,000 a year

Anastasia Santoreneos
·3-min read
Meet the 16-year-old earning $120,000 a year. Source: Supplied
Meet the 16-year-old earning $120,000 a year. Source: Supplied

16-year-old Harry Edwards has always had an interest in filmmaking, but he never expected to make a career out of it - let alone before his 18th birthday.

But two years on from his first freelance gig editing videos online, that’s exactly what happened. Now, Edwards has left high school to pursue his career, and is earning $120,000 a year doing what he loves.

“Ever since I was a kid I liked video editing,” Edwards tells Yahoo Finance.

“I used to make all the videos for my friends’ birthday parties, and for my school graduation...I was so young at the time, but I’m still impressed with them looking back.

“I always had a passion for filmmaking, and I would watch my role models online, like [YouTuber and filmmaker] Casey Neistat, and get inspired.”

But frustrated with his slow computer, Edwards decided at the ripe old age of 14 that he needed to make cash to buy himself a new laptop to continue his hobby.

“That led into the world of trying to make money online,” he said. “I tried a few different ventures and online businesses for a few years, and while it was going okay it was hard to make them consistently profitable.”

After a month of tough sales in his other ventures at the end of 2019, Edwards realised he needed to try something different. Having used Fiverr in the past to buy services from others, Edwards knew the platform had a market for video editing, and decided to capitalise on it.

“I knew if I had a really optimised profile, I could get more customers,” he said.

A year on from his first Fiverr gig, Edwards has been bringing in an average of $11,000 per month, or around $120,000 in total.

Originally, he was working through the night to balance his school commitments, but after realising he bit off a little more than he could chew, he opted to leave school. Now, he’s saved up enough cash to move out of home, start his own investing portfolio and donate thousands to charity.

“My mum knew that I had a business and was trying to make money online, and she was supportive - she let me use her name for things like my PayPal account,” he said.

Around three months into his Fiverr journey, Edwards told his mum exactly how much money he was making, and explained the volume of work he was receiving.

“Originally it was just a kind of joke, me leaving school, but then I thought, ‘what’s a better way to maximise my time?’...I could go to school and listen to my science teachers or English teacher, or instead could spend time focusing on a business and self-development and educating myself,” he said.

Picking up business

For the first few weeks, Edwards said he was offering the best gigs at the cheapest prices, just to build up his reputation.

“At the start, my prices were low to get reviews. Once I got the reputation up, I was able to increase the price,” he said.

And for any other Aussies interested in freelancing to make some money, Edwards suggests taking a relaxed approach.

“What’s the worst that can happen?” He said. “If it doesn’t work out, you might lose the $15 you spent on the Udemy course, but you still educated yourself and learned something.”

He also suggests using your spare time to upskill.

“Instead of spending three hours on Netflix every night, maybe spend one hour, and spend the other two learning something new.”

Read next: The freelance gigs that flourished during Covid-19