A neon sign with an encouraging message that says "People Fail Forward to Success" || How I lost my top rated status on Upwork

How I Lost My Top Rated Status on Upwork

Get the Free Course






I got an email this last week. And it wasn’t a fun one:

I have to be honest. That was a blow to the gut and it’s even pretty hard to admit that it happened.

For the longest time I’ve been a huge advocate of Upwork. I’ve even been featured on some of their advertisements.

I’ve defended them and encouraged everyone I know to join the platform and look for work there because from everything I can tell it’s a great platform to be on.

But, here I am with what feels like a breakup with my high school girlfriend. And, she didn’t even say, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

She said, “No, Chris, it’s definitely you.”

What This Means

This isn’t a rant on all the ways Upwork did my wrong. Or a conversation about how there are plenty of other clients in the sea….or fish.

Don’t get me wrong. I was upset at first. But, after a few audible snorts and eyebrow furrows, I decided to take a look at how I got here.

I’ve found throughout the years that the best way to move forward when you get bad feedback isn’t to immediately dismiss it and blame the other party for your bad performance.

Even if you’re completely validated in reacting that way it doesn’t do anything for you.

The best way to respond when something like this happens is to take an honest look at what you did as a freelancer and how you could have avoided it.

In fact, the key difference between successful freelancers and unsuccessful freelancers is taking responsibility.

So things like:

“The client isn’t being clear about what they want!” BECOMES “I need to figure out a way to better understand my client’s needs.”


“There is just no pleasing this client!” BECOMES “I need to figure out a what it is I’m missing.”

Bad Clients Are Definitely Out There

Listen, this doesn’t mean there aren’t any bad clients.

There are plenty. But part of taking responsibility is acknowledging the fact that you said, “Yes” to that bad client. You took the job when no one forced you too.

You could have said, “no.” But, you didn’t.

So, here we are. It’s back to being your responsibility.

It Was My Fault

I lost my top rated status on Upwork and it’s all my fault. It’s not my client’s fault.

It’s not because of my life circumstances. Everything points back to me.

And, that’s actually kind of empowering. If I did something to lose it that means I can do something to get it back.

And, that’s exactly what I intend to do.

The Game Plan to Get My Top Rated Status Back

In fact, I plan on being really intentional about what I do to get it back.

I’m going to:

  • Be even more picky about the clients I take
  • Be clearer about my process and work hard to stick to it
  • Go above and beyond with every single client I take on
  • Be intentional about my time and benchmarks within the project

Those are just a few things I plan on focusing on in this next season. I hope my failure can help you with where you’re at.

If I’m honest it’s even a bit scary to admit it happened. I’m supposed to be the Upwork Guru!

But, the truth is we all struggle. And, the whole purpose of this website is to do whatever I can to help you be successful even if that means admitting the mistakes I made so you can avoid them.

I hope this episode encourages you on your journey.

You’ll Learn

  • Ways to tell if a client is going to be a nightmare
  • How the Upwork Job Success Score Works
  • Ways to get a good Job Success Score on Upwork
  • What to do if you lose your Top-Rated status on Upwork
  • How to handle a bad client
  • How to come back from a discouraging season as a freelance web designer
  • How to tell if a clients personality is a good fit for you as a freelance web designer
  • How to become a Top-Rated freelancer on Upwork




  1. Tango says:

    Wow that’s sad but at the same time seems to be a reawakening for you.

    I’m looking into setting up my own website though than largely depend on these freelance sites and their overnight rules.

    I hope you gain your status back, cheers

    • Chris Misterek says:

      Thank you! Yep, it was a tough lesson but I’m thankful to be able to learn from it. Upwork is truly a great platform and you’ll find tons of great freelancers on there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

It's not a pipe dream to want a better career and a better salary. There's never been a better opportunity to become a web designer and make that dream a reality.

This 4 EMAIL COURSE will walk you step by step through the process.