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Dennis Sevryukov: Successful UIX Designer Discusses His Business Approach

Richard ClaytonRichard Clayton
May 9, 2016

We spoke with Dennis Sevryukov, a successful UIX designer from Ukraine. In this interview, Denis talks about his story, business approach, and of course, offers useful tips. 

How it Began

Since childhood, I was sure that in order to be successful you have to build a “serious business”. I grew up in Ukraine in the 90s… “serious business” meant to sit in the office, wearing a tie and managing a large team. After reading “Business @ the Speed of Thought” by Bill Gates, I was so impressed that I decided to set up a business in the high-tech industry, a “start up” by Ukraine standards.

We started a web studio in the early 2000s. At that time I was less interested in an income. Mostly, there was a desire to become famous. We wanted a team from Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraine) to be recognized in the international market. After a few years, we become the first Central Asia and Caucasus region web studio that got on THEFWA.COM and NEWWEBPICK.COM. Among our clients were global brands and Ukrainian celebrities. We  felt like “stars”. but, it was this feeling that prevented us from moving forward: the showdown supplanted creativity.

At some point I start wondering, “Do I really need to have a big office and staff in order to own a successful business?!” I was familiar with freelancers, who were earning much more than me, and at the same time they weren’t dependent on company founders or a team.

Don’t be afraid to turn your life around 180 degrees

I decided to quit the office in order to become a freelancer. I improved my knowledge in UIX and started to work on Elance and oDesk (Upwork). From the beginning I was doing small projects for little money. My experience in SEO and online-marketing helped me to understand how freelance platforms determine who will be on the first position in the list. I started to collect reviews and built my portfolio. I was searching for more information about my customers. Soon I began to occupy the first position in all the freelance marketplaces.

Be patient and take care of your profile

Give up one social network, dating site or other “time killer” and place your energy into being successful on one marketplace. Even if you use 10% of the  time you normally spend on Facebook, you’ll get a result.

Don’t stop learning

When I see a cool design, I want to do even better or at least the the same level of quality. In order to be a professional you need to learn every day. If you think you have nothing to learn today – it’s the reason to be in panic. And don’t forgot reading. At the beginning of my freelance career I read “Funky Business” (Kjell A. Nordström). Nowadays Carlos Castaneda books impress me. Reading helps a lot to change the consciousness.

The bad news is that you have to work a lot

Over time, I realized that I provide support 24/7. I don’t part with my smartphone, and I am always ready to respond. It creates a certain way of life and mode. If I want to spend time with my family – I need to plan it in advance, I should finish all the projects and warn customers.

Payoneer has become a multi purpose solution

All people like the simplicity of cards, the more – the better. I ordered my Payoneer Prepaid Mastercard® when I registered for my first marketplace. I soon realized that Payoneer allows me to work with all marketplaces I am registered to! Payoneer fit my business concept perfectly – it gives me freedom. It doesn’t matter where I am or where my clients are – we can work together and I don’t need to look for other solutions. And today, as I am also working with direct customers, I can receive money via Payoneer’s Request a Payment by simply requesting a payment directly from the platform. It’s very convenient – to have one solution for all customers.

Freelancing is freedom and responsibility-at the same time

I’m no longer tied to the office or my staff. At the moment, I live in Montenegro with my wife and daughter we, and we are really like it. It is an amazing place. Maybe next year I’m going to live in another country. I’m not dependent on anyone, and I’m able to self-manage my business.

But it’s also a big responsibility, since my income and growth depend only on me. I am the only one responsible for my product to the customer. In the design industry “like – don’t like” it’s always 50/50. No matter how cool the design you have created there is always someone who will still say that your design “sucks”. You must learn to defend your position and build your own relationship with the customer.

These days customers find me without any effort from my side and my projects are becoming more and more ambitious. Freelancing gave me a unique experience and opportunity to find my own way.

Dennis Sevryukov

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