Now that I've been at this for nearly a dozen years, I find that I have often been less than efficient with how I fill the time between projects. (This really didn't take that long to figure out). I'm also not the greatest at hustling for work: salesmanship is not my strong suit.
So why not just jump into the deep end right off?
I had some experience with online job boards in the past. When I was just starting out it was mostly an exercise it being overwhelmed by the posted requirements: I didn't know a third of the acronyms, and the ones I was aware of were used in combinations I didn't understand (PHP OOP: how the hell do you do THAT?). Needless to say, this was very off-putting. If I didn't understand something, how could I possibly apply/bid/ask for it? That just wasn't fair to anyone. These job posters knew what they wanted and I wasn't going to be able to bluff them.
This time, however, things would be different: now I know plenty of acronyms. I am well-prepared with years of experience and tons of code under my belt. I CAN BUILD THINGS!
I noticed something new this time. Or maybe I was seeing it for what it was with the benefit of experience.
Many job posters really had no idea what they were asking for.
Code my portfolio site and launch it. Budget: $50
This was for a design firm. That builds web sites. For money.
I want to prevent the browser from closing when the user clicks the close button
I think the object of this is how to create a rage-filled sub-Reddit.
I want a site just like site X. Copy site X and put it on your server. Whoever does this gets the job
Really. I build it, leave it in plain sight, and you'll drop some coins in a fountain, maybe?
Perhaps these folks really do know what they want.