T.J. for me this passage sums it up perfectly.
Freelancing is magical if you can become elite. I’ve been doing it for 17 years and it’s taken most of that time to get to a level that I would call elite. When you can gain a reputation as being one of the elites in your location and field, there’s no shortage of great freelance work. I’ve recently started writing about design and freelancing with the purposeful goal of helping other freelancers go from mediocre or even good, to elite.
The trouble is not everyone can or will be elite, and the gig economy has to work for those people too! The situation is not helped by the fact that race-to-the-bottom marketplaces like Upwork continue to help oppress proper freelancing. Anyone with a voice about freelancing needs to help guide people down the path of going it properly, so they don’t get caught up in that depressing muck.