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A Mother’s Leap of Faith to Freelancing

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NANINIWALA KA BA SA KUTOB?

Making decisions is not always easy. Sometimes it feels like you are in the dark and powerless to make an informed choice.

No one wants to fail in decision-making. So what can you do to improve this skill?

Is it OK to base your decisions on kutob (intuition) or gut-feel? What are the things you need to consider before taking a “leap of faith?”

According to best-selling author, psychologist and coach Dr. Carmen Harra. There are 8 rules for making the right decisions.

1. Pay attention to signs.
2. Take your own advice.
3. Keep your conscience clean.
4. Detach from negative emotions.
5. Know your influences.
6. Don’t cross red flags.
7. Organize your thoughts.
8. Follow your intuition.

YES! It’s OK to follow your intuition… Don’t be afraid!

One blogger defines “intuition or a gut-feeling [as] an understanding or knowledge of a situation without specific data or evidence at the time –  analytic reasoning is not part of the intuitive process.”

Sometimes it’s called taking a leap of faith…

1… 2… 3……….. JUMP!

Sheryl used to work as a physical therapist, financial advisor, and call center agent. When she gave birth to her second daughter, she was faced with a huge problem. She couldn’t find a reliable yaya.

It was really difficult for her because her baby had some breathing problems at that time.

She heard about online freelancing and the idea of being able to choose your work schedule and watch over your kids at the same time really appealed to her.

“I pursued freelancing because I wanted to stay at home, be a hands-on mom and earn at the same time. I hate going to work at night. I hoped for a better working schedule. I took a leap of faith. Kinuha ko yung natitira kong mutual fund savings at ginamit yun pang enroll sa VA bootcamp. Later on, I realized it was one of the best decisions that I’ve made.”

What advice can Sheryl give to working moms who are still having doubts about leaving the corporate world to pursue freelancing?

What lessons can we learn from her journey, especially when it comes to getting started even when you feel like you are not fully ready?

Watch the replay here.

I. Introduction

Sheryl Kallos-Concepcion is a licensed Physical Therapist here in the Philippines but didn’t practice her profession. She has been in the BPO Industry as a customer support for a long time and also tried to be a financial advisor.

But then, like everybody else she was trying her luck abroad specifically in the U.S. She was given a U.S. visa after 3 months of being married. Her goal is to practice her profession abroad but things didn’t work out according to her plan and she has to go back to the Philippines.

Sheryl started again as a call center agent. She gave birth to her 1st child, a daughter and find it difficult to work in a graveyard shift because of her baby. She began looking for other options and heard about ‘freelancing or work from home’ idea. That’s where her journey to freelancing started.

Now, Sheryl is happy to be working from home with her husband and two beautiful daughters in the comfort of her home.

II. Notable Quotes

  • Take that first step! Kahit na anong nuod ninyo or anong basa natin ng mga articles regarding freelancing, pag hindi talaga tayo nagtake ng first step hindi tayo mag move forward. So ano yung first step? Pwedeng mag enroll ka, sa VA Bootcamp or sa mga groups about work from home.
  • Tapos make an Upwork Profile. Try mo and then kapag tapos ka na duon sa first step, ako sinunod ko kaagad nag invest ako. Kahit nga medyo pakiramdam ko nun last savings ko na yun. Pinili ko siyang mag invest, hindi naman ako nagkamali. Ang lagi kong sinasabi ‘that’s my best investment’, nung nag enroll ako ng Accelerated Program. Kasi hindi lang doble nung binayad ko yung bumalik sa akin. The skills at saka yung knowledge na natutunan ko duon, yun talaga ginamit ko para makakuha ako ng trabaho.
  • Third, when you’re working from home akala ng iba madali lang. Pero napakalaking bagay nang time management at saka discipline.Time management lalo na sa mga mommy,  na paano mo ba pagsasabay sabayin? Na kailangan kumakain pa rin yung mga tao sa bahay kahit nagtratrabaho ka.

Minsan kasi naaaddict kang mag work, kasi akala mo kailangan galingan ko dito kasi sayang to. Ganun ka lagi or nagpapasikat ka, feeling mo kaya mo lahat. Super mom ka, pero there’s a time that you need to ask for help. Hindi masama na kumuha ng katulong or ng yaya kung sa tingin mo mas magiging productive ka. Magiging mas maganda yung mood mo bilang bilang full time mom at working from home mom. Mahirap din naman na kumikita ka nga, lagi ka naman nakasigaw sa mga anak mo na ‘ang gulo gulo ninyo nagtratrabaho ako’ hindi naman pwedeng ganun.

There has to be a balanced na lagi mong iisipin yung WHY’s mo. Bakit ka nga ba nagwo work in the first place? Para sa mga bata, para sa family. Sa tingin ko napaka importante maintindihan holistic dapat yung approach. Kailangan alagaan natin yung sarili natin physically, mentally, emotionally pati spiritually. Yung hindi pwedeng nagwo work ka lang, focus ka lang lahat sa work.

  • Importante na you have to make an effort na makipagkita sa kaibigan. Kasi minsan mabuburn out ka, masasawa ka na hindi ka lumalabas. Akala mo okay lang pero yung may kausap ka na hindi toddler paminsan minsan, that would keep you sane. I hope, I was able to share some of my tips na makatulong sa inyo.

III. Sheryl Kallos-Concepcion’s Journey to Freelancing

  • She is a licensed Physical Therapist.
  • She graduated in 2004 and worked in the BPO Industry as customer support until 2008
  • Left the Philippines for the U.S., her plan is to take U.S. Licensure Exam for Physical Therapist after getting married here for only 3 months.
  • Her plan didn’t materialize so she has to go back to the Philippines and started again her job as a call center agent in 2010.
  • She had her first child, a daughter in 2011 and find it difficult to leave her baby and work for a night shift duty.
  • In 2012, she heard about the ‘work from home’ stuff. She loved the idea of working from home and began asking from friends who were already into freelancing but nobody could really guide her on ‘How to start.’ They told her to make an Upwork Account which she did and started sending proposals. She was confident enough because of her long experience in the BPO Industry but something is wrong because she got no responses from her applications until she forgot about it.
  • Still in the BPO Industry and in 2016 gave birth to her 2nd daughter. It’s the same situation that she’s struggling with her first child and it’s much harder, her little baby being an asthmatic and no babysitter. Again, she’s in a dilemma of choosing to resign or to continue working.
  • One day she was browsing the FB and saw the FB Ad of Jason Dulay but got more interested in the story of  Anna Soriano who’s also a mom and Sheryl found a similar situation with her. They are both full-time moms with kids, have tried different ways and means to be able to help their husbands financially. She even tried being a financial advisor and thought it was her path but then realized she’s not into sales.
  • She bravely told her husband about work from home idea but he wasn’t totally convinced. Still, he gave her money in addition to Sheryl’s money that she pulled out from her last savings in a Mutual Fund. Thinking that it’s her last bet and this is the best decision that she ever made!
  • She enrolled in the VA Bootcamp ‘Accelerated Program’ and started her learning, got more focused on “How to Write Proposals.”At first, she’s doing fine with her study but then she would stop her momentum. The struggle is real for her, good thing there is the success stories from the FB group that would bring her back to her goal and finished her course.
  • She spent 6 months looking for the client after all the failures and rejections finally she got her 1st job online through Upwork but unfortunately, it lasted only for 2 to 3 months. Sheryl is now jobless but confident that she could get another job the soonest because of her learnings and job experienced.
  • She was hired again by another client, almost the same job and a much higher rate. The client is generous and Sheryl is happy working with them.
  • As a freelancer, she always practices self-assessment, self-discipline, preparation, multi-tasking and time management.
  • After all the different jobs that she experienced, work from home is the best option for a mom like her and told herself ‘I should have done this earlier before I even had my kids.’

IV. Question and Answer

Q & A Highlights

Ilang buwan mo natapos or ilang weeks mo natapos si  Accelerated?

Natapos ko ng a month. As in tina try kong gayahin ka, pero napakabilis mong tinapos.

Upwork itong client mo?

Upwork.

Ano ang kulang?

Ano ba yung dapat na sinagot ko nang tama? Kaya dapat meron kang self assessment. Pag wala, apply ka lang ng apply. Hindi mo tsinecheck kung ano yung posible na nagkamali ka ng sagot, hindi ka mag iimprove.

Na experienced mo na ba Sheryl yung time na sa Bicol ka, nagtravel ka di ba? Kailangan may internet yung pupuntahan mo.

Tutuo yan,usually nagtatanong tanong ka muna. Malakas ba ang internet dun, malakas ba yung Globe or Smart? Nag invest talaga ako sa mga LTE pocket wifi. Lahat ng mga codes na mga pang unlimited na data, alam ko yan.

Agree ka ba na ang hirap din para sa ating mga freelancer na nakakapag work from anywhere? Pero minsan yung focus natin sabog. Nagde deteriorate yung quality ng work kapag ka ganun.

Oo in time, yun I think advantage nating mga babae. Kasi tayo kaya nating pagsabay sabayin.

Kahit isa lang si client talagang na reach mo na matapatan or mahigitan pa si BPO?

Maraming nagugulat, ‘tutuo ba yan niloloko mo ata ako’. Naalala ko nun yung unang suweldo ko sa una kong client. Pinakita ko talaga sa asawa ko, hindi siya scam – tutuo sumweldo talaga ako!

Hindi ba nahihikayat si husband na mag work from home na?

Minsan nagtatanong siya, na ‘merong bang pang ganito yung ginagawa’ sabi ko madami. Ang sinasabi ko sa kanya maganda naman yung set up natin. Yung isa na sa corporate, yung isa na sa bahay – kasi yung health card malaking bagay sa amin.

Since Physical Therapist ka. Anong na offer mo na skills sa client, anong ginagawa mo?

Ang ginagawa ko ngayon I deal with clients directly para din siyang staffing agency. Tinutulungan ko yung mga clients, yung mga nagha hire at saka yung mga taong hina hire nila kahit anong question about sa sweldo nila or sa trabaho na inaccept nila, duon lang siya umiikot lahat ng support na pwedeng ibigay sa kanila.

Nung natapos mo yung VA Bootcamp anong pwedeng job title? Inisip mo ba yun kung saan ka somewhere mag start?

Nung una puro VA ang nilalagay ko kasi wala pang experience. Hindi ka kaagad nakakakuha ng deretsong trabaho specific for that. Nag one-on-one coaching tayo sabi mo ‘sige start mo na tayo para gamitin mo kung ano yung background mo muna para makakuha ka ng first job mo’ tapos tuloy tuloy na. Ginawa kong title ng Upwork Profile ko ‘Experienced Customer Support’ Representative ata. Duon ako nag start makakuha ng mga clients.

So after ba ng one-on-one coaching natin duon na rin nag start?

Oo give it mga 2 weeks siguro, nakakuha na ako nun.

Pano ninyo na manage yung pag-travel while working?

Ginagamit ko yung mga nakatago kong pocket wifi. Huwag ninyo rin kalimutan mga universal adaptor.

Pinagdasal mo ba to?

Oo pinagdasal ko. Ang prayers ko nuon, gusto kong ma achieve naming mag-asawa yung maging financially free. Kailangan maging specific ka sa prayers mo. Kasi ako lahat ng sa utak ko na sana ganitong schedule, malaki yung sweldo binigay talaga ang galing.

Masasabi mo bang stable ang freelancing o hindi?

Nasa sa iyo nga, tama ka. In terms of kailangan din natin magtipid.

Ikaw ba naka experienced binigyan ng bonus?

Yung first year ko wala kaming Christmas bonus, this year nagulat ako nagbigay sila. At basta na hit lang nung company yung target kahit wala ka naman ginawa pinapa bonus ka nila buwan buwan. Sabi ko ang galing naman,yun yung mga perks.

Saan nyo pong platform nakuha ung current client nyo?

From Upwork.

Anong rate ka nag start?

$5.50 mali yata, nag start ako ng $4 tapos naging $5.50 hanggan sa tumagal pataas na.

What is the safest platform to avoid scammer clients? Ikaw Sheryl anong ma advice mo dyan?

Ako talaga Upwork ang masasabi ko. Yung iba kasi they complain na malaki yung nababawas because of Upwork fee. Pero what you’re paying for sa Upwork fees, yung safety mo saka safety rin ni client na nagha hire.

Gaano ka tagal Sheryl nag apply?

Mga 6 months after ko matapos yung Accelerated Program. Bago ako nag apply, bago nakahanap ng client.

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Jason Dulay

Jason Dulay

Jason is the founder and CEO of Work from Home Roadmap and VA Bootcamp. Aside from teaching Filipinos how to succeed working from home, he likes traveling, playing board games, and drinking coffee.

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