Former ESL Tutor Triples Income and Enjoys Freedom and Flexibility as a Freelancer - JSU Inteview - June 22, 2022

June 22, 2022
by 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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This has motivated our next JasSuccess guest to leave her job as an ESL tutor.

She used to work from 6:00 am to 11:55 pm just to earn 30k per cut-off.

5-minute break lang in-between.

She’s the type of person who wants to work anywhere, especially in coffee shops.

Pero di nya magawa when she was still a tutor.

Fast forward to today…

She can now work *anywhere and anytime* she wants.

Not only that.

She now makes Php100-150k a month.


How did she do it?

How did she start freelancing?

Mahirap ba?

What challenges did she face?


A former ESL tutor, Christelle is the founder of Website Designers Community PH. After the transition in her career took place, she managed to triple her income and now enjoys freedom and flexibility as a Website Design Expert and Freelancer Coach. Her main purpose why she is striving and working hard is so that her mother can retire in the near future.

Notable Quotes:

  • 'Yung transition stage ko is learning by myself pero I think hindi siya advisable. If you are a person na hindi mo kayang mag-isa, kung kailangan mo may mag-guide sayo, then invest on it kasi long-term investment siya. Magbabayad ka, oo, pero 'pag nagka-client ka sobra-sobra pa, 10x pa.
  • Ang mindset ko that time is, kailangan ko ng maraming skills para highly paid freelancer ako in the future and that's another mistake kasi you don't need tons of skills para mag-earn ka ng malaki.
  • Hindi ako creative na tao pero 'yung perseverance at 'yung eagerness ko to transition was really there.
  • Wala pa akong one year as a freelancer pero I was able to say na kaya ko pala ang ginagawa nila, hindi lang ako nag-focus sa kung ano 'yung possible na kaya kong ibigay.
  • Just pick one (skill) then focus kasi lahat ng skills possible magbigay sa'yo ng 100k. It's just how you execute it.
  • Kahit ano'ng skills n'yo, kung hindi kayo maging consistent, I don't think that you can have that freedom.
  • Mas mahirap ang journey sa freelancing compared sa traditional type of work and if you don't trust the process I don't think maa-achieve mo kung ano'ng meron ang mga successful freelancers ngayon.
  • Isolate yourself because it can affect your mindset on your work kasi negativity can kill your process.
  • You still need to improve everyday kahit nag-earn ka na ng malaki kasi sa freelancing, araw-araw kayong mag-aaral.
  • Sa mga doubtful, there is no such thing na “Ready ako” kasi we’re always not ready. So if sa tingin mo “pwede ko na siguro 'to i-take,” then grab it, at least pag na-grab mo 'yon, may commitment ka na.

Christelle Baldonado's Journey to Freelancing

  • Before becoming a freelancer, Christelle was an ESL tutor for 3 long years earning Php 50/hr.
  • Working from 6:00 am to 11:55 pm and that has only 5-minute break in-between until she had this back muscle strain and was suffering also from tonsilitis by taking too much caffeine to keep her awake during her class.
  • At first, she tried to transition her career into VA, but she had no community support. She didn't know how to start and so she failed, leaving her no choice but to find another job again in the same line of work, this time around in a Korean company. When the pandemic came, the company system started to become strict and it triggered her anxiety. This is the reason why she searched again for a VA course online.
  • She tried SMM, Lead Gen through LinkedIn and got her client from Upwork and been through a lot but it seems like she can't find happiness although she did learn a lot knowing it's only her during this whole process. Every time she searched on YouTube it only caused her more confusion about where to focus. By then, she did realize how important it is to enroll in a course but unfortunately she didn't like it and got overwhelmed with more than 30 courses in it.
  • There was another support community she came across with and finally learned that it's not important to have a lot of courses, just pick one course and then focus, from there she got attracted to website design.
  • As doubtful as she is, she’s still not a hundred percent sure if she can do the job but after thorough research on YouTube she found out that coding, which for her is the most stressful thing to do in designing a website, is not necessary anymore. To her surprise, she can proudly say, “This is it.” She wants to pursue this since coding is not needed to make a website design.
  • In less than a year of working as a freelancer, she was able to meet her 6-digit salary. But it wasn't a smooth journey, with lots of challenges and so many sleepless nights, it's all worth it.

Q and A Highlights

During those times na naghihirap ka, ramdam mo ba na it is worth it?

To be honest, noong umpisa, hindi. Kini-question ko 'yung sarili ko, tama ba ‘tong ginagawa ko or talaga bang kailangan ko ‘tong pagdaanan, eh noong nag-ESL ako, ok na ako doon eh. Kasi sa freelancing andoon ang tons of rejection.

Magiging worth it din ‘to, tiyaga lang muna, tiis lang muna kasi after a few days, magiging okay ka, bukas, makalawa, hindi na. Ganyan ang status mo. It could be better, makakahanap ka ng magandang client.

Paano ang support outside, like your family. Were they supportive of your transitioning to freelancing?

They’re not that supportive to be honest, it took me years to prove that this path, digital world, is more profitable than the corporate world. I got compared to my cousins, their friends' kids, kasi I’m not that typical worker going to the office everyday.

Ano po ang niche ni Ma'am?

Website Design without coding.

May bagong green screen na ba si Christelle?

Yes, meron.

How do you keep your relationship with your parents despite the fact (messy years)?

I talk to them that I don't want to hear negativity kasi I’m still in the process of building myself and my career. I understand their side kasi anak ka nila. It is just that mahirap i-explain sa kanila that what I’m doing is para sa future ko at sa future nila. I talked to them, "Pa/Ma, lessen muna tayo ng communication kasi if magagalit kayo sa akin it can affect the process." Naki-negotiate ako sa kanila and it worked. Now, we have a good relationship and they are happy with what I’m doing kasi I can provide more to them and sa mga kapatid ko.

Is it going to be a detailed course?

Yes, it’s going to focus on designing websites specifically on WordPress; hindi hahaluan ng other skills. I will teach you on how to put a price per project, not per hour so kung ano 'yung in-apply ko sa sarili ko na nag-work up until now, iyon ang ipo-provide ko sa inyo. Lahat ng strategy ko, andoon lahat sa course.

WordPress lang ba?

The platform is just WordPress but the design strategy and client attraction are flexible. But if you’re looking na may coding, hindi siya pasok doon sa course na ila-launch ko kasi codes are quite complicated.

What is the best advice that you can give to our audiences?

Trust the process and focus on yourself. Don't mind others' opinions. At the end of the day, it's just you who will help yourself in the process. Sa journey na ‘to, ang goal natin is manalo so keep on moving forward as long as wala kang inaapakang tao.

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by 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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72 comments on “Former ESL Tutor Triples Income and Enjoys Freedom and Flexibility as a Freelancer - JSU Inteview - June 22, 2022”

  1. "To be honest, kwinekwestyon ko yung sarili ko, talaga bang kailangan ko itong pagdaanan. Okay na ko sa ESL. Sa freelancing nandun yung rejections, mas masakit pa siya sa QA, pero nalagpasan ko yung stage na yun." - Christelle

  2. "Sabi ko tiyaga lang, bukas makalawa, hindi na ganyan status mo, it could be better, kino-comfort ko yung sarili ko nung time na nagdodoubt na ko sa process."- Christelle

  3. "Wala kasing shortcut sa freelancing, hindi siya same sa corpo work na kapag may backer ka may work ka kaagad, pag grumaduate ka sa ganitong university, may work ka agad." - Christelle

  4. "Mas mahirap ang journey sa freelancing compared sa traditional type of work, and if you don't trust the process, I don't think na ma-aachieve mo yung mga na-aachieve ng successful na freelancers." - Christelle

  5. "Actually, yung parents ko, they're not that supportive, it took me years that this freelancing world is more profitable sa traditional work. I was compared to cousins, their friends children." - Christelle

  6. "During the process, ang hirap nun. I was all by myself, I can't find any support system. Because my environment is focus in the corporate world. For me ( yung pumunta sa freelancing) that's my greatest choice." - Christelle

  7. "Yung mga nagtatanong sakin how to overcome yung stage na yun, sinasabi ko sila to isolate themselves. Ang hirap ng walang support system." - Christelle

  8. "During that time na di ko kaya yung negativity, I tried to talk to them, that I'm in the process na I'm building myself, if mangangamusta, mangangamusta lang walang magtatanong sa work. Mahirap lang iexplain sa kanila na what I'm doing is para sa future ko." - Christelle

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