From Depressed to Feeling Blessed: A Single Mom’s Freelancing Journey

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We are now in the middle of the last quarter of the year 2019. A lot of activities and holidays have happened recently both in and out of school. If you are a stay-at-home parent, you are probably used to it. In Marian’s case, it’s a bit different because for the first time, she’s experiencing what it means to be an online freelancing mom, and she feels so blessed because of it!

Her story started on a cruise ship where she worked as a Dual Rate Casino Dealer Technician. As a single mom, it’s not easy for her to be away from her child but she didn’t have a lot of options until she learned about online freelancing from a friend who had also worked on the cruise ship with her.

The circumstances surrounding her transition to online freelancing were not easy:

– she was unfamiliar with many different platforms, tools, and terminologies
– she was undergoing treatment for a medical condition
– she was feeling depressed because she wasn’t earning money during her treatment
– time management can be quite challenging – juggling household chores and preparing herself for online work

But she was determined because of her son. She has an 8-year old and she wanted to spend more time with him while he’s still a kid. The only (and best) option she has right now is to work from home.

Fast forward to the present time, Marian (aka Yan) is no longer depressed. She is happily working as a Virtual Assistant, thanks to her VA Bootcamp training!

Discover her story in this replay.

Notable Quotes:

  • So before na-introduce sakin yung freelancing when I was still on the cruise ship. Meron akong kasamahan na she was working as a freelancer. Ang niche nya ay Real Estate. So, sabi ko meron pala talagang gumagawa ng freelancing. Parang it helps kasi if you really talk to someone who’s doing it. Kasi may parang life testimony and then na-strengthen pa yung desire ko nung meron din akong cabin mate/ ka-roommate sa barko na her husband is also working as a freelancer. ESL siya at the same time working Lead Generation Specialist.
  • Nasa barko palang ako nagre-research na ako and then I came across VA Bootcamp… then I saw Jason Dulay’s video… And then finally, I decided to sign up for the Accelerated Course. 
  • Nung naka-adjust na ako dun, bumalik na ako ulit sa course. Paunti-unti ulit. Yung parang hindi ko binigla pag-feeling ko like an hour a day. Isa, like an hour a day I’ll go back to watching the videos and then pag hindi ko agad siya na-gets. “Ok, sige sa next day ulit”. Yung parang hindi ko pinupush masyado yung sarili ko para hindi din ako ma-overwhelm.
  • When I was about to submit my Upwork na, nandun narin yung doubt ko sa sarili ko na baka hindi ako ma-approve. Pero anyway, If ma-approve ako sa Upwork then sabi ko “I am meant to be a freelancer”. Parang, I cheer myself on that part. So, a day after I submitted my profile sa Upwork, it was approved tapos sabi ko, “Totoo ba to?”… As in tuwang tuwa talaga ako dun. Sabi ko, “Ay ito na. I think this is it talaga!” I am really meant for freelancing kasi isang beses palang na-approve kaagad ung Upwork ko.
  • Sa profile, kasi ang tumatak sa isip ko is “make it simple and relevant”… So I made it simple tapos ang nilagay ko dun yung mga relevant skills na I think naexperience ko with my previous work.
  • Hindi ko na masyado inartehan. Yung parang direct to the point, na ito yung skills ko. This is what I can offer. Tapos I am also open to new learnings and trainings for new platforms. Yun lang, wala pa akong portfolio.
  • After my Upwork was approved, I started applying na and then ang ginawa kong strategy para hindi ako masyado ma-disappoint or ma-frustrate, I’ll go easy with the application. I was like, I send 2 or 3 applications a day and then after that yung parang kinakalimutan ko na sila.
  • Lagi kong binabalikan yung video regarding sa profile and cover letter. Yung sa “ROPE” and yung “AIDA.” Pero actually sa OLJ ako nag-practice. Nag-aapply ako just to practice my writing. Alam mo yun para makuha ko lang yung sequence nung application ng ROPE at AIDA.
  • You took thing slow hindi yung basta binigla mo nalang para matapos lang lahat. Talagang you intentionally took it, digest it slowly para maintindihan mo ng todo and at the same time with your earlier experience in freelancing applying for jobs. You wanted to start slow.
  • Ang maganda din dun is her attitude that if mare-reject sya sa Upwork it is fine, moving on. If she was accepted sa Upwork, it is good. Yun ang magandang attitude na dapat kunin natin.
  • Katulad nga ng mga ginawa ni Marian. Pumapasok pa rin sya sa ibang mga platform and she was practicing there. She’s trying to improve herself through that and who knows kung makakatanggap sya ng client dun.
  • That is a good way to approach freelancing. Don’t take things too seriously. As Marian have gone through. Nagkaroon sya ng depression kasi she took things, a lot of things too seriously and right now she’s living more relax environment, she has more relax approach to even in freelancing and in life.
  • I have a support group. We created a group chat. We support each other so it also helps that you have somebody to support you. Since lahat tayo may pinagdadaanan.
  • The thing is, do not limit yourself dun sa obstacles na yun. Try to overcome it by thinking of strategy of what will work for you. “Custom made” kung baga.
  • Just believe in yourself. Isipin nyo yung mga napagdaanan nyo. Like for example ano yung pinaka greatest na obstacles na napag daanan nyo before na ngayon tinitignan nyo. So, its the same thing with learning with freelancing. Na ngayon pinagdadaanan nyo palang to. But when you look back for like how many years or how many months, sasabihin nyo narin sa sarili nyo na kinaya ko to. So, yun lang. And then pray. sabayan nyo talaga ng prayer. Have faith always from the Lord kasi hindi nya tayo pababayaan.

Journey to Freelancing

  • Single Mom and former OFW who worked on the cruise ship and then went home.
  • Freelancing was introduced to her while still in the cruise ship. She has a co-worker who also works as a freelancer who has a niche in Real Estate.
  • Her desire to go and try freelancing was strengthened when she discovers that her cabin mate’s husband was also a freelancer who works as an ESL and Lead Generation Specialist.
  • She researched while still in the cruise ship and came across VA Bootcamp and saw Jason Dulay’s video. She eventually got home and decided to sign up for Accelerated Course.
  • While studying freelancing and adjusting herself to her responsibility as a Mom, she got depressed and struggled with the finances and start to decide to relax a little while.
  • When she finally takes a rest or relax she got back and strategies things. She makes up her mind and take things slowly but surely. She let herself experience things where the offer is very low. She also prefers to study all the basics first before jumping to any complex task. Right now, her next move is to find her niche.
  • She also now has a group of freelancing where they build up each other to push through. Marian is now happy having more time with her son while working thinking that she doesn’t need to go out of the country just to sustain their needs.

Q & A:


Una, parang “Data Entry” lang sya. Mostly, parang data entry and internet research. Tapos kasi sabi ko kung sa research medyo madali lang. Although, may mga tools na gagamitin ka.Tapos, nandun naman lahat kay Google e. So kung internet research, tapos nandun yung thinking sakin na if ever masabi ko na, ma-interview ako ni client, the client will provide me on how to do the task. So, why not?

Kung baga sabi ko anything that is entry level muna  kahit nakita ko mga $3/hour. Mga maliliit lang muna. Basta sabi ko makakuha lang muna ako ng experience para mafeel ko lang din kung paano talaga yung pag freelancing.


Oh, yes! I finished the whole course kasi I started July pero natapos ko sya September. So, It took me like two months.

Two months I finished the course kasi nga I took it slow. So, parang I don’t want to put pressure on myself kasi the learning itself is already too much pressure. So sabi ko, “I’d rather take it slow.” I’ll do it on my pace.



P: Yeah! I think so kasi kahit papaano… Like you said, you took things slow. You digested all the information from the VA Bootcamp and at the same time, nagpractice ka sa OLJ.


Mas na challenge ako sa Upwork kasi nga marami ngang nagsasabi. Unang-una sabi nga, mahirap ma-approve ang profile sa Upwork and then also maraming premium work sa Upwork. Ganun siguro kahirap kasi nga premium work nga sa Upwork.

Although, may nababasa rin akong hindi lang si Upwork. Meron din dyan si OLJ, Fiverr, si Freelancer. Nag focus ako sa Upwork kasi na challenge ako sa kanya. Yung parang alam mo yun, sige i-tatry kita pag na- approve sige, pag hindi eh di try again. Parang ganun. Kasi na challenge ako sa kanya.

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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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