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From Minimum Wage Earner to Digital Agency Owner

April 27, 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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Sabi nga nila, libre ang mangarap.

Pero hindi madali ma-achieve ang dreams or goals mo sa buhay.

As highlighted in the story titled “The Turtle and the Rabbit,” persevering will always yield positive results.

Dream big but take small steps.

Do your best and be consistent.

You have to keep on doing it, even if it gets boring or becomes tedious.

Remember.

Success requires effort and patience.

Don’t compare yourself with other seemingly more successful people.

And most importantly, believe in yourself.

Meet Arjay.

He’s been working in the freelance industry since 2013.

His first online work was a graphic designer on Fiverr.

He enhanced his skill by enrolling in VGD TESDA for NCIII Certification.

Fast forward to today.

He now has his own agency with his wife — earning 6-digits income per month.

Watch this replay and be inspired by his struggles, hard work, and victories.

Introduction

When Arjay was still in college, he had the opportunity to work as a freelancer but he mismanaged it. His first online work was a graphic designer on Fiverr.

When he got married, he was a minimum wage earner for 3 years. Before the pandemic, a friend of his wife invited them to join VA Bootcamp. 

Now Arjay and his wife own a Digital Agency and are earning 6-digits income per month.

Notable Quotes

  • Yung registration ko was very costly sa amin dahil nga minimum wage earner lang then most of my income kakainin pa ng rent ng bahay at kung magkakaabsent man sa trabaho, kulang na, magugutom na. Kaya nag ipon kami. Sabi nga nila, knowledge is costly pero ang ignorance is mas costly.
  • When we saw the training courses ng VAB, my wife and I agreed na mag enroll ako and my main motivation at that time was to learn the best practices. Kasi may opportunity na ako last time but na mismanaged.
  • Silent reader ako ng Flip. Nakikita ko yung cover letter na ginawa ni Holly, inaapply ko and mas lalo akong nahasa. Nung nakapag enroll na ako sa VAB, naging tulong yun para maboost yung confidence ko. Meron kasing training dun about the cover letter and pag optimize ng profile.
  • Mostly sa mga clients ko ngayon, wala akong experience. Kina-capitalize ko yung mga nakalagay sa job description nila na  "Willing to be trained, teachable, and fast learner". Siguraduhin mo lang din na willing to be trained ka talaga, teachable at fast learner.
  • Wag kayong matakot na dahil wala pa kayong experience, hindi na kayo mahahire.
  • Mag-invest sa VAB, tapos sumali ka ng Guided Hustle Challenge kasi yung mga coaches doon, they are willing to help you lalo na sa pag optimize ng profile mo and pag create ng Cover Letter mo.
  • Be teammates po gaya po ng wife ko, magaling siya sa content creation. We're working hand-in-hand dahil yung weakness ko, strength nya. 
  • Sa work ko sa corporate for 3 years, hindi talaga umabot ng 6-digit ang income. Sa freelancing, hindi na umabot ng 3 years pero yun na yung inienjoy namin na blessing. 
  • Kapag online freelancer, importante yung desire mo. Kapag  nahihirapan ka, mayroon kang "deepest why". Like for me at age of 8, namatay yung mama ko at nakilala ko naman yung papa ko noong malapit na kaming ikasal ng misis ko. Ayaw kong maranasan ng anak ko ang naranasan ko. And the beauty of freelancing is nasa bahay ka lang. Nandun lang yung time mo para sa family. 

Arjay Maramban’s Journey to Freelancing

  • He started freelancing on Fiverr when he was still in college as a graphic designer.
  • When he got married, he worked in a corporate job for 3 years earning a minimum wage.
  • His wife was an ESL Teacher and wanted to transition to a virtual assistant. Before the pandemic, his wife came across VA Bootcamp through her friend.
  • Their friend invited them to join the FB group FLIP, became a silent reader, and watched interviews and success stories of other freelancers. He and his wife agreed for him to be enrolled in Accelerated Package.
  • He enrolled on March 5, 2020, and joined Guided Hustle Challenge in May 2020. During that time, he got his first client and his first job as an Amazon FBA Virtual Assistant.
  • In December 2020, his mentor encouraged him to quit his corporate job to focus on his Freelancing career.
  • Together with his wife, they started to put up a Digital Agency last May 2021.
  • Now Arjay and his wife have 6 premium clients and 1 project-base client and earn a 6-digit income every month.

 

Q&A Highlights

What were the instances where building up an agency was difficult for you?

Actually, matagal ko nang gustong mag build ng agency, kaso wala akong idea kung paano at yung na experience ko na mawalan ng mga kliyente. 

Nasanay ako sa Fiverr na walang apply-apply and pag pumunta ka na ng OnlineJobsPH, HubStaff, and Upwork you need to apply. 

Silent reader ako ng Flip. Nakikita ko yung cover letter na ginawa ni Holly, inaapply ko and mas lalo na akong nahasa. Nung nakapag enroll na ako ng VAB, naging tulong yun para maboost yung confidence ko. Meron kasi tayong training dun about the cover letter and pag optimize ng profile.

Aside from hindi mo na kailangan magsulat ng Cover Letters, can you identify the differences between the other platforms vs Fiverr? 

Sa ibang platforms, kailangan mo talagang basahin yung job description. Kasi minsan, mayroong nakalagay doon "what is your favorite color? or subject?". Malalaman talaga kung hindi ka nagbabasa, alam na ni client na you're not detail oriented. 

     Dati sinasabi ko, "paano ako mahahire, wala akong experience"; and mostly sa mga clients ko ngayon, wala akong experience. Kina-capitalize ko yung mga nakalagay sa job description nila na "Willing to be trained, teachable, and fast learner". And siguraduhin mo na lang din na willing to be trained ka talaga, teachable at fast learner. 

Aside from looking for Job description and telling that you're willing to be trained, mayroon ka bang iba pang technique na ginagamit mo para masiguro na mahahire ka?  

Mayron kaming principles na inaapply namin sa life namin, especially honoring the Lord. May practice kami ng wife ko sa church namin na every first salary namin inooffer namin kay Lord. Sabi nga “But seek ye first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." 

Any insights po paano po mapansin ang profile mo sa Fiverr? I tried to create my profile there before pero parang walang napansin. (Brenda Bolaños Upadhyay)

Focus on giving a solution sa client. Solution tayo sa problema nila.

When your coach encouraged you to quit your corporate job so that you can focus on your freelance career, naitanong mo ba sa kanya kung ano ang basehan nya kung bakit nya nasabi na ready ka na mag transition into Full Time Freelance?  

Sabi ng mentor ko, you deserve greater than that. Yung skills mo, hindi na minimum wage earner; build ka na ng home office/Agency.

What is your experience with your wife, that you are working in tandem, is it good or bad? Mayroon bang pros and cons? 

Mas maganda kung united kayo, mas madami kayong ma-achieve. In unity, God commands a blessing. As a husband, kailangan mo talaga ng "happy wife, happy life". It's my responsibility na pasayahin sya. Be a teammate gaya ng wife ko, magaling siya sa content creation. We're working hand-in-hand dahil yung weakness ko, strength nya. 

Is there a competition between the two of you since pareho kayo ng career?  

Wala kasi iba yung niche nya. Pero mag-classmate kami noon sa TESDA. Regarding sa design, marami siyang idea; tinatanung ko sya, TEAMMATES pa rin.

When you started your Digital Agency, how many months before you reached the 6-digits income?  

We started last May 2021, and then nangangapa pa hindi pa alam. Seriously, yung sinasabi ko na Bible principles, this year lang yun. Last January kami nag start and by March, umabot na kami ng 6-digits. Sa work ko sa corporate for 3 years, hindi talaga umabot ng 6-digit. Pero dito, hindi na umabot ng 3 years, pero yun na yung inienjoy namin na blessing.

Hindi ka ba natraumatize mag tayo ulit ng Agency since nag fail yung unang try mo? Naisip mo ba na ayaw mo na?  * 

Yun yung nafeel ko. Hindi ko maisip kung ano yung tamang term. 

Pero yung start namin nung kinasal na kami ni Misis, may friend sya na member ng Flip. Ininvite niya kami. Kapag online freelancer ka, nabubuhay yung desire, importante yung desire mo, kapag  nahihirapan ka mayroon kang "deepest why". 

Like for me at age of 8 namatay yung mama ko and nakilala ko lang yung papa ko noong malapit na kaming ikasal ng misis ko. Ayaw kong maranasan ng anak ko ang naranasan ko and the beauty of freelancing, nasa bahay ka lang. Nandun lang yung time mo para sa family. 

          

When it comes to building an agency, ano ba ang dapat na ihanda ng isang freelancer pag kino-consider na nila na magkaroon sila ng isang Agency? 

Una is yung system. For example, yung trabaho mo dapat nirerecord mo yung step by step, and train others na mag excel sila, mag equip ng specific skills. Train them na yung teammates mo, same values at ethics sa inyo, and delegate the task, check their outputs, quality check. Build a system para madali siya iduplicate, set your goals, be a solution for every problem. Example si client, na-hire ka for 40hrs per week. Kung wala ka ng tatrabahuhin, be proactive. Ask mo sya kung meron pa siyang gusto ipagawa and kung may gusto siya ipa-learn sayo, that's a win-win situation for you kasi babayaran ka na, natututo ka pa ng another skill. Set goals. Be strategic, tapos do it again para may pattern sya.

Where do I start as a VA? Ano po course ang recommend niyo for a start? (Sol PD)*

Nag start ako sa VA Bootcamp. Much better na mag invest kayo sa knowledge.

Pag ipunan nyo yung Accelerated Package para makasali kayo ng Guided Hustle Challenge at the same time meron ding Internship sa VA bootcamp habang wala pang client. Yung confidence, mo naboboost.

Is there any advice that you can give to everybody tonight?

Sabi nga ni Dennis Waitley "Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field," so regardless sa age niyo, and if you're not that computer literate or hindi ka techie, all skills are learnable and hanapin mo yung deepest WHY mo kung bakit gusto mo mag transition into freelancing. I now have the time freedom, and somehow the financial freedom.

 

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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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70 comments on “From Minimum Wage Earner to Digital Agency Owner”

  1. "The registration is very costly for me kasi minimum wage earner lang. Pero sabi nga nila knowledge is costly pero ignorance ay mas costly." - Arjay Maramba

  2. "Yung post ni Holly sa FLIP about writing effective cover letter, nagamit ko talaga. Mas lalo akong nahasa ng nakapag-enroll ako ng VA Bootcamp." - Arjay Maramba

  3. Nung December 2020, I was advised by my mentor to leave the corporate world. It was a big leap of faith. Now, together with my wife, we have a lot of clients. - Arjay Maramba

  4. "Mag-invest po sa courses, lalo na sa VA Bootcamp, and mag-join ng Guided Hustle Challenge. May mga coaches po na sobrang makakatulong po sa inyo." - Arjay Maramba

  5. "Nag-start ako sa VA Bootcamp, Accelerated Package. Pag ipunan niyo po yung Accelerated Package para makasali ka sa Guided Hustle Challenge. May internship din sa VA Bootcamp, sali din kayo dun, para maboost ang confidence niyo." - Arjay Maramba

  6. Sol PD, go to vabootcamp.ph/enroll po. Accelerated Package is P7990, but we have a 3 day Sale on April 29 - May 1, P5990 na lang po. Use this coupon code: APRACCEL

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