Healthcare Professional Exploring Her Full Potential Through Freelancing – Interview with Leora Cornelio

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FIVE YEARS.

That’s the length of time Dhen worked as a staff nurse in Saudi Arabia.

Just like most OFWs, she worked hard and did her best to provide for her family even if it meant being far away from home. The pay was OK and she was able to practice what she studied in College but was she truly happy?

One day, while browsing her newsfeed Dhen saw an advertisement about working from home. It got her excited because from what she saw, it’s possible to double her current income without leaving her kids. The thought of being able to spend more time with her kids without worrying about money motivated her to enroll in the VA Bootcamp and jumpstart her freelancing career.

Fast forward to 2019, Dhen is now a successful VA specializing in Social Media Marketing. When we asked her about her niche, she said “… I realized I could help other people even if it’s outside the medical field. What excites me is that I never saw it coming, but I am happy and fulfilled.”

Watch the replay of her interview here.

Notable Quotes:

  • Consistency lang po talaga sa pag apply para never kayong mawalan ng client. And if nahihirapan kayo, always remember your big Why, and always invest into learning something new. 
  • My big why is yung happiness na talagang gusto ko mafeel, na gusto ko na talaga makasama ang mga kids ko. Kapag freelancer na ako hindi ko na kailangan lumabas. Hindi lang pala na 8-5 ang pwede kong pasukan. Meron na akong pag asa na maka exit na at ma-push through na mag stay na lang sa bahay.
  • Talagang naramdaman ko na may peace of mind. Ikaw ba naman gabi-gabi anjan katabi mo lang and then may pa hug and pa kiss pa.
  • Pag uuwi sa school, pag paalis ng school so ayun syempre nagagawa ko yung responsibility ko as a mother. Yun ang pinaka precious, priceless, no question na mapagod man ako whatsoever. Wala yung mabalikan ko na ay sana andun ako sa Saudi, i’m earning this much pero pag kinompare ko yung happy hindi talaga e. 
  • Paninindigan ko na hindi na ako aalis. Hindi na mangyayari ulit na babalik sa abroad para lang mag work ulit. Again,mawalan ulit kami ng connection ng mga bata.
  • Ang nafeel ko is I feel alone. Yun talaga e hindi ko mafeel na anjan sila maski pa sabihin na tumatawag, hindi na nagreresonate kahit ano pa ang sabihin.
  • Yung mga lessons is a big help na babalik balikan ko hanggang sa naging consistent lang ako sa ginagawa ko siguro in 3 months binigyan ko ang sarili ko ng deadline. 
  • Nung umuwi ako ng December, Christmas Party pinakilala ako ng anak ko sa mga classmate nya. Madaming times na wala ako kahit sa adviser kase hindi ako kilala ng adviser.

Leora’s Journey to Freelancing:

  • Five years ago, she dreamed of working abroad. Her big why is to give good education and good life to her kids.
  • During that time he could not land a job caused by the Phenomenology of Nurse Volunteerism implemented by hospitals to get the needed experience and training.
  • While working as a volunteer nurse, she applied to various agencies to work abroad.
  • Until one day she received a notification from one of the agencies that there is a job order  for her and she can fly to Saudi Arabia within 3 months.
  • She grabbed the opportunity on working abroad. It was sad for her working away from her kids and loved ones.
  • After four years of working abroad, she realized that she can no longer bear the sadness of being away from home especially to her kids. 
  • She doesn’t see herself working as a nurse back home because of long working hours, traffic and the low salary being received by Nurses.
  • She browsed through the internet all the possible type of business to start after working abroad.
  • In 2017 she saw Jayson Dulay’s ad on how to earn 80k per month.
  • During her free time, she took the free course.
  • After taking the free online course, she enrolled in the VA Bootcamp.
  • She spent her day off studying the VA Bootcamp online course.
  • She got first client was from Upwork, her task is to post the client’s blog in Redit.
  • In July 2018, her employer in Saudi Arabia offered her renewal of contract with salary increase but she declined the offer. 
  • After her contract, she’s finally home after 5 years of working as an OFW.
  • She explained a lot to her parents about her work as a freelancer.
  • She now works as a full time freelancer earning dollars at the comfort of her home.
  • She is now enjoying the freedom of working from home while enjoying life with her family.

Q & A Highlights:

Kailan mo naisip na tama na to hanggang dito na lang ano yung naging turning point mo?

Actually every year nga po nun talagang nag iisip na ako kaso talagang hindi pa sapat e. Pero nung pinaka peak na nag isip ako nung ika 4th year ko na sya. Na realize ko na talaga na hindi ko na makakaya pa na sa isang week ilang minuto na lang kami nag uusap. Naririnig ko sa background na pinipilit sya ng magulang ko na kausapin ako. 

Nung medyo lumalayo na yung mga anak mo, describe how you felt?

Talagang naiyak ako na pinipilit nila naririnig ko sa background na sabihin nila na busy sya mag play. And then haharap sya para sabihin may kkunin sya hanggang sa excited na sya sa pag bye bye. Yun talaga ang nag udyok sa akin na hindi na pwedeng ganito. Sila na yung nagttry mag message. Tapos bigla na lang dumalang ang text.

Nung naisip mo na gusto mo na sanang umuwi ano yung gusto mong ggawin kung uuwi ka man ano yung ipapalit mong work as Nurse?

Naisip ko po talaga number 1 is mag business.  Hindi ko po naisip mag work ulit as nurse hindi dahil sa ayaw ko but then dahil oras ang iniisip ko. 12 hours duty plus traffic plus hindi ko alam kung magkano ang sahod. So I decided mag business. Nag search ako sa google ng mga franchise, mga kung anong pwedeng simulan ng isang kagaya ko hanggang sa nakita ko yung kay Sir Jayson yung how to earn 80k per month? Na curious ako kung ano namang trabaho baka scam yun. Wala po ako talagang idea kung ano yung work from home. 

Ano yung nag push sayo para mag enroll sa course?

Yung mga kwento din doon sa loob ng bootcamp sa mga blogs, so yung iba mga binasa ko and then yung mga ibang videos kwento nila about working from home. Yun yung talagang nag push sakin na may something din pala sa working from home kaya hanggang sa mag enroll na ako. Hindi lang pala 9-5 office ang pwede mong pasukan. So andun na nagiging clear sa akin na meron na akong pag asa na mag exit na at mag push through na mag stay na lang sa bahay.

When was the time na nasabi na eto na sa freelancing na ako?

Nung narealize ko na gusto ko na umuwi, nung every time nag aapply ako, may sumasagot. Though hindi ko sila nakukuha but meaning sa pag sagot pa lang nila you know how there is chance. Inuulit ko din kase pinapanood yung JaSuccess nung iba na hindi ganun ka dali but it doesn’t mean walang hindi mangyayari yung hinahangad mo na magkaroon ng promising long term client. So dun ako nag hold.

Are you happy now? Gaano ka kasaya?

Yes, peace of mind meron ako nyan. Talagang naramdaman ko na sya, may peace of mind. Ikaw ba naman gabi-gabi anjan katabi mo lang and then may pa hug and pa kiss pa. Pag uuwi sa school, pag paalis ng school so ayun syempre nagagawa ko yung responsibility ko as a mother. Yun ang pinaka precious, priceless, no question na mapagod man ako whatsoever. 

Any tips you can give to everybody?

Consistency lang po talaga sa pag apply para never kayong mawalan ng client. And if nahihirapan kayo, always remember your big WHY, and always invest into learning something new. Pag may client po kayo, iexplore nyo ang company ng client nyo ano ba yung mga ginagawa nya para worth naman. Para sila na yung mag bebeg na wag nyo silang iwanan. Kase these people mga client natin dalawa lang naman yan for me its either they are busy people or wala talaga silang alam sa mga ibang task na dapat ay gawin nila. So that’s why they outsource, that’s why andyan tayo para to back them up sa mga small task pero time consuming para sa kanila. So dyan tayo to be their angels, alam mo yung mag focus lang sila sa business nila and at the end of the day, tayo naman nagawa natin yung task natin, mapapa wow na lang sila dahil nagawa natin yung hindi nila naiintindihan so those ang mga tips na mibibigay ko and also time management din para sa ating mga freelancers para yung time natin para sa family natin of course number 1 dapat. Hindi kase maiiwasan nauubos na yung oras sa work natin. Wala din yung freedom if lahat nauubos din ang time sa work natin. If nandyan na mga anak nyo give time to them because that is the best time lalo na pag may tanong sila please answer their questions. Because that is the time hindi lang tanong ang gusto nila ang marining sayo but of course the relationship na andito ang Mama ko.

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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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