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Higher Pay and Happier Life, Thanks to Online Freelancing

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If you have a knack for numbers, you’ve probably chosen Accounting as your career.

Why not?

With accounting being part of every business, you sure have job security and opportunities for advancement.

Not to mention that it comes with good pay and bonuses.

So if you’re in this field already, you wouldn’t have traded it for another career.

Not for April.

She worked as an external auditor and corporate accountant.

But she decided to shift to social media marketing as a freelancer.

“I got tired of learning the continuous improvements/modifications with the Accounting Standards. In social media marketing, I got to experience designing, tapping my creativity, and lots of experimentation.”

Aside from doing what she loves doing, she also enjoys a flexible time.

More time with family.

More room for growth.

More room for higher income.

Isn’t that great?

Let’s get to know more about April — her big WHYs, her struggles, and her WINS — on this JasSuccess episode replay.

INTRODUCTION

I’d like you to meet April Boton,She’s an accounting graduate with a working experience as an accountant in one of the biggest accounting firms in the Philippines and also worked in a public service as a CPA but she decided to shift to social media marketing as a freelancer because it helps her to solve her problem from stress and have an intentional presence for her family.

Now,  She’s a dreamer, a goal-maker, and a creative person. Through her fighting spirit, She’s now successfully achieving her dreams in life.

II.NOTABLE QUOTES

  • Sa online freelancing, pantay-pantay tayong lahat. Parang dun ko nakita yung walang discrimination, kung anung educational background at kung saan ka magaling.
  • As a freelancer, you show value to the client or prospective client para ma-realize nila na sila ang may kailangan sayo, hindi ikaw ang may kailangan sa kanila.
  • Today, I may say half of my dreams natupad ko na dahil nadiscover ko ang freelancing. Pinangarap kong makafocus sa family, yung hindi nadadala yung stress galing sa work. And ang galing talaga ni Lord, na tinupad niya yun. From 8-10 hours a day with compelled overtime, nakakapagwork ako ngayon ng 3 hours a day lang with the same salary ng pinapasukan kong corporate job. Actually, mas mataas pa nga kasi may taxes pa yun.
  • Sa freelancing kasi ang focus mo is improving yourself, you don’t have to compare yourself to others.
  • When it comes to freelancing, it is 50/50. Some parts of your freelancing depend on your skills and some part of your freelancing life relies on you. This is just sheer luck, that is what usually happens.
  • As a freelancer, they should have a diary of their own. They should tell the world what they are experiencing para naman ma-inspire ang mga tao.

III. JOURNEY TO FREELANCING

  • She graduated in BS Accountancy and was in public service as a Certified Public Accountant.
  • She had worked for 3 years in one of the biggest accounting firms in the Philippines, followed by an auditing firm for a private company.
  • Her life in the corporate world was full of challenges, such as the traffic, meeting deadlines, overtime, and overnight work, less time for friends, working on weekends, and no room for creativity. To add, she had no time to have a TPD Accreditation as a CPA – to follow the new Accountancy Standard. And the worst part, her mental health was greatly affected due to the demands of her job. Thus, she promised herself not to get stressed once she had a family.
  • In 2015, she made a decision to leave her job after she got married and had a child, to focus on her family.
  • She got her first Freelancing Job with Ms. Bong where she got her noteworthy feedback on her Upwork and Linkedin accounts. She then landed her first client as a Bookkeeping VA in a Singaporean firm, only to find the job stressful for her.
  • She, then, shifted from the Accounting job to Social Media Marketing, where she found enjoyment and liberated her creativity.
  • Her style to get a client is through direct prospecting on Facebook, that she joined in different Facebook Groups to offer her acquired skills as a Social Media Marketer for Health Coaches.
  • With her continuous effort, she already achieved half of her dreams through Freelancing.

III.  QUESTION AND ANSWER

Ano ang Social Media Audit?

Ang Social Media Audit ay ang tama or naayon na pag-create ng Social Media Profile – kasama na dito ang profile photo at ang handle names, that both should speak to your brand. Ang mga Posts should also be consistent, daily.The cover photo should show what you offer, like universal branding. You may also check an ideal Social Media Porfile or Influencer and compare kung ano ang wala sa auditee profile. From there, you can bullet point those audits as a guide for improvements of your auditee profile.

What makes you happy, as a Freelancer?

Nabibili ko na ang mga gusto ko, from my freelancing income. And siguro, ang pinaka-problem solved ng freelancing, is yung stress from my previous work. And of course, ang maging intentional present para sa family, lalo na sa mga anak ko.

Meron ka bang client na naningil sayo two years ago na may pagkakamali ka?

Wala naman, although may mga difficult clients din, pero ang kagandahan lang is business partner ka at hindi ka na employee – pwede ka nang sumagot at mag-defend as the expert.

Papaano ba na hindi ka naa-appreciate ng first client mo?

Siguro dahil newbie pa lang ako noon. Naka-time tracker ako while ginagawa lahat ng mga tasks, pero nababagalan siya sa ginagawa ko. One time, pinagawa niya ako ng contract, pero hindi niya nagustuhan, so tinawagan niya lang ako para sermunan – VA din kasi siya at may sariling agency na nakakapag-charge ng mataas kasi tinitreat niya as her own ang mga pinapagawa niya. 

How disappointed were you, as your first client in Upwork and in freelancing, hindi mo ba naisip na “ay ganito pala ang freelancing, ang pangit naman”?

Actually, iyon ang nagprompt sa akin na mag-try ng Social Media Marketing, ayoko ko nang mag-Bookkeeping at mag-Upwork. Stressful din kasi ang Upwork para sa’kin kasi mag-eeffort ka gumawa ng cover letter tapos di ka papansin. Iyon din nag-push sa’kin para mag-concentrate na lang sa direct client in prospecting sa Facebook – to build relationship and value with them and also, being active to certain facebook groups, na nandoon ang market.

Bakit ka na-trigger sa Bookkeeping?

Since may solid naman akong background sa Accounting, akala ko leverage na ‘yon. Yun pala, sa online Bookkeeping kailangan ko pang mag-aral ng Quickbooks, Xero at iba pang accounting software. Aside from that, kailangan ko pa malaman ung mga tax laws ng ibang bansa – kasi iba yung accounting principles nila. May pagkakaiba yung generally accepted principles ng US Gaap from the Philippines. So kung mag-aaral lang din naman ako, why not mag-aral na lang ulit ng ibang skills? Since proved ko na, na stressful ang Accounting, dadaanan na naman ako sa same process.

How did you realize not to bring stress home to your kids, when you were still single then?

Kasi nung nasa corporate ako, wala na ‘kong time sa mga friends na lumabas o mag-self pamper. As an accountant, dapat nasa office ka lagi at nakatali ka na, as obligation. Wala kang choice kundi gawin yung trabaho mo kasi yun yung pinili mong career. Kaya sabi ko, nabubuhay ako para sa trabaho, so pagnagka-anak ako, ayoko naman ng ganito, yung gusto ko naman na mabigay yung oras ko sa kanila. Pwedeng magtrabaho pero dapat may time pa din para sa family.

Was it luck or skill, na nagkaroon ka ng position for Ms Bong?

Luck. Kasi, ang daming gustong mag-work for ms Bong, that time. Isa ako sa unang nag-comment. Ang laking tulong ng review ni ms Bong kasi after that, nagkaroon na ako ng client. Binigyan din nya ako ng review sa Linkedin.

 How did you have this kind of attitude, na hindi ka nag-quit?

Isa sa mga reasons ay ang pag-follow ko sa madaming Filipino freelancers. Yung mga value post nila, ay malaking impact sa’kin. At saka, yung mga motivational post, kahit na akala nila walang nakakapansin. May accountability group ako na sinilahan, where I was able to share my struggles and wins. Sa freelancing side kasi, mas may advantage din kung may other freelancers na nakakarinig. Syempre, your family is always there to support you, pero iba talaga kapag may accountability group. Iba yung support na nabibigay nila sayo. Para bang kahit madapa ka, may matatakbuhan ka, lalo na kapag narinig mo na same din ang struggle nila sayo. That way, sabay kayong babangon. Kung nadedepress ka, wag mo sarilinin, humanap ka ng kausap. At mas maganda, na kahit sa online mo lang nakilala, yung kapwa freelancer din.

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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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