How A Chicken Started Her Journey to Freelancing – Interview with Jasmine Dooma

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Jasmine is happily working as an ESL teacher, but because of a noisy background, her classes were rated low. She needed to do something about it – and that didn't involve eliminating the source of the noise.

She invested in herself to learn several non-voice tasks that were definitely new to her. She wasn't that techie, so she pushed herself to learn the techie stuff to cope up with the demands of the tasks.

Learn her whole incredible story on how she became the freelancer she is right now.

In this interview, Jasmine will talk more about her freelancing journey, including:

✅How She Transitioned From A School/ESL Teacher to A Full-Time Freelancer

✅How She Turned Her Difficulties Into Opportunities

✅How She Persevered Learning Non-Voice Freelancer Work

And a whole lot more…

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As she moved forward to today, Jasmine has been happily working at home and spending time with people who matter most. She also enjoys working with her team experiencing the cool perks and having a family online and offline. And be inspired by how Jasmine turned her difficulties into opportunities.

Notable Quotes:

  • Pursigido talaga ako na parang eliminate that chicken sound, pero talagang nagre-reklamo na ako nun maski sa prayer meeting sinasabi ko, “Lord sana yong manok po ‘pag may class ako, manahimik ng konti.” Tapos yung kamay ko, ang bilis bilis niyang mag-mute. Sobrang ang dami na talaga pero hindi talaga sya nag-work.
  • Sabi ko, sige kung hindi ako pwede for calls yung ganung klaseng trabaho, siguro it's time for me na mag-try ng iba naman. Non-voice, kasi wala talaga ako magawa eh, hirap na hirap ako, wala eh,  hindi na available yung place eh. It pushed me forward.
  • Sabi ko sa sarili ko, “If there's a will, there's a way”. Tapos sinabi ko din sa sarili ko na, binigyan ka ng ganitong sitwasyon. Life gave you a lemon, you just need to turn it into lemonade. This time, siguro, I could say na God gave me chicken, then I turned it into dollars.
  • I noticed na parang maganda na you immerse yourself with people na may parehong pag-i-isip.
  • Kailangan mong maging seryoso, disiplinado sa ginagawa mo.
  • Yung discipline kasi malaki. Mabigat. Pero given the right routine, magkakaroon ng sense of discipline. So parang, sige try ko ‘to, tapos na-encourage pa ako kasi nung time na yun nagFLI-FLIP na ako. Tapos sabi nila, the best investment is investing in yourself.
  • What is the best way for you to learn quickly? ‘Yun nakita ko na the best way to learn quickly is learning through a mentor.
  • From there, I tried yung VA course and then I took it, tapos na-excite ako nun parang gusto ko lang ma-change yung mindset ko kasi hindi nga ako entrepreneurial. So, gusto ko yung ganun. Gusto ko yung may mga tao kang nakakausap na mae-encourage ka nila. Nakita ko yung benefits and yung community is very positive yung feedback. I did my research din kasi.
  • If you don't try it, it's the first step eh for you to know. If you want to succeed, it's the first step for you to know, if it will really work.
  • Proven and tested siya eh so parang why would you question something na nasubukan na ng iba, na-try na ng iba tapos napagdaanan na ng iba.
  • Attitude is very important kasi on my part. Parang kung kunware sabihin mo na ‘this will work'… ‘this will work' pero hindi mo pa kasi na-try yung na-try na ng iba. So try mo muna.
  • Ako kasi, I go with kung saan yung magwo-work.
  • Go beyond yung expected sayo.
  • Parating sine-stress it's about the attitude.
  • Tuloy-tuloy lang ako nung time na ‘yun. Seeing na may kailangan akong matutunan. It was very overwhelming for me pero dala na I have a guide, which was that time, yung VA Bootcamp, na-comfort ako that I learned a lot from that.
  • I needed to also be organized with things.
  • This is not the first time that I tried something na I really wanted, pero this is also one of those things na naniniwala ako na lahat ay nakukuha sa routine.
  • Nag-block talaga ako ng schedule. Nag-block ako ng schedule for learning. Nag-block ako ng schedule for the routines.
  • Priceless para sa akin na, I get to spend time with my family and then I get to do the things that I need to do. Kasi remote, I can bring my work anywhere.
  • Naniniwala ako talaga, siguro kasi background ko teacher. Everything is learned. So, it’s a matter of understanding what you’re learning, doing something about what you've learned.
  • I don't have time, it's actually telling yourself that you don't have time for your dreams. Ganun kasi yun eh. If you always think na, “I don't have time, ‘di ko kaya wag na natin gawin” Of course, you will not have time and hindi mo kayang gawin kasi sinasabi mo sa sarili mo hindi mo kayang gawin.
  • If it starts with you believing in yourself, if it starts in you being positive about the things that you want in your life. Go ahead, Go! Try mo. Pag in doubt, check, research, eh di mag-research ka tapos magtanong ka. Ako ganun ginawa ko. Nagresearch ako nagtanong ako. Wala akong time? Eh di ibig sabihin you’re not serious with what you really want.
  • Naalala ko sabi nila, ang ultimate purpose ng isang tao ay ma-maximize kung ano yung gift na ibinigay sa kanila. And if you do not maximize that gift, you do not understand entirely what your purpose is.
  • Success starts with trying.

Jasmine’s Journey to Freelancing:

  • She's a licensed teacher.
  • She worked as an ESL teacher because of her love for English, culture, conversation and helping others.
  • She also worked as a traditional teacher for five years teaching grade school and middle school students.
  • She wanted to try the admin side of ESL so she tried to work as a QA staff in a Japanese Company where she taught and coached ESL teachers. She taught them how to send emails and other admin works.
  • The students really liked everything about her but the sound of the chicken. Thus, she got low ratings.
  • She did everything she could to resolve the issue without hurting the chicken. Since it's his father's.
  • She even tried to look for another place. But it didn’t last long, the place was not available so she returned back home.
  • Since the chicken has a sentimental value for her father, she cannot kill the chicken.
  • She got frustrated but still kept positive and planning.
  • That time she was already watching videos and listening to inspirational and motivational speakers on Facebook.
  • She made a separate Facebook account for personal and work.
  • She decided to immerse herself with people of the same mindset.
  • She started adding freelancers and VAs from the videos she'd seen and started asking them questions.
  • She saw the Work from Home Roadmap website, now VA Bootcamp.
  • She started reading and the first article she looked over was, “The Pros and Cons of Working At Home.”
  • That time she was still undecided as she was still an ESL teacher.
  • Though she had a little, she decided to take the VA Course and invest in herself.
  • She's not used to spending that much for herself but she made up her mind and decided to learn from a mentor. She was able to talk to Anna.
  • She was overwhelmed. In a month's time, she was already halfway through the VA course.
  • She created a portfolio and applied what she learned from the course.
  • She was very diligent, so she tried asking the coaches and got really encouraged with them and the positive people in the community, as well.
  • She followed ROPE and tried to connect with the clients.
  • She started sending proposals and talking to some clients while reviewing the modules. She didn't want to miss even the tiniest detail.
  • “How clients think” was an eye-opener for her. At the end of her second month, she got her first client at OnlineJobs.ph.
  • Her client was very friendly. What her client liked the most about her are attitude and character. Her client said the fact that she attached a voice recording in her proposal showed that she went beyond what was expected of her.
  • She worked full-time for that client.
  • Right now she has 2 clients. She feels freelancing is beyond compare to her previous accomplishments. Doing her dream of inspiring others to do and maximize what they can is so fulfilling.

Q&A Highlights:

Yung mga tinuruan mo, hindi lang mga Pinoy so anong mga iba't-ibang lahi talaga iyon?

Nagkaroon ako ng students na Korean. Nagkaroon din ako ng Brazilian students. Nagkaroon ako ng Japanese students. All of them, mostly sa kanila parang nagsimula ako sa mga kids eh, pero nung tumagal naging adults na tapos naging CEOs, directors, heads kasi naging Business English na tinuturo ko.

Parang na-promote ka from ESL, parang nagta-train kana naman ng iba maging ESL teachers?

Parang hindi siya ESL teaching, ESL work talaga sya kasi yung back support niya eh, back end na. So, tapos tinuturuan namin sila. We're sending emails, may mga emails kaming ginagawa yung usual mong makikitang admin work.

Saan papasok yung chicken?

Papasok siya doon sa struggles ko. So, the struggles would be, the students that I had kasi nung time na iyon nagturo ako, pero I decided na parang twelve hours kasi akong nagwo-work nun. Tapos pag-uwi mo hindi pa enough tapos pagod ka tapos parang you needed to attend din dun sa pangangailangan.

Itong ESL work mo, hindi din sya online kasi nga pupunta ka doon sa office ng ESL company, tama?

Parang ang nangyari noon, ESL coach ako office. Tapos parang sasabihin nila na para maintindihan mo din yung need ng students mo, mag-take ka din ng classes. So, before pa, three years cumulative na, may experience na talaga ako as a ESL teacher pero hindi talaga malakas ang loob ko gawin iyon at home kasi iniisip ko baka hindi realistic, hindi workable ganyan. Tapos yun na nga, siguro it's more of, hindi effective yung classroom environment kasi alam ko talaga marami kaming aso, may pamangkin akong umiiyak, maraming maingay tapos may chicken.

Kanino bang manok ito, sa kapit bahay ba?

Ang manok na ito ay alaga ng aking papa.

So ano na nangyari?

Sabi ko, sige kung hindi ako pwede for calls yung ganung klaseng trabaho, siguro it's time for me na mag-try ng iba naman. Non-voice, kasi wala talaga ako magawa eh, hirap na hirap ako, wala eh,  hindi na available yung place eh. It pushed me forward.

So paano mo na-discover na pwede naman ang nonvoice?

Sabi ko sa sarili ko, “If there's a will, there's a way”. Tapos sinabi ko din sa sarili ko na, binigyan ka ng ganitong sitwasyon. Life gave you a lemon, you just need to turn it into lemonade. This time, siguro, I could say na God gave me chicken, then I turned it into dollars.

Na-discover mo nga si non-voice, and then paanong nag-lead ang way dun sa pagfe-freelancing?

So, talaga tumatak sa isipan ko iyon nung time na iyon kasi nanonood na ako ng mga videos like inspirations and motivational speakers on Facebook. I noticed na parang maganda na you immerse yourself with people na may parehong pagiisip.

So ayun talaga yung ng-push sa'yo para mag-enroll ka kahit walang buget, ginawan mo ng paraan? So eventually after enrolling, yun na nga nagkaroon tayo ng coaching session and all. Mabilis ba na nakakuha ka ng client?

Nung time na yun, nag-a-aral ako, so ang daming bago tapos parang nakaka-overwhelm on my part. In a month's time, I was already halfway the VA course, na-excite akong mag-create na agad ng portfolio.

So natapos mo na yung pagtake mo nung course, saka ka na gumawa?

Opo. Gumawa na ako ng proposal, talagang inayos ko na. First month natapos ko na siya. Tapos halfway ng pa-second month, I was already sending out proposals. I was talking to the clients na, pero nung time na iyon, yung modules ni-rereview ko pa rin. Naging eye-opener po sa akin yung “How clients think”, ang bilis lang pala, yung well-thought of ka pero yung maliit na part na yun sa ginawa mong proposal ay dapat pala sinunod mo na yung pattern kung hindi turn off na kaagad yung client. Maliit lang eh pero ang laking bagay. Fi-nollow ko lang siya tapos after at the end of the second month, nagkaroon na ako ng client sa OnlineJobs.ph

So full-time iyon dun sa OnlineJobs mo?

Opo, full-time din siya nung time na iyon.

So sobrang naging effective ito sa'yo, that’s why ito yung pdf file na ipapamigay mo sa kanila, tama ba?

Priceless para sa akin na, I get to spend time with my family and then I get to do the things that I need to do. Kasi remote, I can bring my work anywhere.

Ano bang mabibigay mong tips lalo na sa mga newbies na nanonood?

Naniniwala ako talaga, since siguro kasi background ko teacher. Everything is learned. So, it’s a matter of understanding what you’re learning, doing something about what you've learned.

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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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