Subscribe to updates
Get updates of interviews and tips via email
She's a full-time homemaker who used to be a guidance officer/HR personnel.
She ventured into the freelancing world because she wanted to work anytime at the comfort of her home.
Even though her Upwork profile didn’t get approved immediately, she was able to get an online tutoring project.
It wasn’t an easy road, there were several encounters with scams, but she learned a lot from these experiences.
She persevered. She has the fire to use her office skills and get a stable income for her family while staying at home.
Get to know how she got started.
What are her challenges and how she dealt with them.
And of course, how she gets her clients.
Watch this replay.
Watch out for Charm Gozar’s story on how she went from being a mom working a time-consuming corporate job and losing her self-worth to becoming a successful freelancer and businesswoman and finally, regaining her self-worth.
- Notable Quotes
- Nung nagkaroon ako ng baby nung nasa maternity leave ako, sabi ko, "How can I leave the baby ng ganito?" So nag-browse and then nakita ko sa facebook ads, merong preggy na nagcocomputer na nasa higaan. So that was the VA Bootcamp ads. So syempre po nacurious po ako. "Paano?" "Pwede ba?" "Pwede ba yon na nandun ako sa bahay na kumikita pa rin ako?”
- So talagang thankful po ako sa freelancing - sa pagiging virtual assistant. Kasi on the side of my tutorial, nagagamit ko pa or may dagdag talagang income yung freelancing sakin.
- Pwede ka anytime palitan so kailangan din tuloy-tuloy po yung learning natin as freelancer.
- Depression po ay totoo pero malalabanan po yun kapag alam mo yung self-worth mo. Sigurado ka dun sa sarili mo kahit na sino yung mang-ghost sayo o sino man yung manloko sayo kung client man yan o kahit sino, kung alam mo sa sarili mo yung worth mo, hinding-hindi ka po masheshake or di ka matatamaan.
- Kadalasan po sa mga clients ko nagugulat ako. Kasi pag yung isa ko pong client ay hindi Upwork, nagsesend lang po ako sa kanya ng invoice based sa ginagamit naming tracker. Pinapakita ko naman po sa kanya and then nagugulat ako. Eto siningil ko pero ang ibabayad niya sobra dun sa siningil ko. Pag nag-thank you ako, favorite ko yung sinasabi niya sakin, "You're worth it".
- Nung kalagitnaan ng pandemic, nasira po yung laptop na ginagamit ko so nagchat ako sa kanya [client]. So tinanong niya how much is the computer edi nagtingin ako kung magkano. Nung sinabi ko yung magkano yung computer dun sa dollar rate, nagulat ako in a few minutes pinadalhan niya na ako. So hanggang ngayon, yun yung gamit kong computer. Sabi ko nga hindi ko na siya sisingilin sa mga susunod na buwan pero sabi niya. "No, we're good. It's my gift to you".
- It's not always about money kapag virtual assistant or freelancing. So papano mo din mapapakita sa client na you're worth it, na worth ka dun sa binabayad, worth ka dun sa trust na binibigay nila sayo.
- Dun sa pag ginawa mo - yung tamang value, yung pagiging honest mo, may ibibigay sayo ang Panginoon na tamang client para sayo dahil reward mo yun. Makikita ni Lord na mapapagkatiwalaan ka dun sa ginagawa mong mga work so ibibigay niya sayo yung tamang client, in His proper time.
- Yung worth mo ay kung papano mo din matutulungan yung client mo to grow, kung sa business nila. Kasi pag nag-grow ang business nila, kasabay ka. Maggrogrow ka din.
- Kapag nagwork ka as virtual assistant, know your value and your time value para yung clients mo mabigay nila yung trust nila sayo.
- Possible na kumita kahit nasa bahay po. Patuloy po ang journey kahit nasa bahay lalong lalo na po sa mga housewife po diyan. Wag po kayo papayag na sasabihan po kayo ng "Wala kang ginagawa" "Umaasa ka lang sa ganyan". Ito po meron po tayong freelancing. Meron po tayong Virtual Assistant na matatawag at pwedeng pwede po tayong matuto at kumita kahit na nasa bahay po tayo.
III. Journey to Freelancing
- Charm worked for three years as a Sales and Marketing staff in a bank before transferring to a prestigious school in Manila to serve as an HR staff.
- Eventually, she became bored and lost her self-worth as an HR employee since she felt no growth or progress in it at all. There was an excessive amount of paperwork, and her job was routine.
- She wanted a career that's relevant to her field of study, Psychology, so she jumped at the chance to work as a Guidance Officer at the same school. Although her job demanded a lot of time, it made her happy in some way. Her timetable was Monday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- After some time, she married. When she gave birth during her maternity leave, she realized she cannot leave her baby alone. So she had to figure out a way to care for the baby while also working and earning money.
- She was on Facebook when she came across an advertisement for VA Bootcamp where a pregnant lady could earn money while staying at home. She became curious and started researching to avoid falling victim to a scam.
- In 2019, she discovered and joined the FLIP community on Facebook, which had over 100,000 members at the time. Just in time, a meetup of freelancers and coaches took held near her home in Circuit, Makati. She attended and listened to the stories and pieces of advice from different freelancers.
- Charm gathered the courage to enroll in the VA Bootcamp course when she realized that her corporate background wouldn't be enough to get her profile approved on Upwork. She knows it will be beneficial for her freelancing career.
- She entered the Guided Hustle Challenge after completing the course. She didn't think it was enough, so she participated in internships to learn more and gain valuable experience.
- Her first internship was in content creation and graphic design. She was amazed at herself. She couldn’t believe she could do content writing and graphic designing.
- The desire for new experiences didn't end there. She became a Marketing intern after her first internship. And because of the hands-on experience she gained as an intern, her Upwork profile got approved.
- Her journey, however, was not as easy as you might imagine. She had a fair share of negative experiences at the start of her freelancing career. She'd get clients through OLJ, but after submitting her outputs and sending them the invoice, they'd disappear. Her efforts were not getting rewarded. This made her question her worth.
- Aside from freelancing, she earned money through tutoring services. Before the pandemic, she tutored ten kids full-time. But when the pandemic started, her tutoring business sank. Problems began piling up. There was no money coming in. She needed to pay her internet bills. It was challenging enough for her before the pandemic, but it became tougher when covid surged.
- Today, Charm is a businesswoman and a part-time virtual assistant for two clients, in addition to tutoring three kids twice a week. She wants to win her clients' trust, which is why she's in charge of both their eCommerce and social media. She sees it as an opportunity to develop more skills and become an invaluable virtual assistant.
- She’s grateful for freelancing as it allows her to supplement her income during the pandemic.
- She believes in the advice of other coaches, which is to master skills and find a niche. But since some skills are correlated, she’s open to learning new ones.
- Question and Answer
Gaano kailangan ang talent sa graphic design? Kailangan bihasa po ba agad?
Hindi naman kailangan bihasa. Nung student intern po ako, dun po, yung Canva madaling i-navigate so malaking tulong. Di po kailangan expert para maging graphic designer. Though meron pang graphic designer na hinahanap ang mga client na gusto talaga nila expert na.
As a psychologist naman, gaano ba katindi ang self-worth para sa isang freelancer?
Kapag di ka aware sa self-worth mo at nadala ka sa mga negative na nangyari sayo ay pwede siyang mauwi sa tinatawag na depression. Depression po ay totoo pero malalabanan yun kapag alam mo yung self-worth mo. Sigurado ka dun sa sarili mo kahit na sino yung mang-ghost sayo o manloko sayo, kung client man yan o kahit sino, hinding-hindi ka mashe-shake. Matatamaan ka ng sadness pero hindi depression. Yun yung kahalagahan ng alam mo yung self-worth mo. Kasi pag nawala yun, mashe-shake ka na and mahirap makabalik.
Paano po pala natin malalaman kung you are a good virtual assistant?
Para sa akin po, pagiging honest dun sa time at tasks na pinapagawa satin. Ginawa ba natin yung best natin or ginawa lang natin yung "pwede na yan may mapasa lang"? Para sa akin, yun yung qualities ng pagiging good virtual assistant - na pwede kang pagkatiwalaan, nakikita ka man niya [client] o hindi.
Anong software ho ang ginagamit sa graphic design?
Nung wala pang Canva, I'm using Photoshop. Nung wala pang Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator yung ginagamit. Yung dalawa ay pang-expert kasi kapag ginamit mo yun ay from the scratch ginagawa lahat. Hindi katulad sa Canva ay meron pong template na pwede mong laruin, ilipat mo lang, ibahin mo ng scheme or colors. Parang may sarili ka din na ginawa.
Ano po yung paid courses na kinuha mo sa VA Bootcamp?
Yung complete package po. Malaking tulong na po siya sa freelancing kasi nung in-open ko po yun, may mga eye-opener.
How do you compel your clients to give you more work?
I tried to reduce the time and mag-focus. Kasi pag nakita nila na mahaba pa yung time na di mo nagamit at may naisip siyang idagdag, sasabihin ko agad na kaya ko. Kung talagang may time ka na, gawin mo na. Focus on it and submit na agad para di ka na mag-isip at kung may ipapa-revise siya ay mabago na agad and then submit. Dun niyo po makukuha yung trust ng client to give more tasks.
In your failure experiences as a freelancer, may instance po ba na how you will handle an employer na hindi satisfied sa atin as a freelancer? I mean yung services natin na ibinibigay sa kanila. Baka kasi masira lalo yung good record natin as freelancer. [If you underperform, does that affect your career as a freelancer?]
Yes po. May clients na mataas talaga yung expectation lalo na kung ang nakalagay sa kanilang mga job description, “I need expert” o “no need to be expert”. Ang advise ko bago magsubmit ng proposal, make sure basahin niyong mabuti yung job descripton and then tignan niyo po talaga kung kaya niyo panindigan para di kayo ma-underrate.