How An Overworked Wheelchair-Bound Employee Found Freedom and Fulfillment in Freelancing

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“IT’S UNFAIR!”

Not her exact words but somehow that’s how Liane felt when she realized that she’s only getting about half of the client’s payment eventhough she was doing all the work that her sister would outsource to her.

Well, she only mentioned it in jest, but there’s enough truth in that statement that forced her to create her own online profile and look for her own clients.

At that time, Liane was still a full-time remote worker for an online learning company. Her sister was still a student doing part-time freelance work to support her studies. Until Lian reached a point where she felt she was no longer happy with her job so she decided to explore new opportunities as a freelancer.

What were the circumstances that led to Liane’s transition from employee to freelancer?

How did freelancing change her life? And how has it impacted her as a differently-abled person?

Find out how she did it on this replay.

Notable Quotes:

  • I decided na mag create nang profile ko sa Upwork. 
  • Tapos hindi pala ganun yun kadali, ang daming snob na client. Siyempre baguhan ka pa lang wala pang experience, and completely empty yung profile mo. 
  • Tapos, ayun sinasabay ko pa rin sa full-time work yung pag.a.apply.apply. Until one time, finally may nakapansin na ng profile ko and it might have been the lowest rate client that I ever had pero I learned big time sa kanya.
  • Sa kanya ako natuto ng maraming bagay, ng maraming tools about freelancing, and marketing and management and all. 
  • May isa pang client na nakapansin ng profile ko, and luckily for me long term yung position, tapos surprising at that time is tinaasan niya yung rate  na mas mataas pa sa kung anong nasa profile ko.
  • Kaya sabi ko, o cge na nga i.grab ko na to. Mag.resign na ako dun sa company and totally mag fre.frelance na ako.
  • Hindi ko inakala na sunod sunod na yung client ko, as in dagsa. Tapos ang dami ko ng nire.reject na interview. 
  • Yun yung time na gusto ko ng mag.give-up kasi parang ang dami-dami-dami na ng ginagawa ko. Pero yun yung time na nag-enroll ako sa master class ni sir J.
  • Kasi the program promised to help you earn more while working less and na achieve ko naman yun sir J. Thank you.
  • Inapply ko yung mga natutunan ko sa master class mo. How to market myself, how to value myself`and luckily for me na naka.attract naman ako nang high-value client as a general VA, na I don’t have to work full-time para maka earn nang full time.
  • Wala kang mararating kung mag.stay ka lang dun sa self-doubt,self pity. So for a time andun ako pero I choose to move forward and face nalang the challenges.
  • Just to help more. Kasi you are blessed to bless others. So yun lang help more people.
  • Dati ako lang yung nakaka.receive nang mga tasks,ngayon ako na yung nag a.outsource.
  • Kasi gusto ko munang ma.master yung in’s and outs nang isang skill or nang any filed or whatever bago ako mag.jump into another.
  • Enjoy the process and of course, great things takes time.
  • Yung aproach mo dapat is paano mo sila matutulungan, yun lang naman yung palaging effective way. 
  • Live an intentional life that applies to every aspect. 
  • Kasi if you know your core values and intention hindi ka basta-basta susuko. Pag.alam mo yung gusto mong mangyari sa buhay mo, you won’t be easily swayed by a negative situations and toxic people.
  • Continue to develop your skills and abilities. Focus not on your limitation but for your potential.

Liane’s Journey to Freelancing:

  • Liane is PWD, a wheelchair bound, because of her SMA (Spinal muscular atrophy)  condition, a disease that robs people of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe.
  • Before she got into freelancing, she was once a remote full-time employee into an online learning company and was assigned to the operations department.

    Which she has responsibilities in tech support, data entry, paper reports, a mix of all works.

  • While her older sister is a freelancer in data entry already to support her studies.
  • From time to time, Liane’s sister outsources her data entry works to Liane because sometimes her older sister is busy with school. 
  • And for Liane it was okay because it was an extra income for her already, but and the back of her head, she felt like it was unfair because she does all the work and yet she gets a low salary only.
  • So she decided to create a profile on Upwork, but it was not that easy. There were snob clients and the fact that she doesn’t have the needed experience and had a completely empty profile.
  • She still pursues applying in Upwork while working in her remote full-time job.
  • And finally, someone noticed her profile, though he was the lowest rate client she ever had. But she learned big time from that client with all the tools in freelancing and marketing and management and all.
  • Even though she knew that she could earn much more in freelancing, she is scared to let go of her full-time work, the remote employment job, because she knew that in freelancing it is not always stable, and she was thinking that if next month will she still have a salary.
  • But there was this one client who noticed her profile, and luckily for her, that client offered her much higher than what was on her profile.
  • That was when she decided to finally let go of her remote full-time job.
  • Even that she got a low pay rate client, she was still thankful because, from that client, she learned a lot that eventually she was able to use in her current work.
  • Liane also went through difficult moments wherein she thought of giving up because of her over workload. She got a lot of offers which result in rejecting some of the interviews.
  • That time she enrolled in Jason Dulay’s master class, the VA Bootcamp. The program promised to help to earn more while working less where she was able to achieve.
  • Liane got 7 clients at that time she was enrolled in Bootcamp
  • Liane started freelancing year 2015 and in just 1 year she got 7 clients.
  • With the help of VA Bootcamp, Liane finally learned how she could earn a full-time rate without working full-time. She manages to get a high pay rate client and earn a lot while working less.


Q & A Higlights:

Did you learn anything at that time that you were able to apply sa freelancing mo ngayon?

Yeah, from my previous company, it played a vital role sa pagka.dicover sakin nung client na nag.offer sakin ng mataas na rate. Kasi dun ako natuto ng customer service and technical stuff. So na-apply ko naman sa pag.fre.frelance.

Was there ever a time that you felt like giving up, especially during the earlier times?

Yes, kasi nung nag fre.frelance nako hindi ko inakala na sunod.sunod na yung clients ko, As in dagsa,tapos ang dami ko nang ni.re.reject na interviews. 

Dahil sa dami na din nang ginagawa ko parang draining nako mentally at physically. Yun yung time na gusto ko nang mag.give up kasi parang ang dami-dami-dami na nag ginagawa ko. Pero yun yung time na nag enroll ako sa master class ni sir J (VA Bootcamp).

What kind of work were you doing? How were you getting the clients? What was the experience like?

Okay siya sa budget kasi ang daming niyang earnings. But then physically and mentally naman hindi siya okay kasi you’re attending to a lot of projects all at once. Nakakalito na rin minsan. Kasi yung role ko is General VA, yun yung ino-offer ko at that time. Sobrang conflict lang sa schedules.

So General VA, like what were you doing?

From marketing, graphics, may operations din, email management, customer support, and even accounting.

How many clients you were juggling at the same time?

I think 5 to 7clients at that time.

Did you learn anything from burning-out? And how were you able to balance that nowadays?

Yung master class ni sir Jason,yun talaga yung nakatulong sa akin para magkaroon ako nang work-life balance. 

What are the biggest changes that you made that contribute to your success now?

Siguro it is coming from the genuine side of wanting to help the client. And valuing your work. 

What do you do normally in your day?

Dati ginagawa ko gigising ako para mag.trabaho tapos hanggang hapon na yun, wala na akong energy. Ngayon yung mornings ko is for my passion project, either I make my art or read, personal development. Tapos pag-hapon, kasi half a day lang ako nag.wo-work, ginagawa ko na yung  mga client tasks hanggang 5-6 pm. And then relax-relax nalang.

Right now that you are a General VA, are you focus on a specific skill?

Nasa operation pa rin ako at then konting customer support. No marketing related work.

How to make the relationship between client and freelancer be a bit more harmonous rather than a Boss and an employee?

I think you should take it into a personal level na care about the client, hindi lang sa business niya, well-being niya in general. And mag suggests ka ng workflow nang business para makita niya na may authority ka.

What do you think the biggest challenge that you encountered?

Siguru yung procrastination. Kasi since free kana ang hirap na sabihin sa sarili na kailangan gawin mo ito gawin mo yan.

How to build your confidence to your client?

Practice and mistakes. Learn from our mistakes.

What’s the best thing being a freelancer?

Time. Yung mas marami na akong time ngayon for my passion and to the people I love.

Have you ever had an inconsiderate client? And what do you do with them?

Dati may mga clients na may mga deadlines, sinasabi ko na upfront na kung hindi ko talaga kaya, Im not afraid to push the deadlines. Just be honest with your client pag hindi talaga kaya.

You still have time to read, despite your work, how are you managing this?

Setting priority and Discipline.

What your next goal?

Niche down to email marketing. And sa life, just want to have more kasi you are blessed to bless others.

Is there an ultimate goal for right now in freelancing?

Yung magkaroon ako nang sariling agency. Build an agency. 

When is that gonna happen?

2 years from now. Kasi next year I want to niche down and maybe it will take me 1 year for that.

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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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