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How the VA Bootcamp Internship Program Helped a Data Entry Specialist Survive The Pandemic

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You probably heard of Oprah and Steve Jobs.

Oprah being one of the best talk show hosts.

And Steve being the co-founder of Apple.

But who’s Josie?

You’ll find out on this replay.

She shared her freelancing success story with us — specifically how a data entry specialist survived the pandemic.

Introduction

Josie was an introvert and was diagnosed to have bipolar disorder. She used to struggle with her health and finances. After a year of freelancing, she now enjoys working with her client and earns more than enough to address their needs.

She shares her inspiration on her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/WordtoLiveBy, to inspire not just freelancers but everyone. With all the adversities she went through, this is her way of giving back the glory to our God.

 Notable Quotes

  • The experiences I have had with VAB really boosted my confidence and broadened my horizon in freelancing. I got some support from fellow freelancers and coaches. From nobody to somebody. From inexperienced to experienced. So much gratitude to Sir Jason Dulay and the VAB family. Above all, I’m very grateful to God for how he arranges everything. Truly he is a God of order and an amazing God. Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him and who have been called according to his purpose.
  • Lord, pwede po bang makahingi ng mabuti at regular na client who is willing to pay me at my rate, $8 per hour? God, in His goodness, binigay nya yung mabuti at regular na client, pero yung rate hindi. Ika nga, man proposes but God disposes.
  • Sabi nya sa akin, “Keep in mind that no matter how good you are, no matter how much you believe in the product and the company, Facebook is almost the worst place for negativity. The customers annoy each other. Many posts are not our customers. It is very difficult to stay positive.” She always encourages me.
  • Yung mother client ko, sabi nya, “Don’t let FB get you down Josie. You’re doing a great job. People get stressed this time of year, big time. You just let me know if there’s anything you need to respond and I can help you out.” …I know how busy she is, so much grateful po.
  • Sa trabaho po kasi hindi ko na iniisip yung hiya-hiya.Hindi naman nila alam na mahiyain ako. Basta I need to work. I need to earn.
  • I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe there’s a better thing in store for me. God has prepared something better. Yan lang po ang iniisip ko. You have to be positive always. Good things will happen.
  • When I started getting back to freelancing sabi ko kay Lord, “Lord, I want you to be my partner sa freelancing business ko po.” In the bible, it is written there that 10% of your earnings, you have to give it to the Lord. Kung saan ka kumukuha ng spiritual nourishment, dun mo ibigay yung 10%. Sometimes I divide it as church po and sa community namin sa Couples for Christ.
  • We don’t know what the future has. Hindi natin alam kung ano. Basta gawin lang po natin kung ano yung tama. Let’s always have love in our hearts, willing to help others. Kung ano yung dreams mo, lift it up to the Lord.
  • Freelancing is at times overwhelming so there are times when you don’t know which path to take on, yet when you trust the Lord and do everything you can, the outcome is amazing and God uses varied means to help you out.
  • As Mr. Jim Reyes once said, “I planted hope and I know that hope will not return to me empty. How it grows, when it grows, it depends on how good you wait.” And lastly, pray, be patient, and be persistent.

 

Journey to Freelancing

  • Josie is a BS Information Technology graduate from Northeastern Cebu Colleges.
  • She was a data entry specialist in a company in Cebu City. It took her 1-2 hours to get to work every day and with heavy traffic, longer.
  • She reached a point when she felt that she had the weight of the world on her shoulders and suffered from depression and was later on diagnosed to have bipolar disorder. Her mom’s dedication in taking care of her inspired her to become better.
  • While in the process of healing, her cousin and his wife introduced her to freelancing. She used to borrow a PC to do her tasks. In 2012, she started freelancing and worked as a data entry specialist and web researcher.
  • Her parents wanted her to work outside where she can socialize with other people instead of being stuck in the house.
  • Her stage fright and fear of reporting didn’t stop her from applying for a job as an ESL teacher in a Korean school where she was eventually hired and became a regular teacher.
  • She was under medication for several years and was told by her doctor that it’s possible for her to be drug-dependent. She prayed fervently and by God’s grace, she was finally taken off her medication.
  • In 2017, she had the chance to work in a call center until she got pregnant with their first baby. She was excited because she got pregnant a year after getting married although, despite her OB’s efforts, it resulted in a stillbirth.
  • She worked as a home-based ESL teacher there for a year and a half. She experienced having a rate of P54 but was penalized for P300. That’s when she decided to try freelancing again. She tried to apply through Upwork but felt that it was congested and had to compete globally.
  • Her journey with VAB started from an enticing FB ad made by Sir LJ. It was with a mom who carries a newborn baby while she’s doing her online job at home. That ad offered a free course which she finished in five days. She got excited to learn more so she waited for a chance to have enough money to enroll in the accelerated course.
  • In August 2019, she got her SSS maternity benefit which was supposed to be used to pay their debts. She asked for her husband’s permission to use the funds to enroll in the VAB course.
  • After finishing the course in September 2019, she attempted to join the Guided Hustle twice but, on both times, the slots were already filled that she couldn’t join. Fortunately, she was chosen to replace one of the hired admin VA interns in October 2019.
  • In November 2019, she was finally able to join the Guided Hustle Challenge. The GHC helped her improve her profile, cover letters, and consistency in sending cover letters.
  • December 2019 – She was hired as a FLIP moderator and was excited about what she would experience during the internship. She was a little bit stressed at first because she was given deadlines for the contents that they needed to post for a specific day. As time went by, she was filled with happiness as she accomplished the tasks given to her with a lot of lessons learned. She was also able to work with other friendly and kind interns.
  • While working as a FLIP moderator, she stumbled upon a job post looking for a Social Media Moderator that fits exactly what she was doing as a FLIP intern moderator. She was interviewed in December and sent a follow up on the 13th of January. She started working for her current client on January 14th, 2020.

Q&A Highlights

Mula nung sinabi ni client yan sayo, um-OK ka na ba? Kaya mo nang harapin ulit yung mga nakaka-stress na mga comment at saka messages?

Yes po. Parang so much grateful lang po talaga. Parang ang galing ni Lord pa rin. Para sa ‘kin si Lord po yung nag-touch sa client ko. Si Lord ang nagbigay ng client ko. So much grateful po.

Paano mo napasagot ang asawa mo sa simula’t simula pa lang, supportive sya sa pagf-freelance mo? Hindi ba nag-oppose si husband?

Hesitant po sya pero I was determined to do freelancing. I do believe na may ROI. I can get a client. I was very positive at that time na makakakuha ako just like others na mga successful na rin. I was also watching success stories before and I even wrote in the comment na “I want to inspire someday.”

Bakit hindi ka agad-agad bumalik sa freelancing?

Yun po yung gusto ng parents ko at that time. They want me to mingle with others.

Hindi mo ba yan magagawa while freelancing? Don’t you have hobbies or hindi ka ba lumalabas pagkatapos ng tasks mo?

Hindi po. Minsan natutulog lang po.

How difficult was the life of a freelancer during the Odesk times?

Sa data entry parang nag-eencode ka lang ng mga data so it wasn’t difficult that much.

What about the income? I-measure mo yung income vs time and effort. Was it justified?

Parang nung time na yun, no choice kasi yun yung rate. Inaccept ko na lang po kasi naghahanap ng pera.

Sabi mo nga introvert ka, and yet pagdating sa work, aggressive ka. How are you able to combat that e mahiyain ka nama and yet, gusto mong sumugod pa rin. Paano mo na-mamanage yung ganyan?

Sa trabaho po kasi hindi ko na iniisip yung hiya-hiya.Hindi naman nila alam na mahiyain ako. Basta I need to work. I need to earn.

Were you ever disappointed every time na napuno na yung slots, you’re a little to late to apply?

 Hindi naman po kasi I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe there’s a better thing in store for me. God has prepared something better. Yan lang po ang iniisip ko. You have to be positive always. Good things will happen.

It has been a year in your freelancing journey. Nabayaran mo na ba ang mga utang mo?

Yes po. But recently lang po, yung papa ko po kasi, sya yung nanghiram ng ibang utang. Bago ko pa lang nalaman na dapat palang bayaran yun, so I have to pay for it pa. Isa na lang siguro.

Yung ninong po namin sa kasal, malaki ang nahiram namin sa kanila so nung first ko pong sahod, yung balance ko pa talagang binayaran namin.

Nakaahon ka na, it has been a year and nakaahon ka na?

Yes po. Nakabili na rin kami ng motor. Second hand but it looks good. It looks new.

So hindi mo lang nabayaran yung mga utang mo, nakabili pa kayo ng motor?

Yes po. Ito pong upuan po nabili ko po. Kasi noon, plastic chair.

What about your headset? Kasi nasabi mo, pinahiram pa yung headset sayo?

Yes, I was able to buy one before and this one is new din po, last week para lang sa JSU.

By the time you finished your lessons, how long did it take you to finally get a client?

I finished the course in September. Four months. I got a client in January.

Sa loob ng four months na yun, bina-bother ka ba ni husband?

Opo. Hindi ko pinapakinggan yung mga sinasabi nya. Patuloy pa rin.

Ano po sabi ni husband mo ngayong successful ka na po sa freelancing? Naiisip pa po ba nya scam si boss Jason?

Hindi na po. Ngumingiti na po sya. Malaki na po ang ngiti. 

 

Hanggang ngayon ba ikaw pa rin ang sole breadwinner sa inyo?

Yes po. Actually my husband is working in a hotel. Chef po sya. We’re planning to have our own business pero hindi pa na pursue.

So far, with everything, nasalo naman ng freelancing ang mga needs nyo?

Yes po. More than enough. Hindi lang needs yung nabibili namin. Pati na yung wants.

Lalabas ka ba sa freelancing ulit?

I’m enjoying with my client po so wala na pong plano. Tuloy-tuloy na po.

Will you be able to manage your time na makipag-socialize at the same time with freelancing?

Yes, actually yung task ko po walang oras po so I can do it any time. Flexible time.

 

How are you able to open up to your clients despite na mahiyain ka?

I trust her na po kasi. Sya po yung mother clinet. Sya po yung mother ng dalawang clients ko rin po. Yung approach nya kasi sa amin, so kind. Parang hindi ako mag-aatubili na magsabi kung ano man ang iniisip ko po.

What’s in the future for you?

We don’t know what the future has. Hindi natin alam kung ano. Basta gawin lang po natin kung ano yung tama. Let’s always have love in our hearts, willing to help others. Kung ano yung dreams mo, lift it up to the Lord.

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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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