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Solo Parent Thrives as a Freelance Sales Development Representative

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“Sarap kase talaga sa bahay lalo na kumikita ka ng di mo akalaing kikitain mo.” -Cristina

Whether we like it or not, our finances are greatly affected during tough times like this.

Especially for those who are no work, no pay.

With some having only one meal a day.

Not because they’re into intermittent fasting, but because they have no choice.

What more if you’re the sole provider in the family. Even if you want to go out and look for a job, wala eh.

Good thing for ex-bank employee Cristina, she now thrives as a freelance sales development rep sa bahay lang.

She got tired of travelling to and back from work. Luckily, she heard about this freelancing thing.

“I heard from friends na maganda naman kita which will of course depend on our sipag at tyaga.”

And I’m happy to share with you that she’s now getting the fruits of her “sipag at tyaga.”

She can even buy more than she needs.

Wondering how this solo parent did it?

Did she use some sort of magic to succeed?

Let’s find out on this replay here.

Introduction

A former bank employee, Ms. Tina chose to enter the world of freelancing due to her situation as a solo parent. Right now, she is enjoying her current job as Sales Development Representative (SDR), and thinks that the perfect word to describe her life right now is BLESSED.

Find out how this solo parent thrives as a freelance sales development representative and her journey how she got to where she is right now. You’ll also hear some tips on how to get your perfect client.

Notable Quotes

  •  Although sinabi ko kanina na nagcapitalize ako from what I learned from call center experience, no it’s not easy. Siguro everyone would say that. Pero iyon ang mentality ko kasi noon, kasi nga solo parent ako. So the big why for me is really survival namin.
  • Kailangan maghahanap buhay ako kasi may anak ako. Ako lahat. Hindi ako tumigil ang iniisip ko kailangan meron. Kailangan meron.
  •  So ayun sipagan mo lang. Sipagan mo lang, kikita ka ng on top of your basic na maliit.
  • Kasi dito sa freelancing that’s one thing that I’ve learned. To never stop learning, upscaling. Para, especially if you want to redirect your path. So never stop learning.
  • Although siyempre iyong mga advice na nakita ko rin from there na capitalize muna on what you have. I guess from the experts na capitalize from what you have.
  •  Kumbaga walang maliit, walang malaking project sa atin. Basta ang isipin mo, do your best. Basta always be at your best and learn from there.
  •  It’s not easy. Siguro I would say na wala naman yatang madali lalo na sa umpisa. Kasi iyong kaba nandoon din, nandoon pa rin.
  • Siguro iyon ang isa kong tip, aralin and at the same time kunyari alam na alam mo yong sinasabi mo. Although sometimes nag-ba-buckle ka rin. And have your script right in front of you all the time. Kasi no matter how expert you are, there are times, there are moments, na may lapses tayo lalo kapag gabi. At least you’ll get back to track kapag naalala mo, “hoy, lumilihis na ako.” And nangyayari iyon, nangyayari iyon sa antok.
  • Well luckily, for in my case, I would always go with the base pay. And I make sure naman,  I work when I work when I say I work so may tracker naman. And at the same time, of course yung commission on top. Basta sayang kasi it’s not just kasi meron pumapayag na commission lang. I advice  guys not to. Kasi meron kang effort, meron kang oras. And sa ganito hindi mo alam kung kelan ang pasko. Kung marami kang makukuha so, it’s not just the appointment that you are being paid, your effort, your time. Especially sa ganito mostly gabi kasi we have to reach out to people from the US or other countries na gising sila. So base pay and commission.
  • Magstick ka doon sa value mo. Kasi you have to value yourself first before other would value you.
  • Huwag kang papaabuso kasi hindi madaling magpuyat. Hindi madaling magdadaldal sa telepono.
  • You don’t have to tell them na newbie ka. Maging confident ka sa sarili mo, but not overly confident. That’s another thing.  
  • If you could do things ahead, like iyong kapag wala kang pasok, do it right there.  
  • Actually hindi ko inisip na dito ako malilinya sa sales kasi I don’t think myself na magaling sa sales. Pero kapag nandyan ka na inaral mo, yun matututo. Pero una syempre dapat bago ka magapply dito, communication skills is number 1. Kasi nga papaano ka makakaconvince ng tinatawagan mo if you sound not convincing like uutal utal ka. Parang hindi mo alam iyong sinasabi mo. So paano sila maniniwala sayo? It’s really important that magaling ka na. Hindi naman sobrang accent basta lang alam mong iexpress nang maayos iyong sinasabi mo, clear.  
  • Talagang masasabaw ka kapag kulang sa tulog. As in kahit anong galing mo, kahit anong tagal mo na diyan sa ginagawa mo, lack of sleep would really ruin whatever you have, as in lulutang ka. 
  • Kapag nakuha nyo na iyong gusto nyong client, ay naku huwag nyo nang pakawalan. And always be at your best sa client integrity. Yes, the integrity matters a lot. So kahit walang nakatingin, do it. Always be at your best. 
  • You really have to weigh which one to give up. Just so in case syempre pera tayo di ba. Kung saan tayo kikita ng husto, and you have to explain as well. Siguro ang magandang sabihin, open ka doon sa pinag-aplayan mo na meron akong existing at they accept or you know they still hire you, then ibig sabihin okay lang. Tiwala sila sa kakayanan mo. And then when the time comes na ganito na, ikaw mismo, ikaw ang makakaramdam noon, kaya ko ba? Iyong iba kasi kinakaya. Ako kasi personally ayoko ng kinakaya ko lang. Kailangan kong pag nagbigay ako gusto ko magandang, 100% talaga na todo bigay yong trabaho. Kasi iyon nga  macocompensate ka naman. Babalik at babalik yung nilet go mo. 
  • Well actually, it depends on how– what your goal is. So, kumbaga nga di ba iyong success naman natin is subjective. Depending on what– how far you would like to go. But kasi syempre ako, hindi talaga madali ang solo parent kasi you have to balance yung home management and of course you earning money. So, hindi pwede isacrifice ang one with the other. 
  • But at the end of the day, kailangan reevaluate mo yung sarili mo. Kailangan ko silang preho. The reason why ako nag wowork is because of my son, my only family di ba? So you have to get back. 
  • One important thing or characteristic or trait of an SDR is being resilient. Kailangan hindi ka sensitive na, “Oh, nareject ako ni ano, ayoko na.” So you have to be resilient, kasi that’s part of it.
  •  Hindi ka susuko dapat. Kapag sumuko ka ikaw ang talo. 

Journey to Freelancing

  • She started her career as a bank employee for ten years.
  • After that, she went to the BPO industry and worked in the call center for 9 years.
  • She decided to quit the BPO industry when their company relocated to MOA due to the centralization of the account. She doesn’t like to have a long commute back and forth because she thinks it’s a waste of time. 
  • She heard about freelancing from her friends from BPO.
  • She started freelancing last 2016 where she thought that freelancing is just like being in a call center but inside the comfort of your home. 
  • Upon hearing about the opportunities in freelancing, she immediately created an account in Upwork (Odesk during that time). But she didn’t apply yet.
  • She also created an account in OnlineJobs PH
  • She got her first job in freelancing as an appointment setter. Her rate during that time was $2.50 per hour plus a commission which is $2 per appointment. It only lasted for a month or two.
  • Her next job was for a fixed rate of 20,000 pesos and it lasted for 6 months. She learned a lot from this job but decided to leave due to some personal reasons.
  • She saw one of Jayson’s ads and was amazed. That was also the time that she found out about the courses and learned that there are different niches involved in freelancing.
  • She started taking up free courses and later on enrolled in the Bookkeeping course. From there she learned about the basic tools used in freelancing, the different platforms in freelancing, and some tips on how to be good in this craft.
  • She got a part-time job in Upwork as Professional Resume Writer, using the skills she got from her previous job.
  • After this, she also got another part-time job wherein the pay is way better than the 20,000 pesos fixed-rate. Her employer also admitted that it was their first time to hire a foreigner. 
  • Although the pay was great, she never stopped looking for a better job because the projects are few and she knew that she can’t stay in that situation forever. 
  • That was the time she got her first SDR (Sales Development Representative) job and it was the turning point of her life. Although she needed to let it go again because the schedule is fixed and she was already having a hard time balancing work and her home duties.
  • Until she found her current job, who offered her a flexible time and better pay. It was offered to her while she was still having her part-time job as an appointment setter, which she eventually gave up and decided to focus on her job right now.  

 

Q&A Highlights

How much have you learned out of the free course that we’ve given?

I would say a lot. Unang una doon ko nga nalaman iyong maraming basic tools na hindi ko naman alam. So inaral aral ko ng konti, tapos iyong iba pang mga freelancing platforms doon ko nalaman. And of course, yung mga tips.

So which niche did you finally settled with?

Ayun na nga dun pa rin ako sa voice bumabalik. Although nagenroll pa rin, kasi by profession accountant ako. Kaya yun ang kinuha ko kay Jayson. Sabi ko, sige nga sawa na kasi ako sa calls, kasi nga ilang years na ako sa call center, why not use my profession naman. Since wala naman akong idea online, so yun ang kinuha ko. But probably dun pa rin ako binabalik where I’m comfortable at. And where I’m making money.

Tell us more about what SDR really means. Ano ba ang dapat gawin for those who might not be aware of SDR? 

So SDR is Sales Development Representative. Iyon ang stands for SDR. Yung iba tinatawag nilang appointment setter. Technically ang work mo is to outreach and get some leads para ibabato mo naman sa sales. Iyon yong technically but we also do some lead mining on the side. Sa appointment setting kasi purely calls lang sila.

 

How were you able to manage your time, especially ang SDR, very time demanding and being a solo parent as well, doble doble ang responsibilities mo? So how were you able to manage it?

Medyo mahirap din. Mahirap talaga. Although malaki na yong anak ko, still, of course, you have to manage your home. Iyong first ko kasi it was like– the first one, not the current one. Kasi this is my second gig as SDR. The very first one was I had a fixed schedule. So dun mas struggled ako. Ang nangyayari kain tulog sa araw. Ang ginagawa ko, kapag Saturday and Sunday–, not Saturday kasi iyong Saturday mo galing ka sa Friday shift noon. So yung Sunday and Monday nagpreprare na ako ng foods. Nagluluto na ako ng medyo ilang putahe so reheat na lang kami during weekdays. Kapag kinulang at least meron nang pangprito prito na lang diyan. And sometimes you have to go to school to attend mga meeting pa rin. Struggle talaga pero kailangan. Kapag may time matulog, matulog talaga. At if you could do things ahead, yung kapag wala kang pasok, do it right there. Because I really have to–, iyong time ko talaga kapag may work, may work talaga. So kailangan I have at least enough na tulog sa araw para makabangon ulet sa gabi. 

I was gonna ask you a while ago, being a solo parent and having to focus on SDR, which I mentioned is very time demanding, is there ever a compromise? Meron ba yung time na nasabi mo na, hindi ko pwedeng gawin yan dahil sa work, or you can also say meron kang irereject na task sa freelancing because you have some responsibilities as a parent. Was there ever a time na nangyari iyan?

Siguro yes doon sa una ko kasi nga nakafixed so medyo guilty ako doon. I have to prioritize yong time sa work. Kaso minsan naneneglect ko yung ibang concerns ng anak ko. Although kapag talagang kailangan, kumbaga kapag alam ko naman na medyo pwedeng hindi ako umattend, baka naman. Or sometimes nagkukwento yung anak ko, parang hindi ako nakikinig kasi antok na antok ako. Alam ko yong feeling na makikita mo na lang yong reaction niya na, ano ba naman yan parang hindi naman ako iniintindi. That’s the sad part before nung nkafixed nga ako. Ngayon kasi sobrang ganda nitong work ko, sobrang blessed ako to have this flexi sched and a lot better sa pay. 

Are you happy with where you are right now Ms. Tina?

I cannot express how happy I am in words. I would say sobrang blessed. That’s probably the best word to describe anong meron ako ngayon. Kasi apart from having a flexi time, I was given also more than the regular amount of time 

 

How many clients do you have now Ms. Tina?

Isa nga kasi di ba nilet go ko na yung isa. Pero I made sure na I was compensated saka, you really have to weigh kung which one to give up if so in case.

Newbie here, just started freelancing course. If I may ask, how did you give up your previous client?

I have to weigh which is which. Well obviously nandito pa rin ako for over a year. But you have to make sure you get yourself compensated for what you have lost.

How long did it take you to get a client?

Kapag nararamdaman ko na hindi ako magsstay dito, like yung very first, humahanap na ako. So nagaapply apply na ako. Kumbaga para makapili ka ng alin ang tatanggapin mo in place of this. Kailangan lagi ka pa rin may back up.

 

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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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