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Teacher Gets A New Chance At Life, Restarts Freelancing Journey

July 14, 2021
by 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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So in our FLIP Chat & Chill, we'll talk about natural disasters and how should we prepare for them.

Let's admit it.

It's not easy to handle situations like typhoons or earthquakes, among others.

Especially if we're working from home.

In fact, this is one of the biggest challenges faced by our JasSuccess guest this week.

Meet Olga.

She's a teacher.

Since her salary isn't enough, she explored and started freelancing to provide for her family and pay for her tuition to finish law school.

But what really pushed her to go back to freelancing was a near-death experience.

She really did take action and pushed herself and asked for help every time she stumbled and thought of giving up.

Now?

She's making an extra Php24-30K while still working as a public high school teacher.

So how did she manage to do this?

What's the near-death experience that brought her back to freelancing?

How she juggles her full-time job and freelancing?

Teacher Gets a New Chance at Life, Restarts Freelancing Journey - JSU 07142021

Introduction

Watch this video as Olga Victoria Cediño-Kali narrates his own freelancing journey.

Find out how she is making extra Php24-30K while still working as a public high school teacher. 

Notable Quotes

(10:44) Hindi lahat ng bagay or hindi lahat ng oras pag may tinakbuhan kang tao tutulungan ka. Sometimes you have to stand on your own. Sometimes ikaw lang talaga makakatulong sa sarili mo.

(15:55) Sabihin natin na kakakaba at first pero nakakatuwa kasi ang dami kong natututunan. I'm earning while I'm also learning. Sabi ko ito yung doors of opportunity that freelancing can give us. So if hindi ako nag lakas ng loob to step into the threshold of freelancing hindi ko makikita na may mundo pa beyond teaching. Sabi ko it's the right decision pala na I really took action and at the same time kahit sabihin nating nag take action ako. Pero kung hindi ako naniwala sa support ng tao nakapalibot sa akin siguro hindi ko makukuha yung goal ko na matuto. 

(20:13) Time management is one of the challenges we encounter. Sometimes we take this for granted, sometimes we feel like we can do it but once we are unprepared. This makes it all hard for us, gives us burnout and is too heavy sometimes. Which causes freelancers to quit because they feel that it's too hard. The solution really is time management which is nothing but a very basic concept but we can't start the job,  execute, and formulate.

(25:36) It is important that you have time for yourself. Usually we really work hard for our family. Tapos sabihin natin you are going to work from home kasi gusto natin more time with the family. How About time for yourself? So dapat pala mahalin mo rin sarili mo, you give time to pamper yourself kasi you have to recharge. Papano ka makakapag grind ng grind ng grind sa mga hustles mo kung hindi ka pa naka pagrecharge

(26:18) You also have to take in consideration yung mental health mo pati yung katawan mo, kaya pa ba?

(26:30) Minsan yang katawan kailangan siya mag pause, wag ka muna magiisip ng ganito o ganyan. Just Breath,  so yun po, kailangan lang po talaga na schedule mo, tachahin mo yung schedule mo and everything may be very hard at first, but when you get used to it, it will be seamless.

(27:18) Do not be afraid or hesitate just because of your accent because I love the accent.  It's you and truly who you are and that is what I want.

(33:25) Ngayon narealize ko hindi naman po pala masama magsabi ng No, kasi dati pag may trabaho accept lang ako ng accept sige yung sa loob-loob ko and hirap nito and dami-dami reklamo ako ng reklamo panloob. Hindi ko sinasabi sa labas na ganito na yung na-fefeel ko. Nung nagkasakit ako,  I realized na I can say no. For the sake of taking care of my body.

(38:38) I encourage you to open up. If you are endorsing freelancing to a couple of people. Wag kayong mahihiya, yung mga ikinahihiya ninyo. Ilabas ninyo kasi eventually people can relate. Ilabas niyo yang kinakahiya ninyo, nahihiya ba kayong under graduate kayo. Ako undergraduate ako, highschool undergrad. Considered middle school ngayon. So yun if you are undergrad ilabas niyo yan. Because there are plenty of undergraduates there who still aspire to be a freelancer. Mahina kayo sa english sige ilabas niyo yan because a lot of people can also relate to that. So lahat ng insecurities ninyo ilabas niyo. Graduate kayo ng mataas na paaralan sige lang endorse niyo yan. graduate kayo gn UP or medyo hindi prestigious na paaralan ilabas niyo pa din yan because people are bound to relate to you. 

 (42:12) If there are things that you want to improve in your life pero ayaw niyong or parang very conditional pa din kayo gusto kong magkapera pero ayaw kong magtrabaho. Meron naman yung extremes na yun ah or sabihin mong gusto ko ng kotse pero anu yan magdadag dag pa ko ng oras ko sa trabaho. Those are excusable those are valid reasons. If you want change to happen, you really need to change within. If you are adamant of who you are. That's a really strong word, the word adamant. Then wala talagang mangyayari sayo, magiging adamant din si tadhana sayo. Hindi pwedeng basta take ka na lang ng take. You need to also give.

(45:57) Another word is to circumvent, kapag may mga problem kayo na hindi niyo masolusyonan talaga. Circumvent is the key word there. Dahil with that word you get help. You will be inspired to get help.

(46:26) Solopreneur, hindi porket solopreneur sosolohin mo na lahat ng problems. No No... you gotta be smart enough to know when to ask for help.

(47:28) Wala tayong mapapala kung magpa paimpress tayo sa mga coaches. Nothing will you will gain, nothing from at all. Absolutely nothing, so bakit pa magpretend na to be this very intelligent person eh nahihirapan ka na pala. If you are having a hard time with your studies or projects or with you assignments. Lalo na sa guided hustle challenge or even sa pag aaral natin sa VA bootcamp, ASK. Ask your classmates, wala pong magsasabi na ang tanga tanga naman pala nito. 

(48:45) Sometimes it takes a little bit more understanding and practice. If you happen not to be that person, chances are meron kang classmates or kabatch mas marunong sayo. If that is the case, why would you hesitate in asking. Magtanong ka and express yourself. 

(58:35) Don't be afraid of the unknown, kasi nung nagsisimula ako. Actually sa advertisement pa lang, that's my biggest fear. Anu yung freelancing, anu yung mga problemang pwede kong kaharapin pag pumasok ako sa freelancing, or kakayanin ba nung knowledge and skills ko. Ang daming tanong because I really don't know anything. The fear of the unknown will really set you back to that life kailangan lang talaga siguro natin i-workout yung courage natin. To be able to forge on, kahit na alam nating di natin kabisado or any idea kung anu yung susuungin natin. Kasi when you take the chance, it is when the success that you get in the future becomes the most satisfying. 

Journey to freelancing

  • She graduated from the University of San Carlos in Cebu City with the degree of BS and Physics Chemistry. as a DOSE scholar since her mom is a single parent because her dad died early. 
  • Right after completing her degree she applied as a call center agent in Convergys. She then shifted to another job in Glaxo a pharmaceutical company as a Medical representative wherein she learned various marketing strategies. She became part of Glaxo for one and half years.
  • She needed to leave her job as a medical representative of Glaxo even though she is enjoying the perks of being part of the company. Since she has double major which took her 5 years to finish, she needed to provide her service with DOST for 5 years as well. During these years she wasn't allowed to leave the Philippines and work abroad.
  • She knew well the salary limit of the teachers in the Philippines and the benefits that she received from Glaxo will never be the same as what she gets from DOST. During her time as a teacher, she decided to pursue her masterals. However, she had rape victim students which she decided to help. That then pushed her to enter law school just to help her students that were abused. In God's grace she was able to finish law school. But it was a big challenge since she is also helping her cousin with school expenses. 
  • She discovered the Work from home roadmap year 2017 started with VA basic course. It was Jason Dulay’s video who captured her attention when she found out that he also went to the same school with her. 
  • She was able to land her online job 2017 with Bizmates even though she is still not finished with her VA course. Since she was hired that time she wasn't able to finish some of her VAB courses because she was already happy with the salary she gets from Bizmates. Aside from that she has part time transcription or data entry jobs.
  • Fast forward 2020 things eventually changed her life due to the following:
  • September 2020 when she almost died due to ischemic heart attack related to her thyroid illness which caused her hormones to spike up. Triggered by so much stress and not having enough sleep due to their preparation in transitioning to online class. She then had a near death experience.
  • She wasn’t able to continue her teaching job since she can’t still walk properly due to the heart attack. 
  • Around November 2020 through therapy she was able to slowly recover but then she can't still go back to teaching.  That's what drove her to get back to her Virtual Assistant course and finally finish it. She knew she needed to succeed on that particular journey in a freelancing career because she knows she can only count on herself. Knowing that she's been through alot of things in her life including her health issues and she doesn't have any savings. She said to herself that she needs to help herself and make sure she can support her own needs.
  • By March 2021, at first she felt shy about joining the GHC program since she finished her course in 2020 even though she enrolled in 2017. She then had courage to join since she wanted to learn and she cannot do it alone. She was lucky enough to be able to join the GHC and met some batchmates who also started their course 2017 which they call balik loob.
  • During her second week at GHC. Someone mistakenly called her which she thought was a prank call. She asked Coach Akhimi about it, if she should call them back about what they need. She was advised by Coach Akhimi to return the call to ask what they needed. She then decided to call back and figured out that the client needed someone who would fix her dating up since she needed a girlfriend. At first she thought it was a scam since it was her first time to hear about it. She asked for insight from her colleagues and Coaches. She was then advised in order to know if the work is a scam. She needs to ask for a payment and she will try to do the work for 1 month. Then the rest is history and she was referred by the client to her friends. 
  • She also took the marketing internship opportunities provided by VAB which lasted for two months with the guidance of Sir JD and Sir Kim
  • She felt lucky because Coach Akhimi trusted her and she became part of her agency. Aside from her two clients referred by her first client she also works with Coach Akhimi's agency. She is so glad because she learns a lot from Coach Akhimi like managing Linktree.
  • Her client started a podcast and she was asked to learn podcast editing. She enrolled in a podcast editing course which his client recommended.
  • She is now working part time as a freelancer where she earns Php24-30k a month while still working as a public teacher. 

Question and Answer

What subject are you teaching Ms. Olga?

Physics and chemistry but I'm also teaching research. I chose teaching these subjects not because I'm good at them but because DOST provides higher allowance for these subjects. These are the premier courses they offer since there are only a few students who are taking these subjects. When she started learning these subjects she figured out that it's really hard but since she already started it she needs to finish it. Words of wisdom of her mom during that time "Dahil naulanan ka na, maligo at magsaya ka na dyan, nabasa ka namn din naman".  (when it rains it pours)

"When it rains it pours". It's not just on the negative side but also on the positive side. So just go with the flow when the opportunities are already there. 

How do you manage juggling online jobs and at the same time teaching?

This is the biggest struggle when we are starting with freelancing and this applies to everybody like working and single moms, even those who still have their corporate jobs. When it comes to transitioning to freelancing full time. 

Time management is one of the challenges we encounter, sometimes we take this for granted, sometimes we feel like we can do it but once we are unprepared. This makes it all hard for us, gives us burnout and is too heavy sometimes. Which causes freelancers to quit because they feel that it's too hard. The solution really is time management which is nothing but a very basic concept but we can't start the job,  execute, and formulate. This Is why this PDF Ms. Olga is giving away is so important to everybody and to all freelancers. I believe this will help us all. 

There are a lot of responsibilities for the teachers out there. Most of them are already happy when they get four hours of sleep. Just a normal teacher with four hours of sleep makes them already happy but she can still add this working online and you are still learning even more and being a teacher. If you graduated as a teacher the learning is continuous, seminars are required. It is required for them to still study every year. It's overwhelming

How the hell are you still sleeping or how the hell are you still alive?

Maybe because 4 to 5 years of law school and before that physics and chemistry. 2 majors at the same time with education subjects. Back then we already had seminars in "How to manage your time?". Then there are psychometricians helping us know what to do. Maybe because I incorporated those learning into my life. There are canva boards on my table and I always make a weekly plan of what I will do. Then I also have a schedule or time limit for the things I do. Aside from that, in freelancing I don't get clients that require me to work 8 hours. I only get jobs that require me 2 to 3 hours of work. So I was able to cater to all my clients at the same time. When it comes to teaching, since we are online I always ask for my husband's help like printing things out for me. Since we have our own computer shop it was easier for him to help me and sort things up. So I don't think I can do it if my family or the people around me are not supportive. Since they are supportive I was able to do these things. 

Regarding sleep, when I was a student I got used to sleeping around 12midnight and waking up 5:00 to 5:30 am. So I guess it's my body clock already and since I got clients from the US. What I do in the morning when I have no schedule or commitments. I would just take a nap. All of the things I do are listed on my planner and I have an application on my phone where I block my time. Every Saturday and Sunday I really take time to rest. I let my clients know that there are particular hours where I just go to the Beach and exercise since I had health issues before. Sometimes I'm just on the terrace and doing my sesta time. 

Since it is important that you have time for yourself kasi usually we really work hard for our family. Tapos sabihin natin you are going to work from home kasi gusto natin more time with the family. How About time for yourself? So dapat pala mahalin mo rin sarili mo, you give time to pamper yourself kasi you have to recharge. Paano ka makakapag grind ng grid ng grid sa mga hustles mo kung hindi ka pa naka pag recharge. So yun po lagi kong nilalagay sa schedule ko dapat naka pag unwind ako at least once lang sa isang week. At Least kahit 1 hour lang yan na music na pakikinggan mo or manood ka lang ng something na soothing gusto mong movie na ganyan. Kasi  you also have to take in consideration yung mental health mo pati yung katawan mo, kaya pa ba. Ako hindi na po ako pabata, patanda na ako ng patanda. Minsan yang katawan kailangan siya mag pause, wag ka muna mag-iisip ng ganito o ganyan. Just Breath,  so yun po, kailangan lang po talaga na schedule mo, tachahin mo yung schedule mo and everything may be very hard at first, but when you get used to it, it will be seamless. 

So ngayon nagchange ka na. You keep on levelling up  dahil sabi mo nga kahit teacher ka kahit busy ka nag-aaral ka pa rin and you seem to be enjoying and learning more and more.  Is that a good change for you , yung parang assessment mo lang sa sarili mo. Was it good before but better now or would you prefer to go back to who you are before na yung happy ka,  yung satisfied ka to whatever is offered to you?

With regards to sa satisfaction. Dati po kasi siguro I was just complacent kasi aside from my salary ayun nga may bizmates pa. However, nung nagkasakit ako I realized sabi ko "Papaano sa future, kapag marami or may mga anak ka na, or pag tumanda kayong magasawa. Sinu yung tututlong sainyo kung wala na yung mga tyahin mo dati? Tapos sabi ko panu yun? Kailangan mo tumayo sa sarili mo. It's not wrong pamper yourself, to provide for yourself. Kasi all those years yung mga kapamilya, yung makatulong ako or yung makapag paaral ako ng pinsan ko. Kasi only child ako tapso syempre dahil alam ko yung hirap ng nanay ko noon nung pinagpaaral niya ko. Sabi ko yung mga kamaganak ko ding iba na walang capacity na magpaaral sa mga anak nila sa college tutulungan ko paisa is a. Kasi wala pa naman akong anak. pero doon ko narealize sabi ko Kelan iisipin mo sarili mo? Kelan ibibigay sa sarili mo yung deserve mo naman. Kahit hindi naman sobrang grabe na luxury pero kahit something na be comfortable with your life. Tapos yung hindi ka na magiisip na, panu kung nagkasakit kami. Saan kami kukuha ng pang gastos. So yun yung nangyari po sa akin talaga sir Phoenix is an eye opener talaga. Sabi ko hindi pwdeng ganito ako habang buhay or haggang tumanda ako. Sabi ko something must change, I really have to do something and I really have to experience yung mga ganun bago ako mauntog pero I was thankful na binigyan ako ni lord ng chance na parang "Huy baguhin mo yung buhay mo yugn attitude mo ayusin mo  masyado kang complacent".

How's your health now? Hindi ba ito nakakasagabal sa freelancing work mo?

Every 3 months nagpapacheck up po ako. Kasi dati hindi ako ngapapcheckup kasi wala akong nafefeel. and isip ko kasi dati kung wala kang nafefeel, bakit ka mag-papacheck up, sayang sa pera. Sabi ko hindi kahit wala ka nafefeel, you have to make sure well oiled yung katawan mo.  Kasi walang spare parts yung katawan natin. So dapat ikaw mismo you voluntarily go to the doctor to make sure you are okay. Tapos yun na nga po pag pagod na po kasi ako or stress ako. I really pause. sabihan ko agad yung principal namin or head namin. Hindi po muna ngayon, pwedeng bukas na lang kasi medyo hindi okay and pakiramdam ko. So they understand naman po. Ngayon narealize ko hindi naman po pala masama magsabi ng No, kasi dati pag may trabaho accept lang ako ng accept sige yung sa loob loob ko and hirap into and dami dami reklamo ako ng reklamo pamloob. hindi ko sinasabi sa labas na ganito na yung nafefeel ko. Nung nagkasakit ako,  I realized na I can say no. For the sake of taking care of my body.

 

Why did it take you so much to get over that complacency, was life good before. Before you got sick?

Okay naman po kasi talaga. Life was comfortable already. Sabi ko okay na to, kasi marami pong sa area namin mga kakilala ko or kabatch ko na hindi naka graduate nag kargador sa pier or yung iba naman nag-sasaka. Yung hirap na hirap, tapos alam ko marangal na naman yung trabaho na yun. Pero sabi ko ako sa sarili ko kung mag gaganun ako di ko kakayanin, mahirap. So, I was just so thankful okay yung mga na experience ko. Yung ballpen lang katapat kasi nga teacher diba, ballpen, chalk, may pera, may sahod na. So kaya siguro ganun siya naging complacent ako. I was very comfortable hindi naman super luxurious but I was in a very comfortable position already. Kaya lang ang problem ko lang wala talagang ipon, walang extra na kung may mga emergencies. Wala, wala talaga. So dun, kaya nagtagal ang complacency ko. 

 

What made you think a VA bootcamp is the thing, the right thing for you?

What grabs you there?

Nang dahil kaschool ko si Sir Jason, parang there is something na bond sa Carolinians. Parang were so proud to be one with the school. Meron talaga kasi kaming sinasabing "What you know, you share. What you don't have, you endeavor to acquire". Meron kaming nota na ganun. Mission and vision na pinapamemorize saamin. So salaksak yung sa utak ko and then tumatak sa utak ko na si Sir JD is a product of San Carlos and therefore, yung mga qualities and inner characteristics niya. Kahit papaano I share something with him. Kasi we were brought up na ganun yung mission and vision. Yun yung nagconnect talaga saakin, doon ako nagtrust sakanya. Ito alam nitong taong tong ginagawa niya kasi he is a Carolinian. Hindi ako nito ililigaw ng landas. Ganun yung trust ko kay Sir JD.

 

What got you to the point na "Sige kapalan ko na muka ko makikisali ako sa GHC"?

Life is so short. Hindi mo alam bukas makalawal mahulugan ka lang diyan nang langka wala na. Sabi ko wala na hindi ko nakailangan ng time pa, dapat ngayon na mismo. Kasi wala din naman magpupush sa sarili mo kung hindi ikaw mismo, you are very adamant staying where you are. Kahit ang daming tao magpush sayo forward if within yourself ayaw mo gumalaw wala pa rin hindi pa din gumagawalaw. Kaya sabi ko ako na kailangan ko nang talagang magkaroon ng initiative para sumali, magtake action, tapos gawin yung dapat gawin para makakuha ng client. Kasi wala ka pa rin hanggang tumanda ka.

 

How were you able to combat your stress?

Ang tuwa ko lang kasi yung batch ko sa GHC napaka supportive.  Yung kahit na nagsusumbong ako sakanila na anu ba to ganyan ganyan problem, hindi ko makuha ito, hindi ko alam gawin, at ang hirap matutunan. Ang daming nag susuport sayo nag i-encourage, tapos message kapa nila na ganito or ganyan. Swerteng swerte sa batch ko sa GHC super duper I felt like we are a family na nagdadamayan, nagtutulungan, and we push each other forward. Tapos walang sabing may ingit or diba usually sa group may pasecret or pasecreto ayaw kang tulungan. Saamin wala akong nafeel na ganun. All I can say is the best na experience at saka swerteng swerte ako kasi nakuha ko yung mga kabatch na super bait, super supportive at kahit madaling araw may itatanung ka. Pag may gising pa sasagutin ka, magreresearch pa para sayo. Yung trabaho hindi nila tinatago, pag may nakita silang client. Ilalagay nila sa GC, sasabihin "Huy magapply kayo dito baka niche niyo ito". Kasi yung iba syempre ayaw nila i-share baka maging competition ka pa. So yung sa GHC namin ang galing lang kasi walang halong sabi na plastikan. Talagang ito applyan niyo to, parang magaling ka sa ganito ganyan. 

So yun po sa isa sa swerte, tapos another is ang babait ng coaches. Kahit na tapos na yung GHC pwede kaming magchat at pwede kami humingi ng advice. So yun ang swerte ko talaga, saka ang galing ng support system ng VAB. Kahit sabihin kong dumaan ako sa kung anung ups and down sa freelancing journey ko. They are still there, hindi ako iniwan sa ere, yung hindi i-papafeel sayo na kanewbie newbie nito ang tanga tanga. Wala silang ganun, yung iba nawawalan na sila ng hope to move forward with their freelancing career. kasi pag may road block na wala nang tutulong na to circumvent that block. Yung saakin po kasi meron pang sasabihin na ito "Ah ito baka na stagnant ka dito", or "Why not to yung gawin mong method baka makatulong sayo?". So ayun ang daming tulong po talaga, support system.

 

Are you able to apply all the things you have learned nowadays in your career as a freelancer?

So far po, lahat naman ng tinuro saamin. Lahat ng natutunan namin sa modules galing sa VAB. I can say very relatable kasi in every situation na ibibigay ng client, makakahugot ka ng experience mo naman dun sa ginawa mong portfolio. So atleast kahit papaano hindi ka masasabi na zero knowledge. Talagang meron kang matutunan talaga doon sa videos. Tapos from one client to the next client meron ka ding mapupulot na pa unti-unti na like mga methods and strategies ng previous clients mo. Pwede mo siya magamit sa next client mo. Ang maganda dun you and your client would always collaborate with each other. Tama pala yung sinabi nila Cocah JD na wag ka mahihiya sa client kahit ang ganda ng English nila tapos nagbabarat English ka diyan. As long as nag kakaintindihan kayo it's important na yung idea niya at saka idea mo will be in-sync kasi wala tayo photocopy nang kung anu yung sa utak ng client, na kung anu yung nasa utak niya makokopya natin. Kailangan pag nag collaborate kayo in-sync talaga yung mga ideas ninyo. Doing the synchronization, pag nagbrain storming kayo ang nangyayari may mapupulot ka kasi din na ugali or best practices, and pwede mo din naman magamit sa susunod na client. Which will enrich you as a person or as a freelancer. So maganda pa rin yung mas madami kang experience.

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by 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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