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Thanks to Freelancing, I Can Take Care of My Special-Needs Son

April 7, 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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On our next JasSuccess interview, you're gonna meet Lou.

She used to work at the Manila City Hall.

However, she decided to take a backseat with her career when her son was born.

He was medically fragile from the time he was born until he was 5 years old.

So how did she dive into freelancing?

How did she get her clients?

Is she happy now?

Find out on this replay.

INTRODUCTION

Maria Lourdes is a successful VA that is currently working full-time and part-time, respectively. She was a personnel officer, an admin officer, and OIC for senior citizens affairs.  She was also a Sped teacher that focused on providing special needs to Special children.  

 

NOTABLE QUOTES

  • Yung iba dyan na nagkakaroon nang mga ganong clients (makulit), don't take it negatively, take it positively. Kunin nyong challenge yon, kasi ako mas gusto ko yung challenge. Pag nahihirapan ako sa isang task, mas gusto ko. Kasi pag natapos ko yung task, sinisiguro ko na maganda yung result. 
  • Pag naibigay mo yung tulong na iyon sa kanila at yung trust na binibigay nila sayu, naibalik mo sa kanila, para sa kanila magaling ka talaga.
  • Be good to your clients. Yung integrity, yung honesty, good communication, galingan nyo lahat ng work na gagawin nyo for the client. Kasi hindi ka nila papabayaan. They will also take care of you. 
  • Yung mga pinag-aralan nyo, you have to apply it to learn. Hindi pwedeng aral lang. Kailangan i apply nyo agad.
  • As a freelancer, ito pa yung isa kong tip. Kailangang iisipin nyong i-upgrade ang skills nyo kasi ang daming tools na available. Magugulat ka pag hindi mo na-prepare yung sarili mo. Hindi ka nag research at hindi mo ina-alam kung ano ang mga bagong tools ngayong available. At kung anong skills ang pwede mo pang idagdag mo sa mga skills mo.
  • Don't be afraid kasi ang daming nangangailangan ng help natin. Just be yourself at aralin nyo lahat ng tools. Pag may job post kayong inapplyan, aralin nyo lahat ng tools na binabanggit don. Aralin nyo lahat ng tasks na binanggit din. Para pagharap nyo kay client, pwede nyo sabihin yung basic nong paggamit ng tools, alam nyo yung task. Basic knowledge din alam nyo. Pwede naman. You can always be honest at may maghi-hire sa inyo.
  • Enjoy the interview. Pag meron kayong interview, wag kayong ka-kabahan, enjoy it. Ako ini-enjoy ko kasi para kahit na hindi ikaw ang kunin, you'll get to know something about the person na nag-interview sayo tapos malalaman mo din yung tungkol sa job niya, so learning pa rin yon. Don't be disappointed pag na turned down kayo.
  • Don't lose hope. Gawin nyo yung mga ina-advice ng mga ibang nakakausap nyo. Kasi meron akong mga friends na pinu-pukpok ko go to freelancing. Sabi ko 10 proposals. Minimum of 10 proposals a day. Tapos wag sila titigil hanggang makakuha sila ng client. Enjoy the interview. Don't get scared. Siguro sasabihin nyo, madali lang sabihin pero pag hindi kayo confident about yourself, hindi nyo malalampasan yung mga interview. You need to be confident na kaya nyo. Paano kayo magiging confident? Yung magkaroon kayo ng tools, like alamin ang mga available na apps, mga tools tapos yung paggawa ng cover letter. Hindi pwedeng bara-bara lang. Kailangan pinapakita mo sa client na, kailangan mo ako, so ako yung i-hire mo.
  • Pray for guidance. Every day in the morning ito ang sinasabi ko, "God, hindi ko kaya without you. Hindi ko kayang gawin lahat.” So nagagawa ko lahat.

 

JOURNEY TO FREELANCING 

  •  A Special Needs Mom who happened to found the reason why her son had seizures and that’s because of Gluten.
  •  She was a personnel officer, an admin officer OIC for senior citizen affairs, and a Sped teacher who stopped working due to her son’s condition.
  •  Because her son had seizures due to Gluten, she created a Facebook page that she called Gluten-Free Philippines to give information and help others who have the same problem.
  •  Decided to work again last 2016 in Corporate since the office is not far away from her house but stopped because she was not comfortable leaving her son alone with the maid.
  •    She was introduced by her older son to the Freelancing world and was given many platforms to start on.
  • She used to have an oDesk account ten years ago and that is now Upwork but was able to land a job as VA in a different platform and received $3/hr then later became a project manager.
  • Most of her previous clients had start-up businesses. She got a long-term client that catered to live events but eventually had to let her go because her client couldn’t give her a job virtually.
  •  Started to focus on Upwork last 2020. She got help from a previous client who gave her a first proposal and great feedback to boost her profile.
  •  Currently working as a full-time VA, 40hrs/week, and a part-time HR assistant that is project-based.

QUESTION AND ANSWER 

How would you be able to know if the client is a legitimate client?

- Prayer. Lagi akong nagdadasal for guidance. And napi-feel ko, hindi ko alam how. Mayroong isang black American na nagha-hire sa akin. Hindi siya consistent sa mga sinasabi nya. Nong tinanong nya ako na, "how do you want me to pay you?”, sabi ko daily kasi I don't trust him. Straight-forward ako sa client. 

Have you ever enrolled in a Virtual Assistance Course?

- Yes. Gusto ko kasing matutunan yung Quickbooks.  Iyon ang first reason kung bakit nag-enroll ako sa VAB. That was 2019 yata at hanggang ngayon hindi ko pa natatapos. But, pagkatapos kong pag-aralan yung Quickbooks, meron kaagad akong nakuhang client na pinagamit sa akin yon. Yung mga pinag-aralan nyo, you have to apply it to learn. Hindi pwedeng aral lang.

Kailangan i apply nyo agad. Ang pinag-aaralan ko ngayon sa course ay yung email marketing. Kasi yung client ko ngayon, meron syang project at nakikita ko yung struggle.

Paano nyo po na balance yong time nyo po as a mom with a child na kailangan with full-time attention nyo po and a worker?

- Kahit ako nagtataka din ako how I'm managing it. Pero nama-manage ko. My mom is with me pa and she's 84 so dalawa na yung ita-take care ko. Nakaka-rattle talaga but, talagang prayers. Without it, hindi natin talaga kakayanin lahat. 

I am a newbie, how can I complete my profile at Upwork if I do not have a Portfolio to upload? Does this mean I need to create graphs or charts of the impact I have done on the client's business if it is years ago?

- Kaya din ako nag-enroll sa VAB is because of Upwork kasi kailangang i-update ko yung profile ko. It was there for 10 years na, hindi ko nagamit. Naging mahigpit sila pero nandoon parin ang profile ko. Para gumanda, nag enroll ako sa VAB kasi may mga certificates ang VAB. Hindi mo naman kailangang maglagay ng mga graphs. Kung ano ang naging experience mo, like designs or spreadsheets, pwede mong idagdag doon. Pero if I were you, kung di ka pa enrolled sa VAB, mag enroll ka kasi it's a big help lalo na sa mga hindi pa alam kung paano gumawa ng profile sa Upwork. Maga-guide ka din doon kasi nandoon na lahat. Yung isang anak ko ay nag-enroll sa VAB kasi sinabihan ko na may maraming maida-dagdag na skills. As a freelancer, ito pa yung isa kong tip. Kailangang iisipin nyong i-upgrade ang skills nyo kasi ang daming tools na available. Magugulat ka pag hindi mo na-prepare yung sarili mo. Hindi ka nag research at hindi mo ina-alam kung ano ang mga bagong tools ngayong available. At kung anong skills ang pwede mo pang idagdag mo sa mga skills mo.

Were you able to use your credentials (as a Sped teacher) when you went to the freelancing platform? 

- As an MA in Education, iyon ang nagamit ko. Somewhere, kahit paano nagagamit ko. Hindi nawawala yung pagiging teacher ko sa akin. I teach.

What made you decide to focus more on start-up companies?

- Siguro kasi yun ang naging una kong client at nakita ko yung need. Ni hindi pa nga nya alam kung paano gamitin yung Asana noon. Ako din hindi ko rin alam pero inalam ko. Ako yung gumawa, nagset-up ng Asana. So now, I can set-up for clients. May mga client na nag hire sa akin sa pag set-up ng Trello, Timetracker at Freshdesk. 

Paano po kayo nakaka-decide kung anong niche ang i-offer nyo sa client ninyo? 

- Hindi ako namimili ng niche. Ang ginawa ko noong nag start uli ako sa Upwork, yung nakikita kong mga job posts na alam kong kaya kong gawin, nag-aapply ako. Yung client ko ngayon, hi-nire nya ako as project manager na nagma-manage ng Facebook. I'm managing accounts now nina Joe Vitale of Law of Attraction and Dr. Steve Jones, kilala siyang Hypnotherapist.  Don't be afraid kasi ang daming nangangailangan ng help natin. Just be yourself at aralin nyo lahat ng tools. Pag may job post kayong inapplyan, aralin nyo lahat ng tools na binabanggit don. Aralin nyo lahat ng tasks na binanggit din. Para pagharap nyo kay client, pwede nyo sabihin yung basic nong paggamit ng tools, alam nyo yung task. Basic knowledge din alam nyo. Pwede naman. You can always be honest at may maghi-hire sa inyo.

May rejection din po ba kayo before?

- Meron naman. Recently nga meron, pero kasi ayoko ko nang sumagot ng mga mahahabang mga tanong. Ayoko ko ng ganun. Parang waste of time at mas gusto ko pa iyong interview-hin mo nalang ako and I will be very happy to be interviewed kaysa sumagot ako sa papel. It takes time. And yes naman. Lahat naman ng tao my rejection but isang tip, enjoy the interview. Pag meron kayong interview, wag kayong ka-kabahan, enjoy it. Ako ini-enjoy ko kasi para kahit na hindi ikaw ang kunin, you'll get to know something about the person na nag-interview sayo tapos malalaman mo din yung tungkol sa job niya, so learning pa rin yon. Don't be disappointed pag na turned down kayo.

 

What is a day in the life of Miss Lou?

- Lahat ng clients kong pinipili ay flexi-time. Gumigising ako between 5am-6am. Doon na ako mag start sa work. Itong son ko, he wakes up 8am so pagka-nagising na siya, papa-kainin ko lang sya and then I go back to work. In between, nagagawa ko yung chores at natuturuan ko sya. Dahil nga sa pandemic, hindi siya nakakapasok pero before, after nya kumain ay pumunta na kami sa school. While in school, nagwo-work ako tapos pag-uwi namin ay maglu-lunch na tapos work ulit ako hanggang 9 pm. Every now and then chene-check ko if may kailangang sagutin at kung may kailangang ayusin. Natutulog na kami ng mga 10pm tapos gigising uli ako next day.

 

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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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121 comments on “Thanks to Freelancing, I Can Take Care of My Special-Needs Son”

    1. Maputi Sheila I live in a 1 br place. So ang work station ko is in the living room/dining room. I get flexi schedule jobs sa 4 years ko sa freelancing. Kaya kaya na imanage. It's not easy but kaya!

  1. question po i was suspended po sa upwork if i will get a course sa VAB magagamit ko po ba sya kapag nag aappeal ako kasi i have a new skills with certificate thanks!

  2. nabanggit nyo po meron po kau full time . nagdadagdag pa po ba kau ng mga other small jobs. ilan oras po b per day ung target nyo po magwork? ty po.

    1. Jn Zap yes, if you will see my Upwork profile I had project based/hourly jobs. Pero bihira lang. Pag feeling ko kaya ko I check Upwork. Mga HR related jobs mga kinukuha ko sa PT jobs.

  3. Teacher lourdes ..she was my tutor teacher of my son ..sobrang galing nya pag sya nag handle sa isang my learning dissability ..at sobrang bait pa nya para sya naging 2nd nanay ng anak mo ..kaya thank you ako kasi dahil din sa tulong nya kaya naging magaling ng magbasa anak ko .. parang naging sister ko na din ang realsyon namin ..im glad to see you again lourdes

    1. Vhekriya Ponferrada To help you get started, check out our FREE Virtual Assistant Course. It's 100% FREE and will give you an overview about working from home and becoming a virtual assistant.

      Please go to freevacourse.com

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