The “Raqz Star” VA Who Started Freelancing Without Internet Connection At Home
Hanggang saan mo kayang ipaglaban ang mga pangarap mo?
As a call center agent and mother of one, Raqz was just earning enough to help her husband pay the bills and save a little. When she first learned about online freelancing, she got thrilled about the possibility of earning dollars from home. What could be more exciting than being able to generate decent income while taking care of your kid?
She resigned from her job and decided to pursue freelancing. But getting started was not easy. She had to overcome a lot of challenges including not having an internet connection at home.
Imagine trying to work online at home without access to the internet! It’s impossible, you might think! But as cliche as it sounds, Raqz proved that it’s possible because where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Aside from not having their own internet connection at home, she also had to deal with the lack of support from some of her friends. At one point, it also became an issue with her husband (spoiler: they’re OK now).
How did she overcome these challenges? What can we learn from her freelancing journey?
Watch the replay here.
- Nagkakasakit nako ilang beses nakong na-ospital. Mabuti nga may card, pero ang pangit parin kasi yung tipong na-ospital kana sasabihan ka parin ng team leader mo na, “hindi ipa schedule mo yung ospital mo sa isang linggo kasi importante ang attendance”. So, alam mo yung sobrang toxic na parang hindi na nila iniisip yung health mo. So yun na naisip ko na ayoko mag stay dito. Kailangan ko makahanap ng way para makapag provide sa family ko at the same time magka time sa kanila.
- Maganda din yung sa VA Bootcamp nga na “How to position yourself’ kahit na wala kang kumbaga experience alam mong sabiin kay client na “I can make a way”. Katulad nung una kong client na nakuha ko kahit wala akong experience basta pinagkatiwalaan niya lang ako based dun sa cover letter ko.
- Kung desidido po talaga kayo sa freelancing, wag kayong makikinig sa mga sinasabi ng iba. Kasi hindi nila alam kung ano ba talaga yung freelancing. So, do your research muna. Alamin mo kung ano yung haharapin mo sa freelancing.
- Parang pag mag aapply ka lang din sa labas eh. Syempre gagastos ka sa pag aapply mo, sa pamasahi mo, ang kaibahan lang nasa bahay ka tapos medyo struggle yung unang client. Effort saka tiyaga lang talaga.
- Don’t give. Kung ito talaga pinu-pursue mo samahan mo nlang din ng prayer.
- Kung ito talaga pinaka pinu-pursue mo sa buhay, mag spend ka ng time, ng syempre investment mo din. Kung kinakailangan mong mag enroll sa course mag enroll ka parang Education lang din.
- Huwag lang makikinig ng boses ng ibang tao. Meron nmang FLIP Group marami kang makukuhang friends dun na we have the same mindset about freelancing. Pwede mo kaming kontakin dun o kausapin.
- Minsan kasi talaga sa bahay maraming magsasabi sayo ng negative, na wala ka namang ginagawa jan, haharap ka lang sa computer kasi hindi nila alam yung ginagawa mo so try to get reach out to a person sa FLIP.
Raqz’s Journey to Freelancing:
- She enrolled in VA Bootcamp last Dec. 2018 and had a client last March 2019.
- She was a call center agent for five years from 2 companies.
- She was so dedicated to working that she prioritized work over her family.
- It was in her mindset that they should think first about their work above all as supervisors always told them.
- It was August 2018 when she found out about freelancing through her office mate named Mommy Celina.
- She enrolled in the course with her officemate. They haven’t finished taking the course because it’s too long for them.
- Then Mommy Celina found out about the VA Bootcamp.
- She was intrigued and decided to enroll here by December 2018
- She resigned by January 2019 after she enrolled again.
- Approximately 1-week right after she resigned, the internet connection on their place suddenly got lost due to some problem in the post of PLDT.
- She even had a small fight with her husband due to unseen results (no client/job at that time).
- February 2019, she joined the Hustle challenge in VA Bootcamp but still no internet connection.
- From 1:00 pm to 5-6 pm every day, she traveled one ride of tricycle going to Pinagbuhatan (one of the relatives of her husband) to have access to the internet.
- She almost got a client, but the training will conduct at night. She declined because unable to do it, and especially she was just connecting to her husband’s relative.
- She continued submitting proposals and got some response. But her reply took many hours, so she wasn’t still getting a job.
- After approximately two weeks, their connection came back.
- February 2019, was a bit challenging for her due to the shortage of financial stability.
- Until she had a great argument with her husband to the point that she wanted to split up. Her derangement put her to post their quarrel in social media, which she realized wrong.
- She continued submitting cover letters while they were arguing at that time.
- By the next day, one client from Upwork replied to her, asking if she would accept the contract. She was so happy at that moment because no interview happened since the client was on vacation.
- She applied what she learned from the VA Bootcamp about AIDA for cover letters which are so useful to her.
- Then after she had her first client, they fixed their disagreement with her husband.
- She continued looking for a client because the first one was just part-time.
- She then got another client but with a small offer from Facebook Group.
- She continued looking for another while conducting training.
- On April 2019, she got a response from the job post by Ms. Bong (one of the coaches in VA Bootcamp). It was about Bottleneck that was looking for a General Medical VA position.
- She did the interview but failed to pass it.
- She still communicated her contact person in Bottleneck, asking if there’s still a way to get a client.
- Until they found out that it wasn’t the job she applied for.
- Then she scheduled for an interview again but this time the same as the job she applied before.
- She impressed more the client by being dressed and wearing red lipstick.
- Less than a week, she received the contract from that client.
- She gave up the second job, which was on the morning shift to accommodate her responsibility as a Mother.
- Her first client, which she’s the admin assistant, gave her access to the social media accounts and let her manage from being lost of the other VA who used to achieve it.
- Both of them are happy about the output. With that, she is planning to raise for an increase this coming September 22, her birthday, as her birthday gift.
- Her Medical VA job is a big blessing since it is accordingly from her previous job. So she can update and finish her work easily then she can have time to nap.
- She is planning to niche down in Social Media Management or Pinterest Management, as she cited an example of the Specialization of Doctors. Freelancing too should have the expertise for her.
Can you remember one specific instance that you were in the challenge of choosing your work than family?
Palagi kasi naming pinag aawayan ng asawa ko na mas inuuna ko yung work ko kahit na may sakit sya o si baby. Syempre yung ibang asawa or parent mas pipiliin talagang mag stay na sa bahay kaso ako nagpupumilit talaga ko kasi sabi ko “hindi kailangan kong pumasok, mamapagalitan ako pag umabsent ako” So, yun na naging turning point ko na hindi na kami okay sa relationship ng asawa ko.
You said you were looking for a way? What are you looking for? Paano mo na find yung freelancing?
Shout kay Mommy Celina! Siya po yung ka office mate ko na nakahanap sa internet ng Freelancing. Naging intersido ako.Pinagpray ko na gusto ko ring makapag work from home. Gusto ko rin maging freelancer na nasa bahay lang nagtatrabaho, hindi ka nata-traffice everyday, hindi ka nagsa-sacrifice ng health at the same time kumikita ng pera.
You told that your office mate introduced freelancing to you but she didn’t pursue it. What made you start doing para na pursue mo yung Freelancing?
Nakasucbcribe ako sa Free course ng Copwriting. Nakakareceeive ako ng mga free course. Ababasa ko yung mga testimonies nyo. Yun nga, 5 hours a week lang sa bahay kumikita ka ng malaki. Sabi ko Gusto ko tong i-pursue. Tapos nakakakita din ako sa
FLIP na maraming testimonies ng mga nanay, or mga dating nag ca-call center or kung ano mang trabaho na nasa bahay lang pero kumikita sila ng malaki tapos nagkakaron sila ng time sa family nila. So yun naging motvation ko.
Most people are scared, wala nman tayong masyadong malaking buffer. Why did you resign immediately?
Kasi may nabasa ako na blog dun, “Is freelancing being competitive?” so, sabi ko kung competitive na siya ngayong 2018 bakit pa ba ko magpapahuli? Baka next time wala na kong makuhang client kasi marami ng nag eenroll sa VA Bootcamp. Sabi ko baka mahirapan na ako by the time . Syempre ti-nake ko na yung opportunity. Syempre pinag pray ko din sya. Nanghingi rin ako ng approval ng husband ko.
Determined nman talaga ako. Sabi ko tatapusin ko kaagad yung course, mag eenroll ako sa Hustle Challenge kasi sabi nila maraming nakakakuha ng client sa Hustle Challenge. Wala namang mabe-beat ng determination saka ng prayer. Yung bonus ko ng December na yung mag fifill-in sa mga days na wala akong sahod.
Yung iba 1-year pa before magka client? Hindi ka natakot sa risk?
Hindi naman po. Medyo kinakabahan lang din na pano pag hindi ako nakakuha ng client. Pero nanjan kasi yung mindset ko na kailangan ko makakuha ng client, kukuha ako ng client, mag a-apply ako ng mag aaplay. Then yung pag determinado ka talaga, yung walang kahit anong negative na sabihin.
Paano mo nasingit yung pagrereview mo sa VA Bootcamp?
December 2018 ako nag enroll then January 2019 ako nag resign, so between yung mga panahon na nasa call center pa ako nasa byahe ako, o kumakain sa table basta yung hindi dull moment para hindi ka antukin.
Ano po bang magandang Cover Letter para mapansin ka ni cllient?
Actually meron sa free course kung magsa-subscribe kayo kay client. Meron dung guidelines kung ano yung mga sasabihin kay client. Katulad sya nung AIDA na kukunin mo yung atensyon nya like “I can definitely assist you…” dun sa sinasabi niyang task. Tapos kukunin mo yung Interes niya, kung ano yung maio-offer saka matutulong mo sa kanya as a VA. Tapos ipakita mo yung desire o personality mo like “My desire is to help you manage those task for you so that you can receive your time back”. Tapos magbibigay ng aksyon gaya ng “You can shoot me a message if you find us a good fit.”
Hindi siya gaya ng nakikita na common sa resume ng Pilipinas na “I have graduated in PUP”. Walang pakialam dun si client actually, ang pinakagustong makita niya is ano yung maitutulong mo sa kanya, ano yung makukuha niya sayo.
Ano po Internet Connection niyo?
Sa Pinagbuhatan, yung sa tita ng asawa ko PLDT Fiber ganun din dito sa bahay. Pero nawawala kasi siya kaya may back-up ako yung Globe na niloloadan lang.
Have you tried na yung dalawa nawala?
May one time po kasi late na nabayaran yung internet, mga madaling araw nawala may ginagawa pa ako. Naintindihan naman ni client.
Any tips on how to handle multiple clients?
Sa ngayon, ayaw ko po talagang ma-sacrifice yung time. Ang gino-goal ko ma raise yung hourly rate ko. Schedule ko sa panggabi is 11:00 pm- 7:00 am so natutulog ako ng umaga or asikasuhin ko muna yung anak ko. Total 5 hours a week lang nman yung isa kong part time, ang ginagawa ko gigising na ako ng alas otso o alas nuwebe dun ko na gagawin yung task ko sunod na yung full time ko na work. Magkasunod lang silang dalawa.
How has your life changed now that you’re a Freelancer?
Una sa lahat more tulog. Sobrang nakakatuwa kasi nakikita ko yung paglaki ng anak ko, yung nakakapag bonding kami. Tapos yung asawa ko nagkakaron kami ng quality time namin. Ngayon, nag iipon kami para sa bahay namin. Masaya nman sya kasi nkakapunta kami sa family event ng walang problema.