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The Story of a Happy Homeschooling Mom and Part-Time VA with A Side Hustle

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These are the exact words that came out from Mary Jane’s mouth as soon as she saw the notification on her cellphone.

You know what it’s about?

Nag-send na ng contract si client after a series of messages.

Woohoo!

But it didn’t came right away.

Like other successful freelancers out there, she’s been through a lot of NO’s and struggles.

But one thing about her…she remained consistent.

And she was rewarded.

Let us all be inspired and moved by her story as you watch this on replay.

Introduction

At the lowest days of their family, Mary Jane took the big risk to enrol in VA Bootcamp and start the job set-up that she really wanted. It is to work from home and be a hands-on mom and wife at the same time.

This ever positive Mom will share the ups and downs of her life and how freelancing is saving their family financially during this pandemic.

Be inspired and trigger your biggest why’s to pursue freelancing.

Notable Quotes

  • If I will not start somewhere, wala po, hindi ko ma-achieve yung gusto kong mangyari.
  • Don’t lose hope and never give up! Redundant na yun, lagi nalang po sinasabi, pero yun po talaga yung kailangan natin siguro sa panahon ngayon para sa sarili natin. Kasi bukas gigising tayo, malay mo bukas better na po ‘di ba?
  • Sa iba naman na pasa ng pasa ng proposal, malay mo one day darating yung time na yung pinasa mong proposal ng ilang days na nakakaraan, mapansin naman. Hindi naman agad agad na yung proposal ko pagkapasa ko, yun na agad eh. Minsan, it takes ilang days bago mag-reply si client eh. Hindi po natin alam ang mangyayari tomorrow.
  • Yung belief po natin sa sarili natin. Kasi unang-una tayo po yun eh. Goal po natin yung gusto nating ma-achieve. So kailangan, unang-unang maniwala satin is tayo din. Let’s believe we can do it. Let’s believe na we deserve it and let’s believe na one day we’ll get it.
  • Set your priorities and goals para alam nyo po kung alin po muna yung una na gusto nyong ma-achieve, yun muna. Kasi pag sabay-sabay po lalo nyo pong hindi makukuha yung goal na gusto nyo.
  • Si God, dun po tayo kumukuha ng lakas ng loob. Siguro kung hindi po medyo malakas yung faith ko sa kanya, hindi po ako matutuloy kasi ilang beses na din po kasing na reject yung mga proposals ko.
  • Sabi ko bahala na po si God. Prayers lang din po na kung may gusto kang mangyari, i-pray mo yun. Talagang in God’s time darating din yung gusto mo. Although, minsan hindi katulad ng result ng ini-expect mo pero yun po yung para sa ‘yo talaga na ibibigay talaga ni God. The best way na alam nya na makakatulong sa ‘yo.

Journey to Freelancing

  • A graduate of BS in Information and Computer Science in 2000.
  • After graduation, she worked as an Assistant Store Manager in a video-rental store for 1 year. In 2001, she got hired as a Data Controller. She resigned after 5 years because she felt the need to expand her skills and grow her career. As she sought greener pasture, she applied for an Australian visa but got denied. She then tried working in a call center but working at night she missed night outs, traveled 2.5 hours daily, and sacrificed her proper night’s sleep. She resigned after 6 months.
  • Months later, she got married. She tried to work again as a receptionist at a skin care clinic in Makati. But this job took so much of her time since it requires working 6 days a week. Just months after, she resigned again and then decided to stayed at home. In 2009, her husband got an offer to work in Kuwait. Luckily, the offer included flying her after 3 months.
  • Being a housewife, she thought of finding an online job. Then, she found ODesk. But she did not finish setting up her profile because she was afraid of identity theft.
  • In 2017, her husband got terminated from his job. Since their financial status could not sustain their needs anymore, they went back to the Philippines. She thought again of finding an online job. That time, she tried Upwork. She tried completing the profile that she initially created in 2009.
  • Then in 2019, she found VA Bootcamp’s advertisement. She saw VAB’s campaign about a mom, working in bed with her kids beside her. But she doubted its legitimacy and tried first the 5-day free course. After a week, she joined the FLIP Facebook page and from there she validated that VA Bootcamp is legit and it produces results. She enrolled in the accelerated program and completed it after a month. She got hired by Ms. Rolyn in Upwork. It was a fixed $5 job that made her so happy and even more motivated to do freelancing.
  • She also applied as a Moderator and Admin Intern to FLIP and VAB Facebook pages. In July 2019, she joined VAB’s Guided Hustle Challenge. With the hire rate from the previous hustlers, she believed that this would help her land on a client. Unfortunately, she did not. But it did not discourage her from submitting more proposals.
  • With her perseverance, she got hired in September 2019. She’s still working for that client until now as a Social Media Manager. In January 2020, she get another client but due to the pandemic her contract was terminated by April 2020. Right after she started again submitting job proposals, was able to get another client with higher rates because of her experience. In June 2020, she got another client. Now in total, she’s working for 3 part-time clients. And last July 2020, she received her Upwork top-rated badge.

Question and Answer

Is it safe to say na kahit papaano okay pa din kayo? With what you’re doing, nakaka-contribute ka parin ng malaki sa support sa family?

Yes po. Kasi yung sweldo ko enough sya para masustain yung daily namin, like yung market, grocery, bills. Dun namin nakukuha sa freelancing. Talagang budget wise. Hindi yung, ayan may sweldo na ako, shopping tayo. And thankful din ako, si hubby hindi siya yung nawawalan ng pag-asa. S’ya pa yung nag-uplift sakin na okay lang yan kahit maliit, basta meron. Blessing pa rin yun. Siya yung positive sa aming dalawa.

Ano pinaka-work nyo sa freelancing? What’s your niche?

Social Media management po. Pero ngayon nagti-take ako ng course si Sir LJ. ‘Yung FB Ads na pang-upgrade. Para kung papalarin, gusto kong i-try mag-ads naman.

Nasabi mo na nandito na kayo sa Pinas before mo pinursige itong freelancing. Kung kailan kasagsagan ng pag-unti unting pagbagsak ng pamilya ninyo. Was your husband supportive during that time?

Yes po. Pero nung unang nag-enrol ako hindi ko sinasabi sa kanya kasi baka po sabihin na konti na nga lang, nagastos mo pa. Nung tumagal, Sinabi ko sa kanya, “Daddy nag-enrol ako sa freelancing na course.” Sabi niya, “Sige lang.” Nung nagkaroon na ako ng work, minsan sinasabi nya, “O, $5 lang naman pala, maliit lang yun.” Ganun sya dati. Nagjojoke pa siya. Nung nakakatanggap na ako ng monthly sa 1st client ko, sabi ko, “May pambili ba tayo ng pang-pamalengke.” Tapos nagbibigay ako sa kanya.

Sabi mo nga, investment. Gagastos ka, maglalabas ka ng pera. Humantong na kayo sa point na inutang na ninyo ang pang-enrol ng mga bata. Tapos gagastos ka pa sa pang-enrol sa accelerated program ng VA Bootcamp. What made you decide to take this big risk?

Kung hindi ako nag-enrol, hindi ako makakuha ng online job. ‘Di ako makapag start ng freelancing kundi dahil po sa accelerated program. Wala talaga akong idea kung saan ko sisimulan yung gusto kong gawin na online job. Dun ko lang din natutunan po lahat eh. Yung flow, yung hustle challenge, ‘yung pagsali ko as moderator at intern. At ang patience din, na hindi ka basta mag-give up na pag na-reject yung proposal mo, ay hindi pala to para sakin.

Hindi nag-sky rocket yung career mo the moment that you finished VA Bootcamp. Natapos mo ang VA Bootcamp after a month, dumaan ka sa internship, nag-moderator ka pa but hindi ka pa nagka-client. You joined the GHC and yet isa ka sa mga hindi pinalad which is very unfortunate. However, hindi ka parin umatras. Bakit? Bakit Hindi mo sinabi na this not for me? What made you still want to be a freelancer?

Yung talagang heart ko na gusto ko talaga ‘to. Gusto ko talagang makuha tong goal na to kasi alam kong makakatulong at comfortable din ako na nagwowork sa bahay. Di ka na magmamadali sa umaga na habang nagpe-prepare ka ng kids mo eh ikaw din  ay na-stress kasi pati ikaw kelangan mo din pumasok sa physical office. Ito talaga yung gusto ko by heart.

Are there any regrets nung hindi mo na-pursue yung oDesk account noon?

Wala po. Totally wala. Kasi malaking blessing ang pagdating ni VA Bootcamp, very timely. Pati yung mag clients na mga nakuha ko, super bait po nila. Hindi ako fixed schedule. So anytime of the day pwede ako magtrabaho. Hindi din sila demanding. So pag may time ako, ginagawa ko yung task nila. Pag kailangan ako ng kids, lalo na online sila, tatayo lang ako kasi isang mahabang table kami eh.

Isa sa disadvantage ng mga asawang sumasama sa abroad, nasa bahay lang at housewife. Hindi gumagana yung utak masyado. After a long time, after mong umuwi ng Pilipinas tsaka ka nalang nag-aral ng VA Bootcamp. Was it difficult for you?

Pagdating po sa mga skills, hindi masyado. Pero yung sa interview, medyo kinalawang na ako. Pero sa skills, wala naman po kasi yung sa SMM yun naman naging hobby ko sa Kuwait – FB, Instagram. So yung environment ni FB at Instagram alam ko kalikutin. Then, nag-moderator ako, dun ko natutunan mag-approve ng members, mag decline,  mag hide ng comments kasi sa personal profile wala yun. Tsaka isa pa yung paano mo i-assert yung sarili mo sa client kasi dati talaga mahiyain ako. Yung confidence ko bumababa lalo na pag di ko na masagot yung tanong ni Client. Nakatulong din si VA Bootcamp sa pag boost ng self-esteem.

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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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