The Road to Freedom: Mike Grogan’s Lessons to Become World-Class Filipinos

The Road to Freedom: Mike Grogan’s Lessons to Become World-Class Filipinos

Freelancing has created opportunities that we can’t imagine to be possible. Yes, it’s not easy. But the opportunities are accessible more than ever.

All for what? FREEDOM! Right now, you can achieve financial and time freedom while working online. And this is the advocacy of Mike Grogan, one of our esteemed speakers for the upcoming Working Remote Conference 2019 (Sept 13 & 14).

One of the most in-demand management trainers in the Philippines, Mike Grogan is a Lean Kaizen Consultant, best-selling author, and leadership trainer. He has traveled all around the globe before seeing the infinite potential among Filipino talents and leaders.

He even co-founded “The Rise of the Pinoy”, an online advocacy that aspires to keep on inspiring Filipinos to create a First World Philippines.

We have the privilege to interview him. And this is how it went.


How Did You Start “The Rise of Pinoy”

Q: Why did you start the movement “The Rise of Pinoy”?

A: So I’m the cofounder with Mary Gabayan. And we started this because naniwala kami sa Pilipino. We believe in the Philippines. I know I’m a dayuhan. Galing sa Ireland ako. But gusto ko manatili dito sa Pilipinas. Alam kong may maling akala sa labas. Like hindi pwedeng maging tagumpay dito sa Pilipinas. Para sa akin, puro peke sinungaling. Hindi totoo. 

And I want to show my Filipino friends that this is a beautiful country. Malaki ang kakayahan dito.

Ayoko umalis. Gusto kong manatili dito. And I think this is the greatest time in the history to be in Philippines. Lalo na if you’re a freelancer and entrepreneur. You can really create your own destiny. And you don’t have to follow what everyone else is doing or follow the false beliefs of the past. You can create your own destiny here. 

And I want to stay here. And the Rise of the Pinoys is to inspire the Filipinos to break free from the maling akala that’s saying hindi pwede. That’s why we started it. 


Chasing Freedom: Create Your Own Destiny 

Q: Yes! Right now we have great opportunities in the Philippines. It’s really possible more than ever. And it all boils down to the pursuit of freedom. What can you say about Filipinos wanting freedom in their own country?

ASo I’m expecting people who are reading this who wants to be tumatayo sa sariling paa. Stand on their own feet to be independent, to be financially free. I’m assuming you have dreams to be looking after your family, to help your family to achieve financial freedom, to travel, and to travel the Philippines, to travel the world. Whatever that may be.

So I’m assuming readers of this blog of watchers of this video want freedom. Kalayaan. And ako rin I want kalayaan right. Ang dahilan tungkol na pangalan ng anak na lalaki ko ay Malaya. The reason we call him Malaya is we want him to be free. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give anyone. Help them break free from their false beliefs.

So para sa akin. I’m payo para mga taganunuod. Viewers whatever may be is. Spend time looking after yourself. Self-love. Ibig sabihin. For me, I use it the morning or into day. Take time to watch sunsets with the people you love. Take time to watch sunsets magisa. To reflect on your day. 

Cause its, ang paglalakbay sa kalayaan mahaba. It’s a long.. It’s very easy to think to quit. Sumuko. Pero ang paboritong kasabihan ko ay isang porsyento mas mabuti araw. 1% better everyday. That’s the kasabihan of Kaizen. That’s the real meaning of the Japanese meaning of Kaizen.

My advice is it’s a long journey. 1% better everyday. Take time for yourself. Lalo na sa nature para sa akin its the sunrise and the sunset. To reflect on how you can make today great. How you can win today lang. That’s the because the sobrang mahaba na paglalakbay you’d focus on how you can win today and in the end of the day to reflect on what went well today end what could you have done better.

So that’s my kind of high-level advice for readers and for the journey. Its mahaba pero it’s so worth it. Freedom is so worth it. It’s a beautiful gift. 


1% Improvement Compounded Everyday

Q: Now the question is achieving that freedom. You said that you’re a Kaizen consultant. How can Kaizen help us achieve the life we always wanted?

ASo my second hat that I wear dito sa Pilipinas is I work with different companies introducing the concepts of Lean Kaizen into their organization. So lean Kaizen is the business strategy and management system that made Toyota the number one motor company in the world. And now thousands, tens of thousands of companies around the world are using the same methods. Mga paraan to become more efficient more effective mas malaki ang kita sa loob ng negosyo. Pero dito sa Pilipinas, kulang ang halimbawa. Very few examples. So I want to change that. 

Because its a false belief in the Philippines that these best practices from Japan Toyota from Europe from America from Australia, Hindi pwede dito sa Pilipinas. That’s not true. That’s not true. That’s not true.

So my passion here is to work with different companies. And I work with different clients here and inside metro manila and outside to show them that world-class performance is possible in the Philippines. And that’s what Lean Kaizen does. It really just a roadmap to how to create a world-class winning culture in your company. So I’m very blessed that I work with companies here and helping them create their culture. That winning culture. 


Habits and Routines

Q: Right! The Kaizen concept plays on the little efforts that we do that create a lasting difference. If I may ask, how can freelancers apply Kaizen in their life?

A: So I believe my biggest tip to freelancers that their to do is that your success happens exercise, meditation, writing, journaling, planning and any spiritual habits. Do it in the morning. That’s really worked for me.


Starting Sooner in Personality Development

Q: And it can be a night routine or what. The important thing is to start a routine for your personality development. We are curious though. When should people start? 

ADefinitely not starting my journey into personal development sooner. The seven habits of highly effective people was the first book I read when I was 27. On the genre of self-help of personal development, personal mastery. Wow I wish I started when I was 15 not 27. 

Because I would’ve. I think looking back. I wasted a lot of years conforming to the thinking of this world. And I wish if I started my journey sooner, I think I would’ve progressed a lot sooner. 

If I would say regrets, that’s the number one. Start sooner. 


Greatest Accomplishment

Q: With the help of Kaizen and the habits you build, what can you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?

AMy greatest accomplishment. Wow. I guess breaking free from my own limiting beliefs is…

I know people are looking for a single moment here but I think believing that I could stand on my own. Believing that I could be independent from the career path that my parents wanted to give me. Believing that I could make a living at what I’m passionate about. I think those if I really reflect to myself my accomplishment are breaking free from those false beliefs. 

And I’m very… That’s why I really love working with Freelancers and entrepreneurs because they’re living examples coz I’m sure they’re gonna invite their family to stay whatever in the big companies to play it small

But I got a lot of respect for those who actually break free from those false beliefs and take control of their own destiny. That’s definitely my biggest victory. Taking control of my own destiny.


Biggest Challenge

Q: Taking control of one’s destiny is the ultimate goal. But it’s not really an easy path. We want to know, what are your biggest challenge yet? 

AMy biggest challenge is my (linked to the last comments) but I would say my myself. My selfishness. My ego. Makasarili. My hypocrisy. So all of us have hypocrisy. Elements of hypocrisy. There is no one without sin. And I think my biggest challenge is I preach a lot.

I don’t like that word but I talk a lot about personal discipline. Talk about setting goals about learning etcetera. All these success habits. But many times I failed myself. 

Many times when the alarm clock rings I struggled to get out of bed. I struggled to go to bed at the right time and all these disciplines. So absolutely my biggest challenge is the battle in my mind. And sometimes Good Mike wins. Most times he wins. But sometimes he loses. So that that battle is my biggest challenge.


Trust is the Currency of the 21st Century

Q: That’s a nice way to put it. The greatest obstacle of our lives is actually ourselves. We have learned so much so far. A lot of our readers are just about to start their freelancing journey. What advice can you give them?

ASo for those, I can answer this quickly. For those who are just starting their journey to freelancing this is a controversial but my recommendation is build your trust account. Ibig sabihin, this is a mistake that I made when I started early in my career. I wish I built my trust account sooner. So What I mean by this is if someone wants to work with you, One of the first things they would look for is ok how do I know if I can trust this person. The internet is a beautiful gift. But The disadvantage is trusting people over online is becoming more of a challenge because there are so many people trying to scam people. So people would look for your trust account.

What I mean by a trust account is your testimonies, your video testimonies, you people, your fans saying this guy is the best artist or graphic designer, editor whatever talent you have. So my high recommendation is how can you build your trust account. How can you get people to give you testimonies? Even willing to give away your work for free in return for a testimony. 

Lalo na if video testimony. That’s video. It’s coming almost a hundred times more powerful than text sometimes. Depende na sa context. So my advice is be willing to give your work for free in exchange for learning your craft but also getting testimonies from people saying the quality of the work is good. Because trust is the currency of the 21st century.


The Courage to Say No

Q: It’s really hard to trust people nowadays. And those who are trustworthy will certainly be differentiated among others. It’s an advantage in how the world works right now.

How about for those who are practicing freelancers already, what is your advice for them?

AThe courage to say no. I think this. Let me focus on that one thing. As a freelancer, it’s so tempting to say yes to everything. And yes to different types of food. I’m not just talking about tungkol sa pagkain but some clients you need to fire. 

That’s a good one for you. I wanna be really. Clients don’t come first. You come first. Your family comes first. Your peace of mind comes first. Your relationship with God comes first. 

Don’t allow any client to make you feel unworthy. To make you feel hindi ka karapat dapat. Or to make you feel doon ka lang alipin. It’s ok to fire your client. A lot of clients international lalo na mga international have really little respect for freelancers. 

You should. You are better than that. Mga Filipinos are better than any person that disrespects you. And in that community. So my encourage is look it is okay to say no. What can you create some rules for your own. Not just your planning but how you spend your time. I recommend having rules on when you start and finish work. Discipline equals freedom. 

Your goal is freedom just like my goal is freedom. But discipline is the daily commitment we need to make to get to that freedom. We can’t have freedom without discipline. So discipline that whole word of discipline is “No to yourself. No to distractions. No to negative voices.”

Learn how you can say no more. And ’cause the more you say no, the more you will be able to say yes to the big things. 



Saying yes to the big things! And what big thing is coming right now?! Learn more from Mike Grogan in the upcoming Working Remote 2019! Working Remote is the biggest remote working conference in the Philippines featuring high caliber speakers from here and abroad.

Let them open a world of possibilities to help you achieve your dream lifestyle through remote working. Tickets are running out fast! Secure your slots today


Living Life Like It’s Your Last Year: Chris Jankulovski’s Quest to Meaningful Impact One Filipino Remote Worker at a Time

Living Life Like It’s Your Last Year: Chris Jankulovski’s Quest to Meaningful Impact One Filipino Remote Worker at a Time

Remote working is a blessing to everyone. Where can you find readily available work at the comforts of your home? With this opportunity, you now have the time for your kids. You can finally pursue your passion projects. Or even travel the world as a digital nomad! 

It’s such a promising industry. The problem is, where can you find such golden opportunities? One way is to go through an agency. I mean. They already have a list of clients. You just need to be qualified for the position.

And on the topic of agencies, we have our esteemed guest for today who owns one of the largest remote working agencies in the Philippines! 

Chris Jankulovski, the founder and CEO of Remote Staff, aims to influence as many people as possible in pursuing your dream lifestyle through remote working. This is how the interview went.



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Start of Remote Staff

Leandro: Hi Chris! Happy to have you here! We just want to ask, why did you decide to start an agency?

Chris: Thank you for having me here, Leandro! Well, I wanted to build an agency because I saw a business potential for Australian clients. I also saw it as a potential for me to build an online business, and be a digital nomad and travel the world while working. 

Those were my initial goals, then my intentions evolved after seeing the impact that I have made to the staff’s lives as well. I am just as driven and passionate about the impact we make for our clients, as much as I have with the impact that we make for our staff.



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Challenges of a Remote Agency

Leandro: And back then, this was a very new industry. What were the challenges you experienced when you were building it?

Chris: There was a lot. We were one of the pioneers in this space in the Philippines, and we were part of this global phenomenon wave that is remote working.

During the first four years of the company, we were 100% remote. And then we started growing rapidly. When my virtual team grew to over 50 people, my challenge was how to invest in remote management training for my managers. There are subtle differences in managing an office-based team, and managing a virtual team, and our managers at that time were not properly trained to manage a remote team. Due to this, people were not being properly trained and utilized as well. Collaboration also became an issue. At one point, some departments did not know that some departments even existed. 

We were also not optimizing all available remote working tools. 

 Then in 2012, I decided to move Remote Staff to an office with a whole new crew, hoping to address the challenges of managing a large team remotely. When I decided to do this, I was hoping to transition the company into a hybrid model of remote working and office-based operations. However, I found out that as a PEZA-accredited company, we were not allowed to have our inhouse staff work from home. There were also other challenges that came up that I didn’t expect – political challenges, challenges in team dynamics, the list went on.

 I have had a lot of struggles in my journey, but there was a lot of good stuff, too. And now, I’m happy to say that we are rethinking a lot of the things that we do as a company, and I’m excited about all the changes that are about to happen. What we are doing will remain the same, but how we are doing them will all change soon.


The Lifestyle of a Successful Entrepreneur

Leandro: And it was all worth it! You have touched the lives of thousands of Filipino remote workers with your company. We are curious though, you are a remote worker yourself. How does your lifestyle look like?

Chris: I believe in the importance of structure, especially when you’re working remotely. I’ve learned that you’ve got to have boundaries. I apply a lot of self-control and alignment in myself. When I say I’ll go to the gym, I go to the gym. When I want to buy something, I need to earn it first, and then I’ll buy it. I am very authentic about myself, you have to know that about me first.

I work three weeks from home in Australia and one week from the office in the Philippines. My favorite time to work is on Sundays – alone when I can go into deep thought. I also love collaborating with people, whether it’s virtual, or in the office.  

In between workdays, I love spending time with my wife and kids and enjoying all the benefits of remote working.



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Striving Hard Amidst Adversities

Leandro: Discipline is really the most essential quality you need for a thriving remote working career. 

And speaking of striving and thriving, some people think that everything is handed over on a silver platter for successful people. But that is rarely the case. Our readers might now know, you are Von-Hippel Lindau (VHL) syndrome. Basically, it’s a disease that makes you susceptible to cancer and tumors. 

You have gone through multiple operations because of VHL. What made you push through your condition and achieve what you have today?

Chris: A lot of people ask me: “Chris, you’ve battled cancers, had two brain operations, and had so many health adversities, and so many near-death experiences, where do you get your inspiration? Where do you get your hunger for life and this strong mindset? How can we attain it?” 

The short answer to this is, I don’t live like it’s my last day, rather, I live like it’s my last year. And I practice this every year. I’m aware that I can’t accomplish much in a day. But a year gives me enough time to make an impact and do what I need to do; and enough time to live my life with no regrets.


Living Life Like It’s Your Last Year

Chris: During this “last year”, I try to do the things that are truly important to me, and the things that make me happy. I also make sure that I split everything three ways, from my money to my energy. I think that a year is a good representation of second chances. So this is how I was able to push through everything.

Whatever value I create in this world, I split it in three ways – for investment, for saving, and for spending.

Moreover, I want to inspire millions. That’s my current challenge in every aspect, including my business. If I want to make a meaningful difference in this world, then it’s time for me to step up in a big way.

I want to encourage others to live – by having a unique drive to live your life as if it’s your last year, and see every new year as a bonus.


Family Matters

Leandro: That’s a great concept. It keeps you in perspective as to what’s important. And how you can have a lasting impact. But these whole concept circles around not having any regrets.

What’s your biggest regret?

Chris: That’s a tough one. My biggest regret is probably that I didn’t give my father more, such as giving him more money, before he passed away – even when I was in a position to give a lot. I did help, but I know deep down that I could’ve done more. 

And now he’s gone and I missed out on that chance. He loved to travel, and one of his dreams was to travel the world when he retires. And while I did bring him to a lot of places, and brought him with me during my travels, I really felt that I could’ve looked after him way, way more. 

So, if you have parents or loved ones, give what you can give while there is still time. I’m actually inspired by the strong Filipino trait of taking care of their families.

They say remote working is all about work-life balance, but it’s not. For me, it’s about life. Period. Those that work from home recognize that they must come first, their families must come first; life must come first. 

I never thought I’d have one. I’ll forever be indebted to them. And this always reminds me that I can always do more. 


Advice for Aspiring Freelancers

Leandro: That is certainly admirable. With remote work, you can now focus on your real priorities. Your family. Your passion. You now have a choice.

And we also want that choice for the Filipino people. What advice can you give for all the aspiring freelancers who want to start?

Chris: There’s a lot of prices to pay to have a thriving career in the Philippines. From having less time with your family to having to spend hours on the road. I don’t think anyone should tolerate the nonsense that is traffic in this country. 

Start by looking at the mirror, and discern what’s truly important for you. You need to know who you truly are, and your needs at the moment. Start there. Ask yourself if working from home is the right thing for you. 

So therefore, if you need to look after your welfare, you might want to try remote working. Then, commit to your decision. 

You need to know how you can be productive from home before you can pursue a professional career from home. You need to be an empowered remote worker, and I urge you all to step up to that plate.

Working from home can truly be a life-changing career move, and you have to be ready for it. But if you are fully prepared, you will be reaping the benefits of that decision soon enough.


Advice for Practicing Freelancers

Leandro: How about for those currently freelancing already. What’s your advice for them? 

Chris:  I really believe that it’s time for us to professionalize remote working. What does that mean?

You need to develop skills beyond your work capabilities. You need to boost your communication and comprehension skills, and your self-management skills. You need to know how to avoid procrastination and create a work from home structure. 

There were a lot of advancements in the remote working landscape since I’ve started the Remote Staff company in late 2007 until today. And I think it’s fantastic. 

You must also be familiar with various technologies and work from home tools such as Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts, etc. 

So, for those who are already a professional home-based worker, ask yourself how you can create additional value to yourself, your family, and your clients. Understand how you can add value to others. Discern what that is, then refine that.



There you have it! We should all live like it’s our last year! Imagine what great things we can all do.

And we can probably do more by attending the Working Remote conference this coming Sept 13 and 14. We have invited high caliber inspirational speakers from here an abroad to help you get that dream lifestyle through remote working.

Hurry though! Tickets are running our fast. See you there!

Win-win Opportunities for Filipinos: How Greg Gibas Matched Filipino Workers with Remote Working Careers Abroad

Win-win Opportunities for Filipinos: How Greg Gibas Matched Filipino Workers with Remote Working Careers Abroad

Would you love a career that can give you the best lifestyle without going abroad? Who wouldn’t, right?

Remote working is blessing more and more Filipinos with great opportunities right in the comforts of your homes. Online Filipino Workers 2.0 or OFW 2.0 as some may call it. Now, the ability to earn considerably high-paying jobs is now up for grabs. 

But the question is, where can you find these jobs? That’s why we invited one of our esteemed speakers for the Working Remote Conference, Greg Gibas, to help you in your quest. 

Greg Gibas is the owner of the outsourcing company Gibas Associates that has connected multiple Filipinos to clients in the United States. It’s vital to have the insights of the owner themselves so that we can tailor fit our applications for our future clients.

Without further adieu, this is how our interview went.

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Authority Factory

The Start of a Gibas Associates

Leandro: Hi Greg! I just want to start by asking, why did you build an agency? And what are your early challenges on it?

Greg: Leandro, I built my company primarily to help American companies find the workers they need for a price they can afford. This is a true win-win for everyone. Without the pricing they can get from Philippine staff, they wouldn’t be able to get the work done. And without this opportunity, many Filipinos would be out work.

The biggest challenge is finding clients. There’s a lot of companies who would love to try something like this but they really feel it’s a big hassle to set something up or they perceive that the quality or trustworthiness isn’t there. 

Unfortunately, a lot of this is due to some low-quality providers who ruin the reputation of everyone else. But increasingly as companies move out of their infrastructure into the cloud, they are more willing to entertain staff that works remotely too.


The Lifestyle of a Successful Businessman

Leandro: And this insight gave a lot of Filipinos their bread and butter without going abroad. Pretty much, freelancers are somewhat similar to a businessman like you. How does your lifestyle look like today and how did handling your operations remotely changed your life?

Greg: I think being able to live the way I have is itself an achievement. For the last 9 years, I have been able to travel, enjoy time with friends and family, and generally experience true freedom. I have seen and done more things in this world than most of my peers will ever have in their lives. This would not have been possible with a traditional job or career.

Generally, I have a pretty open schedule. I am able to spend my time how I want most days. Most of my activities are around finding new clients and looking for new opportunities.


Travel The World

Greg: Traveling the world really opened my mind up to new opportunities and trained me to think in different ways. Every city, every country has its own unique culture. To someone who hasn’t traveled, it may all seem similar or the same. But if you travel enough you certainly pick up on the nuances in the ways of thinking and problem-solving. 

My advice to anyone is to travel, but if they can’t, certainly make international friends so you can pick up on their unique mindsets too. 

The worst thing you can do for your self-development is to stay in your comfort zone and surround yourself with people who did the same mundane things. Never entertaining or having a chance to absorb other ideas and different ways of thinking.


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William Holt

Innovation vs a Proven System

Leandro: What an enviable lifestyle! And 9 years at that! I’m curious though. What’s your next move? What’s your biggest challenge as of date?

Greg: Keeping up with all the new technologies that are coming out. Every year it seems more apps and services come out that automate things that used to require labor. So for me being in the business of selling labor, this is a real threat to future growth. But there should be a balance.

I regret not taking the advice of many around me when I was getting started. At the time I was 24 years old, fresh out of business school, and thinking that I can do better what everyone else has been doing.


Sometimes, The Old Ways Works Better

Greg: In retrospect, it would have been wiser to take their advice and stick to proven ways of doing things. Know when to innovate to get around a barrier, but better to stick to proven ways for everything else. 

Don’t overcomplicate your ideas. You make money with this simple formula: you sell something that people want for more than you paid yourself to acquire it. That’s it. 

It’s a cliche to say that the old ways are going away and there’s a new way to do things, but the old ways worked for a reason. At least do yourself a favor and learn that reason before you decide if you should join in the way things are done or if you should start over.


Keep It Simple

Greg: When I see would-be entrepreneurs take more than 30 seconds to explain what they are selling I can already tell it’s not going to work. Just keep it simple. Best to stick to things people know and want already because you probably won’t have a multimillion-dollar budget to educate your market about your thing. And the truth is that people don’t buy what they don’t understand. So stick to the things people are already buying. 

But at the same time, keep your eye out for new opportunities. This is not an excuse to be complacent. I think people ultimately don’t have the right to complain about their challenges because if you see it coming and you are able to identify it, then you can do something about it. If you don’t, that’s on you.


Advice for Aspiring Freelancers

Leandro: Striking the balance between innovation and the proven system. That’s another concept every businessman and freelancer should take into consideration.

How about for those aspiring to be freelancers. What is your advice for them?

Greg: Don’t waste your time. If you want to do something, just do it. I don’t want to send a negative message here but let’s face it, we’re all mortal and we all got a limited time. 

Other people’s opinions and judgments. The truth is none of that will matter then. So don’t let it hold you back now.


Advice for Veteran Freelancers

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Advice for Veteran Freelancers

Leandro: That’s right! It’s all about having that courage to start that first step. It will be a rough road. But it’s part of it. Nothing worth it comes easy. 

For those freelancing already, what is your advice for them?

Greg: Look at what it really takes to take care of your clients. The hours you don’t bill for that you spend worrying, arguing, or waiting. Then do two things.

First, eliminate the clients who aren’t paying you enough to deal with their drama or demand too much for what they are paying. And second, look for more clients that resemble your good clients and start rejecting the bad ones before you end up wasting your time.



There you have it! Did you learn a lot? I sure did. 

If you want more, make sure to secure your tickets for the upcoming Working Remote 2019. Working Remote is the biggest remote working summit in the Philippines featuring high caliber speakers from here and abroad. They will teach you the skills to take advantage of the remote work to achieve your desired lifestyle.

Tickets are running out soon! Make sure to secure your slots today!


Leadership is a Practice: How Gina Romero Connected Women to World-Class Opportunities

Leadership is a Practice: How Gina Romero Connected Women to World-Class Opportunities

The opportunities in the Philippines are arguably limited especially for women. A lot of Filipinos look for greener pastures abroad so that they can provide the best life for their family. After all, you are responsible for your own destiny.

Is there another way? Is there another option where you don’t need to leave your family but earn decently at the same? Then, remote working might be for you. 

Remote working can give you access to jobs with pay at par with foreign rates. And the blessed catch, you can work-at-home! How cool is that? You just need to find these opportunities online and you are set to go.

The problem is, it’s not as easy as it seems. I mean where can you find these online jobs amidst all the scams out there? That’s the advocacy of one of our esteemed speakers.

We are privileged today to have an exclusive interview with Gina Romero! Gina Romera, the founder of Connected Women, aims to connect these opportunities to women all across the Philippines. And here is how it went.


Working_Remote_Collaboration Both Online and Offline

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Grab Opportunities When You Can

Leandro: Hi Ms. Gina! How are you? Before we go to tackle the success you have today, we want to know, how did you start before everything?

Gina: I’m fine, Leandro. Back then, I’ve had a very random and varied career! I’ve really had a lot of challenges and even failures in life – too many to count!

My first job was working on our family-owned pig farm in Pampanga. Then I moved back to the UK and became a long-haul cabin crew for British Airways. 

When we moved to Singapore, I also ran an IT company with my husband. And I founded The Athena Network Singapore and the Asia Pacific. I was the Operations Director for The Athena Network back then. 

When we moved from the UK to Singapore it was a struggle at first because I was almost 8 months pregnant with our youngest son. 

We had to do that big international move with short notice. It was crazy to say yes to relocating at that time, but sometimes when an opportunity comes along, you just have to grab it.

There is nothing like living and working in a different country to give you a wider perspective and deep respect for different cultures.

The Start of Connected Women

Leandro: That’s right! I myself am a Digital nomad who clamors for unique experiences abroad. And we want to share that with other people as well.

You have shared opportunities for many Filipinos through Connected Women. In this light, we want to know. How did Connected Women start?

Gina: Connected Women started back in 2013 in Singapore when I realized there wasn’t enough support for women entrepreneurs who need to learn how to use technology to grow their businesses.

Connected Women is a community where women can share, connect, work and learn. Our focus is on how women can leverage technology to be location-independent.

But of course, at the heart of Connected Women, it’s not just about technology. It’s about advocating for a better lifestyle and career choices for women and sharing the journey.

We are a community of women who want success, happiness, and (the elusive) work-life balance. That could be through entrepreneurship, remote work, or freelancing.

We want to be the go-to platform for women who want to stay up-to-date with trends for the future of work.


Working_Remote_Leadership is Learned

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Connected Women

Connecting Women to Online Jobs

Gina: And there was so much interest in hiring Virtual Assistants. And I realized this was an excellent solution for helping entrepreneurs grow their business while providing high-quality remote jobs for Filipino women.

That resonated strongly with me after my experience of seeing many Filipino women leave their families to work overseas.

My mum is from a humble family in a small town. She was one of the first OFWs to go to the UK as a domestic worker back in the 1970s.

I’m very grateful to all the OFWs who made that sacrifice. I’ve seen first-hand how hard it is.

That’s why the job platform idea started in 2015 when a lot of friends wanted to know how to hire a remote team from the Philippines. I had a small team who ran my Singapore events and content from here in the Philippines, and the ladies from my network were impressed with how talented they were.

My husband and I decided to come back in 2016 and we partnered our dynamic co-founder Ruth to set up our Philippines based startup, Connected Women Jobs.

The jobs platform is still in beta right now but the community keeps growing. It’s taken a life of its own with 42k members and 263 volunteer-led city meetups since April 2018.


Collaboration Both Online and Offline

Gina: We believe that an online career can go beyond task-based, transactional, and project-based work. We want to combine the flexibility and freedom of remote work with a sense of purpose and long-term career growth.

The community side is focused on advocacy, training, and development while the job platform is where entrepreneur clients can search for talented job seekers. 

We have regular city meetups, an active Facebook group, and an online magazine. A lot of the growth has been driven thanks to our members who passionately support and collaborate for our advocacy.


Working_Remote_The Lifestyle of a Successful Entrepreneur

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The Lifestyle of a Successful Entrepreneur

Leandro: I’m at awe what you achieved. On a personal level, how do you manage all these responsibilities? How does your lifestyle look like?

Gina: I have a very structured day which includes specific times for breaks and even checking messages and social media. Keeping a tight schedule keeps me sane and helps me to be efficient, even when I work from home.

Every morning, my husband and I take our youngest son to school. It’s walking distance from our home so we walk our dog at the same time.

When I get back, I do my personal finances and then review my calendar and tasks with my EA. I work from 9 – 6 pm, almost always from home, which includes calls with clients from all over the world.

6 pm is dinner and time to catch up with our sons. Then I relax for a while and do a bit more work. Sometimes I have evening calls with clients on the North America time zone.

A couple of days a week I have in-person meetings with some of my team. We also have 6-weekly meetups and events that happen all over the Philippines. I don’t have a car so I use taxis, ride-sharing apps or even tricycles to get around.

When I travel, my husband and youngest son (who is 8) are usually with me. We like to do things as a family and we decided long ago that we would choose a lifestyle that allows us to be together as much as possible.

Leadership is Learned

Leandro: That discipline is clearly admirable. It’s an answer to the common misconception that people who work remotely are just slackers who have all the time in the world. 

If I may ask, how did you grow to be this strong leader that you are today?

Gina: I’m really proud that I stepped up into a community leadership role and got over my fear of public speaking. I don’t consider myself a natural leader. It’s something I’ve worked on for over 10 years now.

If you had told me years ago that I would one day stand up and speak to hundreds of people to share my story, I would never have believed it would happen.

For those who think that leadership comes naturally or don’t believe they could ever be a leader, I hope this inspires them to think differently.

I realize now that leadership is a practice, not a gift. 🙂


Working_Remote_Self-Compassion- Forgive Yourself

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Connected Women

Self-Compassion: Forgive Yourself

Leandro: That’s good to know! Everyone has the ability to choose to be a leader. It can be learned. We are curious though. With all these achievements, do you have any regrets?

Gina: I think regret is one of the things I try hardest to avoid.

There are a lot of things I could have done differently, but I try to offer myself the same compassion I would anyone else.

Self-compassion is something that we should put more importance on for the sake of our happiness and mental health.

There was a time when I lived with deep regret and guilt for the difficult choices I made. I learned (the hard way) to forgive myself after hitting rock bottom. Now, if I ever doubt a decision I made, I just tell myself that I made the best decision at the time – for reasons that were right at that time.

Only at that moment can you fully understand why you make a certain choice. And if that moment has passed, there’s no point in feeling guilty. I just try to focus on what I’ve learned – and what I can change right now. 🙂


Working_Remote_Advice for Aspiring Freelancers

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Advice for Aspiring Freelancers

Leandro: That insight is really valuable. Many people are stuck with where they are today because of their mistakes from the past. Knowing that you can forgive yourself is a big step to moving to a more prosperous future.

And for those aspiring for a prosperous one, what is your advice for aspiring freelancers?

Gina: I think it’s always important to start with your aspirations. Why do you want to become a freelancer or remote worker?

Are you are looking for flexibility or stability? Are you willing to take risks, learn new skills? What skills do you already have that can be leveraged? 

Remote work isn’t a magic pill that will bring you everything in life. Like anything, to be a successful remote worker it takes hard work, dedication, and focus.

It can also be a wonderfully rewarding lifestyle where you have the opportunity to work from anywhere with people from everywhere. 🙂


Working_Remote_Advice for Practicing Freelancers

Image Credit:
Connected Women

Advice for Practicing Freelancers

Leandro: Yes! Many people think that success from remote working will come with just a snap of a finger. In reality, it takes hard work and never-ending learning to be successful in it.

How about for those practicing freelancing already? What is your advice for them?

Gina: The world of remote work is changing fast. We’re moving into a time where remote work is quickly becoming the new normal.

People have access to a global talent pool, and technologies like AI, automation, big data, and bots are changing the landscape of work. The future of remote work is already happening and it’s getting competitive.

It’s essential to stay relevant by watching the trends and changes – and ask yourself, “Are you maximizing your human potential?”.

This is an exciting time to be part of an evolving workforce – let’s make the most of it.

And don’t forget to enjoy the journey!



And enjoy we will! Did you enjoy the learnings from Gina? Well, I sure did! And you can get more out of her wisdom in the coming Working Remote Summit.

We have invited high caliber speakers from here and abroad to share their expertise in working remotely just for you. Achieve that lifestyle you always wanted! All you need is to reserve your slots today


The Power of Working Remotely: How MK Bertulfo Became the Best Mom She Can Be While Building a Thriving Community of Filipino Homebased Moms

The Power of Working Remotely: How MK Bertulfo Became the Best Mom She Can Be While Building a Thriving Community of Filipino Homebased Moms

Career or Family? It’s the lifelong debacle of almost all parents striving for a better life. If you choose a better career, you will secure the future of your growing kids. But at the expense of nurturing them and being with them in their early years. 

With Manila traffic (2-3 hours commute per day MINIMUM) or finding high-paying jobs abroad, I highly doubt that everyone can manage both. If you choose to be a stay-at-home parent, how can you support your family well? 



Image Credit:
FB: MK Bertuflo

Career or Family?

What do you choose then? BOTH says MK Bertulfo, the founder of Filipino Homebased Moms (FHMoms). Gone are the days when you are constrained with the tyranny of the OR. With remote working, you can now be a stay-at-home parent while having a thriving career comparable to going abroad.

And it’s not surprising that the Filipino freelancers are now dubbed as OFW 2.0 or Online Filipino Workers. We have the privilege to interview MK, one of the speakers of the upcoming Working Remote Summit

Let’s find out how MK managed to build a thriving community of online freelancers while being the best mom she can be!


Starting as a Freelancer

Leandro: Hi MK! We are really lucky to have you here. Every one of our readers wants to know. How did you start your freelancing career?

MK: I am a BPO employee before starting. And the never-ending cycle tolled on me. The 8-hour daily grind plus the chaotic traffic in the metro. From queuing too long lines of public transportation plus the awful experience of heavy traffic when going home. Because of this, I was often absent in the important moments of my son and loved ones’ lives. 

Something has to change. It made me contemplate on transitioning to working from home. 

I came across, one of the biggest and known online home-based job portal. I tried creating a profile for the first time – after only a few hours, someone had already sent me an invite to work. 

Unable to contain my happiness, I gloriously shared my experience with my mom-friends whom eventually, I had helped landed online jobs too. Then I created the Facebook community and the response from Pinay moms is overwhelming.



Image Credit:
FB: MK Bertulfo

The Lifestyle of an FHMom

Leandro: Yes! Many moms resonate with your experience. How did your lifestyle change when you worked remotely? How does your typical day look like?

MK: It is a daily grind. People might think that it is easy because you’re at home, but it is not. You’ve got to manage your time to do your work, attend meetings, do household chores, take care of your child, and everything else that is happening in between. 

In my case since we’ve become bigger, I also have to attend other appointments and meet people outside my home.

Time management is an important factor coupled with ”diskarte” and flexibility. You have to do some planning on your head and figure out what to do with your day. You will figure it out as you go along with working at home. It’s different for everyone. You will eventually have your own strategy.



Image Credit:
FB: MK Bertulfo

Building a Thriving Community

Leandro: That lifestyle is so enviable. No need to choose your career over your family. You can now do both. 

And speaking of doing both, you have helped a lot of Filipino Moms to have the same lifestyle as you. We are curious, how did you get to build such a strong community?

MK: If you don’t know already, FHMoms is an all-in-one community where you get support from other members. The community and the courses we offer are tailored exclusively for Pinay Moms that fit your experiences and interest. 

It all started from word of mouth and referrals from members. It greatly helped us to grow tremendously. We even have apprenticeship programs after the courses. Also, we offer events to engage members and make them learn more, and we have employers who hire from our group. 



Image Credit:
FB: MK Bertulfo

Have a Bigger Vision

MK: Now that the vision is becoming bigger. We’re making everything aligned. The challenge is working the vision into reality. 

When we grew in numbers, we need programs, projects, funding, government compliance requirements, and much more to make things work out. 


Working_Remote_Attracting Partners for the Cause

Image Credit:
FB: MK Bertulfo

Attracting Partners for the Cause

MK: Luckily, we attracted partners and affiliations that helped us with more projects and events. We continue to collaborate with other organizations and communities to benchmark ideas and prosper our existing dynamics.

Reaching hundreds of thousands of people, we have touched lives. The impact of our community inspired more and more communities to help and go beyond what’s necessary. 

Now more institutions are recognizing us. We won the Community of the Year in 2018! And we continue to receive partnerships all over the Philippines.

Our secret to this growth is to make it personal. When you’re working close to your heart, it is a different commitment, perseverance, and dedication. And your members can feel it too.

It is a hell of a job, but we keep working on it. We will not stop until we have our vision seen. We are changing lives, one mom at a time.



Image Credit:
FB: MK Bertulfo

Advice for Aspiring and Veteran Freelancers

Leandro: I have no words for what I’ve just heard. I’m at awe at what you’ve built and the impact you are creating to every single Filipino Mom you get in touch with. A lot of people want to have the same time flexibility you experience.

To the freelancers out there, what is your advice for them?

MK: It is a lot of work. You have to have guts. Be committed. Go beyond your comfort zone. Try other things and continue to learn. Grow and be the best of yourself. If you work hard enough with the proper skills, you will prosper.



There you have it! That is just a gist of what MK is about to offer. If you want more, better book your tickets now for the upcoming Working Remote 2019 happening this Sept 13 and 14. We have invited high caliber speakers from here and abroad just to share their expertise in Working Remotely.

Hurry! Tickets are running out fast! Reserve your slots today!


Freelancer Benefits: Cindy Burdette’s Journey to Building a Successful Start-up for the Overall Wellness of Freelancers

Freelancer Benefits: Cindy Burdette’s Journey to Building a Successful Start-up for the Overall Wellness of Freelancers

The allure of freelancing. Time flexibility. Location Independence. Control your income wherever you are in the world. It’s like living THE life! What else can go wrong, right?

A lot of things. Sickness. Health concerns. And it’s good to be protected from these emergencies. The problem is, the Filipino freelancers don’t really have access to such insurance and benefits.


Freelancers are Business Owners

Besides, we are self-employed. And we don’t have the negotiating power to strike favorable deals from big HMO providers or other employee benefits providers.

That’s why our guest today built a company to cater to the much-needed wellness benefits for the freelancer market. In fact, the very first in the world. 

So we are really curious, how can you actually build a successful startup in this field? Who else to ask but someone who actually did it. Here is our exclusive interview with one of our esteemed speakers in the coming Working Remote 2019, Cindy Burdette.


ALLCARE for Freelancers

Cindy Burdette is the Co-founder and CEO of ALLCARE, a company offering HMO, insurance, and other employee benefits for freelancers. 

Before this, she is the head of B2B growth for Storm Technologies PH. A startup specializing in employee benefits. And with her leadership, Storm even won first prize in the Startup World Cup (SWC) held by Fenox Venture Capital.

In this regard, you are sure that ALLCARE has the experience and capabilities to deliver the best wellness package designed just for you. 

Leandro: Out of all the business ideas, why did you focus on company benefits centralized on healthcare?

Cindy: Actually ALLCARE is not just healthcare but it is holistic benefits at its core. This is largely influenced by my time in STORM, a benefits technology company, and because our founding team members are all STORMers. Worker benefits are one of the least talked about things, especially for MSMEs and freelancers. 

Because ALLCARE doesn’t just serve your basic health needs, we look at the overall quality of life and we envision that we help every member, whether individual or MSME, to achieve a smooth work-life experience in all aspects, not just healthcare. Moreover, value-wise, I think ALLCARE is the best, bias aside hehe. 



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Building a Successful Startup

Leandro: RIGHT! I saw on your website that you not only offer HMOs but also insurance. And even free internet in Coffee Bean and Grab vouchers among others! Talk about value. 

I just want to ask though. Freelancers are business owners. We don’t have a boss because we boss ourselves around. In return, the growth of our freelancing career lies on our own efforts pretty much like how business owners and startups close clients every single time.

If I may ask, what are the signs of a successful startup and what are your challenges in building it? And how do you handle your team?

Cindy: Working in and on a start-up gives a different exhilarating feeling and gives people like me more room to solve different needs. 

You’re always building when you work in a startup and that means there are always challenges in your way. Common challenges would be funding, market penetration, hiring among others. And now, my biggest challenge is to grow ALLCARE to be a familiar name for every worker.

My leadership style to handle this is a mix of tough love and deep, personal care so my team knows I’m with them no matter what and that relationship has borne so many fruits for all my endeavors. 

Personally, I think this is my greatest accomplishment: the relationship I have with current and former teams in building these startups. 

As to the signs, you really can’t define what are the signs that show you are going to be a successful startup but there aspects that can help you get closer to that goal: a solid company culture, openness to different voices and ideas/debates, a business model that makes sense, a product that people love and a brand that they care about. 


Advice for Aspiring Freelancers 

Leandro: That’s great! We definitely got valuable insights to build our startup-like freelancing careers. And speaking of starting, what are your tips for them to get the same lifestyle and results?

Cindy: Every journey is unique so I would veer away from getting the “same lifestyle” as those who have come before and are very successful. 

If you really want to start freelancing, you need to think about your current situation and see if you can go part-time freelancing to start or if you have enough financial freedom (and other responsibilities) to go full-time freelancing. 

Freelancing is very attractive if you focus just on the independence and maximum potential earnings, but there are also a lot of sacrifices right there. 



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Advice for those Currently Freelancing

Leandro: That’s correct! Every person has their own situation. We should tailor-fit our decisions to our circumstances.

How about for those who are currently in the freelancing world, what advice can you give them to have a better career?

Cindy: Be humble and be professional. Be of good character and integrity. Feedback and relationships are an important investment in freelancing or self-employment. Referrals, additional scope, new projects – all in visibility if every person you encounter has a good opinion about you and your work. 



There you have it! Ms. Cindy Burdette! Did you learn a lot? I sure did!

If you want more, better reserve your slots now for the upcoming Working Remote Conference happening this coming September 13 and 14! We have invited high caliber speakers from here and abroad to show you how to achieve your dream lifestyle with remote working.

Hurry because the tickets are very limited. Take advantage of this opportunity! See you there!


#BestMeEver: The Journey of Myke Celis in Finding His Passion and Purpose

#BestMeEver: The Journey of Myke Celis in Finding His Passion and Purpose

Finding your purpose is a lifelong process. It makes everything you do enjoyable. It’s something that lets you push through all the hardships to get to your goals. 

You are lucky if you finally found it. If you haven’t, it’s alright. You can still be successful while in the process. And that’s what we are curious about. And our guest today found his purpose in helping people reach their #BestMeEver!  

One of the speakers in the upcoming Working Remote 2019, Myke Celis is an internationally certified life coach helping people towards self-actualization and personal breakthroughs.

We got the chance to have an exclusive interview with him. And this is how it went.



Image Credit:
Orange Magazine

Finding YOUR Purpose

Leandro: Hi Myke! We are really lucky to have you here. Everyone wants to find their purpose in life. For you, what’s the turning point that led you to it?

Myke: Thank you, Leandro! I found myself at my lowest point in 2014 when I hit rock bottom after a physically abusive relationship and a betrayal of a friend which left me almost bankrupt. Bu those allowed me to discover my #BestMeEver. And have my personal breakthroughs after I got so broken.

I always say that my greatest achievement at this point in my life is to be able to live my purpose and pursue my passion while having the time and means to do so.

And I believe that my purpose in life is to help other people discover their own #BestMeEver.



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Best Me Ever

Motivating and Transforming Others

Leandro: Finding your purpose in helping others. That is a noble goal. You have this talent in motivational speaking that is impactful to people. In your opinion, is it a good time to start now in the same field? What do you suggest are needed by our readers to start in this career?

Myke: I would consider myself as a Transformational Speaker instead. It’s not just about motivating but rather changing something from within and transforming them into their best in the process.

I always believed, regardless of one’s background or accomplishments, every story is worth hearing. If you have the heart to share, just go for it. Then build on your story.

Always consider that at the end of the day, it’s not about you, but how you were able to transfer your audience in the process by allowing them to resonate fully towards you.



Image Credit:
Manila Bulletin

Advice to Those Starting to Freelance

Leandro: That’s right! It’s not about you. It’s about your story. It’s how it can uplift the lives of the people hearing them. And a lot of freelancers reading this might have the same doubts. 

For those who want to start freelancing, what are your tips for them to get the same lifestyle and results?

Myke: Identify your purpose, hold on to it, pursue your passion and when the going gets tough, revert back to your purpose. 

Always live your personal truth. When you know your why, all other aspects will follow. Be a unicorn amidst a sea of people.

Celebrate little milestones and duplicate big wins. Reflect on what matters most after each and every day and allow yourself to enjoy the journey with the desired end in mind.


Advice for Practicing Freelancers

Leandro: Purpose. That is certainly a good way to start. How about for those who are already practicing freelancers, what is your advice for them?

Myke: Always ask yourself what’s next? Continue to learn and expand your skills set. never be afraid to explore new territories and always remember that you will always be good enough.


There you have it! Did you learn a lot? Learn more from Myke and our great lineup of speakers at the upcoming Working Remote 2019!

It’s a gathering of high caliber speakers from here and abroad to teach how to achieve your dream lifestyle with remote working. Tickets are running out fast! Reserve your slots today!


6-Figure Income in Freelancing? How John Pagulayan Used Freelancing to Earn Income People Would Just Dream Of

6-Figure Income in Freelancing? How John Pagulayan Used Freelancing to Earn Income People Would Just Dream Of

Freelancing has a common misconception: it’s just rackets or small side gigs that can give you a few bucks. I mean that may be true to a certain extent. But keeping your view of freelancing this way may make you miss bigger opportunities in the remote working field.

Because right now, it’s far from the measly pennies you imagine. You can actually live quite a comfortable lifestyle (and some really prosperous 6-figure careers) with remote working! And our guest today can attest to it. 

Known as John “The Legend” Pagulayan (JTL) and the CEO of Raving Ventures, John is giving back to the community by sharing his expertise in email marketing and targetting premium clients for your practice.  


How He Started

Image Credit: Pixabay

How He Started

John’s journey to becoming a freelancing superstar is a series of serendipitous “accidents”. 

Before freelancing, John was a call center agent earning roughly 30k a month. It’s a pretty comfortable income level. But as time goes by, life made him realize that this income is not actually enough.

So like everyone who wants to earn extra, he googled: “How to Make Money Online?” He found out about affiliate marketing and was seduced by quick riches from different websites. John tried Affiliate marketing but after doing it for 6 months, it was not working for him.

He then jumped on Blogging. But what’s frustrating is that no one was reading his blog. I mean he didn’t really know how to attract readers by this time. He just has this one fan who believed in what he stands for.

He wrote for this fan. Asked him what he wanted to read. Basically, he made his blog to cater to this newfound persona. 


Email Marketing Stint

They actually became friends! The fan helped John revamp his website. And gave him the opportunity that started everything.

He offered John an email marketing job for $5 per email. In Philippine standards, that’s big! Even without knowing anything about it, John said YES with confidence. I mean he needed the money. And it was just writing emails, how hard can it be?

The answer: REALLY HARD! As he learned about his real job, email marketing and copywriting isn’t effortless. You have to compel your readers to not only open your email but also to buy the product you are selling.  

He had two weeks to learn the craft. He bought courses (even a $5000 one!) and absorbed as much as he can. 

The client loved his output! And the rest is history. With over 3000+ marketing emails written, he is now one of the most sought after email marketer in the world. Do you want to learn more from him? 

We got the chance to have an exclusive interview and this is how it went.


The Lifestyle of a Success Freelancer

Leandro: Hi John! Knowing from your background you really worked hard in your foundation stage to reach your what you have today. We are curious how does your lifestyle look like now?

John: I only do client work on Mondays from 8 am to 4 or 5 pm. 

The rest of the week I could pretty much do what I please since its just meetings every now and then and supporting Tribe (which is actually taking most of my time now that I think about it). 

As for my lifestyle, It’s just simple. We go out whenever we like to since I don’t have any schedules to follow except at night when I close clients which are around 1 -3  hour each week. 

And I’m always invited on events so that takes up my weekends, meetups with fellow freelancers, with my Tribe, tapos inuman hanggang umaga [and get drunk until the next day]. Haha!

I think ang bisyo lang talaga naming pamilya [the vice of our family] is to travel. 

For this year alone, we’ve taken week-long vacations to Japan, Guam, Bicol, Hongkong. Texas this coming June to train business owners and Siargao in July.


Greatest Challenge Yet

Leandro: Wow! That’s an enviable lifestyle. You only work once a week. And other days are just for the extra. With your accomplishments now, what’s your biggest accomplishment and are there still things that challenge you?

John: My biggest accomplishment is being able to build a TRIBE of freelancers that have a different set of values and beliefs than most.

I never knew it would reach this many freelancers since people barely knew who I am two years back.

And to be able to change literally hundreds of lives and be able to help them achieve their dreams with my entire family supporting the cause almost seems unreal.

But challenges will never be gone. The biggest challenge was how to make my freelance business run without me being 100% there. For one thing, I won’t be able to do the whole TRIBE project if I’m tied to my laptop 24/7 just to earn.

So to remedy that, I built systems for client acquisition, onboarding, delivery, hired several writers under my wing. I also devised compensation plans where I’m getting commissions for one-time work for a more passive income.

Once I’ve gotten to at least 90% automation, that’s the time I decided to give in to their request and launched the TRIBE program. 


The Opportunities in Copywriting

Leandro: Not only can you command a 6-Figure price tag in your freelancing career, but you also made it passive. And helped other people get the same results! That’s very admirable.

Speaking of these results, we want to get a grasp on copywriting in the Philippines. What is its potential for us freelancers? And is it really your passion that’s why you chose it?

John:  I didn’t. Heck, I barely have an idea what it was at that time. Add the fact that I hate writing ever since I was in elementary. But yeah, to keep it short, let’s just say that it found me and not the other way around. I just happened to stick with it.

And It’s VERY lucrative. Because for one, you don’t need a degree. You don’t even need to have perfect grammar. I was always insecure about how I write since I didn’t have any formal training on it. But as it turns out, you don’t need one. Lol! 

In fact, I used to write 450-word articles for $750 per article and that was only two years into freelancing. So based on potential alone, a 6-figure (or 7-figure) monthly income is very much achievable. 

In fact, the only problem I see is that us Filipinos are very much attached to the academic way of writing which is very different from how most copywriters write when we want to ‘sell’ something.


Know Your Market

Image Credit:
Marketing Land

Know Your Market

John: Copy is only 10%. If you want to be a highly paid copywriter that generates results for clients, you need to be good at 2 things — none of which is copy. 

Researching the market which is arguably 50% of the battle and crafting an offer the market can’t refuse which for me personally is 40%. 

Only 10% is the copy — the one where most copywriters are focused on. 

For example, if the market is “dog owners”, and your product is cat food… you can be the greatest copywriter alive but it’ll be extremely hard to get dog owners to buy cat food since the OFFER is not a fit for the MARKET.

So to generate results for your client… focus on finding out what the market wants and packaging your client’s product based on what your market wants.

Do that and people will buy what you’re selling regardless if your copy sucks or not.


Advice for Aspiring Freelancers

Leandro: It’s exciting to be hearing this. With more and more businesses needing copywriters, the opportunity seems sky high. For those who are just about to start freelancing, what advice can you give them to start right?

John: Surround themselves with the right kind of people.

The saying, “you’re the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with” also rings true for freelancing. 

We’ve seen this time and time again and the evidence doesn’t lie.

Freelancing is simple — but not easy. As such, you’d need any encouragement and ‘push’ you can get from your family and peers. But more often than not, since freelancing is a fairly new industry to most Filipinos, and while they have good intentions, most of them will try to discourage you from your journey. Which is why most aspiring freelancers give up before they could even get started. 

So choose your network wisely — preferably those who’ll cheer for you when don’t feel like trying, celebrate with your wins (this is a must), be there for you when you hit a slump, and give you honest feedback based on their experience when you need it. 

Trust me, who you associate with will make or break your freelance business.


Advice for those Freelancing Already

Leandro: People you associate with all the time really do matter. It will dictate your way of thinking and in the long run, your career and net worth as well. How about for those currently freelancing already, what is your advice to them?

John: Stop focusing on skills, experience, credentials, and portfolio because it has nothing or very little to do with having a successful freelance business. 

Back when I was starting out, I really thought I needed to have years of experience, some kick-ass credentials, and a portfolio bursting with past client work to be able to charge those kinds of fees.

In my head, it seems there should be more.

Well, there is more… but NOT the things most of us freelancers think we need.

Instead, let’s focus on knowing how to market and position our services and knowing the value or the results we give our clients. 

Because that’s the problem… Whenever I ask freelancers what VALUE they provide they come back with these responses…

‍‍‍‍“I make their website”

‍‍‍‍‍“I help them post on social media”

‍‍‍‍‍‍“I create processes for their team”

‍‍‍‍‍While those are awesome, that’s not really the VALUE their clients are looking for. ‍‍‍‍‍Take SEO experts for example.

Why would clients want to hire them?‍‍‍‍‍‍ Is it to rank #1 on Google?

But why would they want to rank? Is it to get more people to visit it?

‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍But why would they want more people to visit their website? 

We could go and on about this but the bottom line is they want more customers.‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍

Yet most SEO experts don’t even mention a single thing about getting customers.

Which begs the question…

How will their clients know the results they can give them when they themselves don’t even know exactly the value their services provides?

So stop focusing on what you did and what you do and start focusing on how you can help them achieve the results they want. 

‍‍‍I’ve gotten more clients that way than bragging about my experience and credentials.



There you have it! The Legend, John Pagulayan! Did you learn a lot? Well, I sure did! If you want more from John, better book your tickets now for the upcoming Working Remote Conference 2019!

It’s jampacked with high caliber speaker from here and abroad aimed to help you get the lifestyle you want through remote working. The tickets are running out. Reserve your slot today!


From Poverty to Becoming a Successful Digital Nomad:  How Third World Nomad Karissa Javier Rose Above All With Remote Working

From Poverty to Becoming a Successful Digital Nomad:  How Third World Nomad Karissa Javier Rose Above All With Remote Working

Let’s admit it. It’s hard to be born in a third world country. You don’t have the same opportunities compared abroad. And you need a lot of luck and privilege to be able to just rise from it. 

That’s why the Filipinos gamble their livelihood to jobs in other countries as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW). I mean with the lack of opportunities here, what else can we do? 

And that is about to change with OFW 2.0 or Online Filipino Workers. Remote working is the great equalizer. Right now, everyone can actually earn OFW income in the Philippines. Like our esteemed guest for today, Karissa Javier.

Also known as the Third World Nomad, Karissa Javier has proven that regardless of your background, you can still be successful, especially with today’s technology. 

Karissa is one of our esteemed speakers in the upcoming Working Remote Conference. And we are lucky to have an exclusive interview with the Third World Nomad herself. This is how it went.


Start of the Freelancing Journey

Leandro: Hi Kari! We are really lucky to have you today in this interview. To start off, I just want to know, how did you start your journey as a freelancer?

Kari: Hi Leandro! Like most freelancers, I also came from a traditional background. I was a full-time employee. I worked in the call center industry for three years but I hated that feeling of being stuck in the rat race. Not only was I not earning enough as the family’s breadwinner, but I was also not getting any closer to my dreams. That’s when I knew I had to find a way out. 


From Poverty to Success

From Poverty to Success

Leandro: I see. Can you tell me more about your family? I mean, why did you decide to become a breadwinner?

Kari: Leandro, I lost my dad when I was 11 and our family got separated because of poverty. We grew up in a 3rd world country. Coming from that background, it’s very easy to give up and accept things as they are but I learned to overcome challenges because there was no other way. 

When my siblings and I had nothing to eat, I had to find a way to put food on the table and that became my training ground. I came face to face with my biggest challenge early on in life – losing my father and filling his shoes in a way – that became my strength. Now, there are very few things that overwhelm me because I’ve been through the worst. 

And aside from being a mother, I’m proud to be an inspiration and a testament to others who came from “poverty” – whether literally or figuratively. Anyone can reach their dreams and achieve absolute freedom. It doesn’t matter where you came from. Being able to influence others in my community to take control of their lives keeps me going. My story is the best thing I can share and my proudest accomplishment.


The Lifestyle of a Successful Digital Nomad

The Lifestyle of a Successful Digital Nomad

Leandro: And that’s certainly inspiring. It further proves that you just need to learn the skills and you can become successful as well. So we’re curious, how does a day of a successful digital nomad look like?

Kari: I don’t really have a schedule. As a digital nomad, I’m traveling half the time. If I’m not working from our home in the Philippines, I’ll be at a hotel or an Airbnb exploring a new city or meeting with clients. Some days, I’m extra adventurous and full of energy. 

Sometimes, I just want to focus on a project and be in front of my laptop the whole time and then there are times, I just want to disconnect and spend the entire time with my family. Either way, I make sure that I’m always reachable. I have a team who supports me 24/7 and that’s one of the things that makes this lifestyle work.


Helping Filipinos Become Digital Nomads As Well

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Helping Filipinos Become Digital Nomads As Well

Leandro: Control over your time and how you want to spend it. That’s the new dream of most Filipinos. And you are traveling the world on top of that! How are you actually helping Filipinos have the same lifestyle?

Kari: After two years of working online, I realized that the best way to scale my business and help others at the same time is to build an agency. A lot of people are looking for a way to transition from full-time employment to freelancing. I was able to provide part-time and full-time opportunities to family and friends and then to bigger communities while making a profit. 

For those who want to be a digital nomad, it all starts with the right mindset. I call it the freedom mindset. Whether it’s fueled by a dream or a need, you gotta have that passion to travel, grow, and experience life. Find a way to sustain that lifestyle by creating a business or finding a career that you can do remotely. We’re very lucky because our technology nowadays allows us to do exactly that. 

Next, build your financial portfolio. As Filipinos, it’s harder for us to travel compared to Westerners but there are ways around it, one of them is showing financial proof. Find a good mentor and a supportive community. Surround yourself with the right people, the right habits, the right learnings, and the right mindset.

YOU have the power to change your life. You may not have a say as to how your story started but you can always say: this is not how my story is going to end.


Advice For Those Who Want to Start Freelancing

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Advice For Those Who Want to Start Freelancing 

Leandro: Well said! These tips are certainly helpful for those who want to have an online career alongside being a digital nomad. But for those who are just starting as freelancers, what is your advice for them?

Kari: I just want to say that there is no secret to becoming a successful freelancer, there is only YOU. You already have everything you need to succeed. Start where you are. Use what you have and do whatever it takes. 


Advice For Those Who Are Already Freelancing

Leandro: Yes! It’s YOU who will create your destiny. Utilize what you have. And if it’s not enough, find a way to bridge the gap between YOU and YOUR GOALS. How about for those already freelancing, what are your tips to further their craft?

Kari: Keep growing – get out of your comfort zone. There is so much more to see and learn and share. 



There you have it! Did you learn a lot from Kari? Living the remote working life while traveling the world. What more can you ask for?

Well if you want more, make sure to secure your Working Remote Tickets. The slots are already filling up. Don’t get left behind and invest in yourself for a better lifestyle ahead of you. Cheers!


The Power of LinkedIn Marketing: Key Insights from LinkedIn Expert Virginia Bautista in Building Your Brand and Premium Client Base

The Power of LinkedIn Marketing: Key Insights from LinkedIn Expert Virginia Bautista in Building Your Brand and Premium Client Base

Freelancing is a blessing for everyone practicing in this field. You get to have more control over your time and location. I mean, you just need your trusty laptop and a reliable internet connection and you’re good to go! Now, I’m even writing this article while I’m in a coffee shop in Bali. How cool is that, right?

But it’s not that easy. For one, you need an inflow of clients to sustain your lifestyle. After all, it’s YOUR business. You don’t have a boss anymore. You are responsible for your results, whether it’s good or bad. Speaking of which, how can you get clients? Better yet, how can you effectively acquire premium paying clients? 

LinkedIn might be the answer to your qualms. With that, we invited esteemed LinkedIn Expert Virginia Bautista to share her key insights in building your brand on LinkedIn to get that elusive premium client base. 

Virginia will be present in the Working Remote Conference. We are lucky enough to get a pre-event interview from her to upgrade our craft. And here is how it went.


The Start of the Freelancing Journey

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The Start of the Freelancing Journey

Leandro: Hi Virginia! You are very successful now in your chosen field. I mean one of the top LinkedIn evangelists in Asia. You were even featured in Forbes (twice to be exact!). We are just curious, how did you start your career?

Virginia: Leandro, I was a college professor for 11+ years. While teaching full time, I started moonlighting in 2008 as a freelance writer. Then in 2010, I decided to jump into full-time freelance writing and editing. 

It was a difficult decision for me at the time, but I was excited to work from home with my kids, so I left my then stable job at a university. Looking back, I’m grateful that I did have the courage to get out of my comfort zone and take the road less traveled, which is freelancing. 


The Lifestyle of a Successful Freelancer

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When in Manila

The Lifestyle of a Successful Freelancer

Leandro: And the pay off was so worth it. The time spent with your kids is probably worth the fearful risk you took. So now, can you describe to me how your lifestyle looks like?

Virginia: As my client base changes, my workday also changes. Currently, I get much of my work done in the morning, from 5 a.m.until 10 a.m. I handle LinkedIn profile management for our clients from 9 p.m. till 12 mn. I do calls and meetings with my local clients in the afternoon and with international clients at around 1 a.m.

Being able to reinvent my career by having clarity on what I really want in life, and by discovering the power of LinkedIn as a personal branding tool for career and business success.

And that clarity stems from a super loving and supportive family: my husband + our five kids. Without them by my side every day, I won’t be here. They’re my real blessings and also my greatest achievement!


The Power of LinkedIn

Leandro: And that’s what I’m talking about. The power to control your time used to nurture your family is definitely the greatest achievement one mother can actually have. 

And speaking of power, LinkedIn is not really a social media platform of choice for Filipinos. Can you tell us more about the Power of LinkedIn? And how it can help our freelancing careers as well?

Virginia: I’m glad you asked. LinkedIn has changed my life in ways I never thought possible. The truth, though, is that I didn’t plan to focus on LinkedIn. I wasn’t a fan of social networking — I’m an introvert and socializing online makes me feel uncomfortable. So when I created my LinkedIn profile in 2008, I didn’t even bother to use it. 

But when career opportunities started knocking on my door through LinkedIn, I felt so excited, so I started taking LinkedIn more seriously. I eventually overcome that feeling of uneasiness having to network online with other professionals. And this decision changed my life forever. 


The Current State of LinkedIn in the Philippines

Virginia: According to LinkedIn data, there are over 6 million LinkedIn members from the Philippines. However, the overwhelming majority of them are not active on the platform. The last time I checked through the Sales Navigator, only 45,000+ are active — that’s less than 1% of the number of LinkedIn profiles from the Philippines.

And I’ve observed that the majority of the active LinkedIn members from PH have no idea how to make LinkedIn work for them. To me, this means missed opportunities not only for the Filipino professionals and entrepreneurs but also for the local industry and the Philippine workforce, in general.

This is the reason I make it my mission to help increase LinkedIn awareness in the country by hosting LinkedIn Local Philippines meetups and speaking about the power of LinkedIn in relevant events.


The Future of LinkedIn in the Philippines

Leandro: Wow! So it is really underutilized in the Philippines. So for the Filipinos now who are quite on the fence in using LinkedIn, how can it help them future proof their freelancing practice?

Virginia: LinkedIn, as the largest network of professionals and as a career and business tool,  has been growing at a very fast pace. So many new features are being rolled out globally every quarter, every year.

In the Philippines, though, LinkedIn is still very young. Very few professionals and entrepreneurs have realized the power of LinkedIn.

Here’s where I see LinkedIn in the Philippines in the near future: 

  • More young professionals, especially those who “get tired” of Facebook, will embrace LinkedIn in expressing themselves and building their network. LinkedIn’s relatively new features including the ability to upload native videos are sure to attract young professionals.
  • Recruiters in the Philippines are becoming more sophisticated and resourceful. I see that in the near future, more recruiters will be leveraging their own network of professionals to match applicants with jobs.
  • More Filipinos will see the value of content creation on LinkedIn in advancing their careers or businesses. LinkedIn now offers several ways a professional could showcase their talent or skills through content — i.e., we can create and share videos, podcasts, articles, or even documents.
  • I also see that more Filipino freelancers will turn their attention to LinkedIn in sourcing their clients as freelance marketplaces become saturated with other freelancers hoping to get freelance jobs. With more freelancers joining marketplaces, the race to the bottom isn’t about to end, and so Filipino freelancers will soon realize that they need an alternative and sustainable route to getting clients without lowering their fees and without having to bid all the time. 

LinkedIn is more than just a professional network. It’s a tool that can help accelerate your success. It’s a virtual place where opportunities meet those who prepare for the next big thing in their careers by investing in their learning, in professional relationships and in their personal brands. 

Whether you’re on LinkedIn or not, opportunities will be there. And if you’re not there, obviously, you’ll miss those opportunities. And guess what, those who invest in themselves by building their LinkedIn profiles and presence are the ones who will win the opportunities that you have just been dreaming about.  


Advice for Those Who Are Just Starting

Leandro: That’s pretty interesting. Imagine a freelancing career with high paying clients. How would our lifestyle change, right? And LinkedIn can definitely start that trend.

But for those just starting to freelance, what advice can you give them?

Virginia: Absolutely! To all the aspiring freelancers, here are some tips for you: 

  • When you’re just starting, don’t focus on the $$$. Focus on learning. Focus on investing in yourself. Focus on doing a great job once you got a client. Eventually, you will earn the right to charge premium fees as you gain more experience, have clarity in your own niche and expertise, get known for what you do best, and gather relevant client testimonials.
  • If a fellow freelancer advises you to get started by going to freelance marketplaces like Upwork, run away. Relying on freelance marketplaces in finding clients is NOT sustainable. Well, if the one giving you advice finds success in marketplaces, then that’s fine — ask them for a roadmap, and give it a try. But if the advice comes from a fellow freelancer who’s struggling to get paid their worth in those marketplaces, stop and rethink your options.
  • Never follow any advice (not even mine) without doing your own research. There are many routes to gaining financial independence through freelancing, so ask yourself first, “Is this route the one that will take me to freelancing success?” I can tell you, for example, that LinkedIn is the way to go, but the truth is, LinkedIn is simply a tool. It’s still you that will have to put in the work to succeed. It’s the same with freelancing. Not so many people find success in freelancing. That’s because freelancing is more of a lifestyle, not a 9-5 job. So do your research before jumping in. 


Advice for those Already Freelancing

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When in Manila

Advice for those Already Freelancing

Leandro: That’s golden advice! I mean, research and listen to those who have the results you want. Applicable not only in our freelancing careers but also in our lives.

How about for those who are already freelancing? What can you suggest to help them further their craft?

Virginia: To those who have been freelancing for some time, here are my pieces of advice for you:

Stop acting like a freelancer. Act like an entrepreneur. Freelancing is a business, not a job. Rather than spending your precious time looking for clients in marketplaces, you should be investing your time and money in your learning and in marketing, which will give you long-term success.

Stop telling the world that you’re a freelancer. Tell them you’re an expert, then act like one. If you want to thrive as a freelancer, you have to build your personal brand around being an expert at what you do. Choose a niche. Find your target market. Make yourself visible to them. Be so good at what you do that potential clients can’t ignore you.

Never look at your fellow freelancers as your competitors. I’m a freelancer, you’re a freelancer, but believe me, we’re not competitors. We have different skill sets, values, purpose, strengths, and weaknesses. And we have different client avatars. 

And if you have clarity on who you are and why you do what you do, you’ll never think of anyone as your competitor because you know you are the ONLY ONE with those skill sets, experience, and expertise. So instead of competing, why not help each other out? 



There you have it! Timely advice to fully utilize the potential of LinkedIn in our freelancing careers. 

Can’t get enough of Virginia? Better book your Working Remote Tickets now to get more out of our resident LinkedIn expert. See you there!

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