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
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
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
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
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!