Life is definitely hard. To succeed, you need to overcome challenges playing with the cards dealt to you. And Billie Bautista’s story will inspire to strive harder to reach your goals.
Despite his disability, he proved to be one heck of a fighter. Right now, he is one of the most influential freelancers in the Philippines. Having the independence, the stability, and the success thru his freelancing career.
And I’m so excited!! We are having Billie this upcoming Working Remote Summit on Sept 13 and 14. We got the chance to interview him. Here is how it went:
Leandro: Why did you start freelancing?
Billie: I was a call center agent for 11 years (2002-2013). I worked on many business process outsourcing (BPO) companies like Manulife, Branders, HSBC just to name a few. I support myself for a living.
The earnings that I have from my call center work is not enough. It’s like I’m working for transportation expenses.
Since I’m on a wheelchair and I live at Congressional Avenue, QC. My office is located at Ortigas and my only choice of transportation is a Taxi. Almost half of my salary is consumed by my transportation expenses.
The Need for Freelancing Income
Billie: I know I needed to find other means of earning to save some money and have extra funds for investments. I decided to venture as a freelance graphic artist. I started accepting clients by 2003. By 2005 I saw another opportunity to earn money, I then began accepting projects for video editing, also as a freelance. All of my clients on both graphics and videos are in the local market (Philippines)
By 2008, I started to accept projects online thru the platform of Odesk and Elance. Though I’m still full time at BPO, I’m already working as a freelance on my spare time for extra income.
Leandro: It’s great that freelancing became a way to help you become more independent. Many people are inspired by what you have done. But, if I may ask, have you ever been discriminated?
YES! A lot of times! Every one experiences discrimination, even those who are not handicapped. The only difference is people with disability might encounter it more often than others because some people misunderstood them.
I honestly don’t waste my time with people who lack in knowledge that they end up discriminating others. I value my time and they are not worth it.
Leandro: That’s a perfect way to put it! Naysayers are definitely a waste of time. Right now, you are very successful as a blogger and a motivational speaker. In your opinion, is it a good time to start now in the same field?
Billie: I honestly don’t see myself as a successful blogger and motivational speaker. I am grateful for all the followers of my FB blogging page and for all the few events that I was given the chance to talk. But I have a long way to go and a lot of things I need to learn in this field.
Today is the best time to start anything that you have passion about. If you feel that you want to write blogs then don’t hesitate and start learning and writing blogs. For speaking engagements, I suggest watching those who are already well known on their niche and learn from them.
Advice for Aspiring Freelancers
Leandro: That’s a great answer! It’s definitely good to start anything now, especially if you are passionate about it. And speaking of passion, for those who want to start freelancing, what are your tips for them to get the same lifestyle and results?
First of all, I really regret not starting blogging and working from home much earlier.
For those starting, it would be best to educate themselves first to have an idea of what niche in freelancing that they prefer to go to. The most common mistake that a newbie freelancer commit is what we called the Jack of All Trade, master of none. Where they end up uncertain of what niche they are really good at.
Decide on what niche or field that they can be considered as an expert. Once they have an idea of what they want, then they can start learning all about that niche. The more skills and knowledge you have on a certain niche, the higher chance of getting hired by high paying clients.
Start investing in yourselves by reading books and watching video tutorials. There are a lot of free resources you can use from Google search and YouTube. Also, don’t regret to once in a while spend money in attending trainings and other seminars related to your niche. All of these will be worth it in the long run.
It’s the Time to Give Back
Leandro: Nice! We really do have to invest in ourselves and our chosen niche. With that, better start now with your end career in mind, right? How about for those who are currently freelancing already, what is your advice to them?
Billie: Continue to sharpen the saw. Continue learning. Master your niche and when you are already an expert on it, then start learning a new skill that can be added to your portfolio. My prayer is for the success of all hardworking freelancer.
To those who are already seasoned freelancers, I humbly ask to please reach out to others who are just starting out and be a guide to them. May we be reminded of how we started and make it a vow to be a blessing to other people.
Very well said! Expected from a man molded by experience and value!
There you have it guys! Let’s go reach our goals amidst our own adversities. Start now because it’s never too late to start your passion. And if we reach our passion, it’s the time to give back to the community to help reach their goals as well!
If you want to learn more from Billie, make sure to secure your Working Remote Tickets as early as now. Don’t miss this rare opportunity. Reserve your slots now!