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.
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.
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
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!