I am an online freelancer. I’ve also worked as a virtual assistant. And today, I am a blogger, a web publisher. I used to be one of those corporate professionals whose vision of the future consist of working the butt off to climb and reach the top echelon in the company, and in the industry I’ve worked in. I used to be a Sales Territory Manager of a big MNC. I strategized, executed POAs with focused determination. My aim then was to work the best I can so at the end of the day I’ll see my name listed as among the top sales performers of the month, the quarter, the year. That was the drive.
But as you know corporate life has its twist and turns too, much like real life. And the company I was working for was acquired by an even bigger, a behemoth in the MNCs world. Fortunately, I was one of those offered to jump-in to the absorbing company. My tenure, privileges, perks and benefits will continue on if I accept the position. But I declined. Looking back, it turns out to be a really good decision. I became what I am today, living a much cheerful life away from the stresses of corporate life, contented, at peace, and at the same time, enjoying better work rewards, and a great work-life balance.
But the road to here wasn’t so easy. Freelancing pushes you on the mountain’s peak, where you are precariously balancing things, at any time if you tilt more on one side or became complacent, you could fall, and fall hard.
My parents had a hard time understanding my choices. At that time, I was still supporting our youngest sibling, he just started college. No projects, no online jobs, no work translate to no earnings – a freelancer faces these realities. I don’t blame my parents; online freelancing was a long way from the traditional concept of building a rewarding career. Even today when it’s 2016, when asked what I do for a living, most people still squint their eyes and narrow their foreheads, followed by this query ‘what is that’, ‘how do you earn from that’, etc.
A year into freelancing, my mom on more than one occasion dropped ‘helpful’ tips that this company is hiring, or that company. They probably thought I was having a life crisis, and this online thing will just fade away on its own. To be honest, there were moments that I, too, questioned my choices. There were moments I felt that if I continue building this freelance career, I am wasting my hard-earned college diploma. Moments when I am gripped with self-doubt, disabling thoughts like I will embarrass myself that I am not “titled” whenever alumni reunion season comes around; that I’ll be looked down because I’ve worked as a VA; that I won’t be taken seriously simply because I am a blogger. My imaginations were getting ahead of me, creating scenarios in my head that could make some people ran back to the comforts of professional corporate life at the speed of light. But I am a risk taker, and I believe that this is the path I am called to take.
This reminds me of a time when graduation was just a few weeks away, me and friends were thinking about plans, the promising future waiting for us. We got around to sharing what we want to have, to buy when we start earning. The popular answers were houses and cars; ‘laptop’ was my answer.
A laptop was my first major buy with my own money. And ten years after college graduation, laptop and I become inseparable. 😉
I’ve been freelancing since 2011, almost 5 fruitful years now since I quit corporate work. I am blessed, and thankful, that I never wavered in my faith and belief, that with God’s help, I can make it.
P623.00 August 24,2011. That’s the remaining cash in my wallet that I was free to spend. I had a few thousands more in the bank but this amount was already earmarked for our family’s grocery and living needs for that month. And just around the horizon, slowly creeping in, was the fact that my sibling’s college tuition must be produced soon, my heart palpitates and the fear of coming short of funds was so real. That fear gripped my heart so bad that I began thinking of going back to corporate life, where paychecks comes regular. Where ‘uncertainly’ does not glare at you head-on as is the case with a freelancing career.
I keep a journal and on that morning in August I wrote…
I despaired, and was becoming desperate. I reminded myself of my favorite line from the Bible, ‘The Lord Will Provide’.
On the day I was on the very verge of quitting being a freelancer– I remember that day so well, the sun was high at noon and I was imploring for a sign – I didn’t want to quit freelancing but the dire financial situation I was facing – I might just need to, asap. As I turned around the corner, a delivery van pulled-out of the parking lot. These words were emblazoned on the vehicle’s side – it big bold letterings “The Lord Will Provide”.
HE REALLY DOES. THANK YOU GOD! THANK YOU FOR THE BLESSINGS!!!
I am sharing my story so you who may be thinking of switching to a freelancer career take comfort in the fact that there are truly opportunities online waiting for those brave of heart. The journey’s not easy, but if you will preserve, if you will put in the required work, and if you too believe deep down in your core that with God’s grace you can make it, rewards and blessings await.
While working as a freelancer, a VA, an article writer, I also build own sites on the side, believing that one day these sites will help me quit working for a boss, so I can start working for myself.
IF THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY.
This laptop served me well when I started freelancing. I used it even if it was already looking so sorry with unattached hinges and wiring that threatens to turn-off the unit when the wire is accidentally touched or moved, and with the monitor dimming every so often. It was a struggle to work, but one needs to persevere, to be determined, to push on. Push on.
Eventually, a client rewarded me with a new laptop. I retired this laptop, but it’s still with me until now. Reminds me of the struggle along the way.
DETERMINATION and DISCIPLINE PAYS OFF
I have quit working for someone else for a year and a half now. I now work for myself and my family; no more boss, no more clients. I now own and manages several websites on different niches together with my biz partner, we treat these web properties as real businesses with monthly and yearly targets, periodic business reviews, performance appraisal, plan of actions, and yes, rewards too!
You, too, can follow in my path or much better, carve your own path. Have faith in your self and in your capabilities. Trust that HE is there always for you no matter your decisions, no matter the path you take. Do good work, give thanks, and share your blessings.
Lastly, let me say this, freelancing is not for everybody. We are called to do different things. But if you really want to try, do. Take risk, the off the beaten path may be where you belong.
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