TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?
I am a digital nomad coach and speaker. I travel around my country and in some parts of the world conducting workshops and teaching people how to run an online business whether its product or service-based. I also manage a virtual assistance and social media marketing agency. I help businesses build their online presence and grow their brand using effective delegation techniques and digital solutions.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
I started working online 11 years ago. I realized that there is a growing need for startups and small businesses to tap into a virtual workforce to help them market their business and run the day to day operations. I started as a virtual assistant myself, learned every aspect of running a business online and soon, more and more clients kept coming in that I had to hire additional help. That’s when I started my agency. From an 8 sqm desolate room, I was able to grow my agency with over 20 team members from around the world.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
I did a lot of things – I’ve been working since I was 14. I was in the hospitality industry and then I worked at a call centre for a couple of years before I ventured into online work full time. One of my first businesses is a coffee/internet shop. It failed after four months but I learned a lot of valuable lessons. It also made me realize that I wanted to become an entrepreneur.
WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Start thinking with an entrepreneur mindset. Everything starts with that. Know and believe that you already are one then start doing things like a successful entrepreneur would. That means taking action, failing fast and learning as much as you can.
MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW DID YOU DEALT WITH IT:
I grew up in a 3rd world country. I was raised in poverty, my dad passed away when I was 11. Our family got separated and things were very tough growing up 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 learned how to solve problems. It became my strength. There are very few things in life that overwhelm me now because I’ve been through the worst.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
I’m proud to be an inspiration and a testament to others who come from “poverty” – whether literal or figurative. Anyone can reach their dreams and achieve absolute freedom – it doesn’t matter where you come 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.
HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:
As a digital nomad, my life and work are indistinguishable. I’m able to incorporate work in my everyday life. I think the problem with today’s society is that people are too busy juggling work and life when it’s way easier to make them work together. It’s our responsibility to make sustainable and effective changes in our daily routine (or lack thereof) so that all areas function together.
I AM INSPIRED BY:
Other people’s stories. I think everyone’s personal journey is something worth knowing.
WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:
I originally chose this career because of my love for travel. Now, it has been more than that. Being able to experience other culture, visit places I’ve been dreaming of, getting to know people from different backgrounds – it makes me grow as a human being. It expands my consciousness. There is so much more to life. I am but a speck and that helps me put things into perspective.
HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:
I believe that success is rented and rent is due every day. One needs to create consistent action, you need to create an environment that fosters success. That means surrounding yourself with the right people, the right habits, the right learnings, and the right mindset.
DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?
Not really. Although I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, I didn’t thrive in school but I was very street-smart and so I learned to do things in an unconventional and informal way. I didn’t have a business plan three years ago. I think it can be an effective marketing tool though.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER?
People underestimate you and that can be a double-edged sword. I was a Filipina in my early twenties with English as my second language and I was trying to convince businesses in the US to outsource to another country. I experienced a lot of rejection, discrimination and racist remarks but I learned how to filter the kind of businesses I’d like to work with. And it taught me that people will only treat you the way you allow them to.
MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…
Because I manage my business 100% remotely, it’s important for me to have everything organized and systemized. I love using Trello and Airtable to keep on top of things.
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…