Category Archives for "Exceptional VA Life"

AEVA_do you miss the office benefits

ANNswer: Do you miss the office benefits?

Overheard from Facebook: I miss the benefits in the corporate life.

Benefits. Hhhmmmm…..

Let’s see.

1. Insurance

Pwede ka pa din namang makakuha nito kasi malaki naman ang earnings mo as you work online.

2. Health card

Pwede ka din namang kumuha nito. Or be healthy. You actually have the time to be more conscious of what you eat (and better choices!)

3. Summer outings

Hhmm, yeah. Pero you have new friends na pwede mong mayaya. And you can travel anytime, right?

4. Christmas party

You give gifts to people you don’t like, may competition ng production (and we do it on the “sharing and caring season”!), aannnddd everyone’s talking about not having enough bonus.

Benefits. Hhhmmm…

Are you a virtual professional who also missed the office benefits? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Facebook Has Been Good To Me

Facebook Has Been Good to Me

Facebook has been good to me since I joined in 2009. Actually, kaibigan ko ang nagbukas ng account para sa akin. Later on, ako ang naging mas maalam sa Facebook.

Eventually, I left my secured government job and found clients who want to do Facebook social.

Facebook has been good to me that I try to share snippets of my life: realizations, lessons, overheards, kwento series, at kung ano-ano pa.

What I observed is every time I post stories, they have more reactions compared to shared links.

Hindi ko alam na my posts (stories) eventually goes out of the Internet and meet me offline.

Cases in point:

1. Sa sobrang pag-amin ko pala na crush ko si Tom Hiddleston, ang daming nagta-tag sa akin ng videos ng news about him. Last year at Jomar Hilario’s Instant Virtual Skills session, somebody asked “Ann, kumusta ka na? Naka-move on ka na ba?” (Tom Hiddleston is Loki in Marvel for those who don’t know him. During that time, Hiddleston was dating Taylor Swift.)

2. A few weeks before the Tom Hiddleston incident, somebody approached me and told me how brave of me to reply sa barat na client  in a mellow way kahit nainis ako. The person even told me that he watched my Periscope about low paying clients, agreeing that we should be paid based on our skills, not where we come from.

Based on my experience, Facebook loves stories (UPDATE: Now it loves videos with uber-compelling stories). Even if I don’t get to share it to people face-to-face, Facebook lets other people know that I create stories every day.

That I am human.

Hindi ako robot na kailangan ng CAPTCHA.

At kinailangan kong kumain ng mahal na ice cream para makalimutan ko ang HiddleSwift.


This was originally published in Jomar Hilario Virtual Careers Facebook Group in 2016.

o You Mean Business Let's Talk via Clarity.fm

Do You Mean Business? Let’s Talk via Clarity.fm!

Early in 2017, I attended Jomar Hilario’s Instant Virtual Skills. He mentioned a lot of tools and insights but one struck with me.

“Filter clients from non-clients.”

A tool that he recommended to this is Clarity.fm. It is a platform where you are able to talk to experts on different areas of business for 15 minutes. So if you have concerns or decisions, schedule a call with an expert and get well, clarity!

Jomar instructed the Instant Virtual Skills students to sign up as an EXPERT. For the students who are finding it hard to talk to people on client-VA interviews, a Clarity.fm-15-minute-call would help them get used to talking to potential clients.

From my end, I saw a deeper meaning to filtering. So the day after the Instant Virtual Skills sessions, I created my Clarity.fm Expert account.

Do you mean business? Let's talk via Clarity.fm

Here’s a screenshot of my Clarity.fm Expert approval Yay!

Here’s how Clarity.fm works.

You may ask: I already have a website, social media accounts and subscription to freelancing sites. Why get a Clarity.fm account?

Here’s my answer: I want to give advice to people who mean business.

I know that freelancing sites aren’t the only way to salvation, clients and VAs alike. By providing advice to business owners, I’d get to show what I have learned in online marketing and social media from years of doing it.

I know that there are still aspiring VAs who want to build their virtual careers. I’d like to filter the whatever-it-takes people from the curious.

Are you an aspiring virtual assistant who wants to experience a freedom lifestyle?

Are you a business owner who wants to get better insights on your online business?

Let’s talk via Clarity.fm! Schedule a call with me on this link.

Do you mean business? Let's talk via Clarity.fm

Look for my Clarity.fm account then start scheduling a call!

Pandesal Wisdom

Pandesal Wisdom

One Saturday morning, Mama instructed me to buy pandesal in one of the nearest stores in our area.

When I arrived at the store, I said “Pabili” (May I buy?). The store owner (a lady) went out. I said, “Pabili po ng bente pesos na pandesal.” (I’d like to buy twenty pesos worth of bread.) The lady gave me the bread, but she took long in giving me a change for fifty pesos.

While waiting, I saw two men – an adult and a teenager – riding a bike. They were approaching the store where I bought the pandesal. When they arrived, I learned that the adult man was the lady’s husband, the teenager the son. They came home from rationing pandesal from neighboring areas.

“O, bakit ang tagal mong mag-sukli? Naghihintay ang customer,” (What’s taking you so long to give change? The customer’s waiting.) I overheard the man say to the lady, gently yet with urgency.

“Naghahanap ako ng barya; naubos na kasi,” (I’m trying to get loose change) the lady said. She then came out of the store, gave me my change, and with a smile, said, “Eto na ang sukli. Pasensya na po, natagalan.” (Here’s your change. Sorry for the delay). I said no problem, and then went on my way.

An ordinary story? Not for me.

Here’s the thing: the family may be selling pandesal, yet they know to value a customer.

From afar, the man and the teenager saw me waiting. They were already sensing there must be something wrong with the customer engagement.

When they arrived, the man gently yet told his wife not to make a customer wait.

Their teenage son made sure their bikes were properly parked. If he won’t do it, their bikes would look not presentable (and in working condition!) to their other customers.

The lady who gave me the change gave an apologetic smile because of the delay.

So for me, they are not just selling morning bread.

They’re selling world-class pandesal.

And that, ladies and gents, is my pandesal wisdom.


How about you? How do you value your clients? Share them with me on the comments!

Fangirl Mode My First Encounters with Facebook Live and Instagram Live

Fangirl Mode: My First Encounters with Facebook Live and Instagram Live

It may be a usual thing now, but there was a time when Facebook Live and Instagram Live were getting tested.

Two years ago, it was the celebrities or influencers who got the Facebook Live beta test. I never knew if Instagram Live test were also given to the same people.

Nevertheless, my first encounters with Facebook Live and Instagram Live could be both summarized in one word: FANGIRL.

Facebook Live with The Hulk

Two years ago, I checking my Facebook account when a notification popped: “Mark Ruffalo is live now.”

Oh.My.Avenger. That guy’s my crush even before he signed up to turn green!

And so I clicked the notification and watched him say “Hi” and answer questions. (See the video here at 0:22.)

Fangirl Mode My First Encounters with Facebook Live and Instagram Live

I typed all the questions that I had on my mind during that time. Unfortunately, his Facebook Live video only took 10 to 15 minutes because he’s on his way to a movie premiere of Infinitely Polar Bear.

Fangirl Mode My First Encounters with Facebook Live and Instagram Live

On the other hand, his live video was an indication of what’s to come if you use the tool.


Instagram Live was launched last December 2016 in the U.S. and other selected countries. (One of my Australian clients used it immediately as soon as it was launched. One word: Jealous.)

A few months ago, I clicked the Top Live Videos and saw Tonight’s host Jimmy Fallon talking!

How amazing! I got to follow his career as a host. And here’s an unknown fact: the week that I started as a full-time virtual professional was the pilot week of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon! His $100 bet still makes me laugh until this time.

I watched as he gave a studio tour when the show did a live episode in Los Angeles.

Fangirl Mode My First Encounters with Facebook Live and Instagram Live


I have used Facebook Live many times on my personal account, Ann Exceptional VA Facebook Page and The Joy and Ann Show Facebook Page. I am yet to use Instagram Live. But what these platforms tell us is that it makes the user closer to its audience.


How about you? Have you used Facebook Live or Instagram Live? Tell me more in the comments!


Team South Represent Jomar Hilario Virtual Careers Team South Meet Up

Team South Represent: Jomar Hilario Virtual Careers Team South Meet Up

Last year, an idea from Elena Solon popped up while on the road. “We should get together another time. You know, work outside the house.”

A few weeks after, we got a “Yes” signal from Jomar Hilario to set the meet up under the Virtual Careers Group (it’s the Facebook Group of those who attended his seminars and read his book).

That was it. I saw myself working on the first meet up of Jomar Hilario’s students with Elena, Nino and Yuan Natividad, and Nath Reyes.

We named it Team South because the meet up is for those virtual assistants residing in CALABARZON and MUNTAPARLAS. But on every meet up, we welcome virtual assistants (or aspirants) from other neighboring areas (Hey, you guys should create your own hahaha).

Last year, we organized two meet ups: one in Buku Buku Kafe in The District Imus and another one in Alabang Town Center.

Team South Represent: Jomar Hilario Virtual Careers Team South Meet Up

JH Team South at Buku Buku Kafe, The District Imus.


Team South Represent: Jomar Hilario Virtual Careers Team South Meet Up

First Team South meet up in July 2016.


Team South Represent: Jomar Hilario Virtual Careers Team South Meet Up

Second Team South meet up in August 2016 at Alabang Town Center.


Team South Represent: Jomar Hilario Virtual Careers Team South Meet Up

Second Team South meet up in August 2016 at Alabang Town Center.


A year after, we did it again! This time around, Jomar Hilario was present on the meet up! Woo hoo!

Team South Represent: Jomar Hilario Virtual Careers Team South Meet Up

Team South Represent: Jomar Hilario Virtual Careers Team South Meet Up

Thank you, Jomar for being our “special guest!” Thank you, too, Chad, for traveling all the way from Bulacan!


Team South Represent: Jomar Hilario Virtual Careers Team South Meet Up

Hooray, Team South!

It was another learning, sharing and fun afternoon.

Credits to Nath Reyes for this Facebook Live video.



Have you been to one of our meet ups? What do you think can we improve?

Are you ready to receive 20 books for FREE?

Are you ready to receive 20 books for FREE?

I have shared the books that I have read (and reading) on Facebook Live, Periscope, and here on my website. I love the feel of the physical books on my hand.

I am happy that I have read 4 books so far this 2017. (I know; that’s 1 book a month. Yet I’m happy because some people can’t even finish a page.)

Imagine my excitement when I found out that entrepreneur and best-selling author James Altucher is giving away 20 BOOKS FOR FREE! If you’re excited to fill your home with books, click here to win 20 books for free: http://bit.ly/Win20Books

James Altucher, Peter Diamandis, and Steven Kotler

His giveaway includes over 20 hard copy books, written by some of the most successful entrepreneurs, marketers, investors, and all around choose-yourselfers.

Are your next must-read books on this list?

  1. ”Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferriss
  2. ”Bold” by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler
  3. ”Abundance” by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Kotler
  4. ”Unshakeable” by Tony Robbins
  5. ”Damn Right!” (biography of Charlie Munger) by Janet Lowe
  6. ”Wonderland” by Steven Johnson
  7. ”Payoff” by Dan Ariely
  8. ”The Billion Dollar Sure Thing” by Paul Erdman
  9. ”Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari
  10. ”Moneyball” by Michael Lewis
  11. ”The Undoing Project” by Michael Lewis
  12. ”Stealing Fire” by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal
  13. ”Essays of Warren Buffett” by Warren Buffett and Lawrence Cunningham
  14. ”The Black Swan” by Nassim Taleb
  15. ”Fooled By Randomness” by Nassim Taleb
  16. ”A Man For All Markets” by Edward O. Thorp and Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  17. ”Too Big To Fail” by Andrew Ross Sorkin
  18. ”Elon Musk” by Ashlee Vance
  19. ”Hedge Fund Market Wizards” by Jack D. Schwager and Ed Seykota
  20. ”Reinvent Yourself” by James Altucher

Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss and Warren Buffett

I knew James Altucher from one of those “top entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter” articles. I am glad I followed him because he has amazing insights.

Join James’ 20 Books Giveaway here: http://bit.ly/Win20Books

Finding the Joy of Christmas

Finding the Joy of Christmas

“God heard the people crying. So He sent his Son, Jesus, so that we may find joy. This Christmas, may you find that Joy, too.”

These are the words (though not verbatim) that Fr. Alex Balatbat said in his homily during the Holy Mass on the last Feast Bay Area session of 2016. Here’s the story of how I found the Joy of Christmas.

Jomar Hilario came up with many Christmas Parties for virtual professionals last December. He had several virtual or online parties. (I was even one of those who answered questions and shared a Facebook tip in one of the parties.) For the live, he organized an orphanage visit then lunch at a nearby mall.

I did not decide to join the live party until the weekend before the event. Not because I did not want to go to an orphanage. (I think I haven’t been to one in two decades!) My concern was I could not find the orphanage in Google; it was giving me two locations.

Giving up on Google, I called my usual Motley Crew. They were the virtual professionals who were with me during the Doing Nothing Outings last year (also organized by Jomar). When I found out that they would come, too, I set myself on joining the live party.

Elena Solon was so kind to fetch us from Sucat Highway to her family’s abode. The detour was capped by that wonderful chocolate drink. Now I am hyper!

Finding the Joy of Christmas


Jomar, his family, and the other virtual professionals (check the pics courtesy of Eleazar Jose!) were already there when we arrived. We were introduced to Saint Rita Orphanage Director Sis. Cynthia Camuta. The children were completing puzzles and coloring. They were age 4 and up – except one child.

This child was supposed to be in the toddler’s ward, as she is only one year old. But according to Sis. Cynthia, the child insisted to go down as she likes to be around with people. Kid, you got a great future ahead of ya.

I noticed that this child kept of putting the crayons into her mouth, so I kept on taking it out of her mouth! I didn’t know that slowly, she has come closer to me (she was just walking around when we arrived). Later on, I carried her so she could sit on my lap.

Well, what do you know? A few minutes later, I saw here turned around and put her tiny arms around me!

As you will see in this video, people around me were joking me as the child created a lock on my neck with her arms. They were giving me tips on how to take care of the child while working on my online tasks! Hahaha!

In between those laughter and banters, I found myself hugging the child even tighter. And with my eyes closed, I said, “Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Jesus. I found You at the embrace of a child.”

After spending time with the children, Sis. Cynthia gave us a briefing about the orphanage. The orphaned children came from the simplest (parents left them there because they could no longer support the children) to worst (flushed in the toilet after giving birth to them). That is why she and the other people at the Saint Rita Orphanage are very conscious about hugging and talking to them; everybody should be given attention because deep inside them, they long for love.

I saw the one-year-old kiddo again after half an hour or so, this time sleeping on her crib with her feet up. Yep, she has great future ahead of her.

I capped the day with lunch while talking with the event’s Motley Crew, plus tons of advice from Jomar (sorry, can’t tell you what they are). Of course, we had to leave before the rush hour. If you’re a virtual professional, you’re scared of those things.

I bring with me the Joy that I found the past Christmas. I hope you found yours and you keep it with you always.


Saint Rita Orphanage is located at Dr. A. Santos Ave., Sucat, Parañaque City 1700 (After SM BF, go down at gas station near 7-11 and Metrobank. You may ride a tricycle or walk to the orphanage.)

They would prefer cash donations instead of in kind to answer the immunization and hospitalizations of the children. And don’t forget to buy polvoron when you visit.

What's Your Christmas Wish?

What’s Your Christmas Wish?

Joy Bautista-Collado and I, as hosts of the The Joy and Ann Show, finished taping this week’s episode. We had Nath “FunChum” Reyes and Niña Mendoza as our guests. You may listen to it here.

Ang saya palang pag-usapan ng Christmas Wish Lists, whether ‘yung mga natupad na noon at ‘yung mga looking forward na matupad! It brings back memories of the past, as well as hope in the coming years.

At the end of the podcast episode, we announced that something is coming up on December 15, 2016. I invite you to visit this page so you can be ONE of those who will know about the announcement FIRST!

What's Your Christmas Wish?

Visit http://newsmartcourses.com/12giftsvip/ now to find out what’s inside the box!

Sign up ka na para hindi ka mahuli sa balita!

Hint: you are going to unwrap one of the best gifts you could ever give yourself this Christmas.


How about you? What’s your Christmas wish?

Behold and Beware

Trick or treats, Halloween parties, television shows featuring the unexplained and the unknown. Except for the first two, scary stories had been the usual happening this time around.

This is the time of the year when we scare ourselves. Children, as cute as they are, dress themselves into monsters, ghouls, or fairies and superheroes. More than a decade ago, I walked to a mall with kids doing trick or treat, while there I was, at junior college, grumpy because I bought new things that my group needed to redo a project. I wanted to shout to those children, “You’re going to have nightmares tonight!”

Adults do likewise. This is the time to walk like a zombie, like what they see on The Walking Dead or the recent Asian hit, “Train to Busan”. A few months back, I chanced upon a flash storage of The Walking Dead. To kill my curiosity, I watched the first season. I never allowed myself to engage with the rest of the show, to the dismay of few friends. When I asked why, I told them that it has the same concept with Lost: to survive, you need to outwit, outplay and outlast the people around you one day at a time.

Since I do not like to scare myself, and my choices are limited during this time, I decided to watch documentaries. I hit play on a National Geographic 9-11 documentary on a Saturday afternoon, while I sat myself on my father’s rocking chair for the documentary, “The Rape of Europa”.

In the 9-11 film, I learned how the plane-hitting-buildings came into a doomed reality. It took more than a decade to happen. Get this: the plane-hitting-buildings was an idea that two friends talked about. I cannot imagine how mad those people were, thinking of such an idea.

I went further into history for the film, “Rape of Europa,” as this happened during the Second World War. The documentary explained how former dictator Adolf Hitler wanted to seize all of Europe’s artworks and place them into his German hometown, making it bigger and better and more beautiful than Paris. Humanity’s patriots and art heroes took all effort to safe keep works of art. Eventually, a group called Monuments Men were assigned to ensure that all stolen artworks will be returned to its rightful countries and owners. (A movie was based on this heroic acts.)

You may tell me that what I watched weren’t as scary as ghosts and ghouls. To tell you the truth, they are.

Adolf Hitler’s unprecedented art stealing, aside from trying to annihilate a race, is scary.

Terrorists putting down buildings and killing thousands of people, is scary.

They were not works of fiction. They happened right before our eyes.

Ask your grandparents about “Peace Time” and they will give you tons of stories.

I saw the Twin Towers fall one after the other after being hit on television more than a decade ago, wondering if what I was seeing was really true.

What is scarier: a wandering soul or what a person can become in pursuit of his life’s journey?

I heard the late Jim Rohn in my iPod recently again (sheesh, he died in 2009 yet he still manages to teach me). He said that with observation and experiences, anyone can be successful. But as you make your way to success, behold and beware, he said.

Behold of the experiences, people, and lessons that you will have in pursuit of your goals. Because all of them would help you and make you tell yourself, “Wow, it really is possible!”

On the other hand, beware of what you can become in pursuit of what you want. Would you hold grudge to people who did not make the way easy for you? Would you give up in just one try to tell everyone that it’s not worth it? Would you be a grateful person or a grumpy person?

In my choice to avoid horror stories, I unconsciously dealt with the scariest thing: what I could become as I continue my journey. But this is a scary story that won’t give me sleepless nights.

It’s the scary story that can be a wonderful dream, as long as I remember to behold and beware.

behold and beware

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