Category Archives for "Exceptional VA’s Journey"

Preparing to be Relentless My Planning 2017

Preparing to be Relentless: My 2017 Planning

In 2012, I started planning my year. That was the year when I attended the “Make Your 2012 Your Best Year Ever” by Jomar Hilario. I found the session very helpful in terms of being clear of your goals for the year and deciding for the long-term (beyond one year), that I adopted the planning habit since then.

In the next years that passed, I did my planning in the comforts of my room. I would spend two to three days locked up, only going out to eat and check out what day it was. Jomar even featured one of my planning stories.

This year, I decided that my room have given me its perspective many times. It’s about time to get out of the house to plan my 2017.

And so, last week, I traveled further south and worked on my plans. I booked for an overnight stay in Balay Indang.

Hello, quiet. Let's think more.

Hello, quiet. Let’s think more.

Guess what? I did not only plan outside my room this year. I brought my brother along to do his own planning, too! Exceptional, isn’t it?

Planning with my brother!

Planning with my brother!

The place was full of greens and very quiet. Perfect for the mind stuff. It had a big space that I got to finish reading two books in many areas.

Read and plan, read and plan.

Read and plan, read and plan.


Another beautiful area in Balay Indang. Actually, everywhere is beautiful.

Another beautiful area in Balay Indang. Actually, everywhere is beautiful.

The food in Balay Indang were delicious (and A LOT, something that I did not expect). Perfect for planning because all you had to do was sit back and relax while eating.




Bon appétit!


No molestar. Estoy comiendo. (Do not disturb. I am eating.) #TeamTakotMagutom

No molestar. Estoy comiendo. (Do not disturb. I am eating.) #TeamTakotMagutom

I was blessed to have booked an overnight stay this time of the year, where most places are already fully booked. When we arrived in Balay Indang, it was only my brother and I who were there! There were more people the next day as it was a holiday, but it was okay.

Here are some tips that I could give you in planning your year:

  1. Pray first!
  2. It does not matter if you have a journal to write your plans or a MindMap on a laptop. Whichever works for you is best.
  3. Plan for each area of your life – spiritual, emotional, work/career, financial, intellectual, family, and physical.
  4. Quality is better than quantity. As you place a goal in each area of your life, ask if it’s doable within a year.
  5. On each goal, break it down further to the how’s. For instance, if your goal is to become a virtual assistant in 2017, what should you do? List them down.

Some of my dreams need a lot of resources – tools, budget, even people. But I just placed them in my plans for next year. It was the same thing that I did the last few years – I wrote my goals without even knowing just how they are going to happen. The crazy things that I do, right?

But in one of Bo Sanchez’s  books that I read during the planning, “Life Manual 101: How to Make Your Dreams Come True”, he said, “Your resources are not enough. But give what you can. I (God) will cover the difference.” Okay, Bro. Bo, you got me teary-eyed there.

I read, you think. Deal?

I read, you think. Deal?

Here’s the thing: I do my plans with fear. I always do. But I plan anyway.

Because I know that underneath those goals, God is going to work His way. Therefore, I will calmly do my work, too.

2017, I am going to be relentless. Remember that smile. ;)

2017, I am going to be relentless. Remember that smile. 😉

2017, I am going to be relentless. Fasten your seatbelt.


Some photos courtesy of Marc Raphael A. Peñaredondo.

Balay Indang is located at #88 San Juan Street, Mahabang Kahoy Cerca, Indang Cavite. Visit their Facebook Page.


I am now officially a PUBLISHED AUTHOR.

I am now officially a PUBLISHED AUTHOR.

I woke up yesterday morning with this first thought in mind: I am now officially a PUBLISHED AUTHOR.

I also took a good look on one of my visual boards. There are photos of people there that are reading my book. I was like, “Wow, you did happen last night. Awesome.”

I am now officially a PUBLISHED AUTHOR.

These photos are in my dream board. The other day, they came true. I am officially a published author!

Last night, I did my first-ever webinar, “Top 10 Reasons Why You are Still Not a Virtual Assistant (and What You Can Do About It).” A few who attended the live webinar sent me messages saying that they learned a lot and were inspired (and amused, I think) with the stories that I shared with them.

I am now officially a PUBLISHED AUTHOR.

The end of the webinar was also the launch of my first e-book, “Small is BIG: 5 exceptional small things on how to switch from being a corporate junkie to a BIG time online professional.”

I am now officially a PUBLISHED AUTHOR.

My first e-book is out! Woo hoo!

Just like what the song says, “What a feeling!” Everything that happened became possible because of YOU! I cannot thank you enough.

Now, the perennial question: Is there a replay?

My answer: OF COURSE! Click here for the webinar replay:

I encourage you to watch the webinar until the end. I got gifts by the end of the webinar. I hope you’d be able to catch them faster than you catch Pikachu and its crew.

Again, here’s the link to the webinar replay:

I hope you’re going to make the best choices for your life today!


I am now officially a PUBLISHED AUTHOR.

I saw these sheets of paper inserted on my planner. This was my e-book launch a month ago. Indeed, you gotta believe in small things. #SmallisBIG #KickstartYourPurpose

UpWork Uprising

UpWork Uprising

May 4 was supposed to be Star Wars Day. But freelancers, particularly those who have online gigs in UpWork, got the shock of their lives. Effective June 2016, UpWork’s new pricing will take effect.

It resulted into Inside Out emotions – anger, fear, sadness, disgust, and believe me, a few joy.

I compiled few of the many reactions of freelancers and clients alike about what I now call “UpWork Uprising”. I called it UpWork Uprising because clients and freelancers threatened to leave UpWork! That’s how mad people are.

So what do you do with this UpWork Uprising?

Here are my thoughts on this issue:

1. UpWork is not your only way to salvation.

There are other freelancing sites. And if you have your own website, you’re way better off.

Moreover, I suggest that you go to LinkedIn, complete your profile there, and talk to your connections. LinkedIn is the social networking site of the decision makers – CEOs, business owners, HR practitioners, and the likes. Make your presence felt there (and join groups, too!).

2. You are a virtual professional. You should look for long-term clients; not low and fixed projects.

If you think your skills are on the low-rate level, it is time to invest on yourself and learn new skills.

3. If you’re really bent on leaving UpWork, make sure you:

a) have a contract.
b) get a testimonial for your website and LinkedIn.

4. If you are thinking BIG, you would not even budge on the news.

If you are a freelancer who sees his or her online work as a business, you would not be bothered by this news.

If you are a freelancer who believes that he or she is valuable, you would not have sleepless nights because of this.


If you want more about what I say to the UpWork Uprising, watch the replay of my Facebook Live on The Joy and Ann Show Facebook Page.

Also, I guested (for the sixth time!) on Jomar Hilario’s recent webinar show on “Upwork’s New Pricing: How To Maximize It For You” with another success student, Yuhanne T. Natividad.

UpWork Uprising

So if you’ll ask me if I joined the revolt, I say I don’t. I would rather spend my time upgrading my skills.

Have you joined the UpWork Uprising? Let me know your thoughts!

Cut yourself some slack

Cut yourself some slack.

Recently, I talked to another virtual professional and a good friend. As we were about to end our conversation, we talked about being busy with many things.

My friend has highly satisfied clients, expertise on chosen niche, and is able to reach monthly income goal. Seriously, my friend can ask for the moon.

However, sometimes, my friend feels there is just too much of everything.

Guess what, I feel the same way, too.

Before you switch to other posts, please get this: my friend and I are not complaining.

A few years back, we used to dream of becoming a person who works from home.

Now, I get to wake up without the worries of being stuck in traffic or having conversations with people who criticized me as if they knew me from
Adam. These are just two of the many experiences I have now. Believe me, I will not trade it for anything else (ohhkkayy, maybe an island of my own with unlimited Internet access will be an interesting offer).

Then came the thought. I told my friend, “I think we should cut ourselves some slack and let loose.”

I think we got too happy with our accomplishments yet we forgot to celebrate it.

Cut yourself some slack

A few years back, I used to dream of becoming a person who works from home.

Instead of saying just, “Yay!” I thought of, “Yay! I need to focus on being exceptional at this! I mean, I am too crazy to lose this!”

Instead of basking in the sun even for a few minutes, I say to myself, “I’ll finish this so I can see the stars instead.” Later on, I realized I never saw even the slightest of clouds nor the brightest stars.

That about-to-wind-down conversation was an early wakeup call.

Cut yourself some slack

One of the posts that my friend sent me via Facebook. Still waiting for the baked things.

We are all running towards big and small successes every day. Cutting ourselves some slack and let loose means, we need to run on our comfortable pace.

Because sometimes, when we think someone is chasing us, there is really none.

I tried locating the source of the two visual caption images through Google Images. But a lot has used the images, I could not find the original creator! If you know who created the images, please notify me so I can credit them formally.

I just shed a tear on live Internet

I just shed a tear on live Internet.

Believe me when I say that I am always grateful to my mentor, Jomar Hilario, every time he is giving me an opportunity to share my virtual professional journey.

Recently, I shared to the participants of his latest Ask Me Anything Marathon Webinar how I prepared our house, bedroom and family for my virtual career. Looking back, it was an exceptional journey. It never occurred to me that I would be able to experience preparing for my virtual career journey, let alone sharing it. I used to hear other virtual professionals prepared their house, bedroom and family for my virtual career.

I just shed a tear on live Internet.

This is one of the teaser posters for the marathon webinar.


I just shed a tear on live Internet.

Another one.


I just shed a tear on live Internet.

Aaannnddd another one.

Everything went on smoothly during my audio test with Isabelle Cuenco (one of Jomar’s virtual professionals) days before the webinar. However, nothing prepared me for the live webinar.

I think some of the webinar attendees forgot what my topic was about and remembered just one person: my Papa.

I just shed a tear on live Internet.

This is my father on my first Snapchat post of him.

I shared with the webinar participants some stories about my father, with the objective of allowing family members to know a little bit about what a virtual professional does (and bond with them as well).

I just shed a tear on live Internet.

Keep only the things (and people, if I may add) that spark joy.

Judging with the responses that Jomar released from his recent blog, a few shed a tear on my story. Here they are:

I just shed a tear on live Internet.

A screenshot of some of the responses from the webinar. I got this from Jomar’s email newsletter.

Eventually, as one of the participants shared why she cried, I (gasped!) found myself having a lump on my throat and water in my eyes.

Oh. My. God. Am I about to make myself cry?

And as you guessed it, I shed a tear of live Internet.

And as Jomar said, “Success leaves tracks.” So I guess the crying moment goes with that, too.

Not complaining, by the way.

I just shed a tear on live Internet.

Success leaves tracks.

Do you want to watch the whole Ask Me Anything Marathon Webinar? Nath Reyes and Anna Termulo also shared exceptional tips! Click here.

Jomar Hilario’s “How to Start Your Virtual Career Seminar”, the LIVE version, is on April 9, 2016! I heard it’s ALMOST FULL! Quick and save yourself a seat here:

From Overseas Filipino Worker to Outstanding Filipino Worker: How does one make the transition?

From Overseas Filipino Worker to Outstanding Filipino Worker: How does one make the transition?

In the recently concluded Wealth Summit 2016, one of the most discussed question came from an Overseas Filipino Worker. The question posed was:

“How does an Overseas Filipino Worker transition?”

Everyone in the room had the approving mood. Sure, exceptional business mentors surrounded me, as well as Truly Rich Club members (composed of business owners, employees, infopreneurs and Overseas Filipino Workers). Yet, everyone considered the question valid and important.

In one of my posts, I told you the story of the diaspora that happened in my own family. There were also a number of households here in where I live where a parent is an Overseas Filipino Worker.

Here are some of the answers from the different Truly Rich Club mentors and Wealth Summit 2016 speakers. I hope you will find them helpful.

Moreover, if you are an Overseas Filipino Worker, I hope you will find them valuable and doable. May your transition from an Overseas Filipino Worker to an Outstanding Filipino Worker (whatever you want to do as long as it is legit and you are working here in the Philippines!) be enjoyable and fruitful.

BO SANCHEZ, Preacher in Blue Jeans

Learn new skills.

MAVES ANGELES, Happy Homes Realty CEO

Use your funds to build a passive income and business.

SHA NACINO, author, speaker and blogger

Become an infopreneur; sell information products online.

RONNIE SIASOYCO, President & CEO at Trion Management Corporation

The effects of having Outstanding Filipino Worker is a social problem because a parent or both parents are not at home to guide children. With the technology at hand, use it and communicate to your children.

Share with your children your struggle as you work miles away from them. Telling them stories will let them that you are sacrificing for them.

JOMAR HILARIO, Online Marketing Guru

One of the ways to transition from an Overseas Filipino Worker is to look for job opportunities online. He or she can do this part-time until such time he or she gets many clients, go full-time as a virtual professional, and then go home to the Philippines.

Even the family members of the Overseas Filipino Worker can work online, so while the latter is still working abroad, the family members has another source of income.

This is the reason why the How to Become a VA (Virtual Assistant) Seminar became the Virtual Careers book. The book can reach more people, just like attending the same seminar. All you have to do is to follow everything that is written in the book.

Faith Restored in Wealth Summit 2016

Faith Restored in Wealth Summit 2016

Last Sunday was an unsuspecting Sunday for me. My only goal during that day was to attend The Feast in Bay Area, Manila.

Faith Restored in Wealth Summit 2016

Jones, Ralph, Patty and me after one of The Feast sessions last weekend.

After meeting Ralph and Patty Solomon (they shared their UK trip stories. Welcome back, newlyweds!) , I walked Jones Mancilla of Positively Awesome Virtual Assistant to the venue of the Wealth Summit 2016 (it was on the other side of the PICC). It was the third and Bonus Day (it is optional to attend it).

Then, the unsuspecting surprise happened: a friend (through her VA) gave me an ID for the Wealth Summit. My friend told me in an SMS that she could no longer attend the Bonus Day because she was too tired.

Faith Restored in Wealth Summit 2016

The accidental attendee with the ultimate “seminarista” (seminar addict) Jones Mancilla.

The unsuspecting Sunday was fun-and-learning-filled. I felt awesome to be surrounded by exceptional Truly Rich Club members, business owners, and Wealth Summit 2016 speakers.

I experienced having local clients last year. Unfortunately, unexpected problems came up that created a jaded virtual professional in me. I vowed not to accept local clients because of my experience. My faith in Filipino business owners was restored after attending the Wealth Summit Bonus Day. What more if I was able to attend the whole three days?

Faith Restored in Wealth Summit 2016

One of the many words of business wisdom from THE Dean Pax Lapid.

Here were the solid realizations that restored my faith back to Filipino business owners:

1. One of their key factors to their success is having a God-centric business.

Jorge Wieneke of Tokyo Tempura mentioned that having a God-centric business is one of the key factors to his business success.

Dean Pax Lapid said, “Running a business is a mixture of failures and successes.” Whatever phase in their businesses were (success or failure), Filipino business owners never forget to offer it to God. That is why some of the speakers, even on the brink of giving up, just kept on persevering to keep the business going. No wonder, their business never looked back after achieving success after success.

Faith Restored in Wealth Summit 2016

The DEAN is in.

2. Filipino business owners continue – and even expanded – their generosity wallet.

Filipino business owners either provide awesome employment to their staff (even giving them trips abroad!) or make them business partners.

Edwin Nerison of Nerison’s Cassava Cake told the story of one of his employees during their “fishball moment” (they were eating fish balls) that the latter wanted to have a printing press. Nerison also wanted to have a printing press so he does not have to outsource the printing of his product boxes. His employee is now his partner in the printing business that they created.

3. Filipino business owners know to follow their passion, not money.

Dr. Romy Paredes of Wellnessland Health Institute told his story of listening to intuition in decision-making. From being a doctor who was educated to provide medicines for every disease, he created a business that would enable patients to go back to the basics – eat well, exercises, breathe properly, and even hug a tree!

He also added (and with this, I vowed a self-discipline mode) that health is also an investment. You do not accumulate money and later on use it to make you well.

Faith Restored in Wealth Summit 2016

Our mentor, Jomar Hilario, was there, too! We took this groupie while he was answering a question during the discussion.

4. Filipino business owners know that business is also about building relationships.

Lea Recomite of Spa Solandra and Toots Palomo of Great Image mentioned that relationship building is important in business. In addition, they did not only talk about building relationships with customers. Business partners and suppliers also add to the business family. A business owner should not think that they should make a fool out of business partners and suppliers.

Faith Restored in Wealth Summit 2016

Now THIS is an unbelievable customer service. Thank you, Ms. Toots Palomo of Great Image!

5. Filipino business owners live Kaizen, or continuous improvement.

Being inside the room with majority of business owners, I did not feel intimidated at all. Everyone was all ears to all the speakers and to those who added inputs. On the other hand, they were not selfish in giving insights.

An exceptional “wow” moment for me was when real estate expert and Think Rich Pinoy! author Larry Gamboa stood up to ask a question to one of the speakers. For a person who has helped many to earn money from real estate, it was a wonder to see how he has kept his curiosity in learning more.

Faith Restored in Wealth Summit 2016

Think Rich Pinoy! author Larry Gamboa asking a question to one of the speakers.

Not only was my faith restored to Filipino business owners. I rekindled the reason why I became a virtual professional (considered an infopreneur): I wanted to earn more so I can give more. I must admit, mundane and big concerns tend to make me forget one of my big Whys. Attending the Wealth Summit 2016 Bonus Day reminded me of that.

Faith Restored in Wealth Summit 2016

Jones and I with Preacher in Blue Jeans Brother Bo Sanchez.

aith Restored in Wealth Summit 2016


Special thanks to Jaymee Dela Cruz and Niña Mendoza and Elaine Gay Chavez.

If you remember, I was at the Wealth Summit 2015 as a volunteer for Jomar Hilario’s booth! It was fun to be with virtual professional friends and be able to break down our volunteer experience using Facebook Ad terms! See the story here.