Tag Archives for " never give up "

2 The Truth about finishing the How to Become a Virtual Assistant Seminar Assignment

I urge you to become Optimist Prime. Say to yourself, “I can finish the VA Assignments!”

This is the truth: the assignment that Sir Jomar gave during his 15 September 2012 How to Become a Virtual Assistant Seminar was kind of overwhelming. 10 tutorials of websites of your choice, close to 100 slides, plus opening a Klout account and putting your score in your VA resume (in PDF) is no joke.

But here’s a fact: the assignment that he gave in his How to Become a Virtual Assistant Seminar two years ago was also overwhelming. He also instructed 10 tutorials of websites of your choice. Though the least number of slides is 30 and there’s no need to put a Klout score in your VA resume (there was no Klout two years ago).

I did it anyway.

Some VA participants in the seminar had this excitement of learning something that could change the way they live their lives. But upon hearing of the assignment, they had the same look on their faces: that’s just too many!

I tell you what: in our current office environment, we are asked to do reports and presentations. Some of them you may have brought home to make sure that no detail is left. I am not going to ask you anymore if you love doing that.

In the VA seminar, the tutorials that you are going to do are based on your CHOICE. You will choose what you want others to learn, and in return, you will get to learn, too.

Here’s my unsolicited advice to future co-VAs who are just about to give up in their minds when they have not even started. I am focusing on 10 tutorials preparation because I feel that’s what makes you palpitate (okay I’m kidding):

1. Stop thinking. Just do it. You want to fire your boss and not the way around, right? Breathe, it’s not a sign of the Mayan belief of the end of the world.

2. From the websites that Sir Jomar taught, choose 10. Just list your choice websites down in a paper.

3. Take in one a day. Day by day, watch a YouTube video tutorial about 1 website.

4. Prepare one tutorial a day or two days. As you go through the steps of your tutorial, do not forget that Print Screen is your friend. Press the Print Screen every step.

You may choose between MS Word and MS PowerPoint in doing the tutorials.

5. Don’t focus on the number of slides. You will freak out. Focus on how you’re making the slides. Are there only a most of 10 words per slide? Did you miss a step? A great question will be “will somebody else understand and follow my tutorial?”

Get this: if you watch one YouTube video tutorial and do the slides in one to two days, you will finish 10 tutorials in 20 days! Who says two months for the assignments is too short?

Got a day job? Then stop bringing work home and do the assignments at night. Staying awake in the wee hours of the night with what you love is just amazing.

By the way, why only two months to do everything? I have read in Tim Ferriss’ “The 4-Hour Work Week” that giving too much time to students to finish their assignments or tasks will make them say “I’ll do it later.” If one’s pressed for time, the brain functions actively. The results are masterpieces. Do you remember when you were still in school and you had to do a project with a tomorrow deadline?

So there you are. I hope this helps. I gotta stop now because I am about to do the assignments, too.

3 How to Become a Virtual Assistant Seminar was a success!

We’re about to start a new life!

I was happy to go to Jomar Hilario’s Rosewood Point residence. Jomar is my Internet Marketing and Virtual Assistant mentor. It was my first time to attend a VA seminar (I learned about it through the downloaded seminar two years ago) and I would get to share my VA experience, so even if the rains were pouring down hard, I brave my way through it.

I arrived at the Rosewood Pointe Clubhouse at 7:50 AM of 15 September. I approached Sir Jomar as he was testing his Apple stuff and speakers. He then introduced me to the seminar team. I placed my bag in the designated bag area for the staff then started helping out. By 8:30 AM, the registration started. I think 100 participants came for the seminar. The Clubhouse was full of participants!

We’re ready. This was the clubhouse minutes before we opened the doors to participants. That’s Sir Jomar doing last Apple checks.

Positively Awesome VA checking the names of the participants.

I assisted in providing script for participants who volunteered for video recording of their messages. I also gave a suggestion for them to take their lunch outside the clubhouse so they could enjoy Sir Jomar’s residence. One unforgettable moment was when Sir Jomar asked me to choose Christmas songs from his iPod classic. Honestly, it was first time to ever hold an iPod classic (insert you laughing here), so I did not know what to do. When Sir Jomar asked if I know how to use iPod, I immediately said I “no.” Sir Jomar then said, “Okay, go do something else.”

Some participants approached me in different times in the morning and in the afternoon to ask details about becoming a VA. There are those who were excited; they almost couldn’t wait for my sharing. There are those who were excited but nervous about what they are about to learn and do.

Great job, VA Seminar Team! Thanks a lot, too, for letting me help out!

I met Positively Awesome VA, Jones, and my co-sharer, Work-at-Home Mom Noemi Mora. We got to talk now and then to share what we thought of what Sir Jomar said in the seminar. I could say that we all learned from the seminar (added details and added assignments! No wonder Sir Jomar said it’s the VA Seminar 2.0) and from each other.

I finally took my five minutes of fame at 4:30 PM. If you know me, you know that I could talk for hours. So my five-minute sharing was my shortest presentation ever. I waited for my turn but still felt nervous by the time Sir Jomar gave me the microphone. But by the second slide of my PDF presentation, my confidence came back. I was so happy to have concise my best and worst VA experiences in five minutes for future VAs.

Mentor Jomar Hilario and I.

More people approached me and Noemi after the seminar. I took the time to answer all their questions, as I can not go home right away anyway (the rains came back). Some told me that they knew me from the VA # 3 Webinar last August, and that they learned a lot from it (one even said she’s still waiting for the YouTube upload so she could hear it again). I went home with a picture of my mentor and I, a ride up to Guadalupe MRT, and new friends.

Two years ago, all I ever wanted was to on a journey in becoming a full-time Virtual Assistant. I never thought that along the journey (and engaged in a part-time VA gig), I would get to share my experiences. I hope that most of the participants will get to continue the journey and be better.

Yes, you can work at home in 3 months’ time. Ask me how!

I am VA #3

Sir Jomar’s Facebook banner photo days before the webinar.

“Okay, okay, stop, stop. We will start in a few minutes.”

That’s what my mentor, Jomar Hilario, said. I just finished almost a non-stop sample blubbering (that’s a sample) to check if my audio is working. Sir Jomar, as he is fondly called, finished setting the sites for the webinar. He called me through Skype a few minutes after I called him. “There are noises, I’ll call you,” he said.

I really could not believe what I was seeing: I saw on justintv my picture (sent through e-mail to Sir Jomar minutes before the webinar) and my “screen name,” Ann Peñarazzi.

I used to attend his webinars. Being a guest was far etched on my mind.

How did I get into this pretty perfect mess?

I just posted my monsoon rains story here in my blog, when I saw the “kumusta? (flood stories of my VAs)” of Sir Jomar (by the way, for non-Filipinos who passed by my blog, “kumusta” is Filipino for “how are you?”). I e-mailed what happened to me. My e-mail got him confused, so Sir Jomar clarified if I still working on a full-time office job. I replied, stating that yes, I still do have a full-time job; my Social Media Manager position is a part-time VA job.

“Dami mo nang adventures ah (You seem to have experienced a lot of adventures). Are you game for an interview?”  Sir Jomar said.

e-mail exchanges

Funny thing was it has not sunk in to me that I’ll be a guest VA, not a participant. My wits got me when the exchange of emails on Skype tests and final schedule of the webinar became frequent in a span of 5 days (honestly, I it was a miracle I got 80 in my Logic class back in college).

Uh-oh, what did I get myself into?

During the 4-day holiday, I saw the Interview Your Virtual Assistant #3 Webinar announcements. I got cold feet. Sir Jomar’s really serious about this! My mind was on a race of thoughts: does he really know that I am not a full-time VA? What if participants will leave the webinar once they find out that I’m not a full-time VA?

Uh-oh, here it is. Cold feet!

But then, I thought, I was honest admitting that I am a part-time VA. Besides, I have been a participant to many webinars of Sir Jomar; people only leave to refresh their pages, then they’re back after a few minutes. I started thinking: what if participants will stay and learn from me? What if my experiences will lead to them going on a better path than mine? What if I they would be able to relate to my experiences and never leave the webinar?

Wow, such is the power of Brendon Burchard’s book, The Charge. I can change my what-if questions into something positive! I was challenged. Though still nervous, I waited for the webinar night head on.

Hours before the webinar, I wrote down notes on how I became a VA, plus a list of my experiences. I did this so that the story-telling would be fast; it would lessen the pauses that I could do just because I kept on thinking of the next story. I was also thankful that Sir Jomar sent me an e-mail with a list of questions; it gave me an idea of what the webinar participants have in their mind. What I was not ready for was the question “what books do you read?” I honestly never thought that would be asked; good thing my wits were still with me, so I got to say that book titles, their authors, what are the books about, and how I got them!

Here are my notes so I can keep on talking (and laughing)!

In the end, I felt so great and grateful of the 135 people (close to that) who listened, asked questions, and stood with my brand of entertainment (I hope my voice was not screeched, I tend to be like that if I’m really happy and excited). I really do hope they learned a lot from me. My most important prayer was that they got inspired to do better than me.

My view from JustinTV. That’s Sir Jomar’s Mac with ANN Exceptional VA on the screen. Hey, it’s this blog!

I was so glad my Internet connection and my Skype were fabulously efficient during the one and a half hours of webinar.

This was when I was discussing BrainBench. I also got to answer questions in JustinTV (right).

I was happy to go over my fear of not being good enough. My mentor already said time and again that I am a success. My Great Maker, the Divine God, has His own words for me. I slept soundly but not before whispering in prayer, “those 135 people will start getting their overflowing blessings starting tonight.”

Damn, I can’t wait for magic to start!

Thanks a lot, Sir Jomar, and to those who catched the webinar! By the way, the next VA Seminar is on 15 September 2012!

Want to work from home? The next “How You Can Work From Home as A Virtual Assistant” Seminar is on 15 September 2012 at Rosewood Pointe, Taguig (that’s where Sir Jomar lives). Details here.

Spoiler Alert: I’m VA #3 on this week’s Ask a Virtual Assistant #3 Webinar

I am VA #3! Ask me questions on this week’s Wednesday webinar!

If you don’t like spoiler alerts (whether it’s your favorite show or an upcoming movie), then skip this post. But for those who love to kill excitement, read on. 🙂

I hope all goes well (my Skype and Internet are to be put to the highest level of test) on Wednesday because I am VA # 3 on this week’s Ask a Virtual Assistant #3 Webinar of my mentor, Jomar Hilario.

When Sir Jomar asked me if I could be interviewed, I happily say ‘yes.’ But when he got my Skype ID and told me we’ll do Skype test calls, I got cold feet. Jeeesh, I WILL BE VA #3!

To further add to the “cold feet” feeling, I got to see the screen shots of my shared stories to Sir Jomar that merited spaces in his blog. I’ve kept them in my ever reliable flash drive to drive motivation. Jeesh, I’M REALLY VA #3!

Well, it’s not because I feel that my virtual assistant experience is not that grand (ok, that’ all I’m about to say; more on the webinar). It’s just that I never imagined that I would get to tell and inspire other aspiring virtual assistant through my humble story. If this is a part of my dream to inspire people, then I’m going for it!

Well, for those who hate spoiler alerts but have read this anyway, I’m stopping here. But for those who love to kill excitement, sorry buddies (you may want to read my earlier posts if you can’t wait ’til Wednesday, wink wink).

Here’s the link on how you can join the webinar on Wednesday: http://www.jomarhilario.com/2012/08/free-report-free-webinars-this-week.html

Word of warning: no questions on love life and Math, please (ha-ha-ha).

Water everywhere

Water everywhere.

That’s how I describe the past few days in our country, particularly in the upper island of Luzon. If you’re a Filipino VA like me, you may have call the events “unli rain,” Waterworld, whatever.

I was supposed to report Tuesday night for my client. But then, non-stop rains came pouring as early as Monday night. I’m blessed because despite of the heavy downpour, floods did not reach our house. Getting my family (and the stuff) safe was my priority, so I deferred working.

Today, I sent an e-mail to my client. I sent my apologies, including links to YouTube and new links.

I sent this e-mail to my client. As VAs, honesty is important.

A few hours after finishing my work for client, I opened my other e-mail. I learned that ODesk has been monitoring what’s happening in my country.

I never thought ODesk would do this. It made me realize that people (and systems) do care.

We still have water everywhere, but Filipinos are resilient. We will get up from this challenge and stand up strong.

My 20 reasons on why you should be a VA

Forgot why you're doing this VA thing or you're losing hope? Think again. You want to have this kind of office, right?

I know. Sometimes, you feel like you’ve done your best but nothing seems to happen. You have signed up for ODesk, got verified, got great exam results, finished all the VA assignments and submitted them, your blog is full of tutorials. But most of the jobs you are applying to are either declined or closed.

Don’t fret. It’s not yet the end of the world (well, if it’s true, we still have eight months to go).

Don’t lose hope. You’re not alone.

You’re not the only one who gets rejected – not only in VA jobs, but in some aspects of life. It happens to make you really focus on what you really want. But if the inevitable happens, I have listed down my twenty reasons on why I – and you – should be a VA.

I hope this cheers you up and is enough for you to tell yourself, “what doesn’t kill me will only make me stronger.”

20 Reasons on Why You Should be a VA

1. No gossips.
2. You are taken in as a VA based on what you can deliver, not based on who you are, your clan, your race, or even your character.
3. Client with business + You with great skills = SUCCESS
4. You would have to care what others say about you because… c’mon, you work alone.
5. The term “work-at-home” just sounds absolutely cool.
6. You earn in dollars and you spend it in your own country – way better than going abroad to work.
7. You can sing “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” every day.
8. You are taken in as a VA based on what you can do.
9. You get to learn and improve and go beyond being a VA – way better than waiting for promotion.
10. No office politics.
11. No hard manuals to read, no company rules to follow.
12. You get to do what you love.
13. No physical boss.
14. No big taxes to pay.
15. No need to buy a nice wardrobe, make up or office utilities.
16. No commuting during the rain, traffic, and all-public-transports-are-filled seasons, which happens every day.
17. You don’t have to worry about what food is served in your canteen (if you have). If you bring your own food, then no need to bring the love from your home’s kitchen far away.
18.You forget about the dates.
19. You don’t have to drag the weekdays to live on weekends.
20. You do a work that you love in your home filled with love. You see, feel, sense, taste, touch and radiate all love. What more can you ask for?

Well, I have listed down my twenty reasons on why you should be a VA. Do you think I should have listed down more? Let me know by putting your comments below.

Money Money Money


Got this from Facebook

I saw the above pictures in Google and Facebook, respectively.

For some, it may look absurd. But since I have committed myself to become rich, I now always say, “why not?”

In the first place, I want to have money not only to buy what I need and to secure my future. I have also realized that I want to have money so that I could extend help to others.

I have given up on the fact that I can only share my talents and skills to the world. I am also capable of making money out of them. I can also share money to those in need.

Me? A budding philantropist?

I’d like to think yes.

So bring on the money mess in my house and in my bath tub.

I really would not mind.

Moving On

from Pinterest

After a week of not surfing the Internet, I’m at it again.

The sudden me-out-of-online-job got me to contemplate about what I need to do so that it will not happen again.

What I am happy about is that I was able to finish a book (Hooray!). I realized that I got to finish it after eight months. But even if it took me time to finish it, I finished it anyway for I’m determined to finish it.

So I decided that I will do the same thing with my life as a VA.

Here are the things that I need to do:

1. Update my profiles in ODesk and Freelance.

2. Verify my accounts.

3. Re-check my skills list.

4. Make this site show more of what I can do.

5. Take more tests in ODesk – and make it to the Top 10% of each test.

6. Visit my Brainbench account – take tests.

7. Finish my step-by-step presentations on every site that I learned, post them in Scribd, and link them here.

Well, moving on may never be easy. But it will come to pass.

And I will be better.

1 I didn’t know I inspired a few.

I never expected that my VA story will inspire others. Take a look at this post that I saw in our Facebook group (I erased the name and picture for the person’s security):

I might be an angel to you now, because you were to me before (and now).

I’ve got a lot of comments from my “Whirlwind” posts. Thanks to my mentor, Sir Jomar, for sending the link through our almost daily e-mail updates. Thanks also, to my new-found friends in JM Mastery Group and Marketing Master Insiders for all the prayers and support.

So now you know why I call myself Exceptional (wink wink).

One thing’s for sure: I’m never giving up.

Hope that’s your mantra, too, as we look for our online employers

4 So this is how it feels to have a heart broken on Valentine’s Day.


I sat down for my first Tuesday work. I opened my ODesk Team application, signed in, and waited for my team to become visible.

I wondered why my team was still invisible after a few minutes. The application even said that it might be so because I do not belong to any roster.

That’s weird. I have an online job. That means I have a team, right?

I got the answer when I opened my ODesk account.

Well, this is embarrassing. But this blog is about my life as I become a full-time work-at-home geek, so I’ll spill the beans.

My employer ended my contract; she said it was not working out. She’s going to pay me on what I have worked for.

I told you I got the job in a whirlwind. Too bad I lost it in a whirlwind, too.

It’s sad. I’m going to lie if I tell you it did not hurt a bit.

It was like you know you have a Valentine’s Day date, only to find out the last-minute that you got dumped.


But a few minutes after, I breathed slowly, then smiled.

Well, first, I was happy for the chance to have work with the employer. That was my first ODesk work, and she gave me a chance. She gave me a good feedback on my work.

Second, I also learned that I need to work faster to keep up with work. I know I am a fast worker as a full-time employee in the companies where I worked. I need a little more re-training on how to work more fast for online jobs.

So I decided to move forward from the loss. Heck, I even provided words of encouragement to others who gave their time to post their comments in my earlier post (thank you, guys!), minutes after learning I lost the gig (and I started looking for jobs again).

Still, I’m going to lie if I tell you that it did not hurt a bit.

I just chose to carry on and take the lessons with me because I believe I will be able to get a better gig.

I thank God I have become matured enough to always see the good things. I have also realized that situations like this remind me to be humble yet still be a source of encouragement for others.

So this is how it feels to have a heart-broken on Valentine’s Day.

Nah, there are still a lot to date out there.

Inasmuch as there are still a lot employers online who’ll get me.

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