“You must be living in a rich village because you got Fibr,” Jomar told me minutes before the February 10, 2014 webinar where I shared my VA story for the second time. He was referring to my Internet connection.
Let me make this clear: Yes, I live in a village. But it’s not called Ayala Alabang (but my proximity in that area is one commute only). I live in a simple village that just luckily is slowly getting Fibr-d.
I am no longer having Internet connection concerns (just a few minor hiccups now and then) since I signed up for it.
I was too far from seven months ago, where I had sleepless nights and zombie-like days just to get the best connection.
Here’s a story of why an exceptional Internet connection is a GREAT MUST-HAVE if you want to be a VA.
For two years, my Internet service provider depended on a mobile signal.
If you’d get to visit our house, you’ll see a tall metal stick in the roof (it’s there until now; my former Internet service provider has not returned to take it down). It was set up so I could get a better signal.
My previous Internet provider served me well. I was able to update my VA portfolio, apply to many jobs until my ODesk job application list reached it quota, and I got to be a guest in Jomar’s webinar. Hey, I even got my first part-time VA job with it!
Then, late last year, I was hired as a part-time VA (social media manager) for Social Metric Pte Ltd.
My Internet connection could not keep up.
During the last few months before I got the VA gig, I observed that it was connection difficulties were just so, well, difficult, during nights. The only time I can connect well is either day (which is I could not do because I still had my full-time government work during that time) or after midnight.
When the social media manager tasks demanded focus and time, I had no choice but to work at early midnight or dawn.
At first, I thought I could catch up sleep during lunch break and on weekends. Somehow, I survived.
Later on, I couldn’t keep up anymore. The Internet concern was no longer just a concern. I felt like a zombie and I couldn’t focus. I remembered asking my former co-workers to repeat what they said because not a word entered my brain.
I found myself up banging my mouse on some days and frowning at each re-setting of the router on other days.
The last string happened one night in January, when my conversation with my colleague was suddenly cut off. I never got back on the line after impatiently re-setting my router for close to one hour.
It was embarrassing! To think that he’s in Singapore totally made it humiliating (my VA gig is based in Singapore, the land of fastest Internet connection in the world).
That was it. I declared an Internet War with my earlier provider.
I had to do something. If I don’t win the war, I’d lose my VA gig. During that time, I already took their offer to work full-time.
I know I can win this war. I just had to act immediately.
So even with less sleep, I frequented the nearest PLDT office to apply for a new Internet connection. I felt it was just prompt, as my old Internet service contract will end in a month.
The woman in the PLDT office told me that what is offered in our area is PLDT Fibr. I told her that I was not applying for that; I preferred MyDSL. She said that I could no longer get that because eventually, MyDSL will be phased out to give way to Fibr connection in our area. Later on, I learned that three neighbors recently got Fibr-d, too.
I don’t have much of a choice, do I?
I also thought of my VA work, the turnovers and paper works that I started doing after I sent my resignation letter at my government job, plus the preparations for the home office. They were taking my wits.
So I signed the application paper for Fibr.
I had to endure two more weeks of sleepless nights. Finally, on the first Sunday of February 2014, I got Fibr-d.
Since then, I got to sleep well at night.
I can watch YouTube videos of the Backstreet Boys without the buffer (sorry, I’m a big fan).
I can talk to you on Skype for hours.
I no longer have to tell myself that I need to download some learning stuff because I can listen to them while working. All I do is hit the Play button.
The Internet War was over. I won.
Let me make another clearance: this is not a promotional story for Fibr. It just so happened that it’s the best Internet service provider in my area.
What I want you to take from this story is this: if you want to have an exceptional VA career, you need to invest on an exceptional Internet connection.
It would take some research such as surveying the neighbors and asking important questions to each potential service provider (yes, visiting every provider’s store in the mall!), but it’s sure worth it.
One more thing: you may say that I’m paying a premium for my Internet. I am. And I can honestly tell you that it hurts to pay a premium for an Internet in the Philippines. Guess what, it’s another worthy topic. But if you would always think about the hurt, you’ll lose many chances on earning big in the Internet.
Especially if you declared war against financial woes.
Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1ksH7n9