Why Should you Read The Finishers

When creating a technology-based business, you can’t help but be inspired by the stories of Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. One cannot imagine the seemingly unfathomable challenges that they conquered to get to where they are. Reading and watching their stories have inspired people around the globe, including our kababayans. But even when the world is a little bit smaller (or maybe event a lot smaller!) than before, most of us still think that the path to greatness only lie in a few parts of the world.

We’d love to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or Jessica Alba, but we still think that we, in the Philippines, may not have a chance. We think that we are still worlds apart, and that dream may never be a reality.

Don’t just let go of your dreams just yet, as this book called The Finishers, may be just what you need. Do you know that in this book, Ezra Ferraz, the author and a good friend of mine, documents 11 stories of founders who have successfully made exits.

An exit strategy is a contingency plan that is executed by an investor, trader, venture capitalist or business owner to liquidate a position in a financial asset or dispose of tangible business assets once certain predetermined criteria for either has been met or exceeded. (Read more here: Exit Strategy http://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/exitstrategy.asp#ixzz4q0aqrY1L). The dream is really to achieve an exit.

And it’s quite a surprise that not everyone really know that we have founders here in the Philippines who have actually exited. “All of these founders hail from different industries. They have different functional expertise. Some are Filipino born and raised. Others are balikbayans. Still others are immigrants. Yet they all find common ground in the shared belief that you can build a world-class tech company right here in the Philippines.”

I have started reading the book and one of the things that I like about this book is that it brings us closer to reality — the reality that we can also achieve our dreams and ambitions, and we can actually make it big in the global tech arena. We often think that only startups in places like Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv or Singapore can make it big. We, too, can create, build and lead a company that can change how the things work in a global scale.

Another reality is that everyone can have a bright idea, but it all boils down to how bad the founder wants it. From the stories that I have read, most of these founders persevered even amidst competition, barriers, uncertainty, etc. They executed ideas and strategies, pivoted when something did’t work and were all relentless.

So if you have a dream, go for it! The Finishers, by author Ezra Ferras, will help you stay motivated and inspired throughout your start-up journey. It will give you a glimpse into the life that you will have and a peek into a life that you can have.

Order here: https://www.facebook.com/TheFinishersPh/

The Finishers will also be available for purchase at The Freelancer Fair: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/thefreelancerfair2017

 

 

When Worlds Collide

As a small business owner, we need quality work but at the same time, something that would be affordable while building our business. We also value relationships. We want to work with suppliers and entities who get us and who we see have the same vision and values as ours. In Manila Workshops, we have been creating workshops for aspiring and current business owners and freelancers. For our events, we need photographers and videographers that we can partner with. We were lucky enough to have met When Worlds Collide!

Today, I am very honored to feature Julianne Caparos and her soon-to-be-husband Timothy Fernandez from When Worlds Collide!

The Story of Julianne Caparos of When Worlds Collide

Most of my childhood years was spent in Dubai then at the age of 13 my family and I then moved to Botswana, Africa, then moved back to the Philippines to study and eventually work. Since I was young, my dad loved taking photos using his SLR (film camera), and I’ve always loved art. Because of that, I got interested in photography and wanted to pursue it, initially as a hobby and not as a business.

Then back in 2014 when I was still working at Smart, I met Tim and he wasn’t the type of person who was into photography. But when we became a couple, he supported me and my hobby in photography. I was that girl who would take photos before eating and taking photos of every corner when travelling. On our first date we went to the Mind Museum, because Tim liked museums and I wanted to take photos inside (haha!). At one point we thought of creating a blog but that drained us out; it wasn’t fun for us. Then eventually, families and friends would ask us to cover their birthday events until the point we got our very first Client.

Julianne and Timothy of When Worlds Collide

When Worlds Collide is actually our sideline business, for now we both still have full time day jobs. Hopefully in 2 years time, I can do it full time already.

when Worlds Collide

Interview with Julianne of When Worlds Collide:

Ginger: What is your Startup/brand/business?  What is it about? How long have you been in business?

Julianne: When Worlds Collide is a photography business. It actually started out as a blog because we thought it was a way to do what we love, which is photography but we realized we didn’t enjoy the writing part of blogging lol! More on capturing that moment already says a lot for Tim and I. Then my best friend decided to tag me along with one of her photoshoot gigs and that’s when we realized how much we enjoyed it and that was just last September 2016.

Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Julianne: Our target market would be young families who just started raising kids. We chose this market, specifically for me, is because I love kids and their every reaction is just priceless. These days everyone is pretty much tech savvy and thanks to technology we can treasure every moment that we have through digital photographs and that’s one of our main goals, to provide a photo keepsakes for our clients.

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Julianne: Well, it just started out as a hobby but after that push we got last year, we decided to give it a try with a couple more photoshoot gigs and see how it would go and so far it turns out to be great.

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these?

Julianne: A lot! lol! It was fun but at the same time difficult. Difficult in terms of handling different clients and their expectations. The biggest obstacle probably was getting people to trust our services at the beginning, which I guess is normal for all.

Ginger: What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?

Julianne: Greatest challenge with our type of business is competing with others in the same business. Other than that meeting the budget of various clients.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when starting their own business?

Julianne: “Courage” to start your business, “patience” especially with Clients, along the way you’ll learn how to handle different situations and “passion” because without it, I feel a business would never succeed.

Ginger: Unforgettable moments or  lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder

Julianne: The very first shoot I did and got paid, that was definitely an unforgettable moment. The biggest lesson I learned? bargaining our rates with Clients. At first it was difficult to say “nope our rates are fixed” thinking that we wouldn’t get any clients that way, but I had to be firm and along the way we lost Clients because we didn’t meet their budget. However, we also did gain a new base of Clients who trusts our services so far.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Julianne: Our advice to other aspiring Entrepreneurs is to make that first leap, you’ll never if your dream business will work if you don’t take action. As to Entrepreneurs who are just starting out just like Tim and I, don’t give up, you will get a lot of praises at the same time unsatisfied Clients but you’ll learn on how to improve and become more successful.

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Julianne: I think everyone can but not everyone should become entrepreneurs. You need to love what you do and not feel like it’s a routine or pushing yourself just to make ends meet.

Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Julianne: In a photography business, your main investment are your gears. We started just last September 2016 but we started buying our gadgets as early as 2014, all from the money we make from working at our 9-5 day jobs and and sometimes from our parents who are ever supportive.

Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?

Julianne: Through Facebook groups, word of mouth and at times through xdeals with other Entrepreneurs who are just starting out. Our long term plan is actually to have an office space already, probably a studio but for now my goal is to further enhance my skills in this business.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?

Julianne: Facebook and our website to promote and communicate with our Clients. Lightroom, After Effects and wetransfer/dropbox for editing and transferring of files.

Ginger: Thank you so much, Julianne, and of course to Tim, too! Thank you for supporting Manila Workshops and I hope you continue to inspire and grow your business! 

 

Contact information of When Worlds Collide:

Website: http://whenworldscollide.ph

Email address: whenworldscollideph@gmail.com

Mobile Number: 09178368418

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/whenworldscollidephotography/

Keeping your Skin Healthy when You Can’t Follow a Korean Skin Care Routine

I’ve been blogging about the 10 step Korean skin care routine, but not everyone will have the luxury of time to follow it. So I wondered, is it possible to have great skin, even without following the 10 steps? If so, what steps are essential and what steps can you do away with? The inquisitive me was brought to the doorstep of Derm HQ, the clinic of Dra. Gail Vitas. Dra. Gaile is a dermatologist of almost 4 years. In her clinic, she offers the basic offerings like facial, wart removal, diamond peel, etc. and also advanced treatments for psoriasis, skin asthma, acne, etc.

Dra. Gaile Vitas of Derm HQ

Dra. Gaile tells me that she customizes what she suggests to each of her patients. Why? Each individual will have a different skin type.

*Image from Sephora

Also, each one will be of a different age, each one will have habits that are different from others, etc. So I asked Dra. Gaile Vitas about my own situation. I wanted to know if I really had to follow the 10 steps. This is my profile:

Ginger – 30-40 Female / rarely gets pimples / works in front of the computer (a lot!) / hardly gets exposed to the sun / hardly exercises nowadays / has one kid

This is what Dra. Gaile from Derm HQ recommends:

CLEANSER – Use a soap free cleanser (Cetaphil, Avene, etc.) We, Filipinos, think if something has bubbles or mabula, we think it cleans our skin better. This is not true. For those who love to wear make-up also, Dra. Gaile suggests using Micellar Water. Micellar Water is both hydrophilic and hyrophobic, which means that it can remove both oil and water based products.

SUNSCREEN – Dra. Gail advised me to use sunscreen which has 30 SPF and above which protects the skin from UVA and UVB. We all need to re-apply sunscreen after every 2 hours. We should apply 1/4 teaspoon, but if you are swimming, apply every hour. She also mentioned that it’s not about the SPF, but about the area of the skin that the sunscreen covers.  Also, in the Philippines, there are only a few brands that protect your skin, not only from UVA and UVB, but also from Infra red and Visible Light. Since I’m always in front of the computer, Dra. Gaile recommended that I use any of these two brands that you can get from Derm HQ.

These are Frezy Derm and Helio Care. I purchased Frezy Derm, and I love it! Honestly, the best sunscreen I have tried so far.

Here is my review of Frezy Derm!


EXFOLIANT – We should also exfoliate. She still believes that we should use AHA or Alpha Hydroxy Acid or Mandelic Acid (Mandelic acid is actually an alpha hydroxy acid that comes from bitter almonds).

ANTI-AGING – Given my age, and for those of you who are 30 and above, do start using anti-aging products. These are products that contain retinoids, tretinoin (only in low dosages, 0.025%), retinal dehyde, vitamin C, etc. Once you start aging, there is a delay in the production of collagen. These products help delay collagen degeneration.

So if I get tired of following the 10 step skin care routine, these are the things that I should constantly do and use still. These are the products that are important in keeping my skin healthy!

Visit Dra. Gaile of Derm HQ and schedule a consultation! It’s never too late to start your own skin regimen!

DERM HQ is located at 2nd Floor, Island Plaza Bldg, 105 LP Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati City!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dermhq/

 

Freelancing: When Links, @s and #s Mean So Much More

I love playing Instagram stories of friends, colleagues, actors and actresses and even of people I don’t personally know, but “know of”. My husband laughs at this idea, and asks me why I spend so much of my precious time “stalking” people 1) I don’t know personally, 2) I may never know personally and 3) I wouldn’t really care about and would actually forget in the near future.

But you see, little ol’ me knows the importance of connection. Back when I was in High School, my hobby was to look at the society pages of newspapers and magazines, and to memorize people’s names, who they were and what they do. I was just really fascinated with how each individual was unique, and how each had their “own thing”. I never knew that this was actually something that people do, which was public relations. The concept of public relations was still so foreign to me and to my young high school mind. But ever since I was young, I loved meeting people, learning their stories and connecting them with people who might be of help or of service to them. I was happy being the bridge to the fulfilment of discussions, deals and dreams.

I now gawk at how social media can bring people closer in a way with just mere @s, #s and links. I get to know people, because my friends tag them in their posts. I get to know brands because hashtags and links were used. The world is seemingly smaller, and everyone seems to know everyone else. You can just grab a bite with a friend after sending a message on Messenger or Viber. You can purchase an item online by clicking a button and sending funds via PayPal. You can build a community of people with the same likes and passions, by setting up a Facebook or Meet-up group. All of these are done in minutes, if not seconds. All of these tools are available for you to utilize and make the most out of. These tools help you build relationships — relationships that will mean a lot to your personal and professional life as a freelancer.

Building relationships, both online and offline, is an important part of your life as a freelancer. Even if you’re mostly online, it doesn’t mean that the basic human need of connecting with other “humans” is stripped off from you. As humans, we feel the need to connect with others. Now looking back at my career as a freelancer and now as an entrepreneur, these connections made such an impact to achieving success for different endeavors. Success is getting more clients, raking in more brand partners, having the right business partners, having the right suppliers, etc. All of these, I now enjoy, because of the network that I built and the relationships that I have established.

I want to share tips on how I built my network with you, and I am truly appreciative of PayPal for giving me the opportunity to do so. I will be one of the four speakers of the PayPal Summit: Freelancing Anywhere in the World that will be held on August 24, 2017 at The Manila Peninsula Rigodon Ballroom from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

I hope that you can make it to the event. Do let me know also, beforehand, if you have questions about networking and building partnerships and relationships. I will gladly share my thoughts on it at the event.

To sign up for the PayPal Freelancer Summit, please click here: http://bit.ly/PayPalGinger1

I’d love meet you personally so please don’t hesitate to approach me! Let’s take a selfie!

Love lots,

Mommy Ginger

Plush and Play: Interview with Fabien Courteille

I have heard so many great stories about people starting social entrepreneurship businesses. Two of my friends have successful social entrepreneurship businesses, Ron and Nikki or Bayani Brew and Kat of Aurelia and Amelia!

Today, I’m so proud to share with you a story of another founder who started a social entrepreneurship business called Plush and Play. His name is Fabien Courteille.

The Fabien Courteille Story

I was born on January 29, 1989 to a middle class family in Normandie, France and was raised by loving and caring parents. After graduating in a science high school, I took up Bachelor of Business Administration in a public school before migrating to the south of France to take up Master in Entrepreneurship. At the age of 21, I was still looking for a real concrete business idea to start with and was questioning the role of businesses in the society in terms of ethics, social and environmental responsibility.

I have been looking for my purpose and to be able to do something meaningful with my life when I heard about Gawad Kalinga’s social entrepreneurship vision. I started out as a volunteer when I first came to the Philippines. After being immersed in the countryside, I have experienced the world-famous Filipino hospitality. I was living with the GK beneficiaries, sharing meals with them (Adobo every meal… haha!) and sleeping under the same roof while having absolutely nothing in common with them. They taught me how to expand my definition of family.

My foster mother was an orphan at an early age but still managed to take care of herself. She eventually became a seamstress in a factory until she lost her job due to the retrenchment of the manufacturing facility like many others. Her undying commitment and love for her children to be able to have a good education was her driving force to take any underpaid and limiting opportunities in order to earn a few pesos. Often times, her earnings were still not enough to provide for their meals. I found it unfair that millions of mothers in the Philippines are exactly like her – too much effort on really strenuous physical activities with a bad compensation system. Basically, I just wanted to give them a real chance to succeed. 🙂

Interview with Fabien of Plush and Play

Ginger: Hi Fabien! Can you tell everyone what your business is all about?

Fabien: Plush and Play is a social enterprise born in the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm, highlighting the undervalued sewing skills of the mothers of Bulacan to create proudly Filipino toys. Ultimately, we envision to be the leading Filipino global toy company inspiring generations of young heroes and nation builders and contributing to the ultimate goal of Gawad Kalinga which is to end poverty in the country for 5 million families by 2024. Our major goals are to provide sources of income for over 500 poor families in the countryside, to inspire a new generation of Filipino children, to improve local standards in the toy industry and to make the Philippines a country where no children will ever grow up without toys.

Being based in a farm, our first line of products is composed of fruits and vegetables with names inspired by local icons like Manny Pakwan, Buko Martin, and Anne Kamatis. We also make customized plush giveaways or mascots for companies like Maynilad, Landbank, Shell, Accenture, Mentos, etc.. Moreover, we conduct toy making activities in order to teach kids how to handcraft their very own plush toy.

Our tagline is “Hand-Stitched with Love, Stuffed with Dreams!”

Ginger: Who is your target market? Why did you choose this market? Can you give us the insight behind this market?

Fabien: Our target market is three-fold:

  • We target socially responsible, nurturing and loving mothers. We offer them affordable, socially responsible and safe products handcrafted with love and inspired by Filipino values and sense of humor, unlike imported toys from China that are of poor quality and many of which are also hazardous to their kids’ health.
  • We target corporations and government agencies that want to strengthen and reward the loyalty of their clients and employees by gifting them with original giveaways. We offer them highly customizable and world-class quality products made with love.
  • Finally we target the young at heart, mostly with age demographics between ten to twenty years old, that want cute, fun and meaningful items like toys, keychains, tote bags, pouches, etc…

Ginger: How did you come up with this idea? What made you decide to start this kind of business?

Fabien: I chose this industry for three main reasons:

(1) To restore the sewing industry

First, the province of Bulacan used to be the Philippines’ pride when it comes to sewing and garments but over the past decade hundreds of factories have been closing down and thousands of mothers have lost their jobs and were left behind with the only option of becoming domestic workers in Manila or abroad. There were mothers in the community who used to be seamstresses but were left jobless when big textile companies started outsourcing their production to China or Cambodia.

(2) To come up with safe toys

Second, we realized that the local market was flooded with low quality imported products, including children’s stuffed toys without any connection to the local culture.

(3) My love and fondness for kids

And lastly, I was becoming the godfather of plenty of kids in the community and I never knew what to offer them. Inspired by the thousands of kids in the GK Communities, I went for the idea of creating stuffed toys.

Ginger: Were there any obstacles that you faced when you decided to pursue becoming an Entrepreneur? What are these? What are the greatest challenges in putting up and maintaining a business in your country?

Fabien: Well, I believe being an entrepreneur is all about facing obstacles and finding ways to overcome them every day. My role is to keep the business running, to continue growing it and to reach out to more beneficiaries. We started venturing into an industry where I was totally ignorant, I have never used a sewing machine before coming to the Philippines so a lot of things had to be learned by doing.

Since I am not Filipino I have to deal with the various restrictions in the Philippines in terms of ownership, position or signatory rights and it is not necessarily easy.

We also started our company without capital. We started with only five thousand pesos so our team had to be extra careful on how to spend every peso and make sure to get the best value out of it. If you can’t afford anyone to do something, you need to do it yourself.

The industry that we are part of is very seasonal so we need to keep on finding ways to keep our cashflow in a good position for the rest of the year. Moreover, this is a market flooded by extremely cheap products so we also have to show and create more value for the customers to be able to generate more sales.

Since we are a social enterprise, we deal with communities everyday. Everything that happens within the community and their household affects the operations of the company and vice versa. Of course having fifty families living and working together creates a lot of situations, tensions and arguments therefore it is always difficult to keep it professional.

Ginger: What are three traits that you think an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder should have when starting their own business?

Fabien:

  1. He or she should be committeed. It is not a hobby and it is more than a full time job.
  2. He or she should learn how to surrender himself/herself with the right people as it takes a team to run an organization.
  3. He or she should lead by example, be ready to do whatever job needs to be done and definitely understand the needs of all stakeholders (customers, the beneficiaries, staff , etc…)

Ginger: Unforgettable moments or lessons that you learned as an Entrepreneur/Startup Founder

Fabien: One of the most unforgettable moments is when we brought the first Filipino toy to Toy Kingdom. It was a big statement and a big celebration for our seamstresses. We were also the only Filipino brand to take part in the toy expo held at SMX Convention Center. On a personal note, making it to the Top 5 of the BPI Sinag out of 150 entries was something to remember as well.

It was very important for me to understand the situation of the mothers in order to properly work with them and support them. Since I am not a Filipino, nor a woman nor a mother, I thought to be with them for the past six years to ensure that I can connect with them and to fully understand their needs. Aside from that, I knew that I had to make them experience things outside of their usual environment so they can also understand the concepts of quality control, excellence, and customer expectations. We would take them to Manila from time to time and have a fieldtrip for them to see other products in high-end malls like Rockwell. Until today, I am still striving to understand their needs and vice versa. It is a constant learning experience for all of us as our enterprise continues to grow and thrive.

Ginger: What advice can you give to other Entrepreneurs?

Fabien: My advice is something that I have heard so many times before which is to not give up! Furthermore, one should not compromise or take shortcuts. It takes hard work and integrity to build a solid enterprise to be proud of. Do not mind the negative comments or words of discouragement because the more people say that you are crazy the more you should move forward. After all, the greatest inventors and entrepreneurs in history were either crazy or different so there is nothing wrong about it. HAHA

Ginger: Do you believe that everyone should become entrepreneurs?

Fabien: I believe that everyone should be entrepreneurial, be pro-active, and be on the look out for innovative ideas wherever you work or whatever position you hold because this is what the organization needs to constantly improve. However, I am not sure if everyone should start their own enterprise because running an enterprise is not easy and is not a one man show. You need to bring in people into your organization that have complimentary skill sets in order to move forward with the over-all company objective.

Ginger: What are ways that you can do to raise capital?

Fabien: From the beginning we have been financing all our operations through our cash flow. This is achieved based on our own sales revenues and we just received two sets of grants to build our new workshop of about three hundred square meters in Bulacan. This will allow us to increase production capacity, which would have a potential increase in revenues.

In addition, because of being one the winners of the BPI Sinag competition, the bank gave us access to their credit line whenever we feel the need to make a loan. Also, we have been able to establish preferential payment terms from some our clients such as fifty percent down payment since they understand our commitment to pay the salaries of our community partners on a weekly basis compare to the usual 30 to 90 days payment terms.

Aside from these, several investors have approached us and we plan to open our capital to new equity investment from impact investors this year. This will be used to invest in opening our own concept store in the city, improving our marketing efforts and increasing our staff members.

Ginger: How do you market your products? Growth strategy?

Fabien: We sell our regular toys at the GK Enchanted Farm in Bulacan. Since we know that the market is in Metro Manila we have partnered with several retail stores that are carrying our products. These are Toy Kingdom SM Megamall, The Parenting Emporium, The Philippine Artisan Trade, Yiippee Store, Able Store, and Hop/Bop Shop. Another growing platform in the country is online sales so we established and partnered with some online sites such as our own website, Lazada, Shopinas, and The Good Store. We also sell in bazaars and sometimes participate in a corporate road show.  All in all, we are currently retailing in 6 outlets in Metro Manila with the possibility to expand to thirty-seven other Toy Kingdom outlets. We are also looking into starting a partnership with Toys ‘R Us in the near future.

Another sales channel is creating customized giveaways for corporations or individuals (special gifts, event giveaways, etc). We also started organizing tailored community outreach programs with our corporate partners. Our biggest revenue comes from our corporate clients, some of which have contracts that are as big as twenty thousand dollars. GK is working with 700 corporations and other private institutions. Among this number, we have engaged with over 30 corporations already but our margin for growth is extremely high as we are reaching out to more of them every week.

We have also started making school mascots with the prestigious school of De La Salle University, with over thirty thousand student population with hundreds and thousands of alumni which are now key decision makers in the country. Once successful, we will then replicate this model and work with other private schools in the country.

Aside from selling products, we also conduct toy making workshops and activities for schools and other celebrations. It is a growing channel right now.

In marketing, we leverage the networks of Gawad Kalinga and the parenting community such as The Parenting Emporium. We also greatly use our own social media channels to gain more awareness about the company.

Partners in Malaysia, Singapore, United States and Europe have approached us already to expand beyond the Philippines. This is a key step to a future regional expansion and eventually outside of South East Asia.

Ginger: What are tech tools that you use for your business?

Fabien: We are mostly active online: We have our own wordpress website and eshop. We are also proactive on social media including Facebook Ads.

Ginger: Thank you Fabien for that wonderful story. I’m sure other people who want to start their own social enterprise learned a lot from reading this! Thank you for sharing your talent and for helping the Philippines in ways you know how.

If you want to know more about Plush and Play, here are their contact information and links:

Website: www.plushandplay.com

Email address: plushandplay@yahoo.com

Mobile Number: 09175264941

Facebook Page: https://web.facebook.com/PlushAndPlay

Instagram account: http://instagram.com/plushandplay

Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/plushandplay/

 

Freelancing Tools: Proposals for you to win the job quickly

As a freelancer, you will be required to create tons of proposals to win a client. Instead of a job interview or resume, your proposal is vital in getting clients so how do you make your proposal stand out from the hundreds that also want to land the job?

You can get your potential clients’ attention by creating visually enticing templates with some of these freelancing tools that you can use to create a proposal!

Qwilr

This is one of the tools that I personally love and use. This site has ready-to-use templates for different kinds of projects. I love that you don’t need to think about the sections of the proposal or what goes into a proposal. You just need to edit and alter. It’s so much easier to create proposals for AdWords, Branding, Real Estate, Event Planning. Marketing Research and even Android Apps!

They offer a free 30-day trial and have 3 plans you can choose from: Pro, Business and Enterprise.

What I love about it is that it’s so sleek and so simple to use! What makes it stand-out really is the way you can layout your proposal. It just really looks impressive when you send out proposals using this.

Hello Bonsai

If you want to create proposals and send contracts all in one platform then Hello Bonsai is the right freelancing tool for you. It can help you create template proposals and let you know once your proposal is read. Your client can approve the proposal online and you can easily send them a contract to get their e-signature for a closed deal quickly!

Here are the features of Hello Bonsai. You can create proposals and contracts. You can use if for time tracking, create projects, monitor expenses and create invoice and payments. It also has great reporting capabilities.

 

They offer a free plan with limited functionalities where you can create only 3 projects per year or you can sign up with them for $19 a month for a complete suite which can help you effectively run your freelancing business.

What I like about Hello Bonsai is the fact that there are a lot of things that you can do using the platform. It’s also really affordable, too, if you’re a freelancer.

Bidsketch

Aside from creating proposals, this freelancing tool allows you to turn 18% of your leads to clients because it allows you to create landing pages, which clients can download into a .pdf file. Its analytics also allows you to find out how interested your clients are by giving data of how long they viewed the proposal, if they exported it and from which email it came from.

Its plans start at $23 if you want to will only have 1 user and $47 if you have a team of 3. They also offer a 14-day trial for first time users.

Are there freelancing tools that can help create great proposals that you know of? Share your thoughts in the comment box below!

Mijin Cosmetics from the Korean Products Festival 2017

This week, I will be sharing with you some of the products that I got from the Korean Products Festival 2017. This was a two day event that was held in SMX Aura. Check out this video of what transpired!

The first product that I will feature are these two facial masks from Mijin Cosmetics. Mijin Cosmetics, as I have heard and researched, is known for their facial masks. I got a brochure from them, and I think think have close to a hundred variants of facial masks.

During the Korean product festival, they closed early because they sold all of their products! I was lucky to have had the chance to buy one pack of 10 of the Horse Oil and one pack of 10 of the Jeju Mayu Moisturizing Mask.

Here is my vlog about on the Horse Oil Mask:

Both products are for nourishing and firming and tightening. The Jeju Mayu is part of the Selection Prestige Mask. The only difference, according to the lady in the booth, is that the Jeju Mayu just has a higher moisturizing effect. These products that they have are certified by CFDA (Certificate of Health in China). The horse oil that they have is from Jeju Island and it provides moisture and vitality to lackluster skin.

I actually gave some Horse Oil Masks to my aunts, so that they can try it. I’ve been using the Jeju Mayu Moisturizing Mask 3 times a week, and it really moisturizes the skin. I really feel that these products are working!

If you want to check out more products from Mijin, you can visit http://www.mjcare.co.kr

*Mijin Cosmetics is a producer/seller of sheet mask packs and an OEM/ODM specialized manufacturer. They possess some of the best technological capabilities and continue developing various products such as basic cosmetics and skin care patches.

Would I recommend these masks? Of course! I already did!

Love,

 

Do you want to be a Freelancer?

If you are scared to take the leap into entrepreneurship, I suggest that you try out FREELANCING first. To those who don’t know, I was a content writer in ODESK (now Upwork) way back in 2010. I got a lot of foreign clients, and actually learned from my experience as a content writer. Starting this Friday, before The Freelancer Fair 2017, which will be held on Sept. 2, 2017, I will be writing a lot about freelancing, how to start freelancing, what you need to do to sustain a freelancing career, etc.

The ultimate benefit for me when I went into freelancing was really to learn more about the industry and to see if it was actually for me. I love writing, so the immediate thought for me was, why not earn from my passion? But honestly, the ultimate benefit of having a freelancing career is to be flexible enough to manage your time and to have no cap in terms of the pay that you get. If you want to earn more, you can manage yourself (your time, your resources, your rates) effectively so that you can achieve the dreams that you have.

Freelancing offers flexibility in all aspects. If you are a mom like me and you want to be there for your children, you can fix your freelancing schedule to allow that. You can earn for your family, while being able to be present during your child’s milestones. Also, freelancing can allow you to pursue your passion and to earn from them. You will be able to work whenever, wherever and even choose tasks where you can apply your skills and take on roles that interest you.

So what jobs or tasks can you actually take on? You can choose from countless jobs available online today such as teaching English to foreign students, clerical work, social media management, writing, customer service responders and more! If you want to explore the world of freelancing and the opportunities you can get to earn while staying at home with your family, here are a few jobs you may want to try out.

Virtual Assistant
If you enjoy organizing schedules, emails and taking care of your client’s day-to-day tasks then this job may be the best fit for you! Virtual assistants have a fixed schedule or work at the time given by their client. You can work at the comforts of your home while having a client/boss via Skype or other messaging platform giving you instructions on what they need to be done.

Teaching English or other subjects
There are students from around the world who are looking for English tutors from different websites. There are numerous sites here in the Philippines such as RareJob or 51talk.

Transcriptionist
If you enjoy typing and are actually great at it, then you can earn from using that skill! There are clients who need transcribing in different kinds of fields such as medical or legal fields. As a transcriptionist, you can get paid per word, per line or each audio minute you transcribe. This job doesn’t require a fixed time schedule so you can choose to work anytime you want.

Writing
If you’re more on the creative side and enjoy writing then you will also be able to find different kinds of tasks from blog writing, copywriting, business writing. There will always be a need for this skill. You’ll just have to find clients at the right websites or get referrals from your own connections. You can be paid per word or per article, and usually this does not require a fixed schedule from you but would have deadlines instead.

There are a lot of other things that you can do, and a lot of tasks that people outsource. Think of any process or any tasks in a business, and i’m sure it can be something that a freelancer can do.

If you want to learn more about FREELANCING, you can attend the annual event called The Freelancer Fair (http://manilaworkshops.com/events/thefreelancerfair2017).

What are you passionate about? What are your skills, your strengths? After identifying these, which job do you think is the best fit for you? Share your thoughts with us and let us know which you think are the best freelancing jobs out there for Moms like me!