Make it Work: Unstable Income as a Freelancer or Solopreneur

Budgeting for Freelancers and Solopreneurs

“Pulubi na naman ako, teh, this month” (I don’t have enough money this month). Have you ever uttered these words? Have you ever been in this situation?

Yesterday, I was talking to two blogger friends, Frances and Yuki. Both these bloggers are established influencers and have been blogging for quite some time now. Both of them are go-getters, too, and will now leave anything up to chance when it comes to earning for themselves and for their family. We had a serious conversation, and the topic was earning enough from being a full time blogger and full time freelancer at that.

The misconception that others have about people who work from home, or those who are freelancing or even those who are their own boss is that you hardly spend on anything. Even if we work from home, we still have bills to pay (phone, internet, water, electricity, rent, mortgage… and the list continues). We still have to earn so that we can make it work! Our main concern really is that income as a freelancer or even a solopreneur is unpredictable. Sometimes, you earn really well and sometimes, the only thing that you can afford for lunch is a Php 50 Chao Fan with siomai that you share with your co-founders (yes, that was a real experience).

So what do we do? How can we make it work? How can you truly earn from your passion? Wouldn’t it be such a great year if you can sustain a lifestyle that is fuelled by something you love? 

Lucky for me, I am willing to share with you my secret on how I stay afloat. Actually, my secret is not a tip, it’s a person. For the first time in history, I am sharing with you my husband. Yup, my husband, EJ Arboleda.

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I’m not good at handling money. I don’t splurge or buy anything extravagant, but it seems I only have enough all the time. But man, this guy is amazing and he really makes it work for us. When I met him, at 28, he already had his own condo unit, he had investments here and there and he was able to gift me with my dream wedding and a honeymoon to Europe. What impressed me is that he had all of these, because he worked smart and hard.
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I am really excited that EJ will be conducting a workshop entitled Budgeting for Freelancers and Solopreneurs (brought to you by Manila Workshops and Payoneer) and believe me when I say this (and I am not saying it because I’m his wife) that he if you just follow his tips and tricks, you’ll be on your way to letting go of all those fears and worries about not having a stable income. I know because I have already let go of all of my worries! haha!

I’m not sure why I just thought of inviting EJ to be a speaker for Manila Workshops only this 2017. For those who want to check on his credentials, EJ is the CEO of Taxumo, a tech startup that helps freelancers, professionals, and entrepreneurs with their taxes. He is also the Chief Technology Officer of Wunderman Manila – a digital advertising agency under the WPP group. He is a certified Project Management Professional, ITIL v3 Service Manager, and a SAP R/3 FI Consultant. He has been freelancing since 2010 as a web developer, project manager, and consultant.

This year will be our breakthrough year! This year, we will all let go of all of our worries and start living the life that we want. We will start earning from our passion! Let’s make it work!

P.S. Sign up now: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/budgeting-for-freelancers

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Ask about their Day: Validate Assumptions about your Customer

When creating a business, we are so quick to judge always on what our customers want and need. Oftentimes, we assume that this is what they want and need because this is what we need and want for ourselves. To this, I say…
Wag ka masayadong assuming ha!” (Don’t assume too much!). Just kidding!

But seriously, we need to look deeper into what drives our target audience to connect with us, engage and eventually buy from us. I have been a victim of this also. I used to take research and customer validation for granted. I know that one of my strengths is connecting bits and pieces of knowledge to create a solution with the help of gut feeling, and oftentimes, my gut is right. But I know that we can’t just rely on gut nor just rely on statistics that we see online. We need to — get out of the building to validate these assumptions.

One tool that we’re using now for our business is called the Javelin board. We learned about it from Paul Pajo when he talked at our Ideaspace bootcamp.

Javelin Board

To understand more about the Javelin Board, check out this video!

Copy of the Javelin Board

It’s really easy to do and believe me, it does wonders. After validating your idea, you will basically have more than enough information to either push with the business idea that you have or to pivot and create/use a new approach, strategy, product or service.

This week and during the weeks to come, we will be validating our startup idea. If you are a freelancer, entrepreneur or doctor/lawyer, please help us by filling out this survey: http://goo.gl/forms/w11TS7hkYrlBWPTq1

Thank you for helping us! Get out of the building and validate!

 

 

 

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Government Benefits for Entrepreneurs and Freelancers

A lot of employees may take it for granted, but companies in the Philippines are compelled by law to invest in their health and future.

Take SSS, for example: out of the monthly contribution rate which is 11% of the monthly salary, Philippine employers are required to pay 7.37%, while the employee only pays 3.63%.

At retirement (usually around 60 years old), the employee will get the highest amount based from any of the three computations below:

1. The sum of P300, plus 20 percent of the average monthly salary credit, plus two percent of the average monthly salary credit for each credited year of service (CYS) in excess of ten years; or

2. Forty (40) percent of the average monthly salary credit; or

3. P1,200, if the CYS is at least 10 but less than 20; or P2,400, if the CYS is 20 or more.

That’s not a bad pension figure, after twenty years of working. (And note this: retired professionals also get a 13th month pension, just like any regular Filipino employee!)

But an employee doesn’t need to retire to enjoy the benefits that the government demands the employers to secure for their employees. A sick employee or their dependent can immediately take advantage of Philhealth’s coverage, which can include subsidies for hospital room and board fees, drugs and medicines, laboratory exams, and professional fees.

Likewise, anyone who’s dreaming of owning their dream home can apply for a loan with Pag-Ibig. That doesn’t just mean getting the government institution to help you buy a condo or townhouse—but also a fully developed residential lot (and yes, even finance the construction of a house from ground up.)

What’s good for employees is that, should they decide to concern themselves about these matters, they can always run to their companies’ Human Resources personnel to assist them with these things.

But how about those who opt to go the freelancing route? What about freelancers? What paperwork do they need to file, to make sure they are also investing in their future? Do they get the same coverage as a regular employee? Are the fees different for self-employed professionals?

“According to the Department of Science and Technology, there are already 1.5 million freelance professionals in the country—and more than 700,000 of those freelancers are registered online on our global online jobs platform Freelancer.com,” says Evan Tan, Regional Director for Southeast Asia of Freelancer.com. “We need to educate these professionals that their untraditional work setups do not hinder them from enjoying the same opportunities and benefits as regular employees.”

 

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To help freelancers and entrepreneurs understand SSS, Philhealth, and Pag-ibig memberships and coverage more comprehensively, Freelancer.com, together with premier workshops organizer Manila Workshops and Unionbank EON, has organized the Talino Talks event entitled, “Philhealth, Pag-Ibig, & SSS for Freelancers—Explained”.

Featured in the event is Dandy Victa, the founder of Manila Civil Service Review, author of “Work-at-Home Entrepreneurship: A Practical Guide for Filipinos with Disabilities”., and a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation degree holder at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

The event is happening on March 19, 2016, Saturday, 1 pm, at the Freelancer.com office, 30th floor, Ecotower Building, 32nd cor 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Also, as an additional incentive for attending, you can get your EON card during our workshop/event for FREE. Open an EON account during the workshop/event and your first annual fee will be waived! All you need to do is drop by and bring two valid IDs. With EON, you’ll have no maintaining balance, no bank fees for Paypal credits, and now, waived annual fee for the first year. It really is the easiest and fastest way to get your Paypal payment.

RSVP here: http://j.mp/philhealthsssexplained

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October Talks for Freelancers and Entrepreneurs

I’m super busy, but I’m busy-happy! I’m happy because I will be sharing a lot of my experiences and the things that I have gone through as an entrepreneur this month in these two exciting webinars and an actual live talk about blogging!

7 STEPS to a SUCCESSFUL FREELANCE BUSINESS

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My good friend and Freelancing advocate, Marv De Leon and I will be giving tips on Freelancing and working from home! Guess what?! This webinar is for free but we have limited slots only! Sign up now at: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/7steps
PAYONEER’s PREMIUM WEBINAR SERIES ON FREELANCING

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I would really recommend that you attend this FREE webinar from Payoneer. Yours truly, Rifat Ahment and Jonny Steel will be giving tips for freelancers. Sign up now at this link: PAYONEER PREMIUM WEBINAR.

RAKETONE’s BLOGGING 101

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I recently wrote about the realities of being a blogger in this link: REALITIES OF BEING A BLOGGER. I have been a blogger since 2008 and since that time, I have learned a lot about this craft. I’d like to share with you what I know and I would like to get to know you more and help you become successful bloggers. Sign up now at: RAKETONE Blogging 101

Hope to meet you ‘virtually’ or in person on these dates!

 

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