Not doing anything at home? I’ve already shared with you that I take courses at SkillShare (just click on this link for a two month free subscription). But to also help out our kababayans and to support locally made course, I have come across this course. You may want to try Freelance Writing. This course is called Freelance Writing Side Gig FWSG): Road to Success program.
All you need to do is set aside one hour every day and learn about the freelance writing. The Freelance Writing Side Gig: Road to Success program is perfect for people who want to upskill while spending time at home during the quarantine period for Covid19.
If you are looking to be freelance writer, this course will help you check on what you already have and from there, Charlyn Awing, the creator of this course will teach you specific skills to level up and enhance your unique knowledge so that you can attract your dream clients.
Also, you will learn proven strategies on how to start a freelance writing side gig even if you are BUSY.
Discover Charlyn’s past failures and mistakes became an instrument for me to attract and get hired by my dream clients.
Get mentored also by a passionate and committed accountability partner who believes in your capability and keeps reminding you that YOU CAN while guiding you like a mom!
Charlyn Awing, the creator of this course, also mentioned that before she launched FWSG, she passionately trained 80 Beta Testers for a period of 2 weeks because she wanted to prove its effectiveness. She focused mainly on the Mindset and Focus part (which now comprises Module 1 of the full course), and here are just some of what the challengers said:
“My major problem was I didn’t know where or how to start Freelance writing. Now, there is more clarity to achieve my goal in Freelance writing. Before, I wanted to do a lot of things but this course helped me summarize and pinpoint my strengths and weakness. Overall, the time was well spent. The videos are informative and the activities help a lot by breaking down one’s strength in writing and makes you realize where you should focus on. Mother Ant’s video was engaging from start to finish. I made sure that the environment was less distracting so that I won’t miss any important advice. She’s also inspiring and encouraging especially to newbies that want to pursue a freelancing writing career.” – Dianne
“My major problem was insecurity and very little idea about freelance writing. I started researching about freelancing way back 2018 and I joined groups/network to help me get started. I kept trying until other opportunities came and I gave up freelancing. After the course, I realized that I’m actually cut to be a writer. Wow! I know now that I can be more than my experience of writing reports. More than that, I’m excited to go and start my dream. I know that along the way, I will encounter defeats, mistakes, and insecurities. But my courage will always be sourced from my humble beginning in our lesson 1. I will remember that “Mother Ant” rooted for me, and if she believed in me, why shouldn’t I? The course was personal! Like finding a jeans that fits you so well, it was almost tailored fit!” – Joanne
There are friends that you meet who are always ready to lend helping hand whenever you need it. Amidst the chaos in social media, there are a lot of good news and positivity going around. One of the kindest and helpful people that I know is Tina from Mama V Delicious.
More than a week ago, my friend whose family runs a hospital called out for help. They were in need of PPEs, food, etc. I helped them and called out for help from friends, and one of the people who quickly responded was Tina Vitas, the owners of Mama V Delicious.
The food industry is one of those who are badly hit by this epidemic. Big food chains and home based businesses like Mama V Delicious are all equally affected. This is because of the disruption in the supply chain — ingredients are hard to come by these days.
Let’s get to know more about Mama V Delicious
Ginger: Hi Tina! Can you tell our readers what your business is?
Tina: Mama V Delicious is an online food delivery business. I spent 17 years in the United States. I, then, decided to come back home to the Philippines in 2004. My mother (Mama V) and I (Tina V) decided to open a restaurant called Mama V Restaurant on the Ground Floor of Providence Tower, 2471 Leon Guinto Street, corner Estrada, Malate, Manila.
Then around August/September 2018, we started Mama V Delicious. Our mission is to bring my Mom, Mama V’s 60-year old recipes cooked with passion & love to a wider audience. It is a related, but a separate business from Mama V Restaurant which we started in March 2004.
Ginger: Can you describe your business model? How can you earn?
Tina: Offerings are Single Servings, Party Trays, Dine At Home and Set Packages. We are a company, earning both through good volumes of orders (that is the goal) and a well thought out margin.
Ginger: How were you impacted by this pandemic and by the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)?
Tina: Business slowed first and then picked up. The challenge now is finding ingredients & supplies.
Ginger: How can people help you moving forward? What kind of help are you looking for?
Tina: We need to have more options for suppliers for all our ingredients, particularly ones that can deliver. This is very crucial in times like these! We, of course, are still in the process of getting known through social media marketing, PR & the help of influencers. Spreading the word to other people that we exist will help a lot.
Ginger: Because of the things happening now, what changes will you be implementing in your business?
Tina: To have more payment options online, to upgrade other financial accounts related to business to be online, to use more online tools for operations, to be more on top of stocking of fast moving items, to give monthly incentives to employees based on their performance and the company’s sales.
Ginger: What are the business lessons that you have learned from this pandemic of Corona Virus?
Tina: How can we be more inclusive and socially responsible (as best as we can be) in our respective businesses that value goes from us, to our employees, to our clients and to the marginalized in society? I think the last few decades have seen too much hoarding of resources that created such insane levels of inequality in most parts of the world. The much awaited reset button is here. I hope we all use it wisely!
Ginger: Thank you so much, Tina! I really hope that businesses think of inclusion and become more socially responsible after this. More power to you and your company!
Today, I’m so honored to be sharing such an endearing story from parents of a little lady named Zen, who started a business called Development Depot or Dev Depot.
We know that it’s essential to for our kids to always be physically fit and strong. We do this by encouraging them to exercise and get into different kinds of physical activities and sports. Today, our feature is about Brian Tan’s business where they create pediatric therapy equipment, kids’ furniture, wooden toys, and Montessori materials. What I love about them is that all their products are made by Filipinos, from start to finish.
The Story of Dev Depot
Brian and Anne started their business because of their daughter Zen who is living with Down Syndrome. They said that their daughter started physical therapy at just 2 months old. Ideally, families should replicate what happens during therapy at home (since therapy is just a couple of hours per week). They sourced for therapy equipment that we can use at home, and in doing this, we saw the need for locally-produced equipment. Since a lot of these items are huge, shipping from overseas will more than double the price. Brian then did a crash course in woodworking to be able to make the items that their daughter needs.
Their mission is to provide high-quality, sustainability-sourced play and therapy equipment to Filipinos.
They do in-house manufacturing, marketing and sales, as well as event rentals. Mommy Anne does most of the marketing, customer service, and market research tasks. Daddy Brian, on the other hand, plans the design and also is very hands-on with production. They have assistant craftsmen on board, who help mostly with sanding, painting and finishing. For the functions that are beyond their main competencies, such as wood milling and latheworks, they outsource the work. They also launched our #OnTheGoPlayground a few months ago, which is basically a mobile play area for playdates, parties, photo shoots.
Business and How the Corona Virus (COVID-19) Affected their Business
As you can imagine, events-related businesses are one of the most affected by the pandemic. All their events were rescheduled to a later part of the year. They are also unable to finish and deliver (and consequently collect) a few huge orders because of the Community Quarantine. Mang Boy, one of our assistant craftsmen, is unable to come to work as well. With the help of a few friends who pitched in, they opted to give him his wages even if he doesn’t come to work, to help tide his family through this crisis.
When asked about what help our countrymen and the community can offer, they mentioned that word of mouth marketing / advertising is more than enough help for them.
“We currently have a couple thousand followers on Instagram. Still a small number, and we’d love to reach more moms, therapists, and school-owners – people needing our products but sincerely have no idea that such things are available from local builders,” added the couple.
The couple also mentioned that it’s so difficult to compete with mass-produced items from nearby Asian countries. The other countries really sell at such a low price. Their edge is providing value for money instead by choosing quality raw materials. This makes their products durable, lead and toxin-free, child-safe, made with love – the works! “Though we have a long way to go in promoting locally-made products, we are thankful for initiatives like this which seek to help Philippine businesses like ours,” the couple added.
Since this unforeseen event happened, I asked them what changes will they be implementing in their business. They said that they would probably set aside a buffer for emergencies in our working capital. Since this is a first for many of us, quite a number of medium-scale businesses are struggling to provide weeks to months worth of salaries to their employees.
They continue to say that as much as they’d like (and other business would like) to give enough until the Community Quarantine ends, many businesses are still trying to cope with its financial impact, and they can only do so much in providing the emergency funds that our people and partners need.
They say that the lesson that they have learned is to put in place business continuity / contingency plans. Also, business owners should provide emergency healthcare benefits to all employees.
Looking out my window here in BGC, I don’t see any movement. This enhanced community quarantine has turned this hustling and bustling place into a quiet and somewhat eerie neighborhood. Weirdly so, I miss seeing people and cars.
This got me thinking about the Auto Industry. How are businesses in this industry doing. Fortunately, Automart.ph, one of the startups in this environment is the hero of my feature today. Here is my interview with the founder of Automart.ph, Poch Ceballos.
Ginger: Hi Poch! Can you tell readers more about Automart.ph?
Poch: We sell used and repossessed cars at prices far cheaper than what you can get from most dealers and marketplaces. We follow a strict “no patong” or no premium over what the suppliers sell the units for, so you’re assured that you get the lowest rates possible always.
While buying a brand new car is always a nice goal – and the brand new smell can be intoxicating – it’s simply not a practical choice especially with a global recession looming. Automart.Ph has a lot of almost-new and very high quality cars, at around 30-50% lower prices vs brand new cars. That’s the practical way to go about it. We have branches and car lots in QC, Paranaque, Cebu and Davao.
Ginger: I agree with that during this time, it may be wise to really think about purchases and having this option from Automart.ph for buying cars is great. So tell us, why did you start your business? And what is your mission?
Poch: Our mission is to provide Assets for All. We provide practical, low-cost options for Filipinos nationwide, especially for items that are normally very expensive, like cars.
Ginger: To give people insights on different business models out there, can you describe your business model?
Poch: We work with suppliers who need to sell cars and place their inventory on our site. In return, we get a small commission for every sale.
Ginger: So, Poch, everyone’s talking about the Pandemic. Can you share how was Automart.ph and you as a founder impacted by this pandemic both or either positively or negatively? Were you also impacted by the Enhanced Community Quarantine?
Poch: Our folks are doing study-from-home, and we’re upskilling them so that once we’re ready to go back to work, they’ll have more and better skills.
Ginger: I love companies who give high regard for their employees. How about your company? How can people help you moving forward? What kind of help are you looking for?
Poch: I’d love to encourage and ask them to buy used and repossessed cars from us, instead of brand new. It’s cheaper, kinder to the environment since nothing new is produced.
Ginger: Because of the things happening now, what changes will you be implementing in your business?
Poch: We might be trading down – selling even lower-priced cars than before. We’ll also be working with more partners who need help disposing of their added inventory.
Ginger: To end this interview, Poch, what are the business lessons that you have learned from this?
Poch: You must be able to weather sudden downturns – have enough reserves if possible, and be kind to your employees. If you can have them work from home or study from home, do so.
Ginger: Thank you so much and more power to Automart.ph.
There are more and more people that work from home. And this is not just because government has mandated or suggested that people work from home at this time. Even before this, we had a lot of freelancers and online digital workers who work from the comfort of their own home. There are approximately 1.5 million freelancers who work online as virtual assistants, writers, tutors, etc.
So for this particular segment, not much has changed in terms of the working habits that they have.
I’ve been an advocate of professionalizing this industry and I love the Filipino freelancing community. I, too, have been freelancing (also was a full-time freelancer for a time) continuously since 2010. I just focused less on it when I decided to put up my own business back in 2013.
With this, there are a lot of tips that we can actually get from the people in this community. So feel free to follow the them by joining different freelancing groups on Facebook.
For today, I thought of giving you some things that you can try out a home. So just to give you a background of what I do, I’m currently running a SaaS tech company with my husband. I also have an events based business. I am and have been a professional blogger since 2008 and I’m also a mom to a little girl.
So fo the tips that I’ll share with you today, I personally and obviously do and follow these things. As a mompreneur, I juggle a lot of things so these may be applicable to moms and dads who are reading these, too. Some of them are even probably shared by a lot of productivity gurus, but I’ll try as much as possible to share my personal experience together with these tips.
I wake up at least an hour before my first task (in my case, it’s usually an online call for daily syncs with different departments of my business).
Lying on the bed for an additional hour or so is such great temptation, especially if you’re not used to working at home. I can’t stress the importance of following a daily routine and building a habit from that. From what I have experience personally is that if I don’t follow a routine and just go through the motions and follow how I feel on a daily basis, I feel depressed after a few days. That feeling came from thoughts like “what’s the ‘plan’ for my life?”, “why am I so unhealthy? or I feel so unhealthy!”or “How can I be so incompetent and unproductive?”. And when you’re in that state, it’s harder (at least for me) to get up and grab that rhythm again.
I track all of my tasks, online calls/meeting using Google Calendar
What I’ve noticed when you’re working from home, you easily lose track of time and easily get distracted. I have had a few times that I was late to online calls, because I was doing something with my daughter or watching a video online that suddenly caught my attention. So my tip would be to have all of these calls in an online calendar that you can track and set notifications so that it pops out on your screen.
Also, I keep different kinds of Calendars. You can go to the lower left of your screen and add your own calendar. You can even share this calendar with other people.
Eat a tech-free meals.
To be honest with you, eating for me is more of fuel to get me through the day rather than an activity by itself that I enjoy. So usually, it takes me less than 15 minutes to finish a meal. Working from home even cut this time into half. I’m done eating in under 10 minutes. My husband is the total opposite though and he loves having a good meal. He actually taught me how to enjoy eating and be present while eating.
We also made this rule at home to leave gadgets in our work / study area when we would go for a meal. I’ve noticed that having a tech free meal encourages conversation with the family, and we get to talk to each other (and I mean really talk… as compared to us “sort of” listening to each other). So this is actually one thing that I encourage you to do. Have a quiet meal time (when you live alone) or have conversations with your loved ones.
Working from home mean that you have limited space to move around (no pantry area or a workmates to go to). You should move and get blood flowing through your body. I would see a lot of IG stories of videos of people who work out, and they’re all so glamorous and nice looking. But don’t let that stop you from exercising. You don’t have to look fab, before start working out. Exercising is not just for fit people or people who would normally go to the gym. You don’t have to do burpees, 3 minute planks or 10 push ups at home.
If you’re just starting out this whole relationship with fitness, start by just stretching. A simple routine that I personally do is the following:
Crawl to plank (10 times)
Stay in Plank position (try to stay for 10 seconds than gradually increase time)
Jog in place for 1 minute or Jumping Jacks
Air squats (10 times)
Air Jabs – Front (alternate at 20 times)
Air jabs – Twist to the side (alternate at 20 times)
Cruches – 10 times
It’s important also that you encourage your kids to workout, too and to move and stay active.
Fix your files in your computer and sync it with a cloud storage facility
Most of us, including me, know where to find things even if our desktop and document folders are a mess. But I recently fixed all of my folders and had time to fix my files that are stored in Google drive, too, and I feel and I “think” I am more productive.
Having a cleaner desktop leads you to find files faster. I recently just used the Use Stacks feature of my Mac. It basically, stacks in one pile all of the same kind of files based on how you sort it. Super cool! My desktop is so clean now.
Make it a point to learn something new everyday!
What I like about reading a chapter of a book or going through 1-2 sessions of an online course is that I feel like I did something “substantial” for the day.
I take down notes every time I go through sessions or when I read a chapter of a book. I store it in an online tool also. You can also use a notebook if you like writing using a pen and paper. What I use is my Notepad that syncs to iCloud. My notes sync in all my devices, so I get to access it everywhere I go.
I hope this list helps you.
One of the people that I follow is Thomas Frank. I usually watch his YouTube videos.
If you want to check out his course on Skillshare, here is a link to a free 2 month subscription:
I highly recommend that you look for these two courses.
You can experiment on it these different things that I mentioned, combine it with what you have learned in Skillshare, and try it out. Some tips may work for some and might not work for others. The important thing is you try to find what will help you work happily from home.
Let me know if you have questions on productivity or how to be productive while working from home. I’ll be glad to reply.
P.S. Here are some other articles that you may want to read: