Interview with KJ Gonzales: Meet the Creative Accountant

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Meet KJ. 

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her during the first meetup  of Zambales Online Entrpreneurs and Virtual Assistants.

She may be shy and timid at first impression, but as the old adage would say, “There’s more to her than meets the eye.”

KJ is best described as that.

An accountant by profession but an artist by passion, KJ does either her brush calligraphy, watercolor art and digital art when not being an accountant. She also does social media marketing for clients abroad.

Get to more about this talented lady in this interview.

TDC: How many years have you been freelancing? How did you start? Please tell us your story.

KJ: I signed up in Upwork (Odesk) way back 2009. But I did it only part-time and took every job I can be hired for. From writing to data entry and even graphic design. I mainly work as an Accountant but when an opportunity presented itself for me to work at home, that’s when I took freelancing seriously. I used to be a Jack of all trades VA but I read a bunch of articles about freelancing and how successful freelancers do it and I found out that you need to pick a specialty to really grow here. So I decided to learn about Digital Marketing and enrolled in Shaw Academy (an online course platform). Luckily, I got a job that allowed me to learn about LinkedIn Marketing and even Social Media Marketing. But sadly, my previous boss had to think about his own financial security and had to end the project. After that I sought after other jobs as a Social Media Manager and that became my focus. Right now, I do SMM, accounting, writing, graphic design and pursuing a career as an Illustrator. I enjoy what I do and I think that’s why I still keep wanting to learn new things despite having so much on my plate. By 2019, I hope I can finally get a proper foothold on my plans of becoming an Illustrator because I really love art and creating.

TDC: How has freelancing changed your life?

KJ: I never dreamed of earning much. In fact, as an accountant, I often let my employers decide how much compensation they should give me. But becoming a freelancer made me assertive. I know my worth and how much my time is worth and keep learning new things to increase the value of my services. Financially, I feel very secured. This year, I was able to pay off a bunch of credit card debts, and invested in life insurance along with a small investment in PAMI Equity Index Fund. Next year, I plan to get a car (saving up for this) and look for homes around Zambales. Life is good because of freelancing.

TDC: Let’s face it, freelancing has its setbacks. How do you deal with it?

KJ: Mindset is a big thing. I think people who get easily demotivated won’t last in this industry. I do something where I list down things I am thankful every day. I do journaling and of course making art is a big comfort for me. But mostly, when I feel so flustered at home I just go out and work somewhere where there are other people. Sometimes that’s all you need. To be around people and see that they have the same woes and lows.

TDC: What kind of work do you do for your clients at the moment? Can you please tell us more about it?

KJ: As mentioned, I do SMM, accounting, writing and graphic design. I currently have 4 clients where I do SMM for, 1 for accounting, and for writing and graphic design, I have an active Fiverr gig where the job comes and goes.

TDC: What is your typical day like as a freelancer?

KJ: I wake up, and if it’s a MWF, I exercise/yoga then take a shower. Then make coffee and breakfast and prepare my to-do’s. I typically take a 2 hour break every lunch and then another break at 5 pm to cook dinner then work until 8pm or 9pm. I try to work only 5 days a week but when there’s an increased work load, I work during Saturday as well.

TDC: What do you like best about freelancing?

KJ: I guess the freedom. I get to choose what I can work on or what else I can be good at. And yes I have bosses that I need to submit reports to and such but most of the clients I have treat me like a business partner. Like it doesn’t even feel like work, especially the SMM ones.

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