My name is JC and I am the creator of The Digital Commuter.
A former BPO slave for 10 years. Now a digital nomad. Also for 10 years.
An advocate of sustainable living and financial planning (not a financial advisor though).
A former Manilena turned Zambalena.
A craftee. A calligraphy and photography enthusiast. A watercolor artist.
A cook. A baker. A stage wife.
A typical INTJ.
A mom to a chow and a shih-tzu. A cat person who loves dogs.
A complicated person who loves to simplify things.
A lover of life.
Now for the fun part…
2008 was the year when I decided to work from home, fulltime. Prior to that, I’ve already worked in the BPO industry for almost a decade – left the industry at the peak of my career as a manager handling multiple accounts. For this reason, my friends and family felt the transition was a pretty drastic decision. To me though it was not. Fact is, I have been longing to work online ever since I experienced my first internet connection during dial-up days. While I’ve seen movies where software programmers telecommute, I knew it would take longer before the same setup would become a reality here in the Philippines.
Fast forward today, working online has taught me a lot of things. A LOT. Transitioning from being a corporate slave to The Digital Commuter has made me realize that a change in mindset was quite necessary, if I want to thrive in the freelancing world. It didn’t take long though before it dawned on me that retaining an employee mindset was not the way to treat this whole new setup.
In fact, the paradigm shift all the more excited me. Being someone who was all about comfort zones and quite the resistant-to-change type, it didn’t take too long before I told myself that I have to make this work. I guess what they say is true, “Nothing is impossible if you want it badly to work.”
And I did want this freelancing setup badly to work.
It was then when I realized that my skills were in fact my services. In the same manner, the endless application letters I sent out to prospective clients were my business proposals. And THIS was my new business. It was no longer an employer-employee relationship but the client-provider kind.
This reality all the more kicked in when I knew there was the competition I had to deal with. There were freelancers from other countries who were offering their services at ridiculously low rates. There were also prospective clients who were more particular with stable internet connection than experienced providers (and they have a point). There were quite a number of “bites” to this reality, but the most important one that really stuck with me were clients who wanted someone they could trust and build a good business relationship with.
More than having the skillset and work experience that they needed, these clients wanted someone who could -as they would put it- be their “right hand.” Being in charge of their own businesses, they wanted someone who could somehow duplicate what they echo out; someone who they could resonate with; someone who could see their vision; someone who could act on his (or her) feet and not let him (the client) be the bottleneck of tasks all the time.
In other words, these clients needed someone with an entrepreneurial mindset.
And to me, this meant I needed to welcome CHANGE.
Being someone who always loved to learn new things, the eagerness paved the way for me to employ the right mindset needed. The skills are easy to learn, believe me. It’s the mindset and attitude that are more important. So, if you’re uncertain and feeling anxious that you might not make the cut, no need to be hard on yourself. Take advantage of the time to learn, tweak and repeat.
If you’re new to the freelance world and struggling, I know exactly what you’re going through, trust me on that. After 10 years of working with clients, applying again, getting rejections once in a while…waiting… then applying again, and working again, I have learned, tweaked, and repeated hundreds of times, only to finally find out that it’s not that complicated after all.
Truth is, it’s not about me. It never was.
If all I thought was myself, I’d probably be back in the corporate world.
Then who is it about?
Being the service provider, I am just a spectator-turned-into-a-listener.
A listener to the needs of a client.
While my customer service skills came in handy, it really is just all about being HUMAN.
So, over the years I’ve worked with clients who valued the work that I do simply because I listened to them. And there’s no rocket science to that. But if you want to know about how to get more clients work with you, send me a message and I’d be happy to share my thoughts with you. You can also join our growing community and ask questions that you find challenging to answer (about getting clients).
Before I end this, I would like to share with you what I did on how I got my first client back in 2008. You can read it here. Allow me to also share with you TDC’s brainchild, TDC Connect Academy. How it came about, you can also read it here.
I have perhaps reached that point in life where I now have the time to share my best practices to fellow freelancers. It’s one of the main reasons why I created this site. Once again, feel free to drop me a line at my contact page or join our Facebook group.
To your freelancing success,