It was July 14, 2017, when I received an invitation from Manila Workshops (MW) to be one of the panel speakers at the recently held event, “The Freelancer Fair”. Though Ginger Palma-Arboleda, MW’s CEO, already mentioned that she’ll be inviting speakers from our Blenders chatroom, I was still surprised to be a part of that panel.
Imagine being lined up with some of the most popular names in the Philippine online freelancing industry like John R. Pagulayan (The one and only JTL), Nix Eniego (Head of Marketing at Sprout Solutions), Allie Pasag and Nina Mendoza (FB Ads Savvy)? Oh well, I guess Ginger found something in me that made her include me in this A-list.
The Freelancer Fair 2017: A Great Experience
Together with Sirikit Eleberan, Vernard Alexis Luz, and The Papu (this is how fellow freelancers address my hubby and official photographer, Victor), we arrived at The Bayanihan Center on the day of the event, September 22.
Registration was a breeze. The welcoming committee, I’d say, was polite, friendly and very helpful.
We headed straight to the “How to Be U Po?” booth, because I volunteered to coach newbies, along with other Blenders. (I’ll write about this awesome, awesome group soon!) It’s Marvin De Leon’s booth. Since he didn’t know what to do about it because he’ll be hosting, he thought of using it to coach newbies. Well, Marv, the booth became more than a coaching booth. It became a “Tambayan” of sorts, where Ginger, Allan Ngo, and others joined us. I guess it was the Blenders’ easy camaraderie that enticed them to stay.
It was our panel’s turn after Allan Ngo’s talk about Emails. My good friend Francis, dropped by just to ensure that this granny looks great onstage. Thanks, my dear!!!
Then it was our turn. Nina was called first, then Nix and Allie.
Then it was me. As Marvin introduced me, I was surprised at how the audience reacted! There were loud claps and woot-woots! Haha, I felt like a superstar of sorts. Of course, I know, my friends made the loudest hoots and claps. Now you know why networking is a must. When you need an enthusiastic audience, you can count on them! (wink)
And as Marvin said, I brought the house down with my now famous one-liner, “I earn more than a CEO!” I guess it was the applause and the eagerness of the audience that supercharged me to saying it, lols! But here’s my disclaimer… I earn more than a CEO of a small company. yes, that’s what I meant. 🙂 Well, a CEO nevertheless, right?
I will never forget that one-liner! I have been and still am the target of jokes in our chatroom. They even have plans of using this one-liner for T-shirts! If ever this plan pushes through, would you like to buy one? Lol!
A Growing Community that Cares
The Philippines now has more than a million freelancers. but since we work solo from home, we long for that need to connect, the need to belong. Yes, we have our family and friends who support us in our endeavor, but start talking about your online career and more often than not, you’ll get that blank stare or yawn.
Well, we can’t blame them. They do not understand how our world works. Visitors can’t understand why you can’t be disturbed when working. “Nasa bahay ka lang naman, di ba? Di ka naman aalis?”
But the freelancing landscape has evolved, thanks to Facebook Groups. In these communities, you’ll find tips and tricks to make your life easier as a freelancer. Some members are generous enough to answer your questions. More importantly, in these groups, you’ll find people who are living the same life as you, who understand your triumphs and failures.
Here are some of the groups that you can join, in random order:
And a whole lot more!
A Few Things
- Though most freelancers like me work solo at home, friends can come from all places. Never miss the opportunity to mingle with others both online and offline.
- Try to be positive. Always. Positivity can take you places. People stay away from negative people, anyways.
- Be helpful. As my idol John The Legend says, “Come from a place of help.” Do good to others and it will all come back to you. Maybe the person you helped might not reciprocate, but someone else will. BELIEVE ME.
- Be genuine. Do you own a huge plastic container? Then you must know that no matter how you clean it, no matter what detergent you use for cleaning it, it still smells of plastic. Same thing with people. Plastic smells. Remember that.
More than the learnings from events like The Freelancer Fair is the opportunity to connect and make friends with like-minded people. True, you can learn new skills from Google and YouTube videos. But the chance to make friends with people who’ll support you, who’ll root for your cause? Only from real life events like The Freelancer Fair!
Now you know what you’ll miss if you don’t attend the next one.
Want to meet me, Marvin, Ginger and other freelancers? Join us on September 22, Friday at the 1st PayPal Freelancer Community Workshop. You’ll learn how to stay on top of your earnings and how to manage them properly, as #PayPalFreelancer expert Fitz Villafuerte shares his Financial Planner expertise in our 1st PayPal Freelancer Community Workshop.
I’ll be there as one of the panel speakers. Let’s meet and greet! Click the link to register. It’s FREE, with afternoon snacks too!