Some people may be critical of outsourcing, saying it takes local jobs away from people. In my experience, this isn’t what’s it about at all. Outsourcing changes lives—yours and the overseas workers performing the tasks of your business.
But outsourcing isn’t about going to India. It isn’t about a humungous corporation sending the work of an entire division to a third-world country. It’s about you hiring a person to do your work so you can focus on making more money. It’s about giving yourself more time, freedom and flexibility to do the things that are truly important to you. And it’s about giving the Filipinos you hire a better life as well.
How it all started for me
I received a bachelor degree in computer science and worked the first few years of my career as a programmer. But my entrepreneurial spirit drove me to start my own online business. Early on in this work, I began exploring the idea of outsourcing. After trying (and failing) numerous times with India and various freelancing websites, I had the chance to speak with John Bresee, a man who founded Backcountry.com. What John said to me changed my business and my life. He said,
“When you’re ready to start doing outsourcing, make sure you go to the Philippines with it.”
John also told me why I should outsource to the Philippines instead of India, which, at the time, was a common and popular destination for outsourcing. He said,
“Because in India, when you tell them something and they say ‘yes,’ that means, ‘Yes, I heard something come out of your mouth.’ But it doesn’t mean, ‘Yes, I understood what you said.’”
I had always figured outsourcing to one country was the same as the next. What John said to me gave me hope that I might have a better experience with the Philippines than I (and most other people) had in India.
Shortly after I began outsourcing to the Philippines, my wife was seven months pregnant with our third child. A visit to my wife’s doctor revealed some shocking news. We found out that she had pre-eclampsia and that if she didn’t go on strict bed rest, our baby would die, and my wife could as well. Those words scared me to death. Nothing is more important to me than my family.
At the same time, I had an online business to run. But, I couldn’t possibly work full time on my business during my wife’s bed rest; I had to focus on her and my family. That’s when I learned just how valuable outsourcing to the Philippines could be.
I decided that I wouldn’t work on my business much at all. I called my two Filipino VAs—whom I had hired 18 months earlier—and said I needed them to handle all the tasks of my business. This included writing articles, creating videos, doing the marketing, managing the website, software and blog, and doing customer service, among other things. The two Filipinos would begin taking care of all the aspects of my business that I had been doing. My VAs had replaced me in my own business.
My wife went on bed rest, and over the next three weeks, I ran the show at home, and my Filipino VAs kept my business going. During that time, I spent just one single hour working on my business. And what was incredible was the fact that my business didn’t only survive during my absence; it thrived. This all happened because I had set up my business to succeed and because I had trained my VAs to do the things I needed.
It was the start of something special for me and thousands of other business owners.
One of the many business owners I’ve taught is David Solomon. David has built a successful business using Filipino VAs. Not all of his Filipinos have worked out perfectly, but he had one experience that exemplifies just how outsourcing to the Philippines will transform the way you run your business.
David was once taking a much-needed vacation when he got a call from a client who wanted him to set up a website. Rather than work during his vacation or cut it short and come home, David got in touch with his VA in the Philippines and gave him clear instructions on what he needed to do to satisfy the client’s request. When he returned home, David was elated to find out that the entire site was nearly complete. The VA had done an even better job and had made more progress than David had hoped. So by doing nothing more than mapping out a plan, David’s work got done. In fact, during his three-week vacation enjoying time with his granddaughters, tasks continued getting done despite his absence. His business flourished, and he made money without even having to do a lot of the work. David said his income has tripled since getting a Filipino VA.
How outsourcing will change your business and your life
At one point or another, you may have thought about heading over to Upwork or Odesk to hire freelance or contract workers. For people who just need an occasional project or two completed, this is a fine option. But you need someone to work on long-term, ongoing tasks. That’s why hiring a VA from the Philippines makes the most sense. A full-time Filipino VA will be committed to you and your business.
By hiring a Filipino VA you are building a relationship that will last for years. Because they are loyal and hardworking, Filipinos rarely quit and almost always go above and beyond what you ask them to do. Plus, you can pay a Filipino VA a fraction of what you would pay a U.S. contractor or full-time employee. This all adds up to consistent, quality, long-term work at an affordable rate.
When you hire a full-time virtual assistant in the Philippines, It lets you get more done—only better. It allows someone else to concentrate on something you’re not concentrating on, while you become the CEO of the business. Let me give you an example of how Filipinos can automate entire systems for you, helping you become the CEO. I have a couple of Filipino girls who work for me who make posts on my personal Facebook account. I have asked them to come up with ways we could use it in our business. When they sent me their ideas, I filtered through them and modified the ones I thought were good and then asked them for an action plan to implement them. When they sent me their plans, I went through again and modified and edited and then sent it back to them and told them to implement the plan. The result: Today they actively run numerous Facebook campaigns for me. Recently, we had over 1,000 legitimate new “Likes” on our Facebook page from a campaign that my Filipinos thought up, made a plan for and implemented. Before I had them working for me, this never would have happened because I simply don’t have the time to come up with the plan, write out the posts and then carry out the execution of the plan.
I can have my VAs do the entire process; I’m the CEO guiding it all.
With well-trained Filipinos working hard on day-to-day tasks, you don’t need to worry about every facet of your business—you leave that up to your VA. This gives you the time and freedom to focus more on what’s most important to you.
The effect on Filipinos’ lives
To hear that I pay my Filipino workers $400 or $600 a month (and that I teach business owners to do the same) may sound like I’m ripping them off. Can you imagine living on $400 a month in the U.S.? Of course not! But in the Philippines, where the cost of living is much lower than it is in the U.S., $600 a month is a pretty good wage.
Hiring a Filipino to work as a VA in your business will give them a consistent, long-term job with reliable pay at a wage that will help them live a more comfortable life. Plus, they’ll have the convenience of working from home, giving them more time with family.
There are numerous examples of Filipinos whose lives have been changed by working as a VA for a U.S.-based business. One story I’d like to share comes from Joven.
Joven is a husband, a father and a virtual assistant for a U.S.-based company. But before he worked for an American client from the comfort and convenience of his home, he did what many Filipinos do: worked six days a week at a less-than-ideal wage. Life was complicated for Joven and his wife, as they struggled to find time together and with their young son.
Everything changed when Joven found onlinejobs.ph.
Joven found work as a VA earning a good salary, performing meaningful tasks five days a week—all from a home office. This allows Joven to be home for his son and take care of him during the day while his wife was at work. The flexibility of working from home gives Joven time to get his son breakfast, take him to school and play with him. It was precious time he didn’t have before. Now, Joven doesn’t have to spend money on transportation and other costs he would otherwise have if he commuted to work every day. He even picks his wife up from work and has much more time with her.
In a culture where close relationships mean everything, there’s no price tag on family time. And this opportunity would never be possible without outsourcing.
Joven also has increased time for hobbies and personal interests such as badminton. He also works more favorable hours and gets more sleep. Life in general is simply better—much better.
There are thousands of stories like Joven’s—stories of Filipinos who once went from temporary job to temporary job, struggling to make ends meet, but who now enjoy consistent, long-term work as VAs for American online-based business owners. Clearly, outsourcing changes much more than just your business and your life.
Outsourcing changes outlooks
On my one and only visit to the Philippines, I was talking to an employee at a grocery store who told me she would soon be leaving her job and moving to another city. When I asked why she was doing this, she told me it was because her job at the store would last only a few months. She would then move on to another city and take another temporary job, before going to yet another city for short-term work. What a difficult way to live!
Fortunately Filipino VAs don’t have to worry about hopping from place to place, relying on inconsistent pay and an uncertain future. That’s because the work as an outsourced VA is something they can count on.
Gabby is another Filipino VA who has an inspirational story. Gabby and her boyfriend had just moved in to their first place together, and she had a grueling job at a hospital. After a few months, Gabby began feeling extremely weak and tired. A visit to the doctor revealed Gabby was pregnant. The couple was excited but worried about Gabby’s work situation. Her boyfriend wanted her to quit her job and stay home and rest, but Gabby knew they needed the income.
It was a dilemma, but outsourcing solved it.
Gabby came across onlinejobs.ph, created a profile and was hired to write articles for a U.S. business. Gabby and her boyfriend were no longer concerned about her working in a physically demanding setting in a place where she was exposed to sickness every day. Their outlook had completely changed. Now that she could work from home on her own schedule, Gabby could continue to earn the money the couple needed without worrying about jeopardizing her baby’s health. She could get more rest because she didn’t have to commute, plus her online job was far less physically taxing. Gabby was being paid a good salary and even got a raise and bonuses. Today, life is much different for Gabby than it was before she found onlinejobs.ph.
Now it’s your turn
You may be asking yourself if this is too good to be true—it isn’t. This system works, and it can take your business to heights you’ve never seen. Still, this isn’t a magic bullet. You can’t wave your hand and make it work without effort. It takes hard work and investing yourself and your time. But if you look at outsourcing as a long-term relationship, you’ll be amazed with the results.
About John Jonas
John helps business owners learn to outsourcing to the Philippines and replace themselves with virtual assistants.
He founded and owns OnlineJobs.ph.
He currently employs 14 amazing Filipino workers full-time and loves every one of them. He lives in Utah, has a wonderful wife, 4 amazing kids, and golfs 4-5 times/week.
If you liked this you’ll probably also like reading
– 17 Skills Filipinos Are Really Good At
– Philippines Cultural Differences Make Outsourcing Easier