I have been replacing myself in my business by outsourcing work to the Philippines for over 10 years now. I also teach these principles to other business owners, showing how they can live the 17-hour workweek by having Filipinos work for them.
In my visit to the Philippines and my frequent emails with my Filipino staff, I have learned a lot about them. These qualities are the reason I have had a lot of success working with Filipino online specialists.
1. Filipinos are humble
- read any of my blog posts,
- listened to or watched any of my webinars/interviews, or
- know anything at all about the Replace Yourself and One VA Away system I teach,
you know that I emphasize training. It’s absolutely essential. Getting your Filipino VA off on the right foot begins with proper training.
As you search for a Filipino online specialist, you’ll no doubt come across people who have experience and skill in the areas you’re looking for. But they don’t know your business. So you have to teach them what to do and how to do.
Filipinos are excited, eager and willing to learn. Even if they’re experts in their field, they’re always learning. Experts can come off as arrogant and hard to work with. Not Filipinos. You won’t see that in people without humility.
Filipinos are easy to work with because they will listen. They want to understand your business. This makes the training and onboarding process easier and faster.
2. Filipinos have close family ties
For Filipinos, family is everything.
Filipinos value family relationships so much that even after they marry, it’s not uncommon for the newlyweds to live with their parents. Many Filipinos live with or near extended family members and relatives.
Because being with family is their top priority, working for an American business owner as a virtual assistant is a dream come true. This allows the Filipino to earn a good, steady income working from home.
No long commutes. No time away from loved ones. It’s the perfect situation.
I have found that this commitment to family is what fuels a Filipino’s work ethic. If they work for you, they’ll always do their best. They know hard work equals continued employment and a good life for their family.
3. Filipinos have a positive outlook
Imagine for a moment that you lived in a place where you experience 20 hurricanes a year. Pretty frightening thought, right? How do you repeatedly protect yourself from the massive storms? Where do you find the strength to rebuild homes, communities, and cities time after time?
This is exactly what Filipinos do. Every year roughly 20 typhoons (the equivalent of a hurricane in the Pacific Northwest) hits the islands.
These typhoons, sometimes called tropical cyclones, can bring winds in excess of 220 miles per hour. Years ago, a powerful typhoon known as Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines and claimed the lives of 6,300 people and injured nearly 29,000. In some cases, 90 percent of the affected cities were destroyed. The typhoon resulted in more than $2 billion (U.S. dollars) in damages.
Despite experiencing devastating typhoons year after year, the Filipino people move forward with resolve, resilience, and an optimistic attitude. They pick up the pieces and they get to work. I have seen it myself.
Once my Filipino VA contacted me, apologizing for being unable to work because a typhoon has wiped out their town. We’ve seen stories of Filipino workers who left behind all their possessions except their laptops. They are concerned about saving their work and just wanted to get back to work (and back to normal) as soon as possible.
These people don’t wallow in self-pity or despair. They take the time need to get back on their feet, then they get back to work. It’s an incredible example of commitment and resilience.
I’ve learned many valuable lessons observing how Filipinos respond to these disasters. If any group of people has reason to complain and be pessimists, it’s the Filipinos. But they’re not. And you can see it in their work.
4. Filipinos have a “Yes Attitude”
People often ask me, “Why don’t you outsource to India? Why the Philippines?”
Some large corporations outsource their work to India, but this isn’t the most effective approach for you as a business owner. Why? One of the biggest reasons is that with workers in India, the word “yes” doesn’t always mean what you think it means.
When I first began considering the idea of outsourcing my business needs, I spoke with John Bresee, co-founder of Backcountry.com, the online specialty retailer. He advised me to outsource to the Philippines instead of to India. I asked why. He said that in India, if you were to give an assignment, they’d usually say “yes”. But it’s not necessarily a “Yes, I understood what you said.” More like it’s a “Yes, I heard something come out of your mouth but I’m not sure I know what you’re talking about.”
They’re just saying “yes” to please you or get you to shut up. It doesn’t mean they understood what you said or understood the work they need to do.
It’s different in the Philippines. In my experience, when a Filipino says “yes,” it means “I understand, and I will do it.”
This “can-do, will-do” attitude will give you a huge advantage in your business. You know exactly what you’re getting. It gives you the opportunity to assign more challenging projects.
5. Filipinos have a need to please
Filipinos are happy people. They want everybody around them to be happy as well. It’s in their nature. This mindset carries over into their work.
Filipinos who work for you will value the job. They are grateful for the chance to be employed and want to remain employed for as long as possible. They’ll do their best to meet your expectations. And when they know that you’re happy with the results, it makes them happy as well.
This positive energy, it’s really infectious. This is one of the most enjoyable aspects of hiring Filipino VAs.
The beauty of outsourcing to the Philippines is that both my Filipino VAs and I have benefitted from it tremendously. We’re all living our dream lives. We all get to spend most of our time with our families. We all get to provide for them comfortably. And I get to work with a wonderful team who are just as invested in my business and my well being as I am with theirs.
We’re different but we all want what’s best for each other. We’re all family.
About John Jonas
John Jonas is a long-time outsourcing expert and the creator of OnlineJobs.ph.
Since 2005, John has taught hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs how to profitably delegate to VAs in the Philippines (and get their lives back in the process).
With help from his own VAs based in the Philippines, John has created an outsourcing empire that allows him to work 17 hours/week and to spend most of his time with his wife and 5 kids.
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