How Remote Working Changed My Lifestyle

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In my previous post about switching from corporate to work from home, I have identified some benefits to working in a remote setup. One of them is eliminating stress from the daily commute. With the traffic situation in Metro Manila, a huge amount of time (i.e. 3 to 4 hours) was allotted to getting to and from work. And that’s exclusive of prep time in the shower, dressing up and fixing my bag (ladies have the habit of changing bags a few times a week). With working from home, I started using the extra time to leverage and capitalize on my personal growth.

Less than a year ago, I met this awesome Life and Business Coach who opened my eyes to the wonderful world of meditation. I’ve been following his blog posts until one day, something ignited in me and paved the way for me to walk into the realm of transcendence.

With the coach’s guidance, I started a 21-day simple program on Anger Management. I have always had this bad temper management whenever I see gross inequality, disrespect in action, amongst other pet peeves. I did the program everyday and after the short course, Coach suggested I try the 1-hour Osho Kundalini Meditation. My experiences in these programs warrant separate blog posts of their own, but for now it is best for me to share that it feels wonderful to be able to utilize the often stressful commute time to venture into a rewarding lifestyle change.

I’m on my 4th month of the program now and so far I have felt inner peace and calm. I walk 4 to 6 hours per week and meditate for at least an hour a day. I still read his blog posts regularly and one of my favorites is Do you Want to be Right or Happy? When you have time, go and read some of his articles for a dose of motivation.

The bottomline, I think, is not to encourage everyone to walk away from the corporate world and work from home. I will not attempt to alter the balance that is already working well. What I’m getting at is YOU have the power to CHANGE a stressful situation into something beneficial. As in business, “in every crisis, is an opportunity”.

You just have to see things in a different light :).

~ Alesah


How I Switched from Corporate to Work from Home

Image Credit:Unsplash-Lauren Mancke-2

Image Credit: Mancke

Being part of an Outsourcing firm and as a VA, I have heard people asking what the benefits are in working from home. Many of them do not want the stress of daily commute, supervisors hovering around, shopping and dressing up for work and memos from tardiness. These are obviously an enumeration of the benefits of working from home. What surprises me is that simultaneously, they also want the goodies they get from the corporate setting – promotions, salary increase, leaves, employer share of social security, allowances, and more. Why, people want the best of both worlds!

Why not, I know. However, that would probably mean being employed by a large conglomerate or corporation with a program that affords its employees to work from home. But this is not the case of a VA, unfortunately.

Before one should even consider looking for contracts as a Virtual Assistant, one must know what to expect and what clients expect. This is important, because the setup is just not the same. What is similar, though, is if you are a person who puts value into work, injects quality in every process and is driven by results, then you are the ideal Candidate in both worlds. Sans the everyday politics of all sorts in an office setting.

I have worked in various companies – Filipino owned, American owned, local, global, big, small. All the skills I have gained I packed in my arsenal – PC, typing, customer service, Internet research. These skills I combined with aptitude, an entrepreneurial mindset, and adaptability to change. On my free time, I took odd online jobs – mystery shopping, paid photography, transcription, data entry. After a decade or so, I knew I was ready to leave the corporate world.

It has been two years now since I started as a work from home contractor. And I am happy sipping a tea or coffee while sitting on a bed or chair with a pillow on my back. The usual benefits given by companies may be absent, but I am happy. I talk to the business owners, they take my advice, they treat me as a friend and value my services. Some even consider me as a business partner – isn’t that better than many corporate promotions!

Once again, switching from corporate to work from home may be challenging to many but ideal to some. It all depends on one’s value for work, flexibility and mindset. And guess what, even some entrepreneurs work from home and they’re happy because they have more time to be with their families.

My advice is you’ll feel it when you’re ready. When in doubt, most probably, you’re not. But a VA’s world is a great world, but that’s only my opinion :).


~ Alesah





Seeing Beauty in Repetition

Beauty In Repetition

I have never been a fan of doing the same things over and over again for a long period of time. “Mundane” and “routine” are taboo words for me, especially when it comes to work. I don’t know but I always found repetitive tasks boring and stagnant. I saw it as a problem. Why? Because if I kept that outlook I will be job-hopping all my life.

Not that job-hopping is bad but I felt something was wrong. And so I started to look at things differently…

A former GM gifted me with a straightforward style pocketbook called The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn. It’s the story of ordinary jobs made extraordinarily remarkable by the person providing exceptional customer service.

The main takeaways? Don’t just meet expectations, go BEYOND. Don’t just give, give MORE. Don’t just do, do WITH PASSION.

So where is the beauty in repetition, you might ask. The beauty lies in what you see, how you perceive things and what you do to break that pattern.

From then on when I spotted repetition, I innovate. I found variations to reach the outcome. Instead of method A, I crafted method B or C or D and so on. If I finish a mundane task in 8 hours, I challenge myself in finishing it in 7.5 hours, then 7, then 6.5, without compromising quality.

And speaking of Quality, it’s indispensable in my book. The day I chose to become a VA (Virtual Assistant), I re-discovered myself. It’s like me, reborn. When I was asked to comment for blogs, I did a lot of reading so I can appreciate more. I did not downplay the task; on the contrary, I educated myself so in turn I wrote educated comments. Because of the repetitive nature of the job, I had extra time to “see” how my clients could improve their business. I wrote down suggestions – all sorts. Some were appreciated, some were not used, but some were implemented. Isn’t that cool?

Always put things into perspective. The formula, repetition = working for money, doesn’t work for me. My winning formula as a VA is repetition+seeing beauty in it = self-discovery, self-actualisation, passion and income.

Break that pattern!

~ Alesah