Saturday, March 24, 2018

The Car My Husband's 10-Second Elevator Pitch Bought

TREASURE IT!

No expectations except one thing: learn something.

Something.

It was breezy this afternoon when my husband and I came to Lipa City, Batangas. The sun was present but hid somewhere behind the clouds.

As my husband and I huffed and puffed with each step on the foot bridge, (ugh, we baaadly need to get back in shape!) the cool wind gently ushered us to where we needed to be.

We reached the venue early enough for the 1:00 pm registration time. The events team scanned the QR codes on our PDF tickets and handed us our handy-dandy notebooks and PayPal pens.

Once inside the tent, we were asked to write our names and PayPal emails on a sheet of paper, roll it and toss it inside the raffle fishbowl. $50 PayPal credits at stake!

The talk began at exactly 2:00pm (I think) and lasted for a good 3 hours, including Q&A.

I didn't learn something.

I learned MANY things.

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I'm not a techie so (pardon my ignorance), I haven't heard of Abe Olandres nor YugaTech until I saw his name in an online notification for PayPal freelancers. The first thing which caught my attention was the location: Lipa City, Batangas. The second thing? It's FREE!

Abe took us on a journey to when internet wasn't commonplace and blogging was not recognized as a legit business tool. (I started blogging 2003 but never got around to driving traffic nor monetizing it). He shared personal stories and how he maximized what he had during those days. From a 1-man team whose first successful gig paid him $25 for a tutorial project on CD format, his company has since grown to a team of - if I remember correctly - 10 and a 7-digit revenue.

I learned that "yuga" is actually an Ilonggo word for "really". I learned about grit and that pure talent nor skill isn't enough to succeed in freelancing. 'Nadadaig ng masipag ang magaling,' said YugaTech's founder and editor-in-chief. Yuga!

Another thing which got hammered in for me was the meaning of success. I like how Abe allowed us, the attendees, to define it for ourselves with the question: "Am I really, really good at what I'm doing?" and this 4-way test -
  • Am I happy with what I'm doing? 
  • Am I committed? 
  • Am I willing to fail and learn? 
  • What is my measure of success?
It was a jam-packed 3-hour session and I can only be eternally grateful to have been equipped with the specific questions my husband and I need to ask ourselves as we slowly wiggle our merry way from being simple freelancers to being full-fledged entrepreneurs. The world moves fast, I know, but we're more inclined to pace ourselves.

Over dinner, I asked my husband, "How can we repay something that's as good as what we've gained today?" His answer: "Share it!"

For a freelancer, our time is our currency. Abe is where he is right now because he managed to maximize 30 minutes of dial-up internet each night to make a difference in his life. He persevered. He failed, he learned, he never gave up. 15 years later, he is making a difference not just in his life but in the lives of many others.

My take home: application is key. I can listen to every success story out there, attend every workshop available - whether free or paid - but if I do not apply those learnings to my own journey, I'll still remain where I am right now, with a husband and 7 cats and "just getting by."

God's design for every human being's life is not just to get by. He designed us for victory; for success. We each measure success a bit subjectively but ultimately - by God's design - success is meant to enrich not just our own lives. It is meant to overflow and enrich others.

Oh dear! We still have a long way to go, with not much time. Yet as they say, when you're down, there's no way to go... but up.

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My husband's 10-second elevator pitch won him our first car: "I am a tradigital illustrator. I mix traditional with digital to quickly make illustrations for games and advertising content." The car was a Mini Cooper USB 2.0 Drive. The best is yet to be!

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