I attended my very first WAHM Expo last weekend and I came home inspired and very much empowered that I can really do this – work at home for the long-term and find personal fulfillment from it. I have been a quiet participant in the WAHMderful Life Community since last year and I have been greatly encouraged and motivated to really “go out there” and own my lifestyle decision (to work from home) from the women who actively participate in our Facebook page.
I originally planned to go with friends – fellow WAHMs who I have been friends with since 2008 but personal schedules didn’t match with the event so I had to go alone. If this happened during the time when I was happy staying in my comfort zone, I would’ve foregone going. But as part of my One Little Word this year – BRAVE – I went alone. This is the third workshop I have attended by myself this year (Major Achievement for Me, friends). A friend who wants to explore her options went too but for most part of the event, I was by myself. And I was perfectly OK with it.
I got the unlimited pass to attend the classes being held all throughout the day. I chose to attend the following classes:
- How to Land Your First Virtual Assistant Gig by MarjAberásturi
- How to Get (and Keep) Your Freelance Writing Jobs by Tina Rodriguez
- Money Smarts: Beginner Level Investing and Personal Finance by Fitz Villafuerte
- Legalizing Your Business the Hassle-Free Way by Dandy Victa
- Computer 101: How to Use and Care for your Investment by Jennyfer Ang Tan
- How to Create a Winning Business Plan & Reach your Perfect Clients by Joy Gurtiza
I have learned many things even if I have been working from home for many years already. Here are just some of my takeaways:
I especially connected with Tina’s talk because I identified with her a lot. We both came from totally unrelated (medical) degrees and yet here we are, presently, working as writers. Tina narrated how she started and landed her first writing gig and one thing just really resonated – you need to be brave and put yourself out there. Take courage. It’s okay to feel fear – just still do it anyway (this is something I’ve heard Lara Casey say in a podcast, but is totally related to this lesson).
Never Stop Learning.
I think this was one of the things that hit me the hardest (along with no.1, see lesson above). I have been working from home since 2008 and I was pretty content and happy in my own little shell (aka my comfort zone) that I didn’t bother learning new things, improving my skills and expanding my network. When I had to start from scratch in 2013, it was hard. When you work alone, it’s challenging to put yourself out there again. I also realized how far behind I was in terms of network and skills. This is one of the reasons I’ve been working double time to catch up and with lesson no.3, I am confident I can. Never stop learning. There will always be room for improvement.
Fake it till You Make It.
Tina told our class that there were some job responsibilities that were offered to her that she absolutely knew nothing of but accepted anyway because Google can be one’s teacher. I also think (and believe) that “faking it” is just one way of really having belief in your capabilities. “I can do this.”
Learn the habit of saving.
Fitz said in his personal finance class that people think that investing before saving is a “good” way to grow one’s money when in fact, you need to develop the habit of saving first. Personal goal: Build that emergency fund and then invest.
I have more lessons to share but that would be sharing the most of the classes with you – so I suggest you attend workshops held by Manila Workshops and Wahmderful Life! The Expo was perfect for those considering working from home (most of the attendees have full-time jobs in the office) to “get their feet wet” and gain perspective on what working from home feels like. If you have been working from home like me, the additional talks might not be as technical (classes were too short to be extensive) but it was super empowering. I have gleaned so much insight on why I work from home and how I can make working from home better for me and my family from this event and I look forward to empowering myself more through workshops like these.