I was super glad to be one of the participants of the first ever Virtual Assistant (VA) Summit 2013. The Luneta Hall of Bayview Park Hotel Manila was packed with top-caliber Filipino VAs, aspiring VAs, employees, and entrepreneurs. Our mentor, Jomar Hilario, hosted the summit.
Eight speakers, including Jomar, took turns in imparting empowering messages, heartwarming stories, easy-to-do action steps, and a lot of a-has.
It was fitting to note that the first ever Virtual Assistant Summit 2013 took place on the 150th Anniversary of one of our heroes, Andres Bonifacio. I think it’s because Bonifacio fought for what is for Filipinos – their land, their country, their freedom. Same with us VAs (and newbies, even wannabes), we have gathered in one event to sought another way of having financial freedom, time, and pursuit of our passion.
What I love about the summit was that each speaker were given 15 minutes to answer questions on each table. I was so humbled to be asked questions, too, even if I was not a speaker, because I am already a virtual assistant. I hope my seat mates learned something from me (a big shout to Table #6!)
Moreover, it was great to see people in the flesh because we only see each other online!
So, what are the exceptional things did I learn from the first ever Virtual Assistant (VA) Summit 2013?
1. Marvin Macatol – A VA needs 3Es to Nurture (endowment, energy source, and endurance), 4Ps to Watch Out (priorities, progress, phrases, and posture), and 4Cs of Getting Gigs (connect, communicate, correspond, and contract).
2. Mr. Clement Wong (Managing Director, SocialMetric Pte. Ltd.) – A VA’s best bet is education. It is best to invest in 200 hours of education a year! Later, Mr. Marcus Ho (SocialMetric Pte. Ltd.’s Operations Director and a best-selling author in Singapore) said that they look at a VA candidate’s suitability and eligibility when hiring the best person for their company (thanks to Sir Marvin for correcting data here!)
3. Noemi Cariaso-Mora – techonology is a VA’s frenemy. A VA has to stay focused. And it’s okay to ask for help.
4. Joyce Villarisco – one is never too young to start thinking big (and having a Rich Dad mindset!). Joyce is the YOUNGEST Filipino VA that the circuit knows – she left school to pursue what she wanted. And I think she got more than what she asked for.
5. Shawi Cortez – a VA is and should never confined in a four-walled home office. She has traveled many countries that even I could not pronounce correctly and still earned money. If she can do it, so can we!
6. Franz Escolastico – time management, doing tasks in advance, and having a ME time made her earn money as a VA and at the same time play violin in different music gigs. She even played two songs for us! (Get well soon, Franz!)
7. Joanne Vergara – a Filipino can become a VA – that’s a fact. But Joanne taught us that it is also possible for a Filipino VA to become a leader through empowering one’s online team.
Feast Builder JC Libiran sealed the summit deal when he shared to us that we VAs are not only earning money at home and are with our loved ones most of the time. We are serving somebody else’s mission. JC and his wife also shared God’s faithfulness in us. JC gave these inspiring insights after the video message of Bo Sanchez, Philippines’s leading Catholic preacher.
Everyone went home happy, thanks to the Christmas exchange gifts, 1 minute dances, and new friends.
Attending the VA Summit was a great way to start my week-long break for an out-of-the-country trip (hey, did we say that a VA is not confined in a four-walled home office?). I will bring with me the exceptional learnings that I learned and the online friends that I finally met.
Next year’s VA Summit is on November 29, 2014. So if you already got a 2014 calendar, I suggest you mark it red.