In January of this year I decided to take the plunge and hire a part time virtual assistant in order to free me of a lot of repetitious admin work that I had to complete as a part of my coaching and internet marketing business. I had already had plenty of experience with outsourcing sites such as eLance and Fiverr but I really wanted to have someone who I could work with on a day to day basis over the long term.
Long story cut short I found John (or we kinda found each other), and through hiring John for almost 20 hours a week I have been able to increase my earning by more than 70%, and he has literally paid for himself 10 fold in my business. John works in the Philipines which is in the same timezone as me, and even though he works online he’s more akin to a modern day cowboy. We work very well together because we’re both pretty chilled guys and we approach everything that we do with a lot of heart.
I’m going to create a post about the process of hiring a virtual assistant very soon but I really wanted to spotlight this very special guy and to give you some insights into the mind, habits and thinking of a great virtual assistant.
John, thanks for everything that you do for me and my business!
Interview with John Phillip Lubaton (My Virtual Assistant in the Philippines)
My name is John Philip Lubaton from Cagayan de Oro City Philippines, 36 and the eldest among 4 siblings. I am currently an officer of the Cagayan de Oro Horsemen Inc. I guess you can say I’m a local version of a cowboy. I love being outdoors, horseback riding, camping, trekking and others. I also like music, playing the guitar, drums and sometimes sing. I like different genres from Beethoven’s “Moonlight sonata” to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and everything in between.
2. How long have you been a VA and what skills have you learnt in that time
I have been a VA since October 2013, however, I was part of the Business Process Outsourcing industry since 2009 as a Sourcing and Training Specialist and as a Customer Service Representative. The Skills I have learned from training were several, but the most important thing I learned is the right attitude in dealing with clients. Technical skills can be taught in short period of time but the right attitude in certain situations are acquired thru experience.
3. How did you get into becoming a VA
I have several friends who are VA’s and they are earning as much as I was earning as part of the BPO industry, and they are at home, no additional expenses and they work 4-6 hours a day. So I asked my friends how to become a VA, what are the skills needed to be a successful VA and What does it take to become a VA. That was when they told me about ELANCE and ODESK and as they say, the rest is history.
4. What do you like about being a VA in general
There are several perks of being a VA: work at home, work few hours, no additional expenses, earn in USD etc… but what I honestly like being a VA is the connection between the employer and the employee. A lot of people can be VA’s like me, but it is the teamwork between both parties that can make it work. I don’t drag myself up to log in, I actually look forward to work. I think it is because I have built a good professional relationship with my employer.
5. What do you wish you could improve about being a VA?
As a VA, there are lots of skill I really wish I can improve on. One that I really would like to learn more about and how to do it is programming/web design. Ever since I was young I have always wanted to design or make web pages. I took classes, tutorials you name it I tried it. It may probably be just a wish for me, I just don’t know why, I tried everything I can, still can’t progress being one.
6. How long have you been working with Samith, what are your general duties, and how have you found working with him?
I have worked with Samith since January 2nd and generally my task is to provide exceptional and professional customer service. Every working day, I make sure that I manage his email, calendar, appointments, CRM, and outbound calling his clients.
I like working with Samith because of his attitude towards his VA. He is very approachable, warm and accommodating, and he gives out precise instructions. It is great working with Sam, and I treat my job as a business partnership.
7. What advice would you give to people who are considering hiring a VA?
Right Attitude. A VA can have all the skills in the world, but without a right attitude, it will not work. With right attitude, a VA can develop trust and a working professional relationship and move together progressively.
8. What advice would you give to people considering becoming a VA?
Being a VA needs particular skill set to different employers. Before even considering being a VA, make sure that you have a particular skill set that you are sure that you are good at, and continue to strive to be better at what your already good at, and be truthful with your application and your interview.
9. Would you recommend Samith as a internet coach for others to work with and why?
YES! Samith is a great person to work with. He has a particular way of talking to you, and the manner he treats me as his VA is way more than I expected from an employer.
10. Any Final comments?
I honestly love my job and working with Samith. I look forward to have a long professional relationship with him, and continue to learn more from him. I also would like to thank Samith for this opportunity and I really hope that I am doing a good job or even just at par of what he expects me to do.
Gotta love this guy right?? I got all teary reading this the first time.
You can learn more about John, or even hire him yourself at his work website: https://www.elance.com/s/edit/jplubaton/
In the comments below I want to hear from you. Tell me…
1. What is one insight you had from reading this blogpost interview?
2. What are your experiences in hiring VA’s?