employee to successful freelance VA
Yani's journey from employee to successful freelance entrepreneur

Yani's Story of Overcoming Challenges and Finding Freedom  from being an employee to a successful freelance VA

Meet Yani Dizon-Fortes, a former BPO Healthcare Trainer who embarked on an extraordinary path to entrepreneurship as a successful freelance virtual assistant (VA) driven by her unwavering dedication to her family and her innate grit to thrive amidst challenges. Today, she shares her journey from juggling sleepless nights as a full-time employee and a new mother to flourishing as a successful freelance professional, proving that resilience and determination can pave the way to newfound empowerment and financial prosperity.

The Turning Point: A Striking Challenge Ignites the Entrepreneurial Spark

For Yani, the turning point from being an employee into a freelancer arrived with the birth of her daughter in 2017. Amidst the demands of her full-time job and the absence of a household helper, the struggle to manage work schedules with her husband while caring for their newborn became an overwhelming reality. Yani recalls, "We had to go to work with just 2 hours of sleep or sometimes no sleep at all. This has been our situation for about 4 months."

Faced with this formidable challenge, Yani made the courageous decision to leave her job and seek a new path that would grant her the flexibility to nurture her child while pursuing her professional aspirations.

Overcoming Adversity: Triumph Amidst Uncertainty

With no concrete backup plan, Yani embarked on a journey of exploration and determination. She vividly recollects, "January 15, 2018 was my last day at work. I rested for two weeks and used that time to research and look for a job. Becoming an ESL teacher first came into my thought, but come to think of it, how can I be one when I don't have a nanny and I have a baby who was then 5 months old."

Her unwavering spirit led her to embrace an opportunity as a Project Manager VA, leveraging her resourcefulness and perseverance to triumph over unforeseen obstacles. The pivotal moment of receiving the job offer and commencing her freelance journey marked the beginning of a transformative chapter in her life.

Looking Back on how it all began from her own words...

"We didn't even had an internet connection and a laptop at that time. My brother who is a seafarer allowed me to use his laptop and it was shipped from Iloilo to Manila via roro bus so I can use it 😂. Then, we had internet installed.

It was the last week of January 2017 when a good friend of mine, who used to be a co-trainer and has started doing freelancing in 2015 reached out to me and told me that they have a job opening for a Project Manager VA. I sent my resume.

I was interviewed by the client on Friday, February 2, 2018and signed a contract to start February 4, 2018. The rest was history."

Yani and her daughter


The Balancing Act: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

While the long hours certainly played a role, the most significant challenge Yani faced was the lack of support at home. Ideally, they wanted help with cooking, cleaning, and caring for their daughter. Unfortunately, finding reliable childcare proved difficult.

"We hired a nanny from the province," Yani recounts, "but to our disappointment, she left abruptly after a few days, even taking some money with us. This setback left my husband and me solely responsible for juggling work and family duties."

For more than six years, Yani and her husband shouldered everything together. They meticulously divided chores and childcare responsibilities, taking turns to ensure their daughter received proper care while they both managed full-time jobs. It was an incredibly demanding period, but it also fostered a strong sense of teamwork and resilience within their family.


Embracing the Freelance Mom Lifestyle: Discovering Untapped Potential

Freelancing brought a new challenge: juggling work and family. But Yani and her husband, ever resourceful, adapted and thrived. "The best part?" Yani reflects, "I discovered hidden skills I never knew I had!"

Freelancing unlocked Yani's potential, allowing her to grow her skills and achieve financial security for her family, including making important investments.

Yani as a freelance and a mompreneur

Guiding Others to Seamless Time Freedom: Yani's Empowering Advice

Drawing from her transformative journey, Yani offers invaluable counsel to aspiring entrepreneurs seeking time freedom: Clear client communication, realistic work hours, and a daily routine are key. Prioritize tasks, manage your time wisely, and keep learning to thrive as a freelancer.

Furthermore, she underscores the importance of preserving a healthy work-life balance to revel in personal moments and rejuvenate the spirit.

Yani's empowering narrative transcends industry boundaries, resonating deeply with career-driven women contemplating entrepreneurial ventures. Her extraordinary resilience, unwavering dedication, and tenacious pursuit of professional and personal fulfilment serve as a beacon of hope, instilling unwavering confidence in those embarking on similar transformative journeys.

In the wake of Yani's inspirational journey, one cannot help but be inspired by her unwavering strength, tenacity, and resilience. Her story embodies the remarkable potential within every woman, illuminating the path to entrepreneurship and liberation from conventional boundaries.

Let Yani's journey stand as a testament to the profound impact of determination, adaptability, and unwavering resolve in the pursuit of time freedom and personal fulfilment.

Do you know someone with an inspiring story of resilience from employee to entrepreneur? Send me a DM here and let's share her story. 

Want to explore your own 'employee-to-entrepreneur' potential? Book your FREE one-on-one coaching session here and let's find the perfect business for you!


Cheer for Yani over Instagram and share her story to others who needs it right now. 


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8 Clever Tips to Launch Your Business While Keeping Your Day Job

Are you passionate about a business idea but hesitant to take the leap due to full-time job commitments? You're not alone! Many aspiring entrepreneurs dream of starting their own venture, but the fear of financial instability can hold them back. The good news is, launching a business doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. With careful planning and strategic execution, you can lay the groundwork for your dream business while still fulfilling your current work obligations.

This guide unveils 8 stealthy moves to help you confidently navigate the exciting yet demanding journey of launching your business on the side. From defining your purpose and mastering your time to building your online presence and leveraging the power of networking, we'll equip you with the essential knowledge and actionable steps to transform your side hustle into a thriving success story, all while maintaining your current income stream. So, get ready to unleash your entrepreneurial spirit and turn your passion into reality with these powerful strategies!

Well, 10 years ago, I used to juggle a very demanding full-time job as an IT Analyst ( traveling all over the Asia Pacific as an expat) while managing my Mary Kay Direct Selling Business as one of the Top Directors and starting up my IT Consulting firm. Whew!  


By implementing these tips, I successfully launched a thriving business while maintaining my full-time job. The key ingredients? Strategic planning and mindful execution.


1. Plan Your Time Wisely

This is tip #1 to do Before Starting Your Business while still working is Number 1 for a reason!

You're already working a full-time job, so it's important to manage your time effectively. Create a routine where you dedicate a specific number of hours each day to your dream business.

Timeboxing is your new best friend: Learn how to carve out dedicated hours for business development without neglecting your job responsibilities and personal life. 

Remember, achieving perfect work-life balance might not always be possible, but continuous improvement is key. Embrace the concept of kaizen, the Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement. By striving to be 1% better every day, you'll consistently optimize your time management skills, inching closer to your entrepreneurial goals without compromising your well-being.


Clever Tips to Do Before Starting Your Business 1. Manage your time
Canva.Com l Manage Your Time


2. Save Up

Transitioning into a business can have a lot of unforeseen expenses. Make sure you're financially prepared for this leap. Start saving a portion of your monthly income for this venture. 

In my case, I kept my employment salary for my living expenses and support for my family while a portion of my income from my Direct Selling business went to the operation expenses of the IT Consulting Startup until I was able to close my first Enterprise deal which allowed me to fully fund the IT Consulting start-up and enjoy the financial benefits of being an entrepreneur. 


8 Clever Tips to Launch Your Business 2. Saveup
Canva.Com l Saveup for your future


3. Market Research

Spend time understanding your potential market, customer needs, and competition in advance. This is essential for crafting a unique and sellable product or service.

Validate your idea with mini-experiments: Conduct low-cost market research to refine your concept and ensure your offering resonates with your target audience. 

This will ensure that the product or service you are offering has a real problem to solve. 

8 Clever Tips to Do Before Starting Your Business 3. Market Research


4. Create a Robust Business Plan

Your business plan should detail your business strategy, target market, SWOT analysis, financial plan, and marketing strategy. Having a comprehensive plan will guide your actions and keep your goals in check as you start your business.

Download your FREE SWOT Analysis workbook here

Feeling Overwhelmed? Build a Business You Love using a Proven Framework. Register and be wait listed for the upcoming online workshop version of my coveted How To Quit Your Job Gracefully workshop. Learn how to create your Business Plan and the Step-by-Step guide you need to prepare for your upcoming business.

This self-paced learning modules in video lesson will be up by April. Be the first one on the list and get 20% off.

Register here to be in the wait list now and we will send you your Promo code.  


Employee to Entrepreneur Workshop

8 Clever Tips to Do Before Starting Your Business 4. Create a Business Plan


5. Network

As a new entrepreneur, navigating the exciting yet challenging world of starting a business, don't underestimate the power of networking. Building relationships with fellow entrepreneurs, potential customers, and mentors in your industry can be an invaluable asset for your long-term success.

Networking events, online forums, and industry communities provide excellent platforms to connect with like-minded individuals, gain valuable insights, and access potential collaborations, partnerships, and even funding opportunities. By actively engaging with your network, you'll not only gain valuable knowledge and support, but also build brand awareness and establish yourself as a credible player in your field.

8 Clever Tips to Do Before Starting Your Business 5. Network
Canva.Com l Networking

6. Start building your online presence 

Create a simple landing page or social media profile to capture early interest and build excitement around your future venture. 

In my case, I opened my IG and FB Accounts for biggerbetterme coaching early in 2023 even when I actually started in October 2023. 

Don't wait until your business is fully launched to start building your online presence. Establishing a simple landing page or social media profiles early on allows you to capture early interest and generate excitement around your future venture. This initial online presence can also serve as a valuable tool for building your personal brand and establishing yourself as an authority in your field. By proactively shaping your online narrative from the outset, you'll be well-positioned to hit the ground running when your business officially launches and connect with potential customers, collaborators, and investors who resonate with your brand.

Invest on defining your personal brand early on.

In today's digital landscape, investing in defining your personal brand before starting a business is crucial for establishing credibility, attracting your target audience, and building a loyal following from the very beginning.


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7. Educate yourself

Don't underestimate the power of knowledge! While you juggle your day job, invest time in educating yourself about the entrepreneurial landscape. Dive into books that:

Recommended Resources:

Fuel your passion and gain valuable insights with these recommended books that inspire and empower aspiring business owners like you and me included.


Ageless Startup
It's not hard, it's just new. Click here to Buy this book



Click here to Buy this book
The New York Times No. 1 bestseller that can transform your life and career - now in a revised and updated edition. Click here to buy this book.


8. Identify your "why" and set realistic goals.

Many dream of starting a business, but the demands of a full-time job can make it seem daunting. Before diving in, take a step back to discover your true purpose. What ignites your passion? Is it financial freedom, pursuing a cause you deeply care about, or the thrill of building something from scratch? Or do you feel like you have a calling? 

Unlocking your "why" is the secret weapon of thriving side hustlers. It's the fire that ignites your passion and guides you through the inevitable challenges. Whether it's financial freedom, pursuing a cause, or building something meaningful, understanding your core motivation keeps you focused and energized.

Setting realistic, achievable goals becomes your roadmap to success. By breaking down your aspirations into smaller milestones, you stay motivated and celebrate progress along the way. Remember, even the most powerful car needs a destination to reach its full potential. Define your "why" and set smart goals to transform your side hustle into a fulfilling journey, fueled by purpose.

Need help in identifying your true calling? Maybe this mini-course on Awakening your True Calling can be a great reference.  

8 Clever Tips to Do Before Starting Your Business 8. FInding your Purpose
Canva.Com l Finding your Purpose

By implementing these smart strategies, you can lay the groundwork for your business while you still have the steady income of your day job.

Enjoying these tips? Let's connect on socials for more. 

When you are ready, here are 3 ways I can help you.

  1. Attend my Live Workshops or Enroll in my Entrepreneurial and Motivational  Courses here
  2. Book for a Free 30-minute CLARITY Call here
  3. Book for a VIP one-on-one Entrepreneurial Coaching session here

Looking forward to meet you!


Coach Cecille 



how do successful entrepreneurs handle failure?

How do successful business people handle failure? Well, for me personally, in one word is: embracing failure for success.   

When it comes to achieving success in both business and life, winners have a few key qualities that set them apart from those who struggle. One of these qualities is their ability to handle failure with a positive mindset. Successful entrepreneurs view failure as a learning experience and an opportunity for growth. Instead of getting discouraged, they analyze their actions and results to figure out what went wrong. Then, they go back to the drawing board, change their approach, and try again.

In short, the way you handle failure can make all the difference in your journey toward success. So, next time you encounter a setback, try to see it as a result and a chance to learn and improve. And remember, successful people don't give up after one failure - they keep pushing until they reach their goals.

Why do new business owners fail easily? 

Many new business owners don't make it out of the gate because as soon as they fail, they figure, "Who am I kidding? I knew it wouldn't work" and then quit! If everyone had that mindset, we wouldn't have electricity, airplanes, or vaccines ... actually, we'd have pretty much nothing! Every single success in this world was preceded by one, two -- a thousand failures! Babe Ruth set a record for the most home runs. Did you know he also had the record for the most strikeouts? Thomas Edison failed more than a thousand times before he perfected the light bulb.

Why failure is necessary for success?

It's often said that if you're not failing, you're not pushing yourself to your full potential. Staying in your comfort zone may feel safe, but it won't get you to the level of success you're truly capable of. On the other hand, failure is a necessary part of the learning process. It allows you to identify what went wrong, learn from your mistakes, and grow as a result. If you give up at the first sign of failure, you'll never reach your full potential and will remain stuck where you are. So, don't be afraid to take risks and embrace failure as a necessary part of your journey toward success.

Albert Einstein once said, "You cannot solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it." And, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." What these statements teach is, to overcome failure, you must think differently and act differently. It is what separates the ordinary from the extraordinary!

Success Quot

How to change your perspective on failure?

As a new business owner, it's important to recognize when you need guidance and support from others who can offer the expertise you may be lacking. This may mean forming a team of individuals with different skill sets and perspectives to inject new talent into your project. The fear of failure can be a major obstacle that holds many entrepreneurs back from achieving their goals. But, it's important to remember that failure should not be feared, but embraced. Living in fear can prevent you from taking necessary risks and can lead to a life half-lived. So, don't let the fear of failure hold you back. Seek out support and embrace failure as a learning opportunity that can ultimately lead to greater success.

Remember that success comes with a cost. Most people never become successful because they’re unwilling to pay for success' price. Are you looking to dominate your life both personally and professionally? Look no further. in my mini-course called Success Principles, you can learn the 10 Key Principles practiced by the world's Peak Performers. Learn how to easily apply these success principles and multiply your success with ease. Don't wait to take your life to the next level - get your hands on this valuable resource today!

Success Principles mini course

Don't let fear of failure hold you back - if you're feeling stuck and unable to move forward, consider bringing in outside support and guidance to help you overcome obstacles and achieve your goals. With the right help and resources, you can conquer any challenge and reach new heights of success.

Do you need a coach or an accountability partner to reach your full potential? Feel free to send me a message for a one-on-one coaching session. 

Wishing you success,


Wooing customers is a little bit like dating.  No, you can't present the engagement ring on your first date!  There's a two-way relationship that grows one step at a time before it leads to the church doors.  You can't rush it... you can't skip it... if you're looking for the satisfaction of a life-long commitment.

Getting to know your date, or getting to know your customer takes a little time and effort.  The personality, likes and dislikes of each date are different, but customers share some commonalities that you, the marketer, can grab onto.  Give them what they want, and they'll become the loyal, lifetime customers that make your business prosper.


1. Forget About Selling... Put The Emphasis On Buying

People like to think that all of their buying decisions were reached due to their own great ideas and skillful shopping.  Hey, no one is fond of a pushy salesman.  A salesman who "HELPS" them discover the best buy for their buck on the other hand, is a hero. 

Really, when a person walks into your place of business, they are most likely thinking of making a purchase before they get there.  You don't have to persuade them to buy.  You can take it easy, and simply help them decide what the best purchase is.

Keep your focus on the customer and his needs.  Think... what benefits would he be most interested in?  What is the price range he can afford?  Basically, keep in mind that you are there to serve his needs, not persuade him.  Ah, the pressure's off!


2. Make Purchasing  A "Sure Bet"

Buying is a "risky" business.  The higher the price tag reads, the higher the risks are!  Yep, a customer is just looking for a product that satisfies the needs he purchased it for.  The question they ask themselves is... "Is it worth it?"

Hey, it's a legitimate question.  The world is full of scams where you spend your hard earned cash and end up with trash that doesn't last and that you can't get serviced.  A few tough lessons leave customers wary about off-the-cuff purchases.  They want something they can trust.

A money back guarantee alleviates a great amount of concern in the mind of the consumer.  There's peace in knowing that if the product doesn't live up to its claims, they aren't stuck footing the bill for a piece of junk.

Customer testimonials also clearly tell "would be" buyers that you really do deliver customer satisfaction.  No one can say it better than a satisfied customer, but don't carelessly use testimonials.  You need a method to your madness.  Pick clear and specific testimonials to use, and include as much about the customer as you possibly can to lend credence to his testimony.


3. Let Them Know That It's An Easy Process

Simplicity... ah, it makes life so much easier.  Yeah, your harried customers are busy and tired.  They don't want to mess around.  Most of the time, they just want to make the purchase and head home.  Convenience stores testify to the fact that quick and easy often overrides a better price!

Make the buying process as simple as you possibly can.  Remember that not everyone prefers the same method.  The more options you have available, the more customers you will please.

When you're planning your marketing campaign, don't forget to point out the quick, fast, and easy benefits of your product.  Remember that value isn't everything. It's pretty easy to charm your customers when you know what they like!  Keep these 3 tactics in mind as you go about the daunting task of growing your business and expanding your customer list... and watch your profits go through the roof.


Happy Selling!

Coach Cecille