Effective Ways To Beat “Writer’s Block Syndrome”

Writing can be fun until you do it for a living. There is a big lot of difference when you sit in front of your computer at your leisure time and start typing out whatever idea you are inspired to share just for fun; as when you do so to earn your living.

Yes, it is quite a different picture altogether when you have to sit in front of your computer and start for searching into every corners of your brain for ideas, which are not exactly your choice, but because you are assigned to write about them. As if it is not agony enough that you are suffering from WBS (writer’s block syndrome) at the moment, there is also that clock reminding you that time is running out for you to come up with something soon or you lose your day’s income.

In time like this, you could not help having panic seizure but… STOP! Before you give up (which is not an option), take a few deep breathes, calm down, regain your composure, and do the following tips to shake off that WBS:

1. Dig into your file of old writings, articles, blogs. Select one or two of your “old favourites” and which attracted a good number of readers before. Try to present them from a different angle and voila! You just created “new” blogs. If you refurbish them well enough, no one will recognize them from before. There is no harm in recycling worth-following contents. They will serve their purpose as well as they did when you first published them. You may also add relevant videos not available when you first wrote them earlier.

2. Read articles, topics, news written by other writers to get fresh ideas (but no plagiarism, please). You may add a few ideas or twists to them, the way you wished they were written (somehow we always have that egoistic feeling that we are better than others). Again add graphics or videos to them.

3. Review the comments your earlier articles, blogs, writings got. They are a good source of fresh ideas if you expound on them. By replying to them now, you may be able to compose completely new blogs.

4. Study your body’s circadian rhythm or internal biological clock. This is that certain time of your day when you feel most energized and productive (referred commonly as “in the right mood”). Take advantage of this natural pep pill and do your writing at this particular time. You may come up with 2 or 3 blogs in a breeze!

5. Prepare a list of possible titles. During those attacks of WBS, it will be easier to think of a title and then develop ideas around it. This is easier than labouring to develop an article and put a title on in later. Have a goal, this time a title, to work on as a guide rather than have your mind wander aimlessly from one idea to another and only to end up with fuzzy ideas without heads or tails.

6. Consult Google search or any online research tool for frequently searched topics or keywords relevant to your subject. From these keywords or topics, you can develop your blogs. Article directories like Ezine.articles.com are also great tools in searching for ideas to blog about.

7. Do not start your day imposing the idea that “you must write something today”. The mere fact that the job becomes an imposition makes us somehow rebellious to the idea. The whole task becomes a heavy burden and makes it very depressing. Who could work under such condition? When this feeling overcomes you, leave your present task and socialize with friends online or through the phone. This exercise clears your mind and they may even say things or ideas that may inspire you to write about.

8. Connect with your fellow writers via email, Skype, or the social media. Exchange ideas about subjects relevant to your topics. By living symbiotically with your peers, you help each other and move on smoothly with your lives.


I am writing this article because I personally suffer from this WBS every now and then. In the spirit of symbiotic existence, I am sharing these tips with you to beat this blogger’s decease. I assure you— they are quite effective!


Health Tips: Virtual Assistants

Although virtual workers like writers and bloggers enjoy flexible working hours compared to their regular counterparts doing day jobs, they oftentimes exceed the working hours of the latter group. This is mainly due to the professional demand of their jobs. Since most are paid by the number of articles they submit or the actual length of hours they work, they try to earn more by increasing production. Also, the creative freedom they enjoy sometimes makes them lose track of the time and continue while inspired to do so.

However, these enthusiasm and the demands of their profession make them sacrifice their personal health. Most get by with light snacks like crackers and coffee. Others skip meals altogether. Some leave meals to fast-food restaurants and “exercise” by doing a few sitting and standing ups in their workplace.

Of course, this life-style has dire health consequences. It plays havoc on the body’s various systems such as circulatory, digestive, and immune systems. The financial gain the bloggers work for is outweighed by the medical issues they will suffer from later. To avoid or minimize these health problems, we suggest the following tips:

VIRTUAL TRAINERS Good news to virtual workers! There are now online virtual trainer programs that are health supportive like the Diet-to-go, BistroMD, and Motivational apps. They offer some great training and diet apps to help you set goals and recommend exercises that will work for you. They track your progress as well. These online trainers can make small healthy changes to your daily lives and help transform you from the old, sluggish VA a new, energized VA. You can also receive motivational words and bits of healthy advice when you subscribe to text messaging services from medical professionals.

EAT HEALTHY Stay away from diets that promise fast weight loss, but regain them back once you stop their regimen. Instead, try to eat lots fresh fruits and vegetables and, if possible, prepare your own meals. Many healthy-looking meals from restaurants and take-out places have hidden calories in seasoning or sauces. Eat often and regularly. Eating 3-5 small meals throughout the day will keep your body full and energized without binging extra unwanted weight. Drink plenty of liquid throughout the day.

EXERCISE Simple exercises that encourage any movement is enough. Try to do a movement activity at least 30 minutes a day for at least four days a week. It is up to you how to move. Group fitness classes are good for this purpose because besides being motivational, they are also really fun. Exercise does not need to feel like exercise. Take a peaceful walk through the park; or ride a bike to pick up a few groceries. Choose something that you enjoy doing and do it as often as you can. You will end up feeling happier, you will sleep better, and write with more enthusiasm.

BREATHING TO RELAX When we get stressed, we sometimes just forget to breathe. Our breaths become short and shallow, just stressing out our bodies even more. A few deep breathes are very relaxing. When you feel all tensed up, just sit up straight in your chair, close your eyes, and breathe. Count to five as you inhale and fill your lungs with air, then count to five as your exhale and completely empty your lungs. Continue this for at least 10 breaths, or until you feel more calm.

Try the above heath tips. Remember: the healthier you are, the better you can do your daily virtual work with confidence and less stress.

Outsourcing: Why The Philippines Tops Them All

To date, there are 5 Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) hotspots depending on the requirements of outsourcers: China for technical and manufacturing assistance; Mexico for manufacturing; the US for analytical and creative services; India for cyber technology; and the Philippines for administrative functions.

Of these BPO centres, India and the Philippines are the most preferred countries to outsource workers mainly because they offer the least expensive labour forces plus the educational and technical qualities of their people are at par with their other competitors.


There was a time when India overtook the Philippines in terms of workers they deployed. One factor involved is their demographics profiles. It is not easy for the Philippines to beat India where there is a great disparity in the numbers of employable population. India has about 500 millions at ages ranging from 25 to 54 while the Philippines only has 38 millions in the same age bracket.

However, it has been noted that in the past five years, the Philippines’ BPO sector is growing up fast while India has lost 10% of its global share of outsourced voice-related jobs.

This may have been because demography is not the only factor involved. Proficiency in the English Language, both written and oral, also plays a big part in this outsourcing market. English, being the second language in the Philippines both in education and commerce, gives the Filipinos an edge over their Indian counterparts. Furthermore, the country, with the more than a hundred different dialects of its population, has adopted English as the common medium of communication among its people— hence their fluency in spoken English.



A manager at an Indian HR admits the problem that he sees is clear communication. He says that Indian accents when speaking English means that “people from other countries are not able to understand [them]. Also, Indians prefer for more secure day jobs over BPO which they consider too temporary.

Other factor that influenced this turn-about of outsourcing trend is the active participation of the Philippine Government in supporting its the BPO sector. It has passed key legislation such as the Privacy Act, which helps to protect the Philippine BPO industry. This Act puts in place international data privacy standards beneficial especially for the many sensitive information handled by the BPO sector, including banking details.

These initiatives of the Philippine Government contribute to the 21% growth of the BPO industry in 2011 and still growing.

On the contrary, the Indian Government is not as helpful and their infrastructure is a problem as well.

Knowing these facts, it is small wonder then that most companies prefer to outsource to the Philippines, wouldn’t you?



When to Outsource

When should you outsource?

  • When you want to free up your time to focus on your core competency and grow the business.
  • When you do not have or cannot afford to get to hire permanently for the professional skills and knowledge.
  • When you want to stay current on laws and taxes.
  • When you want to outsource a percentage of a certain function as a backup system.
  • When you want  a backup system to be provided by an outsourced staff



Steps How to Outsource

Once you have recognized the benefits of outsourcing and have decided to seek the services of an outsourcing company, there are some procedures that will help you find which will best meet your requirements.

• Study your company’s internal process. A team from your IT, finance, and HR departments can help you in this process.

• Identify the core and non-core activities of your company.

• Study which of the functions in your company that will benefit from outsourcing. Identify the high-cost from low-cost functions as well as the high-productivity from low-productivity functions.

• Then, tailor your business process (BPO) based on the cost and risks.

• Based on the plan you develop from your study, present it to the outsourcing company for their evaluation as to the workability of your BPO. Coming up with the right BPO partner is vital in getting the most benefit from the success of your BPO. The relations between your company and your outsourcing provider must be closer than that of a buyer and the supplier.


How to Find the Right Outsourcing Company

• Appoint a group to take care of selection of potential companies to outsource.

• Draw up a list of the minimal qualifications or criteria that a service provider should possess.

• Send a Request for Information to prospective outsourcing companies.

• Evaluate each of their proposals. Watch out for fine prints in their offers. Make use that every points and issues are clearly stipulated and put on writing to prevent any misunderstanding later.


In your evaluation, you may consider the following issues:

  • See if they can come up with a customized BPO for your unique requirements.

  • Ask for case studies

  • Provide you with resumes of personnel they will provide you.

  • Copies of industry certifications.

  • References from present and previous clients

  • Proof of financial stability

  • Number of present employees

  • What are their facilities

  • Years of experience in the outsourcing business



• Meet with the candidates face-to-face for final evaluation

• Select the best one you see fit to meet all your requirements based on your BPO.


All in all, allow a maximum time of 6 months to do the proper selection of an outsourcing provider allowing the following tentative time for each process:

30 days to compile a list of potential companies

60 days to receive and carefully evaluate each proposal submitted

30 days to finalize selection and signing of contract.

Cost Concerns

Be clear on the following issues:

Do they have hidden fees or insurance fees? Study the fine prints in their offer.

Inquire whether if the outsourcer is paid on a monthly basis. Ask if you may be charged above or beyond that.

Do they have insurance for errors and omissions committed by their personnel on the course of their work? Be sure that HR services have errors and omissions insurance.


Managing an Outsourcer

The following are essential to a successful relationship with your outsourcer:

Having an outsource company is not a total hands-off arrangement. You must have continuous management over them such as:

• Maintaining a regular communication with them. This important

• Defining clear expectations. Best to this in writing.

• Assigning the management responsibility clearly within your company

• Maintaining service level agreements.


Initially, outsourcing may cost the benefits to your business in the long run may make up for the difference a hundred times – not to mention the benefits to your own peace of mind.



The dilemma of most small business entrepreneurs, especially the newbies, is if it is really wise to outsource. If so, when should they start outsourcing?


Best Time to Outsource

There is no right time to outsource. However, for small businesses, it is better to outsource from the start which is the critical time for you to lay down the foundation of the business and begin tracking its development.

By knowing what tasks to outsource, you can estimate immediately how much to spend for your manpower, a vital part of almost all business ventures, and budget it accordingly. Note also that by outsourcing, you can limit the number of your worker and avoid buying or renting an outsize office space to accommodate them. This is a considerable reduction of your overhead problem. Delaying your decision to seek outside help may, otherwise, leave you guessing your expenses in hiring people later. This may upset your finances. As much as possible, eliminate all the “unknowns” in your business plan as early as possible.



Multi-tasking To Save Money

Many new entrepreneurs are very much fired up at the start of their business ventures. Fanned by their enthusiasm, they feel so energetic that they think they could handle all the phases of the business almost alone. They think that the tasks at the beginning may not be that very demanding yet so they try to do things themselves in order to save.

Unfortunately, multitasking almost always gets the opposite results. Instead of saving, you may end up spending more, and not surprisingly so. Imagine running around doing a mixture of different tasks from the important roles like bookkeeping, scouting for manpower, attending to business permits, etc to trivial tasks such as answering calls, checking and replying to e-mails, shopping for supplies, etc.

The obvious downside of doing all these things alone is to get physically exhausted and to feel mentally and emotionally stressed at the end of the day. Under this condition, wrong judgments are made, errors multiply, and more crucial matters are neglected. These inevitably result to considerable loss of money and waste of time that may make you abandon your project prematurely. No wonder very few new business ventures fail at the start or just after a few months of operation.


What to Outsource

Maybe you do not have to outsource everything so be selective. Outsource only tasks you do not have the time nor the talent to handle. Hiring employees to do some of this work would be costly and impractical.

Among the common tasks that small businesses may outsource are the following:

  • Repetitive tasks: Data entry, for example, is a highly repetitive task. Although this is an important task, it is advisable to outsource this and use your regular staff for more useful work.
  • Specialized tasks: IT support is among this type of tasks. You may need IT support for your network, but it is not necessary to assign a full-time employee to do it. Hiring a contractual VA may be ideal for this specialized work.
  • Expert tasks: Experts like a financial analyst, although you require a high level of expertise for the task, can still be outsourced easily. Also, a small business may not afford yet to pay for highly-skilled executives so hiring a financial analyst on a contractual is more practical.


How to Outsource

Do some research work. You will be on the safer side if you go to legitimate and dedicated outsourcing companies. Your business associates who are experienced in hiring contractual workers may recommend some, like Mr. Outsource Company (www.mroutsource.com) who is among the more popular ones in this field.

To ensure a smooth business relations with the outsourcing company you choose, be clear at the onset of your dealing with them of your requirements and a commitment from them that these can be met satisfactorily. Draw a clear and firm contract between you and the contracting company. Do not leave anything to assumptions. Establish a clear communication between you and the contracting company to avoid future misunderstandings.

Leave some allowance for the outsourcing company for adjustment to your work procedure if needed to avoid unnecessary strain in your operation.

Avoid micromanagement that may hinder your outsourcing efforts. Remember, the whole idea of your outsourcing is to save you time —stay focused on the core aspects of your business.

For further assistance, you may contact us anytime.


Outsourcing companies claim that hiring virtual assistants saves me money. Yes, I may save TIME if I assign time-consuming routine tasks to him, but save MONEY?

I still have to pay him like my regular worker, don’t I? Sometimes, I may even have to pay him by the hour which may exceed what I am paying my regular employee per day, so how do I save?

Many employers still think this way — and you may be one of them. It is true that you may sometimes pay a virtual assistant a bit more per day compared to what you pay your office employee daily but you may overlook the following factors: A virtual assistant is an independent contractor so the same employment procedures do not apply to him, therefore:

1. Regular hiring expenses and time are eliminated such as placing newspaper ads, spending time interviewing candidates, requiring them to undergo physical and medical examinations, etc. All these are taken cared of by the outsourcing companies. (Ask www.mroutsource.com for what they can do for you).

They send you a qualified and ready-for-work VA on the first day you sign the contract with them. In the meantime, no time is wasted and pending work waiting for the candidate you hire personally to finish all his requirements to start work.

2. Since a VA is not under your direct employ, you do not have pay taxes or come up with benefit package like medical insurance, disability benefit, or pension. VA takes care of his own taxes and does not expect the perks enjoyed by regular employees.

In case you want to terminate your VA’s services for whatever reasons, the outsourcing company can immediately find you a suitable replacement him. Also, you do not have to worry about the VA’s separation pay.

3. A virtual assistant is proven to be more committed to his quality of work because he understands that his income depends solely on his productivity and delivery of value services to his clients. He is an effective and efficient worker who sees to it that he delivers flawless output fast at all time. Compare his situation to your regular employee whom you pay regardless of his effort, or lack of it.

4. Since a VA does not physically spend his time in your office to perform the tasks you assign to him, he uses his own office supplies and equipment. You should appreciate the savings you make from this arrangement – no office supplies and equipment to buy and no maintenance expenses for the machines he uses such as the computer, copier, scanner, fax, or telephone bills to pay.

After considering the above money-saving factors, wouldn’t you agree that hiring a virtual assistant will save you money which otherwise you can use for expanding your business ? If you decide to take this option, talk to us for assistance.


Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 6.29.21 PMIn any business, a marketing list is vital in maintaining and expanding its business. This is especially true when promotion of its products or services depend much on online marketing. However, building up and maintaining an accurate and updated marketing list eats up a great slice of time of regular company time which should have been spent on more urgent operations.

It is in a situation like this when it is more judicious for a company to outsource the services of a virtual assistant. In doing so, regular employees are freed to work on their actual assignments and responsibilities. With a virtual assistant dedicated solely to the build up and maintenance of the marketing list, the company is assured that communications with their clients are always current and updated.


How does a virtual assistant manage the marketing list?

First, he builds up a marketing list by making sure he has the right demographics of the clients. It is important to know who are the targets of every mail campaign. Receiving accurate metrics and stats will help show how each e-campaign performs. Maintaining accurate and regularly updated demographic email lists, helps modify, target and optimize all future campaigns. To do this, the following data are collected of every client in the marketing list:

1. Age: What are the ages of the targeted audience? Each age group has a different focus and product relevancy. Keywords to capture the audience quickly are required.

2. Gender: Are the products focused more to women or men? If a particular gender appeals more to purchase the product, the content of the campaign should be customized accordingly.

3. Geography: If marketing to a specific country or nationality is the target of the campaign, be aware of the time differences and customs of each country.

4. Marital Status: Every status needs a different approach. It is important to know the differences and personal buying preferences of each status (single, family, etc)

5. General personal preferences: Having the right email list management software helps record your prospect’s responses. Opened emails, specific links clicked, an opt-in registration on your website, let you know the outcome and results


Screen Shot 2013-08-11 at 6.30.44 PM

A VA also sees to it that all the date collected are update regularly. He should make sure that email campaigns reach their targeted audience. Well-managed marketing address list will prevent the following from happening and avoid wastage:

• Invalid email addresses. Send email campaigns to invalid email addresses continually could potentially list you as a spammer.

• Changed email addresses. The list should be update on a regular basis because people move, marry, lose jobs, change email addresses. There should be an option in the subscriber lists to change priority emails.

• Duplicate email addresses. Sending out direct mail campaigns to duplicate emails is a waste of time and money.

Finally, an effective VA should be able to discern, classify, and separate the list of CLIENTS and PROSPECTS.

This is important because separate-mail contents should be sent to clients and to prospects. E-mails are sent to clients to update them of sales, special deals, changes in terms and conditions, etc. The purpose in sending to clients is to create loyalty or to attract them to increase their purchases. Clients want to be recognized.

On the other hand, e-mails to prospects is to encourage them to subscribe, motivate them to be customers, to introduce your products.

Mixing up communications with these two different groups of people may reflect badly on the image and marketing strategy of a company in the market.

A successful email marketing campaign depends much on the efficiency of the virtual assistant and maintaining an accurate email list is an important step in achieving this. Familiarity with customer preferences, accurately in demographics, and a great deliverability rate, are vital instrument in expanding a business. Without email list management are like sending out emails into internet space without the proper landing instructions.

Outsourcing: A Democratic Way of Hiring Filipinos

After looking over every line of the day’s Classified Ads section, you hurriedly take your shower, put on your most business-like attire, check that your make-up is flawlessly applied, tack-in neatly all your personal documents into your attaché case, and rush to the door.

Excited, nervous, and hopeful you get the job advertised in the Classified Ads, you go straight to the address of the office for the job interview.

You are greeted with a long line of fidgety and equally hopeful applicants waiting for their turn to be interviewed. At last, after an hour or so of waiting, the receptionist calls your name. Nervously, you enter the room with a 5-men panel of interviewers scrutinizing every move you make.

After a gruelling interrogation, you are asked to stay awhile for their decision. Although a bit apprehensive, you are very optimistic you will get the job based on your 5-year extensive experience on the job, your impressive resume and recommendations, and the successful way you replied to all the questions thrown at you during the interview.

Two hours passed and you are asked to meet with the HR Officer. In a low but firm voice, he tells you that you passed the interview and they are impressed by your long experience. However, they are sorry that the company is choosing a less experienced but trainable candidate who is several years younger than me. You leave the office seething with anger for the seemingly unfair treatment you are given.


Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case in the hiring of conventional workers in regular offices. This happens so many times to so many deserving candidates for jobs they are most qualified. However, due to minor “flaws” like age, physical appearance, or simply non-conformity to the interviewers’ personal preferences, these poor applicants are turned away.



This sad scenario in hiring workers is slowly evolving into a more democratic way. With the coming of outsourcing companies, people are now hired based more on what they know rather than their physical attributes. Candidates are now assessed on their actual performance on the preliminary tests given them. Factors like age, physical appearance, or even personal take a back seat as criteria in getting hired. With outsourcing companies, experience and skills are given priorities so the truly qualified candidates are hired—a most fair and democratic way indeed of hiring people for the jobs they deserve.


Regardless of the kind or size of the business set-up, it can benefit much from outsourcing. Outsourcing is basically the obtaining the services of an outside agency to perform tasks that is normally done by an individual businessmen or by the regular office work force of a company.

A great advantage of outsourcing is that it frees up lots of time for businessmen or for a company to concentrate on other areas or jobs that also require attention and spend several hours to perform. Outsourcing of workers can do these tasks faster and maybe more effectively.

Many companies and businessmen have realized these that resulted to the proliferation of outsourcing agencies and individual who offer their services these days.

Mr. Outsource University is coming out with a series of tasks that skilled or semi-skilled jobseekers may apply for as a freelance virtual assistant or as a worker in outsource companies.

Here is the 6th job in the series of tasks Mr. Outsource University is recommending:



If you are you really good with numbers, accounting may just be the field for you. Accountants should have a special ability for numbers and a close attention to detail since they prepare and analyze financial statements and reports. They analyze and administer the internal processes of a company’s income and expenses. They must also have excellent computer skills and be proficient at oral and written communication.

This is a career wherein education and constant accuracy are of vital importance. Hence, some accountants have a degree in business administration with a specialization in accounting. Although many accountants acquire a bachelor’s degree in accounting before becoming an accountant, there are other paths that will qualify individuals for an array of positions.

What do accountants do? To give you an overview of the work of accountants, watch this short video on “Careers: The Real World of Accounting”:



How to Get an Accounting Job Without a Degree

Making a change to the world of accounting and finance may seem daunting especially if you do not have a degree in Business. However, with some extra education and on-the-job training, it is possible to break into a new and more fulfilling career as an accountant. Some have degrees in unrelated fields, while some have no degree at all. Yes, there are accounting jobs that DO NOT require a degree in accountancy.

• Get experience. If you have had no experience in the accounting field, list volunteer work to do the accounting for your PTA, church, or club. Any experience counts.

• Educate yourself. Complete a course and receive a certificate. Although you do not have to have a degree in accountancy, you should at least learn the basics. Enroll yourself at a community college for an associate’s degree in accounting or a related field, such as an Associate of Arts in Accounting and an Associate of Applied Science in Accounting. Some of these courses are often available to professionals at night so that they do not interfere with your current job

• Take advantage of some colleges who have job placement programs with companies and land an interview through your college referrals.

• Contact friends and family. Sometimes, it is not what you know, but who you know that can help you find an accounting job. A foot in the door is what you need to land an accounting job. Convince your interviewer that you can learn quickly and dependable.

• Get a part time job or an on-the-job training, doing bookkeeping for a small business. Bookkeeping may not be what you ultimately goal, the experience can give you an invaluable work reference that will look impressive on a resume.

Come up with a resume that focuses your skills in accounting. Make sure to include all of the software that you know how to operate, the completion of the courses that you took, and your job experience in business, accounting, and finance.

Send your résumé to companies advertising for accounting positions even if you still lack their minimum qualifications. Ask consideration as an intern or entry-level trainee. A company might be willing to take a chance on training you even though you don’t yet have experience. As they say: “No guts, no glory”.

• Look for entry-level jobs where you can do accounting work, such as an accounting assistant, an accounts payable clerk, or bookkeeper. These jobs are usually good entry-level accounting positions and most do not require a minimum of experience. They can offer opportunities for advancement once you have proven a good work ethics, aptitude, and learned accounting skills.

Improve your skill by studying the current software that is being used for accountants, like QuickBooks or other industry software. Learning the correct software is an advantage because it means less training time for prospective employers.

• Many junior accountants attempt to acquire higher level accounting positions at a current place of employment. Apply for advanced positions in accounting after gaining work experience.

Request your employer to move you into the accounting department. If there is no opening yet, volunteer to help out during busy times like month end and year end.

Demonstrate knowledge in accounting and expertise with preparing financial statements and reports to move up the accounting ladder.

Socialize with the accounting managers and let them know you would like to work for them. When an opening does come up in their department, they will think of you.

Videos for those who want to be accountants, the following videos will guide you:

Accounting Lecture 01 – Basic Concepts:

Learn the Basic Concepts of Accounting:

How My Virtual Job Gave Me Back My Real Life: Thoughts of a Mr. Outsource Virtual Assistant

A sunny disposition, an insatiable zest for life, adventurous, and a special knack for winning friends—these were but a few qualities that described me and suited my chosen life profession to a T, that of being a salesman.

For a greater part of my working years, I had always been involved in sales with some big pharmaceutical firms, local and international. My jobs gave me the chance to meet so many people, both in personal and professional levels. I had been to places here and abroad I never knew I would ever see. Travelling had been one of my dreams and there came a time when I was practically living in a suitcase, busy hopping from one place to another for work or for pleasure.

However, this exhilarating and frenzied life style suddenly changed one fateful night two and a half years ago. I just had my evening snack and I was enjoying a late, late TV show while reclining comfortably on my couch. Suddenly, my right arm fell like a heavy lead from the couch armrest to my side. I did not think much about it but when I tried to get up and reach for the TV remote on the table, my right leg buckled and gave way — I had a stroke without warning or pain! SUDDENLY, everything was snatched away from me.

I felt dejected. I felt my old my old self die in a snap. It was a frightening realization that from then on, I was helplessly on the mercy of others. I could never (or if God wills, would take some time again) do the things I used to do by myself.

For a time, I was inconsolable and deeply depressed. I felt useless to me and to others, especially to my family. Fortunately, my optimistic and naturally sunny disposition took hold of me. I began to slowly pick up whatever was left of my broken life and decided to inch my way back to a semblance of my normal life before the stroke. But where and how do I start?

I took stock of what was left with me: a still intact and sharp comprehension (luckily, my brain was hardly affected), the use of my left hand, a 5-year old laptop, and an indomitable spirit to move on and do something for myself.

Since my mobility was adversely affected, any job that required my leaving the house was out of the question. I had to turn to my computer to search for any job on the internet that met my very limited resources—a sound mind and a left hand to pound on the keyboard. However, I found out that 90% of job opportunities in the internet were either just waste of time or downright scams.

I was starting to lose hope of ever being useful again until a kind relative came to my rescue, my niece. She asked if I would l like to write articles for her online outsourcing company. She arranged a meeting for me and Mr. Outsource himself, Erlend Bakke via the Skype. The chance I was given to work again on a job which I am passionate about- writing, changed my life. It slowly helped me regain my self confidence and sense of my usefulness. I have been very grateful that my virtual job has given me back my real life!


Notes: Bob is currently working for Mr. Outsource, doing excellent job in content writing and blog management. Mr. Outsource approves.