Friday, August 31, 2012

If It Can't Wait, Trust nTrust.

This metaphoric photo was metaphorically taken in a hectic 'kubrahan' in my mind.
A bunch of freelancers waiting in line to get their overdue checks ...

This actual photo was actually taken in Makati in the middle of crazy-ass rush hour.
...isn't that much different from a bunch of motorists waiting in line to get overdue relief.
(This happens a lot.  True story.)

The wait is excruciating!  Specially when your client gets stingy on the very day you got a disconnection notice from Meralco.  Or, when the roads get packed at that exact same time when you need to go really bad.  You get impatient, you get uncomfortable, you get cranky.  For urgent needs, who would really want to line up like that, huh?!

If you want to avoid long line-ups, go to
Well, that sounds like a great segue to Remittance!
Now THAT'S the worst kind to fall in line for. Sending money to your loved ones is just about the most urgent thing there is.  Who would want their son to miss out on an exam due to a late tuition payment?  Who would want to send a birthday gift a few days delayed?
Not you, not nTrust!

More than anything else, nTrust offers you freedom and peace of mind.  It's the first ever online remittance service that lets you send and receive money to and from your friends and family at the speed of an email. In any amount you want, in any currency you want, anywhere you want.  Why, you can send a thousand Yen to your parents overseas, transfer a hundred dollars to your wife back home, even receive .47 euros from a friend next door.  All with bank level encryption that will protect your money day in and day out.  Quick, safe, cost-effective remittance means you're in control, no traffic, no rage.

Oh, and what amazing perks!  nTrust is the only platform that gifts you with free transactions to others within the nTrust network. Create your own profile and add your family and friends to your nTrust community, absolutely free of charge.  Wow, nTrust just keeps on giving!

So Remit money to the Philippines, Transfer money to the Philippines, Send money to the Philippines in real time.  Because urgency is real.  And nTrust really cares.

It isn't rocket science.  Just good ol' I-hate-waiting and We-can-make-it-happen philosophies working together to make life easier.  You want to know how you can trust your time to nTrust, click here.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

She Neung Balls for the Soul

...and that title just totally dated me.  I don't even know if I spelled that right.  But She Neung Balls are (or were) Ongpin growth enhancers that were considered miracle drugs in the old days.  It promised quick height boost while tasting like goat turd.

And now, I'm using that as a metaphor for professional (and personal) growth.  Ha!

Companies used to send me to out-of-town seminars and workshops and I'm very thankful for the junket component that came with them. But looking back, I have been terribly selfish.  I was employed, secured, I handled ATL.  What else could I possibly learn outside of my awesomeness?!

And then came Freelancing.
Alone, I had no one to fix immersion trips for me.  I had to handle other stuff other than ATL because people securely employed in the big agencies already did that.  So I had to learn on my own.  It's kinda like teaching an old dog (or bitch) new tricks --and she's actually learning.

(Here comes the metaphor!)
These days, Freelancing is my She Neung Balls.  A She Neung Ball is as huge as a golf ball to swallow so you go through the process of melting it in boiled water before drinking the putrid concoction.  It's godawful but you do it because you need to grow physically.
In Freelancing, you hungrily drink in the crash course of unknown territories like Digital, Shopper Marketing, Events, and so on --no matter how heavy and nerve-racking that can be-- because you need to grow professionally.

It's overwhelming, but I learned to be open to independent know-how harvesting.  In fact, I embrace it.  After all, the world is evolving.  So why shouldn't I?  To be honest, I'm seeing my potential growing now more than ever.

Of course, history revealed that She Neung Balls had positive testimonials, and equally bad reviews.  It worked for some, but not for all.  It was as if its effectiveness hinged on the proper set of hormones.  Freelancing is kinda like the same.  If your mindset (or soulset) is hinged on the love of learning things beyond what you've already known for years, then your professional (and personal) growth will be phenomenal.
You just have to have the balls for it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Relaunching Steampunk-Style

Relaunching is no easy task.  But it's one of the most nerve-rackingly fun things you can do for a brand.  It's like starting from scratch.  You get the chance to pump the product with spankin' new juice.  Or, clean up the mess the last campaign may have caused.  Wheeee... FUN!
(I'm not being sarcastic, btw.  Everything I say sounds like sarcasm.  Bah.)

Now relaunching yourself is a gazillion times tougher.  Specially when you've already impressed some potent personality upon those who care. 

First, you gotta figure out if you do need a relaunch.  If your project inflow seems to be dwindling because a) you're kinda lame, then yeah, you need to hitch your act up a notch.  Or, b) you're coming off too strong that you're scaring clients away, then yeah, you need to soften up a bit.  You can't do a 360-degree switch to the opposite direction, of course, because no one's going to buy that.  Even brands that transform their image from motherly to kick ass, chest-haired man overnight isn't going to sell an iota.  Relaunching is a gradual feat.  It's not ...POOF! *ninja smoke*... and you're a new person.  (Heck, I'm still reeling from Charice Pempengco's sudden image change but let's not go there.)

My advice: Steampunk it (read:  not to be taken literally).
Steampunk is Victorian frill and fragility married to hardcore metal manic technology.  Sass and skill.  Beauty and Badass.  Fine combo with levels you can adjust.  In other words, keep the essence of your original self, but tweak it a bit to suit your objective.  Don't cause a mass heart attack.  And don't be a faker, even to yourself.  In your relaunch, you have to be comfortable.  Believable.  And a tad more acceptable.  In doing business, I mean.  I can almost hear those proud freelancers say, "I don't need anyone's acceptance!"  Haha!

Relaunching Steampunk-Style (read:  not to be taken literally) applies only to those who are open to balance their 70% fire with a 30% friendly, or their 60% friendly with a 40% fire.  Totally your call.  Just so you're not a solid abrasive or concrete lame-o who shoos his or her clients away.  At the end of the day, you relaunch yourself --and your client's brand-- ever so wisely and truthfully.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lights, Camera... Office Drama!

There's a nice topic.  Intrigue.  Betrayal.  Complete meltdown.  Depending on how you look at it, it feels like reporting for a soap opera on an irregular basis.  Or, being part of a Survivor Series minus the exotic backdrop and physical grime.

When you left the corporate world, I bet you just had to sigh in relief, "Now, this is something I won't miss!"  But if you're doing consultancy work, you do get exposed to snippets of Corporate-a-novela.  If you do consultancy work for 3 companies at a time, it's like switching channels. 

The truth is, office drama excites you.  Specially if you're just a spectator.  The first time you witnessed it unfolding before your very eyes, you were awashed with nostalgia.  You looked back and remembered how you were awarded Best Actress at your last Professional Oscars.... and a tear fell.

But as a raketista, things are different now.  You're technically an outsider.  You should know how to handle office drama properly.

1.  Do not participate.  You're not there everyday which means you're not a mainstay.  You will not get ample camera exposure anyway so why bother?  You can miss a huge clincher in the plot while you're out, too. 

2.  Sometimes you can get dragged into the drama, but only as a bit player.  Keep it that way.  When someone asks for your opinion, keep it objective.  Don't share your past dramas or they'll think you're a Hall of Famer and ask for your advice regularly.

3.  There will be secrets floating around, hushed voices behind dividers and inside cubicles.  You can eavesdrop (because you can't help it) but don't make it obvious. You don't want them to think you're spying for the antagonists.

4.  What ever you hear, do not share to add fuel to the fire!  Do you really want that kind of spotlight right now?  Let someone else shine. You're not the star in this sequel.  I repeat, YOU ARE NOT THE STAR.

5.  Work through it all.  Do not be consumed by the scenes happening around you.  Your job as a Raketista Consultant is to rake in business wins, not a fan base.

You think you can do that?  Sure!  This is the only chance you get to sit back and enjoy the show --and then get paid for it.  *snappity-snap*

Saturday, August 11, 2012

This post is so boss!

"You're your own boss."
That's one of the most common mantras in Raketsville.  That and "No downpayment, no work."  But, as most freelancers are flexible, there will be projects where you'll have to head a team for an extended period of time.  And that segues to our topic for the day:  Bossmanship.

You must know that being a boss is so cool.  But, as Spidey says, with great power comes great responsibility.  And your ultimate responsibility as the boss is train.  Surprised?  Hope not, because that would be sooo awkward.

Now, if you're the kind who shields people from the heat so you can face the music yourself, well, that makes you more of a doormat than a leader.  Don't think you're doing anyone any favors.  Your people must learn.  Being motherly is good.  But parenting involves getting them on a bike and letting them fall, too.  Pony rides not allowed.

If you're the kind who gets insecure with an underling who steps up like, well, a boss --you're knocking down a good thing.  Him getting positive attention means you've taught him well.  So getting jealous and putting him down is a no-no.  You should train your people to be independent.  If you're the boss, you owe them that maturity.

If you're the kind who uses his built-in boom box day in and day out to get things done, you're just making a complete fool of yourself.  While fear is important, respect is, too.  Blowing up is ok as long as you use it sparingly.  Say, after a screw up.  Just so they learn.  But shouting regularly to remind them who's boss... that's just sad.

Now, if after reading this, you decide that you're not built for that kind of responsibility, it's ok.  The core of freelancing is working solo anyway.  Just... don't yell at yourself.

Steampunk Office Interiors by BecauseWeCan Studios for Three Rings.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

R&R & RaketChick in 3D

Ever wondered what I look like in real life?

Ok, no.  But it comes pretty darn close.  This is a papier mache sculpture a cool kid named RobotBoy helped me cook up during the height of that crazy-ass monsoon that escalated into a full blown flood machine.  Stranded at home, I had the choice of working on some rakets or panicking 'til the flood came up to my cheek bones.

Then this kid gave me Option number 3:  Relax.

By Joe, that sounds crazy it might just work!

And what a creative, productive time it was.  Without the stress and the headaches and the stupidity and ... you know the drill.

Lesson learned, raketistas:  We're entitled to some R&R, too.  When the opportunity presents itself, grab it by the balls (or in this case, by the amount of rainfall) and bask in the glory of down time.

RaketChick in 3D.  Soon in theaters near nil.
Thanks, RobotBoy!