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“Being a VA is not just about executing what is obvious. You also have to be one step ahead of your client. You have to be prepared for that or there will always be a clash and it will not be healthy for your relationship with your client.” – JK

This is the story of John Kenneth (JK) Cabrillos, a Virtual Assistant based in Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, of how his professional life was one of uncertainty and frustration to becoming a confident, assured and indispensable team member. JK was hired by Den Lennie on June 25, 2018 and that day marked a positive and much-cherished change in his life.

Struggles before working  with Den Lennie…

JK used to work part-time for his former client, spreading himself thin across various tasks like admin, setting up and creating landing pages, integrations and many more. One of the main struggles he experienced was the lack of guidance, support and clarity over his role and duties. This resulted in him having to spend time on additional research, making sure he was doing things right, all while learning on the job. More frustrating than that was the lack of responsiveness from his client, constantly having to seek confirmation and reassurance that he was on the right path.

Further to this, he was unfamiliar with his client’s products and services as he wasn’t provided with the necessary training, tools or resources to help him get up to speed. As a result, he felt unsupported, and that lack of support made him question his own value within the team. This was a frustrating and certainly inefficient way to work. He felt that his work routine was more similar to providing ad hoc support, rather than building a foundation to work with his client. The client also did not invest time or resources to further his skills and services, leaving JK to feel like he was trapped and stuck. Eventually, his work with his old client ended due to multiple factors, including an inability to sustain his services.

Light at the end of the Tunnel…

After that experience, JK stumbled across Outsourcing Angel and was assigned to Den Lennie (Founder of Filmmakers Business Academy), who was looking for both administrative and technical help. The first difference was that Den Lennie asked JK to do a personality test, before starting on any task. Den understood that he needed to work with someone with the right work attitude and profile to develop a positive, long-term partnership. After confirming JK had a compatible personality, Den recognised that he needed to ease JK into the business by undertaking some background admin tasks first, thereby allowing JK the time to get familiarised with the services, processes and systems he had in his business.

Den also encouraged JK to upskill himself, by taking up Udemy courses relevant to social media, podcasting, video editing and media and content handling. Den regularly checked-in on his progress and consistently engaged JK on his learning experience. This made JK feel responsible for his own personal growth, and provided the platform to JK to take ownership to acquire new skills and knowledge. Eventually, the trainings and Den’s consistent guidance developed within JK the skills and confidence to undertake tasks related to monetising the business’s social media engagement. JK was imbued with renewed confidence to help Den test out different marketing strategies, always taking note of what worked and what didn’t, and tweaking their strategies to achieve better results. Each attempt was a learning journey for both of them – a step closer to achieving each other’s professional and personal goals.

JK is grateful that Den invested so much time and resources necessary for him to achieve steady progress in all his trainings. He appreciates that with every new skill that he learnt, he was given clear direction and understanding of the goals of each task. Den’s prompt feedback and advice allowed JK to experience and discover more about himself and his capabilities. To this day, he follows Den’s advice – the same advice Den passes onto his clients: “In business, you will have monumental screw ups, but what matters is how you prepare yourself to deal with that when it comes.”

Today – An Ever Sharpening Pencil

Today, JK is a new man and takes pride in his work and his contributions, so much so that he is always volunteering to do more for Den. Here are just a few of the tasks JK performs for Den:

  • Managing all podcast content (creative process, editing, publishing, promotions)
  • Marketing and Promotions in Social Media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram)
  • Lead Generation and Client Conversion Process and Onboarding
  • Documenting processes accordingly

JK has become the “right-hand” of Den, not only because he knows he can do a great job, but most of all, because it makes him feel happy and proud of his achievements.

The discipline that Den instilled within JK has also greatly improved JK’s life on a personal level. Den demanded JK take on responsibility for his work and be accountable for his actions. This demand built up in JK a confidence about himself, and a desire to meet the expectations of a man he respects greatly. While it was a struggle in the beginning to keep pace, however with hard work, determination and a positive attitude, JK takes each work day as a beautiful challenge to rise up to meet and overcome – and overcome it, he does every day.

JK feels immensely proud at being instrumental in the ongoing success of Den’s business. He is excited turning up to work each day; he knows what to do and he is confident that he can do it well. The reassurance and encouragement that Den gives him when things don’t go as planned means they have a chance to improve on their current work processes. This encouragement boosts him greatly and makes him eager and enthused to do more than what is asked.

More importantly, the security that JK feels from achieving this level of mutual trust with Den gives him one less thing to worry about – his job security. He is grateful to have found a client who is invested in his professional development, and who is patient and gives him room to learn and grow. JK is deeply appreciative of the relationship that he has built – he has found not just a great client to work for, he has found a mentor, a guide.

JK comes to work, always excited, ready to take on any challenges that may come his way. JK is constantly growing both professionally and personally, and this positive, transformative journey continues to this day!

Charlotte Ramos

Charlotte is a Copywriting Virtual Assistant with over 10 years of experience in marketing content creation, search engine-optimised blog articles and website copy. She's one of our most valuable Angels with vast knowledge of the digital marketing landscape and business systemisation.