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How I got here (in bullets):
- Destined to work as an employee (nurse) abroad.
- Worked at a local hospital.
- Hated the work situation.
- Quit after 5 months.
- Became an online freelancer.
- Tried things and broke things... A LOT of things.
- Read lots of self-development books.
- Started traveling.
- Started blogging.
- Started investing.
- Learned how to build a business.
The long of it...
When I was in high school, my mom moved to the US for work.
Life was easy.
We’d have a fridge full of food, eat out on Fridays at fancy restaurants and go to the mall on Saturdays.
We’d buy the latest gadgets, refurbish our house and build a new one (because why not?!), and purchase a van to take us where we wanted to go.
“This is the life” is something I must have said often then.
However, everything was about to change.
My mom came home to the Philippines, and was never to return to the US. I was 14 then.
Did it suck? At that time, yes! My mom being here meant giving up the luxuries I got accustomed to.
But as I’ve grown, I’ve realized it was the best possible thing to happen to my family. No amount of money could ever buy my mom’s presence in our lives.
We ended up selling most of our assets—some properties, our van, etc.
Life became difficult, but we managed.
My father made a living from selling Koi fishes and my mother was a full-time homemaker taking care of my grandparents. We were lucky to have received support from our relatives.
Ahh, those were tough times… and it makes me quite emotional as I write about it. I recall the days of skipped allowances, the disconnection notices from the electric company, the canned goods and instant noodles for dinners, the embarrassment from having to borrow money...
Fast forward, it was finally time for me to go to college.
I’ve always wanted to be a musician or an interior designer, but my uncle who would sponsor my schooling would only assist if I took nursing.
"You can only achieve success if you work abroad"—that was the mentality I was raised on.
So I convinced myself that studying nursing and working abroad is the solution to our (financial) problems.
I was a kick-ass student, consistently ranking well in my classes.
I would then graduate, and review for and pass the board exams… and I did.
Being the eldest of 6 siblings, of which 3 were in college at that time, I was pressured to generate income to help my family.
While waiting to get hired at a hospital, I decided to look for online jobs. I don’t remember what led me to look for online jobs, but it happened.
I spent hours and hours researching to no avail. All I could find were network marketing stuff and get-rich quick schemes.
I guess it’s safe to say my researching skills sucked. To my defense, I have not heard of the word “freelancer” back then.
I actually found out about Upwork (formerly oDesk) through a friend.
So I tried Upwork. I made my account, set up my profile, and applied to jobs—all using my grandfather’s laptop.
And I turned our basement into my office. Trust me, it's not as fancy as it sounds.
I’ve written articles for a dollar, toiled $2.5 per hour jobs, and even got scammed once or twice.
I thought landing a $4-$5 per hour job was the best possible thing that could ever happen… and I did eventually get jobs at those rates.
My freelancing career was interrupted by my short-lived hospital employment.
That was when I started to feel unhappy and my life started to feel devoid of meaning.
I’d spend my free time playing computer games, watching TV, Facebooking, Youtubing... anything that would distract me from my misery.
I felt stuck and depressed.
I thought that life was never going to get better… that I didn’t have a choice, and that I just had to live on and let life take me wherever it wants to take me.
After 5 grueling months of working as a nurse (and a LOT of contemplation), I gathered the courage to follow my heart and quit!
It was a huge deal for me because I was going against everyone’s expectations!
Quitting nursing meant that I was wasting away 4 years of college education to “just work from home”.
I’d soon come to realize that quitting nursing was is of the best decisions I’d ever made.
Freelancing has helped me:
- become a Filipino millionaire at the age of 23 (just 6 months after I quit nursing),
- make multiple investments,
- travel locally and internationally,
- create multiple blogs,
- create online courses,
- support my family; and
- become a better person
Through experience and in-depth research, I eventually discovered strategies which has contributed greatly in my freelancing success!
Freelancing changed my life and my family’s life! I wake up everyday feeling thankful that I have the privilege to get paid to do what I love.
I want to help make a positive change in the lives of other people by teaching them what I know on how to work better and live better.
"Who the heck are you anyway?"
Yo! My name is Chris Acebu.
I quit nursing in 2013 and became a full-time freelancer.
I started this blog to empower go-getters to carve their own path, find meaningful work, and live their best life, just like I have.
Your parents, your friends, and the society at large should not determine what you do with your life! You have the power to choose... and you should.
It's your life after all.
Quitting nursing and defying people's expectations was the scariest thing I've ever done in my life, but it's also the most liberating.
Since then, I've been able to do a lot of fun things! Things I probably could not have done if I stayed in the course that was already laid out for me.
Starting with no knowledge and having made tons of mistakes, I was able to build a reputation on Upwork and have earned more than $100,000 just on that platform.
Online freelancing changed my life. In a way, it saved me!
And it can be this way for some of you. That's what I'm here for.
You may also connect with me on the following platforms: