In this blog, #YesSheCan speak to Lyra Almoite. Lyra is an entrepreneur who is maximising working remotely!
I’m Lyra, originally based in the Philippines but every now and then, I am lingering around the cities of Southeast Asia. Originally, my plan was to climb up the corporate ladder. After graduation, I started working as a Marketing officer for two homegrown brands in our city andI was working in the Marketing Department of two homegrown brands in our city.
But then, I started traveling and going places, maximizing all my vacation leave and weekends just so I can take a break from the corporate life. Travelling became the breath of fresh air that I need,
After a couple of years, Mondays became harder and harder. I still love working but a part of me has been wishing I am somewhere else. Then, office politics caught up and I just can’t tolerate it. I filed my resignation without a solid plan on what to do next, I just know I don’t want to deal with it anymore.
Few months have passed and I can’t find a job that I like. I felt like every job available is just going to replicate the corporate experience I had. So, I started considering the idea of working online.
It took me 4 long months before I actually landed a “job” and I came to a point where I was close to hopeless. I was about to consider a corporate job offer, then an offer in upwork came in. I guess, that is where it all started.
I started working remotely about 3 years ago. It has been my bread and butter since. Being a virtual assistant had become my entry point, then I got in line with project management and taking the role of a team lead. I work with business owners and took over the operation side of the business, made sure that the ball doesn’t get dropped and keeps rolling, this helped them focus on doing what they actually wanted to do, like creating courses, talking to clients, and scaling the businesses. They’re more confident in stretching the limits because they know I’ll handle the operation side of the business.
However, like any other employment, being a remote worker has its limits too. This made me decide to be a service-based business provider.
It really took me a while before I figured out what I am. I know I’m more than a virtual assistant, and I don’t focus on just one thing, so I can’t call myself a graphic designer, or a social media manager because, that will give me limits, so The Homebased Worker was born, I decided that I’ll be an online business manager, because it turned out, that is what I have been doing all this time! I focused on working with entrepreneurs and business coaches, taking care of the operations while helping them strategize and optimize processes so we can achieve their business goals.
I’ve always been fantasizing the idea of having a business of my own, but I also love working remotely, so I just can’t let it go.
There are times that it got me thinking, “I help people build and scale their businesses, why can’t I have my own?” I took my sweet time exploring what I actually wanted to do, what will work and all the considerations rooted down to one thing, it should not require me to quit my job.
I started attending workshops and after a dozen of workshops later, I realized that I love working with flowers. I did two test runs, found myself mentors, and last 2019, I launched Blushing Gifts. It is an online based flower and gift shop and I’ve been operating from my kitchen counter. I did all the marketing, website creation, flower arrangements, picking up suppliers, taking pictures, and delivery. It was hard juggling business and work, but I love every single second of it. It made me feel empowered. It also helps that I have a lot of supportive people around me. 😉 Now, I am working with one of my mentors in flower arrangement and we’re now building another online brand in Malaysia that will combine gifts and flowers all in one box!
9-5 is not for me!
I always hated the idea of 9-5. I wished to work in my zone, when I want, and where ever I wanted. We have all these technologies for a reason but you really can’t complain when you are in the corporate, right? So, I started looking for options where I will be the happiest, where I can make money and do things that I wanted. I thought working remotely and having my own side business was the way to go so I pushed for it.
My passion is creating income not only for myself but for other people does help a lot with my role. It is different when you’re working just so you can earn money, and when you’re working so you can help the people you work with increase their finances and achieve their goals. There’s a different concern and understanding when you’re thinking just about you and you’re thinking about the people you work with as well.
What do you think gave you the drive and determination to succeed?
I always think of my future self. Two years from now, I wanted to see things improved. I don’t want to be in the same space as I am right now two years ago and two years in the future. I make sure that I make progress even if it’s very small. Other than that, I don’t like financial constraints stopping me living the life I wanted.
What is your biggest achievement in life?
I would say, I mentored people without even knowing that I did. I take huge pride when the people I managed have been secretly picking up lessons and inspirations from me. It’s not even my intention to do so, but somehow, I helped them by just doing my job and things I love.
What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learnt along the way?
People are driven and motivated with different things, and there’s no one-size fits all in dealing with people. You have to understand where people are coming from, what triggers them, and that will help you deal with them by 100x!
Have you ever felt that your gender has brought unnecessary challenges to your career?
For sure! Not only my gender but also my age. When I was at the corporate, I often observed my ideas being taken more seriously when they’re presented by my male older colleagues.
What three tips would you give to young females starting their careers?
Work first, use that to gain experience, industry knowledge, build up an amazing background and connections, then work for something you really wanted, when you’re ready, put all your heart and energy into it. It won’t be easy, sometimes, you’ll be pulling off a 15-18 hour work day but I promise, it’s worth it!
What is the best bit of advice that you have ever been given?
Train your mind to find opportunities and you will.
What are your key motivators?
My future self, my goals, my family, and my future family.
What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?
Deliver above and beyond, and recognize your own accomplishment, as women, we’re sometimes shy to take the credit from our hard work, but if we don’t recognize our own efforts, nobody will.
What advice do you have for women aiming for leadership positions?
Start by leading just one person. Then another one. Then another one. Then move to one project, then another one. Build it up as you go.
What’s one key leadership lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Great leaders know how to really listen.
What would you say to your 16-year-old self?
It may not look like it right now, but you’ll do great things, you’ll see.