HUSBAND. FATHER. DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST.
ENTREPRENEUR. MEDIOCRE GOLFER.

I’m John Jonas. I live in Utah and I founded OnlineJobs.ph. My life is better because of my Filipino VAs.

I had a normal “job” for 8 months after college and my biggest goal at that time was to be able to quit that job. I managed to quit back in 2004 and worked from home for myself ever since then.

When I first hired someone from the Philippines in January of 2006, I knew I was onto something special. Since then I’ve learned that for most people, life is definitely better with Filipino workers on your team.

Yes, because of my Filipino workers I get to play a lot of golf, spend a lot of time with my wife and kids, and get out backpacking in the middle of the week. I work for about 17 hours a week because of the amazing work they do. However it’s not just better for us; it’s better for them too.

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P.S.
I DON’T DO SOCIAL MEDIA…
MY VA’S DO IT FOR ME.

} My Latest Post

Reimbursing Your OFS PhilHealth And SSS Payments

What I’m about to say is totally optional for you.

But it’s also really good.

I give my workers at Onlinejobs.ph additional pay for insurance premiums. I pay for their PhilHealth, health insurance, and SSS.

Because I don’t have a business entity in the Philippines, I can’t pay for these benefits directly. I reimburse after they’ve made their payments.

How do I know if they really paid for these benefits? Specifically for PhilHealth and SSS. Do they just tell me they’ve paid for it, and I just send them the money?

Of course not.

We reimburse them after they send in their receipts.

As I mentioned, Filipinos are mostly honest and will be glad you’re paying for these premiums. They’ll be happy to get those receipts to you.

If they send bogus receipts for those and ask you for the money, they are cheating themselves more. By not paying the premiums, they’ll miss out on the protection and benefits of government-mandated insurance.

You can also ask for their transaction records if they didn’t keep the receipts. Filipinos can access their Philhealth (https://memberinquiry.philhealth.gov.ph/member/)  and SSS (https://member.sss.gov.ph/) transaction history through their websites. It’ll show the record of their contributions, loans, etc.

John

PS. on my ride today I broke my bike saddle. We snobby people who ride bicycles seriously don’t call it a “seat”, we call it a “saddle”. Mine is (was) all carbon. I got careless with where I leaned my bike and it fell. Carelessness…such a curse.

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My Newsletters

Balikbayan Boxes Update

This is going to be weird. After I sent out the newsletter about balikbayan boxes, I got a great response from Edward. His wife is from the Philippines, so they regularly send balikbayan boxes to her relatives in the Philippines. He had a lot of good tips that I want...

Long Term Plans Empower Your OFS

I previously talked about how training can help your OFS improve your life and business. After I sent out that newsletter, Billy responded. He talked about how he empowered your OFS and built a stronger work relationship with her. Aloha, John! I appreciate your...

How To Handle Security And Manage Risk With An OFS

My favorite thing to do outside is to ski in the backcountry. It's exhilarating and requires both physical and mental strength and awareness. Last week we skied 3 steep lines of fresh powder. Part of skiing in the backcountry is managing risk. - What if someone gets...

What Good Training Can Do For You And Your OFS

I spent last weekend in Fayetteville Arkansas at a bike race for my daughter.  It was an important lead-up race to mountain bike national championships which are in July. Friends kept taking pictures of Addie on the big screen which they had at the start/finish line...

The Philippine National Elections Are Coming Up

On May 9, 2022 (Monday), the Philippines will be holding a general election for the executive and legislative branches of the national and local government. What does this mean? It means that on May 9, the Philippines will be electing a new president. It also means...

Philhealth Vs Health Insurance: What’s The Difference

Health insurance...yuck. This is one of my least favorite topics. If we (in the US) thought of it as an insurance product rather than as a charity that "must" pay for our health costs it would probably be different... ...but I don't want to get political here. I want...

Permanent DST And Scheduling With Your OFS

If you're in the US, Daylight Saving time started a few weeks ago (unless you live in Hawaii or Arizona). Never really been a fan myself.  In the summer months it doesn't get dark until 9:45pm at my house.  Try putting kids to bed when it's light outside.  It's almost...

How To Give Good Feedback

Our last inbounds ski day was last week.  Instead of being a warm spring day (like normal in late April), it was a stormy winter day.  I loved it! I got some feedback from my wife: "I'm a fair weather skier! I don't like winter storms!" This is our 8yr old who got to...

What It’s Like To Commute In The Philippines

Once upon a time I commuted to work. I was fresh out of college and rode my moped to work, 30 minutes each way. It only lasted 8 months.  I quit the job and have worked at home running my own businesses ever since. I don't really know the pain of commuting. Others do....

How We Provide Health Insurance To Our OFS

Should you be providing health insurance to your OFS? Here in the US, having health insurance is required.  But it's not required for companies to provide it. In the Philippines, it's not legally required. Private health insurance is a perk for businesses that can...

The 80/20 Principle

Ah yes, the 80/20 principle. Everyone has heard of it... 20% of the work produces 80% of results. It's true in almost everything we do. I worked all year to get my 8yr old to like skiing. - I made him ski almost every Saturday - I got him good skis - I let him pick...

Changes In The Philippine Educational System

Every once in a while, my OFS team and I talk about our kids. Most of mine are older than most of theirs...but not all. I have 5, with a 19yr old and an 8 year old. That's a big span. My OFS Julia mentioned recently that her daughter would be starting high school this...

How Non-Profits Can Benefit From An OFS

I’m happy when I get thank you emails from business owners. But it warms my heart when I get emails from people who make it their life’s work to make the world a better place. “I do my podcast in the day "my time."  He edits it and uploads it in the day "his time”,...

Why Filipinos Love Flip-Flops

I grew up near the beach in California.  I grew up wearing flip flops. But it wasn't a cultural thing like it is in the Philippines. Filipinos really love their flip-flops. My OFS, Julia, explains why. ----- Like other Asian countries, we take off our shoes here in...

Why Electronics In The Philippines Is So Expensive

I’ve mentioned before that buying electronics and computers in the Philippines can be more expensive than buying them here in the US. But just how expensive is it? Let me give you a scenario. One of my OFS, Jam, likes Apple products. He’s been thinking about getting a...

Shipping To The Philippines Through Balikbayan Boxes

I've written about how expensive it is to ship to the Philippines. But I understand how important it is to send something to your OFS to make them feel like they're part of the family. That's exactly what Danny had in mind when he sent me this email. Hi John, When we...

How To Help Your OFS Progress In Life

My newsletter regularly gets read by 20,000+ people. I get good, kind, insightful responses from people every day. But this one was nasty. Lisa responded to my email last week with: So, as a teacher, I completely disagree with your assessment of school. It absolutely...

The Philippines Has Four Holidays This April

There are four (4) Philippine holidays this April. I know, it’s a lot. That’s why I’m sending out this email early, so you guys can get ready for what’s ahead. The first one would be Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) which falls on April 9 (Saturday). It’s a regular...

How To Easily Provide Training To Your OFS

Here's some Philippines culture we don't often talk about. Training a new employee in the Philippines is such an ingrained part of the culture that they have an acronym for it and government backing for it: OJT On-the-Job Training It's so prevalent in the Philippines...

Follow-Up On Joven, The Manager Of OnlineJobs.Ph

About a month ago I made Joven the manager of OnlineJobs.ph. He's managing and coordinating our design/dev/QA/marketing teams. Was he always capable of this? Heck no!!! I hired Joven in 2005. In 2007 he told me "Sir, when I started working for you I knew nothing! I...

“Can VAs Meet With Clients?”

Everyone says VAs can't meet with clients. "They'll mess things up." "Clients won't like it." "Clients will see the insides of your business, and they won't want to work with you." None of this is true. Ruben sent me this video recently and talked about the...

“VA Training” Is NOT A Substitute For Actual Training

My daughter who is a Junior in High School just took the ACT. Yuck. It's interesting that High School prepares you to take standardized tests.  It doesn't prepare you to work a real job. And...come to think of it, neither does a college degree. Yes, it helps you. Yes,...

No Wonder People Are Looking For Online Work

Bob Shape sent me a message through Facebook a few weeks back and showed me a YouTube Video: Adventures in Employment (in the Philippines). "Hi John Your podcast reminded me of this. It is unbelievable what a person has to go through just to get a job in the...

How Brett Assigns Tasks To His OFS

I recently sent out a newsletter about hiring Filipino students. In that email, I discouraged hiring full-time Filipino students because they would need to prioritize their education. A college education is a big deal in the Philippines. If they don’t get that degree,...

Why Your OFS Sometimes Work Mindlessly (and How to Change it)

A while back I sent a newsletter about how my OFS had published a video that was horribly edited. The video started mid-sentence, had no context, and was just a bad edit.   Yet, someone else (who didn’t do the edit) still published it.  Why? A subscriber (thanks!...

My Solutions To When Your OFS Work Mindlessly

My newsletters from the past 2 weeks have taken a lot of work. They're all about why OFS sometimes work mindlessly (their thoughts) and how to prevent it (their ideas). Today is some of my personal experiences. A couple of solutions I’ve tried that have worked include...

Why Your OFS Sometimes Work Mindlessly (And How To Change It)

My previous 5 newsletters have described cultural reasons why OFS sometimes work mindlessly. Today is about solutions. When I asked my team why this problem exists, I didn't ask for solutions, I just sought to understand the problem. A bunch of my team members also...

Why Your OFS Sometimes Work Mindlessly – Family Culture

This is the 5th email of 5 about why OFS sometimes work mindlessly. Surprisingly, I had quite a few different people talk about family with regards to mindless work. Like, when they don’t feel like they’re part of a family, they don’t care about the work. This...

Why Your OFS Sometimes Work Mindlessly – Laziness

This is the 4th email in a series of 5 about why OFS sometimes work mindlessly. Laziness. Sometimes, people just get lazy. Sometimes, this just happens. Some say the rising generation is lazy. Sometimes the work lends itself to laziness. Sometimes it happens as an OFS...

Why Your OFS Sometimes Work Mindlessly – Quantity Over Quality

This is the 3rd email in a series of 5 about why OFS sometimes work mindlessly. This one is often your (the employer) fault. Often, quantity is more visible than quality. An OFS knows that you’re going to see how many support tickets they responded to but you’re...

Why Your OFS Sometimes Work Mindlessly – Power-Distance Index

This is the 2nd email in a series of 5 about why OFS sometimes do mindless work. If you’ve never heard about Hofstede’s Power distance Index, it’s worth looking up.  You’ll understand the mindlessness a lot better. The Philippines has a very high power-distance index....

Why Your OFS Sometimes Work Mindlessly – Fear

This is the first email in a series of 5 about why OFS sometimes do mindless work. In the Philippines, fear often has the opposite effect as what you might expect.  If you fear failure you’re likely to make more effort, do more, try harder.  In the Philippines, it’s...

Why Your OFS Sometimes Work Mindlessly

Here's what "Clean up your play mess" looks like to an 8 year old boy: He wasn't careless or mindless about it...he told me "I did clean up...I'm still playing with those!" At least he thought it through. A while back I sent a newsletter about how my OFS had published...

How To Find More Online Filipino Specialists With Technical Skills

I just got this email from Brian Wallace. He runs a small-IT company based in Miami. He’s interested in hiring an OFS for his business but is having trouble finding them. “Any tips or approaches on finding more specialized experts in technical areas? In my case it’s...

Follow-Up On My QA OFS Experiment

Getting poor work back from my team has been one of the pitfalls of turning tasks 100% over to my OFS. At times it has been really frustrating. When something gets left undone and it seems so obvious to me, I get frustrated. And I wasn't sure how to fix this...until...

I’ve Been Hiring VAs Since 2014 And One VA Away Fixed My Process

Ruben Kanya runs a successful podcast and agency doing $20,000+/month. He's super accomplished, and it shows in his work. His clients notice the quality and amount of work. They often ask how he manages to produce all that content and run an agency simultaneously....

Setting SMART Expectations With Your OFS

I talked about this in a previous newsletter on how SMART goals help make changes happen. My daughters and I recently finished planning their race season (basically all of 2022) which includes some big SMART goals as well as some big objectives. (she blinked...but she...

The Most Talented Person I Have Ever Worked With

I have a lot of talented people around me.  Not just in the Philippines, but at home and at church and with family. I keep telling my wife and kids that I'm consistently surprised at the talent of the people around me.  There's a lot of talent I don't have...but...

Most Filipinos Has Multiple Phone Numbers

I think most people who have raised teenagers will agree that it's hard. There's almost always something that you don't see eye to eye about and the teenage years is when they're willing to push back. Right now we're having this about an iPhone. My 14yr old wants an...

Do You Experience High Turnover Among Your OFS?

I got this question through my Facebook page: “Do you experience high turnover among Filipino Remote workers? We have gone through at least 30 of them in the last 3 years despite providing 13th-month bonus, health insurance, and higher wage than if they were to work...

You Can’t Be Too Nice

I realized recently that I'm sarcastic with my kids. Too often I joke with them by being hard on them or making fun of them. It's not good. I had to take a step back and change my approach. Just be nice. I'm working on it...I fear it's a long road. One of the things...

EDSA Revolution Anniversary Is A Special Non-Working Holiday

Another Philippines holiday?  Already? If I look at my calendar it feels like we (in the USA) have about one holiday per month. It feels like the Philippines has about 1 per week! They don't. But sometimes it feels that way. Tomorrow, Feb 25 is one of those days. The...

How Do Filipinos Learn English?

Did you know that the Philippines actually has two official languages: Filipino and English? I didn't really realize this until I went there in 2009 (my first...and only time there). I was so surprised that I took pictures while in Manila: Filipinos start learning...

How I Hired A Project Manager For OnlineJobs.Ph

Over the past 2 years it has become more and more apparent to me that I need help. For a long time I ran OnlineJobs.ph. I managed the developers. I thought through features. I thought through solutions. I pushed projects forward. I reminded people of their pending...

Should You Hire Filipino Working Students?

My son came home from college this past weekend. He's having the time of his life. He skied 4 times the past week. I had to ask him "Are you going to class???" He says he has all A's in his classes...we'll see. Should you hire an OFS who’s still going to school? It...

Letting Your OFS Handle Payments With Virtual Cards

I love getting useful tips from other employers. I just got one from Vin Carrano when he responded to my email about using LastPass with my OFS. It turns out he was using LastPass too. This led to an email exchange about a problem some of you wrote to me about: giving...

Already Given Up On Your New Years Resolutions?

My wife came home from the gym the other day: "I got there at 9:15 and there were a bunch of parking spots. Just 3 weeks ago I couldn't even park on the street because so many people were there! Oh, how quickly people give up on their New Years resolutions." New Years...

Filipino Love And Courtship Traditions

I've said before that I'm not a holiday/celebration kind of guy. Halloween is my least favorite day of the year. Valentines day is up there with it. I know not everyone feels this way...but for me... Yuck! But this email is more about relationships than it is about...

What You Need To Know When Hiring A Filipino Graphic Designer

The first time I hired a designer I was actually hiring a programmer.  This was 2007 and I didn't really know what I was doing.  I just knew that I had found a really good programmer, and he also said he was a designer! I thought I had just struck gold! ("Nino", the...

I love reading your emails! Thank you for creating OnlineJobs.Ph I have a great experience with the training and the VAs.
Amanda Vang

Real Estate Expert

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate these emails you send out John. Since I have been reading them, I have developed such great relationships with 2 my VA’s and soon to hire a third. So grateful that you created this!
Melody Johnson

I can’t tell you how helpful updates like these and your blog posts are for working with my OFS – THANK YOU!
Harrison Thornhill

thornhillresidential.com

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