Working Remotely While Traveling

Hello from the Pacific Surfliner! I’m on my way to Los Angeles (Chatsworth Station) after an amazing turn around trip to San Diego. As much as I want to say it was planned that my topic would be about working remotely today, it was just random as I didn’t know until about a week ago that I was going to be traveling this weekend.

As an entrepreneur work never stops. You try to create boundaries like clocking in at 9 am and leaving at 5 pm every day. You try to have a work/life balance. But let’s be real, work never stops. People depend on you, you make the wheels turn. So when you stop your business stops. At least in the small business sector.

My mom and dad were both small business owners when I was growing up. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree right? 😊 When I was a kid I always used to get mad at my mom when she worked while we were on vacation. I would always say, “Vacations aren’t meant for working! If this is what it’s like having my own business then I want a regular job!” HAHA! I crack up every time I think about those yearly vacations. I said it every.single.time. She used to carry around this black leather planner. She had it with her every where she went. Now I understand why – it had her LIFE in it. But as a kid I grew to resent that planner. Every time I saw it while we were on vacation I knew that it meant she was planning on working while we were out of town.

Now that I’m a business woman I understand. Heck, there was one time I brought my iPad to Disneyland because I knew I needed to work. I know, sad right? But the truth is that you can’t truly cut yourself off. You need to be somewhat available. Your business is a part of you, and if you’re like me, then you put EVERYTHING you have in your business. Not just your money, but your time and energy. You are what makes your business special. You are what sets you apart from the competition.

The truth is, if you have to work then you have to work. It’s your reality as an entrepreneur. And some day, hopefully your business will be in a place where you can drop everything in an instant and everything will be fine. But for most of us, that’s not the case. But don’t worry, there’s good news!

Working remotely is the easiest it has ever been. Heck, I’m on a train going from San Diego to the San Fernando Valley as we speak and I’m working. How awesome is that?! It’s so easy to have a constant data connection, and with laptops and mobile devices it’s so easy to stay connected. Plus, most travel vehicles give you the chance to charge devices if needed. On top of that you can easily communicate with your time with apps like FaceTime, Skype, and Google Hangouts. You can easily create, update, and share documents with Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud. The apps I personally use to stay connected to my team is Apple Mail, Dropbox, Google Hangouts, Evernote, and Todoist.

Honestly, I think it’s just all about finding balance. Why travel for fun if all you’re going to do is work the whole time? My suggestion is to work in the morning or evening when you’re back in your hotel/vacation rental and you have some down time between excursions. Try and stay present while you’re out and about with family and friends so you can enjoy the sights, sounds, and the company. Make memories! And lastly, it’s all about preparation. Before you leave try to get as prepared as possible weeks or months in advance so everything is spelled out for you and your team. Create a schedule of things that need to get done while you’re away. Delegate as many things as you can so that you can keep your work at a minimum.

Cheers to more travel!


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Plan with Me No. 1

Hi everyone and happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week and are ready for the weekend.

Today I’m sharing my first vlog in over a year, a “plan with me” video on how I set up my Happy Planner. This is the exact one I got. I love it and I’ve only been using it for 4 weeks.


 I use a combination of the Happy Planner, Evernote, and Todoist to stay organized (more on Evernote and Todoist later). Personally, I feel like these 3 elements make my world go ’round. Enjoy the derpy face on my video lol!



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2012 in Review

Once again, it’s time for my “Year in Review” post. 2012 has been monumental, in both good ways and bad. I have experienced so much overwhelming happiness and gut-wrenching sadness this year; to the extent that I have never felt before.

At the beginning of 2012, I was still riding off the amazing high from our wedding and holiday season a few months before. The keyword for this year was “Ready.” AMN was beginning to take its official form, Ninong’s was growing slowly but surely from the year before, and we had just launched Creative Cartel. In my heart of hearts I really thought I had control of everything while mowing down everything in my way. But little did Charlie and I know that we were only wading our feet in the shallow end of the pool that was 2012.

March was a BIG month for me. I was about to take a scary leap with Creative Cartel that has led us to where we are today – our iPhone and iPad cases. Oh goodness, I had no idea what to expect! But my expectations have exceeded far beyond what I ever thought. I just need to take a moment to thank everyone for their kindness and faith in our products/company. Without all of you, we would be nothing!

This spring, AMN was also in its beginning phases and slowly growing momentum. We were slowly growing our team to who it is today. I can’t tell you guys enough how much I love these people. We have pulled through some major ups and downs which has only made us stronger. This year, we were able to launch 2 of our products – Assemble Magazine and Traklife Radio. Seeing the stats from these 2 products grow throughout the year has been so rewarding. I cannot wait until you all see what we have in store for 2013!

My dad also went home to the Philippines in March. Whenever someone goes on vacation at the bakery, I always fill in. And one day, while unloading groceries from the car, I looked up at my mom who was cooking in the back and I said, “I KNOW! Ube pancakes!” She looked at me perplexed and had no idea what I was talking about. After I explained to her my idea, she gave me the green light to try them and see if they would be any good. A week later, Charlie and I bought the ingredients and made them for my mom and aunts to try – they approved! The rest is history. Since we started selling our pancakes we have grown exponentially! On top of our growing retail customer base we also gained some very important wholesale accounts – we are beyond grateful for the success of our little shop!

Needless to say, I have more than enough for be thankful for this year. And I’ve got to tell ya, that was just the tip of the iceberg. But the way I see it, all these good things came at a price. Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely grateful and blessed. But if there’s something I learned this year it’s that nothing in this world comes free. Everything comes at a price. Where there is bad, there is good – where there is good, there is bad. We will not truly know happiness without sadness. And with all the great things that came in 2012, 2 of the saddest moments in my life happened within 2 months of each other.

On September 4, 2012, I got a call that would change my life forever. Charlie’s groomsman, Assemble’s Traklife Director, my fellow dreamer – our very good friend Ray Ray – passed away fighting a heroic battle against leukemia. This was the first time in my adult life that someone so close to me had passed away. And if you know me or have read my blog, it devastated me to my whits end. It devastated so many people.

Then, on November 4th, exactly 2 months after losing Ray I got a call from my Dad and I found out my Lolo passed away. I didn’t know that my heart could break into that many pieces. To see my family shaken, to feel the pain and sorrow I felt…it was unbearable. To say the very least, I was incredibly heart broken. <———- Understatement of the year!

I cried. I cried hard. I would wake up in the middle of the night and need to get up to wipe my tears. I’d cry when I woke up the next morning to go to work. I’d cry when I was driving. I’d cry when I would hear a song that reminded me of those 2 amazing men that touched my life in such a big way. To be honest, I still cry to this day and I don’t think it’ll ever get easier.

2012 was a hard lesson. It was one of the best and worst years I’ve had. Sometimes I wish I could turn back the hands of time, do things differently. I wish every single day that I could just wake up and give Ray and my Lolo a big hug and kiss. But I know that wouldn’t change their fate. They are now my 2 biggest inspirations. Through all this sadness I knew 1 thing: I had to continue on. They both would have wanted that for me, they would have wanted it for everyone they loved. They wouldn’t want me to wallow in my sorrow. They would want to see me persevere, to endure, to go on, and to be the best I can be. Man, God is so lucky to have gained back 2 amazing men. They were truly angels on earth.

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