From Dreams to Reality

from dreams to reality

“Let’s do it,” were the three words that forever changed my world. They say that when that life changing moment comes, you are to grab hold of it. And that’s what I did.

From energy to real estate

Before that fateful day, I was a Client Relations Manager with TruEnergy, a high ranking energy brokerage firm in Dallas, Texas. As Client Relations Manager, I represented the company at court hearings at the Public Utility Commission of Texas. It was also my duty to streamline the company’s policies and processes, and even serve as country manager of the Philippines. For the latter, I oversaw recruitment, training, and handled Filipino Virtual Assistants—all while supervising six American call centers. My boss and my colleagues had a harmonious relationship that was like no other. Everything was going well, but change is inevitable, and change came knocking on my doorstep.  And there was not one, but two knocks that rapped against the door.

The first rap took place, and didn’t even wait for the door to open. It blew right through with such a force that the next thing I knew, there was a new management in place. This new regime wasted no time in laying off people, including myself and my team. My late mom had taught me how to run a business while being firm and focused, all while still looking out for others.  Undaunted and remembering what my mom had instilled in me, I went about looking for work, both for myself and my now jobless team mates. 

If energy was doing well at that time, more so was real estate. Seeing the opportunities that this presented, I immediately set my sights towards its shores and soon landed a job at a cold calling company. Now while some people who had stints at management frowned or even disdained the very idea of entry level work when the time came for them to look for work, I thought and acted otherwise. Wanting to set an example amongst my peers, I decided to take up the challenge and worked as a cold caller. Yes, that’s right. From having managed VAs, I was now a VA myself. And I took great pride in it, both because it helped me practice my values of hard work and humility, and more so because it gave me an avenue to help my former colleagues get employment. They say that if you help others, you would be blessed. Pretty soon I heard the second knock on my door.  

getting some much needed R&R

Quentin Flores or “Q” and I crossed paths after we were introduced by a couple of my former employees Ralph and Rubelle who were assigned to him as his VAs. When he hired me, I helped him streamline his business processes, build his buyer’s list, not to mention do some good old fashioned cold calling.

Yes, I do…

So I found my new niche. And this was about to become bigger. With all this taking place, I didn’t notice that everything was falling into place. Whenever anyone from Q’s circle needed VA referrals, I would tap into my contacts and fill in their manpower needs. Running a business has always been in my family’s blood, and this allowed me to see opportunities whenever they presented themselves.

It was this, plus Q’s network and business acumen that all slowly brought about the framework that would constitute the Virtual Squad’s backbone. So one day I just asked him, “Q, where are we at? Is this the start of our business venture together? Are we doing this?”

I expected him to hesitate, to hem and haw. But Q was Q, and his answer was simple as it was powerful, “Let’s do it.”

The rest was history.

kai karen santos

co-ceo, co-founder