“Though she may be little but she is fierce.” – William Shakespeare
The Muay Thai gym was practically empty on this Wednesday morning but from afar, you could hear ferocious kicks from someone training hard. One would think they were from a fighter with the same built as Ronda Rousey but in reality, it comes from someone below five feet—a little lady named Gliza Marasigan.
Gliza may be small but she is on to huge accomplishments in her life. Besides focusing on strengthening her body, she has also steeled her confidence and took the risk of mounting her freelance business Gliza Designs.
She shares, “As a freelance branding designer, I do absolutely everything I am capable of to help build a brand—from logo designs, packaging designs, advertising, social media marketing, and even web design. I am very hands-on with all of my clients.”
She notes that what she lacks in height, she makes up for being a perfectionist, “I am very passionate about creativity and design and always give my 100-percent.”
Gliza originally began her career in advertising and her ultimate dream was to find a place in marketing but “the creative world was so strong” that she went straight to her agency of choice right after college.
She then spent two years in advertising, “I went through a crossroad that made me rethink what I really wanted. I loved the constant push to make exceptionally creative work under the guidance of industry stalwarts, I felt I had to experience being in the client side as well.”
She then left her advertising job to enter corporate where she experienced the exact opposite where she managed products through its different stages. These experiences led to the creation of her dream, “It was through these experiences that I definitely knew what I wanted—to create my own little studio someday.”
Slowly, Gliza veered away from her eight-to-five job to pursue her dream as a way to build her network and clients while freeing her to do the things she is passionate about like traveling, combat sports, and soon, her MBA.
When asked what the biggest misconception was when it came to being a freelancer, she says, “I’ve been doing freelance work for around five years already, even when I still had a day job. As a full-time freelancer right now, most people think that freelancers are bums who have it easy. Truth is, the freelance life isn’t a walk in the park. You have to build your own brand by continuously doing great work.”
She goes on to say the work that it entails, “You can’t slack off and just wait for clients to go to you. You have to be the ones to propose and approach them if you truly want to succeed as a freelancer. You also be responsible enough to pay taxes.”
For her, the greatest benefit about freelance work is having the freedom to manage her own time, “Driving through traffic to an eight-to-five job is tiring. Now, I get to spend more time taking care of my health and seeing parts of the world during my ‘breaks.’”
When asked what her ultimate dream was, Gliza said wistfully, “My ultimate dream is to be able to say ‘I’ve made it.’ When I’ve built my own branding studio, inspired people through my work, and have made a socially-relevant movement, I could say I’ve achieved my dream.”
Her confidence is astounding, especially with the way she arranged her life to make it the one she has always wanted, to ask where she gets her courage from, her answer is simple, “I’m the youngest in the family and a lot of people say that the youngest is typically highly dependent on others. However, I was raised by my parents to be independent and steadfast about my decisions. I’d have to say my confidence comes from a combination of things—life experiences, sports, achievements, and support from family and friends, and my dog Lexie.
Whenever I feel a sense of doubt with my abilities, I seek God for more courage and guidance.”
And with that, little Gliza with a big soul went on, fulfilling her dreams one day at a time.