Talk Freelance To Me

Unleashing the Power of Listening, Flexibility, and Collaboration in Entrepreneurship with Dianna Romaguera

June 30, 2023 Ashley Cisneros Mejia Season 1 Episode 9
Talk Freelance To Me
Unleashing the Power of Listening, Flexibility, and Collaboration in Entrepreneurship with Dianna Romaguera
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, we delve into the mind of the accomplished entrepreneur and dynamic thinker Dianna Romaguera. With a unique blend of wisdom, experience, and practical insight, Dianna invites listeners into her world, revealing the secrets to her successful collaborations and best tips for bridging the gaps when working with a diverse range of people.

Dianna uncovers her 'secret sauce' for successful cooperation – a potent mix of empathy, understanding, and adaptability. Learn how being an active listener and staying flexible have become the bedrock of Dianna’s success in the entrepreneurial world.

About Dianna
Dianna Romaguera is a first-generation graduate of the University of South Florida, where she earned her B.A. in Communications. With over 15 years of professional experience, Dianna has worked across the operational spectrum, including event marketing and production, project management, and integrated marketing communications. Both as an employee and freelance consultant, she has a wide array of expertise in various industries and a passion for non-profit organizations.


Connect with Dianna

Instagram @piraguera

LinkedIn @dromaguera

Facebook @d.romaguera


Chapters:

00:04:37  Dianna's secret sauce to working successfully with all kinds of people

00:12:18 The problem with the "fire your boss" mentality around entrepreneurship

00:14:35 How being a great listener and staying flexible have contributed to Dianna's success in entrepreneurship

00:18:05  The hard lessons Dianna has learned from running her own business

00:22:15 How nailing down project management makes room for creativity

00:28:20 Dianna's approach to collaboration

00:33:05 The culture shift away from busyness


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Ashley Mejia:

Hello, welcome everybody to another episode of the talk freelance to me podcast. I am so thrilled today to introduce you to one of my favorite people, my favorite colleagues, just my favorite humans. Diana Roma Gara. Welcome to the show.

Dianna Romaguera:

Thank you. Thank you. So happy to be here.

Ashley Mejia:

I appreciate you so much. We go way back, and podcast fam, I need to tell you, this woman is good at everything like she is the Swiss Army knife of marketing and communications and anything under that umbrella. She has a really stellar bio, I'm going to read a little bit to you so you can get acquainted with her. Diana is a first generation graduate of the University of South Florida, where she earned her BA in communications. With over 15 years of professional experience. Diana has worked across the operational spectrum, including event marketing and production, project management and integrated marketing communications, both as an employee and a freelance consultant. She has a wide array of expertise in various industries and a passion for nonprofit organizations. Currently, Diana works with nonprofit organizations to develop, implement, and measure Strategic Initiatives toward operational success from developing a strategic plan to streamlining communications to allocating resources to meet the organization's goals, all while working with stakeholders, volunteers and other consultants. Diana is a proud mommy to a fierce four year old and resides in New York are amazing.

Dianna Romaguera:

You made me sound like a ninja, I kind of like that.

Ashley Mejia:

You aren't ninja, you are a ninja, you're flexible, you're adaptable, you have always been the example to me, of a woman who can just be flexible and adaptable and really jump into any situation and get along with everybody. And more than that, like have people eating out of your hand and they're just like charmed. And that's a gift. Not everybody has that.

Dianna Romaguera:

Thank you. It's something you work towards, not something you're born with. So anybody can achieve that. It's just a lot of practice and really being really good at listening. What are people saying? What are they really saying? Right? And you know, when we've met with clients in the past, they might want a brand new website, but really, they need a branding adjustment, right? Or let's take a look behind the scenes like what's really going on. So it's really an art of listening, I would say, I think you're right.

Ashley Mejia:

And I think that to fill you guys in freelance fam, we work together the same marketing agency. So that is my colleague, I've worked with her on a big nonprofit organization that we're part of for women. And then we've worked together like actually for client projects. And that is something Diana, that I feel like you've always been when people say that, like communication is 90% nonverbal? And what are they saying? When they're really not speaking and reading between the lines? I mean, we've can come from the same meeting, and you'd be like, Oh, no, they want something different. And this person's got, you know, an understanding also the dynamics like when in your bio, when we were talking about, you're able to look at what the organization wants to achieve, but then all the players, all the stakeholders, a staff, like I know, You've done a lot of nonprofit work with, like boards and volunteers, and just, you really are great with people. And I think that's a skill that every industry needs. Right?

Dianna Romaguera:

Thank you. Yeah, it's applicable across the board. A doctor needs to be good with people. A construction worker needs to be good with people. It's skill that I think everybody can find to and along the way, definitely. And

Ashley Mejia:

in this age of AI, so in the freelance world right now, freelance writers, specifically, it's all about chat GPT and AI, and these robots are taking our jobs and stuff. And what you mentioned, like being able to work with real people, chat GPT can't do that yet. Maybe he will later. But right now, like, understanding what's being said, that's not being spoken, man. That's something that I think even now, so is going to be even more of a competitive advantage. Now in this age of AI that we're in So

Dianna Romaguera:

yeah, that's a really good point. Because with GPT, and all the AI tools, you have to tell it what you want it to give you, but there's no translation, right? So it's very black and white. And so I think that's where you know, the beauty of freelancers and people that work in our spaces, you get to be the translator and say, Okay, I hear what you're saying, but have you thought about this and you get to bring in new ideas and insert some strategy and ask the right questions to kind of pull out the rest. So that's definitely something AI will probably get there. Hopefully not in our life except maybe an I live so but yeah, I think that's the beauty of it, right? It's transactional, it's a conversation it's building on, it might be one ask, but after a conversation, it might be five. And that's a huge opportunity for a freelancer, right? You can find different kind of sub projects within the original ask.

Ashley Mejia:

Yes. And what you touched on before about, sometimes clients will ask us, oh, I know I need a website. Or maybe they think they need something, maybe it's because their competitors have something, whatever that is, maybe they opened a tic tock account, and they feel like oh, now we got to keep up with the Joneses. And I think that's something that you've really done well, that I've witnessed and learn from myself is your ability to kind of poke around probe a little bit and figure out what is that endpoint because like you said, the vehicle may not be a new website, or the vehicle may not be a new tic tac account, it might be something else, but they don't know that they're trying, they don't know what we know. They don't know marketing and communications and advertising. They just know, the phone's not ringing. I'm not getting I need to get more sales or whatever that looks like.

Dianna Romaguera:

Right. And they might have seen a billboard driving into work. And they say, I need that too. Right. Okay, well, is that really the best use of your dollars? Like, let's talk about it. Exactly. But no, you brought up a good point, it's also taking a step back, right? As a consultant when you come in, they might be asking you for one thing. The follow up question should be well, what's your end goal? Right? If you're talking about social media, do you want more followers? Or do you want a return on your investment? You want clicks to turn into sales? Right? So what is actually a value to you, client? And what do you want to see at the end? Do you want to see more book sales? Okay, so the strategy is going to look different, how we get there is different, the billboards probably not going to help, right? Let's put that money into some social media advertising, for example. So really understanding what is their end goal, and how kind of your project or your scope that you're being hired to do kind of fits into that. And it's okay to challenge it's okay to suggest, right, the end of the day, they're the paying customer. But it's also your expertise that they're coming to you for. And so I think sometimes as freelancers you try to pigeonhole yourself, like I'm really good at this thing, and I'm only working on social media, but your gut is telling you like this is probably not going to give them the results that they need. You'll do it because the paychecks there. But at the end of the day, you have to be true to you know, the art of what your skill is, is I want to convert for you on social media. But this is not the right platform for you for what you're trying to achieve. And so that's also goes to understanding the client, and what is the goal, the real goal,

Ashley Mejia:

the real goal, freelance fam, I hope you're listening to these gems being dropped, because that is some premium level thinking and advice. And it's hard to put into practice. Sometimes when you're working in the freelance life, and there's feast or famine, there's, you know, you don't know when your next project is going to come. And so maybe you don't want to speak up and say you don't need social media at all, like you have a fundamental business issue with your logistics that you need to work out first. So I think that's golden, that advice that you just shared. Thank you for that. So you have done so many things, from event marketing to nonprofit management, you've done activations, you've done sales, and you've done a ton of different things in your career as a W two employee. And then nearly eight years ago, you decided, I'm going to go out on my own as a strategic communications consultant. So tell us more about your experience in taking that leap toward the freelance life and what you're doing today as an independent practitioner.

Dianna Romaguera:

It was scary. And it's not fair to sugarcoat it for anyone, it is definitely a leap of faith. And I think at that time, I knew I had the skills. I had the tool bag. Right, I was ready. I had my tool belt on. But I was nervous. And you know, I think it's normal to fear, rejection fear, you know, that impostor syndrome, like, Am I worthy of this? Are people actually going to pay to hear what I have to say, on my own right? Because you know, when you're in an agency setting or on a team, the strength is in your team. And so I really use that team mentality. And I started surrounding myself with people who've done it before. Well, I can ask questions, or hey, what tools you use to manage your books, right? Like you starting from scratch. And I think for anybody considering right, it's okay to ask for help. Because I think freelancers by nature, it's like, I'm gonna do everything on my own. Because I've always wanted to work for myself, you still work for yourself. But you still have to surround yourself with the right people. And that support system is really important. Family, friends, people you don't really know just pick up the phone or DM them, like, Hey, I see you're doing this. Do you have five minutes, I'd love to learn how you got there. And so having those conversations that's really putting yourself out there. But that's how you learn. And you can Google things all day long, but a conversation goes a long way. And so that's kind of how I transitioned I knew I needed a team. I had some former freelancers that I had worked with and we kind of banded together and Okay, let's have a go at it. And let's grab some clients and friends that we know that needs some work. And let's give it a try. And it works, which is great. And freelancers come and go, and that's okay too. Everybody's free, right? So come and go. And we've got a good Rolodex of folks that we can tap into for different projects, which is always golden. And yeah, just continue to build on those relationships. One of those actually ended up being a very long term client since the beginning, we're still together, we're practically married at this point. But it's great. It's proof. And, you know, we started out with one very specific task. And it turned into a more long term monthly retainer, consultant, opportunity for me, along with continuing to dabble in different projects here and there with different clients. But it's building the right team, getting yourself surrounded with the right people finding the right tools that work for you, just because a blogger says, don't use Zoom to record, for example, that might not be what's best for you. Right? So it's trial and error and also have grace with yourself. It's a leap of faith for you for your family. A lot of times, moms, this is where we land. It feels good. It's flexible. There's still long hours, right after everybody's asleep, you log in and you start typing away. And that's okay. Because the trade off is, in my opinion, totally worth it.

Ashley Mejia:

I agree. I agree. And thank you so much for keeping it real. I mean, I think it's so refreshing. Because you look at this, like you see on social media, be a boss, babe, I'm a girl boss, and fire your boss today work for yourself. And, you know, entrepreneurship is amazing. It can be amazing. It is freeing, but it's a lot of hard work. And nobody talks about that. Nobody talks about the highs and the lows, the disappointments, the scary times. And you know, there is that trade off. Like just because you are not reporting to someone every day, or maybe your hours are not eight to five, and you have to go somewhere. That doesn't mean you're not working. You're still working, you might even be working more than you've ever worked before, because you're doing everything. But I agree with you. I think the trade offs that freedom, that autonomy over our own schedule, to me, that's what makes it worth it to.

Dianna Romaguera:

Oh, absolutely. And you said something, the fire your boss mentality. That's one of my favorites. I have to say, while I agree, and sometimes you go there mentally, when you're in the freelance space, you can't afford to burn bridges, you might not agree, you might leave on not so great terms, right? The project's over, and it just didn't feel great. But don't burn that bridge, because you never know where it's gonna take you, they might be asked for a referral, and you still want to be on that list on that referral list. You never know where work is gonna come from. And that's one thing that I learned early on, you don't need to be best friends with everyone. A good solid, professional working relationship goes a long way. And I mean, I've gotten calls from people I haven't talked to in 10 years, hey, do you still do that thing, we have a project, I'm at this big corporate level blind, and we just need somebody to work on this one thing. So I know people wanna flip the table, Jerry Maguire out. But it can never be that bad. If your goal is to go freelance or you might need a recommendation for another corporate job, it's not worth burning the bridges, it's really not

Ashley Mejia:

talk about another hard thing. It's hard. Another hard thing when you're in that moment, and you're just like, you, the emotions are running high. You know, it can be hard to be level headed and think about the future. But you're right. And I would say like, even though we don't have a boss, when we are working in a freelance capacity, we have bosses, every clients or boss, like, you know, they're waiting for status updates, we have to have check in meetings with them, we have to deliver we have to make edits or change requests, perform those for them based on what they're asking for. So we're still accountable to somebody if we want to get paid. So yeah, the whole like fire your boss, not to listen, anybody and it's kind of comical to me, really. In theory, it is it is good. In theory, it's part of the marketing, I guess, to get more people to do it. Yes. So you've so many companies talking about like entrepreneurship, and people who go out on their own, so many companies die out at like your two or even less, but you've been doing this for a while, and you've grown and you're thriving. So what have been your secrets to your staying power and entrepreneurship?

Dianna Romaguera:

Hmm. I think we've touched on it a little bit at the beginning, I would say becoming a really great listener, and also giving yourself the space to be flexible. While you might be really good at one thing, you know, there's a school of thought that says be a master of your craft. And then there's the school of thought that says jack of all trades, master of none, right? So there's a balance there. But I think if the relationship Trip is there, build on that stay in their good graces, right. And I'm not saying you know, if you are not a graphic designer to all of a sudden start doing graphic design, but maybe you can be a consultant on that project, or maybe you can offer recommendation and bring somebody in. And then you become the copy editor if you're a writer, for example, for that project. So, you know, I think that's something that I learned early on is those relationships matter. And while it's very easy to be the waitress, take the order, complete the order, you got your dinner, and I'm gone. I stick around. I stick around. Oh, you guys are working on a strategic plan for next year. I love to listen in on that, if you don't mind. I mean, listen, Oh, it sounds like there's gonna be a new project coming up. Here's my thoughts. And sometimes, yes, it feels you know, you're giving things away for free, quote, unquote. But it's really expanding your capability in their eyes, and continuing to build that relationship and trust. And I think if you've already kind of checked off one border, they're more likely to listen to your insights. And you're already in the know, with what that client wants, needs, where they're going, you might probably already have had conversations with key stakeholders, right? So it doesn't work for all clients, because there are one in Dunn's for sure. But I think again, the relationship part is huge. And trying to nurture that as much as possible to keep you in the game longer.

Ashley Mejia:

That's golden. And I just spoke to Lindsay, she's gonna have a podcast episode as well. And so she works in AEC, marketing, architecture, engineering and construction groups. So she's internal. And I was asking her, what do you look for and freelancers and consultants to bring in? And she said, just what you said, she was saying, you know, I look for people who are going to consult me guide me have a process, don't make me think about it. Don't make me think about how this relationships gonna work. Tell me how this works. Give me ideas be value add. So I think that really is a big distinction in what you said, the waitress versus the consultant, like, being able to be part of the team and to keep showcasing that you're in it with them that you want them to succeed. That's so good. So good data,

Dianna Romaguera:

and do your homework along the way, right? Yeah. If it's an attorney who hired you, and you know nothing about it, right, like you mentioned in your first episode, law was not in your language. Right, right. But do your homework. If you really want it, they hired you for one thing, and you blow it out of the water, and you're able to have a conversation because you listen to three podcasts, hearing attorney speak, but now you're in the lingo, chances are, they're gonna say, hey, you know what? Let's call her back. We've got some more work, right? So, yes, it's free time. You're not getting paid to do the research. But it goes a long way. I love it. Right? So take it an extra step and can go so far.

Ashley Mejia:

So good, so good. So you were talking about not burning bridges, talking about doing your homework? Are there other big lessons, even hard lessons that you've learned from running your own business that you can share with the audience?

Dianna Romaguera:

Never delay on sending an invoice. That's the truth. It sounds so practical. But when you're running things on your own, sometimes those administrative things are difficult, you kind of leave it for like, Oh, I'll do it later. You never want to have to be in a position where you're calling someone to remind them to pay you, right? Just automate it, find the right tool, automate it, set it and forget it, right. I would say some hard lessons. Friends can always be coworkers.

Ashley Mejia:

We could cause out the show's over people. This should be a separate episode. I have to do a series on that.

Dianna Romaguera:

And I've tried to make that round peg fit in a square hole so many times before. And also because of my nature, I want to help people like oh, you're out of a job right? Now listen, I've got this thing I need help with. It doesn't always work. And so I think just separating that it happens sometimes and it's magical, like we got a chance to work together. We were friends before we're friends after we still weren't together. So it doesn't always work. But I think looking at people for their skill set first and not because Oh, that was my home girl in senior year, like we hung out that doesn't equal there gonna be a great person on your team or for specific project. So I would say that's a pretty big lesson. And yeah, I think never stop learning. I know there seems to be a face or there's a ton of certificates available on LinkedIn and you know, free sign up for this and you know, learn something new. I think every opportunity that comes into your inbox, take it, especially if it's a freebie. If it's a case study to read up on somebody who's doing something similar to you follow them listen to their stuff, and learn learn learn. I think that's one way freelancers, you know, stay relevant. You don't need to know everything about law. Back to our law example. But maybe you need to, you know, learn some strategies for social media, for example that attorneys are using that have worked. And you put that in your tool belt, right? So never stop learning. So good.

Ashley Mejia:

So good. And that's how we beat the robots. You know, their stuff is based on machine learning. Well, we got a machine learner right here, we can use our brain, you can keep getting that information. I love that that's so refreshing. Sometimes it's easy to want to get comfortable, get complacent, and just kind of like rest on our laurels. And we can, we will get left behind if we don't embrace these new changes and new information that's coming out. Awesome. So if someone were to see your client roster and everything you've done, they would be so amazed the events like you did the US Open, you've worked for brands like Heineken, which is a household name, you've done digital marketing, then you're doing this cool thing with this board governance, where you're working with nonprofits and boards, and that's a whole other animal, then, you know, for profit companies, it's really unique. So tell us more about this diversity? Is this on purpose? How have you kept things balanced? And even fun?

Dianna Romaguera:

That is a great question. I think, by nature, I started my professional career in a very agency setting. So it was do one thing really well and apply it to different clients as they come in. And so I think, that forced me to be very nimble, right in the small talk, like, hey, hey, how's it going? Ask the right questions, process process process, but my skill set bag hasn't really changed. It's just evolved. Right? So I think to sum it all up, I would say it's really project management at its core, and taking those key fundamental processes and steps and applying it to different arenas, right. And I started out with events, it was a good old time I traveled the country, I was home, maybe one week out of the month, like it was intense. It was fun. It was great when you're 22. But it taught me a lot about dealing with people on the fly in and out of different cities all the time. But again, the skill set remained the same, the process was the same, getting from A to Z, understanding the goals, the strategy, and meeting client expectations, I think those things are still at the core. And the same applies today with you know, working with different boards and governance. And they're you're managing 1215 people on a board, and everyone's got their opinions. But at the end of the day, it's what is the organization's goal, and how can I help structure that communication strategy? Where are we spending dollars for advertising, but it's still all funnels into the same thought process, right? It's a project, let's break it up into pieces. And we're still trying to get to the same end goal. So I guess it looks probably crazy on paper. But I would wrap it up in that way and say it still follows a very methodical process. And because there is a methodical process to like a PMP certification, for example, it leaves room for creativity. So that's where it gets fun, right? We're still getting to the end result, but let's find new ways to do it. And that's where your research and your skill set and phone a friend, right? What do you got going on? Oh, let's collaborate, right? That's another piece we haven't touched on. Maybe there's some synergy there. Let's work on this together. Let's pull some ideas, you're still getting to the end goal. But the creativity for me is where it stays fun to stay spicy.

Ashley Mejia:

I love that. And I've never heard that before. Or that idea that getting the project management piece running and dedicating the time commitment to that to creating a project management, like a timeline tracker and getting that smooth, creates the space for creativity. Because everything's running and you're not functioning from this, like frantic, like, wait, what's happening? It makes sense. It totally makes sense. And I've never think about it that project management is like analytical and maybe uses the other side of your brain. But it's interesting how they work together. I love that. So you touched on that working with people. And at the end of the day. That's what it's all about, whether it's people in a for profit company or nonprofit, whatever industry and I've never seen anybody do it as well as you getting everybody to sing on the same sheet of music from the choir director to the most expert people on the board or the committee or in the boardroom and even the newbies alike from folks who are the Gen Z ears to the boomers. I mean, you've got everybody just loving you and in synergy. Tell me more about these secret sauce. What's your approach to understanding people, managing people, even influencing people from the clients, to the team members, to the employees and all in between?

Dianna Romaguera:

Oh, it goes back to being a great listener. I feel like I'm talking to my daughter. Let's be a good listener today.

Ashley Mejia:

If it's so hard, but it's true, it's so hard.

Dianna Romaguera:

It's so hard. It's so hard. And I think pretty sure there was a talk on, are you listening to understand? Are you listening, preparing to respond? Right? So but I would take it one step further? And is, are you listening to respond with the right follow up question. And that goes back to you're telling me you want x, but your tone, what you're trying to say between the words is leading me this way. And I think when it comes to, you know, managing a group of people, volunteer, paid managing up, right, if they're your superiors are managing down, everyone has their own motivation for being great. It could be their for the bonus, they want to be recognized for their work, they want to have an opportunity to move up or get tapped for a special project, right. And they feel like that's their validation. And so I think you have to learn people very quickly to say, okay, their motivation is they want to be recognized for their work. So let's put them in a position on this project, and allow them to flourish in that way. It's a little bit of development, right? If you're overseeing people, obviously. But when you're managing up, or you have stakeholders that you're trying to bring into a project, there's no such thing as over communicating, say, then repeat it and repeat it, and always bring everything back to what is the strategic value of what we're doing? What is the mission of the organization? Are we answering to our customers? Are we answering to our members like their actual needs, because a lot of times, you know, ego gets in the way, oh, my gosh, another episode, and a business owner might say, I need that billboard, to sell more of my products. But really, what your clients are saying is, they want like a phase B of that product, they want you to develop something new. So really, again, asking the right questions, but bring it back to what is the why of what we're doing. Not the personal why. But what's the best thing for the organization or for the business? And really kind of usually resets the thought process in the room or in the discussion and allows everyone to take a step back. Okay, let's ask that question, again, is what we're doing here today, really driving the business, turning sales, whatever the goal is, and it usually checks every one to fall in line with, let's focus on the bigger mission here. So there's no, I guess, cookie cutter answer really depends on the situation. But it all boils down to being a great listener. And always bring it back to the why always bring it back to what is the end result that we're trying to achieve together as a group as an organization, and driving towards that.

Ashley Mejia:

I love that. You talked about collaboration a little while ago. And I think it really all kind of connects, because that's the other thing that I think is one of your superpowers is you're an idea person, but you're really great about working and collaborating with other people to make your ideas come to life, or even to spark new ideas that are super innovative, that are totally miles from the box. They're so outside of the box. Can you talk more about your approach to collaboration and how that's worked for you in the past?

Dianna Romaguera:

Yeah, absolutely. I feel that you can always think that you're the smartest one in the room, because you're probably not. And that's okay, own it. But you know, the smartest people in the room, right? And that's the real power, right? It's being resourceful. Also, checking your own ego and owning that, I can look at graphic design and give my two cents like I think that's good. Maybe we can tweak this, but I'm not a graphic designer. So understanding what your skill set is and what your forte is, and reaching out to folks who have that expertise. And again, it's a humility, exercise, right to say, I don't know, but I want to know. And that really positions you as that's your superpower is understanding what those resources are, don't burn the bridges, because those bridges are probably on that call list. But that really leads to some really great collaborative opportunities and pulling people in for different projects. That's where the magic happens. Really.

Ashley Mejia:

I love that you are so experienced, and you're so wise in this whole world of people in business and how it all works together. I really appreciate those gems. So in addition to all this amazing work that you do for these clients, you're also a mommy and to a little girl, four year old daughter. So can you give tips for other moms who want to venture into entrepreneurship, but they're concerned about how they're going to manage the work in the early years, while being a mom?

Dianna Romaguera:

I was gonna say where are the gems for girls? How do I manage a four year old?

Ashley Mejia:

Hard? Yes. Oh,

Dianna Romaguera:

It is a lot, but I will say, the freelance life, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, especially now that I'm a mom. It is like, Sure, sometimes it's like, I wonder what it will be like. But no, I, religiously, you know, Mark things off on my calendar, I am not available for blocks of time for calls. I mean, I'm just completely shut down. Google Calendar is my best friend. And it's all color coordinated very beautifully. And I'm able to pick her up from school, I take her to school in the morning, we have family time we dinner together. So it's doable. You do have to be very disciplined. It's very easy to say, Oh, let me just get this email done really quick. And you know, the kids like my man. It's normal. They want to play to I want to play. Yes. So and we talked about it earlier, too, you know, also making sure that your freelance life decision is one that's made with your family in mind. So my partner and I have a very clear understanding, there's some nights, we have dinner and I have to plug in like, it's a block of time that I need to do. So it is not just a decision that you make on your own. It's definitely a family unit decision, everybody's on board. But then it's great, because then there's days where it's like, we're gonna play hooky today, we're gonna go fly a kite on a Wednesday. And that's okay, because we planned for it. So it's, again, over communicating it with your family unit. And also setting those boundaries and expectations up front, when you do have a new client when there's an onboarding conversation. Listen, I check emails, three days a week, there's a fire. You know, let's talk on Monday morning. I don't pick up my phone on Saturdays. So having very clear boundaries and expectations, and that's something I'm still trying to master because I'm notorious for Sunday night, let me just get a head start on the week, you know, you fall into the trap. So just have grace with yourself and what works best for you. And there is no correct freelance schedule. There's no right or wrong way to do it. But it's definitely doable with a family. I think it's more conducive to having a healthy family life. I think so too.

Ashley Mejia:

And those boundaries, man, I don't know about you. But for me, I still struggle with it. And I don't know if it's a function of I feel like our generation was deeply entrenched and hustle culture. Like, we took pride in saying, Oh, I only slept three hours last night, or text me anytime client. That's how we showcase our appreciation on our commitment to the project, our loyalty, our attentiveness, responsiveness. And it's so refreshing now to see more people say that that's okay, that boundaries are all right that is it truly an emergency? You know, this email needs a new graphic or something? Can it wait till Monday? And I still struggle with it? I still struggle with it a lot. Is that something that's been hard for you to kind of unlearn some of that. I feel like it was the expectation to always be on just 10 years ago, for sure.

Dianna Romaguera:

I just had this conversation in the last three days. And I said, you know, it's almost like a cultural shift in that busy is not good. Oh, my gosh, yes. Right. Like, I delayed having a conversation with a very dear friend of mine for months, because I was so busy. And then I felt terrible, right? Like they were going through something they wanted to talk it out. And it was a reflection moment. I was like this busy culture is not it. It's not it. And it is a hustle mentality. But you can still be about your hustle with boundaries. And priorities change, right? Maybe when we were in our 20s, we had the free time to dedicate to that. But today, I think my priorities are different. And my maybe losing money, maybe. I think it also pushes you to get creative with how you manage your time. It's a different mentality. The busy culture is scary. And I think it might be a sign of our time. It could be cultural first generation, we have something more to prove we're going to get that job over somebody else. So that extra luta you know, like, but yes, we're still doing that. That fight is not gone. But it's also respecting your time and your time to process and mental health is very important and real. And even when we were all locked up with the pandemic, I probably worked more than I should have. I couldn't go outside and play. I couldn't fly that tight. Absolutely. So it's also we might have trained ourselves before COVID And then we had to like fall back into it. And then now it's like, okay, let's backtrack. Again. Let's go back to the very clear boundaries. I think it's a constant struggle and as women I think we also have this mentality of we have to do it all. We have to be superwoman. We have to be mom of the year and PTA and we're doing it all. And I recently saw this blogger talk about it's not real. I think it was an interview with Shonda Rhimes. I think she was giving a commencement speech. And she said, If I'm excelling here, it means I'm missing out over here. Like, if I'm winning an award, I'm probably missing my daughter's recital. So there's always a trade off, you have to just make the decision that's best for you and your family at that time. But it's unfair for the perception, we're supposed to be able to do it all. Because you set yourself up and those expectations are not realistic at all.

Ashley Mejia:

It's so true. It's so so true. So everybody, you have the permission to set the boundaries, here's your permission to not do it all. Because you can't like just go ahead and hang up that idea. We have to choose because you know, the amount of opportunities that are coming our way things that we're curious about things we're interested in. To me that is infinite, right? But our time is not infinite. Our time is the most finite, most precious resource we have. Like, we can always go try to get more money, borrow money, make some money, but this time, it's gone. It's gone. That day is gone. We're never gonna get it back. So yeah, it's a lot. But I'm glad that you are being one of the many. That's saying no, here's my work time. Here's my mom time. Here's my me time. It's important.

Dianna Romaguera:

Yeah, let's start that rumor.

Ashley Mejia:

I know. How do we get that to go? To billboard,

Dianna Romaguera:

we need a billboard. That's right.

Ashley Mejia:

I love that. I love that. So what's next for you? Where do you want to take your company in the future? What's your dream? What's next for Diana?

Dianna Romaguera:

You know, I'm in the process of figuring that out. I think I've definitely evolved to focus more on strategy, less random events, even though I love it. Really working on building the long term clients. And I don't know, I'm happy with the I don't know, right now. I'm kind of riding the wave. And you know, all these, what was it mercury and retrograde again, all these moments for self reflection. But ya know, I think this year, I definitely just kind of taking a step back and really taking in what I do have, because I think sometimes, as freelancers you're always chasing like, Oh,

Ashley Mejia:

what if I go for that? Oh, there's an RFP, oh, let's do this, Hey, let's

Dianna Romaguera:

call this person and trying to not do that. And just let's see what the universe is churning right now. And, you know, it's been a very interesting couple of months taking that approach. I'm getting Nancy, because, you know, you want to like, but hopefully this summer, I think there might be something new cooking. And yeah,

Ashley Mejia:

that's so exciting. So I know folks are going to be so inspired by this episode, and all of the wisdom that you shared with us. Where can people find you online? If they want to connect?

Dianna Romaguera:

Email is the best place. Okay, perfect. Yes. de Roma gara@gmail.com. And we can talk freelance.

Ashley Mejia:

Yay. Thank you so much, Diana, for talking freelance with us today. We really appreciate your time being on the show. Thank you for having me. And with that, we've come to the end of another episode. Please make sure you hit subscribe if you haven't already done so. And give me a five star review on Apple. This will help out a lot and getting the word out about this brand new podcast. I invite you to check out the show notes and also grab my free niches get riches, freelance writing worksheet to brainstorm the best niches for your writing business. If you're not a writer, you can still use it to get business ideas. And until next time, this is actually a talk freelance to me. Don't forget, we all get this one precious life. Don't constrain yourself to a box that you were never meant to fit in. It is your right to profit from your own creative gifts. This podcast was created by Ashley Cisneros makiya our music was composed by Donna Rafael of world instrumentals talk freelance to me is a product of Phoenix creative studio

Dianna's secret sauce to working successfully with all kinds of people
The problem with the "fire your boss" mentality around entrepreneurship
How being a great listener and staying flexible have contributed to Dianna's success in entrepreneurship
The hard lessons Dianna has learned from running her own business
How nailing down project management makes room for creativity
Dianna's approach to collaboration
The culture shift away from busyness