We had the good fortune of connecting with Katia Rojas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katia, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
Before diving in headfirst and answering this, I think it would be good for me to define success and what THAT means to me first. For me, success isn’t just about money. Success for me, is about being able to manage my workload – while delivering stellar/ above average work to clients, being a great mom, managing my health and being kind and loving to family and friends. That said, the habits I have adopted into my life have made me the warm, hardworking, successful yet inviting mom, professional, entrepreneur, daughter and friend (I believe) I am.
By definition, a habit is a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. But I like to refer to my habits more as “guidelines” or “disciplines” for a well-rounded life. Another important thing to state is – the way I run my business is pretty similar to the way I run my home. Over the last 20 years as a marketing and advertising professional, I have incorporated disciplines that fuel the way I think and operate, allowing my creativity to soar, and in turn, provide me the ability to deliver work to clients that is above their expectations. Same holds true with my family. Here are my habits, that help me – daily – in no particular order.
Habit #1: Go beyond the “ask”. Marketing, like life, is super-fast paced. There’s a constant feeling of “everything is on fire and late!” But by working under that mindset, you could be underdelivering. That’s a big no in my book. It’s a disservice to myself and my clients. So, I created “Katia’s 5 commandments” (if you will). Every piece of work I am tasked with gets the 5- commandment discipline.
1. LISTEN: It is my job to listen and gather as much information as possible.
2. WRITE: Tell their story in the most authentic yet creative way possible
3. ART DIRECT/ DESIGN: Bring that story to life, and make it exciting and relatable
4. BE CONSISTENT: Over and over again
5. STAY COMMITED: Create a Brand that lasts a lifetime Every business, business owner, product, service has a unique story. By using the 5-commandment discipline, I give myself the ability to see far beyond the immediate, pressing “ask” and it allows me to work hand in hand with businesses, helping them understand the nature and potential of their BRAND.
Habit #2: Keep an open mind. In any fast paced, time sensitive environment – it is important to always keep an open mind. I take a moment to see beyond the actual deliverable and look at the bigger picture. I constantly ask myself “What does the brand stand for and how will it come across when implementing creative marketing strategies and executions?” Listen. Nothing is easy. And if it is. You should revisit it. Keeping an open mind allows you to keep learning. Learning about the product, service, client, or deliverable, or even yourself. Inform yourself. Arm yourself with knowledge. And know and understand that things can shift at any given moment. Which leads me to my next important habit….
Habit #3: Stay organized. Shift happens. I heard that on a Southwest flight one time, and now I just tell myself this often as to remind myself it’s ok. The aesthetics and constant on-going brainstorm and design behind the working objective helps encourage structure, perfectionism, process, and what I may at times call my self-diagnosed “OCD”.
I enjoy being organized. Even when everything seems chaotic and impossible to organize. Some may say I even get a kick out of it – and honestly, they are probably right. Being organized is the only way I feel I can accomplish all my tasks at home and at work. This level of organized chaos (as I like to call it) has forced me to establish and implement a process that works very well for my family and small business. I wish I was able to say I am always a one-man team (and sometimes I am!) but this process of constantly pushing the status quo, has allowed me to form business and personal relationships, contract business-minded team members when in need, and has allowed me to help more clients with their businesses on a daily basis than most fully equipped ad agencies who are still figuring out creative deadlines. I surround myself with people who enjoy this “organized chaos” as much as I do.
Making my small shop – much more efficient than some of the bigger shops I’m competing with. All while allowing me to flourish as a creative and business owner.
Habit #4: Stay healthy and Stay connected with “you”. This one is easier said than done. I know a lot of people’s minds go to diet and exercise. And yes, that is important, and I probably should be doing a lot more of it. But what I mean by health is – mind, body and soul health. There is a quote I read somewhere that said, “if you don’t make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.” As someone that has lived with Type 1 Diabetes since the age of 10, the way I go about my day to day is a bit more complex and at times, difficult. Insulin, carb counting, and staying on track with nutrition and schedule has contributed to my organization skills and discipline. But it’s not just about me. I believe the connection with oneself is as important as the connection and understanding of those around you, like business partners, clients, and family. I constantly remind myself “I’m not the only one”.
Having this condition has empowered me to see outside myself and be more understanding of others. It has made me more empathetic overall.
My suggestion is, be kind to yourself. We all deserve a moment to breath and embrace the present. Step out of “work mode”, spend time with loved ones, and allow yourself to really appreciate what you have. By doing so, it’s a great reminder of why we work so hard. Doing what we “love” comes easy when the rest of our world is in order.
Habit #5: Be thankful. Every day I take a minute to say thank you. I would not be here without the support of my community, friends, family, clients… everyone, you name it. These disciplines and “habits” I have developed, and instilled overtime were always within me, they just flourished thanks to the people, the trust, and the willingness to be better.
Being thankful has kept me grounded, and has served as constant reminder that I, in fact, have worked extremely hard to have something to be grateful for. For this reason, I will keep pushing. And won’t ever stop.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Primadesigns Advertising is a small advertising and design business that focuses on branding, marketing, and amplifying small to medium size business’ footprints in South Florida. We work hand in hand with business owners by helping them establish a unique brand positioning. Once that is established, we bring their company to life through beautiful, eye-catching, design. What makes it rewarding is my background in strategic thinking.
In the past, most of the agencies I worked at had large budget clients (think the Pepsi’s of the world). Now – I’m a problem solver for these small businesses with small budgets. I find solutions that are not only cost conscious, but impactful. Solutions like- personal photography, stock imagery, and font driven designs, just to name a few. Think of me as a big agency, in a personal consultant.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I know Miami like the back of my hand. Yes, there’s the Miami Beach, Wynwood, Calle Ocho, Brickell, Uptown, Downtown etc. Now a days, there’s nothing better than relaxing oceanside in the Florida Keys. Everyone has their spot, I’ll leave it as that.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Thank you to Roger from Arguello Photography, Stephanie Muller, Writer/Proofreader and my wonderful family, friends and clients for your support and encouragement along the way.
Other: Email me: email@example.com