PP 106: Stefania Dalle Pezze, Director FX Trader and Host of Mujeres en Business Podcast
Stefania and I have an awesome discussion about the celebrations and challenges that accompany building a business as a mom AND employee.
.@mujeresenbiz and @TheKimSutton discuss her secrets from balancing her personal and professional world. “I try to separate as much as possible the two worlds” Check us out at http://thekimsutton.wpengine.com/pp106 #positiveproductivity #podcast #mompreneur Click To Tweet
Connect with Stefania
KIM: Welcome back to another episode of positive productivity! I am so thrilled that you’re here today, and I’m also thrilled to have our guests to Stefania Dalle Pezze. Right? Did I get that close enough? Why don’t you say it because, you make it sound so much better.
STEFANIA: -because I’m Italian. Stefania Dalle Pezze. So, it sounds better. That’s just because that.
KIM: Oh my gosh, I would be laughed right out of Italy for even trying to say it mostly. (laugh)
Stefania is a DIRECTOR FX TRADER, and podcast host from BBVA. And Stefania, I’m going to ask you to say your podcast name because you make it sound so much better and I can’t even give it justice.
STEFANIA: OK, the podcast name is MUJERES EN BUSINESS. It’s in Spanish, in this case.
STEFANIA: Yes. As women in business. Yes, “mujeres” is “women” in Spanish.
KIM: Oh my goodness. OK. So, I’d be laughed out of Mexico and Spain as well. (laugh)
KIM: I am so thrilled to have you here today. And could you please start us right off by – sharing your journey especially, about your podcast. I’d love to hear about it, and how you got to where you are today? Because, I know you’re still working a full time job, and you’re a mom.
STEFANIA: Yes it’s true. It’s true. Well, as you said – I’m an experienced FX Trader, and I’m an investment banking professional. I’ve been working in the banking field for over 20 years now, and the past year – I decided to launch the podcast. MUJERES EN BUSINESS. It wasn’t just something I decided from one day to the other. It was something – I had been thinking about for several months, before because I went through a little crisis, after having my first kid “Fábio”. At that point I discovered that I really need to do something more with my time. It’s when I discovered that I wasn’t really taking control of my life, my professional life especially. And I felt I needed to give more apart from my daily job. So, I felt the need to help others through something else, that wasn’t just my daily job. That’s when, I started digging into the stuff of podcasting because, – as a mother, as you said – I didn’t have much time to learn, to dedicate to myself, and I used to listen to a lot of podcasts because, of all the walks that I did with the kids when were little, and all the time spent commuting to go to work. So, the podcasting – the channel of podcasting was something that really helped – me grow, during these times that I mentioned. And this is something that I thought: “This is the perfect channels. If I want to speak to a business woman – that is my target audience. This is the perfect channel”. So, that’s how the idea of the podcast started.
And it also started because, as a professional working in a corporate firm. I feel how difficult it is – to be visible, and – to grow, and – to hit our goals as women. And be leaders, and grow as leaders. So, despite the voice, I wanted – to have an impact to other women, and give them the opportunity to listen to other women business’s experiences, and learn from them, and learn from their stories their journeys, their resources that they were going to share. So, it was the perfect way to spread the voice. And, Yes! I started at the end of August, and the podcast started to grow, and I’ve had up and downs (laugh) over these months but – here I am.
KIM: Oh I love everything that you said, and you bring up so many good points, and the first one that just occurred to me. It’s amazing isn’t it when you have kids, how your perspective on time starts to change, and you look at how much time you’re working, and what you’re doing in your free time basically because, it sort of disappears – if you can call it free time.
STEFANIA: (laugh) Yes. Having been a mother in general is when I discovered that – I was losing so much time because, when you have kids you have to fit the time that you dedicate to the kids in the same 24 hours that you had before. So that’s when I thought” “Oh my God what I was doing with my 24 hours? Was I really using the time worthy or not?” And that’s when I discovered that – I wasn’t. I was letting the time pass, and I wasn’t conscious, and I wasn’t making conscious decisions on – how I wanted to shape my time you know.
KIM: So how are you finding time right now with your more than full time job because, you said what you’re working…..
STEFANIA: Yes. I started really early. Well not 11 hours, (laugh) we have lunch breaks, and – but we start early just because, of the markets in the foreign exchange. World markets are open 24 hours so, we start really early. But we are pretty flexible, and you know – I work with the time schedule. But for example – I make the most out of my lunch time. So instead of spending all the lunch time to have a hunch, (laugh) I have a quick lunch, and then I spend the time to dedicate to the podcast. And then when I go home I never dedicate to the podcasts and the “Mujeres En Business” until my kids are in bed. This is something I wanted to be clear with myself since the beginning that is – I defined my boundaries, and I wanted to stay for dinner with the kids. I wanted to spend this time – effective time with the kids. And after that when they are in bed, I then dedicate another hour or an hour and a half to this project. I try to separate as much as possible the two worlds so, I can be with my kids. I want to be entirely with them, and when I’m at work I want to be entirely at work to give them most out of both worlds.
KIM: Oh absolutely. And I know from personal experience it can be such a challenge.
STEFANIA: Yes it is. But that’s why I learned a lot about “Productivity Time Management”. I also surround myself with a lot of interesting books and podcasts these days . So, that I want to ensure that – I don’t lose time on things that don’t matter, and that are not important so, I try to be really conscious about – how I use my time and decide exactly what I want to do with that hour, with that half an hour that I have.
KIM: What are some of the most influential books and podcasts that you’ve listened to which have helped you on this journey?
STEFANIA: Oh wow. I’ve got a lot (laugh) to mention. Some, I started listening to “Biz Chix”. “Natalie Eckdahl” is the host of the podcast, and the podcast is about women and superstars. So, she started with interviews to guests and now she moved more toward solo episodes but, she’s been really helpful. Especially at the beginning when you’re starting out you really want to know – What are the experience so of others that, already passed through what you are experiencing at the beginning? And you have so many things to learn everything every-every detail is needed, and is appreciated. So, “Biz Chix” yes, is the first podcast I would mention, also similar to that is “Women Rock” by: Katie Krimitsos, that’s almost launched at the same time, it is also for women and entrepreneurs. But it’s a little bit different – the focus of them both. And just to mention – some book that I read recently and that it’s been powerful for my journey is the “Entrepreneur Fast Past” by: Darren Hardy, former director of the “SUCCESS Magazine” and mentor of successful people. And yes it’s a widely known person – for someone who’s just at the beginning, when I didn’t even know what being an entrepreneur was. And I didn’t even know what an entrepreneurial journey could be. It was just – the energy that I needed to start. Everything was in that book. And after reading that book I said: “OK I can do this. Let’s start”.
KIM: I have not read that yet. So thank you so much. And listeners, just say you know all of the podcasts and the books and every other resource that’s mentioned during the episode you can find on the show now it’s at TheKimSutton.com/PP106. So, thank you so much you have just expanded my podcast subscriptions which, I don’t know if you’re like me but, it’s been a battle because, I have filled up my hard drive several times with unlistened episodes.
STEFANIA: (laugh) Yes, I listen a lot with the mobile phone and I don’t have much space at least in around 20 podcasts so, wow! (laugh) It’s a lot.
KIM: Wow! I couldn’t figure out why my Mac kept on telling me that I couldn’t do anything else, it kept on telling me that my hard drive was full and then I looked and I had like 50GB of podcasts downloaded and that was just my Mac – I mean I have other devices as well. So going back to energy – you just said something about energy, and being a mom and entrepreneur in the podcast space as well as working your job. I love how you mention that – you have time designated for each specific part of your life. You have your podcast time. You have your mom time. You have your work time. How have you made sure that you’re always taking proper care of yourself and with that?
STEFANIA: Wow! This is a really-really great question, and in fact this is something I had to discover because, for how I am – my personality type. I always tend to do everything for others, and I tend to put others in the first place, and what it means is that I forget – about me. This is something I had to learn, unfortunately because; I got sick two months in after the launch of the podcast. And I had so much on the table, and it was: “OK. Probably I should give a step back” because, I was adding more stuff, and more stuff, and more stuff. You know at the same time, and as I got sick, I couldn’t do all the things that I was putting on the table. So, I had to decide, and I had to take a step back, and what I discovered is that: “I couldn’t keep up with the podcast, keep up with publishing, blog posts, and creating value for others if I wasn’t OK”. Psychologically and physically – I wasn’t OK. So, it’s extremely-extremely important that first of all we are OK with ourselves, and healthy, and take ourselves because, if we don’t take care of ourselves – we cannot take care of others, and we cannot give this energy that you mention to others, if we don’t have the energy we cannot say as if we had it. Because, it’s completely transparent especially in podcasting or if you are doing your blouse or something. You cannot hide or show an energy that you don’t have.
So first of all, I learned that the have to ensure that – “I come first, myself comes first, my health comes first – comes first then my kids, and my family – my husband because, it’s just that if I’m not OK, I cannot go out with the kids, and play with them. So first of all, – I have to be OK”. So, right now I show for example – I set goals for myself, and for my health. Also inside these productivity day, I try to ensure that they stick to everyday. I have some routines to ensure that I feed these energy, that I feed myself, and you know my health for example. Doing some sports, drinking a lot of water, ensuring that they drink at least one and a half liter of water every day. Ensuring that I have at least three nights of eight hours of sleep per week. All these I had to ensure that I take care of myself first – so, I can transmit energy to others.
KIM: That has been one of my biggest struggles even while doing the podcast. It’s making sure that I’m taking care of myself because, even though I’m trying to spread the message of taking care of yourself to all the listeners. And listeners, I really hope you’re listening to all this great content because, you really do need to be taking care of yourself. I realized that I can’t be going back on myself, and working all night just to get the next episode out. So even though I’m trying to get it out, five times a week. I can’t stay up all night just to make it happen – when it means that I’m not going to be up my highest performance, and being able to serve, and being able to serve my family. So, I’m so happy that you brought that up. Three nights a week at eight hours. That is great. How many hours do you make your minimum? Like what is the minimum number of hours that you will sleep at night?
STEFANIA: At least six hours, I have to sleep six. Yes. Less than that is crazy especially because, my little kid still wakes up during the night.
KIM: Right. And I found that there’s some nights that I’ll go to bed early thinking I can get up early the next morning before the kids get up, and tackle those tasks that I really wanted to get done at night but, I have a fresh mind. Do you ever find that your kids seem to realize that you’re trying to do that?
STEFANIA: Yes. (laugh)
STEFANIA: (laugh) They’ll get up shortly after you. And just had to take a deep breath this morning I got up, – thinking I would have time to actually get out the episode that’s supposed to release today. However my three year old got up, and said: “Oh ,we’re making cupcakes now right?” I had promised her yesterday.
STEFANIA: Yes, it happened to me. In fact I used to get up around 5:00, 5:30 especially when I was on my maternity leave. I took the opportunity to start with this routine of getting up earlier. And it happened exactly what you just mentioned, found out that were getting up earlier. They knew their mother was already awake. So, this time I was trying to use batter. It ended up – messed up because they were getting up earlier..
KIM: and it doesn’t matter how quiet you’re being. You can be absolutely silent, where you wouldn’t think anybody would hear you moving.
KIM: I hear the air move. Mom’s awake, I can get up.
STEFANIA: Yes. And especially with their mother. They are so smart because, they know exactly – how to cry or – how to ask for-for their mother to take them off, but….
KIM: -so, you mentioned that you do podcasting stuff during lunch while you’re at work. Can you elaborate on that because, I know there are women and men probably who are trying to figure out – How to launch their podcast but, are still working a full time job? And would love to know more about what you’re doing, and – How you are taking advantage of that time?
STEFANIA: First of all, what I do every month is – I schedule what I want to achieve for that month – what my monthly goals are. So, after that I can drill down and specific for every week – what I want to achieve. So say that, I know that I have this hour or just half an hour a day to dedicate to the podcast. So, I decided exactly what I want for every day, and use the calendar so, it can be really visual and I select for example – Monday for marketing, I dedicate Tuesday to recording, and Wednesday for other stuff. There is always other stuff for example, -speaking with the lawyer for some legal stuff I want to fix, time dedicated to the webpage or other stuff. Then I block other time for post-production so, I know exactly ahead of time what I’m going to the dedicate my time to. And this is basically what I do because; if you have a limited time, – you don’t have time to lose deciding what you have to do. Planning what you have to do so, all the planning I do it at the beginning of the month for the whole months. I also decide the time that I want to dedicate to networking for example, to events that I want to participate, and to have every block on the calendar. If I had two nights-off over a month, I know that I don’t want to take other events because, that’s enough for me. The time that I wanted to dedicate for this month to networking is already done. So, I directly say “No” to other opportunities that come.
KIM: How hard has it been for you to grasp the word “No”.
STEFANIA: Its been difficult because as I said – I’ve got this tendency to help and to say “yes” to someone that needs something, and we are more experienced about that. We just say “yes” without thinking. So, I had to really work and be conscious that I need this if not, this wasn’t possible for me. So, it wasn’t easy and going back to that moment in time where I got sick, and I had to decide – what I wanted to devote my time to. I had to take a really difficult decision, and it was the first big note that I had to give because, I paid a mentor to help me to create a marketing tool that, I wanted to use to promote my podcast, and to start monetizing it. And when I got sick -it’s when I realized I couldn’t go ahead with it. It was taking apart from the podcast, it was taking me five more hours every week and it was – too much. It was too much.
So, that was the “big NO”. I had to say, and it was I had to take the phone, and call this person and say: “OK, I’m sorry even if I say this promise, I cannot go ahead with it.”
It was really-really difficult. It took me several days to get to a point of taking the phone, and doing this call, it was really uncomfortable. But after that, it has been so much easier to say “no” to other smaller stuffs, after having done something the first time. It’s much-much more easier. The following times.
KIM: Oh, absolutely and we are even talking a little bit pre-show about just asking people to be on the show.
STEFANIA: Yes, that has been a challenge! That has been a challenge too, and in fact in this case I learned also to receive – “no’s as answers” and that it’s not a problem. When you have to go out, and find guest for the show – you always want your guest to be amazing. You always want people to come because, you want to add value through your podcast, and you know that – if you can get great guests you can get great value to your audience. So, I had to have a leap of faith and I started writing cold emails to profiles that I didn’t even think I could get to the podcast, and I was amazed with the answers I got.
You know, I must be sincere at the beginning. I could write around 40 minutes maybe, and then get an answer from 12 or 13 of them but, it was OK at least these 12, 13 answers – are answers that they got. And it has been so powerful just to go out, and try even not being ashamed, and trying to do it because, you already have “no” as an answer as we said before – “no” is the answer that you already have. So, if they say: “no” again, “Well, OK”. You already knew it. So the only possibility is that you can get, “Yes” – as an answer
KIM: Yeah, and with a 50 percent chance – Why don’t you take it, right?
STEFANIA: Yeah, definitely.
KIM: And even I know not now but, just because my calendar is so full. Which is what we need to start saying: “No not right now, my calendar is too full”. Why is it that we have no trouble telling our kids: “No, not right now, I’m busy” but, we can’t tell the rest of the world sometimes? Challenge to us moms and to people in general.
STEFANIA: Wow! Yes.
KIM: If we can say it to our kids, then we can say it to prospects and other opportunities as well. I mean our kids are the ones who are going to be with us until the end of time, clients are not. So, if we can tell our kids that, then we can tell anybody.
KIM: What type of calendar do you use? I know it’s a totally random question but, are you a online calendar?
STEFANIA: I use Google Calendar as a tool to manage my email. So, that has been a great change from using directly my hosting to host my emails. So, it’s been so powerful because, I have got everything integrated “Google Calendar” with the contacts, with the emails, and all in the same place, and everything online. So, it’s been really-really powerful, and in fact I can also integrate with my personal calendar, with my professional calendar here at work. So, I’ve got everything integrated and it’s great!
KIM: OK. I am not going to ask you who your host is, and I am not going to disclose who my hostess but, I am so curious how painful or how easy that process was moving from your hosted email to “Google”? Because, I have been thinking about that for some time. I’ve just been putting it off because, it sounds like such a scary move.
STEFANIA: It isn’t actually, and it’s because, “Google” has got resources for everything, and has good answers for everything. So, it was scary at the beginning. Yes! But, in fact it didn’t take me more than a few hours to understand – how it works and, how I could pass everything from the old email provider to the new one. All the backlog of managed the new one…
KIM: Really? All the backlog can go?
STEFANIA: Yes. Yes
KIM: I think he just gave me my task for the night because, I love my web post, I love them for websites but, for email – No! I didn’t take (laugh) 10 minutes to get an email from a client right now. When I’m on the Skype call…
STEFANIA: Yeah, yeah….
KIM: So, Thank you! I think I know what I’m doing tonight.
STEFANIA: I’m a real fan of “Google” in general. As you can see but, also for “Gmail”. I mean, I think that’s the same as for a personal “Gmail” account. Where you have so much stuff you can use from “Gmail” as filters and labeling and using extensions for-to add in “Chrome” that can help you get the most out of your Google account. So, it’s been a really-really powerful. And this is a really productive tool that I use.
KIM: Well yeah the ridiculous thing is that I’m already using Google calendar, so it would make sense. Sometimes, I will not deny that the most obvious is sometimes the most easily overlooked.
STEFANIA: Yes. What I didn’t want – I know that there are so many applications in some other calendars but, at this point of time and, this is what I need, and I don’t want to lose time – just investigating other stuff. We don’t need to be perfect, we just need what is helpful and need it for us in this moment, and this is what I needed. It’s easy and it works for me so, that’s it.
KIM: In the name of positive productivity – Google, I think Stefania would be a great sponsorship opportunity for you. (laugh)
STEFANIA: (laugh) I don’t think they need me actually.
KIM: Hey! you already have “no”. So we can go for the “yes”!
KIM: I would love for you to share: Where listeners can find your podcast? What platforms you’re on? and Where they can find you on the web in general?
STEFANIA: Well, yes! I’m happy to share that. I’m on iTunes, I’m on Stitcher I’m on iBox, and I’m on SoundCloud, and I’m on my webpage so, I’ll remind the name of my podcast that is “Mujeres En Business” that spells and M U J E R E S E N business.
OK. And the web page is www.mujeresenbusiness.com or you can look for “Stefania Dalle Pezze” and I’ll showed up in google with my webpage.
KIM: Fabulous. And again listeners you can find all the show notes if you go to TheKimSutton.com/PP106. Stefania, this has been absolutely awesome. Thank you so much for joining me here today. Are there any closing words of advice that you love to leave for listeners.
STEFANIA: Well, yes! Thank you very much! First of all Kim for giving me this opportunity to speak here, and to speak to your audience. And as the last advice I would say: “Don’t be too hard to yourself, and don’t forget YOU ARE the most important thing that you have. So first of all, be respectful with you, and with yourself, with your body, with your mind, and don’t be too hard”. As I said with yourself because, “You cannot help others if, you are not OK with yourself”.