HomeRule BreakersDigital Nomad Rosa Sarmento: Transforming Podcasting for Women Leaders

Digital Nomad Rosa Sarmento: Transforming Podcasting for Women Leaders

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As part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who encourage and do incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rosa Sarmento

Rosa is a quirky Latina — born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — now living in Mexico as a digital nomad, agency owner, and podcast manager. Rosa founded Ideablossoms, a boutique podcast agency for women leaders that has produced and released over 800 podcast episodes!

Her clients are subject-matter experts and industry top voices turned top-rated podcasters. She started her business back in 2019 using a borrowed laptop and grew it into a remote—and diverse team of 6—podcasting agency with a current roster of 13 clients. Not to say a soon-to-be six-figure business in 2024. 

Rosa is a Projector, Enneagram Type 6 (The Loyal Guardian) and her top 5 Clifton Strengths are Relator, Intellection, Positivity, Maximizer, and Self-Assurance. 

When she’s not doing podcast magic, you’ll probably find her on a beach, sipping some coconut water and sunbathing. That’s her happy place!

Here’s what we found out about Rosa’a daily routine, followed by an exclusive Q+A.

Can you share the story behind your journey as an entrepreneur? What inspired you to start your own business?

This is a long story that started back in 2015, but I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That’s where I went to school and spent the first few years of my career. 

I’m actually a fashion designer by trade and I worked in the fashion industry for about 6 years back in Brazil before making the bold decision to move abroad. I still love fashion, the way I see it, fashion is art, self-expression. But I did not love the industry, the crazy deadlines, the lack of work-life balance, and the absurd produced driven by fast fashion.

So, in 2015, I couldn’t shake that feeling anymore, that something wasn’t quite right. That’s when I started traveling, seeking answers and signs in various parts of the world. In that year alone, I grabbed everything I had in savings and went to the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Greece, Chile, Bolivia, and Peru. 

In Chile, I met my now husband, and in 2017 we started our life together. In 2019, I convinced him to move to Vietnam. Experiencing Asia was a big dream of mine. There, I was able to travel some more and add a few more countries to my adventure list: Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, China, and Cambodia. 

And that’s where it happened. After leaving my home country and a career in fashion in a self-discovery quest for answers around the world, it was in Vietnam I finally found the answers to some of the most important questions I had been asking myself: 

How do I want to live my life? How can I contribute to the world? What am I really good at?

And on a regular Saturday morning, as I was searching online for a place to have breakfast in Da Nang, I first encountered the term podcast management. It was in a blog, the author was also living in Da Nang, Vietnam, as a digital nomad and she briefly mentioned how she started working online as a virtual assistant offering a variety of different services, podcast management was one of them.

It sounded like something I could do. Something I would enjoy doing. I knew I could be creative and resourceful. And I knew I was a fast learner.

I started my podcast management business using a borrowed laptop in November of 2019. Back then, I was only doing some freelancing gigs. In the next year, I started Ideablossoms LLC and niched down to podcast launch and podcast management. In 2021, we grew into a remote—and now diverse team of 6—podcasting agency with a current roster of 13 clients. Not to say a soon-to-be six-figure business in 2024.

What challenges have you faced as a woman in the business world, and how have you overcome them?

Rosa Sarmento

My biggest challenges were internal ones. Coming from a developing country, speaking English as a second language, I was constantly doubting myself and comparing myself. I knew I could do it, but at the same time, I didn’t allow myself to dream big.

If you don’t see it, if you don’t believe in it, you’ll hardly ever get to that place you truly want to go. There’s a quote from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”

So, I started to work on myself. I worked with a couple of therapists who really helped me. They also had online businesses so they could really understand the struggles, the ups and downs, the triggers, and the insecurities. They helped me see more clearly, they helped me celebrate more (and therefore acknowledge all the things I was capable of), and they gave me the tools to support myself through challenging times.

It’s ongoing work, it never stops. But I know myself so deeply now. I can make decisions with clarity and confidence as I know they no longer come from a place of fear, they come from a place of knowing.

How do you balance your professional and personal life as an entrepreneur?

I work from home, my husband works from home, so I’m not going to lie. There are days that professional and personal get mixed and matched in a way I did not intend to. But what helped me move away from crazy hours and burnout was this: clear boundaries. 

Boundaries for myself actually. 

We have our office hours and that’s when we work. Period. I’m also very strict about weekends, that’s my sacred time for rest and recharge. 

What strategies have you found most effective for networking and building connections in your industry?

It all starts with my clients. Even before they’re clients. I want to get to know them and what’s going on in their lives, I follow them on social media, I catch up often, I’m constantly asking questions and listening to what they have to say. I know each client we have on a personal level, and I’m proud of that.

All my networking comes from my clients. And it grows from there. There’s this ripple effect. They’re always referring to me when they talk about their podcasts, which brings people my way, they speak in rooms and stages when I’m not there, we’re engaging on social media and other folks join the conversation, I see someone leave a comment in one of their posts that resonate with me and I start a conversation. 

I try to not overthink it. Networking for me is about being human, sharing, getting to know people. What comes from that is always a bonus.

How do you approach mentorship and seeking guidance in your entrepreneurial journey?

I seek to be in rooms with like-minded people who are also running online businesses. I seek mentorship from those business owners a few steps ahead, the ones who have worked on themselves just as much as they’ve worked on their businesses. 

I seek guidance from folks who understand the external and internal, professional and personal challenges of running a business and being the face of it. The ones who tried many different paths, are innovative, have many lessons to share, and are deeply empathetic.

Can you talk about a specific setback or failure you’ve experienced in your business, and how you bounced back from it?

In the early stages of the agency, I allowed for one client to be 70% of our income and capacity. It was a big client with many different platforms, and we were doing much more than podcast management for her. Eventually, that client decided to go on a different direction, quite common with online businesses as the online world changes incredibly fast and we have to adapt and innovate to keep up.

That was a big blow and I had to confront some of those old fears and thoughts about my worth. But looking back now, I’m beyond grateful that happened. Because of that blow, I gained more clarity on the type of business model I wanted, and the type of service we could really excel at. It also pushed me out of my comfort zone to try new offers, new packages, new messaging. If that had never happened, I don’t think I’d be experiencing the type of success I am now.

In what ways do you prioritize diversity and inclusion within your company or startup?

All of our operations are 100% remote, this allows us to give opportunities to people that come from different countries and backgrounds. And I love that! Those different minds coming together can create magic. We have team members in Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and the US. 

We’re passionate about creating opportunities for remote work that is truly flexible and fairly compensated based on skills, responsibilities, and experience, not location. 

We provide trainings and ongoing feedback for each new team member so they can continue to learn and develop their skills.

How do you stay motivated and resilient during tough times in your business?

I focus on gratitude. That always helps me and grounds me. 

I focus on the clients we have who appreciate us and trust us to deliver their important work to the world. I focus on each team member and how hard they work to get the best content out there. I focus on everything good the business has brought into my life. And I focused on how far I’ve gotten, professionally and personally. There’s so much to be grateful for if we take the time to look and reflect. 

What advice would you give to other aspiring women entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

Just keep going. No matter the pace. 

Go slow if you need to. Rest if you need to. Pivot and try something new if you want to. Hit the gas and hustle if you want to. Just keep going forward. Even the difficult times that suck now, we’ll prove to be invaluable lessons later… If you take the time to look back, reflect, and be grateful for each moment that brought you to today.

Can you share a memorable success or milestone that you’ve achieved in your entrepreneurial career?

Building a team. We’re now six people at Ideablossoms working behind the scenes to release top-rated podcast episodes. 

That’s always my #1 success story. Being able to create a different life for myself is amazing, no question about it. But providing the opportunity for location freedom, time freedom, and financial freedom to other people makes me feel very proud. I know the impact that can have, I was there once. And the ripple effects of that, I can’t even imagine.

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