Jaime is a brand strategist, creative director and educator for wellness & socially conscious businesses. She's been in the wellness industry for 13 years and in design for 20. Jaime has lived, worked, and studied in the US, Italy, and Japan.
- CEO Hack: Knowing the industry that I work
- CEO Nugget: Reverse engineering (ii) acknowledging that not everybody can access the 24 hrs the same
- CEO Defined: Having full responsibility and accessibility to craft the way of working in line with what you want
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello. Hello. This is Greg from the I am CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Jamie DDL of studio I Yuto. Jamie, it's awesome to have you on the show.
Jaime Di Dio 0:41
Thank you so much for having me. Gresh I really appreciate it.
Gresham Harkless 0:44
No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Jamie so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Jamie is a brand strategist, creative director and educator for wellness and socially conscious businesses. She's been in the wellness industry for 13 years and in design for 20 years, Jamie has lived worked and studied in the United States, Italy and Japan. Jamie, are you ready to speak to the imcl community?
Jaime Di Dio 1:11
I am Thank you.
Gresham Harkless 1:12
Awesome. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I want us to kind of rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more on how you got started. Can you take us through what I call your CEO story? Well, did you get start with the business?
Jaime Di Dio 1:23
Sure, yeah. Um, you know, I distinctly remember being in college and saying, I never want to work for myself. But so yeah, as you said, I was living in Japan, I was living in Tokyo and moved back to California, where I'm from in 2008. Right in the middle of the mortgage crisis. So the great time to start something new. But um, I have a background in interior design, and I could not for the life of me get a job, you know, for various reasons. So I decided to co found graphic design firm, I really figured that if people didn't have the money to spend on interiors be at all Mattel remodel or a home remodel, what have you. They needed to promote their businesses and get out there. And that's at the heart of graphic design work.
Gresham Harkless 2:21
Nice. Yeah, I definitely appreciate that, obviously. 2008 2009. And a lot of the years around there were definitely a chaotic time. But it's so funny because I think I read a book. I think it was by Robert Kiyosaki. He was saying that most of the businesses that was that were in the fortune 500. At that time had were started during economic kind of recessions or downslope downturns and things like that. It's so funny to kind of hear, you know, your perspective and the pivot that you made, and the awesomeness that you were able to create, largely, because during that time, sometimes there's a lot of opportunities out there. And it sounds like you found one with everything that you're doing.
Jaime Di Dio 2:58
Yeah, yeah. And I think that's really relevant to where we're at right now. Um, I think people who have a certain a certain way of thinking see opportunity in difficult day, and that tends to be a characteristic of a lot of entrepreneurs.
Gresham Harkless 3:14
Yeah, absolutely. sandbag resiliency, as you said, That's definitely needed during this time, and really be able to pivot and change and see opportunities sometimes where people see absolute disruption and destruction as you say. So I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper and hear a little bit more about your business. Can you take us through exactly what you do and how you serve the clients you work with?
Jaime Di Dio 3:35
Sure. So I help specifically, wellness and socially conscious businesses create profitable brands. So from brand strategy, brand design, through the education side of brand coaching, and consulting anything and everything that goes into creating a brand I have my hands on.
Gresham Harkless 3:55
Now, nice. I absolutely love that. And I think so many times and definitely correct me if I'm wrong. If you find this with you know, when you speak with clients, I feel like sometimes it's not in the realm of people being in understanding that you can have a socially conscious business, a business that's really about you know, a purpose and really solving a problem to a extreme degree, and still have that profitable business. I think sometimes people feel like you have to do one or the other. But that's why I love like what you stand for in what you do because you bring both of those worlds together and create that that realness and everybody's business and life.
Jaime Di Dio 4:30
Thank you. Yeah, it's easy to get sucked into the way of thinking that if you are helping society, that everything should be for free, but the way that our society is built, people need money in order to live. So facilitating the kind of lifestyle that people need in order to be comfortable means money and, and creating. Creating profit through through business through solutions could be another word is a way to help people live healthier, happier lives?
Gresham Harkless 5:02
Yeah, absolutely. And it's extremely powerful when you when you have, I think, I feel like it's the, the really special place and when awesomeness happens is when you have a brand that really has a strong purpose, but at the same time is able to be profitable and really be able to put those profits into helping the world make a better place. And I love that you're able to kind of create that brand strategy around that. And so I know you touched a little bit upon it, could you take us through for people that may not be familiar about what exactly the brand strategy is? Can you talk about exactly what that is, and also touch on what you feel like is your secret sauce of the thing you for kind of sets you apart?
Jaime Di Dio 5:38
Sure, absolutely. So as a brand strategy is what a lot of people think about brand is what we see, which is how our brains work as humans, people think about logos and websites and you know, the all of the tangibles all the things you can touch. But in order for those things to work as business tools, which they are to help you make money, you need to take a step back and have a strategy, you need to look at where you are as as a person working in your business, where your industry is, and how to connect the dots looking at actual market research market data, what your target audience is expecting where the holes are with your competitors, and, and you know, parallel brands, looking at all of that, in order to inform those visuals and to inform the experience that your your business puts out there gets layered into your marketing and your sales process. So that's the place where I started. And that's how, you know, what leads into what I call a profitable brand. In that you're the brand that you build, it must be beautiful, that's a non negotiable, but at the same time, it needs to, you know, high level aesthetics together with the strategy is what helps you to put that into into play as as, as a business tool to to build profit. So that, that sets me apart that together with my experience in the wellness industry, you know, getting my start back in, I founded the business in 2008. But back from 2007 started doing this. And wellness wasn't even a term it was you know, there were the hippie, crunchy, crunchy granola people. And then there was the beginning of the green building movement with you know, with my background in interior architecture and design, I really had my finger on the pulse of that space. So seeing this come about into something that's that's become mainstream, that's a trillion dollar industry worldwide. That's something I've seen grow from the beginning. So when clients come to me, they get all of that experience at not knowledge and and the forecasting that I'm doing and being aware of what's going on in the wellness industry, and the socially conscious space together. Yeah, so that that's really what makes working with me different.
Gresham Harkless 8:08
Nice. I absolutely love that. And I love how you said, you know, beauty is one of those things where it's not it's not it's a non negotiable because I think so many times. You know, we think that we can kind of sacrifice in that. But I feel like and definitely correct me if I'm wrong, I felt like the beauty kind of spoke to, obviously is what we see. But it kind of sounds like as far as the brand strategies that you spoke about is just beauty as far as the systems and understanding how those things are cohesively working together and how it's not. It's not something he negotiated, something that you want to have cohesive, you want to make sure your logo to your website to the way that you're strategizing your business. And that services and things all those along those lines have that beautiful aspect of it. And they are coherent and cohesive in translating in such a unified way.
Jaime Di Dio 8:55
Absolutely, yes. Yes, everything has to make sense.
Gresham Harkless 8:58
Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate that. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app or a book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?
Jaime Di Dio 9:13
Sure. So I think something that I really found over the years is that there are so many great books and resources out there. But ultimately, as a CEO, you're paving your own way. So you're kind of in uncharted territory. So I think that there are a lot of, for me personally, I've picked up a lot of tips along the way, a lot of guidance. But I never felt that anything completely clicked with where I'm where I'm at with my unique place of having lived around the world and also as being being a mom and an independent parent. So I think that knowing the industry that I work in, has really given me the confidence and and The effectiveness in in positioning myself in where I'm working is
Gresham Harkless 10:06
awesome. So I wanted to ask you now for what I call a SEO nugget. So this could be like a word of wisdom or piece of advice, it might be something you would tell a client, or if you happen to a time machine, you might tell your younger visit. So
Jaime Di Dio 10:18
yeah, being CEO nugget. So I think, you know, a lot of people, a lot of, you know, very successful and powerful people have come out and said, Everyone has 24 hours in a day. And yes, that is true. But not everyone has the liberty to use those 24 hours for themselves, you know, whether you are a parent, or you're a caregiver, or you struggle with a chronic illness, or you have something else going on in your lives, you know, a lot of people when they start their businesses, they don't have the luxury of just, you know, quitting their their nine to five and jumping into being a CEO. So you might be working, you know, in one place at night and one during the day or in your lunch breaks, it's important to acknowledge that everyone has, you know, not everyone can access those 24 hours a day in the same way. And you have to find a way to work that feeds you. I think, for me, something I always go to is reverse engineering. So working backwards, look at where you want to be, and find the way to connect that place with where you're at right now. You know, establishing those milestones in those steps, whatever those Connect, the dots are along the way, and also acknowledging that as you move forward, that will change because you'll be at a different place.
Gresham Harkless 11:45
Awesome, awesome. Awesome. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is a definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different, quote unquote, CEOs on this show. So Jamie, what is being a CEO mean to you?
Jaime Di Dio 11:57
Yeah, um, I think everything that we've discussed leads into this, I think, being a CEO means having full responsibility, and at the same time, flex accessibility, to craft the way of working and life that I want. It doesn't mean it's easy, sometimes some days will be easy, and that is incredible when it happens, but you know, I don't believe in balance. I'm fully invested in choreographing a dance between me as an entrepreneur, as a CEO, and being a mom and being an adult human as, as myself, Why come to the table as in all of my roles, and, and finding a way that if I am not feeling well, in my life, or in my work, I have full responsibility to change that, whatever that means, if that means I start working only three days a week, or if that means that I wrap it up and work for someone else, having that way of thinking, to me is being a CEO, it can, you know, it can be the choice to say this isn't working, I will be more effective working someone else or to saying you know, I'm gonna change completely rework my business, whatever that may be. For me, that's what being a CEO means.
Gresham Harkless 13:14
Nice. I love and appreciate that perspective. Because I think so many times, I'll say, like, I feel like they the CEO, and entrepreneur is kind of like the artists but I love that visual of the, of choreographing a dance and being able to kind of integrate all those different aspects into what you want. And then, as you said, Sometimes if you make that dance move, so to speak, and it's not the right dance move, you just have to pivot and change and, and find a different turn or different steps that you're going to take. And I think, if we understand that we have at our disposal, the opportunity to be able to make those decisions and make those adjustments considering you know, all the the the commitments and things that we have in place, then that provides a lot of opportunity provides a lot of, I think empowerment as well, too. And so what we can do, in terms of seeing our life, our future and our businesses and how we want to see it. Mm hmm.
Jaime Di Dio 14:05
I agree. Yes.
Gresham Harkless 14:06
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, Jamie, truly appreciate that definition again, and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do was passionate, Mike, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know and of course, how best they can get a hold view and find out about all the awesome things that you're working on.
Jaime Di Dio 14:23
Absolutely. I think something that's that's very important to remember, sometimes when we're head down only looking at our businesses, it's very important to be aware of your needs, whatever they may be, being in tune with those and not passing them up. If you have a desire for something that's completely valid. And most of the time, you know, when you're being a CEO. I think we tend to get blinders but being aware of what you can give to society and that a part of that is what you can give to yourself. Something that should not be forgotten. Yeah, so I tend to talk a lot about this this type of approach to to working and to the dance, as I said, between life and between work. I'm, I tend to be most on my Instagram, which is Jamie do. And you can also find me on my website which is studio i yuto.com i Uto spelled AI UT. Oh,
Gresham Harkless 15:34
awesome, awesome. Thank you so much again, Jamie, we will have the links and information in the show notes just so that everybody can follow up with you. But I definitely appreciate that that last reminder as well too, because I think so many times where we're trying to save the world and make the world a better place. We often forget that sometimes the most important person which is ourselves, and reminding ourselves to keep our cup full because not only does it help us out, but it helps us to kind of give on an even even higher in basically a more effective level. And I think when we remind ourselves of that and the effectiveness that that can provide for ourselves and others that's truly when we reach a phenomenal level. So I love and appreciate that reminder and I appreciate your time again today and I hope you have a great rest of the day.
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