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IAM1784 – Emmy Award-Winning Producer Helps Clients Get Their Story Out to the Public

Podcast Interview with Anna Davalos

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In this episode of the I AM CEO Podcast, host Gresham Harkless Jr. interviews Anna Davalos, an Emmy-award-winning producer and founder of Alejo Media.

With over 20 years of experience in broadcast and online media, Anna helps her clients tell their stories using various mediums, including video, words, and animation. Alejo Media was founded when Anna's previous online network lost funding, but she still had more stories to tell. She emphasizes the importance of persistence and encourages entrepreneurs to keep going and not be afraid to change their narrative.
Additionally, she recommends the book “Eat That Frog!” by Brian Tracy and daily meditation as helpful tools for productivity.

Overall, the episode provides valuable insights and advice for anyone looking to effectively communicate their story to the public.

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Anna Davalos Teaser 00:00

I have always wanted to have my own production company. I've always wanted to create content and tell really cool stories. I didn't really want to go back into my journalism career full-time. I wanted to be able to find a way to create and tell different kinds of stories and learn about different types of stories and different ways of telling stories.

So that's when I launched Alejo Media.

Intro 00:27

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 00:51

Hello, hello, hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit over 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we are repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them, the business pillars that we think are gonna be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, business owners, and what I like to call CB Nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focused on the visibility game, a.k.a. marketing, advertising, PR, and Sales. I often say the name of the game is being found, and these tools will help you to do that. We have heard the philosophical question, if the tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound? If there's a really, really great product or service and no one knows about it, How great is it really? What impact does it ultimately make?

This is where we will go into this month, looking at visibility, branding, marketing, public relations, sales being the lifeblood of businesses, building many companies, and so much more. This is probably one of the most exciting and probably the most excruciating topics, but we hope this month to demystify or maybe even vanquish the fear and help and arm you with the tools to be able to increase your visibility. So buckle up and sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO Podcast.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Anna Davalos from Alejo Media.

Anna, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Anna Davalos 02:22

It is awesome to talk to you Gresham.

Gresham Harkless 02:23

Great. So what I wanted to do was just read a little bit more about Anna so you can learn a little bit more about all the awesome things that she's been able to accomplish. So Anna tells stories, specifically her client's story using videos, words, animation, whatever it takes to get your story out to the public and to your clients.

Alejo Media began when another chapter of her life ended. She's a journalist, and back in 2011 to 2012, she was the executive producer at an online network. The funding dried up, but she had more story to tell. She opened up Alejo and she has never looked back.

Anna, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Anna Davalos 03:00

I think I am.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 03:01

Awesome. The first question I have was just if we could drill down a little bit more to hear a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to get started with Alejo Media.

Anna Davalos 03:09

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I have always wanted to have my own production company. I've always wanted to create content and tell really cool stories, stories that were different. I did that for years as a journalist and once my online energy show dried up, funding for that show dried up.

I didn't really want to go back into my journalism career full-time. I wanted to be able to find a way to create and tell different kinds of stories and learn about different types of stories and different ways of telling stories. So that's when I launched Alejo Media.

Gresham Harkless 03:44

Awesome. I wanted to drill down a little bit more to figure out and hear a bit more about what Alejo Media does and how you serve your clients.

Anna Davalos 03:52

Okay. We do a broad range of events. I'm sorry, not really events, we don't do events. We do a lot of things. We create videos for your social media, for your website, for online marketing campaigns. The way that we work is I get to know, or my team gets to know you the client, who you are, what you really want to accomplish, what's the end game with the video and the story that you're trying to tell.

I always tell my clients that everybody can tell a story, but not everybody has a story. But not everybody can tell a good story and I can because there's a way that you tell a story that is interesting that can keep people's attention. Everybody knows, and each of us knows our own story because each of us, if we're a CEO we are experts in our field. But can we tell those stories in a clear, concise, and succinct manner that people are going to want to listen to?

I think sometimes that as CEOs and as workers within an industry, since we know our story, we think we know how to tell it really well, but more often than not, we are sometimes speaking way above people's heads. We tend to think that everybody knows what we're talking about and even though you could have a product that all of us need, if you aren't telling it correctly, no one's gonna care. If you're not showing it correctly, no one's gonna care. A lot of the times when it comes to marketing, you have the mentality that one size fits all, and that is not true at all about video and video stories. There are so many different types of videos that a company can use and one video does not fit everything.

But people will try to do that. And then what happens is that you have a story that is meandering and all over the place, and you have a lot of loose ends that don't ever come back around and end. So that is what I try to do, is listen to what you're trying to tell me, and then pick the story that fits what you really want. That's how I work. I hope that makes sense.

Gresham Harkless 05:54

No, that's awesome. Now I wanted to ask you what I call your secret sauce. It's kind of like the thing that you feel distinguishes you from other people that might do something similar to what it is that you do. So what is Alejo Media's secret sauce?

Anna Davalos 06:06

I guess my secret sauce and this is gonna sound weird, is that I've given myself kind of permission to fail because so many times, and especially me in the beginning, and this is what I've grown into. When you start a company or you start a business and you have a vision, and you have an idea set out, you've written out your little business plan, you're gonna follow these steps, right? It doesn't work out the way you think it is. You think it should, and suddenly you're like, oh my gosh, my plan didn't work. My stuff isn't good. You know this.

All it means is that it failed today, tomorrow it might work. So let's reshape your narrative. If your product is really great and you know that people need it, maybe you're just not telling the story. I do the same thing too. Maybe I'm not doing something the right way, but I believe in myself and I believe in my product, and I believe in my team. So let me reshape that narrative and come out of this problem in a different way. When I was and I still am a journalist, there used to be this saying that the way you pose a question, the term is the answer.

The way you pose a problem determines the solution. So let's rephrase that question. Let's rephrase that problem and see what different types of solutions we can have.

Gresham Harkless 07:15

I love that.

Anna Davalos 07:16

Apple came out with that campaign about 18, 17 years ago, the Think Different Cap campaign and I go back to that. It's not about thinking differently. This isn't an adverb. We're talking about a noun. Think different. This is the way you think it should be, but it's not working. So let's figure out a way to make it work and maybe that's just shifting one or two things. So it's okay to fail so long as you get back up .

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It's okay to grow slow. A lot of times people are like, if I can't make a hundred thousand dollars in a year, I shouldn't be in this business. But there are a lot of reasons that your sales don't go forward. There are a lot of times you have to educate people about what you do and how you do it and why it's important to them, and it may take a little while before you catch on and grow.

That's okay too. You growing too big can be just as big of a problem as not growing at all.

Gresham Harkless 08:10

That's very true. No, I love that. I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask for what I call a CEO hack. A CEO hack could be an app, it could be a book, or it could be something that you do on a regular everyday basis that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

So do you have a CEO hack for us?

Anna Davalos 08:25

I do. I have a couple of them. One of them, is I actually meditate daily. I put my mindset in the morning. I've been working really hard this month to get my morning routines up and running because I can be a procrastinator and I'm a procrastinator. Because if I can't get something right the first time, gosh, I don't wanna do it. So I put it off and put it off and put it off. I've had to change my mindset to prioritize and really do what needs to be done that day. Every day I make a to-do list so that when I start my day, I'm actually active and productive.

Because how many of us, even when we worked for other people, would go into our office, click on our computer, and we'd look at social media, we read the headlines, or we'd do, whatever. The next thing you know, it's 10:00, 10:30, and we're just starting our day and we haven't got stuff done. So I try to be really mindful in the morning and get my head started correctly so that when I go in and I make my list, or I see my list, of what I have to do that day, I prioritize the list and oftentimes my list goes from six to seven to really only two to four, but I have to get done.

Like what do I have to do today that if I don't do it will cost me money or will cost me a customer? Those are the things that I have to get done, and the next thing I know, if I can get those things done first, I'll get the rest of my list done too, because I tend to start with what's the easiest. I put off what's the hardest because I don't wanna tackle it, but if I do the hardest things first, everything else comes really easy afterwards.

Gresham Harkless 10:01

That's awesome. No, that's awesome perspective.

Anna Davalos 10:03

So I've been reading a lot of books lately and, Eat That Frog is one of the books that I do and so that's what I've been trying to do for several weeks now, is eat my biggest grossest frog first.

Gresham Harkless 10:13

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Yeah.

Anna Davalos 10:14

It really puts you in a sense that I tend to have a lot of anxiety because I overthink things in my head, I'm constantly. Thinking about things. So I sometimes just need to turn it off and just think. And sometimes I don't think that we as CEOs think, we just sit in quietness and think about our next step.

That's really important to sit and think and extrapolate out what are the next steps that can get me to where I need to go. Sometimes I feel like we just go and go and go and go, and we react to the actions that are taking place. But I've always been a pretty firm believer and not fearing change. I've always been someone who tries to get ahead of change and pull people with me rather than being pulled. I think that if we stop and think and I try to make five to seven minutes a day of just sitting and thinking, it sounds so simple.

And it sounds like something that we do all the time, but we really don't. I just sit and think. So that's another hack I do.

Gresham Harkless 11:09

Oh, I love that hack. Yeah it puts you a lot more in control, like you said, on the offensive instead of on the defensive of what might be happening during the day or what might pop up. And then in other words, you're taking time to make sure that you're kind of more control of what may happen or may not happen, then you're not again on the defensive.

Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This CEO Nugget might be a word or wisdom or a piece of advice that you might have for an entrepreneur, business owner

Anna Davalos 11:33

Persist. Like I said, it's okay to fail, but if you really, truly believe in your product and in you persist, find a way to just keep going and it will come. It really will. I'm a big believer that if you put it out there in the universe, it'll come back to you. If you just keep telling people, if you just keep working, if you just keep pushing and persisting, you'll find your way.

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Gresham Harkless 12:01

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Yeah, I tell myself that all the time. Just keep going. Sometimes the people that have become the most successful are just because they didn't quit at the end of the day.

Anna Davalos 12:09


Gresham Harkless 12:09

Head ups and downs, but they didn't quit. So.

Anna Davalos 12:11

Exactly. Don't be afraid to change your narrative. That's again if this isn't working, it just means it's not working right now. Maybe you've done something wrong. It doesn't mean that your product is bad, and it doesn't mean that you should not be doing what you're doing.

It's taken me a long time to get to this point, but I now see it as just a stepping stone to my next, yes, I always try to learn from every no that I get. Could I have done this better? Should I have done that better? All it means is that I wasn't ready for my yes.

Gresham Harkless 12:45

There you go. I love it. I love it. Now I wanted to ask you my favorite question which is the definition of what being a CEO means. We're hoping to have different types of quote and quote, CEOs on the podcast and kind of redefine exactly what that means.

So wanted to ask you specifically, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Anna Davalos 13:01

It means being a leader, but not a dictator. A lot of what I do is create, and creativity is a collaboration, right? It's so very subjective. What works for me is not what always works for somebody else, but as the client, if this is what works for you and that's the most important thing. I like to get feedback always. In the end, I'm gonna be the one who makes the final decision, right or wrong, good or bad. That's gonna come from me, but I feel like I wanna gather people's input because sometimes their perspective be it different from mine, can be a better answer and that can lead us down a different kind of path or track that I didn't envision.

So I think that a CEO is a leader that encompasses listening and collaboration, and someone who isn't afraid to change directions. If that's what's needed. Someone who is yes in charge, but someone who is always amenable to everybody and who takes different opinions and respects those opinions and can incorporate them if those perspectives or if those ideas are better than the ones that I have. It's really all about making your company grow and do bigger and better things. And sometimes that comes from within, not just you, but within your organization.

Gresham Harkless 14:37

I love it. Yeah and I truly appreciate you, Anna, for taking some time out of your schedule. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and our listeners know, and then how best people can get ahold of you.

Anna Davalos 14:50

I guess I would like to let you guys know, they've already said it, my biggest thing is it's okay to grow slow. Nobody else's definition of success should be yours. If this month you decide you are going to make $10,000 and you only make 6,500, all that means is you got another mark for next month, right? If your friend says, wow, I brought in $12,000 this month. Okay, that's great. Maybe next month he makes zero.

So you wanna keep making $6,500 a month for 12 months out of the year, as opposed to making $10,000 in January and then nothing again until April. So your definition of success is what works best for you. If that means that it just grows incrementally, up higher and higher and higher, that's success.

That's a success. So you define your own success. That's what I would tell everybody out there.

Gresham Harkless 15:43

Awesome. I love it. And people that want to get ahold of you and reach out to you, what's the best way?

Anna Davalos 15:48

You can email me at That's You can also go to my website,

You can find me on Facebook at Alejo Media. You can find me on Twitter at Alejo Media LLC. Find me on Instagram at alejo_media. You can even give me a call. You can find that number on my website.

Gresham Harkless 16:12

Awesome. We'll have those links in the show notes and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 16:15

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear at This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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