For your peace of mind, I have not been lying on the golden sand of a deserted beach letting life pass. That doesn’t seem like a bad plan either. But I’ve been making important decisions and working hard to make them a reality. You want to know what I’ve been up to? Then you’ll have to keep reading!
Change of scenery
As you may have seen, my last blog entry was on May 30, 2018. And it wasn’t even a 100% RSR post, but it was one of my collaborations that I will refer to at the end of the post.
But I’m going to start at the beginning. As you can see, in the last two years I have been making professional decisions that have led me to where I am today. Leaving the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid voluntarily in the summer of 2017 was the first step for my new life. It’s not that I’ve made a radical change in the sector (I’m still totally linked to European project consultancy), but internally I feel renewed.
I wanted to try new things, where I could continue to grow professionally and personally, and we already know that, in a public university in Spain, if you’re not a civil servant, it’s very difficult to “make room”. It doesn’t matter how much effort, enthusiasm, dedication and life you put into a project that, if you don’t get a competitive examination, “you’re nobody”. And the implications of the concatenation of contracts do little to help positions such as international R&D&I management or technology transfer to become consolidated in this type of institution.
In view of this, I decided to embark on a new course towards “Reyes-style” consultancy. And that’s when I realized that my, at that time, primitive WordPress, needed a change. And when I say change, I mean total reform. I wanted to get a business card with which I could identify completely and with which my potential clients and collaborators could also recognize me. And so, in the summer of 2017, I started thinking seriously about RSR Strategy Consultant.
The Road to RSR Strategy Consultant
The first step when you want to undertake a project is to surround yourself with the right people to achieve your goals. It was clear that if I wanted a professional website that also reflected my personality, I needed advice and examples to follow. Without a doubt, my first reference was my brother Manu, who has been involved in successful blogs for many years. Although he dedicates himself to another field completely different from mine (he is an ultra-trail online trainer and you can find him on his Ultramanu website), the steps he is taken and the support received was what I needed to know.
And then I got back in touch with my friend Ale. She is Senior Digital Project Manager, or in other words, a digital marketing enthusiast and a specialist in designing online strategies so that the ideas of others are successful. With her, I have been planning (and I continue to plan) all the steps that have led me to get the page of RSR Strategy Consultant as you see it today, and of which I am very proud. Because this takes a lot of work behind and a lot of learning for a person who, like me, until now all I had done was write a blog, not knowing that bold is super important for Google, that the photos that appear in the entries had to be made with a real photographer, etc…
Ale, no doubt, is the oracle that I turn to whenever I need help. And it was she who introduced me to Nacho, who for me has been “my computer scientist” but he is a crack in the engineering and design of software, R&D, systems and hardware. The most important thing for me is that he has known how to give shape to all the ideas that Ale and I were putting forward.
The project idea and the technical part of what was going to be RSR were solved, but what about the contents, the photos and the corporate image? Basically, we had to keep expanding the team. Although all the contents are my own, reviewed a thousand times by Ale and my family and friends who have given me their feedback at all times, I still needed specialized help.
As we entered the year 2018, I saw that what I thought was a month’s work was not like that at all. Many Skypes with Nacho and Ale to go solving problems so that, to the turn of the corner, others arose…it seemed that the process was never going to finish. Besides, you must bear in mind that all this has been combined by my team and me with our “real” jobs, those of 40 hours (or more in the office). This has been an “extra” challenge for all of us, for which I am much more thankful.
But as I was telling you, I had to keep expanding the team. I needed a photographer and graphic designer. And fortunately, I found them almost without looking. My friend Pili, a nurse and musician, came to mind, and I invite you to follow her page Todos con Pilar because her story is an example of overcoming, fighting, and making life worthwhile. In that reconversion that she had to face for health reasons, Pili has become an exceptional photographer. And what could be better than having a photographer friend who shoots you at home as if nothing had happened? The vast majority of the photos on my page are of her, and I’ll leave you some more that I also like so that you can see how professional she is and how well she knew how to capture what she needed for RSR.
Pictures solved, but what about the brand image? Because we all know how to do “walking around the house” logos with free software. But RSR needed a professional and personal image. And who was going to tell me that the solution would be found in the paddle court: my paddle teacher at that moment, Fede, was aware of all my freelance adventures. And when I told him that I needed a graphic designer, he told me that I had it in front of me. What luck! The creative process I went through with Fede was great and led to the corporate image you see today at RSR Strategy Consultant, and with which I feel super identified.
Last but not least, there was the part of asking for testimonies for the website. That’s where I was most afraid since it’s easy to “speak well” of someone, but not so much to leave it written and with your face next to those words. And what was my surprise after thinking that I wasn’t good for this, after going through many bad times and coming down? My surprise was that these 9 years of hard and honest work have left their mark on many people. And that has moved me very much. There is no better guarantee for potential customers than the words that say about your work satisfied customers, collaborators and friends. In the section “What people say about me” inside the Home you can see what I mean. I thank all of you because you have all been and are people with whom I continue to work and maintain a very good relationship, and who have known how to value the effort behind RSR Strategy Consultant: Andrés, Jesús, Roberto, Eva, Bea, Pilar, Julia, Xavi, Claudia and many others who continue to send me beautiful words; simply THANK YOU.
Projects developed within RSR Strategy Consultant
As I have already told you, the process of bringing my new website to life has overlapped with many other professional issues and, paradoxically, having freelance strategy consulting work before having my own website set up has made the process of bringing out RSR Strategy Consultant more fluid. In the section “About me” I tell you in depth about my career adventures. During the RSR reconversion process, my time at RTDI and especially my current position at the Foundation for Knowledge madri+d have been a great impulse not to give up and continue with the dream of making RSR Strategy Consultant a reality.
Below, I want to highlight some numbers of RSR Strategy Consultant in her first year of life:
- 17 consolidated clients.
- 15 proposals submitted to the Horizon 2020 programme.
- More than 30% success rate.
- More than 10 assessments and evaluations regarding the strategy “Human Resources Strategy for Researchers (HRS4R)” of the European Commission.
- Participation in the RTDI Blog during my time as Coordinator of the Proposals Unit.
- Co-writer of the new stage of the blog “De Madrid a Europa” together with my colleague Sonia Basulto.
To be data of the first year of activity as a strategy consultant and not to be my main professional activity, I am super proud. I’ve certainly set myself the bar high when it comes to keeping these numbers for years to come, but I’ve always liked the challenges and quantifying the work helps you set realistic goals and, above all, helps you outperform yourself!
RSR Strategy Consultant wouldn’t be what it is today if I hadn’t been surrounded by friends and professionals who know what they’re doing, who have defined roles and clear objectives. If I wanted to set up my own strategy consultancy I had to start by applying my own method to my first project. And although it has been a long process that officially saw the light in March 2019, during this year and a half I haven’t been standing still as you have been able to read.
I can only invite you to subscribe to my blog and start working together.
RSR Strategy Consultant is here to stay!