Julie Diaz-Aspar

Aug 18, 11 Julie Diaz-Aspar

City you live in:
Washington, DC.

Occupation and why?
I started a new company this year called
GigCoin. It’s a platform that helps brands hire influencers for small projects. We saw the opportunity as automating how businesses find, vet, manage, and pay for social media talent to create content, post on blogs, post videos, manage communities, create editorial strategies, and give real-time feedback on new apps/sites/campaigns. We have a web and mobile platform that lets you create a gig, specifying what you need users to do and what you are willing to pay. You can then review applicants’ social media footprint (accounts, numbers and bio all from one profile), select, manage, and pay the talent with just a few clicks. I love creating and building new businesses and it’s especially fun to do it for my own business. It’s also rewarding to help talented content creators monetize and grow their businesses.

A regular day consists of?
Trying to stay sane. I usually wake up by 5:30 am to catch-up on emails, news,and projects. During the day, I do a lot of client management and work (campaign strategy, research analysis, product requirements, video production, tweets/Facebook, etc.). I try to walk and talk most days. I’ll call people that I need to talk to on the treadmill or while I take a walk. So If you ever wonder what that background noise is when you called, that’s it! I try to finish up early so I have time to feed, clean, read with and hug the kids. We eat dinner most nights as a family. My husband is a great cook so I tend to only cook for guests. I put the kids to bed and then go back to work! My husband and I tend to close out the day by watching Jon Stewart.

How do you define success?
I think leaving good memories and having a positive impact on the world.

What has been your biggest challenge?
I struggled with spending enough time with the kids when I started GigCoin. It was brutal the first six months, with 18 hour days. Things have settled down now, I hope.

What advice would you give a Latina who wants to follow in your footsteps?
My top ten for starting a business:
1. The best way to start a new business is to just get started. Get it out, test, refine and repeat.
2. Be honest with yourself on what’s working and what’s not.
3. Experiment, but make them small/low cost experiments.
4. Understand what you are good at and where you might need help. 5. Be realistic about how much time and money starting a business will take and then double that figure.
6. Be careful, not everyone plays by the same rules.
7. Keep learning, invest in your skills.
8. Leverage your network but focus more on how you can help them versus how they can help you.
9. Try to work smart, not just hard. Spend time planning and organizing, not just doing the work.
10. Remember, this is what you always wanted to do, so try to enjoy it!

What’s on your bucket list?
1. Travel and more travel.
2. Live abroad for a few years.
3. Learn how to cook Chinese, Thai and Italian cuisines well.
4. Find a hidden talent (so far not so good).
5. Enjoy life “as is,” right now.

I am proud to be Latina because:
I am strong, flexible and colorful. I don’t take myself too seriously and I am friendly!

How do you get your Latin fix?
I like cooking, so I cook Cuban for friends. I make very good mojitos, which I think makes everything taste good! A mojito and a few tostones and everyone is happy!

Spanglish, English, Spanish?
I think in English. I have been finding lately that doing things in Spanish makes me a bit less uptight, more playful and less stressed (fewer ums, less thinking about what I will say).

What is your favorite Latin restaurant?
La Carreta in Miami, where we start the meal with “we come from el exilio, please give us extra moros!”

My favorite Latina stereotype is:
Carmen Miranda. I think a fruit hat is retro cool.

Best advice from mami and/or abuelita:
Todo que brilla no es bueno.”
-My Abuelita
It means that everything that is shiny is not good. I think it applies to a lot of situations in life.

Favorite home remedy
A glass of wine after a long day. Does that count?

Favorite Quote:
La vida es un carnival.” (“life is a carnival.”)
-Celia Cruz

Career Highlights
Starting GigCoin. It only took me 15 years to finally start a business. But I did it!

[fun]♦ I love Pit Bull even though he is naughty, I have a weakness for romantic comedies, especially the British ones that my husband hates, my accent gets very Miami as soon as I arrive there and I love doing messy and complicated “craft projects” with my kids.[/fun]

♦ Julie Diaz-Asper is a product marketing and strategist with over 20 years experience helping large companies innovate and create new opportunities. She is a Founder and CEO of GigCoin, a start up that offers a web/mobile platform to help organizations hire social media talent. Companies that have used GigCoin include Univision, HITN, MVP Healthcare and Yasabe.[/career]

[description]I think [success is] leaving good memories and having a positive impact on the world.[/description]

1 Comment

  1. Mirna /

    Julie, you are talented and a hard worker. I adore your sense of humor. I can’t wait to meet you IRL.
    and yes, a glass of wine counts as a home remedy :)

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