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  • Writer's pictureSusan Tatum

Securing Consulting Work Through a Talent Agency



Is using an agency the right choice for you as an independent consultant? Sarena Diamond of Diamond Solutions Group weighs in with her experience as an avid agency user. We discuss getting started and the advantages and disadvantages that come along with agency work.


Notes from the Show

An Agency is a way to secure clients for your independent consulting business that you might not have considered. Sarena Diamond uses agency services to find and work on the project she does as Diamond Solutions Group.


For independent consultants, getting clients with agencies is much different than subcontracting through a larger consulting company. In those positions, you are usually a nameless, faceless talent who is not hired for your unique experience and capabilities. On the other hand, with an agency, you are selected because of your specific talents and match to a client's needs, where your work directly reflects on your company.


Sarena discusses the ins and outs of finding the right agency and how to get started. She also talks about some of the advantages of using an agency, like getting your name out there with more people representing your capabilities, additional resources, and not having to do the dreaded business development. Using an agency also comes with some disadvantages depending on your unique experience with them, such as finding yourself competing to stand out in a large talent pool, having the agency take a cut of cash from the market rate, and, in some cases, larger risks in the payment timeline.


If you’d like to follow up with Sarena, reach out to her on LinkedIn.


What's Inside:

  • How to use an agency as an independent consultant.

  • Advantages and disadvantages of using an agency.

  • Getting started with an agency.


Mentioned in this Episode:


Transcribed by AI Susan Tatum 0:38

Hi, everyone, welcome back to stop the noise. And today my guest is Sarena Diamond, who is the CEO and founder of diamond Solutions Group, which she's going to tell us a little bit about. The topic is working with agencies getting consulting jobs by working with agencies, and Sarena, welcome. First of all


Sarena Diamond 0:56

Thank you Susan, thank you so much.


Susan Tatum 0:59

Good to have you here. This is a topic that is coming up more and more in conversations that I'm having with independent consultants. So I think the timing is you and I were talking about something else entirely. I think that this came up and the your expertise here I think is certainly impressed me. And I think it's going to impress the listeners today. So before we get started, though, tell us just a little bit about you and what you're doing at Diamond and how you got where you are.


Sarena Diamond 1:29

Well, thanks so much, Susan, I appreciate the opportunity to share this, I spent the better part of 30 plus years in corporate America, doing organizational change and transformation, and really enjoyed all of the parts about business transformation or technology implementations, things that were challenges. I had the opportunity a couple of years ago to make a different take a different path and go out on my own. And I have focused since then strictly on helping leaders to affect change within their own organizations, whether that be something that's a strategic initiative that they're trying to deliver on, or in some cases, it's an organizational structure and needing to really embrace the changes that are impacting their organization. And it's been fabulous, just over two years. And the only question I ever asked myself, Why didn't I do this sooner?


Susan Tatum 2:27

That's a good place to be. So before we well, as we dive into this, what, what are we talking about when we talk about agencies?


Sarena Diamond 2:34

It's really interesting when I maybe back up a little bit, one of the things when I first started being, you know, being a corporate transformation, executive leader for my whole career, I had the network I had, right I spent the last half of my career at IBM to my network was really IBM, IBM errs, IBM clients, IBM vendors, I didn't have a really broad network. And so lots of times when you meet and talk to folks that are out on their own, they're always talking about developing their network, how do you develop your network, and I didn't really know what that was, I started my company and immediately tried to tap into those that network. And it was really awesome that there were people that were willing to say good luck, wish you well, you're going to do great, but none of them said, and here's the name of somebody you should call to go get a deal, go get a gig, I actually started talking to agencies, meaning talent sorcerers, who, because of two years ago, it's even different than now but because of some of the demand for really skilled talent in shorter increments of time, people that are companies that are looking to provide those projects based resources. So for example, I've had real big success with two of them a business talent group, which is or known as BTG, which is the staffing arm for projects of Heidrick and struggles recently bought in the last couple of years was bought by Heidrick and struggles. And I've also had success with catalent, which is a different platform style, but the similar kind of project based opportunities that are presented to professional consultants who in one way shape or form can pitch both of the those two the experiences that I have both of those two are different in their approach to doing it. But those agencies that's all they're looking for is people that are short term interim, sometimes, you know, an interim leader, on occasion, fractional resources if you've got a portion of some skill that you need, but you don't have the either the source, the revenue or the quality for that.


Susan Tatum 4:50

So and this is different from subcontract thing through, say a larger consulting firm,


Sarena Diamond 4:56

very much so right because when you're subcontracting you are nameless, faceless, and it's not your responsibility. It's your given your job to finish. But most often was subcontracted opportunities. Say you go back to one of the big four, I started my career at Accenture, I could go back to one of the big four and be a subcontractor to them on one of their engagements. But I'm a resource that I'm not necessarily hired for my unique capabilities and skills alone, when I all of the talent agency, engagements that I have either pitched for or you know, been placed at, it has been, you know, the interview process, a very rigorous set of checks and background that has really been about who I am not, who I can be picked from, so to speak, if that makes sense.


Susan Tatum 5:49

Okay, yeah. Okay, so we're gonna talk about agencies and Catalant, it's certainly one that comes up a lot and BTG, they also publish a lot of good resources on the whole, the whole consulting set independent consulting, fractional, or, you know, contract workers, stuff like that, I think, right? Is that what


Sarena Diamond 6:09

they really do. Yep, you absolutely are actually, I will say, I've seen a tremendous increase in the resources that BTG has provided to the consulting community, the talent community, to help formulate your own company, all of the pieces of creating your own company. So there's a real investment, I think that they have made. And I mean, I don't know I am a user, right, I'm a consumer of beachy chi. But I will tell you that the amount of resources that they have provided for people that are starting out has been really good. They also they do a very nice job with a talent report. And they call it the high end independent talent report. And I've actually shared that with clients before, because sometimes clients struggle with should I just hire somebody to do what it is that I'm looking to do, as opposed to you be here for six to nine months doing what it is. And I've spent a bit of time, the last both of the last couple of years in the talent report that BTG puts out helping clients understand why it's a really good thing to have somebody that comes does does the thing that you need them to do and goes away, as opposed to stays on and creates some kind of organizational on ongoing relationship there.


Susan Tatum 7:29

I have a copy of it on my desktop as a matter of fact. But yeah, you're right. I mean, it's a it's a good, it's a good tool and resource and and using if you if you do have a prospective client that is not convinced that consulting is the way that they want to go. I mean, it's it helps them to make the right decision. So where does someone start working with these agencies? And I do want to say, for anyone who's listening, that's not familiar with you, Sarena, is that it seems to me like you've figured this whole thing out?


Sarena Diamond 8:02

Well, I don't know that I have figured this out any more than any of us figure out, you know, the secret to getting a job interview over a LinkedIn profile, I will say, I feel like I have figured it out, figured it out for myself in that I came about it with with an approach that was very much about we're both on the same side, I am working with a talent agency, because they have a client that has a need, and they're we're both in the same pool in saying they want to fill that need they want. And because very few of these talent agencies have exclusives, I have actually talked with them about that. And there's been times when I have seen that same job posting reason slightly differently, but on more than one platform, so they're not getting exclusivity. Most often. With even some of these high end jobs. The talent agencies are competing to fill a job just like headhunters and recruiters and the like. So I what I have said is I've made it my mission to make it very easy for a talent resource. You know, the talent agencies, their recruiter people, they have different titles, but their recruiter to make it very easy for them to see me in that role. I actually help other entrepreneurs that I've met through my networking, I save a lot of time, don't make it hard. Like when you go to apply for a job with one of these talent agencies. Remember that the talent agency recruiter probably does not know your field as well as you do, which means that when they've written a job description, and they posted it, and then you go and say, I'm going to make it I'm going to make it look, you know, like I know the language so I'm going to change it all up and make it somewhat difficult so that because I don't want to plagiarize right. I don't want to make it so much echoing they're the what they've put in. I say them stop for a second. Hold on. You've got a talent recruiter that doesn't know your field so you're changing words to mean something to you They have to read your pitch or your proposal for for themselves. And if you've changed so much of it, that they don't get it, because they don't know the terminology, the nature is different. So I say to people first thing,, first off the bat, make it stupidly easy for the recruiter to see that you read the job post, and you have the skills to fill that job. Don't don't get so creative to your pointers here about being clear is more important than being creative in this if you go and change all the words, right organizational change consultant is some people will put that out, well, I might say I don't want people to think I took your words, take your words, right, just go ahead and make it easy for them to put them put you in that job. Obviously, your experiences, your expertise, the skills that you bring are going to make sure that you get the job, but don't make the first introduction, something that they have to translate. And if they don't, because if they don't know your skills, they're going to move on to the next one. They're getting 1000s of applications for every job post just like just like job, regular job.


Susan Tatum 11:08

So speaking, as someone who's never actually used one of these agencies, I'm familiar with them, because I have clients and I've talked to people that use them. But so you, you sign up or sign up with an agency like this?


Sarena Diamond 11:20

not exclusively, you enjoying their talent community. So both of the two that I've used both BTG and Catalant, I have joined their talent community, which means that I have a profile in their, on their portal through their website. And some of them are different. So for Catalent, you actually create examples, prob problem solving examples, things that demonstrate your skills and you'd have a bit of a profile, I always joke that that one takes a little bit of time, patience, and perhaps an adult beverage to sign up because it's long, but it's a good investment. And the reason that catalent For that is such a it's a good time investment is how you present yourself and the experiences that you've put on to the portal. Clients, their portal is client visible, clients can shop for talent right off the bat,


Susan Tatum 12:15

from your profile, okay.


Sarena Diamond 12:16

from your profile. So they can say that easier.


Susan Tatum 12:19

And then they're, they're going to also post jobs that you can choose to bid on.


Sarena Diamond 12:25

Yes, so both of them post jobs in Catalent, it's the client, the actual hiring company is filling it out. And then they have a talent recruiter that helps them in BTG, that the profile for the job has been written by a talent recruiter that, you know, will, it's in their own words, right. So lots of times they know some things about it. Other times, there's a lot of questions, she'll read a job prospect, and you'd be like, Oh, wait, there's a lot of things I want to ask, which is good, because that gives you stuff to talk about during the interview


Susan Tatum 13:01

Okay, so you're gonna have an interview with the recruiter first.


Sarena Diamond 13:04

Sometimes, sometimes you have an interview with the recruiter. So I've been interviewed with the recruiter at both companies the first time, so I'll move until you're proven I was interviewed both times my most recent BTG experience is that I had a quick email exchange with the recruiter who knew me well, and they sent me straight up with the client. Yeah. So they didn't need to talk to me more. But I, I often want that because I want to be able to ask questions that may not be in the profile, but it is very similar to any kind of interviewing for a job. It's just a shortcut. Now, the other thing we tell people all the time is, this is just like a job hunt. It's just that it's a shorter term, perhaps low outtakes from a company's perspective. But if you know someone leverage that knowledge, so I will offer to folks in my, you know, my in my network, if you go to BTG, and you find a job that you are interested in, apply, and then drop me an email and say, Hey, Sarena, I saw this X, Y, Z job posted and I just applied any chance your talent recruiter would connect me to the talent recruiter handling that job, and I will reach out and say, Hey, my friend Susan has just applied for this job. Could you connect Susan to whoever is that that talent recruiter, because it's going to float you to the top? Obviously, just like anything in your network. The other thing is, back to that what we started talking about with being on the same page, I want the talent recruiters to remember my name to know that I'm on their side, trying to help them succeed as well. And be relevant, right? If there's nothing worse than being on a nine month gig, and that gig ending and the talent what actually this happened to me with my very first one with BTG it was a nine month gig. I was extended for two more months and in that will act towards the end of that period. My talent recruiter Left BTG and went to a different company. So now, there's nobody that knows me as the talent. And I did not get pick up another BTG gig for 10 months, they didn't even I got a few phone calls, but I didn't get another gig right away. And it was so when it was fine, I had other things going.


Susan Tatum 15:19

so what did you do during that time? So I mean, how did you get from now nobody knows me there to okay, you gotta you gotta jump.


Sarena Diamond 15:28

Yeah, I continue to apply, I will say, and I really don't believe that the, I'm a big fan of the word "and" I don't believe that being an individual, solopreneur means that I have the luxury of waiting around for somebody to call, right. It's, it's Prince Charming is not showing up at the door that way, I need to have a lot of people that know my name. I'm blessed that I have a unique name. But I needed a lot of people to know that name. And think of my name when they think of organizational change, leadership development, those kinds of things that are challenging to companies today. So I am additive in my leveraging of the talent agencies, I use my own network, I do the LinkedIn posting that people talk about, I do my networking, and I make a calendar of people I talk to on a fairly regular basis. But I make it my point to look at those job postings. At least once a week, I'm in there, both of their portals going through all the new jobs, if it's a job I can fill I will apply. If it's a job, I can't fill but I remember that somebody in my network that has those skills, I will refer people every single week I am on those portals not not necessarily only to help them solve those jobs in my network of people into those jobs. But to keep my name relevant with people that are in everyday living, they are filling jobs. So the more people saying, oh, Sarena Diamond Diamond Solution group, that's who I want to go. But the more people that are remembering my name, the more likely it is I'm going to have and being part of that my experience. And it's worked, right. I've been in business for myself for two and a half years. And I have only had five weeks where I was not working in that full time.


Susan Tatum 17:14

Yahoo. That's great. Here's what's going through my head when you were talking about that, Sarena, because I know that one of the things that that I hear and it makes sense that when a decision is made to use agencies, or even maybe subcontract somewhere, one of the great advantages is that the selling has been done for you. And maybe that's more true with sub contracting. But it also may be with these agencies, you couldn't get into a big company if you weren't going through them because you don't have that preferred vendor, whatever it is thing. But what you're saying, what I hear you saying is this doesn't mean you don't have to network, this doesn't mean that you don't have to sell yourself?


Sarena Diamond 17:53

Absolutely, I will tell you my current or my most recent clients that came through BTG, I was talking about another person that we both knew. And he the CEO came back to me and said, the person doesn't have a lot of LinkedIn activity. What's that about? And I was trying to make a referral. Right? So it was interesting that here it was a midsize company who hired me like I already in, but they aren't looking at your activity. Now, I would not say flooding LinkedIn with your activity is the answer. But being relevant, and having presence and maintaining that network is critically important for everybody. Besides the fact that it makes you better if you're continually learning and growing, and even just interacting with other people and broadening those ideas. It is really important. I don't think you can ever stop saying okay, I'm gonna just let somebody else do it. Now, I did not love business development, I will be the first one to admit, it's not my I'm not a I'm not a cold caller selling kind of person, I would rather give it away. Right? I but but give me an opportunity to help somebody. I'm all about that. And what I initially saw these talent agencies as was doing that dreaded business development, really, it's changed for me, and that we're all on the same page, we're all trying to solve clients problems. And sometimes that's going to be with me, and sometimes it's going to be with somebody that I know, through my network. And I will make every introduction possible because ultimately, my whole goal even as a solopreneur, is to help other people. And when I'm helping clients, whether they be my client or somebody else's client by having that resource there to help them solve the problem, the world gets better. Right? And that's, that's what this is about.


Susan Tatum 19:38

Well and I think you've just summarized what selling should be about for all of us anyway, and if I can get rid of that word sales and just and just having everybody every consultant have the mindset of we are solving problems, we are helping people the world would be a better place and I started writing a LinkedIn post about that ad I should finish it but but but to get to a little, little bit back on topic, I hear that there are I think you said there's like a handful of big agencies out there well known ones, but there seems to be a lot of others that have come into to the world. And some, some of them charge to be part of it. Some of them don't some so how does a consultant that's thinking about getting into this? How do they start? What do they do?


Sarena Diamond 20:26

I? Well, I'm not a big fan. I, when I first started the company, I went to looked at a ball, right? And I said, Oh, my gosh, and I went looked for because I'm a part of the chief network, I went reached out to people that I knew and trusted and say, What do you know about this one, or that one, especially the ones that were paying to play. And I mean, it's, it's fundamental for me, but I have a little bit of an issue, if you're going to charge the talent, and then you're going to go make money off of the talent when you sell them to apply it. Like, it doesn't seem to be really kosher to me, I would much rather. And so both BTG and Catalent do not charge the talent who are trying to make the money, right, and they don't charge now, I do know that if someone is going to screen me, I will also tell you, there was one talent agency that I went pretty far down the path with and spent a lot of that their their onboarding, to make them be part of the talent pool was extremely long, not just the normal fill out an application, you know, review your LinkedIn profile and, and like, but I was actually asked, and this is the point at which I stopped the process, I was asked to do a four hour video demonstration of a solution. And what they told me initially was the talent recruiter for that company did not know enough about what they would be presenting me as to have been able to figure out from all the conversations that we had had, from my background from my LinkedIn profile. I mean, I've got my entire background, IBM, Pepsi, right, I got blue chip names, and I've got successful experiences in all of those companies. So what that told me is that the talent sorcerer didn't know enough about my experiences and couldn't, wasn't mature enough to be able to read into those experiences to be able to present. And so this and she was absolutely clear, this was their standard protocol was this for our case activity. And I just said, you know, when the when the getting the talent agency to represent me, but it was more onerous than delivering for a client, if it's not an organization that I really wanted to do work with, right, I would much rather prove if a client came to me and said, I need you to do a four hour case study before we can bring you on board, I'm gonna hope that they're solving world hunger and, and that they want to make sure that I've got an idea. But I it was, it was really, I was turned off at that point, the same thing with those that charge something with a comma for talent to be part of their network. I don't know what, you know, your talent agency better be pretty big. And I don't think it's necessary, right? I know, it's not necessary, because, you know, look at me, I have been very successful. And I could roll from one to another, I've actually had to sort of tamper back some of the experiences from talent agencies only because I've got other jobs that have come up as a result of me being out in the marketplace. So I'm doing multiple things for them as well.


Susan Tatum 23:34

So give me a quick overview of of what you see as the advantages and the disadvantages of working this way.


Sarena Diamond 23:42

I think advantages certainly is getting your name out there is having somebody on your side, it's also recognizing your capabilities and wanting to do that business development. As you said before, there are some companies, they're not going to Google Search diamond solution group, right? They're not going to add them here how my SEO is, I'm not going to come up on a Google search. But these companies are right. So if someone is looking for a fractional chief COO, right, a role that I just just did was an interim CEO position. Great. BTG came up on that search. And I know that's how they found them because the client told me so they came up on that search, and I went through the process. So advantages are more people out there representing you and your capabilities, whether you know it yet or not, whether you're proof because if you're not yet proven talent, you're about to be right, your your assignment. One of the disadvantages that I had heard people say is that I it's just one more time where I feel like I didn't get picked, like there's a big talent pool, and I've applied and I heard nothing. And that's where I say to people, the same thing I would say if they were looking for a full time job, who in your network, did you know that is going to connect you and get you in short, you know, what's the back Door to getting at least your name in front of them. You know the other disadvantage, as is always sort of the elephant in the room and I've had others talk about this is that they take, they don't they take a cut or so to speak, right, they're there, they're in, they're in the business to make money, they don't take a cut from the talent, other than what you can say is that the market, you know, if you're, if the talent is making $100 an hour, and the market would fold for $150 an hour, they're going to get you at $100 an hour, and they're going to sell you to the client at $150. Now, that's pure


Susan Tatum 25:33

They have to make money,


Sarena Diamond 25:34

right. They have to make money, they pay people to be your resource. But I do know that lots of people are saying, but wouldn't you want the market rate. And when I say all the time, I would love that market rate, if I was out there doing all of that work myself. The other thing I will say, and it's not been my experience, but I do know others that have said BTG takes risks in that they pay that their talent, much more timely than they may be getting paid. So they take on there's a bigger company, certainly, but if if you're new and you're a solopreneur, and you're expecting, you know, to get paid on a certain date in order to make your mortgage BTG is well more, you know, and Catalent has a similar it's a longer timescale BTG It's a 30 day, like a net 30 kind of thing. Catalent, it's more like 60 days. So you just have to know that going in. Right that you would,


Susan Tatum 26:27

if you were if you worked directly with some of those big companies, I mean, some of them we're looking at 90 day, you know, six months, it's it's a right, swing that, you know,


Sarena Diamond 26:36

so if you can, they can figure it out. Yeah, it is. And I do say I think both BTG and Catalent have had sure ongoing interaction, once a month minimum, once a month, I heard from somebody to say how's it going, making sure that I was I was happy still, I had some technology issues with one engagement, because the client wanted me to go through a second set of portals and use my own equipment, that kind of stuff. And I had somebody from the talent agency that was right on it helping to overcome some of those. So that was so good to have somebody on your side to make you up and running and successful. I will say that the other piece in in this is the investment in talent, right supply, I did workforce management for IBM for four or five years, the supply of talent and the war for talent is really important to be recognize it. And when you've got companies that are dedicating resource, whether that be people or financial, like BTG, or catalent in recruiting people, they're doing it every 3,6, 9 month timeframe, windows, right, because that's how long projects are lasting. So their job is volume, but they're recruiting at a at a different pace than somebody that would be recruiting for, you know, something that was a couple of years, or a five year tenure job. So rather having different ways of recruiting and sort of an entertaining talent. And I think that makes them in some cases, the ones that I've met, they're really good. They can suss out things. They they help you with the kinds of questions but they want you to be happy. I have never once had either of the two agencies that I've worked with the talent recruiters that did not the first thing they asked me was how's it going? How are they treating you? Which I mean, let's be clear for solopreneur very few people care how you're being treated. Yeah. And so that, you know, you're especially for me coming out of corporate where I'd had performance reviews and daily interactions with other people, to have someone just saying how you do it. How is it now I had been very blessed. I have had phenomenal experiences with clients who were nothing short of just so appreciative, and really lovely humans. Now, maybe that's because I'm picking Well, I don't excited about that. But you can always I've never had any of those experiences where I had to tell the talent agency get me out of here. But they would if there was a problem. Right. So


Susan Tatum 29:04

yeah, right. And then you don't have to do that.


Sarena Diamond 29:07

you don't have to do that.


Susan Tatum 29:10

So when you take the or most of these projects that you that you're getting from these agencies are these, like full time while you have them. So you're working on one client at a time kind of


Sarena Diamond 29:21

I have done both. I've had full time at plus I had one the very first engagement that I had with BTG was a full time engagement. And it was every bit of that and more right so they the one thing I will say that clients often have told me is that they love hiring consultants because we tend to work a lot like we're not setting backscene Okay, I've never taken vacation during the client engagement. We just don't do that, unless the client is also on vacation. So that was a very full time plus job including travel and all of the things that would go with being you know, a client Then I have had a couple of engagements where it was a part time they wanted a few days a week, because they recognize that they couldn't provide enough attention to be engaged with me on an ongoing basis. Now, what's cool is that they also, you know, they, I have one client that was, you know, three days a week, they also recognize that that's really hard for me to fill in the other two days a week or so from a working perspective. So being really flexible, when they're when they're being flexible. On the days, being flexible as a consultant was, you know, was important to them. My motto, and my personal, I have only had a few months where I was solo on one, one client in the entire time. But my commitment is they never know that there's they never feel even suspect that there's another client going I just, I will do whatever I have to, to be fully present fully dedicated, making it feel like everything they need is exactly what they're the only client I have.


Susan Tatum 31:01

So what about what about balancing your your pipeline or keeping it full. So you said in two years, you've had, what, 15 days that you weren't working


Sarena Diamond 31:11

five weeks, I finished it in weeks And that was because I was working on refilling the pipeline, I had been had a project that was coming do finishing it up. And CEO, this one did not come from a sourcing agency. But the CEO, let me know that even though we were supposed to be out through the end of the year, they were going to be doing some fourth quarter layoffs. And they couldn't in good conscience. And I give them a huge piece of respect in that in good conscience, they couldn't have a consultant that made the executive teams lives easier while they were going to be laying off staff. So with six weeks or so ago, the CEO told me that we were going to need to be pausing as she called it so lovingly pausing our relationship. And so that was about six weeks notice now I still had things to do. So I finished up work with them. But I over the course of the next six weeks, but I also restarted because at that time, I had been doing two engagements there, that engagement plus I'd finished up engaged another one at GE. So I was finally finding some time that last six weeks or so with their engagement where I thought okay, maybe I'll take some time off. But I didn't I was nervous, because I didn't have a pipeline. And I wasn't feeling like I needed to restart. So I was back to surfacing back with the talent agencies. That was back to re networking. And I did take a couple of weeks off in that five weeks intentionally. But you know, I was backed by the first lockover I was I was good to goand I can't and I started another engagement that actually came from BTG. But it's the pipeline is hard. I know that if you're doing it alone. And I have a mentor that talks all the time about always having a pipeline of people waiting, but at least from an organizational change perspective and a leadership and talent development. It's hard to say to people, though, could you wait three months, and then I'll for your strategic initiative, and then I'll be there to help you. It really is hard to do that now. And I will continue to maintain the relationships. But I try to keep those for four or five week lead time in for that.


Susan Tatum 33:16

So I talk to people that are they're full right now. And they're hesitant to start having conversations with other potential clients because they don't want to be in this situation of not not being able to take on a job. But the reality is, there's there's going to be some overlap, or else you're not going to have a smooth pipeline.


Sarena Diamond 33:37

I believe that things happen for a reason. And that smooth pipelines are for me, actually, I think it'd be a little boring. They're all they're always like, they're always step back, I don't really think that I love it. But when I'm not in it, it's kind of hard to not be in it. So I do think that they are sort of smooth pipelines are a fallacy. What that tells me is, you're not necessarily solving all the problems that you could be, or perhaps you're not looking the harder or you're not looking to, you know, to do the solutions that you think you're gonna but I think that it's it is a it's pipe dream to have that smooth pipeline. But I think the other piece of it is, if you're in corporate, you would have times where you were going crazy to get something done for the end of the quarter or the end of the year. And then there'd be times when you'd be like, I think I'm gonna take a couple of weeks of vacation. Right? So it's, it's similarly although there's no paid vacation as a solopreneur, right, there's nobody paying you to to not work. But I do think that that pipeline mentality is sort of archaic and that he needs to be maintaining a network and to be able to say when I'm working but I look at it as you know, I bank pre bank money, right as I were earning it, I'd put it into and bank it away so that when those five weeks came, I'm like okay, I'm gonna do a withdraw from The bay so that I wasn't panic about that right income stream. And I think that's really what this move pipeline is. Because during my five weeks while I wasn't working, unemployed, I actually also spent a ton of time developing some additional network, I pre worked on some materials and I actually wrote a chapter for a book and contribute to an anthology around women becoming entrepreneurs and talk through my story, specifically on you know, becoming an unstoppable woman is the name of the book.


Susan Tatum 35:32

Yeah, yeah yeah


Sarena Diamond 35:33

and wrote the Anthology for during that five week period, so it wasn't like I sat and said, Okay, I'm gonna go to the beach then. But I, I am also a very big believer, the more things you're doing, it creates those sound waves out in the universe or the karma waves, whatever they are,


Susan Tatum 35:49

there are something that flies weighing.


Sarena Diamond 35:50

Yeah, the butterfly effect, right. So that all of those things that you're doing is creating motion in the world. And I will tell you, I know it does not make any sense. But every single time I have done something for someone else, something that puts that butterfly, you know, wings in motion, it's come back to me differently absolutely 1,000% differently, but it's always come back guidance and it does and I do think that that's an important thing to recognize is what what are you putting out there in the world that's good for others, so that it can you know, your cup can get filled up when it comes back to you?


Susan Tatum 36:26

Well, thank you for being the part of this. You're doing good forever, of giving us your time and and your, your tips and all the things that you learned the hard way, sharing that if someone wants to follow up with you, well, what's the best way to do that?


Sarena Diamond 36:41

Probably the easiest is just on LinkedIn. It's Sarena, s a r e n a my mom did wonderfully unique spelling that nobody can ever figure out. But Sarena Diamond like the stone, which my dad gave me luckily, and LinkedIn is easy, you know, you'll see there's not a lot of Sarena diamonds out there. But diamond solution Group, LLC is also my website. And you can get to me from there. I am happy to talk to any of your listeners, Susan, that are out there trying to figure out how do I navigate this? And if there's, you know, certainly if there's things that I can help connect folks to jobs that I seen on postings, I'd be happy to do that. I really do. It's not just something that I say to, you know, to be on your podcast. That's right. It's something that I really, truly believe is is an important aspect.


Susan Tatum 37:31

And having had a couple conversations with you, I really truly believe that you are sincere in that. And and I thank you for sharing all that info with us. And we'll include all the contact information in the show notes for anybody that's listening in the car and can't write it down. So I'm still gonna have things on my list to ask you about so you may have to come back.


Sarena Diamond 37:50

Love that. Be happy to do that.


Susan Tatum 37:54

Take care and have a great rest of your day.


Sarena Diamond 37:56

Thanks so much, Susan. You too.



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