Stefano Fracchiolla and Maria Lafuente Soria Of Serendipity Marketing: How Journaling Helped Me Be More Calm, Mindful And Resilient
An Interview With Heidi Sander
Awareness of all the steps forward you make every day. Not just the big ones but also the small ones that, even if they don’t seem as important, it’s the sum of the small ones that makes the biggest difference.
Journaling is a powerful tool to gain clarity and insight especially during challenging times of loss and uncertainty. Writing can cultivate a deeper connection with yourself and provide an outlet for calmness, resilience and mindfulness. When my mom passed on, I found writing to be cathartic. When I read through my journal years later, there were thoughts that I developed into poems, and others that simply provided a deeper insight into myself. In this series I’m speaking with people who use journaling to become more mindful and resilient.
As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Stefano Fracchiolla and Maria Lafuente Soria.
Stefano and Maria are the Founders and joint CEOs at Serendipity Marketing. They created an innovative methodology, named the Ultimate Triumph System (UTS©) which stands at the core of how their full-service digital marketing agency works. The UTS© allows them to empower marketing strategies with psychology science by uncovering and mapping with precision any business target audience’s driving emotions and use this data to create the perfect marketing experience for higher results. They are also committed to teaching entrepreneurs and marketers how to use their methodology in digital platforms through programs, courses, and eBooks with their UT Academy.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! We really appreciate the courage it takes to publicly share your story of healing. Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your background and your childhood backstory?
Maria: “I am from Zaragoza, a city in the North of Spain, where I lived until I was 19. Business has always been part of my life as my parents own a small company in Spain, and I always felt motivated to have my own business one day. My background is in digital marketing and strategy creation.”
Stefano: “I was born in Genova, a city in the North-West of Italy. I lived there until the 26 years of age. My parents have always been hard workers and tried their best not to make me miss anything I needed. My background prior to having our business is in healthcare, psychology, hypnosis, and communication.”
We met in London where we both moved to make a different experience in a new country and got to see the world from a different perspective. That perspective that motivated us to bet on ourselves and pursue what we desire the most in life, which is the possibility to help as many people as possible with our skills and knowledge and be free to often fly back to our families without the need to ask for permission to anyone.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about journaling. Have you been writing in your journal for a long time or was there a challenging situation that prompted you to start journal writing? If you feel comfortable sharing the situation with us, it could help other readers.
We both do experience our life as a constant growth process, and we’ve been using journaling as a valuable technique to help us understand better ourselves and connect deeper with our inner selves. On top of this, embracing a successful entrepreneurial journey necessarily means levelling up not just skills-wise but mentally as well. We experience daily challenges and problems that we need to find a way to overcome, and, as we are the CEOs of the company, we also feel the pressure to fix any issue as soon as possible. And of issues, there can be a lot. Problems with the team, with clients, with projects, with our internal operations. We could make a very long list, though. And all this while we have our daily tasks to complete as well. So, you can imagine how this could be overwhelming. It’s easy to fall down the weight of the responsibilities. It’s easy to feel like it’s simply too much and you don’t really have time to commit to everything and to be there for everyone. It’s easy to feel frustrated, or maybe just tired, and react by becoming grumpy and stressed. Which are things that could affect the business and, of course, our personal life as well. We are also partners in the personal life and it’s already a challenge to separate the personal life from work that if we get higher levels of stress and tiredness, everything gets harder, though. So, here again, double pressure. Lots of people that start the entrepreneurial journey, or simply try new things, end up giving it up because they feel like it’s too much for them. They get too overwhelmed for them to handle the pressure. That happens when the people’s mindset is so focused on the problems that they cannot see the solutions. And here is where journaling comes in very handy to us. We use journaling almost daily and it’s incredible how, when you don’t keep things sediment and growing in your head, but you put them on paper and see them in from of you, they don’t look so big and overwhelming anymore. Journaling helps us to shift our mindset from being problem-focused to solution-focused. We also list all the tasks we have planned so that it gets easier to prioritize them, give them an order, and reduce like this the pressure on our shoulders.
How did journaling help you heal, mentally, emotionally and spiritually?
Journaling is a great technique to keep your mind in order and stop you from making the problems you experience bigger than what they truly are. It’s incredible how simply putting things down on paper is beneficial for anyone. Journaling is as easy as powerful. Whether it’s to write down all the tasks you have to do that in your head sound like too many and overwhelming, just seeing them written on paper helps prioritize them and set a realistic timing to complete them. Or, if it’s used to write down the way you feel in specific situations, it helps understand personal traits that you are probably not even aware of yourself and drives you to a deeper connection with your inner self which is the ultimate step to face any challenge with calm and security.
And the more you connect with your inner self, the more you achieve body-mind-soul balance which is so crucial to living a happy and fulfilling life.
Also, it can help understand personal emotional traits you feel when experiencing situations where you feel stuck or stressed out. This way, it helps you accept the way you are and desensitize those emotions.
It’s all about acceptance really. We think we can control external things and events. But in reality, the only thing we can control is the way we react to those things and events.
And this is our purpose of using journaling as part of our personal growth process to become people who approach life with joy, calm, and excitement.
Did journaling help you find more self-compassion and gratitude? Can you share a story about that?
Of course. As journaling is helping us maintain a solution-focused mindset and understand better our emotions when facing challenges, it helps us be more aware of all the beautiful things that also happen in our day-to-day life. This has led us to appreciate not just the big wins but also the smallest ones. You know, small wins create momentum.
This is also helping us realize the great effort the other one is doing as well. You know, at a subconscious level, we all tend to think that we experience the worst and expect others to empathize with us and support us. And this can make us blind, not making us see that if people are not there for us at the moment we want, it isn’t because they don’t love us, but because they might be simply tired and facing their own challenges as well. So, under this perspective, journaling is helping us be more aware of what the other one of us is going through and be more compassionate with each other rather than just have expectations. We have to be a team, though, and support each other not in the way we personally expect, but in the way the other one needs.
This is a philosophy that we try to apply to any personal or professional relationship and to ourselves as well, developing higher self-compassion.
What kind of content goes into your journal? For example, do you free-write, write poems, doodle?
It mainly goes a break down of our daily tasks and the way we feel when we experience challenges and problems that affect us and if we feel the same way somehow when facing different situations. It basically becomes an inner self-description of us dealing with specific situations, like a kind of extended diary.
How did you gain a different perspective on life and your emotions while writing in your journal? Can you please share a story about what you mean?
We believe it comes with time and experience. As with everything in life, experience through time helps develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your emotions. What we have as a mantra for journaling is to sit down in a quiet place and open our hearts as much as possible, getting to a place where there is no space for self-judgement and where we can be fully honest with ourselves without being afraid of admitting the emotions that we experience. A place where there is no mask and no need to be perfect. A place where we can be fully transparent and in peace with it. It takes some time but that’s how we got to deeply connect with our inner self and be more aware of our emotions.
In my own journal writing, I ended up creating poems from some of the ideas and one of them won an award. Do you have plans with your journal content?
We have honestly never thought about this. It would great to go back and read the long journey we have been going through and all the progress we have made. We don’t know if we would win an award for making it a poem. It has so many shades from the darkest places of our inner self that we would probably win it for the best horror book (just joking).
Fantastic. Here is our main question. In my journaling program, I have found that journaling can help people to become more calm, mindful and resilient. Based on your experience and research, can you please share with our readers “five ways that journaling can help you to be more calm, mindful and resilient”?
Sure. Our 5 ways that journaling can help you to be more calm, mindful and resilient would be:
- Understand deep traits of yourself that you are not probably aware of yet. This will help you achieve a deeper connection with your inner self by developing acceptance of who you are and working on those emotions that for example keep you stuck in the past or dwelling on the future. This is the ultimate connection that you need to free yourself from your mental barriers and achieve what you desire the most in life.
- Develop appreciation and gratitude for the beautiful things you already have and that happens in your day-to-day life, helping you to keep a positive mindset.
- Awareness of all the steps forward you make every day. Not just the big ones but also the small ones that, even if they don’t seem as important, it’s the sum of the small ones that makes the biggest difference.
- Keep a track of your progress so that you can get a kind of troubleshooting that can help you in the future when you experience similar challenges or similar emotions.
- Break down your daily tasks so that they don’t stay just in your head where they feel so many and overwhelming. This way it becomes easier to prioritize and order them.
You are people of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of peace to the greatest amount of people, what would that be?
It would be “Get your true happiness as purpose in life”. We live in a time where we often value more what others think of us or expect from us rather than what we truly desire. We kind of keep our happiness in a corner. And this inevitably leads to stress, overpressure, and anxiety. So, we really have to free ourselves from these mental barriers and pursue our true happiness. This is how we can all achieve a truly fulfilling life full of joy and where we are free to be who we really are and want to be.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them. :-)
It would be Tony Robbins. We just find inspirational the journey he has done and where he got to be. It would be amazing to be able to share a meal with him and learn directly from his personal experience.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
Maria can be followed on her LinkedIn profile.
Stefano can also be followed on his LinkedIn profile.
We also have a blog on our company website.
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued fulfillment and success with your writing!