Founder and Owner of the PR firm The Silver Telegram
IMC: What’s your name? Where are you from? Where do you reside?
RJ: Ronjini Joshua, Born in New Orleans, but raised in Laguna Hills, California. I now live in Long Beach, CA.
IMC: What is your occupation?
RJ: I own a public relations agency.
IMC: How many children do you have?
RJ: An actual mother (wow that still feels weird to say/write) to a 2-year-old daughter and the fur mommy of a 5 year old dog.
IMC: Are you currently in a relationship?
RJ: I’ve been married for four years…so far…
IMC: What do you love about being in a freelance business or the entertainment world?
RJ: I wouldn’t really even consider myself freelance any longer. Woman owned small business I would say. Some days its hard to find what’s good, other days I can’t see myself in any other position and can’t believe that I control my own fate. So, basically I just love being in charge of where my time and energy goes.
IMC: What do you wish were different in the freelance business or the entertainment world when it comes to the view-point of mothers in the industry?
RJ: In PR, you don’t get a lot of freedom. Clients expect you to be available all of your time for them, so seeing me as a person or a mother is probably not in the cards. Most clients are surprised when they find out I have a 2-year old at home. I think more than being labeled a mother or woman, I’d love to be labeled a human that needs personal time (no matter what I am doing with it), but I think that’s a huge issue for most people in competitive industries. Wanting to spend time with your kids (or frankly just getting home before they go to sleep) should be something that both mothers and fathers are able to do, without seeming like they are failing at work somehow. I believe that the American culture is continually putting an emphasis on speed, money and greed and quality of work and quality of life suffers from that expectation. I have noticed in the last few years, people talk more openly about what they are doing with their family and changing their priorities. I do think there has been a shift in the workplace to allow people to integrate their work and family life together so everyone benefits and is much happier.
IMC: Do you feel respected as a mom in the industry ?
RJ: No. I feel more respected when people don’t realize that I’m a mother. It’s easier NOT to tell people that, because I feel like when it comes out, there’s an immediate lowering of expectations. When they think I’m a single, young professional, they seem to believe that they will be getting a better level of attention. That’s just not true. I’m actually a better professional as a mother now. I realize that the level of attention that I need to give projects should be focused and direct, just like when dealing with children. Multi-tasking around my child is challenging since she wants all of my attention to play with blocks, take a bath, whatever the case is.
IMC: How do you overcome obstacles as a mom in the industry ?
RJ: I don’t know if I’ve gotten here yet, but my gut answer would be, to be confident, show your worth, stick to your schedule(s) and over deliver.
IMC: How do you find time for yourself, spouse, and children or are you still working that part out? If so share how.
RJ: Weekends are for family time. I have set that almost in stone. In rare cases, I’ll do some work while the baby is napping or get ready on Sunday for work on Monday and I make sure that I get home to make dinner at least 3 times a week. Not because a woman is supposed to but because I like cooking for/taking care of my family. We have a two-year old, so my husband and I are still figuring out “we” time, but we do dates here and there. It’s really not enough. However, we just started working together so that we can be more aligned with each other’s goals. Look at Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann, it seems they work on all their movies together. A family that works together, stays together. Last but not least, finding “me” time is the hardest, that’s something that I have to actively try to do without feeling guilty. For me, that’s the hardest piece of the puzzle, but everyone says you have to take care of “you” first. Easy to say, but hard to do.
IMC: Where can viewers find out more about your business?
RJ: Our website is www.thesilvertelegram.com, we are a PR agency that works with other small businesses, startups and lean organizations.
IMC: Whether pregnant, adopting or marrying into a blended family, what made you want to continue in the freelance entertainment world knowing the risks?
RJ: Self employment’s benefits outweigh the risks most of the time, but I can’t say I haven’t dreamt of selling my business and going into a simpler life. However, knowing the possibilities and really knowing my self-worth and potential makes me realize that I can go much further on my own than ever with another company, where there are limits and boundaries. Now, working with my husband, there’s really nothing we can’t do that we want to. It’s just about making things happen and working hard together.
IMC: How did you maintain funding when you needed to take time away from work to become more acclimated to your industry or did you take time away from work at all?
RJ: Ha, ha, ha. Did you say time away? That’s another piece I haven’t figured out. But the key is surrounding yourself with smart people, as well as understanding how much you’re worth. I believe that many people undervalue themselves, which bites them in the butt when they need to take time off (I’m totally guilty of it). Planning is the key to making sure you’re able to get that time off. I’m planning for a day off in 2025 and it can’t get here fast enough (just kidding).
IMC: What advice do you have to moms in the industry ?
RJ: Stop feeling guilty, moms! Everyone is human and we all have needs. Your kid will be fine, just love them as much as you can and I guarantee they love you back. Oh and Mom’s can do everything any one else can’t do!
Thank you Ronjini for your contribution to the Industry Moms Culture!