top of page

Where the most impressive women
creating change in the world get the spotlight.

leading visibly logo
Anchor 1

Adelaida Diaz-Roa’s Journey of Empathy, Resilience, and Entrepreneurial Innovation

Adelaida Diaz-Roa

Original photo credit: Diego Berrocal

Adelaida Diaz-Roa, the Co-Founder and CEO of Robin House, is utilizing blockchain technology and crowdfunding to make investment opportunities accessible to everyone. 

Adelaida’s entrepreneurial journey is one rooted in the values of education, social responsibility, and making savvy financial decisions. Influenced by her mother’s commitment to educating underserved children and her father’s expertise in finance, she developed a unique blend of empathy, resilience, and balance in life. These qualities have proven to be the fuel behind her entrepreneurial spirit. From breaking school fundraising records as a child to leading her family to success as entrepreneurs, Adelaida has always been driven by a desire to impact those around her.

We asked Adelaida about the founding story behind Robin House, the most unexpected part of her entrepreneurial journey thus far, and what’s next for her and her company.

Tell us the story behind your company’s founding. How and why did you start working on Robin House?

Robin House was born out of my transition from high-risk entrepreneurial and angel investments to a focus on financial security and passive income. After personally financing my sabbaticals, I realized the need for a more strategic approach to my finances. This led me to explore real estate investment, initially with friends, as a means of starting and growing our real estate portfolio.

The concept took a significant leap forward when I partnered with Sebas Velez, a real estate expert. Together, we expanded Robin House into an inclusive platform, offering fractionalized real estate investments starting at just $100. This approach opened the door for many to invest in real estate, who otherwise couldn’t, marking a shift toward a more accessible and dynamic market.

In what ways has your upbringing or past experiences contributed to how you operate as an entrepreneur?

Growing up, I was deeply influenced by my mother's dedication to education. She started a school to provide education to children who otherwise wouldn't have access, teaching me the value of using one’s talents and resources to uplift others​​. This early exposure to the power of education and social responsibility has been a guiding force in my entrepreneurial journey.

Additionally, witnessing my mother's passion for her work and my father's financial acumen in maintaining a diversified portfolio, while still prioritizing family, instilled in me the importance of balance in life. They demonstrated that pursuing one's passions does not have to come at the expense of family or financial stability​​.

Have you ever felt like you’re “different”? If yes, in what ways has this contributed to your journey as an entrepreneur?

Absolutely. Feeling "different" has been a defining aspect of my entrepreneurial journey. Growing up with unique challenges, I developed resilience and adaptability, qualities that are essential in the unpredictable world of entrepreneurship. This sense of being different, often feeling out of sync with my surroundings, has driven me to give back and be more mindful of others' struggles, influencing how I lead and engage with people in my professional endeavors​​.

Moreover, my journey of self-discovery and embracing my true identity has underscored the importance of authenticity in my business ventures. This has led me to create businesses that aren't solely focused on profit but also aim to make a genuine impact and resonate with people's real needs and aspirations. Having often felt like an outsider has instilled in me a deep empathy and a broad understanding of diverse viewpoints, which has been invaluable in business. These experiences of feeling "different" have not only shaped my approach to leadership but have also been instrumental in fostering inclusive, dynamic, and successful entrepreneurial endeavors.

Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur? 

Reflecting on my journey, I believe I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit, although it wasn't always clear to me. As a child, I was drawn to tasks and games that involved strategy and sales, like breaking school records in fundraisers. However, societal expectations initially led me to consider other paths, such as being a surgeon, inspired by the idea of helping others through Doctors Without Borders. Thankfully, I realized science wasn't my thing.

Also, being surrounded by entrepreneurs in my family and social circles had a significant influence on me. Witnessing their ventures and the independence and creativity involved in running a business resonated deeply with me. My experiences and environment nurtured an entrepreneurial mindset, even if it wasn't my initial focus. Over time, my natural inclinations and actions, like my involvement in my first startup in college, made it clear that entrepreneurship was my calling. This path has allowed me to follow my instincts and leverage my strengths, leading to a fulfilling career.

Adelaida Diaz-Roa

Photo credit: Diego Berrocal

What’s one thing you wish you had known before starting Robin House?

One of the most valuable lessons I've learned in my entrepreneurial journey is the importance of choosing the right business partners. I realized that having a great business idea isn't enough; the people you choose to collaborate with are just as crucial. The wrong partners—those who don't keep their word or lack consideration for others—can not only hinder the progress of a business but can also create a toxic environment.

I've had to make tough decisions to walk away from potentially wonderful opportunities simply because the values and integrity of the potential partners didn't align with my own. This prioritization of values and character in business partnerships is something I emphasize to other entrepreneurs. It's not just about the skills or resources a person brings to the table, but also about their integrity, work ethic, and how they treat others. Choosing the right partners is essential for building a sustainable, successful business and maintaining one's own well-being and professional ethics​​.

What were the most difficult and most impactful lessons you’ve learned starting and running a company?

The importance of action over perfection. It's better to start early and be open to learning along the way, than to wait for the perfect moment or fall into analysis paralysis. This proactive approach is vital for creating real impact and understanding business practically. Another critical lesson is the necessity of adaptability and flexibility—maintaining a clear vision but being open to changing the path to achieve it. Embracing new information, acknowledging mistakes, and avoiding the sunk cost fallacy are essential for continuous improvement and effective business management. These lessons, while challenging, have been instrumental in shaping my approach to entrepreneurship.  

What’s been the hardest and most rewarding part of your entrepreneurial journey?

The hardest part of my entrepreneurial journey has been dealing with the uncertainty and risks inherent in starting and running businesses. Each venture has brought its own set of challenges, from securing funding to managing teams, often leading to stressful situations where the outcome was far from guaranteed.

However, the most rewarding aspect has been seeing the tangible impact of my efforts. Witnessing a business idea grow into a successful venture and knowing it has positively affected people’s lives and livelihoods has been incredibly fulfilling. Each successful project not only brought financial gains but also a sense of accomplishment and validation of my skills and instincts as an entrepreneur. The satisfaction of overcoming obstacles and achieving goals, despite the difficulties, has made every challenging aspect of the journey worthwhile.

What’s been the most unexpected part of your entrepreneurial journey?

The most unexpected part of my entrepreneurial journey has been the profound personal growth and self-discovery that came with it. Initially, I anticipated the challenges to be predominantly external, such as navigating market dynamics, managing finances, and strategizing for business growth. However, what truly surprised me was the extent of internal growth involved. This journey has been as much about developing my communication and interpersonal skills as it has been about enhancing business acumen. It has involved building resilience, confidence, and an openness to constantly learn and adapt, not just in business, but also in personal aspects of my life. The journey has taught me more about myself than I could have imagined, turning each challenge into an opportunity for self-improvement and every success into a moment of self-reflection. This internal transformation, alongside tangible business achievements, has been the most unexpected and enriching aspect of my entrepreneurial path.

What’s the biggest misconception that others have around entrepreneurship?

That it's a solitary journey. Contrary to this belief, success in entrepreneurship often hinges on community and collaboration. Networks like Dreamers & Doers highlight the importance of support systems for sharing ideas and fostering connections. Having a business partner or team is invaluable, as they bring diverse perspectives, share the workload, and enhance decision-making. Furthermore, entrepreneurship's rollercoaster nature means having a business partner can provide much-needed support during challenging times. They act as a brainstorming ally and a source of motivation, making the entrepreneurial path less lonely and more manageable. This collaborative dynamic is essential yet frequently underestimated in the entrepreneurial narrative.

It's better to start early and be open to learning along the way, than to wait for the perfect moment or fall into analysis paralysis. This proactive approach is vital for creating real impact and understanding business practically.

Have you struggled with self doubt as an entrepreneur? How do you navigate this?

Yes. I have found meditation and physical exercise to be extremely helpful in maintaining mental clarity and emotional balance. Additionally, reading books and journaling about my experiences has been therapeutic, allowing me to reflect on my journey, recognize my achievements, and understand that such doubts are common and manageable. These strategies have helped me view challenges as opportunities for growth and maintain resilience in my entrepreneurial endeavors.

Have you felt like giving up? What made you persist?

There were times when the allure of a more structured 9-to-5 job, with its predictable routine, a regular paycheck, and less stress, seemed highly appealing compared to the constant challenges of entrepreneurship.

However, what made me persist was a combination of several factors. The stories of other entrepreneurs reinforced the importance of persistence, hard work, and not giving up. More so, reflecting on the positive impacts I've made, such as helping my family, collaborating with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, supporting dog shelters, and enhancing clients' lives, was incredibly motivating. Additionally, the responsibility I felt toward my investors and team members, who placed their trust and bets on me, played a significant role. Their belief in my vision and the potential letdown of choosing an easier path further fueled my determination. This sense of obligation, coupled with realizing the broader impact I could still achieve, kept me grounded and committed to my entrepreneurial path.

Adelaida Diaz-Roa with a spitz breed dog

Photo credit: Diego Berrocal

We dare you to brag. What achievements are you most proud of?

The achievements I am most proud of revolve around impacting the life trajectories of my mom and sister through entrepreneurship. For my mom, the creation of Pawliday Inn, a dog hotel in Dallas, was a pivotal moment. It wasn't just about starting a business; it was about shifting her path toward early retirement and financial independence. My decision to leave Villy Custom and focus full-time on Pawliday Inn was instrumental in this transformation. I invested not only my time and skills but also my savings into marketing and growing the business, which played a crucial role in its success and in improving my mom's quality of life​​.

Similarly, assisting my sister in her first startup during its inception stage was about more than just business guidance. It was about empowering her with the tools and confidence needed to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape successfully. This support helped her grow her own wings, enabling her to embark on a path of greater financial freedom and providing her with new skills and opportunities. These contributions to my family's journeys in entrepreneurship, leading them to more prosperous and autonomous futures, are the accomplishments I hold in the highest regard.

Has your definition of success evolved throughout your journey as a founder?

My perception of success has significantly transformed throughout my entrepreneurial journey. In the beginning, driven by societal standards, I equated success with material wealth and recognition, leading to a relentless work schedule at the expense of personal well-being. Over time, however, I've come to understand that true success is more comprehensive and profound. It's about achieving financial freedom and peace of mind, which stems from living a life of high integrity and always acting with the best intentions. This includes practicing non-attachment and managing expectations. Success for me now also encompasses holistic health—mental, spiritual, and physical—as well as nurturing relationships, personal growth, and paying it forward. 

What resources or people have contributed the most to your successes?

The resources and people who have contributed the most to my successes are truly countless. I have been incredibly fortunate to encounter numerous mentors who have guided me, opened up their networks, and worked through challenges with me, often without any guaranteed compensation.

Additionally, my relentless pursuit of knowledge through reading hundreds of books, attending numerous seminars, and taking online classes has played a crucial role in my growth. I am immensely grateful for the wealth of knowledge and experiences shared by those before me. These educational resources have not only broadened my understanding but have also equipped me with the tools necessary to navigate the ever-evolving world of entrepreneurship.

How do you celebrate successes along the way?

Celebrating successes along my entrepreneurial journey has been a learning process in itself. Initially, I was always on the go, rarely taking the time to acknowledge accomplishments or significant milestones. This nonstop approach often led to a lack of feeling accomplished, despite the successes.

A significant change in this approach came through my life coaching sessions with Domenique Mass. She challenged me to recognize and celebrate my achievements more, including a major step I was taking at the time. Her perspective made me realize that my move to New York—a bold decision to relocate to a major city without a clear plan and with just a goal in mind—was indeed a significant achievement. Encouraged by her insight, I invited my mom and sister to New York, turning this into a family celebration. We concluded this experience with a simple yet meaningful ice cream outing with my mom. This first act of consciously celebrating my success was a crucial step in recognizing that my entrepreneurial journey was filled with extraordinary moments worth acknowledging.

How have you grown as a leader since starting your entrepreneurial career? What experiences have contributed to this growth?

My growth as a leader has been largely driven by feedback, self-reflection, and a commitment to learning from books, mentors, and classes. Feedback has provided critical insights, helping me refine skills like effective delegation, clear communication, and building a transparent, results-focused team culture. Through self-reflection, I've learned to value listening over speaking, understand diverse appreciation languages, and manage my enthusiasm to maintain respectful dialogues. Recognizing the impact of my words as a leader has led to more thoughtful communication and consideration of diverse viewpoints. Creating a safe space for feedback has been key, encouraging open communication and trust within the team. These experiences of learning and adapting have been crucial in shaping my journey as a leader.

Have you discovered any underappreciated leadership traits or misconceptions around leadership?

I've learned that openly grading or judging team members' suggestions can create a counterproductive environment, making people hesitant and defensive. This realization taught me the importance of being mission-neutral and not dealing in approval or disapproval. Instead, it's crucial to take every suggestion with neutrality and gratitude, regardless of personal opinions​​​​.

Another vital aspect of leadership that's often overlooked is the power of leading with empathy and understanding. Traits that truly elevate a leader’s effectiveness include recognizing and leveraging the strengths of team members, cheering them on, and being decisive when needed. It's not just about directing and managing. It’s also about inspiring and empowering those around you, creating a culture where everyone feels valued and believed in​​.

What have you learned about building a team and a support network around yourself?

The importance of fostering relationships that transcend mere business transactions. It's about understanding each other's journeys and focusing on mutual growth and support. Being a giving person and maintaining high vibrations attract opportunities and open doors, often from unexpected sources within my network. My reputation as an entrepreneur has significantly aided in recruiting top talent, highlighting the power of acting with the best intentions and paying it forward. This approach has created a rewarding dynamic in my leadership, where mutual reliance leads to striving for excellence and supporting each other's growth and financial freedom.

How would you describe the journey you’ve had in a few sentences? Would you do it all over again?

My entrepreneurial journey has been a whirlwind of surprises, both wonderful and challenging. It felt like being in a relentless cycle, constantly moving at a rapid pace, which has profoundly shaped who I am today. The experience, with its mix of lows, pauses, and successes, has been like living multiple lives in one—an intense blend of personal and professional growth.

Would I do it all over again? Honestly, I don't think I would. Even though I might do things better a second time around, the hard lessons and tough patches were necessary for my growth. They weren't easy and are not experiences I'd willingly repeat, but I'm truly grateful for having lived through them. The adversity I have faced has made me a much better person than I was before, and for that, I am deeply appreciative.

Adelaida Diaz-Roa

Photo credit: Diego Berrocal

What’s next for you and Robin House?

Looking ahead, my focus remains steadfast on continuous self-improvement, nurturing my companies, fostering strong relationships, and paying it forward. My journey has taught me the value of belief and openness to new opportunities, often beyond my initial expectations. The experiences and unexpected doors that have opened in the past were beyond my imagination, reinforcing the idea that the future holds endless possibilities.

I approach what lies ahead with optimism and a sense of curiosity. I am committed to surrounding myself with incredible people daily, embracing growth in every aspect, and establishing clear boundaries. Authentic alignment in all my endeavors remains a top priority, ensuring that both my personal journey and my business ventures resonate deeply with my core values and vision. With this mindset, I'm excited and hopeful about what the future holds for me and my projects.

Want to learn more about

Dreamers & Doers membership?

Here's how our PR Hype Machine™ and award-winning community can amplify you.

bottom of page