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In the Present Tense: Diana Klochkova, CMO at Privateer

"...life is made up of a fluctuation of successes and failures accumulated over time, so the measurement of success is really in the impact the accumulation of these moments has on someone – on others – on the world."

In The Present Tense: Tracy Lawrence of Love Engine Reading In the Present Tense: Diana Klochkova, CMO at Privateer 6 minutes Next In the Present Tense: Rene & Jesse

1: What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage it?

I'm afraid of so many things, but if I had to pick the ultimate one it would be looking back and regretting the way I spent my time. Especially now that I’m a mom with a full time executive role, and someone who historically says yes to too many things. I think we need to stop celebrating people “doing it all” and rather focus on “doing things thoughtfully”. Focusing on what works for us and what allows us to have the balance – doing things that are fulfilling in different ways while still fulfilling our obligations.

I think we need to stop celebrating people “doing it all” and rather focus on “doing things thoughtfully”.

To manage this I’ve become very cognizant of how I spend my time – even the little moments because those add up. And I allow myself to let go of the things that just don’t fit anymore. The reality of life is that it’s always in flux, and something may have been the right decision in the moment until you got new information or something changed. I’m continuously reevaluating how I fill my time.

2: How do you define success?

When I heard this question the first thing I thought of was that success is by definition the opposite of failure, but it really depends on how long of a timeline you are evaluating something against. One moment could be a failure, but over time that one moment could have led to a key lesson learned or the necessary growth to have a successful moment. I guess what I’m saying is that life is made up of a fluctuation of successes and failures accumulated over time, so the measurement of success is really in the impact the accumulation of these moments has on someone – on others – on the world. I’m not saying that we can all be Mother Teresa, but I do think a successful life is one with lasting impact. And I think anytime your impact is also helping others achieve impact, you’re putting a multiplier on your efforts.

...life is made up of a fluctuation of successes and failures accumulated over time, so the measurement of success is really in the impact the accumulation of these moments has on someone – on others – on the world.

I feel most fulfilled and impactful when I’m empowering other women, and really anyone trying to grow in their career. I enjoy helping others find balance in their life, identify things they’re passionate about, and get out of a corporate rut. Helping people find that isn’t just something they do out of necessity, but rather something that brings them joy and fulfillment is a passion of mine. I also really love the work I’ve been doing with StarTalk and Privateer – improving critical thinking and science literacy for a better world.

3: Who are your real-life heroes?

I’ve abandoned this notion of having heroes because everybody is fallible. I think it’s unfair to put people on a pedestal because we’re all just human at the end of the day. There are a lot of people I admire though – my family, my husband, and the people I work with. For inspiration and wisdom in business, I often look to other women, especially those who have overcome certain barriers that women in business tend to face – barriers I too have faced. You could say that my hero is an amalgamation of traits, characteristics, and/or actions that I admire. People who can balance being thoughtful, kind, caring, and empathetic, while also being aggressive about going after their passions and standing up for themselves. People who strongly believe that we can all do better, together.

4: What is the best gift you've given yourself?

I’m not a big physical gift person, but this question reminds me of a quote from Kurt Vonnegut, “we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different”. He gives this example of how he needed a stamp to mail a letter, and his wife suggests he order one, but he says that he’d rather walk to the post office, stop for coffee, and maybe even spend some time chatting with people along the way.

Like Kurt, I have given myself the gift of permission to just fart around. I don’t have a massive hobby that I’m passionate about, or that I spend money on, but I love giving myself little treats throughout the week. Walking to grab a coffee instead of making one so I can enjoy the neighborhood or using a lunch break for that massage my back desperately needs. For me it’s about the little gifts of self care and relaxation.

5: What was the last win you celebrated?

Our team at Privateer just sent our first hardware to space at the end of November. It was our proof of concept for a piece of equipment that allows us to aggregate and more effectively utilize the data being collected by a large network of satellites. To celebrate, we orchestrated a Zoom gathering to watch the live SpaceX rocket launch with our product on board, as a team. We also had custom glasses and patches made for everyone on the team to wear on launch day. It was nice to take a moment together to reflect on how far we’ve come and to just take pride in a job well done.

About Diana Klochkova:

Diana Klochkova is the Chief Marketing Officer at Privateer, a tech start-up focused on empowering problem-solvers on Earth with data from space. In 2018, Diana founded Zaya, a boutique agency dedicated to purpose-driven projects, boasting clients like Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk Media and ecotourism safari provider Asilia Africa. Diana firmly believes that work can and should be fulfilling, and she enjoys helping others escape the vortex of corporate drudgery.