We had the good fortune of connecting with Dana Baasiri and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dana, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
I never thought of myself as a risk taker. Generally, the older you get the more fearful you are. While I find myself taking less risks these days, I’ve noticed that they tend to be bigger risks than the ones I took when I was first starting out in my career. I learned the hard way that growth doesn’t come from a place of comfort. Instead, we only grow and learn (in every aspect of our lives) when we do take risks. I realized that no one will push me to take those leaps of faith, so I have had to make a commitment to myself and take accountability when it came to doing so. I’ve also learned that it’s not about the number of risks you take but about taking the right ones (think quality over quantity). Reflecting back on my career, I can say I got here from taking the right risks. How do you know if it’s the right one? If that risk gets you closer to your end goal, or helps you learn or grow in some way then you can’t go wrong. While easier said than done, I’ve also had to stop listening to the doubtful voices in my head—just because I do not know how to do something, doesn’t mean I can’t figure it out. Many times (in fact most times) I have said yes to an opportunity (whether that’s been a job, a project, a public speaking opportunity), and figured out how to do it later and those have been the most rewarding risks of my life. If it scares you, that’s a good thing!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Professionally, I have been a publicist in hospitality for the last nine years and absolutely love it. At heart, I am a writer and a content creator. I love the creative process of storytelling—discovering the uniqueness of a brand or product, crafting stand-out content and strategy, and delivering the message. Throughout my career, I’ve been presented with opportunities to work on various projects from traditional media relations to event planning, social media and marketing. Having “dipped my toes” into different opportunities, I’ve gradually learned what I liked or did not like about the field I am in which has been one of the most valuable lessons learned. Another lesson learned has been to be patient with myself. Success does not happen overnight, and if it did, it’s much sweeter and more enjoyable when you’ve put in years of blood, sweat and tears to accomplish your goals. Lastly, I’ve learned that you are never done growing or learning. I don’t believe in saying, “I’ve made it.” To me, there’s no end to the journey of becoming which is a beautiful thing we should all embrace. Looking back at my accomplishments, I’m most proud of the growth I’ve done and jumping at every opportunity that’s come my way (even if I was hesitant or afraid).
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Little Havana is my go to whenever anyone is in town! My personal favorite is Cafe La Trova. It never disappoints.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have a strong support network of women who I’ve met through work over the years. I’m fortunate to have connected with many like-minded professionals and ambitious women who always cheer me on and push me to take on opportunities. Whether they have recommended me for opportunities, or have come out and supported me at events or panel engagements, having them in my corner has been life-changing. Additionally, my boyfriend has been a major support system and is my biggest fan. He is a successful business-owner and entrepreneur himself—watching him run a business has inspired me to think about who I am as a professional and business woman outside of my current role and position (thinking a little bit more bigger picture). Last but not least, I’ve learned to operate on faith not fear. God has been a big presence in my life throughout my career and decision-making. It’s what ultimately got me to where I am today.
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