My Interview with SHOUTOUT MIAMI: Meet Sarah Desbois de Pandia | Creative Entrepreneur
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Desbois de Pandia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, how do you think about risk?
To me, risk taking is defined by throwing yourself into an unknown situation, you also expose yourself to potential danger. In my case, I can say I’m quite comfortable with risk taking as it has defined most of my life and career. You see, as a nomad and expatriate, I’ve relocated 15 times and traveled to 50 countries. Both relocating and traveling are considerable steps into the unknown. Every time I relocated to a new country, it gave way for uncertainty and potential failure. Every travel led to getting out of my comfort zone and leaving behind everything I know. Taking risks in general forces me to release control and not only accept any possible outcome, but also deal with it. I think risk taking is a very healthy exercise if done in just the moderate amount needed. It opens your perspective, enables you to evolve, mature and become more accepting of life and people. In the past, perhaps I have taken too many risks in my life and in my career. Though each venture has been a passionate one and I have no regrets because I feel I have seen and accomplished extraordinary things. Now that I have children, I chose to slow down and opt for more stability and therefor less risk. But I still keep a healthy dose of risk in family leisure and holiday traveling; as well as in my career and entrepreneurship. I can soundly assert that in order to obtain any amount of result or success, you must challenge yourself, put yourself out there, take risks and accept error and failure as much as you want success.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started working straight after high school. Being the multipotentialite that I am, I couldn’t make up my mind on a specific career path, nor could I afford the expensive college I really wanted to go to. I trained and started as a flight attendant for a couple of years and went on to accepting jobs that enabled me to use my multiple language skills and/or travel. I ended up working as an assistant for a French telecom multinational, met my husband there and we both evolved career-wise and literally traveled the world within the group for over a decade. I reached an executive level and decided to leave the group on a good note, after completing a successful project in Asia. I felt I had reached the glass-ceiling of the corporate ladder, that I couldn’t go much further, and that it was time for me and my husband to settle down and have children anyway. So we did just that for a few years before I decided to become an independent entrepreneur. Little did I know I would become a serial entrepreneur…. I founded the Blueberry Ventures in Romania and five years later the Kiskeya Ventures in the Dominican Republic. I owned an Italian restaurant with my husband, launched a contemporary fashion jewellery brand for my mother, became a full time Marketing & Communications consultant for a multinational, and also managed a Property Management business.
Some of these projects didn’t bring me the fulfilment nor profitability I was seeking in the long run. So, I decided to stick with the ones that did, and keep exploring new horizons all at once.
I kept the Property Management business, launched a Personal Travel and Lifestyle blog, as well as a full-on Real Estate Business. I’m also in the process of creating a Business Women Alliance where women can come together and support each other in business.
All of this may sound a bit much, but I’m the kind of person who thrives in multitasking. I’m a curious person and I love creating and enjoy managing several businesses at a time. I also have a team I rely on to help me support these businesses.
I’m proud to be a self-made independent business woman and excited about my ventures. The challenge for me has been reducing the amount of businesses and consolidating them, but now that I’ve chosen to settle down for good, it’s something I’m learning to do. Also, in the first years, I tend to focus on the business profitability aspect and not so much on the creativity which is an important part of my personality. Now that I’ve made changes, I can see how working with more passion really helps. And tha’t s why I insist on the term “Creative Entrepreneur”. To be successful I think it’s important that your business reflects your personality and your passions. This way you stay motivated when the going gets tough. And so in all my businesses, you find an international, multicultural, creative and adaptable approach.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a bestie were visiting me in the Dominican Republic I’d love to take him/her on a tour around the coastlines. Wether by road or by boat we could hop on and off in some of the best places, such as the old colonial zone in Santo Domingo, Altos de Chavón in La Romana, Scape Park and its Blue Hole in Punta Cana, the gorgeous and tranquil beaches of Las Terrenas or the Beach parties in Cabarete. I particularly enjoy sailing so I’d take advantage of my husband’s sailing charters to go visit Isla Saona, Isla Catalina or The Haitises National Park. One of the most beautiful beaches in the world is Bahía de Las Aguilas so a camping trip there would be on the schedule! A must is having delicious Caribbean fish, rice, beans, avocado and plantain with fresh coconut water on the beach. I just love Neptuno’s Thermidor Lobster and Sangría in Boca Chica or Captain Cook’s endless seafood platters in Bávaro. We’d also enjoy the rythm of Bachata, Salsa and Merengue always playing somewhere in the background.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Firstly I would like to thank my husband for loving me unconditionally, for always being by my side along the years, the travels, the hardships, and for being a very good friend and advisor to me. He constantly challenges me and I think this is healthy in a long-lasting partnership. Then I would like to thank my children for considerably empowering me and sparking my self-esteem. They mean the world to me and have showed me I’m capable of much more than I thought. To me, there is no stronger bond nor love then the one I feel for my children. Also, my siblings, family and friends around the world for playing very different but crucial roles in my life every step of the way. Finally, I want to thank a wonderful and very qualified psychotherapist I met a few years ago and that very much helped me give sense and meaning to my life. If I may add something: I’m mostly an autodidact so if it weren’t for books, forums, corporate events, informal trainings and the Internet, I don’t know where I would be today. In my opinion, the amount of information accessible in our era is a gold mine for those who know how to use it to their advantage!
Link to original interview: https://shoutoutmiami.com/meet-sarah-desbois-de-pandia-creative-entrepreneur/