JUST YOUR EVERYDAY RISK-TAKER: Lisa Schwartz
JUST YOUR EVERYDAY RISK-TAKER: 1 May 2015
Name: Lisa Schwartz
Occupation: Full-time Director of Lifestyle, Leisure and Resorts for Diamond Public Relations. Part-time Yogi, Superhero and Travel Goddess.
Location: Miami, Florida…or some gorgeous resort somewhere down Caribbean way.
Q: Do you consider yourself a risk-taker?
Lisa: Yes, I think so. I believe in doing whatever you have to do to make your dreams happen. And sometimes that involves taking some big risks. I’m a big believer, as cliche as it may sound, in the idea of the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward.
Q: Does the way you tackle risk differ in your personal and your professional lives?
Lisa: I don’t really look at professional and personal opportunities separately. I’ve always lived by following my heart. Whatever my gut tells me, whatever direction my gut is guiding me towards, I just go for it. And that’s whether it has to do with a relationship or my career. It’s just the way I operate.
Q: As a public relations professional, you often have to help clients vet risk. How do you help guide them towards making smart risks?
Lisa: By having a good sense of what is happening in the industry. With travel PR, social media is something we’re all kind of learning as we go along. But as new platforms pop up, you have to have your finger on the pulse and understand where the space is going. We don’t always know if a new campaign is going to be successful. But we partner with clients that we think are willing to take some risks and try something new based on our educated research and planning. And it’s a matter of approaching the client who will forgive you if it doesn’t work out–but is going to be super-excited if it does work out and they were the first among our clients to have tried something new.
Q: How do you decide if something is too risky?
Lisa: It’s all about that gut feeling. If you get the general sense that you’re on the right path, even if you are a little scared of change, it’s hard to doubt the right thing to do. When I listen to my gut, even if I feel out of my comfort zone, I never doubted where I was headed. If you have those doubts, I think that’s a red flag. But you can’t confuse doubts with being scared. Because they are two very different things.
Q: How do you tell the difference?
Lisa: How do you tell the difference? That’s a good question. It’s hard to put into words. I think nervousness and doubt are two different things. Everyone feels nervous when you’re about to try something new or embarking on a new adventure. Let’s say you’re about to go on a month long vacation to Europe. Of course, you’re going to be a little bit nervous about it and you’re going to be scared of the unknown. But if you really want to go, you never doubted that. You’ve known that going is something that you want to do.
Q: Do you think the way you deal with risk has changed as you’ve gotten older?
Lisa: Definitely. I think as I’ve gotten older, and put things out there, and tried new things, and pursued new opportunities, it’s showed me that taking risks is so important, because it’s hard to make big changes in your life. It’s hard to make any changes in life. And that difficulty holds a lot of people back from reaching their potential, I think. I’m from Montreal and some people from back home look at what I’ve done with my career and my life, and say, “Oh my God, we’re so jealous, how did you do it?” The truth us, anybody can do it, it’s just a matter of putting yourself out there.
Originally when I had left Canada to pursue a career in PR, I had no idea what challenges I would face and what might be out there. I was terrified that it wouldn’t work out. But I’ve learned along the way that as long as you trust yourself, and you trust your gut, everything will work out. You just have to put in the work and put yourself in the right position to receive the things that you want. Really, anything is possible. The idea of change and opportunity and taking a risk now excites me rather than scares me. Because I’ve seen the great opportunities that came along when I’ve taken risks.