We had the good fortune of connecting with Stefanie Feldman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Stefanie, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is a part of life, whether you want it to be or not. Risk can often be associated with something negative or dangerous, because by definition that is what we have learned it is. Everything can be considered a risk in life…from simply going outside, driving your car, starting a new job or even entering a new relationship. There’s always some form of risk to either your mind, body or heart.

A few years back, I opened up a wise fortune cookie with a quote inside that has resonated with me ever since. I even made a custom bracelet with these words on it to remind me every day; it said “Nothing dared, nothing gained.” These words couldn’t be truer for how I want and try to live my life. I wouldn’t be where I am today in my life, in particular my career without taking a risk or as I like to call it “taking a leap of faith.” It’s a jump into the unknown, it’s allows oneself to be vulnerable to new possibilities with hope for a better future.

When I joined BadVR almost 2 years ago, I knew it would be a risk, as I was not only switching jobs, but was going on a completely different career path. Not only did I take a risk in changing careers, the founders of BadVR also took a risk on me, and for that I’m forever grateful. Taking risks in life and in my career has provided me with opportunities to grow in so many ways. Of course it can be scary and nerve wrecking at times, although the amount I’ve learned in these past couple years is more than I could have ever imagined, making that leap of faith all the worthwhile.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m excited about where I’m at in my career and where I’m going. It hasn’t been an easy road and there are still days it is challenging, but when I truly look back on my career journey, I feel proud. I haven’t always had a clear direction of what exactly I should be doing, but through trials and tribulations at various jobs, I learned more and more about how I wanted to FEEL and what I wanted to be a part of.

I wanted to feel empowered, inspired, be amongst creatives, know that I could grow and truly enjoy the people I work with. What sets me apart is my ability to connect with others. I love hearing people’s stories, where they come from, how they got there and what brings them joy. Diving deeper into my role as a Product Manager, I’ve learned how valuable this skill can be. With each new project we’re always trying to understand the current challenges of our customers and how to creatively solve them. This gives me the opportunity to connect with all sorts of people on a human and professional level.

With each new job, there are always going to be challenges of the unknown, but the most important thing is to stay curious and ask questions. Read articles, books, connect with people doing something similar and always stay open to new perspectives and most importantly…don’t forget to just breathe!

I’m always open and interesting in talking to all sorts of people of various backgrounds as that is how I feel I can expand as an individual and through my career.

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?
This is a tough one as I’ve really hunkered down this past year, I’ve almost forgot where I used to go! Slowly starting to crawl out from under the rock but I can say I’ve truly appreciated things I may have previously taken for granted. I’m also at a different stage in my life where I’m enjoying the slower pace of things.

With that being said, I feel very spoiled living in Santa Monica where I can walk to the beach. We’d definitely have a full beach day either walking or riding bikes then grab a happy hour afterwards. Either at Hotel Irwin or Shangri La with some of the best rooftop views.

Palisades Park has been my saving grace during quarantine, I love to grab sandwiches from the famous Bay Cities and sit out in the sun or watch the sunset atop the bluffs. Always a great place to go solo or with friends.

Another day I’d take my best friend on a drive along PCH to one of the amazing hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains or Malibu. Then we’d go get lunch either at the Malibu Farm Pier Café or the Reel Inn. I love staying on the Westside so we’d grab dinner somewhere along Main Street in Santa Monica, most likely Lula’s for some of the best margaritas and local Mexican cuisine.

After dinner, another great place to get drinks at on the Westside is The Chestnut Club where you can get classic cocktails and dark booth and if you feel like staying around long enough you can slip next door to the Room for some dancing.

Then depending on the season (and one thing I look forward to getting back to soon) are concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, nothing better than watching your favorite band under the stars on a warm summer night! One of my other most favorite venues is the Fonda, because who doesn’t love a classic theater??

Lastly, with so many wonderful places not too far from LA, we’d have to get out of town and head down to Palm Springs for a couple nights.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It’s always hard to think of just one person, group or thing that has inspired me to be where I’m at today. One thing that immediately comes to mind is how I am so grateful to have a family that has always supported and encouraged me through the trials, tribulations and successes in my life from when I was a kid to now. Just knowing that they always have my back, helps me move forward with a little more ease. This also goes out to every person who has taken a chance on me in my career, even thinking back to my first job, where I had very little to no experience, someone believed in me enough to hire me, talk about a risk! My Mom always says to me, “one thing will lead you to another,” and in my career journey that has been so true. Looking back on how I got to where I am today, there was always one or more people providing the perfect link in the chain to keep me connected and moving forward. I can only hope that I have and will continue to do the same for others.

Instagram: sfeldy215

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stefanielfeldman/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sfeldy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sfeldman215

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