We had the good fortune of connecting with Tara Diaz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tara, how do you think about risk?
Normally, I would consider myself risk adverse. There are regrets I have in life that involved not taking risks or not wanting to get out of my comfort zone. But my biggest successes come from taking calculated risks. Back in 2009 I had a great job in the hotel industry which was on an upward trajectory. But the recession made me question my life choices. I knew that my desire and skill was to help people improve their health with natural medicine, but there are not many jobs in that industry. Most of us open practices and become our own bosses. Even with that information, I still decided to pursue my degree in acupuncture and quit my full time stable job and trade it in for 5 hours a week as a front desk person in a clinic while going to school full time. Opening my own practice in El Segundo was also a huge risk. I was renting space from someone and had a steady stream of patients. I was very steady, but decided to move to my own clinic in El Segundo, which was 10 minute away. I had no idea if anyone would follow me or if i would get new patients in a new town. But fortunately it was a good risk and my practice naturally grew until I required associates to take the overflow of patients. So I would say that risk taking definitely worked out for me.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The thing that I am most proud of business wise is the connection I have with my patients. I had a more traditional idea of success based on my experience in the hotel industry. Revenue and number of patients are ways that one could define success. But the thing I am most proud of is that many people trust me with their healthcare. Oftentimes, people feel like I am the first provider to hear their whole story and give them hope and they feel valued. To me that is my biggest success.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Pre-pandemic, I would definitely take them to 7 Grand in downtown LA for a cocktail one day. A show at the Hollywood bowl the next day. Desanso gardens and the Huntington would be on the list. And dinner at The Arthur J in Manhattan Beach. It’s my favorite fancy special occasion restaurant. Most days would be spent at the beach with my kids just splashing in the water and enjoying the beauty of where we live.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Patricia Fitzgerald, owner of Santa Monica Wellness Center. She has been my mentor since my last two years of acupuncture school. She is an amazing business owner, acupuncturist, and writer. She used to be the wellness editor of the Huffington Post and still contributes regularly. Even though she has been practicing for 25 years she is always studying something new. She also teaches qi gong to her patients in the park. She created a wonderful healing community. I also wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my husband. We met while I was still in school. He has been my biggest supporter through it all. He believed in me, even more than I believed in myself when it came time to open my own practice. I would not have made the leap to create my own space in the way I did without his support. This caused me to design the space mindfully with an interior designer and create the healing environment that I did. So he gets a big shoutout as well.