BOSS LADY INTERVIEW: Diana Elizabeth Steffen
1. How do you stay inspired and fuel your creative vibe?
I clean and refresh my creative spaces – my office and home. I clear out the clutter and purge or donate items that no longer serve a purpose or inspire me. Then I head to the store and pick up a lot of flowers to bring some life into my work area!
2. What does the typical day in the life look like for you?
Wake up late morning (if I told you, you’d think I was crazy) but I work late into the night. I want so badly to be a morning person and that only happens when I return from an international trip. A typical day consists of making myself an iced latte, answering emails, organizing photoshoot lists and running errands to get materials and meeting a friend for lunch. I might have a shoot that day as a photographer with a client, or I’m modeling and my husband is taking the photos for a blog post.
3. Why is balance important in your life?
If you work too hard in one area, something has to give. Something always gets neglected, whether it’s a second business, you, or your relationships. I’ve excelled in one area to find I’m suffering in others and it’s draining to your soul, creativity and everyone around you. Balance means learning to say no and setting boundaries and limits so you can say yes to the right things.
4. What is an essential practice or ritual you do weekly to help you stay balanced and grounded?
I make time for my friends – my relationships are so important to me. My friends give me feedback, ask how I’m doing mentally, spiritually and they encourage and correct me when necessary. I have surrounded myself with an incredible circle and if I don’t have girlfriend time, I feel completely lost and empty.
5. What is your personal mantra?
“Be who God created you to be.” Life’s too short to be with people who tell you that you can’t, shouldn’t, or the things that you find interesting, questionable. Stay away from people who don’t encourage your dreams, they will drag you down.
6. What does happiness look like to you?
Ultimate happiness to me is feeling like I’m the best version of myself and doing what I enjoy. There are moments when what we love can overwhelm us if we take too much but I remind myself that I’m able to do what I enjoy – blogging, graphic design and photography thanks to the encouragement of my husband, friends and family. And feeling like I am free to be me – whatever that looks like day to day brings me joy.
7. When you look at a photograph of yourself when you were younger, if you were to write a letter to her, what advice would you give?
I guess I would just say, ask Yun Yun (Cantonese for grandma) more questions, when you leave out to state to go to college, visit California more often. Go home more often period to see your parents, (I now live in Phoenix), and hug and kiss that little dog of yours. Know when to say goodbye, and learn to love what’s good for you – and trust God, everything will turn out just fine.
8. What do you love the most about your life right now?
I love that I feel like I’m the best version of myself – because of encouragement from my husband. When we started dating he told me to never change because he loved me just as I was, though he knows it would be inevitable because women change and men don’t (haha!). He lets me be free – I found a love for international travel and he’s fine with me going with a girlfriend if he can’t go, he took an interest in photography because I needed an Instagram husband for my blog, and he gets excited for me when I get work with brands I love. His encouragement made me into a gardener – he built me the garden beds! So I guess the short answer is I love my husband and he’s the best thing in my life!
9. What current project has you fired up?
I never know what my next project is as an entrepreneur running several businesses. It can be anything from my shot landing the cover of a magazine (I’m a few years overdue for a cover), to working with a dream client. I love that every day I don’t know what I’ll be doing and I’m always excited to take on the creative projects I do!
9. Any final thoughts, words of advice, or a favorite quote for the Happy Grace community?
Don’t overthink. As women we have a habit of overthinking what other women are doing or thinking of us, to what parties we’re invited to and I just want to say – just assume, even if it’s hard to pretend that it’s not intentional, if you ever feel left out or rejected, it’s probably in your head. And if you feel like something’s missing, create it! Reach out to others, chances are there’s one or two or more who feel the same way you do but are just scared to show it! Oh, and never underestimate a handwritten thank you card.
Diana Elizabeth Steffen
Diana Elizabeth Blog