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Life and Work with Sarah Dandashy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Dandashy.

Sarah, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Ask A Concierge (askaconcierge.tv) was a happy accident.

I was taking a writing course and had to do a vlog. I decided to talk about things to do in LA – which I personally felt would be SO boring — It was what I talked about on a daily basis after all! Well, I was wrong… it was EXACTLY what people wanted to watch.

Shortly after putting out my first few videos, I realized I was on to something.

It became a passion as it combined my love for making videos and what I did on a daily basis!

Now, I’ve created a brand and company where I create travel content and am launching a hospitality consulting division of the company as well!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s never a smooth road. But that’s what makes success so sweet in the end. I’ve had to personally finance much of my company — I did not make any money for the first three years. And when I say I self-financed, I mean, I worked at a hotel and picked up little side gigs to make extra cash to pay for editing, advertising, and buy camera equipment. My priorities really changed once I started this. I dined out less, bought less clothing, didn’t go out as much, and really fine-tuned my finances. I had to miss many social events because I was working.

Many would even wonder why I would make such a long-term sacrifice, but I knew I had to stick it out. My business model needed a longer runway, partly because the business revolved around me. But as it grows and expands, even in ways I had not envisioned when I first started, that makes it all worthwhile.

As far as advice for young women out there… don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. For any reason. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something or reach your goals and dreams because of your gender, ethnicity, education, socio-economic background, how you wear your hair or how the wind is blowing that day. We all have challenges. And not all challenges are seemingly equal. But the best thing you can do is to not wish and hope for different circumstances, but be grateful for the world you were born into, be grateful for your challenges, embraces them, and then overcome them. Your challenges are what make you… you.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Ask A Concierge – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Well, I do a few things! I am an award-winning concierge. In 2015, I was named the best young concierge in the world by Les Clefs d’Or — the prestigious gold keys of concierge. Not only well known in the concierge profession, I have also created a travel media brand where I create travel videos on what to eat, see, and do in LA and around the world. My hope is to inspire people to curate their best lives.

I know work with big travel brands providing awesome content that supports their companies as well as further promoting mine. Because of this, I have recently launched a hospitality consulting component for my company.

I think what sets me apart is that I am very real and open about things. What you see is what you get. People respond well to that. Honesty and a good attitude also go a long way!

There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Network, network, network! Meet others within your industry. Meet others outside of your industry that shares an entrepreneurial spirit. Go to events. Go to conferences. And don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to someone you admire. A simple introduction can turn into a mentorship.

Speaking of mentorships, they can be very powerful. You can work with mentors in two ways. You can let them mentor you from afar. This is great when someone is really inspiring and you don’t have a personal connection. But when and if you can meet someone who would be a great mentor, start by asking them. Just be very specific. Be specific in how you would like them to mentor you, what you are looking to learn from them as a mentor, and how much you would like to keep in touch. Do not overstep your boundaries. If you navigate this well, your mentor can turn into a close friend.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Naomi Chokr for the main photo

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