We had the good fortune of connecting with Desiree Hardge and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Desiree, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
The way I respond to taking risk is that it is inevitable if you want to maximize your success in life. Whatever that looks like for a person as there are various degrees of taking risk. It truly depends on if “the end justifies the means,” ethically and morally of course. I would not be where I am today if I listened to others telling me, ” you cannot…, it’s going to be difficult, you need to stay in your lane, you’re this you’re that etc.” Or even dealing with imposter syndrome and not having the confidence based on previous experiences. Or supportive and knowledgeable people in your inner circle. Whether it was a person who I trusted and by all means had good intentions or a person that wanted me to fail, I always bet on myself and God first and foremost. I have learned that in anything I do, risk is a part of my professional and personal growth and development of pushing the envelope, if you will, to become more into my purpose on this journey called Life. I compare taking risk like nourishment is to the body and mind because as I have matured I have evolved professionally by way of stepping outside of the “traditional box” of societal standards and creating a path that I feel is in alignment with God’s purpose for my existence and the person I need to be. Taking risk can be hard because most times it is unfamiliar, uncharted terrain, and it can be exhausting from unknown outcomes and turbulence. But I find that it is the beauty of a visionary like myself to have a broader perspective on where I want to lead my company globally. For example, I was hired as an Event Manager to oversee, create, and fundraise etc… for an international organization. I was a one person team in uncharted territory and gave a huge compensation discount because I believed in their mission and I had to start somewhere as risky as that was. I did everything from venue layout, invitation design, communications, and business development to; production, food/beverage tasting, write of script, website design/content etc. This was my first business challenge post my former Vice President position. Needless to say, it was a huge success with a sold out audience. I share this example, because I took a risk not only professionally with my reputation, I also betted on myself more importantly and adhered to the saying, “it is only impossible until it’s done.” In taking risks I have failed and I have won but through it all I have learned and have no regrets because without those risks I would not know my own strengths, integrity, and values. More importantly, have the business I wish to lead 5, 10, even 20 years from now. Failure does not stop at one risk nor does risk always end in failure. I have learned there will be many highs and lows throughout life but my part in what I can control is to keep leaning forward and to never give in to the complexity of achieving success.
What should our readers know about your business?
At Convenire International, we identify, pursue, and develop strategic opportunities through business development and fundraising to cultivate partnerships in the non-profit and for-profit sectors. We pride ourselves on being able to foster creative solutions while building long-term market value for our clients and global communities. What sets Convenire apart is our Golden Circle values. It represents unity and alignment between our firm, clients, and organizations globally. Just like our name, which is derived from the Latin biblical origins meaning “The Covenant” defined as “united and together.” Convenire /”konve’nire”/. I am most proud of helping people and organizations globally that are often marginalized for sociological and economical reasons and excited to help be a vessel, if you will, to bring attention, funding, and resources through social responsibilities in alignment with organizations. How I got to where I am today is because I took a risk to be my own boss, to not listen to the naysayer, and to lead a company the way I envision and unapologetically can without permission. More importantly, I saw a lack of compassion in humanity for life and I wanted to do something about it. Plus, it’s my purpose. Was it easy? Yes. Because early on in my career I understood my worth, value, purpose, and knowledge of what I could do if given an honest chance to do it. That is why ladies and gentlemen, it is imperative to know your worth and value because when you know who you are you know who you are not. The lessons I have learned is going back to taking risks, always betting on myself. People will either like me and support me or hate me and talk bad about me. Either way I don’t care. I have found that I can not worry about the haters nor control what they say or how they feel but I can control my narrative and the direction I see for myself heading in. We all have one life to live and life is too short to worry about things and people that don’t positively contribute to your life. I hold a Master of Business Management (MBA) from the University of Phoenix and have numerous certificates, including Executive Leadership from Social Venture Partners (SVP-AZ). I am a development business board advisor, member of Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations (PCFR), Phoenix Business Journal “40 under 40” nominee (2019), Co-Author “Upward: Leadership Lessons For Women On The Rise” and coming soon summer of 2021 “All Women Have Stretch Marks and Cellulite” a motivational/self-help book for women, and I am an alumni of Collaborative 2019. Most importantly, I am a child of God, a single mom to four extraordinary kiddos, and a workout enthusiast!
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?
In the past decade Arizona as a whole has seen significant growth. And just like I have an eclectic taste in music so does my adventurous spirit! We would go camp at Willow Beach (Emerald Lake) for a couple of days and kayak/paddle board; where there is a 235 miles of shoreline with picturesque scenery, skyscraper canyon walls towering 7,000 ft. high, breathtaking mountain formations coupled with desert wildlife, hiking trails, and crystal green water when the sunshine is perched upon the aquatic mass there is a glow that mesmerizes the human eye into tranquility. Head back to Phoenix stopping in Kingman to see one of the first ever electric cars ever built on Route 66 in Kingman. From there meet with friends at O.S.H.O or Fate for dinner. Sitting outside under the stars, while drinking a nice imperial milk stout beer and engaged in great conversation. Depending on the season, we would check out some of the amazing music festivals like M3F with live bands or head up north to Snow Bowl to grind the powdered snow or just hike Humphrey’s. Maybe visit some local art museums or take in a theatre play. And it’s always fun to attend at least one spring training game, especially before it heats up. In my view if I want to say local, I will head downtown to Phoenix to Hanny’s, Roosevelt Row, CIBO, Blue Hound, and Angels Trumpet, etc. or Chandler to The Stillery, Bourbon Jacks, Sasha’s Kitchen, and The OSTRICH . Mid town, Richardson’s and Luci’s Orchard. If I want to get out of town I will head to La Jolla Beach or Mexico.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To God Thank you for making me a strong person and seeing me through my highs and lows. Thank you for your unwavering love and accepting all my flaws and shortcomings. Thank you for never giving up on me and continuously walking with me. Thank you for fighting and defeating my battles before I ever engage. To My Mother Thank you for all you have done to help motivate and encourage me to never give up, to reach my dreams and goals through dedication and discipline. My life and my girls’ lives have been truly blessed because of your presence. You are a person whom most women can only hope to become or to have as a mother. To My Daughters Thank you for your grace. You girls rock and it is a privilege and honor to be your mommy. I have watched you grow to become beautiful, intelligent, talented, and incredible young ladies. You are the future! Remember to always live freely, love much, laugh often, and never stop learning! To My Friends Thank you for supporting me over the years. Thank you for the encouragement and many adventures. I am so appreciative of our friendship! To Life May you always be the catalyst that challenges me outside my scope of comfort. I will forever be grateful and a continuous student of yours!