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

Hi Denisa, can you think back and share with us a life experience that you feel has had a significant impact on you?
I have always been the kind of person who couldn’t just sit still, so having nothing to do was not something I was ever very good at. This is why I always found myself with several sources of income thru the years to keep me busy which was good because I usually always found a way to make up for financial deficits and I was rarely bored! One source was always somehow more steady than the others and I had come to rely on it the most. This one basket that I put most of my eggs into was also the one that made me realize that working for a company that considers you a number is no place to be!! After dedicating 7 years of my life to a local restaurant, watching it grow from the day the doors opened, I suddenly found that a man I had just helped train not more than 6 months earlier, was now in charge of my schedule. The schedule that was my bread and butter vanished without so much as a peep. Can you be “ghosted” by an employer? I pretty much was! I was in disbelief at first so I let a few weeks go by thinking maybe there was some glitch in the scheduling app, but by week three and no shifts I finally reached out to the point people. I found myself in unfamiliar waters where even the owner, who I had considered a pretty good friend for the entire duration of my employment, lacked the decency to respond and clearly didn’t have my back. I had endured sexual harassment from former managers, verbal harassment and even assault from a former chef, as well as an on the job back injury without so much as making a peep for the sake of the establishment because I thought the owner was a friend, but suddenly the job I poured years and tears into became extinct, along with all communication. I was what one could consider “a number” that was replaceable. I vanished from the schedule, as did 7 years of dedication just like that. This was a major wake up call for me. Having an employer who you count on, no matter how good the relationship with them may be, doesn’t always mean they will have your back at the end of the day. Some have limited desire to run their business themselves and let people they hire make decisions for them. It can be managers, investors, board of directors, etc, and unfortunately in situations like this whoever is driving the ship ultimately holds your fate in their hands. In my case, a brand new employee, who they were trying to fire just a couple months earlier, now suddenly had the power to take me off the schedule. I came away from this experience knowing that if I was going to be someone’s number, it would at least be number that could go home daily having made an actual difference in peoples lives. A difference that was more than just choosing the best glass of wine to go with their paella. I had formed great relationships with my clientele, many of whom I still keep in touch with, and if there was any good that came out of those 7 years it was those clients. I had already began my path to move into a different career anyway and this situation helped solidify that I was making the right career choice and I dove into my studies. The experience also made me realize that sadly we live in a world where everyone seems to fend for themselves instead of each other. A world where looking out for “me” is greater than “we”. And that no matter how good of an employee you may be, no matter how much you endure at a job without complaint, and no matter how good your relationship with your employer may be at a given time, you can still be replaced at most jobs, because to most, you are replaceable. In the end, the moral I took away was to always have faith that when certain doors close, others are likely to open. To use the things that could break you down to instead help build you into a better human. To make a life you can be proud of and ultimately build a tribe of people around yourself who motivate you to become that better human. People you can trust and who won’t leave you out to dry. Leave the ones who lefts scars and burned their own bridges to face their own karma. Live your life to be bigger and better than those that lefts scars. Move forward with grace and humility. We are all here for a short time, so it’s worth making the most of it!

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?
I currently work for myself as a realtor and yoga/pilates instructor, while also a part time student. Occasionally I also pick up 1099 opportunities in the music industry if they fit my school schedule. I also always am on the look out for remote opportunities in marketing, data and research, etc! So if anyone reading this is looking for a resourceful, intelligent individual to help their business, call me 🙂 I am most proud of the fact that I have chosen to lead a motivated life that drives me to be better daily. Constant growth is key. I don’t have a television that is turned on daily, and instead I find greater joy in furthering my education. Even if that means taking a summer class that has nothing to do with any of my current interest. Our minds are meant to be shaped with knowledge, not flooded with media. When it comes to my business, I find word of mouth better then advertising and I believe in putting my heart in everything I do, which includes building relationships. People to people connection have always been my driving force. As far as coming easy, I do not believe anything comes easy, unless you have an endless trust fund that has been handed down. I come from a very hard working family who has taught me a great deal about being able to overcome adversity especially when things go sideways. This is why I always saw multiple sources of income as a better way to live then just relying on one. The hustle doesn’t mean you aren’t dedicated to a craft, it means you are prepared for a rainy day.

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?
I would do a convertible drive along the coast from San Diego to Santa Barbara! Stopping along any fun eateries on the path that caught our eye. Perhaps look at festivals going on to add to our play by ear itinerary, and throw in a night or two of camping. I’m not much of an itinerary follower. I once took a month long trip to Ireland alone, rented a car and just stopped when I was tired of driving or saw something that caught my eye. I like the idea of stopping places and asking locals for suggestions instead of using someone else’s experience to map out your trip. Life is an adventure after all and you can’t plan for adventure, you need to just be in the moment to experience it.

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?
I’d like to give a shout out to the amazing boss’ that I have had who helped shape me in positive ways! Specifically: Jeff Maulden, Michael James Brown, Michael Mejia, Mike Solano, Jeff Bridges, Jesse Conn, Laurie Baker and Mike Naglieri And of course thank you to my awesome family who has endured the tears, curse words and the smiles along all the transitions of my journey thus far.

Website: www.realnamastates.com
Instagram: @denisasellssd
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/denisapetricko/

Image Credits
@desk photo with laptop and standing yoga pose = AshleyBliss

Nominate someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.