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

Hi Desiree, how do you define success?

Success to me does not involve money, status, or even your career because to have those things does not necessarily mean you are happy and to me, you can not be truly successful if you are not truly happy. I have known plenty of unhappy, wealthy individuals. I know plenty of individuals with high-status jobs that would rather be doing something else. How I define success  and how you define success will never be the same but if you can wake up each day, trying to do better, be better, or give back in some sort of way; then in my eyes, you have gained success.

There are many times where people can do good and choose not to. There are times when people sit at home and do nothing, dreading where their lives are instead of taking action to change. You may not have the most money or be at the top of the pyramid within your career but if you can understand that your life has a lot to offer and then provide that feeling to others as well, then you are one of the most successful people that one can be.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career allows me to be able to use my psychology experience to create better work environments for the employees of the companies I work for as well as create better management systems and teach techniques and tools to increase retention within the companies. I am most proud of the multidimensional impact my work has had throughout the company. Not only am I able to create better management teams, but I am also able to create a more efficient, productive, and comfortable work environment for those who are under them. Being able to work in many different industries, as well as working closely with people, has allowed me the experience I needed in combination with my education, to grow my expertise and rise to the level I have arrived at today. Nothing ever comes easy, and in addition to getting an education, including multiple degrees, including my grad program, I have also worked through school to allow myself the best opportunities as I continued my studies. Hustling is never easy, but will always be a large part of success. Overcoming each challenge that comes to you with skill, patience, and wisdom takes time. Although I may be able to make my job look easy now, you have to fall down many times on the journey to wherever you’re headed and this was not exempt from that. I was able to learn not only about others while becoming a psychologist, but also about myself and although you may not be where you would like to be, you may be learning a part of yourself that you need to finish the race. It will not always be easy, but it will always be worth it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Whenever my friends come to visit me, I like to create a relaxing environment for us to be able to most enjoy our time together. The Chateau Elan for a weekend get away is always a favorite and a must- especially for a week-long trip. Although I typically work, I would take some time off to be able to enjoy events throughout the week. Living in Atlanta, there is always something to do and I would definitely take advantage, hopefully, a wine festival or music event, especially during the summer. Other than that, their favorite foods and movies are about all else needed.

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?

Five years ago I was in a modeling company for a magazine where over 35,000 models entered. I placed 4th. I did not realize that this competition that I had entered last minute, would have changed so much for me. I say this because this competition allowed me to gain a mentorship with a man that has not only supported and encouraged me over the years, but has also educated me and challenged me as well. Gary Williams taught me how to read a book properly, how to trade, given me podcasts after podcasts, lectures after lectures, He does not sugarcoat life or give you a pat on the back for participation. He has pushed me in every aspects of my adult life up to this point. I compete in NPC Bodybuilding shows and if it wasn’t for the books he gave, I would not have the advice I needed to keep going. I obtained three degree by 26 and if it wasn’t for his words teaching me how to stay focused and hard, who knows if I would have kept going. I am young and there has not been one moment that Gary has allowed my age to define me. Thank you Gary for the bottom of my heart for being the mentorship and teacher that I did not realize I needed. You have supported and given back to my life more then I think words can even explain. The life lessons you have taught me over the years are things I can take to my grave and I owe a portion of who I am as an adult today, to you. Thank you for that.

Instagram: instagram.com/desik94

Image Credits
Photographer: Mike Whitehead @sirfluxe Hair: Victoria @beyoutifulstylez MUA: Lauren Vaughan @vaughan_Id

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta 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.