Asking the Tough Questions With Dani Sarusi

Highlights from S2 Ep8 of What Should I Do With My Life? with Steph Horwitz featuring Dani Sarusi

Meet Dani Sarusi! In her own words, Dani shows people how awesome they are, just as they are. Through beautiful branding photography, Dani helps businesses see themselves in a new way and get inspired, and through documentary photography, Dani shows families how awesome their everyday lives are, dirty dishes included. In this episode, Dani talks about the experience that completely 180’d the trajectory of her life and sparked her passion in the global development space , shares how motherhood became the catalyst for her career in photography, and talks about the elements of her background in anthropology that she takes with her everyday to photoshoots. Her life needs to be a movie, let me know who we should cast to play Dani — she has an incredible story that is still being written, she has been a super important figure in my own podcasting journey and What Should I Do With My Life? Would not be what it is without her.

Three Pearls of Wisdom from Dani Sarusi

  1. A huge part of Dani’s story is the people who made a lasting impact on her and her life decisions. From her manager at the restaurant who encouraged Dani to go to Vietnam, to her history professor who inspired Dani and worked with her to lead Alternative Spring Break, Dani recognized so clearly the important people that played a critical role in her story. We should all take the time to stop and recognize who those individuals are who have been so key in our stories, and reach out! Let them know what an impact they have had on your life.
  2. While Dani had these big plans and dreams to be an NGO field worker in Kenya, she became disenchanted and heartbroken after seeing and experiencing the reality on the ground, and realizing she wasn’t able to make the impact she had hoped through the work she thought she wanted to do. Although upsetting and a very tough truth to internalize, Dani teaches us how to accept the hard truths, take off the rose-colored glasses when our career ambitions or dreams aren’t what we hope them to be, and move forward with confidence.
  3. A pivotal moment in Dani’s career journey was when she worked with a life coach and had to ask herself the hard questions: Mainly, “Why Am I Getting a PhD when I deep down don’t want to do this lonely, grueling work?!” After hashing out the tough stuff, Dani realized that she wasn’t on her current career journey for the right reasons. In order to make sure that our career goals line up with what we really want, we all need to ask ourselves the right questions, figure out our motivates, and be brave enough to change course and take a different path if necessary.

Connect with Dani on Instagram!

Brand Photos

Family Photos

Work With Dani

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Stephanie Horwitz

Stephanie Horwitz


I lead global value creation for SAP.iO & I am the creator and host of “What Should I Do With My Life?”