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Beauty queen Daisi Jo Pollard Sepulveda on why support systems are more important than you might think

Support Systems Are More Important Than You Think — I was alone a lot growing up so I learned to be extremely independent and never asked for help. I pushed people away because support to me felt like people preventing me from pursuing things I wanted in my life. In some circumstances, you really have to be […]


Support Systems Are More Important Than You Think — I was alone a lot growing up so I learned to be extremely independent and never asked for help. I pushed people away because support to me felt like people preventing me from pursuing things I wanted in my life. In some circumstances, you really have to be strong minded and willed about your goals. In my case, I’m glad I held out for people that can support me the way I need support. You have to be willing to let people try to be there for you.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Daisi Jo Pollard Sepulveda. Daisi is an American model, beauty queen, actress and businesswoman. She has appeared on the runways of New York Fashion Week, commercials, films and television shows. She is also the former Miss Jamaica International 2005. Daisi is the founder of Daisi Media Corp. and is a spokesperson for global issues such as human trafficking and meningitis awareness.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I had a pretty intense childhood but I also had a lot of exposure to culture, business and art. At some point I became obsessed with business, the fashion and beauty and modeling. Not the type of obsession that makes you want to read tabloids and watch television. I was interested in the work and execution. I went to go live with my paternal grandmother when I was 12 years old. She saw modeling potential in me and took me to some modeling agencies where I was eventually signed. That opened a lot of doors. I wanted to learn and grow. I started studying things and people like Eileen Ford, Charles Revson and basically anything I could go deep on. At some point I started experimenting with self submissions to clients and coming up with creative ways to market and package myself. All of this seems common today but back in the 90’s it was going completely against the grain. Since, I’ve always done unconventional things. I’ve always studied the industries I’m in and the people that have contributed to it along the way.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I was competing in an international beauty pageant in China in 2005. We were there for about 3 weeks and working non-stop. At one point towards coronation night, there was a lot of tension between the contestants and the organizers. The contestants felt like their best interests weren’t being prioritized. A lot of girls wanted to go home and not compete but of course it was China and “autonomy” isn’t a popular philosophy. So many of us were backstage during what was suppose to be a partial dress rehearsal without camera so that we could all get comfortable with our positioning and spotting in our headpieces, gowns, etc. However, when the contestants start heading onto the stage in half costumes, trains and so forth, we all realized that the cameras are on and recording. Many of the girls were upset, including myself. Many of the contestants left the stage in embarrassment and complained to the organizers. At that point I get an idea. When they call “Miss Jamaica”, I do my opening number and when I get to the microphone, instead of saying the script I’ve practiced, I protest. Of course, that didn’t go over well but it made a lasting impression!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

There’s a ton of silly mistakes I made when I was first starting out. One time I was walking into a Go-See and my heel got caught on a piece of carpet. I tripped and went flying across the room. It was extremely embarrassing. Needless to say, I didn’t get that job!

I still make a lot of mistakes because I’m always trying something different and challenging myself. So I’m always embarrassed.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m currently trying to learn how to ride a horse because I’m producing a video trailer for a book I’m publishing called The Tin Box. Horseback riding can be really challenging because you have to learn not to be afraid which is harder than it sounds. You have to understand how horses moves, behavior and awareness.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

This industry has allowed me to meet so many interesting people. I feel like I have friends all over the world, in all walks of life and I get to share in a piece of their experience. Once, Princes’ ex-wife Matye helped me out when I needed to verify the legitimacy of a manager. People really don’t have to help you, return your calls or give you advice. When they do, it really means something. That’s the beauty of it all. Early in my career I worked with Susan Sarandon on the Cradle Will Rock. It was my first film and I was totally out of my element. Later after I moved to L.A. I met Steve Harvey on another project but one of the most impactful situations was meeting the female wrestler, Chyna. Growing up I watched her wrestle on TV and she was amazing. I was surprised at how soft spoken and how talented she was. At the time I met her, she was in a really bad place and I was flattered that she was asking me for help. Unfortunately, I was unable to help her and that breaks my heart. I’ve also met a lot of famous founders and politicians. No matter who it’s been, I always have the same takeaway, “Wow, so and so is really human.” It seems simple but media and fame has a way of putting people on pedestals. So when you meet them in person, it’s like, “Oh, they are human too.”

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Learn to control the noise — There’s a lot of noise in the world. Social media, Netflix, cell phones, etc. but you don’t have to take it in all the time. Learn to filter what you take in. Also learn to silence the voices in your mind (i.e. negative self talk, other people’s opinions, etc.).

Rest but don’t stop — There’s a lot of value in taking time to rest, regroup and reflect but what starts off as a few week, months or maybe a year break can easily turn into years of not doing anything and false starts. Before you know it, it’s 10 years and you haven’t done anything you planned to do. I know a lot of people like that.

Keep your circle tight — It’s very hard to be productive and successful while maintaining lots of friends. Your closest friendships were likely created around core activities or at times when you were in the trenches together. For the most part, keep those friends if you can but spot check them throughout your journey to make sure they’re also progressively moving their careers in the right direction. New friendships take time to establish and build so selecting the right ones takes a lot trial and error. Don’t be shy about editing your circle regularly. Doing so will save you tons of energy, time and looking back after you’ve achieve another goal — you’ll never regret that you did.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I recently read this book called Factfulness by Hans Rosling which addresses how our perceptions of the world have been distorted in many ways such as what parts of the world are considered “developed” vs. “developing” and population growth. I’d like to dispel those archaic beliefs and instead educate people that in order to understand the world accurately, you have to see it from many different perspectives.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

SW + SW = MO — I wish someone gave me this equation when I was just starting out. It stands for Some Will + Some Won’t = Move On. Some people will like you, work with you, believe in you + Some people won’t = Regardless, keep moving forward. I now keep this on my refrigerator!

Serendipity Is Real — I’ve had a lot of serendipity in my career but I never wanted to give it credit because I thought it took away from giving credit to my own effort and work but serendipity doesn’t happened without effort and work. It’s a reward for work that you weren’t expecting which is like getting a treat!

Support Systems Are More Important Than You Think — I was alone a lot growing up so I learned to be extremely independent and never asked for help. I pushed people away because support to me felt like people preventing me from pursuing things I wanted in my life. In some circumstances, you really have to be strong minded and willed about your goals. In my case, I’m glad I held out for people that can support me the way I need support. You have to be willing to let people try to be there for you.

You Will Get Lonely — If you want to go deep in anything, you will have times in your life where you will be lonely. Getting great at anything takes some isolation and concentration. Also, not everyone you started with is going to stay the course. When I was first starting out, I thought that all my model friends were lifers. Boy was I wrong. Most of them were hobbyists at best. A few of them knew they wanted to move onto something else but even fewer knew what that other thing was and none of them were interested or loved a specific career path enough to go deep into anything.

Most People Are Surface — Honing a craft takes time, effort, passion and hard work. As a model, actress, creative, producer, I’m all the way in with my craft but most people are not like that. They are “good enough”, they “know enough” but they aren’t putting in the work. So if you can put in the work, you can be that much better. If you’re a model, keeping yourself “photo shoot ready” is key. Figure out what that means for you. If you’re an actress, go beyond reading the lines on the paper. If you’re a creator, figure out what everyone else isn’t doing and do that!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Great opportunity never have ‘great opportunity’ in the subject line” — Scott Belsky

I think I first heard this quote on the Tim Ferriss Show. I immediately thought about how people try to get you to do things that benefit them more than they will benefit you — if at all. What they mean is that it’s a great opportunity for them and most often not great for you. So I evaluate every “opportunity” or offer very closely to see if it’s something I want to be a part of or if it’s someone I want to work with. That takes patience. It takes being able to put the fire out on some of the initial excitement so that you can think clearly about it and make a decision you’re not going to regret later.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My paternal grandmother. She is deceased now but I always give credit where credit is due. When I was 12 years old I went to live with her. At the time I was living in a foster home in Virginia after my mother had left me standing in the rain on the doorsteps of social services. My grandmother spent months fighting to get me out of the foster care system. Living with her really gave me the opportunity and freedom to explore ideas.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

James Altucher. I’ve been reading and listening to James since he started his blog back in 2010.

I reread Choose Yourself every year and I gift a copy to everyone I meet who I think needs it. His writing and podcast has had a profound impact on how I make decisions about my life and business.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram.com/DaisiJo

Twitter.com/DaisiJo

Facebook.com/DaisiJo

Youtube.com/DaisiJoReviews

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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