Risk Taker Dream Maker: Keri Bonfili | Online Publication
RTDM: Keri Bonfili
CEO/thekbonfili.com Public Relations
Tell us about yourself: Where you came from, where you've been and how you're living your dream?
I grew up in the midwest, graduated from Columbia College in Chicago with a liberal arts degree and began my grown-up career as a news anchor/reporter before making the transition to public relations. I spent time working on both the corporate and agency sides of communications and public relations before starting my own boutique agency in 2015.
How do you define success?
For me, success is realizing your dreams, making them a reality every day and evolving your life so that work doesn't feel like work. I'm grateful I have a career that I love and that brings me joy.
What did it take to make your dream happen and when did you know you had arrived?
I would love to say my dream happened because of careful planning, but it didn't. I left a position at an agency that wasn't making me happy and I had no idea what my next step would be. Over the next six months, I gradually realized there was/is a way to incorporate all the things I love into a fulfilling career - and the rest is history. And because I'm constantly learning, growing and evolving, I sincerely doubt I'll ever think I've "arrived."
What are you most proud of? Go ahead, boast a little!
I'm proud that I get up every day, do great work for my clients and set a good example of integrity and independence for my daughters. I want my girls to know that hard work pays off and determination coupled with the right attitude will take you far in life. I also want my family to know that if you fail, tomorrow is a new day - that failure isn't a reflection of the person you are or your intentions - it's a necessity and platform for growth.
What was your biggest obstacle/fear and what was your turning point?
The biggest obstacle has always been me. It's been a challenge to ignore the constant loop of negative things I've been told over the years - I'm sure it's that way for a lot of people, especially women. Early on as a business owner, I needed to learn how to quiet those negative statements and replace them with positive ones. The more I did this, the more success continues to come my way.
What’s the best advice you’d give to a younger you?
Set your intentions every year and focus on what you love. You can call them whatever you want - goals, milestones - whatever. Just do it. When you are intentional about what you're trying to achieve and those relate to what brings you the most joy, success comes - especially when you've got your eye on a specific prize.
How do you stay motivated and purposeful when you feel overwhelmed?
Being overwhelmed is something that comes on so slowly, I hardly notice it until I feel like I'm underwater. I'm a work in progress when it comes to recognizing the signs of being overwhelmed before they happen. I'm getting better every day and now I can even course correct quickly before things get too crazy. Knowing it's up to me to make decisions that move things in a positive direction is what keeps me motivated even when the stakes are high and the pressure is overwhelming.