Chicago native Venetia Pristavec is an all around storyteller, musician and entrepreneur who creates and amplifies narratives she believes the world needs to hear. Her most current project is an experimental electronic album called, "GLO". It's a 42 minute journey and reflection on death, love and expression.
What was the reason you made the shift from being in the corporate world to becoming your own boss and writing your own story? Would you ever consider going back? Why/why not?
I was one of the first employees to join the Airbnb team. For four years, I traveled the world telling video stories of the Airbnb hosts, from Barcelona to Copenhagen to Istanbul to Hong Kong to Rio. The company scaled to 1700 employees, and I was living “the dream life.” I thought I had it all.
In 2013, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the throat and it stopped me in my life tracks.
But, what looked like my greatest curse became my greatest gift. At the threat of losing my voice by having a surgery so close to my vocal chords, I had a lightning bolt realization moment, “ Huh. I have been helping everyone else tell their story but afraid to tell my own.”
MY story is to be a singer. It was the scariest thing to leave Airbnb and step foot into the unknown, but being in a cancer hospital makes you realize life is fleeting. There is no time to waste...go for it!
I would consider going back into organizations where their are passionate people working on impactful products, however, I probably wouldn't go back in a full time capacity to just one company because I like helping tell lots of different stories at once.
Success means… you are breathing. Breathing is everything.
If I were a book I’d be… Avatar (is that a book?).
My spirit animal is… a dragon.
My favourite entrepreneurial gadget is… my amazon echo. As a musician I like changing music every 20 minutes as I'm working. It's awesome to just ask the echo to change it. I never know what it's gonna play. Like a spontaneous jukebox. It also turns on all my lights which I nerd out on every time.
You are launching your first album- congratulations! What was the inspiration behind it? Where can we listen to it?
Thank you! I am nervous but excited. My brand new electronic music album, GLO, is an invitation to help everyone live their most expressive life. The inspiration was driven from my own journey back to my most expressive voice. I wrote each song from a personal experience of mine over the past few years that brought me to this moment.
For instance, my song, Shackled, is about when I realized how all my "shoulds" were holding me back. I "should" be doing this or that. My hope is that in sharing my journey to expression that it may help others on their way as well. Our most expressive voices are needed now more than ever.
Check it out at:
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/glo/id1257166591 (I recommend listening to the full album in order - it was designed as a 43 minute journey)
If someone wants to jump into the unknown (similarly to you releasing your album) what words of advice could you give them? What’s the most important thing to consider?
Surround yourself with people who believe in you. (Not in what you are choosing to do but in you.) Unshakeable, unconditional loving people will love you no matter what happens or where you land. They say, "It's not the destination, it's the journey". I like to say, "It's also the people that never leave your side throughout the whole darn thing". Once you find your tribe, you can never lose. Once you’ve got that support system it’s easier to leap!
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? What is your biggest goal?
In ten years, I will be creating narrative driven art that helps people unmute their lives, makes them think or encourages them to live boldly.
My biggest goal is to just continue living a life absorbing all the abundance of the now.
I also foresee future collaborations with Lindsey Sterling and Katy Perry.