Hey there. I’m Dana.

Feisty as all get out. My grandfather was a professional boxer in New York so I think it’s where I get my fight. With a dad from Jersey and a mom from Alabama, it’s no wonder I got so messed up. JK, Dad. My favorite color is yellow. It was my mom’s favorite color too. She passed away at 53. I spent a lifetime blaming her for my mistakes. Then, I grew up and became a mom. This sh** is hard. Can’t wait to see her again, in Heaven. I just get her now. I understand why she was the way she was.  She didn’t know how to communicate and the story I was telling myself about her had nearly destroyed me. The day she died is the very day I decided to never hold back, to be all she believed I could be (even if she didn’t know how to tell me). And here we are.

So, I really dig Jesus. He’s my #1. But don’t you dare call me religious. I’m pretty sick of that crap.  I love God. I don’t judge and I’m cool like that.  Some of my favorite things are London Fog tea lattes. Cube steaks and fried okra make me happy and I could eat Mexican food every night of my life. I’m like the energizer bunny. I just keep going and going. I love being creative. It’s like breath to my lungs. When God gives me an idea, I am on mission. Like no-one-is-sleeping-til-this-thing-is-done kind of mission. OK, I am exaggerating a bit. I love to do that too. I’m theatrical and I like it.  I’m a work-in-progress and getting more chill by the day.

I kind of have this addiction to adrenaline I’m still dealing with. I’ve been told if I had just been a skydiving instructor, my life would have turned out differently. Not making excuses, but really, I should have never went to college to be a CPA. My big dream was to be an attorney but I kept falling asleep every time I read. I’ve skydived, zip lined, bungee jumped out of a hot air balloon, swam from Alcatraz, all of it. Rock climbing starts in a week.

You’ll catch me often with 20 tabs open on my computer at once. I’m working on being nice and having a sweet personality. My heart is super full of love but I guess my face doesn’t always show it.  I used to think it made me weak but I’ve learned how beautiful gentleness is while still totally being a #girlboss. Being an overachiever can be overrated sometimes! I’m staying motivated AND stoppin’ and smellin’ the roses, people.

I’m a Social Entrepreneur in business. I had no idea what that was until a few years ago.  We are the era of a new kind of entrepreneur, and now that I know who I am professionally, it just all makes sense to me. I get my personality type now.  It’s become my passion to teach and share how we can make the world a better place through business.

The children are our greatest joy and you can call me ‘glamma’ to our two grandchildren, Jax and Lala (aka Scarlett).  Jake and Brooke, our two youngest, are unashamed of who we were, have experienced the best of us, and are mission driven leaders in their own right. Their compassion for the children coming into the Academy seems, in some ways, to be a tribute to their older siblings.  These kids are miraculous, in a thousand different little ways, simply miraculous.

Love wins every single time.

This feisty Irish fireball just won’t quit, but shame always tries to creep in, especially when I share my story out loud.  Fear tries to shut me down, keep my story silent, telling me it’s arrogant to share, that I should be too embarrassed to speak of where I have been and that it’s dishonoring to those I hurt to tell about my successes today. I hear the thoughts in my head and for about a decade I listened to them.  I tell them to shut the hell up now. Michael reminds me of the women I inspire and the tribe of sisters that surround me, lifting me up even when I get terrified to tell the truth of my story, who I was and the awful things that I have done.

I’ve decided to tell the world for the sake of just One.  I’ve accepted that I may offend some and piss off many.  I smile to myself now, when those thoughts try to torment me like they once did. I smile with tears of joy in my eyes because my damn pain and suffering and the awful hurt I caused others is going to mean something in the end. I utterly refuse to let anyone or anything get in the way of the One that might hear my story and find the courage to get out of the hell they are living in and find freedom in God that is right there with them in the midst of the storm.

Get it, girl.  Go after it brother.  Don’t let anything stop you, from the smallest of setbacks to the giant mountains in your way.  Get up and go after your vision, your dream, your burning desires, your family that needs to be restored, your broken heart that needs mending or a career you’ve laid down and stopped believing in.  Live life fully, on fire, with no regrets, a ton of grace for yourself and everyone around you, and rest your head at night knowing that mercies are new every morning.

And when you get afraid, DO IT ANYWAY.

Invite Dana Bryant to speak as an expert on Social Entrepreneurship and Women and Addiction. Inspire your audience on how to impact the world for good through business.

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