Danielle D. Dupree
Speaker, Author, Coach
Danielle D. Dupree is one serious HBIC. By day she’s a Criminal Investigators for the State of Colorado. By night, she’s building an empire all around the Introvert Mind, helping to empower women who identify as introverts to slay in their own way. She’s the author of Slay the Introvert Way, speaker, coach, and all-round general badass. We connected over the phone to chat about her trials and successes to date.
wolf & heron: Why don’t we start by you telling me a bit about your journey?
Danielle Dupree: Hahaha! How much time do we have? I’ll try to tell the short version… Years ago I had no idea who I was. I was quiet and shy most of my childhood. In college, I joined a sorority that let me be surrounded by a group of confident, inspiring women, and I got really involved and started taking on leadership roles, but I always felt like an impostor and didn’t have the confidence that I felt like all the other women around me had. I decided to become a police officer because I figured that with a badge and a gun, I’d be more confident. But that didn’t happen! I was still the quiet girl.
I went through a lot of exploration to figure out what it would take to be and feel more confident, especially because I was in a male-dominated field. I remember responding to a domestic violence dispute while working as a street cop, and I froze up. I didn’t do what I was trained to do, and I realized that not leaning into situations and DOING SOMETHING was actually going to be dangerous for me and the people I was supposed to protect.
I had a long conversation with myself and decided that if I was going to stay a cop, I had to do something to take control of my power. I looked at what the successful cops did, and I decided to focus on five key fundamental areas that would turn me into a more confident me. I wrote Slay the Introvert Way as a message to my younger self, and through that work, I have found a way to be confident and an introvert at the same time.
w&h: What were those five areas?
DD: In my book, I talk about the five dragons I had to slay. The Clumsy Communicator, the Subliminal Skeptic, the People Pleaser, the Visionary Without a View, and the Cautious Contemplator.
w&h: Sounds fun! I think our readers would be interested in that book! Well… it sounds like you’ve done a lot of thinking about who you are and what you want to become. We always start every interview with a question about what is most important to you, and what isn’t. What would you say are your values?
DD: For me, the big one is progress over perfection. I used to be such a perfectionist, and it was frustrating every time I didn’t achieve it. Now I know perfection is really just something you aim for, knowing that you’ll never get there. The other big one is helping others BEFORE I need help. I want to be a support system for people. I’m also really focused on how I spend my time. I don’t know if that’s a value, but as an introvert, my ME time is really important. And time with my family and friends. Finally, I focus on my health. Without it, I can’t do anything.
w&h: Sounds like your ME time is probably part of your Health value, and keeping up with your connections probably has something to do with Community for you.
DD: Yeah! That sounds right!
w&h: Ok, so that’s your values… what about your future? What are you hoping to have achieved, say 10 or 15 years from now?
DD: I want to be an international, sought-after speaker, who has inspired at least 1 Million women, especially introvert women, to see their value, find their voice, and be leaders…. And I want to have authored at least two or three more books. Another achievement I’ll hope for is this: I have a dog, Pickles. Every time he jumps up I can hear his dog collar and I think to myself, “Uh oh… What’s that Pickles up to now?” I want my haters to jump up and say, “Uh oh. What’s Danielle up to now?”
w&h: What an awesome image! That kind of vision could definitely inspire me every morning. I’m curious, though. You’re a self-described introvert…. What excites you about speaking?
DD: Speaking gets me out of my comfort zone. At live events, there is so much more energy. Videos are great - the whole world is going that way anyway – but the endorphins I feel at a live event are so contagious, and I know I can make more of an impact there than I can through my videos.
w&h: Speaking of impact, what is the difference you want to make?
DD: Right now, I’m all about The Introvert Mind. I want to give women the courage to be more, do more, and have more to take success into their own hands instead of sitting back and waiting. Life doesn’t happen TO you, it happens BECAUSE of you. People who KNOW their potential are more likely to go after it.
w&h: Oh wow! My vision and purpose are all about courage too! I totally agree that people are more, do more, and take more control of their lives when they have a bit of courage giving them the kick they need.
DD: Yeah, people need to know that life happens BECAUSE of you, not TO you. If there’s one thing I can get people – especially women – to understand, it’s that.
W&h: Sounds like you’re not one to play the victim.
DD: No way. I used to, but not anymore.
W&h: We’re always interested in how women are able to be influential even though they don’t have direct authority. Can you share a story of how you have been influential?
DD: Sure! At Christmas time a year or two back, we were told we had to decorate the office as a unit. I work with a bunch of men. They’re not going to decorate. They don’t want to, and they don’t have the esthetic eye anyway. Now, I’ve got a bit of a creative vibe going on, so I decided to do something. The thing is, I didn’t say, “Hey Guys. We have to decorate. Let’s all figure out what we’re going to do and then do it.” Instead, I went to the dollar store, bought a bunch of stuff, and showed up at the office when I knew a lot of people were going to be around, and started decorating. In one second I had a whole bunch of people helping me out. Sometimes I feel like the best way to be influential is to take some initiative, make a few decisions to get things started, and lead by example. Then people will follow.
w&h: Yes. Couldn’t agree more. People are often happy to go along, as long as someone else makes some decisions and goes first. So, given all that you have going on, what are your tips and tricks for showing up as your best self?
DD: I’ve got two really big routines that keep me sane. The first is I’m a CrossFit girl. I NEED to make sure I get to the gym at LEAST 3-5 times a week. Sometimes that’s hard to manage because I work really long hours during the week, but it’s gotten to the point where my supervisor can see the difference getting to the gym makes for me, and he’s pretty flexible about giving me the time to make it happen. He knows that with an hour at the gym, I’m a way better version of myself. The other routine is spending some real quality time with my wife and my dog. She’s an extrovert, and a really good balance for me when I’m getting crazy. Then, on the side, I read and re-read my go-to books.
w&h: What’s your number one book recommendation?
DD: How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. That book changed my life.
Danielle will be joining us at the Denver Becoming the HBIC event. Join us to meet her and other HBICs in Action.
Read her book: Slay the Introvert Way
Danielle's Words of Wisdom
"I used to be such a perfectionist, and it was frustrating every time I didn’t achieve it. Now I know perfection is really just something you aim for, knowing that you’ll never get there."
"I want to be an international, sought-after speaker, who has inspired at least 1 Million women, especially introvert women, to see their value, find their voice, and be leaders."
"I realized that not leaning into situations and DOING SOMETHING was actually going to be dangerous for me and the people I was supposed to protect."
On Showing Up
"With an hour at the gym, I’m a way better version of myself."
"Sometimes I feel like the best way to be influential is to take some initiative, make a few decisions to get things started, and lead by example. Then people will follow."