We had the good fortune of connecting with Adil Ahmed and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adil, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
It can be a life-altering decision to start a business. There are many factors that go into starting a business. It’s a fast-growing business but it’s not only about the growth and wealth that brings to this business that made me want to start, it was the need for customers that use to smoke cigarettes and were looking for an alternative. The number of people who vape has grown significantly over the years. It is estimated that by the end of 2021, the number of adult vapers will reach around 55 million. I carry a wide variety of Smoke, Vape, Cigars and CBD products at my store.
Social impact: How does your business help the community or the world?
Vaping is having a massive impact on the industry and yet, despite being at the beginning, it is still only just starting to have its effects on the world. When compared to tobacco and health, the effects of vaping are much bigger in the long term. I’ve had many customers come in and tell me on a daily basis how our products have had a huge impact on their life and it’s something they can’t live without. When I hear theirs stories about trying to quit smoking it gives me more motivation to educate them on each product, they are interested in purchasing. Others may vape for various reasons, such as relieving stress or it’s just a habit of inhaling and exhaling. However, despite their reasons, e-cigs still have an impact on their lives. For some, it’s their preferred method of keeping their nicotine supply. Others are indifferent when it comes to the effects of vaping.
Risk taking: How do you think about risk, what roles has taking risks played in your life/career?
Without risk how would you know whether you’ll be successful in life. Unfortunately, many of us find it hard to deal with the uncertainty that comes with taking on risks. For me taking risks has played a big role in my life because it has pushed me to start couple of different business ventures. I lived in New York for 15 years and recently decided to take a huge step and move my entire family and business to Houston. I had a successful career back in New York, but I wanted a change in my life for me and my family. Currently I have one location and I’m in process of opening another location. I personally believe you cannot grow without some level of risk.
If you are a parent, what do you think is the most important thing you’ve done as a parent in terms of the impact on your children?
My children are everything to me, they are my motivation. I try my best to be the best role model for them. The most important thing any parent can do is spend time with their children. When you spend time with your child you get to know a lot about how they think and feel. Guiding your child will boost up their confidence and believe in themselves. My oldest child is 8-year-old and she sees my hard work. She’s a confident young lady and I hope one day whatever career path she takes she instills whatever I taught her to be and I hope the same for my other three younger children.
What is the most important factor behind your success/ the success of your brand?
The most important factor behind my success is dedication and hard work. I believe when you work hard and believe in yourself everything is possible and you get rewarded. Since my early teens my dream was to be a successful entrepreneur and I won’t give up on my dreams.
How to know whether to keep going or to give up?
The most important factor that went into my company’s success was that it would reflect who I am as an entrepreneur and a person. When we face challenges, we must keep going and believe in what we’re doing. In life nothing comes easy. I was raised to never give up always thrive for it so giving up is never an option in my life.
Work life balance: How has your balance changed over time? How do you think about the balance?
Work life balance was challenging at the start of my business. Its is still very challenging for me because it’s not like I could just turn off my phone after work hours and leave my work behind. In today’s society we revolve around social media and setting a platform for our business. Most of my work is done from my phone or laptop. Especially now with this whole pandemic, technology has kept me connected to work and most of the day feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. I have tried to make more time for myself but at the moment in my career it seems impossible.
What makes you happy? Why?
Happiness isn’t something you feel, it’s something you do. What makes me happy is my family. Family is everything to me and without their support and love I wouldn’t be where I am today. Waking up everyday strives me to do better for us. My family is my biggest support system.
Why did you pursue an artistic or creative career?
I choose to pursue an artistic or creative career because it was something I had always dreamed of as a kid. I always wanted to be in control of my own business. Choosing this path has taught me a lot, not only about business but also about myself. It has taught me how to build diverse and transferable skills.
How do you define success?
True meaning of success is far more than having a lot of money or being rich. The true meaning of success starts at the root of your personal life. It is the amount of people that are able to live a better and more advanced life because of what you created. This is the meaning of success. When I started my business 14 years ago, my goal was to have as many customers come back and tell me I have made them change their life for the better. I made a special connection with each one of them. I’ll never forget the day when I first started my business and a 54-year-old man came in my store and told me he smokes two packet’s of cigarettes a day. He explained to me his doctor had told him that his lungs were functioning as of a 102-year-old, so I sold him his first vape and after a year of vaping which was an amazing Journey for us as we became friends, One day he came to the store and was very pleased/excited and told me he went for his regular checkup and his doctor had told him he was doing much better and that his lungs were functioning of his age. From that day I knew I had an impact on someone’s life and to me that is how I define success.
What should our readers know about your business?
I own a retail store (smoke shop) and also have my own CBD brand (CBD AID)
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
favorite food spots Kasra Persian Grill
Aga’s Restaurant & Catering
places to check out
NASA space center
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife’s support and love