We had the good fortune of connecting with Aja and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Aja, what matters most to you?
The values and principles that matter most to me are morality, “authentic” character, live with purpose, and that “you must first be willing to fail in order to succeed”. Morality is key in determining how we conduct ourselves and how we treat others. A good leader and businessperson can conduct its operations in a way that is morale. If a leader or businessperson must cheat, lie, or steal to be successful, then they aren’t successful at all, because they wouldn’t have been able to gain buy in on their offer without doing so. Character is part of morale but is more. It’s about what behaviors you routinely display. It’s important to show your “authentic” character. We were all made with a personality, and that’s not a bad thing! One of the challenges I’ve had in many organizations that I’ve worked for before, is that I felt I could not always be my authentic self. However, when you are acting in your purpose, your authentic character, will always be the right recipe. That takes me to my next principle, “live with purpose”. We are here for a purpose, hone on it, and leave your mark in the world! The heavens will surely smile down on you. For those who are non-believers, well, I suppose even a non-believer would rejoice in knowing they did something great (purpose achieved). Last, “you must first be willing to fail, in order to succeed”. I’m by far not the riskiest businessperson, but I know that unless I put forward effort to bring my vision to life, it won’t happen. I’ve had many failed attempts at various business efforts; and I’ve learned from each one; which has always prepared me for the next opportunity.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
HPU is a brand, which is part of Elite Entertainment. Truth be told, I started HPU through circumstance; the former organizer was experiencing a rough time with the members within the social group and had lost his fire and passion to continue to run the social group. I stepped up to be a friend; I was once a member. I had no intent of leading this social group; I just wanted to help return the joy I saw he had from organizing events. I then rebranded the social group and went on a crazy marketing rampage to grow the group from 600 members to more than 2,000 members in less than a year. I was determined! What most don’t know is, I did this all for free! After some time, I realized there were real needs in the social group from the members; members truly depended on me. I realized that I was helping bring joy to others, saving people from depression, helping people who were new to the city or without family establish friendships and support groups, and I was also helping people who were looking for lifetime partners establish loving relationships. Sometimes, we stumble upon our purpose not even realizing it. That’s exactly what happened here! Since then, I have refocused efforts to extend services and events professionally, and we currently offer them based on social interaction and events, business networking and development, travel, and, dating and relationships. I’m excited about our dating and relationship services which we are starting to extend nationally with current pilot locations in Houston and Las Vegas!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
That’s an awesome question! I almost feel like I should give the perfect answer here since I host social events = ). I would start off by thinking about what I believe is most important to my best friend. I’m a servient person and servient leader first, and so I want to ensure that I’m setting an agenda that would bring them joy. That in mind, this answer is based on someone that I know = ). We would get in a few activities, which are not listed in order that they would occur: 1) yoga on the beach at Galveston or Surfside Beach, 2) outdoor activities at Discovery Green which may include kayaking, blanket bingo or movie on the green (there’s always something good happening at Discovery Green; it’s a great local and tourist spot), 3) sky view downtown from the 600 Travis Street tower building 4) cycling or walking at Memorial Park, 5) skyline view at Elanor Tinsley Park, 6) bar hop mid-town starting at 77 Degrees Rooftop Bar, 7) Nasa, 8 ) Kemah Boardwalk, 9) Live Music at Como Social on the Woodlands Parkway, 10) bat bridge on Waugh. I could probably go on and on. I love to entertain but these would be at the top of my list for my bestie!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, I would like to thank God for giving me the opportunity to share my authentic self with others, giving me the talents, and allowing me the opportunity to live out purpose in life through HPU. Next, I would like to thank my parents who are my foundation. They instilled in me morale and helped to shape my character. My parents always have and continue to be the main cheerleaders for me, which has helped me take on challenges and still get back up smiling if I do fail. I would also like to thank Joshua N. for displaying an example of what a good organizer that leads social groups and events looks like. Last, but not least, I would like to thank the members of HPU’s social clubs and those who also are HPU customer’s for trusting me, believing in my vision and, supporting my (and HPU’s) growth. Through my experience with my members and customers, I learn and grow each day.

Website: www.Meetup.com/Houston-Professionals-United

Instagram: www.instagram.com/HPUpanthers

Facebook: www.Fb.me/HelpingPeopleUnite

Image Credits
black photo was taken by one of my members, but he is not a professional photographer, he is into photography as a hobby.

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