We had the good fortune of connecting with Badra Andrews and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Badra, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
In my twenties, when I started my first business, I worked non-stop on my business, it was exciting, I was young and full of energy, yet it was hard balancing time between my family and work, I didn’t know how to separate the two and how to manage my time better. with time I realized that work will never end, it will still be there tomorrow but my children will not be young for long, so I had to learn to delegate and trust my team to do the job without me. It was very scary at first, yet the rewards were great, I was able to go on school trips with my boys, I was able to take off if they needed anything and they appreciated it. The most important lesson looking back now is that I became really good at mentoring and empowering my team, I hear it all the time from my past employees, how wonderful it was for them to feel important and how much they grew and learned because of my trust in their abilities,
Work-life balance is so important, our business culture is built on a strong belief in value and life balance.
I have been an entrepreneur for forty years and the best advice I can tell a younger self is to enjoy the journey by that I mean, when you are home with the family, put your phone away and enjoy the family, and when you are at work, enjoy your work and give it all. but don’t mix the two. every section of your life deserves full attention. If you are exercising or getting a massage, enjoy it and don’t worry about anything else. be in the moment because this moment will be history in just one moment.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business now is Event Venues, we host weddings, corporate, and social gatherings. A Thousand Oaks Events and Retreat is a very beautiful 11 acres of venue and grounds with over 1000 Oaks trees, which makes the perfect setting for a wedding ceremony, or a company day retreat for their employees and customers to enjoy nature and relax while networking.
In the past, I have owned a Bakery “Rising High”, A hair salon and fitness center “Pro-Motion”, Restaurants “Cafe Caspian Persian Cuisine, and Cascadas Mexican Restaurant. So has it been easy? NO, but every business I owned helped me get to where I am today.
In business, discipline is the key to success, and your persistence is what will keep you going forward and upward. still, you will have many obstacles, so when you feel you hit a wall, so to speak, slow yourself down and focus on just hanging in there for a while; you cannot let it affect your health, your family, or take over your life. You just need to stand still for a day or two or until you feel strong enough to move forward. We all have read the quotes and like them, but when they happen to us, we forget what we learned “success is built on many failures” you have to be able to accept that and understand that a business failure does not mean you are a failure. But the opposite, you are a winner because you took a chance and moved forward in life and business.
The business might fail, but you learned so much from it that your next adventure will take you much higher.
I have learned that success comes in many forms and many styles and in every situation, success is measured differently.
You are a success if you feel good about your accomplishment and you did it with pride.
You are a success if the end result is appreciated by many, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.
You are a success if you stay true to yourself during the journey and keep moving forward.
You are a success every time you fail and get up and try again and again.
You are a success if you believe in yourself because in the end you only have to measure your success your way.
The way I see success might be different than the way you see it, so follow your heart with the good intention of making your life and others better today than it was yesterday.
Always keep your mission and vision of what you believe first and foremost; for me, it has always been and always will be
1. God (your higher power) first
2. Family and friends second
3. Job and customers’ third
Give 100% of yourself to each of these; when you are with the family, concentrate on the family; when you are at work, give it 100% of your time.
Be honest, be sincere, and be who you are all the time.
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.
When my friends come to town they all want to go to the Nasa Space center, of course, a full day there then we go to Kemah for some great seafood at Landry’s and sit by the water. On other days we will
During the days go to the museum of fine Arts,
We will go to Galleria to shop,
City Center to walk and enjoy outdoor shopping.
We have to go and eat Mexican food – I think Houston has the best – I love El Tiempo or Papacita’s depending on where we are
We have to eat BBQ – I love the Goode Company or Kellin’s Barbecue
As an Arab, all my friends love Arabic music & nightlife, so we will go to Soltan Restaurant, and listen to live music and belly dancing
Cafe Mazaj for hookah and Coffee,
For Arabic breakfast, we will go to Cedar Bakery
For Arabic Dessert, we will go to Suzie’s pastry shoppe.
To shop for food & goods to take home with them – Phoenicia Market
We will also spend a couple of days in Galveston, on the beach and checking out the shops
These are a few of the things we will do, most of it depends on the weather as well.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My life is filled with people who deserve a shoutout, from the moment I arrived in the US at age 15, I had mentors helping me with my English and schoolwork, but my first shoutout would be my parents, who worked hard to bring us to the US for a better life, they sacrificed so much for us, then my husband Timothy, at the age of 22 I said I wanted to open my first business with no prior business experience, he didn’t stop me and was very supportive. I started “Pro-Motion” Hair salon and fitness center, I had no idea what I was doing, I took some business courses at college and I asked friends and business owners many questions, it was a great success, I sold it after a few years, and a friend asked me to help him with his restaurant so we became partners in Cafe Caspian Persian Cuisine and I have to say he taught me a lot about the restaurant business, from that I learned about catering and events, then came the next chapter, owning my own venues – I own and run two venues The Bougainvilleas event venue, and A Thousand Oaks Events and Retreat. I was introduced to Goldman Sachs 10KSB program and this was a turning point for me, I owe Goldman Sachs 10KSB a big shoutout they truly helped me understand the importance of documenting, having a business plan, and goal setting for business, I explain it this way to people – I had all the pieces to the puzzle, they helped me put them in the right place so I can see a clearer picture. I think every young entrepreneur should take the Goldman Sachs 10KSB course. they also helped me see the importance of working on the business and not in the business, and my last shoutout is to Nawbo Houston, for trusting me as their president for the 2020 – 2022 term. my circle of women entrepreneurs has enlarged so much and I feel so blessed to have them all in my life.
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