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

Hi Dominique, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I believe risks are required to be successful. If you don’t take a chance, you’ll forever live in your comfort zone. I have had the pleasure to take risks, personally and professionally, over the past decade. Personally, I have not lived in the same state as my family in over ten years which resulted in me building a family of friends that surpasses state lines and international waters. Professionally, I have taken a chance on myself by pursuing business ventures that most don’t understand. Yes, it was terrifying most of the time but it gave me the opportunity to see how taking risks can transform my life and business.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am proud to say I took a non-traditional route to get where I am today! I started my educational career in the typical manner of going directly to a university and then into a doctorate program with the goal of becoming a full-time researcher for a government agency. However, once I finished my coursework for my doctorate things changed for me. I saw a side of research that didn’t bring me joy so I decided to take a spiritual journey. While on that journey, I decided to take a risk and leave it all behind to pursue teaching middle school. After making that decision, I had more than a few people tell me that I was making a mistake so I left them behind and started fresh with a new plan, in a new state, and with minimal support. Initially, I felt hurt that so many “friends” wanted me to continue a path that didn’t bring me happiness but it taught me that my heart has the final word. Since then I’ve created a community around me that cheers with me as I win and encourage me I question my path. I don’t have any regrets about switching paths from a rigorous research path to a professional tutor. I’ve never been happier to work for myself and help students conquer their fears. I want the world to know that everyone has their own path and it’s not always the path that you expect, embrace it and listen to your heart because it won’t steer you wrong.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Houston is an amazing city that has so much to offer and I’m still finding new places to visit! When it comes to food we would have to go to Q-Shi bistro for bbq sushi, Lucille’s for their chicken and waffles, and definitely Union Kitchen because they have an amazing happy hour. For fun, we would have to visit Discovery Green to see what exhibits are available, then we can be big kids at CiderCade (adult arcade), and go to a movie at Showboat Drive-In. My personal favorite place for beer is Thistle Draftshop and Fortress BeerWorks but I love Yellow Rose Distilling for their whiskey tour. However, I’m always checking for random events and festivals that pop up around the city like Tequila and Tacos or the Renaissance festival for limited-time events. Regardless, it’ll be a great time for anyone visiting Houston!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My first business was as a Mary Kay consultant. I started that business while in graduate school and it changed my life. I wish I could name every single one of the ladies that touched my heart in a way that has never been forgotten. They were the support system that I didn’t realize I needed. The love that I have for them has no bounds. I was drawn into the “Pink Bubble” for extra money, but I stayed because those ladies helped me find the person I was meant to become. Thank you, ladies!

Website: https://www.engagedmindsacademy.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/engaged_minds/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/engagedmindsacademy

Facebook: www.facebook.com/engagedmindsacademy

Other: https://goo.gl/maps/mjJ5zsZY466mSXyA6

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