We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Cook and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Heather, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Today, a lot of children grow up in fear. Their parents teach them that the world is a scary and dangerous place and it is most important to be safe. I grew up learning that if you want something, you work hard and you go get it. Risks were not often stumbling blocks to achieving. I remember being 10 years old and entering a poetry reading contest. I had won the contest the year before by reciting Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. This particular year, I had written my own poem. I knew the rules were that you had to perform a published piece to win. I recited my poem anyway. I did not win the contest that year, but I felt like I had achieved something great. I got to perform my own piece in front of an entire auditorium of my peers, their families and my entire school administrators. This was a risk I remember taking as a young, ambitious girl. Taking risks throughout junior high and high school were very rewarding. From winning spelling bees, to becoming a medalist gymnast, to making the high school cheerleading team and to becoming a part of the National Honor Society, I found that you could not get want you want if you didn’t work hard and go for your dreams. If you stayed safe and never took a chance, you also never felt the reward of reaching high for a goal and making it. I ended up in the Chemical Engineering program at the largest university- the University of Texas. I was also on the coed cheerleading team and in the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Going off to college was one huge risk. It felt incredible to go into such a scary world and achieve everything I had worked hard for. I ended up Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Corporate Communication. Then I set my sights on a career in pharmaceutical sales. Everyone told me I could not do it. “They don’t hire right out of college and you don’t have experience,” they said. I got hired on at Forest Pharmaceuticals in North Dallas. I had 2 successful years there when I moved back to my hometown of Houston. GlaxoSmithKline hired me in Sugarland and Katy. I ended up winning “Rookie of the Year” and a winners circle awards trip. These two companies took a risk on me, and I was determined to prove that I was worth their risk. I took another risk after that- motherhood & eventually staying home to raise the three boys I had in four years. I was terrified to leave the career I loved to stay home for, what seemed, a much harder job. Well, it wasn’t long before my husband and I bought a company. This company was called Texas Sno and it was a Louisiana style Snoball stand. This was one of the scariest risks I have taken. I didn’t know how to run a business, how to manage employees, how to advertise, serve the public etc. It was a hard, but incredibly rewarding step. I learned so much in three years. I expanded the business and then eventually sold it for a profit. This helped me feel like I could do anything! Now, I am four months into law school at Purdue Global pursuing my Executive Juris Doctorate in Health Law. This risk is just as scary as the rest, but what I have learned is that I can do it and the risks are worth it! Hiding from the world in fear and staying safe is not the answer. Working hard, setting goals, and reaching your dreams is much more rewarding. I have also learned that if you look at life with gratitude, you can see the good parts in the hard times and can enjoy the learning process. I’m thankful everyday for the gifts God has given me and that every single day is His amazing grace.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets me apart? It is my lack of fear. This is not a brag. This has been bred by my parents, but also gifted by God. I am not afraid of failing. I am not afraid of something being too hard. I’m not afraid of the consequences of missing the mark. We all do. I am not afraid (or even ever consider) what people think about me. I actually have no idea what people think about me. It is irrelevant as long as I am not hurting someone. The rest…it’s just money, time, expectations or hopes. What I stand firm in is that God loves me and He loves you. He loves my family and He will protect us or equip us for whatever may come. I do not fear what tragedy may come, because it WILL come. What is the point of dwelling on what might come? My husband told me once, “Just take one step forward at a time”. This is how you don’t dwell on fear, anxiety or the paralysis of analysis that taking risks can bring on. The point is to be confident in your own hard work to get you to your dreams.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Bakeries: Ooh La La Dessert Boutique (Westheimer) & Who Made the Cake (wedding cake) S. Shepherd Beautiful countryside restaurants with view and live music:: Anthonies Grill (Simonton) & The Oaks Kitchen & Grill (north west Katy) Best Foodie Facebook Group to follow: Katy/Fort Bend Foodies Best Fried Okra: Chuckwagon BBQ (1463) Best Street Tacos: Adrian’s Tacos y Tortas Best New Restaurant in W. Houston: Local Table (Fulshear) Most Spicy: Chuy’s Skinny Frozen Margarita: Lupes (only place to find a skinny frozen) Best jiujitsu: Gracie Barre Fulshear Brazilian Jiujitsu Best football league: Under Armour “Under the Lights” Best Church: Living Stones (meets at Tompkins High School) Best Financial Advisor: Nathan Cook Best Law Firm: The Will Adams Law Firm Best Pediatrician: Krystal Batchelor DO Best energy buster: Westwood Gymnastics Best boy club: USA Ninja Challenge Katy Best computer programmer tutors: Code Ninja 1463
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband, Nathan, deserves so much credit. I could not do any of this without his love, support, and encouragement. He challenges me and believes in me. I’m eternally grateful for all he is to me and our family.
Facebook: Heather Lacy Cook
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