Getting to do what you love?  Providing for your loved ones?  What does success mean to you? Below you’ll find perspectives from some of the city’s best and brightest.

Farah Gasimzade | Photographer & Founder

It’s really hard to highlight one absolute factor for success because the term “success” is very complex by nature. I believe that the main factors in my case would be determination, hard work, and passion. However, it all would be impossible without the right mindset. To succeed in a new venture, it is always important to remember that success is not an end goal, it’s a journey, which is not linear. It has its ups and downs and you have to be prepared for a bumpy ride as you leave your comfort zone. With that being said, failures, mistakes, missteps are inevitable in this journey. Therefore, the moment I changed my attitude to the definition of failure and success, I believe I advanced a lot both in business and personal life. Read more>>

Amy Rollo | Counseling

Being in the counseling field, I knew creating the “right” brand was everything. For many, there is a hesitancy to seek counseling, as some believe it means something is wrong with them or their relationship. We wanted to make sure that our brand indicated that counseling was for everyone, no matter the age, stage of life, or difficulty. One of the first things we ditched was the old school mantra of the counselor being the expert, cold and distant. We have a motto with our team of “human first.” We believe that we can’t be an effective counselor without bringing our entire humanness into the room including empathy, emotions, and authenticity. We are down to earth and real. While we love to listen and nod, we know you aren’t coming in just for the occasional head nod. We are fully present and engaged. We see the process a bit like a team where we are cheering you on with life decisions, but also fully supporting all the ups and downs. Read more>>

Edgar Podzemny | Founder

We are one of the few companies in the world that design and manufacture our own rugs with a select team of weavers. Our method is integrated from design concept to the loom and then directly to the end-user, which ensures we have control over every step of the creative process. This also allows us to control the materials being used, the style of weave, and the texture achieved. Every facet of our process enables us to guarantee a quality product that is distinctively designed to our client’s specifications. Read more>>

Diego Melo | Owner & Real Estate Investor

The most important factor behind the success of our business is that we consider every aspect of risk involved in real estate investing. This consideration sets us apart from other real estate education companies. Unlike other real estate education companies, we are, first and foremost, in the people business. We make sure every single member that joins our company understands this and is of the same mindset. Members acknowledge this by practicing every aspect of risk. We have built the company in a way that members work together with each other and our network vendors, which minimizes the risk the individual takes on. This is what make Strativentures and their members successful in real estate investing. Read more>>

Raya Hensler | Houston-Based Podcaster & Creative

I live my life authentically and wholeheartedly. It‘s important that it’s translated through my work. I want to allow people space on my platform(s) and through my podcast, Coffee Meets Vodka, to be their true selves. I think if you are true to yourself, your path, and your purpose, success will come. The audience can tell when a brand is being genuine and I really have so much fun creating content for my fans and I think it shows! Read more>>

Sam Ebenezer | Textile Recycling Guru

I am a strong advocate for building a strong band, In the textile recycling industry there are several companies that do the same exact work as Green City Recycler. But you don’t know them by name they are always hiding under the radar. I wanted to change that, I wanted people to know Green City, we wanted to be loud and change the way our industry operates. We focused a lot of our time and energy on brand building. In 2015 we did a small exercise we spoke to several folks who stopped by our clothing recycling and we asked them what made them to use our bin to recycle vs the dozen other competitors. Most said they just wanted to get rid of their clothes and they didn’t care of the brand or company, they wanted to use the most convenient bin to them, most of our users didn’t even research if the bins belonged to a charity or a for profit company. Read more>>

Cesar Giovani | Graphic Designer & Digital Artist

I think it is really important to have a connection with those you work with. A lot of the clients I have are either people I already know or they were referred to me by some one I worked with before. These relationships are built when I are working with the client, they are along for the ride. It is taking their ideas and bringing them to life. It may sound fun but at times it can be proven to be a challenge, So relationships is one of the key factors to being a freelance designer. Read more>>

Safia Jafri | Center Director & Owner

In my line of work, the back bone of my business is my staff. Finding the right staff – whether teachers or admins is key to my business. I don’t always look for the staff that’s the most qualified on paper. It’s really important because my staff works with kids they should have a good attitude, be friendly, kind, and positive. I always feel that attracts good energy. Parents like seeing their kids happy when they come out of the classroom- whether the teacher gave them a friendly hug or a hi5 -that’s what makes them want to come to the center which subsequently helps me grow my business. Business usually is positive word-of-mouth which we get from satisfied clients who love our academic Math and English program. Read more>>

Bianca Barona Abud | Event Planner

I am always present and making sure the clients have an amazing experience. Read more>>

Tina Sansone | Artist & Humanitarian

The most important thing about what we do is making sure under-resourced children have new socks and shoes. It is so important for their self image and peer pressure. We also provide other necessities such as clothing, food and bedding. Read more>>