Something new this week, as this weeks #Boss is none other than my photographer, Jerren Willis!  Jerren and I started shooting over a year ago now & we have had so much fun! Shooting with Jerren is anything less than anadventure-  he is known to publicize bloopers & catches the best candid photos.  Celebrating his 10 year anniversary of his photography  business this week, Jerren tells us all about how he got started in photography 10 years ago and the secrets as to how his business is still thriving now!

Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grown up, get your degree in etc? What is your current job?

I’m a Houston native, growing up on the north side of town &  am the youngest of three siblings. I graduated from Texas A&M University in 2009 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Currently, I am an engineer and entrepreneur. My business is Jerren Willis Photography, and it is something I started while at A&M in 2007 & been doing for ten years.

What made you decide to start your career?

I picked up photography around the same time Facebook added photo galleries as a feature on their site. In the fall of my junior year in 2006, one of my friends encouraged me to apply for a student worker job as a photographer for A&M’s Marketing and Communications Dept. That’s where it got started & later that summer I used a portion of my summer internship earnings to invest in equipment and officially start my business.

What inspires you on a daily basis?

Perfection is what inspires me. Although it’s not likely I’ll ever get there, it’s what I strive for in everything I do. My high school football coach once told me that “the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement”, so I spend a lot of time doing self-evaluation and putting forth effort to be better in all aspects of my life.

What is your favorite bible verse & why?

My favorite bible verse is I Peter 5:7, which says ‘give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.’ This verse really gave me comfort when I was dealing with a cancer scare back in 2011.

What’s something you would tell your 20-year-old self?

Go ahead & get that Math minor. The message is to go ahead and finish things while the opportunity is there. I already took four of the six classes to get it through my engineering requirements, but I decided to take an easier way out. That’s something I definitely wouldn’t do now.

What is your end goal with your career? What do you want to accomplish?

Continue to grow my business and have it morph into being able to empower younger photographers and give them opportunities to grow and start their own businesses. I want to start giving instructional classes and workshops. Also, I want to launch a philanthropic branch of my business, of which I can use what I do to help the community.

What are the 3 most important things you would tell someone starting off in their career?

Always evolve, master your communication techniques and pay attention to detail

What is your favorite thing to do regarding your field?

I like meeting different people and being able to capture the vision that they want.

What is your least favorite?

Might sound cliché, but I really don’t have a least favorite part. It’s all a part of the process, and I like every step.

What has been the most surprising challenge within your field?

Learning how to tell people ‘no’. Sometimes I feel like I can overstretch myself with the number of opportunities I take on.

Jerren is one of my favs & his work is amazing! Pretty much any of the photos on my blog are his work- about 90% if I’m being honest! For more information about how work, feel free to reach out, as his contact information is below:

https://www.facebook.com/jerrenwillis/

@JerrenWillis (IG)

www.jwilphotos.com

Info@jwilphotos.com

Until Next Time!

-B

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This weeks #BossBabe is hands down probably one of sweetest, most genuine people I know- Stephanie Annor! I met Steph through my H6 fam, my weekly group at the church I go to, Hope City! Stephanie recently left us as she started her new adventure in Oklahoma City, where she will be for the next couple of years to complete her residency. In this interview, Steph tells us her reasons for choosing the medical field as well as all the advice she would give to someone starting out in their career!

Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grown up, get your degree in etc? What is your current job?

My name is Stephanie Yaa Annor and I am 27 years old. Born and raised in Houston Texas shortly after my parents emigrated* from Ghana. I just graduated medical school and most very recently moved to Oklahoma City to complete my medical residency training in Pediatrics! Additionally, I love to travel (15 countries and counting!). Whether it is a drive to San Antonio or a flight to Thailand, traveling is my favorite interest when I have time off.

What made you decide to start your career?

Ever since I could remember, I’ve always wanted to be a physician. My mom was the initial and one of many people to start my journey to medicine. She is a Licensed Vocational Nurse and seeing her peruse a different career from my dad’s business sparked a constant intrigue and shadowing to follow her & more women in the health care field. Plus, I am very much a people person-so what better way to get to know and RESPECT people’s most intimate parts of their lives than to nurture them to be the best version they can be.

Yes-the path to medicine is a very long but a greatly rewarding mission.

It starts with completion of college, acceptance and completion of medical school and lastly acceptance and completion of post graduate training (residency) of your chosen specialty. Furthermore, you can continue to specialize in your specialty called fellowship. So, my specialty is Pediatrics & after 3 years I will be able to treat children from birth to 18 yrs in a wide variety. However, I can complete fellowship a focus on certain fields whether by age range organ system or acuity in Pediatrics (Neonates, Adolescents, Cardiology, Emergency medicine, etc.).

What inspires you on a daily basis?

God’s UNFAILING Love. God is real & he is apart of my life every single day, in every single way. I praise him, I lean on him when I don’t understand, he is my strength that gives me joy to live is insignificant time we have on this earth.

But, my family, friends, and church are my biggest support systems. They make me want to continue to make them proud! I appreciate them soooo much.

What is your favorite bible verse & why?

This is hard! There’s sooo many! Can I cheat?  These verses comforts me with peace in the present, faith in what doesn’t make sense, hope for the future, and the strength to express love and joy:

“And we know that for those who love God ALL things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”- Romans 8:28 ESV

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He RESTORES my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”- Psalms 23:1-3 ESV

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you WILL have tribulation. BUT TAKE HEART; I have overcome the world.””- John 16:33 ESV

“but they who WAIT for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”- Isaiah 40:31 ESV

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”- Romans 8:38-39 ESV

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces ENDURANCE, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,”- Romans 5:3-4 ESV

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”- Hebrews 11:1 ESV

What’s something you would tell your 20-year-old self?

Keep doing you! Don’t change for anybody, you are exactly the way you need to be. Stay on your grind. And treat yo self!

What is your end goal with your career? What do you want to accomplish?

Ultimately my end goal is to have my work be my praise and be fruitful! Whether working in an academic institution, opening my own practice or providing medical care overseas, I want everyday to be another opportunity to serve. My career is a tool to PRUNE, sanctify, and humble me.

But more specifically, I do favor adolescents, (our future world-changers!) so I see myself healing hands and encouraging that age group.

What are the 3 most important things you would tell someone starting off in their career?

  1. Trust the process! Let everything soak in, every praise, every criticism, every job offer, networking, letter of acceptance/denial. Know that in everything it will work out in due time.
  2. Humility will take you far! When you die (sorry for getting cryptic lol) your money, accolades, prestige don’t go with you! In everything, be humble and people in your career will see your character!
  3. Always keep learning, don’t settle for complacency when you feel like you have, “made it.” Everything is an opportunity to learn something new, ask questions and make change.

What is your favorite thing to do regarding your field?

Learning about people’s lives. Every day I get the chance to tap into their daily lives to encourage and keep people on track physically, mentally, socially, spiritually.

What is your least favorite?

The dark side of medicine is real. The side where doctors forget the reason they chose this field or regret the investment made. The depression that uninvitedly creeps in as early a medical school. The administrative side of medicine that distances the patient interactions.

What has been the most surprising challenge within your field?

Probably balance. Life outside the hospital and my patients, keeping up with family and friends, proper sleep hygiene and lifestyle living! It’s not hard but you have to proactively be present in what’s important to you. And as seasons change certain things may take priority, but I have to continue to remind myself what is the world like outside of what’s in front of me daily.

Until Next Time!

-B

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This weeks #BossBabe is someone I went to high school with, Erin Kelly! Erin lives in Dallas where she is a Senior accountant for a commercial real estate company. Throughout this interview, Erin lets us know all the deets on how she has had a  successful career ever since graduating, including her 3 tips to anyone just starting out in their field!

Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grown up, get your degree in etc? What is your current job?

My name is Erin Kelly and I’m a 27 year old (soon to be 28) Dallas native. I was born and raised in Dallas, but spent my teen years in Allen, Texas. After high school, I received my accounting degree from the University of North Texas. Upon graduating I received a tax internship, which eventually turned into a full-time offer at an accounting firm in Addison, Texas. After about a year of tax accounting I decided to make a change and went into real estate accounting, where I still am today. I’m currently a Senior Accountant at Stream Realty Partners, a commercial real estate management company here in the Dallas metroplex. I’ve been with Stream for four and a half years.

What made you decide to start your career? Did you go to school for this?

I’ve always considered myself a very risk averse individual & knew that I wanted job security when I graduated from college, the accounting field gives you just that! Aside from being good with numbers, I took an accounting class in high school and thought “Hey, I’m pretty good at this!”.

What inspires you on a daily basis?

My family and friends. They think so highly of me (even if I can’t always see why) that it encourages me to do better in every aspect of my life. I’m constantly surrounding myself around loving, funny, and smart friends and family, that it kind of rubs off on me.

What is your favorite quote & why?

My favorite quote is one by Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It’s a simple reminder for me to treat people with respect.

What’s something you would tell your 20-year-old self?

Material things don’t matter and you need a passport!  Also, don’t rush the plans that God has for you. Trust his timing and not yours.

What is your end goal with your career? what do you want to accomplish?

I’d like to stay in accounting but other than that I’m not really sure at this point. As long as I’m constantly learning and progressing, I’ll be happy.

What are the 3 most important things you would tell someone starting off in their career?

1) Be kind! You never know what networking opportunity you can create for yourself. Also, you’ll never regret being kind.

2) Always be professional because you never know who’s watching. Having one too many drinks at the company party or posting that inappropriate picture on social media is never a good idea.

3) Be honest about your abilities. When you’re starting off in a career, you’re “fresh” and it won’t be hard for everyone to tell. Take this time to ask as many questions as you can and listen to those who are where you want to be.

What is your favorite thing to do regarding your field?

Exceed the client’s expectation!

What is your least favorite?

Writing! I’ve never enjoyed writing and I had the idea that there wouldn’t be much writing in the accounting field. Boy was I wrong! I’m either writing explanations about the financials I have just produced or I’m editing/reviewing paragraphs that my property managers have just written regarding property matters.

What has been the most surprising challenge within your field?

How much accountants depend on other departments within the company. I can’t complete any financial reports without information from property management, leasing, and even the engineering teams. It can definitely be a pain at times, but I can’t ignore the wealth of knowledge that I gain from being in constant communication with my coworkers in other departments.

Until Next Time!

-B

 

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This weeks #BossBabe is someone that I attended college with (and a fellow zista!)- Canaan Starnes. Canaan currently works at the Lyft Headquarters in Nashville, but has a passion for art, music, and anything fun! Being super adventurous and living life, Canaan tells us how her consistently has landed her to working aside some of her favorite artists and having the time of her life while doing so!

Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grown up, get your degree in etc? What is your current job?

Hey guys, I’m Canaan! I’m originally from Beaumont, Texas but moved to Houston in 2010 to attend the University of Houston (GO COOGS) & graduated in 2014 with a bachelors in Hotel & Restaurant Management. I currently live in Nashville where I work on the Existing User Experience team at Lyft HQ. In addition to working with Lyft, I also just recently started working with Insomniac Events – as an Artist Liaison at their festivals. While Lyft is fantastic,
working with concerts and music festivals are my passion. If you haven’t already guessed, I love to travel! I have been all over Europe and  Australia – by myself – which is something I would definitely recommend doing.
Out of all of the places I’ve been, Rotterdam is my favorite.  Such a cool city!

What made you decide to start your career? Did you go to school for this?

I went to UH because I knew I wanted to have a career somewhere in the hospitality industry. At the time, I never thought I would later have the chance to combine my passion for music & hospitality. October of my senior year, I received an opportunity to work the box office at a new music festival in Houston called Something Wicked. Being a huge music fanatic, I jumped at the offer. I can’t begin to describe the feeling I had after working that weekend, I just knew I needed to pursue that career. One of the companies that organizes Something Wicked also has a concert venue  in Houston called Stereo Live and it then became my goal to get involved in any way I could. I remained persistent (probably annoying at times) and agreed to work any position they had for me. Whether it was working in the box office or putting wristbands on the VIP guests, I was just happy to have a foot in the door.

A few months after I graduated, I was offered a full time position as their Director of Events. Working there, I learned so much and met so many great people. Having a small team allowed me to learn a ton about the different areas within the music industry.Three years, 600+ concerts, 12 Steve Aoki cakes and 400 Dada Life pillows later,
my time at Stereo Live had ended. I received a new opportunity to work for Lyft’s corporate office in Nashville. Leaving my job at Stereo and moving out of Houston was definitely not easy but I knew I needed to push myself outside of my comfort zone and see where it would take me.After a month of living in Nashville, I received an opportunity to be an Artist Liaison with Insomniac Events. I recently worked at their newest festival,
Middlelands, and will be traveling to Vegas in a couple days to work EDC!

What inspires you on a daily basis?

I have an amazing support system. I’m at a point in my life where I have gained such a solid group of friends. There is something I see in each one of my friends that inspires me. My mom is also a huge inspiration to me. She is this 5ft tall, Sicilian lady who has a voice like Aretha Franklin. It’s very rare that you will see her without a smile on her face. If I can be half the mother she is one day, I will be happy. I’ll never forget the time I had 1 day to get 400 identical pillows for a concert we had going on later that night. After spending so much time calling around Houston
to see what I could find, the closest place to the venue ended up being a pillow factory in Beaumont (where my parents live). My mom, without question, dropped everything she was doing that day, rented a U-Haul, and drove 40 boxes full of pillows to Houston. She is the real MVP.

What is your favorite bible verse & why?

Matthew 6:34 – “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

The past year has definitely been the most challenging year I’ve ever experienced. This verse always reminds me to keep my head up through whatever challenge I’m currently faced with.

What’s something you would tell your 20-year-old self?

Stop trying to control everything in your life (& stop drinking so many Redbulls)! I’m such a planner and if I could just go back & tell myself that everything would work out better than what I originally had planned, I would’ve saved myself a ton of un-needed stress.

What is your end goal with your career? what do you want to accomplish?

Hmm…this seems to be the question I keep asking myself. If you were to ask me this question at the end of each year, you would have gotten a different answer for each year.I just started 2 new opportunities, so right now, I’m just soaking everything in and enjoying the present.

What are the 3 most important things you would tell someone starting off in their career?

  1.  Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. I believe being comfortable at a job is a bad thing. If you’re comfortable, you’re not learning new things or growing yourself/your career.
  2. Whenever you start a new job, you’re a fresh set of eyes to the company and your specific role! Don’t be afraid to share your ideas or start something new! One of the core values at Lyft is “Make it Happen” which I think is such an awesome phrase to live by. If nobody has done it, create it. If you want to move up, do it.
  3. To all the job searchers — sometimes, you will get told “no”; IT’S NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. If you’re told “no”, trust it’s not the right time or company for you; another door will open, I promise.

What is your favorite thing to do regarding your field?

Meeting so many new people! Moving to a new city and traveling to different festivals, I’ve had the chance to meet so many new people. Growing up, I was always the kid in school the teacher had to constantly move because I would talk to everyone. I’ve always enjoyed talking to new people and learning from them.Another plus – Lyft allows dogs at the office! So being surrounded by dogs every day is a huge favorite of mine.

What is your least favorite?

To be completely honest, there really isn’t a “least favorite” thing. With both jobs, there are definitely times where I’ll be stressed, but the people I work with are amazing. They are so encouraging and are always there to talk it out or lend a hand when I need it.

What has been the most surprising challenge within your field?

Being able to adapt to change so quickly is very important, but not something I ever gave a thought prior to this job. However, if I had to pick one thing that really stands out to me, it’s been the items some people ask for on their riders.Whenever I worked at Stereo Live, I had to make sure the green room was stocked with whatever, the artists we had playing that week, requested. I have a lot of interesting stories to say the least, but all made for great memories.

Until Next Time!

-B

 

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This weeks #BossBabe goes hand in hand with something that I’ve always thought was a dream job- being a flight attendant! I can’t imagine having a job where I get to travel on a weekly basis to different parts of the world. Also, I can’t imagine being on a plane on a daily basis. Nevertheless, I am so excited to learn about this job and all that this entails. This week, Sarah Tasman tells us all about the ins and outs as well as why she loves her job!

Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grown up, get your degree in etc? What is your current job?

Hello, my name is Sarah Tasman and I am originally from Columbus, Ohio- home of the buckeyes and all things scarlet and gray (Go bucks)! I originally went to school for nursing and worked at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center before I started working for United Airlines in 2016. I currently work for United as a flight attendant and I love, love, love my job! I always thought nursing was what I wanted to do with my life but I guess God had other plans. Now I fly both internationally and domestically for the airline & I could not imagine my life any other way. 

What made you decide to become a flight attendant?

 It was never my plan to become a flight attendant. It was not something I aspired to do, it just sort of happened. I realized that the medical field was not for me, so one night I sat down and applied for a job as a flight attendant. I thought the job looked fun; who does’t want to wear the cute scarves and high heels? I honestly did not expect to hear back because my schooling had nothing to do with aviation. However, it was no more than 10 hours later that I received an email stating that they wanted to interview me. It was at this point that I made a deal with God. I told God, “God, if I get this job I know that it is your will and I am going to trust you.” So long story short, I got the job and I packed up my whole life in Columbus, Ohio, and drove 20 hours to Houston, Texas, to start a new life which has taken me so many places I never thought possible. I feel truly blessed to live the life I do, sometimes I even have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming!

What inspires you on a daily basis?

For me, it is so hard to pick one thing that inspires me. God gave me a passion for so many things. However, if I have to pick my top two things it would be “travel” and “people”. I guess in my line of work these two things go hand and hand. I am constantly planning new trips, flying new places and seeing new things. Nothing gives me more excitement and joy than to place my feet on soil that I have never walked on before. The excitement and anticipation of traveling to new places just about kills me!

Also, I am inspired by the people that I meet along the way in my travels. I have met so many amazing people with such kind hearts and fascination stories. I have come to realize that the world is such a big place with so many things to learn. I truly believe the world to be a beautiful place with people that have good hearts. In this day in age, the media blasts us with images and stories of how bad the world and people are. However, I would beg to differ. Yes, there are many problems with society today, but yet there are also so many wonderful people and things that go on that the media doesn’t report on. Life is a beautiful thing. 

What is your favorite bible verse & why?

My favorite Bible verse would actually have to be a cluster of verses. The verses fall under Proverbs 31. This chapter talks about a virtuous, upright woman who walks in the ways of the Lord. For me, these verses have always been a guide for how I want to live my life & the type of woman I want to be. I truly want to be a woman who is in God’s will and walks with Him daily. 

What’s something you would tell your 20-year-old self?

Something I would tell my 20 year old self would be not to try and plan life out. I have always been a “Type A” person who has to have all their “ducks in a row”. I have tried to plan out my life to the last detail and, well, that hasn’t worked out very well. I have learned that life is unpredictable and you just have to go with the flow. This does not mean you shouldn’t plan things and prepare, it just means that you have to be flexible in your approach and realize that life doesn’t always go the way you want it to. However,  I am glad my life hasn’t gone the way I want it to because I’m happy where I have ended up thus far.

What is your end goal with your business, what do you want to accomplish?

With my current job as a flight attendant, my ultimate goal would be to hold some really good international lines. With my job everything is about seniority and in order to get the really good trips you have to be with the company for quite some time before you get the long international destination layovers. So one day, I would like to be able to have enough seniority to go to those really amazing places that you read about in books and see in movies. I am honestly not sure how long I will be a flight attendant , but I promised myself I would not quit this job until I check all of the destinations off my list that I want to see. I have so many places left that I want to visit so I think I will be flying for a few more years until I accomplish my goal of seeing those places.

What are the 3 most important things you would tell someone starting off in their career?

Three things that I would tell someone starting off their career would have to be:

  1. Embrace the change that your new career will bring.With every new career there are changes that will come to your life, both good and bad.
  2. Do not get discouraged when you are first starting out. Every new career present new challenges and new things to learn. Don’t give up if things don’t come naturally at first. Good things take time, so give your new job a fighting chance.
  3. Once you get your dream job or new career stay consistent and don’t slack. You worked hard to get the job so keep the job. Don’t let laziness or complacency hinder you from keeping or moving up in your career. 

What is your favorite thing to do regarding your field?

My favorite thing about my career is the traveling perks… DUH! I get paid to not only travel but I also get to travel anywhere virtually free on my days off. My job offers so much flexibility and I can literally hop on any plane, at any time, and go anywhere. It’s an amazing lifestyle. 

What is your least favorite?

My least favorite thing about being a flight attendant would have to be the exhaustion. I get so tired so easily. When you are flying through so many different time zones you get major jet lag. Also, the plane air is so dry that you have to not only fight fatigue but also dehydration. I have to drink so much water and put on so much lotion to keep from drying out. In this job, you really have to take care of yourself or you can get run down very easily. 

What has been the most surprising challenge within your business?

The most challenging part of being a flight attendant is dealing with the loneliness. Many of my friends are flight attendants and we all have different schedules so we hardly ever see each other. Also, while yes, I am on a plane with hundreds of people at a time, it is different from having one on one social interaction with a good friend. I live alone in a state where I  know no one so it has really weighed on me a lot. But at the end of the day, I have grown as an individual and become more comfortable with myself as a person. 

Until Next Time!

-B

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