Scholarship Finalist: Omar Ziadeh

Failure only fuels desire for success

Ever since I was eight years old, my father has been self-employed as a co-founder of Inline Metrology Solutions. In 2004, my dad’s computer engineering company, Luxtron, folded. My dad lost his job. However, a silver lining came out of the mayhem. The company offered him and two of his colleagues the majority of the equipment they possessed. They jumped at the opportunity. Since then, I have been helping my father grow and mature the business, but it hasn’t been a completely smooth ride.

For the first few years, my dad’s business brought in a lot of profit. We were making a lot of money. As most of us have seen, however, the recession really brought it down to its knees, and the business has yet to fully recover. As my dad has aged, I have had to help with numerous things, from lifting heavy boxes, to shipping internationally, to taking phone calls from potential clients while my dad was out of the country. Recently, my dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, and lifting heavy objects is a very difficult task when your arms are shaking violently. This is where I’ve had to step in and mature as an individual to help this business, which is our only source of income outside of Social Security Disability, help us survive.

All the equipment that is sold comes directly from our garage. We have a dozen shelves filled with boxes of computer equipment. Specifically, these are components that monitor the process of creating motherboards, which have millions of extremely tiny modules, and are extremely complex. There are many different kinds of equipment, and they must be cleaned and stored properly, and labeled so we can find the correct box when a specific equipment is requested. This is where my organization and work ethic was put to the test. Every few months, the equipment needs to be taken out and cleaned because of dusts and bugs that can ruin it. It’s a pain staking process that requires a lot of patience and physical endurance. My father and I once spent over a week taking equipment out of boxes, examining the component, and labeling the boxes. I was the only one who could climb the shelves and lift the equipment, and very few of the boxes has cuts on the sides to where I could lift them much more easily. My back was killing me, and these huge metal machines were not light. Moreover, I am a year-round athlete who plays 3 different sports, and also maintains a 3.98 GPA while taking Advanced Placement courses, so this had to be done after practice which was after school. However, it had to be done, and it was done, and this has helped me develop the “Never Give Up” attitude I possess today.

Listening to my dad communicate to others has helped me develop open communication skills. I always hear my father on the phone talking to clients trying to sell them a product. It’s painstaking trying to convince a person to spend tons of money on a product sold out of a garage located in Silver Springs, Nevada, which is a town of less than 5,300 people. Anybody at my school can tell you I am a very open person, and I love to talk to people. Recently, we had a fundraiser for our track and field team, and in just 2 days, I was able to sell $41 worth of candy that was only $1 a piece. This was a difficult task for someone who goes to a school of less than 300 people, especially when you’re competing with 20 other athletes selling the same candy. Communicating is something I believe I do really well, and if my dad can convince clients to buy his products under the circumstances, I should be able to communicate anything no matter what. My salutatorian speech on May 29th will no doubt be my greatest challenge.

Seeing my father’s business succeed and struggle has left a lasting impression on me as an individual. Anything that is successful can eventually fail, and anything that is a failure can eventually succeed. However, failure is not an acceptable conclusion to a journey. Any failure can be overcome with hard work and the desire to push past an obstacle. My dad has never given up on his business, even when he had no prospective clients, even when the economy hurt the market, even when all the odds were against him, and this is something I can look up to. My dad could have easily stepped out of the business and given up on it, passing on all the equipment to his colleagues. Was the hassle of cleaning and organizing equipment that just dusted up after a few months worth it? It was to him, and now the business is moving again, slowly, but it’s picking up. I believe, no matter the speed, success has to eventually be reached if you work toward it. This is what I’ve learned from my father’s business, and it’s what I have and will take from it and put into my own mindset. That will lead me to success, one step at a time.

This essay was written by Omar Ziadeh, one of 10 finalists for the Small Business Success Student Scholarship Program. Omar and the other finalists were selected from more than 500 applications reviewed by the Scholarship Committee. Three of the finalists will win a $1,500 scholarship to be used toward furthering their education. To vote for Omar or any of the other finalists, visit the Small Business Success Student Scholarship voting app on Facebook.

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