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Lessons From The Immigrant Hustle: “Always continue to build your skill set” With Roger Farahmand of One Health

Take the best of both cultures and never look back. Always continue to build your skill set. My life has been a developmental journey…


Take the best of both cultures and never look back. Always continue to build your skill set. My life has been a developmental journey acquiring skills. I am consistently curious and always want to learn and add to my skill set. My personality traits, training, skill set and high self-efficacy make me prone to planned happenstance. The more skills and education I have the stronger my skill set becomes and the higher the probability that I will flourish and be well.


I had the pleasure to interview Roger Farahmand, Founder, President and Chief Strategy Officer of One Health, a value-based, fully integrated healthcare delivery system. Roger emigrated from Iran and is now a Dallas-based entrepreneur, attorney and healthcare business expert. Farahmand designed One Health to improve the quality of healthcare by using integrated techniques and providing a diverse group of physicians from all around the globe. Before One Health, he founded Enterhealth, a drug and alcohol addiction treatment company offering the full continuum of care. As a serial entrepreneur with many companies under his belt. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California, has a Jurisprudence/Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton and a Master of Laws from the University of Denver. He is currently working on his Master of Counseling at New York University. Aside from his many business accomplishments Farahmand’s greatest accomplishment is being a full-time single parent to his son.


Thank you so much for joining us! Why did you or your family decide to immigrate?

My parents moved to the United States it the 1960s but went back to Iran for my birth and then we returned to the United States in 1972. We lived here until 1977 and then we moved back to Iran. There was a revolution in Iran in 1979 which forced my family to flee the country and return to the United States. We moved to Dallas, Texas.

What was the most difficult thing you faced when you arrived?

Growing up in Dallas in the early 1980s was very difficult for me. There was racism and general hate towards Iranian people because of the recent hostage crisis. I felt marginalized, and I had to work twice as hard as others. Racism, cultural insensitivity, and marginalization were just a few of the issues I dealt with. Additionally, because my family’s life was completely different in the US than it was in Iran, I knew I was going to have to make something of myself and make my own life.


What was your very first job?

Following law school, I worked at a bank and then a law firm before opening my private practice. I also had second jobs to help support my family.

Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur?

I did not choose it; the profession chose me. I had a strong desire to help the marginalized. I opened my first law firm at age 23 in a predominantly minority area of Dallas. My very first case at my new firm was a case no other lawyer would take the case because they claimed it was unwinnable. It was an immigration case involving two young teenage children. Long story short, we were victorious. That case catapulted me within the Dallas Persian community.

In a planned happenstance, another case I took involving a healthcare company turned into a career change for me and introduced me to the world of healthcare. I ended up leaving my practice to run this company and by luck and a lot of grit turning it into one of my most profitable endeavors.

Who inspired you to become an entrepreneur? (e.g. Your teacher? Elon Musk? Your mom? Your neighbor?)

My father. When we returned the US in the 1980s, my parents were forced to start over. The economy and employment market were stagnant under then-President Carter and my father went into business for himself. I never saw my father give up and he was always working. Setback or failure never phased him, and he always believed everything would work out in the end. More importantly, he talked to me about everything. I was never too young. He consistently told me how smart I was and that I could do anything. He would spend at least two hours a day with me teaching me things. Watching him, taking his words of encouragement, having him as role model helped me become who I am.


What was the most difficult thing you faced when you first started your business?

The most difficult thing I faced when I started my first business was simply lack of experience. There is a difference between being a visionary/leader and a manager. I was a great attorney, visionary and entrepreneur but a terrible manager. I did not have the experience to run an office.

Why do you think you have been successful?

Resilience and self-efficacy. Never give up, never stop trying and never stop believing in yourself. I found my purpose and my passion and haven’t looked back.

Also, of note, I work on projects — I have set outcome expectations and personal goals and once those are achieved I move onto another project. My projects must have attainable goals. Things need to be measured; I need to know if I am on the right path and if things are not working I can change quickly.

What advice do you have for newly arrived immigrants that want to pursue the path of entrepreneurship?

Take the best of both cultures and never look back. Always continue to build your skill set. My life has been a developmental journey acquiring skills. I am consistently curious and always want to learn and add to my skill set. My personality traits, training, skill set and high self-efficacy make me prone to planned happenstance. The more skills and education I have the stronger my skill set becomes and the higher the probability that I will flourish and be well.


Thank you so much for these insights!

Originally published at medium.com

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