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Michael & Ylianna Dadashi: “There is no substitute for persistence!”

“There is no substitute for persistence! It cannot be supplanted by any other quality! Remember this, and it will hearten you, in the beginning, when the going may seem difficult and slow. Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.” -Napoleon Hill We love this quote because you may hit roadblocks in […]

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There is no substitute for persistence! It cannot be supplanted by any other quality! Remember this, and it will hearten you, in the beginning, when the going may seem difficult and slow. Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.” -Napoleon Hill

We love this quote because you may hit roadblocks in your career and company, but it is actually the universe leading you to the actual path and the way that the business was supposed to go. When you never lose that faith, you truly are pouring your heart out. You may have temporary failure, but it is actually the universe guiding you to the path of success.


As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael & Ylianna Dadashi.

Ylianna was the reigning Miss Texas USA in 2015. In July 2015 she went on to represent Texas in the Miss USA pageant placing as first runner-up to Miss USA. She divided her time between school and traveling for her reign, she graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts. Shortly after Miss USA, Ylianna married the man of her dreams Michael Dadashi and she moved to Austin, Texas. Together they launched Infinite Recovery, a full-service drug addiction treatment facility. Ylianna is the creative genius behind the look and feel of Infinite Recovery. Her mission is to create a positive experience and a lasting impression for clients and employees alike. As a designer and licensed realtor, Ylianna also directs all of Infinite Recovery’s real estate ventures and development. Ylianna works with various non-profit organizations such as the Austin Community College Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Easter Seals, Proyecto Desarollo Humano and the Texas Children’s Hospital to name a few. Ylianna’s love for children has allowed her to give back and inspire young people in Texas by teaching them to “always believe” in themselves and the beauty of their goals. Along with her husband Michael, they took Ylianna’s love for helping children to launch their own 501c3, The Heartwater Foundation, whose mission is to “Improve the lives of children suffering from extreme poverty, disease and families of addiction.” Ylianna is also a Certified Yoga Instructor and she enjoys spiritual retreats, travel, cooking, family time and service work.

Michael has been clean and sober since 2009 in which he replaced his old attitudes with a new set of principles that motivated him to extend the same Life-saving second chances he had received to others struggling with addiction. He started by employing other recovering addicts at his e-waste recycling business, MHD Enterprises, which he has owned for more than a decade. Defying just about every possible conventional hiring practice, Michael grew MHD into a nationally recognized award-winning company. In 2014, Michael took his mission to help addicts rebuild their lives one step further by opening Infinite Recovery. His goal was to provide a full continuum of care by equipping clients with the tools and support necessary for a successful second chance at life. In 2017 with the help of his talented wife, Ylianna, they launched a medical detox and residential facility and realized Michael’s dream of providing a full continuum of care. Michael has the unique ability to bridge the gap between business and service to others. Michael supports various non-profit organizations such as Recovery People, Lifesteps, Austin Community College Foundation and serves on the board of Communities for Recovery and Teen and Family Services. Michael’s definition of success is to live life with complete purpose and passion for all he does both personally and professionally.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

We both have always been very passionate about making a lasting and positive ripple effect in the world in some way. Ylianna studied water in college and has always wanted to make a difference in the bottled water industry. When we became informed about the environmental benefits of rainwater harvesting, we knew introducing rainwater to consumers was the most efficient way to do that.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

We never anticipated what could go wrong. Our launch date coincided with early March 2020, when the world shifted because of a global pandemic. Launching with COVID has definitely shaped the way we modeled our business and taught us that perseverance in times of crisis means everything when starting a business.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

For years we knew we wanted to recreate the classic milkman reclamation model. As a sustainable company, reusing and recycling our bottles is very important to us. Our dream was to purchase and renovate an authentic 1950’s Divco milk truck. What we didn’t know is that these classic trucks are very rare! We searched all over the US to find our truck, and eventually found it cross-country. This lesson taught us that persistence pays off.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

We sustainably harvest and bottle rainwater and are committed to creating a positive ripple effect around the world — donating 23% of our profits to children in need.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

When we first started our #PourYourHeartOut story-telling social platform, we shared a story of a mother whose daughter had struggled with substance abuse issues. In the story, the mother shared about the struggles her daughter faced, and how grateful she was that her daughter eventually found recovery. Months later, a client checked into our treatment facility, Infinite Recovery, who was struggling with heroin addiction. She had read the story of the mother, grateful her daughter’s life was saved. It was the reason that the client checked into treatment. Low and behold, our nurse at the treatment center was the mom who shared our story. Our nurse and client bonded over this twist of positive fate. It just goes to show that the ripple effect of sharing your story can truly save someone’s life.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

1. Bans on single-use plastic

 2. Regulations on depleting natural water sources; streams, rivers, aquifers and lakes.

 3. For the community/society to become more aware of the dangers of the tap water. How it contains chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

When you are enthusiastic and passionate about what you’re doing as founders, it feeds into the culture of your work community.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1.) How much persistence goes into starting a new business

2.) How difficult it is to change consumers’ habits of single-use plastic. Part of our presence in this industry is educating consumers how to be more mindful when it comes to our plant.

3.) How difficult it is to change consumers habits when it comes to where they get their water source from. Many consumers are not aware that most bottled water is actually just tap water. Our hope is to educate consumers of the benefits of rainwater.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Our hope with Heart Water is that it will have a massive ripple effect on the world. We started 5 years ago sharing stories of hope which we still do to this day. The color purple of our company directly correlates to bringing red hearts “full hearts” and blue hearts together, in turn creating “purple hearts.” By sharing stories you create empathy for one another. We trademarked “Pour your heart out” for that exact reason. When you ‘pour your heart out’ you never know the ripple effect it will have on another person. Through this movement, and of course our product, we hope to nourish the mind, body, soul, and planet earth. Our hope is to inspire others to drop single-use plastic, and choose rainwater over depleting water resources.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

There is no substitute for persistence! It cannot be supplanted by any other quality! Remember this, and it will hearten you, in the beginning, when the going may seem difficult and slow. Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.” -Napoleon Hill

We love this quote because you may hit roadblocks in your career and company, but it is actually the universe leading you to the actual path and the way that the business was supposed to go. When you never lose that faith, you truly are pouring your heart out. You may have temporary failure, but it is actually the universe guiding you to the path of success.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

We would love to chat over lunch with The Dalai Lama, because he is full of wisdom, an advocate of peace, and a figure we both look up to

How can our readers follow you on social media?

They can follow us at @heartwater on Instagram or facebook.com/drinkhw .

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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