We had the good fortune of connecting with Christen Arafeh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christen, how do you think about risk?
There’s a popular saying that goes something like “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done,” and I’ve never heard anything more true. If you continue doing the same ol’ thing every day, you will continue getting the same ol’ results, and if you’re not happy with the current sameness of your situation or you dream of more, do more!
Falling in love is a risk. Taking that new job across the country is a risk. Deciding to start a family is a risk. Starting that new business is a risk. But the reward is often much greater than the risk. You either take a risk by doing something new, or you risk being stuck in the same rut indefinitely.
Successful people take risks. We are able to calculate the risk and decide if it is worth the reward and then quickly take the actionable steps to make the vision a reality before it becomes a missed opportunity.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I grew up in southern Louisiana where college is not easily accessible or affordable. I realized in order to go to college, I would have to win scholarships, so I started applying as a high school freshman to as many scholarships as I could, and to date, I’ve earned more than $900,000 in financial aid to cover the cost of my own education, essentially paying me to go to college.
Winning scholarships was life changing, and because it eased the burden of having to pay tuition, I really enjoyed college planning. I created a small advising company to help local New Orleans families navigate choosing a major, creating a college list, submitting applications, and finding scholarships to graduate debt-free. I quickly realized that this was not just a local problem when students from all over the US and as far away as Peru and Kazakhstan starting to ask how they can work with me. I rebranded to what we are today, Hive Education – The Buzz About College and I offer a variety of products and services to assist families through the college application process.
Every day I overcome a new challenge and learn a new lesson while running my businesses. It is imperative to have a list of goals and a game plan on how you plan to achieve them so that the small bumps in the road don’t knock you off track.
I want the world to know that there is no one clear path to creating the life of your dreams. Take advantage of all the opportunities you are offered and eventually, you’ll look back on how far you have come, and all those little challenges and lessons will be a small part of your big, beautiful journey.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Born and raised near the bayous of southeastern Louisiana, we would start out enjoying the cajun way of life. There would be the choice of an alligator swamp tour on an airboat or an oyster boat tour out headed to the Gulf of Mexico followed by an evening near the muddy water enjoying a crawfish or crab boil (depending on the season of course). The following day we would head to New Orleans, for a carriage ride through the French Quarter and the day wouldn’t be complete without some beignets from Cafe Du Monde. I would definitely try to plan this trip around Mardi Gras, because it is something everyone should see at least once in their life, but at the very least we would go on a tour of Mardi Gras World to see some floats and experience the magic of carnival.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout goes to my loving husband, who always inspires me to always follow my dreams. He listens to me talk endlessly about all the ideas I want to implement, and isn’t afraid to pull my head out of the clouds to get me back on track for my big picture goals. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without him, his love, and his guidance.