We had the good fortune of connecting with Drita Popovic, MS Psy and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Drita, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have always been drawn towards the direction of helping others. It is my calling and my life’s purpose. The thought process behind starting my own business was simple honestly, I felt I needed to do more, to reach more people globaly, not limit myself to an office, a place, a computer, but rather a purpose driven mission. Working in the Mental Health Field for 11+ years I realized how crutial it has become for people to develop Mental Strength and Emotional Intelligence. Given my own personal and professional experiences I realized that I needed to make my practice personal so that I would not allow it to fail. I always had the idean, so during the pandemic I sat down during what seemed like no free time in the day because of 12 to 15 hours workdays, I wrote my idea on paper, created a plan, set a goal and launched my practice in July of 2020. Remain committed, dedicated and no matter how tired you are, rest for a while and start moving again. Quitting has never been, is not now and never will be an option, so I needed to make certain that what the mission stands for is relatable to others; therefore, I named it Finding Individualized Value & Empowerment “FI5VE” the number 5 represents my siblings and I and it highlights the following key points in the practice: Stability, Confidence, Self-Worth, Purpose & Clarity.

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?
Before getting into the Mental Health Field, I worked as a cashier/pharmacist assistant, legal assistant, corporate assistant, sight manager for a tech company, independent contractor to finally running my own business. Was any of it simple, not in the slightest, was it worth, absolutely. Every job I have held taught me something different about the business world and about myself. Every job I have held created mentors and friends who I will forever be grateful for. But, no matter where I was, I always felt I can do more. So about five years ago I started a family based nonprofit organization called House of P0P Foundation where it focuses on helping those struggling with poverty, medical and psychological health, education and any fundraising idea a participant or a complete stranger brings to our attention to help raise funds and awareness to the cause. 100% of the proceeds are donate to each cause as this became a way for my siblings and I to pay it forward within our own community as well as extending a helping hand and recognizing the importance and value of life. Still running the nonprofit, I still a feeling I needed to do more. I had surrounded myself with people who recognized my value as much as I recognized my value and ability to make a difference and influence my thoughts on a solo business idea that was born July 2020 in the middle of a pandemic. This beautiful new adventure was named after the most important people in my life my siblings. There are 5 of us and each represents individuality and unshakable support for each other. So I decided to call my new business Finding Individualized Value and Empowerment LLC “FI5VE”. I started this practice as my way of developing the ability to reach out to a larger audience where I can share my knowledge and help transform lives. FI5VE promotes improved mental wellness and well-being for all individuals and groups through education, support and advocacy. We know the importance of a balanced life, and that an unhealthy lifestyle does not only affect the person struggling, but the family and community surrounding them. As an entrepreneur, writer, coach and an unshakable optimist, I created a practice that helps people achieve positive change and growth by harnessing innate strengths, uncovering self-motivation, and asking empowering questions. Our mission is to support, educate and provide services to individuals and groups seeking to build mental strength and emotional intelligence. Our style of coaching fosters self-generated insight, vision and goal clarity to help develop balance and self-worth.

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.
Ah a question about travel. I absolutely life traveling and it is how I discovered my purpose in life as I like to say “the best education I have ever received is in the pages of my passport”. But to answer the question, I would ask my best friend what he/she would like to do so that I can have an idea of what they want and share some of my own thoughts and places they might like to visit that would give them a true feel of what New York City is really like. I think it’s important to keep in mind that no matter where you go, unless you interact with the locals and eat at the local restaurant and bars a person will not know what it’s really like to experience an authentic trip. The best part of my trip is going to the fancy dinners and rooftop bars and beautiful art places and events, but above it all, I would say getting to know the locals is the true authentic feeling of what it’s like to be a New Yorker. I would not deprive my friends of authenticity.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family is my greatest source of support. Without them I would not be the person I am today. Born and raised in a small town in Montenegro with limited opportunities in life, my parents made the ultimate sacrifice to give my siblings and I the best possible life. Believe me it wasn’t easy for a family of 7 to start a new life in New York City. So, I took advantage of the opportunities that were presented to me, I went to school, obtained an education and am proud to say I have to date accomplished every goal I have set for myself. I worked 65 to 70 hours a week and taking 15 to 18 college credits so that my family wouldn’t have to carry the financial burden on their own. But, never have they allowed me to struggle. I received my bachelor’s in criminal justice and whole heartedly believed I wanted to be a lawyer, but working on Wall Street, I loved it, it was what I wanted, but walking to the courts, I realized sitting behind a desk pushing paper was not the life I wanted. So, I proceeded with pursuing my master’s in psychology. Shortly after graduation I began working in the field and have been with the same clinic for 11 years, which includes working in the Mental Health Field with the criminal court system. My new goals scare the life out of me, but I’m okay with that because my brother and sisters have always been there to keep pushing me and telling me that nothing is impossible. And over the years my support network has grown through friends who have become family, mentors and colleagues who have become friends, and books that I love reading like Atomic Habit, The Pencil Project, change your brain Change your life, and simple journals from fellow women entrepreneurs. So today because of all the support I have, I have life and professional experiences that have shaped me as a person, I sit in a glass office in TriBeCa with a beautiful view of Lower Manhattan Skyline and continue to engage in fundraising and charity work to help support causes such as Autism, Suicide Prevention, Breast Cancer, Childhood Cancer, Education and Poverty. But without the support of all the people in my life, I will not say it would be impossible, but it would be much more difficult. So if you want to create change in the world, change has to start with you, I learned this at the age of 13 when I was being bullied for not speaking English for not fitting the criteria of what someone should look like or dress like, or whatever their reasons were I honestly say “THANK YOU” to them as well because they too taught me valuable lessons in life. They taught me that thunder makes noise, but it is rain that grows flowers.

Website: fi5ve.org

Instagram: dee_p0p

Linkedin: Drita Popovic

Facebook: Drita Popovic or Finding Value/Fi5ve.org

Yelp: Finding Individualized Value and Empowerment LLC

Image Credits
Gezim Mavric

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.