We had the good fortune of connecting with Rachel Boles-Harfouche and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rachel, how do you think about risk?
Fear of failure is the most crippling concept humans deal with. Most people do not chase their dreams to the fullest potential, or at all, because they are afraid of the unknown. What if I give it my all and it doesn’t work out? What if I relocate to a city that has more potential for my career but I flop? What if I choose my dream job over my relationship and end up with nothing? But… what if you succeed? What is really stopping you from success? The only way you do not succeed is if you give up. Becoming successful is not taking one risk and then BOOM you have it all. Reaching your goals and dreams comes with taking several risks, failing numerous times, getting back up and trying again. People need to get so comfortable with failure that they embrace it instead of fear it. Because at some point down the road to your end goal, you are going to fail. Probably a lot. But that means your risks are putting you on the right track because you cannot reach success without falling down and getting back up. If no one took risks, our world would have never evolved past cave men. Walking on the moon, discovering gravity, airplanes, cars, electricity, etc., all took risk in order to create. If you’re not scared to take your next step, you’re not dreaming big enough. Everything I’ve done, I had to take risks. I’ve invested all of my savings into my dreams, moved to a new city, let go of relationships and sacrificed friendships in order to bet on myself. And I’m here to tell you, it was worth it but it was not easy. In fact it was painful and terrifying. I watched my friends go out until the sun came up 4 nights a week while I was glued to my desk studying/working. I said goodbye to men I thought I was in-love with because they wanted a more serious relationship such as me moving to a new state to live with them but I knew that would not be the right move for my career and a serious relationship would take away too much time from my work. I worked 16-18 hours a day in order to save up the type of money I needed to start a company. I risked EVERYTHING I had to put into a dream… and there were moments where I thought of stopping. Of taking a more “conventional” “safe” job. But risking it all on my dreams will always pay off because I’ll never quit, and I refuse to sacrifice my happiness and soul in exchange for comfort. So if you’re looking at all the risks you need to take in order to chase a dream and it’s scary as hell… Good. Do it. It means you’re on the right path to greatness.
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 have a two part business. I am creating a cosmetic company, that will launch February 2021, and a part of the proceeds of that cosmetic company will fund my legal defense pro bono work for minority children targeted by our racist legal system. I graduated from law school in 2018, passed the bar exam in 2019, and passed the MPRE exam in 2020. July 17th, 2020, is the date that I will be swearing in and receiving my official license to be an attorney. It means everything to me knowing that I have dedicated my life and made so many sacrifices to get to this moment. Not for myself, but for others. I will relentlessly fight for kids until the day I die. I had someone believe in me which changed my life, and I want to be that person for others. I know the system is rigged. It is targeting kids of color. America is designed to target minorities in every way possible, so I proudly say that my legal degree is to fight against the system and protect our youth. The cosmetic company is inspired by the youngest generation. Gen-Z, Zillennials, and young Millennials are like something the world has never seen before. We are educated culturally beyond our years, we seek justice in the world, we fight against the biggest/scariest political figures with no remorse, we are sensitive yet strong, and our thinking is utterly fluid. We do not conform to the boxes society has tried to force us to check. We define ourselves in every aspect and blur the lines. That is why I am creating a cosmetic company to express and empower this unique and fearless generation. Nothing worth having in life is easy. But if everyone gave up the second something hard came about, no one would be successful. The trick is to keep getting up. Get knocked down 9 times, stand up 10. No matter how hard it get: close your eyes, take a breath, center yourself and then get right back up and one foot in front of the other.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love taking people to the Paramount Drive-In Theater on Rosecrans Ave. It’s so unique and old school LA. Nothing better than a 75 degree summer night, watching a movie at the drive in with the windows down. It’s definitely an experience the younger generation should try. Obviously have to take everyone to Roscoes on Manchester near LAX. By far my favorite food. The Natural History Museum in DTLA is a must. I love dinosaurs and love to go to anything where I can learn. Definitely a trip to The Getty, again I love knowledge. And everyone has to take a trip up PCH and end up at Point Dume in Malibu. Griffith Observatory at night is absolutely stunning. I also highly recommend the Huntington Library. Such a unique space that you’d never expect to find in Southern California.
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 father. Sometimes somethings are so personal and special you don’t want to tell the world because you want to keep that one thing just for yourself. But I will divulge a little. My father adopted me when I was a teenager. And let me tell you, 15-21 year old Rachel was a horrible person. I was going down a very dark, troubled path, but he never left. He was the first person in my entire life to never walk away and abandon me. I believe God knew I needed that. It was in that one moment I realized I finally had someone who loved me unconditionally, would stick by me through everything and truly believed in me and that realization changed me completely and brought out the best in me, My father is also one of those rare people that sees my strangeness and weirdness, and he encourages and praises it. He never tries to change who I am, only tries to teach me to be a loving, kind and generous human to others.