My parents brought me and my siblings here from Iran and showed us what hard work and determination were like when you don’t know the language. We didn’t know the language, culture or anything but they were determined to show us that hard work will eventually pay off. An Iranian national, my family — like so many emigrants before us — fled the tyranny of oppression, in this case in the form of the Ayatollah Kohmeini, to seek a better life in the United States of America. Unlike many Iranians with means, we arrived in America with little but the clothes on our backs. Instead of asking for help, we forged a life through hard work and sacrifice — a family of five sharing a one bedroom apartment. Eventually, we established a small and modest means of support.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Alan Semsar of Barcelona Enterprises. While honored with the opportunity to help others achieve good health, he soon realized a calling to help others achieve their dreams. He spent the next seven years in the corporate world with companies like NBC Universal and Hilton Hotels and Resorts in search of inspiration and awareness. In a moment of revelation, he found personal fulfillment in the creative process after having spent his whole life focused on math and science, although those skills would later prove to be invaluable in his role as CEO.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I worked in the corporate world for so long and at one point pursued my own medical degree at the UAG School of Medicine.
In 2003, I left the unfulfilling corporate world and pursued my passion to be fun and creative, and help others do the same. I then started Barcelona Enterprises as a graphic design and restaurant consulting firm, catering to expansion-minded clients and other start-ups such as Lizarran Tapas Restaurants, Cilantro Fresh Mexican Grill, and the Cielo Malibu Estate Vineyards. Shortly thereafter, the company grew into a full-fledged advertising agency. By 2008, what was once a small start-up company had begun to build momentum, eventually representing such notable organizations as Paul Mitchell, Mercedes Benz, Macy’s, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, and Lamborghini. Since then other notable companies have been added to Barcelona’s client list: world famous Chef Katsuya & Katsu-Ya Group, Maserati and Kota Ramen. I have taken Barcelona into the world of event marketing with hosting 24 of the most respected, admired and often duplicated, food & wine festivals around the world. The plan is to increase both the size of each event and the number of events by 50% each year.
What do you think makes your company stand out?
During our food festivals my team and I work hard to get as many people there so we can make our donation goals to charity. It’s really important that we work together as a team always, the prepping and all the work that goes into running successful events pays off when my team and I work together to meet goals by working cohesively to run a smooth event.
My entire company works together, we communicate, strategize, and work together in a way that stands out because we’re a family. We also celebrate our successes. Each and every one of them.
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?
I can tell you this, WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN!
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self what would you tell him and why?
Be consistent with your goals to achieve your personal successes. And always have many success that you celebrate.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My parents brought me and my siblings here from Iran and showed us what hard work and determination were like when you don’t know the language. We didn’t know the language, culture or anything but they were determined to show us that hard work will eventually pay off.
An Iranian national, my family — like so many emigrants before us— fled the tyranny of oppression, in this case in the form of the Ayatollah Kohmeini, to seek a better life in the United States of America. Unlike many Iranians with means, we arrived in America with little but the clothes on our backs. Instead of asking for help, we forged a life through hard work and sacrifice — a family of five sharing only one room. Eventually, we established a small and modest means of support.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I make sure that each and every festival I run raises a lot of money for charities that help kids.
Our belief in contributing to charitable causes has allowed Barcelona to be of an enormous service to the community through such organizations such as St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the March of Dimes, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Meals on Wheels, and numerous other charities. Annually, Barcelona donates approximately $150,000 to non-profit organizations.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Find what makes you get up every day and shine at it
2. Research what you want to do and get involved
3. Be goal-oriented
4. Make time in the day to breath. Being your own boss doesn’t always allow you to take breaks so schedule them in
5. Be ahead of the game — do your research and learn to manage your time, money and resources.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start 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. :-)
I’m a dad and it is so important for me to do charity work and fundraise for organizations that help kids. It is so near and dear to my core, my heart to help children. Anything I can do to have others help
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Follow Barcelona Enterprises on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/barcelona_enterprises/