The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE students learn persistence, integrity help achieve dreams

By Natalie Carter/reporter

Achieving dreams is more about mind over matter, a local businessman told SE students March 6.

Born in Kashmir, Saddiq Mir, vice president of food and beverage at the Gaylord Texan resort, presented “Surefire Principles to Success” as part of the campus’ Overcoming Obstacles — Celebrating Success lecture series.

“I was not born in a suit and tie although I look crisp,” he joked as he wiped off his suit.

Mir’s father worked in construction and traveled to different countries for work. When Mir was 15, he walked in on his mother crying.

“I can take a lot, but I can’t take my mother crying,” he said.

When Mir asked what was wrong, his mother couldn’t speak, but he knew it was serious. His father had been hurt on a construction job, but because his father was in another country, they didn’t know how serious the injuries were.

“In my culture, the oldest male is expected to be the sacrificial one for the family,” he said.

So still not knowing about his father’s condition, Mir decided to quit school and provide for the family. So after high school at 16, Mir left home and moved to Paris, France, with a sister, but it was hard to find a job without speaking the language.

“The only word I knew was oui, oui,” he said.

But, Mir said, that’s all a person needs to know when striving to reach goals. One needs a willingness to do whatever is asked to move up. Mir started out selling newspapers on the streets. 

“With a smile and thank you, I made money,” he said.

Soon, Mir was able to get an apartment.

“You have to have your own resources and connections,” he said. “You have to take care of yourself first, or you can’t take care of anyone else.”

Mir got a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant and, through hard work and persistence, moved up to busboy. Not content in France, he moved to Germany because a friend lived there. Again, Mir started as a dishwasher at a restaurant.

“I did all the jobs no one else wanted,” he said.

With that mentality, Mir worked his way up to waiter and then assistant manager. He also went to school and completed a four-year program for hotel management while working three jobs.

“The only dream I had was to make money and send it to my mom,” he said.

Later, Mir found out his father had survived the accident. He asked his dad to retire and allow him to continue providing for the family.

Mir moved to San Francisco. Even with his background in the restaurant industry, he could not find a job because he didn’t have local experience. Finally, Mir was offered a job at a gas station. When the manager asked if Mir had worked as a cashier, Mir told him he had.

“I said yes. The answer is always yes. I worked for $8.25 an hour, and I was very thankful,” he said. “Do your best each day, not because people are watching but because you want to do a good job, and I guarantee you someone is watching.”

His “big break” came one day when a woman was having trouble pumping gas, and Mir went out to help. While talking with the woman, Mir learned that the customer’s boss, the manager at a Hyatt hotel, spoke German. This was the same hotel Mir had once seen and prayed to God that he would one day manage the restaurant.

The woman set up a meeting for Mir. After speaking German with the manager, Mir was offered a job doing room service. Six months later, Mir was promoted to the restaurant and later became a manager.

Mir continued his journey in the restaurant business working for Fairmount Hotels, Omni Hotels overseeing 40 sites, and many others. However, the obstacles he had to face continued.

After a 20-year marriage, Mir divorced. While he was still dealing with that emotional trauma, his 18-year-old son was killed in a car accident. Two years later, his mother, who was his closest confidant, died, and his father died last year.

“You have to have faith to survive,” he said. “No one can give you a positive attitude, and no one can take it.”

Student Elizabeth Allen was excited to hear the speech even before it began.

“I can’t wait to hear his story,” she said “I’m excited even though I’ve never been to Gaylord.”

After the presentation, she wasn’t disappointed.

“His story was very inspiring, the fact that he stayed humble,” she said. “He’s a very grateful man.”

Student Gene Burks also left with good impressions.

“I’m very impressed with his accomplishments and his openness to express his faith in God in public,” he said.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian