I was born in Iran and, like so many others, we fled the country during the Revolution, fearing religious persecution. I still remember it vividly: I was 6 years old and confused. My mom, grandmother, and I packed two suitcases and planned to leave for two weeks, until the unrest died down. That was in 1979. We never went back to Iran. We moved to Indiana to stay with my maternal uncles. Growing up there was great, and the people were very kind to us overall. Of course, there were still situations where I was bullied because I didn’t look like the other kids. Being the outsider and “different” was hard and painful. I was always in a state of change trying to fit in as an immigrant.
I always wanted to be a lawyer because I really wanted to be of service to people, and because I thought that maybe if I was a lawyer, I would be loved and accepted more as an immigrant. Little did I know how little love society has for lawyers! I became a lawyer in 1997 and had a fantastic career as a securities lawyer for almost fourteen years. During that time, I was blessed and privileged enough to be a federal lobbyist on Capitol Hill in DC.
I was also a lawyer at the Securities & Exchange Commission. Later, I left the SEC to go to a major law firm in their DC office with clients like Franklin Templeton. I was invited to interview for each position I held. New jobs always found me. As a result, I was always giving advice to other lawyers who wanted to emulate my career trajectory. Little did I know that was the start of my second career.
My family had moved to California before I started law school. My father’s health was deteriorating, and I had a choice to make. I moved to California and went in-house as investment counsel at a major insurance company. I had responsibility, made a lot of money, and felt increasingly unfulfilled. Then it happened – my big “Aha”.
It was a Wednesday. I had spent over ten hours drafting a small part of a mutual fund prospectus for one of our funds. I went home that night and checked my mail. By coincidence, there just so happened to be my own prospectus. I reflexively threw it away because NO one reads that stuff. That was my big “aha” moment, standing there in the dark – I was tired, numb and unhappy. I realized I was no longer making a difference in anyone’s life with the work I was doing.
I quit my job shortly after this epiphany. Everyone thought I was crazy. I thought I was crazy. It was two years before the recession and NO one was reinventing himself or herself, let alone leaving a lot of money and many years of experience on the table. I took a community college course on natural talent taught by an ex-Harvard litigator. The ad caption said: “What do Oprah, Warren Buffet & Bill Gates have in common? They are all practicing their natural talent”. I was mesmerized. I learned my natural talent was real: I am very analytical and practical, I understand business very well, and I am very creative and understand people. My natural talent is my compassion and ability to guide people to success in their vision. That was the start of my second career.
I’ve spent a lot of time healing from the wounds of my youth. It’s a journey that takes time and patience, but I wouldn’t change my childhood and wounds for the world. It’s the crux of why I do what I do today. I carry a piece of Iran with me in my heart everywhere. I love the rich and beautiful history. At the same time, I am deeply grateful for every opportunity being a U.S. Citizen has afforded me. I take none of it for granted and I live my life to give back to the U.S.
I’m a transformation expert. I bring out growth and what’s possible in people and organizations. My job is to be your guide in the transformation journey so you can find your natural talent and be fulfilled. Working with me opens your vision to see other possibilities. Change is always hard, however, you have a choice about how you look at change and transformation. You can choose to see transformation as hard or you can choose to see it differently. You have all the power, and that’s exciting! I see greatness and specialness in everyone. Everyone is equally important. We all have a natural talent and we can choose to own our natural talents, find our purpose, and create our vision if we choose to see differently.