Pivot…this is what my parents did right. My father left Iran in his youth to start a life in a country he’d never been to. He put himself through school by working as a valet. Many years and 2 marriages later, he moved my mother from Iran to the US and together they welcomed me into the world. My mother, previously a teacher in Iran and specialized in grammar and languages, spoke no English and started again from the ground up, working as a cosmetologist/hairstylist over the coming years so she could contribute to their retirement and to comforts in my life. Along the way, my father invested in himself and in our family as a Civil Engineer working with the Department of Public Works. For fun, he did architecture. He built my mother’s master bedroom, attached to my childhood home. That room was nearly as big as the rest of the house. He built models of homes he hopes to move us into one day…before life’s next pivots led us astray. He went through forced layoffs in DC and reluctantly took early retirement many years before he was ready, so I remember my then nearly 70-year-old father starting to study for the bar exam thinking he might pursue law. Meanwhile, he drew up plans in consideration of moving our family to Costa Rica to “live like kings” he would say…while simultaneously looking into how to develop a greenhouse for hydroponic tomatoes. I’m frankly still not sure I know what one looks or tastes like, but the thought of one brings back memories of my visionary father. Oh yes, and somewhere between his early career and when he met my father, he also ran a farm with his ex-wife. My father did not pursue the tomatoes or legal practice as he weighed the long-term pros/cons of these adventures and decided at his age they weren’t time well-invested. Instead, he pursued a real estate license and enjoyed that for a while. He dabbled in property management, and in his final post-retirement career, my father opened a carpet store that basically served as his retail warehouse while he served contracts for carpet installation for the Department of the Army in Fort Lee, Virginia.
Where am I going with all of this? My being a visionary is no coincidence. I watched my parents pivot into foreign territories (literally and figuratively) my whole life. I also learned that anything we touch turns to gold. I don’t mean that to sound arrogant but rather to say when you believe in yourself as the vehicle for change and success, and when you invest in learning what is needed to be successful, you will always win.
I’m a Psychologist. I’ve always aspired to be a Psychologist. I love what I do. I love giving back by way of charity and investing time and resources back into the community. In 2016, I decided to do something ‘scared.’ I enrolled as a Consultant for Rodan + Fields Skincare. I had zero business in this business! I didn’t know skincare, I barely washed my face with soap, I knew nothing of sales (nor did I want to), so what drove me to sign up? Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of being judged. Fear of not being in control. Fear of rejection. So I did what I’d advise any patient to do — I confronted my fear. I pulled a move out of my father’s playbook and said, “OK, sure, sign me up to be a skincare consultant, why not?” Because just like him, I believe in myself as the ingredient needed for success and I’ve chosen to invest in myself from that day forward.
Because of that decision to step out of my comfort zone, I stand taller today. I am more confident today. I have (way) better, healthier skin today. I have more friends and far healthier relationships today. I have leadership and business development skills that I didn’t have before R+F. Because of that decision, I LOVE strangers today. I built my business on the generosity, support, and belief of strangers. That belief gave me the motivation to publish a book in 2019, Don’t Be A Stranger: Creating Connections & Memorable First Impressions in Everyday Life. That book, released just before the world shut down, and the virtual business tools I already knew well thanks to my R+F business, gave me material and skills to share online to help creatively connect people during one of the loneliest times in history.
Never underestimate the far-reaching impact of any one decision you might make. It might just change your life or that of many after you. Getting to know my father and the grit my mother showed in standing by his side changed not only my little life and the lives of so many I have known in my short existence.
Always believe in yourself. Where you place your time and money shows what you value most. Make sure you are investing in yourself, and always dream bigger! Be open to the possibility that your future may be amazing beyond your wildest imagination…welcome curiosity, be open to surprise, be willing to trust that accidents are not a thing. Every moment, every opportunity can change your life…if you let it. Take it from me!
Don’t Be a Stranger!