What does success mean? Farnoosh Brock was a picture of American success. She emigrated from Iran at a young age with her family and pursued an education in electrical engineering. She climbed the corporate ladder in a fortune 500 company bringing home a six figure income for 11 years but somehow the success did not feel like she thought it would. She had a growing longing to start her own business. So she did. First she worked after her day job and on the weekends. With growing excitement, she left the corporate world in May 2011 to build her own business.
Farnoosh is the creator of Prolific Living: Smart Habit for Rich Living which is dedicated to helping people realize their dream life style by awakening their inner confidence and empowering them to reach their freedom and full potential. She offers coaching packages to help you build a successful corporate career, exit the wrong job or start your own business with the right mindset and strategy. She is author of several eBooks about travel, green juicing, motivation and writing. She offers a clinic to introduce people to the healing powers of green juicing.
Farnoosh redefined success for herself and her website is focused on helping you to do the same.
1.In a guest blog awhile back you talked about standing on the edge needing to decide if you would continue with the conventional path or listen to the voice coming from deep within. You made the choice to listen to the voice and you are on an entirely different path now. What things influenced that decision? How strong was the pull to stay on the conventional path?
The inner voice is always with us. We just choose to listen or to ignore. And at one point in your life, it will become too loud to ignore. I truly believe that’s what happened. It did not matter to me anymore how much I made, how easy my job was, how “lucky” I was to have a job. None of that made sense to my heart and my inner voice, and so I gave it all up. So the only thing that influenced that decision was the loudness of my inner voice and the calling to move away from corporate and from traditional path that I had chosen to pursue these desires, the creativity that had been bottled up and the building of a business that will run on integrity, honesty, and meaningful pursuits.
2.Farnoosh, you radically changed the direction your life was heading. At times you refer to yourself as a “corporate escapee.” What do you feel you have escaped? Is there anything about your old job that you miss?
I do like the term “corporate escapee”, even though I know that all along, I had an option and a choice. This was not an escape from a physical prison but a mental one – the worst kind of prison. The mental prison is when you take your power of choice for granted. That means, you stop to consciously choose your life and start to just go along, do what is expected of you, and ignore what it is you really want to do. And then you feel sorry for yourself and feel like a victim, whereas you put yourself in that prison and you can also get yourself out. That’s the first prison I escaped.
Second, I did not care for the corporate rubbish that is endemic to every single large corporation in America and that includes but is not limited to the politics, the hypocrisy, the broken merit system, and the wasted talent in favor of doing menial tasks and ridiculous corporate initiatives, which is a waste of most of our times. Now that was the secondary escape and equally enjoyable as the first.
3.Within a month of leaving the corporate world, you were interviewed by Forbes. How did that come about? Did you feel ready to share your story? How did that impact your business?
I felt very humbled to be interviewed by Forbes in the summer of 2011. Someone had heard my story and was contacting me to talk to them, and they were intrigued by the fact that I had done what they said a “smart” calculated escape in that I had built up and saved up and prepared whereas their stories were either people who would leave corporate at a very young age and are born entrepreneurs – not me – and people who feel very stuck and have few options at a very late age. I was smack middle and they wanted to hear my story and well, I was eager to tell it. Thanks so much, and feel free to link to the story here.
4.Your definition of success has changed over the years. How difficult was letting go of your old understanding of success?
I love my new definition of success. It wasn’t hard at all. It fit me like a glove. It completed all the missing parts, all the ache and agony of wondering what I am supposed to do with my life, it is like finally coming HOME! It speaks to my mind AND to my heart, and even for the logical, technical, engineer, and intellectual ones among you, the heart plays just as a significant role in success as the mind and when one is not a participant, you are going down a road paved with regrets of tomorrow. You need both to define success.
5.How did your family react to your decisions? Did their opinions change as your business started to take off?
They wanted me to keep my cushy job and continue doing my “hobby” on the side. I didn’t listen AND didn’t feel guilty about my decision of doing the opposite for the first time. They got used to it. Now they support me and are amazed by my success. Everyone gets along again and the drama is over. End of story!
6.You originally are from Iran and came to the US by way of Turkey as a teenager. How difficult were those transitions, especially as a teenager? How difficult was it for you to switch languages?
Very, very, very, very, VERY difficult. We don’t have enough time to get into those. I had to switch from Farsi to Turkish-German-English at the same time while living in Turkey and watching my family rebuild a life of 40 years from their Iran home. Then I had to adapt to the American way of life, which was much too hard at first. I think I first started to feel confident sometime in college when I was doing better than most of my electrical engineering class AND starting to feel beautiful as a woman. Then I lost confidence during my corporate years and rebuilt it during the latter parts. Now I am the happiest I’ve ever been. Everything has fallen into place.
7.Your husband, Andy, has a page on your site which gives people an opportunity to publish a book. Do the two of you work on business projects together?
The book self-publish is all my husband and it’s a side-hustle for him. He loves the world of self-publishing and is helping others take advantage of such an amazing boon where you do not need the approval of a major publishing house before you send your message to the world.
8.Tell me about green juicing. How did you get involved? How open are people to the plan?
Green juicing was the best accident that happened to me, starting in 2007 when I got into my health kick. I’ve fallen so in love with this miracle of healing that I started to blog about it, then started a newsletter with free juicing tips, then I launched a digital product and a Kindle book that has now sold thousands of copies on the Kindle store and then I started the green juicing clinic to continue teaching and inspiring others how to integrate green juicing into their lives, and use it as medicine, as a holistic healing, detoxing and cleansing way to pave the path to longevity.
9. From the information on your site, you are a very busy woman. It makes me think that perhaps you may work more now than you did in the corporate world. How do the two compare? Is it difficult to separate work time from personal time?
Oh I work much harder than my corporate years, with the exception of those first when I did hard-core technical customer support. Imagine AT&T or Goldman Sachs calling you because their Voice over IP network was down…. I used to fix those bad boy’s networks, baby! Those days were brutal. The difference is now I love my job, I am the boss, I call the shots and I am doing work that is meaningful. I work extremely hard but because it’s my own work, it feels like playing half the time, and I take breaks whenever I want. If I want to take Tuesday off, well, I will. If I want to work to the wee hours of the morning on Friday and Saturday nights, then that’s what I will do. It IS difficult to separate work and personal because to me, this is my life’s work and the work of my life, so it’s all one. I no longer think work versus play versus personal. I rather dig the unification.
10. In preparing for this interview I wanted to look at information on the books you have written. I could not find anything on your website. On Amazon I found you have written three. What is the reasoning behind not offering them on your website? Do you offer other services or products that are not included on your website?
I am selling most of my books exclusively through Amazon now and taking advantage of their KDP program where you give them exclusivity, all with the exception of juicing book which I do sell on Amazon, on my website, along with the juicing clinic and also on the Nook store at B&N. I have another product called the 10 Minute Invigorator which I sell both on my website as well as a platform called Udemy. Then I have programs and coaching packages, which are exclusives through my site. This is all based on a lot of research and experimentation in the last 2 years. Hope this helps!
11. What dreams are on the horizon? Where would you like this business to go or grow? Do you have any interest in starting a new venture?
I am in the midst of writing 3 more books – one a Green Smoothie book, one a book of my photography with inspiration from the famous ancient Persian poet Rumi, and another an expert book on the secrets of getting promoted at corporate plus more seriously pursuing speaking engagements. I am also looking forward to a lot more travels next year, including a big one to Africa. Thank you so much for asking and for including me in your interview series.
Farnoosh Brock is the creator of Prolific Living: Smart Habit for Rich Living which is dedicated to helping people realize their dream life style by awakening their inner confidence and empowering them to reach their freedom and full potential. You can also find her on twitter @prolificliving
Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.