Welcome to the Forty Over 40 blog. We frequently spotlight one of our honorees and their thoughts on reinvention, mentorship and momentum…plus a peek into what makes them tick.
This Q & A is with Fif Ghobadian, CEO of Road 22. Fif is innovating her field of work by Co-founding Road 22, a fashion brand with social mission of employing women who were formerly incarcerated.
1) What was a pivotal momentum of reinvention for you?
I completely changed after I had my kids. I started focusing on myself and my kids and grew into a more independent and self-confident person. I realized the importance of family and what really matters and was able to take risks more easily. I changed my career and left the corporate world to work for myself as a mortgage broker and went on adventurous trips alone with the kids. I guess I felt this inner strength that I had never fostered.
2) Who has been a valuable mentor or sponsor?
I really haven’t had one mentor or sponsor. Different people have come into my life at key times and each has had a significant impact. I remember growing up that my father always encouraged me to be strong and independent. He raised me like his son. When I told him that I wanted to have kids on my own, he was supportive and told me that I could do anything. When I was pregnant with my son, I met a woman who was a successful interior designer and she quit her job and left the security of her home and income to start a new life in Mexico. I was so impressed by her ability to change her life and dive into a whole new world. The thought seemed scary to me before but she encouraged me to take risks and the pattern started. I became a mortgage broker and most recently decided to start my own company.
3) What is your biggest goal right now?
To raise my two teenagers without losing my mind, and to grow Road22 into a successful big company that will be recognized nationally for our social mission and our excellent brand.
4) How did you get your first job? How did you jump to your second job?
I have worked since I was 16. My first job was at McDonalds and then every summer I had a job in either a restaurant or a company. Then when I graduated I worked for Levi’s strauss during the day and at Pizzerio Uno at nights. I wanted to save money to travel. So, I took 6 months off and traveled in Europe.
5) What time do you typically wake up? What do you do every morning?
I wake up at 6:30 and after I get the kids organized, I go for a run. Running is my sanity and its my time for me. I truly need to run.
6) How do you unplug? How often do you unplug?
I don’t really ever unplug. When I’m on vacation, I love going to Europe because I can enjoy my days with my family and then at nights I can work. That is pure heaven. I guess on the weekends, I check emails only once or twice a day.
7) What challenge / achievement are you most proud of?
I am proud of anything that I’ve done without anyone’s help. I am proud of raising my kids on my own and I am proud of changing careers and working on my own as a mortgage broker.
8) What cause do you most want to advance?
I feel strongly about helping people who were formerly incarcerated in the US. When you serve a sentence, you are not done with paying back for your crime, because when you’re released you can’t get a job, food stamps, or government housing. As a result, 67% end up back in the system. It doesn’t make sense to me, because we have the resources to help people get back on their feet.
9) What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
The best piece of advice is that life is short and don’t waste it. I am fully aware of every second in this world and never take anything for granted.
10) What is your keep me going quote?
“Anything is Possible” and “Never say Never” I think anything is possible and I truly believe that. I live by the belief that if you visualize it, work for it and expect it, you will have it.
11) What is your secret indulgence?
I love going on vacations. I absolutely love staying in nice hotels, eating great meals and being on vacations with my family.
Check out Fif Ghobadian’s full 40 Over 40 profile here!