This is my story. It started when I was 11 years old and my parents got divorced. I lived with my dad and he struggled to raise 3 boys, me being the youngest and my two older brothers. I saw my dad trying to raise us with his limited paycheck and playing “Mr. Mom” at the same time and I wanted to do whatever I could to help him. I started working part-time for my dad’s friends after school and in the summer so that I could have spending money and I wouldn’t need to ask my dad for any money. When I was 15, I read a book about becoming wealthy through real estate and I made the decision to learn as much as I could about real estate so I could become rich and help my dad. One of the things the book said was to have some money so you could buy property, so I found a job and started working mowing lawns, cleaning pools, and doing odd jobs for people in my neighborhood. I later found out that a kid with a part-time job would not be able to get a big enough loan to buy a property anywhere near my home. So, I put that idea on the shelf and focused on my education.
I had always wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid. It seemed that the lawyers knew something about everything and knew how the world worked, and I had this insatiable curiosity to know. Not having any money or support from my family, financially or otherwise, after high school I went to community college and completed my general education requirements with the goal to transfer to a four-year university. I got excellent grades and transferred to U.C. Santa Barbara where I studied business economics.
I worked all throughout my college years at part-time jobs to finance my education and living expenses, working as a bank teller, in the campus computer lab, and even filling-in as billing support for various businesses. After graduation I moved to Los Angeles and had a difficult time finding a job. I figured I would work for a few years and pay off some of my student loans before thinking about law school. I parked cars as a valet, and even sold roses on the side of the road on Valentine’s Day. I eventually got a job selling women’s shoes at Nordstrom and as much as I loved women, I was beginning to get jaded after hearing them gossip, complain, and be at the receiving end of their shopping tantrums. As someone with a business degree from a top-ranked university, I did not see myself selling women’s shoes as a great career move. So, after almost a year working there, I decided that it was the best time, if ever there was one, to apply to law school.
I took off the next year and moved back to my dad’s house while I studied and prepared for the law school entrance exam and sent in my applications. I ended up getting accepted to a great school and even got a partial scholarship due to my high score on the entrance exam. While in law school, I saw myself gravitating towards the real estate and property classes and figured I could combine my interest in real estate with a career in the law. While making it through law school was no easy task, and took every fiber of my being to pull through, I still had the formidable California bar exam to overcome.
I was totally wiped out after graduation and wanted nothing more than to take a rest and recover from three years of non-stop stress, torture, and self-denial. But, life would have none of that. I sat for the bar exam and failed. The good thing was I got to see my score and learned that I was only 10 points away from passing. Also, I had experience for the next time. On my second try, I passed. I was elated. I couldn’t believe that the result of years of hard study, the countless hours of reading, writing, taking exams, going to classes, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in borrowed money later, was that I had fulfilled my childhood dream. All my hard work had finally paid off. It was one of the most satisfying moments of my life.
I let the feeling sink in for awhile. Then, I had to find a job. Again, no luck. So, I did what any self-respecting newly licensed lawyer would do, I started my own law firm. It was rough at first. No clients. Clients who didn’t pay. Handling whatever type of case I could get. I even took a job in the evenings as a restaurant host and bartender to make sure I could pay my bills. Clients started to pick up and I began doing work for other attorneys and gaining valuable experience. I decided to focus on real estate law and became somewhat of an expert in my chosen field and particular niche. Needless to say, I quit the part-time job and jumped into my profession at full speed. Years later, I managed to buy a beautiful home and provide for myself and even take care of my family more than I could have hoped for. I’ve even been able to do some real estate investing.
After many years of practicing law, I felt that I wanted to have a greater impact on helping people directly with their own lives on a personal level, and after attending a life-changing personal development seminar, I decided to become a coach to be able to help others, as I was able to help myself, achieve more and realize their full potential. I find it incredibly rewarding to see people change their lives and become their greatest selves.
My greatest pleasure is to see people realize their strength and infinite power and that the possibilities for their lives are limitless. I truly believe that you can be who you want to be, achieve whatever you put your mind to, and live the life of your own choosing.
My goal each day is to inspire someone. The more people, the better. I believe life should be a series of joyful experiences and lived in the moment as much as possible. I believe hard work and persistence lead to accomplishment, achievement, and ultimately to joy, contentment, peace and fulfillment. I believe in service to others and helping as many people as possible, and being kind to ourselves and those around us.
My mission is to help people discover their infinite power and realize their full potential so they can feel their best, act from their strongest selves, and experience more joy in life.
I believe that life is a blessing and should be spent with the people you love and doing the things you love. Have no regrets. Never settle. Love without limits.
Above all, dream big, love deeply, and believe in yourself.
You need to decide who, not what, you want to be. Then, be it.
– Vrej Garabedian