We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Vartanian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Redefining what success looks like for me has been the most important factor behind it. Allowing my rebellious side to shun convention and get curious as to what is true for me. Because traditionally we look at success through the lens of money, fame, status, power, even influence. However most of those reasons do not actually create fulfillment. We end up getting on a hamster wheel, terrified and unable to get off. I lived that life through my late-20s, early-30s. However when I focused on my values and what truly lit me up, turned me on, then I finally found a path to success that worked for me. I value freedom, compassion, accessibility, intimacy, full self-expression, acceptance and more! And what turned me on was helping people come to their own freedom, full-self expression and sense of vitality + turn-on. The way I do that too is very different in that I’m a multi-passionate, I have multiple projects or businesses ideas going at once. It works for me, it challenges me, it has me strive for more. In a nutshell, learning that I can make the rules for my own success is what allowed me to see success as possible and passionately work towards creating it for myself!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I would say what sets me apart is how I have done things unconventionally most of my life and have tried various jobs, professions, career paths in the pursuit of what genuinely fits me. I definitely went down the conventional path during my 20s – getting good jobs in major corporations, aiming to buy a home, get married, fatten up my 401k. Yet the immense fear I had of being yet another cog in the wheel, prevented me from ever staying at a company for more than 2 years (3 years was the longest). I bounced around, hoping I would find an organization, a position, or a cause I aligned with, both professionally and personally. Not finding one after a decade of looking, I veered towards life coaching, exactly a decade ago. It definitely was not easy. I find the more you go after the thing you actually want, the scarier it feels, and the more seems to be at stake. The risks somehow feel higher than with a job you could care less about. With that, I have learned to lean in anyway. That the fear usually is an indicator of a deeper desire. I have risked and failed many times over – MANY times over – yet I do not regret a thing because I at least tried and now I know. Plus each time it taught me a huge lesson. If you can look at your career path as a series of continual opportunities to learn, grow, evolve, than everything becomes gold waiting to be alchemized. More than anything, I learned that the more of myself I bring – to a room, to a meeting, to a connection, to a client – the more everyone wins. I get to share my multitude of gifts with the world, the world gets to receive the full potency of my gifts, and I get to inspire others to proudly share all of their gifts as well. Like I said, win/win/win.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Growing up in Pasadena, I would definitely show them around my hood. The Rose Bowl where I have walked that 5K loop a zillion times. Saladang Thai on Foothill which is one of my very favorite Thai food restaurants. I would take them hiking up Echo Mountain to the ruins of the old hotel that burned down there in the early 1900s. We might do some bar hopping in downtown LA (when allowed again of course). I would take a drive with them up the coast. Visit the Getty Museum and also Getty Villa. Maybe do a LACMA run (LA County Museum of Art). Go to some of the restaurants and bars in the Echo Park / Silverlake area. Drive them around downtown to see the High School my company built on 3rd Street, as well as the LA Live complex that my company also worked on, and finally to University of Southern California where I attended college.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout goes to an early mentor of mine, Rose Coughlin. I met her when I was 20. She was the first woman entrepreneur I had met. She was fierce, smart, courageous, fair and a true leader, inspiring others to grow in their leadership as well. I got to support her in her business for 10 years and see what it takes, in addition to what it provides to be your own boss. She very clearly did things her way as much as she could, a woman in a traditionally male dominated industry, and for that I respect her immensely to this day.
Other: Foundation: https://www.corcommunityfoundation.org
Photo courtesy of Chriselda Photography: http://chriselda.com