If I had to define 2010 in one word, that word would be surreal. It was definitely the most interesting year of my life with some of the most extreme highs and lows I’ve ever experienced.
In the middle of February, Rich came to me and said that he got a job offer. We discussed it for a while and I encouraged him to take the job. My thinking was that in order for me to get to the next level, I needed to hire a manager. So Rich took the job but remains my speaking partner. I hired my manager Kristi Walter in early March and we have had many discussions about where I want to go and how I want to get there. Meanwhile, my parents’ equity on the house was drying up in order to fund my company, which was tearing me up more than I can explain. I could see the day coming when I would have to give up on my dream and I was scared. There were a few bright spots. I got approached by Looking Beyond and they wanted to give me the Soaring Spirit Award for 2010. They held an exclusive event in Beverly Hills where I spoke for about 15 minutes. Right before I got on stage, I received a video message from Yasmine Pahlavi, former Princess of Iran under the Shah.
Throughout the years, I have had snippets of success here and there. On one hand it’s flattering, but on the other hand it has also felt a little empty. This is because I asked myself what it meant in the long run, I simply still wanted to be financially independent and, more importantly, fall in love. I never give up hope that I will make it as a speaker and my hope is that it would lead to everything I want in life. If that was not enough, my sister got laid off from her job as a school counselor and she was training to be a waitress just in case she could not get another counseling job.
One day, I had a conversation with a marketing consultant who wanted $30,000 to make me a star. When I got off the phone with her, I was convinced that I had reached the all or nothing moment where I had to make a bet for my life, my happiness, and my career.
I was in my office one day and my mom called needing to talk to my father and me. My father wasn’t home but I could tell it was urgent. I waited an hour and a half until my dad got home and then we both got on the phone with my mom and she said, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I think we won the lottery. Yes, you read that right. We won the lottery. I am still trying to figure out what it all means.
My parents have sacrificed a lot for my sister and me, and to be able for them to be taken care of is incredible. Growing up disabled I took much of my parents’ attention away from my little sister Sanaz. Even when she lost her job, my parents were unable to help her out financially because they were helping me out. Being a disabled sibling carries a lot of guilt.
My friend and colleague Jay Lavender wrote an incredible story about my family winning the lottery , THE VASSEGHI FAMILY STORY: Love, Luck & a 175 Million-to-1 Jackpot , on NSPYR.com. It chronicles many of my family’s ups and downs and how much sacrifice that we all gave for each other.
That day when I would have to call it quits would not come and at least financially I would be taken care of and that’s an awesome feeling. I started to travel a lot I went to New York, Seattle, Vegas, Frisco, Tahoe, and Salt Lake City.
As a business junkie, I feel incredible because I finally get to use my network like never before. I never realized how big and strong my network is and I am so fascinated by business and the financial community. My parents have involved my sister and me in all decisions regarding windfall; my mom has made us feel that we have all won the lottery and that we are all sharing the glory.
My passion for writing and speaking has only become stronger. I am probably writing more now than I did before. I still cannot believe what happened in 2010. I am happy, healthy, and can’t wait to see what is next.