Visionary Women: A Q&A with Angella Nazarian

October 9, 2015
Written by: Mussarat Bata
Contributor, Social Media Manager

From the rise of the #girlboss to the ever-popular lean-in movement there’s no denying that girls really do rule the world. Well, women to be more exact. In her latest book, “Visionary Women”, Angella Nazarian shines a light on women all over the world and their game-changing contributions to their communities. Check out our exclusive Q&A with this trailblazing feminist, philanthropist and keynote speaker and don’t forget to pick up a copy of “Visionary Women”, available today!

You just released your third book titled “Visionary Women” that highlights 20 innovative women across the world. Congratulations! How did you choose the women that were featured in this series?

It was important to me to highlight the pioneering works of women in different disciplines from different parts of the world.  We may know of a handful of iconic women in the U.S. and in Europe, but I always find it more fascinating to uncover the compelling life stories of women living in the Far East, Middle East, Latin America and Africa and how each handled the unique challenges that was presented to them.  I also wanted to know if these women shared any common characteristics that led to their unparalleled success, and if there was a way in which we could also develop those very same attributes in ourselves. I am a big believer that inspirational stories have the capacity to touch and transform us in a very powerful way. 

What characteristics define a visionary woman?

All visionaries— by their very nature— are ahead of their times. What sets innovators and pioneers apart from mere dreamers is their courage and unwavering commitment to a cause, without any need for immediate validation from their environment. After all, how can a radical thought take flight without the willingness to challenge the status quo?  This kind of courage is linked directly to our ability to deal with fear and failure and our ability to start a project without having complete control over the endpoint.  Visionaries are also extraordinary connectors who can articulate their plans and purpose with such passion that others are compelled to stop and listen! 

The tagline on your website is ‘Inspire. Create. Exchange.’ What inspires yo daily as you continue to be a philanthropist for the female community?

To be candid, I never had a mentor or role model that I could relate to while growing up. So, in many ways, I muddled through many big life and career choices on my own. Now that I am in a position to help, I want to make sure that I can touch as many lives as I can.  I love the fact that I can use philanthropy as a tool to connect with others and to do something meaningful with a higher purpose.  It is an incredibly gratifying feeling and along the way I have discovered that my life has been richer and bigger because of it. 

Being an author, speaker, professor and motivator for women and leadership, what is your best piece(s) of advice for young women to succeed in today’s world?

The big message is that “You are good enough”!  I think this new generation is even more pressured to look and be perfect, and this can become a real hinderance to their overall happiness. In fact, my decade long research in the field of female leadership shows that the most successful women are not concerned with perfection and do not put too much mental or emotional energy on their weaknesses.   Rather, they tailor a life around their strengths.  So let’s first understand ourselves and appreciate the talents we bring to the world!