My mother has been one of the greatest inspirations in my life. She came from an aristocratic family and married young as they do in her culture. She became a mother by the age of 17 and left an abusive relationship shortly after the birth of her son, all at a time when most would never speak up or have the courage to stand out in their family or society.

The courage continued as she was forced to leave her country and life as she knew it. She left her family and friends, her businesses, her husband and their wealth overnight in order to quickly take her three children out of the country, just days after the start of the Iranian revolution.

In time of uncertainty and challenges, my mom always showed us that we are stronger than the fears we think we have; to never allow the situation, even if it is a revolution, natural disasters, or losing almost everything stop you or your loved ones.

My mother worried about every sneeze, cut, and tear we had but when it came to difficult moments, she was always calm, cool and collected. There was nothing that was stronger or bigger than our love for each other. Everything else could be built and recreated including money.

When I became a mom of twin girls who had colic as babies, extra expenses were created that put me into debt and getting divorced when the girls were less than two, I realized being a mom is definitely not easy. However, it is one of the greatest gifts in my life. Although things did not work out for me and my ex-husband, I have so much gratitude for him. We were the best of friends after the divorce and really worked hard to show our kids that difficult times did not have to be a time to be unkind. As a mom, my desire is for my daughters to know that nothing is impossible, including divorced parents that care about each other and go the extra mile to create a greater life for their kids and themselves.

There have been so many hills and valleys in my life which definitely kept it interesting and showed me that we really do not know our own capacities and abilities until we have to step up. Although it appears the task or problem is bigger than us, in reality nothing is bigger than you or your ability to create innovative solutions. The best advice I can probably ever give another mom that is if you are willing to continually have a greater life for you, your kids will see that they can have that for themselves as well, no matter what occurs in their lives.

In the next week, we will celebrate my girls’ graduation from the University of Maryland. They are two kind, bright, and strong young ladies who have become leaders in their communities and friendships, showing others to think out of the box in every situation and to never give up, give in or stop.

I feel so lucky to have a mom who demonstrates that life can be created not from fighting the world and the difficult people, but from the courage to be kind and trust in yourself, and to always look for other possibilities even if it seems impossible to others. Every choice I and my daughters make from kindness, trust and seeking of possibility in our own lives, is a celebration of the gift my mother is in the world; and because of this, I know my mother’s inspiration will continue for generations to come.


  • Laleh Alemzadeh Hancock

    Chief Possibilities Officer, Business Wellness Guru, Management and Professional Services Consultant, Executive Coach, Facilitator, Entrepreneur


    Laleh Alemzadeh-Hancock is a leadership and entrepreneurial coach, professional services consultant, personal wellness mentor, and founder and CEO of global professional services company, Belapemo. Laleh boasts 30 years’ experience in operational excellence, change management and business consulting, and has inspired and empowered thousands of individuals including Fortune 500 executives, government agencies, non-profit organizations, athletes and veterans. A highly respected executive and leadership coach, Laleh has a particular interest in supporting and encouraging the leadership capabilities of women – in business, in the workplace, at home and in the wider community. She is featured alongside luminaries such as Oprah Winfrey, Melinda Gates, and Ginni Rometty in the 2019 publication, America’s Leading Ladies: Stories of courage, challenge and triumph. Follow Laleh.