Alex Nabavian

Alex Nabavian is a Leadership Coach on a mission to transform working parenthood. I’m a mom of 4, coffee-lover, and resilient ex-golfer from Sweden. 

She tells us that, “My professional journey, grounded in a Master’s in I/O Psychology and extensive coaching experiences, spans diverse contexts from start-ups to corporate HR. At every stage, I’ve obsessed over how we can deliberately design our lives so that we can thrive at work and at home. In 2023, I started my own business; I coach working parents and support their journeys of living into their ambition in all areas of life.”

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.

My childhood spanned two countries – Sweden and the US, specifically the Midwest. My childhood was full of family gatherings and rituals, a focus on our family of 6 and family-time, high academic and golf-related expectations, and lots of love. Before I entered college, I had a strong academic background, I had built excellence as a golfer, I was close with my family and I knew how to forge an independent, successful path forward. I was shown the way to work hard, build strong and healthy habits, ask big questions, and build emotional resilience.

Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”

I saw working moms, myself included, really struggling. Struggling with their identities, struggling with their ambition (is it too much, too little) and struggling with self-love and acceptance (am I too much, not enough). Those interactions with clients, with institutions, with leaders and with myself led me to realize that something is not right. Something is not right in the way that we are experiencing, internalizing motherhood. 

Once I started working with coaches and seeing the progress I was making on my own narratives, in my own life and motherhood, I knew that I wanted to devote my life to supporting others in that journey.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?

The change that I’m working toward is around the narratives around motherhood. I see every day that working moms, both themselves and the systems that they are in, are feeling they are ‘not enough.’ The change I want to see in the world is that motherhood is seen as the ultimate leadership, career and life-accelerator. What other role do you so quickly learn to lead, ruthlessly prioritize, manage people and work streams and ultimately, have responsibility for others’ lives?!

Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?

We have made so much progress. And I want to continue to see progress. My wish is for all women to have more choices – to empower themselves and feel empowered by their environment to lean in to the powerful, intentional and high-integrity choices that are in front of them.

What’s the most important thing you have learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?

Listening to yourself, your inner knowing is invaluable. It’s difficult. It’s not always clear. Sometimes, the inner knowing sounds a lot like fear. And it’s difficult to discern the difference. But what I’ve learned is that my inner knowing, my intuition, my wisdom becomes clear when I become quiet, and leads me to growth and love. My motto is (slowly) becoming something to the effect of: spaciousness breeds wisdom, love and acceptance – and leads to great impact.

With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

Many of us strive for perfection, even without knowing it. That perfection can look like getting that next promotion, earning more money, earning praises and beyond. Those things are not bad, however, the goals are not really reachable (mostly because there’s always the next promotion, or more money, etc.).

I want to encourage everyone to ask themselves: what am I striving for? What can I choose powerfully and intentionally to strive for, that would make me proud and motivate me on a daily basis? Get clear on your purpose.