Getting to Know You: Helen Mohsenzadeh, Healthcare Administrator and Entrepreneur

Helen Mohsenzadeh is a professional health care administrator, overseeing the daily operations of Active Plus Home Health facility for seniors and Divine Grace Hospice.

She holds an associate’s degree in nursing (AGN) credential from the state of California.

Originally from Tehran, Iran, Helen left her home country in search of better conditions in which to improve her professional position and find greater personal fulfillment. After divorcing from her husband at the age of twenty-eight, she set about methodically amassing the credentials that would enable her to achieve her desired lifestyle at an impressive speed. First, she earned her California driver’s license. At the same time, she educated herself on handling finances and completed her AGN accreditation, all within the timespan of a single year.

Sometime later, she would later buy the company that hired her for her first job, thus beginning her successful foray into the world of entrepreneurship. Since then, Helen has built a veritable business empire. She now boasts seventy healthcare employees, a thriving real estate business, and is currently in the midst of founding a combination medical spa and pharmacy company. Helen Mohsenzadeh credits uncompromising passion and fierce determination as the innate personality traits that ultimately led her to become one of the top female entrepreneurs in Southern California of Middle Eastern heritage.

What do you currently do at your company?

I grew Active Plus Home Health and Divine Grace Hospice from five employees to nearly seventy employees, now in several locations. My managers are well-trained and empowered to address daily business, reporting important issues back to me. If there is an issue that a manager cannot resolve, I take action to address it myself. Although I am no longer required to be in the office all day, I take charge of business development and troubleshoot any problems that arise. I’ve implemented the same kind of system with my real estate company. Having a well-trained staff affords me the freedom to manage the medical spa and pharmacy business that I currently have under development. 

What defines your way of doing business?

What defines my way of doing business the most is having a gift for developing strong team members. I’m also really good at networking within the industries in which I operate. I have a mindset for continuous expansion. I never settle. I am always looking for better ways to maximize business strategies and network with like-minded entrepreneurs.

What keys to being productive can you share?

As a very productive person, my work balance is not the same every day. At times, I take big steps.

Other times, I work on the mundane. But, that doesn’t mean I am not being productive. I am always in motion when it comes to any and all of my businesses.

Tell us one long-term goal in your career.

Developing my goals in life required much soul-searching and meditation. It required me to come to terms with how and where I was raised. There are many obstacles presented to women raised in the Middle East. It is forbidden to grow in practically every way and taboo to do many ordinary things, let alone the things you may dream of accomplishing. It has led me to a desire to be one of the top ten female entrepreneurs of Middle Eastern heritage worldwide. I won’t stop until I meet that goal.

How do you measure success?

The meaning of success is a bit distorted. Everyone has different criteria and meanings for that word. For some, success is money. For others, it is family or health. It is a concept very unique, and dependent on the individual in question. I measure success by how often I feel inspired and passionate about what I am doing. It is when I am in alignment with my deepest self that I am my most successful. I would like to be a role model and teach others like me who were not raised in wealthy, democratic, first world countries. In many parts of the world, women are never taught to think of what they want to do or be. Instead, they are taught to follow their father or their government. Being successful is being free and making decisions that make you feel good. That is the meaning of success in my definition.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

The first lesson is to learn that everything is possible. It doesn’t matter how large or small the goal is. Next, you will get to a point where you see yourself for what you truly are—not what others project on to you. You define yourself with what you see in that respect, and that will shape what you can accomplish.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?

The advice that I would give to everyone is to get rid of the chains that bind you, figuratively speaking. Get rid of everything in your past that will not serve you well going forward. Forget the way you were raised, how you look, or past lack of accomplishment. You can do whatever you want, and no one can stop you. If you want it, you can achieve it.

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?

I listen to motivational speakers, especially speakers who have built their success from nothing. I do a lot of meditating. I love being in nature. I go hiking and do bodybuilding, weight training, and horseback riding. I also feel love by staying in touch with my family regularly. 

How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?

Balance is a semi-illusion. It is defined differently and individually. I believe if you are content and happy with what you’re doing from morning to evening, that is balance. One person may find balance with eight hours at work, eight with family, and eight elsewhere—usually sleep. Another person may find balance with five hours in a gym. Yet others may want to work twelve hours a day. It is all very subjective. I find balance in the things I enjoy; taking care of my health and immersing myself in work.

What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?

My phone is the most helpful device for running my businesses. Using it, I stay in contact with my managers, send and receive emails, plan and schedule appointments with clients, as well as a host of other tasks. It is the most important piece of technology that I use daily.

What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?

If I look around and realize that I am the smartest person in the room, I need to leave. I always want to be around people that are a hundred times smarter than me. I always have to learn and grow. If I don’t keep growing, I will be stuck where I am.

What is one piece of advice you would like to leave our readers with?

Never allow other peoples’ actions to define your actions. Had I allowed the people in my past who had hatred and anger and wanted to keep me oppressed to define me, I would be a mean person today. I had a lot of hardships to overcome. However, I channelled those hardships into a valuable lesson. In overcoming them, I learned from them. I realized that I had to find my way through all of the obstacles in life, and that taught me to forgive those people and it ultimately made me a better person. After some time had passed, I sent love to those same people from my past who oppressed me and thanked them for making me endure those hard times. If those people were not in my life, I would never have evolved into the strong, capable business person that I am today. I found a way of coping with their actions, transcending them, and becoming better. That is why my best advice to everyone is to not allow other peoples’ actions to define your actions.