CEO, Angela Lussier Enterprises, age 33
Angela Lussier wanted to be a leader from the time she was a young child. But she was shy and six feet tall by age 13, which affected her self-esteem. “I was ashamed of who I was and afraid to take a leadership position because I didn’t want to speak in front of people,” she said.
Lussier finally overcame that fear and found her voice after joining Toastmasters International in 2006. “I had something to say, started talking, and people starting listening,” she recalled. Today, she uses her strength and personal story to help others realize their potential.
“Success isn’t about talent — it’s about courage. Living a mediocre life shouldn’t be an option,” she said. “But so many people are waiting for their life to start, rather than creating what they want.”
Lussier believes everyone has a gift, and encourages people to move forward by thinking about how they can use it to solve a problem and “become an asset to a company or to the world.” That philosophy lies at the core of her book, The Anti-Resumé Revolution, and her advice has been featured on Yahoo!, NBC, ABC, The Ladders, About.com, and CBS Money Watch.
“We all deserve a happy, fulfilling life, but people have to get out of their comfort zone and try new things that lead to different thought patterns,” she said, adding that she shared her own story during a 2010 TEDx talk in Washington, D.C. She also does public speaking and personal coaching, leads a ‘mastermind’ group, is working on a second book, blogs for Virgin.com, and is a monthly columnist for Lioness magazine.
Lussier has won many awards, including first place in the Division E Humorous Speech Contest of District 53 Toastmasters International in 2009, and she was featured in Billboard magazine’s “Transcending the Ordinary” in 2006. She serves on the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Western Mass., sits on the Business Advisory Council for the Mass. Rehabilitation Commission, and is a mentor with Valley Venture Mentors.
“It’s time to stop waiting for the future to change,” she told BusinessWest. “It’s time to start creating it.”
— Kathleen Mitchell