I had the distinct pleasure of connecting with life coach Raele Sabounjian Altano when I won a raﬄe a few years back. I was so impressed with her conﬁdence and warm demeanor. She truly has a gift for coaching and connecting with people.
Sabounjian Altano’s family is from Lebanon, and she’s a ﬁrst generation Armenian American. She grew up in New Jersey and went to school in Manhattan. She’s now back in New Jersey with her husband, who she married in 2020, and adorable one-and-a-half year old son, Marciano. She studied marketing and established her career as an event planner.
Then the pandemic hit, and she lost her job.
She started to ask herself: what do I really want to do in life? What is going to sustain me? It was a new year and a new decade, and she was newly married. She wanted to combine her love of helping and connecting people with a career that would make an impact, where she could see people thrive and succeed. She learned that coaching was a bit lighter than therapy, more collaborative, and held action-oriented accountability. She didn’t want to go back to school, so coaching was a great option. She got her certification and started her coaching business in 2021.
Sabounjian Altano started with general life coaching and communication coaching, encouraging people to be honest with their feelings. Communication had always been one of her strengths. Her parents divorced when she was young, and she had to learn how to balance both sides as a liaison and the common denominator between them.
She says she doesn’t always know the answers, but she helps her clients realize that they already know the answers. This approach helps people heal and see more of themselves. She feels that she learns from her clients, just as much as she offers tips and suggestions in what she sees as a collaborative process. She believes coaches offer the perspective of an objective third party, without bias, who can see your life from a bird’s eye view. She loves when people have “aha!” moments and voice their concerns.
Sabounjian Altano is a proud Hyeuhi (Armenian woman). She wants her followers, audiences and friends to celebrate Armenians while learning their unfortunate history. She says it’s the duty of every Armenian to raise awareness and to be ambassadors for Armenia, both the joyful and painful aspects. She always told herself that she would give back to the Armenian community and believes in using her platform to showcase our culture. She especially loves talking about her Armenian dance group experiences. Sabounjian Altano is on Instagram, Tik Tok and Youtube, with the handle WellwithRaele. Her website is www.wellwithraele.com.
Sabounjian Altano recently turned 35 and has been reflecting on what she needs to do by the time she is 40. She wants to write a book, maybe a memoir or experiences with silver linings, of challenges and struggles that she has overcome. She would love to do more speaking events for women-led businesses, corporations and college students. Sabounjian Altano believes that young impressionable minds can benefit from communication skills and wants to take WellwithRaele and her brand to the next level.
For anyone who wants to become a life coach, she recommends a six-month to one year certification program to learn coaching tactics. She also says that whoever wants to pursue this profession needs to check their ego at the door. It is fundamental to care about people and feel a sense of responsibility, trust and mindfulness since people are confiding in you about deep subjects.
I met Sabounjian Altano at an event she hosted at The Brandy in Glendale, CA. She plans to host an event in New York early next year. She also hosted a mentor session with AGBU in July and will host one again in November as part of their AGBU Business Mentors program, which is part of their larger program EmpowerHer, an initiative that supports Armenian women with personal and professional growth.
It’s always empowering to meet Armenian innovators. With everything happening in the world and especially with Artsakh, it’s vital to take care of our mental health. Thank you, Raele, and best of luck.