Ok this isn't an episode about Ghosts, goblins and Halloween this is about the subject of Ghost writing. Sarah refers to being a ghost-writer as someone who is your 'invisible pen'. Someone who you help you achieve your content strategy goals. Someone who 'gets' your passion and can package up your ideas and your key bullet points into an eloquent way that might be more difficult for you to achieve if you are time deficient, writing isn't your forte or even your English is your second language. In this interview we discover the real truths behind ghost writing, What they can do for you and what are the advantages of using them. Go Sarah........... :) Listen NOW
PODCAST EPISODE #39 - Manar Al Hinai - Emirati Woman Entrepreneur, Award Winning Writer & Communications Consultant. She says 'Narrow Your Focus & BE Excellent at One or Two Topics.
The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa Region sat down with Manar Al Hinai who is award winning Emirati Writer and Communications Consultant from Abu Dhabi. She is the Founder of 'Move' Consultancy and has found her niche in bringing together international tastes with local culture through the medium she has loved since a child.
Manar and I were keen to get started as this was our first podcast together and her first podcast episode ever. She's a young dynamic women with great energy and know how. She's a firm believer in staying focused and being excellent and one or two things. And this attitude has been reflected in the awards and accolades she has received. In 2011 she was the Arab Woman of the Year in Abu Dhabi. In 2012 & 2014 she was included in the 100 most inspiring individuals in the UAE. She's a women on a mission. This is her interview have a listen
''I've got a confession to make. And I'm sure it's a confession many other entrepreneurs share with me (go on, admit it...).
I'm a complete control freak.
There, I said it.
Oh, and I like to think that I can do everything by myself from start to finish.
Before dedicating myself to building my own freelance writing business, my corporate career was plagued by my own obsession to have to control and do everything myself.
And while I was very successful, I was also incredibly stressed and not exactly the happiest person alive.
Now that I'm running my own show, I have a choice:
Choice 1: Continue on as a control freak and try to do everything myself. This could possibly lead to a breakdown at some point.
Choice 2: Accept that I don't have to do it all myself and allow others to help me on my entrepreneurial journey.
So far, just by surrounding myself with the right kind of people, I've learnt how much I can learn from others. And in particular, other women who have more life and business experience than I do.
Sometimes, opportunities come your way that are just too good to pass up.
So when women leadership mentor Anoushka Gungadin offered to work with me to help teach me how to run my business properly, I jumped at the chance.
One session in and Anoushka's guidance has already made a massive difference as to how I'm tackling my major goal at the moment: Publishing a kid's book.
I won't lie -- It's confronting to work with a leadership coach initially. The first thing Anoushka got me to do was to fill out a form rating myself on a number of topics.
While it wasn't hard for me to complete the questions that related to my career, it was really confronting to honestly rate myself in areas such as health, peace, fulfillment, fun... The personal stuff!
If you're anything like me, as an entrepreneur, 99 per cent of your time is now dedicated to achieving your goals. Work/life balance isn't really a factor anymore because I legitimately love what I do.
The great thing about working with Anoushka is that she asks me the hard questions.
The kind of things I might not stop to contemplate such as:
What are three things I'm tolerating or putting up with in my life?
Better still, she helps me to focus on one thing at a time as opposed to trying to do everything at once and spreading myself too thinly.
As they say, creative minds are rarely tidy.
Best of all, it's very reassuring to know that I'm not alone in what I'm doing. I've written a lot about being both excited and scared about the road ahead. And it all still applies as I tap away at my laptop now.
Deep down inside, I can feel a certain calmness where there probably should be a lot of stress.
I dream of the day I go to pick up a book off the bookshelf, turn it around and see my name on the cover. I can't think of a better moment as a writer.
I'm sure there will be failure, setbacks and so on, but that's all part of the ride.
And as long as I continue to surround myself with people such as Anoushka, I can't really go wrong.
If you are an entrepreneur and you don't have anyone guiding you and holding your hand, you could already be taking your first step in the wrong direction.
Be brave - It's okay to let go and allow others to help you.
Consider this line from the great T.S. Eliot: Do I dare disturb the universe? I do - How about you?''
If want to contact any of these ladies then please contact Sarah via her website www.sarahcannata.com.au and Caroline via her Website www.moneymindsetcoaching.co.uk
When it comes to entrepreneurial life, anything that makes your world a little easier is really worth its weight in gold.
Meetings, emails, proposals… It can all get a little too much sometimes. We’re sure you’ve had times when you’ve found yourself staring aimlessly at your inbox because you don’t even know where to begin (psst… We’re talking from experience).
Well, the following 4 business tools are a blessing. If you don’t already use them, give them a go and if you do use them, tell us just how much of a difference they make to your days!
#1 – Canva
All of those graphic designers out there will be cringing at this point but let us be clear: Canva is no replacement for a talented graphic designer. It’s an easy tool for any entrepreneur who has no design sense to jump on and create a decent enough looking graphic. It’s especially useful when you’re looking to boost a Facebook ad or sort other simple forms of marketing so that you’re not forced to splash out cash unnecessarily.
#2 – SourceBottle
Especially when you’re just starting up, spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on PR and publicity just isn’t going to happen. SourceBottle is a site where journalists, authors, bloggers or anyone really, posts a ‘call-out’ as to what sources they’re looking for (for example, a fitness expert, finance expert and so on). Sign up and you’ll receive a couple of email alerts per day. From there, it’s a matter of simply sifting out what’s relevant to you and responding to an alert before it expires.
#3 – MailChimp
MailChimp is pretty much email marketing made easy for anyone! It’s simple to use in terms of composing and sending emails… It’s all trackable and it really takes your marketing to the next level. Dedicate just an hour of your time to getting your head around it all and you’ll see just how beneficial to your business MailChimp can be.
#4 – Skype
Once upon a time, speaking to someone from overseas, would see you raking up a ridiculous phone bill. These days, you can talk to anyone anywhere with Skype and a working internet connection. This takes the notion of global connectivity to a whole new level… The U.S., the UAE, the UK, Australia, New Zealand… there’s no place that is off limits these days.
So we’ve had our say… What are your favourite business tools?
In the last few months I have interviewed so many lovely women entrepreneurs and shared their stories. I've been bringing Podcasting to this Middle East and encouraging people to take up the opportunity to use podcasts to listen to topics they love aswell as use it as a tool for their business. Podcasting is a great way to learn about a product/service and a great way to share your products/services BUT I know as well that there is a 'learning curve' to this opportunity to I'm going to start to writing about Podcasting in the Middle East and encourage more individuals and aswell companies to adopt the tool as part of their marketing. So, to get the ball rolling Im going to share my 4 reasons why you should start a podcast. Let's begin.....
1. Become THE authority in your field
I was at an event recently at the gentleman at the event really knew his stuff. He shared not only his professional knowledge, but case studies and articles and then answered many individual questions the audience was asking. He was an expert, an authority in his chosen profession. With a podcast show this gentlemen could share this great advise through focused topics each week and even answer questions/case studies he received on a weekly basis which might help other people. Thus developing his reputation and his business as an expert in his field. Now you may think you are parting with your valuable know for free but you are not. One of the key points of selling is being able to share value, show off your services and how informed you are about your product. To do this you need to get in front of your potential customer and possibly give them a sales pitch. Sales pitches are great BUT no great either. Who likes being sold too? I know I don't. BUT with a podcast episode you can share your knowledge and your expertise from a far, while your potential customer is sat at home or in the car or on the treadmill. They are absorbing what you are saying without feeling they are being sold too. This allows your listener (and potentially your lead) the opportunity to get comfortable with you and learn about you and your services from a distance. Wouldn't it be awesome to have your customers feel at ease when you share your products or services. Its kind of like getting a referral in some way as the 'breaking the ice' is already done and the bonus part the customer feels like they know you already.
2. You can Generate new customers, generate new leads & promote your products and services
It is really hard to generate leads, find new customers and promote your products and services. We use social media, blogs, meetings and referrals to help us take potential customers through a sales funnel. A podcast show can help here too because you can use the show to talk about your products and services, add value through sharing pros and cons, share FAQ's and then direct people to your web page or website with clear call to actions. This podcast can be on your website and available for your leads and customers to listen too at their own convenience.
3. Its an inexpensive way to share your knowledge, the latest news in your industry or case studies
Its not expensive to set up at all. Folk think it is but its not. You need a good microphone, a laptop and editing software and then be signed up to a podcast host so they can host and share your podcast. An episode should be about 20 - 30 minutes long which can be uploaded straight away then you use social media, your newsletter, your blog and your website to promote it. Easy! You can start one now. Just brainstorm your topic ideas, find the pain factors that people talk about in your industry and make it happen.
4. Its a convenient way for your audience to consume your content.
Content is King. Creating articles, stories, case studies are all content that you make available to your potential leads and customers to help learn more about you and your products/services. But to get to his information we need to be sat reading it or watching it. Podcasting is an auditory tool so your customers could be listening to you while they drive, while they work or while on the treadmill or running. Its the only activity you can do while you do something else. Its effectively your multitasking partner.
OK.. so there are 4 reasons. I think you should adopt podcasting into your marketing tool collection. Im not the only one saying it though. Podcasting is a very effective way to connect with your audience and many publication and podcast experts out there are encouraging you to take it on and use it as a tool. I love it, its something I'm passionate about and as been an awesome way to share the stories of amazing women entrepreneurs in this region.
If you would like to know more and what to chat about Podcasting, then let me know. I'm listening... :) I've also got a few brilliant courses via Udemy on my resources page you may want to look at if you want to podcast.
I look forward to hearing from you.
In today's modern society of fast, efficient and 'get to the point' business our bodies are 'frustratingly' not doing the same. We are making life around us 'tech-focused' and yet our bodies are not evolving to keep up with this pace of change and activity around us. Many of us struggle with the weigh loss question regularly. We all want to be slimmer, healthier, have a better sense of well being. All that is hard to do when we stand on the scales each week and what we would think of as a successful week of being healthy and building a better well being, only to find the scales haven't change. Disappointment prevails. BUT.... sometimes its no just the scales and a lot of the time most of us don't educate ourselves about things like nutrition, understanding our bodies better and recognise our own stress levels.
Earlier this year I interview Laura Holland, a Dubai based Entrepreneur specialising in nutrition, holistic weight loss & a Well Being Coach. I had read her article in the National and wondered if she could elaborate a bit more on her 6 reason's why you might be struggling to lose weight. I to have had an ongoing weight battle. I consider myself relatively fit but I wasn't losing weight so I want to explore this further using this article as a bouncing board. That is what we did in this podcast. Have a listen.
Let’s face it, starting a business is hard. If it were easy, everyone would be throwing in their day jobs to work for themselves.
So, yes, it is hard and anyone who tells you otherwise is simply lying.
Chances are, if you have taken that leap of faith into the entrepreneurial world, you don’t actually have all of the answers. And that’s totally okay.
Read or hear anything by the most renowned names and they’ll tell you they learned the hard way. By making mistakes, dusting themselves off and hitting re-set.
Here are 5 of the most common mistakes to avoid when setting up a new business.
Avoiding these speed humps allows you to focus on making mistakes that are unique to your brand and you can learn a lot more from.
Mistake #1 – Spreading yourself too thinly
Unless you’ve discovered how to transform yourself into Wonder Woman or Hercules, you can’t be everything to everyone. You can’t always say yes to everything. Instead of trying to do absolutely everything, focus on the things you’re really passionate about and if you have to let an opportunity slip by every now and again, let it be.
Yes, you’re an entrepreneur but you’re also human. That means having a break – spending time with family and friends needs to be made a priority.
Don’t take our word for it, read Entrepreneur’s Doing two things, that’s one too many piece.
Mistake #2 – Teaming up with the wrong people
If you’re intending to work with a partner, you need to make sure that he or she is the right fit for what you’re trying to accomplish in the bigger scheme of things. It’s important to work alongside and put together the right team of people who will complement one another and work towards a common goal. If you’re all on different pages, essentially, you’re working on different endings to the book.
Here’s another Entrepreneur article to back up what we’re saying.
Mistake #3 – Not building the connections that matter
Networking – it’s talked about a lot lately and when you’re driving a start-up company, it can be a real stretch to make the time to meet and greet people. Often, doing so means catching up on your work at odd hours at either end of the day.
While not everyone you make the effort to have a coffee with will become a customer, you never know who they may pass you onto down the line. Being able to build relationships and connections is incredibly important for any company, much less a start-up business. Have a listen to this podcast we did with Simon Phillips a networking specialist and his 10 magic tips to networking.
Mistake #4 – Failing to see the bigger picture
Being an entrepreneur is stressful and at times, you’ll need to take calculated risks that could mean reaping some incredible rewards or on the flipside, losing out. Entrepreneurs are big-picture people – they’re not thinking about cashing in that $50 from the next sale. They’re thinking about what that $50 is going to go towards building to help take their business to the next level. Shortsightedness and entrepreneurship is like mixing oil and water (it’s a disaster!).
Love your movies? Check out this list of ten flicks that explore the stories of great entrepreneurs.
Mistake #5 – Forgetting to have fun!
Often, running your own show is a hard slog and people can get caught up in the cycle of simply moving on to whatever is next on the list. Every week, schedule in time to think about why you chose the path you did and one thing you can celebrate from the week that has just passed. Acknowledging these small wins and showing gratitude for even the smallest of accomplishments will help to keep your motivation levels up. And set out some time to relax too. If you relax you will learn more. Check out this article that gives you some ideas of how to relax and learn.
We can also help here too. If you are in need of a breather? Load up your iPod or whatever device you use, jump on that treadmill and listen to some great entrepreneurial stories we’ve featured here on The Learning Curve.
You don’t have to look too far for inspiration: look to those who have walked the same path.
If you’re an entrepreneur – new or experienced – what would you say have been your key mistakes? What would you add to this list?
Have you been confused about Facebook ads? Running ads has become much more important but there are a lot of different types of ads to run. If you aren't careful you could waste a lot of money without getting a good return.
My friend Andrea Vahl (co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies) has an upcoming free webinar on June 10th where she is going to give you her Facebook Advertising Secrets. Her webinars consistently get rave reviews on the amount of valuable content she shares. Get all the
details here: https://oa150.infusionsoft.com/go/adsecretswebinar/Nicholla
In this webinar you will learn:
Sign up now! There will be a recording but you need to sign up:https://oa150.infusionsoft.com/go/adsecretswebinar/Nicholla
I'll be there too!
The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa Region: We sat down with Ludmilla Figueiredo, the Business Development Manager for Eureeca to find out more about the concept of Crowd Investing and how Investors and business could benefit from this innovative funding strategy.
How would you like to take your business to the next level? As an entrepreneur have you ever thought about Crowdinvesting? As an investor, looking for opportunities have you ever thought about crowd investing? What is crowdinvesting? Its a process where by businesses raise capital to expand and grow from a crowd of investors in exchange for shares in the business. Nicholla sat down with Ludmilla to find out more about this concept. We explored the opportunity for both businesses and investors and how both parties could benefit from Eureeca's funding strategy. Read More and Listen to this Interview
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, Jedi Master
We’re channeling the wisdom of Yoda from Star Wars here in order to tackle the first big question in our month long focus on entrepreneurs. That question is…
Can all of us become entrepreneurs?
The answer is… It’s complicated! Fact is, not everyone can be their own boss. Ask any entrepreneur and they’ll tell you that you have to put a lot on the line to be an entrepreneur.
You have to be willing to lose things in order to make way for all of the things the universe is likely to be throwing your way.
Additionally, you need to have drive – The kind of drive that means you’re working into the early hours in the morning instead of sleeping or hitting the party scene with your besties.
Focus, commitment, self-belief and the ability to overcome fear… They’re all key ingredients any successful entrepreneur boasts.
Most importantly, you need to have a mindset in which you’re okay with being outside of your comfort zone. A lot.
This way of life isn’t for everyone: Some people enjoy routines, stability and not having to worry about how they’re going to transform an idea into more.
Some people just aren’t risk takers and that means they’re not cutout to be an entrepreneur. We’re talking about the kind of people who take calculated risks and are willing to back themselves when others wouldn’t.
When you look at the most successful entrepreneurs, they see beyond themselves. They’re big vision people… The kind of people who fail five times and get up six times.
Failure is part of the entrepreneurial journey. Often, what differentiates a successful person from everyone else, is their ability to pick themselves up and continue going when others would give up.
This is harsh but oh so true: It’s not going to get you far just by being ‘good at something.’ An entrepreneur is more than just talented… They have a business brain and while they don’t have all of the answers, they’re good at asking the questions they need to and digging until they find those answers.
They’re the kind of people who don’t just have an ‘idea’ – They’re the kind of people who have an idea, make sure it’s more than just a passing whim and do
whatever they need to in order to determine their ideal client and to make their business profitable.
Not to mention, these days, business is about so much more than making money – Organisations have a social and commercial responsibility and if you look at the most successful entrepreneurs, they always have a vision that’s bigger than themselves. They seek to change lives.
Finally, any entrepreneur needs to be good at networking and communicating. Even the most talented of people get help on their way up… Being able to make people listen to your message and having the ability to think outside yourself and ask how you’re going to help others first, is essential.
Why? Without people, you have no business.
So, let’s answer the question that’s front-and-centre: Can all of us become entrepreneurs?
Yes. Ultimately, anyone can do anything they set their mind to… But that doesn’t mean they should!
Before we go, here’s a 55-point checklist to grading entrepreneurs published on Forbes.com.
And don’t forget to check out our interviews with a selection of female entrepreneurs to discover how they’re making a difference.
What do you think? Can everyone be an entrepreneur (share your thoughts below)?
Got a topic you’d like us to blog about? Click here to tell us now.
ABout the blog
Share interviews with Arab and Expat women entrepreneurs, sharing their entrepreneurial journey with their top business advise. We blog about knowledge, articles, FAQ on social media and share tools and resources to help us get going in our niche.