'Success Depends on Mastering Emotions' with MC Lessard, Emotionologist, Personal Development Coach and Weight Loss Coach
Q1 – MC, what’s an Emotionologist?
An Emotionologist is a specialist of emotional intelligence and emotionology. In more familiar terms, I’m a Personal Development Coach as well as a Weight Loss Coach and I work with women to help them achieve personal, business, relationship, health, or financial goals by leveraging the power of emotions.
The reason I put up my shingle up as an Emotionologist is I want to be up front with anyone who wishes to work with me. My clients need to be willing to connect with their emotions in the process of achieving their goals.
Q2 – Why is it so important that you be up front about that?
You’d be surprised at how reluctant women can be about embracing their emotional nature.
Throughout my years of practice, I’ve noticed that clients who achieve their goals the fastest and with most ease were those who are capable of connecting to emotions. By “connecting,” I mean they can feel their emotions (even the negative ones), they’re able to express their emotions, they perceive the emotions of others around them, and they are willing to learn how to leverage emotions. Of course, here we’re talking about positive emotions like confidence, optimism, passion, and trust. We can only achieve goals towards which we feel positively.
The opposite is also true: Clients who were less capable or willing to tap into their emotions either didn’t achieve their goals at all or took a lot more time to achieve them. This is not meant to be disrespectful or judgmental, it’s an observation.
So, back to your question, the reason I’m up front about informing my prospective clients that they need to be emotionally open to work with me is that I want to see them achieve their goals.
Q3 – How long have you been coaching?
I began in 2008 so just under 9 years. I have over 600 coaching hours.
Q4 – Are you a certified coach?
Yes, I’m a Certified Executive Coach. I earned my Graduate Certificate of Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University in Victoria, Canada. I’m also credentialed as a member of the International Coach Federation currently at the ACC level, soon to be PCC.
(If all goes well, I should be a PCC by the time this show airs on The Learning Curve. ;-))
Q5 – You said something earlier that I want to come back to. You said that clients who achieved their goals faster and with more ease were those who connected with emotions, is that right?
Q6 – Isn’t this something we’re supposed to do naturally as humans like breathing and walking?
Well, you would think so.
Primitive humans connected to their emotions much more instinctively than modern-day humans. In fact, emotions are believed to have been part of our survival gear.
However, through our evolution, we’ve come to value intellect and knowledge much more than our capacity to feel. In the process, we’ve become disconnected from our emotional body.
I can say I was guilty as charged until a few years ago. Just like most women I know, there were a handful of negative emotions that I felt but did not WANT to feel. For me it was anger, sadness, and loneliness. For others, it might be frustration or resentment. Because it feels uncomfortable to feel them and we don’t know how to release or leverage them, we repress them and usually numb them.
We numb negative emotions shopping, overeating or eating junk, sleeping too much, drinking a bit too much wine, self-medicating, and saving Bora Bora pins to Pinterest boards! Numbing is so common, we could almost say it’s a norm.
Q7 – I can relate to that. I’d like to hear more, MC, about the women who connect with ease or willingness to their emotions.
Well, Nicholla, these women have a much greater chance of being successful and I’m using a holistic version of the definition of success meaning that we have a greater chance of being healthy, happy, and more satisfied with their work as well as with their finances.
Q8 – Are you saying that if we learned to reconnect with our emotional nature, we would be more successful?
I feel so strongly about the benefits of reconnecting to our emotional nature that I’ve made it my life’s Purpose to research this topic and to apply my findings to help women reconnect emotionally or, as I like to say, to help women master emotions so that they can be successful.
Q9 – I need to clarify one more thing before you help us master our emotions. We often say women are “emotional.” What does that mean in this context?
Often, though not always, a woman will claim to have been emotional when she cried or felt intense emotion and displayed behaviour that might be labelled, by onlookers, as a sign of “weakness” or as lacking self-control.
It’s as if the word “emotional” implies an excessive expression of emotion. I believe this negative connotation is a by-product of that evolutionary trend I referred to earlier where being rational is much more highly regarded than being emotional.
Personally, I wish we would put a more positive spin on the word “emotional” but I trust that this will come as people realize the benefits of tuning into their emotions.
Q10 – Good, thank you. I have a feeling that my listeners are curious about how they can ease their way to success by mastering emotions.
There are many things we can do to master emotions. We have limited time today but we’re going to make the best of it. I’m going to share one fact and two strategies with your listeners to get them started.
Great! What’s the first one?
It’s a fact that, I hope, will give food for thought to your listeners. I know that when I realized this, it was a huge incentive for me to master my emotions.
FACT – Consider that all negative emotions trigger the stress response.
Really? Can you explain that a bit?
Let’s put this into context and you’ll see.
What proportion of your week do you feel negatively?
I’m not sure! That’s hard to say. No two weeks are the same.
That’s true for many people. Say you picked an average week of work and a bit of play.
Okay, I guess I feel negatively about 40% of the time.
Do you know that when your body experiences stress, there are stress hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and norepinephrine that circulate in your body causing wear and tear on your organs and tissues?
Now, let’s calculate how many hours is 40%. How many hours do you sleep?
Okay, that leaves 17 hours/day of waking hours x 7 = 119 hours X 40% = 47.6 hrs/wk.
Think about it. By thinking negative thoughts, you are causing your body damage for as many hours as many of us work/wk.
You’re not alone. For some people, it’s more than this, for others, it’s less.
Can you see that the less negative we feel, the less damage we inflict?
Yes, of course, it makes sense.
Before we go on to STRATEGY #1, may I add something?
Some listeners might be hearing us right now and thinking to themselves, “If I could feel less negatively, I would! I can’t because of this circumstance, that condition or this person or that situation…”
For many people, it’s a very BIG leap towards self-empowerment to accept that they cause themselves harm by entertaining negative thoughts. Accepting the responsibility for changing those thoughts regardless of circumstances is difficult if you don’t feel that you have the capacity to do so.
What do you suggest?
If this is the case for some of the women listening in, I encourage you think about a situation when you took responsibility and influenced things positively.
Maybe your business was not generating the numbers you wanted and took the responsibility for your results by hiring a consultant to help you out. Perhaps you were in a relationship with a person who was giving you the silent treatment. You took it upon yourself to initiate dialogue in a loving way because you wanted to see your friendship or partnership evolve positively.
You see, when you take responsibility, you’re able to make things go your way.
Let me summarize that. Well-being is a choice and if we want our body to be healthy and feel good, being aware of the damage caused by negative emotions can be an empowering incentive to take more responsibility for the way we feel.
Okay, I’m in. I’m taking responsibility for the way I feel. How do I go from feeling negatively to feeling positively?
This is exactly what the next two strategies will help you with.
STRATEGY #1: Move to get into the groove!
The easiest and fastest way to change the way you feel is by moving your body.
Yes, I do that all the time. When I start….comment
Can you give us a few examples of how we can move to get into the groove?
Everybody’s done this one before: We’re sitting at our desk feeling tired and lacking focus so we instinctively get up and go for a quick stretch, a pee break, a glass of water. By doing that, we shift our physical energy which automatically shifts our mental an emotional energy.
When we come back to whatever we were doing, we catch a typo or we find better words or we have a new idea or a fresh perspective.
Would it be fair to say that this works for a lightly negative state?
You got it!
Let’s say I just received some very bad news and I need to work on a project with a deadline. I’m in a deeper negative state and I really need to shift to a positive state, fast. How do I move to get into the groove then?
If you’re a runner, you can go for a 20-minute run.
I’m not a runner but I love yoga. So, what I do when working from home, is I go on my favourite yoga website – doyogawithme.com – and I roll out my mat for a 30-minute class.
If you like kickboxing, that’s a great way to shift emotional energy, especially anger.
Basically, do any physical activity that will occupy your mind so that you momentarily stop thinking about the bad news and you spark a positive state by moving your muscles.
I know this is basic information but how many of us just sit with the bad news for much longer than we need to; we get on the phone or FB and we call or text a friend to share the news, then we go to the fridge and grab something to swallow the bad news or we continue working with only partial attention and get annoyed at the poor quality of our work or by the extra time it’s taking us to do the work?
Yes, that’s so true. But none of that changes the negative emotion we feel.
For women who don’t exercise MC, what else can they do?
One of the most powerful ways to move to get into the groove is to perform an incantation.
It would be hard to demonstrate an incantation with audio only. What I encourage your listeners to do is to go on YouTube and search incantation. There are a bunch of people who do incantations. Personally, I like Tony Robbins’ videos. I believe he’s actually the one who popularized incantations although humans have done them for thousands of years.
The important thing about incantations is you need to use words and body movements that feel natural to you. Inspire yourself from what others do but then customize your own incantations.
Once you’ve created one. You do it daily when you get up in the morning. This will rev up your energy and put you into the groove before you even have the chance of feeling negatively.
You can also get up and do your incantation when, like you said, bad news just landed on your doorstep and you need to shift the negative emotion and get back into the groove, into a positive state, to accomplish something important.
Thank you! How about that second strategy to shift from negative emotions to positive emotions.
Strategy #2: Park Your Thought!
First, you need to be aware of the ‘one thought-one emotion’ rule.
This means that when I’m feeling a negative emotion like worry, doubt, shame, guilt, fear, etc., it’s because I’ve entertained a negative thought. It’s impossible that I feel a negative emotion unless I’ve thought a negative thought.
The opposite is also true. If I’m feeling a positive emotion, it’s because I’ve entertained a positive thought.
I know this is not earth-shattering insight.
No but I understand that you want to make sure everyone understands the one-thought-one-emotion-rule before we move on to learning how to park our thoughts. So, you said, we think positive thoughts, we feel positive emotion. We think negative thoughts, we feel negative emotion.
Let’s go through the very simple 3-step process of parking our thoughts.
First, I’ll give you the steps and then we’ll go through an example to illustrate the Park Your Thought process.
STEP 1 – Acknowledge the thought.
STEP 2 – Park the thought.
STEP 3 – Choose a day and time when you’re going to come back to the thought. Of course, parking the thought is only a temporary measure. We eventually have to deal with it.
Okay, so now, walk us through an example.
STEP 1: Acknowledge the thought.
Give me a negative feeling that you sometimes feel.
Good. Overwhelm. You want to shift this negative emotion you can get back to business, right?
So, for STEP 1, you ask yourself, “What am I thinking that’s making me feel this way?”
Instantly, your mind gives the answer:
(Your answer) Ex. I have too much to do in my business while my assistant is ill.
STEP 2: Park the thought.
The thought in STEP 1 – I have too much to do in my business while my assistant is ill – might be true but just imagine yourself gently cupping it in your hands like a baby bird and placing it in a small nest in the corner of your mind.
This might sound a bit weird but it is important that you be compassionate with the thought. If you judge it and treat it as a nuisance, it will have its way with you.
So, please, remember to park the thought with care.
Got it. I’ve parked my thought.
STEP 3: Choose a day and a time to return to the thought.
When would you like to come back to this thought?
I guess after I’ve finished a certain task that needs my immediate attention.
Okay, good. Make sure you’re very specific in your mind about the time at which you will retrieve the thought from the nest. How long will your task take?
If I’m working on a podcast interview, I want to come back to it in 3 hours.
What time will it be then?
Great. Take a mental note of 3 pm or write it down if you wish.
Now, with that thought parked, if you were in your office right now, what would you do?
I’d get busy with my podcast interview. Why/how does this work MC?
Well, as we said earlier, when our mind entertains a negative thought, the body feels the negative emotions.
The “reality” of your negative thought – in your case, your assistant being ill leading to a full plate – continues to be real until the reality changes. But you don’t have control over your assistant being ill. So thinking this thought will just keep triggering the feeling of overwhelm and the situation will go from bad to worse.
Instead, by parking the thought, you momentarily free your mind from the grip of the negative emotions which allows you to think creatively and, in that specific instant, you can make a conscious decision to do something productive.
And when you’re productive, you generate a sense of satisfaction which is a positive emotion. From this higher vibrational state, you can retrieve the thought and because you’re feeling good, your neocortex will be able to deal with it more effectively…unless, of course, you go back to feeling overwhelmed.
In that case, you can park the thought again and see what happens or you can deal with the situation by cancelling appointments or tasks to lighten your plate until your assistant returns. By doing this, the overwhelm lessens or disappears completely.
Thank you, MC
Social Media Links
As 2016 comes to an end and 2017 starts I'm starting to look at other ways I could utilise my podcast and one of the ways I want to do that is start talking about more topics that support women in business. I'm interested in many things from social media to business set up to helping women in business to fitness and nutrition to finding new apps and technologies to finding a work/life balance. I'm a very curious person and love connecting and reaching out to people to find out what there story is. I'm in the middle of brainstorming new ideas for 2017 so I can really make a go of 2017 and reach some key objectives. I've already set one goal and that is to walk around 150km of the Camino in March 2017 so I've started training for that! Can't wait! :) Earlier this year I walked 100km across the desert. So going forward my podcast will start to change and start to focus on conversations with people that can support women in business. My focus will be on talking to people from this region as we have so much great talent now in the Middle East I think they have a lot to offer. So if you have any suggestions, topic ideas or people you think I should have on the podcast then do let me know..... so on with today podcast.
In The Beginning
I remember when I started my first Facebook Group back in 2010. I couldn't decide if I should have done a group or a Fan Page. I remember researching trying to change my group to a fan page and couldn't do it unless I started again! anyway... 6.5 years on I'm glad I didn't. That group I created called 'Muscat - Where can I find' (MWCIF) is now over 44,000 members big and its purpose is to help people find what they are looking for in Muscat. Simple! Since then that group concept has been replicated in a number of cities and probably by members in cities I don't even know about.
I love Facebook Groups. I think they are just great spaces to build relationships, find answers, share with a community and feel connected. I'm part of many Facebook Groups myself and they too have helped me learn, grow, test and discover so much new stuff I may have not have found. I love it when I find someone who has asked a similar question - it reminds me that I'm not alone.
Facebook groups can support your business objectives and can be the right choice for your business. They are open spaces and I believe today they can create more traction than what Facebook Fan pages can because your audience choose you and identify with your key group objectives as something that could benefit them. We all know our organic reach of our Facebook posts are really low and if we want traction we need to pay for Facebook Ads that help generate leads or sales. This is where I think the power of Facebook Groups could come in useful for your business and maybe save you some money along the way too. So here are my 5 ways Facebook Groups can support your business objectives.
Networking and Relationship Building
Networking and Connecting support our brand awareness objectives and Facebook Groups are great spaces to do that. I know that connecting and reaching our audience is really tough these days. We are all so busy and our messages don't always reach our clients or prospects so this is where a Facebook Group would be a great safe space to share, connect and build relationships with people you know you can help. The key to any new business is building those relationship and networking your space to see where you can help. People buy from people they know and trust aswell as the research they've done first to explore the buying options. In a Facebook Group you can share questions, quotes, images, video, queries, ideas all as ways to generate that engagement and build relationships with new prospects or enhance existing client relations. In that space you don't sell to them, you share your knowledge or other people's wisdom that you know your group will benefit from. Through my own groups and through groups I'm part of, I've connected with so many amazing people that I would have never discovered if it wasn't for that group.
When someone posts in your group or comments in groups you are in you get a notification message in your news feed thus driving traffic to your group. In my opinion, Facebook Group do better with organic reach than fan pages. My MWCIF Fan Page has over 5700 likes but my group has over 44,000 members. I'd love it if people liked the fan page too when they join the group but really people will not bother. Its the group they want, not the fan page and they want to get on with asking or finding what it is they want. However, don't discount Facebook Fan Page they are still an enormously powerful marketing resources to use. I always promote my podcasts on the Learning Curve Fan Page and it always does well. However, I'm paying for that. In a group when a discussion is hot people will naturally be attracted to it and start sharing their comments and so organic reach is there.
Create Community Around Your Topic
I love being part of a community where there is like minded people and I bet you are the same. I've moved 3 times in 8 years and each time I've moved I've set about exploring key Facebook Groups in that city because I know the people in the know will be in that group and I'll be able to ask questions I need answers too. Its the same with your business, creating that space where you create purpose, community and fulfilment of the members questions is super powerful. People love to know the answer to their query is a question typing session away. You save them from researching google or asking friends or family. Sharing your content or content of others gives your members something to think about or read and it might help them at that moment too. My tag line for my group, MWCIF is 'somebody always knows something' - and its true. If there is an active community engagement around your topic in your Facebook Group people will be willing to help. it feels great to help someone find/answer/get something and help them on their way. I do this many times in my groups and in others I'm part off. And lastly on this point, keep your group active. Schedule your posts if you have too, stay involved in the conversations, help where you can, suggest/recommend where you can - being a part of the community is key to its success.
Who Should Have A Facebook Group?
Facebook Groups have a fit in lots of places. If you are a coach then tell your clients and prospects about your group. Its a space where you can share more knowledge, create more engagement and share great articles that will support your clients and prospects. If you make something - use the space to show off what you are working on, or feedback from clients or use the space to research what your clients are looking for and ways you can help solve their pain factors. If you have a hobby and want to share and connect with likeminded people. Become that space where people that have the same interest can come to share ideas, thoughts, opinion, articles, stories, videos and even podcasts. If you are not sure if a Facebook Group is right for you then let me know - we can explore it. I love brainstorming facebook Group ideas.
Owning An Active Engaged Facebook Group Is A Marketing Tool.
If you have an active, engaged, busy group then believe me you are on to a winner. Companies and Brands will be very keen to be part of your community in someway so they can benefit from your activity. MWCIF has over the years appeared in newspapers and been on the radio just because the community loves the group and gives people assurance they can find what they are looking for. Because of this traction brands have over the years wanted to collaborate and use the group to get their product in front of the Muscat community. Your Groups could do the same. You can cross promote with another brand to generate more engagement. You could have a joint venture partnership that takes traffic to the place you want potential customers to go. You could dedicate a day in your line up of posts to advertisers to get some free promotion space or charge them for it. Don't underestimate the power of your group - it could be an awesome tool for many other reasons beyond why you created it.
Facebook Groups are an awesome tool to help meet your business objectives and serve your clients and prospects when you are not serving them directly at a particular moment. You keep yourself in their facebook activity loop they create for themselves. Being a place where they can wonder through, see whats going on, interact and serve is a powerful space. And long term I think Facebook Groups are going to become even more powerful. The downside of group is the lack of analytics but I'm sure there are people out there working on it to get stats for us. Please do use them and if you need any help then let me know. I've created many community spaces with Facebook Groups in Oman and the United Arab Emirates. I love creating community spaces that aim to serve the community. I'm taking part in a seminar on the 21st November in Abu Dhabi about the power of Facebook Groups and I'll be there sharing my own stories about my Facebook Groups and helping people understand their powers. I'm currently working on a few offerings to support the event so I'll link it in the blog when the offering are ready.
Most of us today are knowledge seekers. We are in the pursuit of bettering ourselves. We want to empower ourselves so we can grow, make better decisions and ultimately live a lifestyle we dream off. As people we are constantly in a pattern of learning. New life chapters start everyday and each come with a new invisible heading with a collection of invisible bullet points under it. Unfortunately life isn't like a laid out curriculum, though sometimes I wish that it was, so I can tick it off as read, learnt and apply. Anyway.. the point being is we are knowledge seekers and these days we have many ways in which to collect that knowledge. We can read, watch videos or listen to podcast!! And this is what this podcast/blo is about because if you are a knowledge sharer and want to add value to your business then podcasting could be your way of streaming up to date audio knowledge to your clients and prospects.
What is podcasting and who is using Podcasts?
Podcasting is a great way to share your business message and core values. It is simply a digital audio file which your clients or prospects can download from ITunes, Stitcher, your website or other podcast platforms. On the digital file you have created is your content, you can discuss whatever your business is about, so for example with my own podcast show, The Learning Curve Podcast, I interview Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East. My digital content is my conversations with these women to showcase what their business is about aswell as sharing their challenges, successes, tips, advise and much more. All aimed at helping more women take the plunge into entrepreneurship.
Today many people create podcasts sharing their expertise, their opinion, their interviews, film and book reviews and all sorts of material. Just check out the Podcast list on ITunes or Stitcher. Choose a subject you are interested in and you will find any number of podcasts from mentorship shows to people travelling the world. Through the advent of this simple and low barrier to entry marketing method many businesses are starting to see the pull of podcast.
Big brands today are starting to create their podcast shows. For Example the Economist now streams in audio. American Airlines - just started. In-fact, here is a list of the 38 best podcast shows this year.
How Can We Use it For Marketing?
Showcase your business and build authority
We all want to be seen as a product authority or an expert in our particular field and often that is difficult to achieve as to show case you need to get in front of your clients and prospects, you have to create workshops, events, meeting spaces to make this happen. All this can cost you a bit in terms of organising the right location, catering, material and then marketing but this is where podcasts could be quite a useful tool. Creating an audio series showcasing products, new information, showcasing customers, discussing the latest information allows your clients and prospects to have an interaction with you without actually having to interact with you just yet. What a great way to build authority. They can listen to what is going on in your business and you get to show off your knowledge, expertise and advise on a particular matter or product. Seems like a great way to do some inbound marketing with a relatively inexpensive medium. Plus the content is evergreen meaning that it has longevity too, so you can keep it up for months, even a few years and it doesn't get old until it really does need updating. You can share your podcasts through your website or via your email marketing or your newsletters. Your customers get to interact with you on their terms without being bothered by annoying cold sales calls.
Build a rapport with your audience.
Podcasts are great relationship builders and a great way to connect with your audience. As a listener you get enjoy a two or three way conversation between the podcast host (usually the business owner/Entrepreneur) and the guest(s) talking about what their business/subject is, how it helps its customers, their success, failure, tip or advise. As the host you get to share a bit more of who you are and what goes on behind the scenes of your business. You allow your audience to get to know you and your style. There is so much to learn from someone's voice when they talk. You can hear the movement of their voice, the low and high tones, the pauses, the passion in their voices. Its just adds a whole new dynamic which isn't always achievable through the written word. If your audience love you then they can subscribe and get the update when you add a new podcast episode.
I've seen an article somewhere that it says it take 7 - 8 connections before a prospect will potentially buy from you so why not take the opportunity of building that rapport with your audience and allow them to connect with you before they make a purchase.
Brand building is an absolute must and with online marketing is even tougher to break through the noise of the competition. But here's where podcasting can be fruitful. Sharing short snippets from your podcast which you can then share on social media gives you an opportunity and your audience a small teaser into what your business is up too. We all watch or listen to short clips so why couldn't this work for you? You can build your brand, build your authority and look like you are progressive. Using technology to up your game. Remember podcasts don't just have to be audio they can be video aswell and with the advent of Live video streaming on Facebook on via live streaming networks this is another great way to build your brand, put you behind your brand and give your product or service more of a voice? Facebook LIVE at the moment is very powerful. Facebook have made it so that your live stream generate lots of traction and interest so you may find when you go live that you get lots of views, likes and comments on your Facebook page than you would if you just put up a post. Try it!
The other great benefit of podcasting is it is relatively inexpensive to get started. You need a microphone, a lap top, download audacity a free audio software and press record. Once that is done you need an audio host so you can save it in cyberspace. You can use your website or a third party tool, like Libsyn, Omny or Soundcloud to save and all these hosts come with additional tools to help you share your podcast, see the background demographics, see which podcasts are the most popular and more. There is a lot of information and with that you can see how your podcast is doing and what your audience likes and engages with.
Accessibility and Flexibility
Its the only medium that allows you to be doing something else while you listen to them. You don't have to be watching TV to listen to them or at your laptop - you can listen to them on the move. They are also on demand - so like how many of us like our TV shows, you can listen to podcasts whenever you want. So how is this right for my business? Well now you don't have to schedule time slots with your audience you can be getting your commentary out there and get marketing it without having to pay for a physical space to create that same conversation or sharing of information you want. Hit record and then share the knowledge you want to get out there and being valuable to your audience.
Overall I think Podcasts are a great addition to your marketing. They beautifully compliment a blog and your articles on your website. In some ways they can bring them together too. Take this recording...this is also a blog piece so you can choose to sit and read or listen. As a business you can use the space to showcase your products, services, current commentary, interviews, discussions even record panel discussions and make them available to those that couldn't attend your events. All this material isn't wasted it's in full view to your audience, helping them to get to know you better and if they want to buy from you. We know today that people buy from people they trust and find authentic - this could be you! Bring podcasting in your marketing. I can help you make that happen! :) i currently offer a podcast series creation for businesses in the UAE. We create a 12 episode podcast season which you can showcase on your website or an audio host platform. Check out our particular offer via our page called Start a podcast.
As some of you may know, I grew up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. I had a great childhood and I love to share my tales of growing up when ever I can. Its rare these days to find people that remember Dubai as I did but they are out there... as is testament to the number of comments and shares my story got.
Recently I had the opportunity to write about growing up in Dubai for the Dubai British Mums. The feedback on the article was fantastic - you can see more of the comments here. I thought I would share this with you too. :) We wee peak into growing up Dubai style before the skyscrapers, property boom, world records and shopping malls. Here's the link.
#92 [PODCAST & BLOG] My 5 Correlations between My Weight Loss and my Entrepreneurship journey. With Nicholla henderson Hall - Creator and Host of the Learning Curve Podcast (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Have you ever thought about the correlation between a weight loss journey and entrepreneurship? I've recently connected the two. If you spotted the correlation yourself, then awesome and I'd love to hear how you see them syncing up. So summer 2016 for me is about 2 key objectives, a) starting my business, and b) weight loss and getting my fitness back. To achieve both I've been spending the first part of the early morning on the treadmill where for one hour I walk and run to achieve around 9000 steps. My aim is to average around 12000 daily steps. This morning effort really boosts that number to achieve my daily step count. It also helps with the 2nd objective of starting my business by helping me get clear, having a healthy mindset and achieve my daily 'to do' list about what I need to get done. Apart from this morning exercise boost, the majority of my day is very sedentary. I spend a chunk of time in front of the computer or in meetings, a car or just relaxing. Its pretty hot outside so going out really isn't advisable so getting my exercise done first thing is crucial. I'm not a afternoon gym person nor an evening person so the mornings gets it done.
So during these sessions I've been listening to a podcast called 'Tips of the Scale'. It's a great podcast and community about people sharing their weight loss journeys. I have found all these stories inspirational and really help boost my own weight loss journey. Me and weight loss have always been at odds but I know I'm healthy and fit. I don't have an issue running a 10km run and so I do pride myself on that achievement. This coming winter I plan to get some more runs under me. I'm even contemplating doing the 42km Dubai marathon as opposed to the usual 10km - which I've been doing for 6 years. Still not sure. The distance does bother me!!!
I was listening to a particular podcast with a lady called Elizabeth Benton and she spoke about how alot about how weigh loss and motivation is a mindset thing. I heard her loud and clear. There are times on the treadmill where I just want to stop and give up but I try super hard to not listen to that inner voice and tell myself that this is awesome and my body needs this fitness.
But as I listened and ran I thought about my other key objective and that was starting my social media business. I realised as Sam (the host) and Elizabeth chatted that there were similarities between a weight loss journey and entrepreneurship. I'd never made the connection before. But here it was. So I wanted to share with you these connections and so when you are next at the gym or know someone on a weight loss journey you can totally relate to them. Only the topic is different.
Entrepreneurship is an all immersing experience
The other day I interviewed a very smart and astute business woman called Saana Azzam - she is the founder of MENA Speakers and she said, 'Entrepreneurship is an all immersing experience'. I couldn't agree more with her statement. The whole subject of passion for your idea, creating it and making it happen just totally takes over your life. You eat, sleep and breath the subject and are constantly fired up by the energy that this passion it creates. You spend your time talking, sharing, building, thriving and trailblazing all in the name of your idea so you can see it become the vision you had in your head. Weight loss is very much the same. It is an all immersing experience. With weight loss its an all or nothing experience. You have to exercise, pay attention to your food, educate yourself, stay informed, read and just embrace it, in its totality otherwise you will not break old habits or achieve the goals you so want to see and feel.
With both weight loss and entrepreneurship there is a heavy sense of isolation despite in both cases you will have the support of family and friends around you. When you are building your business you spend a lot of time in front of the computer reading, building and strategizing. A lot of this time can be on your own or quite lonely. Unlike in a large corporate office you have teams or individuals that are involved in the same projects or tasks as you. The same with the weight loss journey. It can, a lot of the time be done in isolation. You go the gym but folk rarely speak or interact, you go to dinner and you are having internal conversations with yourself about the menu. What looks good, what's off the menu for you, how can you compromise so you can still enjoy yourself but have something yummy! You do these conversations in isolation too. Well I do!! Ultimately you have to make the effort yourself, you have to take responsibility even with community and friends around. That is what isolation can be.
Endless Courses and Diets
Elizabeth spoke about the number of different diets she had done during her life to lose weight. All promised weight loss and all promised a new level of confidence. She would lose the weight and then as soon as the diet was done she would see the weight return. An endless cycle of torcher for her mentally as well as physically. Entrepreneurship is very much the same. How many of you have bought the, 'I went from $0 to a six figure dollar sum in 4 months - and my life change forever' courses? Who has done it? I have. Eventually you learn schemes and quick fixes NEVER solve the problem long term nor do they deal wit the fundamental space in your head which makes all of this effort happen.
The Emotional Journey
Weight loss and entrepreneurship are both emotional journeys. You've seen that classic iceberg picture where it dissects the iceberg so you can see the tip and what goes on under water and that truly is a mental and emotional journey. There are great days, awful days, give up days, I'm done days and the best days.... oh the cycle goes up and down like the stock market. Its the same with your weight loss journey... those days when you've worked out all week, you've kept to your plan and then you get on the scales and nothing has changed or you've even put on a pound. Those days are the worst. Then there are days when you eat a burger and you are having an 'off' day and you lose weight!!! what is that all about!!! Anyway the key thing is, is that that too is an emotional journey. For both entrepreneurs and those on their weight loss journey they all have to constantly stay aware of their thoughts so they don't impact your feelings and land up creating a negative day or experience. I find this correlations the most fascinating!
Have to Find Like Minded People
Finding people like yourself really is crucial to your growth and your confidence. I find that when I speak to non like minded people they can often question my intent or direction and then land up causing me confusion and mental misdirection in my head. That really does annoy me particularly for both my journeys through weight loss and entrepreneurship. I have to remind myself that I'm dealing with their fears and reckless attitudes, not mine! When I was younger found myself to be more easily persuaded by someone else's ideas and thoughts. Today I still have that a little bit but i do make sure I remain in a questioning state as best I can. Its a muscle I have to keep training I suppose. Its the same with both entrepreneurship and weight loss - find people that relate. Find people that you can connect with and 'get' where you are coming from. Its so easy to be sucked into negative non-like minded people who might think they are coming from a place of caring and sharing but for you its all wrong and it you don't nip it in the bud you could fall pray to negative thinking and falling from your objectives and mission. Find your Tribe.
So, what do you think? I'm sure you can see the correlations yourself and probably a lot more like I mentioned earlier. Both journeys are filled with hurdles, bumps, detours all sorts of moments and you just have to forgive yourself when the negative stuff comes around and just push through. Both are long term goals that require consistency, energy, positivity and mental strength. I'm working on both and its without a doubt tough They are both heavily intertwined and not separate objectives for me - they both feed from the same source and if I can keep the power up hopefully by the end of year I would have lost the stone I'm hoping to lose, ran a number of 10km or further distances that i wanted and my business is pushing through to it s 6 month anniversary. Its a social media service for women in business, business if you are interested.
Thanks for listening or reading, which ever way you consumer your knowledge. Do let me know where else you see a correlation in your own journeys. It might not be weight loss and business start up but that's ok. I'm looking for patterns. Have an awesome day.
The Holy Month of Ramadan started last Monday and for the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world it is the month of fasting and prayer. For those that don't know what Ramadan is, its a time each year when all Muslims fast from dawn until dusk and they must refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and drinking alcohol. Its a month of spiritual reflection, a time to look upon ones own activities and question them and reconnect with your faith and cleanse your soul. I'm not Muslim but as I've lived in the UAE all my life, its very much part of my yearly calendar and I find the month very important to my own character and soul.
So I wanted to share with you why Ramadan is a great month for Entrepreneurs even if you are not Muslim and how you can make effective use of the time.
Time to reflect and renew our energy levels
So each year when Ramadan comes round I see it as a time to reflect on my own life and take a moment to reassess my own energy levels. I have fasted in the past to embrace the Holy month but most of the time I see the month as a time to detox my health, rebuild my exercise regime and meditate some more. Feeling physically better does wonders for my own mindset so when Ramadan comes around I do indulge all of these activities and I really recommend the same for you.
So how can Ramadan help Entrepreneurs - well really for similar reasons. Take the time to reflect on your business, get clear about what is working and what isn't, detox your own business by cleaning your office space, your computer laptop (I know I always have tonnes of files sitting on my desktop screen that really need to be properly filed), reorganise your leads, your budget, get clear on your business's future needs. In Ramadan its a time for Muslims to reconnect with their faith and their core values. You can do the same aswell. Get clear about your core business values again. Sometimes during the year I know these values can get blurry particularly if you are super busy and starting to spread thin. Ramadan is also great time to learn, articulate and understand a lot of the key knowledge you have learnt over the passed few months and get that material ready to use in your business, with colleagues, co-workers or even family.
So just taking the month to detox your business, reset your business intentions and knowing your path will really revive your energy levels and get you ready to take on the world again.
Opportunity to slow the pace down.
How many of you are doing long days? Possible more than you've ever done when you compare it to your previous career you may have had. A lot of the long hours is because we love what we do and time has little meaning when you get to spend the day doing what you love. However, there are times when we need to slow down or even take a break. Its not healthy to be constantly in active mode. We do get tired and grubby when all our engines have been depleted, well I know I do anyway.
So with Ramadan, lies the opportunity to slow the pace down. Take your foot off the gas and don't rush. Yes we need to get a lot done with leads to funnel and sales to close but with an opportunity to reflect and reassess your energy levels why not take the time to slow things down a bit. Slowing things down destresses us too. Feeling more relaxed and less stressed does wonders for our productivity and helping us get clear about what we want to achieve. Ramadan is also about reconnecting with your family and friends so use the time to reconnect with family and friends and people you've been wanting to connect with for a while but haven't. I did this recently. I set up a meeting with an old colleague in Dubai who I hadn't seen in 18 months and it was awesome. We shared, chatted and brainstormed and more than likely will do some collaborations soon too. Awesome!
Opportunity to look at working 'on' the business
How many of you work 'in' your business as opposed to work 'on' your business? Its interesting to get clear on this as it can help you map where you are going and how your business is going to get you there. My husband suffers a bit from this issue. He's a strategy and detail man but sometimes he can gets so caught up in the detail that I need to tell him to come to the surface again because we need to work on the strategy. He recognises his blindness quickly and realigns himself with our strategy objectives. Its all very easily done and can sneak up on you subconsciously. I think a lot of us do it so Ramadan is an awesome time to reconnect with your 'Why' of the business. Your 'values' of the business. Where you are now and where you are going. We can plan as best we can but we all know that a lot of the time its guess work but knowing your why, your values or your potential direction is more about being clear and having clarity so use the holy month of Ramadan to take a step back from your business and look at the bigger picture. You never know what you could be missing. Detail can be organised later by your team or by yourself but in complete awareness that you are in 'the detail'
Fasting is possible and so others things are possible.
The BIG objective of Ramadan is fasting. Its the 5th pillar of Islam and one of the toughest to do. This particular holy month of Ramadan, Muslims in the middle East are looking at Fasting for over 15 hours and this is tough particularly when its 45 degrees outside and thirst really is the big factor with those heat levels. I watched video on Facebook yesterday where Muslims in Finland are fasting over 20 hours a day! Watch it becuase its just amazing. The fasting is to help you understand what its like not to have food or water and that there are people of this world that don't know where there next meal is coming from.
So fasting is done and is possible I think if you can discipline yourself to follow your faith and push your way through the hunger and deprivation then I say, 'think of what you can do when you have been nourished!?' I have learnt that a lot of what we do is often down to our mindset and if we all had the strength of mindset to be disciplined, have some self awareness of our thoughts then we can see ourselves through our goals or objectives successfully.
So there you have it. My four reasons of why Ramadan is an awesome time for Entrepreneurs and how you can embrace the month even if you are not Muslim. How else have you embraced the tradition of Ramadan? Would you fast from dawn till dusk? Do let me know as I'd love to know your thoughts on this. Have an awesome day.
So at the weekend I was badly introduced by a colleague to someone I was very interested to meet. It caught me completely off guard and it didn't leave a great first impression. I realised then that I need to work on my own 30 second elevator pitch. So when moments like that happen again I can take control back. Weirdly enough I had helped in the creation of one for my husband recently and so when he is in a business situation. I think he's got a great one. Here's what he says!
''I'm an Aviation Technologies professional with a knack for marrying business and technologies to help businesses achieve their goals and strategies. I'm passionate about the aviation and technology. I read and learn as much as I can about the industry. I have been credited many times by my colleagues for my wealth of knowledge and understanding. I want to help companies really see the value in the technologies out there that can help them build greater customer experiences.'
I like it because it has all the skills, confidence and goals of a quick, clear and understood pitch. Control is firmly in his hands and I think he leaves room for the person he is expressing it too to ask more questions. What do you think of it? Do you like it? Do you think it can be improved? Do you get what he does and how can help. Do let me know!
So, Why an Elevator Pitch?
So anyway.... after last weekend I really think its important to have one for myself. It also reminded me of how important it is when you are introducing someone else too. So my first question in the future before I introduce someone to someone else is to ask if they have an 30 second elevator pitch or kind of create one based on a few key principles.
There are some great benefits to having a good elevator pitch like:-
a) Helps you be more clear and confident about who you are and what you do. How often do we get derailed with thoughts when we meet people for the first time or feel less confident when we meet someone we are super excited to meet yet nervous too!!! A clear, confident pitch just eases all of that!
b) It take the, 'uh..er....' moment out of the equation and you don't have to worry about sentencing a collection of exciting nouns, verbs and adjectives because you have already done it and its ready to go.
c) As you practice it, you become more and more connected with your pitch and you become more passionate about it. The way you say it becomes more embedded in you and you become more authentic.
d) If you are of a nervous disposition when you meet people for the first time and feel awkward setting the pace of the conversation then having a pitch could relieve some of the anxiety that's created in these first few moments.
What Makes a Good Elevator Pitch?
Through my research I've discovered that a good pitch has some clear elements
a) A goal. What are you trying to achieve with your pitch. So personally I reckon you should have may be 2 or 3 'go to' pitches based on your audience you are talking too. Clients or potential suppliers will have different themes so it makes sense to me to vary your pitch slightly.
b) Describe the problem your business aims to solve and then share how your business solves that problem. Keep it simple too. Too many problems you are trying to solve can be overwhelming for the person you are pitching to. We want them to remember what you did, not leave them saying....'uh...he does a number of things but can't remember what'..
c) Identify your unique selling points. It is important identify your strengths, your products or companies key attributes and wrapping them up into the rest of your pitch so you sound clear, understandable and actionable.
d) Simplicity is also a key point. How often do you read a company's 'about us' page and you get dizzy reading the words because they've tried to be clever by weaving fancy words together? I know I have and I land up reading the sentences two or three times just to 'get' what it is that they do. So work your magic on being simple and using language that is conversational as best you can.
My Pitches (Always Work In Progress)
So reading up examples and keeping in my the key elements I created two pitches because I do two key activities. Here they are: -
My Podcasting Pitch.....
'I’m a podcaster and I interview and share the stories of the entrepreneurial women of the Middle East. From across the region, I get to speak to women who are trail blazing, creating changing, building businesses and thriving. My platform is an audio blog which you can listen to anywhere at anytime via ITunes, Stitchers, Soundcloud, my website or via social networks. I have been credited many times for helping my guests feel very proud of their accomplishments and helping them summarize their efforts. For the listeners, these ladies offer shared experiences, opportunity, success and the real story of how it really is to have a business in the Middle East'.
My Social Media Pitch.....
I love social networks and their ability to create, connect and share with family, friends, colleagues, clients, and suppliers. Because of its power I’ve created Facebook groups as large as 40,000 members and created fan pages with a total of over 30000 fans. I have helped numerous people over the last 6 years find the right platform for them and then helping them generate their own leads. I want to help small businesses brainstorm the right strategy for their businesses.
So what do you think? Did I get it? With all these types of things they can be refined and improved as we use them, so I'm going to start with these and then go from there! See how my audience responds.
Great Resources To Help Create Your Pitch.
Like I said earlier though I didn't do this without some help and inspiration from articles and examples out there. So if you want to check them out, these are the links to the articles that I looked at to help create my pitches. I hope you will find them useful too.
a) Crafting an Elevator Pitch
b) The 7 Key Components of a Perfect Elevator Pitch [with Video]
c) A quick guide to writing your elevator pitch (with examples!)
And Finally, Practice, Practice, Practice
Make those sentences an extension of yourself so they naturally roll of your tongue and put you in the right light and send the right impression. I won't be making this mistake again. Authenticity is important these days and builds trust and relationships.
Do let me know what your elevator pitch is. If you have comments about mine, then please do share. I don't want what happened at the weekend to happen again. Its just embarrassing.....
On the 18th April 2016 I put up an episode called 'My 3 take aways on reslience from my interviews with Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East. As you can see from the image below, these are the results of that download and as I write this blog we are over 2200 downloads!! Clearly this is something that listeners are resonating with. Maybe its the current economic climate or change is heavily in the air this month but this episode has become my top episode and each day there are still downloads being counted. So I thought, so why not do another podcast on another 4. I did have many 'take aways' but I only covered the top 3 - so here are 4 more.
I kind of feel guilty about not putting this up there in my top 3 so when I decided to write another resilience post I thought, 'gratitude' is important to have. When things are tough, I do have a tendency to wallow a bit and hang in that space wondering why is this all happening. Which as we all know, achieves very little! You are literally circling in the same space and going no where. So I've recently turned to gratitude as a way to move my mindset from 'ugh' to 'hoorray'. Its hard, I must say but writing down what we are grateful for really does move the mind and helps you get back on the positive side. It doesn't happen instantly so I totally understand why people give up practising gratitude as the results are a few weeks away but it can help. All my guests I have interviewed were always in a place of gratitude. They were thankful for the podcast coverage, thankful for helping them clarify their own journey through my questions and thankful for being part of a unique opportunity. My podcast is unique in the region and I'm delighted I was able to share their story. When someone says 'thank you' it really does feel really good and I really do think that if we sit back and be thankful for what we have, what we have done and for the people around us, it really helps our resilience. I'm learning to practice more gratitude simply by being aware of my negative thoughts and when I hear them in my head, I whip up something I am grateful for. Try it!! I've read countless articles that say write down 5 things you are grateful for each day. Try it!
Books, Individuals & Goals!
One of the topics I'm always asking my guests is where do you go when you are feeling down, what keeps them motivated and I have seen a pattern through all these women. They all seems to have 3 key places they head too or focus on when things are not going right and that is 'Books, Individuals and Goals'. I discovered that when things were tough, these ladies went back to the drawing board and reconnected with their goals. They would then then talk to friends, family, mentors or coaches. Those individuals that 'got' them and understood what they were all about and why this journey was so important to them. Then they would widen their learning by reading books. Reading up on the areas they needed to work on and broaden. Areas that they immediately could fix with a particular problem they had so they could move forward. When I summed this up in my head, I was thinking, that is pretty simple and why didn't I think of that!!! I guess its because I'm thinking its more complicated than that!! So reconnect with you goals, speak to someone and read a book. It doesn't have to be in that order. Just what you instinctively go to first. Now for me, my instinct is to read. I try and solve the problem myself. I guess its an independence things! But for you, that could be talking to individuals or just going back to the drawing board and taking a look at your goals. Oh and FYI, if reading isn't your thing, how about a TEDx episode or a podcast. We all learn in different ways, so use the best method that works for you. :) All these ladies I have interviewed, you could also listen too as a tool to connect with and understand yourself too.
Don't Be Shy, Talk & Share!
These ladies have all learnt how to Talk and Share. They don't bottle up there concerns. If they have problems or goals that are not being met they talk, they share. They reach out to people and ask for help. All of these ladies have gotten passed the negatives of entrepreneurship, ljke chaos, confusion & their vulnerabilities and began to talk and share about there shortcomings or their weaknesses and to make change so they can move forward. Talking about your vulnerabilities or mess ups can be difficult for most but these ladies have learnt to be self aware and know how being shy just doesn't cut it any more if they want to succeed. They need to be heard, they need to share and they need to find the people that will help them. But what does talking and sharing do? Well it helps you clarify your thoughts and thinking, it helps sort through your feelings and makes things less scary, it can give the issue some prospective. Another opinion can help turn the issue around and make it seem less intimidating. These ladies have learnt how to talk and share and this has only made them stronger and more resilient. The more they talk the more confidence they have developed in themselves and their ideas. So next time you are stuck on something, reach out and talk. Help yourself get clear on an idea, or a problem so you can move forward and achieve your goals. Sharing is caring right???
They are always at the beginning!!
I always ask my guests where they think they are on their own learning curve journey. I ask them to imagine a curve line with peaks and trough and ask them where they sit on that curve and they always said we are at the beginning of an upward curve. I always try to say, 'I guessI you are at the top of your curve based on our conversation given how much they have done and achieve' but no..... they always say they are at the beginning. Everything they do, they are at the beginning of. Its fascinating to think that all these women are at the beginning, but I totally get it. It's their mindset. It's their emotional setting. Its their positive and happiness card they are sharing. At this point on the curve, you are raring to go and you are in a positive growth space. I guess its positive psychology to get through the tough times ahead. With that mindset they can face challenges and obstacles, they can be in control of what is to come and then make the choices that suit them and where they are going. None of these ladies EVER said they were coming down a learning curve or were sitting in a trough of a learning curve. Its just so negative and if you are there, then everything is affected. You can't make good decisions, you can't be productive and you land up hanging out at your own pity party!! Who wants to be invited to that??? No one! Overall it is hard to be strong if you are sick and tired so I guess the lesson on resilience here is always have the mindset of being on the upward swing of the learning curve. If you are there, you are ready for the peak and be ready for the slow slide down the curve.
Resilience truly is the must have strength for entrepreneurs.
Through both my blog posts on this subject I can say that resilience can be found in many places you just need to be self aware, observe and keep moving forward. There will always be set backs, you just need to have your 'resilience list' of tasks you can do when it all goes wrong and you are not sure where to turn. All the women entrepreneurs I have interviewed have instinctively been resilient, even if they know it or not. I've learnt a lot from all of them. A sort of unexpected learning because when I started this journey to explore the women entrepreneurs of the Middle East, my intent was to discover what they did and how they did it not how they were being resilient but deep down I guess that was something I was needing too and is the beating heart of all their stories.
In closing, all these women have put their passion to work, their perseverance in gear and focused on the success and long term goals of their businesses. Some days are harder than others but they push, drive and trail blaze through the entrepreneurial journey and learning curve they have taken on. These women are amazing and I admire their efforts, action and their personalities. Thank you for sharing your journeys Ladies.
I invite you to consider where you get your resilience from and if you have a story to share, then please do connect. The more I talk about this subject the more I'm intrigued by it. The Power of the human spirit to carry on in adversity is amazing!
Failure and mistakes are not a bad thing!! That is the resounding message I'm getting from the ladies I have interviewed. They wouldn't be doing what they were doing if they listened to the negative self talk or were self conscious about what they said or did. When they fail or make a mistake, they just stand up, dust themselves off and travel on to the next 'to do' item from their business plan.
I think that is very powerful feedback and one that I'm slowly coming to terms with myself. At school you are taught to not make mistakes but when you fail your exams or tests, we are taught mistakes and failing are reflections of you not paying attention or studying hard enough. Think of the times you got a big fat red 'F' - on your paper. Its totally demoralising - What do we do with that feedback? We start the negative self talk....'we are not good enough, we are useless, I'll never go to University, my parents will be so disappointed' and there begins the cycle of negativity. From a young age we start this negative self chatter and so we hide away from new things, new ideas because we clearly failed at something similar! I remember my dad saying he was awful at maths. But was he awful or did he have a bad teacher or the class was too big or he was too shy to speak up?? Who knows. But those circumstances meant him blaming himself for not being good at maths. OK. So we do need to be accountable but 50 years ago there wasn't learning support. You were just expected to get on with it but it still leaves you stained with negative messages ringing in our ears. I heard Robert Kiyosaki say recently, 'rubbishing failure and mistakes in school is so anti learning'. And I couldn't agree more.
I've been plagued by my own failure and mistake demons. You know the things you have said or done in the office and you think the whole office is still talking about it months later..... when they are not!!! Or my own negative self talk that I'm not good enough or feeling nervous or inadequate because of my fears of failure or mistakes. Its seriously painful and so overwhelming. It can suck you in and hold you tight for minutes, hours or even days. I'm sure you can all feel your own negative feelings when you think about your mistakes and failings.
But come on... lets changed that tune!! Science and cognitive psychology has shown us that what we say to ourselves impacts our emotions. To 'get' this yourself, the best time to understand this is the morning, when you wake up. If you start thinking negatively in the morning your tummy might start to get butterflies or you feel your stress levels rising and your just irritated ....and you have just woken up. I've been that person and I hate getting butterflies in the morning!! I hate that wobblying feeling in my tummy that just hangs there. In my head I'm stressing about the day ahead, meetings, projects, deadlines...and I've only been awake 30 minutes!!!! So instead now I get up in the morning and I exercise - and watch a ted talk - that works for me. It totally raises my energy levels, changes my mindset to a 'can do' attitude and gets rid of those butterflies. I've become more aware of my thoughts and work heavily on being resilient constantly. So how did I get there? Well this is where I tell you what I learnt from the many interviews I've done with Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East and how I think you can accomplish whatever you want if you put your mind in the right frame and use your failures to your advantage.
Head to your Treasure Box of Passion & Strengths.
Through all my interviews with my women entrepreneurs in the Middle East, I've learnt that they have recognised their strengths and their weaknesses. They have sat down and really clarified their values, their vision, who they are and what strengths they have that they can use. Their primary strengths is the passion they have for a subject, industry or idea. They've taken that passionate energy and just ran with it. When they hit a hurdle they return to their treasure box of strengths, take up more of their passion and reasons for the businesses. Knowing the why to their quest and multiplying that by their strengths, they rekindle that fire and push forward. Mistakes and failing for them is learning. They place it where it should be *in the learning section* and carry on. They will turn to this process over and over again. I know I have. Creating a podcast around women entrepreneurs in the middle east is new, different and very niche. I'm passionate about these conversations I have and want to share how the women of the Middle East are trail blazing and bringing economic growth to their countries but also 'Making a Difference with Lots of Valuable Experiences (MAD LOVE)*. I use my strengths of relationship building, listening and constructing comfortable conversations to really help me connect with these ladies and help share their story. Remember to tap back into your passion and strengths - I'm sure you will give your confidence a nice needed boost.
Collaborate and Partner Up
I always ask my ladies in the interview how important has collaboration and partnerships been to the success of their business and 99% of the time, they respond with a YES! Every business can't grow in isolation just like people can't grow in isolation. You would never learn anything. So when things aren't great and you've hit a wall think about how you could reach out to a complimenting business or a mentor group or even your mum and dad just to help get you some perspective. In that perspective lies your resilience. When you reach out, get clear about what it is that you need to move forward, how you would like them to help you and how you can help them. Give yourself workable and flexible targets and just ask. Use your strengths and your values to work out a new plan. See if your values and their values align and start a new collaboration or partnership. It doesn't have to be monetary it can be as simple as a barter deal or cross promoting one another. These actions will have you heading down your success route once again. We've all scene that image of success as a windy road and it totally is. So don't hit that wall and feel failure looming, see it as an opportunity to learn, talk to people and take action. Be resilient.
They keep growing their knowledge bank and learning
I interviewed May Khizam yesterday and she said a really cool then.... she said, ' Entrepreneurship looks so glossy on the outside but its not' and she is so so right. *here come some negative self talk* - its a life of hardship, its brings difficulties, chaos, questioning yourself and your business, money worries and fear. There I have said it! Now lets move on! To be an entrepreneur you need to be resilient. Be able to turn all those fears into actionable positives but we need to put ourselves in mindset of wanting to be a learning person. Tricia Evans and Cherine Kurdi both called themselves 'Learning Junkies' and I loved that. They make time to learn, they make time to read and listen to what the latest developments are in their industries aswell as complimenting industries. They've also become really good listeners. Listening for the message that will help them marry that information with their business so they can move forward. They are open to ideas and all this new information empowers them and improves their confidence. So when they do have a set back, they can fall back on their knowledge bank, their goals and recognise their achievements and push forward. They are resilient.
Through out all my interviews I think the key to all of these ladies efforts has been resilience. There are peaks and troughs in their journeys which create challenges and excitement. I think the trick is to recognise when things are going great and make sure you recognise those moments and be thankful for them. Show some gratitude. When things are not going great, turn to your resilience. Even create a resilience list so you have a go to list of activities you can turn too when your brain is not engaging and you are feeling demoralised. The online dictionary I used to define the word failure has two definitions, a) 'lack of success' or b) 'the neglect or omission of expected or required action'. hmm.... it should say 'failure is a blip in your learning and you haven't looked at your resilience yet. Go to resilience'.
*I credit that brilliant Acronym MAD LOVE to my awesome friend and awesome author Jules Miles Lewis. She's written a book on Moving Mountains. All About helping you move forward, discovering your inner mountain and finding your path foward emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically... in business and in life
Its an EXCITING DAY! I can confirm that The Learning Curve Podcast has partnered up with the 2nd Women's Peak Performance Summit on 26th May 2016. The Annual International Women's Peak Performance Summit, hosted by the Eastern Mangroves Hotel and Spa by Anantara, in Abu Dhabi, endorsed by the Abu Dhabi Convention Bureau and brought to you by Esc@pe Events.
The Summit welcomes both women and men who believe in the power of investing in their personal development and enjoy connecting with a diverse multi-national group of pro-active individuals.
This high energy Summit is interactive and features 7 powerful master classes to cover 7 peaks led by experienced professionals in their given field.
The Seven Peaks are:
And the bonus 8th Peak = YOU at the summit!
Attending the Summit will assist you to elevate your presence and reach your own personal and professional PEAK !
The only wa_y is up so sign up now or join this page to stay in touch and get to know more about follow-up seminars and workshops to keep on fueling your development and to “Think, Eat, Move and Sleep” like a winner!
Each week the Learning curve Podcast will have a chat with one of the speakers to give you an inside look at what they will be sharing and helping you with. WE will put all our recordings on our soundcloud page.
The first episode is up and here it is.....
See you at the event.
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.