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
It's now been four months since I took the plunge and decided to drive my own professional writing business. So how would I describe my past four months in business?
I'll be honest: it's been a period of lessons. From learning how to network well, to figuring out my ideal client, to quoting and sticking by my pricing... anyone who tells you starting your own business is easy, is downright fibbing!
I believe it's incredibly important for us all to share our stories. The entrepreneurial journey can be incredibly tough and at times, lonely. From my perspective, as a 28-year-old, I'd love to be having a big night out on a Saturday evening instead of tapping away on my laptop. I've had all of those kind of moments in which I've questioned why I don't just get another job like most other people.
I shared my experience so far with Rebecca Gordon on The Coaching Lounge earlier this month:
Let's cut to the chase: owning and running your own business isn't easy and that's exactly why I'm a big believer in sharing the highs and lows and being as transparent as possible.
As a sometimes grumpy, sometimes happy, sometimes stressed (you get the drift) business owner, here are my top 5 reasons why I love hearing stories from other business owners.
#1 - I'm genuinely interested in other people's 'why?'
At the end of the day, we buy people, not products or services. As a business owner, I know my own why? but hearing other people's stories has often made me think about someone (and their company), in a completely different way.
Most entrepreneurs I know are working 24/7 and their desire to live in a way that often sees them sacrificing the things others wouldn't, all relates back to their why.
#2 - I need to know there's light at the end of the tunnel
I've had times when I know I'm in for a 3am evening to finish off work that's due the next day. Sometimes, during moments like these, it all just seems to hard. To have that ability to keep on keeping on in the face of an excessive workload, setbacks, rejection and fear of failure, is tough.
We need to hear from successful business owners who've struggled their way through business. The kind of people who've been there and done that. Often, we hear about people once they've made it but I think we need more stories from lesser profile people and even those still struggling to get their business formula where it needs to be.
To Read this full article CLICK HERE
'Your Dream is like a skyscraper. You are standing at the top of it and all you have to do is Jump.'
Nicholla sat down with Saniya, the CEO of The Pulse of Life Design House and the Wadi Tribe The Author of the children's adventure series, 'The Adventures of Chee and Dae',. Based in Oman, she started her entrepreneurial journey at the tender age of 11 years old where she embraced her dreamer and creativity qualities into creating furniture. She knew then being creative would be her life's work. Today she works on building her business and continue to embrace her love of creative, children and working from the heart.
Read More Here --->
Podcast #E43 - Dee Ford - Dubai Based Entrepreneur & Author. 'To Want Success For Others, Is the Key To Your Own Success'
The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa Region: Nicholla sat down with Dee. The Author of the book, The Blue Campervan. She's also a qualified Hypnotherapist, trained in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping as it is also known, as well as Transactional Analysis. I’m also qualified in many other complementary therapies. She's passionate about empowering people and uses her Hypnotherapy and Coaching skills to help wonderful people improve their self-confidence, success, motivation and self-esteem. She also works with people who are experiencing anxiety, stress, depression and panic attacks. Her intention is to help as many people as possible rediscover their zest for life! Read More & Listen
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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.