Learn everything you need to know about the Middle East without feeling overwhelmed, searching for information endlessly, not being sure if the information is correct, or wasting time.
How did it all begin?
I started working with clients from the Middle East in the early 2000’s and we just got on so well. I loved their hospitality, but could also see how misunderstood their culture was – it took quite a few years to travel there and perfect my knowledge and now I want everyone to see what I see – hospitality and warmth that is second to none.
What sets your business apart?
We look at the Middle East from a western female perspective and this is how we coach our clients. We have been there – feeling nervous, not knowing what to say and worrying about making a faux pas.
Now our clients don’t have to go through this, as they will be armed with extensive knowledge and able to impress anyone in the Middle East.
What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?
We take away the anxiety and help clients succeed in doing business with the Middle East, without wasting hours searching for information.
We teach small shortcuts that can lead to big profits.
Where to next/What is your brand vision?
We want everyone to have access to this information, anytime, anywhere and clear up all the misconceptions about the Middle East.
What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?
I feel hugely passionate about educating people about the Middle East. So many people don’t know how incredible this part of the world is, how hospitable the people are and that there is much more to it than what you see in the media.
Share an example of early life that has shaped you?
My mentor, from whom I learnt everything about the Gulf region, made me work for the knowledge. He would always answer my questions, but I had to put myself out there with the clients and prove I could deal with them. I had to solve their problems and gain their trust and this was the best way to learn.
Highlights of your business journey so far?
The Covid-19 pandemic made me step out of my comfort zone – I took on an employee, started working on new projects and just generally had to become more resilient.
Key lessons you have learned along the way?
So many really:
1. Never give up.
2. Do things that scare you, you need to do to progress
3. Mindset is everything
4. Surround yourself with good people
Best piece of advice you have received?
Not everything has to be perfect. Don’t over-plan things – they will fall into place.
Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?
Just do it. Things will work out – don’t wait for things to be right. Networking is key.
What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?
Self-funded as I like the control I have over my company at this stage.
Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?
Imposter syndrome – I think the last year gave me the chance to work on my mind more than anything and this is the key to success. This then gave me the confidence to step outside my comfort zone. I think it all started with me accomplishing cold water swimming.
Why is it important to support women-led business?
Very often women underestimate themselves, so it is even more important to help and support each other.
My inspiration is...
someone who is fearless.
My greatest fear is...
The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...
go cold water swimming in the winter at 3.5 degrees.
chocolate from Germany.
Mantra you live by?
feel the fear and do it anyway.
Female role model?
Women-led brand you love?
Spanx, Umbra International, Kora Organics, Deliciously Ella.
Top productivity tool?
Canva, WhatsApp and Later.com.
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