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The Learning Curve Podcast | Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

Nicholla Henderson Hall, talks to Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East. Speaking with ladies in the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Egypt, Oman and Jordan we ask them to share their entrepreneurial journey. How they faced success and challenges in their own business, what advise and direction they offer up to more women keen to start their own business or expand their current business and where they see themselves as their businesses evolve. We are based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
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The Learning Curve Podcast | Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.
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Now displaying: Page 4
Jun 20, 2016

Have you ever thought about the importance of your voice, your breathing and your voice tones when making a presentation, public speaking, in a meeting or even on a podcast?  I know I hadn't.  In my mind I would just breathe and talk but I have learnt that you can achieve so much more from just taking a moment and getting your breathe under you before speaking.  My next guest Jennifer Lang, a Creative Voice and Communications Coach here in Abu Dhabi took me on a journey to explore this subject some more and share her own entrepreneurial journey too.

She works with women entrepreneurs to help them connect with their voice and how they can communicate more effectively about their business and specifically how they can talk to their audience.  Interesting right?

Her background is Voice Performance but she's also an Opera singer, a Reiki Master, has a Black Belt in Karate and has always been interested in healing. All very strong, focused disciplines.  She's been in Abu Dhabi 18 months and being here has massively contributed to her success.  Its pushed her out of her comfort zone and helped her get clear about her business and what she wants to achieve.  

We had a lovely chat over tea and dates and now and again we introduced her beautiful dog, Lola who just wanted a cuddle! 

In this interview she helps us understand her business, the importance of breathe when we talk, the challenges she has faced and where she sees her business going in the coming years.  Oh and don't forget to check out her Wednesday Wisdom moments on her website. Great video nuggets of knowledge you can use immediately in your day to day speaking life.  Her web address is www.jenlang.com  

​This is her entrepreneurial story and her learning curve journey.

More women entrepreneurs of the middle east

Jun 13, 2016

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

Continue to the Blog to read more

Jun 6, 2016

How many women do you know that used to have a corporate work life pre-babies and kids and now a few years on would love to get back into the game but can't. 
They can't because full time work in most cases isn't an option. To start with the available childcare options like nursery centres finish earlier than your full time working day allows.  Then after that families need to either employ alternative childcare options, which costs more or ultimately take the decision not to work because there is no flexibility.  Its a real problem which many women in the UAE face. They want to contribute to the household income but can't a) the household income would just be absorbed into childcare contributions and b) a lot of employers don't consider flexible working options an opportunity and so don't offer it.  So what do women do? Well until now most women would just carry on and don't fulfil their own dreams and ambitions.  Angry? Probably.  Frustrated? Absolutely!  

But in walks our 'knightess' in shining armour. No, not a man but a lady who has created a platform to help a) empower more women to get back to work and give flexible or shorter working hours options, b) Encourage  and support companies offering out flexible working positions.  She is my next guest and her name is Helen McGuire.  She is the founder of Hopscotch, an organisation that helps and supports women get back into the workplace by specialising in flexible working.

Since forever, the UAE has been a full time role place and part time wasn't an option but things are changing and it was this change that Helen was experiencing herself.  She's a mum too and she understand what its like to be left out only because flexible hours are not available.  Having completed a lot of research and created a working business plan Helen has gone created another option for women and helping them discover new possibilities.

As a mum myself I was keen to hear the story about Hopscotch, understand how the corporate world is changing in the UAE and her story of how she's bringing change to work options for women and getting women back out there and contributing.

​This is her entrepreneurial story and her learning curve journey.

More Interviews with Women Entrepreneurs of the Middle East

May 30, 2016

If you are not learning then you are probably not growing.. a really great quote from my next guest Lavni Varyani. The Founder and Principle consultant of Pharma Business Partners.  As you can gather from the company name this leading lady is working in the pharmaceutical industry and helps pharmaceutical companies break into the Middle East Market, helps create the right strategy for them and helps them with their operations.  She's pretty much an end to end business.



She loves the fact that she can shaper her career, finances and her growth but she's very aware of the importance of team engagement and that the right team have really helped her grow and establish her business in a busy market.  She has plans to blend her pharma background with technology so that her industry can start to build in the digitial world.

I laughed though when she said her BFF was Caffiene... that was great!! I think lots of people can relate to that!

In this interview she helps understand her business and the challenges it does face. And she shares he best business advise for any entrepreneur is ............

​This is her entrepreneurial story and her learning curve journey.

 

More interviews here with Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East

May 23, 2016

Ok..so something slightly different this week.  I'm the podcast partner for the Womens Peak Performance Summit being held in Abu Dhabi on Saturday 28th May. I have been creating the Women Peak Performance Podcast for the show which has meant I've had the opportunity to speak with all the speakers of the event and get a 'sneak peek' into what they will be talking about.  A sort of 'get to know them' before the big day.

At the event we have 8 key 'peak' speakers covering eight key areas of your life from Career to your financial peak.  All the speakers are bringing, inspiration, education and action for us to take away and really help move our own peaks in our lives.

But this week it was announced we were going to have Jairek Robbins attending our event, America's hippest Motivational speaker and performance coach. When I was told i was so hoping I could get a short podcast with him and YES I did!!!  

I really loved what he said and his key message about 'learn it, live it and give it' so I thought would share it on my podcast too because, I think we all need to hear great messages like this and turn the way we do things on our head. He wants us to design our ideal day, and then from there work with our goals and objectives. Quite different ideas from what I have heard in the past but when you hear what he says it does make sense. 

Enjoy this podcast....

More interview with Women Entrepreneurs in the region

May 17, 2016
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!

Read More at the blog

May 9, 2016

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, the results 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. 

Read the Blog Post Here

Listen to more interview with Women Entrepreneurs from the Middle East here

May 2, 2016

I was in awe of my next guest Malak Al Akiely.  She has so much responsibilities and yet she made it all sound simple and easy.  This is a lady who knows how to multi-task, focus and get things done.  She the founder and CEO of Golden Wheat for Grain Trading. She's the only woman in Jordan who owns a grain company.  She is the Co-founder and COO of Feeledu.co - an elearning business focused on STEM education in Jordan. She's a business partner in Ayla aviation academy in Nigeria. She's the youngest member of two economic forums for Jordan's vision 2021, she's launching a 'believe in Jordan' initiative to empower women in business intelligence and knowledge creation.  She's a wife and a mum to a 3 year old.  WOW!!  

She was a great guest to have on. Full of energy, has a clear vision and has deep values. She's all about finding the next opportunity and not to rest on your laurels and to be continuously moving forward.  She really does represent the ambition and determination of the women entrepreneurs of the middle East today.  

In this interview she shares how all the businesses she does comes together, her BIG vision and political ambitions for the future and failure is life struggles we just need to keep moving forward. Her closing words were always say what you want and don't be shy about.

This is her entrepreneurial story and her learning curve journey.

More Women Entrepreneurs of the Middle East here 2015 & 2016

Apr 26, 2016

The Learning Curve Podcast - THE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East.

How would you like the opportunity to connect with and listen to key experts in your profession?  Ask them questions and really indulge in their knowledge bank.  Sounds great right?  Well my next guest, May Khizam makes this happen.  She brings together knowledge seeker and knowledge disseminators and gives them that opportunity to exchange actionable information. She is the Founder of The Grid Initiative which offers this opportunity via speaker engagements, workshops, seminars and panel discussions.  The other cool side of her business is video marketing and she is at the forefront of helping companies leverage this technology.  The Grid Initiative works with forward-thinking firms and organizations wishing to integrate narrative-based video communication into their online marketing strategy to share industry expertise and further establish themselves as an authority in the market.

Her own entrepreneurial journey started at a young age when her parents were small business owners so she's has always been immersed in the mindset and style.  As an adult she found comfort in the structure of the corporate world so it took a lot of time and energy for her to unlearn the teachings of that world, getting over her own fears and make her way through her learning curve to where she is today.

This is her story. 

More Interviews with Women Entrepreneurs in the Middle East from 2015 & 2016

Apr 18, 2016

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.

More at the Learning Curve Podcast Blog

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