2016. Wow. What a life changing year. What started off as a year of uncertainty and transition, soon turned out to be a year of massive learning and growth, filled with strong relationships and fabulous opportunities. Here’s to a year of mindfulness, a year of gratitude.
Looking back, I feel both proud and humbled for what I achieved during the year. Proud of having the most beautiful relationships and humbled at the person I’ve become as a result. When I was quitting my long-haul corporate stint earlier this year, I had no idea what would follow next. You know that feeling of hope and optimism that tells you whatever the future holds will be way better than the present. And oh my word, was it true!
Sharing my top 5 lessons from 2016 along with my favorite quotes that I have posted on Insta throughout the year.
1. Fortune favors the bold
The number one question that people kept asking me throughout the year was: ‘who leaves P&G? how did you find the courage to do so’? which was quickly followed by: ‘are you generating similar income through your business?’ Initially, I got a little bothered being answerable to random people on my life decisions but then I learnt that the kind of questions asked, are shaped by the lens they view the world from. In their map of the world, a high paying stable job is like achieving nirvana even if it comes at the expense of unchallenging work and needless stress. I felt the urge to tell them how different my perspective was on this. Firstly, it was never about the money. If it was, I would have probably stuck around or found another, even higher paying job within the same sector. What was important for me was to know what drives me at the core and then to pursue my passion relentlessly. Six months into my startup, I have over delivered on all KPIs. Goes without saying, it wouldn’t have been possible without my partner’s support (ok, enough of my Oscar speech). Point is, there is no growth in your comfort zone. You need to step out of it, you need to stretch yourself to grow, through the pain and discomfort that comes along the way. Why? Because the gift of learning, exploring and growing far outweighs the certainty of the mediocrity you have chained yourself into.
2. When WHY is clear, the HOW is easy
Getting to know our ‘WHY’ has become quite a struggle in our action packed, over stimulated life. From senselessly being on our gadgets for most part of the day to filling our schedule with unnecessary activities, there’s hardly anytime left for introspection. Which is why we end up putting a lid on our most important goals, dreams and aspirations. I realized this year that focus is a great strength that comes really handy as you are rocking your boat in any aspect of life. I needed focus all the more as I was venturing into an unchartered territory. Focusing on the end in mind, my goals served as a compass guiding my priorities and actions. It’s important to remember there’s a difference between focusing and fixating. The beauty of building a new business is having the flexibility to maneuver and change gears, always leaving some room to optimize. Focus then becomes a driving force, that enables clear choices and helps screen out distractions.
3. Nothing happens in your startup unless YOU make it happen
Hustle. Hustle. Hustle. Without it, you can’t get anywhere. Unlike the corporate world, where you are merely a cog in the machine – a machine which is fully capable to operate without you at any given point in time, the world of entrepreneurship is the exact opposite. Nothing moves, unless you hustle. And the kind of hustle that works best is building mutually beneficial relationships, creating leverage for your business, building a solid kickass online presence – your personal brand that people start associating you with. With every step I took hustling, I felt that more and more doors kept opening up for me. Needless to say, as the sole CEO of hustle, you need extraordinary, unheard of self-motivation. The inner drive that keeps you going day in, day out – despite the odds. That’s why, having the clarity of ‘WHY’ becomes so important, because without it you will run out of gas and burn out.
4. Go with the flow. Everything falls in place
Wait. Before you unleash yourself on me for contradicting myself after point 2, read on. Going with the flow does not mean not being focused, or not having a vision or goal. The kind of flow I’m referring to here is born out of imagination and patience. Instead of mindlessly controlling your actions, outcomes and expectations, let life, work, relationships take an organic destiny, allowing them to be what they’re meant to be. Thanks to my coaching and consulting business, I met and formed strong relationships with so many likeminded souls with rich hearts, an inspiring and wholesome view of life. The best relationships are the ones that go with the flow. Where you just be, be who you are – compassionately, deeply, gracefully. Where you co-create, where magic happens when the two of you come together, where possibilities emerge as you start talking, where life becomes all the more beautiful just by being with that one person.
5. Do not trade your life for money
I’ve passionately talked and written a lot about money and finances in the last few months. This year marks a paradigm shift for me in the way I view money. There’s no way I would have been contented with what I have after quitting my job, unless I redefined my relationship with money. I sat down and reevaluated my spending choices to come to a realization point of ‘how much is enough’. What is survival and what is mere clutter. That got me to think why am I in the rat race of trying to make more money when this incremental money is not leading to any incremental happiness. As the year draws to a close, I feel proud of my renewed relationship with money; one where the boundaries are clearly defined, one where I have influence and leverage, one where I feel more in control. Once you figure out the right place money resides in your life, you will find that your life will become much more satisfying. Less is more. Investing in life’s experiences with people close to us brings the most joy overtime.
About the Author:
Samia helps millennials to know who they really are, and achieve what they are capable of. She is the founder of Direction Dose – Career and Startup coaching for millennials. She’s an ICF certified career coach, NLP Practitioner, writer and speaker, based in Dubai. Having over 9 years of experience at Procter & Gamble in brand management and coaching; Samia knows what it takes for Gen Y to excel and succeed in their careers.