lessons learned, samia hasan
lessons learned, samia hasan

My top 5 lessons from 2017

2017 – a year of discovery, a year of growth.

Probably one of the craziest, incredibly daring decisions I ever took in life was to quit my stable, high paid corporate job. That too, without a plan of what I’m going to do next. For someone as structured and futuristic like me, who needs all the clarity in the world before taking any action, this redefined what ‘leap of faith’ actually meant. And boy! What a leap has it been. Couldn’t have asked for more learning, growth, development, exposure, success and above all joy and fulfillment in such a short period of time. I continued discovering myself this year in ways I couldn’t have fathomed in 2016, I continued being true to why I do what I do and I continued being surrounded with the most amazing people one can be with. 2017 was phenomenal!


Sharing my top 5 lessons from 2017 along with my favorite quotes that I have posted on Insta throughout the year.


1.     Re-discover yourself through exploring where your heart takes you

No matter how meticulously and thoroughly you plan, life rarely goes as per plan. Your true test of grit, courage and agility lies in how you lead when things don’t follow the script. Unwind the grind (UTG) was born in Apr 2017 out of a simple yet breakthrough realization that if my biggest criteria of meaningful work is impact, how much impact can I make through relying only on 1-1 coaching which is not a very scalable proposition. This led me to think of how I can broaden my impact in the realm of people and community development and offer something of value to millennials which does not really exist in the market. It was through constant self-discovery and awareness that I realized, I’m much more of a ‘life-of-the-party’ person rather than being limited only as a ‘behind-the-scenes champ’.  Through UTG, I have been able to create something that brings all my core values and skills of nurturing connection, crafting experiences, cultivating relationships, uplifting and inspiring people together in a beautiful product that is actually an experience. A much needed experience for millennials that combines entertainment, networking and career talk in a meaningful, authentic and most of all FUN way.


2.     Learn how to differentiate investments vs. expenses

This has been a big one. I was coming from an old school mindset of ‘revenue has to justify the cost’ on every initiative. So I wouldn’t spend big if the expected income from the project would not cover the cost. As an entrepreneur trying to establish a new idea and concept in a rather cluttered local market, I had to think differently. Unless you put up a massive, grand show with all the fancy schmancy props, brand and market it in a way that it looks like a million bucks, nobody is going to even look at you. Go big or go home. This is Dubai after all J Once I started looking at it from an investment mindset into a young, growing business, my entire outlook changed. Needless to say, all the investment made into UTG was reaped only within 2017 through multiple other revenue streams. Not only that, UTG has grown exponentially in the last few months and is now bringing alternative sources of revenue that were never part of UTG plan seven months ago when the idea was conceived. Perks of entrepreneurship – can’t go wrong going with the flow.


3.     There’s nothing more contagious than positive energy

Positivity breeds positivity. By far my biggest strength – everything I do is centered around positivity. 2017 has been a terrific example of how our positive vibes and uplifting energies can attract the right people into our lives. Both personally and professionally, I’ve been blessed with relationships that are a source of constant joy, connection and optimism. Unlike a corporate job where you don’t get to choose your boss or your colleagues, you have to live with them whether you like it or not, entrepreneurship gives you CHOICE. As an entrepreneur, you carefully decide who you spend your time with, who works with you and what kind of people you want to be surrounded by. It is liberating.


4.     If someone does not motivate you, uplift you, encourage you, make you happy – let them go

Tough lesson learnt this year. For me, loyalty and sincerity has always trumped anything and everything else. Only recently, I learned that you cannot continue dragging taxing, negative, toxic relationships that add little and take so much more from you. When you are a giver, going out of your way to keep others happy comes naturally. But unless you replenish your inventory in the same relationship, it will never work out sustainably. You will drain yourself out unknowingly. It might sound simplistic but trust me, it is easier said than done. Try taking a stock of people in your life and if you find any of them not inspiring you, making you feel loved, cared for, uplifting you, and most of all making you happy – it is better to let them go.


5.     Your values are your moral compass – take them with you wherever you go

Yes, I’m a WHY person. No points for guessing, eh J. Time and again, I’m reminded of why I do what I do. It helps me stay close to my values. My values are my driving force, they guide me, direct me and motivate me. Which is why when I’m not being true to my values for whatever reason, life is a living hell. Nothing good comes out of living a life contradictory to your values. You cannot be happy being someone else. Be true to who you are and everything will fall in place.



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 & Unwind the Grind – millennial career development platform that crafts experiences through events, career and startup coaching. She’s an ICF certified strengths based 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.


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