Ask Me When I'm 30
"Why do you work so hard?"
"Ummm" I say, and awkwardly mutter something under my breath about how I have a business to run.
Honestly, I CHOOSE to have my work. I could go to brunches every weekend if I wanted too. I could go clubbing until 3 am and lay at the beach the next day, tired and cranky. But, it doesn't excite me like the thrill of making an IMPACT with my business.
I finally feel like I've found my circle here in Dubai and, perhaps as I'm one myself, many of my friends are entrepreneurs, corporate clients and business owners. Entrepreneurship CAN be lonely - especially when you have a history of working on a sales floor of over two hundred people. My support network is crucial to my success and happiness. I'm constantly learning and leveraging new connections from my network. You all laugh together when business is going well, and hold each other and cry when it's not.
Also, (maybe not so surprising since I’m an entrepreneur) 60% of my preferred conversation is on... you guessed it, BUSINESS.
Which, I understand isn't everyone's cup of tea.
Over the past few years, I've had many awkward conversations like the above - "Why don't you go out more?" "You should be enjoying and living your life, not staying home and working"and "All I ever see you do is WORK."
People just can't fathom why I would want to stay at home and write articles, work on my novel (I'm travelling to Sri Lanka for two weeks in May to complete it!) map out strategy for clients, read a book or study something new.
"People your age should be having fun!!"
... I get it - I really do. But for me, my business IS fun.
"WHY do you work so hard?"
I've always had a competitive streak. Growing up, I would enter speech, tap dancing and singing competitions. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I'm my own harshest critic (I'm working on being nicer to myself). Honestly though, I feel like Tom Cruise on a mission - and not just for myself, but for others.
I love bringing people together. Gifted with a passion for networking; I meet so many incredible people on a daily basis and feel compelled to share their stories. I don't know it all and neither do you! We all have something to learn from each other.
Building my own personal brand brought so many incredible opportunities both in corporate and as a business owner: including free PR, new and better clients and increased revenue. We see these opportunities replicated with our clients. I have so much knowledge to share!
...I also reflect on my confusing University years - stained with depression, numbness and pain. Trapped in the Mundane, my ego mind tells me I am not worthy of a career, instead, have children and quietly settle down...
If I can make one person see their value, to take a risk and move from their comfort zone, I will be happy.
If I can motivate one person to invest in their personal and professional development, take up a side hustle, or follow their dreams, I feel complete.
If I can reposition an entrepreneur or CEO on the market as a thought leader, bringing in an ROI of x200%, I feel awesome.
And… perhaps if I have an apartment in New York, Dubai and a remote beach with a private plane and a cute pilot to jet between, well then, that would be an added bonus.
"Why do you WORK so hard?"
I remember a year ago, I was telling my friend Raj Kotecha about how awkward I felt when other people my age couldn't see eye to eye with how hard I work. This was when I was a headhunter, studying for my digital marketing diploma and running my PR agency, various digital media and my Deals in High Heels talk show on the side.
I know their disconcerting looks - I've seen them before when I was moving to NYC, London and Dubai. And I know NOW, that just because some people can't comprehend your capabilities and don't believe you can do it (due to their own limitations), doesn't mean YOU have to doubt.
Raj is the founder of Vaynerworld and a content creator in Dubai. Raj gets the rush of 'the hustle;' always wanting to do and be more. We met when I first moved to Dubai.
"What should I reply to them?" I questioned.
"Ask me when I'm 30," he replied.
HERE ARE SOME REASONS TO GET YOU MOTIVATED TOO:
You'll find out what you like doing
People often message and ask how I went from working in recruitment to running my own business? They express that they feel stuck in a rut, perhaps working in the same company for five years, or slaving away in a job they despise.
Take up a 'side hustle' – that's where it all started for me. Who knew how much I’d like branding and marketing until I threw myself into it, learning everything from the ground up. Remember, YOU have the power to proactively drive your career.
If you work hard now, your dictator years can be to play
Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? Maybe, running your own business or at the top of the corporate ladder? Map out a strategy that will get you there. What, and who, will you have to know?
What do all successful people have in common? Perseverance and GRIT. Execute small actions towards your goals daily.
Knowledge is power
You could lose everything, but your knowledge can never be taken from you. Invest in yourself and be a proud, lifelong learner! Take a course on Coursera (they are excellent value!) or read a book that will guide your personal development (I've just started one about m-Braining).
It's a competitive world
Ask yourself, how will you rise above the crowd? Those extra qualifications and 'passion projects' are worth it for your CV- they differentiate you and demonstrate your hardworking nature.
How will you elevate your product or service above the noise on social media, rather than contribute to it? Your personal brand is a lifelong investment, even if you change careers.
.....Ah yes, here we go again - another friend inviting me.