The first of December isn’t just the start of the most magical month of the year, it’s also a day H.R.H. Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty the King, President of the Supreme Council for Women (SCW), had set all the way back in 2006 to be the designated day to celebrate all Bahraini women. (The pioneer for all of us!)
Every December 1st since, Bahraini Women’s Day has been a day to celebrate every woman you know, love, cherish and support, and that’s exactly what we intend to do today. Since we’re all about entrepreneurship, we’re celebrating this day by encouraging more and more Bahraini women to pursue this path that grows individuals as well as the country they’re in.
How are we doing that, you wonder? Through conversations we’ve had with women who’ve been there, done that, and are here to share their wisdom and experience and pass it on.
We’re honored to present the following incredible Bahraini female entrepreneurs from different fields, and give them a chance to voice their thoughts on their entrepreneurial journey, and what they would tell their younger selves in advice that can be of use to you too, as we sit back and gaze at them with heart eyes and admiration.
Curious about what each accomplished woman had to say? We won’t take more of your time, you can proceed with commendation.
“I’m so blessed to have created a job that I absolutely love. Here’s my secret: What keeps me going is change. I never like to restrict myself under one title or one job. I actually enjoy breaking out of my comfort zone and trying new things , the thrill and the excitement is what keeps me going. I have many hats and I keep changing them. An Artist, a furniture designer , leather goods designer, you name it, I call myself a creative and sky’s the limit.”
“If I could go back in time and give my younger self a mini life hack advice, it would be: “Allow it to flow!” Being an entrepreneur for me is a self discovery journey more than anything else. Learning how to balance work and play is so crucial! Hustling is a physical, mental and an emotional trap. Last but not least, it is okay to lose sometimes and to take another turn in life, because there is so much more to do!”
“Invest in educating yourself about your business, the knowledge you gain will empower your entrepreneurial journey and set you apart from competitors. “
“Find your passion, what comes naturally to you. Focus on doing more, giving more, serving others more than anyone. This is how you become more valuable! Know your values and what you believe in, no convenience or logic but passion and persistence.”
“What I learned is don’t listen to people’s opinions when you first start out. Everyone has an opinion, especially people you didn’t ask for their opinions. What you should do is seek out people that could potentially mentor you and use their advice if you need it for your business. Never underestimate your gut!”
“Success looks different to each and every person. Therefore, build a business around a life you love, not the other way round. Every new phase of your business requires a new level of you, enjoy the process. It’s okay to create a new path that looks different. Your business doesn’t need to look or operate like everyone else’s. Separate your self-worth from your business, and don’t take rejection personally. Maintain healthy boundaries and take care of yourself, hustle culture is not sustainable and burnout is real.” You can say that again!
“I have been told not to limit myself, and that I can go as far as my mind lets me. And the only thing that is worse than starting something and failing, is actually not starting it from the first place. I had and still have faith, patience, and I trust my team that has helped me bring my dream to life. Accepting mistakes and productive criticism is a vital lesson to keep in mind, as well as not trying to do everything all by yourself. It is like a roller coaster going up and down but eventually, you will settle and reach where you always wanted to.”
“It’s the most fulfilling yet the most vulnerable experience ever. You will have to put aside any fear or concern over what others think, as there will always be a crowd of supporters and those with contrary opinions… and that is ok. So long as you believe in your idea and how it is contributing to your target audience, that’s all that should matter. There will be ups and downs, just stick through it.”
“As a start-up business, it is important not to splash money immediately and find creative ways to promote, advertise and raise awareness. Although a long-term vision is essential to keep you focused, it is important to take a deep breath, calm down and take it slow. As tempting as it may be, avoid taking 10 steps ahead and concentrate on small-bite sized goals… because before you know it you will have landed on to the realm of only possibilities.”
“Authenticity is key. Don’t change your brand or yourself to please others, rather remind yourself continuously why you started and focus on showing others what you see in your brand.”
“Don’t be afraid. Replace that fear with excitement. Because what is more exciting than working on bringing your idea to life, that you created to help others around you? I wanted more bravery for myself in my journey. To be able to at least try and enjoy the process at the same time will do wonders. I want women out there to just try, because the whole journey, whether it works for you or not, will definitely change you. Be brave.”
“Never feel less because you are a woman, feel more worthy because you know how hard it is to get there. You will have a seat at the table only when you believe that this is your right place. The courage and motivation may not be received from a man or a woman but it will come from within, that is the only lasting courage and motivation.”
“The road is not easy, but if you have enough perseverance and discipline, don’t hesitate to start. As much as you challenge your fears, you will learn, grow, and your opportunities will become limitless.”
“I have started dabbling into the world of entrepreneurship as an actual entrepreneur since September 2016, and have worked on setting up a consultancy and co-founding an award winning audio-based digital platform with books and content in Arabic to improve people’s lives. I wanted to take a step back and see the world through my own journey of struggles, victories, success and failures. I wanted to challenge my inner self and compete with myself only. Believe in yourself. Be passionate with what you believe in and go out and make it happen. Create the difference.”
“It’s uplifting to be part of a community full of strong and inspirational women. Entrepreneurship is a journey that requires a lot of commitment and faith in yourself and abilities to be able to overcome the challenges to reap the countless rewards. The smallest of achievements feel like big and exciting moments and I’m so thrilled for the journeys ahead.”
“As a startup founder, there is no denying that you will be facing many barriers, moments of loneliness, uncertainties, and failure. Focus on growing yourself along the way and you will have the resilience to pull through it. When you feel incapable and when you start doubting yourself, persist anyway with courage.”
“I read a study a few years ago that one of the main reasons startups stagnate and fail to grow and scale is because the founder(s) is working in the business rather than on the business. I wish I had known that when I started my first social enterprise. If you’re a multi-disciplinarian who can do a lot of things, this is especially important; just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should. Saving money in the short term will cost you in the long term.”
“Noora and I are both perfectionists and sometimes that can be a curse! So I would say to take things one step at a time and not overwhelm yourself with what could happen 10 steps down the line -that’s a truly helpful mindset to have. Sometimes our minds play tricks on us and we tend to stress about things that didn’t even happen. Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid to make mistakes or fail (there are worse things that could happen in life lol). Most importantly, don’t let anyone discourage you or make you feel incapable of any idea/dream you have. Have a strong go getter attitude and you will be able to achieve anything you set your mind to. Lastly, enjoy every second of it and don’t allow it to be draining!”
“If you are working with a partner you have to work with someone who shares similar work ethic and goals. Set a clear goal and the passion to continue on pursuing it. Learning should be constant to grow your business, never stop learning or asking questions. Lastly, you have to be prepared to fail sometimes because it will challenge you to grow, so don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and just start.”
“Entrepreneurship is not that instant start-up success movie you watched. It’s all about patience, perseverance, and knowing when to let go when it’s not working out. You’re going to have some wins and some failures along the way but it’s all about learning your lesson, picking yourself back up, and enjoying the journey.”
“For me, my journey wasn’t that easy, the struggles were a big part of it, but the day I chose to get out of my comfort zone.. the miracle began!”
“I am not a woman in business, I’m just a person that is wildly passionate about offering people choices that make them healthier and happier, naturally.”
“Vision it, see it, live it and you will achieve it. Plan & prepare everything to the last detail before you launch. It will help you to start right.”
“Choose something you are so inspired by, that gives you enough meaning and purpose to carry you through the tough days. There will be days where you doubt yourself, and where others will doubt you. But if you have a clear vision, a clear reason for why you started then you will have the resilience and strength to see your vision through.”
“Having a flow of income is important in business, being selective about the income itself is what makes the difference. Particular requests about customizing and reducing the overall quality of your product at times from a customer may harm your product reputation. Even if it was a bulk order – maintain your quality and never downgrade your hard work and effort for a flow of cash.”
“Set the intention, embrace the routine, and do what works for you to be consistent. Consistency is boring but it’s worth it.”
“I would tell my younger self that the journey of entrepreneurship is not always going to be smooth sailing, that making mistakes and experiencing setbacks doesn’t equal failure, that success is not the key to happiness but rather happiness is the key to success. I would tell her to always remain confident in herself and not allow any outside noise or distractions to hinder her decisions and growth.”
“Go forward, do your best, address the challenges, be honest and realistic, calculate your risk, respect all around you regardless of their age or rank, accept results but do not give up, find a new route if things do not work out in the route you chose. Once you start saying: ‘will I succeed even if I am a woman?’ That will be the start of your failure. You have to ask yourself if I have the right skills, experience and courage to do it or not. If you really did your best, accept the results even if they were not what you wanted and retry.”
And there you have it, 28 pieces of memorable advice from 28 inspiring Bahraini female entrepreneurs to get you all the motivation, encouragement and support you need to do what you want; because you really can have it all.
Every single one of them started from somewhere, be it from scratch or with a team, the lesson is to go on your own journey and plant your feet in that path, see where it takes you. We hope we could someday tell your story!