When Sara was 15, she wanted to become an entrepreneur. Even though she did not understand how to run many of the businesses she currently owns today, Sara was able to RESEARCH her way into success.
Sara Al Madani is the founder of Rouge Couture Fashion House and the Nature Bisse Middle East Ambassador. In addition Sara is an advocate for women, public speaker, and author. In an interview with Women In Power host, Elena Cardone, Sara states how she likes to be known as the “Lady in Black.”Sara does not see black as a sad color that you wear to a funeral, but as a happy color that you wear to work. "Black is a power color that makes you feel professional and confident, especially for women. Women in Dubai are taking over! Many people are still under the impression that women are still being empowered, when really in Dubai women are IN POWER.” The term “empowered” is not Sara’s favorite because she believes that women do not need to be empowered. From her perspective, women are already strong and they know it. They don't need to be encouraged or supported to make the same choices as men. Men don't need empowerment, so why do women? According to Sara, what every person needs, no matter the gender, is INSPIRATION. People who are inspired follow their dreams no matter the obstacles. They do the research, they take risks, and they don't let failure ruin their inspiration. Sara is a living example of the journey from failure to success. After losing everything, gaining it all back, and continuing to grow her businesses, Sara shares how the art of knowledge truly is power!
WAYS TO PROFIT!
A lot of factors to consider for making a profit. A major one is how much you understand marketing. Marketing entails its own research. If you research your competitors, you can get a good idea of how they are marketing their products or services. This should give you a good idea of how you can market yours, but again, you have to be innovative. "Do not copy your competitors way of marketing because your audience will see that you are imitating and not innovating." Take what is already there, and find new ways to build on it so that your business can stand out in a new and interesting way.
Marketing does cost money, so remember to apply what you learned on how to collect the money you already have. You can not just make a product and then charge a ton of money to pay for the cost of marketing it. When it comes to pricing Sara says, "you have to remember that charging a little bit too much might kill your business, or charging too little might kill it". Pricing is tricky because it is understanding how to create a dynamic demand and supply relationship with customers. A myth in business is that if you have to cut costs, then the quality of the product or service should go down as well. But that isn’t necessarily true. The quality of your product or service should never have to suffer if you are being innovative with your cost and price. Again, this all goes back to doing the research. This is also where having a small team or asking people for their ideas can come in handy. They may have new and innovative ideas on how to save and spend. This is called “culture innovation.”
Culture Innovation is used especially when you have reached the level of hiring employees. How you manage your employees creates the work environment or "culture." Innovative employees need be working in an environment where they can trust you as their leader and feel free to be creative. Provide rules or guidelines for employees to follow, but do not micromanage. Rules are great because they keep everyone safe and prevent legal problems, but people need to feel their bosses are approachable enough so they can pitch new ideas. Managers who are open to new ideas will find their employees will be more loyal to them. That is leadership. "I once had people working for me for free for a period of time because they told me how much they loved my leadership style. Had I been a supervisor who oversaw every little detail, I would have no loyalty from my employees." Invoking fear by micromanaging is not healthy for your business. You need an environment where your employees are happy so they are motivated to help your business grow.
TIME MANAGEMENT IS A FEELING
"There is no such thing as life, work, balance. Every person creates their balance based on their comfort, happiness, and priorities." In other words, time management is the ability to prioritize how the person is feeling on a daily basis. For example, if you wake up and are feeling absolutely exhausted from working endlessly the day before, then your priority should be getting rest for your mental health and comfort. Everyone needs rest and if you do not rest, your other priorities will suffer.
Most people try to manage their time by writing things they have to do in a planner or calender. Time management, however, isn’t always a by the hour schedule. Although it may work for some people, for others, time management is more of a feeling.
Life happens when you're busy making other plans. It is important to recognize when one part of your life needs more time. If you haven’t seen your friends in a week, make time to grab lunch. If you feel you have taken too much time off, then it is time to get back to work. Understand that life is not just about work, it is also about relationships with other people and most importantly yourself. So if you feel an area is lacking in your life, then trust that feeling and give your time to it as best you can.
Sara also talks about multitasking, where she fits time in with her family and work. "I was a single mom with eight businesses and writing a book. People used to question why I would bring my son with me to work, as if I wasn’t giving him the time other parents thought he needed. I honestly feel like it is good thing for my son to see how hard his mother works and to see that she is pursuing her dreams. Hopefully, one day he can understand working is a part of life and if his mom can pursue her dreams, so can he. It is a constructive environment for him to be in because I get to teach him and he’s developing healthy social skills. The society we live in today, there are too many parents (mostly stay at home parents) who give 90% of their time to their kids, but during that time the parents and the kids are on their phones, computers, watching television etc. So as a result, these parents are not actually spending real time with their kids." Sara makes a valid point that younger generations are missing out on what it looks like to work. It is so important that parents lead by example so the next generation doesn’t live in a fantasy world, where they don’t understand following your dreams requires being innovative and working hard.
"Remember fear is just a state of mind and it doesn’t actually exist." Fear stops us from unlocking our potential. Many think they can skip the step of failure, but the most successful people know they can not.
There is a really great experiment. Put an ant on a piece of paper, and then take a marker and draw a circle around the ant. The ant will stay in that circle because it is afraid to cross over the line. That is what fear is. It is just an idea that you can’t or shouldn’t. If the ant does cross over the line, it will learn it had nothing to be afraid of the whole time.
Many people are afraid of failure. Just remember, there are a million excuses to do nothing. Then there are those who are actually more afraid of success. Success means more responsibility. This is because after succeeding, the next big question is "What is the next step?" Have I failed enough to understand how to handle the unknown? It can be overwhelming both ways.
At the end of the day, if you want to accomplish a dream, you have to make a decision. Do not be afraid to make the wrong decision because even the wrong decision is better than making NO decision. If you do not decide anything, then you do not make any progress. Remember that the best decision you can possibly make is an informed one. An informed decision starts with inspiration, research, and innovation. That is the art of knowledge.