It's International Women's Day, and for that reason, we decided to reach out to outstanding Arab females, so they can share with us the best advice they ever got. We got some incredibly insightful words and enlightening tips! No matter what they do, they all have one thing in common, they do business "like a boss."
This is what 26 of the Middle East's most successful women had to tell us, when we asked them about the best advice they ever got. Read on below, as you'll certainly learn some valuable life lessons.
1. Sara Romany – Managing Director of Mint & Co.
The best advice I ever got, must have been from my dad, an entrepreneur himself. His words of wisdom to me were "Invest in your people." And that really stuck with me, I always invest in my team in different ways, I don't allow clients to bully them! Even if it costs me a client.
2. Tam Tam – Singer and Songwriter
Always listen to your gut, and always keep trying.
3. Nada Akram – Fashion Designer
Be authentic in everything you do, believe in yourself and never get dragged in the fake world of social media.
4. Zaina Kana’an – Co-Founder of Ananasa and ChariCycles
In every situation we face in life, we only have two real jobs; the first to learn, the second to cope. We all find ways to soften the edges, but ultimately to grow as people, we should aspire to put ourselves in situations that teach us more meaningful lessons and that are truly worthy of our coping.
5. Rania Kana’an – Co-Founder of Ananasa and ChariCycles
The best piece of advice I heard, is a verse in one of Erykah Badu's songs and it goes like: The man that knows something knows that he knows nothing at all.
6. Yasmine Shihata – Editor-in-Chief of Enigma Magazine
My best piece of advice is the famous quote by Louis Pasteur, "Chance favours the prepared mind." We all face opportunities on a daily, weekly or at least monthly basis, but it is always those that are mentally prepared to seize them that make the most of the opportunities that life throws our way. Try to always be prepared and open to new ideas, people and opportunities....you never know when they can change your life.
7. Christina Khater – Founder of Kristie’s Events
Just remember who you are, and the woman you were born to be. The world will try to change you. Don't let them!
8. Dana Khater – Founder of Coterique
My dad used to always say "Al Sabr" while motioning with his hand. In our current day and age, we've gotten used to everything being so instant that I feel we're no longer as patient. I think it's important to realize and account for the fact that some things take time.
9. Tara Emad – Actress and Model
Be persistent and follow your dream, your passion. Because there is a high chance you might succeed at anything else you do, but you will never have the same fulfillment and satisfaction of doing that one thing that feeds your soul. This piece of advice was given to me by my role model - my mother.
10. Zayna Al Hamarneh - Co-Founder and CEO of Mode Marketing & PR
Be wise enough to know what you really want, and be courageous enough to make it happen!
11. Deana Shaaban – Founder and Head Designer of Deana Shaaban
Put on your horse blinds and don't look around you, not left nor right, just look straight ahead. Everyone in this life has their own path and their own journey and if you spend your life looking around you, you'll never spend the time focusing on allowing yourself to grow, mentally, physically, spiritually and professionally. If things are meant to happen then they will. In the meantime, our job and our only concern is to do all that we can and to work on getting ourselves to a general state of peace with the world.
12. AlWajd AlFayez – Director and Founder of Mugshot Productions
Star in your own life. Have a leading role in it and never let anything or anyone limit your dreams, every challenge you face is a step forward...a step closer.
13. Cynthia Nakhle – Founder of Something Blue Bridal Boutique
Always follow your instinct at work. You can seek advice from experts, friends, etc. But, don’t depend too much on it. Nobody knows your business as much as you do.
14. Farah Nofal - BeFit Coach and Athlete
Own Your Greatness - Knowing your greatness doesn’t mean you’re perfect. It means you’re secure in your strengths, unlimited by your weaknesses and confident in your power. Too often, we don’t value the brilliance and tenacity that lies within us. We see the best in everybody else but can’t see it in ourselves. Let today be different. You are stepping out on faith, carrying forth your vision and making things happen. You are taking ideas and implementing them into the universe. You are planting seeds towards your success and watching them grow. These are phenomenal things. Own that and use it as fuel to inspire, impact and change the world.
15. Farida Temraz – Chairperson and Designer-in-Chief of TEMRAZA Design
"Follow your passion with persistence." And, "Confidence is the key to comfort and success; it is all about the positive energy."
16. Farah Asmar – Handbag Designer
Best advice for every woman is to stay true to herself, to create her own style and to achieve her goals along with a partner who supports her dreams.
17. Sandra Mansour – Fashion Designer
The best piece of advice I have ever received was to never settle, to never give up on my dreams or aspirations. To make it happen without feeling remorse for wanting the best, basically there is never any shame in reaching for the stars.
18. Laila Sedky – CMO and Founder of NOLA Cupcakes
Never take no for an answer.
19. Sherry Kilany – Managing Partner at Nineteen84 Management
The best piece of advice I’ve gotten is probably something along the lines of "This too shall pass." At the end of the day everything passes, no matter how bad it seems, even if you think the world is ending, it miraculously doesn't.
20. Sabrina Khalil – Managing Partner at Nineteen84 Management
I think the best piece of advice I have gotten was "what's the worst that will happen," hence the risks Sherry and I have taken, and learning how to balance work and pleasure. Although it's definitely still a work in progress.
21. Shamim Kassibawi – Founder and Managing Director of Spread Communications
I think the best piece of advice/lesson I have ever got, was to go out there and have no fear! After all, what's the worst that could happen? I don’t like the idea of regret and I don’t like wishful thinking. So, ladies get out there and put everything on the line, I did 5 years ago and don't regret one thing. Make sure you get rid of all the buts, ifs and maybes; they do nothing but slow you down.
22. Farida Attout – Founder of Bordure Events
It's okay not to have a plan; I didn't for a long time. Just remember that you can do whatever you want in the world. I have basically got where I am today through hard work. And I can say I am good at what I do. You are the ruler of your own life! Just always remember that true beauty shines from within. Beautiful people do what's right, not what's popular. They are happy with their imperfect selves, and know that life is about the journey and learning from everything that comes along the way - the positive and negative. They know that life is a struggle for everyone and no one has had it easy. So be beautiful!
23. Marriam Mossalli – Founder of Niche Arabia and Owner of shoesanddrama.com
I think the greatest advice I had growing up was from my dad, who always told me I could be anything I wanted to be, regardless of gender, status, or nationality. I grew up with that mentality; even when it came to really far fetch goals, like when I told my dad I wanted to be a diplomat like him; and he told me I could be an Ambassador! (laughs) In Saudi, all our ambassadors are male and royal; but that didn’t deter him from encouraging me—all the way up to my first year of university where I was studying International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, DC! But honestly, that kind of "no limits, everything is reachable" mentality has allowed me to push the envelope and get where I am today—and I thank my father for injecting that thinking into mine!
24. Ruba Abdulhadi – Co-Founder and CEO of elmuda.com
After launching elmuda.com, and trying to think everything through with all the details between the fashion buying, customer service and website development plus accounting, I felt like I was about to collapse and close down. Then I got one of the best pieces of advice ever - “keep it simple” - and that's when I realized I don’t need to solve it or know it all. I just have to simplify things and tackle them one at a time. No one is perfect.
25. Badea Jaber - Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of elmuda.com
I have been given various cliche pieces of advice throughout my life from "follow your passion" to "dare to be different" and "take the road less traveled." But, I have to say my favorite and most valuable advice I've been given is the simple "stay positive." I have since learned to focus more on the present, and to worry less about the future. Life is too short to stress about the past and the future. I'm making the best out of life and all will work itself out.
26. Mai Abaza - Founder of Publicist Inc.
I've been fortunate enough to have so many incredibly supportive people in my life - from family and friends, to professors, colleagues, bosses and mentors. But the thing that really stands out, is a piece of advice my parents gave me throughout my childhood years - not sure how to say this in English. But they always said, "متجيش على نفسك علشان حد" - There's so much depth to this advice - it's not about creating a selfish human being; but more about understanding my self-worth and knowing how to make decisions for my best interest and also taking others into consideration. When to be selfish and when to be selfless.