#ValuableDiversity (Interview Series) – ep. 12 – Sales and NLP, hand in hand


Introducing you to interesting people around the world


 

Meet Rana Kordahi

– Founder of Limitlessminds Corporate Training, Sales & Mindset trainer (Sydney, Australia) –

What could sales and NLP have in common? And why would we even be curious about it?

Well… I like to dig into the most interesting combinations and find out what’s the liaison building the bridge.

Therefore, my guest for today is answering a set of questions that reveal not only the connection I mentioned above, but an amazing soul, as well.

After reading her words, I’m sure you will be giving her standing ovations (add creativity and you’ll get my point). I know I did!

***

1. Hi Rana, please introduce yourself, in a few words, for the people that never had a chance to talk to you.

Sure, I’m from Sydney Australia and currently have a corporate training and coaching company called Limitlessminds. I personally specialize in sales, NLP and mindset training, but Limitlessminds does all sorts of corporate training.

My mission is to make people fall in love with sales and not fear it. Because I believe that once you can sell, you can sell anything. Whether it’s your idea, or even self into any job. I used to use my sales knowledge to get jobs I was under-qualified for and had a high success rate.

Besides my sales, mindset and business experience, I am originally a trained actor, writer and filmmaker and I once did have a dream of walking the red carpet. I have always suffered from the travel bug and I have to set myself lots of career and personal development goals to get rid of it.

2. We connected a while back and I’m really happy to have you as guest. Especially as you were so kind as to accept answering my questions with such short notice. Tell us, please, how do you see diversity? And how did it contribute to the one you are today?

Diversity, for me, is walking into an organization and not just seeing all the same types of people. For example: all young white men who graduated from Harvard working at Deloitte; I want to see old men and women, young inexperienced people, and disabled people… Different cultures, graduates and high school drop outs; single people, divorced mothers with kids, married folks… Depressed and happy people; skinny and overweight people… Those who share different opinions and beliefs!

” I’m a free spirit, who feels repressed if I don’t share my truth”

I don’t want to feel like I’m in a one-dimensional place that’s shallow and uninteresting. That’s why I love East London, in comparison to west London.

3. Talking about diversity, I was tremendously happy to acknowledge your collaboration with Michael Chapman, especially as you two never met in person. Please tell us about how did this all start.

True, I’ve never met Michael in person. We met on LinkedIn. We used to engage with each other’s content, but didn’t know each other well. Then we started chatting in messages and, one day, we thought we should jump on the phone and have a conversation, through Skype. On our second conversation, he was trying to sell his services to me; I then turned it around and convinced him to partner with me, on the “Selling for Non-Salespeople” on-line video program I wanted to create. He was sold and we ended up working around the clock collaborating, as well as getting that content on-line and selling the program.

With Michael, although I had never met him, I liked how he had the guts to pitch to me and was impressed with his sales leadership experience. I also checked out his LinkedIn recommendations and he had the best recommendations I had ever read! Sales people who he managed looked up to him and were writing about how he either changed or inspired their lives. I knew immediately that this was a man I wanted to befriend or work with.

4. OK, so sales course for non-sales people. I know I’m a fan of your video tips. However, please briefly tell us – in written – what is the feedback you received so far, from your attendees.

You see, I’ve been delivering the ‘Selling for Non-Salespeople’ content for 5 years. It’s through face to face training through my own company Limitlessminds, as well as when I worked with KPMG. For example, KPMG had lots of non-sales people (such as consultants to partners. who were technically brilliant, but had no idea how to go out there and negotiate or network. So, throughout the years, it has had outstanding reviews and results.

I’ve even delivered this course to deaf people, who had to sell in their roles. One deaf girl once walked up to me after the session and, with tears in her eyes, said how she doesn’t feel lost and nervous about selling anymore and how much she appreciated the session. For me that was a goosebumps moment where I knew that what I was doing served a good purpose!

The reason I wanted to take the course on-line was because I had clients who wanted accessibility and others who were more international.

5. And why should people join, from now on. Are there any future plans of expanding this course?

I believe everyone is a sales person, whether they like it or not. The course will not only help them sell their products or services, but selves. It will help ease their anxiety about selling and create an infinite amount of opportunities, whether career, relationships or wealth.

I personally believe that for an entrepreneur to be successful, they need to know how to sell. And for an organization to be successful, everyone there should learn sales, from the secretary to the CEO. In fact, we have lots of diversity on the Selling for non-Salespeople program and have several CEOs, secretaries and everyone in between.

As for future plans we will have to see, as we want to nurture this program first.

6. Let’s go a bit into personal development area, please. Tell us a bit about yourself as NLP coach. What is it and why did you choose this?

I leant about NLP from my job, when I used to sell timeshares. We were introduced to Tony Robbins in our sales training. Tony’s techniques are mostly NLP. So, because I was so impressed with these tools Tony was using and how they were changing lives, I wanted to learn them. So, I eventually took a NLP practitioner course, in London.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a personal and professional development method that deals with the way we think, behave, as well as how we view the world and our experiences.

“It [NLP] is basically a user manual for our minds.”

And with the NLP techniques, we can alter our perceptions, reality and moods.

How I use NLP in my training and coaching? Is mostly for mindset and self-belief. Unless you have the right mindset as a salesperson, then it doesn’t matter about what skills you have, you simply won’t succeed.

7. Allow me, please, to ask you a few more personal questions. I know you’re a vegan and the most convinced animal defender. What drove to this?

To be honest, I have never really cared about animals or considered them into the morale equation. But then, my best mate went vegan. He preached a lot and I hated it! It’s because I used to dislike vegans and thought they were self-righteous weirdos.

Then, one day, I finally agreed to watch the documentary he was begging me to watch, called Earthlings, on YouTube. It was then when I had a major paradigm shift. In this film I saw the most horrible things I had ever witnessed. I saw animals being tortured, while kicking and screaming. Crying out in pain and all were fighting for their last breath. Then soon, I learnt about something called Speciesism, which is similar to sexism and racism. Us humans are speciesists towards animals and use our power and dominion over them to enslave and use them in anyway we can.

I once heard this quote by William Ralph Inge: “We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.” And I think this quote is sadly true…

For me, speaking out about animals is not just for the animal’s sake, but also for humans. I’ve had so many people reach out and tell me how their life and health has changed because of veganism. Advocating for Veganism is one of the easiest sales I ever had to make!

8. I love the fact that you are strong in position and I admire your power of speaking your mind. Especially as you know that people may not agree with you 😊 How did you get to this attitude?

It could be genetic, because many women in my family are like this. But what helped this attitude is probably because I’m a free spirit, who feels repressed if I don’t share my truth. My values are more about social justice, freedom and fairness, than profit and greed. But at the same time, it’s important to speak your truth, without making people feel attacked.

Over the years I have learnt that speaking my mind needs the right context. For example, you probably don’t see me speaking my mind on animal liberation often on LinkedIn, because for me it’s not the right context. Or, if I’m in a business meeting, I need to be tactful if I don’t agree with something.

9. You’re an awesome friend and I’m really honored to have crossed paths with you. The power in your words encourage me to never give up on who I really am. But tell me, when did you realize that what doesn’t align with your values needs to be let go of?

Thanks, and likewise! I can see that we are both very similar. I realized pretty early on when I used to hang out with certain people who used to be very different. For example, they would make fun of others and how they looked. Or spoke about reality TV shows and finding a rich boyfriend. These things didn’t really resonate with me and, so, I would either get into arguments with them, or have to move away from that environment.

It’s important that I surround myself with people who help me grow, learn and inspire me. And this doesn’t have to do with their status, wealth or a job. I can sometimes find more wisdom and inspiration in a conversation with a person who is in a mental hospital or a cleaner, than a person who is high up in society and seems to have it all together. This attitude is because of my mum, by the way! She’s instilled these values in me since I was a child. But she’s a gentle soul compared to me. I have never heard her speak ill of anyone in all my life! In fact, she’s a peacemaker who does not have one enemy.

10. Do you have a daily routine helping you maintain this healthy mindset? Can you share it with us?

I actually don’t, to be honest! Which I don’t advise. I will get into a strict routine, soon. My business is pretty intense, at the moment, and I travel a lot for it. So, I sometimes feel like I can lose control of the work and health balance. But I do notice that when I don’t do any form of exercise, yoga and eat junk, then I can get depressed.

” Peace can only start when we respect the most vulnerable!

So, for me the most important thing is to eat healthy and move, because this really affects my mind, health and my business. But if I had to say my most consistent routine ever, then it’s a coffee as soon as I wake up.

11. We talked about routine. But, as I’m very curious by default, I need to ask: what do you do what you get bored?

Since I was a child, I have never suffered from boredom or loneliness. I believe that boredom is sometimes a void we need to fill. I love my own company and that’s probably why I can stay single for long periods of time. Because it’s not an intrinsic need. I have a pretty vivid imagination and used to write lots of fiction. I also have pretty interesting conversations with myself.

12. Please tell us… What are the values you would never let go of, no matter what? And what is the greatest lesson you learned in the past years?

a) Animal liberation and speaking up for them. I believe that if we teach children to respect all animals then they will grow up to respect everyone. Peace can only start when we respect the most vulnerable.

b) Autonomy, because I’m a free spirit. I can’t be in a micro-management situation or in a controlling relationship.

c) Experience over material. I prefer to spend lots of money on life experiences, learning and traveling, rather than having the latest gadgets, cars or biggest house.

Something I’ve learnt in the last few years is that having money matters and changing my values around what it represents is vital. I’ve always been the ‘money is evil’ type of person and was always broke. So, it wasn’t until I changed my attitude towards it, that I was able to make money and realize that it can’t only help me, but my family, friends, others and social causes.

13. When did you understand the power of communication and relationship building? Is your sales area of expertise the first reason for your understanding?

Yes, it was definitely through my sales experience and training. It didn’t come naturally to me at all. I’ve always been good at connecting with people, but also was good at being pushy and assertive in asking for the sale. Which doesn’t always work.

“I can sometimes find more wisdom and inspiration in a conversation with a person who is in a mental hospital or a cleaner (…)”

At the same time, I’m not into small talk or huge networking events. But it wasn’t until I started my own business and really had to sell or starve that I had no choice but to understand the true value of relationships. And the more I give, build relationships and connect with people, the more I actually get back.

14. Though communication plays a great role into your personal and professional life, you cut it off sometimes. When is that?

I have no problem cutting off communication with bullies and those who don’t respect others! I’m pretty straightforward and what you see is what you get. But in saying that, I do go above and beyond for my clients and those I have worked for.

15. As a conclusion, I know that you always take a stand for your “tribe”, proving your loyalty with each step. Consequently, please let us know what would be your message for the people “messing around” with your close ones.

My message is a question:

Do you want to be the person who inspired and changed someone’s life, or made them cry and even contemplate suicide?

Every word, action and treatment we give someone either is contributing to a kinder or more toxic world.

***

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but I know that these answers blew my mind entirely. I tried to choose a favorite answer, yet I simply cannot! Even the conclusion is hard to get built, since I’m not sure what else I could add…

However, I’m telling you this:

If you feel uncomfortable about selling (alike myself) or if you need an objective, straightforward opinion, contact Rana. I know I will take her classes. I sooo need this!

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement, may become subject of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Rana Kordahi*

Rana Kordahi can be reached via the following channels:

LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/ranakordahi/

Facebook:
Profile page: https://www.facebook.com/salesmindsetcoach/
Company page: https://www.facebook.com/limitlessmindstraining/

Website: www.limitlessminds.com.au

Next week (05.07.2018)Dominika Weston

#VulneRevolution Interview Series – ep. 09 – Christine Robinson, Project Management Team Leader


Understanding Vulnerability

Another powerful woman has joined the “tribe” to speak about vulnerability. Enjoy!

***

Thank you very much for being part of our #VulneRevolution series!

We want to explore the topic of vulnerability openly and honestly. No judgement or innuendo should follow your feedback, therefore please do your best to answer the questions below honestly, as your help may mean the world to someone else.

If, at any given time, you may consider that you would like to withdraw yourself from this activity, please send us an email (anitei.andrada@gmail.com orlmccauley254@aol.com) within 2 days from the moment you provided the initial information.

As we would like to make sure the information reaches its purpose, you may consider the option of having images added to our story, as “a picture is worth a 1000 words”. However, if you would like to preserve your privacy and, upon your consent to do so, we can always make use of royalty free images on the internet.

Short Bio: Before answering the questions below, please take a moment to reflect upon the visibility you will have on the platform and if you would like us to use your true identity (preferably) or replace your name with initials or even a name at your convenience.

***

1. What is your interpretation of vulnerability?

The willingness to put yourself in a position to be misunderstood, rejected or persecuted by those you are seeking to connect with relationally, whether on a personal or professional level. To be vulnerable is to peel back whatever protective measures you’ve applied to yourself and your life and be intimate in that exposure with someone who can make that sensitive moment unbearable or sublime. You place trust in their response, their own free will to choose you or not. In the revelation, you also choose to respect their reaction as their own and not demand the response you desire.

2. Can you tell us about a time when you were vulnerable in the workplace?

I enjoyed a great culture in my last position, that allowed me to be who I was in every sense. Also, it nurtured a safe environment where I could reveal my insecurities about project challenges, public speaking and conflict resolution, during some real tough times in my career with my manager.

3. What happened?

I was always heard and encouraged, provided sound advice whenever possible, and given a shoulder to lean on when I needed it, while given the respect of confidentiality in sharing sensitive subjects. I have been in very different cultures – through the years – that did not provide the same level of trust or follow through, so it was great.

” [Vulnerability] was a great catalyst for change in me “

4. Do you regret it?

Not at all! It was a great catalyst for change in me. as a professional who grew in confidence, was willing to take risks and make mistakes, knowing I had a team who had my back. You can’t put a price on that and how it affects your growth and your freedom to not just do your job but excel as a leader, as a person.

5. Nowadays, do you consider that being true to yourself and others is a sign of weakness/ vulnerability or strength? And why?

Definitely a sign of strength! Almost like a violent humility. In that, we are willing to open ourselves up to the potential negativity of others and have chosen not to judge them for their response, but to accept the choice of their free will, even as we seek to connect and reach understanding. It is one of the greatest expressions of intimacy, which is an odd thing to say we seek in the marketplace, but – nevertheless – an essential aspect of a connected culture.

6. How did your experience with vulnerability influence your current state of mind? Would you recommend others to talk about it?

It helped me understand just how important these cultural values are to me; to anyone who desires to not just initiate but also receive quality connectedness in all their relationships, while also determining which relationships are real enough to keep. I would highly recommend that people start opening up! If it’s a really hard thing, start with those closest to you, with whom you have created trust and safety. It becomes easier as you practice it.

7. If you can sum up in 1 word how you feel about your experience with vulnerability what would it be?

Liberating!

***

Christine Robinson can be reached via her LinkedIn profile.

You can contact/ follow Louise Mccauley and Andrada Anitei at any given moment, by following the links below:

Louise:      https://www.linkedin.com/in/louisecc/

Andradahttps://www.linkedin.com/in/andrada-anitei/

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement may be object of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Christine Robinson*

 

Follow #VulneRevolution hashtag for weekly #PowerUp.

A spotlight on a wordsmith (My Story)

(Interview taken by Karen van Hout, originally published on LinkedIn)

***

SHE is fun, strong, caring, curious, hardworking and loves to write. On regular basis she shines a light on other people. Like the wordsmith she is, she ties the answers together. Sketching a picture of the person she interviews. I think it’s highly time that someone shines a light on her.

Here is……………..Andrada Anitei!

Read, be amazed and if you have any writing to do, please contact her.

***

Andrada, as you write wonderful stories about other people, I think is time for a light to be placed over you. How does it feel to be in the spotlights yourself?

Weird… Definitely unusual! I’m the one asking the questions on a regular basis; so this is a new, challenging experience for me. Spotlights? Clearly not for me! I’m more of a backstage person.

A lot of people know you from your stories. Who is the person behind those stories?

Me. Just me. A regular person, from Romania. The ‘what you see is what you get’ kind of woman. I have 2 wonderful daughters, whom I hope to bring up in a simple, yet meaningful manner.

I value integrity, honesty and friendship, above all. I give people all my trust, but cut it on the way, if necessary. Once it reaches zero, I’m gone for good. No regrets, no turning back. I used to be naive (well, I still am, at times, as I’m a dreamer by default), but life taught me that cautiousness is needed. I still struggle with that.

I’m passionate about personal development and a mindfulness ‘adept’. I’m in love and I hope God will keep this going for the rest of my life, as I’ve had pretty rough experiences in the past.

I’m clearly being vulnerable, yet I’m not afraid of that, because my inner child envisions the magic people hide behind a mask. And, as I like to say…

People are beautiful, but they don’t know it yet!’

I take the chance of being judged for what I think (and I always speak my mind), yet – to be honest – I don’t really care. I’m being transparent and whoever judges me instead of making an effort to understand, is not ready for my truth.

I think courage defines me pretty well, accompanied by determination, solution-finding and passion. If you read between the lines, all my writing displays the unconventional.

On a professional level I’m a freelance writer, editor, web designer and video creator. I have built all my websites out of curiosity and drive for continuous improvement. I started with a Google website, switched to blogspot.com, wordpress (all free versions); and, in the last months, I managed to buy my own domain (https://takenofake.xyz) to host all my work. But, unfortunately, due to my Webhost, my online home is down for more than 2 weeks and I can’t seem to figure out a way to make them ‘revive’ it.

Andrada Anitei in Karen van Hout's interview

 

‘Trying to understand is way 

more valuable than judging’

 

What life lessons have you gained, that other people should know?

Wow! This is huge! Well, with all the openness, I’m telling you that part of my lessons can be found in one of Chinedu’s videos, where my voice is his friendly advisor. I highly recommend people to watch that video and listen carefully (find it here).

Besides the ones in the video, I learned that trying to understand is way more valuable than judging. When we judge, we allow ourselves to be weak and subjective. Whereas, when we take the outside information and run it through our personal thinking filter, chances are for us to be as objective as possible. We may realize that an idea, a word, a fact can always have more angles of perception than the common accepted one. I, for one, always try to analyze a happening from at least 2 (maybe even 3) perspectives, in order to get the big picture. I’m not saying that it will always be correct, but in 90% of the cases I’m right. As arrogant as that may sound, this is the truth, due to the fact that I listen to my inner voice.

That’s another valuable lesson I learned over the past year: to always let myself guided by (what I like to call) ‘the midget’. That little gears’ keeper is there for a reason and every time I listened to it, the outcome was even better than what I expected. On the other hand, whenever I ignored it, I had a lesson to learn.

One more thing… I was afraid of failure, for so many years. But I understood that the magic happens once you get out of your box (that is, leave your comfort zone) and start looking for the benefits the unknown may have in store for you.

As a motto, I will give you a phrase a very dear friend of mine told me, a few months back:

Dream of life. Then wake-up and live it!

Why do you do what you do?

Why? That’s a big question. But I love challenges. I like to say that if I had an easy life, I would have complicated it myself. 😃

Why? Let’s see. First of all, because I needed to break free from the conventional. I have a problem with following imposed rules, especially the ones that can’t provide me with a valid ground.

Second, because I love what I do. I love writing from the bottom of my heart, because it gives me the freedom I was always looking for. I believe that writing is like a well made clean up: once you take a thought and populate blank rows with it, you give yourself a chance to make more room in your mind, for other thoughts to come visit. If you ask me, a non-voiced thought remains in the back of our brains and will, eventually, harm us. Because it will not remain hidden forever. It will emerge, most probably in a critical period of our lives, taking the shape of a volcano. And what happens when a volcano erupts? It destroys everything in its way, most of the times.

I’ve experienced this many times, yet my father’s recent dementia episode (which, thank God, is under control now) made me realize the possible (dangerous) repercussions on one’s mind.

And 3rd on my ‘why list’ is because I want my kids to understand the benefits of thinking for themselves; the freedom of following their dream; the chances they give themselves, once they stop following the masses and rusty doctrines; and the uselessness of fearing what they don’t know.

Andrada Anitei's kids for Karen van Hout's interview

 

‘I want my kids to understand the benefits of 

thinking for themselves; the freedom of 

following their dream’

I noticed you are very keen on discovering who the other person is. Where does that come from?

I think my curiosity comes, first and foremost, from the chance I never got to be heard and understood.

Don’t get me wrong, I have wonderful parents, that did their best to give me everything they could. Yet, due to several circumstances (my mother’s illness even before I was born and my father’s obligation to be the sole pillar of the family) was traumatic, to some extent. Just a few days ago I realized this, due to a wonderful woman that connected with me offline. Rahila Khan is a magnificent human being, that instantly felt my need to cure my inner child. I’m still learning to do this, yet the call with her meant the world to me. I cried, I learned to hug myself and accept and release all the past hurt.

And so, I understood why I can’t see my value the way others do. My greatest dream was to become a singer. But no one had the time to listen… My article “When kids meet” explains everything, I guess…

To answer your question… Most of us have hard times and no one is there in the exact moment we need. So, I’ve come to genuinely be interested in what people keep locked. Not for sharing the information, because I believe privacy is sacred. But for a better personal understanding of where the person comes from.

You may be surprised, but people who others can’t stand, are beautiful to me. Maybe because I’m a weirdo myself? 😃

I’ve become addicted to human interaction, though I used to be an introvert. Paradox? Well, I’m full of those 😃 But I have an article pending on the topic. 😉

Curiosity drives evolution quote from Karen van Hout's interview

‘Curiosity drives evolution’

What makes you curious?

My strong belief that curiosity drives evolution. But, trust me, sometimes ‘ignorance is a bliss’ (in quotes because is not my saying, but I had to use it – the rightful owner knows themselves, but privacy comes first).

Also, I do believe that the more unrelated things you know, the better you can put the puzzle pieces together, in order to get the big picture of life. Yet, I’m not intrusive. If people want to talk to me, I will never force them to unveil something they don’t want. I presume this is directly linked to the respect I like to think I’m showing to everyone I come in contact with, even if this may not be returned. Nevertheless, if we do something just for the sake of it, always waiting for the coin to flip, we’d better stop and think again.

It’s an art to interpret people the way you do. How do you do that? What’s your magic trick?

Well, I’ll burst that bubble… I have no magic trick. Disappointed? Shouldn’t be. 😉 The only thing I do is to listen. Actively. That’s all. 😊

I’ve been told that talking to me is like seeing a good therapist. People tell me that I send a good vibe. And, as many of us know, vibe is energy. And energy gets transferred immediately, without asking for approval.

Do you know the ‘instant click’ kind of feeling? I think that’s what is all about. I can’t establish that kind of connection with everyone, obviously, but that’s fine. And I never force myself to. It needs to come natural.

The only thing that I’m looking for when talking to someone is sincerity. I offer it. And I hope I get it back.

What do you get out of writing personal stories of others?

Do we always need to gain something from what we do? But let me answer the question…

When writing the stories of others, the first thing I get is knowledge. Someone’s experience may prevent me from making a certain mistake, which I may have not even been aware of. I learn about situations I never witnessed or learn a different angle of approaching a problem I might have faced, but I couldn’t find a solution to fit my values to.

Writing people’s stories is thought provoking. And I love to be mentally challenged! This is, actually, the way that the person I’m in love with managed to get to me… 😊

Andrada & her kids for Karen van Hout's interview

What’s your own personal story?

Oh, my…. Where do I begin?

I was the kind of shy kid, who would never want to bother a fly (and I’m not friends with bugs!). I was never the one to be invited to high school parties or even get invited for a drink. Paradoxically, in my teenage years, I would be the one to ask for a date. I think I always had the courage buried deep within, yet I only became aware of it once I had to end my toxic marriage.

Yes, he was never ready, but I pushed it. I pushed the first date, I pushed him to get married and I pushed him to become a father. Doing a bit of introspection, I think it was because of my selfish desire to have a beautiful family.

Yet, that is due to the perception we’re being imprinted ever since we are born. We’re being taught what to think, what is ‘best’, what is ‘wrong’, how to analyze a situation from a perspective that does not belong to us. And, if we are not aware of the fact that we can think for ourselves, we tend to take everything for granted. We believe that a person should look for happiness outside, while it is always within. We’re being guided to follow the masses, even if what they say or do contradicts our values. We’re being forbidden to voice our minds. We’re being preached that vulnerability is weakness. We should surround ourselves with a high wall, while all we wish for is to tear them all down.

Want to know me even better? Even if my most appealing website is down, I’d rather guide you towards the old one, to an article called I am… Ask me…’ written last year (August 2017).

You are a marvellous writer. Do you write for others as well?

Thank you very much for the compliment! I am honored! 😊

Well…. Yes. I do write for others. But not for anyone. And not because I’m arrogant, but – as I said above – I need a connection to happen. If I can’t get that feeling of genuine collaboration, I turn it down. Someone told me that I choose my interviewees very well. Well, that’s the criterion. I need to FEEL.

My writing is not about the money, but about making me feel that I can add value to others. I want to showcase beauty, not answer volumes. I choose quality over quantity. Always!

My editing is not just for grammar and punctuation – it goes hand in hand with rephrasing, for a better understanding of the human touch.

My websites need to represent the person behind the business, not just answer the conformity rules of rigidity.

And my videos… well… they need to tell a story. Just like my writing does.

‘My writing is not about the money, but about making me feel that I can add value to others’

What can people reach out to you for?

Anyone who is genuinely interested in working with me needs to, first of all, acknowledge that I may not take their offer. I’ve had too many offers that under-valued my skills. Again, not from an arrogance standpoint, yet from the ‘I didn’t see that coming’ perspective.

As I mentioned, I still have hard times in realising my true value, yet I definitely know that I would never underestimate or overestimate myself, while remaining flexible and adjust as per my clients’ needs and situations.

What can people reach out to me for?

1. Telling me their stories, under any shape: ghost-writing, web copies, blog content writing and posting (the latter requires an additional pinch of trust), articles of any kind (but please, keep bugs preventing away!), interviews… My dream is to write for a magazine and I plan to start my own one, soon.

2. Editing services. I’m in love with arts, so my eye will always go for beauty. If I don’t like it, I won’t present it to the world. So, I can take a text and make it attractive. Rephrasing is what I love best about it.

3. Proofreading. I have a thing for errors… 😃

4. Books/ products/ services reviews. I’ll make sure the values of the company are outlined.

5. Web design. As I said, since I’ve built my own, I can work with WordPress, Blogspot, Google or GoDaddy. Of course, I know about others as well like Wix, Weebly, etc), but they did not fit my requirements (and I’m pretty picky when it comes to details and features). My technical background (for user testing, reporting or system implementation) would never me allow me to overlook important aspects.

6. Research or statistics.

7. Video creation or editing. I can do funny videos, professional videos… I love to make transcripts and insert captions and background music (which needs to, definitely, match the message).

8. Writing tips (besides the ones presented in my #10tips10dyas challenge, which spoke about interviewing only).

9. Any kind of collaboration that does not involve betraying my values (e.g.: please understand that my phone number is not for sale and neither is my image). I may not be Miss Universe, yet I’ve been sent many messages for non-orthodox proposals.

Andrada Anitei profile picture for Karen van Hout's interview

How can they reach you if they want to work with you?

There are 2 channels I want to use, for several reasons:

1. My e-mail address: anitei.andrada@gmail.com (Please avoid spam and! Make a bit of an effort and send an individual message!)

2. My LinkedIn profile (https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrada-anitei)

Last but not least: You just mentioned the ten tips challenge. I realized that you are good at teaching others. Are there plans for a sequel?

Ha! You caught me red-handed here. 😃 When I was young, I wanted to become a teacher (of course, later on, after I wanted to become a princess 😃).

On the other hand, people keep on telling me I should go for coaching. I’m pondering over this, for now. I think I might do that and I’m not sure what keeps me from it, in this moment (I can’t help myself to “speak” out loud…). Maybe because I didn’t see it as something I need to go for. I guess I have actually been doing it all my life, so to speak… People ask for my opinion in a natural way and in the same natural way I provide them with answers. We’ll see…

‘Smile! Have a break. Fool around. Never give up’

What should people know and is not mentioned here, yet? 

a) I love sarcasm (especially British humor, that most people avoid).

b) I have 3 books under the pen (a love story, a motivational stories book and a “how-to” book). Did I say 3? Let me add my biography… but that one will, probably, be completed before I take my last breath 😃

To be fair, one of them (the love story) is only waiting for a benevolent publicist or someone to help me self-publish. I tried that, but expenses prevented me from purchasing a simple plug-in for Kindle format editing. What else…

c) I love coffee and my time alone in the first hour of the morning (for your safety, stay away until I’m done sipping the last drip 😃).

d) I love analogies.

e) I want to move to Australia for the rest of my days.

f) Norma Kraft is my ‘on-line mommy’ and I’ll love and support her till I die! By the way, remember to support #AgeDoesNotDefineUs campaign she will be rolling out soon.

g) Plagiarism is theft!

h) Smile! You can heal a soul with it!

i) Have a break from the world from time to time. You’ll thank yourself, as you will manage to see the world through a different lens, when you come back.

j) Fool around! Life is not just for worries. Watch my latest #gratefulcookie video and I’m sure you’ll understand.

k) Excuses hold us back – due to fear (unreal), while reasons may be grounded in reality.

l) Never give up on values to attain balance! And never give up on balance to attain a status!

m) Eyes never lie. They are the shortest road to a soul.

n) Life is more than just a label. Get rid of it! Because perfection is a journey, not a “me first” competition.

o) Learn dancing in the rain and no storm will seem too strong. Learn playing with the rain drops and they will guide you towards the sun.

p) Enjoy the NOW! Nothing lasts forever.

q) Embrace whatever comes to you. This single thought (adopted as mindset on the 1st of January this year) changed my life. It’s been 6 months since I’ve adopted it, yet my life took loads of (beneficial) turns.

r) Believe in yourself!

s) Dream big and work for it!

t) Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself. So, be yourself; everybody else is taken!

u) People who judge are afraid of what you could actually accomplish. They secretly envy you for your power to stand tall for your values and beliefs. And for following your heart.

v) You can always make a habit out of anything. Know that choice is always in your hands. So, choose to make a habit out of rising after each fall! You will only grow stronger!

w) Everything happens for a reason, even if we may not understand it on the spot.

And, as a last message… I wish you this:

‘Let there be a thunder of happiness!’

***

Karen van Hout is the founder of OF WOOD and offers Systemic (Team)Coaching, Counselling & Training for Passionate Female Professionals in the Benelux.

She enables these high potential female professionals to take on or improve their (leadership)performance.

Are you looking for the person who can help you or your team member to: – take up the (leadership) role confidentially and position appropriately – understand and know how to counteract gender bias and stereotypes – understand team dynamics and how to respond to this – improve human relationships, joy and motivation at work, Feeling confident, acknowledged and contributing to a greater good?

Let’s talk. Contact Karen via email at: info@of-wood.com for a no obligation chat. She’d be happy to help you to improve your results. 

#VulneRevolution Interview Series – ep. 08 – Prachi Mohan Srivastava, Storyteller


Understanding Vulnerability

Storytelling is a wonderful gift. However, when it’s combined with honesty, the owner can’t go wrong! Meet today’s beautiful woman.

***

Thank you very much for being part of our #VulneRevolution series!

We want to explore the topic of vulnerability openly and honestly. No judgement or innuendo should follow your feedback, therefore please do your best to answer the questions below honestly, as your help may mean the world to someone else.

If, at any given time, you may consider that you would like to withdraw yourself from this activity, please send us an email (anitei.andrada@gmail.com orlmccauley254@aol.com) within 2 days from the moment you provided the initial information.

As we would like to make sure the information reaches its purpose, you may consider the option of having images added to our story, as “a picture is worth a 1000 words”. However, if you would like to preserve your privacy and, upon your consent to do so, we can always make use of royalty free images on the internet.

Short Bio: Before answering the questions below, please take a moment to reflect upon the visibility you will have on the platform and if you would like us to use your true identity (preferably) or replace your name with initials or even a name at your convenience.

***

1. What is your interpretation of vulnerability?

I had a hard time understanding the term ‘Vulnerability’. But after having learnt about it, I think vulnerability is “being able to accept what we feel at certain moments“. We can’t deny what we are feeling inside and to suppress it; that is only going to make us suffer, later. I have people in my life who think that hiding – or simply skipping (not acknowledging) – the true feelings make them strong. But there is a difference between me and them: they don’t know the feeling of being true to themselves, the feeling of letting others know what’s in the heart, to be readable.

2. Can you tell us about a time when you were vulnerable in the workplace?

I don’t have experience of an actual workplace yet, but I have had incidents where I was vulnerable.

3. What happened?

I used to be very emotional and I still am. But now I have learned to understand the reason behind certain feelings. I had some “friends” who were not very mature. Since childhood, I had difficulties in finding friends, because nobody matched my emotional level.

 

“The ability to understand what we feel and why we feel it is a gift. “

I was called weak for feeling it all too much. One of my relatives told me: “If you continue like this, you’ll never survive in this world”. But I seem to be doing just fine today 🙂

Being vulnerable made my relationships better, because I acted right, at the right moment.

4. Do you regret it?

I think being vulnerable, at times, is good. It gives me strength and I don’t have to hide anymore. I never regretted it, especially when it came to important people and moments.

5. Nowadays, do you consider that being true to yourself and others is a sign of weakness/ vulnerability or strength? And why?

From what I know till now, I’ve met very nice people in life (of course exceptions are there). I’ve been natural and have tried to present myself the way I feel. But elders tell me: “The world is cruel, hide your weaknesses and show your strengths”. I don’t agree with hiding the weaknesses, because… What are weaknesses? We ourselves have labeled them as our weakness. If we say “We have no weaknesses”, then we don’t have any weaknesses!

6. How did your experience with vulnerability influence your current state of mind? Would you recommend others to talk about it?

Absolutely! See, we can’t hide our true feelings. They may be hidden at the moment, but will eventually build up and result in something intense. Everybody is vulnerable, at some point, and it really is okay to expose it. Being vulnerable made me understand many WHYs. The ability to understand what we feel and why we feel it is a gift. 

7. If you can sum up in 1 word how you feel about your experience with vulnerability what would it be?

Unapologetic!

 

“Being vulnerable made my relationships better, because I acted right, at the right moment.”

***

Prachi Mohan Srivastava can be reached via the below channels:

LinkedIn profile

Medium account

You can contact/ follow Louise Mccauley and Andrada Anitei at any given moment, by following the links below:

Louise:      https://www.linkedin.com/in/louisecc/

Andradahttps://www.linkedin.com/in/andrada-anitei/

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement may be object of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Prachi Mohan Srivastava*

 

Follow #VulneRevolution hashtag for weekly #PowerUp.

#ValuableDiversity (Interview Series) – ep. 11 – Science & Personal Development


Introducing you to interesting people around the world


Meet Aladin Lijassi

– Doctor, medical scientist, Founder of Télé Santé (Morocco) –

Have you ever seen the embodiment of true understanding and adaptability? Well… I have. Do you want to know where did I see that? Better said, who provided me with this kind of picture?

My guest for today is a young, yet wise man from Morocco, who will take you through an amazing journey of what diversity means. In the same time, he’s a doctor and a scientist, actively looking for a cure for cancer.

Therefore, I wholeheartedly advise everyone to give a read to his words, in the interview below.

***

1. Hi Aladin, for people who are not familiar to you and what you do, kindly please introduce yourself in a few words.

I am a native Moroccan living in Rabat, Doctor of Pharmacy and Medical Scientist, with a pharmaceutical company, leader in research for curing rare diseases and cancer.

2. Please enlarge a bit the activity you’re currently running, in the means of finding a cure for cancer.

Due to the fact that I love challenges, I was looking for an offer in medical research, in order to improve my medical knowledge; in the same time, I offered my experience to the pharmaceutical industry, for finding innovative ways to cure different types of cancer, while volunteering to help people with disabilities who suffer from spasticity and cure it.

Never say: “If I did that, now I would have been like this!”

As a medical scientist, I have to provide all medical professionals with the latest updates in Oncology and clinical research; also, I provide training sessions to hospitals and medical centers, in order to update medical staff with whatever is new, related to their activities.

3. Personal curiosity… Was there anything in particular triggering this activity?

To be honest, there was nothing in particular to trigger this activity. I would have chosen a similar opportunity in other fields, such us Cardiology or Neurology if I got that first. But the main thing was to be devoted to medical research which interested me a lot, as I want to make an innovation in patient care. By chance, I’m now in Oncology. And, since my mom died of a cancer, I want to do everything in my power to ovoid pain for other patients.

4. Changing the topic a bit… I know you speak 7 languages (Moroccan, Arab, French, English, Spanish, Italian and a bit of German). How did you manage?

Well, about languages… As a native Moroccan, I can speak Moroccan, Arabic and French, since all 3 are official languages. My story with English was like Romeo & Juliette… After attending a few courses in high-school, I wanted to improve it, due to its importance and universality. I learned Italian and Spanish by communicating with native speakers; and the only language I studied in a dedicated center was German – yet I feel like a newbie, because I didn’t practice it in a long time.

5. We’ve talked for a pretty long time, during our call, about diversity. Please let the world know what Morocco means, in this extent. Please tell us, in a few words, about the real diversity going on there.

First of all, Morocco’s geographical position (close to Europe and open doors to Africa). This offers the country a first-hand chance to diversity, in terms of culture and languages; then, we share traditions and innovation, we are open-minded and we have a good reputation, in term of international achievements and relationships with other countries. I think this is what makes Morocco such a diverse location.

6. How did this help you on the road of evolution? Do you see any disadvantages diversity may have?

To me, diversity means being open to any challenge of life,  being up for continuous improvement and bringing a personal touch to whatever you can, in order to drive that “whatever” on the road of perfection.

“Personal development has been and will always be my priority.”

I have so many plans for my life! And diversity is the way to achieve my goals, for sure.

7. Going a bit deeper into the matter, let’s approach a controversial topic. I believe that, when it comes to thinking about Arabs, most of the world pictures danger. Let’s change the views about that. Tell us how should a regular person acknowledge your nationality (religion debates excluded, please)?

Being an Arab is a huge challenge nowadays, if we consider the opinion of the world. If you get closer to an Arab, you might, however, change your opinion. I believe that the sense of responsibility – since Arabs live in communities with all surrounding people, family and friends – may be the cause of others judging us as dangerous.

Yes, we have a different culture than others, yet we are open to other cultures and we accept all points of view.

8. Having the last question as a starting point, what does acceptance mean to you?

Well, I believe that acceptance is the scorner stone of diversity. I do have my way of living and my own beliefs, yet I still have to accept the others. There are 7 billion people on Earth so, of course, we are not all the same; and it’s quite a good thing, as we can complete each other.

“I want to do everything in my power to avoid pain for other patients!”

I am open to all kind of discussions and I do respect others’ beliefs and cultures. I truly believe that sharing points of view is good and I try my best to offer guidance, with kindness. I accept people because I believe in the benefits differences can bring.

9. What about adaptability? Does it help, when it comes to understanding the others?

To complete the last question, adaptability comes with accepting others! I try to consider the positive aspects of my friends and acquaintances, while sharing mine, in an effort to guide them towards what is logically beneficial to us all.

10. Continuing the line of personal inquiries, please allow us to get to know you even better. How do you react under pressure? When you’re angry, for instance. Both on personal and professional level. Is there any difference of approach between the 2?

Generally, I try to keep my mood as good as I can, but we are humans and we all get angry sometimes.

On a professional level, I manage to keep my reactions under control. I do manage to solve issues in a smooth way, as I believe that – in order to be a good leader – one shouldn’t express anger, but keep it inside.

With most of my friends, I try a similar approach. Yet, in critical cases, I do show my anger to the ones that know me very well, as my aim is to make them see what they may be doing wrong, in hopes they will take my opinion as constructive.

11. And, in order to conclude with this topic, do you think that personal development practices should be adopted on a wider scale?

If one wants to evolve, he/ she needs to work on both personal and professional development.

I, for one, whenever I find a personal development opportunity, never step back. For instance, I earned a honorific certification from the University of Texas, Austin for “Drugs Development and Clinical Trials” by attending online courses, from Morocco. And it has brought a huge contribution to my current position.

“Never rush in doing something that could be bad for you… Live your life and don’t regret a second!”

On the other hand, languages allow me to communicate with others in their own terms; and this helped me a lot when traveling abroad.

Personal development has been and will always be my priority.

12. Now let’s talk perspectives. I, for one, like to analyze a fact from many angles, yet without overthinking (it’s tiring and a waste of energy, loooool). What about you? And how do you take different perspectives from others?

About perspectives… I’m that kind of guy who never stops thinking :))

I analyze every single thing, to draw a personal map in my mind, so that I can make the best decisions, in regards to my existence. Yes, overthinking is very tiring, but sometimes is there for the better.

13. Going back to the personal-professional balance aspect. How do you manage that, as life struck you heavily and you have 3 younger sisters to look after?

As a medical scientist, most of the times I’m pretty busy doing research, even when my job schedule is over. That’s why, my free time consists in writing medical articles for my website or making videos for my YouTube channel.

Besides, I practice cycling and running, to boost my energy and keep myself healthy. On top of this, I engage daily on social networks, to share my daily experiences and motivational stories.

Yes, I have the responsibility of looking after my sisters, but it’s not as difficult as it was 3 years ago.

14. Did you ever have a moment you felt like giving up? What kept you going? Is there anything you would change about your past, if you could?

I did ! Sometimes – when all came at once… Like losing my parents, the stress of studies…

But my dreams have to be real! This is what I always say to myself. And this kept me pushing towards living my dreams, starting with an achievement of Doctorate in Pharmacy and getting a position as Medical Scientist. And I know there is more to come…

Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything about the past, because I believe in destiny. Therefore, if anything changed, I wouldn’t have been who I am now.

15. Let’s unveil the failures part. How many times did Aladin fail (under any aspect you are willing to disclose)? And what was your resolution to get where you are today?

I tasted failure more than twice. But the two greatest failures were during university years, when I lost both my parents, in just 5 years.

Yet, failures kept on giving me the willingness to pursue my dream, regardless of the circumstances. I’m thank God for the position I am in right now!

“Failure has a good taste, especially when you can look back and see it determined you to achieve your dreams.”

16. I could go on and on with the questions, since our conversation was a true blast. However, please let me ask you this: If, by some kind of chance, you knew the world would end tomorrow, what would you do today? And what would you advise the others? Please share with us your most precious life lesson.

I am one who has never had fear of death. So, I always live my life as if I’m going to die tomorrow.

I just want to say “Goodbye” to everyone… But, since we never know when the moment comes, I never miss a day to say “Hello” to all of them.

I would like to ask everyone to do what they want and what they love! And never think about the materials aspects. Life is too short to do everything, so just focus on what you love and your dreams will obviously come to life!

One more thing I’d like to add: Never say: “If I did that, now I would have been like this”.

I remember when i was cycling one day and stopped by a shop to buy some water, after 60 Km of cycling. While I was in the shop, two cyclists came across and said to me “Oh, I would like to go with you, to ovoid being alone”. But I didn’t manage to accompany them. After a few more Km of cycling, I was surprised to find them hit by a car and, unfortunately, one of them died.

Death is one inch away from our life, so my advice is this:

Never rush in doing something that could be bad for you… Live your life and don’t regret a second!

***

I believe that the best conclusion of this magnificent interview is to quote my guest, once again. And nothing more…

“I just want to say “Goodbye” to everyone… But, since we never know when the moment comes, I never miss a day to say “Hello” to all of them!”

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement, may become subject of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Aladin Lijassi*

Aladin Lijassi can be reached via his LinkedIn profile page.

#VulneRevolution Interview Series – Ep. 07 – Eli Angote, Founder of TheBestNotary.net


Understanding Vulnerability

One of the brightest minds I have ever come across has stopped by to answer our vulnerability questions. Go through the brief answers, yet read between the lines…

***

Thank you very much for being part of our #VulneRevolution series!

We want to explore the topic of vulnerability openly and honestly. No judgement or innuendo should follow your feedback, therefore please do your best to answer the questions below honestly, as your help may mean the world to someone else.

If, at any given time, you may consider that you would like to withdraw yourself from this activity, please send us an email (anitei.andrada@gmail.com orlmccauley254@aol.com) within 2 days from the moment you provided the initial information.

As we would like to make sure the information reaches its purpose, you may consider the option of having images added to our story, as “a picture is worth a 1000 words”. However, if you would like to preserve your privacy and, upon your consent to do so, we can always make use of royalty free images on the internet.

Short Bio: Before answering the questions below, please take a moment to reflect upon the visibility you will have on the platform and if you would like us to use your true identity (preferably) or replace your name with initials or even a name at your convenience.

***

1. What is your interpretation of vulnerability?

The ability to let your heart show through your chest; to bare your truth when it comes to your weaknesses or what you truly desire.

2. Can you tell us about a time when you were vulnerable in the workplace?

When I told my team that I wasn’t always the outgoing, socially inclined person I am today.

3. What happened?

The team had been having trouble building rapport with our notaries and customers. So, I was trying to show them that relationship building is a skill which can be learned and that there is a method to the art and science.

” [I see vulnerability as] The ability to let your heart show through your chest! 

4. Do you regret it?

Not at all. It helped them realize that they too, one day, can have the same skills I have.

5. Nowadays, do you consider that being true to yourself and others is a sign of weakness/ vulnerability or strength? And why?

I think it’s a strength because it makes what I’m saying credible. If I’m only showing my abilities without the weaknesses, then whatever I’m saying doesn’t seem as genuine; because, as humans, we’re all weak and have areas we can improve upon.

6. How did your experience with vulnerability influence your current state of mind? Would you recommend others to talk about it?

It helped me understand that leadership is all about which is to show others that I’m just like them and to tell a story about how I overcame an obstacle. Vulnerability enhances credibility and deepens relationships.

7. If you can sum up in 1 word how you feel about your experience with vulnerability what would it be?

Liberating!

***

Eli Angote can be reached via the below channels:

LinkedIn profile

Website

You can contact/ follow Louise Mccauley and Andrada Anitei at any given moment, by following the links below:

Louise:      https://www.linkedin.com/in/louisecc/

Andradahttps://www.linkedin.com/in/andrada-anitei/

*The photos used in this article were provided by the rightful owner, with clear consent. Using them without prior agreement may be object of the copyright law. All rights reserved to Eli Angote*

 

Follow #VulneRevolution hashtag for weekly #PowerUp.