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Interview with Steffan Bote, Senior Sales Advisor

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Interview with Steffan Bote, Senior Sales Advisor

Originally published on IdeaMensch. Source

Steffan Edward Bote is a rising name in the sales industry in Calgary, Alberta. Growing up in that same city, Steffan pursued his passion for basketball throughout most of his formative years, starting in middle school and progressing through his time at Bishop O’Byrne High School. As a high school athlete, he traveled throughout the United States to play in tournaments with his team, earning several all-star mentions and accolades, and a few MVP recognitions, as well. In 2013, he helped his team win their first ever city championship.

Following high school, Steffan earned his Diploma of Education from Bow Valley College, where he studied criminal justice and law enforcement administration in pursuit of his childhood dream of becoming a police officer. However, at 19, he found that he wasn’t fully prepared for all that such a career would entail, and made the difficult decision to find another way to fulfill his desire to help others. Somewhat to his own surprise, he found that fulfillment in a sales career.

After graduating college, Steffan Bote found his first working role as a business development representative at the Dilawri Group of Companies, the largest automotive group in Canada. He soon transitioned into sales at the same company as a brand ambassador working out of one of their dealerships. Finally, after his experience there, he moved on to a senior advisor position at a different dealership in Calgary in 2018, where he remains today.

As a senior sales advisor, he views his position as an opportunity to make a difference for people by providing solutions for his clients.

Where did the idea for your career come from?

Well, to be honest, I wouldn’t say that becoming a salesperson was an idea at all, in the sense that the question implies. At the time, I didn’t really see sales as a career choice. I wanted to become a police officer—that’s what I went to school for. But at 19, I wasn’t ready for all of that. I wasn’t mature enough. So, I did what anyone fresh out of college does when getting into their career of choice stops being an option: I got a job. In my case, it was a job in sales.

I didn’t expect a sales position to have any sort of challenge to offer me, but I was proven wrong. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to reach pre-set sales quotas, and doing so gave me a chance to use and to grow my skills. I worked hard to become a better salesperson, and that’s what got me into bigger and better roles. So, I’ve been in sales ever since, and it’s something that I’ve become really good at. I’m 25 years old now. There’s a lot of room left for growth, but I’m still willing to learn and work hard to keep moving up, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My typical day is really all about the customer. I take the customers in and make sure I have a handle on their needs. For example, I’ll make sure I have an accurate understanding of the problems they’re having to ensure that I can recommend the proper service or the proper repair for their specific issue. Then I give the work to one or more of my technicians, acting as a messenger for the customers to make sure that all the information is relayed correctly. I keep the customer updated throughout the day as needed, and if any additional work needs to be done, I relay that to the customer to make sure they understand what’s happening and how that impacts things. Finally, I handle the checkout once the work is done.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I bring an idea to life by just stepping forward and acting on them immediately. I think it’s one of the most powerful abilities in this world to be able to take an idea and just decide to do it. In the past, I’ve had a lot of things I wanted to do that I never got around to because I always came up with excuses not to do them. I would overthink and get lost in the questions I couldn’t answer right away, and as a consequence, those things wouldn’t get done and my ideas were not brought to life. If you want to bring ideas to life, you can’t afford to overthink things. You have to just start doing. Often, you won’t have all the details ready, but you have to start, anyway. Figure out the unknowns as you go, and learn from your mistakes as you make them. That’s how ideas become reality.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Since I’m in the automotive business, the trend I’m most looking forward to is the transition to all-electric vehicles. That’s the plan for a lot of companies over the next 10 to 15 years—to get rid of auto exhaust emissions entirely by going 100% electric. There are pros and cons to electric vehicles, of course, but the pros far outweigh the cons, and this transition has me very excited as someone involved with that industry. Automotive technology is advancing so quickly now that it’s hard to fully imagine what the next decade will bring.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Discipline and consistency. When I wake up, before I go to work, I visualize what I’m going to do throughout the day. With my busy schedule, I have to be proactive, and so I typically check on tomorrow’s schedule at the end of each workday. That way, I know what I’ll be doing the next day, and I can prepare myself mentally and physically. When I wake up, I already know what I need to do, and I’m prepared to meet those goals as best I can.

What advice would you give your younger self?

To be honest, the main thing I’d tell my younger self is that you’ll never get everything figured out. A lot of people make it seem like they’ve got their lives figured out—and they’re convincing about it. I’m talking about celebrities, influencers, and the like. When I was younger, I made that mistake of looking up to those people and buying into the idea that these people have perfect lives. I didn’t understand that just because they’re very good at what they do, that doesn’t mean that they’re perfect or that they have their whole lives figured out. Buying into that ideal can be actively harmful, regardless of your age. Life is all about figuring out each day as it comes, and learning from your experiences and your mistakes. That’s how you become a better version of yourself. You’ll never learn everything, so you just have to keep learning as much as you can.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

I think we’re closing in on the day and age where a lot more employees are going to get replaced by computers. Or we may even be heading toward a step further, where everything’s going to be run by computers at a managerial level. The value of learned knowledge is quickly dropping, as we all now have immediate access to the internet and to search engines—instruments through which we can get all the answers we might need. If I don’t know the answer to a question, no matter the question, I can just type it into my smartphone and get the answer delivered to me instantly. I think the trend of rapidly accessible information is going to keep on advancing, and at some point down the line, the human middle man is going to be rendered obsolete. Computers are already smarter than human beings in a lot of ways, and the advancement of technology certainly isn’t slowing down. How long will it be before a computer can fill even complicated roles, like that of a doctor or a lawyer, and maybe even consistently do a better job than their human counterparts? I think it’s not a question of if that’ll happen, but when.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

I visualize my day, I visualize what I’m about to do, and I visualize victory in whatever form I need it to take. It’s all about maintaining a positive outlook on life. It’s also about choosing the right words. For some people, words are just words, but for me, words are powerful. They’re the framework for your perspective on life. Instead of saying “I’m broke and I’ll always be broke,” say “I’m rich and I can make it happen.” Words are the tools you need to give yourself a different mindset, to see the glass as half full, not as half empty. I try to see the good in any situation.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

One of the most important strategies that has helped me professionally is networking. Depending on where you are in your career or in business, you might not see networking as all that important to you. But you’d be surprised at the positive impact that comes from knowing a lot of people. That’s where you gain new connections, new clients, and new relationships. Sometimes an existing client will bring in a new client because of the impression you’ve made on them. That’s the power of having a conversation with someone. Many people overlook the possibilities in just having a normal conversation with someone. It doesn’t have to specifically be about business, or even a business-related topic. Just having normal conversations with people goes a long way. You’ll learn a lot about people, you’ll expand your network, and that will have a huge impact on your business.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

In my sales background, I’ve heard the word “no” a lot. I’ve had plenty of people hang up the phone on me. And while it hasn’t happened a lot, I have had a few that were rude or that just wouldn’t listen to me at all. I overcame this by not taking it personally. I understand that the product or service I’m offering just wasn’t really for that person, and that could be for many different reasons totally disconnected from me. I take it as a learning experience, go back to the drawing board, and figure out where I took a wrong turn with my pitch so I can do better with the next person. That’s how I improve.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I mentioned earlier that electric cars are the future, and that technology is advancing so quickly that it’s hard to imagine what the next decade will bring. Electric cars, as great as they are, still have some serious shortcomings in 2022, and the biggest one in my mind is the battery. We need high power batteries that can sustain electric vehicles, but even high-end electric cars only get 300 odd miles to the charge. The demand for better batteries is huge. If you can figure out how to make a more efficient battery that lasts longer or that doesn’t need hours to charge, that’ll be a game-changer. And I believe that somebody’s going to figure that out in the next 10-15 years, if not sooner.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The best $100 I’ve spent recently was on COVID travel insurance. It’s not something I thought about much before, but I’m going to Mexico in a week. Here in Canada, the government has decided to void our insurance if we choose to leave the country. So, in light of that, $100 is a very small price to pay for peace of mind. If I or my wife ever get COVID while outside of the country, that $100 COVID insurance will cover pretty much everything.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

It’s a bit of a vague answer, but I’ll say the internet as a whole. You can find answers to pretty much any question and become that much more productive because of it. The need for personal knowledge and memorization isn’t nearly as prevalent as it used to be because now you just need to know how to search for whatever information you need, and it’s right there on your computer or even on your smartphone. I’ve taken steps to educate myself about knowing where and how to look for information when I need it, and I capitalize on that skill a lot.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I would recommend The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I just read it recently, and it covers many of the principles that I live by. It’s about avoiding analysis paralysis, and learning to just do. The book really gave me some new insights on starting things, the difference that can make, and that learning from your mistakes as you go is a real, viable strategy. The book’s central idea is that a lot of entrepreneurs and famous people who are rich seem to have it all figured out, but they really don’t. The fundamental difference between me and those people is that they actually started doing. They’ve made a decision to just start working toward their goals, and they’ll figure the rest out along the way. That’s really powerful. Just doing it right away, instead of over-analyzing the whole situation, will set you on the right path. Time is money, and the sooner you get started, the more you’ll be able to compound your successes.

What is your favorite quote?

It’s really more of a question than a quote, but it’s from Inky Johnson, one of the top motivational speakers in the United States. I once saw him ask a question of one of his viewers that really stuck with me. He asked, “Can you be committed to the process of what you are doing without being emotionally attached to the results of what you’re doing?” He was telling people not to be rewards-driven. A lot of people are working toward something only because they want that something. But Inky Johnson’s point was that if you focus on the process itself, that will make a massive difference. He poses the question, ‘Can you be the same individual if you don’t get what you want?’ That really hit home for me. That’s why I talk about how the process is more important than the product itself. The product is your accomplishment, but the process is what defines you. Your results are not who you are. For me, they’re just a bonus. That’s a credo I live by every day of my life.

Key Learnings:

  • Whether you’re young or old, it’s important to maintain your open-mindedness and willingness to learn new things.
  • You won’t often encounter situations where you have all the information you need from the outset. The path to success usually involves getting started anyway, and figuring the details out as you go.
  • Networking isn’t just about discussing business with other professionals. Straightforward, normal conversations go a long way.
  • If a service or a product isn’t working out for you or for your clients, don’t be afraid to take it back to the drawing board.
  • Time is money. The sooner you get started, the better off you’ll be.

Interviews

Interview with Danielle Levy, Founder of The Boardroom League

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Interview with Danielle Levy, Founder of The Boardroom League

Danielle Levy is the CEO and Founder of The Boardroom League and a sought-after executive who has helped six and seven-figure businesses expand with clarity and efficiency. Danielle established The Boardroom League to give other entrepreneurs a little black book of trusted industry professionals to help them implement and scale their businesses. The Boardroom League consists of experts in a variety of fields; including metrics, design, copywriting, strategic pricing, funnels, social media, and more.

Where did the idea for The Boardroom League come from?

I had a very very successful corporate career in advertising and marketing working for well-known brands and at some of the hottest digital agencies. It was wonderful for many years but I ended up completely burnt out. When I accidentally got into the online space, all of my previous success meant nothing. Suddenly I was responsible for things that I didn’t know anything about or how to solve certain problems that were very specific to my clients. Having a trusted group in my network to partner with taught me so much about the industry and allowed me to show up as a trusted partner to my clients. The results were far better than anything that I could have done on my own. I wanted to bring that same experience to other entrepreneurs just starting out who had proven revenue models but didn’t know how to scale profitably or how to handle specific niche areas of their business.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I’m a mom to 2 teenagers so my day is very much structured around a school schedule and their after-school activities (cliche but true). They aren’t little babies anymore but I certainly don’t have total control over my schedule either. I’ve also learned to really listen to my body about when to work. By nature, I have a really hard time turning my brain off and I really love to work. Some people have hobbies like reading, solving puzzles, or a sport, I just love to work! However, I quickly found that for me working late leads to really unproductive mornings, poor eating habits, and a vicious cycle that drains my energy. So I try to be mindful of real deadlines instead of self-imposed deadlines and how much time I’m actually spending on things. To do this I keep a small notepad for things that have to get done on a given day. This is reserved for true must-do items. I’m a people pleaser by nature so keeping a critical shortlist helps me with boundaries. I’ve also realized that I am best at certain kinds of work based on my schedule. For example, I handle, generally, emails and administrative items between conference calls and items that I really need to think through late in the day or over weekends. I really need my head to be quiet and focused to do my best work and also this helps me get my “rocks” done because I could spend endless hours trying to catch up but not actually getting my work done. It is a balance for sure.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I always start with a project plan. It is a template that I developed years ago and isn’t anything fancy. Even though it’s just for my own purposes, it helps me to define what I want to accomplish, put together a reasonable schedule, and helps me to create boundaries for myself, and dissolve unnecessary pressure. It also allows me to think about who else’s support I need so they have time to plan as well. It really helps me to get the idea out of my head and know that it will come to life in a thoughtful and healthy way. It also helps to keep me on track prioritizing my own work and keeping to my client’s work as well.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I think The Great Resignation has really forced companies to examine their values and policies and truly operationalize them. As someone that has worked hard (really too hard if I’m being honest) her entire career, companies being forced into alignment and integrity with what they say they are is super exciting to me. In the end, I think it serves both the company, the team, and the end customer most optimally. As a hiring manager, I’m definitely feeling the pain of the Great Resignation but as an individual, it’s really exciting to me.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Acknowledging my own zones of genius and when to outsource. I often work with entrepreneurs that are afraid to outsource and I can never understand the concern of losing control or that someone can’t do something as well as they can. When I hire the right people they always produce end results that are way better than whatever I could do and I am freed up to work on the things that only I can do or really enjoy doing. It also re-energizes me to see what other people can do with the inputs that I give them. For me, outsourcing is definitely the way to go!

What advice would you give your younger self?

It’s ok to set boundaries with my clients and team. Setting boundaries will serve you better in terms of completing more, disappointing less (even if the expectations were completely out of whack), and not burning yourself completely out. I had this idea that if I worked hard enough for long enough it would really matter to some of my clients and the reality is that it only became detrimental to me and set the tone for many unhealthy relationships.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

The customer isn’t always right. Great client service is important however not at the expense of the team behind it, other customers, and the long-term profitability of business practices. Further, not all customers are right for the business and are worth keeping. It’s ok to professionally disagree with a customer and to stand up for the company.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Every day I do one thing that is uncomfortable for me. As an introvert, this can be really hard. Whether it’s physical or emotional, I always try to push the boundaries and my own safe zone. It’s very specific to me and things that other people might not find hard but for whatever reason, I have a blocker. I’ve learned that many things aren’t nearly as hard as I build them up to be in my own head and when I fail it’s never as bad as I thought it would be.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Not saying yes to every client. Over the last several years I’ve really focused on only working with clients that align with my professional and personal values and goals. Every time I’ve strayed from that profile I’ve ended up frustrated and burnt out and my personal life and work quality always suffers. Having the experience to know the circumstances under which I can show up as my best has really given me the confidence to grow my business, show up as a trusted partner, and go after things that I really want.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Early on in my journey as a service provider, and sometimes a generalist, I’ve tried to be the answer to too many things and often thought of myself more with an employee mindset than as a partner. I’ve since niched in my services, become more forward in my conversations about how to move things forward or prioritize, and have really started calling out inconsistencies and making recommendations on how businesses are run so that they can be addressed. Slowing down and taking control of the conversation, even though it can be intimidating, has served me far better than I could have ever imagined because I know a lot more than I give myself credit for.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Commit to teaching something new about something you are passionate about every month. People are looking for information on what you consider to be mundane. For example, I had a conversation with someone about how they train their cat and another conversation about video editing. Both people said what they did was “easy”. It may be true for them but it was priceless information for me. We all have gifts and sharing information about what we are passionate about is contagious. I don’t think teaching has to be fancy either (in terms of course setups or others). We have so many tools at our disposal. Just go with whatever feels comfortable.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I pay 14.99 for Chrome’s Pro Boomerang extension for my inbox. I love it!! I am able to get through items in my inbox and have them come back when I need them to be there. It takes all of the remembering and list-making away. I love that it comes back and is totally in my face until I deal with whatever the email is and also allows me not to worry about things until I need to.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Ha! See above. I really can’t say enough about Boomerang. I also really love Asana as a project management and organizational tool.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“Never lose a customer again” by Joey Coleman. The book applies to every size of business and provides sound, rationale, and examples of how to provide an exceptional customer experience. The book digs into the real emotions and impact of the relationship between customers and business owners and digs into the first 100 days of the customer experience. We’ve all been customers and this book really demonstrates to business owners how to create an amazing experience.

What is your favorite quote?

“Great oaks from little acorns grow”. This reminds me to keep taking small steps because everything great generally comes from humble beginnings. It also reminds me that it also takes several seasons before things end up in the right place. Being small in stature myself, it’s a great visual reminder for me of why I keep going and the impact that I want to make.

Key Learnings:

  • One’s professional journey is a continuous process of learning and growing, hopefully getting every individual closer to something most impactful and meaningful. It really does take time, experience and reflection to step beyond what we think we are supposed to and to start doing what inspires us the most.
  • Everyone’s professional success is a very unique blend of how they choose to spend their time, the tools they use, and a process of trial and error to show up to do their best work.
  • Understanding and acting in alignment with an employee mindset vs. vendor mindset as a service provider is incredibly difficult but important. Ultimately, greater transparency and boundaries, if done correctly, can lead to a more productive and meaningful work relationship.
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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Interviews

Interview with Jill Koziol, Co-Founder of Motherly

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Interview with Jill Koziol, Co-Founder of Motherly

Jill Koziol is the co-founder and CEO of Motherly, a wellbeing destination empowering mothers to thrive with expert content, innovative product solutions, and supportive community. Motherly engages an audience of 40 million+ readers and viewers a month, with on-demand parent education classes, Webby-award winning videos, The Motherly Podcast, essays, and articles, and a highly-engaged social media community.

She is also the co-author of “The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama: Redefining the Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Journey” and “This Is Motherhood: A Motherly Collection of Reflections and Practices.”

Jill is passionate about serving and empowering women and mothers because when mamas are successful, everyone wins. She is an advocate for families, female founders, and how to thrive with multiple sclerosis. Jill lives in Park City, Utah with her husband and two daughters.

Where did the idea for Motherly come from?

The short answer is that I cofounded Motherly simply because it didn’t exist and women were being significantly underserved by the parenting resources that were available to them back in 2015. The idea was born from a call with my now cofounder, Liz Tenety, an award-winning journalist and editor. She called to discuss the seedling of an idea she had for a platform that would speak to today’s modern mothers. On that first call we discovered we had a shared mission to support women as they become mothers and decided to build a next-generation brand that would redefine motherhood for the modern woman, that differentiated as woman-centered, expert-driven, and empowering.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I live and die by my calendar, scheduling every detail from work meetings to workouts to ensure I optimize every moment. The below is a typical day though increasingly I am having in person lunch or coffee meetings a couple times a week.

6:45am I start each day giving myself about 15 minutes in bed to check the news, emails, and my calendar for the day.

7:20am I’m dressed and ready for the day and in mom mode getting my daughters ready for the day and taking them to school

8am Call with my Chief of Staff to discuss any pressing matters and align on priorities

8:30am Workout

9:15 Email Check before returning to my home office

9:30 – 3pm Back to back internal and external video calls and meetings with hopefully a little time between to keep on top of email

3pm Pick up my daughters from school and bring them home for my husband and/or au pair to manage afternoon activities

3:30pm Email catchup, strategy work, occasional west coast calls

6pm – 8:30pm Family time!

8:30pm Final email check

9:30pm Shower & relax with my husband

10:30pm Bed, typically reading a bit before sleeping

How do you bring ideas to life?

I believe in sprints to timebox an idea, providing an opportunity to test and iterate, failing or succeeding quickly before scaling the idea.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Remote-first work policies. Motherly has been remote-first since our launch in 2015.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Timeboxing – I block time out for nearly everything on my calendar giving tasks defined periods to accomplish them – this allows me to stay focused and avoid multitasking too much.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I’d tell myself to lead authentically, not to try to be a man or anyone other than who I am, leading with a full heart as my most authentic self. It took me a while in my 20s to learn that people sense authenticity and they follow it.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Nearly 50% of today’s mothers are the primary breadwinner in their families – it’s a fact that many are surprised to learn and have difficulty believing. Because of this it’s a business and competitive imperative that we find ways to support working mothers in the workplace – our economic future depends on it.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Cancel meetings – at the start of each week I cancel as meetings as possible. If it can be accomplished with an email, the goal isn’t clear, an agenda not established, or someone else can handle it as well or better than me, it’s canceled.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Hiring great people and getting out of their way, seeing my role as helping to unblock them so they can be successful.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I believe that success is created when passion and persistence combine and that sometimes the key is to simply stay alive long enough to be successful. So while I fail in little, and sometimes big, ways each day, I see this as part of the journey vs failure. For example, we launched our first digital video class for parents in 2016 and it wasn’t successful because the market wasn’t ready, our audience wasn’t large enough, etc. So we killed it. But now in 2022 much has changed and we are now building the largest expert-driven digital parenting education platform.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I’ve had this idea for a few years and haven’t found a solution yet – with so many streaming services featuring original series I find it hard to know when a new season of a favorite show is launched. I’d love for someone to launch an app that I can flag series I love across all streaming platforms that will notify me when a new season is released. It would be great if it also made recommendations for similar series. If this happens to already exist, please send it my way!

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I buy fresh flowers weekly for my home office and while it may seem indulgent, I find that it brings me joy and encourages mindfulness during the day, both important for me to find each day to motivate me.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Trello – I keep track of to-dos and 1:1 topics for my direct reports, as well as notes from meetings.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Reshma Saujani’s new book, “Pay Up”, is an important read on the future of women in the workplace. The ideas she outlines are things Motherly has implemented over the last 7 years, proving they work and can be scaled.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is, “there’s nothing like 10 years of hard work to look like an overnight success.” This has been a critical mantra for me and Motherly because I so often compare myself and our business to others that have been around for a very long time.

Key Learnings:

  • Success is created when passion and persistence combine.
  • Time is your most valuable asset and should be protected fiercely.
  • The only person that you can truly be authentically is yourself. Spend time figuring out who you are, not who you should act like.
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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Interviews

Interview with Naz De Bono, Founder of Xali

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Interview with Naz De Bono, Founder of Xali

To Naz de Bono, 50, health and fitness has never been just a job, it’s an innate, fire-in-the-belly passion. A passion for the physical body within herself, and that of helping others reach their best place of physical health.

After an early life feeling disaffected by sport, Naz turned to personal training as a way to understand both the strengths and limitations of her own body and mind, and how to work with those challenges to get the best out of herself every single time. For over 20 years, Naz has worked and studied alongside specialist trainers, nutritionists, and mindfulness experts to do the work and learn the lessons.

Cut to a few years ago where Naz had her own very lonely and confusing experience of Perimenopause and Menopause. Naz realised that she wanted to combine her knowledge with her own personal journey to drive the creation of Xali, and build a safe, supportive community for women to access.

Naz’s way of training – the XALI way – is not to challenge you to push beyond your limits, to drag you through the grades to the point of injury or exhaustion. Rather, she will align with your goals and expectations, supporting you every step of the way.

Where did the idea for Xali come from?

When I started going through menopause my whole world seemed upside down. Things that had usually worked for me no longer did. Even my own 14 day challenge programs, which always got me results in the past and left me feeling great, weren’t having the same impact anymore. There were so many fitness apps out there that may be great, but didn’t seem to be helping women like me. On any given day I didn’t know which woman I was going to wake up as. On top of that I suffer from Elhers Danlos Syndrome, which means I have had many injuries, tendon and ligament tears which my doctor confirmed were being exacerbated by menopause.

The more I researched, the more I realised there was nothing out there to address my ever changing emotions (hormone emotions!) So I set out to build a platform with (New Beach) that would serve you up a daily workout based on HOW YOU WANT TO FEEL!

Xali is founded on the realisation that our bodies need many things. We need to have variability in our training but in the right dosage. We need Strength, Cardio, Power, Recovery Pilates and Yoga. I wanted to write an algorithm for each level of woman with different sets of goals to give them a 6 week training program that focuses on ALL their needs for vitality, health longevity and happy movement.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I’ve always been an early riser. Some of my best work is done in the morning before anyone else is awake. I used to jump out of bed, grab my coffee and a big glass of water and hit the gym. Since going through perimenopause, I have adapted my routine to suit me better and I take more time to set out my intentions. This has proved important with my new menopause body which is more prone to joint pain.

Before I even open my eyes, I take a few deep diaphragmatic breaths, whilst repeating this simple serenity ‘prayer’.

I then let the dog out, boil the kettle and turn the coffee machine for my double shot espresso. A very quick body brush to boost lymphatic if time allows, shower finishing with cold burst and then have 1 litre of warm water with a teaspoon of good quality sea salt. Check what my XALI tailored workout is as I drink my coffee. Workout – no matter where I am, I always make sure I have an area set up for me to do my morning session which makes it so much easier to do! Go for a walk and either listen to a podcast or music.

I then meet up with the team and take them through Wimhof breath work and visualisation every Monday to set us all up for the week. I built our team of women from love, and all of us are pretty spiritual, so I am free to expose all my ‘woo woo’ as we call it!

I spend time with each person in my team and we go through what needs to be done / addressed that day and then it’s all systems go updating the platform.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I love that you ask this as I know my best ideas happen when I am moving rather than static. Walking, cycling or doing an intuitive workout session. I always keep voice memos that I store for later as stopping and writing things down will interrupt my flow.

I use otter.ai to play back my recordings into Word documents. I work very closely with my husband, Leo, who has a genius and analytical mind. It has to be said, he winds me up because he questions everything and makes me look at every idea from all sides. This can make the process very lengthy but my attention to detail has improved so much. It can make things slightly annoying for 2 young girls, who feel we are constantly talking work at the dinner table.

When I begin to design workouts and programs for XALI, it can take months. My process begins with jotting down the workout basic outline on my iPhone or a scrap piece of paper. Once I have trialled it physically and passed the feel good factor, it gets written on to a massive A3 post it note and stuck on the wall of our home. Every single workout is colour coded. I think in colours. I learn in colour. It may make no sense to anyone else, but is how all my ideas come to life.

Each workout is designed with music. By creating a playlist for each one I know that I can perform and film the workout with the right emotion and tempo for the particular XALI woman I am creating for, hence it is a true tailor-made emotional platform for women.

What’s one trend that excites you?

Whimhof! But not rigidly. When I first tried, I didn’t like it so much. It felt very male in its energy. Then I met an incredible human being on one of my retreats that I go on regularly to reset myself. He brought a softness, emotion and surrender so that it became much more about breath work, followed by a surrender to the ice. Rather than the fight I had always felt before. I have never liked the cold. I am Egyptian and love to bask in the sun and feel the heat of it on my skin, but when I felt the benefits in my body and joint pain I decided to bring it into my self-care regime. Although now it’s winter, I focus on the breath work and not so much the cold!

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Remembering my WHY. There’s not much in the way of resources for women going through perimenopause and menopause and I want to create a solution for this. Like any entrepreneur, identify a problem and find / make a solution.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Trust your intuition. That voice inside is your wisdom. Don’t try to be like everyone else, fit the mould. Be you, because everyone else is taken. Stay curious about everything. Always listen before speaking, I know that your words have a big impact so choose them carefully. Love yourself, as hard as that may seem, you cannot love anyone else until you love YOU. Find and connect with people who make you laugh, who make you feel good about yourself, who inspire you, challenge you but do not wish to compete with you. When you find your people, your tribe, that’s when your visions and dreams come true. Be kind, always.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Hardly anyone agrees with my own unique way of working on things. It has been said over and over that I work too hard and need to step away from it. While this may be true, I feel it is my tunnel vision when I am working on any project close to my heart (including XALI) I cannot think or work on anything else. I am in the zone so no, I don’t multitask when I am in flow because I am fully present. And I feel that is what people deserve when they ask something of me.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

IRT which has changed my life. It is unlike any other spiritual work I have found, because it is instantaneous and effortless. IRT bridges science and spirituality.

The reason I love Maureen Edwardson’s work is because it is a formula of questions that activates a part of you that knows your authentic self. Think of IRT, as a defrag and anti-viral program, for your human supercomputer (yes that is what we all are!). Once we allow the part of us that knows who we are, there are no boundaries. Then you can achieve all that you want. Why wouldn’t I share this secret with you?

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Realising I needed to step into a place of leadership without expecting to be out front shouting CHARGE!

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Launched an online fitness app during COVID, when every gym, personal trainer and Influencer went on line. I no longer think of this as a failure but as an expanded opportunity to launch a more complete service to women of the world.

If there is one thing that COVID has taught us, it is we need to be more in touch with our emotional side. This was the birth of XALI.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Two things I think someone needs to invent or develop. Firstly a range of shirts or tops that’s designed for women’s shapes to still be figure hugging in a flattering fashion, but that doesn’t get makeup stains all over it when you take it off. I think so much women’s fashion is designed to look great but you take off a jumper or t-shirt and it drags along your face, taking with it, half your makeup and then it’s ruined. Another thing I think should be invented is a fabric that doesn’t show the white deodorant marks on black tops. There are deodorants out there that supposedly don’t show up on black fabrics but I am yet to find one that actually works. So let’s flip that concept and create a fabric where the deodorant doesn’t stain the material. Working in the fitness industry, these are real world annoyances that someone needs to solve!

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

A facial. Because it makes me feel good and I love the beautiful Parker at Aesthetica, Byron who does it!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Otter.ai. I listen to so many podcasts, I keep a journal on my iPhone voice recorder – all kinds of ideas, to play back my recordings into Word documents. I also record all conversations I have with my mentor.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Your Magical Evolutionary Code Unleashed – The Science of Inner Resonance by Maureen Edwardson. This book automatically activates your subconscious with the science of who you are. Dr. Bruce Lipton said “Maureen’s pioneering work is vital to our Evolution”.

What is your favorite quote?

Nothing is impossible, the word itself says “I’m Possible”
Audrey Hepburn

Key Learnings:

  • Trust your intuition!
  • Taking time for yourself and prioritising your needs is not selfish, it’s empowering!
  • Always remember your WHY and understand it’s ok to do things differently to everyone else – that’s what makes you YOU and what will likely create your success.
Originally published on IdeaMensch.
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