It’s a new year filled with fresh challenges, and it always feels good to reset and recalibrate at the start of a new year, driven by resolutions and new goals. At least those are our intentions anyway. For 2018 I am focusing on people, surrounding myself with those who inspire me, and learning from people who push me to do more. One of those people is Anna Roberts, Dubai-based entrepreneur and interviewee for today’s blog feature.
Born in New Zealand and raised in Dubai, Anna’s journey started at the University of Auckland where she studied Communications, taking her into a career in television and radio, before setting up her own company, Nudge. Anna’s business focuses on communication strategy and coaching – from nailing your speech, to communicating more effectively with employees, offering people a new way to look at problem solving and confidence building.
I want to impact as many people with my training as I can, so they can speak up in business and in life. You don’t need to be the loudest person in the room to be heard, you just need the tools to tell your story.
Nudge is all about giving people the tools to tell their stories, and with a focus on empowering women in business, I am all ears, and I want to hear Anna’s story – to hear how she is handling life as a new mum (to twins might I add) and businesswoman simultaneously. Her most recent course, Fear Detox is a free online resource and 14-day action plan for getting out of your comfort zone and speaking like a boss. Anna has plans to follow with a book later this year, and it’s all based around growing a business and raising babies with style. For the women out there looking to start their own business ventures, and those who are wondering how to handle both family life and their entrepreneurial goals, take note ladies.
1. Tell us about your plans to write a book – what’s it all about, and how do you manage to fit this in while raising new-born twins?
I have never been more motivated in my life since I had the boys. I fit time in to write the book because I make it a priority and I have a support system that allows me to pursue my passions, allowing me to be a great mother and a great businesswoman. The book is based around the current corporate structure and how it isn’t working. I’m over trying to fix the system, instead I want to create a new way to approach work and how that interacts with our lives.
2. Describe yourself in three words.
Focused, passionate and present.
3. What are the key lessons we can learn from Fear Detox, to see us through 2018 with more confidence and direction? (In work and life)
The key lessons are that the language you use internally is reflected externally in our words and actions. If you want to achieve anything in business or in life you need to back yourself before you expect anyone else to back you. The fear detox is a way to make small incremental changes that are lasting and use actionable tools. I’m all about manifesting your best life but for me I need structure, check points and real life examples to integrate change into lasting success.
4. What would you say are three key personality traits of a successful entrepreneur?
Resilience, focus and passion.
5. What does the family unit mean to you?
It means having each other’s back and support, regardless. From talking through issues in work or life, to small gestures of making coffee in the morning.
6. How do you see your twins growing up in a digital age?
Extremely cautiously. I’ve chosen to put my professional life on social media but my children didn’t make that choice, so we don’t show their faces.
7. What has been one of your biggest learnings/ realisations since having children?
If I can grow two babies, I can do anything.
8. How do you organise your time between raising babies and running a business?
I have a support system and I organise the house at the start of the week; from there my calendar determines where I am with clients and how much time I’m away from home. Knowing that home and family are taken care of means I can focus on my business.
9. How do you make time for yourself – how do you relax and unwind?
I prioritise sleep. Having been diagnosed with chronic fatigue and a thyroid condition, I know how much sleep influences my energy, mood, weight and focus.
10. How do you keep fit? Any post-natal fitness tips?
I waited until I was three months postpartum to start back on serious fitness, and I train three times a week for 30 minutes. It works for me – I manage to feel good physically and mentally.
11. What would you say is the first step to starting an entrepreneurial venture? (Is it your idea? Your passion? Money?)
Never go after money, you’ll always be disappointed. Start with passion to change one person’s life. From there, you’ll never have to dig deep to justify why you’re doing all the crappy work because you know it will mean something.
12. You’re an inspiring person yourself, but who inspires you? (In life/ business)
Arianna Huffington, Oprah, my Mum and Dad.
13. Who are the people we should be following for 2018?
Yourself! If you can’t inspire yourself, who else are you expecting to be inspired by you?
14. Can you recommend any books to be reading, or podcasts to be listening to this month?
Download Fear Detox for free at imannaroberts.com!
15. Are you a Kindle person, or a paperback type?
16. What’s your top piece of advice for creating and maintaining a brand through social media?
Know your audience, know your value and keep offering them content of substance.
17. What do you love most about Dubai?
The opportunities! They are endless!
18. How do you view the room for entrepreneurial start-ups in this city? Is it a ‘land of opportunity’?
Yes absolutely, but the biggest test to establishing yourself here is to see if there are opportunities to scale. If you can’t test yourself on the world stage then you haven’t made the most of your success.
19. If you could give one piece of advice to the aspiring entrepreneurs reading, what would it be?
Back yourself, because if you don’t believe in your abilities, how do you expect anyone else to?
So the starting point is you, and a little bit of introspection never hurt anyone. Whatever your goals may be – whether starting a business venture, setting healthy nutrition goals for the month, or changing your career path, take some time to reflect on your intentions and how you plan to make it happen. Start off small, get the mindset right, and surround yourself with people who challenge you and motivate you to hit those goals.