Jamillah ‘s style is 50 shades of fabulous! But today on Paperbeau, she is sharing her experience as a female entrepreneur. She talks about her current business and how she came up with the idea to start. Read why she chose this career and on how she prepares for success.
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?
My current business is Inspired Wandering, an eco-friendly, community-conscious travel company that focuses on small group travel.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
Inspired by years of volunteer travel, with an organization called Habitat for Humanity, in different countries around the world, I started a travel company that focuses on eco-friendly, socially conscious travel. When I was volunteering, the local experiences that we had were immeasurable. Connecting with, talking to and getting to know that people in the communities that we were in were really beautiful. We’d stay in small, chic, beautifully designed places after our time volunteering. Places that seem to only exist in the movies, picturesque scenery and landscapes. I thought to myself, this is how every trip should be. Once in a lifetime doesn’t have to be once in a lifetime, it can be every time. So, I came up with Inspired Wandering. We support small local businesses that have a vested interest in the communities they operate in and we also reduce our environmental impact when travelling.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
Before starting this business I spent 18 years working in Architecture as an associate/project manager. It was through my career that I started volunteering with the organization that I spent so much time travelling with, Habitat for Humanity. Their focus is to provide decent housing for all and to provide a hand up for the family partners. It was the perfect way for me to get involved, not only in my local community but the larger world community. This is my first business and I wanted to find a way to combine my passion for travel with my passion for community involvement by creating beautiful local experiences for my groups. It’s my opportunity to transition from creating and designing physical buildings to creating and designing the intangible, unforgettable experiences and memories. This is the perfect outlet for me to be creative and interact with people from all over the world on a daily basis.
WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
My advice would be to find something that you’re completely passionate and excited about and turn that into a business. Excitement and joy are contagious and when people feel that energy they’re drawn to it.
MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW I DEALT WITH IT:
My greatest obstacle was myself and stepping away from the comfort of a well-paying job to trust myself and my vision. I had reached a point where it was a “now or never” situation and I just jumped in with both feet. I knew that what I wanted to do, share this beautiful thing called travel, was not a temporary part of my life. This was something that I wanted to do for the long term.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:
Travel is my life and my work now, so it’s exciting that they can be one in the same. I’m currently in Morocco and every day I get the chance to see something new and learn something new that I can use to create awesome experiences for my groups.
I AM INSPIRED BY:
I am inspired by kindness. I’ve met so many people over the years who genuinely love helping and giving of themselves, it’s beautiful.
WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:
I chose to focus on travel because I believe that in order for us to truly be more tolerant and understanding we need to relearn how to relate to one another on a basic human level. To see that we are all human beings first, that we have very similar problems, joys, triumphs, successes, dreams and failures. And, selfishly, I love the idea of creating a global family for myself. Being able to travel around the world and have people that I can call a friend, sister or brother.
HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:
I prepare for success by letting go of my old way of thinking, being open to accepting that my vision of what success looks like might be different from the form it actually appears in. If you’re too rigid in your thinking those successes may pass you by and you don’t even realize it.
DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?
Yes, I did write a business plan and it’s an effective tool to use in order to physically see what it is you want to do and how you want to grow your business. It also helps if you want to bring on a partner or investors.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER?
The one specific advantage that I’ve found is the incredible network of other women business owners who support and cheer one another on. I’ve met some amazing women all over the world who have started and run their own businesses based on their specific dreams. I haven’t found any disadvantages yet to being a woman.
MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…
My favourite business tool is social media, it’s the best way to reach a large number of people relatively easily and quickly.
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…
If you need help ask for it. That’s the best advice I’ve been given and it’s so true. Yes, it’s good to be self-reliant, but never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You’d be surprised how eager people are to help and to support you, which is why it’s important to create a great network of people around you who genuinely want to see you succeed.