TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?
Co-Tasker is a community marketplace platform where local people can find fast and affordable local help/services or earn money by using their skills and completing flexible tasks.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
My partner Tarek Abou Samra and I moved to Berlin from different corners of the world, we came to Berlin under different circumstances and we both experienced on different levels how hard it is to find help when you first move to a new city, when you have no family or friends to help, or when you can’t speak the language well enough to find and explain the type of help you need.
We also experienced how hard it is to find work and make money flexibly as a newcomer even though we each had many skills to offer.
We wanted everyone in Berlin to find help and make money like a local. We want to give our users a safe platform, with I.D. checked Taskers and a secure wallet payment system, so anyone can get their personal tasks and to-do’s done and have the possibility to use their skills and help others in return through flexible work!
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
Before I moved to Berlin, I worked in retail marketing for a fashion designer in London. I also did a bit of marketing consultancy whilst travelling before moving to Berlin. As much as I loved fashion, I didn’t enjoy working in that space.
When I moved to Berlin, I worked for the first time in tech in a startup. I worked at a startup where we video interviewed founders and professionals about their entrepreneurial journeys. Listening to their stories inspired me and made me realise, “Hey, I can do that”.
WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I say this all the time from my own experience. Do. Not. Worry. So. Much.
Everything that you need to know about starting your business is out there. You don’t need to know everything to start. Just start, and if you don’t know something, Google it. YouTube it. Heck, even TikTok it.
There is a wealth of information out there, and even if you cannot find that info anywhere, there are many people who can help you. Join online communities and groups.
Now is a great time to start your project; you just need to get over that worry and self-doubt.
MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW DID YOU DEALT WITH IT:
From my last point, I think the most significant obstacle that I faced came from within me. I believe most external obstacles can be overcome. You just work a little harder, research a little more, meet the right people and put in the time. But for me, I think the most challenging part is working on what’s going on inside your head.
I can speak for all founders when I say that during your entrepreneurial journey, it can bring all sorts of negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions that you have to get through. These can range from self-doubt, defeat, worry, being uninspired. But you have to learn to pick yourself up and power through it. Change your state of mind and continue.
I’m lucky that I started this journey with my best friend and partner, Tarek. He is my rock. Whenever he sees me down, he will always force me to look past what I’m going through and instead look at what we’re achieving on a macro-level, and naturally, I also do the same for him.
I will always suggest starting your first startup with someone for this reason. But if you’re going through this alone, first, wow, you’re awesome and second, find a release, find your rock. Find that person, whether it’s a patient friend or an advisor, that you can go to and be yourself when you’re down.
Because half that time, you’re doing amazing things and just need someone to remind you of the big picture.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
Seeing people recommend Co-Tasker brings us so much joy. The feeling of pride when someone recommends something that you’ve worked on so hard is just amazing.
HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:
Making space for free time is very important. Respecting your evenings and weekends will keep you fresh, recharged and ready for when you sit back down to work again.
I love going to see my friends, they are a great support network for me, and they always help me take my mind off work.
I AM INSPIRED BY:
I’m inspired by my family. I come from a family of business owners and hard-working people. Growing up, I was inspired by them and their entrepreneurial projects and work life. My dad started his own business when he was in his early 20’s. My Mum had a bakery when I was growing up. My Grandpa had a building company. My uncle was always high-up in different companies, and he helped me with a lot of my projects and school work. When I was a teenager, I use to help out in my Aunty’s Lingerie shop. I’ve learnt lots of valuable business lessons from my family from a young age. I still carry and think about those lessons today. They also inspire me to make them proud.
WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:
I’ve always been interested in business studies growing up, and it was my favourite class in school. During university, I saw that I also had a passion for marketing and branding.
It’s funny because in university, I always got the best grades in business topics that I found not so interesting, and I got the worst grades in marketing and branding. But I didn’t let it stop me. Today, I work for myself, and I created the brand with the vision that my Co-Founder and I made. I do what I want with my creative marketing projects, and it works.
I think creative subjects like marketing and branding are subjective, and even if you’re getting bad grades in something that you love, it doesn’t mean that you’re bad at it. It means that you aren’t ticking check-boxes that come from usually outdated textbooks and syllabuses.
For this reason, I always believe that getting a higher education is good for that piece of paper, but you learn about your professional-self more when you start your internships, go to work and get that on the job experience.
HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:
This is a tough question. Most of the time, we just keep our head down and keep working until success happens. I try not to celebrate success too soon, I’ve always been like that, but it’s important as a founder to recognise your success and have pride in what you’ve achieved so far.
DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?
I know how to write a business plan from when I was at university, but one tool that I loved that helped us make sure that we covered all areas of the business plan included the tricky financial section was Liveplan. You need to pay 10$ (?) per month, but it’s worth it. It also provides examples and guides throughout building your business plan.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A WOMAN BUSINESS OWNER?
I think that women make great founders and leaders for many reasons. Some people say that women are at a disadvantage in the workplace due to societal influences on how we were raised. But I think that the way we were raised as women has also unintentionally equipped us with many great traits that make us powerful leaders. We’re empathetic, goal orientated, team players, we can effectively manage our time, and we don’t let our egos get in the way.
MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…
TRELLO, lists on lists ON LISTS. There are so many things that my Co-Founder and I need to do, and Trello sorts everything out in a simple way.
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…
Is to not care about other people’s opinions. There will always be haters. There will always be critics. This is part of life. You either let them get you down (because they are actively trying to bring you down to their level) or you rise above and continue kicking ass, being 100% you.
It’s tough, don’t get me wrong. I still struggle with it some days. But as you get older and wiser, it gets easier. Trust me, and everybody should actively work on this because once you let go of thinking about what others think of you, it will set you free.
“If you’re looking for fast and affordable help with tasks around your home or business, or if you’re looking to earn more flexibly by helping others, and live Berlin or Potsdam, why not download Co-Tasker for free from the App Store and Google Play“