How to have it all as a female entrepreneur
Tiba Al Khalidy
How to have it all as a female entrepreneur
By Lea Steuri
Yes, female entrepreneurs can have it all. A great example is Tiba Al Khalidy. She is an accountant who turned business & growth mentor, and a serial entrepreneur. Over almost two decades, Tiba has successfully run businesses in the manufacturing, property development, accountancy, and business consultancy sectors. Along the way, she has recognised her entrepreneurial gift and more importantly, her capability and passion to help other business owners and entrepreneurs achieve success with their business ventures. She has helped small-business owners over the past 20 years to increase sales, profitability, cash flow, business expansion and streamline operations. As well as improving efficiency, implementing systems and building good teams.
What made you interested in coaching and entrepreneurship?
I have always been interested in helping people, especially women, to achieve and grow in their personal and business life. I was coaching women I met in my life without even realising it. Their successful results and the feeling of joy I received from providing that service, gave me clarity that this should be my mission; empowering women to be the leaders in their lives and to have the freedom to choose what they wish to achieve in life. Too often, women hear: “You can’t have it all.” It’s simply not true. Women can have whatever they wish. Of course, there are trade-offs in life, but that’s what we work on together when I coach – we decide what it means to them to have it all. When I achieved my accreditation to be a professional coach, that’s when I could guide people to gain life satisfaction.
I began a new chapter in my life when I moved to the UK. Deep down, I always had a deep instinct for entrepreneurship. I recall times when I was a teenager, making decorative headbands and selling them in the local shops. I started my business while completing a degree in accountancy and business. I chose a dual degree as I wanted to understand numbers. Little did I know it would underpin my business accountancy practice. During this period of studying and growing my business, I was transferring and implementing my theoretical knowledge into practice instantaneously. This was a significant period of learning from what worked and what failed. I didn’t mind making mistakes, as they only led me to learning even more. Now, I run multiple accountancy practices, a coaching & training business and a construction business.
”HAPPINESS is my definition of success. If we are happy with who we are, we can achieve anything we want and need.”
How has your philosophy helped people and businesses to achieve success?
My philosophy is straightforward. Your business is you, so I work with my client to discover their authentic selves. My client and I begin to identify personal obstacles which may be getting in the way of their success. Once we have figured out the root issues, it’s a process of removing the decay. After that, growing business is natural.
How do you define success and what does being a successful woman mean to you?
HAPPINESS is my definition of success. If we are happy with who we are, we can achieve anything we want and need. A successful woman is always authentic with herself and with others.
What kept you believing in the vision of the world you wanted to create?
Facing adversity in my life has made me stronger and kept me believing in the world I live in and drives me to continue my journey.
You have experience in empowering women to make their businesses thrive. In your opinion, what are the present obstacles women are facing these days?
I can’t generalise women and their obstacles, since we are all so different. Our socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, personalities and opportunities have shaped women in such diverse forms. Our diversity is a beautiful thing. Nevertheless, from my experience with working with women, our present obstacles are good catalysts to make meaningful changes without the help of an intermediary actor, who are often men because, in many sectors, men still dominate. I think this a deeply structured problem in society, and it will take generations of women, law and cultural shifts to overcome. But right now, I believe women can overcome a crucial obstacle – to be heard. You can apply this to your work space, a political institution, or even just at home. For women to produce change that leads to a more equitable society, women must learn how to use their voices to speak their truth. We need platforms like this magazine, which are great media for women to express themselves.
Can you briefly sum up the most important attribute a business owner must have to be successful?
Resilience is essential. The security of a 9-5 job is not there as a business owner. Your business runs as fast as you run, and the ever-changing uncertain environments of the world make growth a constant challenge. Personal resilience can help business owners feel like they are back in control when good and bad days feel out of control.
How do you see the role of women in business now and in the future?
Generations before us have paved the way to give women today the opportunity to hold significant roles in business, across a variety of industries. In the future, I see more and more women playing valuable roles in male-dominated industries such as science, technology and innovation. I also hope to see more women in CEO roles and holding political positions. While we have done well so far, there is much work to do if we want greater inclusion. Overall, I’m so excited to see just how disruptive women will be, breaking societal moulds and expectations; bri