zaidd'or

By Zaid Taji Farouki

Tag: entrepreneur

The Entrepreneurial Struggle: loving what you do, but waking up not knowing who you are

The closest friends and family may realize that over the past year according to them “you’re [I am] no longer fun” the past year has been a roller coaster of emotions and events. Many people may read this entry and say he shouldn’t be writing this as it may effect him badly in people’s vision or many have said “write about it later on in your life when you’ve made it” But I feel like I need to write about it now, as a form of counseling etching these words into “stone”. Sharing it with everyone, because if there is anyone else in the world going through the same thing as I am, you’re not alone.

A bit of background detail, last October I had launched my fashion label a dream I have had for as long as I remember, In January I opened the doors to our atelier, over these months, we have been featured on many regional and global magazines, TV channels, and blogs. From the first pieces we created we were on the cover on two magazines across the Middle East. Featured on CNN Arabic, twice on MBC, and Al Hurra TV.  As well as dressing two French celebrities to Festival de Cannes (Cannes Film Festival). A shortlist of the publicity and support we have received. Moreover, we are currently working on our a new theme which will be launched in October, as well as many other projects that I will be proud to announce about soon.

Looking back at this I realize how far ahead I have come from the simple beginnings of just having a dream, to picking up art in college to get the creativity flowing, to starting this blog, to going to fashion school, up to where we are today. Every step of the way has been a blessing. A blessing that not many people in this world get to experience in this world. A blessing that I am thankful for every living moment in my life. A 24 year old having the ability to follow his dream and passion. But all this comes with a price, the sleepless nights, unhealthy sleeping and eating habits, managing finances, to hiring the right team, to reaching the quality needed to achieve your vision, to meeting orders, to most importantly making ends meet. I look back at what I was worried about this time last year and I say to myself, “why was I worrying on such an insignificant event or problem.” But once you’re in the middle of all of it, it doesn’t look like that it, looks like the world is caving in. I always remind myself that next year looking back at what I am stressed about right now won’t mean a thing.

I can only imagine it as I have started my journey deep inside a cave, growing up I can see the tiniest hole that sneaked in the smallest beam of sunlight, the older you get the more you start to climb, worried anxious whether you’re going to fall, if you’re even going to reach that light, or when you get up there you may find someone that will kick you back down into it. As an enterprenuer and an owner of my own startup thats what I feel every day, somedays better than the others, but the goal is set ahead, but sometimes you sway off path, life looks worrying and dark then. Everyday you just have to wake up and show up. I had stumbled upon an article discussing these situations perfectly.

Jennifer Aniston was recently reading an article describing a Q&A session in Italy that was held to celebrate her receiving a lifetime achievement award at the Giffoni Film Festival.

A young woman had asked her if she has ever experienced waking up in the morning and not knowing who she was. The star wiped her eyes as she told the audience, “There are not enough fingers and toes in this entire room to count how many times that moment has happened to me. We’re all human beings at the end of the day, whether we’re a waitress or a baker or a student or whatever we are, at the end of the day you kind of hit walls and think I kind of can’t go any farther,” Aniston said. “Or this is too much. My heart can’t take it or the pain is too great, or am I good enough? Will I survive? And you just have to sort of somehow miraculously overcome. You just go, ‘I can’t, yes I can, yes you can.’ “

I personally can relate to this on every level, moreover, researching if my emotions and state is normal, and I am not alone in this world. I have also stumbled upon an article named “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship” with a description saying

No one said building a company is easy. But it’s time to be honest about how brutal it really is — and the price so many founders secretly pay.

It describes the psychological toll entrepreneurs have to face on a daily basis. and their psychological makeup; they are the people who have strong energetic, motivational, and creative traits. Therefore, they have strong emotional states- double edges sword.

Entrepreneurs assume many roles and face countless setbacks–lost customers, disputes with partners, increased competition, staffing problems–all while struggling to make payroll.

I am not writing this today for the loved ones reading this to get worried, I am writing this to say I enjoy every bit of it, this is me building a dream of mine, but some days you do wake up not knowing who you are and that is ok and we need to acknowledge that this is ok and I as I have previously mentioned I need to write about it now, as a form of counseling, etching these words into “stone”. I am currently at the point of either I accept this and this worrying and stress becomes a daily routine eventually taking my creative thoughts with it, or I take all this emotion and transfer it to some kind of energy that I can utilize in moving forward in both my personal and professional life. Never forgetting myself again, leading a healthy life, losing these 8 Kilos that I have gained over the past year because I stopped working out and looking after myself. Looking at every door that shuts in my face as a blessing, I don’t need to knock down every door. Sometimes it leads you to better things. I am writing this in hopes of change. I end this post with a high-note.

When you are willing to be emotionally honest,  you can connect more deeply with the people around you. “When you deny yourself and you deny what you’re about, people can see through that, willingness to be vulnerable is very powerful for a leader.”

All The Love in The World,

Zaid Farouki

P.S. Count your blessings, love every person and every step you take in life, you’re stronger that what you think.

Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out

A few months ago I received an email from a friend of mine telling me to read a book called “Unlabeled” by Marc Ecko. For who may not know him he is the head fashion designer of Ecko. You know that skating brand with the rhino? Well thats him! He started off with spray painting on t-shirts his own graffiti. With a $5,000 initial investment it turned into a billion dollar brand. In his book he wrote the obstacles he faced and the turbulences they went through. There are a few things that stuck with me that I definitely had to share with you.

  • Consciousness is underrated. Entrepreneurs can be so focused on the blinking lights of tomorrow land that they overlook the reality of today.

 

  • Sometimes I am doubtful and question myself as an artist, and say ‘at least I am an entrepreneur!’ Pssstt. ‘Entrepreneur’? Being an entrepreneur alone will not satisfy this mandate to create. The word sucks, like I joked earlier. I do really disdain the word. It has a passive, checking-of-the-boxes connotation, and it comes from the French word ‘entreprendre,’ which means to ‘undertake’.

 

  • What makes you a good artist is what will make you a good entrepreneur. If you’re authentic in the one, you’ll be authentic in the other.

 

  • Never feel bad about successfully selling your creations.

Never feel bad about creating art you can’t sell.

Just create.

 

  • Brands are not built upon finite numbers, but rather a curve composed of points along the axis of time and actions. The forces of life are always changing. But somehow we seek the validation that can only be found quantitatively in absolute numbers.