Soulaima Gourani - Women Reignite
Soulaima Gourani is a TED Talks Mentor, entrepreneur, and multi-faceted business woman and the creator of Women Reignite - an organization with the mission to create a warm, encouraging space where women can “reignite” their lives while fulfilling their dreams. It’s a supportive community of women with one goal in common - to reignite our lives and finally fulfill what we've dreamt of FOREVER.
In 2007, she decided she no longer wanted to be a ‘salary earner’ and left what most people would consider a “pretty good job”. She had a burning desire to make a difference in the world and create something of her own. After trusting her own vision, Soulaima created the life she so desired and became a sought after motivational speaker, philanthropist and author, with approximately 200-plus global talks per year.
This successful transition to being in control of her life and career led her to create this very necessary community as well as the Life Design Formula™ - a proven step-by-step process that shows you precisely how to get back into the drivers seat of your life. Her passion to push other women to design the life that they deserve is her ultimate driving force because she is a living testimony that through hard work, sacrifice, a support system, and taking a risk - it can lead you to victory.
Today, she resides in Palo Alto, California, where she continues to advise American leaders, entrepreneurs and companies in areas such as strategy, management and leadership. Gourani also works with corporate clients and world leaders as a World Economic Forum expert where she advises major companies on topics such as sales and service and customer loyalty, strategic relationship-building and change management, employee motivation and the future of business. She is a two-time author and speaks on the topics of change management, career development, and emotional intelligence.
It’s been so wonderful to connect with Soulaima and learn more about her her journey and Women Reignite, and I’m so excited for you guys to connect with her and follow along!
I'd love it if you'd introduce yourself, what you do, and what you're working on.
I am an author and I have dedicated my life to helping and inspiring others. I am also the founder of Women Reignite (an online community for women) to be launched in US in the fall. I want to do for women what Ikea did for affordable home design – give inspiration in how to design your life so you live accordingly to your talents, passion and values. Through using “systems thinking”, principals and methodologies of product design, I will help to improve your life.
How did you get started?
I started this journey back in 2007. I was laid off from my job as a global sales director. I decided to start speaking and writing about my lessons learned from a busy and global career. That became my starting point as a global keynote-speaker, consultant and bestseller author. You can say that my low-point became my inspiration! I love to see people succeed in all that they do.
What inspired the work that you're doing?
My own life and I always had a passion to help others. I have had many struggles during my upbringing. I had a difficult time at school and often moved a lot. Plus, I was the only non – caucasian kid in my communities. I felt so alone and it took more than 16 years before anyone could see any talent in me. The support was next to nothing, and no one ever understood what I was doing—or good at. And what I was good at people kept telling me to stop doing (communication/speaking).
Today I have written and co-written more than 14 books and spoken in more than 35 countries. I want to help people to find their talent and trust life. No one should feel alone or feel they do not belong. I waited till I was 30 years old before I really pursued my dreams so I want to encourage people to take lessons from me and go for it!
What is your biggest passion? Do you feel like you're living your passion and purpose?
Everything I do is to create more innovators, critical thinkers and problem solvers and overall more peace in the world. My passion is to help others to grow.
Yes, I am living my purpose. I dedicated myself to providing people with the tools, information, inspiration and network they need to design their own future. This is why I am launching my online community, womenreignite.com, in the fall 2019.
What is your joy blueprint? What lights you up, brings you joy, and makes you feel the most alive?
Today I am very happy—I have accepted and enjoyed my fate as an inspirational speaker and as a business mentor for some of the largest and most demanding companies in the world. I run a startup and I thrive on being the highest authority in my own life. I am very much aware when I feel happy, because happiness has not been a constant factor in my life. My adversity and struggles have become important motivators for me.
I often think a lot about women who feel the need to be 100% business driven, 100% of the time AND 100% family orientated on top of that. Look “it is NOT possible.”
How do you live intentionally? Are there tools/resources/practices that you rely on to help you stay mindful and grounded?
I am a big advocate of at least once a year and thoroughly analyzing your life. You can ask yourself if you are happy and try to describe how many times a week you feel happy. Do you have more good than bad days in a week? Contemplate whether you have worries that keep you awake at night. Try asking your spouse and kids how they see you. I once asked my kids to “draw” our family and they drew me as a very sad/angry mom. That was SUCH an eyeopener to me. I understood I needed to change my life-design. I was successful but not happy.
You have to be brave enough to raise your personal leadership to a new level, work on developing yourself, and fight to break bad habits. The hardest person to manage is ourselves.
Think about your values, principles, and convictions. They should inspire everything you do in this life. Furthermore, you should work on developing your ability to cooperate with others.
Can you name your values?
Your values are everything you believe is important in the way you live your life, in your work and in your job.
Values determine your priorities (what you spend your time and energy on). If you can name your values then you can claim them. When the way you behave matches your core values, life becomes better and you feel you’re living a more authentic and content life. I have 6 main values in my life:
· Freedom: I need to feel I am free
· Family: My kids and spouse matter. I want to stay married and be a good role-model for my kids
· Fitness: My health matters to me
· Financial: It matters that people pay me what I am worth
· Future: I need to understand how my work impacts the future
· Fun: I need to feel happy in my life
Can you name yours? Values come with a price-tag. You must feel they are so important that you will stand up for them. They are the cornerstones in your life, but when these don't align with your personal values, that's when things feel wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness. This is why making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important.Values exist, whether you want them or not. Even if you do not recognize them immediately, you are built on core values. My advise is to dig really deep and find them. You will feel much better. When you know your values you will start to make plans and decisions that honor them.
What would your younger self think about what you're doing now?
My younger self would be proud of me for making it this far despite my adversity in life. I would tell myself that patience and persistence ultimately will pay off. And do not let anyone ever tell you that your ambitions and dreams are out of reach or too high. Aim for living your fullest potential. Also, do not worry… you will find the love of your lifeat a very young age.
Do you have a go-to mantra or affirmation?
My mottos are: “I cannot change my childhood, but I can appreciate that it is over” and “It is not important where you come from, but it is important where you are going." I WANT a good life and I want a great career as well. Your career and personal life are all about having the courage and the ability to seize the opportunities that you run into. I believe that people can decide to become successful and reach essential goals by hard work.
What is your biggest dream?
To make my kids SO proud of me, and that they one day will say “ my mom changed this and this” and look how much better and safer the world has become.
To learn more about Soulaima and Women Reignite you can connect with her on her website https://soulaima.com and https://womenreignite.com/home and on Facebook @soulaimagouraniglobal and Instagram @soulaimagourani
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