Do you ever dream of being your own boss? To start your own business in a cause you truly believe in? Even if it’s not what you’re currently have expertise in?
Well, this lady did just that. While her day job was in tech, she moved into the health and wellness industry. We communicated with Sharfunnisa Quadri who had the courage to leave her senior manager position at a large US-based technology publicly traded company to start her own company and become a wellness coach.
A Gallup study found that 85% of global employees are not engaged, or are disengaged at work. This means that employees turn up to work for the money, and not for the business cause.
Hence, the high disengagement rate.
If you feel the need to escape your day job, and are looking for ideas, then you might find this article helpful for you.
If you’re interested to learn more about how to start your own business, we recommend this course.
If you read business books and articles on how to start a business, you will find that most suggest aspiring entrepreneurs to validate their business idea first before starting your business.
Validation is basically finding out if your target market would be interested to buy your product or service. This is done by either a survey or better still, getting potential customers to order a sample from you.
However, there’s another school of thought: follow your passion.
Sharfunnisa Quadri falls in the second category. She followed her passion to make health simpler,and started EatFitPlay.
“There is a lot of business advice out there about validating the market, business plans and all kinds of things that are taught in the business school. My only benchmark for doing this were:
And the answers to all of this were a resounding YES. I started serving the people and the money followed.”
To find your purpose, you need to examine your values. What do you stand for? What do you believe in? How can you help to change the world?
Sharfunnisa started this business because she was tired of parents struggling with their own weight loss, and yet feeding themselves and their kids unhealthy food, while spending their money away on countless weightloss programs and gym memberships.
Her mission is to make health simpler just by making simple changes to a person’s nutrition and lifestyle. She’s coaching people to eat right, and making lifestyle changes to beat stress in order to help the get off medication or lose weight.
On EatPlayFit’s website, she offers healthy recipes, self-care and stress management, and weight-loss tips. She offers one-on-one coaching for individuals and provide customized plans for her clients.
There are plenty of businesses offering the same type of products or services. So how do customers choose between them and you? That’s where you have to set your business to be different from the others.
For Sharfunnisa, she said, “I will never hand over a pill to you or put you on a treadmill for countless hours to get you to lose weight.”
“My changes are simple. We set goals together and we look at “You” and “Your individual” lifestyle when designing the program that fits you. I do not promote or sell cookie cutter programs.”
Marketers are taught to create their ideal buyer persona. That is, who their ideal customers would be, from selecting gender, age groups, income brackets, education level and so on. This would then make it simple for you to target your marketing campaign to.
Then again, there is another simpler method to this: find your influential buyers.
What does that mean? Simply, who holds the buying power to your product or service. For instance, supermarkets and packaged food brands would often conduct surveys to find out who makes the decision to purchase the items in grocery stores or supermarkets.
For instance, yoghurt cups and drinks are targeted for children, but children don’t have the purchasing power. Typically, their mothers make the buying decision. Hence, these yoghurt drinks would often have claims of added vitamins, and health benefits to influence their mothers.
For Sharfunnisa, she chose the second, simpler option. Her target customers are busy working moms who are either trying to lose weight themselves or cooking for husbands or another family member that are dealing with chronic diseases.
If you currently don’t have the skills or credentials for your business, worry not. Just learn and skill up to get to where you want to be. Sharfunnisa’s example is an inspiration for us all.
She has a degree in electronics, and worked in a data analytics company which is purely a tech-based skills and background. But she chose to educate herself, by becoming a Dr Sears Certified Health Coach and continuously reading up on healthy eating, nutrition, attitude changes, where she counted at least 415 books so far!
Last but not least, you need to have this: Tawakkal.
As Sharfunnisa mentioned in our interview, the need for “Tawakkul”.
“Which means “The Trust in God”. Once you understand and embody that, you will take the hardships as well as successes as part of the process.”
Farah Ishak is a Content Writer at Halalop. She grew up in the United Kingdom where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Management. Later, she completed her MBA and held senior-level positions in Malaysian based MNC. She left the corporate world to be with her young kids. She is passionate about issues concerning Muslim women, Startups and Muslim businesses in general.
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