Interview of Rabab by IWSC

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Crossing Barriers, Achieving Goals, Scaling Heights, One at a time – Rabab Ghadiali, Life Coach, Mentor, Corporate Trainer

– Interview by IWSC Team, September 12, 2018

“Who have I impacted positively today?” seems to be the question guiding Rabab Ghadiali, Life Coach, Mentor, Speaker and Corporate Trainer, every day. Rabab completed her graduation with child in arm literally and credits her mother-in-law for being the guiding force in her life who not only encouraged her to complete her education but also taught her how to manage herself professionally.

Rabab Ghadiali in conversation with the Indian Women Start-Up Club:

“I had a very strict childhood. Coming from a middle class family everything in the house was calculated. Be it the amount of food you eat, friends you meet, clothes you wear etc. We never had a helper in the house, keeping one was considered a waste of money. Therefore most of my time after school would be spent in helping my mom to clean the house, leaving me less time to study and no friends to hang out with. But I was lucky that my father supported me and like for every daughter he was my support system. All these difficult circumstances lead me to become a very shy and reserved person. I also had very low self-esteem and almost no confidence in my abilities. The situation worsened when I lost my father at a very young age, our life overturned overnight and I had to support my family financially. I took up various jobs at a tender age. I would interact with people from different fields and gain from their knowledge and experience. I don’t know what to call this but like a typical mentality of most of the Indian families that a girl child means ‘’get her married as soon as possible’’, I got married at ripe old age of 18 and had not completed my graduation also. My biggest surprise came when I received tremendous support from my in-laws and especially from my mother-in-law. My mother–in-law proposed the idea of me completing my graduation. She is a clinical psychologist herself and understands the importance of education.

She suggested me to get my graduation completed. Not knowing how the Indian education system works as I’m from Tanzania. I had to go to a career counsellor to understand what my scope was of getting into a college. The counsellor suggested that I do my 12th again as all my certificates made no sense. I did my 12th privately and after that enrolled for BMM (Bachelors in Mass Media) post my marriage and post motherhood to get my degree. There were times that I used to take my child who was barely 2 years old to college and feed her in between lectures. The Professors were also very supportive. My mother in law also has taught me a lot about understanding human psychology. At various stages she has guided me about how to effectively deliver trainings and adding value at each step of interaction with my clients. She always has considered me as an equal and loved me as much as her own son. My family especially my husband and in-laws have been a strong support system and instrumental in encouraging me to pursue my career with great zest and enthusiasm. There have been times at which due to professional commitments I cannot go to pick up my kids from school. My husband fills in and picks them up. I feel I am truly blessed to have them as my family. I have been extremely fortunate to have met people along the way who have believed in me probably more than I believe in myself and have made me what I am today.

“My biggest surprise came when I received tremendous support from my in-laws and especially from my mother-in-law”

My Eureka moment was when I was dining with my non-bohra friends and they passed a comment that once you are married and have a child, life is finished. I was not ready to accept that comment and that made me think of who am I apart from a wife, mother, daughter-in-law, etc. The passion came into light when I started thinking what is it that defines me. This thought has liberated me and has gone a long way in making me independent and increasing my confidence in my ability to get things done.

As a child and in my teen years I had a low self-esteem and was low on confidence. Fortunately I have travelled a lot. I have stayed in various cities such as Dar-Es-Salam, Nairobi, Manchester, Gothenburg and I’m currently settled in Aamchi Mumbai since 14 years. These travels have helped me develop personally and be sensitive towards people’s culture, values and struggles they face. Each trip has contributed to my development as an individual and I have found that irrespective of where you are from; there are few things that are same in all individuals. We all have a belief system and a thought process that either makes us a conqueror or makes us surrender to circumstances. But, the best part is that this belief system can be altered. In fact, that’s what I specialise in” Helping people overcome their self-limiting beliefs, installing new positive beliefs and to make sure that these older beliefs do not resurface.” If we have a strong belief system then we can be triumphant in any situation and resolve even the most complex issues with ease.

One of the things you will observe is that I always wear a ridah and wear it with a lot of pride and it is an integral part of my identity. At times people have asked me things like “Are you going to wear it during the training as well?” Some directly and some indirectly have conveyed their apprehensions and that has been one of the greatest hindrances. However, wearing ridah is a choice I have made by myself and I stick to it. If anyone is uncomfortable or feel that I cannot deliver some awesome kickass training sessions wearing the Ridah, that is their perception and I would just like to tell them that “I agree to disagree with them”. My attire does not make me a good or a bad trainer. It is my content and my knowledge about my field that makes me one of the best. 

“One of the things you will observe is that I always wear a ridah and wear it with a lot of pride and it is an integral part of my identity.”

Till recently I was the peon, the executive, the manager, the VP and the CEO of my company. All in one. But as more and more work started coming in I have realised that I have time constraints. Also, I can be efficient in any task I take in hand but if I want to really make a mark I need to build a team of experts. It is better to work with people who like me are awesome at what they do and delegate the responsibilities to them as per their expertise. My core expertise is coaching and the more time I spend on coaching assignments, bigger is the impact I can create. Currently I handle client acquisition, be it corporates or individuals for my coaching assignments and of course, a continuous task of improving myself as a coach. I have a team that handles my online marketing and I’m currently busy revamping my website and social media presence to further improve my digital presence as a Life Coach, a Keynote Speaker and a Mentor.

Managing my time includes not only managing my business, but my 2 adorable kids. I also have to take care of all responsibilities that a wife has. To be honest I never feel that I am neglecting any aspect of my professional or my personal life. I am always there when my family needs me. Also, they understand that I want to create an impact as a business woman and they are very supportive in all my endeavours. Lastly, I have been blessed to have met and worked with some great people that have shared my responsibilities and been a great source of inspiration professionally as well as personally. Also, a big part of my time is saved by efficient use of my smart phone and laptop. Although I have a team that stays in Mumbai and one team member is in Pune, we do not meet every single day. But we stay in touch through video calls, WhatsApp messages, emails and phone calls.

We only meet once in a week to take stock of the situation for 3-4 hours and review what we achieved as a team in the past week and what the plan of action in the next week is. This saves a lot of time especially of travelling every day to an office. Also, the work from home scenario helps the team members to make optimum utilisation of their time and work from a comfortable setting without undergoing the hassles of daily travelling. I have a student in my team who is currently handling all my graphics and also is handling her regular college schedule. She is able to focus on both the responsibilities beautifully as she is working from home.

“The trainings that I conduct are based on real life experiences and are backed by extensive research that I do personally.”

I feel that you should surround yourself with the right kind of people and then back them to complete the task at hand. I have met many people along my life journey who have at different junctures of my life have given me valuable insights in how I can improve.

As an individual I am very straight forward and demand highest levels of commitment from everyone around. Also, I am extremely passionate about being the best Life Coach and Mentor. The trainings that I conduct are based on real life experiences and are backed by extensive research that I do personally. There is one slot in my everyday schedule that is reserved only to read, research and explore new studies that will help me deliver great value to my audiences and mentees.

In terms of sessions in the past year itself I have conducted 100 + workshops and in the past 4 years I have facilitated approximately 110+ private one-on-one mentoring sessions. I have 16 mentees who consult me for their personal, family related or professional issues.

“My guiding force: To create great impact in the lives of my trainees and strive towards giving my best to them as a Life Coach, a Corporate Trainer and/or a Mentor.”

One belief that I stand by is that “You either Succeed or Evolve”. We do not ever fail. Failure is just a wrong mindset that has crept into our belief system through systematic social learning. This is a mantra so dear to me that I have just recently created a special program around it that helps people to learn from situations, emerge as a winner and if they come across any obstacles than evolve as a human being to find a solution to go pass this obstacle.

Finally my message to women is that never believe in the talk that you cannot manage your professional and personal life together. Always “Encourage the Leader in You” to go out in the world, take risks and make the best of all the opportunities that life gives you. One of the biggest challenges we as Women Entrepreneurs have is the guilt we feel when we leave our kids at home and go out to work. The society and the people around us also play their part in magnifying it. But, you should not feel guilty as long as you devote a reasonable portion of your time maintaining work-life balance. Consider yourself as an example that you are setting for your kids of being a strong, independent individual. There is no guilt in teaching your kids how to face the world which they learn by seeing you in action, day in day out with the ease and panache that only a woman can.”

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