What I learned about uncertain times

Pushing a Car

Let’s be honest, to many of us the picture above is how it feels like running your own business in 2017.

Almost everyone I’ve spoken to seems to be either worried or pessimistic when I ask them how their business is doing, or what is their general outlook of the market and economy.

However, it’s times like this when uncertainty and a rather negative sentiment is the order of the day in the business community is when I become more ‘bullish’ than ‘bearish’. Some people who I’ve shared my sense of optimism is look at me strangely, my friends think I’m a hopeless dreamer and members of my family think that I am a “lost case”.

If you ask me what do I think of myself, I’ll tell you that the black and white image of the mad scientist ‘Frankenstein’ standing over his crazy experiment which he has been obsessively working on day and night comes to mind.

But really, this attitude of mine was really inspired by a piece of advice I got in 2009 from a well-traveled and experienced British entrepreneur who was in his 60s. We had met in a breakfast forum in Dubai. The forum which brought together professionals from the corporate world, government and entrepreneurs like me addressed the business community’s concerns about the global financial downturn at that time.

The British entrepreneur was seated next to me. And when everyone left the table during the coffee-break we stayed back chatting. He then shared with me what he has learned throughout the decades. That during every economic downturn, depression, political instability or even conflict he has witnessed; there will be losers but there will as well definitely be WINNERS to emerge.

He asked me to look at times like this as an opportunity itself to capitalize on the opportunities that will emerge by listening to my customers, understanding what does the market really need, build a more solid foundation so that I eventually “come on top”.

I’ll be honest, this belief keeps me always busy planning, driven and always curious during the times I am confronted with uncertainty.

Ask yourself, what are you or your business working on to “come on top” during these times? What are you doing to serve your and your business’ ultimate purpose. Someone once said that “the questions you ask yourself will eventually determine the course of your future”

I’ll share in the comment section 3 things I’m working on to prepare myself and my business to come on top.

If you don’t mind sharing what you are doing or your thoughts, please do share in the comments section of this post so that the rest of us can benefit.

And oh yeah, this was originally an Instagram post. To get more posts like this, please follow @memoirs_of_emirati_headhunter


Author: Talib Hashim

Abdulmuttalib Al Hashimi (Talib) was born in 1977. He grew up in a sleepy town called Rashidiya, a far cry from the lights and bustle of Dubai. Talib began his career taking on a number of odd jobs (Yes, the legend of the one month stint he landed as a Magician/Promoter in the summer of '96 during the Dubai Shopping Festival is true). His first taste of the corporate world came with the large international bank HSBC, where he started in a small role as a 'Recovery and Debt Collector'. Fortunately, he moved up quickly during his tenure in the bank and was eventually recruited to be part of an elite team of Traders in the banks Global Market department. Inspite of the "Wall Street" like glitz and glamour that came with his role; Talib decided to submit his resignation in the summer of 2006 and say 'Adios' to his cubicle, a regular income -a well paying one too-, his SUV and the life of employment. Together with a young Emirati lady, he established Next Level Management Consultancy, a recruitment firm with specialisation in the niche market of 'Emiratisation' (Employing and developing UAE citizens). He is always proud of the fact that he has helped numerous Emiratis find employment. And he would like to think that he contributed -even if a little bit- to helping them lead happier and more fulfilling lives. Talib holds a Masters Degree in Strategic Project Management. He is an expert in Emiratisation and GCC national employment issues and initiatives. He is also a regular speaker on the topics of employment, development of people, Emirati entrepreneurship and also cultural challenges in the workplace. He also gives a series of motivational speeches titled "10 lessons I learned in 2009". Talib is an expert in multi-cultural issues that influence the Arab workplace and helps companies bridge the gap between their expatriate and local staff. He is often accused by some to be an idealist and a dreamer, however, Talib works tirelessly to become an agent of positive change in society (and ofcourse achieve amazing success as an Entrepreneur in the process). Talib believes that all Arab youth deserve the opportunity and the right to pursue their dreams and aspirations regardless of their race, caste, colour, status and family name in society; and hence he is a strong advocate of national and Arab youth empowerment. He has a passion for travelling and backpacking. He enjoys reading books on history, autobiographies and self improvement. He is currently trying to improve his sketching skills.

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