Spiritually tuned in.
Ayda had to create her own empire, single handedly. She wasn't a trust fund baby, and she wasn't handed the reins to any of her companies through nepotism. From a very young age Ayda learned that hard work was a necessity if you wanted to have financial freedom.
Ayda's family left the revolution in Iran to seek a better life in Australia where they were granted residency through her father's skilled working visa as a successful engineer. Ayda was only 4 years old when she landed Down Under and didn't speak a lick of English. Ayda distinctly remembers the routine of boarding the bus with her mother weekly to attend English classes in the CBD. One particular memory that has seared into Ayda's memory is witnessing her mother's helplessness due to her lack of an education. Yet, her mother persisted and continued to board their bus, with a prejudice bus driver no less, in an attempt to make Ayda's life better.
Ayda gets goosebumps sharing this story to this day. It most definitely fueled the fire in her belly to be hungry for knowledge, and subsequent freedom to be given the opportunity to do whatever she set her mind to.
The adversity didn't stop there though, as Ayda found herself treading though her tumultuous teenage years where she lacked the stability of a steady home life. When many others would have succumb to complacency, Ayda decided to carve a path for her future, and she landed her first job at Hungry Jacks (Burger King) making $7.50 a hour. This job allowed Ayda to move out of home at the age of 16 years old where she became entirely self-sufficient and started saving her cash. Keeping her nose to the grindstone, and deep in her school books, meant that Ayda was able to purchase her first property at the ripe age of 18!
Ayda has been working in property ever since and has founded multiple seven figure companies and boasts a property portfolio worth over 10 million dollars. She's ambitious, determined and passionate about making other GenY men and women property owners too.
In order to help facilitate this, Ayda has co-founded a company called Grow Group. Their aim is to help clients from all walks of life source and purchase property easily. All the consultants own property and are successful investors in their own right, so you know you're in good hands. In order to introduce more people to the road to property ownership, Ayda and her team host an introductory workshop via Grow Group, and I had the pleasure of attending one of their events last week. The evening was hosted at their swanky office in Pyrmont and included bubbles, food and an opportunity to mix socially with the other guests. The workshop itself was fascinating with a lovely introduction from Ayda and an easy to understand powerpoint presentation plus a complimentary learn as you go notebook to help you answer some important questions. There were loads of boogie breaks to dance out any restless legs and the team were such gracious hosts. I highly recommend attending a workshop in person if you can. Keep your eyes peeled because they are available in Brisbane, Sydney AND Melbourne!
But, now I want to share more about the woman behind all the magic! So thrilled to have you on today sharing with our readers Ayda!
Let's dive in:
If there was only one thing that you could share with those who aren't familiar with who Ayda Shabanz is, what would that be?
Mmmm. I'm not sure I understand this question, but I would probably say:
Looks can be deceiving. I've been judged on who I am my whole life because of how I look, but that doesn't define who I am.
I am Strong. I am independent. I am wild and free spirited. I am down to earth. I am adventurous. I am courageous.
I've been through many struggles, and I'm sure there are more to come.
I believe that my life has unfolded in such a way so that I can understand and empower people to show the world what we are capable of.
(Oh wow, that was uplifting. I almost stood up off my chair with my fist to the sky - ha ha!)
You talked a lot about your WHY during the workshop; (the motivating factor that propelled you into this line of work and property ownership). How crucial is this step of carving out a WHY if a client wants to achieve financial success and freedom?
I feel like the journey through life is a constant search for meaning after meaning. You don't have to know the reason for life today, I just want to stress that point. Many people struggle with this idea and it creates a lot of stress. Your WHY is more in relation to having a clear picture of what you want your life to look like in 5 years to 10 years. If you can't define that clearly, your basically walking through life blindfolded with no real idea where you're headed. So many people don't spend enough time with themselves to figure this part out for themselves.
In terms of investing, it's critical because having an idea of where you want to be allows you to make proper decisions on what type of investment or investing can help achieve your goals. For example, you'd need to know how much money to save, how much you'd need to earn and what types of investments are available to you. So many people get this part wrong or leave it out!
Also, it's OK if it things change along the way - hence why you review your plans annually.
Some people may not know that you are also a successful business coach. What does a business coach do exactly, and when should a business owner take the step to recruit one themselves?
I love helping other business people. It's all about making better decisions and getting faster results.
There are many different types of coaches and their ultimate goal is to help you get a better result to achieve your aspirations. In terms of business coaching, this is in relation to one's specific business. A business coach will keep you accountable and help you formulate your goals into a set strategy and implement them into results. They should provide experience and insight in business areas beyond your level of experience. Business coaches also act as a sounding board around questions and/or decision making as well as opening you up to a network of people that can help you achieve your goals.
I have, and continue to have, all types of coaches in my life (business, life and spiritual), and in my opinion everyone should have one. Especially if your business is slowing your own growth because you're trying to do it all on your own. In a start-up phase it's even more crucial to do it right and get the correct guidance.
Did you know that your Persian derived name, Ayda, means, “Visitor, returning, inside the moon, happy, angel of love?"
Yeah, it has lots of meanings which are all amazing and around bright light. I do believe I have a big purpose here. x
The different meanings of the name Aida are:
Arabic meaning: visitor, returning.
Swahili meaning: advantage, reward.
Persian meaning: shining like a moon or beautiful as a moon.
Turkish meaning: a special flower that grows beside the river.
You shared an outstanding quote during the workshop from Warren Buffet, which reads, "Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful."
Can you tell us about a time in your last 16 years of business that this rang true for you?
I've seen this many times in my 16 years, but more specifically in terms of GFC or times of financial crisis. I've seen many people ready to benefit when times are down and many people make fearful mistakes.
For example, we purchased loads of property for clients in 2003-2008 in Sydney when the market was so flat people thought it would never recover. So, we took the opportunity, and as a result, our clients reaped the benefits when the market boomed. It's all cycles, you just have to trust your own numbers and hold on for the ride.
What is it about Gen Y that makes them an ideal target audience for Grow Consulting Group?
I'm a Gen Y gal and I've been in business for 16 years. I've seen so many people do it wrong, and I want to help everyone. But now, more then ever, I want to help my generation because I understand what we've been through (and are going through).
Work/life balance is: possible, or a myth?
It's always a matter of priority. I think balance is possible, but that comes with making tough choices. For example, saying no to certain things you want so that you can give yourself the things you need, or saying no to watching TV because you want to exercise. These kinds of choices can make having a reasonable balance possible.
Finish this sentence: Social media is...
an opportunity to reach and help more people if you are authentic and real.
Owning multiple properties has allowed me to ___________________, which has changed my life for the better because _______________________ .
Owning multiple properties has allowed me to have choices, which has changed my life for the better because now I have the opportunities to grow myself, my business, and do more of the things that I love.
What is your definition of success?
Loving who you are, loving what you do with your time and making a positive impact on the people you touch and the world.
... ALL with a big smile on your face, and light flashing off your aura (I know I'm strange).
What is the first thing you do every single morning?
I make my bed, then make a tea or celery juice, light a candle and meditate.
At a few of your speaking engagements I've heard you discuss the importance of meditation. How does this mindfulness practice enhance your day to day life?
It helps me to reconnect with myself and my purpose. Busy lives make us disconnect from our spirit.
As a busy business woman with a hectic schedule, how do you practice self-care? Or, is this an unnecessary indulgence in your opinion?
Self-care is putting yourself first when you need to. I totally have to do this because I give a lot of energy every day to my work, meetings and staff. I practice self-care a few different ways:
meditation, walking outdoors, cooking, reading and sleeping when I need to. Oh, and listening to beautiful music as well.
What is your 2019 forecast for the Australian property market?
I see opportunity for those willing to not get sucked into the negative talk.
What do you do to get the creative juices flowing?
Listen to music. I prefer jazz or classical tunes.
Getting outdoors and exploring nature.
Getting out of the city and working in creative places.
Listening to uplifting YouTube videos.
Who is your greatest inspiration and why?
Oprah. She fought many obstacles in her life, but she's a resilient and empowered black women who accomplished things people couldn't even begin to imagine. She has stayed true to her values, who she is and has never changed. She inspires so many people from her life and her struggles. Recently, I also love Lady Gaga.
Give us your fast five:
I'm listening to: Jay Shetty.
I'm loving: exploring new walking tracks.
I'm reading: Ray Dalio, The Principals.
I'm eating: I'm always cooking new things. Currently I'm eating a lot of homemade, organic paleo based food.
I'm loathing: the businesses that serve no purpose in Sydney.
Girl Power is on the rise more than ever.
Events are popping up all over the world connecting women, face to face, offering an excellent opportunity to develop relationships, build brands or simply connect with other power players. Some are geared towards business and networking, while others are more focused on education, mothering and parenting.
Michelle Battersby, of Bumble Australia, forecasted that a shift is upon us in the near future that will see people spending more time away from their phones. Wouldn't that be lovely to bring back the interpersonal human connection? These events are the perfect way to do just that.
Here are few #bossbabe meet ups that are worth checking out in 2019!
1. Minding Her Business has been around for 18 months and have hosted multiple, sell-out events around Australia. Minding Her Business is the brain child of Katie Stevens, a savvy business woman, model, entrepreneur AND proud dog mom who calls Brisbane home. I've blogged about MHB before, and can't recommend these events highly enough if you're looking to make friends in a new city, grow your business, or seek out some pearls of wisdom from their empowerment panel. Their motto is: Connect, Collaborate, Create. This tagline is clear and concise; just how I like it!
Minding Her Business has another branch of networking called Minding Their Business, and these events are actually inclusive of men. Their final event of 2018 was November 18th in Brisbane and a huge success. Be sure to follow them so you can keep up to date with all the wonderful things coming your way in 2019. They have already gone interstate before.... where might MHB be off to next I wonder?!
2. Business Chicks have just wrapped up their 9 to Thrive tour across Australia, and I was lucky enough to win tickets to their two day Sydney event! I'm so glad that I went when I'd just moved to Sydney because I met some pretty incredible women and walked away feeling more knowledgable and empowered. I was blown away, and I blogged allllll about my epic experience at 9 to Thrive here.
Business Chicks have all kinds of events on offer, such as brunches, dinners, and networking meet ups. Do yourself a favour and attend an event in 2019!
HOT TIP: Have you read Winging It by Emma Isaacs yet? Emma is the founder and global CEO of Business Chicks. You'll want to do yourself a favour and pick this book up ASAP.
3. Mum Society: now for a little change of pace. This Sydney based community is known for hosting absolutely wonderful events. They also bring women together with inspiring speakers and themes for each event, but with more of a focus on all aspects #mumlife. You can still connect, network and grow your brand/business, but in a more kid friendly environment. You are given an option of purchasing a childcare option when checking out online and booking your ticket... how good is that?!
I haven't had the pleasure of attending one of their events yet, and missed their final event of 2018, Bump...Baby...Blue, due to the apocalyptic weather conditions in Sydney that day that left Sydney half flooded. I'm looking forward to attending and supporting Kylie and her fellow boss babes in 2019.
1. Business Chicks are also hustling in the USA, so check them out, stat.
2. MTHR Collective : (pronounced Mother) A friend of mine recently spoke at a MTHR Collective retreat. I had a mini stalk session and it's quite possibly the most incredible retreat schedule I've ever seen.
So, yaaaaa..... bomb schedule, am I right? If I were still living in the US, I would have been at this event in a heartbeat! My friend said that she would 100% recommend going and plans on attending every year she feasibly can.
Their instagram is all kinds of wonderful too, so check them out Mamas.
Well that's it! I hope that some of these events are near you, and I'd love to know about your experience if you have attended one of the above mentioned meet ups in the comments below.
So many acronyms, so little time.
Whether you're a mumprenuer, stay at home mum or a working SAHM, here are a few tips I felt are worth sharing to help boost your productivity while working at home.
1. No Wifi
If you work on your laptop, and are completing a project that doesn't need the wifi, turn it off. I spend a lot of time on my blogger platform or writing/planning/brainstorming in my Notes. It helps to have the wifi off because I'm freed from distracting email PINGS which pop up in the right hand corner demanding my attention and messing with my groove. Removing the temptation to check the news, Facebook or other distraction will help you to keep focused on the task at hand.
If nap time is when you get caught up on finances, or pay the bills, open only the browsers you need, and upon completion, close each tab until you've finished.
2. Ditch the phone
When it's time to get to business, place your phone on the charge and leave it in another room. If that really isn't an option, you can have it close by and on do not disturb mode (if a person calls twice, back to back, it will ring the second time).
3. Nap time is sacred
If you're like me, my only time to get work done, admin, blogging, replying to emails is while my daughter naps. I know it's a personal decision, but I don't like being on my phone in front of her, and try to avoid using it in her presence as much as possible. What this means is that I only have between 1 - 2.5 hours a day to be a complete whirlwind mom boss. There are some days when I'm so efficient, smashing goals left, right and center. Conversely, there are other days when I need her nap time to catch up on housework, take a little mental health afternoon in the peace and quiet, or read a book. If that's the case, then I'll work in the evening to meet a deadline, but I try to avoid working at night because that is when my husband and I have our quality time together.
3a. Eat before your work time
I try to eat or have a snack before I put my daughter down. Why? Because I'm saving precious time. If I put her down and then start prepping and cooking my lunch, I've lost 15-25 minutes by the time it's prepared, mindfully eaten and cleaned up.
3b. Meal prep
Therefore, meal prep when and where you can. I'm all about meal prep, but NOT the kind where you eat the same food in a plastic Tupperware for the entire week. Make a big batch of quinoa, have washed salad read to go, make a huge bowl of cous cous, bake a huge tray of roasted veggies, make some delicious energy balls. Have it all ready to go, so it literally takes minutes to assemble, top it off with a bit of gut healthy kraut and, voila! You can read all about my meal prep tips here.
4. Set a timer
If you need to go on social media for work, set a timer and stick to it. Social media is like the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. One minute you're DM'ing a social media influencer, and the next thing you know you're looking at a new line of bathing suits for some brand you've never even heard of!
5. Silence is GOLDEN
There is a joke about silence being golden, unless you have toddlers, and then it's suspicious! Silence is healing, silence is grounding, silence is priceless. Having the television off, and music off, are great ways to hone your attention to one task. Sometimes I'll have a handcrafted Spotify playlist on in the background, but even then, it's playing on low and not too distracting. Yoga Girl's Playlist Of The Month is an excellent public music playlist, made by Rachel Brathen. I love her lists for practicing yoga or simply relaxing at home.
So, tell me, what tips and tricks do you implement for healthy time management Mama?
Tell me in the comments below!
Check MHB out on Facebook or on Instagram to keep in the loop with the most up to date information, business tips and upcoming event launches.
PS: There is also a closed Facebook group that you can join for inside scoops, photos and #GirlBoss inspiration.
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