“When you believe there is always room for improvement, then everything can be possible.”
Dr. Samar Baqer is well familiar with the terms ‘Growth Mindset’ and ‘Smart Brand’ and is keen to share the theories behind these modern-day expressions. She’s also quick to point out that social media is just a form of entertainment and not a life tool; something to remember when seeking prosperity and success.
Hi, please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am a youth development enthusiast, sincere cat lover and strategist.
When it comes to the work I do, I am lucky to enjoy my job as a professor,
consultant and passionate public speaker.
Tell us about your education.
I thought I would continue in the field of computer science but life offered me a different journey with a PhD in marketing.
Tell us about your career path so far.
My career followed my development and growth as a person. Teaching/consulting was my full-time job but as I developed my skills and rediscovered my passion, I realized that my impact in the world could be manifested in different ways. I opened my eyes and my mind to new opportunities and found myself moving towards public speaking and coaching.
How did you get interested in public speaking?
Since I was a child, I never feared facing an audience. Some people used to think I would end up in the entertainment and media field. Throughout my teaching years I developed my skills and gained the ability to understand and read the audience and to change my style while still keeping their attention. I realized that public speaking was the logical outcome and destination as a result of my experience.
What is the biggest reward in the work you do?
I get to see people change and flourish in front of my eyes. I see their prosperity and their success stories. There are no words to explain the happiness I feel when I meet a successful young woman/man and they tell me they changed because they attended my classes. It’s like being a partner or a leading actor in their success story. This impact will never die because it stays in their hearts.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a speaker? How do you overcome it?
The ever-changing emotional status of the audience. I can never predict the energy I will receive. I have to be ready for any kind of response or question. I have to play different roles. Sometimes I am a role model, others I need to turn into an entertainer or even a comedian. The short span of attention is the biggest challenge any speaker can face. We need to keep the audience alert and engaged all the time.
My way of overcoming this challenge is to stay active and healthy. I rely on my energy and my movements all the time. I train myself to shine on the stage even if I feel down. Also, I try to engage the audience all the time and make them talk about their own stories.
What are some of your hobbies and interests?
Travelling, reading, listening to music, working-out and cats.
Who or what inspires you?
Any person who succeeds despite poverty, personal difficulties, special needs or discrimination. Women who fight child marriage and domestic violence are just amazing. I believe they deserve all the respect in the world.
What do you mean by a Growth Mindset?
It is based on Dr. Carol Dweck (an amazing woman) and her studies and books on the power of mindset and growth mindset. Basically, you need to believe that you can always have better abilities and better performance if you put your mind to it and you work on it. When you believe there is always room for improvement, then everything can be possible. High performers and highly successful people believe in this fact and they thrive for more success and prosperity because they think and plan with growth mindset.
You are a big advocate of personal branding. What is it all about?
I believe social media has given power to a lot of people who are not the best role models we need for our kids. It is the right time to highlight the real inspiring and successful individuals. Personal branding will help those who have inspiring stories but lack the marketing skills.
You are a marketing and growth coach. What services do you offer to individuals and companies?
Basically, I help successful people to grow and perform better. I try to direct them to focus on the main aspect of their career and personality so they can develop and grow. Marketing is a major aspect of that kind of growth. I help them to do the right research in order to open new doors to further success in their work. I also help them to think strategically about their marketing planning to maintain success and growth.
What makes you different? Why are your clients choosing to work with you?
I work with high standards and I am very honest. Having a PhD made me consider the validity of work every step of the way. As a growth coach I work not only as a consultant, but also a therapist. This requires a great deal of empathy. I work with people who are already successful, but they are stuck somehow. It is always easy to work with a small business and help them to succeed. The real challenge is to deal with an executive who is looking for more and more growth. I love this challenge and I am up to it.
You talk regularly about having a BRAND and a SMART BRAND. Can you shed some more light on this?
Unfortunately, a good number of owners of small businesses think of the brand as a nice logo and catchy name. I am trying to educate them that the brand is a strategic decision. They need to think about the growth of their brand and how to be positioned strategically in customers’ minds. A smart brand is the brand that can be extended in the future to include new products or services and to survive hard times with the competition. You need a brand that can live for many years.
What is the biggest marketing mistake companies make?
Not having a clear competitive advantage or a real value that persuades the clients to buy.
What are your three most important recommendations to business owners to include in their marketing plan or strategy?
-Clear identification of the target market.
-The value offered to their customers. Write your positioning statement please!
-The growth plan.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I have an order of priorities. I come first and that’s why my health, fitness and sleeping hours are the most important things. My family comes second. My relationship with my husband should never be affected by work. Finally, I take care of all of the work matters. I create another layer of priorities related to work. I prefer to have deadlines and to work on no more than two projects at a time, besides my work as a professor. Again, my health comes first.
Your message to women on this International Women’s Day?
Social media is just to entertain you so do not build your life around it. Take care of yourself always. Workout on a regular basis and eat healthily without depriving yourself of the food you like. Be a giver because when you give God will reward you with happiness and many other pleasant surprises. Finally, be strong but don’t forget that God created you with the gift to stay sweet and caring.
Your message for us at CP magazine?
I wish you the best of luck. Always remember to be innovative and offer content that is meaningful and creative.
Photography: Munai Al-Taqi @munaistudios
Makeup: Mariam Al-Darmi @mariam_makeup_q8
Art directer: Judy Haider – @jhaiderdesigns
Hair: Cathryn John – @cat_cuts_hair , @toniandguykw