“Failure is not in falling down or making mistakes, it’s in staying down..”
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Eman Alawadh. I am a 27 year old mother, oil sector employee, entrepreneur, aspiring writer and administrator of Kuwait’s first women’s fertility support program.
Tell us about your education.
I graduated from the British School of Kuwait and got my university degree in Business and Human Resources Management from Dublin Business School and Liverpool John Moores University. I was offered a master’s degree at London Business School but decided to dive straight into the working world at the time.
Tell us about your career journey.
After returning to Kuwait, I was selected by the Kuwait Investment Authority to join their annual fresh graduate training program. I later joined Kuwait Petroleum Corporation as an analyst. During my time at KPC I realized I wanted to have my own business and opened a beauty salon for kids called ‘Fantasyland’. It has been an interesting journey. I am currently still employed at KPC and run my business on the side. I aspire to become self employed and enter new business ventures.
How do you manage your time? Describe your average day.
I start my day by getting my toddlers ready for nursery then commute to work in Ahmedi’s Petroleum Training Center. After work I pass by my business or attend business meetings or meet with my business coach to follow up on my progress. I end the day with my family and a good book.
What is your biggest strength?
I think one of my biggest strengths that helped me get through the many challenges in my life is my relentlessness when it comes to making something work when I put my head to it. If I cannot do it myself, I’ll research it. If that doesn’t work, I’ll find someone who is an expert and learn from them. I always believe there is a way; we just have to find it.
Do you have any weaknesses?
Of course! Each person has their own different set of strengths and weaknesses, that’s what makes us human after all. I think one of my weaknesses is that I am emotionally driven. Although sometimes that can be a good thing, when in business, it can affect a lot of decisions and I am learning to separate the two.
Have you made any mistakes that have made you stronger?
Yes! I used to feel burdened by my mistakes but I realize now that I was very lucky to have made them because they have taught me so much in business and in life and have made me who I am today. I think the biggest mistake that I have learnt from is depending on or trusting too much in other people for my success or happiness. I am now stronger in knowing that I am in control of my own happiness and my achievements.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced during your career?
For me, coming from a European education and suddenly working in Kuwait where business is done very differently, especially in respect to gender equality, was very challenging. It’s frustrating whenever the issue comes up and it feels like a battle ground at times but I do believe that in a lot of industries in the region women still have to fight to be heard and to prove their worth simply because of our gender.
How do you stay motivated during challenging times?
I have a vision board that I update from time to time. I keep it in my office and on my phone. It’s a collage of pictures of where I want to get in my career, my business and my personal life. Whenever I start to feel de-motivated or drained, I look at it and remind myself that everything I am working to overcome today is to reach the big picture.
What do you do to relax?
Read, read, read! I own more books than I can count and my best relaxation method is winding down with a good book in a quiet corner. I also enjoy watching shows and recently started experimenting with meditation.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
The day I started my corporate responsibility project and saw the impact I was able to bring on girls struggling with disabilities and cancer. To see their smiles and tears of happiness, hear them pray for me and feel their hugs was by far the most humbling experience of my life.
What is your biggest fear?
That my time on earth will run out before I get the chance to change the world for the better for my children.
What is your favourite quote?
Be the change you want to see in the world – Gandhi
Name one item in life you can’t do without?
My phone. It has everything on it!
What’s the best advice you have ever taken?
Don’t give up. You either win, or you learn.
Share three books on your nightstand.
The Power Of Now, Who Says You Can’t? You Do, Siblings Without Rivalry
In your opinion, what are the three keys to success?
First of all, you need to be clear on what it is you want and understand why it is important to you.
Second of all, you need to isolate your mind and protect your motivation so that no-one can pull you down with their negative energy.
Third of all, is perseverance. I cannot emphasize this point enough because unless you choose to persevere you will not get over any obstacle. Failure is not in falling down or making mistakes, it’s in staying down, refusing to try again or to learn from your experience.
What is next for you? What would you still like to achieve?
I’m in the process of expanding my current business and pivoting it in a way that better serves young girls. I am also on my way to become a certified life coach so that I can help girls and women around me. I would like to become more active in the local political field and participate in more women’s empowerment campaigns.
What advice would you give to young women starting out in their career?
Opportunities don’t happen, you create them. You create them with the persistent determination to remain dedicated to the excellence you believe in. Do not let anyone set ceilings for you, they were made to be shattered. Do not let anyone make you feel like your gender is a disability. Of all the things that have changed the way I work, remember this: work to make yourself proud, not to receive recognition; because if it doesn’t bring you joy, you’re doing it wrong.
How does it feel to be a CP Woman of Substance?
I’m very honored and humbled to be selected as a CP Woman of Substance. I do believe that all women are of substance in one form or another and it is a pleasure to be recognized and appreciated. I hope to continue to live up to the title and empower other women around me.
Your message for the team at CP magazine:
Thank you for taking the time and effort to recognize women. I really enjoy your magazine and look forward to your future issues. Wishing you all the success.