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Q&A with Mona Makkawi

Updated: Jul 21, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Mona Makkawi, Founder @Konsult

How could you describe your career path in few words?

Being the firstborn in my family had a major influence on all my decisions in life, including my career path. I’ve always had the urge to care for others, to take responsibility over my actions and to play a diplomatic part between my parents and my siblings first, then between employees and management later; hence, that was the first reason I decided to take on a career in Human Resources. Throughout my career, I developed my skills through various operational and strategic roles in Human Resources management, Management consulting, Training & Coaching which helped me build a successful career, and led me to decide to take an entrepreneurial path since 2009. With every job I worked in, I always had an entrepreneur mindset, proactive mindset and this what helped me establishing my first 2 Businesses in The retail and the consulting company. I have been lucky throughout my career to work with great teachers and mentors, who instilled the love of learning more to become more in me, and who taught me that Change is the only constant. Which translated in me embracing an agile mindset, the ability to adapt faster to changes in my life and the resilience and patience needed to operate in this VUCA (volatile, Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous) world.

What was your most challenging experience and it has changed your mindset?

One of the most challenging experiences that I faced as entrepreneur in the training, coaching, and consultancy field may face is establishing credibility and building a strong reputation in the industry. It can be difficult to convince potential clients of the value of your services, especially if you are just starting out or facing stiff competition from established players in the market. To overcome this challenge, it's important to focus on delivering high-quality services and building a strong network of satisfied clients who can serve as advocates for your business. This can be done by focusing on building relationships, being responsive to client needs, and continuously improving your skills and knowledge through ongoing education and professional development. Another challenge that I faced in this field is managing the financial aspects of the business, including setting prices, managing cash flow, and balancing expenses with revenue. To overcome this challenge, it's important to have a solid understanding of financial concepts and to develop a detailed business plan that takes into account all of the costs and potential revenue streams of your business. And I did that through pursuing my Executive MBA and other relevant certifications.

Finally, as an entrepreneur in this field I faced challenges related to time management and work-life balance, as the demands of running a consultancy business can be intense and require long hours and a high level of dedication. To overcome this challenge, it's important to prioritize self-care, delegate tasks where possible, and set realistic expectations for yourself and your clients. Overall, entrepreneurship can be a challenging but rewarding path, and the most successful entrepreneurs in the training, coaching, and consultancy field are those who are able to stay focused on their goals, adapt to changing market conditions, and continuously improve their skills and knowledge.

Based on your experiences, what skills should an entrepreneur develop in 2023?

The entrepreneurial landscape is constantly evolving, and as an entrepreneur, it is important to develop and hone skills that will enable you to adapt to changing market conditions and stay ahead of the competition. Here are some skills that may be particularly important for entrepreneurs to develop in 2023:

Digital Literacy: As the world becomes increasingly digitized, it is important for entrepreneurs to have a strong understanding of digital tools and technologies. This includes skills such as social media management, email marketing, data analysis, and website design.

Creative Problem-Solving: Entrepreneurs must be able to identify and solve problems creatively and efficiently, often with limited resources. Developing strong problem-solving skills can help you to stay agile and adapt quickly to changing market conditions.

Adaptability: With technology and consumer preferences evolving rapidly, entrepreneurs must be able to adapt to change and be comfortable with uncertainty. This includes the ability to pivot quickly and make decisions based on new information.

Emotional Intelligence: Building strong relationships with customers, partners, and employees is crucial for entrepreneurial success. Developing emotional intelligence can help you to communicate effectively, build trust, and manage conflict.

Financial Literacy: Understanding financial concepts such as budgeting, forecasting, and cash flow management is critical for entrepreneurs who need to make smart financial decisions and manage resources effectively.

Leadership: As an entrepreneur, you are responsible for leading and inspiring others, including employees, investors, and customers. Developing strong leadership skills can help you to build a strong team and achieve your goals. Networking: Building a strong network of contacts and relationships can be invaluable for entrepreneurs, providing access to resources, advice, and potential partnerships. Developing strong networking skills can help you to build and maintain these connections. Overall, the key to entrepreneurial success is a willingness to continuously learn and adapt. By developing these skills and staying on top of industry trends and developments, you can position yourself for success in 2023 and beyond.

Based on your recent experiences, if you had one piece of advice for an entrepreneur's success in the context of 2023, what would it be?

My one piece of advice for an entrepreneur's success in the context of 2023 would be to prioritize agility and adaptability. The pace of change in the business world is accelerating, and entrepreneurs who are able to pivot quickly and adapt to new challenges and opportunities are more likely to succeed.

To achieve this, entrepreneurs should be willing to take calculated risks, embrace failure as an opportunity to learn, and stay open to new ideas and ways of doing things. They should also be willing to experiment and iterate quickly, using data and feedback to refine their products or services. In addition, entrepreneurs should build a strong network of contacts and relationships, including mentors, advisors, and peers, who can provide guidance and support as they navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship. Ultimately, success in 2023 and beyond will require entrepreneurs to be nimble, resilient, and adaptable in the face of constant change and uncertainty.

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