Soulaima Gourani


Soulaima Gourani the CEO and co-founder of Happioh, a Silicon Valley-based software company disrupting the virtual and hybrid meeting industry.

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Newsletter December 2016

newsletter_dec_16_1Too many are unable to think outside the box because they are stuck in it

Dear friends, fans and family!

You are very well aware that it’s the end of the year. Soon it will be 2017. Crazy how times fly. New Year is a perfect time to reflect and set resolutions.

In this letter I will inspire you to create an action plan to ensure that you control the direction of your career, rather than do nothing or just go where the wind blows.

I believe in luck to some extent – but I believe more in actions and strategic plans ;-)

ONE of the prerequisites in taking control of your new year is your willingness to make an effort and not point to your lack of the right education, strange name, ethnic background, childhood, gender, age, past failures, or limited network as excuses for not having an exciting, meaningful, challenging and exciting work and life.

I don’t say this only because I want you to be happy, healthy and wealthy but also because 60% of the jobs 10 years from now haven’t even been invented yet. You shouldn’t look for your next job – create it!

“There is no future in any job. The future lies in the person who holds the job.”
George W. Crane

Accepting who you are and where you stand is important.
I am constantly being challenged. We just moved to Austin, Texas on Feb 8 2016.

It is insane how different it is here compared to cozy Denmark. I moved here to challenge myself. In your brain you have a resilience muscle – make sure you exercise it.

It is never healthy to be too comfortable in life. You have to implement changes when you can, and not only when you have to.

Life design

I can live and work from anywhere in the world.
My teams are spread all over the world, and I can do most of my work from an airport, online and via FaceTime/Skype and online meetings.
I travel and work in more than 30 countries, and I am the proud mother of two kids, and still married to the amazing man I met 21 years ago. It is all about life design. You actually can have it all.

Too many of us don’t think outside the box, because we are in the box.

Your life values?

New Year is an excellent time to review and revisit your life values and your life’s boundary post. A boundary post represents your boundary line for how far you can go.

It is a signal saying “thus far and no further.” You have four boundary posts in your life, which represent what you are prepared to accept in your work life, your family, yourself, and your spare time.

Your life values combined with your self-esteem constitute your authentic self – your GPS and your navigator, which must guide you through the exciting but sometimes stormy waters of your career.

You should map your values – not the values of other people. Some people have values such as financial security, health, family, stability, time, community, and recognition, whereas others have values such as status and power.

My core values are, in no particular order, my children, my husband, my mental and physical health, my personal freedom, my financial freedom, my influence, and my responsibility and level of good impact.

My belief, the main thread through my life values, is this: “You can have access to me and my knowledge, but you will never control me or own me.” Now that I am an entrepreneur, I can absolutely live out these values. Others might live out their life values through, for example, regular employment or studies.

When you actively work with your personal values, it becomes much easier to see where, who, and what you should improve/change.
If you recognize your values, you make it easier for yourself to avoid crossing your own boundaries or compromising your beliefs. You might be a very idealistic person. Perhaps you cannot work with and for just anybody. You will discover that working in agreement with your values makes good sense.

Your values dictate your direction. If you do not possess a set of values to guide you, you will more likely than not end up in the wrong place.

What are you worth$$$$

Some people get upset when they see that all my prices for my services are available online. But there is a reason. I want people to know that I KNOW what I am worth and that I do not negotiate.

Your valuation of yourself is often influenced by what other people think of you – whether they see you as a success or a failure, a winner or a loser, strong or weak.

The good news is that you can easily stamp out this influence. The prerequisite is that you should be willing to step into character, cultivate your authentic self, and not allow others to influence your self-image negatively.

Promise yourself that you will be true to your goals. As one person in my network says, “If you do not have your own dreams and goals, then you have to content yourself with being a resource that others can use to achieve their dreams and goals.”

No dreams are too big and the only person who limits them is you. Often the limitations only exist in your own thoughts. Question your level of ambition and decide on your valuation. In the early days of my career, I learned the hard way that other people’s expectations, distrust among coworkers, naivety, and the patience of a saint mixed with high ambitions are an unfortunate cocktail, if I forget to stop and listen to my inner values, measure my energy, and map my motives.

You should continuously ponder on the conditions that you are working under, both external and internal, and how they affect you. You should perform this every now and then because your values and motives change over time as you develop. I still would like to achieve or try quite a few things, and I am constantly hungry for changes. Now I am aligned with my values, and I act in accordance with them when I make decisions that will change my life.

I wish you all happy holidays.

Soulaima Gourani