By Mayshad Mag
Mayshad Magazine is an advocacy platform for empowerment which mainly focuses on empowering women, raising awareness and exploring a contemporary lifestyle.
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
I am Anica, 33 years old, working as an independent business consultant within Human Resources in international tech companies for the past 6 years — and founded NOSADE, a tour operator for yoga travels all over Morocco, 5 years ago.
Can you tell us a bit about the reasons why you decided to found Nosade? What was your inspiration? Why did you decide to create this in Morocco?
Traveling to Morocco in 2013, visiting my friend and yoga teacher living here at that time, planted a seed in my mind that later started to grow into an idea offering yoga travels from time to time with her in that beautiful country that I fell in love with immediately.
Finally meeting my Moroccan husband lead into the fact that Morocco would play a central role in my life. And then one thing resulted into the next —- the idea to just work on an own small “start-up” project grew into a serious and well working business meanwhile.
Morocco itself, it’s culture, hospitality, inhabitants and nature but then also it’s great potentials at that time kept inspiring me. And still does! Somehow I felt, and still feel, a very deep connection with that country that is nowadays the second home to my family and myself.
How do the retreats and/or nosade include women and contribute to their empowerment?
The obvious fact of the still developing role of Moroccan women, and within especially the need of education and possibilities, made me immediately conclude to build a business that is supporting all kinds of empowering projects and creating an empowering work surrounding within our own company. We are engaging, partnering and collaborating with various foundations such as PIKALA Foundation, who does our guided Marrakesh tours — or engage ourselves in teaching yoga to the girls at Moustaqbel Foundation. Further than that we are planning to offer soon internships to the Moustaqbel girls who can collect some tourism related work experience with us as mandatory practical part of their studies.
I personally stand for an empowering style of leadership and encourage for continuous growth within our company, that meanwhile holds a nice mix of multinational employees and service providers.
What was your experience becoming an entrepreneur– which challenges did you face that you did not see coming and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge I faced is the continuous need of creativity & personal strength in being the “leader” of the business. We all know there are times when we don’t feel strong or creative at all — and still at that times I can’t simply disconnect from my responsibilities and disappear to recharge.
My team, our guests, they all expect me to function within that responsibility, at any time. I had moments when this really stressed me to the point I start panicking and doubting my abilities. I learned by then that it helps me to simply talk about and share my weakness in times like that, knowing that my team can rely & trust on my presence, passion, strength a major time of working together.
In general, I enjoy being an entrepreneur to the fullest. I enjoy being able to have the possibility to be creative within my work every day, I enjoy to be problem solving, I enjoy the space I have within not working for someone else but within the field of my own passion. I enjoy the fact that I am only as good as my team and that it requires from me to see, hear, enable, teach, empower them continuously. I enjoy the need of being strong therefore! And finally, for me as a woman, wife and mother it means a lot of work and responsibility being self-employed, but a lot of freedom, too!
The awareness of all the joy helps me then additionally through more challenging phases.
Leading a business means and requires also a lot flexibility towards various stakeholders and towards things that are happening unforeseen continuously. Reacting calmly and considerately, not overstating, also is a life lesson I learned.
Do you have any tips for young people or women that would like to start up a business as you did? What would be your top tip for them to achieve their goals?
I would like to recite one of my favorite and most meaningful (life) teachers to encourage young people / young women thinking about or being about to start a business: Get comfortable in being uncomfortable!
And search good and very carefully for chosen people giving you continuous and — most importantly — critical feedback in what you are doing. I call those people my „brain trust“, even though most of them are close friends or meanwhile appreciated business partners.
Never be afraid to fail — be most critical not to try. To fail is part of the game! Every fail will make you grow more. And fear is a bad consultant.
Photo Credits: Madlen Krippendorf