I won a $20K grant for Fempreneur Secrets!
It was 5.30PM. We were told results will be informed between 5.30PM and 6PM. I was already getting nervous. After all, I had only just spent 8-months of my life (and more) training, learning and pivoting Fempreneur Secrets. I had completed my pitching at 11AM earlier that day, and I knew there was nothing else I could do about the results at that time.
I told my husband I was going to do my Asr’ prayers. Once I was done, I touched up my make-up, just in case.
“It’s almost 6.15PM. You should get ready,” Amirul (yup, finally introducing him to you!) shouted from the living room.
“I’ve not received the message yet if I win or not.”
Amirul insisted that I reached out to them to find out the status of my results. Without wanting to feel disappointed, I reached out for my phone, tapped on Whatsapp and opened the message to this number we’ve been communicating with for the past 3 weeks leading up to Pitching for Change.
There it was, the message I was waiting for:
“Hi, congratulations! You are the winner!”
I was stunned.
Rewind two days back. We had a technical run organised by the SIF Team. Every technical problem that could happen, happened to me. I logged off feeling so dejected and demoralized. I felt like my presentation had a lot of issues, and my slides too.
I tried to rectify the problem but that honestly wouldn’t have changed much.
So, I did the next best thing possible: Prayed to Allah, and sought help from my business coach.
Late 2020, I invested in a group coaching programme so I could better perform and be a better leader for all of you at Fempreneur Secrets. It was one of the best. decisions. ever.
I initiated an SOS call with my coach, Murshidah, and she responded. Since it was so urgent, I took whatever available timing there was. God was in my favour and my coaches opened up a 9PM slot for me. We went through everything that could have gone wrong and what I could do to improve on my pitch. She brought in her husband and coaching partner into the call to share his experience pitching as well.
It was only after Zeal shared with me my blindspots that I realised how much my pitch mattered. The script was all that mattered in a pitch. I was already given the advantage of pitching virtually, which meant I could breeze through my pitch referencing notes.
So, I looked at what needed to be done. I worded my script properly this time. I did my research and I looked at the judging criteria once more. I went through my pitch so many times to get the timing up to 8-minutes (which was the time limit). I had been hovering between 7 and 7.5 minutes throughout my pitch practices. I felt in my heart that there’s nothing more I could do, change or say to push it up to the 8-minute mark. I let go and let God.
On the morning of the pitch, I woke up early to practice a couple more times. I had a good breakfast and I dolled up for this occasion. I spent time reminding myself of my big why and what it means to win this $20,000 grant.
I remembered all the advice my business community shared with me, both personal and spiritual.
Then, it began exactly at 10AM.
Group 1 went to pitch. They were amazing, but they had super tough questions. I wrote down the type of questions the judges was asking.
Group 2 went to pitch. They had done so much ground work, but they had super technical questions. Again, I wrote down “technical specifications” on my notes as the type of question the judges was asking.
Group 3 went on to pitch. Now, the had utilized that opportunity to give my dear friend here some advice to improve on his business model. At that moment, I was just wondering what type of questions I would get.
Then, it was my turn. Recited my prayers and off I went to pitch. I was just saying what I had practiced, with the occasional smile because of the sweet memories I had gained in this journey.
From a team of one at the beginning, I onboarded 2 business partners. Then, both went on their separate ways to pursue their own businesses. I was back to being a solo-founder. I grew from that one-woman show, to a team of three. Then, I went from workshops to virtual classes to membership. All in a span of 8-months.
My LIFETIME members know this. They also know the challenge I went through because we are all like family. I tweaked and pivoted my business because of the big why I had setting this up.
You see, this business was inspired by my mother’s and my experience when I lost my father, the best business man I know. I talked a lot about this on my interviews, so I shall leave that to your own listening and/or viewing pleasure ya.
I knew that doing this would mean I would be one step closer towards building a world where business savvy women exists globally; regardless of your education level and financial standing. It’s time we stop hindering our success and growth because of what we don’t have and start working on what we DO HAVE.
What does this win means?
This is OUR WIN
A community doesn’t exist without its people, and YOU are my people. You are the embodiment of fearlessness, compassion and determination that we want to build in this community. We build Fempreneur Secrets for YOU. So, you will see a couple of changes in Fempreneur Secrets, thanks to this grant.
#1. More workshops, virtually and in-person
With the situation getting better, we are preparing ourselves to return back to the classroom. For now, we’ll have to stay physically in Singapore until things get better. If you can’t join physically, you can always join virtually.
We call our workshops “SPRINT SESSIONS” and we’re praying this name sticks! We want our Fempreneurs to go through SPRINTS of success, not just endless learning for nothing.
Women entrepreneurs investing in their learning during our Women Business Minds Discussion in 2019
#2. we have a 5-help-1 model
When 5 women invest in themselves, 1 women’s seat to our beneficiary programme, Rising Fempreneur, will be sponsored. This programme will provide our beneficiaries made up of single mothers, women from low-income households and female refugees all over Asia, an opportunity to fend for themselves. You’re also making it possible for them to learn how to effectively run a business with whatever resources they have.
You’ll be helping women like Mara* (not her real name) a refugee in Malaysia have the opportunity to run a home-spa service and earn her first $200 income. Instead of relying on handouts, she’s now able to be the “hand above” and support her family.
When you invest in our workshops, you are changing the lives of our beneficiaries, one woman at a time.
#3. fearless Fempreneur community
We have always wanted to build a community of fearless women entrepreneurs from all over the world. We are now making this possible for you. While we are still testing, you have the option to join one of these community platforms we’ve created for you:
FREE Facebook Community: I go LIVE inside that community once a month to check up on you! We have a cozy group of 20 members now, and we’re ever growing and supporting one another
FREE Mighty Networks Community: If you don’t have Facebook, this one’s for you. It’s free to join and you can install the community app to you iOS or Android device!
We’re going to test the community until July 2021. The community with more engagement will stay, and everyone else would have to shift over. Take your pick now!
#4. We are a respect-first organisation
This one was a tough one for us. For a good 3 years, we’ve been offering free consults via Instagram. If you ask us a question, we will do our best to answer it for you.
Recently, one of the Instagrammers who asked us a question got a little rude. As with every answer, we inform them that we have Fearless Fempreneur Academy, a paid programme where you’ll learn even more knowledge about running a business. This woman got super sarcastic. I didn’t appreciate that one bit because I do this not for women like her, but for women like Mara described earlier. You can always decline my offer, but you should never disrespect the organisation trying to help you. So, we’ve decided to stop free consultations with immediate effect.
Fempreneur Secrets doesn’t provide free consultations. We only provide high value support and sage advice for our dedicated community members and beneficiary community. Even our beneficiary community knows that if they don’t take our support seriously, they will be out of the programme.
So, if you’re serious about your business, you can book a Power Hour Call with me for $97. My clients have seen stark improvement in their clarity and business from after one session. I don’t waste time and I go straight to the problem you have; then we’ll find a solution together.
Fempreneur Secrets is proud to be a RESPECT-FIRST ORGANISATION because we want this community to be a safe learning and growing environment for all our women.
Honestly, I have got just SO MUCH planned out for you. We have big plans and hope for Fempreneur Secrets.
You can be part of the movement!
JOIN OUR PROGRAMMES
You can invest in your learning through our virtual workshops, self-paced online courses and our membership. Just by doing that, you’re already contributing to the movement.
SUPPORT A BENEFICIARY
If you spot any women living in low-income households AND determined to make changes to her life INCLUDING running a business, send them our way. They need to be located in Singapore, Malaysia or Thailand (for now).
Become an affiliate
You can be our Affiliate. Promote our programmes and earn up to 30% commission. We are dead serious about our mission and need more partners to make this a reality. If you want to be an affiliate, just invest in one of our programmes, membership or e-book. You’ll be granted instant invitation to become an affiliate.
Keep learning and keep believing in yourself, because the world needs an inspiration just like you.
I'll see you in the next episode of Fempreneur Secrets — Empowering Women Through Business.
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