So you want to be an Entrepreneur?

Entrepreneur Name Tag Business Owner Self Employed Your Own Boss

 

Recently I volunteered to talk to Year 9 (age 14) students for a Career Fair. I had advised the lady who was organizing this event about my past of being a Legal Assistant – Legal Executive – Solicitor – Businesswoman/Entrepreneur. She listed me on the programme as an “Entrepreneur” (I didn’t know this immediately).

I was asked to talk for 3 times for 20 minutes to students and parents in a large classroom.  At the first session it was a full room and I nervously explained my career path, with the students and their parents watching either in rapt attention or disapprovingly. One father was not amused with my sage advice to always carry a notebook and pen in your hand when you go to see anyone in a corporate office.

If you have not heard this advice from me in real life, here it is:

When you go to see anyone whether the CEO, your boss, the marketing administrator or the receptionist take your notebook and write down what they say. You will NOT remember what they say after you leave them. Trust me. This advice applies especially to those 21 year old MBA graduates who have not bothered to think about what they want to ask and bother the in-house legal department and then demand immediate attention and response to a non question. 

I digress.

I noticed after the first session that my classroom had been full, whereas other rooms were half empty or even empty. The second session started with a full audience and more people outside. It was weird. I’ve never had a queue of people waiting to see me, a trickle after I give speeches but never a queue!

I asked some students before I started the second session: “what are you planning to do in the future after school”.

“We want to be Entrepreneurs”, they replied

“Entrepreneurs in what? Have you created a product? An app?”

“No”

“A service”

“Erm…No”.

“Do you want to go to university?”

“Do we have to if we are going to be Entrepreneurs?”

I looked at the door of the classroom, it had my name and “Entrepreneur” next to it.No mention of being a lawyer.

*ching ching ching*.

They wanted to find out how to be an “Entrepreneur” from me. No wonder the attendees of the first session were slightly disappointed by my speech!

They have this believe that they can have the title and the money will come rolling in!!

The amount of times I go to networking events and people say they are Entrepreneurs but their business sounds like fluff. It’s just a cool term to use around town right now. I tend to call myself a businesswoman to try and show I am serious about my business.

These students didn’t want to be serious; they wanted to be cool.

How do you explain to them that it is not that easy to be an Entrepreneur in 20 minutes?

I had to tell them. I couldn’t lie. So I gave them my sage advice:

a. go discover yourself and enjoy university,

b. study something useful but broad enough like law,

c. work for a while to see how to businesses run. It doesn’t matter if they are successful or not (2 out of the 5 companies I worked for no longer exist (it wasn’t me!)), it’s the experience that will help you with running your own business, and

d. start a business, say at 35.

Yes, that’s what I did and of course other entrepreneurs have different stories. Some started much earlier, but I was a chicken for 13 years, and hey I was pioneering enough to go in-house when 95% of law students became Solicitors in law firms (tied to only one type of law and with multiple clients – not my cup of tea) or Barristers (I did a mini-pupillage and can confirm it was boring. The John Grisham novels I read were more exciting, until a Judge told me off for reading them in his court).

The students may not have liked what I had to say, but many of the parents did (you are no longer young and cool when parents agree with you).  However, some parents wanted their children to be entrepreneurs and wanted private sessions with me to find out how to become one! I tried to be helpful, but if you have no idea, no product, nothing and just want the title, you will never be an Entrepreneur/business person. 

Sergey Nivens

If you want to be an Entrepreneur and need guidance, come to me with an idea, come with a plan (a mind map is even better, like the one above) and I can give you some advice. But if you just want the title, print the first picture above and wear that as a badge.

 

Shelina

 

 

 

 

© 2016 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

© image 1 – iQoncept, image 2 – Sergey Nivens

The MoonCup

Warning: this is a post related to periods; ergo means I will be talking about vaginas, blood, pads, tampons. Look away if they disgust you or you don’t think women really have periods. 

151216 mooncup in box

 

A few months ago, it emerged that women had to pay a tax for using sanitary products in the UK (women in the USA found out afterwards they had to pay the same penalty). It turned out there were a list of items that the EU deemed were taxable, and sanitary pads and tampons came under that remit. Ergo, the UK politicians decided they would tax us, because having a period is a luxury.

So I ranted, although it’s not often I buy sanitary products when back in the UK, but hey I bought enough for over 10 years and I was taxed for the privilege before I moved to Dubai. During my social media rants, friends started alerting me to the Mooncup (US they call it MCUK and Canada, the Diva Cup).

What is the Mooncup? It’s this:

 

151216 mooncup

 

Yep a silicon cup with a stem (bag comes with it to put away when not in use. Nice bag).  You put it up your vagina and supposedly none of your period will come out. No need for pads, no feeling queasy from having your tampon up your hoo-ha for too long. It’s eco friendly and has no chemicals in it.

I was intrigued, but it sounded messy.  If it filled up, would’t blood pour out of you? Won’t it go all over your hands when you take it out??

Despite my reservations, friends, in particular one, kept telling me I should try it. You can’t buy it here in the UAE, so I asked my mum to buy it for me to bring over. At £19.99, it is not cheap, but supposedly you only need one and that’s it for a long time. Mum thought I was bonkers but was kind enough to get it for me.

It comes in two sizes. One for under 30 va-jay-j’s and one for those over 30’s or who have popped babies out of their hoo-ha’s. How the cup knows you are over 30 is beyond me, but they must have done the science, so I went along with it.

When it arrives it will look like the above picture.  You need to try it on and cut the stem. Trying it on is not a comfortable experience for the non experienced and guessing where to cut the stem is a bit of a hit and miss situation. I may have cut my cup too short (I practically have no stem on mine now), so don’t be like me, and leave a bit of stem on until you have your period properly.  Also don’t have long nails or ones with shellac chipping off as may cut yourself inside whilst trying it out.

There is a how to video on how to put on the Mooncup. It’s not graphic so you find out how to here:

After a few months of using the Mooncup, here are my points on using it:

  1. It is a pain to try and put in the first few times. I had the flu the first month, so getting energy to put that damn thing up there was hard.
  2. You don’t need to empty the Mooncup as much as you think you should.  Wearing the Mooncup you don’t feel wet like you would with a pad or queasy like with a tampon. You feel nothing. The last few times, I have kept it up there for more than the guideline-stated 7 hours. And it still hasn’t filled up.
  3. The first few times I wore a pad as I didn’t trust myself or the Mooncup. It was a good idea when I found I couldn’t put the Mooncup back up when in a mall. I was in that cubicle for too long and started getting harassed by people on the other side, so gave up on the Mooncup and padded it out.
  4. The fold and push up manoeuvre is an art, but once mastered (mastered it at the end of the second month!), you will feel like a gold medalist.
  5. Now I just wear a panty liner. It catches occasional drops that might arise when taking it in and out, but not from the Mooncup leaking.  I keep a pad in the bag just in case. But still not used.
  6. You need to sanitize it every day (some friends have complained of getting yeast infections from the cup – I haven’t which is unusual for me, so I would put it down to the sterilizing). I sterilize the Mooncup whilst having a shower by filling a jar with very cold water and some sterilizing fluid (bought a big bottle from Carrefour in the baby section). Once my period is over, the Mooncup is sterilized overnight (with more sterilizing fluid in the jar) to make sure it is ready for the next month.
  7. It is great that we have the toilet shower things in this country so that you can clean the Mooncup and pop it back up if outside. If there is no toilet shower thingy (ie: everywhere back home in the UK!) then use a disabled toilet, and if anyone gives it large…well you know what to show them… (the cup!… not your finger)
  8. You can wear the Mooncup at night. Seriously. No need for extra long night pads to stop the leakages at the back. Seriously!
  9. I don’t get period pains anymore. I don’t know how the Mooncup has helped, but I used be in excruciating pain and now nothing.
  10. I have mentioned it before, but don’t remove the stem completely like I did. The stem is needed to help you get it out of you when it sometimes gets a little stuck up there. It is a closed stem so the cup won’t get holey if you cut it off. You also don’t want the stem too long as it will hurt the outside lips otherwise.

 

Is it worth the money? Yes. Definitely. I save on buying different kinds of sanitary products now. It does take getting some used to (like converting to Apple products), but once mastered you can’t imagine ever going back (like going back to a PC).  On a plus, you don’t have to pay tampon tax after using this (yeah I know we don’t pay tax yet in the UAE, but pads ain’t cheap here either).

I don’t often get amazed by new products nowadays, but this has blown my mind!  To find out more about it, click here to go to their website.

If you know anyone coming from the West side of the world, ask them to buy it and try it out for a few months. If you are not amazed after a few months, you can tell me so in the comments box below.

Have fun!

 

Shelina

 

 

© 2016 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

 

#UAEPR and Sending Irrelevant Emails

160125 #UAEPR and Sending Irrelevant Emails

I have been bombarded with PR emails for the last 2 days – mostly about restaurants opening or the change of the restaurant brand in some way. My thoughts have been on the majority of these PR emails:

a) I don’t care
b) How is this relevant to my business?
c) Do they not have copywriters to review the stuff before it is sent out.
d) Address it to me and not to the “Editor”.
e) Why are they being sent to my DeCluttr Me email address.

Thankfully due to a friend who owns one of the PR firms, I found out which company provides the lists to PR firms in this city. I quickly googled and contacted them asking them to stop emailing to my DeCluttr Me addresses especially as it was not relevant content.

I got a very quick reply from the MD of the list company. His reply “I have removed Shelo9’s Cheeky Rantings from our listings of Dubai blogs in [Name of List provider]”.

I was very impressed by his very quick reply and that it was from the MD and not some minion, but eh what?? Shelo9’s Cheeky Ranting does not have any link to the DeCluttr Me email addresses (except I own it all *evil laugh*).

Just because of one # phenomenon (#needanaddress), it would seem the list provider thought it was perfectly acceptable to add my non related email address to their list without my permission and also without fully reading my latest blogs which focus on customer service (the irony!)

I know data protection is non existent in this country, but don’t these companies have a moral compass at all?? Or better still common sense?

If I can do anything today it is to provide these handy tips to these list creators and providers:

  1. First check if you have permission to add the email address to your list (this is very important).
  2. Check what the writer of the blog specialises in and if they will want to be added to a PR list; and
  3. What their business is about if you are emailing to their business.

Points 2 and 3 should also apply to the PR  firms as well. It is easy to not take ownership of the contacts as you have received the list, but check if these contacts will actually be interested in the product you are promoting.

If you are on Twitter, check out #UAEPR and see the amount of tweet complaints from tweeps like me who get bombarded with non relevant emails. You will also see PR companies using the #UAEPR to jump on the bandwagon with no understand that the hashtag was produced to take the mickey out of these same UAE PR firms.

By the way I am not grumbling about getting PR emails. I am happy to get emails relating to organizing and decluttering, and due to a new side part of DeCluttr Me, etiquette and personal grooming, but anything else is just spam invading my email box. Use your common sense and discern what the reader actually wants to read and what lists they want to be added onto. Don’t just annoy them with PR.

 

Shelina

 

 

© 2016 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

 

How #NeedanAddress Started To Help Those In Need

Plumes of smoke rise from the 63-storey Address Downtown Dubai hotel and residential block near the Burj Khalifa in Dubai

As you may have heard there was a fire on New Year’s Eve at the Address Hotel in Downtown Dubai. I had no idea as I was off Twitter until I got a message from my close friend G. She could see it all from her balcony. During the next few minutes she was sending me updates on what she could see whilst I checked Twitter and made sure people I knew were safe.

Whilst watching the scene G asked how she could alert the hotel guests that she had a spare bed if needed. She is not on Twitter or any other social media except sparingly on Facebook (if we are honest), so I suggested that I post her offer on Twitter.

160101 G offer

Her offer was posted and within a few seconds @danielmarcevans replied and then posted his offer of his available bed:

160101 Tweets on needanaddress

I suggested we create a # (we do this nearly every month with other tweeps for silly things). As normal he came up with his corker of a hashtag. The # was #NeedanAddress.
And that is how the #NeedanAddress started and blew up to epic proportions. It helped we had friends like @theregos to spread the word more for us.
The response from tweeps in Dubai and globally was astounding. Within a short while there were offers of rooms, beds, Nutella and hugs from various tweeps. Here are some of the lovely tweets!
It was great to see Dubai show that it has more to it than bling, world records and fancy cars as the global media portray constantly. There is a city of human beings with hearts, beds and kindness.
From updates during the night and on New Year’s Day, the majority of guests and residents were put up at the Atlantis hotel, but other hotels also offered rooms. There seems to have been a few guests who took up the offer of a bed from tweeps.
From a tragic incident, we were able to help a few with a hashtag. It is amazing how powerful the hashtag and social media can be and I am incredibly humbled by what happened last night.
Side note – The Address Hotel Chain have advised guests and residents of The Address Downtown Dubai to contact their hotline number +971 4 423 8870 or email:hotline@theaddress.com. Also Dubai Media Twitter account has asked the guests to contact 00971566835129 for any assistance.
Shelina

 

© 2016 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

 

The New, Improved Bu Qtair

151228 bu qtair restaurant

The New Bu Qtair

 

Bu Qtair is famous in Dubai. It has been showcased on BBC World and on Anthony Bourdain’s No Limits Show (the pre CNN series). It is so unlike anything else in Dubai and is a perfect place to take visitors from abroad to show the non-bling side of Dubai.

Set in an old corrugated iron giant shed thing, it was rough but clean (what we didn’t see wouldn’t harm us…).  The menu was limited to fish in masala (Sheri and Hamour being the main fresh fish choices) and prawns in the same masala. You got to choose the fish, kilos of prawns and then wait for an hour for it to be fried. Once ready, your name would be called and you would be given a plastic table to sit on with plastic plates, paratha, fish sauce and cabbage salad. Whilst waiting, we would sit on plastic chairs and drink a cup or two of tea and people watching.

Now that has all changed. The cabin/shed thing has disappeared.

151228 the old bu qtair site

The old spot for Bu Qtair.

 

The restaurant has moved to the opposite side of the road to a purpose built restaurant (see above). The system for ordering is the same. Queue (for bloody ages) to order fish and prawns. pay the guy, wait in the designated waiting area, get your name called, sit at a table and eat.

Whilst waiting in the order queue you will be pushed out of the way by passer-bys who want to go clean their hands in the sink. Due to non-excellent planning the sink for washing the hands is beyond the order queue. Not clever.

 

151228 The queue for food next to the hand wash

In front is the queue to order the food. Behind is the sink area to wash your hands. If you were waiting, there would be a lot of people pushing past with dirty hands to wash their hands.

 

There are seats inside but this area was overrun with customers who had ordered and were waiting for their food. The actual waiting area is outside past the purpose built dining area. A lot of customers didn’t see or understand the concept of sitting in the waiting area (which now has proper benches as well as those old plastic stools to sit on).

151228 the new kitchen

The new clean sparkly kitchen

 

 

It is not clear by the staff or the signs that all customers have to wait in the waiting area and that their name will be called out by the staff. They will then be given a table to sit on.

151228 wait for 30 mintues

It was amusing to watch the customers trying to grab tables and then being told to move off the tables for customers with food. However, it got to the point that the waiters were practically begging these people to move off the tables and facing a lot of attitude.  I stepped in twice to reassure customers that they would get a table once their food was ready.

The restaurant needs to have a poster or massive sign explaining the process for eating at the restaurant: ordering, buying drinks separately, waiting, sitting and eating. They can read the process whilst waiting in the really slow ordering queue.

151228 bu qtair food

The food was the same as normal, although our prawns were a bit cold. So (as another reviewer mentioned recently) same same, but different location.

Is it worth visiting. Absolutely. Do you need to have more patience than before. Yes.  We got there for 7ish on a Monday. After that, it was heaving with people. It might be due to the holiday season and cool weather, but it could be the norm now.

On a side note, we wandered around after eating and found a restaurant practically next door selling the same concept, called Al Fanna. The place was completely empty for some reason. It seemed to be very new and I can’t vouch for the taste of the food, but it looked exactly the same as Bu Qtair.  Maybe worth trying next time.

Enjoy if you do go visit Bu Qtair.

Shelina

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

 

Fire! Fire!! (Or the total disregard to partaking in Fire Drills)

151209 Fire! Fire!

The Fire drill just occurred in my building. This was the second time I had the glorious opportunity to witness the drill in my building. We were given one weeks notice that the drill would be happening today. I wanted to come up with a reason to not be home, but … nothing pulled me away from this!

Anyway the fire drill.

Fire drills are not taken seriously in this side of the world, until one happens and then everyone collapses into a pile of panic!

Today,  I witnessed two incidents which added fuel to the fire (see what I did there?) that we have a serious issue with health and safety in this country. 

  1. The fire evacuation point was in front of the building (in front of the restaurant) – whether this was a drill or not the evacuation point should be away from the building and definitely not in front of the restaurant! If there had been a fire, debris would have fallen on the evacuees or if there was a gas explosion from the restaurant… well I don’t want to think what could happen. 
  2. 3 men came out 20 minutes after the drill started. One was so arrogant he walked back in after asking whether it was a drill (doh!), ignoring the security guard. If there was an actual fire, and they didn’t come out someone such as the security guards or firemen could die trying to save them.  
  3. Another 2 men who do not even live in the building, came out of a flat on my floor straight after the drill had finished; when I asked them why they were in the building they said they didn’t care it was a fire drill and had work to do! They seem flabbergasted that someone would dare point out that a fire drill means that you are not allowed to be in the building. They also didn’t like it that a woman was telling them off (sexism is still rife here with certain nationalities). 

I know a lot of people do not take drills seriously and it has been a common problem for many years, but this is unacceptable and dangerous. There has to be a change in the manner that drills are taken in all the buildings whether big or small. 

I have complained to the Building management suggesting that they not give notice of the drills (like they do in the UK), as it may wake these residents up to actually take the drills seriously. They also need to change the evacuation point. Just because it is sunny doesn’t mean that the residents have to stand in the shade of the building for the drill – it’s a bloody drill!

Update 10 December 2015 – I have had a reply from the Building Management. They advised that the assembly point is as per the drawings approved by the Civil Defence. This must have been approved over 4 years ago when there were no buildings on this site. I am sure they would change the point to be away from the building if they reviewed it now. If.

With regards to the people not participating with the drill, the fire marshal is supposed to ensure everyone leaves the building and stays out (no idea how they can tell if people are still in the apartment but anyway). However as this was a drill there is no way to enforce this. I am sure that this is not the stance in Europe when there are drills.

*sigh*

What else can you suggest should be done to ensure that these drills are taken much more seriously? 

Shelina

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.

 

Stop PG15!

151122 Stop PG15

Another day, another cinema ordeal at Reel Cinemas.

This time we were watching the Thriller “Secret in Their Eyes”. It stars Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Good movie. Would have been better if there wasn’t a 1 year old screaming and laughing the whole time though.

Thanks to my previous blog – The Ordeal of Going to the Cinema – I had the number of the Reel Cinemas manager. After a few of us had glared and tutted at the couple and the noisy kid and ranted on twitter (with no response by Reel Cinema), I finally texted the manager. Nothing happened. The noise continued for the rest of the movie and the mother thought it would be a great idea to use the torch on her iphone to flash in our eyes!

At the end of the movie we saw there were security and attendants waiting to talk to the couple and their kid.

I talked to the staff and advised I had sent the text. I had expected them to come during the movie to escort the noisy couple out. The cinema was full of adults who had paid in full to watch the movie not listen to this kid. The response from one Reel Cinema gentleman was that the movie was PG15. As the baby had come with his parents with their guidance that it was perfectly acceptable for them to be in the cinema.

I was mad listening to this same argument again. The movie is not made for kids or babies. There was violence and adult content. Parental guidance must be given to kids who are 13-14 for a PG15 movie not toddlers!?!?

The Manager who I had dealt with before did have a conversation with me on this a day later. He advised that he told the couple to leave during the movie but they had said no. There are security and they are ruining the movie for over 100 people. Surely they must be escorted out and can’t be given the option!? He has kindly given my friend and I tickets to see another movie which we are thankful for.

Anyway, common sense does not seem to prevail with cinema classification by the looks of it (or dealing with security in the cinema).

So if you want to see an adult movie, this cinema is expecting you to either wait for it to come out to watch at home or accept children and toddlers will ruin the movie for you.

Why can’t they have the movie classification like in the UK which makes sense

U – Universal

PG – Parental Guidance

12A – Cinema release suitable for 12 years and above.

15 –  For 15 and above

18 – For 18 and above

Khallas.

No discrepancy, no chance of children in 12A and above movies and no unhappy customers.

Who do we have to talk to, to get the cinema classification changed?

If you know anyone who can listen and try and change this nonsense please let me know! For now if sharing this post use the #StopPG15. Let’s see if we can start a # change.

 

Update: This was shared on Twitter from @wittertainment. Apt I think!

Wittertainment Rules of Cinema

 

 

Shelina

 

 

 

© 2015 Shelina Jokhiya | All rights reserved – This post is provided for the convenience of Shelo’s Cheeky Rantings readers. Any reproduction of the content within this feed is strictly prohibited.