I had the pleasure to be interviewed by my favorite influencer Claudrine in late 2018. We discuss all things women empowerment, career, and entrepreneurship. Want to know more? Just read below!
- Please present yourself and tell us a bit about your online platform
My name is Gaëlle, I’m 29 years old, and I am French with an African background. I was born and raised in Paris but always felt a strong urge to see the world. As soon as I got the chance, I moved to Canada, then to London and here I am now, in Amsterdam. My friends say I am a techie, a bit of a nerd sometimes. You know what? They are right. I am very curious and enthusiastic about everything, I enjoy fitness and meditation, I love food — I mean I am French, you know how we are there, and traveling is another passion of mine. Exploring new landscapes, discovering new cultures, and meeting people from all over the world. Earlier this year, I started using social media for my job, first vlogging about a women’s empowerment event at work. I really enjoyed it, and I decided to launch my platform "Confessions Of A Hustler" which centers around women’s empowerment. Now I'm starting this e-shop Femme Fatale!
- What are some of your tips to excel in building a solid career?
I would say that determination is vital and that you should not be afraid to try anything! I started working in Fashion, but it did not provide me with the knowledge and the insights I was craving for. I am very curious; I love to learn and tend to move at breakneck speed. I wanted something more exciting, and it felt like fashion was not the right place for me. I did a complete 180 and decided to embrace my passion for tech and innovation. As I was told by one of my managers if you need to fail, fail fast! The bottom line is that you should not be afraid of failure. Another thing this manager used to say to me “always start with the end in mind.” Indeed, planning is everything as a plan without a goal is just a wish! I also think that serendipity “looking for one thing and finding another” can help significantly. You need a little of luck and what not meant to be is not meant to be sometimes.
- Being an advocate of #girlpower and #womenpowerment, what advice can you give on overcoming our challenges?
It’s not easy to be a woman! Especially in this day and age. That is why I think that you need to have thick skin! As one of my friends says, “ life is hard, you don’t want to be one of the many fishes in the sea, you want to be THE shark! ” As women, we are expected to be people pleasers which can have damaging repercussions… Just look at the #metoo movement! At the end of the spectrum, a strong woman will be frowned upon. So, I would recommend trying to be your true self and be unapologetic! Honestly, I’m myself still a work in progress.
- How do you see the future of women in business?
We have done so much as women, don’t you think? Women can now run a country, go to space, read the gospel or still choose to be a homemaker! Nevertheless, I hope that by the end of my life, gender discrimination will be a topic only discussed in books. We come a long way when we think about it… Women in the western world started working during WW2 when men were at the front. It’s been only 70 years that we have entered the workforce! Slowly but surely there is a shift in people’s mindset, and we’re realizing as a whole that women can bring a lot to the table. Furthermore, the numbers don’t lie: a company with 30 percent female leadership could expect to add up to six percentage points to its net margin!
- What’s next on your journey to lovely (plans and aspirations?)
To be honest, I’m at a crossroads in my life. I’m going to be 30 in September and I’m quite happy with what I have accomplished so far, but I want MORE! I’m not sure what yet but I can’t wait to find out! I’m currently living abroad. So I don’t know if I want to stay put, going back home or exploring the word further…the possibilities are endless!!!
- Can you recommend any books or authors that can help up and coming entrepreneurs?
I can recommend several books about business and sales, but I want to do things differently this time…The New Rules by Sherrie Schneider is one of the books I’m currently reading. It’s a modern manual about dating, but I found most rules are also applicable to sales and business. Indeed, it’s about having self-esteem and determine what is acceptable or not in a relationship and setting healthy boundaries! The average CEO reads 60 books per year so I will say try to read books that will help improve your soft skills such as how to make friends and win people by Dale Carnegie or The Art of People by Dave Kerpen!
If you are curious about my next adventures, please connect with me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gaellekoutou/