Emine Suleyman : Live your own Legend
By Gulia Lucci
Emine Suleyman is life coach and mentor to hundreds of budding entrepreneurs, aged 31, and based in London. She is the former founder and managing director of ‘Devour Enterprise’, a sales and promotions business operating within the third sector. Emine has a new book out entitled ‘Aliya’ which is best described as an “evolution of the traditional diary” – a comprehensive productivity tool designed to support budding entrepreneurs to achieve their ambitions – and a life companion for people who wish to identify their purpose, whatever that may be, and move towards achieving it.
Emine you are such a successful woman – How do you describe your life progress?
My life progress can best be described as a series of constant knock backs and then small wins and it’s a cycle I’m getting used to. Before I succeeded in building my first company that achieved a healthy profit, I had two other companies that didn’t amount to much. It’s not until afterwards that I realised how essential those lessons I learned in the first businesses that didn’t work out were to me. We tend to read about the people we admire for their successes and hear the same story from their experiences. Thomas Edison had thousands of attempts at creating the lightbulb before it worked, JK Rowling was turned down by more than ten publishers before one backed her, James Dyson was turned away by many vacuum cleaner companies for over a decade but now has the best vacuum cleaners you can buy. This cycle is everywhere. We all need to celebrate our failures as stepping stones because it’s evidence that we’re trying and learning what ‘not to do’. Failure is not a dirty word, it’s the sister of hard work and progress.
What exactly is ‘Aliya’? How was the concept born and who is it designed for?
‘Aliya’ is the evolution of the traditional diary and it’s the first product from my new company which is called “Plan My Vision”. It evolved unexpectedly as a result of a problem that I kept encountering everywhere whilst running my last business. I had interviewed over 2000 people for a position and I would hear the same issue time and again. People would constantly say to me, ‘I don’t feel like my current working role is a reflection of who I am and I don’t feel satisfied in my current position. The work I’m doing feels like it doesn’t matter and has no meaning’. Then I started to notice notice that members of my family and friends felt the same way about their working roles. So I looked into this subject more and found that the statistics for the number of people who were dissatisfied in their working life were alarming. The majority of people do not like Mondays and this really bothered me.
I had begun to feel that I, like many people, longed for a new challenge and a new means of self-expression in my working life. I felt like my old business had achieved what I set out for it and now it was time for something new. But I had no idea what that something new was – so I left that business to create some space to figure that out. I was fortunate enough to have made enough money to buy a house that I rented out and had money left over to go travelling for a year. That enabled me to figure out and focus on what I wanted to say and do for the world. I’ve always been a self-help book junkie and during my time travelling I loved reading loads of best-selling self help books. I kept asking myself, ‘who am I?’ ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘What am I supposed to be doing?’
I had discovered that a person’s life purpose lies at the intersection of (a) What they love to do, (b) What they’re skilled at (c) Problems that truly resonate with them and (d) an idea that captures an element from A,B and C.
That’s where ‘Aliya’ came from. It combines my (a) Love for gratitude, goal planning and vision manifestation techniques, with (b) My skills from mentoring around 400 hundred people in my last business, with (c) The problem I encountered first hand – which was thousands of people living a purposeless life – and with (d) an idea. ‘Aliya’ is a life tool that is best described as the mindful evolution of the traditional diary. It is an aid for anyone who wants to explore their purpose, create a vision and set their goals to get there.
What are your big ambitions for the future?
My mission in life is to create a platform that helps to elevate people. I want to spend my precious time creating products and services that inspire millions of people to ‘live their legend’. This is my calling. If I can support a million people on a daily basis to identify their own calling and identify who they will serve in their community then I would be very happy at 80 years old looking back over my life.