40 Lessons: What the New Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Technology, Geopolitics by Nadia Michel

Nadia Michel is a Canadian-American author, writer and executive coach. She has written extensively on entrepreneurship and the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As a journalist, she has interviewed hundreds of international entrepreneurs in a wide variety of industries and regions around the world. She is the host of the TMR podcast (originally The Men’s Room). On the podcast, Michel discusses unique insights into the Middle East’s most forward-thinking people and industries. Before launching the TMR podcast, she was a Managing Editor for nearly five years at Official Bespoke, a publisher covering the luxury industry in the Middle East. She was born in Quebec City, grew up in Montreal, spent six years living in the Middle East, and is now based in Houston, Texas. 40 Lessons is her first book, which was inspired by entrepreneurs she interviewed for her podcast.

Why did you write the book?

I wrote the book because I was I was hosting a podcast and interviewing all these amazing CEOs and founders for my podcast. Most of them were developing mind-blowing technologies and products and thriving despite all the chaos. I think we can all learn something from highly successful people about what it takes to be the eye of the storm, beyond the usual pseudo-science we see on social media. Also, people should know what’s going on globally, whether it be to help them make better financial plans or simply to fuel more interesting conversations.

What was your biggest surprise or aha moment when writing your book?

The common thread than runs through my book is common sense. We are constantly inundated with misinformation, political agendas and advice from ‘experts’ who are in the business of selling online views, downloads and streams. It’s easy to be distracted and to forget the fundamental values and ideologies that will keep you on the path to your goals. Knowledge is an endangered species.

Who is your ideal audience for the book?

My book is an easy read and I hope somewhat entertaining, so it’s perfect for anyone who’s social media consumption includes a good dose of educational content. In other words, it’s for anyone being swiftly swept into the digital age but looking for a more meaningful way of thinking. That’s usually people over 25 with at least a college-level education.

Tell us, how do you deal with fear?

Fear is like an obstacle, it’s usually the way forward. The quicker you face it, the less power it has over you.

Tell us, how do you deal with rejection?

There’s always a cooling-off period when it comes to rejection, no one likes to feel like they’ve failed. However, I usually follow this with gratitude for the close encounter with something that was not meant for me and for creating space for a better opportunity. And I truly believe this.

Tell us two concepts or ideas you want the reader to takeaway?

There’s a lot of pessimism in the world right now, but there’s so much to be excited about. Companies now make water out of thin air and fashion designers can create entire collections from upcycled or recycled materials. Humanity faces an uncertain future, yet hiding your head in the sand won’t help. Instead, march forward with purpose, and the information to back it up. It feels a lot better.

Name one of the biggest challenges you have faced writing your book and how did you overcome it?

Writing a book takes huge dedication and commitment, so it’s easy to procrastinate. I make sure to schedule writing time every single day so it’s a habit. These kinds of productive habits become a part of your identity, and pretty soon you feel guilty when you skip a day.

What’s a personal self-talk, mantra, affirmation, or self-belief that contributes to your success?

Prioritize: I always have a million projects and ideas, so it’s important to prioritize tasks in your daily schedule to make sure you reach your goals. Sometimes I do this in my head the night before, or I strategize longer-term goals mentally while I exercise in the morning. I also have a new mantra: the only real disability (or disadvantage) is a bad attitude.

How can people contact you?


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