You know when you meet someone and you just automatically KNOW you were meant to meet. I’m not talking about that girl you were drunk in the bathroom with last weekend (even though there’s something so soothing about drunk girls in bathrooms) I’m talking about that person who you just VIBE with. It’s like your stories were meant to be intertwined, they’ve lifted you up and supported you without even wanting anything in return. That’s when you know it’s a real friendship, when they expect nothing in return.
I sound like I’m writing wedding vows to our next guest LOL but I just can’t help it. There is no better feeling than feeling inspired, and motivated – IN A GOOD WAY. I mean, it’s so easy for us to scroll on instagram and read articles and just feel shittier about ourself, and although I think sometimes we need a bit of a wake-up call to get off our asses, there’s a fine line between motivating someone with the intention to make ourselves feel superior, and actually motivating someone out of love, and our guest this week does an incredible job of motivating out of love.
This week on the blog, I am genuinely so excited to introduce Noor Aubaid. She’s the creator of SHE.ME, a lifestyle podcast that celebrates women – their journey, their work and how they got to where they are now. What I genuinely love about Noor’s podcast is the fact that it is genuinely relatable and so diverse. She covers a number of topics, both heavy (ie. mental illness) and light hearted – like the hilarious pressure of being a female millennial (sorry I’m not wearing an all white, crop topped, matching set from lulu today).
Like us all, Noor went through university, graduated and felt someone stuck (can you relate?), after a few attempts at working for others in toxic workplaces, she finally found the courage to step into that entrepreneurial spirit – but it wasn’t easy, and it didn’t just magically appear like we tend to think thanks to social media. Over a year of dedication she finally let go of that inner perfectionist and hasn’t looked back since.
If this resonates with you, keep scrolling.
Hello beautiful babes!
My name is Noor, also known as the infamous @champagnenori or Nori for short. I’m a brand and digital strategist and the creator of SHE + ME podcast. I’ve grown up in Halifax, Nova Scotia my whole life but my roots trace back to Kuwait – a very small country in the Middle East.
I’m the baby of nine and am proud to be a byproduct of a real live superwoman – my mom! My mother, god bless her soul, widowed, raised nine children all on her own. I commonly refer to this as a blessing and a curse. You might be like huh… Well, it was a blessing because I was exposed to the strongest woman I know, and a curse because I constantly found myself falling under the pressure and stress of never wanting to let her down.
Without exposing too much of my storyline and my journey, you can only assume that at a young age I put an abnormal amount of pressure and stress on myself. So much so that at the age of probably 6 I had my whole life planned. The best part? I was right on the money on owning my own business however, the man, marriage and family seem to be lacking but, I’m OK with that!
So you might think that because I was right on the money about my career that at least that aspect was smooth sailing… yeah, ha, no!
What inspired you to start SHE + ME?
Growing up I only knew two things: I like stories and I wanted to be an entrepreneur of some sort (but I didn’t label it as an entrepreneur, I labelled it as a business owner). It was always at the back of my mind I just didn’t know what or how it would look like. Fast forward through junior high and high school I felt like I sucked at every subject. You might think I’m joking, but like seriously, english wasn’t my strongest subject because I didn’t write proper sentences apparently and math, well, I was just stupidly bad at it. I failed math 10 twice. YUP. But I didn’t even care. I was so consumed in my friend circle and socializing that it didn’t even bother me as much as it probably should have.
As high school days started to dwindle down and choosing universities and degrees became a reality I started stressing. Hard. I had no idea what I wanted to do but everybody else said they wanted to go into smart degrees like science or business and while right now I realize it sounds silly, but I truly believed that I was incapable of pursuing any of those degrees.
So I was fully committed on enrolling in an undergrad that I was most interested in between the two: science and business. Science it was. I applied to 3 universities… Dalhousie, Saint Mary’s, and Mount Saint Vincent. That was it.
And, in that order, that was my desired preference (and mostly because that’s where my friends were aiming to go too).
But as I went to each university I felt less and less “at home” until I got to Mount Saint Vincent. It was a tour of approximately 6 individuals which instantly turned me off for some reason or another. That day I met the woman who I credit my career to – DeNel Rehberg Sedo. She took one look at me and said have you thought of the Public Relations degree? And right then and there we sat down together and made my whole schedule for my first year and I never looked back.
So, fast forward…
It was post graduation and I had just spent the summer working at a tech incubator. I was surrounded by hungry entrepreneurs and their passion and mindset rubbed onto me, reviving the 6-year-old dream of mine – becoming a business owner.
At that moment, I was in a happy relationship, and like life was good… so I thought to myself, let’s go for it. What could go wrong?
However, before I even ended that gig I was offered a role with a naturopathic clinic. To be honest, I had no idea what naturopathic medicine was – I just knew it aligned with my healthy lifestyle and they needed a marketer. I was finishing my final semester of studies and juggling practically full time work and school something had to give and unfortunately my job it was.
That was my very first ever toxic environment experience. I got talked down to by the naturopathic doctors in that clinic and whenever anything went south I felt like I had no voice and couldn’t speak up for myself.
It was short lived, but I was out of there before I was fully situated and I said to myself, let’s give entrepreneurship a go… but I felt defeated before I started, and I started to doubt myself and my passion.
So, I reached out to a fellow marketer and before I knew it, I started working with a fellow female marketer whom I admired immensely – I saw her as an older version of myself, however, that wasn’t quite how it felt.
I felt belittled, I felt like I was being robbed of experiences I knew I could handle and worst of all, I felt like I had to dim my light.
It started to trigger unhappiness and I saw more for myself, but I still felt I needed the experience. I didn’t feel completely confident in my skills or experience, yet. So, I did the best I could and tried to keep up with her knowledge and experience but it felt like I was constantly trying to catch up to a destination that did not exist.
Before I knew it, the “this is no longer working out conversation came up, yet again.”
It was a warm summer day and to this day I remember the knot in my throat and the stinging tears in my eyes.
“When am I gonna catch a break?” I thought to myself. Maybe this isn’t for me…
My life which I had perfectly built was crashing down… first career, then my relationship then came Nori.
To be honest… This particular stage in my life I felt like I knew nothing so I started to dig deeper into myself, my sector and everything around me.
What I had come to realize is that unfortunately, my go-lucky, optimistic personality often times gave others an upper hand and my people pleasing tendencies held me back more than anything I ever told myself.
But most of all, I had come to realize that despite this whole movement of “females supporting females” – females were so unbelievably competitive with each other and despite the fact that still today, females are at a disadvantage in the workforce females were not praising and or helping other females grow.
This was when I realized, I could take my own experience with both males and females belittling me, labelling me and underestimating me and shift it into a positive by showcasing not just my own journey but journeys of other females because that is the only way I can make an impact. Not by internalizing it and beating myself over it (when I didn’t even deserve it) but by helping others going through exactly what I went through and by showcasing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you should never let anybody, define your path, your skills and what you can and can’t do.
You, and only you define that.
What was the first step you took to make your vision a reality?
I recall the moment it came to me it was 11 PM, exactly a year and a month ago. I texted a very close pal of mine, Case, and I said I want to create something to support women that are going through exactly what I went through and what I’m going through.
My exact words were, “I want to create something that actually inspires females versus something that makes them feel bad about themselves.”
He asked me a few questions – who are you targeting? What’s your differentiating factor? How are you going to create money? And a few others…
A few weeks later to hold myself accountable, I purchased a Yeti mic from Amazon. This made it all feel so real. But I knew that I had to hold myself accountable.
So I signed up for Lynda and Skillshare courses and started learning the basics of what I needed to know about editing a podcast and all that podcasting involved. To say I got overwhelmed would be an understatement. So I took it upon myself to chat with a few individuals whom I knew had podcasts and asked them for their experience their hacks and all the tips they could provide me with.
Now, I needed to find guests… That wasn’t too hard. There were many females that I followed that I found personally inspiring and was instinctively drawn to their stories. So, I started there.
I had no following, nothing, just a girl with a passion. So I created a spreadsheet of the women I wanted to be a part of my community and one by one I emailed them and shared with them the purpose of SHE + ME and why I thought their story fit with my brand and the vision of what I saw for SHE + ME.
Despite recording a few last year and having MAJOR imposter syndrome. It took me about 8 months to actually launch and trust that I was capable of doing so and I was the right person for this job.
Today, I am eight episodes in with females from across Canada – all with inspiring stories that celebrate impressive women – their journey, their lives and their work.
What were the fears you had to face to get you and your brand to where it is now? How did you overcome them?
A lot of the fears that I faced were doubt. Doubt that my voice mattered, doubt that anyone would take the time to listen to me, doubt that I was able to accomplish this and most of all that doubt that I could actually make an impact, which is the biggest metric for me in this endeavour.
However, remember the perfectionist little mind I mentioned above? Yeah… that was the biggest thing I had to overcome. Letting things go. Accepting that it’s not going to be perfect and that it’s good enough.
I was so paralzed by analysis… and I quickly, quickly realize that the impact I was seeking would never be accomplished if I was stuck in perfecting every little detail. At the end of the day something I was stressing over, somebody else wouldn’t even notice.
So to be quite frank I used different forms of therapy: meditation, journalling, the gym, seeking out mentors and self developing courses to help me foster a freeing mentality.
When I would feel overwhelmed or doubt myself I meditate, when I question my journey, I journal, when I feel like I just can’t think or do anything I run or go to the gym to free my mind – or even just going outside to be in nature.
But the thing that helped me out the most was shifting my mindset surrounding my “negative” habits. I would beat myself up about them and would see them as such a bad thing that worked against me versus seeing how it’s not always a bad thing and how I could shift it to work for me, not against me.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone who is thinking about starting a podcast but keeps going back and forth?
I know everybody says this but just start. Start drawing up an idea of what you want your podcast to be, what the mission of your podcast is and what impact you want your podcast to have. Today, the podcast world is absolutely saturated – everyone and their dog has one – but the more you hone into your mission and the impact you want to make the more you are going to attract your tribe.
I’m not going to lie to you. It’s not going to be easy and some podcasts get really lucky and hit jackpot quick, but others take time.
One isn’t better than the other. Good things take time, so just appreciate the process, celebrate the wins along the way and just be really proud every step of the way.
It took me practically a year to start mine and I was soooo terrified of honestly what people would think of me. But I’ve gotten to the stage of actually not giving a sh*t about what people think anymore and it’s been the most freeing I ever felt in my entire life.
I can genuinely say that today, I make decisions solely for myself and no one else.
Must read books?
Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change – Pema Chodron. This book absolutely changed my life. It’s calmed my chaotic mind and helped see the beauty and peace in discomfort and this thing we call life.
If someone wanted to make ONE change today to become a healthier version of themselves, what would be your one tip?
Listen to your body. There are so many opinions, voices and trends in the world today – some come and others go – however, at the end of the day you only have one body. Treat it with love and respect and listen to it. Most often when it’s acting up (bad skin, weight gain, bloating, etc.) it’s trying to tell us something. So find what fits for you. I highly recommend nourishing it with healthy whole food, kind words and ensuring that you don’t push it beyond its means!
Where can all readers find YOU on social media?
Readers can find my podcast on any platform they listen to their podcasts on. They can find the SHE + ME community on both Facebook and Instagram and we are also very excited to be launching our website very soon!