Welcome to The Dare to Scale Show

Episode 23

Masters' Spotlight Series: Reim El Houni

In this Masters' Spotlight episode, we welcome, Reim El Houni, Founder and CEO of Ti22 Films and dubai ON demand. Reim shares with us her meticulous journey from TV producer to setting up and running her own business.
 

Reim has won a number of awards at various international festivals like the Cannes and New York Film Festivals. She is a detail-oriented person with unmatched skill for video content creation and production with a strong desire to help anyone who wants to leverage the power of video to build their brand and business authentically.

Episode Highlights:
  • Serendipity & Action! – never miss an opportunity
  • Knowing what's right for you and cutting through the noise
  • How staying up-to-date and constant innovation can help transform your business.
Resources:
Guest Pages

LinkedIn : www.linkedin.com/in/reimelhouni/

Facebook : www.facebook.com/reim1

Instagram: www.instagram.com/reimelhouni/

Twitter : www.twitter.com/Reimelhouni

Email: [email protected]

Company Pages

LinkedIn : www.linkedin.com/company/ti22-films/

Facebook : www.facebook.com/Ti22films

Instagram : www.instagram.com/ti22films/

Twitter : www.twitter.com/Ti22Films

Website: www.ti22films.com/

Thanks for joining us on today's episode of the Dare to Scale Podcast! If you enjoyed this episode, please head on over to iTunes or whichever platform you're listening on and leave us a 5-star rating so that more entrepreneurs find this podcast, get the value, and get help scaling forward in their business.
 

Remember to subscribe to our podcast or connect with us on our Facebook page to stay up to date on what's in store for you!

Episode Transcript
Warsha 0:04
Welcome to the Dare to Scale show with me Warsha.
 

Evan 0:07
And me, Evan.

Warsha 0:05
So what is Dare to scale? Over the years that we've been coaching founders and business owners, much like yourselves, we work through a framework called dare to scale.

Evan 0:20
Dare to scale indeed! That framework has helped hundreds of business owners. That is what this show is all about. So, really big picture thinking,

Warsha 0:28
oh and your headphones and come join us and enjoy the ride.

Warsha 0:31
Hello everybody and thank you for joining us for this brilliant episode. Today we have with us in our podcast studios, Reim El Houni. Reim is the CEO and founder of Ti22, and Dubai on Demand. Reim is an award-winning producer and video content expert with over 20 years of experience, and importantly, is a dear friend, and we have seen her journey from the past 11 years, and she continues to grow the sky's the limit. Sometimes we think maybe sky is not the limit for Reim, she's reaching for the stars and amazing to have you on the studio today read, thank you for your time.

Reim 1:22
Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be with both of you Washington and yeah, what is the sky we're reaching far beyond the stars today.

Evan 1:31
Hi Reim ,welcome and what Warsha said it's an absolute pleasure to have you on the show. It has been an incredible journey and like you say, stars but beyond the stars is a galaxy beyond what's all good, it's all good. So, Reim, tell us a little bit about you and your company because like I said, we've known you for 11 years, and I know you will work in Dubai for some time in the studio's. Yes, tell us a little bit about that and what got you into entrepreneurship.

Reim 1:57
Well I've always been obsessed with the world of video, so I'm truly one of those people that's very fortunate to say that I caught the bug as a kid, and I never looked back like I remember my first internship when I was 16 years old, and I was at NBC when they were still based in London, and it was just that feeling like I always loved television I love always loved kind of watching it, but when you suddenly see what happens behind the scenes, and it was my first time in a studio. And to be honest, something that we're very familiar with now in the world of zoom but I remember watching my very first live newscast, and seeing the news journalists, you know, sitting with their suit jacket and tie and then right underneath was kind of the shorts and the sandals, as I say something we're familiar now with the world of zoom but at that time, we really don't know what's going on in the world of television, and I just caught that bug, and really everything from that moment was very, very focused on how am I going to grow the industry, and allow something that was up until that point just a passion, become my life and realising that there are particular jobs there are opportunities in media that you can pursue, it's not just the traditional, you know, doctors science you know all the things you're told to pursue as a child, especially when you come from. I'm originally from Libya, so when you come from a background of Middle Eastern, so yeah so to guys sorry I went a bit, a few steps further into pursuing this career I worked my way up to the UK, you know, in our industry for a very clear ladder so you kind of work your way up production assistant and the production manager and assistant manager so I worked my way. When I moved here to Dubai. In 2007, so I was very fortunate that my first opportunity in Dubai was to join, Dubai one, which is local TV station. And it was at such a perfect time, because prior to that time, they were only acquiring content which means they purchase content from other regions and they aired it locally. And this was the first time that they wanted to produce local English content and I just landed in Dubai, managed to get this opportunity, so I spent my first almost four years in Dubai, working my way up Dubai One, I became an executive producer at the channel, I became head of events, I produced the very first English language TV show at that time. And it was an amazing time and amazing opportunity that when you're new to a city and you're given an opportunity like that. The first show I was on was called Out and About, which was a show which literally took us out and about. So I was almost exploring the city through my first TV show, and yeah it was to be honest, my jump from being an employee to being an entrepreneur, that's a slightly longer story but being at Dubai One is really what introduced me to Dubai and opportunities that were available.

Evan 4:52
That's absolutely amazing. I'm not sure if you touched on what was actually made you take that jump into entrepreneurship.

Reim 5:00
Well, I had been at a TV station, about four years, and I had really worked my teeth off and I had just got to the point where everything in my day to day life was work. I slept work, I drank work, I ate work and you know it was just work, work work. And I decided I just had to stop, so it was actually a pause, that I had in life where I thought this can't be what it's all about, it can't be that I just wake up, go to work, sleep, coming from work, wake up and do all over again. And to be honest when I left the TV station, everyone thought I was mad because I didn't really have a plan I didn't know what I was gonna do. None of those thoughts really crossed my mind it was just a moment where I was sitting I remember so clearly I was sitting at home and I thought I will just quit, I will walk in tomorrow and just quit. And I did. Next morning, I walked in and quit and everyone was like, "What are you doing?", "Have you thought this through?", but I know I have to quit. I know I have to stop. So that was kind of a decision to stop working, but the leap into becoming an entrepreneur, I started freelancing so I freelanced for a few months I was fortunate enough to work on Mission Impossible during that time, which was a huge eye opener. Because, you know, I was used to working on shows where maybe I had 40 people on a production. Here I was on a you know a Hollywood movie which has 400 people on a production. And the great thing about that experience is that it made me realise I know what I'm doing, I can do this, it's just a matter of scale, you know, and I think having that confidence, you know I was graduating freelance opportunities. And then one day, you know, one of my clients and I want to name her she's my first client when I was freelancing from Dumal and her name if Faheema. And she said to me, "We love the video you did! Can you do all of our videos?". " We've got more videos we can give you!" And I was thinking No it's really unethical I'm a freelance and I don't have a trade liscense. No, I cant do this, I am actually working with this company you really should work with them. I gave her every reason under the sun, not to work with me. And I came home that evening and I was so frustrated with myself, and I thought to my self well it can't be that complicated to set up a company. I spent the night, researching, you know how to open a company in Dubai, you know, went into my Google search, and you know popped a few different options and I rang them up and the next day I had an appointment. I signed and a week later I had a trade license. So when I get asked the question about how did I step into entrepreneurship, slightly long story but it's every best decision of my life has happened quickly and every best decision has happened tho. And every investor has happened. And going through it, and that's what happened here. The opportunity presented itself. I was so annoyed with my behaviour and my response that I had to do something about it. I acted to 22 films was born.

Evan 7:58
That is absolutely amazing. I've never actually heard this part of the story before. That's incredible. And if I may just say Reim, we now you,like to say that, you're very meticulous with a lot of things and for that decision to take place is absolutely incredible.

Reim 8:16
Yeah, I mean, I wouldn't have known it at the time, but yeah, you just have to go for when you feel it.

Evan 8:19
Totally and I completely love that. So, you've made the jump what is the 1 thing, and I know you have been doing this for 11 odd years, so what was the one thing that you had to unlearn.

Reim 8:23
I'm still unlearning, and I don't think its one thing that I am unlearning. I'm a perfectionist, and I'm very, very meticulous about detail and realising that not everyone sees things the way I do, and realising that some things I really care about some people don't. And you know, quite a few I don't want to call them mistake I know many would call them mistakes. I didn't at the time but the first few years of my business. I was so focused on producing quality outputs that I would almost sacrifice, what it meant for us as a team, what it meant for profit margins just to ensure that we weren't delivering a better product. So I think the key thing I've had unlearn is to let go when things don't work out the way you want them to. And I'm still unlearning it because it's one of those things that keeps creeping back in and I have to keep kicking it back out. But yeah it's trying to let go of the perfection.

Evan 9:32
Ok so with that perfection a very quick detour. So your award winning, tell u a little bit about those awards.

Reim 9:45
Well, Its another interesting story, my way up the industry supports organisations that I work for and why, when I came to Dubai, my very first award came from a freelance project that I did for breast cancer awareness and we did these two documentaries. And I thought you know what let me enter them and see what happens. And I entered them in and they won 4 medals 2 gold and 2 silver and that was before I started Ti22, and when I won those awards it gave me a whole new level of confidence. As I realised there's a big difference between winning awards as part of a group or a company versus winning them under your own name and for your own brand.

Reim 10:30
And I thought, You know what I can do this. So, when I started Ti22 Films years. I was already. I already started, you know, I started, you know, having won 4 world medals and that kind of set the bar and set the tone for it. I kind of became obsessed with it. So it almost became how do I do this, how do I keep winning, how do I outdo this, you know, I remember years where I thought to my self, have I done anything award winning this year. I remember one day in particular, is the way award work is they usually notify everybody whose's won, and then they notify everyone who hasn't. You know so I remember sitting there one year, and along with my colleague Sophia and you know she rang me up to say I won I won!, I got the email, did you get your email, and I was like, No, I don't have my email.What is, What does this mean that I get my email. And she was like oh, I'm sure it will come back. All day I don't think I moved from my laptop, it just pressing the refresh button, the refresh button to refresh two minutes there oh just check it get refresh. And that was the first time that I actually realised the importance that it played in my journey or even in my identity. I started to identify myself and the company as award winning so what would it mean if I didn't win an award this year, and I almost couldn't fathom it and I say as it got later and later, I was sort of thinking. What happens if I don't win. Thankfully I think by 8 PM, you know that email. You know I would want to that year and I rang her back. Everything's okay. We've won too, it's fine, and you know it's just goes to show that it's very easy to kind of look down on these things oh they don't matter. When you know what, sometimes they do sometimes, it is the one thing which people, they look at you a little differently they respect you a little more, it's helped me attract new customers it's helped me position myself differently. So as a result I value them very much. And yeah, I hope to continue to be award- winning.

Warsha 12:34
It's such a wonderful validation as well of your work as well you know you've done a great job and now a third party has actually recognised you for what you've done so. Congratulations again, we haven't said this before, several times over. Again, it's just, it's huge. the kind of awards that you've won are at that global level, and it just makes the prize all the more sweeter. The whole world knows about what you've been doing and the work that you've done. So, what do you enjoy the most about your work. What makes you jump out of bed.

Reim 13:10
That's a good question. I feel like it's, I used to get very excited by, you know, creativity, I used to get very excited by doing something different than something new, and I used to get very frustrated when I met people, you know weren't open to that or people would say, why just for what they did, and I thought, well, we could try something different. We could try and do things and, you know, stand out a little bit. No no no no, I've seen this i like it i want that, so whenever I came across someone who wanted to do something different and innovate, that used to excite me. The last couple of years, I've seen a shift in what excites me and that's mainly because we have been working with more SME owners. You know I've been on a personal journey to build my personal brand and get in front of the camera and promote my business more, because I've seen that's a trend that's why everyone has to start doing. So I think what now motivates me is seeing other business owner's doing that. I've seen so many people who have been so reluctant to put themselves out there and hesitant and camera shy and don't think they can do to help them on that journey and see that transformation they have is exciting. That's really fulfilling, and I've had so many people like just trust me and just trust me I'm going to get through this and you're going to look at yourself, you know, and you're not going to believe it's you, and you would have done it. And when that happens, that's great.

Warsha 14:33
This is amazing because we've been on the, on the other side of the camera with you as the lens side of the camera with you, with you telling us, You know what, just do it. And we did it, and we know how amazing that transformation is. And so what I'd like to explore a little bit here. And you mentioned briefly earlier that there are some people who don't take to this as easily as some do. What is that biggest limiting belief that people operate out of at that stage, what are they really saying no to, or not saying yes to.

Reim 15:05
I understand it really well because I was one of them, you know, so I'm someone who spent the majority of my career behind the camera, so being able to push myself in front of it. Honestly, I was saying no to the attention. You know I was saying no to standing out, I will say no to, you know, marketing myself and in a lot of ways because I felt it was wrong, you know, and I think you know sometimes it's cultural, sometimes where you grew up and you are told that it's not the professional thing to do or the right thing to do. Sometimes people are just very camera shy, and more often than not very self-conscious, and that's something that I know I felt, you know, I've grown in size I've shrunk in size, I've got grey, you know, these are things people do pay more attention to. And the one thing that's helped me is really understanding, no one cares. And it's taken me a really long time to get to that point where no one cares what I look like as long as I'm providing value, they will still come and watch, and I think everyone needs to go through that journey for themselves, and discover that they can do it, just step in front of that camera, let go of, you know whatever self conscious feeling you may have. Do whatever you need to practice in front of a mirror, remove the mirror, you know, whatever it may be, but you need to start saying yes to you and start saying yes to promoting yourself, because we're now in a world where that matters. And if you're not there if you're not visible, you're invisible.

Warsha 16:32
Oh yes, I remember that you repeat that several times. I love it. I hate you when you say it, and then yet, I'd love it and I love you for saying it. Does that make sense. I hope it makes total sense. So Reim you know, in the master spotlight there are three specific areas that we'd like to explore but before we go there, there's something that I'd like to know in your industry, whether it's in your industry or your specific field and especially the video content creation. Has there been a role model that you always aspired or looked up to?

Reim 17:07
Actually, not in my industry, but I love Sara Blakely from Spanx. And the reason like I heard this story a few years ago, and it really stuck with me so just to give you a bit of a detour when she was first selling Spanx, what she did, she managed to convince I think it was Neiman Marcus and the US to sell their products, and they were selling it in two stores, and what she decided to do was contact all of her friends who lived in those cities, and actually pay them she sent them money to go and purchase her items to make sure that they sold out, And to make sure that there was a demand, and to ask all the right questions from the sales assistants, and lo and behold within two weeks her product is sold out, and then they reported back, the product is sold out at this two stores and next thing you know she got an order I think for the next 20 stores, and that's really how I mean that along with Oprah, which is a side story, But that's what allowed her brand to kind of lift off. And I love that story so much because when you say it was my role model, it's not really in my industry, but I see like a female strong entrepreneur who was trying something new, and did whatever she had to do to get her product moving and came up with new ways and leaned on her support system to do that. And I believe that's the only way forward, you have to think of new ways to do things and if you need to ask for help and get it done.

Warsha 18:30
Love it. Absolutely love it. So I've read about it you know how when you read something and when you actually hear somebody say it, narrate that story to you that's just made a world of difference for me, I'm so glad I asked you this, and I'm so glad you shared the story. Thank you. So, we go into, into the meat of this conversation, I want to start with the disruption in your industry are there for the industry is yours is one of those industries that has been disrupted, several times over. Just in the past 10 years. So, can you walk us through how has your industry changed and what do you in your own way to do to keep disrupting this even further.

Reim 19:11
So you're right, our industry changes, consistently, fortunately I love to learn. So I am someone who spends a lot of time, whether it be online, prior to the pandemic I physically go to conferences abroad, but it's important to stay up to date with the various trends technology innovation because it all impacts us. So when AI starts to take a hold on society, you know what that's going to have an impact on our industry and how we, we actually produce content, almost every change in innovation has an indirect impact on how we produce. So, what have I done is I've done my best to stay up to date on what's happening. I've done my best to pivot and implement as well. And I've almost done it too well, but I'm usually ahead of what's happening in this market, which has been a very big learning as well. Sometimes it's great to learn from what's happening abroad and see what you can bring back, but also I've had been early in a few occasions, and I think learning is to hold on tight till it's the right time. To me that clear example is you know my brand, Ti22 films. We started out purely high-end production, and then I introduced Dubai on Demand in 2014. My goal there was purely digital, you know, moving TV content onto YouTube, and I remember these meetings so clearly where brands would reach out and be so excited because I've done a good job promoting the content, and then be like oh yeah we want to get involved in that show and I would be oh it's on YouTube, I thought it was on TV. No, he wanted to be on YouTube. That's where you can track your audience, get more engagement and they would reply oh we are not interested. An that was really a difficult journey because I was sitting there telling people, you know, trust me, this is where you can track your audience this is where you can get engagement just because a TV channel tells you they have 5 million viewers, that's not right. 5 million TV sets, that's not quite the same thing. So yeah, my main pivot is focusing on digital focusing online and I see that finally in 2021, especially post-pandemic people have realised that video is the way forward and are embracing it. My main new pivot is to teach it as well. So I started the DIY video Academy. During lockdown, because everyone has realised the power is in their phone, and it's just about embracing that and getting out there and you can do it too, maybe in a different level, but it's possible. In our world you have to keep learning and keep pivoting.

Evan 21:42
I think he's absolutely right, does matter which industry it is pandemic to me because of the advent of zoom. I'm less uncomfortable than I was before and I think that's probably true for a lot of people. I think that's part of the shift your talking about where people go this actually does work and particularly we like to say you can track audiences, which is an amazing piece of the pie, if you will and it really is so powerful. Is there any technology, in this particular market and I said this before a couple of times where you've been the leader you've been trying to force feed the market here they're just not ready, as ever, the one piece of technology that somebody has actually asked for that you weren't aware of ?

Reim 22:30
I wouldn't say there was something I wasn't aware of, I think there have been areas that maybe I haven't fully leapt into yet, so I'm very well aware that AI is something we need to start taking seriously. I know that there are some production houses I believe in the US, I haven't seen some, I don't think I've seen any locally yet, who are embracing AI especially in that set of post production processes. So that's something I want to do, you know, so that's something where I feel like I'm behind you know, and maybe it's because it's so much time to leaping ahead and now I'm just like, Okay, let's pause and see where this goes. But yeah I know to be honest I VR as well, VR, AR on all of these innovations are going to play a bigger part, and you can see that that's happening in the US. So it's just a matter of time and I'm hoping to start focusing some time and attention on that soon.

Evan 23:24
Fantastic. And, I mean that's a nice segue into the next piece that we like to talk about which is your discerning view on things. Tell us a little bit about what discerning means to you.

Reim 23:34
I'll be honest, I had to look it up when Warsha first asked me, because I was like discerning what does that mean wow and I even wanna you know I had to like sit there and review in a couple of times before I answer that question. Honestly, from my understanding it's just being considerate about what you move forward with and what you don't it's making the right judgement calls it's looking at taking all of the information in, and in our industry you need to do that a lot, because there are a lot of fads, initiatives, or things that come in and out very quickly, knowing what's right for you isn't always easy I'm someone who doesn't usually do. I usually do jump off the trend. You'll never know which one it's going to be. So I tend to jump in and then we figure it out and then Okay, that didn't work out, but I'd rather be the person who jumped than be the person who watched the train go by. So that's the way I see it.

Warsha 24:29
So Reim, I want to talk about the discerning a bit more most people prefer to say yes to something for the fear of losing out on something else. So, how has this been in your industry in your career so far in your entrepreneurship journey so far.

Reim 24:42
So I had a very interesting relationship with the word yes the word no. And the way I see it, I spent the first part of my career, saying no to all the things did not fit my vision or my goal, you know, I was very focused on Ti22 Films. I was very focused on high end production. I was a bit snobby where anything that didn't fit into what I considered high end project I just said no, and I was taught to believe and to understand that that's how you get what you want, you know you focus on what you want and you say no to everything else that will lead you to the promised land. And that's what a lot of business books tell you to do. And then I realised that I've said no to 30% of the opportunities that have been passed to me in the last year. That's a pretty high number to say no to. What happens if I start saying yes, even if there are things that make you feel quite the right fit. That's kind of shifted in the following year I just said yes to everything. And yes, there were things I didn't enjoy doing and I didn't want to do, but there were things by saying, yes, they opened up opportunities to meet new clients, new prospects, new award winning work, which was very fascinating. I want to give you a very quick example where I was very focused on price. So at the time I used to, especially with Ti22 Films, who came up to me with a budget that was lower than a 100,000 dirhams, I would turn around and say, oh I really appreciate it. I'm so sorry but I cant help you. That's not what I do but I can refer you to XYZ, and I remember, you know, after a while I stopped getting the referrals because every one thought, "Oh, well she is not going to do it!". Right, so someone rang me and said, I want to introduce you to my husband, he's the marketing manager of this big organisation, and he has got a really small project which has only got 15,000 Dhs. And there I was thinking, this is not what I want to do this is not the kind of project and not the kind of budget I should be working on. And, you know, when I looked at the math, I was gonna make like 1000 Dhs on the 15,000 so the profit margin sucks. And then I looked at the project and it was an internal, and the challenge with internal projects, is you can't even showcase them, so it's not even like I can now show this video to people and say look at who I've worked with but this was internal, you know say oh but you know, it's a friend's husband so ok fine. You know, so I ended up doing this video, the chairman of the group saw it and loved it. And the next video I did was for 50,000 Dhs, and then a couple of months later the next video I did was for 150,000 Dhs that the video I did was for 850,000, and they ended up being a client for about four or five years, they still have great relationships with them. And the last video we did with them won a New York festival award. So what was disguised as a no , for which I thankfully said yes to, ended up aligning with what I wanted all along. So, I've learned to not always go with that gut instinct and try the bigger picture and see where the opportunities are because you just never know where they come from.

Evan 27:55
I'd almost argue, that your head was saying No but your gut was saying yes. Maybe it's kind of like, It's always a wonderful serendipity, you now look back and say what a great great decision.

Reim 28:12
It was a lucky decision was I was ready to say no. So I think it was my year of Yes, consciously, changing my what my behaviour would have normally been, which opened up a lot of new opportunities.

Warsha 28:23
So, this is really good and I'm glad you're sharing these wonderful stories. So is this how your new brand, which is now no longer so new, Dubai on Demand was born.

Reim 28:37
Yes so Dubai on Demand, I again I was you know, off to the US, the UK I've gone, you know, a few a couple of years in a row I kept hearing about how online content was the biggest trend and all these amazing YouTube shows and I'd come back to Dubai, and there was barely any activity happening on that landscape and I just thought, there's an opportunity here, there's an opportunity here and I need to go for it. How am I gonna do this on my own.

Reim 29:04
Again serendipity and action, because I get a lot of people who say Oh You're lucky I'm like well yes and but I actually moved into action at that point in time. So it actually annoys me when that gets thrown at me, but I remember coming back from the US and thinking, I have to do this I have to do this and I think a week later, I received an email, and a group of employees were made redundant from Dubai One a lot of well know faces and personalities. I used to work there. Ive hired many of them. So it was like a switch that went off in my head I'm like there's an opportunity here, you know, and I literally, you know, contacted each of them back and said, Oh, I'm so sorry to hear your news. However, this is what I want to do. So if you're interested, meet me at this time on this day, and I think 11 of them showed up like a week later, when I started to get people saying yes I'm interested in yes I'm interested in that. I think I spent the whole week, refining my presentation on what this channel is gonna look like to present it to them. You know when I presented them in a coffee shop. I had nine people buy into the idea. Amazing. I think within like two weeks Dubai on Demand was born, because I now had a team you know, I now had a work force on it work for us office, you know, 10 of us, you know, how are we going to make this big, we now have 10 people we all tapped into our resources tapped into our connections. Before you knew it we were, you know, launching at a press conference in two months later, so I'm not sure if that answered the original question that Dubai on Demand definitely sprung from action, from opportunity and it's from, from seeing the need in the market, and innovating and using all of that knowledge to take it forward.

Warsha 30:46
I love what you said Reim, serendipity and action. Luck doesn't make things happen. It's action that makes things happen. So I love that we're going to use that as a quotable quote from Reim. Absolutely brilliant. Evan over to you!

Evan 31:02
Look the other side of it is, you already have the imagination of what you're looking for. So when you see it, you know that that's this luck thing. So you take the action because everything just aligns and it's absolutely amazing. In terms of that too. There are things that you look for and then you get to where you decide yes or no. So they said the next step of discernment. And I know you're a very detailed person so how do you sort of get to make those decisions, especially when your moving the company on.

Reim 31:32
I am very focused on moving forward. So it's about looking at where the trends are wanting to be at the forefront of that. So I'm someone. I never look at what my competitors are doing. I don't need to spend that much time looking at where we are now, I want to look at where we should be, you know, and where maybe the only competitors I would look for the ones in other countries, you know, because I want to see where they're moving and how we can be where they are. So I think that's driven me forward. And I think I've had so many examples in my life where I've seen how quick decisions and quick actions can really propel you, because I've seen that first move to Dubai, my move into production like everything that's happened has been quick. So because of that, it's given me the confidence to turn around and wake up and go, Okay, I've just heard about this new trend, what can we do about it next week let's do it. And if it fails, what's the worst that can happen it failed, you know, but as I said earlier, I do not want to be the person who is not on the train. I don't want to be on the platform watching the train pass by. That's my main motivation. Is this something that I would regret not doing.

Evan 33:01
And I totally loved that, and I almost threw a handball over to Warsha,It is also indicative of courage, making that decision and sticking with it.

Reim 33:06
Its not easy, and the only thing that's helped me is blocking out everyone who doesn't believe in my vision which sounds very stubborn, and even if it means family at some times and I tell this story quite often,anything key in my life that I know I'm about to take a big leap I do not inform my family. I give my mom a call way after its done and say Mum, this is what happened and this is what I did, isn't it great! Because if I have that conversation before hand, I do not want to have the conversation where someone is saying "What happens if it doe'nt work?" and oh have you thought it through and I don't want to think that way. I just want to think imagine if it does work, imagine how its gonna change things. And I only think it is possible if you surround your self with people who do see that vision unfortunately it does mean block and eliminating the ones that don't.

Warsha 33:57
Surround yourself with people that support you! Absolutely loving it!. This is really good, I'm digressing, I'm going back to the industry, again, because your you know what it's like a tapping into a goldmine into this episode. You are a master of what you do, you really are and you are constantly evolving and we have seen that evolution from tv producer to producing award winning films which you still do and now video content, and being a mentor for producing video content, tell us a bit more and why specifically that direction.

Reim 34:39
Honestly, it's something Ive had to do for my self because of that because I've had a personal journey or putting myself out there, figuring out what I have to say how do I build my credibility online. I feel that that gives me credibility with others when I'm trying to support them on the journey, you know when someone says oh I really adore to say like, No, you do, you're under estimating the wealth of knowledge you have in your head, and how you can break this down into bite sized content that people will consume, and how to make it valuable and share knowledge and educate now. And I think, you know, often people need someone else to tell them that, one of the best examples I have, you know listeners may know her but like Lucy Chow, Lucy Chow is well known in the UAE in the MENA region, you know she very well known in the investment circle. She didn't think she had anything to say, you know and like someone with that profile, who's on I don't know how many boards and how and I'm like, What do you mean you don't know you don't have any say that well you know don't just never want to already know everything they want to know about investments copy just Google it. Well, no, not that many people talk about investments, from your perspective, with your experience, you know, from, you know, a female perspective in the Middle East, you know there are gonna be questions that you have experiences that only you can answer. And you know, very slowly she kind of understood that and she started putting her videos out and we have started seeing a huge transformation she's been doing it for just over two and a half years. She was recently voted as one of LinkedIn top MENA voices, which is amazing. So when you see that happen. You know with someone who is confident and knows her stuff, imagine what it's like for someone who isn't, they need even more help, so I just feel very drawn to that journey, because I know the shift it can create an in people and because I've seen it with myself, I know the most content I put out there the videos I put out there, the more people reach out to me personally, the more clients we bring in, there's a direct correlation, but people just need to be patient and see, because it does not happen overnight.

Warsha 36:46
Yes, be patient, and just do it. And you're right, earlier sometime earlier you said anybody who has a mobile phone today can create that video content. So really just do it. Hopefully, there are people who are listening who are already doing this, they're creating their own content, and when they're creating content Reim what are some of the tips that you can give them to really bring out the best.

Reim 37:11
Honestly. I think, remember that your audience are watching you to learn something. So it's not about pitching your business, it's not about selling. Fine, you may still attract people in that way, but you will not attract fans and you'll not attract people who will want to come back. The goal is to grow an audience base or want to hear you want to learn from you and that's only going to happen if you keep providing value, time and time again, I think that's the key thing providing value but also keeping it concise, I see so many people who you know start reeling off a shopping list of information, and you kind of lose them halfway through, and I'm just they don't realise the power of being simple, the power of one, the power of sharing one key fact that I can take away an actionable fact, I can take away I can apply it I can learn and I can come back to you for more, so keep it simple. And you know, yes you can do it on your phone but do pay attention to some basics, you know, such as your lighting, your audio does matter for the viewer experience just to keep them engaged in what you have to say, and above all, consistency, above all, that is the one key thing that's going to help you grow, be there every single week. Ideally, same day, same time build that habit for your audience, the same way used to tune into your favourite TV shows, you want people to tune into your content and wait for it, and that's where you're going to see a shift if you can be consistent for them, they will be consistent with you.

Evan 38:40
So really you're saying people actually used to tune in to TV show, right. How times have moved on amazing, absolutely amazing. Okay so sun's gone down past the yardarm. So, what does Reim do when she's outside of work when she's not thinking about all the technical stuff.

Reim 38:58
Oh my god, what does Reim do when she's outside of work, I don't know what that looks like. In all honesty I'm fortunate to work in an industry that I genuinely love. And I know there are a lot of people who say Oh TV is bad for you by love watching television, and it actually I learned a lot, you know, I look at the same watching the same TV show, I'll come out of it with very different observations to yours, you know, because I'm looking at it from, you know what was the music like, Oh, that was an interesting camera angle oh that was interesting colour coordination that they use, so I often learn a lot from all the content that I watch or even just the characters. So part of it is yes just entertainment and enjoyment but I, you know, look at it as a form of education being aware of what's out in the market so I tend to consume a lot of content, but I learned a lot as well I would say the majority of my time is spent learning upscaling understanding what's happening in other parts of the world, keeping an eye on trends, which I know probably sounds quite boring, but for me that just does genuinely interest me. And that probably is a great evening is when I've learned something new and I can come to work tomorrow all excited and petrifying everyone else that Oh no she's come in with a new idea. She wants us to implement. So yeah that's that's what my evening looks like.

Evan 40:16
That's fantastic. Where's your next holiday when you do allow yourself to take some time off,

Reim 40:18
I want to go to the Maldives, it seems like everyone and their son and their dog and their parrots have gone to the Maldives in the last year or not necessarly Maldives but somewhere similar maybe Fiji, or you know somewhere exotic, you know, peaceful and island like. So that's on the horizon,

Evan 40:40
You can look for us to just like you, we think, really, we're not supposed to be going anywhere and everybody seems to be coming to the Maldives, really. But it's absolutely beautiful. That's definitely on our list as well. Absolutely on our list.

Warsha 40:56
So I want to take you back to your, what do you do after work, And you talked about watching TV, from all different angles. And I also know you're a movie buff. That's very true. I know because there are so many TV series and movies that we have watched upon your recommendation and we love them all, what genres interest you.

Reim 45:26
I love my mafia. So I'm very into like gangster crime, you know that's probably, you know what intrigues me the most. I'm not into horror in any way. You know I don't I don't see the point in scaring myself silly. So I want something that's a little bit more thought provoking. But yeah, definitely mafia crime.

Warsha 41:40
Absolutely love it, and, you know, this question is coming. You have done so much in your life you have so much in your life, and oh my god you are just starting. What is that one statement that you absolutely proudly standby, which is your, I dare to statement, because we have it in us, all of us, how would you articulate that.

Reim 42:04
For me it's very clearly, I dare to fulfil my potential. I know there is, yes, it may feel like I've done a lot, but I know the potential to do more is there, and I never want to look back and think, I didn't do what I could have done. So,I dare to fulfil my potential

Warsha 42:26
Fabulous, and that leaves so much room for constant evolution. Or, again, an absolute master at brilliant, Evan anything from you.

Evan 42:35
I actually completely love that goes into something I heard many, many years back, which is, it's not what you do compared to somebody else's what you do with what you've done. So your own benchmark. I think it's Matthew McConaughey, when he was receiving an award one time actually said, like his hero was was himself 10 years in the future. And I think that's really powerful and I imagined Reim that you do something like that as well.

Reim 43:01
Its funny I have heard him say that exact thing and I remember it resonated with me. But I want to make sure that the Reim of 10 years ahead is the Reim I want to be. I want to make sure that vision is realise and made reality.

Evan 43:17
Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. It has been a wonderful wonderful opportunity to hear those stories.

Reim 43:27
Thank you so much for having me. I really really appreciate it!

Warsha 43:34
Hold on Hold on don't run away, because I know right after this episode, people are gonna want to say hello. Get in touch with you, where is the best place to get in touch with you Reim?

Reim 43:38
You can always reach out to me on my email which is [email protected], but I'm on pretty much all social platforms @ReimElHouni, so feel free to DM me on Instagram or LinkedIn, and I will be happy to support you.

Warsha 43:56
Brilliant, take up this offer, believe me, you will love it, because this will become one of those milestones in your life, have that five minute chat with Reim you will leave a transformed person. Reim, we remain transformed we continue our own transformation with you, leading us and guiding us thank you so much for taking the time and coming and sharing your wonderful journey with us, we're really appreciate it.

Reim 43:23
Thank you so so so much Warsha and Evan I really enjoyed it. And yeah, looking forward to seeing more from Dare To Scale so watching this space.

Warsha 44:38
Watching this space indeed, thank you very much for listening in, and catch us when we return with another amazing guest.

Warsha 44:40
Hey, thanks for joining us, and listening right to the end

Evan 44:50
Head on over to daretoscale.fm to subscribe and access show notes, and transcription.

Warsha 44:53
Oh also did you know that we have a Facebook page for our podcast listeners, come join the conversations at daretoscale.fm/Facebook.

Evan 45:03
Absolutely. Oh and also remember to give us a five star review so other entrepreneurs can find this podcast like you, and get value to scale for their business.

Evan 45:26
Well we will see you at our next show. Bye for now.

 

Meet your hosts:
Warsha Joshi and Evan Le Clus
We are business mentors and business owners operating out of the vibrant city of Dubai, UAE.
 
We love helping dreams become a reality by bringing about the transformation from Founder to Leader, Consultant to Business Owner.
 
Come join us and subscribe to the show. The latest episode will arrive in your inbox shortly.
Get podcast and blog updates direct to your inbox. Subscribe below!