Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in organizational development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Taharima Habib, Founder of Taharima Habib Consulting, located in Montréal, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
My business provides consulting services in capacity building, culture shift management, project management, DEI training design and facilitation, marketing and communications campaign design, and leadership coaching. I work with compassion and collaborate with mission-driven, social development-oriented organizations and companies in North America.
Tell us about yourself
I am a trained scientist with a master's degree in Microbiology. My academic life has given me the tools to research and be comfortable with the processes of learning and unlearning, evolving my perspective as new and different information comes to light. I use my science background to constantly remind myself that my mind and outlook can be changed, and I give myself and my clients the grace to challenge me, change our minds, and make mistakes in order to get to where we need to be.
I fell in love with the non-profit sector after volunteering and building partnerships within the communities in Montreal, and I now have over 7 years of experience in the Canadian Non-Profit and Public sector, working at different levels from coordination to leadership in local and national organizations. I started my own business in consulting because I was looking for ways to be more autonomous in how I design my experiences with people and organizations.
There were a lot of inequities and troubling realities that were constantly overlooked in the non-profit and charity sector, often simply because of lack of funds, people burning out, and overworking to address the issues. I wanted to offer support from the outside, to train people to be able to fix the problems within, and to build for sustainability moving forward.
The work that my clients do keeps me going. Those whom they do their work for keep me going. And also, the direct teams and how much they need support that isn't always there, they are the reason I am motivated to do the work I do.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I have been in business since January of 2022, and I am proud to say that I have not lost any income since quitting my job last year. I am so proud that I taught myself the ins and outs of owning and running a business. Although it's just me, I do have blog and content contributors that work with me to further my brand.
I am so proud of myself for recognizing that competition is not the way I wanted to move forward. I reached out to my community of fabulous and hard-working women entrepreneurs who have mentored me, sent clients my way, and cheered me on. My biggest accomplishment in my business is that I didn't let the fear of failure, self-doubt, impostor syndrome, or perfectionism keep me from taking the leap and starting a business powered by community.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me, balancing client hours and working on my own brand and business needs. Earlier in the business, I set some very good boundaries of working four days per week and spending one day on ideation, creation, learning, and connecting for the sake of Taharima Habib Consulting and what the brand really is about and what it does.
The problem is when you're one person behind the brand, and you're the person working on a growing list of client contracts, your own business tasks take the back burner. Finding the rhythm to move from the front burner to the back and not compromise your boundaries and personal needs is the difficult part.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find your people. Being independent or starting a lone venture doesn't have to mean isolating yourself and doing everything on your own. Find ways to collaborate with people who are like-minded and who have similar approaches and values to you. You can learn a lot from them and share the work that needs to be done.
- Challenge your inner critic or imposter. Do you doubt yourself because you genuinely think you're not good enough? Are you putting your ideas down because you really believe that no one else would be interested in your work? Or are you using the questions in your head to keep yourself humble and open to learning and navigating opposing perspectives to yours and adapting? If you use your imposter, that little negative voice in your head, as a tool to check yourself, a tool to encourage you to keep learning more, and asking better questions, then it will be one of the best ways for you to keep moving forward and make decisions about your business that you can be proud of.
- It doesn't have to be fancy. Where you start is not set in stone. Your visuals, language, tone, and audience can be refined over time. Don't let the need to have the best look, platforms, or anything stop you from starting. Just do it, and keep improving as you go. There are so many free and useful tools online that can help you in making virtually anything come to life. Don't let the fanciness of things keep your starting point miles away from where you are.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.