Meet coffee loving optimistic author Maryam Janahi, who as an influencer is hoping to inspire her community for the better and become the change they aspire to see. We talk about her challenging journey from start to finish and how her passion for small details are being channeled into her book project.
Hey Maryam, Can you take us through your journey as to how you arrived at where you are now?
What I love about my journey is that it was made of so many challenges that I am still going through as I am talking to right now. However, I would love to highlight with you the journey that got me to publish my first book the most. Due to my passion for small details, I always loved to put things together and see how the story develops. A cup of coffee has so many details that always fascinated me, such as how people connect to the cup, how the concept of a cup of coffee brings people together, while it motivates each of us. Back in September 2016 when I started to write an article addressing the topic, the more I wrote the more my friends motivated me to write. It is with thanks to them that I was able to accomplish my dream and publish my first book.
What were the first few steps to getting started?
Getting started is always the hardest step. I used to get initially started by collecting all my thoughts on a piece of paper. Then I began talking to other authors to see how they went about the process. At the same time, I would still be addressing with my thoughts and the creative process behind all of this, that would enable me to finish the book. I would also spend a lot of time reading up on a lot for other authors, and of course lets not forget to the many cups of coffee in the process!
Can you tell us about your experience at the Bahrain International Bookfair?
It was a mesmerising and a truly overwhelming experience, as I got the opportunity to meet with all the people who read the book and get their feedback. In addition to listening to how the book affected their lives. Those are the kind of stories that keep me motivated and aspired to write my second book.
Who are the team helping you to connect the dots?
I love working with people, and I have two awesome teams that help me connect the dots. Phi Solutions which is a creative agency that still helps me with my digital content strategy, and manages all my social media platforms. Then also my publishing team that helps in spreading and selling my book across the region.
Where do you see your self within the next 3-5 years in terms of personal growth?
That is a very good question, as its a question that I keep asking myself. In the coming 3 – 5 years I aspire to have published my second book, and launched my blog, in addition to growing my impact on my community.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally as an author?
Coming up with the idea and wanting to deliver it the way I envision it to be is the most challenging thing for me. Having a book with a creative idea is not enough, it’s how you deliver it, how it translates to your readers, and how it relates to them.
Have you ever had a mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
Every person in our life is a mentor regard to what I feel and everything God sends is to help our growth, so yes I had so many mentors and that still bring out the real Maryam to life.
There have been several people in my life who I can say have played the role of a mentor to me, in which they have helped me develop, and have added to my character through the different experiences and events I’ve encountered throughout my journey. Also, I do believe that God puts certain people in our way for a purpose, it could be good or bad, but either way it is always a learning experience that makes you who you are in life.
What top 3 outlets do use to market your book?
2. Social media.
3. Emailing list.
Which methods are you using to build your own network?
Networking by having a cup of coffee with people, going to private and public events. Also by volunteering in several events for NGOs.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions of the publishing industry are?
The publisher knows well. No matter how experienced your publisher is you need to out in the time to market your book and get it from the shelves to that reader’s hands.
What would you like to see changed in within the publishing industry?
To become more innovative and more creative in terms of brand building
What is the best piece of advice you have received to date?
To trust the universe.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
I learned to be humble, and always be true to who I am.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
Yoga & meditating is a great way to build this balance, it helps me find the clarity and the peace of mind I need, to be able to give both my work and personal life their time.
The highlight of your career so far?
Having a supportive community and that sense of self-satisfaction makes everything I have worked for really worth it. By being able to write my book and publish it is not only a highlight of my career, but I also believe it is the beginning towards reaching the goals and ambitions I have set for myself.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Definitely being able to spearhead my own abaya fashion line.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and leading pioneers do you also admire and why?
Steve Jobs as an entrepreneur and then Oprah Winfrey as a female pioneer as they had this ability to turn a bad story to turn it into a successful one. I also do like May Al Moayed, a Bahraini entrepreneur and Meshaal Al Shemimry who was the first Arab female aerospace engineer since both of them had their own vision and a passion they followed but in a different field.
May had passion through natural look makeup, I do remember her wedding makeup was very natural & different so she follows her heart and started her boutique then she took the big step to make it as a salon. As for Mashaal, she had a dream to travel to space and the universe gave her this opportunity to work for NASA and now she is doing her own business in Saudi Arabia.
How would you say you are intending to use your voice to educate others in the publishing sector?
By living the good values.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I love a magazine article that was written by Maria Slough regarding vegan life since she mentions how easy it can be to jumpstart a modern healthy lifestyle, one that I live it now.
What does your Podcast playlist look like?
Jazz and 528 Hz music.
How do you measure your terms of success?
My self-satisfaction level, my family’s satisfaction and if I can continue to learn something new every day.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Be yourself, just be true to who you are and remember your roots whilst belonging to your own thoughts and ideologies.
Lastly, what is next for you throughout 2018?
Getting started my own business and then publish another book.