Almira Bardai

Almira Bardai is a woman of accomplishments. She is one of North America’s leading experts in brand building and communications. In addition to being a Brand Builder, Almira is a serial Entrepreneur and hailed as one of the BIV (Business In Vancouver) Top 40 Under 40. An advocate for leadership in business, a thought leader on issues affecting the PR industry, and the co-founder and Co-CEO of Jive PR & Digital.  Has spent the last two decades creating powerful narratives for both domestic and global brands like Flight Centre, Granville Island Brewing, Nike, Best Buy, Future Shop, Molson, and TELUS. She is an actively-sought out speaker, on both PR and entrepreneurial topics

Almira consults and mentors local and global organizations, including the Aga Khan Foundation, Brands for Better, SFU Beedie School of Business, and Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE). She is a past board member of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) and currently sits on the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver.

Almira is driven by a passionate desire to see women rise up, both personally and professionally, and to eradicate inequality at all levels.

In this episode, she shares the most important things: from building and manifesting a business to determining when to let it go. Tune in on how Almira Bardai who came from refugee immigrant roots built her International business at the age of 24 and climbed up to the pinnacle of success.

To find out more about Almira, check out the following platforms:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/almirab/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/almirabardai/

Website: https://almirabardai.com/

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Website: https://theunderdogshow.com/

Click To Read The Transcript

Almira Bardai And Her Inspirational Journey of Climbing to the Pinnacle of Success & Transforming Life Through Pow’Her

Pamela Bardhi
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of underdog, today I have an incredible guest here with me. Almira. How are you?

Almira Bardai
So good. Thank you for having me. I’m so excited. This is as everybody knows, it’s one of the top podcasts out there. So I’m honored to be on here and just having a chat with one of my favorite people.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely amazing. Thank you so much. It’s truly an honor. I mean, I’ve heard your story, and I cannot wait to get into it. You’re just amazing on all accounts.

Almira Bardai
Thank you.

Pamela Bardhi
Thank you so much. So of course, I always start with the most loaded question, which is what inspired you on your journey to where you are today?

Almira Bardai
Wow. That’s an interesting question. I don’t think it’s necessarily being inspired by one particular thing. I think it’s been more of a drive to see or curiosity to see how far I could go. So and then seeing what other people are then doing or the worlds that I get into, or the opportunities that I get. That’s what continues to inspire me. So it first started with me and wonder, I’m curious about this, I wonder if I could do this, can I do this. And then like everything that it just happens, it just manifests.

And you’re suddenly all of a sudden inspired by all the greatness around you. Much like how you’ve come into my world, you know, we connected through April, and just you’d I have this like amazing energy and vibe. So it’s continued to add these incredible people or people who are already in my life. And that’s what motivates me and inspires me to just stay more curious and to find more opportunities and cool things to do.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s incredible. And you’ve built some amazing brands. I mean, you’ve been in brand building and PR you are like the guru, my friend, which I absolutely adore. I’m going to reel it back quite a bit for you. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Almira Bardai
Huh? This is the funny one, the Secretary so I remember by I must have been in grade four you had to write what do you want to be when you grow up? So I said secretary and my teacher actually gave me the report back, slid it back to me and said with a note, I think you can do better try again. And I think what it came from there is I love organizing being in the background making magic happen. And so when I think of what I do now and being the brand builder and not pulling those puppet strings if you will. But again, I’ll never forget Mr. Davies, who was like, take another stab at this. This is not what you should be doing with your life. So yeah, super funny.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s hysterical. Isn’t it funny how what we want to be as kids are showcased when we’re older, like this weird way

Almira Bardai
Talking about that you recently interviewed Jeremy Newson and his wife split mana, and I’ve been doing a lot of coaching through her. And what she talks about is actually the first thing that you want to do is what you end up doing in the world. So there is one of the sessions that we did. And literally, everybody had to say what is that you want it to be when you were a kid? What is that gift? Because it actually does translate through the rest of your life. So it’s funny that you say it’s funny, but it literally is universal and cosmic if you will. Yeah, crazy stuff.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s incredible. Well, it’s amazing that you knew at such a young age, they say that your inner programming happens. Like your conditioning and your imprinting happens in your first seven years of life. Which is like so when you ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up, they can almost predict it.

Almira Bardai
Yeah, I know. It’s crazy and scary. Yeah,

Pamela Bardhi
It is crazy and scary. Because it’s like you knew you wanted to be in the background of a business.

Almira Bardai
Yeah, running something. But that being said, I think back then it was also the mentality for women about you are the backbone behind men. It makes you wonder is is that what was I thinking for myself? Because now I’m at the forefront of everything. Or I’ve you know, I’ve been at the forefront for a number of years, but at the end of the day, it’s been me there. So now that I think about it. I wonder if my teacher was like, No, no, you don’t have to be behind the man to be successful or make the man successful.

Like what are your gifts? So it’s interesting as in this in time and its environment and culture that we’re in now that you start looking back at all of that. Like what is real? You know, what is it that we’re taught, and what are we changing? There’s So much to talk about when it comes to all that it’s an interesting time. Yeah,

Pamela Bardhi
It is a fascinating time because it’s also we’re entering into the era of the divine feminine.

Almira Bardai
Mm-hmm.

Pamela Bardhi
Who astrology. Everyone’s like, oh, why is 2020 the planets are literally in the same alignment. They were 100 years ago when the Spanish Flu happened. It’s not a coincidence.

Almira Bardai
Yes, it is not. So apparently, our world, you live this life. And as we are now when you are with your family, as you have it now, every 5000 years. So you are playing everything out? Yeah, my sister was telling me about it. I’ve been meaning to ask for more. And I really should, but you literally have the same family, the same lineage what you do, and you recreate it. If memory serves me correctly, you improve on it every single time, but you do relive the specific life that we are currently living right now, every 5000 years.

Pamela Bardhi
How crazy is that? So you come back, I know and your souls always evolve. I have a reader and she talks about all past lives switched us. And said the average soul lives five to 700 lives before it comes into this earth. So That’s why people come to earth with pre-existing issues that nobody wants to like address, which is kind of crazy to think about.

Almira Bardai
I know, crazy. But they’re saying that.  Again, the person who told me this, she’s a spiritual healer, and she couldn’t remember exactly what year it was, is either 2010 or 2012. But all children born as of that year, are born without karma. So they’re coming into it in a pure and clear life without all baggage, without all the stories. And it is supposed to be this generation of children who’ve been born now. So I guess that’s been, what 10 years. It is pure clear, healed without all the baggage. And I think that’s completely fascinating.

Pamela Bardhi
That is so fascinating because you think about us as kids. I mean, and just everything we’ve been through. Throughout our lifetimes, and it’s like, there’s so much I know so much. That’s fascinating. Oh, my God. And so back to your childhood, who is somebody that inspired you throw who could be multiple people or things that

Almira Bardai
My parents talked about having immigrant parents, so I am a smiley Muslim. And the easiest way that I can say that is it smiley is very modern Muslim and my grandparents on one side. Great grandparents on another side came from India, and it was said in the community. A smiley is a religion, but its also culture is again, the best way to describe it. So the family went from northern India, Goodra to East Africa, and they came as immigrants and prospered and did so well. What happens is, that this is now of course, where they’re in East Africa. It’s the British Empire. And so all of them start to get their independence from the UK and Idi Amin comes into Uganda.

So my father had left for Canada and my mom is from Kenya, so Indians from Kenya, on my mom’s side from Uganda, on my dad’s side, my dad had already left. But through just families knowing each other, they knew each other, they decided they want to get married. My mom comes to Canada, but of course at a mean, then come soon after, and the rest of our family all left as refugees. And our spiritual leader, the Agha Khan, knew Pierre Trudeau, who was the Prime Minister of Canada at that time. He literally arranged for all of these Smiley’s to come and the majority of them. So I mean, there was a few 1000 at the time, it came over nothing. Because were given 30 days to get out, if you’re in any other part of Uganda 90 days to get out.

It came with nothing. The community’s really inspiring because they just literally built up everything from scratch. So the story of my parents even though they came before the coup and all of the issues. But you’re still immigrants, and so my father worked at the carwash that’s still there in Vancouver, and he worked at MMJ carwash for 25 cents an hour. And then ended up moving to UBC, it’s the university he went to University of British Columbia. Because then he got to be a janitor at 50 cents. You know this is the stuff that they do. And my mom when she’s in Kenya, she worked at the college as a teacher then decided, forget it. I’m going to buy it and then she bought the college but then she was in traveling for Alitalia and came here.

And my parents spoke perfect English, like really smart, well educated but you’re still starting from the ground up. So she found a job and travel agency started as the Secretary and then the next year gets promoted to controller. And seeing as you do your parents literally start from nothing to build and now they’ve done so well. Just as your parents have right there, they’re just doing and it’s even like I look at my mom who and this was before the word entrepreneur existed. She owned a business because what would happen is that her company that she worked with Hagen’s travel. She took some time off had surprised twins, me and my sister. We were not expected to be twins. So there’s two of me and then so she worked part-time and then she bought into Hagen’s and bought her own location.

She had that and then you’d serve on the board of directors and as the president, she really moved up. So again, you’ve got the inspirational female who built everything. And you look at the two of them and how well they did it. But one they wanted better lives for themselves better lives for their children. It’s super inspirational, where they have gotten to and, my childhood was like crazy in the sense that it was the world of travel back then. So mom would fly for free dad would be half price. If we were under 11, we were kids. There’s traveling half price. No, we were on the children’s fares, Dad was half price. And so my summers were spent, like driving through Spain and Portugal, you know, going to Africa who gets a childhood like that.

It was really because of what they built together. And so partnership is also something that super inspiring to me, or like the role models that my parents were and what they instilled into us. But it’s funny, because then again, you and I were talking about it that having immigrant parents like until I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad. which was crazy enough. I never knew about creating money. I was having a conversation with my dad, I was like, why don’t you teach me about creating money. He goes, that was like the last thing on my mind at the time. He’s like, I’m an immigrant to this country. And not that it was about survival.

But the choices that you make are to a certain degree to survive. But again, they did well, but it was about making the choices for stability. And then also about, like, you know, having a house or my children need to be educated. So the sacrifices that your parents do make, or the risks that they do, or don’t take. It’s just amazing what that mentality and those choices become. And then I think about myself, and then my son, you know, what are his choices gonna be next? So it’s interesting how it just all plays in together and how that story builds.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s incredible. It’s a lot of inspiration all in one, which I adore. And now your career path alone. How did that all tune in because you got into PR global but like all this amazing stuff? So walk me through like high school into college.

Almira Bardai
So when we were in university, when we were in grade 12, and there was a program called Global Education. You studied about a country then you went there did humanitarian work. And up until that time, I actually thought I’d probably want to be a teacher, but I was curious about advertising as well. Then we went and taught in the salons. And I realized education is so incredible. I don’t know if first of all kids value education. So I’m like, I don’t know if I want to teach here. But I would want to get a minor in English, so I could teach in the third world. That was my thinking. So I go to university, just start with an arts degree interested in business, but I could not do math and economics.

I was so excited that I got a D, which I happily announced to everybody and they were like, an eighth, like, you’re so excited. And I’m like, No, I got a D. They’re like, Okay, well, I guess that’s passing. But during my university time, I ended up in communications. Then I did the co-op program, which is internships. And I really say that that was the catalyst for me in my story. Because by the time I was in my third year of university, I had so much internship experience. I was actually working in the communications field like I was working for the government. You know, I didn’t have to work retail jobs anymore. Was consulting in university, which then led me to go into a PR agency where skyrocketed.

I had like crazy, amazing opportunities. I was working for one of Canada’s top PR agencies. Worked on clients like Nike, Western American Express, like he was huge. And then I wanted to move to the UK. So ended up moving to the UK. And when I think about my story, I say there’s no such thing as No, but I realized I should actually change the language on that. It should be everything is hell yeah, right. Yeah. Having the negativities in there. Everything is hell yeah. So before I’d moved to the UK, the tech market was exploding, even though they weren’t supposed to. Because you were on a holidaymaker like work in a bar or work in a store visa, the recruiters would put you into a job, they didn’t care.

They just wanted to get their conditions by the time I got through the tech market had bought and nobody would help me. So they were like you’re on your own. One day I’m sitting on the tube, I think I’d been in London for a couple months, I was temping. I was working in some restaurants having great time. And I saw this ad on the tube for Cobra beer, a beer company. So I google, I got the telephone number. I cold-called the marketing director, and I said, Are you hiring? And he goes, Oh, my God, I just realized the humor of this. He said I’m hiring for a secretary.

I never actually connected the two things right now. He said, I’m hiring for a secretary and I said, I will be your secretary if you let me do PR. And he goes on the secretary salary, and I said, Absolutely, I will do this. I’m like, I got holidaymaker visa. So I’m allowed to do these things. You can hire me and he thought it was like the best deal ever. So lo and behold, I ended up working in the marketing department of Cobra beer. Which at the time was the hottest niche beer brand in the UK and even in Europe. Our biggest competitor was actually tiger and we were making Cobra which was a beer that traditionally went with Indian food. And the Indian restaurant started by an entrepreneur himself, who was actually part of YPO and mentored by Richard Branson.

Like it was crazy because then we did projects with the Branson group and got the brand on Virgin Airlines. All of the opportunities start to come in. And we built this brand and I ended up within a year moving to head of global PR, and I must have been 25 or 26 at the time. And I was like traveling all over the world. I teams and like multiple countries running press trips, and they just gave me so many opportunities that had the most incredible experience. Then as you do travel, book and personally being in Europe, we like go to Rome for coffee or Milan to shop for the day, then fly back right back to London. It was crazy. But I really want to go to Australia.

And so by then, I had some really great experiences went to Australia. I ended up doing a contract in Cape Town and then came back to Vancouver. Nobody would hire me because Canada at the time very limited in its thinking and they said you haven’t been here in a long time. You don’t have any experience anymore. I was like even though I’ve been head of global PR built a brand and made it a really high-profile brand. And I’ve worked abroad they just wouldn’t hire me. So I ended up consulting and found a client on Craigslist and I even found it was on Craigslist mystery shopping at Rogers video. Rogers is Telecom.

But back then it wasn’t the big telecom it is now it was the video store like blockbuster. And so I’m mystery shot and just you have to survive. Anyways, that consulting ended up turning into like, it was just me. I built the consulting company and then I would be my future business partner for a PR agency. I would then own and jive PR and digital. And we would then open multiple offices have big teams and we had that for 10 years and worked with clients like flight center, they get big clients.

Again, I ended up working with Molson here in Canada, but I love consumer brands, it really just is my jam. It just worked with clients there did a lot of stuff in the retail sector as well. Some professional services, film, and entertainment we did one, we had Disney as a client. And then I sold to her 2018 I am now consulting again, working on brand building. That’s the story. Because everything is hell yes. That’s what it is.

Pamela Bardhi
Everything is hell yes. I love your mindset. So was this always your mindset? Or did you sort of transition throughout the years?

Almira Bardai
Yeah, you know what, I’ve always believed I can do it. But there have been some moments over the past few years. As I get older, I think I was talking to my own coach. And she was saying there’s a lot of women going through this where it’s not a midlife crisis. It is a midlife improvement, where you are reflecting back on your life.  Looking back, are there regrets? There things and I kind of went into a bit of a negative place, because I think I was unpacking so much. That’s when I realized, am I a negative person. Because it felt like there was so much negativity around me until I was reading Robin Sharma. He was saying that, as humans and as a society, we have a negativity bias. And I thought that was shocking.

As humans, we are actually built to look at the negative and the worst-case scenario. I think that was part of the impetus that I’m now on this spiritual, higher consciousness path is examining everything and what it is that I believe in. Again, I was saying to my coach, I was like, I’m not here to play small and she’s like, do not use those words. You are here to play big. That’s why I go back to saying that I think I have a negativity bias because everything has been so small, so negative. And not in the sense that I’m just a negative person, but they’re not the positive words. So I really just had to take a step back and reflect on everything. And see how I, how I lead life, how I do life, who am I?

I think that’s really the part that I’m at right now. And is Svetlana, the spiritual coach would say it’s like a boat dharmic business right now, bringing your gifts to the world. And I think that’s the part that I’m at right now. So very long answer to your question. I’ve always had this mindset, but it’s been laced with negative in there because I never realized it. Again, it’s not about being like, Oh, this is all terrible, and I’m complaining. But it’s been more about why are my words not of the highest vibration or like what am I creating? It’s more intentionality. It’s more consciousness.

Pamela Bardhi
Amen. Living with that intent, I think is really where the game changes. Like in 2017 I had my grandfather, he was really sick with cancer, and we were by his hospital bed during his last days. And I just remember in those moments, I’m just sitting there and I’m like, everyone around him. Everyone’s not talking about work. They’re not talking about money. They’re talking about the memories and the good things he did, and all the positivity, who he affected the lives he impacted. And it was all about legacy at that point.

And the memories at that moment, I just remember I was like. Am I basically designing my life just to focus around money? Or is this really about? What am I doing? I’m in real estate. Yes, I’ve done all these high-powered things. Yes, I’ve done this. But like, for what, like, what is the driving factor? And I realized that it was money. So when you were talking about dharmic, businesses and businesses that are created with intent to showcase your gifts to help the world. I think those are entrepreneurs are absolutely thriving right now. Which I think is where you are, where you are like, I’m going to bring my gifts to elevate the world and elevate these brands. So that everybody wins.

Which is super cool. Super, super cool. And also to I mean the world’s craving authenticity. So the thing you said about the souls born after 2010, they seem to be a lot smarter. All the kids that I’ve come across lately, now that are younger than 10 years old, are brilliant. I’m like, how does this kid know that? Deep answers to questions that you’re like, how does a seven-year-old know what that is? And so it’s just like authenticity that like a million different pieces coming together. It’s so cool to see where the future of everything is really heading.

Almira Bardai
I know, I was actually interviewed for a podcast by 16 year old who’s one of the best interviews I’ve ever had my entire life. She’s like, it was crazy. And the questions she was asking me, I’m like, Who’s interviewing? Who here? Like, I almost felt like I was being a little school. Because I was not that emotionally smart or asking those questions at 16. And this password, this is what she tells me because then we ended up talking about crypto because I’m really into it. So one of my actually noticed my biggest client their cryptocurrency exchange. So how neat is it that I’ve been pulled into this, amazing new world? She was saying what is it about crypto and for me. It’s about equality for people and sound finance and decentralized finance and where those decisions where the money lies.

And then we just ended up talking about what I was buying and trading because I checked my stocks and my crypto every morning. And I was like, what, I’m sorry, you’re 16 years old, and she checks the stock market every morning. I was not doing that at 16. I was on the cheerleading team and nothing against cheerleaders because I think they’re amazing. But my life was a little bit different. Like, I was wondering about the dance on Friday night, I was not waking up in the morning and checking my stocks. So you’re gonna change the world?

Pamela Bardhi
Oh, 100% 100%. And it’s super cool. I mean, because with your experiences, you’ve been all over the world, you’ve built these major brands, which is so amazing. You’re at this place now where you built your own company. So you’ve built go-arounds, then you’ve built your own companies super successful. Now you’re out venturing into the world with something new. So in the first part of your career, in building that, you know, building that career in the first place, was that what was that all? Like? Because you were young, right? And in this like, badass position where you’re like head of global PR, which is a huge deal. So what were some of the challenges? how do you work past that? How did it transition you to the next level?

Almira Bardai
I just remember it being so fun, there was never any challenges. And I’m not against hard work. I’m happy to work hard. But I think now of course, as you get older, I’m in my 40s you’re how am I working smarter. That there were no challenges really, and maybe I was just so naive that I thought I just got along with everybody. But looking back at it, I didn’t have conflicts, and also, when you are meant to be doing something, the universe just opens up. And so I was working with incredible people incredible minds. The really neat thing about Cobra is that we were all from different places. So India, Canada, South Africa, Australia. So you have all these foreigners who are working together.

There were people from the UK, but we were like a really big family who was always hanging out together. That was something so special in that time. We all still stay in touch. This is 20 years ago now. I think you’re put into these situations that are so magnificent that you get to work and blossom as you do and just learn.  That was like, they just gave me so much leeway to do my job and believed in me, which was great. And then I think the challenges were about perhaps like starting over. And so having to go back to Vancouver to nothing and being like, what have I done with my life, nobody will hire me. You know, like I rebuilt in Australia. That was easy. I ended up moving up the ladder.

I went to Cape Town again moving up the ladder and I come back here to nothing and really missing Australia because that is seriously my spiritual home. But coming back here to nothing and then I think it’s really about the having to rebuild that you’ve questioned things but then it turns out great. You have to stop gripping what you think it will be. That I think the challenges more came so as I started to build my own company less so when I was working with other people because you’re not dealing with this shit. But you were building and when my former business partner and I Lindsay built up jive. It was supposed to be here and I and maybe a part-time or see how it goes. And that first month we got so busy that we had to hire four contractors.

And then we started to grow the business and we were virtual. So we didn’t have to pay rent but for those first years and so now everybody kind of felt sorry for us. They’re like can’t you afford rent? Now I’m like, we were visionaries actually because Everybody works from home. That we just literally grew and built. We were focused. And we had an amazing time. We learned so much. As you do with any venture, you’ve learned so much. Then I think the challenges are also about what are my next steps. Because in my mind, every entrepreneur knows how long you want to have a business for me. I knew I wanted this one for 10 years, it was like, What is my next step?

But it’s very hard to let go of something that you built. Letting go of baby. So there are releasing and letting go. And what is it that I want next with my life going back to your point about intention and design and legacy? I think that was one thing that I could be proud of the legacy that I’d left with this business. And knew that it was ready to be handed on to the person who could make it even more successful. Because I knew that wouldn’t wasn’t me, you know what I was not the right person anymore to lead it. I like it, what Lindsay’s done with the business and taking it over.

It’s huge. And I look back, it’s funny, because Lindsey, she lives in LA, and she was in Vancouver a couple weeks ago. So I was celebrating her success and saying this was so amazing. I wondered I’m like, did I care that I wasn’t part of this legacy? And I was like, No, I’m 100% aligned with the fact that she was meant to continue with it. I’m so happy with where I’m at things always work out.

Pamela Bardhi
So for sure. And now question for you. I know that there’s entrepreneurs here. First, a couple questions. First off, what led to your success of expanding so rapidly. Because you had not thought I was gonna stay so small, and then it turned so big? So that’s the first question. And the second question is, how did you learn to let go? Because there are entrepreneurs out there that know that it’s time. Yeah, to separate from the business, and they just can’t want whatever words they put in their mind. You know, it’s time,

Almira Bardai
You know, again, it’s where you’re supposed to be. It’s like the divine energy that takes your business. And that you were meant to be in this place that this person refers you or this person refers you. But I also do believe that we did so well because it was two of us. So Lindsay ran her company, and I ran mine. We were both consulting, they decided to merge our businesses. And I literally turned to her one day and said, what would you love to do in your business? What do you not want to do? What is it that I want to do and what do I not want to do. She wanted to do business, and I wanted to run the business and deal with the clients.

So it was like, we looked at each other and said, okay, we need to team-up. And then it was magic. We were just started getting all the clients. And that’s when you attract, not to say that sit there and meditate and you attract everything. But it is part of the equation, we would get approached this client or x y Zed client, and yes, they were coming to us. But we also made a phenomenal team. I think this is also one of the secrets of what we had is that we have what I call third space. So I would have an idea, she would have an idea. Then we would talk about it, or I would have an idea, but not fully settled on my idea.

Because I knew that whatever input she had and brought to the table, we would create something extra amazing. So we were on the phone literally 37 times a day. There was no slack or any of that stuff back then. So you’re picking up the phone. And I would be saying or she would be saying I have this idea, what are your thoughts, and then the other one would be saying, Okay, this is what I think. Then you get to this beautiful, magical thing. And it starts to grow, it starts to evolve. You get these clients and obviously like you do the background of your business development list and your targets and all that work.

And so much of why the business grew was the relationships that we had, and the relationships that we had with our clients. It’s unheard of, in our industry to have clients for 10 years, majority of our clients we’ve had for 10 years. And so that retention level and how they felt about us as partners., even though I’ve sold the business. I still keep in touch with a whole bunch of them and still have dinner with the old clients. Then knowing about when to let go is that you have to listen to that pit in your stomach or that voice that says My time is coming. Or I don’t want to do this anymore. Sometimes if it’s the I don’t want to do this anymore. You need to take a break.

You need a vacation, maybe it’s a sabbatical, whatever it is because we all know about entrepreneurial burnout. 2012 I think it was we started the business in 2009. I believe it was 2012 my adrenals were just shot and you think you’re taking care of yourself. But wining and dining and having fun is not taking care of your insides. But still, there are levels of stress and you need to take care of your body and you don’t realize what the hustle does to your body. And so that’s what it should be. It’s not about the stress is what the hustle does to your body. So I ended up doing a whole bunch of naturopathic and homeopathic work around adrenal fatigue. I just knew in my head.

And this is when you know, of course, we talk about intuition and what is it inside your head that you’re thinking? And for me, it was it’s 10 years, it’s 10 years. But it’s not like I was sitting back and slacking. We were still growing. We were still doing all the things I was still doing all the things and in fact, when Lindsay moved down to LA I had to take over biz dev. I never done bizdev before so I was so intimidated by the whole thing. But I got a coach just look just as you say, get a coach.

And so listening to that voice in the head, and it’s some situation started happening, where it was like, This is time this is not yours anymore. This is not where you’re meant to be. And if you don’t listen to it, the universe will pull something for you. I’ve got some male friends right now going through some real health crises. We as women can see it happening. Like his wife could see that this is gonna happen just wasn’t listening. You’re gonna get that wake-up call.

So at what point do you say, I’m going to let go with grace? I’m going to read let go with honor and legacy. Or I’m going to grip this damn thing until they pull it out of my cold dead hands. What is your legacy then? And what are the relationships like around you? I think that’s the biggest thing is to decide when to walk away. And sometimes you walk away with nothing. But if you walk away with nothing, do you walk away with your freedom? I think that’s worth more than anything.

Pamela Bardhi
Amen. I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that. I mean, you just such an amazing journey. And I just, I adore it so so much. It’s truly a blessing. And now in your world of global communications, brand building PR, and all of that, what would be some of your biggest tips and advice for any entrepreneur listening? Or it really just anybody listening? Who’s paying attention to that world or looking to enhance that world, in their business or in their job?

Almira Bardai
Take a step back away from it, when you look at it. Because we all think, and rightfully so, think we have the world’s best business don’t necessarily. And so that is typically why you bring in a consultant like myself to be able to take that outside look. One, it gives you that bird’s eye view to be strategic. I’m not the world’s biggest strategic planner. I cannot deal with sitting in like a two-day session coming up with some big plan with some Excel spreadsheet with KPIs.And roadmap that makes me want to pull my eyeballs out. But I do believe that you need to come with a strategic vision around everything. So you have to take that step back and get out of the weeds.

Again, we as entrepreneurs get so pulled into those weeds. And what is that saying you can’t see the forest through the trees, you have to take that step back. That’s the first step you have to take. Take some breathing room, and then sit down. Okay, build that plan. That’s the biggest thing that I come at it with is the experience of building a brand. But then what is our plan, literally, it might be two-hour session, we do your identity, your messaging, we figure out who you want to connect with. Then we hit the ground running. And I think you have to be able to take that step back and do some navel-gazing. And start to ask those questions and question your place in the world.

Or ask those questions about what your true gifts are to the world. As a business as a company, even if you were the hired CEO of a company, you could determine what the gifts of that business are. And that’s the approach that you want to be taking. Also, not everything is newsworthy, that’s my other piece of advice. You get clients were like, I think this is a great idea. And I’m like, that is horrible. You are not I’m not taking that anywhere, or people were like,

We should totally be in the media about that. I’m like, you should totally not be in the media about that. It’s not newsworthy. And I think also why you should not be taking all of your stories that are not newsworthy to the media. You will destroy your relationships with the media. You will get blacklisted so fast by sending them the pitch that’s totally not worth it. Or that if there’s been a story written about your competitor. You email that journalist or like, hey, write a story about me. And it would be exactly the same story, they’re gonna be like, delete. So you have to be careful, like anything with the relationships that you build and what you’re trying to say. By all means, do it, just think about it?

What Would Almira Older Self Tell Her Younger Self

Pamela Bardhi
So, right, be intentional. With your business brand and everything. Yeah, incredible. And now, another personal question for you. And this is my favorite one, what would your older self tell your younger self based on what you know now?

Almira Bardai
Don’t be in such a rush. And this has actually been feedback that I’ve been given before, from my clients. It’s like, we love you, we have no idea where up to half the time because we work so fast. Or you speak so fast, and they’re like, we’re just gonna let you do it. But you have to slow down and take people on the journey with you. And that’s a big one. Also, I was not connecting with my team to remember what year this was. It was around about 2015. The biggest thing that I did was walk slower. That alone made people and my team connect with me and engage with me because you can’t be telling somebody I’m available for you to talk to.

We’re an open office, have an open-door policy, and then be running around like a maniac. Just trying to get all of those things done. Like I would be running up the ramp to get coffee or on my phone or doing all those things. Not when I was with somebody in a meeting, but when they’re calling me for a package or whatever it might be at the front desk. I was doing it very, very quickly. And so learning to slow down and I think that’s something about what COVID has taught everybody that you have to slow down. I’ve ended up with tinnitus, ringing of the ears which is constant, and 100% it would be because of the pace that I’ve been living with. And I love it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not been born out of stress, or I need to accomplish all of those things. I just love to do things, do a lot of things. And I have a huge capacity for work or to build a relationship with somebody or to spend time with people. Those are the riches of my life. But now, did you always have to be doing all of it? Or did you have to do at the pace that you did? Because you’d have to sing about a wake-up call? Well, literally, there’s some days where I’m sitting on the couch trying to deal with the screaming in my ears. So it’s a balance like anything.

Pamela Bardhi
I really think we’re related somehow. First off, our last names are I know, Bardai, Bardhi. Like, we have the same personality. Because exactly what you’re saying right now is what I need to get better at slowing down. But it’s like your mind’s just in the book. What was yours like? There’s so little time, there’s so many things like I want to do it all. And that’s a segue of like, yeah, that’s my soul sister right there.

Almira Bardai
I joke about how I’m semi-retired now, because I’m like, I’m going to read a book and how glass of champagne, big by doing less, I’m actually feeling wealthier. And it’s not that I’m doing it for the buddy. But one thing I was just reading about recently is is that riches are about money. Wealth is about time. What do I want more of right now it’s time I want to empty all of the racing thoughts in my head. So that means meditating, which is actually not that hard. And the phenomenal yoga teacher and program that I’ve done, Emily Fletcher’s, even meditation. Shout out to her and just teach you to slow down.

Because when you’re in a rush, you end up 43 years old, like, I am wondering what happened to the past 20 years, which were amazing. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s just more about like, Where did 20 years ago, you know, I had the best time. I have lived and continue to live this incredible life. But I can’t get over the fact that I’m in my 40s Now. Or that, like, when you and I talked about me working at Cobra beer that was I was 25. When I started. I’m 43. So yeah, literally, almost 20 years ago. Where did it go?

Pamela Bardhi
But seriously, time waits for no one. So now, what are you up to in the world? Like, what’s the next chapter for you now.

Almira Bardai
So it is actually and it’s funny because I resisted it for the longest time because I’m like, everybody is doing online coaching. But I have always deeply loved working with women and helping them rise. So I’ve just launched which was the Lionsgate portal. Because everything on the new moon, I launched Pow’Her. So in putting this course together, I did some research in April. I just put it out on my Instagram saying, do some research, or, of course, I’m developing. And I would love to talk to women about self-worth limiting beliefs and relationships. And I couldn’t figure out what I was going to put in the text of it and put on Instagram and Facebook.

I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I have to go to daycare. So I threw something up at like 430 on the Thursday for Easter. By the time they come back from daycare, and whatever, about an hour later. I have all of these women who are responding saying I would love to be interviewed and it just continued through the weekend in my head. I’m like, I’m just gonna put this on Thursday with the long weekend, hopefully, see that he sees it on Sunday. Well, by Sunday is happening. There are so many women responding to me, so I just had to put it as a survey. In the end, I ended up getting 60 women who completed the survey either by phone or by filling it in and 58 of them said they don’t feel good enough.

To me, that was so disappointing and saddening to the point that I feel so emotional about the whole thing. Women are incredible. Not that men aren’t that’s not what I’m seeing. Women have just had it differently. We carry so much even past lives. Like women were told you’re bad. You’re which we’re going to drown you you didn’t get worse than that. Or that you are a second-class citizen or you’re not recognized for your gender. And now you’re dealing with all of what we’re dealing in our world. And I was like, I have to do something about this. I’m compelled to do something. I’m called to do something about it. So we have power. And the idea is that its good powerful community.

This is the first inaugural group launches September 14 and 20. Amazing women coming together to unpack dig deep, and Okay, fine. Getting back to the fact that you and I do everything quickly. This is not meant to rush the program, but this is taking three years of coaching and packing it into like a no holds barred. Let’s get this shit done. And just digging deep going into it healing, clearing, developing the best versions of ourselves in power. So that’s what I’m super, super excited about. And that’s what I am now working on and marketing it. So yeah

Pamela Bardhi
So exciting. That’s your Latest endeavor into coaching I so see that I mean, you’ve led these major brands worldwide. It’s only natural that you’re going to crush it in this space too and coach people through it. I think it’s the next phase for you. And I think you’re going to do absolutely incredible because you’re so gifted.

Almira Bardai
Thank you. I just feel so honored to be in your circle of light that you spread view are a light worker, you really are. You know that the world needs more people like you and with kindness. A lot of people don’t lead with kindness. I don’t know how much of the world does but you do lead with kindness and authenticity. Again, way back to what you were talking about. You have it all

Pamela Bardhi
But so do you. I’m so excited to see what you do in the world and continue to do and I know that our circles are always going well. We’re the same circle. So we’re all gonna just work together to create crazy powerful things and run the world because girls around the world as Beyonce said it you do.

Almira Bardai
Yes, yes.

Pamela Bardhi
Now you gotta let everyone know where to find you and your awesome

Almira Bardai
Instagram Almira B. That is the best way to reach me. I’m also on LinkedIn, Almira Bardai, and my website almirabardai.com. So you can find me everywhere. I mean, who else has a name like Amira Bardai. Just Google it I will come up. I promise you I will come up.

Pamela Bardhi
You’re amazing. Thank you so much for being here. Really appreciate you.

Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with the amazing Almira Bardai.