Almira is a mom of an adorable and funny 2 1/2 year old boy. She has 20 years of experience in PR and used to own and operate one of North America’s top boutique PR Firms. She has lived and traveled all over the world and lives into her passion through her PR Firm building successful brands.
Q: Why did you become an Entrepreneur?
A: Actually, I’m an accidental entrepreneur. In my 20’s, I worked all around the world in senior PR roles, including as head of global PR for a beer brand in the UK. When I came back to Canada, they’d told me I’d been gone too long, and was not employable. (Which is ridiculous, as I was snapped up in minutes, in other countries, given my global experience). As often is the case, it was a blessing in disguise. I pivoted to consulting, and the rest is history. My freelancing turned into a consulting business, turned into a North American PR & social media agency, and now back to consulting. I’m also working on another business idea and love that entrepreneurship allows me to explore new ideas I’m passionate about!
Q: Tell us about your business.
A: Almira Bardai PR helps clients develop their brand and communications strategy, messaging and implementation of tactical activities. Simply put, I build brands!
Q: What is your personal mission, or your big why?
A: My personal mission is all about helping women rise – young women, female entrepreneurs, and particularly female entrepreneurs in the developing world. I’ve been so fortunate to have guidance moving up in the world, I have to give back. I also recognize how lucky I am to live in a rich, first world country with all the opportunities. It’s my responsibility to give back, to women in my circle, my city and in other countries. We need to help each other rise up in our power.
Q: How do you integrate work and home?
A: I’m a highly effective person – people always say that if you want something done, get Almira to do it. But motherhood has made me extra efficient. As soon as the morning drop off is done, I’m immediately in work mode. Every minute is work accounted for. That also means that the moment I pick up my son, the entrepreneur is wrapped up and mom is back on. If I need to, I’ll work in the evenings, once my son is asleep. On the whole though, I try and keep my evenings free to recharge, meditate, or read.. With the major work focus during the working day, I need to be able to shut off, defragment my brain, and prioritize myself and sleep, so that I can balance it all.
Q: What has been your biggest lesson to date as a business owner?
A: There have been so many! The ones that really stick out are about team management, how to treat and listen to people as individuals. As entrepreneurs, we have so many things on our plates, that we can forget that team members are individuals (vs just “a team”). Each person has different goals, aspirations, training needs, working and learning styles, etc. It is important to work with and mentor each person individually, vs taking a team approach.
Q: Do you have any advice or wisdom to share with fellow mompreneurs?
A: I’ve just finished Jessica Jackeley’s book, “Clay Brick Water: Finding Inspiration from Entrepreneurs Who Do the Most with the Least”. She’s the co-founder of Kiva, the micro-finance website. It’s an incredible story and is a message all entrepreneurs should hear.
My Key Take-aways:
- Listening is a critical skill of a CEO
- Harness the power of the storm to achieve the best outcome