Business Owner Spotlight - Almira Bardai
1. Introduce yourself! Who are you & what do you do?
I'm Almira Bardai - I'm a serial entrepreneur, brand builder & PR expert. Simply put - I build and propel brands.
2. How did you get to this point in your business journey?
I’ve been an entrepreneur for almost 20 years - either as a consultant, or with my own agency. In 2009, I co-founded and was the co-CEO of Jive PR & Digital. We scaled the business in all areas - big clients like Flight Centre, TELUS, Virgin Radio, Granville Island Brewing, TELUS and Jugo Jugo - had a team of 24 and offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Los Angeles. I sold the business in 2018, and am now working as a senior, strategic PR & brand builder.
3. Do you have a morning routine? If so – take us through it!
I do! My alarm goes off at 6am, and I give myself 15 luxurious minutes to hit the snooze button, be lazy in bed and feel gratitude for my life (and warm bed!). Then I’m up, brushing my teeth, making my bed and sitting in meditation by 6:25am.
I meditate for 20 mins, grab a coffee (one of my life’s greatest pleasures is fresh, hot, black coffee, in silence, in my living room). I need the peace and stillness to start my day right.
My three year old son usually wakes up at 7am, and it’s straight into tickles and mom mode.
4. What's one thing you cannot function without?
TWO things - coffee and champagne.
Make it three - my son
Make it four - the incredible relationships I’m blessed with in my life
5. What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
Seeing clients reap the benefits of all our brand building work. When it hits, it hits and hits BIG.
6. What do you see as the most important quality for someone who wants to be successful in business to adopt?
Being flexible, and willing to learn. As much as we’re in business because we’re the experts, you also have to be collaborative, willing to listen to and explore different perspectives, and be a lifelong learner. It’s how we keep our game up.
7. What are some of the strategies you've used on your road to success?
Learning to listen. I listened to answer back, in a conversation - vs simply listening. It’s been a game changer in leadership.
Also learning to slow down. I even walk slower. While I may be super busy, no one relates to you (or believes you) when you assure them that “I always have time to talk and be present”. Just slow down and be present. And for your own help - breathe and smell the roses. You’ve got one life to live - soak up every minute and make it extraordinary.
8. For someone who is just starting out in business -- what resources would you suggest for them?
Also Small Business BC - a vast wealth of information.
9. How do you achieve work/life balance?
Self-care, and my village. So long as I can take care of myself (and this means prioritizing sleep, managing my energy and my schedule, meditation, doing yoga, exercise, fresh air, eating healthy), I can do so many things. And with the business, a young child, board commitments, mentoring, family and relationships - I’m so deeply grateful to my village, for supporting me in doing it all.
10. What is one lesson you’ve learned in this process?
Stop trying to do everything - take things OFF your list. And not all items on your to do list are weighted equally - if something can be done “good enough” vs “super awesome”, then do it that way, and move on.
11. If you could give a young woman starting out in business one piece of advice – what would it be?
Strike a balance of listening to your incredible self and intuition, and seeking mentorship to learn from others who’ve done it before (this will save you so much time!). Trust yourself enough and develop that intuition - it’s gold.
12. What’s next for you and where can we follow along/learn more about you?
I’m trying my hand at writing. I’ve had some stories ruminating around in my brain, and it’s time to let them out.