Episode 73 Transcript

Hey we've got an exciting interview with
Hasnaa Akabli coming up for you in this
interview she shares about the radical
transformation she's made multiple times
in her career and how she made that
happen she shares how important it is to
prioritize our health and wellness and
how that really impacts our results and
she shares some tips about how she finds
her clients and is growing her coaching
business so don't miss this interview
coming right up
so welcome to the Business in Morocco
Podcast this is episode number 73 and we
have a special guest with us
this is Hasnaa Akabli and she's an
executive coach and she focuses on
health and well-being and she's going to
share a little bit about her thoughts on
prioritizing our own health and wellness
in order to be more effective and more
productive in our career and also how
she's growing her coaching business so
Hasnaa thank you so much for being
here and taking the time thanks for
having me so you're you're in Casablanca
right now but you're usually based in
Canada is that correct yes that's
correct I was supposed to go back to
Canada on April 1st but because Morocco
closed its borders I'm here and blessed
to be here because my parents live here
so I'm glad to spend this special time
close to my to my family that's great
yeah can you tell us a little bit about
your your younger years growing up your
your education your background sure so I
was born and raised in Casablanca
Morocco and when I was 18 I went to
France to study I went to a business
school like master degree and in finance
so I started my career in finance and
one of the big four companies I was
working as an auditor I spent several
years in finance then I realized that I
needed more contact with people so I had
more I took responsibilities and and
more of you know project management and
business development that I enjoyed way
more then in 2009 I have the great
opportunity and great honor to work for
the Moroccan government as I was in
charge of the strategy and marketing of
branding Morocco to industrial foreign
investors so it was a very exciting
opportunity for me I learned a lot I
grew a lot
I met extraordinary people it was very
exciting because you know branding a
country is completely different from
branding a shampoo or a diet coke or
something like that it was a very
interesting work it led me to learning a
lot meeting meeting people who are
experts in you know branding countries
and I learned a lot about best practices
that were implemented in other countries
that were promoting foreign investments
in their own in their own countries so
how did that happen Houston 'you were
working in finance you were working for
an accounting firm and then ub you
started shifted to marketing that's
that's the power of deciding you know my
life was and it still is it's like an
experimental
like i realized that any any time I
decided to change from my heart things
happen and anytime things did not change
it's because I was stuck in my head
believing that something was not
possible for me to achieve so when I
realized that hey I needed more contacts
with people I needed to work on a more
global project because when you are in
fine and when I was in finance at least
they're gonna speak for myself I was
behind a desk working on reports
quarterly reports annual reports I was
working with a team but we will all just
fight finance you know finance people
yeah so I needed to expand my
professional playground I would say so I
just decided this is what I want and I
pursued what I want and I took action to
get what I want so when I came back to
Morocco
I didn't have that job opportunity it
was through reading an article in a
magazine from the person who will become
my boss later and I read the article and
I loved it and I wrote a letter and I
send my resume to the person and I got
hired that way Wow as simple as that
when you imagine like so many times we
think that life is complicated I cannot
do that know who I am to you know to
apply for this I don't have the
background I don't have the experience
well I am the living proof and so many
other people I relive and prove that
when you decide to go for something you
can you can go and get it yeah yeah I
love that proactivity that you were
doing some self-reflection so you were
working in France and you decided look
this isn't for me like I don't want to
spend my whole day doing Excel
spreadsheets I need to be with people I
need something different yeah and you
move back to Morocco to look for new
opportunities and then pursue this one
that you you landed absolutely and also
you know being closer to my parent was
something that I wanted to to have at
that time that that was also one of the
reasons why I came back to Morocco so
you can you give us some of the the main
selling points that you had for Morocco
the the main points of branding when you
were you know developing these campaigns
to attract foreign investment okay ask
me a question about something I did like
10 years ago
going back to have oh my god well we i
remember we talked about the political
reforms that the country went you know
when for so it's the fridge the early
days of muhammad to 6th oh he was making
some changes yeah we're talking about
like even like equality between men and
women when it comes to asking divorce we
were talking about the economic
advancement and the end
Fross structure that was something that
was a main point that look that we were
sharing with foreign investors in
infrastructures we have you know that
tells a med that was a great show room
for well we are capable to do as a
country and of course we were talking
about you know the actors that are
already present in the country we had
like many manufacturers their their
providers so any foreign investors would
be interested in a country where an
ecosystem is already existent so I would
say that was the main selling point
because its business after all like you
can talk about politics and
infrastructure but hey is it a viable
location to do business so the best
evidence for that yeah we have so many
companies and there are their results
and there is opportunity for growth
there is of course the tax incentives so
there was a whole bunch of measures and
incentives that we were talking about
and what were the countries you were
pitching like were there specific
industries or specific nations that you
targeted the most yeah mostly the
European countries and when I was like
first of all European countries like
France Spain Italy UK and also the
United States so I had the great
privilege to travel with the former
minister the industry minister at that
time to the United States and Fitch CEOs
of booing of Ford well it must have
worked because we have Boeing here
absolutely
absolutely it was it was a great great
work and a great opportunity because I
was able so to travel and see the world
and deliver results that to me had
more meaning that any other results I
had in my previous job because it was
for my country and it makes the whole
difference yeah yeah that's exciting
well I think it's pretty clear that that
Morocco is fulfilling its promises at
least in terms of infrastructure I mean
the tramway system the the terminal at
the airport the auto routes
tange Amedda the new high-speed train
you know places like casablanca finance
city i you know see a lot of development
going on all around and we're learning
about more and more companies moving
their africa headquarters to morocco so
it looks like you you did a good job and
yeah you know it works and it's
continuing to work to this day we were a
great we were a great team for sure and
and i believe there are still great
people right now continuing that that
work sure so it sounds like an extremely
rewarding career that you were in you're
doing something for your country you're
getting results you're travelling the
world but yeah at some point you shifted
into coaching can you tell us about that
transition absolutely going to New York
to attend the one of Tony Robbins events
unleash your power within yeah and I
fell in love with that guy like really I
was like watching him on stage and and I
love his direct energy no BS like like
it resonating with me like he was saying
exactly what I was believing like if you
want to live or do something well drop
the excuses and start you know working
toward that and take him as he as he
calls that massive action like you know
the outcome no the you know the
intention behind what's the higher
purpose behind your outcome and then
take massive action and he was also the
first one who raised my awareness about
how the the body
impacts our way of thinking and feeling
the way we eat the way we breathe the
way we exercise is impacting our way of
thinking of feeling and then impacting
the quality of our daily lives and I
remember that day I said to myself
someday I couldn't work with that man I
had no idea why or how but I remember I
said that and that was my motivation to
start my first training in NLP
neuro-linguistic programming that I took
in one of the best schools from one of
the cofounders of the NLP Richard
Bandler and then of course when you want
to become a professional one of the most
recognized Federation in the
International coach Federation so the
second training I took was with the ICF
and I specialized in executive coaching
and you know coaching in companies
because this is what I am most familiar
about and this is also what I wanted to
do because the realization I had is that
we are millions all around the world who
go to a job we are when we are stressed
we work all the time we we do our best
to deliver results but we have a poor
quality of life because we lack the
education that says that our mind is
connected to our body and to our heart
meaning our way of thinking is impacting
the way we're feeling and the way we're
feeling is impacting our physical health
so everything is interconnected but the
lack of knowledge lets people let people
most people live in their heads as I
exactly as I was living I was living as
a thinker as a performer as a deliverer
delivering results and completely
ignoring my emotions
my level of stress and my physical
health so that's practically speaking I
mean there's these millions of people
particularly managers and executives
they're living under this stress know
work/life balance and they're delivering
results but their inner life is isn't a
ters and they're they're unhappy or
they're they're unhealthy not
everybody's gonna leave their career and
then you know find a role as a coach
like you have so how do you advise them
to make a change but yet staying in
their current role what are some
practical steps that you you guide your
clients through absolutely yeah I don't
I I I definitely don't encourage people
to resign or question to live to live a
better life like I did it because I
believe that personally it was a calling
for me and I I know it I mean every day
I'm more and more sure about that but
basically when I started working with
someone we like we just like look at
their lives and and have a diagnosis
like let's look at reality if your life
was a chair and each leg of that chair
was like one of them is your
professional life one of them is your
personal life one of them is the family
life and one of them is a social well
would be a percentage that you would put
in each one of them so most of the time
you know the professional life is 70% or
higher so they have very few time for
their personal lives so personal lives
is really you and you family life is
your husband or your wife and your kids
maybe your parents and social life is
your your friends and your you know
quality of interactions with with people
so this is the first step because and it
happens almost all the time like when I
asked the question they all say but my
god like this is going a catastrophe if
I give you the numbers well give me the
numbers that's the first step let's
look at the problem because yeah it's
50% of the solution yeah
and so the other thing that that is
happening when we are like super
involved in our work we we are driven
most of the time by patterns that come
from our past when we grow up as kids we
are basically trained and I would say
even conditioned to take care of other
people's needs first instead of our own
needs so we are taken care of our
parents needs like my Pat for instance I
give you my example my father wanted me
to be a great not a good student but a
great student so I was it was a pattern
like I didn't started when I was in a
company started when I was 8 years old
I was working at school and I was doing
my homework and I was so the track they
were already generating results as an
eight year old girl yeah so it was a
kind of transaction like I was that I
had probably that belief as a little
girl well I if I do that I will receive
love from my father so that's a very
deep pattern that perpetuates when we
arrived in companies later if I deliver
results I will receive validation
acceptance somehow love from my boss and
it's a very dangerous pattern because
the price that we pay is very high when
I started my career as a coach in a very
very weirdly oh and I would say maybe
that was fate or destiny i attracted
clients who were really in a bad shape
like really like burn burnin out and but
when they came to me they didn't even
know it when you burn out you're
imagining that you are fully aware that
your burn
like Hausner I need coaching because
unburn know people come to you not
knowing exactly what is the problem but
they know there is a problem yeah so so
just to continue on the question that
you asked me so first of all making a
diagnosis diagnosis so that people raise
their awareness about what's going on
and I love the strategy of baby steps
because when in an executive is awry
like we could not change their lives
overnights and especially they would
offer a great resistance if I told them
why maybe you should stop answering your
emails at 6 p.m. while most of it's not
possible at that level yes it would be
the baby steps that you could take for
instance to experience a little bit more
of what you like every single day even
if it's 5 minutes you want you what do
you want to do what do you like doing so
some of them like reading a book
some of them like take a walk some of
them like playing a guitar for instance
so we start like five minutes then those
five minutes become longer it's it's a
journey it's it's a journey IIIi don't
have the path the very beginning because
as a coach my main responsibility is to
ask people questions and I'm not I don't
give advice coaching is not given advice
it's it's asking powerful questions so
that people can come up with their own
answers because when you come up with
your own answers you then implement them
if I give you an advice you will not
take my advice so it sounds like it's
very tailored for each individual that
each client that you have you have a not
one program one size fits all you're
really helping guide them for each
individual yeah when it's when it's
individual coaching it's it's customized
yeah yeah so given that most of your
work is focusing on the human heart and
the human psyche and the decision making
process
priorities how do you measure your
effectiveness I mean how do you know if
what you're doing is work and you know
as a result being able to you know pitch
new clients like this is how I know
what's working and this is how I know
that I'm being effective great question
so what is important in coaching is
setting goals i I had a new client just
a few weeks ago so we're just very early
in the process and the first step is
setting specific goals like SMART goals
I'm sure you heard about that like
specific measurable actionable realistic
and in a timeline in a timeline sorry so
setting goals and asking the question
how will we know that we have reached
that goal and this is what I call key
performance indicators so someone would
say to me I want to increase my
work-life balance and of course that
sentence would be different for you for
you Ryan and for me or for somebody else
so as a coach I need to ask questions
how will you know or how will we know
because somebody someone can tell me
well I will know when I feel better yeah
but I'm not in you dinner hour when you
sit so how will we know that we have
reached that goal and then we stayed key
performance indicators that could be
well I I spend more quality time with my
case or I have time for me to read in
the morning I have time to workout twice
a week it could be something emotional
as well
I feel more serene at work every single
day so that is something of course that
I can checking during the coaching
journey because you know I need it's an
emotion that belongs to them and
when you have that kind of precision you
can know at the end of you know five
sessions ten sessions because I do check
in on a very regular basis you can know
and your client knows that they have
moved forward and they made progress
so it's a very coaching is is a mix
between something intuitive but I use a
lot of science-based knowledge and tools
so that of course we can we can know if
my approach is effective and it's
serving my clients this is the goal yeah
so do you find you a lot of your clients
through word-of-mouth you know is it
kind of one executive who's happier and
healthier and more effective that then
recommends you to others is that how you
tend to grow your business that's the
most effective way I would say because
coaching is something is a relationship
you know it's it's it's not a classic
transaction it's it's a relationship
first that requires a lot of trust so
when someone is trusting you because
they know my honesty my values my
integrity then they can recommend me to
somebody else especially at that level
of CEOs and sea level is ex executives
they they don't want to open up to
anybody no they are powerful powerful
men powerful women they they have very a
very hard time to to confess their
weaknesses their vulnerability and
coaching is a place where they can
safely express that side they cannot
express with their colleagues of course
we're definitely in a unique period of
human history right now can can you talk
about some of the challenges you're
seeing from the lockdown
some of the issues that executives and
managers are facing and some of the
things the questions that you're asking
them and some of the ways that you're
guiding them through this crisis most
executives and this is the first thing I
work on with them is to shift the
mindset from victim to creator because
creator is the opposite of victim we are
not victims of our current circumstances
it happened when we're not alive it
means that where we're still alive sorry
we're not dead so it means there is
still hope we can still do we can still
create so the first thing that I invite
executives to do is to speak out about
their vision we need to have that kind
of vision in our minds to trigger the
emotions the necessary emotions to take
action let me let me explain what I mean
by that when when we put ourselves in a
victim position what are we going to do
what are we going to do this is a
catastrophe we'll lost money we don't
have any visibility okay this is true
but if you focus on the current reality
we're gonna feel depleted emotionally
because we're going to feel stressed
when I feel this amidst ik we're going
to feel hopeless powerless and the
emotions these emotions lead to a
certain kind of behaviors so the
behaviors will not be productive ones
people will not be innovative or not
take initiatives because they admit from
the beginning some kind of defeat even
if it's an unconscious process because
most of the time it's it's unconscious
so the first shift is - what's my vision
with you know after
Alvis when you have this vision in front
of you every morning you develop hope
you develop optimism you develop courage
and then you can take action and then
you can get good results so that's the
first challenge that's a mindset
challenge to me the second challenge is
like as I were talking a little bit
before starting this interviews this
interview people are already exhausted
they like they have experienced so many
changes and in such a short period of
time working from home managing from
distance managing their fears met fears
from death from disease fears for their
loved ones having to come up with
solutions very quickly being concerned
about how are we going to continue the
activity how are we going to protect
people's jobs how we're going to
maintain salaries all this on a physical
mental emotional level was completely
draining for most executives when we get
stuck in the urgency mode we tend to
ignore the importance of what we are
doing where is the importance of where
are the important tasks in my life so
when we when we wait till the last
minute to do something what it says
first of all is that you're not
passionate about that task
procrastination I don't blame people
well I'm as a coach I can never blame
anybody for any behavior my job is try
understand what is the driving force
behind and the driving force is I don't
like that there is no passion there is
no diversity in my job I'm bored
so this is human I can who can blame
someone who says that and a lot of
people with that situation so of course
when they have a task they live
to the last minute but at the same time
when you focus on that square of urgent
in the matrix other whether it's not
important or important win when you
focus on urgent the the part of
important is so small in so many
people's lives and you know that the
most important important and fulfilling
I would say square in that matrix is the
important and non urgent when you spend
most of your time in that square of what
is important and meaningful to me and
it's not a dirt it's not urgent so I can
work on it step by step it could be for
instance for an executive taking some
time and think about a strategy or
something that would revolutionize their
industry taking time to build a vision
it's not urgent to build the vision for
so many executives yeah how fulfilling
it is when you have a vision and you
start implementing it how important and
non-urgent is your physical health for
so many people people don't think that
it's you know their priority every
single time I hear an executive saying
oh no I'm gonna no a wellness is not my
priority right now so where is your
priority I'd love to learn more about
that and if your health and you know
physical mental and emotional health is
not important what is the cost that you
you would have to pay someday right and
then it's bringing awareness about that
that topic of what is important and and
non urgent and and and seeing people
understanding more and more that hey if
I spend time here I will feel more
fulfilled more motivated and more
passionate about my life and my job yeah
yeah and you mentioned in a conversation
we had that prioritizing your health and
wellness can actually increase your
effectiveness by 30 percent so absolute
you know companies can actually see the
results on the bottom line that you know
maybe it may be less hours or being
clocked less meetings are being attended
less emails are being replied to but the
results that truly matter are being
moved in the positive direction
absolutely thank you for bringing that
up because that's the main thing that I
you know when someone is not receptive
to their health or to their you know
motivational or emotional fulfillment
that's the bottom line of my of my job
many studies for at least two decades
show the interconnection between
wellness and performance so you you're
right so the improvement is by 30% and
also companies
I have many reports that I can share I
have numbers for the United States for
instance every year stress costs 300
billion dollars in health care costs 300
billion dollars just for stress 20
percent of turnover is because of you
know lack of motivation it's it's it's
stress it's people leave company because
there are two stress they are not
acknowledged there it's once again it's
very emotional companies they have
absenteeism they have sick people people
who are at you know people who have who
have sick leaves so the productivity is
is impacted in a very negative way so
the thing when you look at happy healthy
employees and executives the return on
investment for the company is more
productive people better results and
then a better financial performance for
the overall company that is a win-win
the first one is a lose win because yes
company can get results from someone
under pressure that's for sure I don't
question that but what's the cost for
people leaving the company what's the
role for retaining talents
yeah this is very expensive and
companies need to put that in the
balance as well that's right yeah that's
it so has to how can people find you I
guess we can we'll put your website
we'll put your your Linkedin your social
media your YouTube channel you mentioned
in the show notes here so they can
connect with you do you take clients
here in Morocco and and conduct
appointments over video or over the
phone or do you focus on face-to-face
meetings in Canada great questions yes
now I do all my coaching sessions online
it's been 3 years that I shifted my
whole business online so I have clients
in Morocco in France UK Canada u.s. so
wherever I am I can serve people and
help them improve their lives
that's perfect it's great very cool well
thank you so much for your time ha stuff
for sharing all this great insights and
wisdom and thank you it's very much
needed during this the season of life
and we wish you the best of luck in your
endeavors and congratulations on your
four new clients and we hope your
business continues to grow into the
future thank you thank you for having me
was it was a great opportunity for me to
share how this topic is important and
how is needed especially in the
extraordinary times that we're going
through so thanks for having me thank
you all right so what a great interview
thanks again to ha snuffer for sharing
her experience and wisdom with us some
great content
I really appreciated her optimism and
her wisdom regarding balancing life that
you know we were like a chair that has
four legs and if you put 70% to the
weight on one of the legs and and 10% on
the other three that you're really
unbalanced and you're unstable and it's
not a healthy way to live and not only
that but you're stressed and you're not
productive and you're not as efficient
as it could be the other thing I really
liked is
mind says hey I'm not a victim you know
I'm a creator I'm not a victim I think
we all need that mindset during this
time if you own a business that has been
shut down by the government you can very
easily consider yourself to be a victim
and you give up and you say what's the
point I mean I am gonna try anymore
but as hasn't said look look you have
your health you have your health and
you're still waking up every day like
you have hope and you have an
opportunity so I think these were great
points that she shared and you know I
think it's wise for all of us to to take
them into consideration and apply them
to our own lives yeah one thing I
noticed from her story is that at
different times in her career she chose
to follow certain people it wasn't just
that she was pursuing a position or a
salary she was really looking not just
at the company but who she would be
working with and so when she read that
article and saw this guy that was gonna
be marketing and branding Morocco she
wrote him directly and said I want to
work with you here's my resume and then
when she attended the the Tony Robbins
she's experienced she said I want to
work with this guy I love what he's
talking about
and then lastly when she lost her job
with the real estate company there was a
specific coach that had done team
buildings and training with them before
she said I want to work with this person
and so for someone who's young in their
career it's not just about the
department or the company but it's about
your direct colleagues and managers
who's gonna be above you directing you
and mentoring you so that you can learn
don't focus so much on the salary and on
that number but how you're developing
and growing in your career and that was
something that has to really modeled
well to us so thank you again has done
great value you shared with our audience
and we're looking forward to keeping in
touch hearing from you again in the
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