Finish this sentence: “You know what I’d really love to do? If I could, I’d…”
Then, what likely follows are your fears and excuses. You know, all the *rational* reasons why you’re not living out your dream.
But what if I suddenly empowered you to be your own fairy godmother. Only instead of a magic wand that goes poof, I handed you an equally effective, universal recipe to apply. (And yes, the ingredients are the same regardless of the dream you’re trying to create.)
- Get clear on what you want.
- Create a plan on how to get it.
- Take consistent action.
- Lean on others for support when you need it.
- Get creative when surprises are thrown your way.
- Celebrate your big and small successes.
This week, I’m here to tell you that dreams don’t come true, they’re created. And I’ve brought a very special guest to prove it.
It’s my pleasure to welcome Carol El Hawary to recount the remarkable story about how she achieved wildly improbable goals. Carol will describe ways she overcame imposter syndrome to combine her lifelong passions of travel and reading into her new tour guide business.
A holiday to the Middle East led Carol to leave everything behind in the UK and take a chance on (what else?) love. She shares how she went from a girl in Scotland, cutting pictures out of a brochure about Egypt, to bravely opening Literary Tours during perhaps the worst time in history for travel.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Crisis management as a superpower
- Tools to conquer imposter syndrome & fear
- Realizing that everything in your life has led you to this
- Maximizing permanently transferable skills & talents
- Ways to cope on the hard days
Listen to the Full Episode
Featured on the Show:
You decide when it’s the perfect time to start, not the other way around. Let RIGHT NOW be when you begin creating your dreams. The 100% FREE 5-Day Purpose Challenge kicks off today. This is your LAST CALL to join us right here.
- Join the Purpose Challenge
- Join the Expats on Fire right here
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- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae’s Facebook Group – Expats on Purpose
- Literary Tours in Egypt
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello. It is 7:00 am in New York, 1:00 pm in Johannesburg, and 6:00 pm in Bangkok. Welcome to the Expat Happy Hour. This is Sundae Schneider-Bean from www.sundaebean.com. I am a solution-orientated coach and intercultural strategist for individuals and organizations. I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed when living abroad and get you through any life transition.
“Dreams come true.” When you hear that, what is your reflex?
Part of you wants to believe it. Part of you thinks it is bull – ah em – baloney.
That is the controversial question that we are bringing up in today’s episode.
I have a very clear opinion on this having stood by the side of women for years – supporting them in transforming their lives. My take on it might not be what you expect. Or maybe it is. Let’s see.
Today I have invited Carol El Hawary to be a guest on Expat Happy Hour, because she is someone who, in her own words, is “living her dream,” – the road to get there was winding, slow at first, then all at once.
Let me tell you a little bit about Carol before she joins us. She was born and brought up in Scotland and moved to England for work after graduating from university. After 10 years in the IT sector she moved into the financial sector where she continued her career in several different roles, latterly as risk manager. In 2014 she went on holiday to Egypt and met an Egyptian man, and in 2015 gave up everything to move to Egypt. This might sound familiar to some of you.
For five years she worked in the education sector, but then in 2020 her project was closed down and she took the opportunity to follow her childhood passions, reading, Egypt and travel, and set up her own tour company based on books set in Egypt.
So Carol, welcome to Expat Happy Hour!
Sundae: I kind of wanted to have a little debate. I have no idea what you’re going to say about this, but I’m going to ask you: do dreams come true?
Carol: Oh gosh, so we’re starting with a quite challenging question. Okay, yes, yes, Sundae, dreams do come true dreams, dreams can come true.
Sundae: And if I asked you 10 years ago, would have you said the same thing?
Carol: No, I’d have said no dreams are impossible to bring true because nothing ever works like that in the world.
Sundae: That’s okay. So I did a thing back in 2016 where I said dreams don’t come true, they’re created so we’re going to continue this.
Carol: Yeah, but they’re created, right.
Sundae: They don’t come true like bippity boppity boop. You know, with the fairy godmother. There’s something else behind it and I know you know that right. I know you know the hard work behind there. But before we continue our debate on whether dreams come true or not, will you please? People have already heard a little bit about your bio but I would love to hear in your own words, tell people a little bit, a little bit about who you are, and what you’re doing now.
Carol: Okay. I was born and brought up in the UK, which will be obvious from my accent. In Scotland in fact, although I moved from Scotland to England when I graduated to get a job basically and then I worked for an IT company for 10 years. And then I worked for a bank for 17 years and I had a number of moves throughout that, but ultimately, I ended up in risk management, at the bank, which involved a lot of managing of crises, management of risks and management of incidents that kind of thing. Then I met my Egyptian husband in 2014 and in 2015, I moved to Egypt. I had nothing in Egypt, I had no job, no friends, no nothing. And one of the first things I did was I realized I need you to find a job for my own well-being as much as anything. So, I applied for a job at the British Council and cut a long story short, I got it. And that was more, that was like management of exams, but it essentially was more risk management and management of crisis. There are a lot of crises in that job.
Then after three years, I left the British Council and moved to an independent education company where we did a project for the Ministry of Education in Egypt. And that was very interesting. That is the most bizarre job I’ve ever had in my life. In fact, didn’t expect that to happen in Egypt but there you go. And it’s so last year that project shut down and I decided that I wanted to do something I had been dreaming of, to use that word, for a long time which was to start a tour company based on my two main passions in life, one of which is reading and particularly in this instance, Agatha Christie. And secondly, my passion for Egypt, and to create two or three people based on the book, particularly the book: Death on the Nile.
So I started working with you around that point, 2018, three years ago, my first Year of Transformation and over the course of the next couple of years. And then it speeded up, after I lost my job. I created my tour company: Literary Tours in Egypt. I should add that my husband is already in the tourist sector in Egypt. So, he has all that experience. And I said, I put the idea to him, he’d never heard of Agatha Christie, and I said she is the most popular author in the world of fiction anyway, and he was quite shocked. And I said, “She set a whole book in Egypt, which is very popular and there’s a new film coming out,” and he said, “Oh well yeah, let’s do it.” And we did it. We did it.
Sundae: So, I don’t know if you remember this, but I can’t remember if it was during a call or a WhatsApp audio exchange, but you said, “Sundae, I can’t believe it. I’m living my dream.”
Carol: Yes, I can’t believe it because there’s a bit more to this story actually in terms of dreams because when I was a child, my grandparents had pictures, watercolor pictures because my grandmother’s great and went to Egypt in 1910 ish to teach — to be a teacher, an English teacher actually. And she brought these pictures back and my grandmother inherited them. And I was fascinated with these always, and I was always fascinated by the Middle East. And also, when I was younger, I used to, in the in the olden days before electronics, I used to order travel brochures and cut out all the pictures and dream of being a travel agent or doing something in the travel sector, which I ended up not doing of course, because I went into IT and then I went into banking. So it’s like going back to my childhood self. My very young childhood self. I can’t even remember when I started being obsessed with these pictures of Egypt, but it was a long, long time ago. So it seems incredible that essentially, 50 years — 45, 50 years later, I am doing it. I’m doing it. I am living my dream. I have a tour company in Egypt.
Sundae: I love it. So I always love going back to the moment where someone says, “You know what I would really love to do, if I could,” and then they say something that feels like it’s never going to happen, right? Like, “Oh I’d love to drink pina coladas on the beach and have a million dollars.” It’s like it feels super far away. And there are so many times where that happens and then people actually do it. Like, “I’d love to write a book, I’d love to start a podcast, I’d love to start a tour company,” right? Do you remember that moment when you actually let those words come out of your mouth?
Carol: Yes, well yes, not dates but I remember it happening because it happened to you in my Year of Transformation and I said, “I want to run tours based on the book Death on the Nile but I don’t see how that could ever happen.” And I clearly remember one bit because that’s when you introduce the concept of their wildly improbable goals, which has always really worked for me. And that was quite early on in our working relationship. And I remember thinking and I did it. You said, “So what’s the wildly improbable goal?” and my wildly improbable goal is that it was a specific tour company and to have a tour company that’s so good that it can have an article about it in Conde Nast Traveler magazine.
And now, three years later. That is a possibility, I’ve already been featured in one magazine and I’m thinking Conde Nast is not beyond my reach. And if you said to me before, I started working with you, about like, “Oh for goodness sake, that’s ridiculous.” But I did my wildly improbable goals. I set my goal at the end and worked backwards and essentially it wasn’t quite like I had originally. Things changed, things moved. I changed how things were going to be done etc. But ultimately that’s what I did. It makes it sound easy and it really wasn’t easy. But the point is still doable, it wasn’t an impossible dream.
Sundae: So that’s the whole thing about, “Dreams don’t come true, they’re created.” It’s exactly what I believe. And it’s not, it’s not easy.
Carol: Hundred percent.
Sundae: Do you mind helping us understand what it took for you to go from that idea to actually living it right now?
Carol: Fundamentally in terms of practicalities, I’ll come on to that. But fundamentally what it took was belief that it was possible. Unquestionably that it was the belief because from then– Because I’m good at practicalities and you know that, you know me well enough too, I’m very good at practicality. So as soon as I have the belief, which started with the wildly improbable goal, I said, “I just need to take that step and that step and that step.” So I broke it right down. “I need to create a website. So what do I need to do to create a website?” And that is not my area of expertise. So I thought, “I need to find somebody who can create a good website for me.” And then this is what I need to do, I need to find a broker or that ultimately — actually, I went to work with a marketing agency for a lot of these things because this is one of the things that I learned from you, which I kind of knew work-wise. But in a personal sense, I haven’t really thought about it. But your own business is more than personal, which was outsource the things that you either can’t do or don’t want to do or don’t play to your strengths.
And I have really bought into that because I’ve outsourced the whole website, I could have created a website, I could have worked out how to do it. Call Glenn and Doyle, I can do hard things but in this instance, I don’t want to do it. I hate it. I hate that kind of thing and it wouldn’t have been as good as the professional website I’ve got now that the marketing agency did. So I outsourced that and I outsourced various other bits and pieces that I knew just did not play to my strengths. And this is one of the things where I’m extremely fortunate to live in Egypt because it’s affordable to do that here.
If I set up this company in Britain, it would still just be me and we wouldn’t be where we are. But then that’s it’s the company’s in Egypt, the whole church based on Egypt, so that makes sense. So then I did the creative side things like creating the tours. I put myself into the customer’s shoes for the Death on the Nile, I am my ideal customer. So I thought, “What would I do if I wanted to do this tour? If I did this tour, how would I want it to go?”
So I did that but simplistically, I looked at every single thing I would have to do and I sat down every single step that I would have to do because then it seemed like less daunting. It didn’t seem like this, well literally, this wildly improbable goal or this unattainable dream. It just seems like project management, which I’ve done for years anyway. So you do this and then you do this and then you do this. And then something goes a bit wrong so you re-plan or or send in a slightly different direction or do something slightly different but for me, I just had to keep calm every time I thought, “I can’t do this.” This is the imposter syndrome to cover because you know I have no experience in the tour industry, my husband does but I have none other than being a tourist. So I just went back to that list and thought, “Well, what’s the next thing? What’s up on this list that I can do today to put me one step further on in this?”
Sundae: So what I’m hearing is, yeah —
Carol: So that’s how I did it.
Sundae: Like boom, done.
Carol: So you have the goal. You know about the goal, you’ll have the goal there, in your head, as you dream but when I started getting lost in the, “I don’t know how to do this, I can’t do this. I think I’m ridiculous to even try,” go back to that list, go back to that mind profile. This is what you need to do.
Sundae: And it’s like, what I loved about what you just did, is you’re like, “Yeah, this is how you achieve your dream.” It’s like, yeah, boom, done.
Carol: Yes actually, yes. I made that sound simple. But oh my God, it wasn’t. When you know you were there’s the doubts. The, “What am I doing? I can’t do this. I can’t do that. Nobody will be interested. Nobody wants this.”
Sundae: Mind gremlins.
Carol: Yes. Mind gremlins. It has reduced, but they still come, the mind gremlins still come. And today, even though the dream has in fact expanded in a way, which I’m not even sure I’ve told you yet, but we can come to that. But yeah, I look back now and I think what on earth was I making such a fuss about, because of course it was possible but it’s easy to say that in hindsight.
Sundae: Okay, we need to back up here. First of all, I want to talk about mind gremlins because I think that’s really important. What I wanted to share with you —
Carol: Okay. Yes.
Sundae: I want to share something with you, which I think it’s important for the listeners to also understand you. This isn’t scripted. You just shared from your heart like how it was for you, right? And you said I was trying to take notes, you said, “Belief. Don’t do it alone. Outsourced. Do what you’re good at and break it down,” right? So you, you said that. I had a list, remember this thing I told you about from 2016, that dreams don’t come true. Here’s what I wrote down the same. I said, “Regardless of the role, the same recipe applies in terms of creating your dream.” I wrote, “Get clear on what you want. Create a plan on how to get it. Take consistent action. Lean on others for support when you need it. Get creative when surprises are thrown your way.” And one thing you didn’t mention, which I had on there that I added was, “Celebrate your big and small successes.” But you did this. You said it all.
Carol: Yes, I did do that. Yes, I did celebrate my successes, actually, not as much as I probably could have. But actually, to be honest, that was largely because of COVID because I did launch a tour company, potentially the worst time in recent history. But we did like when the website was launched and what not, we celebrated, all that kind of stuff. But yeah, because I’m very conscious of that because again, this is another thing I’ve got from you and all the things I’ve done with you is, it’s so easy just to say, “Right. Done that now and move on.” And not properly celebrate it when it’s really important to stop and say, “I did it. We did this. We actually did it.”
Sundae: Can we talk about mind gremlins? I really appreciate you bringing that up because you’re amazing in a crisis. You’re highly competent as a project manager. You get shit done. You know what I mean? You can handle high crisis situations and you just shared a little bit about some of your doubts. Can you tell me about the people who are working on their hard dream, what could they expect as normal for mind gremlins?
Carol: Yeah. So to name them, the actual and putting faces to them in my head as we speak: Fear. Fear is a mind gremlin. And I think they all actually are rooted in fear. Fear of failure, fear of people thinking you’re an idiot for even trying. Fear of not being capable of doing it. Fear that it’s a stupid idea. Nobody will be interested. That’s it. Fear that you’re not up to the job. That you’re not up to it. And I think like you say, when the last time I changed jobs and went to work with the Ministry of Education here in Egypt, I had very little fear of that type. I had no anxiety, not anxiety, that’s too strong a word.
But, I was going into a new job. I was apprehensive, but I didn’t have those competency fears because I knew I could do it because I’ve been doing it for years and years. Like you just said, “Sorting out shit is my superpower,” which I’ve known. I wouldn’t have put it like that before, but I know that. So going into this where my dream where that’s not in my head, at least that’s not true. I don’t have these things to back me up, these years and years of experience. But in truth I do have it. The whole thing goes back to one of my mantras about transferable skills. And leadership, for example, now my husband and I have between us three staff now, and we’re going to have to recruit more soon. And so, all my leadership experience, and everything I’ve learned about leadership in my extremely long career, largely how not to do it. I’m not putting in place with my own company in my own staff, not just staff leadership, but how to lead a company, how to run a business. And before this, “I can’t run a business. I’ve never run a business before. I can’t do this. It’s of no idea how to run my own business.” What, we’ve been going now for — coming up to a year. And I’m still doing it.
Sundae: And you’ve had some pretty high-profile clients, right? You’ve already served some really high profile clients.
Carol: Yes. In terms of ideas and this comes from again my — even though it makes no sense on the face of it, my finance and IT background. I thought I’m going to run a pilot tour with one of my tours just to get somebody who, I don’t know, to test out for me. And I found somebody on the expat group and she was really keen and she came and she loved it and she gave us fantastic feedback. And she said, “My husband does this super busy job for this super busy NGO and he needs people who do what you do. Would you be interested?” And I’m like, “Well, yeah, obviously, obviously I’d be interested.” And I thought now that pilot idea comes from my career of doing pilots to make things work before your launch onto the world. I don’t know if I’d have had that because my husband was like, “What, you’re going to do this for free?” I said, “Well, yeah, because the benefits will outweigh the cost.” And so that’s what I mean, that it’s using these things, so much that I’ve learned over my career because I don’t think I would have been able to do this when I was in my 20s. I simply didn’t have the experience of all these things that it takes to run a business. Everything I’ve done. It’s weird. Sorry. It feels like everything I’ve done in my life that kind of led to this.
Sundae: That is the whole point. That in hindsight it’s a no-brainer. And obviously you’re super qualified to do this but it took you some time to trust that you had all the pieces to do this.
So can we go back to the mind gremlins? What I heard from you. Is that even though you know they’re not true, they pop up. You name them wonderfully. I know there are many that people will recognize.
Sundae: So what do you do with that? How do you keep moving forward even when you feed the gremlins?
Carol: Again it’s the same thing of firstly going back to your list of things to do or my list of things to do, I should say. So I’m thinking okay, just do this thing. Here’s this thing. I have to write a paragraph for this tour to say this is what it does and this and that, which is stuff I know because I know this part of traveling to be so well and I’m a good enough writer to know that I can do that. So pick something. I know I can do and do that today. When I feel like that, “Just do that today.”
I’m looking back and I’m trying to think of a time where I didn’t. Where my gremlins got so out of control that I just threw everything up in the air and stopped. And I don’t think I actually had that. Maybe a few days here and there, but then the next day I just picked up and carried on, which is another thing I think is really important with gremlins. If your gremlins are really overwhelming you one day, things will probably be better the next day.
Sundae: I love that.
Carol: Yeah, so try again the next day. So yeah. So I kind of had it on like that but you said something to me that was really profound once. But I’m not sure about swearing on this podcast.
Sundae: Go for it.
Carol: But I find myself in the middle of thoughts and think, “I don’t have time for this shit. I’ve got stuff to do, I don’t have time for this imposter syndrome.”
Sundae: I got a company to build, I’ve got people’s lives to change.
Carol: Yeah, I’ve got stuff to do.
Sundae: So what did you learn about yourself in this process?
Carol: Oh gosh. This seems really trite. So I hope — but as you say, “This is completely unscripted,” and I’m not just saying this but I do anything. I have learned that I can do anything. Anything that I want to do. And, I do have gremlins and I will still always have gremlins but I can deal with the gremlins and I have tools in my toolbox to deal with the gremlins and the imposter syndrome. But ultimately anything is possible. That’s what I’ve learned about myself, really? It’s an incredible place to be. I’ve never been in this place in my life.
Sundae: That’s self-belief, right? Self-belief. Believing in yourself totally. It’s one thing I hear from a lot of people. Go ahead.
Carol: And the amazing thing is that I have, what’s the word, conveyed that belief to my husband who was doubtful to begin with because it didn’t require much from him, other than him talking a lot, he went with it, but now he believes it, he really believes in my idea. And our three staff, they so believe in it. They so believe in what we’re doing. And it’s me, this is me not being modest, but it’s my belief that they believe in. I’ve given them the belief in it, which is just quite incredible.
Sundae: It makes me so excited.
Carol: I’m blown away at times. But that, of course, throws in the, “Oh my God, I hope I’m up to this. I hope I can justify their belief in me.” So yeah.
Sundae: One of the things I hear often from people who’ve gone through Year of Transformation, is when we have kind of conversations like this, after the fact, they say, “You know, Sundae, life isn’t easier. You know, I just have different tools to deal with it and more belief that I can.” Tell us about that, tell about what that really means. One of the things just for context, for people who haven’t worked with me with Year of Transformation, I follow Dr. Martha Beck’s four squares of change, where you come in, where you have no idea what’s going on, that’s Square 1. Square 2 is where you work on that dream, where you articulate what you really really want and that’s where this idea originally came from. Square 3 is the hard work where you’re actually building. The website investing in the company, hiring the staff. And Square 4 is, you’re running the company.
But what people don’t realize is, well, guess, what’s coming next? It’s Square 1. Because now, you’re back, you’re a business owner, right? And now you’re running again, and now you have goals on how much revenue you want or whatever. So you’ve done a Year of Transformation in terms of like that process and now you’re going through this upward spiral. So what happens when you start living your dream? What’s the reality behind that?
Carol: Well, this is what happens when you start living your dream, is that there are more dreams. So this one started with Literally Tours in Egypt, that’s where it started and I have that. And I’m still obviously working on that, but I am inbox for, like you said, we’re running it. But we have massively expanded into, not just, because my husband has a tour company but post-revolution in Egypt, it fell down a lift shaft basically and he had no money to invest in anything, really. And of course, during that time, the whole tourist sector changed beyond all recognition. So to cut a long story short, we decided we were going to create a new brand and launch it for Egypt for everything. To make everything in Egypt. Because this is what, this is part of my dream is to encourage everybody in the world to come to Egypt, because it’s the most fantastic country in the world.
Ultimately, this is my aim and things like Literary Tours are just a way to harness people’s other interests to say, “Hey, well, Death on the Nile. You can do that in Egypt,” and other things. And it started with I think cats in ancient Egypt. And I said to Atif, “I want to do a tour on cats in Egypt,” but I had no mechanism to market it. If you see what I mean. And so that’s where it kind of started. And then I got on two queens of ancient Egypt. And I talked with you about that, and I’ve got the most fantastic tour ready for that. But again, no way because it’s not a Literary Tour so I said to Atif, “Right. Why don’t we launch a new brand?” And, again, cutting this short, spoke to the marketing agency, and they were just fantastic. And they came up with this brand for us, which is going to be — there doing the website for us. No, it’s called: Mr. And Mrs. Egypt, because it’s about me and Atif. And the logo has two cats on it.
And it showed me that the marketing guy understood because he’s been calling out if Mr. Egypt for ages because he is just in contact with his relationships and he said, “But I wanted to make sure you were in this because it’s your drive and your enthusiasm and your love of Egypt, that’s driving this.” So that’s of course, that’s loads more work as well because now, we’ve got to market this new company and decide which direction it’s going to go and who we’re going to market to. So we’re back in Square 3.
But we’re keeping this very quiet because I wasn’t sure if we were actually in the end going to go for it, but it’s only in the last couple of weeks we made that decision that we are going to go for it with this new brand.
Sundae: It’s so exciting. And what I’m watching is it really taps into your creativity because I know you have a huge creative side and really?
Carol: Well, I never thought I did, you know. I have gone through my whole life thinking I’m not creative, but what I’ve realized is that creativity comes in different forms because in my family, my sister, my brother, are musical and my sister’s the artist and I always thought that I was just really practical. But when it comes to creating tours, for example, I’m really, really good at it and it crossed my mind that that’s being creative. And even creating a tour joining together Egypt plus Agatha Christie, creating that is creative but it’s not that long since I thought —
Sundae: I mean, I’ve seen that in you, I’ve seen that in you for a long time.
Carol: But I have hundreds of tour ideas, hundreds. Nobody else does the tours that I’ve got ideas for. Nobody else. Everybody does standard pyramids. It’s very, very simple. To different museums, etc. Obviously we do those too but I think that what I want to do is harness people’s interests. People love cats, cats in ancient Egypt. The feminist —
Sundae: Yeah, and I’m also watching you really live your values, right? That this company is a platform for you to live your values.
Carol: Yeah, I am now.
Sundae: So you’ve got a lot ahead of you. I just love this part where I think about the first time we hopped on the call together where you were at in your life and where you are now and it’s like, “I cannot wait to see what you do next.” That’s so exciting.
Carol: I can’t believe it either. And even that call was really profound for me because that’s what made me think. I don’t think I even had the idea of Literary Tours, that I can’t remember now. But, I remember thinking beforehand, “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m not satisfied doing what I’m doing, what we’re going to do,” and then I had that call with you, which I think is over three and a half years ago maybe and then that’s when it came.
And I thought, “Maybe, I’ll do something else.”
Sundae: I love that, I love that moment and I know that moment is where I have no idea what you’re going to want to do or how it’s going to happen, right? But because I’m frank about that but I know I trust the journey. I trust the journey and you’ve– hmm mm,
Carol: Yes, that’s what I do know. Trust the journey. That’s it.
Sundae: You do the work. You also did it work. Tell people a little bit — We only have a couple more minutes. Tell people what can they expect? Like, how do I show up for people in this process and how do you have to show up for you? If you’re serious about this?
Carol: You show up in so many ways. That’s very hard to do in a couple of minutes but by firstly, providing just outstanding coaching in terms of understanding me. Right from the outset the way that you do it and you get so quickly to the root of the issue. But most important for me, it’s very, is practical the word? You give me things to do, so I’m not just talking, you say, “Right. Try this, try that.” And sometimes we do on the calls and sometimes you say, “Try this outside.” And sometimes I do it or I don’t do it. It doesn’t quite work but if I always come back, you always bring me back to what is and I know you often say that I did all the work and yet yes, on one level that’s true. But unquestionably without you I wouldn’t have — I would not be here. I would not be living my dream.
So in terms of what I had to do and what other people need to do with, you is what you’ve just said. Number one, trust the journey. And number two, I from the beginning was extremely open with you on my fears and challenges and what I believed, didn’t believe her, but what I could and couldn’t do. So I think you need to do that and I think you need to and to get the most out of it, you have to believe that you can do the work yourself, believe that you can get there. But the work is necessary. You have to do the work. Yeah. But the work is about living your dream. Like now, every time I feel stressed or angry or fed up with something that happens we have some very annoying customers I might add I think I’m doing this for me. This every single minute I do I do it for me. I’m not doing it for the faceless corporation, like I did for 30 years of my life. This is for me, and my family, my husband, and my team.
I’m doing this for me every single benefit from their solutely. I get to decide what happens.
Sundae: How has that impacted other parts of your life? Like we’ve talked about your business, how has it impacted other areas?
Carol: I don’t know if this is related to the business. I love working with my husband, even though at times, we clash. Obviously, he’s very — as Egyptian as they are. They are as we discussed before prone to hyperbole and emotional reaction. So we have never much. We’re really good at working together and that’s what ‘s given as a huge thing in our marriage. My son, my stepson, he’s working with us and that’s great too. And even my family, my family back in the UK who are not involved today in this even there you know my sister’s like, “I’m so proud of you,” and you think, “Oh gosh.”
Sundae: *laughter* You’re so fancy. I love it. It’s so good. It’s so fun. Yeah, you give me credit in this process, I trust the process it has been tested but you really showed up fully for yourself and even when it was hard. We’re a good team.
Carol: Yeah. Yeah. Right. And I won’t deny it, at times it was hard. Yes, at times it was. When I look at what happened in my life, my personal life outside this process I think is myself, “My God.” But sometimes that’s another factor, actually is that awful things happen. Some of the awful things that happened having this to do and this to focus on helped. Like with my dad dying, when my dad died last year and that’s when I was really building up the business and in terms of the tour business and your help — because he would be so proud to, I know that.
Sundae: When you’ve got purpose something–
Because he loved Egypt. He loved Egypt when I was a kid and he was fascinated by King Tut when the tomb was opened.
Sundae: That’s so sweet. He’s proud of you. Thank you so much for sharing your journey so honestly because I think people want bippity boppity boop. Right? They want the magic wand and the pumpkin.
Carol: Yes. Yeah.
Sundae: And that’s like that. And that’s why I do a Year of Transformation because transformation takes time, right? Anybody can eat, anybody can eat salads for three days.
Carol: Well, that’s what you and I have said before, transformation is a lifelong process.
Sundae: It’s small changes. Right. Small changes.
Carol: You’re either into it or not. Yes, multi. Well, I could go on about that as well, but we haven’t got time. But the things you have to do to clear your clutter your own way.
Sundae: Any last words you want to share with our listeners. People who have a dream in their heart, or don’t even, they’re not even there yet to even dare to dream. What would you say to them?
Carol: I’d say, write down your wildly improbable goal, sign up with Sundae as your coach and then break your wildly improbable goal down into just the things you need to do to get there. Even if you get down to the smallest possible task of, for example, write a paragraph of text or something. Just break everything down.
Sundae: You got it. Step-by-step, day-by-day.
Carol: That’s what I suggest. And dreams. You can create your dreams.
Sundae: You’re proof of it. You’re proof of it, Carol. It’s awesome. Thank you so much for sharing that with me. It means the world to me and I can’t wait to see what you do next. It’s awesome.
Carol: Thank you Sundae for letting you share. Thank you very much, Sundae.
So there you have it. Totally unrehearsed conversation on what it really takes to create your dream. As you can see my experience suggests that Dreams don’t “come true” – you create them. And this episode gives you a behind the scenes view on the steps that will get you there.
So what about you? What is that dream that you want to create? What mind gremlins are chewing at your confidence? Where are you feeling overwhelmed? Rest assured, you can hear from Carol and her own journey, it is all figure-out-able.
We got this.
If you want me by your side to make that happen, check out Year of Transformation.
The truth is THIS YEAR WILL PASS WHETHER YOU MAKE POSITIVE CHANGES OR NOT.
Imagine what you can do with individualized attention, accountability, and professional support. You know it will bring you further.
You don’t need more “busy” in your life, you need more “meaningful” more “purpose” more “progress.” Get crystal clarity on what you want, a solid, doable plan on how to get it, with strategies and support for consistent steps forward.
If you are ready to get off the sidelines of your life, apply – spots are limited and all the details are in the show notes.
This time next year you, too, can be sharing how you were your own fairy godmother and made YOUR dreams come true.
You’ve been listening to Expat Happy Hour with Sundae Schneider-Bean.
Thank you for listening.
I’ll leave you with the words from Author Roy T. Bennett: “Dreams don’t work unless you take action.”
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