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Seven Lessons From Starting A Business In The MENA's PR Industry PR professionals are storytellers by heart. One of the most important things you have to do well is know how to tell your story.

By Ryadh Kaddour Edited by Aby Thomas

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Guided by my entrepreneurial spirit and passion for the public relations (PR) industry, I founded Revolve Communications in 2022 after garnering years of invaluable experience in the field of communications working with some of the most notable names in this space. Here are the key lessons I learned over the course of my entrepreneurial journey:

1. Take the leap There are no limits on who can become a great entrepreneur. You don't necessarily need a college degree, a bunch of money in the bank, or even business experience to start something that could become the next major success. What you do need is a strong plan, the drive to see it through, and the expertise in what you're offering. Fear is a big reason for people to not start their business- a problem that I had to deal with as well. Most entrepreneurs don't know where to start when setting their ideas in motion. Start out by finding someone who achieved the goal you set for yourself, and research or reach out to see if they can offer advice or information. Also, surround yourself with motivated like-minded people that can offer you value. Even if you don't have the necessary capital at first, you'll soon learn that a slow and steady process of building the business may be the best thing after all.

2. Tell your story PR professionals are storytellers by heart. One of the most important things you have to do well is know how to tell your story. You have to build trust. You need to have an emotional connection- after all, people choose people to work with. The more they know about you and your business, the more they will trust you. Our role as an agency is to promote our clients, and equally as a startup business, you shouldn't be shy to promote yourself. One of the key times to tell your story is when you're networking. Your network is your net worth, as the aphorism goes, and the most common way of landing a first client is through a referral. So, chances are you already know, or know someone who knows, your first client. All you have to do is make them aware of what you do, and how you can help them.

3. Build a strong team It takes great leadership to build great teams. Leaders need to be not afraid to course-correct or make difficult decisions, and they should establish standards of performance that are constantly being met– and improving at all times. Team-building in the workplace requires a keen understanding of people, their strengths, and what gets them excited to work with others. Team-building also requires the management of egos and their constant demands for attention and recognition, which may not always be warranted. As such, team building is both an art and a science. A successful team starts with hiring the right people- those who value working toward a common goal, are goal-oriented, and respect the hierarchical structure that you require as a business. Once the right people are in place, the goal is to bring them together into a cohesive unit.

Related: Building A Social Media Strategy That Can Bolster Your Brand's Online Presence: The How-To

4. Be a leader, not a manager As the leader of the team, you must be extremely aware of your leadership style and techniques. Are they as effective as you think? How well are they accepted by your team? Much like how you evaluate your team, you must evaluate yourself, and be critical about where you can improve, especially in areas that will benefit those whom you are a leading. Remember that though you are in-charge, how you work may not be appreciated by those who work for you. You may have good intentions, but make sure you hold yourself accountable to course-correct, and modify your approach if necessary, to assure that you're leading from a position of strength and respectability.

5. Celebrate success In many cases, success stories require tremendous effort, sacrifice, and perseverance, but celebrating them is often a short-lived activity. However, don't ignore it. Take the time to live in the moment, and remember what allowed you to cross the finish line. Taking the time to celebrate success goes beyond acknowledgment– it's about taking a step back, and reflecting on what you have accomplished, and what you have learned throughout the journey. In today's fast-paced industry, which is a rapidly changing world of work, people are not taking enough time to understand why they were successful, and how their success reverberated and positively impacted those around them.

6. Adapt and evolve Always changing, constantly evolving: it's a motto that I live by. In such a fastpaced market and industry, it's important to keep moving and constantly evolve. This may mean growing the business, adding clients, increasing revenue, adding or eliminating services, or training the team. As an entrepreneur, it's important to determine how and when to evolve. There's no silver bullet for figuring out how to evolve your company. But there are ways to think strategically about what sort of growth makes sense, and the impact it will have across your business. To sustain longevity, you must evolve, or else, you will just be repeating the same thing.

7. Work harder and faster Train yourself to do a little bit more in each hour than you normally would. Everyday, add something to your to-do list, and get it all done. The first few days, you may not get it all done, but keep persevering, and sooner or later, you'll get there. It's like training for a marathon. It takes time, but once you're done, you'll see that you're doing much more in a day, because you're moving faster. That's how you win- that's how you hustle.

Related: In It To Win It: Four Areas Entrepreneurs Need To Address To Ensure The Success Of Their Startups

Ryadh Kaddour

Founder and CEO, Revolve Communications

Ryadh Kaddour is the founder and CEO of Revolve Communications, a luxury public relations and communications agency based out of Dubai, UAE.

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