Arzo Yusuf: Social Impact Entrepreneurship
She's a social impact entrepreneur, a public speaker and a women's empowerment activist who's doing everything she can to make a positive change in the world. Please welcome Arzo Yusuf. Connect with Arzo @thearzoyusuf and @thesexybossbabe Connect with me on your favorite platform: https://pods.link/aardvarkgirl -- 00:22 A social impact entrepreneur is really somebody that has a social impact business model. So it's a for-profit business with a social component. So something that contributes to the social good of the community in various aspects. It could be the environment. It could be some kind of social cause. It could be helping out animals, helping out people - something that gives back to the community to make the world a better place. 01:09 I really kind of have a bleeding heart. It runs really deep, nd I care about humanity. I care about people. I care about my community. And I try to give back in different ways, and the suffering of people really bothers me. It hurts me. So whatever I've been able to do over the years, I've done, whether it's volunteering my time, whether it's being involved in a charity organization sitting on a board, helping raise funds to be able to donate to different causes, things like that. And then I came to kind of at crossroads in my career and personal life and I ended up starting my social impact brand, Sexy Boss Babe, and having it structured as a social impact company made sense for me. 02:43 Just because you are someone with a good heart, and you do want to give back to a good cause, it doesn't mean that you should completely self-sacrifice. You can definitely do good in the world but still take care of yourself and make sure that your business is making money and thriving while you're giving back. 03:37 Sexy Boss Babe is actually a beauty product. There are these little cute glue on nails that saves you time from going to the salon. So that's definitely one way of getting self-care, and then it's a fun beauty product and the brand identity is all about women empowerment. So we have our own definition of what a sexy boss babe is - it's a breed of woman that's confident from the inside out. She can be thin or plus size, tall, short, athletic, any size, shape, or color. Her beauty comes from knowing her self-worth and going after what she wants in life. She is fierceful and empowered. So every box has a positive affirmation. And then the Sexy Boss Babe Podcast is about female-centric topics like self-esteem, empowerment, entrepreneurship, just different things that us women go through. 06:56 I think you're a pretty strong woman, and you're independent, and you're a go-getter and, you know, we have our struggles, but we don't let those titles and definitions or whatever limit us. Unfortunately, not everyone is that way, and it takes time to get to that place in our journey, I think, as being empowered women. 08:30 Self-awareness is really important, just really knowing yourself, knowing your limitations, but then also knowing what your priorities are and knowing the value of each priority. Sometimes people kind of just get stuck in the tasks of, I gotta do this, I gotta do that, but if you take your time and just look at, what's the value out of this activity? You're like, wait, this is not doing anything. This is actually a complete waste of my time, but it's keeping me busy. So you have to know those things and you don't always know them right away. Sometimes it takes time, through trial and error, to figure out, okay, wait, this was not a value added activity. 11:00 As a small business, social media is very important, but at the same time, it might not always be your revenue generator. And it takes a lot of input into social media to really get the return on investment. 13:34 I have these periods where I have three months of really hard go, go, go, and then after that project, or whatever it is, gets completed, it's like, okay, I have a decompress period. And then planning starts for the next thing and then I end up going really hard for another three months. It seems to work and it allows me to kind of juggle and balance all the different things. 14:53 Just after I left my job and my career to start Sexy Boss Babe, I gave myself the space to let it just flow and didn't force myself to be in a structure. But what I also noticed is what I was doing, I was very passionate about, and everything was very aligned for me, so it just flowed naturally. 16:22 I think as humans, the traumas that we go through in life, that stress management and being hard on ourselves, a lot of times it doesn't come from us. It comes from the voice in our head, which can be a mom or a dad, or a mean teacher or whatever. I think with entrepreneurship, it's an opportunity to self-reflect. You know, entrepreneurship, it's a stressful thing. You have to be a little unorthodox to do it. 17:32 I reached a kind of a crossroads in my career. I had outgrown the job that I was in. I had done well for myself. I could have gone to a competitor for a different type of a role or whatever, but I just felt like it doesn't match with my spirit. And I've come this far, but I don't know how much longer I can live as my avatar. 18:29 I got the idea for Sexy Boss Babe and I immediately started working on it, and I probably worked on it for about eight months before I quit my job. Then me quitting my job, it wasn't like I'm going to quit in eight months. It just fizzled itself out, you know? And it just was the right time. Sometimes life and your spirit or whatever knows this is time, it's time to go. So I ended up leaving my job at that point and fully focused on Sexy Boss Babe for the last few years. 20:28 I have a really strong sales background, and that has probably helped me tremendously with communication because when you are selling, whether it's a service or a product, you have to understand the other person. You have to kind of understand their psychology. You have to understand, is this somebody that's analytical? Is this somebody that's relationship-oriented? Is this somebody that likes to talk? Is this somebody that makes impulsive decisions? Is this somebody that takes their time? All of these things kind of play into it. So you really have to understand people really well, and doing that work for as long as I have, it taught me a lot about people. When you put the other person in mind, it helps create an ease and a flow with the communication, and then you'll get your chance to ask for whatever it is that you want or communicate the thing that you want. 23:51 At the end of the day, it's up to us what kind of experiences we want to have with others. Are they quality experiences or transactional, right? We can get something accomplished in a transactional way through manipulating somebody, but does that feel good at the end of the day? How many times can we do that and feel good about ourselves? Right? So definitely that higher quality interaction requires investment. It requires trust. It requires generosity. 25:53 If you're going to be in business, whether it's selling product or providing a service, what are you doing? You're providing something for somebody else. So you're giving something and, yes, you deserve your value. You deserve your money. There are some clients that are difficult clients. We've all had those. You're allowed to not work with difficult clients. That's a choice that you have, especially if you're a small business. If you're not going to have some flexibility, if you're not going to bend a little bit, your business is not going to survive long term, you know? 28:14 Another unfortunate reality is that most businesses fail. They don't live longer than a few years, three to five years. A lot of people go into business without customer service experience, without sales experience. It goes back to that communication piece. It goes back to the relationship and trust piece, and understanding people. If you're not a people person, business might not be for you. 30:00 The Sexy Boss Babe podcast and female-centric topics, it's not to put anybody down, it's to help us. It's to help women to say, "Hey, set the expectations upfront. Speak up." It's okay to say, "Hey, these are my rules. This is what you're going to get for this price. You know, if you want these extra ad-ons, this is what it is." Set the expectations so the client knows, and you know, there are your boundaries. 31:58 I was in an abusive relationship for about four years, and when I finally got out of that, I felt very broken. I am a pretty independent and strong person and coming out of that, it made me really question myself, like how did I get here? And I just didn't have that little spark in me anymore. I felt just kind of, as a person, as a female being in any kind of relationship where you feel taken advantage of, I felt like I betrayed myself in a way. So all of those things that affects your confidence, right? So that strong, independent, go-getter, it wasn't there. She was gone. So for the next year, I started just doing things to try to just kind of rebuild and refine myself and kind of reconnect that spark back in me. 34:54 I think every person needs to do some type of volunteer work on a regular basis. It doesn't have to be every day. It doesn't have to be every month, but one month a year, every other month, once a week, whatever your schedule will allow, do something that's not about you and it's about somebody else. If we did those kinds of things more, even just little things, it changes our perspective. It makes us, over time, better people. Then we are kinder and have more compassion for humanity. 38:06 I feel like humanity is at it's anger stage right now. Everyone's just angry. It's not healthy for anybody, but if you can realize the inequities in the world and know how horrible they are and, over time, get away from the anger, but don't forget that the inequities are there, and then do something about it. I always say, if everyone just grabbed a corner, you know, we can get the sheet folded. 40:38 You've got to take yourself out of your element sometimes and do something different that has nothing to do with your job and your entrepreneurship, business, goals, or whatever. 44:13 Growth happens when you're uncomfortable. Growth happens when it's scary. Growth happens when there are mistakes. You're not going to grow if you're constantly trying to be perfect. If you are going to do something that's perfect because you've already had enough experience doing it, you're limiting yourself. But I love putting myself in uncomfortable, scary situations that force me to grow. 45:07 Have patience with the process. Whatever you're doing, or whatever your end goal is, it's probably going to take longer than what you anticipate. So love it, and have patience.