Hala Taha – Invest Your Time Into Something That You Own

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By Andrew Stotz. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Hala Taha is the host of Young and Profiting Podcast, a top 10 Self-Improvement podcast on Apple with over 1 million downloads. She recently launched YAP Media, a full-service podcast production and marketing agency for top podcasters, celebrities and CEOs projected to generate over $2M in revenue in its first year. Hala is also known for her engaged following and influence on LinkedIn.

“It’s always great to evolve your dream.”

Hala Taha

Worst investment ever

Hala is a natural-born leader. So it was no surprise that when she joined Hewlett-Packard (HP) as an intern, she was burning to take on some leadership role. Previous to joining HP, Hala was the CEO of a company of 50 girls. She also was the President of her Alumni Association.

Jumping heart in into a leadership opportunity

Hala saw an opportunity to start the young employee network chapter in New Jersey, where she was stationed. She went around the office, got signatures, and started the network from scratch.

At the time, Hala’s company office had no culture. She went in there and infused everything with culture. She started the company holiday party and did a fantastic company summer picnic every year, which the company still does.

Putting her soul into it

Hala put a lot of time into the young employee network. She would work full time during the day, and then at night, she would be working on the young employee network. She was so passionate about it and loved being a leader.

Getting the recognition

Hala quickly became the face of the young employee network. She was the President of her chapter for two years. Her hard work at the network got her great visibility with the CEO.

Going higher

Hala wanted to keep growing and take her leadership skills to the next level. The next logical phase for her was the global young employee network. Here, the leaders from all the chapters around the world run all of the young employee networks and set the global strategy.

Hala had her foot in the door as the recruitment director for the young employee network globally. She took advantage of this role and started a global event for Hewlett-Packard called HP Spirit Week. This is a week-long themed event. It became a huge event that they still do.

The letdown

Starting this event made Hala stand out in the entire company. All her peers agreed she was doing the President’s job. In her fourth year in the young employee network, she vied to be President. She had earned it. Hala had done everything right. She was President of her chapter for two years; she did the HP Spirit Week and knocked that out of the park. She had like 50 people that wanted her to be president record video nominations. Her board wanted her to be President.

But the ultimate decision-maker was this lady who was the HR director, and she didn’t like Hala. When it was time for Hala to become President, she gave it to somebody else who had zero experience. Hala was crushed. She was so confused. She had put in almost four years, that she could have worked on a side hustle, into this young employee network thing.

Hala felt so devastated to have made her worst investment ever by investing all her time into something she was never rewarded for. She left HP and went to Disney after that because she felt burned.

Lessons learned

Invest your time in an asset that you own

Invest your time in something that you can take with you wherever you go, no matter what job you’re in and where you are in life. Do this instead of investing in a company that you will leave behind.

You’ll always have your brand

Your brand never leaves you, your network never leaves you, but your job can leave you at any time. Job security is no security, so invest in your brand.

Andrew’s takeaways

What is your differentiating point?

To be successful in anything you’re doing, you’ve got to figure out your differentiating point. A lot of young people getting into the workforce come with nothing that differentiates themselves. You’ve got to stand out to succeed.

The best people don’t always rise to the top

Success is not all about hard work. You can prepare, work hard, study, and bring that value to your company. But, success is 50% hard work and 50% relationships.

You can edge out the big guys

As a small and medium-sized business, attack the weakness of your big giant competitors. Figure out that one thing that they do not do well, and do it amazingly.

Invest in life skills

Invest in personal development skills such as writing, leadership, presenting, public speaking, etc. Life skills will add value to your company. But most importantly, they are transferable skills that you can take with you wherever you go.

Actionable advice

When you’re in the moment, and you want something really bad, think to yourself: “Is this something I could do on my own? Do I need a gatekeeper to tell me “yes”? Is this something that I can start on my own, and I could own whatever I’m working on?”

If the answers are “yes,” and you feel like you can do it on your own, don’t go work for another person. Don’t go intern for that person. Don’t go volunteer for that person; go do it on your own. Start your own thing.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Hala’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to see the Young and Profiting podcast become a top 10 education podcast on Apple.

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