Nadia Al Sheikh, Founder of Deal’n, Learned to Love Books from Her Parents, Hasn't Stopped Ever Since
Nadia Al Sheikh is the Founder and CEO of Deal’n, a social impact e-commerce platform that aims to empower members of the community to earn an income and help them grow to their full potential.
Deal’n’s mission is to support entrepreneurial talent and local NGOs. It does that by providing people with opportunities based on their abilities and capabilities, and prioritizing the vulnerable members of the community. The project incorporates philanthropy and business, and was born after Nadia’s years of groundwork in volunteering with various NGOs.
Nadia’s also a single mother who’s rediscovering her identity at a low point in life. She has learned the power of shared knowledge and learning opportunities, and believes that communicating and exchanging opinions while keeping an open mind, are vital to accomplishing whatever our heart desires.
One year ago, she created a Facebook page where she started to publicly share her journey and the lessons she learned. That page has grown to more than 100k followers, but what ultimately matters are the reactions that Nadia receives from real people. People who were inspired to change and become better versions of themselves, despite the tough circumstances.
Keep on reading to find out more about the books that had an impact on her, what she learned from them, and how she inherited her love for reading from her parents.
What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.
The EQ Edge by Howard Book is an excellent book about emotional intelligence with different exercises of how to deal with irrational thoughts in a rational manner. The exercise is called the ABCDE system I use it as part of my coaching technique & with practice it becomes a natural skill that helps us to avoid unnecessary fears and illusions.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran is a beautiful illustration of wisdom written in a storytelling that takes you into a mysterious journey, I never get tired of reading it.
Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?
I remember as a kid reading about David and Goliath and the next day we had to write a book report. The whole night the only thing that stood out in my mind is the power of the rock! How something we take for granted can have so much power. That was the day that I learned to look at things not the way they seem but what they can become or what I can make out of them, I learned there is much more to everything than what we see.
What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)
So many books. At a young age, it wasn’t the academical books as the material presented at school wasn’t that interesting but I was lucky that both my parents loved reading and I was brought up to read and it became a habit. Later in life, the first book that had an impact on me was “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” that made me question certain things about my life and my perspective towards it. As for my career I would say it’s “Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader” “Working Identity” & “Coach and Couch”.
What books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why? (no number limit here)
- “Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader“ It’s a very simple & interesting read. It takes a different approach about reaching your goals and dreams it pushes you to not just prepare & work on yourself but to put yourself out there & interact with leaders to learn from them & to figure out what kind of leader you are.
- “Working Identity“ Young people are still trying to figure out their identity and what this book helps them to understand is that we have many identities. This realization will help them in their growth and journey towards realizing their goals and dreams.
- “The EQ Edge” Emotional intelligence is very important it helps us understand others, empathise & communicate with them. What good is all the information that we have if we cannot relate it to others? What difference does it make how intelligent you are if you cannot communicate with others and help them with your innovation or ideas!
- “Immunity To Change” it’s interesting to learn about what is stopping people from getting what they want and surprisingly most of the time the resistance is self-inflicted and in order to succeed in business it’s important to learn how to overcome these social defense mechanisms.
- “The Wisdom Of The Crowds” Although we tend to elect leaders that we believe know better and follow them hoping for a better future, better life & a safer life. Surprisingly in many cases, the wisdom of the crowd has proven to be more accurate than most of our smartest leaders. The message for me is to learn to listen to the people and to learn from them assuming you know nothing…with that you will learn a lot!
I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?
I love reading so I always have a book at hand. I love reading a book. I’m traditional, I love the feeling & the smell of it.
How do you make time for reading?
I try to read before I go to bed.
Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?
I always take notes.
How do you choose what books to read next?
It’s either someone recommended it to me or I go to the library and I choose one!
Do you prioritize those recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?
Not really I have a couple of friends and we share books that we read with each other. ?
Last question: what book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?
“The Leadership Mystique” by Manfred De Vries to understand more about leadership and leaders the challenges they face their inner theater & the positive mentoring of an effective leader.
Links where you can follow Nadia Al Sheikh or find out more about her projects:
- Deal’n Store
- We Value Your Everything (Facebook page)
- Empowering Leaders of Tomorrow (Facebook Page)
- Nadousheh (Facebook Page)
All books mentioned by Nadia Al Sheikh in this interview:
- The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader by Herminia Ibarra
- Working Identity: Unconventional Strategies for Reinventing Your Career by Herminia Ibarra
- Coach and Couch: The Psychology of Making Better Leaders by Konstantin Korotov, Elizabeth Florent-Treacy, Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries
- Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization by Robert Kegan, Lisa Laskow Lahey
- The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
- The Leadership Mystique: Leading behavior in the human enterpriseby Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries
- The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success by Steven J. Stein, Howard E. Book