Interview by Farah Rafik
When Nevin ElGendy picked up a magazine in a cashier line to find an article about life-coaching written by one of her favorite authors and then found that same article in a morning newspaper, she knew the signs couldn’t have been clearer; Nevin ElGendy was meant to be a life coach.
Now, Nevin is the founder of the online life-coaching business niVoforlife and the author of the 2020 best-selling book ‘Be’.
Nevin received her certification under the tutelage of Dr. Martha Beck. Her life mission is to help others find their inner child. We sat down with her to know all about it.
What inspired you to become a life coach?
Life coaches are born with a gift, which is their intuition. You’ll find that ever since they were kids, people liked to talk to them and they would know how to listen.
They can cut through the noise and differentiate between what people think is happening and what’s really happening.
What made me take it to the next level? Pure chance!
I made a friend when I first moved to Canada who would always tell me I have to be a life coach. I never really took it seriously though.
Until one time she was staying over and while at the supermarket, I picked up a copy of a magazine and found an article about a life-coaching school in the US written by Martha Beck (One of my favorite authors). I didn’t think much of that either.
A couple of days later, I picked up the New York Times to find the same article! I thought “This is a sign, I’m going to do it.”
Tell us more about niVoforlife — how does helping others reach their full potential help you, Nevin ElGendy?
niVoforlife is my practice. I believe we’re all meant to live a fulfilled life and pursue our mission. To do that, we need to understand ourselves, our barriers, our values and take some actions. That requires change though.
Change is kind of scary at the beginning, gets messy in the middle, but it’s amazing at the end.
So I realized that one of the things I can help with is making the journey of change more fun, to create this kind of incubator for people who are going on a journey.
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This is where the retreats came in. It’s a time where people can travel inward, have fun, and connect with others.
That’s very important because oftentimes when people are starting a journey of change the people around them don’t like it. That’s why I do both one on ones as well as group work in the workshops and retreats. I currently have 4 programs up and running.
One is called ‘Master the Game of Relationships’ where we focus on the three important relationships we have; our relationship with ourselves, with the people around us, and with money (which has to do with our career). Another program is called ‘Create It’ which is all about the 12 steps that’ll make you understand where you are in life. A third program is called ‘Unleash Your True Self’. It’s about taking you through the journey from caterpillar to butterfly with the meltdown, the dreaming and scheming, and Promise Land phases.
The fourth program which I just released in Ramadan is called ‘عسى ان تكرهوا شيئا و هو خير لكم’. It’s about how to learn from mistakes and take responsibility for your share in the problem. It’s also about diminishing that fear of failure and turning into an understanding that this is how you grow.
What do you think is the best thing about your job?
It makes me feel like I’m doing what I’m here for so work is like play for me.
However, sometimes it’s like a good meal; when you overeat, it becomes a problem. Sometimes I over-work. But ultimately, it’s what I love and it helps me and others as well.
What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
When I first started coaching it wasn’t as popular as it is now, so people around me found it weird.
But I was aware that what I’m doing feels right for me and I knew that it might not feel right for others. So I went on anyway.
The second thing is that beginnings are always hard. I was marketing for the first retreat I launched for 6 months and I only filled 2 spots. That could have scared me and put me off but I was always pushing forward.
I understood later on that it was a blessing to have only 2 people come because I was able to test the process with the weight I can carry and so ultimately, I was able to create results. Now I advertise retreats and in a few hours, 12 spots are gone!
Nevin ElGendy, what is one advice you would give to young women wanting to start their own business but are hesitant?
They have to make sure of what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. The why of it becomes the energy that helps you push through. If the Why’s weak, you’ll run out of gas.
The second thing is you must have a plan with a clear timeline. I have a program called ‘Put Your Dream to the Test’. Your dream has to be very specific. You should be able to identify the actions you need to take. You also have to be ready for failure because it’s part of the process, but fail forward.
There’s no instant gratification when you’re an entrepreneur.
Most Egyptian women have had to answer the question “Hanefra7 Biki Emta” before in reference to marriage, despite any accomplishments they may have already made, what would you say in response to that question?
I think the problem isn’t that society asks Hanefra7 Biki Emta, it’s about what I tell myself about it. If it doesn’t mean anything to me and doesn’t make me feel like I’m missing anything, then it won’t affect me and I’ll respond to the question normally.