Kindness People: Khatija Aslam

The Kindness Change is thankful to interview Khatija Aslam who is on a worthy mission to unlock the power of women’s voices to create equitable and inclusive workplaces in Asia – through her platform

In this interview, Khatija shares moments in her life and insights that have shaped and are shaping her transformative founders journey – touched by Kindness.

Was there a childhood memory that shaped your personal transformation?

When I was 6 years old, I remember our kindergarten had its annual end of year concert where one girl was to be chosen to be Miss Kindergarten ‘Queen’. It was the biggest privilege at that time and it meant getting to wear a cloak, a beautiful crown and leading all the other children in the class (who would represent other professions) through the ceremony and introduce them one by one. I so very much wanted to be chosen as my sister was Miss Kindergarten Queen too and I remember being completely in awe when she was on stage.

A day before the auditions (yes they had auditions at 6!) my front tooth fell and unfortunately I did not get selected. I was completely shattered and cried for days as I was so disappointed and felt like a ‘failure’ for not looking perfect and not getting the part. A couple of days later when the concert preparations began and the other children in the class started to pick their roles, my teacher asked me to be a ‘doctor’. I remember agreeing in a rather disgruntled way, learning my lines next to other classmates, some who were going to present themselves as sailors, pilots, teachers and engineers. When the day of the concert came and I headed on stage, led by the chosen Miss Kindergarten Queen, it was my turn to go on the mic to introduce myself as a ‘doctor’. I still remember feeling that Aha moment as I shared my spiel about what being a doctor was all about, realizing that this ‘other profession’ wasn’t so bad after all. If anything it made a huge impact on people’s lives and I actually felt great by the end of it all.

That memory has stayed on with me till today and is a constant reminder that facing disappointments can also be opportunities to learn something new and be different.

How have you navigated personal change to progress in your life?

It takes a lot of self reflection and it is still a work in progress for me. The key things that I find have always helped are :

  • Being very clear on my priorities and what gives me a sense of fulfilment and joy
  • Having a life/transformational coach – can help you gain more clarity
  • Always looking a little bit ahead – asking questions like how do I want to look back at this moment in time 10 years from now?

How has kindness showed up in your life?

Oh in so many ways.

I remember when I first started my new role and was just a few months in, my father became very unwell and on two occasions I had to move to be closer to him for weeks at a time. At that time, working from home was not the norm at all so I was very afraid of how this situation was going to unfold. Luckily both my bosses were so supportive and gave me my time and space to be there for my father and also work remotely, with colleagues stepping in to help wherever they could. I will never forget those gestures.

Even in my journey as I shape Moxy, I am amazed at how many people have reached out and helped me in the process, making connections, volunteering at our launch event.

One of my favourite ones is from a few months ago when someone I had never met before, had no mutual connection with, contacted me on LinkedIn, was out of a job and could have spent their time applying for their next role, but spent a whole day workshopping with me on what we can do with Moxy.

Any words of wisdom you’d like to give entrepreneurs?

I just started on my founder journey recently but for those on the fence I would say to not wait too long and to let go off perfection. It took me a few years to get myself comfortable with making mistakes and failing. My other advice would be to work on something with a strong sense of purpose because the journey is a tough one so you need to be absolutely passionate about the problem you are trying to solve to keep you going everyday 🙂

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