"Work-life blend will become more important than a work-life balance" - Shama Hyder

Shama Hyder

1. Why did you start Zen media? Did you have an early mover advantage?

I started Zen Media to meet market demand…which is to say to help companies and individuals succeed in the digital age. We do this via marketing and digital PR but those are just the vehicles. The big picture remains the same. And yes, I absolutely had an early mover advantage. My book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing, was one of the first on the topic and to tackle it from a tactical “how-to” point of view. 

2. In a country like India women entrepreneurs continue to face many roadblocks and challenges. Can you talk about the impediments you faced along your journey?

Of all the impediments we face, our own mindset is the greatest one of all. I moved to the US as an immigrant when I was nine years old. My parents worked very hard to give us a good life and it was not easy. There were plenty of socio-economic and cultural challenges but I truly believe those are the very foundational blocks of character. It is what makes you who you are, and it’s important for everyone but I would say women especially to move past the victim mentality. You can’t grow from that place.You can only grow when you see that you have to empower yourself and move beyond what was done “to you.” 

3. What does your typical day look like and how many hours do you spend on social media?

Every day is slightly different! I may find myself one day giving a keynote to an audience in Australia for example and back in a client boardroom the following day. Technology enables me to do my work wherever I am and we have a wonderful remote team that does the same. I don’t count the hours I am on social media because it isn’t a drain for me. I am actively creating content, engaging with people, building a community. It is very much integrated into my day to day. 

4. You have surpassed geographical limitations to do business. How can one transcend boundaries and get business from another part of the world?

We do serve a global audience. We have clients in Hong Kong and Lithuania and New York…the internet and of course the digital world at large makes that happen. These companies can seek out the best to help them in marketing and they aren’t limited to their geographical background. Our own digital footprint, at Zen Media, has crossed so many boundaries. We create content for a global audience. 

5. Who are your favourite influencers on social media and why?

I try to learn from everyone I see! I do admire Moj Mahdara who has build BeautyCon as an epitome of a female leader doing great things in the business world and my good friend Mehwish Almas who is an international make-up artist is another fun one to follow! 

6. When and how did you discover the entrepreneur in you?

I’ve always been entrepreneurial…even as a kid, and it’s funny how often you hear a similar tale from other entrepreneurs. I do believe that it is something you are born with. That’s not to say you can’t become an entrepreneur but that ENTREPRENEURIAL INSTINCT is often innate. I was creating newsletters when I was 11 and sold things from a catalog at 13…there were ventures as early as 9. I l always loved the process of building something and being productive in some way - even as a kid. I didn’t feel like I could just squander time. It had to have a purpose. Clearly, I was an odd kid. :) 

7. Has social media landscape reached its maturity? What is your prediction of it after let's say 5 to 10 years from now?

Not at all! We are JUST getting started. I think the difference is how integrated everything is and will continue to be. That’s my greatest prediction. We won’t even talk about it as “social media” - it will just be the world we live in. That’s the world we live in now. The entire ecosystem of digital meshing with physical where a “work-life blend” will become more important than a work-life balance.


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