This month we spoke with a bright young lady who has only recently and successfully entered the entrepreneurial world. Nadia is 28 years old and together with her friend Yana she started 50koffies, an impulsive podcast that in one year has grown into a media platform.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am Nadia El Makhfi, 28 years old and I consider myself a cheerful person with a positive outlook on life and someone who fully goes for what makes her happy. I have Moroccan roots and I enjoy the blissful Moroccan moments of happiness, such as drinking a delicious glass of mint tea with my family. I also work as an independent photographer and recently founded the platform 50koffies with my friend Yana, which started as a podcast and will soon be expanded into a media platform.
50koffies has been around for a little over a year now. Did you ever think you would be standing where you are today?
Absolutely not, 50koffies started as a fun side project without any intention of actually turning it into a business. I never thought I would work so closely with Yana and lose my heart completely to our podcast. I’m so grateful that that feeling was mutual and that we were both willing to commit ourselves fully to 50koffies. Entrepreneurship is unpredictable, you often just go with the flow and I'm so glad that flow took me from a co-working in Antwerp to our own business. Isn’t that amazing?
Entering the world of entrepreneurship at such a young age is no walk in the park. What are the biggest challenges you face, and do you have any advice for dealing with them?
It's definitely not a walk in the park and trial and error is just part of it. What I find most difficult is that you constantly have to make choices where all the responsibility lies with yourself. That's why I advise: surround yourself with the right people and ask for advice, get out of your house, go to different cities, discover people, send people you find inspiring, just go out there and ask all your questions. That is undoubtedly the most valuable advice I can give and something I do myself on a daily basis. I also strongly believe in boosting your own self-confidence and constantly convincing yourself that what you are doing is right. And finally: follow your intuition, it's pretty much always right. If it's about an idea, about clients, about people you feel you don't like working with, it usually comes from somewhere. Just follow your guts.
What drives you to get up every morning and go back to work?
I've done a lot of things like graphic design, interior design, photography, now 50koffies and I also keep myself socially engaged. By experimenting a lot over the past few years, I've gotten to a point where everything I love to do has merged and then it's really not hard to drag yourself out of bed. But it's also important not to lose yourself and the joy of your work by asking yourself from time to time: What exactly am I doing and how close am I still to myself?
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
I used to always feel too present and too loud, so I would intentionally put myself more in the background and tell myself to act more ‘normal’. Therefore, I would advise my 18-year-old self to stop hiding that loud side, because I am now convinced that this trait has brought me to where I am today. Be yourself and enjoy it.
What does it mean for you to enjoy yourself?
On the one hand, I enjoy being in my workflow. To really go all out and use my adrenaline for what I want to accomplish. I would call it my ‘go go go mode’, I love that. On the other hand, I enjoy my family. When I know my sisters and brothers are with my parents, I can't wait to drive straight to my family after work to spend 5 hours laughing together in the couch with a cup of coffee and tea, that's my ultimate happy moment in my life.
Which Kaai bag do you have and what is your experience with it?
I have two Kaai bags, of which I wear the white beltbag the most. Normally I’m someone who changes bags regularly, but since I have the Kaai beltbag, I never use another bag anymore. It just goes with everything, always looks stylish and besides that, everything I need fits perfectly in it. I also have the Midi Pyramid which I always carry when I go out without my camera but need my other work essentials like my laptop. With my Midi Pyramid I walk the streets with no fear, because I know it won’t tear or get damaged.