Super Sonic Youth - Shama Hyder

Published on: 17th March 2014
To know more about her

What is your educational background?

I have Bachelor's degree in Communication Studies, and have done my Masters in Organizational Communication and Technology, both from the University of Texas at Austin.

How does it feel to be a big name at such a young age?

I am honoured that you think that! I feel like I am just starting. I think the beauty of today's digital age is that you aren't limited by age. If you truly want to do something, you can.

What made you start The Marketing Zen Group? Who is your inspiration?

When I finished graduate school, I was very passionate about social media, and where the new world of media and communications was headed. I did my thesis on Twitter when it had a few thousand users. I soon found that my vision was a bit early for its time. At the corporate level, they just did not see how social media could change the world yet. At twenty-three, I started The Marketing Zen Group as a social media marketing and consulting company, but we quickly grew to a full service web marketing and digital PR firm due to client demand.

Was that a big responsibility on young shoulders?

I think responsibility is a matter of perspective. I love what I do, and I believe in taking a playful attitude towards life. Nothing is a matter of life and death - including life and death.

shama kabani,super sonic youth What are your current challenges and what makes you face them fearlessly?

I always want to do more, so my challenge is to realize that there is always another mountain I would want to climb and pace myself!

It is said that a woman faces more challenges than a man. What is your take on this?

I think being an entrepreneur is challenging, whether you're a female or a male. The toughest aspect for me is that since I can work from anywhere and at any time, I end up working everywhere and all the time. It can be challenging to leave work at the office when there is no office. The most rewarding aspect of entrepreneurship has certainly been the ability to touch so many lives. It means so much to me that The Marketing Zen Group supports so many people with their livelihoods. Our employees, clients, their families, and businesses are all affected by what we do; I love that!

How important is it to be fearless in any business? Cite an anecdote that acts as a testimony to your fearlessness.

What I know about life:
"When you get to the end of all the light you know, and it's time to step into the darkness of the unknown, faith is - knowing that one of the two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly." - Edward Teller What I know about business:
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt, "Citizenship in a Republic," Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.

How do you handle/balance stress in life?

I believe we feel our thinking more than we feel the "events" in our life. When my thinking gets too hectic, I look to a good movie, a good book, a good meal, and playing with my dog!
What is your definition of "Entrepreneurship" and how do you define an "Entrepreneur"?

This has become a common adage: Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won't, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't.
I personally think that's an awful way to look at entrepreneurship. To me, entrepreneurship isn't about slogging away with some future dream of "cashing out" in mind. It is about the here and now just as much as it is about tomorrow. It is about making a difference, doing what you love and enabling others in a positive way. Life is too short to view entrepreneurship as a jail sentence. In fact, it is the opposite. It is the ultimate freedom to live life on your terms and to build something worthy of your life and legacy.

Few tips on marketing:

Too many to list under here! But, I cover tons of marketing tips on my Forbes column -

A message to our readers:

Money is not everything. Find something you love and build a business with that. Of course, passion doesn't always translate into consumer demand. You have to balance what you love with what the market needs. When I first started listing out things I loved my list looked something like this: chocolate, reading, playing with my dog. As I delved deeper, I looked at my love for technology, journalism, and communication. You will need to dig deep to get to the right idea.
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