Wamite Muthara, Founder, Career Safari
Firstly, can you give us a little bit of background about your business journey?
In 2018 Career Safari was launched to spotlight unique and diverse stories of women from around the world. It started off as a blog, now it’s a podcast that provides insight and resources to inspire people to connect with border communities for perspective and to expand the idea of what it means to be successful. At the time I started Career Safari I was in a bit of a career crossroads. I was doing a lot of international development work, then I became involved in the tech sector. In my work travels I was able to meet some incredible women that were leading companies or doing amazing things in their communities - I would find myself having in-depth conversations with them about the struggles we have in our career life. Their stories gave me energy and courage when I didn't have much of either for myself. I wanted to provide that same uplifting experience to other people.
What role has self-belief played in your journey as a business leader? How has it influenced your decision-making and overall success?
This is an area where I feel very fortunate - I have a high amount of self belief and I'm comfortable with taking risks. I had several years of work experience before I started something on my own. Therefore, I knew that I had the capability to bring an idea to reality - I had already done it many times before - I've had to beg for resources. I've had to get very creative about how to execute an idea. I've had to put my name on the line in order for things to happen. I knew I could turn around and do this for myself. I trust that I can figure things out even when it’s messy. That’s really part of the reason why I started Career Safari. I want more women to be encouraged to take risks in their career. The women that we feature are called Torchbearers; one of our more recent Torchbearers, Hill Ovil-Brenner said it quite nicely, “It’s not about saying you’re successful…it’s about being able to look yourself in the mirror and saying that you didn’t give up on your dreams.”
Can you share a specific moment or challenge in your journey where your self-belief was tested? How did you overcome it and what did you learn from that experience?
I’m glad you asked because I’m going to be very honest, my self-belief is being tested right now! I have a lot of competing deadlines, personal emergencies and only a finite amount of time to get things done. I’m not feeling like my best self. This it’s why it is important to have a strong community that has your back- whether it’s your team, friends or fellow entrepreneurs. The realities of life can really bring you down and it makes the next step unclear. What I’m putting into practice right now is making my needs the first priority. Focus on what’s urgent AND important, then be very honest with your inner circle about what you may or may not be able to do. Those that truly support you and appreciate you will get it.
How do you cultivate and maintain a mindset of self-belief amidst the inevitable ups and downs of life?
I was raised to go to church. For me a huge benefit of that upbringing is that you’re taught to take time to pause, to re-energize your faith and just be - to selah. I have since added more tools and practices to my routine, but it starts with regularly practicing time to pause. At first it was just weekly, now it may be small breaks in the week. You have to slow down enough to know what your body and mind needs or you’re going to fall apart. I say this because I fell apart one too many times and life demanded that I take a break.
Are there any specific strategies or practices you follow to boost your self-confidence when facing uncertainties or setbacks in your business?
When my self-confidence is low, I do recite affirmations and I speak to the area where I feel particularly shaken. For example, if I have an idea that was rejected and it really triggered negative thoughts - I slow myself down, take deep breaths and remind myself ‘I am intelligent.’ I now understand how much negative thoughts can affect someone’s actions. You try your best to stop the negative thoughts right when it starts - change the internal narrative! If you follow Career Safari on social media we work with a lot of wellness influencers on meditations and creating zen moments. It is also important to disconnect and live your life! Every single time I take a step back to experience and enjoy life, new energy and ideas come to me! At this point I’ve learned to trust that process and disconnect when it’s time.
How do you handle self-doubt or negative self-talk that may arise as a business leader? Do you have any specific techniques for reframing negative thoughts?
As I mentioned, I am big believer in affirmations. I also have a great collective of individuals who help me turn around negative self-talk. I also look to our torch bearers for advice and wisdom.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who struggle with self-belief? How can they start building a stronger sense of confidence and belief in themselves?
This is where knowing your “why” is important - Why do you want to be an entrepreneur? Why is your idea important? Why does this energize you? I created Career Safari because I don’t want anyone experiencing self-doubt and feeling isolated on their career path. There are women all over the world who struggled and made their way. They don’t want you to make the same mistakes - and I want you to meet them. That is my “why” and it energizes me everytime I think about it.
Have you ever encountered external skepticism or negativity regarding your business ideas or decisions? How do you stay grounded in your self-belief despite external influences?
For the most part, people are very encouraging of what I’ve built - I want people to feel inspired and connected, and that seems to resonate with a lot of people. It can be tough to deal with other people’s opinions about where I should spend my time as an entrepreneur. The truth is, I can spend 20 hours a day on Career Safari and it won’t be enough. I did not start this to control my life - I want women to have a healthier relationship with their career and that has to start with how I build Career Safari. Wherever we publish an episode I usually get a DM, text or comment about how a story inspired someone and that brings me back to reality. Every message of that nature gives me strength to keep going; for those gestures I am grateful.
Are there any books, podcasts, or people you'd recommend checking out for anyone who wants to change to a more self-confident and belief-rich mindset?
I mentioned how I believe in reciting affirmations; a YouTube influencer I follow is Lavendaire. Her channel feels like sunlight! She guides listeners through positive affirmations and if I need a boost to start my day, I go to her channel.
Finally, what are some practical tips or exercises you can recommend for entrepreneurs to strengthen their self-belief and mindset on a regular basis?
Comparison is the thief of joy! Please, please don’t compare your experience to someone else’s life. Being successful doesn’t need to look like working all day, every day. Success can look like being in control of your calendar - that is a marvelous ambition. You’re an entrepreneur and you can craft your own version of success!