I love sharing real-life stories of introverts who are living their purpose in creative ways. This story about Hanane includes why she felt called to move toward self-employment as a career coach for women, and how she is managing the transition to self-employment.
Meet Hanane Aslama-Lanjri
Hanane is an introvert who is from and based in the UK. She has been growing her career coaching business on the side, while also being a coach in her corporate day job.
She’s steadily moving toward full-time self-employment. (Update a few months later: She is now full-time in her business!)
She offers career and mindset coaching for women. Many of her clients are also in the UK but they can be anywhere, thanks to Zoom.
I love how she is following a calling to help other women have more fulfillment in their work life. She told me how that deep sense of purpose is part of how she’s able to stay the course despite the unknowns along the journey of growing a business.
I’m excited for you to hear some of her experience, warmth, and enthusiasm. You’ll love Hanane’s playful Instagram videos and tips about career, confidence, and just plain fun — all from the heart. Also, she has a rescue cat named Atlas, and she speaks both English and Arabic.
My Interview with Hanane
I originally met Hanane in a coaches group on LinkedIn. We both enjoy meaningful connection and hit it off quickly. Her positive attitude and creative approach to growing a business made me want to feature her story here. (We also recorded a more detailed video interview that is available inside my course, Bridge to Self-employment.)
Why did you decide to move towards self-employment?
Hanane: I have big dreams and a vision to go beyond what corporate can give me. I also feel like corporate is designed for extroverts which can be challenging at times. I love how I can decide the direction I want to go in and how I have peace of mind to make the decisions that best serve me and others.
What has been critical to you in helping you maintain your well-being, or a sense of balance for your energy?
Hanane: I take regular breaks to help preserve my energy and go walking daily. I do the things I enjoy when I’m not working and that’s spending time with family, friends, and hiking.
What do you wish you knew before you started toward self-employment?
Hanane: I wish I knew how accessible self-employment was and how rewarding it is. I would have liked to have known about how big the self-employed community is, and the advantages of connecting with them.
I would also have liked to have known about the legal stuff too. It was daunting at first and I felt like I couldn’t start my business, which actually delayed it because I didn’t know that I could start straight away. A checklist would have been helpful.
Val: Same here! It’s part of why I created a course for those exploring self-employment, to demystify it.
What was a big fear or worry that held you back about self-employment possibilities for you? How did you get past that?
Hanane: For me it was confidence. I was self-conscious about showing up online and didn’t show my face for the first month. I felt that I wasn’t good enough. I got a coach who helped me and I started recording myself talking to my camera every morning but didn’t post it. This practice helped me build a habit. When I started to become more confident, I posted the videos to my page. I set goals to show up just once a week and slowly increased it so now I don’t worry so much about showing up on camera.
Val: I have heard that same concern from so many introverted women. And I had the same big fear at first too. Small steady steps do seem to help. We’re doing it!
Lots of people worry about the money stability piece. How are you handling that?
Hanane: I thought I would have to give up my corporate job straight away in order to start a business, but I’ve managed to keep it while starting my business. This has kept me going financially.
Although I always have the thought that a company can make you redundant at any time, so it’s not actually financially stable. I’ve been made redundant twice so I know the risk. Since the last time I was made redundant I made sure I saved up, having savings in my account gives me peace of mind.
Update Note: After this interview, Hanane was made redundant a third time! She took it as a sign to go all in on her business, and it’s working. She turned job loss into opportunity.
How are you attracting clients?
Hanane: I’ve been using Instagram to promote my services, and this is working well for me. This is the only platform I’m actively using as I find it overwhelming to actively use the others. I do like LinkedIn and have made use of the groups there.
I also have SEO setup on my website, this helps bring traffic into my website from Google if anyone was to search for a career coach. It’s something I’d like to understand better but I believe it can be very helpful when set up right. It can help ease the amount of marketing required.
I’m trying to find a balance between marketing and looking after my clients. I’m using software to help plan and automate my week of content. This has helped me loads.
Val: SEO has been a great fit for me. Social media is not a must for solopreneurs, but it can work well if you enjoy it and Hanane does make it fun.
Anything else you want to add?
Hanane: Taking the step towards self-employment is the best decision I’ve ever made, my advice to anyone thinking about it is to just start and get a coach. Having a coach is what’s got me this far.
You can find Hanane online at:
Lessons from Hanane’s story…
While everyone is unique, I believe we can still learn underlying principles found in individual stories. I hear at least 6 great lessons in Hanane’s story:
- Self-employment can be a joyful outlet for your big heart and visions.
- Corporate jobs are not as secure as they may seem, so creating your own work can create a sense of security in a different way.
- When you’re following a deep calling, starting something on the side can be energizing and not draining.
- Keeping the day job provides a source of security while you create something new.
- Getting some guidance and connecting to community can open up whole new possibilities and help to build confidence.
- Taking time to do what you enjoy is a key piece of the puzzle.
I’m enjoying these inspiring stories from introverts and HSPs. I like hearing all the details of how they make it work. More stories coming soon. You can subscribe below.
Wondering about your own path?
You might like these resources:
- Career Clarity Course for Introverts and HSPs. (A place to get clear on your values, strengths, and how it all fits together.)
- Self-employment needs to be easier.
- Course: Bridge to Self-employment