Introduce yourself! Who are you?
I am Shahd Faisal Khidir and I am a social media influencer and consultant. I have a tech-startup to help empower women more in their lives.
What is one thing no one really knows about you?
I change my pillow case every night. But also, I am an introvert and I am so shy!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Shake hands very firmly, especially with men.
What would you say to 16 year old you?
Read more and write out your feelings so you can understand them. Sports don’t mean you’re not a girl or feminine. Believe in yourself and trust your guts. Don’t doubt yourself so much, go after everything you ever thought about even if you don’t succeed in it. Try new things. Meet new people. Read. Pursue computer coding, just like you did in middle school. Don’t give up.
What is your greatest fear?
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
A lot of people have doubted me and still continue to. I have turned it into motivation to work so hard and make my dreams come true. That doubt is the basis of my motivation and hard work.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
There is this false scarity in the world that causes women to compete with each other but that doesn’t have to be the case. Pay forward your efforts and you will be rewarded.
Have you always had confidence in yourself?
I actually did yes, but never knew it. I learned about my confidence on accident! When I was about to graduate high school from my friends, in passing. I always didn’t care about other’s opinions and really would always think: who do i want to impress?” and that was no one.
What is your favorite thing about where you live?
I live in Brooklyn, NY! The culture, the food, the history, the diversity, everything. I love it here so, so much.
What do you love most about yourself?
I love my mentality and the way I think. I love how open minded I am, and how non-judgmental I am and accepting of others and their differences I can be. I believe I am not better or worse than anyone so I have no reason to judge. That makes it easy to make build connections with others. I love how confident i am. I love my foresight with things. I love my smile, many people think I had cosmetic surgery but it’s all my own.
Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
I do. I remember when the Sudan Revolution was at its peak and I couldn’t reach my family or friends in Sudan. That time was so hard for me to deal. I was in so much pain and sadness, I overcame it by having open conversation and getting support from others. I really believe communication is so important.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Hard work pays off. The hard work that you put in, the results will come. If I want something I will go out there and make it happen and I will build connections along the way. Also, patience!
What motivates you most?
My family. Everything I do is to secure their future and help them live a better standard of life. I hope to someday be able to retire my parents.
How do you manage your work-life balance?
I am a woman of routines. I write everything down and I like to be prepared, but I am also flexible. I have about 3 notebooks and a planner on me in rotation all the time. I have learned the best way to succeed for me to find this balance is to write things down. That way I can remember them but also to have a visual because I am a visual person.
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I write down What I Learned Today for everything that I learned new so that I am learning and growing daily. I read every day even if a few minutes or headlines. I watch the news in the morning as I get ready for the day. I try to engage in meaningful conversations with others around me as long as they are positive conversations and beneficial.
Do you have a mentor? If so, what did they teach you?
I don’t currently have one, but I had one as a lost teen. Her name is Devorah Hill, I met her when I was 14 years old and she taught me how to make a podcast. But as I got older, she became a symbol of time and especially a mirror for me to see myself, where I am and where I was and to reflect. She taught me how to understand many of the social justice issues, and how to deal with my feelings positively. How to speak in a way that did not offend or insult others even in disagreements.
What is one thing people would be surprised to hear about you?
I speak 3 languages. Arabic, English and American Sign Language. I hope to learn Spanish and French. I love languages, and being able to communicate with others and understand them.
Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career?
No, not at all. From age 7 to 21 I thought I would be a pharmacist, so I went to pharmacy school for two years and then quit. I wanted to be a mathematician. I wanted to be a principle of a school, an artist, a photographer and now I still struggle with that. What do I want to do for the next 35-40 years of my life, what will it be? Sometimes I want to be a lawyer, sometimes all sometimes none, I still do know what I want to do and still need help.
Were you scared to start the process?
I was terrified! I am still sacred of the process. But I have learned to keep going and work so hard. Instability and lack of security is hardest. I don’t work a conventional 9-5 job and the uncertainty is so scary from being an entrepreneur.
Who is your biggest role model? Why?
My father. He has this unbreakable work ethic. He is such a knowledgeable man. I admire him so much, and wish to be half the man he is. He is the best father in the world.
What are your biggest passions?
I am passionate about empowering women and gender equity. That’s why I often hold events where women get together to help each other, donate products that I cannot use and more.
Shahd Faisal Khidir
Shahd Faisal Khidir is an influencer, marketing, and public relations consultant for established and emerging luxury and consumer brands. She is the founder of MiCROO New York, a boutique social media and influencer marketing agency for women.