Always get in touch with your suppliers. This personal one on one contact, an email or a phone call sometimes a meeting in person even if I have to travel which I have done many times helps tremendously.
Coming from a big family, Rana was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1977. Civil War (East Beirut vs West Beirut) back then was at its peak, but nothing stood in the way of her parents to send her and her siblings to get a good education. She does recall this one time when Beirut was targeted, and bombs were falling like rain and that’s where she went to school. But her Mom, who owned a house in North Lebanon were the situation was safer there, grabbed her and her siblings along with her husband and signed them up to go to a Catholic school there. Bottom line, education was very important and obviously a must.
With that being said Rana does speak three different languages fluently, Arabic, French- Lebanon is what they call a Francophone country- and English. She went to the Lebanese University of Documentation and Information, AKA the Academy of Journalism where she attended three years. Around 2001/ 2002 she was involved in an almost deadly accident that left her with a back injury and a few broken bones. That back pain never went away! She went to many mattress stores to find the ideal mattress that would help relief that back pain that became even worse following two pregnancies, but always ended up with the wrong mattress. All those promises coming from mattress sales people telling her “that’s the mattress you are looking for” were nothing but lies. Straight to her face. She ended up dumping more than two mattresses then she realized: what if she can help people find what they are truly looking for? What if she was able to guide them and deliver HONEST reviews and what she genuinely thinks about a mattress she could sleep test herself, and what if she can deliver her UNBIASED opinion!” That’s when Non-Biased Reviews journey began.
Where did the idea for Non-Biased Reviews come from?
It came from many unsuccessful, untrue mattress sales persons sales pitches. It was time I step to the plate and give people what I honestly, with my non biased opinion think about a mattress I would PERSONALLY sleep on.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Just another normal day. I make sure my kids are being taken care of before they go to school then answer my emails/ film mattress unboxing videos or film reviews of mattresses I am done sleeping on. Also, there’s no such thing as Week-Ends, we work non-stop.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It’s like a visual plan, a map in your brain that you need to focus on making it happen. I bring ideas to life by focusing on them.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Every single item that is compact, that folds, that I can carry everywhere and travel easy with is my jam. Life tends to get hectic and I absolutely hate bulky things. I also like infographics.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Seeing what my competitors have done today and try to do better then them. Thriving is key.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Should have exercised a little! I am not a big fan of the gym, or exercising. I am not a lazy person either . It just takes muscle to unbox and unroll mattresses that weight over 100 pounds, I have this power but a little more wouldn’t hurt.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
The future is what you make today and what you are working on. You shape it up and make it happen. Others think the future is uncertain.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
When it comes to what I do and the company I run it’s important to be honest. Be unbiased because it helps others decide.
And I always make sure I double check my words and the way I have put them together in a sentence before I hit the send button if I am emailing or texting someone!
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Always get in touch with your suppliers. This personal one on one contact, an email or a phone call sometimes a meeting in person even if I have to travel which I have done many times helps tremendously. That hand shake if you are able to see people who send you these products to review means a lot to them and like I have said been there, done that and I love it when they show appreciation we took time to take a phone call or got to see them in person.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
First of I don’t take failures as a bad thing, au contraire, you learn from your mistakes- and failures-I used to overbook myself and find 3 mattresses waiting for me to be tested and reviewed. Which lead to failure to deliver on time, then I learned how to be honest to my product suppliers and give them a time slot and be honest about when this review or job is going to be done. Time management can be stressful but easy if we knew how to manage it properly.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
True authentic Middle Eastern food truck. That’s what America needs, in my opinion.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I went with my Mom who was visiting from Beirut to do our hair together. She was very happy which made me even happier.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Canva helps me create good infographics.
Soundhound saves my favorite songs and type of music
Uber/ Lyft can come in handy
Outlook calendar where all my plans, travels, kids stuff and suppliers phone calls/ meetings etc… are saved automatically
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Le Petit Prince”- The Little Prince. Because life is meaningful when it’s filled with caring relationships, because it is only worth living when it is lived for others not for oneself.
What is your favorite quote?
“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.”
- Be honest and transparent.
- Listen and share your opinion.
- Be present when there’s a question or concern from suppliers.
- Make time for yourself.
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Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.