Focus on yourself — on social media it might seem like everyone is doing much better then you, but you have to stop thinking about it and realizing everyone has their own unique path. Focus on working hard and make yourself proud.
The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.
As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Bar Sheleg.
Bar Sheleg is an Instagram influencer, and Social media entrepreneur from Israel. With a B.A in communications from the Hebrew University, started her professional way as a spokesperson and PR account manager, she now owns a social media business, helping small businesses to grow on social media, lecturing and creating content for Travel and Lifestyle brands all over the world.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?
I’m from Israel, a country that is full of disputes, where there is a news flash every few hours and where the everyday routine is pretty stressful and hectic.
I grew up in Netanya, as a kid I was very creative — always doing my own thing and always being busy — either with studying, dancing or reading a lot of books!
My big change happened when I joined the army and started to think of the world in other perspective. After my military service I flew abroad and then decided I want to learn communications, after experiencing the image of my country in the world and seeing the power of the media. I find it still fascinating.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“There is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.” (the alchemist)
I think many times we are afraid to take risks because we are afraid of the results. I believe that risks are crucial to take if you want to succeed, and that failing is the best way to learn.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
I lately watched a Netflix series called “Self Made”, about the amazing story of Madam C.J. Walker, who was the first African American self-made millionaire. I think it’s really inspiring to see a person succeed against all odds and from my eyes it’s a story about dedication.
Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?
Before the pandemic I was working in a PR office as an account manager. I enjoyed it at first, but at some point I felt like I was done, and I really wanted to do social media which was my true passion. While I was working from home during lockdown I realized how much I really wanted to leave my job, since I didn’t have this automatic routine of going to the office. At some point, I decided I was enough — and even though it’s been a hard year financially, I decided to take my chances and try to open my own business.
What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?
I started spending most of the time reading and learning new things about the business, then I began to give value on different platforms, and share tips and hacks for social media, I created content and went on live broadcasts — and basically did everything I could to make the most out of my time at home.
Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?
One time I was speaking to one of my friends and I told her I’m tired of my old job and I need a change but I don’t know how I will make money, she automatically said “you should open your own social media business”, and it immediately felt right.
How are things going with this new initiative?
It’s actually going great! I now have 17K followers on Instagram, I wrote my own online book about influencers and I have a community for influencers in order to help them grow. I did dozens of Instagram workshops and lectures, and created content to many Travel and Lifestyle brandns in Israel and globally.
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I absolutely couldn’t have done anything without my family and boyfriend’s support, but I have to specifically mention my brother — Avi Sheleg, which lives in the US and helps me get all of the information about the newest social media features before we have them here in Israel, which helps me always be the first to update my followers 😉 Avi owns a successful real estate business and always inspires me!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?
In the middle of the Pandemic, I flew to Santorini, Greece to create content. The reactions were really amazing since the content was beautiful and unique — since almost no one was travelling at that time, but on the other hand very weird and stressful.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- It’s much harder then it seems — when I first started I didn’t know how much work goes into every little thing in your business, but it’s absolutely worth it.
- Planning is key — when you start marketing yourself on social media — you can go so many ways, it can be confusing and you can spend a lot of precious time on things you don’t really need. Set goals and ask yourself — will it help reach my goals?
- Don’t rush — everything has it’s time, even if sometimes things will take longer it’s och
- Focus on yourself — on social media it might seem like everyone is doing much better then you, but you have to stop thinking about it and realizing everyone has their own unique path. Focus on working hard and make yourself proud.
- Don’t be a loner — find your community that will help you grow much faster both personally and professionally.
So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?
So for me, creating a daily routine is super important, setting goals so that I will know what I’m working for, Taking long walks, preferably by the beach. Also, bringing real value for people is a big part of my job and it’s very fulfilling. I found that helping others has a huge impact and it actually helped me feel better.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Since in my job I meet many different business owners, and every one of them has a special different value to give, I think it will be amazing if there would be a”trade” program, in which each person will give different value to one another.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
Adam Mosseri head of Instagram. As an influencer I’m just interested to know what they are of doing next. (I also have some ideas…) he is also part Israeli so maybe we can have lunch in Tel Aviv?
How can our readers follow you online?
Obviously on Instagram @barsheleg
And lately also ClubHouse @barsheleg — I think it’s an amazing new platform where the main focus is your content and what your bring to the table, you can share some real value on it — I’m obsessed with it.
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!