Consistency: It is very hard to stay consistent, but it is the key to success. Keep working on your goals and whenever an obstacle appears, it is best to try different solutions until you get it solved.
As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Omayma Rashwan.
Omayma Rashwan is the Co-Founder and CCO of tod-Z, a website that connects freelancers with clients all while eliminating any potential bias. Omayma has over eleven years of experience in marketing and sales and is now taking the skills she acquired working for corporate, multinational companies and helping freelancers build their careers. She created tod-Z with her partner after she experienced bias and prejudice in her own career. Once Omayma transitioned into freelance work, her family life flourished. She now wants to give that gift to more freelancers.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
My passion for marketing began at 14 years old when I realized how it could be a useful and impactful tool if used strategically. I started my career as a full-time marketing employee at a multinational company and eventually took the knowledge and skills I acquired from that experience and used it to start a new career as a freelance consultant. I found that being a freelance consultant allowed me to better manage my time, be more productive, see my family more, and live a happier life. It also lets me feel more in control of my career opportunities. As a woman and a mom, I felt like I was no longer discriminated against once I became my own boss because the focus was not on fixed hours but rather results and performance.
Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?
tod-Z is an on-demand, freelance marketplace and our strategy is to empower freelancers by eliminating discrimination, allowing fair rotation of freelancers on projects, and providing desirable compensation all while remaining anonymous.
Our process is what sets us apart. First, the talent signs up and we evaluate their resume. If they pass our initial evaluation, they are asked to take a technical exam and cognitive behavioral assessment. Once their skill level is established, we have a thorough interview process and if they excel in the interview, they can start to get assigned new projects. When a new assignment comes in, the freelancers will be assigned based on experience level and the customer can check on the progress of their project, the freelancer’s portfolio, their time zone, while never knowing the gender, race nationality, or disability. This keeps the process strictly professional while allowing a fair rotation of work for the freelancers.
Once the project is complete, the freelancer is able to pitch their designs to the customer and the customer is able to chat, monitor, approve or reject the design as well as check an hourly timesheet supplied by the freelancer. There is no technology like it on the freelance market.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I’ve always heard, “Nobody said it is going to be easy, but nobody said it’s going to be that hard”, and they were right! When we first came up with tod-Z we knew it was going to be hard because we were trying to change an established process. Even technological development we discovered were very complicated to create. So it took us a long time in the development stages, but we were sure we didn’t want to compromise. In the beginning there were a lot of tough but memorable moments.
We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?
I believe we all need mentors no matter what title is in front of our name or how much experience we have. We are lucky because we have had different mentors since the inception of tod-Z to now. They all had different scopes of business; We met strategy mentors and funding mentors. The strategy mentors challenged us to get the best of the operational cycle and business practicality. The funding mentors taught us about protecting our equity, when, how & with whom to get our funding. Diversifying your mentors can result in great knowledge and success.
In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?
Disruptors are good when it serves the purpose of solving a problem, embracing humanity and providing a better quality of life. tod-Z will democratize the GIG economy and empower freelancers who are suffering from a lack of rotation or prejudice because of their nationality. We value our clients and that’s why we provide them with a multi-tiered talent assessment to mitigate the recruitment hassle. We disrupted the talent industry by supporting the freelancers rights and by providing the client with a hassle-free freelancer recruitment process.
Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.
-Start: Start and keep your small and manageable daily goals.
-Consistency: It is very hard to stay consistent, but it is the key to success. Keep working on your goals and whenever an obstacle appears, it is best to try different solutions until you get it solved.
-Research: Don’t ever start a business idea based solely on family or friends’ feedback. You need a groups’ opinion. Remember to research figures, put out a poll, and follow the numbers.
We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?
Our next goal is to scale our business rapidly and finalize the next round of funding. Stay tuned!
Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?
There is so much content out there and I know I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed at times by it. I believe every stage of life requires different research on skills. One of the few books that I apply to my life is The Secret; it helps me train my mind on how to attract positive energy. I really believe positive energy helps you succeed, so I focus on that.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I have a lot of favorite quotes, but my favorite one is “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”- Mahatma Gandhi
This story has been true for my company and I am currently living it as tod-Z expands. Disruptive ideas are not always safe investments to easily fund. However, when my co-founder and I started we knew that people need the freelance industry to change. Our priority has been protecting our freelancers’ rights by creating a better working environment. But when we started a year ago we didn’t have the budget to have our dream platform developed. There were concerned parties that challenged and even made fun of our idea. Our critics would often ask, “Why would you go for this? It’s safer to make a simple idea. ” But we weren’t discouraged because we knew it would be useful for our future customers and add value to our future employees’ lives. We were persistent, kept working on our idea, and we eventually finished the product. We started as a team of 2 and now we are at 11. Our dream keeps expanding and in many ways we have already won.
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? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
The movement would be called: Responsible to REPLY
We are responsible for helping our peers, no matter the level or position. If a new entrepreneur reaches out for advice, reply! If a salesperson wants to pitch you their new product, reply! If we all help each other along the way, the cycle of success continues. No matter how accomplished we are, I believe everyone’s achievements are dependent on each other. Remember to be kind to one another, understand that everyone is reaching out for a reason, don’t prioritize your ego over people’s needs.
How can our readers follow you online?
Omayma Rashwan (LinkedIn) — tod-Z Co-founder.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!