Farah Hussain was born and raised in Glasgow. She is proud of her South Side neighbourhood. Her life and professional endeavours have been based on her need for self-reliance, creating her own success and connecting others.
She started cleaning tables and working in retail, becoming the wage earner in the family when her husband became sick. Once she started to work in telesales, she found out that she was a natural at it, reaching and exceeding her sales targets for 21 years in the corporate world.
This year, she became an entrepreneur by launching Farah Networking right when lockdown was about to start in Scotland. She took her concept of running a business café online right when people needed to connect even more now that most were confined at home. It is growing and receiving a lot of praise from its participants. She knows how to make people feel at ease and keep networking fun. She is a gifted story teller and has a great presence on stage and on camera. Ask her 13,500 + followers (still growing every week!) on TikTok!
What services do you offer and to whom?
I am a business connector and matchmaker. I organise virtual and (in the future) in person networking café meetings with both people in Scotland and in other countries whom I know through my corporate experience. A lot of people can work globally online.
What makes your business and you different from others in your industry?
Farah Networking is about bringing people together. It is meant to build real connections, relationships and stimulate conversations whether you have lost your job, run your own business or work for a company. In the future, I understand that success is built on responding to clients’ needs. I want to help people with their dreams and aspirations and empower independent thinkers. I have plans to help others start their business. Another of my goals is to run a book club.
If you had to name 3 values which guide you as a person, which would they be?
It would be integrity, honesty and trust. All about being yourself! My faith guides me. I am not afraid of stepping outside of my comfort zone. I care, listen and want to help from my heart. If you run after money, money runs you. Money is everything, but it is nothing if you do not have peace in your heart.
Have you ever lived abroad and did it make you grow?
When I was 12, my father decided to relocate our family to Pakistan where we lived a comfortable life. I attended an American school run by nuns there. The class system made me too uncomfortable. I realized that I wanted to be myself and emancipated myself from my parents. I moved back to Glasgow at age 19. I got married at age 24 and had my first child at aged 25.
Have you ever done volunteer work? What did it teach you?
Every year I help a charity raise its visibility by participating to a fundraising campaign in a memorable way. I have climbed Ben Nevis which is the highest mountain on the British Isles for Orphans and Widows in Iraq. I have slept in a park with homeless people for Social Bite. I have skydived for the Beatson Cancer society. Doing volunteer work keeps me grounded and humble. It makes me appreciate what I do have. Money is a tool to help those in less favourable circumstances.
When was the last time that you were touched by the reaction of a member of your professional network?
I received this feedback and it really touched me because this came out of the blue and from the heart.
‘I have been lucky to meet Farah during the last few months and this has been a highlight for me. Farah is passionate about connecting people and not just the connecting but really getting to know each person and then thinking about how the networking will ‘serve’ them best as such. In short, Farah is a magician networker :-)’
Any exciting news about your business?
Yes! I will be a guest speaker at the virtual World Summit called Rise Up! that will take place from August 6 to 8 this year. Get your free ticket here.
To whom would YOU like to get connected to?
I would like to be invited to events as a professional speaker. I would like to encourage Muslim women to be independent thinkers. I am especially interested in giving a TED Talk. I would also welcome becoming interviewed by the media and participate to podcasts.
How can people reach you?
If you enjoyed Farah’s interview, you will probably enjoy Yasmina Bakkali’s interview as well!
This interview was conducted by Lucie Cunningham from Tell Them Well Communications in June 2020. Lucie is a freelance editor, copywriter and translator with many years of community project management. She has lived in France, England, The USA, the Netherlands and is currently based in Scotland.