Sarah Abdelmoneim is a NileFM radio host, Good People GM, yoga instructor, and co-founder of Happy Blends. In this interview, Sarah shares four chapters of her story, through which she teaches us a few things about finding the perfect balance.
I was deep in the corporate life for 10 years; I did 9 years at Red Bull then 1 year at CocaCola. As much as I liked the corporate life, I’d gotten to a point where I was drained and unhappy. I remember genuinely enjoying talking and telling stories back then and I, jokingly, told my friend “wouldn’t it be cool if someone actually paid me to talk?”. It was all very random but he told me he’d hook me up with someone in radio, and so it was. I went there, did my audition, and never got a callback.
Following a personal crisis, I decided to go to Bali for 3 weeks and ended up staying for an entire year. I went there to do yoga to try and face my fears and issues, and to reflect on who I am and what I want from life. I signed up for a teacher training, with no intention to teach, and was suddenly offered a job by the same school to teach and to continue my yoga education with them; I taught meditation, yoga philosophy, vinyasa, and yin at their teacher training school.
By the end of the year I was in India doing more training, and that’s how my yoga journey started.
When I returned from Bali, I started teaching yoga here in Egypt. I really enjoyed it, but I felt like something was missing. One day I got a call from Good People and they offered me a job. It was exactly what I missed from my previous life, and it was a great opportunity for me to work with the most brilliant, creative minds in the industry and to develop a business I believed in. Needless to say, I took the job. At that time, I was very interested in essential oils; I believe in going back to nature, and I don’t really like the concept of drugs and doctors. I’d been doing therapeutic oil blends for my personal use and some of my coworkers were getting curious. I explained to them what they were and they told me they’d like to try them. People were very drawn to the concept that they actually wanted to buy the blends. I had no plans for a business and I was already juggling 2 jobs at the time. I called my best friend and cofounder-to-be, Farida, and told her all about it.
Blends vary differently from one person to the other depending on mental states and allergies and whatnot, so we formulated a questionnaire that we sent out to those interested and had them fill it out. Farida had someone design a logo, we started an Instagram page, and, by the end of 2019, Happy Blends was up and running. None of it was planned for, but it all came together beautifully.
At the beginning of the year, I got yet another call. This time, it was the radio. Mark and Sally were no longer doing the morning show, and they were offering me their spot. People usually start by doing weekends and then eventually move to full-time, so being offered the busiest spot 5 days a week was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’d completely forgotten that I once auditioned for radio and was now very busy with yoga, Good People, and Happy Blends. I was at loss; my plate was full, but I knew I couldn’t miss it and that it was now or never. I knew I wouldn’t forgive myself if I turned it down, so I made sure Good People were okay with it, and I joined the morning slot from 7:00-11:00 to do the big breakfast with Rob and Sarah. It wasn’t in my plan that I’d have to wake up at 4:00 every morning to be there at 6:00, and it felt like my whole life was about to change. I really like going out with friends after work, and I was scared that doing radio would take that from me. I had to take a minute to reprioritize and to plan my time wisely, be it with friends or at work. I was doing it either way, so I thought that I might as well make the most out of it. I can now easily say that I’ve never been happier in my entire life.
I actually like that I’m busy all the time now, and it has taught me to appreciate things more. Thursdays excite me now as much as they did when I was a kid in school, and it gives me something to look forward to during the week. There are no limits to what we can do; it’s all about figuring out the games our minds play on us and getting past them. What I’ve really learned from all this is to live the moment, as cheesy as it sounds. Thinking about the past brings anxiety, and worrying about the future is no use either; just live in the now and enjoy every second of it. As busy as I am, this is the happiest and most grateful I’ve ever been.