Keisha Blair: Welcome to the holistic wealth podcast. I’m your host, Keisha Blair, wife, mother of three, author of Holistic Wealth and Founder of the Institute on Holistic Wealth. This show will showcase various experts in the key pillars of holistic wealth. Each week we deliver the best information on how to become holistically wealthy and live your best life.
Today, we have a very special guest with us. We have Nyla Kahn and Nyla is a 29-year-old entrepreneur. She’s a multimillionaire helping women and girls get educated. And she has started several businesses. So Nylah welcome to the show. It’s great having you here.
Nyla Khan: Thank you. I really appreciate being here and I just love this idea of holistic wealth, so I’m excited to be on.
Keisha Blair: Excited to have you here. I know now I just want to start with your journey because you know, you have such an inspirational story. You’ve done amazingly well. And so just the story around, you know, how you started your business and how that’s been going. That would be amazing.
Nyla Khan: So, I liked it to think of my journey as starting way before I was, I was even actually working because I think that a core part of my journey at work is a core part of who I am. And it’s a core part of what makes me who I am, which is what I love, which is really around creating, you know, social impact through education.
And I was about 13 when I’d made that decision, I was really influenced by Oprah and a couple of other really strong female role models that I had in mind. Journalists, freedom, advocacy workers, social justice warriors at the time, which means something very different today, but really inspired by them to make that move of, of wanting to do something for the greatest money.
And when I say the greatest, too many, I mean, those that needed it the most primarily women and children, because they’re the most vulnerable parts of our society. At first, I didn’t know how I wanted to do it. I knew that there were certain issues I wanted to challenge and address. But I didn’t know that education was the only way that I would go.
And over the years, I kind of figured out that to create the change that we want to see in the world. It needs to come systemically and it needs to come in a way where it’s encouraged, you know, in children, we encourage children to ask the right questions, to be getting the right information. It’s only then can we actually challenge, you know, the status quo?
And so that’s kind of how I got into education as for the success. I have to be honest with you and say that I never planned on being an entrepreneur in a traditional business sense. I always knew I wanted to do what I wanted to do. And there was nothing that I would let stop me reach my goals and my dreams, but my goals and dreams were really around impact business came along the way, and it made sense to me.
And that’s why business came along the way. It made sense that I had to adapt to business models, to business, ways of working in order to achieve those dreams and goals. And so I kind of like to see myself somewhere in the middle of being a social entrepreneur. I think that that’s important because it also really informs the way I see.
Money. And I see in terms of my relationship with creating wealth for myself, but also thinking about creating wealth for, for other people, you’ve done some
Keisha Blair: Amazing work, both in the middle east and in Africa, you know, with different educational technologies and bringing them to rural areas, which is just amazing.
Can you tell us more about that and what kind of impact that has had on rural and remote communities and countries like Africa?
Nyla Khan: Absolutely. So the aim here was we have with us a literacy assessment that uses AI and eye tracking. And the goal here was to take what works best in other parts of the world and adopted to different environment such as remote and rural spaces. Now, one of the biggest issues our world is facing is the issue of overpopulation of urban centers. It’s caused everything from disease to food, accessibility issues to you name it, basically overpopulation has created multiple, multiple issues for our world. And one of the things that we forget is that the reason people are moving from rural areas because of the lack of opportunity and the lack of access. So how can we then rethink, instead of thinking about how do we make more spaces in urban centers, which is, which is something that people are battling right now and tackling, what about. Breeding centers of innovation and access within rural, rural areas through schools, because schools are such an interesting part of our society.
They provide power in so many ways, not just to children, but to the larger society as a whole. And what you see in many remote schools is they actually have, uh, boreholes as well, which are basically areas where people can go and collect water, so taking that kind of inspiration, the idea was like, why don’t we go to these remote areas?
Why don’t we bring the same access and quality of education that we’re focusing on in urban centers until you get to the most remote parts of the world? So, for example, the one that we went to across Africa within this summer, my co-founder was in Gambia. I was in Rwanda and Kenya and within Kenya, we went to them assigned Mara.
And it was really important that when we bring technology and high-quality education, we meet people where they are. So, it’s not about bringing Smartboards and classrooms and all of this fancy stuff. The reason we took AI and an eye-tracking to this remote area is because what we know is a current need for them is literacy.
And what this technology did was it can offline the meeting connectivity, assess the kids’ literacy and help us then understand how to train the teachers, to have the children where they are. So not only is it easy to use it’s accessible because there isn’t a need for high bond with. And at the same time, it’s addressing a need that they have, which is low levels of literacy.
And so that’s kind of how, when I think about education, when I think about impact, when I think about technology needs to answer these really essential questions, you know, does it meet people where they are? Is it addressing an important need for them? And is it affordable? Those are kind of the three main things.
And then outside of that is okay. So now that we’ve answered these three questions, how can we take this a step further and rethink this current model? Uh, rural schools in remote areas. And really think about how we can make this a center of change on a center of opportunity to address bigger issues such as urban migration.
Keisha Blair: That’s very interesting. And as you’re talking, I’m just wondering about how the technology helps for instance, in that rural and remote area. Is it with educational technology instruction, as you mentioned literacy, or is it in allowing those rural and remote communities to adapt technologies, to do other things in the community, whether it’s, you know, with agriculture?
And, you know, I, I’m just very interested in this because we’re trying to embark on a project, a similar project in Jamaica, in a remote and rural community. And so this is all very interesting in terms of how the technology gets used then and how we can use it for not only instruction, but to help the community with wider economic development objectives.
Nyla Khan: Yeah. So that’s a great question. So, when it comes to the actual school, so what it does for literacy is in under five minutes. So, in about two minutes, Teachers for the first time in their lives in these areas can actually assess a child’s literacy meeting level, but 99% accuracy can screen for dyslexia and has targeted intervention, which basically means once the assessment is over in the two to three minutes, that it takes immediately get the results.
And over there where, where it mentions the results, it provides interventions, which basically guides the teacher on how to help that child. So much of a teacher time is filled in assessment hours and hours of their day is filled with assessment over here, we’re removing the unnecessary, and this is where technology works.
Technology is never meant to replace the teacher. The teacher is one of the most central parts of our education. It is not meant to replace the teacher. It is meant to improve her teaching or his teaching. And so, what this does is it saves all of those hours and all of that time spent on literacy assessment or to be honest, never spent on literacy assessment, which is the case in most of these environments.
And actually, just providing them the tools they need to be able to do. Uh, child where they are, and in actually very interesting and younger as literacy in Ghana, what we saw in rural Ghana, when we did this project, we were able to increase the girls’ levels in three months, from 4% to 45% in literacy reading.
Wow. That’s amazing. It gives me chills when I think about it, because I think that’s what we want to hear. That’s what helps. I think as, as co-founders and as entrepreneurs, that’s why we wake up every single day. And that’s why, even though the days are there’s, you know, there’s some days that are bad, there’s some weeks that are bad there some months that are bought.
But when you look back and you can say that, you know, you know, that there’s power to what you’re doing. There’s a higher purpose to what you’re doing. It’s more than just you it’s so much more than that, then you have the hope and inspiration to keep going. Okay. Yeah,
Keisha Blair: Absolutely. And as you said, it’s about the impact and you can see that, you know, you can see those results and these are tangible results in people’s lives, because that’s amazing, right?
Nyla Khan: Being an entrepreneur is sometimes glamorized. And I always tell people, this is. Don’t get in to it. If you’re not sure of what you, as the product that you’re bringing into the world, does it fixing a problem that’s first and second, don’t do it. If you’re not ready for some really tough days and some tough weeks, you know, you really have to love what you do to be able to be successful, not just monetarily successful, but even just kind of happy, you know, just because you’re good at something, you know, there’s a lot of great companies out there that give you a lot more stability and balance than being an entrepreneur.
Keisha Blair: That was an amazing point and a good segue into my next question, which is about the health and wellness aspect of being entrepreneurs. Because as you mentioned, there are lots of long days and long nights, weeks, and months.
Growing a business can take its toll physically and you really have to be ready. And from the sounds of it, it sounds like you travel quite a bit. You’re around in different communities going around and different parts of the world. And we were discussing before we started the conversation just about, you know, health and wellness and how important that is, especially when you’re living in chronic pain and you’re an entrepreneur.
So, I really want to get your perspective on that. Because I think it’s so important and it’s such an important topic now with COVID-19 and you know, so many people suffer from chronic pain and different, you know, related illnesses. And so, yeah, like we just love to hear your story around that.
Nyla Khan: You know, I have a lot to say about it because I got my diagnosis for fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis, in the throes of the pandemic. And I remember thinking to myself, I said, and, and this is why I mentioned my last point, which is that you have to really love what you do to make it worth it, to be running your business, you know?
Honestly, running a business, isn’t the most conducive for having chronic pain. It isn’t because it’s oftentimes triggered by stress. And if it’s not stress, it’s triggered by, you know, not forgetting to do things like take care of yourself and taking care of chronic pain is almost like having a full-time job.
It really is, is very much the reason why I decided to make the move to Zanzibar. For at least the next three months until I can figure out what as space for me would look like, because when you’re running a business, the one thing you want just from your wellness perspective is that you have a calm environment because no matter what you can’t control, what’s going to happen.
But what you can control is your own wellbeing. And I think having a calm environment around you or having something that’s, you know, really around taking care of yourself and, and, you know, um, making yourself more resilient and, and focusing on your internal wellbeing, if you can do that, that’s great.
I mean, for me the weather suits my mission, and then also it’s affordable. To live in a place like sons’ a bar. So, I think that those are things that you really need to take account for. You know, you can ignore it for only so long because the pain, you know, you can, you can ignore it with, all kinds of ways.
You know, whether you’re taking your doctor prescribed you pain medication, or you’re just refusing to kind of acknowledge the pain because it’s not too bad now. But, oh my God, having done that, having ignored it when it hits you. I remember when it first hit me, I was ignoring it for a month. And then when it hit me, I remember not being able to mentally or physically cope. I was so exhausted and at that point I was like, oh, this is what it means when I need to actually make a decision that benefits my health over work. And you don’t want to get to that point. The thing is you can avoid that point completely. You can avoid having to take time off work for two or three weeks or however long.
You can avoid needing it, needing to get to that point. But I just being aware of what’s going on right now and, and taking measures. And I think one of the things that people have to be prepared for with chronic pain on running a business or being in a high-pressure job. Is that you have to make lifestyle changes.
There has to be an overhaul of your lifestyle, and you have to be more responsible about your health because at the end of the day, your business, isn’t going to be going anywhere, your work isn’t going to be going any you aren’t. And I didn’t understand this. I didn’t really understand it until.
Experienced it, I think you maybe have felt this before. I think everyone feels this way. Especially women. We feel so guilty about taking time off. I feel so guilty about, you know, even being in Zanzibar, I’m working full time, but I’m still feeling guilty. And I think that that is, you know, I’m, I’m learning myself to unlearn those things because in entrepreneurship, people are.
Kind of parading around this idea that you have to like struggle to make it and you have to do this. I don’t know if those narratives are true. I don’t think all of them are true. And I don’t think that that that’s the kind of success that I would want in my life. I don’t think I would define that as success or happy life.
Keisha Blair: And it’s funny because we’ve had some amazing. Female entrepreneurs on the show. And, you know, we, we spoken about that, you know, these messages that we get, and some of them are money messages around. You have to work yourself to the bone to be successful. You have to work yourself to death, to have a successful business.
And you’re right. That’s not a holistic perspective on success at all. And that’s why, you know, even this holistic wealth message is so important to me because I’ve had like a series of disruptions, you know, like starting with the death of my husband, just eight weeks after giving birth and then years after with COVID. Now with a diagnosis of arthritis fairly young too. And that was just during COVID and as well as a spinal injury, this is the first time that I’m getting a chance to talk about it on the podcast. And it’s so funny in my upcoming book, and this is another announcement too, that I’m making for the first time, you know, the
The Holistic Wealth, The Art of Recovery from Disruption comes out next March on International Women’s day. And in that book, I talk about these things because this diagnosis is new with COVID. And so I’m drilling down more deeper into this next book about how we recover from disruption. And that’s why conversations, like these are still important to me and so important to the audience because you can’t divorce, you know, your wealth from your health.
And like, if you don’t have your hands. There’s no wealth. And so, you’re right. We have to learn. It’s almost like relearning self-care because we think we know what that is until you get a diagnosis like this, you don’t want. Right.
Nyla Khan: I think one of the things you also brought up is this idea of like, how do you recover from disruptions? And I think people don’t talk about that enough and it’s so good to hear that that’s something you’re addressing, because I think again, we’re so hard on ourselves. But actually, your strength, the strength you have as a person, this resilience you need in business that comes from recovering, that comes from the only way to experience that is by recovering.
I mean, there’s this amazing power that you feel, you know, when you’re able to kind of be kind to yourself and recover in a kind way. ’cause I think it makes you a better leader as well. I think it makes you a better employer. I think it makes you a better person. I think people like you more, your clients, you know, you’re just, you’re a better person overall.
I think when you, when you able to recover from disruptions in a healthy way versus just kind of, and I think another thing that, that kind of popped in my head as you were talking about is that the trauma and the pain that we carry and how those manifests into our physical ailments. I don’t know if you’ve read the book, the body keeps score.
And I honestly think every single person, human being, should read it. And, my plan is of course, to incorporate it into the curriculum, but it really talks about how our pain, we store our pain, stress in our bodies and our bodies remember that. And that stress turns into what is later Arthritis, Auto-immune diseases, and heart attacks. I mean, when we think about high-functioning CEOs in fortune 500 companies, how healthy are they, how healthy are successful entrepreneurs? They’re probably not healthy because the kind of stress that we take on isn’t natural. It’s not, and it shouldn’t be celebrated anymore.
I think what’s inspiring is to hear stories, like you said, like recovering from disruptions or addressing your pain, your trauma from, from experience. But you go through in life. And I think it’s a lot easier for us to say it now, but I really wish that at the point where maybe I didn’t recover from my disruptions, I could hear someone talk about it then.
So, I’m really happy that we’re speaking about it too. And that you were talking about in
Keisha Blair: Absolutely. And you, you brought up so many things I want to go that made me really happy. But I just wanted to share a bit of context too, in terms of the art of recovery from disruption. So, in the first book and first Holistic Wealth book, that’s the 32 life lessons book, Arianna Huffington posted a quote from the book on all her social media platforms.
And that was the quote that she posted on her social media. It was a quote that I wrote in Holistic Wealth about “the education system teaches about linearity. It doesn’t teach the art of recovery from disruption”. And she took out that quote from the book and posted it. And I was like, that is amazing because you know how you mentioned, you want to incorporate it into curriculum now, that’s what I’m thinking about doing, because what I realized from my first big, massive disruption when my husband passed away was that I felt like, hey, nobody taught me how to recover from disruption. You know, it was all these linear patterns that we were teaching kids in school. And I thought, no, we need to teach them the art of recovery from disruption, because that’s how they’re going to be resilient.
And you know what, we’re living in an age of disruption, we’re living in an era of disruption and she posted that quote, you know, before COVID-19 kind of, it was when the book just came out in November, 2019. And I thought to myself for the next book, I’m going to zero in on that quote. Like I’m going to just literally use that quote as the basis.
And that’s how that quote is now the title of the next book. And when you said you want to incorporate it in curriculum, I thought, yes, because that’s exactly the vision that I have because I feel like, if you look at your experiences, you know how you mentioned that book about the body keeping score, you know, in the introduction to this book, that’s now up for pre-order, I indicated that if I survey my own personal disruption timeline, and I’m still young, like you Nyla, we’re still very young. Most of us Millennials and Gen X’s gen Zs, most of us will be able to point to significant, massive disruptions in our lifetime, just because of what we’ve been living through.
And so how are we, you know, not only preparing ourselves our coping, but how are we preparing future generations. Like I’m a mom of three kids, and I think about my kids and I’m like, I need them to be able to master these disruptions in their lives, you know, in a holistic way. Not just to just get up and yeah, just to get up and go, go, go, go.
And then your body’s suffering. Your back is breaking. You know, I want you to have that lifestyle that is holistically wealthy. I talk about being holistically wealthy a lot, and now that you’re talking about, you know, incorporating it into curriculum design, which is one of my overarching missions, I want to hear your thoughts on that.
You know, especially because we have so much in common personally, and you know, you’re in the education field and I’m kind of trending there now a bit. I set up the Institute on Holistic Wealth. And so, I want to hear your thoughts on that. Nyla like, how are you thinking. Incorporating this into curriculum design?
Nyla Khan: So, I think one of the major things to start with is what you’re doing, which is awareness, which is anecdotal experience, which is awareness. I think one of the things you just mentioned about your children is that I think that the best gift you can give a child is teaching them how to fish and teaching them how to fish beans, teaching them how to live life.
And living life is about coping with unexpected circumstances of loss and grief, or going through some forms of, you know, a trauma associated with unexpected violence. You know, we, we want to believe we can shelter our children from everything, but we cannot, and we cannot expect the world to change overnight.
But the best thing we can do for them is to at least give them the tools and the skills needed to cope with those disruptions. There’s an existing kind of education movement called “trauma informed care”. And it’s not just an education movement. It’s also a health movement. And basically, the idea is that it takes into account that most children have experienced some form of trauma or the other just like we were talking about is that everyone has experienced some kind of big or small or whatever, some level of disruption or trauma.
And so, what we must do in response to that as educators, as caretakers, is that we start to adopt something of a more compassionate approach. And when I say compassionate approach, it’s always going with the assumption that there is something that there is an issue rather than there is a bad behavior.
So, we don’t focus on that. We don’t focus on, on punishment. And when I say punishment, I don’t just mean, you know, in a very simplistic way of detention. I mean, even our systems, our systems are so. You know, I mean, for example, why do people feel so guilty about not getting the best. Or why? So, for example, with students, so it’s all-around competition and performance, but then there’s another side of it, which is why is it at work that women are treated differently because of the fact that they might be pregnant?
Why should they feel guilty about the fact that they got pregnant? So, we have these really punishing rules and systems that we work with. And trauma informed care is really around addressing people with the compassionate approach of saying, okay, these kids. This child is acting out in class because you know what, maybe something’s wrong at home.
Or maybe what else could it be? And if there is something of what else could it be, and if most children are, what else could it be then? What skills should we be teaching them? So, in a math class, for example, why are we teaching them just to count apples? Why don’t we make the math lesson, a compassionate inquiry lesson, our trauma informed?
So, I was working with a refugee in a refugee camp in Greece with Syrian and Iraqi children that were fleeing the war, the ISIS kind of takeover. And, and this was years ago. So, a couple of years ago, and I remember dealing with not just children, but families that were incredibly traumatized. So even if the children hadn’t experienced the trauma directly, they were experiencing it through their families. And what we found over there was that look, education has to happen in the sense. You know, traditional academics, but the problem is, is that education doesn’t stop there. So how can we bridge limited amounts of time in the classroom, limited resources with traditional academics and this need for life skills, which is around emotional regulation, which is around coping with grief and loss, which is around financial skills, which is basic financial literacy, basic digital literacy.
You know, these are the things. These are the rights of human beings, every human being has the right to an education or learning that gives them access to living a regular or like a healthy, happy life. And when I say healthy and happy, it doesn’t mean that things don’t happen. It just means that they have the skills to cope with them in a healthy.
They’re not left, surrounded, you know, the thought that I would speak to two little girls and boys and just to know the pain that they were suffering from and that no, no one, not in their families, not in the environment, knew how to address it. That’s a big problem. And we saw this over the pandemic.
We didn’t know how to deal with. Even though we have been talking about it for years. We didn’t know how to deal with it. So, to me, that’s where the curriculum really needs to step up because it hasn’t at
Keisha Blair: Absolutely. And you are so right. I couldn’t agree with you more. I have goosebumps because those are my exact thoughts. I went through it. I saw my oldest son at the time go through it when his dad died and he was three years old, just starting kindergarten and teachers didn’t know how to deal with it. The principal too and it was like a cascading domino effect. Nobody knew how to deal with it with a junior kindergartener.
So, it needs to be the curriculum needs to step up, as you said, from the very lowest levels to the very highest levels, because as adults, we don’t know how to deal with it at all. It’s unbelievable. And I think you’re absolutely right. And it it’s so important and I cannot stress it enough. And you mentioned certain things, you mentioned financial literacy.
You mentioned digital literacy. I mean, when I spoke about the art of recovery from disruption in that quote from the first book, I was thinking about financial literacy too, because I don’t think we can be fully resilient if we’re not financially resilient. And I wrote an article about, you know, for women, women’s empowerment about, you know, women can’t be fully empowered until they’re financially empowered.
And it’s so amazing that what had happened to me, like, you know, when my husband died, And I found myself in that major disruption. I mean, I wasn’t, I was a trained economist and cause you know, that’s what I’m professionally trained in. And I thought to myself, wow, like I could weather this storm financially because of that aspect.
Um, but what if I didn’t, what if I was in a completely different field and just wasn’t like a specialist in this area. Or didn’t take us special interest then, you know, in that area, what would have happened and you’re right. Everybody education. Exactly. And so, everybody has a right, as you mentioned, they have a right to this kind of information and education, and it’s so important.
And this is one of the goals we have in mind. With a project that we’re working on too, because it’s this alternative learning format where we really want to get the whole person, that whole individual. You know, that kind of education and power is the whole person to deal with disruption, to be able to recover and to deal with it.
So this is so important and I’ll, and I’m, I’m just so happy. We’re having these
Nyla Khan: [00:28:39] conversations really interested to know more about your project as well. And you know, if there are ways that we can collaborate or, you know, of course. I think with, with, with new age, with anything that’s new, the best thing to do is to work, you know, uh, everyone who wants to work on it works on it kind of together because the more people you have, the more, the more you can move the dial.
But, you know, I think another, another thing is, is that, you know, uh, being kind of young women of color now is the best time to it to be a woman. I think in relation to the past, like 200, 300 years, So I have that going for us, but it’s still such a struggle in certain traditional areas, you know, to, to not be, not to be taken seriously.
I think at least from my end is that you’re always seen as either too, like, too far removed from the reality or anything that people don’t like change. People do not like collapsing. So you have to come in there, you know, you have to come in there with you, get fans. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but I definitely feel like sometimes I have to be the loudest person in the room.
Keisha Blair: Absolutely. And I have experienced it on both ends because, you know, as you’re talking, you know how you mentioned punishing the stems, you know, as, as we witnessed, like in the U S alone, 4 million mothers leaving the workforce during COVID part of the reason. Yeah. Part of the reason for that is that this punishing system, we have in organizations. I remember when I went back to work from maternity leave, after my husband died, it was eight weeks after I gave birth that he died and I had to go back and I went back into work. As a young mom now a single mom. So, my identity had changed. My whole outlook on life had changed. I was in a punishing system that was static and wasn’t changing. And so many of the issues that we’re reading about today in terms of women during COVID-19 leaving the workforce, because it’s just not flexible. It’s punishing to moms who returned from maternity leave and, and you’re right. Sometimes you feel like you’re just not taken seriously.
Nyla Khan: So my heart goes out to you. I don’t know, you know, the, level of strength and resilience that you’ve shown just by being where you are right now is really inspiring.
Keisha Blair: Thank you very much. I mean, I’ve really channeled that experience into this, you know, platform, which I’m so grateful for, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share it with others and to, to really help improve lives.
Ultimately what I want to do and to change systems and to you know, to use my experience, to open people’s eyes as to why we’ve been on the wrong path and we’re still on the wrong path, but we’re at a critical point in history where we can start to do the right thing where we can start to empower each other better.
And, you know, because there’s so much of my experience, as you mentioned, right. That could have been used, you know, because when anybody suffers from any kind of trauma there’s are lessons there. And you know, and that was the viral article that I wrote that turned into the first book about the life lessons learned.
And these are things that others can learn from and use to build their own resilience. Because as you mentioned, everybody’s going through some kind of trauma, even if it’s more private trauma that’s hidden that you probably would never ever know about. And so that’s why I’m grateful for, you know, these conversations where we can discuss it and brainstorm and see what we can do to move the dial.
And so Nyla, you know, we, we mentioned financial literacy and financial empowerment, and that’s a big part of it for me as well, in terms of holistic wealth. And you’ve done amazingly well. And you know, I know you took the quiz, the Personal Financial Identity Quiz, which is, which is something I love talking about because then we can get to kind of nail our financial identity and share with others, how it’s impacted our lives, you know, and you became a multimillionaire, in your twenties, fairly young.
Can you share your results, any insights you have on that, how it’s impacted your lifestyle, your business?
Nyla Khan: It’s the first I’m going to say, it’s the businesses that speak for themselves, not me. So how I think I got the Minimalist in the answer. Yeah, for me that there’s a certain lifestyle I like to live and it’s, and beyond that, I don’t see why I need that money.
And so that money always goes back into the business. That’s how I’ve lived. My. I don’t think that that’s necessarily the way that everyone has to live. I don’t think that if you have the money that you shouldn’t spend it, that’s not what I mean, but what I mean is for me, at this point in my life, I get so much joy and pleasure from growing what we’ve built, my co-founder and I, or, or my owner or my other businesses.
I believe that that money still needs to be put back into the business because there’s a lot more to be done. And I think that that is a very difficult decision. Sometimes as individuals we have to make is, do we look at the short term or do we look at the long-term? And I think that goes for investment as well.
It’s that I can either take money now and spend it and think about the short-term returns on happiness and things like that. Or I think about the long-term and how I want to use that to further grow, impact, or grow a business or grow my bottom line. So, I’m at that point in my life currently, I know what my kind of monthly expenses are, what my life costs me and I like to stay in that kind of realm.
I’m not moving forward and anything that’s forward is either savings or it’s put back into the business, primarily put back into the business.
Keisha Blair: You know, those are some great tips to share because we have several entrepreneurs listening in and people who are interested in starting a business and growing up business, especially during COVID.
And I think that’s wonderful advice. So Nyla do you then basically have a philosophy of plowing back, like a certain percentage into the business and then your lifestyle remains, you know, fairly minimalist, so you can achieve those goals?
Nyla Khan: I’ve gotten to the point where now I’ve understood myself pretty well, and that may change, but not radically or drastically.
You know, there’s certain realities about yourself that you kind of know it’s going to be part of your life. So, I know that for the next, at least 10 or 20 years, I know what my desires and wants and things you know, are around. And I know that it’s not going to change drastically monetarily my desires, but what is changing is my constant desire to create more and more impact.
So, what I do know is that while my expenses may not drastically change my appetite for growing the business is definitely increased. So, the tip that I would, I would really would give when it came, when it comes to finances is know your life costs you and don’t be afraid to put whatever you want there, put as much stuff as you want it there, but just know what it costs. Because when you know what it cost you, even if you do not have it currently, you can work towards it as a goal. And then when you have extra, you can decide at that point, whether that deserves to whether you want to spend more or whether that should go somewhere else, but at least, you know what your basic middle and kind of high levels of life look like.
And I think that really helps. Because it helps me feel like I can manage my life for the next 10 or 20 years. It gives me a lot of confidence and stability and knowing that I can afford my life, it’s going to cost me this much. And I know it’s going to cost me this much with inflation. It’s not going to be a significant increase, but at least for me, that’s kind of what makes me feel comfortable because finances do finally make me feel a little bit.
I wanted to make sure that I have something to kind of fall back on. And I think you, especially as a mother, you probably feel this even more. You know, I think especially now austerity is probably unless you’re a VC or, you know, you have a huge trust fund. I wouldn’t go around just kind of betting my money on risky investments.
I would, I would keep money now, at least for the, for the next year. Because we really don’t know what to expect.
Keisha Blair: Absolutely. Absolutely. And you’re absolutely right. And you know, it’s part of the art of recovery from disruption, right. That, you know, it’s, it’s kind of not a good thing to do right now to go throwing money at very risky investments.
Cause we just don’t know we’re in still in a period of uncertainty with COVID and different variants and the Delta variant. And we’re hearing about all sorts of different variants, you know, so. Absolutely. One of the things that is critical right now is hanging on to what we can and playing it safe, um, to a certain point.
Nyla Khan: Absolutely. And I definitely think if you’re just starting the business, you know, we’re keep money flowing in from your, you know, let’s say day job. Don’t just jump into something like that. You know, like be prepared, have a plan. I think these are pretty common things, but sometimes it’s so tempting. You know, when you have an idea, you just want to go.
But it’s just, this is such a turbulent time. That’s something that could have worked in terms of a business two years ago, or a year ago may not work today. So it’s, it is really important to take it more of it more as an MVP approach where you still have some. You know, money coming in, or if you have investments or savings, don’t use them now save them. I wouldn’t use them now just because of the uncertainty of the world.
Keisha Blair: Absolutely. And those are wise words. You know, especially if you also have any health conditions and you need your health benefits or healthcare is a big cost for you. You know, like whether you have to have other adjunct medical services like physiotherapy or some other holistic therapies.
Nyla Khan: The reason why I kind of really liked being here is because my health costs had just gone off the roof and I just really didn’t see the point in spending that much money on medical bills, even if it was going through my insurance, because I need to be able to know I can sustain that.
You know, I need to be able to sustain that as I go forward to more sustainable ways to do that. That’s one of the reasons why I’m trying out alternative therapies and treatments, because there’s a lot out there, especially for chronic pain. A lot of it has to do with lifestyle diet, you know, stress levels.
So at least for me now it’s really about figuring out, okay, I know what my finances are for the next 10 years, but let me figure out my lifestyle, because I want to be able to maintain a certain level of lifestyle for the next 10 or 20 years and know that that’s something I can do. Exactly. Exactly. And so that’s kind of what brings me here.
Of course, I do not have same kind of responsibilities that you do with children and things like that. So it makes it a lot easier for me to make those decisions. I think even if you are, there are centers around their experts online that you can consult with on basic things like diet, for example, with arthritis, you can’t do any high impact exercises anymore. It puts a strain on, on your legs. And I used to love running and stuff like that. And now I’m just, you know, initially it was devastating because I was like, I can’t run at my age. I can’t run that. Doesn’t make sense to me, but now I’ve actually taken it in good stride and been really focusing on things like stretching and yoga and.
And those bills can add up, you know, those bills out of like acupuncture, things like that. They add up. And again, even if your insurance is covering it 10 years from now, what if you don’t have insurance, do you have an alternative way? So I think it’s about, you know, from NAB, from the get go, trying to find that that middle ground of, you know, finding an alternative slash traditional medical group.
That fits your needs and that doesn’t get, it gets you hooked on another system. If that makes sense, just don’t be completely dependent on just going and getting your meds and doing just medical treatment after medical treatment. There are basic things you can do in your everyday life.
Keisha Blair: Absolutely. And it’s so funny because I actually have a coaching program where I train Certified Holistic WealthTM Consultants because readers of the book came back asking me to create a certification program. Women with MBAs, in the financial field or financial advisors, and other women, doctors have come back and they’ve said, you need to do a certification program.
And so that’s, that’s one of the reasons why I set up the Institute on Holistic Wealth because I set up that certification program. And so parts of what I train in terms of the curriculum with this mastering the art of recovery from disruption, because you brought up a good point about, you know, well, if you’re a mom, you might not be able to do certain things.
What we train people to do is to really set up their Holistic Wealth Portfolios. And the sooner, the better, the younger you are the better, right? It kind come too soon because what we do is we plan. For any disruption in the future and, you know, really set up a whole portfolio that will get you through these times, you know, financially and otherwise, you know, how you spoke about.
Health wise as well. And putting in place those things with healthcare and insurances and all this, it’s so important, all this, the whole gamut. And so, you know, as we talk about the healthcare aspect of it and insurance is I was fully prepared. Luckily even at the point, my husband died that we were well-prepared and we had everything in place and had investments and all of that.
And that’s what I would want for others to like, to have something in place that if something happens and, you know, and, and I tell them I holistic wealth consultants to plan for two disruptions per decade. When you survey, you know, the last 5,100 years, you realize that’s kind of what we all should plan for.
So that’s part of what I teach in the program too. And I’m hoping to expand it to other countries and for people. To sign up from all over the world.
Nyla Khan: I think that that is amazing. You’re basically training people to be prepared for, is that in every Jacqueline and you’re looking at it very much as a right versus a nice to have, or a Jew or a job classification, which is really important and including kind of like a multitude of ways to think about which is exactly. Yeah. Which is, which is really great. I’d love to have a further conversation with you about some of the work that you’re doing in more rural and remote areas.
Keisha Blair: Absolutely. Let’s do it. Let’s have a further conversation. And I just wanted to let our viewers, our audience members know where you’re located so they can follow you and find you. Can you just tell us where to find you on your website and your social media Nyla?
Nyla Khan: Absolutely. So, the best way to reach me is on social media is either on LinkedIn. So my name on LinkedIn it’s NYla con Montessori, or you can find me at @itsnylakhan on Instagram. And then my websites for the, for the companies are Muraipartners.ca. And, it’s Willow Tree Kids. So www.WillowTreeKids.com. And, www.kid’sworlduae.com.
Keisha Blair: Okay. Perfect. Well Nyla thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. It was amazing having here and it was amazing chatting with you about these important topics.
Nyla Khan: I know. Thank you so much for having me. I had a really great time. That was a very, very healing call. And so thank you.
Keisha Blair: Thank you for joining us this week on Holistic Wealth with Keisha Blair, make sure to visit our website, www.Keishablair.com, where you can subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify, or via RSS.
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