• Madeleine Bonser

Spotlight on Rabya Lomas

At Spotlight, we got the chance to talk to Rabya Lomas, the Content creator at She Flourished. We chatted about her drive and determination, her best advice to anyone starting out and business during a pandemic.

A bit about Rabya

I am a photographer, writer and online content creator. My content is largely focused on my experiences as a British Pakistani Muslim in the UK and social justice issues. I’ve always wanted to have a creative career. It wasn’t something I was encouraged to pursue growing up, so to do this now is such a gift.

Overcoming setbacks

I would say I’m still experiencing my setback in that my creative career runs alongside my traditional 9-5 job which is project management. This means I have very little time on my hands, it makes creating content incredibly stressful at times. I wish I had fallen into this earlier or at least pursued some form of creative career after leaving University. I didn’t get started until I was 32 years old! Recently I’ve dropped my full time 9-5 job to a four day week, this has freed me up somewhat which is good.

Passion and drive

I feel passionate about telling my stories and shining a light on the South Asian experience. To help broaden perspectives and deepen empathy. We’re living in a time where the rhetoric in mainstream media is fanning the flames of some scary thinking and viewpoints. I can do my bit by using my platform to raise awareness of these issues and empower others.

I think having my own lived experience as a “minority” certainly helps. But just generally being a human being that cares about other human beings too. My drive to succeed comes from a place of wanting us all to succeed. Together.

Life lessons

That change takes time. The change we want to see in the world is a slow burn. Built on education, action and empathy. Another big lesson is that your example inspired more people than you realise. Three tips for anyone starting out:

  1. Just start! Doesn’t matter what age you are. If there’s something you want to do, go for it. You might not know what will happen but one thing is for sure, you have to start to find out!

  2. Stay curious. I have not learned everything there is to learn about creating content online. I’m always curious about different processes whether it’s editing, shooting, engaging on social media. There are many ways to do it all, staying curious leaves you open to learning new things.

  3. On the other side of consistency is momentum. If you keep at it with whatever it is you're doing you will get results, you will get momentum!

Remember to take your time to figure out what your values are, who your business is for, and what about it gives you the most joy. Marrying those elements up will help you stay true to your vision.

Advice for leaders

To do it your way. You will often be guided to fit a “mould” of what leadership looks like. And that’s fine, but don’t forget the secret ingredient: YOU. You will have your unique essence on how you like to galvanise others, on how you like to bring about change, on how you like to work with others. Don’t lose sight of your authentic self while you navigate your way to leadership.

Often we worry about what other people think. I’ve learned that when I worry about that, it’s because I’m about to land an important point. We all have a voice, and at times using consistently is the difference between where you are now and where you want to be

If you are looking to manage a team get to know each and every one of them. Learn what drives them. Understand how their varying experiences can complement one another. Learn from them. Support them.

Business during COVID-19

Remember to keep creating! Sometimes our art is the only thing that helps us process what’s happening in the world.

Remote working can be tough. You have to find A way to make it work for you. I know a wedding florist which pivoted to delivering letterbox flowers while her weddings were cancelled so she was able to find a new source of income to tie her over. Luckily I create my content from well anywhere. So in that respect, I am in a fortunate enough position to ride it out. My brand work has slowed down somewhat but written stuff has carried me through.

If you enjoyed this blog check out more just like it here. Check out She Flourished here.

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