There are a lot of different opinions in the business world in regards to what it takes to be successful. For Hadari Oshri, CEO of Xehar, there is no one surefire way to be successful. Instead, she relies on a life skill she has learned along the way and now trusts wholeheartedly. She believes that the most important skill that can take you further than any piece of advice is listening to your inner voice. When it comes to what makes her successful, persistent, and happy, Hadari insists that staying in tune and listening to her inner voice is key. While it may seem like it’s an obvious statement, Hadari shares that it’s much more difficult than it looks. “All of us have these people in our lives that we care about and want to please, but at the end of the day if you’re not doing what you want to do, you’re not living the life you want, you’re living the life other people want for you.”
“The key is to pay attention to your inner voice and then make the necessary decisions yourself. This goes for every decision you make in life and not just the business decisions you make.” -Hadari Oshri
What do you think are some things that stop people from listening to their inner voice?
Hadari: Family and friends. It’s not that our friends or family are coming from a bad place when they make you question your inner voice, it’s that they have genuine concerns like “How are you going to make a living doing this or that? Why not just go to school, study, and become a nurse or a teacher?” While their concerns mean well, I know just from listening to my inner voice that those careers that they mentioned were not going to make me happy in the long run. But a lot of us follow the advice of others because we want to make them happy, and in making them happy we think that it will make us happy, but I found out time and time again that’s not the case. It may make you happy in the short run, but at the end of the day you have to listen to what you want and not what others want for you.
Can you give us an example of a time where you almost didn’t follow through with what your inner voice was telling you?
H: When I first brought up the idea of moving to Los Angeles, I had a lot of people telling me that it was such a big step to take and that Los Angeles is very different from where I had grown up, but if I listened to what they said and didn’t move to LA, we wouldn’t be where we are today, Xehar would never have come to life. So much happened from that single decision to move!
Who knows what your life would be like if you didn’t listen your inner voice and never moved to Los Angeles!
H: I would probably be a nurse somewhere, and while there’s nothing wrong with being a nurse, I knew that was something that I didn’t want to do. If I went down down that path I wouldn’t be making myself happy, I wouldn’t be living the life I wanted to. I’d be living the life my friends and family wanted for me.
Would you say that even though it’s difficult to start on your own it’s worth it in the end no matter how hard things get?
H: So here’s the thing, I don’t think of things as being hard, I think of things as being challenging.
So you don’t even see difficult situations as roadblocks that can stop you, you simply think of them as challenges that you have to face in order to get where you want to be?
H: Exactly! That is a challenge within itself, but even when things aren’t turning out the way you want them to go, if your inner voice is keeps on telling you to move forward with something, then it’s meant to happen. Maybe things won’t happen the way you expect them to or want them to happen, but if you’re listening to your inner voice, you’ll either find a way to make it happen or the opportunity will present itself to you.
You mentioned always doing things for other people throughout your life. At what point did you say enough is enough? When did you decide to listen to your inner voice and start doing what you wanted to do?
H: It all started for me after my ex-husband and I came back from a month long trip to China. We had just arrived to Los Angeles after flying for over 24 hours and I was just exhausted, I wanted to go home, put my things down, and just relax, but he wanted to go straight to his parents house to visit and I said, “No, I don’t want to do that.” Even though it wasn’t a business decision or a life or death decision, it all started for me in that moment when I stood up for myself and told him that I wasn’t interested in doing that. At first he couldn’t believe that I said no because it’s something I never did before that point in time, I always said yes even if I didn’t want to do something.
After that moment I began to really tune into my inner voice and what I wanted. I started a new life on my own which gave me plenty of time to be by myself and I slowly started to learn how to listen to and trust my inner voice. A lot of people don’t know, but that’s where our confidence comes, from listening to ourselves and doing what we want to do.
One final example of listing to your inner voice, that is business related, is actually about how we came to find our current location. A year ago, before we moved to a location closer to the beach, we operated in Downtown Los Angeles out of a 400 sq ft room. While it was the location I thought I wanted in the beginning, as time went by I realized that it wasn’t where my business was meant to be. On top of that we were running out of room and needed a warehouse with ample room for growth.
When I came across the location we’re at now and saw pictures of the unit, I immediately fell in love with the place and knew that this is where we needed to move. However, after finding out that the new location was 4X the price of our current location, the broker for the property never returned my calls. The following day while I was in the area, my inner voice told me to visit the location, so I did. When I arrived, I knocked on the door and the owner of the building was right in front of me. I let him know that I was interested in this location and asked if I could walk around to see the building.
Even though the new location was significantly more expensive than the location we were renting in Downtown, it was 10 times larger and it was in an area of Los Angeles I just knew we had work in. Despite the fact that the realtor never got back to me, I listened to my inner voice, stopped by unannounced, met with owner of the building, and I was able to negotiate a temporary 3 month lease with the owner. The following Monday we were completing all of the paperwork to move into our new location! I went from the realtor not wanting to do business with me to being able to negotiate a lease with the owner. Today, one year later we are the same location and we are expanding into the neighboring units in our building in Silicon Beach in a prime location that is located only 5 blocks from beach.
Of course it all sounds easy when it’s said and done, but I’ve learned a lot from listening and trusting my inner voice. As I’ve learned, it’s not always easy to do, but it’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. I’m glad I was able to realize that my inner voice is the most important tool that I have. After years of ignoring what my heart wanted, I came to the realization that our hearts are the road maps to our happiness and success. No matter how much you want to go against what your heart wants, in the end it’s important to listen to your inner voice and follow it.