Updated: May 26
Amel Derragui is a successful business and marketing coach, speaker, and podcast host who is passionate about empowering women through entrepreneurship. As the founder of 'Tandem Nomads', she has helped countless individuals achieve their business goals and build successful careers. Her expertise has been recognised by Forbes Dach magazine, where she has been featured for her outstanding achievements in the industry. In this blog, we'll take a closer look at Amel's inspiring journey and how she is making a difference in the lives of women around the world.
1: Tell us about your journey as a business and marketing coach to empowered female
entrepreneurs! What was the catalyst that pushed you to found Tandem nomads? What are Tandem
13 years ago I gave up my career in advertising to join my husband in Iran. He has a job that takes
him from one country to another on a regular basis, which led us to move from Iran to Austria, then
from Austria the United States, New York, now we are currently we are back to Austria. Back then, it was a very difficult decision to give up my career and financial independence, as it was an important part of my identity. However, a part of me always wanted to start a business. Although I did not think I
would start so early in my journey, I thought that my move to Iran would be a great opportunity to
do what I always wanted to do. That is how I started my first business as a marketing and communications consultant working with international corporations and organisations while living
on the move. However, I quickly realised that having a business was not enough to keep up with my career on the move, I had to make sure that it was also a business that was portable and sustainable through international transitions. That is when I became obsessed with figuring out how to turn my business model into a portable business, and how to use the upcoming technologies to make my business more sustainable online to not just depend on the local market where I was living. I was often a beta tester of all the new tools that were coming onto the market, such as MailChimp, Zoom
etc. Another aspect that led me to launch 'Tandem Nomads' is that during this time I felt pretty lonely and had to figure out how to grow my business. In fact even if I had great mentors who wanted to
support me in my journey, they were not familiar with the aspects of living on the move and making
sure that a business was sustainable on the move. I wanted to connect with other expert partners
like me, but I rarely found any who actually had a business. Instead, what I encountered are many
talented women who had amazing careers before starting their family on the move. And as many
confessed to me they often felt very discouraged with their careers, they lost their confidence in
themselves and could not see how they could build their own source of financial independence and
purpose while living on the move. That is when I realised that I could help all these women by showing them how they can embrace entrepreneurship as a solution to their dual career challenges, and build a businesses that is portable and sustainable through the moves.
But its only when I listened to my first podcast show called 'SERIAL' that I had my aha moment.
Podcasting was an amazing medium to share inspiring stories and to inspire people to change their lives. That is why I decided to launch in 2015 the podcast show 'Tandem Nomads', as a side gig to my
consulting business. A little over a year after I launched the first podcast episode of 'Tandem Nomads', the demand started rising, so much that I could hardly keep up with my other business too. That is when I decided to close my consulting business and focus on developing 'Tandem Nomads' by providing online courses, coaching services and workshops to help expat partners around the world create a successful portable business. Since then the audience of 'Tandem Nomads' has grown beyond the expat community and reached people around the world who want to grow a successful business that is aligned with their lifestyle and their life priorities, no matter if they live on the move or not.
2: The Tandem Nomads podcast is ranked among the top 2% of podcasts globally! This is amazing,
congratulations! What brought about this high ranking? Who have you featured on the podcast and
what do you mainly talk about?
I believe that what allowed me to be ranked among the top 2% of podcasts globally is consistency. I
have been really consistent with my podcast episodes that have been aired every two weeks since
the beginning. We are reaching almost 300 episodes. I usually alternate one solo episode in one
episode with the guests. My solo episodes are like small masterclasses where I share practical
tips and inspiration on the strategies and the mindset that help entrepreneurs build a successful
business that is portable and aligned with their goals. On the episodes with guests, I invite experts in
various fields such as personal development, marketing, entrepreneurship, leadership and finance to
provide a diverse range of inspiration and resources to my listeners.
3: You have been featured in various media from Forbes Magazine to Weekly Woman South Korea
reiterating your mission to empower women through entrepreneurship! What was it like being
featured with such high regarded publications and what did you mainly talk about? Sounds
I feel very honoured to be featured on such magazines and for all the interest that has been given to
my work. What is most important for me is that these features are great opportunities to spread the
word around the importance of encouraging women to build their support system, believe in
themselves, embrace their special gifts and invest in themselves so that they can build their own
source of fulfilment, their financial independence, and make the impact they want to see in the the
world. Female and youth empowerment through entrepreneurship is one of my biggest mission
beyond my activities in my business. I truly believe that when we embrace the entrepreneurial
mindset and take action to solve the problems in this world, we can make a difference and make the
world a better place. For that reason, I also work with international organisations like the Work Bank, IMF, IDB and foundations like the 'Ban Ki-Moon Foundations' to offer workshops and trainings to the next generation of change makers.
4: How would you advise a woman who are struggling to create their own source of financial freedom, feel stuck in their career or feel like they have no voice?
I would start by staying, you DO have a voice. We live in the best times ever! There has never been
such little barriers to entry and affordable tools to help anyone not only speak up, have a voice but
also start any venture, organisation or business to a need in the society. So if you have an idea, if you want to do something, just do it! In fact, I see too many women doubting themselves, spending so much time reflecting on what they should do or not do. As I often say to my clients, the best way to find the answers is not by thinking endlessly about it, it is by starting somewhere, even if you're not sure if that is the right place to start.
Start first, perfect later!
The second piece of advice that I really want to share especially for women is build your support
system. You do not need to do it alone! Start asking for help at home. If you don't find the support you need at home, or need more help, find it outside of your home. Surround yourself with the right people who will lift you up and who will cheer you on along this whole journey.
Finally, invest in yourself. Invest in the support you need. The difference between those who succeed
to go far in their journey and those who don't is often the confidence and willingness to believe in yourself and therefore to invest in the resources that's needed, as well as committing the necessary time to build what you will truly want to achieve in life.
5: You have spoken on some incredible international stages and worked with global organisations
such as IMF and the World Food Program on topics related to entrepreneurship and women
empowerment! How do you handle public speaking and engage with such large audiences?
Just by starting somewhere. Obviously the first time I spoke for a large audience was very scary but I
knew that the best way to become comfortable with it is by just doing it. The more often I spoke on
stage, the better I became at it. But I also think it's important to continuously feel challenged
throughout this journey to keep growing. I also try to get better at it. I actually enjoy the fact that I
still get a little stressed before I go on stage, it is a great sign of how much it matters to me that I can
touch the audience, and get them to leave with the inspiration they need to move forward in their
journey. I do not take these opportunities for granted.
6: Tell us about your coaching life - you help people turn their expertise into an effective business
model that is location independent! Can you tell us of a client you have worked with?
First of all I want to share how grateful I am to all these amazing clients that I've had the chance to
support in the past eight years. I had the chance to work with about 150 women around the world
and I truly admire them for their resilience through all the ups and downs they have been through, for their determination and their willingness to invest in themselves. The fact that they trust me with
their journey means the world to me. It would be hard to pick just a few examples. However, the
common thing between all my clients is that they are determined to build a business that allows
them to create their own source of financial growth, while being mindful about their other life
priorities, such as their families and wellbeing. They are also very passionate about making an
impact for the people they serve through their businesses, and I love to watch how many lives they are touching through their businesses. It brings me so much joy and fulfilment to see them grow over the years and live up to their full potential. In fact although marketing and entrepreneurship is my tool, what I'm truly about is helping women with immense talent bring their superpowers to the
7:Where have you traveled/lived that really inspired you? Where would you recommend for solo
digital female nomads?
I lived in India, Serbia, Algeria, France, Iran, USA (New York, Utah, California and Arizona) and Austria.
It would be hard to recommend one country over the other as each country has contributed so much
to the person I have become over the years. The cultures and the people I met have deeply impacted
me, my beliefs and my journey. However if we're speaking about being a digital nomad there are
obviously countries that are a bit more adequate for this kind of experience than others, especially
as a woman. Even though I do run a portable business, I do not consider myself as a digital nomad
because usually when I move from a country to another I stay for at least three or four years. So it is very different from being a digital nomad who moves from a country to another every few months. I think it is important to first understand what kind of experience we want from such a lifestyle, because each person is different.
8: What is life like in Vienna? What is your lifestyle like there? Are you from there or live the
expat/digital nomadic lifestyle?
My husband is Austrian and Vienna has become over the years like home to me no matter where I
live. Vienna has been ranked year after year as one of the top cities to live in in terms of quality of
life. And I can confirm that. I love living in Vienna as it has so much to offer in all areas of life: health
care, easy transportation, quick access to nature, great restaurants and bars and a vibrant
international community. On the entrepreneurial aspect, the ecosystem is becoming more interesting
as well, even for non-German speakers. However if you are a digital nomad and plan to stay here
over 185 days you will need to be very careful with topics related to taxation and administration. In
fact, if you live here more than 185 days, you will be accountable in terms of taxes even if your
company and clients are not located in Austria. So make sure to do your due diligence if you decide
to move here!
9: What do you do in your spare time to keep on top of your health & wellness and avoid daily
stress from work and life?
Yoga and meditation are my regular activities for health and Wellness. I also try to exercise or bike
in my free time when the weather is good. Vienna is a fantastic place to go hiking. In 20 minutes by
metro you can be in the woods and enjoy the fresh air. In the summer, I love to go to the lakes that are beautiful here and are easily accessible by train. I also make sure to see my friends regularly and do some fun activities together, including dancing!
10: Lastly, what advice do you have for women looking to differentiate in their career or may feel
they need a change of direction?
I see a lot of women who want to change their lives and their careers and who spent years reflecting
on it before they take action. The sad part is when they look back and ask themselves: where did
their life go after all these years?
So my biggest advice is don't overthink it!
If you do not have all the answers, start somewhere, start anywhere. DOING will get you more
answers than THINKING. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, you will learn by doing and you will get
your answers you need by experimenting. If you then still feel stuck, get the help you need. Start by
the network, the friends and the community you have around you to get the feedback you need. But
ultimately don't hesitate to also invest in yourself and in the experts that can get you one step further
and faster. As one of my clients told me once: investing in myself was the first act of self-confidence
that I took.
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