I can’t believe it has already been 4 years since I have been born. It wasn’t a mistimed, unplanned or unwanted birth, but I did take more than 9 months to come into existence. I was the result of one man’s dreams, ambitions, and several years of hard work, careful planning and passion. Like many before me, I had pretty humble beginnings, I started out in a small room headed by a one man army in 2011. I will forever be indebted to this man; he nurtured me with a lot of love, integrity and optimism. Choosing a name for me was one of the most important decisions he had to make, there were suggestions from friends and family that made the task even more difficult but in the end he settled for a name that would one day become synonymous with quality, originality, strategic thinking and creativity. I was named ‘The Social Clinic’. Since those early days, I have seen several metaphorical rainy days, yet thrived and grown in size. Earlier I was a one-room operation headed by one person but now thanks to the Almighty, I am a large, beautifully lit, well organized, open office space being nurtured by 13 people. I love them with all my heart, they are an eclectic bunch of people I must say: there are thinkers and dreamers, creators and achievers, the go-getters and believers, leaders and the innovators. If you have been following me on Instagram, you might have noticed that they have been celebrating my 4th birthday all month with a lot of vigor. A lot of planning went into the celebrations; their aim was to creatively display everything we have achieved, learnt or enjoyed together. Pretty neat idea if you ask me. I was curious to see how they would bring this idea to life, there were a lot of brainstorming sessions, quick water-cooler chats and long debates over the lunch table about the best way to implement it. In the end, they settled with an execution that I fell in love with, with all my heart: Illustrations playing with the white hearts on Instagram when you double tap to like an image. Three days before the beginning of the month, they started the countdown to create a little buzz and excitement around the idea. I got really excited, at first glance all images were incomplete but once you double tapped to like the image, the white heart beautifully completed the image.
At the start of the month, the celebrations began with a lot of zeal and enthusiasm. Well-wishers, friends, fans and followers were encouraged to join in the celebrations; all they had to do was double tap to celebrate.
There were 30 different variations to this idea and needless to say I was super proud of each one of them but a few of them were a bit more special to me than the rest for the following reasons:
4 years of speaking 5 languages: As I grew in numbers, I put together a diverse team, with various unique sets of skills, talent and competencies. Little known fact about my team members: they can speak 5 different languages: Arabic, English, Urdu, Japanese and French. Over the years, I have grown to love my multi-lingual culture and this year I wanted to celebrate my diversity.
4 years of cooperative teamwork: I wouldn’t have reached where I am today if it wasn’t for my people and their beliefs in the power of teamwork. Simply stated, our achievements were less “me” and more “we” and definitely deserved a shout-out this year.
4 years of sipping tea: Let’s face it; at times I was not easy to manage. I have been the cause of long working hours for some, sleepless nights for others. Many things have changed over the years, but one thing that has stayed constant is our love and need for tea- a magical beverage that makes long working hours and sleepless nights bearable. It has been an integral part of client meetings, internal brainstorming and morning routine for many. Whatever the preference, there was something available to suit every need from trying to stay awake to enjoying the flavours of loose traditional tea with the added convenience of teabags. How could they not celebrate this integral part of our work culture this year?
4 years of uplifting music: Music has been part of my work culture, my people can often be found engaged in deep work with their headphones on. When work is not very hectic, you can often find them playing their favorite music out loud-that often provides a boost in their energy levels and uplifts their moods. This year is a celebration of 4 years of tapping our feet to rap, pop, classical, rock, R&B and other tunes.
4 years of learning curves: In today’s fast moving world of business startups, learning trumps knowing every time. I believe once you stop learning, you stop having fun, and you stop succeeding. This year was a celebration of 4 years of amazing learning curves that got us to where we are today.
4 years of professional creativity: I am very proud of my people, the professionalism, integrity and creativity that they have demonstrated over the years that has allowed me to build a team of solid professionals who are equipped to take on any challenge that might come their way.
I am still in my early years and I strive to be around for years to come. With the help of my people, I have built a reputation for myself in the market where I am respected for my values, my culture, my quality of work and commitment to adding value to all my clients. If I were to send a message to my future self for my 50th birthday, I would tell The Social Clinic to
Stay true to your values and never compromise your beliefs
Don’t be afraid to be you.
Refuse to settle for second best.
Always take the high road.
Don’t quit when the going gets tough. There is much to learn when you persevere.