Written by Kamal Ali, founder of My Salah Mat
One step can lead to great opportunities!
Recently, I was asked to talk about my business My Salah Mat and to tell my story at a large event. Hayley Vincent, my international trade adviser with Llywodraeth Cymru / Welsh Government asked me to speak at the Wales Export Trade Event. Although I used to be a teacher for almost a decade, facing classrooms of 30 children every day, I was very apprehensive as in recent times I didn’t do much public talking
Despite my apprehensions, I said yes to this opportunity as I really wanted to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone.
However, nothing prepares you for the actual moment when you are in front of a few hundred people all looking at you to speak!
This was an important Welsh Government event, that was opened with a great speech by Vaughan Gething, the economy minister.
Kamal Ali, founder of My Salah Mat speaking at Wales Export Trade Event 2022
Alhamdulillah, the event was a great success. I spoke about my initial idea, my journey and how I bought my idea to life. The audience were fascinated by the story and I even got a few laughs out of them. What an amazing experience!
After this event, I did not expect what came next. There was a journalist called Huw Thomas in the audience who heard me speak and he asked to visit me at the MySalahMat office. He wanted to write an article about the business and maybe even make a recording for BBC News!
When he visited us, he spent hours filming and interviewing the staff and a few weeks later we were broadcast on BBC News as well as a piece about us on the BBC News website. This was shared nationally and it even went international when it was posted on the BBC Arabic website. Suddenly I was being contacted by friends from Egypt and a few other countries all telling me they had seen the article! It was a proud moment.
Kamal Ali, founder of My Salah Mat interviewed by BBC Wales, 6pm News
However, there was even more to come. A producer for BBC Sunday Morning Live called Chris Mcmillan also across the BBC article. He loved the concept of MySalahMat and everything it represented and was interested in doing a feature for the Sunday Morning live show. I agreed as this was an unbelievable opportunity.
The recording was fun and exciting and took place at my local mosque and at home with my kids! There was a whole day of filming that took place to create a five-minute segment and I am happy to present the final product here.
From agreeing to deliver a short talk, I was featured in a BBC article and from this, I was on a TV show! It’s amazing the opportunities that I was given just by stepping out of my comfort zone and taking on a challenge.