NAME: Kelly Marie Hodgkin
INSTAGRAM HANDLE: @kellymariehodgkin
JOB TITLE: Entrepreneur and business mentor
I am a mother of soon to be 4, a wife of 11 years and a Dubai resident for 17 years.
I believe in supporting women and helping them unlock the power they hold to reach their true destiny. I advocate for women’s empowerment and encourage female business owners to fulfil their potential. My passion is success, and I run a few different businesses in the UAE. One of those is Gym Clothing Co – a Dubai-born gym clothing brand that combines quality and affordability. I own an events and modelling agency, which was my first business here in Dubai. I am a Business Mentor working with individuals at different stages of growth to align their objectives with action. I also host networking events and retreats.
#LIFELESSON 1 - Your past does not define your future
My first life lesson is one I have lived through and experienced. After being born, not being wanted and eventually given away for adoption – my life could have been very different if I had chosen. I could have followed in my birth mother’s footsteps and been a victim and a drug abuser – I did not. I took all my pain and turned it into power. It gave me a strong sense of independence and resilience, which have been the driving force behind everything I have achieved. I want readers to remember whatever trauma, pain or sadness you have experienced in your childhood or past – IT DOES NOT DEFINE who you are today. The choice is yours – make the right one and don’t let a history you can’t control hold you back.
#LIFELESSON 2 – Do not take no for an answer
My second life lesson after being told NO way too many times “you can’t, you won’t, you’re not good enough” - is YES I can and YES I am. It starts with self-belief, and once you believe you can do something, do not stop until you have achieved what you set out to accomplish. Never listen to people telling you it’s not possible; they have their own agenda. Often, when someone puts limits on you, it’s a reflection of their own self-doubt and their problem to deal with. From starting work at a young age, I always lied about my age to appear older and more experienced – when the truth was I knew I was good enough to do the job regardless. Later, when I started my own business, people still told me it wouldn’t work – who’s laughing now?
#LIFELESSON 3 - Experience it all
My life lesson 3 is to let yourself experience it all. Accept the highs and the lows, the bad experiences as well as the good. The successes and the failures. Running away from painful or negative things won’t work; you have to really sit with and process all types of emotions to appreciate the good times even more. Traumas can’t be kept in a box, it will always resurface, so take control and deal with it properly. Don’t be sad about your failures, learn from them. Explore why things didn’t work out and move on. It’s not about dwelling on disappointments, but acknowledging their reality so they no longer stand in your way. And remember, everything in life is a lesson or a blessing.