American University of Beirut

 Why not me?

That’s just one of the questions that Mira Kaddoura (BGD ’00), founder of Red & Co., asked during the inspiring and thoughtful workshop that she led on Saturday, March 6. Kaddoura’s workshop was one of three alumnae-led workshops that followed immediately after the main AUB4Women – Celebrating 100 years of coeducation at AUB​ event, which featured keynote speaker Queen Noor.

Kaddoura reflected on her career and what she’s learned during her journey. “Your life’s purpose,” she said, “is to find that intersection between what the world needs and what you are uniquely qualified to deliver.” It is something Kaddoura said she’s continuing to do every day to ensure that she is “living in alignment with who I am.”

One of the issues that came up repeatedly during Kaddoura’s remarks is how difficult it is to find a work-life balance. She spoke about the very long hours that she worked at Wieden+Kennedy, where she began her career. “You could never work enough,” she remembered. “I left knowing that I wanted to be more in alignment.”

She urged everyone to listen to – and to trust – their inner voice. Kaddoura also suggested that people think about energy like money. “It’s a finite resource. Think about where, how, and with whom you want to spend it.”

Kaddoura is spending some of her personal energy these days listening to and reading books by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and women's health physical therapist Tami Lynn Kent. She has also signed up for a trauma workshop that Luis Mojica is leading. “We have everything inside us to heal the traumas we are affected by,” she said. Kaddoura explained that all of these activities “contribute to the piggy bank of wisdom and knowledge. It all comes out in different ways.”

As the mother of three young daughters, Kaddoura has a very personal interest in empowering girls and women. “We can teach girls – and boys – to listen to their inner voice,” she said, noting that children are “too often raised to seek external validation” and to ignore their inner voice. “How do you keep society from taking their voice away from them?”

Kaddoura concluded her remarks by urging everyone to take risks. “The more risks you take, the more risks you take. It’s a muscle you train. It is now something I am comfortable doing,” she said.

You can watch Mira Kaddoura’s presentation here.​

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