Small Business Owners During a Pandemic

Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes a picture-perfect life falls apart and leaves us in bewilderment on how to survive in this world. Life definitely brings us to a halt sometimes but you have to remember that you are not the only one going through this turmoil. Life is never a straight line and we all experience ups and downs. It breaks my heart to learn that unemployment in the US alone amounts to more than 26 million which is 15% of the US workforce. We have to fall apart to create a new and meaningful life – a life that makes us even more strong and robust. The truth is we may look back at our life and someday talk about the strength and wisdom we achieved living in the time of the pandemic called COVID-19. We will have to wait and see how many different types of businesses boom at this time. There have been too many articles on how the COVID-19 has seen many blessings in nature. But since my focus is on people and organizations, I will stick to my forte.
1. If you are a small business owner and have delayed taking your business online in the past, now is the best time to do so. If your business is not online, you do not exist in the market at this point. Social networking and connecting should be a priority even if you do not appreciate it.
2. Change is difficult especially for some more than others. If you feel you are this person, acknowledge this weakness in you. This particular weakness may set you back years in your business in terms of success. Identify how you feel about change and ask yourself if this is a valid claim.
3. Your business must be evolving and if you practice the same customs for years without change, your business will suffer. If your natural market does not require your products, you cannot keep selling it, no matter how good your customer service or product is. The best example of this is Blockbuster.
4. Business owners are good at identifying their opportunities and threats but when making decisions on how to grow and implement ideas, it is important to list as many ways as possible and consider the wild factors. There is a human tendency of hesitation or avoiding actions that have not been taken before in an organization. Business owners and top management prefer to stick to ideas generated that are close to the organizational culture. This is true when it comes to private practices as well such as lawyers’ or physicians’ offices.
5. Be aware of your company culture. Be innovative and instigate change even if you think it is very different from your previous habits. You may bring a completely new and different perspective to your organization that will help your business evolve.

As a coach, I would like to support you if your business is suffering and you would like to bring some change or have had difficulty coping with your new work situation, or you just need someone to find your strengths to divert it to a new passion or business idea. I would like to help broaden your horizon to help generate some extra income through my coaching sessions, wherever you are in the world.

Hamna Siddique is a career and leadership coach focusing on confidence and personal development.

Email: || ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|


How does Change, Mindset, and Passion Drive Career

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela

How do you find your passion? Passion and mindset are a go-to topic for motivational speakers. You could listen to the most motivational speech of your life and still not get inspired to make a change in your life with the wrong mindset. Like I have said before, your mindset is magic. But how do you gravitate towards the right mindset? You could begin by jotting the things you love to do, something you have always wanted to do but shied away from because you were afraid of failure. Next, just do it. Do what you love the most and what scares you the most. Take baby steps. What is the worst thing that can happen? Once the fire of interest is ignited no one can stop you. If you are ready for your new venture and are still intimidated, then I would say get help. We live in an era where there is an expert for everything. You will be surprised how far a little push by the right person can get you.

For me, finding my passion was a quest that took years. My blog post on “Are you unhappy with your career” will shed some light on the path to my passion. For those of you who have not sought coaching before, I would ask you to answer the following questions:

  • How happy are you to wake up in the morning to dive into your work?
  • Do you resonate with your work at all?
  • Do you happily think about your work and are eager to get back to it when you have an idea?

If you feel your answer is a ‘NO’ to the above questions you may risk a chance of feeling burnout, even physical symptoms from being unhappy at work. Some of us gravitate towards a certain discipline at a very young age and are more focused than others. For example, a child who always loved Math in school may choose to be a Math major in college and subsequently a Mathematician/Scientist. Some of us are rainbow personalities and may have various interests that change over time. Pinning these personalities to one discipline and one job their whole life is a form of torture. Whereas some may be a combination of both – focused at times with one activity and a rainbow personality at other times.

A person with a fixed mindset may be biased towards a person with a growth mindset and may criticize the latter for not being focused in her work and the latter may complain that the former is not creative enough to work with her. The activity and the interest of the person engaged in the activity determined the engagement level and the depth of interest. The truth is both these people can find fulfillment and passion in their careers with a little effort and getting the right mentors to help cultivate their interests. Understanding the value your work has and its impact on people and the society may help create passion and guide you into the right mindset.

Understanding your personality may help in comprehending your passion and interest that can be used to enhance your career. People who have been working in the same industry for a long time are intimidated by the idea of changing careers. You do not have to make an immediate drastic change one fine day. It can be done slowly over the course of a few months or even years. With the right mindset, interest, and passion you will gravitate towards success. Albert Einstein said “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”

The most important element that drives my business is passion. I had decided to earn a living following my passion. It seemed like a difficult choice at the time. How do you follow your passion and do so as a career choice and be successful at it? I doubted myself but my passion helped fill the void with a sense of content and happiness.

Being a blogger and a coach, my writing and coaching have created a virtuous circle of happiness for me as the clients I talk to bring joy and inspire me to write my blogs on personality development. My blog posts, in turn, help people approach me for coaching needs. I did not plan this. I started blogging as a way to put my thoughts in one place to honor my love for organizational psychology. I have been pleasantly overwhelmed by the social engagements I have been receiving for my posts, for which I am perpetually grateful.

Hamna Siddique is a career and leadership coach focusing on confidence and personal development.

Email: || ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|




Change and mindset

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I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!

I have been approached by a few business owners and professionals since the pandemic outbreak. I feel and understand the panic in the air for business owners who are earning way below their usual profit margin and have had to let go of a few of their employees; professionals who have had to take a pay cut in their jobs because of the current COVID 19 situation and is in a panic on whether they will have a job or not.

  • It is important to stay positive. Our mindset is magic and if you truly believe in yourself, your skills and instigate change in your life towards your goal, you will be successful. It is not an easy task and we do need a lot of motivation to attain our goals in times like this.
  • If you have more time in your hands, isn’t it a good time to get to know the skills of your employees and initiate other business ideas that have always been at the back of your mind. I would not recommend jumping into any new venture without proper research but do explore your possibilities.
  • Do not see this pandemic as a haul to your business endeavors, but an opportunity to divert into something new, something exciting.
  • If you are a professional hired by someone, isn’t it time to see what you can do for yourself. You can always start your side hustle without quitting your job. You will be amazed at how much you can achieve and the potential you possess if you really dig deep!

I had a full-time job when I started my coaching business. It was various challenges, a motivating coach/coaches and the right mindset that made me the business owner that I am today. It is time business owners take Organizational Change Management seriously and invest in the ‘soft costs’ that are equally important in bringing your profit margin high. At times, the low return on investment for the soft costs are the people and their mindsets with unrealistic expectations, guidance or lack of proper communication. It is imperative that organizations keep a check on their culture, values and see their success rise in the coming years by initiating a mindful approach while taking decisions pertaining to their business.

I am a business and leadership coach and I am happy to help in every way I can if you feel your business is suffering or you are unable to cope with the business pressures due to the pandemic or you have completely lost the balance between your professional and personal life.

Hamna Siddique is a career and leadership coach focusing on confidence and personal development.

Email: || ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|



The effects of COVID-19 on small business owners

Small business owners have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of people who contacted me for help were also small business owners. I would like to reach as many of you as possible through this post if you are going through anxiety and financial crunch due to the current situation. Here are a few things that will help:

  1. Embrace the uncertainty: Uncertainty is part of running a business. It is a fact that uncertainty gets worse in times of a pandemic. Even businesspeople that are established and experienced go through anxiety not knowing what their financial situation would be. It is imperative that you understand that during a pandemic not everything is under your control and we must let go of the things that are out of your control.
  1. Be cautious: Learn to prioritize your projects that generate higher income. Stop and think for a moment before you jump into various projects, on whether the project will give you the revenue that you are looking for. It may have generated a high income for you in the past but it may not do so in a pandemic. I have been contacted by various clients who just needed some help organizing their projects and balance their personal and professional life.
  1. Join your community: Join a community that is going through a similar experience as you are. If you are already a member be active in the community and be a leader by organizing various events and activities that will keep you distracted from the anxiety.
  1. Keep a check on your emotions: Your emotions can take over at times like this. It is important to keep a check on them to avoid any activity triggered by your emotions. People sometimes buy and sell investments during a pandemic and regret the decision later. It is a good idea to write down your new ideas, ask what emotion triggered this idea, and the consequences of executing this idea in a pandemic.

Fun fact: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a funding pool of $50 billion in response to the virus.

Hamna Siddique is a career and leadership coach focusing on confidence and personal development.

Email: || ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|



The effect of COVID-19

We are a couple weeks into the COVID-19 and I hear around me a lot of nervousness and frustration. My home, Houston that dominates Oil and Gas industry is hit severely due to the current climate. In the midst of this despondency, I would like to stimulate some reassurance and inspiration. My goal is not to pour down some unacquainted cheerfulness to spread oblivious hope. I would instead, like to talk a little about what people around me are going through.

  1. Many have already lost their jobs; wondering how to get another job while being trapped in their house. If you are one of them, I would like to assure you not to lose hope and take this time to analyze your passion and interests. Make use of your internet connections and network like you have never before. You will be surprised by who you meet and what you learn. I have had numerous clients who had lost hope completely after losing their job only to find new passions that led them to a completely new field and independence. Yes, there are numerous possibilities if you put your heart and soul into it. Use a fresh pair of eyes and find your strengths. It takes a lot of perseverance but you will get there.
  2. For those of you who had to take pay cuts, had to terminate your employees or subordinates, with a heavy heart, please do not blame yourself. It is a fact that the economy does not move in a straight line and we often see fluctuations in the economy where some lose their jobs, and some lose their incentives. Consider this a transition period and reflect on what you learned from life that you can use later. Yes, do some research and increase your knowledge.
  3. The world has come to a standstill. We are seeing a decline in polarization and agreeing collectively to one thing – end this epidemic. Can we, for a minute, embrace this unity and discard all the hatred and racial loathing? Can we create a new culture of harmony and logical political choices?
  4. We have new enemies now. Surprise! They are not humans. A virus is our new enemy that decided to pose a threat to our safety and our mere existence in this world. Needless to say, we need protection from this. Can we give the same respect and love for our healthcare workers like we give our soldiers? These are our heroes who fight for us in the forefront while we sit comfortably in our homes.

As a coach, I would like to support you if you have lost your job, have had difficulty coping with your new work situation, or are a small business owner who is a little lost, or you just need someone to find your strengths to divert it to a new passion or business idea. I would like to help broaden your horizon to generate some extra income through my coaching sessions, wherever you are in the world.

Health at the time of COVID-19

How are you taking care of your family and friends? And most importantly, how are you taking care of yourself? What changes have you made to your health routine this week due to the COVID-19?

Most of my content on my blog and Facebook posts have been psychology/emotional health-related. To be more specific, it is about behavior patterns and personality blocks that may be affecting my clients’ professional and personal life. But today I would like to talk a little about your physical health with your emotional health. Most of us have heard of the saying ‘Sound body, sound mind’. Although the 17th-century Western world differentiated the mind and the body, the 20th-century gradually saw a change in this view and today we completely understand that the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind.

We have all experienced some changes this week and I would like to offer some tips on how to cope with these:

  1. One can easily experience boredom, exhaustion and a general feeling of lethargy and loss of hope during times. It is not unusual but it is important to keep a check on your emotions and seek help if you feel an overwhelming feeling of desperateness.
  2. The time for social distancing is unknown and for those of us who are planners, uncertainty is a trigger for stress and so try to keep your focus on certain projects and ventures that you had in mind and have been avoiding due to lack of time.
  3. If your business is suffering, seek help. You may have handled your business issues yourself but there is no harm in getting help at the time of need and who knows you may venture into something new and exciting.
  4. Your physical health is as important as your emotional health and vice-versa. Now is a good time to kick start a workout routine if you have not been doing so. Get some cardio by doing some step-ups, try some lunges around your house, maybe squats or make use of those dumbbells. You could also try the various youtube channels to get inspired.

As a coach, I love to challenge people to do things they have been afraid of doing and see them thrive in their newfound strength and freedom by supporting them. If you feel you are going through a rough patch, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am happy to help.

Hamna Siddique is a career and leadership coach focusing on confidence and personal development.

Email: || ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|


Finding beauty in chaos COVID-19

The last few days have caused extreme anxiety for most of us because of the fear of COVID -19. The fear-mongering happening on the internet did not help much either. The internet showcased some hilarious memes on the hoarding of antibacterial gel and toilet roll. Although I laughed at some of them, the thought did occur in my mind ‘does hoarding all the purell and toilet paper really make one secure from this virus?’

It is true that we all have different personalities and I am not recommending altruistic behavior here. You may also ask what do I gain by giving my supplies to others? Nothing tangible other than a good name or prayers maybe. It is true that people don’t hoard because of malicious intent but because of a mere desire to protect themselves. Money can buy hand sanitizers and with that some peace and stability but more sanitizers and masks do not guarantee extreme protection and immortality.

Here are a few things we can do in this time of chaos:
1. Discover your Entropy, the second law of thermodynamics, a degree of the disorder of the universe. In this case, we are witnessing people transforming their lives into a more chaotic and disorderly one. Does our life really need to be this chaotic? Can we stop and think for a second before we flow with negative thoughts?
2. Find structure in strategy: You know the things you have to do this week. You may also need to work from home with children around you as the school is out. Plan this week ahead of time to reduce chaos and frustration. Yes, you can do it!
3. Enjoy some idle time: Most of us don’t get idle time because of our busy schedules. Let us dig our creative side by putting our feet up and thinking about stuff we haven’t thought about in a while. Spend time with your family and enjoy these precious moments.
4. Use technology to socialize: Most of you may have hundreds of friends on social media but have you thought about getting to really know some of these people. Some of their work or quotes may have inspired you in many ways, let them know that they have inspired you. Have a virtual coffee with a friend you have not talked in a while.
5. Find the meaning of your life? What does life mean to you? Prioritize. Find your new life goals.
6. Show gratitude: Let us appreciate the people around us. Let us be grateful for our family. Let us show our sincere gratitude to the healthcare workers working round the clock. Let us lend our support to these heroes in any way we can, be it child support, caring for their elderly, etc.

To those who are living in fear or are feeling extreme anxiety especially over their career or business, I extend my sincere support. I am a career and leadership coach and I am happy to help in any way I can.

Hamna Siddique is a career and leadership coach focusing on confidence and personal development.

Email: || ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|



Re-branding at the time of COVID-19

I am happy to announce the re-branding of my business. I have realized over time that my skills, educational background, and experience are the biggest asset that I have to offer to my clients and hence my new website is named after me.


I welcome every one of you to subscribe and as a complimentary gift from me receive some information on your intelligence/emotional intelligence guide to discover and learn more about your intelligence. This can be used to advance your career/business further and strengthened to improve your expertise in your career/business.


My blog on behavior patterns, blocks, and biases we face as humans is a huge part of this website. I started this coaching business to have a career in which I feel fulfilled by helping people who need expertise while also helping me with my financial independence. I saw this niche in the market, where I felt people are suffering in silence when it comes to their career and business, without getting any help from an expert. Needless to say, the chances of business or your career surviving are much higher with the help of an expert than without one, especially in the current climate due to COVID-19.


For those of you, who are business owners, I can help in managing various projects by getting yourself organized and prioritize your higher income-generating project or help in finding the mindset blocks that have been putting you off various business ideas and projects.


For executives and leaders, especially from the corporate world, I was there and I know how it is. I am happy to help you with your leadership skills, motivate you by finding your strengths and passion. You will be happy to discover a new ‘you’. You will learn how to communicate with your employers and colleagues effectively by enhancing your strengths. This will also help in guarding yourself against any damaging effects on your career and health. If you have catalysts in your personal life that is affecting your functioning at your workplace, we can discuss that too.


Several healthcare workers, especially physicians had reached out to me due to the current situation. I have also seen various posts and articles on the unrealistic expectation of bravery and emotional detachment from physicians. Physicians have every right to be intimidated by the current situation that created an environment of chaos and disorderliness. Prioritizing patient care and working long hours in a disruptive environment can lead to burnout over the long term. I would like to emphasize the wellness of these clinicians during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide my full support and a medium to vent through my coaching sessions.


Hamna Siddique is a career and leadership coach focusing on confidence and personal development.

Email: || ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|




How to embrace our emotions?

Imagine a boardroom full of people trying to solve complex issues. Chances are the level of emotions may be displayed in the room depending on the hierarchy of the leaders, where the top leader in the room is in a better position to display her emotions. The employee in the lowest tier of the leadership tries hard to hide her emotions. The western civilization has embraced the ethos of an emotionally amputated decision-making roundtable where the solutions are more technical and less emotionally comprehensible.

It is true that technical solutions can be utilitarian compared to an entirely emotionally motivated action. Purely emotionally driven behavior can lead to an uncontrollable situation with mob-like conduct spreading like wildfire. Hitler’s Nazi Germany was a good example of this. The propaganda created by Hitler at the time exploited the emotions of the people and stirred up hatred that leads to violence and hostility towards people who seemed different from them. The Milgram Shock experiment conducted by Stanley Milgram, a psychologist at Yale University highlights the conflict an individual experiences between obedience to an authority figure and personal conscience. Milgram questioned whether Adolf Eichmann, German high official and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust and his officers were accomplices or were just following orders. The experiment involved “killing” innocent humans by administering a shock. It was finally concluded from the experiment that ordinary people follow orders easily if coming from an authority figure. Subsequently, the authority figure can also misuse their power and autonomy to make irrational decisions.

What role does emotion have in all this? When we are stuck in a situation such as the above, either as a leader or a follower, dig into those feelings. Explore the emotion and check if it is in favor of morality. Aristotle argues that virtues regulate our emotions. Whether it is true or not can we not explore the virtues that we possess, for instance, fear of people different from us by trying to understand these people by getting to know them through their culture and develop courage?  Can we not dig into these emotions and find out if they arise out of an old mindset and family belief or is it in line with the current boisterous time that we live in? If these emotions are pragmatic and guide us to a more principled path then surely revelation of these emotions can aid in the situation. Extreme measures are taken to hide emotions in organizations but isn’t it time to change this outlook and use these to our advantage. Leaders could embrace this by incorporating positive emotions such as gratitude in the organization. These emotions can also lead to reciprocal altruistic behavior by persuading the other individual to boost their morale reinforcement further.

Displaying positive emotions help in recreating positive experiences again in life and subsequently, reliving these positive experiences create a kind of adaptability in people, in the sense that negative and unfortunate experiences can be interpreted in a positive way. This is in relation to adaptation theory that suggests that under normal circumstances, people tend to adapt to positive variations in the environment. They reach a state of hedonic neutrality. Increasing gratitude can prevent this fall and people appreciate it even in hard and adverse situations by interpreting it in a more positive light. This means even when an employee is having a rough day at work, the feeling or the remembrance that the employee is with helpful people in a good environment can help them feel better about the situation.

Going back to the story of Hitler and Nazi Germany, the Jews looked different from them. Hitler was bothered by how different they looked and stayed away from them in his younger days. I wonder if Hitler had explored his emotions and questioned his hatred and tried to create a sense of psychological safety for himself by getting to know them, the hatred would not have spread like wildfire. Leaders of organizations could create a sense of psychological safety too by getting to know the people who work for them and create history for leaders of tomorrow by showcasing empathy and gratitude in making positive influences. Wouldn’t the world be a much better place to be if we nourish our human side to harness a future that we would like our future generation to live in?

Hamna Siddique is a career and leadership coach focusing on confidence and personal development.

Email: || ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|


Leaders! The disastrous Cognitive Bias that sank the Titanic


We all remember the opening scene of the movie ‘Titanic’. People are waving their hands to their loved ones, not knowing they will never see some of them alive again. Just watching it today still brings out my raw emotions. The giant had the nickname “unsinkable”. There is a rumor that Capt. Edward John Smith had said, “Even God himself couldn’t sink this ship”. Oh, but the ship did sink. Immediately, it was said that the iceberg caused the ship to sink but what sank the ship? It was believed by many that the ship is too good to sink. Studies indicate that we base the quality of a decision or behavior by its result, ignoring many extenuating factors that could eventually result in the success or failure of the action. The titanic carried 2,200 passengers but lost 1,200 precious souls. Despite the ship having hundreds and thousands of meat and edibles, it carried only 20 lifeboats, ignored 30 different ice warnings.

The belief that there is no chance of a disaster and it is better to risk the lives of these people with just these lifeboats and ignore all other signs and warnings is because of a cognitive quirk known as “outcome bias”. Outcome bias can make us increasingly risky but at the same time, make us rejoice in the outcome of this risk if it was a success. Leaders who take risks on various projects or physicians who make irrational decisions without weighing in the pros and cons of the consequences of their actions are leading themselves into an irrational and unethical state of affairs.

The employees may follow the leader assuming this individual can navigate through unusual and difficult circumstances unlike them and sometimes adhere to ‘groupthink’. The biggest and most famous example of groupthink is when John F. Kennedy, in 1960, decided to proceed with the plan of President Eisenhower to land in Cuba’s southern coast to overthrow Fidel Castro’s communist regime. The spirit of camaraderie led his team to follow his decisions blindly; after all, he was the commander in chief. A leader always hopes for the best outcome for her project. If the leader has been successful in various other projects and has accumulated numerous years of experience, she may underestimate the risks involved in future projects. Overlooking facts, hoping for the best outcome is a catastrophic mistake made by many in the top management. These leaders are praised if the outcome was successful and criticized if the outcome was ineffective.

This is pertinent for government policymakers who implement various initiatives. Needless to say, it is true when it comes to sports too. A player is either criticized or praised for the result but not for the effort and the performance she put in the game. If the Titanic had not sunk or the outcome of the maiden voyage was successful, no one would have mentioned the negligence of the people or the inferior quality of steel used for the Titanic. Whether you are a CEO, project manager, policymaker, or physician, you must factor in the risks involved in a project or a case. Let the successful outcome not lure you into another project without weighing in the risks involved in it. Let us all focus on the process, not the outcome, and free our minds from this skewed irrational haven of hope.

Hamna Siddique is a career and leadership coach focusing on confidence and personal development.

Email: || ©2020 Goldbridge Coaching LLC |All Rights Reserved|