Our First Year, in Retrospect!

WOW! We can’t believe it’s been a year already!

Time flies! October 2nd marks our one year of officially venturing out on our own by opening KeepEATreal as a lifestyle and nutrition consultancy, and so much has happened since then.

We get asked often about how this last year has been for us, how we are doing, what has been easy and what has been hard and so we’ve sat down and opened our hearts to share with you our experience so far, so here it is…our year in a nutshell!

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If we were to describe this past year in one word…how was it like for us

A Roller Coaster Ride according to Maria! For her, it’s been an exciting year filled with a lot of ups and downs and many unexpected turns. Though the uncertainty has been scary at times, it’s also been fun and adventurous. For Nadine, and that took some time to answer, she’d say it was more challenging than anything else!

What was our biggest milestones of the year?

We both would have to agree that the launch of Plotos, the region’s first trusted, trendy food delivery app and nutrition platform, is one of our biggest milestones to date.   

Some moments to remember…We’ve got quite a few!

For Maria: One of my favorite moments was the day we took part in a startup competition without really asking about the details beforehand. Though it was slightly nerve wrecking, the experience was great as we were surrounded by so many enthusiastic and passionate entrepreneurs and the energy in the room was amazing.

While for Nadine: I’d have to say that it’s our endless afternoons working on the bar at Nola! Our most daring and creative ideas were done at that place, over our computers and hand-written bar napkin notes! Free spirited working space and lots of laughter! 

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On a professional note, this is what we have learned so far…

There has been a lot of learning in the past year…one of the main things, is that no matter how much we might plan and anticipate things, a lot does not go according to plan, things do take time and it’s important to be patient and persistent. We have learned to be flexible and adaptable and to really trust the process! We have also learned to accept when things don’t go as planned, and to welcome that with open arms, and look for alternatives to move forward. It’s important to look at it in different angles and come up with ways that might not be so conventional and will get the job done just as well!  

And personally, we’ve both grown in different ways

Nadine: I’ve grown in so many ways since venturing out on our own. Mainly this past year has really allowed me to believe more in myself, in my team and Maria, my partner in crime in this colorful adventure we are in together! I learn something new every day, and that builds on my personal growth development and allows me to be a better person

Maria: On a personal level, I’ve learned how to adapt to different situations. Since venturing on our own, we’ve had many unexpected turns of events and circumstances; I’ve learned how to react and deal with them with more logic and less time, though my emotions sometimes still get the best of me and it’s still difficult at times, it has definitely gotten easier!

As for the challenges faced…they were so many!

Some are rewarding, while others are opportunities for growth and learning. For both of us, it is more of knowing how to deal with the unknown! 

We do miss a few things…however the one thing we both miss the most…

We miss the ‘luxury’ of just picking up and leaving on a vacation whenever we want…we miss being able to plan for our next vacation, without taking our laptops when going on a trip and being able to totally disconnect from the world!

Right now, it’s not entirely possible for us to just get up and leave, and so we sometimes feel quite overwhelmed that we are not able to plan our next wanderlust adventure. We are both itching to be somewhere we have never been before, discovering new cities, eating good food and meeting new people!

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Would we do it again? Definitely! In a heartbeat!

The piece of advice we would give someone wanting to venture on their own…

Before it’s too Late, Take the Plunge! We believe that hard work and consistency in executing the day to day details are the key factors in helping make your vision come alive! Life is too short, so just take the risk, follow your dreams and put yourself out there!

As for our next steps for KeepEATreal…We’ve spent the last year building the brand of KeepEATreal, there’s so much we learned and now with the revamp of our website (all thanks to the amazing ladies behind IYAAM), it’s time to take it to the next level and establish it as the go-to nutrition consultancy in the UAE for any projects on a community level be it F&B, schools or other.

And so, with all that said, we hope that we also encourage you to live your best life and follow your passion and dreams, whatever they may be! 

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And, we leave you with this quote from Louis C.K:  

I’ve learned from experience that if you work harder at it, and apply more energy and time to it, and more consistency, you get a better result. It comes from the work.