I do get these types of e-mails and messages a lot.

Most people who want to be entrepreneurs come up with the same reason for never getting started: "Where and how shall I begin?".

Below are more questions I want you to ask yourself.

Instagram Likes Don't Equal Success

You may be an absolutely famous designer among your friends and relatives, a bright blogger or IG star, but can you offer a commitment, be diligent, 24/7 hard-working and having no days off? If you say "no" to even one of the above questions, then your business should probably remain a hobby, not an income source.

Not Everyone Is an Entrepreneur

Can you live with uncertainty? Can you delay gratification? Are you persistent? Can you bounce back after disappointment? Can you find creative solutions to problems? Starting your own business is, quite literally, not for the weak of heart. You would need stamina to persevere in the face of the setbacks and failures they will inevitably face. Be honest about your desire to live the life of a not-yet-successful businessperson.

Even the Boss Takes Out the Trash

Working for yourself can be liberating - no boss to report to. But at the beginning there's also no receptionist to screen your calls, no cleaning service to tidy up your office and no technical support staff to solve your computer glitches. Can your ego handle the small stuff? If the answer is "no", then you may have problems adjusting to this new identity. I remember cleaning our 1st Annah Hariri office all by myself and never having an issue about it.

Is This All For Money And Likes?

If you main idea of starting own business is to have money or lots of likes and fame, then I would like you to re-think!

Forget about spending a little profit you (may) earn for Louboutin heels and a Prada bag. For minimum five first years of own business, you would need to invest all your savings and profits into the development and improvement!

For many entrepreneurs, success is about more than just making money. It’s about having an impact and doing something you love. When I reverted to Islam, I felt a deep need of doing something for this Ummah, of leaving a legacy. We are trying always to implement a fair trade at Annah Hariri. We support muslim brothers and sisters in need, offering them an opportunity to develop themselves and improve the situation of their families and extended relatives. We offer them fair salaries and comfortable working conditions with standard working hours, lunch breaks and holidays. Success isn't just a goal, it's a responsibility. And with your 100% commitment for the benefit of our Ummah, success will come from Allah.

Can You Do the Ihsan?

I have a dream! This dream is to see a strong modest wear brand run by Muslims and this brand being famous worldwide for its quality and service. I would like YOU too to have this dream too. When opening your own store or clothing line, let us aim to do the Ihsan (the best) and not just being an Instagram account shop. Let us not be afraid of using models with head coverings, without make up and excluding provocative posing. If we deliver the Ihsan, non-muslims will be attracted to modest wear brands even if the advertising campaign has a lady in a hijab!

Anything you do and especially if you do this for the society requires a total dedication. We have started in 2012 as a family business and now we developed a proper set-up with administrative staff, tailors, pattern-makers, embroidery specialists and quality control. And this requires a lot of time, resources, money and thinking to be invested. I see the job I am doing as a serious project: the Islamic clothes market is an emerging industry with a huge potential. But unfortunately there is no single Islamic brand recognized globally and catering to the fashion needs of the Muslim population worldwide. Muslim designers and companies need to develop in this direction and to establish global Islamic clothing brands. And this challenging task is surely not an overnight idea.

Figure It Out Yourself!

I have not spoken about machines you need to purchase, how many meters of fabrics to buy for your 1st collection or how to market your products... Because if you answer "yes" to all the above questions, you will figure out these baby steps yourself. YOU and only YOU would know by means of trying and error what will work for you. You will keep trying until you find the correct way. You will not quit at the 1st obstacle and will not blame anyone but move forward. And last bust not least

Do Not Forget Istikhara!

In this day and age, people doubt the effect of Istikhaarah and do not give it due importance. This is a Sunnah and a metod through one asks Allah to guide his heart towrds that which is correct.

Sa’ d ibn Waqas reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “Istikharah (seeking guidance from Allah) is one of the distinct favors (of Allah) upon man, and a good fortune for the son of Adam is to be pleased with the judgment of Allah..."

Ibn Taimiyyah said, “He who seeks guidance from the Creator and consults the creatures will never regret it.”

March 04, 2016 — Hanna Alhariri


Fawziah Salem said:

Reading your words above reminded me how a dream can come true with will , guidance of Allah and teamwork ; very heartfelt messages delivered from someone unique like you. Women are leaders in this world and your line of clothing made its way through Mashallah I’ve purchased many one of a kind pieces and proud of each one as I wear and people ask me where did you buy it from with pride I say Anna Hariri!!! I believe in empowerment of women and the potential they have to give to this world. I have a special friend who just started a project and named it “Wishing Threads” to bring the Palestinian cross- stitching to a new level ; hope she fulfills her dreams and teach her goal just like you, everything is possible “She believed she could and she did” matches you perfectly for the clothing line you introduced to Hijabis. Who said dreams don’t come true???

Fabia Briggs said:

How small did you really start and where you the only tailor for the business when you started ? How did you negotiate the payment plan if you had other tailors working with you, regarding the fact that the business haven’t started making profit?

ashir said:

Thank you for the wholesome way you explained the journey.

Ashath said:

Thank you so much for your useful information.
You did wonderful job for people those who are planning to do something unique.

Yasmin said:

Thank you for this very thoughtful post. I do dream of one day doing a clothing business, but the questions you listed to ask – I’ve never done that. Time for some serious thoughts on my part. May Allah bless you sister and your honest efforts.

Abeebat Ajirotutu said:

Jazzakumllahi kairan…. This is really motivating…. It really means that for something to be big it doesn’t start big…. Everything in life is step by step

latifa said:

Jazak allah kheiran my sister, your journey made me feel good. I am franco moroccan in Paris , im creating an islamic brand in Paris … It is very hard in France to have a support because of my choice and my religion. inshallah khrir and I don’t forget Istikharah.

Dalia said:

Wow, this was amazing to read. JazakAllah for your time put to help others. This is more valuable information and guidance then I could have found anywhere else, and the fact that it is on your own Muslim Website, trying to help others create their own. May Allah swt always give you means to keep helping others, Ameen. <3

Sahidah Musa said:

Wow.. amazing.. u just touched my heart!!! so inspiring.. so motivating Alhamdulilah.. :)
Thank you..

Hanium Maria said:

Alhamdulillah! This could be the best way to start the day! I’d go pray fajr in a bit. Well, I too have started my brand called Tahoor in Bangladesh in 2012, and today Alhamdulillah today we have 3 retail outlets and a full fledged factory in Dhaka. I’d love to know more about how you manage your e commerce business as I too have started our e com. Very recently. Lots of Dua going your way! All the best and wishing you all the more success!! Feeamanillah

muhammad iqbal said:

jazaak Allah sister. This is really motivational talk,Istikhara is the great source to take guidance from Allah.
thanks and jazaak Allah

Halimat Abdullahi Usman said:

Strong message it came directly at me as if the message is for me only. JazakAllah khairan this will help me immensely towards my decision.

Rahma said:

Tnx alot…..am inspired

hawwa Aminu Umar said:

Its an inspirational write up most especially the fact that istikhara is important and patience combined with due diligence…

hawwa Aminu Umar said:

Its an inspirational write up most especially the fact that istikhara is important and patience combined with due diligence…

Zareen said:

Alhamdullillah and Jazak Allah sister.

Your inspiring words have given me a direction.

Jazak Allah!

Aqeelah Makawa said:

Alhamdulillah wajzakillahu khayran sister, very inspirational. I also want to start my own clothing line but capital is the issue. In shaa Allah , I will get there. The tips above really gave me a different perspective. Shukran

Lynn Zalina said:

Keep the job going and deliver your best… Im one of your big fan… Less is more! Elegance is u !

lateefah said:

Ma sha Allah sister. May Allah bless d Muslim ummah

VicimLondon said:

Absolutely amazing post. JazakAllah Khair sister Anna for this. You’re right, the modest fashion industry especially if Islamic should not be about the money or the likes but should be about what we believe is best for the Muslim community. We should be seeking to improve our Ummah in every and any little way. May Allah guide us and our Ummah, Allahuma Ameen.

Memunat kabuki said:

You are really going well. May Allah bless u and all ur workers too. I’ve a simillar idea too in mind . Am currently a student at the University of Ghana and I really set up something similar here in my country because we the muslim ladies always have a hard time finding what to where and when to where.
I will love to have u as a mentor too. I really need it.
May Allah make it easy. Ameen.

Evelien said:

This is so motivating!^^ You and your business are really a great example to me. Insha Allah I will dress many woman one day too in modest clothing, which will not only make them look nice, but also make them feel confident and peacefull. You are so kind for stimulating others to do the same and not keeping your success factors a secret. May Allah reward you! Lots of love

Sheikha said:

Your post came just when I was I was searching for answers! Very timely. Thank you for sharing, May Allah bless you and your business

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