Rising Through Resilience: Rym Benchaar of My Coach Rym On The Five Things You Can Do To Become More Resilient During Turbulent Times
An Interview With Savio P. Clemente
Build your support system — Finally, building resiliency is not an easy thing to do. This is why surrounding yourself with people who can support you, be a good listener and offer you different perspectives is incredibly vital. Personally, my husband, close friends and family have been an essential part of my success and my ability to face and overcome adversity.
Resilience has been described as the ability to withstand adversity and bounce back from difficult life events. Times are not easy now. How do we develop greater resilience to withstand the challenges that keep being thrown at us? In this interview series, we are talking to mental health experts, authors, resilience experts, coaches, and business leaders who can talk about how we can develop greater resilience to improve our lives.
As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rym Benchaar.
Rym Benchaar is a business coach & marketing strategist who founded My Coach Rym, a fast growing coaching and educational company that helps women turn their genius into a 6-figure online business.
After climbing the corporate ladder at Fortune 500 companies for 11 years, she started working on her business in the midst of the pandemic and quickly scaled it to over multiple-six figures before she left her role as an executive. In just 12 months, she’s helped over 150 women pursue their entrepreneurial dreams by growing their own online business, leaving their 9–5 and hitting $10K+ months. You can learn more at www.mycoachrym.com
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
I was born in Algeria in the late 80s and fled the war-torn country with my family in hopes for a better life. During the first 10 years of my life, we moved around quite frequently, struggling to find a place to call home. 3 continents, 3 countries and 5 cities later, we ended up settling down in Montreal, Canada where I spent most of the rest of my life.
But by the age of 16, I had a life-changing experience. I was on a flight and one of the engines suddenly shut down. We abruptly lost altitude and lo and behold, we were about to crash. How we all survived, I’m not sure — we have to thank the amazing pilots who saved all of our lives. But one thing I know is that I came out a completely different person.
During my near-death experience, I saw my short life flash before my eyes. But eerily enough, I also had a peek at my future hopes and dreams that I feared at that moment I’d never realize. It was a powerful and eye-opening experience and as I learned I was going to get a second chance at life, I knew I had to do what it takes to fulfill the hopes and dreams I witnessed so I can create a positive impact and legacy.
After graduating from college, successfully climbing the corporate ladder and relocating to NYC to further my career, I remembered my 16 year-old self, her vision to positively impact the world and asked myself: is this career helping me achieve these dreams? The answer was simple: no.
As a result, I decided to follow my guts and start my coaching business. I had a particular passion of helping women make money and fulfill their own dreams so we can bridge the existing gender wealth gap. Therefore, I decided to focus on helping women turn their genius into a profitable online business so they can make bank and create an impact.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
The pandemic has not only shaken up the world, but it has taught me a couple of very important lessons.
When the pandemic finally reached New York City in March 2020, we were introduced to an unexpected new level of uncertainty, especially from a career perspective. I didn’t know if I would still have a job, if the company where I was working was going to survive the pandemic, and what the future held for me.
I had two options at that point:
- Panic and worry about what’s to come, or
- Create a plan B in case things were to go awry.
I went for the second option. At that point, I could not accept living with the unknown and uncertainty, especially when I had no sense of security with my job. I simply decided it was better to make the most of the situation by starting a business and go fully in.
My biggest takeaway from this experience is that when life throws you lemons, you can truly turn those into something sweeter, like lemonade. The pandemic brought instability, layoffs and has affected many brick-and-mortar businesses. I offered a solution to these employees and businesses which consist of pivoting their products and services to be sold online. It’s truly a win-win situation where I no longer depended on a 9–5 and my clients were getting the support they needed to become pandemic and recession-proof.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
The coaching industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world and is expected to reach $20 billion in value by 2022. There are no barriers to entry and anyone can virtually become a coach.
Unfortunately, we’ve worked with many clients who were burned by unqualified coaches who only wanted to make quick money and that has given the industry a little bit of a bad reputation.
This is how we stand out. I come with 11 years of relevant experience and my team of coaches are all equally qualified. We thrive on being committed to help women get the best results possible so they can live a fulfilled life, achieve their dreams and make the impossible happen. We operate from a place where we’re in it to make a difference. I still hold my hopes and dreams to create a lasting impact true to my heart through our mission.
We’re here to change lives and create a ripple effect.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
There are quite a few people who have helped me get to where I am today. But if I had to pick one, it would be Lattice Hudson, my mentor. When my coaching business was simply an idea and I was doubting my ability to succeed, she not only saw my talent and potential, but she also gave me the tools to get started. I felt so empowered by her and she’s someone I have so much respect for. I don’t think I’d be where I am today without Lattice’s help.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
For me, resilience means being faced with difficult circumstances and choosing to fight adversity rather than letting it win over your life. It means that no matter what we face, we continue to move forward, face our challenges and still keep our eyes on the prize.
Resilience may look different for each person but ultimately, it can be universally defined by their ability to jump back on their feet after a temporary setback.
The typical traits of a resilient person are faith, commitment, an unshakeable and unstoppable belief in oneself, perseverance and determination. Resilience also requires a specific type of mindset and belief. The belief that everything happens for a reason, that things don’t happen to us, they happen for us. This requires a completely unique and different outlook on life which goes well beyond personality traits. It’s a way of life.
Courage is often likened to resilience. In your opinion how is courage both similar and different to resilience?
Courage is a key part of resilience. As we face adversity and experience setbacks, we may need to step out of our comfort zone in order to move forward, which requires courage. Courage means that as we face a difficult situation that scares the heck out of us, we feel the fear and do it anyway.
Courage is also different from resilience. Resilience requires courage amongst other traits, but courage in itself is not enough to be resilient. Courage gets you across fear. Resilience is a state of mind where we have an unshakeable belief in our ability to find success and achieve our vision, and act accordingly no matter what life throws at us.
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
My mom is probably one of the most resilient people I’ve known and I somewhat consider myself resilient because I learned so much from her. My mother had to leave everything behind — her degree, career, home country and family in order to provide a better life for us. She faced multiple challenges as we traveled and moved around different countries in just a few years but she’s never shown an ounce of pessimism. She’s always been extremely positive, resourceful and hopeful while providing us with an incredible amount of support and love. She’s an incredibly strong and generous woman who gives unselfishly, no matter the hardships and circumstances that she faces. I look up to her and I am who I am today because of her.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
Absolutely! It has happened to me many times. When I started my coaching business, I still had a 9–5 and was told that it was going to be impossible to even match my salary with my business income. They thought it was a “cute, little side business” that had no chance to grow. When someone tells me it’s impossible, it’s an immediate trigger for me to prove them wrong. It’s never pleasant to hear that, especially from people close to you. But ultimately, the best feeling is to crush my goals after I’m told I won’t succeed. A couple of months after starting my business, I literally matched my 9–5 monthly income. A year later, I had doubled my 9–5 income! And the rest is history. I’m happy I listened to my inner instinct and did not let that situation deter me from pursuing my dreams.
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever? Can you share that story with us?
A few months after I started my business, I had a major setback. In fact, my business grew too quickly and I found myself on the road to burnout due to the sudden increase in workload coming from new clients, as well as juggling my full-time job along with all my other personal responsibilities. I almost gave up on my business. I had little help, no one to confide in and I was exhausted. However, instead of quitting, I decided to take a break. I took some time off, served my existing clients and held back on marketing and sales until I found a healthy balance again. That break saved my business, and myself. I laid out a solid plan for my comeback, hired some help and gained back my confidence. A few months later, we were back on track and growth has been steady since then. The lesson is don’t quit, just take a break!
How have you cultivated resilience throughout your life? Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Can you share a story?
As an immigrant who left my home country early on during my childhood and lived in 3 different continents in just 10 years, this came with its own set of challenges. I never felt like I belonged. I had to adapt and get acclimated to a new environment, school, people, culture and language every time we moved. Learning how to write and speak a new language every couple of years has definitely contributed to building my resilience. Making new friends was also a big challenge. It was quite difficult and painful to leave behind old friends and make new ones. I also experienced bullying as I was always considered an outcast. When I was in my home country, I was not really considered being from there since I grew up elsewhere. And outside of my home country, I’m considered an immigrant. That feeling of being out of place and still working towards my goals has helped me build my resilience.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient? Please share a story or an example for each.
- Reframe your mind — Reframing your mind is incredibly important as I consider it an essential component of resilience. Remembering that things happen for us, not to us and that at some point in the future, we’ll think back and find a valuable lesson from this experience.
As the pandemic hit us, I detached myself from that fear and quickly reframed my mind to make the most out of it. I immediately thought of a Plan B and thought it was the perfect time to go fully in with my coaching business idea.
- Practice gratitude — Something that’s helped me have a more positive outlook on life and get through hardships in a more grounded manner is to practice gratitude. Practicing gratitude daily means spending some time, even just 5 minutes, to embrace what you’re grateful for in your life. We tend to take lots of things for granted and as we consistently remind ourselves what we have as opposed to what we may not have yet, this can help us have a greater impact on how we deal with difficulties. Practicing gratitude helps me get a burst of happiness and optimism, which allows me get through the tough times, like the ups and downs we face as entrepreneurs, in a smoother manner.
- Take action — Taking action is crucial to build our resilience and get past our hardships. Actions are more powerful than thoughts. The more we act, the stronger we become. The stronger we become, the more powerful our resilience. I could have stalled on pursuing my business coaching idea. I could have found all the excuses in the world to not take action. And yet I acted on that because I wanted to come out stronger at the end of this. I simply made a plan and decided to stick to it.
- Celebrate every milestone — Celebrating every milestone allows us to acknowledge that we pushed ourselves out of our comfort zone and came out stronger. It’s something to be proud of, so celebrate! Just like you would celebrate buying a house, getting a promotion or another trip around the sun, celebrating your success after a hardship, small or big, can help build your resilience further.
- Build your support system — Finally, building resiliency is not an easy thing to do. This is why surrounding yourself with people who can support you, be a good listener and offer you different perspectives is incredibly vital. Personally, my husband, close friends and family have been an essential part of my success and my ability to face and overcome adversity.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
Practicing gratefulness. Spending 5 minutes every day being grateful for what we have can have positive effects on your ability to succeed. I started this practice right before the pandemic and it helped me build a robust mindset that I was able to use to face my challenges.
In today’s society, we often take a lot of things for granted, like having a roof over our heads or drinkable water. So when we are faced with a difficult situation, we tend to shift our focus on it and let our emotions spiral out of control. But if we were grateful for all the things we already have, we would not feel like the world is ending. Personally, it’s helped me think rationally and be in “there’s always a solution” mode. This hands off not only helped me build resilience, but it made me a happier and better person.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them :-)
There are so many people who have had a positive impact on my life, but if there’s a particular one I’d love to meet, it would be Jen Sincero. Everything from her story, challenges, successes and teachings are not only extremely relatable, but they personally have helped me take leaps of faith and gain the courage to go for it, even if it felt scary. Plus, she has an incredible sense of humor and her books are a pleasure to read!
How can our readers further follow your work online?
They can find me on Instagram as @mycoachrym and on Facebook & LinkedIn as Rym Benchaar.
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!