Overcoming the trap of fear
Executive MBA / 1 July 2022
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Executive MBA Class of 2020
Rasha is the CEO of CEDEM AG in Switzerland which is a premium nutraceutical products company targeting MENA and Emerging markets of China, SSA and Latin America. Originally from Jordan she started her career in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry in 2007 when she established MED-PRODUCTS GmbH in Frankfurt. With 20 years of trading experience, Rasha completed her Executive MBA at Frankfurt School in 2020.

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Time flies! And here I am today already forty-two years old, stunned by how fast time went by. Everything I had read about the age of forty is certainly ringing true and not just for me as a woman but also for men, as my male friends tell me.

I’ve always believed that in life, the biggest problem is fear, which is why I always tried to ignore it, and believe me, I am as stubborn as one can get. So, I thought of fear as a charming companion I was sitting next to, who would be discussing with me. I knew how to always outsmart this fear by making it sleep before it had the chance to fill me at night.

As Nikos Kazantzakis wrote in his last book Report to Greco:  “As long as our souls remain strong, that is all that matters; as long as they don’t decline. Because with the fall of certain souls in this world, the world itself will collapse. These are the pillars that support it. They are few, but enough.”

The power of age and the start of success

The most beautiful feature of the age of forty is that our souls become stronger, and we don’t need to meet that fear again except occasionally, maybe once in a couple of years.

I personally believe that the stories of Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are great examples: they happened to become legendary because at a specific point in time the world was turning to computer technologies. But in the end, the entirety of the universe’s work is not only about a computer or a virtual space, it is about taking those risks and facing your fears.

Perhaps one of the reasons we entrepreneurs succeed at a younger age is because, at the beginning of our journey, we have the ability to innovate thanks to having more time and energy in the teething phase of a startup, which is usually the most painful period of a company’s life.

While I believe that success and sustainability begin at the age of forty, I look at my own personal experience and see that my personality began to take shape in my early thirties, after collecting some work experience and starting to feel mature in business. Since then, at forty I was able to reach the point in my business career where I am most comfortable and confident.

When I look at my life, and the studies that I have read on entrepreneurship, and compare them with those I have studied at Frankfurt School, everything looks clearer. Suddenly it just fits together and leads to success and development.

The right time for my professional development

For my Executive MBA, graduating when I was forty provided me with a wealth of advantages that will stay with me in the long run. The vast new networking opportunity it created for instance with fellow classmates, executives, and industry professionals is certainly a big plus. Even though I already had a lot of experience when I got my degree, the Executive MBA still offered and presented new challenges and learning experiences from the ones I had collected first-hand throughout my business career.

The Executive MBA sparked new interests and ideas with the development of looking at things from a brand-new perspective, which are things that I might have not been so receptive to at a younger age. It also goes without saying that the programme increased my knowledge base in all areas of business development.

All in all, I can state that the advantages of getting an Executive MBA at a later stage in your career are creating a long-run added value, more clarity and a fearless life.