Abeer Qumsieh | EO Jordan | Losing It All and Rebuilding After the Pandemic
Smart Business Revolution

Abeer Qumsieh is the Founder and CEO of Khibraty and Better Business, which is based in Jordan. Her company has been deep in the team-building activity space in the Middle Eastern region. She has extensive expertise in organizational development and transformation, service culture development, and organizational mindset. Abeer is also an investor and a philanthropist. 

In this episode of the Smart Business Revolution Podcast, John Corcoran interviews Abeer Qumsieh, the Founder and CEO of Better Business, about her experience being a member of EO and how her business has benefited from it. Abeer also talks about the Global Leadership Conference, Global Leadership Academy, and rebuilding during the pandemic. Stay tuned.

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Here’s a Glimpse of What You’ll Hear:

  • Abeer Qumsieh explains how her business was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • How Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and the Global Leadership Academy (GLA) helped Abeer rebuild her business 
  • The new opportunities the pandemic presented for Abeer’s business
  • How joining EO has impacted Abeer’s business
  • Abeer talks about her first global leadership conference and the biggest takeaways she has learned from GLC events
  • What being a member of EO’s Global Leadership Committee involves
  • Abeer’s advice to people looking to attend the Global Leadership Conference in 2022
  • Where to learn more about Abeer Qumsieh

Resources Mentioned In This Episode

Sponsor: Rise25

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Rise25 Cofounders, Dr. Jeremy Weisz and John Corcoran, have been podcasting and advising about podcasting since 2008.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:10

Welcome to the revolution, the Smart Business Revolution Podcast where we ask today’s most successful entrepreneurs to share the tools and strategies they use to build relationships and connections to grow their revenue. Now, your host for the revolution, John Corcoran.

John Corcoran 0:40

All right, welcome everyone. John Corcoran here. I’m the host of this show, you don’t get to check out some of our archives because we got great episodes with founders or CEOs of Netflix Kinkos YPO, EO, Activision Blizzard, LendingTree, and many more. I’m also the co-founder of Rise25, where we help connect b2b business owners with their ideal prospects. This is part of our Entrepreneurs’ Organization Global Leadership Conference series, the Global Leadership Conference, or GLC is a conference for emerging business leaders put on by the Entrepreneurs Organization each year, you know what, just Google it and you can learn all about it. But I’m a member of EO and Abeer. My guest here today is a member as well. And we’re gonna be talking a lot about that conference in the latter half of this conversation. But in the beginning of this conversation, we’re going to talk about my guest. Her name is a Abeer Qumsieh. She is the CEO and founder of Better Business, is based in Jordan and a number of other companies as well. And her company has been deep in the team building activity space in the Middle East region. She has extensive expertise in organizational development, transformation, service, culture, development, and organizational mindset. She’s also an investor and a philanthropist. And so we’re gonna dive into that story. 

And of course, this episode is brought to you by Rise25 Media, my company where we help b2b businesses to get clients referrals and strategic partnerships with done for your podcasts and content marketing. Go to rise25media.com to learn all about it. Alright, Abeer, it’s such a pleasure to have you here today. And let’s dive into the last two years for you, I want to hear this story because you go into the beginning of 2020. And you’ve got a great business, that actually you were focused on, on digitizing, but not with the same urgency as would need to come along very quickly. And then the pandemic hits, and you’ve got a business that is doing, you know, training and learning and development activities in person. And so it just basically kind of upended things for you. So tell me about what things was like for you in March 2020, when you realize that you’re gonna have to make a lot of changes quickly.

Abeer Qumsieh 2:45

Yep. John. Well, it was a very interesting journey, loads of lessons learned. And it literally I lost all the business in March like March 17, full lockdown here in Jordan. And we actually just started 2020 In January, doing a great strategy for the business. And digitalization was on our mindset. But we were thinking, you know, digitalization in a different way, like having a platform to connect the trainers, the experts with companies who lead them, we all our work and products and services were face to face in person, big team building events, big learnings, capacity building developments, assessment centers for people, and March 17, everything closes down and we start getting all those invoices back from our customers, saying please, we need to pose we need to cancel, we need to see what’s going on. So it was a big shock to be honest, and you know, psychological chalk. And here in Georgia, and in this part of the world, our government enforce our protection laws for our staff. So we had to keep our staff by low or close the business. So it was, you know, a very tough time where you either close or you have to keep yourself keep running, keep your costs and don’t receive any contracts from from your customers. So that’s crazy, to be honest, really, really crazy times

John Corcoran 4:07

between hard plays for sure. Yeah. So what did you do?

Abeer Qumsieh 4:11

Well, I think he Oh, had prepared me really well. I just had come the night 2019 from GLA Global Leadership Academy, where I learned a lot of leadership, valuable leadership lessons and resilience. And I think I just, you know, went after it. I mean, seven, march 17. Lockdown, march 21. We were the first company to be on Zoom doing live talks. And because I served on the several committees on with EO I knew zoom. Thank God a blessing. So we did those. We did live talks or free live talks, and we were the talk of the town. People did not know what Zoom is or how to download it and back then You know, there weren’t very easy links, it was a bit different than now. We did live talks we were and we started doing online stuff that we have never done. And we were the leaders in the market. And everybody followed us, we had 600 700 People in the Zoom rooms, watching our talks, all our income, had, we had zero income for three months, from March till June, with nothing in assurance in the horizon, but you know, we just, I had that gut feeling, the team also had to put in a lot of hours to work and pivot, learn the new things and be the leaders in the market. And so what

John Corcoran 5:38

did you did you come up with new services or product? What did you start selling, in order to generate revenue, we,

Abeer Qumsieh 5:46

we basically started learning how to do the training online, how to do breakout rooms, how how to engage, do training programs online with high engagement, high quality, great impact, because you know, people were very resistant to that. So we started telling our customers we’re going to do online, all our customers were saying, how do you know online, you don’t know, online. So the talks, because we pre proved during the live talks, and the free live talks, people got our customers got started trusting us again. And so they said, Okay, we’re flexible. Let’s try this. And we started turning all our contracts that has been paused into actual try this, you know, pilot with us. And let’s see how it goes. And people started engaging. And slowly, slowly, slowly, we regained our, our customers or market share,

John Corcoran 6:38

and it starts breathing again.

Abeer Qumsieh 6:42

It was crazy, I must tell you, but the beautiful thing is also that the pandemic opened huge opportunities for us. We I mean, we developed online video, training learning material, and we a new product called Shahdara. T was born. So we produced over 100 Nano learning videos in the Arabic language with you know, this is still a very premature market. So we started serving companies in UK, Malaysia, you know, all over the world, it’s like one button closed, or one door closes 100 others open it

John Corcoran 7:22

on your clients can be anywhere in the globe. Yeah. And then And then also, and I think this is fascinating is companies that take an idea that is thrives in a different market, and then apply it to their market. You know, when they’re the first one to do it, you know, I imagine since you’re plugged in on a global scale through to you seeing what’s happening in other countries that you kind of took some of best practices and applied it in your market. So

Abeer Qumsieh 7:45

that’s the beauty of EO and the global network that you feel you’re not alone. There are others out there that are going through the same challenges, challenges and pressures. So you share those experiences, and you get ideas and inspiration on how to run your business and jump on opportunities.

John Corcoran 8:05

So Abeer, you started your company in 2003. And you discovered do join do in 2015? How did you discover it? And what kind of impact did that have? When you join do and we’re part of this larger community?

Abeer Qumsieh 8:20

Yep. So we, you know, I was one of the founding members, you know, we ought to start in any country, you need 16 members. So I want one of these members that started the chapter in Jordan. I, it was a no brainer for me, because, you know, just rubbing shoulders, with peer with peers, with people who are like you, I thought it’s worth the investment. And I took a chance. And I must say it’s money well spent, with EO and definitely, I didn’t imagine that other people in the world, you know, have the same feelings go through the same struggles, challenges, be at you know, business wise, family wise, and I’ve learned a lot and the beauty of yours that you grow as a person. And you know, we talk about the totality of the intrapreneur. And in every aspect of your life, personal family, I love business, philanthropy, giving back to your community having an impact, and living truly as a global citizen. That was what he or has brought to my life.

John Corcoran 9:25

Yeah. And then in 2016, you attended your first Global Leadership Conference, and tell us about that experience.

Abeer Qumsieh 9:35

Well, it was uh, yeah, I mean, if you want to see if you want to know the return on investment for your membership fee, that’s the best place to start is to attend the LLC. And you know, back then it was only for a member officers who serve on local boards or global boards. But now the LC recently has opened to all members. Back then it’s So much was so inspiring you know, GLC is one of the events in your where you get to rub shoulders with over 1000 members. So you see the power of EO. And you understand truly what eo is all about. Because you know being locked within only the local chapter is one thing, but seeing the potential of your understanding the power of your, and what can you rely on? That’s where you need to go to see that inspiration. So GLC is all about inspiration, unlocking your potential, learning from others, learning about leadership, we are all leaders, CEOs are our leaders. You like it, you don’t like it, you’re a leader. So I you might as well you know, build on that and unlock the potential of your leadership and have instead of habit effect on a small amount of people just unleash that power

John Corcoran 10:53

and have all the different GLC conferences you’ve been to and they’re all over the globe in different locations. They’ve been in Macau, they’ve been in San Diego. Any other stories or experiences or takeaways from your personal experience that were really meaningful for you

Abeer Qumsieh 11:12

from GLC or other productions GLC

John Corcoran 11:15

from voc first but yeah, I’d love to hear others as well. But yeah, from GLC any big, you know, takeaways or experiences or AHA that you had from them? Yeah.

Abeer Qumsieh 11:27

For me to GLCs struck me one is Macau. Definitely. And when you go there and you see the massive number of EO wires all over the world come to one place, and share those very special stories and those vulnerabilities. You feel so much empowered and you build lifelong friendships. And this is so valuable. As well as I really noticed how the hybrid GLC last year had also made a difference on my life. I mean, just going into the living room of John Legend and listening to him, you know, playing on the piano and feeling that your part of his home was so so special and so lovely. I definitely see that GLC always inspires one to look beyond their limitation their country and to see the world in a different eye, it really opens your eyes, opens your height and gives you strength, a very special strength that you can utilize when needed.

John Corcoran 12:32

Yeah. And then you also have been active on the Global Leadership Committee, which oversees different learning activities. Talk a little bit about what that involvement has entailed for you.