July 10


Win $5000 in GBG Stories Contest: What Do you Do When Opportunity Knocks?

It was 2009. I was all set to enter my first major online contest. This particular contest was about showcasing how I “work differently” – from home and run an online business. It was a video I was making to submit to freelancing website Elance.

In hindsight, that video, which now has 50,000+ views, gave me an opportunity that went beyond the contest itself. That video – because it won 2nd place in the contest – put me in touch with Elance CEO Fabio Rosatti and from there I went on to calling Elance a client and making training videos for them.

That one video opened numerous other opportunities for me. In making that video and sharing my story, I transcended the contest entry and became a part of something bigger. A movement. A freelance movement taking shape in my country.

We all have such opportunities in our life. We all have moments we could take advantage of, contests we could enter, doors we could knock on…but we don’t.


Cause we’re too scared. We’re scared of rejection. We’re scared it’ll be too much hard work. We’re scared that we’ll just be unlucky so why bother.

But today I want to say that you have an opportunity to share your story in video form just like I had the same opportunity so many years ago. In fact I’m thrilled at how things have come full circle!

GBG Women Stories – Contest is Open

I have recently become the Team Lead for Google Business Group (GBG) Women Karachi. And as part of this initiative, GBG Women wants to highlight the stories of women entrepreneurs all over South East Asia. Some fantastic women have already sent in their entries, which you can view here:


Are you using Google to do extraordinary things? Has technology enabled you to start new ventures, grow your business or affect the lives of those around you in a positive way? Would you like your story shared around the world? We would love to hear from you. Share your story for a chance to win $5,000 for your business and, if you are part of one, another $5,000 for your Google Business Group.

I encourage you to submit your story too (contest is open June through September 2014). It could be the opportunity that opens all sorts of doors for you. If you are a female entrepreneur, you’ll find information on how to submit your story at the above link.

GBG Stories
Click image to enlarge

The time to be shy or scared or unsure is truly over. Here’s an opportunity, literally in your lap. Don’t think, just DO.

How to Share your Story

When sharing your story, please keep in mind the following points:

– Fill out all the basic fields directly in the submission form

– For the following 2 questions: “Describe your business or venture” and “How have the web and Google products enabled you to startup, grow or scale your venture, achieve community or financial impact?”, instead of writing your answers directly in the field, put the information into a Google Docs file and then submit the link to that file in the form. That way you can modify, edit and add to your story if you have something more to say.

– If you’re going to include a video with your story (and I highly recommend that you do), then upload your video file to Google Drive and include the video’s link in the written description.

According to Lindsay Taub, Program Manager, GBG Women: “The team is really looking for inspiring stories that can show measurable growth because of technology.

So, in your story, please share how you started, share your dreams, your vision, your challenges, your goals. Share how technology helped shape or drive your ideas. Share how you used any Google products to work, collaborate, or be more productive.

Share your story as only YOU can. Because your story is unique. The world needs to hear your story. It needs to know there are women with all sorts of issues, women with all sorts of ideas, women who have all sorts of dreams.

When you share your story, a marvellous thing happens. People get inspired. They get motivated. They thank you for helping them. And it eggs you on to move even faster towards your goals. If that’s not a win-win situation, I don’t know what is!

Your story doesn’t have to be shot with professional equipment. It doesn’t need to be technically perfect. Just get someone to hold a smartphone close to you as you talk. Use free editing software such as Windows Movie maker or iMovie or  to edit out any really bad parts.

Whatever you do, don’t use lack of technical expertise as a crutch.

You got this. You can do this. You can find a way. Ask someone for help if you need to. A spouse, a friend, a kid, a neighbour. Whoever. Me. I can help you and can also connect you to people who can help you. So please reach out via the comments below.

Because opportunity is knocking on your door right now. Will you open the door or keep it slammed shut? Your call.


p.s. I will be conducting live video interviews at GBG Women Karachi’s 2nd workshop in August 2014 (after Eid). Make sure you help me get your story on video. I can’t wait to connect with you!!! Please join the GBG Women Pakistan Facebook Group to stay updated on upcoming events throughout Pakistan.

p.p.s.  Opportunity. They say it never knocks twice. But when it does come knocking, are you paying attention? Tell me in the comments below.





contest, GBG Stories, salm jafri elance video

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  • Hello Salma. Nice read. Wonderful tips. I will be in Karachi for a month in August. Can we meet/talk regarding this. Want to apply but not a good writer…also not sure how to shape my story.

    • Hello Salma. I am seeing this msg just now. Glad that you replied. Yes I registered for the event and really wanted to come but the venue was too far from the place I was staying in. I am back in Islamabad now. Anyways, thanks and hope to meet you during my next visit.

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