‘Get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable’ – meet The Lifestyle Edit’s Naomi Mdudu

In a compeititve working world, it’s important for women to lift each other up, share experiences and knowledge, and provide a helping hand to those starting out. This is precicely what Naomi Mdudu, business coach and founding editor of The Lifestyle Edit – an online platform designed to celebrate the dynamic female founders operating behind the scenes of some of the most interesting and forward-thinking businesses – is determined to do. Her busines is a toolkit for creative, working women, and an incredible resource for those seeking career and business advice. We wanted to pick Naomi’s brain to find out more. Here’s what we found out …

You’re the founder of The Lifestyle Edit,which makes use of many different platforms and networks (newsletters, social media, video tutorials, pop-up events and more) to offer advice from female leaders and entrepreneurs. How do you manage to handle all these different avenues? Is there a particular medium you enjoy the most?

We really focus our energy on platforms we know our community are really engaged on. For us, that’s Instagram, but our number one focus right now is our email community. It’s hands-down my favourite. I think there’s something really intimate about being invited into someone’s email every week. There’s nothing I love more than when people email back and share their stories and experiences.

It was always my mission to create a platform that not only inspires women to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions but also create meaningful relationships , so it’s been incredible to see that mission transcend beyond the site to the content we create through our email community too.

We’ve just embarked on 2018. What experiences have you learnt from in 2017? And how is this influencing your 2018 objectives?

I think the trap that many entrepreneurs fall into is making their lives fit around their business when, in fact, the most incredible thing about running a business is that you can design it in a way that makes it serve your higher life goals. That may be having more financial freedom so you can take care of your family and tick things off your bucket list or even things like having more location freedom so you can fulfil your dream of travelling the world and working from wherever you are. I’m trying to get better at that.

I don’t think there’s such thing as a work-life balance. Particularly as an entrepreneur, your life tends to steer towards work, which is fine if you love what you do. Instead, I’ve made a point to set some non-negotiables in my life that I prioritise, even when things are busy with work. Khoollect tips: getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep is a big one for me. Some people pride themselves on how little sleep they get, like it’s a badge of honour. Not me. I need sleep. I also need to eat well, have time to meditate, exercise and spend time with my friends and family. Most of the time I only manage to get a handful of those things right – it’s definitely not perfect but that’s life and I’m trying!

I’m trying to have more boundaries with myself. Loving what I do doesn’t mean that I’m defined by it. I think as business owners there’s a conscious push and pull between being ambitious and constantly striving and the awareness that for our own mental wellbeing, we need to carve time for self-care and compassion. I find that very difficult but it’s something I’m working on.

Working predominantly in the digital world it’s easy to fall into the trap of being envious of people’s lives. Do you ever suffer from FOMO? What do you think is the best way to deal with this?

FOMO [fear of missing out] is something I don’t think any of us are immune to but I’ve made a real commitment to get into alignment and create before I consume. With platforms like Instagram, we’re constantly seeing what everyone else is doing so it can get frustrating. That’s why taking periodic breaks just to create and dream ideas up away from that is so important.

Where do you currently call home? And what inspires you about your city?

I currently split my time between New York and London. Everything about London inspires me. The food, the architecture, the art, the fact that it’s a real melting point of cultures. And in New York, anything feels possible.

I khoollect a few…


What’s your favourite item in your khoollection?

Photos of family and friends.

We are itching to buy a plane ticket. Inspire us with your most incredible holiday memory …

The last big holiday I went on was Jumby Bay. It’s a private island just off Antigua. On our second night, the island had its annual White Party. It was the most incredible banquet of food on the beach that I’d ever seen. We ate and drank all night and danced on the beach until the sun came up.

Your three desert island must-haves?

A good book, laptop and photos of friends and family.

A life lesson that you’d tell your younger self?

What’s meant for you will never pass you. Trust the process. Practice listening to your intuition – it always knows the way – and don’t allow self-doubt or imposter syndrome to hold you back. And get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. Growth means pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Remember, your dreams are on the other side of your fears. Courage isn’t the absence of fear but the willingness to feel fear but do it anyway.

Where do you find your motivation? (We’d love to find out where you find your inspiration online, too. Favourite podcast? Favourite blog?)

I’m motivated the most by people. I feel so fortunate that I get to meet and interview so many incredible women for The Lifestyle Edit. I always joke that every day feels like I’m getting an MBA in business – but it’s true. Those conversations are constantly teaching me new lessons about everything from leadership and strategic thinking to the power of self-care and setting boundaries. I’m forever in student mode and I love that.

I’m also a big reader. I go through about four or five books a month. These are some of my favourites:

  • Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  • Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte
  • The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein
  • Tribes by Seth Godin
  • Playing Big by Tara Mohr
  • Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vanynerchuck

Favourite corner of the Internet?

The Lifestyle Edit, of course! I wanted to create a platform that firstly, celebrates the incredibly dynamic female founders and executives that make things happen behind the scenes at the many of the businesses we all know and love. But more importantly, I wanted to create a space where these women could talk candidly about their journeys and share actionable advice that our community can take away and immediately action in their lives.

Can you imagine a world without Internet? 

This year I made a vow to spend more time offline, which is so hard when your business is all about being plugged in and online.

I’d love to dedicate time to learning another language and spend more time outdoors, taking long walks and things like that.

Why is collaboration important to you?

Collaboration is a huge part of what we do. I want to support any business that is just as committed as we are to supporting women cultivate lives on their own terms through entrepreneurship.

Do you believe rituals are an important part of creativity?

I produce my best work when I get into alignment before I start the day, so that means taking time to meditate, to read a book that inspires me as I have my morning coffee and having time to do things like journaling before I start my day. Those are just a few of the things I love doing in the morning that really help me get aligned before opening my laptop.


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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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Inpsired to start your own business?

First, read Naomi’s top three tips for starting out.