My Journey to being an Entrepreneur By Zahra Haidari

The first time I fathomed what I wanted to pursue as a career I was 15 years old. I clearly enjoyed accompanying my father to open houses, his loyal right-hand person, eager and passionate. 

I adored my father back in those days and was amazed by how he would move from room-to-room, giving each visitor the power of imagining their own lives in each house my father showed. I loved how pleasant he was and so easy to like. An honest man, with a covetously laid-back, serene, cool, and composed attitude. I liked his passion about his job and in retrospect, played a significant role in seeding the same passion in me. 

As a young girl, I liked — and still like — how he allowed me the liberty of the script. At his open houses, I would welcome visitors, offer them the feature sheet, and walk them through each room. We would end the tour in the kitchen, which was often the makeshift office where he would answer questions, provide any additional information, and discuss the deal. 

As I work on my own today, I still hold that feeling very close to my heart. I think of my dad each time I deal with a customer for whom buying or selling a house entails not only an important financial commitment but also a memorable emotional moment in life. Like my father, my first and foremost concern is to advise my clients in their best interest and not just to close the deal. I take time to first understand what a buyer is looking for in a house for them to flourish and enhance their living experience.

When I was a young girl, what most fascinated me about real estate was the people I met along the way. The most gratifying aspect was to sync myself with their emblematic desire for buying a first home, upsizing to a second, or downsizing to a third. I loved their enthusiasm, the manner in which their eyes inspected from wall-to-wall, imagining their own selves and their loved ones living in that very place.

Often my visits were met with objections. Perhaps the living room was too small, the ceilings were too low, or the kitchen was too outmoded. I learned along the way how “home” can be something different to everybody. I enjoyed discerning those expectations and knew then that real estate industry was where I wanted to repose my professional endeavors.

I worked as my dad’s apprentice for several years before I decided to hazard off on my own. However, I still look up to my dad to offer me clarity and strength when I need them. This has been an enjoyable journey. I am nearing almost five years as a real estate professional, and I cannot say I know everything, but I do know that putting your client’s interests first is the most fulfilling part of my journey. I love to work with people and real estate business has made me a big team player. I focus on working alongside my clients rather than selling. Apart from being personally fulfilling for me, that has allowed me to stand out amongst the crowd.

I am now married, and I have expenses – and lots of them. I find the most limiting fear with young entrepreneurs is that they do not know where the money will come from for them to support their lifestyle and financial obligations. I was no different. I feared not being able to make payments on the house I currently live in, besides other apprehensions that accompany being on your own. I am grateful that I have been able to face my apprehensions and misgivings with determination. It is not easy, but it is definitely worth it.

Below I will round up a few major lessons I have learned along the way to share them with new entrepreneurs.



Find out what you truly want to do and what your values are. That is important because you are not just a business owner, you are a brand. Before you embark on your journey, have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish and what you bring to the table to be able to accomplish that. As an entrepreneur, you identify this for yourself at the beginning. Without intention, you will not be able to distinguish yourself. A strong sense of self-worth and belief are the founding characteristics for an entrepreneur, they will anchor you even during tough times. 



Take your time, entrepreneurship is not the magic wand to jumpstart our way to success overnight. It takes time. Learn and be steady. Cherish your small successes as moments of triumph that compound over time into something greater. I choose to view time as an ally, rather than something against me. Time teaches us, it adds to our perspectives, it brings maturity, and turns us into experts.  Slow and steady wins the race, do not get burned out or drop the ball in trying to run too fast.


Do not let the challenges you face set you back. Use them to learn, to make you better and stronger and then move forward. Success consists in trying just one last time. Missteps, difficulties, surprises — these are all a part of the voyage. Take them in your stride and go forward better equipped than before.


Entrepreneurship is a team game. Share your victories and glory with others. Think ‘us’ and not ‘me’. Business humbles you in ways you have never imagined. I find remaining down to earth is essential when it comes to starting a business. Never forget where you started and where you can wind up. Never lose sight of who you are. Always be genuine and you will be a positive message to the world around you.

About Zahra Haidari

Zahra Haidari is an accomplished Real Estate agent specializing in residential real estate in Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area. Her ability to offer knowledge and value, problem solver mindset, and client first mindset have earned her numerous awards and honors. Zahra holds a degree in economics from McMaster University.

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