Soumaya Bhyer is the founder of Neuros, a London-based mental health platform for neurodiverse people.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am currently building Neuros, a mental health platform for neurodiverse people – our aim is to empower, enable and catalyze.
We empower people who think differently to become the best version of themselves by enabling self-realization and Catalysing change in awareness, perception and understanding of Neurodiversity.
It initially started as a challenger bank for autistics which became a mindful spending app for Neurodiverse people.
However, after running a private beta of the app, we discovered that our users were more interested in the mindfulness side of it and how their behaviours impacted their mental health, so we decided to fully pivot into mental health for Neurodiverse people.
Prior to Neuros, I founded another start-up called Gatekeyper, a key exchange platform for Airbnb hosts, while completing my master’s at Cambridge University.
Before that, I spent some time in Hong Kong helping build one of Asia’s largest fintech accelerators from scratch. I was also the youngest author of the best-seller The Regtech Book, the first crowdsourced book on regulatory technology.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Everyday is very different. I guess that’s the beauty of being a founder! I personally like to have the freedom to structure my day depending on priorities. I do have a morning routine however, as I believe it’s important as it sets the tone for the day ahead.
I usually start my day with journaling, writing a list of affirmations & things I am grateful for. I then meditate for at least 30 mins and if I have time, I will also workout, before starting my workday otherwise I leave working out for the end.
From then on, it’s literally wherever work takes me! I don’t like working in the same place every day, so I’ll be in between cafes, co-working spaces or home. I am also always working on different projects at the same time – currently Neuros, a podcast, and a T-shirt brand!
My biggest focus these days has been on Neuros as we are preparing to fundraise. I am also co-hosting a podcast called Founder’s Taboo which focuses on founders’ mental health and is set to launch in January 2022.
As for the T-shirt brand, it is an exciting side project for raising awareness in the Neurodiversity space! I love writing so when I have time, I also try to create useful content about neurodiversity, entrepreneurship & spirituality to share on my Instagram & Medium blog – @adhdfounder.
So I guess my days are pretty much spent in between pitch decks, calls, podcast recording & content creation!
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes definitely! I think it’s important to have flexibility and also allow that flexibility for your team- if you have a team. Being a founder is all about having the freedom to structure your work days and that includes the option of remote working as well!
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I think it is all about freedom. Being able to manage your time in a way that allows for both achievements and enjoyment. The fact that I enjoy so much what I do and what I am working on makes it easier for me to have that balance.
I used to put a lot of pressure on myself and feel guilty when I am taking some time off for instance, but since I started meditating and working on my spiritual development, I have learned to let go and be more relaxed about it.
I truly believe that my work is my life’s purpose so again, it makes it easier for me to achieve that balance.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Meditation for sure! I have ADHD so my mind literally never stops. I used to be afraid to be left alone with my thoughts, so meditation was a no go for me. I have never been good at it or rather, I never took the time to properly do it.
Until I discovered the ones by Joe Dispenza. I am highly fascinated by the human brain/mind and higher consciousness so I started learning more & more about it and now I am obsessed. I meditate at least two times per day. It really helps me quiet my mind not just when I meditate but on a daily basis, I also sleep much better as a result of it!
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
My top reads: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle, The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday, The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra.
In terms of podcasts, I binge listen to everything including Dr. Joe Dispenza and Naval. I also love The Tim Ferriss Show and The Soul Awakening Podcast. I am not really into newsletters!
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Basic, but I would probably say my phone. Not really into gadgets otherwise. I think the rest is disposable.
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