How I Work: A day in the life of Tribus co-founder Najla Khaled

We asked entrepreneur and co-founder of Tribus, Najla Khaled, to tell us how she spends a typical day. She lives in Riyadh with her husband and young son

At MCC we love to champion our members, many of whom are successful business owners and entrepreneurs. Here, we take a closer look at the daily routine of one of our members to see what drives them.

This time we’re spending the day with Najla Khaled who along with her partners Nouf Jlewi and Diyala Al-Mandil run women’s gym and fitness hub, Tribus. Najla, 30, is married and lives in Riyadh with her husband and young son Faisal. A lifelong fitness fan, Najla and her partners launched Tribus in 2020 to provide a motivating for women to unleash their potential through tailor-made workouts in a unique and inspiring space. 

Here’s how she spends her day…

 

A woman waking up in the morning / Shutterstock

I set my alarm for… 

My son is my alarm clock! Whenever he decides to wake up, that is when my day begins. No morning is complete without our daily dance party and affirmations. Afterwards, as Faisal is having his breakfast, I check my phone for messages or emails from my team, then I usually go for a run or a workout at around 9 am.

 

Tribus Riyadh MCC Benefits

My responsibilities include…

I oversee everything to do with the day-to-day operations at Tribus, including setting weekly goals and making sure they are met. By doing this we ensure that clients are satisfied, and the team has everything they need to get things done. We’re a tight-knit family at Tribus and we work extremely well together – I think this is one of the things that makes us stand out as a business.

 

Tribus partner offer / slider

I started my business…

For as long as I can remember I’ve always felt that my purpose was to help people. After transforming my own life with a healthy lifestyle and good fitness habits, I knew I wanted to share what I’ve learned to help other women feel empowered and strong, physically, mentally and emotionally. 

Then one day I was at a birthday party with some friends and we began discussing how none of us had been able to find a gym in Riyadh that met all of our needs. There was always something missing; they didn’t feel inclusive.

Something in that moment clicked for us and we knew we had to do something about it. We had our mission: making women feel empowered and to create a space where every woman would feel that she belonged regardless of her fitness level. We came up with a plan then and there and started working on it.

To be honest it was a struggle but we met some amazing people along the way, such as my personal mentor, Panos Balatsinos, who taught us so much – we will forever be thankful to him.

It took us three years to open (and during a pandemic no less) but it was all worth it. We’ve been open for a little over a year now and I couldn’t be more proud of the community we’ve built and of my Tribus family. The sky’s the limit and we are just getting started!  

 

Woman working at a desk / Shutterstock

My typical day…

I always like to say that my partners and I are Tribus. So no matter where I go, I am always on the clock, taking meetings and checking that my team members have everything they need. Usually I start my day at Tribus and hear their daily report  while I work out. As a mom and business owner I wear many hats and have perfected the art of multitasking, especially as my son Faisal and Tribus were both born around the same time! Mostly my work happens from home as I spend most of my day with Faisal, who also occasionally comes with me to Tribus.

 

Bunch of balloons / Shutterstock

My proudest moment…

I have two. The first was at Tribus’ first birthday party which we threw for our amazing Tribe. Seeing these wonderful women who, one year ago, didn’t know each other, come together to support one another, I knew that our goal to create a community of strong, powerful women was achieved.

The second was when we hosted the first ever women’s sparring competition in Saudi history in collaboration with the Saudi Boxing Federation. More than 70 women applied to participate and I was completely in awe of the ladies who were able to make it. There were tears of happiness, laughter and so much love and support in the air. I was very very proud of all the participants and especially of my team, who worked so hard to make this happen.

 

Mother tending to her baby / Shutterstock

When I’m stressed I…

I am very blessed to have a very strong support system, so when I am stressed I have so many wonderful people to turn to. My husband, sisters, partners and my Tribus team never fail to get me through anything. But honestly the one thing that works every time is putting my son to sleep at night and having that special moment when he’s in my arms, just the two of us.

 

Acai bowl / Shutterstock

My go-to work snack is…

An acai bowl with pineapple and dates or the most delicious gluten free/vegan manakeesh from Wabi Sabi. They just opened their grab-and-go bar right in front of Tribus so it will definitely be my go-to place!

 

Embrace change / Shutterstock

The best piece of business advice I’ve been given…

As my partners and I were working very hard to build our business there were many moments where I felt helpless and wanted to give up. Things were always coming up that were out of our control and changed everything we had planned. One day I was very frustrated and my husband Abdulrahman told me always to embrace change instead of fighting it, and to try to adapt. I consider that one of the best pieces of advice I’ve had.

 

Working as a team / Shutterstock

What advice would you give to fellow entrepreneurs?

Never stop learning, growing or asking questions. That having been said, the thing that worked the most for me was building a team that trusts and believes in your vision. Without my amazing partners and my wonderful team, Alicia, Sawsan, Sonya, Abeer and Shatha, we wouldn’t be where we are today and I am very thankful for them.

 

Movie night / Shutterstock

After work I relax by…

After putting my son to sleep, I like to spend the rest of my night with my husband watching a movie or talking about our day. Those moments really make all the difference.

 

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