“Our beliefs came about because they supported us in one point in our lives”

The Grid: Caroline, you talk about how our feelings towards money or our ‘money mindset’ may hinder us or set us free.

Caroline DomanskaYour ‘money mindset’ or your ‘money why’ is the reason you get up for work every day. It’s the reason that you strive to make a living. It is also perhaps the reason that you’re not getting that promotion that you so desperately want. It may well be the reason that, despite the fact that you’ve got a great business idea, it’s still staying in your head and you’re just plodding along and getting paid to work on somebody else’s dream.


“Though blood is thicker than water, a brand needs the involvement and contribution of many to be successful”

The Grid: Talking about creating a brand out of a family business and creating a family out of branding a business, could you share with us, what’s different about building a brand for a family? What are the pitfalls to avoid?

Edward Leaman: What is different about building a brand for a family business is the level of emotional investment the brand has. In a family business one is dealing with family dynamics, and this brings up the relationships between the family members, which have already been created over the years. And so a brand is being built already on the foundations of legacy and heritage, and there is often a great deal of unsaid or unspoken language and behavior in play which can play out well or not so well in the business.


“In reality, a psychopath boss is more likely to prey on submissive ‘yes’ people”

The Grid: Top executives often lose sight of themselves and morph into monsters, who, depending on the culture of the organisation, can go unchecked and even rewarded. We recognise that not all psychopathic traits are bad when it comes to business but employees can pay a high price, right? An Australian study came out recently with ways to identify if your boss has psychopathic traits. Here is what they warn us to look for:

  • Egocentric: flamboyant, attention-seeking, manipulative and sometimes downright cunning
  • Lack of Empathy: cold, ruthless and calculating
  • Amoral: insincerity, back covering, superficiality and ultra-competitive

What can we do to prepare ourselves in dealing with a psychopath boss now or in future? (more…)

“The first step is ensuring that the agenda for the meeting is set by the board itself and not by the executives”

The Grid: There is a lot of focus on the principles of corporate governance frameworks these days, where board members are increasingly being scrutinized for holding a company’s executive team to account. Just as importantly, however, you advise that boards should also focus on the methods of effectively ‘operationalizing’ these principles to curtail the CEO from taking over the meeting and to keep waffling directors in check.

Dr. al-Binali:  One of the crucial operational aspects of corporate governance is managing board meetings.
Board meetings are the focal point for dissemination of performance information, discussion of major issues and strategic decision making. (more…)

November 20, 2016

Consulting in Dubai

“The problem with professional licenses… is that they don’t have limited liability …so you are the asset!”

The Grid: Thank you for speaking at ‘Business Set-up Dubai’, an event by The Grid, where we heard a lot of questions about working as a ‘consultant’ in Dubai.

Effectively, this is where you set up your own company which gives you your own employment residency visa and offer services to other companies. There seem to be a lot of people, who came out here with the Big 4 or a big bank but now opening up their own shop, so to speak. What is the proper business licence for a consultant or consultancy in Dubai?

Stuart Curtis: Anything with ‘consulting’ in it, really, strictly speaking, is a ‘Professional License’.

A professional license can have more than one partner but you can actually request that it is turned into a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or a free zone company with one partner or a FZCo, which usually has two partners.


November 4, 2016

Afraid of Being Poor

“It’s feeling that money can’t be created again in a way”

The Grid: Caroline, what is usually the biggest concern, or let’s say, fear that when you see a client that the issue of money brings about? Is it the issue that people are afraid to lose money and be poor? A psychological barrier of people taking the initiative to embark on an endeavor or start a business, for instance? The fear that if I lose money what would happen to me? Where would I be? Is it going to ruin my life? I mean, is this usually the biggest factor for people or is it something else you see?

Caroline Domanska It’s feeling that money can’t be created again in a way and that you are going to make the wrong decisions. And, I think that comes down to sense of worth around your own abilities actually.



“Our current level of income, savings, assets and debt are all a result of decisions that we have made” 

The Grid:One of the core themes of our recent event ‘Finding Financial Clarity’ was that one great fear we all have is that our income is stagnating.

Caroline Domanska So, let me ask you. Is your income on cruise control? When we talk about that, we talk about perhaps income ceilings that we have based around what we could be worth; what our abilities are and how much we should be paid. (more…)

“She sees savings and her level of savings as a symbol of her success”

The Grid:  Caroline, you talk about how our beliefs impact our relationship with money. Could you tell us more about the psychology of spending, saving, investing, etc?

Caroline Domanska: Ever since we became aware of money we’ve created beliefs around them. Beliefs that are sometimes positive but, in my experience, are often negative and often come with a bit of a dose of money shame unfortunately. We hold limiting beliefs, such as money is the root of all evil or it’s greedy to want more money or you have to work far too hard to be successful and I would have to give up too many things.


February 3, 2015

Raw Brand Risk and Reward

“There is appetite now from more customers for uniqueness”

The Grid talks to Asil Attar, CEO, Lead Associates to discuss new fashion brands entering markets in the Middle East.

The Grid: Thank you for speaking at our event ‘New Market Entry, which prompted lots of questions by the audience, particularly about bringing original or ‘raw’ brands to the Middle East instead of the usual ‘tried and tested’ ones that have immediate market recognition. How careful do you need to be in bringing raw brands into Middle East markets?

Asil Attar: For me,  I come from a place where I scout talent and I’m always looking for the next best thing. In a market like this, because it’s growing, it’s new; you need to be very careful. If you go too soon with a very raw brand that might do great in LA but not necessarily have the traction, there is a risk involved.