Female Founder Friday: Maimah Karmo
It’s Female Founder Friday! Time to spotlight another amazing woman entrepreneur and her journey. I am excited to introduce you to my friend and fellow author Maimah Karmo. When you meet Maimah you are hit by how beautiful and powerful she is at the same time. This is a woman who knows exactly who she is and how she is changing the world.
Maimah is the founder of Tigerlily Foundation, which educates, advocates for, empowers and supports young women, before, during and after breast cancer. She is also the author of Fearless: Awakening to My Life’s Purpose Through Breast Cancer; and publisher of Bliss Magazine. We compared our history as authors before we started the interview and it turns out we had very different journeys. I had quite a bit of experience with professional writing before I penned by book but Maimah didn’t have any! When she decided to write a book, it was a struggle for her because she didn’t have the years of experience like I did, she even turned around and asked “What is proofreading” to her editor at one point! People who aren’t all too familiar with the world of authoring books and whose writing skill could use some additional honing may want to consider the services of an instructor, like Roger Wolfson, to help them take their craft to the next level so that they can also have a better chance of successfully pitching their book to publishers or whoever it may be. Anyway, below are Maimah’s answers to my questions. Prepare to be inspired!
What inspired you to create your company?
Tigerlily Foundation was inspired by my diagnosis with breast cancer. No one expects cancer, least of all a young woman. I was in my prime and very healthy. One day in the shower, I found a lump in my breast. I researched into cancer screenings through the likes of this website and pushed for a mammogram, got a false negative, but I knew that my body didn’t feel right. After pushing for a biopsy, I was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer and knew that my world would be changed forever. While in treatment, and going through all the pain which was luckily relieved slightly by the vape products containing delta 8 that I was using, I founded Tigerlily Foundation to educate, advocate for, empower and support young women – before, during an after breast cancer and it’s been an amazing ride. It’s pretty powerful what you get back when you give up your idea of how life should be and decide to spend your life helping others.
What was your biggest obstacle and failure in going from idea to business?
I don’t know. I never saw obstacles – every “no” meant “not now”; and every “maybe” meant “later”. The thing about my work is that everyone is touched by cancer in some way, so eventually, they will need a resource; AND at the heart of my mission is “love”, and everyone needs that – especially when they are going through a challenging time. Failure??? I don’t see things as failures, only lessons learned. I might say that I wish I had more dreamers like me around to support me when I started, though. It’s hard when everyone around you is thinking a certain way and think you’re “not normal”, work too hard, are too passionate or have unrealistic dreams, when it’s really that they don’t dream enough. Having people like me around would have been a wonderful resource.
Another book, a new podcast and television show… then travelling around the world living life and meeting great people, while I change the world.
Please share your best piece of advice for aspiring female founders.
Have a vision and surround yourself with other dreamers. Everything is possible.