Budoor Shadawi shares her dream social network.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Khobar. I’m 35, going on 20! I’m also a certified skydiver, I’ve hiked two of the seven summits, I love kayaking and I love trying out anything new that would give me a rush of excitement.
I did my bachelors in Montreal, Canada majoring in MIS and Marketing, then I finished my MBA in Boston. When I came back, I worked for my family’s business for a while, then I went to work in Microsoft for a couple of years.
I’m currently back working in my family’s business running their marketing department, but the big thing on my plate is that I’m launching a social network Dream@ soon.
What is the idea of Dream@?
Dream@ is a free social networking platform that encourages people to live more fulfilled lives. The idea behind Dream@ is to live in the now and focus on doing what we love every day.
How did you come up with the idea?
Even though small and passionate communities in different areas of interest are growing, it feels like the attitude of pursuing your dreams is still deficient in this region. I came up with Dream@ as a way to introduce this whole mentality of taking control of your destiny, becoming more active and giving your life an even richer meaning outside of just amassing material things.
How does it work?
If Facebook and Pinterest got married, Dream@ would be their love child. There are lots of social networks with the same idea out there, but the difference between them and Dream@ is that Dream@ is bilingual (English and Arabic).
Also, while other social networks tell you what to do and stop there, Dream@ goes the extra mile and assists you in achieving your dreams. We’re like a middle person between the dreamers and the dream makers, and that’s where our value-added services come in. So, if someone says “I want to climb a mountain” and clicks “Seek Help”, we give them different proposals from our dream makers/partners based on the specifics they provide.
It’ll begin with nine categories when it launches, with more planned in the future. These include social responsibility and community outreach, self-improvement, learning languages, honing skills and even adventurous activities. We’ll also feature subject experts in short interviews on the website.
What do you attribute your success to?
A passion for living and surrounding myself with inspiring people. Everyone should make a conscious decision to surround themselves with people that push them to do more instead of bring them down.
I remember being a couch potato in middle school. One of my closest friends since then, Mona Shihab, came up to me and told me that she’d always wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. She planted the seed in my head, and even though I’d never stepped in a gym before then, I trained heavily just to go on that trip. I struggled, fainted twice on the climb, got altitude sickness and wished the whole thing would be over, but the satisfaction I felt once I got off the mountain made it all worthwhile.
If it wasn’t for Mona, I wouldn’t have gone and had this experience. And because of it, even though it’s tough, I still go five to six days a week to exercise and train. There’s so much to see in life and I want to be around for as long as possible to experience it all!
What advice can you give to our readers on fulfilling their dreams?
Don’t wait till tomorrow or “that one day” to pursue your dream. Every tomorrow will just become another tomorrow until you run out of them. Why wait? I encourage you to sit down and write out the things you want to do, why you want to do them and why you haven’t done them yet. So often we never pursue our dreams, big or small because we never simply sat down and said, “I’m doing this right now!”