Laila Alawa speaks to Entrepreneur Before 25 podcast about the story behind The Tempest

The Tempest’s CEO Laila Alawa spoke with Chelann Gienger from the Entrepreneur Before 25 (EB25) podcast. EB25 interviews inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs like Laila who began their journey whilst aged 25 or under.

[bctt tweet=”I found that I started being put in situations where my people pleasing hurt me. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

Laila talked about her background, her family, why she started The Tempest, and life as an entrepreneur.

Whilst explaining the realities of chasing your dreams, Laila also divulged some gems of advice for budding entrepreneurs. She dived in deep and discussed why being a people pleaser has the potential to destroy freedom.

“I used to live my life very afraid of hurting others, I found that I started being put in situations where my people pleasing hurt me.”

Listen to the entire podcast here.

Love Life Stories

Rain drop, drop top, in 2016 I started writing and I just won’t stop

2016 was a new year that presented many new opportunities for me. Last January, I was working part-time at a retail store, struggling with my grades, and wondering when my life would begin.

Over the course of the year, everything was turned upside the head.


I’ve always lived a very sheltered life. My parents and my brother have helped me through almost everything, but in turn, also protected me from everything. I got used to being told what to do with my life, and I started doing what everyone else said. I even took up a major in university just because I was told to.

I was never given a chance to live by myself, or to step out of the bubble I grew up in. Now, all I can think is what ifWhat if I’d changed my major like I wanted to? What if I hadn’t listened to what others said? I realized that somehow in the midst of fulfilling everyone’s wishes, I lost sight of my own goals. I forgot that I had to live this life for myself. 

[bctt tweet=”I had lost sight of my own goals.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Summer rolled around, along with my not-so-quarter-life crisis. I turned to my talented and amazing entrepreneur friend, Aurooba of Wanderoak, and told her of my troubles. And like any good friend, she steered me into the light…okay that’s very dramatic. What I mean is that, she asked me to try out The Tempest fellowship. 

I gave it some thought. I remember always setting up websites and blogs for myself in my past years. Anyone remember piczo? No? Okay. I just loved the idea of blogging. But being the impatient person that I am, I knew I wasn’t cut out for doing something grand by myself. So I filled out the application for The Tempest. 

I honestly had no idea what to expect. I’d never written commercially, hell, I’d never even written for myself. And yet, I applied for the Editorial Fellowship. The fellowship that requires you to write quite a bit, challenging you with new topics and sections to push you out of your comfort zone. When I interviewed with the CEO, I’m pretty sure I told her that I’m bad with deadlines, that I’m lazy, and I procrastinate a lot. Regardless, she saw potential in me. 

[bctt tweet=”I honestly had no idea what to expect.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Now, four months and over a dozen of articles later I can truly say that this was by far one of the best decisions I’ve made for myself. 

The Tempest not only helped me develop as a writer but also helped me grow as a person. I didn’t truly realize the power of writing a piece that could be loved/hated internationally. Friends and families from overseas would message me about how they came across my piece. 

The team of editors and fellows worked together day and night to bring out amazing content. This team has helped me become who I am, they supported me when my pieces did well and helped me out when I was running out of ideas. 

[bctt tweet=”The Tempest helped me develop as a writer, and as a person” username=”wearethetempest”]

As this year and fellowship comes to an end, I can confidently say that I’ve become a much better writer. I’ve learned how to fine-tune my writing to dive deeper into my interests. It was a hard but fruitful fellowship.

I can’t believe I got to be a part of this incredible movement, and how this incredible team of fierce women have taken the media by a storm.

I know a lot of people keep saying 2016 was awful, but The Tempest made my year incredible. I started out as a regular student and ended up feeling like a badass woman with a powerful voice.