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Name: Maryam Nasim

Business: Maryam’s Home Studio

Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

Industry: Professional Services — illustration & animation

Reason for starting? I’ve had an interest in art and design since I was a kid, and it grew stronger with time. I got a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from Punjab University Lahore. I majored in painting but later developed an interest in the field of computer graphics. At that time online tutorials to learn software were not available like they are these days, so I went through a lot of tutorial books and learned to work in several computer graphic software programs. I started working for a local greeting card company as an illustrator while I was still studying, and this beginning paved my way to enter the international market. I kept on learning and working till I got my first break to work as a greeting card artist for an American greeting card company, Birthdayalarm, and this opportunity began a whole new chapter in my life. Now I have been a freelancer for more than 16 years and work with various international clients.

Related: Read about another Professional Services entrepreneur here.

How do you define success? To me success is being acknowledged for any type of effort that I make. Whether this acknowledgement is from my husband for the hard work that I do in taking care of the household or from my clients when they admire and appreciate the beauty of my work. Sometimes seeing a sparkle in the eyes of my kids while they eat a meal cooked by me makes me feel successful, and sometimes receiving emails with words of appreciation from my clients make me feel content and motivated.

Biggest success: I am happy that I got a chance to share the story of my struggle, hard work, passion and dedication with women in my country through various platforms, and I got a chance to inspire them in some way. Hearing the words, “you inspired me” is the biggest success of my life.

What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? My top challenge is keeping a balance between my work and home life. Keeping track of my time and the effort to not put all my energies on my work sometimes gets very hard, as I am really passionate about my work, as well as taking break from work and attending to the household and needs of my kids.

I went through a bad phase in my life with clinical depression, but my work kept me motivated, busy and helped me cope with the situation. The depression did have an effect on my business, but the good thing is that I never stopped or quit doing work.

Related: Work-Life Balance As Entrepreneurial Inspiration 

Who is your most important role model? My most important role model is not one but all the ladies, including my mother, who are selfless and give their full energies to the betterment and success of their families and people who are close to them.

Twitter   @maryam_nasim

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Edited by The Story Exchange