A little while ago I invited you to ask questions about me. I didn’t think I’d get too many questions but I was surprised to have receive dozens of awesome questions, and in this episode, I’m going to answer a bunch of them:)
You’ll hear about how I met my husband, my life as a social activist, my biggest failure, my plans for the future, what I do with my hair (not much) if I miss acting and much more!
It wasn’t easy for me. As an introvert, I don’t like to talk about myself much.
Besides, I’m here to share knowledge and help YOU with your English and not to speak about myself.
But I decided to do it because I believe that it’s important for our communication and the connection that we have.
In your emails and DMs, you often share your stories (and I’m grateful for every single one you send me) so, it’s only fair that I share mine.
I hope that this episode, my most PERSONAL video ever (!), will make us even closer!
Let me know in the comments (or in emails) if you feel the same)
Hey there, it’s Hadar. And today we have a slightly different video because today I will be answering personal questions that you asked me. So a few days ago I posted a question, uh, what are the 10 things you’d like to know about me, 10 personal questions. And I got like a billion questions about different aspects of life and business.
And I was so humbled and thrilled to talk about these things and kind of like… unveil my, my life cause I feel that I’m so connected to you, but maybe you don’t know a lot of things about me and about my life. So I decided to be more open and to share more things with you. And that’s it. Here we go. So let’s begin with the basics.
“Where are you from?” I was born and raised in Israel. I grew up in Petah Tikva, and now I live in Tel Aviv. I haven’t lived abroad for over 15 years.
“How many languages do you speak?” Okay, so I speak Hebrew, of course, English, and then I speak Italian, Japanese, German, French, of course, Arabic, Russian, and little bit of Brazilian Portuguese. No, I’m kidding. I just speak English.
A lot of you have asked me about my family, if I have a family or to tell you a little bit about it. So yes, I have a beautiful family. I live with my partner, his name is Gil. We’ve been together for eight years. We are not officially married, but we are bound to each other. We have two beautiful daughters. The eldest one is Amalia. She’s six years old, and we have Asia, is three and a half years old.
Isis wanted to know how I met my husband/partner. So actually it’s a really interesting story. So we met exactly eight years ago during the social protest in Israel. It followed The Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. So here as well, we had weekly demonstrations, fighting for social justice, and are resenting the crazy housing situation.
And what we did is we actually lived in tents in the middle of the city. And yes, I had my own tent, and we would protest and actually sit every evening. And then a bunch of us got together and we wanted to do something more, something to, uh, show the injustice that is happening in the city.
And we discovered that there are a lot of apartments or buildings owned by the municipality that are completely deserted. And we wanted to raise awareness around that. So we created a group, an action group, and in that group I met Gil, who is now my partner.
Now, it’s a fun story, so I’m going to tell you about what we’ve done. And we actually found this incredible, huge building. Like, you had to like, it would take you 20 minutes to just walk through the entire building in the middle of the city in one of the most expensive areas. And what we did is we found our way in, we cleaned up the house and we like, there was one event, we planned it out.
We said, “Okay, there is a secret action going on. There was a secret event going on, a meet us at 8:00 PM on this and that date”. And we picked up like thousands of people from around the city. And, uh, we had like a few meeting points of hundreds of people from around the city and we led them into that building.
And it was like magical, like, like the, at that moment we felt like, you know, we are really taking our destiny in our hands. And people connected. And we declared it as a liberated building, and the news was there. And we were, kind of like, we were in euphoria.
And then at 4:00 AM the police came in and we said, “No, we’re not going to move from here. They’re going to have to evacuate us”. And then, you know, they just talked to one of the people and we’re like, “Oh, okay, so let’s go”.
So that was kind of lame, but it was a lot of fun. And actually, a few years later, the municipality has turned it into, um, a public building for the people. They created a bunch of kindergartens there, after school programs, and it’s like, it’s really beautiful. And we are very proud, I have to say. And that’s how we met. So next time you’re debating whether or not you should go to this or that protest, I say ‘go’ because you never know where it’s going to take you.
Lulu is asking, “So, which things make you crazy to the point of screaming – people chewing gum, people being rude, coming home to a messy house?” Okay. Yes, definitely, coming home to a messy house, ask Gil. And um, especially like dishes in the sink and like filthy food. I’m not the cleanest and the most organized person I have to say, but coming home after a long day like that can drive me crazy.
Also, people being rude on the road. I mean, in Israel, you’ll find a lot of them. Also, I think injustice drives me crazy. I actually got into a fist fight once. I mean, you see me all cool and chill, but I have a short temper when it comes to being rude or aggressive, or uh, or to injustice.
And I remember when I was a bartender in New York, I was like, it was like 3:00 AM and we were at the bar, and someone just walked in and started being really aggressive with one of the women. And I walked out of the bar and I actually kicked him out with my hands and I pushed him out, uh, away from her. And I think he punched me.
So a lot of you have asked me about my hair. What products do I use? What do I do with it? And, uh, how did I inherit it? So yes, I was blessed with thick, middle Eastern hair. My grandma is from Tripoli, and she had this really thick, dark, long hair.
I, as I remember, and my grandma on my dad’s side, is from Iraq. And she also had this like beautiful long hair when she was young. And that’s it. Like I got there, great genes. And the secret is that I only wash it twice a week and I rarely brush my hair. And if I do, it’s just before I go to bed. Otherwise it would look like this. And um, and yeah, that’s it.
Now, a few people also asked me about, um, the fact that I quit acting. And, um, if, and if I miss it. So the answer is, uh, in the first few years after I stopped acting, I definitely missed it and I felt like it was a huge loss.
Um, I felt like I was not fulfilling my dream, I was not fulfilling my calling. It had been my dream for, you know, like for 10 years, between the age of 20, even before that. And, uh, until I hit 30, uh, and when I moved back to Israel.
So, uh, now I don’t miss it cause I feel that the reason why I wanted to pursue acting is I wanted to connect and to, uh, be in front of people, and to get them to feel and to think and to experience something. And I think that I was able to find this.
This is my niche of doing what I love and being passionate about what I love. Uh, and still finding that space of standing in front of people and, uh, getting them to feel and to experience something with me. So I think that it wasn’t the need to be an actress or famous. It was the need to communicate and to, to feel the people that are in front of me. And, uh, I have been doing that.
And also I’ve been coaching a lot of actors. And I think working on texts with them, uh, has really, uh, fulfilled the place of working with language. And I do work with and like, and as an actress, I loved working with language and dissecting sounds and words, and understanding the emotional baggage each word has. And I think I still do that, but slightly differently from a different angle.
So I think that passion was, uh, accomplished. To say that I don’t miss it that I don’t feel like working on a role or a character. I would like to say that I don’t, but I don’t have time for it right now in my life. And if I had to choose between what I do now or to have a a career as a successful actress, I would, hands down, choose what I’m doing right now. So I guess the answer is no.
Mishelle is asking, “How do you manage your day-to-day tasks and increase your productivity?” Actually, that’s a great question. I’m obsessed with productivity methods and techniques. I read a lot of books about that. Not only because I want to improve the quality of my life, but also I incorporate that in my training, and as a in in the way I teach English, because I feel like you have to be very productive about how you learn English, especially these days.
So first of all, I, I don’t have a lot of distractions in my life, so I don’t have a TV, I don’t watch television, I don’t watch shows. I rarely do. Um, I, you know, I, I only consume… I try to stay off social media, even though it’s hard. I mean, that’s my weakness, I guess. And it’s hard cause that’s where my community is. That’s where I work and live and create content.
So, but I try to stop myself if I see that whatever I’m doing is not super productive or is not getting me somewhere, I’m just like scrolling up and down. Um, I say ‘no’ to a lot of things, even exciting things. Uh, even things that are very profitable.
Because I feel like when I say yes to things that are not taking in the direction of where I want to go, then I’m basically saying no to other things. Like, uh, creating more content or developing my other programs. Uh, so I really try to be careful with what I say ‘yes’ to.
And my task list is usually huge, but every day I try to decide on my main three things, and I try to accomplish them. And actually that has worked for me. When I do it, when I’m, I don’t get distracted. I’m not perfect.
“Successful people usually go through major in transformations in life. What was your biggest failure? Do you come from a place of suffering and then succeeding or is that not the case?” So, I’m guessing the transition that from being an actress to doing what I’m doing right now was very painful for me.
Um, deciding to come here, to Israel after five years in the US um, and it happened because my visa expired, uh, was not something that I wanted. And, um, moving here already felt like giving up on my dream. Because my dream was to become a successful actress in New York.
And then I moved here, and no one cared about me and what I’ve done. And no one cared about the school that I went to, and, uh, and my experience in theaters in the US. And I felt lost. I felt that no one wants me. I started thinking really bad things about myself.
I was struggling with communicating. I barely spoke up, I was so embarrassed around other people. I felt ashamed. Um, I felt like I had nothing interesting to say. Like I was just like a shell of a person. I was searching for myself. I started studying naturopathy. Naturopathy.
And, uh, then I started managing a restaurant, like a really high-end restaurant., and I was really good at it. And then I thought, maybe this is what I need to do in life. And, um, and really, I felt lost because I felt that I gave up on my passion. So I definitely felt like I was a failure.
I did not know that it was all leading me to do what I’m doing right now. Right. I did not know that, um, acting and working with texts and, uh, acquiring a new accent is something that is like, I needed all of that to be doing what I’m doing right now.
But at that point, between those two careers, or different lifetimes, then I felt, uh, I, I definitely felt that I was a failure and it was really hard to come out of it. I went to therapy. Um, I went to a homeopath, I tried a whole bunch of things. I was depressed.
So it was, it was really, really hard. It was really, really hard. I felt like, you know, my dream is gone. And, um, I think that through that, like, you know, when I got the job and I felt needed, that helped me a bit. And then I started teaching privately because I just needed the extra cash.
So I was like, “Okay, what can I do? Okay, I’ll teach accent”. It wasn’t like my lifelong dream. I didn’t think about the fact that this is what I’m going to end up doing. Right. And, um, I discovered, I rediscovered my passion.
And I was able to say, “Okay, I’m allowing it to come in. I’m accepting this change and I’m surrendering to it, and let’s see where this takes me”. And I’m very happy for having done that.
Hanza is asking, “How can you describe life in one or two words?” A gift.
Marilyn is asking, “Where do you see yourself 10 years from today, both professionally and personally?” So, I have big dreams and I have big plans. I want to create this worldwide community of non-native speakers from around the world that meet every year, and create events and empower each other. Uh, and we will have meetups around the world in different places. Um, and a community for each other with each other.
I’m also working on a training program for teachers who are non-native speakers of English. Um, so they’ll get some tools on how to teach pronunciation and how to feel confident and proud of who they are, understanding their advantages. And also, um, some tricks and tips on how to empower your students and, um, really help them achieve fluency.
And since I’m super passionate about online marketing and being an online entrepreneur, I also want to support English-preneurs, uh, English teachers that want to develop their own community and their own online business cause I know it’s possible.
And I think that if you are passionate about it, you can definitely do it. And I’ve been doing some business coaching to friends and people that I know, cause like I always have something to say. So I definitely see myself combining the business part and the everything that I’ve learned doing what I do, um, with teaching English and supporting my community of teachers.
So, Jefferson asked me, if some of my family members are also entrepreneurs. And the answer is ‘yes’. I grew up with a dad who was a hard worker, a hardworking entrepreneur. He was a designer and he built a shoe factory. Like, at some point, it was like a big empire here in Israel. And, uh, he designs beautiful shoes.
Of course, I only walk with sneakers and I don’t take, uh, I don’t wear any of his shoes. I mean, maybe like I have a pair, but that’s just me. So, um, he has this beautiful shoe factory. And actually, my sister is a designer there, and my brother in law, and my mom – they’re all in the family business except for me. I do English stuff.
So yes, I did grow up in house of entrepreneurs, of people who, and I think this is why growing up I always felt like I could never work for someone else. Like, I need to be my own boss. I need to have my own schedule. Um, I don’t want to have someone telling me what to do. I have done it and I’m an excellent employee. But at some point I felt like I’m investing all of my energy into someone else’s business and that was just not okay with me.
Paula De Jesus is asking, a shout out to Paula – community member and a student of mine – I love you, Paula. “What would you say to people who want to achieve another career after years of working on his or her own profession? People who now, after getting older, wanting to pursue another career, but they’re afraid of what others would think and about possible failure?”
Ah, don’t get me started on this one. First of all, I don’t believe that there is such thing as starting too late. I was just listening to a podcast of a woman who has been an executive producer in the Oprah show, and at the age of 50 she decided to quit. And she reinvented herself and she started a totally different business.
And she started a podcast, and she started like, like this incredibly successful business influencing, you know, hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Um, and she was just talking about like, there was no such thing as being too old to reinvent yourself.
I reinvented myself at the age of 30, doing something that I had no… will, or I had no intention of doing. I did not want to be a teacher, if you were asking me at the age of, you know, 24. So I think that if you’re passionate about something, this is something that you should definitely pursue.
This is something that you should like, people will always have something to say, right? But if you care so much about what other people think, then you are putting their opinions in front of your needs and your potential and your possibilities. Right?
Because once you do something that you’re passionate about, the universe will help you bring it to fruition. The universe will help you succeed. I truly believe in it. I have seen it happen with me. So I, I think that not doing it is you are doing injustice to you and the people that you can help doing what you love doing. Right?
And, um. And again, like it doesn’t matter what people have to say because at the end of the day, you will have to face the consequences. And regretting about something that you haven’t done is the worst feeling in the world.
And at some point it will be too late. You will be too tired, you will be too caught up, you’ll have too much on your plate. Uh, so I, I really think that there is no such thing as being too old, and you can always start fresh and start something.
And you can start a business and it can skyrocket within 18 months, really. And then you’d be like, “stupid me, why haven’t I done it earlier?” So, my recommendation is if you’re passionate about something, do it.
Because we live in a different age and in different era. And what our parents think, and what people around us think – it is based on something that used to be relevant like 30-40 years ago. Right?
Life today is fast-growing, changing, very very active, and you can reach a lot of people within a matter of, of hours, right? If you have the right intention, and if you provide value.
So, do what you love, give it a try. Start doing it as a side hustle, or start doing it as you’re doing something else and allow it to grow. But do it!
Okay. This was long. Thank you so much for watching and being here with me and listening to me in my living room. I feel like I’m just like, I’ve just invited all of you to my living room and I’m just like talking, telling you stories. Where’s my glass of wine?
Anyway. Um, so, thank you so much for being here with me for asking all these beautiful questions. You really touched me, like wanting to learn more about me and about what I’ve done, and for all the rest of the questions that I haven’t gotten to answer. I promise I will. Maybe on social media, on Instagram, or in another video.
I love you all. Thank you for being here with me. Bye.
Want to know more about my English teaching journey? Tune in to my podcast’s episode Why I quit acting and became an accent coach.