An Interview With Woman of The Year Toby Hassan Fishman

Being a single mom is challenge enough.  Now imagine doing that and also building a successful business.  Toby Hassan Fishman did those, and topped it off recently by being recognized by the International Business Awards as Woman of the Year AND by the Best in Biz International Awards as Creative Executive of the Year!

The International Business Awards are the world’s premier business awards program. All individuals and organizations worldwide – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small – are eligible to submit nominations. The 2018 IBAs received entries from 74 nations and territories. 
The Best in Biz International Awards are an independent business awards program judged by prominent editors and reporters from top-tier publications. The awards entrants span a wide spectrum, from some of the most innovative start-ups to the most recognizable global brands. Close to 300 public and private companies from all sectors of the global economy and more than 35 countries competed in the 2018 6th Annual Best in Biz Awards’ International program. 
All that said, Ms Career Girl had the opportunity to toss some questions Toby’s way.  Here they are, along with her insightful responses:

Toby Hassan Fishman

On Self-Recognition

MCG:  You’ve recently achieved some impressive milestones that anyone would be proud of.  Many of us, especially women, have a difficult time giving themselves enough credit.  Often, to even recognize the signs along the way to their successes.  What were the moments in your journey that were the moments when you felt a real “wow” about yourself?  (don’t blush now . . .)
TOBY:  Over the past two years as Eff Creative Group has grown and we’ve been solidifying our presence in Singapore, I have had opportunities to meet some tremendously successful businesspeople all across the world. I must admit that sometimes when I walk into a meeting, like when I presented to the CEO of the Singapore Stock Exchange I took a moment to think to myself, ‘who do you think you are, Toby?’ which is something that I think many women reflect on. 
I’m looking forward to traveling to London this October to accept my award for Woman of the Year.  Which is definitely going to be another ‘wow’ moment. I’ll be feeling incredibly proud and validated. 

On Motivation

MCG:  In the moments of frustration, or even fear, how did you motivate yourself to keep going? 
TOBY:  As a single mom, there is no other option. In moments of frustration I always think of my daughters who are relying on me 100%. I also have an incredibly supportive and talented team, so there is no such thing as needing to tackle a situation alone.

On Goals And Progress

MCG:  We all have our personal mantra.  What’s yours, and how did you adopt it? 
TOBY:  My personal mantra is ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ Although Eff Creative Group has grown at an unusually fast pace, exceeding all of our expectations, the way that we approach individual projects (and life in general) is with a more calculated and strategic approach. Setting goals for yourself personally and professionally, without the pressure of ‘when,’ recognizing that that is sometimes outside of our control, is so important.

On Perspective

MCG:  We’re often asked what we’d tell our younger selves.  Looking the other way, what would you like to tell your 40-something self? 
TOBY:  I hope to be congratulating myself on continued success and still looking 30! Jokes aside, I would like to remind myself that work-life balance is a constant struggle and should always be priority, as my kids and business are both growing at the same time.

On Inspiration

MCG:  If you had just one chance to deliver only three words to aspiring women, what would they be?
TOBY:  Live, love, laugh… live life to the fullest, love what you do, and always have fun.

Linda Allen

I'm a serial entrepreneur, with a resume that makes me look like a Jane of all trades. Pretty sure we are all reluctant Messiahs, travelling through life planting seeds where ever we can. Hopefully, most of mine have been good ones! MA from Miami University (Ohio, not Florida), BA from Cal State.