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Inspiring people: Interview with Fabia on Courage

Translated: Original interview appeared on Dorie Massumi Newplacement.

Fabia Bausch and her partner Nicolas Negre founded the “Chem Chem” safari lodge in Tanzania in 2013. Their work in this game reserve, which they built from the ground up, demonstrates their love and passion for the region’s precious wildlife and their beloved Africa. It is a long-term philanthropic project with the aim of helping nature to survive here by offering accommodation for people who want to see Africa from a new perspective where beauty, nature and time know no boundaries.

I first got to know Fabia Bausch during my time working in HR in the financial sector. Back then, she was a passionate investment banker whose focus, hard work and discipline had brought her great success in a field dominated by men. When I “rediscovered” her a while ago on LinkedIn, I couldn’t help but be impressed by her new career path.

But how did she get there? Fabia had had enough of her life in the financial industry. She found its focus on materialism restrictive and boring. “Life is for the living, it’s not something you can just buy.” With this philosophy in mind, she started to think about where she wanted her future to take her. Today, she and her partner manage the wildlife reserve and lodge with its 140-strong workforce.

I’m delighted to share my conversation with Fabia Bausch with you as part of my “Inspiring People” series and give you some all-natural inspiration from Tanzania. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Fabia for speaking with me and to wish her every success with her ongoing project.

How would someone who knows you well describe you in a few words?

Mediocrity is not an option for me. Independent, honest, spontaneous, considerate, adventurous.

What does courage mean to you?

To be honest with and to yourself. Everything in life has its price. You just have to know how much you’re willing to pay. Courage is the energy that helps us to push past our limits. That’s how I see it in general terms. But for me, it is also often something quiet and subtle that I’m not consciously aware of. Something that is constantly guiding me, silently and caringly, through life. And then, of course, there’s that obvious kind of courage, like when you decide to do something like climb Everest.

When was the last time you met a challenge that really needed courage?

I think courage also means being able to trust yourself and know that you are on the right path and that there is always a solution – even if it’s sometimes completely different to what you planned. It takes courage to jump off a cliff into water 20 metres below, but it also takes courage to break out of old patterns. Those are different emotions. I needed courage, conscious courage when I chose to take that first step out of the financial sector into the unknown. And I think that since I have lived in Africa, I have needed a lot of courage to keep believing in and following my chosen path. I’m always facing challenges I never saw coming – but that’s how you grow.

How do you do it? How do you handle challenging situations?

Sometimes it’s intuition, but sometimes it’s good to be somewhat naive, in a positive way. Of course, I have to weigh up the pros and cons, but most of the time I know deep down what I have to do. Believing in yourself, that’s the scary thing.

What advice, ideas or inspiration would you give to people in similar situations?

Don’t think about what you could lose; focus on everything you could gain. Believe in yourself, and know that life will look after you.