~ Grow Confidently and Courageously with a Smile ~



Nora Abu Hassan, a social activist and celebrated author of the book ‘Born to Smile’ battled with low self-esteem for many years owing to her cleft lip and palate; which spotlighted her as ‘different’ amongst her peers. Despite family support and access to medical procedures to improve her cleft lip and palate, Nora shares that her internal wounds remained open, till she accepted herself for who she is. Through her book, Nora writes candidly about her birth destiny, hoping that her story of self-acceptance and transformation will encourage readers to see beauty in themselves and find their smile.

Entrepreneur ~ What’s your definition?

“Someone with strong roots and aligned with their ‘why’ or purpose, which keeps them committed to their goals, mission and vision.”

Characteristics of an Entrepreneur – Your top 3

Passion ~ Nora refers to this as the fuel or motivation to keep pushing on in the face of obstacles. This coupled with faith means, you are unstoppable as you will find a way to make it materialise. However, none of it will lead to consistent results if you do not have commitment, says Nora. “Commitment ~ is key to getting the job done. There is no result without commitment,” adds Nora.

Entrepreneurship style – hardworking, perseverance and focused

Nora worked on herself to build a positive body image; starting by accepting her differences and recognising that she owned her right to smile. As a leader and social activist, Nora speaks openly about her scars and encourages perseverance to aspire to one’s full potential. Nora pins meanings to all life experiences as she says “they evolve and become you.”

Emulate from mentors and books

Exemplary role models are important and when they can do it, why can’t we?”, says Nora, recollecting her chat with Robin Sharma a few years back in Malaysia during his book tour of ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.Read and discover the wisdom of words and life lessons. Nora encourages everyone to devote a few minutes a day to reading. Currently, she’s reading ‘Ikigai ‘Discover Your Reason for Being by Justyn Barnes.


What’s the best advice you have received? 

Find that internal strength. Dig deep within you; it’s in there somewhere. ~ Words from my late father.”  

How do you pick yourself up from a not-so-great day? 

Listen to soothing music. Have a heart to heart talk with a dear friend. Read a good book and have a laugh. Count your blessings and practise gratitude.”

What would you say to someone reading this?

Whatever challenges you may face, you can turn it into the reason for your achievements. Create and redefine your deepest part into art and beauty.

How would you describe your journey as a quote?

Journey on with a smile; for there is a reason and miracle for everything that happens.


~ Entrepreneur Your Life: Lead on your terms is an empowering account of women around the globe who carved their own path. Driven by passion and perseverance, these women created possibilities for themselves even in the darkest of times. Resourceful and resilient, they represent remarkable strength of character and show us how to be the entrepreneurs of our life. ~

Category: Entrepreneur Your Life