#Thrive Thursday: Meet Miiko Shaffier, Author, teacher and Mom of 9

thrive thursday Dec 26, 2019

What is your story? Or in other words, what made you your awesome self you are today?

I'm a mom of 9 children. When I was pregnant with my ninth, I was on strict bed rest for about five months. During that time, I wanted to find a way to provide something of value, but I had very limited mobility. My husband is a tour guide who does live broadcasts of his beautiful tours of Israel. I realized that, by using technology, I could create something of value while stuck at home. I asked myself what skill I could share with others. I decided to teach the Hebrew alphabet. It’s something I love to do, anyway.

I was pretty nervous about doing a live broadcast (something I’d never done before) teaching Hebrew reading in an original style (something I was creating in real time.) It was a pretty immediate success and Periscope is a really lovely live broadcasting app. I love the medium and I love getting to know the most unexpected people from around the world.

My book “Learn to Read Hebrew in 6 Weeks!” was an audience request and my kickstarter campaign to produce the book was triple funded by my faithful followers.

I was very lucky to be able to do something I love, that others love as well.

What message does Learn Hebrew TV like to promote?

Taking the first step towards doing something is usually the hardest. If you can take that step with confidence and a sense of humor you'll often find that it (whatever it is) is a lot easier than you expected.

In other words, the time will pass either way so why not give it a shot.

I take that approach with Hebrew. Just learn to read and the rest will follow.

In what capacity do you LEAD UP in your community?

In my virtual community I teach what I can in the best way I can.

In addition to my teaching and distributing my book I'm an active member of my local community of expats here where I live in Beersheba, Israel. That usually looks like organizing a community potluck or picnic or helping newcomers overcome language barriers. As a mother of 9 I often find myself guiding the younger moms in my community with things like teaching babies to sleep through the night, etc.

My youngest has Down's Syndrome and Epilepsy. He's severely delayed - at age three he's just beginning to sit up unassisted. I feel like it's really important for him to be seen and to be a part of our community even though it would often be more comfortable to just sit at home and snuggle. I wouldn't consider myself an advocate but I do my best to serve my community and promote things I believe in.

In business and/or in life, share a struggle you overcame that other women can relate to?

Like I mentioned earlier, I was physically couch-bound during pregnancy for what ended up being five long months. But I was also emotionally stuck. After eight pregnancies – and as many babies – I was most comfortable being constantly physically active for them. To stop moving and reassess how I contribute to my world was a big obstacle for me. It was, in essence, a re-discovery of what value I have to add to the world.

I looked around my world and had a few things in my life that I wasn't appreciating. When I took a closer look at those tools and used them in my own unique way, I was able to experience a breakthrough.

I think that successfully overcoming a struggle has a lot to do with believing that you can only do the best you can with what you have. Don't even try to do the best your friend or neighbor can do. They have different tools and abilities. For me that translated into the number one bestselling book on Amazon for Hebrew language Instruction.

Did you have a Mentor, Coach or Sponsor along the way that was essential to your growth and success? If so, who was it and why?

The people I reached out to teach are my biggest coaches and supporters. They harassed me to put my teachings into book form and they sent emails of encouragement throughout the whole process. A couple from Australia even stopped by to visit on their trip to Israel. My supporters are also pretty honest so if I start to do something that doesn't resonate with my supporters, I'll feel it.

What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do at Learn Hebrew TV?

I love that I can help support my family by doing something that is super meaningful to people. I get incredibly emotional feedback from students about how learning to read in Hebrew was a life-long dream, or how they've tried so many other methods and failed but mine was an uplifting and successful experience. The positive feedback and the relationships are what I thrive on.

If you could give one piece of advice for women who are entering the workforce or launching their own business what would that be?

If you're entering the workforce like me after having been a stay at home mom for a long time (16 years for me) it can be really intimidating. Look around at all the people doing professional things that are impressive. Recognize that all the things you've put time and years into are also impressive. The time passes either way, just get started! Once you're moving towards a goal you'll get there.



LearnHebrewTV on the Periscope app or www.Periscope.tv

@LearnHebrew.tv on Instagram

@LearnHebrew.tv on Facebook

@LearnHebrewtv on Twitter


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