As Founder and CEO of Abrahams Industrial Minerals Inc. otherwise known as AIM, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and my company. My name is Orla Abrahams, I am 35. I’ve been living in the USA for almost 4 years now. Life has taken a lot of twists and turns, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have lived in 8 countries.
Let’s go back to the beginning. I grew up in London, UK. My mother is from Ireland and my father is from South Africa. A timid child, with a great love for being creative. Anything I could get my hands on, I would turn into something weird and wonderful. My parents always told me to dream, dream big.
A big dream of becoming a fashion designer
I had a big dream of becoming a fashion designer, we left London when I was 17 to move to South Africa, after several years there I moved to Ireland which became my launching pad to study fashion design in Paris. A dream come true right?!?
Sadly, it didn’t work out. My love for fashion diminished and I found myself back in Ireland. I went back to school and studied Sculpture. I knew in my heart that while I had and still have a deep love for being creative that wasn’t my true calling.
At the age of 25, I was a ship without a rudder. Not entirely sure which direction to take, although having an education it was one that wouldn’t serve me greatly. By now, I’d lived in 4 countries. I moved to Madrid, Spain to teach English, which then took me to Milan, Italy whereby I settled for a few years and taught English.
The decision to move to Moscow, Russia
While I was great at my job, I had clients that I really adored. It has always been important to me to foster relationships. I’m still in touch with a few of them to this day. I made the bold decision to move to Moscow, Russia to teach English to high profile Russians.
My biggest secret was I always wanted to get into business but I felt I wasn’t smart enough as I didn’t have the experience or education to back myself.
I have always been secretly driven with a deep ambition to succeed. Settling was something that I was no longer willing to do.
While living in Moscow, Russia in 2015 I met an incredibly inspiring person who became my business mentor. I shared my secret, my desire to get into the business. This person told me, absolutely ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Well, it was easy for them to say, they were educated, smart and experienced.
My business mentor was working in the gold mining industry. I was absolutely fascinated by the inner workings of putting together a project. I listened, then I listened to some more. I asked questions. I took notes, I asked more questions. I researched, I put together business ideas, I even had business cards printed well before setting up a company. Sometimes you have to fake it till you make it to reinforce the goal.
My first business venture
In 2016 my first business venture was to combine my newfound interest in mining with something more creative. I thought I would hit a home run, instead, I learned to level my expectations and further develop the idea. I broadened the basic services I could offer, which in turn helped to balance out my business plan.
Over the last few years, I have been working for a junior mining company in the USA. I ran the back office, handling the accounts, payroll, and working alongside the mine manager. It gave me the opportunity to learn from the ground up. When working in mining it is required by law to have MSHA training. This allows me to be on-site and to go underground, I am a certified miner.
Two years ago I took the leap of setting up my own company. It would have been easy to hand it off to someone else but I was determined to figure things out myself. I did, with many growing pains and resubmissions to the state. Abrahams Industrial Minerals inc. was born. (AIM).
AIM offers services including engineering, consulting, construction for mines; mill construction; operations; open-pit mining, underground construction; mine contracting, mine development; engineering, and technical services; and a variety of specialty services are offered around the world.
Fostering business relationships with people has propelled AIM to the next level. If you pick the wrong relationships to foster it can be a waste of time. Do not be discouraged if things don’t work out the first, second, or even the third time. Being constantly willing to put in the work, there will be results.
I’ve landed a few contracts, one of which is with a publicly-traded company a giant in the mining industry, AIM also put in a bid to buy out a company. Over the last few months, AIM entered into an agreement with a company that trades on the NASDAQ.
Five years on, my mindset has completely changed. I truly believe that absolutely anything is possible. Letting go of the fear of feeling I’m not good enough or smart enough has diminished. My senior team has 150 years of mining experience. Ranging from my technical expert to operations manager. I have an incredible team behind me who is constantly striving to propel AIM to greater heights. There is never a dull moment, mining maybe a basic industry but it is highly complex. I’m constantly learning and facing new challenges. Often projects are in the middle of nowhere, it’s not glamourous nor sexy however, it is highly rewarding to see a project come together.
This is one of my favorite quotes by Zig Ziglar:
“Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being positive about what could go right.”
I cannot take all the credit for my success today, I really have to say a very special thank you to my loving parents, even when I didn’t believe in myself, they always did.