#289 – Is It Time To Move On? With Mustafa Ammar

Thomas Green here with ethical marketing service on the episode. Today, we have Mustafa Ammar. Mustafa, welcome. Thank you so much. Pleasure being with you today. It is also my pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do? Sure. Sure. So I’m a, I’m uh by Asian. I’m Egyptian. Um And in the incarnation uh vocabulary, I lived a few career, lives in the past. So I started my first career as a pharmacist out of passion for chemistry. Uh I moved then to diplomacy out of, to, you know, travel the world represent my culture in a, in a better way. Um The opinions of diplomacy, I thought I reached the peak in my career and I thought of changing again. Um And I moved to investment banking. Uh I was in China at that time, so I moved to a multinational investment bank uh in China. Uh I worked there for four years. Um Somehow I was doing my MB A at the same time in, in the UK, in Manchester and somehow I thought of trying something else and uh I moved to entrepreneurship.

Um I become a career coach for the last 3.5 years. I’ve been, you know, coaching dozens to hundreds of people how to change their careers. I, I have seen that need and that issue a lot. Um Right now I’m stepping on my life. So trying to scale that service into a tech startup, uh a platform that would help as many people. You’re a busy man, basically. Yeah, trying, trying to have an impact on, on, on different fronts that is actually a worth of living life. I would say, well, thank you for the introduction. Um II, I feel like going through your story and everything would be a, would be a very interesting thing to cover. But I also think that the topic that you cover your expertise is actually really valuable for people because I think you’ve touched on it, um, that there are a lot of people in their jobs or careers who don’t feel, I think the statistics are something like I’m, I’m fudging the statistics a bit but it’s something like 20% of people actively dislike, um, or harm their role in some way.

And a further something along the lines of 30% are no longer engaged, don’t like it anymore. So, why would you say that is? And, uh, what should they do? Well, if they’re deeper into some other numbers as well? In, in 2019, there were a massive study, uh, done by Gallup and it showed 85% of full time employees around the world, behavior jobs, um, in the US were around 70%. So, um, when I was looking at those numbers, you know, I i it’s, it’s really level alerts is you have almost 2.3 billion people. You don’t like the Yeah. So there, there is something and I’ve been through this in, in several, you know, phases in my life. I and I started digging deeper into this, why this is happening. Uh And, and the answer is not a one line. It, the answer is a bit complicated. It, it goes back to many things including uh you need to be passionate about what you’re doing. Uh And secondly, we change. So um and in our human nature, uh we change.

So me and you Thomas 10 years ago, five years ago, we are different, different people, different persons and personalities. Uh 10 years from now will also change. So the evolution, the evolution in your personality, your interest, your passions is something that we don’t have and put into account when you just have to decide you stick to one job or career all your life, right? Another side of this is that also our nature get bored, we get bored quickly. You know, if you keep doing the same job for, I don’t know, 5, 10 years, I mean, you probably any, any type of job that you do more than five years, you, you get an expert, you know, uh you have that expertise level of it. And then after that, it’s a very repetitive uh kind of task. So you need to look at OK, what’s next? Um And if I just go back a bit to, you know, when I was 56 years old that my, my parents relative used to ask me that question. You know what you wanna be when you grow up.

The uh natural answer for me was I, I used to say 56 things. Now I wanna be a football player, an astronaut, an engineer, you know, many things and no, their reply. The response was always sad for me. It’s like no, you have to stick to one. You cannot be. Um It was sad. It was sad. But I had to confirm at some point because the, you kept asking the same question, I kept answering the same answer and always I get the same response. So somehow I had to make the more better than me. Uh I have to confirm. Uh So I was in that struggle and since I was six years old until I think 16, 17, when you have to decide, you know, it’s like, OK, what should I pick? Is it cribble? Is it, you know, the engineering? Is it uh being a doctor or a diplomat or whatever? Um It was hard somehow when I was 16, I, I hope to make it easy for me is just to pick the subject that I enjoy more in school.

That’s it. No need to think, you know, 10, 15 years from now, just think of what you’re enjoying right now. And I found that in chemistry. So I, I look at OK, math chemistry, whatever and then Ok. Chemistry, I’m enjoying it. I love it. Um, I think I want to study it for, you know, I don’t know, five more years or so. Um, and that, in for my decision, I say, well, ok, maybe I bring like pharmacy, maybe pharmacy is not for me, but maybe pharmacy has all types of chemistry that I would just enjoy, uh, studying. And, uh, somehow that was the, the, the short term answer for me. At least, you know, medium term answer. I, I went to pharmacy. Uh, somehow I enjoyed, you know, studying all types of chemistry was uh interesting and at some point it was painful because, oh, I think it’s enough. I think, you know, I enjoy chemistry but there is a limit. Um, by the end of my last semester I figured out that pharmacy is not for me. I enjoyed so much doing this.

I felt if, if I had some, I don’t know, zer of genius in something I think it was in, in pharmacy, in chemistry, I mean, and uh I think it’s enough. Maybe it helped me, maybe it didn’t help me, but it’s enough. Uh And this is how I started my journey of just transitioning, trying to find another passion. Uh It was a painful journey, but of course, you can dive deeper into that. Well, uh thank you for the answer. I think it’s a great one. It does make me think of the, you, you you mentioned all the logical reasons why people need to change their careers, which I’m, I’d like to delve in uh deeper to, but it does make me think of the flip side. So, have you noticed any characteristics of people who stay in the same job? 2030 years? What is, what is it that enables them to do that? Yeah, I read, I read w to, because I, I recently published a book. It’s, it’s called Time to Move on. And that’s, that’s actually the answer to, to this, your question right now because I learned the hard way to bust some of the myths.

I used to believe in all my life and uh somehow I sir the Smith or, or what is, you know, locking people in and, you know, their stateless, you know, uh position where they are and not, not able to advance. So I would just mention a few of them. Um The first one I, I touched on earlier, it’s called it the Supreme Specialist Myth. So, uh people, mostly we believe that the only way to succeed in your career in your life is to stick to one specialization, grow in that specialization. Get, you know, the expert level there don’t ever leave it. And uh this is, you know, a prescription for success in your life and your career. Um The more people believe in this, the more they’re not able to escape, right? Their expertise. Um um So I’m proving, I’m actually disproving this and I’m proving that there is other way to succeed and I call it being a career shapeshifter.

Uh And let’s, let’s imagine, you know, um koala as a specialist animal, it lives in a specific type of environment. It eats only eucalyptus sleeve. Uh when change hits, when you know, environment the greens grow up or, you know, a bit, it hits koala. Koala is not able to survive in such circumstance. It’s not able even to even such other uh types of foods. On the other side, raccoon is a generalist. So or I like to call him shapeshifter and a shapeshifter. In, in this case, raccoon is able to live wherever you put him, you know, wherever, like whether it’s uh it’s very high temperature, uh very, very cold in, in North Europe, in the US where uh it eats everything, it eats anything. So we change it, it survive. Yeah. So going back to, you know, our career, if a specialist who is a specialized in one tiny specialization and now with technological advancement P I, millions of jobs are in the danger of going extinct.

Um What a specialist will do in that case, you know, if you are a coder or software engineer and uh your job would disappear, you know, 3 to 5 years from now, what would you do? Uh The answer is in. So that’s one, for example, myth, I dive deeper into other myths are a bit psychological because people think it’s too late for me to change. You know, I’m, I’m in my thirties, fifties and, you know, and sixties and, uh, no, I could change now, you know, I, I wish if I could do that earlier and I’m disproving whether through research, data or through stories that it’s never too late. And I’m just showing stories of people who change in their late sixties, their seventies and they were able actually to change their life. Um And I dive deeper into the mindset and, and the journey of change because because also another myth is change is risky. No way. No, I cannot change. Um So I’m, I’m showing you the journey of change like when you start your comfort zone, how it looks like and then when you start going out um the next zone, how does it look?

And then the third zone when you start growing and you see a bit of result. Um So also showing you the journey will, will show you where you’re gonna suffer, what are the pains and what are the gains? Uh So also disproving that. Uh So in many different ways, uh another one is leaving my job is a sun coast, leaving my career is a sun coast and a sun course is I invested a lot of money, energy effort in something. And now I’m gonna leave all of that and start somewhere else, you know, from scratch. And I’m proving that you can transfer everything in the, with you, wherever you go, wherever you go, um you are moving with your expertise, you’re moving with your mindset, with, with everything. And I’m showing that through stories through, you know, many different things. Uh I was just giving you a quick example in my life, I studied chemistry and um it was my, my main specialization when I moved to diplomacy. I thought this is it for me. No, I’m, I’m not going to benefit from that anymore.

And I started questioning why would I study chemistry if I wanted to be a diplomat, if I want to do something else? Uh Somehow I think 78 years down the road, I moved to China and I had to learn Chinese. So I spent one full time study uh to, to learn the language before I start my journey there. Uh And then to my surprise reading and writing Chinese characters was so easy for me. I don’t know why, but that’s helped me to focus my energy on speaking the language because speaking um in terms, it was very different from any language we know. Uh but reading and writing was super easy. Um Somehow a few years later, when I understood the concept of analogical thinking, uh where when you have an analogy in the past and expertise or skill, and then you have a new situation and you know, uh new deal that you are dealing with and then you are bringing that previous expertise, skill, it helps you to learn that one quickly or tackle that task quickly.

And just to give you the, the similarity between both chemistry and and Chinese. When you drew a compound in organic chemistry, there is always a logic and the law goes like this, you draw any compound you go from left to right from up to down, there was the endings and every compound and they mean something, they mean an effect and impact whatever uh the same applies to Chinese, you go from left to right from up to down, always the ending has a meaning whether it’s in pronunciation or in, in the tone itself or whatever. Uh So during that unintentionally and having that experience helped me to do another skill and learn another skill very quickly and it applies to everything you could do. It’s a great answer. Um I wanted to follow up on one thing which was um the, you mentioned that, that it, it can be painless, moving from one job to another uh because people perceive it to be risky. Um There, there is obviously a wrong way to go about doing this and it’s something that I’ve done, which is I’ve had enough of this job, I’m leaving, I’ll figure it out, I’ll figure out the next steps, whatever they are when I get to them.

And um I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that. But what are your thoughts on the unsafe in quotations and the safe way to go about doing it. Yeah, I would also recommend just waiting until the moment where you burn out and you’re, you are enough of and there, there is a rate, there are signs that each one of us should see. You know, like for example, I’m not productive enough. Um not happy enough with the environment that or let’s say, um my personal values are not in line anymore with my organization value or with that specific job or, or career, there are many signs uh many symptoms you can see in yourself, OK, waking up every morning, like there is in, in the same type of job. I remember um some time I was waking up so excited that I, I would do the next morning and uh just go full of energy, you know, and um it would work 12 hours, 13, 14 hours and never mind. And then in that same type of job, a few years later when just a phone call from somebody in my team or from an ex boss or so how I’m irritated, you know, just to pick up that phone.

So it’s, it’s a, it’s a sign that um you, you really have to be very, at least you need to get deeper to know why, why this is happening. Um There are of course many reasons behind this, but once you know that, OK, you really need to, to, to start planning for the next step. Uh uh The best way is to have a transitional plan and transitional plan, you know, optimum six month, uh you need to plan what we need to do in the six month. And, and I found when even myself or with other, you know, client that I’m working with, when they have this transitional plan, it helps them to work better in an environment they don’t like even because they know they’re leaving anyway. And because the feeling of being stuck somehow is irritating. You know, I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do. But when, you know, there is, you know, there is a hope somewhere there. Ok, fine. You know, guys, I’m here for six months and I have my own exit plan and very soon we’ve got to know about this. Um So it’s, it’s good for remote, it’s good for building a clear vision and what we need to do.

And also it’s good for being productive because it’s, it’s not a good feeling working in a place where you, you know, you don’t satisfy the idea of working hard or being productive or so. So, um back to the, the plan itself, any plan doesn’t work unless you have a clear vision of what’s the next step, at least right after the six month. Ok. I don’t know what will happen 10 years from now, but at least after the six month, um we can dive deeper into this but there is a methodology that I, I instilled from my experiences and I apply on my clients and it dive deeper into yourself. So you get to know a bit about your passions, a bit about your values having. And I a quick idea on what entails to me uh to have an ideal lifestyle, you know, where you wanna live or what you wanna do all of these things. And then a bit of skill, analytics, merge all of this together and then somehow we find, OK, I think the next step will be this.

OK. That’s uh fair enough for six months or one year. Thank you for the answer. And um you actually alluded to something which I was going to ask you about. And that is um when you were younger and you chose chemistry, it was sort of like the, what do I enjoy the most? What’s my, uh what’s my passion if you will? And that is a phrase that you hear, you know, follow your passion. Uh Is there anything, what would you say? The misconceptions are about that? If any, there are lots, there are a lot of misconceptions, there are a lot of conflicting messages all around. Uh I see gurus and experts advise people not to follow their passions. Um um I consider myself somebody who spent a lot of time on passion, understanding my passion. I claim I get to know them in a, in a, in a different way. Um So I would argue I would, I would just share a few things about passion. So first of all your passion choose you, you don’t choose your passion. Um It’s, it’s really not easy just to get burned and know, ok, this is my goal in life.

You know, it’s somehow based on experiences. There is something that was implanted in your heart and that will bring me to another um definition of passion, right? I call it passions are the seeds that God implants in your heart to figure out your life purpose. Somehow we, we, we know that we like something, we don’t know the reason, ok? But following that passion and start watering, you know, those plants or those seeds could lead you to figure out a bigger life purpose or, or, you know, or knowing a meaning in your life or having a, a meaningful career or also not every passion would lead to a, a career. Uh That for me, passion is the gas of your car. If you don’t have enough gas for a long journey, you’ll stop somewhere in the middle. Um So somehow you really need to figure out, you know, your, your passions carefully, another rule of passion, um our passion shift or change.

So somehow, um I used to have passions for things. Now I’m really not enjoying anymore. I could still, you know, do them uh as a hobby or so not anymore as an integral part of my life. And then also when you learn new things in life, you start having new passions and those new passions could lead you to new things in life. So also a passion change, your shift. Another um rule of passion is sometimes you have passion for something you don’t understand whether it’s a city or something is like, well, I don’t know why, you know, but also how, how to say keeping that passion close to your heart might lead to a destiny somehow. Because again, it’s, it’s for whatever reason, mysterious seasons or not, you have that love for that. I will just give an example. I love New York. OK? And I, I moved to New York several times and I keep going back and forth to New York for many reasons.

I work in the UN 2010. And, but there are other things that are happening. So you never know that’s the next destiny. You know, because that, that love, if you keep that love or that passion, close to your heart and keep getting close, that might lead you to a destiny somewhere down the route. A great answer. There’s a couple of things in there which um you’ve mentioned a couple of times about how people change and therefore your career is, should say probable that it’s going to change. Uh which I haven’t, I haven’t actually heard people say that, you know, it’s logical for people to want to do different things because, because they are now different people thought that was worth highlighting and also um the, the metaphor of the gas in your car and you’re only going to get so far if you haven’t got that passion, I just thought that was very, very poignant, a good point. Um I wanted to just uh talk a little bit about the book uh time to move on. Why did you write it? Um Originally I was writing another book.

Um So I’m, I was writing the passion projects. And uh the idea of if, if you consider your life or your career as a project, which I think it’s the case, you really need to build your life and your career on the right foundations, majority of us build them on, I would say their own foundations, which means uh I’m just in this job or this career because it pays well because my parents asked me to do so because whatever, because uh the environment, because the society um values, you know, being a doctor or whatever. Um So that’s, I would say a wrong foundation for my life, a root foundation is something else. Uh And if you have the wrong foundation, you will spend most of your life trying to fix the problems that would come out of that root foundations means some points, the whole, the whole building will collapse, the whole project will collapse. So how to have the, the right foundations that’s was the, the, the key.

So I’m, I’m again talking about the analogy of having enough gas in your car. Um, I, I couldn’t extend a bit on that because it’s also interesting. It’s not only about gas, it’s like, let’s imagine we are driving a car together for thousands of miles or kilometers. Um, so maybe it will take us a few days to, to get to our destination. I assume the essential elements, enough gas, which we talked about earlier. A gps and a final address. Uh, without enough gas, we’ll stop in the middle, right? Without a gps, we’ll get lost. I don’t know, thousands or hundreds of times in the middle, maybe we will never get to our destination. And also there is no benefit of having A gps if you don’t have a final address to reach, you know, just to write down and, and usually be a tracker. So it needs to apply this again on our life, our career, enough passion that enough gas means enough passion. If you don’t have enough passion for whatever you’re doing, you’re stop somewhere in the middle. Don’t know why this is happening, why are burn out, why, whatever, you know, other reasons.

Um A gps is your advantage. I’ve seen a lot of people working in careers that don’t satisfy their values. So it’s very important that your personal values. First of all are measured are method are tracked, you know, your, at least your core five values and then stick to them because your values are part of your identity, right? It it’s your gps. Uh So if you don’t have a career or job or life that doesn’t satisfy your values, you will get lost the same way. You don’t have a GPS Cinema, right? And the final destination will make it very easy for you to get your destination. If I one destination, even if that change along the way, let’s say, let’s say we are after two or three days of traveling. Uh um it might not be that destination. Let’s change to go somewhere by the sea, for example. So we get to know where are we heading? And then we we we measure that. So a final destination means an ideal lifestyle.

OK? Like like if I imagine myself 5, 10 years from now, this is my ideal life. I really don’t want anything more than this. Ok? How many millions in my bank account? Let’s say if it’s not about money where I wanna live. Um um How do I wanna spend my day? My ideal uh working day, my ideal weekend with home, all of this is important to know that seems to measure, you know, and so having this together, having your passions, your values, ideal lifestyle. You wanna be somewhere in the middle that satisfy your top passions, your core values and help you to get closer even slowly. Yeah, in, in a, in a in a slower way to your final destination. Somehow that was my, my book and this is why I’m doing, but I figured out that people wanted another answer, um, which is before knowing how, if they start busting some of the Smith that are rocking them into their lives. I think we start going full speed in their careers.

So when we believe that, uh, specialization is not for me anymore and I believe being a career shapeshifter is, is a good thing for me. I’m convinced when I believe that it’s never too late. Uh When I believe that uh change is not risky anymore, I should actually be friends with, with change. I should actually embrace and foresee change and then I’m prepared for the future. Um I will start acting in a different way. Uh So diving deeper into every Smith, uh help people to unlock themselves, you know, one by one. And then I think the how comes after that. So somehow I, I listened to the feedback from, you know, readers people, clients and I saw this could be a very first conversation that we can have talking about the myth and how they start, you know, unlocking themselves. And then when you start going full speed, I think, OK, tell me how I really wanna change right now. Thank you for the answer. Um You, you touched on something which I think is, uh perhaps one of the, I don’t know whether you would refer to it as an excuse or a myth, but it’s certainly something that people say, which is when they get fed up of their job, they’re only going for the money at that point.

And, um, maybe they’ve progressed far enough so they perceive that it’s difficult enough for them to change. So, uh, of all the things that you mentioned, which I absolutely, I, I love the, the three areas that you covered in terms of what you should be doing to find your passion to what degree does money come into that? Like when, when you also do the value exercise, I call it the value meter. I made it clearly that money is not in your values. Money is never one of your values. And and it’s important to have money as a tool to help you to achieve whether to satisfy your values or find passions or reach an ideal lifestyle or have an impact or whatever. Um that let’s have money versus financial stability. Uh financial freedom. I would argue that financial stability is about because it’s, it’s about having enough money to help me to live a stable life or on the other side because I believe that stability is the other side of the coin of freedom. If you, you, you, you have to get one, whether this or this, if I go for freedom, which I love, I see financial freedom is a goal in itself or a value in itself.

That will help me to live the life of my dreams. Not still money, it’s not the, because if money is an, an ultimate value, I can do anything to get money. Right. I can, I, can you send us money, I can do anything. But then again, having your values and your moralities and all of this and then knowing your real go, let’s say if it’s financial freedom, there are many, many ways to get financial freedom. Why not endangering your values? Uh Other values? I would say. So what about those people who uh they feel as though they’re obligated by, for example, uh family responsibilities and mortgages and stuff. What, what would you say to them? Well, I, I spoke about this time to move on. Um and I call it, I have bills to pay myth. So a lot of people say, oh, you have bills to pay, I cannot, sorry, maybe you because of your situation, you can do it. But maybe for me, no. And uh while I argue, yes, it’s important to pay your bills and you know, take care of your responsibilities and all of that.

But I also, I would argue that we are not here in this life to pay our bills and then die. You know, I’m, I’m, I’m not here just to pay all these bills on a monthly basis and uh somehow at some point, uh well, I’m, I’m happy because I, I mostly paid my bills and then I can die. We’re here for something bigger than this in my. So try to figure out what’s, what is more important than this while taking care of your bits. It’s important to take care of your bits. So, um also having the plan is, is crucial. So uh because it’s not easy to leave a job, it’s not easy to start, you know, buying businesses or, or achieving financial freedom or creating different assets that help you to achieve your dream. But I’m also in that situation where OK, these are my bills. I’m taking care of them. I learn a bit about financial education. And then at the same time, I’m trying to reach my goal, step by step. But if I just keep that grow close to my heart and it’s like my, my life purpose, I think, I think it’s silly.

It’s, it’s a risk of life to live, to pay your bills. And then just that I think it’s a risk of life, but it’s, it’s uh yeah, it’s something I have to do. I have to take care of while trying to reach my, my life purpose if I would say thank you for that. Um I, I asked you about um the, the book um and you know, uh what it was like, why did you write it? Um Who is it for? Who should buy the book? Well, the originally my focus is mid-level careers and I would, I would argue there’s different definitions of mid-level career but it can grow from 25 to 45 years old. Uh, people who have a bit of experience in one career and they have their specialization and somehow they think, oh, I, I think I’m enough. I really wanna change. Uh, what I’m, I’m here. Um, having said that there is a chapter that is never too late. So, and that’s directed to about 50.

So I tell stories of people in their late fifties, late sixties about how they change their life too. Uh So I would say it’s, I don’t like this answer, but it applies to everybody. But I like to start with mid-level career because you have a bit of experience in your life, you have a bit of experience. Um and you, you get to know what you need more and what you do in your life. So OK, it’s time for change. And I also have the motivation to change your life. Uh I, I serve a bit hander when you are young. 50 60. I see a lot of people are, it’s really hard for them to live because it somehow it’s hard to change. They have responsibilities, but it’s still feasible. And also younger than this, my advice to younger generation, you know, if you don’t have a job, go out and get a job, just learn, get some experience in life and then figure out what you really wanna know what you don’t want to do and then come back and let you know, work for them. II, I wouldn’t argue 23 years old or 22 years old.

Uh, you know, you need to get some experience in life and then after some time it’s fine to change. No, it’s OK. A teenager that need to stick to specialization. I would argue it’s better to late specialize than early specialize. So pick something, try it, enjoy it or not and then move to the next. Well, I asked you about um the main misconception that I have heard in my life. Um Have I missed any, are there any major ones that you want to highlight in terms of people who say that they can’t do it when, when they can? Yeah. Yeah, everything and all the questions were very, very interesting. Um It was this, there was a trend I could see in people when they could start dreaming when they know when they start going through this process, I could see the trend is growing definitely to financial freedom when they start just allowing themselves to dream of their life and figure out their passions, you know, their values and building and, and visualizing an ideal lifestyle.

I see that it’s mostly going towards financial freedom and uh I see more and more trends going to that direction. So somehow I feel that people are going back to their origin and then let’s say until 200 years ago. Uh, most of the people were business owners, whether they were farmers or, you know, at a small shop or whatever or, you know, trading mostly were business owners. Uh, somehow we had to, we were forced to specialize for economic purposes and several others to stick to a job. Count on somebody that will pay your paycheck by paycheck by the end of the month and that’s it. But now seeing some economic trends, like the great resignation quite quitting and a lot of others where millions of people are leaving their jobs willingly. I see why this is happening. There are many reasons but one of them is we are trying to go back to our version, which is doing different things in life because human nature is is different from, I would say ants or bees, ants or bees are specialists.

You know, it does the same type of job every single day until the last day in her life for it. So, but us we created a shapeshifter to do different things and let this that when we find a shapeshifter, then an entrepreneur, somebody who owns different businesses, somebody who does different things in life. Uh It, it definitely satisfy the, you know, that’s human nature. If I would say so, somehow I see we’re going back to our nature. Yeah, because I would say thank you for that. Um You’ve mentioned a couple of times about the ideal life. What your ideal life would be. And I think having a vision for your ideal is a, is a great thing to do. But we touched on perhaps what part of your ideal life would be. Um, you personally, uh, before we started the, um, the recording, which was about travel and this is more of a, I’m, I’m interested to know what your thoughts on, on this are because we’re, we’re almost polar opposites.

So I have been in the same place for many, many years. If someone asks me, if I want to go on holiday, I’ll typically say I don’t really want to go. So what is great about travel and why should I do it? Yeah, I mean, if, if, if was a value early in my life and also a passion, if I would say, I think it was a, a big motivation for me to change my career from a pharmacist to a diplomat. Um Somehow I grew up with my parents. They used to travel a lot. So I grew up when I was here and since I was one year old, I grew up traveling uh different places, different countries. We used to live in different countries for three years each. Uh So I have that perspective of things that it’s, it, it was beyond uh one single country or one single culture. And it’s very interesting to get in touch with other cultures, other countries, languages, a lot of other things. Um So when I moved to diplomacy, I thought, ok, I’m in my pharmacy right now. It’s fine. But that pharmacy will be my golden cage.

I will never leave it until the last day of my life. So I have to escape that cage very quickly. And the answer was in diplomacy. I, I linked diplomacy to big values. Like I wanna represent my culture in the best possible way. I want to represent my country in the best possible way. And I used that to satisfy that big value and, and that purpose in my life. But then I also kept traveling because uh I went to work in Africa in Malawi, I went to work in United Nations in New York. I work in China. I went for short missions everywhere and somehow, you know, the the ceiling and you were losing the back to seven and the ceiling is ex expanding to you. So I wanted to do there. Uh And then somehow the answer came when I moved to investment banking because I used to work in a place. Um it’s called A IIB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It’s like the real bank and uh it was a start up bank at that time, 2016. So we were covering the whole map. So we were based in China, but I used to travel to name it, you know, in Ran Asia, Middle East, all the way to Latin America Europe.

So um at least once per month, you have a mission somewhere. So, and that also expanded my, this is the life I wanna live. I wanna keep traveling, uh you know, all the time. And uh it’s also interesting because if, if I, I have to plan, you know, a mission to Latin America and I don’t know enough about Latin America uh except maybe I speak Spanish. OK. How would you, how would I learn enough about the infrastructure space in Peru and Chile and Argentina in two or three days and go out there for a mission that, you know, only lasts for 10 days and come back with bankable project if I would call them or like feasible project. Um So I learned a lot in that somehow when I moved to uh in this life and I could see the value of doing my work from wherever I am. Uh So when I was writing this book, I just, II, I went to Zanzibar and Zanzibar is somewhere in, in the Indian Ocean, by the beach, by the sea.

Uh It’s an island uh in Tanzania. And I started writing this book. So I, I wrote, I think four chapters in a couple of days. Um I talked to one of my mentors in story storytelling, uh Jeffrey uh be and he told me it seems that you write quick when and efficiently when you are out by the beach. So find another journey and go. So I went to the Maldives and I finished the whole book there. So, somehow you get to know more about yourself and then when you start expanding your ceiling of, I wanna keep traveling all the time. If I stay in now, right now, if I stay in the same place for more than two months. Um Oh, I’m, I’m hopeless. So I really have to start traveling again. Um So it’s true that travel broadens the mind. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, for sure. And you get to learn a lot, you get to expand, you know, your horizon. I always tell people who work in the same country or culture for a long time have at least one year experience somewhere else, you know, no matter if you think it will be um a tough experience.

If you think it will be, you know, horrible for you to go out and learn because you can expand your horizon. You’re gonna learn a lot about another culture, how things are done there. Definitely gonna learn a lot. It’s a great answer. Um Thank you. Is there anything that I should have asked you about today? Uh Thanks Thomas. I think you’re, you, you ask about everything. If, if one thing I would, I would like to talk about. I, I like also to talk about this a lot. It’s also that giving and, and, and the importance of having a charitable curse for each one of us in, in, in life. And if you ask me, if there is a dream and somewhere in my dream lifestyle, ideal lifestyle, I would love to do more for orphans. Uh and especially in terms of education and back when I was 15 years old for some religious reasons, um I was giving me to, you know, that, you know, orphans. So I was giving for my pocket money. Somehow, the more I gave, the more life gave me back, the more I give, the more life gave me back.

And then um when I moved to coaching and entrepreneurship, I started dreaming big about this. So my dream, hopefully by 2030 is to help 1 million orphans between the age of 12 to 18 to dream about their life. And the idea here is, you know, it’s somehow tough for them to, to dream about their life. You know, they don’t have parents around them, you know, or community to help them to dream you, you don’t expect much from them, go get a job and that’s it. I would love to help as many often kids to dream out of their lives and then help them to give those to those dreams. For example, if, if the dream is to create a startup or create a business, I will build a startup incubator for them. So my dream is uh by 2031 million orphans uh uh to dream of every life. And that’s why in in time to move on every copy sold, there’s $1 will be given to that course.

Well, congratulations. It’s great to hear. And, um, 100% on board II, I think I read in, um, there’s a book called, uh, The Life. You can Save it something along the lines of, um, I think it’s about $2000. You can literally save someone’s life by, uh, in, in that amount. So someone is alive today if you, if you’re able to con contribute that amount. So, um and I think people do tend to spend, you know, more than that on, on things which perhaps aren’t as, as valuable as a human life. So I agree. Exactly. So, uh if people want to buy the book or connect with you, where do they go? Uh Thanks Thomas. So it’s available on Amazon Time to move on. It’s on Amazon, it’s on Barnes and Nobles also an in store close to your home. You can definitely uh ask them to order it for you. So hopefully it’s everywhere closer to you and, and wherever you are. Mustafa, thanks for being a great guest today. Thank you so much, Thomas. I really appreciate being a great host.

Thank you.