Episode #22| Our Story in 10 Mentoring Lessons
They have revealed background stories about dealing with change at a very young age, being flexible and migration to various countries, transitioning from 9-5 jobs to creating businesses and so much more. These lessons have shaped their lives and how they conduct their businesses today.
Welcome to the Dare to Scale show with me Warsha.
And me, Evan.
So what is Dare to scale? Over the years that we’ve been coaching founders and business owners, much like yourselves, we work through a framework called dare to scale.
Dare to scale indeed! That framework has helped hundreds of business owners. That is what this show is all about. So, really big picture thinking,
oh and your headphones and come join us and enjoy the ride.
Hello, and welcome to a very special episode. Thank you for joining us today because Evan and I are summarising 10 mentoring lessons which shaped our life so far.
Absolutely. And it’s interesting to have the spotlight actually shining on us for a change. That is a little bit, obviously about our story as well. So how do we put these mentoring lessons together was a really good question that we were still grappling with, we thought, you know, let’s start like this. Imagine a driving holiday with me or when you were a kid. It’s early in the day, everybody’s fresh and keep singing along to the radio, and, you know, playing the odd game of ‘I spy’. Things couldn’t be better. Unbeknownst the driver and the person’s cars whizzing round the corner was an unexpectedly large obstruction and rounding the corner can seem a little bit too late by the driver. The car hits the bump, obviously too fast, too hard, becomes an airborne and get careens off the road, only to break an axle and get stuck in a ditch. Fortunately, everybody’s okay in the car unscathed. But the driving holiday is for sure, over for now.
So, just like the driving holiday, so to where our happy childhoods disrupted in our mid-teens, a little bit earlier than that but really in the mid-teens. The changes we both experienced brought our idyllic life to a screeching halt, and set us on a whole new trajectory,
Of course, so, Warsha let me relate your story and as I remember it. So you were born into a business family in Southern India. And it really you had a golden spoon rather than a silver spoon in your mouth, it was absolutely a really idyllic sort of family setting family was very well off, and thanks to a very entrepreneurial grandfather, who had a wonderful vision and a very strong head for business running his private bank. He was a gold trader as well from memory, and he had additional side businesses all over the shop. And, you know, he was so well known everywhere from Sri Lanka, all the way to the UK. And although he had actually passed on by the time you were born. He had left a powerful legacy. And you grew up hearing his stories and you’re enjoying the privilege of that idyllic childhood, they did. So, again from memory, you encouraged to read and listen to a wide range of music from pops to classics both Western and Indian by both your parents actually, and you know you were very smart and curious child. But that innocence was interrupted around 12 years old. And you began to notice that something’s changing.
Yes, the cracks were appearing.
Interesting, I mean at 12 It’s obviously such a young age. So taking a step back, your grandfather nurtured growing the family this is single mindedly absolute single mindedly over a 40 year, sort of span, and he was truly visionary in everything he was doing marketing his business ideas, And just how we operating the business. And as it turns out he had one very outdated sort of view, and that was on succession planning, come back to that in a second. I remember you telling me a story about his marketing, and well, go on tell me.
Well, you know what, we could actually do a whole episode just what the stories I’ve heard about my grandfather, that this particular one is, it was just so innovative. So he obviously ran a private bank and from memory what I remember is a little story where he had hired somebody… so the shutters are down, so it was almost like a shop window or a shop front, and with the shutters down. He had hired somebody to sit behind the shutters, a stone and a bag of coins. And his job was to pick up a coin, hit it on the stone and drop it in another bag that was finished, the bag of coins. So the coins are transferred to the next one, and repeat the whole process. And this was his job for a good hour or so, that was his only job. Do you know why though? And at what time of the day or night. The shopfront was on the path to and from the very popular cinema. And in those days you had the late night show and it finished at around, I think around half past 10 or 11 o’clock at night, and everybody and look when I’m talking about this, I’m talking about in the 1940s 1950s in India. It was a small town so most people would either be walking and those were not the times when people had cars, so people would walk, and all they could hear was someone counting money, and the impression that everybody walked away with how that’s, that’s actually sounds like a successful business right that, that was his job, and that is how he was marketing his business and you think, I don’t even know what to make of it. And of course as a child, I had one that sounds really good, but today, doing what we do and the, what, there are so many stories that you can take from the, from the way he was a leader. The way he was grooming people. His absolute direct way of communicating, which I am often accused of having inherited. There are some brilliant stories that we can turn it into a podcast with over to you. You are telling my story,
I was indeed, It’s about projection right. So the story that evolves. Wonderful marketing. However, we were talking about the cracks that were appearing, and it was about succession planning. That’s right. So, he assumed that the next generation would be automatically as engaged as he was, and would apply the same level of dedication to the business. And unfortunately, failing to plan is planning to fail. And as it turned out that the job of the taking over the business from your grandfather fell on to your, your dad, and he was the youngest of three brothers, and he was about to take up, I think it was at Oxford, if I remember rightly, it was a he was a literature student and that was his thing with the job of running the family business fell on him. I say first and foremost, your dad was a literature student, and he really didn’t know what running a business entailed because in those days, there was little avenues in order for the entrepreneur in there and then I was in the 60s right?
Yes. Yeah. Yes, well actually, he started in the business, way before that I think it started on the 50s very early in the 50s as a, as a very young boy, he had already started his grooming, if you will, his mentorship. But he really took over only in the 60s very early so
First and foremost, the point though is even though he was there and he sort of knew what was going on he wasn’t the business. And he was he was actually the literature. That’s the short answer, and he did a really good job, But he had no idea who to ask help from where to turn to for guidance, inevitably, from what I remember is, there were some poor decisions that were taken. And over the course of sort of 10 years, things started not going very well. That’s when you were shipped off to live with extended family, and that was at the age 12. Mom and Dad status, they were struggling with the business but you were uprooted from everything that you knew. So you were separated from your parents pushed and pulled out of your comfort zone. There was a lot of disruption on the school itself. This has been a struggle. and you’ve actually, you told me that you had clinical depression. In those days no one knew what that was, diagnosis or treatment. Basically, it was largely unnoticed. So by the time you were 16 the business had folded. And your parents have been forced to move away from home and while you were reunited with your parents, family fortune was gone, and the struggle to put the next meal on the table had actually begun, leads us to the first mentoring lesson, this was from your mom if I remember, Never be afraid of starting again, from scratch.
Indeed it was my mother. First, all we that that was a beginning of a brand new phase of my life. Let me take you to a whole another continent. Evan was born in what is now Zimbabwe. It was called Rhodesia back then, wasn’t it Evan?
It was it was.
And when you were born to a business, family, and your journey somewhat mirrors mine, because everything you knew was also disrupted at the age of 16, or for many different reasons. That’s true. Your dad was a commercial farmer, like his dad before him, and while a success. He was always struggling with labour intensive methods, and the occasional drought or the I think it was more than an occasional drought and the industry itself was like that in those days it was labour intensive, it’s really is in many ways. Your dad’s real passion though I remember you telling me so many times was in mechanics and the street car racing. He was very gifted at both.
Yea, I mean he would work during the week, when he had an Austin Healey and a Lotus as well. When he would load them up into the truck and on the weekends he would drive off to all sorts of places. There wasn’t at that time,there were a couple of local tracks around their hips in a race, and then go back in because he was working with his dad on the farm. And, you know, that was all great but sometimes actually we don’t to read them out. But that’s in Mozambique, so that’s a good six, seven hours away, and probably more, and you know going out every weekend of racing and then sort of drive overnight coming back and get back to work. So he was really passionate, give us a really very very good driver.
How really brilliant is that farmer. By the weekend, a race car driver by the weekends. What a difference though, like the desert was about these two. I won’t call them both as interests because one was the job and the other was that absolute passion. So Evan, despite all this, your father followed his father’s footsteps, since that was inverted commas, that was all he knew. Your dad had learned his business practices by osmosis from his own father. While continuing with a family tradition. He was not really able to truly put the business first, or make any inroads into the evolution of it.
You know, it’s like it’s always been done this way. He was proud of it, he ended up buying his own farm and was very proud of it can do really nicely and all that but he was more the perfections than the excellent
How brilliant, because what also comes to mind, which you speak, even today so fondly about is your dad really was an east, a family man, and the family enjoying a fabulous life, with absolute unfettered access to the outdoor spaces and all the adventures that you had together. And amongst your one of your fondest memories. I remember our fishing and camping holidays that you had together. And, interestingly, participating and sailing regardless around the country.
Totally, Go figure right sailing is cool right there was it was every way. Was it the right way, there’s there’s three terms for the school year, but the May holidays, was when sailing school took place. And Dad always helped with the motor boats, the power boats. instructors would have with all the different groups that were learning literally learning how to sail and that when I became a senior advisor I actually stopped racing I started teaching, again as a search for perhaps a whole week’s worth of I suppose. Teaching and Learning. Five days on, and then there was essentially the best of seven races or something at the end of the week. There is no such fun.
But since we are talking about business, we come to the real business head in the family, who was your mother, she saw a tremendous opportunity and opened a general trading store on the farm to tap into the low working families living in that district. So, while your mother was born into an employee mindset that she has the courage to break the mould, Evan, as it is, it’s amazing to hear the story and to start learning the ropes of new life, which was entrepreneurship. I remember you saying she bootstrapped the business, and kept reinvesting the profits developed her people and doggedly kept her eye on her goal. But that takes some courage and determination. The reality is also. You said she wanted a better economic life than what a farm would consistently deliver, and
she wanted to provide education and opportunities to her three children.
As you said it was a heck of a dream, to say that she loved it. Business the envy of the district and beyond. It just amazes me wonderful stories of success.
Even today, you know, if somebody was going to save extra money because they got a better deal somewhere they would actually make the effort and go. That’s essentially what happened.
Believe me, it is not limited to India. As a buyer, that’s what we look for. So when somebody is giving that we will always go for that came in. And that’s exactly what your mother was giving.
So Evan you were sent off to boarding school at the age of 5, along with your sisters when it was their turn and but this is because it was your mother’s determination. And you were sent to the best primary schools that had to offer those days.
And in fairness boarding schools are necessary, because at that time, the Rhodesian bush war was raging and it was more a security measure, you three children were shipped off to relative safety, because were’n your parents serving as police reservists and managing all this.
Yeah they were! So there were called up as it happens. They were doing that and they were running the business. Juggling lots of balls.
So there’s a strain on your parents were was immense. It’s absolutely unimaginable. So by when did the hostilities end, was it 1980. And by then everyone was tired and the country as such as coming together to rebuild. Life started to resume a normal pace. And for the most part, you will get together, however, was that a civil war. The agricultural business don’t really lend itself to economic prosperity. As soon as you would like it to be just sure that your parents of cars were aware of what was happening, and they could quite plainly see, and they decided to put their family first and they made plans to immigrate. They sold off what ever they could, and managed to get some of the capital out of the country, despite the tight currency regulations in those, those times. Evan, you were 16 at that time, weren’t you, yes when the family migrated. Yes, and the family migrated to Australia and the world that you knew was gone for good. Moreover, I think it was back to basics and starting all over again for you and your family.
It actually was. Nobody has a unique sort of a story in a way, but it’s quite interesting how as we should have said that the two stories sort of marry in a way and funnily enough, at age 16 is sort of where where there’s a similarity. Yes, back to your story and your family are starting again. So your mother, who turns out, had the entrepreneurial head that was needed for the task or she’d been running some civil side hustle stuff while they were running the original business which is making some good money. She was now called on to focus on the main goal. Like the two master plans and basically leading the direction. So, I think she helps you start a business, and she’s possible all your resources, and then began mentoring. Unfortunately you were forced to drop out of school to work alongside your mom, because really there was no other means to support the family. And I mean I might my heartbreaks, but I sort of want to consider that as education is all because of privilege. You do what you have to do, so I duff my hat. But that reminds me. So mentoring lesson. I can hear your mom saying this…there are opportunities everywhere. Be curious, think 10 steps ahead and plan which one to take on. Learn everything you can about it and become the best at every aspect of it. Such wise words. So you’re taking a vocational course in beauty therapy. And you began working long hours 15 hours or so. That’s a lot of work.
That’s true 5am Because ever again my mum be who she is, it was another side hustle that she had started with me. So my day actually started at 5am and finished at around 9pm Or maybe even 10 Some days.
Wow and that was the thing is you actually began with your mom’s help to build your first business and you realise that every single rupee counts contributed towards putting food on the table. I have to give up because you said if you were to ever write your biography, the book would be called Five rupees, because it signified the difference between three people having a square meal, or going hungry at the time. That’s where the mid 80s and five rupees meant the world to us at that time repeating those days actually was a lot of money. Yeah, it actually meant something exactly meant something. Yeah. So anyway, the business really started going well, and it was flourishing. They were really good at what you were doing. And so that basically the business grow. The family got back on his feet and I mean, absolutely. So, the thing is though your mom was farsighted and realised, you need to get to a bigger market, you know to take on more opportunities, so she decided it was time to relocate and you ended up I think it was Hyderabad you move to a bigger city and obviously I’d rather rather a large city. So it turned out to be a really good decision. The business obviously continued to flourish and be really good in some pretty good heights. In fact, so as a beauty therapy business, there was a second complimentary business which was the institute right, yes it was a technical institute. Well, daffodils, if I remember it is what it was. Yes, here I say the second business, and then also be angry, and it’s kind of ridiculous the way you became quite a rock star, if I remember rightly, so you made a name for yourself, and you were actually recognised around t So, In fact your vehicle was recognised before you sever your pants and we’ve watched this episode was. So I mean it’s actually amazing so your clientele grew, it actually went into state in the sense that people in the surrounding states, actually. I love this particular bit, the whole success was actually centred on a simple philosophy. And again I can go in here saying it well before Richard Branson made it famous, your mother taught that business is all about, people from your employees, all the way through to your clients and your suppliers, and the mission she actually said this again recently when she was visiting us. She said, look after your people, make them feel valued and heard, and they will give you so much more in return. Look after them, and they will look after your customers, completely. And here in lesson three. So by then you were about 26 So you’ve been doing this for about 10 years. And really it seemed like there was no looking back. You had everything you had a wonderful home a lot of vehicle to businesses running well money flowing in. Really what more could you step into mental clarity, or do you really. So, firstly, she says complete your education, and never stop learning. And secondly, she said, move abroad or at least move away so that you can expand your outlook. Wow, interesting. So on the first count sheet system you finish your or get a business degree so night school and all of that. So not only were you working long hours, you were then going from Hyderabad to Mumbai I think you said you’re taking the train, and yeah, that’s very interesting days. And I mean, you must be so exhausted that you know what you did what was required, you know, and that was for your businesses, you’ve got the degree, and on the second count. Mom sort of pushed you to go and experience other things you’d had a brief stint in the UK where you were doing some training over there. And you travel a bit, and then eventually sort of ended up coming to Dubai. But that was the thing as your mom said you made for better things, so go out and experience the world.
Earlier you said, I would have been exhausted. Do you know, in those days, there was no such thing as exhausted because the goal was very, very strong. The goal was very strong, very clear. And I had a mentor who was guiding me showing me by leading me by example. It’s not part of a mentoring lesson which it really should be. Is she said, I was about about 24/25 and said, There’s no such word as exhausted at that age. That’s the age to work hard, you know those days were different. It’s True Parents would hear this today and then we all shock,horror, but it really was like that. You just get up and get on with it. It get up, have a shower, get dressed and get to work. There was no such thing as I’m so exhausted I don’t feel like doing anything and then you would get physical looks as it was, would you do that, although I was even then, I have to say it was a tremendously balanced life. There were still books, there was still music there was art and there was culture. I was surrounded by all this I was encouraged, and we always had access, we will never distracted by this from the goal which was to rebuild our life.
And that’s absolutely amazing. And like I said, I’m encourage you to move away and was based on a fourth mentor and the lesson is, be aware and open your eyes. And unlike the frog in the well that just accepts everything it can see. Be aware, and just accept everything and can see well, jump out of the well and really see all that there is to see.
Let’s go somewhere else now. Australia. Oh Evan your family had to fit into a fabric of a completely different country and a whole different culture. And they also had to along with that pick up the financial pieces of their business to continue moving forward. Man, that must have been a challenging time for them and for you guys
you and your sisters to not only settle in, but really find your feet, resilient, as you all still are. To find your new level. Although it did take some years as an end to fully settle because that’s true for anybody when you move on to a whole different country. It’s a good five seven years before you can even start calling it home.
As such, but look, I’ll just show you that, for me, like mentally at the cognitive level, they did was always the right decision. But I had this sort of funny thing and it was actually a couple of years I travelled and what I actually flew back into Australia. It was Africa. I actually felt. But that settling thing. Interestingly, the family settled around Brisbane. I was in the workforce, quite a number of years but I never really totally utterly felt settled, until I went down to Melbourne.
Thank you for sharing that. So, making the most of the lucky country. You said, first one, good jobs, and then a lot into a successful franchise at that time. And for your part, you knuckle down and finished your schooling in the Australian system, and then went on to university, and you studied business, as well and joined the work force, interesting for you mostly was that your parents now took to employment rather than set up a new business, because they were coming from a business background, and yet in a brand new country, they took up employment. And I think this was for several reasons, wasn’t in including the capital investment required for a new business. The risk of starting a new venture. The vastly different labour markets. More subtly the fear of failure when starting again, at the age of 50. Because today 50 is a new 30 but in 30 years ago, 50 was 50 you know, just start something new at that age. Even the franchise, really amounted to a job did it because it was almost self employment because income was modelled on trading hours for dollars, and at that stage, the business model was such that the cream of the income disappeared into the franchising fees, and this is important, because you will need to recognise this as survival thinking. Ever since you said these words have stuck in my head that this is survival thinking, and it pervaded the whole family. And this had a deeper impact than you would think. Seeing the confidence, your parents had before migrating disappear overnight, you learn that success can be fleeting and the entrepreneur within needs to continually dig deep to keep going forward. Which brings us to mentoring lesson number five. To get out of a job. Most people get into self employment trading hours for dollars, is not a business, you’re back in a job. Absolutely true, brilliant lesson and then you now pursued your corporate career under your new reality, worked across several cities in Australia, predominantly you’re in the sector that you worked in hospitality and investment management, your corporate career, of course, as we all know knew no bounds and you continue to grow. What I am so happy to say that you knew that your true calling and purpose was hiding somewhere deep inside unanswered untapped and unsettled, entrepreneurship, you knew was going to play a big role in your life, just as you had seen it play for your parents but at that time. You just didn’t know how.
That’s true, absolutely. It’s like an unfair advantage in a way where you’ve seen the results. And you know what is possible and you don’t know necessarily where to start. Service yeah it was very very interesting.
And before we move any further, I want to put a little subtitle to our story over here, because this is where our world, ours and your and my worlds collided. Thankfully for greater success collide, they did and they collided on the golden shores.
Yes. Like you’d like to say off to the golden shores. So, back to your story so you’re taking your mom’s advice and you ended up coming to the golden shores of Dubai. Something and finding that you love the vibe and the energy of let’s call it old Dubai because Dubai back then was very different from modern Dubai. It had a different kind of charm, but actually loved what this city had to offer. When you decided to essentially set up your businesses, and make a permanent move to Dubai. Now he was still looking after your parents. So, you left in the interest of everything, and all of that for your parents. And when you came to Dubai, you said you took up employment. Now look, I do know a lot of things and maybe that’s for a different, very different podcast, but there’s a lot of things that happened in those basically 13 years before you started your third business. But what you were doing was obvious saving biding your time looking for the right opportunity. And eventually, you did see them. But yeah, it took 13 years and when he came to Dubai 13 years and 13 years later, you ended up finding business owners. It was around 2008 And you found the right opportunities.
That’s true. 13 years, and you’re totally right, saying those 13 years could actually be a whole other book. But, with everything. My health, just the challenges of going to your country without a family just by yourself and there was nobody in this place, nobody. What I absolutely knew and I believed it was the strength of the city because even back then this was 25 years ago, even back then. You could see that there is certain energy and why but this place that it was just, it was a it was a diamond in the rough, if you will. It was waiting to emerge into this vibrant city that it is today. So yes, those 13 years, hold on other podcasts, and as luck would have it, Evan you work with some right mentors during your corporate journey as well. And one of them managed to find you an opportunity here in Dubai, and you decided to join them here. You took up the challenge, just as your parents had done before. And I had done at that time. You took up the challenge and moved to the golden shores of Dubai, where you were to experience living on your third continent or icon I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone else who was actually lived in three different continents. I’m sure there are so many so many people out there but when you talk about those different experiences the different cultures and everything that you absorb and we become global citizens today. And it truly shows in you, and I love that. So yeah, you move to Dubai, making this your third continent, and you will be assimilated into the local culture and the wonderful opportunity that came knocking on your door.
I mean it was in the mid 2000s and Dubai was going through a heck of a growth spurt. And there was a lot of travel and there were times when I was working on us time. Thailand time and all sorts of things, but it was us crazy times it was all good.
it was wonderful times, because that brings us to the mentoring lesson number six, which I say a whole lot these days is when the time is right, you see the light. And that is true for all of us. It’s similar to them when you’re ready, the teacher appears, sort of a quote, because we definitely see the light when the time is right, we see the light. It could be shining on us the whole time. But if the time is not right, we don’t even realise that there is actually a light that is guiding us. And it could be in the form of an opportunity in the people that surround you in your own strength. When the time is right we recognise all of that. I totally agree. Should we put a subtitle here, again, because from here on, are some of the defining moments that we started gathering into our little memories notebook. Defining Moments. Absolutely. So, we first met through work, I was still in that 13 year phase, and we met through work and we became really good friends we shared a love we still share a love for travel,good food,
cinema superhero movies puzzles crosswords, just music concerts, everything. So, our friendship of course at that time it was a friendship and it sparked up and then we gave in, because we knew it was developing into something even more even greater. We dated would travel together for a couple of years and eventually said Yeah, I think this is it, and we got married. And in those days you were still in your corporate career. And that also signifies the end of those 13 years for me. I That said, You know what, this is the end of 13 years because this is it. Exactly. That is step back into entrepreneurship. And I started my third business. My first one in Dubai those days.
The interesting thing is a lot of people refer to themselves as like between jobs. You on the other hand were between businesses. So, in that 13 years we talk about, essentially you took a breath, you considered your entrepreneurial journey to date. Other than the loss of your childhood and the innocence of that huge disruption that didn’t actually happen when you were in your mid teens, you realise that there was a silver lining and the entrepreneur within you have been awakened. And you’d actually cut teeth, so to speak, on to businesses already come to understand your grandfather, a little bit more so wonderfully successful as he was, he could have done a better job with succession planning was more important. You also arrive at the conclusion that there were two things your father could have done better, And one was to ask for help and the second, which was actually probably more relevant than just in that particular context was to set better boundaries between family and business, and more particularly, to say No , Oh yeah, every word is true. The mentoring lesson number seven. Know who wanted to say no. So you want to say yes to. So when you saw the opportunity, you went ahead and created your virtual business support company. And that was just after the financial crisis. So you were ready with the capital investment, the wisdom gained from your previous businesses. You had your mother’s mentoring, and of course your introspection and your own learnings. The big difference if I remember how you told it was that basically you started this business by choice, because you’re good at something, rather than being pushed or pulled or forced into starting a business to survive, big, big difference. One thing that was clear. And you’ve said this several times where you are not yet a true master of your business and kudos to you, learning from your dad’s mistakes as well. Like you address this perceived gap. You found a business coach, when you started working on improving both mindset, and the internals of your business. You know what, it’s probably why you’re a coach because working with the coach was a revelation, you know, apart from having a trusted third party to bounce ideas off the coach started holding you accountable. And I think that’s amazing. So, you said you had great fun until, like I am. I am because I’ve seen you as a coach in action with our mentees right and they squirm and all sorts, and I can imagine how it was for you, but we all learn right we all learn.
Hey, you know what, just for the record, I still have a coach, not one but two, I still get held to task.
So you’re taking the the action when you’ve got a coach. I just think it’s brilliant. So, there’s so much to actually learn right. And it was actually a joy to be taking the new information and taking the new perspectives and actually applying it into business. I know you’ve wondered about this a couple times where and how different time right. If your father doesn’t have to find the right help in his business,
My life would have been different. Yes, probably. Thank you, because while my life would have been different. I don’t know if I would have been the same person. I’m so glad it happened that way it did, Because I value, everything that followed so much, because everything that who I am today is shaped by every single day that every new day, that dawned in my life. And that’s true for us all, isn’t it. There’s very little point that my mom’s done says this, if you look back, look back with pride. Not with regret because you were still standing here, because you dared to take the next step forward, absolutely
love that no regrets. Some days it’s harder to remember that. But mostly, absolutely you look back and think I’ve learned so many things along the way, and reminds me now the next mentoring lesson and that is lesson is Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. I love this one. Okay. If anybody’s wondering that was Phoebe from friends. So when you were working in your mastermind groups, you found that, like you were formally coaching them in their businesses. And naturally, you then went out and qualified as a business coach.
Did I went and got the proper certification I went through the whole training it was, I have to say that is when I really realised what I really love doing. It is, it was a wonderful, wonderful time because that’s when I realised what I love what I love doing. And I’m so glad that my life took that turn and coaching and mentoring became such a big part of my life.
And you have not turned back ever since. Which leads us lovely into Lesson number nine. And that is, unlearn and relearn to expand your capabilities and vision, like in the Zen master story, drink from your cup of tea so it has room to be refreshed.
Yes. If you haven’t read that story maybe just look it up, or read our book, because we talk about the story there, it’s a beautiful story about unlearning and when you find a chance, go look that story up. You on the other hand, at that time in your corporate career. So you had moved on from hospitality to theme parks,
And we still have investments in a space there but it to make a theme park.
Yes, and I remember it was incredibly, incredibly taxing and what I remember very clearly that it was taking a toll on your health. And despite all this, what kept you going, was the sense of accomplishment that you were part of such a major part of Dubai’s development that kept you inspired
Completely was making a future for Dubai’s tourism.
And when, at home, it was a few hours that you were at home, and literally few hours over the weekend, you were working such long hours in those days. You were also watching, you had a ringside view if you will, of what was happening in my world, that whole entrepreneurial arena was opening up. And there was one particular day, I remember you saying at the end was Friday afternoon after lunch is that it was bringing back all those positive memories from childhood, of your parents success. That’s coming really coming alive for you when you were watching what was happening at that stage I really wanted to get him to know where to start. And I respect you and admire you a lot, because you recognised that you had a lot of limiting beliefs that were haunting you. I’m still a little bit, haunted if its fair to say. Yes, you recognise that, and you took action you took action to overcome those limiting beliefs you took action. And you were quite decisive at that time, because the result was getting stronger with each passing day. And at that time I remember, I had my own concerns because the business was growing, and I really needed. Almost like a partner or a co founder at that stage, and the bigger concern really was, you were always tired. My biggest fear was that one day and you know, I still tremble just saying these words that I’m probably going to get a call from your office to say that you have collapsed and I should come over and take you to the hospital. So, I decided I don’t want to test that theory, I really am not waiting for that call anymore. This isn’t, and that’s when we sat down and talked about how you could come and join the business as a CFO mentor. First of all, take charge on that side of the business that he was so what act. That’s when there’s massive opportunity that came through, and then mentoring I go back to that mentoring lesson number nine, which was learning and re learning, and you really did that, there was a massive amount of learning that you took before and as you stepped out of your role. And when you stepped into the newly purchased entrepreneurial shoes. That is true, and you want to tune in those days, is tremendous. And we see even today that when we mentor people. It’s not easy for everybody to do this because we get fairly set in our ways of unlearning and we’re learning something new that’s amazing and I’m so glad I did for you. You made it quite easy.
It almost like that duck on the water, looking all calm and steady but pedalling like crazy underneath and what you did really well with those days that needs to do is mentoring SME Founders to financial literacy because not everybody understands it, grasps aspects of the business. So I go back to that day. When you resolved to make a change. You went to work and put in your papers, and you came to join the business. So, such a momentous day. I love you for it. I am grateful to be a founder that has such immense strength as a co founder, and a partner right within my family. It was brilliant and we haven’t looked back since then.
No we have’nt, we have been in the wonderfully grateful position to know that you don’t have to stay or be stuck or trapped. It really was such a blessing to “get my life back” and actually do something with a purpose. Totally love it.
So this was a good few years back that you came and joined the business. Since then we gone on and started a whole another brand brand purely focused on building that ecosystem to help the SME segment of the SME segment scale sustainably, just as any startup. That is also going through its own challenges. Again, going back to that previous lesson, with every new brand and every new business started. There is so much to unlearn, because we are evolving. The market is improving. Businesses improving. And you’ve got to adapt. Reinvent to stay relevant is what our constant learning has been. And we now come to where we are today, was so great that we are sort of living the dream, if you will, that we will still travel. We haven’t for a while now, that’s besides the point of all different reasons. When we are able to inspire people to read and reconstruct travel, we will continue travelling, you will continue scuba diving. I’m a parent to ex racers thoroughbred horses, so as I spend a lot of time learning, because that is something to learn from everybody. And that everything revolves around that one phase strategy internally that we built. And this is something that we talk about a lot even when we mentor. Maybe I’m going to take this moment is to say, having a personal one phrase strategy is key to guiding the way that you see our workplace strategy, particularly, I’m sure it’s very easy for you to believe because we’ve been talking about this is, well, Will what we do we do today help us travel, and then moved us into everything, absolutely everything, because sustainability is key and sustainable businesses, will give you the Founder or CEO the freedom to do what you want to do, which your personal one phrase stratergy. The one thing that most entrepreneurs, know of and very rarely practice is The mentoring lesson number ten, Evan you tell us what that lesson is?
That is to celebrate wins but delay your gratifications. Your after your vision and living your dream so set your self up for success. Remember money is only a means to enable something greater. And for us the biggest win overall through every struggle, and Warsha you were talking about this, we have had our respective journeys, there’s always a brilliant learning experience to be gleaned. And I admire how you run your business. Its like a national team, your support your team, your clients, your customers and come out always thinking of people and it really is that major lesson from your mum, so the crucks of everything we do is to ensure no one else’s life comes to a screeching halt, if it can be helped. So you remember the broken car in the ditch?
Oh yes from the driving holiday…
Yes that’s the one it was recovered from the ditch and the axel repaired. Now singing along to a new tune and playing a new game of guess where we were last month, our new family’s driving holiday continues because we dared!
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