What To Do If You Feel Lost & Don't Know What To Do With Your Life w/ Mohammad TahirJul 04, 2022
Welcome to episode 55 of the Mindful & Driven podcast! It's all about how to not lose sight of what really matters whilst chasing your dreams.
Episode 55’s guest is Mohammad Tahir also known as “mo_t_ivate”. He’s a network engineer at Heathrow Airport and also a star on TikTok with nearly 200,000 followers. All of his videos are about little interesting facts about airports that you wish you knew but you didn’t know where to find out.
On the back of this, he’s done many talks, especially in schools because all he wants to do is inspire children to believe whatever their dreams are that they’re possible.
I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation! I'd love it if you could subscribe, leave me a review and follow me on social channels.
- You can find all my work and socials here: http://amardeep.co
- Download my free Anti-Burnout Toolkit here: http://antiburnout.mindfuldriven.com
- United for Global Mental Health: https://unitedgmh.org/mental-health-support
- Mo_t_ivate’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/MohammadTaher
- Follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mo_t_ivate
- Follow him on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mo_t_ivate/
- Introduction (0:00)
- “What are you going to do with the rest of your life?” (2:00)
- When you like what you are doing (4:51)
- When too much is going on (9:33)
- Taking risks and also being strategic (16:35)
- The transition and the 80-20 rule (20:17)
- “The airport guy” (29:29)
- The day you start to value yourself (34:42)
- Wait a minute and step back (38:02)
"Himalayas" by Mona Wonderlick — bit.ly/youtube-monawonderlick
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported — CC BY 3.0
Free download: bit.ly/himalayas-download
[00:00:00] Mohammad: You know, you need to choose your future. You're thinking, oh my god, what am I going to do with my life? The pressure on is if you have to have your life sorted out at such a young age. I really, really feel like that just limits so much of our potential. Understanding yourself and understanding your identity, that's what really drives me. Even when I was doing a course [unintelligible], like you niche down to blow up, choose a specific niche, get really good at that, and then at some point you can start to do whatever you want. Due to the stuff that I do on social media, it creates a lot of work outside of work. And really my nine to five, creates my five to nine. I had just come out of like the whirlwind of my life in terms of personal development. Within six months, I had completely transformed my mindset. Some of these things that I've learned, some of these things that I now know, I would love to pass on.
[00:00:48] Amardeep: Welcome to Mindful and Driven podcast, where we help you to decide what's really important whilst chasing your dreams. Today's guest is Mo T, also known as motivate. He's an airport engineer at Heathrow Airport and also a star on TikTok of nearly 200,000 followers. All of his videos about the little interesting facts about airports that you wish you knew, but you didn't know where to find out. On the back of this, he's done many talks, especially in schools, because what he wants to do is inspire children to believe whatever their dreams are that they're possible. I really enjoyed today's discussion and I'm sure you are too. Let's get to the show.
[00:01:28] Welcome to Mindful and Driven, Mo. It's a pleasure to have you here.
[00:01:30] Mohammad: Thank you so much. Pleasure to be here, actually.
[00:01:33] Amardeep: It was really great to meet you the other week. I've only met you, was it last weekend?
[00:01:36] Mohammad: Literally? Yeah.
[00:01:37] Amardeep: We got mutual friends through Hassan and we had lunch together and I heard a bit about your story and I really loved it, so I wanted to get you on.
[00:01:44] Mohammad: Thanks.
[00:01:44] Amardeep: But it's start off with, I'd love if you could tell the audience what's one common piece of advice that you really disagree with.
[00:01:50] Mohammad: So one piece of advice that I sort of really sort of really bothers me is when you're 17, 18, and you're in college and the careers teachers are all sitting there around you going, oh, you know, you need to choose your future, and this poor 17 year old, I mean, everyone was there one day and they you're thinking, oh my god, what am I going to do with my life? And it puts the pressure on as if you have to have your life sorted out at such a young age. I really, really feel like that just limits so much of our potential cause at the age of 17, we really don't know who we are. We don't know what our interests are. We've probably just gone with the flow and followed the crowds for most of our life, and here we are getting put on a spot where they're like, what are you going to do with the rest of your life? So it's less of a piece of advice, but more of a situation that I feel like our society's created, which really doesn't, just doesn't help anyone fulfill their life purpose because a lot of people just sign up for something that they're not really passionate about, but they do it because kind of everyone else is doing it. And they feel like they're locked into that forever. That's one of my bugbears when it comes to sort of careers and for young people choosing their careers.
[00:02:50] Amardeep: When did you decide to become an airport engineer? Was it something you always wanted to do? When did you have the idea that like, this is something I'm really interested in?
[00:02:58] Mohammad: So, I mean, literally honestly, when I was 16, I wanted to be a lawyer. I actually wanted to be a lawyer. It was nothing to do with airport engineering. It was nothing to do with aviation. I knew I liked that sort of stuff, but I had never experienced anything. Right? I was just stuck in the school system my whole time. The first experience I ever got was when you're in year 11 and they let you go do a work, two weeks work experience, and I joined the law firm and I realized absolutely hell no, I'm not being a lawyer, no matter if you can kill me. I'm not being a lawyer. But then after that, I remember speaking to my brother-in-law and just by chance, my brother-in-law was an auditor for the government at the time. And he was auditing an aerospace company up in Cambridge called Marshall Aerospace, and he spoke to the CEO and told him, you know, my brother-in-law, he kind of is dabbling with the idea of being an engineer. He likes aviation. Do you mind giving him a tour of the facilities? And that's when I got like a once in a lifetime opportunity to get an entire tour of the facility of this place where they have. They can literally design, build, and fly an airplane all from one spot. And I remember walking into that place thinking, oh my god, like, I need to be part of the aviation industry, because this stuff is just amazing.
[00:04:08] Amardeep: Have you ever regretted that?
[00:04:10] Mohammad: No. Not at all. I love it. Honestly. I love it. Like, aviation's one of those things that like, once it gets in your blood, you just genuinely enjoy it, and the buzz of it, not every, I mean, they, it's a very cliche thing. Not all two days are the same, but at the airport, like my job is so varied, I get involved in so many different things, so many different projects, there's no reason for me to regret it one bit, and it's created a life that I've genuinely enjoyed.
[00:04:36] Amardeep: I think it really comes across in your content as well. Because when you think about it, when I heard like what your, what you do and how big it's grown, you initially think, oh, well, that's a kind of a strange thing to, sane people to be interested in, but then when you watch it, you just realize how much you like what you're doing, and I think that's what draws people in, right? Obviously you've got the interesting facts. You've got the different bits of pieces of information that people like. I think it's because you are saying it. If it was just somebody else who was like recalling the facts or reading from a script, we really can tell, like you're really excited to tell people it, and I think that's what really makes it engaging. It's what has built you such a big audience?
[00:05:11] Mohammad: I think that's with all things in life. I mean, think about when you were growing up and you were in school and you had that one teacher who was ecstatic by their subject. It's contagious. Like energy is genuinely contagious. There's also a TikTok guy who, he literally just, he goes around chasing trains around the UK all day. He's called Francis. I'm not sure if you've seen his content, but literally this guy has grown to like millions and millions of views and all he, he has this like head cam that he just straps onto his head. And then he just goes around and he is train sporting. He's like, this is the class 4273, and it's going to go past and he's so excited by it. And even though I don't care about trains, I just love watching somebody be passionate about what they do. And I think that's a common sort of trait. Just in all of us human beings, we like to see people being happy. We like to see people enjoying themselves. We like to see people doing the things that they love. Maybe it's a part of us like that wants to be fulfilled in the same way, that just craves that when you see it in other people. I don't know. What do you think?
[00:06:10] Amardeep: I think it's one of the things I've always said, that people at their most, it's not necessarily what they've done or how successful they're, it's how excited they are when they talk about it. And you can just tell, I think, or you can see I'm doing it now, right? My hands are going all animated, and I think people naturally do that when they're enjoying the conversation. Whereas you ask some people and it's frustrating, one of the things I see when I go to different events and stuff, and people ask you, oh, what do you do? I said, but I'd rather ask a question, like, what excites you? What makes you happy? Because like let's say what I do. I do like 10 million different things right now, but if I have to explain that to people, it's kind of a chore, right? And it's, oh, I do this, I do this, I do this, I do this. Whereas if someone says, oh, what are you working on that excites you? It's like, oh, like I've got this project. And then you start getting into the bit that's more engaging, right? And every conversation is more enjoyable if the person's talking about something that they like. And it's such an easy concept, but I just feel like certain people don't actually do that. They ask the more boring questions, the small talk questions, like, tell me about what makes you happier. Tell me what you love doing. And I'm going to come away like, more fulfilled from that conversation than if we just talked about the facts or the figures or whatever like that.
[00:07:24] Mohammad: You know what, that's something I'm going to take on board because I think I've sort of got into the cycle of asking people, what do you do and is out of pure curiosity, but I think the result of it doesn't, cause a lot of people, the thing that they do, first of all, like you said, maybe there's more than one thing, and also I think people default that to their day job. Whereas in reality, maybe you don't want to, they don't really care about their day job, but actually you just wanted to know something about them. So maybe that question doesn't actually produce the results that you would want. Maybe, and I think, you know what this reminds me of? I do a lot of facilitation for young people in events, and one of my favorite icebreakers isn't just tell me about yourself or go around the room and tell me about myself, but it's actually tell me one thing that made you smile in the past week. So everyone goes around the room and they tell someone else one thing that made them smile last week. And I actually start to realize what makes people smile. Like one person be like, oh, you know what? I was watching the sunset and I was really happy. The other person would be like, oh, I had this really good coffee. And then, you know, straight away, this person loves or enjoys nature. This person enjoys a good sunset. Someone is just like, oh, you know, I was with my child and you know, and then you straight way, you know, that they're a father or a mother. Just, there's a lot more telling of someone when they're speaking about something they enjoy. And then count, you know, compound that with the fact that they will come with the energy. It just makes it so much better.
[00:08:36] Amardeep: I think there's a judgment as well that comes with it, right? When you ask somebody what they do in a way, they feel like they're being judged about what their status is? Are they going to be impressive to the person they're talking to? Whereas if you just want some that you enjoy, it's a different conversation. It's more level, right? Everybody enjoys different things. I think it's really interesting to find out what other people enjoy, even if I might not be interested in it myself. Sometimes when somebody's really interested in something, even if I didn't care about it at all before, then suddenly I'm interested in it, for example, with planes, right? I didn't particularly care about plane facts, but then I ended up binging your TikTok because it was just interesting the way you were saying it. But even though you do something that you love, have you found like during this process, times where your energy has been low, where you felt like there was too much going? And how did you fix it? How did you manage to get yourself back on track again?
[00:09:25] Mohammad: I think that's something that when you do what you love, you'll always find yourself in a situation where you say yes to more things than you can physically do. Like my job at work is my job at work and I love it, and I take on a lot there, but also what happens is I actually, due to the stuff that I do on social media, it creates a lot of work outside of work. So the way I split it up in my head is the nine to five and the five to nine, and really my nine to five creates my five to nine in a weird way, because they're so intertwined. But I've got to positions where, you know, four of the five days in a working week, I've got talks on every single evening, and I've got a full-time job where I'm taking on a lot as well. And then in the evenings, I'm packed out either doing a talk at a school or university or a podcast or a, or an event or something that I'm facilitating. And you get to a point where, you just can't wait to sleep at night and then you wake up the next morning and it's just go, go, go, go, go. And I really, I know those times are the most fulfilling, but also they really do drain you. They, you know, I, after facilitating an event, for example, if it's a big crowd and there's a lot of energy, I know most certainly usually, I go home with a massive migraine. Like that's kind of something that I've learned to just, you know, take on like always have my, you know, my [unintelligible]. It's kind of just something that I'm expecting. But really it's, I'm doing something that I find both fulfilling in the process. Yeah, you get to a point where you're spinning a lot of plates and you end up dropping a lot of them, and that's unfortunate to say, but it's true. Like you try and spin as many plates as you can, but you have to realize that you're a human being at the end of the day, and some things are just genuinely not worth your mental health. Like if it's about dropping a project or if it's about saying no to a certain thing or just not engaging in a certain activity, I have been in situations where I've just had to simply say no to like a lot of opportunities that previously I would've jumped at, but I think to myself, I'm like, what am I going to do? Just like work myself to the ground? Like I need to be like, especially within the creative space, I think for you, and I both understand that your energy is finite, and actually, if you want to give something your full energy, you can't spread yourself too thin because the quality of your output will be impacted. And when you're in the creative field, you can't afford to drop the quality that much. What do you think?
[00:11:45] Amardeep: Yeah, I've experienced the exact same thing where, I don't think anybody actually knows every single thing that I do because I kind of forget myself a lot of the time, but it's obviously this podcast, the Entrepreneur's Handbook podcast, my writing, the ghost writing I do for founders, the courses, the, I also find a lot of my time is actually spending conversations because one of my problems isn't, it's as you said, when you love what you do, it's very easy to let it accidentally kill you, right? If I'm talking to people all the time, I enjoy it, but it's also quite tiring. And then I've also got to do the actual work at some point in the middle of that. And it's what I'm finding because I'm learning more about myself. So for me, it's been just under a year now, since I quit my job at the time I'm recording this and I'm learning what I enjoy more. I'm learning that sometimes things that you're good at aren't necessarily what you should do because even though you might be able to deliver value, you might be able to charge high prices, the effect that it has and everything else, it drains your energy so much that it makes you less effective of the other things you do. And it's hard to say no to money. It's hard to do that. But it's the right thing for me to do. And it must be the same for you with the different events you go to where sometimes you think, oh, like if I get this event, I can make, I can get a new audience. This could be really great for the social media business I'm building, but at the same time, if you're tired before you go to event, cause you've done three other events that week, you might not show yourself in the best way, and then it's actually like a diminishing return because you go to that event, maybe less energized. The people who hear you might not be as likely to actually follow you or to find out more about you. So taking that break could actually be better in the long run.
[00:13:26] Mohammad: Yeah. I find it fascinating what you said that just because you're good at something doesn't mean you should necessarily do it. Give me some more context around that.
[00:13:36] Amardeep: Well, my old job was technology consulting. I did that for seven years. I could, I knew pretty much any project I took on, I would be able to achieve it and deliver the results, but that's not really what I wanted to do with my life. And it was difficult to make that decision, to stop doing something I built seven years of competency in to do something completely differently now. And there was certain identity struggle, right? Because as you all know, once you get praised for something, you like that. Everybody likes praise. Everybody likes to be complimented. If you know that people are liking what you're doing, that can be addictive. You get hooked to the client feedback, to the feedback from your bosses, whoever it is, but in the long term, if that's not what you want to do or that doesn't really interest you, then that's just keeping you like hooked in. Whereas actually you should think about is another school that maybe I need to work on, maybe I need to start from scratch, but that skill is something which I really love, and I'm going to want to do that for a longer time. So there was a guy who I interviewed recently, Justin Welsh, and it's a similar story. He was leading companies to 50 million, like annual revenue. And he was good at that, but he had a panic attack. He was struggling. He couldn't, like his whole health was suffering. So he started from the bottom as a creator, making absolutely nothing. And now is making a million a year doing that too. So it's just, I think people need to have this belief that, if you love something, you're going to work it out. You're going to be successful at it. And you, some of the things you need to let go are the things that you might already be good at, to let yourself do that.
[00:15:10] Mohammad: That's really, really powerful, but it's really, really hard. I think it becomes harder. I mean, I don't know what your personal situation is in terms of like family, and I don't know what John's was as well in terms of like, you know, his situation in terms of like having dependency and having people that are required, the income, you know, and I think that's something that I really like resonate with, in terms of, I think Gary Vee had once say where he is like, you know, between 20 and 30 is the time when you take the most risks, and I think the reason why that's so powerful is because that's usually the time where you don't have kids yet, maybe you are not in a relationship as of yet, and actually you are just on your own, and if you completely fall flat on your face, your parents will probably still have a room in their house that you can crash at. I mean, you know, It's how old are you now? Amardeep?
[00:15:54] Amardeep: 30.
[00:15:55] Mohammad: 30. Yeah. So, I mean, you're still in that, you're still in that bracket of like, you know, take risks and I think you must have taken that risk just before you hit 30, isn't it? Tell me about that.
[00:16:04] Amardeep: That was a conscious thing, right? It was, I always told myself when I was at university by the age of 30, that's when I'm going to get out and do my own thing, or I'm going to do something I really believe in, but I got dangerously close to not doing it. It was a pure fluke in the way that, I did the creative stuff on the side and that did well. But before that kind of was started to take off, I was adjusting my time sets. So actually, I don't think I'm going to be able to make the change by 30 because I was so set in my ways. And even then [unintelligible], for me, it's very difficult to escape that. So you're obviously younger and you've got like a lot more time to go before you get the same kind of stresses that you're talking about here. Are there any risks that you're looking at taking on at the moment?
[00:16:43] Mohammad: Honestly, I think I'm playing it too conservative at the moment. I want to take more risks, but the thing is that I'm also trying to be strategic in the sense of like leverage. The fact that my content and my job are so intertwined, it means that, let's say I do want to see I'm going to quit my job and do content creation full time. Well then my USP that I use to make my content has just got hooked out the door cause I haven't got access to the airport anymore. So that's something that as much as I want to be like, you know what, I'm just going to, you know, take the risk and go into content creation full time. And I think that's when I need to do over the next five years or over the next four years before I'm 30 is start to slowly transition my content to be more about, yes, what I love, but there's more than just airports that I love. I'm not just the guy who works at an airport. I love to educate. So while I'm at the airport, I'll educate about what's happening at the airport. But actually I love to educate in all realms of life and especially within personal, the space of personal development, spatial, mindfulness, you know, understanding yourself and understanding your identity. That's why really drives me really, really drives me, just helping people understand themselves more. And I really want to educate in that sphere. So, I mean, Hassan always tells me like, you know, and even when I was doing a course [unintelligible], like you niche down to blow up, so choose a specific niche, get really good at that, and then at some point you can start to do whatever you want, because you're big enough and people care about you, not just the planes. So for me, it's like, you know what, using my unfair advantage, what am I going to leverage the most at this point in time? Or the airports are there, but then at some point I don't need to talk about airports because I actually I've built enough momentum that I can start to shape and mold the conversation to actually work really just punches out at me. I think that's when maybe more risk is acceptable, but I don't know. I'm really thinking about, I was literally thinking about this yesterday. I'm like, I don't feel like I'm taking other risks. I want to take more risks, but I don't know where to start. Give me some ideas.
[00:18:52] Amardeep: So, one thing that I'm doing right now is quite a lot of my income will come from clients. So what I'm doing is cutting clients because the client money will support me, but it will take up my time away from what I want to do in my own brand. And it becomes like a job, right? Because that's, it's good money, what I'm doing there. Like, but that's a hamster ball. It's going on the hamster ball producing for clients. That's not why I quit my job. I didn't quit my job to go into another hamster ball. I quit my job to create something that I believe in, that means something to me.
[00:19:27] Hi everyone. I hope you're enjoying the episode so far. I want to take a quick break to ask you to check in with yourself. There's many people struggling with balance and it's nothing to be ashamed about. It's tips that my guests might share can hopefully help you along the way, but if you already feel overwhelmed or burnt out, it's probably best that you ask somebody for help too. For some, this might be a friend or family member, while others might feel like they have nobody they can talk to. If you're one of these people, check out the link in the show notes, it's for United for Global Mental Health. They've got health plans all across the world, with people willing to listen on the other side. It's important to let somebody know how you're feeling. Now, back to the show.
[00:20:03] You said there about like your motivation is to help people in the future, but why did you start the channel in the first place? What started at TikTok? Was it a strategic decision? Was it you wanted to become like a creator and influencer or was it just like a bit of fun at the beginning? How much did you think about that right at the start? Was it just fun? What was the motivation?
[00:20:22] Mohammad: So it was funny. There was this like, it went from first gear to second gear during its infancy and it was before TikTok. It was actually on Instagram. I set up a page called mo_t_ivate because I had just come out of like the whirlwind of my life in terms of personal development. Within six months, I had completely transformed my mindset, completely transformed who I saw when I looked in the mirror. And I mean that at a more deeper core level, like I really tried to transform myself and I thought, wow, like some of these things that I've learned, some of these things that I now know, I would love to pass on. So I started a page on Instagram called mo_t_ivate where I, where initially I uploaded three things. One of them was a video of me sat up in the tree, talking about sort of life goals. One of them was like a little post, and like two of them would just read like a tweet or a post. And I just sat on that for a while. Like, I didn't do anything with it. But I knew I had this message I wanted to share, and it wasn't until I was sat one day with a, with one of my friends called [unintelligible], who I was actually singing with yesterday. And she was telling me, she was telling me, I was telling her about my job and she could see the passion, like, because I loved it. I really enjoyed being in that space. She's like, why don't you share this? I'm like really? I don't, I didn't really, don't think anyone will care. She's like, no, I just start sharing this stuff. So then I transformed that motivate page. I deleted those three posts and I just started putting airport stuff on there. But in my core, I still had this message that I wanted to share. So yes, I geared it towards like the airport, but in the captions, in the early days, back when Instagram was a photo first platform, now it's just videos. It's like, I used to write my heart out, but it was all personal development stuff. It was a picture of an airport, but the caption was all personal development. But over time, it sort of evolved to the point where actually I'm educating about airports, but I'm, literally this morning, I was thinking about how am I going to make that transition back towards personal development? So like right now I'm very strategic with my page. I'm, nicheing down to the point where I can get known for something so that I can, you know, I'm using it as a tool, as as an avenue. But by, and it really fills me with purpose when I do this stuff, but even at it's infancy, it had the vision of, I want to use this to share a real message about personal development to help change people's lives.
[00:22:33] Amardeep: So you asked for advice there. So obviously I've been through a similar transition at different points where I've niched down, I've gone broader, and now I have a couple of different brands. And what I'd say is that even how you're coming across in this interview right now is it's showing that you're passionate about the other things too. And you've got a following already. What I'd say is just once a week, or let's say do 80, 20, right? Let's say 80% as yourself, is about airports. One video week or one video, however often is more personal development stuff. Test it out. See how that does. See how your audience reacts to it. Cause obviously your audience is following you for one certain reason, but they're also following it because like I said, it's because you are saying it. So what you want to do is test the waters. If those videos are performing way worse than the other ones, then, okay, you're going to need to go back to the drawing board, think about it differently, but the only way you're going to find that is by experimenting. If you never test it, you're never going to know. And it's the same thing when I started writing. If I never wrote the first article, even though I thought it wasn't very good, I would never have known that I could go down the path I did. So that's what I really suggest, and even coming on this podcast, for example. This stuff they might hear, some of the people listening today, they might have never heard of you before. They might not even know you did airports or whatever like that. But like, oh, I like the way this guy talks. So doing things like this, testing out on your own page. You're going to start to build that audience and see what they like. And it might be a case of maybe your audience, your current audience doesn't like that stuff. And if that's the case, you've got that hard decision to make where it's in a year's time, two years time to be like, do I want to scrap what I've got now and create another brand to do what I really care about? Or am I going to focus on something which I love as well and just decide, okay, that's going to be something for the future. I think at the moment, if you think like deep inside, that's what you really want to do, then start testing, start experimenting. See what happens because you just don't know, like, if you don't give your audience a chance to say whether or not they like the personal development side of things and listening to you talk about that, then you might have the assumption in your head, oh, this won't work. Oh, this will ruin my status. Oh, this will do this. But you can't be sure until you test it.
[00:24:51] Mohammad: Absolutely. I suppose you reassuring, really reassuring to hear that because I have tested it and I have been applying more in the past, less in the current moment that 80 20 rule where I've been drip feeding sort of personal development stuff, and so far, it's been going quite well in terms of the engagement and people really resonate with that message. I guess what's happened more recently, I say in the past month and a half is by nicheing down really hard, I've seen that my sort of the engagement has just spiked. Like it went from like this to like this. I think I more than doubled my followers in like three weeks, because I was just making consistent aviation content. And I mean, I went from like 7,000 to like now 18,000 in literally a matter of a month. Seeing that it makes you go think, oh wow. This stuff, this niche down to blow up thing really does work. And actually, you know what, now that that's happened, and actually I continue to do that, but that doesn't stop the once in a week, or, you know, once in a while drop in that tester, just to keep people remembering that I'm not just this. I'm not just airports. There's more to me than that. How have you found managing all these different branches now? Like all these different other things that you do. How do you manage, how do you find it? How do you find managing that?
[00:26:07] Amardeep: Oh, it's difficult. I think what happens with me is that I'm too curious. Right? I enjoy too many different things. I've got a broad interest set, which doesn't necessarily make it easy for you. And there can be some people listening today who won't give, like won't care at all at the Entrepreneur's Handbook brand or the podcast I do there, which is more about how to grow a massive business. And that's okay, like you can have different sides of your personality and it's like what you're saying now, I could niche down further and just pick one of these brands and I would grow faster, but I'm making the conscious decision of that, I enjoy this more, I enjoy having a bit of variety, and that's the kind of decision you make at different points. It's like, are you doing it for, [unintelligible], growing as fast as you can, or you just, once you reach a certain point, is it, is this for fun now? Am I doing this cause I enjoy it or am I doing this to grow? What's quite lucky about you, and the two different branches you have is that you really believe in both of them. So even if you only did one of them, you can still be happy with that. You're not doing anything against your nature to grow, which is the best way to do it, right? If you are, you see it online all the time, people giving advice about you need to do this to grow. You need to do that to grow. And it comes across as very inauthentic. Whereas what you're doing is leaning into one part of thing that you really love, and that's doing really well for you, but it doesn't mean that other thing is off the table. And you've also got to decide, because what you could do is be the aviation guy for the next five years. And like, that's okay too. It's the internal conflict that you've got, right? About you want to do the other stuff too, and working out like your motivation, underlying motivations, is the why do you want to do the other stuff as well? And if you really answer that question, like keep going down why? Like, where have you answer to that? Why do you think that? And why do you think that? And maybe you can achieve many of the same things by focusing on the aviation brand because you could be teaching people. You could still be helping people in different ways. And that might do really well. And you could still, like, you can still do the other stuff too, but maybe you reach a huge audience for your motivation brand and that can bring you a lot of joy. So you are in a lucky position, right? Because I think whichever one you do, you're going to smash it. [unintelligible]. You can like always say, yourself being grateful for that. Right? It's that, I know whatever you do, it's going to work because like, just talking to seeing your excitement about what you're doing, that comes across. What really matters now is like, what do you want to do? Because you're going to be good at both of them, but that's the next question here I'm going to ask you, is that, where do you want this all to head eventually? Do you want this to be your full-time thing? Teaching people through content? What's the ambition in terms of like your lifestyle that you want to have, because some people they want to just grow huge and like do the [unintelligible] where in five years time you're working all hours to get as much as you can get done and you build this massive empire or you either do it so that you've got more balance in your life. What's the end goal for you?
[00:29:19] Mohammad: This is something that actually part of my brain wants to answer in one way, and another part of it wants to answer in another way. And what I mean by that is part of my brain knows that, you know, I want to, I want to absolutely like take this to the next level. So I'm going to, I'm going to explain both of those and then we'll see where the happy medium sit. So bear with me as I like embark on this like mental journey myself, like try and combine these things. Cause I know if there's something I need to do for a while, but I find actually during conversations sometimes best is when I really start to come to like conclusions. So part of me wants to get to a point in my life where I've built a brand that's so powerful in the aviation space that every single time anyone around the world steps into an airport, the first thing that comes to mind is I remember seeing that on Mo's page and I genuinely become the airport guy where no matter where you go, no matter what airport you step into in the world, somebody, somewhere, is thinking about something that I taught them about the airport, and the key of that is education. Like I want them to be educated about that because I think that what, one thing that I realized when I was in the airport is actually, there's so many different careers that could be here and you could be a doctor, but have the most exciting job as a doctor in the airport. You could, you could be an electrician, and actually you are in this really dynamic, fast paced environment at an airport, no matter what you choose, you could be a writer, and choose to be in the airport environment. Like every single career that you want to embark on, you can find the role within the airport environment, which is really exciting. So by educating people about airports, hopefully the funnel is that actually people, more people will start to realize that there's a potential career here. And I would love to have built. I got to a point in my life where I've genuinely helped more people realize that actually they can get a job that they love at the airport as well. And by doing that, actually built that brand as the airport guy and off the back of that, I would love to create a life where I'm traveling around the world, doing deals with airports globally, where I'm creating content for them and collaborating with them and signing deals where I've actually become like the airport ambassador. Like take me to your airport, show me around, put me all the first class lounges, and let me see what I can teach people about this place, and actually let me teach them, like, I love to educate, but at the same time, I don't mind having a sponsored deal attached to the back of that, you know. So that's where my vision goes. And I think actually that can branch out into multiple different parts of the aviation world as well. So everything from like even SpaceX and like, you know, wherever the aviation industry's going, Virgin Galactic, the space environment, I would love to really just mature in that space as like an influencer who just does what, I love this space and I would love to be like, a genuine, like key person of influence within this space, especially connecting it to social media, cause I understand the power of that. So that's one branch of it. It's like, I really want to build that to that point. Now after becoming like an expert within the aviation space, I would love to then after having become the airport guy step off into actually, how did Mo become the airport guy? Well, let me teach you the journey, the behind the scenes, the personal development that I needed to embark on to actually go on this journey, and let me explain to you the lessons that I learned on this journey, and actually start to create that feedback loop of personal development to say, well, if you want to embark on a similar journey, here's the little, you know, perspective that I can share that maybe can help you on that as well. And I would love to then branch off into like a motivational speaking career off the back of that. And that's something that I would love to do. So you travel the world, you know, sell out stadiums. My goal is to sell out Wembley stadium. I live in Wembley. I see Wembley Stadium right now. I'm looking at it from my window. I would love to sell out Wembley Stadium, 90,000 seats sold out. And it's just all about personal development. That's sort of my long term vision become a speaker and just speak for a living. That's something that I genuinely enjoy. So that's one side of my crazy life that I want to create. On the other side, I know that I'm going to have to have a wife and kids, and I'm going to have to like probably settle down and I'm not going to be able to like, go like travel, this stuff, if I have like, you know, a five year old son or a daughter, or, you know, wife and family and commitments and all those things, which are beautiful. And they're also very meaningful and they're amazing, but I am stuck in between these two things. I would love to have a family and like a nice chilled family life, but I also want to become this crazy, like traveler around the world, sponsored deals, motivational speaker type.
[00:33:57] Amardeep: Obviously, like your degree wasn't really in that kind of area. How did you grow the confidence to do what you're doing now to speak so confidently in front of camera? Was it natural? Was it, have you always been this way?
[00:34:07] Mohammad: No, I was not. I was one of the most shy, insecure kids you'll ever meet. Very, very shy. Very insecure. But I think there was, they got to a point where, the moment, the day I started to learn about personal development and I started to value myself, is the day everything changed. Like everything changed when I started to understand the value I had within, and there was a few moments of positive confirmation of that message that really changed it for me. And it was literally like, I remember, I think it was five or six years ago, I was sat in, actually it was about five years ago. I remember I was sat in a shisha cafe with my mates, and I had just read this really powerful personal development book. And I was just explaining to them the concepts that I had learned in this book. And I still, I'll never forget this. For 45 minutes straight, all my mates were just sat there listening. 45 minutes. And I was flowing, like I was in my flow state fully. Just explaining these concepts and connecting them to real life and how, like, they've just helped me so much. And all of them were just there, like, and by the end of it, one of them was like, bro, you've just articulated everything I've wanted to say in my life, but never been able to, you need to be a motivational speaker. And I was like, what me? Motivate? Nah, I'm studying aerospace engineering. Like I'm just going to get an engineering job. What are you talking about? Exactly a week later, I was in a restaurant with my friends and the same thing happened where actually he was telling me about the situation he had in his life, and I was just transferring something that I had learned and the same thing. He was like, bro, you need to be a motivational speaker. That was, that was, that was really good. I was like, what do you mean? Like what I don't, I don't, that's not me. And then I was like, you know what, after setting up the page and stuff, I was like, people are telling me that I have this ability to speak. I have two choices. I can either neglect it and let it die. Or I start to invest in it and just see where that goes. And that's when I started to literally message these random universities and random schools around the country saying, I'm an engineer. I work at Heathrow airport. Do you want a talk about engineering? And I was messaging like engineering societies. So they're like, yeah, please. When can you come? So then I get my foot in the door using the Heathrow sort of name to be able to actually speak to these students, so when I'm there, I'll talk to them about engineering, but I also talk to them about the importance of people skills. I'll talk to them about the importance of mindset, attitude. I'll talk to them about all the softer skills that make you successful and not just the degree that you have. I just started to get the reps in. Reps and reps and reps and reps, and I've done so many talks, I think last year, 2020, I'd done 47 different talks in different places. This year I'm aiming 52, but I'm just trying to get as many reps as I can in it. It was, I was, I remember the first ever talk that I'd done, I was stuttering. I was all over the place. I was, I couldn't string a sentence together to save my life, the first ever public appearance that I'd done, but over time, I kind of get used to it.
[00:37:12] Amardeep: And you said there about how the lessons you taught your friends when you, from your personal growth development journey, what's one mindset shift you think, people listening today could make that would really make a positive difference to their lives?
[00:37:24] Mohammad: One of the biggest ones that, like hit me like a truck when I was on this journey was I had never thought about the way that I think. You know, when you think usually you just simply think. You just, you are just in, the way I describe it is, you know when you are playing a video game, like a shooting game, Right? And you have two views that you could use. You can either do like a COD view, which is like Call of Duty where you're looking down at the gun and you're like, you're in the, in the eyes of the player, the first person view. Or you can zoom out and it's something more like GTA or Fortnight where you're watching the character run. The thing is that when we think, usually we're inside the bubble of thought, so whenever the moment of anger comes, it comes and we're immersed in it straight away. Whenever we think negatively, we tell ourselves we can't do that, we're immersed in it instantly. We don't take that moment where we can actually say, hold on a minute, step back. How am I thinking about this situation? So rather than just think, think about how you are thinking. And I remember the moment I took that step back, I was like, bloody hell, there are some situations in life that I am thinking about this in such a wrong way, where I'm just full of ego and full of like who I think I am, and the things that, the things that just don't serve me. And I realize that, oh my god, I can actually control the way that I think about things by influencing my own brain. What! Like that's so crazy. And then wait, what happens when I do that? Well, the way that I think determines the way that I speak, the way that I speak, determines my actions and my actions determine my habits and my habits determine my life. So literally if I change the way that I think, I can change my life. But first I have to do a stand back review of how I think to even start this whole process. And I remember when I realized that I was like, Wow. So to anyone who's listening at home, like when was the last time you genuinely critically thought about the way that you think, and just know though the way that you think will cascade into the way that you live your life. And if you do a stand back, review on the way that you think, there's a potential chance that you could change everything.
[00:39:40] Amardeep: I'm sure many people listening today are kind of going to find out more about you and what you've been up to, and they're probably going to want to see your personal development flip as well in the future, so where should they go to find you? Where should they follow you?
[00:39:52] Mohammad: So my handles are @mo_t_ivate. So my name is Mo T, and it's Mo underscore T. Mo_T vate. Or if you just write the airport guy into, as three separate words, so the airport guy onto Instagram or TikTok, or anywhere like that, you'll be able to find me on there.
[00:40:08] Amardeep: So it's been great to talk to you today. The final question I ask everybody is, and it's similar to what you ask the school kids, what's it's one small thing that's brought you joy recently?
[00:40:18] Mohammad: One small thing that's brought me joy recently. I think it was actually yesterday. I was sat in a restaurant and I was catching up with Harrah and I was telling her, I was telling her about a message that I got on Instagram. And it was a message that I got from somebody who had watched my previous podcast. A young boy called Asad. And he was telling me how he explained to me his situation and the way he found himself and sort of the low that he found himself in at one point in his life. And then he told me that one day he reinstalled Instagram. So he reinstalled YouTube. And the first thing YouTube suggested was a podcast that I had done about two years ago. And he watched that podcast and he tells me that his life completely changed after watching that one podcast episode. And I remember reading his message and he was telling me how drastically his life changed after the fact. And there were like tears, like flowing down my face man, when I was reading that. Like I was just so humbled that a video on the internet of just me sharing perspectives could have an impact on someone's life so profound. And you can't not feel a real sense of ease and happiness when somebody tells you that they've been able to have a positive impact on their life. I think that's what we're all here on earth to do is to serve, to give, to help others get to a better position in their own life. And the fact that I was able to do that on a small scale for one person makes me very happy.
[00:41:48] Amardeep: If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, I’d love it If you could leave me a five star review, it really helps get the message out further. Wherever you're listening, it would be awesome If you could subscribe and share in your social media channels. If you want to see more of my work and advice, you can find all of the links in the show notes.
Thank you again for listening and I hope you have a lovely day.
Reach Your Goals Without Burning Out
Get my free Anti-burnout Toolkit and weekly tips to help you balance your work and life.