1. What is the socioeconomic impact of social media platforms in the Arab world? Has it expanded employment and economic opportunities? Your first-hand perspective.
We live in unprecedented times in human history, where people have free and accessible social-media platforms to express their voice to the public from the comfort of their own homes, allowing anyone the opportunity to be an “influencer” and shape peoples’ minds and behaviours and create cultural shifts.
My experience with the Arab audience on social media, specifically with influencers, is that they tend to have polarizing views. Either they love the content or hate it, with little room for in-between — which often comes from a lack of openness regarding cultural differences and a weakness in critical thinking and questioning one’s ideas.
Now that is both positive and negative at the same time, as it can create stronger and more loyal fans on social media or create a more intense flow of negative comments.
But the impact of the content on the public depends on the creators themselves. If the content creator lacks depth and is only here to attract more “likes,” then the creator and the followers will sink into that self-fulfilling prophecy. But when creators on social media take the time to define their core message, sharpen their ability to express it powerfully, and tell good stories, that’s when they can actually move people and create real-life transformation.
I have seen that with my own eyes through my own social media platforms. I witness people transforming daily and at all levels, as we receive hundreds of messages and comments from people daily, describing their transformation stories, and it is truly astonishing.
When it comes to employment, I can’t think of any other example in modern history that absolutely changed the whole game of how people think about employment than social media, especially for content creators, as it opened a chance for people to share their thoughts and lifestyles to the world instantly, penetrating the fabric of time and space.
Through social media, people can share their content with people in any place in the world, regardless of their age and certificates. And, if they learn how to harness the power of storytelling properly to connect with like-minded people and inspire them, they can slowly create a community around their interests and lifestyle. With that, the highest levels of loyalty will be established with the creator.
This opens MASSIVE economic opportunities for content creators, as anything they offer, including products and services to the community (even if they’re not theirs, as affiliates for example), can create new pathways for income and exceed typical forms of employment. They are unlimited and dependent only on one’s originality, sincerity, content, and ability to influence and tell genuine stories; not certifications.
2. What is the essence of your “Be You” movement? How is the response to it in the region? What are some of the notable impacts and accomplishments thus far?
Be You movement aims to inspire people to live their most authentic selves and lives.
When living in a culture deeply rooted in traditions, being yourself can be a daunting task, as it will probably clash with the collective beliefs of the society that is constantly pushing you to follow the herd consciousness.
That’s why Be You movement starts by empowering individuals to be themselves, from the inside out. That is done through radical self-acceptance, self-inquiry, and forming independent thoughts to express what I call your “highest possible expression” (which used to be the name of the movement in its early days) as there is nothing more powerful than a human being who is fully him or herself.
At the beginning of the movement, I faced many challenges, attempting to bring revolutionary and liberating ideas to the Arab region. I had to introduce people to why being yourself matters in the first place and then empower them to share and shine their own uniqueness, which takes tremendous inner work and deep self-acceptance.
So, as with any movement, at first, these concepts were rejected and mocked by many, including my friends and inner circle, but steadily and gradually, and with unwavering consistency, more people started to tune in and register for my courses and training, eager to learn more. And now we are blessed to reach the point where millions are following our content on social media. Registered students in our academy hail from more than 40 different countries and carry a true passion for knowledge that allows them to learn more about themselves.
In terms of impact, there is nothing more beautiful than witnessing people daily, “finally” learning how to accept themselves, clear their judgements, become empowered enough to be fully authentic and expressive and follow what truly lights up their souls and heart.
The success stories we receive are more than one can count, but one that stuck with me came from a video that was sent to us by a child, maybe 6 years old. She sent us a video to thank us that her mother changed radically after watching our content by becoming more peaceful and connected to her. It brought me tremendous joy.
3. How is the entrepreneurial ecosystem shaping up in the region? What are your offerings/suggestions/courses for entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs are the new visionaries and changemakers in today’s society. That is if they use the term “entrepreneurs” as it’s supposed to be used: As an act of genuine service to the people.
In the past, people needed to become part of some corporate, political or governmental organization before they could express their ideas to the public, but now any entrepreneur with a vision and powerful storytelling skills can catapult their ideas and products with little more than a mobile device. And if the content is good and consistent, it will eventually be viewed by the masses, allowing entrepreneurs to build powerful brands and like-minded communities who become their partners in influence and success.
In our brand, we offer many courses that can impact entrepreneurs deeply, not in the classic sense of teaching worn-out strategies and skills but rather by teaching them about the mindsets and keys to success in our fast-evolving world. All of our teachings are focused to help people and entrepreneurs master their own minds and learn how to use them in their favour: To create the reality they choose and desire. We unravel this process in one of our best-selling courses called “Rapid Manifestation.”
4. Purpose-driven leadership is your specialty. How are Arab leaders perceiving it? What are the attributes of a purpose-driven leader in the regional context?
Purpose-driven leadership is all about YOU, meaning that true leadership starts with you aligning with your own truth and purpose. Every leader knows intuitively that, if they cannot connect with their own truth and find what moves them at a deep emotional level, they will not be able to move other people, and thus cannot lead them into change.
That’s why many leaders come to our coaching and programs — to deepen their self-knowledge and understand their core purpose in life before leading people externally.
What I found through the years is that the main attribute of purpose-driven leadership is its genuine care for change and service. That by itself will transform one’s attitude about leadership, from the vanity of titles and the ego’s desire for power and control to an inner journey to learn how to lead from example and integrity.
That’s when leaders start looking within to face their own shadows, insecurities and fears, and to “integrate” them instead of projecting them into the followers under the mask of “leadership.”
That is why purpose-driven leadership is an authentic path, and it’s all about YOUR willingness to do the inner work needed to heal your own inner worlds (that includes your own mind, emotions, and beliefs). From there, you may carve a larger vision for yourself by understanding your deepest inner motivations and becoming empowered enough to lead from that place of clarity, compassion, and self-understanding.
5. What is holding back people/entrepreneurs/leaders from fulfilling their aspirations? How to address these challenges?
This is a hard pill to swallow for most people, especially entrepreneurs and leaders. That is what is holding them back; not “the world”, “the economy” or even “politics,” but rather themselves.
Always and inevitably.
That’s it. The moment that clicks is when people reach a point of appreciation and an understanding of the fact that their obstacles are self-created by their own minds. Instead of blaming external circumstances, they become empowered to achieve and play a bigger game in life.
I always remind people that entrepreneurship is really an inner game of mastering one’s mind, and, from there, you can build the capabilities, skills, and resources needed. This is all doable when one masters their own mind and knows how to transcend their inner limitations, which are not more than thoughts!