On a journey to inspire young people!! Here is an exclusive interview with Sabirul Islam – author of “world at your feet “.
1.Hi Sabirul! At the age of 14 kids might not have an idea of what entrepreneurship exactly means. How you came up with the idea of starting your own website designing company at such a small age?
In an ever challenging world, the thought of being unique in our own approaches defines a true character. Sometimes defeating the stereotype is a means of proving a point. And that is exactly the mentality I had. Yes, I was 14…but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a right to explore other aspects of life!
I got into business all to prove a point to society, and more importantly, to my cousin! He fired me a year earlier, when I was working for his business, and it was a moment in my life where I felt really low, undervalued, and low on self esteem! But when you realise that you are more than what others perceive you to be, you’ll realise that the views and opinions of others are nothing but motivating factors to prove people wrong.
I set up a web designing business at 14, only to prove a point! But the experience, the journey and the opportunities that came by made me realise, that when you put yourself in a position you’ve not explored or been in, you’ll realise you learn far more about the act of independence and life, that experience helps develop and shape who are you!
It is with those teachings that I soon realised that, why limit ourselves in life to one opportunity, or a single pathway in life! We have skills and abilities that we are unaware of, waiting to be unleashed…but unless we put ourselves in a position where those skills are tested, we will never know they exist!
2.How you equally balanced your academics and business?
Sometimes the experience and journey in life outweighs the ‘general’ academics we go through. Weighing up my options, I felt it was best to stop my education at 18. So I have not gone into university. I don’t have a degree…and most importantly, I’m proud to say it!
Why? I believe a degree is one aspect of life, it is not the only way of life! Far too many people are brainwashed by the idea that if they don’t have a degree, they are deemed unsuccessful in life! Face the reality, modern day education doesn’t shape anyone up for the real world!
We need to explore life in general and learn things on our own! And that I believe is the best form of education!
It’s not to say, I won’t get a degree…maybe in 5 or 10 years time. But for now, it’s about enjoying the journey in life and appreciating all factors without having to worry, that a paperwork is a defining factor in my life!
Truth be told, many people end up getting degrees for the sake of having a degree! I say, that’s a complete waste of 3 or 4 years of life because it’s added no value to who you are as a person nor has it helped you achieve your career goals!
But it’s not to say education isn’t important. Of course it, just depends on your career choices, and whether you know yourself enough to realise whether a degree is for you or not! Worst of all, don’t get sucked in to the thoughts of others! Mainly parents! They may think they know what’s best for you, and want try and guide you, but end of the day only you know yourself best! So be wise in that front! I asked my parents for freedom from the age of 14, to make my own choices, and I haven’t looked back!
Just have to be brave and smart in your approaches!
3.Sabirul, what’s your definition of “entrepreneurship”?
To be able to live life and enjoy life with freedom, whilst reversing the role of society so opportunities come to you rather than you having to chase them!
Entrepreneurship is business without the office, the suit and the tie! It’s you yourself, with the freedom to make any idea happen, chase your dream with millions buying into your passion and most importantly money chasing you, rather than you chasing the money!
4.What made you to write “the world at your feet”?
A question struck me at a very young age…
“When you leave this world, what will you be remembered for?”
The thought of leaving this world, and being remembered as another statistic, is something that was beginning to bug me a lot. I always feel that anyone can make money in this world, but I feel the real challenge is to be able to make a difference!
The need to want to inspire a young generation coming through, the need to want to make a difference, to motivate them, was my passion!
And the idea of a book struck me straight away. At 17, I spent 3 months during lunch hours writing my book, during high school. The book opened doors, for me to get into speaking, and having spoken at 379 events in 9 months, the self published book went on to sell 42,500 copies.
It was a book simply to give back to society, the experience and the journey I faced, and to uplift a nation’s spirit, that no matter the age, race, religion, or culture, everyone has the ability to be extraordinary.
5.How is your journey from a “teen-preneur” to an “entrepreneur”? Share some words with us.
I’ve learnt to live and embrace life. Not worry too much about politics in this world. Life is far greater valued when the love of people is embraced than going into war with nations, having hatred for people who don’t follow your beliefs and values. And it’s a shame that it’s a sad reality.
My journey in life taught me many things about embracing different cultures. Having travelled now to 25 countries around the world…people is power! I can choose to talk about business my whole life…but I’m no businessman! I see myself as a free spirit, out to enjoy life and make a difference! And that for me is something I’ve leant through entrepreneurship.
That I’m not tied down to anything, that nobody can tell me I must do this or that! There is no greater sense of self satisfaction than the ability to say to ourselves…I AM MY OWN BOSS! AND I’M PROUD OF IT!
6.What are the qualities you feel that an entrepreneur should really posses?
I could talk all day about individual skills required, but I’ve learnt that one very simple thing an entrepreneur must do is enjoy the ride…the journey!
Yes, you will struggle, face difficulties and may decide it’s not for you…end of the day, it all tells a great story! And with that story you inspire millions, leaving your mark in this world.
Just have a positive spirit and follow your passion! Live life with purpose and meaning and believe in the power of people!
Everyone is different, which makes us all extraordinarily unique…it is up to us to embrace that uniqueness within ourselves to accomplish our life goals to leave behind a legacy!
7.You have been to many countries, giving inspirational talks. What is your main motto behind these inspirational talks?
There is no greater satisfaction or feeling than to have someone, come up to you, shake your hand and say ‘you’ve changed my life.’
That’s enough motivation I need to inspire people worldwide. To change lives, to change perception, and to have the ability to able to make a difference and leave behind a legacy!
All this is achieved through my Inspire1Million campaign, where I’ve now travelled 25 countries, over 60 international visits, speaking at over 700 events in the past 2 years, to an audience size of 885,000+ people! With 1 million set to be reached during the final quarter of 2013!
Just goes to show, if you discover yourself, people who buy into your passion will come chasing after you at all cost!
Leave your mark and legacy in this world…and for me, it’s my Inspire1Million!
8.Anything for the E-mingle readers?
Anyone with any questions, or want to get in touch…connect with me via Facebook or Twitter:
Always here to support when and where I can!
9.A few words about our “ E-mingle”
An empowering platform that I believe unites great minds who believe in making a difference one way or another! Much of this is needed, and I hope everyone who embraces E-Mingle gets some advice and satisfaction from being connected with such amazing people!
Hats off to the E-Mingle team