Turning Respect into $25 Million, The Hunger and Drive Never Stops with CEO of Ties.com, Omar Sayyed

episode description:


Omar Sayyed, CEO of Ties.com, Alynn Brand, Scarves.com shares how a lifetime of respect is earned through the means of hard work, giving back, and always putting your best foot forward. Learn how his mindset allowed him to grow this brand into a multi-million dollar industry giant, providing men and women with all types of attire.

Instagram: @omarsayyed 

Website: https://www.ties.com/

 Exclusive Discount Expiring: 12/15/2019 Discount Code:YF20

Show notes:

Eric: All right. Hey everybody, Eric Chen here of the Y Factor. Today, we have Omar Syed co-founder and CEO of ties.com where he’s helped grow the business to 25 million dollars and more and wanted to be able to share the journey with Omar here and everything that he’s done for the business and really the motivators behind the business as well. 

So Omar, love to have you introduce yourself and we’ll dive right into it. 

OMAR: Yeah, thank you for having me. I’m also instagramming for those of you who are listening at the same time. So thank you for having me appreciate you guys coming out and I’m excited to unleash all these questions on me so I can answer them.

Yeah. Hopefully I can provide some value. Hopefully, otherwise I’ll just nix the podcast, it never makes it out but. It’s happened before so… Has it really? No. No, it’s definitely good information. I’ve had the opportunity to sit down [00:01:00] with Omar in terms of the business and we were having dinner after a conference and just everything that he does in regards to the business how he, you know, portrays his life and how it reflects back in his into his business as it’s done very well in terms of you know, how he is as a person reflecting well in terms of his business so, you know part of what you told me is how you portray yourself in the real world is also going to reflect back, you know in your business and a company that revolves around fashion as well with ties and socks, bow ties everything.  Can you share more about how you you know incorporate that into your life and into your business?

OMAR: Yeah, absolutely. So you’re specifically referring to like the way I dress?   Whether it’s the way you dress the way you you know, operate life, it’s even how you get up in the morning like yeah sure. So, I mean, I think I think when we’re [00:02:00] talking in San Jose after the conference, what I was really referring to is the way you really behave   sort of outside of the office is a reflection of how you treat people within your business.

And   my motto has always been to not have necessarily like dual personalities. So what you see is what you get with me and I’m the same way at home. I’m the same way to my friends. I’m the same way here at work. And so there’s no like pretension here. Right? You’re never going to have the whole world that loves you and you’re not going to have the whole world that’s going to hate you, so if you can just rather focus on being respected than anything else, right and respect really comes from a place where, as cliches as it’s going to sound, but from a place where you earn it at no matter what level and I think that sort of like where that  whole notion comes from.

 I hope that answers your question. 

Eric: Yeah. Yeah, so you talk a bit about respect. Have you ever read the book Shoe Dog Phil Knight? [00:03:00] So I haven’t although it’s on my audible list, but I haven’t read it. That’s no that’s no problem. It’s definitely a good book to read they mention in the book or or Phil the author mentions in the book how his father grew up wanting to really gather that respect of his peers and colleagues in order to have a successful business or a livelihood and that matter, so wanted to kind of get your definition of what that respect is or what respect is to you and you know, what you do in a day to day in order to get that from whether it’s your employees or friends.

OMAR: So I don’t think anybody’s ever asked me what respect means to me and how I go about garnering it. It’s a good question. I think for me particularly it comes from a place where people appreciate the work that I do and if you either are on my team or a business partner with me or vendor for me that you [00:04:00] match my intensity and so and I’m not going to say that I’m probably the hardest worker in the industry, but I certainly do work really hard and I love meeting people who match that sort of hustle and have that same Zeal for success so for me respect is sort of like earned, but it’s also given at the same time, right?

So you can’t just necessarily demand respect from people or hope to earn it from people but not necessarily give it back to people and so I think that’s a lot of where where that is earned for me is I hope that people realize that I am as respectful as I can be and I expect the same in return, but for me respect is something that comes or rather is earned not only through giving it but also from achieving something right? I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with sort of having that as a motivation to want to succeed in life. So yeah, I would that’s an interesting question because I don’t think I’ve ever really sort of critically [00:05:00] thought about it, but I think we’re such an individualistic society and where we champion the idea of individualism, which is probably why America is sort of the number one economy currently.

But it’s because we have this sort of individualistic attitude towards almost everything and we champion this idea of of being sort of a lone wolf and you know be applaud those people but at the same time, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using that you know, what seeking respect as a means of motivation to sort of succeed in life and what I was trying to get to is when you’re focusing on this idea of oh respect is earned and you’re trying to chase that then you’re always going to get comments from the peanut gallery that say something like well, you know, like I’m not here to please everyone.

You know, I’m just here to do me. Yeah, of course, [00:06:00] but I think at the same time, I don’t think there’s anything necessarily wrong with if you’re trying to motivate yourself and you say okay. Well, I want to use respect that sort of like this this motivational tool for me to do that.

It could be anything right like for some people its money for other people. It’s something else but you know, I grew up in a household where respect was earned and respect was something that we paid a lot of attention to but it’s just one more tool for you to sort of like win at life. 

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and I think that’s a great motivator, right and one aspect of the business, right? I don’t think it can be the holding in order to keep driving, you know you in terms of the business, but it’s definitely a great bonus in terms of you know, being able to work with other people, show off really the success that you’ve had so far and really keep going.

Eric: Yeah, so I love to ask you, you know besides respect like what other things you know, really drive you in [00:07:00] terms of the business, right? Every entrepreneur is always working really hard and they will go through ups and downs and what’s your motivation in terms of, or, the purpose to keep you going?

OMAR: Yeah, so we’re now getting sort of like to the Crux of this whole thing right? I’ve been on, you know, a self sort of like realization. This journey that I’ve been on especially in the last like six months, but primarily throughout my entire life that I haven’t paid attention to, but so I grew up really poor.

I come from an immigrant background and ultimately what ends up happening is so I’ll use my parents as a really good example and I’m sure a lot of your listeners can attest to this. So, my parents have been immigrants three times over and both my mom and dad are highly educated.

They both have postgraduate degrees and so it’s the one thing that nobody could ever take away from [00:08:00] them right. They took away their status. They took away their dignity. They took away their wealth.   Families were split apart, but the one thing that was never taken away from them was their education and so  that’s why it’s such a big deal  for me in terms of like my own motivations, but  what motivates me is sort of like watching what my parents went through and growing up, you know living in a two-bedroom apartment, it’s what nourishes my soul right when I wake up in the morning and I’m looking at you know panoramic Penthouse views, I know where I’ve come from and when I get into my cars I know where that comes from.

I know what it’s like and that’s what motivates me and you know, there’s plenty of sort of much much better educated people who have taken a stab at trying to figure out what happens to sort of Middle America they grow up and you know, there’s this whole component that goes into not necessarily going up wealthy but not growing up with any [00:09:00] needs and that sort of like takes away your hunger or doesn’t you don’t have those same motivations and so perhaps that’s an advantage that you can you most most sort of immigrant kids like me have, but to answer your question I think that has been sort of primary motivation for me knowing what it’s like to grow up or knowing what it’s like to not have sort of the luxuries and you know, we were probably some of the better off immigrants but nevertheless, you know, you grew up in in sort of circles where your friends or you know, getting 50 60 thousand dollar cars on their 16th birthday.

That sort of does something to you right? No matter how sort of even keeled you are. It’s sort of affects you in such a way where you grow up and you say you know, what fuck that I’m going to crush it. Can I cuss on this? 

Eric: Oh, yeah. Yeah, either I’ll bleep it out later or. 

Omar: Okay.

Eric:  It’s all good.

Yeah you wake up and you say I’m going to crush it. I want to crush every day, and [00:10:00] so that’s the sort of like the what I’ve used to get to where I have and now that I’ve gotten here it’s this idea of like, okay, well two things right now like I have two other motivations. Number one, how do I keep all of this?

And then how do I build above this? Right and you know, there are too many stories of people who have made it to a certain level and then it sort of like the rest on their hind legs and you know get caught flat-footed and so for me, that’s the next thing. I never want to be that person who just has sort of made it to mediocrity and they’re like ah this is it like the truth is it’s not necessarily wealth and it’s not comfort is just this internal drive I have that keeps me motivated and it’s hard because people often ask like what is it that keeps you motivated and aside from you know, not necessarily losing it and aside from getting to the next level, I don’t know what else I can say. 

There’s a really great example of one of the questions [00:11:00] that Jay-Z can never answer is when they asked him you know, how does he write his lyrics and really can’t answer this one question. He can never answer. He says just happens whenever I’m in a booth the lyrics come to me and I think a lot of entrepreneurs can relate to that that hunger never goes away if you’re true entrepreneur, like there’s always a hustle around the corner. There’s always where you’re just like man. You constantly are seeking opportunities or opportunities fall into your and it’s also like the sort of it’s like built in the DNA.

I literally will sit at a dinner table and within like, you know, even if it’s like a friendly, you know with my with my friends or with my wife or whoever like within like a 15-minute conversation, I could come up with like opportunities within that dinner and I’m sure you’ve been there where you’re like, oh dude we can totally take this to the next level right?

But most people don’t think that way right most people just you know, just having a conversation about a kindergarten. Meanwhile, you’re like wait I can turn this into a playschool. I can actually charge for this right? Yeah, so and I [00:12:00] think if you’re only like true entrepreneurs sort of seek these opportunities, but yeah, so I think those were sort of the long winded way of me answering this question.

Eric: That’s that’s good and I want to figure out.  Did you find yourself having that internal drive when you were very young or is there a certain point in your life? (Yeah) Was it like when you were 13 year old kid or 16 year old kid and you did see your friends, you know get a nicer car, like what was that turning point for you?

Or have you just been hustling like maybe like Pokemon cards when you were, you know, 18 years old for instance? 

Omar: Yeah, you know early on. Yeah, you know, so a lot of people like to wax poetically about this idea of like oh I used to trade Pogs or Pokemon cards or like whatever candy bars.

You know sure like even you know, I did it with candy bars, but that just makes you like at least a hustler and I don’t know if that like is a litmus test because I  think you know I mentor four people right now and one of them’s I listen to all these [00:13:00] podcasts but I never had that in high school.

I never, you know, I never had this drive. I was just like skateboarding and I’m like, yeah well, it’s not for everyone right so I don’t want to get on here and tell people like oh, if you don’t have that then that’s you know, sort of an indicator. 

Eric: If you’ve never flipped something when you’re a kid then you’re not meant to be an entrepreneur.

Omar: Yeah, exactly.

Eric: You’re saying that that’s false. Right?

Omar:  Yeah. I’m just saying that I don’t think that’s an only indicator for you to be a successful entrepreneur and actually want to come back to this idea of Entrepreneurship and you know, it’s become this sort of like go to buzzword for people, but we’ll come back to it at a different point, but I think like for me um, what I realized about my motivations personally or rather for like why I thought I always had this hunger in me was because no matter what I did I was really competitive in it. It didn’t matter whether I was playing High School soccer. I hate using that word because it’s really football. Yeah. Yeah, or it was, you know, like group project or an exam, whatever it was.

I wanted to be the best at it and I just like I hated, I still do, I hate losing. So I think like those are sort of I don’t know again. I don’t know if those are indicators for making somebody a successful entrepreneur, right because in entrepreneurship you definitely lose and you have to get used to it, but it’s at least some indication for like hey like you’re a competitive person and like entrepreneurship might be like a route you want to take, but I want to be absolutely clear about this and for those people who are listening to this and they’re not necessarily entrepreneurs or they’re doing really well at their job and they think they’re missing out on life. The truth is there are other ways for you to be successful in life and not necessarily have to pursue entrepreneurship.

If you’re at a really great company and you’re being offered a really great opportunity where you can make a mark for yourself you can use that as you know, as a sort of a base for you to become successful and if you’re lined up with the right, Partners for with the right Founders [00:15:00] your work has to be appreciated.

If your work is being appreciated you’re being rewarded for it then ultimately, you know, like why why is it this one other thing that’s going to this title doesn’t do anything for you right other than it being a title and it’s just sort of this cultural construct of our time right now where people are like, oh, well, you know, I want to have entrepreneurship on my Instagram handle and that’s how I’m going to seek.

That’s how I’m going to seek happiness.  What I’m saying here is that I’m questioning the convention that sort of prevalent right now this idea of like, oh, I have to be an entrepreneur for me to be successful other than saying. Hey, like if I join a really great team can I be successful for what I do, but I’ve been arguing this for years because I’ve had really great people who have been on my team and they’re really successful here. But I also know that there are people who are really unhappy at the companies that their at because they think they need to leave and they need to become [00:16:00] entrepreneurs and you know, and for the most part you can totally have side hustles and see if that works out for you before you sort of like leave and venture off before you become an entrepreneur, but if it’s just an Instagram handle or you know title you want to have just put entrepreneur down and move with your life. (laughter)

Eric: Yeah, and I think you bring up a good point where you’re saying like at least for you, you always want to do your best, you want to win and I think a lot of people get lost in that noise where other entrepreneurs are being successful, but you’re saying like if you have a great job you’re at a great company, why not attempt to do your best while you’re there as well and take opportunities that are  present to you versus looking on the other side.

Omar: Yeah. I mean, it’s human nature right like. We always want what’s on the other side of the fence. And what’s what’s exactly what exacerbates this and compounds this sort of like fomo is every day on Instagram. Right? Like there’s always someone crushing it. I do this all the time as an exercise here.

We’ll do it right [00:17:00] now and for your listeners, what we’re doing is we’re just going to go through Instagram real quick. So I do this almost every time when I’m trying to prove this point, so can you block out these names when you’re doing this? So in any event, but like let’s look at this. So here’s a person, you know posting.

Wow. So this one’s on vacation, right? This one is modeling and she you know fairly successful. Here’s somebody like at a concert. That’s an ad. I don’t know what to do with people who post photos of food anymore, but here’s a person like hanging out and dope Chicago. Here’s a person on vacation.

Here’s a person that’s killing it on Instagram like with their fashion. So there’s  always like oh, here’s someone’s helicopter. Someone’s helicopter right? Like someone’s at a movie premier. Yeah. (minute 19). There’s always someone that’s like absolutely crushing it. Here’s another person that’s like riding ATVs.

Another person on vacation, [00:18:00] so you constantly get this whole thing where you’re like, well, what am I doing with my life? Like why do I not have this like sense of happiness?  Why am I not being driven around in cool like Cadillacs being picked up, you know everywhere like what am I?

What is it that I’m doing with my life? And so you if you’re inundated constantly in your social media with these sort of like snippets of positive things that are happening in other people’s lives and you get these micro moments of happiness, but the platform is completely built on presenting micro moments of everyone’s lives.

You think that like, oh my God everyone out there (that’s their entire) life exactly. But the truth is like look, you might see me post a you know, a 30 second clip of me in a Ferrari, but the truth is you have no fucking idea how long it took me to get there right? You might watch me like, you know drink wine with my penthouse views, but you have no idea what my day has been like right like you have no fucking idea.  I might have had like a shit ass day for the past 16 hours [00:19:00] and I’m just fucking trying to enjoy a few hours of a sunset. So you have no idea what it took for me to get there. And so like ultimately what enrages me is or rather gets me passionate.

Let me rephrase that but what gets me sort of going is that you get these micro moments of people’s like happiness and it’s compounded because everybody presents these moments, right? And so, you know people are having children and people are going on vacation people are like, you know, oh I just raised a round but really you have no idea what those people have gone through to get there.

Right? Like if we weren’t on a podcast I’d really give you a crude examples, but but no that’s that’s the thing, you know, like I’ll post stuff up here, but the truth is that like every day is a grind right?  And if you’re not ready for that, there’s no reason for you to be an entrepreneur. And at least have some perspective is what I’m saying is that not everyone’s lives are perfect.

Not everyone lives that lifestyle every single day and that the moments that you have in your life that when you’re down just understand that everyone else is going through the same thing. Minutes 22 – not with the same sense of severity, I’ll admit to that, but they certainly whatever they’re going through is equally as tough for them as whatever you’re going through is for you, you know, and I always tell people there’s no reason for you to compare your problems to other people’s problems, right? Because you have no idea what other people are going through. 

Look for some people like, you know a silly as this may sound like for some people not getting that apartment that they really want is like the worst thing that has happened to them, but you have no idea like, you know, what else is going in their lives.

And and the truth is that it’s all relative. Right? Like you have no idea what they’ve grown up with and what they haven’t and so, I always like to tell people like have perspective for me emotional intelligence is a huge component of sort of a fit for you to be in my life and vice versa. If you don’t have this like sense of emotional intelligence, but at the same time, you can’t let people take advantage of you.

You can’t be in organizations that take advantage of you. You can’t be in an environment where it’s toxic. You can’t be in an environment where you’re not being developed for whatever reason so I [00:21:00] say that you know when I say, hey don’t look at other people and you know think the grass is always greener on the other end and I say be happy with what you have in the company and see if there’s opportunities there, but at the same time you can’t let other people walk all over you if you’re not being appreciated for your talents. If you’re not being rewarded for those talents, if you’re not being developed in the way that you think you ought to be developed, then that’s an opportunity for you to sort of venture out and say, okay well, maybe I’ll go seek an opportunity with someone else or maybe I’ll go somewhere else and do something else or maybe I’ll go start my own thing. 

Those are really valid reasons, but not because you’re on Instagram and you see other people like crushing it because you have no idea how long it took them right and I want to be clear about this, I was in massive debt before any of this, right, but that’s a sense of like I had that conviction. I said okay I want to believe in this but that was years ago. I certainly don’t want to be in debt in my mid-30s, right? So but I did that when I was in my early 20s, and I got over it and I did it so.

Yeah, that was a long-winded way of answering that question, but I’ll [00:22:00] try to make them shorter. 

Eric: That’s okay. I mean you touch on a lot of really good points in terms of business and you know giving perspective to the listeners in you know, what to look out for understanding and recognizing, you know, people are all walking their own individual paths.

Yeah, really and you really shouldn’t, you know, just look at other people seeing how much further ahead of you because everyone’s on their own time. Essentially. Yeah. 

Hey, can you give me some data on I mean you can cut all this out. But what is the average listener? Like what do you think they’re listening for so I can be a little bit more thoughtful about my answers.

I mean usually full podcast is like, they’ll range between 20 to 45 minutes. Okay. So right now we’re at 25 so we could hit 30 35. No. No, I’m curious to know like  demographically. Like who are they? What are they listening for? I mean for this one, I mean I was talking to Lucy about it earlier as well where a lot of the business podcasts, [00:23:00] they are just looking for like, how they grew like Clif bar for example. Sure. Yeah how they just talk about like ok we started from a farmers market right like from my dad’s garage. Yeah, and then just hit up Sunday’s every time until we got really lucky when we hit up a retail store, right?

Okay. So I mean this this in itself the psychological aspect, I haven’t really seen or found any podcast. No, I haven’t either. 

Eric: We love to like hear about, you know a time that you struggled through your business and you know, what was their point you wanted to quit or you wanted to.

What it what kept you going, you know, was it your family your wife your business partner, you know, what is it that kept you going? Really? 

Omar: Yeah, so definitely I mean to say that you haven’t been through hardships is both arrogant and sort of not necessarily introspective right I’ve definitely been through massive hardships financially.

The world of Entrepreneurship is filled with loneliness. They often [00:24:00] say that but it’s absolutely true you go home carrying the world’s problems on your shoulders and you don’t always necessarily want to take those problems home. So you you know sort of like go by yourself and that’s why there’s so much depression and alcoholism in Entrepreneurship.

So for me, I think what kept me sort of sane through all of it is yeah, having a really good business partner. So having a business partner really really helps out in that you both can use each other as sort of support right? And then I met my wife a few years later after I’d started the business and so she became also a source of motivation, but it’s also hard, you know, because you don’t want to take all your problems home every single day, but,  specifically  like I said earlier, you know, I went through I put myself in debt while everybody else in the office was eating like lion and I talk very often about [00:25:00] this. I don’t think a lot of the new team members know about this, but there’s a particular time when we were renovating these offices and my business partners, and I didn’t pay ourselves for a better part of three years.

And everybody else they were getting paid six figure salaries, bonuses, free lunches, you know dogs running around and we’re doing company events, but literally I would go home and like eat Top Ramen, you know, I’d look forward to like running home on the weekends to go to my parents house and eat food while everybody else ate like kings and we never talked about it was nothing that we ever discussed publicly.

The only other person outside of us that knew that was you know, our accounting team that were, you know, 

Eric: they were doing their looking at the numbers and the yeah, you’re saying oh wait a minute. 

Omar:  It was funny because we had this one accountant she was such a fantastic team member but she would come and she would like literally would be in tears.

She’s like, hey like because she saw it all right?  So she would be like hey, so [00:26:00] I got this call from you know, so-and-so dig opportune collections. And you’re like, okay whatever, you know, because you know at the end of the day what you’re trying to achieve and you never want to miss payroll and thank God we haven’t missed payroll ever.

So but you know, you put yourself through that because you believe in something as long as like you’re smart enough to be able to put yourself through it, but what motivated us throughout the entire thing was number one: we had a really fantastic team and we want to support our team but also like what we were investing in in terms of business units, business development, but also figuring out our supply chain and this is when we were really building out our supply chain overseas and making it more robust, standardizing our products and revising our packaging, we knew we were on the right track and the indicators were there.

We weren’t just doing this because we were sort of foolish and you know, whatever because by then at least I was in my late 20s. My business partners are older than I am and so for them it was probably harder than it was for me, but we sort of like [00:27:00] double down and we figured our way through and you know, it’s been really wonderful in the last four or five years, but it or three years four years, but it was tough.

It was a tough road, but you know, and that’s just like the tip of the iceberg in terms of like hardships and I want to sit here and talk about every single one of them, but I think what the common denominator here is if you have conviction, so if you have convictions plus you have persistence, that’s how you get through almost everything. 

I always love whenever I meet somebody and they’re like, I’ve been trying this and my Instagram DMs I think I showed Kenny this once my Instagram DMs are filled with things like, you know, what is the one thing that you did to become successful as if there’s a Panacea for it, alright, and there just like duh. But I always love when people are like what is the one thing that you’ve done?

So you tell them you give them some sort of an answer and then because you know what they’re searching for and then they literally hit you [00:28:00] back with something like well, I’ve already been doing that and you know, I don’t I’m not seeing any success and I don’t know if I want to keep doing this and how did you know when not to stop and you’re like well how long have you been doing this and you know, ultimately something like oh six months or a year. 

Actually, this one guy was told me he’s like, I’ve been working hard my whole life and nothing is working for me and I was like, oh man, I’ve actually felt really bad for him and so I’m DM’ing him back.

I’m like, what is it that you’re doing. Now at one point I was like well how long because he kept on saying like my whole life and it’s so hard and I’m not making anything happen. I’m like, you know, and I almost want to be like well maybe entrepreneurship isn’t for you.

It’s like well, how long have you been doing this? He goes you know for like a couple of years. I’m like, okay. Well, how old are you? You know, you sound like you’re still pretty young and I’m thinking like, you know, maybe he’s like in his late 20s, early 30s. And he’s like 18 years old.

I almost like blocked his ass I was like get the fuck out of here 18 years old like what could you have been doing? You know, I’m not like diminishing anybody’s hustle but [00:29:00] still like there’s no way you’ve listen if you’re like if you haven’t made it 25 yet. I’m not saying ….. that you’re not so toughg.

Yeah. Yeah, listen, life is really really tough and business is tough, so you can’t like at 18 tell me that you’ve worked your whole life really hard and you haven’t made it yet. Because please yeah. 

Eric: Yeah, I think it goes back to the whole thing about the exercise we just ran through Instagram, right?

Yeah, especially now in this age you see a lot of success you see a lot of those Snippets, glimpses of you know the finer life and it’s because people do want to show off that lifestyle right they’re like oh this weekend I do finally get to eat at this Michelin star restaurant or this time I do get to you know, drive a nice car for the weekend.

Yeah, but yeah, they just yeah, they don’t realize all that. Well, that’s what it is. Right? 

Omar: Like if somebody’s just gotten comped, um, like private jet tickets, you know to fly from here to I don’t know where ever and you know a limos picking them up and they literally choose to capture those moments and sure rightly so maybe they’ve work really [00:30:00] hard and you know, like they’ve had a rough week or they’ve had a successful week and they want to share that with their friends and their family and their followers and so they’re sharing that because they’re proud of it, but everybody else watches that and they’re like, oh man what am I doing with my life? 

At least that’s what most people do right and even if you don’t like verbalize it there’s like a part of you it’s human nature to say that but I also think it’s for people to have perspective and be like, okay well congratulations for them on that moment.

But you know, I’m sure they’ve worked really hard and whatever but yeah, as long as like you have a little bit of perspective when it comes to  like other people’s success or at least other people’s seeming like they’re having success. 

Eric: So yeah, so I think it’s a good point at least for people who are interested in entrepreneurship and going through this journey to figure out whether it’s for them right also take the step back as Omar said to see where you’re at, see the opportunity that’s already present to you and seeing if it’s the job that you’re not happy with, what if you could just change some things around and then be happy in your current job [00:31:00] and be successful right and work more closely with your bosses that could be become your mentor versus maybe it’s a sort of a habit that if you go pursue entrepreneurship, and you’re not going to be happy either right? 

Omar: Yeah, I mean, you know, so I say that and I want to be careful with answering this because it’s always like when people are like hey, should I drop out of college? You’re like I don’t know if I should answer this for you. I mean, I know what I would do if I went back, I wouldn’t go back to school. I dropped out of college. It was really sort of a struggle, you know, when we started off. I told you guys that for my parents that was really important.  It was for a couple reasons, number one all immigrants want their children’s like to be educated like that whole story, but the other thing for my parents, you know, my dad sat us down when we were really young and he said listen they can take away everything from you.

It doesn’t matter they can take away everything, but the one thing they can never take away is what you have up here. They can never take away your education and it always resonated with me, but I dropped out of school, but just [00:32:00] imagine your parents have worked their entire lives they’ve worked really really hard and you’ve gotten into college and they see that as their success right?

Like your success is an extension of what they’ve accomplished and so it’s tough for immigrant kids, I am not going to lie because you know, their happiness depends on like how successful you are in life and you’re like they’re bragging rights, right like you’re all that so in any-who you’re their retirement plan, you’re everything.

And so but I remember because I got into school and then I decided I was going to drop out but I didn’t tell them about it. My brother was the only one who knew and then later I had to tell my parents and it was really tough. I remember my mom wouldn’t even look at me when I was telling them this and I dropped out and then I went back, but I want to be clear about this.

So when people say things like should I drop out of school or should I stay in this company?  You have to be smart at recognizing whether or not the opportunities that you have versus the opportunities that are out there, right? There’s always a cost benefit analysis that needs to happen.

And so if [00:33:00] you’re a smart person in you’re in an organization that’s going somewhere then great take advantage of that work like Eric said with your bosses Founders, whoever, you know, especially if you’re in a small company, But understand that there’s a cost associated with that because you’re like you have youthful exuberance and those youthful exuberant years only last for a certain amount of time.

And so you’re if you’re like wasting those years at a wrong organization, then that’s not necessarily the right thing to do either right? So and that’s a tough thing because you know like it. I don’t know at 18 to 22 to 25. How are you supposed to know? I don’t even know if I ever figured this out right?

I just got lucky but I think the first thing you have to recognize is whether or not the company that you’re with is is going anywhere and whether or not you’re going to have opportunities with this company if it makes it there and then once you figure that out, you have to figure out like, okay well, how can I provide value? 

You know I’m in my mid 30s, so I grew up [00:34:00] listening to other people speak about this topic all the time, and I don’t hear this so much in podcasts anymore, but this idea of like what value do I bring to the table as opposed to what’s out there for me?

And so I’m a millennial but I’m a much older Millennial than the current generation of Millennials, but I think that’s sort of like a dissonance between the two age groups. I think I grew up with this mindset of and certainly people older than me we grew up at this point of saying, okay, well what value do I bring before I ask for anything? 

Versus you know what’s out there for me do I get enough vacation days? And you know, like am I gonna have live my best life and you know, so if that’s important for you, then you know, I don’t want to tell you don’t ever apply to a job over here, but I think like ultimately if you have this mindset of what value do I bring to the table what value can I bring I think you’ll be received differently.

But yeah, I wanted to take a [00:35:00] moment and clarify that because I don’t want anybody like well I listen to Omar needs only to stick stick around this company and this place wasn’t going anywhere  and by the way, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, well, how do I determine?

You know, I don’t have enough life experience or how do I determine whether or not the companies going somewhere find yourself a mentor find yourself  people who can advise you like I grew up in a household where we had no social capital and if you haven’t been a nerd like me and read a ton of Sociology books, social capital is ostensibly sort of cultural capital where you pick up the phone and you call your dad or your mom and you say hey, Mom, can you introduce me to so and so and they have personal network that can do that.

So that’s what social capital is and so I grew up with none of it and when you grow up with not having that you figure out other ways to become resourceful. So for me early on I realized hey, I found a really great mentor and if you’ve read “Rich Dad Poor, Dad,” you’ll understand this but I [00:36:00] found a rich dad and in no way was that disrespectful to my own father who I deeply respect and love and have taken a lot of life lessons from but my father was never a millionaire.

At least not an American certainly not at that level. My dad wasn’t educated here in America, so he couldn’t provide me with sort of the value that my rich Dad could and so find yourself a mentor early on and you can learn a ton from other people’s mistakes from other people’s successes. And so and believe you me there are plenty of people out there who are willing to take a few minutes out of their week or out of their month and give you sort of advice and you don’t have to follow everything Tit for Tat but or tit for tit, but at least at least it can provide you with some like valuable lessons having somebody so if  you’re at those crossroads and you don’t know whether or not the company’s the right thing or you’re at the crossroads for [00:37:00] starting your own business or if you’re at the crossroad for making any sort of large decisions and you can’t go to your personal circle then find yourself mentors.

Find yourself like peers that are more successful than you and if you have a circle of confidants that you can reach out to and say hey, this is what I’m thinking about doing what you guys think that’s where you sort of like live this fulfilled life and you know and oftentimes I will say that even when I’m having a really really tough day being able to reach out to other people who are either entrepreneurs or people who have been to where I’ve been or much bigger than I am they can you know, give me perspective, you know, like because I’m sure it’s like, you know, I have had days where things don’t align or things don’t make sense to me and you know, there’s so much happening and it makes sense to like reach out somebody else and say hey, what do you think of this?

Like, this is sort of like where I am whether it’s like I said a business decision marketing decision or life decision, whatever it is, so. [00:38:00] 

Eric: That’s one way to figure out whether or not where you are in life is where you need to be. I hope that helps. Yeah, that’s about bringing in your network your colleagues or peers maybe your business partner have the opportunity to bounce off these ideas and really reflect on where you’re at.

In order to make these decisions to pivot off of 

Omar: yeah, and so if there’s a critique and you know, I’m very introspective person, I’ll admit to this the one thing that I didn’t do early on in my career. In my mid-20s is I didn’t chase like a network of other entrepreneurs. I really ostracized myself and I really focused on my business  and that’s great because I used to argue for that business move.

I would say. I don’t need to go to these meetups. I don’t need to meet people like I haven’t accomplished anything. It’s this twofold system right like number one you don’t think you’re successful enough to be in a room full of successful entrepreneurs and number two like this sense of like embarrassment or the sense of not belonging and then this other thing is like you feel like hey if I’m not at the [00:39:00] office and working really hard then who’s going to do this work, but the truth is A, that work is never going to end to this day, you know, it’s been after eight nine years and you know, if I wanted to, I could still work like 25 hours a day and I regularly work, you know, 10 12 hours a day.

So the work never stops. I want to be clear about this. But also whether or not you believe you belong in a room because of your success is really sort of a immature way of looking at it. What you really should be looking for is figuring out whether or not you can provide value to other people whenever you go to a networking event or a meetup or something like that.

But also the other thing is that when you go and meet other people, you get to realize a few things you get to realize that they too are going through the same struggles. No matter what level they’re at you get to learn from them. You get to bounce ideas and you get to build your circle of confidants at a much earlier pace.

And so that’s probably a self critique of mine for a very long time [00:40:00] and the more the more people I meet now the more I realize I should have done this at a much younger age. And I’m sure we’ve all have been there where we look at business opportunities or life opportunities and think to ourselves like man if I had known this earlier.  This is me telling you like if you’re like, you know, if you’re still young or the I guess it doesn’t matter how old you are, but I definitely would recommend getting out there and you know spending a few hours out of your week meeting people doing all that stuff.

Eric: Yeah, I think a lot of people they get afraid of, you know, just being nervous and fumbling over their words when they go meet people not realizing everyone’s in the same boat. Everyone’s nervous to talk to each other at networking groups. Maybe they all came alone right there going to be a few who have their friends.

Yeah. Those are guys. Those are the people who are really scared because they needed someone to comfort them right then if you focus on the right things of what can you bring to the table? What can you learn from other people? I think that’s really where you going to start diving into these types of conversations.

Omar: Yeah, and I think it’s a good point because I think a lot of people think like, oh, well, if I go there I too have to [00:41:00] have either had those experiences or have had some of those successes for me to be able to contribute to a conversation, but the truth is that’s not necessarily true. All you need to do is go be a fly on the wall, right and be a lurker for the first couple of months and there’s plenty of organizations like stacking growth is one of those right like where you can just go be a fly on the wall and just absorb all the information that’s out there until you’re ready to contribute or you know, they’re people who are in that group of never contributed and they just go and learn a ton.

So but same thing like I used to be a mixergy listener for a very long time before I got interviewed there. That was one of my goals one of my goals was to be interviewed on there. But yeah, I just sat there and like I listened as much as I could I listen to Noah Kagan, Heaton Shaw, and Neil Patel, Seth Godin, you know Gary vaynerchuk.

I literally listened and watched all these entrepreneurs crushing it. Sure they were a little bit older than I was and they had started their businesses a lot [00:42:00] earlier, but nevertheless that was A motivation but I’d try to absorb as much as I could but that’s a community that I participated in maybe it was digital and it wasn’t the right one.

But at least I learned a lot by just being a lurker and that’s that’s exactly the way you ought to treat like, you know, even meetups and meeting other people but and the truth is that when you go to events like that or organizations like that, there’s always people at your level doesn’t matter how big it gets right like there people above you there people who are ten years above you and they’re people who are like at your level and they’re people who are just starting. So it doesn’t matter you constantly learn from those environments and definitely put yourself out there. 

Eric: Well, thank you so much Omar for sharing a ton of wisdom in regards to you know, what really motivates you whether it is the respect or it’s to challenge yourself and to maintain, you know, your life and your business and also sharing tips about how other people can continue to elevate their own selves, their personal growth through their careers through their personal lives.

So I just want to thank you [00:43:00] so much for taking the time to yeah share with me. 

Omar: Absolutely. Thank you for having me and summation by the way, Lily. That’s what we’re walking away from we’re saying you got to get motivated by having respect Jesus, I honestly I think in terms of like the respect aspect I mean there’s some like negative negative connotation of like it’s just like I only work for respect but I think your definition of respect or respect is something different than what most people think of I think it’s really the hard work and just people recognizing that and knowing that this is what they have to do in order to be absolutely yeah exactly.

That’s not just like I demand respect because I have a lot of money or I drive nice cars. It’s no this the area that you should focus on of the hard work that people in this position put so much their you know blood Sweat and Tears into and that is really the definition of respect.

Yeah, I think through this conversation having with you is yeah, I think what you’re  more more aiming towards. 

Omar: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Thank you for clarifying that so that way it gets some context. Yeah. Awesome. Yeah, very cool. Yeah.

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