Your TEAM is everything. Surround yourself with people who are smarter, stronger and faster you. Take note of the people who you consider to perhaps be more proficient in certain areas or more resourceful and make them part of your TEAM. — When I was in my mid-twenties, I made the decision to reprioritize fitness. I had a very little foundation, I had every reason to believe I would fail and looking around it seemed like everyone else was much further ahead. I forced myself to take 6 AM spin classes at Swerve Fitness in NYC, a studio that was founded by a few friends who believed in the concept of building your TEAM. It was in that studio that I met people who encouraged me to sign up for my first race and then my next one and the one after that. Now, they are the people I see in the crowds 5 years later cheering me on as an unconditional support system. It was in that studio that I networked professionally and met folks who have guided my career. Lastly, it was in that studio that I met the people who empowered me to continue steering the mission behind Break Barriers. I actively sought out people who I knew could challenge me to be better and I encourage everyone to look around at their crew and assess if they are being challenged by their community.
Author, motivational speaker, and triathlete, Bishoy Tadros was was born in Egypt and immigrated at the age of 3 as a result of a childhood cancer diagnosis. He grew up in Long Island where he received treatment and now resides in New York City.
Bishoy worked for JP Morgan from 2012–2019 in various arms of the organization across the Investment Bank and Asset Management. He was a member of JP Morgan’s 2017 Met Club, recognized for his work as a leader within the sales organization. In 2019, Bishoy broke industry barriers and moved to Saorce where he is currently employed as an Account Executive.
Bishoy is an Iron Man and a 3-time marathoner. Beyond completing as a participant, Bishoy has led charitable campaigns for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society raising over $90,000 since 2017.
Since 2017, Bishoy has engaged with various companies and universities to speak and publish written pieces around his story and the practical application of his message. In 2019, Bishoy published his memoir Break Barriers, he wrote his book with the objective of giving readers a tool to channel the mindset to overcome obstacles whether they be personal, professional, or on the playing field.
Can you share your story about “Grit and Success”? First, can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
Mylife’s journey which I share in detail in my book, Break Barriers has truly been a culmination of obstacles on the personal, professional, and athletic front. I talk about my battle with Leukemia as a young immigrant child from Egypt, I share my battles as a youngster trying to connect with his peers to develop a social footing, I discuss navigating unemployment post-college in the heart of the financial crisis ultimately to land a role at JP Morgan when opportunities in the industry were limited at best. Lastly, I share moments where I tried and tested my body to pursue my desire for being an athlete and now I am a 3x marathoner and an IronMan.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Well truth be told, most of the lessons I learned were because I continued to fall. I learned over and over again through failure that anything is possible. As a child battling cancer, test results and medical updates were always out of my hand and so I had to accept that I may not see the results I want at the particular moment that I’d like to and it was a lesson like that which I held
onto for guidance through the other facets of my life.
So how did Grit lead to your eventual success? How did Grit turn things around?
Once I made the determination to embrace the fall, things began to take form. I always tell people that “the fall always precedes the rise” and so in every area of my life I anticipate that things won’t come easy and because I’ve weathered storms over and over, I’ve naturally built resilience through Grit. In high school, I tried out for the same team 3 times until I got
my shot. As a college graduate, I steered my way over three years of what felt like dead end after dead end until I got the job I sought out. As an athlete, I forced myself to push the limits that at one point seemed unfathomable and ultimately the pain led to potential unleashed.
Based on your experience, can you share 5 pieces of advice about how one can develop Grit?
1. Your TEAM is everything Surround yourself with people who are smarter, stronger and faster you. Take note of the people who you consider to perhaps be more proficient in certain areas or more resourceful and make them part of your TEAM. — When I was in my mid-twenties, I made the decision to reprioritize fitness. I had a very little foundation, I had every reason to believe I would fail and looking around it seemed like everyone else was much further ahead. I forced myself to take 6 AM spin classes at Swerve Fitness in NYC, a studio that was founded by a few friends who believed in the concept of building your TEAM. It was in that studio that I met people who encouraged me to sign up for my first race and then my next one and the one after that. Now, they are the people I see in the crowds 5 years later cheering me on as an unconditional support system. It was in that studio that I networked professionally and met folks who have guided my career. Lastly, it was in that studio that I met the people who empowered me to continue steering the mission behind Break Barriers. I actively sought out people who I knew could challenge me to be better and I encourage everyone to look around at their crew and assess if they are being challenged by their community.
2. Exit your comfort zone constantly in order to uncover your purpose.
It wasn’t until 2017 when I found myself at Mile 40 of Eagleman (IronMan 70.3) completely dehydrated, mentally broken, and sulking in my darkest thoughts that I finally realized what my mission was. 5 months prior to that moment, I was mortified at the realization that I signed myself up for such a race. I was convinced I didn’t belong in the field of competitors but it was because I pushed myself to pay for the race, to train for several months, to hone in mentally and to isolate myself socially that I learned how deep I could dig and in the process I uncovered a purpose. That purpose was to show others that barriers are meant to be broken.
3. Employ patience, come to terms with the notion that the path to success is not a straight shot and it will involve a series of ups and downs.
When I graduated college unemployed, I held out hope that I would get to my desired role in banking but I accepted it wasn’t going to be overnight. Over the course of 3 years, I took on several roles outside of the field that led me to question my route, I felt cornered, like I was always explaining myself and trying to prove my worth. I worked full-time and completed my MBA at night. Ultimately, I got my shot because I met the right person who was willing to vouch for me and looking back, I’m grateful that I had to fight for my seat.
4. Be Humble because success is rented, it’s not owned. When I first shared my story in 2017, I had no idea how it would be received and in fact I had doubts it would resonate. Well, I was wrong and the reception was beyond my expectations. Since then, I was faced with a “good problem but a problem nonetheless, I wasn’t sure how to keep people engaged and I didn’t want to shove a message down their throats. Through trial and error, I tried multiple outlets for writing and speaking engagements and they kept my story alive but I knew I had more in the tank. In December 2018, I simply Googled, “How to write a book” and 9 months later the rest was history! The lesson here is simply that complacency is not an option, especially when your gut tells you that you have more to give!
5. Aim HIGH ALWAYS, You never know what you’re capable of When I was at JP Morgan I had a mentor who I leaned on professionally for the most part however over the course of time I really built up an appreciation for the person he was outside of the office and how he carried on with such uplifting energy and positive attitude. The very first time I decided to share my story publicly, I shared it with him before anyone else. I was extremely vulnerable because I was about to run my first marathon and my story was going to help me fundraise for my entry. I thought to myself, “what if no one buys in or donates, I’d feel pretty embarrassed putting it all out there.” He looked at it, he smiled and he said to me, “You better make that goal a little higher”, encouraging me to increase it from $3k to $100K and he gave me my first donation. Just like that, a spark was lit and his faith in me led me to believe I could do something special. I went on to become the top fundraiser for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for the 2017 NYC Marathon. Since then, I’ve refused to consider setting a low bar in any area of my life.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped you when things were tough? Can you share a story about that?
Absolutely. There are many people who played a role in shaping my success and the first amongst them is my father who always believed in my strength when I doubted myself the most. He saw me figure this whole thing out and he let me fall when I needed to fall but he also made himself available at any moment when I needed guidance. I can write a whole book about my father but I’ll spare you on that for now. I do however want to share a quick story about a man who helped me get one of my first jobs after college. He’s the Comptroller of a distinguished club in New York and he simply made a phone call when he learned that I needed help. Before my first day, he called me to meet him in his office and I was ever grateful for his time and investment in me. He understood that the job I was taking was merely a stepping stone for my career and he gave me the soundest advice, he said to me, “I don’t care if your running client engagements or mopping the floor, whatever it is that you’re doing, just be the BEST at it and the rest will take care of itself.” I needed to hear it and I needed to hear it from him, I’m grateful every day for his guidance early on in my career
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I held on to my story for nearly 30 years. In 2017, I competed in Eagleman (IronMan 70.3) and it was during this race, the first of its’ kind that I competed in that I had a near break down 40 miles in. I questioned myself to my core, I had flashbacks to all of my life’s obstacles and I wondered what I was trying to prove. I channeled my mantra of “break barriers” and I forced myself to finish the next 30 miles. After crossing that finish line, I made the decision to finally share my story with the world. In doing so, I’ve raised over $90,000 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since and hopefully inspired others to share their journey as they never know who they might impact.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I am hoping to build up a buzz around Break Barriers and lay the groundwork for a future book tour. I am hoping that people will listen to my story and leverage the lessons I’ve learned to fuel their own personal success.
What advice would you give to other executives or founders to help their employees to thrive?
I’m a big believer in the saying “ you don’t hire smart people and tell them what to do, you hire smart people and let them tell you what to do.” That said, executives/co-founders must maintain confidence in their employees because an empowered employee is an employee that will take pride in their duties. Throughout my career, I’ve seen executives micro-manage and to date, I’ve never seen it pan out well for the executive or the employee.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂 I’d like to think I’m doing that now though Break Barriers. It’s my goal to connect with immigrants who are struggling to believe they can make it. It’s also my goal, to connect with the adolescent who feels alone or the athlete whose about to give up on their goals. My mission is to drive home the message that barriers come about never to define you but rather to dare you!
Can you please give us your favorite quote or life lesson? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I decided to go for a run with one of my best friends and my roommate at the time. He was a runner his entire life, I couldn’t run a mile without gasping for air. I would sprint then stop, sprint then stops and when it came to fundamentals around running, I hadn’t the slightest clue. He stopped me less than a mile into our run, he was careful not to offend me but he said, “I’m not sure what you’re doing but the cardinal rule when it comes to running is, “you can slow down as much as you’d like, but whatever you do, do NOT stop.”” It was interesting because at that moment, it was about running but as I came to learn, the cardinal rule transcends running and I apply it across all areas of my life.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Instagram — @Bishoy_Tadros
FaceBook/LinkedIn — Bishoy Tadros
Twitter — @TadrosB1