1. Abdullah, thank you for joining us today for this brief interview. For the sake of our readers, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Thank you for having me. Well to start, I was born in the Middle East to a Palestinian family in the city of Fujairah, located on the East Coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). I was born abroad as a refugee due to an ongoing conflict raging in my homeland which certainly complicated things in my childhood. Having a refugee status was very difficult for my family. Ultimately, my parents made the decision to relocate our family to the San Francisco Bay Area. They believed that the United States would provide my siblings and I the greatest chance for success, and they were right. Once we became settled in the United States, I became heavily invested in social media and the digital world as a young teenager. Through Myspace, the most popular social media platform at the time, I began my first business in the automotive industry by the name of Rich Boys’ Toys. Over the years, I developed this business into an international success, and by the age of 16 I was generating seven figures annually.
2. As an entrepreneur, what keeps you going amidst difficult times?
Three things I have learned to do when I find myself navigating a challenging time is to always remain persistent, identify and adapt to new trends, and even attempt to innovate completely new trends. It’s extremely important for entrepreneurs who are just beginning on their journey to understand that staying updated with trends is a key factor to continuity, especially during tough times. Searching for and identifying new trends can be challenging, but it is essential for entrepreneurs who are just starting out to observe, study, and analyze market indicators to predict current starting trends, or future growing trends. When it comes to creating new trends, that’s a whole different ball game. Authenticity, originality, and an organic following are essential factors needed to create viral, impactful trends. Another key component to navigating challenging times is having a motivated and skilled team. In fact, creating a team is the most important element in any enterprise. A team that works together in a healthy environment and puts forth 100% effort every single day will work together to overcome difficult situations. Having innovative communication methods leads to a very efficient, symbiotic work environment. Without effective communication, a team will likely crumble under pressure. For this reason, I often look for personal qualities that stand out when hiring team members, not just technical expertise and experience.
3. What is the biggest challenge you face in your profession, and how do you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I face in my profession has always been the process of gaining trust with potential clients. It’s very difficult to convince someone to wire transfer or pay a large amount of money, let alone amounts in the hundreds of thousands. The same challenge applies when starting any business. Winning the customer’s trust and making them confident that the firm will deliver the products or services promised is an absolute must. All new startups work extremely hard for their “break” when they finally receive their first few orders. This is a big deal because it shows proof of concept as well as proof of delivery. Once those things are established, assuming things are played and executed properly, the company can then turn around and capitalize on that accomplishment, build on it, and generate new leads.
4. What is one piece of advice you would give aspiring entrepreneurs across the globe?
The first piece of advice I would give to any aspiring entrepreneur is to always be persistent and never be afraid to fail. When starting a business, it’s very important to keep in mind that there is a significant chance failure will occur. As discouraging as that may sound, it’s the reality of entrepreneurship and it’s important to have that mindset. Entrepreneurs will not learn what the customers truly want, unless they fail. It’s inevitable to encounter bumps along the road, but it’s important to grow from each challenge. Obstacles often arise, and as entrepreneurs we sometimes have to respond with closures and downsizing. In my opinion, one doesn’t learn without failing first, so never be afraid to fail.
5. Abdullah, thank you for joining us today. Where can readers follow your journey online?
Thank you for having me. Readers can follow me on my Instagram.