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Will Abi Rafeh: “Why will your idea work and how”

Throughout my life, I’ve always had creative skills and the ability to think outside of the box. My biggest weaknesses were recognizing how to accomplish the goal ahead and problem-solving obstacles. I have made a continuous effort to surround myself with other thought leaders in the industry who have helped me expand my thinking and […]

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Throughout my life, I’ve always had creative skills and the ability to think outside of the box. My biggest weaknesses were recognizing how to accomplish the goal ahead and problem-solving obstacles. I have made a continuous effort to surround myself with other thought leaders in the industry who have helped me expand my thinking and potential. This has been a key element to my success along with reading, researching and learning to obtain my full capabilities in business.


As part of our series about how to become known as a thought leader in your industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Will Abi Rafeh.

Will Abi Rafeh is a serial entrepreneur, men’s lifestyle curator, fitness expert, motivational speaker, producer, and actor, known for his role in the docu-series TV show Jerseylicious. His passion for fitness and health has led him to build multiple businesses in the health and wellness industry such as Code Blue, Pink Potion, and Makeup & Muscle Energy. Will’s passion for fitness inspired his most recent venture, Makeup & Muscle which was created to infuse health, beauty, and fitness to help others live a healthy lifestyle they can be proud of.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

As a men’s lifestyle curator, actor, producer, fitness expert and founder of Makeup & Muscles and Code Blue heath beverage, my goal is to lead others into their higher calling by helping them implement actionable plans that create results. My journey started from being on the show Jerseylicious and then turned towards serial entrepreneurship. In addition to entrepreneurship, I also speak to inspire and motivate others to live a better life.

Can you briefly share with our readers why you are an authority about the topic of thought leadership?

I am an authority on thought leadership because I have experienced the pitfalls and second comings of how to lead correctly. Leaders are on the frontlines with their team implementing action and helping them each step of the way. Leadership is defined as equality with a plan of action while implementing the next steps for the best outcome.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Since I am involved in so many different industries within my career, it provides me with unique experiences. One interesting story is that I was featured as a cast member on Style Network’s show, Jerseylicious specifically for my talent and ability to do hair in the salon industry. The opportunity has opened many doors like being featured in Modern Salon magazine and had the blessing of working and styling many celebrities in the industry.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I have always rushed new projects because of excitement. But rushing any project will always lead to mishaps. When I first started in the beverage industry I needed an investor. I believed my plan of action was so good that all I would have to do was walk in and pitch it. Naturally, I thought they would take the idea and invest. Unfortunately for me, they asked many questions that I didn’t have the answers to and it left me embarrassed. I’ve learned not to rush any project, but to always have a plan of action and answer every question you think people may or may not ask.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our interview. In a nutshell, how would you define what a ‘Thought Leader’ is. How is a thought leader different from a typical leader? How is a thought leader different from an influencer?

A thought leader is different from any other leader because they have the ability to solve unannounced problems or find solutions rather than blindly leading. A thought leader is creative, innovative and thinks of things other leaders may not have the capability to. It’s a special superpower few have. A thought leader is different from an influencer because thought leaders are able to lead and influence while resolving issues. Where an influencer may only have the ability to influence without leadership capabilities.

Can you talk to our readers a bit about the benefits of becoming a thought leader. Why do you think it is worthwhile to invest resources and energy into this?

The benefits of becoming a thought leader in the industry has its advantages. A thought leader is an individual who recognizes the potential of competitors as well as their own brand. They differentiate on how to resolve issues in order to be marketable and successful in their industry.

Let’s talk about business opportunities specifically. Can you share a few examples of how thought leadership can help a business grow or create lucrative opportunities?

Being a thought leader has given me opportunities and partnerships with other business leaders. It has provided avenues and lucrative opportunities to start new businesses ventures or to help failing ones. Being resourceful and creative is one of my strongest attributes. I recognize my potential and understand that it is always changing.

Ok. Now that we have that behind us, we’d love to hear your thoughts about how to eventually become a thought leader. Can you share 5 strategies that a person should implement to become known as a thought leader in their industry. Please tell us a story or example (ideally from your own experience) for each.

5 strategies a person should implement to become a thought leader is to:

1. Recognize what needs to be done to obtain the goal.

2. Create a vision of what you desire

3. Formulate a plan and how to execute

4. Why will your idea work and how

5. Who is your targeted consumer audience

Throughout my life, I’ve always had creative skills and the ability to think outside of the box. My biggest weaknesses were recognizing how to accomplish the goal ahead and problem-solving obstacles. I have made a continuous effort to surround myself with other thought leaders in the industry who have helped me expand my thinking and potential. This has been a key element to my success along with reading, researching and learning to obtain my full capabilities in business.

In your opinion, who is an example of someone who has done a fantastic job as a thought leader? Which specific things have impressed you about that person? What lessons can we learn from this person’s approach?

An example of someone who has done a fantastic job as a thought leader is a friend and business colleague of mine. When the coronavirus pandemic struck it left thousands of businesses and people destroyed. My friend stepped in to help keep people and businesses safe by creating a sanitation station for businesses to help combat COVID by keeping consumers healthy and safe. That is the perfect example of a thought leader who took action and created an opportunity.

I have seen some discussion that the term “thought leader” is trite, overused, and should be avoided. What is your feeling about this?

Is the title “Thought Leader” overused? In my opinion, I don’t believe that to be true. I believe “influencer” to be an overused term. Thought leader in my perspective is someone who has actually achieved success and taken action to execute on ideas.

What advice would you give to other leaders to thrive and avoid burnout?

To avoid burnouts is always something determined through and throughout the process. Burnouts or dead ends are things that come with the territory. We should avoid this by taking rest, stepping away from projects and decompressing. I find taking rest gives you the ability to come back stronger and more focused. For instance, working out everyday will not allow your muscles to grow instead it does more harm than good. Rest is always part of the plan.

You are a person of enormous 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. 🙂

A movement that I have begun already on my TikTok and would like to continue is bringing people together in love and God. Unite against evil and deception.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

My life lesson quote which my mother instilled in me before she passed away was to always do right by GOD’S WORD and surround yourself with righteous good people. Until this day that’s what I live by.

We are blessed that very prominent leaders in business and entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you would like to have lunch or breakfast with? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Two people I admire most are real estate moguls Grant Cardon and Kris Krohn because they are creating long term sustainability and plans for people in businesses. Their techniques are workable and admirable.

How can our readers follow you online?

Your readers can follow me online on my Instagram handle @will_abi_rafeh and my TikTok @makeupandmuscles

Thank you so much for your insights. This was very insightful and meaningful.

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