January 24, 2024


Muna's Journey: Insights on Business and Entrepreneurship

Hosted by

Jose Garcia
Muna's Journey: Insights on Business and Entrepreneurship
Economista Jose Garcia | Ultima Hora | Noticias | Directo | Economia, Rusia, China, EEUU, Ucrania, Europa, India | Conflicto, Guerra | Geopolítica | Podcast el Economista | Mejora y Emprende
Muna's Journey: Insights on Business and Entrepreneurship

Jan 24 2024 | 00:19:04


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Muna Mahmoud-Samba


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/munasamba/

IG: @notjstaprettyface




*Muna lives between Dubai and London*


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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Hey, everyone. Thank you for coming here today. It's Muna. Muna, for those who are unfamiliar with you, can you introduce yourself? [00:00:10] Speaker B: Yeah, definitely. So hi, everyone. My name is Muna. I'm the CEO of Magic Media House Limited. We're an executive search firm focusing on technology, finance and marketing roles all across the globe, based out of London and Dubai. Prior to that, I worked at a quant finance recruitment startup, so I worked with a lot of hedge funds and prop shops. And before that I did my law degree at the University of Cambridge. I also did an international relations and politics masters. I also had sort of a very nonlinear career in that. Before that, I worked as a media consultant with one of sort of a PR agency in Toronto. And I studied my first degree. So I have three degrees. My first degree was in sort of media communications. It was an honors degree in professional communication in Toronto. So I'm canadian, but I do live out of Dubai in Toronto. Right. [00:01:02] Speaker A: Oh, nice. Very nice. Can you share something more about your story? Because it's a very interesting and exciting story. Can you share something more, please? [00:01:12] Speaker B: Yeah. I think when I was younger, I was always that person who definitely had a little bit of adhd. So I had so many interests. I was always passionate about different things. And I think one of my life's purposes is to teach and inspire people to sort of follow their dream, no matter what it is. And I think that really applies to my story. So I currently love public speaking. I love presentation, I love pitching, but I didn't start that way. I used to have crippling shyness. I had such bad anxiety growing up and in school, and I remember I watched every sort of public speaking video there is to sort of learn how to be a good speaker and communicate well. I then did my first degree, which is a very creative, artistic degree in sort of the media communication space. I thought I was going to be either a lawyer or a journalist. And I ended up doing an internship at the United nations office for outer space affairs, which was in Austria. And that's when I fell in love with the world of politics and diplomacy. And I said to myself, okay, I think this might be a potential for my future, but I still want to try out new things, which is sort of a recurring trend in my life. And so I went back to Toronto and I worked in sort of a digital marketing agency and a PR firm, and I was a consultant and I got to work with amazing, incredible Fortune 500 clients. And it was all very good, but I still felt like, okay, I want to do more. I want to try more things. And that's when I sort of applied to Cambridge. I got in to study international relations and politics. I did my master's degree. Absolutely loved it. Studied an international law course, was really, really inspired by one of the professors there, and then ended up staying at Cambridge to study the senior status law degree, which is one of the hardest courses at the university. And it's a three year law degree that's done in two years. Finished that and decided I did not want to be a lawyer. Ended up joining a startup in the finance sort of recruitment space, ended up loving the entrepreneurial hustle, loving working with clients, loved helping people, loved finding hard to fill roles, but wanted to sort of create something different and my own business that really tackled a lot of the problems that I saw in the industry. And so I then went on to start my own company, which is very new, but we are starting to boom right now, and it's an executive search firm. What differentiates us on the market, I would say, is that we compete on both efficiency as well as quality as well as price. So instead of charging sort of a percentage fee, once you close a client or close a deal, we actually charge an hourly rate that's unbeatable. So if you're a client and you want an actual HR partner, we charge a really easy to find hourly rate. We're available on Upric as well. So you can go on upwork and find our agency and you can get a really high quality service for a fraction of the cost, but really fast. And so it helps us do a volume of different roles and service a number of different clients, especially in sort of the SaaS tech space. And it's been going really well so far, and I love building things, so who knows? I think I'm going to build a number of different things. I'm also on the advisory board of a tech startup, and it's called refer me, and I advise people to check it out because we're currently funding and raising money for that startup. And what is really cool about that startup is it really applies to my industry as well. So it's a way of digitizing b two b referrals. It's an online CRM system with a mobile application being developed. I'm really blessed and grateful that I get to be on the advisory board and work with the awesome CEO. His name is Greg Edmonds, and I really do advise anyone who is looking to sort of digitize their referrals. So 90% of small business clients come from face to face referrals to check it out because it's a great company. So, yeah, I have my hands on a lot of different things, and I'm really passionate about what I do, and I love what I do, and I can't wait to sort of help more clients and continue to sort of grow the business and eventually create a talent holding group where we invest in other people, centric people, first businesses. [00:05:23] Speaker A: And what's your secret? Because you are doing a lot of things, a lot of stuff. How can you manage everything? [00:05:31] Speaker B: Yeah, I would say the main thing that I do is I'm a big believer in meditation. So for the last, probably seven to ten years, I've been an avid practitioner of meditation. So I'm all about living life holistically, meaning you need to center yourself. You need to understand what your purpose is, why you do what you do, and to not take things too seriously. So I like to have fun. I don't take myself too seriously. I don't catastrophize things. I think you take problems as they go and you just solve it one step at a time. But I would really advise a lot of people, and I say this to all of my friends, is that meditation and having a very clear center when you sort of focus and think about things is absolutely key. I also exercise regularly. I think if you don't take care of your health, you don't have a business. Your health comes first. And for me, I place health above everything. So I'm a huge wellness junkie. I love all things about health and wellness. And so I think taking care of myself first has really allowed me to do a lot of things at the same time because I enjoy it. So I don't think anything is work. I think what a great blessing and how grateful am I to get to do this work. And I think that perspective makes things a whole lot easier. [00:06:53] Speaker A: What kind of meditation do you practice? [00:06:56] Speaker B: Yeah, so I do Dr. Joe Dispenza. I do his meditations. And they're sort of. Yeah, so Joe Dispenza, he wrote a book. He's written a number of very bestselling books. And he's written becoming supernatural, which I actually just read a couple of minutes ago. Yeah, so I do sort of energetic meditation. So all about sort of quantum shifting manifestation, all about raising your state of consciousness, your state of vibration. So those types of meditations. So I really have a clear vision in my mind of what it is I want to build, what it is I want to do, who it is I want to become. And I focus on really raising my energy every single day to match that state and that frequency of what it is I want to attract in the world. And so I do put in the work, but I also make sure that I am that person who is deserving of what it is I'm going to receive by becoming the person I want to be. So every day I'm focusing on becoming my ideal self. [00:07:58] Speaker A: Nice. Can you share your feature project? [00:08:02] Speaker B: Yeah. The ones that I can talk about. So obviously, as I mentioned, I'm on the advisory board of a company called Referme and the product has been launched and now we're raising money for it and then hopefully building a mobile application for that. So that's a really cool project. Another thing is, I am launching my own podcast later on in the year. So very excited about that. It's going to be called not just a pretty face, and that's also my Instagram handle, so very cool. I'm going to have discussions with incredible people and we're going to talk everything from business to wellness to health. And it's just going to be roundtable discussions that are exciting. In terms of my other projects, of course, I'm focused on my business at the moment, so really growing it, building out our sort of business in the Middle east region, trying to expand out into Saudi Arabia as well, and really establishing as the go to sort of executive search firm in the Middle east is one of my goals that I hope to establish by the end of this year. And then I'm also looking to potentially invest in some wellness products at the end of this year. So that's a couple of the projects that are on my radar right now. [00:09:15] Speaker A: Nice. Why do you decide to invest in the Middle east? [00:09:20] Speaker B: Yeah, because a, it is booming. It's one of the sort of best places in the world for new businesses. It's a booming economy. It's obviously growing. It's developing exponentially. It's such a hub for attracting people from all across the world. I think it's at the intersection of so many different cultures and people and languages. I myself am canadian, but I actually grew up in Dubai, so I have a very familiar understanding of the region, the industry. So it's almost like I'm leveraging the existing relationships that I have, which is absolutely essential for business. Saudi Arabia is growing exponentially as well, so there's a lot of potential in this market and I think now is the time to sort of leverage that potential because it's growing and it's only going to get better and so I wanted to get in here. I wanted. I wanted to reach out to sort of the culture and the community. And I love this place. It's like home for me. Dubai is home. So what better way than to sort of bring business back home and expand into this region and work with the people I really care about? [00:10:27] Speaker A: Do you have any advice for the newbies in the Middle east? [00:10:32] Speaker B: Yeah, I would definitely say focus on building relationships. So I think when, as someone who's worked with a lot of people in North America, and it's sort of transactional in that things happen quite quickly and you get to the table, you talk business, you either close a deal or you don't close a deal. You discuss it, and that's it. I think the Middle east, what's really beautiful about the culture here is that it's very relationship oriented. So you need to have dinners and lunches and coffees, and you're not just talking business, you're talking about who you are as a person and what makes you different. So it's not just about your company. It's whether that person can trust that you're going to be someone they want to work with long term. And so the best piece of advice that I can give anyone who is moving to the Middle east wants to establish a business here is to go out there and really build solid long term relationships with potential business partners, and don't be afraid to take the time to do that. So I think a lot of the times when you start a new business, there is this feeling of like, oh, I want to rush out into the market. I just want to get started. I want to quickly sign my first client. But trust me, take your time to actually build long term relationships and find the right clients for you and then start to work on that relationship. It's a two way thing, so you can't just expect someone to give you business if you're not willing to sit with them, to discuss things with them, to be their sounding board, you have to understand that you need to build trust, and that's absolutely key. [00:12:04] Speaker A: Oh, very interesting. I take note about everything. Thank you so much. And do you have any other piece of advice, maybe for a personal brand? [00:12:16] Speaker B: Yes. So personal brand is a game changer. I would say if you're not focusing on your LinkedIn personal brand in 2024, then it's something you need to get onto immediately. It's one of the best places to build your personal brand, especially in a professional capacity. So with building a personal brand, I do believe it's the new state of the world. You can't have a successful career just in a silo. You should also be shouting out about it. You should also be promoting yourself online. It's just the way things are. You will get so many more opportunities if you do so and so. I would say make it a consistent part of your routine. Put it in your diary to work on your personal brand. I think a lot of people take it for granted. There's also this notion that you have to have built incredible things. You have to have sold a business for like 20 x, or you should be on your fourth business before you can start shouting out about what you're doing. But I would really go against that, and I will say that anyone can build their personal brand. It doesn't matter if you're just at the beginning of your journey, you've started your first job, you just got fired. It doesn't matter. Whoever you are, you have something incredible and special to share, and people need to hear that. So do yourself a favor and share what you have to give to the audience. And don't do yourself a disservice and shy away from sharing your accomplishments. So, number one is get on LinkedIn. Number two is schedule some time in your diary to post every single day, if you can. And if not, once, twice a week. Whatever it is, think about your audience first. A lot of people use LinkedIn to self promote. Sorry to say it, but no one cares about your new promotion or your new job. People really care about the value that you have to offer them. So think about it. What is my skill set? What advice can I give? What is my expertise? What do I currently do as a job, and how do I share that information online so that people can capture that information in a very easy, tangible way and actually apply it to their real life. And that's how you start growing. That's how I started growing. I stopped self promoting, and I started posting real, tangible advice that people could actually use every single day in their careers. And that really helped me grow my personal brand on LinkedIn. [00:14:34] Speaker A: And why did you choose? [00:14:38] Speaker B: I mean, so when I was at Cambridge, I actually was a panelist on a human rights podcast. And then I went on the next year to actually host that podcast. So I have a little bit of experience with the podcasting arena. I think a, I love listening to podcasts. So I have so many podcasts on my sort of rotation that I listen to when I'm in the gym. I think it's a really great way to sort of get information from awesome guests. I think you can learn so much from just listening and speaking to people, and that's actually what I love to do. So it just seemed like a natural extension of my brand and just getting to have incredible conversations with awesome people, and now I get to share that with the community. [00:15:19] Speaker A: What's your favorite? [00:15:22] Speaker B: Oh, that's a tough one. I have so many. I do really love the school of greatness. I love move with heart. I love on purpose with Jay Shetty. I love Grace Beverly's podcast. Working hard or hardly working? So many. So, like, I have a lot of really good podcasts. I love my first million. I love how they break down businesses. Yeah, there's so many podcasts. And I would say, oh, I love weekly energy podcasts as well. So I have a couple of different podcasts, some that I listen to for sort of more spiritual when I'm in that season of listening to more spiritual podcasts, and some that I'm looking for actual very tangible business advice. So I think it's important to have a really good podcast rotation. And when you're taking a walk or in the gym, especially when you're doing like, cardio, and it can get a little bit boring, it's great to put on a podcast and just listen. [00:16:16] Speaker A: And the last question, how do you see the future of entrepreneurship? [00:16:21] Speaker B: Yeah, I see a lot more people stepping into the entrepreneurship game. And I think because we've developed sort of this new world of you can have a portfolio career, so you don't need a sort of linear career anymore. You don't just graduate from university, get a job and stay there for 30, 40 years. Now we have online platforms, we have things like upwork fiver. You have LinkedIn, where you can easily just get freelance clients and work as a freelancer. And if you want, you can also hire staff all across the world remotely for a fraction of the cost, so you can leverage that. I see a lot more people taking the risk of betting on themselves. I think a lot of people are realizing that there are no guarantees in the job market. So obviously we had mass layoffs all across the last couple of years. Right? And the economy took a little bit of a downturn. And I think because of that, people have started to say, actually having a job, having a stable job is actually not a guarantee of anything. Why don't I just better myself and take on clients and opportunities, especially if I'm good at what I do. I can find clients and I can work for them on a freelance basis and potentially make a lot more money than I was working at a stable job. So I think more people are realizing that the number one thing in your control is yourself. So instead of relying on working for someone else, people are saying, why don't I take my future into my own hands and start a business, or start a side hustle that eventually becomes a business? So I see it booming, and especially in the solopreneur space. So a lot of people are not necessarily becoming entrepreneurs where they're hiring multiple people or opening new offices, but they're saying, hey, I'm a business and I'm a brand. And they're building their personal brands on platforms such as LinkedIn. And then they're saying, I can get hundreds of clients through platforms because I have hundreds of thousands of followers and I have an amazing price. And I'm able to work as a freelancer and I want to work 100% remotely from anywhere in the world. We're seeing a boom of different types of visas, people living in Bali, people living in Dubai, because you can be a freelancer there. And I think everyone wants to take their own future in their own hands. And I think because of that, a lot of employers need to step up their game and make sure they're offering the correct perks, make sure they're actually building incredible people centric cultures, making sure they're not forcing people to go to the office five days a week. Obviously, this differs according to industry, but I do think a lot more people becoming solopreneurs, freelancers, and just eventually starting their own business in the future. [00:18:53] Speaker A: Thank you very much, Muna, and all the luck of the world. [00:18:57] Speaker B: Thanks so much, Jose. It was lovely speaking to you. [00:19:00] Speaker A: See you soon. Bye. [00:19:02] Speaker B: See you soon. Bye.

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