Listen to the Episode!

I have read and agreed to your Privacy Policy

Powered by the Simple Podcast Press Player

In this episode, I get to speak with Hussain Al-Mutawakil. He is passionate about people, technology, and the relationships between them. He’s a project manager at And I met him at a thing about a year ago at a link In local here in Northern Virginia, we hit it off. And we’ve been connected since then he is into all things digital marketing, he’s building brand storytelling. So we had a lot of things that are going for us, you know, being in the same type of stuff that we’re creating. So it’s like, Hey, dude, it’s been a while since we talk, let’s bring you on the podcast, you know, interviewed over 100 people. And it’s been really exciting because building these connections, building these relationships is what human beings are being all about.

Our Guest

Hussain Al-Mutawakil

Hacks to take away

  • Digital Marketing
  • What human beings being all about.
  • Building connections and building relationships
  • A culture that makes us into a person.
  • Build something from scratch, build a brand from scratch.
  • Project management
  • Leadership affects the entire company and the culture of the company.
Read Full Transcript

Junaid Ahmed 0:12
Thank you for tuning in to hacks and hobbies with your host Junaid were visited by our amazing guests coming from all walks of life to learn their story, their struggles and their journey on how they got to where they are today. So stick around

in this episode I could just be quick Hussain al mutawakal. He is passionate about people, technology and the relationships between them. He's a project manager at And I met him at a thing about a year ago at a link In local here in Northern Virginia, we hit it off. And we've been connected since then he is into all things digital marketing, he's building brand storytelling. So we had a lot of things that are going for us, you know, being in the same type of stuff that we're creating. So it's like, Hey, dude, it's been a while since we talk, let's bring you on the podcast, you know, interviewed over 100 people. And it's been really exciting because building these connections, building these relationships is what make what's human. It's what human beings being all about. So, thank you. Hossain for coming on to the podcast.

Hussain 1:40
Thank you for having me.

Thank you. It's a It's a pleasure. And when I first saw you were at LinkedIn local last year and rushed in and saw you with you get a phone gimbal

Junaid Ahmed 1:54

Hussain 1:55
and saying, Wow, this guy's seems pretty interesting. You asked the question about you, you asked a question. And then you had to introduce yourself and you were, basically Introduce yourself as a UX expert. And that was kind of something that you're interested in. So I've always loved UX, just the idea of it. And I've always wanted to pick your brain on it. But I guess today we're gonna talk about a lot of random things, hacks and hobbies. The possibilities are endless.

Junaid Ahmed 2:26
Absolutely, man. The possibilities are amazingly endless. I just had a conversation earlier with Dr. AJ. And we talked about so many cool things. I'm just still, like, coming off of that high. It's just amazing. The level of depth and he's out in Malaysia. So it's like 11 it was 11pm for him. And we talked about some really cool stuff and, you know, we went into you know, as human beings we all come from our own journey and we all make more make our own stories and live by our own standards. And you know, it's it's been, it's really exciting, and what we make out of it, at the end of it because we all almost get a similar start when we come into into the world, but then our influences our parents and these places that we live in the experiences we have from culture makes us into a person that is, you know, is hearing today. And what we do with that is just, it's just so amazing. So, what I really like to ask, you know, how did you get to this point, being a project manager at this company, right. So what inspired you to get to this point and what kind of hurdles you had to go through, you know, to get to this point.

Hussain 3:59
Thank you for that question, I love this question because I'm a pretty nostalgic person. So, from the start, you know, I am a local kid. I went to George Mason, I studied communications I graduated, I was looking for internships, you know, basic thing. One of my buddies told me that there was an internship in Tyson's, and I live pretty nearby. So I said, let's do it. I got in and I came into an interesting situation. It was an insurance company and every type. Most insurance employees in all departments, regardless of what they're doing creatives or non creatives are always telling you the same thing. I never planned on being in this industry, one of the few professions that lacks an actual degree so the barrier of entry is actually super low. For me, when I came in, I definitely came in from a communication standpoint, I wanted to build that experience and came into a really interesting company. You know, you think of an insurance agent, and I've been in an insurance agents office before but you have a certain stereotype You know, when so Are you about to meet a doctor? You have a kind of an idea of what you're about to see. I had an idea, but I was soon as that you know that that sound an elevator? Yeah, thing as soon as that happened, everything changed. It's like my life changed at that moment I walked into the office. No, you got glass doors, sliding doors, TVs on the wall, and you're thinking, why am What is this? So what's going on right now? I had a mini existential crisis at that moment. And I felt you know, you immediately felt inferior You know, this kid with only three months worth of internship experience walking into this, what seemed like fortune 500 company. Everybody wearing suits, and it seemed, it seemed really it was intimidating. But that moment that that ice was broken so quickly, because the guy that was gonna interview me basically told me, they can't Can you help me move this? This desk into our office? I'm saying wait a minute. Let's go on I thought you guys had everything figured out. You had the glass sliding door, man. Yeah. And basically, I did help my hiring manager kind of carry the desk into the marketing office. And that's where he told me that this was a brand new department. And then before him, there wasn't much in terms of marketing. The company's about 50 years old now was about 45 years old at the time. Yeah. But they, you know, they kind of got around with referrals and shakes and it worked really well for them. So what really made me fall in love with with this company is just the opportunity to build something from scratch, build a brand from scratch. So I worked with that creative director, and a graphic designer. We were the marketing team, I was content she was designed. He was everything and we built this brand man. We redid everything from the slogan to the to the logo itself to the style guide to the website to all of our collateral. And then after that, it's just been growth year after year. I'm growing with a company. And that that time that day we were 20 employees. Today we're about 50 Plus, yeah, so and in the difference for our business majors out there, I mean, the business between a 20 person company and a 50 person company is massive. Everything changes at that point from onboarding new employees to training employees to using data to marketing to everything. And so

kind of going through that,

that that shift from small mom and pop to global mid market broker was exciting. But building that brand is really what, what kept me around and then there's been a lot of challenges. But what really got me to the point of pride, like focusing on project management is those challenges because you're always going to have a challenge. You're always going to be tested. No plan is going to go according to plan, but it's about how your strategy and how The initial plan was set up the foundation of your planning. That's your your safety net. That's kind of what helps you maneuver a, a project heading towards failure to success. And it's really just about mindset. And it's about managing resources. And once I started to kind of get the idea of, you know, what is management? What is project management? Yeah, you really realize that you can, as long as you have the skills and the mindset, you can apply it anywhere. And so, being a marketing project manager has really been a blessing, man. It's been kind of the combination of all things that I love. And

Unknown Speaker 8:38
yeah, I'm so excited for 2020 you have no idea.

Unknown Speaker 8:42
Nice, nice. That is awesome, dude.

Junaid Ahmed 8:47
Well, so So you started as an intern here, and then you moved up the ranks and became the marketing manager eligible managing the entire company and then how to do a nice ad. You know, there's a big difference between 20% employee and 50% Absolutely. You're twice the size now, right? Yeah, your your, you know, you have to carry them anymore more people you have that many more email addresses now many more birthdays to celebrate. So it's, it's crazy. And it's pretty amazing because because as you grow into this smaller, you know this company as this grows together, they come together and I've had that experience in my life where, you know, I joined this company and there were about 100 people employee company here. And within the two years, they went from 100 people to about 450 people. And it was massive growth there and it was just amazing the the way things worked, and they were primarily a technology company. So they were focusing on technology. They're focusing on helping small businesses and local businesses. So it was really, really exciting to see That change come in and, and then you also see how leadership affects the entire company and the culture of the company. Because Sure, they say a leader, you know, a culture of a company has to be cultivated. And the only way that happens if you have the correct the correct leaders in place, because unless you have that you're going to have a culture that doesn't grow that, you know, you have a lot of churn, you're bringing people and then people just leaving because, you know, they don't feel like they're home and it looks like you know, what you guys did there, has really, you know, brought in he was more all about culture,

Hussain 10:48
right? Regardless of the type of business, it's all about culture. I mean, I'm going to go back to the Redskins. The issue with our football team is not talent. It's not location. It's not money. It's the culture. It's the freakin culture and it shows in every part of your business. Yeah. altura is so important because culture dictates how people feel when they roll out of bed in the morning, when they first take that first seat on their desk, are they in a waste time? Are they are they impassioned and empowered to move their organization forward?

Junaid Ahmed 11:25

wow, me culture is,

is is a really critical thing. And you're right, it's out from the top down. Absolutely. So what's funny, you know, we're talking about culture and companies. And Gary Vaynerchuk. We, we all love and follow. He recently put out this though, nine pager PDF on LinkedIn. And it says if you think of business like a computer culture is the operating system. Go, right? It's the operating system. at your computer, your company runs on hundred percent, right? And then he said, if you look at some other things like everything else is just an application financial. Yeah, Digi creative. They're just application really interesting way to put it right. He's Like what? Like finances an app, you know, same for creative, that's also an application and strategy and but culture is the operating system. So he says, you know, tag a person who lights up your office, of course, and then you know, so that's a little PDF that he had, he was sharing and it just raises that question, you know, you've got to have that have that culture in place. And if it's not in place, then you get the entire company involved in creating the culture that everybody wants to be part of. And that's something that we are As the company decided to do this year,

Hussain 13:04
when you think sorry for the people that know us, they immediately say culture is interesting. They immediately say culture. They say, you know, tech, they say family own, you know, everybody's got their back. But we never defined the culture as an organization. We never defined it. It kind of just happened. Yeah, by nature, if you're a good family, and you own a business, those morals will trickle down. But until you define your culture as an organization, you get together and say, This is who we want to be. Yeah, that's when you know, the law of attraction kind of takes care of itself. I think you really you have to speak things into existence, especially today, because we're all silently mimicking something that we saw or someone that we want to be.

Junaid Ahmed 13:51
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And that's really beautiful. Thanks, man. Yeah, man, dude. Absolutely. You know, it's it's these small stories and everybody's like, Oh, I want to be like Gary Vee. Oh, I want to be like Tony Robbins, like, Sure you can be. But are you really serving the audience? I mean, what what are you really bringing as a value? value? Audience, all you really need is 1000 superfans, like literally, that can get you going for the rest of your life. If you just have 1000 employees. I mean, sorry. If you just have 1000 customers, that is all you will ever need to keep going on to eternity

Hussain 14:35
engaged customers.

Junaid Ahmed 14:36
Yes, engaged customers super fans because and it's not that the customers are gonna engage with you all the time. You have to initiate and initiate those engagements. I'm part of this champions Facebook group, and every single day, the the admin of this group, he's asking questions, so Now, people jump in and start answering these questions. So you've got to have, and he's like, you know, post down here, whoever, whoever else has a Facebook group post on here and what it's about. And I'm like, you know what, I have a couple of groups that I have a few people on, but I'm working on the content, and he's like, no content is easy. give them what they want, give it out there. And I keep going into that thinking mode, like, Okay, what do I gotta do? What I gotta do what I can do. So it's taken me some time to figure out okay, what, where can I help people? How can I help people? And, and this is a recent revelation for myself that I did mention earlier is to some of my other guests is that, you know, somebody asked me, you know, who's your audience? And I've seen that question asked a million times, right. And I just never did the homework to figure out who my audience is do the research. And then eventually based on what What I've been doing, and what I've been discovering, I was like, You know what, I am my own audience, I want to create a course I want to create a solution, I want to create value for myself in a way that can help me get to that next level. Right? And so I'm learning from, you know, all these big guys, Pat Flynn, Gary Vee, Greg roulette. And all these people are providing, you know, they're building content there. They've got amazing strategies. And so that's what I've been focusing on myself. And I was like, you know, I'm fine creating content. It's because I want to get to that next level. And I'm going to share all of these valuable stuff that I've learned to anybody who's interested in learning. Because we learn from each other and if like, for example, you you've gone through a journey of figuring things out as you're building out your marketing department as you're building out. Culture, right? So you've gone through many things and you've gone and reading articles and stuff like that. And then you eventually implement all of these things that you learn. That learning moment is what people want to hear about.

Hussain 17:13
Yeah, I mean, application is so hard, because you know, we're learning from these from these influencers. And then we just want to apply everything that sounds good. I remember the last HubSpot conference that I went to, I came out

Unknown Speaker 17:27
with this notebook.

Hussain 17:28
This notebook right here

Unknown Speaker 17:33
I thought I had it all figured out.

Hussain 17:36
I mean, I went to our CEO and I said, we need this, this, this and this. Not all the work. But half of it did. Like for example, I said, We need a data specialist and we need a customer success. Yeah. And we got both did especially as they now work out Customer Success is going to be a homerun. And so I think sometimes it's all about Courage to to kind of apply what you learn the courage there's this intellect that, okay, this is applicable in my field. For my audience, this is a value for my audience. And it's I'm really having the courage to pitch it because by the time you get home,

you're starting to doubt yourself starting to say, Hmm, imposter syndrome, what's going on?

Sometimes it's those gut feelings that just come on check that are really those are the big moments and moments in your life. And I feel like people should just be a little bit more confident in themselves, and then courageous application.

Unknown Speaker 18:45
I mean, that's what these guys did.

Hussain 18:47
Yeah. I mean, Gary Vee, what was he doing? You built a Cypress dad's liquor store in the beginning. It's all it was email. He was sending random emails. I mean, he did it over and over and over again. Science. He's won't work found will work me double down. He didn't care about the risks involved. He just went all in and I mean, Jackie Chan was the same and he was doing his thing for 40 years and oh my god, one break. Yeah. And he finally blew up. I like mid 40s.

Unknown Speaker 19:18
That's right. So I mean, really,

Junaid Ahmed 19:23
it's all about mindset of sell, buy, keep doing it, you know, when you mentioned this in parts imposter syndrome. And, and, you know, we talked about that terminology so much, and I listened to this podcast by Jonathan Stark, and Rachel Moulton, and Rochelle Moulton. And it's called the business of authority. Right, so they've got like over 100 episodes now on their hundredth episode, they invited Seth Godin to talk to But anyways, um, their latest episode or the one before this, the latest one was about imposter syndrome. And he's like, anytime you have imposter syndrome, you should think that you are in the right path because that is a check for you that you're going to do something uncomfortable, but that's going to work out for you. Yeah, this like, it's really like he, they're like, you know, we've had like they had imposter syndrome when he they were trying to do like, for example, Seth Godin has the marketing, the marketing program. His marketing program is friggin amazing. So, so, Jonathan Stark has taken this course and he's like, I'm going to do the same thing and I'm going to calling the pricing seminar. So the marketing seminar so he created so he's like, I'm gonna copy it off of, you know, what I learned here, and I create my own valuable, but then he's like, reiben, he was going to launch it, he was getting imposter syndrome. So he's like, it's very rare to get those masters syndrome because once you've gone over that hump, you'll be like, oh, wow, this is something I've never done before. For example, I am stuck in this spot. imposter syndrome right now where I'm afraid to send out an email to my audience. I'm afraid to send an email to my list. And these are guests that I've talked to on the episodes right and send an email out to them like, Hey, I have a new episode dropping today. Go check it out. Like I'm afraid because I'm like, I don't know what they're gonna say. And then I keep like doubting myself and I'm like, No, I have to like, just do it. If people don't like it, they can unsubscribe. That's why there's a unscoped right? But I just I've just been so scared to do it myself. Like, no, I just wait another week or so. Right? So it's it's that like hearing from other people like what they feel imposter syndrome is and how to get over it is super helpful.

Hussain 22:01
Yeah, when I discovered that it was a thing that really helped me, yeah, in my mindset to realize this is something that everybody goes through. And sometimes the more you plan, the more you get it. Because you start to think of all of the stages and all of the possibilities. But I mean, it's very, very hard when you're in creative, so you're probably thinking of a million things. You're not just thinking of the header of the episode or of the post. Thinking of the layout, the design, what was said, the time you're sending it, there's so many variables that us as creatives have to deal with. Yeah, that I think sometimes you just got to trust the science, you know, okay. Hey, when is the best time? Okay. Does the design pass my test and someone else's like, Am I really delivering value in the content and you have a checklist? Like an anti imposter syndrome checklists, you know, it kind of checks. If all boxes are checked, you are officially in the syndrome. And that is your cue to send the message and not worry about anything else. But if you know, you didn't check the design, if you didn't proofread the posts, yeah, check those boxes, then you know that, you know, you probably not ready to send it, but I know what you mean, man, I knew that.

Junaid Ahmed 23:27
We have to get over it. Exactly. So we do and so there was another guest that spoke with Jordan gross, and he's launched something called the cloud nine movement. And I get these emails, Tuesdays and Thursdays. So I was like, you know, I'm gonna reply to him and like, dude, how do you get yourself to do this? It's like, well, you just go to MailChimp and you create a new email.

Unknown Speaker 23:52
Some people don't think I know,

Unknown Speaker 23:55
by night envy that.

Junaid Ahmed 23:56
Yeah, we do. Yeah. And he He's a coach himself. So I'm sure he's had to go over that imposter. Self, right? So it's just amazing. And I just looked up, you know, when you talk about, you know, the anti imposter syndrome checklist. I was like, let's see if somebody got Oh, wow, john, right. Like, here's the things that you need to check off. There's a checklist. No, there isn't. Okay. So that's something that you know, that we can create.

Hussain 24:28
Hey, God, we're thinking about it. Now. Do I fix my app?

Junaid Ahmed 24:32
There's an app, there's a website called imposter syndrome calm. Oh, wow. Right. So

Hussain 24:39
I bet you the guy who created the woman who created it, they were they had imposter syndrome. Yeah, we decided to create a resource for other people to help.

Junaid Ahmed 24:47
Yeah, and and just watching like watching Gary Vee and watching these people do the things like I'm following him on Facebook. Every once in a while. I'll go and watch his videos. One of the videos He's like, you know, people always ask me, what should we do? And he's like, do what I'm doing. Don't listen to what I'm saying. It's like anytime I put out content, like he just came out with a content called How to create 64 pieces of content from you know, in a day, and why you should be posting, you just mean number of content. And it's like, that is a result of me testing stuff out for 90 to 100 days before I put out this information. Oh, wow. So he's like, I stopped putting hashtags in Instagram. Like you don't need hashtags anymore because content like the system is self aware of what these words are like hashtag was Twitter. Wait Twitter's way of connecting links together because they didn't have the smarts like the systems weren't smart enough to fetch the words out. Didn't have Google. So whatever you Have

Hussain 26:00
no words. But if you're posting like a picture without a caption,

Junaid Ahmed 26:04
then that's a picture without a caption, you're you're only gonna get it in front of people who are following you, I'm guessing. Right? Because the entire idea of putting content behind the picture in Instagram specifically, yeah, and the and the content. So the the the copy that's you're attaching is so it gets in front of a lot more people when they're searching words.

Hussain 26:31
Yeah. Because if you're posting just pictures, you're probably not really doing any digital marketing person. You're not doing digital marketing

Junaid Ahmed 26:38
pictures. Yeah, you just posting picture that Instagram was intended. I mean, that type of Instagram was intended 10 years ago, right. It's changed massively. So it's, there's there's so many things that we could be doing that we don't do and that's that's the thing, like any Data is good data, bad data is good data because now you know what's not working is good data because you like, the one thing that I hear is the people like, Oh, I wanna I want to write a book, and I want to send 100 million copies bla bla bla. But if you don't have a draft of that book, well, you're never going to get it done. So you got to get stuff done, to get to that next level and, you know, seeing your trajectory over at the company. So already, you know, you you went from being an intern to being a marketing manager, right? So you kept doing the stuff. You kept getting results, you kept doing the right stuff you kept, you know, even if you did the wrong stuff while you've learned something, you've learned a new Explorer, right? So there's, there's no wrong I mean, I guess the worst mistake people can make is not by not doing anything. That is not learning from your mistakes. You're not learning. Exactly.

Hussain 28:00
There was this event that I was a part of, basically this bigger association of companies that say they were companies, and every company was a prospect of ours. So we were a sponsor, we had a table. And then we realized that the registration lines are too long. So we said, What if we propose to the Board of this association, and next year we sponsor but instead of doing a table, we actually take care of the registration on their behalf. move you from paper registration for a 500 person event, digital registration, and improve the experience for your attendees.

Junaid Ahmed 28:41
And yeah, and they loved it.

Hussain 28:44
Yeah, the next year, we did exactly that. We, we contracted Steven, we use their software for the very first time. And then on the night of the event one year later,

the software just crashed

and you had names and table assignments and everything in it just crash.

Yeah, this is after a

40 hour shift of planning with the board, you know. And so we survived. But the following year, we said, we're going to do the same exact thing. But we're not touching the software. We're not touching the hardware. We're bringing people in from the outside. We're contracting an agency to use the software. Because, you know, we didn't have a plan D. We've never been in that situation before. We've never used that software before. So if anything were to go wrong, we kind of have to take it at face first. And so the next year we did the same thing, we just changed the very small part of the plan. delegated, you know, we identified our weak spot and it's not, it doesn't hurt to be to lack experience and unknown at all or another. And it hurts to feel like you can do everything on your own. That's exactly what we tried to do. Because we didn't know better. Yeah, we still made it work. But the next year, we probably saved over 100 hours, at least 80 hours of labor. Yeah. Internal labor. I mean, you multiply that by hourly rates, plus the tax markup plus

Unknown Speaker 30:18
benefits markup, and we're talking about a lot of money. Yeah.

Hussain 30:24
Absolutely. Right. learning through mistakes is huge. Yeah. And it's not it's not a bad thing to make a mistake. Everybody does.

Junaid Ahmed 30:30
Yeah, everybody makes have to make mistakes to get to that next level. And, and I've made a ton of mistakes. And I've learned from those mistakes, and I'm like, you know what, next time around, I'm gonna hire somebody else to do this. You go next and

Hussain 30:46
around surance policy for mistakes. Right, exactly. There's an insurance policy for employee mistakes. And then there's an insurance policy for like executive mistakes. Yeah, there's separate policies and it shows you that Companies planned for mistakes to happen. And so everybody must make some mistakes. Can't you know give up because you've made one. I mean, we have too many perfectionist in the society out there.

Junaid Ahmed 31:12
Phantasm Well, that was really cool conversation. I do have a few questions that I asked my guests. Sure. So let's jump into that. Yeah, you know one part huh? Yes, fun part. Well, the whole thing is a fun right. It's it's really important to learn from your mistakes. I'm just wanted to do a little recap. learn from our mistakes. You know,

believe in yourself, believe in yourself

Hussain 31:40
yourself. Learn from your mistakes.


and and when you have a gut feeling, you trust that gut feeling usually go for it. Don't hesitate. Don't wait to get home. To think about it more. I mean, imposter syndrome is real and in fact People in all parts of the organization. And, I mean, believe in yourself, man. I mean, if more people believed in themselves, especially creating the creative space, especially in this area in Northern Virginia, where there is a shortage of creative talent.

I mean, we just have a lot more podcast episodes to share.

Junaid Ahmed 32:22
Absolutely, absolutely. All right. So what is one hobby that you wish you got into freediving? free diving,

Hussain 32:31
most people don't know freediving is free diving is basically scuba diving without the gear.

Junaid Ahmed 32:35
Okay. Nice. Yeah.

Hussain 32:38
And that basically came up because people were struggling. I mean, really, the really hardcore enthusiasts who are struggling with diving with massive creatures or even small features, and we're talking about whales, we're talking about dolphins screen white sharks. Because the scuba tanks First of all, make you a mobile Second of all the loud third of all the Create bubbles which are foreign to these animals so, and sometimes the slightest mistake can cost you the difference between being 100 yards apart, or being face to face. Wow so free diving allows you to kind of approach animals in the what seems to be a natural state which lets you get up close and personal and also get excellent footage with GoPros so how do you how do you breathe when you do free diving? Practice Junaid you gotta practice. You seriously have to

Junaid Ahmed 33:32
also you so you actually holding your breath going down? I think they'll three minutes and then come back up.

Hussain 33:38
actly Exactly.

Junaid Ahmed 33:40
Yeah, that's amazing.

Cool. Wow. When

Hussain 33:44
we get there, I'm gonna go to Guadalupe or French Polynesia one day.

Junaid Ahmed 33:48
Nice. Yeah, that's awesome. Cool, man. All right. So what is your favorite movie or TV show?

Hussain 33:56
It's really hard. It's really, really hard.

idea this point I can't even remember. But I'm just going to pull from recent memory here. Think of time. I'm going to go to TV show because I always prefer TV shows or movies. I love character development. Yeah, I love kind of, I like to sound shallow, but I like to learn from everything that I consume. And I am more likely to learn from a TV show than I am for the movie. Because character development alone kind of gives you different perspectives. Yeah, beings because at the end of the day, it's not people just acting. It's a director and it's screenwriters, and it's producers all coming together to create something and so there's always hidden gems in there. You know, I love seven lightning, so I'm definitely gonna go with Vikings. It's actually from the History Channel. So it's backing up this whole nerdy approach that I'm leading with. Yeah. Vikings is basically it's semi non fiction, nonfiction. It's a little bit of both, but it's about Ragnar lothbrok. He is basically the Viking that began the successful conquests. That opened up

European nations. Wow.

They basically expanded dramatically into all of Europe. And so you think of the Swedes, not the Swedes, but I mean, it's the Danish countries today, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, all these countries. And so that it's a it's a fictional or non fictional story with some dramatization, of course, about Ragnar lothbrok. And it's about five seasons, six seasons. For me it was Game of Thrones, and this is Vikings right here. So if you're watching, well,

you like Game of Thrones. You love Vikings.

Junaid Ahmed 35:36
Okay, awesome. Now this question is came from the book. Ready Player One. Okay, by I remember his name sometimes I forget him. But anyways, what movie would you choose if you got to play a character in it?

Unknown Speaker 35:58
Oh, that's a good Question.

Hussain 36:07
I mean, I'm gonna go really interesting here. I'm going to give you a curveball. I would be Richard Parker does that name ring a bell?

Junaid Ahmed 36:16
I'm trying to make it ring some bells, but I can't tell me

Hussain 36:19
it's gonna ring all the wrong ones cuz I'm terrible. Ah.

Junaid Ahmed 36:24
Life of Pi. Oh yes. Did you watch that movie? Yes, I did.

Hussain 36:28
I would be the freakin Tiger from Life of Pi.

Junaid Ahmed 36:31
That's right. His name is Rich.

Hussain 36:33
Yeah, does that count?

Junaid Ahmed 36:35
Us? Of course. Totally. Absolutely. My favorite animals.

Hussain 36:38
I'd be Richard Parker. The tiger. The Bengal tiger. The Bengal tiger survived, you know on a sea voyage.

Junaid Ahmed 36:45
Yeah, yeah. Those really cool movie. It was. Alright, next one. Who is your favorite superhero?

Hussain 36:55
shoots. I've never had an answer for this one. No. actually never had an answer but for the sake of the podcast, I'm gonna take one or so. It's definitely gonna be Superman because you know I have these curls sometimes got the curls. I'm not the girls and sometimes it comes right smack in the middle.

Junaid Ahmed 37:11
Yeah, I think glasses, you know, I

Hussain 37:14
got the glasses. Yeah, these are actually because I knew you're going to ask this question. So I have to pull them out. And you know, you already know it's, it's here. I just can't show you exactly. Bring it up.

Junaid Ahmed 37:27
Nice. I like that answer dude. For the longest time, I've had the username. You know, we call them username or screen names when AOL was around. Super Junaid

Hussain 37:42
Super Junaid

Junaid Ahmed 37:42
Yeah. So if you take a super I've had that for over, over like 1520 years is to write on there. But every once in a while we'll go and post an article.

Hussain 37:53
I did check out your blog by the way.

Junaid Ahmed 37:55
No, I did. Yeah. They were very

Hussain 38:00
succinct and very compact posts. Yeah,

Junaid Ahmed 38:04
yeah, they're pretty. I didn't I didn't go too deep. They're like really short ones. But

Hussain 38:09
it sounded like the blog. We have a blog. So we're dot com slash blog.

And we have a brand called insurance in 60 seconds. It's basically our content engine. And when I was reading your blog, I'm like, this is kind of what our blog was supposed to look like.

Ours are definitely not 60 seconds. Yeah.

Not 60 seconds. No, sir.

Junaid Ahmed 38:33
All right, well, we'll get there someday. Did you know Yes, golden right. writes every single day for the for the past 50 plus years. And he publishes it publishes blog posts every single day.

Unknown Speaker 38:48
That's, that's impressive. I want to know where in his daily routine does it fall? In the morning?

Hussain 38:55
It's in the mornings in the morning.

Junaid Ahmed 38:57
Wake up in the morning. You're right.

Unknown Speaker 39:00

Hussain 39:00
Yeah, every morning, I have

Junaid Ahmed 39:02
a reminder on my phone to write every single day and I ignore it.

Hussain 39:10
That easy. It's got to get into the habit. energy from me, you know?

Junaid Ahmed 39:17
But that's the thing. It shouldn't be so much energetic because all you do like, think of what it is single angle and which

Unknown Speaker 39:25

Hussain 39:26
Yes, you got exactly where you're going with it.

Because if I'm writing in my journal with a pen,

I'm not stopping and thinking and looking up sources. I'm doing exactly what you just said. I'm just writing. Yeah. So I'm curious to know how he writes.

Junaid Ahmed 39:44
Well, keyboard Well, think of think about the English composition class, right. The first classes you take, and they make you do journaling. Yeah, free writing. Yes, actually, all you're doing is you sleep Letting your mind open the gates and just write and write and write without thinking. And that's what he's essentially doing. Because I think what happens, what happens, the type of life that we're living now with devices and technology is that we just don't have that time dedicate to dedicate to writing. Like we're constantly being interrupted. So giving that time back, like, get taking that time back. It's really like, No, just one hour. I'm just gonna think I'm just gonna write I'm just gonna let it all out. And what that does, it enables your mind to open up and do the actual processing that is meant to do instead of being a store for All right, that's a really good point.

Unknown Speaker 40:44
Have you heard a sensory deprivation therapy? I've heard of it.

Junaid Ahmed 40:48
We have bloating. I have heard I mean, I don't know which one different art. I mean, I remember they showed it in I love Huckabees movie.

Hussain 40:58
It puts you in a basement In a container, or the water and 900 pounds of Epsom salt, yeah, pitch dark and you can't hear anything. And you freakin just flow in the idea is exactly you said it, we're so distracted. We're constantly consuming information, whether we like it or not, even if you're driving by, you see a shopping center, you're looking to the right hand side, you're consuming ads, information, always. And then physically, physically, we're constantly you know, the gravity is a thing it exists. It's pulling us down, and our body's constantly giving into gravity every minute of our lives. So when you're in that tank, your body does zero work. And your mind does zero work in terms of processing information. And all you do is just float in space. And at that point, you're the water is 90 degrees, or 80 is exactly the temperature of your body. Yeah. So you came here. Feel the water. Now you're like, in nowhere. And you're what that does is it gives your brain the ability to just I don't even know what the word is. It's not process. It's just to be that's where you start to learn a little bit more about yourself. That's when the good thoughts that that thoughts the crazy thoughts start to come in and you're just supposed to let them come in leave. Yeah. People do it for physical therapy. People do it for mental therapy. People do it for creative therapies. Some people do it. Just to recover from an injury is

Junaid Ahmed 42:37
really anything local around here.

Hussain 42:39
Yes, there is. Actually. We should do it together. Yeah, dude, I wouldn't do it and do it again. But

I'll do it. It's actually in Loudon somewhere in in Ashburn. Okay. That's close

Junaid Ahmed 42:51
to me. Yeah.

Hussain 42:53
Yeah. It's really interesting. Maybe we'll do it.

Junaid Ahmed 42:56
Yeah, absolutely. Cool. All right, last question.

If you were a board game, what would it be? risk? Nice. Have you played risk? I have played risk. Man. That's the game. Yeah. Yeah.

Hussain 43:14
Yeah. It's a divide and conquer. But we again we live in a very PC society. I could be tied to a lot of different things, but it could

be in risk. We divide and conquer.

Junaid Ahmed 43:23

Hussain 43:24
Yeah, that's I love that game. It's such a great game. I have it on my phone. Actually.

Junaid Ahmed 43:30
No way. That's cool. The phone out. It's definitely risk. I don't know why I'd be risk.

Hussain 43:37
Because we all have to take more risks.

Junaid Ahmed 43:38
Gotta take more risks. Absolutely step out of our comfort zone and grow your mind.

Unknown Speaker 43:43

Junaid Ahmed 43:44
Cool, man. Well, I know we can all reach you on sweet calm and your LinkedIn profile. I think that's going to be added to the show notes. Is there any recommends chance consulting comm j Yeah, it's just a freelance freelance site.

Hussain 44:04
The 14 domain right now is kind of interesting, but that is the indefinite place to be.

Junaid Ahmed 44:10
Alright, sweet. Well, thank you for your teaching. It was really, really awesome and really enlightening because, you know, the more conversations we have as human beings because, you know, when we hang out, we try to make small talk and whatnot, but it's, it's when we really sit down and think deep about what we do as human beings in this world is when we really get that, you know, that deep connection between absolutely,

Hussain 44:42
absolutely, we lacked a lot of that today. Yeah, I

Junaid Ahmed 44:46
really do. So, thank you, man.

Hussain 44:49
Thank you Junaid. It was a pleasure to see you.

Junaid Ahmed 44:58
Congratulations, you To the end of the episode thanks so much for listening to our guests on this episode, please send me an email at Junaid at hacks and hobbies calm to tell me what you loved about our guests today you could find links mentioned in this episode of the hacks and hobbies comm website.

Transcribed by

Junaid Ahmed has been a user experience designer for over 15 years. As a UX professional, he uses the user-centered design philosophy to come up with solutions. Trust the system, it works!

“People say that we only live once, but I believe in living every day!”

Junaid has been interviewing people from all walks of life on his podcast Hacks and Hobbies.