In this episode, we have guest speaker Akbar Sheikh. Akbar is a man that I met about a year ago, who has helped me a tremendous amount, just in what I've learned about community building, what I've learned about bringing people together, what I've...
See show notes at: https://www.thinkunbrokenpodcast.com/e252-make-more-to-give-more-with-akbar-sheikh-cptsd-and-trauma-healing-coach/#show-notes
In this episode, we have guest speaker Akbar Sheikh. Akbar is a man that I met about a year ago, who has helped me a tremendous amount, just in what I've learned about community building, what I've learned about bringing people together, what I've learned about growing a business for service. As you may have seen as titled, this episode makes more to give more, and that is Akbar's entire mission, to help empower people and make more money so that they can give more.
This conversation is fascinating. I enjoy it a lot and one because it's a friend and a mentor but two I think that if you really listen and pay attention, you'll think about life through maybe a little bit of a different scope than you have been in terms of what you give to your community, to your family, to your friends not even just financially but in all aspects.
And so, I'm very excited about this episode with Akbar Sheikh.
What do you think would happen if you got out of your own way?
Let’s find out and take some time to listen!
Learn more about Akbar Sheikh at: https://akbarsheikh.com/
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Michael: Hey! What's up, Unbroken Nation! Hope that you're doing well, wherever you are in the world today. I am super excited to be joined by my guest and one of my mentors Akbar Sheikh, who is on a mission to help people give more to make more and vice versa. Akbar, my friend, how are you? What is going on in your world today?
Akbar: Hey, men. Appreciate you having me, that's it. Like you said man, just everyday same goal, how people make more to give more and that's our compass; that's our North Star.
Michael: I love I, it's so beautiful and powerful. And, you know, for context so people understand, you know, I'm a firm believer in coaches. I have a fitness coach, I have a business coach, I have mindset coach, I have a speaking coach, I have everybody because the one thing that I know about my life is, I actually don't know anything. And so I'm always looking at and trying to measure people who are simply one step ahead of me, who can help me on my journey, and that's how you and I connected. So I'm really excited about this conversation because you're actually the first one of my coaches I've had on the show and are over 100 episodes. So before we dive in and we talk about a lot of your journey and kind of our parlay tell everybody a little bit about you, your background, your history, and create some context so the people listening, The Unbroken Nation know who you are.
Akbar: Yeah, man, it's been a crazy ride so I'll try to give kind of the cliff note version of it. Listen, man, kind of a normal live grew up and born in San Francisco, grew up in Connecticut and pretty good healthy, I don't, you want to call it middle class, kind of live how is big backyard in Connecticut, blah, blah, blah, a couple of siblings, you know, have a lot of fun running around, chasing rabbits in the backyard and stuff. Listen, got to college pretty good guy, you know, a nice guy, nice habits, so a good boy kind of you know, not like a troublemaker. After college I was bred in an entrepreneurial family generations and generations of entrepreneurs. So my whole life it's not like I ever really had a choice on what I was going to do, even when I was in first grade, we had an assembly and everybody to be like you have to go up to the theater, you to tell the whole audience what is it that you want to be when you grow up in someone's like I want to be a fireman, I want to be a policeman, I want to Astronaut, you know, like the typical can answers, you get from people in first grade and I said, I want this and everyone started laughing because it's just something you hear me, like it's been ingrained in me since birth basically that you get to be an entrepreneur. So, here's the thing after college, you know, I mean, they're in college is stopping on some little side gigs and stuff but I forgot I'll go really go into business and is the family businesses retail. And so like my whole life, never thought about what I'm going to do I just always know I'm going to go into retail and only business and man, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I just hated it, you know, I got in, I'm like, holy crap I hate this, this is a nightmare, I want to do this at all and I'm just like my whole life crashed. Like I was just like, literally hit a brick wall, like my whole life like that did it, never thinking about like, what's my purpose? And I thought about it, I was like, I know I'm going to be in business, I'm going to be the family business started to drop, wait a minute, this sucks, I hate this and everything just started falling apart from that.
You know, why didn't like retail so many reasons, you know, I think it's like the self-made, kind of like, trap, your work is never done, the customer's always right, but in reality, they never really are. It's just kind of a nightmare setting, kind of like this weird prison that you're stuck in. Anyway, I do it, I started getting into like bad habits, I was lost, I gained weight, I started developing bad terrible habits, all different types of bad habits, that will keep it PG, but let me tell you all different types of had a bad habit, you know, whatever spirituality I had I lost it, I wasn't praying, I wasn’t spiritual, I got involved in toxic relationships, both intimate ones and both with friends.
And my life literally just fell apart, to the point where I ended up in the hospital from partying too much, I mixed a lot of things that they didn't teach means well, they did teach me in school, but it makes a lot of things you're not supposed to mix and end up in the hospital half dead, but I didn't die, and God saved me and then you know, everything changed, I lost, I took that second chance, real seriously, I lost 50 pounds, I want organic, I dropped all my bad habits overnight, I got out of all my toxic relationships, I was in a terrible marriage as well but also to do, I started doing yoga started, getting spiritual, started praying and just totally rebuilt myself as a person only then did I start finding success after years and years and years of failure. And then, you know, long story short, here we are as it always does, it's kind of a cool little story though, used to live in an electrical closet on a bunk bed with my brother in San Francisco Bay area and now, thank God, you know, we've reached with come back, I top one percent Global coach and with the Northstar being helping people to make more in order to give more. So that's a long story short.
Michael: Yeah. And I'll say this, you don't have to keep it PG unless you want to, your life, your story, my friend. I have a lot of admiration and appreciation for that as many of The Unbroken Nation know, you know, I was 350 pounds, smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, drinking myself to sleep, destroying my life and you know, fast forward, 11 years later, here I am talking to you. And, you know, I think what's really fascinating is I had entrepreneurship tendencies from the time that I was a little boy, eight years old, I was knocking door-to-door selling stuff for the Boy Scouts and then by the time I was 12, I was selling drugs and by time that I was 20, I was selling for a court for a fortune 10 Corporation. So, and a sense kind of Entrepreneurship is always been ingrained in me deeply and it feels like to me the passage to kind of creating the life that you want to have. And that's different for I don't think everyone has to be an entrepreneur obviously, but in this process men, you know, one of the things that I think is fascinating is you this idea that we often succumb to so many of the vices we have in our life to, so many of the opportunities that don't make our life better to, food and drugs and women and cars and clothes or men or you know, whatever it is that your vices. What was happening in your life where you looked at it and you measured and you're like, you know what, I'm actually going to change because there's a truth man and I think you'll agree with this most people they look at their life and they'll say I'm going to change tomorrow, right? What was happening for you where you're like, you know what I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna take this thing seriously?
Akbar: Yeah. I mean, I'm going to answer that but I just, you know, I just had a quick thought that I wanted to share actually and I because I think it's really helpful on this topic is because I was recently in Sydney for eight months and I know that sounds awesome and there and it parts of it were totally awesome. But I want to give a practical tip to people are suffering right now, you know, a lot was going on in Australia, my daughter had a freak trampoline accident and she broke her leg, not a regular break, but a freak break where she actually went through the growth plate and they were doctors are scaring us that she might never walk properly again. It's a freak accident, they were shocked, they said that people get these are usually in a car wreck, what do you mean she was on the trampoline and that happened some of my very close to him, that's very personal, very serious health issues, that they'll keep private for them. My business was hurting because of the environment that I was in in Australia and the time zone difference, it was very challenging to work and so by the time we wake up over their and going here ending their day, and it was actually just the environment, you see, I was living and I actually my loves to be on City, but I was living with them and that for me wasn't the ideal in because it's not my space and it wasn't you see like people I have a nice office and I say that by design because this is my laboratory where I can create marketing campaigns, customer service sales, it's an environment where I thrive, there's a view of the water, which I really like, there's high ceilings, which I really it's very much curated to cultivate my creativity and I didn't have that over there. And so that environment that I was in, was not good for me, it wasn't helping me create, it wasn't helping me get to work, I hated my office over there, I only had like an opportunity to like one place and I hated it and because of the environment that I was in a toxic environment, I actually like I'm a totally different guy now, I pray, I'm pretty good God-fearing pretty religious, I don't really have any of those like, you know, those typical vices. Dude, I wanted to like for the first time in, I don't know, how long did I wanted to go drink? Like I wanted to go drink, you know, I don't believe all due respect but I don't believe in like some of the typical alcoholic kind of thought process that you're kind of old was an alcoholic and it's one day at a time, I don't just from personal experience, I dropped it cold turkey and then, you know, I don't think not like that at all, but did because I was in that toxic environment, I want it, I started chewing tobacco. I went to the gas station several times to buy a pack of cigarettes because I used to be not a chain smoker, just a regular guest pack a day smoker and I stopped myself a couple to couple times I went there and literally Pester on the gas station I thought they might call the police because it was kind of shady because I'm looking all bugged out, right? Because I'm like frazzled and I'm pacing around the gas station, okay. Don't buy the cigarettes, don't buy the cigarettes and luckily, enough, my God-fearing this is now deep enough in our practice enough where I wasn't going to buy a drink, did the thought crossed my mind absolutely. But that kind of really was not going to happen, but it was getting kind of dangerous, what could you do? Oh my God, I'm just drinking and I started smoking some cigars and chewing tobacco and I started drink like six cups of caffeine a day, which I never really did before, and I was just trying to escape that environment through my vices which many years ago and I'll end up in the hospital have that, it was the same thing environment sucked. I was in terrible relationships, I was in a job I hated.
So a practical tip I want to give people really quick is dude, get the hell out of your environment, if it's making you feel this way, get the fuck out immediately like right away like I don't care, just do whatever you got to do, get out. You know, if you're living with someone who's driving you nuts and roommate, get out. Oh, you can't afford it too bad, I don't care. Like, go somewhere else that's cheaper, figured out, like – you're gonna keep hurting yourself, and you are a product of your environment and if you're not thriving there, you need to leave and get a bit and it's hard and it's a bold move, but I can promise you is going to be much better off otherwise, you're going to keeps offering, so that's just a little tip I want to give people.
Michael: Yeah, I agree with that. And there are people who I know for certain will hear this and they will push back, and they will come up with all the excuses in the world for why they can't. And the truth is, I resonate, I'll be the first person to raise my hand and be like, I understand that place where the suffering has just become the norm. And I think that there's something innately human about that to a certain extent, in which, we for lack of better term, do invite suffering into our lives, but I would argue that the same effort and energy that it takes to destroy your life is the same energy and effort it takes to build your life and so much of it I believe lies within the way that we're talking to ourselves and I'm curious about this if you'd be open to sharing it. What kind of conversation were you having with yourself prior to making this massive change in your life versus the conversation you have with yourself today?
Akbar: I mean, I'll never forget, I was at the hospital and I told my parents, which is kind of like, really embarrassing like, I guess, you know, I've more cold traditional, for Traditional School apparent, the type you don't even smoke a cigarette in front of them or you don't even talk about, you know, certain things are, one of them, you know, very traditional old school, kind of parents are some people can relate to that. But I'll never forget like, the day after my hospital, I was in the hospital, in ER, I forget, I think I pulled up my arm or something I showed them like the injection or the IV or whatever that was and I was like, yeah, I know last night, all night, you don't realize, he doesn't even know you're sleeping, but I was in the ER and I'm bugged out and I need to make that change like, I can't do this anymore. And it's like, I hate to say, because I don't know if this is helpful for people, which is why I wanted to give a practical tip about changing environment but like the truth of me, all the honest truth is that I just hit rock bottom, I think, I just hit rock bottom I mean, half-dead and hostile I'm just like, dude, I just took that wake-up call seriously and I feel bad because there's some people who don't. I have a very close friend he's an alcoholic, and he fell off in bed recently, busted his head up and went to the ER, and they said, did you very easily could have died? Very easy could have died but you saw how you're alive? Dude, stop drinking, did not get that second chance seriously. I'm blessed to say I did, you know, so yeah, man, that was just it with me, I was just like that was the straw that broke the camel's back on all right, enough is enough, that’s it, boom; cold turkey, cold turkey, that was my methodology I'm not recommending that for everybody because for some people I think that might be dangerous, but you definitely want to talk to Doc, whatever. But for me, I dropped everything cold turkey, funny of the hardest thing for me to drop actually was smoking cigarettes, that was actually the hardest and if you just recently started smoking, if you get nothing out of this, but with this one thing stop now. I'll never forget my dad who caught me smoking when I was like, got all these years ago, and I'm I got my first pack ever bought funny enough was like a Newport. My dad caught things like you know, my dad used to smoke, don't do this, don't do this like stop now. Time again I just started like a week ago, I can probably stop and I wish I'd listened, but I didn't stop and I smoked for over a decade. And dude, I still hella hella hella miss it to this day like I wish I'll smoke it right now like that's that one thing, those mother ever is like there's a memo by the way, from the cigarette companies, they don't actually sell cigarettes, they sell nicotine. Cigarettes is simply a carrying case for that for their product, the product is actually nicotine, they can't give you like a handful of nicotine that the case it in something so they case it in a cigarette but it's that substance that honestly, I think I feel like it stays with you for life. Like I would love to smoke right now, but you know, just you can it's just terrible for you. Right? So anyway, the one thing I would say is, if you just started smoking, if anyone's listening trust me, when I tell you the best piece of advice, I could give you stop. Stop now like right now before, it's too late, because you'll be eft for life, it stays with you forever.
Michael: Yeah, I'm gonna parlay with you on that one, ask someone who did smoke for a long time.
Akbar: …and in my experience anyway, I apologize.
Michael: Yeah. No, I here for your experience and I agree with you, you know, as a two-pack-a-day, former smoker man, there are these moments where I'm just sitting I'm like writing a book or I'm here on the podcast or whatever and I'm like man, I just want one, but here's what I want to tie into this that I really want to hit home. How much of the actions that you choose in your life or about what you think? What is it about the way that you think that you have disallowed yourself from really stepping deep into those vices again? Because I do think that at some point, it's almost entirely if not entirely choice base. So, what kind of language are you using with yourself when it comes to creating and having the life that you want to have right now?
Akbar: Yeah, it's exactly that, you know, what's fascinating to me right now is like there's this whole NFT and crypto crazy out there. Right? And I think there's a lot of toxicity, I think social media is a great tool and everything, but I think it's really toxic as well in the sense that everyone who's up there Facebook right now at least entrepreneurial people, they're following certain people and they'll see nothing but oh I just sold this April fifty thousand dollars, I just tripled my money crypto and five minutes and it's like that's a very toxic thing to see because it's very triggering for fomo then what happens is people just dump dump dump dump and lose because they don't know what the hell they're doing becomes like a lottery thing and it's funny actually. I'm not going big Gary B fan but funny enough I have a picture of me and him like not hugging but you know, like anyway, we're hanging out or just posing together. I have a big picture on here, my office and it's funny because I'm not like a big gave you guy, but he just recently tweeted something that was so cool. And he's like, dude, I spent month researching and NFTs and hundreds of hours researching before I bought a single one, not like everyone else, they see something I made 50,000 flipping an ape boom, five minutes later they don't open sea trying to find out, right? And I think it is 100% of choice like do you want to be a successful in NFT’s? That's a choice. You want to be a lottery, a lottery, dude, and just gamble like, that's a choice to go ahead but you really want to win at it? It's a choice in the choices. Take your time. Forget the fomo, study the marketplace, research, spent hours and hours and hours, doing it and then you will crush I if you are dedicated to the craft, not the lottery side of it.
Everything's a choice dude. Check it out. We meet and you're lost a bunch of weight, I lost 60 pounds, watch this, this a cheeseburger in front of me. It's a choice. I'm eating it or not. You understand what I'm saying? If I eat it, I'm going to stay fat. If I don't eat it, I'm gonna start losing weight. That's one of my favorite things about life is that its success is truly a choice. Yesterday, I have a choice. Do I want to just go in the boat all day and not work? I can or do I want to work really focused on my business and grow it? It's choice, it's all just a choice. I made the wrong choices for many, many years What I will say is far as the helpful tip for those of you are making maybe the wrong choices is I think it's helpful, I think two things are very helpful, I think having the right person in your life is very helpful significant other. I think that's really, really helpful someone to keep because that's your best friend they're supposed to be in my opinion or at least one of your restaurants and they know you the best probably because I live with you and they will help guide you at least in my life when I was around, toxic people, when I was with bombs I was a bomb. And when I was with higher quality people, like, dude, when I was hanging out with the wrong people, I was broke; completely broke, you know. The government, you know, I got to the point where the government was paying like helping me pay my rent.
And now that I'm married to an incredible woman, you know, like I said, we don't mean to like say some cheesy way, but you know, we feel like the top 1% of our field and you know, I'm not trying to like be cheesy about it, but I'm just trying to illustrate how important it is to have the right people in your life. And of course, the same goes with the coaches in other words, your environment, right? Again, it goes back to your environment. The audit thing I was going to tell you is how to make that change I developed and this is kind of interesting I don't hear people talking about this much, but I kind of developed a fear of bad choices like I thought this isn't how I don't think this is a healthy way to do it, I'm just being honest about the way I did it. But like, I viewed a cheeseburger, if I ate that dude, I'm gonna have a heart attack. I'm not recommending this methodology at all, I'm just telling you how I like some of what I did but, you know, I was fearful of bad choices, I made myself fearful of bad choices and I was really powerful for me for sure, that’s just some of what I went through.
Michael: I think there is and I'm actually in the same boat as you because I remember distinctly when I quit smoking, I was like, the next cigarette you have is going to enjoy life and that's what I started putting in my head and it was cold turkey and it was hard man, it was so hard and it's not that I hadn't quit three thousand times before that. Right? Everyone always that's the joke, right? My last cigarettes always my last cigarette and you know, I found myself just constantly wasn't just that but it was the food, it was the addictions, it was all of those things and part of it was the fear. And what I'm curious about, if this rings true for you at all is I was afraid of the potential that I had to have success in my life because the only thing that I ever saw was the opposite of that growing up in the hood, being homeless, living in HUD housing, living in trailer parks, like all the whole nine men and I would just see life and I go, this is what it was supposed to be, I'm settled on the idea that my life will never be anything greater than this and so be it. And so it was also fear that kept me trapped but my fear was the fear of success and I think this happens quite often, you see it, especially, I mean, I'm with entrepreneurs all the time, I'm with coaches all the time, with people all the time, who don't understand how important it is that it first starts with them giving themselves permission to be successful. Have you found that to be a part of your journey as well?
Akbar: Totally man. I mean, you know, people just come up with all different types of excuses. I had a console with someone this morning and they're like, dude I don't want to sell anything. Dude, made does make good money in e-comm, alright? So now you want to kind of Coach people on how to do the same. And I’m like, why aren't you selling any burglar, Dude? I don't want to sell anybody because dude I will not be able to stand it if somebody buys something from and they don't get any results. Like, with all due respect it's like what world are you living on, bro? What are you talking about? Like if you really sit down and think about it, it's insanity. I'm going to take this deeper in a minute but what I told was like, dude, the first like Business conference, everyone to internet marketing conference, everyone's I had no money I put on a credit card, I flew to London, I had no money to buy the ticket either and my whole family like dude, what the hell you doing? You have any money? What the hell you doing going to London for like some internet marketing conference? I'll never forget what the dude told me, it was a two-day event he said; some of you are going to listen to this what I'm going to teach you today, you think it's nonsense and you're not even gonna show up tomorrow. Some of you are going to try some of the things up teaching you and try a little bit, you're going to give up and if you say it's not for me, it's garbage, it's maybe even the scam on, this is silly, I'm out of here. Some of you are going to take this information and you going to make millions with it And I remember saying at that time that's going to be me and it crazy to have it, did it end up happening to be me but it's so true and I love that analogy because I love that pie. You take any pie piece of a population and that's what it is. Some people, it's just like buying… I give you a perfect analogy, it's like a gym; your local gym that can only hold capacity of 200 people, they have sold 2000 memberships.
If all 2,000 people were to come, they don't even have any room for them because they know the algorithm is that the vast majority people are not even show up, they're not even going to show up. So that's what I was trying to tell him in his mindset you know, I'm saying and he text me later goes bro, you totally changed my whole mind, you change the way I think about everything. I can now stop. Like he said, I feel like the chains are off and I can sell now. So in other words, I think that you are your biggest enemy, but I'll take it a step deeper, okay, and this is for my spiritual people out there. And so, I'm not here to preach man, just tell you what I believe but I truly believe if you are in additionally, if you're an entrepreneur, for example, or really anybody but let's just say an entrepreneur and your aim is to make this world a better place, well, then guess what? You got a big target on you? You want to know who that Target? Who's pointing that Target, that you? Will think about it? Who's the one being that does not want you to do, good at all? There's something out there that their job 24/7, they don't eat, they don't drink, they don’t go in the bathroom, that watch Netflix, they don't do anything 24/7 like a machine, we have one goal. And that is to make sure you do not do good things. And that's the devil, the devil's job, the devil's promise to God is all yeah, you created man, you think man so great, watch, my life's mission is to corrupt your creation because the devil didn't want to bow down to humans, he didn't want, he said, no, humans are made from mud. I made from fire ego and so he dedicated his life to corrupting us. So to me, I feel this is my personal opinion, shiny object syndrome, Impostor syndrome, anxiety, these are kryptonite's for entrepreneurs, all games, 90%, mental, like people all do, give me the funnel blah blah blah but yeah, I got great phones and all that stuff shore, but the whole thing is 90% mental. Guess who else knows that the devil? I think, all these things are from him that he puts all this in our, in our heads. Why? Because he knows that if our minds are not, we got all this mind trash, we're not doing any good. How many people out there, not getting enough clients? How many people out there is stock? How many people are just not doing well? Because of all the Mind trash. You know, the only way we can do more good is to get more clients. The only we could do more good is to make more. Every month we build a community center every single month I fund the entire construction of a community center where we rebuild one that got destroyed due to flood or whatever, that's not gonna happen unless we're making good money. I gotta fight my mind, trash all the time. I'm boxing with the devil all the time, right? Sometimes you make me feel like, dude, I don't want to do this business anymore, fuck it I'm going to go buy crypto, like forget this shit, I got a lot of culture they want to go by Crypto, you know, be like you don't think these thoughts don't come in my head of course they do. So I think it's good to know our enemy and good to know and so we know what's happening then we can learn a combat that and I hope that helps people.
Michael: Yeah, I think it's such a great point. And I think whether you're religious, or not, that's a side point. I think more so it's really about leveraging and understanding the thoughts that you make like, those are everything. And I say every client I teach, every time people listened as podcast, I always say it, what you think becomes what you speak, what you speak, become your actions, and your actions, become your reality. And if you allow yourself to be poisoned by negativity, that's going to be your life. If you wake up in the morning, you put your feet on the ground like I hate my life, your life is gonna suck because you're not going to do things that move you towards the direction of having the life that you want to have. And when I wake up in the morning, every single day, I put my feet on the ground, and I'm grateful that I'm here despite the chaos of my existence and I say, I am the one in control of my future. I am the one in control of my life. I'm the leader of my life and that helps me so much because dude, let me tell you this, nothing nothing on planet Earth brings me more joy than laying in bed, smoking a joint and eating chocolate cake, but how do you change the world if that's the only thing that you're focused on. Because my mission and my goal is to end generational trauma in my lifetime. So if I'm getting fucking stoned all day, eating chocolate cake, not taking care of myself I wouldn't be here talking to you right now. And like, I'm not saying it's easy, because it's not easy, like the drive to create the life that you want to have. I mean, I've been working at this for 11 years, we've only known each other for one, right? Think about that, right? It takes forever and you know, this to create the life that you want to have.
One of the things that I think is really beautiful about the way that you step into and think about the world is through this aspect of giving more and you talked about it just briefly about rebuilding community centers, but I know that you do so much more. Can you talk about the shift in your ideology and the way you think about not only just business but because it impacts your life? Talk about that shift in which you decided to become philanthropic in the level in which you are and also because I think it's really important, can you talk about the impact that it's had on your life?
Akbar: Yeah. Absolutely. You know, I don't like wearing these name-brand shirts, you know, like a big swoosh, like a big, I don't whatever Gucci or whatever because I'm like, dude. What am I schmuck? I'm going to pay you whatever 100 bucks for a shirt. And then I'm just going to walk around marketing your brand, I'm paying you to Market your brand and what the hell do you stand for? Like, what the hell does like Reebok stand for example, sake, right? Or Gap with what is gap stand for? Remember, going to my the the Gap store and like we're shopping for my kids and all big gap, Gap Kappa, why the hell would I pay 50 bucks for my kid to be you're walking billboard? You should be paying me like, you should be giving it to me, it makes no sense to me, I think it's the most absurd thing in fashion by the way, I think it's the stupidest thing out there to be honestly.I get the posers out there, you know, where big Gucci like, I get that. I don't get the people wear a big gap, or some shit like that like, what does that mean? Why are you renting out your space to say Gap? That's just anyway, that's a little ramp. But the point is I actually have one Nike shirt because I really like the message, so I will wrap that and I will market that so the Nike shirt says built not born and it's a fascinating conversation I think by the way, I mean no disrespect anybody like if you are a gap shirt or whatever, but that's just my ranting. But this is debate we had in college that are you born in entrepreneur or are you built into one? In my experience, I think you're born into it personally, I think that you're born with some of those traits, my whole family's like this dude to be honest with you were all like, philanthropic and giving and stuff, I kind of just grew up in that environment that she kind of just genetically what our family's been like for generations to go deeper than that, it's about satisfaction. Like, you know, when I first started making money and stuff like yeah, I bought some fun toys, I'm saying like I bought a Bentley and stuff like that, but it's like now it's like oh man, like that's cool and everything, but you know what, I'd really like is like the new Bentley SUV for example, saying, in other words, it's like it can get to a point where those things start losing their luster a little bit. And I think the high that remains is the high of giving, you know, what I mean to me that's the best high I've ever experienced is like, just today, I send pictures to my family, we have a family, like chat group of like, some of the construction of a new community center were building and did it just it felt good, you know what I mean? It felt good. And so it's like, you know, to the point of this, even if I go out of business tomorrow, now, let's just say go bankrupt tomorrow, you know what? I don't really care because, you know what? We've done good like we did our best, and we've built community centers, rebuilt water wells is given, this given the gift of vision to blind people who sponsored orphans like we did some good in this world. You know, I'm saying? And that nobody can take that from me because it's already done, those are orphans have been sponsored, surgeries have been paid for, those meals have been fed, you know what I mean? Like it's not, those wells are built and water's coming out of it and you know, so it's like that's feels good. Going back to the North Star statement like what's our purpose in this life? To me, it's real black and white, our purpose in this life is to do good. Again, I'll go back to religion.
And again, I'm not preaching, I'm just telling you what I believe in but I do believe in heaven and hell and I believe that if you do good, you go to heaven and you do bad, you're going to go to hell, so the point of this game it's like 100 years call it 100 years, even though it's not. But let's just say you're on this planet for a hundred years will and having our heaven and hell is a billion years, it's actually not a billion years, it's like a trillion just not even a trillion years, it's like a hundred million kazillion, it's infinity, right? But just to illustrate, let's just say it's a hundred trillion, so this life is 100 years’ heaven or hell is a hundred trillion years and where you spend that hundred trillion years is based on how you spend this hundred year. You know what I'm saying? Simple math. I'm just like, well, shoot man, I got to do as much good as humanly possible, that's the name of the game.
The game is just the, like a video getting kind of I mean, I got it, I got to be Super Mario I got to go collect as many coins as freaking possible. You understand what I'm saying? My mission every day is keep collecting coins, big flower fireballs more coins, boom, boom, boom, you know what I'm saying? So that Northstar helps a lot I think that really helps a lot.
Michael: And I agree, I'll say this and this is just for my own personal side when I'm able to make path and pay for something for someone to bring a benefit to someone's family, whether they're here Stateside or anywhere in the world whether it's building a well or doing anything, you know, a lot of things that you've done as well, there's joy that I get in that because I come from nothing dude, I literally at eight years old the water company came and turned our water off, we were that impoverished. I've been so poor that I had to borrow money to pay my rent, I've been so poor, I've had to steal food to survive, I've been poor and impoverished and homeless in ways that most people can never fathom. And for a long time, my only driver in life was money that's how I ended up working for a fortune 10 company at 20 years old, with no high school diploma and no college degree, I was like, I will figure this out. And then what happened is, I got money and I used it for all the wrong purposes and that really destroyed my life. And I think what's fascinating is that as I've grown, not only as a person, as a leader, as a coach, as all the things that I do, I've become more and more comfortable with the idea that you cannot actually create impact in the world without money because it's the currency for, it were gummy bears, I'd be like, I want gummy bears like, how do I do that? But it's not. Why do you think that people are so and my experience let me preface it this my experience of getting to a place of comfort with what I just said was a battle? Dude, it was a fucking battle to be okay with the fact that you are allowed to have financial stability in your life. I was living paycheck-to-paycheck making a hundred fifty thousand dollars a year, right? Because I didn't know any better and I only was like, how do I sabotage it? How do I sabotage it? Not having those words then but now certainly, you know, over a decade removed from that. But what I'm curious about is two parts one, why do you think people struggle so much with money and two why do people struggle with the idea that they have to stay poor to create impact?
Akbar: Yeah, man. I love that. I think there's a couple of things and one of them, I don't think it's talked about a lot first of all, and I don't know how helpful this is, but I'll just quickly talk to you about like. My relationship with money is very, very different it's because I grew up with a lot of money that went through these hands like I told you my family's in retail. My dad is the first guy to bring the dollar store concept to Connecticut. So on the weekends or whatever you ever still a kid, I would be cashiering. I mean like Christmas Eve didn't twenty thousand dollars in one day, it's like constantly and back then did people that are really use credit card at all actually funny enough it's the opposite now, everyone's got apple, pear whatever, but that acting is all cash, cash, cash, they're very rarely you know, someone use a credit card. So since I was a kid, I've always been transacting with money, you know what I mean? So, I've always been very comfortable with it.
Now there's something interesting that I want to actually blog about or whatever, and it's the headline is peep fellow people of color lend me your ear because what I've noticed about a lot of immigrants who are people of color, they have immigrated, isn't there are the previous generation, you know, migrated to America. For example, so I'll just talk about that for a second, they came to America to live a better life because wherever they came from. My parents came, you know, we're born in Africa for example, say like, you know, wherever they came from things are not going that well, they came people to America for better opportunity. So, think about that for a second. The generally speaking, a lot of people come to America coming because they're not a great situation, they want to live a better life. So the kids are growing, so let's just call him parents for now, those parents that had it hard in their old country and they had to struggle and save so they come to America and now they're very frugal, very frugal by this is my own kind of hypothesis, in my own observation. They're very frugal, okay, and that because they're used to living in the old country was a struggle and then that frugal list that scarcity mindset transfers over to their kids. You see? I mean like I grew up in America and I saw firsthand, you see, my parents got here, they grew up, they were born in Africa then they moved to England and they came to England they came here from England to New York in the 70s. When my dad came here with his brothers, it was Winter, it was a big Lincoln Towncar, one of my favorite cars I should actually buy one it was snowing and there's a Lincoln Town Car got stuck in the snow and my dad and a couple of his brother sat on the trunk to put weight on the trunk and the dude got on stock, the car came out. The guy came out of the car and said, you guys are awesome and give my dad and his brothers like a dollar each or whatever. And my dad said, they just got to Americans had met you can never starve in this country and it's a hundred percent, right? Like because that type of stuff doesn't happen in the old country like you got to understand something like you have with all due respect I'm not trying to be funny or anything I'm trying to be literal, but you have to be kind of mentally ill to not be able to generate wealth in a first world country.
You cannot starve in a first world country it's impossible again, it's just impossible, it's absolutely impossible in my observation, my experience sorry, sorry, you can't starve to death. You like you can't lick another country all over the world people's die of starvation, you can't do that here, it's impossible, there's too many places that give you food, you go to any church, any religious Center in any restaurant. I mean anyway, you know, to do any soup kitchen blah blah blah. But what I've experienced is that, have you ever asked somebody for $5 bill? Hey, dude, I need to borrow $5 and man, I wish you asked me five years ago. I had five dollars, five years ago, but I bought that cheeseburger, and I was it, man, never got any money after that. Money is constantly replenishing it's just that I think a lot of people have scarcity mindset, I think they inherited a lot of that from their parents, in my observation and I just want to make it clear to people that dude like especially online, it's important, I mean it's the greatest opportunity of seen in my entire life. I mean, it's like I don't know how you cannot make money online it's just historically we are the first generation ever to be online entrepreneurs in the first users ever to be on I mean, this is only the tip of the iceberg and it's impossible not to crush it. And a lot of people, you know, then you have the problem of people saying, okay, awesome, I won in, I want in, but then they come into that lottery ticket mentality, they come into that Lottery, they don't understand that it's a real business. You see business, the first business transaction ever was, I don't know, 77 thousand years ago, something like that with your trading, volcanic glass off the coast of Fiji and then they got into marketplaces tense bazaars, then the trains and ships were invented they started doing business that way then they invented mail then they started doing business with mail-order business, then retail was invented and everyone started going to Bach brick and mortar, you know, Walmart's and stuff like that and now then you mode so to speak is the internet and it's crushing it. And so it's impossible not to make 12 off of it if you're dedicated to it you treat it, like what it is and that's an actual business, not a lottery ticket.
So, that's some of my thoughts on money mindset, it is a kind of a pet peeve of mine. I feel so bad when I see, because I'm like Dad and I personally know some people I'm like, yeah, and I look at their parents, I'm just like, yeah, dude they just had their parents had it really rough and they always had the scarcity mindset, they just transfer that over to their kids and that really saddens me when I see them.
Michael: Yeah. I'm right there with you. I look at it and I'm by no stretch of the imagination rich and I don't pretend that I am and I won't be for many many years, I understand that it is a process. But here's what's fascinating to me, my family comes from poverty and their parents came from poverty and their parents came from poverty and at some point I look at it, just like breaking the cycle of trauma you're going to have to create massive shifts in your life to go and get yourself out of poverty and change your relationship with money. You're allowed to have money, you're allowed to have success, you are allowed to be in a position where you can take care of your family, take care of your community, take care of the world. Right?
And in the idea that we should ever limit our self and I don't think money like money is not your driver, I know that about. Money is not my driver, I know that about me but it is the token for which we play the game and you can't heal children and throw world countries or feed children in your city and you can't help people who are suffering and donate when one of your employee’s father has a heart attack and do all these different things if you're poor. And it's a hard truth to face and I think that there's a lot of money trauma in society and my hope is that through conversations like this people at least take something from that and think differently about how it is that they can create massive change in their life. So Akbar, my friend before I ask you my last question in this has been a phenomenal conversation, can you tell everyone where they can find you?
Akbar: Yeah, man. I have one website, which is my akbarsheikh.com. You can find me at all the goodies over there.
Michael: Awesome, and we'll put that in the show notes for those who can't find or spell it and I love that. My last question for you my friend is, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?
Akbar: I do want to kind of like, put a little disclaimer as well I feel like that. I want everyone to know because it's like, you might, you know, look at me and my can be like, oh man, you know, like you might be earlier in the journey than Australian be like, aw, man these guys got it figured out and like they got it all the success and they're donating all the stuff and like I want to be like that, that's cool and I'm hope that you can get some inspiration from that book. I really want you to know it's very much as a process and the vast majority that you see online is a lot of smoke and mirrors that was a guy driving, I'll just protect his identity. So I'll kind of like switch it up a little bit, but he was driving a Lamborghini, showing everybody online, hey, I'm driving a Lamborghini, truth of the matter is he had very low payments on any actually couldn't afford the monthly payments. I can't this he had to sell to someone because he couldn't afford the monthly payments, but everyone's thinking, wow, this guy is so rich and successful.
It's a lot of smoke and mirrors out there and what I want to let you know, even about, I'll just be for me, it's still very much a process that yes, the make more give more is a mission. Do we struggle with that Northstar regularly? Yeah, we do. Like I'll be totally vulnerable and honest with you and I think it's important because I think people need to see like what's real because I think otherwise mean people are mostly chasing smoke and mirrors like some of the struggles I go through right now is that like I've become a little numb too things to be completely transparent with you. Like for example, you might see some of these trophies back here when I help a client hit six figures, they get a trophy want to help them in seven figures I gave him a trophy want to help them get eight figures again of the trophy. There's trophies all around here but they're all over this office. You know, we've helped our clients collectively do over 50 million. When I first got a trophy I would like this is for like the think encouraged is because like my look at this, look at this, look at this my camp, we hope this guy had six figures, oh my God, can you believe it? Okay. I'm gonna do whole Facebook live and what to do an unboxing, guys. Look at this on my got that made six figures, this is so cool, make more give more, oh my God. And now literally again, I probably can't trust the camera, but there's literally like just boxes, you can see that there is one big one, there's like a bunch of them over there, there's literally boxes around this office of trophies that I haven't even bothered to open up, right? Because it's like, but at some point it's just like all right, another trophy, okay, congratulations, but it's like I've actually clients get offended by it, like I can't like it just become normal now, just regularly someone's hitting six or seven figures and it's just become kind of numb to it unfortunately I'll tell you another thing, we try to reduce, we tried to get charity work every month.
So it's like, for example, when I first built my first water well, I was like, oh my God, I built a water well, Mom, Dad, look at this. You're not going to be this. Look at the pictures of people, they didn't not have water before they, they had to leave schools and carry buckets of water is and walk for hours and hours and they don't have to do that anymore. And oh my God, this is nuts. Ah, Make more give more and now it's just like shredding, another check, mortgage, Carly's, Kids School, Charity, cool I mean, like, I just told you I got a pictures of another Community Center, the construction that they're building that we funded this cool for a minute, but then it's just like, all right, another one, you know what I mean? So it is a process like don't think that anyone's really got it figured out and there crashing and they're super happy, it's all like that's just all shit that they want to show you. So you buy something off of them, right? It's all mostly nonsense. It is a process and if you're not doing as well as like maybe me or Mike, it's only because you're earlier on in the journey and for no other reason and then it doesn't really matter just means that later on you will be if you want to be if you decide to be.
So I just wanted to put that disclaimer out there that like dude no one's got it all figured out and it's a product and its journey, it's a process and the point is to keep having stepping stones and to keep growing and to keep getting closer and closer to that, you know, just hit of Nirvana, but I also do believe that you actually truly never achieve that in this life. And then that state of mind is actually only reserved for heaven. I don't believe that you ever truly hit that like I'm done everything is the way it's supposed to be, everything is great that it like, I don't think that actually exist Bob. But not answer your question, sorry I went to the whole transpose, the question is about unbroken, what was it?
Michael: Yeah, what does it mean to you to be unbroken?
Akbar: What is it to me to be unbroken? Well, the first thing that just came to my mind is that, you know, I trip big on you as a person I think that you were consisted of our physical self, mental self, our spiritual self in our religion, our relationship itself, you know, it's pretty interesting. I think relationships are highly under misunderstood and highly under leveraged and really underrated if you think about it for a second, if you take a look at most of the major monotheistic, religions out there they have banned all the outlets. Don’t drink, don't smoke, don't gamble, don't womanized, don't go clubbing, you know, don't gamble all these things, all the major monotheistic religions have banned, all these things Christianity, and Islam Judaism, you're not allowed to do any this stuff, right? So then we'll do what outlet do I have? Like according to God, what outlet do we have?
Truly it's Community, its people, it is people and that socializing the right way is really our number one eyelid, so important and key to a healthy life, you know, having good healthy relationships. But in order to have healthy relationships, you yourself need to be healthy, physically, spiritually, mentally relationship-wise, before I was broken as a person I wasn't building any water wells, I wasn't building the community centers, I wasn't helping people making millions of new dollars so that they can give more, okay? I don't really care about the number dude I'll be completely honest with you. I just want to, are you giving more? The answer is, yes, we're good. None of that was happening when I was broken but now as I've, by choice rebuilt myself, I suppose you can say, you know, that's unbroken and that's what I hope and pray for that everyone can do to themselves. And I think that would be one of the greatest things you can do.
Michael: It's powerful, my friend, and thank you for your vulnerability and your beautiful answer.
Unbroken Nation, thank you so much for listening.
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Akbar sheikh is a #1 international best-selling author, speaker, master of the 7 Ethical Principles of Persuasion, has helped 8 funnels hit 7 figures, father, and philanthropist with a concentration on orphans and giving the gift of vision to blind children. He is on a mission to create massive impact through coaching and believes that as people earn more, they can give more to their families, communities, and favorite charities - hence, making the world a better place.