Powered By:

hsbcinnovationbanking logo

Life Is Unfair - Here's What You Can Do About It

Hasan Kubba

The Unfair Academy

Powered By:

hsbcinnovationbanking logo

Life Is Unfair - Here's What You Can Do About It

Hasan Kubba


The Unfair Academy

Watch this episode on SpotifyWatch onListen on YouTube
Hasan Kubba
Full transcript here

About Hasan Kubba

The BAE HQ welcomes Hasan Kubba, an executive coach and the author of The Unfair Advantage.

Hasan didn't grow up knowing what he wanted to do but found himself earning passive income and living the dream nomadic lifestyle. He realized he wanted more and now focuses on helping others to achieve their dreams.

He cuts through the standard advice and admits what we all know deep down. Life isn't fair.


Show Notes

Headline partner message

From the first time founders to the funds that back them, innovation needs different. HSBC Innovation Banking is proud to accelerate growth for tech and life science businesses, creating meaningful connections and opening up a world of opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Discover more at https://www.hsbcinnovationbanking.com/

Full video of episode

Watch this episode on SpotifyWatch onListen on YouTube

Hasan Kubba Full Transcript

Hasan Kubba: [00:00:00] So I grew up reading a lot of personal development, self development books, self help, and they're very positive. And there's a lot of good things about them, right? There's a lot of nonsense in them as well. And they oversimplify life. And they make it seem like it's what you get out of life is what you put into it, like, purely.

Hasan Kubba: It goes so far as to say, you know, we could all become super successful, multi millionaires, billionaires, if we just pulled our socks up. And we were more disciplined, or wanted it badly enough, or followed the three step plan. And I think the idea there is that it's completely merit based.

Amardeep Parmar: Hey everyone and welcome to the BAE HQ podcast. We're going to interview inspiring British Asians from all different industries about how they got to their successes and how you can do the same thing. Today I have with me Hassan Kubba, who's the author of the best selling book, The Unfair Advantage. And he's also a coach for many of the biggest creators and influencers who you probably follow.

Amardeep Parmar: Say hey, Hassan.

Hasan Kubba: Hey, good to be here. Thanks for having me on, Amar. [00:01:00] 

Amardeep Parmar:So I'm going  to dive right in with the question that many people struggle with is, When you were growing up, did you ever believe you'd get to where you are today? 

Hasan Kubba: Um, no. Like, probably a lot of people nowadays, like, a lot of the type of thing that you do probably wasn't even invented.

Hasan Kubba: Or if you're really young, the thing that you're gonna do hasn't even been invented yet. So even like coaching as an industry, I mean... I mean, that's a new label for me coach, like relatively, uh, I've been an entrepreneur for a while. I actually remember somebody asking me when I was young, are you going to grow up to be a businessman?

Hasan Kubba: And I was like, no, but I didn't actually know what it meant. I literally, when somebody said businessman, I just pictured a man in a suit and tie with a briefcase. And that was it because I had no idea. Beyond that, what the hell did being a businessman mean? So yeah, no, I would have never imagined like entrepreneur that bit, especially the author thing is interesting because I think in my, in the back of my mind, I always thought not when I was young, but like when I started sort of my entrepreneurial career, I always thought, yeah, [00:02:00] one day I'll write a book.maybe when I'm in my 40s.

Hasan Kubba: So I never thought I'd get like a publishing deal in my 20s. So that's the thing that's interesting about that. So it's kind of like, no, essentially, I think the bottom line is, no, I did not expect to be where I am and particularly not as fast as how where I got to is. And I think it's because I just did like a pattern interrupt in like the traditional career path where I just went after university.

Hasan Kubba: I was like, nope, I'm not going to go down that path. And I just did something completely different. And I think that's the thing that really made the difference. 

Amardeep Parmar: How scary was it to do something so different rather than go down the traditional path?

Hasan Kubba: Very scary. I was genuinely, like, looking back, I can admit that I was really fearful.

Hasan Kubba: At the time, if you'd asked me, I wouldn't acknowledge the fear. Probably a lack of wisdom, a lack of self awareness. Because I'll be like, for example, I mean, I talk about this a lot, and then how I'm an unnatural entrepreneur, which is like, I just be like, my website just isn't ready to launch. I'm just not ready for, to get clients.

Hasan Kubba: I have no idea how to start. Because I came from that [00:03:00] academic background where it's like, everything had rails and everything had boundaries and everything had a path and that kind of thing. And then suddenly the business world is very, very different because it's like, just as an example, like, um, getting somebody to do your homework for you is obviously really frowned upon.

Hasan Kubba: Whereas in the business world, it's like great ‘cause this delegation, that's not, that's not an issue. That's actually great. So yeah, um, I had a ton of fear and. I, I did quite a few things to get past it. Um, but yeah, in short, I had a ton of fear. I was very fearful and very afraid of getting started. And I procrastinated so much, and I dithered and over thought it, and just hesitated and all of those kinds of bad things.

Hasan Kubba: I went, I fell down all the traps. 

Amardeep Parmar: And what's interesting is that so many people who maybe have the same personality traits you had before, they think, oh, I can't do it. And they, like I said, they get it in their head, they overthink you had this and you still [00:04:00] got through it. So for people listening who maybe think, oh yeah, there's no way I can ever have that confidence, you're proof that you can turn that around.

Hasan Kubba: Yeah, you just have to want it badly enough. But wanting it badly enough sounds really positive, like in the positive sense. And it's not a negative thing, but what I mean by that is what really drove me is fear. I mean, my fear of starting a business. was very high. Well, my fear of having a normal job and being in the rat race was even higher.

Hasan Kubba: So, so basically that's what won out. It wasn't like it was just between one fear and another, and one was stronger than the other. So it was like, yeah. So the pain of like living a normal life, having a job, having a nine to five, looking at the clock, looking forward to the weekend, dreading Sunday nights and Monday mornings, that life just, I just did not want that.

Hasan Kubba: So that is what drove me. 

Amardeep Parmar: That drive is one of the things that's got you to where you are. But you obviously talk a lot about unfair advantages. And for people who aren't sure, they usually don't really understand it. Can you explain that in simple terms to everyone?

Hasan Kubba: So [00:05:00] the idea is this. The idea is that, look, I grew up, I grew up reading a lot of business.

Hasan Kubba: No. Not even, I didn't actually read business books. No, I read self development books. So I grew up reading a lot of personal development, self development books, self help. And they're very positive. I mean, there's a lot of good things about them, right? But there's a lot of nonsense in them as well. And they oversimplify life.

Hasan Kubba: And they make it seem like it's, what you get out of life is what you put into it, like, purely, like. They like, it goes so far as to say, like, you know, we could all become super successful, you know, multi, multi millionaires, billionaires, if we just pulled our socks up and just like were more disciplined or wanted it badly enough or followed the three step plan.

Hasan Kubba: And I think the idea there is that it's completely merit based and the reality is that I, I started to see successful people and I started to see, and these are early mentors of mine that I kind of developed. I never had mentors growing up. [00:06:00] It was just sort of like, as I started my business, some of my clients became my mentors, that kind of thing.

Hasan Kubba: And I would see that they completely weren't following all the things, all the self development books said, all the business books said, and they were really, really successful regardless. And I found that really interesting. And I started to understand how different, different successful people are. And I started to understand how un-level the playing field is for everyone.

Hasan Kubba: Like, nobody starts from the same place. There is no even starting line. They're, you know, it's completely like somebody starts like miles ahead of other people. Some people, like, literally are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders as they try and run this race. So, I think, that's my little, the point is life is unfair.

Hasan Kubba: I think there's this Problem of this just world hypothesis where you, which is what they call it in like psychology or something, which is this idea that, you know, everything balances out in the end, you know, everything has pros and cons and while that's true, everything does have pros and cons, but it doesn't balance out in the end.[00:07:00] 

Hasan Kubba: So that's kind of what inspired us to call it The Unfair Advantage. I co-wrote the book with my business, uh, partner, my coauthor Ash Ali , uhm, and we were, we were inspired by the startup world with startup entrepreneurs trying to raise funding and we were like investing. It was like a dragon's den style. We were investing in them and they were pitching us and we realized, hold on, some people are just completely clueless here because they think like, just because they've worked really hard, they can get something.

Hasan Kubba: And sadly we thought they don't know the full picture. They think that they just work hard enough. They can get there. So it's a very long winded way of saying an unfair advantage is a competitive upper hand. It's like a head start in a race. And the key is that we all have unfair advantages. It could be the fact that you can start with money, which is a very basic unfair advantage.

Hasan Kubba: It could be who you know. It could be who you're connected to. It could be where you live. It could be your accent, your background, your appearance, your nationality, your passport. [00:08:00] It could be any number of things. You just have to identify your own unfair advantages and leverage them

Hasan Kubba: to succeed and that's the key and that's the kind of the message behind the whole book. 

Amardeep Parmar: Because a lot of people I think default to somebody being rich or privileged. 

Hasan Kubba:  Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar:  And that's an unfair advantage. But let's say somebody listening doesn't come from that background. What's some unfair advantages they might have that maybe they don't even realize that they have?

Hasan Kubba: So one of the key things about unfair advantages is that they're double edged swords. So what seems like a disadvantage could be an advantage. So you might think like I don't have, I don't have all these connections. I don't have a dad working in the industry. I don't have like a rich uncle who could just fund my startup or my first business or whatever.

Hasan Kubba: But actually the key is that might be a good thing. Like understand again, going back to pros and cons and like everything that seems like a disadvantage could be turned into an advantage and vice versa. What seems like an advantage could be a hindrance. So it's really key to understand that you've got to accept where you are [00:09:00] and accept the kind of assets and the circumstances and the strengths that you have and the weaknesses that you have and figure out how to turn those weaknesses into strengths or delegate the bits where you're weaker at.

Hasan Kubba: So just to give a simple example, a simple one is if you're, um, if you don't have a lot of money to start with, like I did, I didn't have much money, then you'll be more creative and resourceful in how you get your first clients and how you get your first customers and how to create your products on a shoestring budget.

Hasan Kubba: Whereas if you have money and I've seen rich founders who come from rich families and have funding, they'll just squander the money away and think they could just throw money at problems and solve them. It gives them a lack of creativity, a lack of resourcefulness. So I think it's key to understand that everything, it could be your location if you're based somewhere like, Oh, I'm in the middle of nowhere.

Hasan Kubba: I'm in a crap city. Um, there's no infrastructure here. There are no events here. Well, yeah, you probably have a lower cost of living. It's easier to stand out, there's less competition. Every [00:10:00] advantage or every disadvantage can become an advantage and vice versa. So it's very important to understand that.

Hasan Kubba: So just, it's important to be aware. Self awareness is the key. Be aware of what you've got going for you. Be aware of what your goals are, what you're trying to get out of life. Because a lot of people just live it. What does the media say is good? What does everyone say is good? What does, what looks good on social media?

Hasan Kubba: So you have to just do this whole  journey of self awareness and understanding and knowing thyself together. Once you've got that, understand your personality, understand your strengths and circumstances and your talents, and you know, that's a whole other thing. Talents exist. Um, and I think that's the way to go, as opposed to the same advice to everyone, work hard, pull your socks up, wake up at 4am, do your meditation, do a cold shower and all this crap.

Amardeep Parmar: I think it's really interesting that last people brought up that as well because you listen to some people who are now very successful and they tell you their daily habits. And some people think about following this, but that's wrong because what your habits are when you're a billionaire, it's very different [00:11:00] because you've got security, you've got all these different things, you don't need to like spend all your time on things.

Amardeep Parmar: And like people who meditate for two hours every morning, that might be okay if you don't need to run your business day to day. But when you're first starting out, it might be quite difficult for you to do that. And like I said, it's about listening to the advice of people at the stage you're at, or the advice of when they were where you were.

Amardeep Parmar: And a lot of people I think get very frustrated because they're following advice. And everybody in many ways is giving advice to a younger version of themselves. And if you didn't match the same person, or you're not from the same background, then it probably won't work for you and you're just going to get frustrated.

Amardeep Parmar: So it's trying to really pay attention to the source of information you get and making sure you listen to a lot of different people. Because some people will idolize one creator, for example. And if you do that, then the problem is that you, like, if it doesn't work for you, then you think something's wrong with you.

Amardeep Parmar: Whereas maybe you just need to try other things. 

Hasan Kubba: And not only that, Amar, there are a lot of people just regurgitating the stuff they've heard that they don't even apply. So like that's like the best case scenario is they're giving advice to their younger self and they're [00:12:00] coming from a place of experience and actual wisdom versus oh yeah I just read a few books and I'm just regurgitating the advice and that's it.

Hasan Kubba: So everyone says do this so you should do this. Whereas they don't necessarily apply it in their own lives, they don't even have their own success that they should have or the experience that they should have. I think it's really key to become a practitioner and have a background in actually doing stuff rather than just talking about stuff.

Hasan Kubba: And I think there's a big difference between practitioners and people who've been there, done that and actually had the real world pain and experiences and things not working out and having to hire, having to fire and just all the pains that go around business and just success in general versus a pure theoretical

Hasan Kubba: person who's just read some books or an academic trying to give advice about like real life things like it's like driving you have to there's theory but if you don't get behind the wheel you really don't know what it feels like you really don't know how to drive so i think it's key.

Amardeep Parmar: So you mentioned there as well because you obviously help a [00:13:00] lot of creators behind their businesses people are doing exactly what you say right the people who are using their real experiences and trying to use that to help other people and especially in the education or like motivation sectors as well.

Amardeep Parmar: How did you get into that from like what you were doing before? 

Hasan Kubba: So we talk a lot about, um, I think everyone needs to, anyone who's self aware always has to acknowledge how much luck they've had in their lives. Everybody has had luck. Um, and it's just about how you use it, et cetera. You know, and when people say that makes it try and seem like everybody has the same luck and that's not true.

Hasan Kubba: But the key is like, I want to first off start by acknowledging serendipity and the role that that plays, but then also that you're prepared for that luck when it comes along. So, yeah, if you speak to anybody about their careers, you speak to anybody about their businesses, you're going to see many lucky breaks.

Hasan Kubba: You're going to see many right place, right time. You're going to see many things that, Oh, that just worked out. A lot of things, the opposite as well, [00:14:00] but those inflection points often happen from that. In terms of me starting to work with creators, you know, it's interesting. I've always been really into YouTube.

Hasan Kubba: Always loved it. I've always followed. I've always followed like, like, let's say CGP gray from back in the day or crash course world history. I've loved these kinds of channels for a very long time, and that's just something I did. And I never thought it would lead onto anything. Um, but really what happened was it started with me sending out.

Hasan Kubba: Uh, well, we were sending out early copies of the book before it got released. So book got released in January, 2020 in the UK, and that's the hardcover version. And then there was a paperback a year later, roughly. And then a year after that came out in the U S, we've got a U S publishing deal way back when,

Hasan Kubba: when we had, before the book even came out, um, we sent out advanced copies to a few, a few creators, a few different reviewers. I thought, oh, let's just do some YouTubers. And one of them was Ali Abdaal. And so, yeah, so a lot of, a lot of creators we sent it to, it didn't really go anywhere. Maybe they didn't even review it, whatever.[00:15:00] 

Hasan Kubba: Whereas Ali was like, Oh, this is good timing because I'm actually starting, uh, a book club series. So your book might be the first one. And I'm really liking it, by the way, and I was like, Oh, cool. Um, so I didn't think much of it. And he wasn't even that big at the time. He didn't have that many subscribers.

Hasan Kubba: He's at this stage over 3 million. Um, and, uh, And he was like, yeah, it would be cool to interview you as well. I think he suggested it, or maybe it was me. I can't remember. And, um, and yeah, that video blew up. And then the same time as I was learning about coaching, because I come from like more of a consulting sort of background and consulting, like not in the

Hasan Kubba: Corporate sense. In the sense of like, I was working with local businesses doing their marketing. That was my first business. Um, I was learning about coaching and I was talking about it and then he said, Oh, I'm looking for a business coach. So that was, that was literally how it started. And then from once you have one success story, like Ali Abdaal.

Hasan Kubba: You know, I was there at the early stages of him coming up with the idea of PTYA, his online course, great course, by the way, how to become a YouTuber. I was [00:16:00] coaching him through that in the sense of like, make this course bigger, you should do something more, don't be afraid to put yourself out there, etc.

Hasan Kubba: All the stuff that I'd learned because I've been through business and selling stuff and marketing, etc. And then that led on to all these like amazing TikTokers, amazing other YouTubers, authors, yeah, like amazing CEOs and startup founders who, who were like kind of getting into writing books. So it's been quite a journey.

Hasan Kubba: So I think the whole creator thing is my interest, number one. Number two, my interest in becoming a creator myself and now finally going down that path. And thirdly, the, I guess when you're drawn to something, you start to have different opportunities that you poke at. And then who knows it leads somewhere.

Hasan Kubba: So it was a great thing. So I think that's like the story of how I got into coaching creators because you know what it is, it's that creators don't come from a business background. They just know about the artistic side of the creative space, like becoming a YouTuber, et cetera. And I come from the marketing, branding, sales,

Hasan Kubba: [00:17:00] positioning, pricing kind of background. And so it comes together really nicely because that's the bit that they need help with.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And it's really interesting to see that because obviously I was in tech consulting before then I became a writer and I could see them so many other writers that they just didn't have that business sense.

Amardeep Parmar: So I studied economics. I like, it's, I've got a weird mix of things that kind of work nicely together because it brings in the different backgrounds. But you sometimes sit and you wonder, and I think this happens a lot in people who are listening as well. You see somebody doing something that is doing well and it's like, Oh wow, like I need to do it that way.

Amardeep Parmar: But sometimes actually they're actually not doing what they should be doing and there's so much more they could do. So for example, Ali Abdaal, he was doing skillshare courses right at the beginning and he's obviously making quite good money from that. But then P2YA has taken it up another level. But e might not have

Amardeep Parmar: giving himself the bleep like I can actually do that. So somebody externally  comes to help him.

Hasan Kubba: Yeah, it's like an order of magnitude higher and it's good. Skillshare was making a ton of money for him at the time It's interesting what you just said you said about like you copy what others are doing and [00:18:00] then that might not be the best thing anyway, and lastly, I always find that fascinating because when we try and model success we look at what they're doing and we assume that what they're doing is what leads to their success.

Hasan Kubba: But what we don't realize is that some of what they're doing, they're successful despite that. So it's not something that's necessarily helping them. And I don't mean this as for the example you gave, but just in general, like you mentioned, like writers not knowing anything about business. I've experienced that because it's like the amount of waffle that I read.

Hasan Kubba: I'm like, okay, you don't have any background or experience with this. And that can apply to anything, not just business. Like you have to have hands on experience to really understand what's going on. And there's an emotional aspect to it as well, to go through the pain, as we mentioned before, to really understand it.

Hasan Kubba: Otherwise, again, you could just regurgitate stuff that you've read in other business books. And that's how like bad advice gets spread because it's not been tested. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And I think it's often the case where people try to give advice to people who, where they've never been through that problem themselves, but they're never experienced it in a close [00:19:00] level.

Amardeep Parmar: Like if it's someone close to them, they've seen that thing happen and it's difficult, right? Because you're trying to put yourself into an environment where you don't really understand the customer. And it's so common, but this is where the unfair advantages come in because sometimes let's say somebody can just spend a ton of money in marketing it, even despite maybe their business or their product not being very good because they've got that money behind them.

Amardeep Parmar: They can sometimes get way further than other people who actually are delivering more. And this is where you've got to be really careful and like look at it from that bigger picture aspect of is this product doing well? Is this person doing well? Because what they're providing the value they're giving or because other factors like luck or like you said location and sometimes also I find it quite freeing to see people are way ahead of me.Maybe they're actually that much better than me and maybe it's just different other factors and I can get to where they're getting.

Amardeep Parmar: Whereas if you think, Oh no, like there's so much better than me, then you kind of put yourself down. 

Hasan Kubba:Yeah,  exactly. And it's a balance, isn't it? Because [00:20:00] sometimes like, um, you see people who are like, Oh yeah, they're just lucky. Like they'll dismiss other people's success. And that's wrong as well.

Hasan Kubba: Because the reality is success comes from a combination of like hard work and luck. So it's, it's, it's not just about luck, and it's not just about hardwork, yeah they just work 10 times harder than me. No, not always. Like sometimes you might do the exact same thing as somebody else, follow the exact blueprint and it doesn't work and that's because the timing might be different.

Hasan Kubba: That's because you come across different, let's say you're doing something with a personal brand or even just as a founder. How you come across is still going to be you, right? So there's a lot at play. And I think with something complicated, Well, I love this phrase, which is this idea of something that I realized from like different mentors, different like, people who've been through some stuff.

Hasan Kubba: And they say, and are quite like philosophical about it, like deep thinkers. One thing that I heard is that essentially success is not a simple equation. Let's [00:21:00] put it that way. Everybody wants to think, what is x plus y equals success? Like, what do I have to, what's x and what's y? Basically, what do I have to do, then I'll be successful.

Hasan Kubba: But the reality is, success is an emergence. It's an emergent factor of lots of different things that you have to put together. It's like much more complicated of an equation than just x plus y, then you'll be successful. It's so complicated. It's a bit like, um, you did economics. So did I. So I was going to become a doctor, dropped out of that path, did economics.

Hasan Kubba: Economics is great because you learn about, um, it's kind of, it's funny because it's kind of useless. Like practically, what would you use economics for? But what's brilliant about it is it teaches you mental models because we have to do is create models because the economy is so complicated that you can't possibly understand every, every factor, every, every piece of it.

Hasan Kubba: So what you do is you have to create some assumptions. So, okay, let's assume that everybody's acting rationally, which is crazy. But hey, let's assume it. [00:22:00] That's what they do in economics. And let's assume that everybody is trying to increase, maximize their utility and all these kinds of things that you make all these assumptions that you make.

Hasan Kubba: And it's a way of thinking about like, how do you figure something out? So when something is complex, the same as biological things, there's so many factors at play. That you can't possibly understand them all. So then we just say, Oh, it's random or there's luck. What does luck even mean? When we talk about luck, luck just means that all these factors have come into play.

Hasan Kubba: That's hard to measure and therefore we just call it luck. That's it. But it's just a complex outcome of a very complex situation. So complex doesn't mean it's difficult. Actually success is kind of straightforward, but the key is there are fundamental things that you could do consistently and eventually you'll get to a level of success.

Amardeep Parmar: You're  doing like several different things at the moment. How do you split your time? Like, what's the average week look like?

Hasan Kubba: I don't have an average week, so I can answer this question.

Amardeep Parmar: I don't know if you've got more structure than I do. 

Hasan Kubba: Well, recently we have, uh, uh, so with my previous business, I [00:23:00] was hiring people, um, all over the world before that was like really common, but I was like, uh, doing the whole four hour work week type of thing of I had a designer in Brazil and I had a developer in Pakistan and I had another designer in Serbia and I had like a virtual assistant in the Philippines and it's just this typical kind of, there's a lot more, but so I was doing that.

Hasan Kubba: But nowadays. Um, with this new business, the unfair Academy, which I'm just kind of just starting now, and it was kind of more of a side hustle I had for a while. Um, we have our first in person higher, right, which is nice because I haven't done in person hiring. Um, so this is just completely different vibe.

Hasan Kubba: So I have the skill set, which everyone's like, well, how did you do that? Created a passive income kind of business. And that's like the idea of my first business. I was, I created a business that ran itself because I had all these people and systems that worked to serve my clients without me having to be hands on in it.

Hasan Kubba: Which is incredible. Um, took a lot of hard work together, but now I'm kind of building a personal [00:24:00] brand business. I'm just kind of following my sort of interest and passions. And I've always wanted to like learn marketing and learn business so that I can then apply it and do it with clients so that I can then apply it for my own stuff.

Hasan Kubba: So. Yeah. So at the moment, my, uh, routines changed. It used to be much more free form. It used to be much more, I do what I like. Uh, I work from this cafe and then go home and work with my coaching clients, um, for late afternoon and evening. Whereas nowadays it's like, I'm going to an office, although quite a flexible office, like go to different places.

Hasan Kubba: And yeah, the way I split my time, you can break it down in a simple way. I spend half the time writing so creating content working on another book idea that we're working on, uh, working on speaking as well. That's something I'm getting into more recently. Um, something that I did before pandemic actually did quite a lot of, but then it kind of pandemic, pandemic happened and then I haven't [00:25:00] brought it back up, but now I'm decided to do that and the rest of the time.

Hasan Kubba: So like half the time doing that and then half the time being a coach. Being a coach and being, just doing the admin of being of, of a writer of a business. So it's like half author, half coach, and then across both of that, it's entrepreneurship. So that's kind of how I would split my day up.

Hasan Kubba: Usually the creative time is the morning and the coaching and admin time is in the afternoon. And admin, I use that term very loosely. I mean, like managing and organizing the work.

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. I think sometimes people don't realize how much organizing there is when you start your own business and just tell me different things. 

Hasan Kubba: Oh yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: You never think, you think, Oh yeah, I'm going to do this and this and you forget, Oh, behind the scenes I have to do all of this and nobody sees that. 

Hasan Kubba: So one thing that I found fascinating is, um, I read the war of arts by Steven Pressfield and he was talking about writers. He used to say that as a writer, you work about three hours a day, like of actual writing.

Hasan Kubba: And I was like, Whoa. That's like a nice lifestyle, [00:26:00] only three hours a day. But then reality is like, there's a lot of other work to do with around being a writer that you have to do as well. So, um, yeah, of course, including research as well, because you don't include that in the sort of writing time, which I had to learn to my detriment.

Hasan Kubba: ‘Cause if you try and research and write at the same time, it's just not ideal. It's a bit like editing and writing at the same time. Um, so yeah, so that's how I like to spend my day half creating and half being an entrepreneur, manager, coach. 

Amardeep Parmar: And you know, when you, for example, the book came out and you had the book launch in America, how do you find this kind of big events, but they really take you out of your routine?

Hasan Kubba:Different  people have different levels of love of routine and love of novelty. And for me, I like novelty. Everyone has a different sweet spot, right? Everyone wants some routine, some, some novelty. So for me, I love it. Yeah, it was fun to just do loads of podcasts, loads of speaking, uh, it's funny cause the book came out and then literally that's when the pandemic hit.

Hasan Kubba: So, so that threw everything for a loop. I try to accept that things are just going to be different for at least a few weeks. [00:27:00] And then try and bring things back. So that's kind of roughly how I do it. And just, like, go with the flow. Essentially, not, not worry too much about that. 

Amardeep Parmar: Looking forward, so what are your big plans for the next year or two?

Hasan Kubba: Yeah, so I'm working on a second book, but it's very early days, so that's going to take quite a while. 

Amardeep Parmar: Is that secret still, or can you reveal what topic it's about? 

Hasan Kubba: So, it's still, I would say it's still a secret. mostly at this stage, but there's one, one idea is kind of an extension of the unfair advantage because there is so much conversation still happening around that.

Hasan Kubba: So much buzz still happening around that. And there's still much I want to say more about it. And the other idea is a completely new idea that I'm also working on at the same time, sort of on the back burner. So there's like two book projects going on. Speaking is something that I'm just doing. That's what's coming up.

Hasan Kubba: I wouldn't say with the next, like, like over the next six months, one year, gonna do a lot more speaking and then I'll probably cut down and be a lot more picky. So at this stage it's funny because I'm like... You know what? Bring it on. I kind of want to get out there more. I want to get back into practice [00:28:00] of public, because I really enjoy it.

Hasan Kubba: Actually, one thing, I used to be terrified of public speaking for Lena, but now I really like it and I really like the audience reaction. 

Amardeep Parmar: I think you shared with me a story about one of your first speaking engagements, right?

Hasan Kubba: No, so that wasn't even a speaking engagement. That was at university. Honestly, I don't know if it's really that much fear or I don't know what the matter was, but like, so I was giving a talk in front of,

Hasan Kubba: I remember when this first happened, by the way, just before I tell you what it is, I was like, I'm never going to tell this story to anyone. And now I like go around telling the story. Essentially, I was giving a talk in front of 12 other students, bored students who didn't give a crap, and no one placed any importance on it.

Hasan Kubba: And for some reason, I started giving the talk, found myself on the floor having sort of fainted, like I didn't like lose consciousness, but I kind of ended up on the floor and like had to go and like somebody had to go take me have and have a hot chocolate or something and just get some sugar in my body and stuff.

Hasan Kubba: Yeah, I was really nervous. Essentially, I was extremely nervous about public speaking. I was very shy and introverted when I was [00:29:00] younger. Um, I still am pretty much I would say an introvert. Um, but now I enjoy it. I enjoy public speaking. That's the funny thing. So it was nice because it went full circle because I went back to the same university, SOAS and gave a TEDx talk there.

Hasan Kubba: And so you could like, find that TEDx talk online. I enjoyed it. And it was rated like one of the highest rated on subreddit of TED or something. It was, it was really cool to kind of have that redemption arc of like being so scared of public speaking and then going back to the same university and doing a speaking event in front of hundreds of people in a big auditorium.

Hasan Kubba: So I'm going to do more of that. What else am I going to do? So more writing, more speaking. My coaching is, become a lot more limited. I've tried to kind of limit it down. It's become quite high end and only for like people with the unfair advantage of like having a business with cash flow though, where they could afford like executive coaching.

Hasan Kubba: It's something I enjoy, but I don't do it at the level that I do it at. Whereas like I give my full attention and like really active listening and really. [00:30:00] like supporting somebody, it can be quite draining. So I do limit that to just a handful of high end clients. Um, I was doing in the last year, I've done some online courses and which you're aware of because you were part of one of them.

Hasan Kubba: Um, so I'm going to probably be doing a bit less of that over the next few months, but then it could pick up from there. Oh, of course. And I forgot to say a YouTube. So I've been doing much more short form video. So I'm on TikTok, Instagram, et cetera, YouTube shorts, but I'm going to be doing some like long form YouTube content.

Hasan Kubba: So yeah, I'm working on some really cool stuff in terms of YouTube so that I'm actually quite excited about that. 

Amardeep Parmar: I think  I know what this is, but I think it's still secret, isn't it? Yeah. It's pretty cool. 

Hasan Kubba: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. It's like a whole, like it's very different to what other people do on YouTube.

Hasan Kubba: It's very well researched, kind of a documentary series almost, but it's going to be fun and I'm really looking forward to it. Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: And you mentioned there about the next book potentially being a continuation for The Unfair Advantage. 

Hasan Kubba:Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar:  And so The Unfair Advantage [00:31:00] now came out a couple of years ago.

Hasan Kubba:Yeah.

Amardeep Parmar: Is there anything that you wish that you put in the book that you've learned since then because you've had so many new experiences? 

Hasan Kubba: That's a good question. Not really, no. I would say maybe I'll, because I've learned about coaching modalities and  frameworks since then. So there's no mention of coaching and like the value of coaching in the book, but it's not really central to the theme.

Hasan Kubba: It's just an unfair advantage to be able to afford a coach and also you don't even need to necessarily like the next best thing is to coach yourself and that you could do that through journaling, finding an accountability body. There are lots of different things that can help you get the clarity and accountability that you get from a coach, which is very powerful stuff.

Hasan Kubba: And I've started hiring a coach for all the different areas of my life and it's just helped me level up in so many ways. Yeah. Apart from that, honestly, like quite happy with how it turned out. But why in terms of an extension, like to give a sneak peek into it, there's going to be a lot more case studies because that's what people really love.

Hasan Kubba: There's all the stories in the book. So yeah, I'm going to be breaking down more case studies and stuff, [00:32:00] but it's kind of. I don't know if it's going to be a second book, like a full book, or it might be a series of books. We'll see. We'll see how it works and how it comes together. We're still working on that now and had a meeting with the publishers just this week, actually.

Hasan Kubba: So yeah, it's all in the works. 

Amardeep Parmar: And like, I've obviously read The Unfair Advantage and you said I took a course earlier in the year. And I think it's just interesting because It just makes you think about things in a different way. And I like what you said there as well about people like limiting themselves.

Amardeep Parmar: And I think so many of us do that where I can see people, I can see they're amazing. I can see all the skills they have, but they don't think they can do it. And one of the big parts of that too is where people overestimate what they can do in the short term. So they set themselves a high target.

Amardeep Parmar: Then they don't get to that. It's like, Oh, okay. I knew I'd never do it. Like I'm a failure or whatever like that. But they underestimate what they can do in the longer term. And it's just the idea of sometimes you've got to stick up things where you need a bit of luck, like you said, and sometimes that luck doesn't come in the first month, it doesn't come in the second month.

Amardeep Parmar: [00:33:00] But if you're doing good stuff, eventually you'll get that break, and that's where all the skills you've built up and all your talents will really come to shine. 

Hasan Kubba: Exactly. You nailed it, because it's like, we, what was the thing I said, I ended my TED talk with this quote. It was like, we all overestimate what we can achieve.

Hasan Kubba: In a month, but underestimate what we can achieve in a year or even in 10 years. However, you want to say it reality is you can do a lot more than you think. And that's why, that's why it's hard to predict where you'll be life works in like exponential curves, especially, especially if you're not, if you don't get a normal nine to five job, like if you just got a normal job, then life can be quite linear.

Hasan Kubba: But when it comes to business and the creative world, let's say, let's put it as that it can be quite exponential and you can go down as well as up. That's the thing. It can, it can be a negative spiral or it can be a positive spiral. That's why it's so it can be so brutal. So it's difficult to predict where you'll be, and I [00:34:00] think it's key to kind of, yeah, as you said, like, don't be delusional about what you can achieve, and that's, you were saying how people underestimate themselves, and I think that's so, so common, but then it's also common for people to be a bit delusional about how good they are or something, and that's where the self awareness needs to come in, maybe they're not,

Hasan Kubba: maybe there's something else they can do where they'll be better, you know, like maybe they, well, maybe they need some humility to think, okay, why am I not getting anywhere? You know, you work with some people in business and you're like, whoa, this is really difficult to work with you. Like, there's something there that you need to work on.

Hasan Kubba: There's some, there's some mindset thing. That, that when I, when I kind of want to get services from say somebody setting services where you get the wrong vibe from them or you get desperation from them and you just think, oh man, they're really thinking short term here. They really don't care or they don't take pride in their work.

Hasan Kubba: It's a really common one. We get people that just do a slapdash job and just be like, yeah, it's done. And you're like, okay, you're not taking any pride in your work. Well, how do you expect to get better? How do you expect [00:35:00] to grow? So there's, there's two sides to it, man. Yeah. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. It's difficult, isn't it?

Amardeep Parmar: Because unless you've got the people, this is where sometimes the people around you or a coach becomes important because they can give you that side perspective and the objective where you really are. Yeah. And sometimes, for example, the writing side, you see some people and they think they're amazing writers and then I can rip their article apart.

Amardeep Parmar: And they're like, Oh, but sometimes you need that, right? Sometimes you just need that tough love in a way because that's how you improve. And it's difficult because in say a professional job, like you said, you're used to kind of getting like small feedback, a little bit every year, your salary increases a bit.

Amardeep Parmar: Whereas when you work for yourself, you can kind of get that existential criticism of you're not good at your businesses. And then you feel like, Oh, wow. And I'm lucky that I haven't really had that experience too much, but it's people have different ideas of, especially in the creative world of what's good and what isn't.

Amardeep Parmar: [00:36:00] And you've got to kind of find the right audience too, because if you're trying to do something in a certain way. And you've got a style of your personality or whatever your business is, and you're trying to work with people who've got very different side of business to you, that's not really going to work.

Amardeep Parmar: Even if you maybe have the skills. So it's really trying to work out that as well and the importance of people in that too. And talking about the importance of people. So BAE HQ is really important to build a community. That's the whole point of what we're doing here. So what could somebody who's listening right now contact you about and how could you potentially help them?

Hasan Kubba: What I really love helping people with is specific questions, because if somebody asks a specific question, you know, they're taking action. You know, they're like, okay, here's my situation. Here's what I tried to do. Here's what happened. How can I get a better result? Am I on the right track? I can help with that as long as it's succinct.

Hasan Kubba: So in terms of me helping people, I'm very good at helping somebody, let's say, give them feedback [00:37:00] on, let's say their strategy or business idea, but not from scratch, I want to see that they've actually tried to get clients, or they have some customers and they have like, you know, they want to know how to get more, or they have some feedback or they have, they have something.

Hasan Kubba: So it's really, really important that you've show that you've tried. And then I can give you a ton of feedback on your business idea on like your creator journey, your YouTube journey or TikTok journey or whatever, like you're trying to build something. So that's key. Another way to look at what I'm good at

Hasan Kubba: or what I can help you with is get past that initial fear. But the thing is, there isn't really anything that I can do. It's more just like, encourage you to be like, yeah, just go for it. Do you know what I mean? And, or, or help sense check somebody's thinking. Yeah, 

Amardeep Parmar: and then how can the community help you?

Amardeep Parmar: How can the BAE community? Where should they reach out where they can potentially help you achieve your goals? 

Hasan Kubba: Yeah, so the area where what I'm looking to do [00:38:00] more is more speaking. So whether that's at companies or at events or at conferences or some kind of like there are some like festivals for books and stuff like that.

Hasan Kubba: So I'm actually, it's a, I'm at a unique stage where I'm like, okay, I'm making really good money from coaching, from my investments, from business. So it's not really financially that sound or that financially such a great idea for me to do public speaking, but I've just decided recently, I want to do that because I want to get back in the arena.

Hasan Kubba: Speaking of being a practitioner, I want to get out there and be a practitioner of this. Um, and it's just been like, you know, pandemic and stuff has like slowed it down whereas I was doing a lot of speaking before. So I've decided I want to get back in the speaker circuit. So if anybody wants to run an event where it's like in London and, you know.

Hasan Kubba: Either it's going to be a big portfolio piece and I'd even do that for free because I'm like let's build a portfolio and let's all have a lot of impact, let's see if you can get a big audience. I'd actually happily speak for free because I'd love to just spread the [00:39:00] message, help people to understand success, help people to understand the past, their unfair advantages, et cetera.

Hasan Kubba: That's one side and the other side. Yeah. Like if there's a budget or if there's something else that's more bespoke or a company, that's something I'm interested in and connected to that is if it's filmed, so if you can get it filmed, or if you want to get some experience shadowing and becoming like somebody who comes in films, takes pictures, etc.

Hasan Kubba: For when I speak at events or just in general, that's another area of opportunity where somebody could help. So those are the areas that I would love to get more help with from you people in the community, people based in London, like this is kind of in person stuff. Um, and yeah, and also how I like to help people.

Hasan Kubba: Cause I always like, I reply to like DMS, like I get a lot, but I actually try and reply to people and help them out. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah, it  sounds amazing. And it's been great to have you on today. 

Hasan Kubba: Thanks so much. Yeah, it's really fun. 

Amardeep Parmar: We've  got a couple minutes left. Have you got any final words for people listening? 

Hasan Kubba:So  what I'd like to say is, it's really important to get that self awareness.

Hasan Kubba: To ask yourself, [00:40:00] what is it that I want to achieve? What do I want for myself? What kind of impact do I want to have? And what kind of lifestyle do I want for myself? So it's like the selfless side and the selfish side. You want to think about both. If you think about only one and not the other, it's an imbalance and there's a problem.

Hasan Kubba: And it's not going to be sustainable or it's going to lead to you being very unhappy. You have to think about both. And you have to think, what do I actually want? Not what society tells me. Not what my parents tell me. Not what my friends think is cool. Not what my significant other is driving me to do.

Hasan Kubba: What do I actually want for myself? And that could be a whole journey of discovery. And you might not have an answer straight away, but that's okay. Just get started. And second, once you've got that, figure out what gives you energy. Where do you get excited? Where do you feel like I want to do more of this?

Hasan Kubba: What gives you kind of that kind of fulfillment type of pleasure as opposed to like just like fun type of pleasure, you know? And that self awareness will get you started. And then think about where your unfair advantages are. Your talents, what people, you know, [00:41:00] compliment you on. What people, what seems easy to you, like, oh, that's nothing, but other people, but other people are like, wow, that's amazing that you can do that and you just think, oh, that's nothing, that's probably your unfair advantage.

Hasan Kubba: And then when it comes, and then outside of yourself, your circumstances, who you know, your network, how you come across, you know, the status signals that you give off. Everyone's giving off status signals, by the way, this isn't just unique to like if you're privileged and so just figure out how you can leverage and use all of these things to your advantage to get you that lifestyle, you know, the kind of job or business and the impact on others, the positive impact on society, you know, the the externalities of like, you know, having a ding in the universe, helping people in the world, having a positive social impact.

Hasan Kubba: So that's the kind of basic framework that I just love to tell people. And finally, gratitude. Don't think, oh, I don't have that unfair advantage, I've only got this. That's the whole point of the book is be grateful for what you've got because you can leverage it whether it [00:42:00] seems negative or positive Because there's not just post traumatic stress and you know, you know PTSD and all of that. There's also post traumatic growth.

Hasan Kubba: So even if you've been through some real terrible crap, you can probably use that to grow. So that's the message I want to leave everybody with and I hope you luck and also success and serendipity and also the toil and sweat and hard work in your own journeys.

Coming soon...

Other episodes you may enjoy: