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SPECIAL: The Story of The BAE HQ Co-Founder Amar

Amardeep Parmar


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SPECIAL: The Story of The BAE HQ Co-Founder Amar

Amardeep Parmar



Watch this episode on SpotifyWatch onListen on YouTube
Farah Kabir HANX
Full transcript here

About Amardeep Parmar

In this special unexpected episode, The BAE HQ Co-Founder Amar interviews himself about the journey so far.

Understand some of the reality behind our host as well as diving into almost self-therapy toward the end.

Amardeep Parmar

Show Notes

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Amardeep Parmar Full Transcript

Amardeep: [00:00:00] This has got to be one of the weirdest things I've ever done. Did you always have the kind of confidence to be able to sit here and interview yourself like some narcissist?

Amardeep Guest: I was just a nervous kid, I was shy, I didn't talk to people that much, I didn't have many friends outside of school. A lot of what I was doing was just totally driven by fear and I think that carried on to be honest until my mid twenties.

Amardeep Guest: I'm on bonus because I never thought I'd do any of the things I'm doing. This is insane that we've got here. I really believe that in 30 years time, we've made a huge difference and a huge impact. And that's what I measure myself on. I didn't measure myself on the day to day. I measure myself in the 30 year impact.

Amardeep: And we're live. Today, we've got a special edition of the podcast where I'm going to be interviewing myself because we had a last minute guest cancellation and the show must go on. So what I'm going to try and give you here is obviously I know my own story, but I tried to do it in a way that's hopefully fun and engaging and you get to learn a bit more about my story and maybe some of the things I haven't really talked [00:01:00] about publicly before or on the BAE HQ.

Amardeep: So I'm Amar, I'm the guy who's always behind the seat and asking the questions, but today I ask the same questions I ask my guests to me. So I'm now going to put on my interviewer hat. So YouTube, this is Amar, the interviewer, and this is Amar the guest. 

Amardeep: So, Amar, you've got an interesting story. Tell me about when you were growing up. What did you want to be?

Amardeep Guest:. It's funny in a way because my story actually has gone full circle. When I was growing up, I originally wanted to be an author, right? So I was thinking in my head, I was maybe five, six years old. I was thinking, I want to write books. Then I forgot about that for about. Two decades or a decade and a half and later on I became a writer.

Amardeep Guest: Right? But growing up, when I was at school, I was what I like to call, it's like a Ronin, right? So people aren't familiar with Samurai culture. Samurai has always have a master. Whereas a Ronin is a samurai about master. So is somebody who has skill. They're good at things, but they don't really know where to apply.

Amardeep Guest: They don't have a mission. And I think that's what I was like. I was like, [00:02:00] most stuff I do, I get engaged in, I get obsessed with, I get good at. I had that kind of a personality. And it's not to sound arrogant either, obviously there's plenty of stuff I wasn't very good at, but I never really knew what I wanted to do and I did this whole thing where I picked the A levels, I picked A levels of biology, chemistry, maths and economics, basically the typical brown thing to do because I didn't know what I wanted to do, right?

Amardeep Guest: I didn't know if I wanted to become a doctor, dentist or if I wanted to go down the more business-y route and I thought about it in my head is that because I'm not passionate enough about medicine, about that kind of an industry, I shouldn't go into it. So me choosing economics was, yes, I was interested in it.

Amardeep Guest: It was also me kicking the can down the road in terms of decision making. 

Amardeep:That's interesting and what were you like as a kid? Did you always have the kind of confidence to be able to sit here and interview yourself like some narcissist or you struggling a bit more of your confidence? 

Amardeep Guest: I can confidently say until this morning I never thought I'd be sitting here.[00:03:00] into myself, such is life and I am doing what I'm doing. But to be honest, as a kid, I didn't speak like this, right? I spoke like this and benangia wagwan, because I didn't have that confidence. I was trying to fit in. And even now, like again, we'll get, we'll give you a few secrets because it's a weird episode.

Amardeep Guest: And if you're listening, then you can enjoy it, right? I used to be really jumpy. So obviously going to an all boys school, there was lots of people play fighting and stuff like that. And I used to really jump and people would make fun of me for it. Right. Because I always had this anxiety where I didn't quite feel like I fit in.

Amardeep Guest: I wasn't that cool. And that was always something which I was just a nervous kid. I was shy. I didn't talk to people that much. I didn't have many friends outside of school. I was part of clubs and stuff, but then at the same time, I might be friends of one or two people. But I was never like the extrovert, I was never the person who was really outgoing and found it really easy to make friends and command an audience.

Amardeep Guest: So the fact I'm doing what I do today is a [00:04:00] massive surprise to me more than anybody else. And I also think like at that stage a lot of what I was doing was just totally driven by fear and I think that carried on to be honest until my mid 20s. That I was just so insecure. I was just doing things just because I needed achievements to look cool or to look impressive and obviously nobody really cares about that stuff I always had to do these achievements and have these ambitions and these goals and these titles just to kind of prove my value to other people even though the actual other people didn't really perceive them as anything like they'd rather just chat rather than like all this this this weather, right?

Amardeep Guest: So yeah, as a kid, I was very nervous, very shy. I was the kind of person where if I trusted you, I might never shut up, which 

Amardeep Guest: is still the case, obviously for me to now go to what I'm doing, be able to talk to so many people, which is never something I really ever thought I'd be doing. And if I look back, it's just kind of surreal to me that I'm now

Amardeep Guest: in this position [00:05:00] where a lot of people believe I'm confident, because it is something which very much grew over time. 

Amardeep: So you said you chose economics because you weren't sure what you wanted to do with your life, and that was the way to kick the can down the road. When you got to university, did you then have a good idea?What was it that at university you're thinking this is the future for me? Did you ever think one day you'd be working for yourself? 

Amardeep Guest: The idea of running my business never came into my head at university. It was just not something that people like us do, right? That people like me do, that anybody in my friendship group did.

Amardeep Guest: Studied economics, everybody's thinking about banking, consulting, those kinds of professional careers. The idea was to go to the city, make a ton of money 

Amardeep Guest: and retire early, which obviously most people don't really do and in my head, what I was always thinking is that I'd go and do teaching. So I had this weird delusion in my head by the time I'm 30, I have a million dollars, a million pounds in the bank and I'd go and quit my job, become a teacher.

Amardeep Guest: Because to me teaching is job that has a lot of meaning and it still does. I think I really [00:06:00] respect teachers because I know they make a huge difference and there's so much impact that can be made for young people and if you do it at that stage it sets them up for the rest of their life. Whereas it's a lot harder, although it's possible, to make those changes and interventions later on in life.

Amardeep Guest: So it's one of the reasons why with what we're doing today we're going to go into schools, we're going to go into university because I want to give people that step up. But yeah that was my idea and the way I was going to make that million pounds as well was to be, it was through investing, through trading.

Amardeep Guest: So, obviously, economics degree, I was investing my money that I was making from, like, my jobs in the summers and things like that. And that was going to enable me to then make it rich, right? Because what I was going to do in my delusions, and I still have these delusions quite often, daydreams, I like to call them.

Amardeep Guest: Where I'd make a deal and then that company would go 300 percent and then all of a sudden I'd be rich and then it'd be like, that's what I used to think where it would be dreamland. It wouldn't be that this would actually ever happen, but I used to think like, Oh, one day I do this one day I do this. And it was kind of like, Oh, it's so I've got a martial arts background, right?

Amardeep Guest: With [00:07:00] karate. And then I'd imagine myself being like a superhero and it's lame as hell to say that. But it's the truth, right, where I'd imagine myself being the national champion of the world. And I used to dream a lot. I was always a dreamer, but I didn't really take the steps or believe that I could actually ever make it.

Amardeep Guest: So I'd live in those dreams, right? I'd live in those dreams that I could be super popular, that I could be super successful. But in reality, I kind of knew, I didn't, I, well, in reality, I thought I didn't have that initiative. I didn't think I could do those things. So that's why I dreamt about it, but didn't necessarily take the steps to actually get there.

Amardeep: Yeah, so that is an interesting revelation about you there, about these dreams and ambitions and these kind of wild, crazy theories. And hopefully nobody makes fun of you from that, from listening to this. But you mentioned there about martial arts in particular, and obviously I know, but did that have a big impact on you?What did martial arts do for you and your confidence? 

Amardeep Guest: I'd say karate is a massive reason why I am who I am today, because it [00:08:00] gave me a lot more confidence in myself, a lot more belief in myself. So we're talking about a kid who was scared of his own shadow, right? So I was growing up, around people in Ilford.

Amardeep Guest: And for me, it's always a fear of violence, even if it wasn't necessarily a reality of it. And it's this whole thing about we create these worries in our mind, right? And I think I had so many worries and I was just paranoid about everything. And people obviously knew me back then, they could agree with that, right?

Amardeep Guest: Like, I didn't... want to hide that. I wasn't a cool kid. I wasn't popular. It wasn't anything like that. And I'd get nervous about things other people just didn't get nervous about. And karate was my release. It was a huge thing for me in terms of confidence because here was something which I became good at, which eventually became in the national squad of.

Amardeep Guest: And having that ability and that just self confidence myself that I can deal with situations, I can deal with danger. That is a huge part of who I am today. And I think anybody listening who struggles with confidence, or they have children, or they have Young people, they know the struggle with confidence, martial arts is [00:09:00] such a huge help and it gives you that discipline and that structure.

Amardeep Guest: And you can even sit in the way I am today, right? That martial arts background is a big reason why I can just look at anything, can look straight into a camera and be like, I can take it on, right? I believe in myself. I'm going to smash it. Because if you can take on different things in the world where you're well, you can train where your back is against the wall and you're getting these people who are world class martial artists trying to hit you in the face.

Amardeep Guest: When you can deal with that, that just gave me the belief I can take on anything. 

Amardeep: Okay, so let's, let's fast forward a bit, right? Let's fast forward through your, your journey. So what did you go into after university? 

Amardeep Guest:So after university, I actually went into tech consulting and it wasn't intentional. And I've gone from the company so I can admit this, but I thought it was gonna be more business consulting, right?

Amardeep Guest: I thought it was gonna be more strategy consultant, management consulting, and I thought it would be some elements of tech. And in the end, it was way more technical than I thought it was going to be. But at the same time, once I got into that role and I got steady in it, it was then hard to leave because it's like, well, [00:10:00] I've built up skills in this area now.

Amardeep Guest: I don't really want to go back to ground zero and start my career again. So it's one of these situations where even though I knew I didn't want to do it long term, I stuck around and one thing was I really liked the people there and I really enjoyed my bosses. They were great people and I obviously appreciate it more now sitting on this other side where I'm not there anymore and maybe didn't give them enough credit when I did work there.

Amardeep Guest: And I think naturally in an employee sometimes it's hard to get empathy with people who are the bosses, right? Because you think in your head, that they've made it, they know everything what to do, right? Whereas when you become what I've done today and what I've talked to all these different entrepreneurs, I realized just how tough it is and how many different trade offs I have to make all the time.

Amardeep Guest: So I've got such massive respect for my former bosses at Boxfusion and that's Chris and Andy. So Shout out to them if they're listening to this. So I was there for seven years. I always had something on the side, so I did. Like I used to travel a lot and the traveling was because I needed something to look forward to.

Amardeep Guest: Because I didn't know where I was going in life. And that anxiety and that stress [00:11:00] despite me being maybe more confident when I was younger, it just had this void inside of me, right? Like what am I going to do? Like I need to... Again, a huge amount of my life when I was younger was led by me not being confident and me needing to collect trophies or collect achievements or collect cool things so that I could feel like I belonged in different situations, right?

Amardeep Guest: Because I didn't feel like I was, yeah, I guess I didn't feel like I was cool. I didn't, I needed these things to give me that confidence, which is obviously, in hindsight, not particularly good and not particularly healthy. So I also danced in a national Bunga competition, right? So there's only one competition a year.

Amardeep Guest: Calling it The Nash was a bit of an exaggeration there, but I danced in front of the stage in front of 2, 000 people and I'd always have these things on the side as projects that were to pour my creativity into it, right? And what was great about my job in the end was that because it was tech consulting, it meant that I had both the technical skills, problem solving skills.

Amardeep Guest: They've been a massive help to me, but also the people skills and the ability to [00:12:00] break down quite complicated technical things into language that everybody understands. And that skill is basically the foundations of storytelling, right? Consultants who aren't just making slide decks at least. It's how do you weave the story of here's all this crap going on that the client doesn't really care about.

Amardeep Guest: They care about. The outcomes and how it's going to affect their customers and their bottom line. So how do you create that bond with them? And I think that's something which I did very well is that I was able to do the technical side and problem solving, whatever, but I was able to build a rapport with the clients so that because I could do that communication well, that helped me out a lot because I could manage those relationships.

Amardeep: And keep the project on budget and often I like to say you select to over promise, but then over deliver, deliver where I could do things quicker than they thought I could do them, but I'd still be able to have time to do that. 

Amardeep:So I love the honesty so far about some of the challenges you face and also about some of your motivation, because I think [00:13:00] sometimes

Amardeep: often people, they like to come on here. Maybe they try to show themselves perfectly the whole way through. I don't know. It's definitely not the case for you. So tell us about the writing side of things, right? Because that's initially how you built your brand. Although a lot of people maybe who are part of the BAE HQ or part of this channel aren't really aware of the origins of where that writing came from.

Amardeep Guest: I think a big transition for me came when I was in my mid twenties, right? I think I started to understand a lot more about how actually mental health is a thing and mental wellbeing. And I think I'd grown up in this situation where, I guess, toxic masculinity, whatever it was, where if somebody was struggling mentally, then that just made them weak, right?

Amardeep Guest: And that's what I kind of grew up believing and thinking. And that's a product of my school environment, different places I'd been, whatever. But I started to have more people open up to me, and I started to realize there's a lot of people who I think are so successful and so popular and so cool at what I desire to be maybe, who actually had a lot of problems underneath the covers.

Amardeep Guest: And that [00:14:00] opened my eyes a lot. Because I started to realize, actually, maybe there's things that I've been struggling with that I've been covering up and trying to pretend I'm confident when I'm not really, and maybe that's actually okay. And I think once you can admit that there's things that you can work on and improve on, then that enables you to really grow.

Amardeep Guest: So I started reading a lot. So say 26, 27, 28, I was reading a book a week almost, right? So I used to love reading stories about people from other backgrounds, people who didn't have the same life experience as me and this reading habit. Eventually came to the idea of like, well, why don't I write something?

Amardeep Guest: I've learned so much in the last couple of years. Maybe I can share my ideas and it's going to help me process my thoughts. So January 2020, New Year's resolution. I'll start writing online. Nobody's going to care, but it'll be good for me, right? A new year, new me, productive habit, whatever, right? And that's the kind of angle I went at it from.

Amardeep Guest: And. My first article went viral and then the rest kind of became history, right? So that was January 2020. March 2020, the pandemic started. All of a sudden I was at home way more often. [00:15:00] I had a lot more time to write. I was getting traction. I was getting people liking what I was doing and it was really giving me that purpose, right?

Amardeep: I was, I'm good at something and people like it. And that was that feedback loop that really spurred me on. It was just really enjoyable to have discovered this skill, which I didn't really know I had. And I always say to people, if you're not happy, or you've got different things going on, and you feel like you're in a rut, just try something out.

Amardeep Guest: You don't know what it's going to be that's going to be the magic bullet. For me, writing made a huge difference, but it could be something else for you. Maybe you find that you're a good painter. Maybe you find that you're good at something else. Maybe it's a different type of dance, whatever it is. From there, it became the Editor of Entrepreneur's Handbook.

Amardeep Guest: Six months later. And it was a weirdly quick rise, but it was because I was interacting with people. I was trying to help people out. People who are a lot more experienced than I did saw that. And they saw that I was giving quite good advice and helping people out. So they took me under their wing, a guy called Michael Thompson.

Amardeep Guest: So shout out to Michael. He took me under his wing and then. I then became the editor of Entrepreneur's Handbook with him [00:16:00] and that enabled me to suddenly rapidly increase my growth because now I'm editing all these entrepreneurs from all across the world. So Entrepreneur's Handbook, we used to get a couple million views a month in that a couple million views a month in the summer of 2020.

Amardeep Guest: And my own writing was starting to get to kind of level as well. I was getting a million views a month and it was just so weird because I never thought myself ever like that. That wasn't the ambition. I didn't start writing to become rich and I didn't start writing to quit my job and do it. And I think a lot of people ask me the wrong question.

Amardeep Guest: A lot of people ask me, I want to become a full time content creator someday. How do I do it? Well, they should be asking me, how do you start? How do you get the first steps? And even then you shouldn't be asking me, you should just Google it. Just start. That's the best advice I have possibly for anybody wants to become content creator.

Amardeep Guest: Just start, stop overthinking it. I've had so many pivots over time. Most people don't remember my early articles. Most people don't remember what I did two years ago. That's fine. You can start now. It can be crap. It can be rubbish. You get that muscle. You start to improve. You can pivot later on if you want to.

Amardeep Guest: So by the end of the year, I was starting to out earn [00:17:00] my day job from the writing. So Medium is a platform I use. Medium is just like YouTube for writing. So you get paid based on the amount of views and the readership time, right? It's the same, exact same thing, botch time that I did, right? What's happening, I'm starting to now consistently beat my day job with income.

Amardeep Guest: And at the same time, it's exciting me. I'm getting fulfillment. I'm getting the challenge and with work, I'm like. I'm good at this, but I don't see where it's going to go. A lot of people are now asking me, when are you going to go full time? And the demand for calls, the people adding me on LinkedIn, the people emailing me like, Oh, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Amardeep Guest: I couldn't keep up with it. Right? So as a pandemic was starting to come to an end and things start to open up again, I had to decide to myself, I've got three things, right? So you've got, there's three things I had. I had social life, work and side hustles, and I couldn't maintain all three. During the pandemic,

Amardeep Guest: I had no social life. Easy. Okay, cool. I've got work and side hustles. That's it. Once things start opening up again, I want a social life, right? Do I want to sacrifice the social life for these things? I was forced into that position. [00:18:00] So I had to decide work, side hustles, right? Because I couldn't maintain both and have a life and not lose it, right?

Amardeep Guest: And I am currently interviewing myself. So maybe you can argue that I have lost it. But here we are. So work was one that I thought I'd regret the least. And what I'd say is a huge impact is that the people around me believed in me, especially my parents, especially my dad and my mom, right? And my sisters too.

Amardeep Guest: So I took a week off in February and I sat down and made a plan of exactly what I was going to do when I quit my job. I was really overthinking it. And I think when I said it's a good idea to overthink it, but I had the savings, I had money in the bank. If I failed, I failed and I'd be able to find something again, right?

Amardeep Guest: But my dad just believed in me so much. He was just like, just quit. Like, stop overthinking it. You'll be fine. I trust in you. I believe in you, right? And that is, like, turning point, right? If he'd said to me, you're being an idiot. Don't quit your job. I don't know if I would have. I don't know if I'd be here today if my dad didn't believe in me.

Amardeep Guest: If my family didn't say like, yeah. You're good. You're going to do this, right? Because the amount of [00:19:00] imposter syndrome that comes with like, yeah, I'm going to become a full time writer after having my whole identity based around being in the professional career and being working in the city, it was really quite difficult.

Amardeep Guest: It was really difficult for me. It was nightmares. It was not being able to sleep for months. It would be crying. Like I would, like, I'm not ashamed to admit that in those months of my notice period, I was just like all over the place, like I was so scared and now I can't even remember having a day job. 

Amardeep:So what actually happened when you quit your job, right?

Amardeep: Because you don't really write very much anymore, right? So you quit your job to become a writer who doesn't write and now you just podcast mainly. What do you actually do now? 

Amardeep Guest:So it's interesting. I quit my job for the personal brand, right? So my personal brand was growing and I thought, okay, people are coming to me for me.

Amardeep Guest: But once you quit your job, you want safety. So what I was doing then is taking a lot more client work. So I was writing for startups all across the world, some of the biggest names, I can't name them for NDA reasons, but companies worth in your tens of billions, hundreds of billions of range, right? And many startups are [00:20:00] smaller than that.

Amardeep Guest: Founders don't believe anything you read on the internet. It's written by somebody like me and that earns significant money in that year. Right? So but it became like a job. So I quit my job to believe in myself and back myself. And now a lot of my writing was actually not even under my own name and nobody knew I wrote it.

Amardeep Guest: But what I did do in that year is experiment a lot. So the first thing I did, once I went full time, I started a podcast, which a lot of people don't know about, I don't even advertise this one anymore, called Mindful and Driven. And the idea there, because a lot of my writing at the time, was that  Was all about how to find balance, which is ironic now, considering the lack of balance.

Amardeep Guest: I have, that's what I was really obsessed with at the time. That's what I'm really interested in. So I was interviewing people who've done very well into my, like their routine. How did they simultaneously have the drive to succeed and to do well while also looking after themselves and having that self care.

Amardeep Guest: And again, the irony is I don't look after myself anymore. Right. And that's something I'm really trying to put into place better. So that podcast started and I then started entrepreneurs handbook podcast as well. So that one's had. [00:21:00] Like founder of Netflix, founder of Twitter, those kinds of people. And it was just a sudden explosion of like all of a sudden I'm all over the place, I'm doing these different things, experimenting.

Amardeep Guest: And that first year was intentional of I'm doing a bunch of different things, find out what I enjoy and keep doing more of what I enjoy. That was the idea, just allow myself to be curious. Don't put too much pressure on the financial side or anything like that. Although I did end up spending a lot more time on the financial side than I wanted to just because I'm human and it's nice to see money coming into the bank, right?

Amardeep: Okay, so rewind a second there. You said that you interviewed the founders of Netflix and Twitter. How was that experience? What did that do for you? 

Amardeep Guest: Okay, so now including this podcast, I've interviewed over about 220 people. And the top guns, the people like the founders of Netflix, the founders of Twitter, They're all human.

Amardeep Guest: They all eat, they all sleep, they all shit. And because of that experience of me talking to some of these people now, I think my personality is very different. Of, I try to show respect to everybody, but I also have a lot less time for ego. I just can't be arsed. Like there are plenty of people [00:22:00] now who think I should be talking in a certain way or think I should suck up to them.

Amardeep Guest: And it's like, the people who I've met at the very, very top, you're Ev Williams of Twitter, you're Mark Randolph of Netflix. They were so kind and that's what kind of person I want to be and I'm not there yet, right? I'm struggling with my different things. I haven't got the balance. I'm out of whack, right?

Amardeep Guest: And I want to be better and I want to be able to manage that better because at the moment it's, it's tough, right? Like I'm juggling so many different things. Sometimes I'm not fully present, sometimes I make mistakes and I want to improve on that. And those people were like, say my dad, right? My dad was really, really good at being present in the moment and there's something I need to work on.

Amardeep Guest: But yeah, that's a huge, biggest thing I learned is that these guys all have regrets. The billions doesn't make you happy. And although the idea is about scale, is that people think the idea is to create a billion dollar companies to become rich. For a lot of people, it's actually motivated by it, because what are you going to buy the billion dollars?

Amardeep Guest: The actual motivation is, is They really care about the problem they're trying to solve and [00:23:00] they're obsessed that they enjoy the actual process of what they're doing. There's a certain level you're motivated by money and then another level where you're just motivated by like, this is fun. So say Warren Buffett, Warren Buffett enjoys picking stocks.

Amardeep Guest: He enjoys that whole process. Mark Randolph enjoyed finding problems to fix. Ev Williams, he was fascinated by this idea of communication online and how do we creates spaces where it furthers humanity, right? And that's what I learned from these guys is that one, I believe myself a lot more because like, they're all cool.

Amardeep Guest: They're all very intelligent, but they're all just human. Also to try and be aware of what's the actual point of this, right? Because I was ever really motivated by money, but money obviously makes things a lot easier. And money is a privilege that enables you to build what you want to build because you need to worry about the bills.

Amardeep Guest: And a lot of people don't realize how big a privilege that is where. If you're a successful entrepreneur, but then if you knew at any time you go back to live with your parents and your parents would just cover your costs for however long you wanted to, that gives you a different level of risk appetite.

Amardeep Guest: Whereas if somebody else has got a [00:24:00] nine to five and if they don't make their mortgage, like they don't make enough money one month, then they default on their house. It's not a fair comparison, and that's why I try to spotlight where I can, People who did come from nothing and made it themselves. Because I think that's really inspiring, and I think there's an incredible number of people who've done that.

Amardeep: So far in this story, I haven't heard anything about the BAE HQ yet, right? So where did the BHQ come into things? What was the story behind that? 

Amardeep Guest:So the BAE HQ story starts from me wanting to get a bit more involved in the UK scene because I was very, very heavily American based and Americans eight hours behind in Silicon Valley with some massive pain.

Amardeep Guest: Sorry, Americans, but it's true. And I was looking at this now of how can I make a difference here? Where can I find a niche? And what I did is I gave a talk for EY and happened to be so somebody used to dance with, Ranvir. Her husband, now Gurvir, it became my co founder. And it was all because I did a talk there, I said if anybody knows anybody I should interview, [00:25:00] let me know for the Entrepreneur’s Handbook.

Amardeep Guest: She said, Oh, my husband's a venture capital. He will know some people he should interview. So we had a chat, we got along, we went for a Malaysian. Can't remember the name of the place now, somewhere in Barrington. And we just had a rant. And then we met again a couple of weeks later, we had another rant. And then we're thinking, wait, why don't we do something about this?

Amardeep Guest: Because he's got a venture capital background. Venture capital, again, for people is like investing other people's money in startups, basically. So we had that experience. I had experience in the media side. Let's do something together and let's see if we can do it right. So it's really fun to think of the idea.

Amardeep Guest: It's like for people who haven't been into business yet, that ideation stage is so fun where you're just thinking, okay, what can we do? What can we do? And it was trying to work out exactly what I need. She's going to be as well, right? Because you've got, we could come for Sikhs, both Sikhs. We could have gone for.

Amardeep Guest: Indians, we could have gone for Punjabis, we could have gone for Asians, South Asians. And we decided to go broader because Asians, because we thought we want to make the maximum impact. And also there's a lot of challenges that Asians face is common between them, [00:26:00] but they didn't work together. So we want to change that mentality, right?

Amardeep Guest: We want Muslims to work with Hindus. We want like Indians to work with Chinese people. We want people from Japan to work with people from Bangladesh. We want all of those kinds of connections. Um, we want all of those relationships to be built up. But at this point, it was still an idea. It's going to be a side hustle.

Amardeep Guest: How it actually came up with the name is we were sitting, well, I was sitting in a conference. I was bored out of my mind. I was daydreaming. I do this quite a lot to be honest. And it's like, okay, British, Asian entrepreneurs, really long. Then it's a BAE, then it's like, Oh, BAE, Oh, BAE is quite funny. And obviously as you can see my t shirt now, that's what we went with.

Amardeep Guest: And it's interesting because obviously a lot of people ask about it and it was just, it's just a tongue in cheek brand, right? And if you think hopefully it gets people, it's easy to remember. It's fun. It's short. All the domains were available. All of the Instagrams were available and that made it happen at that stage.

Amardeep Guest: And so this is obviously where a harder bit to talk to comes about. So dad [00:27:00] fell sick and I've talked about this before. So I won't go into too much detail right now. I think it's a story that people may have heard a few years in the previous episodes. So dad passed away in August of last year and it flipped everything in his head.

Amardeep Guest: Right. Because in that year beforehand, I was driven by curiosity. I was driven by here's something cool I can do. Let's try this. Let's try that. It was very exciting. It's like the world of opportunities just opened up to me. But the problem is that curiosity, when you've had a loss like that, nothing is interesting anymore.

Amardeep Guest: Nothing, well, it took a lot out of me, and it still takes a lot out of me, like I've got chunks of me missing, right? And what I knew at that stage is that I needed something to overwhelm that grief. I needed something I cared about so much that enables me to just distract myself. To overpower, because it's just not, it's not fun feeling sad, right?

Amardeep Guest: And I also knew that... A lot of people turn to drugs, a lot of people turn to alcohol, a lot of people turn to vices that aren't particularly healthy. [00:28:00] And I was thinking, what if I turn it to a not for profit and focus my energy towards something that's going to help people and obsess over that? Then it's probably the least of the evils.

Amardeep Guest: It's still not the best thing to do, but this is my logic. Don't necessarily recommend it. And that's what I did, right? And even thinking back on it now, like, really thinking about it, I threw myself in really early. Like, within a month or so, I was doing interviews again. And part of it was just, I can't explain...

Amardeep Guest: the effect that the grief had on me where it was just tingling like it was just on edge like you know when in the movies we can see something bad is about to happen it just felt like that all the time right.  So i needed something to focus myself on that would be positive and just throw myself into work mode and really hard and that first couple months after the funeral after things got set up again to say i want to say it was like mid september to say well even till the end of the year. I had events pretty much every day sometimes multiple events a day. Because all I was doing was just avoiding.

Amardeep Guest: Constantly avoiding. And I was open about it. I was telling people that this is what's [00:29:00] happened, blah blah blah. I was justifying and deluding myself that I'm okay because I'm talking about it. I'm telling people what's going on. At the same time I was being so burnt out that I could barely cope. But the thing is if I rested, then I'd think about what's going on.

Amardeep Guest: So I just avoided, avoided, avoided, avoided. And a lot of this year, same thing, right? Like, so... The BAE HQ podcast is an obvious bit because I've done a lot of podcasts. It was quite easy for me. I've done, I'm comfortable with this clearly, right? But then there's so much more than that. It's about doing events and doing community.

Amardeep Guest: And there's so many other aspects we have, and we're still trying to build out. And next week's episode, you'll hear a lot more about what we're doing there. So I won't go into too much detail, but it was this whole new project and this whole new thing that I really believe that in 30 years time, we're going to make a huge difference and a huge impact.

Amardeep Guest: And that's what I measure myself on. I didn't measure myself on the day to day. I measure myself on the 30 year impact. And that sucks in terms of most people is that you celebrate a win. So I didn't celebrate my wins. And it's partly because of grief. It's partly because of different things, but I'm very much [00:30:00] becoming like a machine.

Amardeep Guest: And when people wonder how this has grown so quickly, it has in the last year, it's because of the huge amount of sacrifice. That's gone behind it, and I need to prepare and look after myself a lot more, because I want a 30 year impact. A 30 year impact doesn't work if I burn out and break down in the next year, right?

Amardeep: What have been some of the highlights of this journey so far? And what have been some of the struggles you've had? What have been the most difficult moments? 

Amardeep Guest: In terms of highlights... We had a launch party at Bournemouth Capital, had some incredible people on this podcast. I won't try to name any because there's too many incredible people.

Amardeep Guest:: And I'm truly privileged to have talked to the people I have and get to do what I get to do . And I am grateful for that. That makes a huge difference. And it is like, who am I to be doing this? I always ask myself, who am I? Right. And I try to do things in the right way. It doesn't mean I'm always right. It doesn't mean I don't regret things.

Amardeep Guest: Don't mean I wish. I always wish I was better, right? There's always this drive inside of me of trying to be better and I fall short sometimes, but we've also just done great things in terms of like how we've had on guests, who we've had [00:31:00] events with, the people that support us, the people that show us love, the people that reach out and message, like, I know we're making an impact.

Amardeep Guest:: I know it's making a difference. I know we're way beyond whatever dream we could ever do. And I always say that I'm on bonus. Because, I never thought I'd do any of the things I'm doing. If I fail today, then at least I've got a good story for my grandkids. Because, this is all bonus. This is, honestly, like, so surreal, and, I know there's so much more I've got to give, and I know there's so much more I'm gonna do.

Amardeep Guest:: But sometimes I do have to appreciate, this is insane that we've got here. And, then the lowlights, so, there are many lowlights. The funding side has been a lot harder than we thought it was going to be, and that was kind of a naivety. And to be honest, we haven't actually pitched a huge number of people because we've had really positive conversations with everybody, but closing that deal is really difficult.

Amardeep Guest: Same with the normal starter, they might talk to a couple of hundred investors to get it sorted and we're trying to do that while also building the company. And that's very difficult to both do simultaneously [00:32:00] doing sponsorship talks while also building the company because if you don't do enough building the company, then you don't have the results to then bring on the sponsors.

Amardeep Guest: And it's kind of a catch 22, right? And I can turn on the charisma with what I do. I have to do this all the time. I'm sitting here talking to myself for an hour, like an absolute weirdo, knowing this is going to go on YouTube, on Apple, wherever, and people can watch this and judge me. I'm used to that. But the challenge for me is, is that a lot of people think I'm more confident.

Amardeep Guest: No, not that I'm more confident than I am, but that they don't realize the struggle that it is in terms of the grief side of things. They think, okay, a couple months is gone, but it's waves. Like sometimes like June, July, August was tough. Like I was just out of it. I was just like, even you can probably still hear my voice today and I can turn it on like this, right?

Amardeep Guest: It's like, welcome to the podcast. Today we have with us, blah, blah, blah. But it's not the day to day, right? The moments of quiet when I have to reflect and just miss things going on and just, you wish sometimes things were easier, but they're not, right? And instead I [00:33:00] built the resilience to be able to deal with things.

Amardeep: So for me, like a couple of the lowlights is just dealing with the grief and there was, when I did the NAB podcast recording the live audience, again, incredible that I even get to talk to a guy like NAB, his amazing work on the washing machine project. But that was three days off my dad's death anniversary.

Amardeep: So I felt like zero, right? And I had to turn on this charisma and people complimented me off. It's like, Oh, but you managed that conversation so well. It's like, It worries me that I can turn on that when I feel broken inside. So that's something I'm working on and I'm trying to clear up and it's now this case of how do I, how do I scale this?

Amardeep Guest: How do we get this bigger and bigger while at the same time reduce the sacrifice and reduce the amount it takes out of me. 

Amardeep: So we've now run out of time of you talking to yourself. So, thank you so much for clicking on and hopefully this has been an enjoyable episode for the audience. And if not, you've made it this far.[00:34:00] 

Amardeep: Hello, hello everyone. Thank you so much for listening. It means a huge amount to us. And we don't think you realize how important you are. Because if you subscribe to our YouTube channel, if you leave us a five star review, it makes a world of difference. And if you believe in what we're trying to do here, to inspire, connect and guide the next generation of British Asians, if you do those things, you can help us achieve that mission.

Amardeep: And you can help us make a bigger impact. And by doing that, it means we can get bigger guests. We can host more events. We can do more for the community. So you can play a huge part. So thank you so much for supporting us.

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