Mohammad Taher Podcast TranscriptListen to episode here
Mohammad Taher: [00:00:00] Part of me knew I had a message that I needed to share. This is crazy. TikTok just went like, ssssshwooof. Just don't stop dreaming. Dream big. Take a step into that darkness. And when you're there for a while, it's no longer dark. And then what happens is your dream gets even bigger and then you have to take a step towards that as well.
Mohammad Taher: And you start to realize things that six months ago you, like, were just saying as a dream and now they're becoming a reality and this is happening in my life and I want it to happen in your life too, so start to be grateful for what you have and ask, just say it. What do you want? Write it down on paper and the doors will open up right before your eyes.
Mohammad Taher: I have this really silly vision, but it's not silly because I'm dead serious about it.
Amardeep Parmar: Welcome to the BAE HQ podcast, where we inspire, connect, and guide the next generation of British Asian entrepreneurs. Today we have with us Mohammad Taher, who is an airport engineer, who has [00:01:00] amassed nearly half a million followers across social media, and is a motivational speaker on the side too. Say hello to everyone.
Mohammad Taher: Hello. You all right?
Amardeep Parmar: Good.
Mohammad Taher: How are you?
Amardeep Parmar: Tell us about your journey, right? So when you're growing up as a kid. Did you ever think you'd get to where you are today? Like, with the confidence you're speaking all the time, you've got this following. Did you grow up like that? With that kind of level of confidence? Or what were you like?
Mohammad Taher: So I reflect on this question so much because I have changed, like, entirely. Like, I've done a complete 180 of who I was when I was a kid to who I am today. If you had ever told me when I was like 16 years old, as a kid who was just looking up at the planes thinking, wow, that's so cool. Like I'd just go watch planes landing just anywhere I can find to the point where now I'm working at the busiest airport in the UK.
Mohammad Taher: I'm doing motivational speeches. I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm blessed to be doing so much. I told you, you were lying through your teeth if you had tried to tell me that. This is where I'm going to be, but it's a blessing, right? And [00:02:00] God's opened up doors that I never thought even existed and we're here to make the most of it, hopefully.
Amardeep Parmar: What did you want to be when you were a kid growing up? Did you always think I want to be in the aviation industry?
Mohammad Taher: Yeah, so I didn't know what that meant though. All I knew was I liked planes. All I knew when I was growing up was that I actually liked planes. Default answer is I want to be a pilot.
Mohammad Taher: Because you like planes. We don't realize that there's more to it. Ever since I got into engineering, Um, I sort of saw what engineering could be, and I like understanding how things work. That's the thing about me. I like understanding how things work, and I like planes. So I was like, alright, how things work, planes.
Mohammad Taher: Surely aerospace engineering. So I've done that, and then I just kind of just, just kept finding my path. I mean, my compass is continuously readjusting. Like, uh, I was talking to a manager today at work and she was like, you just gotta keep pivoting. Whenever, whenever, whenever you think, okay, what's next?
Mohammad Taher: Pivot, pivot, pivot and pivot. Just keep pivoting until you sort of guide your way to where you want to be.
Amardeep Parmar: So engineering is obviously something which [00:03:00] is quite stereotypical in some ways, right? Yeah. That's the thing that brown people go into, they get the good grades, they go into engineering, they're a good boy, right?
Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And you've done something different though, right? You've obviously went into engineering, which may be a typical thing or stereotypical thing to do, but then you've got this whole other side of you in terms of the video making and then the speaking as well. When did that side of things start? Like, how did you get into that thing?
Mohammad Taher: So there are two separate things, right? The speaking is very different to the, the actual, sort of, airport stuff. But what happened was is, is one day, they kind of just came together. I'll tackle the speaking first. The speaking one happened really, it was a really weird occurrence that sort of led me down this path.
Mohammad Taher: What happened was, is I started to read a lots of, lots and lots of personal development books. Like I genuinely started to read these books and my life started to change. I genuinely started to feel like a different person. I started to think about the world in ways that I'd never ever thought about.
Mohammad Taher: And I was like, this is crazy. Like how was no one ever said this [00:04:00] idea out loud in in like my life, but it's in this book and it's completely revolutionary. So what I used to do is I used to take whatever i'm learning in these books.And I used to go to like my friends when we used to just chill and sit down I used to just sit there and I used to tell them about the stuff that i'm learning in the books. And my friends used to just listen and just just listen to me speak. And sometimes it'd be like half an hour 45 minutes and i'm just i'm just like offloading everything that i'm learning. And then they're looking at me like mo man.
Mohammad Taher: You've just said everything that we've wanted to say, but never been able to. That, that was, whatever you just said, that was like golden. I wish I recorded it. And I was like, what? Like, I was baffled. I'm like, what do you mean you wish, I just, I was just talking. And they're like, nah, like, you should be a motivational speaker.
Mohammad Taher: That was sick. And I was like, I don't get it. But then, that, in one week, it happened three times. One week, three people were like, you should be motivated. That's when I was like, [00:05:00] okay, something's going on here. Like, yes, I'm studying engineering. Yes. I'm doing aerospace, but three people in one week. So that's a, that's a sign.
Mohammad Taher: If I've ever seen one, then what's that? So then I actually set up my page motivate. Cause I wanted to start to share all these mindset tips. And I started to do purely mindset focused content.
Amardeep Parmar: Great name by the way. Moti.
Mohammad Taher: Thank you. Just in case you don't, haven't caught the, the, the pun. Moti is my surname.
Mohammad Taher: Motivates is the, is the brand. So what happened was is I literally, I think I uploaded four posts. One of them, I was sat up in a tree talking about how you have to think about how you think, and I had to redo that video like 74 times just to try and get it right. And the other ones were like, just quotes I found on Google, but it just wasn't going anywhere.
Mohammad Taher: Like I wanted to do this thing. I wanted to teach people about the mindset, but it wasn't going anywhere. At that point, I'd already started my job at Heathrow Airport, and I had an auntie, um, who's actually my, my uncle's wife's sister. Like, [00:06:00] like, roundabout way, but just by some luck of the draw, we went to my uncle's house.
Mohammad Taher: We started there, started talking, and she was like to me, what do you do? So I was like, oh, well. I studied aerospace engineering, and now I work at Heathrow Airport, and I get to do all this cool stuff. I get to go around, I get to see the planes, and I started showing her pictures on my phone. And she was looking at me like, and by the way, this woman, she works, she's worked for Google, she works for Facebook currently, and she's doing amazing things.
Mohammad Taher: She's like a hijabi in the tech space that's absolutely killing it.
Amardeep Parmar: What's her name? shout her out?
Mohammad Taher: Yeah, yeah, I was going to shout her out at the end. Okay, we'll wait till the end, yeah. But Hawra is her name, Hawra Milani. We'll shout her out again at the end. But she was like, Mo, like... just share this stuff.
Mohammad Taher: I was like, really? But like, who cares? Like, and she was like, no, like you're just, you're doing your work in an airport. Share your journey. Just start sharing your journey. And then what happened is two and two clicked. I was like, I tried to start this Instagram page. I'm being told I should share my [00:07:00] journey.
Mohammad Taher: And what sits behind sharing content on social media is ever since I was like 16, I used to make these little I'm Crappy vlogging videos and they're still on my YouTube channel to this day like I used to have like a 360 camera I my phone on the end of a selfie stick and put a fisheye lens on it And I used to make all these videos.
Mohammad Taher: So I loved video editing. I loved video making, I loved being creative in that sense choosing the right music making sure it like It all changes the right time. So I was like, hold on a minute. I like making videos. I work at an airport. I wanted to do this motivational Instagram stuff, but it kind of died because it, I just didn't have enough steam.
Mohammad Taher: And then I remember seeing like a Gary V video saying, document, don't create. And I was like, Maybe I can just document my journey and see what happens. Barely any expectations, just like, let's just see where this goes. And I started to like really connect with opening up Instagram, [00:08:00] choosing a random picture from the airport and just pouring my heart out into the caption.
Mohammad Taher: Like that was like a daily ritual for me where I just shared something off my chest, like whether it was a mindset thing, whether it was something that I had just like stumbled upon that I read, whether it was a story that I had anything like, whether it was like a past experience that I just wanted to bring to light, I got really good at just expressing my thoughts and it was the same stuff I used to talk to my friends about and I was doing it in written form on an Instagram page and the pictures were pictures from an airport and it'd be like, and then it would also include, it was included like a picture of something.
Mohammad Taher: I'd be like, this is how this works. And then after a while, like I stole the pictures and captions and stuff like that. After a while, when TikTok came out, I started to make these short snappy videos. TikTok just went like, just skyrocketed because no one had ever seen the behind the scenes of an airport the way that I was sharing it.
Mohammad Taher: But I [00:09:00] kept doing the motivational stuff as well. Um, and the motivational stuff happened in the form of me going to, to like, I used to message universities and be like, Hey, I'm an engineer. I work at Heathrow airport. Do you want me to come down for like an hour and just talk, talk to you about engineering?
Mohammad Taher: And they used to be like, yeah, like, think of it. You're like a president of a society and like events organizer or society and someone's offering to come give you a talk like. Yes, please. So I was like, all right, I'll come down. Here's a date. Let's go. And I've done loads of these. I used to message all the engineering sites in London.
Mohammad Taher: I got aired loads of times, but I used to just message them like, hi, I'm an engineer working at your airport. I want to come give a talk. I want to come give a talk. And what I used to do is I was really sneaky. I used to say, I'm an engineer. I'm going to come talk to you about engineering. And then when I used to arrive, I used to just give them a motivational speech.
Amardeep Parmar: It was like gaslighting the audience.
Mohammad Taher: The thing is, what it was, it was like, I was like, here's what they don't tell you about the real world. It's not about your technical skills. It's about your people skills. It's about how you interact with people. It's about how you communicate. It's about [00:10:00] how self aware you are.
Mohammad Taher: And what happened was all these engineering students were showing up going, Oh yeah, I can't wait to like, like learn about Heathrow airport. And I'm like, well, you'll never get to Heathrow airport unless you work on these skills. And they sit there going, why has no one ever told us this? And I'm like, yeah, that's why I'm here.
Mohammad Taher: Like, I'm here to show you that it's not about your technical skills. It's about your soft skills. And I literally go into a habit. I remember talking to my sister about this. She's like, no, you can't just keep doing, you can't tell them you're going to speak about engineering and then talk about motivational speech.
Mohammad Taher: I'm like, yeah, but like they need to hear this. And like, that's the hook. I need to get them in with the engineering and Heathrow. And then when they're there, I'll tell them about, I'll talk to them about mindset because if they want to become successful engineers, it starts up here. TikTok blew up, Instagram Reels started to blow up, the opportunities started to flood in along with that.
Mohammad Taher: And, and I'm just so grateful for the whole thing, but that's like a very, I tried to summarize it.
Amardeep Parmar: So what's interesting there, you said about how you used to do videos, like crappy vloggy videos when you were younger. Were you ever worried about [00:11:00] judgment? Cause I think that's one thing that holds a lot of people back, right?
Amardeep Parmar: Is that when they post themselves online and it happens to me still as well, even though I've done so much, you think, oh, people are going to judge me. They're going to think, who's this guy? I think he is like, why is he making videos? He can't even do this. Like, did that mindset ever hold you back?
Amardeep Parmar: And do you still feel that at all? Like, even, I know sometimes, like, well, I've done how many podcasts now? Occasionally it'll come to my mind, like, are people thinking, like, why is this guy chatting? Like, why do people think, why is he doing this? Do you ever worry about that at all?
Mohammad Taher: I think early in the style, that's always the case, man.
Mohammad Taher: It's, and it's tough. Part of me knew I had a message that I needed to share, like with the world. And it's because nobody had taught me about Mindset, nobody had taught. I learned it in a book and I was frustrated by that and I knew that there was so many people my age who won't stumble upon it unless I do something about it, like unless I actually go out there and do it.
Mohammad Taher: So part of me was motivated by that. Um, but we're talking like really young, like the crappy videos of me on [00:12:00] holiday. You know what? I was really proud of them. Like, ‘cause thing is, yeah, for me, there's a thing where if you make a video, I'll be proud of the video if the shot changes with the music. So as long as it's like, and then the shot is changing, then that's a good, that's how you know, it's a well made video.
Mohammad Taher: If you look at any like music video, any music production, if the footage changes, mismatches with the beat. The fire, the editor on the spot.
Amardeep Parmar: The, uh, the intro for this podcast, right? Yeah. It's got the beat and then like it shakes with the screen shakes with the beat. I was so proud of that. Like the amount of time it took me to do that.
Amardeep Parmar: And if anybody's listening right now and think it's out of beat, don't tell me I'm too proud. Don't crash me. I'm happy with it. I don't want feedback on that. I'm too happy about it. I love it too much. It's interesting as well because it's so different to your core job, right? Like your core job of engineering.
Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. I think sometimes people get their heads, the identity of a, I'm an engineer, so these are the skills I [00:13:00] need. When actually, when you explore the other skills, they actually help you what you're doing on a day to day basis. And what are some of the things that you think have really helped you become a better engineer that you'd learned from these books and stories?
Amardeep Parmar: So you mentioned soft skills, but what in particular?
Mohammad Taher: Here's the thing about engineering. There's always somebody in the world who knows more than you do. And unless you're willing to ask an open question, And not assume you know what they're talking about and just listen and learn, you're never going to learn anything.
Mohammad Taher: So, as somebody who stepped into Heathrow Airport, one of the most complicated environments in the UK, I got into a really bad habit of asking closed questions, where I assumed I knew what was happening. And I'd be like, Oh, that works like that, right? And I was clearly that naive graduate who just thought he knew it all.
Mohammad Taher: And it's like, oh, that's how that works, isn't it? And they'd be like, yes. And that was the end of the conversation. And for six to seven months, I kept doing that. I kept asking these closed [00:14:00] questions. But if you think about it, you're literally creating blockers of knowledge for yourself when you ask closed questions.
Mohammad Taher: You're literally putting up a wall and saying, this is all I want. The day I became conscious that I'm asking closed questions was the day it all changed. Then I started to ask open questions. I was like, how does this work? Why did that happen? Where does this go? Why are we doing this? Why are we doing that?
Mohammad Taher: And I just started to ask and I'd say and I'd shut up. We'll say a single word after that and I'd let the person think and speak and when they speak and listen and then based upon what they said, I'd ask the next open question and I'd only ask a closed questions that confirm my knowledge, but then it would straight away be with another open question afterwards as well.
Mohammad Taher: That was a very soft skill that opened up an entire new world of learning. I think that's one of the soft skills that has made me just just better. Um, and it's given me an ability to To learn things that I wouldn't have learned before.
Amardeep Parmar: I think the whole thing about open and closed questions really interesting as well, [00:15:00] because it depends so much on the situation.
Amardeep Parmar: Because let's say like somebody messages me who I don't know. If they ask me a really big open question, they're unlikely to get an answer because I don't have a relationship with them yet. So it's sometimes I think if you're trying to outreach to somebody you don't know yet, closed questions are really good because you're making it easier for the person.
Amardeep Parmar: Once you've got a relationship with them, that's when you can really start bringing those open questions. And there's a skill in knowing when you ask the questions or what type of questions you ask. And even for somebody, like let's say somebody who's advising you, right? You can tell how interested they are by the types of questions they're asking.
Amardeep Parmar: If they're asking closed questions, you can tell that they're just kind of confirming they're doing the bare minimum. If they start asking you open questions, that's where you can really progress. And I don't know if you've found this, for example, when somebody is trying to give you advice. Sometimes, like you said, they can do the thing that you're trying to do as well, where, or you were trying to do before.
Amardeep Parmar: Where they're asking close questions of like, for example, oh, you're doing this right. [00:16:00] And you then make an assumption of what the person's doing when you don't really know yet. Whereas people are interested, they're like, oh, so how are you trying to grow? What's your strategy? And we're not asking that question.
Amardeep Parmar: Those are the people you want to keep, like, you're going to make sure you build that relationship with them because they're actually interested in understanding where you are. Because with any advice, the bit that really helps you is if somebody understands your circumstances and can tailor the advice to that.
Amardeep Parmar: Whereas you do get a lot of people who are really successful in what they've done, but sometimes it's hard for them to understand where you are. And if they're giving advice for who they were. That might not be the same person.
Mohammad Taher: There's, there's a very interesting way to break down what we're seeing here.
Mohammad Taher: One of them is a mentor, the other one is a coach. A mentor is a person who draws upon their experience to tell you what your next step should be, and that's somebody who will ask a ques, closed question and be like, here's what I've done, so you should do it too. But a coach is somebody who even when they may think they know what the best thing for you is
Mohammad Taher: [00:17:00] they will not tell you and they will ask you, what do you think you should do? It's, it's just a form of coaching, and I think some of the best managers that I've ever had are the ones who know exactly what the answer is, but then ask me, Soma, what do you think? And I sit there going, ah, uh, I'm not sure, what would you do in this situation?
Mohammad Taher: So, I had a, I had a manager, and I'm gonna, you know, a guy called Richard Smith. Amazing guy, and really supportive. And he used to always, he used to have like these, these sort of monthly graduate meetings, or weekly graduate meetings, when he was my manager. And he used to... Let's say something's gone wrong at Heathrow Airport.
Mohammad Taher: We've had an emergency, uh, we've had a failure of some sort within the engineering team, and the week next, the week after, when we have our team meetings, he'd sit me down, like he'd sit us all down as graduates, and he'd say, this went wrong last week. What would you do if you were in that situation? And then we all go, Oh, well, um, I think we should do that.
Mohammad Taher: I think this should be our priority. And like, he just coach us through because he's trying to [00:18:00] create the next version of the person who has to deal with that situation. So from a young age, he's trying to, from a young career, he's trying to get us to think like that. And I think it's the people, like you said, it's the people that ask those open questions, the other people that actually care for you, because they're the people that aren't just trying to shove an answer down your throat.
Mohammad Taher: They're trying to develop your mind. There's a difference between giving a person a fish and giving, teaching them how to fish is a difference between an open and a closed question.
Amardeep Parmar: I think even for mentors as well though, they can still ask some questions so they can give you better advice as well because like it's the whole thing, like, let's say if I talk to somebody about starting this podcast, right.
Amardeep Parmar: Some of them will jump straight to the point of like, Oh, most podcasts don't get past 10 episodes, but they haven't yet discovered that I've already done over a hundred. So they're giving me a lecture about something. I'm like, this is completely relevant. But that's something I think people got to be very careful about, especially it comes as you get a bit further on.
Amardeep Parmar: Whereas if you ask them like, Oh, like how many episodes have you done before you give them the lecture, then you can save yourself from both wasting time. And looking at that as well with [00:19:00] the coaching side of things and how you've grown, how do you think you're applying that in terms of the other side of things you're doing?
Amardeep Parmar: So The soft skills, how has that helped you grow online? Because obviously, yes, you're making interesting content and great content there. What strategies have you used? Or how have you tried to reach more people or get more people to resonate with your message?
Mohammad Taher: Human beings resonate with some things they relate with,
Mohammad Taher: I believe. And if you can allow somebody to relate to who you are, and they start to see elements of themselves in you, then they're much more likely to want to connect with you. And it's a want to connect, not like they begin to be drawn towards people who see themselves in. Now, you may be asking, how do you get somebody to see themselves in you?
Mohammad Taher: I genuinely believe that you showcase the fact that you're not perfect. Because every human being is self critical. Every single person knows they have flaws. But [00:20:00] when we scroll through social media, everyone's trying to present the best version of themselves. It takes a certain level of guts to say, I'm not perfect, but this is my journey.
Mohammad Taher: And that's kind of the approach that I've always wanted to take with social media. It's that vulnerability to say, I'm just trying to figure this out. And you know, I'm, I'm just gonna, I'm just gonna rely on God and see what happens and, and it might work out. It might not, but I have a dream and I want to make it happen.
Mohammad Taher: And if you want to watch me succeed or fail, or just see where life takes me, then come along for the journey. And this is what I think. This is what I believe in just showcasing that I'm a normal human being, but I have a dream. And I think people really resonate with that.
Amardeep Parmar: And I think that really applies to podcasts as well, because the crowd audience will notice sometimes, I cut my reaction sometimes, right?
Amardeep Parmar: But if a guest is sitting there and telling me about how perfect they are in my head, as I'm listening to them, I'm thinking, Oh man, like this [00:21:00] is going to like, this is going to turn off the audience now, right? Because. I can't relate to somebody who's perfect because I'm not perfect. And if I'm listening to this thinking, oh, okay, this person has managed to sound perfect their entire life.
Amardeep Parmar: This person's always known what they wanted to do. How can I learn from that? I can't learn from that. And I always tell people, like, I want people to come on here and show vulnerability, show who they really are, because that's way more useful to people listening.
Mohammad Taher: A 100 %.
Amardeep Parmar: And it’s the same thing when I listen to podcasts, I don't want to hear from the perfect guy who had to think on a silver platter because I'm not that person. Another mistake I see a lot of influencers make or people are trying to make on social media is it's about how people don't understand how hard they work. And to me, it's a critical mistake because people listening, everybody's working hard.
Amardeep Parmar: Everybody's trying to do their best. And when you start making the assumption that your audience don't understand you because they don't know how hard you're working because they don't work hard, what is that saying about how you view them? Are you viewing them as lazy? That's not a good way to like view the people you're trying to resonate with.
Mohammad Taher: Or [00:22:00] less than who you are.
Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. Whereas if you say, look, I'm working really hard at the moment, this is a big, big struggle. If anybody out there has got any tips for me who can help me out, that'd be amazing because then you bring them along your journey, right? It's just about the framing, the whole idea that nobody understands how hard I'm working.
Amardeep Parmar: You're instantly alienating your audience. And it's like everybody, like if you're an entrepreneur, whatever you're doing out there, whatever you're trying to build, never use those words of nobody understands if you're trying to grow an audience and you might feel that way inside if you genuinely feel that nobody understands you that should be something which you seek help for you get something to like go along with you whereas if it's that people don't understand how amazing you are which is what a lot of these people are saying that's why I think it's quite sketchy and you've got to be really careful how you present yourself.
Amardeep Parmar: And also go check yourself, right? If your ego is getting that out of control, that you believe that nobody listening has ever worked as hard as you, then you need a reality check too, right?
Mohammad Taher: Yeah. You know, you know [00:23:00] that for some reason my mind, there's two things that came to mind. The thing element of when you think that nobody's working as hard as you.
Mohammad Taher: There's a reel by Khabib where he says, you know, all these people that get successful and they think, oh, how, look at me, look at me. It's like, what about the millions of people that are breaking their back every day and they're not getting the opportunities that you're getting? What about the millions of mothers?
Mohammad Taher: Like, I remember there was a song by Dave where he talks about how hard his mum used to work as a nurse in the NHS. But how he, they used to be like, so, like, on the brink of poverty. But his mum used to work like hours in the day that didn't even exist. And he always used to have like money to go to school and buy like, you know, like pocket change, even though his mum used to work so hard.
Mohammad Taher: People who succeed and think, oh yeah, it's because of all my hard work, they're not seeing it. And the other thing that I was thinking about was relating more to the humility element. There's a prayer that we have in my culture which says, [00:24:00] Oh God, don't raise me in the eyes of people a single step unless you lower me.
Mohammad Taher: within myself an equal amount. So every time I'm elevated in society and people think, wow, he's going places within my own soul. I think I'm, I'm, I'm, I'm still, I'm still just, just, I'm less than what I was. Like, I don't see myself as that much. And I think the, the outwards, the outwards demonstration of that humility is gratitude because you realize that it's not you.
Mohammad Taher: You realize that you're, you're receiving and it's, it's just gifts, you know, like they call the present a present because it's a gift, a gift is given to you, all success is given to you and it's given to you as a test, a test to see if you're going to become that guy who doesn't resonate with anyone and thinks that, thinks they're, you know, jolly big bollocks or If you're going to say, wow, like I'm so blessed, everything is such a [00:25:00] blessing.
Mohammad Taher: I work, I work hard, but doors open up that I didn't open up. They just opened up like an investor came and knocked on my door or an account followed me that I didn't like. And that's person's ,the perfect person who I want to, for example, bring on a podcast, like just before we started, you know, you were talking about how there's potential people who
Mohammad Taher: following you who want to come on the podcast. You didn't make that happen. Yes. You may have like strategized to try and make it happen, but ultimately you didn't. It, it happened and it was a gift and you got to take that gift and be grateful for it. Don't take, don't be like, Oh yeah, it was me. It was me.
Mohammad Taher: Yeah. Cheers. Nah, chill. Be grateful, be humble.
Amardeep Parmar: It's with any business, any entrepreneurship, anything you're trying to do, it's part of it is your strategy, right? You've got to get a good strategy, but you've also got to have luck and you've also got to rely on sometimes things just working out, doors opening up.
Amardeep Parmar: And like you said, there's a lot of people who work really hard, who've got really good business ideas but don’t get opportunities. And hopefully that's one of the [00:26:00] things we're trying to do for this, right, is we can start opening up some of these opportunities where, for example, by posting events, right? I went to an event last week and it was a demo day, right?
Amardeep Parmar: For underrepresented founders. And it gives them a chance to pitch to some venture capitalists about their business. These kinds of events are happening and you create your own luck in some ways by going to these events. And if you don't know about them. You don't get the opportunity. And this is what we try to close that information gap sometimes, because there are so many people who are doing amazing things, but just don't have the right guidance or don't have, they don't know somebody who knows somebody.
Amardeep Parmar: And I think people forget how much of a difference that makes because like with where I got to this is okay. I did the right one line. I didn't think it'd ever get to where it did. But because of that, I then got inbound connections and that's what's got me like wherever and made me connect with all these different people.
Amardeep Parmar: But three years ago, I was just kind of a standard consultant. I didn't know, like I had like great friends and new people, but I don't forget that that's where I [00:27:00] was. Whereas, when you get a following it gets to some people's heads and obviously if you're following it's quite significantly bigger than mine.
Amardeep Parmar: Do you find, what do you do to try and make sure you keep grounded and you don't just associate yourself with oh this person's got how many followers, how many friends are them?
Mohammad Taher: It's more about the mission. If this person's on the mission that I'm on, it doesn't matter how many followers they have. This is a, this is a concept that me and my friends came up with.
Mohammad Taher: It says, and I love, and I love this, this concept, right? It's an analogy, and I like my analogies, right? This analogy says this, it says when you're, when you see somebody, don't judge them based upon where they are. Imagine this world was a map, and you're, you have dots on this map, right? And these are locations.
Mohammad Taher: And let's say if you're if you're higher up on the map, that's very successful. If you're lower up on the map, you're less successful. You see, as human beings, we're not dots on a map. We're actually arrows on this map. Either our arrow is pointing upwards or our arrow is pointing downwards. When you [00:28:00] see somebody, don't judge them for where they physically are on this map, judge them for where they're pointed towards.
Mohammad Taher: When I meet somebody, I want to meet somebody who's pointing towards something bigger. Because I know it's only a matter of time where they will do amazing things. So when I meet somebody... It doesn't matter if they've got 2000 followers, 1000 followers, 400 followers, 45 followers. One of my good friends, um, called George, yeah, he's called Real Talk, George, Instagram for no reason, like shared one of his first ever videos on my explore page and we're talking two years ago.
Mohammad Taher: Literally, it was him going, what's up people? I'm, I'm just, I'm starting out. I want to start, I want to be a motivational speaker and I want to, I want to, I want to just help people. I want to help people elevate their mindset, something along those lines. And he had like two views at that point with like four followers.
Mohammad Taher: I went into his comments. I'm like, bro, keep doing what you're doing. I love it. Keep doing that. And I gave him a [00:29:00] follow. Now we're good friends. It doesn't matter how many followers he had. He had like, but like now he's growing. Why? Cause I know that this guy's going places because he's an arrow, he's an arrow surround yourself with people that are pointing in the right direction.
Mohammad Taher: It doesn't matter where they are, because you're all pointing in the same direction. And it's like those analogies have like a, of like, a dot on a map and you have like arrows, right? If one arrow is pulling this way, one arrow is pulling this way, one arrow is pulling this way, one arrow is pulling this way.
Mohammad Taher: It's not going anywhere. But if all those arrows are pointing in the same direction, then you all travel in the same direction together. And I think that if you surround yourself with people that are pointing in the right direction, oh my God, your life begins to like level up so quickly. Like, I cannot state how important it is to have people in your life that are pointing in the same direction that you are.
Mohammad Taher: And like today is, of all days, today is one of those days that, that's really come to life for me because there's [00:30:00] just a lot of stuff going on in the background right now. The conversation I was just having, like, as I walked into this building was with one of my friends called Milimo. I met this guy
Mohammad Taher: when we were in sixth form, we went to the same sixth form by chance. He went off, now he's got an agency. And like where, now we get to a point where we just touch base. We're like, you know what, you've got something, you've got a vision for where your life wants to go. My vision is very similar. We're in a similar sort of space.
Mohammad Taher: Let's just keep talking. Meanwhile, on the other side, I have another friend called George. And this guy works with Lewis Hamilton to get more young people into motorsport engineering. Again, I saw it on my LinkedIn. I shot a message like, bro, what you're doing, I'm doing the same bit in the aviation sector.
Mohammad Taher: You're doing a motorsport engineering. I'm doing an aerospace, like just aviation sector. Let's just keep touching base. Let's just keep this. Let's keep each other within arm's length. And we've just been having weekly calls and stuff, but we're all pointing in the same direction. Today, everything, one of those arrows is starting to converge.
Mohammad Taher: And it's just a madness when that starts to happen. So [00:31:00] long story short, doesn't matter where you are, it's about where you are pointed toward.
Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. And what we're doing here I think is one of the difficult things for me is with a podcast, I'm getting people who've quite significantly far ahead 'cause that's aspirational.
Amardeep Parmar: It's in order to inspire people to get to that stage, but it doesn't mean that we're not trying to help the people getting there. And later on. I guess I don't know if I reveal this or not yet, but we're going to have a small business episode later on. What we need to do first is build our audience such that we've got people to trust us, people to see the kind of people we bring in, and then we can help more people because we've got an audience to bring them.
Amardeep Parmar: If we bring them on now, it doesn't benefit either of us as much. If we bring them on once we've got 100, 000 followers, 200, 000 followers, we can really lift them up. And you mentioned there about arrows and directions, right? Where are you pointing to now? What is the vision for your future?
Mohammad Taher: I have this really silly vision, but it's not silly because I'm dead serious about it.
Mohammad Taher: I grew up loving Top Gear, and with the way the world's headed, [00:32:00] I'd love to have like a Top Gear but aviation edition, and I'd love to be like the Jeremy Clarkson of like the aviation Top Gear, but like an educational version. Like that, that one was Bantz, but I'd love to have like an underlying science, technology, engineering, maths
Mohammad Taher: tone to it, where we teach young people about aviation, but have fun at the same time. I used to grow up watching them be like, man, they're living the dream. But like, now I'm like, I can do that. I want to do that. So it's a, it's a, it's one of those, like, shoot for the stars type of visions. But as, as one of my friends once told me, he's like, if God got me here.
Mohammad Taher: Then why not? Why not? Let, why not? Let, let God guide the way. If he ends me up there, I wouldn't mind.
Amardeep Parmar: So if that show is on TV in a few years time, I want everybody to remember that they heard it here first. But looking at the time now, we're going to jump into quick fire questions. So the first one is,
Amardeep Parmar: who are three people you want to [00:33:00] shout out that you think the people listening right now should be following themselves?
Mohammad Taher: Okay, so first one is Hawra Milani. She's the woman who's made me start this whole journey. She's worked for Google, Facebook She's in cyber security, amazing woman, so humble but she inspired my journey, so it's only right to mention her her. the other person I'd love to give a shout out to is Haider.
Mohammad Taher: Now Haider is like absolutely changing the game within the Asian space with regards to apprenticeships. People don't understand the value of apprenticeships, specifically degree apprenticeships. And he's really at the forefront of showing our communities that you don't have to go to uni. There are alternative ways.
Mohammad Taher: And he was one of those students that was smashing our A stars. Everyone was like, oh, go do uni, go to uni. He was like. Nah, why would I do the debt? So, he's trying to educate a whole generation to say, you don't have to go to uni, go do something else. And I think that's very admirable. Um, and last but not least, Hasan Kubba.
Mohammad Taher: Hasan, me and Hasan went to the same secondary school. Ever since I, I sort of stumbled upon his [00:34:00] book and, and then I met him and we became really good friends. He's just been one of those guys that I look up, I look at and I'm like, you know what Hasan, like, I like what you've done. You've done, you've done it differently.
Mohammad Taher: And actually this Friday, me and him were on a panel discussion about entrepreneurship and it's all within our community. So seeing somebody from my community do well. It puts a smile on my face and Hasan Kubba is that guy.
Amardeep Parmar: Yeah, I love all those people and for people listening, Hassan is episode two, I think, of this podcast as well.
Amardeep Parmar: Yeah, I love this podcast. He's been on it already.
Mohammad Taher: And he's the one who introduced us, right?
Amardeep Parmar: Yeah, exactly, yeah. BAE HQ, all about community, right? What can people reach out to you about? If they're looking for help or guidance.
Mohammad Taher: Yeah, I mean, for me, there's, there's, there's, I guess, two streams to me. If you want to start getting into like public speaking and trying to figure out your way with public speaking, I can help with that.
Mohammad Taher: But if you want to get into engineering or the aviation space, then I can also help out with that. So if you're an av geek and you're like, you know what, I'd love to like get into the aviation industry. Maybe I can help. Um, and, and if you, if you're a budding speaker and you're like, you know what, I want to, I want to, I want to be, I [00:35:00] want to be a speaker when I grow up and I want to be a personal, like public speaker, then maybe there's some tips that I can give you along the way.
Mohammad Taher: And who knows? I'm happy to help.
Amardeep Parmar: And then on the flip side, what's something our audience can help you with? What are you looking for guidance on? What do you need help with? How could they help you?
Mohammad Taher: Ooh, that's a really good question. I absolutely love inspiring people. And I think, especially people from underrepresented backgrounds, sometimes we struggle to believe what value we can bring to the table.
Mohammad Taher: And I want, I'd love to speak at events. So if you have an event, and you want someone to do a keynote speech, to really just, just to put the room on fire, and to let everyone in that room believe that they are limitless, and they can go out there and make their dreams come true. I would love to help inspire a room.
Mohammad Taher: So, yeah, if you have any speaking opportunities, hit me up. I'd love to help.
Amardeep Parmar: It's been amazing to have you on today, Mo, and it's great to always see you again. Have you got any final words for the audience?
Mohammad Taher: Just don't stop [00:36:00] dreaming. Dream big, take a step into that darkness. And when you're there for a while, what starts to happen is it, like, it's no longer dark, and then what happens is your dream gets even bigger, and then you have to take a step towards that as well.
Mohammad Taher: And the more you dream... Just God starts sending you opportunities your way and and you start to realize things that six months ago You like were just saying as a dream and now they're becoming a reality and this is happening in my life And I want it to happen in your life too. So start to be grateful for what you have and ask, just say it.
Mohammad Taher: What do you want? Write it down on paper and the doors will open up right before your eyes.
Amardeep Parmar: Thank you so much.
Mohammad Taher: Thank you. I appreciate you having me, man.
Amardeep Parmar: Thank you for listening to the BHQ podcast today. In our mission to inspire, connect, and guide the next generation of British Asian entrepreneurs, it would mean so much to us if you could subscribe to our channel, leave a review, and [00:37:00] share this with your friends.