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When You Feel Like You Don’t Belong

with Muhammad Kermalli

In this episode of Breaking, Triena sits down with Muhammad, our co-host and the founder Skytek – a Success Centre for business owners and professionals, located in Richmond Hill, Ontario. He has worked globally across several industries including, IT, Logistics, Virtual Offices, Legal Services, Finance/Investment, and HR. 

IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:

  • Not conforming to social standards and learning to accept yourself for who you are.
  • Constantly moving from country to country and the difficulties of adapting as a child.
  • How the death of his mother affected him and how he managed grief.
  • Embodying the principles of martial arts and using them in all purposes of life.
  • Resurfacing feelings of fear and how to deal with them.
  • Recognizing opportunities when they come to you.
  • And much more.

ABOUT MUHAMMAD KERMALLI:

Muhammad Kermalli was born into an immigrant family that migrated several times in life. From Son, to Brother, to Husband, to Father, Muhammad’s family is at the core of his journey along with those he has met at intersections of play, travel, and work.

He’s curious, enjoys the creative side of life, and loves people, oh and dessert too.

Muhammad strives to work smart, play hard, stay balanced, and live life to the fullest.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GUEST:

Find Muhammad Kermalli at https://ca.linkedin.com/in/muhammadkermalli

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🎙️ HOSTED BY:

Triena McGuirk – https://linkedin.com/in/triena-mcguirk-bsw-msw-rsw-576a2a10a/

🎦 PRODUCED BY:

Min Woo Park & Diana Hong @ 6 Story – https://6story.ca

Episode Transcript

*This transcription was made for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes the automated service made.

Muhammad Kermalli: I remember I’m reminded of, I remember it was just something, I think, was it Tony Robbins? Who said like, you know, when you’re setting goals, so he’s talking about one-upping so he says something interesting, like, you know, like a goal is not a goal, unless you look at it and it scares you. Yeah. But isn’t that one helping?

Triena McGuirk: Well, it could be like anything new is

Muhammad Kermalli: scary. I mean, like, you know, like, um, like the size of the ambition, the, the, the, you know, this is saying, it’s not that we aim too high and we missed the target, but we aim too low. And did we hit the target? Right. That’s what I mean, that’s what I’m where I’m coming from is that I keep reminding myself, why, why is that important to me?

Muhammad Kermalli: Cause I always used to be that guy. That not take a risk, forget about, not take a risk. You can’t do this. You know, where are the all that stuff. Since I was a kid constantly, constantly, right? It was always that you’re not gonna make it. You’re not big enough. You’re not strong enough. Uh, this is who, this is the profile of what is successful or who is successful.

Muhammad Kermalli: And you are not that you’re not even close to that here. And Eric going to be that, to who put the profile in your head. So I don’t even think it’s somebody who intentionally put the profile in my head. I don’t even think it was that. Um, I thought it was that for awhile. I thought that there was some design to that, that there was, and still today I question about, you know, who really creates and leads.

Muhammad Kermalli: Like, what are we looking at? Is there, are there really minds that are out there and it can get really dark fast, right? So I’m like, oh, this is speculation. There is enough evidence. There is smoke and where there’s smoke, you know? Yeah. There’s fire. There could be. Um, but who cares, who really cares? What matters because I can get so hung up on that, that I’m not that all I do is sit there and get jaded.

Muhammad Kermalli: Then what’s the benefit

Triena McGuirk: of your circle. And you just come from

Muhammad Kermalli: what I have sat there. So spent so much time on and seen people spend so much time on it. Like I have heard conversations

Triena McGuirk: from that, that circling to a moment of

Muhammad Kermalli: action. I noticed it wasn’t getting anywhere. I just wasn’t making. And I was getting stuck and I write about this in these essays that I’ve had to write about.

Muhammad Kermalli: So the first essay that I wrote, um, okay, so it was Taiwan, it was a martial arts I studied. Right. So I was also talking about the principles that martial arts teaches us and, um, and how life, uh, as I look back on it now was teaching me these things. So I call life my teacher. Right. So that’s how I can frame it, that I can understand it.

Muhammad Kermalli: Cause when we’re going through TaeKwonDo, you know, you hear about like the wax on wax off, right? Like the, the, the, the, whatever you want to call it a kid, right? So there’s the wax on wax off, but then life does that and where I’m at today and why I’m so grateful is that I’m realizing there’s this thing.

Muhammad Kermalli: Whether you want to call it God or life or whatever, it’s looking out for me, that is so totally setting me up to see. I just didn’t see it. Yeah. I was just looking at it as like, you know, like, again, it was the wax on wax off stuff, but I was looking at it like, Hmm, wonder why this is happening to me. You know, why me?

Muhammad Kermalli: And, um, why not like that? One’s got it so easy. Um, it turns out like we were talking earlier on with Ari about simulating in a controlled right. With some safety and that kind of stuff there. Life was doing that for me, it was giving me a simulation and, and, and, and it was better than a simulation, right.

Muhammad Kermalli: It was real. Uh, so when it first started happening all the way back, I didn’t realize it let’s see. It would be more, it was a lot of, um, you don’t belong. You don’t. So how would you

Triena McGuirk: self-talk?

Muhammad Kermalli: Um, no, it was other people saying it to me. Oh yeah, for sure. So how it goes, I mean, it’s the story of life, right? So I’m born in Africa.

Muhammad Kermalli: Um, I lived there in my birthplace for six months and I moved and I moved from Africa to Saudi Arabia. And it’s, it’s important that it’s Saudi Arabia, not another country because in Saudi Arabia and how it is over there, uh, it’s not what you hear in the news. In some cases, it’s way worse. What makes the news is just what made the news.

Muhammad Kermalli: So I am, uh, in Saudi Arabia, there are what are known as locals and everybody else. So you’re a local, or you’re not. It’s not like here in Canada where there’s citizenship and you got rights and stuff

Triena McGuirk: like that. I still have that, that kind of vibe for meter culture. But yes, there it’s really

Muhammad Kermalli: pronounced.

Muhammad Kermalli: Oh, it’s you’re you’re you’re Arab or you’re, or you’re not. So if you hit, if you get into a car accident with an Arab fault or not, it’s your fault. Yeah. Here, you’re going to have a problem. You better say, you’re sorry that you were standing there when he ran into you. You know what I mean? Said that, um, if there’s a line and there’s a local person, the local person just skips the line goes right to the front and it’s like two years.

Muhammad Kermalli: I want to buy a pack of cigarettes. That’s it? It doesn’t even look behind there’s no, excuse me. There’s here. Take my money. And it happens like it’s like, so I’m in this environment and on top of that, I am, um, I’m small scrawny kid, you know, like, so, so like the world is just like this big intimidating, scary place.

Muhammad Kermalli: Um, and at the same time, um, you know, I’m a slow learner. You can see that, like how long before I go from St. Journalized to journal and I’ll do it constantly in every area of life. So I can laugh about it a little now, but back then, I’m in like in school and in school back then, you were not given a score out of a hundred or whatever we’re given now.

Muhammad Kermalli: And A’s, and I dunno, NG and whatever’s acceptable and excellent. It was a rank your first rank of your class rank in your class. So you’re ranked and you know what? I actually get that because in the world it is right now, like you either won the deal or the client, or you did, it doesn’t even matter if you were third it’s like you either won or you lost.

Muhammad Kermalli: So. I get that. So they were ranking you constantly ranking you. And I was always like the, you know, the tail end of the ranking. And, uh, I have an amazing sister who’s always near the top of her ranking and she, it was just her and I at that point in time. Um, and she is this brilliant smart person, um, like a second mother.

Muhammad Kermalli: Okay. And she’s very motherly too. So I love her for that. She’s got my back, but there, she was like, she’s excellent. And when it’s time for the report card to come out, you know, we would go home and she’d be running with the report card is how I felt going look at my report card. And me I’m like. That’s okay.

Muhammad Kermalli: I don’t talk about it. Um, so it must’ve been really hard for my dad because there’s this kid and my dad is like, you know, professional architect, you know, um, bold courageous guy and there’s be this like flopping around. Um, but the first time it ever happened, and for me, it’s always happened in moments of like, whoa, what was that?

Muhammad Kermalli: Like this moment? I don’t want to call it like brilliance, but something would happen. And I would shock myself. I would talk everybody around me too. And the first instance that I can remember it happening, my dad and I, we laugh about it until today was I was, there was this bully and in the class and, and, you know, it’s school right there, bullies everywhere back then.

Muhammad Kermalli: It was like this thing. So he’d be pushing everybody around and in those days, We had, do you remember? I don’t know if you’re old enough, but we had like chalkboards that were our books. Oh, we didn’t

Muhammad Kermalli: so we used to have a chalk boards. And so I had my little chalkboard and this guy was bugging a huge bully everybody. So he, he started doing his thing with me and I don’t know what came over me, but I just took the chalkboard and I just like, I can’t save it. I would say something very vulgar, but then I was just hit him across the head with this thing.

Muhammad Kermalli: And it’s the first time I’ve ever been about, oh, I forgot it was this bigger, stronger guy pushing somebody around. But that was the first thing, this bullying thing. It’s like a constant in my life. Right. So, so I just went and I smacked this over his head, the shocking. And I don’t remember getting in much trouble too, because obviously there’s a repercussion for cutting a kid’s head open and the principal’s call it.

Muhammad Kermalli: My dad was called and was like, where did this come from? And, um, the teacher was like, look, that kid had it coming.

Triena McGuirk: Oh, good. They stood up for you since that there was a

Muhammad Kermalli: context.

Triena McGuirk: Yeah. But you don’t always get that with

Muhammad Kermalli: it. So I get to these moments and I think we all do we’re on God. That’s it. Now,

Triena McGuirk: like when I’m hearing your story, like, I heard this from kids in education system, millions of times, and I understand the ranking from one to a hundred and in life it’s a competition and it’s kind of like a survivor of the fittest mentality, doggy dog.

Triena McGuirk: When we get up there in the world, um, And really that’s not aligned with who we are and it’s kind of a chaotic and counter-intuitive system, but that’s another conversation. But, um, but when you’re looking at that is kids come up with that thinking, because I’m not in this ranking, I’m not like my sister or my other classmates, and I’m in the lower, you know, 25% or whatever it is.

Triena McGuirk: And not only that it’s socially known to everyone in the class, but where exactly you are, um, which adds another layer is there’s just such a, a culture of shame that is put on to children and education when they can’t conform to what is put on them. And the thing in the end, it only acknowledges one form of intelligence too.

Triena McGuirk: Right. And you might not have been textbook and still today, still

Muhammad Kermalli: today, It’s imagined

Triena McGuirk: in a lot more clever ways. Oh,

Muhammad Kermalli: is that right? Yeah. I would have to agree with you there. I know what you mean. So when this is all happening, though, what also starts happening is I start accepting it. Right? That’s

Triena McGuirk: the reality, the reality you

Muhammad Kermalli: that’s the reality about me.

Muhammad Kermalli: I’m not, I’m not at that point in time developed enough to read anything else. So I’m like, ah, yeah, this is you. You’re at the bottom. This is your place accepted. So even if there’s this, this flame, this like spark, you’re like, nah, you’re stifling it. Yeah. It goes out. And it happens with a lot of things, not just in school, in life, you know, with your soul, like with all kinds of things.

Muhammad Kermalli: So, but that was, but I’m so grateful for that, because that was the beginning. Now from Saudi Arabia, we go from. That and detail. It was insane. They have what are known as schools, types of schools. So this was an Indian embassy school because it was based with, for a lot of Indians, right? So they taught Indian language.

Muhammad Kermalli: For example, then there’s another app. It was like the British embassy school, which is the better school, the more expensive school. But we couldn’t go to that at that time. So I’m going to Indian embassy school. This becomes relevant later. So we come to Canada for the better life. Right. So my dad now I was like seven years old, eight years old, something like that.

Muhammad Kermalli: Grade two or grade one grade two. So 6, 6,

Triena McGuirk: 7, something like that.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. It was like 81, 81 ish, 79 ish. So, so my father immigrated. For the third, maybe fourth time in his life. I still don’t appreciate that till today. Fourth time, like we’re talking like, you know, your whole family up and you go not only different

Triena McGuirk: places, different countries,

Muhammad Kermalli: like he was born in an island called Zanzibar.

Muhammad Kermalli: They had a revolution there. So he gets up from there, goes to the mainland. Tanzania, gets out from there and goes to Kenya, gets up from there, goes to Saudi Arabia and in Saudi Arabia was not all held. It was like beautiful time there because family was very tight, very tight. It was great RD queues and happy to moments.

Muhammad Kermalli: But outside of that, um, when you go outside of that, it’s scary. So you stay here, you stay close anyway. So we go from there to Canada and we land in flooding park of all places responding to in park. You heard of Jane and Finch, number two to Jane and fit back in the day in GTA. It’s like a Dawn mills Edmond.

Triena McGuirk: Oh, I, I knew that I was close to that PM Plaza. Domino’s chef.

Muhammad Kermalli: So that’s further up. That’s where queer, like go further. So yeah, it just like no man’s land between downtown and the suburbs. Yeah. Um, so Flemington park and, um, you know, you, we, I go from, from this guy to now we land in, in the, the, the, the, the, part of the story that’s interesting to me is that when we land in those days to decide which grade you’re going to go in, they would give you a quiz.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. They, so they quit, or

Triena McGuirk: they do see where you’re at from the country you’re coming up from academically, academically, and, um, and your English skills as well.

Muhammad Kermalli: Okay. So back then they give me this test and I saw my score because. If you’re indeed, you’re going to be good at math. You’re that’s what they do.

Muhammad Kermalli: They really pushed the math. So I, I score really high in math, right? Well, for this standard here and they give me a choice. Do you want to go to grade one or do you want to go to grade two? Now you tell me that again. I didn’t even think about it. I was like took, but like, so, but they didn’t tell me is everyone’s going to be that much bigger than you and all that other

Triena McGuirk: stuff.

Triena McGuirk: You’re already a smaller kid.

Muhammad Kermalli: Alrighty. So I go to grade two. Oh my God. And, then there’s also, I’m a person of color at that time of that time. It was very new here. Right. So there’s all that going on. Um, But the amazing thing happened. I was, so I was so unaware of so many things. So in grade two, I go through this and my teacher’s like, I knew something was constantly being reminded that something’s wrong with you.

Muhammad Kermalli: Something’s wrong with you? Something like, you know, so when I get to like, even, even Ari would love this, it’s like, we’re told to come and sit in a circle. Okay. Even that I look at that, right. I’m like, come and sit in circles. Like, you know, so one day all of us kids are like taking our time, getting to the circle.

Muhammad Kermalli: And the teacher says, I remember her name till today. Bless her soul. It’s brown. But she says, if you guys don’t hurry up, get into the circle, I’m going to send you, you could just end up in the corner. I saw that as an option. So they go, so she’s so everyone’s, so she’s looking at me cause she’s, I feel like she’s picking on me anyway.

Muhammad Kermalli: She goes, do you want to go sit in the corner? Yes, please. Yeah. And I was like, sure. And now she’s like fuming and because I’m, so she sends me to the corner and I’m like, what do, what do I do now? She goes, whatever you like, I don’t care for you. Right. Like, yeah. Do whatever you want to do. I was like, wow, this is really good.

Muhammad Kermalli: So I’m drawing and I’m doing my thing. I’m in my own little space. And I do that a lot. Anyway, till today I dream, I float around and after a little while, I don’t know how much time pass. She was like, so are you ready to not come into the circle? Or do you want to stay there again? I see it as a choice. I go, well, I’ll stay.

Muhammad Kermalli: Oh, that is considered like now can you imagine? Right. And I don’t know, I don’t understand colloquialisms. So I am this rude kid and she was like, something’s wrong? So I get sent to the office. And by great, the next, the next year I’m put into special ed special education. Um, and even that I was not aware of what it meant.

Muhammad Kermalli: I just saw the word special and I was like, wow, look at this. And I go home and I’m proud that I’m in special ed. You know, I think I told you it was part of this. Like my sister and my dad are like, uh, how do we tell him that that’s not like, okay, just let them be. And, um, he was my favorite year, miss billings, dress assault.

Muhammad Kermalli: Like, I mean, I love her. She would bring cookies to class, you know, like unlike a simple person, like cookies. That was great. And she had the easiest work to do. Like she would give us again, math. I just remember the entire class is taking half an hour, an hour to do this. I’m done in like five, 10 minutes.

Muhammad Kermalli: And I go give it to her and she’s like, well, what do I do now? She goes, just have some cookies. Okay. This is great. So, um, great three. And, um, so it was a lot of

Triena McGuirk: identify you with something. Did they put a label on you that you’re

Muhammad Kermalli: aware of? I’m not aware. All I know is his life would have it by grade four.

Muhammad Kermalli: My dad got the call to go back to Saudi Arabia. So I never got the find out. Right. I went, we went back to Saudi Arabia and this some ended up in, uh, Uh, again, uh, an Arabic school, but in the English speaking side, that’s how that habit, how do you assign? So just growing up, um, just a lot of that, you know, um, tonight, back in the ranking system, yeah.

Muhammad Kermalli: Back in the ranking system and they’re, they, you know, they beat you if you don’t do your homework. So, so, um, where, where it gets interesting again is we come back to Canada and I’m in grade six. I’m still like trying to figure out my way for seven years, Chino I’m changing schools every single year and every year we’ve had a system move out of the system, move out of that system.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. So super unstable, um, gets to grade seven. Um, I mean junior high and still smallest scrawny as guy. But there was this moment. I was just telling them the other day we would play softball and it was, um, I would always be out. I was just, you know, they had houses. Do you remember houses? In school that have houses like gold, green, blue, you ever had those.

Muhammad Kermalli: So we have every color of, so we had houses and then in our houses you would do things like get points. So we’d play softball. So you’d have to pick something to do. So I play softball and I was lousy at it. And every time I would hit the ball, that’d be out until this one fine day. You know, like really the last game of the day, it actually happened bottom of the night and all that stuff.

Muhammad Kermalli: And I just remember saying to myself, one thing just hit this ball, like with all you got. But before that moment, you see everybody kind of coming in closer just to remind you that you’re not, not that you’re not going to hit it far. Oh

Triena McGuirk: yeah. People

Muhammad Kermalli: in the field. So that’s the, that’s what I always tend to tell people.

Muhammad Kermalli: I go, the world tends to tell you or wants to tell you, but what we all realize now, what I realized, this is my message is that that’s not them expressing you. That’s them expressing them. If they were in your shoes. Just know that I didn’t know that what it told me was what I had. So I’ve been constantly told what I am.

Muhammad Kermalli: Right. And I just keep hitting it out and keep hitting it out. And that’s what we do. And that day I, I ha I, it did me and I hit the ball over everybody’s head and I was like, huh. So like the good bully, the baseball bat. I remember these moments, but you know, they’re like little sparks here and there, everybody has it in their life.

Triena McGuirk: When do you, usually, when you look back, you see them with greater clarity, the significance, right?

Muhammad Kermalli: So, um, I mean, that’s a slow, slow uptake, but then it’s, then I got introduced. I saw the karate kid movie and that was honestly, it changed everything. Like just one little thing. Cause I told her that I go, I saw myself as what’s his name?

Triena McGuirk: characters

Muhammad Kermalli: and these characters name. Um, That was me. So I was like, I need to do this. And, um, again, I credit my dad. He

Triena McGuirk: just felt it like that. Something

Muhammad Kermalli: is something and I just, the movie just motivated you the movie, was it? Yeah. It was often through storytelling that I understood things. So, um, so yeah, I saw that and that was it.

Muhammad Kermalli: And then got signed up for it. And now I’m 13, you know, and I’m starting to train and within two years, three years now, now we’re in Markham. Yeah. Right. So going from Flemington park, one kind of, you know, they beat you up a certain way there physically you come to mark them to beat you up another way.

Triena McGuirk: Totally different way familiar. Right. They just

Muhammad Kermalli: like the suburban. Hi CLA right. And my dad

Triena McGuirk: ending up with the Joneses,

Muhammad Kermalli: all of that, but it’s kind of like who you, where you from, you’re wearing that. We’re wearing this. And I was never into any of that stuff. I didn’t, my dad never worried about the brand name of this or the other thing.

Muhammad Kermalli: He was super frugal with how he would spend. So, um, so yeah, so now I start growing into junior martial arts. Yeah. And now I’m starting to able to like, like, you feel like you, your, your body starts looking different. You start, you’re able to move differently. Everything changes. And that’s what martial arts does.

Muhammad Kermalli: I always say, like, all of a sudden I could like, uh, in gym class, I’m running past the jaw, a jock is like, who you? Right. And I’m like, oh, I’m just like, you know, but then I started realizing, and then the world starts responding differently. Right. So I’m like, huh? And I go into the store, the giving of my, what I call like my tire and phase.

Muhammad Kermalli: Right. Because now I’m, I want vengeance, you see like the count of Monte Cristo stories. Okay. So as a count of Monte Cristo stories, like, you know, he gets imprisoned wrongly and now he wants his, oh yeah. So now you’re the bully. So now I become vengeful and I’m like, I’m strong now. And I can, I can fight.

Muhammad Kermalli: You want to fight? Let’s fight. You know, I want to fight. I’m looking for a fight. Um, and all this rage is like coming out, but at the same time, why that’s happening is my mother passes away. So she has his belt with cancer. And so this is all happening simultaneously. And the rage and anger is just like building up, building up, building up.

Muhammad Kermalli: Uh, and that’s all I remember actually. I remember martial arts, being my, you know, how some people have their thing, what they go do. That was where I was like, I’m successful for the first time. Yeah. Um, and it started flowing into other areas and the confidence starts building up and it’s not like that window was like this easy route.

Triena McGuirk: It’s a hard,

Muhammad Kermalli: it’s a hard path. There’s this one moment again, I write about it in another essay. I called it my Jason’s fight. There was this kid called Jason. He was the highest ranking kid in the school. He was the alpha, you know, he would win all his fights and I one day fought him and lost in the bottom again and lost in the loss of the loss.

Muhammad Kermalli: And then one day finally I beat him. And the first time he’s ever lost and everything changes after that. So as I reflect

Triena McGuirk: back, it did everything changed from other people’s perception or did it change from your perception as well?

Muhammad Kermalli: But what had happened, what had to happen first was I had to change my perception.

Muhammad Kermalli: I actually had to look at Jason and go, I’m going to beat you this time while everyone’s saying to you, you’re not going to lose. Yeah. Yeah. That had to happen. And now I actually listened for that. Like I consciously listen, I want it, when people start saying to me that can’t be done,

Triena McGuirk: like your mum, your mother’s passing is really significant too, because like where you on the rage path prior to your mom’s passing or was that just leading through her?

Triena McGuirk: I

Muhammad Kermalli: think that really just amplified it. So my mother is like, to me, the source

Triena McGuirk: of, from that could be displaced over there. Right. So

Muhammad Kermalli: yeah, it just got me to put more un-fun to everything that I was doing. So even when somebody says they’ve lost a loved one or significant. Um, yeah, as much as that said, whatever you want to call it.

Muhammad Kermalli: Um, I couldn’t let go. Like I love my mother so much that it’s like, there’s this vacuum, there’s this void. So how do you feel it? You can’t um, uh, my father married, somebody who took care of us. I it’s unbelievable when she steps into like a family of five. Oh, wow. Yeah. And takes care after us. Like yeah. We call her mom, um, like what I’ve been given.

Muhammad Kermalli: I’m blessed. I always say I got two months, plus I got more moms, actually. There’s so many moms here. So many moms up here to take care of me. So look at that. Right. But nobody ever replaces mom. So I look at it and I was like, but I want this. I will never get, so my relationship with. Started changing. And now I’m starting to able to help people understand that.

Muhammad Kermalli: Look, when you lose somebody, you really haven’t lost anybody. Their form has changed. And I say that now, like form has changed. That’s all. So she went from being a physical presence and then I was like, oh, you will being everything that I do. So you will always be with me. And I’m like, I will do to make you proud now, you know?

Muhammad Kermalli: So I take her with me in everything that I,

Triena McGuirk: and did you find, that’s not an insignificant thing. A lot of people spend hours in counseling to make that shift because that that’s a conceptual thing that calms down the grief for lack of a better word. Right? Cause it helps you manage the grief and a mindset that makes it digestible and it makes sense.

Triena McGuirk: And it, and it resonates because there’s, um, for a lot of people, there’s a lot of there’s truth to that there’s truth in that, um, To be able to shift that, like that’s not insignificant to be able to recognize it, or was that just something you always knew that your mom was always going to be there regardless of her physical presence not being here?

Triena McGuirk: Like, did you feel that, or did you learn that?

Muhammad Kermalli: Hmm. You feel it first? I always feel things first. Um, learning it. Yeah. That’s interesting. Um, because so many people tried, so many people stepped up to support the support was amazing from our family. Amazing. Very blessed. They’re very fortunate, but it was not, it was still this, this, this emptiness right now.

Muhammad Kermalli: I kept looking at it and I guess I started to becoming the type again, thanks to martial arts. I credit martial arts. Cause it’s kinda. Uh, it really starts, you started really looking at, you know, your, you start analyzing the battle right before it takes place. So everything to me became like this challenge.

Muhammad Kermalli: Okay. So how did I overcome that? Whatever came. That is how, what, that’s, what I know works. So I’m going to apply that over here. And so you applied to martial arts. It was all, it was all martial arts. Although people think martial arts is like, you

Triena McGuirk: know, journey. And so really

Muhammad Kermalli: they talk about the tenants of martial arts.

Muhammad Kermalli: So there’s respect, integrity, self-control indomitable, spirit, perseverance. Those are the tenants. Right. So, and they, they put them up on the walls, but what is it? You have to embody them. Right. So that started becoming where I started applying it here. Right. And it’s like, so how are you going to do that?

Muhammad Kermalli: And the, how is a form you can come to any forum. But the principle of it, the theory of it is that’s what it is. So, um, the interesting thing is, is, um, I got away from my martial arts. I got, I hit a certain point, you get a black belt and they say often, you know, 90% of people have bipolar and they stopped because they feel they’ve reached it, which I got it totally wrong.

Muhammad Kermalli: That’s what I actually write in my essay about reflecting back on the black belt. So as I went for my second, the realization was to have one or to be one. And that was the like, did I really embody the tenants or did I just have a black belt, chief ego and authenticity. So I agree with that part, but it was, it was an interesting, so 20 years go by anyway.

Muhammad Kermalli: So I fast forward practice for 20 years. Yeah. It depresses for 20 years, um, get married, um, you know, move to Florida, um, start a business. That’s the next part where I started doing. That’s where the next parts like really started coming around because it was Y2K, started a business, bought a house, have a mortgage and a kid on the way.

Muhammad Kermalli: And you’re starting an IT-based company in the year, 1999 for the white tee crash. So you’re looking at this going, you didn’t see it coming. Um, so I started this company. There was a day. I remember the day I was, I saw, um, my last phone bill and I was like, I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford to pay my next phone bill.

Muhammad Kermalli: So paralysis starts sinking in, I can’t even pick up the phone to make a sale because I might not be able to pay this bill next month. What do I do now? So I called a guy, uh, he was one of my mentors, um, buyer in and he was in Boston. And, um, I remember talking to him, he was this old Sage kind of person, a vendor client, but we just had a relationship.

Muhammad Kermalli: And I asked them to go by her and man, this is scary. And he said to me, one thing that I will never, ever forget, and he goes, are your door’s still open? And I said, yeah, barely. He goes, you’re open. You’re further ahead than a lot of other people they’ve closed. And I was just thinking about that and I was ready to stop my business.

Muhammad Kermalli: And interestingly enough, a very person near and dear to me, I don’t mind saying it. My father actually said to me, Hey, it’s okay. If you need to stop, you can always go back to Canada and you can always go back to working for the bank. And I was like, huh. And I used to work for a bank before.

Triena McGuirk: And this is a person who attached to all of this to value support.

Triena McGuirk: Yeah, no, but I’m just saying like, you, people would perceive that as my business closed, therefore I failed where you’re done. It’s like, you still have opportunity, you know, you can still always have

Muhammad Kermalli: opportunity. But I remember this one thought being really at that moment was like, um, it was this thought of, you know, this is like the fight or flight moment.

Muhammad Kermalli: So back to my Jason fight, you know, would you, will you, I would always lose to Jason. I remember if I would move backwards. As soon as I start moving backwards on Jason, I lose points and he wins. And the day that I beat him was the day I was like, what ever you do do not go backwards. And so I started selling myself, whatever you do.

Muhammad Kermalli: So how do you prevent yourself from going. Go forward. That is the one thought that I had. And that’s how I beat the guy. I couldn’t believe it came to that one little thing. So that, that is my thought constantly. Now

Triena McGuirk: it’s not go back forward,

Muhammad Kermalli: go forward and, and go forward with everything you got, do not go forward.

Muhammad Kermalli: Half-assed. So today, when I talk to people, I’m like, you know, just to, before you start a business, yeah. Go do something bold first, do something, go do something you’re afraid of doing. Cause you’re gonna need that simulation later. So for sure. And that was again, so I was like, okay, this is that. There’s no option.

Muhammad Kermalli: You must go forward. Uh, the, the, the president or CEO, I think of Honda or Toyota once talked about this concept of what I tell a lot of people nowadays, it’s called, it’s called throwing away the letter. You cannot come back down. You’re on a ledge. It’s high. You’re scared. You, you think you’re going to fall.

Muhammad Kermalli: If you go one more step higher, because it’s too much, it’s too windy. So what do we do is we go back down the ladder. So he says, throw away the ladder. There’s no going down. And, and that’s an important re that’s a re that’s a huge

Triena McGuirk: thing. It is huge too, because a lot there’s setbacks in every business, there’s setbacks and every life.

Triena McGuirk: And I think, um, it just having that awareness that it is that’s inevitable. That’s part of the processes, part of the growth. Like you

Muhammad Kermalli: would, you’d be amazed how many times I, and I see it happen all the time. Somebody like I’m going to do this and that. Okay. I’m not going to do this. I can do this. No, I can’t do

Triena McGuirk: it.

Triena McGuirk: Or they have all the ideas, but they don’t execute anything at all.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. Yeah. What’s the value of a good idea. If you don’t act on that and be like, oh, and while we’re doing it, there’s the world telling you? Well, somebody already tried that before. How amazing how many times I’ve heard or nobody’s no, one’s going to buy into it.

Muhammad Kermalli: No, one’s done this before, so it’s not going to work. I’m like, but that’s why it’s going to work. So how do you know

Triena McGuirk: it’s going to work? Did the, so I’m just curious though. So when you’re in that moment and your business is about to go under or, you know, treading water, if you will. Um, and you have all of these little, real life stressors of, you know, a child coming and mortgage did the narrative of your childhood surface there at all of that dynamic of, I’m not good enough for

Muhammad Kermalli: that.

Muhammad Kermalli: It kept resurfacing. Yeah. Call it fear. Okay. I call it fear,

Triena McGuirk: so,

Muhammad Kermalli: okay. So I have a special relationship with fear. Like I actually look at it like your fear. Hi. How are you? Like I talk with my fear. So, um, I started doing this because I started realizing there is it’s there and I’m on a deal with you,

Triena McGuirk: right.

Triena McGuirk: Serves a purpose. Yeah.

Muhammad Kermalli: Oh yeah, for sure. And alerts. Yeah. And all those things. But I treat fear now that way, and I think that’s another different thing. You have to

Triena McGuirk: look at it. Discerningly.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. In fact, I go at it now. Um, I go add my fear. So just like I went at Ford edge, Jason, so I used to be afraid of Heights for example.

Muhammad Kermalli: So I was like, okay, let’s go. We’re going to go skydiving, like go to the other end of it and go, okay, let’s go. We’re going to. It’s like the bully back in the day who was coming at me and I hit them over the head with a chalkboard. I will never forget that lesson because I was like, that’s what my fear does for me.

Muhammad Kermalli: All of these stood in your power and I’m going to take that chalkboard every time now, because backing up never worked. Yeah. I got, I don’t know of one person who’s ever said backing up, worked like Wayne, Gretzky’s famous. Like you miss a hundred percent of the shots you don’t, you’re gonna miss something.

Muhammad Kermalli: You’re gonna, you’re gonna make some, but you will not make it if you don’t take the shot. Yeah. So, uh, so yeah, so that, that was really like, I remember like for, in the forefront of my mind and as like, and here’s the message to everybody is that I actually didn’t know. There was no way of calculating. Um, how am I going to make it?

Muhammad Kermalli: In fact, if I looked at it objectively mathematic. I was doing like, the numbers are going the other way. So how do you turn it back around? Not knowing, um, and to that call that faith, but that’s,

Triena McGuirk: was it a visceral thing? Like, did you know you were going to make it, did you have that?

Muhammad Kermalli: I actually can say to you, I did not know I was going to make

Triena McGuirk: it.

Triena McGuirk: You sit in that all the time or did you just say acknowledge it and move to action?

Muhammad Kermalli: No, I moved.

Triena McGuirk: You got to move, but people don’t do that, that little piece though. Um, it’s, you know, the future predicting causes anxiety, right? So then some people get locked to that anxiety, like you said, he couldn’t pick up the phone even to make a call and I can’t make that

Muhammad Kermalli: the other, you start backing up.

Muhammad Kermalli: That was an alternative, you start backing up. So you’re going to pack up or are you going to, what are you going to do? So, um, so that is the one thing that I kept noticing kept coming back up fear, and then. And I, you know, again, back to martial arts, it’s like, Jason, move forward. It’s that simple in my mind, but I’m so grateful it’s happened so many different times repeatedly in different ways that I now have proof that it works in all these instances.

Muhammad Kermalli: It’s not just one that, oh, well that one, you know, it just worked out because of blah, blah, blah. I’m like, no, hold on a second. I was completely hopeless. I could have been hopeless here. People was here, couldn’t hold this here. So you have

Triena McGuirk: moments of hopelessness, but you don’t live in the hopelessness. I think that could be,

Muhammad Kermalli: I know have like zero hopelessness, but you’ve worked that out.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah. Because somebody also wants to live. Um, again, back to Byron, he’s like you’re here and shit. And I’m like, hold on a second. Oh, there’s a lot to be said for the, all the other times that I thought the world was over, it was going to end tomorrow. Do you remember when we were kid, like all these things, um, your toy broke, you know, like the world is over, you didn’t get invited to something and here you are still.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. So I’m like, if I’m still here. Okay. So as I’m going through this, um, but it’s still happening because, um, I’m still not feeling this fit in these places and I’m trying to be these things, these, you know, this person. So that’s also always marinating in my head. Um, but anyway, we get through that. That was in Florida.

Muhammad Kermalli: We come here and, oh gosh, then I started sky tech. Oh, what a mistake? Right? Like it would seem, um, all the things that could go wrong, went wrong in ways that I did not see. Like our, uh, we took a sublease. So the Sublandlord files for chapter, whatever it’s called east hard deposit. Things are just going sideways.

Muhammad Kermalli: I I’m, I’m in over my head again, but this time it’s bigger, like the numbers and the rate at which it’s going and my capacity to deal with it. And now you have children

Triena McGuirk: or child. Oh.

Muhammad Kermalli: So way out of my league, way, way, way out of my league. Um, and then I learned the most important lesson that, that point I remember literally the night that it happened, because I was done like next week, closing the door.

Muhammad Kermalli: I did not yet know how I’m going to say it to people because there wasn’t enough. Like I’m not going to make payroll. I’m not. Um, here’s where I learned the law of attraction and it’s so real. So I go to, uh, go to sleep at night and I believe in God, whatever you want to call it. But I believe, and I remember saying like out loud going, this is beyond me.

Muhammad Kermalli: I know I created this. Like, this is my making. I put myself here, so don’t need sympathy. I just want to acknowledge this is beyond me, but you created the universe, right? You did all these things. This is easy for you. You could do this. I’m going to go to sleep now. Like, I couldn’t sleep anymore. Like, you’re thinking like, what are you going to do?

Muhammad Kermalli: Like nights and nights? I just can’t sleep. And I’m out of I’m out of all these options. And I literally, I call that fake faith and whatever yourself, the universe that it’s going to be. Okay. If you know that when you tell me that you have to manifest what? Yeah. That was just my way. It was a way, so I remember that night.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. And I went to sleep that night and I said, okay, I’m putting this in your hands. And I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m going to sleep out and whatever happens, that’s it. I can’t tell you how crazy it is that the next week things just started happening.

Triena McGuirk: When you let go.

Muhammad Kermalli: Okay. Yeah, they just started.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. Yeah. And I can tell, like, I can’t give detail because, um, it’s, it’s confidential. The people that, that, that I have promised secrecy to, or the things that came up, you would just not believe,

Triena McGuirk: but it kept your business afloat

Muhammad Kermalli: just enough. But what, the best thing that came out of that was the lesson.

Muhammad Kermalli: Never let this happen again, like the things that happened, who, like I was like, okay, I’m going to watch for this forever now. Yeah. Um, but that’s what I needed. It’s kinda like call it like the kick in the pants or whatever I was being irresponsible. I was not being accountable. I’m not paying attention to details that were like screaming.

Muhammad Kermalli: But I was like, eh, just keep going. So, uh, so I learned a lot from it and, um, and, and it’s crazy because now so many people come through sky tech and they’re, they show this kind of like, um, hesitation, you know, or doubt, or they manifest this fear of like, what if it doesn’t work out? Um, it’s hard for their businesses.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. Like competition is so much bigger and better. What do I, I was like, just keep going, keep going. Uh, when we were talking to Ari, didn’t even realize like, while he’s writing that it’s gonna get better. Like, you didn’t know how, if you already have the tools, how do you tell somebody that you already got it?

Muhammad Kermalli: And they’re like, no, I I’m coming to you because I don’t think I have it. And it’s like, yeah. Okay. Don’t worry. I’ve done worse. You’re smarter than I am. You’ll get, you’ll be fine. You’ll be fine. But what’s crazy is how many times I’ve seen people turn around. It’s amazing. How many times people turn around in business, start on something.

Muhammad Kermalli: Okay. I’ll give you an example. Did you know that the color of ketchup, right? When it first was invented, was

Triena McGuirk: yellow. Wasn’t green. Oh, it was brand new as a different

Muhammad Kermalli: color. And it sat on a shelf because it was a bad idea. And for somebody who just came along and just change the color, change the color red,

Muhammad Kermalli: right. I mean, that’s just one story or the post-it note story about how the glue did not work. So they turned it, they like it. There’s a million stories like that. What I find hard for people to do is that they’re so stuck on this idea. Like this they’re so inflexible, they’re so rigid. Right. And, and I call that Eagle to not being comfortable.

Muhammad Kermalli: I would have to, I would have come from a rock. Yeah. You know, they stuck on it. I have seen people who like there’s opportunity coming at them and they’re like, that’s not what I do. I’m like, are you kidding me? That’s going to help you pay your bill next month, do it. So those are the lessons of Skydeck, but, um, but really it was just, um, then it was, it was the amount of time and hours that I was putting into it and realizing.

Muhammad Kermalli: And so this was the next phase, right? So the next phase was okay. I’m putting those time in. What about my time with my kids? What about that? Um, so I. I went from working like many hours in a day. And I believe that that was a, that was a form of like, it’s a badge that I would wear. Like I’m

Triena McGuirk: putting on a really toxic badge,

Muhammad Kermalli: but society wears it.

Muhammad Kermalli: Like I put it at the time. And if you don’t it’s because you’re not, you don’t, you don’t want it back. And so you’re going to be successful like me and you want to be that guy. So,

Triena McGuirk: um, there’s some kind of like weird, toxic social currency for not taking care of yourself and working 24

Muhammad Kermalli: 7. I love how you use the word currency because that’s exactly what I call it.

Muhammad Kermalli: I now ask actually that exact question to people I go, so which currency do you want? I’d say it like that. I go, do you want to be like abundant? Do you really want like real abundance or do you want money? Because was everyone you want, you’re going to get what you just asked for. But then after that you made your bed.

Muhammad Kermalli: Okay. So I’ve made my bed for wanting more money and I could never make enough. I was always going backwards. So I heard this one saying, I read it somewhere saying, treat the world and money, like your shadow. If you ever hear this. No. Okay. So it’s one of my favorites. It’s this treat that like your shadow, because if you are like your shadow, the way it works is that if there’s light reflecting and your shadows here, try and chasing down your shadow and see if you’ll ever catch it, you’ll never catch your shadow.

Muhammad Kermalli: No, but what if you turn your back when your shadow and go the other way, your shadow chases you. Yeah.

Triena McGuirk: And, and it’s, it’s very true. It’s very, I just, I, I was frauded out of about $140,000. Yeah. And most people’s reaction is just. Um, horrible to that. They’re like, oh my gosh, I can’t believe it. And I can’t believe that’s happening.

Triena McGuirk: And just visual reactions and rage and tons of empathy for the loss of money. But then I go on a journey of chronic illness and I can’t get off the floor or take care of my kids or take care of myself for over a year. Very little empathy for that situation. But when you lose money, man, that’s a hard hitting one.

Triena McGuirk: And I’m like, wow, that’s really interesting that actual human suffering resignates lower than money. People identify with the loss of money more than the loss of health and capacity to care for yourself.

Muhammad Kermalli: And it was this, but I think that’s all changing now, it’s coming, I’m going to help it. So here’s the next thing, this color, the next phase.

Muhammad Kermalli: Right? So sky tech has helped businesses and we’re happy about that. Just never felt fulfilling because it’s amazing how many times I saw people coming here. And it started business. And after a few years, I look at them again, go, dude, you don’t look well, you’re richer in like the bank account, but you need to get, you need to go home to your family, get out of here and go to the gym and start watch.

Muhammad Kermalli: And so I started feeling like I was becoming that to these people and either they would be like, no mama that can’t. And they would say to me, it’s easy for you to say, right, because you’re there. I know actually I never compromised on that. And they’re saying, oh, that’s easy for you to say now because, uh, so, so what happens when COVID hits this?

Muhammad Kermalli: Wasn’t my most, this was my final thing was when COVID came along and 80, 90% of your business can’t come into work. I did not factor that into my business plan. I always say that the government would write a law that they would tell people. So not do business with me. If that’s what, that’s, what the interpretation is.

Muhammad Kermalli: That’s what the, that’s what the result is. So there’s a law now that you cannot leave home, so you can’t go to the office. Okay. Yeah. You know about that, but you get what I’m saying and here it is businesses I’ve done. And I promised myself, I was like, through this time, I would make sure I get to this yet.

Muhammad Kermalli: I will make sure I get home and we spend our time. So it’s like, we started up all over again. You know, what’s crazy about before the pandemic hit, I’m just going to tell you, this is, this is like somebody wanted to take us public. There was, there was an interest in taking us public, this idea. It was like, look, look, what you do here is like very unique, blah, blah, blah.

Muhammad Kermalli: Um, and so with that group, I started opening up the money we were making and the projections we had for what we were trying to do and my goals and. After going through this discussion, I said, I didn’t want to go public, but they’d already know my goals. So a few months go by and I meet them again. And they, the guy says, so how are you doing with your goals?

Muhammad Kermalli: And there were all financial goals. Um, and I remember saying, this seems kind of like, I just comes out of my mother. I wasn’t being rude, but I was like, you know, what’s interesting. I said, I stopped focusing on these goals, let them into the world. And that’s it. I’m not going to focus on these goals. And then I crushed them.

Muhammad Kermalli: It was crazy. We met, we went way past and I call it like quantitative goals versus the qualitative goals now. And I would say anything quantitative, I’m becoming so like discerning, if you will, about anything quantitative you want to talk about. I keep on talking with a client or a prospect and they even get into negotiating.

Muhammad Kermalli: And I’m like, okay, I’m out, you talked to so-and-so or we going to take care of you, this and that, that customer. So why I bring that up is because, well, I just feel this, this, this by-product now the real goal is something else. And so that started forming this idea of Lavita, which is really what I felt was like now I’ve, I’ve worked with businesses all this time.

Muhammad Kermalli: I’ve done. Um, it was, it was okay. It was a nice challenge. It’s now it doesn’t float the boat, you know, anymore. It’s so easy to do. And to what end to what, for what currency I’ve seen, what money’s done with people. And I’m like, that’s not interesting. Let’s not really focus on changing, like the complete alternative lifestyle.

Muhammad Kermalli: And so that’s kind of like the project now. So yeah, maybe on another day, we’ll talk more about that.

Triena McGuirk: Well, that’s the thing. We have it wrong, right? We have everything

Muhammad Kermalli: in the verdict.

Triena McGuirk: You know, it’s just the thing is, is there such a value on the things that are not actually there to sustain us and nurture us and keep us going as human beings, right?

Triena McGuirk: Money is just such an illusion. And it’s a real thing. It’s a real thing that we need to eat. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not, I’m aware of this reality that we have a bills and things, but when we chase money to chase money, it doesn’t create an invite happiness. But when we chase passions or follow our truth or our guide or what it is, and put things out to the world and just let go a little bit and stop trying to control everything, then things kind of come a little bit more fluidly and the money does come from your passion, right?

Triena McGuirk: Like, or you are crushing your goals without even

Muhammad Kermalli: thinking about them. Um, I just came to this realization. Um, all of this time, I was busy trying to be somebody else trying to fit in with something else, whether it was from Saudi Arabia to Flemington park, to Marco, to whatever it is to the bank, whatever

Triena McGuirk: the issue with systems, right.

Triena McGuirk: And the cotton, like that’s a global system. Like you moved around the world and

Muhammad Kermalli: experience this. Yeah. The, um, the, the blessing, I always say for me has always been as hard as I tried to fit in with these places. And this is what I would say to people now is that if you ever get the feeling that you’re not wanted somewhere, if you ever get the feeling that you’re told you don’t belong somewhere, don’t feel.

Muhammad Kermalli: Say thank you because that’s what they’re really trying to say is you’re better than this. Yeah. We try so hard and I was trying so hard to be part of these clicks, to be part of these things.

Triena McGuirk: We’re socialized for that as well. And in addition to just wanting to fit in with

Muhammad Kermalli: people. Yeah. And then there was the movie come from Panda, which opened up the whole explained it to me in ways that I could understand.

Muhammad Kermalli: And I was like, you know, so that’s what I’m saying is like, I remember that movie, like one of my favorite lines is when I think in comfort, Panda three he’s, he’s not told to teach others Kung Fu. Right. And as the teacher, now, he realizes that none of them can be taught the way he knows. Cause they all have their own that’s when he realizes, okay, I am not any one of them.

Muhammad Kermalli: I’m all of them. And that, when I heard that I was like, wait a second. Maybe that’s why I don’t fit in any one single place. But the guys that I played golf. Compared to the guys who play hockey with, they could never be in the same room together. Oh my God. Yet I got to have both of them. Um, I love Skydeck for that reason.

Muhammad Kermalli: I mean, so many different kinds of things. I’m starting to realize. It was like, wow, um, languages, culture, food. Um, so I’m on, I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but I can say this much that it is, it is daunting. What it is that we got to go do. What’s amazing is who’s starting to come towards it and work with me on it because they see the same or want or desire the same sort of outcome, but they’re like, we could never do this alone and I’m like, perfect.

Muhammad Kermalli: But no one can do anything or can I, so let’s go anyway. So, um,

Muhammad Kermalli: –that’s it for now, I guess.

Muhammad Kermalli: Do you want to do the intro? I don’t know what we talked about. What did we even talk about? I don’t even really need to be like, uh, yeah, just say hi to each other. Yeah. Have that. You guys just went

Triena McGuirk: into it. Yeah. I was about to stop the recording now that I we’d go over there.

Triena McGuirk: I’m like, okay, it’s recording.

Muhammad Kermalli: I just wanna be cognizant of the time. Um, but I skipped over so many things. I don’t think we really got into one specific thing. That was what I felt about it. And we’ll get you there next time. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think, I think the

Triena McGuirk: listener will learn a little bit about you in every episode, because when you throw in your 2 cents with the guests, they will learn about you.

Triena McGuirk: Like it doesn’t have to be just the Muhammad. So

Muhammad Kermalli: yeah,

Muhammad Kermalli: I was trying to be the listener at the same time and it was hard. I was like, Aw. Okay.

Triena McGuirk: So what, what did you feel you didn’t get through.

Muhammad Kermalli: What did you go to loving specific? There

Triena McGuirk: was lots of spin. I think there’s the specific stuff comes out of the jury. Um,

Muhammad Kermalli: like we could have talked so specifically about those two years or those those two years, you know, or one moment

Triena McGuirk: the focus back on a lot of things, but I’ve been just died, but you know, there’s a point to it.

Triena McGuirk: I think the bigger thing is I think the message that comes from that conversation is you are not who you’re told the world tells you. You are. I think that’s the biggest thing. Like, you’re not because you were told you release things your whole life, but that’s not who you are

Muhammad Kermalli: even though. No. Can I say something on that?

Muhammad Kermalli: So actually I agree with you. Um, can you do the intro in the sake? Okay. But I haven’t thought like you just had you’re right. A hundred percent because I have been, um, when I’m going to grow it up, it’s like, that’s the one thing I really. When I would talk to somebody in Canada, like if I go back to Africa, they look at me and they go, you’re not African.

Muhammad Kermalli: Okay. And if you look at me, I present as like Indian. Right. But if I went to India, you’re not from India. And when I came to, like, I S I associate with being Canadian, but when I came to Canada, they’re like, you’re not Canadian. Although I speak Swahili, like an African. So I was like, huh, that’s interesting.

Muhammad Kermalli: You all say, I don’t belong with you. Right.

Triena McGuirk: That’s the real message. Right.

Muhammad Kermalli: I took that message the wrong way for the longest time. I thought it was because I didn’t belong in any, anywhere. It turns out it’s because. Yeah.

Triena McGuirk: Yeah. Everything belongs everywhere. Everyone belongs,

Muhammad Kermalli: right? Yeah. Yeah. I just feel like that’s why when we keep coming back and people feel like that, I guess that’s, that’s really my biggest message.

Muhammad Kermalli: If anyone’s ever felt like they don’t belong. Yeah. And it’s, those are my favorites

Triena McGuirk: and you always belong. We’re just not, we’re not indoctrinated with that. Right. We’re indoctrinated with, look outside yourself, conform follow, follow the path of least resistance. I

Muhammad Kermalli: have a friend of mine. He actually just messaged me.

Muhammad Kermalli: I’m a Muslim and he’s a devout Catholic and we have these great conversations. And one day we both said to each other, okay. He said to me, he goes, you know, you’re a lot closer to Catholic than you realize. And I said to him, you know,

Muhammad Kermalli: so that’s the beauty of it is like, when you go higher, you know, you’re like,

Triena McGuirk: well, you see the fundamental threads that are weaved through. All right.

Muhammad Kermalli: Somebody else said that earlier on, it’s like all of these cultures and all of the stuff that’s out there. Sure. I respect it. And I love it. And if somebody were to say, okay, Mohammed, now they’re starting saying you’re African I go, okay.

Muhammad Kermalli: So now they’re saying it, because now they want to own a piece of you and somebody like family members that didn’t want to know me before. Like he’s my cousin or somebody would say he’s Canadian or he’s part of this. And now we’re where he’s part of our group now. And I’m like, no, no, no, no, no. I’m good here.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. In fact, that becomes so bad with that. That if I even find like there’s too much. Too much, like have an affiliation with one specific thing. I’ll actually purposely throw that piece of me in the garbage cause I don’t want to be tied down to one particular thing. Yeah. So yeah. That’s I guess the story coming from wanting to be part of everything to not wanting to be part of nothing.

Muhammad Kermalli: I’m me. I’m good. And I’m keeping them going anyway. Sorry. That was a little bit of a segue after that, but you got to do the intro. You want to do the intro? You you’re the intro you’re telling me today. So you got to do the,

Triena McGuirk: so we’re today here

Muhammad Kermalli: with Melinda. We’re going to talk about,

Triena McGuirk: I don’t know. I just feel safe.

Triena McGuirk: Okay. No, go ahead now. Cause you can’t see you’re talking with yourself. Okay. So here today with Muhammad and we’re going to have a chat about his life and what he’s been through and just.

Muhammad Kermalli: Perfect. Thank you. Just the way you say is fine, because you’d have to do the intro. Okay. Sounds

Triena McGuirk: good.

Triena McGuirk: we were last time and we sat down and that was the last time. Hey, no, we just said, Hey, and then we just started talking, but that’s fine. That’s no different that’s I didn’t really add much more to it than we did last time.

Muhammad Kermalli: Um, thank you. Um, and thank you all. And yeah, I think when we do this next time, you know, what you were saying is like, we keep learning and apply what we, what we’re doing here.

Muhammad Kermalli: As much as this is about the person who is sitting in the call of the hot seat or whatever, um, it needs to be above the listeners, right above the people that are viewing so that they get right. There that we bring it out from a perspective that they can look at and go, oh, okay. That’s me. So if we keep that in and we keep that in the back of our mind, as we’re bringing these different guests in, and really, I think we’ll hone our skill at that over time, um, to be able to just make this relatable to those people who need to keep on breaking through to keep on breaking through.

Triena McGuirk: Nice. Okay. So do we want to approach people then

Muhammad Kermalli: I’ll talk to them for sure. Okay.

Triena McGuirk: I’ll talk to my friend, Vanessa, to Larry, the lawyer. He’s super, super in the thick of it right now. So I don’t know if he has any disposable time. Um, and then did you get. Book for, when is it? The 15th of October? Is that, or the third note?

Triena McGuirk: And she’s the 15th. There was a third, Wednesday, third, Wednesday

Muhammad Kermalli: to be the same. You guys want me to make like a little like October 20th, I think. Sorry. You know what? That was helpful.

Triena McGuirk: Did you go through that form exercise that he sent him?

Triena McGuirk: That’s okay. Doing this dude. I did it, but I feel like

Muhammad Kermalli: it could be worth, um, yeah, I’m sure it is if he sent it. It’s definitely. Um, I just hadn’t done it with the website. Do you want, like, let’s say you have a potential guest. You want them to use the site go on form.

Triena McGuirk: Yeah, I think that’s great because then it saves us, um, that invites people to come to us instead of us soliciting people.

Triena McGuirk: So we don’t

Muhammad Kermalli: have this long. You

Triena McGuirk: know,

Muhammad Kermalli: point, then I registered, um, throughout the URL, the breaking show thought, oh, maybe this all data

Triena McGuirk: to the website. And then from there they can fill out the form, a little short vial, and then

Muhammad Kermalli: you have your answer and your bio and your photo.

Triena McGuirk: Let get your bile from Mikayla.

Muhammad Kermalli: Um, does she have, I can send you that

Triena McGuirk: it comes up.

Triena McGuirk: I search myself that you got once in a while, just cause. It’s different areas, people, and it

Muhammad Kermalli: will show up more as you go.

Triena McGuirk: It’s going to be caught

Muhammad Kermalli: if you want. I know I did this talk once that I can’t seem to get rid of now on the internet, Rogers recorded it and played it. And now it’s out there because of the size of there. That’s the first thing we followed him and people I’m like, oh my God, people watch that.

Muhammad Kermalli: Like I saw this talk. I go, oh my God. That was terrible. You watch that. Don’t watch that. And they’re like, no, I’m like, I feel like I want to go up to them and tell them

Triena McGuirk: it’s kind of dated.

Muhammad Kermalli: I like, I like where we’re going. I think like they’re calling your story relatable. That’s when I came to Canada, like one too.

Triena McGuirk: And there’s a lot of kids in that boat or a lot of adults and a lot of kids in that boat still just coming here. So

Muhammad Kermalli: does that, that’s why, um, I’m I was telling Gina, I have this idea. I want to create this AI, that, that, because then the number of people that we need to reach, we’re not going to be able to reach them.

Muhammad Kermalli: I can’t reach them with one person. I was like, how do we automate this? And then I was like, oh my God, I should be able to do this. We just got to teach the AI, right. Our, our like ideas. Right. Cause that’s the point of it.

Triena McGuirk: I don’t know what his platform remains.

Muhammad Kermalli: AI.