Hello, beautiful humans! Welcome to QAs Doing Cool Things, Fourth Edition. This series features one of the members of my Super Cool Newsletter for the Quietly Ambitious with what they're doing and learning. SCNQA (and this series) is meant to be a cheery bright spot of positivity in the middle of the gray cloudy sky that your Social Media Overlords want you stare into hour after hour. (If you're not getting the newsletter, sign up in the side bar or on the bottom of this page. DO IT RIGHT NOW.)
Let's get to it!
I went to college with Matt Nobles (Go Gators), which means I've known him for over a decade (wait, really? :checks math: yep. Sigh). Matt and I were both really into social entrepreneurship in college. We loved the idea of using profitable ventures to fund social change. Matt moved to Dubai not long after getting a job and graduating, and has since gotten married and had kids. Because we're half a world apart, we don't get to talk as much as we'd like, but we keep tabs on each other and periodically check in. I'm always impressed by Matt's combination of knowledge and kindness, and also by the sheer number of ideas he has. He always has multiple projects in the fire that combine business with making a positive impact on people around him. He's the kind of person you want rooting for you, and you can't help doing the same for him.
Let's catch up with him.
What are you up to these days?
So I've been splitting my time between three focus areas in recent months:
1) Time with Family: Since I've had more time on my hands, I've certainly tried to direct a good portion of it to spending time with my young kids ... Eva is two and a half and Jordan is 8 months old. It's been so awesome to have been able to do all kinds of things during weekdays when I would have otherwise been in the office. Going to the park, the beach, playing games, making art and music, whatever they want to do ... it's been a blast and a joy.
2) Dubai Personal Finance: I started a financial literacy-focused personal finance coaching and advising company. I create and promote plenty of free resources online through my website and on social media. I also offer workshops, seminars and 1-to-1 personal finance coaching. My target market are those expats who should have a financial plan in-place but probably don't. I've had about 10 coaching clients over the past few months and it's been extremely rewarding to watch them grow and manage their finances in a way that will set themselves and their families up for success for decades to come.
3) Streams of Progress - UAE Podcast: I co-founded and co-host a weekly podcast focused on entrepreneurship and innovation in the UAE. The Streams of Progress podcast exists to highlight the growth stories of inspiring people and organizations in the UAE … and we’ve been honored to interview Government Ministers & Officials, Chief Executives, Startup Founders, VC Directors, Community Organizers and more. I've met so many talented and driven people over the past few months who inspire and challenge me to continue to raise the bar in my own life. I hope they do the same for the hundreds of podcast listeners we have per week.
What lessons have you been learning lately (whether personally or professionally)?
The importance and power of your network. Having people who are interested in the work that you are doing and who are willing to support you with resources, time, energy, connections and more is so incredibly important.
I've also re-affirmed the truth that in order to grow a business or organization, you must focus on "Giving First". If you are able to serve your intended audience better than anyone else, and if you are able to connect with them in a positive or meaningful way ... then you are destined to succeed. The formula to live a high-value life is to provide high value to as many people as possible.
What's keeping you going/motivated/producing? (people, podcasts, movies, video games, family, whatever)
My family above all. And I've started to see traction with each of my efforts, which is beginning to snowball and feed on itself. Rome wasn't built in a night and neither were any of the other "overnight" successes you might read an article about. Encouragement from my network of friends and partners has also been important to keeping me motivated to move forward.
What's the best way for people to support or help you right now?
Check out StreamsofProgress.com and give us a good rating on iTunes if you feel we deserve it!
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