In this conversation, Nader Sabry discusses growth hacking and its application in organizations. He explains that growth hacking is a superset that sits above leadership and encompasses various functions. Nader emphasizes the importance of experimentation and finding one's unique growth formula. He also shares insights on discovering purpose and the connection between spirituality and technology. Nader encourages individuals to be patient in their journey of self-discovery.

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πŸ“ŒTALKING POINTS

03:59 Growth Hacking and its Definition

07:11 Implementing Growth Hacking in Organizations

19:14 Generating Revenue through Growth Hacking

28:44 Starting the Growth Hacking Process

31:45 Discovering Purpose

34:37 Combining Spirituality and Technology

37:38 Finding Your Purpose

πŸ”—CONNECT WITH NADER

πŸ”—CONNECT WITH TOM

Tom Finn (00:01.383)

Welcome in my friends, the water is warm. Today we're learning from Nader Sabry. Nader, welcome to the show, my man.

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Nader Sabry (00:08.374)

How you doing?

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Tom Finn (00:10.131)

Oh, I am doing fantastic and I am thrilled to have a chat with you today. For those of you that, uh, do not know Nader, he is a keynote speaker. He is an innovator and entrepreneur and advisor, and quite frankly, a leading global voice in innovation in space, technology, government, and health and wellness. He recently released a book, hire me if you can, which shares the secrets to hiring top growth hacking talent before your business rivals do. He was the former chief strategist for the Dubai Department of Economic Development. Yep, I said Dubai. And he was also the director of strategy for the Dubai Foreign Investment Office. That's a big deal. And he's helped hundreds of CEOs, global leaders, founders, and several Fortune 500s use his methods, strategies, including those folks in Seattle working at Microsoft, some friends at Google, and a small little firm in Florida called NASA. Pretty cool brands my friend, but let's start with a basic one You took your talents to Dubai over 20 years ago What what took you personally into Dubai and why'd you head that direction?

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Nader Sabry (01:19.198)

Well, it was accidental, as many things in my life have been. So no matter what I plan or strategize, there's always something more interesting that comes along the line. So you got to keep alert. It's probably the most common thread throughout my whole story and you'll see it kind of pop in and out. So how I ended up here was I built one of the world's first internet service providers in Canada, which was called Canada Online and we started in the mid 90s and then we got bought out in 1999. So the timing was absolutely incredible. It wasn't any magic on our behalf. We were just literally lucky. So prior to the dot bomb. And then I spent quite a bit of time between the Canadian Silicon Valley corridor building my next kind of tech companies. And most of them were just failing, failing because of the dot bomb time. And what was interesting is I ended up meeting somebody who was lobbying on behalf of the tech industry in Washington. He's still a friend to the day, very persuasive. He brought me into that. You can see what the kind of the tech lobby looks like. It was very, very different 20 to 23 years ago. And as I did that, they were setting up an international office in Dubai and they figured, hey, let's just send you out there. You can probably figure this out. Let's crack the code on this one. And so I ended up halfway across the world within the consulting kind of lobbying industry, the local government became my client, my Rolodex exploded and then at that time, I was brought in as the first chief strategist to help design the future of the economy of Dubai, one of the most innovative places on the planet from then until now and going to be like that for quite some time, one of the most agile governments on the planet, led by a very interesting man who drives innovation at all levels without a limit in thought it naturally attracts people who also, who have no limit in thought as well, who can dream up and think up some crazy things and then execute it so it's commercially viable and helps improve and move people's lives forward. And that's what I did for a very good period of time. It was a very strange job for me in the beginning because starting in entrepreneurship and tech and then shifting into more of, let's say a government role and policy and so forth.

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What it taught me was the depth of decision-making, why people make certain decisions, why they don't, because you get to see the full spectrum of decision-making as a policymaker. And it taught me a lot about not just how corporates or governments make decisions, but how individuals behave when making certain economic decisions and so forth. So it's been a lot of fun. That's how I ended up and I've been here ever since. So it's home.

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Tom Finn (03:59.463)

Yeah, I love that. And such a unique place Dubai is in the world. You're right. It is an innovation hub and a, an economic center of the world. Um, just a fantastic, uh, place to be and live and thrive. So, so you end up there and your whole purpose is this model of technology transformation and help, help me understand that the decision making that was going on, what were you guys actually doing? Uh, when you were building.

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Nader Sabry (04:03.458)

Very... Yep. Well, at the center of it, I mean… At the time we were working in very different ways. So it was like a canvas, right? So it was like, we can pretty well dream up anything we wanted and start developing. But the reason would be, what would be the economic benefit to the Emirate of Dubai and how would we commercialize that and develop the economy? So one of the very early things that had significantly put us on the map was the, not Borkhlob, sorry, but the seven-star hotel. So, oh God, the name is falling off the top of my head. That's incredible.

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Anyways, Burj Al Arab, that's it. So that's the first seven-star hotel in the world. And the reason that this policy had come about, like obviously you just see a hotel, but the policy behind it was how do we stimulate a whole sector to invest and develop. And when we put our money where our mouth is as a government, naturally the private sector would follow. And when we develop very aggressive projects like that or very creative projects like that, we would naturally inspire some of the most innovative some of the most bold people in those specific spaces who'd naturally be attracted here. And then we would create the investment and trade incentives that would enable people to set up here and then plug into that ecosystem. And so that's one of the kind of the early stage, I mean, prior to, of course, several things, but that was one of the most, let's say iconic moves done. And then that became a… a model or a cookie cutter. I hate using that word because it's not really a cookie-cutter. Every time we do something it's a little bit different. But that policy set the tone for many things to come forward. And basically, we look at it as national assets. So we develop key assets in key sectors and then use that to stimulate continuous investment trade and development that would push those sectors to different new heights and make them extremely competitive not just within the region but on a global level. So when we first started up there was all regional competition about being competitive in the region. But as that built up over the last couple of decades, we've become one of the most competitive locations on the planet. And one of the best windows to understand how agile the government is here is during the pandemic. When many governments and people were shutting down and locking up, we were opening up and preparing for the future and learning how to deal with this new situation in the world.

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And because of it, we've reaped the benefits of navigating, as we do in other challenging situations, how to put very creative and innovative policies that benefit people at all levels, not just locally here, of course, but even on a global level to bring them into Dubai.

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Tom Finn (07:11.359)

Well, look, your government background and the work that you've done in Dubai is only part of the story, uh, because you're, you're known for being a growth hacker and you're known for innovation and tech. So help me understand sort of that part of your background. What's growth hacking in your opinion? What does that look like today in 2024? And, uh, help us understand the baseline here.

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Nader Sabry (07:35.542)

So I'll kind of give you the backstory and then I'll jump into what it is and the great question of what does it look like moving forward. I didn't know I was a growth hacker actually for a long time. In fact, the term has only been coined in the last decade or so, a little over a decade. And there's a whole story behind that as well. Growth hacking has been practiced for a very long time. It just wasn't coined or turned into a practice. So it's an emerging discipline. You can't really go to Harvard and learn about it, but there's a lot of interest at some of the top universities around the world, which I do keynotes.

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and there are different things I'll tell you a little bit more about that connect into that. So when I sold my last company, which I sold in end of 2017, early 2018, it was a NASA space certified company. That was the whole kind of NASA thing that I did. And as I was doing that, I was working with people across several different industries and they're like, oh, you're hacking this thing. And so this idea of growth hacking kept popping up and I was like, what is this? What does this actually mean? And then when I sold my company, I stepped back and I started five years and realized that at the center of everything I'm doing is exponential growth and there's a science behind it. So it's been called hacking, okay, because typically there was like really small, short, simple, and in many ways they are ways of stimulating growth, right? In today's world, moving like you just asked, what's the future of it like, it's actually no longer growth hacking, it's actually growth sciences. It's become a science because...

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The practice behind this has evolved to a point that it's become systematic in a way that people can actually just take it and practice it, although there are different opinions to how that may be, which is a healthy thing. That's how any industry in the world should be working. There are actually very few people in the world that do this. And that's kind of surprised me in the roughly 2020 or 2019, I think it was and one of the top growth hackers in the world, he lives in the UK and he contacts me, we have a very small circle and he says, I got a client, they want to talk to you but you need to sign an NDA and he didn't tell me much, it's just natural how it works. I was like, at least tell me what industry, what's about, it's about recruitment, talent and so forth and I wasn't really doing anything at that time in that space, no problem. So he puts me in front of this client and… They saw an industry report that had written. So I do several industry reports about, you know, growth hacking and the growth sciences. And they're like, you stated in 2020, there was only 5,000 growth hackers on the planet. How the hell did you reach that number? So I have this like 16 point criteria that I use and you just, it's not like, you know, it's just like a lawyer or a doctor. You can't just say you're a lawyer or a doctor or say you're just a growth hacker. It's obviously much easier to do that, but there's actually something behind it.

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And so, you know, we did the estimate and so forth and they're like, well, what does it look like today? But you're down the line, I said, well, it's around double, which sounds like a lot, but it's the population is like no more than nine to 12, maybe 15,000 pushing it, no more than that. And they kind of sat and scratched their head and I'm trying to figure out why I'm on this call. And then they're like, okay, well, we wanna pick your brain a little bit. So they pull out this crazy data model. And so they predict the future by looking at, you know, the kind of talent that would be required and the skills that underpin those talent. And so they can understand how to adjust to the future according to kind of the demand what companies and other organizations would need. And so here's this like one that just jumps out and it's growth hacking or the growth sciences.

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They determined that the number one super skill the future's growth and the reason behind it is that You know using innovation and technology or strategy you can be really good at that But if they don't lead to growth then it's pointless So if you have the best tech but doesn't grow or you've got some great innovation But doesn't grow our strategy doesn't bring it all together and doesn't grow then it's pointless. It won't go anywhere It always needs to lead to growth and growth is a super a superset not a subset. And so that's a really important thing to understand, I'll kind of step back. So there's a point in the history of growth hacking where it was almost a subset and a subset essentially is everyone would classify this growth marketing, not everybody but many people, growth marketing or product product development growth or product management growth. And it was like all these terms that had some kind of a marketing quantitation and it would add growth to it. And so it had a heavy link to marketing, but growth hacking or the growth sciences is not marketing. It's a superset actually. It sits right above leadership and everything else plugs into it. We call it, technically we call it cross-functional growth hacking and you can read more about that in my book. And that essentially is like this. So imagine Tom, you go to the gym and you're working on your biceps and you just do it 90 days like 90s and wrong that you only work on just that so your biceps are awesome But then the rest of your body suffers right because there's an imbalance, right? So you can't do that You need to work with everything in balance so that works and so you can get the goal you want the same thing with An organization the same thing with growth hacking So if I put all my effort into sales and marketing which a lot of organizations do and then BAM they get these amazing results but they're unable to put it into operations, operations is behind, customer service is behind, deliveries behind. Everything else is suffering because there's been too much put into one pot and so… 

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That's where cross-functional growth hacking comes into play. It should include how it has impact and uses other functions, including human resources, which we'll touch a little bit more on. So that's essentially where the future of that is going. And that's what inspired me to write the book, Hire Me If You Can, because I started to challenge myself in many ways. What I noticed was that anytime I'm working with a client then I'm done and they're like, well, we need to hire a growth hacker. And so… I noticed this in another place, I'd do a keynote or do some education about the topic and then they'd ask me like these four or five basic questions like what is it, how does it work, why is it important, is it for tech and startups and then they'd always ask the very last questions once they got everything else figured out, how do I hire a growth hacker? So it's not about the question being asked, it's about why that question is being asked at that and at that point whether they're my client or someone in the audience, they figured out like, whoa dude, these are super skills that I need to figure out or I need someone to help me do it. And the problem with that is that it's really difficult to hire these people because you can't really find them everywhere. They're not readily available. And, you know, many people call themselves growth hackers, but they're not really, you know, growth hackers. They can be just growth marketers. And they're in kind of like one segment, but they're not doing the whole thing. It's a superset, not a subset. So, so.

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Tom Finn (13:52.799)

So, so Nader, how do you, how do you find somebody that is a growth hacker that is not just a marketer that decided that they Googled this term and called themselves a growth hacker? Because that's what I tend to find for most entrepreneurs in the middle market is that you you're looking for some sort of marketing work to be done. You're trying to upscale your business a little bit. You're trying to do it the right way. And you find these quote unquote growth hackers who really are just old-school marketers trying to put a new sort of coat of paint on what they're offering. How do we determine the difference here?

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Nader Sabry (14:30.53)

So for me, it's always been the best growth hackers that I've ever hired are guys that don't classify themselves as growth hackers. They're kind of like my story where I was doing it and I didn't know it and it's a strategic function. So super set and strategic. So they have to have really strong strategic thinking skills and they gotta be able to connect the bigger picture with the small picture and be able to find a way to hack that, right? Using the exponential growth sciences. So you will start to find them nowadays in more obvious places. Okay, so when I look at an organization, the first thing I ask a CEO or what I look for is do they have a growth unit? Okay, so if they have a dedicated growth unit led by a chief growth officer, then they're more likely have actual real growth hackers in the organization because they realize that without a dedicated growth unit, you're actually not going to grow. So when it's a subset underneath, so it's like a growth marketer under marketing, it doesn't work very well But when you have a whole growth unit and a growth unit that reports directly to the leadership and they're a superset within the Organization those guys and those people in that space you most likely you'll find our actual real growth hackers The other thing okay, so there's um, there's a derogatory term It's not too bad, but I call it Grasshoppers, okay, so Grasshoppers are essentially they come in and they kind of pop away at you, right? so like i'll get you leads and it pops and we'll put a Google ad and it just pops and all they do is they keep jumping from one next thing to the next So it's just grab there's just like a grasshopper like bing but doesn't work So later on when I observed, you know, I look at different growth patterns And so I came to this thing called growth on cocaine And it actually has it operates like the brain chemistry is exactly like doing it and I don't recommend anyone do that I'm not promoting it, but what I am talking about is it has the same brain chemistry So what that means is like you go for this first experience you get that hit and then you're like dude I like this And it's equivalent to like you have a sales team or marketing team and they get their first mega result and they come running in Into my office and like dude we hit this thing and then and they kind of look at me They're like, why is this guy not excited or happy?

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Nader Sabry (16:45.59)

And I am, but I'm actually more scared than have been excited because to chase the next experience, right? It takes more energy and effort for every one little unit of better experience I need to get or better result. And it becomes inefficient and exhausting over time. And so what you're really looking for is a rising horizon. It's the consistency, which is key. And that perpetual effect of that consistency with a rising horizon will always beat.

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Growth on cocaine and but too many people too many people get caught up in that investors look for this You know their culprits as well They're like we get those numbers right and like okay. I get it, but you need sustainable, you know ongoing consistent growth that you need to compound over time and you need that engine working with less effort over time which then comes to the definition which I define in my book which is essentially disproportionate results. That's what growth hacking is achieving disproportionate results It's me putting in a lot less units of effort and getting way more units of results than then if I had you know proportion to what I've done and that is the center of all growth hacking you know and at the middle of that is you the growth hacker who needs to figure that out and One of the primary things there is something I call the growth dilemma So the growth dilemma is something when I work with people at different levels of an organization whether you're the executive the CEO And it this growth dilemma is every day every week every month every quarter every year You look at your goals and then you look at your resources They don't match up. Right? So you're like, how am I gonna do they never do

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Tom Finn (18:15.731)

They never do, do they? The goals and the resources never match up, ever.

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Nader Sabry (18:18.13)

No, never, never. And then, and so what do you do? So I either wing it or I growth hack it. So this is where the culture of poor performance comes into play, right? So I'm gonna wing it and there's a lot of fun stuff, you know, we joke around of it, of course about poor performance, but the reality is that they're avoiding the growth hacking that is required to be able to take this less resources that you have to reach these big goals you're after. So yeah.

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Tom Finn (18:46.107)

So, so Nader, let me ask you this. I did some corporate selling back in the day, uh, when I was just a young whippersnapper and, uh, running around selling big things in healthcare. And one of the things I learned about sort of growth and selling and trying to gain revenue, which is really what we're talking about is that you'll, you'll have your plan. You'll have your plan and you won't have the resources to hit it. Like you said, uh, but you've got to hit that one big client every year to hit your numbers, to hit your revenue numbers. You know, if you just go with your standard sales process and your standard activity and your standard kind of homework, you're never going to hit the final number because the number is always a bit of a stretch goal and you've got to hit that one big client. How does growth hacking change that model? And how do we think about this world of generating revenue different?

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Nader Sabry (19:29.898)

Yeah. So I'll tell you a story about a personal friend of mine. He calls me up one day and he's like really frustrated. He runs a video editing business. Okay. And same exact problem you're talking about. And he's chasing these three, four really big clients. So like anywhere, I think the range from half a million to million dollars per contract. Okay. Meanwhile, he's got all these smaller clients that keep coming to him. Right. So they're, you know, anywhere for as little as a 10th to a quarter, the size of the smaller amount that I just mentioned but he's completely neglecting them or not giving them the love he needs. He's just focused on those really big contracts. So the year ends and he doesn't land any of them. Okay. Uh, he takes a few of these smaller contracts just to survive. And then he's going to repeat the same thing the next year and he's exhausted. Right. So it's the same thing as growth on cocaine. And so I told him, okay, listen, um, you need to start taking on these smaller guys, um, you need to change the model in which how you deal with these, uh, smaller to midsize guys, um, you need to be able to get more out of them and get things going because having that consistent flow.

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Okay, so how do we how do we turn this into consistent revenue rather than it just be one off small projects and they'll and you'll and I Don't let go and ask some very important strategic questions Is this like a project that's one time or will you have consistent video needs? And so we kind of divided it up between those who had consistent needs and just one off projects And so I said, okay So go for the guys that have the more consistency for the guys that have the one-off projects Don't neglect them take them on and then we need to find a growth hack How do we turn them into more consistent clients now? They're not always going to be like that but the point though is that this creates the cashflow to make him competitive enough to land those $500,000, a million contracts. And that's exactly what happened in the year after that and after that. And so he'd step back and realize, you know, I was going to repeat the same problem, sorry, the same strategy over and over again. He's like, and all my competitors are doing the same thing. He's like, so when I walk in to compete on these bigger contracts, I'm competing with a lot more comfort, not comfort in the sense like he's not competitive but in a sense like, confidence in he's more confident being able to get these contracts because he's got this base in his business that's keeping him going. So he's not gonna starve the next day because he doesn't get the contract. He's gonna continue regardless against that contract. He can even negotiate these contracts better. We've talked about how to negotiate these contracts when you're a situation like this. So it completely changes. Now I know that doesn't apply to all businesses, but this is kind of the line of thinking that I'm talking about, to answer your question, of course.

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Tom Finn (22:03.783)

And is this unique to a particular industry? I know you just went down in your example, this path of, uh, video editing, which is, which is a, an industry that is growing, uh, with the advent of social media and everybody who is, uh, a nouveau influencer, but there are a lot of other industries out there, does growth hacking work in all of them to generate more revenue?

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Nader Sabry (22:25.834)

Yeah, it is not isolated to an industry. It's not isolated to a discipline. It's not isolated to a type of person. In cases in my book that I talk about that go back 50 years ago, like McDonald's. So most people don't know that McDonald's growth hack, they invented the drive-through.

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And they did that by actually buying and building billboards So they knew there was a formula and they were testing it for three to five kilometers on But high traffic highways when people are going home And that's the best time to hit them because that's when people want to pick up some food and go home and they were doing That in the 60s and 70s and so, you know, it's a traditional business. They're selling food. Yes I know they're McDonald's they got the money to build a billboard That's true. But it's the thinking behind it, right? They could have just not done that and been a completely different company today, but they did do it and So it goes across the board. So as mentioned before of course before we go on so I run something called the 10 day growth hacking challenge and Inside that we have like people from all kinds of industries or people who run podcasts People who have beauty businesses. We've got people who are in media industry health care industry fintech industry Energy healing like really crazy things I probably one of the most interesting people who read my book and wrote to me about the growth hacking is a lady in New York who's a broadway. Like really crazy. I love these emails. Like when these people reach out to me, I have to take extra time from them because they come at me from the blue in like really crazy places I could never imagine, because I know it can be applied in many places. They've taken it and applied it and I'm like, okay, tell me the story. I need to hear this. So yeah, it's across the board.

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Tom Finn (24:07.891)

Yeah, that's awesome. You don't get many choreographers, uh, thinking about growth hacking on a day-to-day basis, so kudos, uh, kudos to that individual for thinking outside the box and trying to, uh, think a little differently about the world that they live in. Um, so when you, when you think about sort of growth hacking when you think about what you said is this super set, uh, of, uh, knowledge and you said that it reports to leadership earlier. I want to go back to this. So help me understand this new relationship in your mind. You're sort of developing a new organizational structure, right? That's really what you're doing. And saying that the way of the future is to have a superset of these growth units that are a part of the leadership team unpack that for me so that a, a small business, you know, with 50 employees could put this in place to the you know, 100,000 employer group can put this in place.

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Nader Sabry (25:07.99)

Yep, so we collect a lot of data on growth. And so what we found was about three to 4% of the Fortune 1000 today are using growth hacking. About 11% of corporates, 21% of startups and 98% of unicorns, okay? And so when we look at these organizations, we look at strategy, structure, and talent, and we look at the hierarchy in which they actually work in, and that hierarchy has an impact on growth. So when we look at it, so the ideal place to look at is the unicorn, right? And corporates do that. So that's what a CVC tries to do. They try to acquire companies to build that DNA into their company. They run innovation funds, innovation challenges, and that's kind of the route how big organizations try to grab these things or try to adapt from them.

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What the unicorn does differently than everybody else is they put growth above everything else. Meaning if something is not working because it doesn't lead to growth, they kill it. Before doing that, they'll try to optimize it. If that doesn't work, they'll just kill it. And if it does work, they emphasize it. So they keep pumping it up. So the daily battle is always like, what is it that actually leads to growth and what doesn't? And it's always this process of removing, adding, removing, adding until they got this optimized formula, which they understand. And that… is one of the reasons why my first book, which is Ready, Set, Growth, Act is very successful. Because the thing that I had learned, so I'm going to go a few steps back to answer this question and then come back to this. I like many people who are listening, had failed for years. So I went and read all the books and listened to podcasts and I hired consultants. And what happened is everybody had a formula, right? And so they're like, this is the formula that works, right? And so I take the formula and I tried and it doesn't work. Or it doesn't work to the same extent in which it was promised to me. And I didn't, it happens to all of us. And then I realized that it's not about what their formulas, it's about what my formula is. I need to figure out my formula. And...

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Nader Sabry (26:59.358)

I can learn from everybody else, but at the end I need to come up with my formula. And my goal when I work with a client or giving a keynote or somebody's reading my book, my goal is to help you find your growth formula, right? Because it's unique to you. So if I took two people and give them the exact same resources, the exact same strategy, they'll still grow differently because they'll start to adapt to different things and by nature that their formula will change. But if you're consistently, and I'll give you an example, so when I have a new client onboarding, one of the most common things like, hey, we're benchmarking our competition this metric they're doing way better than us. I'm like and if I was to throw that metric out the window what would happen to you? And then that stuns them. They're like who we would be you know not in business. I'm like really? Is that is that how you see it or is it in an area that nobody else sees and that's where real growth hacking comes from it's finding the unknown and unlocking the unknown because me doing something that nobody else is doing and I'm able to make it grow is a lot easier than me competing with you on the exact same thing.

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Tom Finn (27:59.883)

Yeah, I think they call that a blue ocean strategy. Somebody wrote a book on that one. Find the place where everybody else isn't and try to figure out a new and unique way to do things. So tell me, to the common entrepreneur, how does a person go and start the process? So you've talked about strategy, about implementation, about all of the different components, but where does somebody even start? They've probably got some Google ads running. They've probably got a few salespeople out there, right? Maybe they have a chief marketing officer. But how does somebody take this concept, bring it in-house, and start to build it effectively?

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Nader Sabry (28:44.598)

Yep. So the starting point is, you know, get educated on the topic, right? There's a lot of there's a lot of information out there. But the core of it is experimentation. OK, so this is the core of it. So the reason that we experiment and how really great experiments start is and I'll give you a little backstory to how this happens. So when a corporation hires me, I go to the board and we have a problem. Everybody at the board table seems to have the answer. So everybody seems to like you know we have a way forward I'm like well then why do you hire me? Why do you need me? Why do you need anybody? So this is what I call boardroom ego right? And so how I learn to get past it is like this. So if we can all agree to one statement so one statement one very simple statement we can all agree to and that statement is I don't know right? So if we can all collectively agree to the idea that I don't know the only thing that stands in front of us is experimentation because we need to discover where the path is, right? And that was what I would always tell an entrepreneur, start experimenting. And the first thing they'll tell me is, but it's expensive, it's high risk, and it's too big. It can be if you make it like that. So you need to go the other way around. You need to make it simple, you gotta make it cheap, because you're gonna do a lot of them, and you gotta make it like move quickly, right? So you gotta be fast, cheap, and experiment with things that you never thought you would experiment with, okay? Especially with, you know, trying to figure out, you know, where the unknowns are, right?

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And so there's so many cases that we can just keep going into how we've done that. And when you look at the thick, when you kind of look back to it, people are like, well, that was so simple. Like that's all it took to figure out. And I tell it looks like that because we make it look very simple at the end. But if you look at the process in which we had to go through to do all those experiments, to figure that out, you'd figure out how complex it can get and how much effort really goes into it. Yeah.

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Tom Finn (30:39.039)

Is this your passion? Is this your life's work?

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Nader Sabry (30:42.958)

I don't know. That's a good question. I don't know. I tried to figure out my purpose about a decade ago and I failed at it. I was reading Start With Why by Simon Says Awesome and I took his Discover Your Why and I worked with my coaches and I got really disappointed. I didn't have this definitive purpose. And then, you know, I stepped off of it and two weeks later, I realized that my purpose is to discover my purpose. And that opened up my whole world. And ever since then, I haven't stopped on the journey of discovery because every corner I turn, I learn something new. And every new thing I learn introduces me to something that's much greater than the previous thing I was just dealing with. So where that ends, I don't know, but I'm having a lot of fun along that discovery path. That's for sure.

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Tom Finn (31:31.851)

So let's unpack the purpose conversation for a second, because I think it's really important. Most people are trying to figure this out. And it sounds like your purpose is to figure out your purpose, which I love. That's the never-ending story, and that never gets old, right? So help me understand, what are some of the categories that maybe you've gone through that are things that you were thinking about? This might be my purpose. I'm going to shoot off in this direction. And then you went to the next direction. Help us understand that Rolodex of ideas.

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Nader Sabry (31:45.783)

Yes. Well, okay, so I, when I was working with NASA, this pushed me to my limits in many ways, in amazing ways. The connection of spirituality and science was breaking the boundaries in many ways. So when I was inaugurated at NASA, I go there, and there's like 800 engineers and scientists waiting for me. And I'm like, really nervous. I'm like, oh, dude, like, I'm going to be talking about a topic that is really edgy at NASA and in that space in general. And to my surprise, so imagine I'm being inaugurated by Jim Kennedy, right? So he's the guy inaugurating me at the Kennedy Space Center. And before we go on stage, he's like, dude, I read your profile, you're scared the shit out of me. And you're about to find out why. And then he goes on stage and I'm like, whoa, that is not a way to start. So he gets on stage and then the most inspiring moment comes in. He says, I've worked with 500,000 technology transfers in space, technology at NASA. This is the most inspiring of them all because it hits the number one goal why the space act was created in 1958 or 59 it was, which is embedding mankind. And here we are today, we're going to hear the story about it. I was like, whoa. So you know, I get up and we start talking about the idea that, you know, you need to believe before you see. And in the space technology space, unlike any other parts of technology, there is no precedence that you work with when you're discovering new things.

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Your guiding path is something completely different. It's not like picking up a book and reading about it. Yeah, there's the back foundational knowledge, but as you're out there discovering, you need to have the faith that you're going to find something. And that journey to me was very powerful, learning about energy healing, learning about energy, learning about discovering the, understanding different things around you in different ways. I had like a really good coach that helped me out with that.

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And to me, that's probably the most inspiring part because it helped me connect really soft parts to much harder parts. So we always talk about the hard stuff, right? The process, the tech, the system. But the soft stuff to me is what really counts. You know, how, how we tackle something, how we go about it, what we believe about it. Our beliefs change with time as well. Like we, you know, yes, we have some principles, but every time we, at least for me, every time I learned something new, you know, I change my opinion on things. And it's not because I'm a psycho, or for some people like, well, why this guy just changed his opinion? I say, well, it's because I just learned something new that completely debunked everything I knew before, and here I am on a new path. And it's just how the world works, right? It's just how it is.

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Tom Finn (34:37.307)

Yeah. Look, I say it all the time. I re I reserve the right to change my opinion when I have new data and inputs that helped me broaden my horizons. Right? I mean, it's, it's easy to change your opinion when you have new data that helps you change your, your opinion. Uh, that's very straightforward. Okay. So NASA sounds like a great section of your purpose-building momentum. What else was in the, you know, in this soup?

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Nader Sabry (34:45.262)

That's it. Yep. Yeah. Oh gosh, so it was interesting because combining spirituality and technology is a very difficult thing to discuss with many people because they have many different belief systems and so forth. And connecting it was very painful. There was some very painful conversations with people, but I ended up learning a lot about different people in different ways and understanding why they believe in some of the things they believe in and how set some people are and more interesting is how open people are to how the world is working. So in those days there's an organization called the Pew Institute, they still exist obviously, they're a think tank based out of Washington and in those days, because I don't see it anymore, I wish they continue these studies, but they go really deep into spirituality data and they're… them and two other organizations actually do that. And they're talking about like, you know, the incline and decline of spirituality in different countries, different groups, and why it's happening. And so I learned that like in societies where they're maximizing greed, where greed is maximizing them, they're starting to ask the really big questions like, well, what's next? You know, where do I belong in this world?

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Why am I doing all this? And so the pandemic really cemented that because when people were sitting, like imagine we were always running around and then we stopped moving, but the world keeps moving. And so for that period of time, when we're at least sitting at home, we felt like the sky got more blue or the grass got more green or there was more birds. Everyone had different observations, right? Depending where in the world you were, there was like videos of animals coming in the cities. And I'm sure you saw some of those videos. And so you step back and you really start to really think about the things that are like really important to you. And you don't necessarily have all those answers. And I think like you need to be okay with that. You know, I was having this conversation with a friend last night who's also kind of trying to discover his purpose. And he's looking for all kinds of answers. And I said, you know, get comfortable with looking for the answer, but also get comfortable with the idea that you may not find the answer right away. Not everything is meant to come to you.

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Exactly the time you want it and there's a wisdom behind that you just need to live with you know You want it today? But in a year from now was is exactly the right time for you You have no idea until his hindsight's 2020 when you look backwards And you know, you just got to be like really patient like really patient It's a tough one. It's a tough one

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Tom Finn (37:38.163)

Well, I think everybody's looking for their purpose. Everybody's trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up and how that's going to fulfill them wholeheartedly fulfill them, not, not just financial, but, but spiritual with family, um, with the economics as well, with the work that they do with their hands and their mind, I think all of that's super important and trying to figure it out can be a bit of a path as, as you say, Nader, so, um, we'll, uh, we'll, we'll leave it right there, my man. Thank you for being on the show today. It's been an absolute pleasure to get to know you and to listen to you. If somebody wanted to connect and get in touch, how would they go about doing that?

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Nader Sabry (38:15.03)

So there's a few ways you can do that. You can go straight to my site, which is nadersabry.com. You can go to YouTube, there's a ton of free content in there. So like go and learn everything you want. It's all there for free. Some people come back to me like, dude, why are you not charging? I'm like, you know what, take advantage of it while it's free. I mean, I'm not hinting at anything. You just go ahead and use it. The other way is LinkedIn. So I'm quite active on LinkedIn. I do take a bit of time to respond. My inbox is kind of jammed up. I'm sure you know what that's like.

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So you can reach out to me there through my site or go ahead to YouTube and just like educate yourself about this This field and just use the knowledge man

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Tom Finn (38:53.183)

Well, thank you for doing that. I appreciate you putting the good juju out in the world and, uh, you know, showing the love through education and teaching, uh, which is so important. Thank you for taking that big brain of yours and condensing this so people can understand this space and, uh, and do more good in the world. So really appreciate the work that you're doing. Thanks for being on the show. Nader.

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Nader Sabry (39:13.095)

Awesome, Tom. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Tom Finn
Podcaster & Co-Founder

Tom Finn (he/him) is an InsurTech strategist, host of the Talent Empowerment podcast, and co-founder and CEO of an inclusive people development platform.

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