The Courage to be ” Disliked & Happy” Journey of two books

With Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga through their enlightening works

Our Community actively learning new insights and finding ways to apply them

Inspired by our Friday session at the Exchange Book Club, we enjoyed the young man’s dialogue with the wise philosopher. This dialogue challenged the common “Blame Culture”, “Weak Psychology”, and superficial “Life Coaching” practices, presenting instead a powerful theory based on “Adlerian Psychology”. In their books The Courage to Be Disliked and The Courage to Be Happy. captivated our group, and sparked reflective discussions. These books challenge the mainstream psychological and coaching approaches that often focus on past traumas. Instead, they offer a future-oriented perspective, emphasizing personal responsibility and self-acceptance.

Our Journey Began with The Courage to Be Disliked. Through the conversational style of the book, we joined the young man in his quest for understanding happiness and fulfillment. The wise philosopher introduced us to the revolutionary ideas of Adlerian psychology, particularly the notion of “teleology” – the focus on future goals rather than past causes “etiology”- main stream.

Key Lessons from The Courage to Be Disliked:

  1. On Expectations: Separate the Tasks: The philosopher taught us to distinguish what is within our control and what is not, this liberate us from the burden of others’ expectations.
  2. The Reason Why: Teleology vs. Etiology: most of the society along with the young man struggle with this concept. Our own social tendencies is to blame the past. The philosopher, however, emphasized that focusing on future aspirations empowers us to shape our destinies.
  3. Peace: Self-Acceptance: We learned that embracing our imperfections leads to peace and authenticity. Ie: Stop comparing to others
  4. Contribute for happiness: Personal Responsibility: Taking charge of our happiness is crucial for growth and freedom, this can happen by providing value to our communities.

It really take courage to Be Happy because our comfort zone today makes us vulnerable to depression. the dialogue between the young man and the philosopher deepened. The sequel continued to challenge our conventional beliefs, emphasizing that true happiness comes from meaningful contributions and living a life of purpose. So break the boundaries.

Key Lessons from The Courage to Be Happy:

  1. Contribution vs. Validation: The philosopher highlighted that happiness is found not in seeking external validation but in helping others and engaging in community activities.
  2. Self-Acceptance vs. Self-Doubt: The young man’s journey towards self-acceptance resonated with us, underscoring the importance of embracing our true selves.
  3. Personal Responsibility vs. Victim Mentality: The dialogue revealed that owning our happiness empowers us to enact positive changes in our lives.
  4. Courage to Change: The young man’s fears of societal disapproval echoed our own, yet the philosopher encouraged us to align our actions with our values and goals for true fulfillment.

Real-Life Applications: The insights from these books offer practical guidance for our everyday lives. Here are some ways we discussed implementing these principles:

Here are some ideas for after office hours:

Contribution IdeaDescription
VolunteeringJoin local non-profits or community organizations to help with their initiatives. Examples include food banks, shelters, and youth programs.
MentorshipOffer to mentor young professionals or students in your field, providing guidance and support.
Community Clean-UpsParticipate in local clean-up events to improve the environment and promote community pride.
Skill WorkshopsConduct workshops to teach valuable skills like coding, cooking, or financial literacy to community members.
Charity FundraisingOrganize or participate in fundraising events for causes you care about.
Support GroupsFacilitate or join support groups that focus on mental health, addiction recovery, or chronic illness.
Cultural ActivitiesVolunteer at local museums, theaters, or cultural festivals to promote arts and culture.
Neighborhood WatchJoin or start a neighborhood watch program to enhance local safety and security.
Youth CoachingCoach a local sports team or lead activities for youth organizations like Scouts or 4-H.

Enhancing the work culture:

Contribution IdeaDescription
Team BuildingOrganize team-building activities that promote collaboration and positive work culture.
Employee WellnessAdvocate for and help implement employee wellness programs, including mental health days and fitness challenges.
Green InitiativesLead or participate in workplace sustainability projects like recycling programs or energy-saving initiatives.
Professional DevelopmentOffer to conduct training sessions or share knowledge with colleagues to enhance their skills.
Corporate Social ResponsibilityInitiate or join CSR projects that allow your company to give back to the community, such as charity drives or volunteer days.
Diversity and InclusionAdvocate for diversity and inclusion initiatives to create a more equitable workplace.
Peer SupportStart or join peer support groups that address work-related stress, career development, or work-life balance.
Innovation ProjectsLead or participate in innovative projects that can improve company processes or products.
Internal MentorshipMentor junior employees to help them navigate their career paths within the company.

Conclusion: Our discussions of The Courage to Be Disliked and The Courage to Be Happy have profoundly impacted our perspectives on happiness and self-fulfillment. These books challenge us to break free from the shackles of past traumas and societal expectations, encouraging us to live authentically and contribute meaningfully to society. By embracing self-acceptance and personal responsibility, we can truly find the courage to be both disliked and happy. These insights have enriched our book club meetings and have also inspired us to implement positive changes in our own lives.

Mohamad Mrad

Why Men Don’t Listen And Women Can’t Read Maps

This book was written in 1998 by the couple Allan and Barbara Pease. Between 1998 and 2020, many things have changed. If I were to rewrite the book today, I would title it “Why Men Are Obsessed with Luxury and Women with Beauty.” The quest for the “Elixir of Life” or “the Philosopher’s Stone” has been a mystery for humanity and alchemy for at least two hundred years before the birth of Jesus.

What prompts me to share these thoughts with you today is the recent discussions I’ve had with some close friends about how to gain followers on social media as we build our digital identities. Unfortunately, the examples they showed me were real and true. If you open the Instagram or Facebook pages of so-called current entrepreneurs who are busy posting images of themselves with shiny watches, Rolls-Royces, private jets, or even cars filled with beautiful ladies as symbols of success and happiness for men, you will find that they have millions and millions of followers. Yet, they offer little real value or meaningful insights that I can use to improve my life. If you apply the same search criteria for women, shifting from luxury to beauty, you will find many posing, minimal clothing, long eyelashes, and an abundance of makeup, as well as millions and millions of followers.

We were once great as humanity, searching for truth through philosophy. Yes, we were also great when we sought eternal life through alchemy. Today, we are still searching for something, but what is it? We’ve bestowed the word “success” upon a mere watch or car (a result of systematic brainwashing). We’ve given the word “beauty” to makeup or specific body measurements (also a result of systematic brainwashing). Then we started racing endlessly for these ideals, unknowingly harming ourselves in the process, all while benefiting only one entity: the system that convinced us to engage in this relentless pursuit.

Please don’t misunderstand me; I do appreciate beautiful women, and I don’t dislike luxury. I love both, and perhaps I appreciate beauty even more than luxury. Thankfully, I’m blessed with both. You see, when you achieve financial freedom, you know how to possess these without paying a premium. Let me share an example we recently considered: owning a 47-ft yacht here in Dubai. We thought about using it every weekend and storing it when not in use. This would have cost around $400,000 in capital, plus substantial fees for maintenance, cleaning, and parking, totaling at least $30,000 annually. Do you know how much it would cost to rent a yacht for a weekend without these hassles? It’s almost $1,300 to $1,700. Why on earth would I buy a yacht and worry about it when I can simply charter one as needed, anywhere on earth?

Returning to our topic, today, an Instagram account that solely showcases luxury and beauty products can amass at least 1.5 million more followers than someone like Elon Musk, who is tirelessly working to give humanity a chance to survive the impending climate disaster, or other contemporary physicists like Stephen Hawking, who discovered black holes and revolutionized physics like Mr. Einstein in his time. I’m not suggesting you stop following them or start following luxury-displaying pages. I’m inviting you to maintain a fair balance in your feed so that you don’t become completely ensnared in the wrong race. If you seek to follow success, seek those who benefit you, not those who benefit from you.

Otherwise, you’re benefiting them while draining yourself in the wrong pursuit. Examine the accounts of people like Warren Buffett. He built a multibillion-dollar fortune from scratch—what argument can you make against that? Visit his Instagram account; unfortunately, it falls short by 1.4 million followers compared to unscrupulous influencers. He doesn’t flaunt luxury on his account. He seeks reality, enjoys his journey in life, and aims to leave a legacy by sharing quotes consistently. Successful people strive to empower others, leading by example, educating, guiding them to discover their own talents, fueling their ambitions, encouraging them to leverage their strengths, and teaching them how to succeed. I’m sure someone is still searching for the philosopher’s stone. But what do you know about it? Follow those who benefit you. Following the wrong role models will only harm you and benefit the system.

Ask and It Is Given: Book Review by Mohamad Mrad

Insights from “Ask and It Is Given” by Esther Hicks

Book Review

We started with Introductions to the book and the Author. Ether being is a renowned philosopher, a spiritual guide and a channel to an entity is known for her deep insights into the human psyche and the universe’s workings.

Section 1: The Journey to Self-Actualization

  • The concept of a genuine heart in asking the universe.
  • The role of self-discovery and self-actualization in manifestation.
  • Reference to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Section 2: Personal Development and Manifestation

  • Overview of the Barrett value assessment and its connections to spiritual concepts.
  • Personal anecdotes and experiences shared by members.
  • Discussion on visualization techniques and tools: Sincere intention + focused thought can manifest desires.

Section 3: The Cosmic Order and Timing in Manifestation

  • Insights on the importance of timing in manifestation.
  • Personal stories highlighting the role of cosmic order alignment.
  • Ancient wisdom from Buddhism and Hinduism that aligns with manifestation concepts.
  • Sufi -Himma concepts and influence on manifestation.

Section 4: Quantum Physics and Neuroplasticity

We Discussed the lunar calendar and its influence on personal habits. Insights into Sufi wisdom and quantum physics. The importance of neuroplasticity and suggestions for enhancing brain health, like learning new languages and developing new hobbies every year or so.

Section 5: The Science of Frequencies

  • The role of frequencies and sound in health improvement.
  • Devices and techniques for tuning into specific frequencies.
  • Discussion on the law of attraction and related concepts.
  • The power of resonance into creating a pull or destructing desires action Items

A small exercise was made with the true nature of accountability where the community made a clear intention and detailed desire to manifest one idea.


Life presents a variety of perspectives on how intentions and beliefs influence our reality.

Ether’s book “Ask and You Are Given” explores the concept of the universe being a generous source ready to fulfill clear and sincere requests.

The book emphasizes:

  • The transformative power of positive intentions.
  • Aligning with the vibrational frequency of our desires.
  • Utilizing personal experiences, ancient wisdom, and scientific principles.
  • The teachings align with the ancient belief that our thoughts and emotions can manifest our deepest desires.

We also discussed the book Contrasting viewpoint:

  • Intentions are not the only factors determining our life path.
  • Recognizes the influence of external factors, societal structures, and unexpected events.
  • Advocates for a balanced approach, combining positive thinking with:
  • Taking action.
  • Demonstrating resilience.
  • Understanding the world’s inherent unpredictability.

Synthesis of both viewpoints:

  • Life is a balance between intention and adapting to circumstances.
  • The universe is receptive to our desires but also presents challenges to test our resilience and adaptability.
  • Growth and wisdom are attained through navigating life’s challenges.
  • Encourages an optimistic approach to life, with an openness to embracing both certainty and uncertainty.

I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing: Book Review by the Financial Engineer

Book Summary:

In this powerful autobiography, Maya Angelou takes us on a journey through her early years, marked by trauma, racism, and sexual assault. Despite the hardships, Angelou’s resilience shines through, as she finds solace in literature and discovers her voice, eventually blossoming into a woman who values her independence and intellect. The book serves as a testament to the power of resilience and the human spirit’s ability to rise above adversity.

Discussions Summary:

Our recent discussion on Maya Angelou’s seminal work led to a rich and diverse conversation. Here are the detailed insights:

Maya Angelou’s Life and Work:

We delved deep into Angelou’s life, discussing her traumatic childhood experiences that led to muteness and her eventual love for literature. This sparked a conversation on the themes of prejudice, overcoming challenges, and breaking barriers, much like Angelou did in her lifetime.

Personal Anecdotes and Breaking Societal Norms:

Members shared personal stories of breaking societal norms, drawing parallels with Angelou’s journey of self-discovery and defiance against societal expectations. Stories ranged from challenging generational mindsets to pursuing unconventional career paths.


Prejudice and Speaking out :

The discussion extended to the broader societal issues of prejudice, particularly focusing on skin color and the caste system, and how these factors influence common mentality and personal interactions.

Resilience and Dignity:

We defined and explored these two powerful themes present in Angelou’s work. Resilience was seen as the ability to recover and grow from adversity, while dignity involved maintaining self-respect and moral integrity, even in challenging situations.

Integrity and Vision:

The conversation highlighted the importance of maintaining integrity through consistent commitments and having a clear vision, akin to Angelou’s clear narrative voice in her autobiography.

Cultural Perspectives:

We discussed various cultural perspectives, including British colonialism and personal experiences of living and studying in different countries, and how these experiences shape one’s worldview, much like how Angelou’s experiences shaped her writings.

Highlights from personal Experiences:

Challenging Expectations:

  • Our courageous team member “persistence” and “vision” helped her overcome barriers and achieve her goals. She faced questions and prejudice but gained confidence over time, challenging the expectations of the society for women.
  • Similarly, in India and Africa there is a stigma attached to “skin colour”, particularly in rural areas. The caste system also perpetuates discrimination based on skin colour.

We agreed that Colourism is driven by the beauty industry, creating an inferiority complex among different races. It’s important to have a plan and remain consistent while rejecting societal expectations

Similarly when another member echoed the message when she chose to explore the world instead of getting married. Breaking away from generational mindsets can be challenging but necessary for personal growth.

  • On those notes Participants in the conversation discussed the desire for happiness and personal fulfilment, by aligning with the true-self once discovered. Another participant discusses how they followed societal expectations but eventually found the courage to pursue their own path, including going back to school and changing careers.
  • Another story was shared on of breaking societal norms by completing engineering school and joining the circus for 2 years, which ultimately led them back to engineering. The group then reflected on how these unique experiences affected their relationships with their parents. Ultimately, parents’ expectations often come from a place of love and wanting what’s best for their children.

On Doubts and Fears:

The conversation then shifts to discussing doubts and fears that can hold people back from pursuing their goals or speaking out about certain topics, using examples from corporate politics as an illustration. The participants acknowledge the importance of social connections and community in achieving longevity and overall well-being.

We discussed the concept of self-doubt and social acceptance within communities. It highlights that acting outside of societal norms can result in being shunned or seen as an outsider. However, finding a community where one is accepted and appreciated can provide strength and encouragement. The variation across populations, such as ADHD and dyslexia, is also mentioned, with successful entrepreneurs often having these traits. Thinking differently and acting differently can make an outcast in one society, which jeopardize the innate survival mechanism.

The importance of both pushing boundaries for success and maintaining a cohesive society is emphasized. We distinguished between different types of communities like:

Love Network”: Family

Support Network”: True Friends

Career Network”: Corporate and teams

Professional Networks”: Network that will enable us to grow and unlock our pathways.

The Challenge:

The struggle between fitting in within a corporate environment while remaining aligned with personal values was discussed. Taking a stand for what one believes in is seen as crucial for personal growth and integrity but may come with challenges and stress.

Resilience is defined as the ability to bounce back from adversity with strength and positivity, using experiences as opportunities for growth. Dignity refers to inherent value that warrants respect from others based on self-respect and moral integrity.

The conversation focuses on defining and understanding integrity and dignity.

Integrity is described as consistency in commitments, promises, words, deliverables, identity, image, and relationships.

Dignity involves carrying oneself with grace even in challenging situations and treating others with consideration and esteem. The importance of being true to oneself is emphasized, using personal anecdotes to illustrate the concept.

The cultural relativity of dignity was also discussed, highlighting how different cultures perceive certain professions differently. We agreed that having clarity of vision and articulation skills are essential for aligning with one’s true self.

Challenging situations are seen as opportunities to test resilience and build it over time through bouncing back from setbacks.

One Idea to Take Away:

Angelou’s life story, combined with the discovered personal experiences we learned the power of resilience and the ability to rise above adversity. We stand to carve out our own path, armed with dignity and integrity.

Money GPT – this can change your financials

The financial theories that have shaped the investment world.” In our recent discussion, we delved deep into the world of finance, market behavior, the power of perception and most importantly the controlled narrative. We have triggered these highlights with the help of a great book that encapsulated these themes and offered valuable frameworks into the financial landscape.

Featured Book of the Week: Title: “The Alchemy of Finance” Author: George Soros Genre: Finance, Economics

George Soros, Reflexivity Theory, British Pound GBP, Investment Theory

Discovered Achievements and Pivot Points in the Life of the Author:

  • Georges Soros, the Alchemist of money is the founder of the “Quantum Fund,” one of the most successful hedge funds in history.
  • He famously shorted the British Pound, earning $1 billion USD in one day, challenging the Bank of England’s monetary policies.”
  • Philanthropist with a focus on promoting democratic governance, education, and public health.

The Main Message of the Book: Understanding and analyzing market behavior is key to making informed decisions. The book delves into the concept of “Reflexivity” in markets and how markets participants’ perceptions and actions can impact “Objective Reality” as they are taking actions in the marketplace, hence the importance keeping a the “Feedback Loops” in check. “Our discussions were so enlightening that we decided to extend our conversation over two sessions.”

“This theory, central to Soros’s investment philosophy, challenges traditional financial theories and provides a fresh perspective on market dynamics.”

What It Means:

Reflexivity, in the context of George Soros’s financial theories, refers to a feedback loop where actors in a market cannot base their decisions purely on an objective reality because they are themselves shaping that reality. In other words, the actions, and thoughts of participants in a market both influence and are influenced by the market’s movements.

Message of “The Alchemy of Finance” a Book and George Soros Investment Philosohpy


  1. Objective Reality: The fundamental, underlying factors that should theoretically determine market prices (e.g., a company’s earnings, assets, and liabilities).
  2. Subjective Reality: The perceptions, beliefs, and actions of market participants, which can diverge from objective reality.

The Feedback Loop:

  • Market participants’ actions, based on their perceptions (subjective reality), impact the market, changing the objective reality.
  • This new objective reality then influences participants’ perceptions, leading to further actions.
  • This loop can reinforce itself, leading to exponential market movements that diverge significantly from what would be expected based on fundamentals alone.

How to Apply It:

Understanding Market Behavior:

  1. Identify Feedback Loops: Look for situations where market participants’ beliefs and actions are significantly impacting market prices.
  2. Analyze Divergence from Fundamentals: Determine how far market prices have diverged from underlying fundamentals and consider the potential for correction.
  3. Consider Psychological Factors: Consider market sentiment, herd behaviour, and other psychological factors that can exacerbate feedback loops.

Investment Strategy:

  1. Contrarian Investing: Consider going against market sentiment when it appears to be excessively driving prices away from fundamentals.
  2. Risk Management: Be aware of the potential for significant market corrections when feedback loops unwind.
  3. Adaptive Strategy: Continuously reassess the market situation, understanding that feedback loops can change rapidly.

Case Studies:

1. The 2008 Financial Crisis:

  • Feedback Loop: Rising house prices led to increased borrowing and lending, further driving up house prices.
  • Reflexivity Application: Recognizing the feedback loop and the divergence from fundamentals (house prices vs. underlying asset values) could have allowed investors to anticipate the eventual market crash.

2. The Dot-Com Bubble:

  • Feedback Loop: Speculation drove up technology stock prices, leading to more investment and further price increases.
  • Reflexivity Application: Observing the feedback loop and the extreme divergence from fundamentals (stock prices vs. company earnings and assets) could have signalled the impending bubble burst.

3. Soros Breaking the Bank of England:

  • Feedback Loop: Speculation against the British pound and the UK’s economic vulnerabilities led to a devaluation of the pound.
  • Reflexivity Application: Soros observed the feedback loop and the divergence from fundamentals (the pound’s value vs. the UK’s economic situation), successfully betting against the British pound.
“The Alchemy of Finance” and “Intelligent Investor” must be in every financial savvy and Portfolio Manager library

Excerpts from “The Intelligent Investor” Book, Benjamin Graham: To explain the power of “Narrative Control” we used the experience from the “intelligent Investor” how investor buy their stocks like they buy perfumes. “Graham’s philosophy emphasizes the importance of analyzing a company’s intrinsic value and not getting swayed by market sentiment.”

Then we grounded it with common narratives:

Channel perfume’s pricing is influenced by market demand and the story of a client who wanted to invest all their money immediately.

Bitcoin’s Worth: Driven more by narrative and perception than intrinsic value.

Benjamin Graham: The Pioneer of Value Investing

Benjamin Graham, often referred to as the “father of value investing,” was an esteemed economist, professor, and financial analyst. Born in 1894, Graham’s contributions to the world of finance have left an indelible mark, shaping the investment philosophies of countless individuals and institutions. He introduced the world to the concept of value investing, emphasizing the importance of analyzing intrinsic value, understanding financial statements, and maintaining a margin of safety.

As per “Benjamin Graham” – People buy stocks like they are buying perfumes. while they must by them like they do their tomato’s. Value investing is core strategy to acquire good assets in blood markets;

Scientific Principles: The concept of “Reflexivity” and its impact on market behavior. The importance of feedback loops and analyzing divergence from fundamental values. These divergences create the opportunities for great gains.

The Audience’s General Experience and Understanding: The book resonates with both novice and experienced Investors, offering insights into market behavior, investment strategies, and the psychological factors influencing financial decisions. The community agreed on the critical importance of “raising sound financial acumen” to support us filter the noise and build the right habits for our personal financial resilience.

The Benefits: the community gained a deeper understanding of market dynamics, the importance of diversification, and the role of personal finance to secure the resilient future.

Meeting Discussion Summary: The meeting touched upon several topics related to market behavior, personal branding, and the importance of genuine engagement on social media platforms. The discussion also highlighted the significance of understanding market sentiment and herd behavior in making informed investment decisions.

Understanding Market Behavior:

Markets are not always rational; they are influenced by the collective perceptions and actions of participants.

Recognizing feedback loops can provide valuable insights into potential market movements.

Value vs. Perception:

While intrinsic value is fundamental, market perception can drive prices away from this value, creating opportunities for investors.

Importance of Diversification:

Both reflexivity theory and value investing emphasize the need for a diversified portfolio to mitigate risks.

Adaptive Investment Strategy:

There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Investors should be flexible and adapt their strategies based on market conditions and emerging trends.

Power of Narrative:

Narratives and stories can significantly influence investor behavior. Being aware of prevailing market narratives can offer a competitive edge.

Financial markets are characterized by their volatility and unpredictability

Psychological Factors in Investing:

Emotions, biases, and herd behaviour play a crucial role in investment decisions. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence are key to successful investing.

Continuous Learning:

The financial landscape is ever evolving. Continuous learning and staying updated with the latest theories and practices are essential.

Balancing Theories:

While Soros’s reflexivity theory offers insights into market behaviour, Graham’s value investing provides a foundation for analysing individual assets. A balanced approach, drawing from both theories, can lead to more informed investment decisions.

Importance of Risk Management:

Regardless of the investment approach, understanding and managing risks is paramount. Both Soros and Graham emphasize the significance of risk assessment in their strategies.

Community and Collaboration:

Sharing experiences, insights, and knowledge with a community, like the book club, can provide diverse perspectives and enhance individual understanding.

Key Takeaways :

  1. Formulating an Investment Thesis: Emphasis was placed on crafting a lucid hypothesis and setting objectives. This serves as a compass for investment choices, aligning with overarching financial aspirations. The thesis should commence from macroeconomics, narrowing down to micro aspects, and then to the specifics of the targeted asset. This encompasses its fundamentals, price dynamics, and the market disparity between objective and subjective valuations, fortified by the feedback loops from market stakeholders.
  2. Diversification: As a bedrock of risk management, diversification’s role in dispersing risk across diverse assets was underscored. A recommended cap of 33% exposure to any single asset class was suggested.
  3. Continuous Monitoring & Adaptation: The ever-shifting financial terrain mandates periodic oversight and prompt recalibrations to strategies, ensuring the harnessing of opportunities and risk mitigation. For a deeper dive, consider our newsletter, “The Financial Impulse.”
  4. Leveraging Opportunities: While leverage can bolster profits, comprehending its inherent risks and judicious application is pivotal.
  5. Understanding Market Cycles: A steadfast buy-and-hold tactic may not always be the golden rule. Discerning market rhythms and asset flux can pave the way for astute investment choices.
  6. Feedback Loops in Finance: The pivotal concept of feedback loops in financial arenas was broached, drawing analogies with Soros’s legendary stance against the British pound.
  7. Global Perspectives: The discourse spanned a gamut of themes, from the clout of leaders in molding public sentiment to the machinations of propaganda and the ascendancy of nationalist waves globally.
There isn’t a tangible compass to guide your financial choices. Instead, a robust decision-making process serves as the cornerstone of your investment strategy, providing stability amidst turbulent markets.”

Mohamad’s Thoughts: “In the evolving world of finance, staying informed is critical. ‘The Alchemy of Finance’ serves as a guiding light, illuminating the complexities of market behavior and investment strategies”.

The Razor-Edge Approach: Soros vs. Graham

In the realm of finance, two giants stand tall with their distinct philosophies: George Soros with his “Reflexivity Theory” and Benjamin Graham with his “Value Investing” approach. While at first glance, these theories might seem at odds, a razor-edge approach allows for a harmonious blend of both, optimizing investment strategies based on market conditions. We will be delving into the depth even further in the future session.

Quote to Remember: “Market value is not always a reflection of intrinsic value; it’s often driven by narrative control and participate perception” – Mohamad K. Mrad

Mohamad k. Mrad

The Financial Engineer

Golden Leadership

Much like gold, which is valued for its rarity, Golden Leadership stands out in its uniqueness. It’s not about following a set playbook or mimicking other successful leaders. It’s about forging your own path, guided by authenticity and empathy.

In our latest session, we delved into the profound insights from Brené Brown’s “Dare to Lead.” The discussion revolved around the essence of “vulnerability” in leadership, the significance of “trust” and “communication” in fostering a healthy workplace culture. Drawing from Brown’s research, we uncovered the transformative power of “Curiosity” and that can be developed by our “Own experiences”. The book is rich with tools and techniques that can guide professionals in their “leadership” journey.

Featured Book of the Week:

  • Title: Dare to Lead
  • Author: Brené Brown
  • Genre: Leadership, Personal Development
  • Date: 25/10/23

Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, is a research professor at the University of Houston and a renowned author and speaker. She has spent over two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Brown’s groundbreaking work has transformed our understanding of leadership, offering a human-centric approach that emphasizes the importance of emotional intelligence and authenticity. With several best-selling books and a popular TED talk, she has inspired millions to embrace vulnerability and lead with courage, from her portfolio of books we have selected “Dare To Lead”

Key Takeaways and ideas from the Discussion:

1. Vulnerability in Leadership: Being open and honest without masks or pretence is vital. Vulnerability can be a strength, fostering trust and connection.

Vulnerability is not about weakness or exposure; it’s about showing up authentically, without masks or pretence. When leaders embrace their vulnerabilities, they showcase their genuine self, making them more relatable and trustworthy.

While vulnerability can be a powerful tool for connection, it’s essential to ensure it’s not used manipulatively. Genuine vulnerability is spontaneous and sincere, might be a calculated move to gain sympathy or advantage.

Leaders are open to feedback, allowing them to make more informed decisions. They recognize that they don’t have all the answers and value the input and expertise of their team.

Leader’s vulnerability sets the tone for the entire organization. When leaders are open about their challenges and learnings, it creates a safe environment where employees feel encouraged to share, innovate, and take risks.

Open discussions about failures and weaknesses without shaming or blaming can lead to growth and understanding.

Rumbling with Vulnerability, by Brené Brown’s concept, means engaging in open discussions about failures, weaknesses, and uncertainties without resorting to blame or shame. It’s about confronting challenging situations head-on, with honesty and integrity.

2- Permission Slips: Encouraging thoughtful communication in meetings and using them in journaling for self-reflection.

Permission Slips is a tool introduced in the discussion that encourage thoughtful communication in meetings and personal reflections. They serve as reminders to stay open, honest, and vulnerable in conversations, promoting a culture of understanding and empathy.

3- Curiosity: The Heartbeat of Confident Leadership, A tool to build confidence, identify values, and drive innovation. It’s about approaching relationships and challenges with an open mind. In the realm of leadership, curiosity is not just a fleeting interest or a momentary diversion; it’s a profound force that drives growth, innovation, and connection. Brené Brown, in her groundbreaking book “Dare to Lead,” underscores the transformative power of curiosity in shaping effective leaders. Let’s explore this concept:

Curiosity pushes us to ask questions, seek answers, and venture into the unknown. Each time we embrace curiosity, we challenge our comfort zones, leading to personal growth and increased confidence.

The key is to have “Curiosity aligned with one’s values and his objectives”, Curiosity prompts introspection. Leaders who are curious tend to reflect on their actions, decisions, and motivations. This self-reflection helps in identifying core values and ensuring that one’s leadership style is aligned with these values. When actions resonate with personal values, it instils a sense of authenticity and purpose, driving Innovation.

Curious leaders are bored with the status quo. They constantly question existing processes, seeking ways to improve, innovate, and bring about positive change. This mindset fosters a culture of continuous improvement within organizations, leading to breakthroughs and advancements.

We have also applied “Curiosity” on relationships by approaching interactions without judgment or preconceived notions. It’s about genuinely wanting to understand others’ perspectives, feelings, and experiences. This approach fosters deeper connections, mutual respect, and collaboration. In the discussions, the importance of being curious about people, even the ones you love the most, it helps recharging relationships.

In the face of challenges and setbacks in leadership. A curious leader views them as Opportunities instead of obstacles. Opportunities to learn and grow. Hence instead of asking why? He will ask, How can this challenge lead to a better outcome?”

defensively, they ask, “What can I learn from this?”

Communication and Inclusion is key for Team success under the golden leadership

Healing Dysfunctional Workplace Cultures: The backbone of a healthy workplace culture. Trusting oneself and learning from failures is crucial. Trust is the foundation of any strong relationship, and in leadership, it’s paramount. By being vulnerable, leaders allow others to see their human side – their fears, hopes, and challenges. This transparency fosters a deeper connection and trust within teams.

just as gold is malleable and can be molded into various forms without losing its essence, Golden Leadership is adaptable. It allows leaders to navigate the complexities of today’s dynamic world while staying true to their core values.

Recommendations and tools, including those from Brené Brown’s research, were discussed to foster a positive work environment.

a- consistency in Actions and Words

b- Open and Honest Communication

c- Admitting Mistakes

d- Showing Empathy and Understanding

e- Empowering and Delegating

f- Being Accessible and Approachable

g- Recognizing and Appreciating Efforts

h- Setting Clear Expectations

i- Promoting Fairness and Equality

j- Investing in Team Development

k- Walking the Talk

Contradictory Opinions: While many participants resonated with the idea of vulnerability as a strength, there were concerns raised about its potential misuse. Vulnerability, when not genuine, can be wielded as a tool for manipulation, creating a facade of authenticity to gain trust or sympathy. It’s essential to differentiate between authentic vulnerability, which fosters connection and trust, and strategic vulnerability, which can be used to manipulate perceptions and outcomes

Mohamad’s Thoughts: Golden Leadership is the alchemy of blending authenticity with empathy, creating a leadership style that is both impactful and compassionate. In a world filled with transactional interactions, Golden Leadership offers a beacon of hope, shining brightly and guiding the way towards a more inclusive and empathetic future.

Leadership is not just about guiding a team but also about introspection, understanding, and growth. Brené Brown’s insights offer a fresh perspective on leadership, emphasizing vulnerability, trust, and curiosity. In our discussion, the importance of self-awareness and the courage to face one’s weaknesses stood out. As we navigate the challenges of leadership, it’s essential to remember that true strength lies in our ability to be genuine, to learn, and to lead with empathy.

So, you think you need a lot of money to start?

Genre: Entrepreneurship, Business, Self-help

People always think they need a lot of money to make money, this article review show the exact opposite based on a book the studied over 1500 success cases.

Spotlight from the “The $100 Startup”

the 100$ Startup, a great tool to learn

Background on Chris Guillebeau

In our featured selection, we discovered Chris Guillebeau’s entrepreneurial manifesto, “The $100 Startup.” This book stands as an effective game plan for those acting to turn their passions into profits with minimal capital. Based on the analysis of 1,500 individuals who built businesses earning $50,000 or more from a modest investment (in many cases, $100 or less), and from that, Guillebeau has distilled the crucial insights for starting a small business.

Guillebeau, an advocate for an unconventional life, shares a blueprint for aspiring entrepreneurs to create fulfilling work with the resources they already possess.

Chris Guillebeau, Author, traveller, Entrepreneur

In the background we studied who is Chris Guillebeau, an author, entrepreneur, and speaker. He is best known for his books and his blog, “The Art of Non-Conformity,” where he shares insights about personal development, life planning, and entrepreneurship. His work is centred around the idea of unconventional living, encouraging individuals to craft a life that is aligned with their personal goals and values, rather than following traditional paths.

Guillebeau set a personal goal to visit every country in the world by the age of 35, a feat he accomplished in 2013. This journey exposed him to a myriad of cultures and business ideas, influencing his perspective on entrepreneurship.

His early work involved volunteering and the coordination of logistics for medical charities in West Africa. This experience in the non-profit sector contributed to his understanding of value-driven work.

He began writing and blogging to share his experiences and lessons learned from his travels and work. His blog gained a significant following, leading to the publication of his first book, “The Art of Non-Conformity.”

Guillebeau wrote “The $100 Startup” to inspire and instruct individuals who want to achieve personal freedom through entrepreneurship. The book:

· It breaks down the notion that starting a business requires substantial capital and a business degree. Guillebeau wanted to show that it is possible to start a successful business with a small investment and a lot of passion and determination.

· The Book also includes amazing case studies of individuals who have successfully started businesses with minimal investment, Guillebeau provides real-world examples and actionable insights.

· This book is highly recommended for people who want from the dreaming stage to taking concrete steps toward launching their own ventures. Promoting the idea that work should be fulfilling, and that entrepreneurship can be a path to personal satisfaction and financial independence.

Actually: It is Powerful to Start Small

Key Steps to Remember:

1. Convergence:

· The sweet spot where your interests and skills align with what others are willing to pay for. ( we made an analysis and similarity to the Ikigai circles)

· Identifying this intersection allows for the creation of a business that is both enjoyable and financially sustainable.

Focus on Value creation AKA “Solution”: we argue that the most successful businesses are those that solve problems and fulfil. It is not about inventing the next big thing; it is about making people’s lives better or easier in tangible ways. This focus on value leads to a loyal customer base and word-of-mouth referrals, which are crucial for growth.

Discovering your iKigai is a must

Exercises :highlight you set of “SKILLS” “SET Of PASSION” and “PEOPLE NEED” produce your value proposition

Here is the story of a British man from the book who started a mattress company by capitalizing on his knowledge of the industry and his passion for better sleep. With just a small amount of savings, he creates a high-quality product that challenges the big players in the market.

Another story is a woman with a love for crafting who turns her hobby into a full-time business, selling her creations online and at local markets, starting with just a few dollars for supplies.

2. Repurposing your Skills:

· Leveraging and repurposing existing skills to meet market needs.

· By adapting skills to new markets or problems, entrepreneurs can create unique offerings without starting from scratch.

The book promotes that everyone has something they are good at or knowledgeable about, and that “skill transformation” is about finding new ways to apply these abilities to serve others. Waiting for the perfect idea or opportunity can lead to inaction; instead, start with what you know and grow from there.

learning skills pays the bills

3. Why it is Powerful to Start Small:

· Because small businesses can be both flexible and profitable.

· Entrepreneurs can thrive by focusing on niche markets, providing exceptional value without the complexity of scaling up.

4. The major enemy is the Action Bias:

· People fall for excessive planning where priority must be for action.

· Quick Execution is necessary because it allows for immediate feedback and real-world learning, which is more effective than theoretical planning.

5. Story Telling Is a skill: Effective marketing is crucial for any business, A compelling narrative that connects with the right audience can be more powerful than any advertising campaign. He encourages entrepreneurs to find their unique voice and to share their story authentically. Marketing should be seen as a way to build relationships, not just sell products.

6. Keep it simple: Complex business plans can be overwhelming and often unnecessary. Guillebeau advocates for simplicity, suggesting that a one-page business plan is often all that is needed to get started. This plan should outline the product or service, the target market, the sales mechanism, and the pricing model. Keeping it simple allows for clarity of purpose and ease of adjustment as the business evolves.

7. To the Book we Add, the importance of Network: this is the effect of who you know and what can they do to help . this is one of the most important resources for every successful business. these resources can be part of the launch team , like an operation guy, like a skilled marketer these resources can create the nucleus for a successful launch, and this is a practical example we are doing now with the Cash Cow Academy CCA

Your Thoughts Matter: We are eager to hear your stories of entrepreneurial endeavours or insights on using social media for business. Share your experiences and join the conversation.

Financial Resilience: Join the in bridging cultural gaps and creating a community that values genuine experiences, peace, and resilience. Together, we can craft a narrative that not only informs but also inspires.

Warm regards,

Mohamad Mrad

Chartered Investment Manager

TFE- The Financial Engineer

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