How To Kiss Your Job Goodbye, Survive A Terrorist Attack & Live In Heaven On Earth!
Wouldn't it be incredible if you could figure it all out?
Forget movie-like extravagance limos and luxurious mansions in Hollywood.
Sure, that would be nice too, but mostly, I have simple dreams...
It’s a moderate dream. Simple enough to achieve, right?
But yet a little voice at the back of your head will ask you...
Is it really possible? Are you good enough? Can you pull it off?
While this little voice is rambling on, you’ll probably also be recalling earlier memories of your mom or dad, saying you’re good at nothing. Or that of a teacher or coach saying that you don’t have what it takes to pull anything off to the end. Or maybe some other blah blah blah...
I want to spend more time with my beloved wife and children. Quit the 9 to 5 apocalyptic cubicle, and work from home or on the go from wherever I want.
Ideally a beach.
At this point, you take a deep breath and try to think more rationally about it.
Is it really possible to make enough money starting an online business doing what you love, or is this just a wishy-washy idea, a dream devoid of real foundations?
Can people from all over the world really buy what you offer, or is that just another fantasy?
Sure, it’s fun to dream about your online business’s profits skyrocketing.
You changing the world and becoming a celebrity with admiring fans.
But then, you think, in the real world, too good to be true dreams hardly come true.
Well, let me tell you my story…
But before let me give you a quick overview of what we're going to cover:
How I kissed My Job Goodbye?
On December 29, 2004, I was sitting bored at my desk in a cold air-conditioned office, when I heard a distorted call for noon prayer in the background...
What am I doing here, at the headquarters of the Information Centre of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior campus, the one where the inverted pyramid building stands, in Riyadh? It’s Christmas time after all and we’re in the middle of the holiday season!
As a newlywed, I wished I was back home in Egypt with my beloved wife.
Just as this beautiful thought was crossing my mind, I suddenly heard a weird loud sound outside of my office!
The sound was a terrible hiss, a whizz, then BOOOOM!
An enormous pressure sped through the windows into the office and through my body! What on earth was that???
First, I thought it could be fireworks that went astray. A naive thought from a man believing he’s sitting in the most secure place in the country.
I was wrong.
It was actually a real BOMB!
Yes, you heard that right. A real freaking bomb!
As it turned out, a suicide bomber attacked the landmark inverted triangle building of the Saudi ministry of interior and the training center of emergency forces for antiterrorism!
His attack turned the surrounding neighborhood of the capital and the highway leading to my home into a battlefield.
On that same Armageddon day, there were three other attacks in the capital.
According to the New York Times, seven militants responsible for the car bombings were gunned down in a police ambush. The final toll from all the attacks remained unclear, but 2 suicide bombers were killed and 20 people wounded. Including police officers who suffered light injuries, mostly from flying glass.
This awful experience reminded me of the catastrophic attacks on the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001.
To this day, I still have vivid recollections of the pain, the racing heartbeat, and heaviness even 15 years later.
Terrified, I rushed to my car and was trembling as I drove trying to get myself back to my safe and quiet residential compound. I prayed to just get there in one piece!
I wished I could just get home, shut the door, have a drink, relax and go to bed after this unbelievable nightmare is all over.
A reasonable wish, right?
Well, none of that was planned for that evening!
A moment after I closed the door to my apartment, I heard screaming and crying outside! I ran to the window to see my neighbours (mostly Americans and Brits) running down in their robes.
I quickly ran to the phone and called friends of mine who also live in the same compound to ask what the hell is going on. They told me there were shootings. They suspected a bomb exploded around the block. They were all hiding at a friend’s house.
I hung up and hesitated for a couple of minutes. Should I go or should I stay? I wouldn’t want to die alone, I thought. It would probably be a better idea to die with friends!
I had no idea what these terrorists were up to, but for some reason, I was in the middle of their nasty plan!
This is surely my last day on planet earth! I just want to go back home, all the way back to Egypt, to my family, and have some peace and quiet!
I wanted to get out of there really badly as soon as humanly possible!
I quickly thought of the travel agency office inside our compound and hoped it would be open in this mess. I wouldn’t even have to go out of the compound to get my flight ticket.
I simply wanted to head to the airport, which I was hoping hadn’t exploded by the time I got there!
The next day I miraculously arrived in Cairo, the land of peace, close family and friends, the Nile and the Pyramids. Aaaaah!
Is this the Paradise I mentioned in the Headline? Not quite. Keep reading.
Back at the head office of the Legal 100 Law Firm I was working for, things were not so great. I had gotten my job through a partner there, and I was sent for that secondment as a legal advisor. After my hasty departure, that partner had a strong argument with me and he asked me not to come back to the office until further notice.
I felt sad and desperate. Because nobody from the firm called to check on me after this horrible incident, even though they knew I work on the exact campus where the incident took place! This is when I came to the realization that nobody cares.
People don’t really care about you...
Most people care mainly about themselves, their interests and what’s in it for them.
You're the only one who's responsible for your own self.
You can't change your life or the world before you change yourself first.
A truth that I didn’t fully recognize except after setting up my own business years later and changing my outlook on life and work. I created a digital content platform called E- Corporate Lawyer, where you can book a free consultation with me, to see if starting an online business is the right thing for you.
Anyhow, I went to my direct boss and explained the situation. He had empathy and told me that he will talk to his partner and that I can still attend my work as normal.
After a few days, I was told that they had a partner’s meeting and that they had come to the decision that I can continue working with them at the firm. They gave me a good offer, a nice desk, a computer and a nice room with my best friend as officemate.
It sounded great!
It’s funny how destiny brings the same people together sometimes. My best friend and I went to the same kindergarten (Saint Joseph), then the same catholic school (College de la Sainte Famille, Jesuit), then we both studied at Cairo University (Law School), worked at the same law firm, same department, reporting to the same boss and sitting in the same room!
If you were me at this point, you would have probably stayed, right?
Well, I didn't...
I decided not to take the offer. I wrote my resignation letter kissing my job goodbye.
The written reason was that I got so much engaged in investing in the capital market and working in this firm may expose me to insider information that may hinder my stock trading and investing.
I gave a valid reason for quitting, partially true, but I didn’t write the full reason that motivated me to take this leap of faith.
Investment & Technical Analysis
My neighbors at the compound in Saudi Arabia, where we were hiding at the time of the terrorist attacks, were all stockbrokers, technical capital and money market analysts, asset and portfolio managers.
Sitting with them in the afternoon almost every day in a city like Riyadh was like being live at the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The amount of money they were making was insane. They got me intrigued. Their language piqued my interest. It got motivated to learn and trade.
When I returned back to Egypt, it was the right time to put my knowledge into practice. I dedicated most of my free time the following years to capital market law, trading and investment. All types of investing. Real estate, commodities, direct (business) and portfolio investment (paper assets like stocks). I read thousands of pages and traded millions of dollars. It was just awesome up until the market crash of 2008. Luckily I was totally out of the market by then.
Learning technical analysis from my neighbours in Saudi Arabia was an eye-opener.
As opposed to all the long term investors and investment banking type of clients I used to work with before as a corporate legal consultant, these traders were extremely fast. They’d stay most of the time out of the market watching like eagles. They’d only jump in for a quick hit and run after an asset crashed 25% down. Once it started to recover from a bottom, they’d bullishly jump in and immediately put stop losses.
In the volatile emerging markets where we were trading for ourselves and clients,
this strategy paid off big time to the extent that regulators sometimes thought we manipulated the market. They’d stop our activity or sometimes ban it altogether.
We weren’t doing anything wrong, in fact, except that we were very good at predicting trends, quickly acting on them and putting stop-losses early on if they went in the wrong direction. Monk-like discipline.
We had sophisticated technical and fundamental tools that were hardly used by the other market participants. We were also able to use over the counter derivatives that weren’t common to local market participants. We were able to short sell, use forward contracts and buy put options.
These derivatives simply mean you can still gain and earn money while prices are going down. Amateur and local investors can’t normally use these tools or engage in these complex transactions.
Just like the Saudi experience was the reason for me to learn to invest, the 2008 financial crisis taught me never to put all my eggs in one basket. Nobody can really predict the markets. It showed me that I have to have several streams of revenue and be smartly diversified and positioned. I chose real estate, stocks, legal consultancy and starting my own online business.
I had a deep passion for horses and showjumping. It’s my sport since early childhood and I always wanted to have my own stables and horses. So I decided to invest in horses.
The World of Showjumping
Sakkara, in Giza, was my new destination in Cairo, Egypt. The neighborhood got its name after the first and oldest pyramid in the history of mankind.
The pyramid of Sakkara.
It’s a few dozens kilometers away from the famous world wonder, the Pyramids of Giza, in Egypt.
The area is amazing because it’s so green compared to the desert that dominates this region. It’s close to the city, Right on the Nile. Sakkara has hundreds of horse farms, stables, and riding clubs. The most famous of which is the Sakkara Palm Club and Country Club. It’s an area where you could easily find horse vets, riders, grooms, feed, trucks, large land with professional footing to ride. It’s also close to the desert where you can ride outdoors for a change.
I found a nice piece of land to rent. We had to build it all from scratch, though.
Since I didn’t intend to invest in the building where I don’t own the land, I came to an agreement with the landlord that I pay him to build the design I make and he deduct the cost from the future rent.
The deal worked perfectly. I successfully built the place in no time.
I bought a couple of horses from the landlord, who happened to own them but didn’t really know their value. I bought another couple of warmblood show jumping horses. My brother brought his horse in too. In addition to a few other friends who trusted me with their horses.
Everything was ok except that being a lawyer in Egypt means that I may not engage in commercial activity or start my own business for commercial profit.
Anyways, It didn’t matter. I’ll tell you why.
Is It a Revolution?
In January of 2011, while having lunch with a friend of mine at his flat in Zamalek, Cairo, and enjoying the wonderful view of the Nile, we heard the cheers of a crowd shouting:
“Stand up Mohamed and tell Bullis, tomorrow Egypt will follow Tunis”.
First, I thought they were talking to me since my first name is Mohamed. So I had a lookout of the window. I was wondering who is Bullis? And what’s going on in Tunis? I haven’t really seen any live protest since my early years in college in the ‘90s, which were always inside the campus and lasted for a few hours before they were cracked down by the police.
I quickly excused myself and rushed down despite very serious warnings from my friends that it’s probably not a good idea. Down in the street, I saw protests taking place in front of the Tunisian Embassy just nearby.
There are a good looking and well-educated bunch of youth calling for the Egyptian people to do the same.
At that time President Mubarak had been in power for almost 30 years and the youth wanted a change.
They were willing to risk their lives not for themselves, but for freedom, social equality and to feed the poor. Even though the economic situation wasn’t that bad compared to the era before and after Mubarak being in power, the system hadn’t allowed the vast majority of the poor and working-class to have their share.
The few minorities around the president’s circles were living an extravagant life. It seemed that these few minorities were getting the majority of the opportunities, governmental contracts, high ranking jobs and making money. The working class was suffering from a lack of education, health, and social insurance. The system was corrupt in the eyes of the youth.
Apparently, there was also a huge classist system inherited from the British since the time Egypt was their protectorate (1882 - 1922). The poor and working classes and their dependents could not join the police, army, judicial authority or any other highly ranked position in the government or public companies. These positions were only reserved for the elite as they claim.
The irony was that the revolutionists were not these poor people fighting for their own rights. They were the educated rich and middle-class youth. Together with other opposing groups who also joined the opportunity to shout their voice in the crowd like the religious groups and other civil opposition party followers.
The story is long and the rest is history. What really matters now in the context of this post is that I got stuck in Egypt taking part in the youth revolution coalition in the free Egyptian liberal group. Most of the intellectuals wanted to support the liberal groups as opposed to the religious ones. We went down to Tahrir Square, which had become a war zone. Police fired rubber bullets trying to disperse us and people around us were getting injured and dying day after day. We persisted in our fight believing that when it’s all over, things will get better. Day in and day out we’d head to the square, chanting for the overthrow of the regime.
Meanwhile, my Syrian wife at the time got stuck in Syria with her parents and my elder son while I was fighting for a free and democratic Egypt. She couldn’t fly out to see me and I couldn’t leave Egypt at such a crucial time. The security situation was also very dangerous for foreigners in both countries. Syria’s own uprising was gaining momentum in March of the same year.
The uprising in Egypt was well underway. There were random arrests, nationwide curfews, thousands of criminals let out of prisons, police pulled off the streets by the authorities, protests, and massive episodes of street shootings. Total chaos!
What was happening in Syria was also a mystery, and the entire world is doing nothing about it. People watched the bloodshed and killing of thousands of innocent civilians, women, kids, and babies in silence. Things didn’t look like they would get any better in the near future. Compounded with other complications and personal issues between my wife and me at the time, we came to a decision that it would be best for us to get separated.
A couple of years later, we officially had a divorce. It even took us forever to legalize our divorce, since both embassies of Egypt and Syria were closed in both countries during the unrest.
Events escalated dramatically in Egypt. President Mubarak was overthrown, but the youth did not get in power. The country was under temporary military rule until an election took place. To everyone’s astonishment, Mohamed Morsi, a member of an illegal religious group called the “Muslim Brotherhood” was elected as President of Egypt! This was a complete shock to all the liberals, especially those who supported the revolution.
Cairo was in a state of chaos and confusion after this election. One didn’t know who to believe anymore. Who worked for who? Was this all just a conspiracy? The constant political analysis filled with rumors and lies were getting too much for me to handle. I got sick of it. Exhausted and disillusioned with all that was happening, I needed to wind down and get out of the capital. I dreamed of finding a place I could relax, far away from news and politics.
I took a good look at my map and decided to travel down to the Red Sea coast to recover from this whole mess for a while. I would still need to continue working though, so I decided to convert my brick and mortar law office into virtual legal practice. That way, I could work virtually, no matter where I ended up.
I had always used my email and cell phone for work but never did I completely go 100% virtual. I thought this would be a good opportunity to test it out. This is the point I became the “digital lawyer or an E-corporate lawyer”, as my friends and colleagues later started to call me.
I digitized my entire legal library on hard discs and cloud storage, took my cell phone and laptop, and drove east, headed to the Red Sea Coast. I had obvious reasons to head there.
I owned a small 2-bedroom apartment that I was renting out to tourists at the Marina in El Gouna Resort, just north of Hurghada. It was a quaint calm resort ideal for healing and relaxation. In my distress, I even imagined that I could escape the country by boat if need be were things really to take a turn for the worse and I’d have to get out of Egypt altogether.
My father, a marine officer and maritime captain gave me the opportunity to learn about windsurfing, diving, rowing, water skiing, kiting and sailing growing up. My uncle also used to take us camping by the beach on weekends since I was a kid. To keep myself busy, I decided to get into sailing again. I found myself a Hobie 16 catamaran, took a couple of refresher sailing courses and started the “Sail La Vie” sailing center with a few friends in El Gouna.
I also have a deep passion for music. It started in my early years at school where I learned to play a bit of keyboard, drum, and guitar. I decided that being by the beach and out at sea sailing would be the perfect time to play some tunes.
I met a couple of musician friends and started a music company. We organized music events, festivals, and karaoke parties in large venues and liveaboard boats sailing the Red Sea. Through these events, I made some new connections that opened opportunities for legal work for foreigners living and running their businesses in the area.
Sailing, diving, surfing, yoga, meditation, music, parties by the beach and life couldn’t get any better.
Sounds good right?
Well, not really...
Just as things started to flourish, tourism and travel stopped completely to the Red Sea.
This was because of a military coup supported by huge masses and protests. There erupted a second revolution by the masses supported by the army, and life stood still once again. I watched the news and had mixed feelings about what was happening.
I had no urge nor energy to actively participate this time. This time I didn’t believe anybody anymore. It all seemed like propaganda or a Bollywood movie to me. It seemed like it was all planned out and we have all been lied to. What was happening was awfully disappointing.
One more time, I felt like I wanted to go far away from this chatter.
Where could I go now? I was already 500 km South of Cairo, where hardly any Cairo locals lived.
I boarded a boat and sailed 500 km further south to Marsa Alam and then even further to the borders of Sudan.
During this journey I've learned a very important principle that kept repeating itself, at both sea and trading, that I want to share with you:
You can sail or go in any direction you want in life, except against the wind. You can't make an unpopular topic popular. Similarly, you can't sell people on something they don't want.
During this journey I've learned a very important principle that kept repeating itself, at both sea and trading, that I want to share with you:
You can sail or go in any direction you want in life, except against the wind. You can't make an unpopular topic popular. Similarly, you can't sell people on something they don't want.
Surprisingly, it seemed that people there were not even aware of what’s going on in Cairo. Some still held up posters for Mubarak to step down. They were so far removed from the turmoil in Cairo that they were far behind on current news. I was in a completely different culture, a place with different geography and history.
People spoke a different dialect and wore different clothes. Everything seems much purer than in crowded cities. It sure seemed like Paradise, but this is still not the one I mentioned in the headline. The best is yet to come.
There were a couple of music festivals that I had planned to attend. The first festival was called Characters of Egypt in Wadi El Gemal and the second was Al Ganoub at the Deep South Eco Lodge, at Tondoba bay, in Marsa Alam.
In November 2013, I sat in front of my hut at the Al Ganoub Festival, playing my guitar in the morning. I could see a Land Cruiser driving in the distance, and it stopped to park about 100 m in front of me. A woman got out of the car and walked straight towards me. She asked me if I knew the whereabouts of the owner of the camp. We got talking and … something just clicked between us. We couldn’t leave each other’s side, not for a minute. Cupid struck our hearts right then and there and a most wonderful relationship blossomed.
A few months later, I asked her to marry me. It’s been 6 years of happy marriage and we’ve had two adorable babies join our world.
The funny thing is that we have lots of common friends, but thinking back, we couldn’t remember having met at any gatherings or outings in the few years prior to meeting in Marsa Alam. When I introduced her to my best friend (whom she incidentally also knew because their parents were family friends), he told me that she’s the girl I had met over 20 years earlier on the beach in Marsa Matruh! Now that’s another beach on the Mediterranean coast, west side of Alexandria. I used to go there with my dad and best friend for the summer holidays to water ski.
My best friend reminded me of an incident that I still had a very vivid recollection of. One summer day, on holiday in Marsa Matruh as a kid, I was looking for a friend of mine. On my way, I met a young girl on. We only spoke briefly, but for some reason, she touched my soul and I couldn’t get her out of my mind. I strongly wished that when I grow up I would marry a girl like her. My best friend reminded me that she’s the girl! It’s unbelievable that I found her 25 years later and ended up marrying her, without consciously planning for it. It seems that when you set an intention and make a wish, somehow the universe conspires to fulfill your desires.
The trick is to know what you want, set a good intention and wish for it from all your heart, mind and soul. If you believe in it strongly enough, you will get it somehow.
This happened to me in many areas of my life. With money, houses, cars, travel, and people. It doesn’t mean you just sit, wish and not work for it. You have to bring purpose to all that you do. Have an objective, do the work, be positive and wish for the best. I promise your life will bring you what you want once you set your intentions and work towards them.
So What About Heaven?
When my wife got pregnant with our first baby, she wanted to give birth at the same hospital she was born in. My wife is half Swiss. She wasn’t brought up in Switzerland, but she has very fond memories of her childhood when she used to spend her summers there with her grandparents.
A couple of months before our baby was due, my wife headed to her family home in Switzerland. I had a few assignments to finish off in Cairo and I had to wait for my visa application to Switzerland to be processed, so we arranged that I’d catch up with her as soon as all this was done.
For some reason, my Swiss visa application was taking forever and I was running out of patience. Coincidentally, I got an unexpected client meeting in Germany and by mere chance, that client organized a Schengen visa for me to attend the meeting.
That was great news! I traveled to Germany for work and from there was able to go to Switzerland to meet my wife. The timing was great and I am so thankful that things worked out the way they did!
Our son was born prematurely, tiny, feeble and blue, and I was glad I was able to be there during his birth. My heart ached when I first laid eyes on him and I couldn’t help but shed tears when I looked at this little miracle from God.
After a few days at the hospital, we headed to our new apartment that we had sublet. After a couple of weeks, we discussed whether we should head back to Cairo, or stay a little longer in Switzerland with our newborn. There was no urgency for us to go back to Cairo, and we were quite enjoying our stay in Switzerland and the convenience it provided for new families, infant support, excellent medical care, and most importantly, the calm and quietness we needed with a new baby, a luxury in contrast to the hustle and bustle of Cairo.
We decided to start apartment hunting and see whether we could find something appropriate for a while. We could always change our minds later, but for that phase, we preferred staying in Switzerland until further options revealed themselves.
As we discovered, it is actually very difficult to find apartments to rent in Switzerland, especially since we did not exactly have proof of steady income from a stable job. Finding a rental in Switzerland is not any less complicated than finding employment. You have to submit an application to the real estate management companies and they thoroughly scrutinise these before accepting a new tenant.
We were terribly lucky that the lady who rented us the sublet apartment for a few weeks accepted that we extend the contract until we found another apartment. At least we had a roof over our heads in the meantime!
Well, not exactly. We soon realized how Switzerland was draining us financially. The average cost of living in Switzerland is just about 10 times that of Egypt. It’s one of the most expensive countries in the world as opposed to Egypt at the time, which was one of the cheapest countries to live in. Things have changed now. Egypt is not much cheaper than Switzerland in 2020. It’s becoming crazy expensive too, thanks to the help of the International Monetary Fund!
So our challenge at this point was to build a convincing file and find an apartment very quickly, otherwise, we’d have no choice but to head back to Cairo. We had to visit countless apartments and send in dozens of applications to finally get accepted. Many of the apartments we visited had lines of people queuing and competing for it. Their applications would surely be better than ours. The most probably had steady jobs and spoke the language.
So here I was, in a foreign country, where I don’t speak its language, don’t have a job, don’t have a place to stay, and don’t have a work permit to have my own business.
Just sounds horrible, doesn't it?
Well, not really.
One has to have the right mindset, especially when one encounters such curveballs in life. Life is not about having resources. It’s about being resourceful. It’s not about what happens to you. Or your circumstances. It’s about how you think about it and how you respond to it. We shouldn’t complain about what we can’t control. But rather be positive to see and get the best of what we have. What we can control. Our selves.
Our intentions, thoughts, feelings, and actions.
What is happening around us is neutral, it can be positive or negative depending on how we see it. It’s all relative. Our thoughts will influence our feelings which will affect our actions, which will dictate our results.
Accordingly, I had one and only one option. To figure things out as Marie Forleo puts it “Everything Is Figureoutable”. This sentence became my daily mantra.
It has changed my life and will change yours too. I never got stuck or felt bad at any moment and didn’t find a solution in a snap at her “Marie TV Show”.
Now, let’s figure things out and make things work.
If you’re anything like me, aspiring to excel as a professional, in any life endeavor you choose, there are three KPIs or things you need to do particularly right:
Acquire the knowledge, master the skills and have the professional attitude necessary in your field to succeed.
To walk my talk I did exactly this. I put pen to paper and started writing down the answers to crucial questions following Marie’s courses’ workbooks. What do I have a passion for? What do I like doing? What am I curious about and what am I good at?
I realized that answers came easy to me. It all boiled down to my love of horses.
I started to look at where I can learn about horses. And more importantly, where I can practice riding in Switzerland. I’m about to turn 40 years old, so maybe it’s not the ideal time to start aiming for the Olympic Games now! What I can do, is study the equestrian ecosystem as Marie suggests. The stakeholders. The supply and demand and see where I can add value by helping people or horses? Getting paid for it would be a bonus.
The type of education I’m looking for is more about starting or managing an equestrian sports business, preferably online, not learning how to ride. I’ve been leisure riding horses for years now. It’s time to learn more about how to make a living with horses. I researched and found a course offered by the Bern University of Applied Sciences targeting equestrians wanting to further their education in the field. It sounded perfect! I registered for the EquiGuarde Certificate.
EquiGarde was a two-year, part-time program with exams and a required few months of practice by the Haras National Suisse. The beauty of this program is that it federally certifies you as an equestrian and horse professional who can manage an equestrian institution in Switzerland having more than 10 horses in a professional capacity.
This was excellent for me because once I finalize my papers and get my work permit, I can work with this certificate, managing an equestrian project or starting my own horse business. The total cost of the course was about 5,000 USD that did not all have to be paid upfront.
I could pay the tuition fees in installments over two years. That suited me just fine.
As a lawyer, I cannot practice in Switzerland unless I get legal certification. The problem is that academic law degrees would be either in German or French. Also, the French spoken in Switzerland is different from the French I learned at school. There is so much vocabulary that is new to me, expressions I’d never heard before! I decided I needed to brush up my French a little and start on my German lessons.
Since I digitally transformed my Egyptian law firm to be 100% virtual, I can still serve my legal clients through my websites: E-Corporate Lawyers, where lawyers consult me to digitize their legal practices to work virtually or online, and E-Corporate Lawyer, where entrepreneurs consult me on how to start, secure, scale or even sell their online businesses.
What I could do, however, after I got my working permit is to continue to serve my existing clients in Egypt, and have my fees transferred to Switzerland.
Anyhow, since everything is Figureoutable, so I registered for online courses. I dove deep into it, and if you’re anything like me, you know how online courses can be quite addictive!
I didn’t stop language courses in French, Swiss-French, German and Swiss German. I carried on taking god-knows-how-many courses on how to grow an online business too!
All this was in addition to what I was studying at the University of Bern about horsemanship, equestrian law, business, marketing, PR, handling stallions, mares, foals, horse genetics, and breeding.
I recommend you take Marie Forleo and Jon Morrow courses, it’s the best value for money you can get online!
Why Switzerland Is Heaven On Earth For Me?
Mainly because I discovered that in Switzerland, according to Federal Swiss Law (as opposed to the outdated Laws in Egypt) I can actually start a for-profit commercial company even though I am a lawyer. I can combine both my horse passion and my legal profession under the same roof. Back in Egypt, this is something I was not allowed to do.
My wife and I went ahead and founded our own company. Through this Swiss Company MSLS Sarl, I can offer consultations to equestrian businesses, horse associations and equestrian sports federations as an equine jurist (through my brand EquiJuri); horse products and services (through my other brands including EquiTraveler, which helps horse fans attend live equestrian shows in Switzerland; EquiProperties that offers equestrian property consultancy; EquInsure that offers horse insurance advice).
I also discovered that the area where I live in the valley of the Jura mountains (which is the motherland of the native Swiss Franches Montagnes Horse or Freiberger in German), is also where the showjumping world champion Steve Guerdat is from.
Our small city Biel/Bienne is also where the two largest equestrian sponsors’ head offices reside: Longines and Rolex.
Being a lawyer involved in equestrian sports, Biel/Bienne proved to be ideal for me. Biel/Bienne is the Federal City of Sport, where the federal office of sport is located. This office is an hour’s drive from the Olympic committee, La Maison International de Sports, the International Equestrian Federation, and the International Court for Sports Arbitration.
Our horse has great potential and I am hoping to develop him so that one day he can win a World, European, or Swiss championship with me or my daughter, who is also keen on horses and happens to be the same age as “Welcome”. He’s my fourth child.
Every morning when I wake up, I count my blessings and thank God for everything in my life today. I have an amazing apartment overlooking Lake Biel. I get to spend quality time with my wife and kids since I don’t have a 9-5 job. I work virtually from my home office, or literally, anywhere I want where there’s an internet and set my own time schedule. When the weather is good, I go have an amazing time outdoors playing with my kids and riding my horse “Welcome De Monfirak”. I am also lucky to have a great horse who’s a direct offspring of the world showjumping champion stallion Vagabond De La Pomme, ridden by the French Champion Rider Penelope Le Prevost.
I was so happy to celebrate my 40th birthday at Andermatt Swiss Alps Ski Resort in Switzerland and discovering the story of the Egyptian billionaire who developed it!
Above all that, I receive messages and emails every day from people thanking me for helping them. People tend to get in touch with me for advice, and I am always happy to help them out.
I love spreading good vibes. And I would love for you to get inspired by my experience too.
I discovered that the best way to learn is to teach. The best way to take is to give. To be of service to people who want your help the most.
The reason I wrote this story wasn’t to brag, but to help you understand and believe that:
Everything Is Figureoutable & You Can Do It
You can learn, develop, improve and earn a living helping people do the same.
This is winning the game before it’s ever played. Any game. Giving back. Helping and serving others.
I hope to see you too one day winning in any endeavor of your choosing.
Following your passion and dreams.
Doing what you love and what you’re good at or can learn and be good at.
Helping others do the same.
Believe in yourself and that you can figure it out.
As much as I believe in you. I believe you can do and achieve anything you want and go all in.
I believe you can reach any objective you set your intention to and work for.
Remember that, when the going gets tough, the tough get going too.
Keep going for your dreams. Overcome your obstacles.
Have faith and you’ll get there, I promise.
You’ll look back and it will all make sense and you’ll see the whole picture.
You will know why each chapter of your book came in the order it did.
And why it was so important for your growth, development, improvement, and healing.
Do you want to quit your job and become independent?
Indeed you can.
Do you want to travel the world, living wherever you wish?
Indeed you can.
Do you want to help people and develop the world in a better place for all of us?
Indeed you can.
Listen… if I can quit my job, risk myself and my wife’s salaries, live in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language, without a visa or a work permit, and then make enough money to support myself, my wife, my kids, and my horse with nothing but my grit, then surely you can achieve the same if not better if you go all-in right now starting from where you are with what you have!
It’s not easy. I know you’ll want to quit on many occasions. People will think you’re crazy or call you a hundred names like they did to me. I guarantee you’ll be lonely at times. You’ll cry. You’ll have sleepless nights. You’ll wonder if you made an irreversible mistake.
But don’t you ever stop believing in yourself.
The world is full of negativity and negative people. Naysayers.
We’re not meant to be like these people. We’re meant to lead by example.
To show them actions speaking louder than words.
You can do it if you start today. It’s Figureoutable.
Take your first imperfect baby step forward now. Figure it out.
Have no fear. Have faith and you will never regret it!
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