Episode 26 Transcript

Alright welcome to episode 26 today
we're going to talk about perseverance
but first let's get an update for the
week Ryan what's going on where are you
in the world
hey Ryan good to hear from you I am in
southern France I'm on a holiday with my
family and actually my parents they came
over they live in Western Canada so
that's a real treat to see them that's
one of the challenges of living overseas
is you don't get to see your family a
lot my kids are growing up living on the
opposite side of the world from their
grandparents so we're enjoying some
great time together making some memories
it's crazy hot in southern France at the
moment but we're surviving what about
you how are you man we're doing well it
is not crazy hot here in Casablanca in
fact this summer has been incredibly
mild it actually doesn't really feel
like summer at all compared to where I
grew up in California or even where I've
lived across the United States and
Virginia and other places in Celsius in
centigrade I think the highs have been
about 26 25 26 and the lows of about 20
for the whole summer which is really
nice it's nice to be at the beach and if
you're walking around it's not too bad
yeah that's great but other than
that since I got back from my trip to
the States I've been working pretty hard
to get things going as I mentioned in a
few previous episodes I've been looking
for an office and that has been a very
interesting experience it's not easy to
look for property here in Casablanca
there are many agents, rental agents, real
estate agents and they all have their
different portfolio of properties in
order to see a property it can take many
hours you have to go and meet them and
then go to the property and maybe
see another property but the whole
process is pretty tiring and oftentimes
the listings are not exactly what they
appear to be online
maybe the photos are not great or the
location of the property is not exactly
where you expected I will often give
these agents what I'm looking for for
example I'm looking for an office in Beausejour, and some of the agents will
come back with properties in Sidi Maarouf! I try to explain to them I'm not looking
for an office in Sidi Maarouf and/or
I'm not looking for an office downtown
I'm looking in Beausejour or CIL Jacob
El Mansour, Finance City...these are the
areas that I'm looking in and I asked
the agents to give me recommendations or
available properties in those areas and
I've not had a lot of success the one
property I did find the owner wanted to
change the zoning of the apartment from
residential to commercial and he was
confident that he could do that and we
came to an agreement on rental terms
which were very attractive to me and he
went to the Cindiq, or the in English what
we call homeowners association
and they would not allow him to make the
change from residential to commercial so
that was disappointing then we found
another place that was very good it was
already zoned commercial
there were offices in the building and
it was a very nice space in a very good
location but we were just too slow in
between the time that I saw it the first
time and the second time somebody signed
the lease right after I left the
property the second time, so that
was disappointing but did the
owner tell you that there was somebody
that was so close? The owner was a very nice man and what
happened was there was a tenant in the
building already that wanted to expand
so for the owner he already knew the
tenant they were reliable they paid
their rent they were respectful to the
building and the property and the other
tenants so for him it was a very easy
decision to rent two floors of the
office to an existing tenant and give
them preferable treatment which makes
sense to me. That's why I'm sure he didn't even offer
make a counteroffer to me when he
knew that I was interested he just
basically said it's rented so that's too
bad yeah it does play into the topic of
the day which is perseverance and
business and actually my other
update that I have is I've been working
hard on this agreement with a retailer
for the artists that I've been working
with it's a big retailer they actually
have stores at the airports and we've
come to an agreement and I actually have
a purchase order and technically because
they're at the airport
it's an export and so figuring out all
of the documents that are necessary all
the permissions has been a frustrating
process and it's hard because some of
the communication is happening between
intermediaries it's the summertime so
not everybody's working we're close to
the Eid holiday so people are already on
vacation but yeah it's been a
frustrating process to know that I
actually have a client and we have a
deal to sell his paintings but there are
all these government regulations in the
way you know I guess with that we could
just transition to the topic of the day
which is perseverance you know during
this process which has gone on for about
three months at several points during
the process I've felt like quitting
because there were just problems,
it was difficult in the negotiations I
wasn't sure whether we were going to be
able to meet the expectations of the
customer there are all these barriers to
entry for example my client the artist
is an auto entrepreneur but auto
entrepreneurs are excluded from
exporting so you actually have to form a
legal business and in the statutes of
the business you have to say that you're
going to export. I see. This is one of the
things that is very different from the
United States versus here in Morocco. In
the United States I can start a company
and I don't really need to designate
what it's going to do I can sort of
shift my focus, I can try different things I can iterate,
I can pivot, yeah pivot. I can pivot my business to the
best business possible meaning servicing
customers that are paying and finding
the best products and services to put on
the market but here in Morocco it's
almost like you have to know what you're
going to do exactly what you're going to
do before you even start your company
because you have to put it in your
statutes and you're not really allowed
to work outside of your statutes
and this would be an example of a
barrier to entry so when you talk about
the business that we're going to do with
this retailer at the airport there are
many many barriers to entry to actually
selling merchandise at the airport now
on the one hand it's very frustrating to
deal with all of these barriers and all
of these regulations and all this
paperwork but on the other hand we know
that once we get past it, it's not easy
for other people to come in and compete
with us. Right. Barriers to entry are good
for companies that are already doing
business, but barriers to entry are bad for
new companies,
they're bad for young people, and
they're bad for poor people...because
they deter people from doing
activity yeah it's like you said last
week when you were interviewing Bachir Benslimane, you
talked about how his business is now
defensible because he's gone
through all the challenges of building
the algorithm that he has to analyze
people's credit and that took hard hard
work to create his system and to
formulate the process that he's going to
bring people through and to build all
those relationships with the banks but
now that he's done that there's a huge
barrier to entry for any newcomers
that's exactly right and that's the
situation that we're in if we can
persevere if we can figure out a way to
deal with all of this paperwork and all
of these legalized forms and approvals
that we need and actually get to the
point where we're doing business then we
will have a good chance of being
successful. That's right. It's just
a matter of of not giving up and you
know that also applies to finding an
office it can be challenging
to find an office and there are many
rules and regulations that a lot of
people don't even know about for example
the the owner of that apartment thought
it would be very easy to change the
designation of his apartment from
residential to commercial he was very
confident but it turned out that it was
much more difficult than he imagined the
same is true for villas in certain
neighborhoods some villas are approved
to do business like dental practices or
doctors offices or grocery stores these
kinds of things, there's a lot of
and authorizations that need to take
place in order to do that so I'm not
sure what I'm gonna do in the meantime I
don't want to make a bad decision I
don't want to sign up for an office that
I don't like and I and I don't really
want to have to move for a long time.
So do you have any kind of timeline,
any deadline that you're working with, where you need to be in
somewhere? No but I would like to have
some kind of office space and if it
means I need to go to a co-working space
while I'm looking for an office then I
will but working out of the house is
just, it's no longer feasible it's no
longer feasible it's no longer a good
idea so I need to get someplace where I
can have a professional workspace and
focus and do the kind of deep work
that we talked about in episode number
two, to be able to focus on something
without being distracted without being
interrupted, because that's very
important. What have you been working on
since you've been on vacation or have
you just been doing vacation? Yeah
actually we've been staying at a lot of
Airbnbs, and I don't have a French
SIM card so I'm kind of off the grid a
lot there's been a couple that we've
stayed in that have had wireless but
I've spent most of my time just hanging
with the family and doing a lot of
reading so just kind of recharging the
battery and relaxing but I am
looking to kind of shift out of that a
little bit we're not coming back to
Morocco quite yet but you know I've had
a couple weeks now and so I'm
feeling rested and wanting to kind of do
a little bit of work each day one of the
projects that I've got on my agenda
while I'm traveling is
creating an audio book I've talked
about it before but just a short audio
book that gives tips for the job search
so for students especially that have
just graduated or for people that are
struggling to find employment just
organizing some of my thoughts into an
audio book that you can download and
just listen to wherever you are so I'll
be working on that that's cool over the
years what kind of examples do you have
of perseverance in terms of your
professional career when did you really
have to
to bear down and push through
difficult times in order to
achieve your results that you wanted a
couple examples that are part of my life
currently are both my YouTube channel
and also learning language coming to
Morocco originally I did a little bit of
work to get some basic French so I
wanted to be able to have conversational
you know I had a few different methods I
took classes at institut francais in
I had a private tutor and then currently
I try to put a few hours a week into
learning Darija. I have a private tutor
for that as well and that's a great
example of something that takes a lot of
perseverance because you don't always
see results you might work on it for
a week two weeks and feel like you're
moving backwards you have your days
where you think you're doing well and
you understand something you learn a new
word and then you'll have a moment where
you can't remember a word that you used
to know or you meet somebody and they're
asking you really simple questions and
you're really struggling to understand
them maybe it's just your brain is tired
or it's their accent or it's too noisy
in the background but for some reason
you feel like you're going backwards and
it's one of those things where you
really can't say I can notice a
difference for every hour I put in I see
a direct result and so it can be very
challenging to just continue and to
persevere. This episode is brought to you
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now back to the show have you noticed
that with language learning - I know
you've done a lot of French studies
and I know you continue to work on your
French have you noticed the need for
perseverance there yes it's not just
perseverance in terms of getting up
every day and practicing but it's
willing to be embarrassed especially
when you're studying language but it
also has to do with any new thing that
you're trying is that you have to be
willing to make mistakes you have to be
willing to be a little bit embarrassed I
have conversations professional
conversations in French in fact I've
signed two new clients this summer and
one of them was in English and the other
was in French and you just have to be
willing to have a conversation with
someone and make mistakes you can't wait until it's the perfect time to have the
conversation because when you're
studying a second language or using a
second language you're never going to be
you're just going to get better and better but the only way to get
better is to get into the habit of
having those conversations every day and
practicing every day and you can't be
afraid to to make mistakes in front of
people and be embarrassed when you're
having a conversation with them almost
every single time I have a professional
conversation in French at some point
during the conversation I have to stop
and say "Je ne sais pas le mot en francais"
and you know that's just life and
usually the person that I'm talking to
will help me work through what I'm
trying to say in French and we'll
communicate effectively but it doesn't look pretty
but I'm really at the point where I've
made so many mistakes that I'm not
afraid of them anymore
and my overall goal is so much more
powerful than my fear of making mistakes
so that's how I persevere when it comes
to language learning yeah that's an
excellent point with perseverance you've
got to have a real strong long-term
vision because if you don't know why
you're doing something that's difficult
like suffering through making sacrifices
going through obstacles embarrassing
yourself making mistakes whatever it is
you're facing if you don't see the light
at the end of the tunnel you don't have
a reason or a vision then it's very
difficult to persevere because the
temptation to quit is so strong but when
you have something greater that you're
pursuing something that is worth all the
sacrifices and the challenges that
long-term vision can give you the
energy or the courage to keep going
yes that's a great point Ryan I am very
motivated to get this retail sales deal
done with the partner at the
airport because I know that it's gonna
have a big impact on my client who's the
artist and he's going to be able to
reach a lot more customers and sell a
lot more paintings I'm very confident of
that that's why I'm willing to keep
working hard to get this deal done and
get our sales operations up and
running because I know it's going to
have a big impact, not to
mention that I will get paid as business
consultant but my client is going to get
paid because he's gonna be selling his
paintings yeah that's great so you've got this WHY that's
driving you. Another thing I find really
important with perseverance is that you
focus on the direction you're
heading rather than just the final
result so I read the book Atomic Habits
by James clear
earlier this year I highly recommend it
it's available on Englishbooks.ma
but he talks in there about the
difference between lead versus lag
indicators and so your lead indicators
these are the things that you need to do
these are sort of the daily or regular
activities that will eventually get you
to the lag indicator which is your end
goal it's the result that you're going
for so you might say well I want to get
ripped I want to have a six-pack or I
want to lose 5 kilos so that's the lag
indicator that's the end result if you
go to the gym you won't see those 5
kilos melt off your body in one day the
end result is coming later in the future
so you need to track well what is the
lead indicator what are the regular
activities that will bring me to my goal
eventually and that might be I'm gonna
go to the gym three times a week or I'm
gonna eat healthy meals three times a
day or I'm gonna make sure I'm walking
rather than taking the bus and you
measure those daily or regular
activities and those are your lead
indicators and when you focus on those
things the results will come you're
focused on the direction you're heading
so maybe you haven't lost those kilos
yet but if you went to the gym and you
walked instead of took the bus and
you ate three healthy meals then you
don't need to worry about the kilos they
will come off eventually you focus on
doing the right things regularly and
you'll get there yeah that's a great
point especially in today's culture
everyone wants to see immediate results
and the things that are very valuable in
life the things that are most meaningful
they don't show immediate results often
there are valleys in the process there
are peaks and valleys so a lot of about
perseverance is a psychological game if
you can keep your eye fixed on the goal
fix it on the future and not get caught
up in the day to day reality of what you're doing then you
have a much greater chance of achieving
something good and when we apply that to
going to school or looking for a job or
starting a new company there are going
to be tremendous difficulties along the
way if you're at university and you're
studying each day and taking tests you
may not see the benefit but learning how
to learn making connections at school
ultimately learning something valuable
and getting a diploma all those things
will be valuable in the end more or less
depending on what you're studying but on
a daily basis you may not see much fruit
you may not see much benefit and
it's the same way of looking for a job
I've been looking at some of the
feedback we've been getting on Facebook
to our episode about how to get hired
in Morocco and people are frustrated
they don't think there are any companies
in Morocco that are hiring people who
can speak English
they have a hard time finding them they
are frustrated with sending out resumes
if you don't have a job I encourage you
to listen to episode one the entire
episode because we give a lot of good
tips for doing things that are
unconventional and finding a job in a
way that you may not have thought of
before but you need to listen to the
whole episode and you don't give up I
mean that's the one thing that
all successful people have in
common is they didn't give up if you
don't have a job and you're looking for
a job don't give up just keep, keep
trying keep applying yourself keep doing
new things and you will find one
eventually right so in that in the case
of finding a job maybe the lead
indicators are how many companies did I
how many personalized and custom-made
motivation letters or cover letters did
I write today how many companies did I
visit how many
events did I attend this week for
networking purposes if you're tracking
those things, that's the data
you're collecting then you're moving in
the right direction
you're taking the steps that will
eventually lead to a job you don't know
when but you know that your lag
indicator your end goal is to find a job
so if you're doing the right things you
will get there eventually we heard in
the interview you conducted last week
that Bachir was rejected a hundred and
twenty nine times before he got the
funding I loved that he would he said he
was reading on his Kindle about all
these other guys in in venture capital
and startups who were trying to get
funding and how many times they needed
to pitch people and how many companies
they needed to approach and how many
times they had to search for angel
investors before they got funding and he
thought to himself
yeah these stories I'm reading these are
in Europe and they're in the u.s. so of
course it's going to be even harder for
me working in Morocco where the VC
industry is so much less
developed and that gave him
encouragement to persevere it gave him
encouragement to keep going even after
127, 128, 129 rejections before he got the funding
he's a great example of perseverance
he's a great example of having a vision
and doing the things that need to be
done to achieve your goal and not
allowing yourself to be discouraged, not
allowing yourself to be disappointed and
to have that shape your work ethic and
your determination and when it comes to
starting a new business it's going to
be hard it's going to be frustrating any
time you're trying to do something new
because you're breaking through the
status quo you're changing the
way things have always been even if it's
in your own little way even if you open
let's say a dry cleaner in your
neighborhood and you're the only one
there well that would be a change all of
your customers would be making a change
they'd be doing something different than
they had always done and if you're
providing a service or a product
or you're starting in a company what
you're basically asking people to do is
change and nobody likes to change and
that's why it's so difficult whether
it's getting hired for a job or going to
school or starting a new company it's
difficult but I do want to to end this
episode by giving words of
encouragement to our listeners who may
have a job or may not have a job and
that is again I want to emphasize the
value of the auto entrepreneurship
program you may not know this but as an
auto entrepreneur if you provide a
service the taxes are 2% at most they are two
percent depending on what you're doing
it could be as little as 1% and you are
exempt from the tax value-added, the TVA.
which means that any work you do for a
company you are by definition going to
be 20% cheaper than a legalized company
So you should think about some of
the things that you can do that other
businesses are doing for each other and
you should go propose to those
businesses I will do this for you but
because I'm an auto entrepreneur I can
give you a facture, I can give you an
invoice but there won't be any TVA and
that will be very attractive to the
right business person who understands
the value of subcontracting work and not
having to pay the tax value-added.
yeah that's a big margin there, there's a
lot of opportunity I've talked about how
you can be encouraged by reading about
others who have persevered they've
overcome obstacles they didn't quit and
they eventually saw success that can
encourage you but be careful you don't
compare yourself to others who are
getting there faster sometimes people
have it much easier and they find a job
after one week or they only have to hand
out 10 CVs and they get a job and that
can be very very discouraging so don't
worry about others
that are getting there sooner than you
if you're taking the right steps and you
don't quit if you keep moving forward
you will get there eventually you've
been listening to the Business in
Morocco podcast my name is Ryan Kirk
here with my co-host Ryan Maimone. If you enjoyed this episode be sure to
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we hope you'll have a lovely day doing
business in Morocco we'll see you next

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