779 - A Humanitarian Comedy Writer: Tom interviews Saeed El Jammal - Screw The Commute

779 – A Humanitarian Comedy Writer: Tom interviews Saeed El Jammal

I'm here all the way from London with Saeed El Jammal. I met him on another podcast and we had a blast on that thing. He is a dynamic podcaster with a passion for humanitarian work and global affairs.

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Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 779

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[01:41] Tom's introduction to Saeed El Jammal

[04:00] The Undiscovered Comedy Writer

[08:00] Taking hold of a leadership role with no training

[20:50] How people use terms and terminology when speaking

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Episode 779 – Saeed El Jammal
[00:00:08] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.

[00:00:24] Hey everybody, it's Tom here with episode 779 of Screw the Commute podcast. I'm here all the way from London with Saeed El Jammal. I met him on another podcast and we had a blast on that thing. He'll tell you about that in a minute. I hope you didn't miss Episode 778. That was Jay Aigner. He started a software testing company in his basement, took in currently $2 Million a year. And he's got all kinds of hobbies. It really lifestyle business, which is what I love. So any time you want to get to a back episode, you go to screwthecommute.com, slash, then the episode number. His was 778. Also pick up a copy of our automation book. Just one of the tips in this book. We actually estimated it to save me 8 million keystrokes. I want you to spend in time with your prospects and customers and creating products and services, not fighting with your computer. So grab a copy of that book at screwthecommute.com/automatefree. Follow me at tiktok.com/@digitalmultimillionaire on TikTok and grab a copy of our podcast app. It's now in the App Store. It's iOS only at this point, but we're going to have Android app pretty soon at screwthecommute.com/app.

[00:01:42] All right. Let's get to the main event. Saeed El Jammal is a dynamic podcaster with a passion for humanitarian work and global affairs. He's an ex Red Cross volunteer. We're going to talk about that more in depth later. And he brings a wealth of experience and empathy to his thought provoking discussions. He's got a bachelor's degree in politics and international law and a master's in Polish Six Conflicts, Rights and Justice from the School of Oriental and African Studies. I'm pretty sure that's what Soas is. And boy, we could use them here with all the conflicts and politics, that's for sure. Right here. He offers insightful perspectives on current issues, and as a co-host of a Top 10% podcast, he skillfully combines education and entertainment, engaging audiences worldwide. Saeed, Are you ready to screw? The commute? Hell, yeah.

[00:02:38] It's great. I'm just down and ready to start. Whenever you're ready.

[00:02:42] That's great. That's great, man. So we had a blast on your podcast. Tell them a little bit about A2.

[00:02:48] Oh, thank you. Well, A2 is basically a podcast where me and my co-host, we were just like two curious guys. He started it off with someone else at first and then I joined in from the beginning and we were just like two curious young men trying to find out more about the world. And we also like to travel. So what way to better to do it than through a virtual podcast. And so now we've traveled almost 90 countries and we just keep going trying to find more people from around the world and try to learn from their experiences. And you know, what's better than to learn from other people, other people's mistakes, correct?

[00:03:25] Yeah, exactly. And we had a lot of fun. So it's I don't know, do you call it A2 or a squared or what? What's the actual how.

[00:03:33] Do you so you can so we usually just say A2 the show, but because the A2 represents for like two A's. So you can also say a squared, but A2 is just usually the easier one to say.

[00:03:46] And isn't there a website that goes with it?

[00:03:49] Yes. Also A2 the show.com. Well I think you can also look a squared the the show.com as well and you'll get the same URL.

[00:03:57] There you go. There you go. And and now IMDb. Now we had a lot of fun on the podcast, but I was watching one of your other episodes today actually, and you were pretty serious on that episode, but IMDb calls you the undiscovered comedy writer. Did you know that?

[00:04:21] Um, yeah. So I think what I try to do is create a certain type of balance for myself. I do write a lot of like. I like to write a lot of the things that I see in life in general, whatever, whatever I encounter, if it's funny or if it's like inspirational or if it's something that I could create a good habit out of it for myself, I'll write it down. It first started off with the with writing in general because I used to like writing a lot when I was when I was a kid, when I was in university, like growing up in general, just like I had the creative knack for creating stories in a sense. And then I switched it more into comedy because I just liked funny things as well. I just used humor as a type of maybe. Maybe I use it as an escape. I don't know. But it was good for like, you know, interacting for social situations. Humor can always break the tension and, like, make people feel comfortable. So I wrote. So I started writing as well.

[00:05:24] Beautiful. But now where are you from?

[00:05:27] Actually, so I'm originally from Lebanon.

[00:05:30] Lebanon. Yes. Okay. And now you just said something about escape from reality or escape from when you were doing that. Yeah. Talk about your comedy. Well, it seems like you might have had to escape from Lebanon because I saw that you had to You were conducting research on the history of corruption in the Lebanese government.

[00:05:53] That is true. Yeah. So in one of my internships during my my bachelor's degree, I was basically given this task where I had to conduct a full review of all of the of all of the governments since the birth of Lebanon as an independent state.

[00:06:12] But when you got this assignment, were you were you like looking over your shoulder a little bit like, Oh.

[00:06:18] I think the people who assigned it to me were also corrupt in their own way. So possibly.

[00:06:22] Okay, good.

[00:06:24] Yeah, I didn't want to, like, obviously write anything that could put me in trouble or anything, but it was just research, so there wasn't any danger at that time. I think my thesis and my master's was more putting me in a danger zone.

[00:06:39] Oh, what was that?

[00:06:41] So my thesis on my my master's was I was writing on the evolution of Hezbollah's identity and oh, my God. Yeah. I don't know if you've heard of Hezbollah, but they are.

[00:06:54] Yes.

[00:06:56] So they are originally they started off as a resistance group to the Israeli occupation in Lebanon during the civil war. And after that they developed into like a militia and then they joined the politics, became a political party. And they still have their their army, obviously. But they created so many different identities that now that when you look at them, it doesn't you don't see like a fragmented entity. You see like a well constructed organization that, in my opinion, is actually the the the like ruler of Lebanon.

[00:07:37] Oh, sorry.

[00:07:37] De facto, I think that's the correct term. I might have used the wrong term. Yeah.

[00:07:41] Yeah.

[00:07:42] Just to remind me never to. If I visit London, never to, like, stand by you.

[00:07:48] Yeah. Yeah. You don't.

[00:07:49] Want to see the laser pointer pointed at your head.

[00:07:52] Right? Yeah.

[00:07:53] Or somebody shoots at you and misses and hits me.

[00:07:58] So.

[00:07:59] Yeah, so, so let's talk about a very interesting thing that I think will be of interest to, to our listeners here about just taking a hold, I mean, without necessarily having training with doing right by people or I can't hear wait to hear how you did this but you were thrust into a leadership role leading 250 people and you had no training in leadership. Yeah. So how did this occur? Tell us all about that whole story.

[00:08:34] So the thing is, the branch that I was volunteering.

[00:08:39] With was the Red Cross, right? Yeah.

[00:08:41] So, yeah, yeah, exactly. The branch I was volunteering with was going through some changes in management.

[00:08:49] What's Aiyub stand.

[00:08:51] For? Sorry. Sub branch.

[00:08:53] So is the name of my university. So it's American University of Beirut. Yeah. So it's an American university. There's a lot of like American influence in the university, obviously from the name and but that's besides the point. So there was a lot of changes going on within management because there was a lot of disagreements going on with the committee that was managing this branch and basically the hierarchy of Red Cross. And when I was actually at when I was applying, I didn't apply for the president role. I was actually applying for the vice president role. So the only person who was applying for the president role did not really fit the bill of basically the hierarchy of Red Cross. So instead they said they would take the risk on me. And obviously at the time, like I was, I was completely inexperienced and I didn't know what was going on. But. I don't want to back down. I thought. I thought, like, this is probably my chance to, you know, prove myself and see what I can do.

[00:10:01] Well, let me.

[00:10:02] Ask you, did they ask you to lay off a little of the corruption writing.

[00:10:06] Stuff? Um.

[00:10:08] The corruption writing actually came after this so they didnt have to deal with it.

[00:10:13] I think the Red Cross, you know, went to that.

[00:10:15] Yeah.

[00:10:17] So it was okay. It was an interesting situation for me because. This is obviously something very new for me and I didn't really expect it. And the previous president was actually a type of mentor for me and. Ever since I stepped into this role as the president, it was just like I really understood what it is to be like a leader because I just was encountering challenges after challenges, after challenges, every single month of every thing of that whole year. It was just literally one year one. It's a short term of being president of that branch, but the amount of challenges that you have to face while you're being a leader, it just. Is is overwhelming at some point and. It was an experience that I will not regret ever in my life. I really enjoyed it, even though it put me through so much. I really feel like I learned so much from it and I can definitely go into the presence.

[00:11:12] I thought presidents just got 1015 million a year and just played golf.

[00:11:18] I don't know.

[00:11:19] How the US presidents do it, but as a volunteer it doesn't work that way. We don't get paid.

[00:11:26] So you were president and did not get paid, but you led 250 people. Now, how did you come up? You're a natural. How did you come up with the skills to manage 250 people?

[00:11:37] So the thing is, I was already a volunteer in the same branch for before becoming president. I was I think it was like 3 or 2 years at least. So I already had an understanding of how most of the people who were volunteers, like how they thought and how the whole system worked. And then for the new recruits, I was mainly involved in the recruitment campaign, so I was able to leave an impression on them. And what I did was I just stayed. I stayed as myself because as a leader, I really believe that the people have to obviously see you as a leader, but they also have to see you as a person because if you're just like constantly being this over, like overruling kind of person, the people will not be able to actually follow you because they don't really understand how you think. So what I was doing was making the decisions and then obviously giving orders. But at certain times when I am interacting with the members, I would have to well, not have to. I would just this was just my natural self. I would joke around, I'd be friendly with them, I'd try to hang out with some of them even. And I really feel like that's what a leadership, like a leadership role should include. You know, you have to create a certain balance between the people you with, the people that you work with, and obviously giving them the orders and instructions to follow.

[00:13:02] And you said that's your natural temperament anyway, right?

[00:13:06] Yeah.

[00:13:06] I'm a pretty outgoing person and I really feel like that helps, especially when people want to listen to me.

[00:13:15] Well, this is this is so prescient. This is like deja vu all over again because I just watched Allie, that Allie guy from the show, tell you to be yourself and you were already doing it. People people don't know what we're talking about. But I just saw one of the other people on his other show is left and he was given this advice to people that were still there.

[00:13:44] Yeah, I think his advice was a bit late because I was already starting the transition.

[00:13:48] Exactly.

[00:13:51] I can't wait for the the. There was a playful rival between those other two guys on that podcast and they were talking about having like an MMA fight to the death or something. I don't know. I don't know what it was.

[00:14:05] No holds barred all out. Yeah. At bare knuckle as well. They were saying bare knuckle.

[00:14:11] Of course they live in different countries. I don't know where is the other Ali now? Where is he.

[00:14:17] At? So one of.

[00:14:18] Them is currently in LA and the other one is between Kuwait and Jordan.

[00:14:23] Between Kuwait and Jordan. Is there some place in between?

[00:14:27] No.

[00:14:28] He lives.

[00:14:29] Yeah.

[00:14:30] So he mainly studies in Jordan for his med school, but he's originally from Kuwait and he goes back there every whenever he has free time.

[00:14:38] Okay. Beautiful. Beautiful. Yeah. So?

[00:14:41] So I can't wait to hear the name of his new show.

[00:14:45] That he wouldn't say. Yeah, that was a bit.

[00:14:47] Of a bomb. I'm not gonna lie. When he dropped it on that, I was just like, okay, this is interesting.

[00:14:52] And, yeah, I saw.

[00:14:53] You sitting against the wall like somebody had just flashed you or something.

[00:14:57] Yeah, yeah.

[00:14:58] Yeah. Um, and to be honest, for that episode, actually, the reason why I was. That was pretty serious during that episode was. It wasn't the first time we heard this from him. So, yeah, what happened was there was a non-recorded event where he actually just showed up when we, me and the other Ali were just having a meeting. We're just talking. And then he showed up and he told us his decision and that in that non-recorded content, I was actually tearing up.

[00:15:33] Oh, yeah.

[00:15:33] Wow. Like, I was really surprised at the decision.

[00:15:36] Happiness? Happiness?

[00:15:39] No, no, no. I was.

[00:15:40] I was just like.

[00:15:42] I was more tearing up on, like, how mature he sounded when he made the decision. Like the fact that he made this decision by himself without anyone telling him, you know.

[00:15:54] Like. And he showed up and stood up and stood there. And even on that hour long recorded session, you know, laid it out. It didn't hide from you guys.

[00:16:04] Yeah, exactly.

[00:16:06] And like that other guy, George.

[00:16:08] I don't even know the other.

[00:16:10] Guy was you were mentioning on there. Yeah. George somebody. I don't know.

[00:16:13] Yeah.

[00:16:17] See, I wish I'd have known that you could eat on your show because Paco showed up and and was eating some kind of giant.

[00:16:26] To be honest. Burrito or Paco is an exceptional person. I will leave it at that because is he sometimes just shows up and, you know, he makes like an interesting cameo for for our podcast right?

[00:16:41] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:16:42] Is what language does he speak? Because sometimes I didn't understand what he was saying.

[00:16:47] So we all just.

[00:16:48] He had a mouthful.

[00:16:49] Our.

[00:16:49] Primary language and we learned and we learned English in school. So sometimes and in Lebanon, what we do is we have this thing where we just like transition between languages as we're speaking at the same time.

[00:17:01] So, oh.

[00:17:02] That's what it was. I was like, I'm like, what? What did you just say?

[00:17:06] I'm thinking, Yeah, exactly.

[00:17:08] So and we call that Arabic ish because it's just like you're some at some point you're speaking English and in one sentence and then out of the eight words that you say in that sentence, maybe three of them are Arabic. And and the thing is, we understand each other clearly.

[00:17:23] Right, Right, right.

[00:17:25] Well, we had like Spanglish over here. And what would that be like? La anguish or something?

[00:17:32] Don't.

[00:17:33] Yeah, true. True. And we also do that with French. So because in Lebanon Lebanon used to be what's it called under the French mandate before like after World War two. Um, and we also were obviously taught French by the French government. And it just it's still part of the country. You know, it's like the third language there. So a lot of people you have a large community that does speak French as well. So they also mix Arabic, English, French. It's it gets confusing sometimes.

[00:18:07] Well, I'll tell you, I remember when I had my nightclub, a guy would come in at the bar who had been in the service, and he was he was just, you know, almost upset when he talked about Beirut. He'd say, that man, it was one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And they just bombed the crap out of it and tore it, tore it up. And he was he was saying it was just a shame. That kind of stuff happens.

[00:18:31] Yeah, that is true.

[00:18:33] Um, the thing is, whenever someone says when they talk about Beirut, like in a. In a you know, like they're a bit sad or upset about what happened. I just tried to change the narrative about it because even though what happened really, like affected the country and, you know, it traumatized a lot of people within the nation. If you go to it now, you can still see like the same level of hospitality from the people, the same amount of fun that you could have had even before the explosion. The same. Like experience. It's just all there. You know, the great nature, the great beaches, the great nightlife, the great food, the great people. It's all still there no matter what. Lebanese people always find a way to just, like, keep going. I don't know how. I really don't. And but sometimes I see it in myself as well. It's just like I feel like it's a. We are just taught to just keep moving forward. And I really find that beautiful.

[00:19:38] Were you were you there most of your life or was a child or what?

[00:19:43] So I was there for 10 to 11 years and I left there. Maybe it's been almost two years now since I left. I was there during the explosion. So, yeah, I did witness the whole the whole thing.

[00:19:59] Yeah. Wow. And now you're in London. And can you see the London eye from your flat?

[00:20:06] Oh, hell, no. This is.

[00:20:08] Like there's too many obstacles in the way. London is very compact, and there's a lot of obstacles blocking the way, so it's.

[00:20:19] I've only been there once, but see, I have the longest running, continuous running internet and digital marketing seminar. Yeah, and it's called Buttcamp because I'm sitting on my rear end making all this money, so I didn't want to call it bootcamp. So but in London they made me call it bumcamp instead of buttcamp.

[00:20:37] Yeah.

[00:20:39] They don't use the word butt, which is interesting. Like, you know, the terminology really makes a difference.

[00:20:44] Yeah.

[00:20:46] You know, that's actually an important thing, I think, in leadership. Like the way you use your terms and.

[00:20:52] Okay, tell us about that.

[00:20:53] Um, it's just interesting. Like, you know, when some people use the like, let's say words just to, to sound smart or sound, right? You know, interesting. I feel like as a leader, if you use the right words in your speeches or like in your in the when you're explaining something to your employees or whoever you're interacting with, using the right terminology really has an influence on how people will react to you and especially in sales as well. And I'm pretty sure a lot of salesmen always like to study what words they want to use in their closing calls and their closing speeches, whatever, whatever, you know, like fixed sentences they have prepared for themselves. They're using the right words. Really makes a difference.

[00:21:43] Well, yeah, because if you just use your own ego and want to make yourself sound smart, yes. You're just making other people feel dumb and not and disconnecting with them.

[00:21:53] Exactly. And you don't want that. You want to find a way to connect them to you. You want them to listen to you and also understand you at the same time. So you don't want to use terms that will just be like. Confuse the individual. You want to use terms that can connect them to you and just like make them feel like a certain type of warmth that you are trying to unite them with your mindset.

[00:22:17] And even if you know those words, those high level words, and you're in a situation where, you know, most people don't. It's you're better off, I don't want to say coming down to their level, but being at their level rather than trying to look like you're above their level.

[00:22:36] 100%, 100%. It also it really varies from individual to individual. So you kind of have to understand from the brief and like brief conversation or brief few interactions you have with an individual, what kind of interaction or what kind of way you want to progress in the conversation with them. So let's say a highly educated person, he would he or she would prefer to use like like if you use larger words, let's say you you did your research on words and you actually studied them and practiced them. They will be impressed and they will actually want to listen to you because they will feel like you are an educated person and you can connect to them while someone who is not as highly educated. But that's not really obviously an important aspect of your interaction with the person. If someone is not as educated, these terms will mean nothing to them, so there's no point of using them when in those conversations you kind of have to just. Use the certain the flow of the conversation into your advantage.

[00:23:42] And and actually, a lot of times using those terms is a negative, not just a neutral, because I call it in my in my training, a brain stopper. So you say a word that somebody doesn't understand. Their brain stops and then they miss the next 10s of what you say. So it's more than just neutral where you know you're wasting your time because they don't understand it. It can be a real negative because that it stops their brain to concentrate on that word that they don't understand. And then boom, they've you've lost them.

[00:24:22] So that is very true.

[00:24:24] So that's very true because like, even they're trying to process what you said.

[00:24:27] Right. Exactly.

[00:24:28] Process. That's that's the term and and voice inflection and are very powerful things and facial expression. I mean you can say you did a great job or you can say you did a great job on that one. You know what I mean?

[00:24:47] Exactly true. Yes. The tone and the the way your voice sounds really makes a difference. And I know there's this one person. He always pops up on my feed when I'm just, like, scrolling through. He's a I think he's like a consultant for. Using your voice as he does, like a lot of consultation consultations for like how to improve your voice so that you can become better at business and sales and entrepreneur being a better entrepreneur or a leader and the way he talks about using your voice. Is actually really, really impressive. And he also talks about that you have to practice different ways of how you want your your voice to be amplified and how you want it to sound, especially when you're communicating with other people.

[00:25:39] Yeah. And I teach. You have to do it out loud because your lips don't always go where your mind is telling it. If you just do it in your head all the time. So you have to go somewhere where you're not going to look like a crazy person.

[00:25:54] And actually, yeah, exactly.

[00:25:56] Do the things out loud and so that you're your lip memory or your muscle memory, you know, can spit it out smoothly without thinking about it too much. So. So that's been great. So how do they how do they find you? And tell us again about the podcast where they can listen to the podcast.

[00:26:18] On.

[00:26:18] Youtube and Apple and everywhere, right?

[00:26:20] Yes. So the podcast is on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and even Anghami, which is like an Arabic Lebanese version of Spotify, which is also on Nasdaq now. So that's pretty.

[00:26:32] Cool. Is it still.

[00:26:33] In English or it's dubbed or.

[00:26:35] What? No, it is.

[00:26:35] In English as well. We're all of our podcasts are mainly in English. If it is in Arabic, at.

[00:26:40] Least part of.

[00:26:41] Them, because you kick in those Arabic words.

[00:26:44] Once.

[00:26:45] Yes, some of them do have some of those Arabic words. But if it's if you're watching it on YouTube, it's all dubbed. So you can watch with the the subtitles.

[00:26:53] Okay. Beautiful.

[00:26:54] Yeah. And it's either a to go ahead.

[00:26:57] Yeah.

[00:26:58] So and you can find us on to the show so it's a the digit to the show on the same thing applies for all of the platforms and our website is the same a to the show.com or even a squared show.com.

[00:27:13] Beautiful.

[00:27:14] Beautiful. And you pick up a lot of leadership tips from from Saeed, that's for sure. So thanks so much for coming on, man.

[00:27:22] Thank you, Tom. Thank you for having me on your podcast.

[00:27:25] Okey doke, folks. We will catch you on the next episode. See you later.