The Productive Introvert
Channel: Ismail Kamdar
File Size: 37.01MB
Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah. Just for having me. It's good to hear from you.
Good idea to inform those who are actually listening,
that we actually met, maybe 10 years now. I was just thinking yesterday, it's been 10 years time.
I think it 2010 that we met. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's amazing how quickly the time has passed.
I'm just amazed that it just seems as though I've known you for maybe a couple of years to three years. And then then it's, I think about it, and then dawns on me that actually been tenured for over a decade. It's been a full decade, and even the brother who introduced us to each other, he passed away, you know, a couple years after we met. And if you remember that,
yes, sir. That totally that brother that you're talking about? Yeah, he had a bit of impact on me because of his kind, personality, nature. Same same scenarios, one of my closest friends who are honestly one of my best friends, and I was like Auntie Jana. I mean, I mean, even that person, even though I met him for just a few days, you know, I still, sometimes from time to time, think of him some of the observations that he made during our trip and some of the, you know, the small things that he used to say during those few days that I spent with him. So, you know, even based on that even our meeting is something that I think about from time to time, whenever I see a post online or
write something, it just brings me memory without this particular brother. And
eventually, it brings me to the idea that
all of us are eventually going to go away. And we don't know when our time actually is.
You know, even even this situation that people are talking about on the social media, with the Kobe Bryant, the basketball player, that's a message which seems to be coming up quite often, you know, that we don't really know when the end time is going to be. So in any case, you know, speaking on such themes, the point is that we don't know when we're going to go away, you know, we need to do as much productivity as we can until we actually face the very end. This was something that I wish to hope to discuss during our time together Zepto productivity, doing the best we can with the limited time that we have upon this and then hamdulillah Masha Allah robotic Allah, you've written a number
of books for a person to write a single book is a monumental task. And I say that from experience to to write at least 10 of them. You know, that's, that's a different thing altogether, as far as my way, but at least you probably have at least 10 Yeah, I have around a dozen books. The thing is, there are some repeat titles in there as well, because some of my books have been published under different names by different publishers. So it looks like I have 15 or 16 books, but it's really about 11 or 12. Okay, 11, or 12 is still pretty good.
Writing is something that I just absolutely love. And I believe ALLAH has given me the soul of a writer. If I don't write around, my soul feels agitated, it feels like I wasted my day. You know, it's just like something that's intrinsically part of who I am from the time I'm a child. I don't think I ever had a point in my life where I didn't think I was going to be a writer. I think that has something to do with this personality of introversion as well. There are people who generally find more, I guess you would say attraction to the written word, then perhaps even socializing with people would you say that's the case with you? Yeah, that's true. Because I work from home in a home
office, and I'm often just locked away in your with a cup of coffee, typing away my computer for three, four hours at a time, full of joy and happiness. I'm not even missing society. I wouldn't be able to do that if I wasn't an introvert. It's just Allah has given different people different personalities. And what I found is introverts are more suited to writing while extroverts are more suited to social Dawa, you know, to going out there and doing street Dawa and things like that. Everyone's got their area where they specialize in based on the personality that Allah has blessed him with. In fact, one of the books I'm currently writing is called the introverted Muslim. It's
about this entire topic. A lot of people have asked me to write about it, inshallah. Hopefully this year I'll finally get done with it does sound interesting, it does sound like an interesting topic. Yeah, I actually got inspiration from that one. But Susan Kane's book on quiet you know, the power of introverts
ebook really, really had an impact on me and like, no one's ever written about this from Islamic perspective, or when you look at our history, we look at the lives of Abu Bakr Oxman vena cava and Eva Manawa. We, you do see these qualities in their life and you
actually contributed to their piety and their success, you know, so it's, it's something I'm going into and doing research on at the moment, I found this one of the books on the soul for that it's easier for an introvert, you know, to do Teskey or to enough sand Maha Sabha and liquor. And you know, these kinds of good deeds, because, you know, it's easy for us to be alone, you know, to not be socializing. And you see this in like some of the Sahaba their personalities research that they could sit and recite Quran for hours on end. And, you know, they will not speak unless there's some kind of hurting them speaking. And, you know, they had this spirituality about them, which came from
them spending a lot of time alone. And even like, if some of the Sahaba even if you look at the lives before becoming Muslim, or they still had that, that spirituality in there in that day, they spend a lot of time alone, and they spent a lot of time, you know, avoiding sin, even before these things were made sense. Like, for example, looking at the issue of alcohol, I've noticed things like alcohol and drugs, these sins tend to be more enticing for extroverts, you know, I mean, like, someone goes to the nightclubs, they go to a party, they go to someplace like this, and they get influenced, or they get seduced into trying these things out, while someone who's introverted is
less likely to be in a situation where they influence or try these things out, because they have an aversion to to parties and nightclubs and stuff in the first place. And also we look at the sahaba. And you look at people like Abu Bakr are smart, they never drink alcohol their entire lives, even before Islam. Why when you look at their personality type, they will have that personality type that they will not go near these kinds of social circles where alcohol drinking was common because they prefer to be alone. They prefer to be contemplating they prefer to be you know, doing something beneficial even before Islam. So again, this is not something concrete yet it's some research I'm
doing. I know it may it's may be a bit of unorthodox research in the I don't think anyone's actually categorize people of the past introverts and extroverts and those people who think the word introverts a bad thing, or maybe angry with me for doing such a categorization. But I think, as a psychology research is actually a really interesting topic to dive into. So yeah, one of the reasons I haven't finished the book is I'm still doing research on that topic. I'm sure when the book is complete, it will probably open a few mental doorways in terms of understanding, I'm sort of intrigued by something that you said much earlier. And that was, you know, working at home with a
lot of people if they were to work at home, they would get easily distracted social media and Netflix. Exactly. How is it possible to stay motivated, whilst you're working alone, you know, you haven't got a boss of your show that you've completed here. But to be completely frank with you about this, one of my teachers who also works from home, one of my mentors, he always tells people don't work from home. He says, I can do it, you can't do it. And I believe he's right, it takes a very unique personality type to be able to work from home. It's not, it's not the norm. Like when I've done a personality test, I normally score like 90%, for self discipline and for introversion.
And I think those two qualities combined makes it naturally easy for me to work from home. But someone who isn't that naturally introverted or self discipline may either get bored working from home, get distracted, working behind, get on organized can lose motivation, it may actually have to train themselves to do it. Like I personally, I love this. I've been working from home for over a decade now since 2010, I wouldn't do anything else. I love working for Google, I love waking up in the morning, heading downstairs, making a cup of coffee and working from my home office, I don't see myself living any other way I can't stand the idea of going back to an office having someone
watching over my shoulders or anything like that. I love my life as it is. And I make sugar for this every day. But I know a lot of people who try this for one year or for six months or for two years and gave it up and went back to the office and said it's not for me. Because their personality type is different. A lot of times we we don't realize this. It's not just about training, but different personality types are suited to different jobs. So you know, for someone who wants to work from home, the first thing would be like, is it really suitable to your personality type, because if you have the personality type that you need someone watching over your shoulders, then you're not going
to manage working from home. If you have the personality type that you need to socialize throughout the day, you're not going to manage working from home. So I think that's the number one thing is personality type. However, having said that, it is possible for someone who is determined to do it to train themselves in this it is possible to train yourself in productivity, to train yourself in self discipline to train yourself to do things that don't come naturally to you. Like in my case, I'm an introvert and when I was a child, I was extremely shy. The idea that I would want to be a public speaker, a teacher someone's going for podcast, a podcast or you know, making videos on
would have expected that from me, I wouldn't have expected that for myself. It does not come naturally to me. But I, I overcame that and forced myself to learn this. And so if I, as an introvert can force myself to become a public speaker, an extrovert can also force themselves to become someone who works from home, meaning, it is possible to train yourself to do something that doesn't come to you naturally, if it's important to you, there's so that's the other way to go about it. It's much harder, but it is possible, as well as having discipline, I would imagine when working at home, you also need competent time management skills. Yeah, so like the first few years of
working from home were like that, I think it took three or four years to completely adjust and for your family to know what times are suitable to interrupt what times are not suitable to interrupt. So for example, they know around salata and Fujihara, so I will take a break from work and go to the masjid, so they will get some time to tell me to buy this or buy that or, you know, because I am going out to the house anyway. But you know, when it's my writing time, or podcasting time, or I'm in the middle of an interview, or you know, I'm in the middle of something, especially my door is closed, I've got this thing the door is closed, don't disturb me, the door is open, you can disturb
it has basically become the rule without really, really setting it in stone. So yeah, it took years to adjust to that. In the beginning, it wasn't easy. When I first started working from home, even at a time when nobody used to do this. And we talking about 2010, or the idea of having a home based online job was practically unheard of, in my community, I was the only person I knew in my community doing this, and people told me it won't last, it's not natural, mankind spent that much time at home, or you're gonna get bored, you're gonna get irritated, you're gonna be in the office environment, or people told me a lot of things people couldn't understand it. Older people could
understand it or because all the people don't even know what the internet is, when you try to explain it to older people that what they do, they like to just play computer games all day. That's because that's all they know the computer is for. So it took a while for people to what really amazes me is today when I go out there everywhere I go, I meet people who are working from home, I meet freelance writers and make freelance editors, I mean, people who have an online business or E shop, people who are social media experts, you know, I meet people who have these online jobs that literally did not exist 10 years ago, and is becoming more and more of a norm. It's not everyone is
doing it. But it may have gone from 0% to 5% of people who are doing it. And it's no longer that strange to hear that somebody actually works from home online. It's amazing how much the world has changed in these 10 years, I would imagine since most of your working life involves sitting in front of a screen that during those moments where you're not working, you want to be totally away from that type. Yes and no, I don't want to be you to portray a false image of myself. Reality is my favorite hobby is playing video games. So
my downtime is spent in front of all different kinds of screen. But I you know, one of the biggest problems I had working from home to be completely blunt is about five years into it I picked up a lot of Rage is only last year that I actually lost that weight and got back into shape. And that really is a danger for other people who are starting to work from home. Don't make the same mistake I made. If you're sitting in front of a screen all day and not watching your calorie intake and not watching how much excited to everyday you will naturally pick up weight. So last year, I made a commitment to get back into shape, eat less, exercise more. Make sure I'm not just sitting in front
of a screen all day. Make sure take a walk in the park make sure take a walk to the masjid whatever it is, make sure that I am balancing my calorie intake and outtake so that I maintain healthy weight. So yeah, that is that is a genuine concern when you and you're working from home because even just working a family computer or a desk job is not good for one's health. Working from home is you literally just moving from your bedroom to your office. And sometimes that's the only step you take hold the entire date. And you don't even realize it. So yeah, there was a problem I fell into many of you years ago and it was only last year that I've managed to build up self discipline to get
out of it. So yeah, that's that's the reality. When working from home, I would imagine that you get to spend more time with the family does it help you connect more with honestly for me as a father, I think working from home is really one of the best things I've ever done for my kids specifically because they are homeschooled by me. So I have a really, really strong bond and close relationship with my children. You know, the kind that makes it all worth it. And I myself grew up without a father because my father was murdered when I was eight years old. So I I guess that just made me compensate for that by being spending extra time with my children Hamdulillah that for me, the best
thing about working from home is that I'm there with my kids all the time. I'm homeschooling them. I'm teaching them Islamic Studies. I'm spending time with them in the evenings. I'm having lunch with them. I'm having dinner with them. I'm not an absent father at all. In fact, I'm
I'm like completely involved in their lives and Hamdulillah. You know, another benefit of that is if I need to visit my mom or my grandparents, I can take a break from work and visit them because I was flexible, you know? So it's, there's a lot of benefits to it. I'm quite intrigued by something you said earlier about you as an introvert, learning how to give speeches and lectures now. Hum naturally after a period of time? Or is it something that you really had to work hard at this is not natural for me at all right? Until today, or if I'm giving a public speech or something to a new audience, I feel my heart racing my face going red, I get anxiety, I start thinking all negative
thoughts. It's not natural for me at all. What gets me through it is really thinking about Allah subhanho wa taala, could you make our calling Allah and so when I when I have to do something like that, I tell myself three things. Number one, I'm doing it for Allah. Number two, it's my responsibility. Allah has given me this because Allah wants me to do it. And it's now my responsibility to do it. And number three, Allah would not put me in this situation if I'm not capable of doing a good job. And so I read my to us and the workload in Allah and I go out there, and hamdulillah anyone who sees me speaking in public won't know that all these thoughts are racing
through my head. But I can tell you, it doesn't come to me naturally at all, after a day of public speaking of traveling to these lectures, I need to be completely alone for an hour or two just to recharge my batteries. Because of the introvert that much time in society drains, my battery is completely. So like, I literally need like an hour or two alone, just to get back to myself. It doesn't come naturally to me either. Being around people that match or having all people's attention on me. I had to force myself to speak in public, I do attend courses on this topic online, read books on this topic, practice, and most importantly, learn to trust Allah and make dua before
starting. Hopefully, those feelings of fear are not in your mind at the moment. Well, this is actually very accustomed to doing podcasts. Now. Quite a few people invited me onto the podcast. So I'm the leader. The first one was like that. But now it's, it's something I've gotten used to, Oh, that's good to hear. Even if you're not naturally gifted at something, if it's important to you, and you put in the hours and the effort, you can become good at it, you may not become the best at it, but you can become good at it. As we noted at the very beginning, you written more than 10 books, basically. Is there a process that you follow to get these books out? Yeah. So I made a commitment
to myself a few years ago, that I want to be a full time author. Honestly, it's just part of my filter. I really, like I said, I honestly believe I have the soul of an auto, basically, you know, I was doing a personal development course. And the teachers had asked us that if you are wealthy and you didn't have to work, what work would you spend your time doing. And I sat and thought about it. And I realized I write books, if I didn't have to worry about money. If I didn't have to worry about paying my bills, I would spend all my time reading, researching and writing. And that's when I realized that that's really what I want to do with my life. I want to spend my time reading,
researching and writing and contributing in this way, because books are the most important thing in my life, they helped shape me to who I am today, books are the most important part of our legacy. And when I started this, I noticed a lot of the Muslim Islamic teaching of our generation were not writing books, so they were more focused on YouTube videos and public lectures and, you know, Snapchat and these kinds of things, but the whole idea of writing books was being neglected. hamdulillah is not like that today. I know a lot of people who are writing books now. So 100 has changed. But I was honestly worried that what if this is dying out? What is this idea of Islamic
teachers writing is dying out because you know, the excuse everyone makes it, nobody reads it. Know what to say. So why should I write? Well, writing is our legacy. I mean, when you look at the books like sahih al Bukhari, Imam Buhari, if he would think nobody is nobody reads what I write. So what's the point because anyone knows his life story knows that towards the end of his life, a lot of people turned against him because of rumors that other Obama had spread about him. Right. His book wasn't as read at that point in time as it is today. This is we talking about the fact that some authors don't see their books, the fruits of their books during their lifetime. Even Tamia is
another example of that. They didn't really see their books become widely read and appreciated. in their lifetime. This happened after that. So you know, writing for me became like my life's calling. It's something that I believe Allah has created me to do to write. Having said that to build up to the level where I can do it full time. It's a lot of people say it's an impossible task. For me it I think it's a 10 or 15 year plan to get there and I'm five years into that journey. I'm at the point where my books bring in about a quarter of my income, or Hamdulillah. People told me can never make money of books. It's because nobody reads anymore but hamdulillah about a quarter of my income
At the moment that's come from books. So you know, if I keep working at this building momentum, writing every day marketing my book, so building up that, you know, my building myself up as a writer, because that's something else I do. Every time I write a book, I go back, I look specifically at the bad reviews, what can I improve? What didn't I do? Right? What can I do better, and I tried to make sure my next book is better, I make sure I'm a better writer before the next book comes out, keep improving at this craft, and Inshallah, within 10 or 15 years, I may get to where I want to be, I think that's a major issue nowadays is people when they have a goal, they want
to accomplish the goal in one year or in one month. In reality, any goal worth pursuing takes a really long time to accomplish, you have to play the long game. This is what I'm committed to I'm committed to writing. Now, you asked about my process, my process is actually very simple. And believe it or not, I get I've actually learned this process from four people Stephen King, the horror author, right, I don't actually read his books. The only book of these I actually read was his autobiography on writing. And in that book, he mentioned his habit, which is to write, I think, for in his case, 2000 words a day. That's all he does, he writes 2000 words a day. And in that way,
books get written every year. So I committed myself to writing 1000 words a day, whether I'm in the mood to write or not, whether I'm tired or not, whether I have an idea or not, I write 1000 words, every single day, sometimes it becomes a blog post, sometimes it becomes a chapter of a book, or sometimes it becomes a journal entry. Sometimes it's just random nonsense, and nobody will ever see what for me, it's building a habit, it's practice is refining my craft is getting myself into the mindset of writing every single day. And what happens is when I do that for two or three months, and ideas, sparks in my mind, and once an idea sparks in my mind for my next book, then I enter into a
state of flow, then that's the only thing I can think about for the next few months until the book is written. And that's, that's really when the book gets written. That's when I update from 1000 words a day to 2000 or 3000 words a day, because that's when I entered that the state of flow where it's like, it just completely consumed my thoughts and write that book just becomes everything I think about and I can sit for hours writing. So you know, just to commit to writing 1000 words a day, that has been the most important thing in helping me become a an author who makes who has a book out every year, it's really helped me even when sometimes weeks go by without me writing
anything beneficial. You know, I just end up writing personal journal entries and things like that. But it has really helped me to build up into becoming a full time author. So what I understand from that explanation was basically that desire to write is basically like a muscle that needs to be exercised on a regular, I don't write my 1000 words, my soul feels restless, I feel like I wasted my day, even if I did everything else, even if I accomplished a whole lot of other things. Just the fact that that wasn't done. Especially if I don't do it for a week, I feel like I'm wasting my life. I actually feel like I'm wasting my life.
Is there any method that you use to actually choose the topics that you write about? Are they just topics that you're highly passionate about? And then you wrote about the Moses, some of them, I really don't have a method, it's a matter of idea just popping into my head.
It's like when a topic comes, I just know in my soul that this is what I need to write about. This is it, this is the next one. So what I do is I actually actually work on multiple first drafts at the same time, I have at least 10 or 20 unpublished first drafts on my computer, but when I don't enter that state of flow, I feel like okay, I'm not ready to commit to this topic yet. Maybe one day in the future. But once that feeling comes in, that's when I jump into it. So the topics can come literally out of nowhere. For example, one of my books or topic came to me while I was sitting in a masjid, to my time, I'm just sitting in a musty Joomla time and idea just popped in my head right
about this. So I go home, and I start writing. And a few months later, the book is out. My latest book, The topic came, you won't even realize this, but from a conference from a comment you posted on my Facebook page, completely random comment that I don't even think you realize you posted. But
my longest book I ever wrote 300 pages came from the one comment. So basically, what happened was, I can't remember what the topic was. Yeah, I was talking about I posted something on Facebook about don't take contemporary Muslims as your role models. Take the early Muslims as your role models, right. And you commented and said, but you might role model in productivity. And I said, Yeah, but maybe Imam nawawi or Omar bin Abdulaziz should be your role model in productivity. And as soon as I press Enter, and I and I send you the command, the idea of my new book popped into my head. And now one year later, I have my book out productivity principles of Omar bin Abdulaziz 300 pages
extracting 15 productivity principles from his life.
On Facebook, yeah, that's good. It's quite good to hear. You put a bright step in my day basically.
So one of the things I wonder is, is it just Islamic books that you're willing to try your hand
At the moment, or are you perhaps even thinking of doing something in fiction in the future? It's so my, in my youth, especially my 20s. And in my teenage years, I always wanted to be a fiction writer. But for some reason, it just never materialized this hesitancy in me to do it. I think if I ever do that, do it under a pen name, because not to confuse my Islamic writings with fictional writings. But there's a part of me that loves fiction and loves to write fiction, at least four of my unpublished manuscripts are fictional. They're all over the place of stories about the future. Stories of the hour of superheroes to stories of imams in Masjid, getting up to trouble, it's like
all kinds of things, I have so many stories in me. But for some reason, I'm always hesitant to complete script and and to put it out there. So that that is the that side of me is the I love fiction. I mean, if you had to ask me about, you know, things that I really enjoy, it's a good fiction, whether it's a novel, or a series, or a movie, or a video game that has a good story to it. I really, really love seeing people come up with amazing stories. Like, you know, my best My favorite story of all time is the Lord of the Rings, right? Both the movie and the book. It's just looking at it and seeing what the human mind can come up with. It's, it fascinates me. So I would
love to write fiction and have written fiction, I just haven't published it. The closest I ever came to it is my one book called Ultimate climbs a mountain. It's a very short fiction book like 100 pages, it's essentially just a metaphor for achieving your goals written in a form of a short, fictional story. That's the closest I ever came to actually writing fiction. But it's it's a part of me that for some reason, I've just been hesitant to jump into. Maybe there's the social stigma still related to fiction, that's that's holding me back. Or maybe it's the worry about people not taking me seriously, as a Islamic author that's holding me back. I think the one way I may actually do it
in the future is just to have a separate pen name for that. I don't know, maybe something. Just you mentioned something within previous explanation regarding how some new art or some scholars or some speakers, they tend to gravitate towards YouTube or videos or something like, yeah, there is this belief within the community or amongst people, I should say, that written word is basically that, how would you view that particular belief? Do you think that's a realistic thing, or? Well, I think that's just focusing on one segment of society on YouTube. And these kinds of media, social media, they good for things like a bump in spirituality or instant motivation, or you know, a summary of a
topic. But if you really want to dive deep into something, to learn something properly to be transformed by something, the only thing that can really do is a good book, an intensive, long course, one on one, in person with a teacher, a YouTube video can't do that. Social media posts can't do that. And so yeah, when people are looking for that spiritual boost, they're looking for that pumping image, and people are looking for, you know, a spiritual high, then yes, they're going to go to a Facebook post, they're going to go to the YouTube video, and all that good, all that has its place. And all that is important. But at the end of the day, there's also people in our society
looking for something deeper, people looking to dive deeper into a topic to learn more about the topic. People who really want to master a certain skill set books are aimed at that segment of society. They're not aimed at the masses. So when I write a book, I don't imagine, I wish but Allah knows, but I don't ever imagine that a billion people are going to buy that book. Because a million people, Muslims don't read books. That's the sad reality. But if 1000 People buy that book, and hundreds and Tammy benefited from them, it changed their life, it helped him improve this, it helped him improve that hamdulillah that's amazing. I mean, that's a similar reach to the average, you
know, YouTube video that I put out anyway, and the impact is much bigger. So there's a big difference between the impact every job is going to have on you ended up book is going to have on you, I'm sure you've seen it yourself. If you watch a video about purification of the soul is not the same as eating a 500 page book on purification of the soul, the impact is not going to be the same, the level of knowledge is not going to be the same, that your retention of it is not going to be the same. Right? Books have a very special place in society. And people they see that nobody reads anymore. I don't agree with that. They are people who read, it's just not the majority of
people are lucky enough to be sustainable. And if nobody is reading anymore, maybe it's because we're not writing good enough stuff for people to read. Maybe we start writing better people more people will start reading again. Maybe it's because people grew up reading boring Islamic books that they assume all Islamic books are boring, and they don't give the new books a chance. So maybe to change their culture. We need to write better books and if we write better books, more people start reading. And once people get into the habit of reading, the culture will change. So I don't take this defeatist mentality of Hamdulillah I have seen from my own experience, some of my books have
sold like 5000 copies each 100 around the world. And people from all over the world have messaged me saying they read this book
they learned from it or they read this book and change their life. And just that alone is enough to make me say Alhamdulillah, it may not be in the millions, it may not be in the 10s of 1000s Inshallah, one day it will be, or maybe then I can do this full time. But for now, it's good enough to make me realize it's making a difference in someone's life. And that's what matters most is making a difference in somebody's life. One of the issues that gets in the way of people's productivity is this issue of perfectionism.
Have you ever faced that? Have you ever written a book, for instance, then going back and then doing it again? And just refining it? Going back? Yes. So my first book I wrote in 2009, and my second book in 2014. And the reason one of the one of the many reasons why I did not write or publish any books in the last five or six years is that I had really become a perfectionist in that time. I was so worried about my books, having mistakes, or not being good enough that I never bothered to publish anything. It was only really in 2014 that I regained my confidence and said, You know what, if it benefits people, I'm putting it out there. Regardless of whether it's popular or not, I can
always do a second edition. Always fix the errors later, I can always add more content later. Let's just start getting it out there. And so it was only in 2014, I learned to let go of perfectionism. Something happened. It was probably a book I read. I think it was a book I read. I read a book about the topic. I think it was a book about procrastination. Yes, it was a book about procrastination. I can't remember the name. Now that was seven years ago, almost. But this book on procrastination, essentially, it boy, it was teaching you the reasons why people procrastinate, and the light bulb went off when it came to the reason of perfectionism that a lot of people procrastinate because of
perfectionism. When I read that, I realized that to me, the reason I stopped writing, and the reason I stopped publishing is because of perfectionism. And so I decided, no more trying to be perfect, just trying to be my best. One of the things I learned in business is when it's 80%. Ready, release it, because it's never going to be 100%. Perfect, right? Nothing's ever going to be 100% Perfect. I mean, when I look at the stuff I use in my house, nothing's 100% Perfect. Even the technology, the best selling technology in the world is not 100% Perfect. For example, the Nintendo Switch, right, that's a video game device that I use. It's one of the best selling machines in the world. I can
list all of its faults, but I love it, and I use it anyway. Why? Because it does the job is good enough, it does what it needs to do. Even with all his faults, the PlayStation is the same TV is the same, a phone is the same, a computer is the same, nothing's perfect. If you have a computer and guarantee there's some bugs on your computer, there's something that freezes, there's something that doesn't work properly, there's something that's too slow, a certain program that doesn't work on it at all. But you still buy it and you still use it. Right? So what I realized is that nothing is perfect, because we're not perfect. I mean, the whole point of the Quran being a miracle, because
it's perfect is because no human can write a perfect book. That's really the point that that struck me the most. I mean, why would it be a miracle that the Quran is perfect if we could write perfectly. And so I learned to let that go at that point. And hamdulillah right to today, when I publish a book, I know in my heart that is going to be mistakes. Even though I like my latest book, I proved ready three times are high, the editor paid him over $1,000 They edited the entire book Ready three times, I put it through multiple AI systems to check it for faults. And then I published it. But in my heart, I know someone somewhere is going to find some mistakes in the book, that's
fine. That's fine, because I did my best. Let's say there's someone out there who wants to start something or she wants to start something that has some benefit. They don't know where to start what to do. What would you recommend? What would you suggest, if you have something out there that you feel is beneficial to the ummah? So my first advice to you is to do your research, right? Do your research, make sure there's actually a need for it, a market for it. It's something that people actually will use. Because a lot of times we have this idea that if I do this, you will benefit people and nobody, nobody shows up because you don't want to talk is beneficial. Right? So doing
market research comes first is they actually people who want this. So I do that with every book I write by the way, I first put up a survey, even every online course I developed a put up a survey on Facebook or Twitter or email and collect the results and see if there's actually a market for it. There's actually a need for it before I do it. So that's the first thing do your research. The next thing is jump right in, jump right in and get started. And once it's 80% good enough, what is a level publish and get it out there? Learn from the feedback because the first thing you do is never going to be good enough. Right? No matter how good it is, there's never going to be good enough.
There's going to be false. There's going to be mistakes, there's going to be things that can be improved, or you really have to be open to the idea of improving which is again something I struggled with when I first started writing. I used to take bad book reviews very personally. However once I learned to let go of that tool became the most beneficial important reviews to me
because I use them to improve my craft, right. So whatever you're doing, whether you're making an online course, or a website, or a product or shop, or you're starting a local program for teenagers, whatever it is, it's not going to be perfect the first time round. And that's perfectly fine. Just get it started, get the ball rolling, and then learn from the feedback from those who attended. For those who bite of those who get involved with it, learn from their feedback, and continuously improve, and you will spend the rest of your life improving, and the more you improve, the more people that will come. And you will eventually over time, reach a point where it becomes
sustainable. But really, number one, do your research. Number two, get started. Number three, don't expect to be perfect, especially not the first time if you do this, and inshallah you know, you are going to go places and also have to add one more point is you have to have a thick skin. If you're doing anything that benefits anybody, they are also going to be people who criticize you, people who don't like you, people who are jealous of you, people who think what you're doing is haram, or whatever it is, you really have to grow a thick skin to deal with those kinds of people. Because I have met dozens of people in my life who started beneficial projects. And as soon as a criticism
came, they gave up. And you don't want to do that. Because criticism, it's just part of the job, it's just part of life, people are going to criticize you as long as you're doing something different or something new. So basically, as we wrap up, what final piece of advice could you give some of the listeners? How do they even develop a thick skin? You know, one of the best advices I've ever learned from other authors is that you can't be a good author. Unless you read a lot. I myself read between 50 to 70 books a year, and my teachers read between 100 to 200 books a year. So you know, this is what you've got the info because when you are reading that much, you begin to realize
what is good writing what is bad writing, what's a good way of writing a sentence what's a bad way of writing a sentence? Or what sells well, what doesn't sell well, what captivates the audience, what does not and this really helps you to develop your own craft and and to improve as a writer yourself. One of my teachers who the Islamic Studies graduate, when you asked him about what's the best book to read to become a better author, I was surprised when he said the Lord of the Rings.
I think everybody loves him. I was surprised when he said that. But it actually makes sense because that's the book that got me into writing. That's the book I tell my kids to read so they can improve their English in school, because it really is a masterpiece of English literature, it covers everything from metaphors to alliterations, to, to, you know, prose to poetry to descriptive writing, it's everything in one, it really is a masterpiece of writing. So you know, find these kinds of writings that have sold well, that have captivated people and just see what have they done to you know, or what are they doing? How are they wording themselves what are what are they saying
this approach will will inshallah make you naturally a better author, because you become a combination of all the authors that you read. And so in short, that will really really help you to become better at writing. So with that, we'll probably conclude it's 40 2am Where I am I imagined to be about them. Thank you for your time share his file, I should give you a plug Well Could someone buy your book? Okay, so all my books are available on Amazon. So whatever is the nearest Amazon to you, you can type my name in there or my books do pop up but
if you want to buy it in PDF format which I prefer you can buy directly from my website which is books dot Islamic self help.com I books dot Islamic self help.com My latest book productivity principles of humor the second it's over there also have a bundle there of all my earlier books 10 Books for $30 right in PDF format so if somebody wants a starting point for reading my books, they can pick up the bundle for $30 you get 10 ebooks. So that's books dot Islamic self help.com That's where you'll find all of my books Inshallah, desert below. Thank you for your time. Thank you. Thank you for having me and for everything.
I still am Ali Khan. Welcome to another episode of the kalam cast podcast. Our guest for today's episode is chef is where I'll come down. Chef is married is a graduate of a traditional Allen program and also holds a bachelor's degree in Islamic Studies. He has studied Islam in both traditional and modern settings and has been a student of Islamic studies for almost two decades. He began studying Islam full time at the age of 13 began preaching at the age of 16 and wrote his first book at the age of 23. He has written over a dozen books and has taught multiple courses and seminars around the world. He currently works from home freelancing for various organizations and
companies, and he also homeschools his children whilst writing books. Here's the interview that I recorded with him earlier.