INSPIRED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
The only thing you achieve overnight is The Dream, the realization process, however, takes much longer, be patient. Be positive, have faith, work hard and don’t lose focus, it will all come in due time.
In our busy lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind without stopping to think about why we do what we do. Have you ever wondered about the reasons behind your actions? Finding your purpose is like uncovering the big “why” that guides your life. It’s more than just completing tasks; it’s about understanding what motivates you. We want to share a story about someone who shows us how discovering your purpose can transform your life.
MEET THE DECISION MAKER
Don’s diverse background and unique skill set make him an asset to any team. He is a strategic thinker with a keen eye for business opportunities and a passion for bringing innovative ideas to life. He is a true leader and a highly respected figure in both the apparel and healthcare industries and is well-regarded for his dedication, commitment, and unwavering drive for success.
In addition to his role as the Founder and CEO of Decision 168, Don also serves on the boards of z2 Squared, a marketing, consulting, and development firm, and is the Chairman and CEO of MedSmarter as well, an institution that provides future physicians with support in Boards Prep, Clinical Placements, and Residency preparation.
We had a sit down with him for more than a few questions, let’s dive into what he had to say.
D168: Don Mahmood, it’s a pleasure to have you here. Can you take us back to the early days of your entrepreneurial journey?
Don Mahmood: Thank you for having me. My journey began at the age of 14 when I started mowing lawns and cleaning yards for neighbors. It wasn’t just about making some extra money; it was the spark that ignited my passion for entrepreneurship. Soon after, a group of friends and I started our first venture—a yard cleaning and maintenance service. It was a modest beginning but laid the groundwork for what was to come.
D168: You’ve mentioned facing challenges early on. Can you share a specific instance that taught you important lessons?
Don Mahmood: Absolutely. In those early days, I got into a bit of trouble for selling candy to my classmates. It might seem like a small incident, but it taught me about the risks and consequences associated with entrepreneurship. It was a valuable lesson in understanding the dynamics of the market and the importance of navigating challenges with resilience.
D168: Your family history seems to have played a significant role in shaping your entrepreneurial spirit. Could you elaborate on that influence?
Don Mahmood: Certainly. My father was a businessman, and from an early age, I worked alongside him, learning the ins and outs of running a successful enterprise. Those experiences were the foundation of my understanding of business, and the values instilled during that time became guiding principles throughout my entrepreneurial journey.
D168: In 1990, you took a family trip back to Lahore, Pakistan, which you’ve described as a life-changing experience. How did that trip impact your perspective on entrepreneurship?
Don Mahmood: That trip was truly transformative. Being in Lahore, surrounded by the vibrant culture and history, I had an emotional interaction with a street boy, no older than 6. It was then I realized that my true calling was to be an entrepreneur. It wasn’t just about personal success; it was about making a positive impact and achieving a work-life balance that allowed me to spend more time with my family. It was a defining moment that clarified my purpose.
D168: You’ve highlighted the importance of building relationships and empathy in your entrepreneurial journey. How has that mindset influenced your approach?
Don Mahmood: Building relationships has always been a top priority for me. My father’s advice to “put yourself in a position to help others” has been a guiding principle. This mindset has not only shaped my personal interactions but has also influenced the way I approach business. Empathy is a powerful tool, especially in understanding the struggles people face, particularly in the current and post-pandemic environment.
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D168: Your ventures, from Decision 168 to z2 Squared, MedSmarter, and Eklectik Ventures, reflect a diverse entrepreneurial spirit. How do these businesses align with your core values?
Don Mahmood: Each of these ventures reflects my passion for entrepreneurship and the values that have guided me throughout my journey. Decision 168, z2 Squared, MedSmarter, and the eclectic ventures under Eklectik Ventures are not just about business success; they are a testament to the power of purpose, relationships, and empathy. These businesses are my way of making a positive impact on the lives of those around me.
D168: In the face of challenges, especially in the current environment, how do you maintain resilience and keep your “why” alive?
Don Mahmood: Resilience is a key aspect of entrepreneurship. I’ve faced challenges throughout my career, and the recent global shifts, especially in the pandemic environment, have added a layer of complexity. However, the key is to stay true to your “why.” Remembering the purpose behind your entrepreneurial journey helps you navigate challenges with a sense of resilience and determination.
D168: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs based on your experiences?
Don Mahmood: I would say, always remember your “why.” Understand the problem you aim to solve, and let that purpose guide your decisions. Embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow, and build relationships with empathy at the core. Entrepreneurship is a journey, and staying true to your values and purpose will lead to lasting success.
Don, you’ve shared some profound wisdom in your journey. Can you elaborate on your philosophy behind these quotes?
- “BE READY FOR LIFE, BEFORE LIFE FORCES YOU TO BE READY FOR IT.”
This quote reflects the importance of preparation and adaptability. Life is unpredictable, and being ready for challenges positions us to navigate them effectively.
- “DON’T PROMISE MORE THAN YOU CAN DELIVER, DON’T DELIVER LESS THAN YOU PROMISE.”
It’s a simple yet powerful principle. Honesty and integrity are the foundation of lasting relationships, whether in business or personal life.
- “THE DECISIONS WE MAKE TODAY, SHAPE THE US OF TOMORROW.”
Every decision, no matter how small, contributes to our future. It’s a reminder to make choices thoughtfully, understanding their long-term impact.
D168: One final question and we’ll let you be on your way as we know you are a busy man. You are involved in multiple ventures and projects. With so much on your plate, how do you manage to get things done?
Don Mahmood: Managing multiple ventures does require a strategic approach. The key for me is to always remember the “why” behind each venture. It all goes back to the purpose and the clear vision I have for each. This clarity helps me prioritize effectively, ensuring that each venture contributes meaningfully to the overarching goals. I also maintain a focused direction, constantly reassessing tasks to align with the core values and purpose of each business. This, combined with a committed and capable team, allows me to navigate the complexities and keep each project moving forward with purpose – building an infrastructure that can open up opportunities for so many others.
WELL, THERE YOU HAVE IT FOLKS, THE SECRET IS A CLEAR VISION AND FOCUSED DIRECTION TOWARDS HIS PURPOSE.
Don Mahmood is deeply committed to serving his community and making a positive impact on the lives of others. He has been recognized for his contributions through features in Voyage ATL and ShoutOut Atlanta magazines, further solidifying his status as a dedicated and compassionate leader who never wavers in his commitment to serving his fellow mankind.
Spotlight a Decision Maker…
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