#100: Hala’s Top 3 Secrets to Profiting In Life
#100: Hala’s Top 3 Secrets to Profiting In Life
HAPPY 100TH EPISODE! IT’S A SPECIAL ONE! In this episode,
Hala goes over her experience in 2020, and how it was both the best and worst year of her life. She is also sharing her top 3 tips for profiting in life! Tune in to be inspired, and learn more about Hala, her hardships, and triumphs, as well as YAP.
Hala also has an exciting announcement in this episode!
Follow YAP on IG: www.instagram.com/youngandprofiting
Reach out to Hala directly at [email protected]
Follow Hala on Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/htaha/
Follow Hala on Instagram: www.instagram.com/yapwithhala
Follow Hala on ClubHouse: @halataha
Check out our website to meet the team, view show notes and transcripts: www.youngandprofiting.com
[00:00:00] Hala Taha: Hey everyone. This is Hala from young and profiting podcast. Today is a very special day. And that's because today is our hundredth episode at young and profiting podcast. I started YAP back in April of 2018 and exactly 1000 days later, I landed the cover of podcast magazine for their January, 2021.
Issue insane. So serendipitous, and now it's our hundredth episode and it also marks my last day at Disney streaming services. I'm going to be a full time entrepreneur focusing on young and profiting podcast and YAP Media. I bit the bullet, a lot of you guys who are long time listeners have heard me talk about this over and over again.
Finally quit my job and I am a full-time entrepreneur and I couldn't be happier. And 2020 was both the best year and the worst year of my life, I had a lot of [00:01:00] setbacks in 2020, especially the first half. And so this episode is all about 2020. My story, what happened? And bring you on a personal journey, which I don't often do here on the podcast, but really helping you understand what I went through in 2020 and how it was both the best year and the worst year of my life.
So we finally made it to 2021. I'm sure a lot of us are relieved. So let me start off by sharing with you that 2020 was both the worst year. And best year of my life. Let me take you back to January. So it all started in January. January is a month where my boyfriend celebrates his birthday and on his birthday, instead of going out to dinner and doing normal things, he was so paranoid about COVID-19.
This is before the mainstream media was reporting on it. This was before anybody in New York cared that we spent his birthday hopping from pharmacy to pharmacy, [00:02:00] looking for masks. And we went to every single pharmacy in Brooklyn, in our vicinity. We went to over 10 different pharmacies and there was no masks.
Everything was sold out. And then we realized that something much bigger than we thought was going on. And that a lot of people knew about something that we didn't really know much about. So it was very alarming, needless to say. So then I remember being one of the only people on the subway wearing a mask, I was.
Pro mask. I didn't want anybody to get COVID. I was very afraid of COVID and I told all my coworkers, they should start buying masks. And everybody laughed at me and thought that I was, predicting the end of the world and just being paranoid. So that was January and February. My dad ended up going in and out of the hospital.
He has diabetes. And so he was suffering from infections and bad blood circulation. And so he was in and out of the hospital. He ended up getting pneumonia in the hospital, lots of back and forth. I [00:03:00] would take the train into the city and take the bus to visit him. And the hospital. And I would do that two or three times a week.
So that was my February was going to work and going to the hospital. And that was basically all I did. And at this point I was super adamant about not getting COVID. I would wear a mask on the train. I was one of the only people who would be wearing a mask on the subway. I would tell all my coworkers, they should be doing the same.
I was growing a following on LinkedIn. And so I thought that I needed to be a role model and use my voice and tell people to wear a mask. And I would teach people how to properly go grocery shopping and how to wipe down their stuff and how to make sure that you could stay safe from COVID-19. And I was trying to use my platform in a positive way.
By March. People were starting to really catch, wind about COVID and realizing that it was a lot more serious than originally thought. And people were starting to stay home. My dad was back home from the hospital, and I remember telling my parents, you guys cannot keep going to the doctor. [00:04:00] They used to have to go to these hyperbaric oxygen treatments.
And I even bought an at-home hyperbaric chamber. And I spent a huge chunk of my savings buying this medical machine for my parents. But it was too late. I got a call from my sister at the end of March and she told me Hala, I'm going home. Your mom, your dad, your brother, your aunt and uncle all have COVID.
They all live in New Jersey next to each other neighbors. And so she told me, Hala, you have an hour to figure it out. I didn't have a car at the time. And she said, I'm going to pick you up. If you want to go home. If not, it's your choice, but you have to let me know if you're coming home to help, or if you're going to stay in Brooklyn.
And so any good totter would I decided that I needed to go help my parents. They gave me life and that's my responsibility. And so I decided, I packed some stuff up little. Did I know that I would not be returning back to my apartment for 3 months. So when we got home, imagine this I'm [00:05:00] so scared of COVID that my family's the first family that I ever heard of ever getting COVID before it was.
So scary. I knew nothing about it. I didn't know, if everyone was going to die or if I was going to die or get very sick and I had no idea what I was getting into. We'd walk into the house. Of course we're wearing masks and sunglasses and gloves. We're in full gear. I walk into the house and even with a mask on, I can just smell the sickness.
Everyone was extremely sick. And I just got started cleaning. I went from being an executive at Disney and a top podcaster to being a janitor suddenly. And it was my job to clean. My sister was a doctor, so she was going to do all the medical stuff and my job was to cook and clean. And so I was cleaning the floors, every chance that I could, I was spraying the couches with alcohol and the curtains with alcohol.
And I would just spend all day trying to clean to make sure that nobody would get sicker. There was, we thought with the virus that if you don't clean and if the virus is lingering, you can actually get [00:06:00] reinfected. And so we were just trying to clean as much as we could. And me and my sister actually took refuge in the basement and our basements not finished or like anything.
Nice. So it's just two them, there was two couches down there and whatever blankets we had in the basement. And that's where we slept. That's where we ate. We didn't end up eating until midnight every night because it was dangerous to eat upstairs. We were scared to eat upstairs. You wouldn't even drink water during the day.
We just had our mask and sunglasses all day. Working taking care of the family and then we'd come downstairs and we had a toaster and peanut butter and jelly, and that's what we ate for almost two, three weeks. So by a certain time, we were trying to take care of her family. Yeah. But my dad was just deteriorating.
He was already in really bad health and COVID just really took it to the next level. I can't even go into the level of detail of how sad and terrible that experience was, but, and the things that I saw that I probably should have never seen. And it ended up being that my dad's was essentially dying [00:07:00] upstairs and me and my sister just realized that Hey, like we've been exposed to COVID for two weeks.
We're definitely have, COVID there's no way we didn't get it. And so we started just not caring anymore. And I just spent more time upstairs and just started just. Feed my dad and just take care of him because it was who knew when the last, if I would ever see him again, even if these were his last days.
So we just gave up and decided that we were going to just take care of him and just give in to the fact that we were going to get COVID. It was just really tough. And it got to the point where we had to send my dad to the hospital and we called the ambulance and my dad really didn't want to go.
He told me he thinks that it's going to be the last time he sees us. if he goes. But we couldn't take care of him anymore. He was dying at home and nothing we could do could save him. And so it was our last resort. We thought that they could save him. So we called the ambulance and they took him. And I remember him being wheeled out.
And me wondering is this the last time I'm going to see my dad? [00:08:00] And it was the last time I saw my dad alive. Cause the last time I saw him, we was already dead in the hospital. So he ended up going to the hospital and he was there for over a month. He quickly went on a ventilator. He was pretty much unconscious the whole time.
The only way we were allowed to communicate with him was through zoom. They wouldn't allow us to actually go visit him in the hospital. And so that was extremely difficult. I remember working at my day job and having one screen here. And then the other screen was my dad in the hospital on zoom with oxygen tubes up his nose, not really responsive.
He also has a very bad eyesight. So he couldn't even see. And just the fact that my dad spent his last days, like so alone in the hospital at that point. And I think even til now, like nurses don't really go often into the rooms because of COVID and different protocols. And so he was very alone and also couldn't see and [00:09:00] all he had was my voice.
And so I would talk to him and sing to him all day, as often as I could. But. The most painful thing out of this is the fact that my dad was such a good man. He brought all of my family out of poverty. He grew up in Palestine and he grew up with no electricity, no water. He grew up in a room with six people, super poor in war, and he ended up getting a scholarship to medical school.
Then he went to America, he became a surgeon. He opened up a medical center. He sent all his kids through college. He said, all my cousins in Palestine through college, he literally brought my whole family out of poverty. And to have him such a generous, nice, good guy, die. So alone in the hospital and have such a shitty funeral.
Only six people were allowed to go to his funeral. He was buried in his hospital clothes. They buried him with his cell phone and just shoes and like just gave him the worst funeral ever. And that you think that [00:10:00] would break somebody apart, like just going through all that, watching your father died.
He shouldn't have died having to be alone when you were willing and you already got COVID and you were willing to just be with him, but they wouldn't let you go. And you would think that would really ruin anyone's year. And that would set back anyone's year. But I don't mean to share this story as a story of tragedy.
To share this story as a story of triumph, because that was just the first half of 2020, and my second half of 2020 went totally different. Again. I said, this is the best and worst year of my life. My dad was sick in the hospital. I met Heather Monahan, Heather Monahan became my mentor. It started off as a really friendly engagement.
I was just showing her what I do for my podcast and what I do for social media. And she told me, Hala, you have the same processes and your stuff is just as impressive as Gary V and Vayner media, you have to start a business. I'm going to be your first client. [00:11:00] So Heather gave me the confidence to start a business.
And so I took her up on it. And I started a side hustle and I, all the volunteers used to work for my podcast. I had about 10 volunteers who were originally fans. They started to get paid and Heather started to pay me and we started to build this business and I landed the next client and the next client. And by this summer I was a multi-six figure side hustle.
I work full-time at Disney streaming services. I grew a team of over 30 plus employees. And today actually, as serendipitous as it is today is actually my last official day at Disney streaming services and I'm going to meet full time entrepreneur. My podcast downloads achieved hockey stick growth. I went from getting 3000 downloads over an entire month to getting 10,000 downloads.
Every single day, I became the number one trending podcast in education. I landed the January, 2021 cover of podcasts magazine, and I landed a Ted talk. For June, all of this happened before [00:12:00] 2020 was over. And again, I'm trying to show you guys that your setbacks do not have to be the end of you. You can overcome your setbacks.
And like I said, I'm the host of young and profiting podcasts. And the last question I ask all my guests is what is your secret to profiting in life? And before all of this happened before 2020 happened to me, I never thought that I had any value to contribute, but now I feel that I do have something to contribute.
And that's why today I'm going to share my top three secrets of profiting in life. And so my first secret to everyone here is that when a gatekeeper tells you, no, you have to create your own path. Think about anytime you've been rejected. If you are rejected, there's a person or an entity rejecting you.
That means that there's a gatekeeper involved and trying to convince that gatekeeper or another similar gatekeeper to let you in. [00:13:00] Create your own path. So I'm going to give you one example and I've done this so many times in my life, but I'm going to give you one example and that's hot 97. When I worked at hot 97, 10 years ago, I interned for free for three years.
At that station, it was the number one hip hop in RNB station in the world. If you haven't heard of hot 97, it's a very popular radio station. And back then radio was huge. Radio is dying now, but back then it was a big deal to work at that station. And it was a big deal to be an on-air personality at that station.
And that was my dream. I wanted to be a radio personality at Hot 97. And so I worked there for free for three years and I did everything at that station. I did the research, I ran the contest, I've got the coffee for the DJs. I fed their meters. I did everything and I gave it my all, it was my identity. I was obsessed with that job.
And so I was Angie Martinez as assistant. I did everything for that lady. I babysat her kid. [00:14:00] I would drive around and find nail Polish colors for her nails chipped. And she had a big interview. I did all the research for interviews. I was her slave basically. And so I did everything for her. And when a paying job open up.
As a producer on her show, I was already doing that work for her as her assistant slash intern. When a paying job opened up after I worked for free for three years and dropped out of school for this opportunity, she gave that paying job to another man who was a couple years older than me. Another boy.
He worked in the video department. He had no production experience and they expected me to train him. And to teach him that job. I was young and blunt. And so what I did that kid was actually my friend, I text messaged him and I said, you know what? I don't feel good today. If you want to learn how to beat a producer, learn it on your own.
He showed that text to Angie Martinez. And Angie Martinez decided to fire me. She cut me off on the spot. She cut off my key cards. I wasn't [00:15:00] able to enter the studio anymore. She told all the DJs, they were not allowed to talk to me anymore. These were the DJs that I used to go and host radio shows with them.
So I stop, I was unable to do my radio shows with them anymore. I was unable to go to parties with them anymore. They weren't even allowed to take my call. She basically blackballed me from the hip hop industry and she decided that Hala your career is over and I'm ending it. And that was her attitude towards me.
I'm ending your career. So instead of letting somebody close the door on me and tell me no, I decided to create my own path and that weekend. I decided I was going to learn how to build a blog site at the time blogs were huge and I decided I'm going to learn WordPress. I'm going to learn how to put together a website.
And I'm going to recruit something. I call the sorority of hip hop. We're going to be a platform for women empowerment. We're going to support each other, and I'm not going to be blackballed by this industry. I'm going to create my own lane. By the end of the week, I had recruited 14 girls. I sent out Craigslist, solicits, [00:16:00] Twitter, solicits.
I recruited 14 girls. By month three we're the 30,000 most popular website in the world. We were one of the most popular entertainment, hip hop and news websites. We started hosting concerts and parties, MTV scouted us for reality TV shows all the DJs who previously I was their intern and fed the meters for and got them coffee for we're.
Now calling me up to promote their parties and putting me side by side on the flyers as their peer so I went from being their intern to being their peer and being on their level. And I did that by creating my own path. And so I know it's cliche, but rejection is simply redirection. It's the universe redirecting you to something better.
So learn to capitalize on your rejections and use them to motivate you to succeed in another direction. Let them push you to create your own lane instead of fitting in someone else shoes. The greatest accomplishments of my life have always come on the [00:17:00] heels of rejection when I decided to create my own lane.
And every single example of my success goes back to this secret number two, discover your talent stack. This is so important. Town stacking is something that Scott Adams first introduced to me. So Scott Adams is the creator of Dilbert. It's a very successful cartoon, especially in the U S it's syndicated all over the world.
And so Scott Adams told me that in the past specialized experiences and skills were really highly valued. And still today, if you're a doctor, if you're a lawyer, if you're an athlete, yes, you have to have a specialized skill to succeed, but nowadays you will be more successful if you stack. A lot of skills together that you're pretty good at and come up with unique offerings.
So for example, with Scott, he is a pretty good drawer. He's fairly good at drawing. He's very funny. He's a great writer and he has business experience. So he put all those skills together and he [00:18:00] created Dilbert and now he was massively successful. He's. Definitely one of the most successful and wealthy cartoonists of our generation.
And so he did that through talent stacking. I can use young and profiting podcasts as an example, young and proofing podcast is not my first show. It's probably my fifth or sixth show. And it's very different than my past shows. It's a solo show. It's on business. I interview authors and CEOs previous to that.
I used to have online radio shows and I used to interview celebrities and music artists, and I used to have co-hosts and it used to be fun and games and it was totally different. But I still learned valuable experiences, even though all of those shows were failure. Every failure is an experience. You only get experienced if you're willing to try something new.
And when you fail, you don't start from scratch. You start from experience and that puts you at a significant advantage. So again, I started a younger [00:19:00] profiting podcast and I put together all these different skills that I learned. I'm a great writer. I used to have that blog. I wrote over 2000 blogs. I know how to write.
I know how to script. I know how to audio edit because I had all those different radio experiences. I worked at a freaking radio station. I'm a great marketer. That's what I did for my corporate career. That's what I went to school for. I know how to market, I know how to graphic design. I know how to video, edit it.
And I'm a decent podcaster, or I'm not even the best podcaster in the world, but you put all those skills together. And I greatly stand out as a podcaster because I put all those different skills together. And that's my unique package. And that's why young and profiting podcasts was a success. And if it was not for my failures, I would have never stacked all those skills.
Over those different experiences. And so I challenge everyone here to think about what your talent stack is, what your unique skills are that you can put together and what service offerings can you create with your unique set of talent. [00:20:00] And secret number three, my last secret to profiting in life is that you must believe that life is limitless.
It took the death of my father for me to realize that life is limitless. It took my dad getting COVID. One of my favorite authors and his name is Robert Green. He wrote the human laws of nature. He taught me about the law of death denial, and that law says that most people spend their lives avoiding the thought of death.
And Robert believes that it's better to accept and understand the shortness of life to fill us with a sense of purpose and to really. Urgency in our goals ever since my dad passed away. And when my dad was sick in the hospital and so close to death, I just felt like I wanted to take over the world. I just started working harder and harder.
I started to really believe that I could achieve anything that I wanted to achieve. I remembered how my dad took my family out of poverty and came from nothing and became something and helped all of my family get out of poverty. And I realized that I have absolutely no excuse. To achieve my goals and [00:21:00] that I can be as successful as Gary V.
I can be the female, Tim Ferris. I can be the next Oprah. And I truly believe that inside. And once I truly believe that, and anytime I truly believe in my goals is when I end up succeeding in my life. And so in terms of manifesting your future, The secret is writing things down, knowing exactly what you want and then truly believing that it's possible.
And only then can you manifest your goals and so secret number three is that you must believe life is limitless and it's never too late to start over. You're never too old to learn something new and you're never too old to set new goals and that's really magical stuff. So remember. You must believe that life is limitless and it's not too late to start over.
Thank you so much for tuning into this hundredth episode of young and profiting podcast. Like I mentioned earlier in the episode before 2020, I really [00:22:00] thought that I never had any value to share when it came to my secrets to profiting in life. I never thought that I was really profiting. I had a great corporate career, but I wasn't really following my true passions.
And so I didn't really feel like I reached my full potential or was even close to my full potential. And for the first time ever after 2020 and all the crazy great things that happened the second half of this year, and the fact that, I built my team, I have over 45 people on my team now. And our business is doing so well.
We're a multi six-figure business. I feel like we're going to be a million dollar business before we're even a year old as a company. And it's just crazy, like how everything changed. And I finally feel like for the first time I really. Am young and profiting. I'm not just interviewing people who are really successful.
Like I'm successful too. And not just at a corporate job. Like I have my own company and my own team, and I'm a leader and [00:23:00] I went through a lot to get here. A lot of you guys probably don't know my backstory and there's plenty of episodes that cover that. And I'll be sure that I share more of my story, especially now that I have more time to work on young and profiting since I am a full-time entrepreneur now.
And I finally feel like I actually am young and profiting. Like I'm fully aligned with the message of my show, my purpose, my passion, and that I have a lot of value to contribute to. And I hope this inspires you to realize that you probably have a lot of value to share in your life. And I hope that my story of 2020 and all the struggles that I went through and how I overcame them and ended up having the best year of my life.
I hope that inspires you. And I hope that some of my secrets on my journey inspire you and you'll remember them the next time that you know, you've got rejected and you'll remember them the next time that you want to get an opportunity. And you don't know if you have the right [00:24:00] experiences and you'll remember the next time that you're not believing in yourself.
And hopefully you remember Hala telling you that you need to believe that life is limitless. You need to believe you can achieve your goals. If you actually want to achieve them. And rejection is okay. Rejection just means you got to create your own lane. That's the sign from the universe. When you get rejected, it doesn't mean go find another gatekeeper.
It doesn't mean go. Try to convince the same gatekeeper over and over again, it means you need to do your own thing and create your own lane. That's what it means. And then every failure that you get, every experience that you take will give you skills that you can then use later on to follow your true passions.
And if you do it right, and you aren't afraid to do new things, Aren't afraid to take on risks and to possibly fail, you will learn so much so fast. And you will be at an [00:25:00] advantage when you're finally ready to do what you were truly meant to do. And I think a lot of successful people, if you dissect how they did it, they had certain experiences that gave them skills that then gave them the foundation to be very successful.
And that's where I feel like I'm at now. Like I talked about town stacking when it came to the podcast, but even with YAP media, I feel like all my experiences, like as a leader, my different jobs, my different projects, everything that I've done, I feel like has molded me into the perfect CEO of this podcast and social media marketing agency.
That's doing so well now, but this is my second business. My first business failed and I had so many other failures. And it's okay to fail because eventually all those failures are going to help you become successful. And that's what I hope you learned from this episode. Before I go, I did want to just thank my team.
We're celebrating 100 episodes. And without you [00:26:00] guys, this podcast would not be possible. I have the best team. Our values are happy. Hands-on hungry and hardworking. And everybody at YAP exemplifies those values. And I just love my team so much. We're so happy. We're so motivated. Everyone's so hardworking.
We're all just one amazing team. I love my team. So shout out to you guys. You guys are absolutely amazing and shout out to my listeners because you guys listen day in and day out, week in and week out. I love the feedback that you guys give me all the amazing reviews that we get. The comments and feedback on LinkedIn.
Clubhouse now. And Instagram, everybody is just so supportive and I just feel so thankful to have a community and an audience that loves to tune into the show. And I hope that you get value out of this show and my promise to you going forward as a full-time entrepreneur focused on young and profiting podcast and yap media is that the [00:27:00] podcast is going to be better than ever.
I'm going to make sure that the podcast is going to be higher quality than ever. There's going to be a lot more solo episodes. There's going to be a lot more studying on my part. Our interview episodes are going to be amazing. You have to understand that I did this podcast as a side hustle while I was a Disney executive.
And so I would be at work in the office and then running. And having five minutes to set up all my equipment in the phone booth, or sometimes I would even have to hang out in the phone booth from the morning just to hold my spot. So it would have a quiet spot for the podcast and I'd be super uncomfortable all day working in the phone booth just to make sure that I had a quiet space because we didn't really have office space or conference space at Disney.
And. I just remember, like all the struggles that I went through to put on this podcast over the years, like it's insane. I would love 20 pounds of equipment on the drain. I would be running in and out. I would be getting no sleep trying to study because I had so much work [00:28:00] the night before. And it was just really hard.
And so I think I did a good job in terms of putting out quality content, considering that I was working full time. But now that I have complete focus and it's just very streamlined in terms of everything that I do is just aligned. I think the show is going to be a lot better and I think I'm going to have a lot more clarity and a lot more time to do what I need to do.
And I just hope that the show is going to be even more valuable and more successful than ever with my full focus. So you have that promise for me. And again, shout out to my team, shout out to my listeners. Shout out to my mom, my dad in heaven. I love everyone so much. Thank you so much for supporting me.
This is Hala signing off for the hundredth time.
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