Ever Wondered Who the Real Jamal Ahmed is?
In this week’s episode, things get really personal.
We take an intimate peek into Jamal’s journey as he reveals some of his inner most life changing experiences.
We discover what drives him and how he’s managed to achieve the kind of success most people can only dream of in such a short space of time.
Jamal shares his ambitious plans for the future and his Hottest Top Tips for Success.
If you want to make it as a successful Privacy Pro and take your career to a new level – You can’t afford to miss out on this episode!
Connect with Jamal on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmjahmed/
Apply to Join the PrivacyPros Academy Facebook Group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/privacypro
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Jamilla 0:58I've been with Kazient since:
He is a revered global privacy thought leader, world class trainer and published author for publications such as Thomson Reuters, The Independent, Euronews, as well as numerous industry publications. Jamal makes regular appearances in the media on television, radio, and in print, and has been dubbed the King of GDPR by the BBC. So welcome Jamal, thank you so much for talking with me today.
My pleasure, thank you for such a kind and warm introduction.
What is one fact about you that no one would guess?
Well I guess nobody would guess that I'm a trained Ericksonian hypnotist.
I didn't know that about you that's very interesting. Oh,
amazing, thank you. I think we will just learn a bit more about you now. So today on the podcast really want to know a bit more about your journey into data privacy and a bit about your past and we inspire more people from a diverse range of backgrounds to get into data privacy. To start off, could you tell us a little bit about your journey into data privacy?
Jamal 2:49t was the Data Protection Act:
And I was thinking hang on a minute. There is no way that businesses are going to allow this to happen because it's going to be really hard and become really impacted. This is gonna be a game changer and I wanted to make sure that I'm part of that. Just before I started reading about GDPR, I actually had a conversation with one of my mentors and he was saying that, if you really want to progress, what you want to do is you want to find yourself a niche, he found himself in a niche where it was just breaking at the time so he was always at the forefront of it, and he was developing with me, and for me it was like wow, what a great time to get back into data privacy. And so for me it made absolute sense to really get involved with something that I was familiar with is something that I was really interested in, and it's something that got me really excited, and I was at a point in my life where I was looking to settle down, thinking about the future, because we'd received some really good news.
I was when I become a father for the first time, at this point we've been married for a long time viewing the news I'm about to be a father really brought me to my senses I was like you know living life enjoying them previously not really taking my career too seriously, making money spending money, not really thinking too much about the future, we want to learn I was want to become a father for me I was like, wow, You do, you need to sit down and you need to think about this child that's going to come into the world, are you going to provide for them. Are you going to give them everything that you never have the opportunity to do, and how you're going to need money and stability for you to raise a family, without being stressed and thinking about money all the time, you have that work life balance to be able to give that time to nurture them and develop them badly, God had other plans. He took the child back, but one of the things that really meant something to me, and one of the things that I really embrace as part of my legacy was the only reason I wanted to go down this path was because of the child who was going to have a new challenge and I want to use that to inspire me to really go forward and do all that I could do in this space, in honour.
So you went through a really hard, difficult time, you went through a lot of hardships, from that you've managed to succeed and build a successful business so what helped you to be able to do that?
Honestly speaking, I think it was my faith, that really helped me to get through that and knowing that they are waiting for me in the afterlife. That inspired me and I was in a place where I could either let it break me, or I could let it make just a little bit down the line from that within nine months, my wife was pregnant again and this time we was expecting twins. Unfortunately, again the same thing happened we was blessed with these beautiful children, and within a short space of time God decided that he wanted them back. By this time I was really on my knees and and in a really difficult place both mentally and emotionally. One of the things that I had to do was make a choice whether I'm going to let these close in on me and destroy me. I look at everything negatively or whether I'm going to take the positive from this, or I'm going to take the positive message from one of the main questions I've had and make this thing be the thing that makes me so for me when I'm doing data privacy, it's all about leaving a legacy so when I meet my children in the afterlife, I've got story after story I tell them, I've helped people and have made a positive impact on the world. Wow,
That's amazing you you know you went through so much pain, unimaginable pain for most people and you've managed to succeed from it and you've spoken to me before about these mindset. Is that something you cover in the mindset classes kind of success after hardship or difficulty
putting them up and empower them with the tools that regardless of what adversity or situation they face in life, they can turn it around and view it in a positive way, take the lessons and use it as energy to drive them to live the life that they deserve to live and really fulfil that potential.
So I think we're all going to face challenges often different from each other but what are some of the challenges within the industry that you've faced and that you've had to overcome?
The challenges I faced in the industry was first of all, I was seen as an outsider, the industry was dominated by middle class, lawyers, mainly white males. And I remember early on in my career I went to this one event, somebody was delivering some sessions on some of the latest developments. I went there to see what there was to learn from that and to really network with people, and as I was going into the room where the speaker was going to present, there was a gentleman he took off his coat, and he gave me his coat. I'm like, I don't know what's going on here, he thought I was doing stuff there to cater to him, because I was a young brown guy, and I just didn't belong on one on one of the things that I found is when I first tried to break into this space, I would put stuff on LinkedIn, and it was clique mentality, and we've really come in and disrupted the industry, where now I am one of the leading privacy consultants in this space, and in this country in fact worldwide. So one of the challenges I had was trying to break in and there were a lot of people saying look, you don't belong, you don't fit into this club, but we've come in and disrupted it and so that actually we own the space now. There's a party. That's
amazing. And we've talked a lot about your past and if you could go back 10 years and tell yourself. Give yourself a piece of advice, what would you tell yourself?
That's a great question. If I could go back 10 years, give myself advice, I would say, you know what your first job is so important. It's actually something that could define, the rest of your life and your career, and not many people are brave enough to make a career change. Settle down my route they get locked in, and they realise that look if they want to make a transition and they're going to have to start down at the bottom again and work their way back up. So what I would advise myself, is when I'm thinking about my first job, and when I'm thinking about what I want to achieve in life to have a clear plan to make sure that I understand what's important to me, and not just look at the money, because one of the things that you get from a career in data privacy is you get to do a meaningful job that actually makes a difference and means something for a lot of people and especially myself being able to do that is so important. And it's important that if you aren't going to do a job that makes such an impact on the world, but you're rewarded handsomely for it as well. And the only way you're going to do that is by being the best, and making sure that you commit to being the best, and the only way you get to commit to being the best, is by continually investing in yourself, and a lot of people are very hesitant to invest in themselves, so I would remind myself to invest in myself and one of the things I think I've done really well is, every year, I make sure that I invest in my education, whether that's personal development, whether that's more privacy training, whether that's security training, I always make sure I'm constantly investing in myself so that I can be a personal value, and I'm the most valuable option for businesses and individuals. They look for someone to partner up and workJamilla:
with, that's really great and really great piece of advice for everyone I think continuous education and how important that is always keep learning. What is your favourite book, and what are you currently reading now?Jamal:
That's a great one. My favourite book has to be the Holy Quran. At the moment, I've got tribal mentors on my desk and I'm reading through that now, it's really good because it's lots of advice from some of the best leading minds in the world to deep dive into what they have to say for a short life advice from the best in the world. Amazing.Jamilla:
What do you think the future holds for Kazient?Jamal:Our mission in:Jamilla:
Amazing, big dreams for Kazient in this year,Jamal:
Big dreams, proven strategies we just need to stick to the plan and sail the course, like I said in my motto is do your best and God will be the last day the rest. Yes.Jamilla:
What advice would you give to Aspiring Privacy Professionals inJamal:
the sector. Firstly, is just a little bit of reflection on where your mindset is are you someone that's kind of got a fixed mindset when you believe that intelligence is something that you're born with. And you're either creative or you're not. You're either intelligent or you know, you either will be successful or you only are you holding yourself back, or are you someone that's you know really inspired really ambitious and you're really thinking about being all of that you can be, I would say reflect on your current mindset. And I would say reflecting your goals, where do you want to be in five years from now, what do you want to be three years from now, where do you see yourself in a year, six months from now, and really have an honest conversation with yourself. And once you have that conversation yourself, pick up a book and start writing.Jamal:
One of the things I do and I encourage all of the students in our programme is to journal every night. Really get in touch with what's going on in your mind and really set yourself up for a win. Remind yourself about all the things that you're grateful for, like your biggest wins every day and every night when you go to bed, log your three biggest things from that day, what happened is you go to bed every night feeling like a winner, and every day you wake up, because you are a winner because you've loved your three winning streaks. So I think get yourself into that quality of winning mindset, that's the first place when you have that mindset that you are a winner that you are a champion, then you suddenly open up your world, to a whole load of new opportunities that you might not have otherwise come across. The next thing I would say is get yourself embedded in the right environment, and when I say the right environment, find a community of like minded people, or join the PrivacyPro Academy, where you will have a community of like minded people who are either already achieved what you want. And there's people that are going to be on the journey that are where you are that are six months ahead of you one year three years, five years, and you can really learn from their experiences and use them as a guide to inspire you as well.Jamal:
Surround yourself in a powerful positive environment and join the community for anyone that's interested in our PrivacyPro Academy Facebook group, just search for it on Facebook. The next thing I would say for anyone that's looking to become a world class privacy professional, and really attract the kind of money in the kind of projects that are going to make a difference in the world and be meaningful and give you fulfilment is premium certifications and go and attend the training, go and network with other privacy professionals from other industries on that training, go and learn from an expert who's been there who's done that who's going to spend this amount of time with you really sharing their experiences and making data privacy, under the life, which you can't do from a black and white textbook or a manual or pass paper exams, so what you want to do is invest in yourself, invest in premium certifications under benchmark, what qualifications are universally recognised the costs are one of the ones from the International Association of Privacy Professionals, you know what we are an official training partner, we can give you the advice to get in touch with us for no obligation call to find out where you are, what your options are and how we can really help you, and if it's all you want to do is just have a chat with us, you know what we're more than happy to.Jamal:
What we're interested in is leading our lead ads for people. That's what we watch interviews from people that are joining the programme, they'll tell you, when they come to us and they have that conversation with us, the first thing we say is go and get clear on your goals. We don't try and sell them anything, don't even make them an offer, no look, you're not ready. If it's not the right fit for you want to have that discussion after we have an in depth strategy call, and that's where I decide whether the programme is right for you and whether you're the right fit for the programme, only then we will speak to you about any kind of an offer and enroll you into the programme. So really get clear on what you want, make yourself the most valuable person you can by getting premium qualifications, make sure that when you decide to make a change in your career on you decide to get certified and progress in excel in your career, you're passionate about what you do when you go and do something that you're passionate about, it becomes effortless, rather than when you're uninspired and doing the job just because it pays the bill. What I would recommend you do is get in touch with your why, why do you want this, why are you doing this, and when you have a big enough goal or a powerful enough why will have the house, unto themselves. Wow,Jamilla:
that's great advice, very comprehensive thank you. So I asked you if you could go back andJamilla:
use a piece of advice 10 years ago, what would it be, so now, look 10 years into the future, where do you want to be professionally?Jamal:here I've helped hundreds and:Jamilla:
Wow, that's amazing, very passionate, I think your passion definitely comes through when you're speaking about data privacy, what do you love most about your work, where does the passion come from?Jamal:
influence people. Organisations that are collecting personal data, and get them to do that in an ethical way, in a way that shows respect for their users for their stakeholders in a way that really respects their staff so they're not, subjecting them to intrusive monitoring, they don't have monitors on their laptop when they're working from home, seeing what they're doing every second and making their key stuff. We want people to treat everyone with the respect they deserve when it comes to their data privacy, and what I love most about my work is empowering businesses, persuading them, influencing them to do the right thing by their stakeholders, but I also love most about the work that we do is the freedom that comes with it, and the flexibility and the lifestyle so there is an enormous degree of flexibility. We can work remotely. There's times when I'm working for clients all over the world or in different time zones, it gives me such a great degree of flexibility that I can be set anywhere in the world, and I can really take care of clients, wherever they are in action that comes with being able to do that, that sense of community that we've built, those are the things that I really love about my work and this Privacy Pros community that we put together. I'm so excited about bringing the best minds in data privacy onto our platform. And you know what it's going to be really exciting is when you have podcasts with them, and they come and share their passion and they inspire other people to be all that they can be when it comes to data privacy and the legacy that we're going to leave behind it, it's going to be so powerful, and that's what I really love about the work that we do.Jamilla:know, I joined at the end of:Jamal:
The biggest highlight for me from a very selfish point of view is the credibility and the authority that we attracted in such a short space of time, but over the space of a few years we've gone from start up to the most critical, the most authoritative go to leading data privacy consultancy worldwide where you have partners such as the International Association of Privacy Professionals, wanting to work with you on a global scale. We've trained people in over 137 countries who have worked with clients in across six continents, and when you think about those things and how you've pulled in lasting changes and made organisations better. We've helped organisations, protect the personal data of coming up to over a billion people now for us to be organisation are so streamlined and to make such a positive impact in the world. For me, that is the highlight.Jamilla:
So you've discussed a lot about the PrivacyPros community and the Academy, what does the future look like for that?Jamal:
What I really want to do with the PrivacyPros community is to attract more and more like minded people, but I want to do in have chapters in each continent across the world, where we have dedicated chapters full of privacy professionals with the right mindset really leading those continents forward. Each country is in a different stage of maturity or each continent at a different stage of maturity when it comes to privacy laws when it comes to privacy practices as they have unique challenges, it makes sense for people from those continents to band together and have separate chapters that focus on the challenges and the inspiring those localities, but I want to see going forward we have a PrivacyPros Community chapter for each continent, moving forward so we can really have a lasting legacy that touches on a very deep level, not just at a level where we're having a global perspective but we understand local issues very well as well, and I want to bring in world class trainers who have strong data privacy experience to come and help me to train more individuals, I can only train so many people, and we've made a very conscious decision that we will only bring on trainers who have lived data privacy and data privacy, who have been there, they understand the challenges, and they committed to our mission, vision and purpose. And you know what, I'm really excited about, I met this guy from the United States of America, who's been in privacy for over 10 years now, he joined the IAPP, when they had 600 members, the IPP now has over 60,000 members, he's trained the guys that put the rocket on the moon, so he's trained people that work for NASA and other great organisations to be hired, but last week I had a conversation about him to bring him out of retirement to work exclusively with Kazient Privacy Experts and people are joining us for the Certified Information Privacy management programme, and I'm so excited aboutJamilla:
that. That's really impressive and really unique to Kazient and I mean you won't be able to get that kind of experience and insight anywhere else. No, you won't get anywhere else in the world becauseJamal:
he will come out of retirement to work exclusively with us.Jamilla:
And thank you, Jamal for joining me for this episode.Jamal:
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