Naomi is a full-time digital strategy consultant at IBM while juggling her “side gig” as one of UAE’s top influencers. As you listen to the interview, though, you’ll realize it’s not a “side gig.” She’s got 2 full-time jobs pretty much.
Naomi and I have one thing in common (other than being Indian and loving to eat.) We both studied engineering (she has a MSc in Mechanical Engineering) but our professions have nothing to do with our academic degrees.
She’s spoken on a TEDx stage. She’s one of Ahlan!’s ‘Hot 100’ most influential Asians and influencers in UAE. She’s been featured in so many print and digital publications it’d take me several minutes to list them all. She has a black belt in Karate.
Oh, and she’s only 25 years old.
I sat down with Naomi to "interrogate" her on how she managed to accomplish so much and how she continues to do all the things she’s doing.
Time-Stamped Show Notes
[00:25] Who is Naomi D’Souza?
[01:30] Who gets the credit for Naomi’s many accomplishments?
[02:50] Why a black-belt is “just the beginning” in Karate and the benefits of her training she retains to this day (even though she stopped practicing a long time ago.)
[04:50] What it’s like sparring against men, and the discipline and attention to detail required of a Karateka
[07:00] How does she manage her time with a 9-to-5 and all her work as a blogger and media personality?
[09:20] Naomi’s response whenever people ask her “how do you find the time to do it all?”
[12:30] What does she do as a digital strategy consultant at IBM?
[15:45] When Naomi first realized that she’s an “influencer”
[16:45] Why “being an influencer” is not a full-time job in the UAE market
[19:00] Naomi’s contrarian take on the meaning of the word “influencer”
[20:30] How to achieve any goal you want, even if you think you don’t have time
[22:30] An important realization about getting degrees, and their worth in today’s job market
[25:55] How do you distinguish REAL influencers from FAKE influencers? Naomi breaks it all down
[31:30] Monash Unny tells the story of how he got his first job in Dubai
[33:15] How to build a highly-engaged audience, even if you don’t have a lot of followers (using our junior copywriter Talha Malik @tmwritings as an example)
[36:20] What is the best way for businesses to work with influencers in terms of creative direction
[38:50] What was Naomi’s experience like speaking on the TEDx stage?
[40:30] Naomi and Monash share their life-lessons from bungee jumping