CEO of Buzzkito, Mehdi Benslim, shares the secret story behind his incredible business success
Mehdi Benslim has an amazing success story of pursuing his passion that led him to launch Buzzkito which gathered in few years around 1 billion video views!
He was so successful that he got dubbed as has been called “the Mark Zuckerberg of the Middle East.” However Mehdi resists this analogy and says he never tries to be anyone but himself.
Mehdi’s incredible momentum started with an early passion for music. As a young adult, Mehdi was motivated to explore his emotions through guitar. It wasn’t easy. “My parents didn’t like it,” he says. “As an Arab, studying music is not relevant for the culture.”
Mehdi stuck to it. Being true to his in-born passion became a way of seeking to understand what drives emotions in others.
Fifteen years later, Mehdi now connects that early passion to his business success. It’s more about having an impact than numbers or money.
“You have to find the balance between what you need and what society wants you to do,” Mehdi says.”I need to be at peace with myself. I trust my passion.”
Watch today’s episode if you’d like to learn Mehdi’s secrets to turning his passion into a huge success, and don’t forget to share it around and spread the passion!
Passionpreneur & Chief Energy Officer
Award Winning Author & Speaker
AKA The Passion Guy
Moustafa: Hello everyone and welcome back to Passion Sundays, the best way to end the week and start another.
Our guest today started with a passion project and today has over a billion views in the Middle East. Mehdi Benslim, the founder of Buzzkito.
Mehdi: Hello, how are you?
Moustafa: How are you?
Mehdi: Fine thanks!
Moustafa: Thank you very much for being here with us. Ah I mean, when I was introduced to you I was…the person who introduced me said that I’m gonna meet the Mark Zuckerberg of the Middle East. So it’s amazing to understand that your passion led you to be this today.
Mehdi: Yeah thank you. But not I I’m trying to be the Mehdi Beslim of the Middle East which is different…
Moustafa: Good! Even better.
Mehdi: Maybe not but I’m trying to be myself.
Mehdi: And ah through my passion, my, my passion.
Moustafa: And and how important is passion?
Mehdi: Ah passion for me is a skill, is my only motivation because ah I don’t see how I can live without passion so ah I tried to always focus on my passio-passion first then think toward the other things and I’m, I’m really happy to to ah…do business through my passion.
Moustafa: And ah what do you define passion is, what does passion mean to you?
Mehdi: Ah passion is this strength you have inside of you and that makes you ah… believe in something better that you can be ah someone better and ah that you can have an impact on the world. So ah…passion is something that is not rational but it, that have a an impact that you can see everyday.
Moustafa: Nice! And I I know you have a very interesting story of how you basically came to reach a billion views by now on your ah…platform. Ah but that all started as a passion project?
Mehdi: Yes. Ah you have to know that my passion ah…when I was a teenager. It was to play in the East studio it’s always studio home and friends is always my…to play guitar. So I try to understand how ah ah we can create emotion through guitar, and I decided to ah to ah study music when I was ah at high school, in high school. And my parent they didn’t want me to do that because as an Arab, ah played music or or or study music is something that is not relevant for the Arab culture.
But I I tried to to always stay in touch with music and then ah ah ah the fact that I was trying to understand what what was emotional for me ah ah you know drive me to un…try to understand what is emotional for for for for the population, for the the the the audience etc. So the, my passion ah helped me to understand how my brain works as as an emotional ah ah ah animal or or a, or a person and and now I’m trying to discern how people react to content, to emotions.
Moustafa: Amazing! So by staying in touch with your passion although it was not exactly “it” at the beginning, it converted into something that’s…
Moustafa: Valuable and productive.
Mehdi: Yeah but ah ah I’m always in touch with my pass…with my my passion and I don’t know what I’m going now. Ah all I know is it’s been like 15 years that I’m trying to mix my business and my passion and everything is okay. So I started a small company in Morocco ah…ten years ago and now I’m in in Dubai. I have a team in Dubai, I I feel that we’ll make it happen here in Dubai. So I I trust my passion.
Moustafa: See, what I love is how you were so grounded because just so everybody knows, we’re talking about a a guy who generated about a billion views…
Moustafa: Ah video views.
Moustafa: And and that’s no easy achievement and he’s still saying “I hope we can make it.” So he’s keeping grounded as much as your passion is. How do you balance the passion by not getting over-passionate and not going on passion burnout?
Mehdi: Ahhh…you have to find the balance between a, between ah what you need and what the society wants you to do. So what I need errr…now it’s not numbers! It’s it’s just ah be ah in peace with myself. And ah each time I do work for a client I don’t want to to to say “Okay I did good money with him…” I want to say “I did a content that had an impact on on the audience.”
Mehdi: Because as ah an Arab, we, we know that there’s lack of of ah…good content in this region. Ah TV was controlled with, by the politics, etc.and now we have the the another chance as as ah population to to to create and to connect altogether with the, with the, with the relevant ah content. This is my my my first pri-priority is to connect all the Arab world through through ahh happy content.
When you see what happens on the social networks you see a lot of bad contents from the region. Like the war, like ah crisis, X-tax. And I try I to to to at my level to to to bring more, ah more ah ah ah happy and more positive content.
Moustafa: Hmm amazing! And how do you stay passionate when times are tough?
Mehdi: Ah you have to accept that ah…that when time are tough, its means that you are just, changing your direction, the, your direction or ah your way to to reach something that will be good. Ah…
Mehdi: So so it’s also about passion. Passion. So each time I have a catastrophe or something that was not good ah in my in my life before. So I’m 36 but I’m not speaking as a old person but but I know I had like two or three ah ah tough time, personal tough time like a a feeling bad, etc. But it was a a a period where things were changing for me and were improving. So each time you are, you are going through a bad period, just be passion for passion and for also be passionate…
Mehdi: And you will see that that it will, it will be better than than before.
Moustafa: Amazing! So to keep your passion stay passionate when times are tough. I love it!
Moustafa: What an amazing way…
Moustafa: To end this ah…
Mehdi: Yeah yeah and actually I too I believe that ah when you you are living ah and having like tough times it’s kind of test. Because I I I think that’s passion is always testing people that that the world can for for for the passion, you know…
Mehdi: So ah when I came to Dubai last year ah it was very hard for me. Ahh…maybe ah maybe if I if I was not a pa-passion, patient, pa…sorry, ah maybe I would have leave, leave the Du-Dubai ah to in March 2016 but I decided to stay here.
Mehdi: And to be patient, etc. and now things are going ah better.
Moustafa: I actually like it! You know, passion is about patience.
Mehdi: Yes exactly!
Moustafa: What an amazing way to conclude this episode. Mehdi, thank you very much for the amazing…
Mehdi: Thank you!
Moustafa: Interview and stay passionate!
Mehdi: Thank you!
Moustafa and Mehdi: Passion!
Mehdi: What do you think?
Moustafa: I would really love to hear your opinion so please leave your comments on the blog below and if you found it useful, share it with your friends. And if you’d like more tools, tips, techniques and exclusive interviews that I only share on my website, go to Moustafa.com. And until next episode, live passionately!