The Vice President of Brand Marketing for Jumeirah Group Yousef Tuqan Tuqan says if you prioritize properly, you’ll be happy and success will follow as well
How to use your passion to achieve balance? Doing what you love and setting priorities will bring the ultimate goal – happiness.
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan is the Brand Marketing VP of Jumeirah Group. Also, he is one of the most experienced digital marketers in the Middle East, having remarkable accomplishments in this field.
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan has always been passionate about people and technology. He found huge success when exploring various careers.
However, at a certain point, though he seemed to have it all, he wasn’t happy. Being acclaimed in business came at the expense of his health, marriage and overall well-being.
He turned his life around and strongly recommends aiming for balance. He says that success follows if you are passionate enough.
‘I believe if you genuinely believe in what you do and why you’re doing it, the outcome is just a natural part of it.’ Yousef emphasizes the huge importance of prioritizing correctly.
Do you want to be successful and happy too? Improve your life and remember to share it with your friends and spread the passion.
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Moustafa: Hello everyone and welcome back to Passion Sundays, the best way to end a week and start another. Our guest today is phenomenally passionate about everything he does. He is the Group Vice President for Brand Marketing for Jumeirah Group – Yousef Tuqan! Thank you very much for being with us today!
Yousef: Thank you for having me!
Moustafa: I mean, there are many things that I could talk to you about passion. I know you personally and you’re a very phenomenally passionate person who changed careers in many directions but still kept your passion going. So tell me a bit more.
Yousef: Well, it’s been an interesting journey for sure. You know, I’ve worked, I’ve always had a passion for technology and had a passion for people. And that always translated into different ways. At one point in my life I wanted to be a radio DJ so I could talk to people and do everything else. And then I found myself in the mid-90s moving towards the internet, the World Wide Web as it first started taking shape. And I’ve spent about 20 years working within the digital advertising space. That was everything from making websites in my bedroom, you know, as a teenager to working for some of the largest advertising groups in the world, actually building one of the largest digital agencies in the Middle East and selling it to one of the biggest advertising groups in the world. And since then it’s transitioned into different ways. I’ve taken that passion for startups, that love for technology and applied it with a years spent working in the technology entrepreneurship space. And now I’m trying to take everything I learned to work with one of the great Middle Eastern power brands, which is Jumeirah.
Moustafa: Nice! I’m sure that journey hasn’t been a smooth as it sounds. I know you’re talking about the highlights but I’m interested in the lowlights. How do you find passion in those times?
Yousef: I think you’re right. You know, obviously when you look back you can always tell a very good story. But there’s been disappointments along the way. There’s been challenges along the way. But I think, I believe if you genuinely believe in what you do and why you’re doing it, the outcome is just a natural part of it. It’s the journey, not just the outcome. I think that’s something I learned along the way. You can’t sacrifice the short term or your happiness, or your comfort or your relationships for the sake of the long term. I think I’ve made that mistake along the way in the past, where you think, ‘You know what, let’s just put everything on hold for the sake of work: my health, my family, my most important relationships because there is some sort of work-related thing at the end of it. I’ve really tried to turn that on its head more recently. I wanna put my happiness, my health, my relationships before work and money and everything else. And if you do that, you’ll be a healthier person, you’ll be a happier person, you’ll be a better person and the money and the success will only follow.
Moustafa: I’m interested in the moment that made you realize that. Could you tell us a bit more?
Yousef: Yeah. Well, rewind two years ago. It was January 2015 and you know, we had sold our advertising agency and, if the PR was to be believed, we were all multimillionaires now, at the top of your game. Outside looking in, you’d see me as a successful guy with a beautiful wife, we bought a beautiful home, we remodeled it and had everything I wanted. But I was very unhappy. My marriage was strained, my health was suffering, I didn’t become quite the dot com millionaire that everyone thought I was. And I found myself on a Saturday morning standing outside Starbucks with a coffee. This beautiful red Ferrari drove by. And I said to myself: ‘Oh, I always promised myself that I’ll buy a Ferrari when I’ll have the money.’ And I had the money and I said: ‘You know, maybe I should buy a Ferrari. That would make me really happy.’ And a little voice in my head was like ‘That’s a million dirhams. Do you need a million dirhams to be happy?’ And suddenly I took a good look at myself and I realized, I’m overweight, I have a smoking habit, I drink too much, my marriage is falling apart, surely being fit and healthy would make me far better than being like this with a Ferrari. And I suddenly realized that ‘There is something you can have for free that will make you so much happier than something that costs you a million dirhams. So why don’t you take it?’ So I resolved that day to get in shape, to join a fitness program to try to lose some weight and make myself feel better. So that was Saturday. I joined the program on Sunday. On Thursday my marriage blew up. My wife and I got to a point where we realized that we just can’t be together anymore. And I remember, I left the house that night, slept in a hotel, woke up in the morning and I had two thoughts in my head. The first was ‘Oh, I’ve got gym class at nine’. The second one was ‘I’m never going to be married to this woman again.’ And then I said ‘What I feel like doing today? I could go drinking, I could go comfort eating, I could do whatever I want right now.’ But I was ‘No, go to the gym. Put on your shoes. Go to the gym.’ And I felt so good and so healthy and so positive afterwards. And so full of energy that I promised myself that day that no matter how difficult this journey got, you know, through the divorce and everything else, I will never let anything get in the way of my health and fitness. And thankfully I’ve been able to stay true to that, you know, so I find myself two years later now far healthier, far fitter, far younger than I’ve ever been in my life and you know, it kinda hinged on that one ‘Aha’ moment two years ago.
Moustafa: I love it! And it’s about taking action on the ‘Aha’ moment because, as you said, you could have gone the next day into comfort eating, entertainment or let me throw everything behind. But you took a constructive step towards making whatever you were passionate at that moment.
Yousef: Yes! Yeah, very much so! I just realized that, you know, the challenge that we have is that… I really believe this, that there is a pyramid in life and at the bottom of the pyramid there is your health and your fitness. Then it’s your friends and your relationships, then it’s your money. The mistake that so many of us many is that we turn that pyramid upside down and we make money and work the most important aspect of our lives. First at the expense of our friends and our relationships and, ultimately, at the expense of our health. I made a very conscious decision to turn that triangle back to where it needed to be and once you see it like that it becomes very clear and very obvious what you need to do to genuinely feel happy.
Moustafa: To get your priorities right to get passion in life.
Moustafa: Yousef, this has been an awesome, insightful interview. I really appreciate it! Thank you very much!
Yousef: A real pleasure, Moustafa! Thank you for having me!
Moustafa: I appreciate it.
Moustafa and Yousef: Passion!
Moustafa: What do you think? I would really love to know your opinion. So if you found this episode as useful as I did, leave your comments on the blog below and do 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!