The 21st century has produced a myriad of institutions but alas has produced only a number of leaders. One of the most flabbergasting quotations that I repeatedly go through is “You do not know what you do not know”. Amazing, how relatable this still is for those who do not even know what ‘waking up’ feels like. Fortunately, individuals who start following a leader get to taste what waking up feels like.
“Ones who are awake have a dire responsibility on the those who are asleep; as long as the ones who are awake remain awake, no harm can be done to those who are asleep” – Sir Wasif Ali Wasif
Economies, business ventures and cultures most often practice the tried and tested methods of the past and only a few try to reinvent the wheel. The debate that which one is promising is totally a matter of one’s school of thought. Such is the case of learning and for me, the finest model of learning is the centuries-old tried, tested and archetypical formula of apprenticeship. In fact, the master and apprentice relations are one of the most beautiful relations in this universe and it lives longer than the mortal being of this ephemeral universe. From Socrates mentoring Plato and Plato later on teaching Aristotle, to Bill Gates venerating Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos admiring Walt Disney and Thomas Edison, the master-apprentice relation might have formed a new shape but its essence still lives to this date.
Pakistan had its fair share of leaders, some underperformed while some outperformed but no one addressed the existential crisis of the modern man. Man is alone in this universe; man faces challenges that no other creation faces. Man has to provide meaning to this life while working hard to earn bread for himself and his family. It is man who is the center of this universe, without man this universe would have no meaning. It is us who give meaning to the creations of the All-Mighty and it is us who leave a legacy that lives long after we have lived. But a legacy and an ideology cannot sustain if one is a slave to some system.
To shed more light on the saying mentioned earlier, a naïve man does not know what he does not know and thus lacks guidance to take the right decision. Man often becomes a victim of multiple wrong decisions which drive his life towards chaos. A leader is someone who has the ability to audit the past decisions and mentor the future endeavors of his/her followers and admirers. Such is the example of Sunny Ali, an expat who landed in Pakistan back in 2017 and started with a few soldiers a revolution that would grow exponentially a few years down the road. Sunny Ali poured his blood, sweat, and tears in creating awareness of the e-commerce space and set forth the idea of initiating e-commerce business on the largest e-commerce marketplace known as Amazon, with the vision of bringing billions of dollars into Pakistan. Sunny Ali promoted remote work and mobile lifestyle before COVID-19 made it the new normal.
Books and ideas are voiceless unless one’s ideology and self, become aligned. Peak of Eloquence, the English translation of ‘Nahj Ul Balagha’ contains pearls of wisdom which has nurtured the very ideology that Sunny Ali carries with him. Sunny Ali continues to shed light on his central philosophy of wealth creation by not only spreading awareness of strategies of passive income, leveraged hours, and remote work. But moreover he rejuvenates everyone’s learning by explaining the importance of metaphysical elements like destiny, fate, luck, and prayer. His wealth-creation theories range from location-independent business models to time and even money-independent business models.
Sunny Ali believes that an individual is truly unlocked and can perform to his/her maximum potential when he/she runs a truly mobile and leveraged business. Only when one is rescued from everyday struggle and loop, can one strive to leave a bigger dent in this universe just like Steve Jobs said. He believes that an individual’s life and chief decisions revolve around 3 major aspects:
1. Life Partner (Zan)
2. Wealth (Zar)
3. Location (Zameen)
And, if the right decisions are taken that drive these three aspects, eighty percent of an individual’s worries disappear. Sunny Ali continues to promote the ideology of “Zan, Zar, Zameen” and perseveres his mission to inspire the youth of Pakistan which amounts to sixty-five percent of the total population, a strong number that can turn the tables in favor of Pakistan. Sunny Ali has won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of his followers, the responsibility is now on the students to carry the torch of their leader and actualize the #BillionDollarPakistan vision of Sunny Ali’s brain-child Extreme Commerce. If everyone accepts the responsibility of playing their part instead of complaining about others, the world can actually change.
Change is never outside-in but is inside-out.To quote Dr. Iqbal here:
افراد کے ہاتھوں ميں ہے اقوام کي تقدير
ہر فرد ہے ملت کے مقدر کا ستارا
(The destiny of nations is in the hands of individuals. Every individual is the star of the destiny of the nation)
A leader makes you get rid of the conventional mind and teaches you a new way to think and that is the moment you realize; you are starting to wake up.
شعلہ بننا آسان ہے، چراغ بننا مشکل ہے۔ (It is easy to become a flame, but it is far more difficult to become a lamp)
A leader is a mentor and mentoring is like burning, lighting up the skies of everyone around. Knowledge is becoming, not knowing, said Plato, keeping this analogy in mind I believe leadership is best defined by example, not by words.