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May 20, 2023
Brandie Janow

Saudi Arabia is Where All the Startup Action is Happening

Saudi Arabia is Where All the Startup Action is Happening

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Show Notes

[00:00:14] Mudassir: Hey guys. Welcome back to another episode of Prodcircle. And today we are joined by fabulous Brandy Janow. A little bit about her is she is originally from east Tennessee, but she’s been living in South Arabia for several years now.

[00:00:26] Mudassir: And she is the one who’s going through all this entrepreneurial and pivotal changes in Saudi Arabia. Her strength lies in design industry and community architecture. She has mentored in 19 plus countries. I’m sure I’m gonna have 19 plus questions on that as well. And he’s current, currently living in South Arabia, so, please allow me to welcome Brandie:

[00:00:45] Mudassir: hey Brandy, how are you doing today?

[00:00:47] Brandie Janow: Thank you so much. It is such an honor to be here. I’m excited to get going.

[00:00:52] Mudassir: Absolutely.

[00:00:53] Mudassir: So, how is Kingdom treating you?

[00:00:55] Brandie: Yeah, sure. So, yeah, that’s quite the, it’s quite the story Sometimes I pinch [00:01:00] myself. I’m also wondering how I got here. You never really know your life path or where it’s gonna lead in life, and that’s kind of, I think, something really beautiful about life. You end up on something, a magical journey. I’m very lucky. I’m very blessed to get, to go on this journey, to meet everybody that I have, and I’m very happy about this. So yeah.

[00:01:20] Mudassir: Okay. Awesome.

[00:01:23] Mudassir: I think So I am usually a big fan of context because I think, uh, the stories that we have are allies that means something because of the context. So, what was the earliest context or memory you have of you of your life, you know, growing up in Tennessee?

[00:01:41] Brandie: Well, I think that I was always very a simple girl. I mean, there was nothing crazy or big. I grew up in a normal family, have two brothers, have all four of my grandparents, you know, were very family oriented in the south. I grew up in a little small mountain area, in East Tennessee. Gardens, farms, [00:02:00] horses playing sports in the summer, running around with my brothers.

[00:02:04] Brandie: All of these kinds of things that everybody in, you know, every country does. So, you know, growing up I had this kind of normal life, but I will say that. One thing that I always remember, I always really had an excitement explore. I was always curious. I couldn’t wait to leave home. I couldn’t wait to go to university. I couldn’t wait to go to my first country. I couldn’t wait to meet different religions and different cultures and to learn about people. So, I think that was something always very significant about me is that I was always curious. I’m still very curious and I still love all of those things.

[00:02:39] Brandie Janow: It’s never changed.

[00:02:41] Mudassir: Yeah, absolutely. So, that, that makes sense. Because I think if you talk about curiosity in journal and you look at the people who are doing something successful in their life,

[00:02:50] Brandie: Yeah.

[00:02:51] Mudassir: most of that is because they’re curious or they were curious at a certain point they were like, you know, eager to learn, eager to explore new things.

[00:02:57] Mudassir: So, so obviously, yeah, so I think [00:03:00] that obviously plays a pivotal role in building your career and all of that. So, I wanna ask you this thing. Why do you do what you do and what exactly is that you do?

[00:03:11] Brandie: Well, that’s a big question. So why do I do what I do? You know, I don’t know. I always tell everybody that. My grandma, she says some, she said this one little quote, we have lots of quotes in the south, and she said There’s a lid for every pot. I think about this quote probably every day in my life.

[00:03:28] Brandie Janow: And I think about this for our careers too. There’s a lid for every putt. You know, there has to be the janitors that clean up after us to make sure the pieces fit together. There has to be the teachers. There has to be the chefs there has to be the diplomats, there has to be everybody. And these are kind of the ingredients of a recipe that make the recipe. I think it’s like this in life. think that whenever we’re good at something, we’re passionate about something. Our journey takes us to a specific role.

[00:03:58] Brandie: Mine happen to be designed, [00:04:00] and I really believe that you should use the tools that you’re given or what you’ve learned. And my tool is design. And so, I try to use it the best way that I can. I try to use it to, to bridge people to bridge cultures. Design diplomacy, as you know, is something that I go on and on about. quite often. So, I think that’s why I do it. I do it because this is just what I happen to be good at. It happened to be what I know, and it happens to be the one thing that I can put into the world. And I try to do my best to put something positive and good into the world with what I know how to do.

[00:04:36] Mudassir: So, I’m just assuming that you studied arts or you studied design.

[00:04:40] Brandie: Yeah.

[00:04:40] Mudassir: So, what did you study?

[00:04:41] Brandie: So, I went to a private design school in Chicago, Illinois.

[00:04:46] Mudassir: Okay.

[00:04:46] Brandie: first time that I ever had left Tennessee.

[00:04:48] Mudassir: Okay.

[00:04:49] Brandie: been away from home

[00:04:50] Mudassir: what was that like?

[00:04:52] Brandie Janow: Oh, it was quiet, I remember the first day that I actually got to Chicago. I sat down and I started crying.

[00:04:57] Mudassir: Oh my,

[00:04:58] Brandie: overwhelmed by [00:05:00] people, by a city, by not being with my family. But this is, this was the beginning of building me, building my character

[00:05:08] Brandie:

[00:05:09] Brandie: me as a human. You know, become more resilient and to learn things and to learn how to handle different situations. It was scary but like I said, it started building me.

[00:05:20] Mudassir: Okay. Okay. And one question was because you said that you are an entrepreneur and then you are also a mentor and you are in a design industry. What exactly is that like being an entrepreneur, a thought leader in a design industry? So, what exactly is that?

[00:05:38] Brandie: It’s actually it’s actually such a good question. And actually, before you, you send me the review of today’s show. I never really thought about that. I never really had thought about how my roles fit together. as I started thinking about it, realized how big of a role they each played. being a designer, a trained designer, being [00:06:00] a design strategist, and how it’s helped me be an entrepreneur and to be a founder I realized, you know, I always say design is life and life is design, but the role that design has played in building me as an entrepreneur and a leader has been so significant down to every detail.

[00:06:17] Brandie: Even like creating my business plan. I’m much more you know, ready and have the tools that I need to be an entrepreneur because of design. And they have really played, it’s played the biggest role of all in my life has been designed

[00:06:32] Mudassir: You’re working for last 15 years, I think, in Saudi Arabia. Yeah.

[00:06:36] Brandie Janow: been

[00:06:37] Brandie: Arabia for 15 years.

[00:06:39] Mudassir: Why Saudi Arabia? You know, usually when you talk about that about anything, so people would say, okay, let’s go to Dubai. Let’s go to, you know, any other Middle Eastern country, maybe Qatar is pretty famous.

[00:06:49] Mudassir: These says why Kingdom?

[00:06:51] Brandie: You know, I don’t really have the answer to that. I would also ask myself why Saudi Arabia, And I maybe I saw something

[00:06:59] Brandie: You know, [00:07:00] my path knew that Saudi Arabia was gonna be, the bi next big thing was gonna be the business hub of the world. Younger Brandy didn’t know that, but the

[00:07:09] Brandie: is.

[00:07:09] Brandie: Sure. Happy you know, why not? I guess? I got lucky. This was the path that was envisioned for me and well, I’m happy about it now. It all worked out in the end and it’s, there’s no better place in the world to be for a designer than Saudi Arabia.

[00:07:24] Mudassir: Oh, really?

[00:07:25] Brandie: designer’s playground,

[00:07:27] Brandie: of

[00:07:27] Mudassir: why you think it?

[00:07:28] Brandie Janow: the giga projects are happening, everything that’s taking place


[00:07:32] Brandie: now. There we just have endless amounts of possibilities among

[00:07:36] Brandie:

[00:07:36] Brandie: we can do.

[00:07:37] Mudassir: I had the opportunity to go to so I spent, you know, early, early time of my career in the Middle East. And recently had the opportunity to go to Jeda to, you know, to watch the formula event. Big fan.

[00:07:48] Brandie: Oh, nice. I got

[00:07:49] Brandie:

[00:07:50] Brandie: Actually, here in Rio.

[00:07:51] Mudassir: yeah. Oh, that, that was amazing. You know, I think I went the first time that happened.

[00:07:56] Mudassir: I think it was year before last year, I think. I think so. [00:08:00] Pretty amazing because, you know, usually growing up you saw all these street circuits in Baku or something. In Singapore. RT was pretty amazing. From just thinking on the design perspective, and you mentioned something really good, which is, and I totally believe that Saudi Arabia is the next big thing from business standpoint.

[00:08:20] Mudassir: Everybody has their reason. Yeah. Everybody has their reasons, but why do you believe that? Like, you know, why do you think the Saudi Arabia is going? It’s like it’s gonna bet Yeah.

[00:08:30] Brandie: not even that. I think it, this is the reality. know this is the reality. Look at all the giga projects happening. I mean, where else in the world do you have a clean slate? a country that’s just beginning to build. Everything from a clean start. The whole world is built and running. building from the scratch right now together. We’re building this ecosystem. We’re all getting our hands dirty. We’re all part of it.

[00:08:55] Brandie: You know, we’re not just talking about it. We’re in there working next to everybody. [00:09:00] It’s quite amazing to, to be able to be part of that and to watch the country grow and to thrive. And it’s this generation, it’s everybody right now that’s doing that.

[00:09:10] Mudassir: Yeah. Yeah, I’m sure. And I think a lot of people, you know, when it comes to Middle East, when anybody mentioned Middle East, so the first thought that people used to have been Dubai. Second one probably was Abu Dhabi. And now I think that thing is changing to Saudi Arabia. So, it’s a whole landscape thing.

[00:09:26] Brandie: is definitely, everybody knows about, I mean, well, you know, people knew about Saudi Arabia before, but now it’s definitely the hot topic. You know,

[00:09:33] Brandie: of course, the Middle East is huge. There’s many amazing countries and cities within it. but

[00:09:38] Brandie: Saudi is quite large. People don’t seem to understand how big Saudi Arabia is.

[00:09:43] Brandie: That’s a

[00:09:43] Brandie: It’s a big country

[00:09:44] Brandie: the biggest one here. And so, people don’t really think about that.

[00:09:48] Brandie: Yeah, we have, everything’s happening now, and I mean, everybody, there’s nobody, even people back home in my town are hearing things about Saudi Arabia, so I’m like, if it’s reached them, we’re doing [00:10:00] well with the PR

[00:10:00] Mudassir: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. So, you, you mentioned back home, so, can you just, you know, rewind, what was the first time you came to Saudi and how did your family react to that?

[00:10:11] Brandie: Well, I mean, wasn’t it was quite I think unimaginable for anybody to think of me leaving anyway, forget it. Being Saudi Arabia, you know, I’m the daughter, I’m the granddaughter, I’m the sister, the friend. Nobody wants that person to, to leave home. It was hard enough when I went to university in Chicago, I thought everybody was gonna die. You know? So, imagine I said, well, I’m leaving America. You know, I’m, and I’m going to the Middle East. Everybody was just shocked or that’s not a good ideal.

[00:10:46] Brandie: We think you should stay here. was curious, like we spoke about already. I was excited, not for, I didn’t double guess it for a moment. I was super excited. I was super excited to, to see something different to see a [00:11:00] new culture, to meet new people.

[00:11:01] Mudassir: Yeah.

[00:11:02] Brandie: very excited and this was helpful in my journey because I did, I wasn’t scared. I’d already lost the fear whenever

[00:11:09] Brandie:

[00:11:10] Brandie: left home.

[00:11:11] Mudassir: yeah,

[00:11:11] Brandie: was always excited and curious. Now I can say that my family. They were scared and they were worried for many years. Normal for any family to

[00:11:22] Mudassir: Absolutely.

[00:11:23] Brandie: But now they’re proud of me. They see me doing amazing things like this, talking to you, and they’re proud of me. They’re proud of me for putting in the work and to working hard. You know, coming here as an expat and standing with people in government, standing next to sometimes I’m the only non-Saudi in a room. Having a microphone, getting to talk about the country, getting to be an advocate for Saudi Arabia, for the Saudi design industry bringing, you know, nice, positive PR for the country and for what we’re doing here. They’re proud of me and makes me happy.

[00:11:59] Mudassir: Happy, [00:12:00] obviously.

[00:12:00] Brandie: make anybody proud, you know, not just my family, but even a stranger maybe that’s watching this, that’s smiling, like, I’m happy to do this.

[00:12:08] Mudassir: Yeah, I’m sure of that. So, been following your journey for quite some time and then I see, something is happening from Spain in Saudi. I’m gonna come to that in a bit because I’m a huge fan of Spanish football.

[00:12:18] Mudassir: So obviously that was the reason, you know, when I saw it was like, oh, okay, so that Real Madrid Foundation is doing something in South Arabia and Brandy is like talking to them. Okay, we should talk to her. That was the first thing. But anyway, coming back to. Yeah, please go ahead.

[00:12:35] Brandie: Yeah, no. I love Spain too, by the way. It’s

[00:12:38] Mudassir: Okay. It’s amazing. It’s amazing.

[00:12:39] Brandie: We have a lot of, there’s a lot of Spanish companies here in Saudi. it’s quite a good benchmark for me. I use it as a benchmark. I know you see what I talk about and write about constantly. What better benchmark to use in design than Spain? I mean, they’ve been ahead of the game and sustainability and the design and culture [00:13:00] before most people were even thinking about it. So, yeah, I’m always happy to work with them and to kind of learn from them so that we can, you know, Get going in the perfect direction here in Saudi with what we’re doing.

[00:13:12] Brandie: It’s very helpful to kind of have this cultural diplomacy, design diplomacy to look at what worked for other people and what didn’t work for other people. Of course, there’s no blueprint. Saudi’s a completely different country and you have to, you know, go about it this retrospect. But it’s nice to be able to see how other countries do things and to learn from other people. You know,

[00:13:34] Brandie: of learning from each other, not just in Saudi, but everywhere. Maybe this designer did something and he teaches us and I’m able to do something, with less work and to put more passion into it because of what he taught me. This is something really beautiful that we can do as humans is kind of help one another and guide each other and make everybody’s ride a little bit easier and smoother.

[00:13:55] Mudassir: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. You mentioned I think a couple of minutes ago [00:14:00] about giga projects. So, you know the whole vision 20 20 30? I think

[00:14:03] Mudassir: So, I was in Dubai when the whole export 2020 thing was like woman and every single thing was talking about like, everybody goes as for 2020. Now it’s exactly the same thing in Saudi.

[00:14:15] Mudassir: It is like, you know, vision 2030 and then all the things that you guys are doing in there. So can you just tell us a little bit about an insider perspective, because you’ve been part of that. Like what exactly is that 2030 vision? What exactly is the Giga project?

[00:14:28] Brandie: Absolutely. So, 2030 vision, I think it was just it was kind of like a goal, like here’s the 2030 vision and this is what we want to have done by this. but the reality is that we’re all so past 2030 vision, like most of these things have already been done and gone. So, we’re hearing lot of people, outsiders, maybe that haven’t been in Saudi, who haven’t had the pleasure of working here, and they don’t know everything that’s happening, talk about 2030.

[00:14:56] Brandie: But here in Saudi we’re not really talking about it because our, you know, [00:15:00] it’s here and we’re already like way up here. So, it’s kind of like something even in the past, even though

[00:15:04] Mudassir: Yeah, it was exact.

[00:15:06] Brandie: came,

[00:15:06] Mudassir: Yeah, it was.

[00:15:08] Brandie: mode,

[00:15:08] Mudassir: Exactly. But it was quite the opposite for Dubai. So, it was like 20, 20, 20 is coming, Expo 2020 is coming. And they’re like, yeah, okay. But like what is, what exactly is coming? And they like don’t have that much progress to show for. I think Saudi’s different.

[00:15:25] Brandie: well, we’re, Dubai has got a min, it’s a city, you know, it’s just

[00:15:29] Brandie: city in

[00:15:31] Brandie: UAE. They did quite amazing, I mean, it’s was the Gulf Hub. well, it still is one of the Gulf hubs and they’ve done many great things. They’re a melting pot of culture and they’ve really, you know, helped us so much in Saudi Arabian and Riyad with all of the visions that we have too.

[00:15:48] Brandie: So, it’s been quite a good partner. I think Dubai and Riyad are quite great partners.

[00:15:53] Mudassir: When it comes to that. Yeah, absolutely. I think, yeah. Just wanna ask you about the whole startup industry, [00:16:00] the whole entrepreneurial community in, in, in Saudi Arabia. So, I’ve been part of, you know, fortunate enough to be part of a lot of startup culture as communities in the States, but not in the, not in Southeast.

[00:16:13] Mudassir: So, So, yeah. What exactly is that community looks like in, in Saudi? How the sport system actually works here.

[00:16:19] Brandie: Well, I have to say that that I saw, like I went to Bahrain. Bahrain Ha Bahrain is very small, as you know, it’s tiny

[00:16:26] Brandie:

[00:16:27] Brandie: island. They have a huge startup scene. They’re doing startup Bahrain, and they’re doing a lot of things.

[00:16:32] Mudassir: But even though there’s, they’re pretty small. One of the things that I love about Bahrain is they’re like massive. Like they’re gigantic. You know, when it comes to startups and stuff like that, they’re like pretty, pretty hard. Yeah,

[00:16:42] Brandie: You’re right, but there’s also something with every positive thing that you think about. There’s like something also that you have to think about. They’re amazing. They’re doing big things. I love all of my bra Bahai creatives, and I have many friends there. The country and the government are doing great things for startups and for the creative sector, but [00:17:00] being a small country,

[00:17:02] Brandie:

[00:17:02] Brandie: talented people. The competition is

[00:17:05] Mudassir: Crazy.

[00:17:06] Brandie: Quite fierce.

[00:17:07] Mudassir: Yeah.

[00:17:07] Brandie: so, but it just kind of up upgrades everybody I think a little bit to know that for Saudi the startup world is very new. It’s new for it. Like I said, everything is being built, but we have so many talented people, like the, just the ideals and the thoughts are just amazing. I’m always just am, I’m just amazed by everything that’s happening around me. I love it. You know, I haven’t really met, I’ve met some people that are more like venture capitalist and people that are, you know, funding startups. I’ve met them a little more than founders themselves.

[00:17:39] Brandie: I haven’t met another woman that’s a startup founder I haven’t had the pleasure of.

[00:17:43] Brandie: I hope that I do. I’ll be going actually; I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Seamless. So Seamless is a big initiative. They have one in Dubai and they have one in Saudi. So, I’m

[00:17:53] Brandie:

[00:17:53] Brandie: the pleasure to go and to take my startup and be part of Seamless Dubai. And then at the one in Saudi, I’m gonna [00:18:00] be speaking here. So,

[00:18:01] Brandie: I’m really excited to kind of, to meet more of the people in the startup industry too. The startup field itself.

[00:18:08] Mudassir: Yeah, absolutely. So, two questions on, on, on that. So, I think you said like you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting a female founder

[00:18:18] Brandie: yeah. Here.

[00:18:19] Mudassir: I, yeah. Here in, in Saudi. Yeah. Do you think that Do you think that’s gonna change?

[00:18:26] Brandie: I’m sure that the, listen, I’m, I know that they’re out there.

[00:18:29] Brandie: There’s, you won’t believe the business and the entrepreneurs here. It’s insane.

[00:18:34] Brandie: There’s probably hundreds of them out there. I’m certain of this, and the women here are quite having the entrepreneur spirit. I just, like I said, I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting them. I know they’re there. I know

[00:18:45] Brandie: and I can’t wait to meet them all.

[00:18:47] Mudassir: Yeah. I’m sure of that. And now that, you know, they’re going through all these pivotal changes and you know, women are coming to. Screen or media. I think this is gonna change definitely in, in my understanding. [00:19:00] One thing that I have observed is the business in Saudi Arabia or in all these, you know, middle Eastern countries, like so strong, but that’s like a traditional business.

[00:19:12] Mudassir: How do you think the investment thing is happening in, in Saudi Arabia, and especially in terms of startups,

[00:19:18] Brandie: it’s good.

[00:19:19] Mudassir: it’s good?

[00:19:20] Brandie: very good that they see, that, they see the potential of the startups. The government is heavily investing in startups

[00:19:26] Brandie: They see the value that the startups and small businesses have on the economy. And I think it’s very good.

[00:19:33] Brandie: I think that it’s probably maybe one of the best in the world right now in Saudi Arabia. It’s a great time. It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur in Saudi Arabia

[00:19:43] Mudassir: Yeah. Okay. Why do you think so?

[00:19:47] Brandie: Everybody else has competition. We’re all here next to one another doing it together. No one else is gonna get the opportunities that we have. Like the one, like all of, we’re the pioneers right now,

[00:19:58] Mudassir: Yeah, what [00:20:00] opportunities, you know, when you talk about opportunities, and I’m sure you know, there, there’s a massive role, like somebody who was in, I’m just gonna talk about AI for a moment because in today’s world, like you, you can’t have a conversation without talking about ai.

[00:20:10] Mudassir: So, so just for the sake of that. So, I think.

[00:20:12] Brandie: AI pro, so

[00:20:14] Mudassir: Oh my. Okay. Okay. That’s amazing. I haven’t, I have yet to meet anybody who is an entrepreneur and who is like, I’m not root for ai, like I’ve yet to meet anybody. The thing that I wanted to ask you about AI is anybody, a lot of people are like, you know, doing AI stuff now,

[00:20:30] Mudassir: most of these companies gonna go become a unicorn in like, very near future, and then comes, you know, the masses, like, everybody’s adapting to it, but they get, you know, a few of them gonna succeed, but not everybody. So, what type of startups or what type of, you know, industry do you think is booming in Saudi? Or is this like every, everything.

[00:20:50] Brandie: I mean, I think all of

[00:20:51] Brandie: I was just having a conversation actually with somebody here at the United Nations and they were speaking about ai and they were talking, they were saying they’re a little iffy [00:21:00] about it and all of these things. I, I said that, you know, we’re kind of, we’re in that place. I think all of us humanity right now. We’re a bridge. Everything’s happened in our lifetime. everything seems to have happened in our lifetime. We’re the bridge, we’re the bridge.

[00:21:15] Mudassir: I swear,

[00:21:16] Brandie: You know. Exactly. Exactly. But also, I, people seem to forget about a, people seem to forget easy we think about, let’s think about the women in that used to be Ty typist. Like they went to typist schools because this is at that stage. There wasn’t a lot of work that was deemed good enough for women at the time, typist was a job that they had. They would go to school to learn how to type us.

[00:21:43] Brandie: Do we have typist now? Do we even have typewriters in our offices? Absolutely not, because it’s completely normal for jobs and for roles to evolve we are not evolving as humans with our jobs.

[00:21:58] Brandie: It’s completely normal [00:22:00] for it to evolve, people just you know, wanna pinpoint on an AI has so many great benefits that it can do, we’re not gonna lose jobs. We’re gonna get jobs, we’re gonna have new jobs. We’re gonna have new job titles, we’re gonna

[00:22:15] Brandie:

[00:22:16] Brandie: industries. That’s a.

[00:22:18] Mudassir: So, I was like to that. I was listening to yesterday; I forgot the name of the person. And he was talking about AI and like what exactly is gonna happen? And he was like his son is going to a law school learning how to become a lawyer and this and that. And he was like, I talked to my son.

[00:22:35] Mudassir: I was like, dude, don’t do that. So, the first thing that’s gonna be replaced by AI is all the legal. Because now, or like in, in a very foreseeable fu future, this is gonna be bot, this is gonna have so much knowledge about what happened in the past, what’s happening in this argument, in that document that humanly is not possible to compete because the knowledge base is endless, right?

[00:22:56] Mudassir: So, but he was, at the same time, he was talk, he was like I don’t mind, you know, lawyers or anything like that. But you know, your job is gonna involve you. You either need to be on the right side of the thing, or you either gonna be on the side of the thing. So, either you can say, oh yeah, embrace the technology, gonna happen, might as well, you know, train myself for it.

[00:23:17] Mudassir: And yeah, let’s just continue with that. And you kind of become superhuman because AI kind of makes you super superhuman, right?

[00:23:23] Brandie: Absolutely.

[00:23:24] Brandie: So, so you said one keyword word when you were just talking, you said compete, and

[00:23:29] Brandie: is this word. I hate this word and I use; people use it a lot in entrepreneurship, in the startup world, in the design industry with don’t, I think it’s we need to really delete this word from our dictionary.

[00:23:42] Mudassir: Really?

[00:23:43] Brandie: enough of, there’s enough of everything to go around for us. so much, the world is huge and we all, my brain functions different than your brain.

[00:23:52] Mudassir: Yeah.

[00:23:53] Brandie: going to do more than I can in some things, and some things I’m gonna do more. So, we don’t have to compete. But [00:24:00] one thing that we should be doing, we should be collaborating. We should be supporting; we don’t have to compete with anything. AI is not competing with us. AI is. we made ai, humans

[00:24:11] Brandie: ai.

[00:24:12] Brandie: it can’t function without us. We, it needs inputs from us to even to even get an output.

[00:24:18] Mudassir: Today. I mean, like not in future. Yeah,

[00:24:22] Brandie: well, but these things even like the let’s we were speaking about the ethics.

[00:24:26] Brandie: What about the ethics of us? we don’t teach AI ethics. The ethics is on us as humans.

[00:24:32] Brandie: I can do, I can say something horrible to you right now.

[00:24:36] Brandie: Is my personal, I can do it. It doesn’t matter about ai. I can be an unethical human. Say unethical things to you. I can go on the streets and do unethical things, but my ethics are how I was raised.

[00:24:48] Brandie: This is up to my parents, to our family, to our community, to teach us these ethics. it doesn’t have something special for ai. ethics are, should be part of us [00:25:00] as humans from the beginning.

[00:25:01] Mudassir: Have you seen any of the, you know, progress in made by AI in design industry? Because I’ve seen a few of them, but that’s mostly linked to digital products or like, you know, the whole SaaS community. Yeah.

[00:25:14] Brandie: Well, I’ve seen AI a lot of positive things linked for everything. I mean, like I told you as we’re all the bridge right now, we’re all the, we’re all going through the bridge, so we get to see the good and the bad. You know, I haven’t seen, I don’t, I can’t make a, you know, a response about it now because we’re all just kind of watching and seeing what happens. But I will say that it’s made a lot of amazing jobs for, there’s AI designers now. There ha it’s opened up a lot of jobs.

[00:25:45] Brandie: There, there’s many things that its opening, but I’m still at the phase that all of you are. We’re just sitting back and watching and seeing what happens.

[00:25:51] Mudassir: Yeah. So, speaking of ai, speaking of design,

[00:25:56] Brandie: yeah.

[00:25:57] Mudassir: and you know, you’ve been in that industry [00:26:00] for like more than a decade now. How do you think.

[00:26:02] Brandie: whole life. My whole life I’ve been a designer.

[00:26:04] Mudassir: Amazing. Yeah. Okay. So, so the question becomes even broader now. How do you think that design has evolved, you know, throughout your life and now that the AI is shifting and like, I was surprised to see that this app, I don’t, you know what I should say the name or something.

[00:26:20] Mudassir: So, what you do is you can take pictures of your office or the studio. I can do that. And um, and you’re like, okay, generate me a design or something like that. But 10 seconds later I can now have an amazing looking design and I can select like what type of what type of story do I want to have?

[00:26:38] Mudassir: So how do you think, you know, the design industry has changed from your earlier context to today, and how do you think it’s gonna change in the future?

[00:26:45] Brandie: well, I will say it’s normal with tech advancements that design will change. I mean, it’s changed always. In the beginning it was all about being functional. It was about looking beautiful. It’s not like that so much more. It’s now changed over to being life centric. [00:27:00] And I like to use the word life centric instead of human-centric because I think instead of just thinking about people, we have to think of all of our surroundings. I think this is our duty as designers. Design thinking, life centric design methodologies. They made it more inclusive too.

[00:27:15] Mudassir: What is life centric design thinking?

[00:27:19] Brandie: life centric design. Again, like most designers,

[00:27:21] Brandie: Hear me and they understand what human centric, they always say, you should be a human centric designer. You should design for humans. So, think about being an inclusive designer. A lot of people don’t think about this. All of these little things are designed. Think about a wheelchair. somebody who sits in a wheelchair, they need to put their feet somewhere.

[00:27:42] Brandie: They need to ha it needs to roll easy. All of these things are created by, by, by a designer. Now they call these things human-centric designs are human-centric. They’re made for humans. I’ve stopped using the word human centric and I’ve started saying life centric because I think that [00:28:00] we should design for our surroundings. We should design for people; we should design for everything. A bathroom for handicapped, a ramp to go up on a stage, being inclusive in everything that we do. I was on a panel with the Ministry of Culture here in Saudi Arabia. The panel was in Arabic. I had a headphone on and I could hear everything in English because

[00:28:24] Brandie: too, you know, a designer made this is what I’m talking about, life centric. little element has not been untouched. This is important and it’s evolved over the time because like I said, design used to be all about maybe having a beautiful chair in your library or your

[00:28:41] Brandie: but then someone was like, well, why can’t I have a beautiful chair that feels comfortable? And over time, you know, implementing the thoughts, we’ve realized that design is no longer about looking beautiful. Design is about people, about life.

[00:28:57] Mudassir: Okay. [00:29:00] As someone who has global perspective of the design industry, what trends do you see emerging in the coming years and how the designers today can stay ahead of the

[00:29:10] Brandie: so, sustainability

[00:29:12] Brandie: Design, like we just spoke about. I., artificial intelligence,

[00:29:16] Brandie: VR and AR, emotional design, designing for the circular economy. These are just a few. There’s so much more. But these are the trends that designers of all disciplines really need to focus on and need to start practicing a little more. You know, to stay ahead of the curve designers, we have to continuously learn. And how do we continuously learn? We go to conferences, go to talks, we watch podcasts like this and we study. constantly study.

[00:29:48] Brandie: You don’t believe how much of my time that I have to put in to keeping, upgrading my knowledge and upgrading my skills. I have to go on Twitter and see everything that’s happening in the Saudi design industry. [00:30:00] Everything that’s happening in the global design industry. I. Go to take, get certified in different things. I’m learning a lot about AI as well. These are things that, this is how you stay ahead of the curve and you keep up to date with the trends that are happening and the new disciplines that are be being created because of the amazing technology that is coming.

[00:30:21] Brandie: Our ways

[00:30:22] Mudassir: You mentioned, you know, learning through Twitter. What do you think about Twitter? You usually people think about, is this a platform for news or for something like that. But a lot of people have a different opinion of Twitter. So, what do you think about that

[00:30:34] Brandie: Twitter is one of my biggest knowledge bases. I love Twitter. Now. It’s not going to be for everybody. And you have to think that we all have different learning styles.

[00:30:43] Brandie: are visuals, some people, you know, have to hear it audio.

[00:30:47] Brandie: Some people are hands on. We all have different learning styles, and I think one of the most important things that you can do in life is to understand your learning style and what works for you. And go out there and find knowledge

[00:30:59] Brandie: based on this. [00:31:00] For me, Twitter’s fantastic. I don’t comment I don’t like anything.

[00:31:04] Brandie: I just take it; it can get very dangerous.

[00:31:07] Mudassir: Yeah, I know. Yeah.

[00:31:09] Mudassir: One, one bad comment. And you’re just like, you know, there’s like, there’s a sea of people out there and then you know this, they’re just gonna ruin your whole day. So, it’s just like, yeah.

[00:31:17] Brandie: Exactly, and especially now with everything, everybody’s watching everything, it’s better just to keep out of that mask. But yeah, it’s great for learning. I mean, amazing is it that we’re in a time in life where there is constant like, journalism and news happening, like life?

[00:31:35] Brandie: able to find out something live that’s happening in the design industry. I’m able to instantly know something that’s important for me and to take in that knowledge. Now with the good, there’s also the bad. We’re living in an oversaturated society. We have so much information coming in that sometimes it’s hard for us to actually soak it in and to obtain it. Even with learning, sometimes I’m learning [00:32:00] so much. Like almost robotic. And I’m thinking like, Brandy, you need to sit down and think about what you’re and let it soak in actually so that you can make a difference. Or that it can, you can understand, this is the downside of all the knowledge is

[00:32:17] Mudassir: yeah. I know.

[00:32:18] Brandie: so oversaturated right now.

[00:32:20] Mudassir: Yeah. And then you. You look at the internet and it is just like; everybody is an influencer. Everybody has an opinion on everything. Everybody’s selling a course. Everybody’s an expert on every single thing. And nowadays it’s just like, now it’s just like, you know, you open a Twitter and it’s just like, hey, I create this thing for chat gpt.

[00:32:38] Mudassir: Why don’t you just go and use that? And you scroll a little bit and then there’s another one, and then there’s another. And you’re like, did I mean like this is going crazy.

[00:32:48] Brandie: of reading about

[00:32:50] Mudassir: I know. Finally. Yeah, finally somebody said that. You know, I think so. So, there are, there’s like, I think so, so, you know, if [00:33:00] somebody asks me like, what do you think about that? I think there’s like three types of people. Type one is who are just going crazy with all the tools that they’re creating.

[00:33:10] Mudassir: You know, creative people, opportunist, amazing, talented mind. And they’re like, you know, they saw an opportunity that this saw something. They’d be like, okay, bank, I’m gonna grind work, or something like that. I’m gonna just do it. Type two I think is people who are like normal people just like, yeah, okay.

[00:33:25] Mudassir: T’s open and we’re just like, silently without making a noise, doing a whole lot of work. Yeah, using it, like just reading. Okay, so you can use it as an agent, auto agent, okay. Let’s just implement that and making the life, you know, faster and better and more practice. And type three is where like people are just freaking about just freaking out.

[00:33:43] Mudassir: They’re like, oh, this thing is gonna take my job. This thing is gonna take my job. So, so, you know, we’re gonna be highlighted and this and that.

[00:33:49] Brandie: it all pretty well,

[00:33:50] Mudassir: Yeah. Yeah. So, so I think there’s like three tiers and then so I feel like there, there has to be discord for all three types of people. But anyway, it’s just like, you know, all three [00:34:00] types of people.

[00:34:00] Mudassir: There are 90%, 99% of the people, there’s like, can’t stop talking about the same thing. It’s just like, like, so

[00:34:08] Mudassir: yeah.

[00:34:09] Brandie: you know, I really think about this and I can’t stand to read about Cha G P T anymore,

[00:34:14] Brandie:

[00:34:14] Brandie: I think that it’s, like

[00:34:15] Mudassir: Why is there so,

[00:34:16] Brandie: said about the opportunities, think that people, they see something like, oh, this is a hot topic. If I create content about this, then I’m gonna get like all the likes they’re putting stuff out into the world anymore. And you know, I teach a lot of workshops and I talk a lot about personal brand equity. and that’s about you as a person, your brand, and what you put into the world. And I always tell everybody that it’s really important to be organic and to be natural.

[00:34:41] Brandie: And people will ask me, well, you are on LinkedIn. People know you from LinkedIn and this and that, and how do you come up with the content and your schedule? I don’t have a schedule. don’t create my content ahead of time. I get an idea in my head, I’m creative and they never stop these thoughts. And I [00:35:00] write it and that’s the end of the story. I write something natural and real. I don’t try to write anything because I think, oh, if I write about CH Chat g p t, it’s gonna be popular and I’m gonna get 2000 likes. My mind does not work like this. But I think this is what we’re seeing. A lot of people are just kind of, that they want the likes and they want to be popular.

[00:35:20] Mudassir: Yeah. This is a very controversial opinion. That’s a very controversial opinion because, yeah. So, far as my little research go, this whole content creation thing and the whole, you know, figuring out what to type, not to type, all of that stuff is a huge industry. Especially if you look at all the tools that are coming out.

[00:35:37] Mudassir: It’s just like, you know, everybody’s just like giving you a content calendar. Post this thing now, it’s not a good time, but I’ve seen you posting like 1:00 AM in the night.

[00:35:45] Brandie: I do

[00:35:46] Mudassir: Six in the morning, yeah. Yeah. It’s just like, I was like, man, okay, so like there’s no

[00:35:51] Brandie: no, schedule.

[00:35:52] Mudassir: coz this Yeah.

[00:35:53] Brandie: it’s I just like to be me. can’t be anybody else.

[00:35:57] Brandie:

[00:35:57] Brandie: a robot. I don’t want to stick to a time, [00:36:00] 6:00 PM 3:00 PM whatever. If I wanna talk about something, it’s real, it’s natural, it’s organic. I talk about it. I don’t care what time it is. You know, if I wanna post whatever I do it,

[00:36:10] Brandie: That’s Brandy. And I hope that’s why people enjoy talking

[00:36:15] Brandie: because I’m natural and real. really think that we should be real people. There are too many robots out there right now,

[00:36:22] Mudassir: I swear. I just wanna, you know, mention one thing on robot. So, this app, again, just don’t wanna name, name them here. They just came out with this with this plugin on LinkedIn is just like, every single time you click, you can select the tone, but the message is like, you know, friendly you just wanna be like super crazy.

[00:36:40] Mudassir: You just wanna be a jerk or something like that. And you can select the tone and then you can hit comment and you know, somebody who has like, thought about. who has a thought, and then, you know, just craft a decent post of like 500 words or something. And then, you know, this bot is just gonna reply according to whatever the person wants.

[00:36:56] Mudassir: then,

[00:36:58] Brandie: do it. This is the thing about [00:37:00] AI and ethics and things like you can do it all day long, but at

[00:37:03] Brandie: I’m getting messages from people, you know, on LinkedIn constantly. Do back to all of them? No. If

[00:37:10] Brandie: somebody is talking to me robotic like this, actually I find it rude.

[00:37:14] Brandie: I find it insulting. I find it a waste of my time.

[00:37:17] Brandie: You message me, you messaged me on LinkedIn. You were nice, you were kind. I replied back immediately. You know, you’re not gonna get what you’re looking for. You’re not gonna reap any fruit from being

[00:37:29] Brandie: and rude people. We’re not stupid. You know, we’re all smart. We like humans. We like friendly people. I’m, you know, I get people asking me for things.

[00:37:40] Brandie: Me, I got a message from somebody telling me, like, I want you to tell me how to build a startup. This was the sentence.

[00:37:47] Mudassir: Okay. You should have said Google it.

[00:37:49] Brandie: not, we don’t to other like this.

[00:37:52] Mudassir: You should have said,

[00:37:53] Brandie: and this is the thing with ai, they, it’s not gonna talk like us. We,

[00:37:58] Brandie: Talk robotic to one another, even [00:38:00] strangers. This

[00:38:00] Brandie: we speak to one another. It’s definitely not your introduction. You know, they’ve always said, you’re, you have one time to meet somebody. It’s

[00:38:07] Brandie: Most important. It’s true,

[00:38:08] Brandie: somebody comes and speaks to me.

[00:38:10] Brandie: It sets the tone for how I viewed them forever.

[00:38:12] Brandie: Get a rude robotic message, reply.

[00:38:15] Brandie: Any longer because I was like, I can’t believe that this is how they spoke to me in the beginning.

[00:38:20] Brandie: Can do it all day long, but I don’t think that they’re gonna reap anything beneficial from it.

[00:38:24] Mudassir: On the personal brand, and you mentioned something I think a few minutes ago you said personal brand equity, and you mentor people. I think you talk to people about that. So, so what exactly is that?

[00:38:35] Brandie: So, well, they’re. two different things, but they’re kind of, the same.

[00:38:39] Brandie: So, I started mentoring early on designers, and I’ve been mentoring designers like us, 19 countries and counting. I’m very proud of that. why am I proud of that? Mainly I’m proud because one thing when a mentee teaches, choose as a mentor for me, this is, it. It’s an honor that

[00:38:58] Brandie: of everybody you were chosen. [00:39:00] This is the first thing, but whenever they’re choosing me, they see me. that they look at me and they see Brandy. She’s an American that’s living overseas. she has. she’s empathetic to different people at different countries, and they feel like they can trust me as somebody that’s different for me. maybe that has known a language barrier, something like this.

[00:39:22] Mudassir: Yeah.

[00:39:23] Brandie: they’re comfortable with me and I recognize that. So, I’m very honored that they choose me and that they continue to feel comfortable with me as somebody that’s different from them. So that’s really important for me. And when it comes to personal brand equity, mean, I’m my own case study. you know, I wasn’t always doing things like this. I just started maybe putting the work to do to do interviews, to be on stages, to do all of these things. My personal brand equity journey, I started, maybe it’s not even been two years, it’s been one and a half years. [00:40:00] 2022, January, 2022. It was the first time that I got up on a stage with a microphone. it was at the Saudi Design Festival. I was so nervous after I got off the stage, I went and threw up in the bathroom. I was shaking. look at the videos and it’s just like, you know, I laugh. I’m much different now. I’ve gained confidence.

[00:40:22] Mudassir: Yeah.

[00:40:22] Brandie: learned how to talk and speak and be more diplomatic with my words, in a different way that is maybe better for the audience or the camera.

[00:40:31] Brandie: Makeup I’ve designed, it, every little thing I’ve learned. But my journey has all been because of brand equity. I think that I really got the confidence from mentoring, from speaking to people. You know, I’ve always said that whenever I started the mentoring thing, it wasn’t because that I thought I had something great to offer. It was because I wanted to put it on my resume. know, I’m not gonna lie, that’s how I started.

[00:40:59] Brandie: [00:41:00] I didn’t expect anything else. I was just like, oh, I want to snatch up my resume. I fell in love with it. I fell in love with the people and I really started wanting to help them and to, you know, they, they don’t take so long. I’m a late blossom. I was very shy before and I’m confident now cause of this, and I really think that all of my journey has been because of mentoring and being able to talk to people and help them and to grow them.

[00:41:27] Brandie: And that’s all. Gave me the confidence to speak to, to share my story and to help people.

[00:41:33] Mudassir: So, your kind of used mentoring to your advantage and kind of gain the confidence that way.

[00:41:39] Brandie: well, mentoring, me, being a mentor

[00:41:43] Brandie: Myself

[00:41:44] Brandie: The most positive ways.

[00:41:46] Mudassir: How many people have you mentored?

[00:41:48] Brandie: Oh, I don’t

[00:41:50] Brandie: a lot

[00:41:51] Mudassir: Okay.

[00:41:52] Brandie: Maybe close to a hundred and all different walks of life. I’ve mentored pe people that are older than me, and people [00:42:00] always say this, like they think there’s a hierarchy for age, like, kind of like your career level.

[00:42:04] Brandie: Sometimes people see something in you. Some people, I think that what they see in me a lot of times other than feeling like comfortable because I’m a global citizen, is they see that I’m doing things like this and they want to learn how to get the confidence to do it too.

[00:42:19] Brandie: I have people in the corporate world that are heads CEOs that come to me. great at business, they’re great in the corporate world. They’re great at getting and getting the work done,

[00:42:32] Brandie: But maybe they’re not great at public speaking or maybe they don’t have the confidence. It’s not easy to talk to people.

[00:42:39] Brandie: To get on a stage because you have to captivate the audience. You have a couple minutes. If you lose your audience, you’re wasting your time in everybody else’s. They need to feel like you’re enjoying your time,

[00:42:51] Brandie: that you’re saying the proper words. There is a lot to it. There is a lot to it. And it’s not easy to learn and to grow. [00:43:00] But it’s definitely worth it.

[00:43:02] Mudassir: yeah, absolutely. So just record a very funny memory here. When you said it’s not easy to talk to people, so, I’m just gonna give you a highlight of that. So, uh, I’ve been in product work for quite some time, like for quite some time. And then a couple of years ago I was working as, you know, working as a startup founder or like whatever.

[00:43:22] Mudassir: And then you have to do sales. Okay., first time I ever heard the word you have to do B2B sales. No idea what B2B means, but what B2B sales actually looks like. And then you had a head of pleasure of, you know, talking to somebody who was the head of sales at sales company, big company, and that like, he was doing amazing and just, you know, kept looking at him, how he’s talking and stuff like that.

[00:43:45] Mudassir: So, and then he was like, so comfortable, so fluid. I was like, man, this can’t be that difficult. So, he went into a sales call. Um, it was with a huge like global billion dollar three pl because we, like, we’re working in [00:44:00] startup supply chain startup company. So just talk to them and they have this like, a panel like, you know, all the C levels are sitting there on, on the call.

[00:44:07] Mudassir: So that was on a Zoom, but you know, all the C levels that they’re director of it, you know, CTOs and you name it all other hard chart people. And then all of a sudden, you know, the lights, the mics, all the things that are on me, Hey, you’re in the spotlight. Just talk. I froze. Literally froze. And then was like shaking like this.

[00:44:28] Mudassir: And then I was sitting like in my, oh, in my own office. got off the call, and then I was like, man, that was horrible. Horrible. So, so that was when the worst one, and then there was another one, and then there was another one.

[00:44:40] Mudassir: So, I, I think it, it took me five months, something like that. And I was like, okay. So, so I think it’s not about, you know, pushing things to people, it’s just about understanding their needs, then helping them, coming up with a solution, helping them. All of a sudden, it’s like, easy. Okay, so, so that’s okay. So, I kind of become that [00:45:00] semi-introvert, product manager to a very good in, in B2B sales.

[00:45:05] Mudassir: And one thing led to another, and then I was like, okay. Yeah. So, so talking to people is fun. And then

[00:45:10] Brandie: You gain confidence.

[00:45:11] Mudassir: Yeah, exactly like that. So, exactly. And then I was like, so, let’s just start a podcast. I mean, it’s just like, you know, meeting new people.

[00:45:19] Brandie: You’ve done it. You’ve

[00:45:20] Brandie: Case study too,

[00:45:21] Brandie: this is what people always ask me. They’ll be like, how do you stop? I did a talk actually with the Saudi Youth Society. They asked me to come and they asked me to do a talk about public speaking. They were like, well, how they had so many questions, amazing future, future leaders of this country. I just, they were all amazing, this group is. They were like, what? When do you stop being nervous? And I’m like, are you kidding? I was like, I’m nervous every time. I’ve never not been nervous.

[00:45:47] Brandie: Nervous before this,

[00:45:49] Brandie: Get a little less nervous every time.

[00:45:52] Brandie: Actually, told them, I was like, when you, if you ever stop completely getting nervous, you have to worry about yourself

[00:45:58] Brandie: You’re getting too confident. [00:46:00] And when you start getting too confident, that’s not good.

[00:46:03] Brandie: Don’t, confidence is good. And I’m not saying it in a like a cocky way, confidence in, hey, I know my what we’re talking about.

[00:46:11] Brandie: I know the topic at hand. I’m, we’re talking about things that I know about. If you brought me in here and you started talking out LA about finance and banking, I would be like, I wouldn’t be comfortable.

[00:46:21] Brandie: It’s good to, it’s good to be nervous. You don’t stop being nervous, but you just

[00:46:26] Brandie: I said, every time is a little bit better.

[00:46:28] Mudassir: Yeah. And I think even if you have done it like, like a thousand-time, 1,001 time is gonna be like it’s gonna be same in many ways. Like you, you still have that jittery feelings, you still have that nervousness, you still have that little moments.

[00:46:43] Brandie: are good, some are

[00:46:44] Brandie: others. Let’s put it that

[00:46:45] Brandie: You’re the interviewer, an art you’re very good at it. And the questions that you asked me were fantastic. I’ve been on interviews before

[00:46:52] Brandie: And

[00:46:52] Brandie: clear that they didn’t read anything about me

[00:46:56] Mudassir: yeah.

[00:46:56] Brandie: know what they were talking about.

[00:46:58] Brandie: And now that one gets [00:47:00] uncomfortable because then you have to go from being the interviewee to also taking over the interview

[00:47:05] Mudassir: I swear. Yeah,

[00:47:06] Brandie: to it because you don’t wanna look, talk about yourself too much, or you don’t wanna

[00:47:10] Brandie: Like, you know, so there’s an art to being some, to interviewing people.

[00:47:15] Brandie: That’s a whole another, that’s a whole another thing.

[00:47:17] Brandie: To interview people and I like to facilitate probably more than I like to talk. But yeah, everyone is different. And it, like you, like I said, there’s an art to it, to asking the questions and to also answering the questions.

[00:47:29] Brandie: It’s not easy.

[00:47:30] Mudassir: yeah. Absolutely. I wanna, you know, pivot a little bit from mentoring to providing. All these consultation services to other businesses. So, there’s thing called design auditing.

[00:47:42] Mudassir: Like, I don’t know, I think about that.

[00:47:44] Mudassir: Yeah. So how can businesses ensure that the design efforts align with their overall strategy and the goals and what exactly is design auditing.

[00:47:54] Brandie: Well, I’ll let you know that design auditing is another term that I made up.

[00:47:58] Brandie: You all are learning that. Most [00:48:00] of the things that I talk about are,

[00:48:01] Mudassir: Yeah.

[00:48:02] Brandie: believed in just I’ve never believed in being a follower. I’ve never believed in doing the templates, into doing things that people have done. I’ve always believed in creating things that work for me and

[00:48:15] Mudassir: Why is that? So

[00:48:16] Brandie: I feel like Why? What is the, if we are doing the same things as everybody else, what’s the point?

[00:48:21] Mudassir: A lot of people say, don’t invent the, yeah. A lot of people say don’t invent the wheel. I mean if some, something is working for like a

[00:48:27] Mudassir: amazing years, yeah, you should do that. Yeah.

[00:48:30] Brandie: agree. I don’t agree. Why will somebody come to me somebody else is doing it? People are gonna come to me for my business, and they’re gonna wanna talk to me, and they’re gonna want to interview me, and they’re gonna wanna learn from me you know, ask me to be their mentor because I’m giving them something different. I’m brandy and I need to come up with brandy things. I don’t need to come up with something that, you know, maybe

[00:48:53] Mudassir: You don’t know. Yeah.

[00:48:54] Brandie: I’m not saying everything has to be invented, reinvented.

[00:48:58] Brandie:

[00:48:58] Brandie: many, like you said, [00:49:00] many things are there, like a cheeseburger, for example. Cheeseburgers are fantastic.

[00:49:03] Brandie: We don’t need to change them

[00:49:05] Brandie: know, but there’s things when it comes to entrepreneurship that need to be changed and to, you know, I need to do them my way. This is my business. I need to do my business my way. And that’s very important for me. So, design auditing, what

[00:49:21] Brandie: I used to always think about auditing. I used to do this thing when I was a younger designer. I’ve always been really good at basically going through things and telling people what I don’t like. Let’s think about a website, an office. don’t like that picture there. I don’t like that plant there. The font should be bigger. No, you need to move the picture here. You need to do this. Just going around basically auditing. And so, I started calling it design auditing because I go through and I tell people what needs to change and how they need to change it. this is where design auditing came from, because I used to think of an audit like, like, like from a financial perspective, you know, an accountant, an [00:50:00] auditor. I thought, well, I’m doing that with design. So, this is what design auditing is to me.

[00:50:05] Mudassir: Okay.

[00:50:06] Brandie: It’s

[00:50:07] Brandie: you upgrade a little bit.

[00:50:08] Brandie: It’s not as scary as the accounting, the account monitor.

[00:50:11] Brandie: you about design

[00:50:13] Brandie: And from a business

[00:50:14] Brandie: How design auditing, and we were talking about the role designers play in entrepreneurship and how fantastic, actually, when I thought about it, it was even like building a business plan. I’m writing my business plan with my hands. I’m doing every single thing from the startup. Me with my hands. not getting help from any, well, I’m getting help from my mentors. does this sound good? Just reviewing my texts and everything like this. But all of the thoughts and everything are coming from me. The terms, the services even. My friend asked me, well, why did you decide these services? They’re different from other advisory boards. I was like, fantastic. answered your own question. You answered your own question. I want them to be different because this is what I’m good at. This is what I know [00:51:00] that I can provide, and this is

[00:51:01] Brandie:

[00:51:01] Brandie: I think I can have in the creative sector. And being a design, these design auditors and being a designer when you’re creating your business plan, I can’t tell you how thankful I am for having a design background and starting an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur, like it immensely helped me and made my job so much easier from A to Z.

[00:51:24] Mudassir: you have a very creative side and you have translated that creative side into your business. It’s every single thing that I’m gonna do is gonna be different.

[00:51:32] Mudassir: Cause it’s not like, you know, whatever somebody is doing and it’s not gonna do and copy, paste exactly the same thing, but I’m gonna do things differently.

[00:51:38] Brandie: absolutely.

[00:51:39] Brandie:

[00:51:40] Brandie: I’ve always said that, as you know, as I am a design strategist,

[00:51:44] Brandie:

[00:51:44] Brandie: in the business of design. People ask me, are you a graphic designer? Are you a website designer? Are you fashion center? I’m like, I’m in the business of design, and everybody’s like, I., I don’t get it. What is that? I’m like, well, think of like, like a business consultant, but only for the design industry.

[00:51:59] Brandie: [00:52:00] This is a great way to say it.

[00:52:01] Brandie: Had this special talent. I’ve had one foot in the door in the business world, I have one foot in the door of the creative world.

[00:52:07] Brandie: I can talk to you, design terminology, but I can also talk to you about business terminology. I think this is the greatest strength, and this is what I try to teach creatives actually.

[00:52:17] Brandie: I always teach them. There’s a lot of value understanding business. If you wanna be a creative, if you wanna be successful, because you can be creative, you can make designs all day long. Be a fashionist designer all day long, what are you gonna do when it’s time to sell your products, to do contracts to talk to stakeholders?

[00:52:36] Brandie: Then what will you do? You need to know these things.

[00:52:39] Mudassir: do you think anybody can be a designer? I.

[00:52:42] Brandie: I

[00:52:43] Brandie: about like if you’re, I’d be like, oh, if your mom’s making this beautiful food and she puts the decorations on the top, and this is a designer to me. And while I still do believe that, as I’ve gotten older and I’ve seen how life realistically works think of [00:53:00] an architect or an engineer, their jobs to make sure that people are safe, to make sure that buildings don’t fall and that they’re functional. Can anybody be a designer? Probably not. Can anybody be a doctor? Probably not. This is something if you want to be, you can, you need to train though. And you need to learn, you need to be a trained designer to be able to implement the correct things. That’s important if you want to. Yes. I don’t suggest just going out there and to do things without the proper methods.

[00:53:35] Mudassir: Similar question on the other side of the business.

[00:53:39] Mudassir: you think everybody can be an entrepreneur as well?

[00:53:42] Brandie: No, don’t think everybody can be an entrepreneur.

[00:53:45] Brandie: that,

[00:53:46] Mudassir: Why? Why do you think so?

[00:53:47] Brandie: It’s a tough, it’s a tough field. have to be. You have to be tough and not everything you hear is nice. A lot of things, I’ve not had too many setbacks, but sometimes that’s the reality. [00:54:00] You have to have a thick skin. You have to understand what’s happening. You have to understand that maybe you initially thought, you have to be willing to grow. Maybe the way that I was thinking before, somebody tells me, well, this is stupid, or You can’t do this, blah, blah, blah. Or, it’s not smart. You have to reevaluate everything and you have to restart over and over. You get kicked down constantly. You have to be able to get back up and to redo it again. So, it’s not for everybody. But again, there’s a lid for every pot

[00:54:31] Mudassir: Yeah. Yeah. It’s coming full circle now. . Yeah. Yeah, I think so. I think the same way is just like a lot of people think that, you know, because entrepreneurship is kind of cool these days. This is like everybody talks Maybe putting a founder in your resume is pretty cool these days as well. But I think there’s a cost that freedom as well. It’s a constant grind.

[00:54:52] Brandie: You know, I’ve met people,

[00:54:53] Brandie: I’ve met people back home for example, and he was like, you know what, I met this man. And he told me, he’s like, I like getting up in the morning. [00:55:00] I like going to work, getting off at five, coming home and having dinner with my family, playing with my kids at night, reading them a story,

[00:55:08] Brandie: And going to bed and doing again.

[00:55:10] Brandie: He’s like, that’s enough for me. I’m happy.

[00:55:12] Brandie: we all have different roles to play in

[00:55:14] Brandie:

[00:55:15] Brandie: It wouldn’t be fun if we were all the same. We don’t all have to be the entrepreneurs. We don’t all have to be the founders. Some of us need to be the ones working, and I think that’s not everybody’s goal.

[00:55:25] Brandie: It shouldn’t be everybody’s goal.

[00:55:26] Mudassir: yeah. How much you are working these days, like, you know, in terms of hours,

[00:55:31] Brandie: I work a lot. I’m a workaholic. But, and that’s another thing, if you’re an entrepreneur you have to be a workaholic.

[00:55:37] Brandie:

[00:55:38] Brandie: I can’t count on anybody else to do it but me, I’m the face of the company. People are wanting to meet me. People are wanting to talk to me. I have to build the foundation of my business.

[00:55:49] Brandie: It’s up to me to build that foundation. I can’t count on anybody else to build it because if somebody else builds it, it’s not gonna be my business. It’s gonna be their business. You put in [00:56:00] a lot of work. It’s a lot of late nights, a lot of red eyes it’s a lot of meetings that may not go anywhere. It’s a lot of wasted time sometimes. If you have a drive and you believe in the vision that you have, it will absolutely, I think, flourish in the end.

[00:56:17] Mudassir: Yeah, I’m sure that in your opinion, what quality or traits somebody needs to have in order to be a good entrepreneur? Like

[00:56:27] Mudassir: necessity, do you think?

[00:56:30] Brandie: It’s very different. I would say that it’s really different for everybody. You can’t have, like, one thing, like I the number one thing that I would wanna have to say is that you have to be good with people. But then there’s many, there’s, I mean, taught people in the world that are not people.

[00:56:45] Mudassir: Yeah, I know. I know

[00:56:48] Brandie: probably going on the socio paths.,

[00:56:50] Brandie: we all know that the most sociopaths, I mean, it’s research. Most sociopaths are CEOs and things like this, so we can’t say that you have to be a people person.

[00:56:59] Mudassir: Okay. [00:57:00]

[00:57:00] Brandie: in my, what I’m doing in my role, being a people person is essential because it’s a startup and it’s a small group. Being a woman it’s very important for me to be able to be social. I want people to think of my business. Oh, I wanna work with Kingdom Creatives. I wanna work with Randy because she’s nice and because I feel like, I’m gonna get something good in the end, or she’s easy to work with. For me, this is, these are my ethics and my business ethics. Somebody else won’t people. And

[00:57:30] Brandie: again, it’s okay. I don’t think there, there is one. I think the drive Without drive and passion, none of us can go anywhere. So

[00:57:40] Brandie: probably what I would say. Drive and passion. You have to have the drive and passion to succeed.

[00:57:44] Mudassir: That question on that. So, being a female founder and a people person, do you think it is hard to take tough decisions? Like laying people off, cutting certain people off making, yeah. Do you think it’s hard?

[00:57:58] Brandie: I’ll say it straight off.

[00:57:59] Mudassir: [00:58:00] Okay.

[00:58:00] Brandie: it was before.

[00:58:02] Brandie: At this stage now in

[00:58:03] Mudassir: How did you change?

[00:58:04] Brandie: because you, you have to grow up, you

[00:58:07] Brandie: have to evolve. We’re talking about jobs evolving. You have to evolve as people,

[00:58:11] Brandie: You have to realize that very true. You know, our parents always tell us, you are who you hang out with.

[00:58:18] Mudassir: Absolutely.

[00:58:19] Brandie: true.

[00:58:19] Brandie: It’s, they were right about most everything

[00:58:22] Brandie: it does matter if people are not making you feel good, if

[00:58:27] Brandie: your cheerleader, if they’re not making you feel confident and positive about anything in your life your business your personal things, they have to go.

[00:58:36] Mudassir: Yeah.

[00:58:37] Brandie: cutting out the people like this, has been immense for my growth. And having those people that, that say your name in meetings that pass your name on to people that they think would be connections you have to have that, those that surroundings and those people. And I would say that you know, you just have to get rid of anything that’s negative.

[00:58:58] Brandie: You’ve got to weed the garden [00:59:00]

[00:59:00] Brandie: You are not going to grow. And in the end, you are who matters in your story. No one’s gonna write your story.

[00:59:06] Mudassir: Absolutely. If somebody to start today and with similar profile as yours coming up from states. Gets to Saudi Arabia and starts his or her journey in design. What advice do you have for him?

[00:59:23] Brandie: Well, I have to say just be natural and be real. I mean, the Saudi market, since you’ve said Saudi Arabia, the Saudi market is different from all the other markets. It’s specific market. Very, and this is what I do actually in my advisory, is I teach people about how to approach the market

[00:59:40] Mudassir: How is that different?

[00:59:42] Brandie: The people are different. Every culture is different. I mean, you’re not gonna be successful if you approach a country

[00:59:47] Mudassir: Yeah.

[00:59:47] Brandie: know, Saudi is a very different place. It’s more about people. It’s more about the vibes. It’s more, do I like them? Are they nice? If I’m, if I go into a meeting with Saudis and I’m rude, done,

[00:59:58] Mudassir: Oh,

[00:59:59] Brandie: over.

[00:59:59] Brandie: [01:00:00] They’re never, it’s never gonna happen. it’s also a word-of-mouth community, so everybody else is gonna know too. So, the way I carry

[01:00:07] Brandie: The way I speak sometimes maybe I’m gonna go to 15 meetings with them, for them to get comfortable and like me before I’m gonna get the job. it’s part of it.

[01:00:19] Brandie: But I would say that, yeah, just basically you really need to study the Saudi market and Saudi culture awareness is very important.

[01:00:28] Mudassir: Have you ever had a setback because of lack of understanding Saudi market that eventually, you know, taught your lesson like, okay, I need to study the people.

[01:00:39] Brandie: luckily since I’ve been here for 15 years, a crash course in Saudi culture awareness. thankfully, no, I haven’t had a setback, but not everybody has,

[01:00:49] Brandie: crash course that I have.

[01:00:50] Mudassir: In what way do you think Saudi’s, businessmen, you know, entrepreneurial community because that’s where you spend the most of your time, in what ways do you think [01:01:00] Saudis are better than people in the states?

[01:01:02] Mudassir: In terms of business or verse from people in the states? Yeah.

[01:01:06] Brandie: Okay, great. I’m glad you asked this question actually, so I’m not gonna say better then. And don’t use, we’re not gonna use these words but

[01:01:15] Brandie: I will say is that Saudi is a very special community. And I say this all the time, you all have heard me say this in many interviews. It’s very collaborative and supportive. there are always people willing to help out that don’t really ask for anything in return. Hey, can you do this? Can you come to this panel? can you come and support me in my show? They’re there. I think, I don’t know what it is. It’s a special, collaborative, supportive community that we have, and I think this is what sets Saudi Arabia off from any country.

[01:01:49] Mudassir: So, Brandy, it was great to have you. Lovely talking to you. We have a very small ritual or podcast, and what we do is we ask, I guess, a question. [01:02:00] For our next guest without knowing who the next guest is gonna be. And then we can ask ‘me the same question so you can answer that. So, we asked the previous guest, we have a very good question for you.

[01:02:09] Mudassir: Okay. So, the question that the last guest left for you was, what was the defining moment in your life that made you realize that being a founder is your destiny, or being an entrepreneur is your destiny?

[01:02:23] Brandie: I think that, that’s a great question. Thank you. Last guest. I think that it’s really, you know, not just one little moment, but I think it’s all these little moments when the stars align. Somebody told me before they were like, Brandy, you’re never going to be happy. Being a follower, you will always need to have your own thing and be a leader. And I think that’s the best way to put it. Because I don’t like to do things the way people tell me to do things I don’t like to do, stay in the box. I don’t like to follow things that have been done as we’ve talked about this entire, show.

[01:02:57] Brandie: To do things my way and you can’t do [01:03:00] things your way when you work for other people and you work for other people. So, I always knew if I want to be happy, I will always be miserable if I’m working for somebody else or if I’m not having somebody that gives me that space to be me. So, I have to put into the world what I’m doing because I will never feel fulfilled. I’ll always feel like I’m giving 5% instead of giving a hundred percent. So

[01:03:23] Brandie: All the little things that added up yeah. To, to this answer.

[01:03:27] Mudassir: Okay. No that’s a good one. Are you happy with whatever you have done? Whatever you have achieved,

[01:03:34] Brandie: I’m proud of myself and it took me a long time and I’ve only just been saying this for like the past couple weeks.

[01:03:39] Mudassir: why?

[01:03:40] Brandie: think I, I worried a lot about talking about, too much about not putting everything that I’ve done out there because I didn’t wanna look cocky, I didn’t wanna look smug.

[01:03:50] Brandie: I didn’t want people to think I’m better than them. But you know what? I realized I’ve worked hard I’ve worked hard in a small amount of time

[01:03:59] Brandie: I [01:04:00] deserve to be proud and I deserve, and I realize that anybody can be proud of me, my family, my friends,

[01:04:06] Mudassir: Absolutely. All right. It’s been a pleasure to host you. We’re gonna ask you to, you know, have a question for our next guest, please.

[01:04:12] Brandie: I have got my question. As soon as you told me my questions there.

[01:04:14] Mudassir: Thank you for that. Really appreciate it.

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