Greater Property Group - Logo

Iman Oubou – Former Beauty Queen Smashes Stereotypes & The Future Of A.I.


Iman Oubou is a Moroccan American self-made entrepreneur, author, published scientist, and former beauty queen. Her multidimensional background has allowed her to make significant contributions in various fields, from scientific research to business and media.

Iman is also the founder of SWAAY, an all-in-one mediatech platform aimed at providing content creation and support to under-represented voices and thought leaders. Iman has recently published her first book, “The Glass Ledge: How to Break Through Self-Sabotage, Embrace Your Power, and Create Your Success”, which focuses on overcoming internal barriers that hinder personal growth and achievement, teaching professional women how to create success without compromising their authentic self.

Additionally, Iman has also become a consultant and thought leader in the world of A.I. specifically as it relates to content and publishing.  

Iman’s unique journey as an entrepreneur, author, scientist, and advocate for underrepresented voices makes her an influential and sought-after speaker, appearing as a keynote at Harvard and MIT to name a couple. She was also part of the first ever all-female judge panel at Miss Universe.

We talked about Iman’s fascinating life and career as well as the following topics:

  • Winning Miss New York
  • Destroying Stereotypes
  • Challenges For Female Founders 
  • The Best Business Advice I Ever Received
  • I Only Listen When Experience Talks
  • “The Glass Ledge”
  • Power & Likeability
  • Showing Up with More Confidence
  • Accountability 
  • Content Is The ‘Lifeblood’ Of Every Brand
  • How A.I. Is Changing Content & Publishing
  • Will A.I. Replace Jobs In Content & Publishing? 
  • Will We Be Living In A ‘Terminator’ Movie?
  • The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received
  • The Best Piece Of Advice I Have For Female Founders

Every week, the RUN GPG Podcast aims to provide inspirational stories from people who made a mark in entrepreneurship, entertainment, personal development, and the real estate industry. It is produced by the GREATER PROPERTY GROUP to help the audience grow and scale their business and their life.

Know more about GREATER PROPERTY GROUP and the RUN GPG Podcast by going to or by getting in touch with us here:

Contact Iman Oubou:




Contact David Morrell:





Subscribe & Review The RUN GPG Podcast

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of the RUN GPG Podcast! Please leave us a review on iTunes. This will help us continue delivering beneficial content for you and our listeners each week!

Iman Oubou is a Moroccan American self made entrepreneur, author, published scientist, and former beauty queen. Her multidimensional background has allowed her to make significant contributions in various fields from scientific research to business and media. Eman is also the founder of Sway, an all in one media tech platform aimed at providing content creation and support to underrepresented voices.

and thought leaders. Iman has also recently just published her first book, The Glass Edge, How to Break Through Self Sabotage, Embrace Your Power, and Create Your Success, which focuses on overcoming internal barriers that hinder personal growth and achievement, teaching professional women how to create success without compromising their authentic self.

Additionally, Iman has also become a consultant and thought leader in the world of AI. Specifically, as it relates to content and publishing and Mon’s unique journey as an entrepreneur, author, scientist, and advocate for underrepresented voices, makes her an influential and sought after speaker appearing as a keynote at Harvard, MIT, to name a couple.

She was also part of the first ever all female judge panel at Miss Universe. It’s a pleasure. Welcome to the run GPG podcast. Thank you so much. I’m so excited to finally be on this show. Yeah. Thanks for being here. We’re excited to have you.  so I’m reading your bio, believe it or not, everyone that’s a condensed bio that was condensed.

I cut that in half. If you can believe it. So scientist, entrepreneur founder.  author, advocate, former Miss New York, AI consultant, like where do we start? That’s the question I had is where do we start? So I think it’s important. We definitely need some context and some background on your journey, both, you know, personally and professionally before we get into the specifics.

So I want you to bring us back to the beginning. Give us a brief Iman Oubou.  autobiography,  your path to entrepreneurship. How did you go from scientist to entrepreneur, you know, Morocco to America, all that stuff? Yeah. I mean, it’s an interesting question because a lot of people kind of ask how expecting that I had a whole plan in place and that I had a lot of thought process to make it happen.

But most of these pivots and transitions in life have happened to me, I would say almost accidentally, but I managed to find a way to really turn. Every experience around and be the type of person that sees it as okay. You know what? I’m in this life for a short amount of time. I’m going to be living my life to the fullest, meaning that I am allowed to take many different paths, especially in your career.

I think a lot of people go into school thinking, okay, I have to stick to one path and be  this super expert for the next 40 years out of the same company or same industry or whatnot. And that’s it. I’m typecast there. I’ve never really thought that way, even though going into school, I thought I was going to become a doctor, but I’ll bring you back to the beginning.

 so I was born in Morocco and,  I was raised there until the age of 15. And at that point, my parents told my brother and I out of nowhere, you know, kind of, it wasn’t something we’ve been discussing as a family. It kind of just. dropped on us one night at dinner that we were just going to move to this country that we’ve never been to called the United States of America.

And in a way, take our chances there.  my mom had her sister in Colorado. So we ended up in Colorado,  as our first entry points, I’d say she helped us kind of transition from the Moroccan culture into a learning more about the American way of being, you know, learning the language from scratch. I never spoke English until then, and really understanding how to navigate a whole new country, a whole new culture,  and traditions.

So that really took an interesting, I would say, turn for me as a teenager at 15 years old, mid high school, I had to repeat a year. You know, I think it’s already hard enough to be in high school as a teenage girl and all your hormones and everything, but being able to also transition into a whole new life that you had no idea about and leave your family behind, leave your culture behind and really almost.

It really was starting over. I think I carry that with me still to this day. And when people are asking, what is your drive? What is that fire in your belly keeps you kind of always climbing and and wanting to experience more and more. I think that that transition had a huge Effect on me even though I didn’t know it at that point.

I was I went through depression the first year we moved Um to america in high school. I didn’t really have many people to talk to about that experience also in my culture going to therapy and You know depression and mental illness was not really something we openly talked about to our family So I kind of had to carry that a lot throughout my high school, but not only that I also had to grow up a lot faster.

So because none of us spoke the language, I’m the oldest. I have a younger brother. My parents did not manage to pick up on a language much faster. I was the only one who was able to carry a lot of the functionalities in the household, especially when it comes to public facing. So go into stores and shopping, setting up phones and going to school and registering me and my brother.

So I had to become almost like the head of the household because of my language abilities. And that I think really opened my mind up to a whole new horizon of just. Self-awareness really. I had to pick up myself and be there for my family and not be that teenage girl that was just kind of floating through high school.

And so I think that was a really interesting transition in my life and that’s how we ended up in the us. And so going into school, I wanted to become a doctor growing up, I think in Morocco and many other countries, and. Especially third world countries, the idea of becoming a successful career driven person, you become a lawyer or a doctor.

So you’re kind of thrown right into that. And and although I had a great interest in science and I pursued it to the best of my ability, I ended up realizing after going to medical missions around the world and really being in the field practicing  and being surrounded by amazing doctors that were out there saving lives.

The purpose of it was clearly,  life changing, but I just realized really quickly that my personality, you know, again, bringing back myself to the self awareness, I knew right away that this was not the career for me.  I just couldn’t handle the emotional side of it. I didn’t think it was, I was going to thrive the way I thought before going into school.

So immediately I decided to move to New York after that and pursue more of a Career on the business side of biotech. So I had my master’s in bioengineering, but I was also very interested in content and storytelling and wouldn’t be able to explain technology and science to people who don’t have that background.

So I made the move to New York in 2013, and I ended up having a great opportunity working on the com side, investor relations and PR for biotech startups, focused on oncology. And then I also simultaneously with. participating in beauty pageants, which was an interesting, I would say paradox because by night I’m this beauty queen on red carpets and then by day I’m a scientist and everybody thought that was the weirdest thing ever because usually would expect pageant girls to be more models or singers or people that want to go into the entertainment.

And so that win of 2015 was able to give me a huge platform. Into the world of media startups, entrepreneurship and really understanding the benefit of using your voice to build a brand and a platform for underrepresented voices. And that’s how sway was born. So quite,  I would say a zigzag of a path, but I think ultimately I was able to really I would say get my feet wet in all the places I had interest in and figure out for myself where I belong.

And so I ended up finding really my true purpose and passion and going all in on that. Yeah. Interesting. Thanks for taking us on the,  the tour there. I think we needed it. I think we needed it, but,  well, you, you kind of brought it up, like, you know, I guess. In a way you’re living a double life, right?

Cause you’re, you’re in the biotech industry and then you’re a beauty queen by night, as you said, right? Like what was the inspiration behind that? And then the second part of that question is like, what do you say to people who say, you know, those two worlds don’t usually coexist or are commonly associated together.

And I think that’s what made it attractive to me. I think it was a challenge and it was a way to really prove to certain people that not every stereotype holds true. And also. I did at the beginning think the same way as most people that pageants are superficial and I remember actually it wasn’t my choice my mom signed me up for that because She thought it would be a great Competitive hobby to take on because I used to play tennis I got injured in In college and then I kind of didn’t have anything on the side.

I was just school and work And so she thought it was a great idea to potentially take on  a side hobby where I could also become more competitive because she just knew I thrived in competition. And so she signed me up behind my back when I was in Germany on an internship doing research over there.

So I came back and I saw this invite that in the mail saying, okay, you were accepted to Miss Colorado USA, congratulations. The major event is happening in basically two months. And I’m like, what is this? What’s going on over here? And in a way, she also convinced me. Because she had a good point about how we always need to be trying things outside of our comfort zones.

I think that by that point she saw that I was getting way too comfortable. She, she realized more than I did that I was not really getting that motivation and, and I wasn’t as. I would say ambitious and inspired as I used to be. And so she thought, why not try something completely out of our both worlds and see where it goes.

And I think she was right in hindsight. I I’m so glad I was able to kind of take her word for it and trust her with that decision. And that experience completely, I would say changed me for the better. Not because I won, but I think it’s the process every pageant girl trains for that completely it’s changes you from a physical aspects, mental, emotional, you’re in a way it’s like a boot camp because you are, you’re supposed to go out there on stage, which is probably the most terrifying thing to do.

And on top of that, you have two minutes. To sell yourself to a panel of judges about why you are the best woman in that room to represent a whole state or a whole city or a whole country. And then with Miss Universe, it’s a whole world in a way. So that is a tough job. That is not easy. To take on. And it’s also not easy to win in that environment.

It’s very competitive, especially in New York for me. But the fact that I was able to really achieve that I think gave me an even more of a boost and confidence that, okay, if I can do this, I can probably get through anything else out there. And if I challenged myself and I succeeded in ways I never imagined, then I can take the learning lessons from there and apply them to my professional life as well.

Communication skills, poise, confidence, discipline, all of that, I didn’t learn in college, I didn’t, I was not taught by my parents or family, I learned through that experience for the most part. And those are skills I carry with me to this day. I like it. That’s a great explanation. I love it. Right.  get comfortable being a little bit uncomfortable out of your comfort zone, right?

 do you remember your two minute pitch? Do you remember highlights on? I’ve had a few because you know, I’ve competed a few times before I was able to win the title of Miss New York, but every year you improve on it. And again, they give you feedback to that you end up taking on and working more and more and harder the next year.

And most women. Don’t win on the first try. I mean, some do, but I think the thrill of it all is that, hey, I made it so close. I mean, I made it to first runner up in Miss Colorado USA, and I almost gave up when I moved to New York. But my boyfriend at the time convinced me that I’ve come too far to come this far.

And I had one more chance at least to try this. And you never know what would happen. And I’m so thankful I was able to be pushed into taking making that decision. Because again, It’s the thrill of trying over and over again until you finally make it, because you know you’ve put so much time into improving yourself across the board, across your physical appearance, your mental strength, and also just how you carry yourself, you know, because you have to stand out.

And the thing about today’s beauty pageants. It’s you have to understand that it’s no longer about beauty I think that’s actually the most common thing that every woman has in that room So you really need to work on every other skill you might have to show that you can stand out and because just because you’re pretty doesn’t mean that you were going to Be representing the state in a nice way.

So you have to really bring the whole package, the whole game. So that to me was a, in a way I always described it. That was a bootcamp, a life bootcamp for me. Yeah. Very interesting. Okay. So,  you work hard, you wouldn’t miss New York. It gives you a voice, a platform, like you said, and you start a sway.  tell us what it is and why did you start it?

Yeah, so I think sway was kind of where I combined all the learnings from working in a male dominated industry while also competing in obviously women dominated industry, but still be able to meet a lot of women who were accomplished. They were confident, you know, these are some of the most impressive women I’ve met in my life at this point.

But I noticed that in both worlds that I was in, women tended to hold themselves back and did not really feel comfortable telling their full stories, using their voice to create change, being comfortable with being more public facing and vulnerable and open about either challenges or successes in a way that can really motivate and inspire the next generation.

 and a lot of that had to do with lack of self awareness or just, you know, lack of confidence. So a lot of them were soft skills, but at the end of the day, I realized through that experience that my story. was the reason I was able to succeed in both worlds. And had I not used my story to further my career and further my personal brand, I would probably still a lot, be a lot more behind than, than I am.

So I took that learning lesson and I kind of translated it into a platform. Okay. So now that I have learned that myself the hard way, And I now have a voice in a way that, you know, I have this title. I’m able to speak to in schools. I’m speaking at conferences.  I’m putting together these amazing gatherings for women to really learn from each other and network from each other and really create that community that can elevate,  each other.

But. How can I now do it at a almost like a global level? Right? How can I expand and how can I scale that effort? And of course, way was kind of that.  go to idea where you have a platform that helped women actually become more comfortable using their stories to position themselves better in their industries to market their skills to even just share stories that could be helpful to other women because it’s relevant to them or they’re going through similar,  aspects of it.

And just at the end of the day, what they’re learning to is being okay with being vulnerable and using their story, whether it’s a great story or hardships or successes or challenges to actually create change and inspire someone, even if one person reads that story, and they see value in it and makes them Maybe excited to do something different or say, Oh, thank God.

I’m not the only one going through this. Then you’ve already made a change that you’ve already created an impact. So that was the idea behind Sway as a platform. But also I think at the time when I started it. In 2015, this was at the very beginning of the Me Too movement. I had no idea that full time’s up and Me Too and this women’s movement was going to grow to that extent.

So in a way, it was a great timing, but also for me at the time, because I’ve made so many transitions in my career, I also had a lot of times where I felt lost, and I didn’t know Who to turn to, you know, what content to read, where can I find stories of other women who were not afraid to take the unconventional path, but still succeeded.

And initially, the way I was able to find a way out of that is by starting the podcast. Kind of what we talked about earlier is I couldn’t find that inspiration in at the time, Forbes or any other kind of major media outlets. So I said to myself. Why not create a podcast where I go find these stories, I go find these women and help them tell their stories.

But also it’s good for me because I genuinely am trying to learn from them and build that network that can continuously motivate me and inspire me further in my career. And so the podcast success ended up actually translating into becoming a media brand called Sway. So it was all, I would say,  a learning lesson, but also selfishly for me.

I felt like I desperately needed those stories that I couldn’t find in the media. And my idea is that what if we had this media product or the media platform that took a different path to content for women and not tell them what to think and how. You know, to dress and what to do, but rather it gives them a platform for them to tell their stories and what they learned for other women to learn from each other.

So that was a little bit of the process of how, obviously we we’ve gone through a few pivots as far as business model, as far as,  platform and products itself, but the idea for it never changed. And the vision has always remained the same. Yeah. Very cool. So you started as a podcast. Interesting. Yeah, that’s very interesting.

Yeah. It was accidental because when I started a podcast, I never thought it was going to, I was going to end up starting a business and a brand in the media following it. Again, I thought I was just going to do some interviews, learn from women, build my network and maybe continue in my corporate career.

But I think ultimately the success of it showed that there was more demand of the type of content. And so that of course translated into a business, but now I actually ended up moving away from. Sway as of last year. So that was my first business and now I’m getting more into the tech side of it. I’ve learned a lot about building tech products and creating, you know, solutions that can help people create a lot more efficiencies.

And again, this is where AI comes.  but I’ve been in the content space now for a while. And obviously there’s a lot of bottlenecks I’ve encountered myself with my team, but also I’ve advised a lot of startups and worked and consulted with a lot of companies that had a lot of issues with. Streamlining and, and creating a process that was efficient when it comes to content marketing.

And so that’s kind of my next challenge for me is that was a pinpoint for me. Now, what can I build? What kind of technology can I build to help solve for those pinpoints and hopefully, you know, make a whole new business out of it. Yeah. Very cool. Interesting.  you know, going back a little bit though, I do want to ask, cause you know, we’re, we’re entrepreneur, you know, focused,  What were the biggest challenges you faced as a startup or maybe actually, if you’re okay with me asking this, what were the biggest challenges you faced as a woman with a startup?

Well, I think one that I’ve spoken about very often is fundraising and access to resources and access to great talent that also believes in your vision. I think men tend to help each other more and tend to do deals based on strategic value. And so if we were to just, okay, let’s focus on women and raising money from women and getting reasons for women that limits our pool, of course.

But I do think that my background in the pageant industry, but also not being someone who has worked in the media before. And I was a scientist and a beauty queen, and then transitioned to being government and media founder. Definitely created that barrier for people to want to believe in my potential, so that played, I would say that played a little bit of a challenge for me initially, but I think I found ways to prove certain people wrong, but also I think it was great for me because it served as an extra push and another reason to work harder to really make it happen for myself, which meant getting more creative because you don’t have the same resources, so you have to find a way to be scrappy, but still achieve the same results as your competitors.

Yeah, I love it. The reason I asked that is from our, you know, previous guests, they, they do talk about a very low percentage of VC money and investing goes into women’s startups, startups. That’s just a fact. It’s just, you know, it’s science. So it’s interesting to hear from your perspective, you know, being successful, you know, what were the biggest challenges?

Do you remember along the way, the best business advice you ever received? Yes,  everybody has opinions and everybody wants to give you advice. That’s the easiest thing to get from people, but don’t listen to any advice or any opinion from anyone you don’t admire or you don’t want to be in their shoes.

And I agree with that because I know at the very beginning, I used to value everybody’s feedback because it was like, Oh, you know, I’m here for feedback. Give me everything. I’ll take it in. But with time, it definitely starts deviating you from the big vision and you start doubting yourself and you start internalizing a lot of it, even though 90 percent of that advice comes from inexperience.

So, and then I started telling people, I only listen when experience talks. That’s now my thing is like, if you’re not, experienced in the world and domain that I’m actively pursuing. I’m not going to have a hard time listening to what you have to say and even more so applying it or even take it in consideration.

So it took a little bit of time for me to learn that, but I think I’m in a place now where I obviously I’m very respectful about unsolicited advice, but I’m also very good at Reinforcing the boundaries I put for myself. Good advice. Good advice.

Okay, the glass ledge Iman,  what’s the meaning behind the name? What’s it about? And why did you write it? Yeah, so the glass ledge is basically a different concept from the glass ceiling, which is very popular. And I think we’re all familiar with the stats, like you talked about earlier that women obviously have to overcome a lot more barriers from a society perspective than men.

And, and I think Look, nobody’s arguing with that, but at least from my experience, there comes a point where you’re fed that narrative so much that you start creating your own barriers internally without even realizing that. Sure. No one’s arguing that we’ll probably have it the hard way. And again, life is not fair.

So I think everybody’s got their fair share of, of hardships and obstacles they need to overcome throughout their lives. But what most women are making a mistake in and including myself was to take all of that It’s a really internalize it and start creating these internal barriers for ourselves before we even go out there and try to fight the external barriers and most of the time you’re not over climbing the external barriers because your internal barriers are much, much, much higher.

And so before you even let’s say, for example, the fundraising before sometimes going out there to fundraise before even even setting up,  meetings with an investor, I would already convinced myself that there is no shots. That this person is gonna find me. So if you’re going into a meeting with that mindset, that’s an internal barrier that I just put on myself before I even had a chance to pitch myself.

And so you’re already going into your failure. And I’ve done a lot of those throughout my first business and where I created that self doubt. I created that self sabotage before I even had a chance to prove myself. And so you The glass ledge is a symbol that most of the time the reason why we’re not where we want to be is because of the internal barriers because they’re much harder to fight because you’re not realizing that they’re there.

Now, obviously if someone is out there and looking at all this, you know, external hardship or someone rejects you or so, you know, that’s obvious to see and you can probably easily move on from it. But most of the time we’re internalizing it and we’re turning it into. another reason why we can’t do something.

And so you’re kind of holding yourself back in more by internalizing everything that we’re told not to be and not to do. So that was really the, the,  essence of the book. And of course I, I’m going to split that across different themes. So power, most of us talk about wanting power or having the same power as men.

But if you ask most women out there now, what does it mean to you? Why do you want power and what are you going to use it for? Most of them are not going to have that right answer. So how are you able to go out there and grab that power you’re looking for if you don’t really know what it means to you?

And why are you even after it? Same thing with,  you know, likability. I think we’re getting caught up in trying to become more likable because We want people to like us because it’s going to give us more chances to succeed, but maybe that’s not really what you’re looking for. Maybe you’re looking for respects.

Maybe you’re looking for other things, but really understanding what is your reason to want to be likable or do you want to be respected instead? And also, what costs?  do you need to become someone you’re not in order to assume that likability factor?  and that likability, I would say pursuit comes from the fact that Most of the time if a woman is assertive, she gets called a bitch, right?

So now you took that and internalized it and now you’re saying, okay, I can’t be assertive anymore because I don’t want to be called a bitch. I want to be likable. So now you’re pursuing a likability based on what society told you because you showed assertiveness. So there’s a lot of nuances that I think.

Are not really considered by women when we are spreading this narrative that we have it harder than men. And most of the time, from my perspective, I think we make it harder on ourself more than society makes it harder than for us. And so ultimately the really big message for the book is, Helping women not let a dysfunctional society turn them into a dysfunctional woman because I’ve watched myself go from this go getter, happy, excited about to take on the business world to a completely dysfunctional woman.

By the time I reached year four of my business and everything crumbled, I hit rock bottom and that really forced me to take a step back and be like, what is going on here? Where am I going wrong?  what am I doing and what am I not doing to help myself actually. Get to where I want to be. And what can I do differently?

Not what can society do differently for me? Because if I’m waiting for society to change, I’m never going to change my life. So that’s really the idea. He’s take charge of your life. Yes. Outside barriers exist, but let’s not focus on the glass ceiling. Let’s talk about the glass ledge. That’s actually really sabotaging your, your success.

Super interesting discussion. I think it’s true. Yeah. We can be our own worst enemy in most cases, right? We, we really are. So I guess the question is just. You know, brief thoughts on how do we show up with more confidence then? Well, I think you need to do the inner work. So before you ask for more confidence, before you ask for more assertiveness, or any kind of soft skill, you have to ask yourself, what am I currently doing to nurture?

All of these skills that I’m looking for. So to me, from my experience, the best thing that gave me the best confidence levels has been failure and then figuring out a way out of that failure and coming back stronger. So that’s how you continue building that confidence. And so it’s just a way to gamify that experience.

And it’s also a way to diminish from how scared we all are of failing. It’s so true. I mean, we, we learn more from failures, obviously from than successes. That’s just a fact.  one more question before we move on to AI here, just you talk about accountability in the book, right? You, you, you referenced being self aware.

I think accountability is critical in any type of massive success. So just some thoughts on,  self awareness and why taking accountability is so important to achieving goals. Well, I think it puts you more in control. A lot of people are afraid to take on an ability because it’s easier to blame other things for your failure, for not being happy, for your lack of passion, for your failed marriage, for your failed relationship, for your failed business.

Oh, it’s because I didn’t get funding. Oh, it’s because my partner doesn’t show up for me. It’s because my brother is mean to me. So you’re, it’s easier to point thinkers, but taking accountability and saying, okay, clearly this happened to me. What role did I play? In this scenario that I can now change like obviously I failed.

So maybe I didn’t do X, Y, Z. Right. Let me take an inventory of what I did and how I contributed to where I’m at now, whether it’s a good place or a bad place, right? So I recently also walked away from an engagement. So I was engaged and it was a relationship of 10 years. Obviously, it’s not easy, but The way I approached it would definitely be different from if I approach it two, three years ago before I really kind of dove into this concept of accountability and self awareness, but now in a way where instead of blaming him or him blaming me, I think we were really able to take a step back and say, okay, well, how did we both contribute to this failure and what can we learn from it?

So that, okay, in our next relationships, okay. We avoid making that same mistake or self sabotaging ourselves because now we know better. But most people don’t really, I think, address circumstances that way. They, they look at it and they judge it. It’s easy for us and it’s human nature to say this is bad.

This is good. Oh, this is a good thing happening to me. This is a really horrible thing happening to me and not like, Oh, this happened to me. It’s not good or bad, but what can I learn from it? And how did I contribute to it so that I won’t do it again next time? Or maybe how did I contribute to how great it turned out?

So how can I learn from it to amplify that effort and do it again in other areas of my life? And that’s how I approach everything as far as accountability. And obviously it builds great rapport with people when people see you being that self aware and mature where let’s say you have a conflict, right?

It’s so much better handling that conflict with, okay, let me come to the table and just right away admit to my part of the problem. Because let’s, let’s face it. It’s never one person’s fault. It’s never someone else’s fault. There’s always a few people involved in a scenario and a circumstance. So coming into an issue or conflict or confrontation saying, look, this definitely did not turn out the way we planned.

And I agree, or I acknowledge and admit that. I didn’t help by being XYZ. In hindsight, that was my mistake, but here’s what I learned from it. Right away, you’re shifting the dynamic of that conflict. Right away, that person, even if they came angrier or they wanted to blame you, they will also take a hard look at themselves and say, wow, wait.

I did not expect that. So they would want to contribute more productively to that conflict resolution than creating more toxic confrontation. I just think everything becomes better and you can handle everything much better if right away your first instinct when something happens to you Accountability.

Okay, let me study myself and how I play this role, and then let me learn from it, and then convey that to whoever you need to convey it to. Yeah, I love it. I think it’s super important. Thanks for breaking that down. It’s a very,  interesting perspective for sure.  moving on to AI now, as we were saying, you know, you were originally on my radar because of the Mindvalley Summit, right?

 you were one of the keynote speakers. And you focused on,  AI specifically as it relates to the changing landscape of content and publishing, right? Before we get into the specifics, you opened your presentation. I,  I thought this was really cool. You mentioned that content is the lifeblood of every business and brand.

It sounds very simple, but explain why it’s so critical for brands to understand that now. Well, I think, and I think I mentioned that too, in my presentation, attention is, is the new currency of our economy. So everybody’s fighting for attention, especially businesses and the business context in order for you to get customers, grow your business, become a household name.

You absolutely need customers attentions and in order to acquire attention in the digital world. Now, you need to create content that is able to grab that attention. And most of the time that content has to deliver some kind of value because if it’s click baiting, it’s just kind of temporary. People don’t really remember your brand because of that.

You need to create content that absolutely wows your customers and positions you As a credible brand, a credible resource and a business for them to seek when they’re looking to solve a problem. So if you’re selling a solution or selling a product, why should they come to you? Why are you the expert and how are you going to prove you’re the expert and that they should trust you in order to buy from you?

And all of that is achieved with content and not just, you know, social media posts or a blog post, it’s really kind of how do you combine all of the current platforms and content formats available to us like webinars, for example, is a great form of content to deliver very interactive content that is able to create that value and is Establish you as a thought leader in a space, right, these podcasts, right?

That’s obviously a great way to continue building your brand, your business. And not only that, but you being a host of it and a c e o of the company, you’re also being a thought leader in the space. So you’re networking, you’re, you’re doing so many things by just creating this type of content. You’re building your network also.

You’re prospecting, you know, some, some guests could actually be customers or you’re also partner. Exactly. So, so, At the end of the day, it’s pretty simple. Obviously, attention is needed for a business to grow and in order to acquire attention, you need great content. Yeah. It’s a good thought. I appreciate you breaking that down.

I thought it was such a great way to start your,  your keynote there.  so can you talk about what you’re seeing then when it comes to the use of AI in content and publishing? Like what are the most impactful use cases, I guess, that you’ve come across or how is AI changing content, creation, distribution, engagement?

Yeah, well, I think we’re at a stage where now AI is able to streamline the entire content development cycle from research all the way to tracking metrics and performance and using that as a feedback loop to improve your content strategy moving forward and always iterate. Obviously, everyone is familiar with child GPT and with that tool alone, you’re able to create a content strategy, create a content calendar with 30 days worth of content just from one prompt in one click.

It takes about at least. A few days to a week to create a whole content strategy plus mapping out a pipeline of content. Now you’re able to do that in chat GPT with one click and one great prompt. And so then you move into the content creation aspects of it. So a lot of people that struggled with saying, Oh, you know, I’m really having a hard time putting my thoughts as an, an article or writing blog posts for my brand to rank on Google.

You’re now that that problem is solved. You know, you don’t have to be an expert anymore an SU expert You don’t have to be a great copywriter to even just get started now I do want to preface that i’m I don’t recommend that people just copy and paste the output straight into their channels I absolutely advocate for human editors and that now as humans We’re taking on more of a role of a creative director and an editor than an actual creator because if we put Chad GPT and other tools as our creators is our basically workers and assistance.

Then we have that luxury to just focus on the creative aspects of it and really be,  focusing more and spending our time with problem solving, growing our business, focusing on really important business things that are done by humans versus the tedious tasks that are repetitive on the content side.

And that includes research. Keyword research, mapping that out into a table, ideating based on those research keywords, and then creating pipeline, putting together an outline for an article, putting together an ad sales page. All of that now is being done with one great prompt. And so I think we’re now at a point where just more.

Concerned about learning how to leverage these tools rather than learning the craft and the skill. So I remember there was a time where people taking writing skills writing courses to improve their writing skills. Now I would advise you to maybe take an AI course instead and use that to learn how to prompt AI to do that writing for you and said If unless you want to be an author and unless you want to make a living out of, you know, actual creative writing, that’s a different case.

But if we’re talking about content marketing for the sake of marketing your brand and marketing yourself, then I would say it’s not really a great use of time for a founder or a business person or even a C, a C level executive to learn how to write to market their brand, but rather using the tools we have in place now to actually automate that entire strategy going into execution as well.

Yeah, very interesting thoughts and you’re kind of touching on it or you’re bringing up the, well, the thought comes up with regards to ethical considerations. Those always come up when we’re talking about implementing AI in any field. So how do you address ethical concerns related to AI generated content like plagiarism and bias, let’s say.

Right. I mean, yes. So there are also now More and more models are addressing that at the training level. And there are also some prompts that help you better evaluate your content or any output on those specific parameters, making sure that there is no bias, making sure that there’s also inclusive language and really kind of setting your parameters to make sure that the output is best.

Now it’s never going to be perfect, or maybe it will at some point, but where we are, it’s not. So that’s, again, why I do think that the best. thing to do is not to use the output of any AI tool as the final result, but rather as a first draft so that you don’t have to look at a stare at a blank page or ID it from scratch or really kind of when you hit that creative block.

So it’s more of a tool than the final product and the, the ethical considerations around plagiarism. Now there are tools to make sure that that’s not happening. So I think there are ways of really working around those. And by the way, those also happen even at the human writing level. We’ve seen that over and over again.

So this is nothing new that we’re dealing with. It’s nothing new that AI brought to light. It’s been something when I know when I was in school, there was so much plagiarism where people were just copying stuff from other essays and So it’s always been a problem, especially in the writing space in the content space.

I just think we need to be more vigilant about it and actually make it as part of our process. So a lot of our teams I’m working with, we have a very strict review process and approval process where a human needs to go through all the content, whether it’s generated by human or AI to make sure that we are looking for those specific considerations.

Yeah.  thank you for those thoughts. Fantastic. You know,  the other part of it is, and again, you know, like I’m in the world of AI too, you know, we look at this really closely, but for listeners, they ask, you know, the common questions you hear is, you know, will AI completely replace jobs and content and publishing or will it just shape and evolve the already existing roles?

What are your thoughts on that? I think it’s more of the latter. I think with every new technology called advanced, just like we’ve seen with cloud, with the internet, with everything else that’s come before in the economy, there’s going to be a huge shift in the industry. Some jobs are going to be erased.

Yes, but more jobs are going to also be created. But I also think that people that do keep their jobs. are going to have to learn new skills. And those new skills will involve the ability to use products that are AI powered, the ability to understand AI at the fundamental level. Because if I’m a business owner, for example, and I’m looking to hire right now, I would want employees that are going to come into my company and automate a lot of the processes that are not really.

generating revenue for us so that they have time to focus on the bigger things and to grow other areas that AI can’t probably really excel at. So I don’t think AI is replacing jobs just yet. I think people that are thriving right now, the companies are going to thrive in the future are the ones that know how to leverage AI.

To do better work and be more productive and be more efficient yet. And we’re not there yet, but you know, I’m sure that’s where we’re heading. So if you need AI to create content for you, it’s not going to do it for you by itself. You need someone to be able to operate. You need someone to be able to prompt it properly.

You need someone to be confident in how you can pull that AI tool or, you know, chat GPT and integrate it as part of your business processes. your management processes so that you guys are all efficient together as a team collectively versus someone who’s in the corner doing their own thing and not really contributing to automation and business transformation.

That’s at the end of the day, the goal when it comes to leadership, looking at how to leverage AI and how does that going to affect their HR approaches. I don’t think AI is replacing jobs just yet. I think people that are Driving right now. The companies are going to thrive in the future are the ones that know how to leverage a I to do better work and be more productive and be more efficient.

I personally think that a I has completely made my personal life and my business life more efficient. I mean, I use it even just for meal planning. I used to have This tedious, long process on Sundays. I like I have to figure out what I’m eating for the next week. I have to look up on Google recipes or call my mom.

Like, what should I cook? Like, can you give me some thoughts? And then I would have to put together the list of it. And all of this is quite a whole Sunday afternoon. Now with chachi BT and the Instacart plugin, I’m able to do that in literally, and I counted this. Two minutes and everything is delivered to my door.

So now my whole Sunday freed up, you know, so now I can focus on doing other more creative things and being more active and same thing with fitness planning. So I used to subscribe to all these long and crazy workouts that didn’t really fit my schedule. So now I’m able to feed AI my schedule because you’re able to upload documents now.

And then based on my schedule, it creates a fitness plan that actually is aligned. With my schedule, which is really customized and personalized for me. So there are very creative ways to use it for your personal life too. It’s not just something that’s going to change jobs and businesses and the economy.

I think it’s something that’s going to change lives and lifestyles as well. A hundred percent. Yeah. It’s made my life easier in a lot of ways to you brought up autonomy. Right. Or I guess what we call singularity. So people always like bring up existential risks, right? Will AI take over humanity? So Iman, will we be living in a Terminator movie one day?

Maybe one day, but I guarantee you, you and I are not going to be alive to see it. I think it’s a long, long way from super intelligence. We have even barely reached and we probably won’t reach AGI, which is artificial general intelligence, probably not even in the next 30 years or so. I think there is some research in that area, but there is nothing that shows.

And this is also coming from the experts who have been researching this for a while. It’s not anything that seems to be promising. Now, the only big advances that have been happening, and that’s why we’re in this hype cycle, is at the ANI level, which is artificial narrow intelligence. And the other word for it is weak intelligence.

So it’s really task driven. It’s task based. And I don’t think we’re going to be anytime soon at a level where AI is able to develop its own intelligence, its own memory and really kind of improve itself over time. I mean, look, that’s so for me, that’s so cool. I’m not too worried about it. I do want to see a world where that happens, but I don’t think people should be worried about that.

That’s more of like the AI Doomer narrative that sells magazines and content. Great clickbait, but right now I wouldn’t worry too much about it. And if that’s going to discourage you from diving deep into understanding more about this, you’re going to be one of the people that were left out by when the internet came out.

So you definitely don’t want to reach, you know, five years from now and say, Holy crap, I hadn’t a chance to, I was at the very. Early beginnings of this, and I could have been at the forefront of how to leverage this better for myself, for my family, for my businesses and career, and I was discouraged by some narrative that was just promoting robots, which, you know, that’s not really, I think we’re missing the point here.

The, what do you love most? Wait, hold on. What do you love most about AI? I think it’s just so thrilling to experiment with it on a daily basis, and honestly, it’s one of those technologies that you make it what it is. You make the most of it. It’s how you use it. It’s up to you. It’s a really personalized tool.

And the way I see AI and the way I use AI is probably going to be different than the way you do it. And that’s what makes it really cool is that There’s so much to talk about and we’re at such an early stage of this, even though it seems like we’re in the middle of a huge hype cycle and things are moving so fast for a reason.

You know why? Because the reason why all of this is kind of moving at a light speed is because everybody’s involved in it. We’re all at a level where. We’re all learning together. We’re all even, even open AI puts out stuff and learns from how other users are using it and talking about it on Twitter. So everything is so new that there is no expert.

And sometimes I get triggered when someone’s like, Oh, you’re an AI expert. I’m like, no, I literally just sort of using that feature last week, but it’s really about how fast are you to teach yourself and keep up with it. And the thing is, you have to be excited about it. It’s going to be hard. If you’re not really into it to keep up with it.

It’s the same thing. When for me, an example that I tell people is like NFTs came out and you know, even some crypto stuff. I’m like, I don’t even know. Just miss me with that. I’m good. You know, so it would have been hard for me to keep up with that because I just was not interested in it for some reason.

And that’s okay. You know, we’re not always interested in everything. But when I started kind of making an appearance, I was like diving headfirst and there’s no turning back. So yeah. You got to tell yourself, are you actually interested in it? And if you are, I guarantee you, it’s a very easy,  I would say industry, and it’s a very easy technology to actually immerse yourself in it.

And the good news is there is no stupid question because everybody around you is at the same level as you. We’re all learning it.

Are you a new real estate agent or thinking about getting a real estate license? If so, you’re going to want to ask about the Greater Property Agent Scholarship Program. Why pay for the cost of the course yourself when the Greater Property Group will subsidize the cost for you. Make sure you reach out and get all the details on the Greater Property Group’s Agent Scholarship Program.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur? So many that when it is funny, every time I get asked this question, I’m like, I don’t want to be boring. Like, I’m sorry.  the worst advice you ever received, or the biggest lesson you’ve learned is the worst advice. The worst advice, honestly.

And I know at the time I didn’t think it was bad, but is to always plan ahead. I think that’s the most thing ever, because I think the best thing that happened to me, I’ve never been planned. I wasn’t even involved. They just showed up. So yes, of course. I’m not saying wake up and just figure out, Oh my God, what am I doing today?

There’s a certain level of planning that goes into being an entrepreneur and being someone who’s out there being a go getter and creating opportunities for yourself. But I think that sometimes we get so lost in the planning that we miss out on actual opportunities. And so don’t get too caught up in the planning side.

Sometimes most of the time, it never happens the way you planned it. Yeah, that’s great.  awesome perspective.  okay, here’s a question. This is an important one. Based on your experience, what’s the best piece of advice you could give a female founder or entrepreneur? I’m going to go back to what I said in the book.

Don’t let a dysfunctional society turn you into a dysfunctional woman. Genuinely, you make the most out of your life. You are in control. And the more agency you have over your path, the easier it’ll get. Great advice. With all you have on the go, Iman, all you have on the go, how do you prioritize the day?

Like what is your morning or daily routine look like? My morning routine is very focused on me and I did, I will say I did not have a morning routine that was very optimized until I would Say six months ago, so it took me a while. I’m not one of those people that claims that I had it figured out early on.

I’m also not a morning person, so that’s the good news for people listening who don’t really like to wake up at 4. 30 a. m. and shower with a cold shower, with a cold water. But I, I just, you know, I take my time. If I don’t have an early morning, I wake up around 7 or so, 7. 30. I do my runs. I have taken on swimming now because I’ve read a great study about how water is so great for anxiety and just kind of diving in the morning your face going underwater actually kind of gives you that shock that calms your body.

And so as someone who,  Struggles with anxiety. I definitely need to start my morning in a way that calms me before I even open any kind of news, any email,  you know, any even phone calls or text. So it’s very much centered around activity, being active, so moving your body and then meditating, which is another.

I would say practice that I’m only now learning to do better. I’ve not really believed in that too much in the, in the past because it’s a little bit boring for me, but it’s about finding the right meditation for you. And maybe they’re not all spiritual because that’s not really what does it for you.

For me, it’s mostly someone talking about a specific subject, but more in a soothing way. And that’s my form of meditation. So you just got to. Figure out what works for you. But I always suggest that morning routines should very much be focused on activity and just finding ways to calm your body and your nerves.

I love it. Yeah. I, I’m very intentional with my morning routines. Now it’s a long time, you know, like as entrepreneurs, we just, we just hit it, right? We just work and you know, and I think, I think you need to pay attention to it. I think it’s critical for anybody that takes on a lot of responsibility or runs a company.

You have to do it. You have to look after yourself. Otherwise, you’re going to pay for it later. Okay. This is a really important question. This one’s going to make you think. If you could have dinner with any three people in history, past or present, who would they be and why? I know right now, if I wanted to have dinner with one person that’s very much alive today, it’s Melanie Perkins.

She’s the founder of Canva, a company. I just think it’s a very fascinating story and her approach. Has been incredible,  building a company out of such an early age with so much rejection, but really where she took the company, obviously her and her co founders and team. I just want to sit down and hear her talk all night.

Hopefully she’s, she opens up, but I think for me that that’s the kind of women I’d love to learn more from because they’ve taken a different approach than most of what we see talked about in, let’s say the tech crunch of the world and Forbes and whatnot.  but that’s one.  I think for me is,  I would, I would definitely love to have dinner with Audrey Hepburn.

I mean, I’ve always been a fan.  I just, there’s something about finally meeting and sitting down with a timeless woman, you know, that’s always been the brand I want to build.  as someone, I’m not a trans person. I don’t like following trends. I really admire women that have. Build such a strong brand that has survived over time and has has done it her way, and there’s just so much class when you just read about her.

And when you just look at her, there’s just something inspiring about her that I would love to absolutely. You know, get that energy from so that’s another one.  and then the last one is going to be a tough one. These are the questions that I never think about, by the way, because I think the first time I listen, I put you on the spot, but they make you think, right?

Yeah. I mean, listen, Steve Jobs. Okay. I know it’s a cliche, probably, but No, we’ve had so much to unpack there. There’s so much to unpack, but I think for me that it’s not even about hearing the story, hearing them talk. When I think about having dinner with someone that I admire, it’s mostly experiencing their energy in person.

I’m just very curious about that because, you know, you can watch videos of them. You can hear them talk across like a podcast or interviews. But it’s to me, I don’t get to experience someone until I am there in person and I’m very energy driven person. So I can have a whole thing about someone from afar, but then I meet them in person.

I’m like, Whoa, this is so different from what I expected. And that to me actually is more important than what I see them or what I hear about them or how I see them talk is just being, and they sometimes don’t even have to say anything, just being in the same room as someone. A hundred percent. So we got Steve jobs.

Audrey Hepburn and Mollie, who is it? Melanie Perkins. Melanie Perkins. Well done. What a dinner table that would be, hey? That would be so fun. That would be a fun dinner table. Okay, so,  where do you want the people to,  find you? Where do you want them to go follow you and, and see what’s next for Amanooboo?

Yeah, I’m,  on mostly Instagram and LinkedIn. Iman at Iman Ubu.  and,  obviously you can reach out with any questions. I try to be as responsive and interactive,  on both channels for Twitter. I’m not, I’m not really on it to use it. I just use it to follow threads and important information, especially when it comes to AI.

They have some great threads about use cases. And,  what others? I’m not on TikTok. I’m not on anything else. So yeah. Those are the three things. The three, the three channels are Twitter and LinkedIn and Instagram and it’s at Iman Ubu. Amazing. Thank you so much for joining us today, Iman. Very,  interesting interview.

Fantastic. Very insightful. Looking forward to seeing what’s next. So thank you for joining us. All right. Take the rest of the day off. Thanks, Iman. Stay in touch. Yeah, will do. Peace.


Related Post