We all want to make the world a better place to live. We all have a desire to help the underdog, those people who don’t have the same opportunities and blessings as we do. However, this often seems to be so daunting and widespread that we underestimate ourselves and don’t do anything at all. Today’s guest started with nothing—and today, she is giving away more than she could have ever dreamed. Malini Saba is one of the world’s top investors and philanthropists of South Asian origin and has a passion for helping women and children in need all over the world. Today she is revealing her secrets to believing in your own power and using what you have to kickstart your future.
- How To Believe in Your Own Ability
- How To Use Your Past Experiences to Push Yourself Forward
- How To Use What You’ve Been Given to Change the World
Malini Saba is the founder and chairman of Saba Industries, which owns and operates commodities businesses. She moved to the US at age 19 with only $200 in her pocket. Her investment career began as a Silicon Valley venture capitalist during the 90s with experience investing in more than 20 technology companies. Her nonprofit organization, Stree, is aimed at changing the way low income and at-risk women and children worldwide see themselves and their roles in society and has been changing lives around the globe. Stree has helped 3 million women since its start in 2001. Malini is no stranger to giving, pledging $10 million to tsunami victims in India and Sri Lanka, and donating $1 million to help start the world’s first Heart Research Center for South Asians in California. She is changing the world by empowering one woman at a time.
Wisdom From The Episode:
- We don’t need to control everyone.
- Ask rather than tell.
- Fear is your worst enemy.
- You don’t have to do it the way they want you to do it.
- Do what is true to your soul.
- In life, you have successes and failures, yet those failures are also successes if you learn from them.
- Who you truly are is where you come from.
- Keep things simple.
- Know and understand your employees.
- Don’t miss your open door.
- It’s okay to experience loss, heartbreak, and failure as long as you learn from it.
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DB (Daniel Budzinski): Welcome to the DreamCast Podcast. Where you start the journey to make your dream reality. Become the greatest version of yourself, and discover your purpose. My name is Daniel Budzinski, and I’m excited to bring you today’s show. Every week the DreamCast will bring you practical tips, steps, and interviews from influential leaders, successful entrepreneurs and business professionals living out their dreams from around the globe.
Our guests have discovered their purpose and are constantly making investments into their greatest asset, themselves. I believe your dreams are priceless, and if you’re looking to make an investment in yourself and don’t know where to begin let’s start the journey today by joining me at DanielBudzinski.com.
Thanks for tuning in now, let’s get started.
Well, thanks for joining in today’s dreamcast where you learn from the greats and see what you have in common with them. The Dream Cast Podcast allow you to access the most significant minds and lives in the universe. Those that are making a difference in moving the world forward like never before. My name is Daniel Budzinski, your host for The DreamCast Podcast. And on today show, we’re gonna be talking about how to believe in your own ability? How to use your past experiences to push yourself forward? And how to use what you’ve been given to change the world? Now it’s time to introduce today’s guest.
DB (Daniel Budzinski): Today’s guest is one of the world’s top investors and philanthropist, born in Malaysia and growing up in Australia in a middle class household. She moved to the US at the age of 19 with only $200 in her pocket. Today she is the Founder and Chairman of Saban Capital Group Inc., a private investment firms specializing media, entertainment and the communication industry. Her investment career begins in Silicon Valley as a venture capitalist during the 90’s with experience investing in more than 20 technology companies including Sycamore Network Inc., Paypal and Natscreen Technologies.
Our guest is a passionate giver, pledging 10 million dollars to tsunami victims in India and Sri Lanka, and donating a million to help starts the world’s first Heart Research Center for South Asians. Her non-profit Stree: Global Investments in Women is aim at changing the way low income and at risks women and children worldwide see themselves and the roles in society. And she is been changing lives around the world for over15 years, inaugurated by Bill Clinton, Jordan’s Queen Noor. Stree helps 3 million people since its start on 2001. She was named Entrepreneur of the Year by business woman network, philanthropist of the year, ambassador of peace and also holds the Mother Theresa award. She blogs about the importance of good relationships between women and how together women can change the world. She believes women are the future and she is passionate about empowering every girl including her own daughter. She has a heart to help people using her experiences and abundance to transform people around the globe. Malini Saba, welcome to the DreamCast.
MS (Malini Saba): Well, thank you for having me today, Daniel. I’ve never heard anyone talk about me that way, it make me goosebumps.
DB: Really, you know what, it’s my moment to brag on you. I think often individuals that are living a significant life they don’t talk about themselves because they are so focus on changing others, and so, yeah, it’s an honor to brag on you.
MS: Thank you!
DB: Well, to start out the show I’d love for you to share some history where you’re born, where you grow up and a little bit of what your childhood was like just to give context for individuals tuning in to our conversation.
MS: I was born in Malaysia in ‘69 to a middle class family and I have one sister. We migrated out to Australia when I was very, very young in order to give us a better education. I guess, for me, you know my parents have to work very very hard and it kinda taught me that nothing comes easy if you really want something you really have to work hard and I think my dad when we move out to Australia he lost everything. Coz Australia that time was going through very much all-white policy and so he really had very, very difficult time settling in to the country which I didn’t realize when I was young coz when you were young you never notice these things, life is always you know a magical place. And so we lost, we pretty much lost everything so we had a very very hard childhood. And as I you know grow up into my teens, I had to work a couple of jobs to be able to make sure that you know we cover our school fees, we had food on our plate. And our dad who was really going through emotional hardship I would say, because of the changes, I grew up very quickly.
I had to really be coz… being the oldest…I had…coming from a culture as an older child you are responsible for your family. So, I had to really be creative, work and study and make sure that I was successful because, I had a younger sister that I had to make sure went through university and also got educated. So, I guess that started the journey, and for me, I really believe that women can do anything, we are multi-taskers…that we can…if we set our minds to something we will make sure it happens because…it’s much harder for us, it has been. I know, I sound like a broken record and a lot of women say that, but it is a different place when you are a woman, it’s not that easy.
DB: Yeah. Well, totally that’s my passion is to host just as many women as I do men on the DreamCast because, women are powerful they have every capability. Just lately, we had this large event and I talked about the fact that it should be a legal for women that not have equal rights on every level on every area of society. It should be illegal just like racism you know what I mean?
MS: I agree, I agree. I think that we should in 2016 be having the same pay rate, you know, or even more because, we are multi-taskers and we are not, we don’t have tunnel vision. There is a huge difference the way we manage.
DB: I’ll tell you what. What I love about your life Malini and I know you gonna share more about your stories. Despite the odds, despite…you went and did it. You didn’t wait for the system to treat you right, you went and made the life you know you had to create.
MS: Yes! I don’t believe we should be handed anything because, you know, when you get something for free, you never appreciate it. I think it is very important to know who you are, believe in yourself and it is difficult I’m not saying sometimes, the world seems like its falling all around you and you feel like you’re collapsing, but you need to have the strength inside to say, look I need to be able to put food on my plate and keep the roof over my head. So what do I need to do to be able to maintain that and sustain that? And you know, in order to get bigger and better from there, that’s a blessing, and I think that’s been my soul motivation.
DB: So good. Well, you know you came to the US for the first time having $200 to your name that blows my mind. Like that’s what you had. First, what emotions and your feeling and then second, talk to us a little about what’s going through your mind, the thoughts and how you saw your future in that moment.
MS: You know, when I landed, I was just excited I was in the United States and all I can think about was Disneyland. I was 18. I think $200 was hell of a lot of money at that time and I don’t think I even realized what was in front of me. But, I am…I had a boyfriend who was studying in at Stanford at that time he was who later became my spouse but, when I arrived and he too was poor I mean, he saved every single cent to go to the university because it wasn’t given handed to him by his parents. So, when I landed, it was like oh my God, you know, what do we do? How do we kinda function? And…we have to catch the bus back to Palo Alto. And then my job was to…okay, how many jobs can I get in order to be able to breathe and put myself to school after that. That was basically what’s going through my head.
DB: That’s a lot.
MS: But you know, the funny thing is, I got some babysitting job and I decided to start a cleaning business coz it was the best way to make money. There were a lot of people in the area and a lot of houses on the campus and even outside the Menlo Park. And so I started to a little business which you know I could do while I study. And, you know, it’s kind of grow from there.
DB: You know, when everyone listens to your intro and hears like a juggernaut business woman that you’d become, the entrepreneur, and it so cool to hear you say like…that you started babysitting.
MS: Yeah, I did.
DB: That’s crazy.
MS: I still remember the first kids, they were twins I remember…I think must have been 18 plus or 19 and I thought oh my God what do I do with these two. But, you know, from there I think I have 4 or 5 babysitting jobs and I enjoyed it. And I learned about the families and it was…I tried to enjoy everything I do because I think if you don’t love what you do, even if it is cleaning a house, making beads, if you don’t love it or make it like a hobby, you will never progress I think coz you just gonna be unhappy about it on a day to day basis. So, I’ve always tried to make everything that I do even at that moment I know it’s not gonna be exactly what I want, I’m happy to do it and I look the best side about it coz that’s the only way to go forward.
DB: Right. Well, I love that. Because you just celebrate every season, every phase looking through your story, I would love for you to share exactly how you did it. So, I know that’s very hard to package your life but, if you had to share like how did you go from a net worth of 200 to a titan of business and philanthropy? What were some of the practical steps or moments if you would say?
MS: You know, I, it came as like a puzzle that you kind of put together. I wanted to, you know, My background is Psychology and at that time I love psychology but it wasn’t something that drove me coz I wanted to be, I wanted to use the other side of my brain, I guess, a little bit more and I couldn’t get it into the all-boys network. It was in the early 90’s. I didn’t have the right qualifications and I wasn’t an MBA and I still not an MBA. So, I thought how would I do this?
And I had actually done some jobs on the side for so early start ups and I had some shares and I thought okay…coz I always took share instead of pay coz I needed the experience and the only way people would hire me is if I didn’t take money.
So, I ended up caching all that, putting it in little pool and say okay, no one wants to hire me, let me start something and then let me, you know, connect with the others who has started a company and learned it as I go.
I learned. I’m not an engineer but I understand people and I understand what people required to build something and I just learned as I went along and invested in a couple of companies and, you know, it was a fantastic time in the mid to late 90’s. That valley was just so invigorating and so many bright people and just as they have right now, but it was really fantastic.
So, I kind of rode the way I think there was so many young engineers coming out in every university with such great ideas. And pretty much again, same thing happening right now it’s like de ja vu but I’m hopeful that we don’t go through that big lull that we did in the early 2000. But, I did that, and you know, we had quick returns.
One of the things that I’ve always wanted to do was always make sure that I give back. I get more pleasure out of that and use my skills to enhance someone else’s life. So, I started out the foundation the same time. And, again I wanted that to be the full front more than the business side.
But, it was a right time, the right place and never taking no for an answer, forcing my way to every deal that I could possibly be in. And I still keep that same philosophy, you know, if you say no and I’ll just say why not? And I’ll just keep on knocking on your door until you say okay, damn it woman just you know come in.
DB: Oh Gosh! You giving me courage.
MS: Never take no for an answer.
DB: Yeah, I like that. No, I really like that. Well, tell us a little about that, tell me a story that you know someone said no to you. You got that disappointing emotion hits you and then you’re like you know what? No! I feel like I’m supposed to have this.
MS: I guess it’s a deal. It wouldn’t been the Sycamore deal coz, you know, it’s really, really difficult to be appreciated I guess because, you are not an engineer, you are not in that loop, but I just keep trying to find way into that.
I knew a couple of people who knew the founder and when investing into that deal is not the easiest way. But, I guess something that would apply to your question would be something that happen just a few years ago coz I kind of shifted into the commodity space over the last 12 years and getting into that space specially the oil and gas was really, really difficult. Being in Dubai, trying to get a deal done, was just like pulling your molar by yourself actually, was really, really hard.
But, I just keep knocking on the door of the gentlemen who own the refinery in Saja till he just got so sick of me and he said alright women, I will sell you, you know, the 50,000 tons that you require at the price you want…because I just wanted it I said there’s just no way you gonna say no to me.
DB: Right. Straight persistence.
MS: But, I tend to do that. I tend not to send my staff I’d like to do it myself because sometimes I feel that they might give up because if you really need to get something to take you to the next step, once you open the door into that field, sometimes you need to do it yourself because you want it more than anybody else does.
DB: That’s really good. I really like that actually. There’s something to that and there’s something about empowering others and I see that obviously as many organization as you run you empower hundreds of individuals but there’s something about getting it done by yourself because you know you want it and you know you only have a certain amount of time.
MS: Yes, you have a small window and you cannot miss that window coz when that door shuts, then you know, it’s difficult to reopen it again.
DB: Yeah. That’s good. Well, tell me something else you’ve learned from your past that’s kind of you carried with you today. I think what’s interesting in you been into many cultures, raise in Malaysia, went to Australia, now in the United States, traveling all around the world, Dubai, and I’m sure tons of other nations. What’s something you’ve taken from your past that’s brought you and carried you to where you are today?
MS: I think, when I…growing up I would say, yes, I would say growing up because I got to the Valley early would be…I was very naïve and you know the Valley has a very different way of being it’s very honest place.
One of the things that I discovered and learned as I left the Valley and went to the wilderness, say Asia, to do a lot of business. I realized that, you know, people weren’t what they seem to be… and I understand business is got its different level and I respect that. But, I think when you’re building, I tend to build all my companies from start-up mode, I don’t, you know, move like most of the other big companies coz we’re not or I don’t see us a big entity. Everything is always done ground level up.
I discovered that you can’t… when you going into a new environment and because I take the foundation with me at the same time, you’ve got to be really careful on how you maneuver through the system. And you cannot do things, you know, very much the clean-cut way you got to place a game that even if you don’t like it and it’s not true to your soul, you have to do it. But, the one thing that came out of it is you don’t have to do it the way they want you to do it. You can do it. You can play the game on your rules and that’s one thing that I took away.
And I always tell people that never succumb to how others wanted to do something and it doesn’t matter if they done it a thousand years or five thousand years. If you got your moral values, and rules, guidelines and boundaries. And it doesn’t matter what your company thinks, you need to follow that. Because you have to do what is true to your soul. Because, otherwise, you gonna wake up every day and you gonna hate yourself. Life is too short to wake up feeling that way.
DB: That’s like that really speaks to me because, you’re right. When you’re working with different cultures. My dad did a lot of international business at the corporate level and everyone does business differently. Like you said he had really shift the culture and really adapt but at the same time you gonna set a new rules, a new boundaries and place…so that things could operate efficiently and really lining up where he could put his head down on the pillow.
MS: Yes, that’s right. I feel for him. I know what he went through.
DB: What a balance, right?
DB: Tell me. When did you know like you’re gonna be a successful entrepreneur? When did it hit you or has it even hit you yet?
MS: You know, I don’t see myself like that. I still see myself like I’m still starting. I know it sounds really weird. I guess nothing stays forever. Because of the way the market works and life is. Whatever goes up has to come down and there in life I think you have really good successes and you also have a lot more failures than successes. And those failures are also successes, right?
Because you’ll learn from them. You learn what to do and what not to do and how to move forward. I still see myself as a startup mode. I’m still living in very simple way because it’s still hasn’t registered and I don’t think it will register. The only thing that comes out of this that gives me great joy is that I could do a lot of philanthropy without stressing.
DB: Without limitation.
MS: Yeah. This is what we need to do and this is how we can push but, otherwise, you know, I’m doing another start up at the moment and I’m back at a startup mode, you know, life is like, okay where do I get a money for this and how do I make this work and everything else is forgotten.
DB: Right. What an adventure though. I ask that question for a reason because again when you host the minds of the great, you realize that they see themselves as ordinary people, and that’s the reality is that you, Malini Saba, have created doing what you’ve done because you haven’t even hierarchized yourself. You said hey, I’m just trying to live my life in a way that I feel like stewarding what I’m responsible to do in this earth and with that comes the successes of what you’ve done.
MS: Yeah. I think it’s very important to know where we started life and never to forget that. You know, who you truly are, where you come from? And all these other things that you go through in life, you know, your successes when your company did really well it’s not, it shouldn’t be who you are, it should be the journey that you going through. But, where who you are needs to always stay true to your core. Because, otherwise, you’d lose yourself and that is I think that’s the worst thing you could do and then you had to come back to this world again, you know. Who wants to do that? This should be your only life.
DB: Right, that’s good. Well, tell me someone who has impacted your life and the journey. You’re talking about remembering where you came from your journey. I’d love that. Who was someone in that journey for you that is been maybe someone special that pops around and hey, they really made a big investments in my life whether they knew it or not.
MS: You know, I have a girlfriend who’s a psychologist but she’s a doctor in Gerontology. She… I’ve known her for over 20 years. Her name is Dr. Katak. She works at the Stanford hospital. Someone who is very, very down to earth and very true to herself. I think she’s been one person who no matter, you know, how high what her life has taken, she always stays humble and she’s been someone that I could go to and talk to and she’s been great role model for me because, she keeps reminding me whenever you get caught up in the nightmare, or I would say, the nightmare of success because it’s a whirlwind, like a tornado that comes and you’ll find all these people surrounding you who really wants something from you. She’s always remain… because she doesn’t want anything, no finances, no nothing. She’s been a solid pillar.
I think I would say out of everyone, she’s been someone who’ve made me believe that there are people in the world who are just themselves, don’t need much from anybody. That they’re just there to guide you, and help you emotionally which what I think all of us need. I hope that helps answer that. But, yeah.
DB: No, that’s really powerful. It speaks me big time actually. So, you know I’m 26 years old and ah…
MS: Oh, you’re a baby.
DB: I’m a baby and I have two babies. One of my girl is… I have a six-month-old and 22-month-old. Me and my wife are really enjoying this time. You know, for me I’m passionate. I got this zeal, I got this fire in me. I can’t like put it out even in when I’m trying go to sleep. I have hard time falling asleep, right. I have some mentors in my life that I’ve just.
MS: Yeah good. That’s good.
DB: I have some mentors in my life that kind of done what you’ve done. They don’t want anything from me and I don’t want anything from them but just relationship and man, aren’t those the best relationships.
MS: They are. They give you hope. Really, it’s you just wake up in the morning and say there are people out there because they really don’t anything from you and you know you have someone that you can talk to and who’s not gonna go and tell the world that you just come and said something to them. Which is another thing. Which is very important.
DB: Right. True friendship that’s what you’re talking about. Is it you’re hanging out with individuals lately that are higher influence in its social realm and one of the things that I felt to say to them is that hey, what can I do for you that no one has ever done to you? How can I serve your life and just do something for you. I’ve nothing I want to take from you and you know what I just…you know, what they say to me? I have…a few of them tear up and a few others of them say hey, no one has ever asked what they could do for me. Isn’t that amazing?
MS: I guess, you know, they’re human. They have the same needs and you tend to kind to put a shield up which you really shouldn’t. And that’s the one thing that I learned in the early days when I was very young and naïve and going through this rollercoaster. I put shields up and what I’ve learned now in my late 40’s is that, you know, don’t do that because you only hurt yourself so, take the shields down and just be a lot more aware of people and trust your intuition, you know.
I do that, I do that a lot. I’d go with my gut and you can tell good people and you have those you really open up to and then you got people that come and go in your life and they come for purpose. Understanding that and not knowing you gonna hold on to them. Just let them come and go and it’s okay.
DB: I love that. That’s really good. So, tell me this, what is the typical day look like for you? For those tuning in this conversation, I’m always interested in, you know, what time does someone wake up? Do they drink coffee? Do they go to the store? Do they read newspaper? What is it typical day look like in your life?
MS: I wake up at about 4:30, I actually said my prayer and meditate for about half an hour. And then, I get going on work and answer all my emails. You know, do my homework my work homework. And then at 6 o’clock, I wake my daughter up and give her breakfast. I’d like to set with her talk to her, give her a shower, get it change and then take her to school and spend some time at the school.
You know, sometimes I volunteer at the school and then I go back. Get myself change, go to the office, you know, do my meetings, take care of some of the stuff of my foundation and then about 2:30, 3 o’clock I make sure that I hid out to go pick up my kid.
I spend most of my time with…my daughter always with me. So, if I had to go back to the office, she comes with me. If I had to go to the meeting, she comes with me. I don’t have help. I never have. She’s 7 years old. I’m one of those chronic mothers. I just want my daughter with me.
So, she sit and does his homework if I have a meeting and, you know, she’s been with me like that from the age of since, you know, she was a baby. When I used to go the Mines at…you know, I will take her with me and I explain to her what mommy is doing.
But, and then I come home, make dinner. You know, I cook every night. I need my one glass of wine every night, and listened to meditating music in the evening and watch my daughter play. And when she goes to bed after reading her book, I get back on to doing my thing, which is work and answering my, you know, **** then answer my phone calls and I then go to bed about midnight.
I tried to get in one good movie which on…I love the public channels I was trying to watch something on that. But, yeah, ever since I have a child I really want to make sure, I think of the biggest…Yes, you can have all this things but one of the very important jobs in the world is being a parent. And if you screw that up, you created a child that’s gonna have other…you know.
The world is a wicked place, so we have to give them the right tools. They can learn those tools by observing you knowing what you do and spending real quality time with them. And I think that one other thing I would love for businesses to do is to make sure that we have the environment for parents to bring their kids to work and maybe have a play area there for them.
Because as a parent, you know, it’s difficult. You want to make sure your child is safe and somewhere you can see they were okay. And they’re resilient. They can stay out and wait for you. You don’t have leave them in a house with someone else. If you can’t afford it or you don’t want to, I think you should take them to work if you could.
DB: Malini, I am super enjoying this DreamCast with you. You are the real deal. I’m learning right now, honestly. And what an inspiration. It sounds like again, your top priority of everyday is your children, your families and your personal, mental, you know spiritual, emotional health.
I mean, this is the stuff that if businesses, I believe, made an investment into those areas of their employees, they would decrease turn over, they would increase productivity and I think that the numbers would be un**** for the amount of money or energy or time that the business invested in. I think that they would get tripled back. I just do.
MS: I agree with you. Coz I think, you know, at the end of the day, if their families are happy, they are happy, right? If their wives are happy, their husbands are happy, their children are happy, they are happy. Because at the end of the day, you gonna go home.
It’s not all about, yes, we do need our work coz it pays our bills and we have our career path. But If we decide…when we decide to have a family, they must come first. Otherwise, you know, don’t have it because it takes so much time, more time to invest with your family than it does from work.
I’m just a very strong believer of that and I’m sure a lot of say yes, she could say that because she can do it but I really live a life a very simple life and I behave, I don’t spend money on other things that I don’t need. I still clean my own house, right? Because I just think, I need to keep myself normalize because I could lose everything tomorrow and then where do I start? You know, it’s gonna hit you even harder so you might supposed to carry on your life the way you always you live in.
DB: Well, your life is an inspiration because it shows that you can do those.
MS: Yes, yes, you can. And I think it is important because it keeps your energy balance. It keeps you balance and sharing, and having spending time with your kids is what you have them for. Yes, they can drag you bunkers because they never stop talking but the thing is and yours will start very soon.
But, you know, the joy of watching them just ask you all this questions, you’re thinking oh, my God did I do this to my parents? I guess I did. But, it helps you become young again and keeps the magic alive and it so important to keep the magic alive.
DB: That’s good. I’ll love that. You know, I have so much hope of your story to me right now. Because, I’m a guy but more compartmentalize and sometime I’m like thinking in my mind like can I really cook my meals at night and clean the house or do all this extra activities? Do I just outsource them? You know, at the end of the day, the fact you can do all of what you’re doing is blowing my mind that you can still cook your meal every night, watch a movie. I mean, you’re like you’re normal.
MS: You must, you must do that. It only takes half an hour. So, you know.
DB: I’m telling you, it’s an inspiration. It really is. Well tell me this, what is your one personal trait that you have contributed that you have kind of like a trait that you’ve embraced that is contributed to your startup success. If you had just say one that comes into your mind one trait.
MS: I guess, keeping things simple is very important and always knowing your employees is the other thing. Really understanding them and hiring people who have the same belief not belief when I say belief I don’t mean religion or any of that I guess, the core of wanting to make sure that you have a successful company but a successful family and trying to build that together. Because I think that is very important.
And it trickles down so how I value things, how, you know, I would have people around me valued things, right? You usually surround yourself with people that you draw to you and that’s why it so very important to have your soul centered so that your energy open so that whoever draw to you drawing what you are at the moment. And it’s very important to draw the right people.
DB: I was telling my wife literally just last night. I said, it’s so interesting when I travel. You know, when we go somebody’s event or some of these gathering where individuals who gather how the right people come up and start talking to me. It’s like you attract who you are. It’s so amazing and I’m so thankful for it because I never want to waste time or anyone else’s time and so when you start connecting with the right people, it’s just like, men! It’s a fresh drink. It’s a fresh glass of water to me. You know, for my soul coz I’m like wow that night was worth it, you know.
MS: Yeah, and it’s because I think you know your soul is clear. Your center is clear so you’re drawing everything to you that you ready for. And it’s so important to keep that space clear coz you manifest everything, right?
I’m hundred percent sure, Daniel, that you’ve manifested everything in your journey ‘til today. And sometimes we forget that we do that coz we just on a roll and it’s really important. That’s why I do the reflection in the mornings because it centers me and then whatever I go forward, you know, it draw to me and if I’m in a really in a mental rot, I don’t anything that day. I take that day off.
I don’t make any decisions because, I will make the wrong one and its okay for me to take a day off and it’s okay for me to take a mental day off. Life, you know, nothing is gonna stop, the deal is not gonna go away. In fact, it’s like you have a better solution the next day and you won’t make enemies on that day because *** *** *** It’s really important to know the body and your mind before we walk out the door and then a kind of act accordingly.
DB: So good. Well, I would love to hear this in your journey, first thing I’m taking a lot of notes this is like good stuff. I’m about to ask you to is, you know, life like you said is a whirlwind, success is a whirlwind. I would love to hear an experience, a setback, a failure in business or your personal life, you know. Share a story that you’ve gained some wisdom or insight on in your personal life.
MS: I think, you know, the way I look at it is when the universe gives you certain things she also gives you a lot of hardships. What it does at that time, you don’t realize it but, it teaches you lessons to grow and be a better person.
Instead giving it all to you in a plate and I had as many successes in business world than I have a lot of heartaches in my personal life. So, I think one of my biggest grow, things I had to learn as I grew up is in my 40s, is trusting people. And because I’m very open as a person I tend to draw in a lot of people and then just trust them.
And in my personal side of life, knowing that these people, when they come in, they will just take advantage or take from you or stab you because you don’t do certain things in your life to them or for them because you stick into your moral code. It’s very hurtful and you know in life even *** you can’t trust your closest friends sometimes and you wake up in the morning and realize that, you know, they’ve taken advantage of you in a really bad way and it that can also turn your world around. And I have that happened but, instead of getting angry and, you know, cursing, I tend to take a step back and think why did this happen? I can’t blame the other person coz I allowed this to happen.
So what I needed to change about myself. So, I walk through those *** *** *** again and redirect the energy so that I can be a better person. I know I sound like, you know, one of these gro*** people but I do, I really do believe that it’s very, very important to really do a lot of reflection, especially when you go through this ups and downs.
Nothing in life is easy. Nothing is given to you on a plate, right? Did anybody tells you that it’s all good and everything is great and I never had bad thing happened, they are lying. Because in life I think you need heartache and it is okay. You need pain, you need losses and you need… It’s okay to lose. It’s okay to lose a lot of money. It’s okay, you know, to be hurt. It’s okay to fail, it’s okay to be kicked in the gut as long as you learn from it, you know. And you’d be a good person and still be a good person because, don’t change coz you suppose to get better not worse in life.
DB: That’s what the DreamCast is all about Malini. That’s why I’m excited to have you because, it’s like so many individuals that push make money, make money build businesses but, there not even enjoying life and their life sucks! They’re not spending time with their kids and they are not centering themselves. And I love your…it’s all self-evaluation, it’s reflection, it’s internal engineering, it’s architectural design within you of reconnecting yourself to really the essence of if you have nothing, right? I like to say you came into the world with nothing, you’re gonna leave the world with nothing.
MS: I’d go with you, a hundred percent. That should be the philosophy of life because it’s a journey and we need to enjoy the journey, right? Because remember one thing, the past is now, and the future is about now. So, if you don’t enjoy your life, how can you go forward?
Whatever you make in life now is what gonna transpire tomorrow and a week from now. So, instead of spending so much time about…yes in business we have to think about, you know, our sales, everything in advance. But, you have to connect that with you as a person and being in the now. You can do all that but make sure you’d be in the present and enjoy that.
Just yesterday, you know my daughter…I had to go down, I went to L.A. over the weekend it was spare a moment. I bring her up because we got up in the morning and, you know, my husband wanted something drop off. And so, we just said okay let’s go, let’s go to L.A. Let’s just forget everything, let’s drive down, let’s go do it and let’s come back, right?
It was a spare of a moment but it was a beautiful journey because we saw the elephant seals and she learned from that. We saw dolphins. The mountain looks beautiful and it just refresh too. And then we come back and ready for the week. You need to do that. It doesn’t have to be planned. Just go for it, you know.
DB: It’s so cool. I wanna shift gear for few more questions and then ask you some personal question. Tell me does you’ve change so many people’s lives around the globe and I wanna hear like a personal story of someone that impacted you. And well, actually, in turn you impacted them and in turn they impacted you. So, share with us one of those global stories or one of those domestic stories.
MS: We actually *** day in Najad in southern India. One of the stories…I’ll tell you stories from there coz a lot of cases even today. They don’t like little girl because of the dowry system and in some other villages it’s still pretty rampant. We had a mother come and leave her child just, you know, on the cement outside the orphanage.
Over the last one morning the manage director got up and give us a call and said there’s a child here. We need to, what do we do with this child? We don’t know who the mother is and can’t find the parent but, it’s been covered, the child is okay but, we have to take the kid to the hospital to make sure that the kid was okay. And we ended up placing the baby with other family.
I guess that really impacted me coz that time I just had mine and it tore my inside that someone would do that to a soul that just coming into the world. But, also I can see the other side you know, the trauma of the family, the cultural hindrances and the layers that go with it. So, I can see both sides, but that still doesn’t make it right because, this is a helpless soul.
One of the things that, you know, we do is we fund poor people to come and leave their kids there and they don’t have to tell us anything about themselves so that we could place those kids or even bring those kids to the orphanage that they would actually have a life. And that they would be someone later on in their life that when they get to two or three that would adopt them.
But, what it taught me you know, that we can all be so happy living in our little places but these little reality checks tells you that life is just not perfect and that we are lucky where we born and we had roof over our heads and that there are many kids out there who don’t even know where they’re born, who their parents are that their parents want them. It just really sad.
DB: What a powerful story.
MS: But, there’s hope. That changed me a lot, especially when you have a child and just like all you have one now and you just see that it changes you or even before you have children I think you know, we would different mindset. And I remember my mother telling me, you change when you’ll have a child, you’ll change when you have a child and she was right. There’s something that goes in you, it clicks out in your brain – a protective instinct that every child becomes your child. You want to protect them.
DB: Right, right. Well, to me what so powerful is…So, again we just hosted this event and the whole idea was compassion is greater than passion. Coz compassion is for someone and passion is for something. Compassion is for someone else, passion is for me and we talked a lot about writing a story for someone’s future and a lot of this children, they might be nameless they might be faceless to you but, they actually have a name and maybe, the other thing like you said they might not even given a name, they might not remember their birthdate but, the reality is they’re just like you and me. They’re Malinis, they’re Daniels, they’re John all around the world that have a potentials of Steve Jobs that are in India, that are in Malaysia that have the potential they just need someone to believe in them.
MS: That’s correct.
DB: I’d like to get to a little personal shift. So, tell me, what is one of you favorite quotes? Something you can lean on, maybe quotes that you’ve come up with or someone else’s come up with and kind of quoted often and tell it to yourself often. What would that be?
MS: You know, I love Winston Churchill. Don’t ask me why. And the one quote that I always live with is that “Never, never, never give up” and I have that on my dressing table, on my post-it. Because when I wake up in the morning I look at that. Just never, never let any hurdles, you know, push you back. Just keep going forward. That’s what I live my life by.
DB: So, I just logged on the Facebook. I logged on to Facebook today and I read that as the first quote this morning.
DB: That is really weird. I kid you not. That is so cool. Well, definitely fits your life you’ve never given up.
MS: Yes. You mustn’t. You mustn’t actually until the day you die you mustn’t give up.
DB: Well, my wife actually too. My wife was talking to this morning we went out to breakfast. And she goes…we’re talking about some of the older individuals that they were at the diner early in the morning and she goes “hey, are you gonna be like these old guys just come here read and coffee.” And I said maybe, but I’m never giving up on the dreams I have. I am…at 80 years old, I’m gonna continue to build businesses, continue to build people, and she kind of look at me and she goes Oh, no.
MS: No, but it’s good. I think you can see it evolve as you get older you get wiser, you have more experiences and you know how to handle things. And you know, I’m still growing and I have the same philosophy as you. I think when I hit my 60s, 70s and 80s, you got all these wealth of knowledge that you can re-create and do so many other things. Yeah. So, yes.
DB: That’s the multiplication. Yeah it’s good. Well, tell me this. What would you do if you could go back and tell your 20-year-old-self something, what would you tell yourself?
MS: You know, I guess, one thing I would say to myself is just be a little stronger but otherwise, I wouldn’t change a thing. Coz I think, I am who I am because of the experiences I’ve had. And if I didn’t go through all that I wouldn’t be me. I wouldn’t have the knowledge space that I have, you know. I guess the days could have a little less painful but, otherwise it would *** everything else.
I can’t believe I’m saying this I should say “no” don’t change things but I don’t think I would because I wouldn’t look at life in a simplistic way that I do right now and I love the space I’m in. Just kind of forgo with the flow and you know, take it as it comes and everything else will sort itself out. Coz life will always sort itself out.
DB: Be strong and be yourself because you’ve made it this far and you continue to grow. I’d like it a lot, that’s good. So, I want to give you some time to share off to push the message of hope to women and your belief in them. Your unchallenging belief in them like you will not move in that place and I love that. I want to hear first where the inspiration came from? And then I’ll ask you another question what would you like to speak to them. And yeah where did this inspiration come from?
MS: You know, I think my mom. You know, she is a very strong woman. She was a teacher but there were times that fear will set in and that would paralyze her. And I really never wanted that to happen and I would always until today I usually can when I talked to her, I say I wish she was a little stronger.
I don’t want women to feel…let fear take over because if you let fear take over you stop believing in yourself and you think you need someone else to give you an advice and tell you how to do something.
We have the knowledge that both our parents have given us. Our fathers have given us, our mothers have taught us and our grandmothers have taught us. And you have your normal instinct inside and to trust that. To trust that and to go forward because there’s no better advisor than your souls telling you what to do don’t listen to all the noise inside and distant for me with that I would really go inside myself and say no, I need to get to this point.
So, I can’t depend on anybody else coz everyone else will say no, I’m not gonna help you or I’m not gonna do this why I should do this, you should be doing this instead. And I believe, I have a belief, I have a goal and so I’ll go with that path and if I don’t get there that’s fine you know, sometimes it evolves into something else but you go on the journey that you go on.
And as long as you don’t hurt anyone else it’s okay. But, be strong about it and never let fear. Fear is the biggest and your worst enemy, actually. Let fear take over and then you have all sorts of doubts and I don’t think women should doubt themselves.
I think men are taught how can they get over and move forward and women tend to feel that oh no, I need to wait for my husband or I need to wait for my father or my mother, let me ask my girlfriend for what she thinks, right? No. If you really believe in something, you know. Yes, you can talk about it without getting advice but you use advise constructively on your journey but don’t let your fear paralyze you because it doesn’t help. Coz life is difficult and the journey is hard and sometimes it can sound and feel so overwhelming. But, you’ll get there, you know. There’s always a way, there’s always a way.
DB: So, tell me this Malini, if you had to say something that would truly encapsulate the message you have for women in what you believe in them and then what you believe in need to hear, what would that be?
MS: I think, women have been blessed to be multitaskers, and to be able to solve problems emotionally in a balanced way. To be able to raise children and also do the other things that the world given us. So, we take the bull by the horns and go forward and never let any hurdles that comes in front of you may seems so daunting because you can get through it. And don’t let any bullies push you back because, as they push you back you take your three steps forward and keep moving. And that goes from relationships to work environments because you can do it.
And if you have one dollar in your wallet and you’re thinking how in the world I’m going to make it? You will make it. Take a deep breath. Clear your mind. you will be able to find the solutions to making that one dollar into ten. The answers are always with you. You just need to go forward and not let the fear take over. Ever.
DB: Well, you know, to end the show, I’d love for you to answer this last question and I think that having you around here you’ve been such a perfect homerun guest for the heartbeat of The DreamCast. So, Thank you first but, you know what would be the one thing that you believe that the world… this is a, again, this is like a *** question but maybe but, I think like the same time like you said that the answer is within us and I really believe you have..****.. What’s this thing that the world is lacking that you believe would solve many problems if we just begin to live that out?
MS: I think we should one…respect others for the differences coz we all not the same. And two, you know, start communicating and not telling people what to do, but, asking them how do you want us to do this? Coz I think it will solve a lot of our issues, you know.
Having lived in Asia, you know, for over the last 12 bout years, I’ve realized that they are a lot of tribal society and the way the handle things are very different and I learned a lot about that and I guess a lot of my looking in life and solving issues are come from that…from the way they solve things. And I think it is very important to ask rather than tell. And don’t get involve. Let the people do their own thing coz you know, at the end of the day, we don’t have to control everyone. As long as you control your own space and do your own thing, you’re okay. But, you don’t need to control everybody else coz, they’ll find a way, they’ll fight and they’ll sort it out.
DB: Gosh! That’s good.
MS: It’s not our problem coz they’ve been doing it for thousands of years and they will continue to do it. Just let it go, it’s a phase. Yeah. I know it sounds so broad but it’s very true.
DB: Will believe you, it’s not though, it’s not to me is not. I mean, that’s crazy. We can’t control anyone. We can only control ourselves and what you’ve just said, you just said the heartbeat of servanthood. It’s not about the man on the stage, this is what you suppose to do, hey, what do you think? It’s not having to be the solution machine, it’s being able to bring everyone into the solution and let them be a part of it. Like, that would change everything if people just implement that one thing that you’ve just said.
MS: Yeah, I do believe that’s from ***. We don’t need to get solutions for everything coz sometimes people just want to…they just want to talk and just listen. Don’t give them an answer. They’ll sort it out themselves.
DB: That’s good. Well, Malini thank you so much for being in The DreamCast. I really appreciate you take the time.
MS: That was wonderful, Daniel. I thank you very much for hosting me and I really enjoyed talking to you.
DB: You’ve just listened to Malini Saba, one of the greatest and most influential business woman in the entire world. Today, she is the head of Saban Group of Industries. She moved to the United States at the age of 19 with only $200 in her pocket. Her investment career begins as a Silicon Valley venture capitalist during the 90s with the experienced investing more than 20 technology companies. Her non-profit, Stree, aims at changing the way low income and at risks women and children worldwide see themselves and the roles in society. They’ve been changing lives around the world for over 15 years. Stree helped 3 million women since its started on 2001. And Malini is no stranger to give a pledging 10 million dollars to tsunami victims in India and Sri Lanka and donating a million dollars to help starts the world’s first Heart Research Center for South Asians in California. She’s changing the world, empowering one women at a time.
My name is Daniel Budzinski for everyone listening, if you have a dream but don’t know where to begin, then start your journey with me at DanielBudzinski.com. If you enjoyed the DreamCast, please subscribe to receive our weekly updates on each podcast released. If you’ve had a good experience then leave us a review on iTunes. And remember, if you have a friend or family with business or dream and they don’t know where to begin, then share and invite them to listen to the show because dreams are worth living and the first step starts today.
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