x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Money&Me: Follow your heart for abundance

Khaled Ghorab gave up a career in information technology to train as a life coach 20 months ago after deciding he wanted to do something more meaningful with his life.

Khaled Ghorab says he has made a few mistakes. Jeff Topping / The National
Khaled Ghorab says he has made a few mistakes. Jeff Topping / The National

Khaled Ghorab is a life coach for Khaled Ghorab Life Coaching. The Egyptian, who was born and raised in Abu Dhabi, gave up a career in information technology (IT) to train as a life coach 20 months ago after deciding he wanted to do something more meaningful with his life.

Describe your financial journey so far.

I'm grateful to say I have lived an abundant life. I wouldn't say wealthy; I'd say abundant - things were provided. After graduating from university, I realised I could spend my money on a dinner or on friends or something shallow. I enjoyed spending the money, but I wanted to do something more meaningful with it so I got myself a life coach. At the time, I was going through an emotional crisis; I'd stepped out of a strong emotional relationship with a person who I really cared about and through the life coach, I saw a different side to myself. I realised that if I can invest in something like that, I can definitely invest in something more meaningful. So I enrolled in a gym and got myself a personal trainer; I started buying books; I started going out with more meaningful friends; and I started spending more time with my family. It was a domino effect.

Why did you decide to become a life coach?

I'm an IT graduate, but have always had a deep sense of curiosity and love for people. I've always been the helpful friend - the one who plans, sorts things out and wants to make things better. It was my coach who helped me realise a lot of good things about myself - great things that I can use to help others. And then I thought, "I do like this profession". There was something about it that just drew me towards it. I started 20 months ago and set up my business in January this year.

Are you a spender or a saver?

A bit of both. I read a book called The Richest Man in Babylon, by George S Clason, and one of its philosophies is that you should save 10 per cent of your income. That stayed with me, not because I want to save but because of how I can use that accumulative amount later on.

What has been your biggest financial challenge?

One of them was my apartment in Jumeirah Lake Towers, which I moved into two months ago. I rented it partially out of my own pocket and I realised the impact of being completely independent because in Arabic culture, you live with your family until you get married. I decided to take that initial step before I get married, so the challenge was to pay my own rent.

Have you made any financial mistakes?

Oh, yes. A person of my age of 27 makes a lot of financial mistakes. When I was 24, I took my money and indulged and in a country where you don't have taxes, you make many mistakes. The simplest example is traffic fines. You feel the guilt, but part of you says "it's OK" and then you do it again and again and then you get a huge bill at the end. There was also crashing a car and spending money on friends when I didn't need to - you're happy to pay for everybody for some reason - or going out on a massive date and thinking it's going to make a massive difference and it doesn't.

What do you like to spend on?

Personal development. In April, I took a Neuro Linguistic Programming course to enhance my life-coach skills. It was extremely valuable and a lot of work. It's about investing in the quality of my thinking and the quality of just being a spiritual and healthier person.

What is your philosophy towards money?

Spend on yourself first so that you can help others. It's the same as changing yourself before you can help others. There's a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad that says if you try to spend on others before yourself, you won't go anywhere. If you spend on yourself to develop your character, naturally you will feel able to give something back to society. You will also feel that you have the financial and emotional capability to support others.

Do you plan for the future?

Absolutely. But I don't do financial plans, I do life plans. I think financially, but I don't do calculations. I create a vision for myself that can move me forward and then I chop it down. So if you want to lose weight, for example, you have to ask why you want to do it, how much time you want to spend on it and then you chop that down into 90-day or 30-day goals and work towards that. So I'll say by the end of this year I want to make this amount of money - how? And then I chop it down more and more. Sometimes I hit my targets, but not everybody hits the target all the time.

Do you help clients with their finances?

When you are a life coach, you support them in all areas. Naturally, things prosper so they become more emotionally fit. When they are emotionally fit, they know how to handle their finances. I had a client who was unemployed for quite a while and a month ago, she got a new job just by changing her mind set. That financially affected her. When you change your beliefs about yourself, you begin to delve deep inside and see who you truly are. I believe the more you understand who you are, the more you can get what you want in life by receiving it. That's how I help people.