Mountain climbing, charity work, successful startups, and public speaking; can you do all this?
Dubai always has awesome people! Business Buzz was able to reach out to the astounding Omar Samra earlier this week and had a great inspirational talk. Omar Samra founded Wild Guanabana in May 2009; an adventure travel company founded in Egypt and now opened up in Dubai. He is also known for being the first Egyptian and youngest Arab to climb Mt. Everest. He also does motivational speeches in universities, schools, and to the general public. Above all that, he’s also working on a project for the less fortunate, called Marwa Fayed’s Toy Run. The list goes on! He has plans to go to the North and South Pole; he’ll also be going to space next year!
How can you not be amazed!
What inspired you to climb Mt. Everest?
It all started when he was 16. Omar Samra had no intention of taking climbing seriously at first. He was in a summer camp in Switzerland and was given the opportunity to climb a mountain. Thinking he would never get the chance to climb a mountain, he tried it out. Although he had Asthma at the time, this didn’t stop him from going into sports. In his trip to Switzerland, when he saw the mountains, he “fell in love with the mountains, the beauty of it, the sense of peace you get, and the sense of challenge you get”. What attracted him most is not that you challenge the nature, but it’s a challenge to yourself.
At his age, climbing Everest was not that simple. He broke his Everest goal into more achievable ones by climbing other mountains until he eventually reached Everest.
What did you learn from this trip?
When going on climbs such as Everest, you learn a lot about yourself. “You’re put under a lot of pressure and a lot of stress and you have to deal with so many things like fear, self-doubt, pain, and mental struggles. You need to work through it, there’s no one but yourself to help you go through it. The amount of adversity that you go through is intense. When you spend a couple of months on Everest, the struggles you go through are as the ones you go through in a lifetime. It’s like a learning life school. You learn how to appreciate the very simple things in life. When you’re there you don’t have access to much. You’re eating the same food for two months, and it’s not even that good! You’re not showering. You’re sleeping in a very uncomfortable environment. Everything is scary. When you go home and you find all the comfort you want, you appreciate it more because you’ve been in a situation for a long time where you haven’t had access to these things.”
Aside from mountain climbing, what other projects do you have?
Omar Samra is not only a mountain climber, but also a passionate entrepreneur. He’s always up to date on the progress of his wild adventures company, Wild Guanabana. Right now they have covered at least 16 different destinations around the world. They take people on wild trips where they can explore mother nature. They range from mountain climbing, to jungles, to rafting, to beach adventures. The great thing is that you don’t need the experience, just the passion of adventures! What makes Wild Guanabana unique is that they don’t just give a random list of adventures; Omar Samra personally goes on these trips to make sure the experience would be beyond perfect. They do all the necessary research and put together an agenda that will work best for adventurers.
Things get better and better! Omar Samra also enjoys giving motivational speeches. Whether it was for a company, or big event, or even a school, Omar always has the right words to motivate you to get up and follow your dreams.
Moving into charity projects, Omar Samra runs a charity called Marwa Fayed’s Toy Run, started in 2010 by his late wife who passed away mid-2013. “She used to take used and unwanted toys and give them to children who needed them more. We just won an MBC Award for Humanitarian Project of the Year and we were given a grant to grow the project. We’ve received toys from 10 different countries and distributed over 5000 toys. One of the main advantages of this project is that it teaches kids the concept of giving from a very young age. In order for you to really feel the sense of giving, you have to detach yourself from something you care about.”
Why did you choose to become a public speaker?
“One of the reasons I do what I do, whether it’s the company, the speaking, or the expeditions, is being able to use these experiences to motivate and inspire others. Not climb mountains, but to take the same approach of taking risks and not be afraid trying. To dream and set big goals and believe in themselves. Speaking is a very effective way of getting the message out there.”
As an entrepreneur and inspirational figure to people all around the world, can you give a short motivational speech on reaching your goals and doing what you love?
“One of the main things that people always asked me was: How do I know that it’s something I really want? Is really a goal or a dream? Usually when you have those goals and dreams, it’s a nagging feeling that you get. When you have an idea in your head and you try to dismiss it and it keeps coming back. You keep thinking about it. Your mind tells you forget about it, it’s not going to happen. It’s crazy. Everybody around you is going to tell you don’t do it, it’s too risky, take the normal path.
You need to understand that the road is going to be long and hard, and you need to be prepared for that. If it was easy, everybody would do it. Failure is a part of success. You will stumble along the way. That’s just an intrinsic part of the process. Most people fail because they don’t even start; they don’t take the first step. The reason that happens is because we, as humans, have two things that allow us to make decisions: the heart and the brain. Each one is designed for certain kinds of tasks. The brain is analytical; it can prioritize tasks, find solutions, but it’s not designed to process dreams and goals. When you have a goal, your brain is not going to make you take the first step; it will come up with 100 reasons why you shouldn’t do it. It’s going to make you afraid of the unknown. It’s going to make you doubt yourself.
The first step you take always has to be from the heart. That’s why it’s called the leap of faith. Once you take that first step and you’re committed, apply your mind to solve problems.
If you have a dream or a goal and you understand that the road is going to be long; prepare yourself to enjoy the journey. If you’ve been thinking about something for a very long time, take the first step. You’re not going to be able to logically convince yourself 100% of the right thing to do. You feel that it’s something you need to do.
You’ll either succeed, or you’ll learn.
Follow your heart.”