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8,760 Hours Each Year To Invest In What You Love

October 22, 2018
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The #mActivityPeople interview series focuses on the mindful lives and health routines of mActivity’s inspiring community. Submit your own on Instagram—post your mindful mActivity (tag us @mactivitynh!) and include the hashtag #mActivityPeople for a chance to be featured on our blog.

We have covered a lot of good people. Each member driven by an intrinsic desire to benefit the world and keep themselves healthy as they do it. However, professional athletes, artists, authors, academics, non-profit initiatives––no matter how noble––need funding to make their dreams come true.

So, to start conversation on financial well-being and growth, we interviewed Cheikh Mboup, a franchise executive with a PhD in economics and international business. If each of us only has 8,760 hours each year, it is good advice to invest in what we love. Cheikh plays an important role in helping us grow our own business convictions at mActivity. More on that below. Let’s get to know him first.

Cheikh Mboup at mActivity lounge

Stephanie: Early life experiences play an important role in shaping who a person becomes later in life. Where are you from?

Cheikh: I think my name gives it away––it’s not your typical New York name––I’m originally from Senegal, West Africa. My father was a diplomat. I grew up living all over the world in different countries. Over the years I have come to realize that living in different places has been the greatest gift. It taught me about humanity itself; I think it’s one of the reason why I can’t allow myself to stereotype any culture, community, race, gender, or identity as good or bad. You can’t morally judge something you don’t understand.

After everything I’ve seen and all the people I have met, my outlook is optimistic. I believe in working for the good in humanity. There are so many people out there who want to help, share in joy, be good. Meeting people like this around the world helped me realize that I play a role in keeping it good too. If I receive generously, I should provide generously just the same. These lessons shaped my approach to business down the road.

Cheikh with University of Belgrade at the crown prince's residence in Serbia

Stephanie: I get that. Through travel, you cultivated a global perspective, not just the image of one country. Which country has been your favorite place to live?

Cheikh: The United States, by far. I moved here with my family when I was 13-years-old. In my opinion, the US has a business platform unmatched by any other nation. If you strive for excellence, if you push yourself, you can reach levels of entrepreneurial success that isn’t based on your name, skin color, gender, or accent. We are allowed the audacity to hope for a better life.

In 20 years, I have received a B.A. in business economics, an MBA in economics and most recently completed a PhD in economics and international business. I have done work in New York, Connecticut, and Florida for private equity firms in the grocery industry and managed 1,300 stores in 11 countries for Edible Arrangements. Now I am a franchise executive. I consider it a vocation.

Stephanie: What is it about being a franchise executive that inspires you so much?

Cheikh: Growth. To invest in something like a brand is to participate providing generously. The idea of franchising comes in after a business is established. Our job is to identify businesses we believe in, purchase the business model, and share a portion of the profits as the business grows. I see franchising as an opportunity to create success that can be passed on to support others, even future generations. One of the greatest encouragements in my line of work is to hear successful franchisees share testimonies along the lines of: the house I just bought, the car I own, the fact that I was able to send my child to college, is all because of the profit I obtained from my investments.

Cheikh in mActivity workout area

Stephanie: For those seeking financial well-being, what would you say are the first steps?

Cheikh: Those who are pursuing a healthier financial stage should discover and or embrace their passion. Then, only then, will you have the necessary energy to start taking steps to convert passion into a financial commodity.

  1. Categorize daily activities.
  2. Identify which one is an activity vs. a passion. What do you find yourself reading, listening to or researching about?
  3. Identify the character of the identified passion.
  4. Identify a field or a role that best fits the character of the identified passion.
  5. Relentlessly pursue the passion.

Stephanie: How do you make your own business decisions?  

Cheikh: Most of the time I do business because of love. Once I love a business, I analyze the quantitative data and figure out an investment strategy, but it always starts with love. If you don’t love it, then how much money you are making is irrelevant truly irrelevant.

Cheikh Mboup and mActivity founders, Burch Valldejuli and Pablo Perez

Stephanie: This is a good a time as ever to announce: mActivity is growing! Why did you choose to invest in us?

Cheikh: A friend of mine gave me a call and asked me to meet up with him for a workout. I was so mesmerized by the mActivity site itself––the coffee shop and the natural lighting––that I forgot that I was at a gym. It really is a community. I fell in love. Within that same second I decided that I had to be part of this journey.

Every single place in this world needs mActivity. There is something unique about it that people desperately need but don’t have. mActivity allows individuals from various walks of life to hang out in a place where we are no longer strangers all under a healthy platform. It’s a loving investment in keeping the world good.

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