You Don’t Need Knowledge - You Need Relationships

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of being interviewed by a bright young student of Rehan School Munawwar Campus, Arslan EnergWala, during my visit to Pakistan.

As someone who’s lived in and visited numerous countries, each new trip brings a wealth of experiences, but my time in Pakistan this year was particularly memorable.

During this trip, I had the opportunity to engage not only with local professionals but with vibrant young minds eager to make their mark on the world.

One particularly memorable interaction was with a group of students from the Rehan School. During a workshop, I met Hina, a 14-year-old student with a passion for environmental science.

She shared her project idea on affordable water purification techniques for her community, demonstrating not only her knowledge but also her determination to solve real-world problems. Hina’s enthusiasm and innovative thinking were incredibly inspiring. It was interactions like these that highlighted the potential and eagerness of Pakistan’s youth to make significant contributions to their society and the world at large.

My Role In Encouraging Mentorship:

Four men in suits and ties standing, showcasing style and professionalism. Standing together, demonstrating unity and confidence.
Dan Ulin and Dennis Yu Together

During the interview, I talked about how everyone who has ambition should have a mentor they look up to, who can get you connections over time. For example, my good friend Dennis Yu helped connect me with Rehan Allahwala, who’s become a good mentor and friend to me now.

When I was young one of my first mentors taught me card tricks and how to be a more confident version of myself when I lived in Boston.

In the interview I explained how just like so many have done for me – I believe in paying it forward. As the head of Elite Student Coach, my primary goal is to help students harness their potential and excel academically, professionally, and personally.

My work takes me around the globe, from Los Angeles to Lahore, from Singapore to Switzerland. In Los Angeles where I live, much of my focus is on preparing students for prestigious universities, but the core of my mission goes beyond college acceptance letters.

I aim to equip young individuals with the tools to succeed in life’s various arenas, to become leaders who positively impact their communities.

Why Networking Relationships Are Everything:

Dan Ulin with Dr. Samir Karkhanis, CEO of Yangpoo Executive Education

After living around the world as one of the only white men in Osaka, Japan, and from living and working in places like Milan and around the globe – things are only as good as the people you know.

I explained in the interview how too many young folks want to be a lone wolf in business, and spend 10 hours a day cold calling. My advice is to instead, spend that time forging lifelong friendships.

My return to Pakistan is an example of how strong this principle is, since without knowing Rehan, I wouldn’t have nearly as much fun or make new experiences.

For example, these relationships have opened doors to incredible opportunities like speaking at FutureFest in Lahore last January and engaging directly with the youth of Pakistan.

Building meaningful connections is at the heart of what I do. It’s about more than networking for professional gain; it’s about creating bonds that foster mutual growth and understanding. This approach has not only enriched my professional life but has also deeply influenced my personal experiences in each country I visit.

What’s My Favorite Type of Food?

Dan Ulin Trying Kunafa in Pakistan For The First Time

One of the last questions Arslan asked me was what my favorite type of food was. I explained that this changed almost everyday!

While I’m a huge fan of Mexican food – I’d say my favorite at the time of writing is Pakistani food! You simply cannot go wrong with a good chicken Biryani, and it’s incredibly rare to find food as good in the US.

After my friend Rehan Allahwala convinced me to try Kunafa for the first time on this trip – I’m sold!

Going along with the theme of new experiences in the interview, I’m a big advocate for trying new food wherever you go – as long as it’s with friends you love spending time with.

Future Plans For Elite Student Coach:

dan ulin future fest lahore
Dan Ulin Speaking at Future Fest in Lahore, Pakistan

My interview with Arslan was not just an exchange of questions and answers; it was a reaffirmation of my commitment to empowering youth around the globe. Each question he asked reminded me of the curiosity and eagerness that drive us towards learning and bettering ourselves.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences and hopeful about the future we can build together.

My future plans for Elite Student Coach include meeting more inspiring students like Arsland from Pakistan, India, and around the world!

To do that and extend the mentorship beyond personal interactions, I’ve created the Dan Ulin Young Leaders Success Circle on Facebook.

This platform is designed specifically for young leaders, particularly from Pakistan, to connect with me. Here, I share tips, resources, and insights to help them navigate their paths to success.

Like I mentioned in this interview – for business, it isn’t selling. Business is about building relationships and having folks find you. And as I meet and help more promising young students, I’m convinced this is the correct way we can help others the most.

Always great to visit Pakistan and even though this is only my 3rd trip, I can’t wait to come back!