Self-made entrepreneur Syed Ali Naqvi attributes his success to the unconditional support of his mother, who he describes as his ‘powerhouse of inspiration’


Tell us about how you began your journey

I’m a self-made millionaire. I think every young person’s dream is to become a millionaire and I’ve made that dream become reality. It is not hard to say what successful leaders do that makes them effective. But it is much harder to tease out the components that determine their success.

I’ve been taught never to quit, which changes the impossible to possible. I was born in Pakistan and studied in London. Achieving your dream is not easy for a person who didn’t have any support, nor anyone believed in, But I hope I am setting an example, that if you’re dedicated and confident then nothing is impossible. The sky is the limit.

My dedication and motivation towards my work is not only to prove myself, but for my family as well, especially my mother who raised me and four sisters by herself. Therefore, I really wanted to help her, but being the youngest among the siblings wasn’t very helpful. As I was growing up, I’ve had a lot of setbacks and challenges, but I never quit and kept my family and my struggle in mind even after all these years as a tool to push harder and honestly, failing was not an option. I believed if I continued with hard work it would pay off one day. With my mother’s prayers and Allah’s blessing, I’ve quenched the thirst of craving success. I made a promise to myself to buy my mother her dream home and thanks to the Allmighty I was able to do that.

What is it you do?

I am a full-time entrepreneur and an accountant by profession, I deal in real estate, Forex, cryptocurrency and I invest in start- ups as I believe in having multiple income streams.

You describe yourself as an entrepreneur. What was your incentive to pursue this?

Financial freedom was always my main incentive to become an entrepreneur. I wanted to be my own boss and work on my own terms. I was not fond of the 9-5 lifestyle. Moreover, the lifestyle I had envisioned for myself was not possible working as an employee. I tried working as an employee with various employers but didn’t feel that internal satisfaction. I was well aware of the difficulties I would have to face during my journey towards financial independence, however, I was confident that it would all be worth it in the end. Entrepreneurship requires the highest levels of self motivation, discipline, perseverance and hard work. It has helped me advance on a personal level and honed my abilities to the fullest.

If you could be in a room with four entrepreneurs, who would they be and why?

Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. These four (amongst others) have always been people I have looked up to through my entrepreneurial journey, and I try to emulate how they built their startups and revolutionary products!

What are your thoughts on failure?

Failure, of course is a really important part of growing. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not doing it right! We’re sticklers for team-wide monthly review meetings that have helped us learn and grow really quickly. Even the simplest things like ordering too many handles for a kitchen we want to avoid. We take a step back, see how it happened and make sure we’re avoiding the same occurance next time.
In the first few years we didn’t have a clear understanding on our finances and learnt the hard way as everything was paper-based. So hard to imagine when we look back.

What obstacles have caused you trouble?

Not all of us are born with a silver spoon; I faced external, internal, and other obstacles. One of the biggest obstacles was just because I had no support. No one took me seriously, and it’s not easy to achieve even if you have a clear vision of the future.

Having no one to depend on meant I had no room for mistakes. Before doing anything I would research and figure out what it meant if I succeed. Making wise and informed choices were the priority. I had to prove myself.

Do you have a morning routine or ritual to get your day started on the right foot?

My morning starts with an hour at the gym under the supervision of personal trainer, Bradley Fifton, which greatly elevates my mood. Then I start my day with calls and emails. I go for a daily 5km run in evening.

What changes have you made in your lifestyle?

I adopted healthier eating habits which not only benefited my body but also refreshed my mind. I started reading motivational and entrepreneurial books which expanded my horizons and inspired me to take control of my life and pursue my dreams despite the hurdles.
I had never smiled for a photo until I had my teeth sorted by Dr Ahmed, an amazing dental surgeon in Harrow on the Hill, the amount of confidence it has brought me in these last few months is unbelievable. He’s very friendly, kind and passionate.

Helping the poor

I don’t take my wealth for granted. I am deeply committed to helping those less fortunate than me. My view is very simple – I came from nothing and I am lucky to have what I have today.

After a certain point, money cannot make a difference in your life. I feel it’s not even called charity – it’s about accountability and responsibility
to society.

So you still feel the passion?

Passion alone is never enough. Anyone can be passionate about anything but it’s discipline, drive, laser focus and work ethic along with a strong belief in yourself that is the driving force behind success.


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