It took Hiba Balfaqih 15 years as a corporate human resources professional and then as an entrepreneur investing in start-ups to realize that her satisfaction lies in empowering people to heal their traumas and achieve their goals.
The 34-year-old Canadian citizen, who has a background in psychology and is a co-founder of The Smash Room stress relief concept and The Start Up Factory incubator, developed The Mindhacking Method in 2019 to help people deal with negativity, anxiety and deep-seated feelings. Unproductive beliefs that limit your ability to thrive.
This, he says, was the result of his journey to change the way he thinks about everything from relationships to money matters.
Ms. Balfaqih lives with her dog Sage in The Springs community in Dubai.
How did money figure in your childhood?
My father was a successful businessman and professional so money was never an issue and we lived a very comfortable life and traveled all over the world.
But I remember that, despite our privilege, it was always a point of conflict between my parents. There was always a need for a bigger house and more cars. I never felt like it was enough.
Has this shaped your outlook on money?
They always told us that we should be grateful for what we have and that what comes also goes, although my parents argued all the time about money.
I had a very bad relationship with money well into my adult years and made rash decisions. First, a business associate stole my life savings worth Dh1.5 million in 2014 and then my ex-husband scammed me.
I realized this was a pattern and began to take an active role in changing my conditioning about money. When I changed the narrative to believe that I have a healthy relationship with money, that it is attracted to me and loves me, it was a game changer.
I do not shy away from saying that I love money and money loves me.
Do you remember your first salary?
I started my career as a human resources administrator, with a monthly salary of 10,000 dirhams.
How did the Mindhacking Method come about?
After 15 years as an HR professional, I got to the point where I was at the top of my career, earning the highest salary I could, and fulfilling all of my career requirements. But I wasn’t satisfied and I started to feel exhausted, confused and tired all the time.
In fact, he had developed a psychosomatic pain in his hip, which only appeared when he went to the office.
I started dabbling in entrepreneurship in 2017 and around the same time my grandmother passed away which caused me a lot of grief. I started smashing things in my backyard and the idea for The Smash Room was born.
A friend and I also started The Start Up Factory and I quit my full time job in 2018. But I was still trying to find my purpose.
I began spending a lot of time on self-reflection and personal development, guided by courses and books by Tony Robins, Bob Proctor, and Guy Kiyosaki.
At the same time, I honed my skills to inspire others and developed a unique mind hacking methodology. We are now a team of five working with clients all over the world. I am still very involved in my other businesses as well.
When did you achieve financial independence?
This happened simultaneously at the time of my self-development. I bought a house in 2017 and mortgaged it, considering it an investment.
A friend of mine who is an established investor said it was a mistake and a liability. That was my “a-ha” moment and I thought my whole life was a lie until then.
I started educating myself and learned that something is only an investment when it makes money for you. They make us believe that there is a shortage of money and we fear that there is not enough for everyone and that investments are risky. Once I cleared the fog, it was clear that I had to start investing well.
How is your investment portfolio?
First of all, I am a big business investor and I love investing in startups. All my businesses are self-financed or with a trusted partner.
I also invest in cryptocurrencies and have recently started considering NFTs (non-fungible tokens). I moved from stocks to cryptocurrencies because high risk will produce high return. I also invest in properties.
How much time do you spend on your investments?
I spend about an hour each week on my portfolio. I invest very intuitively, although I understand market trends and statistics.
What has been your best investment so far?
Definitely in myself, which is a continuous investment. When markets fluctuate and everything else is going on, like a pandemic, the biggest return is on the investment you’ve made in yourself.
Any learning from the last few years of managing various companies?
The first thing I learned was that you are the owner of your own reality. We were very convinced that all of our businesses would prosper, even during the pandemic, and they did.
All it took was a great mindset, creativity and ingenuity. We adapt very quickly during this time.
We created homemade boxes to interact with The Smash Room customers and my mind hacking practice went online, giving people around the world access to tools to help them cope.
What are your future financial goals?
Right now I am very interested in everything related to Web3 and its evolution. I am also supporting Ethereum (blockchain platform) as it is the foundation for many of the decentralized applications.
I am also looking to improve my crypto profile and buy volume when it is low. I will be investing in property in the US and will continue to invest in small businesses this year.
What would you splurge on?
I splurge on everything I want without hesitation. I believe that the more money circulates, the more abundant it is.
However, I have a simple rule: if I can pay three times the price of the product, I will buy it. If I can’t afford three of the same product, then I won’t buy it.
What was your last indulgence?
I splurged on a month-long vacation in Mexico. There were many moped tours and spiritual retreats.
Updated: April 03, 2022, 3:57 am