It’s our birthday at NWES and the Beyond Badr Dev team celebrates a milestone achievement this year!
We asked NWES founder Kelvin Ali what it means to have been in the digital entertainment industry for a decade now and we were encouraged by the many stories of resilience that he shared with us.
“Being able to survive for 10 years is an incredible achievement for any human to have who runs a business of any type.
You are told by experts that most new businesses fail within less than a year so looking back now at our fears, concerns, lack of resources and scarcity at times, especially during these turbulent times and now through a global Pandemic, I am truly grateful that we have persevered.
I don’t think anyone would have held it against us if we gave up several years ago. Many things tested us but dreams and visions don’t die when you live to fulfill your goals. You need to have good goals and make good-intentioned products in areas that have been underserved. We’ve managed to contribute and create products and services that are aligned to values that serve humanity in positive ways.
Sometimes the work isn’t glorious. Working with basic conceptual ideas for clients has been challenging to help them develop their goals and digital dreams but it has often been taxing as every new project requires leveling up in all areas. Technology is moving so fast you need to be able to focus and make good decisions to acquire, learn, and use tools in digital production. Making those key partnerships and investments requires a lot of research and time. Focus, energy, and wisdom are critical when things are ambiguous, which they often will be initially.
We are not quitters at NWES and our culture to create Good in the world through our products and with great people has proven to be a decade of life that I will always cherish. 10 years, you have to be grateful.
In any business you will face challenges to meet payroll some months or years, it’s a struggle to hire good and competent people, it’s hard to wake up having to lead with optimism and hope on those days and during the weeks when the trials keep coming. Everyone has had a bad week as a leader and a lot of leaders suffer from anxiety often. It’s one of the reasons I re-designed and created an executive mindset-based coaching program which we’ll launch in 2022 so you have to find ways to just keep growing if you want to lead anyone.
Sometimes you get opportunities, many pursuits to grow, shiny carrots will distract you when the business is struggling so you need to have good tools and strategies to make the best decisions possible because the livelihood of others depends on it. It’s rewarding to be able to provide for others but if you are struggling on any level, that will affect your ability to do so.
Our in-house IPs are niche market products so it has been difficult to connect and educate consumers on unfamiliar topics or experiences so you need patience. Looking back a decade later, we achieved so much but there was so much more we could have done with the time that we had but that is what experience and life is. Hindsight will always be a 20/20 experience so I am very optimistic of the next 10 years if Allah (swt) grants me life for another decade. The world is in dire circumstances and we are on the brink of global war, recession, a Pandemic is raging, inflation is sky-rocketing, life is hard, how can you be optimistic.
Prophet Muhamad (saw) said that if you wake up in the morning and you have shelter, something to eat, and no one is attacking you, you are of the wealthiest people on earth. How many of us have this but do not appreciate this simple wisdom? That’s how you shake it off and that’s how you grow. Humility and gratitude give you hope and courage and 10 years later you can have a little less regret because the ‘I could have’ – ‘I should have’ – is gone, man. Time is valuable. That’s what you learn after 10 years of grinding man. Nothing if you wish to succeed at anything in life will ever come easy.
There are many times when I personally felt like I could not go on, when life kicked me into the ground, tragedy after tragedy and then I think about the people that I’ve tried to make opportunities for just to be able to do what they say they ‘love to do’ in their respective crafts and then I hold myself accountable for all wins, losses, and draws that have occurred as a result of those choices.
As a leader, you have to have faith in your ability to figure things out and you are very fortunate, some people might actually buy in to your vision and culture. In 10 years of digital production, I’ve learned that most people are not motivated by their actual talents or ability to develop themselves to higher levels because that takes so much work and effort. Even when taught strategies, people will rarely plan a career path or make a schedule to skill up on the tools they need. Making games is not playing games and it’s a tough road for anyone who thinks it is easy to make a digital experience that resonates with your community and target demographics.
I’ve been fortunate over the past decade to scale back and organize my relationships on every level and that has truly afforded me the ability to not worry about criticism, not worry about the people who will not cheer you on, to not be distracted to random weeks of nothingness. Managing the people around you is so critical to success because when you are successful, it’s pretty easy to make friends.
Being about to learn from personal loss has given me a sort of professional sanity. I like making people laugh, but you know I am a straight shooter and I do not beat around bushes. This has at times caused me difficulty and you grow from it and you learn to be a better listener. It’s always better to take a moment or two before you send a toxic email or burst out and leaders need to manage their emotions effectively, but we’re all human. We make mistakes or poor word choices and then relations become severed so you need to build a good charisma around others when you communicate. That can be done easily by just being quiet and listening.
After 10 years I thought at this point we would be much further ahead in our growth, but this industry is tough and just to be able to say that you have been grinding at anything for 10 years deserves some sort of recognition, so I am grateful to every person who has been with NWES, I’ve learned from each and every one of you.
I am grateful to every person who took a second to like, share or engages with our social media efforts and posts. I am most grateful to Allah (swt) for answering my du’a to be a strong and just leader and to allow me to work on an Islamic project with Ihsan (excellence). We’ve launched so many careers in gaming and tech over the past decade so I am most proud that I helped everyone I touched at NWES to become better people and aspire to grow professionally, that’s a feeling I cannot explain, but it’s a good one. All I ever wanted to do was give people a chance to do what they truly love in this industry.
What does the future hold? I hope our efforts and products will continue to grow and the business will scale to heights I could never have imagined after I am gone from this world. I hope to see massive success in the next 10 years if Allah (swt) allows me the ability to continue in the work and field so I make du’a for longevity for myself and for everyone past, present, and future who’ve we’ve interacted with.
Some days and experiences in business will make you sick to your stomach at times. You’ll be stressed, frustrated, and the whispers to ‘give up’ will begin to set in. So just be aware that it’s a rough period or season of life and maybe it is a good time to consider scheduling a vacation or staycation to rest and recharge. That is so critical to maintaining your health and well-being. It’s something I force on everyone, that you must take some time off even if you don’t want it at the end of the year.
We all have days that are difficult, so no matter what level of success or ability you have, just remember that 1 year and turn into 5 and 5 into 10 if you love what you do. Try to find a career that is suited to your likes and interests, work hard, and ask God for help. This is called life as I know it and you have to remember to have a good intentions and love yourself for trying no matter the outcome. If you are of the few in this world who are fortunate to be in a career you love, realize that you have been given a gift, so never squander that chance, if you have it, man.
Thank you is all I really can say about being in the ‘game’ for 10 years. I truly hope that one day those who will listen to this or read it will also remember that any success in life doesn’t happen overnight. There are years of pain and struggle this is needed in order to grow and develop. I wish anyone who is just starting out on their dream to enjoy all of the rejection and hardship and focus on just doing what you love, it’s going to make you a better person in life eventually, Insh’Allah.”
10 years and we are grateful that you’ve decided to join us today. Thank You!
To learn more about Beyond Badr please visit us at beyondbadr.com/clan to subscribe to our monthly newsletter and to also receive some Amazing digital gifts just for joining us along the way!
Beyond Badr Dev Team!