As we began our conversation, Dato’ Sri Mahadi Badrul Zaman sat quietly and waited for me to ask my first question. Contrary to his colourful and quirky presentation, he seems to be a collected and introverted man in person, further igniting my curiosity.
A true blue Penangite, he was raised by a single mother who was also a dedicated teacher in Penang Free School. “She is my main person,” he says, as he attributes his mother to his fine upbringing and his take on life and career.
“As a teacher, she has helped many people in her life, and she wants her children to do the same too,” as he too refers to his mission in doing business, that is to help others achieve their financial capabilities.
After graduating Diploma in Actuarial Science from Universiti Teknologi MARA, instead of rushing towards a job, he began dabbling in wealth management by chance.
“I was only 21 at that time, and a friend asked me to join in. I challenged myself to earn more than what the current PM was earning, and I did it in the second month,” he recalls amusingly.
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From an introvert to a businessman
With that kind of success, anyone would have thought twice about pursuing a tertiary education and entering the workforce to earn average salaries, and so Dato’ Sri Mahadi decided to pursue his newfound endeavour full time.
“But, you are an introverted person. Doing sales require a lot of pitching to people, so how did you overcome that?,” I ask curiously.
Laughing at my question, he admits that it took him a lot of courage to do so. Eventually, he also realises that he needed to find a way to make people come to him.
“Noticeably, I am a reserved person, but even so I don’t have a problem with being different,” he replies.
Branding, Branding, Branding
“What you see here is called branding,” he adds with conviction, noting that the decision to dress up and groom himself with an eccentric and unique image is part of his effort to be noticeable and approachable to people.
“It’s a lot like catching butterflies. If you take out a net and randomly chase after them, it’s going to be tough. But if you build a nice garden with flowers, the butterflies will come to you instead.”
Besides standing out from the crowd, Dato’ Sri Mahadi also believes in personal values in life and his career, particularly on being courageous, having passion and determined to make things work.
Moving Ahead to be the Best
“Courage was what helped me to step forward and meet people, offering them my skills to help with managing their wealth and money,” he explains. “Now I am grateful that people know that I can help and they trust me with financial and business advice.”
Today, Dato’ Sri Mahadi and his team of wealth advisors operate for Manulife under the banner Financial Genius Group. Having full support from the management, the team has successfully formulated a unique sales plan and training methodology that helps new recruits to realize their best potential.
Dato’ Sri Mahadi has come a long way from where he first started 15 years ago. Along the journey, he has achieved many recognitions for his performance, including multiple recognitions from the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) Association of Financial Professionals, a world-standard and independent association of leading life insurance and financial services professionals. In 2017, he achieved a double Top of the Table (TOT) recognition, making him the first Malaysian to make it to the ranks.
The Power of Mind
Nevertheless, as a human, Dato’ Sri Mahadi is also not spared from obstacles and challenges, which according to him comes mostly from within.
“During my early days, there were times when I felt demotivated and tired,” he confesses, highlighting that it was quite hard for him to bounce back. Thankfully, he found a way to overcome it through a technique called “mental warrior”. You can get his best seller book “Menjadi Jutawan Terpantas”, chapter 7, the book that he wrote together with Dato’ Dr Lawrence Walter Ng.
According to him, the technique involves empowering his mind to eliminate negative thoughts. To that, he emphasizes that in order to progress, one has to learn to see opportunities instead of changes and learn to shun away from negativity.
As our conversation drew to a close, I ask what’s the best thing about being where he is today. In which he answers, “Materials aside, I am thankful that with my capacity I am now able to reach out and help more people. In five years time, I want to stay this way and as much as possible, I will make sure that the people in my team will also reach their goals and succeed.”