“The ultimate test for entrepreneurs is once you let people know that you don’t have it all together, the world shifts”
This week we’re joined by youth worker and founder of Insain Youth Services, Sain Dzemail. Find out how Sain started his social enterprise business and turned haters into an opportunity to connect to yourself and your “why”.
To understand Sain, we need to start from the beginning.
One day during school, Sain was pulled out of class and told his Mum wouldn’t be picking him up that day. Instead, a youth worker would be collecting him. That day, his Mum attempted to take her life. This was Sain’s first experience with youth services.
The years following, Sain developed anxiety and became increasingly more angry as he entered his teenage years. When we was 16, he was given an opportunity to join a hip-hop engagement program run by the local council. From the program, he connected with people who offered him the opportunity to mix at a local nightclub. This is where things went downhill.
The music industry, as well as the nightclub scene, isn’t a place for a 16 year old kid. Sain was constantly surrounded by alcohol, drugs, sex and violence.
There was one moment that stuck with Sain. Out the back of a nightclub, he watched someone get beaten. He remembers thinking “I didn’t know if he [person being beaten] was going to survive”. That day, he called his youth service contact and told him the situation he was in, and that he needed help.
Following the phone call, Sain went on to run the original hip-hop program for the council that started his music journey. This opportunity then expanded to a second council. At the time, his boss (contractor) said that he wanted to support him, and suggested a self development course to improve his communication skills. 5 years later, Sain went on to manage youth services for the council. 2 years after, he went on to work with a detention centre to aid kids in the prison system. From there, Sain went on to work in roles with Mission Australia and counselling in a high school.
During his time as a counsellor at the highschool, Sain established his mission: to help young people develop their vision, and make it happen.
Eventually, he left local government to pursue creating his own organisation around aiding young people finding their vision. The social enterprise is now known as Insain Youth Services.
During the early days of his business, things were a bit rocky. 8 months in, Sain hadn’t paid a cent towards his mortgage. Suddenly, he had to pay up $20,000 or he’d lose his house. This is the first time he realised he couldn’t do it alone. So he rung up his youth service contact and explained his situation, and asked for help.
“For anyone listening now – if you’re struggling with something, don’t try to be all tough. You need to be able to say ‘Hey this is what I’m struggling with’. This is coming from a mental health professional, you need to ask people for help if you’re dealing with something.” – Sain [37:00]
This is a message to all the young people out there dreaming of being an entrepreneur. We can’t all be the top entrepreneur. We can’t all be the Gary Vee of the world. But we can be smaller versions. Take a step back, and don’t get carried away with what you’re doing. Take small steps. Even Gary Vee took small steps in the beginning, the difference is we’re only seeing him at his peak level.
You can’t just walk into running a business. You need to learn the hard lessons first. But what you can control, is the people you surround yourself with. By networking, and expanding your community you can reduce the impact of whiplash moments and gain some perspective from people who have been there and made it out the other side.
“The ultimate test for entrepreneurs is once you let people know that you don’t have it all together, the world shifts” – Sain [40:10]
“When we go and do something different and step out and start an organisation or business, we don’t want anyone to have any ammunition on us that it’s not working” – Matt [41:00]
It’s all ego. Once you break through the ego, and allow people to help you, your world will change.
It’s inevitable that you’re going to receive backlash, whether that’s from family, friends or someone online. Everyone has an opinion. But can we classify it as “hate”? What would happen if we embraced criticism and questioned why someone has the opinion or perspective that they do?
When Sain first established Insain Youth Services he received a message online from someone saying “I don’t believe you should be doing what you’re doing, you should leave it to local government and organisations that are not for profit”.
This was his first experience with someone saying that he shouldn’t be doing what he is doing. However, instead of reacting “f*ck you, I’m going to do this”, Sain said, “I’m going to love this person right now”. He asked to meet up and discuss and understand why she felt so strongly about the issue.
From the meet up, Sain learnt that in the past, people had started private youth service businesses, acquired a lot of money from the government and then taken off with it. Sain asked the question “what do you think you can do to help me make sure the integrity of the organisation isn’t operating like that – will you help me?”.
Her response was “I’d love to help, what do you need?”.
In that moment Sain realised there were no haters. People push their perspective on you for a reason. To understand the perspective, you need to dig deeper.
“I think one of the biggest problems we have, and the disconnect with who we are vs who we want to be is when we start to sling abuse at the people who we wish we were like, or do things we’d like to do.” – Matt 48:00]
To truly connect with what you do, you need to understand all sides of the story. When you receive criticism, approach it with the perspective that people are only responding with their own inner dialogue. Open up the conversation, and broaden your understanding.
If you’re someone with a social enterprise, or looking to build an organisation in the space, you need to be connected to why you do what you do. Sain suggests that you need to first build your team and the people around you. Then, start sharing what you do.
“I know by the end of today, the end of this podcast, one kid will commit suicide. That’s why I do what I do.” – Sain [56:00]
Sain wouldn’t be able to do what he does, unless he knew why he does what he does day in day out. When you’re connected to yourself and you share that with people, only then will you see how much people want to help you make it happen.
Mentioned in the episode: