Starting off his career as a teenage professional football player, until deciding to change his path by age 19, subsequently feeling a bit lost after university, Manny fell into stockbroking sparking his hunger for sales. Giving us his account all the way from sunny Dubai- where Manny’s company’s head office is based as well as being one of the many places around the world he calls Home. He is the Regional Head of an international broadcast and software company; which of course comes with its own set of unique challenges.
In charge of producing different platforms to service broadcast media, Manny’s company have spread themselves far and wide over the last three years. Heavily focusing on international brands such as Red Bull, Adidas, PWC and Nike to name but a few; his quest to expand his pool of clients looks to be in full motion….
Tell us about your travels, I know you’ve travelled a lot
Well business travel is essentially pleasurable; I’ve lived and worked on every continent in the world, bar Antarctica. I’ve worked in New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, all across Europe lived and worked in Bristol, Wales, England, Africa and Brazil. I’m on a plane every two weeks. Whether it’s Australia, Indonesia, Philipines, Kenya, Nairobi or Ethiopia- It’s really far spread.
What would you say is the most interested place you’ve been?
That’s very difficult to answer, every place has its own diversity, identity and cultural feel. I don’t have that one particularly interesting place I prefer to work or live in, but I take a little something from everywhere I go.
Where have you travelled just for leisure?
I try to go where I haven’t before so I last went to Turkey. Work takes me around quite a bit. Places I haven’t got to work in, I make sure I go there when I can. I want to get around to as many countries as possible.
What were your steps towards getting to where you are today?
Aside from my football career which happened very young, my first 3-4 years of work were absolutely terrible (laughs). I bounced around different industries until I settled in to selling sponsorship for corporate events and things just took off. I think this was the point when the penny dropped for me. It was not easy to start with but I was quite determined to succeed; it was a highly competitive and meritocratic environment but the opportunity to make really good money was literally in my own hands.
When I joined the company, the CEO at the time was only 29 years old. I looked at him and others high up within the company, just thinking to myself “I can do that”. I knew I could do that, better even. That mentality and that drive is what led me here.
And what inspires you?
A couple of things, Firstly I have an unyielding drive to succeed. I don’t get inspired by money alone as such I just believe it comes along with you on the journey and I want to leave a legacy, I want someone to turn around and feel compelled to improve their life based upon my influence. I am inspired by God and my mother, I frankly don’t want to fail either of the two. My mum came up from nowhere really and she brought me up with the help of siblings looking after me also and I’m now very blessed to be in a position where I can help her out financially. I can do things now for my loved ones that I couldn’t do 10-15 years ago.
By heritage, you are Ghanian. Were you born here?
I was born in Ghana. Spent my first six years of life in Ghana and during that time, my mother was in the UK. I then joined her here. She was living in South London at the time when I came over.
What makes you as broad minded as you are?
For me, I think I’ve been touched by the culture I have encountered whilst travelling which has really opened my mind. Prior to that, I felt I was stuck in a psychological box in London. I guess because my drive to always put myself in a position to learn something new gets you on track to open / expand your mind. You know; being naturally curious, otherwise I don’t see how you can ever be forward looking.
Tell us about your time as a pro footballer
That career kind of found me. My mother is a very typical African mother, all about education. So when I got to secondary school my head teacher is the one that pushed the idea. We had quite a few good footballers in the school playing at some big clubs. I guess he saw something in me and invested a lot of time, money and resources into myself, even driving me to training and convincing my mum that I have potential to make it. I signed my first pro contract at the age of 15.
Do you have permanent accommodation in the places you travel to?
Not anymore in Australia or Brazil. But I have houses in Kent, Ghana currently being expanded, one here in Dubai and in New York.
What would you say to others to compel them to push further to live and explore the way you have?
I think there’s this mind-set of stagnation where individuals will see, hear and want this and that but will not take that initial step forward to actually go and get it. To anyone who wants to be broad minded I’d say: don’t think about it for too long, don’t really think about it at all, just do it. Be brave. Experience something. Whatever the dream is take that risk and when you have done so, apply yourself passionately. Don’t ever do something that you don’t want to wake up in the morning to do. I Wake up at 4:30 in the morning every day because there simply isn’t enough time to do what I do. Because I’m so passionate about doing it, I’m willing to use all my time possible to do it. Do something you are passionate about, do something you love.
Click HERE to connect with Manny on LinkedIn