Never stop educating yourself and keeping on top of the latest in your industry. Always research.
Hamed Wardak is formerly from Afghanistan, born the boy of Defense Minister of Afghanistan, Abdul Rahim Wardak. Hamed Wardak attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. from 1993 to 1997 where he was elected valedictorian of his graduating class. Wardak was also acknowledged as an International Rhodes Scholar in 1997.
After completing his tenure at Georgetown, Hamed Wardak returned to his native Afghanistan to see if he could employ the contacts and opportunities that the United Stated allowed him to in turn benefit his home country and his fellow Afghan brothers and sisters.
Hamed worked as Managing Director for International Operations for Technologists, Inc. from 2004 to 2005. Technologists, Inc. operated as a contractor for the United States Government engaging in business development efforts in conjunction with the US Department of Defense and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Under Mr. Wardak’s leadership, Technologists, Inc. generated $44 million in design and build contracts to benefit Afghanistan.
In addition to his role at Technologists, Inc., Hamed Wardak was one of the original eight founders of the Campaign for a US-Afghanistan Partnership (CUSAP). CUSAP was formulated as a nonprofit endeavor that leveraged the contributions of both Afghan and American citizens to work on the goal of sustainable and secure prosperity for Afghanistan and its citizens
Utilizing his business acumen and contacts shaped during college years, Hamed Wardak created “Ludas Athletics,” an apparel brand designed to complement the human form.
Most recently, Hamed Wardak has gone into music production and you can find him performing at musical events under the banner of “Valen of Wicked.” His new brand of techno meets culturally-infused beats is winning him great acclaim in the NYC music scene and around the world.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
Valen of Wicked came from a place that is not easy for me to explain because it was created on such a dynamically personal level. I can say that the reason the music production company/division ended up with the name Wicked has everything to do with my collective past experiences, those both good and bad, but even more to do with SOUND that I currently creating with my music.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The first two or three hours of my day are spent in the gym. Working out first thing in the morning is very important because begins my day positively, it gets both my body and my creative mind juiced and ready to go for the rest of the day, and it helps me to create and sustain the brand image that I am working toward for Wicked.
Once I finish my morning workout regime, I spend the better part of each day split between my company’s endeavors and particularly the music production subsidiary at the moment and research in the emerald section.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Through active research, planning, and execution.
I stay active and aware of my professional research. I never stop researching. I am constantly learning and adding new tricks to my professional list of skills. When I plan my next business, I plan thoroughly and with speed, but I know each step needed to properly execute my next move before the execution phase due to concrete and thought-out planning. Then, I execute and I make it happen.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend in electronic music incorporating diverse cultural sounds. Whether it be the reproduction of sounds from a lost culture in the West Indies or just producing found sound from the local dry cleaner to add to my sound, the incorporation of such diverse cultural sounds in electronic music is bringing depth to the artform in a whole new way.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Every artist must have the discipline necessary to focus and craft their art completely. As the creator of every beat of my music, I am the entrepreneur of every sound and if I am not creating and revealing the truth of the music every single day, then I am not making progress and my business is not growing as it should.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be careful with pretty girls disguising themselves as damsels in distress and do not give yourself over to them completely, but reserve time for you and for your endeavors as well. There is a time and a place for everything.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
President Bush was a great President.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
It is most important to research and plan your entry into a marketplace. First Impressions can be everything and you want to make certain that you are making the absolute best impressions every time you hit the marketplace with a brand new business.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
The ability to recruit talent is incumbent on your corporate strategy. Without a sound strategy, you will not attract the best talent and, in turn, your business will not expand and grow like it could have with the correct team in place.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I failed to create a successful sports bra for my female athletic brand Ludus Athletics. I shut the company down versus continuing to invest in a product that I personally had a weak background in.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
High fashion baby wear is extremely profitable.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I spent a $100 helping an American vet to pay for his service dog’s medication. I support our vets and love animals.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Ableton. It helps me produce music.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend reading “High Tide” by Arch Hades. The book is poignant in regard to comprehending healthy love.
What is your favorite quote?
“I wanted to believe in you so much I started lying to myself” – ARCH HADES
- Research and Plan thoroughly. Your Company’s First Impression Can be Everything In the Marketplace.
- Optimizer your Productivity by stimulating your body and your mind first thing in the morning.
- Discipline will force you to finish things and stay ahead.
- Never stop educating yourself and keeping on top of the latest in your industry. Always research.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.