Mohammad Zatara is the founder of Wajeez, an Amman, Jordan-based technology company that has created an app of summarized content for entertaining daily knowledge and learning targeted towards the global market. With a library of more than 3,500 titles across 26 categories in both audio and text, Wajeez is for people who want to be a smart and better, more interesting person.
What does “entrepreneurship” mean to you?
Mohammad Zatara: Entrepreneurship is not being afraid to take chances, fight conventional wisdom, and most importantly, being willing to Fail, Learn and Stand up again.
How did your company come to be?
MZ: After running Faylasof [an online bookstore in the Middle East] for over six years, COVID -19 opened our eyes to essential facts, so we responded fastly, changed the whole idea, and started Wajeez from scratch.
How has your business changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
MZ: Wajeez was born because of the COVID -19 crisis. We were taking opportunities within and changed from Faylasof to Wajeez immediately — changing was challenging, but most of our work was in the digital/online space, so we managed it perfectly.
What is your proudest and darkest moment so far?
MZ: My proudest moment was at the last Book Fair we went to, where we were able to see how much Wajeez is loved and cherished among the people, how much it inspired lifelong learning, advanced knowledge, and strengthened communities.
The darkest moment occurred at the beginning of Wajeez journey, precisely after three months of launching. We were on the edge of running out of cash. Hard work paid off, and we also managed to overcome this.
How is your company changing the landscape?
MZ: In Wajeez, the most important goal is to inspire people to learn more, read more, and enrich their knowledge — for a better future and stronger communities.
What do you wish you knew when you started? Is there anything you would do differently?
MZ: Never get married to your ideas; if it didn’t work, just pass on to the next one.
What advice/credo do you live by as you grow the business / what is your professional and personal mission statement?
MZ: Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.
Where do you find inspiration when faced with challenges?
MZ: Constancy to reach your personal goals is an essential part of any venture journey. Start with an idea, start your learning curve, then accelerate it by motivating yourself and remembering why you started.
What does “success” look like for you? What do you think will help you achieve it?
MZ: Success has many faces. For me, it’s about growing with your team with a significant international footprint in the education industry.
Has personal or professional “success” changed for you since the COVID-19 pandemic?
MZ: COVID-19 has changed many things in us and especially the value of things and people around us.
What’s it like to work alone or with your partners? What advice do you have for fellow entrepreneurs about building and leading teams?
MZ: Never attach your business success to people, not even yourself. Great business and processes never depend on one person.
Many entrepreneurs continue to perfect their daily routines to support their work and more excellent vision; would you mind sharing your morning routine or a regular ritual that grounds your work each day? How has it changed in recent months?
MZ: Wake up every morning at 6:00 AM, start my morning routine, go to the gym after that, head to the office, start replying to my emails and refresh my meetings calendar.
What keeps you motivated during this time?
MZ: The Wajeez team is the most exciting part for me — I remember why I started, and these two things keep me motivated.
What kind of an entrepreneur do you want to be known as, in what do you want your legacy to be?
MZ: From the very beginning, my main goal was to leave a mark wherever I went. Being an entrepreneur opens a door for me to make a difference in this world. Creating a space in individuals exhausting routines allows them to enrich their knowledge and reach the best version of themselves.
What is a quote or some words of wisdom that help get you through the tough days?
MZ: We live only once.
Have you experienced mentorship in your career? Do you feel it was easily available to you?
MZ: I had a very long journey to reach where I’m today. I can’t say it was easy. I had to learn from my own mistakes and believe me, I had many. I met people who guided me and became more than a family to me.
Who are the people who have mentored or influenced you in your life or career? How has their influence changed the trajectory of your entrepreneurial journey?
MZ: One of the very close mentors I have is Emile Cubeisy. I have learned so much from him over the years. He has always encouraged me to think big and be brave, may his soul rest in peace.
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