Mahrukh Imtiaz

Ateeb Khan

S1-EP 009: The REAL truth about being a TIKTOK creator with Ateeb Khan – Part 1

“I can always talk about hate and other people not judging me BUT it starts with me not judging other people first” – ATEEB KHAN

#009 – In this episode, Ateeb and I discuss how achieving success in his corporate career wasn’t making him happy and how that led him down a path to creating a life he wants.  We talk through the fears that come with starting on Tiktok, Ateeb’s journey to empathy and self-awareness, and how Ateeb’s gathered an engaged and dedicated fan base of 25,000 followers in less than 12 months.

Hope you enjoy the episode!

Have a question/comment or just want to chat? Email me at [email protected]

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Highlights from this episode: 

[3:30] Ateeb: I Loved trying different things. I didn’t like being boxed in to things
[6:07] How one phone call from Ateeb’s dad changed a lot of things in his life
[6:51] How did Ateeb get started on Tiktok
[12:10] Fears Ateeb had when he started Tiktok and how he overcame them
[19:26] Self-Awareness and how can one become more self-aware.

Connect with Ateeb: 


A little bit about Ateeb:

Ateeb has consistently pushed himself out of his comfort zone. He left a long term toxic relationship, moved to 2 different provinces, started a clothing line, and started a personal brand online ALL in the middle of the pandemic. He is following his dreams and has now built an online following of over 25,000 followers on Tiktok alone in the last 12 months.

Resources mentioned:
Garyvee Podcast
Naval Ravnikant with Joe Rogan Episode
The Tim Ferris Show


Ateeb Khan: One thing I can talk about, like people sending hate or judge me, but it starts with me not judging other people first, right.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I love that you are listening to the spicy Chai podcast. I’m your host, Mahrukh Imtiaz. And I’m on a journey to create inspiring, helpful and meaningful content. This podcast is not going to showcase high-profile individuals spouting college advice like find your passion or hustle harder. Instead, my mission is to bring you the voices of people who are just a bit ahead of you. People you can relate to, and the people who will inspire you to put your own voice out there. So grab your cup of Spicy Chai, and let’s get this show started.

Welcome to the Spicy Chai podcast. Today’s guest have pushed themselves out of their comfort zone after breaking a long-term relationship, moving to different provinces starting a clothing line, and starting a brand online, all in the middle of a pandemic, just so that they can follow their dreams. 

They’re constantly breaking the rules to follow their happiness. And aside from being a total badass, and crushing it in their personal life, they’ve also seen the results online. You see they started their Tik Tok in March of last year, and they had zero followers. And today they have over 16,000 followers. Incredible. Welcome to the show Ateeb.

Ateeb Khan: Thank you so much, man, that was a great bio. I feel so good about myself.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: You definitely should. So I just want to start off like what is your story? What got you all started? Where was the motivation? If you could just start us off there?

Ateeb Khan: Sure. Oh, wow, that I could take that question anywhere, to be honest, like, I don’t even know if I should go back to my childhood or university. But

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I think wherever you want, ya know, start with the hospital you were born in. I’m just kidding

Ateeb Khan: Back from. I think like one thing has been consistent throughout my life that I’ve seen, I’ve been very, in a sense, like, passionate about just getting generally just like getting better at different things. Like, you know, be it I had, like, when I look back at my teens and early 20s. I’ve had like, what people would call phases, but I see it as those. 

Yeah. And I went from like, oh, like being like a total nerd in my early teens like a bookworm Harry Potter or books is diving into books day in, day out. The next like my late teens like basketball jockey, completely different shift, you know. And then I had a phase where I was playing guitar, I had long hair, I was in this band, and, you know, like completely different phases, like, you would say, like, they’re completely different personalities. 

But I think at the core of it all I was, I always loved trying different things, and being creative. And I think that’s part of my growth. I didn’t like being boxed into one thing. And maybe you could say I would get bored of doing one thing over and over again. 

But I think at the heart of it is, I think it took me a long time to realize, because that was just happening. And it was just be natural. But I think at the heart of it was I basically love being creative, and try different things all the time. And although like coming from the background that I am like it was instilled in me Oh, you have to do this, you have to get you know, it’s either like a doctor

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Or an engineer, lawyer.

Ateeb Khan: The worst CPA, right? So like the easiest of like, you know what? I think I’ll get a CPA go into the accounting finance route. And honestly, like, it came naturally to me, I was always very business oriented. I enjoyed it. 

So that was my practical way into university and all that. And I think very early on, at the time, it did not feel like a blessing. But when I was in my, I would say secondary university, my dad calls me and he, there were financial issues. 

And he basically told me in that conversation that I’ll have to fend for myself. In that conversation. And life hit me like a, it was like a train just coming at you and you’re just suddenly like a bubble burst completely. 

Especially because I was surrounded by a lot of people who were from, like, wealthy families and university with everything sorted out for them. And I was in the bill, I felt a lot of it. At that time. I remember feeling resentment, almost like, man, like, you know, like, why am I in this situation? Just ungrateful,

Mahrukh Imtiaz: That’s really like, why didn’t you get your stuff together?

Ateeb Khan: Stuff like that, right? But very quickly, I had to like, you know, get a job on university very thankful that I got a job. So I had to pay my own bills, at the same time supporting my education. 

So that gave me a big value and basically like working for myself and getting financial independence. So I basically got on my feet very early on. And it made me realize what it really takes and just the value of hard work and honestly just be like, figure things out, like taking on stress. It was a very stressful time for me. And yeah, I don’t know if I’m going on a tangent

Mahrukh Imtiaz: No, no, this is this is helpful because I think what’s incredible here is it wasn’t that you always had money problems growing up you actually live a very lived a very privileged life from what I’m hearing. 

And it was out of nowhere that oh my god going from this privileged rich kid everything taken care of not rich. Maybe like do you gotta you get what I mean? Like everything mostly taken care of, too. Oh my God. 

Now I have to actually Need to get a job? You know? So it required a mindset shift. And it actually says a lot about you. Because I mean, that could have taken a wrong turn to, you know, I mean, you could have been like, 

Well, too bad. I nice. Let’s figure this out. And you know, a lot of people do that they take the wrong turn or, you know, it can produce a lot of mental health problems. Yeah. And you kind of took on the very, I’m going to figure this out. So how did that translate into you starting tic toc? Oh, yeah. Like push that,

Ateeb Khan: That. So that’s University, I go out. I’m obviously because of like my situation, I’m very practical focus, like I need to make an income stable living. Like, that’s my priority. So there’s no like signs of at that point, like, I’m going to pursue something creative. 

And I’m going to do this or that. No, I’m going to get a nice job, corporate job, worked my way up. That was the goal. And it’s funny when I was coming out of university and talking to a lot of people, I was like, You know what, I want to be 30. I want to have a six digit salary. 

You know, that was the goal. That was that was literally what everyone would talk about university. Yeah, house cottage, maybe. So it was like very set that way, right. I think in the last two to three years, I, I had this, I started listening to a lot of podcasts. I just started doing a lot of reading, I got back into reading after a very long time, after an insane amount of longtime 

I would call it a hiatus. I started like digging back into like, you know, learning, because I realized even when I got my CPA, I wasn’t happy, like, not that I wasn’t like, proud of like this accomplishment, but for me, it meant almost like it was like yeah, with the checkmark, like when I got my CPA and that the ceremony. 

I literally went in for some drinks food, you know, with my time, I don’t even let my mom come because I didn’t think was a big deal enough. Even though she was really excited. I was like, Yeah, I’m just gonna go in for like, you know, a bit, I didn’t feel any sense of accomplishment, or any contentment. And because it was like, 

This doesn’t feel like this, this isn’t for me. So a few years after that, I went on some trips, I went hiking in Peru 2018, I went on an adventure in Colombia. And I think that kind of set like a, it almost set like a fire inside of me where I’m like, 

This is what I love doing. Like, literally, this is where I become a life, the whole new sense, like being out of my comfort zone. hiking adventure. Even like, at the time when I went to Colombia that was 2017 Actually, and I think that’s where to begin, I broke up with my girlfriend at the time and went to Colombia, I had a GoPro with me, I recorded the entire thing, and I made like a video out of it. 

And at that time, there was no set platform for me to you know, start getting content, I put it on YouTube, got better views, you know, with just my one time content, but I really loved making that entire film as an experience. I had a lot of fun. And then you know, work, I totally forgot about it, I went to Peru, I kind of did the same thing. 

And then what happened was with Tik Tok, that’s when like, it just all came together in a very interesting time. Because if you think about it, you know, Tik Tok was growing recently, and then the pandemic happened. And when the pandemic happen, I was going through a lot of things in life, like from my personal life and coming off a long term relationship, you know, disappointing my family. 

And just I wasn’t a kind of a dark place. Because, you know, I was just having a lot of self doubt about who I am, like, you know, am I like a commitment for like, you know, stuff, just a lot of internal reflection. And what really shifted my perspective was at the same time, suddenly, the pandemic comes in, and now I’m going through all of that. And now like, you know, COVID happens and like I’m locked into my house. 

So it was very, it started off in a very dark place almost. But I think that is where I decided that I’m basically gonna change everything about my life, I’m gonna disappear and just like work on myself. Then at that time, I was listening to Tim Ferriss, Gary Vee a lot and Gary just kept on saying, Tik Tok, Tik Tok , Tik Tok , Tik Tok   right. 

So I’m like, Okay, let’s fire the app up and see what it’s all about. And it’s funny, I have a 15 year old sister, she’s on Tik Tok. And she thought it was really funny. I was getting ticked off because it was like all the little kids using it at the time, right? 

That’s when I basically just started experimenting, and really talking myself to the fact that this is an experiment don’t give a shit about what people think. 

You know, who knows where this is gonna go? If like this millionaire media mogul is constantly saying do Tik Tok regardless of you want a business or grow your pan? Like who am I to be like No, I want to do it. It just my own ego, right? That’s where it started. Like, I just stopped giving a shit about just general judgment and all of that. And that’s where I began, like in my house, just making like stupid videos and that’s where it started.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right, No. And you know, the the cool thing there is that you always had the fire inside of you like you know it came in went in phases in your teens. You you saw that some bit of it in 2017 when you traveled and but it was just like that idea where you kept getting derailed because it was the idea that was an alien to you that corporate life, you need to first build a career first become secure and stable. 

And I bet a lot of people can relate to that. It’s just like, they have the creative energy, they start a few projects. And then they end again, because again, it’s like, oh, let me get that promotion first. Let me at least have six months of emergency funds first, you know, and then then I can think about this. 

But I think the pandemic hit on a really good time for you because you’re like, you know what, I have nothing to lose, I can just start this process. And you spoke a lot about it was a dark place. And you were already going through so many insecurities of your own. When you were starting this process, what were talked through some of the fears that you had when you started, Tik Tok like, what were some things you were scared of?

Ateeb Khan: No, that’s a good question. Because I think a lot of people go through those motions that I did. And I think on the top of my list, if I was just take a step back is literally what what people like people in my circle, like, closer circle, but they’re not even like random strangers, but more like people who I know, you know, like people on my Instagram, my close friends. 

You know, making Tik Tok is like, it’s almost like that would hold a lot of people back and going one step further. What would people if they in my work in a circle see it? So it was a lot of it’s the biggest one was fear of judgment. 

And I think it manifests in different forms for different people. But I think that was that would be on the top of my list by Once you’ve completely take out the fear of judgment. I don’t see any obstacles that would that, at least for me would have stopped me. And that’s the only thing I had to talk myself through.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, what were you What were you worried about? Like, what kind of judgment? What would you what were you worried that they would say? Or well, how would that affect you?

Ateeb Khan: No. Yeah, no, no, that’s it. Those are good questions, because I don’t think I’ve personally dug deep enough. So it’s a good conversation to have. I think the way judgment unfolds is like people like talking shit behind your back. Right? Yes.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Especially like the brown culture. Right? Yeah. So you.

Ateeb Khan: But it’s funny, it’s not even just the brown culture. What I realized was, and I think we, we talked about this in our group, where I had a WhatsApp group of my ex co workers. And they saw my Tik Tok, and they were just like, making fun of it. In the group chat, right, so and I’m not gonna, like, I’m not trying to name anyone or anything, but it’s just an experience like, that happens. And honestly, at that time, it felt it felt pretty shitty. Because

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, it’s almost bullying in a very, like, friendly-ish way, you know?

Ateeb Khan: Yeah, the thing with guys is like, there’s such a gray area where you just talk shit about each other, it’s all fun and games, and then suddenly tips over and becomes a little out of hand. I asked complicit when things get heated up, you know, we are talking shit about each other. 

But I just My biggest thing was like, people doing it behind my back. And then I realized, like, I don’t like, what am I so scared off, like, so what. And that’s where empathy came into play. I think that was the biggest mental model for me to really plow through this was like, really empathy and realize a lot of people are fighting their own battles, and all of this judgment, hate whatever you want to call it. It’s only there because people’s lack of understanding of other people, and also their own insecurities. 

And it’s basically a reflection of, you know, how they see themselves, right. That’s something I really built into myself was empathy. It didn’t come easy, when like, you know, you guys are like arguing with each other, you know, guys versus guys, and, but I think that was the biggest thing. I’m like, you know, 

I just gotta remind myself, not everyone’s going to understand you. And, you know, I know it seems trivial from the outside, all these small things. But I know a lot of new creators don’t even create because what their coworkers are going to think and it’s a big problem like, honestly, yeah

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I think first what their family would think, you know, your close friends or, for me, I remember when I started, I was like, people will start thinking I’m desperate. I don’t know why that was the case. Like, you know, like, Oh, look at her trying so hard. Right. And it doesn’t even make sense. 

Like why would someone think that but it was, it was a really big fear and it’s done. After me from creating, and you said something very interesting there, you said empathy, you know, and you started understanding people’s perspective. 

And you started realizing that people say stuff behind your back or maybe to your face because they’re really judging themselves. And you, they don’t understand your journey. How did you get to that level of maturity? Like, what what were some of the things that you took that helped you get to that? Because not everyone has it.

Ateeb Khan: Yeah. So during the pandemic, again, I was just consuming a lot. I was pretty much you can say, for two months, I was self isolated, in like my own little bubble, just like listening to podcasts, reading books, meditating, I was meditating for the first time almost every day, which I’ve never done, by the way. 

I was using different things. And I was like, You know what, I’ll give meditation a shot, because everyone’s talking about it, I need to try this out. So combination of everything, I just got a lot of started with a high level of self awareness. And then really realizing that, you know, Gary Vee would talk about it, Tim Ferriss would talk about it, all these books would talk about it. 

And I realized, like, you know, empathy is the game. Like, I’ve heard that words for a long time, but I don’t think I ever understood it till this year, when I really had to, like, find tools to help me break through my own barriers. And I saw, like, I remember, I have this exercise that I do on Sundays, where I write down my week and everything. And I do a bit of like journaling. 

So when I was at the peak of like, my, I don’t know what the hell’s happening, I’m in a really bad place. That’s the first time I did my journal. And the first thing I wrote on that was, I think it was like a kind of like, a three tiered system I made for myself. And it was like, empathy, gratitude. And I, what was the third word, it was empathy, gratitude, and they really can remember that, I think, was humility.

 And it kind of gave me like this lens of like, what I’m going to resort to when, you know, shit is just tough. And realize, okay, I’m going to gratitude, I’m gonna think about how grateful I am for X things. 

Empathy, I’m going to use that to, you know, face all the judgment, hate or, you know, dealing with other people. So, and that was one of the first things I wrote, and then I wrote it for myself what that means for me, and since then I just remind myself of that word a lot, because I know it helped me then it will definitely help me whenever I faced anything like that, and now it’s become more automatic and less conscious. 

So you just got to practice it over and over again. And then suddenly it now it doesn’t faze me at all. That is so empowering. Yeah. Yeah, it took a lot of work.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah, it speaks of the importance of intention before like, at first you have to intentionally start doing things. And eventually they become second nature. And you know, you spoke a lot about Gary Vaynerchuk. Big fan of him as well. I consume his podcast, and I think he’s content is one of the biggest reasons I started producing and then Tim Ferriss agreed to keep breaks it down so much, as well. 

So those are some really great podcasts to consume when you start. And you mentioned a bit about self awareness. He said before you started understanding empathy, and started journaling, where you broke it down for yourself, you became very self aware. What did that look like for you? Like if someone wants to become more self aware? What can they do to start becoming more self aware?

Ateeb Khan: Right, this is what I did. And it wasn’t intentional. To be honest. It’s more like, I was just grasping at straws, and was really trying everything to help me at the at the time. And for me, it started with writing down my thoughts and scrutinizing them. 

So I told you, like, the first thing I did was like, I opened a journal and just started writing, writing down my thoughts, and doing that exercise, because then you’re looking at what you’re writing. And you’re basically saying, Why was I thinking that last week? Okay. 

And then once you see your thoughts, you watch the watcher, and watch the watcher is the most simplest way I can basically describe what self awareness means for me, is watching the watcher. Because usually we’re doing the ads, you know, we’re reacting to things. But really watching me react to things and be like, 

Hmm, why did you judge that person? So quick? Did that make you feel good about yourself? Hmm. That’d be a good feel good about yourself. And then I just call my bullshit out. It’s like a conversation with myself. It started with journaling. And then I as I said, I started meditating a lot. 

And that kind of helped me as well. And I guess holding myself accountable to a lot of things that I do and think about and because the thing is like, whatever I want, I can talk about like people sending hate or judge me but it’s I should mean not judging other people first, right? I love that. So I had to be like, 

Okay, you’re not allowed to judge anyone, right? And if you do, like, figured out why you did that, so catching myself and then realize, and once you do that and do it to yourself, then it becomes so easy to be like, 

Oh, okay, you know, I empathize with that person, and all that it, it starts within, and I really started, like bringing self awareness to what I want with my life and making sure that I have that in me before I even like, you know, look at other people, and try to figure out what they’re doing. So,

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And I want to add that all of this stuff is extremely difficult at first, and it still continues to be difficult, like, it’s very difficult to sit down with yourself, write down your thoughts, and then challenge them, you know, so it again, speaks about the maturity level you did have, and that you are willing to write down your thoughts and be like, alright, even though these are really dark thoughts, what can I do about it? 

So I get that because I mean, I do it. And I feel like at times, it’s very difficult for me, and but it’s just like, this is important. I know, it’s hard, and I will do it. Anyway. So we’ve, we’ve spoken a bit about how you started this journey. And I mentioned in the beginning that you’re at 16,000 followers now, if that’s something you expected or wanted when you started Tik Tok, and what has that done for you?

Ateeb Khan: Me, I brag them at 18,000 or 16?

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Amazing, amazing. 18,000 are in my bag. Yes, yes. And I’m so proud of you for doing that.

Ateeb Khan: Yeah, no, thank you. So that was really interesting. Because it It honestly, I mean, you know, you see other creators, everyone’s in a different place. Like there’s people like high up and all over the place, right? 

So I right now, it doesn’t feel any different. What else didn’t when I was like at 1000, which is really interesting, because I’m so like, I’m still enjoying it to the same level. But I wouldn’t discount the fact that I had no idea. 

Like, you could have not paid me to tell me that I would have had like, you know, 15,000 followers by end of year, my like, stretch target was like, you know, I just keep doing it. And maybe another thing I had this conversation with you guys was like, 

Yo, my target at the end of the year. If I get 5000 followers, I’ll be so happy. And I remember that. Yes. So I had no idea or ambition, or I just didn’t realize it would play out that way. But I’m super grateful for whatever little engagement and the little community that I’ve created.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: You’re very humble when you say little, but it’s amazing. And like, and that’s what I want to I want to dig further. Like what do you think it opened up for you? What kind of opportunities days do you have now? Because of that following that you didn’t have before?

Ateeb Khan: I yeah, I think I cannot overstate enough, the amount of just not I mean, if you take the followers and engagement and the numbers outside, the amount of things that it has opened up for me is I’m learning new skills just because of this, like I’m you know, day in day out yet, using all these editing software’s when I when I can, 

I’ve oh my god, the amount of people that I’ve met, when I was, you know, documenting my journey, people reaching out, like connecting with other content creators and videographers and photographers. Like, it’s very humbling when you see this like photographer with I think she has like hundreds of 1000s of followers on Instagram. She’s an amazing photographer. 

And she started on Tik Tok. And she called me back like, a few days ago, I was like, wow, that, you know, that means a lot. Yeah. So you know, and then you suddenly realize you have access to these people, you can send them a message be like, hey, like, how do you do this thing, and you basically get surrounded by people you I wouldn’t have otherwise. 

So for me, it’s been not only just the fact that I’m creating content and seeing growth there, but also like the people that I’m attracting. And also like the different opportunities that I’m getting through it, you know, people reaching out being like, Hey, you want to do this shoot in this place together? Or do you 

This is how you should go here. I wouldn’t have never realized it. If I didn’t have tick tock. Yeah, so it’s been like, and then on top of that, like, I’ve personally learned so much on tick tock outside of creating content. 

Based on the algorithm I’ve learned how to, I learned a lot of small business steps to create my business on take time. Like a lot of my side hustle. So I remember when, during the pandemic, pandemic when I was just learning and creating content at that time, I was only watching content on Tik Tok related to small business and side hustles 

Right, literally every time we would come in screenshot, screenshot screenshot download on Sunday, I would open my notepad and go to my phone and basically write down all the stuff that I’ve learned through tech that, hey, for example, they’re just content creators saying, Here are the top five apps for Shopify store. 

Okay, write those down and what they do, here’s how you can create a logo for free. Okay, these are the three websites, write them down, test them out. Here’s the tough side hustle in affiliate marketing, you can create an economy ClickBank, alright, write that down, open a clickbank account, just testing, testing, testing, 

I think I’ve learned more from Tik Tok than I would have from any other channel. Regarding starting my business, it also gave me the inspiration, seeing other small businesses and other people creating, you know, side hustles to actually get started. So I’d say to me creating content consumption that I’ve done, and I’ve learned from it has been enormous. And that’s why I also seek to create value. On Tik Tok.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And, you know, you spoke a lot about how you consume things, then you started applying when you were creating content, or what like, you know, your own merch, that you’re rocking God right now, like, you know, you learned it, and then you applied. A lot of people they get into this rut of consuming, consuming, consuming and then not taking action. What do you think differentiated you? How did you become this person who did consume and then took action?

Ateeb Khan: I think because I was already in the whole process of I’m creating content regardless, like every day, like I’m putting some content out there, right. So when I do see something that’s interesting, and I basically am not, I want to test out things. I feel like the biggest thing has been me testing out different things, and not sticking to like a structure. 

So whenever I see something new, I’m always like to test it. I think that increases my learning curve. It’s like, the more tests I do, the more different things I learned. I learned more about like, what works, what doesn’t. And I think like, learning isn’t real, if you haven’t done it yourself. 

So when I see something on Tik Tok, and let’s say I learned this thing, I don’t check my that I’ve learned it till I actually do it. That’s when I’ve actually learned it when I’ve actually done the task. That’s, that’s for me, like, the learning is not learning and watching. For me the learning is like after watching, did I apply? 

Now I’ve learned otherwise don’t like, I haven’t learned anything, because I haven’t done it. Right. So there’s no like, on paper proof that I’ve learned. So that’s how I hold myself almost accountable, or that’s the way I view it. So it’s like, if I want to learn it, I’ll have to do it. Otherwise, it just means nothing.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right? And you mentioned there that you have this mindset that you’re going to keep posting day in and day out, regardless of what happens. What puts you in that mindset, like what got you into I’m going to post regardless, because there are a lot of people out there, they post a bit and they fall off. What would you tell them?

Ateeb Khan: Okay, so I’m going to correct myself a little there. Okay, try to post every day, and I remain consistent. But I allow myself to take breaks. Like, the thing is, I want to enjoy the process. And I want it to come naturally. 

And that’s how my creativity works. So the general template is I’m going to post put something out there every day. And usually, like I almost always have so much content plan that I’m already like, Okay, I have three things in my mind, I have to get one thing out. So it’s easy, right? 

But there are days, like, for example, I’m on the road, I’m doing a road trip, or I’m hiking all day, and I’m tired, I come back, I don’t force it. For me, that kind of goes against it. So general rule is I’ll get something out every day because I do have the ideas and things that I want to put out. 

But for me, the biggest thing is, I never want to feel like I have to because the moment that have to comes into place, then it takes the fun part away from me. So you know, rule of thumb is like, and I’ve seen a lot of people tech talk talking about it, you have to post every day. But that’s not how I approach it. 

I know I should be probably posting three, five times a day, and that will give me more growth. But I think I lose like my level of interest and will take the whole purpose away. I wouldn’t be having fun. So

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I think that’s what’s important here is that there might be a lot of advice there. But you one has to do what works for them and their schedule and their process. Not does like there are people who say post seven times a day and it might not work for everyone. 

So it’s just like, but the important piece is You did say you do stay consistent. It’s not like you go out off the radar for three months, like you are consistent enough, maybe four to five times a week, one time, maybe three times a week one time but you are consistent, right, which I think is an important piece. Yeah, go ahead.

Ateeb Khan: Sorry. Yeah. And then it’d be a day where I do like three posts. You know what I mean? There’s no rule like that.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Right? Exactly. And there are I mean, you spoke a lot about the benefits that created access to different kinds of people. You’re learning a lot of new skills, you’re upgrading your skills, their sense of accomplishment, achievement there. 

But what are some of the lows of being a content creator on tick tock now with 18,000 followers? Doing some sort of side? hustles? What are some things that you’re like? I don’t love this.

Ateeb Khan: Yeah, that’s it’s funny, you asked me right now, because I think I went through something, it was a week I should go. That stressed me on a lot. Almost waiting my sleep. So there was this video I posted, I went on a hike and I found this hidden gem you want to call it I don’t think it was like really that hidden because I found it on all trails. 

And it was easy for me to get to. I posted it, and in a few hours, it reached 40,000. So it was almost exciting at the time. Yeah, this video is taking off. And then these comments started coming in from like some locals saying, hey, you know, we would all want this location to be disclosed, like, tourists will come and they’ll, like, ruin it for us. 

And people like, and some people come in and, you know, stuff like that. I’m like, Whoa, this is getting out of hands. And I deleted like the location from the comment section. Right? And I was like, You know what, I don’t know what the right thing to do is, but can I do my own research, I don’t want to take a strong stance in it. 

Even though you may be coming from a place of hate, or you’re being really aggressive. I don’t know what the right thing to do is, so I’ll just remove it. And I removed it.

And then there was like, all these comments of people who wanted the location, were saying like, Oh, no, local jacket, keeping all these places, it’s nice to get keep. So it started like this entire, like, conflict where people were like, 

Hey, you should post it. Like, why post videos if you can share the location, and the people like don’t post it, and both being attacked, like I was being attacked for both some like, it just kind of got out of hand. 

And I was like, I don’t know what the right thing to do is I called I messaged a friend, a couple of friends and their environment, environmentalists, just to figure it out on like, what is the right answer here? Like, I don’t know what the right answer is. 

And it’s a bit of a gray area. Like, you know, there is no moral obligation for me not to share locations, obviously. But there have been instances where some locations have been going viral, and a lot of tourists come in and they disrespected. 

Which is kind of sad. But you know, at the same time, especially a place like Whistler, the economy depends on people coming in. Again, it’s a national public park. So there’s a lot of data points, which I’m still not convinced what the right answer is. 

So I decided not take a stance, and I just let it be. But at the time, it was like, oh my god, this is just getting out of hands. And, you know, my biggest fear was like canceled culture. It’s like, Oh, my God, like this guy came in and ruined like a space for us. So maybe that’s the paranoid side of me talking but I’m scared of canceled culture and and ticked off

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Do you mind like explaining that? Because I haven’t heard of that term before? Yes. 

Ateeb Khan: Catholic culture is like a big thing. These days, I started with like, the me to movement, I think I’m not sure like, I’m not an expert on this topic at all. So yes, but it’s about like the internet taking like, matters into their own hands and canceling people. Like without substantial evidence based on something they may have seen online or a rumor. 

And because of the reach of the internet, there have been people whose careers jobs have been impacted without substantial evidence that they actually did those things or because of like, the ramifications of the publicity, right? impacted the rap. Right? 

Actually, a lot of people talk about this even novel, Rebecca, who is one of my, I would say, like, just, you know, he’s his philosophies are really sound right. And he talks about that as well. And it’s a dangerous culture. It’s like, almost like mob mentality on the internet. 

So that concerns me a little bit is like, what if? Because I post a lot of things on the whim. Like I make spelling mistakes, and I posted like, it’s very creative and very raw, right? What if one day I post something that may somehow against you, or against me, or I felt like a minority group? I don’t know. Like, I’m just saying like, that part scares me because I tick tock to go viral really fast. Right? 

That is one of my fears. That is like, that’s why I keep it closed. I like when I post something on my comment section and especially when some videos taking off. So that’s like the downside I would say for tick tock for me, right? Yeah.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And those are legit fair fears. And the thing is, it’s, it’s interesting that you continue to post despite having those fears. What would you say? Like, because a lot of that, honestly, fear of not knowing what is right, like you spoke about that a little like, I just didn’t know what the right answer was. 

I mean, that’s honestly very correct. Like there are a lot of times I post stuff that I’m like, I A lot of times I put the research studies in and you know what, this is where I got this information from, but I got a lot of backlash to like, You’re wrong. I remember once I posted something like you’re always in control. 

And I got a few hateful DMS like, no, not everyone’s in control. Some people live in underprivileged societies, you know, and it really shook me because I was just like, Oh, that’s not what I meant, like, you know, and I don’t mean to like, discredit what people are going through, but the fear of people back lashing, or people coming at you saying, you said something wrong is real. 

And I just want to emphasize that, that that will happen, everything has some risks, and that will happen is you gotta have some faith that if your intention is right, and you’re doing it with for the right, why you’re not doing it for for the fame, or for the viral videos for the money, but you’re really trying to make an impact. I think that’s what keeps me grounded. 

And that’s, that’s why I’m always like, this wasn’t my intention. This was my intention. And I feel like, that’s the same case for you. That’s what keeps going. Right? For sure

Ateeb Khan: I think you put the nail on the head, you use the word that I was thinking was like intention. I think like, as long as my intentions are in the right place, and people see that, that should protect me, like, from any backlash that I might get, I really believe in my intentions. 

And, you know, hoping that if anything is misunderstood, I deploy a lot of transparency, even when that happened. I could have done like, delete the comment, or I could have taken any extreme measures to just like, sweep it under the under the rug. But I think my biggest, I think, 

I think the offense in the sense that complete transparency being like, hey, like, you know, in the comment section, can you please explain to me like how this could actually impacted and inadvertently, that’s not my intention, and completely transparent. And people were like, seeing all those comments come through, and being like, oh, you know, this guy is like, taking it really well. 

Someone commented, as a local, he’s like, man, like you handle this really? Well, thank you so much, and stuff like that. So complete transparency and putting, like my intentions out there and really admitting, I don’t know everything. I honestly don’t see that and be like, I don’t know what the right answer is. 

So I think I’ll just remove it right now. Even though like there were some people like, Hey, why are you letting some person tell you to do things certain way and stuff like that as well? There were people on both ends. That comments, I shouldn’t if you go it’s like, just like a massive, like, you know, conflict from people from both sides. But yeah, that’s it. That’s Yes.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: And, and, you know, one thing that I do like about your journey is that you’ve actually started off, you started off with literally zero, and then you’ve grown and grown and grown, as you’ve posted, like, again, you’re at 18k, you the last time I checked, you were 16k, which wasn’t just I would say a few days ago, right? 

So you’re growing, and with that comes certain expectations, and a lot of people let that get to them. There’s this fear of success, or like, oh my god, now there’s all these people following me? Has that happened to you? And if yes, what how do you deal with it?

Ateeb Khan: Um, so firstly, for me, I’ve always had no expectations now in a bad way. Like, I don’t believe in myself. But that’s how like, I approach many things. It’s like, it’s all upside I, when I pursue something, I’m mentally completely ready to completely bombed it. And that allows me to be completely relaxed, like 

I’m starting my business. If it completely goes to shit, I ruined my RAM, I’ll come back from it, I’ll try something different I learned from it. So my personal expectation from you, to me is like, zero expectations. But I’ll aim for the moon and see where that takes me. But to your point, like, now I’m getting content and I’m like, used to getting like, you know, decent amount of views. 

And sometimes, like, you know, there’ll be a video that just I just flops completely. And I think that’s where the process comes into the place for me is I really believe in the kind of content that I want to put out and at the same time, I take feedback I really engage with like my, you know, people that are like part of my community, and see what’s resonating with them. 

And even though I preach that don’t take the positives and negatives, like don’t take the negative feedback and don’t take the time So, but I’m guilty right now of using all this really overwhelming positive feedback that I’m getting, it’s, at the end of the day, that’s where like, I’m human, but I use that to be like, 

Oh, my God, like these people are saying such things like, it’s clearly impacting them in a positive way. So it means a lot to me. I use that to be like, you know, what I need? This is, this feels right. And, you know, I know, I’m like, generally, my compass is in the right place. So it was never about, honestly, I know, it might sound fluffy or something people say, but for me, it was never about X number of followers or views, I really wanted to make an impact.

 Even if it was like one person or a small amount of people, it just had to be like value. And as long as there’s some people are taking value from it, I think that’s going to keep me going. So I’m never gonna let like the number of like views or followers get to my head. 

As long as I know, I was able to bring value to some people, right? But to me is like, insane sitting over here. I can say something. And someone in New Zealand could be like, I needed to hear that, thank you so much. 

And have like a great feeling darling of the day in a different way, for me is more than like, oh, like 50,000 views or people commenting that one comment means for me more than anything else. 

And as long as I get those, like individual people being impacted, I think that will keep me going even though I should not need that. For me to keep me going. I also enjoyed the process. But it definitely helps when you get those feedback, when, especially when you’re having a bad day.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I agree. I agree. And I think even even the fact that you use all of your positive feedback in a positive way, like you don’t let it overwhelm you, you almost think of it as, hey, I have all these people that want to watch me and want to watch these videos, I need to continue creating, rather than 

Oh, shoot, there’s a lot of people that will watch me. So I think that’s, that’s very important for you to listen to like even the positive feedback, don’t let it overwhelm you more. So take it as great I need to continue produce or if even if you’re not getting many views, that’s okay, as well, because it doesn’t matter if you get 50,000 views. 

But if you’re impacting that one person, I think that’s an important message, which is that hence bears repeating. For a lot of people listening today. This has honestly been an incredible question. 

Not a question. It’s been an incredible conversation. You know what I mean? Final question for you What the What one piece of advice that you would give to your younger self? And I don’t mean, like 15 years ago, I mean, your younger self a year back. So pretty recent at the vaults, one piece of advice you’d give him?

Ateeb Khan: That’s a good question one year back. I wasn’t very, it’s funny, because when you were back was exactly when like, I felt everything around me was crumbling into pieces. I would, I would say, you know, trust your gut. That’s it, like trust. I know, it sounds fluffy. But literally, that’s what I had to do at the end. 

And I would just remind myself, like, go with my gut and my intuition. Because at that time, on paper, a lot of things seemed like I had to make a different choice. Yeah, and I will look at things in a long term view as opposed to like, you know, avoiding short term difficult conversations. Yeah, that’s very specifically geared to my one year ago self.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: I love that. I love that and where can people find you?

Ateeb Khan:  So on Instagram, ateebk. That’s my Instagram. Tik Tok. It’s ateebofficial ATEEB. I was supposed to change that handle, but it’s growing on me. So I stick to it now. And yeah, that’s my Tik Tok handle.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yeah. Well, thank you so much for being here today. I had a really, really good time having this conversation.

Ateeb Khan: Well, thank you for having me, Mahrukh. That was great. Thanks for having me. And, you know, in this conversation, I did take something as well, because I’ve haven’t dug into certain things myself. So that was great. Thanks for asking those questions. And, you know, we’ll be in touch so Always a pleasure.

Mahrukh Imtiaz: Yes, of course. Of course. I’m very grateful to have a friend like you. So definitely staying in touch and for all of those listening, thank you so much for listening. If you haven’t yet subscribed, please click the subscribe button and until next week, you got this beautiful

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