We had the good fortune of connecting with Mehdi Kajbaf and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mehdi, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I believe it’s important that everyone lives a life consistent with their core values. For me, I realized quickly in my young career that no 9 – 5 job would provide the level of freedom necessary for me to be happy. Once I discovered that fact, it guided every decision in my life so when the opportunity to create Matboard and More came along, it meant everything to me. It was not a matter of starting a business, or selling a product or even getting rich. It was a pathway to a life of freedom where I could choose what I do with my own time and have the financial means to live a full life. Thankfully with my amazing partners, clients and some luck I’ve reached that level. So I would tell anyone looking to make any big decision in their life to first ask themselves, does this path lead me to a place where my life and core values will mirror each other?
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have three very distinct careers, and I think it shows that it’s important to stay fluid and always learning in life. I began as an Engineer. After graduation, I worked at Econolite which created traffic signal systems. So I became an expert on traffic devices and it was a really cool job, but it didn’t offer me the flexibility and freedom that I wanted. So I went back to school and did my MBA, and that helped launch my second career as a facilitator for Health and Wellness. I would do seminars helping organizations manage challenges like workplace stress, time management and various other topics. I really love doing that work and I still do it today. In the process of creating my facilitation business I began blogging at orgeffectiveness.ca and learned about digital marketing. That’s when Matboard and More came along and I took those marketing skills and applied them to e-commerce. I am looking for the next opportunity all the time and would love to learn a whole new set of skills. I think it’s really fun to keep challenging myself and always stay open to what comes your way. There’s a lot of opportunity in careers that we may miss simply because we are too stuck in what we are currently doing. Change it up, you never know where it may take you!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wow, that is an interesting and challenging question! I’ve had the luxury of traveling quite a bit and a few of the most fun places I’ve been are Prague, Lisbon, Cusco and Split. Those spots all offer great adventure on a budget, with beautiful scenery including beaches to surf, Islands to explore and rich culture! If there was one thing though that I’ve done in my life that really stands out, I’d say Paragliding in Annecy, France. That was by far the most unique and exciting adventure for me. It’s a beautiful little town with mountains and a gorgeous lake that just sparkles. There are great restaurants and tours you can do, but you have to try Paragliding! I was literally in the clouds. So high above the sky. We flew around and then did a dive that was like ten of the most intense roller coasters ever back to back to back to.. you get the idea 🙂 It’s more and more difficult each year finding something exciting that really is unique and makes you just go, WOAHHH.. but that was one for me.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
That’s an easy one for me to answer because I have two incredible partners, who also happen to be family. I owe a tonne of my success to my brother in law who’s been working hard in the picture framing industry for decades. Without his knowledge and expertise in the industry there’s no way we could have the Matboard and More of today. Similarly, my older brother who is a total tech wizard and created the entire site from the home page to the back end order management system. Nobody has ever been successful on their own, and it’s important to recognize the amazing people who help you along the way.