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Vahid Shababi

Q&A, Forty Under 40 Winner 2020; COO, Victory Square Technologies Inc., Age 38

Who or what is responsible for your work ethic? 

Everyone who has been in my professional career. I believe there is always something that we can learn from every single person we meet and interact with.

What is your guilty pleasure? 

Eating – good food, pastries, dark chocolate and ice cream.

What is the best book you would recommend?

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight. Second best would be Relentless by Tim Grover.

Now that you’re entering your 40s, what goals have you set for yourself?  

I’m currently hyper-focused on helping Victory Square’s team and portfolio companies to continue this path successfully. I’m motivated to help young entrepreneurs advance their careers and grow. In addition to my professional goals, I’m also focused on giving back to the community and raising my son to be a good person.

Choose one of these five childhood career dreams: Rock star, star athlete, prime minister, astronaut, detective. 

Star athlete, for sure.

Name your happiest place. 

On a basketball court or a soccer field – next to my family and my son.

What was your toughest business or professional decision? 

Leaving my basketball career at 28 to focus more on my professional career. Then leaving a company that I had worked for eight years at the peak.

Advice you would give your 20-year-old self? 

Live life to the fullest with no regret. Invest in yourself by reading more. Be less stubborn and more open to learn from others.

What is your best habit? 

I love empowering others, that gives me energy.

Tell us one improbable fact about yourself. 

Being a die-hard fan of AC Milan Football club for 20 years, even though they haven’t been doing well for years.

Best piece of advice ever received? 

Focus on your end goal and the ‘why,’ not on the ‘what’ and ‘how.’

What career highlight are you most proud of? 

The journey continues and I believe that chapter hasn’t been written for me.