Dean Shams – Founder & CEO of Nabyula Pte. Ltd.

Taking inspiration from Madonna, Dean Shams has seen the benefit of constant reassessment to become the best.

What’s your story?

I started my career in the education industry and that lasted 7 years. I left the industry believing I could do a lot more. One thing led to another and I found myself in the Public Relations industry. I launched my PR agency, KinetiqBuzz, in 2005 getting clients featured on the media and offering copywriting and branding services. In 2007, I started doing corporate training in effective communications.

In 2020, my company rebranded into Nabyula Consulting & Training. Now, I focus on helping professionals, subject matter experts and businesses to build their presence, grow their influence and establish their authority.

What excites you most about your industry?

After 15 years in the industry, I am still excited about how words (spoken or written) can significantly impact how a person or product is perceived. Knowing how to leverage the power of language patterns, we can transform the ordinary into extraordinary. I have used that skill to bring out my client’s hidden stories to write feature articles and branded contents and get them the media coverage they deserve.

dean speech

What drives you in business to push beyond what other people consider normal?

I am constantly uncovering new ways of helping my clients build their presence and grow their influence through new communication strategies. There’s always some new technology that I can leverage to further my clients’ and my brand’s reach.

The demands of a post-pandemic new normal push me to produce different modes of my services. I am now excited to digitalise as much of my business as possible and make it into a location-independent business while keeping my deliverable high quality.

What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?

The one skill that has given me the most significant return-on-investment is networking. Knowing other entrepreneurs and subject matter experts has removed a lot of obstacles in my entrepreneurial journey.

Being part of a community of like-minded people, we are continually exchanging insights and becoming sounding boards for one another. This has opened my eyes to new ways of doing things and opportunities.

I still remember being nervous about going to networking events when I first started. But now I look forward to it. I am glad to have formed and still maintain friendships from my networking.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

“Be in the moment” is one of the best advice that I have ever picked up from the many books I have read. When the journey gets tough, and I have to overcome many challenges, this principle reminds me that at this very moment, I am all right. That has an immensely calming effect, an essential precursor to making the best decision for difficult situations.

Who inspires you?

I have an unlikely inspiration. She is a pop-star, and now considered a living legend—Madonna. I have always been amazed at how she has survived decades in the music industry, where most couldn’t even make it past ten years. She is constantly innovating her looks and acts and still at it in her 60s. The most inspiring thing about her is that she is not the best singer nor dancer. Yet she has drawn global attention and made herself a household name. Observing her career, I learnt one important lesson—you don’t have to be number one to be the best.

What have you learnt recently that blew you away?

Who, Not How. This is a new concept that I learnt recently and made me rethink my business. It was from a book of the same title by Dan Sullivan. I learned how to achieve more and bigger things by leveraging people who have the right skills, instead of trying to learn the how and do it myself. The principle comes with a whole system that is the real secret source that helps you achieve more significant things. I am now rethinking all the projects I have on hand.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

I find peace in believing that I have been doing my best given the knowledge I had in any given situation. I can only do better if I travel back in time with the understanding and experience that I have now. But that is not possible, for now. Well, the big difference I would make is to seek out mentors right from the start. Mentors can reduce the learning curve and mistakes. That would have made an enormous difference.

How do you unwind?

My favourite activity is taking long walks along the beach. It clears my mind and energises me. I have also picked up callisthenic exercises during the lockdown. And I love it! I have been regularly doing Calisthenics till today. It is way better than lifting weights at the gym. I also read a lot of non-fiction books as a way to expand my mind.

What is a major mindset change, belief shift or ‘ah ha’ moment that you’ve experienced in relation to your business?

The lockdown has made me realise that almost all of my business can be done remotely. Face-to-face meetings are nice to have, but not essential, even if it is to build rapport.

I have tested out some business models, and they worked. I am now restructuring my business to be mostly remote-based and location independent. This means that I can serve global clients and do business from anywhere in the world. That excites me.

Everyone in business should read this book:

Deep Work by Cal Newport changed the way I worked. Newport shares how you can break away from the constant distraction that plagues our days. We switch from doing real work to checking out what happened on our social media account, getting a snack and then back at work. This book helped me push all these to the side and go into deep focus when getting real work done. While I won’t claim that I am distraction free now, it did dramatically improve the situation.

Get the book today!

nabyula logo

Shameless plug for your business:

Nabyula Consulting & Training helps professionals, subject matter experts and businesses to build their presence, grow their influence and establish their authority. We do this by helping you get featured in the media and develop communication materials and strategies that grow your leads and build trust with your target audience. We will make you the go-to brand in your niche. Go to to find out how we can support you the best.

How can people connect with you?

The best way to connect with me would be Linkedin or Facebook. I do use my Facebook profile for interacting with my business contacts and community in a more casual way.

I appreciate a proper introduction if we have never interacted before.

Social Media Links?

This interview is part of the CallumConnects series. Every entrepreneur featured has been recommended by one of our previous guests.

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