#besomebody inspires UND

Motivational speaker Kash Shaikh tells his story, spreads message during tour.

Motivational speaker and founder of #besomebody Kash Shaikh tells his story and gives inspirational advice during his visit to campus at the Ralph Engelstad Arena. Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

Students gathered in the lobby of the Ralph Engelstad Arena Friday afternoon to listen to a motivational speaker.

#besomebody founder Kash Shaikh and the #besomebody team traveled to UND’s campus via charter bus as part of their nationwide college tour. The group arrived at UND’s campus last Friday to host a motivational event at the Ralph Englestad Arena.

#besomebody is the fastest growing motivational movement in the world, connecting more than four million people in more than 180 countries, according to its website.

People all over the world are using the #besomebody hashtag on social media while sharing their personal passions.

Shaikh spoke about following one’s passions, and the often difficult steps required before reaching success. He also told his personal story and explained #besomebody’s mission.

“It should be cool just hearing a guy who’s been pretty successful by most standards, motivating other people on how to be successful,” UND Student Sen. Josh Nelson said.

Shaikh’s story

The organization began as Shaikh’s personal mantra, but grew after he dove into his passion for writing, creating the #besomebody blog in 2011. The blog initially described his raw experiences working as a global executive for Procter & Gamble and GoPro cameras.

He worked for Proctor & Gamble for nine years and GoPro for two years, before quitting in March 2013 so he could fully commit to developing #besomebody as a non-profit organization.

“The organization has grown so much in just those 10 months,” said Shaikh.

He explained in his speech that his former positions have allowed him to travel around the world, to places such as Egypt and Switzerland, and try new things such as riding a motorcycle and flying a fighter jet.

“You go so far and you learn so much (while traveling), but you learn the most about yourself,” Shaikh said while speaking.

College tour

For the past several weeks, Shaikh and the rest of the #besomebody team have been traveling all around the country for their nationwide college tour.

The tour began at the University of Texas in Austin, where #besomebody is headquartered, and has since traveled to places such as the University of Miami in Florida, Rutgers University in New Jersey and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, according to the tour’s online schedule.

Today, the team is scheduled for an appearance at the University of California-Davis. Its last planned stop will be at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, on Wednesday, but they have a to-be-determined student’s choice stop planned for next Friday.

Shaikh was hesitant to come to UND at first, but he was pleasantly surprised with the campus and Grand Forks. The organization’s social media manager and former UND student, Alex Dorner talked him into taking the tour to their northernmost destination.

“Grand Forks was one of our most surprising destinations and one of my favorites. I loved the energy, excitement, tradition and history of the campus,” Shaikh said. “We will definitely come back, probably when the weather is warmer.”

UND’s student body is also the only one who has been able to successfully spell out #besomebody with their bodies for an aerial photo.

Getting involved

Dorner, a Grand Forks native, took a semester off from being a UND student to fill his position at #besomebody. He is planning to return for his final semester in the spring.

Dorner connected with Shaikh after interviewing him for a school project last year, before applying for the social media manager position in May.

“My favorite part of my job is the experience and networking. I’ve met so many people that I never would’ve had the opportunity to meet had I not taken this position,” Dorner said. “My least favorite part is being on the road, away from my dog.”

Dorner’s goal with the visit to UND was to inspire students to think harder about their majors and career paths, to make sure they’re doing something they love. He says it’s important to remember that stress “doesn’t last forever” and to look at the big picture.

Goals and mission

After the college tour, the team is going to be working on the #besomebody smartphone app, which will provide another way for people around the world to connect and help each other develop their passions. Shaikh says their goal is to have the app done by February 2014.

They also want to organize #besomebody running races and conferences for people to share their stories, similar to TED Talks, all around the country.

“#besomebody stands for one thing — personal passion,” Shaikh said.

He provided step-by-step advice for the audience toward the end of his speech. Tell yourself the truth, live your passion and go all in.

“The recipe for success isn’t very complicated. It’s actually very simple. It’s just that most people don’t do it.”

The audience seemed to enjoy and appreciate #besomebody’s presentation.

“It was kinda inspiring to see how he had it all financially and dropped it all to do what he loves,” UND senior Greg Moriarty said.

Jaye Millspaugh is the multimedia editor for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].