Overcome Extreme Adversity with Peter MutabaziNov 29, 2022
Peter Mutabazi is an absolutely magnificent human. This conversation is one that I won’t forget and it is filled with inspiration and hope.
At age ten, Peter Mutabazi ran away from home in rural Uganda to escape his abusive father. For five years Peter survived on the streets of Kampala, a city of 1.5 million, until one man saw potential in him. This one person not only supported Peter through school but altered Peter’s outlook on life in every possible way.
Since then, Peter has served as a relief coordinator during the Rwandan genocide, worked for the International Committee of Red Cross during the Sudan conflict, immigrated to the United States, fostered countless children, and became a single foster and adoptive parent. He speaks seven languages and has traveled to more than 100 countries as an international advocate for vulnerable children.
Now I Am Known is Peter’s inspiring true story. In it he reveals the transformational power of taking risks, learning to forgive, overcoming self-doubt, breaking negative patterns, and believing in a better future. He becomes a friend in this must-read, encouraging you to propel forward into a purpose-driven life marked by hope and meaning.
My top take aways from this episode were:
- We need to start seeing the people around us. As a child, Peter was never called by his name. He was never truly seen or known. This is such an important point. People simply want to be seen and known. Take the time to learn the names of the people around you. Make the people around you feel as though they truly belong. Make sure they know how much they mean to you by simply seeing them and knowing them. That all starts with learning their name. What are you doing to make people feel known?
- We all have a level of self-doubt and a lack of self-love. Take the time to sit down and really figure out where it is in business and life that you feel that self-doubt creeping in. What could you do to love yourself a little more? Make this a priority.
- Leadership is all about influence. Be kind to those around you. Make sure that they are seen, heard and known. This is so important in leadership.
Peter Mutabazi, James Laughlin
James Laughlin 00:00
Welcome to lead on purpose. I'm James Laughlin, former seven time world champion, musician and night executive coach to global leaders and high performers. In every episode, I bring you an inspiring leader or expert to help you lead your life and business on purpose. Thanks for taking the time to connect today on investing in yourself. Enjoy the show. Would you like to connect personally with some of my podcast guests, they are arguably some of the most influential leaders and high performers on the planet. Each month, members of my HPC the high performers club, get to connect with a leadership Titan in an intimate q&a. They also get access to powerful high performance leadership coaching, and monthly masterminds. There's only 20 seats at the leadership table. You can apply today by going to www.jj lachlan.com forward slash HPC.
James Laughlin 01:06
This week, you're in for such a treat. Obviously, I bring in an incredible leader every single week and they share their wisdom. This week, you're going to learn about true authentic leadership from Peter moody, bossy. He's just released the book. No, I am known. No Peter story is so emotional. He has went through so much deep abuse grew up on the streets and Uganda. And now he's a foster dad works for World Vision is an incredible advocate for children all around the world. He truly is an inspiring leader, I'm honored to have had the chance to sit with Peter. So please sit back and enjoy the show.
James Laughlin 02:02
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James Laughlin 03:57
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James Laughlin 05:31
Peter, a massive Welcome to the lead on purpose podcast.
Peter Mutabazi 05:36
Well, thank you so much for having me here. I'm really excited to get to share with you
James Laughlin 05:41
all so incredible honor to connect with you. And I want to say, for those that are listening right now that listening right now there's a book that you've got to buy today, and we're going to talk about it. But it's called no unknown. And I will show you guys that in just a second. But Peter, on that note, I want to say you are truly known. And here's here's, here's why I say that. I'm an Irish guy living in New Zealand. And I heard about you from my partner Caroline's mother who lives in South Africa. Wow. Wow, you are truly known she Kirsten has her name she she Brian Caroline's. You've got to connect with Peter. I've just watched the show with him. He's an amazing man. He's incredible leader. And so Karolina and I started doing our research on you're absolutely inspired and blown away by the leader that you are. And I know that the listener that's listening right now is going to take so much away from your story.
Peter Mutabazi 06:35
Well, I hope so I hope I get to share a little wisdom of what I learned along the way. And I'm still learning to your listeners as well.
James Laughlin 06:43
Fantastic. Well, let's start at the start, let's share with that listener right now where your life began and what it was like as a young man.
Peter Mutabazi 06:53
So my life began in Uganda in a small little village called Kabbalah, you know, life was miserable in every shift form, you could think of think of, you know, I did not have a name until when I was, you know, at the age of two, because most kids who are born in my village would die before the age of two. So I think my mom was like, I'm not sure he will make it maybe I should wait to give him a name that is appropriate for him surviving. So I to she named she named me a gift given to us by God. So that is really my background, you know, but also I grew up in a place where I saw misery every day, you know, never at one point in my life, did someone say, Peter, there's a future for you ought to be hopeful or to dream. You know, those are words that I got to learn later, because I could not, you know, our interface was, you know, three to four miles away every day. You know, as a four year old, you walk that far and come back, you know, there was no anytime that I ever became a kid I ever played or be a little boy, you know, from the age of four, I began to know that I needed to contribute to the family, I needed to do something. And so that was my journey. But to you know, my mother struggled to feed us, there wasn't food for us, you know, grew up in a place where I would have a meal every other day, you know, we could not afford beans and potatoes at the same day, same time. You know, we'll have beans today. And then we have been the following day just so we can spread them out. You know, so you can imagine as a mom, how do you tell your kids to dream when you cannot feed them for the night? You know, how do you tell them to dream when you could never afford a shoe for them? You know, I didn't have a shoe until I was 16 years old, you know? Like how do you inspire them to dream when everyday life is a struggle. And so that was my background, but it wasn't just me. But it was every kid in our village, you know that we're all poor. We all live the same life of hopelessness, you know, then at the age of four, I began to realize that my father was different from other fathers, you know, my dad, I noticed that he was just abusive mean, you know? Yes, I went to fetch water. Yes, I spent more time with my mom in the garden. But I never had one kind word from my dad. You know, like, like, how does say, Man, son, that was really awesome that you did thank you for bringing water. Now. No, nothing like that. You know, I think all I had was, you will never amount to anything. I wish you were never born, you know you. You're useless. I never want to see your face every day. So that's really where I grew up, you know, of poverty on one side, but yet your own dad could literally make your life miserable in every shape form. So for me, dreaming wasn't what I wanted, you know, because I thought dreaming for today, knowing the same things I'm facing today will come tomorrow. I didn't want to see the next day. You know, I didn't want to see the next week. I just wish life ended sooner than later. Because today was worse enough that I knew tomorrow will be the same. So that became my journey. Then at the age of 10. I was like look, rather than let my dad take my own life, I would rather go die in the hands of someone else. You know, I had never been 20 miles away from my village. You know, I ran away and I went 505 kilometers away to Kampala. Of course, when I got there, I didn't know where I was going. But I knew at least if there's an abuse, at least, if I die, I'm in the hands of a stranger, you know, and quickly, I realized that I can make it so I became a street kid, and lived on the streets of Kampala. And that's how I moved from my village to Kampala, the capital city.
James Laughlin 10:29
Wow. And so tell me more about Kampala See, this young boy, Kenyan who's got on a bus who's traveled hundreds of kilometers to somewhere has never been before gets off this bus. How does life unfold at that point?
Peter Mutabazi 10:43
Well, you know, so as soon as they go to Kampala, so I had come from a village that is calm within see cars, sometimes for a day. And here you are in the midst of chaos. I mean, chaos, noise, the smell, but also they spoke a different language. And there were different people from all over Uganda and other countries as well, that would come to the market. So they spoke a language that I didn't understand, you know, out here a few words, and most I really did not understand. But quickly, I knew there's nowhere to go. I saw other kids who were, you know, nibbling and stealing food. I was like, You know what, maybe I need to know these guys. And soon they took me in and they embraced me. And my life became a street kid, you know. So remember, at home, I could survive a day on the streets of Kampala, you weren't sure, if you survive an hour, you know, the next hour, you didn't know, you know, sometimes, I mean, there were more than 1000 kids on the streets, or would eat in the garbage or slip under the curse, sometimes will struggle on fire with animals, that dogs stray dogs to look for that meal to look for their food. And so life was was miserable. And I think for me death, I saw death literally every day, you know, sometimes small little kids or kids in the streets like me would eat food that had poison, or things that would affect their, you know, their, their health, and they would die instantly, you know, or sometimes it would sleep under the buses or under the cars. And sometimes they will move without knowing their kids under. So for me, my life became more like, if I have another hour, I am good, you know, the life just became that way that you just didn't know what could come next next hour. They abused as well. I mean, you know, people saw us more like stray animals. You know, I lived on the streets for four years, but never at one point, did anyone ever call me by name, or refer me as that man or that kid? You know, I think I was seen more as less of a human being. And I think I believed it. When you when you live in garbage, and you smell and stink and look like it, it's hard to think you're not what they're saying about you. So I believed everything, that I was nobody, that I will never amount to anything, that I was an animal that I wasn't worthy of any human being, or be close to them. You know, they used us sexually, they used us in a level where they use in every shape or form, you could think of that in some way. I saw myself as a rug, you know, as garbage. And that became my life. But you know, stealing was easy because we we wanted to earn the right to be on the streets. So we made sure we stole food, we didn't steal money. Most people in Africa, then they didn't make $1 debt. You know, we don't beg but we work hard. And that's maybe the ethic our parents, or at least my mom taught me to work hard. So even on the streets, I worked so hard to get a meal because I knew no one will give it to me willingly. So if I can help you for cheap labor, sure enough, I can take one banana, you know, and that's what my life came and, and I survived literally day by day became my life.
James Laughlin 13:47
Incredible. I mean, most of us that are listening right now, cannot actually even begin to imagine. I mean, I've never seen those things. I've never seen a person dead on the street, nevermind a child, I can only imagine that would have such an impact on your psychology. That must be so difficult to work through as a child that to witness this. Now, we're sitting here on, you know, internationally, there's a Pacific Ocean separating us we're talking about life, life has changed a lot for you. So what was that moment? Or who was that person that came into your life? That when you were on the streets in Kampala, where did it all start to change?
Peter Mutabazi 14:25
Well, so as I told you, as three kids, we always, you know, we saw targets we knew, we knew people who have food, so we would take and they will not notice but this time I saw this gentleman, he was wearing glasses. He was wearing khakis. And of course I could tell like this man is smart. So he became my target. Like, I'm gonna steal food, but I got my target. So I followed him as he was buying things fine. I said, Hey, can I carry your things take them to the car, and he stopped me said Hey, stop. And then he said, What is your name? You know, and that rattled me. Because I stood back. I'm like, wait Minute, you know, so for all those years, no one had ever asked my name. And here's some stranger. And men, he said, Why is your name and I think for me, that stopped me. Because I, I felt like if someone wanted to know me know, as a garbage boy, but he wanted to know me, for my name, just my name. And that really made me stop. And, and that's why I paused back. But also, I was scared that, you know, he would harm me because for everyone who was kind, you know, sometimes they also followed with abuse. So yes, he said my name and that really stopped me to think twice, you know, but at the same time, it also made me nervous that he's asked me my name, but he's gonna hurt me in a few minutes, you know. So before I could steal from him, he gave me something to eat. He said, Hey, he's food for you. And man, and he left. And I walked away, I didn't really buy into it. So I saw him the second time. At the same time, he called me my mama my name. And I was like, Man, this guy is crazy. He remembers minor. Think about like, humanist speaking. I mean, someone you know, for me to say gems. I'm a newbie, like, sure, you know. But for all the years that no one ever bothered to know your name. And there is a man who has said it not once, twice. And the third time, I kind of knew like, wait a minute, I know what he buys. I know when it comes to the city, I know, a parks, and I know what he buys every time he comes. So I think in my head, I thought, I know every Monday between five and six, I don't have to steal this man is give me it's gonna give me something you know. And that became my life for one year and a half, he fed me who would come every other weekend. And you always give me a meal. And in some way, not that I got attached to him. But it was one day where I did not have to be stressful about food, that he would always give me food. He didn't ask me why I was on the streets who I was. But at the same time, he he's the only human being that referred me by my name. And I think that really made me have a little glimpse of hope or a glimpse of this is really cool that a stranger will wanna call me by my it wasn't really so much about the food. But he could call me about what my mom called me. And that was my life change. So he fed me for one year and a half. And then one day said, Peter, if you have an opportunity to go to school, would you love to go school? You know, so I mean, so this is strange, though. So think about your street kid. Everyone has told you never meant anything. Your own dad says. You will never be anybody your garbage. And there's no future for you. Of course you smell it. And then this a stranger says, Would you like to go? I mean, it's like me asking you now that we're talking? Would you like to go to
James Laughlin 17:50
the moon, would you? I mean, that'd be pretty amazing. But I just can't imagine it.
Peter Mutabazi 17:56
Exactly. You don't go to bed thinking man, one day, I wish I go to the moon. But to me the same way the moon is perfect for you. That was the same for me as a street kid. First of all, I did not see myself as a human being worthy, having a potential or worthy tech to score. So So those are the layers that I had to go through in order to even believe there was a school for me, you know? So when he said school, I was like, well, that's for people out there. Not me, you know, but he insisted, you know, so one day said, Hey, you're gonna go to boarding school, but they're going to provide for you food, you have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I mean, I didn't hear about school. All I had was about food. I was like, Wait, is food you know, but because he had fed me for one year and a half, I think I wanted to honor him and say, You know what? You fed me for one year now. Unless I can go school. You're talking about a lease for one night, you know, so I before I could leave, I told the, you know, I told my street kids. I said hey, I'm gonna go if you don't see me 24 hours. When you see this man, please take care of him. In other words, in other words, you know, do whatever you want. So that means he killed me. Oh, I see. It is something. So then I, you know, I he gave me close to where I put on the clothes and I went to school, but it wasn't like I was going to be a teacher. It wasn't like I was going to add my dream players. To me. It was more of this man has been faithful in really recognizing who I was. I owe him at least one night, one trip to the school, you know, but when I got to school, no, before we go to school while we are driving, you know, I said why me? There are more than 1000 kids on the streets. Why me? And he looked at me said well, Pete, I just want to be faithful. I mean, I didn't understand why he would say I was like, Sure, you know, so we go to school, they provide him for me lunch, then they told me to wait for dinner. So every day, I mean, so I wanted to leave the following day, but I waited for breakfast. So I was like, Wait, lunch is common. So I'm waiting for that way did has gone. So in the process of waiting every day, every day, I thought, wait a minute, in order for me to take advantage of this meal, I think I need to go to school. You know, I need to go to class, because I wasn't going to class for me, I was sitting just waiting for my mail to go. And then I figured, wait a minute, for me to keep enjoying this meal. There's one thing I have to do. It was going to class. And it wasn't that I was going there. So I can be somebody, to me was there for the benefit of the meal. You know, what later on I realized that not only was ice, you know, smart, but I understood really school well. But there was a teacher at school, who, you know, one day he had been, I've been on school for about, I think few a few weeks. So he told me to go play soccer with other kids. And I was like, Look, I know you want to punish me remember, for me, everyone who said something good, if followed with that. So I was like, you want me to go play soccer. So you can punish me? So I was like, No, I am not going, you know, she looked in my eyes and said, Peter, I to this day, I remember every word he said, because she said, Peter, you have a potential. And it's my job as a teacher to make sure that potential is fulfilled, you know. And man, I was like, really, really not to see the amazing words of strangers, where they really helped me see that I had a potential, see that I was smart. See that I was worthy. That's really what changed my life. You know, this man who didn't know who I was, but yet he saw the best in me. And my lowest, you know, I didn't have shoes, I didn't have clothes. I'm not sure I even had shorts, I'm sure I had a t shirt with nothing underneath. Because as three kids we didn't have bought, I'm not sure how taken ever a shower in my life, or the four years, we waited for the rain and would you know, wait, show in the rain or go to the sewage cannot? I mean your bedding in sewer water, you know. So the stench, the smell, there was nothing good about me from the outside, nothing. But yet, for him, he saw the best in me that I never saw for myself. But also no one else had seen that gave me the glimpse to start dreaming to start looking at myself that wait a minute, pizza, I have a potential. And I can do what everyone else can do. And that became my goal in life. While
James Laughlin 22:29
well that amazing person, James, who gives you that opportunity and looked after you. I mean, he has changed the direction of your life and many other lives that you're impacting. So to me, he's truly an incredible leader. And he showed incredible leadership and compassion. And tell me about school. What at the end of school? What happened from there? What was the result of you attending school?
Peter Mutabazi 22:52
Well, so you know, so later on, you know, and like, what do you say like, yes, he's leadership. He didn't tell me he walked the journey. And I just followed, and I admired what he did. And so that became my goal. You know, if you love school, I love school as well. You know, if you love to train people, well, then I was like, Maybe I ought to do the same. So I can be like him. So you know, after six months at school, he brought me to his family, you know, I had never seen a family unit, you know, at home, we always ate before that can because if he can before food, that food was thrown away, you know, I always had to hide, I never saw my dad face to face for all my life as a teenager because I was afraid of him. And so he takes me to his home. And then for me, I'm like, I know chaos is about to happen. So I'm going to see on the exit, so I am sitting, I'm looking for the clauses below, I can run through, because I know there's gonna be chaos, someone's gonna die, somebody someone's gonna throw something. So I better know where my exit is, but awaited and that didn't happen. And then they asked me to sit around the, you know, on the table, or the dining table, you know, and I think that really affected me that you think I'm worthy sitting on the dining table with a whole family, because I didn't see that I was worthy sitting there. But the way they said, Hey, have a chair have a table, the dining about really struck me. And that's when I began to see family in its best way. Because now I have an example to look and say, There's something I want. There's something about this family that I could have as well as a dad see love and smile and provide for my farmer because that example I didn't have it before. And there it was in my in my eyes and my presence and that became really my journey. And so I went to school. I finished high school and then went to university in Uganda went to macro University, and then I got a scholarship to go study in England. And then I got another scholarship to go study in the United States. So that's how I came to United States from kindness but also the act of kindness from A stranger who did not know me, or did not know where I came from. And not only did he change my life, but he changed my entire family as well, you know, I went to university, and I made sure that I knew I could never take away my brothers and sisters, from my farmer. I knew the abuse was still happening. But I knew I could give them something that I was given education. And so I worked so hard to make sure that they went to school. And so they all went to high school and later went to university in Uganda and one and have good jobs. But I knew there was the thing that I could truly provide for them, to show that Manny could show me a leadership could show me on how to intervene and equip others what I was given to see that he did that. So I can do that. For my family. It was really awesome. And really cool to look back now and say, Wow, what a stranger, but What kindness and what he's been able to achieve, and accomplish through the kindness of helping jazz, one soul.
James Laughlin 26:03
Really, really amazing. And it's really interesting, Peter, because I feel that often people think of leadership as a title. So you're a president, you're a CEO, you're the captain of the sports team. But actually, I think when we look at leadership, it's more about influence. And this gentleman, Jim's had incredible influence over you, you just said, he valued skill. So I thought I should do it, too. He treated people nicely, so I should do it too. And I'd love that that degree of influence he had over your life. And then you've taken that, and you've influenced your siblings. And now you've come to America, and unite influencing the next generation and the one after that. So what drives you today? What what is your mission today? What do you wake up? And what are you passionate to do?
Peter Mutabazi 26:53
Oh, well, so he did one thing that I want to do for others, he was he made sure I was seen, he made sure I was known. He made sure I was hard. And so for me, those are the things he did, I didn't have a name, but he made me known, I didn't have a place to belong, but he gave me a place to belong. I didn't have goals in life, but he showed me where to go and how to achieve them. I didn't have resources, and he provided for me resources, that for me for where he's brought me that I want to do the same for others, for those who have no resource to make sure they have resource they can to be the best they can be. He made me seen hard and know that I want to do the same for other kids. You know, not just kids, but anyone who's going through the most difficult time that they can do the best they have, that we can give him opportunity and platform to say, you got all the text to be somebody you know, and I think for me, the most thing he helped me was, we all go through the past, we all go through hardship, but he helped me use my past for good, you know, he helped me understand that, hey, my past is actually a good foundation for me to use to better myself, but to better others as well, you know, he would always say, Peter, your paths with either dragging you for the rest of your life, or it will launch you for the best in your life. And I think I understood the launch, because he showed me of what I was capable of doing, you know, men, you know, what, in Africa usually. So they're very few their own cars, you know, oh, that's my dog, their own but their own, you know, cars. So usually the owner or the dad drives the car, and the wife sits in front, and the kids in between, and the rest of us in the picture. It's a bigger truck at the back. And so he asked me if I could sit in front. I said, No, I think my place is in the back, you know? And he said, Peter, no, you belong. You're special, and you give to us that you ought to sit there. And I think for me to this day, I remember the day, that time when he said those words, that truly went deeper than I ever thought that I'm special, really that unkind, really, you know, amazing way of how he use words of affirmation to help me see the best in me, but also remove, you know, those that hindered me from going any farther than now I began to use those words to say, if you said I'm special, maybe I am I need to or to do this thing, if they gave me a homework to do. And I struggled, I'll say but Mr. Jim said, I have a potential. And I got a text. And I will always go back to those words on how he helped me and really helped me to excel in life and I am forever grateful for him for his kindness for what he did for me,
James Laughlin 29:45
was so special. And he was the seed that started what you're doing now the work that you're doing with so many people and advocate that you are. He was the starting point and for the person that's listening today. I think it's easy to say I'm too big See, I'm not skilled enough, I'm too young, I'm too old. I don't have the opportunity. But Peter, you are a living example of someone who's came from absolute adversity, some really scary moments in your life, a lot of abuse. And look how you've turned your life around by really shaping and reshaping who you believe you are, you believe that you are worth that you believe that you're enough you believe that you are valued. And that's amazing. So how do you take all of that that you've learned and help others? No?
Peter Mutabazi 30:30
Well, you know, so Well, you know, I wanted to be a dad always, but I never, I never thought it would be a good day, because the best example I had was my dad, and I hated my dad with all my guns. But once he came to my lab, I think he really began to give me a glimpse that I could be a good dad. So when I came to United States, I really was drawn to helping the most vulnerable, the kids in the forskare, that feel unseen, unheard unknown, the ones that are rejected the one that are the most unloved because their parents are not there to take care of them, that I wanted to influence them that I wanted to use, you know, my knowledge, but also my experience, to say, look, I went through what you went through. But someone helped me overcome that. And I want to be that someone for you. And that's, for me, my goal to truly help the kids see the best in themselves, but also inspire others, you know, there are people who are afraid to be parents who are afraid for the future to say, Hey, do not let the past hold you. Do not let it rob you for the future. Use it for good, use it to better yourself and others as well. And I've seen that in my own life that I want to do the same, you know, I think people who work in the office or who own good companies and all that it's easy to look at the best performing person and say, That's my man, you know, but I think sometimes your best man are the ones sometimes that are not doing the best that when we go back and say, What do you need that I can truly be there to excel? Because I believe in you? What can I help you? What tools can I give you? And how can I Shepherd you to truly do what you've been called to do? I think that's the best way to make, you know, the best next CEOs, the best employees that inspire those sometimes I don't feel like because we're all gravitated to the best. Or the sweets of the compiler. I mean, there's no best trick kid, you know, but he saw potential. He just saw these little boys like in oil, I'm going to bet on this kid. But little did he know, you know that our influence, you know, 1000s and 1000s of children. You know, I've, you know, through my life in the United States, I've seen more than 150,000 sponsored through sponsorship, and me sharing my story, you know, I've had 24 kids, you know, I have posted, you know, 24 kids, I'm in the process of adopting three more, and I've adapted one. So you can see just how one man's action one man's kindness on how it's really gone beyond you know, I love the story of Steve Jobs, you know, Steve Jobs do not to know that he was adapted, you know that. It's really cool that when we give an opportunity to someone who otherwise would not have, how will we never know how they'll be used, you know how we'll never know how far they will go. And for me, that's been a testimony, you know, to see the best in others most, where those people don't see the best in themselves.
James Laughlin 33:22
So incredible, that says beautiful words. And you're right, like as leaders of families, leaders, of communities of companies, to look for the best in everybody, not just in your A players, the people that are the Top of the Pops. But looking at everyone, maybe the people that are struggling, looking for something to give them genuine prism can change their trajectory, and change how they believe about themselves. I absolutely love it. So I'm going to hold the book up for those who are on Spotify or listening to this on Apple podcasts. And you'll not see the book. But for those that are watching this, it's called nigh unknown. And I would love love love. Every single person right now has just been released. They literally this week, I want you to go to amazon.com or wherever you order your books wherever you order them an order this book, it's incredible. And Peter, it would also be great, I think, for people to come and follow you and engage with you. So if those are on Instagram, please go and engage with Peter. He's doing amazing work. So Peter the book what what's your hope behind the book? What would you like the reader to walk away thinking or what would you like that action step for them to be after they've read it?
Peter Mutabazi 34:32
You know, I think for me the book I wanted to show that you know how far we can all be the odds, you know, that a small little boy in a village in Uganda, a strict kid who slips on, you know, under the bed and sorry under that the saw canal and garbage for four and a half years could come this far that I wanted to show that we all have challenges along the way. But there are ways we can truly overcome those, but also one of my kids, I think people are amazed what I do. And I think under Standing well, where I've come from, I think gives them a glimpse of to say, Now I see why he loves kids. Now I see why he's passionate about kids. Now I see how he uses his little glimpse of hope, to inspire others. And I think, at the end of every chapter, you know, there's inspiration of how you can go do something for someone else, or even for yourself, you know, on look deep, deep, deep down in your own self and say, what is holding me back? You know, I have beat the odds, and how can I use my life today to change my own life? And those around me, you know, for me my legacy, and that's why I wrote the book, my legacy wasn't, so I can own as many houses as I can. But I think on my deathbed, that people can say, man, this man changed my life. This man, I was going, why be and he helped me go the best way I can. And that's the reason why I wrote the book, you know, that if Peter can be the odds of what he had to go through as a kid, anyone can, you know, that anyone can't, but also wanted to show the kindness of a stranger that he saw the best in me. But little did he know, I'll go this far, even to this day. Sometimes he says, Peter, I wish we did my my, what more could you have done? You know, like, what more could you have done, you know, that he's really helped me have mercy and grace and, and, and, and awareness of others who are going through a difficult time, but also a way to use my own life, to inspire others to really encourage them to do what they can excel to do what the best they can do. When they can
James Laughlin 36:38
really, really powerful and you're a dad? So tell me what's it like to be a dad?
Peter Mutabazi 36:42
Oh, gosh, you know what? To be a dad, you know, so I became, you know, before I became a force that I had traveled all over the world, I had never seen any black person who was adapting either in Uganda, or Ethiopia or in in China, they were always white, you know, white, Caucasian families, mom and dad. So I think I believe the lie that you have to be white and married to, to be a dad to adapt in some way. So when I when I, you know, when I was in United States, I wanted to, you know, really go to the foreskin help, but I knew I can only be a mentor. So I walked in the foster care system and said, Hey, is there a way I can mentor teenagers? Because I thought, come on, I can take someone for lunch any day. And the social worker said, Hey, Peter, have you ever thought of being a foster dad as I? Yes, I would love to, but I don't think I qualified to do so. She said, why I said, I'm single. Well, I didn't use the other reason, you know, I said, I'm seeing with a no, that's not true. You can be a dad, man, that day, I signed up. And since then, I've had 24 Kids, because I realize, me and I got a potential to truly be done. And it's been a joy. You know, I've learned along the way, and I feel like maybe they have given more in life than I have given them. You know, they made me a better human being. I thought I was patient until I got a child. I was like, man, you know, I thought I loved until I learned how to love unconditionally. To my kid, I understand trauma, you know, I went through a lot of trauma as a kid, so to see myself now really help kids with trauma, I think that it's really been wonderful. You know, I'm a single dad, and my kids have never said we wish we had a mom. But I figured maybe I have learned how to be both, you know, to be turned and kind. I have a daughter now. I mean, oh, you know, learning how to listen, and how to be patient as well. And so it's really taught me that, you know, anyone can be a dad, you know, but also the, our kids are looking for one. And I feel like it's full circle to see my kids enjoy life. I have a seven year old six year old 16 and 18. So I have a whole range of kids. And it truly brings joy back, I can impact the way that man impacted me. But I can use the tools impacted me with to do the same. To make the best seo I can by intervening and seeing the best in them when they cannot. So when they meet a company that wants to hire them, I no I did my job. You know, I did my PA you know,
James Laughlin 39:15
that's incredible. I've got a five or just just turned six year old son. And I mean, it's the most amazing experience to be a dad. And I know the challenges that come with being a dad. And so the thought of being a single dad with four kids. I mean, that's amazing. Hats off like that incredible work, man.
Peter Mutabazi 39:35
Man, I It's law everlands along the way, you know, you know, six weeks, six weeks ago, I had six, you know, one and a half and two and a half. That was something you know, yeah. But again, I have been equipped you know, that man didn't show me how to be smart in class, but he told me how to be a parents as well. You know, by him bringing me alongside his family. I got to see how to be the best parent. And that's been truly A joy to see that not only do they affect me in my everyday life and work job, but he's also helped me be the best parents. I can be. And it's truly been a joy.
James Laughlin 40:11
I love it. I absolutely love it. And I hear your little ones must have just got home from school. Hopefully they've had a good day.
Peter Mutabazi 40:17
Yes, they are talking over there. Or call call. Call me. I'm on a phone. Okay.
James Laughlin 40:26
I love it sounds great kids.
Peter Mutabazi 40:29
James Laughlin 40:30
They tell me this what's what's in the future for you? What are you looking forward to what's part of your vision that you're excited about?
Peter Mutabazi 40:39
You know, I think I found my calling my calling is to advocate for all the children, especially in the foster care and love of the world that are looking for someone to help them to come alongside to shepherd them and see the best in them so they can excel. And I think that is my calling to be the data of if I could, you know, I'm looking for a house, I wish I had a bigger house so I can take in more kids. I wish I had a bigger car. So I can take in more kids, you know, but I think I found my calling to truly be a dad and foster more and adopt more children, to those who feel they're unloved, unwanted, and truly, they are unwanted. I mean, that's why they in a post care system, you know, if I can help 20, if I can help 50 That is my main goal in life, you know that I have found a calling to truly be a mentor, to be a dad to foster, adapt and be a voice for them advocate for them to make sure that every child is seen heard or known.
James Laughlin 41:37
Incredible, and I love it. And this is a question I always like to ask at the end. And if one of your kids said, Hey, Dad, and that this was gonna be the last couple of days of your life who said, Hey, Dad, how can I go about leading my life with purpose? What would you say to them?
Peter Mutabazi 41:59
See the best in others. That's the best. You know, the only way like, I mean, I'm a parent of kids who have trauma. If I was to focus on that, I don't think I will ever be a good parent. But to see the best in them, you know, to even imagine the best in them, and then make sure that I can still I can instill those principles and values that I know along, you know, along the way that they will get it. So that's what I'll tell my kids see the best in artists.
James Laughlin 42:29
Amazing for the listener that's listening right now please write that down, see the bass and others and take action on that this week with your teams, with your families, with your staff see the best in them, Peter, that's just simply incredible. And look, I know this next few months now that the book is out this next few months is going to be amazing for you lots of people are going to be connecting with you, I want to wish you the very best, I look forward to shaking your hand in person one day. And I'll be promoting this book to friends and family and listeners. I want everyone to go and order a copy today I'll put a link in the show notes where you can order it. So if somebody's listening to this, whether you're on YouTube, Spotify, Apple, I'll make sure I put it in there. I'll also put Peters Instagram, please take a half a second and go and follow him. His Instagram channel is excellent and hilarious. I love your real.
Peter Mutabazi 43:18
Yes, you know, I mean, as a single parents, I thought I don't want to miss out on rails, you know, I want to make fun of our journey. But also the other part is like I think men sometimes we've been defined you go work and come home. For me, I'm redefining that we, we have a responsibility in being tender. And being part of our kids live, you know that we get to get on the floor and play. You know, so I think for me, that's that that's the joy, you know that using real, you know, making fun of who we are. Also on the other side, in any country, we've painted the Foursquare as the bad system, the bad kids, you know, and I think for me trying to show the positive of all my kids and make fun of ourselves. You know, like no one else. I think that really brings joy at least to my kids in every way shape. And they feel they're parts of the world. They feel they're part of what the side is, they feel they are part of what family and everything that comes with it. And that's my whole intention of doing wheels and having fun.
James Laughlin 44:19
I love it. You're really an inspirational leader. And I know that everyone that's listening today will feel the same way. What you do is incredible work. It's important work the world needs that humanity needs it. So thank you so much for the work that you do.
Peter Mutabazi 44:32
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story
James Laughlin 44:52
thanks for tuning in today and investing in your own personal leadership. Please hit that subscribe button and I'd love if you'd leave me a rating and review I've got some amazing guests lined up for you in the coming weeks and leaders. It's that time to get out there. lead your life on purpose.