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Q&A with Ibby Aslam

Ibby Aslam is a 33-year-old property expert, restaurateur, and physical trainer known as the ‘Fitness Motivator’ from Manchester.  As well as running his own successful businesses, he champions the importance of men’s health.

  • Ibby, how would you describe your various business interests?

I am a property developer and owner of Manjaros restaurant. I am also a fully qualified physical trainer. I am known as ‘The Fitness Motivator’ and offer physical fitness training and mentoring to men who are suffering from depression and anxiety.

  • Tell us about your restaurant business

I own Manjaros in Preston, Lancashire. Since opening the restaurant, which is part of a chain, it has become a hotspot for both locals and visitors across England. Manjaros’ customers include university students and families to being popular with famous faces such as Tyson Fury, Carl Fogarty, The Game, David Haye and Tinie Tempah.

Manjaros cuisine is really exciting, it’s based on a blend of African and Caribbean flavours. The dishes have been prepared to create a sensational ‘cocktail’ of authentic spices commonly used in Africa and the Caribbean. Our signature “Manjaros Sauce” used to season and spice up our dishes, comes in a variety of flavours and spice levels from the very mild alligator peppers to hot bird eye chilies, so there’s something for all palettes.

The menu isn’t the only attraction for our regulars. Manjaros is decorated in the hot colours of Africa and the Caribbean to complement the cuisine and enhance the mood and dining experience.

  • How did you get into property?

From an early age I was involved in the family property business.

My father was involved in big development projects and sold property that offered people a good return on their investments. He built property portfolios for his clients.

He is retired now and lives in Dubai. I set up my own company earlier this year and offer a property finding and investment service. I also have a couple of properties of my own that I am currently renovating. I offer my clients opportunities to invest in property that afford a great return.

  • What are your forecasts for the UK property market?

Every region has its own economy and even though some areas are better to invest in than others overall, at the moment, the market is booming, and prices remain strong. Stability is returning to the country and as a direct result of the pandemic more people than ever are planning to move house.

People are looking for more space, partly due to a change in working patterns and more hybrid working. This looks set to keep the price of houses high across the UK. Now is a great time to get into property.

  • Tell why fitness is so important to you

Fitness is important to me because it gives me strength and a sense of purpose. Most importantly it keeps me mentally sharp and focused.

  • Do you believe exercise can help your mental health?

Yes! Exercise is a great way to keep physically healthy as well as improving our mental well-being because it releases those feel-good chemicals called endorphins into our body.My own fitness journey made a huge difference to my mental wellbeing when bereavements in my family set me back.

Mental health is a big problem in this day and age and particularly amongst men who find it hard to share their issues with friends and family and often avoid seeking professional help.  It’s great that there are now awareness campaigns to support men, but men’s mental health still doesn’t get talked about much enough in my opinion.

Daily exercise is vital to mental wellbeing. Participation in regular physical activity can increase our self-esteem and can reduce stress and anxiety. This plays a huge role in preventing the development of mental health problems and in improving the quality of life for people experiencing mental health issues.

Let’s face it, even walking improves mental alertness, energy and mood. Life can be mentally challenging for all of us at times.  These challenges drain our energy. I now understand that if our mental state is weak, it will negatively impact our self-worth, our behaviour, our relationships as well as our work.

Men are particularly bad about seeking help when they need it! They often bottle up their worries and are far less likely to go to the doctor than women when they need to. Thankfully, people like Tyson Fury and others have helped highlight mental health amongst men which is a great thing, however there is more work to be done.

  • You are in great shape; how often do you go to the gym now?

Yes, I am in great shape now for sure. I go to the gym 6 days a week; the secret is consistency.

  • Which entrepreneur inspires you the most?

There are many entrepreneurs that inspire me as well as ordinary people trying to succeed or those who are trying to make a positive difference to the lives of others. When I see anyone with huge drive and a passion for what they do, someone that gives a 100%, that’s what really inspires me!

  • What is the most extravagant thing you have ever bought?

The most extravagant thing I have ever bought is a Louis Vuitton jacket for £5000 and a £2000 holiday to Dubai.

  • What’s next in your business life?

The next thing in my business life is to expand my work in the property sector. I want to continue helping people create wealth in the property market. I will also continue to build my own portfolio whilst helping others do the same.

  • How can people reach you?

People can reach me by Instagram @ibbyaslamofficial or LinkedIn: Ibby Aslam.

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