Q: Where else can we start but at the beginning? You were an immigrant from Iran at a young age, where did you grow up and what was your life like as a child/young adult?
Coach Bahman: Yes, I was born in Ahvaz, a city in the southwest of Iran. When I was two years old, the Islamic Revolution was happening, and our lives were in danger. During this time my Grandfather was murdered and our family received several death threats. Eventually we fled the country overnight and eventually made our way to the eastern border of Holland, about 15 minutes from Germany. I spent the first 10 years of my life there. Unfortunately my father was an alcoholic and had severe PTSD from the war, and my mother had severe depression. During this time I was a very highly sensitive and emotional kid. I would crawl under tables and build small forts for myself and just hide there for the entire day. I didn’t really get into trouble back then, I was too busy processing my emotions to get in trouble. The school system misdiagnosed me a ton, and mostly didn’t know what to do with me. I had a ton of potential but wasn’t living up to it. This is a really common symptom of people with high intelligence, you have the ability to accomplish great things but you don’t know how to achieve your full potential and that’s obviously very frustrating. You and
your environment expect a lot from you and not being able to live up to it has impacted me to this day.
Q: Can you please talk a bit about your journey as a young man, specifically starting in your late teens and early 20’s? You didn’t go in any sort of a traditional route it seems, you didn’t get a degree and were homeless at one point? What was life like for you as a young man?
Coach Bahman: I was very angry, confused and depressed as a young adult. My parents divorced at 13 and I went to live with my mother. When I was 16 my mom kicked me out of the house during one of her bipolar episodes, leaving me homeless. I stayed in a homeless shelter for a couple months, it was a strange time in my life and I don’t remember too much from back then. After floating in and out of homelessness, working and getting fired from too many jobs to count, I eventually started playing poker on Ultimate Bet at the age of 20, playing 50NL and working my way up the stakes. Everyone was horrendous back then, so with the help of my good friend Zdravko Duvnjak (high stakes poker pro) I started to improve quickly. However, everything once again went south when Ultimate Bet dissolved and my entire bankroll (almost $4,000) vanished. I woke up one day to 80 cents in my bank account, and had no idea what to do. Thankfully my friend and brother Zdravko was there for me and helped me get back on my feet. He gave me some money, coached me in poker, and even paid for my apartment rent. Then the bad run ended when I met my fiancée, who truly was the missing piece in my life. She was able to start helping me through some of the many issues I dealt with as a child and teen, and I slowly started to work through it all.
Q: I saw something on your website in the About Me section that says that ‘your performance is in your own hands, and that you are the master of your universe’. What was your mindset and outlook on life as a young adult? What did you want to become?
Coach Bahman: Even when I was homeless, I wasn’t focused on getting out of it or changing my situation, I was simply delusional. I thought I’d be great, exceptional at something. I didn’t know what it was, but I always had a
deep rooted feeling that I would be truly great at something. People were going to respect me, I’d be in circles and communities that I wanted to be in, and everyone would see me as a successful guy. Even though you could call it misguided and delusional at the time, this self belief helped me keep my sanity during those tough years of family issues and homelessness. Eventually my reality ended up being much better than I could ever dream of. But you have to truly believe it first.
Q: How did you land on being a professional mindset coach? With no degree, was it your life experience and self education that propelled you into this job?
Coach Bahman: After flirting with many different jobs including party promotions, and DJing/Rapping, I landed in a job as a youth counselor. I quickly fell in love with this work, helping the kids, and it started to provide a real purpose and direction to my life. I worked as hard as I could, studying and reading, earning different certificates and degrees, and learned as much as I could about it. Eventually, I worked my way up to being a full time city youth counselor. From there I went to work for Feniks Talent, a center for highly- intelligent school dropouts, founded by world-renowned intellectual giftedness specialist Tijl Koenderink. These are the smartest people in the world when it comes to dealing with high intelligence, and they saw something in me and gave me a chance. This made me believe in myself much more, and helped with a lot of the stress and self doubt that I was dealing with. I worked with them for a year and a half before starting my own coaching business.