As a 13-year-old he collected trash in the local alley, 10 years later he was the CEO of Denmark's largest pizza chain - but was that really the dream?
Younes Deaibes is 24 years old and lives in Aarhus. The young man is known as a successful entrepreneur who has held the titles of park manager and director - but in reality there is much more to his success.
We meet Younes in the boxing club "Rules", where we can already hear "Come on Younes!" from the entrance. The shouts turn out to be from Younes boxing coach Victor. "What's up!" we hear from Younes before he continues doing push-ups in the dark room, lit only by the red neon sign in the background.
The dream of leadership
As a 15-year-old, Younes got a part-time job at Tivoli Friheden and looked up to his young manager from the start. He decided then that he himself would be the youngest leader ever, and 3 years later this dream came true. As an 18-year-old, Younes took on the role of park manager and suddenly had responsibility for 400 seasonal employees.
After his time in Tivoli, the curious young man joined the, at the time, newly established pizza chain, Ild.Pizza, where Younes ended up taking on the title as CEO. At this time, Younes was 22 years old, but he was not really happy with the fancy title: "I was slowly burning out and started to suffer from anxiety."
We are now on our way in the elevator to the 21st floor of the newly constructed "lighthouse" in Aarhus Ø where Younes lives. "Waow" our Journalist says, and Younes quickly responds "chill out I haven't bought it - I'm not that far - yet."
During his time as the CEO of Ild.Pizza, Younes started to reflect on his life and figure out what really mattered to him. He realized that the money and impressive title did not bring him the happiness and meaning he sought. Therefore, he decided to step down from his role as director and begin a new journey towards true freedom and presence.
An instructive lesson
It hasn't all been smooth sailing - "To become something big, it has to hurt" Younes says. Everyone starts somewhere, and Younes started at the age of 13 as a garbage man in the alley of Trillegården in Aarhus. "I wanted to earn my own money and learn the importance of working." Even then, Younes stood out from the other children who took pictures and laughed at his new side hustle.
But he who laughs last laughs best.
Younes learned a lesson that the other children did not - he learned to put aside his pride and not care about others. It is precisely what has gotten him to where he is today, he says.
"I would rather die with 0 in the bank, but with 100 people at my funeral, than with 100 million in the bank and not a single person at my funeral"
Today, Younes spends his time and energy exploring new passions and finding his own path to success with his work at Meliora Ventures, where he, along with his partners, has invested in brands such as Bold and Skagen Clothing. He has realized the importance of having a strong network of people around him. For Younes, networking is not only about making business connections, but also about surrounding himself with people who support and inspire him to be the best version of himself. “A great network is like a currency, but it's worth much more than money.” he asserts.
Health comes first
In the midst of success, it is important to remember health, believes Younes, who now prioritizes his boxing lessons every morning. It is not only for your own sake, but for the sake of all your fellow human beings that you must keep yourself healthy. "The better you look after yourself, the more energy you have to be a good person", Younes explains.
"You have to know your strengths and accept your weaknesses"
Younes has always strived to have a humble approach to dealing with people who are better than him in certain respects. This has been decisive for his personal development.
To achieve success, you must realize that you are not a world champion at everything, but focus on the things that you are really passionate about. According to Younes, this ability to focus on a singular ability is one of the best ways to develop oneself.