MSNBC's Ali Velshi: Keys to Success - Shereen Kassam | FunnyBrownGirl

Hello creatives! This week Ali Velshi, television journalist, from MSNBC joins us to share how he went from studying religion to becoming a globally recognized journalist.  He shares tools to become successful in one’s creative journey, as well as his secret sauce for success.  Ali and I also talk about Twitter trolls and living up to our immigrant parents’ expectations.  Show notes: 


  1. Check out my new podcast RADIO REJECTS LIVE! We eat wings, talk movies, and just have fun! Follow us:
  2. Next week Nelu Handa is in the guest chair! She is an Actress and Writer for Baroness Von Sketch Show and Workin’ Moms on Netflix.  And is now a writer on A Little Late With Lilly Singh
  3. We are trending in Pakistan! That brings us to 23 countries where we are in the top 100 podcasts!

Today we chat with Ali Velshi.  Special thank you to my sister, Zahara and Rahil for setting this up!

Who is Ali Velshi?

Ali Velshi is an anchor & correspondent with MSNBC and the host of Velshi. Most recently, he hosted “Ali Velshi On Target” a nightly prime-time show on Al Jazeera America. Velshi has reported from the U.S. Presidential campaign trail, as well as covering ISIL and the Syrian refugee crisis from Turkey, the days leading up to the nuclear deal from Tehran, the tensions between Russia and NATO from Eastern Europe and the High Arctic, the debt crisis in Greece, and the funeral of Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

Velshi joined Al Jazeera America from CNN, where he was the channel’s Chief Business Correspondent, anchor of CNN International’s “World Business Today” and the host of CNN’s weekly business roundtable “Your Money”. Velshi also co-hosted CNN’s morning show, “American Morning”.

Velshi was nominated for two 2016 Emmy Awards for work on disabled workers and Chicago’s red-light camera scandal.

He is the author of “Gimme My Money Back” and co-author with CNN’s Christine Romans of “How to Speak Money”.

Born in Kenya and raised in Canada, Velshi graduated from Queen’s University in Canada with a degree in Religion.

What are we waiting for, let’s get started

Ali Velshi Shares:

  • How his creative journey started
  • How he discovered journalism
  • How to be successful
  • How mentors helped him

Ali Velshi Discusses:

  • How he manages his parents’ expectations
  • The immigrant dilemma
  • Finding mentors
  • Twitter fights
  • Being Muslim
  • How to be better with finances
  • Advice for creative in the US and abroad
  • Who inspires him

Ali Velshi’s Lighting Round:

  • What’s the best piece of advice he’s received?
  • Ali’s definition of happiness?
  • One thing you wish you knew before embarking on your journey?
  • Who inspires you?
  • What’s a habit that’s helped you on your creative journey?
  • What do you want your legacy to be?

Key takeaways from my conversation with Ali Velshi

  1. If you love it, go for it
  2. Don’t be complacent
  3. Find mentors
  4. Block people on social media
  5. Stick with it

Find Ali Velshi online:



Who is Shereen Kassam? 

I’m Shereen Kassam, the host of Creative Breakthrough and internationally touring speaker and comedian.  If you are looking for a speaker to talk on topics including creativity, branding, or work life balance, get in touch! I am also open to being guest on your podcast, TV show, or other medium.

Contact me:

Email: hi @