He came to Malaysia for the first time and fell in love with the country almost immediately. In a matter of minutes, he decided to make the country his home. I asked Andreas Dorn more about the love story and how he built his authority as a certified NLP and Hypnosis master trainer across the region.
Your story about the decision to stay in Malaysia is very interesting, seriously. I want to know more about it. First things first though, who is Andreas Dorn?
I am a German but have been living in Malaysia and Asia since 1993. Since young, I like working with and helping people to get to a better spot in their life and this has always been one of my important inner drivers. I can share with you a couple of stories that somehow highlight who I am.
As a teenager, I trained children in Judo. It was fun to teach them and hear their laughters when they managed to do the more complicated exercises. I paid for my university studies by working as a taxi driver. Being a taxi driver was interesting. I got to drive all types of crazy and normal people back to their homes. There was one winter that was particularly very cold, and I just had a 14 hour night shift behind me and was driving back to my taxi station. Tired and exhausted. Just as I was turning in, I saw this homeless person standing on the roadside, shivering and jumping around trying to get himself warm. I stopped and called him into my cab. He was very surprised. I turned up my car heater and drove him around for about 30 minutes. We were just driving around, no particular destination, just to help his body to warm up again. I only dropped him, when he said he was ready to leave my cab. He felt so emotional and grateful that he cried.
I studied in a German university and specialised in Third World development.
While doing this, I worked in and travelled through Sri Lanka, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger and the Ivory Coast. I worked in slums and squatters but my thesis was about the timber industry in Ghana. I connected with so many people from different backgrounds and stayed in touch with many of them even after I returned to Germany.
All this opened my mind to understand and work with people from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds even before I came to Malaysia.
And when the United Nations gave me the opportunity to work in the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department in 1993, there was no saying no, of course. And when I came here, the decision to stay was easy. Because it seemed like a dream come true.
After my initial contract with the UN was completed, I was happy to find another employment in Indonesia, in a regionally operation market research agency. Before moving, I married my, then, Malaysian girlfriend, Najwa. We stayed 3 years in Indonesia, until the revolution in 1998. We – Najwa, my newly born son Nabil and I – were lucky that I found another job in Singapore, helping an American company to settle in Asia. After that contract expired, we moved back to Malaysia. I then found a job in a HR Consulting company in 2000. Here, I supported the consultants through market research, and worked across Asia Pacific and the US. I loved my job, and its inner culture. Family oriented. The company went public in 2002 and began to restructure their operations. This led to a higher focus on revenue and cash flow and subsequently my own department was relocated to the US in 2005, leading me to again lose my job.
Now I share this because these experiences shifted my thoughts. You see, throughout the years, I thought I was free and could create my life, when I traveled and worked across Asia.
I did not realise that I was actually stuck. I was getting older. It became harder to find employment and I wanted to settle down. And what would happen, if all this would stop, and I would have to go back to Germany? I didn’t want to. I was uprooted from there, and kind of floating in the wind in Asia.
By chance, I came across NLP in 2003, and it blew my mind as it changed my perspective and ultimately life. I learned that I am in charge of my mind. I can unstuck myself, if I choose to. I can create and manifest my goals and create my own reality.
I decided to first become a NLP Practitioner, and ultimately embarked on a journey into the mind by becoming a Certified Trainer and Master Trainer of NLP, Hypnosis, Timeline Therapy, NLP Coach, and the Language and Behaviour Training “Words That Change Minds. Najwa and I decided to open our own company to teach people that it is possible for them to create their life the way they desire, and we have been doing this since 2006.
Now, let’s get into the story of you falling in love with Malaysia hence the decision to make the country home. Can you share it with us in detail about it?
I fell in love with this country the moment I stepped foot on it. The war cry was “Malaysia Boleh!”. The Asian century was approaching. The atmosphere was fantastic. It was this can-do attitude that attracted me. Everything seemed possible. It reminded me of the stories my parents told me and how they felt after the Second World war and the period of economic growth and prosperity that happened in Europe.
Of course, the people played a strong role as well. Initially, I really felt alone. And then I found an amazing group of people that simply adopted me and we became great friends. And we started to hang out with each other, Malays, Indians, Chinese, Australians and British. We played games, Makan together, and went out together. We are still friends after all these years, only that we eat more food than play games, when we meet, haha! And I think this is what makes Malaysia strong. This great diversity, and I love this vibrancy. This can-do attitude. You can actually feel it again, in some way, when you think of the renewed CMCO. Yes, we grumble about the lockdown again, but still, I get lots of messages from friends saying that we nearly beat that thing one time, so let’s do it again. I love that! When I travel across Malaysia to different more rural locations, people are warm, and welcoming. Their doors are open, and they are always open hearted. This really is the best in Malaysia.
Of course, don’t talk to me about food. Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai, Fried Kuay Teow, Ginger Beef Horfun… The amazing variety of food. And how Malaysians can take any food like for example Western food and add some Malaysian slant to it. I love Malaysian food so much that even when I travel back to my hometown in Germany, we still look for Asian food and indulge while visiting my family.
What do you see in Malaysia, the plus points and the not-so-positive ones too?
Let’s start with the stuff that I don’t like, because of course, not everything is perfect. Just like in any other country, Malaysia battles with its own challenges. It’s the traffic jams and the hours spent sitting in rush hour traffic. And one quirky thing that I never get rid off as a German is that I want to be punctual in my meetings and I want my coaching clients and training participants to also come on time. And it does not always happen, until I educate them about it, haha.
What do I like?
I already mentioned the diversity of the country. The people and their warmness. Of course, I love the food – I believe that Malaysia’s food is the best in the world. I also love the weather. I prefer the warm weather over the long cold winters in Germany.
What’s your journey like to get where you are today?
Najwa and I started our journey as entrepreneurs way back around 2005.
When we became Certified NLP Trainers, NLP was hardly known in Malaysia. There were very few NLP training conducted by overseas trainers in Malaysia at that time. We were one of the first companies established in Malaysia to offer it to the public. As such, we had to educate the public. Those that knew NLP and its sister Hypnosis, were even afraid to talk to us, because they thought we could read their mind. This changed over the years as companies and the public became more aware of the power of the mind and I want to believe that we played some part in this as well.
We never stop learning. In order to get to where we are today, we traveled all around the world, attending major NLP, Hypnotherapy and other types of training. Attending training in the US, Italy, Australia or Singapore and learning different ways to initiate changes in the mind. Over the years, we added to our skills regarding the mind and became Certified Trainers and Master Trainers of Hypnotherapy, Hypnosis Ultra Depth, Master Timeline Therapy® Techniques, NLP Master Coach Trainer, the Language and Behaviour Profile “Words That Change Minds”, Serenity Vibrational Healing and more. All in all, we were trained for over 9,000 hours each. It has been an expensive but exciting journey. And we want to continue to do so as it really is about the experience for our participants because anything we learn, we share with them.
But it is also about learning about us, and our own limitations. My son Nabil, for example, choses to go on his own journey of success. He is very active in sports and Parkour – this is a real tough athletic discipline. Now, 10 years ago, when he was 13, he started to talk about it and started practicing it. Initially, I didn’t know what Parkour is, so I googled it. When I saw what it entails, as a dad, a bunch of my old limiting beliefs came up – how is he going to earn money, will he be safe, what happens if it does not work out and so on. The tools that I learned help me remove my old limiting beliefs, and allow me to feel that my son will be safe, happy and successful.
He does it today, and really builds up something amazing. I have realised that the journey into self-discovery and personal development never stops. It really is about confronting our own inner world and removing what does not benefit us. So we can respect other people and their choices and grow in our own awareness.
How do you describe your journey as an entrepreneur and trainer?
Oh I love it. Being a trainer, sharing my knowledge, it is my dream job. When we started, we followed the traditional pathway of NLP Trainers. Teaching it the way we learned it, of course.
But we realised pretty much in the beginning of our journey as NLP Trainers, that we wanted to go beyond this “traditional” teaching of NLP. As such, we added in many components from new neurological research. We restructured the methodology and the way we teach it. We basically updated the material to stay abreast with new developments regarding the science of the mind. To us, it is about the value that we create. And we call it the 4th Generation of NLP.
This also means that we need to remind ourselves to stay on track. We, like everyone else, are designed to slack and get comfortable. We started with our first office was in Pusat Bandar Damansara, which was where the former immigration office was. The building doesn’t exist anymore but then, we ran our training there. We were comfortable and did not realise that the environment began to change. It became obvious even to us, when the building was not managed properly and ran down more and more, tenants moved out, and our own participants complained about the environment. Lucky to us, we then found the most beautiful place for our new office in Solaris Dutamas, which was completed just on time for us to move in.
Tell us more about Asia Mind Dynamics.
My wife and I opened Asia Mind Dynamics in 2003 but under a different name first. And while we run many different streams of operations, everything we do has to do with mindset, emotional mastery, conversational influence and helping people to reach their goals. It is about breaking through inner limitations, and helping them to unleash their inner potential.
Corporate Training and Performance Development
- Leadership Training. We have programmes for companies that target the upcoming leader; the persons that have been identified as future leaders. We have programmes that help leaders manage their teams. We have programmes for leaders to become the coaching leader. Our programmes cover the different range of leadership in an organisation.
- Sales Training. It is the same in sales training. We provide training for the beginning to the seasoned sales person. From mindset development to influencing skills.
- Advanced Communications Training. How do you speak with influence and impact. We have training that is not existing anywhere else in Asia. It is a training that allows you to listen to the words that someone says in a certain context and you can predict how they behave in the future. You can identify how long someone stays in an organisation, how much change they can cope with. Are they leaders and team players or the lone wolves in the organisation. How do you motivate someone and how do you maintain their motivation? It is a pure linguistic programme. and you learn the language to motivate the other person linguistically. I love it because it is extremely powerful – for HR, sales people, leaders or coaches.
We offer Personal and Corporate Coaching Services. In this area, we work with leaders in organisations who face problems with their team. Let’s say, someone has been promoted to become a leader. Instead of focusing on technical issues, they now need to build relationships with their team. It is here, where we help them develop their skills and mindsets.
In this area, we are specialised in helping people let go of deep-rooted fears and phobias. No one needs to have a life that is impacted negatively and most people are surprised how fast they can let go of these fears and have the life they desire.
Public Certification Training
Our certification training in NLP, Hypnosis, Timeline Therapy®, NLP Coaching, and the Language and Behaviour Profile are the backbone to our business. But participants experience the sessions as more than just training or learning the tools of NLP. People come to us to work on themselves while learning the tools to run their mind.
We are very selective in choosing our participants for our public certification training, and we are very results oriented. In the sessions, our participants learn to apply the tools, and they learn to reach their goals with ease and grace. Currently, about 90% of our students are successful in doing this.
I saw from your website that you’ve been training professionals across ASEAN countries. What’s your strategy in growing the business beyond Malaysia?
There are two possibilities. Participants overseas find us when they search for NLP Training. And they are convinced by us and our approach, they invite us to their country where we then run the training. And it then simply takes off. And we have corporate clients who believe in us too and they ask us to train all their staff across Asia Pacific.
How’s your business thriving in this new normal at the moment?
Actually pretty much the same. I know this sounds interesting, but it really is so. This is because we were many times the first in the market with many innovations. Like doing Facebook Live sessions since 2017 – over 350 sessions since then. We have an online membership site where we sell courses. This has been running for a few years already. While it was more of a passive adventure until the MCO, we are much more focused on building this up now.
So we always were in the forefront of the markets and that allowed us to move quickly, when Covid hit the markets.
The only thing that we now also offer is online coaching and training, which is different from physical offline sessions. You see, NLP Coaching is not coaching via words only. The client needs to do exercises, guided by me. Coaching someone online now, I need to literally crawl into the screen to see the subtle sensory shifts in the client to know that they make the required changes. Online training also needs much more engagement from the trainer, to engage the audience. To keep them concentrated and focused on the screen. To avoid them browsing away, I think we have managed that well and yes, all in all, we are happy that we coped pretty well.
As you know, the competition out there is crazy. Establishing value to differentiate your training business versus the competitors is not an easy thing to do anymore when everybody is offering almost the same thing. How do you answer this question when asked, Why must I choose you and not the other companies that offer similar stuff?
What I am going to say next might surprise you. Because we believe that we are the right company for just the right people and organisations.
What does this mean?
You don’t have to choose us, but you need to choose the right trainers – the trainers that are just right for you. If you are not the right student for us, we are not your trainer. You have to have a goal that you want to achieve and experience in your life to come to our training.
When we teach you, we give you our 200% and everything we know. We give you a part of our life to teach you what you need to know, and how to do it. You experience it in the class and then you go out and get the life you want. And we are proud to say that around 90% of our students have achieved the goals that they worked on in the class and achieved more after the class.
But for that to happen, we need your permission. We need permission to push you when required, to talk to your subconscious mind, to teach you to make the changes happen. And you have to work with us to uncover and discover the magic of your mind. To embark on a journey of transformation.
So if you are not willing to work with us very intensively, don’t come. You’re not the right one.
If you are comfortable being stuck in your life, don’t come. We are not the right one for you.
If you love being negative, don’t come, we are not the right company and trainers for you.
If you just want the certificate and don’t care about the knowledge, don’t come to us.
But if you want to build back broken relationships, come to us, we’ll teach you how to do it.
If you want to get free from your poverty mindset, come to us. We help and teach you to get free from it.
If you want to understand people and lead them, come to us, we’ll teach you how to do it.
If you want to not be afraid and get rid of that limiting fear and be brave to take new challenges, we are your trainer.
If you look for the next step in your career, maybe open your own company, and you know that everything starts with your mind, come to us.
Our NLP Certification is not guaranteed. So you need to succeed in the course, and then we will give you two gifts.
The 1st gift is, you will be able to take a free certification training called Timeline Therapy® Practitioner. Here, you will learn to remove negative emotions from the past and limiting beliefs, how to plant your goals into the future and magnetize it, learn to remove anxiety and phobias.
The 2nd gift is, once you have succeeded, you can come back and refresh for free for life.
And we have amazing students and we work with amazing organisations. Students come from a variety of backgrounds and they do work on themselves, to the fullest. They want to go further in their life and they know that something is holding them back. They might have tried before and didn’t get there. They want more than just to learn NLP or the tools of NLP. They want transformational change that allows them to get to the next level. Over the past few years, nearly 100% of our students are exactly the students that we want to work with. And it starts to happen as well with organisations.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when growing Asia Mind Dynamics?
This was early on in our career. You see, Najwa and I come from families where everyone was employed in companies. We never received that imprint from our parents on what it takes to become an entrepreneur.
Our mindset didn’t change when we first opened Asia Mind Dynamics and we didn’t realise that we need a different mindset to run a company. Initially, we ran our business happy-go-lucky. This happened because we won these big projects and it secured our income for a long time. As a result, we didn’t market and didn’t put us “out there”. Suddenly, the projects were completed. We began to panic because we did not have new projects lined up and the money was running out. It was a huge awakening for us, and caused me to change my mindset and model the minds of other successful entrepreneurs. So yes, the learning is that everyone going for entrepreneurship needs to also change and develop the right mindset and to get the mindset straight before they embark on the journey.
How to contact you Andreas?
I can be reached via my email address at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also very active on Social Media, so people can connect with me on LinkedIn, Facebook and another Facebook account of mine. And when they connect with me via the Facebook Mind Master Academy, a free gift is awaiting them in the form of an online course.