In this episode, I chat with Nadia Aly, underwater photographer/videographer and CEO of Scuba Diver Life and SDL Expeditions. Nadia explores under water the world over, from the warm waters of the Caribbean to the cool waters of South Africa. She shares her passion for the oceans and her determination to follow her own path.
Today, Nadia dives into:
- what really bums her out,
- fear and her middle finger,
- how dealing with the death of a childhood friend pushed her toward pursing her passion
- as her life’s work,
- saving the seas and the earth one action at a time, and
- the joy of spending much of her life under water
On her purpose:
I don’t really know who I am yet, but thanks for having me.
I travel around the world and I take people on scuba diving expeditions. And I focus on my first
company, Scuba Diver Life, where I write and create content for my mass community online,
sharing with people where to dive, when to dive, what’s going on in the ocean.
It was very scary to leave the corporate, comfy, cushy income.
The biggest thing when going out on your own is the risk. Risk is uncomfortable.
The best way to navigate [fear] is just give it the finger.
This is the third time I’ve tried to sell t-shirts...I’ve learned so much...I really feel I know how to
do this properly now. It might fail again but I have to just try.
On work ethic:
I knew internally that if I wanted it to be successful, I needed to make better content than
anyone else out there, both photo and video medium.
What really helped me was being able to, since 2012, be in the ocean over 300 days a year,
and really get a lot of practice and understanding, a lot of learning, a lot of self-teaching, and
just asking around.
I realized that I really didn’t like corporate life...It wasn’t how I felt like life should truly be lived.
Underwater photography is my number one passion in life. There’s nothing more fulfilling to me
than being able to capture the ocean in a very creative way.
For people who don’t know what their passion is...go out and explore.
I do think the humpback whale swims in Tonga are of a spiritual level.
On being an entrepreneur:
There’s a good quote, an entrepreneur sees a gap in the market and works to close it. I saw this
gap and started Scuba Diver Life.
Just go do it and deal with things as they come.
If you have children or a family, do it on the side, do it at night, do it in your spare time. Be
aggressive about it and get it out there so you can reap the potential.
If you want to make change, go do it. Stop being hard on yourself and worrying about what’s
going to happen.
Well, for the women, just go do it. In any factor of life, in a relationship you don’t want to be in, in
a job you don’t want to be in, in a town you don’t want to be in, you’re the only one holding
It’s very concerning to me that we’re destroying our earth. And we need to think now more than
ever about who we are going to be in terms of self but also what are actions are outside of self.
We need to become a greener economy.
I think the number one thing to do is try to avoid plastic.
The second thing is I would highly consider to stop eating seafood. So now you’ve got
sunscreen, you’ve got oil, you’ve got plastic, you’ve got so much shit in the ocean, and you’re
going to eat the fish in it? Doesn’t make sense to me. That’s my rant.
Keep in touch with Nadia Aly:
NadiaAly.com – underwater photography
Scubadiverlife.com – resource for divers and ocean enthusiasts
SDLExpeditions.com – scuba diving and snorkeling group trips
Facebook and LinkedIn @NadiaAly
Twitter @digitalkvan and @ScubaDiverLife
Back Scatter – Purchase underwater photography and videography equipment and dive gear.
LegalZoom – Legal solutions and legal documents for small businesses.
PADI – Professional Association of Diving Instructors
Plastic Paradise – Documentary that examines “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.”
Sonic Sea – Documentary “about protecting life in our waters from the destructive effects of
oceanic noise pollution.”
Stream2Sea – Biodegradable skincare without oxybenzone
Hulu, Netflix – Video on demand service