Ava Ismaiylova is one of the most perspective female producers under 30 based in Los Angeles, CA, an active supporter of the increased presence of female filmmakers in the industry.
Ava is a fashion journalist and photographer in the past, so transforming into the film producer was a very natural process for her – storytelling but just in the other form – visual.
Ava got the trial job as an assistant producer on the commercial for a production company in London. A crew of more than 100 people, more than 200 extras, acres of lands as a location. She only had 5 hours – while they were traveling from London to the location, to understand what is in her responsibilities and how films get done. Everything was great apart from the Walkie-Talkies…She was so scared to say anything out loud into the microphone that she was running around to get the tasks done herself without asking for help. By the end of the day, she literally could not walk. Next day she decided to overcome her fear. Lesson – don’t be afraid and speak up!
She always says that she recommends her colleagues in the industry to take control, and actively manage their time, “give” to others, as she believes it makes you feel good, even the tiniest act of kindness. She also believes that you don’t have to be successful to help others. Ava supports female filmmakers, “Radio From The American Sector” is a short film that is now being developed into a TV Series, is led by two female filmmakers. Its writer/director was Karyn Barnett-Day, and the producer was Kaitlyn Brown. Ava saw the Indiegogo campaign and loved the story so much that she offered a collaboration. She is currently producing a documentary regarding a very important, global environmental issue in California.
Her favorite quote is “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” by George Bernard Shaw. “I never wanted to find myself, I believe anything is possible you just have to take care of it.” – says Ava – “You have to become your own dream no matter what.”
Ava_Brokencagestudio – Instagram
Ravi Abuvala – Leveraging Systems to build a 7 Figure Agency
Recently, I sat down for an Interview with my good friend, Ravi Abuvala. Ravi is a 7-Figure Agency owner, and has leveraged systems to scale and work less. We talked about running an agency, virtual assistants, systems, and much more.
- Hey Ravi, what does your company do?
Ravi: At Prospect Social, we help entrepreneurs systemize, scale, and outsource their business so they can see month-over-month growth while working less and less.
- What systems has your company leveraged?
Ravi: Mostly O.P.T (Other People’s Time). If you can package your product or service so that it is easy to understand, duplicatable, and delivers results, you can then teach that same fulfillment method to a team of virtual assistants.
- How did you get started building systems? What are the best systems to put in place for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Ravi: I was working 16-17 hours a day for months on end, without ever really moving the needle forward. I learned that although it is important to work hard, it is even more important to work smart. I started looking at how some of the largest companies in the world did it (American Express, Amazon, and AT&T) and realized they were leveraging overseas work to get the most important stuff done at a fraction of the price. I started training my new employees how to focus on lead generation for my company and next thing I know we have 8-10 booked calls a day and we were hit record months consistently.
- How did you start hiring virtual assistants? What skills do they possess?
Ravi: To be honest, I have a recruiter in the Philippines and we always try to pull them from the big companies over there. They have spent hundreds of hours training them and thousands of dollars updating them on the latest systems. We offer them better pay and the ability to work from home, it’s pretty much a no-brainer for them. Then once they start seeing success they tell all their old co-workers and it sort of snowballs from there.
- What things did you do to scale your company?
Ravi: Focused on two things: setting appointments and taking appointments. Everything else is secondary. Appointments are what drives every company and if you can make 8-10 pitches a day, well even someone who is absolutely terrible at sales will start to see growth. Then it’s about packaging and delivering your service or product in the most efficient and streamlined manner possible for both you and your client. At that point you can remove yourself from your business and just make the larger moves up top.
- What advice would you give to someone starting an agency?
Ravi: Be ready to fail, it won’t be easy like all of these other gurus will have you think. That being said, if you persist and focus on what is important (setting appointments and taking appointments) it can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.
How Ismael Sidi Used a Degree & Determination to Build a E-Commerce Career
You can’t always count on college to get you the success you seek. Sometimes, even moving to a different continent and pursuing an undergraduate degree in a coveted professional field doesn’t work. For Ismael Sidi, college in America was a chance to surpass the success he could have found at home in Niger, West Africa – one of the poorest countries in the world. He always considered himself to have an entrepreneurial mind, even back when he was just six years old. Little did he know then that that mindset would serve him well into his young adulthood.
In order to complete a degree in Petroleum Engineering at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV, he left behind his family in 2010, from whom he learned all that he now values about success.
While in school, he put in the effort to secure his success in the field, even working part time for NASA. While working with NASA, he worked specifically at the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium. One would think that Sidi was doing everything he could in his position to prepare for what would come in the post-graduate world. However, he was ultimately faced with a common situation soon after – unemployment.
But this wasn’t enough to stop Ismael. He credits his determination and entrepreneurial skills to his upbringing. He owes his values and core beliefs to what his father taught him. And he owes his compassion and determination to his mother. And in his career, it is his strong connection to and love for his family that ultimately drove him to be successful enough to give back to them. He even went on to give back to his home community in Niger.
Faced with this unemployment after graduating college, Ismael chose to thrust himself into a career of entrepreneurial e-commerce, where he would ultimately surpass hundreds of thousands of dollars, to get to millions, by his second year in the business! He eventually had enough money and success built up in this field to give back in a way he chose fit.
In 2018, Ismael founded an NGO that is now called TAGAZ and is based in NIger. With this NGO, Ismael set out to sponsor other entrepreneurs in Niger who held dreams similar to his own. He was also able to utilize his new-found wealth to support his younger brother in pursuing a college degree in Canada. With his efforts, perhaps one day his brother will be able to follow in his footsteps
As you can see, Ismael took a struggling situation and found a means to succeed despite it. He claims that his ability to not give up comes from the fact that he recognizes his opportunities in America and what they mean for him and his family. He also recognizes that it’s his priority to give back to his family and community at home. And equally important to him, Ismael credits his success to his wife, who supported the two of them when Ismael couldn’t pitch in. His family is one of his most valuable resources in business.
Setting an amazing example for anyone who wants to pursue big dreams with minimal resources, Ismael says,
“I haven’t really had my worst time yet, but I’m comfortable with failures and challenges in business. When life gets in the way, I pray and talk to my father. I am very self-aware. Self-awareness is one of the most important traits of successful entrepreneurs, so I’m mentally prepared for the worst times and whatever I have to do, I do. Whoever I have to outwork, I do.
If you wake up excited every day to live the day, then you’re successful. Success is not a universal metric; however, it is directly correlated with happiness. You can’t be successful if you’re unhappy.”
Sam Bakhtiar On His Way To A Quarter Billion
Dr. Saman Bakhtiar, who prefers being referred as Sam, lives in an 8200 square foot $5.2 million house, Sam is a multi-millionaire entrepreneur, the co-founder of The camp Transformation Center, a fitness franchising business and the CEO of One Percent Nutrition – a supplement and nutrition company.
Last year 2018 he made over 54 million in revenue. Being a car enthusiast, his car collection includes the 2017 Ferrari 488, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, the 2018 Dodge Demon, the 2018 Lamborghini Performonte just to name a few and he is looking into acquiring the 2019 Ferrari 488 Pista very soon. This clout, glamor, and affluence was however not handed to Sam on a silver platter. He rose from the ashes to achieve the success he has today. This is the story of how a poor refugee child from the war-stricken country Iran, came to America, making millions and is living the ultimate American dream.
Coming To America
At the age of 11 in 1985, Sam Bakhtiar and his mother packed a sack bag with $500 to their name and left their home country Iran to come to the US as refugees. This was after having to endure living under the conditions of constantly fired missiles, air strikes and bombs from the age of 3. With only one piece of luggage, a measly 500 dollars in their name and no father, the mother-son duo came to the US in search of a better life. Settling in Pennsylvania Sam was safe and no longer feared for his life.
But the hardships were yet to come to an end by a long shot. Sam began working early in his pre-teen years earning as little as 200 dollars after putting in over 128 hours a month. He went from one odd job to another with the hope of saving up enough to buy his childhood dream car which was a Volkswagen GTI.
The Turning Point
Sam Bakhtiar’s passion for fitness did not start as a business venture. It all began in school when he wanted to join the basketball team but his scrawny physique did not make the cut. His mother, however, told him not to give up, suggested he join the local boys’ club, start training and try out again the next year. But it was at the gym where he gained an interest in bodybuilding.
At the age of 14, he decided he would become a champion bodybuilder. And this he did, winning first place in every weight class and earning 23 major bodybuilding titles today. In 2008, the US markets were hit by the recession and Sam Bakhtiar was hit hard. At the time, he was a personal trainer running his own gym having started it with a capital of 40,000 dollars, half of which was a loan from his mother.
The success and returns he had enjoyed since 2000 came to a shocking halt with his revenue dropping from 2.4 million dollars in 2007 to about 400,000 dollars in 2009. His house was on foreclosure, his ex-wife was then pregnant with their 1st child, and at that verge of brokenness, the idea of Camp Transformation Center was born with his business partners, Alejandra Font and Luis Font.
Currently, the Camp Transformation Center is a multi-million franchise with close to 110 branches all over the US. This was born from an investment of 11,000 dollars only and an idea to develop a fitness model that would be flexible and relevant in changing times. At Camp Transformation center, the focus is not only on physical fitness but mental fitness as well, with the goal being to assist every client to rise above.
Sam and his partners have watched their fitness concept take their business from their first small crappy location with limited equipment to having world-class fitness facilities. Sam Bakhtiar is also the CEO of One Percent Nutrition supplement company that is quickly gaining traction as the premier supplement company. He is developing his brand by ensuring only the best ingredients are used to manufacture the products, educating his consumers and working with ambassadors who believe in the company’s mission and vision.
Sam Bakhtiar says he is nowhere close to the top of his success. With the growth both the Fitness Franchise and Supplement Company are experiencing, he hopes to develop them into household names in the next few years. Until then, he will keep dedicating himself to transforming lives the best way he can. Lives just like yours.
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