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Entrepreneurship

Serial Entrepreneur Nabeel Ahmad Shares 6 Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

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Recently I had the chance to sit down with Nabeel Ahmad, a serial entrepreneur who is running many successful businesses across a range of fields. Nabeel is the founder of Vertabyte, The Influencer Factory, and many other companies. He is a writer for some of the world’s most renowned publications, and his work has been featured in top media outlets like Yahoo Finance, business.com, The Good Men Project, Noobpreneur, e27, and many more. Thrive Global calls Nabeel a “marketing genius” and Influencive refers to him as a “media mogul”. Nabeel has 6 tips for aspiring entrepreneurs:

Figure out what you’re passionate about

So many people are stuck doing what they don’t like. Business is tough. And there will be tough times. There will be days when things won’t work out the way you want, and you will feel like giving up. Unless you’re really passionate about what you’re doing, you will just give up. Entrepreneurship requires persistence, and that persistence is often directly derived from passion. If you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing, if you have a burning desire to achieve something, then you will persist through the hard times, and succeed as an entrepreneur.  

Take risks and be willing to fail

Taking risks is absolutely essential in order to win at business. Big goals require big risks. Every successful entrepreneur had to take a risk at one time or another. There will be failure down the road, but failure doesn’t preclude you from ultimately succeeding – in fact, it’s often a necessary step. The best entrepreneurs don’t let the fear of failure prevent them from going for what they believe to be a great idea. Some of those risks won’t pan out, but the ones that do will be the ones that define you.

Hire the right people

Hiring the wrong people is one of the biggest mistakes made by entrepreneurs. You need to bring on employees who have the relevant background and experience. They need to fit into the company culture you are trying to build. They need to be hard-working and flexible, as employees in startups often have to function in multiple roles‎. You must do thorough reference checks on them. Make sure your offer letter says they are “at will” employees and can be terminated at any time. Don’t forget the old quote: “Hire slowly. Fire quickly.”

Ask for advice from other entrepreneurs

Advice from other entrepreneurs and business professionals (such as lawyers and accountants) can prove to be invaluable. Consider putting together an advisory board, and don’t be afraid to motivate members by giving them stock options in your company. Read industry newsletters and startup publications like AllBusiness.com and Entrepreneur.com. Find mentors who can give you advice on hiring, product development, marketing and fundraising‎.

Never stop networking

Networking can land you a new investor, a great employee, a new customer, or a great mentor. Attend industry and startup events. LinkedIn can be a powerful tool to help you network, so make sure both you and your company have profiles on LinkedIn and that you are constantly adding new connections. When someone does a Google search on you, your LinkedIn profile will usually show up at the top of the search results, so be sure you’re making a good first impression.

Just do it

There is never a perfect time to launch a startup, so follow that famous advice and “just do it.” Take the first step to building your business, even if it’s only part time while you still have a paying job‎. Sometimes it’s just important to start. If we keep waiting around for the right moment, success will never come. That right moment is just an illusion. It’s important to act right now.

Abuhuraira Ramay is founder & CEO of The Brand Wire, a branding agency. Abuhuraira is also an author & a public speaker, and has a vast experience as a trainer & coach. He is often invited as a speaker to share his views by reputed organisations, leading institutions & academia in Pakistan and overseas. Abuhuraira has successfully navigated the social-media world with an extensive online . Being An award-winning journalist, his freelance work has appeared in Time, Thrive Global, Dawn, Express Tribune and other national publications.

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Entrepreneurship

To Being Perceived As Crazy To Being Asked How He Did It With Connor LaRocque

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What’s your backstory? 

I was a goofy C student in high school and a prankster. I was always into hip-hop so I dressed like a gangster to stand out and hide my fears. I was literally terrified growing up but I never showed it because I had a big mouth. My brother and all of his hockey mates used to beat me up. I was a punching bag, which leads me to become a martial artist. I’ve practiced and trained the art of Muay Thai for over 10 years now. 

I competed briefly and was blessed to have had the opportunity to train with some of the best kickboxers in Canada. I even got to be the punching bag for Team Canada who was fighting in the worlds. The best part was that after all of those beatings from my brother and his hockey mates, I always have a smile on when facing adversity or in hardcore training situations. I feel that they conditioned me to never be broken. This leads me to write 2 books, one bestseller called “Mindset is Everything” which formulated my philosophy and helped me launch a successful brand as a speaker and author. 

From C student to now having published more books than most of my teachers gave me the confidence to take on the world. I didn’t want to be just another speaker and didn’t fit into the societal norm which leads me to become a full-time entrepreneur. All those years of prank phone calls really helped me when picking up the phone and selling! Knocking door to door in -40 helped build grit and character.

I’ve been blessed through my failures to have grown a 6-figure marketing agency (SocialRise) today that focuses on lead generation. I also do coaching now and help young adults and entrepreneurs become leaders and they monetize their brands to generate leads. 

Ultimately my life’s mission is to help people build self-sustaining platforms for the rest of their lives. We are building the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders and Canada and I am excited to be at the forefront as one of the top millennial leadership experts throughout our proud nation!  

 

What made you decide to choose this career path? 

I didn’t want to be another lawyer. I know some friends who make great lawyers and are meant to be. However, as for myself, I have always been someone who wants to go down a different path and create my own. Entrepreneurship is the perfect avenue to create a life by design. 

I’ve always been good at communication and sales! Two of the most important things in my opinion when it comes to business. Like I always told my students, you can either work for a company or corporation, or you can OWN the company or corporation. I am all about extreme ownership and entrepreneurship provides me an opportunity to take full control of my life.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When we started our first business selling door to door we had so many doors slammed in our face that when we finally got in someone’s home and we’re sitting at the table we were like deer in the headlights. I was so good at pitching at the door when we sat down at the table I had nothing else to say. I had already told them everything. It was a rookie mistake!  

What I learned was give enough to peak someone’s interest, but always have a few moves in your back pocket to close the deal. You’re always going to get objected so have as many angles as possible.

 

What do you think makes your company/personal brand stand out? 

I’m Canadian! No, but really being a Canadian in a competitive US market is a great advantage because it gives me an opportunity to show our culture and how we do business. What I teach “how to monetize your brand to generate leads” takes a different angle then just basic lead gen. Our system allows you to align with some of the biggest charitable brands in the world, give them donations, and leverage their networks. It’s pretty awesome! 

At the end of the day, I’m just being me! Some crazy, hardcore, lover Canadian dude! 

 

What’s a quote that you live by? 

“Everyone told me I was crazy, to tone it down, to slow down. Now those same people are asking me how I did it.” 

Connor LaRocque

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Entrepreneurship

Judge Graham: The Man Behind Huge Digital Agency Exits

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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Judge Graham. Judge is a veteran in the digital marketing space and has exited from multiple agencies for hundreds of millions of dollars. We talked about how he got started, his experience, and more. 

 

 

  • Hey Judge, what does your experience in the digital marketing space look like? 

 

 

Judge: After making a high 8-Figure exit from one of my agencies, I moved on to another agency and replicated my processes and helped sell that agency for a 9-Figure exit.

 

 

  • How did you position your agencies to sell?

 

 

Judge: A few pivotal things I teach on were key to positioning to sell. The first is recurring revenue. If your business isn’t generating recurring revenue, you won’t be able to sell it for a lot of money. The second is culture, I worked relentlessly to build a rock-solid culture in every business that I am involved with.

 

 

  • Was selling your agency always the goal? 

 

 

Judge: It was always the original goal to make an exit from my agencies. When starting, your positioning is much different if your ultimate goal is to sell.

 

 

  • What shifts have you seen in digital marketing?

 

 

Judge: I tell all my consulting and mentorship clients this today. In 2019, digital marketing has progressed so much, that we live in the best time to start an agency. The marketplace has become much more educated, and the software has become much easier to use.

 

 

  • What would you tell an agency owner just starting out?

 

 

Judge: Find a good mentor, and position your agency to sell. 

 

 

  • If you were to start an agency today, what steps would you take to secure another big acquisition? 

 

 

Judge: The same process I took in the past, build recurring revenue and a great culture and stop selling tactics, sell revenue.

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Entrepreneurship

How a Kid Selling Lemonade Turned His Entrepreneurial Habits Into A Lifestyle

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When you observe a major corporation, you most likely see the logo, the product or service they sell, or their marketing ploy. Take Apple, for instance. The iPhone, the MacBook, the classic minimalist design of their storefronts, or their iOS software are the first things that come to mind when the company is brought up. For Henry Westbrooks, he sees the innovator, or the Steve Jobs, behind the creation of the brand. Henry is fascinated by the concept that being an entrepreneur puts power in your hands as the creator. His fascination has lead him to multiple ventures in the business world, and has become massively successful as a result. 

Henry is a licensed realtor in Southwest Florida, the founder of iGrowClub, a digital marketing agency focused on helping clients grow organically on social media to reach their target audience and scale, and is the founder of the Health & Wealth Show, a podcast that focuses on health, wealth, love, and happiness. He has even found success in e-commerce business models, and has affiliates earning between 6-8 figures using the model. His intangible skills include door to door sales, where he has generated millions as a solar energy consultant, high ticket selling, and turning people into repeat customers through building value and pitching products. Henry is without a doubt a well rounded, dedicated entrepreneur who is making waves in the industry. But, Henry’s passion and dedication to making his own way in the business world is nothing new. 

As a child, Henry was already dedicated to selling and working for himself. During his school years, he would sell lemonade and Pokemon cards at a roadside table, host garage sales, and sell food or magazines whenever he could to make money. He was fascinated by seeing money stack up, and has always aspired to becoming wealthy and successful.

His actions speak louder than his words when it comes to Henry’s dedication. After graduating from the University of Buffalo with a BA in Communication and working for corporate radio, Henry was all in on following his passions and becoming successful. He drove from New York to Florida to start his real estate venture right after obtaining his real estate license. After getting involved in the real estate game, he was presented with an opportunity to sell solar across the country in California. Without hesitation, he accepted the offer, packed his things, and drove cross country to take advantage of the opportunity. 

On top of dominating the solar industry, Henry has grown a stellar personal brand and helps brands and companies grow their brands by helping them to identify their mission statements, handle the marketing, and helping with brand development. But, like all successful endeavors, Henry is cognizant of the slow process necessary to gain traction and momentum. He’s very open to detailing the processes he’s gone through to reach his level of success. 

Henry knows that the path to success happens one day at a time. There have been many early mornings and late nights, sacrifice, failures, and changes in his mindset. Finding success as an entrepreneur requires a ton of effort, patience, and grit, and Henry possesses all of those attributes, and his work ethic and drive has allowed him to work at his goals day in and day out to find success in his businesses. The reward of building something that not only generates revenue but helps people is well worth the early days of uncertainty, Henry says. A massive key is maintaining faith in the baby stages of a company, as your big break could come just a few days after you feel like quitting but decide to keep pushing forward.

Today, Henry has a massive amount of knowledge and the skills necessary to be successful. But, starting out, he wished he knew two key pieces of advice: Invest in yourself, and be aware that it all starts with you. You need to take on good debt that results in cash flow, believe in yourself, make daily progress, and trust the long term process. Anyone can become successful once they acquire the right mindset and work ethic, and no one believes in that idea more than Henry. 

Henry can be reached on Instagram @henryaaronwestbrooks, or via email, [email protected]

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The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

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