Shed other people's expectations

Mar 25, 2020

There are lots of people who come to me on a daily basis and tell me: "Shahab, I think I'm going to be successful in THIS career path, but there are lots of people around me who keep telling me you can be successful in THAT career path! What should I pursue? How much should I care for other people's opinions?"

The answer is: "Know yourself to grow yourself!"

You have to shed other people's ideas and expectations of you. Let me give you a personal example! Many years ago, I trained as a medical doctor. So many people thought I would be a brain surgeon eventually!

But honestly, I felt terrible when I went into the emergency room, and I did the overnight shifts at med school. That was NOT my true genius!

My true genius and my passion lay in coaching, consulting and training and eventually I shifted into that, but it was a difficult choice.

So, my question to you is: What expectations and ideas should you shed in order to find your true path?

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Personal Branding: Identify Competitors

Mar 25, 2020

A very important thing to do while you are branding yourself is to identify your competitors and get to know them well. Why? Because branding is all about differentiation and if you don't know exactly who your competitors are and what they offer to their audience then how can you differentiate yourself from them? In my case, there might be other business coaches or specifically branding coaches out there that do similar work but the thing that is different about me is that I not only do the branding, training and coaching but I have the platforms to offer to my clients as well!

For example, I have the social media following where I can feature my clients or I regularly write books where my clients can become co-authors.

Now, my question to you is: “Do you know your competitors and how are you different from them?”

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What makes you angry?

Mar 25, 2020

An important aspect of strong Personal Branding is knowing your values. Values are things that are important to you. They are part of your brand! They affect your choices, your decisions; they affect who you work with, which areas you want to focus on, and so on and so forth. For example, in my case two of my values are honesty and taking responsibility and these are parts of my brand!

Now, you may ask: "How can I know what my values are?"  A very interesting way to find out about your values is to notice what are some of the actions that people do that actually make you annoyed. For example, in my case, if somebody is dishonest; if somebody is projecting a fake image and saying fake things, it annoys me! Because one of my values is honesty! Or if somebody is not taking responsibility for their actions; they are just blaming others for their failures, it annoys me! Because one of my values is taking responsibility.

Now, based on my explanations, what comes to your mind? What is...

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What is Personal Branding?

Mar 16, 2020

What is Personal Branding? What does Personal Branding mean? For somebody like me who works with entrepreneurs and business professionals, Personal Branding means growing your business by becoming the go-to expert in your field.

How do you do that? Through what I call the three C's:

1- Clarify your unique promise of value

2- Communicate it to the right people

3- And Close more deals!

In other words:

1- Discovering your brand message

2- Marketing it to the right people

3- And having the skill set around selling and sales.

Now, my question to you is: Where are you on your personal branding journey?


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What do you want to be known for?

Mar 14, 2020

If you want to build a really strong personal brand, you have to stand for something specific. Steve Jobs stood for innovation. He said: "Think Different!" and whatever he did was in line with this brand message. Lady Gaga stands for artistically and creatively expressing yourself and all she does is in line with this brand message. I stand for success through personal branding. Now my question to you is: What do you stand for? What do you want to be known for?

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You Already Have a Brand

Mar 12, 2020

What do people say about you when you're not in the room? That's your personal brand! That's how people see you professionally! They might say you are a heart-driven entrepreneur, you are a flexible leader, you are an expert in this field, and that's your personal brand!

Now the question is: “Is that brand the kind of impression that you want people to have about you?”

So, in my case, I want people to see me as an expert in Personal Branding, and I've taken specific steps to create that impression in my audience's mind.

The question is: “First of all, do you know your Personal Brand? And second, are you taking those steps to create that impression in your audience's mind?”

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The Power of Niches

Mar 11, 2020

A lot of business owners come to me and say: "Shahab! There is too much competition in the market! Everybody is offering the same thing! How do I stand out?"

One of the best ways to do this is to focus on a specific niche. They say: "Riches are in the niches!" So instead of being a generic service provider; try to focus on solving the problems of a specific market niche.

Let me give you a quick example. In my case, instead of being a generic coach trying to help everybody in their personal and professional life, I've decided to focus on helping business professionals grow their business through personal branding. I specialize in that niche.

Now my question to you is: “Are you a wondering generality or are you a meaningful specific?”

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How to deal with Haters

Mar 07, 2020

How to Deal with Haters

  • This is so cheesy! You're just copying what others are saying! Shame on you!
  • Previously, you were just a language instructor. Now you've turned into a business consultant?! You're a scam!
  • You're trying to rip people off by teaching them to become rich! It's pathetic!

These are some of the comments that I got on my social media pages during the past month, and as somebody with a pretty big following; I get similar messages every single day. When you're trying to build your brand and grow your business; this is what happens to you: Hateful messages, and they HURT! Yes, hateful messages hurt, and their negative effects sometimes last for days and months! And to make things worse; we humans suffer from "Negativity Bias" which means that things of a negative nature affect us much stronger than neutral or positive things. So even if you get a hundred positive comments on a post and just one negative comment; that negative comment stays with you longer.

In this...

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My Doctor Tells Me My Test Results

Jan 23, 2020

I was sitting alone in my doctor’s cold office watching her read my test results. I already knew that something was wrong. I’d had inflammatory bowel disease for three years and this felt like a flare up. It turns out it was worse than normal.

“I’m quite concerned about you Shahab,” she said. “This might develop into cancer.”

My heart dropped, and my head went dizzy. When I heard the word cancer, my first thought was my wife and child. My second thought was about the things I might never do. I had dance classes I wanted to take. (pause and smile) Okay, thoughts in times of stress can be a little strange.

My doctor told me I was actually doing too much - particularly when it came to work. I was pushing myself beyond the bounds of good health.

One year before, my wife and I had immigrated to Canada in the hope of creating a better future. Back home, I was a noted language instructor, but in Canada I was planning for a change. Immigration was...

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Shahab, Are You Flexible with Your Fees?

Dec 26, 2019

Shahab, Are You Flexible with Your Fees?

Today my friends, I'm going to talk to you about the importance of FLEXIBILITY when it comes to your fees.

Let me share with you one of my stories. Many years ago, when I started out as a subject matter expert; Trainer / Coach / Consultant / Author; I had this strong belief that I need to have fee integrity. If I'm providing a wonderful service or product or offering then I need to charge what I'm worth.

So, I stated my fees proudly and loudly, and if somebody wanted to get a discount or somebody wanted to nickel and dime me; I didn't budge. I said: "this is my fee! It is what it is!" and I was not flexible at all.

The good thing about this fee integrity was that I almost always attracted the right audience; the kind of audience that was actually my ideal clients, and knew the true value of my work. That was the good part.

But the downside of this approach was that I sometimes lost really good prospects that COULD become high paying clients,...

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