How to Deal with Haters
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.
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...
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,...
So many of you dear friends and followers may know me as an expert in the area of business coaching and specifically personal branding. But most of you might not know that I started off twenty-one years ago as a language instructor.
Back then, I was really focused on communicating my expertise to my students and teaching them the best way possible, and using the most up-to-date methods and methodologies in training and teaching, so that the outcome would be great learning for my students, and honestly, I was successful, but I wasn't among the top one percent of language instructors in my area of expertise. I wasn't that popular and widely known and nationwide expert that I aspired to be.
And when I explored why that was not the case, why this hadn't happened for me back then; I realized that the top one percent of instructors were those who not only had the knowledge and expertise, but also created this kind of person to person connection with their students and followers.
Today my friends, I'm going to tell you how bringing your personality to life at work can actually BOOST your business.
Many years ago I was a language instructor, and I was doing well as a language instructor and a test prep coach who was helping students prepare themselves for the university entrance exam back home in my country, and I was doing pretty well.
I was among the top choices for my audience, but I wasn't exactly number one. I wasn't THE MOST POPULAR and THE NUMBER ONE test prep coach in my area of expertise and although I had really good knowledge about language in general and specifically in teaching language as a foreign language - we call it "EFL" English as a foreign language - I had taken courses, I was really experienced in that regard; Just like I said, I wasn't the number one choice for my audience.
I wasn't the most popular choice for my audience, and I began to observe what those people who were the number ones (either in my area or in other areas) were doing...
Dear friends, when I first started my business in Canada, I started working out of my basement.
So, I thought I don't have the means and the budget right now to rent an office. Why not stay home and work from home?
And that was what I did, and on top of that, I really bought into the idea of digital marketing in a sense that everything can be done digitally with a laptop. So, I saw all of these people with their laptops on their lap, sitting at the beach, making millions of dollars and, you know, there were so many of them that I somehow got convinced that this can be done! This is real!
So, not only was I working out of the basement of my home, on my own all day, all week all month, all year (especially in the first year) but I, also, was spending too much time on digital marketing, doing my website right, putting out a lot of content on social media, and I'm not telling you that I didn't get ANY result or return on that. I DID get that, but the point I'm trying to make is that I...
In a recent coaching session; my client told me: "Shahab! Business is so unpredictable! Last month, I signed up a lot of new clients, but this month, business is down; nobody is pulling the trigger!" I inquired about what he had done in terms of prospecting during the past three months. He then gave me a blank stare. It quickly became evident that he had done a lot of prospecting three to four months back which had resulted in him getting a lot of new leads and he had a rich last month but he had stopped prospecting as an excuse to serve those leads and clients, and that was why his pipeline was dry now.
I then shared with him the concept of "The 30-day rule in prospecting". This is a concept that I first learned from Jeb Blount, the author of the book "Fanatical Prospecting". In that book, Jeb says that any prospecting that you do in B to B, and high-ticket B to C sales reveals its results in the next three months. So even if you have a full pipeline right now; you have a lot of...
Years ago, I was a language instructor, and I was teaching my students EFL (English as a foreign language).
I used to work at educational complexes around the city, and I was earning a decent income. I was pretty popular with my students and everything was fine. It was really normal, nothing fancy. I wasn't a big name in my field, and I wasn't really well-known. I wasn't really charging premium fees. I didn't have a very strong brand. I was just someone who was doing a good job as an EFL instructor.
But at one point I was among the very first few people who thought of the idea of doing crash courses for high school students who wanted to enter university around my area of EFL. So, I did, at first, one month crash courses to prepare my students for the university entrance exams, and then I ventured into one day seminars! One day crash course seminars for my students, to get them ready, and prepare them for the university entrance exams.
And, at first people objected to this idea!...
The Interesting Story of My Wife’s Lab
Many years ago, my wife and one of her colleagues, who both held a PHD in Immunology, decided that they wanted to start a business. They were university professors at the time, but they just wanted to start their own business as well. So that was why we joined forces. I invested a bit of money and we started a medical diagnostic lab (individually owned, not a franchise). We actually purchased the unit and the building. We did some interior design, we bought the equipment, we hired staff, we started advertising and we opened the doors to public.
But the first year we didn't see really good financial rewards. People weren't coming in, and we didn't get that many clients, customers and patients in the lab and we were scratching our heads why!
You know, obviously, the environment, the interior of the lab was really phenomenal. We had done a wonderful job and it was very welcoming and very polished and high end. The equipment was great, the...
How to become an influencer?
Over the past few years, we have heard a lot about influencers, the people who inspire their audience. They have influence over their audience, and their audience listens to them, so these influencers can ask their audience to take action, follow their orders and even buy from them.
So many people aspire to become influencers, but how can we do that? In my experience, there are three ways to become an influencer.
The FIRST way which the fake influencer way is actually buy a lot of fake followers, likes and comments on social media and fake our way into being a fake social media influencer! Obviously, you know that around the world there are a lot of companies that SELL fake followers. A thousand, ten thousand or even a million followers for a certain amount of money. You pay the price, you get the followers. So, YES, you can BUY your followers and buy your way into becoming an influencer but obviously, it's a fake influencer and it's not going to have...
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