When you're on a mission to do good, success will always follow. And, that is the philosophy that our guest in this episode, Akbar Sheikh, adheres to in every aspect of his life, both in personal and business. He knows what it's like to build, literally, from the ground all the way to the top. A #1 best-selling author, father, philanthropist, the maker of multiple 7-figure funnels, Akbar shares his insights into how to get to the top of your game.
Akbar was no stranger to hardship. But, instead of blaming others, he chose to see the opportunity for lessons in those hardships. And, after ridding himself of all the toxic aspects in his life that were bringing him down, he began to focus on finding answers to his own personal "why" in everything he was doing? After discovering the power of video marketing, he gave a free consultation for a non-profit. That same day, he got a $20,000 commission check. But, it wasn't the check that gave him his "Ah-ha!" moment.
He realized that he found more joy in giving that free consultation than he did getting that big check. He quit his job at the marketing firm and asked the non-profit if he could come to work with them. After achieving 7-figure growth for the organization, they created a position specifically for him to come onboard.
It is important to stop making excuses for your failures and trying to find shortcuts to success. It is far too easy for us to say "Well, I can't do _____, because I don't have ____." But, doing this is simply you creating your own barriers to success. Adopt the mindset of "I am going to make this work or die trying. There is no Plan B."
However, don't try to make the journey without preparation. Be proactive, not reactive. As he says, you can't take a person off the street and try to send them to Mars right off the bat. It will ultimately lead to disaster. You have to prepare, train, and take the time to build your skills.
Akbar stresses the importance of setting your priorities straight and surrounding yourself with opportunities for success. Leave the toxic baggage that is weighing you down. Bad habits and people in your life who are not focused on moving forward will weigh you down, even if unintentionally. Though he dropped the toxic environment around him cold-turkey, he stresses it may not be the best strategy for everyone. Regardless of what you choose to do, though, you need to balance your priorities.
Just like in personal life, failures in business can often be traced back to a lack of applying the fundamentals of success. The word "Funnel" gets thrown around a lot. Does every business need to implement an online funnel strategy? Well, that is a rather loaded question and it depends. As Akbar points out, you will need to evaluate your business and your goals. Many websites are simply for information-only purposes and they serve their purpose well. However, if your business demands that you masterfully craft your customer's journey, then getting the ethical principles of persuasion to work for you will require you have the fundamentals down pat.
Once you have the fundamentals, creating a sales funnels is relatively easy. And, crafting a customer's experience is actually wielding a powerful psychological weapon. This can be used for good or bad. And, as Akbar says, when you switch to an attitude of servitude, everything you do to craft that experience for your customer will be guided by that principle. People will sense your genuine desire to help, and the sales will follow.
On the flip-side, trying too hard can scare customers away, because they sense you are an impostor. If you're trying too hard, red flags will go up for them throughout their journey. Too many red flags and that sale is lost for good.
If you feel like you may be projecting an image of being an impostor and it's hurting your sales, Akbar suggests that it all ties back to having that clear mind. An uncluttered canvas that has a strong background in the fundamentals. The ability to clearly and concisely speak of what it is you are providing is priceless.
"Get real results from your customers. Get testimonies and read them every day. Always be collecting testimonies. It helps a lot to see people saying that they get a benefit from what it is you are doing."
Speak your truth, and don't be afraid to put yourself out there. "Hate sucks," he says. It's going to happen. Everyone gets it. Be ready for it. People will use your success as a scapegoat to justify their own failures and create stories in their minds to justify themselves using you as a scapegoat. Don't buy into the vicious cycle of fear and excuses. Projecting fear of being hated is going to make you seem like an impostor because it, too, will raise red flags to customers that something is wrong.