Archives February 2014

The Greek and the Persian: The Jim Vass Success Story Told!

The Greek Jim Vass and Persian Edward Zia - Amazing hearing his story of success with some brilliant insights!

The Greek Jim Vass and Persian Edward Zia – Amazing hearing his story of success with some brilliant insights!

Some 3 years ago when I started my business I was so green and primitive to what I take for granted today.  I was armed with home designed “Vista Print” business cards (if you don’t know who they are – they are these cheap DIY online design company that produces great “Cheap & Nasty” goods), a very poor pitch, tons of fear and a very weak grasp of the Sydney Small Business and Entrepreneur Scene.

It took me some years to really get a handle on it and one of the amazing successful business men I met when I first started my business was this High-End Greek Accountant by the name of Jim Vass.  I found him to be a very kind, yet very direct and impactful type of fellow and our original friendly banter was what Greek Men usually remind me of – when they killed tons of my Persian Ancestors many years ago.

Yes, get it out you Greeks.  Yes, you did kill heaps of my ancestors years ago.  But your currency has collapsed and Germany is buying out Greece now – so ha ha! x x

But going back to the actual Business Point of this article and taking out my obvious “Sour Grapes” for Jim’s Ancestors kicking my Ancestors Butt – I am very lucky to be friends with a man like Jim Vass.  He has built one amazing business, is very successful and has given me amazing advice over the years that has helped me improve bit by bit to the “Persian Marketing Mentor” I am today.  After going for a drive in Jim’s new Convertible BMW (which I loved), we had a few drinks at the nearby Parramatta Leagues Club.

As an impromptu interview recording it with my Samsung Galaxy S4 – it was a great opportunity to get some amazing advice off Jim and here is Raw, Unscripted Story.  I got a lot out of it and I hope you do! And of course if you like what you are hearing and want to take your business and marketing skills to that next level – make sure you check out my Awesome Marketing Vault right here!

I hope you enjoy the recording and feel free to review the transcript included.

Thank you from Edward Zia – Small Business Marketing Mentor and Proud Ally of Jim Vass!

Edward Zia: Hello everyone this is Edward Zia here. I’m actually sitting at Parramatta Leagues Club right now overlooking a beautiful car park right now with the amazing entrepreneur, business owner, and CPA Jim Vass. Say hello to everyone Jim Vass.

Jim Vass: Hello Ed and hello everybody.

Edward Zia: There you go we’ve got Jim Vass on the line. Have a guess what we’re doing? Why don’t you tell the audience what we’re doing right now Jim.

Jim Vass: I’m having low-carb beer and Ed’s having some grapefruit.

Edward Zia: Exactly. It’s a house Shiraz.

Jim Vass: Yes.

Edward Zia: We’re eating some Samboy salt and vinegar chips aren’t we Jim.

Jim Vass: Yes, of course we are. It’s a perfect way to spend a Tuesday afternoon.

Edward Zia: Exactly, exactly. The reason for this interview, Jim Vass and I actually had to meet up to talk business in relation to the Cumberland Business Chamber. Jim’s going to be doing an amazing presentation there. We’re actually going to talk about the topic and angle it’s going to take. What we ended up doing is we ended up going to his office and Jim’s got this awesome new convertible … tell everyone about your new car Jim. What did you get? What is it?

Jim Vass: I bought a 335 white convertible. I’ve been looking at those for quite a few years now, and decided that it’s time to get rid of my conservative Merc and step into something a bit louder and quicker.

Edward Zia: Just to point out we are in Parramatta. It is the western suburbs of Sydney, and Jim Vass comes from a great heritage.

Jim Vass: There’s plenty of Greeks here as well.

Edward Zia: Exactly. It’s a great a man, driving a convertible BMW, and also a Persian man.

Jim Vass: You know the funny thing about it is watching all our hair fly off as we drive.

Edward Zia: Just so you know … Jim you’re about what 28, are you Jim, 29?

Jim Vass: Yeah, and then some. Let’s just say 28 for this exercise.

Edward Zia: Just so you know Jim Vass runs business by the name of, ATB Partners. The thing that I love about Jim is that I’ve known Jim for about 3 years now. I actually met Jim the first week I started my business. Jim’s been nothing but amazing. Even though he runs an accounting firm Jim Vass to me has always been more than that. He’s always been that amazing business man, because he’s built an amazing business and portfolio from scratch. I’m just curious, Jim, tell us the story. What happened to you? Had did you build such an awesome business and become such a brand name around this part of town?

Jim Vass: I think it was, originally when I was finishing university I always had a goal in mind that I wanted to own my own business. I didn’t want to be an employee, and part of that’s also wanting enough space to take some sort of control of your life. If you’re going to work hard you might as well see the benefits of it. After 5 years of employment the time came. As I had predicted that 5 years later that I’d open up my own accounts to practice as I did.

Edward Zia: You entered business knowing 5 years later you’d start your own accounting firm?

Jim Vass: I entered employment.

Edward Zia: Sorry, entered employment. Sorry, my bad … with the intent of starting your own accounting practice?

Jim Vass: It’s probably one of the most clearest defined goals that I had in my life.

Edward Zia: It’s interesting because as you know, I totally screwed up my life at the age of 29. Lost everything, fiancé walked, violins cry, cry, cry. My big mistake … I’ll be straight up … I stayed too long in the workforce. I was too chicken and I didn’t get out. Very few people have that tenacity and I think confidence to do that. How come you could do that? How can you compared to some other people take such a bold move to succeed when most of us get scared? Didn’t you get scared at all? Won’t you fearful about the move?

Jim Vass: I think with anything it’s like being on the tower and you’re looking over the edge and you want to go, the more you stand on the edge, and the more you think about it the scarier it gets, and the more you undermine your own doubt, or you undermine your capability. With anything you plunge into it. Sometimes ignorance is a good thing. Being ignorant to the dangers out there will obviously help you take that plunge whereas ordinarily if you got to think about all the dangers that are out there you’re not going to move?

Edward Zia: Wow, so you’re saying that you can’t over think this. You got to make the move and accept the risks.

Jim Vass: You do. It’s got to be a calculated move one. Of course, you can’t be ridiculous and not contemplate anything. When I made my move I considered my circumstances. I was married. My wife was working. We didn’t have any children. It was a calculated risk to think, all right, if I’m going to do it, if I do now it’s going to be easier. If I do it when I’ve got children it’s obviously going to be riskier because there’s going to be mouths to feed, and the rest of it. For me it was fairly straight forward, but I thought it about before I’d gone out to do it. It wasn’t just one day I woke up and I thought this is what I’m going to do.

Edward Zia: That’s really cleaver, so you proactively, as a 20 year old thought ahead … in your 20’s I mean … and you said, okay, I’m going to do this before I have children. I’m going to get this business happening before I have more kids. Obviously that was really solid thinking because whenever you see people start a business with a family it usually doesn’t cut the mustard I find. What’s been your experience in watching people do that?

Jim Vass: Generally speaking when you’re starting a business with a family you’ve got a lot more overhead that you’ve got to allow for, so automatically the business is got to be able to provide you with extra income. The other side of the coin, of course, is that a lot of people with families they’re going to say, they have a certain life style established already. They’ve already got a spending habit established within their lifestyle. To get a business is going to be able to provide for that spending pattern and that lifestyle from the word go is very very difficult to come by.

Edward Zia: Wow, wow. I understand you do some pretty high-end consultancy work. What do you do every day? How many staff you got? What kind of work do you actually do in your firm these days?

Jim Vass: Our firm is not an overly large one. We’ve got 11 bodies on the accounting side of the business, and 6 bodies on the finance side. We’re not a volume based business. We’re more of a business that we work with the clients that want to work with us that we want to work with. That’s generally a meeting of minds where they appreciate the input that we have in their business, they actually take it onboard, and they’re happy to work and to listen to what you got to offer them, try to implement it, and work together to try to achieve their goals.

There’s too many businesses out there that are concerned with how much this is going to cost me and more so with counting pennies, as opposed to looking at the bigger picture and saying, if I’m going to make an investment in my business, and part of the investment is actually having the right people with you from the word dot, as opposed to saying, well I’m going to try to establish a business, get into all the bad habits, set up systems which don’t really work , and then try to get somebody that’s going to try help me out after I’ve created a problem and they’re going to do it for nothing. That’s a common problem for a lot of businesses.

Edward Zia: I guess the question is … a lot of my clients, and I imagine a lot of people listening to this interview would be from the services, professional services sort of industries … I know you’ve done this extremely well, especially as a marketer as well digging on that interest, how could you manage to acquire those high quality clients, and keep them, and build your business on that basis?

Jim Vass: With any business we started off with a lot of clients that we took on because they had a pulse, and they could pay, but ultimately as a business develops and it matures you learn what you want and what you don’t want. I can’t say that I started a perfect business from the day I had models. We made our share of mistakes. Those mistakes cost us money, but the important thing is we learned from those mistakes.

Ultimately when you look at it you say, we’re not repeating the same mistakes over and over again. We’ve made so many mistakes that we could actually teach our clients. We can actually so the writing on the wall with people where they got to head with certain routes that they got to take. We can say, if you got to do this, this is what’s going to happen, and you know why because I did it and that’s what happened?

It’s not that we’ve been Einstein’s in what we’ve done. It’s basically we’ve been resilient in being able to work through the problems and get through them as opposed to anything else.

Edward Zia: I think you’ve used the R word, resilience. Often a lot of life coaches band around that word, resilience, as if it was candy. I think very few people … they might be able to give the dictionary definition of resilience, but very few people actually understand what it means, because all the time I see business owners the ones that turn into Jim Vass’s of this world, or ones that can get through it, but a lot of people just can’t handle it when times get tough. What do you think about that sort of issue Jim?

Jim Vass: Again it comes down to what your expectations are out of life. It comes down also … certain people have different pressures. I was very fortunate to have a very understanding wife so if I had to say, I was working 7 days a week, if I had to say, that I was doing 12 hours a day, or 14 hours a day, it was never an issue of my wife demanding my time. She understood that we needed to do what we needed to do. Not everybody has that in business.

If you’re faced with pressure at work and then pressure at home by a relationship that can obviously impact how the business actually turns out, because something’s going to have to suffer somewhere along the way, or something’s going to have to take second seat. It can’t all be the priority. Obviously when you enter into something when there’s less people involved i.e. children, and the pressures of children within a marriage then it’s going to be far easier to be able to get out of those challenges.

Edward Zia: It’s funny, because as you know my fiancé ended the relationship with me.

Jim Vass: I just found out today.

Edward Zia: Yeah. It’s funny. You thought I was a happily married man. I was telling you.

Jim Vass: I just kept on thinking to myself; he laughs too much to be married.

Edward Zia: I was actually quite a happy man ironically. I was actually planning on getting married. Again the woman’s right, no hard feelings, and I really admire her because she’s living her own life. The thing that I found interesting was that … what was interesting in our relationship was actually that. I entered a business and I made the business the first priority, anyway she didn’t like being second back seat.

Jim Vass: They’re coming for us. Oh my God.

Edward Zia: The cops have us. Is that because it’s a Greek and a Persian doing business in Parramatta?

Jim Vass: Yes that’s right. You shouldn’t have left your bag there.

Edward Zia: They’re going to think I’m some kind of crazy Persian.

Jim Vass: That’s right.

Edward Zia: I think that’s really amazing being Mrs. Jim Vass sounds like a really amazing woman to really give you that support and backing all these years to build such a powerful business.

Jim Vass: Yes, she’s a good lady. Has does that saying go … behind every good man is a good lady.

Edward Zia: That is so true.

Jim Vass: It’s very true, it’s very true.

Edward Zia: That is so true. That is so true.

Jim Vass: My wife’s probably never going to listen to this interview so I’m not saying for her benefit.

Edward Zia: What I’ll do is I will speak to your office staff and I’ll email her a recording of this interview.

Jim Vass: I’ll like that.

Edward Zia: Your wife is also in business with you Jim?

Jim Vass: Yes she is.

Edward Zia: There you go, there you go. You get dinner tonight.

Jim Vass: Yeah, right.

Edward Zia: Digging a little bit deeper, you started your business, you got it going, question for you Jim … and I have a lot of people ask me that … how did you get your first stack of clients? How did you get that base of clients that propelled you and got your actual business going? How did you crack the ice, or crack the surface, Jim?

Jim Vass: We started with … this year is our 20th year in business.

Edward Zia: Oh my God, congratulations.

Jim Vass: Twenty years ago there was not a social media at all, and I suppose advertising was far more what you consider to be paid advertising and so it was advertise in the local paper, distribute your flyers, word of mouth, and it was all of that. We started our business with no clients. We opened up the door with no clients. I was the first one to leave full-time occupation. I had 2 other business partners. One of them is still a current business partner. I continued working, so I wouldn’t draw on the business. They’d come in after work and we’d sit there and try to work out a marketing plan, trying to put our computer systems together and everything else, advertise every day, had the shingle out, had a sandwich board out saying, we do tax returns.

That’s what the business started as. We started as qualified accountants being able to prepare tax returns whereas our competition at that point in time was your basic H and R Blocks which had kids out of school with 3 weeks training to do tax returns, where we were able to offer the additional advice and stuff like that that a qualified accountant be able to do.

Edward Zia: You opened your business just starting with pure quality. You started with …

Jim Vass: Pure quality positioning. It was quality positioning. It was quality proposition at a discounted boss. Ultimately one of the main things was we had to build a critical mass of clients where you had the volume there, and when it came time to increase our pricing … that happened probably 2 years down the track … we had about 2,000 individual tax returns that we were billing out of the one office. There came a point in time when we said, you know what, now the time that we’ve actually got to different ourselves because this is not where we want to be. This is not the space that we want to be playing, and we increased our prices to reflect much closer to what the prices one would be expecting to be paying out of a CPA firm, or a chartered group.

With that, and we expected it, about 2,000 returns shrunk to about 900 returns, because technically of those 1,100 people didn’t see the value in spending for that knowledge of staff. The balance of those people thought, you know what, we can actually see the value in what we’re getting, and we’re happy with the service, and they stayed on. Of those people many of them went on to acquire businesses, to become business owners.

We don’t always look at people as well but we’re doing as employees and you can tell those ones that were probably a bit more susceptible to wanting to become business owners. You’d encourage them along the way and talk to them about where they’re working and if there was an opportunity to do an employee buyout of the business. We had plenty of clients come along that same route.

Edward Zia: Question; of those 2,000 … of the people that had those entrepreneurial traits what were some, and how could you spot someone that was a potential entrepreneur that was succeed as a business person?

Jim Vass: A lot of the guys were generally asking about, not so much about how to pay his tax, but that are more interested in how they could build their growth. They talked how they could build growth, because too many people in this world concentrate on the savings, as opposed to the bigger picture of looking outside of what you save and just say, what I can achieve. If I’m going to do this what’s my ultimate goal, and what am I going to achieve by that.

I think if you could say one of the common traits for those people that identify as entrepreneurs are the ones that were looking at avenues in ways of improving themselves and their position other then decreasing their tax.

Edward Zia: In other words they weren’t just focusing on pinching pennies; they were actually taking a serious, pragmatic, strategic feel on how to build a life for themselves.

Jim Vass: Correct, yeah.

Edward Zia: In fact this is more of a general question … not so much a Jim Vass CPA question but, why are so many people out there just focusing on the same old, same old, and just interested in pinching pennies, and not interested in thinking outside the box … what’s your entrepreneurial opinion about that, Jim?

Jim Vass: I think it’s just the way they’re brought up. It’s a frame of mind. It’s simply a matter if you come from an environment where the idea is to screw the person down to the last cent that you can get out of him you’ve always got to … if anything that you got to do you always got to leave a drink in it for the next bowl. Make sure that everybody’s making a fair living, and don’t try to squeeze them to the point where it’s not worth their while to take care of you.

With those people there seems to be a lot of that thing of the attitude now we’re winning, and winning against by getting more out of someone that you really should of. That’s not really sustainable. If you’re working with a business … and you’ve worked with clients as well … all they seem to do is suck the life out of you. They seem to suck all your resources up. Then at the end of the day do you really want to give them the time of day? You don’t really want to work with them. You want to work with them for as long as you have to, but it’s not something that you work with them because you want to work with them.

Edward Zia: Yeah, you’re doing it out of economic necessity. You’re not doing it out of a true genuine desire.

Jim Vass: Once that economic necessity goes you don’t need that anymore; who are those people you going to get rid of?

Edward Zia: You’re going to get rid of them.

Jim Vass: Exactly.

Edward Zia: Wow.

Jim Vass: … or you’re going to refer them to your competition.

Edward Zia: Oh, very clever, very clever.

Jim Vass: … so they can suck up somebody else’s time.

Edward Zia: Just to let you know I’ve got some good news Jim. I’ve got all the clients I want. The bloodsuckers are all gone Jim.

Jim Vass: That’s good because I can honestly the same for myself as well.

Edward Zia: Well done, well done.

Jim Vass: It’s only taken 20 years but…

Edward Zia: I still got a long way to go before I compare myself to you.

Jim Vass: Do you know what? Generally speaking though your first impression when you sit down with somebody, certainly from my perspective, my first impression is always been correct. I’ve sat down opposite potential clients or clients that have been referred to me, they might turn out to be okay, but my instincts tell me, you know what; this is going to be waste of time. It’s going to be waste of money. It’s going to be another one of those bloodsucking experiences. Generally speaking that works out. Then you can sit in front of people that you’re going to think, you know what, they’re on the right page, they talk the same language, and you can identify those. Generally those people there you know you can work with and they’re the long term relationships. They’re the people that 20 years down the track are still with us.

Edward Zia: Wow, wow. A question … putting the spotlight on me … when you first met me what was your opinion of me, Jim, and let’s be honest shall we? It’s not like this is being recorded. I’m curious.

Jim Vass: You wanted to make things work. You were eager to be successful, maybe a bit misdirected sometimes.

Edward Zia: Yes.

Jim Vass: Okay, but you were eager to try things and to do things, and I suppose that eagerness is reflected in your own personality, and you’re still around. Your business is improving as opposed to stagnating which happens to a lot of people. Now I think that your liberal enthusasism is waned a bit since the first time that we sat down and talked.

Edward Zia: I’m actually more ambitious now than I was 3 years ago Jim.

Jim Vass: That’s what makes things work. Ultimately, you see a lot of people that will approach you when they first start a business and they’re ambitious and they’re really vocal about it, and they’re excited about it, and the rest of it, but 3 years down the track it’s not very often you actually see them that they’re the same and if not more excited about that. Were you one of those guys that’s probably even more excited about it?

Edward Zia: I actually am. This is funny. Again this is me interviewing you not the other way around. That’s why it’s such an amazing business Jim. For me if anything it’s … when I started my business because I wasn’t truly sure that it would work I always held a part of myself back, but now I know it’s working I put more of my heart right into it. I think that’s why I’m becoming … now I know I’ve won I’m now putting my whole life into it.

Jim Vass: That reminds me of a conversation that we had about 3 years ago where it was basically I said, you can’t work and expect to run a business at the same time. At that point in time I remember you were working about 3 days a week with contracting almost full-time. You were a sit down employee.

Edward Zia: Yeah, I was a sit down employee. That is correct.

Jim Vass: You can’t have 2 things in 2 different camps. You’ve got to be committed either one way or the other. If you’ve got to be saying, well I’m going to take the safe bit and I’m going to hang around doing what’s safe to me you’re not going to commit yourself 100% to your business. Once you actually leave that camp and you say, I’m now in a position where my livelihood is totally reliant upon what I can do with this business, your focus changes, your attitude changes, and it reflects in what you can actually do within your business.

Edward Zia: It’s funny you say that because … and I say this to people I say this I always talk very highly of you around town as you know Jim, and it’s always … you’ve always said something to me … this is going back … you always say something to me and I’ll off going, Oh what does Jim Vass know, Jim Vass is this, Jim Vass is that. I find out 6 months later I was 100% wrong, and you were totally right. I’ve done that about 4 times, then I thought I might just accept everything that Jim Vass creates as his reality.

Jim Vass: I wouldn’t accept everything but question it. Then maybe after a period of time try what you wanted to do and then try what I suggested. The suggestions I come up with aren’t perfect but they’re in the right direction.

Edward Zia: Absolutely, absolutely.

Jim Vass: If I could have a dollar for every time I’ve sat with a client, and we’ve had a conversation, I said look you should not do this and they’ve done it, and 3 months later, 6 months later we’re sitting again looking at a disaster and it’s generally because they’ve done what they’re advised not to do. I can’t actually remember in my 20 years of this I can’t remember ever saying to somebody, don’t do this, and then going ahead and doing it, and it being a success story.

Edward Zia: Wow, wow. In other words you’re a trifecta. You’re the right horse to bet on.

Jim Vass: Some of that stuff that they got to do is damn right stupid. I can’t take all credit for their failures, but you know.

Edward Zia: That’s amazing Jim. I’ve got a question for you. Now you’ve … I suppose I don’t know you strike me a bit like an Al Pacino from Scarface. The world is yours Jim. What’s the next step for you? I’m kind of curious; because I’ll be straight up with you I aspire to be in your position. I look up to you quite seriously. For me getting to the position your at is my whole focus right now. My question is, once you’re the Jim Vass what then happens next? What happens when the film ends? What’s the next step?

Jim Vass: It doesn’t end.

Edward Zia: When you achieve that level of success that so few do Jim, what’s the next step? What goes through your mind? I’m very curious.

Jim Vass: Whatever you do … I mentioned it earlier where you got to sustain a certain lifestyle so got to earn a bit more to sustain a certain lifestyle. Being a valued service is bloody expensive you know. Ultimately, I don’t ever look at my working career as, there’s a time that I want to check out. I’m looking at it is more as, I’d like to be able to maybe scale back my hours a bit, maybe scale it back to ideally I’d love to work 3 days a week, if I could work Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday that from my perspective would be ideal. In all sorts of ways it’s picking the type of work that you want to do as well.

As you move along you want to get the stuff where you can actually see that there’s a huge difference happening within the business, where you can actually see that you’re changing not only the business, but the business owner’s life, and that’s why I suppose is becoming more and more rewarding to me.

I had a meeting last week with some clients and they’re killing it as far as they budgeted. The thing is what are they really doing wrong? The focus is going to be now we know the business is doing well, but now I’ve been trying to change the focus away from the business into the individuals of the business and to try to and actually see what their goals in life are, other than having successful business, and to see what we can try to do to actually help mimic their own goal. That to me would be a huge key, because we know businesses it’s got certain things that you got to do to make to make it succeed, but if we can actually get them to succeed on a personal role that would be a great achievement from our perspective.

Edward Zia: Wow, wow. That’s amazing. That’s a very interesting insight. To people, who are let’s say, starting up a business, or they’re in business and they’re a bit stuck, what would be the advice you would give to them? What would you say to people who are starting out, or they’ve been in business and they’re stuck, and things are necessarily going their way?

Jim Vass: Try to get some help, because ultimately what happens if you’re stuck you’re looking at obstacles, as opposed to solutions. Everywhere you turn you see an obstacle. Sometimes you got to accept the fact that you may not be able to see something, or you need to look at something from a different perspective, and that different perspective may come from speaking to you Ed, it may come from speaking to me, it may come from speaking to a number of other people. What’s important, to keep in mind though, is too many people base a lot of their technical strategies around, or off people that they’ve heard somebody say something in the park, or a friend of a friend said this.

At the end of the day, half the time, it’s based on the half-truth and ignorance, and the rest of it, so you can’t base critical decisions on that. It’s always good to talk to different people, get different opinions, but when it comes to something that’s going to be of a strategic nature, you’ve got to speak with someone that knows what the hell they’re talking about.

Edward Zia: Wow, that’s amazing Jim. That’s really good advice. I was going to ask you as well. … as you know we’ve got a few agendas to this interview … you’ve recently joined the Cumberland Business Chamber haven’t’ you?

Jim Vass: I did, yes.

Edward Zia: What were your motives? In fact that’s where I meant you earlier on, besides networking at Parramatta Business Chamber; I’ve noticed that you’ve always been active in Business Chambers. Why is that, Jim?

Jim Vass: It’s nice to see what other businesses are doing? It’s good to network. It’s always good to network. Not only from the prospect of say as a potential for business to come our way, but it’s also useful to know who’s out there, establish relationships, and actually … part of being a good accountant or good in business is being the go-to person. If you’ve got clients that will come to you as a first port of call to say, hey look I’ve got a problem with this. They know that I may not be able to help you out, but they also know that I’m going to refer them.

If I get people coming to me saying, I’ve got this problem, do you know somebody that can help with it. It’s good to be able to say, do you know what, there’s a known quantity that I’ve spoken to, that I trust, that I can refer you to to get the help, that I can actually talk with to make sure that the person’s or the client’s needs are going to be met, as opposed to that person going and finding somebody out of the yellow pages, or the local rag that may not actually meet their requirements. That’s one of the major parts of the networking and the Chambers.

Edward Zia: The Chamber based networking has given you that network which is totally enhanced your ability to serve your own clients.

Jim Vass: Yeah, of course. Yeah, of course. I think everybody should view it like that. In any business, in any networking you’ve got to look at it as what can you give to somebody, as opposed to what you can take, because those people that attend the networking events have an agenda. They want to gain something out of the relationship. They’re the relationships that people don’t really take to those people. If you don’t really expect anything out of helping somebody, you’re just there to help them that goes far further than expecting something in return.

Edward Zia: That’s funny. As you know I help run networking events across Sydney, and we find exactly the same thing. It’s just so hard getting into peoples’ heads. Don’t go there for a free meal, go there trying to help people. Everyone preaches it but I think, Jim, only a very very slim minority actually deep down believe that message.

Jim Vass: I agree with you whole heartedly. Actions are what speak louder than words. Ultimately that’s all you can do. You can’t say that I’ve been given a giver. It’s simply a matter of your actions and so on.

Edward Zia: Actions speak louder than words, right Jim?

Jim Vass: Exactly, and the actions will not be not after 1 meeting, not after 2, but it’s what actually makes up what a person is.

Edward Zia: Their consistent pattern tells you exactly who they are.

Jim Vass: Exactly.

Edward Zia: That’s a very good insight Jim. Going back to Cumberland Chambers we actually had a business meeting that turned into an awesome entrepreneur interview. You’re actually speaking to a group of people at the Cumberland Business Chamber coming up soon aren’t you Jim?

Jim Vass: I am yes.

Edward Zia: Now we have no idea what you’re going to talk about. It’s not like this video’s being recorded and transcribed and put up in my blog that’s going to be distributed to the whole world Jim, so we’ve got a Business Chamber out in the western suburbs of Sydney, Industrial Business Chamber, what do you reckon is the right angle, Jim, to really connect with the audience on a deeper level based on your expertise?

Jim Vass: There’s a lot of things that we could talk about and at this point in time I hadn’t really even considered what I was going to talk about. I’m one of those people that can adlib very well.

Edward Zia: I noticed. You’re very good.

Jim Vass: … but when you ask me to prepare something and prepare some content I simply get, I suppose, a bit stifled. Obviously we’re going to have to have a topic for our conversation or for a presentation at the Chamber meeting. I think that one of the biggest impacts on a business … and what a lot of businesses don’t actually think about is business people go into business thinking I want be in business. Very few businesses think about how am I going to get out of this business. Very few businesses will actually think about what am I going to do … better think about the business an asset that they built, they think about the business as it’s there to provide them with a living.

I think that that probably is not a bad topic of conversation, because there’s much more to a business then just providing you with a living. It’s an asset that you build. Part of the game is to make sure that in 10 years time, or 15 years time, or 20 years time when you decide to pull up stumps that you’ve got something that you can sell and it’s going to be able to contribute to your retirement.

Edward Zia: In other words what you’re saying just to paraphrase, a great topic will be how to turn your day to day business into a powerful asset to build for your family, but you want to keep it, or sell it, you want to make it a legacy business, or you want to sell it.

Jim Vass: Yes, something like that.

Edward Zia: I think that’s a really good angle Jim. I think that’s a good angle. I’ll have to take that back to the Chamber Board and see what happens. I think it’s good. Again, I think, you’re right. I’m a marketing mentor. I know a lot of small business marketing around town. I’m not a CPA. I’m not an accountant and I don’t pretend to be one, but what I do see all the time across town is just so many people just living day to day in their business. They may as well go get a job.

Jim Vass: Very true.

Edward Zia: Do you see that lot? Do you see people in business that they should just close their business and go back to work?

Jim Vass: Most of the small businesses as well … that’s what you said. Most of them are doing nothing more than a salary which won’t help them long term. Yes, and there’s not a lot of thought that goes into it other than the fact that the day to day living. What we’ve got to try to concentrate on, what most businesses should be thinking about is, I’ve got myself into this, how am I going to get myself out of it. Many times it’s easier to get divorced than to get out of your business.

Edward Zia: Wow. Why is that? Is that because the business just integrates into your life so profoundly Jim?

Jim Vass: It’s either you can either walk away from something that’s got liabilities, which you can’t, or you got to try to extract yourself from a business relationship with a third party, which is very very difficult, unless of course you’ve got it properly documented, and all the parties make their minds meet as well. Nine times out of ten it would be easier to get a divorce, if you wanted to of course, rather than actually trying to bet out of business, because a lot of businesses don’t actually contemplate that and don’t actually plan for that.

Edward Zia: In other words, you think a great angle … which I agree with I’m paraphrasing for the sake of the interview … is that we actually speak to business owners … or you actually speak to business owners in your presentation teaching them how to turn their business into a powerful asset, one that can be sold, or even kept, or retained and passed on to future generations.

Jim Vass: Correct. I suppose one of the main things is basically how can you turn that business … if it’s valued today at $100,000.00 what can you do over the next 5 years in order to try to make it worth $500,000.00. Ultimately if you’d plan on retiring now and you’ve got car leases, and you got a loan, and everything else, and you can sell your business for $100,000.00 and then you got to pay out of the leases, you’re not going to finish up and walk away very much. Certainly you’re not going to walk away with anything substantial to put towards your retirement.

Edward Zia: You might as well just stay an employee.

Jim Vass: Yes. Whereas if you can say, I know that 5 years down the track, or 10 years down the track this is what I want to plan to try and do with my business then we’ve actually got to see about getting the business to look right into people that want potential purchases. A lot of that is having it systemized; taking the proper documentation, having everything there that is what a buyer would look at to get some sort of level of comfort when they’re purchasing something.

Edward Zia: Wow, wow. I think it’s a very very exiting topic Jim. I think you’ve given me heaps of stuff to work with, so I’ll take it back to the Chamber Board and see what I can come up with.

Jim Vass: Yes, if they want me to talk because I might put everyone to sleep – they might want somebody else.

Edward Zia: No, we want you there Jim. I was going to say, look Jim, this has been a very profound interview and I’ve got a lot out of it. I was just going to say, is there any parting advice you want to leave onto the audience.

Jim Vass: Yeah. Be nice to your accountant you might need them one day.

Edward Zia: There you go Jim. That was funny. You heard it yourself, exclusive interview with Jim Vass, the awesome businessman entrepreneur, and CPA, Accountancy firm manager, from Parramatta Sydney.

Jim, it’s been a pleasure. I just want to say thank you again and of course if you’re hearing this interview try Jim Vass on Google and check out his website you never know what goodies you will find.

Jim, on behalf of Edward Zia thank you for the interview.

Jim Vass: Thank you Ed.

WORKING SUCKS but you have to work your WAY OUT!

Working as a Corporate used to suck for me - but no more! Lots of time at home with my awesome Cats - living the life i want!

Working as a Corporate used to suck for me – but no more! Lots of time at home with my awesome Cats – living the life i want!

If you have been chewed up and spat out by the Corporate Machine I bet my heading just resonates with you and speaks your language.  Save for the odd fantastic role I had when I used to be a Corporate Marketing Manager – I had a very rough time in the workforce before I walked the Entrepreneurial Path.  From light situations of being pushed around by a boss, to being interviewed by the Australian Federal Police and facing extreme situations where my own freedom was at stake (due to illegal dealings of the company where it was proven in court and a fellow went to prison) – my working life JUST SUCKED towards the end.

After working night and day just to help some fat cat buy a bigger boat / house / trip or whatever – I started to really realize that the whole Corporate Ladder wasn’t the direction for me and I was hardly getting the results out of it I seeked.  This was especially true Post-Global Financial Crisis.  I spent my life working in this direction and despite my High Distinctions at University, a great track record and plenty of experience – I was unemployed.

The system I spent so many years working in and believing in totally let me down and I built a large part of my life on just a false reality that I now wanted little part of.  Post GFC I was nowhere near the level I was, but I KNEW that I wanted something more and wanted my own life with independance, fun and strength.  Sure, I love working hard and that is what I wanted – and in a few years of hard work, I was so proud to earn a life that I truly love.

BUT – it certainly didn’t come easy and I was stuck in a situation where I was still working to fund my way out of my job and get my original “Marketing Consulting” business going.  I was at the time “Moonlighting”.  This is an expression for basically working during the day and working at night and it’s called that because you are working in secret in “The Moonlight”.  Even today, most employers look down on this behaviour and many of us certainly do that to get our own side-businesses to the level we need so we can leave work and go into our business full-time.

The reality of this situation is that WORKING SUCKS but there is no other way at times.  If you have bills, a family or you are in a situation where you cannot take a risk without hurting people depending on you – it may take a bit of time to “Work your way out of Work”. The Awesome upside is that you can build a great life for yourself as an Entrepreneur and earn more money – but the challenge can be:

– Having to invest lots of your cash.

– Working long hours.

– Not having much Social Time.

– Juggling “Two Masters” to get to where you want.

When you are stuck in the Corporate Rat Race like I was, it’s very hard to get out immediately.  Usually you have to get your business going first (or at least to pay for yourself) before you can pull the pin and pursue your dreams full-time such as I do now.

Reiterating the above, life can be hard when you are doing this – but the good news is that it is generally temporary.  If you are working like a slave to keep your boss happy / off your back that is great! It can buy you time to get your business totally rocking so one day you can move on as per I did!

My advice if you are still at work or just started your own business? Congratulations for taking massive steps and make sure you start your business with enough money and support to get your business to the point where you can at least live off it.  You may have say 3 – 6 months to cover you when you start full-time or even are still at work – regardless, you need to build it as quickly as possible to pay your bills!

But once you do, and you have WORKED YOUR WAY OUT – life totally rocks living in a business of your own awesome creation.  So keep at it, go hard and with an intelligent Strategy & Plan – you stand great odds of making it! Of course if you are after very intelligent Marketing Strategies make sure you check out the Awesome Marketing Vault right here!

Thank you for the awesome read and keep up the fine work! Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Guy who loves Short Term Pain for a MASSIVE GAIN!

Why are Business Owners so MUCH MORE Productive than Employees?

I am also more productive working from home than in an office.  My Director of Operators holds me to account and he is highly valued!

I am also more productive working from home than in an office. My Director of Operators holds me to account and he is highly valued!

As I start writing this blog it’s literally 12:10AM – now Wednesday Morning. I am sure my critics right now are saying “Yeah –  you suck Ed, you work too hard” and my awesome fans who I totally love back (as my critics suck x x) are saying “Yes Ed, you rock and I do some late nights too!”

I am not the only one to think this as many of my awesome peers to the same – Corporate Employees don’t work as hard as us AWESOME BUSINESS OWNERS! Yes, I am sticking it to the Corporates and also my old-self when I was an employee and not as lucky and blessed like I am today.  When I was an employee (save for a few awesome jobs) – I was in some really bad environments, especially after my career turned sour post Global Financial Crisis and I was in working situations that I never would have been caught dead in during the pre-2009 “Milk and Honey Days”.

Even though I was a hard-working employee, my motivation is now 300% times that right now as I am here now at 12:19AM still writing and I will have my alarm set at 5:30AM this morning to continue my fine awesome day by visiting 4Networking Bella Vista.  Where does my energy come from? Do I like staying up late at night?

The answer is OF COURSE NOT – however, when you are doing what you truly love, you love doing it so much the fact that you are staying up just doesn’t bother you.  In fact, I find my work “Not Work” and super energizing for sure!

Comparing this to my old life as a Corporate – the excessive workload was a burden and I can understand why in hindsight.  If I was say getting pushed around and a raw deal – why on earth should I sacrifice my own personal life so Fat Cat can get Fatter and Poor Edward “Persian” Zia can work extra hard just to send my boss on a holiday.

There are some exceptions to my “Attack” on the Corporate World.  I was very lucky to work for an amazing man by the name of Mike Davey from Wrest Point Casino.  This job as the highlight of my career and he was an amazing boss.  Under his leadership, the long hours were just great and I loved it! So even though I was an “Employee” there I was getting great professional development that made it worthwhile.

I think as well in being a Business Owner you get to KEEP ALL THE REWARDS.  You aren’t doing it to keep your paltry wage – but you know the more work you put in, the better your own circumstances will be in terms of supporting yourself and your family.  Ultimately – as a Business Owner / Entrepreneur the buck does stop with you – but it is also equally created by you.

My advice on this one? If you are in business and you aren’t full the “Super Motivation” it’s time to stop and ask questions.  When did you start falling out of love with your business and how can you get back in the zone? It’s really important that you do.  If you are a jaded employee like I once was – don’t make my mistake and sit there complaining.  Either get out of there or start working on a plan to do so! Your life and wallet / purse will thank you one day when you kick butt!

And of course, if you love kicking butt – make sure you check out my Online Small Business Marketing Course THE AWESOME MARKETING VAULT! Full of great tips, tools and insights to help!

Thank you on behalf of Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor who finished writing this article at 12:30AM – February 26th 2014.  Yeah!

Poverty Vs. Prosperity: How I LOST my home and it was MY FAULT!

My Two Awesome Staff Members "Pandy" & "Miffy".  Pandy and I had nowhere to live once and never again!

My Two Awesome Staff Members “Pandy” & “Miffy”. Pandy and I had nowhere to live once and never again!

This article is one of the hardest I have written about myself and some of my own darkest moments. As a successful entrepreneur, who is very well educated from earning 6-Figures in my 20’s – I never ever thought these experiences would happen to me.  None of us I am sure go through Primary School, High School or even perhaps University thinking one day “I may be homeless”, “I will be a single mother”, “I will be fighting for my life”, “I won’t have a job” and “I will have to ask the government for welfare support”.

During 2013 – which was the most awesome redefining year in my life, I saw many extreme situations.  Some situations where an awesome person doing the right thing suffers from cancer and you think “Why did they deserve that?” to people that have made bad decisions and they ended up being caught in a trap of their own creation.

I am talking about myself in the latter unfortunately.  Even though 2013 was when I turned it around, I was dealing with the fallout of some previous decisions. It was completely my fault – hence putting my poor decision making to the world is hardly an easy task.

In my experience there are many that choose “Poverty” over “Prosperity”.  This may seem totally insane on the surface but in my time of working with hundreds of people and seeing many crazy things on the streets of Sydney – many have made their choice of which way they want their life to go.  I made some massive mistakes before 2013 – and the fallout came to hit me that year.

I once made the choice for Poverty.  I got complacent, became a fat cat, decided to take the “Easy / Comfortable” path and NOT do what I knew was right.  Rightfully I did lose everything (except my health which was great).  If you have read my other articles I totally stuffed up my life at the age of 29 / 30 (I am 35 as I write this article).  In short, I didn’t treat my fiance too well, I took everything for granted and I was ripe for picking in the Global-Financial Crisis.  Over the coming years as I rebuilt my life – even though today I have some great success, even in 2013 (which was the awesome turnaround year of my life) – I made some very bad choices.

Probably not quite really bad choices, but in 2013 – it was the year I “Payed” for the bad choices I started making some years ago.  Even though my business was taking off, rocking and I was so lucky to be helping people and living the dream – there was some “Back Taxes” I still had coming.  They weren’t like “Big Mistakes” – but I didn’t deal with problems in my personal life when I should have.  I found myself and my poor cat (Pandy) without a home at one point – strangely enough while my business was rocking.  I had days back to back with clients and I was using every mental technique / military discipline in the book to keep myself on track while I found a place to live that was awesome and safe for awesome Pandy cat and myself.  I haven’t quite told this story till now – it was very painful and extremely embarrassing.  Especially as a “Persian Man” who is very success proud who is in my position of leadership and training.

Put yourself in my position – or perhaps you have been in my position at some point.  You wake up one day not having a place to live and you think “Say What? How did this happen?”

What I find interesting about this situation is that I was 100% to blame for what happened to me.  It wasn’t anyone else and earlier in 2013 I was in some extreme situations as my relationship was breaking down at home.  It was my fault in that instead of dealing with problems years ago, I didn’t do what I needed and found myself in a much worse position.  I am not proud of what happened to me.  Being Persian, Post-Graduate from Monash University (Caulfield) and my Government achievements – it is embarrassing to myself writing such an article.

However, my shame needs to come out in the open.  I had many great friends that had high levels of training that found themselves between homes last year – sometimes questioning where they are going to be sleeping the day after like I was.  One of my friends had children too! So she got it much worse than me when she had no where to live.  I feel that telling my story in this public forum may give some context on others going through what I have had.

Many brilliant formerly 6-Figure income earners have been through what I have been through and much worse! I solved my problem quite quickly which was good – but it most certainly messed with my head and even to this day the pain of not having somewhere to live still sits with me (even though my life is rocking now).

It was a very dual-faced existence for some parts of 2013.  On one hand I was this successful entrepreneur on the surface and in my own personal life, it fell apart at the seams.  It took me some time to deal with what happened and I keep looking back thinking “What on earth did I do?” , “Where did I go wrong?”, “2013 was my best year – where did I drop the ball?”.

Hindsight with it’s awesome 20 / 20 vision told me something quite funny and liberating in a way.  I didn’t make the mistake in 2013 that left me without a home.  It happened several years earlier.  2013 was just the year my poor decisions in the past caught up with me.  Instead of having some difficult conversions earlier and working out a plan that would have been great for everyone – I CREATED AN EXTREME SITUATION where snap decisions were made.  This led to my poor cat and I with no stable housing! It’s 100% my fault I was in such a position – so I made it 100% my responsibility to get my life back on track in awesome style!

I found housing quite quickly of course – but I still look back thinking “Wow – that was a great learning experience!” – how did I choose Poverty over Prosperity and put myself in that position?

In short, 2013 was a great year for me and I was living in total Prosperity.  BUT say 2009 to 2012 I behaved with a real “Poverty” mindset of “I suck”, “I don’t deserve a decent life” and “I am worthless” (especially after being unemployed for so long).

In 2013 I turned my thinking towards prosperity and started thinking “I work hard, I deserve to be paid well”, “I help people and I deserve to be helped”, “God Loves me and he isn’t out to get me”.  This shift in thinking was instrumental in turning my life around and setting things on the right path.

I am so blessed with my life right now and it’s the result of tons of Prosperity / Team Abundance thinking and I love it! Your situation may not be as extreme as mine – or mine my pale into insignificance towards what you are facing.  I am actually not complaining about anything that happened to me – I kept my health, my skills and even though it was hard for me – I know the awesome JC upstairs was sending me “Reinforcements” and helping me through the situation.  I have heard some very good expressions in that “You take one step, God takes the next”.  Seems to have some truth in it in my case.

Please, if you are making my own mistake and have “Poverty / Negative / You should be Poor Thinking” get rid of it ASAP!  You may wind up fat, poor and homeless one day like a certain Persian Marketing Mentor once did! You will end up then a really fit, lean, ambitious Persian man who owns cats writing articles one day x x

So replace it right now with awesome “Can Do”, “I Deserve” thinking and back it up with tons of awesome hard work and a smart Business & Marketing Strategy.  I promise that if you do that, the game will so more go your way and you will take yourself too awesome success!

And speaking of Awesome Success – check out the Awesome Marketing Vault – One Top Online Course full of powerhouse materials!

Thank you from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor who Loves Abundance Thinking and his 2 x Cats Now!

Free Speech: I LOVE it and many HATE it. Why?

This is the best ever quote on Free Speech from Winston Churchill.  So few people claim it, but only stick to it when people agree with them!

This is the best ever quote on Free Speech from Winston Churchill. So many claim to agree with it, but only stick to it when people agree with them!

Ricky Gervais from a Political Perspective is a massive inspiration of mine.  Even though we probably sit on opposite sides of politics (I am quite a right leaning capitalist) – I love a lot of his views.  Even though I agree with most of them, some I don’t – but because he is so awesome, reasonable and logical I think it’s great.

My business is rocking right now and I am so grateful for the success.  Even though that is going great my personal life I am quite proud of now (it sucked in 2013!) – January 2014 was quite emotional for some parts of it.

As part of upgrading my own Small Business Marketing – I started my “Finally Proper” Online Campaign about 2 – 3 months ago.  This has been outstanding and I have grown my business already from it by at least 5%! My Online Strategy has been based on many things, one in particular being “Blogging”.

This is proven to work! And my proof? You are reading it now!

As part of successful blogging you got to be quite expressive and take a view.  I have started doing that and as a Marketing & Business Mentor working the beat of Sydney – I started talking about my experiences.

Be it people ripping me off, trying too, ripping off my friends / clients or awesome people and helping them celebrate their wins – I am the first to call it accurately.  Of course when it comes to positive praise I will talk about that great person and when it comes to critique – I will never name or single out a given person in this forum.  Even though part of me would like to do that (and their crimes easily justify such a response) – my blog is not a weapon, it’s an educational tool aimed at helping awesome people deal with scum-bags in business.

When I started mostly in January 2014 taking a stand on my views, I have had most people come out as active supporters which is great.  I am so blessed with the response.

However, there was a few reapers in the shadows which didn’t like what I have to say. I have had several abusive phone calls, lots of back-stabbing and quite a few aggressive emails.  I received one email from a person that was incredibly aggressive – but when I saw them at a function, they were my best friend pretending everything was great (coward!).  I have had people that don’t like what I say – and have with their limited power tried to silence my voice and silence my blog.

It really makes me think about “Free Speech” and at the start of the year – the emails and phone calls used to really upset me.  I am now over it and my writing has helped so many – I am like “Bring it on” with these anti-free speech characters who are trying to shut me down.  If anything – I haven’t heard from them all in a while, so yay!

Going back to what my awesome idol Sir Winston Churchill said about Free Speech.  I don’t think many people believe in it.  I have had lots of abuse, people trying to shut down my blog, on Facebook – this mean “Positive Abundant Coach” who I was always the first one liking his posts and comments (only to unfriend me when I disagreed with him) – all show their total disrespect for what makes our democratic society of Australia just awesome.  I am sure if you ask them “Sure, I believe in Free Speech” – but really they don’t.

They just want people to just agree with everything they say – and in that moment they love “Free Speech”.  But the moment they get disagreed with – they are all up in arms trying to suppress the other voice.  Pathetic in my book – and they are totally Un-Australian.

I get told things every day I don’t like.  I hear things in the media I don’t agree with.  I even got some nasty complaints aimed at me because of my blog.  But guess what? I LOVE IT! Because it is the right to free speech and if I have the right to share my views – then they have the right to share theirs.

Bringing it back to running an Awesome Small Business & Entrepreneurialism too – it’s great being able to speak your mind! Not only for “Ideological Democratic Reasons” – but for pragmatic business reasons.  You can call bad behaviour, be straight up, take a controversial point of view (which you know you are correct in) and put in out there without fear of retribution or retailation.

That is why I love Australia! We get the opportunity to do that and it rocks.

And speaking of Free Speech – if you want to hear plenty of my views on Small Business Marketing taken to the Awesome Level – make sure you check out my Awesome Marketing Vault right here! You will love it – and yeah Free Speech!

Thank you for the great read – you are totally awesome and as much as I love free speech – if you hate my blog no more abusive emails! Please x x (Okay you can send some, I got to put my money where my mouth is on Free Speech).  Have a great day or night everyone!

Happiness from Pain: The Inspiring Story of Khadine Aharon’s Entrepreneurial Wins!

Khadine Aharon - Built herself a top quality of life against a great deal of pain and suffering. A woman who truly walks her talk!

Khadine Aharon – Built herself a top quality of life against a great deal of pain and suffering. A woman who truly walks her talk!

“Bed Ridden”, “Lost my Business”, “Life Changed”, “No Help”, “All Alone” – were some extreme statements I heard when I was lucky to interview this amazing Alternative Health Practitioner by the name of Khadine Aharon.  I have known her for about 2 years and in the Secondary CBD of Sydney “Parramatta” – she is well known in the business and local scene for her great work.

Colour Therapies, Quit Smoking Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming – she is trained in multiple arts to help people heal and recover.  If you know Khadine in the real world, she is a very sharp, logical and pragmatic operator with a heart of gold – and a wit of steel.

In getting to know her backstory – I had no idea of the pain and suffering she has been through in her life.  Very extreme and it’s amazing the quality of life she has created for herself.  Like our awesome interviews, feel free to watch the video or if you are more of a words person – read the transcript to hear her magnificence in action.

If you like what you hear of course and want to kick butt with more Awesome Small Business Marketing – check out my Awesome Marketing Vault! A top Online Course full of stuff perfect for Entrepreneurs!

Thank you from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and fan of Khadine’s Inspirational Story against the odds!

http://youtu.be/pGDHdHqaf-8

Edward: Hello everyone and welcome to our awesome entrepreneur interview. This is me Edward Zia with the amazingly critical and very thoughtful Khadine Aharon, say hello to the audience Khadine.

Khadine: Hi everybody, how are you all doing today?

Edward: It’s a great one, we’re doing this on a Monday morning so Khadine and I are both bright eyed and bushy tailed. Is that a fair comment Khadine?

Khadine: Almost, had a good day at the expo yesterday so getting bright eyed.

Edward: There you go, so you were at the expo yesterday what were you doing there yesterday Khadine?

Khadine: I was promoting new services at a health and well-being expo so that was pretty exciting and fun.

Edward: Very nice I guess we just dive straight into. Khadine I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for must be 2 or 3 years now is it?

Khadine: Yeah probably 2.

Edward: About 2 years, we’ve got a lot of shared friends, we’ve caught up on many times and I’ve always liked Khadine from day 1. She’s … I don’t want to jump into her story but Khadine is this amazing health person and the reason I want to really speak to her today is I think she’s got a very amazing, compelling story to tell one that’s very inspirational, one that’s full of lows but full of massive highs as well. Khadine tell us a bit about you, what do you do for a living?

Khadine: Well most people would know me as a quit smoking specialist but I’m actually phasing the quit smoking down to a much lower priority so I’m bringing other services that are a bit out of the box into the business that really confuse people but are actually really interesting and exciting when people allow themselves to experience them. I’ve brought in colored light healing which is a light frequency for healing.

Edward: Wow.

Khadine: At the end of the day we’re all made of energy, we’re all vibrations so it makes use of light frequency to heal and you get amazing results which is what I was using at the expo yesterday and people couldn’t get enough of … they couldn’t believe they could actually feel the different colors of the light. Then I’m using tapping EFT which is a way to release past traumas, belief systems that are holding you back, sabotaging patterns, managing your pain effectively without drugs. It’s fantastic stuff and in April I’ve got a color workshop coming up which will be really exciting.

Edward: Color, wow. You’ve been a quit smoking specialist.

Khadine: Yeah.

Edward: Going back to that how would you get someone to stop smoking?

Khadine: Well just I can’t get someone to stop smoking I give them the tools that they need to become a nonsmoker at the end of the day. For someone to quit smoking they have to be passionate about wanting to quit smoking and they have to follow what I say. If people follow what I say then they have about a 95 percent success rate, if they don’t follow what I say then they don’t have that same success rate. They can still be successful but they’re more likely to slip up. I use a combination of hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming and education about what people aren’t told about cigarettes.

Edward: Wow, fair enough. What’s this color energy work that you’re doing? To Persian marketing mentor who lives in Inner West Sydney color and energy well that sounds a bit out there, tell us all about it.

Khadine: Yeah a lot of people think it’s out there but it’s actually been around for a very long time, even for myself I started using color therapy 20 years ago when I had my massage therapy and reflexology business. I learned it as part of my reflexology course. It was around decades before that to use the light in Europe for healing, it can be used to heal burns. One of the latest researchers was a doctor in America who used it on a little girl who had very severe burns but she had no skin left to graft and they managed to heal her burns with the color lamp without any scar tissue, incredible.

Edward: You’re saying this color therapy caused her to regenerate lost skin?

Khadine: That’s right, that’s right. In Europe particularly in countries where there’s not much sunlight they use it a lot to compensate for people getting depressed due to lack of sunlight so it’s quite popular there. A lot of skincare places in Australia are bringing in forms of color light for skin regeneration and things like that. it can be used for multiple things like for example I have a friend he’s a builder and he pulled a muscle in his arm one day so we used it that night and the next day he’s perfect, he didn’t need any other treatment and he could go back to work not an issue.

Edward: Wow, so it was a bit like Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid doing that move on Daniel Larusso at the end and fixed him immediately.

Khadine: Yeah pretty much if it fixed him immediately and you can see those results but it works on all levels of a person’s being, it works on a physical level, it works on an emotional level, and it’s quite common for people to have an emotional release during or just after the session. It’s very holistic and you never know what changes you’re going to get because you’re treating the whole body and giving it an environment where it can heal itself.

Edward: Wow, it’s funny you say that because as you know I help run 4Networking Australia and I’m on the case center and I’ve been reading a lot of UK ads and this … I know being in Sydney, I think Sydney has to be one of the most sunlit countries in the world I think or cities and they were selling light boxes in the UK.

Khadine: Really?

Edward: I’m not kidding you Khadine but what I was, I don’t know where the ad is but this business was selling light boxes in the UK. You actually put a light box on your desk to shine this certain frequencies over you to stop you going insane during winter.

Khadine: Exactly, it’s the same thing and you can even get special showerheads now where you can have color therapy through a shower as you’re having you shower. It subjects color light on you while you have your shower, yeah.

Edward: I presume you can get color therapy modified light bulbs.

Khadine: I’m not sure, I think the LLD.

Edward: Yes.

Khadine: Yeah, same as some spars you buy that have color filters that you can use.

Edward: Wow, amazing. This technology, this color therapy can be used to create really good regeneration in humans.

Khadine: Regeneration, helps with moods, it can help with anything like once when I was working with my students when I still taught massage therapy I got them to use it on my hand because I had this rash on my hand and you could just see the color change right in front of you. It went from red to almost white in minutes. On the flip side I had another client once and she came in and she was feeling really goaty because her friend had just passed away and she felt like she hadn’t been there for her. By the end of the session her whole demeanor just changed. She went from being really enclosed in herself and looking really depressed and by the end she was all happy and she’s like I can’t believe it Khadine I just feel so light, all that guilt is gone now. It’s sort of been, it just seems like it’s been taken away, yeah. She was up standing tall, smiling, feeling great about herself.

Edward: Wow.

Khadine: It really does work on all levels and you just never know what you’re going to get at the end of the session or during the session it’s always a lovely surprise and it makes it really interesting. It’s great work.

Edward: You got me interested …

Khadine: Energy is everything at the end of the day because we’re all made of energy at the end of the day we’re all energy, that’s why you can measure your heart rate, measure your brain function, your nervous system relies on energy, we are all energy. Every cell in our bodies is energy and every cell is mainly made of space so we are energy at the end of the day so when you work with energetic type of things like light then sometimes you get the most results, sometimes it’s the subtle things that get the results.

Edward: Wow.

Khadine: Yeah, super duper.

Edward: You’re saying everything is made of energy so this …

Khadine: Everything is made of it and even the wooden table we’re sitting on.

Edward: Is made of energy.

Khadine: Has a vibration that measurable scientifically, a rock has a vibration that’s measurable scientifically.

Edward: Wow.

Khadine: Yeah and Peter Brock knew that because just like I used the quartz crystal in my color torch Peter Brock used quartz crystal in his engines when he was racing to make them run more efficiently. Your quartz crystal watch won’t run without a quartz crystal in it, mobile phones they have crystals in them to make them run.

Edward: Really, there you go. This isn’t hocus pocus this has already been embraced by the …

Khadine: It’s all scientific it’s just not widely pushed out there for people to know and to acknowledge.

Edward: Why don’t you think it’s been pushed out there?

Khadine: Well honestly because if people have more access to things like these they need less drugs and drug companies rule so we could have a whole discussion really about what I think about the health system with drug companies but that would be a whole other interview and a lot of discussion.

Edward: Absolutely, I mean the pharmaceutical … being an ex-industrial chemist may I say that was my undergrad I mean the pharmaceutical companies certainly aren’t shot of their critics.

Khadine: No, they have a lot of power in all western countries and even in developing countries about what people have access to and what they don’t have access to and we are taught so much information that’s actually not true about health and well-being and we’re not provided access to services or products that we need. I can even say that in regards to my own health like having chronic fatigue all the latest research says that if you have a B12 injection 2 to 3 times a week it’s fantastic for chronic fatigue but I can’t get a doctor that will give me an injection 2 to 3 times a week.

Edward: Really?

Khadine: No, because it doesn’t meet the criteria set up by the AMA for the government to approve but those standards are set for people who are actually low in B12 not for someone who actually is using it to treat a condition.

Edward: Right, so in other words because it’s not approved for your condition you can’t access that technology.

Khadine: That’s right.

Edward: Right, so going back a bit you said you got chronic fatigue.

Khadine: Yes, I’ve got chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

Edward: What does that actually mean? I mean I know you’ve told me personally but for the audience what does chronic fatigue mean?

Khadine: Chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are very, very similar, they’re both neuro-immune disorders so they affect your immune system and just speaking about chronic fatigue specifically it’s not like you’re just tired it’s like a really sickening type of exhaustion. Certainly when I first got it I lost my business, I couldn’t function anymore. I went from working a 50 hour week to hardly being able to get out of bed. I had to give up everything and then I became really sensitive to foods because it affects your immune system, I got a virus in my eyes which affected my eyesight because my immune system was so affected.

My pain tolerance which were really high crashed so I’d had these tendon damage from massaging that I hadn’t realized that I had and then all of a sudden I had this massive pain and couldn’t even chop vegetables because all of a sudden I could feel the pain now because my whole system just crashed.

Edward: Wow, when did this happen? I mean I’ve known you about 2 years now Khadine I didn’t know that. When did this all happen, what were you doing in your old life until this day that it happened?

Khadine: Well it happened when I was 25.

Edward: Right now you’re about 26, 27?

Khadine: Yeah right, no 42.

Edward: Really?

Khadine: Yeah.

Edward: You age like a machine.

Khadine: Yeah machine. Yeah, most people don’t realize that I have a chronic health condition and that I live with pain 24 hours a day every single day of the week or any of those things because I don’t really focus on that. You focus on those things and that sort of increases that for you I really believe. Yeah I was 25 when I first got the chronic fatigue and then it just hit me pretty much overnight and all of a sudden I was having anxiety attacks in the middle of massages for clients and I just couldn’t function anymore.

Edward: You were a masseuse in your old life?

Khadine: I was a massage practitioner. Masseuses work in brothels.

Edward: Sorry.

Khadine: Masseuse is old terminology.

Edward: Is it, my bad, I’m sorry.

Khadine: A lot of people confuse that even some organizations confuse that still but yeah.

Edward: They’ll call an actual massage practitioner implying that they deliver certain services.

Khadine: Generally people who refer to masseuses do extras when they massage.

Edward: Okay, wow.

Khadine: Either massage therapist or massage practitioner.

Edward: Got it, got it. I should be, my dad’s probably going to listen to this interview and he was actually a massage practitioner so he’ll probably be quite upset with me once he hears this. Sorry dad, you know I love you. Wow, and we’ve … so what happened? Were you just having a normal day the day before and then, well what actually happened? Were you just sitting there one moment and boom?

Khadine: Yeah pretty much, yeah pretty much all of a sudden I just crashed physically and emotionally. The difference for me was because mine wasn’t just chronic fatigue it was the fibromyalgia type so the you have, you primary symptom is pain, extreme pain because your nervous system is on hyper arousal all the time so you feel pain 10 times the norm.

Edward: Hyper arousal I presume it means you system is extra sensitive?

Khadine: Extra sensitive, it’s always over the top. You become more sensitive to light, more sensitive to sound, more sensitive to touch, more sensitive with all your senses because your nervous system is overly sensitive all the time.

Edward: Are you feeling pain right now?

Khadine: Always.

Edward: Yeah and I find that amazing and you’ve been saying this is that you just look like a normal happy person, you actually look quite healthy.

Khadine: Yes and that’s one of the issues people with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue often face is they look so normal quite often. My friends will know when I’m having a rough time if I need to have a sleep because they know me well and they can, they’re used to judging me but generally people don’t know. Unlike somebody who has say a terminal illness you don’t get the empathy but the reality is some people with chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia their symptoms can be actually worse than someone with a terminal illness. There’s no end date, like I’m very fortunate that I already worked in an industry which supported looking outside the box so if I hadn’t looked outside the box for my own treatment and just relied on medical profession I’d still be stuck in bed.

Edward: Wow, so that was through breaking convention and accessing these different technologies that you’re able to actually lead a relatively normal life?

Khadine: That’s right and taking responsibility for my own health and educating myself about my own health and not just relying on doctors to tell me because doctors actually don’t know much about my health conditions at the end of the day.

Edward: Why do you think that is Khadine?

Khadine: One, Australia is a bit behind when it comes to fibromyalgia in particular. A lot of doctors don’t actually know what it is or what the proper criteria is. I’ve certainly had doctors tell me I don’t have it because they’ve got the wrong criteria in their head. I’ve had a doctor tell me …

Edward: They’re on the wrong Wikipedia page were they?

Khadine: They were, they were, they said you don’t have fibromyalgia because you’ve got pain in more than one area, you’ve got polymyalgia. I’m like no I don’t have that because that’s a rheumatological condition I have a neurological condition and the criteria for fibromyalgia is you have to have pain in all 4 quadrants of your body so I definitely have fibromyalgia.

Edward: Yeah.

Khadine: Here was trying to put me on cortisone injections and anti-inflammatories which are seriously detrimental to your body.

Edward: Yeah.

Khadine: Yeah, ridiculous. I had another doctor tell me not to come back because she didn’t believe there was anything wrong because there was nothing in the blood tests but there’s nothing in the blood tests that really show for chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia generally.

Edward: This is crazy isn’t it?

Khadine: Yeah its nuts.

Edward: It’s just amazing and I mean I remember talking personally as well and I think I may have told you this story but years ago, I mean obviously I was wounded when I worked for the government but after I actually had a car accident and I got a serious case of whip lash. What happened was, this was before I understood even what chiro was, I’m not a massive believer in chiro and I was getting migraines 3 times a week and all that and I went to a doctor and he prescribed me, guess what he prescribed to cure my injury from a car accident?

Khadine: It would have been anti-inflammatory, steroids or antidepressants I’d imagine.

Edward: It was actually anti-inflammatory to help with my stomach pain. It’s like he just paid no attention to actually what happened and I remember after 1 year of heavy chiro it just changed my life. It’s funny I guess, I mean obviously we’ve said the P word being pharmaceutical and the D word being doctor really why do you think there’s this level of misinformation? You and I have both had obvious experiences in this area. Why do you think that is Khadine?

Khadine: I think at the end of the day it comes down to money and who has the power. If you look at who has the power in this world, not just in this country it comes down to pharmaceutical companies, it comes down to bankers and it comes down to making weaponry at the end of the day. They’re the 3 high money earners in the world when you start to pull it apart. There’s a fourth one but I can’t remember it at the top of my head maybe you know it but when you pull economics apart that’s where the money is in the world and that’s where … Countries like America can’t afford not to be at war because then they wouldn’t be selling weaponry at the end of the day. That’s where the crappiness of the world comes in, there’s a whole other big discussion.

Edward: Yeah, I think Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock are on their way they’re going to join us in the interview aren’t they?

Khadine: Yeah.

Edward: A bit of Fahrenheit or a supersize …

Khadine: The information is out there, that’s the wonder of the internet I guess you can access this information so it’s not just conspiracy theory when you actually look at it and you pull it apart. Certainly when it comes to drug companies and who has the power over what we can access there is no question about that because there has been many people say who have had cures for cancer and they’re all shut down. We had that doctor in Perth not long ago he’s retired now and he had amazing results with people without chemotherapy, he used a machine that created a frequency which the cancer cells didn’t like. He injected a substance which cools off the glycogen that cancer cells feed off and he got great results but he was shut down because why, he’s getting results and there’s no money for drug companies and medical companies if people can get cured so easily. Better off to treat it like a chronic illness that they’re going to have to manage for a few years.

Edward: Yeah and I think relaying it directly to health I was a big fan … I mean as you know I used to have big problems with my weight, eating problems, very common for posttraumatic stress disorder as you know which I’ve had.

Khadine: Yeah.

Edward: I remember watching Super-Size Me, have you seen that film?

Khadine: Yes.

Edward: The audience out there if you haven’t seen Super-Size Me it’s a great film, it’s directed by Morgan Spurlock and basically it’s him just taking down the fast food industry. Is that a fair comment you think Khadine?

Khadine: Yeah that was pretty interesting actually.

Edward: Yeah and I remember what resonated with me was that when I worked in America and I was in America for quite a while here and I there and I remember you would go to these fast food franchises and in Australia you don’t get American fat. Have you ever been to America?

Khadine: No.

Edward: Okay, you do not … you get American fat, that is not Australian fat, you do not get them here. I would go in day in and day out to McDonald’s, I don’t want to just pick on McDonald’s here but they go in to all these fast food franchises and they just, they must do at least 20,000 kilojoules a day these guys.

Khadine: Wow.

Edward: I mean bringing it back to yourself the reason I was sort of going on that arch is that it’s … you can definitely see it’s just money. Why would someone like McDonald’s want to sell less?

Khadine: That’s right.

Edward: If selling, if looking after their health means they make less money I guess what’s going to give first?

Khadine: Well that’s exactly right and sometimes health isn’t about giving drugs. Another example I can give particularly when it relates to posttraumatic stress and depression is most doctors I think we can safely say will prescribe antidepressants if someone is depressed. However what’s really common in people who have posttraumatic stress is that they have an imbalance of hormones because of that stress. Typically and I’ll be a bit technical with my wording, you have a stress hormone called cortisol and that floods your brain when you have ongoing stress, when you have traumatic stress and that reduces your grey matter, affects your thinking.

Then what happens when you get too much of that stress hormone you have another hormone that’s related to your fight or flight responses and the shortened version is DHEA so we just call it that, which goes really low. When that’s really low you get very depressed.

Edward: Such as how I used to suffer myself last year.

Khadine: Yes, but how many doctors actually test for that? They don’t because to test properly for that you need a saliva test. If you want to do it through a blood test you have to have a blood test 3 times throughout the day at different times but the most effective way is through a saliva test which is not covered by Medicare. A saliva test will tell you where those hormones are at and then the doctor can make a prescription specific to your needs which I had in the past but the prescription costs me $60 for a month’s supply so a lot of people can’t afford that or they don’t see the priority of paying that. At that stage I couldn’t get off my couch.

Edward: Wow.

Khadine: One course of hormones and I’ve never felt that way since.

Edward: That course of hormones changed everything for you?

Khadine: It was a game changer for me, hormones, but how many doctors will actually say you’re really depressed let’s check your hormones.

Edward: No they never do, they just … I mean it’s funny you say that because I mean you know my condition, I might as well just to make it clear to the audience I suffer from battlefield post-traumatic stress disorder left over from my government days.

Khadine: Yeah.

Edward: You know my condition well and last year, I mean it’s 2014 now February but in 2013 I suffered a lot, I had some big issues come to me but I never ever, ever went to a doctor because I knew what was going to happen.

Khadine: That’s right.

Edward: I knew I was … I thought I’d rather sit here and terrorize myself because I knew if I walked in to a doctor I’d walk out with some antidepressants and I knew I’d be an antidepressant junkie 2 months later.

Khadine: Yeah, and they’re very hard to get off and there’s so many other options which is one of the reasons why I’ve started doing the tapping of the EFT in the business now because you can get rid of that trauma really easily without re-traumatizing someone and you see the results pretty much straightaway, it’s really exciting.

Edward: I remember you actually were one of the key characters that gave me some advice to work through that process myself and I remember what you told me is these primary … these weren’t quite the words but maybe if you can repeat what you said if you can remember but you basically told me Edward relieve it don’t just block it.

Khadine: No.

Edward: You gave me some advice around that, not relieve it but it was like don’t deny it Edward.

Khadine: Yes.

Edward: Anyway the message I got from you was don’t deny it Edward, explore it and become part of it is basically what you told me. Maybe I’m … anyway that advice worked really well but what were you actually meant to tell me that I misinterpreted?

Khadine: What I would say to people who have experienced trauma is you don’t need to keep it in a box. When you keep it in a box …

Edward: That’s what you said.

Khadine: … and internalizes it affects you physically and you might not realize how it’s affecting you on a physical level and that there are ways without having to rehash the story which can be traumatizing that you can actually release the trauma. I can talk about a client in reference for that if you like who’s happy for me to talk about her story.

Edward: Please, I’d love to hear it.

Khadine: She’s happy for me to write about her story. I have a client who has Parkinson’s disease.

Edward: Michael J. Fox’s disease.

Khadine: Most people wouldn’t associate that with trauma.

Edward: Really? I thought it was genetic.

Khadine: Well I’ll tell you the story of my client and you can start to think about it for yourself about how trauma might actually affect a physical being. My client when she first started to see me she used to shake violently, constantly, it’d be very rare for her not to shake. After 3 sessions of working on past traumatic events she hardly ever shakes anymore. If she does it’s only if she’s had something that’s stressed her out or another traumatic episode happened to her but she’ll shake maybe for half an hour to an hour and then it would stop. It’s never gone back to shaking constantly again. She used to go to the toilet 9 times a night she’d be waking up to go to the toilet and now she sleeps through her whole night.

Edward: Wow that would be life changing.

Khadine: Yeah, she used to believe that she was going to die at 60 so she had stopped planning her life because she was about to turn 60. We pulled that apart and she thought it was about a premonition that she had and we pulled it apart and it was actually something her mum told her as a child and she’d taken it on at a deep level but not remembered that her mum actually told her that.

Edward: What, her mother said you’ll probably die at 60?

Khadine: You’ll die at 60 because you had this condition as a child and it damaged your heart so you’ll be lucky to make it 60 but yeah 60 will be your limit.

Edward: Wow.

Khadine: We exposed that and released the trauma around that and reseal her memory about that and that she’s turned 60 now and she’s looking forward to living till 80s and 90s, she’s planning life and she’s living life again.

Edward: Wow.

Khadine: I’ve seen her 6 sessions and that’s just some of the results with her. That’s made a massive impact on her life and her condition of Parkinson’s. She even broke up with her boyfriend because she’s so embarrassed about her jaw shaking so we worked on that, feelings of anxiety, embarrassment and now she hardly feels any sort of discomfort when that happens and she doesn’t try to hide it anymore and so her jaw doesn’t shake as much anymore, she hasn’t got the anxiety associated with that.

Edward: Wow, so you were able to treat or unlock some of her old painful memories that’s greatly enriched her quality of life?

Khadine: Yeah, what the tapping or the EFT does is it works on where that emotion or experience is held on to the body and it allows that to release. The philosophy behind the tapping is that when we have an event it creates a block in our energy system because remember we’re all energy, we’re all made of vibration and that when you focus on that issue and you tap around that issue then you release the blockage. When you release that blockage then it allows for those emotions to also go.

With this client we worked on a very specific traumatic event, one that she blamed her Parkinson’s for and I caught up with her 3 weeks later to see how she was doing she couldn’t even remember what we worked on. We’d worked on it so effectively it had totally gone out of her psyche, she wasn’t even thinking about that event anymore. I had to remind her, I’m like we worked on this and she’s like I don’t even think about that anymore where before it was a constant thing in her mind, this traumatic thing. She thought about the person that was involved and she’s like I can’t even get any emotion come up around that person anymore.

Edward: Wow.

Khadine: That was one longer session working on that one traumatic event.

Edward: Wow, so you were able to effectively treat a Parkinson’s by dealing with these deep routed traumas.

Khadine: Well I don’t know that I’m treating the Parkinson’s but I’m certainly … by addressing the past traumas it’s certainly improving her health. I won’t say that I’m treating the Parkinson’s because we don’t specifically look at how can we help your Parkinson’s but we’re looking at what traumas she’s had, what stresses are in her life and doing our best to remove those and address those and pull back the layers of her onion and the benefits of that is that her health improves.

Edward: Wow.

Khadine: Yeah.

Edward: There’s one thing I was going to say I get with you Khadine we’ve spoken about this before you’ve got a razor sharp perception. I don’t know what it is but whenever I’m in front of you I actually feel quite insecure. I feel like your razor sharp wit which is generations beyond my own is just scanning me up and down, it’s like you could see right through me and I love it. I think it’s great. I mean it’s funny to say but where did your razor sharp perception come from, have you always been like this, how did you get I suppose perceptive? You make even an ex-operative like me feel uncomfortable. I hope you never become a cop, I hope you never become a cop Khadine.

Khadine: Honestly it’s not something I really think about. It’s just, I guess I would just put on my practitioner hat and I’d go with the flow and I guess all my life experiences and then all my experiences in working with natural therapies and teaching massage for 12 years and then becoming a social worker and having all that other knowledge behind me it really adds to what I can perceive and what I can understand for what’s happening for an individual. Because I’ve had so much happen in my own life, I’ve had a very eventful life to say the least I can relate, nothing surprises me at the end of the day. People can’t surprise me, nothing is too shocking for me so I find it easy to relate to whatever is happening for somebody. It’s easy for me to come up with little gems that they’re not aware about just by watching their responses, I know when I’ve triggered something.

Edward: I was going to say and we’ve spoken about this before you were a social worker.

Khadine: I was, I was.

Edward: Tell us about that, I mean I still find that story fascinating, what is a social worker, what did you do?

Khadine: Well before I became a social worker I was actually in the community sector probably for 10 years. I was on a management committee at a women’s health center for 10 years.

Edward: Wow, on the main streets of Sydney?

Khadine: At a women’s health center Parramatta.

Edward: Wow.

Khadine: Yeah, yeah. That was a great experience. While I wasn’t well enough to work I still kept myself busy reeducating myself and volunteering in community organizations quite a fair bit. Again a lot of experience there and once I finished my health education I still wasn’t well enough to work so I thought I can’t sit down doing nothing so I went to Uni but Uni wouldn’t let me study part time in social work believe it or not even though social work is meant to be about equality and social justice and access and equity.

Edward: You can’t study it fulltime and your credit card has to work.

Khadine: Yeah so I had to change the systems so I could study part time, so I managed to do that and it was necessary for me because at the beginning of my course my cognition was so bad from the high levels of cortisol affecting my brain and my cognition that I’d have to read a single line 10 times to make sense of it. Of course my essays at Uni I didn’t pass. Coming from TAFE where I had distinctions which is the highest level at TAFE I was suddenly failing at Uni.

Edward: Talking to a Middle Eastern man who is what he achieves that’s a dagger straight to the heart with me.

Khadine: Yeah, but I think some of my greatest social work actually happened at Uni because through my experiences and working with the then coordinator who would establish transition class for TAFE’s students coming to uni because as TAFE student you got a year off Uni but you missed out on all the first year stuff which told you the uni rules and the uni language.

Edward: You rack up behind the 8 ball.

Khadine: Yeah even though in some ways you should be ahead. We end up introducing that which is really good and because I fought to study part time that also meant other people who had chronic illnesses could also study part time. That was really good to see that other people benefited from …

Edward: I was going to say your life be battle for the underdog aren’t you, you’re like the game changer.

Khadine: Yeah, not consciously but to make it happen for myself I had to make it happen for everybody at the end of the day so at least while I was at Uni people had access to studying part time. I can’t say that it’s still like that but yeah we made some changes happen.

Edward: Wow, I can see that. You not only changed the way universities work but then you were a… and then you worked as a social worker.

Khadine: I did, after that I got first class honors. After not being able to read a single sentence I got first class honors after all of that, after 6 years of pain.

Edward: Was there anyone that you sort of took a transcript of your marks to and went nye, nye, nye?

Khadine: No.

Edward: You went and posted on Facebook.

Khadine: They all knew who I was.

Edward: I got to say I mean obviously you and I have been friends for a few years now and I think your story is very amazing. It’s like, it’s funny even though I’ve known you I never quite knew the extent of what you’ve actually been through in life and I think what’s really amazing is, again if I go back to the first time I met you which was 2 years ago, maybe a little bit more than that is you’re just a normal happy go lucky person and I never even thought till this moment this amazing traumas you’ve overcome, these experiences that you’ve had. I guess …

Khadine: It makes me good at my work because I have the attitude that you can either sit and not take responsibility which is very easy to do or you can, instead of saying poor me you can say well what can I do to take responsibility, what little thing today can I do? It doesn’t have to be a big thing it might be just putting on a meditation CD if that’s what you’re able to do.

Edward: Yeah.

Khadine: We all have little ways that we can take charge of our lives and sometimes we need someone else to guide us on ways to do that.

Edward: Because I mean …

Khadine: I couldn’t have done it by myself. I’ve come a long way but if I didn’t access other people to help me along the way I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Edward: Though granted other people helped you there are plenty of people who have more help than you and better circumstances than you that haven’t achieved the happiness and abundance that you have.

Khadine: It’s a bad attitude, it’s about deciding what you want to be happy with in life. I could wish for big houses and stuff but that’s just a thing, a big house doesn’t actually make you happier in the day, happiness is something within yourself, it’s not an external thing. You can have everything in the external world but it doesn’t make you happy. Look at all the people that are famous …

Edward: That topped themselves.

Khadine: That topped themselves or which I’ve been watching in excess this last week the story of Michael Hutchence, there’s so many famous people who are really unhappy regardless of how much money they have and it’s not about that at the end of the day, it’s about finding your inner peace no matter what’s happening in your life. If I didn’t do that I’d probably be still stuck in bed.

Edward: Wow, that’s amazing. Again I don’t do this anymore and I think you pulled me up on this once, I used to be a man who was a little bit too obsessive with his own sob story and you pulled me up on this once. Yeah Khadine holds me accountable everyone, there you go, but as I’ve grown up and when I say grown up I only feel like I’ve personally grown up in the past year and as I’ve matured I think I realized that my sob story is nothing, what I’ve been through is nothing compared to your story and …

Khadine: For me my story is nothing compared to other people’s stories.

Edward: Really?

Khadine: There’s people, there’s always someone who has a worse story and for me that was one of the hard things when I was being asked this for my own trauma because I had to do 4 hours’ worth of forms and they’re all 1 out of 10.

Edward: Right and you’re busy trying to stay awake and tug at the sheet are you?

Khadine: I went back to the psychiatrist at the time that was helping me to get my disability pension and he said well you’re either lying about your experiences or you’re underscoring yourself. For me I would say my pain is pretty bad but I can imagine it being worse, I can imagine someone else going through worse.

Edward: You would automatically mentally compensate for you pain.

Khadine: I would automatically downscale, yeah. I would automatically downscale because I could imagine it could be worse. I felt like I was dying by the way but I automatically went into that process where I can imagine it could be worse for somebody else.

Edward: Yeah, I mean going through to this direct question do you believe in God?

Khadine: Do I believe in God, interesting question. I believe in something, I don’t know that I’d necessarily call it God, whether you want to call it source, the universe, God, I think it’s all the same at the end of the day. For me I’m a deeply spiritual person but not a religious person. I don’t actually, I’m not a big supporter of organized religion because I think a lot of organized religion comes back down to control and manipulation.

Edward: Well honestly this is like the Cuban Revolution. I’m glad this interview hasn’t been recorded, I’m glad it’s not going to be up on the internet for everyone to see Khadine.

Khadine: Well my views are always out there I don’t really hide my views so I figure if people don’t like my views well they’re probably not my ideal client anyway and it’s their issue if they don’t like my views.

Edward: That’s sounds great …

Khadine: Because they’re educated views. It’s not like I just think yeah that’s a bad thing and then or listen to some shock jock and just go with the flow and think that that’s okay.

Edward: I’ve never done that Khadine.

Khadine: No, I actually do my research before I make my views.

Edward: You’re not like me, you just don’t …

Khadine: It’s about observation.

Edward: You don’t actually just hear something great on TV and pretend it’s fact like I do all the time?

Khadine: No.

Edward: Okay, so you’re actually intelligent and you actually apply research principles.

Khadine: Yeah but it can even be based on life. I used to go to church a lot as a kid and I loved church, I would go by myself. In fact one day I freaked my grandparents out because I went from Sunday school and caught the bus to church without telling them so they didn’t know where I was. I actually really liked it but my experiences of church were dulled when my mum who’s schizophrenic broke up with her fiancé who was also involved with the church and they told her she was only unwell because that was God’s way of punishing her.

Edward: Wow.

Khadine: That’s got nothing to do with Christianity and I think that there’s 2 sides of Christianity. There’s the side where you must feel guilty, you must feel bad, you mustn’t be gay, you mustn’t do this and then there’s the other side of Christianity that preaches and it what I believe is the true side of Christianity that Christianity is about love, it’s about acceptance, it’s about forgiveness. It’s not for us to judge anybody at all, it’s for God to judge not for us as humans to judge anybody but to love people. I think too many religious organizations get caught in the you must feel guilty, you must follow our rules otherwise you’re not okay and that’s where the control and the power comes in.

Edward: It’s funny because I mean as you know I’m quite a strong Christian and just to clarify I’m on your side on this one. I think one thing that I got to give to the, at least a lot of the new age church movement is they’ve gone on a lot from dogma and more about helping people and that type of thing. I hate to say it it’s … and I’ll bring up this topic is as you know I’m obviously a straight guy granted a lot of people think my Melbourne accent sounds very gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I’m a straight guy, I’ve always been that way and I’ve always been a Christian and I’ve always been pro equality marriage. For a while it was undecided but once I got the information in I said you know what I don’t care who I stand up against. At the end of the day if 2 heterosexual people can be miserable then 2 guys or 2 girls can be miserable.

Khadine: That’s right, that’s right.

Edward: I think though, I think what …

Khadine: Equality goes further than that in marriage. A lot of religious organizations really promote a pedagogical structure where the man is the head of the house but really for happy relationships you need equality in relationships.

Edward: Yeah.

Khadine: Whether that’s heterosexual relationships or same sex relationships, relationships need to be based on equality, respect, mutual love and trust and acknowledging each other and nurturing that relationship every day.

Edward: I think it’s just, it’s interesting like … and you’re aware of this and just for the audience it’s that I’m a big fan of George Takei. Now if you know who George Takei is he’s Sulu from Star Trek. Sulu I think it was later in life he came out as a gay man, is that right?

Khadine: Yeah I think so.

Edward: Later in life and he came out and now he’s an active gay campaigner. He’s amazing on Facebook, if he just puts out a post on Facebook I’ve seen it within 5 seconds he has 100,000 likes. It’s just ridiculous, it’s like everyone around the world, and he’s got like I don’t know 6 million followers or something ridiculous like that.

Khadine: Yeah.

Edward: I remember he put out this interesting post on Facebook which says look I’m straight but I’m fully behind same sex stuff because I believe in happiness and I posted that on Facebook.

Khadine: Yes I remember.

Edward: Tell us and the audience what happened when I put that photo up on Facebook.

Khadine: You had this really vile comment from somebody that was really full of hate and total, he’s going on about how to factor homosexual relationships are miserable and unhappy and it’s just so untrue. In fact the latest research it was on TV today if you want to believe the TV it says same sex relationships are generally happier.

Edward: Well it’s funny, now I’m going to be bring you back to the money being a Persian man from Inner West Sydney, bring you back to money is I have a lot of gay men and gay women as our clients, as in the personal mentoring clients and I’ve been ripped off way more by heterosexual people than I have gays. It’s like from a business point of view I’ve found again generalizing here but just being … I suppose in a positive way I’m generalizing is I felt gay men and women have been great in business.

Khadine: Yeah.

Edward: Yeah.

Khadine: A lot of companies are after the pink dollar. When you look at the parade these days there’s not much political about it but you have all these companies putting floats in to promote themselves on the guise that they’re promoting equality within their company but at the end of the day it’s good marketing for them. It’s the biggest event in Sydney on the calendar, brings more tourist dollars in than any other event into New South Wales every year.

Edward: You’re saying the gay Mardi Gras in Sydney is the biggest tourism event?

Khadine: Most people who watch the Gay Mardi Gras are heterosexuals.

Edward: Really?

Khadine: Yes, all the fliers you see and stuff are pretty much heterosexuals getting up to mischief when they’re drunk watching the parade.

Edward: This is amazing, I just think it’s hilarious but what was interesting going back to that Facebook post this is where I’m sort of going is that where it affected me and put a black mark against my name was that it was all justified by religion. He made, this vile fellow made comments saying animal, he called it animal marriage.

Khadine: Yeah he called it animal marriage, very offensive.

Edward: Then he justified it using religion and I’m sitting there as a Christian basically saying I don’t know who or what you are but you are not a religious person, this is wrong, you can’t do that.

Khadine: It’s just hateful.

Edward: It was pure hate and then I of course fueled the fire then put up a picture of Hitler in that Facebook comment just for him but the thing that I found is it was just amazing that level of judgment and misinformation and I think bringing it back to sort of a commercial sort of discussion is it’s still very surprising that a lot of people do have that anti-homosexual sentiment but of course companies are willing to overlook it if they’re going to make a buck out of it.

Khadine: That’s right, that’s right, yeah.

Edward: Yeah.

Khadine: Or even that all religious organizations are allowed to be discriminatory, they’re exempt from any discrimination laws. Even like at a religious school if they find out a teacher is gay they have the right to fire them for no other reason than the fact that they’re gay.

Edward: Yeah, it’s funny I actually used to teach Sunday school and I was at a very good church by the way, this is Grace Christian Church in Hobart and actually a really good church, they are pretty tolerant that way. I remember I would let’s say speak to Christians even from the evangelical movement, Christians from other premises and I’m talking to, you can get the most peaceful, nicest looking Christian girl sitting there and the moment homosexuality comes up as a topic this almost Aryan Union Hitleresk side of them just comes out of nowhere. It’s funny …

Khadine: That’s programming. When the religion is meant to be based on loving, accepting, forgiveness, not judging people, that’s meant to be at the heart of Jesus’ teachings are those principles.

Edward: I hate to say it and one of the reasons why I moved on from the church was there was too much hate going on.

Khadine: Yeah, I find it amazing how people cradle this stuff but you look back into … and it’s stuff that queries mainly from the first part of the bible but in that part you could kill your neighbor because it was an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, they expected you to slaughter sheep to give to God and all this other stuff. You were allowed to have a slave, which was allowed.

Edward: Really?

Khadine: Yeah.

Edward: Yeah, where today we have our Starbucks.

Khadine: People quote when it’s …

Edward: Poor Starbucks, I love you Starbucks.

Khadine: … when it’s convenient from the first testament but Christianity basically isn’t really governed by the testament greatly because it has so much of this archaic stuff that we just don’t accept in modern society but when it’s convenient they’ll pull something out of it. Then you have other scholars like one of my previous counselors she was, she was with the Uniting Church and she was a minister and she said to me look, how it’s actually been interpreted is wrong from the original language to English. The original language says that being a pedophile is long not being a homosexual is wrong.

Edward: Then they twisted it over time to suit their agenda.

Khadine: Yeah.

Edward: It’s interesting because again I am a proud Christian, I have it all over, I’m straight up about it granted I do commit a few sins here and there.

Khadine: Don’t we all?

Edward: Yeah, don’t we all? At the end of the day I’m not pretending that I’m some high and almighty god because I’m like anyone else. The thing that I think I found amazing is that especially in talking religion how and even the new pope came out and said this.

Khadine: He’s awesome.

Edward: Yeah, he’s just sitting there calling it as it is, saying look we’re just obsessed with hating gays and abortion we need to actually get back to our root job.

Khadine: That’s right.

Edward: It’s like whether abortion or homosexuality is right or wrong at the end of the day the new pope is saying our efforts are misaligned, we’re weighing too much of our energy to these minor issues compared to the big objective.

Khadine: That’s right, and things like abortion shouldn’t be governed by religious beliefs anyway. They’re a medical, it’s a medical issue it’s not a religious issue at the end of the day so it shouldn’t be governed by governments based on any one person’s religious beliefs because at the end of the day when you make abortions harder to access then it opens up an avenue for backyard abortions to start again and when that happens women die and they die terribly.

The reality is when we had the Howard government and Tony Abbott was the health minister he made it really difficult for women to access abortions. He made it that you could no longer access abortions through Medicare, through your Medicare card so that you would have to pay upfront $500 so you could access your abortion so who’s not going to be able to access that is the most disadvantaged women and you only got half of it back at the end of the day. I could go on about that but I won’t but I’ve sort of made my statement there. It’s a religious decision based on … which should be a medical one.

Edward: Yeah and I think it’s amazing and I think, and again going back to the Facebook post and the reason why I’m sort of refocusing on that is that shocked me, I was shocked.

Khadine: Yeah, am not.

Edward: Yeah, sorry that you weren’t shocked, I’m sorry to hear and I think I know why you weren’t shocked based on the shit you must have seen over the years but it was just amazing because again I’m sitting here as a marketing mentor granted I’ve done special stuff with the government in an earlier life. I’m sitting here as a marketing mentor just helping people, living my life and such extreme stuff comes out of nowhere and it’s …

Khadine: Yeah, such hate.

Edward: It’s interesting this one event that this guy had done had started quite a big discussion amongst us and our peers.

Khadine: Really?

Edward: Yes and now the, it’s no longer, it’s moved on from is gay, are gay, is homosexual really good or bad but it’s moved on to how do we stop these haters.

Khadine: Yeah, that’s nice.

Edward: Yeah, so what’s interesting is everyone now things gays are great but let’s go after these haters.

Khadine: Yeah but you can’t, beat hate with hate at the end of the day.

Edward: Well it does work to a certain point don’t you think?

Khadine: How?

Edward: Well if you really hate someone you’ll shut them down, right?

Khadine: Is it that effective, do you really shut down? A lot of people hate gay people but have they shut them down at the end of the day? No.

Edward: No, no.

Khadine: They protested and put themselves at risk, they got bashed up numerous times, gangers still get bashed up so people can hate them all they like but they haven’t rolled over and lay down. They’re still not stuck hiding out in clubs at the back of a golf course having to run away if police burst them for being gay. Do you know what I mean?

Edward: Yeah.

Khadine: That hasn’t stopped anything, you can only face hate with love I think at the end of the day. You can’t beat hate with hate, that’s why nobody wins wars at the end of the day because both sides suffer and there’s innocent people fighting. Just because someone’s in the army they might not believe in that cause, they might have no choice to be in that army and they hurt as much as anybody on our side and they die just as well on our side.

Edward: Yeah.

Khadine: There’s always casualties that have nothing to do with the war, so who wins at the end of the day? Not really anybody.

Edward: Yeah, it’s funny bringing, we’ve covered a lot of issues today.

Khadine: Yeah covered a lot of issues, been more like a political interview than …

Edward: Yeah, it was interesting and I actually won this debate and it was with a friend of mine, this is actually through the Edward Files blog and what it was that I come from a military background and so I think granted I’ve got quite a few left leaning views I come from, I’m a military thinker. Even before I joined the military I naturally thought that way and what was interesting is I had this debate with a very good colleague of mine and he knows who he is and I really admire that guy but we disagreed on this point. What it was that well basically saying okay Edward is … having a shot at me, Edward you got to left stuff go, you’re too negative, blah, blah, blah. My argument to that was I’m not negative but if I see someone doing the wrong thing to someone, if someone picks on one of my friends I’ll step in and help.

Khadine: Yeah, so would I.

Edward: This is interesting, you and I are on the same side I’m more just pretending to disagree for the interview but you and I are actually on the same side of this but what was interesting is this person was just, anything to the extreme I think is too much. He was taking the pacifism to the extreme. It’s like well, and I challenged him I said look if someone walked up to me and bagged you I really like you, I would yell at them and shut them down. He goes well if someone did that to me I wouldn’t. I go what do you mean? I was a bit offended. He said well what I’d do is I’d just tell them, I’d just … they’re their life and it’s their path and I’d let them do it.

I said, you know where I’m going, I said … so I closed it. I said so you wouldn’t intervene when bad things happen? No I wouldn’t, so I took it to the extreme. A woman is getting assaulted at a train station late at night are you going to let that go because it’s someone else’s life? Then of course the conversation ended abruptly.

Khadine: Yeah.

Edward: I mean my point being the reason why I took that arch is it’s … I understand your antiwar message but what happens when that line of justice gets crossed and peaceful means don’t work?

Khadine: It’s not an antiwar message it’s a for peace message. We attract what we put out there so that’s why it’s not great to go to an antiwar protest.

Edward: With a bunch of guns.

Khadine: You want to go to a peace protest not an antiwar protest. It’s nice to say well what happens if it doesn’t work out but the reality is the economy to a big extent relies on weaponry to be sold for wars so wars have to continue for some governments to keep money in their coffers because they rely on wars for their money. That’s reality. How many wars would decrease if there wasn’t that reliance on weaponry?

Edward: That’s a very interesting question and I think a question for our second interview Khadine. Bringing it back to you we’ve spoken about … now what have we talked about, we’ve talked about pharmaceutical companies, Michael Moore, the military industrial complex, the line of justice, homosexuality religion, this has been great.

Khadine: A bit about posttraumatic stress.

Edward: A bit about my own issues, defending my own country once.

Khadine: A bit about color.

Edward: A bit about color, bringing it back to you I think … I mean the thing, and this is what has always drawn me to you and I think when we first met I always felt this woman is awesome and then being friends with you has been such an honor. I think the thing that always really has drawn me to you and even so this interview in the past hour or so that we’ve spoken has really taken that, even though I thought highly of you it’s taken it to that next level. How did you, you’ve overcome some extreme things in your life to create quite a high quality level of life for yourself.

Khadine: I do have quite a high quality level of life, I might not have what other people would say as defined as successful life but compared to where I’ve come from I have a great life and I’m happy with my life and to me great success is about how happy you are at the end of the day.

Edward: I suppose this is the big question of the audience and my question of you is that and from someone who’s been through a lot if someone is feeling down and not right about themselves what’s your advice to them, what would you say to someone in that position?

Khadine: To keep knocking on doors until you find the right person to help you. There’s so many different things out there and not one person, not one thing is the right remedy for everybody. There isn’t one thing that’s great that would be an all indoor for everybody and it’s a journey, life is a journey and if you’ve had trauma or something like that it’s a matter of finding the right person or the right range of people would be part of your team to help you work through that and get back to where you want to be or to pass where you ever were which is in my case the truth.

I’m happier and healthier on many levels than I ever have been in my life so you just got to keep knocking on doors and you got to become knowledgeable yourself and take responsibility and take that first step because no one can make you happy and no one can change your life only you at the end of the day.

Edward: What do you mean by personal responsibility?

Khadine: Personal responsibility is instead of saying poor me I’ve had this happen no matter how traumatic it is, I’ve had very traumatic things happen in my life and I could say poor me, I had a step father who thought it was great to hold me underwater, I’ve had all sorts of stuff happen to me. I was almost kidnapped once on the way to school, I’ve had lots of stuff happen in my life and I could say poor me but poor me wouldn’t have got me off my bed.

You have to wake up and say what can I do for me today instead of saying this person did this to me and now it’s ruined my life you got to say well this happened but how am I going to overcome that and how I’m I going to win for myself? Because if you give in and say poor me then that person or that event wins not you at the end of the day. You have to wake up and say okay what can I do for me today and who do I need to help me to get to where I want to be?

Edward: Wow, that’s amazing. That’s amazing hearing it and seeing this other side of you Khadine.

Khadine: Yeah.

Edward: I’ve got to say we’ve been here for an hour and I think anything you want to tell the audience before we let them go on their way?

Khadine: What do I want to tell the audience, I don’t know. What do you think I should tell the audience?

Edward: Well …

Khadine: Well a great tool is EFT if you want to get rid of that baggage.

Edward: There you go, so there’s a sales pitch from Khadine and you heard it yourself.

Khadine: I use it because I believe in it. I use EFT because I believe in it, it’s made a major change in my life and I see the changes in other peoples’ lives.

Edward: I think as well I mean to me you’re the proof of what you’re saying. I mean you’re … I mean I’ve been, my trauma doesn’t even compare to what you’ve been through and I’ve been through some quite severe things myself and I think you’re the walking testament. To me you walk the talk, you didn’t just watch some stuff on YouTube and spouting it, you’re trained, you’ve been through it yourself and the life you’ve created is amazing and the fact you’re in pain in front of me and you’re just sitting here delivering so much I think is very amazing.

Khadine: Thanks, thanks.

Edward: There you go, so thank you guys it’s been … and girls, there’s no discrimination around there.

Khadine: That’s right.

Edward: Thank you guys and girls of all …

Khadine: Girls and guys.

Edward: Girls and guys and guys and guys and all that, to everyone we believe in equality and thank you for taking the time to listen to myself Edward Zia talk Marketing business and life with Khadine. It’s been a pleasure and I just want to say thank you Khadine it’s been an amazing experience.

Khadine: Thanks Ed for having me, thanks everybody.

Edward: Have a good day and night everyone and make sure you visit Khadine’s site and contact her to learn some great stuff. See you guys, bye.

Khadine: Bye.

Small Business Marketing that is AWESOME: The Copywriting Webinar with Kat Tate!

Kat Tate is one amazing Creative Story Teller and Marketing Communications expert! I am so glad to not only refer to her but call her an awesome friend!

Kat Tate is one amazing Creative Story Teller and Marketing Communications expert! I am so glad to not only refer to her but call her an awesome friend!

Kat Tate is amazing and I love her quality of work.  Sure, I am one Very Good Copywriter (which is a strong secondary skill if you are in Marketing) – but Kat Tate is just outstanding in this area and able to take broad ideas and convert them into powerhouse words that sell!

In our February 2014 we had some “Funny Stuff” go on.  Firstly a communication error between Kat Tate and I meant the Webinar slides weren’t updated – then Telecommunications meant that some people couldn’t hear us.

BUT the Awesome news is that the recording is crystal clear and even better – we took the webinar in a great “On the Spot” direction really honing in on people’s questions and delivered something way better than just working off the slides!

Love you to view the recording right here and if you enjoy words more than visuals / voice – review our transcript with all the details right below.  Like always, if you like what you see – then consider investing in my Online Course THE AWESOME MARKETING VAULT – great content perfect for Small Business Owners wanting to ramp up their Sales Success!

Thank you from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Fan of Kat Tate!

 

Edward: Good evening everyone. This is Edward Zia with Marketing Consultant Communications expert and story teller Kat Tate for our February 2014 webinar. Say hello to everyone, Kat Tate.

Kat: How is that for an intro – thank you, Ed. Hi everyone. Thank you for joining us.

Edward: Absolutely. It’s a pleasure to have you here. Look, I’m very privileged to be working with Kat Tate so be it you are here live and if you are here live, please get the questions through and also as well, if you all are say watching this on my blog or reading the transcript, you know, have a think about your questions, get them through to us, and we want to give you as much information as we can about giving you powerful copy.

Now, first things first. In this quirky photo, that’s me on the right with a funny look. In the center is the amazing Kat Tate and don’t you look great there, Kat Tate?

Kat: Well, that was after a morning run so I don’t look my best but thank you for saying that.

Edward: And, of course, our fine colleague, Martha, who does websites. It’s fantastic to have you along. This is our free webinar where we are here to give you amazing content. You know, there’s heaps of people on the line though that I haven’t met before and some that I do know so hello to everyone.

But that’s me on the top, that’s also Martha on the top one. That’s my cat, Pandy. We’ve got two cats now! I’ve just got to say, it’s an absolute pleasure. I’m a marketing mentor and I get to interview amazing people like Kat Tate on my show.

Kat: You do, you do a great job of that too.

Edward: I’m just going to go through the introduction and really it’s going to be about Kat Tate. It’s going to be Kat Tate teaching us how to write powerful advertising copy, teaching us how to really sell and how to use the power of words to really get your point across. In fact, what are you going to tell us, Kat?

Kat: Well, there are a few secrets. I don’t want to reveal them all now but I’ll definitely kind of take you through but what I’m actually looking at and the angle I take with my business is this concept of strategic story telling. Everyone has a story, whether that’s in business or in life or in both if you are a small business owner.

It’s taking the approach of okay, what is my story, what makes me different to my competitors and how can I share that story with my audience.

Edward: Amazing stuff and thank you, Kat. I’m real excited about all this. What I want to do is I’m just going to run through really what I liked to keep your mind open to during this. As you are doing the webinar, think about your business. Think about your preferred style of marketing and again, you know, Kat Tate and I, you know, very intelligent yet very quirky characters. This is definitely a lot of Johnny Depp channeling here!

Kat: Like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

Edward: Yeah. No, a movie that people actually watched.

Kat: Oh, oh.

Edward: Yeah. Lone Ranger. Look, and really your corporate culture and how you like to write. Think about ideas that work for you and really what the whole point of this webinar is that look, we’re not here to play a script and tell you how to live your life but our goal is to give you as much different perspectives and insight as possible and take out of it what it has meant to you.

You may not agree with everything we say but there might be that one little thing that you can put into your system that might rapidly improve your results. What do you think about that, Kat?

Kat: Yeah. I think that’s a really important point, actually, to make, Ed. Particularly in a small business and the business arena is we sort of freak out and think we have to do everything today and we’ve got this big list of all these marketing ideas and it can be easy to get stuck so my advice is don’t worry about doing everything. The one thing that really weighs the most with you, whether it comes out tonight or at another point in your journey, and just give that a crack.

Edward: Precisely and what this is that we are coming through the chase and we’re just giving you the valuable information. As Kat very well put in, I used to suffer from overwhelming very badly and that’s where you think you’ve got to do 800 things at once and look, the fact is, as a small business owner and entrepreneur, you will forever, ever, ever be behind the eight ball in terms of things. The list never ends, doesn’t it, Kat?

Kat: It never ends.

Edward: A skill is learning how to prioritize and just because you’ve got 800 things to do, just do four that day and just continue living your awesome life and get the results.

Kat: That’s right.

Edward: I’ve been a marketing mentor. I’ve been in the marketing profession for years. I’ve made it my business with over 20,000 consulting hours. I think it’s more than that, and I’m a workaholic who loves working seven days a week.

Here’s the big thing, a lot of people come to our webinars who have made big mistakes and they are feeling bummed out. Make those lessons. Make them part of your educational tapestry, and keep moving forward. As Rosie the Riveter from World War II says, we can do it. Marketing is about making business more awesome. How can people find it and sell more stuff.

Now, I want to really get through my bit quick and I just want to get onto Kat so now, before I sort of hand it over to Kat Tate, Kat Tate is a communications expert. I refer a lot of work to her in terms of writing copy. She’s an ex-journalist, you know, PR princess, on-line specialist. She’d call herself a PR princess.

Kat: I do. I was going to say that wasn’t something that came up.

Edward: Yeah, I’m looking at it, yeah, I’m not going to call her Kat Tate, PR princess although I think she’s brilliant in public relations and she’s a brilliant marketer. She understands the power of words. Really, I want to hand this over to Kat today as quickly as possible but here’s my take on words.

Words are the basis of language and you’ve got to think about a lot of people, especially people who are very strategically focused, don’t often put much importance into words but words can be I hate you, let’s go to war, and words can be I love you. You know, they are just words but emotion that it can base.

Kat: Words have power. Absolutely.

Edward: Exactly and all of this graphic, you know, you’ve got the stick figure family in position open.

Kat: That’s so great.

Edward: Yeah, and I’m sure Kat Tate and I can both relate to that situation.

Kat: We can.

Edward: Look, words are critical in marketing. Having the right words and especially as a small business operative, making sure you are speaking the right words to really get with the audience.

Now, for example, if you haven’t already, feel free to check out my Facebook page. There’s a great photo are there is my Facebook page, I’m always blogging, I’m always putting out information. Have a look at that and you can see how I personally use words to help market my business. You might learn something to suit your own business.

LinkedIn, now for one of you on the line, LinkedIn is critical and if anything, having someone like Kat Tate who writes some really powerful copy to make your LinkedIn sound amazing is critical. But what is your take on the LinkedIn profile, Kat?

Kat: It’s actually really interesting because I’m finding I’m getting a lot more work these days. It’s a very inexpensive thing because it doesn’t take a copywriter to get it right, although it can mean the difference between attracting your audience who is on LinkedIn and not attracting that audience.

Edward: Yeah and again, very, very, very good point. Feel free to visit my blog the Edward Files. That’s on my website and this is an example of how is only involving content to really engage people and, of course, my Awesome Marketing Vault!

Have a look at the design and have a look at the page and scroll down it and you can see how we’ve used words. Very powerful words that are motive to really connect with people. Now, the reason why, I’m not just doing this show and tell here.

What I think is actually quite important as a marketer is let’s say you are in business and I’m going to pick on Daniel Doherty who is on the line and Paul. Paul is an amazing video guy. Daniel Doherty is a high end web guy. It’s always great to study people that you like. People that word things in a certain way and adapt that to your own business to make yourself sound awesome. What do you think of that concept, Kat?

Kat: Yup. I completely agree with you there.

Edward: Absolutely so what I’m going to do is I just want to hand this over to Kat. So everyone, that’s Kat Tate on the line. Give her a hand. Yay, Kat Tate. It’s all yours. Go for it, Kat. And before I let Kat take the reins, please get your questions through. There are a line on questions and go to your chat box and keep it going. There we go. Over to you, Kat Tate.

Kat: I appreciate that because it’s very quiet here in the studio. But yeah, thanks. I just want to jump in and follow-up on what we were talking about before, which is story telling.

What Edward was actually talking about just then is headlines. I actually think headlines are the most important part of telling your story. Obviously sharing content is important too but if we take it back to the very first step, your headline can be really powerful. There’s a reason for that.

I’ll have you think about looking at a website that you were on today. How long did you spend on the website? Probably what, a few seconds? People are lucky if you are on there for a couple of minutes looking at their information. Your headline, whether that’s on your website, whether it’s a blog post or a tweet, whatever it might be, you’ve got a few seconds to make the best first impression.

Think about it this way, your headline is your first and it may even be your last impression that you have to make with your audience so it’s really important to make that stick. Look, if you are not a good writer, hire someone who is. I’m not just saying that to push the copywriting field but it’s more of investing money the same that you invest in your design.

Edward: I might as say as well, most copywriters are very, very fairly priced and not just to sell Kat Tate’s effort but I often say this to clients. A lot of my clients will be copywrited. You know, you just can’t sit there and positive think your way to success. You need positive words to back up your thinking on your way to success.

Kat: Yeah and the other thing too is when you are in a business, it’s really hard to understand how it looks to other people. We’ve got some cats in the background making some noise everybody. Yeah, so what a copywriter can do is bring that outside perspective and go hang on a minute or whatever it is doesn’t actually say anything about this service or I can’t actually get a sense of what personality at all so we’re there to really have a look at what you are doing and say okay, is your brand strong enough and does it really resonate with your customers and prospects.

Just on the next slide here, why write when you can speak. Now, Ed is going to jump in here and add some points, I think, but what I wanted to just say is you know, copywriting doesn’t have to be complicated and actually the more complicated style you have when you write, the more people you are going to alienate.

My tip is write the way that you speak, keep it really simple. Just imagine that you are having a conversation with someone. Keep it casual, be real short and don’t worry about being a perfect writer. That’s not the important point.

Edward: Absolutely and speaking from a marketer’s viewpoint, what’s really critical is that when it comes to your business, any copywriting is cutting to the chase. Being very direct. This is more of a strategic comment to sort of augment what Kat Tate is saying. But think about what is unique about your business so for example, if you are let’s say writing a tag line for your whole business, what is unique about your business?

What is compelling about it? What is your strength? For example, Paul on the line who does video work. He does very high quality video. It might be calling the videos with style could be his sort of angle. Or say Daniel Doherty, fine web developer. You know, he’s got this whole Merlin Magic sort of process, which is absolutely amazing and amazing we’re actually quoted out making the magic happen.

Kat: Oh, I like that.

Edward: Well, that’s a quote to Daniel from the great work that he’s done for us last time so thank you. But it’s about, is that the same slide? We’ve stolen some of Daniel’s content.

Kat: Whoa.

Edward: Oh no, we have to give you a royalty for this Daniel, okay, so this actually is part of Daniel’s slide from last time so there you go. We’ve got to pay this guy a royalty.

Kat: The checks in the mail.

Edward: The checks in the mail. Checks in the mail so there you go. But exactly. Did you, so Kat Tate, you just copied Daniel Doherty didn’t you?

Kat: I think I might have.

Edward: Oh no. Oh Kat Tate did.

Kat: Copywriting you, isn’t it?

Edward: Kat Tate is going to get sued by Daniel Doherty but just to make it up to Daniel, Daniel for example Doherty has amazing words in his business. He is a high end web designer and he talks about making magic happen. He talks about on line wizardry. In fact, what are the most powerful words sort of invoked with you when you hear them, Kat Tate?

Kat: Well look, the first thing is that it sets you up as they may be different and they are different in business is really important. The market, no matter what market you are in, is crowded and it’s saturated and you’ve only got a few seconds to get your message across so if you’re recruiting a really strong brand with things like magic and you know magician and whatever it might be or something else, if you have a really strong brand and your brand has a really cool personality like that example there, you are great!

Edward: Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah, hopefully Kat’s advice will get her out of the lawsuit that is coming her way.

Kat: I call it inspiration, by the way, not copying.

Edward: But this is off from Daniel’s, what’s going on here? Maybe we opened the wrong one. Don’t tell me we’ve opened the wrong presentation. What a disaster. That’s what’s going on. What is going on here, Kat?

Kat: I don’t know.

Edward: Have you missed the original content? Guys, this is embarrassing. You all just got to all bear with us very quickly. This is absolutely amazing.

Kat: But, while you are sorting that out, Ed, I can definitely keep going.

Edward: Yeah, keep talking to the audience while I work on this one. We’ve got a technical issue.

Kat: Ed and I were having a chat before about the shift the moment in the business world and certainly that’s one in the business world that we often see. At the moment, people are looking for truth. What that means is that when you are telling your story on line, whether that is through a website, Facebook, wherever it might be, people want to know who you are, the person behind the business, and how your brands are named, what the purpose is behind your services.

They want to know your story and if it needs to be told. If there is anything that you take from this webinar, it’s that I encourage you to really think about your business and what makes it unique but also how can you share your truth with people and that’s a really key part of storytelling.

As I mentioned before, we’d love to have your questions. We can actually shape this webinar around your questions so if there’s anything specific that you’d like us to cover with content, please just pop it there in the comment box.

Ed, you were talking before about lobbying.

Edward: Yeah, exactly. I think with this little fopah that we’ve had, we’ve just got to run with this, Kat Tate.

Kat: We have to.

Edward: We’ve had a technical issue and we’re embarrassed so what we’re going to do is we’re going to show you the art of improvisation. We don’t know what’s happened. We’re very sorry, but we’re going to change how things are done today. What we’re going to do is we’re going to improvise. We’re going to actually go to my main screen.

What we’re going to do is a full improvisation here with this big fopah. What I actually want to do is spend a bit of time talking to you all about really a real practical demonstration about copywriting in action.

Kat: Yeah.

Edward: You know, again, something funny happened but I reckon something funny happened for a reason and really …

Kat: I think so.

Edward: We’re going to focus a bit on my blog here and what my blog is and I’ll go back here, is that my blog is basically a means of generating ongoing content to really speak with the audience, to really connect with people and I think really to get that ongoing content strategy and help me to really succeed and resonate with my audience. What it is that you can see my screen in action here.

We are going to get the full back end tour about what I can do. What it’s all about is really having core content capturing the likes. I’m going to click on this one. This is a blog I wrote today and I had this absolutely, you know, it’s done very well. It’s got a lot of views today. It might just take a second to load up on your end and what it is that it’s, look at the headline of this.

Thank you Paul, if he reads this today. It’s called being chicken in business and how it keeps you poor. Now, in this case, I’ve got a very strong headline, I’ve got a very compelling headline and I have very, very, very compelling messaging to really get that.

I’m talking about how I used to be chicken. How I used to do bad things. How I used to not be serious about my business and as an ongoing content strategy it’s really, really resonating with the audience. What’s your sort of take on ongoing content and that sort of thing with the audience, Kat?

Kat: Well, you know, look. I haven’t actually read this particular post, I’ll be honest with you, right? I’ve been real busy today but look at what your other posts have been, what you do that’s really a great lesson for everyone on the line here is having an opinion.

Don’t be afraid to have an opinion that’s a bit different. You know, you’ve used an analogy here, which is fantastic, you know, being chicken in business. That’s really intrigued me. I want to read this. It’s like what are you talking about there? Cool. So I’m going to jump in and find out what your perspective is and if it’s compelling enough, I’m going to share it.

Edward: A question for you, Kat. How does a business owner really get out of their own heads and create super strong words that just helps them sell products like crazy? How does that work, Kat?

Kat: Look, everyone has their own process of doing it. I have clients who get me to write their blog posts for them so you can get a professional to do it for you but in terms of creating authentic, real content, I think it’s best if it does come from you. I think one thing is to just think about what you do in business that’s different. Where is there a gap in the market? Don’t be afraid to go and find people who are doing it well in your industry.

Let’s say you are a plumber. You find a plumber in the US who is a great blogger, hey, give that person credit. Write a blog post saying how great you think their latest blog post is and start to build up your audience that way and share information that you find. Don’t be afraid to have a strong opinion and don’t be afraid to promote other people in your industry.

Edward: What are the sort of words that you would use that really sell? Are there sort of key buzz words that you would use, Kat Tate? Are there words that you can just say that just really nail the audience right between the eyes?

Kat: I wouldn’t say specifically because that depends on your industry, what you are trying to promote but the really key thing in blogging again, which you do well, is don’t look at it as being a way to sell to people. Sure you may end up in sales for a minute but really this is a chance for you to position yourself as being an expert, to share your insights, to be generous in the way that you share those insights, and to really build your tribe. I wouldn’t say using a buzz word, I’d just say be really truthful in what you write.

Edward: So what’s this tribe concept you are talking about because I’ve spoken to lots of other people out there and a lot of marketing, we always talk about building your tribe. Let’s say, we’ve got, I’m looking at the line. We’ve got some amazing people. We’ve got business coaches, we’ve got property people, we’ve got consultants, we’ve got people that own gyms. We’ve got a really diverse range of audience. What’s this whole tribe thing? What are you actually talking about here in building a tribe and how does that make people money, Kat?

Kat: Okay so back in the day we used to just talk about customers, right? So who are your customers, you are happy to sell to them. That just doesn’t wash anymore. Today, the whole on line space has changed and people want to be, they are looking for people who stand for something.

Let’s just say you own a gym. You know, you can come out and have a really crazy opinion about how the fitness industry needs to change or about why the style of working out no longer works or whatever it might be. You start to have this really strong opinion, right, and you start to share it with people.

When you do that, you actually attract people who go yeah, that means something to me. I get that. I want to be a part of that community and you do that and you put that information out there and those insights out there. Your tribe will actually then share that with people they know.

When that happens, your tribe gets bigger. You haven’t actually had to do any work. You are building this on line community of people who support you and become your fans. It’s great. It’s a really, really great thing.

Edward: What are some words that you think, can you give us an example of what are some words that different people can use like buzz words, power words to really grab the attention of the market? What are some examples, Kat?

Kat: Look again, I mean it really depends on the concept you are producing. I wouldn’t say that there are any particular buzz words. I’d actually steer clear of trying to be too salesy in the way that you write.

Edward: What do you mean by not being salesy because aren’t we trying to sell stuff, Kat?

Kat: Yes, obviously your end goal is to sell but today, because there is this shift towards people seeking out more genuine businesses and key influences, you can’t just be out there with a strong sell anymore. Your intention should be to share your insights and knowledge with people and hey, chances are you are going to get sales out of that. I wouldn’t be thinking so much about what words do I use. I’d be thinking about what ideas do I put out there.

Edward: Oh okay so let’s pick on an example. Let’s say, I’m going to pick on Paul Sheaffe who is a video guy.

Kat: Why not?

Edward: And by the way, if you want us to pick on you on this webinar and volunteer, if you want some free consulting now, send us a message, put up your hand, because I want to put Kat on the spot and I want to tell her what power buzz words to use for people on the line today.

Paul Sheaffe is a video guy. What on earth would you, hey, Paul Sheaffe wants it. By the way, if you want some free consulting from Kat, ask your questions now. So, with the case of Paul Sheaffe, Kat, what kinds of words do you think he could use to really get across his strength in video?

Kat: Well look, this comes back to working out what your benefits are and what is unique about your business and come up with a really strong brand story. I don’t know, I mean I don’t …

Edward: Oh, I’ll help you out. I’ll tell you what. Let’s say Paul is very good at quirky shots and he’s very, very friendly to talk to.

Kat: Fantastic.

Edward: What do you think you could thresh out of that?

Kat: Look, just to throw some things out there, you know, you put the quirky into video. Video, you know, video, you really put me on the spot here.

Edward: I know. I know, well, I’ll have a shot. I’ll have a shot to get going. What about quirkiness that sells?

Kat: Yeah, that could work.

Edward: What else could you suggest for Paul?

Kat: I don’t know man. I’d just do a good brainstorm. Look, there’s one, why don’t you take that?

Edward: I got Kat on this one. I put her onto it. But no, seriously, what I’m doing, and I love putting Kat Tate on the spot is that in the case of Paul, for example, I know Paul. He’s a quirky, real friendly video guy. It could say you know, he might use words such as friendly video, awesome results. You know? I might be strange but my work is brilliant. See the way that I’m speaking here is that it’s very attractive and there’s a lot of fun and playfulness in it.

Kat: Yeah.

Edward: What do you think? Can you criticize my copywriting, Kat? What do you think as an expert?

Kat: You did hit the nail on the head. The great thing you’ve done there too is keep it really short and sharp and used a bit of humor too, which is great. People really, really resonate with that.

What a copywriter will do and what, if you don’t have the budget for a copywriter, what you can do yourself when coming out with this copy is just get to know yourself, you know? If you had five seconds to sell your business, what would you say?

I think that’s a good example that you’ve done there but the reason I don’t want to throw out some ideas on the spotlight here is because I actually like to put a lot of thought into my copy and I think you need to as well. If you are sitting down and you are thinking all right, you know, what words should I put out there, how should I write it, don’t do a rush job. Have a real strategic thing. Get some friends and colleagues involved and come up with some ideas about what makes you different.

Edward: And that’s great and Paul just made the shoot almost anything that moves and many that don’t. There you go. You sound like Victoria Police. The thing is like shooting, you know, that’s an interesting word. So now it’s Paul’s video, he might use the word shooting as a joke and obviously there’s a bit of fun there.

Kat: Play on words are fantastic.

Edward: Exactly. Exactly so thank you Paul. We’ve got this great guy by the name of John Mitchell who is a real estate social media guy. He just gave us his web link, which I’ve just put in. You can see it in Google. Here’s his site. He’s asking me what do we think of, how can I improve my blog and so we’re just looking at it now, sitting here with Kat Tate. Kat, well here is his blog. What do you think off the hip that can mildly help him out?

Kat: Oh, awesome. So let’s have a look at the top one here. You’ve got interesting real estate reads and what’s that say? Analysis. Do you know what I would do? I’d actually, because you’ve got there that you’ve got, you know, you’ve created a few different tidbits in the links that you’ve found and you want to present to your audience. Great. I’d actually pull those out and create specific separate posts on each of those interesting things that you’ve found because the heading real estate reads, is it real estate reads and analysis?

Edward: Yeah, its interesting real estate reads and analysis.

Kat: Yeah, so that’s quite a general thing to say. It’s quite a general headline. It doesn’t really tell me much about what’s going to be in there so what is the interesting real estate read? Let’s just say you found out that properties have gone up 20% in Sydney. That’s your headline. Property creeps up 20% and what it means to you. You know, so make that a really specific headline and you make the posts quite specific to accompany that as well.

Edward: So you say for example in the case of releasing content, actually find the true belly of that article and actually make that the headline?

Kat: That’s it.

Edward: Right, so it’s a really, a lot of your advice, Kat Tate, is it really about finding just cutting to the chase of what’s brilliant about it and that’s it?

Kat: Cut to the chase. You may have three seconds if you are lucky to get someone to even read the headline. Then what you want them to do is read the first sentence. Then if you are really lucky, they are going to read the next sentence, do you know what I mean? So you haven’t got a lot of time to actually be compelling so get it there right with the headline and you’ve got a better chance of success.

Edward: Yeah and another good example is as much as ABC News has been under a lot of scrutiny lately, I’m still a big fan of the ABC News even though they’ve been in a lot of trouble and I’m on the ABC News home page. Right, now the ABC, they know how to make captivating headings and I know this is a maybe example but this is just on my PC now. Asylum seeker dead. 77 injured. That, unfortunately, in a negative way, is a very compelling headline.

Kat: Yeah, it is. Ignoring the subject matter because we don’t want to get into that but looking at the headline, if you didn’t even read that article, you know what’s happened, right? You know exactly where it’s happened, what’s happened in terms of the Asylum Seeker being killed, and 77 being injured. So if you didn’t read the story, you’ve got two seconds to get your news for the day, you’ve got it.

Edward: And that’s amazing. An interesting one, if you look at the top right, we’ve got Craig Thompson found guilty.

Kat: What?

Edward: Now, I don’t know if you guys know the back story of Craig Thompson but Craig Thompson was a labor, a Member of Parliament, and he had a union credit card and he used to call up certain service, oh sorry, alleged, but actually now he was found guilty so I can say it.

Kat: I don’t know. I don’t know if you can.

Edward: Well, but according to this, according to the headline, the ABC is reporting he was found guilty. This guy was calling certain services at 2 a.m., using the union credit card funds. What is interesting is that Craig Thompson found guilty. You know who Craig Thompson is and he’s found guilty, you are going to open this article. In fact, let’s open the article now.

I think I looked at it earlier but let’s see what it says here. Look at that. It’s, you know, as it loads up, my take here on your end but Craig Thompson for trial caught a hands down guilty verdict. Notice how the wording is fraud trial, guilty verdict. It’s just enough to keep you addicted and just keep your rating.

Kat: Yeah and if you look at this in a marketing sense, we can pull those key words. The key words that I’ve got here in the headline of Craig Thompson, that’s a key word phrase, fraud, guilty. So if you are going use any of those key words, I’d say it’s probably going to come up pretty highly in your search results.

Edward: Exactly. So what are you talking about here, Kat? You are talking about key words and search results. Take us sort of back a little bit. What’s this thing about key word in Google search? How does all that work, Kat?

Kat: Yeah, well look, that’s a whole other webinar and we can get quite into that topic but if we just look at the general idea there, when you go into Google or any other search engine, but let’s just use Google, that’s an example here. If you’re searching for something, let’s search that now. Craig Thompson.

Edward: Woops. Sorry. Oh, I was just doing this so far.

Kat: Craig Thompson.

Edward: I know what it’s doing. It’d directing it to the top.

Kat: That’s right so people at the top we’re typing in Craig Thompson.

Edward: That’s Craig Thompson. There’s a P in it. So it’s the right Craig Thompson.

Kat: And just wait for the search results to come up here.

Edward: Yeah. There we go. We’ve got all the stuff on Craig Thompson.

Kat: Now look at all the news items that have come up there and see how it’s bolded the key word phrase that you typed in. Anyone who has created content around that key word phrase is going to appear. Now obviously news sites are such messy databases on line but they tend to get favored in search results. They seem to be incredible sources of information. If you do write a blog post about Craig Thompson, maybe you might get on the first line of Google.

Edward: Yeah.

Kat: But as you build a blog, as you build a content data base on line, you will start to get points from Google in the search endings and it will in the search results.

Edward: Yeah and I suppose translating that into more subtle speak, what Kat Tate is eluding to in style is that when you are writing content, especially on line, let’s say you are writing content on your website, you want to think about key words. In other words, if you are writing, let’s say it’s video production, you know, in the case of Paul Sheaffe or it’s John Mitchell, it’s property in Seven Hills, you want to use those words in as many articles as you can because what Google does, Google has basically an artificial intelligence that indexes websites every day and the more you have those words on your website, the more likely it is to stand up in Google. Now obviously this is not the webinar itself. We are here to more talk about words and how to construct sentences.

Kat: But it’s all related.

Edward: Yeah, definitely all related and you know, it’s on line or traditional sort of media, all those things are very, very important.

Kat: Yeah.

Edward: In fact, what I’m going to do is because this is going well, I’m just going to open up my actual ticket for my upcoming webinar so you are going to see the backup house of my directory structure. What we’re going to do is we’re actually going to, you are going to see behind the scenes of Edward Zia.

I’m going to open up the actual ticket that I’ve been using to actually invite people along to our upcoming event. So if you see on the screen, it might take a moment or two to load up. This is a good example and this is off line. This is an actual physical ticket that a few of you on the line I’ve actually handed it to.

What it is that it’s all about big words, big messages. So be it it’s a website or it’s a physical ticket or it’s a flyer or a business card, notice the big words in the design so I’m going to jump in to do design here. You see the picture of lovely Martha and I, you know, don’t we look great that.

Kat: Oh, look at that.

Edward: There we go. That photo was taken with an iPad. Awesome business boot camp. Okay, you can see some very, very big words there. On the right hand side, I make mine free so we’re giving away an amazing seminar. Notice how I’m using buzz words such as awesome, business, free, admit.

Kat: Yeah and how you also said that you are using big words but they are also not. There is simplicity in that. If you can just nail the most simple way of saying something, that’s how you get your audience interested. You’ve done it so well that there’s not one word there that is a waste of space.

Edward: Why thank you, Kat. It means a lot coming from you. Just a little bit and just dig that little bit deeper.

Kat: I didn’t write this by the way. I’m not promoting my own copy.

Edward: Kat can do better than this but the point is that if you look at this sort of ticket, its simple words, they are bold words. You know, and I think Kat has really touched something there, is that it’s, you want simplicity. You want simple words, compelling words. Words that just sound amazing and just really, I think, hit the audience right between the eyes.

Kat: Absolutely.

Edward: You know, it’s, this was a question, and please get your questions through awesome audience. The question I have for you, Kat Tate, if someone, you know, has an idea and let’s say they are not ready to speak to a copywriter yet, what do you suggest to them to help them flush out the right ideas to get the right words to make it sound sexy?

Kat: A word that I love to use is inspiration. I talked about it before. If you go on line and you look at what your peers are doing in other markets, let’s just say we’ll go back to the plumber example. You’ve got plumbers anywhere in London, America. If you Google plumber in America, plumber in London, have a look at what your peers in other areas are doing and don’t be afraid to, I’m not going to say copy, but to use their ideas as inspiration. That’s probably the best way to start your brainstorm.

Oh, here we go. We’re going to type this in. What these people are doing, I don’t call competitors competitors. I call them colleagues. These are your colleagues. If they are doing great work, share it, because chances are that’s going to come back to you.

When you write great content, they want to share. So yeah, to what other people are doing in your market and you look for the gaps as well. What aren’t they doing? What voice isn’t out there? What opinion isn’t being pushed out there? And then be the voice that is a bit different.

Edward: Wow, that sounds very good. I agree with that and I even do that in my own business. I recommend it for my clients. It’s great to look at other sites even from different industries.

Kat: Yeah.

Edward: Successful sites. Look at the words they are using. Look at how they are speaking to the audience and look at how they are really causing a resonation with their customer base. I think that’s very, very, very important.

Kat: Yeah. The other thing to remember is you don’t need to actually go to a copywriter with nothing. You could have all your notes there, you could have a website that you’ve written yourself, and to get a copywriter to tweak it for you isn’t going to cost much or take much time. So if you are on a tight budget, that’s another way to do that. Your ideas are there, which is an important part.

Edward: Wow, that’s absolutely amazing advice. One thing that I actually think of is as I am sort of going through my backing house and everyone is seeing everything, the other thing I’m really like and I’m actually going to pick on my own website here. I’m actually going to click the events here.

This is our awesome business boot camp coming up. I’m just going to pause the video so it doesn’t slow down everyone’s internet too much but what it actually is that, you know, this is the awesome business boot camp page. This is being written with a lot of work.

I’ve got a lot of work into it, got all the wording perfect, just so it makes sense on line. Especially when you are talking websites and stuff like that, you really want to have simple bold words, intelligent words, that really just get people wanting to buy.

How to think about words, and these are some of my own personal words that I like, is free, now, value, quality, enhancement, success. What other top buzz words do you like? Just general words that grab a human at the mind?

Kat: They are probably the main ones. I would also be looking at not just the words that you use but also the way you use them so keep them really short. A lot of people say oh, you can’t. I’ll tell you what, 21st century marketing, that’s what you need to do. Start us and keep it short and sharp and it gets really dynamic then. But yeah, they are great buzz words, they are great examples.

Edward: Yeah so dynamic, successful buzz words, that type of thing. So of course, please get your questions through. We love questions. This webinar has gone off on a tangent but we are actually, I’m glad it’s gone off on a tangent.

Kat: Yeah, I am too.

Edward: Because instead of us just lecturing you, we’re actually getting deep into your questions so get your questions through. Ask us what you want and while you guys are coming up with your questions, I’m actually going to pick on another example.

Kat: Ooh.

Edward: Who should we pick on do you think?

Kat: Well, let’s have a look. Who have we got on the line here?

Edward: Well, I’ve got a few people on the line.

Kat: What about Peter Oliver? He’s a good lad.

Edward: Peter Oliver. Let’s type in Pedro Oliver into Google. Let’s see what happens, right? So Peter is on the line.

Kat: Oh, that’s not Peter Oliver.

Edward: That’s not Peter Oliver.

Kat: That’s a different Peter Oliver.

Edward: What’s your website, Peter Oliver?

Kat: That’s starburst.

Edward: No.

Kat: Dash photos.

Edward: What’s your, is that?

Kat: Yeah, is that the one you want us to look at, Peter?

Edward: Yeah, Peter, give us your email address. Let’s type in Peter Oliver.com. I wonder if it goes to him.

Kat: There you go.

Edward: There we go so we’re going to go on Peter Oliver’s site.

Kat: Starburst.

Edward: Starburst.

Kat: Dash photo.

Edward: Dash pg.

Kat: No, no, no, ph.

Edward: Oh, PH.

Kat: Please don’t type all that.

Edward: Yeah, I’ll get pogo. Sorry. All right. Got it. So let’s load it up now. So Peter is on the line. We’re just going to check out his website. And it’s not loading up.

Kat: Is it starburst-photos, Peter?

Edward: Oh, do you want to double check that domain and come back to us, Peter? Yeah, double check that and come back to us. It’s not loading up for some weird reason. So for that one, let’s, I’ve got a different one. Let’s go to Daniel Doherty’s website.

Kat: Okay.

Edward: This is Daniel Doherty, a great guy on the line. We’re going to go to his website. What’s going on here, I wonder? Let’s try that again. www.merlinfx.com.au. I wonder what’s going on here. What’s going on? The websites aren’t working. There is something weird going on, people. Oh and there’s something strange going on.

Kat: Well look.

Edward: Ah, here we go. There we go. The internet wasn’t talking to us. So we’re on the amazing Daniel Doherty’s website. Now, I want to blame someone on that one. There we go. No, there’s something funny going on here. So what it is that we’re on Daniel Doherty’s website right now and in this case, we’ve got the website here and I quite like Daniel’s website. You go to his website, you’ve got the beautiful Merlin Effects, he’s got some beautiful graphics. Look at his wording. Our on line wizardry brings you the magical client attraction and possibilities for a proven on line marketing strategy. That’s amazing wording, Kat.

Kat: Yeah. Yeah. There are so many great elements in what that copy is there so I want to just break it down for everyone. The first thing is have you noticed how it’s not all about the business? We’re so wonderful, we’re number one. It doesn’t actually say that. It says this is what we’ve got and this is what you get from it. You get magical client attraction profitability everyone, is that right? How do you do it? Through proven on line marketing strategies. So if I don’t read anything else, I know that this is for me and I feel like it.

Edward: Yeah, amazing, amazing. Some very, very, very, very good feedback from you know, Kat Tate. I only forget your name.

Kat: Am I Kat Tate?

Edward: Yeah but you know. Well, this is Peter’s website. I haven’t seen this website before. It’s loading up now. It’s more, I suppose being a photographer. It’s my pleasure, Daniel. I love your work. Now, suppose being a photographer, Peter is all about really compelling images, really getting that sort of point of view across.

Kat: Yeah, and that’s the important thing is Peter actually does well is photographs. He’s made that he focus of his work. Don’t you think you all, you know, you don’t have to write amazing copy, focus on what your product is or service.

Edward: Man, I love it. Now, one of my other friends is on is Sophie Francis so I’m going to pick on her website. Sophie, is that all right, Sophie? I think it’s Sophiefrancis.com. There is Sophie Francis’ website. This has changed since I’ve looked at it last. Wow.

Kat: Very fresh.

Edward: Yeah. You can see her website loading up now. Sophie Francis has done work on her website. Listen to this. Realize your strengths to realize more of your potential.

Kat: Nice.

Edward: That is very, very captivating. I think it’s really good I’ve just picked examples that are random here but I think it’s very fair to say, Kat, a lot of people are using some very compelling strong wording there, aren’t they?

Kat: Yeah, and it’s actually great that we’ve picked these examples because all of you have shown how strong you are and get to the point and all three we’ve just looked at have shown that. That’s real cool.

Edward: Yeah, absolutely and I think it’s yeah, very, very sort of compelling work. So yeah, I think it’s great. Look, we love your questions. We’re just giving commentary on the other sites right now but a few things I’ve noticed that we’ve picked up. Have you noticed that a lot of the sites we’re saying are good examples actually don’t have much wording. There’s actually not much message in here. They are actually quite simple sort of sites.

Kat: That’s true but let me tell you to knock down a message into say six or so words is a lot harder than writing 1000 words. There’s actually a lot of thought that I don’t know who wrote this website whether it was you, Sophie, or if you used someone but there has been a lot of thought that went into actually narrowing that message down to so few words and I think that impact rocks!

Edward: Yeah. Peter Oliver said Kat starts work on my website tomorrow. That’s awesome.

Kat: I actually am Peter. I’m looking forward to it.

Edward: So Peter actually hired Kat Tate?

Kat: He has.

Edward: Oh so there is corruption going on. No, it’s fine. Kat is a good decision. Good decision there. Hey look, does anyone want to volunteer to pick on their website? I want to start picking them at random. Please send it through if you want to volunteer. I’m going to pick on, who should we pick on? I’m trying to think of a good, who is on the line that we can pick on? I don’t know a lot of these people on the line.

Kat: There’s a long list there.

Edward: Yeah, a long list.

Kat: Would anyone like us to actually have a look at it and give you some feedback?

Edward: Yeah. While you guys think about it, I’m going to come up with a few sites that I like. I’m going to come up, I’m going to go to Microsoft. Let’s go to, I’m just going to type in Microsoft corporate. So Microsoft corporation. I’m just going to go to Microsoft Australia. That site looks really good, doesn’t it?

Kat: Right.

Edward: What’s going on here?

Kat: Thank you.

Edward: There we go. There we go. It might be the webinar software.

Kat: Yeah.

Edward: Man, that looks good.

Kat: So fresh.

Edward: Yeah. Look at that site.

Kat: And look, the copy there but the copy that is there just fits the message, doesn’t it?

Edward: I really appreciate the sentiment of what you are saying, Kat. Notice that all these big companies and the successful companies, they are not giving you pages of text. They are just giving you really short powerful bits of information, aren’t they?

Kat: That’s it.

Edward: You are saying that the big companies have figured out less is more.

Kat: Less is more. Absolutely.

Edward: Wow.

Kat: And the great thing about when you are just a small business market is all of your competitors probably still have really archaic, cluttered websites. Even if you just tweak your home page and one other page, you are going to really set yourself apart from them and start thinking like the big guys.

Edward: Absolutely. Now, I’ve got a few back here so John Mitchell has given us another site.

Edward: Yeah. Let’s check that out. God, only a few of you want free consulting so I just typed in. Good website. It might just take a second or few to upload.

Kat: Okay.

Edward: That’s pretty cool.

Kat: Yeah. Nice. What I like there is there’s lots of different capture points. See how on the bottom, there are four different boxes there and they take you through different parts of the site. I imagine that will take you to some images as well. They’ve been really clever in the way that they separated out the different touch points of their website and where they want you to go.

Edward: Yeah. Yeah. I think it’s really, really good. Nice one, John.

Kat: And again, what I want to say, it’s not all about your copy. This is a great example of the combination of fantastic design and fantastic copy coming together to create a brand.

Edward: And for example, I caught up with a lot of clients that need a website and a copy so it might be Daniel Doherty and Kat Tate, Kat will build the wording again for the website. Really good work so they are a great team from Paul Sheaffe. I believe in having enough words to cover every part of my message in particular. When I get technical, I mention brands and models of equipment I use. Surely an expert in this field.

Kat: Oh yeah, definitely, Paul, but what I would say to you is that your website is your on line shop front so keep your home page really simple and then have options for people who do want to see the technical side of what you do. A great way to present that information to all the technical stuff is to have a blog. That’s where you can get really into the nitty gritty of what you do but you will find that most people just want to get a clear snapshot of what you are doing and whether it’s for them.

Edward: Yeah. Exactly. Let’s go onto my main website here. It might take a second for it to load up. You know, on my main website here for example, you know, the home page of my website is just designed to get information. It’s just designed to get across base points, just get people connecting with really what I have to say to the audience.

You know, there is, I think a good home page is simple and just it gets across the base topic. But exactly what Kat is saying, your home page might be quite simple but when you let’s say go into the blog or whatever, it delves in that a little bit deeper and gives a lot more rich and more valuable information.

Kat: Yeah. Yeah. Think of it is as I don’t know, levels of a house or something. That might be a good analogy. But as you get, you know, further down into each level, you get more and more information for those people who are sticking around to read it. But when you are saying you want to position yourself as an expert in the field, definitely use your blog as a tool to do that and share that amazing knowledge that you do have about your area.

Edward: Absolutely. Absolutely. And sharing can be as simple again, this is not a Facebook or social media, you know, webinar. We’re more interested in words but taking the lead and just popping it straight through Facebook and it can be as simple as that and a great means of getting your content out. Yeah. I think that’s great. We’ve discovered a lot of ground. I’m actually glad this thing broke.

Kat: Yeah.

Edward: And we started doing this webinar by accident. What other insights do you have for the audience and please get through your questions everyone. I’m sort of glad that it went this random direction today.

Kat: Yeah, me too. And look, I do have just some top tips that I would like to share with you and I hope you find them useful. As I’m bringing these out, feel free to pop in any questions. But don’t feel that you’ve got to write these down because there will be a recording coming your way.

The first thing to think of with your content is to make it shareable. Always think about that. Always have that in the back of your mind. Why am I writing this and who is going to share it and why are they going to share it? That will help you get really targeted information that is really compelling like your chicken post today. That’s pretty shareable.

Edward: So you think my chicken post is very sharable.

Kat: Yeah.

Edward: Because the thing was, it was just so simple.

Kat: Yeah. Simple. Simple can be the best way to be honest.

Edward: Yeah. It’s funny. It’s only, there are things you can do in business and Paul, it’s been one of my most popular articles yet it was one of the most shortest and briefest.

Kat: There you go. So that’s my first tip is to make it shareable. My second tip is to have a great headline. We touched on this before but I want to share a stat with you. Eight out of ten people will read a headline but only two out of ten will read the copy that comes after that. That’s pretty profound. If you only know a headline, noticed it’s a bit CRAP, it’s okay, as long as you hit them with that headline because most people stop there.

Edward: So you are saying just if you make sure the headline is perfect, that will carry the rest of it quite nicely.

Kat: It can do. Definitely. The second point is to make it relevant. This goes back to understanding your audience too so who are you writing it for. Once you know who you are writing this information for and why they should read it and why they will want to read it, then you will be able to come up with content that really is relevant to them.

Edward: Yeah. Well, for example, I work with a lot of small business owners so my content is aimed at small business owners, and I know my market and I’m writing for them. I’m not writing for CEO’s of big companies. I’m not writing for solicitors. I’m writing for little people like yourself on the line. I connect with you and get across my point and as compelling and authentic way as possible.

Kat: Yeah and that goes back to building your tribe. You are building a really neat tribe who are invested in what you have to say.

Edward: Question. What do you think of this heading I’ve got here, Kat? Does that stand out?

Kat: Well, apart from the fact that you noted some illegal activity there, Ed, which I’m not sure about with the legal team, you might have to check on that one.

Edward: It was actually legal so what it was that I was actually in Auburn with some clients and we had these Middle Eastern tobacco pipes.

Kat: Oh.

Edward: It was completely legal but part of me think it is illegal, I’ve walked out of there completely high.

Kat: Yeah, I spent some time in India a year or so ago and got an old Shisha pipe and I’ve got to say that, you know, it’s one of those instances where they questionable.

Edward: Exactly and the point being again, this is not about me smoking drugs in Auburn but this is more about you can see sort of how I’ve taken this event and I’ve made a very eye catching heading about it.

Kat: That’s it.

Edward: And this got a lot of views. Marketing creator been smoking drugs in Auburn.

Kat: Yeah. Do you know why? Because it’s controversial but why is Ed talking about smoking drugs? You know? What’s that about? I want to read that.

Edward: Yeah. Exactly so there are several different tactics, being a bit controversial, I’ve been direct, talking about strange things. Even in nice ways, you can be, you don’t have to be controversial and negative.

Kat: No.

Edward: It can be positive.

Kat: Yeah, it’s basically about standing for something, having an opinion. You know, if everyone else is saying something is great, come out and say why you think we should consider something else or vice versa. If everyone is being quite negative in your field about a particular thing, maybe you missed an opportunity for it to be a positive thing so have that voice.

Edward: Exactly. Exactly. I think a good example is people having to dig up the photo shopping issue right now.

Kat: Yeah.

Edward: It’s funny. On Facebook, there was this semi-nude photo with quite an overweight woman that came out.

Kat: Okay.

Edward: I shared it saying this woman is hot, I don’t care what anyone says. Something like that. It got nothing but likes and resonation.

Kat: Excellent.

Edward: I’m thinking standing for something different, you know, having a different point of view, but that different point of view that you know resonates to your target market.

Kat: Yeah and, you know, we were talking about this before, Ed, when you actually have a really strong opinion, you are going to polarize people and don’t be afraid of that. You will upset some people but they are not the people you need to worry about. As long as you are serving your tribe!

Edward: Exactly. Here’s a good one here. This is an article, which I wrote, and I want to sort of show you it wasn’t not only to make my own political point. But it’s also to use some very compelling viewing. This one got a lot of views. My article heading is Gay People in Business. Why I love them and think they are awesome. Now that’s a pretty controversial sort of title, isn’t it?

Kat: It’s great. It’s opinionated. I love it.

Edward: And it did really well. It got lots of views and also, again, I mean I’m obviously you know pro-gay and pro-gay marriage although I’m a Christian and liberal and all that but the point to sort of make is that, you know, I have a lot of gay clients. You know, so the fact that my gay clients have seen me taking their side in such a public way is only going to advance my cause, isn’t it Kat?

Kat: Yeah and again, it goes back to being authentic. You know, being truthful if that’s what you believe. Put it out there and don’t be afraid of it. I will also just say that while you have an opinion, try to bring it back to your business in some way if you can because it comes back to being relevant and you do that really well because you’ve said, okay, this is my belief about gay rights, but there is a link in the business sense too.

Edward: And that’s good example so the way I’ve written this content. I’ve been speaking about gay rights but I’ve told you about how they make good clients and I’m a great marketing person. You know, so again, this is one example. What I might do just to break things up, I’m going to go back to a real world example.

We talked a lot about it on line and I guess I know a lot of you guys are thinking on line but I’m just going to randomly go into our archive, which you can probably see, and I’m just going to dig up something which is actually real world and I know what I’m going to dig up. I’m going to dig up my actual corporate profile.

Kat: There you go.

Edward: Now, I don’t’ mean to bore the hell out of you guys and you are going to see this load up now, but a lot of you people that know me in the real world, you would have seen my corporate profile. Now, I don’t want to spend heaps of time on this, you know. It’s, you know, I don’t want to spend a lot of time on it but I just want to show you, this is an example.

Kat has helped me, you know, Kat has gone over this and she’s actually helped me with some of my content on this. My corporate profile is really how a lot of people, at least on my one on one services, decide to hire me. What’s the first thing in my corporate profile? Also in business and marketing for small businesses.

Kat: And your feet as well.

Edward: And my feet. They are not my feet, but you know. Yeah, exactly. You know, it’s compelling words, compelling messaging, to really resonate and get that response to the target market.

Kat: Yeah and the thing is too that if I’m going to creep, I’m your target audience, I see that and I go small businesses, it’s bold. My eye goes straight to that. I go yeah, that’s me and yes, I need these strategies so I’m more likely to open the cover and read on.

Edward: Exactly so I think we are saying a lot of things the same. Be relevant, be different, be short, be direct. What other tips have you got there for the audience, Kat?

Kat: Well look, I know we’ve been talking about written content but I do just want to drop in other ideas for you to think about that make up the whole content cake if you want to put it that way. Because that’s what content is. It’s a cake. It’s all these different slices of things you can do that make up the whole cake. There are a few things you can do. Info graphics are really big at the moment. Info graphic, would you actually Google that for me? That’s just one example.

Edward: You bet.

Kat: If you go into Google images and you pull one up. So info graphics are a really cool way to share information without just writing lots and lots of copy. So I’ve got one here, which is going to come up on your screen in a moment or two.

So see how it’s really colorful and you’ve got lots of cool little graphs and pictures and sometimes it’s a flow chart too so there will be arrows taking you through the graphic. That’s a really, really cool way to share information in a different way than just having words on the page. I encourage you to consider those.

There’s actually some free websites you can do] graphics. Piktochart is one of them, which is Piktochart. It’s really easy and you can jump in there and create a free info graphic and then it’s free once you blog or wherever else. I’m just going to pull one up now. So yeah, so and there are a few other ones too but that’s just the first one that comes up in Google if you want to check it out.

A few other things to think about. Video content. You know it’s still huge, YouTube is taking over. I would say make sure you’ve got written content and video content because then you are capturing two different markets, two different styles of getting information to people and also it’s great if you actually were to have those two versions as well. So video.

Podcasts is another great way to do it. That can be as simple as recording something on your phone. Kind of Ed, you’ve done that yourself.

Edward: Yeah, exactly. You know, you can record content with your phone and I’ll even give a big shout out to Daniel Doherty.

Kat: Yeah. He’s in video. Oh.

Edward: Daniel Doherty, he recommended me this great site when he did my last webinar is rev.com. You know, rev.com, you can get whole things, you can get whole sections of information transcribed to really give, you know, $1 a minute transcription is very, very accurate.

Kat: And cheap.

Edward: Exactly so if there is going to be lots of content, you might just record some audio file and you can just send it, $1 a minute and get it all transcribed but for example, this webinar is going to get transcribed. We’ve been for about 55 minutes. It’s going to cost me $55 and it’s all going to be transcribed. That’s going to be out there publicly for you guys to refer back to.

Kat: Yeah and the great thing for us in terms of doing that is also, you know, you guys have got information to take away with you but Ed, if you want to share that on your websites and beyond, we are creating shareable content that is going to get recognized in search engines.

Edward: Exactly and this webinar is transcribed for years to come.

Kat: Absolutely.

Edward: Absolutely. Wow. Just amazing. What else have you got for me?

Kat: Look, I think we’re just going to start wrapping up here, Ed, is just coming back to our key points about content. The first thing I want to say is don’t worry about not being a writer. It’s your ideas that are important, particularly when it comes to your blog. Your website, you want to get, you know, pretty spot on in the way that you write it but particularly blogs and video content and the rest of it, it’s your ideas that people want to hear and it’s the ideas that are going to stick. So focus on that. Have a unique voice. Think about what is different and don’t be afraid to polarize people.

Edward: Absolutely and guys, we’ve come to the end of our webinar. We’ve had a major content disaster but I think, I hope we survived! Something, we’re going to play the blame game, that’s fine.

Kat: It was the cat.

Edward: Yeah. It was a cat. You know who it was? It was the ABC.

Kat: Oh. The ABC.

Edward: ABC. There you go. We’re going to blame them but look, all I want to say is thank you. We’ve had an amazing webinar. You guys have been an amazing audience and I was just going to say that’s Kat Tate right here. She’s right next to me. Her email address is right there so feel free to visit kattatecopywriting.com.au or Kat@kattatecopywriting.com.au. Send her an email if you want to hiring her amazing services. You know, Kat is more than happy to have a half an hour chat with you just to talk about what you can do and she can help you with.

Kat: Yeah, absolutely.

Edward: And so am I, you know. We are all here ready to help you and we just want to say thank you for being an amazing audience. We’re going to have this all transcribed and if you are watching this years later in hindsight, I hope you enjoyed this time capsule. If you are watching this recently, I hope you are getting some great content.

Guys, I think that’s it. There’s no more questions. I think we say to these awesome people have a good night.

Kat: Yeah. Have a great evening everyone and thanks again for joining us.

Edward: Guys, thank you. It’s been a pleasure. Edward Zia signing out with Kat Tate. Have a great evening and contact us anytime.

Kat: Bye. (music exit)

The Successful Manufacturer and Marketer: Michael Mourad from Pace Pallet Services

Michael Mourad - A very humble, kind and hard-working man who has built a great family based business in the Industrial West Suburbs of Sydney.

Michael Mourad – A very humble, kind and hard-working man who has built a great family based business in the Industrial West Suburbs of Sydney.

I was very lucky some 6 months ago to meet this amazing Manufacturing Entrepreneur by the name of Michael Mourad from Pace Pallet Services.

As part of being on the Board of the Cumberland Business Chamber (which is an Industrial Business Chamber based in Sydney’s West) – we started working on some shared projects and I was very lucky to get involved in his business and see his amazing operation and success first hand.

If you have been keeping abreast of Australian News lately – it won’t take much reading of the papers or flicking through TV Channels to see that Manufacturing in our country is most certainly on the decline across the board.  Car Manufacturers, Speciality Manufacturers and even Steel to name a few – there isn’t a lot of good news in this regard.

Michael’s business has been growing and as part of our combined mission and work with Cumberland Chamber – we have been helping to tell the “Manufacturers Story” to get the right message to government in relation to the challenges, sentiments, barriers and support required for manufacturing to turn a positive corner in our fine country.   In addition to capturing Michael’s thoughts in this interview, I was also lucky to learn his story – of how he came to be and the thinking that has led to his amazing success.

Listen to his interview below and feel free to read the transcript.

Many great thanks from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Developer of the Awesome Marketing Vault

 

Edward Zia: Hello everyone this is Edward Zia here and I’m sitting here with the amazing Michael Mourad from Pace Pallet Services. Say hello to the audience Michael.

Michael Mourad: Hello everybody.

Edward Zia: This is a very interesting interview, a very important character I work with. Michael Mourad is an amazing entrepreneur from a company called Pace Pallet Services. If you’re from Sydney, he’s got a factory based in Wetherill Park and he manufactures pallets for big, big companies and custom designs pallets. He’s an amazing entrepreneur with how many staff have you got, full time staff?

Michael Mourad: We’ve got about a dozen people here Ed.

Edward Zia: Dozen people, full on entrepreneur. He has built a manufacturing business in Australia from scratch that is growing today. That’s quite a rare thing in today’s economy. I think, got several reasons for interviewing Michael today. A – I want to hear his amazing story but B – love to hear his views on what manufacturing is doing in Australia and what can be done to improve it. So, Michael this is your show. How did you get here, how did you build such a successful business Michael?

Michael Mourad: Thanks for the introduction Ed. We started business back in 1998 and started out as a part time business operating out of a garage at home.

Edward Zia: Operating out of a garage?

Michael Mourad: Operating out of a garage, yeah. It’s a similar story to many businesses around the world.

Edward Zia: Bill Gates, I think, started in a garage didn’t he?

Michael Mourad: Yeah, I believe he did. We basically started out as a transport company providing pallet collection services. From there we slowly evolved into providing the collection and repair services. We thought, well if we’re going to repair pallets why can’t we manufacture brand new ones. We then got into manufacturing, manufacturing custom pallets. It’s been a gradual evolution ever since. Since we started we’ve seen steady growth and that growth is continuing today. We’re not seeing massive growth but it’s been steady and stable growth. The view I’ve always had is, if we pick up a new account let’s do it well, let’s do it right, let’s make sure it’s profitable, move on to the next one. It’s been a formula that’s worked so far.

Edward Zia: I was going to say, when did you start this business?

Michael Mourad: Originally started providing transport services since 1998. We actually officially came together and formed Pace Pallet Services in 2001 as a company. Part of that was a couple of different partnerships that were working together. Since 2001, as I said it was a steady growth. We purchased a factory unit then we rented a second one, we leased the yard. We’ve now moved premises again. So Yeah, as I said, smooth, slow, steady growth.

Edward Zia: So you went from the Bill Gates story of working in a garage to having this massive, awesome factory now.

Michael Mourad: I wouldn’t say it’s massive but it’s definitely a step forward. I’d call it a medium size factory. A perfect fit for basically where we’re heading at the moment. We pick up a few major accounts along the way and hopefully a few more to come before we pick up and go up to the next level of warehouse.

Edward Zia: I was going to say, you don’t have to blow your details, but you’ve got some pretty prestigious clients that you work with.

Michael Mourad: Absolutely Ed. We believe strongly in forming partnerships with our clients. Whether it be a small, owner-operated business or a small multi-national, our view is, as we get in there, it’s no secret we need to make profit. It’s no secret our customer has to save a dollar. We go in there with the attitude to work together and quiet often with an open book, which we’ve done, in an effort to come up with the best solution. It’s worked well for us so far. We’re not going to claim to be the cheapest in the market, we’re not going to claim to be the most expensive, we claim to be the fairest and most honest. Trying to have a level of integrity in the way we do business and it’s been a successful formula so far.

Edward Zia: It’s amazing. Let’s go back a little big, let’s go a bit back in time. If you’re not from Sydney, Wetherill Park is, I suppose west of Sydney, this is one of the major industrial zones of Australia, isn’t it?

Michael Mourad: Absolutely. I believe it’s the largest industrial area in Australia. I find it quite central to the Sydney metro, that’s who we primarily service, the Sydney metro area. I’ve also grown up in the area.

Edward Zia: I was going to say tell us, what’s it like growing up in the industrial heartland of Australia.

Michael Mourad: I’ve always felt very connected with this area. I’ve gone to school. The school I used to go to was actually right in the heart of the Wetherill Park industrial area. It’s no longer a school anymore. We used to go across the road and pick up scrap timber from the local window factory and actually build cubby houses. Wetherill Park looked a little different then, but it’s certainly been quiet an experience as a child.

Edward Zia: So as a school child, I can’t imagine that today that you’d go to the factory and pick up bits of timber and play with them. That sounds like a law suit by today’s standards, Michael.

Michael Mourad: Yeah, well I’m still doing it today. We’re still picking up bits of timber and making things out of it.

Edward Zia: Except you’re making money this time.

Michael Mourad: There you go.

Edward Zia: That’s amazing. So what happened to you, you went to high school? What’d you do after high school?

Michael Mourad: After high school I actually wanted to pursue a career in computer programming strangely enough. Not many people know this. I actually went and got a diploma in computer programming.

Edward Zia: You got a diploma, didn’t know that.

Michael Mourad: No, no that’s right. I really enjoyed problem solving and I wanted to have a career in computer programming. But once I completed my diploma, I realized that I couldn’t see myself spending all my time behind the screen solving problems all day. I wanted to solve problems away from the computer screen. That’s when I got into business. I had a few different jobs. I was a [store man 07:29] and packer for a while. I was a dispatch clerk, I was a transport manager, a production manager, a materials manager.

Edward Zia: So you’ve worked your way right up the blue collar high rocket.

Michael Mourad: Absolutely. Operations management, general management, now director of my own company.

Edward Zia: So you were a general manager? What did you do there, that’s a pretty prestigious role?

Michael Mourad: Yeah, I call it general manager within my own business.

Edward Zia: Ah, got it, got it.

Michael Mourad: Yeah, In the corporate field I’ve got as high as an operations manager. Basically looking out for factories, and logistics, and transport.

Edward Zia: How many staff did you have under you at one point? That was a pretty prestigious role that you had.

Michael Mourad: The most I had was just over 50 staff in my corporate career. That’s a thing of the past; you still have challenges, you still have stakeholders to please. The challenge now is really trying to satisfy our own demand and move quickly to make sure that we meet our objectives.

Edward Zia: Absolutely. I was going to say what made you decide to leave the corporate world and go into your own business, and build this amazing business that you have today?

Michael Mourad: I guess it was a number of things. As I mentioned in 1998 the business was in its infancy. I was actually doing it as a part-time job on the weekends. The birth of the business . . .

Edward Zia: You were a naughty moon lighter, weren’t you?

Michael Mourad: Actually came about prior to me leaving the corporate world. As I said, it was a slow evolution but at the time, when I went full time into it, it was a logical thing to do.

Edward Zia: So you went out, you started up with your family. Just so I know, every time I visit here, you hide your whole family. Who are your family members who work here as staff?

Michael Mourad: We’ve got three equal shareholders between my dad, and my brother, and myself. We are quite active in the business and I think any family business, you need to be clear on what your roles and responsibilities are. We’ve clearly defined them early, we work well together, we look after our own area of responsibility. We sometimes have to tread on each others toes.

Edward Zia: But you’ve been doing that your whole life so it’s OK, right?

Michael Mourad: It’s OK. We all find a way to figure things out and, if we have to step on toes in somebody else’s area for the benefit of the business we do it. As long as we’re all seeking the same goal it all works out well in the end.

Edward Zia: Love it. I suppose the big thing that obviously that brings us out, especially this point and time, is that we’ve been together working on the shared project with Cumberland Business Chamber.

Michael Mourad: Yes.

Edward Zia: At this time, we are both on the board of Cumberland Business Chamber, Michael Mourad and myself. Really the Cumberland Business Chamber is about building business in the western industrial heartland.

Michael Mourad: Yes.

Edward Zia: I imagine manufacturing costs in Australia, you know we’ve had the recent closure of car plants, SPC case going on at the moment, at the time we do this. Manufacturing in Australia, you wouldn’t say it’s a positive picture isn’t it?

Michael Mourad: No, it’s of great concern. Especially to companies like mine which form partnerships with larger manufacturers. It’s very concerning to see how many of my manufacturing customers have decided to shut shop. It’s too expensive, labor, etc., it’s too expensive to produce in Australia. Let’s shut shop, let’s send it overseas, and we’ll just be a sales and distribution business in Australia. I’ve seen it happen over and over again. We still get the pallet business, but it’s sad to see those clients opt now for an imported version. We’re losing all that skill, all that expertise in Australia for it to go overseas. It just concerns me. I don’t know what the solution is, but it concerns me greatly what the future of manufacturing in Australia is going to be like. Here I am working very hard for many years to build our humble family business. What will the face of manufacturing be for my children? What is the future? I’m hearing a lot of distressing stories from my clients, the cost of energy, cost of labor, the red tape. The manufacturing is all over the headlines but what is being done?

Being a small to medium business owner, it’s very easy to be so focused on your own business, head down, keeping an eye on the bottom line, trying to keep your head above water, and then venturing outside of that comfort zone dealing with the bigger issues. You generally don’t have time for that. I’ve been in that boat. Joining the Cumberland Business Chamber has given me an opportunity to get my head out of my own business and do that little bit more. Yes it eats into my personal time but it’s what you do to actually see. If there are more businesses like me that would just do that little bit extra, to get out of your own space, and see if we can tackle the bigger issues, and have a voice. I feel the local business chamber is the right place for that because it is local. I know there are other, larger organizations but I feel that the Cumberland Business Chamber was the right choice for us. To have a local voice and this is our first opportunity to actually get out there and see if we can make a difference.

Edward Zia: It sounds amazing. You’ve identified a few issues as being increasing energy costs, some of your clients are going overseas. In short, what do you see as the big challenges to Australian manufacturers?

Michael Mourad: Ed I think everybody’s talking about efficiency. You can only get so efficient. If you’re running your margins tight, and you’re running your overheads tight, and you’re as efficient as you can be, you might be able to squeeze a little bit more here and there but you’ve got no where to go. You’ve got nowhere to go with your margin because I can’t increase my price. You’ve got nowhere to go with your overheads because I’ve squeezed my overheads already. There’s nowhere to go. More efficiency, if you’ve done your best to get as efficient as you can, where do you go? There’s nowhere else to go. You can’t tweak, “I’m going to up my price.” It’s difficult enough to be competitive as it is. It’s something I don’t know the answer to.

Edward Zia: So you’re up against pressures of again, you can only charge so much, or you just want to get those big deals. There are certain costs that are on the rise. I guess you’re being squeezed from the top line and also your bottom line. I think it is a big issue because obviously a lot of Australian manufacturers have felt that pinch. Just putting it out there again where, obviously this is an apolitical interview, as much as I support the Liberal Party, it is an apolitical interview and I think it’s fair to say. I’m a member of the liberal party. But it’s also fair to say that both side of politics have not adequately addressed the concerns of manufacturers. I think anyone would agree on that. And being, a big supporter of the liberal party, I’m the first to say my own party needs to work on that. What do you think both sides of politics and the government should really be doing to help the situation?

Michael Mourad: Ed I don’t have a solution, I’ll be honest with you. I’m one of these people that’s been caught up in my own world and, in recent times, I’m starting to stick my head out and get more active at a higher level. But it would be nice if both sides of government could listen to the masses and understand what the issues are. If energy is hurting a particular industry, well why can’t we have the cheapest energy in the world? Why does energy have to be so expensive and so heavily taxed? Our industrial relations laws. There’s some industries that are doing extremely well in terms of their salary packages. Is that sustainable? What’s in the better interest of the nation? Sustainable industry or let’s get the best for our staff today? It needs a balance. It can’t be too far on either side. I don’t have a solution, all I can say is I would like to see more businesses like myself get out of our comfort zone, and out of our spaces. It can be very difficult when you’re fighting to maintain a bottom line and it is a fight sometimes. I totally sympathize with that, but if more businesses like mine could get out and actually get active, and make a contribution instead of whinging to themselves and amongst themselves, actually get out there and voice their opinion. Join your local chamber, join the Cumberland Business Chamber, and actually speak up, get involved. We’re actually hosting an upcoming manufacturers forum. This is the first time I’ve attempted anything like this in my business. I’d welcome any size manufacturer to actually come out and introduce themselves and voice some of these concerns. At the Cumberland Business Chamber is well connected. If you want to get a message to the right people, this is certainly the forum to do that.

Edward Zia: I think you’ve touched on a very good point there Michael. It’s one thing to bitch to your buddies and it might be stress relieving at that moment, but what actual good does it do in informing government on what needs to be done. I think it’s a very fair comment. Again as I said, I’m not hiding this, I’m a member of the liberal party but I say this as well. I’m in the media today, we can see both sides of politics pointing fingers at each other as to where the car manufacturing industry has gone. Not one of them has stepped forward and said, “Where did we go wrong 20 years ago?” I know we’ve sort of spoken about this. Maybe if we pick on the car manufacturing industry for the moment, you would agree to the fact they did not go broke yesterday. They started going broke what, 20 years ago?

Michael Mourad: I think we lost the car manufacturing industry a long time ago. It’s too far down the track. The car manufacturing industry is really just the final assembly of a car in Australia. How much of a car is really Australian?

Edward Zia: I want to know, tell us.

Michael Mourad: I wouldn’t know either. But you buy an engine from this country, you buy these components from another country, you buy these bits and pieces, and we have a factory in Australia which does the final assembly, it’s Australian made. I think we need to go right back to the raw material. We’re quite happy to be digging dirt out of the ground and basically put on a ship. Is that what we are? A country that’s only good for digging up dirt out of the ground? I think we need to look at all the value adding processes of smelting that metal or whatever the raw material is, and then value adding it into the down line manufacturing process. Then it may turn into a car or into a fridge, or an air conditioner, or whatever it might be. If our government can help us go right down the line and follow that value add processes all the way through, then I think there’s some real opportunity for Australia. It’s too easy just to dig out a bit of dirt, put it on a ship, send it away, and then we buy a car from somewhere else. It’s just too easy.

Edward Zia: And obviously any logical person when hearing the facts presented in that light, you shake your head. It just doesn’t stack up to any form of economic rationalism, doesn’t it?

Michael Mourad: Absolutely not. I’m a small business owner, again, trying to keep my head above water like many others. I don’t have the answers, but I would love to see the brainpower that we have in the country come together, put your ideas on the table, and let’s give the government some real meat as to how to help the manufacturing industry in Australia.

Edward Zia: Michael I think that sounds great and I think this discussion has been very compelling and really understanding. I suppose the concern of a successful manufacturer like yourself, and obviously you’re not like a wing nut or anything on the edge, you’re not like a fringe character here. You’re obviously speaking the voice of the masses and only one needs to visit the ABC News website or pick up a paper to see the state of disarray that the Australian manufacturing industry is in.

Michael Mourad: Absolutely.

Edward Zia: Michael, this has been a great interview. I’m going to say this has been very, very good content. It’s been amazing not only hearing the story but also the challenges that we have to contend with. I was going to say anything you want to close on with the audience? Any bit of advice that you give to people in your position, any compelling tidbits?

Michael Mourad: Ed I guess if there’s one thing I could share. I like to conduct my life and my business following a few simple rules. I have these rules in my notes on my phone which I sometimes look back just to remind myself on how I want to conduct myself in life. I wouldn’t mind sharing it with your self.

Edward Zia: I’d love to hear it and the whole world’s going to hear it.

Michael Mourad: My first rule, enjoy life. So regardless of whether it’s personal or business, we need to enjoy life. Let’s not forget that.

Edward Zia: Love it.

Michael Mourad: My family always comes first.

Edward Zia: Brilliant.

Michael Mourad: Be present. Take care of my health. Work hard and play hard. Have integrity in the way I conduct myself and my business. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Foster creativity and ideas. Use a planned and structured method for managing my business. Grow and develop my staff. Trust and respect those who have earned it. Make the tough decisions. Reward performance and results. Challenge myself and the things I don’t agree with. Do not accept mediocrity. Be positive. That’s it.

Edward Zia: That’s amazing, I think we should swap jobs. It’s amazing. You know one thing I like from that, I love the bit about mediocrity. Obviously, you being the successful man you are today, is a result of you not accepting mediocrity.

Michael Mourad: No.

Edward Zia: I mean, not many people, let’s say, come from a working class background in this part of town to build such an amazing business like you have.

Michael Mourad: Ed, if there’s anything left, you can be as motivated and as positive as you like but at the end of the day, you just got to be committed to it. Motivation peaks and troughs, as our energy does. You just have to remain committed to it. That’s what I’ve done, it’s a consistent commitment. Not giving up, working through the tough times and the good times. You’ll be there. We’re still here, we plan to be here for a long time further. I hope I’ve imparted some of my life lessons anyway.

Edward Zia: Michael it’s been an amazing interview. Thank you very much and I think it’s very interesting. Obviously we’ve got to tell the government what’s going on so both sides, both the left and right of politics can come in and help us. Some very, very good lessons to close on, commitment is everything.

Michael Mourad: Absolutely.

Edward Zia: Michael on behalf of Edward Zia’s small business marketing mental, thank you for the amazing interview.

FIGHTING BIG GUYS and Awesome Small Business Marketing!

This is "Vault Boy" from the Fallout Video Game Serious.  All about the little guy taking on the big guys through thinking differently and knowing one's strengths. A great role model for me! (Thank you to Obsidian Entertainment for the image use!)

This is “Vault Boy” from the Fallout Video Game Series. All about the little guy taking on the big guys through thinking differently and knowing one’s strengths. A great role model for me! (Thank you to Obsidian Entertainment for the image use!)

Talking Small Business Marketing (and any company size for that matter) we live in a competitive landscape.

The Consumer is totally spoilt for choices and each of us are up against at times “Infinite Competition”.  What a positive article I am writing? Am I trying to scare you? Do I totally suck?

Touch wood it’s a no to all of them and even though my article may have a negative heading – I certainly have a positive message to preach in how one can deal with these situations and totally rise above with results!

Even though lately I am playing the game of life and love it – at times (and especially when I was a teenager) I was a massive gamer and loved playing Video Games (more PC ones) such as Civilization, XCOM, Doom, Wolfenstein and all those great ones.  When I was unemployed during the GFC I got REALLY GOOD at Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Online! These days of course I am a responsible man and one recurring theme I love about video games is you start off – usually up against it.  Most of the game is a struggle then towards the end you get the upper hand and it becomes quite a breeze!

One video game series I love is the “Fallout” series.  It’s set like 200 years after a nuclear war between America and China and depending on which one – you usually start off as a person in pain, trying to make sense of the world and do what you need to do.  The start of the game is really hard! Then it gets easier as you find your feet in the “Nuclear Wasteland”, get great weapons and just know how life works.

This sounds like starting a business to me! Sucks and hard at the start, but once you find your feet – it becomes an amazing experience and turns to awesome fun quite quickly!

In particular as a Small Business Owner – you at times can be the little guy up against the big guy.  Unless you have some really really unique technology (which can be possible in some industries) chances are you are up against a Bigger Player than you with a “Similar Offering”.  Be it a Small Business Owner who is bigger and already there or even say Global Companies – it places a great deal of pressure on us to come up with something different and compelling so we really stand out and get the success we deserve in the market.

I work as a Marketing Mentor and I have tons of competition out there! I am often compared against:

– Big Business Coaching Franchises.

– Business Coaches.

– Marketing Consultants.

– Other Marketing Mentors!

Lots of people out there and talking more personally me to you – if I am not careful and understand what really makes me unique and stands out – then I am complete toast.  For example, I know that my success has been through:

– Staying Focused on Sales & Marketing (don’t stray into general Business Coaching where the competition is massive).

– Giving away more content than everyone else (such as this article you are reading).

– Having a fun and distinct brand (such as my logo which I love).

If you are about to go into business or you are in business – you CANNOT compete with the big guys.  What I mean is that you CANNOT WIN if you operate like they do.

So what does this leave? Finding your own awesome unique style so you operate LIKE YOU DO and people totally love it.  What can you do differently? How can you fight the big guys in style and win?

Here are a few general pointers that inspire me:

– Be more generous.

– Be specific.

– Have a great speciality.

– Think different.

– Show you are different

– Try harder!

Yes, like Avis “We Try Harder”.  It always works and one of my most favourite strategies for beating the big guys.  Try harder and love what you do more! And speaking of loving what you do, check out the Awesome Marketing Vault.  Full of Super Love for Super Small Business Owners!

When you study marketing especially like I have at the Post-Graduate Level (way before I became an Entrepreneur) a lot of the training and thinking is directed at the “Point of Difference Logic”.  This is exactly as it sounds – what is truly different and how can it play out.  All of us are different, our businesses are different so it may take part “Creative” and part “Logical” thought for you can do differently.  This thinking has built me an awesome business and I am sure your own version of such awesome unique thinking can help you too!

Thank you from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor who loves fighting the big guys (and Video Games Once!)

Being Chicken in Business and How it Keeps you Poor!

I would be the cat over the chicken any day awesome people! Giving into being chicken like I did for years won't make you successful! Learn from my mistakes :)

I would be the cat over the chicken any day awesome people! Giving into being chicken like I did for years won’t make you successful! Learn from my mistakes!

I used to be “Chicken”.  Yes, a big fat old Chicken.  If you haven’t heard this quite funny saying (as I noticed quite a few young folk don’t know what it means) – it basically means that you are afraid, a coward and it’s quite a derogatory word to call someone a “Chicken”.  My life and business rocks these days and I am well into the journey of success and in my ripe old age of 35 (yes I am really old now) – I have lived many lives and seen tons of extreme situations that always like to get me and keep me thinking.

Over the past 1 to 2 years, my life has come together and it has me continually asking the question “Why?”.  Besides me being a Marketing Mentor, loving Small Businesses and all that – I always find it completely necessary to always question my own thought and success from several points of view:

– So I understand it, so I don’t stuff up again.

– I am a curious type of guy.

– So I can help others understand and learn from my own lessons.

In my own personal case – I used to be paralysed by fear, the status quo and at times peer group pressure.  I would at times let evil bosses push me around, not let my voice be heard and even worse – not stick up for people when they needed it.  I am of course being hard on myself – in my old life I did tend to stand up for others, but deep down I never did it as well as I do today to help out my common friend.

Lately in my life my success has come from the direct opposite.  Challenging people doing the wrong thing, overcoming my own fears, taking intelligent risks, questioning my own thinking and acting in ways that totally terrify me – but I know are for my own good.

Not just being an entrepreneur, but in life – I really do think that “Being Chicken” is a very bad strategy.  To clarify the difference, being intelligently cautious is one thing – but taking it too far to be a scaredy cat and not take action – won’t only be a disaster but I can promise it will keep you poor and unsuccessful. It certainly did for me and I find that unless we confront our own fears on a continual basis – they eventually take us over and make us:

– Average Characters!

Which totally sucks! It means you will not earn more than $60,000 per year, will be overweight and have a 50% chance of divorce.  Not my odds thank you! My lessons in life and reflecting on it lately:

– Push yourself everyday.  Just that little bit.  Go a bit harder.  Go that extra mile.

That do me I think has been one of the core keys of my success and I love it! And like all things, you love success and want more of it – make sure you check out my Awesome Marketing Vault – full of Awesome Strategies and tips!

Thank you for the read, keep up the great work and love from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and guy who ain’t chicken anymore!

Marketing, Creativity and Smoking Drugs in Auburn

Kappy and Suraj - the two awesome entrepreneurs from inode cloud who know how to party and get great ideas flowing! Yeah!

Kappy and Suraj – the two awesome entrepreneurs from inode cloud who know how to party and get great ideas flowing! Yeah!

I have had one amazing Sunday as I sit here at 9:45PM writing this fine article.  I am married to my work and I have had one powerhouse day! I have met with some amazing clients today including Lauren Watts, Daniel Doherty and I had an amazing “Lunchtime”.

As per my Persian heritage and not letting down Sydney based Stereo-types against Middle Easterners – I was “Doing Business” and “Smoking Drugs” in Auburn.

I am very lucky to be working with some amazing individuals Kappy and Suraj – who run a Hosting Company by the name of inode cloud. These boys are incredible entrepreneurs and I really enjoy meeting my “Fine Tech” clients. Obsessed with technology such as I – even though I am a Persian Man, I am quite strangely disconnected from my own Middle Eastern Culture.

If you don’t know it – Auburn is a Middle Eastern Suburb of Western Sydney, that has a very rough reputation for Gangs, Shootings and all bad stuff.  But where I come to defend it’s title, for Middle Eastern food they are outstanding and yes – I was “Smoking Drugs” with my clients today.  If you have never tried this before, it’s called “Hubbly Bubbly” – which are those massive smoking pipes.

They ordered one and I am like “Hmm, I don’t smoke – are you sure?”.  Being like a 13 year old boy hiding behind the back of the school shed giving in to peer-group pressure, I took the pipe and started chuffing away like a try-hard kid trying to fit in.  I LOVED IT! Wasn’t like smoking tobacco at all – it had a flavour about it and boy did it get me high.

Not “Drug High” but high enough like having an instant coffee giving me that refreshed feeling.  By taking small amounts of this fine drug, it immediately pepped me up – and our creative ideas were flowing.  If you know me already, I am a fairly intense guy as it – and this just gave me this edge! Where am I going with this article I am writing? Am I going to tell you that “Drug’s are Bad, Mmm-Kay?”

This experience (which was legal of course!) reminded me as to the fun of taking drugs, but also the danger of them.  Of course smoking legal tobacco in a legal “Hubbly Bubbly” pipe is hardly an addictive experience – part of me is already wanting my “Next Shot” as on a range of levels I got alot out of the buzz.  I have to be careful of course – being an Ex-Veteran Suffering from PTSD, I can get hooked on stuff very quickly.  But boy it’s fun!

What I found very scary about the experience was that when I had a bit of this in my system – I could feel a great deal of my inhibitions leaving really quickly and the creativity was flowing and it was flowing fast! This can be good – and I think as Business Owners, having a drink or doing something fun like this a great release.  As long as of course they stay “Fun” and not something you do too much of.

Talking Food, Alcohol more – I have seen personally (and for me included), it can be a massive problem for people in business.  Like I was for a while (and even at times today), I was eating way too much food – or just drinking too much.  The questions is watching for when the “Fun” turns into a “Requirement”.  I had some massive problems with food about 1 year ago that made me really sick and quite overweight.  But bring it back to awesome Kappy, Suraj and Hubbly Bubbly – moderation is what matters here.

But it’s all solved now! The trick I have learnt in business and especially lately when it comes to Marketing Ones own Small Business is the importance of creativity.  Every so often you got to break the mould, do something different and get out there and approach things from a fresh perspective.  It could be going for a walk, going on a mini-holiday, going to a different part of town, seeing an old friend or something way more constructive than what I was up too x x

I think Kappy & Suraj have nailed that model in a very creative way – go to Auburn, “Smoke Some Drugs” and let the ideas flow! We came up with some amazing ideas and approaches and there you go – all in moderation of course!

Hope you enjoyed my read and I can promise you that I am 100% Sober as I write this article.   If you are after even more 100% Sober awesomeness, make sure you check out the Awesome Marketing Vault.  100% Awesome, 100% Great Ideas and 100% Drug-Free!

Thank you from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Persian Guy who enjoys the odd “Hubbly Bubbly!”

BREAK-UPS!!!! Business and Going to Work the Next Day!

Grumpy Cat Says it Best - Reflects my Mood on Valentine's Day!

Grumpy Cat Says it Best – Reflects my Mood on Valentine’s Day!

This is not a topic that many like to speak about and is almost a taboo subject – but is Break-Ups of Relationships when it comes to business.  I don’t enjoy talking about it either – however talking personally and many other Awesome Business Owners & Entrepreneurs I work with – it has been the cause of high levels of stress and personal fatigue for many.

Talking myself personally too – I had significant break-ups in 2013 which was not only devastating – but really preyed on my health as well (fortunately – they were “Good Break-Ups” – awesome women who I am great friends with).

As I write this article, Valentine’s Day was yesterday and quite a few of us where a bit “Bummed” out (including me).  I got a bit down thinking “Aww Jesus, I am 35 now” and started a bit of Violin Playing and “Feel Sorry myself” reflecting on my love lost and the fact there still isn’t a Mrs Crazy Persian.

I am fine now of course, as when I get down it doesn’t tend to last long – and back in the game getting into it (amazing what a block of Cadbury Fruit & Nut does for this feeling).  If anything, I am happier now being single and more than happy to wait as long as it takes to find the right one as the cliche goes!

On George Takei’s Page – he shared this awesome Meme of “Grumpy Cat”.  If you don’t know Grumpy Cat – then shame on you! (Just Kidding).  He is this great internet sensation about this cat that just looks “Pissed Off” all the time – and people put up slightly cynical – yet very true statements about life.

As I was feeling down, seeing Grumpy Cat make light of my situation immediately cheered me up and he totally rocks.

Talking more business (in particular being a solo Entrepreneur) when Relationships turn sour this can be a massive problem if not handled properly.  I am not just talking as in “Relationships, Relationships” – but let’s say you are close to someone and that relationship goes bad – it can be very stressful.  I was very lucky to be with some amazing women last year and we broke up – and if anything, I think they are totally awesome in the way they handled things.  We are great friends today and there is positivity left behind (i.e. we all accept “We tried, it didn’t work – but ehh you get that!”).   What was more ironic – was that as I was getting my business & life awesome – I had a few “Friends” use me for heaps of referrals / support then move on.  That hurt lots too – and ironically I have those people at times coming back and asking me for help (hmmm!).

Be it Intimate, Close Friends or Business Partners – I (and many friends) have personally experienced events where you are sitting there enjoying a cup of tea – the BOOM! You get an email, a phone call and your life is forever changed in that moment.  I had a really close friend in 2013 just one day say “Edward – I don’t want to catch up anymore, I am too busy” and man that hurt.

I poured my heart and soul into that person and when it suited them commercially – they took advantage of me and moved on.  That so cut to the bone in that it was the first time in a long time I started making friends again and I wasn’t used to people doing this type of thing to me (as my life only really started to kick butt early 2013 – post GFC and all that).

Talking running a Small Business and being “Bright-Eyed and Bushy Tailed” as you run around and do your Sales & Marketing / Fulfilling your workload – when your significant other or a close personal friend decides to wake up that morning and ruin your day it can be incredibly stressful.

As did I – you may be feeling totally unstable and emotional – but you have work to do! You aren’t an employee anymore, so just “Taking a Day off” – may sound good on paper, but in reality is just not an option. For many great friends who had Marriages End or get screwed – it can be soul destroying but LIFE GOES ON!

This is part of the challenge that I think is that unless you are very very lucky – at some point in your business life, someone will do something quite bad to you in terms of Breaking-Up with you or just ending the friendship.  In going through this process myself – my own personal lesson has been dealing with the emotions and forgiving the other person as quickly as possible.

To clarify too – I mean “Forgiveness” in the more “Biblical” sense and not so much the street sense.  Most people consider “Forgiveness” as letting the other person walk over  you.  If you know me personally, I can really defend myself when I need too – and most would agree that I do not let anyone walk over me.  In fact, when I feel something bad has been done (even to someone else) – I may even proactively deliver “Justice” myself in situations when no one else does (if I don’t stand up to the scum-bag then who will?).

“Forgiveness” in this sense is more of not taking it any further.  By all means you defend yourself, retaliate if it is necessary – but once you have the situation under control, you then let it go and move on.  When my good friend called it quits friendship wise (and then hurt me on a few business deals) this was very hard on me and quite a painful process.  However, I made myself “Forgive” them and not take any further action against them.  Sure, if they tried anything funny on me or a friend – I would retaliate heavily, but unprovoked I have no problem with them and I have released the negative emotions.

This is where most people go wrong in talking business.  They enter a “Cold War” with the person they had a falling out with, which I think is not only pathetic – but doesn’t help them financially.  Even though this friend really screwed me over, my relationship relationships were with awesome people in that we both “Forgave” each other as quickly as possible.  This was not only good for us emotionally – but great for us from a business viewpoint in supporting each other and building a great friendship out of what happened.

If you are in a situation like I have been in – a partner has given you the “I don’t love you speech” or a close friend has given you the “I don’t have time for you anymore speech” may I suggest you relax and forgive that person immediately.  Sure, retaliate if you must – but let it go ASAP, be professional and get on with your life.  In a few situations I have had, the person comes back to you – and also it’s critical you take the higher road in such situations!

Just because someone does the wrong thing to you, does it make it morally correct to give back what they gave you?

Protect yourself and forgive is my advice! I hope you liked this one and if you want more awesome advice check out my sweet Online Course the Awesome Marketing Vault!

Thank you from Edward Zia – Marketing Mentor and Forgiver of Naughty People!