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Before the age of 21, Majeed Mogharreban owned and sold five successful businesses and traveled to 24 countries.
In the past 7 years, he has mentored hundreds of business owners, including a two-time Olympic gold medalist and MVP professional football player.
Majeed has inspired audiences in Canada, United States, Australia, and New Zealand. He has appeared as a guest expert on TV, and been featured in various newspapers, including The Globe and Mail, Canada’s leading national publication.
Majeed is dedicated to help people unlock their freedom to actively create a life of passion and purpose. Some might call him the arch nemesis of a directionless life. We call him Your Personal Success Guide.
Find out more about Majeed Mogharreban at:
Stefan Aarnio: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show, Respect The Grind with Stefan Aarnio. This is the show where we interview people who’ve achieved mastery and freedom through discipline. We interview entrepreneurs, athletes, authors, artists, real estate investors, anyone who’s achieved mastery, and examine what it took to get there. Today on the show, I have my good friend Majeed Mogharreban. Now, it’s like Madonna. Madonna’s a one-name word. Madonna, you know it’s Madonna. Majeed Mogharreban is Majeed Mogharreban, who is well known in the country of Canada for speaking. He’s a national speaker, written a few books. He helps entrepreneurs escape the small business trap. Majeed Mogharreban, Respect the Grind, thank you for joining me. Welcome to the show.
Majeed Mogharreban: It’s a pleasure. It’s an honor, Stefan.
Stefan Aarnio: Awesome. Thank you for having me. Now, Majeed Mogharreban, for the people at home who don’t know the one and only Majeed Mogharreban … I’m pretty sure the only Majeed Mogharreban I know. For the people who don’t know Majeed Mogharreban, can you tell the people at home a little bit about yourself and what makes you special?
Majeed Mogharreban: Well, I always start by introducing myself as Majeed Mogharreban, like magic, and I picked this up from the stage, from speaking, performing, and I got a bit of a funny name, long last name. It’s 10 letters, there’s a silent H and a double R. It’s Mogharreban. It’s easy to pronounce, but you look at it, it’s like, “That’s a tough name,” but I just go with the one name. It’s Majeed Mogharreban, like magic, and my goal there is to be unforgettable. I picked that up as a speaker. I started about 10 years ago. I was a professional speaker. We met through the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, and I have made my way through the speaker circuit, so they say, and I spoke about entrepreneurship to young people. I spoke about escaping the small business trap, as you mentioned, and now I help entrepreneurs make money speaking by growing their business using the stage.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. That’s tremendous. It’s a very high skill thing, to be a speaker. I met you … How many years ago has it been? Three, four years now?
Majeed Mogharreban: About that, yeah.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, three, four years ago, at CAPS, the national convention, and Majeed Mogharreban stood out to me because there’s all these much older people at CAPS, and I always say about speakers, they’re usually old because you got to be old enough to be good at something, and then you got to be speaking about it, so it’s like a double career. You don’t just go into speaking. You got to be good at something, then speak about it. Majeed Mogharreban is probably one of the best speakers I ever seen. You captivated me. You were telling this story about, like, I think it was a bull or an ox or something that was going to charge you. It was amazing, because in two minutes, Majeed Mogharreban was able to capture the audience, capture me. Tell me a little bit about the art of speaking and getting in front of people and capturing their attention in two minutes, and making yourself unforgettable.
Majeed Mogharreban: Great question. We live in the age of distraction, which means the great skill of today is to get people’s attention and keep it. Great marketers are great at getting people’s attention and keeping it, and if you’re going to make an impact from the stage, you got to get people’s attention and keep it. You do that by using the body. You use the voice. The speech starts before you start speaking. It starts when you walk on. It starts with your presence. It starts with the introduction that you have the person read. Now, I used to be introduced, and they would read my bio, which sounded like a resume, and then they would say at the end, “Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome Majeed Mogharreban Mah … Oh, shoot. Magagagabuga,” and they’re like, “Oh, I’m going to screw up that last name,” which is why I always tell them, “One word. Majeed Mogharreban. It’s like Madonna,” right? The beginning of any speech is the most important part, because that’s where you keep their attention, or they make the decision, “I’m going to pull out my phone and doodle or something, because this is not interesting.” You have to capture their attention and keep their attention. That really is the most important thing.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, attention’s the new money. It’s amazing, you know, I saw Tai Lopez. You probably know Tai Lopez. Here in My Garage, right? He shot this Here in My Garage video. I saw him speak down in Las Vegas, the 10X Growth Con, and he came out wearing a blue leather jacket with zippers all over it, and everybody was expecting him to do some PowerPoint slides. He didn’t do any PowerPoint. He came out, he just got attention, and attention’s the new money. What are some ways that a speaker or somebody like yourself, Majeed Mogharreban, and maybe an entrepreneur, can hook someone’s attention really fast? You mentioned presence. What are some other ways?
Majeed Mogharreban: Well, you know, visual is important, and so I have this big head of poofy curly hair, which I usually have. I have it tied back right now. I wear a costume that essentially looks like a magician. I got color, you know, so they see me, and they go, this is going to be interesting.
Stefan Aarnio: Right.
Majeed Mogharreban: That’s how you caught my attention, by the way. I was sitting next to you at the CAPS Conference. I go, “This guy looks like a million bucks,” and the first thing you said to me is, “I’m a self-made millionaire at the age of,” whatever age you were, 26 or something. I’m like, “You have my attention, sir.”
Stefan Aarnio: Right.
Majeed Mogharreban: What you wear, how you stand, and then relevance is important. Relevance is important. I’ll start with something like, you know, I’ll start with, “By show of hands, how many of you would like to make more money? Please raise your hand. Okay, how many of you would like to make more money and work less? Raise your hand. Okay, what I’m about to show you in the next five minutes … ” Now we have relevance, because they have raised their hand and said, “I’m interested in this.” The one mistake people make is they make it about me. “Okay, let me tell you about me. Let me tell you my story. Let me tell you my resume.” No. It’s all about the audience, so you make it relevant. When it’s relevant, you have their attention.
Stefan Aarnio: I love that. There’s so many theories and schools and ways that people say you should speak. I remember when I was learning to speak myself. It’s ironic, I’ve made millions of dollars off of speaking, but never made a speaker fee. I got offered a speaker fee, actually, three weeks ago. They were going to give me $200 to speak for an hour.
Majeed Mogharreban: Nice.
Stefan Aarnio: I said, “Can I sell books?” They said no. I said, “Can I have the leads?” No. I was like, “Sorry, I can’t speak,” because I’ve never made a speaker fee, but there’s all these different ways that people can do the speaking business. There’s all these different ways that people can communicate, and with that, Majeed Mogharreban, you’re one of the guys, the very few people that has made a living and a business out of speaking. What makes you different and able to survive in this business, especially at a young age? What are you, in your 30s?
Majeed Mogharreban: 33.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, you’re 33, so very young man, and you’re able to do this business at a young age, in Canada of all places, which is a very difficult market compared to a bigger market like the States or something. What makes Majeed Mogharreban different to be able to survive and make money? You actually make fees, I think. You’re not like me just selling stuff. You actually do it. Let’s talk about that.
Majeed Mogharreban: Yeah, so couple interesting points there. One is about the speaker fee. Now, you’ve made millions of dollars from speaking, but you haven’t made speaker fees.
Stefan Aarnio: Not even a dollar. I haven’t even made a dollar. I have had zero dollars in speaking fees.
Majeed Mogharreban: Well, I actually think that’s a smart way to do it, Stefan. I make a majority of my income not from speaker fees, but from the revenue from speaking, so think of it as the speech is not the product. The speech is the marketing channel. The platform, the stage, is the marketing channel, so it positions you as an expert. It gets you in front of your ideal audience. Now, for a long time, I was in front of high school students who wouldn’t pay $20 for my book to save their life, so I’m not getting a bunch of money from the audience there.
Stefan Aarnio: Was that the Entrepreneur Woman book you were selling to high school students?
Majeed Mogharreban: No, that’s called Winning at Life. That was my first one.
Stefan Aarnio: Okay.
Majeed Mogharreban: Yeah, Winning at Life is for high school students to make a plan for their life and figure out how to make it happen. Let’s look at the business model of speaking to high school students. One is you could speak for free and sell $20 books. Good luck getting a bunch of high school students spending $20 on your book. In fact, one time, I spoke in front of a whole auditorium full of high school students, and I put my table by the door, and I had stacks and stacks of books, and I was thinking, “I am going to sell out. I better bring like hundreds of books.” I hauled them all from the car, right. Literally every single student from the auditorium walked right past my sad face sitting there, ready to sign books. Nobody bought one. One person, it was like the last person out of the auditorium picks up a book, starts flipping through. I said, “Can I … What do you see right now? Like, are you evaluating the purchase?” She was like, “I just have a lot of homework, and I don’t know if I’ll ever read this,” and then she put it back down and she walked away.
I carried every single one of those books back to the trunk of my car. Selling to an audience of high school students, not going to work, so who else could pay for the message going to high school students? You got parents. Maybe parents could pay. Maybe we should do a family night and it’s like $20 a family, and then we’ll fill the auditorium with $20 tickets. Tried that. That didn’t work. Teachers have budgets. Principals have budgets, so I finally got the six-figure check. The six-figure check was from the government of Ontario, who said, “We have an entrepreneurship initiative, and we will pay you six figures to go to all the high schools and preach the gospel of starting businesses.” That worked, so you got to figure out, you know, where’s the money here?
Stefan Aarnio: Right. Grant Cardone says, “Who’s got my money?”
Majeed Mogharreban: Who’s got my money?
Stefan Aarnio: Who’s got my money, and I think that’s a great point of entrepreneurship. Now, we live in little, cold, socialist, messed-up, backwards, Communist Canada, so the government happens to be a great customer.
Majeed Mogharreban: That’s true. That’s true.
Stefan Aarnio: But I like that story because finding the money and finding the people … It’s interesting, in entrepreneurship. I always ask, at my events, I do a free two-day event, or a free three-day event where admission is free. Might as well be free, and I always say, “Who here would like a steak dinner?” And everybody puts their hand up. “Oh, yeah, a five-course steak dinner, a three-course steak dinner.” I say, “Who wants to pay for it?” No one’s hand goes up, so everybody wants it, nobody wants to pay for it, but that’s a major entrepreneurial lesson, is finding that person who’s willing to pay for it.
Majeed Mogharreban, there’s a lot of people listening to this show, I’m sure, who maybe have a business. Maybe they’re a real estate investor, maybe they’re a flipper, maybe they’re a land ward. They want to elevate themselves and get into speaking. Maybe they think it’s sexy, maybe they think it’s cool. Maybe they prefer speaking to jumping out of airplanes because there’s more adrenaline in speaking than jumping out of an airplane, because more people are afraid of speaking than dying. What is something that somebody needs to go from maybe their business into the speaking business? You actually do the speaking business as a business. What do you need to make that transition?
Majeed Mogharreban: For the record, speaking is in fact sexy and fun.
Stefan Aarnio: Ah, yes.
Majeed Mogharreban: Yes, it is.
Stefan Aarnio: It also makes you more sexy and fun as a person, too.
Majeed Mogharreban: Yeah, yeah. If you go about the speaking business, I call this the old business model of speaking, where you’re thinking, “I’ve got a speech, and it’s my product, and people should spend thousands of dollars on my speaker fee because I’m just that good. I’m that wise. I’m that entertaining, and it’s worth $5,000, and they should pay my flight and hotel and fly me out.” That’s pretty much what the speaking industry was in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, because at that time, it was the beginning of the Information Age. Information knowledge was power, but it was scarce.
People would spend big money to go to a conference and hear the latest and greatest research and information from the top minds in the world. Now, fast forward to today. We have the latest and greatest information in our pockets, streaming to us all the time, so what do event planners spend money on now as it pertains to speakers? What they spend money on is what will get the butts in the seats? Because now we have access to all the events, and there are more events now than there ever were before, and so those speaker fee dollars have been reassigned from experts, away from experts towards celebrities.
Stefan Aarnio: Oh, this is a big deal for the kids at home, so continue.
Majeed Mogharreban: There is a way to get all the big speaker fee money, and that is get a million YouTube followers. Get on reality TV, become a household name, and you will get the 10,000, 20,000, $30,000 speaker fee. You’re very unlikely to get it as an expert alone, so if you’re a business owner listening to this right now, and you’re one of those best kept secrets, no one’s ever heard of you but you’ve got a great story, the best way to make money speaking quickly is to leverage the audience of potential clients. Without making a pitch, without making a pitch. You’ll go to these places, you’ll see these pitches, turns off the audience. You don’t need to make a pitch.
What you need to do is give the right speech in front of the right audience, and clients will come out of the audience to you and say, “I want to hire you.” That is the easiest way. If you’re starting in the speaking business now, you say, “Where do I want to speak?” Don’t worry about the speaker fee. You may get a speaker fee, you may not, but you’ll always make way more money from having something that the clients want to buy, and when you tell your speech, it’s educational, it’s entertaining, it’s useful to the audience, the audience comes up in and thanks you. Instead of just saying, “Great job,” and going home, they say, “Great job. Can I hire you? I’d really like to work with you.” That’s where you make the big bucks.
Stefan Aarnio: There’s a name for that. Celebrity experts. You’ve got to go from being just an expert, you know, maybe you know a lot about flipping houses or you know a lot about doing nails, or bikini waxes or something, but now you’re going to be the celebrity bikini waxer. You’re going to be the celebrity chef, the celebrity house flipper. Is that what I’m hearing here?
Majeed Mogharreban: Yeah, and you’ve hit on a very good point. You, Stefan, I would consider you a celebrity in the space of Canadian real estate investment, especially within the space of, let’s say, Manitoba Canadian real estate investment. They’re like, “Wow, you’re Stefan Aarnio,” but most people probably never heard of you. But that’s okay, because you have that celebrity status for your ideal client and for your market. That is actually attainable and realistic in a relatively short term. If you want to go to the million-plus follower, you’re talking about growth hacking. You’re talking about building big, big tribes, but you don’t really need that unless you want to be a household name celebrity, and there’s another growth path for that.
Stefan Aarnio: Right. I always think of it like the Tesla. Elon Musk, his business model was, he came out with the Tesla, and he came out with the high cost, high value, $250,000 Tesla, and then his next move was the medium cost, medium value Tesla, and now to break into the mainstream, he’s going with the low cost, low value Tesla. I’ve been in the speaking, coaching business for a while. It seems to me that people who get into speaking as a business or they use that as part of their business, speaking skill, they start out with, they have a high ticket program. They train people high ticket, and then if they succeed at that, they might open up a medium ticket program, and then if they’re really good, like one of my friends, Dan Lok … Do you know Dan Lok?
Majeed Mogharreban: I do.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, he was on my show. Dan has done high ticket for a long time. He’s done medium ticket, and now he’s pushing into mainstream. He’s got 150,000 followers on YouTube last time I looked. He had 4,000 last year, so that penetration into the mainstream is so fricking expensive. It’s unbelievably expensive to distribute and capture all those eyeballs, and capture all that attention. A guy like Tai Lopez, he spent, him and his business partner, the guy with MentorBox, have spent $600 million lifetime in ads.
Majeed Mogharreban: Wow.
Stefan Aarnio: I know. I know. I’m probably, myself, I spend between 10 and 50,000 right now. I’ll be up to 100,000 by the end of the year, I hope. That’s my goal, but you’re looking at that. $600 million in ads, that’s an insane amount of money to build that brand. Let’s talk about building a brand a little bit, Majeed Mogharreban, because that’s a big part of speaking. Let’s talk about how you built your brand, how other people can build their brands, and what does it cost to build a brand? Because I think people have no idea about the cost.
Majeed Mogharreban: Sure. I think when people think about brands, they think about logos and colors and websites and business cards. I think about a brand as your reputation, and your brand exists in the mind of your audience right now. The way you figure out what it is currently is you ask people, “How would you describe me in three words or less?” If you see that those same three words are coming across your whole audience, then you have a consistent brand. Consistent brand is what you’re going for because brand is supposed to create trust, and trust allows the transaction to happen more smoothly. The word brand originally came from the cattle farmers who said, “My meat is better than the neighbor’s, so I’m going to brand this cattle with a hot poker that says, ‘Oh, that’s the Johnsons’ cattle. That’s going to be good quality.'”
It used to be that products were branded, but you never knew who the founders were. Like Coca-Cola, who’s the founder? Marlboro, who’s the founder? We don’t know, but we know the brand. Then it became that the company had a brand, and then it became that the founder, so you got your Steve Jobs, your Elon Musk, your Mark Zuckerberg. These are the individuals. These individuals have a story. You know the Steve Jobs story, garage, Apple computer. You know the Elon Musk story. You know the dorm room story of Mark Zuckerberg, so the brand is your story, and in that, it should share your values. “This is what we stand for, this is what we don’t tolerate, and this is why we exist.” It should resonate with your ideal client.
They’re like, “I want to work with you because I like you,” and people like people who are like them, so like, “I like you because you’re like me.” Stefan, I like you a lot, because I like your work ethic. I’m a workhorse. You’re a workhorse. That’s why I subscribe to the Stefan brand. To build a brand, it’s about repeating your story over and over and over. Now, you can spend a lot of money doing that if you want to talk about ads. You can hire a lot of people to help you see your story visually, see your story, but it’s that consistency. Whenever there’s an inconsistency, it breaks that trust pattern. We go, “Wait a second. I thought you were like this, but that doesn’t really match up.” Those are some of the elements that I think about in brands.
Stefan Aarnio: That’s interesting, the consistency. I call it congruence, when everything’s lining up. One thing for me is I drive this old crappy car. I got the very first car ever, that I ever bought. I still drive it. It doesn’t even have any kilometers on it. People say like, “Oh, man, you’re a millionaire, but you drive this piece of crap car,” so now I’m owning it like Warren Buffet. Warren Buffet, he owns an old crappy Volvo. A lot of very rich guys have an old, crappy car, or maybe they go with the super car, so those consistencies or those congruence pieces are really big. Now, if you’re getting your story out there, let’s say a guy’s out there getting his story out there, and he’s pushing on the marketplace, marketplace is pushing back on him. How does he growth hack that? You mentioned growth hacking. How does he growth hack that? How do you get leverage?
How do you push into the marketplace and get a good return, because one thing I’ve noticed about having products now for a while is there’s products out there … Let’s say you sell one of your books, Majeed Mogharreban, and a guy buys it, and let’s say he likes it and that’s it. It’s not viral. It’s not sticky. It doesn’t have a way to bring back two more people. I read the book Growth Hacker Marketing, and Hotmail grew because at the end of every message on Hotmail, it said, “Sent with a Hotmail account. Get a free account here,” so Hotmail in, I think it was like six months or something, got to 100 million users, and was worth $100 million because at the bottom, it said, “Get a free Hotmail account,” on everything, and it was a sticky, viral product. How does a speaker, how does a guy like Majeed Mogharreban, get that growth hacker marketing on his story to bring in more people, and get the leverage on their effort and energy?
Majeed Mogharreban: Great question. This morning, I was talking about Stefan Aarnio. You didn’t know that, but I met with a guy this morning at a property I’m looking at to rent for my institute, which I was telling you about the other day. He had this gorgeous scarf on and this probably $300 shirt, gorgeous shoes, and a shiny, washed Mercedes, and in April, a shiny, washed Mercedes in Ottawa, it’s rare. I said to him, first thing I said to him, never met the guy before, but I said to him, “You know, my buddy Stefan Aarnio, he drives a rusty old car, and he’s talking about how people pull up with garbage clothes because they can get a better deal. If I saw you come into buy a house, I don’t think I’d give you a good deal, because you, sir, are well dressed.” I said that to him right away. He’s a real estate investor. He owns properties around.
He may look up, “Who’s this Stefan Aarnio guy? That sounds like a pretty smart idea. Maybe I should get myself a rusty car.” That’s word-of-mouth marketing, and that’s one way making money in your sleep, you know, not just investments and passive income, but actually, people out there talking about you. That comes from being memorable, or better than memorable is unforgettable, and it also comes from having a message that is clear enough for someone to not just understand, but be able to repeat to other people. You get a talk, you give your seminar, someone comes home and says, “Gosh, this guy Stefan, he’s brilliant. He told me about the rusty car strategy. Let me tell you about the rusty car strategy,” and so now, your work is propagating without you paying for ads, without you having to do anything. That’s one thing, is having a message that is easily repeatable and shareable and understandable.
Now, I do this Majeed Mogharreban like magic thing. I always say it, “Majeed Mogharreban, like magic,” and that’s because when you say it with a beat, it makes it easy to repeat. When you say it with a beat, it makes it easy to repeat. Now, it’s so good. You know when you’re going around the table and people are introducing themselves, and someone’s like, “My name’s Bill. I’m in accounting.” Next person, nobody’s listening. Everybody’s waiting to talk. There’s no enthusiasm. I stand up. I straighten my jacket, and I do this hand motion, and I say, “My name’s Majeed Mogharreban, like magic.” Now, I’m sure it probably bothers some people, because it’s a bit of a show, but literally the rest of the conference, everybody’s like, “My name’s Dan, like … I don’t know what rhymes with Dan.” What they’re doing is they’re doing a commercial for me. Everyone’s like, “My name’s Stefan, like … ”
Stefan Aarnio: Stefan rhymes with effin’, that’s what I say.
Majeed Mogharreban: There you go.
Stefan Aarnio: Stefan rhymes with effin’, and people are like, “Thanks, Stephen.” No, Stefan rhymes with effin’.
Majeed Mogharreban: That’s just one way that I dominate conferences. When I go to a conference, because I’ll go up to a microphone, and I’ll ask a question at a question period, and I will be Mr. Unforgettable for the entire rest of the conference just from the way that I present myself in the question time. That’s a way that you’re growth hacking your brand as a public speaker, is you have this unforgettable, super memorable thing that people can’t help but repeat.
Stefan Aarnio: Let me ask you this, Majeed Mogharreban. A lot of what you’re saying is the senses. It’s the look, the sight, the sound. I’m sure you can get into smells, taste, touch, all these things. How important is the look and the image of a speaker or a brand?
Majeed Mogharreban: Well, you know, it’s like congruence, just like you were saying. Consistency and congruence. I used to be a leadership trainer for super stuffy corporate Fortune 500 government stuff. I’m suit, tie, and I had it down to … I had a day one suit, a day two suit, and a day three suit, and my whole strategy to become the number one trainer in the world, out of 721 trainers, based on feedback scores, was I knew that Wednesday morning, they have no idea who I am, and by Friday afternoon, I want the whole room giving me perfect scores. I would do that in part through my dress, where I was conservative and consistent at the beginning, but by Friday afternoon, I’m Mr. Fun Guy with the pink tie.
Stefan Aarnio: A little flower in your lapel?
Majeed Mogharreban: Exactly. I’d say, you got to ask yourself, what do you want your audience to feel when they think about you, and how does what I’m dressing like and how does what I’m saying create that feeling? If you’re like, “Yeah, but I just like to be comfortable,” that’s great, and that’s going to be part of your brand. It’s going to live in the mind of your clients as like, “This is a guy who prioritizes comfort.”
Stefan Aarnio: Let’s change gears a little bit here, Majeed Mogharreban. You are a successful guy, successful speaker, successful entrepreneur at what you do. What was life like before you found the success in this stuff? Tell us a bit of the story about Majeed Mogharreban before and Majeed Mogharreban after.
Majeed Mogharreban: The struggle.
Stefan Aarnio: The struggle.
Majeed Mogharreban: The struggle. Majeed Mogharreban before was just desperate to speak. Ever since 2009, I knew I wanted to be a professional speaker. My first speaking engagement was for a $25 Starbucks gift card at the old folks home, with four people, one of them was sleeping the whole time, talking about something I had no use talking about. It was conflict management. They’re like, “Can you speak about conflict management?” I was like, “Yes, I can.” I think a lot of speakers start off this way, is I’ll speak about anything to anyone as long as someone will listen, as long as I can get a couple of bucks, and so I was the guy with the bullet point list a page long of all the topics.
Stefan Aarnio: What are some of those topics? Just share them with us.
Majeed Mogharreban: Leadership. Communication. Time management. I basically took a catalog that I found, like a training catalog. I’m like, “I’ll just do all those things.” All these soft skills, and a lot of them have 80% of the same kind of concepts, like application of psychology communication principles, wrapped in different contexts.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, it’s like selling, negotiating, capital raise, it’s like same thing, then marketing is the same thing written down, and stuff.
Majeed Mogharreban: Yeah, but when you are an everything speaker, you’re a commodity, and you compete on price, and when there are very good people out there doing what you do for free, competing on price is very hard. The shift for me was when I decided on an expertise. My first expertise was youth entrepreneurship. I took my back story of being a young entrepreneur, starting five businesses before I was 21, and applied that to the market I could find. I was doing $500 speeches for auditoriums until I landed the big contract with the government. There’s someone sitting in Toronto whose job it is is to get rid of these $100,000, and I helped him out by saying, “You can put that in my bank account.”
That’s when everything changed. I had the brand. I had the focus. Simplifying the brand and the focus makes you an expert, and experts get paid more than commodities, so that was part of the big a-ha for me. Then the other thing I’ll tell you that was a big shift for me is going from the sit and wait and hope the gigs come to me strategy, also known as the be awesome strategy. The be awesome strategy is like, “If I’m just awesome, people are going to want me to speak at their events, because I’m awesome, and if people don’t want me to speak at their events, it must be because I’m not awesome enough, so I should do more awesome things.”
Stefan Aarnio: You’re Paris Hilton at this point, just being like, “Get me $5,000. I’m Paris Hilton.”
Majeed Mogharreban: Exactly, but people didn’t agree with that. What I found, relatively late in my speaking career, was actually, the best way to get speaking gigs consistently is to go, “Okay, who’s hiring speakers? I should call them and tell them I want to speak at their event, and offer them to do that for a fee, and then some of them will say yes.” That’s just outbound sales. I literally wasn’t doing outbound sales for about five years. I was just like, trying to be more awesome, like, “Oh, I’ll write a book, and then I’ll be an author, and then the gigs will come to me.” But no, I go out and get my gigs.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow, okay. Hold the phone. We’re going to pause right there, because this is the most amazing moment in the story, Majeed Mogharreban, because I’ve got people at home who are doing the be awesome strategy, and maybe they’re in real estate investing and they’re flipping houses, and they just want to be awesome and have the houses come to them. There’s probably people out there who want to be speakers and write a book, and have the gigs come to them, again, and you said you picked up the phone and you started dialing for dollars, and some people said yes, and some people said no. How important is it for you to be grinding the phone to get your deals and get your business?
Majeed Mogharreban: All right, Stefan, if you listen very carefully, I have a sensitive microphone. On the other side of this wall, there is a man dialing. I gave him a list of 100 places to call, and he’s calling on behalf of one of our clients, just dialing, dialing, dialing. The reason we’re doing it for one of our clients is because it works like a charm. People say yes. Eventually people say yes. You follow up, they say yes. Let me give you some examples. I made a list of about 100 different entrepreneurship conferences, and I would call, and the first question I ask is, “Who’s the person in charge of dealing with the speakers?” because you’ve got to create a relationship. Who? The question is who? People think, “Ah, maybe I should apply.” Don’t apply. Don’t submit the application, because then you’re in the pile with a bunch of other people. “Who?” allows you to build a relationship.
Then you say, “You know, what are your goals for the event?” And they’ll tell you about the event, and they’ll tell you about the theme, and then you say something like, “Well, perfect. That’s exactly what I speak about,” and they say, “Really? What do you charge?” Now, this is where you screw up, because if you say, “What do you charge?” You’re either going to say too big or too low. You can actually say a number that’s too low. A colleague of mine’s a professional speaker. He said, “My fee’s $5,000.” They said, “We’ll get back to you.” They went with someone else. He called them up and said, “Why’d you choose someone else?” They said, “You know, really, we were looking for a $7,500 speaker.” You don’t say your number, because your number’s going to be too high or too low. You say, “I always work within the budget of my client. Would you like to share your budget with me, and we’ll see if we can work on that?”
Then there’s a negotiation. You want to see, is that really their number? This is the negotiation skills you talk about. The life of a successful speaker, 95% of the time, you’re reaching out, you’re booking gigs, you’re coordinating gigs. 5% of the time, you’re speaking. People who want to be professional speakers and think all day long, they wake up and do speeches? That’s when you go work for someone else. That’s when you have a job at a training company. Every morning, you drive to the training company and you do your job, but you’re making 50,000. You’re not making a million. That’s the difference. You got to dial. You got to smile and dial. You say, “Who’s the person in charge of dealing with the speakers?” You give them a win-win offer, you lock it down, you collect the money, and you repeat. Every gig you do, you should turn into three more gigs. That’s one of the keys. Every gig you do should turn into three more gigs.
Stefan Aarnio: I love it. Let’s talk about the referrals. Getting the three more gigs. What do you say to get the three more gigs, or what’s the process for that? Because then your lead gen costs go way down.
Majeed Mogharreban: Totally, so one is to choose your clients wisely, or choose your gigs wisely. Choose gigs as though they are an entry point into a network. If you’re going to go speak at the Rotary Club Regional Conference, where they might have a $2,500 speaker fee for the keynote, you say, you build this into your contract. You say, “As part of our agreement, if you’re satisfied with my speech, you’re obligated to make three phone calls to regional conference speaker coordinators across the United States,” and now you do the Rotary Club Regional Conference speaker tour, and there’s 20 of them, and they have a conference every year. If you’re speaking in corporate, get them to say, “You need this message in every single audience, and in every single office across the world.” There’s your speaker tour right there. There’s one, penetrate deeper within the organization.
The second one is to leverage the audience. I always, always, always pass out a piece of paper to the audience. It says, “Name, email, phone number, check a box that says, ‘Yes, please, send me today’s slides and subscribe me to your email list.'” And then another box says, “I know someone who would be interested in having Majeed Mogharreban speak at their company or event. Please follow up with me.” I hit those leads the very next day, and I also have another box that says, “I’d like to book a one-on-one strategy session with Majeed Mogharreban because I may be interested in hiring Majeed Mogharreban.” Those are my leads. My audience fills my business with speaking engagements, with client engagements, and I do that by sharing stories within my speech, so I’m the expert on the stage, giving real life examples of real life results that my clients are getting, and my audience is going, “Hm. That sounds pretty good. I think we’d like to have that result in our company.”
Then I also ask the audience to just imagine, and here’s a key. Your imagination, your client’s imagination, is your greatest sales tool. You say, “Imagine. Think about the conferences that you’re going to this year. Think about all the events you have on your calendar right now. Think about the boring, useless speakers they’re going to have. Wouldn’t it be great to have an actual relevant and actionable speaker like me at your conference? Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to reach out to the conference organizer of the conference you’re attending and say, ‘You guys got to have Majeed Mogharreban.’ I’m going to help you do that. I’m going to give you the help Majeed Mogharreban get booked kit, and you and I are going to partner on getting me on the stage of your conference. Does that sound like a plan?”
Stefan Aarnio: Do you say that onstage?
Majeed Mogharreban: I’ll say that right in the middle of my speech, yeah.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. Buddy, I love that. I love that. Wow. You know what? For the people at home, this is some real nuggets. You got to send these guys an invoice for some of this stuff. Wow. Majeed Mogharreban, let me ask you this. About speaking, about business, do you think success is more talent, or is it more hard work?
Majeed Mogharreban: Hard work. No doubt.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, I love that. I mean, you’re very talented. Very, very talented, but I would wager to say that talent comes from hard work.
Stefan Aarnio: Tell the people at home, the books you’ve written, what books have you written? Let’s talk a little about your books. You mentioned your first one. You got your second one. You got your third one. You got your fourth, is it fourth book coming out?
Majeed Mogharreban: Fourth book’s coming out.
Stefan Aarnio: I got a good title for it. I’m not going to say it on air today. I already sent it to you over Facebook.
Majeed Mogharreban: Okay, cool.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, anyways. Tell us about your book. Tell us about your latest book.
Majeed Mogharreban: The latest book is the hottest book since %0 Shades of Gray, Stefan.
Stefan Aarnio: Oh, damn.
Majeed Mogharreban: Yeah, it’s a number one bestseller international. It is The Small Business Trap: Why Most Entrepreneurs Work Too Hard, Earn Too Little, and Can’t Grow Their Business. The thesis here, Stefan, is the reason why people don’t get what they want is that they don’t know what they want. It’s not because they don’t have enough time. It’s not because they don’t have enough money, and the way you can test this out, Stefan, ask someone who wants to make more money, ask them how much money do you want to make? 99% of people, no idea. They want to say more.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, they say more, or they say, I hear this all the time, “100,000.” I say, “Why 100? Why not 99? Why not 103?” Just some magical number doesn’t exist.
Majeed Mogharreban: And maybe they say they want to travel more. I say, “How much do you want to travel?” “I don’t know.” They don’t know what their life should look like, or what they want it to look like. They don’t know what their business, what they should look like. My model here is clarity, creativity, commitment, and courage. Clarity is figure out exactly what you want, and I have a bunch of exercises to do that. Creativity is ask expansive questions, like, “How could I achieve my 10-year goals in the next six months?” Really gets your brilliance thinking about, you know, you don’t need to work 10 times harder to make 10 times more money. You got to ask yourself more creative questions.
Stefan Aarnio: Or potentially working less, too. Making 10X more money is usually about working less, which is crazy.
Majeed Mogharreban: Correct, so clarity, creativity, commitment is just making the decision you’re going to make it happen, and as you know, if you want to be wealthy, it’s a decision. It’s not a matter of luck. It’s a decision. If you want to be successful, it’s a decision. You make that decision, and then the third thing is courage, which is the action in the face of fear and uncertainty. There’s always fear. There’s always uncertainty, and action is the thing that gets results. We build out that model, and we say, “What does your lifestyle look like? What does your business model look like?”
The more successful you are in your business, the more you’re actually living your ideal lifestyle, because a lot of businesses are modeled in the sense where the more you’re doing in business, the more your life sucks. That’s kind of a self-defeating business model, so ideal lifestyle, business model, and then ideal client. I’m a big believer in working with pretty I really, really appreciate and enjoy their presence, so I have a really defined model of who I look for to work with. I’m working with friends, and I’m working with great people, and so that’s really energizing. That way I can look forward to work and enjoy work as much as I enjoy downtime.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. I love that. What you’re talking about right now, Majeed Mogharreban, is powerful stuff. It’s the baseline, it’s the vision. So many people get into business and they fail because they don’t have that vision, and you’re setting the baseline, like, “Hey, here’s what it’s supposed to look like, so your brain can now go find that.” Quick question for you here,
Majeed Mogharreban. When you were on your entrepreneurial journey, what’s one moment where you thought you were going to fail and it would all be over?
Majeed Mogharreban: This is pretty early on. I had a consignment shop back in university, and we were consigning cars, and so that means people would give us the car or give us the deed to the car, and we would sell it, we would take a commission. We were selling it on eBay, eBay Motors. We lost this guy’s title and paperwork to this classic Mercedes. We just lost it. It was like this binder, and he had everything super neatly organized. It had all the records of all the mechanical work done, and it had the title in this binder, and we just lost it. He was so mad, and I was like, “He’s going to sue me. That car’s worth more than the whole business.” I didn’t really know how to deal with legal threats, or an angry customer, and if I would have my perspective now, it just blew over.
I don’t know what happened. He just got another title. Nothing really happened, but man, I had panic attacks, and I was like, afraid I was going to get in jail or something. That was one of the early on ones. I was probably still a teenager there. More recently, you know, I’m a father now. I have a four-year-old, a two-year-old, and a wife, and there are times when my entrepreneurial behaviors put the family in major strain, including, one of them is travel. You know, speaker, you got to get on the plane, you got to go to the conference, which is why I do probably 90% of my speaking now online, webinars, and I have events where people come to me. It’s just a bit of a different business model. When I was at the height of my travel, boy, that was putting things on the rock with the marriage and being a good dad. That was tough.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. Yeah, traveling actually ruins your life.
Majeed Mogharreban: It’s glamorous. It’s glamorous at the beginning. You got your little suitcase and your little hotel and all of that, but then, man, when you have to do that to be successful in your business, that’s when it starts to get ugly.
Stefan Aarnio: Majeed Mogharreban, what are three top books that changed your life that you can recommend to other people, and they can take home with them?
Majeed Mogharreban: Well, all of your books, Stefan.
Stefan Aarnio: Oh my goodness.
Majeed Mogharreban: Your books are beautifully written, beautifully designed. You said something to me, we were out to dinner, like, about your prose. You used the word prose about your writing, and I’m like, yeah, this guy is like … You’re an artist. You’re putting together good stuff. I can’t say my books are as well written as yours, so I appreciate your books, and I’m looking forward to The 7 Levels of Selling. Haven’t read it yet. Let’s see. Books that have really changed my life. The Success Principles is a big brick. It’s a Jack Canfield book, and it’s broken down into 70 different habits. I’m an audiobook guy. I listen to this thing over and over and over, but I got this big brick just to reference it. That’s a good I go back to. Oh, Grant Cardone, The Closer’s Survival Guide. Holy doodles. It’s just close after close after close. You need to think about it. Think about it. Let me tell you something. Imagine a house on fire. Okay, you got it. Now, imagine a pink elephant. Okay, see, thought is instantaneous. You don’t need to think about it. You need to make a decision.
Stefan Aarnio: Oh.
Majeed Mogharreban: Go ahead. You give me one. Give me one.
Stefan Aarnio: He’s got the one that’s like, “You know you’ve made bad decisions before. This is no different. Sign here.” It’s like, what’s that?
Majeed Mogharreban: I just bought three copies of this product called Cards for Closers. I was thinking of you when I bought it. Cards for Closers are like flashcards with closes. I practice closes. I listen to audiobooks with close after close after close, because that’s where the money is. It’s in the close.
Stefan Aarnio: Right, right. You can do 99% of the sale, but you don’t close, you get 0% of the money. You’re going to like my book The Close, man. When you get that, it’s going to change your life, seriously.
Majeed Mogharreban: Now, is that 7 Levels of Selling, same thing, or it’s a different book?
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, The Close: 7 Level Selling.
Majeed Mogharreban: Nice.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, when you see the closing process in there, man, it’s crazy.
Majeed Mogharreban: Can’t wait.
Stefan Aarnio: It’s crazy. Okay, third book. Third book.
Majeed Mogharreban: Prosperity Consciousness.
Stefan Aarnio: Who’s that by?
Majeed Mogharreban: Prosperity Consciousness. I’ve listened to it like three times. Don’t know the author. I got it on audiobook. It’s old school. It’s, in my opinion, better than Think and Grow Rich. It’s all about reprogramming your mind. For me, I’ve had a big journey on money mindset, money beliefs. I grew up not thinking prosperously at all. Prosperity Consciousness, I just re-listened to it, and it’s brilliant.
Stefan Aarnio: I’m looking it up here on … It’s not showing up on Amazon.
Majeed Mogharreban: Check it on Audible.
Stefan Aarnio: Audible.
Majeed Mogharreban: That’s what I use, and that’s my book hack, is I probably do two or three books a week on Audible. I listen to it at 2X speed. No issues. It’s great.
Stefan Aarnio: Yeah, that’s money, man. I mean, when you’re doing Audible and then maybe a couple pages a day of another book, like, you can shred books pretty fast, so that’s powerful. All right, we’re going to wrap up here in a second, Majeed Mogharreban. I love the books. What about young people? I always ask this at the end of every interview. Young people. Millennials. Generation Z. The next group of people. What is the one thing that young people need to succeed these days?
Majeed Mogharreban: You got to be an entrepreneur. This is how I explain this. You’re an entrepreneur whether you like it or not, whether you know it or not. If you think you’re getting a job, what you’re doing, really, is you’re starting a business with a terrible business model. It has one customer. Very risky. If you ever had a business plan that said, “Our plan is to have one customer,” your business plan would get rejected as too risky. It’s an antiquated business model, so you got to think like an entrepreneur. Your product is you. You need a brand. You got to have customers, so multiple streams of income, and all you really need to do is solve a problem that people are willing to pay for.
The key to getting paid to do what you love is you need three things. You need a market, you need an aptitude, and you need a passion. Market is a problem that someone’s going to pay to solve. An aptitude is being really, really good at something, and you ask yourself this question, “What’s easy for me that’s hard for most people?” There lies your aptitude. Passion is what you enjoy doing, you look forward to doing, and time speeds up while you do it, so an hour goes by and it feels like five minutes. When you have all three things, you get paid, you’re really good at it, and you’re passionate about it, you get paid to do what you love. That, to me, is winning at life.
Stefan Aarnio: I love that. I love that, because so many young kids nowadays have incompatible ideas, and I wrote this in my book, The Close, the incompatible idea of passion, doing what you love, but then somehow having a salary with that. Those two things just don’t go together. You can’t have freedom, and you can’t have security, you get freedom or security. Is there any resources you could recommend for young people starting out today, wanting to follow a path like yours, Majeed Mogharreban?
Majeed Mogharreban: Yeah, a resource is go make some money. Go solve a problem. Go make some money. I think too much financial advice is about saving and investing, based on the idea that you have a steady paycheck. I think the solution is go make some more money, which means go solve some more problems. I subscribe to the school of learn by doing, and go knock on some doors, and instead of selling something, say, “Do you have any problems that you’d like to make go away?” Talk to people who got problems and offer to make them go away. That’s the education I would recommend, is go make some money.
Stefan Aarnio: Love that, man. I love the brutal honesty. I love when people are just like, “Get the money,” man. That’s great. One last question, Majeed Mogharreban. How can people get in touch with you? How can they connect with you, have a relationship with you?
Majeed Mogharreban: Go to expertspeaker.com. That’s our company. We represent speakers. We give them gigs, get them gigs, and we help ordinary people become extraordinary speakers and make lots of money. Our signature program’s called Make Money Speaking, and at expertspeaker.com, you can apply to work with me, and become a paid speaker. That’s how I like to direct people, is go to the application on expertspeaker.com, let me know a little bit about you. We’ll get on a phone call and see if you can become a speaker, and make money speaking.
Stefan Aarnio: Wow. Sounds fantastic. Thank you so much for being on a call today, Majeed Mogharreban. Respect the Grind. We’ll see you again. I got to see you in person again sometime. I’ll come out to Ottawa or something.
Majeed Mogharreban: Looking forward to it.
Stefan Aarnio: Hey, it’s Stefan Aarnio here. Thank you so much for listening to another episode of Respect the Grind. Now, if you like this information that you heard here today, I want you to check out my system. Now, it’s called the System to Cash, 8 Weeks to Cash. All you have to do is go to thesystemtocash.com/podcast to get the exact real estate system that I use, my students use. People are using this all over Canada and all over the United States to buy real estate at 40 to 60 cents on the dollar, get the deals funded with other people’s money, and get the teams and the crews working on your flips and your buy and hold properties so you don’t have to do it. If you want to do real estate like a business, The System: 8 Weeks to Cash is for you. Check out thesystemtocash.com/podcast. You’re going to love it. We’re updating it all the time. It’s always getting better. It’s got all the files, forms, contracts, offers, everything you need to do this business. Thesystemtocash.com/podcast. We’ll see you guys inside the system.