Channel: Muslim Life Hackers
Series: Muslim Life Hackers - Season 3
In this interview we talk to brother Omar Taha. Omar is the founder of Startup Muslim (startupmuslim.com), a global platform connecting experienced minds with startups to create successful ventures, businesses and network.
We get into topics such as: where to start when it comes to business, mindset, mentorship, how to pick a field and much more. If you’ve always wanted to get started with your very own business, this is a perfect place to start.
You're listening to the Muslim life hackers podcast.
I'm Mike I'm a Malik and welcome to season three of the Muslim life hackers podcast. The Muslim life hack is podcast brings together individuals from all walks of life to give you their insights on different areas to help you live better, achieve more and succeed in this life and the neck. If you're new to the show, make sure to check out our episode archives over at Muslim lifehacker.com where you'll find all the episodes and seasons one and two. Now let's get started.
I sound like almost on life hack is great to have you back with me for another awesome interview. inshallah. In this episode, I'm going to be talking with Omar Taha is the founder of start up Muslim, a global platform connecting experienced minds and startups to create successful ventures, businesses and network he has a bucketload of experience in the field of entrepreneurship with nearly 10 years of experience in recruitment, and executive search expertise as well, Michelle a lot more of which we'll get we'll dive into during our talk. Now in this episode, Omar and I touch on the essentials for those looking to get into business and venture into entrepreneurship. The really
big one, how to even get started with the business mindset mistakes to avoid mentorship, how to pick a field of business, and way, way more handle up. Now, if you're a newbie and have been wanting to get your feet wet in the world of business, this is the perfect place to start. And with that being said, let's get right into this interview.
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Okay, I sound like I'm on Welcome to the show. Why do you come slow Morocco gets
very excited to be on the show hamdulillah Muslim life hackers, thank you so much for joining us all the way from Dubai. And I know audience has been really looking forward to an interview of this type talking about business, and whatnot. So I'm sure it's gonna be really beneficial for both myself and the audience as well. So just start off really, really broad. And for our listeners to get to know you a little bit if someone asks you what you do for the first time and who you are, what would you say to that? I would definitely say, first off, I'm a Muslim, serial entrepreneur. So I like to start up businesses. I've been doing it since I was 23. I started businesses in consulting, I said
my first that was my first one. And then I did an e commerce site, which was later sold to an Indian company
dabbled a bit in the apps business been tremendously successful in that.
It's gotten millions of downloads,
in addition, at the moment, now getting into the space of teaching Muslims entrepreneurship
in the community, because I feel like there's a lot of gaps
in terms of people's impressions of business money, and so forth. And the actual reality of the situation. Fantastic. And I love how you describe yourself as a serial entrepreneur. Is it? Um, Would you say that's kind of like your personality, liking to move from one thing to another? Yeah, I was at a conference once and I said I was a serial entrepreneur. And the woman said, it's better than being a serial killer. Oh, definitely. Definitely. Definitely better than being a serial killer. Yeah. So I know that you also do a lot of work with that startup with some.com. Is that tied into your consulting as well? No, not at all. My consulting was in a recruitment business. I would
in around Well, I started on Wall Street. That was like my first job. In 2004. Right out of university, I went to New York University. Wall Street. That's pretty big. Well, yeah, Wall Street wall. I, you know, think about the movies where you see the trading for people yelling and screaming and yeah, and all that. Yeah, that was that was my whole life. Back like yelling and screaming. Yes. Yeah. So there was a lot of yelling and screaming, even to my bosses, so So I did that for a year. The first year was actually really chill. I was just doing research. I was working with currencies. And then they're like, No, we really, you're pretty smart. You should actually do trading
currencies. And so I started doing that.
And it's it's another world, right? And as a Muslim
as a non Muslim, it was very, it's very attractive. Like, you know, you get to go to Knicks games. You go to old Knicks that's like the basketball team for New York. Yeah, for people outside of the United States. And, you know, went to all sorts of sports arenas, courtside seats, kind of like what you saw on TV, it lobster lunches sent to you on the desk.
So it was kind of like living the lifestyle. But, you know, for me, it wasn't like the best place as a Muslim. I just recently got married at the time. Yeah. So I and you know, they would be like, you know, come invite your, your wife to wet it to parties or whatever. And I'm like, No, I'm not my
mother. Yeah, but not her or me are going to that. And then, you know, Hamdulillah, I was able to, you know, to stick to going to Juma and all that. But it was just, you know, not very compulsive to being a Muslim, I would get in, I'd leave my house at 5am get home at 6pm. And so really long hours are really long hours, I had to answer to a boss and so forth. So I decided I said, you know, why not sort of make your own
path and become an entrepreneur. You know, I went from being the lowest person right out of university to CEO and a matter of a day when I decided to become an entrepreneur. So, you know, an attractive kind of like transition. It is, um, I'm sure there's a meme around there that that makes it look very glamorous and so forth. But sometimes it's not very glamorous, you know.
But it's, it's been a decision I made nine years ago and Hamidullah. It's been tremendous, the amount of network opportunity, but just like perspective, you know, I've been able to live all over the world kind of thing, not all over the world.
In terms of Australia, like where you are, but
it's, you know, Melbourne, Australia. It's not It's not that glamorous, yeah. But you know, anywhere you sort of have a computer with, like, we live in a time that's like, really tremendous, where
you could do business, you could do your job, you could counsel people from anywhere in the world. You know, it doesn't have to be in New York City. It could be in Dubai, it could be in London, and so forth. So my wife and I, for the last nine years, we've sort of been nomads.
Wherever we kind of wanted to live we've sort of lived. Yeah. So we went to Disney once and we're like, how cool would it be to live in Orlando, Florida? Yeah. And so we lived in Orlando for a year, then then I did hedge hamdulillah. And we went to ombre. And we're like, oh, how cool would it be to like live near Mecca. So we live we did that. We lived in Jeddah for for some time, and, you know, finally sort of settling in Dubai
for the last several years, so it's been a
tremendous blessing. Hello, that sounds great. Like it from bull straight. You know, now you're like moving around living where you kind of want as kind of like nomads. That's pretty awesome. So you know, a lot of our listeners that are also curious about, you know, starting their own businesses and living the lives that they kind of want, you know, like you said, How cool would it be to live in Orlando? Or Jetta or nnaemeka? A little This is do you want to start their own businesses and venture into entrepreneurship as well and, you know, follow these footsteps. But even just thinking about it seems just overwhelming. Like, how did you go from Wall Street to you know, moving around
the world is that there's so many different models and strategies and field, where can I listen to start? Sure. I heard a quote the other day, that was really inspiring. It was like, business is simple. And people are complicated, and they overcomplicate it, sort of thing. So
the way people first need to start is they need to be decisive. Right?
You're always going to hear opposite opinions or conflicting opinions about what you want to do. You have to sort of decide what you want to do, and just do it. Right. And I guess that's the number one trait just be decisive, always be decisive. The second is focus. So hamdulillah you know, I started startup Muslim in the last three months and I've been mentoring and and helping a lot of Muslims without
Entrepreneurship and I the biggest
you know, these these people are making are, they're not focused, not focused at all like, so you're gonna start, what does that look like not being focused? Yeah, sure. Like, if I could compare it to social media, like you're on Facebook today. And then tomorrow, you want to be on Instagram and you want to be on Twitter, like your people will start a business or they think of a business that they want to start, right? say they want to do an app's business.
And then tomorrow, someone approaches them and they say, Hey, why don't you do Amazon, and they're, like, all crazy about Amazon tomorrow. And then, after Amazon, they're, they're like, looking into doing an information product or an E book, or something like that. So that's, I guess, the biggest issue that I'm seeing is that there's a huge lack of focus, because people hear conflicting or different opinions. They don't want to feel feel left out. So is that what they're passing out on? What's new? What's kind of current? Yeah, so Mohammed or akhmat? is making money in apps. So I have to do apps, even though I have a really good e commerce site? I like or something like that. Yeah,
that that, um, you know, I think I think most people do fail in business is because of that. It's just a pure lack of focus. on just one thing, that obviously don't see as many people succeeding if they, if we focus on one thing that will lead to greater success. Yeah, if you did one thing really, really good.
You know, you're bound to be successful. I roughly remember that quote, where they're like, you know,
average, you'll be performing in front of average people do one, one thing great. And you'll be performing in front of kings. I don't know where that quote came from. But
it's just really important for for people, especially Muslim entrepreneurs is don't fall into the trap of wanting to do multiple things. Just, you know, focus on one thing, and you know, inshallah, you're bound to be successful. That sounds good. Now, you mentioned it a little while earlier, while you were talking about focus. How do how does someone know what they could add? Like, for example, you mentioned someone's really good at apps? Like how do you know, it's kind of like a weird question, but how do you know what you're good at and where you should kind of focus and kind of ignore the kind of background noise and different, different kind of like strategies and models that
are coming out? And just kind of honing in on that one thing? Like, how did you know that? You know, you're good at apps? Or? Well, first off?
First off, I think, no, one's really good at anything, kind of thing. It's more like, that's, that's not how I look at it in business, right? So you don't necessarily have to be good at anything, right? You just have to find out what works. And just do it. Like, like, once I found out that my abs business was doing well, I just focused all my attention, all my resources, all my investment just on that, to grow it. Yeah. That sort of thing. So and I'm sure there are people way better than me in in sort of apps, marketing and so forth. But I just focused on something that was going well, and, and just kept investing in it. So what I think my advice to people is, don't worry about being
quote unquote, good at something. But rather find out what's what's doing well, for you, for you, not anybody else for you. Yeah. And just, you know, rinse and repeat. Just keep repeating that over and over again. Yeah, that's called scaling in business. By the way, it's a business term scaling. Awesome. No, no, no. Yeah. You mentioned like apps and everything. And I know previously, you mentioned that you were into e commerce. So what happened with e commerce? Free to switch to apps like what was the transition between e commerce and then apps like how do you know when to switch it up? Or when to stick it out? Sure. Sure. I was doing my Master's in business in 2012. And while I
was doing the master's degree,
I took an independent study course. And that independent study was just
a way for me to do a business plan for an e commerce site.
It was called ESL employer is a job posting site for English teachers. Yeah. All over the world.
It gathered momentum really quickly, and I got an offer from an Indian company that wanted to buy it. So I think
sold it. Yeah.
And then I decided to go do it. So there's, there wasn't much thinking it was like, Okay.
Yeah, that opportunity wasn't there anymore, it's time to go do something else.
Now, we did touch about touch on the topic of mindset previously, but can you tell us a bit more about this? Like, what is it? What is a mindset when it comes to business? Yeah, this focus, but what what else? Is it when it comes to leading a business and studying it going into it? Sure. So I said, First decisiveness, the second is focus. And third, in terms of mindset is, have your teacher no one is born with with knowledge, no one, you know, you have to acquire knowledge. And you know, you have you should get not many teachers just say one or two main teachers for you, that can help you.
First off, stay focused, right? Because once you become an entrepreneur, you don't you no longer have a boss, you don't answer to anybody. So if you if you slept all day today, right? No one's gonna be like, Oh, you know, you're late to work today, or something like that. So in terms of mindset is realize that
you need to be humble enough to realize that you don't know everything. And there's so much knowledge out there that you could be learning.
And you should get someone who's done what you've done. And just follow them and follow them.
for lack of a better word religiously, or what's what's that consistently, to say?
Yeah, to a tee, that's, that's, that's the word, I don't want to be sacrilegious.
That is really important.
every day, there's new
new things coming out new opportunities, especially in the times that we're living.
And so it's really important to be humble, and always be constantly learning. And just a quick point on that, you know, one of my mentors, commerce, right, he's worth over half a billion dollars. Yeah. And last month, we went to, we went to a seminar, right? He's worth a half a billion dollars, you know, why is he going to seminar to learn? It was, you know, famous American
business speaker, his name was Brian Tracy. And what stood out to me was he, out of all the people that were there, he was the one person that paid was paying the most attention writing the most notes. Yeah, that sort of thing. He's worth half a billion dollars is sort of,
and a lot of times when I, you know, talk to Muslims, about business and stuff like that, they tend to be like, think that they know it all. And they're like, Oh, that's a scam, you know, oh, yeah. He doesn't know what he's doing, you know, oh, that's foolish. So it's really important to stay humble, and try to acquire as much knowledge as possible. And it'd be best if it's from a teacher, fantastic. just just just on that point of acquiring knowledge and staying humble, and, you know, kind of constantly learning, as we saw in the example that you mentioned, with Brian Tracy, you know, going to a seminar, and he's the one who's paying the most attention. What are your thoughts
on business courses and online courses? Do they help? Is it something that people should look into? They say for example,
someone is interested in say, ecommerce, should they buy a course on e commerce? What are your thoughts on this? Sure, I think a lot of it. So first off, you know, knowledge is very good. That's people should acquire as much knowledge as possible. Right? Whether it's through books, courses, mentorship,
definitely, you're not going to succeed,
almost guaranteed, if you know, acquire the proper knowledge to succeed. So courses are very important. The issue that why people don't succeed because of courses. I think it's twofold. First off, is they think that every piece of information in that course, needs to be right. So that like, you know, if the course is a 10 hour course, you know, from our one to 10. You know, I need to be blown away. Right? But that that's not really the goal of the course, right? There might be one or two pieces of information that pay for the course 10 times over, right I you know, just
A quick example when I developed my app, you know, I bought an $8 book, right? It was like 300 page book. And there was just these two points in that entire book that I would have paid $100,000 to learn, right. And it was just on map in application marketing, that, you know, just completely transformed my apps business, just to little subtle points that you couldn't you wouldn't even know how to find if I told you to look for in a book. Yeah. Right. So I think people's expectations of courses should be, you know, not the entire course, should be valuable. But figure out the points that are just going to transform your business in your life and so forth. I guess that's number one.
Number two is
that this goes back to focus. And when I went to that Brian Tracy event, I got to meet one of the most famous business coaches in the world. His name's Alex Jeffries. And I spent two hours with him. And what's amazing is, is that his courses are like 7000, to $10,000. And he has maybe $20,000, sort of masterminds and so forth. And they're very much worth it. But he's telling me that Pete, there are some people that pay 5000 to $10,000 for a course. And they never even attempt, they never even open it up. Or maybe they do one or two modules out of out of 10.
That is, oh, it's it's like, Facebook is going off sending you
gone. And then like, you just feed your WhatsApp, your WhatsApp, your emails, your you know, the kids or your spouse. So, so people don't end up completing the course. And it's actually, I don't know what the statistics are. But like 60 or 70% of people that take these courses don't even complete them. Yeah.
That's really good. I, you know, I'm guilty of this too. Like, I have bought a course that I haven't completely finished as well. And, you know, yeah, so, I mean, I was the course bad, too, you know, it's just you didn't complete it. So, of course, definitely couldn't have been at benefited you. So I think a lot of times people, it's a self fulfilling prophecy, they're like,
this course is not gonna get me anywhere. And it definitely won't get you anywhere, because you didn't do it. Or you didn't go through it. And I actually am guilty of that. So like, the 10th power, because I went and did an MBA, a double Master, a double masters degree.
From one of the giant coasts, yep. Yeah, that's like the, like, two year giant course. And I would, I would not go to classes and stuff. Like, that was very expensive. That was $150,000 over two years.
Well, I guess, um, this whole point that we're talking that we're making about courses and things like that, and people like buying courses, like different ones, like Amazon, ecommerce, books, whatever, and not finishing it. I think it comes back to, you know, in decisiveness, like how do how do you just stick to one thing, how do you know what thing to stick to?
And kind of like, just, you know, buy a course on that and go for it? And have that question makes sense. But what do you think? Yeah, um, you have to have huge self discipline, because, for example, Facebook, right? Has algorithms, right? That are just, you know, massive computer scientists like geniuses work for Facebook for example, that they do, I don't know what they do. But their main goal is to get people on Facebook glued onto Facebook and nothing else. Right so you're feeding some kind of like magic trick Yeah. So your feet is just like a very addictive and you know, for me, you know, yeah, for me, I mean, I have I have my brother and sister I have my
other family members. I have friends from college, high school masters and all that.
Anybody that becomes my friend on Facebook, I automatically
what's what's the what's the thing called? We don't get their their newsfeed anymore
let's say like, unfollow or something. Yeah, unfollow. Yeah, yeah, I automatically unfollow everybody. So when you actually open up my Facebook, it's just a blank screen. Why my wall is a blank screen.
And you got to realize that, you know, you're not more powerful than Facebook. Like in terms of addictiveness, I definitely need Facebook for my businesses, right? Facebook marketing is huge, and all that. And for you, you got to realize you're sort of limitations.
you know, personal limitations, I have actual, you know, I remember when I used to work and, and the company had blockers, where like, you couldn't get on certain websites and stuff like that, like CNN or something like that. Or BBC News.
I put up personal blockers, even for websites.
Yeah, so I find myself in the middle of the day doing work. And then I'm like, oh, let me go to BBC News or something like that. And then my personal blocker says, No, this website is blocked here. You know? So yeah, it's your own good. So you have to realize your personal limitations, and set up checks and balances, so you don't fall into the trap of getting distracted. That sounds really good. It's a lot of what we talked about our Muslim life, I guess it's like, it's really got to do with you getting to know yourself and like know, knowing like, what kind of is your weaknesses? Like, like, the middle of the day, you know, it's time to jump on Facebook and kind of counter that so you
can get focused on your work? Yeah, of course. So, if, for example, you are a newbie, and you're kind of just getting started with a business course. And you know, usually you have like Facebook and Twitter and whatnot, your advice would be to, you know, have pestle have like, luck is up, and what else? What kind of environment should a newbie have? Who's just kind of getting into the business? Kind of sphere? What kind of environment? Should they set up for themselves to maximize? Their? I don't know, productivity? Sure. I think the number one thing is just have a mentor.
Big because you know, and how do you? How do you find a mentor? That is a good question. Yeah. Because I know you mentioned
yourself in your mentoring. But how would it? How would it go about if you're a newbie? Where do you look for one? And what? How do you know that someone is the right mentor? For you? Sure. Um, well, I think for me, when I found a mentor, I just found someone that was successful. Right? So it wasn't too much rocket science, like successful in whatever I want to be in, right? So you can have a health mentor, right? You can have a relationship mentor, like, you know, so health mentors, like some guy, Arnold Schwarzenegger would be like the best health mentor, right? Because he was Mr. Olympia for seven, seven times in a row or something like that, you know, he's, no one will know
more about their own personal body than someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger. So he would be like the best one, and then you sort of work your way down to whoever you can. I'm sure Arnold Schwarzenegger is not
is not like advertising, that it's a mental shift. Yeah, but he's not accessible. But I'm sure there are plenty of other people that would be accessible. Right? So you don't want you know, yeah, you don't want to like if you wanted to lose weight, right? It's really good to have a mentor because they help you get self discipline and so forth. But you don't want to get somebody who's like, just lost weight, and they be your mentor, you should get like people that are just outstanding, right? People that are
that have done something in the time in the game
and have actually gotten results. So if relationships right, like say that there are problems with your spouse or something like that, and,
you know, you want to figure this out, you should go to somebody who's been married for like, eight years and, and has had
tremendous success, happy marriage, and you know, and love and so forth. And in business, right, someone who, you know, I said I mentioned earlier, one of my mentors is commerce. He's, you know, worth half a billion dollars startup business. Like, he's a pure genius. Like a genius. Yeah, I studied under top professors business.
Yeah. How did you get in touch with him? Nah, now I'm curious. Yeah. Did you just go up to him and be like, can you mentor me? Well, no. Actually, the way it started was when I first started my company. Eight or nine years ago, nine years ago.
I sort of was kind of popular in some circles where I was like, Yeah, because everybody, but my recruitment firm was placing people from New York, London, Western countries into Dubai. So everyone was like, Oh, cool. Dubai, palm, palm islands,
Borgia Dadaab, that sort of thing. And everybody sort of had some 365 days of the year. So everybody sort of wanted to come and my firm got like, a lot of popularity. So he actually noticed me on Facebook.
And also, he got in contact with you first. Yeah, he became my friend on Facebook. And actually today, ironically, today, his Facebook said,
You've been friends with calm eight years today on Facebook.
Which, which is cool. Um, yeah. So he got in touch with me. And then I mean, obviously, from his posts, you know, she's driving, like a Rolls Royce or Ferrari, I'm like, Hey, I should actually get in touch with him as a Facebook thing. And yeah, after that, you know, I talked to him, like, you know, probably once every three months, or so important. Yeah, often on on sort of the Facebook Messenger. But,
you know, pricey, because he lives in Dubai. So I am just kind of like seeing like, who's kind of in your circle, what kind of connections you can kind of take advantage of, and build a relationship there? To find a mentor? Yeah, exactly. And I also have a couple of other mentors through my university.
That like alum, alumni that from a university that,
you know, were successful, and I just sort of got in touch with, and it's actually a lot easier to find a mentor if you if you're Muslim, too. Because, you know, Muslims, especially in the West tend to help each other out in that sort of way.
If someone's just starting out, and someone who's successful, you know, you just saw him smile at them. Hey, I'm trying to do this. I was wondering if I could speak to you about it. And so forth. Yeah, they tend to be a bit more like open to, to going for things like that. Yeah. In Egypt, they wouldn't
be Yeah, maybe scared. You kidnapped their kid or something.
Oh, Hamza. So just getting a different to some of the questions I've got here. Um, one thing that I know is really, really, you know, crippling and kind of disabling for people trying to get into businesses kind of conquering this kind of fear and kind of like fear of failure kind of thing and putting your foot into something where you know, you haven't gone into before, how do you overcome that fear that, say Elvis's might be experiencing? Yeah, sure. Well, the way that fear happens and stuff like that
is more in your head than anything else. Right. So I mean, especially, you know, Western Muslim audience, if you if you, you know, if you fail in business, I mean, I mean, you're not going to go starving Hunter Hunter that, like, you know, we live in sort of a
society and sort of social structure and stuff like that. That is, you know, it's not the worst case scenario is if someone said, Hey, he tried this business out, and it didn't work. Right. That's like the worst case. Yeah. So I mean, to really
overcome that, there are a couple of strategies that you could be doing right, you could be doing a Lean Startup model, where you just invest a little bit of capital.
You know, there's a book on it, the Lean Startup where you invest a little bit of capital, you come up with a business idea, you don't necessarily have to come up with a product, right? You just see if there's a market for something. And if you can't be discovered that there's a market for something, all you have to do is
develop that product or whatever and sell it and you're almost guaranteed that if it was successful in people actually wanting to buy it, that it's going to be successful.
When you actually go to market, just think so like so you got a little bit of capital and you kind of like how do you see you know, where to test for a market or anything? Yeah, well, like look, for example, amazon.com, right.
I read an article the other day, so so this is top of mind, where a guy is a multi multi millionaire selling on amazon.com. Right, and I actually this is not an advertiser
For amazon.com, because I do find, I do find there's some issues in starting a business through Amazon. But I'm just going to use this example, because there's so many Muslims that are into that now.
It's amazon.com yet. So there's this guy who
started to, like his Amazon business. And what he does, is instead of like, getting the products into inventory, and hoping people will buy it, is he'll put up an ad on average amazon.com of the product. Right? Okay, and that the ad is up, you know, for a couple of days or something like that, if he notices people buying it, is that he'll send his competitors product to the, to the people that are buying the, that particular product. So for example, he, so I go on his page, and I and I purchase it, he'll go to his competitor and having his competitors send it to them, and he'll lose like a couple of dollars on it on each product, but he's proven that there's a market for Yeah, I
hope that made sense. Kind of like Testing, testing the waters and like, yeah, customers are buying so that way, you know that there's something there? Yeah. So So what you do is just, you're, you're comfortable taking a loss temporarily, just to prove that there's a market for something
that you touched on the issue of capital? And I know a lot of Alice's would want to know this. But um, is it possible to start a business without capital? or Do you need something? Well, that's like a very deep question.
there's so much you can do without capital. Right? And there's so much you can't do without capital. So it's hypothetically, if someone doesn't have capital, I guess the best business to do is affiliate marketing, right? And not necessarily go to an affiliate site and be an affiliate, you could do it for local businesses. So you go to a local business, and you tell them, Hey, I'll get you customers, and you just give me Commission on each
on each sale, just just to clarify what affiliate marketing is. Could you just explain that just roughly for our listeners? Yeah. Sure. Well,
it's basically a, getting customers to a business. And, and those customers buying and you get a commission for each sale. Yeah. Yeah. And, and there are people that are millionaires to through this model.
Because they have like a lot of relationships with people through email, and through Facebook, and so forth. And, and they know how to do ads, a little bit of ads, because ads cost money. And what ends up happening is, is that they do sales.
Through affiliate marketing, I know Muslims personally that have made
one or $2 million
just doing affiliate marketing, and it cost them nothing. Wow, fantastic. Well, it did. It did cost them ads. Right? Yeah, like ads did cost money. But, um, you know, compared to the return, it was just, you know, night and day.
Awesome. So, I'm gonna get into like the nitty gritty now. And really, like kind of probe what we spoke about previously, if I was to tell you that, you know, you had $1,000 and a laptop,
and you know, that you want to go into some kind of business, but you don't know what, what to go into. Because there's so much out there.
Say, for example, look, going back back in time, you'll get $22,000 in just a laptop. What, what are you going to do next? What is the exact step they're going to take next? What kind of business are they going to go do? How do you figure that out? And where to go from there? Sure. Okay, so I have $1,000. I have a computer though, right?
Yeah, yes, you have a computer and a fantastic internet connection. Sure.
I personally would do an E book.
Right? Why is that? Well, I could sell it.
So do an E book of a niche. So for example, popular niches are health, wealth, and relationships. So it's a bit yeah, so people spend billions of dollars a year on you know, learning about their health and their and how to make wealth and yeah,
How to have good relationships.
So, like, if I'm like a Muslim girl that got married, just now, I'm sure there are a lot of sisters that would like to know how to find a husband. So write an E book how to find a husband. Right? And what I would do is,
instead of me actually marketing it,
I would get affiliates, right? People that would spend their own money to do ads, right? And get them. Get me customers. So I would approve maybe 20 or 30 affiliates? And have them sell that ebook. I would sell it for like, $19.
And would you sell it? Where would I sell it? Yeah. So you, so you've written an E book? And then you want to get appetizers? And then what? You want to sell it on? Yeah, so so let's, let's say I didn't want to write the ebook. So I outsourced it to freelancer.com or upwork.com, that sort of thing. Yeah. And that'll probably cost me say, it's like a 20 or 30 page ebook, and you make it really attractive with a designer and stuff like that. So a 2030 page ebook probably cost me $100. And a designer to design the cover, probably like $20. And
recruiting affiliates is free. So actually, you're gonna have 888 $80
for your internet,
internet connection, and then I would offer the
affiliates 50% of each sale, so $10
for each sale, and let them but and let them sort of figure out how to advertise it.
through, you know, Facebook, their email list, you know, you'll get 1000s upon 1000s of people looking at your ebook. And the most important thing about the whole thing is, is that the sales page of the E book is really good. So it's very attractive for people to really want to buy it. Right. Like, you know, quick question, Where do you find affiliates? Actually, the other yesterday, ironically,
I started recruiting Muslim affiliates.
So you could find them anywhere, just say, Hey, I'm looking for affiliates.
Or what you can do is go to like a website like jvzoo.com, where affiliates are, they're like, actually, they're waiting for you.
You just post your product, right? Tell them how much commission they're getting. And the affiliates will come, they're the most important thing is that your sales page is really good. Because if it's not, and people are sending traffic, and it's not converting, so when I say converting is like it's not making sales on your sales page. People will, will not promote your product, because they're just wasting their time. So, you know, with the $130 for the product, and I'll probably say maybe a six to $700 just learning doing a course on how to write an effective sales letter.
It sounds like a good, nice kind of, like, tight circle that you can work around with, especially coming up. Yeah, and if you're a newbie, the the glory of all of what I just said is that you're sleeping, you're awake, you're eating breakfast, you're with your family.
This product, that's one time product that you created, is making money for you. 24 seven, awesome, if you if you do it, right, if you do it, right, I mean, more of it is is attaining the knowledge of how to sell and making things attractive than anything. That's where, you know, business courses and having a mentor comes in handy. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Definitely. You know, but then again, there are courses that actually give you like, actual files, how to write, like, you know, very compelling sales copy and all this and just like, you know, people don't follow up on it. I mean, I, I think, you know, we live in a day and age where like, there's very little scams out there, like actually,
for the because there's so much opportunity out there, like, like anybody with a computer, you could be in India or Sri Lanka or, you know,
Maldives where you're like in the middle of
Unlike no one's there, right? And yeah, you could start these businesses, you know, you don't have to be in America anymore, you could be anywhere. So all you just need to do is acquire the knowledge to to implement and execute. I'm interested to know, yourself personally, when you're looking at, you know,
fine tuning your knowledge on like something like sales, marketing or writing copy, what, what attracts you to one course over the other? What do you look for? Do you look for like reputation? Or,
you know, how you the resources are? Or what is it that pushes you towards one course over the other? That's really a good question. I would say, a couple things. Number one, is sort of the support that you're going to be getting in the course. Right? So like to do you have access to the instructors and things like that access to instructors, that's a huge, huge, huge, and community like is the course have, like a burgeoning community around it? That's number number one. And if that community,
if there's a community, will I be able to network with it?
As I'm doing the course, I think that's, like, really big. So that's why, you know, me, personally, I started started Muslim is because
I really want to build a community, I think, you know, if anything, you know, there's going to be so many businesses that I can invest in, after people acquire this knowledge, and, and do a good job, you know,
there's going to be a lot of head type of ventures that are going to come up and I would love to be a part of. So. So going back to your question, in terms of courses, how to choose them is, is I guess, instructor involvement, types of community. And I guess the third one is definitely the reputation of the instructor. Right, because there are instructors that
command, you know, 30 $40,000, like, really expensive,
sort of courses and so forth.
And, you know, to gain access to them, and see who their students are, I like to compare, you know, a lot of
Islamic principles in terms of scholarship can be implemented in business too, right? Like, you know,
generally, in Islam, like you have,
you know, if you want to learn Islam, you should learn it from from a scholar, in its particular madhhab, for example, you shouldn't like go to like different.
A, you know, you shouldn't go to different scholars and and sort of compare and contrast, you know, you should just learn it from one source. And then also, you know, if, as scholars were, like, really good by his students, right, like, you know, who who are his students that have come about and stuff like that. And vice versa, you know, you know, you know, if a student's really good, or like a mini scholar, if by their teacher, yeah. Awesome. That sounds good. So I'm kind of getting towards the end of the interview. And I know, something that I'm curious about personally, and I'm sure our listeners that too, is like, was there anything that you had to kind of sacrifice while
building a business? You know, I know, you talked earlier how he from Wall Street to you know, running your own business? And did you have to work more hours? Or was there a lot of dealing with difficult people or kind of like hiring on and off people? Like, what were the struggles that you faced when you first started getting insurance business? No, definitely, if I were to phrase it, but I like what advice would you give to say you're your own self, like 10 years? 10 years ago? Number one, I would definitely say
Yeah. Because, you know, there's so much to learn. And
you should, you know, what I regret doing is I probably should have networked a lot more than what I had done. Right. So now, any chance I get to go to a conference or go to sort of meeting sort of, to follow people on social media and so forth.
I jumped at the opportunity now. That's number one.
you just it's like, you know, this is a Muslim life hackers and the business hack. The major business hack is just like, follow really
Get people and just copy them, you know, do what do exactly what they're doing. And, you know,
you've you've significantly increased your your likelihood of success.
I guess. The second thing I would want to say is, you know, when you when you go into entrepreneurship,
you discipline is huge. And
I guess it took me several years to come up with, you know, to block, you know, or unfollow people on Facebook and that sort of thing.
That took me several years to figure out and I probably last several years, not being disciplined. Just being like, led by distractions, led by distractions, projects delayed,
things didn't come out, I could have done things a lot sooner. Had I not been so distracted. Awesome. All right. So was there anything else that you know, you think it's imperative for people to know, before they get into business? Yeah, just follow startup Muslim Comm.
Ever just go there and check. Yeah, or and the Facebook page, I think, and then we could go from there kind of thing I, you know, I think you've saw a couple of videos that I've personally done on it. And, you know, my main goal is just to add as much value as possible, and to develop a relationship with people
through through through the Facebook page. Fantastic. So I must admit that we asked all of our guests on the show is, what are three books that you would recommend on the topic or just about anything? What are three books that you would recommend to someone looking to get into business? Well, the first book
in sort of business is
really good. It's called My, my, your first 100 million dollars, by a guy by the name of Dan Pena, it's a really expensive book, it's like $400, or something like that. But
he said, Well, it depends, right? Like I said earlier, is there just one or two, find points in every book that you know, are just gold.
But I, he actually says you can download it. So if you if you look for it online, and just say, you know, first 100 million PDF, you could, you could download it, he's already given us permission to do it. He's like, I'm dying. You know, I'm like, 70 years old, I'm probably gonna die soon, you know, I want this sort of information to spread.
So that's number one.
Number two, book that was
inspiring, and inspiring was just like, sort of makes you realize things about business. And every business person sort of reads it. It's called The Art of War by Sun Tzu
famous book, but there's a lot of business principles in there. And that's why like most business people end up reading that book.
Because there is an element of
sort of battle strategy in
just a sec. Yeah, no, no, it's completely. It's like, literally, it's like mini battles kind of thing. Yeah. Cuz it is, it's kind of like an everyday struggle, like, is that discipline or its destruction? Or it's something that you got to kind of get through? Exactly. And then there's another book
48 Laws of Power. That was That's it? That's one of the
sort of, like, different power strategies that
Robin, Robert Greene said, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, exactly.
You Yeah, that's, they're not necessarily business how to books? Right? Um, I definitely recommend those two.
Had, they're more like, you know, sort of how to think of
things in business and how to think about and I guess, honorable mentioned, there's one book, the shortness of life by Seneca, it's, it's an old, it's a really old book.
Or is it Confessions of a stoic?
One of the books where it just talks about, like, you know, how life is just so short. And you should be thinking about, you know, just making an impact and, and doing the my support is kind of gone. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, thanks to them. I got to definitely check out the shortness of life sounds really good. And I know what's one last hack that you'd like to leave our listeners with? Can because this can be about just about anything.
well, you know, make your prayers gives a guy, like,
oh, essentially all the essentials, but um, I guess, it's really good to be in business. And I didn't mention this point. And I always tell people listen business is don't feel a pressure to be innovative. Right?
Because innovation doesn't come out of nothing. First, you know, copy a good example, or emulate a good example,
all the way to the boundaries of copyright laws, right? You know, don't violate any copyright laws or anything.
As much as you can get away with, you know, if if someone developed a e commerce site that sells your product, do exactly what they did, as much as you can find out and stuff like that.
As ethically as possible. And then you can innovate, right, once you're successful. So I guess, I call this business hacking. That's, that's my little term that I always tell people to do. So definitely, when you when you start up in business, inshallah, and I encourage everybody to at least have a side business.
Because jobs, you know,
you know, being an employer, you realize,
sometimes as an employee, you're at the mercy of your employer, and, you know, something turns wrong or something like that, you're definitely a very large expense. So it's honorable sometimes. Yeah. So it's good to be just independent, and be able to learn the skill of,
you know, being financially stable without relying on a job. So the definitely the best, the best way to do that is to business hack, and find out good examples of business and just try to shamelessly emulate what they do exactly what they do be be Pepsi, right. Like, you know, coke.
There's coke and you you try whatever you can to just to be Pepsi. And, you know, being Pepsi is not a bad thing. I would I trade all my businesses just to be Pepsi. So, oh,
I guess that's advice. Now, let's call it like, definitely don't be like, don't feel the pressure or the need to, you know, do something completely crazy and different. It's fine to kind of like copy the models that are out there. And then, and then you can kind of like, go your routes and go a different way. Possibly. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And
for your viewers, keep me in your door. And you know if anybody has any questions,
I'm always available hamdulillah to Muslim entrepreneurs. And I hope that
I hope to see a lot of successful Muslim businesses. Awesome. Thanks so much. I'm on and I'm with my audience, get in touch with you and your work and ask you questions if they want and, sure. My email address. And don't put this on some spam list is Omar.
Omar at Omar Taha calm, Omar awesome. Yeah. Ta Ha, ha ha. And Omar by the for the for the South Asian audience. Let's suppose Omar with a you it's Oh, oh mar de la Well, thank you so much for joining us on the show Omar and there was a lot of great things that you mentioned business hacking, and basically life hacking as well, that I'm sure our audience will really benefit from and hopefully you know, it's the first step that they need to kind of get out there and start their own thing. Yeah, inshallah and I really want to thank you
for Muslim life hackers, great initiative. You guys have been doing great work for for the last three years and Michelle law Allah bless you guys. Thanks so much. I'm so I'm like, Oh, wow.
Okay, so that wraps up our episode with I'ma Taha on business and getting started. Now, I think one really important note to take away from this interview is the need to be disciplined. You know, picking something that works for you and just chipping away at a day and day again, not being swayed by every you know, new nickname that crosses your path, and inshallah you know, you will be successful, just really sticking, sticking with it. You know, feeling so sidetracked now. Great advice, Omar. Now be sure to check out Omar and his work over at startup muslim.com. And as usual, all the links and resources mentioned in the show will be in the show notes, including how to get in
touch with Omar for mentorship and further questions until now until next time, I saw
Thank you for listening to the Muslim life hackers podcast. If you've enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave a review for us on iTunes by going to Muslim life hackers.com forward slash iTunes