Episode Description: In this episode, we get to know Abrar Patel of AP Web Solutions. He explains to us how search engine optimization works and why it’s importing for your business growth.
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/abrarpatel
AP Web Solutions – https://www.apwebsolutions.com.au/
DISC Test – https://www.tonyrobbins.com/disc/
Posh Incredible Transformations – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/posh-incredible-transformations/id1377517663?mt=2
Youtube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyrz1fZpMDHSfGm7t29ieOA/featured
Website – Poshinc.com
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Intro – 0:00
- Who Is Abrar? – 0:54
- What Is AP Web Solutions? – 2:19
- Babe Ruth – 4:40
- A Hairstylist Picking One Specialty – 5:00
- Being Recommended On What You Do Well – 5:38
- A Tweetable Moment – 6:27
- So Many Different Ways of Using Google – 6:45
- Organic Growth and Search Optimization – 8:05
- Amazon’s Search Keywords – 11:08
- Hating Adwords Express – 11:52
- Amazon and SEO – 13:42
- There’s Nothing Better Than the Human Touch – 14:34
- How Do You Help Identify a Target Customer? – 16:22
- The Initial Stages of Research for the Customer – 18:28
- Attributing During the Holiday Seasons – 18:58
- The Challenges of Convincing Clients Why You Need SEO – 22:05
- Identifying the Buying Stages – 26:52
- My DISC Profile is Flat – 28:48
- Going from Medical Medicine to SEO – 32:15
- Not Knowing What You’re Getting Into – 39:15
- Make Changes So You Can Be Where You Want to Be – 39:48
- How I Opened My Mind to The Larger Ideas – 42:58
- Finding the Way You Choose to Live Your Life Now is More Enjoyable – 46:14
- Transferable Life Skills – 48:31
- Closing – 51:40
Tiffany: I’m Tiffany Lopez, and you’re listening to Posh Incredible podcast where I interview ordinary people who are making extraordinary transformation in their lives and for others. I believe we’re all here to transcend and assist the ones around us to grow into the people they were born to be. The pathway of awakening is a noble life pursue and it starts now. Cool. Okay, so I don’t really do formal intro so maybe if you wanna give us a little intro and background about yourself and your company and what you guys do here?
Abrar: Sure. Well, first of all, thanks for having me. Looking forward to this.
Tiffany: Thank you for coming.
Abrar: No worries. Now about me. So my name is Abrar. I have a business called A.P. Web Solutions. I live here in Melbourne and what we essentially do… Well, a little bit of background about me is I’m from India originally. So I moved to…well, I actually moved to Russia first when I was a teenager, I don’t even know if I told you about this, I…
Tiffany: Oh, wow, interesting.
Abrar: ..moved to Russia when I was 17. Fresh out of high school and went straight to Russia because I wanted to study medicine, as every Indian parent does, you know, wants their kids to be doctors, so ended up in Russia, didn’t last very long in there, didn’t like it at all, to be honest with you. And then a couple of years later, moved back to India and then subsequently to Australia, I’ve been here since. And, you know, as far as my business, just to give a very quick background there is…it started about three years ago. So I’m 29 now, well, 4 years ago, 25, 26 is approximately when I started, and it’s come along well. So I’m pleased to be in a position to be considered qualified to have this conversation. But yeah, that’s a little bit about me.
Tiffany: Okay, and so what do you guys do here at A.P. Web Solutions?
Abrar: Okay, so we do a specific type of marketing known as search engine marketing, may or may not be known by your audience. But essentially what it is, is working with businesses to make sure that when people are looking for their services and their products online, mainly through Google, that they get found first, and we do that both by what we call organic. So that’s, you know, like when you google something, the results that show up is known as organic, which you don’t pay for. So that’s known as SEO, search engine optimization. And also Google Ads, the listings that show at the top, you know, which you pay Google for as well. So we manage those 2 things combined are probably like 90%, 95% of our business and even within that 70% is SEO and you know, 30% is Google Ads. So yeah, we really specialized, we’ve taken a very specialist approach and if anything, I think that is…you know, if I could recommend people to do one thing in their careers and whatnot, would be to specialize in whatever they chose to do because that’s the one thing that has really set us apart from many, many competitors is that, especially in my industry, it’s just rife with generalists.
So many agencies that claim they can do everything for you. You know, they can do your Google marketing, your Facebook, your Instagram. If you need surgery, they’ll do your surgery, you know, they’ll do anything you ask them to do. So I see you giggling. But they’ll do anything you want them to do. And that just, you know, how many things can you specialize in? You could do a 5 out of 10 jobs out of all of those things, you can surely not do a 9 out of 10 jobs. You know, a doctor who specializes in brain surgery can do a 9 out of 10 job at brain surgery. He’s still been through, he’s still been through how to operate on the kidneys, but he’s not gonna do a 9 out of 10 job. You know, he still knows about it. He learned about it in med school, but he’s not gonna be able to perform it at the level that a specialist would perform in that area, you know, yeah.
Tiffany: So I can relate that to two other industries. One is baseball. I think Babe Ruth was an as good of a hit batter as he was a pitcher. But he had to pick one to be the best in.
Abrar: Absolutely, yeah.
Abrar: And he did, right?
Tiffany: Yeah, and he did. And then the other one is, I was talking to one of the ladies who does my hair.
Tiffany: And she…
Abrar: A hair specialist, something I wouldn’t know much about. I’m sorry.
Abrar: I’m bald for the…
Tiffany: For the audience.
Abrar: For the audience, yeah.
Tiffany: So she said when she was getting into doing hair, she was recommended to pick one thing that she could be really good at. So you either do cuts or you do color, like pick a specialty.
Abrar: Oh wow.
Tiffany: And she’s like, “I hate doing color. So I’m gonna do cuts.” And basically, when people recommend you, they recommend you based on what you can do really well.
Abrar: Yes, absolutely. It makes you more memorable. You know, in many networking circles, they’re like, “Oh, that’s, Abrar. He does Google.” Whereas if I went around saying, “Hey, I can do your websites and I can do your Facebook and, you know, if you need flight tickets, I can sort that out. Anyone needing kidney surgery, let me know.” If I went around doing that. No one’s gonna remember me. You know, they might remember the kidney surgery bit. But they’re not gonna remember most of my other services. So you’re just setting… It would be a misconception, it would be wrong for people to think that you’re actually narrowing your reach by specializing, if anything, you’re expanding your potential. Yeah.
Tiffany: Oh, I love that. I feel like Oprah would call that a tweetable moment.
Abrar: Tweetable. I love that Twitter has grown so much. It’s like, you know, tweetable. That it’s transformed into usable words and the adjectives.
Abrar: Yeah, it’s like Google, you know, it’s like, “Oh, why don’t you google it?”
Tiffany: Yeah. I feel like there’s so many different ways I’ve used the word google.
Tiffany: But I can’t think of any right now. But like, I feel like if I could write a list. I’d be like, I…
Abrar: Yeah, I mean have you ever heard anyone say, “Why don’t you bing it?”
Abrar: Or “Why don’t you yahoo it?” Like, no. That’s a clear cut sign that Google has just dominated and just killed the competition.
Abrar: Because when people are using your company’s name as a verb, that’s success. Yeah.
Tiffany: I feel like even if you mean Bing, you’d probably say Google.
Abrar: Yeah, they’ve won by that much of margin.
Tiffany: Yeah, it’s like Kleenex. Or, like, I don’t know, Band-Aid.
Abrar: Yeah, Band-Aid, Kleenex. It’s…
Tiffany: They’re brand names.
Abrar: It’s their brand names we’re using. You know, we’re not saying… Yeah, I don’t even know what to use like if I didn’t have to say Band-Aid.
Abrar: I never thought of that.
Abrar: I’ve never thought of that. See, like that’s…
Tiffany: Because we’ve learned Band-Aid.
Abrar: We’ve just, yeah. Yeah, that’s a good point. That’s a good point.
Tiffany: I think I don’t know if you guys have Kleenex, but that’s one…it’s like tissue.
Abrar: I know the brand. Yeah.
Tiffany: Do you need a tissue?
Tiffany: No, it’s, “Do you need a Kleenex?”
Abrar: Kleenex. Wow, someone’s doing the advertising, right, huh?
Tiffany: I’m really curious about the way that you do search engine optimization. And more specifically, how do you know what words to put? Like, let’s say organically, right?
Tiffany: I’m actually really interested in organic growth and organic search and like moving up organically because I feel like there’s more opportunity to like put stuff…things in like your… And this could be totally wrong, because it’s only based off of not what I know, but how I feel about it.
Abrar: Sure, sure.
Tiffany: And so… But I’m just wondering how do you know what people are searching for? Like, how do you figure that out? Because there’s a way to do that in my industry which is the Amazon industry.
Tiffany: But like, is there a way to do that in the Google industry?
Abrar: Absolutely. Because look, Amazon and Google, they’re both very large companies, and how do they make their money, most of it at least?
Abrar: Advertising, right? Now to advertise Amazon and Google to encourage me or you to advertise on their platform, they have to in some way, show us the potential. You know, for example, if it was a TV show at Channel Nine, we were just talking about Channel Nine, let’s not name the show. But we were talking about that. If Channel Nine wants to encourage me to put their ad…put my ad up on their show, what would the first thing…what would they pitch me? They would pitch me the number of viewers, right? They would say, “Our channel gets X million viewers per day, or during this time slot, hence, you should advertise with us. Because here’s the potential.” Well, Google has to do the same thing. If they want us to advertise for our services on their channel, on their platform, they need to show us how many people are searching.
So they actually have tools that you could…so it’s called their AdWords dashboard. You go in there and your Keyword Planner tool and it will actually…you could put in, you know, you could put in Amazon services or I could put in physiotherapists, Melbourne or physio, Sydney or you know, any keyword that you want that you think people might be looking to find you, you can put that keyword in there, and it will show you how many people are searching. And that’s how we’re able to show the potential to someone who comes to us and says, “Hey, what can you do for SEO for us?” The first thing we look at is how many people are looking for the services, their products, and how do we get them up there? So yes, it does have those tools. And I don’t know much about Amazon, but I’m guessing Amazon has very similar tools, where it would show you that sort of potential.
Tiffany: Amazon doesn’t specifically unless…
Abrar: Not the search volume [SP]?
Tiffany: Not really, unless you’re a seller of a product and then Amazon will e-mail you saying put these keywords in your listing to get more views or more buys or whatever, but people have made keyword search tools for Amazon specifically.
Abrar: Okay, so Amazon is not providing it themselves, they… So how do they get their merchants yeah, merchants to put their product…like what’s their pitch?
Tiffany: Well, the statistics in Amazon right now are over 50% of people go to Amazon first. And then the other statistic is 92% of all people that go to Amazon are ready to buy. What Amazon does help you with is they’ll create auto campaigns that are auto filled with keywords, and then you get to see how they perform…
Abrar: Oh, interesting.
Tiffany: …then you could like pick and pull them out. And then the other way you can do it…
Abrar: Do you like that?
Tiffany: I think it’s a good way to start.
Abrar: Okay, because Google has their own version of that. It’s called AdWords Express. And I hate it. It’s really bad. But okay, interesting.
Tiffany: So why do you hate it?
Abrar: AdWords Express?
Abrar: Well, look, Google wants to make their money, you know, from ads. So although I will give them that they do make an effort and they do have very good service in making sure that your ads are shown to the right people. And they have really good customer service and ad reps that say if you were to independently try and set up some ads for yourself, or for your business, someone from Google will get in touch with you and walk you through the basics. And they do a good job with that side of customer service. Where I don’t like is when they try to automate things and they have this machine learning algorithmic based automated execution of your targeted AdWords. So you’ll…for example, they…Google will just like automatically crawl your website and identify your keywords and start campaigns and start…like there’s so much. There’s too much work being done algorithmically. And it’s just not reliable and it ends up draining someone’s in most cases people come to us. They’re like, “Oh, we tried AdWords Express, drained the budget really fast, didn’t work, didn’t do anything. What can you do for us?” You know, so it’s perhaps ahead of its time, maybe? I don’t know. We’ll see.
Tiffany: I feel like in order for that to be…I see one huge mistake in that and it’s if your website isn’t optimized to have the…
Abrar: Yeah, it won’t pick up the keywords.
Tiffany: It won’t pick up the right keywords.
Abrar: Sure, yes.
Tiffany: And then you, if you don’t know what your keywords are, it’s gonna spend money on keywords that aren’t converting.
Abrar: That’s very true. Yes.
Tiffany: And so that’s the problem with automation.
Tiffany: And I think, so I have this belief that SEO in Amazon like since I know a little bit about Amazon keyword and ads, like I have this belief that they kind of are interchangeable a little bit.
Tiffany: Not exactly on how to do it, but just the core like concepts behind them.
Tiffany: And with the auto campaigns, what usually people do is they’ll let them run for a certain amount of time. And then they’ll pull out the best performing ones and they’ll make a new campaign. So they’re manually optimizing the auto campaigns because Amazon just like blasts it out to like…
Abrar: Yeah, to everyone.
Tiffany: It’s like such a broad search.
Abrar: Yeah, there’s no specific targeting. Yeah, you know, and Google AdWords Express will try to do the same thing. It claims to be targeted, but really in reality, it doesn’t turn out to be the case in very many other cases.
Tiffany: I think a lot of people will tell you, for you listeners out there who are curious about this, there is nothing better than the human touch. Like the automated systems. It needs to be human, like a human needs to be behind like [crosstalk 00:14:51].
Abrar: Someone has to write the ad copy properly, someone has to do the research about what is unique about, you know, how do you identify your target demographic, you know, I was just having a meeting this morning. And the client has done very thorough work with identifying that their target demographic is a woman between 35 and 50. And she’s this profession and this…like they’ve done their research, you know, that makes people like us, our job much easier. But if someone comes to us and be like, you know, “AdWords, what can you do for me?” Like, you know, and especially if they try to do it themselves, it’s not gonna have…you’re not setting yourself up for success there.
Tiffany: So, if somebody comes to you and they don’t have the research, is that something you do for them?
Abrar: Yeah, we have to do it for them. Yeah. And that’s to be honest with you, and that’s the case in most of the times and that’s perfectly fine. We do the research, we look at what sort of things people are searching, where they’re currently at, where the competitors are at, you know, show them basically the gap between them and their competitors and the potential. And that’s how we sort of go back. That’s the information we go back to them with and talk about our services and how we can help.
Tiffany: How do you help identify like a target customer?
Abrar: Target customer for our client or for us?
Tiffany: Yeah, for your client.
Abrar: For our clients. So, a target customer, that’s really something that…I guess one important thing about us is that we don’t work a lot with startups. So… and not because we’re biased towards them. It’s because what we specialize in, which is search engine marketing is a recommended marketing, is a very powerful form of marketing, but one that’s recommended for businesses who are further along in their lifeline, you know, they’ve been well established for years. They have a good customer base, they have loyalty, they have a lot of things going on for them. In many cases, they have multiple channels of marketing. So they might have someone doing their social media, they might have someone doing their e-mails. They have a lot going on, and they’ve just never done much, done very well on Google. And that’s where we come in. So to answer your question, in a lot of the cases, the businesses we work with have already answered that question for themselves, which is, you know, what is their…? They wouldn’t have progressed along as well in their business if they hadn’t thought about that in the first place. So we don’t do identification of customers for them. We just find out what those customers are searching online. And how do we put our clients first.
Tiffany: Got it.
Abrar: That’s a different skill. You are mainly talking about market research there I think that, you know, identifying the age of your ideal client, they, you know, whether they’re single or married and, you know, how old and, you know, all those things, you know, there’s a lot to it. And people specialize in doing just those things. So yeah.
Tiffany: So you must love doing research?
Abrar: Not research, per se, it’s a lot of our job is…because the research is mainly in the initial stages when the client first comes to us. So we’re looking at what we can do for them. But once they sign up, and we’re off to the races, as far as the campaign’s concerned, that’s where we spend 80%, 90% of our time is the actual execution of SEO as well. So that’s what we love more than the research I would say.
Tiffany: Okay. So there was a question that I had back before we started recording and it was I thought it was really interesting that you’re…like you got really busy during the holiday seasons.
Tiffany: What do you attribute to that? Because usually people aren’t making decisions and like you said too, other people are like “Oh, it’s really slow.”
Abrar: Oh, I know and to be honest with you, I don’t have a definitive answer for you. I can only guess. My best guess is that when it comes to marketing, business owners have a lot of time on their hands over the holidays and that’s when they look into their marketing, you know, “How can we have a better 2019 than are 2018, you know, who can we find? Can we explore SEO again, can we look into this?” And off they go online searching and find us and you know, get in touch and we had last year someone fill in our, get in touch with us literally 31st of January 2017 at 11 p.m. So an hour before New Year’s Eve. So you can imagine the anxiety of the business owner when they’re searching that…
Abrar: …on New Year’s Eve, you know, it’s like, “I hope I have a better 2019. I need to find someone.”
Tiffany: That’s awesome.
Abrar: Yeah. And we still have them and it’s going very well. So, I think that’s the best thing that I can attribute it to, it’s more time on their hands because business owners can get very, very busy, it’s hard to get them. Well, the ones that are doing well at least, hard to get them on the phone, hard to…you know, they’re wearing different hats all the time. They’re doing so many things. They’re just busy, you know, even if they want to do marketing, they might think about it in May, but just because of the sheer volume of tasks at hand, they will not get around to it until October till November and months go by and it’s not that they were not interested. It’s just that they just didn’t get the time and I think that is probably more readily available the time over the holidays. Yeah.
Tiffany: Oh, it’s interesting. But I know all too well about being inspired about doing something for the business in like April but not getting to it. And not rolling it out until like much later.
Tiffany: Because it happened to me last year. And it’s like there’s all of this stuff to do that’s ongoing. And then to start a new project is always a lot of time investment. When you start something new anyways, you have to, like, really know who you’re working with. You have to find the right person. You have to like, do all these things.
Tiffany: Before you even start on something new.
Abrar: Yeah. And so it’s always an underestimation of how much time will be required when, especially when it’s a new project, and you know, you’re like, “Oh, I can get this done in a month.” No, you get into it, and it’s like, a million and one things need to be done that I didn’t think of and then next thing you know, it’s like four months later you still haven’t done it.
Tiffany: Yeah, exactly. So a lot of customers come to you, by the way, Abrar’s company comes up number one on Google search, right?
Abrar: Yeah. For many of the SEO keywords. Yeah, so SEO consulting, consultant, experts, all those local…not all of them, but many of them. Yes.
Tiffany: So that’s a well done.
Abrar: Thank you.
Tiffany: So you have a lot of people that come to you. But even when you’re…even when, and I know this coming from, like a personal standpoint, and also from a business standpoint, when I’m searching for new products or new services, sometimes it’s an inquiry about, “Is this right for me or is this right for the business or like what kind of results can I see?” And so I was just wondering what kind of challenges do you have in convincing clients that SEO is important and it will benefit their business? And how do you overcome those?
Abrar: As far as communicating the value of SEO, communicating the value of SEO to prospective clients, I would say a decent percentage of them come to us because they’re pre sold. You know, it’s like going to Amazon, you’re ready to buy, you know, you just need to know the pricing and what sort of options you have and things like that. So a very good percentage are clients, especially the ones that come to the website, well clearly they come in there because they’re searching for SEO services and SEO consulting and all that. But even the ones that come through word of mouth, for example, you know, someone has told them that, “Look, here’s a company, they’ve done good job for us. This is worth exploring.” So they’re already in…they’re further along in the buying cycle than say just, you know, the shop next door over here, right? So it’s just that they need more clarification in what it is, how much it is obviously, what sort of potential there is, you know how long they’re gonna have to do this for. And in many cases, they just need a lot of education.
They just need to know and that’s the one thing that my industry lacks severely is the communication and transparency. So when they find out all about it, and I’d like to think we do a pretty good job with explaining and education and all that. That’s where they make their decision. And you know, it’s a process that they grow into, you know, they might go from… I’m not sure if you’ve heard of the various buying stages, you know, there’s ready to buy and shopping. Ready to buy is like someone going to Amazon, they’re ready to buy. Shopping is like, you know, I know I need SEO. I just wanna find the right consultant or the right expert who’ll understand me and all that. Curious is…so that’s another, so that’s the third one down, curious, is when I’m just curious about I’ve heard about this thing SEO. But what is it? I’m just curious. You want to be careful with them, by the way, if they’re just curious. And then the last one is a D. D stands for dragged. It means they didn’t wanna be there. They’re just there because someone else dragged them there.
So you want to be careful with the latter two and you want to spend most of your time with the first two. So if someone is ready to buy and shopping, those are the ones, so when you walked in here, I was on a call with someone, that person’s shopping, you know, so from a sales perspective, you need to cater your message, accordingly. Someone who’s curious, you know, and they’re spending too much time on the phone is not gonna be a productive use of your time. So you have to, you know, you don’t wanna waste too much of your time there.
Tiffany: They’re talking to you for information, basically instead of just doing their…
Abrar: It’s not that a lot of people do that. Many inquiries are very, very genuine. But it’s I think, very worthwhile, I’m sure for your listeners to be aware of those sorts of things when it comes to their sales and, you know, understanding those different personalities. But yeah, to answer your question there, I would say, if they’re in the curious stage, furthering them along to the buying stage, is easier, obviously ready to buy is very easier. Very, very much easier compared to the latter two. Yeah.
Tiffany: Yeah. I feel like when you were going through the buying stages, I feel like I could identify certain personalities that go along with those different buying stages.
Abrar: Sure, yeah. You know, you’re thinking of your friends and you’re like…
Tiffany: Yeah. My mom…
Abrar: You’re a curious?
Tiffany: Yes, my mom’s a curious.
Abrar: What’s wrong with you? You’re not ready to buy.
Tiffany: One of my best friends is definitely a ready to buyer. Like, I just…
Abrar: By the way, those are not personality stages. They’re just…every purchase in your mind, they are stages rather than profiles, if that makes sense?
Tiffany: I totally get it. But in my head, I categorize them also as like the way that certain people like enter the buy stage.
Abrar: Sure, yes.
Tiffany: Buying stage. Yeah.
Abrar: Yeah, they would be in those categories. So that’s interesting.
Tiffany: I’m definitely a shopper.
Abrar: Oh, yeah?
Tiffany: Yeah, I’m a shopper. That’s like my personality.
Abrar: Yeah, so you would…you know you need it. You know, you want it. You just like to go around, explore your options, find the best deal.
Tiffany: What feels right, yeah.
Abrar: What feels right right, yeah.
Tiffany: Yeah. Because the way that I usually do things is like if I enjoy working with the person, then…or if there’s like good communication style, like that’s how I normally shop.
Abrar: Yeah, yeah.
Tiffany: If I’m talking to somebody and they’re like, “X, Y, Z, this is how it is. That’s how it goes.” I’m like, “Okay, we’re not gonna really vibe that well.” I want somebody who’s gonna like work with me a little bit like…
Abrar: Yeah, makes sense.
Tiffany: So I feel like not that the stages are fixed because they’re not.
Abrar: No, they’re not. You go through them. There’s also the DISC profiling. So you know you might be in the I perhaps or…
Tiffany: Did you know that my DISC profile is flat?
Abrar: What do you mean flat?
Tiffany: It’s flat.
Abrar: Like you’re 25% each?
Tiffany: It’s flat.
Abrar: What does that mean, it’s flat?
Tiffany: It’s all in like the 50s for every single one.
Abrar: Really? So you are just equal D, equal I…
Abrar: …equal S, equal C?
Abrar: Wow, that would be interesting that…
Tiffany: I thought it was wrong at first.
Tiffany: But apparently the natural never changes. It’s funny that you bring up DISC profile because one of my best friends asked me, and this is the only reason why I filled it out because she was curious.
Abrar: You wanted to find out, yeah.
Tiffany: And so I sent it to her and she goes, “Wow, I did not expect your profile to be flat.” She’s like, “I expected you to be a high D.”
Abrar: High D.
Tiffany: And I was like, “Okay, I don’t know what DISC means anyways, but like I did this because you wanted it.”
Abrar: Yeah, yeah.
Tiffany: And then it just so turned… If you guys want, you can find the DISC profile. What is it called? My brain is like not working this week. DISC profile, you could fill it out on on like the Tony Robbins website or wherever. Yeah.
Abrar: Or you could google DISC profile and there’s, I’m sure there’s like a million and one tests out there. You know, so you fill in a bunch of questions and then it shows you what your DISC profile is just, you know, for anyone listening…
Tiffany: It’s D-I-S-C.
Abrar: D-I-S-C dominant, influential, steadfast and conscientious, I think. And people can be different combinations of that. I don’t know, I think I would probably be a D and C.
Tiffany: So usually you’re dominant in one of those over the other?
Abrar: Well, I think it’s a percentage. And yeah, I would definitely identify myself as like, I’d make quick, quick decisions, quick purchases, like even some large purchase. I’m like, I’m not gonna spend three days looking for my best option. I’m just gonna spend three hours or something, even if it’s a big purchase, and I’m just gonna make my decision. If it’s the wrong decision, we’ll deal with it at the time. So yeah, a little bit of D in there.
Tiffany: Yeah, I would say. So anyways, you can take the test and find out what you are. Actually we’ll post a link in the show notes so you guys can just click from it and figure it out. And then you can read up on it. But anyways, I also signed up for a Tony Robbins coaching and they went over my DISC profile and the coach was like, “Yo, your DISC profile is flat,” and I was like…
Abrar: “I don’t know what to do with you.”
Tiffany: I was like, “I know, that’s what my friend said, but I don’t know what that means.” She’s like, “That’s very unusual.” I was like, “All right.”
Abrar: So that pretty much means that if someone was trying to sell to you, they wouldn’t know how to go about it.
Tiffany: I’m a wild card.
Abrar: You’re just like…you could…if you feel like a D, you’re gonna be a D, like Tuesday’s D, then Wednesday’s an I. There’s no… Yeah, I see what you mean.
Tiffany: I have gotten a…from people like sometimes I have gotten the response like “Wow, you’re really hard to read.” Like maybe it has something to do with that like flatness. I don’t know. Oh, wow, that was a huge tangent. But okay, I had…
Abrar: To be explored further.
Tiffany: To be explored further. I’m gonna start writing my questions down so I don’t forget them. Okay, I’m really curious what happened when you decided to go from medical…medicine to like SEO?
Abrar: What happened? So as I said, I wasn’t a doctor, just to be clear, I was in med school. I didn’t…I actually did… So I moved from Russia to Australia in…about 10 years ago or something. And I still wanted to do medicine, but it was way too expensive. I was an international student at the time, so I used nursing as a pathway so I got into nursing. And I was there. So my plan was to finish that, work a little bit, go traveling, and then do medicine, and what essentially happened was that plan went to shit because I finished off nursing, I always knew that it was only ever gonna be a pathway and nothing…and not a long-term career. So I knew that from the get go. But then I went travelling and my plan of getting into medicine just didn’t start to make sense anymore because of so many considerations.
The fact that I didn’t really wanna do it and you know how the legislation is a nightmare around it. The work hours and what you pay for is not what…yeah, you pay too much and then you don’t get what was promised. And it’s very… I feel like especially people from my end of the world are in…especially ones that want to be doctors, engineers, because there’s so many, are in for some harsh awakenings a little bit later in life when they realize there’s nothing else they can do. And they’ve been pushed along this path. And thankfully, because of traveling and because of meeting the right people, I was able to see that and I’m very thankful that I was able to open my mind up by meeting these people, you can almost call them mentors, you know, yeah, mentors and just open up my mind to a whole new world and just started exploring options.
So that’s when I was about 23 at the time, you know, very young and 23 at the time, traveling with certain people who were quite successful in what they did. And I just came back to Australia when I was 24. And medicine just didn’t seem the right choice anymore. So then went back traveling again. Another few months, I was in the States and Europe and all that. And then when I came back and I was 25, that’s when the alarm really started to go off is like, “I’ve really got to get my shit together. Because it’s like this plus five years is not gonna lead to happiness. You know, this, like what I’m doing now, there has to be a significant expenditure of energy to change that direction. Otherwise, you know, there’s gonna be a lot of regret later on.” And that was just really that was the point of ignition, I guess. Because that’s what I used as motivation. And that’s when I started exploring options.
People also ask how I came across SEO. And you know, because they see that it’s going all right and they say like, “Well, how did you find, like did you it land in your lap or?” But it’s the reality is that it was about 8 or 9 months, that entire year of 2015 of just exploring as many things as I could do. Taking training classes, coaching lessons, mentors, some worked out, some not so much, some took money, some didn’t. And just a lot of time, and a lot of money as well, to be honest, and just exploring so many things. And that’s how I eventually sort of landed onto something that I was like, “Oh, this, this might work.” And yeah, that’s how the story goes.
Tiffany: I feel like not a lot…I feel like experiencing variety is really important, but I don’t think enough people give themselves the opportunity to explore.
Tiffany: Like what it is that really, you know, makes them excited.
Tiffany: Or you don’t even have to be excited. But what makes you curious?
Tiffany: Like, “Oh, I wanna dig a little bit deeper into that,” and then you do it. And then you dig a little bit deeper more.
Abrar: It’s the only way to find out if it’s something you are going to like or not.
Abrar: Because in our economy, in our time now, it’s just so easy to open a business that everyone and their dog is doing it. And there will definitely be a very significant amount…there’s gonna be a gross…no matter how much training you have, there will be a gross underestimation of time and energy taken to achieve success when a person gets into any sort of business and to persevere through that, you’re gonna need to be excited about what you’re doing. Because if you’re not, and if you’re selling, I don’t know, cat socks, if you’re selling cat socks and you’re like, “Oh, this is a great niche, this is good. This product sells amazingly on Amazon and Facebook, but I hate cats.” And you’re just trying to make it work because the product is popular. Well, you have about three to five years to persevere through no sales, possibly. And are you gonna be passionate about cat socks that long? You know, so yeah, my point is, cat socks is a silly example, but my point is that it better be something that, you know, when you’re putting in your 12 hour days or whatever, that, and you’re not getting results for months on end, that it’s something that you still wouldn’t count as the grind. You know, it still counts as, to some extent, pleasure, if possible. Still work. But pleasurable work.
Tiffany: I think that’s really valuable insight to have. I don’t think we hear it enough. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started my business.
Tiffany: And I’m not gonna say that I loved it up front, but I just kept working. And then eventually came to a point where I could love it.
Tiffany: I mean, here I am in Australia sitting next to you having a conversation and it’s awesome to be able to do this, you know?
Abrar: Yes, exactly.
Tiffany: And I don’t know, like, how are you such a wise 25-year-old?
Abrar: Okay, so that basically… Ooh…
Tiffany: Because a lot of people don’t think like that far ahead.
Abrar: Don’t think about such things at 25.
Tiffany: Like, here’s the question that made me…the point in your life that made me wonder like, how did you get to that point, was when you said, “If I keep doing this for the next five years, it’s not going to lead to the place that I wanna be.”
Abrar: Sure, definitely.
Tiffany: “So how do I make changes right now so I can be where I wanna be in the next five years?” I also don’t think a lot of people ask themselves that question. So how do you ask yourself that question at age 25?
Abrar: Well, there’s two parts to that answer. The first part is probably when it comes to motivation, I think that you’re probably better off and this is probably a little bit controversial, you’re probably off in a low bracket income than you are at middle class, because there’s no such thing that will lock you down like the middle class will. So if you’re making 30,000 a year, 40,000 a year, man, you’ve got some motivation, you know, you’ve got like, “I’ve got to change my stars or things aren’t just gonna be good for me.” You know, you’re gonna have motivation. What’s the danger zone as far as I’m concerned, is I call it the 70k zone. You know when people are making just enough money that they can enjoy their life, it may be higher in the United States. I’m not sure, it might be 80,000, might be 100,000. It’s probably 70 to 100 in Australia to be honest with you,
Tiffany: It’s different in different states.
Abrar: In the U.S.?
Tiffany: In different states. Yeah.
Abrar: Yeah, I’m sure it would be, yeah. Because in New York, like 100,000 would be like, “Get out of here,” you know.
Tiffany: I think it is 100,000 to live comfortably in New York.
Abrar: Right, in New York, it is.
Tiffany: And that means being able to do what you wanna do when you wanna do it and not having to worry about, you know, like your rent or anything like that. I think it’s…
Abrar: Yeah, so that’s a 100 USD, $100,000.
Tiffany: Right around there, New York.
Abrar: So for Melbourne, or for Australia, for that matter, I would probably put that figure at 70 to 100, in that range, and there is nothing that can lock you down more than that because it will prevent you from thinking ever beyond your reach there. Because what do you need to worry about? You know, you have a good life, mortgage is taken care of. If it’s a couple, then, you know, mortgage’s definitely well covered and everything is savings and, you know, enjoy parties and go to weekends and have fun times and all that. So there’s really no motivation to do anything unless you have an entrepreneurial gene, which let’s leave that out, like leaving that out, which is amazing to have, but let’s face it, how many people are gonna have it? If you don’t have that, then there’s nothing driving you.
So the best way to get some perspective in there would be the people you’re spending your time around. So and that brings me to the second part of that answer which is probably how was I…not that I was wise, but how did I open myself, open my mind to those larger ideas at a younger age. It’s because I spent a decent amount of time around people who were “13 years ahead of me, 14 years ahead of me.” They were older. And to be quite honest, it was one distinctive moment. I can’t speak in detail about the people, but there was one moment where there were two polarizing characters, people that were in my circles, and they were both the same age, touching 40s. And they had both taken very, very different trajectories and choices in their life.
And one of them was my mentor, and you know, the kind of guy that I wanted my life to look like when I’m that age, and the other was just as far as I’m concerned death, just like I would prefer death than him. So watching that and be like, well, if I…it was like, in my mind, although I do make very harsh…I make things very dramatic. So as far as my mind is concerned at the time, I was like, “If I go down…” I was at a crossroad. “If I go down option A, this guy who’s my mentor, that’s my life, if I go down option B, this guy who I hate is in my life.” So I just used that as a motivation. Now in reality was the situation that extreme? Probably not. Was the other guy making a decent living? Yes, you know, he’s not gonna struggle, he’s gonna have a decent life, you know, have medical and health care and also like, just a normal regular life. But for me to think of that as acceptable, wouldn’t have given me the motivation. Because, to be honest, it’s not acceptable to me. So that’s what I used as driving forces for myself.
Tiffany: That’s pretty cool that you’re able to do that.
Abrar: Yeah, and I don’t know if you would say that’s, I don’t know like, in my mind, I just thought that like, how could people not be thinking about this? It seemed absurd to me, still does now. Because, to be honest, after making those changes in my life there’s many people I’ve had to cut out since because they just don’t want that sort of life, and growth, and the adversity, that comes with it. So, you know, really takeaway message is, who are you spending your time with? You know, if you’re spending your time with people who open up your mind to such…to larger things in life and if you’re just spending your time with people who do the same things as you do, do the same things as you ever aspire to do, then good luck to you. You’re just gonna… Yeah, that’s fine. And to be honest with you, many people are just happy with that. I’ve had people say, like, “Why would I do what you’re doing? You’re just, you know, you’re grinding like crazy. And you know, like, I just wanna enjoy life.” Fine.
Tiffany: Do you find that the way that you choose to live life is more enjoyable than maybe like the way you were living before?
Abrar: One hundred percent.
Tiffany: I agree.
Abrar: Yeah, 100%.
Tiffany: I also… I would totally agree with that. I think there’s more meaning and I don’t wanna…this is the only thing that’s coming to mind right now. But I feel like I suck more pleasure out of life doing really, I guess you can call it work but it doesn’t really feel like work than I ever have. And it’s not just work. It’s even just a certain mindset, like the kind of mindset that you have, like, the ambition and the drive and the putting things in perspective a certain way to motivate yourself.
Tiffany: Like to me it’s just all more enjoyable.
Abrar: Absolutely, I couldn’t agree more with all of that. If you’re…not that I have anything against people who love the beach, but if…I hear it all the time, you know, “I wanna be an entrepreneur so that I can spend my days on the beach all the time.” And I just think, you’re just lowering your chances of getting there, getting to that beach is only in an ever receding horizon if that’s your vision, because to be honest, like if that’s pleasure and how you wanna get there is work to you, then I get back to my same point, how are you gonna persevere through the process, you need to persevere if you think of it as really, really hard work, and not pleasure. So yeah, I mean, when you like what you do, it is more enjoyable. You feel like you’re contributing to everything, to the economy, or you know, you’re building meaningful relationships with people, you’re surrounding yourself with like-minded people, you’re growing your network. It’s just everything is just on the up and up. And I don’t think…not that, once again, not that I’m against vacations and things like that. But I’m not necessarily here thinking, let’s get through another year of hard work before I can enjoy three weeks of my real life in Paris, or Ibiza, or Vegas. Not thinking of that at all. In fact, not thinking of my next vacation at all. Yeah.
Tiffany: Awesome. Well, we’re coming up on the hour. I have one question. I guess one more question, which may be a good ending question. But I feel like I could talk to you for hours.
Abrar: We did talk for hours.
Tiffany: Yeah, I know we did. One of them is like, I’m really into transferable skills. Like I mentioned, I know about keyword research and campaigns on Amazon and I somewhat feel like that’s related to SEO on the basic level. So I’m wondering between SEO and medicine and traveling, what do you…like what transferable life skills have you learned? Like how have those things shaped you into like kind of how you are now or what have you noticed that are similarities between them?
Abrar: Yeah, sure. So I would actually just pick one that has been the most valuable.
Abrar: And that is, if I had to label it, I guess I’d have to call it confidence. But there’s many other ways of putting it. You could call it sales, you could call it the skill of talking to people. You could call it a million different things but it’s essentially effective communication. And the power of knowing how to do that effectively in your best interest and in other people’s best interest as well. So if, you know, well, regardless of what industry you’re in, and really in anything that whether this ends up being a long-term thing or you know, I do something else in the future, the one thing that’s gonna be standing by me is that skill, which is indeed, as you said, transferable and that’s just good speech skills, you know, good communication skills, good sales skills.
Because this, you know, in our space, both Amazon, Google, all these, there’s a lot of people doing it. There’s a lot of people doing it, and not nearly as many people making money from it, or at least a decent amount of money and it doesn’t really come down to the skill when you think about it and you look at everyone as like, “Well, you’re really good at SEO, but you know, you’re not really good at explaining what it is nor are you good at dealing with people, there’s no confidence in your voice, there’s no…you know, I don’t believe that you’re good at it, you might be good at it behind the computer, you surely aren’t displaying any signs of competence.” But that can be…that can…if you work on that, and if you get better at it, that’s something that can stick by you and serve you well, no matter what you do.
Tiffany: I 100% agree with that.
Tiffany: One hundred percent. That’s a really good…I think that’s a really good signing off answer. But before we go, is there anything you wanna either tell the audience or share or any last like closing things?
Abrar: Closing remarks? No, well, thanks for having me. Thank you. I’m pleased to be part of this. So I’m not sure much about…I don’t know much about your audience, but I hope I’ve been helpful in some way and contributed something. But yeah, if, you’re wanting to reach out or something, then I’m sure you’ll post my links and details and all that. And happy to assist anyone who needs assistance.
Tiffany: Awesome. Yeah, we’ll post all of your information in the show notes.
Abrar: Awesome. Thank you for having me.
Tiffany: Thank you so much for being here.
Tiffany: This was an awesome episode.
Abrar: See you, guys.
Tiffany: See ya.