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Entrepreneurship

Meet the 22 year old Nigerian e-Commerce expert running Two 8-Figure Brands

In this exclusive interview with ecommerce expert Abdul-Qawiyy Hammed, he shares his experience with building and running two million-dollar brands.

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Abdul-Qawiyy Hammed used to live on a $41-per- month allowance from his parents. He got started in e-commerce, in 2015, with a burning desire for a better life. He had zero experience and no guidance, repeatedly going through the cycle of losing, almost quitting and starting again. In November 2019, he made US$1.19 million in sales.

I recently sat down with Abdul-Qawiyy for an exclusive interview to discuss his journey into e-commerce, the rules of the trade and his vision for the future of his brands

Can you share a bit about your background and how you got into e-commerce?

The Beginning

I started freelancing at the age of 16. My early work was focused on using direct- response marketing, copy writing and ethical persuasion skills to make 3d explainer videos for marketing clients. Things were going alright for me, until The Great Purge happened.

PayPal and Stripe made some changes to their payment policies, which meant Nigerians could no longer receive money from outside the country. Many Nigerians-including myself- were removed from major freelancing networks. I found myself suddenly left with no source of income. I had to depend on my parents for stipends, and they gave me $41 to live on every month.

The Day Everything Changed

One day, I was in the middle of my routine search for money making opportunities on the internet. I stumbled upon an ad by Jason Stone (@millionaire_mentor on Instagram).

In this ad, Jason was sitting on the hood of a Lamborghini, parked in front of a penthouse. He was wearing a black tee and shorts. The ad read;

“Ready to live your dream life? Free from the 9-5 hustle and travel the world?”

The Ad that Transformed Abdul-Qawiyy’s life

I was immediately charged up. He was offering a life beyond just managing to get by, and that was exactly what I had been searching for.

I signed up for his 1-hour webinar. At the end of the session, he made an offer to anyone interested in pushing the dream. The price tag was $297, and I paid without thinking twice.

My background in Marketing and Direct response Advertising helped me to understand the Principles of Sales. I have been doing business for six years now, and it has been on a total roller coaster of emotions.

How did you scale your business to become profitable over the years?

I knew what I wanted to do, and I realized I had to put systems in place to achieve it.

My background in Advertising made it easy for me to transition into e-commerce.

I read a book called“The E-Myth Revisited” by Micheal .E. Gerber. Gerber says, you need to work more on your business, than in it- if you want to scale to 6,7 or even 10 figures.

Abdul-Qawiyy Hammed on Growing and Scaling your Brand

In time, I realized I could be more productive if I did not try to do everything myself. So, I decided to recruit a team.

Right now, I have a team composed of Facebook ads experts and media influencer agents. We use a multi-channel marketing structure so even if our Facebook is down, we can rely on Google and influencer marketing to push products.

We have built a solid customer database by offering incentives to past customers and recruiting them as brand awareness creators. They post pictures with our products, and we drive traffic to this user generated content.

How do you find and keep customers?

There are three elements that drive successful e-comm; the triangle of The Product, The Offer and The Audience.

For my brand products, we use every platform that humans converge on. In recent times, Tik Tok is serving as one of our biggest sources of traffic. We hire influencers to do unboxing reviews and videos, where they show our products and talk about their benefits. This is a great way to generate traffic for us.

in all our content, we apply direct response principles learnt from Gary Halbert, David Oglivy, Gene Schwartz and several other marketing legends. The best part about it is we have built a huge customer lifetime value, with a high number of recurring purchases.

That, I believe, is the soul of business.

What are your plans for the future of your business in terms of figures and clientele ?

I plan to scale my brands beyond the $50 million or even $75 million mark. We will grow into a multi-million dollar ecommerce empire-in the range of hundreds of millions- and become a household name. My final move is to sell the business and retire in my 30s.

Right now, we have diversified into coaching and we assist other business owners with building their own brands. It has been really exciting to help other people get results.

What are your main challenges as a business owner and how do you overcome them?

As a Nigerian, I did not access to payment gateways when I opened my first store. I partnered with someone from an eligible country. In our first week of doing business, we made more than €1,000. Then, he suddenly disappeared and went off with all the money we both worked for.

In the e-commerce industry, many people call themselves “ecommerce gurus” and “mentors” just to rip people off. They collect huge amounts from people who are desperate to learn, then they just bail on you.

Another major challenge came when I had to register my business offshore. I did not have much information to go on, so I registered in a US state of my choice. Subsequently, I discovered this state had extremely high tax rates. I could not afford this expense and it ate really deep into my profit margin.

As time goes by, I keep learning several lessons from all of these problems. Being Nigerian- in itself- is a challenge. Because of where I come from, I had an extra set of restrictions and obstacles. Therefore, it was not an easy ride. However, tough times don’t last.

Only tough people do.

You can connect with Abdul-Qawiyy on Instagram and Twitter

Hey there! My name is Zulaikhah Agoro. I am a freelance Digital Marketing Strategist, certified by Google. I help high impact entrepreneurs use their personal stories to increase their income and expand their brand visibility. I also run feature stories on social entrepreneurs and innovators doing kickass stuff all around the world. You can reach me at [email protected] if you would like to be featured, or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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Entrepreneurship

Istalinga Hegadal – India’s youngest cyber security expert

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Istalinga Hegadal Is A 16-Year Old Boy Who Live Karnataka, Recently Passed Out 11th Standard. He Is One Of The Successful Youngest Entreprenuers And An Influencer. He Is Currently a student And With That He Is Running Is Own Company The black dot tech which Teaches realtors to cyber security and aware about cyber crime. He Has Worked With Many Reputed Celebrities And Artist From Mumbai , Tamil nadu  Delhi ,Karnataka Etc. His WORK INCLUDES Work Like Clients Social Media management And isIstalinga Has Made Websites For Them And Helped Them Out To Increase Their Reach To More Across The Globe, Online Promotions, Graphic Posters, PR Activites, Etc. He has website development skill too.

He Started Developing His Skills , From Q-Turtle And Q Basics , From 4th Class he Started Working On his Web Development Skills , His First Webpage Is All About A Working Search Engine Like Google. Learned C , C++ , Html , Xml , Java , Css. Now Pro in PHP etc.

He Renewed His Journey By Launching A Startup Company Named ‘The black dot Tech! We teaches the concept about ethical hacking He Always Says That ‘Business Is All About Mutual Relationships’. And He Proved That He Build A Strong Relationships With So Many Peoples. He Is Managing Almost 15-19 Celebrities , Artists , Company And Have Ambition To Achieve Big In Life !

Istalinga Is Marked His Tagline ‘A BOY WITH BIG DREAMS’ ! And Extremely Working For It ! And Many Has Inspiration By A Such Talented Boy Of India, He is active on Instagram (Https://Www.Instagram.Com/istalinga2k3) , & Marked His Name In Such Young Age! And Working That Hard That Guy Is Growing Up At Rapid Speed And Why Not When You Have The Talent You Deserve Every Bit Of Success And Fame In Life!.

He also says that my success is because of Omkar Pattanashetti ,Shashank Annigeri, Chinmay M ,  Vyshnav A R and Priyanshu Chouhan who helped him while he was rising to become a ball of fire.

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Women Who Disrupt

Meet Giovanna Silvestre: The Woman Who Turned Healing Crystals into Activewear

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Giovanna Silvestre grew up in San Luis Obispo, California. She is a popular travel blogger and
founder of the unique yoga wear brand Confused Girl in the City.

She went on to work in the entertainment industry for several years. Some of her accomplishments include working with director Kenneth Branagh on the Marvel film “Thor”, co-producing a short film, “The Wind in the Willows,”  with Peter Jackson’s company “Weta,” and working as a post production coordinator on the ABC show, “The Mole.” As an influencer Giovanna has worked with some of the biggest global brands including T-obile,Vitamin Water, Coca-Cola, Target, Walmart, Skinny Cow, Skype, Match.com, Bigelow Tea, Crocs, Lindt Chocolate, Vaseline and many more.

What inspired you to start your business?

“Confused Girl in the City” started as a blog 6 years ago. I was lost at the time and wanted to share my feelings with others. I figured I couldn’t be the only confused one out there. It’s funny how we feel we’re the only ones when every human being has either been there, is still there or is going to be there again! My blog took a life of its own and put me on a spiritual journey to find my true nature. Along this journey I met a healer who had a profound effect on me. He had a collection of crystals and told me to pick two to take home. I had these crystals in my room and felt so much joy when I walked past them. One day I was  editating and I had a vision of creating a line of women’s activewear that was inspired by these crystals. So with no money and an idea, I started the journey. I had no idea how I was going to make it happen but I knew I had to do it. I used my part-time job money to fund my business and step by step I was able to create an international activewear business. Now, six years later, I have sold my designs all over the world, we have been featured on Thrive Global, Yoga Digest, Yoga Magazine, Silicon Beach Magazine and on the cover of LA Yoga. We are in select stores in LA and expanding.

What was a major challenge you had to overcome in getting to where you are today?

Fear of failure. I had to realize that failure doesn’t really exist if you follow your gut. Either you do something or you don’t. The failure is in never trying. As long as you try, you either win or you learn.

What exciting projects are on the horizon for you?

I am very excited about my book coming soon, “Seven Things Every Confused Girl Should Do.” I think it will help a lot of confused girls in the world.

Be sure to follow her on Instagram, YouTube and check out her website
http://confusedgirlinthecity.com

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Entrepreneurship

10 Rules For Entrepreneurs To Survive Corona Virus

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Transforming current anxieties and fears into strategic growth, progress, and achievement.

Recent economic and political events have made many people anxious and fearful about their futures. At Disrupt, our business is helping successful entrepreneurs increase their sense of direction, confidence, and capability in all areas of their personal and business lives.

In response to the current political, economic and health crisis, we want to share with you ten strategies by Dan Sullivan for transforming the negativity of the current situation into opportunities for growth, progress, and achievement. We hope these strategies support your creative thinking, communications, and actions in the months ahead.

1) Forget about yourself, focus on others.

Fear can drive people into themselves, making them feel isolated and helpless. The best strategy here is to go in the opposite direction, expanding your connection with others — focusing on helping them transform their negatives into positives. The more you contribute in this fashion, the less you will need to worry about your own situation. You will become a source of confidence for everyone else.

2) Forget about your commodity, focus on your relationships.

In scary times, people become frightened about the viability of their “commodities” — the things they sell and the jobs they hold. A more strategic response here is to disregard your own commodity and focus on deepening the power and possibility of all your relationships — with family, friends, team members, suppliers, clients, customers, and prospects. Every time you strengthen a relationship, the viability of your commodity, without you focusing on it, will increase.

3) Forget about the sale, focus on creating value.

Most people don’t like being sold at the best of times. When times are scary, they turn off, hang up, and slam shut. But what people want at all times is value creation — that is, solutions that help them eliminate their dangers, capture their opportunities, and reinforce their strengths. When you focus on providing these three solutions, the sales will naturally follow.

4) Forget about your losses, focus on your opportunities.

Things you had, things you took for granted, may have disappeared. Some people never get over this. They keep trying to replay their old games. A better strategy is to start an entirely new game — using new ideas, new energies, new tools, and new resources. A big opportunity is suddenly available now for achieving far more than you ever did in the past.

5) Forget about your difficulties, focus on your progress.

Things may not be as easy as they were. The new difficulties will either defeat you or reveal new strengths. Your physical muscles always get stronger from working against resistance. The same is true for the muscles in your mind, your spirit, and your character. Treat this whole period of challenge as a time when you can make your greatest progress as a human being.

6) Forget about the “future,” focus on your today.

The “future” is an abstraction. It doesn’t exist except as an idea. The only future that has any reality is the one that you continually create for yourself through each day’s contributions, achievements, and results. This is an excellent time to ignore all those experts who never saw the present circumstances coming. Focus on what you can do over the course of each 24 hours, and you’ll be the only expert on the future you’ll ever need.

7) Forget about who you were; focus on who you can become.
Many people define themselves by external circumstances. When these abruptly or unexpectedly change, they don’t know who they are, so they keep trying to be who they used to be. From now on, take your cues from the inside—from your dreams, ideals, values, and operating principles. These need never change, regardless of the circumstances. Take advantage of external confusion to become self- directed, self-managed, and self-motivated.

8 Forget about events; focus on your responses.
When things are going well, many people think they’re actually in control of events. That’s why they feel so defeated and depressed when things turn bad. They think they’ve lost some fundamental ability. The most consistently successful people in the world know they can’t control events—but continually work toward greater control over their creative responses to events. Anytime there is fear, uncertainty, or discomfort, it’s an excellent time to focus your attention and energies on being creatively responsive to all the unpredictable events that lie ahead.

9 Forget about what’s missing; focus on what’s available.
When things change for the worse, many desirable resources are inevitably missing, including information, knowledge, tools, systems, personnel, and capabilities. These deficiencies can paralyze many people, who believe they can’t make decisions and take action. A strategic response is to take advantage of every resource that is immediately available in order to achieve as many small results and make as much daily progress as possible. Work with every resource and opportunity at hand, and your confidence will continually grow.

10 Forget about your complaints; focus on your gratitude.
When times get tough, everyone has to make a fundamental decision: to complain or to be grateful. In an environment where negative sentiment is rampant, the consequences of this decision are much greater. Complaining only attracts negative thoughts and people. Gratitude, on the other hand, creates the opportunity for the best thinking, actions, and results to emerge. Focus on everything you’re grateful for, communicate this, and open yourself each day to the best possible consequences.

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