Episode 35 Transcript

Welcome to episode 35 of the business in
Morocco podcast today we're going to be
talking about community and the
importance of being around like-minded
people no matter what you're trying to
do whether it's being an artist an
entrepreneur an engineer a scientist a
student it's important to be around
people that are doing the same things
that can encourage you and help you do
problem-solving and open up your
knowledge and understanding of the
domain that you're working in but before
we get into that Ryan let's get an
update what's going on yeah good to see
you man this past weekend I had my first
habits for success workshop which was
fantastic it's the first time I've
organized my own private workshop and I
hosted it at a event space here in
Casablanca only sold ten seats I mean
that was the...it was an exclusive group
so the room was was full and it was
wonderful, half-day course had
students connect with me online from a
variety of different backgrounds and it was
really good it was a great opportunity
to help people focus on their purpose
and choose the habits that will really
help them get to the life that they're
dreaming of in their future and we
talked a lot about the power of habits
and then put together a little plan an
individual plan that they can then
implement in their lives so it was
positive I'm gonna do another one on
November 23rd and it was a good
experience for me too
putting the content together it's things
that I've taught in a variety of
settings but then to package it and
structure it and I learned a lot about
marketing you know I was doing some
Facebook Ads and I'd never done any ads
for lead generation and then messaging
people on whatsapp that I acquired their
phone numbers and yeah a good experience
so talk to us from a business
perspective
what did you learn about the whole
process the location customer
acquisition your costs and your revenue
what can you share about that first of
all I'm coming at it from a long-term
perspective so I wasn't expecting to
make a great profit this first time
because my thought was that as I do this
more often I'll become better known for
it and I can capitalize on word-of-mouth
advertising and I can capture footage of
the actual event which then I can use to
better my marketing in the future and so
I've been working on all of that so but
this first one I did want to at least
break even and learn from the experience
you want me to go like right into
numbers specific numbers however you're
comfortable yeah so I took in about
around four thousand dirhams for the
participants that came and paid a
deposit and that sort of thing and then
the location was about 850 or eight
something then I bought some snacks you
know spent a few hundred dirhams on
snacks and stuff I probably spent 800 or
so on Facebook ads and that was a
learning experience because first what I
did is I promoted the event which didn't
generate anything of value people
clicked interested or clicked going but
I don't know if any of those people
actually signed up or actually indicated
that they really were gonna come so then
what I did was I cancelled that ad and
did a lead generation ad which basically
people would fill out their name and
their phone number and then I was
contacting them directly and saying if
you want to come you need to pay it's
not a free event because people were
clicking interested but they hadn't even
read the information on it so I
wasted a bit of money on that initial ad
that got me nowhere and then the other
expenses there I'm gonna pay taxes so
I'm doing this all legit above the books
or above the table so I'll pay my TVA
on the service offered do I have any
other...there was the the camera guy that came
so my friend that I work with from
Zaaphire Tech that does all my videos on
the YouTube channel he was there so I'm
gonna pay him for his time so probably
after all these expenses I probably came
out around you know 1500 dirhams or so
as profit which is a good first
round so I'm gonna up the price a little
bit I'm gonna not accept deposits
because there is one guy who paid
a deposit but then never came well
either that or I'm gonna have someone on
standby or I'm gonna sell 11 seats for a
10 seat workshop and just count on
somebody not coming but I'll have to
come up with a strategy there to make
sure I'm maximizing my income so you
had people pay before the event yeah how
did you accept payment the way that I
did it was I sent my bank details and
then they had to text me a picture of
their transfer so in essence they just
had to go into their bank or into any Attijariwafa bank which is who i bank
with and just send me a transfer that
way but I'd love to do it more directly
and so I'm gonna look into some of these
other payment options because I'd love
to have it just on my website there's it
minimizes my communication but also when
someone wants to sign up they could do
it all and have it completed in one shot
if there's a payment system on my
website interesting good I look forward
to hearing how the the next one goes
mm-hmm what about you what's new what
can you update us on well it's been a
few weeks since we've done the
podcast like this the last two episodes
have been interviews of Click Apporter
and Veemo the last time we talked we
talked about our failures so nice that
now we're talking about a success that
you've had I finally praise the Lord
signed a contract for this office that
I've been seeking for many months
that's great yeah it's great I'm very
happy the office is well situated near
Finance City or the headquarters of Royal Air Maroc
it's a good space
it has good light it's a mixed-use
building so there's some businesses and
some residents but it's very close to my
house I can walk so I don't ever have to
deal with traffic jams or cars or
parking or anything like that yeah so
I've already hired a general contractor
to do some upgrades to the office so
things take time
I'm hoping they don't take too long but
my goal is to have the office in full
functioning by the end of the month that
was the original goal I think that it
probably will bleed into the middle of
November before everything is situated
the way I want and it's fully
operational so you have the keys right
now it's your place I do I have the keys
and in fact the contractor I think he's
over there working right now so there
are a few things that need to be done in
the bathroom in the kitchen and I'm
building some desks and some other
things partitions for the office to kind
of segregate the spaces but very excited
to get that started and on the topic of
today which is the importance of
community and being around people that
are doing the same things one of the
things that I'm going to do out of this
office is start a club for entrepreneurs
here in Casablanca so announcing
that now but there'll be more details to
come I think we'll be meeting we'll
probably start out meeting every other
week so twice a month and we'll see what
kind of interest and participation we
get and maybe go to once a month and the
goal will be sort of a mastermind to
bring together auto entrepreneurs small
business owners to get in the same room
to talk about things and to learn we'll
have guest speakers we'll have class
and trainings maybe on seven Habits
English classes business classes to do
exactly what you described in your
opening which was you shared with us
what you learned about doing a class
yeah so now everyone should know that
promoting an event on Facebook maybe
it's not such a great idea and maybe you
should try something else first before you spend money promoting an
event on Facebook it's learning from
things like that you had a pretty
good experience accepting payments
through bank transfer so that could
be something that someone else tries the
whole point of being in a club or being
in a group is to learn from one another
to learn from mistakes to get best
practices and to have the community of
encouragement because being an
entrepreneur it's not normal what's
normal around the world and here in Morocco
too is being an employee you go to
school you get your diplomas you get
your degrees and then you go work for a
big company and get a salary you can get
them enrolled in CNSS and you get your
paycheck and you get told what to do
being an entrepreneur is completely
different no one's telling you what to
do no one's telling you to get up in the
morning or what to work on and so
there's going to be a natural resistance
to succeeding as an entrepreneur because
a lot of it is all on you but if you
have the encouragement of other
entrepreneurs and you have the community
and the environment it can be helpful
not only in avoiding mistakes that
others have made but people can help you
problem-solve they can open up your
network for example let's say
you were in a club of 20 other people
that were doing the same thing you were
and it doesn't have to be an
entrepreneur maybe it's an artist or a
musician or soccer club for example you get better at soccer by being
around other people that play soccer
right it's the same principle but let's
say you had a group of 20 people and you
were all in the same club but it was
from a diverse backgrounds and
skill sets to the degree that you know
these people and you understand what
they're capable of doing when you look
at the world you are going to be able to solve more
problems in your own mind because say oh
I know a carpenter and I know a musician
and I know an electrician and a plumber
and a marketing specialist and a
computer programmer and I know
someone who takes great photos and video
and I know someone who edits it, suddenly when you're confronted with problems in the
world you can see solutions simply based
on the number of people that you know
right yeah reminds me of that there was
a really famous game show on television
called Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and
one of the options was phone a friend
and the more friends you have to call
the better options that you have so the
basic premise was when you came across a question that you didn't know the answer
to you could call somebody
and ask them that question that was one
of the options you had now the more
friends that you have then the more
areas of expertise that you can tap into
and so when you face a challenge you
think I don't know how to solve this but
I would suspect this person does because
this is their field and this is their
niche and so those relationships can be
a huge asset to you a huge value it's
true around the world and it's true in
Morocco that who you know is very
important that having good relationships
and warm introductions is very important
and oftentimes we don't have the money
personally to start a business that we
want to start or to make an investment
and but there are other people that have
money angel investors people that fund
businesses and projects
so the more people you know the more
people that are available to help you in
your business whether it's with money or
with equipment or with expertise yet
that's the reason that I'm starting this
club there are other things that
exist there's an incubator called
h7 there's an incubator being started by
BMCE bank to help entrepreneurs to
create an environment that is conducive
to growth and innovation
there are co-working spaces here in
Morocco where you can go and work
alongside other people and discuss ideas
and talk about problems and solutions
and really just be in an environment
that's motivating where you don't feel
like you're all alone you know we talk
about our business ideas all the time
not only on the podcast but privately and for me it's been very
helpful and I have other friends as well
that I talk to and it's nice to be
around people that you can see pursuing
their dreams and their passions
and overcoming challenges and
understanding that there are
problems that are common to all of us
and that you're not the only one
and that you if you just persist and
endure you can overcome these
challenges yeah this connects with
what I shared at the beginning you know
I experienced a level of success with
the workshop I did this past weekend but
that probably wouldn't have happened
without the advice of some others
yourself related to how I should
structure the course and you have an
experience from running a business English course and we chatted last time you were
here and you gave me your experience and
what you learned from that and then I
have another friend Ayoub Rehane who I
did a YouTube video with about LinkedIn
and he told me bro you've got to collect
deposits don't reserve somebody's seat
unless they show you the money because a lot of people will
say they're coming and then they won't
come and so it was upon his insistence
that I wouldn't let anybody say like I
wouldn't reserve their spot until they
had sent some money and when I talked to
him about how frustrating it was about
the Facebook event he said well yeah
that's what everybody just clicks
interested because they're interested
but you need to do lead-gen instead and
so those pieces of advice those others
around me who had more knowledge and who
had tried things that I had never tried
were able to really make a difference
were able to guide me so I didn't have
to make as many mistakes I was saved
from some mistakes by those who had gone before me today's episode is brought to
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now back to the show that's another
great benefit of being in a group is
not having to make the same mistakes as
other people our listeners and the
people that are going to join this club
they will be be able to benefit from all
of the mistakes that I've made and I
will be able to help them avoid them in
the past for example here's one let's say you're
trying to sell a client and you want
them to be a client and you're gonna do
a service for them that's ongoing or one
time if you're a male like me a man and
the client is a potential female I would
advise you to make sure that that
woman's spouse is happy with the
situation and in favor of it because I
just lost a client who she was a woman
and she did not tell me this but when we
started the work she was essentially
starting the work in opposition to her
husband's wishes meaning he was not
happy with the relationship and she
wasn't he was not happy with her doing
the kind of work that we were going to
do I got started I did all of this work
and my business model is a long-term
relationship so if the relationship doesn't last six months
then I lose money and you don't see the
results right right and you don't see
the results so I have a negative
referral and I lose money and after one
month she came and said look we have to
we have to cancel because my husband is
very against this so how would you
overcome that challenge would you insist
on having a meeting with the both of
them or would you just ask questions to
find out how involved is your partner
your spouse in this business especially
when you're dealing with men and women
relationships it's important to know and
to get the the buy-in of both people but
this doesn't just it's not just
important just for marriages if there
are other interested parties well if you
have business partners right you can't
just sign a deal with one of them you
have to make sure that everyone is in
agreement I would ask questions and not
make the mistake of of signing up an
agreement that won't last okay so you're
basically your filtering process is
becoming more robust as you run into
these these challenges I'm defining my
ideal and likely buyer yeah
and it's getting narrower and narrower
but that's gonna increase your success
rate right so yeah there's there's no
sense in in targeting a whole bunch of
people who won't actually be good
customers for you if as long as the the
niche and the target customer there's
still enough for you to have a
profitable business then great it's
going to increase the returns on your
marketing efforts yeah one of the other
ways that you can be in community is to
be in what's called a mastermind and
typically these look like three to five
people four is probably a good number
meeting regularly meaning two times a
month once a week sometimes for
accountability each member of the group
shares what they're doing and what
they're going to do the next week and
then the group holds them accountable
the next week for whether or not they
did it yeah and when you're an
independent worker or an entrepreneur
you need that kind of accountability
it's surprising how powerful it can be
of a motivator if I tell you Ryan hey
Ryan this is what I'm gonna do this week
and I know in my own mind that next week
you're gonna ask me yeah what did you do
that can be incredibly powerful
I mean I've experienced this because we
did a whole podcast on our 2019 goals
for the last quarter the last third of
the year and I think about that often
because we've put it out there here's my
ambitions here's what I'm hoping to
accomplish and so that that motivates me
when I think of you know what this isn't
working and with the workshop I just did
I had a crisis moment where I had four
people signed up and there was you know
10 or 12 days to go and I was thinking
what have I done this is going to be an
utter failure and I really considered
just throwing in the towel but I
realized if I do that then I'm never
gonna have the guts to try it again I've
already tried it I've booked a place
I've put it out there I need to see this
through instead of looking at quitting I
need to look how do I ramp up my efforts
or make them more effective in this last
time but that accountability really
pushed me to not quit well you knew I
was gonna ask you to on the podcast yeah
of course
this this podcast is sort of a community
as well yeah we have a community of
listeners people who make comments and
are listening and downloading the shows
every week and when we say things on
this show we know that we're going to
have to give an update yeah at some
point just to be honest and to be
transparent and that can be a good
motivator yeah I wanted to return to one
thing you said which was that often it's
who you know can be more important than
what you know and I work with a lot of
young people and the classes I teach and
this can often come across as a
complaint
you know Morocco you got to know people
you got to be connected in order to have
opportunities in order to get a good
position in order to get hired in
companies in order to get your CV put to
the top of the pile and even if it's
valid even if it's true that there is a
lot of nepotism there is a lot of
relational favor that's granted it can
be also viewed as a motivator so if
that's true and you're a first-year
University student and you know my
parents aren't that well-connected
I don't have neighbors that are running
businesses that are just gonna offer me
a job because I grew up with their kids
then you need to take action you need to
be proactive and you need to know people
you need to get to know people you have
to intentionally build your network if
it's not going to be handed to you from
generations above you then you've got to
make it yourself and so the club you're
describing is the type of thing that I'm
talking about where you go out and seek
like-minded people and people that are
gonna push you people that you're gonna
learn from people that you can benefit
and that will benefit you another great
benefit to be in a group like this and
I'm about to describe the type of person
that will succeed in a group like this
you join the group you make good strong
relationships with people you're honest
you're straightforward you're reliable
and you offer value to people you offer
help you're engaged with people you're
interested in them you want to help them
you're available that person is going to
seed in a group like this and they're
going to become known in the group as
someone who is friendly gets along well
with people helpful reliable that person
it doesn't matter where you've come from
it doesn't matter what your education is
that person is going to succeed it is
absolutely true that not everyone starts
on the same footing in this world
certainly not Morocco
nowhere in the world there are different
levels of education language income
experience all of that but all of these
things can be overcome through hard work
and discipline yeah I'll give you a
perfect example with my contractor
yesterday we bought some wood and we
needed to get it up to the to the
Katsuyama Tosh and it was too big for
the elevator okay and after three trips
were at we said to ourselves this is not
for us it's got to be a better way we
need to hire some people so I went to
the Guardian I said I need two guys and
this is the work and the Guardian knew
immediately who he would recommend he
had two names in his mind he knew
exactly who to go to he went out on the
street he called him over they came in
and they did the work in less than an
hour happily and much quicker and more
efficient than that I could have done it
with my with my partner mm-hmm that's
who you want to be right when someone
asks I have a need you want to be in the
front of the mind of as many people as
possible and that is the reason that you
join these types of groups yeah is so
that when people go out into the world
and they are confronted with a problem
that they think of you as the solution
and so again that's one of the reasons
I'm starting this club there's going to
be minimum requirements you either have
had to start at a sorrow your own small
business you need be working for a
start-up you need to be either have your
ultra Auto entrepreneur card or you need
to have submitted your application so
you need to demonstrate seriousness you
have to demonstrate commitment
to pursuing your goals and being a
valuable part of the community but other
than that those are the basic criteria
now much of the conversation will be in
English but there will also be
conversation and training in French as
well and of course in one-to-one
conversations you can speak whatever
language you like yeah but these are the
basic foundations of the club
entrepreneur doing business taking steps
serious steps to start your business and
having at least a functional level of
English or French yeah so when when is
this going to start I'm going to start
promoting it as soon as the office is
ready to hold events to handle the
people so the desks the chairs the
lighting the the facilities the ability
to to manage I think I'm gonna have
about 15 to 20 members of this club yeah
so as soon as the office is ready to
handle events of about 15 to 20 people
then I will be opening it up I'll
probably be doing some some promotions
and I'll probably build a website and
start engaging people a list of people
who are interested to sign up yeah for
your interest because it's going to be
first come first serve on the list I'll
probably invite around 20 25 people to
begin with and then we'll see how the
group develops from there so we're
recording this in early October but for
someone who's listening to this in the
future where could they go for more
information
morocco podcast calm yeah we'll have a
link on morocco podcast calm to the it's
either gonna be clubbed as entrepreneur
to Casablanca or it'll be the
entrepreneurs Club of Casablanca they'll
be a link on the on the Morocco podcast
website to that club and once we're full
if we have a full Club that's not
accepting new members we'll think about
starting a second Club or a second
meaning be
the goal is to grow the community and
grow the opportunities for people to
help each other to help the community of
entrepreneurs yeah that's great I'm
excited you've been listening to the
business and Morocco podcast my name is
Ryan Kirk here with my co-host Ryan
mamon if you enjoyed this episode be
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theme music is lovely day by Bill
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we hope you'll have a lovely day doing
business in Morocco we'll see you next
time

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