Welcome to the Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview with Bushra Azhar
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Introducing Bushra Azhar
Bushra Azhar is my guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots business coaching podcast interview.
She is a lady who believe me we all need to spend time with.
Whether it’s to make more money in our lives, to convince our bosses that we should be working at home in our PJ’s, or to get someone to climb out of their PJ’s and Whey Hay!! then it’s all about being persuasive.
As she says ” I have used the science of persuasion to get ludicrous discounts from suppliers over and over and over again. And I didn’t even have to take my clothes off 😉
Bag giant-ass contracts that everyone in the company had given up on, because I knew exactly which buttons to press.
Influence people through written word…emails, blog posts, pitches or break-up letters…I did all and won most. I am also the office go-to person for softening down or toughening up the tone of critical emails, negotiate better timings, better rates and better treatment… often without a precedent.
How The Dots Joined Up For Bushra
Now the interesting thing is when she decided to start an online business in April 2014, she told no one.
“I didn’t want to tarnish my reputation as a consultant, even my husband just knew I was starting a site, he didn’t know what it was. I didn’t even use my full name in the beginning, because I had a respectable Google presence.”
“I was intrigued by this idea of making money online. Consulting is trading dollars for hours — you get paid for what you work on. I’d always wanted to try something different and if I want to travel to visit family or take a vacation or travel back home, with an online business I can take my work with me.”
So in just three years, and with a site that was less than finished, she has hit the ground running, and now can teach us all how to make money online with none of the icky sales stuff that most of us get hung up by.
So was three years about right to get her to where she is today, or does she look back and see many corners that she could have cut off in the timeline?
And when did she feel comfortable enough to slam her name all over her work, sprinkle typos, and talk about “Toilet stuff” more than anyone I have interviewed before?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with with one and only Bushra Azhar
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Bushra Azhar such as:
Why flattery is so important in business, as it makes both people want to be involved in working towards something that is mutually beneficial.
Why Bushra never pitches unless she is invited to pitch to the other people. You have to be accepted into the persons life before ever attempting that for it to work like magic.
Why being relate-able is such an amazingly powerful statement to make, which so many people online fail to understand. Be like the person that you are attracting and you are half way there already.
Why it is so exciting to get your first online money no matter how much it is. And the best thing of all….those seeds you planted just keep on working.
How To Connect With Bushra Azhar
Or if you prefer just pop over to our podcast archive for thousands of amazing episodes to choose from.
Audio Transcription Of Bushra Azhar Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling join up dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK David Ralph
David Ralph [0:33]
Yes, good morning to everybody in join up dots land. And this is going to be a good one, you’re not going to get any of that preamble when I just start talking about rubbish today, because we’ve got a guest, who I want to suck out her information, I want to suck out her essence, I want to get to the core of what she’s doing because it’s fascinating. And she’s a lady who believe me we all need to spend time with whether it’s to make more money in our lives, to convince our bosses that we should be working at home in our PJs, or just to get someone to climb out of their PJs and where Hey, man, it’s all about being persuasive. As she says. I’ve used the science of persuasion to get ludicrous discounts from suppliers over and over and over again. And I didn’t even have to take my clothes off bag giant ass contracts that everyone in the company had given up on because I knew exactly which buttons to press influence people through written word emails, blog posts, pitches or breakup letters I did all in one most I’m also the office go to person for softening down or toughening up the tone of critical emails negotiate better timings, better rates and better treatment, often without a precedent. Now the interesting thing is when she decided to start an online business in April 2014, she told no one as she says I didn’t want to tarnish my reputation as a consultant. Even my husband just knew I was starting a site. He didn’t know what it was. I didn’t even use my full name in the beginning because I had a respectable Google presence. But I was intrigued. She was intrigued by this idea of making money online consulting is trading dollars for hours you get paid for what you work on. I’d always wanted to try something different. And if I want to travel to visit family, or take a vacation or travel back home with an online business, I can take my work with me. So in just three years and we have a site that was less than finished, she’s hit the ground running and now can teach us all how to make money online with Natalie ickes our stuff that most of us get hung up by so it was three years about right to get to where she is today or does she look back and see many corners that she put a cut off in the timeline? And when did she feel comfortable enough to slammer name all over? Were sprinkled typos and talk about toilet stuff more than anyone I’ve ever interviewed before? Well, that’s fine. Now, as we start a join up dots with the one and only Bushra aza. Good morning to you Bushra. How are you?
Bushra Azhar [2:51]
I am very good. And this by far has to be the best introduction anyone’s ever given me David I am. I feel like I’m on Larry King Live it’s even better because you you know you sound better than larry king. So that’s awesome join up dots join up dots join up dots
David Ralph [3:10]
You see, that’s what he kept on join up dots you get somebody who’s willing to put the effort in because I want to persuade you to be good. And if I put the effort in, does that not make you want to put the effort in as well? It doesn’t it come to us like reciprocation.
Bushra Azhar [3:26]
It does come to see that’s the thing. So it’s very interesting what you just said, because we both did that. I know. You probably did that, because you’re a smart man. I did that because I’m a conniving, manipulative woman. But I’m a factory. We know, we have tons of psychological research that such that that basically says that flattery works in every situation, even if the other person knows that you are flattering them for your ulterior motives, even then it works. Because we like being told that we are great. So it’s awesome. That even though we just use flattery, and I know that it wasn’t, at my end, I don’t know about you. But if he said my end, I said on this, because this really is the best introduction. But it is also meant for you to like me more. Because now that I’m flattered, you know, you like me more? And even if you know, I’m doing it for my motives, that’s awesome.
David Ralph [4:15]
I think it works. And you know, what works for me, Russia, is the fact that you are quite open to take your clothes off at a drop of a hat. So in business, we got to cover this part. How often have you actually had to take your clothes off to get what you want? Or is it all about the power of persuasion? for somebody like me that’s got a body like Chris hems work, it’s a tempo, it’s cultured, then you know, I’m home for a winner, being persuasive and also taking my clothes off, or should I just be persuasive? What should I be doing?
Bushra Azhar [4:47]
It’s so funny. I’m so glad we not on video, because you know, it will probably just, you probably know when you look at me anyway. But it’s interesting. And I come from the most. So I come from an live in two of the most conservative countries in the entire world. I can say that hands down. So I come from Pakistan, I live in Saudi Arabia. And so the taking clothes off, was never really an option. And even if it was an option, do it I’ve had two kids yet and no one is the people would probably take money from me if I if I decided to take my clothes off instead of paying me money. So
David Ralph [5:24]
I’ve got five kids, and I look amazing. I look amazing. Bushra My body is as I say, like a temple you would be kneeling in front of me praying, praying at my body if you saw it.
Bushra Azhar [5:36]
Yeah, it’s funny, because I’m talking about the body the first time the first single that I made online. And I you know, you said that in the introduction, no one knew that I’d started an online business. And the first thing that I made someone 70 $500, and I had never made money online, I had no idea how to receive money online, even. So when I went to my husband, because I was so excited about those $500. And I told him that, you know, someone just sent me money. His first thought was, what did you say? So I was like, Listen, have you seen me? Do you think they will pay me $500? To look at a picture of me naked? Oh, what are you thinking is like, Yeah, that makes sense. But in our culture, really, the only thing people do online that actually makes them money is either pornography, or I don’t know, I don’t even know about it. I haven’t explored those options. But, but that was the concept of online business. When I started even now 86 cents was
David Ralph [6:33]
the very first thing that I ever made. And it was AdSense, I threw up a website, and I looked at my little account, and I’ve made 46 cents. And I thought to myself, This is amazing. And then I kept doing f5 f5, refresh f5 refresh to see what was happening. And then it became one pound 42. And it just kind of crept up. And all the passive income streams that I created eight years ago, they’re still there, you can go over to join up dots and look at the how we manage ties, and half of it is through the show. And half of it is what I kind of f5 like a lunatic when I was in my corporate gig. It’s so exciting. You never forget the first little bit of money that you get where you feel like you’re you’re not working for it. But of course you are because you planted all those seeds.
Bushra Azhar [7:16]
But that’s that’s the funny bit, you know, if you’ve been in corporate world, so we know how long it takes to earn your can. Even if it’s a salary, it takes effort, it takes time and day in and day out. And you deal with shitty bosses and you deal with stupid, low IQ co workers. And then you get your paycheck, right? So I used to work in consulting when I started my online business. So I had a consulting business on the side, I was doing consulting and I remember that just to lock a consulting contract, it would take us four however, you would go through one round of pitches, and then another round of pitches and then they would you know, basically give you the cold shoulder if you ask them to hurry up and it would take forever to sign a contract and an online business it happens instant. So that part was just so unbelievable to me that just someone you’ve never met someone who’s never seen you. And they’re actually willing to pay you money. What if I run away with your money, you know, that that idea was so foreign to me and in two years now it’s something that’s become my reality. It’s so so interesting. It’s so fascinating to me.
David Ralph [8:22]
Well, it’s fascinating to me as well and and you’re fascinating. And one of the reasons why you are so fascinating to me is in join up dots land join up dots is a top ranked podcast run by an idiot. I basically how put my hand up and I say I am willing to say but I’m probably one of the least technical people around, I just get on the microphone, I do my thing. And I don’t try to be anything else. Now, with you, you come across in the same kind of way. I like the fact that you kind of have to embrace that you are an idiot in certain regards. And you are you just you you just totally you. I love that. How long did that come to? How long did it take until you really felt at ease to just throw it out there? And if people love it, they love it. And if people don’t they go off elsewhere.
Bushra Azhar [9:14]
I still I still agree with you on this. And it’s so funny because if I look at and someone’s asking me this was like, Oh, you’re so comfortable on camera and you know us. You’re so funny and you have these you know you have these you should do stand up and you really funny and I’m like listen, what you don’t understand people is that I am My life is so thoroughly and exceptional that it is it’s not sexy to talk about this, but the reality is that I am I hate the way I look on camera. I always hated the way I look on camera. I hate my accent. I hate the fact that I learned English by reading so I don’t pronounce a lot of words correctly because, you know, I read them but I don’t really know how to pronounce them always. I plan my jokes. I know it’s an unsexy thing to say. But when I go on for a webinar, auto podcast, I actually planned my jokes and write them down. Gosh, I know this is unsexy, but but that’s what it is. I am a totally unexceptional person. And the only way for me to kind of make some kind of wave is to prepare. And when I started because I had all these hangups about the way I look in the way I sound. And I knew I was smart. I’m not very modest about that. But, but I hated the way I look. I hated the way I was. I was too fat. I was too brown. I was too you know, South Asian. my accent is the one that all Hollywood movies make fun of. So every Indian character in Hollywood movie has my ex and so I’m like, you know, you guys make fun of me and expect me to laugh. But anyhow, um, so yeah, so I agree with you. It’s just so unbelievable to me every single day that I get to do what I do, and then make a shitload of money. It’s, it does not make sense to me, I don’t even know what you can what you’re supposed to do with this kind of money. Because I live in a country where I don’t have opportunities to spend this money. I My office is in my closet. I don’t like clothes. I don’t like branded shit. I don’t even know what to do with this kind of money. So I’m the wrong person to be making this kind of money. But like you said, the gods of money distribution don’t really distributed based on based on all of those things on looks or talent or genius, as much as they do based on probably heart. So when you were saying, you know, I’m an idiot, I have to say this, I have listened to your podcast, and I’m talking to you right now. And even though you’re not in video, your heart and your passion, it totally seeps through, you are flooding my keyboard with your passion. So please don’t say it’s an it’s an off chance. I think I think it’s because of your heart and your passion.
David Ralph [11:50]
You say I’m sending my fluids across the world, I’m flooding, I’m flooding, the ladies closets everywhere. I think I think what. I’m going to give you a bit of advice actually pressure as you were talking so passionately, I’m going to give you a bit of advice. If you are on webcam, and you are writing your jokes beforehand, your jokes will never be as good as what just pops into your head, you’ve got to stop that you’ve got to throw that now I used to be a corporate trainer years ago, and I used to stand up. And writing your jokes beforehand is just a comfort blanket for you. If you can write a joke, you can say a joke and the stuff that pops into your head is always better. You know. So you should just throw that just turn on the webcam look your sexy cell. And then you go flooding go flooding your juices through the webcam on to every single person. And I promise you after maybe two or three goes you were being why was I preparing so much? You know, yes. You’re great, you’re positive, you’re enthusiastic, get out there and just turn it on, turn it on. That’s what I do in join up dots land. There’s no preparation, I just turn it on.
Bushra Azhar [12:59]
God, I love that. Again, you had like what set almost 700 episodes you are you can probably do this in your sleep, you can probably do this when you’re half drunk.
David Ralph [13:11]
Both at the moment, I’m half drunk, and I’ve been asleep for the last 15 minutes. That’s how that’s how easy is when you just turn on and you find your super talent. And that’s what you’ve got. You’ve got a super talent. And your super talent is competence. So it annoys me Bushra but you’re hiding behind your your total super talent. By writing these things. Just turn it on and go. And believe me, believe me, your life will be easier. And you will look at it. And you think, why was I holding myself back? Why wasn’t I wrapping myself in elastic bands, when I could just premiums off and just be my own self? that’s what that’s what it’s all about.
Bushra Azhar [13:50]
It’s funny you say that I have to let you know, like you said we’re having a conversation. So it’s very interesting. You said that but you have. So I come from a culture where you watch every word. And I am the black sheep who literally does has zero filter when she is talking. So when I’m talking so so we are talking real life. And the way I can talk to you right now is exactly the same, except for the language and some of the really painful curse words. But more or less, this is how I am but but I come from a culture where you watch every single word. So what you said, it totally makes sense. You know, I know that I have this innate ability to engage people and be confident and all but because I come from a culture where whatever pops into your head is not the most appropriate thing to say it right out the gate, right? I probably have conditioned myself to watch what I say. And I remember when I was in the office, when we used to work in corporate, there was this like there was this office kind of Paul who does what so there was one about which person named the person who’s down goes faster than their brain. And everyone unanimous, honestly, voted me because I literally have no control over my time because it goes so fast. Or sometimes it takes my brain a little bit to catch up. So I think that’s one of the reasons that I do prep. Because I have been conditioned to believe that whatever pops into your head is probably not the best thing to say, right away.
David Ralph [15:20]
I think what pops into your head is the best thing. I think it’s it’s the gods channeling through you now, why we got you on here was about persuasion and how you can use persuasion in a non icky way. And I suppose what we’re talking about here is persuasion and fascination. People will generally buy products from someone who they like and when you get the people out there. And I had this the other day I had a lady connect with me on LinkedIn. And she said David, we’ve been connected on LinkedIn for a while I’ve been watching your work. And what I’d like to do is connect with you for a Skype call, so that I can tell you how I can help with your business. And I thought, I don’t like this. I don’t like somebody saying that they can help me with their business. Maybe she can, but it just felt too forceful. Now, what you’re doing, you learn me in just by being fascinating and fun. You learn me into want to look at more of your website you learn me in is that what business is all about? Is it being likeable? Is that where people are missing a trick by screaming out? Bye, bye, bye bye, when they should actually be saying, No, actually, I don’t care if you buy or not. I just want to do what I’m doing and naturally fascinate the audience. What do you think? So,
Bushra Azhar [16:38]
I love this, I love what you just said. So even though the person who sent you that message, even though she probably made an effort to give you a compliment, flatter you Abed, you know, kind of butter you up a bit, but it still came across as too much you know, this is not because you will not the one who initiated that conversation. Now, I pitch off all the time, right. But I would never pitch unless I’m invited to do the pitch. And that invitation that someone makes you. So taking a step back persuasion to me when I described persuasion, persuasion is not something that one person does to another. So if anyone tells you, you know what you can persuade the other person to do whatever you want them to do. The reality is persuasion is just something that a person does to him or herself in response to the stimulus that you expose them to. So you only have control over what stimulus you expose them to, you don’t have control over what they decide to do with that stimulus. And that is really, it’s a very minor, it may seem seem like a minor thing, but it makes that’s what makes a difference. If you think that you are like that there is the thought that she is in control of that, that relationship where she can persuade you to do something that’s wrong, what she can do is she can only expose you to the right stimulus. So send the same email that if any of that she said, but instead of saying, hop on a Skype with me, so I can help you, with your business, instead, give you the stimulus that would encourage you to reach out to her and say, I love what you’re doing. Can we hop on a Skype call? And it’s a very small difference. But that’s what that’s what that’s what makes a breakthrough persuasion efforts. You need to know what stimulus if he’s been watching you, she should know very clearly. What is the stimulus that makes you tick? What are the things that would make you say yes, what are the things that will make you go, Oh, my God, I want to know more of this person she should be but especially in one on one interactions, that’s what you should be aware of. And, and really that, that that’s what it all boils down to know the stimuli that could get the other person to say yes, they may not still say yes, every single time but understand the stimuli. So in my case, for my market, I absolutely understand what are the stimuli that make them say yes, and one of those is because you talk about being likable. One of those is being related. So if I seem too perfect, if I seem too polished, it repels my people, it does not attract them to me, because that’s just my people. If they see me wearing too much makeup or dressed up, dressed up to the nines, and be like, Who’s this person? So it depends on again, likability, it all boils down to relate ability, in most cases, so so the right stimuli at the right time to the right people, and they will reach out to you.
David Ralph [19:30]
But let’s just buy some motivational words, I don’t really fall into today’s conversation, but I like hearing them anyway. And then we’re going to delve back into your work because it is fascinating stuff. He’s Jim Carrey,
Jim Carrey [19:40]
my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [20:07]
So you’re doing what you love, and you’re doing it in a very likable way. And even when you’re saying I’m only shit knows the money, and you know, I can’t spend it, it’s just coming to me. It didn’t seem arrogant, it didn’t seem cocky, it just seemed like, Well, good on you. And I’ll be happy if you get more of it. Bushra? How have you managed to do that? How have you managed to get that competence that comes through that makes people want to to give you money was did you study it? Was it something natural that you were doing? And then people said to you, do you know that you’re actually doing these things? How did it come together?
Bushra Azhar [20:42]
So um, so Okay, so I’ve been doing this since I was born. So I like to, I like to say that I was born a disappointment, in the sense that I was too dark. And I was too female. And, and, you know, I had an elder sister. So when I was born, obviously, there was a lot of disappointment because hoping for a boy. So when you are when you are in that situation, even as a child, and my parents are my biggest supporters, and I absolutely love them. And they’ve done everything to kind of give me the confidence that I have right now. But I am growing up in a culture where everyone was hoping I would be a boy. And I’m not a boy decidedly not boy. But I have a big personality. And I have so many things to say. And I want people to look at me and I want people to admire me. And I want people to say yes to me. But it’s hard for me to do that. Because in my culture, if you’re not a pretty little boy, things are not that easy for you. So I think that muscle I started developing at an early age. Now when I look back, I realized that I I wasn’t a habit of rehearsing my asks, even when I was a little kid, so I would not just go on and blurt something, right, right now I see my kids, for example, they’re eight and 10. If they want something that literally pops into their head, and then they would just blurt it out. I never did that. Because I knew that I had one shot at this, and I better get a yes. So I’ve always rehearsed my asks. So that’s something that I’ve always done. But when you were when you were playing that clip, it’s funny because that’s exactly my story. I had always wanted to be an actress or be a stand up comic, and I ended up becoming an accountant, can you freaking believe this? I can tell you believe me, that’s
David Ralph [22:19]
how life operates, isn’t it?
Bushra Azhar [22:21]
It’s so interesting when you play the game.
And so I became an accountant. And the reason I became an accountant up, literally, the only reason I became an it became an accountant was because I knew that I could make a lot of money as an accountant. And I knew there weren’t a lot of women in the field. That’s it, I was not passionate about accounting, I was I sucked at math and statistics, I had no idea why I enrolled, except that I knew that I could make a lot of money. So So as an accountant, obviously, I didn’t get to flex a lot of those muscles except for you know, getting promotions and getting flexible timings and all of those things that you had. No, but I got into consulting, how many years ago, six, seven years ago. That’s actually more I think about 889 years ago, that’s when I actually get to use those muscles. So I’ve always been interested in behavioral psychology and behavioral economics and social psychology. And I’m sort of person who does not just read a book, if I read a book, I highlight passages that I make. And then I make a game plan on how I’m going to implement it. Every single book that I read,
David Ralph [23:26]
this is really fascinating stuff because you are a classic join up dots student of life, basically, because we always say that by joining the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build a futures and what you’re saying falls into the category that we find out time and time again, when somebody is doing really, really well. It’s something that they could naturally do as a child before they kind of got involved in money and I might have gone off the track which you didn’t start by he is a classic classic stage of join up dots with myself Bushra I’ve always been able to to be somebody that I say will fire the motivation rocket in someone I can, I can get them to be more competent. But I can achieve a task just by listening to them and talking to them. And I’ve always done that. always done that. And now in join up dots pretty much confidence boosting is our business. That’s what we bring to the table. And in many ways, it’s kind of easy, but it’s only easy because I’ve been doing it for like 47 years, and it comes naturally to me. spend an hour with me. And you will think that you could be the next president of Pakistan promise you
Bushra Azhar [24:32]
it’s funny you say that because I am. It’s I love that I love that analogy. Oh my god, I love that. You’re you’re you’re you’re dropping bombs that tie in so beautifully to my story. So what you just said, it’s really funny because my husband has. So I met it encounter, I’m an accountant, I married an accountant. And he is one of the nicest I married a good boy. And I’m a bad girl. So that was a very weird combo. So it is a really good boy, a decent human being no idea why we’re still married. So So once we were sitting in it, I met his boss for the first time. And he’s like, okay, so Michelle, what do you want to do when you grow up? And this was like four or five years ago, and I said, I want to be the next president of Pakistan. And then he looks at me, my husband is like, what do you want to do. And he was like, I want to have a really small farm that I can grow tomatoes. So the difference in her personalities is so massive, that it’s unbelievable to me, but what you just said, because that’s the kind of aspirations I have, even though now I’ve given up considering how shitty the political climate is. But, but that’s the kind of inspiration that I have. And I think when you have that kind of what you just said, You spend one afternoon with me, and you would want to be the next president. Again, it all boils down to your passion and your heart, right? If you have so much of it, that you cannot contain it, your container is too small to bottle up all those things. So just spill out all over the place. That’s exactly what happening in this show. Because of that passion, it’s just spilling out all over. I love that. So So
David Ralph [26:05]
when you look at your business, Ben, and we’re going to sort of delve into it because I’ve been reading your, your your book, and you basically say that persuasion isn’t an art, it’s a science, you can you can program the switches in people’s brains, and you emphasize that there’s eight key sort of switches that people can go through. But when you actually look at your business, is it something then that has become more powerful, the more precise and niche it’s been? Because when you take that one word persuasion, you kind of thing, where do you go with this, and a lot of people will add something else on and someone else on and persuasion and competence and I don’t know, sort of really group it in and kind of dilute the message has just become more powerful when you’ve really gone I am that Queen of persuasion. And that’s it.
Bushra Azhar [26:54]
I have been very protective of the word. In my business, I’ve been very careful of not letting it dilute sometimes at the expense of a new business money. So when I had just started now, I think most people in my circle, they know what I stand for. But when I just started, I used to get a lot because I have a way with words I write really well. But I’ve never taken a copywriting course I had for the longest time. I did not know whether copywriting is like, which copywriting is which because there’s copyright, which is the legal thing. And then there’s the copywriting, which is the persuasion thing. And I’m like, Okay, which one is which. So I literally had no idea what copywriting is. But I used to get so many requests from people saying, Oh, you know, could you got the idea? Could you work on our copy? And I was like, No, I’m not a copywriter, I had to put my step foot foot down and say, I’m not a copywriter. I am a persuasion strategist, I don’t just talk about using persuasion in your copy. I also talk about using persuasion in your one on one communications in your clients communications and your client relationships in basically everything that you do. So I have been very protective of the brand. I’ve been very careful of not getting a dilute even though it was really tempting. When you’re just starting out, you basically want to take any and all business, right? I really wanted to say yes to all those people. But I decided not to because I did not want to become one of those people who are, who do a lot of things, including persuasion, I wanted to be my brand synonymous with persuasion. And I Yeah, and I think that’s that’s one thing that I would highly recommend people do when you’re just starting out, take one, whatever that thing is, take your thing, and then just be super protective of whatever that is. Don’t dilute even if it’s copywriting. Don’t dilute it. Don’t let people make it one of the many things that you do.
David Ralph [28:44]
No, I agree with that. Totally. And it was a kind of leading question. Because when I started join up dots I was basically a money whore, anything that came towards me, I went, yes, I’ll do that. I can do that. Yeah, I’ll be brilliant at that. And more often than not without being cocky, because I’m kind of competent. And I’m, I’m willing to really put the effort in if I decide to do something, I’m not going to let the person down. I could I could do it. But I think just bored me stupid. And I was thinking, What’s the point? What’s the point in being in a corporate gig, being bored to being creating my own environment that bores me as well, I should just do but one thing. And I kind of lost my way in join up dots probably between episodes 300 to about 600, I was just producing shows not realizing what I was actually bringing to the table. But now it’s getting stronger and stronger and stronger. And it’s all down to about one word, that one word, which is competence, you get the competence that you can do something vain. That is that is like Matt Dumbo is magic feather, you can flap your ears and you can fly off into the sky. Because you’re competent, you don’t know if it’s going to achieve, you don’t know what the results are going to come. But at least you’re willing to move forward. And that’s what life is all about. Isn’t it Bushra
Bushra Azhar [29:58]
it is it is. And it’s it’s it’s interesting, because I just noticed that. I think one of the one of the biggest ways to kind of Own your brand or Own your thing is to make sure you understand what your thing is. Right. So when you mentioned join up dots every You, you, you mentioned it and you have a very clear idea of what it is what it stands for. And and and that same for me. I know. So when I use the word persuasion, I’m not talking about the definition of persuasion that you could look it up Look, look up in the dictionary, I’m not talking about the definition of persuasion that Robert Robert Cialdini, which everyone thinks is and he is a great scientist, when it comes to behavioral psychology, I have my own definition of persuasion, I have my own framework on persuasion. And the same goes for you. I think when you get to that point, when you have your own definition of join up dots what it stands for, what it entails, what it encompasses. I think that’s the point where you are, you know, you kind of have won over that, that word or that brand.
David Ralph [31:00]
Now we’ve Robert Cialdini because I had bought, bought his book and it’s been sitting by the side of my bed, I’ve got a problem with this book. It might be each. But I think that the text is getting too small in these books. Now. I can’t I can’t read it. I can’t read it. I can’t know it is so small. But the good thing about your book, it was like like a child had written it was so big, I could just read it. It was brilliant. I could just plow through. He’s Mr. trick, isn’t it for all the blind people or people getting old, where we’re never going to be persuasive because we can’t read the bloody text rich, Robert is too small.
Bushra Azhar [31:36]
And it’s funny you say that because there is there is research, there is behavioral psychology research that says that if you if you put something in a difficult font, whether it’s the size or the you know, some fonts are just harder to read. And when people read it, and it’s harder for them to read subconsciously, they don’t consider it valuable enough. So one of the reasons that the Ultimate Guide to persuasion that you mentioned, it has all these big fonts and big spaces and easy to read is because when someone reads it, even if they don’t find the information useful, which I hope they do, but even if they don’t find the information useful, their subconscious tells them that it’s useful because they are they can consume it. But if a font is harder to read, a text is harder to read. The subconscious tells the person that it is not useful. So it’s Yup. So yeah, the book should probably stand up.
David Ralph [32:33]
be big, be proud. That’s what we should be in live in, sort of get our message out, even if it’s one letter on a page, let the people read it because they just haven’t got time to squint over these bits of paper. Right? Let’s talk about yours. I don’t want to talk about Roberts book because I can’t read it because it’s too small. But yours is big, bold, it’s beautiful. And it’s authentically you. Now there are eight switches that you talk about on persuasion. And literally on the first one, I thought to myself, this is pretty. And I went through all of them. And a lot of my websites I I rewrote based around the content that you presented because I thought it was so valuable. Now what is the first switch? What is the first switch that people should be thinking about in their life? Maybe it’s not what you would say the most important but it’s the easiest one for people to start thinking about and using in their life.
Bushra Azhar [33:24]
So the easiest I would say and again, it boils down to the conversation that you started about being likable. So there is a switch that’s called relate ability switch right and readability is which is basically on basically based on a psychological principle called the pratfall effect. And the pratfall effect basically entails that when someone appears less than perfect when someone appears a bit flawed, not only do people like them more, they also trust them more and they find that endearing. Now in online business, when the only thing we have going for us because people are not meeting us one on one, our is our videos or our text, or, you know, that’s the only time they see us. And if you appear too polished for those videos, or those audios or whatever those things are, if you appear too polished, unconsciously, you are repelling people, because you’re not appearing relatable. People like people who are flawed. That’s That’s a fact. So I’m not saying you should show up in a stage t shirt. Even though I’ve done that sometimes. All I’m saying is to sometimes share the ugly not so beautiful aspects of your life. You did that right before we started recording where you explained in explicit detail, the elements that you are struggling with right now. And that’s beautiful that makes you so relatable. So we started off on such a comfortable note because there was this sense of ease but if you had appeared on polished and all perfect, and I’d be like oh my god, how do I even talk to this person is so polished and perfect. So I think relatable it is which is the easiest of all you have to do is everyone has some sort of not so perfect life. I don’t know anyone who is absolutely perfect. But why do we do that online? Why do we appear so polished? sure that not so beautiful sight of you sometimes so that behind the scenes that makes you look more human because people like you more and look up pratfall effect, because it’s a reality. And it works.
David Ralph [35:20]
I think it works big time. And I think when you look at the about pages nowadays, you get some horrific stories on there, which you wouldn’t have done five years ago, it would have been very much that Bushra did this for three years and then did that. But now it’s I like it, it’s made my job a lot easier in the last three years to to get the research done, and really build an understanding of that person. Because it’s out there, the videos are out there, the contents out there. And it’s easier, isn’t it? It’s easier not to be polished. You know, in your work. You pride yourself where you probably don’t pride yourself, but you’re not willing to hide behind typos. If I’m out there, bang, you know, it’s out there. And people find that engaging as well. Don’t leave at your wedding to go look. It’s more important what I’m saying than the way I’m saying it.
Bushra Azhar [36:07]
Absolutely. Absolutely. And I and and I was just one of the things that I’ve noticed is also it makes it is you said that to me, you said you talk about making so much money, but somehow you don’t come across as an arrogant asshole. Right? Even though I just said that I make a lot of money because it’s the way you said it is that when you are more relatable, you can share things that otherwise if you appear to perfect and you say them, you sound very arrogant to sound insufferable. You sound like a show off. But when you are doing it in a way, where you’re like, you know, look at me, have you seen me Look at me if I can do this, anyone can. And that is actually endearing. So, so absolutely. And I think more people should be doing is like you said, about pages are changing. People are embracing it. But you still see pictures and videos of people lounging around on the charts being all perfect. And I’m like, gosh, I stopped doing this. And it stopped working ages ago. And it just it just repels people. You do
David Ralph [37:12]
see that a lot even though I see videos and it’s always somebody on a tropical beach saying Hi, my name is john just two years ago I was in an office but now my life is like this and I was being I don’t want your life anyway john, I hate beaches, satin gets up every
Unknown Speaker [37:28]
crack my God, thank you.
David Ralph [37:31]
Yeah, I just started like I hate a beach. I don’t mind a swimming pool because it’s bare and you can climb out easier. And you’re not washing yourself down afterwards. I don’t want to see people I would rather see you crouched in a closet with a load of brass hanging over your head more than actually seeing somebody on a beach.
Bushra Azhar [37:50]
Exactly. And and then you could look at that person is like because it comes with that element of if she can do it, I can do so it also comes with that element of believability, which is another switch that I talked about in the book. So believability switch where we want people to, we want people to believe us, and we want people to believe our story. But we also want the people to believe in their own ability to get those results, right. So when they see us being all imperfect, and you know sitting in a closet or being whatever, they actually look at us as like, you know what, I can actually do this, but when you appear to perfect or too polished, they may want to be you. But their subconscious tells them you could never be this because you don’t have this and you don’t have this and you don’t have this you know what I did you know you’re not white enough, you’re not, you’re not sexy enough, you’re not hot enough. All of those things come into play. So playing being imperfect, showing your imperfection imperfections, actually activates two switches, it activates readability switch, and it activates believability switch.
David Ralph [38:53]
This is good stuff. This is a good good stuff. So let’s talk about the one that really interested me, I come from a sales background years ago, I used to have to do the cold calling up in London picking up the phone. And one of the things that they used to say when we wanted them to buy our products was I can get it for cheaper elsewhere. And it used to like kill the conversation. Now with yours, you were talking about these powerful words. Would you rather now explain why would you love but when I was looking at it, I thought this is brilliant. And but anybody who’s got an online business, you should really get up front with this. Would you rather business?
Bushra Azhar [39:32]
Yeah, so So there are two angles to this. There is the angle of Would you rather which I’m going to talk about and it’s it’s basically the parity switch, when you enter the conversation going on into your prospects brain even before he or she realizes that that’s a that’s an argument that she needs to make. So what most people do is that they would they have this FAQ section or they have this, you know live chat section on the sales pitches, but anyone if anyone has any questions they can reach out to them. Now, but I recommend you do is whether you are having a conversation, whether you’re doing a pitch one on one, or even if even if you are going for a job interview. What most people don’t realize is that human beings naturally when you’re talking to them, they are naturally thinking of alternatives, that is human nature. Whether it’s a romantic relationship or a job interview, they are naturally comparing you to someone else. Now, if you don’t address that comparison, before they have an opportunity to ask about it, you have lost it, you basically lost that battle. So my recommendation always is to have that conversation, enter that conversation going on into your buyers head and do that before they asked you this. So before they ask you this question, How are you different? Or why should we hire you? Or, you know, why should I go out with you? You should be using these words, would you rather? And the idea behind Would you rather is to first of all understand what is competing against? Now a lot of people, especially women, they would say, Oh, I’m not competing against anyone, I don’t want to do competition, I just want to, you know, I there’s enough for everyone. And my argument always is that even if you’re not competing against anyone, you’re still competing against the know, right? The person has the option to say you know what, fuck it, I don’t want anything, just I’m not going to do anything about it. So do understand that even if you’re not competing against anyone you’re still competing against to know. So understand what it entails, if they choose another option, and then frame that in the statement, would you rather have Would you rather do this as an example? If you are wedding planners? A simple statement would be you know, would you rather than your own wedding going crazy with the sitting arrangements, losing your marbles, over the catering arrangement? Or would you rather have a professional take care of everything for you. So this is where you when you are competing against to know right? When you are competing against the person thing, and you know what I can just plant my own wedding versus hiring a professional. If you are competing against and other lower priced wedding planner, then your Would you rather would be focused on comparing yourself to that other vendor. But you have to be absolutely clear on what you are competing against acknowledge that your prospect is having that conversation in their heads. Don’t let them make that comparison on their own. Because if they make the comparison on their own, they are going to arrive at the conclusion that you may not like. So make sure you enter that conversation and address it before they have time to have the chance to ask you about it. And it is brilliant, isn’t it? Because we all know the 10 obstacles to selling anything we know what somebody is going to say to us. Because
David Ralph [42:45]
when we are in online business? Well, one of the things that I do on my business, I’ve got a site podcasters mastery. And one of the things that I actually say to people is, you know, connect with me. And, and I’m being totally transparent here. So this is this is why I’m doing it. So if anybody’s listening and thinking, why the hell is he telling this he’s giving away secrets, but I it’s the way I applied. But one of the things that I do on podcasters mastery is I say to people, if you’ve got any questions, you know, just click on this survey and click these tick boxes. And I will record a personalized video a webinar directly to you answering all your questions. And I give them a chance to write their own questions. And I give them sort of like 15 or 20 questions that they can just take for ease. And of course I know the answers to all those because that’s what people say to me all the time, you know, so it’s going to come back with a very positive motivational response or them. Is it me? I’m sleazy? No, I don’t think so. Because I’m putting my honest face behind it. I’m not hiding anything. But I just know what people are going to throw at me, because I’ve heard it so many times. So I actually get them to ask me the stuff that people are going to say no to because I know that it works. Does that make sense?
Bushra Azhar [43:58]
Oh, that makes so much sense. That’s so smart. I love that. I love that. And and it’s interesting, because what you said, when you have that kind of an in depth understanding of your buyers brain, then putting the stimulus So again, we go back to the exposing the person to the right stimuli, then it becomes super easy because you know, what makes people say yes, and you know, what makes people say no, now you have a repository of information. So you know exactly what stimuli you need to expose the other person to, to get a yes. And I think that’s, I think that’s a beautiful system.
David Ralph [44:35]
I think there’s three stages to business, I think, first of all, you’ve got to find your fine, you’ve got to really niche down until you become an expert in what you’re doing. So for example, on one of my businesses, which is the podcast is training, I know that I’m an expert in podcasting, I know that my audio sounds great, I know that my editing is all done live, you know, I can, I can just teach that. So I know what my branding is. Band, I’ve just got to take that knowledge and place it in front of people who would be interested in it simple as bad as like shooting fish in a barrel. And then I need to get them to be interested, I use the right bait to get them to be interested. And after bad, it’s not hard. Now I used to really slow get business thinking, you know, I’ve got to be really clever. I’ve got to recreate the wheel. But now I just think if you’ve got the right message for the right is yes, 75% there. And then you just be yourself. Be honest. And if I don’t like it, I don’t like it. And if I do, when they buy your product, you over deliver you over deliver big time, one of the things that I do Bushra in my, in my training, it’s not all about me, this is you. But I’m I am very much bear almost every day I am recording videos, I bought training where people I’ve never seen the person who’s created the training at all. They’ve created these videos. And three years later, it’s the same videos. I am in their probably, you know, seven days a week answering questions and stuff. And I think that is the over delivering piece. I think that is the bit that a lot of businesses in this file on. But they really all they don’t realize, but actually, there’s effort involved to maintain what you’re building. It’s not that you can just click buttons. Yeah, you can do AdSense you can do to sort of affiliate link, that’s okay. But when it’s your own branding, you’ve got to be there. You’ve got to be part of it. You’ve got to be what the people see. Do you think?
Bushra Azhar [46:26]
I think this is Oh my God, I this is gold david i this this just, this just changed from a podcast interview into a free coaching session. I’m so glad I showed up. Thank you, David,
David Ralph [46:40]
you are welcome. We’re glad to have you here. Because that’s what it’s about. Otherwise, it would just be me talking to myself. And nobody wants that. Nobody wants to listen. So just just before we sort of move you back into your own personal story, but give us one more of the the super switches that people can really think about because I think what we’ve just been talking about is a super switch. I think its commitment and consistency. I think it’s me turning up every single day trying to do my best keep on going whether I’ve done 800 shows or 1000 shows I’m turning up over time. That is one of those sort of principles isn’t it can work so good for people is the commitment and consistency.
Bushra Azhar [47:21]
Yeah, so absolutely. So the commitment and consistency again, it’s the principle of getting many yeses, right. So many agreements along the way. And, and again, it works beautifully in online business as well. This this idea of getting that the I like to call it many yeses or mini agreements. And I think I think it’s such a beautiful way to engage with the right people and just get a yes, for me. It all boils down to getting a yes.
David Ralph [47:54]
And is it all that sometimes when you get a no and you think yourself? How’s that possible? I put my super cloak on. I was giving it full battles? And they still said no. Or do you pretty much always get a yes.
Bushra Azhar [48:07]
No, I do get knows Absolutely. But um, but I am a firm believer and you know what happens happens for the best. So I do get to know. And I’m not I’m lucky that I don’t face a lot of nose. But I have dealt with nose in between online business in my life in general. And I think I’m a very positive person. So I don’t really you know, I don’t shrivel up and die in a corner. I just tell myself, you know what there is there is there are more coming. There are more opportunities coming. So that’s that’s absolutely okay. The just the one thing that would never fight back, or never tried to counter is an argument on price. Right? So if ever there is an argument on price, I would never counter it. I would never say you know what, oh, you know, you should consider it, I can give you a discount or any of those things because because that that is a very, that has long, long term impact on your self confidence, as well as your brand. Even though I don’t have a lot of high priced products, even if I did I would this is one even when I was in consulting, when it comes to price, I would never offer a counteroffer.
David Ralph [49:20]
Well, this is interesting. And so we just talked about this before we listen to the words of Steve Jobs but a lot of your products around about the $47 mark, they’re very low cost. What was your strategy for that? Why not go for the 2000, the 5000, the high end,
Bushra Azhar [49:38]
I do have 5002 thousand and even 10,000. But when I started so there were two things to this, when I started again, I come from a country where people live on less than $2 a day. And I don’t want I wanted to create something that could allow people to experience my work and get this kind of information without having to spend, you know what they would make in a year, it just does not make sense. So I have uploaded that $7. And, and then I have a product that’s $5,000. But the idea for me was I wanted to create a resource that people anywhere in the world anywhere in the world, if they want to access high quality information, they should be able to do that. And under $50 seems to me like an amount that most people can afford no matter where they are the world even though I now I know that even $50 is hard for some people. But that’s besides the point. The second reason I created these all of these products is because again, I come from corporate consulting background and accounting background. So one of the things that I decided early on was that I wanted to create a portfolio of products, I don’t want to just have one or two products, I want to create a portfolio of products that stack on top of each other. So all of my products they are they basically are stacked on top of each other. So one product would offer you a 20% improvement, that I call it 20% improvement or not right, it’s not a total transformation, then I would create a product as a 40% improvement. And then I have a product that’s a total transformation product. So these products, they together, they make a portfolio and they stack on top of each other because that’s how businesses are done, right. So in online business, why do we just create one or two or three products and then call it today, we need to have a portfolio of products and all of these products needs to build on top of each other stack on top of each other. So that’s why I have all of these different types of products and different price points.
David Ralph [51:27]
Right Stuff, as are the words that we’re going to listen to now Steve Jobs said these back in 2005 to Stanford University, we’re going to hear them again Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs [51:36]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut destiny life, karma, whatever. Because believe leaving that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leaves you off the well worn path. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [52:11]
So when you listen to those words, Bushra, what, what was the moment in your life? And I always call it the big story. When you look back and you think yeah, that’s when I really understood what it was about life that I should be doing.
Bushra Azhar [52:24]
I think when I became a mother, and it sounds very, you know, it sounds very lumpy. But But I think that’s because up until the point, I became a mother, I was I was a high achievers, I was I was running in, I was literally trying to win a rat race. And you asked for my favorite coordinates and it and that’s the code that I live by, which is even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat. And that recognition did not come to me with that absolute clarity till the time I had my kids. So I had my daughter, I had my son and I was up I was the youngest female vice president in, in in the bank that I was working on. So I was a vice president. I was a female vice president in a culture that just really does not have any people any I was the only one who would be on all those executive meetings. Now, obviously, the culture has changed. Now we have a lot of those people. But I was super, I was young, I was 24. I was 25, I think and I had this I was looking at in a in a in a government setup. So I had these the special cards with special number plates and all the prestige that comes with working in such a capacity. And then I had my son and I was like you know what I am, I don’t want to go back to a nine to six. And I absolutely hate my absolutely disgusting boss. And I don’t care how good the price pays. And I don’t care how prestigious it is. I’m just done. I’m not going to do it. And everyone thought that I was crazy. But but that really decided, I think that was when even though I did not start my business for another eight years. But I think that was when I decided that I don’t want to be around anymore. I’m just going to decide and do what I want to do. So I went into academia from that point onwards for the moment to consulting and then just kind of did what I wanted to do from that point on.
David Ralph [54:12]
But your big lovely mouth so on. Yeah. Yeah, you are your big lovely mouse, crouch Kenya cupboard, maybe a lump of cheese. That’s that’s what you want, isn’t it?
Bushra Azhar [54:27]
David Ralph [54:29]
You don’t know where to go with that one? Well, this is the part that I do know where we’re going to go with because it is the end of the show that we call the Sermon on the mic when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Bushra Azhar, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme. And when it fade, Europe, this is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [54:56]
Here we go.
Unknown Speaker [55:00]
speed up the show.
Bushra Azhar [55:15]
Okay, we should stop being in GCSE, just stop. Because what you’re trying to do and the things that you’re running after and trying to be pretty and trying to be rich and trying to get people to notice you and trying to trying to do all of the things that are not you gotta stop. Because when you do these things, you lose sight of the fact that there are certain things that make you who you are, there’s certain things you know, your weird accent and your crooked teeth and your acne prone skin and your, your to do curvy body. And you’re really insatiable hunger for learning. These are all good things, and these things that are going to make you a lot of money. So stop denying them, stop pretending that this is not you. You are a late bloomer, you will eventually blue, it’s fine, you will not have boyfriends for a really long time, you will actually never have a boyfriend, you will just find a person that you like, and you will just go ahead and marry that person. And that’s fine. That’s okay. Because that person is a really good person. And the weird things that make you who you are, you may not find them endearing right now. But when you have your kids, and you see them have the same kind of quirky sense of humor, and the same kind of weird shit that you actually embody, you will realize how endearing it is. So you may not see it now. But when you see your kids do the same thing, you will realize it’s kind of endearing the way you are the nerdy, geeky weird sense of humor that you have. It’s actually quite a daring, so run with it.
David Ralph [56:57]
Boucher, what’s the number one best way but Hello audience can connect with you. So,
Bushra Azhar [57:02]
um, my website is the persuasion revolution. com. That’s that’s where you can find out the work that I do. But if you want to connect with me and spend time with me, I have a free Facebook community. That’s like my alternative Facebook profile where I spend when I see other things that I cannot do on my regular Facebook profile is called 62nd. persuasion. And yeah, none of my real life p friends are allowed. They’re only my online friends. So I can just be myself.
David Ralph [57:29]
And I’m going to set you a task Bushra Azhar, I want to see a video that you’ve just pressed record and you’ve gone for it and there’s no preparation, you just know what subdue, you’re going to talk about. And just be yourself and push it out to the world. Are you open to that challenge?
Bushra Azhar [57:43]
Okay, I’m doing good. I’m doing a webinar, like three, four hours, maybe I can do the intro based on this. And I will give you a shout out.
David Ralph [57:50]
You do that you do that and just press record and see what comes out and it will be gold. But Sure. Thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots. And please come back again when you got more dots to join up. Because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures for sure. Thank you so much.
Bushra Azhar [58:09]
Thank you so much, David for having me. It was the absolute best doctor my day I really appreciate you.
David Ralph [58:16]
Man, we go the art of persuasion. She’s found her thing. She knows what you have to work to get a yes. But if you bring it into a scientific approach, and you will remember, it’s not the art of persuasion. It’s the science of persuasion when things really become easy. I can’t I can’t say anything bad about that lady. I do a lot of research. I’ve seen a lot of her work and it really hits home. If you are interested in making an online business, if you’re interested in anything, I really think it all comes down to being persuasive but not in that icky, horrible way just in a way that the other person has to respond. I find this magical and I’m going to becoming I’m going to become an expert as well as you people. You will be putty in my hands you will not be open to resist me. Thank you so much for listening to join up dots and thank you so much for being part of everything that is join up dots until next time, see you again. Cheers. Bye
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to join up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on join up dots.