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029 Being 100% Unapologetically Yourself and Killing It with Bushra Azhar

On this episode of Million Dollar Badass, I'm talking to the incredible Bushra Azhar, the founder of The Persuasion Revolution. Bushra helps tiny businesses make big bucks using the psychology of persuasion and she has an absolutely incredible story of how she got here. Born and raised in Pakistan before moving to Saudi Arabia, the odds against her succeeding, as a woman, were very much stacked against her… How she dealt with that pressure is truly inspirational.

Bushra is sharing her story, through numerous career paths, to starting what is now a seven-figure business. I really vibe with her energy, her perspective, and the way she’s been able to help thousands of women all over the world.

There is so much to learn from Bushra and how she built her business to the point of having more free time than she knows what to do with. So tune in and please enjoy this amazing episode with the delightful Bushra Azhar: founder, Million Dollar Badass, mompreneur (her words), and overall funny girl.

If you want to add some rocket fuel to your business, I’ve got an exciting, one-time opportunity for you: Handled. It’s a 4 month 1-on-1 coaching program with me. If you want to end 2019 with strong revenue, big profit margins, and great plan for 2020, then go to Handled includes 8 coaching sessions with me, as well as a retreat to the beautiful Kiawah Island. I don’t offer 1-on-1 coaching very often outside of Million Dollar Badass – and with the way the next couple years are looking, this might be your last chance for a while.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Actionable tips on how Bushra was able to build a huge audience so quickly.
  • Why Bushra found more and more success the more unapologetically herself she was.
  • Bushra’s experience of switching careers, what the right time is, and being okay with seeming “flakey.”
  • Why Bushra had to grow up with the attitude of, “I have to get a YES, even if it kills me.”
  • The way Bushra frames rejection when people don’t want to buy from her instead of tying it to her self-worth.
  • Why showing up with high energy is crucial to making sales.
  • How Bushra went from a six-figure employee and working 24/7 in her own business, to now, running a seven-figure business with time to spare, without even automating anything.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • If you want to add some rocket fuel to your business, I’ve got an exciting, one-time opportunity for you: Handled. It’s a 4 month 1-on-1 coaching program with me. If you want to end 2019 with strong revenue, big profit margins, and great plan for 2020, then go to
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Bushra: So it took me – I think I’d already made my first million dollars and I was still working fulltime.

Rachel: You were still working fulltime and making seven figures in your business?

Bushra: Yes, because I could not wrap my head around the fact – I kept telling myself, it’s a fluke, it’s not going to work.

Rachel: Yeah, this is like a one-time, like, this money is nice, but it’s never going to happen again, yeah.

Bushra: And I kept telling myself – so my salary was around $10,000 a month. I was really well paid, so that’s about 40,000 – it’s about $10,000 a month. And I was like, okay, up until the point when I can consistently see $10,000 a month come in, I cannot quit.

Welcome to The Million Dollar Badass Podcast. I'm your host, Rachel Rodgers, wife, mother to four children, lover of Beyoncé, coffee drinker, and afro wearer, and I just happen to be the CEO of a seven-figure business. I am on a mission to help every woman I meet become a millionaire. If you want to make more money, you are in the right place. Let's get it going.

Hello, hello, and welcome back to the Million Dollar Badass Podcast, friends. I have a wonderful interview for you today. I am talking to the incredible Bushra Azhar, who is the founder of the Persuasion Revolution. What she does is help tiny businesses make big bucks using the psychology of persuasion. I remember, a few years ago, when Bushra came on the scene, it was like a bomb dropped.

Suddenly she was very well known very quickly and the way that she was able to do that is being unapologetically herself, which is such a key piece to being a successful entrepreneur and she talks a lot about how did she get this way, how did she become a person who is willing to talk about things you’re not supposed to talk about, to share her funny jokes, to just be who she really is. So we talk about what that took to become that person and to start to share that.

She shares her journey going from a six-figure employee to a seven-figure entrepreneur and coach, how she started to teach social psychology and teach people how to use social psychology to persuade people, to be interested in their offers and their products and services. She talks about how she built up her audience initially, what did she do, the exact strategy, she shares it during this episode.

And she also talks about how she handles rejection, which I think is a really great tip that you’re going to enjoy. And lastly, she talks about borrowing authority, which is a great concept that I think will really benefit you as you start to build your business.

So, please enjoy this amazing episode with the delightful Bushra Azhar, founder, Million Dollar Badass, mompreneur, as she says, and overall funny girl; enjoy.

Rachel: Alrighty, guys, welcome to The Million Dollar Badass Podcast. I am so delighted to be sitting here with Bushra Azhar today, and amazing seven-figure entrepreneur. She’s hilarious. We’ve already been laughing and we haven’t even started yet, so we’re going to have a good time. So, Bushra, I wanted to start with – tell me a little bit about what’s been going on for you lately. Give me a little glimpse of a day in the life of how things work for you.

Bushra: First of all, thank you so much for having me. I am super excited. I don’t look excited, but my butt is kind of jumping on my seat. I don’t wash the seat, it’s not a pretty picture, but I’m really excited to be here. So, it’s a really interesting question because the moment you asked me, like, oh my god, what do I do all day? But my business is a little bit different than most seven-figure businesses that I have come across in the sense that it’s a very, very lean business. So it’s essentially just me and I have one team member and we have an accountant, that’s it.

So we don’t have a super, super big team. So we don’t have a lot of moving pieces, which makes I really easy to manage things, but it also makes it – I feel like half the time, I’m just not doing anything, which is kind of – because I think when you have a big team, a lot of the work that you do is managing people. But because I don’t have people, I don’t know who to manage. So I end up managing my children, who are home all day now because of summer, so I’m kind of losing my shit a little bit.

Rachel: Aren’t we all?  Seriously…

Bushra: I know, and when I used to work at the office, it was like this excuse to get out, have some adult company, like, feel like I’m actually an adult. But now they’re home all day. So essentially, there was a time when I was literally working 24/7 in my business and I think we all go through those phases. Now, I constantly have this fear that I’m missing something because there’s really literally nothing for me to do.

And I was asking my team member, like, are you sure we’re not missing something really massive that will crash on our heads because I feel like there’s nothing to do? And she’s like, no, because we’ve done these things so many times. I’ve done hundreds of webinars. I’ve written thousands of emails, that at this point, if I were to do a webinar, I have all the emails written from the invite email to the reminder email to everything. If I don’t want to, I don’t have to write a single word in my business for the next two or three years.

And I think that is one aspect of coming to that milestone, that seven-figure milestone that most people don’t understand, that people think that the only assets your end up creating is money, like monetary assets. But the reality is you create a lot of other assets that are all reusable. And the beauty of those assets is they’re reusable. You can use them over and over again. You can make money off of them without lifting a finger, which is freaking fantastic.

Rachel: I love it. You are saying everything that I love about entrepreneurship, and you’re so right. You have all these IP assets, all these emails you’ve created over the years. Even the data, right, of looking at what subject line works, like, you’ve tested and tweaked and done all of that work, so now it’s just like you set it and forget it. And it’s a magical thing.

Bushra: It’s so funny you said that, set it and forget it, and I should mention this, that no aspect of my business is evergreen. I don’t run any evergreen funnels. I literally do everything like this. Nothing is scheduled in my business. I don’t do any automations.  I do everything. Despite the fact that everything is manual, still, it’s less work than it was three years ago when I was like, “Oh my god, a webinar. Oh my god, I need to write emails and I need to create ads.” Now, I have all of these ads, they’re switched off. I can just go into my ad manager, switch them on, and we’re good to go.

Rachel: Exactly.

Bushra: That is beautiful.

Rachel: It is beautiful. I love it so much. And I think it’s such a departure from what we’re taught, like you have to work hard, you have to hustle all the time, and then you get to this place where you’re like, “I’m kind of just chilling.”

Bushra: And I’m freaking out because I feel like, is there something that I’m missing?

Rachel: Yeah, something ain’t right because why is my life so much easier? It’s so true. And I want to unpack with you how you got there, because there is a journey and the people listening are people who want to be where I’m at in our businesses, where we’re able to make good money and also not hustle all the time. Because I think people think, you’re a seven-figure entrepreneur and you’re a mom, she must never see her kids.  And I’m like, “No, I see my kids too much, I need to get away from it.”

Bushra: Way too much, honestly, way too much than I’d like.

Rachel: I love it, it’s so true. Yes, it’s so good. And also too, like all of those emails, those assets, I agree with you. And I agree that it doesn’t have to always be automated. It’s so funny because on Monday, in our Monday team meeting I was like – so this thing we were thinking about launching for the longest time, I was like, “Let’s launch it on Wednesday, why not?”  You know what I mean. There’s this whole culture of, like, let me completely freak out because I need to launch something and make some money in my business, and it just can become like, I’m just going to turn a dial and I’m launching.

Bushra: It’s so true. And I was talking about this – I think I’ve written about this as well, I don’t remember. I write so much shit I don’t even remember when I wrote about it, but I’m going to say this right now. So I feel like one of the biggest benefits of running a business online and running a business virtually is the speed of decision-making, and also the speed at which I can come up with an idea, I can just write it out on a notebook and be like, “Guys, we’re going live with this.” And that never happens in a regular corporate setting. There are all these decision-makers and then there are all these hierarchies and then, oh god, an email back and forth and let me get back to you, which I absolutely hate. No one ever say that to me. I’m going to personally come and murder you if you say that to me because, dude, I don’t have time. Tell me now.

So the speed of decision-making, like you said, you’re having a meeting on Monday – the ability, the freedom to say let’s launch something Wednesday, that is priceless.

Rachel: Yes, it is and it wasn’t even that much work. I was like, this is so awesome. How exciting. And it’s the launch day.  I’m going to do a Facebook live and I’m just going to get on and just do the thing and tell people about it and they either want it or they don’t.  It’s really not that hard.

Bushra: Exactly. So that’s the second aspect.  Again, I love this conversation because then there’s the second aspect that, “I don’t give a fuck anymore.” That part, I remember, because I’m in a different time zone, I used to launch something and I used to wake up, and before my eyes were officially open, I’d go to the computer and look at how many sales came in. I used to be so obsessed and tired with those numbers. Now, my accountant wants me to focus and I’m like, whatever, “The sales are so much better this time.” I’m like, I don’t care. And then he says, “The sales are slower this time,” and I’m like, I don’t care.

That freedom, and again, that detachment from an actual – every single sale that’s coming in, I used to think it was healthy. I used to think that it was healthy to look at each sale, and yes, it is healthy to celebrate it and feel gratitude for it, but that’s a very thin line. You become obsessive very quickly, and that builds anxiety. And now, when you launch it’s like, if they know what’s good for them, they will take it, if they’re idiots, they won’t.

Rachel: I love it, yes, exactly. It’s almost like, I think, we should call it that fuck it point, where you’re just like, fuck it.

Bushra: Exactly.  Like I said, I’m hugely gratified by the fact that someone invests their hard-earned money in my work. That’s absolutely true. But I’m not going to tie my self-worth to whether someone decides – they could have a gazillion reasons why they’re not investing.  I’m not going to tie my self-worth to a decision that you’re making sitting in your lounge and surrounded by all the shit that life throws at you, I’m not going to tie my self-worth to that. But that didn’t happen overnight. That took a long time, a lot of maturity, and a lot of sleepless nights to get to that point, but it’s awesome.

Rachel: Yes, yes I totally agree. I love that so much and I love that these women who are building businesses are hearing this conversation because I didn’t have women like you and me to follow when I started nine or 10 years ago, like, there weren’t a lot of role models doing this. There were a lot of males and they were all white men. There were no people of color and no women, practically, doing this. And if they were doing it, they were nowhere near as visible as, you know, so many white guys.

Bushra: And because you don’t see faces like ours, I used to think that if someone decides not to buy, I would always immediately tie it to something that I am. And that’s a huge distinction. You have to understand that when someone decides not to buy, it’s not about who you are or what you do. Yes, it could be about what you’re offering, but it could also be about their circumstances. But because I’ve never seen anyone who looked like me, I immediately assumed it was because of my accent or because of my face or because I live in Saudi Arabia or, oh my god, a gazillion other things, but definitely not the fact that she can’t bloody afford it. I think about it without self-worth, which is a lesson I had to unlearn, it took a really long time.

Rachel: Yes, and I think you are also, because you’re being visible and because you’re so honest and open and you share numbers and the real talk, I think that opens the door for so many women that are following and also helps them to see, like, oh it’s not that. It’s not that there’s something wrong with me. It could just be whatever reason and I’m worthy and I’m valuable and I can do this too. So, that’s awesome and that’s exactly why this podcast exists.

So let’s take it back. Let’s take it back to when you were just tiny little baby Bushra, what did you want to be when you grew up, like, when you were a little girl, what did you imagine that you wanted to do?

Bushra: So that’s a very interesting question and it’s funny because – okay, so I come from a country where the absolute worst thing that can happen to you is that you are born poor. And then the second worst thing that can happen to you is that you are born a girl. And that’s the reality of Southeast Asia. I was born in Pakistan. I’m Pakistani. So I was not born poor. I was born into an affluent family and really kind of regular healthy family, but I was born a female. And especially because I had an older sister – so when I was born, most of the people who came to see me were like, “I’m so sorry.”

So when you grew up like this and then you have a personality that’s like this, it’s kind of hard to come to terms with the fact that you’re not the absolutely most glorious thing that happened to this universe because that’s how you think you are. But then you talk to people and they look at you as if you’re, you know, “Poor little girl.” I’m like, what the hell is going on?

So I think from an early age, there was this thing, I had so many things to say. I had ideas and I had these amazing things that I wanted to share and opinions and I realized that I didn’t really get the kind of potential that I thought I deserved. So I was such a crafty little bitch when I was growing up because I was like, I’m going to get a yes if it kills me.

So from an early age, because I had those thoughts and ideas but I didn’t have the dangly bits that enabled me to get those things, because if you’re born a girl, you don’t have those dangly bits, then I need to get my point across, so what do I do? I come up with the most creative – and I did a lot of crafty manipulative shit when I was growing up, just because…

Rachel: Listen, you do what you’ve got to do, okay.

Bushra: You do what you’ve got to do because you want a yes. I’m sorry, I’m not going to be ignored just because I don’t have the dangly bits. So that’s how it was. So for me, honestly, it was always, “I’m going to win. I’m going to do whatever it takes.” And for the longest time – I think it was less about what I wanted to be when I would grow up and it was more of the, I wanted to be noticed. I wanted to be someone that people would look up to and be like, oh my god, she’s awesome.

And that pattern continued for a really long time. And I think the only thing that cured that pattern is this business. I have become a much better human being because of this business, because I’ve realized that all the things that I wanted, like I want all the attention and I want everyone to worship at my feet and tell me how glorious I am. That wasn’t really what I wanted.

But it did take me 35, 36 years to get to that point. So I think every academic achievement – and I was an overachiever. I was the youngest vice president of a bank, youngest female vice president of a bank. I was 24 and I was the vice president of a bank. So really highly accomplished, but every career path that I took, every single thing that I did in my life, I think it was all because I wanted to be somebody. You want to. You have this thirst to be somebody.

Now that I am somebody, I’m like, I don’t want to be somebody. I’m like, no, no, don’t talk to me. I also realize that I’m kind of anti-social. I say this a lot. I’m a really flakey person because I changed career 10 times. I did pre-med. I was supposed to be a doctor, got into medical school changed my mind, and went into, wait for it, accountancy. Like, how do you freaking do that? How do you get into a medical school do your pre-med, and then get into accountancy?

I qualified as an accountant, got out of there, and went into banking. I left that, went into academia, left that, went into consultancy, left that and started a business, so I’m like the most flakey person you’ve ever come across. And I joke that the only thing that I’ve lasted in more than two years is my marriage, otherwise everything that I’ve ever done takes two years; like two years and then I’m done and I leave the job and I hate everyone and I move out. And the second thing, obviously, is this business. It’s been five years. I’m kind of really surprised that I’ve lasted five years.

Rachel: I love it. So first of all, I love that you say that you’re flakey because I completely relate to that. You’re not really flakey, you’re searching for that thing that you really want and you’re willing to say, “No fuck this, this ain’t it,” and move on and try and find that right thing. Because I think so many people think, “Well, I’m an accountant or I’m the VP of a bank or I’m on the pre-med track, I can’t switch, I can’t do something else. And that’s such bullshit. So I love that you kept searching until you found that thing that you can actually want to commit to.

Bushra: I love that you said that because that search that you have and that hunger that you have, it does not always translate in a very clear manner. Sometimes it is just mere dissatisfaction. So, for example, when we moved to Saudi Arabia, I didn’t know any expat woman who worked in an office because Saudi, back then 10 years ago, was very, very conservative. It’s gotten a lot better now. So super conservative – and I told people, I’m going to look for a job, they’re like, you won’t find one, it’s not possible.

And I did find one. It was a really well-paying job. And after about two years, like two years is my expiry term, I’m like – and my husband jokes that the moment you say, “I don’t like the way he talked to me,” referring to a colleague, or the moment you say, “There’s something wrong with my phone today,” that means that the phone is done and the job is done. Like, you’re about to quit because even the minor dissatisfaction, sometimes we feel like we have to be really pissed.  It’s not always something, sometimes it’s just this minor dissatisfaction, this minor annoyance and you consistently feel this minor annoyance, it’s time to pay heed to it.

I do not recommend that you shove it under the carpet and be like, “Oh but I have a really good job, it’s fine if the person is, you know, if my boss is an asshole, it’s okay. No, it’s not, because your boss is an asshole, he is going to be the person who will enable you to move on. He’s the purpose. He’s a God-given gift so you can finally move on.

Rachel: It’s true, exactly, exactly. And it’s amazing how, if you hate the people at work, you literally will hate your job. And you’re there 40 hours a week plus, you know what I mean. I don’t want to spend all this time with people I hate doing work I don’t want to do. It sounds miserable. I totally agree. And I love that. I think it’s important to be a quitter, you know, and really kind of be searching for that thing, and when you find it, you commit.

And I think even committing for two years to something you don’t like, you give it the old college try, you have it a chance and it’s not working for you, you toss the phone, your husband is like, “Okay, and that salary is gone.”

Bushra: That’s where it ends.

Rachel: I love it. Okay, so tell me about how did you start this business? Where were you at? You were working at a consultancy and you were like, fuck this place, now what?

Bushra: It’s funny because I did not let it get to the point where I was like, fuck this place. It started with something really minor. So I…

Rachel: Wait, can we just stop right there and talk about how you’re like, my tolerance for bullshit is extremely low?

Bushra: Absolutely is. Because they were such good people. I was like, I still feel bad that I left because it was a really good company that I was working for. Anyway, so one of the things that happened was so I’m an expat in Saudi Arabia. My parents are back home. So it all started with this idea that everyone leaves. When you’re an expat, everyone leaves for summers. No one stays in Saudi.

But I had to stay in Saudi because I was working and I was like, this is not acceptable. Why am I here? Everyone leaves. Why am I not going back home? So that’s how it started. And then I had a corporate blog at that point because I was working on corporate consulting. I had a corporate blog and I came across a few very, very white men telling me how much money I can make and completely change my life by making money on the internet.

And I was like hmm, so either this dude is bullshitting me, or there really is some truth to it. So literally that’s how I started. So I started in July 2014 and I started with this idea that I’m going to give it three months. It was like a personal bet with myself. So I’m going to give it three months and I’m not going to tell anyone. If it works and I make some money, then I know that there is truth in this. Otherwise, I know that he’s bullshitting me because there were all of those people who were bullshitting me I thought.

July 2014, I gave myself three months. I did not tell a single soul that I was starting my business and I made my first sale within a few weeks. And it was un-freaking-believable. I was like, what’s going on? What is going on?

Rachel: Yes, this person that – how do they know me? From a couple of words I wrote.

Bushra: That’s how they found me. So I wrote a guest post and I listened to what everyone was telling me because they were like oh, it takes a few months for you to gather enough traction and for people to find you, and then you build an audience and then you eventually sell to them.

So I’m sitting in Saudi Arabia where I can’t start a business. I don’t have a business then and I just wrote a guest post. And someone read that guest post and reached out to me and said I want to work with you, can you send me your services page? And I was like, oh my freaking god, I don’t have a services page. I don’t even have services. I don’t even have a PayPal account.

So I’m like, oh my god, so I pulled a page quickly together, created a PayPal account and sent them the link. And within less than an hour, she sent me $500 and I was like, oh shit, what just happened? And at that point I’m like, okay, I don’t even what to do with that money because I haven’t told anyone that I have a business, but I’m excited so I have to share it with my husband.

So I go and tell him and he’s like, why are people sending you money on the internet? Because again, in our culture, the only way to make money online is if you do porn. I’m like dude, I’ve had two kids. Have you seen me? Do you think people will pay me $500 to look at naked pictures? I should be paying people money to look at my naked pictures.

Rachel: Stop it right now. Stop that right now. I’m sure people will pay $500 to see you naked. Absolutely. And more. More than that.

Bushra: Trust me, I’d have to pay people to keep their eyes open and not clench. So anyhow, I was like, dude, calm your tits. No, they’re not paying me for anything inappropriate. I actually started something and I am the sort of person because I’m perpetually dissatisfied, I keep starting things. It’s one of Bushra’s projects.

So I started this, this is what happened, this is what I had. And obviously he was extremely skeptical. And that’s the point where – and I’ve heard this before. It was like oh, so I’m sure you had a lot of supporters. And I was like, no. I didn’t have a single person supporting me, including my very loving husband. I absolutely love him, he’s amazing, but he did not support me jack shit. Not at all. He just didn’t want to – I felt like he didn’t want to encourage me because he thought I was going on a path that could only lead to destruction.

Rachel: Exactly. He was trying to protect you from this crazy idea and these crazy white guys who are selling you lies. That’s what he’s thinking.

Bushra: Yeah, and so that’s how it started. And it went crazy pants after that super quickly. But because I come from a culture where you don’t quit a well-paying job, especially when you’re in Saudi, so I think I’d already made my first million dollars and I was still working full-time.

Rachel: You were still working full-time and making seven figures in your business?

Bushra: Yes. Because I could not wrap my head around the fact – I kept telling myself it’s a fluke. It’s just…

Rachel: This is like a one time – this money is nice but it’s never going to happen again.

Bushra: And I kept telling myself – so my salary was around $10,000 a month. I was really well paid. So that’s about $10,000 a month. And I was like okay, up until the point where I can consistently see $10,000 a month come in. I cannot quit.

And I saw that come in and I still could not quit because it was really hard. And by that time, I was like, I’m going crazy. I can’t sleep at night because my clients are calling me and then I have these other commitments and I have launches and it’s just crazy and I don’t have a team. I am working full-time, two kids, a husband who himself – I don’t have a word for it but you know.

Rachel: I think that said it all, that sound.

Bushra: For those who can’t see it, I don’t know what to give you. So yeah, but it took me a really long time to finally be able to say no, and when I did quit, they were like oh, but you can come in for an hour a day or you can come in for two hours a week. And I was like no, I need to stop this. I need to cut the cord and move on. And then I finally did, so I only quit about two years ago.

Rachel: Wow, so you kept a full-time job and were running basically a full-time seven-figure business for a couple of years. That is badass. You know, I love that because first of all, that shit is crazy pants and you’re a beast. But I also think it’s important to recognize that what we are capable of is amazing.

And we just get into these patterns of like, working for somebody or going through the motions that we think we can’t do things and it’s like, what we can do is beyond our wildest dreams if we just go for it. So I love that, and also love that you finally quit because hello.

Bushra: I know. Oh my god, I know.

Rachel: Okay, but let’s unpack a little bit what that journey was to seven figures. Tell us your secrets because first of all, your emails are fucking amazing and as I was saying earlier in the interview, I remember when you came on the scene. So you said 2014 so it was like, right after I had launched Small Business Bodyguard, which was my digital product.

And I remember somebody forwarding me your email, one of your newsletters and was like, she’s hilarious. I love her. I love her tips. And I was like, oh my god, I need to check her out. And especially every time I see a woman of color entrepreneur I’m like yes, more please.

Bushra: I know, tell me about it.

Rachel: So I remember people talking about your email. So tell us what was that like? What did you do to grow your community and your audience? Because I think a lot of people struggle with growing their audience from scratch and obviously, you’re an expert on this.

Bushra; Not a real expert but thank you. It’s funny you said that. So I’ll just kind of take the first step. So when I started, I did not have a single soul on the internet who knew about me. So there are people who – because I live in Saudi Arabia, there’s no one in Saudi in online business. So I was literally starting from subzero.

And I say that, I hear people say oh, but everyone starts from subzero. I’m like no, you at least hang out in communities or you have friends who have friends. In my case, I literally started from subzero, and on top of that, I wasn’t even telling anyone that I was starting a business. So I didn’t even have the advantage of tapping onto my existing network because I didn’t want to publicly fail.

I didn’t want to tell everyone I was starting and then publicly fail. So the very first thing that I did and that’s what I recommend literally everyone to do is to – what I call borrow authority. So I remember that when I started, and you have to understand, I’m in a time zone where I literally only have two to three hours a day that I can do something with people in the US. And I was still working full-time.

But I said yes to every single opportunity that gave me a platform to other people, which means if anyone asked me to get on a podcast interview, if anyone reached out to me and asked me to do anything I would say yes. And the one thing that I proactively did, that’s literally the first thing that I did and got me my first paying client was a guest posting.

So I remember I sat down, I reached out to 12 publications. I sent them a pitch and I got accepted into eight of them. I spent one weekend and I wrote all eight posts. And they were all eight different posts. And I know it takes a lot of work, but there are – so eight of those. I sent out eight of those. They got published. Seven were complete failures.

Nothing came out of the seven, but the eighth one, so far I stopped checking after a while but I think that one guest post is easily sends me at least 3000 subscribers and it got me my first paying client from that. And you can’t discount the power of your first paying client because when you have your first paying client, now you’re in business.

Rachel: Now it’s real.

Bushra: Now it’s real. Now people are giving you money for what you have to offer, so now it is real. So that very first thing, if you can borrow authority and I don’t subscribe to a lot of things that Gary Vaynerchuk says, but there’s one thing I’ve heard him say, which I think was brilliant. He said in the beginning, once people reach out to you for any opportunity at all, say yes. But if you can get access to one more person than you would have access to on your own, that’s worth it.

So that is literally what I did. I don’t do that anymore because now I’m more selective of people that I talk to or the way I spend my time because I have the luxury to be selective. But when I started, I literally said yes to everything because I wanted to get as many people as possible, so literally that’s the first thing. Starting from zero with zero audience, or even if you have an existing audience, guest posting, borrowed authority should be your top priority.

Rachel: Yes. I totally agree and I remember doing the exact same thing, and it’s something that I almost forgot about. So you’ve just reminded me – I’m like, I should share that more. But I remember in the beginning, I was just blogging. I probably had seven people reading my blog. And it was on like, Remember that?

So anyway, my busted old blog and I had like, I don’t know, seven people, but I would sort of like, cyber stalk people that I was kind of looking up to on Twitter and start talking to them and just try to engage with them. And through that, I think one of them actually read one of my blog posts and then I got a columnist option or opportunity on their blog.

And then that brought me hundreds, if not thousands of people. That one opportunity. So I totally agree with you. If you just start putting yourself out there. And I think one of the things that I love about you too, I just read this book that was talking about when you hire, hire people with batteries included. Hire people with high energy who are ready to go, who are not like, ho-hum. And I love that that’s how you are too.

You’re like fuck, take life by the balls and let’s make shit happen. And I think sometimes people are like, well, what should I do? I’m not sure. I’m like fuck that. Put some energy, get those batteries going. And like, get excited and really put yourself out there on a whole ‘nother level because I think people sometimes are just too chill and waiting for shit to fall into their lap. And it’s like, it doesn’t just fall into your lap. Get out there and hustle and you create your own luck. You create opportunities.

Bushra: Yeah. Absolutely. And on the energies, and I love that we started this conversation even before you started recording, you got to transform and do this high energy person and I talk about this all the time that I’ve heard people do webinars and videos and podcasts and I’m an information junkie. Info whore, as I like to call myself. I’m an info whore.

So I love learning and watching stuff and consuming information and I have to tell you this, that 80% of the time I see people who seem so unexcited about their own offers. Like if you’re not excited about your offer, if you’re not excited about what you’re doing, how do you expect the other person to be excited about it?

If you’re not selling it, and I’ve had some crazy psycho bitches on my webinar say things like why are you shouting? I’m like, because I’m excited. If I am not going to share that enthusiasm of how exciting this thing is, how do I expect you to be excited? And if that offends your census, there’s the door. It’s okay, not everyone has the same energy.

But we know for a fact, we buy from people who take pride in their stuff and who are excited and enthusiastic. If you’re not excited, how do you expect the other person to be? So that, I agree this energy, and sometimes, I don’t know about you, sometimes you got to fake it. It does not always come naturally. Sometimes you got to push yourself.

And I like to close the door when I do my webinars because my family makes fun of me. They’re like, you just are a different person when you’re – I’m like yeah, I get it, yes. You do overplay it a little bit because you do want people to be excited. I don’t want people to go whatever, I’m falling asleep now.

Rachel: Yes. Exactly. Yeah. It’s almost like – I don’t know how it is in Saudi but here in the US, people always talk about how you put on your corporate voice. When you’re calling a business or you’re talking to a lawyer or whatever, people put on their corporate voice. So there’s that whole thing, but I think what you’re doing here when you’re on a webinar, if you’re hosting a podcast or anything like that, if you’re going to be in front of your clients, you just turn it up a notch.

And you almost have to like, exaggerate the energy and the enthusiasm. And when you kind of turn up that dial, then you’re in it. You almost drop yourself into it just like you were saying. Before we started the podcast, or we’ve seen this when people are about to start their webinar and they’re doing all this technical shit on their computer and then they start and they drop into this high energy.

You got to put yourself in that place. And if you can’t get there, play some Kanye, get some hype music, put on some Nicki Minaj. Do what you got to do.

Bushra: Yeah exactly. Because I’m like, if you seem so unexcited about the prospect of being you, then I don’t want to be with you.

Rachel: Exactly. Then why am I following you? What am I getting out of this? I totally agree. Okay, so you wrote some guest posts and then people started joining your list. And then tell me, how did you decide what you were going to start this business doing? What did you decide to write about? What did you decide – when somebody wanted to send you money and you were like fuck, what service do I offer? How did you decide that?

Bushra: The thing that kind of snowballed this whole business was this idea that I wanted to create an army of buyers. I wanted to give people lots of opportunities to pay me. I created a portfolio of products and I did not turn away 99% of my potential buyers.

Rachel: Yes, I hear what you’re saying and I love that you didn’t settle for that 1%. I agree. I remember seeing stats and I think it’s important to just decide that you want to do things differently. You don’t have to do it like everybody else. Be willing to disrupt and try things and follow those instincts and see what unfolds from that.

And I totally agree that like, if you want to build a financially stable business then focus on getting buyers rather than just email subscribers because there are plenty of people who will read your shit week after week and I’ve done it. I’ve been on people’s lists for years and not bought anything from them just because I’ve chosen not to or for whatever reason I like their free content but I don’t want to pay for their other stuff.

Bushra: The easiest sale that you will ever make, that’s my mantra. The easiest sale you will ever make is to an existing buyer. It’s like, it is so easy. You don’t even have to tell them how great you are because they already know. They voted for you with their wallets. They know that you’re great. So easiest sale, that’s what I want you to remember. The easiest sale you’ll ever make is to an existing buyer. That’s it.

Rachel: Absolutely. I totally agree. And I am somebody who I am a fan of having less offers, but I also like that there’s two different ways that we’re showing people. How many products do you sell?

Bushra: That’s a good question. A lot.

Rachel: How many are you actively selling right now, like this year?

Bushra: I keep changing things up but so I have two big ass courses and those are the premium types. I have two softwares. I have a membership site. A low-end membership site, a high-end membership site, and then I have small master classes. So a lot of stuff, which means that every single week I am selling something.

And it kind of keeps things fresh and it also kind of – it makes it easy. The whole I can decide to sell something, I can decide not to sell something. I don’t do big massive launches. I do these really small weekly – I call them weekly micro launches. They do really well. I can start them, stop them, if something is not working, I can just stop it. If I wait six weeks for a launch and then I was like oh shit, that didn’t work, then that would be horrible.

Rachel: Yeah, then it’s six weeks of revenue. I totally agree. And I do something similar with – I really feel like everybody should be selling every week. Like why are we just selling three times a year? What is this madness? Do you want to just make money three times a year or do you want to make money every single day?

Yes, so I agree. I think we’re using the same strategy. I have – well, I guess three total. I have a retreat, which is my main offer, and then a product. So that’s how I do it. But I think we’re using the same strategy of like, sell every single week and just push your shit all the time. You’re in business.

Bushra: Give people an opportunity to pay you. Don’t turn them away. They want to pay you.

Rachel: I love it. I love it. Okay, so tell us – I want to hear a little bit about your copy secrets and being authentic. Tell me, what gives you the confidence to show up…

Bushra: I actually tried to change who I am for the longest time and I’ve talked about this before as well. I took accent correction classes, I took this course on how to sound like an American, which obviously did not work as you can tell, and I tried to fit in. I tried to blend in and the only reason was because – there was this short spell.

During that time, my emails, my social media post, my everything was just kind of very vanilla because I wanted to blend in. I had this fear that if I really show up the way I am, I would just be dismissed or I would not be taken seriously or I would be disregarded. Who the hell is she? How dare she?

So I did try for a while and the only reason I stopped was A, because I was losing fans fast. I could see that the same level of excitement that came from when I was my real self was not there anymore. And the other reason was because I was receiving those emails from people who looked at me, the kind of conversation that we had when we started, who were saying oh, we look at you and we feel like, oh my god, if she can do it, I can too.

And I’m like, oh my god, I’m taking that away from these people because they’re not used to seeing people like me, the kind of person that I am, the kind of background that I have, the kind of face that I have, the kind of accent. And they’re not used to seeing this. And every time I show up the way I am with my weird psycho sense of humor and my weird poop jokes, every time I show up this way, I give someone permission to just do the same thing. And if I don’t do it, I’m taking that permission away from them.

Because I remember I did live stream from – I was visiting Pakistan and I was doing a live stream from my brother’s room and I was sitting on a pile of dirty laundry. And I was literally holding my nose every two minutes like, oh my god, he never washes his clothes. It’s so real. And there were people who wrote to me and said, I always thought I could never live stream because I don’t have the perfect background but you run a multi-million-dollar business from a closet.

My office right now, which you just saw Rachel, this is a closet. My office is in a closet. And this idea that you can do whatever you want from wherever you want no matter what, that was what allowed me to actually keep doing and do more of what I am and show – I remember for the longest time I never shared where I lived, where I am because I was ashamed.

And now I realize that every single time that I do, I’m actually giving someone permission to do the same because now they don’t have an excuse, bitches. They used to have an excuse but now they don’t. I’m sorry. I took those away from you because I decided to just show up the way I am.

Rachel: I love that. That is so powerful and I think just you saying that is going to be really impactful for the people listening, and just encouraging them to show up. And the bottom line is boring doesn’t sell. If you pretend to be boring and corporate and beige, guess what, nobody’s fucking interested in that. That shit is boring. They can see that all day.

Bushra: Absolutely that, yes. And I hear people are like, oh, attention spans are dwindling and people are not paying attention anymore. I’m like no, the issue is not attention. The issue is that you are freaking boring. People are constantly looking for mental stimulation. The reason they’re glued to their phones is because they’re looking for entertainment. They’re looking for that mental stimulation.

If your brand provides that, whether it is to a sense of humor or by sharing something really private, or by sharing an anecdote that’s exciting or gritty or whatever, personal, you just give them that shot of dopamine. You give them something that made their day better so go on, be a dopamine deal. Deal dopamine.

And I promise you, people are going to – that’s the difference between just fans and loyal die-hard fans. When they get the dopamine hit, they keep coming back for it over and over again because dopamine, like all drugs is addicting. When you create content that gives them a dopamine rush, they’re going to keep coming back. So a message to you is be a dopamine dealer.

Rachel: Yes, I love that. Be a dopamine dealer, guys. Awesome. Bushra, this has been so absolutely amazing. Tell us, what projects are you working on right now?

Bushra: Oh my god, I’m working on a new project every week, like I said. But yeah, there are two new softwares in the making. I don’t know when they’ll come out but pretty soon. But yeah, all of my shenanigans are on my home base all the time so that’s the but nothing major, nothing new. I just keep changing things and that’s what makes a difference, right?

Rachel: Yes, exactly. Awesome. Go check out Bushra on Thank you so much for taking the time Bushra, this was so much fun.

Bushra: Thank you so much darling Rachel, it was an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much.

Okay you guys, so how amazing was that episode with Bushra? I hope you laughed a lot and learned a lot during that interview. So two things I want to share with you that I really hope that you’ll take away. One is I want you to think about how you can start to show up more unapologetically in your life.

Whoever it is that you are, you don’t have to be loud and boisterous, you don’t have to be super funny, but whatever your personality is, whoever you are when you’re being your most authentic self, how can you turn up the dial on that and really showcase that to the world? Because that is how you build an audience. That’s how you get people excited about what you’re doing. You have to stand out. You got to be seen.

So you got to stop hiding. Hiding is keeping you from making money. Remember that. So think about who you are when you are your most unapologetic self and what are some ways that you can start to step into that and start to act on that today?

So that’s one of the things I want you to take away. The other thing that I want you to think about is one of the things that Bushra said is if you’re not excited, how do you expect others to be? So how can you start to express your enthusiasm for your offers, your products, your services, everything that you’re putting out into the world, the expertise that you carry, the change that you want to make in the world, how can you start to express enthusiasm?

Just so you know, sales is really just enthusiasm transferred, so how can you start to transfer the enthusiasm that you have for what you’re creating out into the potential client and the audience that is around your business so that you can grow and so that you can sell your wares?

So that is the other thing I want you to ponder and journal on and think about is how am I showing up? Am I showing up as somebody who’s enthusiastic and excited? And how can I turn up the dial on that? How can I be more enthusiastic? How can I express my enthusiasm whether through Facebook Lives or emails or videos that you send out or creating your own podcast.

However you are choosing to market yourself these days, how can you to do it more enthusiastically? How can you do it in a really excited way that gets people really excited to follow you? I think those are the two keys. One of the things that Bushra is amazing at is garnering attention. Stopping people in their tracks and causing them to stop and look and say hey, I’m interested in learning more about who this woman is and what this woman does.

And that is from two things. Being unapologetic and being enthusiastic about what she’s talking about. So take those two things away from this episode and use that to become a million-dollar badass yourself. I’ll see you guys next week.

Hey guys, before you go, I just wanted to let you know about an exciting one-time opportunity called Handled. Handled is a four-month one-on-one opportunity to be coached by me. Now, I don’t do a lot of one-on-one coaching outside of my Million Dollar Badass mastermind, but I am doing it this year.

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