Should I Build a Personal Brand or a Business Brand?

I love that technology enables me and other entrepreneurs to work online and run a remote business. I even try and do a lot of my meetings via online tools such as Skype and Hangouts.

So in all this business-building stuff, one reason why people can connect with me online and find me easily on the Internet is because of the brand I’ve built (and am still building!).

I have a blog, am active on social networks of my choosing, and have a generous and engaged following. All stuff that has happened organically over time.

All this wouldn’t have been possible without […]

How to Be So Interesting, People will Stop and Listen to You

Everyone wants attention.

You want the attention of your audience.

You want the attention of your kids.

You want the attention of your customers and fans.

You want the attention of your friends and peers.

When most people want attention, they talk more. Shout louder. Scream, beg, and cry for attention.

But, ironically, the key to getting attention is to NOT talk about yourself. Instead you need to turn the tables and show interest in the person who’s attention you’re seeking.

I learned this back when I used to be a freelancer. The clients who showed immediate interest in working with me were those whose businesses I […]

How to Build your First Website in 20 mins – with no coding!

I remember when I wanted my own website years ago, I had no idea of where to go or how to build one. And I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this but it took me almost 3 months to build my first website. Yeah, 3 months. I mean that’s crazy, considering that today you can build one within minutes! And you don’t have to be a techie or know how to code or anything – I mean I’m not!


Today, I am going to show you how to build your own website from scratch. And it will only cost you a […]

Is your entire biz on Facebook? Quick, do this to save your business!

Most small businesses believe that having a Facebook Page is the start of establishing a web presence. They get so comfortable with Facebook’s free model, that they forget that they are living on rented land. And then they pay the price for that forgetfulness.

Would you fool yourself into thinking that an apartment you’re renting is owned by you? No, right?

You know that there’s a big difference between renting and owning real estate.

So then, why would you want someone else (Facebook or another company) to own the business you’re building on the Internet? Makes no sense, does it? Thankfully, there’s […]

The KLT Factor: 3 Steps to Attract Customers to your Business

This might be hard to hear but here’s the thing: no one really cares about you, they just care how you can help them. So you need to understand what your target audience needs and what motivates them to buy. And then you need to convince them to do business with you.

There’s two ways to convince folks. There’s the direct way of course, where you just tell them how amazing you are and hope they see it too (I mean they’d be crazy not to, right? Gag). And then there’s the slightly longer, somewhat more convoluted, but utterly fascinating […]

Marketing is Not a Department!

Marketing is not a department; its human behaviour.

Marketing is not some special thing you do in isolation of the rest of your business efforts. Marketing is the face of your brand….anyone who comes into contact with your company forms an opinion – good or bad – about it.

Marketing is not selling – it is creating the right environment for sales.

Marketing is not spamming. It works best when the customer has given permission to be contacted. Also called permission marketing, which should be the only kind of marketing!

Marketing is not scammy. It exists to fill a genuine need. It helps […]

6 Inspiring Lessons I Learned from TEDxKarachi 2014

The theme of this year’s TedxKarachi – held at the Karachi Arts Council on September 27th 2014 – was “rise above”. It invoked Allama Iqbal’s couplet “khudi ko kar buland” to give the theme some direction and purpose. It also tied in the concept of one person rising above to elevate all of society with the quote “a rising tide lifts all boats”.

Speakers were invited from a range of disciplines – philanthropist, marketer, artist, parent, entrepreneur, dancer, singer, actress.

11 speakers had 18 mins each to deliver their version of what “rising above” meant to them. And while not all […]

Win $5000 in GBG Stories Contest: What Do you Do When Opportunity Knocks?

It was 2009. I was all set to enter my first major online contest. This particular contest was about showcasing how I “work differently” – from home and run an online business. It was a video I was making to submit to freelancing website Elance.

In hindsight, that video, which now has 50,000+ views, gave me an opportunity that went beyond the contest itself. That video – because it won 2nd place in the contest – put me in touch with Elance CEO Fabio Rosatti and from there I went on to calling Elance a client and making training videos for […]

Tech Forum Central Asia – a trip to beautiful Almaty, Kazakhstan

I have to admit that when I first got the call – or rather the tweet – to participate as a trainer in a tech forum in Almaty, Kazakhstan, I was hesitant. It wasn’t a very popular or known place and to be honest, I wasn’t sure I wanted this to be my re-entry (after 7 years) into international training workshops and business travel. Today, after having come back from a 5-day trip to Almaty, I can tell you that if you ever get the opportunity to go to such a tech forum, GO WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED!

Thanks to Kalsoom […]

Why I Don’t Answer 98% of the Cold Emails I Receive


I might have made up that statistic but there’s no denying the fact that I hit delete, spam or simply choose to ignore the vast majority of emails that I receive. Why is that?

Could it be because:

I think I’m too important to read your mail?
I don’t have time?
I don’t want to make time?
I’m lazy?
I couldn’t be bothered?
I’m not interested?

Frankly, it’s none of the above.

Have you ever emailed someone important and never received an answer back? I’ll admit I have. I’ve emailed plenty of people never to hear from them again. But i’ve also learned how to get people to […]