Massive Transformation in Six Months—Before/After with Walid Azami

Pat Flynn: Building a business is all about transformation. For you as a business owner: learning from your mistakes, growing over time, adapting to different situations, hopefully becoming a better person, one percent better every single day perhaps. And it’s about transformation of your audience and the customers that you have: your subscribers, your readers, your viewers, and you the listener.

And hopefully you’ve been transformed over the year, through a number of the examples that people have set here as guests on the show, sharing their stories and transformations that they’ve had. Hopefully you’ve been transformed by the information in some of the solo episodes that I’ve done here on The Smart Passive Income Podcast.

And since we’re closing in on 2019, and most of you hopefully have some really big, lofty goals for 2019, I’m excited to share with you today a unique episode, where it’s not an interview, per se, although it is a conversation with a person who has gone through a major transformation. What I’m gonna do here is pull specific episodes of AskPat and share them with you. If you don’t know what AskPat is, it’s a podcast where I coach a student and entrepreneur just like you through a process.

In Episode 1022, which was published about midyear 2018 here, I coached a guy named Walid Azami, who has a business called How to Photograph. He teaches people photography; he’s been doing it for free on Instagram and through other channels, YouTube, for quite a while. And in this episode I coached him through the process to help him figure out, well, what could he do to actually monetize this audience that he’s built? And I brought him back on the show in Episode 1044, which had just come out at the end of November. And the transformation that he went through, based on what I had coached him through, was absolutely just amazing.

So what I wanted to do was actually play Episode 1022, and then immediately after that play Episode 1044. Just six months different between the two interviews, or two conversations, and you’re gonna hear an immediate change in his intonation, in his confidence, in the action that he’s been taking. And Walid, I know you listen to the show, I’m just so proud of you for the transformation that you’ve created for yourself, and your audience, and those who are going to be served by you.

And for all of you listening, I want you to pay attention to not just how he sounds and the words that he uses, but just what he feels about himself, the story that he’s telling himself in the first half. And then I want you to consider the same things in the second half. And so, we’re not gonna play the intro music here, this is to help motivate you through the rest of the year here, into 2019. Because I know, like I said, you have some goals for yourself. And I want you to realize that amazing change can happen in a relatively short period of time. In just six months Walid went through the transformation that you’re about to hear and I hope, and I wish, and I know that you can have transformations just like this too.

So here we are, Walid Azami, who was published on AskPat in Episode 1022 in June. And we’ll consider this the Before picture, if you will. Then you’ll hear the After right after that.

Walid, welcome. Thank you for joining us here on AskPat 2.0. How are you doing?

Walid Azami: I’m doing great.

Pat Flynn: Why don’t you quickly introduce yourself and what you do to me and all the listeners.

Walid Azami: Sure. Well first of all, thank you for everything you do for the community. I’ve been listening for a couple of years and when I heard you accepting guests I had a weird feeling. I said, “You know what, just hit him up today.” So I screen-captured my phone so that I didn’t forget it—it was in my gallery. I went home that night and I’m glad that we connected.

A little about me. Let’s see if I can abbreviate this. My name is Walid Azami, I am a photographer, director, and creative director in Los Angeles. I’m one of those people that, I’ve seen a lot of success with my career as far as the portfolio that I’ve been able to build. Some of my clients, I guess many of your listeners would be familiar with: Madonna, Kanye West, Mariah Carey . . .

Pat Flynn: Insane.

Walid Azami: . . . The NFL. Insane people that I still, even right now when I name them I still have a wow moment, because Walid the little refugee from Afghanistan, that wasn’t supposed to happen for him that way.

I guess to give you an idea of what I do, I photograph album covers, magazine editorials, world tour posters. I also create video content for a lot of companies. My career has been about ten or eleven years long. Let’s just say I’ve seen things Pat, and I think that’s safe to say for every entrepreneur, but I guess the things that we hear about in Hollywood and about Hollywood . . . I’ve seen things. So I always was amazed from just the onset of my career how few people . . . Let me see if I’m saying that right. I guess the amount of people that wouldn’t help each other out. I recall starting out, asking people that I knew had the answers. They would just say, “You know Walid, I don’t know.” I got it early on. I was like, “Oh I get it, we’re not going to help each other and this is what it’s going to be.” I remember starting out very, very early and promising myself—I remember the exact little strip mall that I started my first ever internship for a documentary. It was a mockumentary. I went to go shake the producer’s hand and I said, “Hi, I’m Walid. I’m your intern for the day.” He looked at my hand, didn’t shake it, and said, “Can you go to Subway and get me a sandwich?” I remember walking down the street, walking in that strip mall and thinking, “When I make it I’m not going to be like this. I’m going to be different and I believe that helping others is the right thing to do.”

Fast forward about nine to ten years, and I have been very fortunate to make it professionally. Again, really nobody helped me; I never forgot that. But the past couple of years a lot has happened to the photography world. And artists, where they’re asking us to work for free for exposure—I lost the album cover for a major superstar because another photographer offered to do it in exchange for Instagram mentions. On top of that, I had a photo agent that started blaming the shift in the industry on things like, “Walid, maybe you need to lose some weight.” I’m by no means—

Pat Flynn: What?

Walid Azami: —heavy. Yeah, for real. I remember he had sent a personal trainer’s brochure with a Post-it note that said, “Think about it.” Now, I’m 190 pounds, 5’9″, so listen, I don’t have a six-pack, but I think that I’m fairly average. I remember thinking, “But I’m behind the camera.” It was all these different things, Pat. It was just, there was a lack of honesty and everything. I got so fed up with the industry that the worst thing that could happen to a creative—I actually hated photography, and I put my camera down for eight months.

I think that everyone is allowed to have a . . . I’m trying to abbreviate this Pat, sorry.

Pat Flynn: No, no please, this is all great, as far as understanding where your head is at.

Walid Azami: I think everyone is allowed to have a moment to fall apart, to have a tantrum, and then you got to get up and do something about it.

I had a very rich portfolio but I was like, “Oh my god, it’s like, what is happening, and there’s a shift in the industry and everything. I’m just not happy with the way that any of it is going and I’m unfulfilled.” In those eight months of not picking up the camera—it was dusty, I didn’t even touch the camera—I thought, “Okay, enough. Now be a part of the answer.”

I secretly started an Instagram account called @HowtoPhotograph. I just put myself out there with zero followers and I started helping photographers little nugget by little nugget with lighting tips, composition tips, business advice, how to talk to a customer, how to negotiate, how to get out of a heated situation. Everything that I learned over the past decade, I started feeding them little by little and they had no idea who this was. In about a year, year and a half, I grew to over 20,000 followers. Then with the convincing of a friend he said, “Look, you got to attach your name. You have a rich portfolio. People would probably listen a lot more if they knew that you photographed Kanye West or you’ve done these incredible clients.” So I did attach my name.

The weird thing is that I think your community is very much the same way, but I always tell people, “I have probably the politest community of followers ever.” They help each other. I don’t have to really even monitor it too much, but I make sure I answer every single person’s question, their DM, and I help them build a career in photography. This has been about two and a half—I’m probably about 28,000 followers now thanks to Instagram’s algorithm, that slowed things down. But, this has been one of the most fulfilling things of my career. It actually helped me pick the camera back up again and start going at a new, unprecedented pace, and start booking clients again and everything. It gave me back the soul that I thought was missing in my career.

After about two and a half years—I’m really skimming over it, but after about two and a half years I want to start monetizing the account little by little. Up until this point I really haven’t made any money whatsoever, but I’ve put a tremendous amount of time and money into educating people, even down to somebody asking me what kind of camera they should buy their son for Christmas. I do the research and make sure that . . . because I believe in providing value. These people are amazing and the DMs that I get, the comments that I get—a couple times it’s even made me emotional. I’m like, “Wow, you’re in Ukraine and I had that impact on you,” or wherever they would be.

So I guess my reason for reaching out now is I love this account. I still am photographing my clients. I still am doing creative directing and directing videos, but this is such a passion now. I’m looking for ways to start monetizing it. I’ve written two ebooks that I’ve not yet released, and the ebooks are a Part One and a Part Two of how to set up an entire fashion shoot and book an agency model, and hire your team, and stay in control, and execute your vision from the idea, to the mood-boarding, to everything. Then Book Two takes you step by step to delivering the images to the client. It is the book that I wished was around when I started. I compiled basically over a decade’s worth of knowledge and information, and I put it together in a book that kept growing, and growing, and growing. That’s where I’m at Pat, is that I want to start monetizing this.

One more thing to add to the wrench in the spokes, is that I’m very sensitive, I think maybe because of the way I grew up. We really didn’t have any money, especially as refugees in America. I would say about 40 percent of my audience are from countries that, let’s say India, Singapore, countries that don’t have a lot of money. I want to be able to monetize, but I also want to be very, very conscious of still being able to help these people that may not have the same access to the money that we do in the United States.

Pat Flynn: Sure.

Walid Azami: That’s my puzzle and that’s why I reached out.

Pat Flynn: Well thank you Walid. First of all, just, I appreciate people like you because you’re doing it right.

Walid Azami: Thank you.

Pat Flynn: You had gone through all this experience of not being treated well and not being . . . Even though you’re helping you’re not being recognized for that. Here you are now doing it differently and giving the industry really what it needs. I think the Instagram growth, and the DMs, and all the following that you have now, the tribe that you’ve built, is a reflection of really who you are and the work that you’ve done to make change in the industry. I think that’s really huge. I think a lot of people can follow your example. It wasn’t easy obviously, but you did it and I think the reason your audience is so kind is because you are kind. I teach this to my kids, I go, “What you give the world the world gives back to you.” You’re receiving back what you have now allowed yourself to give. I would encourage you to keep building that audience and to keep treating people that way, and to keep serving first, and I can feel it and I can hear it in your voice. You will be wildly successful, and you are obviously, but in this realm, continue down this route and you will be successful in this realm too.

Let’s see if we can jam and talk a little bit about monetization. Obviously, and you know this, I can already tell, monetization is a result of how helpful you are to your audience, right?

Walid Azami: Right, right.

Pat Flynn: To your concern about those countries, the 40 percent of countries who you feel just don’t, maybe don’t have the income: Number one, you don’t know that for sure.

Walid Azami: Right.

Pat Flynn: I think we have this perception of countries and how it might be there. Yes, there’s likely a number of people in all countries who cannot afford whatever it is that you’re going to offer. In that sense, that was a big issue with me related to building online courses. I was worried that by building online courses I was going to leave a lot of people out and still not be able to help them, the exact same concern that you had. If you create programs, if you release ebooks and they require a payment, are you taking anything away that you’re already doing? Can you still help those people through the content that you’re already sharing?

Walid Azami: Great question. Yes, I still can. I think it’s basically, if you buy an ebook you’re setting it all together organized at once versus drop after drop over months and months.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, absolutely. People pay for convenience if they can afford it and if they cannot they still have the means to find that information, and they want to get that information, whether it’s paid or free, from you because of the kind of culture that you’re building around your brand and your business. Whoever gave you that advice to put you into your Instagram, I think you owe them something because your name should be there. That’s number one, and hopefully that helps defeat that demon in your head about, “I’m going to be upsetting people by doing this,” because that’s a limiting belief and I think that’s a stigma that we all have from how we grew up and other people have taken advantage of us. So you’re different, and you should remember that.

Number two, in terms of monetization, the best way to do it, and you have this advantage now because you have this large audience who is communicative with you—have you done any asking, of all the things that you’ve talked about, what they need help with the most? You can maybe gauge based on the Instagram posts that you’ve had, since they are very specific to certain things, which ones are more popular than others and the kinds of information that they want. But I’m curious, have you done any surveying or have you asked around? Are your ebooks that you haven’t released yet, that we’ll get to in a second, were they a result of requests or was that kind of just, “Here’s what I’m into right now?”

Walid Azami: Great question. I think the ebooks are definitely a result of a lot of requests. It’s because, even if I go do a photo shoot, this is for a magazine or whatever it is, I take them with me. Do you know what I mean? They, a lot of times will say, “Oh my God, how do you book this,” or, “I wish I could shoot models,” or, “I don’t live in New York or LA.” It’s all their comments and DMs as a result, but I have here or there . . . Now, I haven’t sent out a survey. I haven’t done any sort of polls. Once in a while I’ll do a post like “Your Biggest Frustration as a Photographer is:” and then it’s just—

Pat Flynn: That’s perfect. That’s all you need. That’s perfect.

Walid Azami: Okay, okay. They’re very eager to share.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, that’s great. That’s awesome. That will give you some insight on what people are looking for. Then, you create those solutions. If this ebook is a solution to some of those problems that your audience has, then my big question is, well why is it just sitting there dormant? What’s going on?

Walid Azami: Part of it is, which I don’t want to admit, is a little bit of paralysis by analysis—is that the term, or no?

Pat Flynn: Yeah, I think that’s right, or analysis paralysis or whatever.

Walid Azami: Yeah, sure.

Pat Flynn: What are you analyzing?

Walid Azami: Is it perfect enough? Is it good enough? I’m attaching my name. Because my whole career has been “it has to be perfect,” and so basically the book that was supposed to be . . . you know it’s for ebook, so for Kindles and stuff. I thought it would be twenty pages, plenty of information. Now I have, combined, about ninety pages, actually a little more than that even. I keep adding and adding.

Finally, I just realized, “Stop. There can be future books.” I actually was going to release it this week and then I got so excited about speaking with you I thought, “Well I’ve delayed it this long. I want to talk to Pat first and then release it.” Now it’s like researching, do I just put it on Amazon and my website? Do I just do my website only? Everything, my whole career including this—and I think everybody is about being self-taught . . . It’s such a huge flow of information that every day I’m trying to learn something about doing this the right way. I’m kind of making excuses too, I just realized as I’m talking to you.

Pat Flynn: So what should the answer be then?

Walid Azami: The answer is, I think I just wanted to be so great and so helpful, and I know that it is because there is no other book like this out there. But it’s my first product and I just want it to be received well.

Pat Flynn: What are you scared of?

Walid Azami: That my intentions don’t come across.

Pat Flynn: How might they not come across the way you want it to?

Walid Azami: How might it not?

Pat Flynn: Yeah. You’ve, I’m sure, talked about, in the book, why you wrote the book.

Walid Azami: Yeah.

Pat Flynn: So where might a person misunderstand you, if you’re being so clear about those intentions?

Walid Azami: Well . . . good point, Pat.

Pat Flynn: Again, this is just . . . Don’t worry Walid, this is so common. We make up our own excuses, excuses that when you really think about it shouldn’t even exist. So just dissolve that in your head right now.

Walid Azami: Okay.

Pat Flynn: That intention, based on the conversation that we had today and based on your history, and based on what I know that you put into this, that’s not going to be a problem. In terms of monetization I think, number one, release book number one now, that way it’s out there, that will help build your name and authority. I like the idea of you had mentioned that these people might not be able to afford it, but if it’s on Amazon it’s likely affordable.

Walid Azami: Right.

Pat Flynn: And you’re not charging hundreds of dollars for it. Now, I will say that putting a book on Amazon isn’t going to make you a ton of money.

Walid Azami: Sure.

Pat Flynn: But it’s going to get your name out there and potentially and indirectly make you more money down the road, because now people are going to go deeper with you. They’re going to want more from you. I assume this might happen, this is very common, especially with how-to type books, they’re going to read this and they’re going to go, “Yes, I want to hire Walid to help me do this,” or, “I want something more in depth,” or, “I want coaching from him. Is there a workshop I can go to?” I would encourage you to think of maybe, if people wanted more what would that mean? That has to come from you and how you want to do it. As an entrepreneur, you have the freedom to create whatever you want and if you promise that outcome, that can be framed in all kinds of different ways, whether it’s an in-person workshop, a virtual workshop, maybe it’s a summit you put on, like a virtual summit, or a more in depth online course perhaps. That’s kind of cool. I would encourage you to pre-sell those things. It’s a little bit easier to pre-sell an event in our heads because you always charge upfront for tickets before an event. For information, for coaching, that stuff can be charged upfront too and then you have to obviously deliver that.

A book is just step one, and actually before we even launched the book I would ask you, is there any way that you are collecting a person’s information, i.e. email address, through that book that they’re going to read?

Walid Azami: In the book yeah, there is a . . . I actually do a, on my blog for, at the end of almost every single article there will be newsletter form that they could sign up for. I do try to collect. It’s not a huge number, but it does sort of grow. You know what’s interesting Pat, is I’ll get a lot of signups on my Instagram Stories and this is what’s fascinating, is that—or to me it is, is that I’ll say, “Hey guys, for my next shoot I’m actually hiring one person. One of my assistants is coming straight from the newsletter from that list.” So I try to give them these experiences that they can’t get any other place.

Pat Flynn: Do you talk about that when people are signing up for the list, or only after people are on the list?

Walid Azami: Well I’ll say it, like actually I recorded the video last night and I’m putting it out today of, “Hey guys, I’m doing an eight page magazine editorial with a famous boxer. I want to invite one person either as hired help, or if they don’t have the abilities at the moment, to come in as a guest and watch.” I tell them that, but when I offer those sort of things the signups surge.

Also, it surges sometimes when I get a little bit frustrated and I say, “Look guys, I’m doing everything I can to help, so those people that want to be helped you’re going to sign up, but I’m not going to keep begging for signups on the newsletter. When I give them a little bit of tough love, then the signups surge. It’s the weirdest thing. If I say, “Hey guys, I’m gibing a freebee, I’m giving an exclusive tutorial on this. Please make sure you sign up for the newsletter,” it won’t move the needle very much at all until they really feel like they’re getting a little bit of tough love.

Pat Flynn: Interesting.

Walid Azami: Yeah it’s very interesting to me. I was like, “Okay, I guess that’s what they respond to.”

Pat Flynn: Yeah well, I mean they’re responding to you. The reason I bring this up is because most of the time, not always, it depends on the brand, but most of the time if you just offer an exclusive newsletter you’re not providing enough incentive. Because a newsletter is essentially telling people, “Hey, I’m going to send you more emails.” Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, “I want more emails.”

Walid Azami: True.

Pat Flynn: People wake up in the morning and go, “Man, if only I had the opportunity to shadow somebody who can help me in my career.” I would make that more prominent. Like, “Every month or every once and a while I select one of my email subscribers to come shadow me at a job or whatever, and you’ll hear more inside the email list and you also get a freebee,” or something. Anyway, the email list thing is not a huge deal because you already are building your audience and you’re utilizing Instagram and such, and I think that’s great. But I just wanted to make sure that the book had mechanisms to help you understand who is reading the book and, if possible, maybe have something closer to the top of the book versus the bottom to do that.

Walid Azami: I like that, okay.

Pat Flynn: Because now you have people who are starting to read the book who could be a cohort of people who might want more help, or maybe get frustrated by reading the book and they’re like, “This is too much work. I just want somebody to do it for me, or do it with me.”

In terms of next steps, I just want to ask you before we finish up, do you have further goals for how you want to monetize? A book is a great step one, but what might step two or three be for you? What do you want to do?

Walid Azami: I love the idea of workshops. I haven’t gotten to it. So when you mentioned it, I love workshops and I do coaching a little bit here and there, so I would love the idea of, just like right now, setting up Skype calls or whatever and coaching people with their photography career. That’s I think the next thing immediately after the book. Of course, I want to keep expanding the brand, but online workshops I think, and coaching abilities would probably be the next thing on the radar, which are all, by the way, things I’ve learned from your podcast, even the newsletter and all that. I didn’t collect emails before your show.

Pat Flynn: Well thank you, you’re too kind continuing to credit me, but you’re the one that took action. Have you ever seen those ads on Instagram and on Facebook for those famous people who go learn directing from Ron Howard, or those Master Class ones?

Walid Azami: Yeah.

Pat Flynn: People go gaga over those because they want to learn from those people who have that experience, and you have this amazing, unique ability that many other photographers who are teaching photographs don’t have, which is you have this experience in the industry. You’ve done photography for these mega stars and people want to connect with people like you. If you were to just simply offer, “Hey guys, I’m going to be coaching X number of people, apply here,” you’re going to get a flood of people who want to apply. That’s something that you could potentially charge a lot for. The book is even something that you could potentially, after it’s out there, you could potentially get it down as essentially just a lead generator for that. I think you could even charge it for ninety-nine cents, or every once and a while even give it away for free, which surges the people who read the book who dive deeper into you and your story, and your teaching. Then they’re like, “Oh I want more. I wish it was just coaching.” Then boom, through your email you go, “Hey, next month I’m opening up two coaching spots. I’m taking two students for $1,000 a month to help you further your career in photography and we’ll talk directly every week,” or something like that. You can develop the price points on your own, but I mean, that’s high level stuff. To connect with somebody of your caliber, you should be charging a premium for that.

Here’s what a few people do who are in similar situations. They don’t want to coach, but they still offer the coaching at a really premium level because they have a number. Like, “Yeah, I’ll coach somebody for like $3,000 a week.” Then they position themselves as that, and that anchors that price there for them. People go, “Oh wow, $3,000 a session, that’s way too much. But they have this online course though, and it’s only $200, wow okay that’s kind of a steal. I should totally get that because I can’t afford $3,000 per session, or per month, or whatever it is, but I can definitely afford a premium online course that’s likely going to give me the same information, just not access to a lead, but here’s all I need.” That could be a later phase, or just kind of planting seeds for what is available. You’ve definitely opened things up for yourself.

Walid Azami: I love that. Okay. No, I love that idea. Thank you. Sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off.

Pat Flynn: No, no, that was the end of it. I want to hear from you what the biggest things you learned were from this conversation, and if you could tell me and everybody else what your next steps are going to be, I think that might help hold you accountable.

Walid Azami: Absolutely. Can I ask one quick question on the ebooks though?

Pat Flynn: Yeah.

Walid Azami: Because I love what you said about possibly offering it for free or for ninety-nine cents as a lead generator. Book one and book two, they basically take you from pre-production to post-production, so you need both books. Should I offer the first book for free as a lead generator, and then if they choose to buy the second book, should book one always be for free to build up the email list, or just here or there?

Pat Flynn: No. What you could do to help build the email list is take maybe chapter one of book one and give that away.

Walid Azami: Okay.

Pat Flynn: That would help people want to get the book and you’ll get the email. It’s a lot easier to go from email in a little snippet and preview essentially, like when you go to Costco and they’re like, “Here, free sample.” Then you’re like, “Oh my gosh, this dumpling is so good.” They’re going to want to get more.

I would have the books on Amazon. There’s some authority here with that, and the algorithms will help you as well. Just like with Instagram, there are algorithms and they can definitely work in your favor once you get some surge in traffic. There’s SEO, search engine optimization, but there’s also, “people who bought this also bought that,” and that gives you some additional exposure too. I would release book one, make a big deal out of it. Talk about how it’s at a low price point right now, maybe it’s $4.99, and then say, “Guys, next week I’m going to be bumping up the price to $9.99, which is going to be the normal price point, but for this week only it’s $4.99, so this is your time to go and get it now.” That will help you with the rankings. That will help you get more exposure and give Amazon like a, “Oh, this book is one I need to pay attention to and recommend.” Then of course, when you increase the price point, then that becomes something that can produce money for you.

Then you have the second book and then maybe you can, during certain times of the month or during certain holidays, you can always lower the price for a short time period to bring people in. Like I said, people are going to be in your ecosystem, they’re going to want more from you and then you can begin to offer more things down the road. But yeah, I think Amazon is a great play for you. It sounds like you’re excited about coaching, and perhaps online courses and things like that. That’s a perfect play. You’ve already built the thing, so I would say just tweak it a little bit and launch it.

Walid Azami: Awesome. Thanks Pat. I guess then when you said, “What did I learn,” I learned a whole bunch, but if I could just bullet point it real fast: Release the book, stop making excuses. So that’s number one. I never thought about, don’t assume someone’s price point or the size of their wallet. That’s what’s really important for me to remember, is that if they are not able to afford coaching workshops or an ebook I’m not cheating them out of the information. They still are getting it, it’s just at a slower rate. So everyone still has access.

Pat Flynn: Here’s the other thing about that, I was just thinking about out loud, or I am thinking out loud, is they can afford a camera.

Walid Azami: Yeah.

Pat Flynn: It’s not like you’re targeting five year olds who literally don’t have money. You’re targeting people, young adults and adults most likely, who want to get into photography. They obviously know that there’s going to be some sort of investment, especially when it comes to equipment. If they can afford the equipment or be able to rent it, they’re going to have a lot of value coming from you and would likely be able to afford you as well.

Walid Azami: Solid point. That’s a solid point for sure. I got it, it’s common sense. So there’s that. Then of course I love what you said about maybe putting the opportunity to sign up for the mail list earlier on in the book, so that—as they become frustrated or if they are overwhelmed they may not reach the end of the book. I love the idea of putting that in the front end to sign up for something, and then potentially very soon after, up-sell on coaching or workshops.

Probably one of the biggest points from today is maybe I downplayed the effect of being able to shadow me on a magazine shoot or a commercial shoot. I would just mention that as a by the way, but I really have never written it down on the website or bullet pointed it. I think that might be a huge selling point to sign up for further information.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, dude it’s a huge opportunity. If you were starting out in a career you would bend over backwards for that.

Walid Azami: I would kill for that.

Pat Flynn: You could try this out too, I don’t know the legalities of it, but you could potentially offer a spot as an Instagram ad to get more Instagram followers.

Walid Azami: Okay, so I’ll look into that.

Pat Flynn: I mean, I’m just brainstorming, but the fact that you’re letting people do that is huge. That’s something that could potentially turn into content too on a blog, or behind the scenes on your Instagram channel, and a video—that’s just bonkers.

Walid Azami: Okay, yeah. No, I love that, thank you. I’m happy to hear you say that at least I’m on the right path, I just need to push myself a little bit more and to not be so shy about asking for their support. I will look into that Instagram ad idea also, in exchange for more followers.

Pat Flynn: How can we, as a community here, make sure that you take action on this? How can I help you more?

Walid Azami: I would love to just—if possible, I would love to set a deadline where I can even email you and say, “Pat, I promised by this date the following things would happen and here they are delivered.” I just am maybe being held accountable, but I’m so open to if you have any suggestions of how I could maybe receive the help too. I’ve always been huge on doing it myself and never asking for help, which is a huge downfall.

Pat Flynn: What’s your Twitter handle or Instagram?

Walid Azami: On Instagram it’s @HowtoPhotograph.

Pat Flynn: Just literally, @HowtoPhotograph is your username there?

Walid Azami: That’s it, yeah.

Pat Flynn: I see it. All right guys, if you are on Instagram right now and you’re hearing this, and you want to help Walid take the steps to make this happen, find him, @HowtoPhotograph, and just send him a quick message of encouragement. What I would recommend to you Walid, is also take some time today to consider all the things you want to do and send me an email later, within twenty-four hours, with that date and that deadline like you talked about. That way I can just plan my schedule, a quick reminder to go and message you on that day to see how things are going. So knowing that’s coming can help you push forward.

Walid Azami: That’s amazing, Pat. Thank you.

Pat Flynn: Well man, I got you. We got you. @HowtoPhotograph on Instagram, approaching 30k followers. Great job, man. Thank you for being vulnerable and for sharing all this today. We wish you the best.

Walid Azami: Thank you so much. I appreciate it, and thank you, just for everything you do. I learned so much.

Pat Flynn: That’s why I’m here.

Walid Azami: Yeah, thanks Pat.

Pat Flynn: Alright, so that was Walid. And he took action. And I’m so thankful that I got to follow up with him on AskPat, which we often do. We bring a number of people back, actually all of November and half of December on AskPat were episodes where we brought people back on. By the way, if you’d like to get coached just like I coached Walid there, all you have to do is go to and fill out an application there. And please, if you haven’t yet subscribed to AskPat, go ahead and find it on iTunes or wherever you’re listening to this podcast right now. When you have the chance, subscribe to it, because we have many, many more episodes, and many, many more transformations to be had next year in 2019.

So, in the second half here we’re gonna bring Walid back. I want you to listen to his voice, his confidence, and also a big shout out to all of you who listen to AskPat and who actually helped as well. And you’ll hear exactly what that means, right now.

Walid, welcome back to AskPat 2.0, thanks for coming back again man, I appreciate it. Looking forward to the update.

Walid Azami: Thank you, thank you for having me, and yeah, a lot has changed since.

Pat Flynn: Ooh, I’m excited to dig in. For those of you who might not remember, Walid was featured in Episode 1022; the title of that episode was “How Do I Sell but Still Help People For Free?” We talked a lot about mindset related to price points and all those kinds of things, and he has an amazing, amazing photography business. You can also find him on Instagram @HowtoPhotograph.

Walid Azami: How to Photograph, yeah.

Pat Flynn: @HowtoPhotograph, so check that out on Instagram, you can see he’s got over 30,000 Instagram followers at this point, which is amazing. So give us an update, what’s been happening since? We’ll kinda see where this conversation goes.

Walid Azami: Awesome, thank you Pat. First of all, right after . . . Once the episode aired, I wanna say I got easily about forty to forty-five people because I think the last time you did say, “Hey, let’s hold Walid accountable, let’s motivate him,” and I got the nicest, kindest DM messages just out of the blue from all around the world, and it was such a cool thing to see the impact of this show. I tried to leave each one of them a video thank you message back, but it was so cool to get all that after your show. And it was very helpful to hold me accountable.

But right after, when I spoke to you last, I had talked about just exploring the idea of monetizing How to Photograph—and just as a review, How to Photograph is basically the channel on Instagram. Of course there’s other channels that go with it, YouTube and all that, but the core of it is the Instagram. It’s to be the account, to be the mentorship that I wish I had when I was first starting. With all of my wins and all of my losses and everything, up and down, I use that as personal experience to give people insight and background and help them with their business.

So you did inspire me to help . . . I was sitting on a couple ebooks: Part One and Part Two of Building Your Fashion Photography Portfolio: The complete guide of setting up a fashion shoot and building that portfolio. Of course, I found every reason and everything to do first, literally everything, like, “Let me email my cousin about . . .” Just anything to waste time.

Pat Flynn: As we do; that’s what we do.

Walid Azami: Yeah. And I had read articles saying, “When you first launch your ebook, try to go into a lesser category that’s less competitive,” and after we did the show and just said, “Just do it, get out of your own way,” I decided to go and just advertise it on my Instagram and let people know that it’s out there.

That first week, it went—Part One and Part Two went to number one and number two for all of photography on Amazon Books, and then all of fashion photography.

Pat Flynn: Good for you, man.

Walid Azami: Thank you. And I was like . . . I have a whole different attitude, if you hear my voice between this and Episode 1022 . . . I was just so shy about asking for my followers to support my next thing. And I changed my mindset also of, hey, I’m not asking for them to give me charity, I’m asking for them to invest in themselves.

Pat Flynn: Ooh, that’s it right there, dude; that’s the secret sauce.

Walid Azami: That’s it, right? And I think that was the big switch that happened. I said, “You know what, no, I’m doing this to help them, I’ve always started this for that.” So I actually decided, right before this was scheduled, I took the books down because they’re going to turn into a supplementary video course but I’m now, in about two weeks, probably about the time this publishes I will have started my video course for 30 Days to Starting a Photo Business. Start to finish, hold your hand through every single step of getting a business license, to which social channels you need, how to use each one, how to do contracts, emails, newsletters, networking, how to build your portfolios or website, what they’re looking for, how they’re hiring. Literally ten years of a career, I’m holding everyone’s hand through the process.

Pat Flynn: Yes.

Walid Azami: So that’s my new thing that I’m—

Pat Flynn: This is so cool.

Walid Azami: Thank you.

Pat Flynn: I don’t even know if you had mentioned the course last time, or if that was even an idea. Did we even talk about that before? It was just the books, right?

Walid Azami: You had mentioned it, as in, “Hey Walid, people are gonna read your books and then they’re gonna say, “This was very cool, it’s very informative. Where can I get more information?” Right? And we had mentioned in person workshops, or video courses, because I was gonna have to scale. So it is sort of borne of that conversation, but there was no plans of doing a course at that time. I was just receiving the information.

Pat Flynn: Right, right. It’s cool because you’ve been able to put these plans into place, and obviously it looks like you’ve already outlined what you’re gonna be talking about in those courses, which you can see how momentum plays a role here in the online business. You can see Walid just had to take some of those first steps, and sometimes we don’t even know what those first steps are, or we need somebody else to kinda help us as we’re taking our first steps, and then you get that momentum going.

And just like Newton says, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. That’s something that’s really important in business, is to keep going with that momentum. But obviously the opposite is true: An object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted on by an outside force. I’m thankful that I was able to become a little bit of that outside force, and you were able to see those small wins that have now led to bigger ones, and there will be bigger ones along the way.

And then also a side note, just a big thanks to all the listeners out there who had taken action and had reached out and encouraged Walid to get started. I think that’s so cool. I didn’t even know that happened. To know that the world is behind you. And of course it’s just a small percentage of people who are actually supporting you, because not everybody’s gonna take the time to do that, but how cool is that? You guys are amazing.

Walid Azami: That was one of the most moving things for me, was that . . . I was like, “Wow, you really . . .” I hope it doesn’t come out the wrong way, but you really didn’t have to do that. You don’t know me. And you’re in Portugal, or you are in another part of the United States, and you actually took the time out of your busy day, because we’re all very busy, and you’re like, “You know what, I’m gonna hear this guy, I’m gonna type in How to Photograph on Instagram, then I’m gonna click . . .” I just think of all the levels of barriers to do that, and it’s the most touching thing. It just completely warmed me up.

Pat Flynn: That’s so cool, and hopefully some of them are listening to this episode too and smiling big and realizing that your little message made a big impact. And I think that’s a big, important lesson for all of us, is sometimes people out there could use our support too, and when you’re building a business . . . You’re going to pay it forward, Walid, by helping the people who are following you on Instagram, who you’re gonna spend a little bit of time in helping them, and likely they’re gonna wanna share your stuff because they’re getting this encouragement from you now, in that way, which is great.

Walid Azami: It’s what you’re talking about, that motion. You said something right after that about . . . What is it, when you’re dead still you stay dead, still? I butchered it up, but . . . But you don’t realize that until you get out of that rut. When you look back, you’re like, “Oh wow, I was really, really, really stuck in the mud over there.”

Pat Flynn: Right.

Walid Azami: So everyone’s encouragement helps, and that was the coolest thing. So yeah, now I’m preparing this course, it’s gonna be a twelve-month drip content course. Every month builds on the last month, so it includes retouching, lighting, but it’s like, “First we have to start your business and build that foundation, and do the front-heavy work.” And it’s just . . . I wish there was something like this when I started.

It’s so funny how I’m a different Walid than then, but I would have made the investment. And I would have never even said I would have made the investment, it would have been more about . . . I guess I would have paid that. But it’s changed my whole perspective on things.

Pat Flynn: That’s so great. What is your process for outlining this thing? How are you actually putting things in motion?

Walid Azami: That’s really, I think if I have a gap in the plan, it’s more about . . . I wanted to talk to you about that, if you could help. The process is, I was thinking of Thinkific, but I’m not entirely married to it. I was going between that, and then I was looking at ONTRAPORT also and Kajabi, but what’s a little bit confusing—it’s not the content of what do they need to learn. I know all that I’ve done, like multiple posts about “What do you want to learn? DM me.” I mean, I’ve done it from Instagram stories to multiple posts. I want to know what they want to learn and that’s all been noted. Now it’s like, the delivery method of it. It’s a little bit overwhelming when you think, “Okay, do I need a landing page and a splash page? Are they one and the same?” We have emails, we have landing pages, we have funnels, newsletters, and they all kind of overlap each other. That’s kind of a whole puzzle right there.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, I mean, the biggest question I would ask myself would be, “Okay, if this were easy, what would it look like?” I think it’s a really important question to ask, and it’s something I learned from Tim Ferriss because we as entrepreneurs, we often, first of all, we have an ear on every solution out there and because of that they all get in the way of each other. A great way to kind of just narrow it down and simplify is just to ask yourself, okay, like, all right Walid, if this were easy, what would it actually be? It would be a person comes to a page, they see the thing for sale and then they buy it right there and then they get immediate access to it, right? Just bare bones, minimum way to get them in would be that. Then a lot of the other things can be added on if you wanted to like, the crazy funnels and all these other things. If it were simple, what would it look like? Let’s just start there and build that and add everything on top of that.

Now when it comes to the particular platforms you’re talking about, actually, many people know I’m an advisor and an affiliate for Teachable, which is very similar to Thinkific, which is very similar to others. I mean, the platform honestly doesn’t even really matter anymore, although of course I’m a little biased in who I think is better, but really that’s just where the course lives. Most of these platforms have the ability to do what we had just said for this sort of thing. What’s really cool is it’s actually not as hard as it needs to be, and these products out there like Thinkific, like Teachable, I mean it’s all in one and it’s just a matter of signing up and getting it up and running. [Full Disclosure: I’m a compensated advisor and an affiliate for Teachable.]

Walid Azami: Starting it right.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, exactly. Just like everything else, right? Just getting started and going.

Walid Azami: Yeah, I do notice that behavioral pattern. Again, I’m like, “Well, let me watch a few more videos on YouTube about how people are doing it,” and it’s just, you know, I’ve got the course outline, but now I’m like, “Okay, I think I needed this call again. Just start and then tweak along the way.”

Pat Flynn: Yes. That’s the beauty of it and that’s very different than how we grew up and how we were taught, but this is the cool thing about the world we live in, the tools we have available in the time we’re in right now, which is awesome. In terms of production of the course, tell me about how you’re thinking about the videos and the content and in terms of actually like, you have the outline, which is great. That’s step one. How are you going to produce it?

Walid Azami: As far as how will each module be or—

Pat Flynn: What are you thinking in terms of, how are you actually going to make it all happen? Are you going to record it yourself? Are you going to hire somebody? How is it actually going to come together?

Walid Azami: I will be recording the first three months because I am doing the drip content path. I find that if I give them a course all at once, I don’t know if I’ll have the success rate because I think students may get overwhelmed and so if I can drip it to them as an “Okay, first you have to get through this step to get to the next.” Right? I will do that, but I’m open to suggestions on that. I will record three months at a time. Anything that is me talking to them, if it’s just about business and. “This is how you use Instagram, how you maximize it,” all of that, it will be self-recorded on my little mirrorless Sony camera. Anything that is about lighting, about composition, then what I want to do is I want to make sure that I really talk—I’m going to Chapman University, which is a local university, or USC film school and making sure that their students are involved and of course it’s a paid thing, but I want students to help, film students. We would do a model shoot. I have a friend who’s a known name. I don’t want to say her name yet because if she doesn’t, but she said, “I would absolutely model for you.” It’s a chance to work with her, to see how it’s done with a celebrity also. Not that they’re that different, but it does kind of create a little bit of a wow factor.

Pat Flynn: Credibility for sure. You said it was Beyonce, right?

Walid Azami: Beyonce never credits her photographers, FYI.

Pat Flynn: Really? That’s sad.

Walid Azami: Yeah. Not a good thing. That’s a side note.

Pat Flynn: Okay, that’s great. I love how you have already visioned like, how and where and how you’re going to put this all together. I think the final question I have related to production is, when is this going to happen?

Walid Azami: The course was going to go live at the top of the year, 2019, and then what I want to do is, actually I would love your thoughts on pre-sales, just to get that solid evidence that people are interested in it and everything. Is there a method I should look into or consider? But literally, mid November is when first tier pricing is going to come out.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. I mean we’re almost mid November already. I mean the course you said is going to start in January.

Walid Azami: Mid January, yes.

Pat Flynn: Mid January, it is like a presale and you could even position it that way. You could still say, you know, “Hey guys, we’re preselling this. The course starts in January, but this is your first opportunity to get in at the lowest price.” I don’t know if you’re going to limit it to a certain number of enrollment seats or a certain timeframe to make that decision, but that could help with in terms of including scarcity in your offer so that it’s not just like, “Oh, I’ll make that decision later.” I mean, part of our jobs as marketers, whether you’re promoting your own products or other people’s products—our job is to help people get to a point where they can make a decision, and there are many things that stop people from making a decision. Number one, having too many options. This is why if you’re doing affiliate marketing: You want to only promote one solution versus two because you don’t want to have them think. You want to think for them. If you are selling your own stuff, giving people unlimited time to make a decision is going to be something that will keep them from making a decision because they can always make that decision later.

Whether it’s a first tier pricing that goes up after a certain amount of time to force people to go, “Okay, do I really want this? I should make the decision now or else I might lose out on this opportunity.” That could be really big thing, but I’m just so thankful . . . I mean, we’re recording this literally on Halloween right now and you’re already talking about a mid November launch like that; you are so different than you were on the last podcast. It’s insane, and I’m probably sure that I’d be able to hear it if I were to compare the two voices, but definitely in the approach. I mean, you’re just going all in with this. I think it’s important because you’ve got those first wins and you realize that, “Wow, like I’m actually safe in this pool and actually I am able to help people.”

Before I answer a few more questions of yours, go back to when you first put your books online and you know, best sellers. That’s amazing. What was it like to see the first evidence that this book was actually getting into people’s hands?

Walid Azami: Well, the first evidence was I started getting some DMs saying, “Wow, this book is amazing. It’s so informative.” Right? I kept promoting it and I really had to go against my regular behavior as like, “Oh my God, you’re begging for sales,” which is what I normally thought about it. I’m a big note writer so I wrote myself notes saying, “You’re not begging for sales, you’re giving them access to being better into building a career, and you’re just letting them know about something that’s going to help them.” Right? That helped me out a lot but I started seeing . . . I guess Amazon doesn’t release the numbers or anything until—

Pat Flynn: Later.

Walid Azami: Yeah, like some days later, maybe even a week later or something. I was quite surprised and I was like—I was operating on ego, I’ll be really upfront about that. I was like, “Please just at least go Top 20 or whatever, just so I can make the list and not down in the other section.” I was like, when I checked I was like, “Oh my god, Number One.” Then I looked right below that, I’m like “And Number Two?” It was the coolest feeling because my biggest fear was, it sounds so pathetic, but my biggest fear was, are they going to think I’m an impostor or some fraud? Are people going to call me out and say, “Oh, that’s not how you do it,” because there are the internet trolls. No one did because I mean, I know my stuff, but no one did. I don’t know, I guess everyone was just super, super kind about it.

The guy that—his name is Keith, awesome guy—the guy that is now editing some of my YouTube videos, he actually stumbled upon the book on Amazon and never even heard about How to Photograph on Instagram. He bought it. At the end of the book—because you had told me to start the book with some how to get in touch with me, and also end it, right? By the end of the book he had read that and then he followed my private Facebook group and then Instagram and then I put out a post saying I’m looking for an editor. I upload all my stuff to Ireland. He edits it for me. It just brought a lot of people to me, also.

Pat Flynn: That’s really cool.

Walid Azami: Did I answer fifteen other questions but the question you wanted?

Pat Flynn: See, you’re over delivering. I love it. This is great man. Okay. First of all, for all the listeners out there, how cool is this to hear this kind of success story, to know that a person was coming from a very reserved, very timid, very, “I don’t know if this is something I could do,” to now being super confident that this twelve month course is going to be coming out soon. What’s the price point going to be?

I’m playing with that right now. It’s going to be around the $550 to $600, and then I have to figure out the monthly. So that is . . . I have a couple of questions on that, and also what is your whole . . . would you offer it as hey, you could buy that once, pay an annual fee and then still the drip content, or just do subscription-based? That’s the one thing I’m really confused on. And I did an Instagram Stories poll, and it came down to almost fifty-fifty. I was like “Oh great, I’m now even more confused.”

I think what happens with courses that are that amount, it’s great because you can have people pay the full amount or a sort of installment plan. Typically, if you have the full amount, the installment plan would be in total, after the twelve months, would be 10 percent more. Or you get essentially—the reverse would be a 10 percent savings if they get it all at once.

Walid Azami: Got it. Okay.

Pat Flynn: So there is some sort of benefit to going, “You know what? I’m going to commit to this and get all of it now, and save some money.” Because some people will want to save money. What’s really cool is actually, in the end you’d probably be making more money even though the calculator will tell that you will be making more if people go on the payment plan, but the nice thing is you get that money up front.

Walid Azami: Right.

Pat Flynn: When you do the payment plan, there’s going to be some things administrative-wise that are a little bit of a headache, such as people’s credit cards expiring, failed payments, other things where you kind of have to work a little bit to kind of get those payments back. Every month that a person gets billed is another checkpoint for them to go, “Is it still worth paying for this?”

Walid Azami: I see.

Pat Flynn: Right?

Walid Azami: Okay, yeah.

Pat Flynn: So there is benefit to having the one time, but obviously you’re going to open up the course to a lot more people if you have it at a lower price point. So when you sell it, you give them all this value, you talk about how much this would normally cost for somebody to go to a workshop: Thousands of dollars. But when you pitch it, you start with the lower price, the payment plan price. “You can get all of this for as low as $99.00 for six months,” or whatever it calculates to, to 10 percent more. It’s not the right math there, but then they go, “Oh my gosh, just $99.00?” And yes, it’s $99.00, but over the course of six months, or you could save more by going the one time plan versus the opposite, which would be, you could get it for $699.00, but you could also have a payment plan for $99.00 a month. That doesn’t sound as “wow” in terms of the . . . I learned that from Chalene Johnson when I spoke on stage and sold Power-Up Podcasting to people. She said, “Make sure you mention the payment plan price first. You’re going to be honest and tell them it is the payment plan price, but by just seeing those really low numbers in just the position with everything else you just mentioned and what they could pay, it becomes a lot more like, ‘wow this is a steal.’ Because either way they’re getting the same thing—whether it’s the payment plan or a one time payment, they’re getting the same thing upfront, which is the first—

Walid Azami: It’s just how you deliver, yeah.

Pat Flynn: It’s just how you deliver it, yeah. it’s all about positing, so hopefully that helps a little bit in terms of how you might be able to approach the payment and how you announce it and stuff. Obviously, across all your channels—

Walid Azami: But that’s . . . because I’ve never read that anywhere. So that’s really helpful.

Pat Flynn: It’s just, I mean, a psychology thing.

Walid Azami: Yeah.

Pat Flynn: And only something I learned over time. The final lesson here is this is going to be your first big launch and you’re going to learn a lot of lessons. It may go well, it may not go well, but either way you are stepping in the right direction and you’re going to learn a lot either way.

Walid Azami: Thank you.

Pat Flynn: The next time you launch you’re going to learn from your mistakes, or do what you did well and do it even better, and just keep going with it man. I’m just excited to catch up with you again in the future; if you wouldn’t mind me asking you if I could have you back on the show later on, and we can kind of follow your journey here, that would be really amazing.

Walid Azami: That would be amazing. If I could ask one more question—yeah, I would be honored.

Pat Flynn: That will hold you accountable.

Walid Azami: Yes. Yeah, yeah, please. I love those messages. Can I ask you, what I wanted to do was, for the first, I guess, the pre-sales, maybe a certain amount—I wanted to offer them each like a thirty-minute Skype session where we talk about their business, or their photography, and is that something that I’m stretching too thin on? I really, really want to help everyone do their best.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, that’s awesome. I mean that’s something that I do for people who get my podcasting course quite early on, which is like a little audit that I do. I listen to their podcast, and then I give them some advice. I couldn’t possibly do that with all my students, but I do award that for people who act quick. And that would be something that you could do as like a fast action bonus, to get people excited and to get people moving now. That’s like, another way you’re helping them make a decision. “For the first twenty-five people who get in, I’m going to . . .” I mean, it’s a lot. You want to make sure that you calculate it in terms of your time and what you have available, because it is your time.

Walid Azami: Right, yeah.

Pat Flynn: You don’t want to overextend yourself. It is definitely something that you can offer. It would actually be a really good exercise for you, even if you only do it this once, and even though it might stretch you a little thinner, it’s going to be amazing for you to hear the stories of your new customers because that’s exactly who you’re going to be selling to in the future. For that reason alone I would do it.

Walid Azami: Do that. Okay, cool.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, in addition to obviously, being able to help them by making a better course, you’d be able to better sell the course later by learning more about them as soon as they come in too.

Walid Azami: Okay, cool. Cool. That’s what I was curious about, was how many you would suggest. But I think twenty-five is a fair number for, for the twenty-five people to sign up.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, or maybe it could be for everybody who signs up today, which is often risky but it gives you a good deadline on the scarcity and an actual time when you cannot get that anymore versus a number, which some people don’t know what number they are.

Walid Azami: Right.

Pat Flynn: So there’s different ways to do it. You could go live and actually count down how many are left. I mean I’ve seen people do that. Whatever style you like, you can do it that way. But I think the approach is correct, the mindset is correct, and just again, making sure you’re not stretching yourself too thin. I’ve heard horror stories of people offering similar things where then 1000 sign up and they’re, “Oh god, for the next six months I’m done.”

Walid Azami: Oh my god. Yeah.

Pat Flynn: Like, “I’m doing this every day.” You don’t want to get into that world, but I think the heart is there for sure.

Walid Azami: Okay, that’s cool. That helps. Yeah, thank you. And even just . . . you want to know something else that helped, Pat, was hearing myself talk on that first episode.

Pat Flynn: Tell me more.

Walid Azami: I didn’t even recognize myself, because I’ve always been the . . . tell me no and it’s like the biggest turn on. I’m like, “You know what? I’ll show you.” I’ve always been that person. That’s how I’ve worked with such legendary people. And then when I heard myself, I got to really . . . it was a little bit after the recording date I heard myself and I was kind of cringing. It was a great interview, it was a beautiful review, but I was like, “I don’t recognize this guy that’s not sure of himself.”

Pat Flynn: Yeah, wow.

Walid Azami: Because I’ve never been that. So to hear it and then to get the positive reinforcement, I was like, “Okay this is cool.” And then to see the review of the book come in and the sales, I was like, “Okay you still got it.” But it was actually . . . I’m so curious to hear this one, but I know it’s going to be a whole different voice. But I was like, “Who is this guy? This is not the Walid that barges in Madonna’s office, or sits with Jennifer Lopez and stuff.” I was like, “Why would I hire me?” I think I was so apologetic. Although the information was great, but I was apologetic. That woke me up a lot.

Pat Flynn: I love it. And yeah, if you actually listen to the other episodes this month from people who are back on the show, you’re going to hear very similarly, a different tone of voice, a different attitude. It’s there with you as well, Walid. I just want to congratulate you and say, “Keep conquering, man. You’re doing amazing things, and like you said earlier, you’re helping add value to people’s lives. You’re changing lives.” So keep up the great work, my friend.

Walid Azami: Awesome. Thank you very much.

Pat Flynn: Man, you’re a rock star. I’ll talk to you soon, all right?

Walid Azami: Thank you.

Pat Flynn: Alright, I hope you enjoyed listening to the before and after transformation of Walid. Walid again, congratulations, best of luck to you with the launch. We’ll follow up with you again, ’cause this is an amazing story. I just want you all to hopefully find some story in here that resonates with you, with Walid, because I know that you want to transform, you have an audience to serve, and you can do it. You just have to believe in yourself, make decisions, try things, and amazing things will happen.

I’m happy to be here as your coach, either through listening to this episode, or this podcast, or directly through AskPat, if I can help you in that way. Now we get a lot of applications on, so I cannot select everybody. However, if you want to apply—that’s going to give you the chance to get coached, by me, on AskPat—all you have to do is go to And if you haven’t yet subscribed to the show, now’s the time to do it. Just find AskPat on iTunes, or wherever you listen to this podcast. Have an amazing finish to the year, and let’s get the energy started for next year. Let’s do it.

Got one more episode for Smart Passive Income in 2018; it’ll be kind of an update on what’s going on in the business, and where things are headed next year for you. That’s why I’m here, I’m here to serve you, and thank you so much for being a part of this show as a listener. And everybody who’s left a review for the show, you’re amazing, thank you so much. Everybody who’s taken the time to give me a shout out, or share the show, or send me a message @PatFlynn on Instagram or Twitter. If you want to let me know what you thought about this transformation, if you want to hear more things like this, whether it be here on Smart Passive Income or of course, again, on AskPat, let me know what you think, @PatFlynn on Instagram or Twitter.

And I love you guys, thank you so much for the support, I appreciate you. for the event that’s happening next year, July 26 -28 in San Diego, California. Cannot wait to see you there. Many of you have already signed up; so thankful for that.—history is in the making. Thank you, and I’ll see you in the next episode. Bye.


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