Interview with Farnoosh Brock from ProlificLiving.com

Interview with Farnoosh Brock from ProlificLiving.com

by Wasim Ismail on January 31, 2012

I had an opportunity to speak to Farnoosh Brock from ProlificLiving.com,  to have a chat about online business and how she got into the online industry. Farnoosh always seems to amaze me with the way she handles her online business and communicates with others.

Listen to the Podcast:


Audio: Play in new window | Download

Connect With Farnoosh

Twitter: @prolificliving
Google Plus: + Farnoosh Brock
Blog: http://www.prolificliving.com/blog/

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Audio Transcript

Wasim: Hi, guys. I’ve got a very exciting person on the call with us today – Farnoosh Brock from ProlificLiving.com. I must say she’s got one of the most amazing voices I’ve heard online. A very calm, very soothing. And usually when I’m having a hectic day and I just need to sit down and relax, I’m only tuning to Farnoosh’s podcast where she shares a lot of information, a lot of valuable information. And I will go straight into it. Hi there, Farnoosh. How are you?

Farnoosh: I’m fine. Thank you for that wonderful introduction, Wasim. I am very excited to be speaking to you today.

Wasim: Thank you. Thank you for taking time and coming online with us. Now, just want to go straight into it, Farnoosh. You’ve got a lot information on your blog – especially about self-development and motivation. I just want to know how you’re actually go in to the online industry – especially for those that haven’t actually come across you yet, leaving your corporate background.

Farnoosh: Right. So, I think it is a similar story to a lot of people that you’ve talked to, a lot of other people who’ve had a job before. It’s by accident, by a very good accident. I like to call it serendipity, where you find something that you didn’t even know you were looking for it. But I was, like you said, in the corporate world for quite a while. I was there for about eleven years in my last job. A couple of years, less than a couple of years, in a start-up. And before that, I was in school. So, I really have a lot of experience and I realized I was just getting bored out of my mind. I was doing a lot of things, you know, I was travelling a lot and I had a lot of fun projects. In the corporate world there was a technology 100, a Fortune 100 company. But, I was just not getting enough challenge. So, I started writing, I started blogging – just for fun. I started doing some stuff with my photos, I love photography. And, it just started to pick up, you know. It was a very interesting concept to me that someone is reading what I was writing. So then, I wanted to make the blog look good and professional. But again in no intention what’s so ever of doing anything crazy like leave my stable job and my wonderful income, and do this full time, right. So, just to give you a little bit of background, I started the blog in 2009. I have some archives back to 07 and 08 but that was on blogspot and I was just very sporadically writing. But 2009 was when I launched ProlificLiving, in the springtime. And, then I really started taking it seriously in 2010 when I went to BlogWorld in Las Vegas. And… Yeah, I remember I was just, you know, really inspired and I think that was my turning point. Where I started looking at it, instead of a hobby, I started looking at it more as a career, as a direction of what I want to do and building it up from a dream to a business. And then, I really came home and got to work.

Wasim: Ok, that’s great. So, it’s just happened, it’s naturally when you just… you know, just decided to go to this, was a BlogWorld you said, yeah?

Farnoosh: Yes, yes and you know – it’s a process. It took a lot of time to build it and it took time to come to that realization. I mean, it wasn’t overnight like I said, you know… It will be now 3 years, this is spring. So, it took some time, but the reason – let me answer your other question – the reason I got into self-development, personal development, motivation and I all the stuff I talk about is because I was really struggling with it in my personal life. Because at the time my corporate career just wasn’t aligned to my values. So, it was really draining my energy. I am a very high-energy person, a very happy person. So, it was just in such a conflict with who I was that I started to look for outlets. And I really, really think writing, it is a cliché, but writing is a very, very good outlet. It’s therapeutic and especially, if you have readers, it makes you look better. So, naturally, I turned to myself. That’s something that’s a first step in, embracing change and moving in the right direction by making ourselves be the person who that we really want to be. And then going through that process of evolution, and then sharing that with other people because the experience is wonderful and you want to share what you learned along the way.

Wasim: Definitely. And people want to know all the time. Now, also Farnoosh, on your blog, of course, there is a wealth of knowledge that one can tap into. And I must say most of it is actually your first-hand experience. Now, when you do experience something, what is it that makes you want to write about it on your blog?

Farnoosh: Yes. It is all first-hand experience, right. I feel lucky, that’s the only way I feel qualified to write about something. What makes me want to tell people about it? I need to think about that. I have this really, really… I have a lot of opinions, okay. I mean… I  have no shortage of opinions and I really love to write, and articulate it. I think, in the first place, it helps me think about things and put them in perspective. So, if you experience something, Wasim, something really, really extraordinary, you may want to put that in perspective for yourself. Right? Completely for yourself, self-reflection, looking back at it, trying to measure the experience and looking at it from a different angle. It’s completely for yourself. So, there’s a very selfish reason. I wanted to put my experience as in place. I was doing all kinds of different experiences. I was going through yoga journey, I was changing the way I was eating, I was doing some weight training, I was really just challenging myself in so many ways. So, I wanted to put that in perspective. That’s the first reason I started writing it. The second one is, I absolutely positively love the idea of engaging with people and talking about something they are passionate about. So, the sense of community and interaction which blogging gives us that, right? So, that made it sound so attractive that I could actually go out there, write about something and someone maybe interested to read it. And they’re experiencing the same thing, they’re interested in the same thing. So, that was really attractive to me. And this is actually really good we’re talking about this because for your listeners if these things do not interest them, then maybe blogging, in the sense of community and engagement, may not be right for that. But maybe they have other things to offer in a different way, right? We just have to suit our own personality to make it successful for ourselves. So, for someone who’s really shy and introvert and they may very well be brilliant in what they’re doing. They may not really thrive in that, right? They may just want to write and just let people passively read it but not actively engage. So, this works for me, but I think you really need to be true to yourself. So, I just want to throw that out there and make sure you know it. You’re listening to this and if this doesn’t work for you, that’s fine. You can still blog. All kinds of different people blog but, for me, that was the attractive part, right. Basically, the self-reflection and then the sense of community and learning from other readers, and then giving something back, you know. You go through that full experience, especially my corporate experience, and you make a bunch of mistakes and you want to share it because, hopefully, you learned something along the way and it can help other people who are at the beginning of their career. So, I hope that helps you.

Wasim: That’s great. That’s great. Now, you’ve mentioned how you left the corporate world and how you got into blogging, and what you may generally write about. Now, when someone’s generally looking to set up an online career, whether it’s a blog or just a general business like an e-commerce site, or any other form of online business. What key points would you recommend or would you advise to them, generally in the beginning?

Farnoosh: In the beginning, okay. So, I recently watched, maybe I re-watched, this amazing speech by Simon Sinek, S-I-N-E-K. He’s brilliant and he answers this question much better that I can but I want to go with his answer. And that is – you want to start with the WHY. So, of course, we all want to make money, we all may even want to be famous and well-known, have a voice of authority in a certain field. But that’s all under surface. If you don’t know why you want to start that online business, sooner or later you’re going to hit this brick wall and you’re going to have to answer those questions. Because you may get bored with it, you may get frustrated with how much work goes into it, you may have a really bad day and you feel like giving up. And when you get to that point you need to know why you started it in the first place. So, ask yourself why do you want to do this. And the reason may be as simple as you want to have a nice stream of income or you want to get to know people who are in the same line of interest. Let’s say you love tennis or you love piano and you’re going to write about it. You want to get to know other people in the world who share your passion. Or whatever your reason may be, it can be whatever it is but as long as that’s your driving force for starting an online business, I think you really need to be clear on that. And it took me a long time to realize how important this is. So, that’s the first thing. If you do that, I think it’s brilliant. It’s a great start, you’re on the right track. Everything else will start to fall into place because you know why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Wasim: Definitely, yeah.

Farnoosh: Right? So, that’s one but we can get very practical, you know. I am actually putting together a course where it’s really helping people leave the wrong job, not just corporate but leave just the wrong job and find meaningful work. But I’m really, really going through a lot of, a lot of work on what are your passions and what are your skills, and what are your talents. And how do you find an intersection between those? I really think those are different things and when you start an online business or any other business, I think it’s good to understand what all of those are. Your passions could be, I don’t know, you’re just passionate about maybe helping people. You’re just passionate about a particular technology. So, that’s your passion. Your skills are things you’ve learned – either in school, on your own, online, education, e-books, online courses, whatever is this. What you know is just, you know, how much knowledge you have around the certain topic so that’s learned. And then talent is that innate ability to be really good at something naturally. So, some of us are really good writers. Some of us are really good speakers. Some of us are really good, you know, at debugging a problem or, you know, debugging code. So, would you find an intersection of those where there’s a common element for all of that… I think that’s going to help you decide what kind of business to set up. That’s really, really good for you, a really good fit for you.

Wasim: Definitely. It’s basically trying to set up a business that you enjoy and that you cannot just give up after a couple of months, a couple of years. Put some passion, setting up a business that you’re passionate about, basically.

Farnoosh: Right. Passionate about and this is a gap you can’t fill. But passionate as well as some level of knowledge. If your level of knowledge isn’t there, you can learn. But I think if the passion is not there, you’re going to have some issues later. And…

Wasim: What, you get bored after…

Farnoosh: Right, exactly. I mean, that’s what happened to me, you know. I definitely had all the skills and certifications, and degrees but the passion just wasn’t there. And you can lie to yourself only so long. Let me tell you. Sooner or later you have to look in the mirror and say “I don’t like doing this”, you know. And this is very difficult because a lot of people face this. This is a little bit of a side track but it may be relevant. You know how you go through school like I went through electrical engineering . Or you go through a certification program, you know, a two-year nursing program, whatever it is – you put your heart and soul into it. So, you had invested time, effort and money. Then you realize you don’t love it. This is very, very hard, right? Because we feel like, oh my God, we need to stay committed. We just put all this time and effort into it. But then the passion is gone or maybe it wasn’t there to begin with. And you really need to make some tough decisions because you need to love what you do and that’s my motto now. I think I need to change ProlificLiving’s mission: love what you do.

Wasim: At the end, you know… You can only fake it for a certain amount of time, then you’ll give up or you’ll get caught out, isn’t it?

Farnoosh: Yes. I really believe so, yes.

Wasim: Definite. Now, generally, you have mentioned before in a couple of the other podcasts I was listening to and on your blog, that your younger brother helps you a lot on the technical side. But, generally, do you do everything else yourself in your business or do you outsource any elements of your business. What’s your thoughts on outsourcing, generally?

Farnoosh: Right. Good question. So, I’m very, very happy that ProlificLiving has been growing so much. So, my younger brother is genius, I’m so lucky that he actually works for me. So we do the technical… He does technical stuff for me and by technical I mean the really, really technical stuff. You know, he want’s to have the really clean foundation for the blog. Really be up on security and back-ups, and systems, and scripts, and all of that. So, he does all that. But, we do a lot of strategic brainstorming together. You know, like what are the next line of products and services, and packaging, and pricing, and everything you name it. We do that together so we really, really are partners in this. He’s not just, you know, working for me 10 hours a week or something like that. He really helps me mentally and I think, you know, what you can take away from this is if there is someone that you can really trust. You trust their opinion, you trust… Like a mentor but maybe somebody who’s also interested in having some stake in your business. Then it’s really, really good support system for you as you go through your business, through the ups and downs. So, I really, really rely on my brother for one and on my husband. And my husband, you know, he has a full-time job, he’s very busy… But the last few months, starting last year, we started to work together. You know, I was just getting so busy, I was launching a podcast, doing products, keeping up the blog and doing all kind of things on the side: guest posting, interviews, you name it. And we do travel a good bit. So, it was really getting to be a bit much. And I wanted to stop doing some of the technical stuff. Even though, I am qualified technically but it just does not interest me, I want to do the creative side. So, he started producing my podcasts. He started doing videos and we put together a product in the course of 3 weeks and he did all the technical stuff. It was a video program for invigoration, 10-minute invigoration routines. So, he helps me with that. He produces my podcasts now and any kind of video work we have. And then I also brainstorm with him a lot. And I don’t pay him a penny, by the way. So, that works out really well.

Wasim: I can imagine, yeah. So, having a good team around you does help then. You can bounce of each other’s ideas and… But besides your brother and your partner, do you outsource anyone else?

Farnoosh: No, that’s it.

Wasim: Oh, that’s fantastic.

Farnoosh: Yes. I don’t know if it’s fantastic because I really overwork. I have thought a little bit about, you know, different pros and cons of having a virtual assistant but I just don’t know if I will feel comfortable giving… giving access to my inbox to someone else. I understand this is definitely a smart choice but… You know, I like to engage. I don’t want to lose my voice when someone emails me. So, that’s something I struggle with but I do understand the power of delegation. So, right now we’re managing fine. You know, one day maybe I will have my mom to do my accounting. And we’ll see. But so far, you know, that’s it. I have a lot of support in the blogging community so if I need to brainstorm with some friends and peers, I do meet with them once a month, maybe sometimes more. And I do have that kind of support. But nobody that actually does the day-to-day tasks. Like I don’t even do guest posts on ProlificLiving.

Wasim: Ok, so everything is yourself.

Farnoosh: Right. And it was a decision I made, and I really want to emphasize that you need to make your own decision. Decisions that are right for you on your blog because… Just because somebody gives you advice doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Like for me, I wanted to keep the unity of the voice, of the writing voice. And I certainly engaging comments, people leave me paragraphs and paragraphs of comments. You know, it’s not that I own the blog and it’s all mine but I just want to have that writing voice throughout the blogs and the archives. And just, you know… My opinions, my thoughts, you know, that’s where I want the content to come from. But some people do guest posting and it works out brilliantly. So, it’s a decision I made and now that means I have to keep up with all the blog posts. That’s the downside, a lot more work for me. So, I guess my point is, make a decision that’s right for you, that feels really right for you and your business. If you need to outsource, then do it. If it doesn’t feel right, absolutely don’t do it. It has to feel right as well as make sense, I think.

Wasim: Great, thanks. Also, the other thing, myself and I’m sure many of the business owners find that they don’t find enough time in a day. Basically, they’re running a business, at the same time they’re networking, engaging online like you said. There’s a lot to crump in into a day.

Farnoosh: Yes.

Wasim: Now, how do you manage your time and what’s your average day like?

Farnoosh: Right, ok. So, today is not an average day at all because, as I told you earlier, I haven’t slept at all but I had a very productive night. But that’s just an aberration to the norm, you know, just not on the right sleep schedule. But, time management is so important. So, I think, let me try to simplify it, not over one. Let me give some really good tips so it can be useful. I think being organized really, really helps. And by that I mean understanding the projects you’re working on, give them a project name, put them in buckets, put them on a legal path, put them in your computer but have an organization system. Your system can be again just a word document or it can be more advanced. I use a couple of apps on my Mac but that doesn’t matter. Organization is really important so how you organize information. You manage organization of information and you know, you’re really, really ahead of the game because that’s what we’re doing. There’s so much information out there. So I give everything I’m doing a project name. And I give fun project names like a project Scorpion and make it fun.

Wasim: What is easy to remember, too, isn’t it?

Farnoosh: Right, right. I mean if it makes sense to you, right. If it’s a reference for you. But then understand what is at a priority at a given time. Right now I’m working on my course and I struggle with this because there’s distractions all the time. So, give yourself deadlines, give yourself time frames. If you have done any project management in your life, you understand the importance of organization and deadlines, and tasks, and all that. So, try to do a little bit of that but not too much because you don’t want to have too much of a rigid structure. So, that’s one thing, you know. Try to, first of all, understand. What am I working on in January or this week? What am I trying to accomplish? Just ask yourself that. And if you’re just trying to write three posts this week, then make that a priority and really make it a priority. So, stop yourself if you’re just going to different websites to check something or to do something really quickly, you know. Really understand, you know, time is of the essence. So, understanding where that is, then I think… Ok, what was my second point… And it was good, hold on.

Wasim: Prioritize.

Farnoosh: Yes. Well, yes. You have to prioritize. I think… Oh, yes – approaching thing with a strategy. So, the first year of blogging and I think maybe event the first year of your business this is going to happen. I should call it a business because, you know, there’s a lot more than blogging I was doing. I was responsive. So, this is called reactive. There’s a term called reactive, I think maybe is a corporate term. But, basically, things happen and you react to them. Someone emails you, you react to it. Someone asks you to do something, you react to it. The phone rings, you react to it. But, you can only be so efficient doing this. And you’re not running your day – other people are and other things are. So, to change that: after you get the hang of things, after you feel around what’s what and how to be efficient and how to, you know, do certain things in your business, then you start being proactive. So, when the e-mail comes, you decide when that person is going to get response from you. Right? So, that way, you start to have more control. You’re not rushing after the minutes, you know. You have more control, right? So, you can do that in a number of different ways but it’s a mindset, it’s a shift in your mindset, right? Instead of just opening your computer and reacting to what’s happening to you, you’re going to open your computer, you’re going to decide in the morning you’re going to work on your writing, in the afternoon – you’re going to do e-mail and maybe a couple of Skype calls with somebody around your business. So, a lot of these things are subtle shifts in mindset and it’s very, very hard to get. Trust me, I know. But, I really think that’s what it comes down to, you know. Very, very successful people are very organized. They have smart systems in place, so that means they’re not doing the same thing over and over. There’s a system for it. They do some automation and they focus on, they’re putting their energy where there gift is. For example, if you’re creative, you have to go create. If you’re strategic, you know, put together plans or if you’re putting together programs, that’s what you need to do. So, being proactive I think.

Wasim: Also, I would like to say being organized on a computer or in your documents is also actually in your mind, isn’t it? Like planning everything in your mind and getting organized in your mind. Would you say that, too?

Farnoosh: Yes, absolutely. I mean, you know, you do that. You keep everything in your mind, of course, but yes – you have to have a visual way of also looking at it on a computer, on a notebook, maybe visual mind map. If you have done much mind mapping, it’s basically just visually following a flow, a process flow from start to finish, you know, things that need to happen. And you can do that for a project, I do that for project. Right now I’m doing my workflow of working what’s going to be… check out process for the course. Because there are certain apps I need to learn and so… Whatever works for you, but yeah, you can use a number of different tools but staying organized both in your mind and also whatever you use as a tool – computer or notebook.

Wasim: Great. Now, I’m just moving on to the website element of it and the traffic. Now, for many business owners, a website owner – let’s say – the main concern is getting traffic on to the website. And for some of them, it could actually be the bread and butter. What basic tips do you do to get traffic on to your website that you could share with us?

Farnoosh: Okay. Traffic is very, very important and if I forget, my brother yells at me all the time because that’s his number one priority, you know. So, traffic takes a little bit of time but you can put some smart systems in place again using the word systems. So I have come to really, really believe and I had, you know, my doubts at the beginning and went through different phases but I’ve had actually a renewed relationship with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). So, I think that if you can get organic traffic to come to your website, at least to some extent, it’s a lot better, it’s a lot easier to sustain that than if you get your traffic from social media. So, even though you can automate your traffic from social media and I am assuming, you know, people understand social media, you know, they’re familiar with that, right… We’re talking about different platforms (Google+, Facebook, Twitter), but search engine optimization seems to be working a lot better for me and I actually started doing some experiments because I really wanted to prove to myself that’s the case. So, for example, let me give you an example: I start ranking for this green juicing keyword two years ago, a year and a half ago. And I did nothing about it. And I got, you know 20 000 hits on this one blog post and finally I decided to do something about it. So, everyday – you know – this blog post would get hits hardly consistently… And so then I turned that website into a nice professional looking page and I put up a newsletter, so that people signing up. You know, 300 people signed up for a newsletter and this is still growing. And then I decided I need to auto respond, I need to talk to these people. It’s all about a very, very focused topic all because of search engine traffic, right? So, then I started doing videos around it. I started doing auto responders, you know, 20 e-mails I wrote about green juicing.

Wasim: I’ve read that post, yeah.

Farnoosh: I know. This is all organic, Wasim. Then I decided to pick up some affiliate products and I can find anything that I really, really love. So, I created my own product.

Wasim: Okay.

Farnoosh: And I’ve been selling that both to my mailing list and also organically through that website. All of it because I ranked for all the keywords around that particular niche. So, this is because – you know –  I  monitor my traffic, I monitor the keywords that come in, the references and that’s just to tell you… All that example is to give you the power of search engines. For practical purposes, I actually use Scribe. I love Scribe. I really, really think that it makes a difference. It’s done really well – it’s a plugin by Copyblogger. It is not free but I think it’s been a good investment for me. And if your readers are interested, you know, I can give them tips to figure out some stuff where you get a good score every time you calculate it. But we won’t get into that right now. I think you can use different tools as long as you understand that you’re doing things for your search engine to work and getting the right keywords. So, then you’re getting to what are the keywords you’re searching for and that means – understanding your business. I actually have a number of different keywords because my website doesn’t focus on one or two things. So, I can tell you this is what I wanted to rank for and now I’m ranking for. You know, there’re several different things and I’m working on refining that. But I think if you can nail SEO, whatever business you have, I think that’s going to get you the people who need your service or your product. So, that’s my main tip.

Wasim: That’s great. Well, that’s a quite valuable tip. SEO, especially right now, is involving and especially Google integrating social media into SEO. So, it can be quite exciting for business owners to tap into this organic traffic. Now, just staying on the topic of your website and how you generate traffic, also want to touch the design element of it. Now I must say your website is very clean, does look very nice. And what I want to touch is the content. We’ve all heard the saying “Content is king” which is generally what users come to the website for – for the content. Would you say design is also king? Would you say design also plays a major part in a success for a website or an online business?

Farnoosh: First of all, thank you. I really appreciate the kind words. I can tell you that it took a long time to get the website to look like that. I don’t think design plays half as important key role as content.

Wasim: Okay.

Farnoosh: But, I really, really think you want to, at the very least, have a professional looking website. That could mean a number of things. It could mean – you know – simple minimalist. It could mean more involved but it means not having things that distract the reader or annoy the reader, or drive away the reader. Right? So, smart design to me means not having Google ads unless that is your entire purpose for a very, very niche site. But not having Google ads that drive away the traffic, that’s bad design I would say. Smart to me is…  I’m sorry, design to me is beyond having pretty graphics and colours. So, it’s more than that. You have to look at it more holistically, you know. Look at your website, put yourself in the head of your reader – a random reader coming from the web. They tell us what? 20 seconds, 30 seconds, maybe 10 seconds they give you. You know, what is the first thing you want them to do and what is the next thing you want them to do? What is the impression you want to give them? What is the way you want to make them feel? Okay. Do you want to make them feel welcomed? Do you want to make them feel overwhelmed? Do you want to make them feel like they’re in the right place, that you’re the sense of authority? You know, do you want to give them a really business feel or do you want to also give them a personal touch? So, think about those. That’s already a plan for your design. And I really don’t think having a fancy logo or having, you know, these really nice graphics… I don’t think that’s as big a deal as having it clean, overall clean website. Right? Making it sure things are aligned, usually not major misspellings. You know, there’s just a nice visual, right… For the eye to travel… The colours are important. The colours are more important than the actual pretty pictures. So, just by the use of the right colours, understanding what colours mean… I think this is important because certain colours mean certain things in certain cultures even. Right? Like in Las Vegas where they have huge high-end Asian clientele. They don’t use certain colours because it means bad omen in Asian culture. Or they don’t have a certain floor at the elevator because people are superstitious and they’re the Asian clientele. That’s all that matters. So, I mean that’s an extreme but think about what association people make with certain colors. So, I use a very rich red, black and white. These are my main colours. And I remember I picked up that colour because Copyblogger and Chris Brogan had a variation of it. And it was just really attractive. It made me feel like I was in the right place. The dark red gives me a little bit of the passion. You know, I associate that with passion and just being full of energy and passionate about life. And black and white are classic. You know, I really want to be associated with very classical timeless kind of a style. So, you could use, you know, cool colours. You could use warm colours. I mean you really have to understand how people feel about colour a little bit. More so than hiring a fancy designer, I think.

Wasim: Say also… Sorry.

Farnoosh: No, that’s ok.

Wasim: I was going to say all goes down to what impression you want to give, like you said, to your audience. Isn’t it?

Farnoosh: Yes. Yes, exactly – what kind of impression. You always want to leave them with a professional impression, I would think, right? So…

Wasim: Definite.

Farnoosh: Yeah.

Wasim: Now, also just moving on… You interact very well with everyone that engages with you through your comments, through Facebook, Twitter, even Google+. How important is for a business, or a business owner to engage with the audience or to build good connection, or a network?

Farnoosh: Very important. Very important and I think this is where people just don’t think their time scales and it’s really, really hard. But, I think instead of doing a poor job on all platforms, maybe if time is an issue for you, then pick a couple of platforms and do a really, really good job. Or pick one, preferably where you have some idea – that’s where your potential clients hang out – and do a very, very good job right there. So, have a strategy. Don’t just go out there and post randomly, and you know – chat up a storm with everyone. The strategy, right? So, have a strategy to every conversation. I mean, I don’t actually go out and say okay. My strategy is if I say ‘hello’ to Allen here, then he’s going to think I’m nice. No, I mean not that much. But have a plan in your head. What is the impression again you want to leave? What is the brand? What is the essence? What is… What do you want to be known for? Right?

Wasim: Definite.

Farnoosh: So, I’ll give you an example. I want to be known for being resourceful. You know, resourceful and inspirational in the certain type of field that I am, so self-development, personal development and career development. And then I cater to that. So, to me inspiration comes… I do happen to like quotations a lot. So, I don’t think it’s something you can overdue. I mean, I think it’s… It tells a lot about yourself depending on what you put out there, what message you put out there and I think it’s inspiring. I use photos that are inspiring and useful, you know. Give a little bit of information about what I’m talking about and then I ask questions, I make people think. So, I take what impression I want to leave, what I want to deliver and then I try to translate it into actionable steps and then I deliver that on the social media platforms that are important to me. So, mine has been mainly Facebook and Twitter.

Wasim: Okay.

Farnoosh: I do know Google+ , You’ve seen me there, so I am making time for that. It’s a very clean nice site and I’m crazy about Google anyway so it’s just a matter of making more time. And then LinkedIn which is a professional powerhouse – I think you want to have a presence there. You will find people who share your interest – maybe professional people. You know, people are interested in professional associations, not so much just like Facebook where they’re just hanging out and having a good time. So, make sure you have a nice profile on LinkedIn. And again going back to your question, Wasim, it’s important to have a social media presence for just about any business but you have to decide what level of engagement you’re going to have. You know, how that’s going to help you… Is It smart for you to spend 2 hours a day on social media when you have other things to do on your business? Can you outsource that? How are you going to use those 2 hours? So, it’s just – you know – probably part two and three of our interview.

Wasim: I think that’s great. That’ a lot of information, especially… So mainly, try to find the platform that you find where your audience is and give that your best shot, rather than think too many networks… Having a profile on Tweeter, Google+ and keeping them up to date. So, I think the key point that you’ve mentioned there is to focus on where your audience is and then to really try to engage and interact with them on one platform and do it well. Is that?

Farnoosh: Yes.

Wasim: That’s great. So, just before we finish also, Farnoosh, I just want to ask a couple of more questions which is… What’s been the most rewarding part of your online career an what are your plans for 2012?

Farnoosh: So, the most rewarding part is things like this, like today you and I are talking and we would have never known each other otherwise, if it weren’t for the Internet and meeting each other… You know, with a common intersection where we both feel passionate about self-development – for example – and technology, and online business. So, the best part is meeting the people that share my passions and my interests and being able to do something I love every single day, every single minute. So for me, that’s doing this: coaching, blogging, writing and creating digital products. For you, it could be something different but that is so amazingly rewarding. And if you’re in the wrong job, you tend to forget that because you just start to look at your work as a job and that’s really, really sad. So, I just want to remind you we can be extremely rewarding to do something that we enjoy and then to meet people that also enjoy it with you. So, that’s the best part. What are we going to do for 2012? So, my main focus right now is a course that I mentioned briefly and that is the Smart exit blueprint, I call it. And this is if you’re in the wrong job and that does not only mean corporate. It could mean anything. It could a non-profit, it could be working for yourself. It could be anything – working your family business. It’s the wrong job for you and you’re feeling frustrated and you want to do something about it. I basically help you understand where you are, understand what your options are and just really understand your opportunities that are available to you. And then put together a step by step exit plan, right?

Wasim: Okay.

Farnoosh: So this is not to jump into entrepreneurship necessarily. This is to really find the work that’s meaningful for you. So it could be, you know, a corporate employee being in the wrong organization. Or, you know, somebody going from entrepreneurship to working for a small business. I mean, it’s just that transition step where I feel like we just don’t have enough to help people when they’re really in that frustrated state and they’re “Ok, great, fine – I will go do something else”, but now what? What do I do? How do I go about step by step doing that and getting out of this place in a professional graceful way and then find where I’m meant to be and what I’m meant to do. So, I’m working on that and it’s a lot of work to build a course together.

Wasim: When is exactly to launch? When are you looking to launch that?

Farnoosh: I’m looking for mid February right now.

Wasim: Oh, not long to go.

Farnoosh: No, I know. That’s why I cannot afford to sleep at all. So… But yeah, I do have a website reference so you can go to ProlificLiving.com/smartexit and I have a newsletter if you want to get… First of all, I have all these e-mails like… they just talk about, you know, giving you the right frame of reference and mindset for thinking about your work differently and your job differently. But, I do announce the course on that list first because…

Wasim: Definitely.

Farnoosh: Yeah. So…

Wasim: Well, I want to sign up right now on the list.

Farnoosh: Ok, you do that. Wonderful.

Wasim: Definite. Well, I must say, Farnoosh, it’s been a pleasure talking to you and thanks for taking time and coming on the call with me.

Farnoosh: You’re welcome, my pleasure. Thank you so much for asking me. I hope this was useful to your listeners, Wasim.

Wasim: Definitely. It’s been useful to me, I’m sure it’s been useful to the listeners. And you, you know, there’s always valuable information that you share and I’ve personally learned a lot talking to you. So, must say “Thank you” once again.

Farnoosh: My pleasure. Thank you. Bye.

 

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