Sohail is known as the World’s Top Joint Venture Expert, and he built an 8-figure business that was acquired by a $160M IT Group in 2006. In 2008 that IT Group went bust, and he went from multi-millionaire to broke. In 2009 he gave himself a challenge to make $1M in 12 months, and he ended up closing a $1.5M JV Deal in just 30 days!
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Interviewer: Fire nation in the house Johnny Dumas and I am fired up to bring you our featured guest today Sohail Khan. Sohail are you prepared to ignite.
Interviewee: Wholly and totally.
Interviewer: I love it, Sohail is known as the world top joint venture expert and built an eight figure business which was acquired by 160 million IT in 2006. In 2008 that IT group went bust and he went from multimillionaire to broke. In 2000 – he set himself to make a challenge to make $1 million in just 12 months and he ended up closing a $1.5 million JV deal in just 30 days. Fire nation get excited. This is going to be, a dozy and Sohail I’ve given our listeners just a little insight so share more about you personally. And expand upon the biz.
Interviewee: Well, me, myself. I was originally trained as an accountant while working at the county I found myself more relating to people and more relating to technology. And then basically leaving the accountancy position. I did a Masters and eventually set up a very successful online training business where as you would just explained you know I sold a majority state to a – it was very large a nine-figure corporate company and you know they went bust in 2006.
And I went from being a multimillionaire to totally broke. And then I set myself a challenge to make $1 million in 2009 and thankfully I ended up turned doing that within 30 days. So it been an amazing journey so far and I’m very, very blessed to be in the position I am today.
Interviewer: It is all about the journey Sohail and that’s what entrepreneur on fire focus on my friends. We talk about the journey. I mean my listeners first and foremost are amazing, you’re amazing Fire nation. Thank you. But they’re entrepreneurs, they’re entrepreneurs, their small business owners, they’re side entrepreneurs, they are successful entrepreneurs all around the world and they are at some point in their journey.
Different points for share but they are some point in their journey and I want them to know that even Sohail Khan, the man who was acquired by $160 million IT group you know that had built an eight figure business that in 30 days closed a $1.5 million JV deal, you’re just human my friend. And you have made massive mistakes in your life. You’ve made stumbling blocks, you have encountered failures, obstacles and challenges and I want you to tell one of those right now.
The worst entrepreneurial moment in your life. Tell that story my friend take it away.
Interviewee: I think I would say the worst moment for me was given up control of my eight figure business. That for me – you know as an entrepreneur, I’m always in check. On one of the things I never did at that moment in time was trust my gut. Trust my instinct. I went by what the numbers said, I went by what my co-fellow directors said. My shareholders and that for me was probably the worst moment in time.
And from then you know I’ve learnt a big lesson you know to always trust your instinct, always trust your gut because that is what makes you survive at the end, okay. That is what takes you from where you are now to where you want to be. And do for me I’d say that was the worst moment in time giving up control of my company to a nine-figure group who acquired it. And then eventually you know they went bust. Two years later –
Interviewer: Sohail I want to go back there really quickly. Let me cut in here because what was it like to be running an eight figure company? Like what was that like? Give us a little snapshot.
Interviewee: It was amazing as always as the – as the CEO of the company. I was always the first person in and on the last person out. But it gives us the opportunity to do loads of business, loads of partnerships around the world and the ability to hire the best of the best. We had the best people working for us. Most of my team were headhunted from all over the world. We had a center in the UK, we had a center in the US and it was absolutely phenomenal.
And also being the leaders in the field, especially when it comes to technology and on line training. You know we were doing video based training 10, 15 years ago. Its phenomena and now video is the biggest thing.
Interviewer: Of course. Well let me ask you this question, then like why did you sell? Like what was the tipping point? What was the straw that broke the camel back that had you had the reins over of this business that you built?
Interviewee: I think the main thing was this business was – this group already started off as the joint venture partner of ours, I was leading the field in what they were doing and they had over 500,000 customers and for us to integrate within the business like that took our business to the next level. We ended up doubling our turn over. I stepped down as CEO, I again doubled the business because now I was working on the business rather than in the business but you know the issue was this big group was acquiring companies left right and center.
Because their balance sheet was so strong and they had so much money to spend.
Interviewer: Got it.
Interviewee: So you know it’s one of those things and that’s one of the reasons why a lot of companies went bust back in the dotcom days because of the amount of the money they had to buy companies. And they made some bad decisions. They bought a couple of companies that were duds and didn’t work for them, and that was their down fall.
And you know we didn’t have control in that because we weren’t sitting – even though I sat on the board. I didn’t sit in on the board in terms of making decisions where the group was, so that for me was a major issue.
Interviewer: And you would have been just one voice till and you know at that point, everybody is just seeing dollar bills, and they’re just seeing Benjamin’s raining from the sky and they’re just like bigger is better. Well, the reality is fire nation we’ve seen this so many times bigger is not always better. In fact, often times, especially in the very quick pace, fast moving, changing, and pivoting entrepreneurial world. Bigger is your enemy. It’s actually bad because it doesn’t allow you to adjust to the changing market conditions nearly quickly enough.
You’re like a behemoth lumbering along where you have all of these little upstarts that are scooping up right under your nose. You know there is a lot of examples of that in the past. That’s why I love staying small, staying agile and that’s why I love you fire nation that are listening right now that are thinking of a company that you are going to create. That are thinking of an idea of a business.
Whatever one thing that you decide to commit every ounce of your energy to, you will do better at than this massive conglomerate company that is just one of their million things that they’re doing. That focus gets lost and Sohail there is a quote that I’m really a big fan of, and I’d love for you to kind of talk about it for a second, “One inch wide, and one mile deep.” You know it’s the entrepreneurs that I really see go one mile deep with one great idea that really achieve disproportionate success. What are your thoughts on that?
Interviewee: I totally agree with you. Look at the position that I am in okay when I lost everything. You know I’m thankful to one of my mentors who told me to focus on one thing and master that until you became the master at it. And now I’m probably I am one of the top two joint venture experts in the world. And that is it. It’s just one thing you will never see me do anything callous apart from what I do and that is joint ventures and strategic alliances and strategic partnerships. That is all I ever do and that is all I’m known for. So hey you know I totally agree with you there.
Interviewer: And guess what Sohail, you were not amazing at joint ventures when you first started, and this is what I want fire nation to realize they can say I’m not good at this, I’m not good at that, I’m not good at anything right now. Every master was a disaster at one point every master was a disaster. Colby Jones, Brett his first free throw you know Tiger Woods weft on the first time he took a swing the golf ball.
Every master was a disaster and that goes for you Sohail that goes for me as a podcaster that goes for every entrepreneur. It just happens. So just start and focus on that one thing. So let’s kinda move down let’s shift because you have already told one great story. I’m moved by it. I think we made a great point for fire nation. What is that one epiphany moment? That aha moment?
That light bulb that went on at some point in your journey. You have had a lot of them Sohail but take us to one that you know makes for a good story. Tell us that story steps that you took to turn that idea into success.
Interviewee: This is quite amazing because this is the story that I do tell when I’m on stage and the story of what happened to me after I lost everything. You know I went on a spiritual journey to figure out what I do next in my life. Okay, I was like you know I’ve been there and done it. I’ve lived the multimillion dollar lifestyle; I’ve lived that okay, what’s next for me?
Am I one of these entrepreneurs who makes millions and lose millions then comes back making millions? Or am I destined to do something else? So on my spiritual journey. I wanted to figure out what to do in my life. And you know I had an aha moment the aha moment for me was one of two things. One is, once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur and number two was, what I have done in the past that has been successful that I can replicate very easily.
And you know what it was staring me right in my face joint ventures. And that my friend is how I came back on my feet very, very quickly.
Interviewer: So now tell us that story. I want you to take us to that first glimmer of light that you saw Sohail, what was that first corner that you turned that you said you know what I think I might have something here, I think I’m on the right path?
Interviewee: Well, you know, here’s the thing. I trained loads of joint venture brokers around the world and this is something that I do passionately and I work with loads of companies and individuals. And one thing that you develop when you start to learn more about joint ventures is strategic alliances is the joint venture mind set and for me now a days where ever I look I see opportunities all the time.
And I can connect the dots very, very easily. So for me it was the first opportunity that I had was basically I found a book that had sold 400,000 copies and I approached the publishers and said you know, do you have a video version of the book? They said, “No.” I said, well I have a video version would you be interested in selling that to the existing customers. Actually, I didn’t have the product I just pitched it.
Interviewee: And now here’s a secret of joint ventures, it’s all about the distribution okay if you can – if you can get control of the distribution. You can feed any product into that distribution. So here I was, I had an agreement with the company that had 400,000 customers to supply them with a video version of this book. So I went out and I actually ended up creating the video version of the book. And I’ll talk more about that later because I know that you have a question for me there.
And I ended up creating a video version of the book. I repurposed their content, relicensed it back to the company. We did just over 200, 1000 units, my cut was $7.50 per unit bang I made $1.5 million.
Interviewer: Wow! Now this is something that I really want to hang onto right here. Your quote Sohail, I didn’t have the product; I just pitched it. And what’s so powerful about that fire nation is that ensures one of the most important things that we as entrepreneurs can insure that we have a starving audience before we actually spend our most valuable resource, time creating.
Interviewer: Creating that product that service us, whatever that might be. Because if that person had said hey, okay you have this video product. We don’t want it. You know we’re in talks with somebody else. Well, if you had already created it that’s all waste of time or if they did say no, we’re not interested. Then you would have just wasted time creating that video product. But if you come to somebody and say hey, I’m willing to create a video product for X, Y and Z and they say okay, maybe, but this guy says he’s gonna create it.
How long is it going to take? We could probably just do it ourselves. But when you come to somebody with a finished idea, just basically saying hey, like I have this ready. Like let’s make this happen knowing that you can put your head down and get this cranked out because you do have that expertise. The game changes, things switch around.
So Sohail let me kinda take it back to you because you know, I know that we have a little more talk about this with the joint venture stuff and I just kind of want you to sum up this story, this lightbulb that went off in your journey with our listeners so we can really walk away with at least one key point here.
Interviewee: The biggest thing is you have to always get keep your eyes open okay to opportunities that’s surround us. And it’s all about leverage okay everything I do nowadays is all about leverage because you know like we have spoken about. You can either be part of a bigger conglomerate or bigger organization or be nimble and work really quickly and fast as an entrepreneur. But it’s about leverage so everything I do and everything I get involved in is all about leverage.
It’s looking at what opportunities there are. Or even what hidden assets they are in front of me that nobody else sees that I can go in and I can leverage that very, very easily. And that is what I do very successfully and that is what people can do is just a matter of honing your skills. Understanding how joint ventures work, how strategic alliances work and let me tell you most joint ventures and strategic alliances you don’t even need a sort of funds or money upfront to be able to achieve what I have achieved. I mean you can even do with on a minimal low-cost scale.
Interviewer: So people are listening right now and they are just clueless, their head is empty with ideas as far as what they could possibly do. Can you give us one or two ideas about where we can start you know to listen where we can start to keep your eyes open? Are there forums? Are there review sites? Give us something.
Interviewee: Okay. Very easy. There’s only two main questions you need to ask people when you’re going to do a networking. The first question is, okay Bob tell me how did you get started as a blank? Second question, which is a follow-up is okay Bob tell me how can I help you to sell more of your product or service? And just be totally quiet and to listen – and then you listen to what the other person needs.
And that is how you will be able to put together a joint venture or strategic alliance, helping that person and building your network at the same time.
Interviewer: Love it, but fire nation it starts with you taking action. Investing in yourself getting to these conferences, joining masterminds, getting out there, being active in this world creating it for yourself. And Sohail we’re moving into my 60 second questions. So let’s expound on number one, ideally, what are the first 60 minutes of your day look like?
Interviewee: Well, ideally what I do know nowadays is I spend a bit of time meditating and also the first 15 minutes of my day. I spent a bit of time reading, reading, something that’s nonbusiness related just to kick start my brain and also be very grateful for the position I’m in. I’m currently trying to pick a book that is either a fantasy related book or expands my mind and that is how I spend the first 60 minutes of my day.
Interviewer: What is your biggest strength as an entrepreneur?
Interviewee: I think the ability to connect with people. The ability to really, really hone in on an individual and be able to build a relationship with an individual. And basically make that connection with anyone regardless of whether they are individuals, millionaires, billionaires, or A class actors or whatever or celebs that I got to say is my biggest strength as an entrepreneur.
Interviewer: Relationships fire nations are the epitome of my success. And there are first so many other entrepreneurs as well Sohail, is a great example. So never shy away from building those relationships. What’s your biggest weakness?
Interviewee: You know what I’ve got to say it’s them keeping. I – yeah exactly. That’s one of the things that I haven’t been able to really master and I would love to master it in terms of my timekeeping is not great. I guess it’s because of all the ideas that come into my head and all of the crazy things I get up to in my life I guess.
Interviewer: Hey, we all have it. I mean I can tell you I’m addicted to email. It’s like; it’s bad like it’s something I need to break myself off of in 2015.
Interviewer: What is one habit Sohail that you wish you had?
Interviewee: I think one of the biggest habits that I wish I had was ability to get up very early in the morning like some people do.
Interviewee: I read about these articles all the time about the super successful how they get up really early –
Interviewer: Oh, you’re talking to one of them right now Sohail?
Interviewee: There you go. That’s a habit that I’m still trying to get into. I’m trying to get my – the point is I travel so much and I speak around the world, I train around the world. My sleep cycle are just totally messed up.
Interviewer: Sohail you can’t see me right now but I’m playing the world’s smallest violin because I feel so bad for you my friend. Listen, read the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. It will help you with little mindset shift and your mornings will begin to become miracles.
Interviewer: Sohail what’s the one thing that has you fired up right now?
Interviewee: Actually, there is two things that have me fired up right now. One is you know the introduction of our first baby my son.
Interviewee: Yeah, being born anytime now, it’s – it’s actually amazing. It changes your whole life. And we’re very fortunate to be entrepreneurs me and my wife. We both run a similar business, and it gives us the lifestyle to be able to do what we want. So I think I’m really fired up about this year 2015 is going to be absolutely awesome. You know, we have got a third member of the team is just going to be –
Interviewer: I don’t know how much that third member is going to contribute to the bottom line, but –
Interviewee: That’s true.
Interviewer: But when it comes to the joy and happiness factor.
Interviewee: Well, when you say bottom line, bottom line will probably going to be more money in nappies, when we say bottom.
Interviewer: Love it so Sohail I’m not going to let you go yet. My friend because we’re going to enter the lightning round. But before we do, let’s take a minute to thank our sponsors. Sohail will come to the lightning round where you get to share incredible resources and mind blowing answers. Sound like a plan?
Interviewee: Sounds awesome.
Interviewer: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Interviewee: You know it’s – its mindset right and this is one of the big things I’ve learned from working with clients and working with mentors. The biggest thing for me was mindset. Asking myself the question can I do that? Can I do what they do? I’m nowhere. I don’t have that ability. I don’t have the connections, I don’t have the money so I think – but one of the biggest things was mindset. And that is – that is what I have now, which is my greatest asset is the mindset that I’ve built.
Interviewer: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Interviewee: Okay. The best advice I have ever received is the one that I always go by in my life. And that is what would you do if you knew you could never fail? And I take that now and I do some crazy wacky stuff and most of it touch would work so I’ve use that advice.
Interviewer: Give one good example of a crazy activity you’ve done?
Interviewee: Oh, man. I get question event – once it was a very, very, a Fortune 500 conference all the speakers had Damon John from the shark tank you know you got couple of big major players Richard Branson and I basically at the – I walked into the conference and I started doing an activity which was a 15 minute activity. The security guards came in but the organizers saw what I was doing and he let me carry on and it worked out so well that gave me – at the end of it they gave me a speaking slot.
Interviewer: What? Share one of your personal habits that you believe contributes to your success?
Interviewee: You know one of my personal habits is keeping in touch with people. Writing letters of thanks.
Interviewer: Like hand written letters?
Interviewee: Yeah, hand written letters.
Interviewer: All right then I’m going to Skype you my address to see if you hold up on that.
Interviewee: Awesome yeah, really, really works and you know, also my book. I’ve got a number one international bestseller book and I send a copy of that out to all my closest and dearest friends, including yourself, of course.
Interviewer: Of course.
Interviewee: And that’s what I do and it really works because I tell you why. Whenever – where ever I am in the world. You always guaranteed someone will reach out to me and say hey, man, come and spend some time with us. Come and have dinner with my family. You know, let’s go for a cup of tea and it’s just the relationship. It’s absolutely phenomenon. And I’m very blessed and I’m very happy with that.
Interviewer: Do you have an Internet resource like ever note that you can share with our listeners?
Interviewee: I would say that the best one that I use is a website that’s called compete.com. If you really want to drill down in terms of competitive websites and find out what other people are doing and do a lot of drill down in terms of demographics. Especially when you’re going to find strategic alliances and joint venture partner’s compete.com is probably the best resource that I can recommend and something that I use personally with all my clients and all my students.
Interviewer: If you could recommend one book for our listeners. What would it be and why?
Interviewee: This is crazy because there are so many books. I recommend the book that got me started and I recommend the book that actually is written by one of my mentors and one of my friends a guy called J. Abraham and the book is “How to Get Everything You Can out of All You’ve Got.” Read it, observe – absorb it. And that is a book that basically got me started to where I am today. So I’m sure it will do the same for you.
Interviewer: Well, fire nation. I know that you love audio, so I teamed up with audible and if you haven’t already, you can get an amazing audiobook like this one for free at EO fire book.com. Sohail this next question is the last for the lightning round but it’s a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand-new world. Identical to earth, but you knew no one you still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have, your food and shelter is taken care of what all you have is a laptop and $500.00. What would you do in the next seven days?
Interviewee: It’s amazing you ask that question because that’s exactly what I did to get back on my feet.
Interviewee: I had $500.00; I went from a multimillionaire to being broke. I had nothing; I was living in my old bedroom in my mom’s house. You know I had nothing and what I did was I spotted the opportunity you know I scoured the national newspapers. I found a product had sold 400,000 copies contacted the company and said do you have a video version of this book? They said no, I said would you like a video of the book that you can upsell to your existing customers?
I then went on to Elon’s.com. I paid $500.00 for a DVD course and how to use your PC which is what the book was called. I repurposed the content, I relicense it back to the company and low and behold we closed the deal and we did just over 200, 1000 copies of the DVD. My client was $7.50 bang I made $1.7 million. So absolutely amazing. That’s me.
Interviewer: Bang $1.5 million fire nation it’s possible and Sohail, let’s end today and fire brother with you sharing one parting piece of guidance the best way that we can connect with you then we’ll say goodbye.
Interviewee: I would say persistence is the key. Okay, in anything you do in life. Consistency is the key and another thing that one of my mottos is to – is always give first, ask later. Go ahead and give as much as you can. We are getting into an era right now where people are taking – we need to start giving, okay so give as much as you can and keep your eyes open for that opportunity because that opportunity will arise.
Okay. And when he comes, please grab it with both hands okay and there are opportunities out there if you put yourself in the right places. If you want to learn more about me and what I do I have a website its www.million-dollarpartnerin.com. You can learn more about me, my programs, pick up a copy of my book and if you’re more interested about what I do as a consultant. This also www.ultimatebusinessconsultant.com.
And also look me up on Facebook. Facebook.com/the JV guy. Also go into LinkedIn and you know if you can’t find me, just Google me Sohail Khan, put the term JV after my name and bang I’m everywhere.
Interviewer: Boom and fire nation you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You’ve been hanging out with Sohail and GLD today so keep up the heat and head over to EO fire.com type Sohail in the search bar or Khan that might be easier K – H – A – N. He’s show notes page will pop right up with all these links, all these resources, his contact information and Sohail thank you my friend for sharing your journey.
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