Table of Contents
2015 was absolutely amazing and gives me a lot of reasons to celebrate in a big way.
It's also over 1 year since I quit my job and moved abroad, and looking back, I couldn't have asked for a better and more fulfilling year, both when it comes to business, lifestyle and personal growth.
I had my challenges too of course, just like everyone else, and I'm looking to get better and improve in 2016, because I really want to top everything that happened in 2015.
Before I look back on the rest of 2015, it helps to look back even further, going back till 2013 when I started this blog with an interview with Pat Flynn. Because I'm far from an overnight success, and I worked (and still do) incredibly hard to get to where I am today... in case you just found out about me and wonder how I achieved this level of success online.
- In 2013, my younger brother suddenly passed away, I started documenting my journey to freedom, building my online presence at navidm.com, and I managed to turn my worst year ever into massive personal growth. I also wrote a very popular and emotional Facebook post about it.
- In 2014, I created my first successful virtual summit, The Branding Summit, finally quit my draining part-time job, moved abroad and achieved the lifestyle I've always dreamed of.
In 2015 I started experimenting with writing epic business and lifestyle reviews every quarter. The posts were very well received, and something I will continue doing moving forward. Here's the 3 quarterly reviews from 2015 (quarter 3 & 4 is combined in one):
- My Epic Business & Lifestyle Review - Quarter 1 2015
- My Epic Business & Lifestyle Review - Quarter 2 2015
- My Epic Business & Lifestyle Review - Quarter 3 & 4 2015
A lot happened in 2015... and I really mean A LOT, as you can read all about in my quarterly reviews above.
Now that 2016 just kicked off, I wanted to take some time to write a proper annual review post for 2015 and I will focus on a few simple questions:
- What went well this year?
- What did not go well this year?
- What are my big plans for 2016?
So now, let's look at 2015, the best and most fulfilling year of my entire life, although I'm looking to make 2016 much better... always room for improvement and growth in all areas of my life ;)
And just a quick note before we get into it... this is NOT your average annual review post you see around the web. This is an EPIC annual review of 10,844 words covering pretty much everything I in 2015, mixed with text, a lot of photos and some videos... and it's probably one of the most important posts I've written all year (other than my epic quarterly business and lifestyle reviews of course).
What Went Well This Year?
Launch Virtual Summit Mastery
As with many things in business and life, it took me way longer than I initially had planned, but I'm glad I finally decided to just launch VSM with a big baam in September.
I worked like crazy leading up to the launch to get everything ready on time, and I learned a lot from this as well... I will share everything that went down during the launch in an epic post soon.
So what were the results from the first VSM launch
Before I go into the results, I just want to point out that Virtual Summit Mastery is a premium online implementation program, with two tiers right now. The price for VSM Pro is $997 and VSM Elite is $1997, and the price might even increase for the next launch in spring 2016 to reflect the value of everything in the program.
I got over $60,000 in sales from a small, but very targeted launch list of around 1,500 people, which I'm very pleased with. It was a 100% organic launch, and I didn't do any ads, or have many affiliates on board that brought in a ton of sales (most of the sales came from my own audience). I could have probably generated around 6-figures if I did FB-ads/retargeting, and I'm excited to get into this more next year and for future launches.
This launch was actually my first product launch ever (other than virtual summits), and it's also a great example of that you don't need a big launch list to generate a lot of sales, as long as it's very targeted leads, and you have a great relationship with them. I had been building up buzz VSM for almost a year, first with the pilot program, and then mentioning it here and there in blog posts and in my emails, so my audience already knew it was coming.
I'll promise to go into a lot more details in a big recap post of my first VSM launch in the next few months. If you have any questions, or something specific you'd like me to cover, please post in the comments section below.
I also did a JV webinar for Chandler Bolt's audience in December that went very well... $20,000+ in sales (a few people who purchased were already on my list before).
VSM generated over 6-figures in 2015 from the main launch in September, the promotion I did for Chandler's audience and the sales for the pilot version before the program was officially launched to the public.
I can't wait to get VSM out there even more this year, and help many people create epic virtual summits so they can skyrocket their business and brand online in a big way.
Helping clients & students launch their successful virtual summits
Several clients and students launched successful virtual summits in 2015, which I'm very proud of. That's also a big reason why the VSM launch went so well.
Here's a few Virtual Summit Mastery Case Studies:
- How Chandler Bolt Earned $370,000 (and 30,000 Subscribers) With a Virtual Summit
- How Aj Amyx Earned $16,000 (and 2,400+ Subscribers) With a Virtual Summit
- How Creating a Successful Virtual Summit Helped Jan Koch Grow His Email List by 600% & Become The Go-to Expert In His Field
- How a Virtual Summit Helped Charlyn Keating To 15x Her Email List, Become an Influencer In Her Field & #1 Amazon Bestselling Author
The students in the program are already getting some pretty impressive results (and more to come this year as many VSM students launch their own successful virtual summits)...
I earned over 6-figures from affiliate promotions alone
I couldn't have dreamed of earning over 6-figures from affiliate promotions alone when the year started.
Let me break it down for you how I did it with a relatively small email list.
First of all, I'm very selective with who I partner with and promote to my audience. It has to be a perfect fit, and most of the time I've gone through the program myself, and seen results in my business and/or life from taking action on the material. There's not a coincident that I became the #1 affiliate for not only one, but three four different launches this year... and I had a much smaller email list than the other people who promoted the same launch.
Here's who I promoted in 2015, including the results:
Ramit Sethi's Zero to Launch
I’ve been a proud affiliate for Ramit Sethi’s products since July 2014, and I’ve had quite some success even when my audience was smaller, generating a few $1,000.
Worth mentioning here is that I also purchased his premium online business training, Zero to Launch ($2,000 investment), and I’ve had quite some success with using Ramit’s proven system, especially for validating my Branding Summit, and pre-selling and later also launching my Virtual Summit Mastery program.
For the January launch, my list was around 3,500 people (I grew my list with close to 3,000 people from my summit, and some obviously unsubscribed as well after) and I was excited to see what would happen since I knew that my audience love Ramit’s stuff already.
All I can say is that I crushed it, and this launch exceeded my wildest dreams.
I got 34 sales (and a few additional ones later on as well, not part of the initial promo) for Zero to Launch and a 7.67% conversion rate out of my 443 optins. Each sale generate $800-1400 for me, so you can do the math yourself!
That’s just crazy to me… but it gets even better.
A week or so after the cart closed for ZTL, I receive an email from Ramit himself, and not his affiliate manager, Colleen (who I’m usually in contact with). He said that I won the grand affiliate prize of $7,500… I was blown away but very grateful of course considering that John Lee Dumas, Chris Ducker, Laura Roeder, John Corcoran and Ramit’s own brother Maneesh Sethi promoted his launch, and they have much bigger audiences than I do.
First email communication ever with my virtual mentor Ramit Sethi, quite cool to become his #1 affiliate too!
Even though, I was drawn at random to win the cash prize, I kind of deserved it too, since I actually made the most sales out of all affiliates too.
I hope to do well for Ramit’s next launch as well. But I have a lot to live up to if I want to top this January launch. We’ll see how it goes…
I promoted another round of Ramit Sethi’s Zero to Launch in April, and as expected I didn’t do as well as in January when I got 34 sales and won the grand cash prize as his #1 affiliate.
I got around 9 sales for the promo in April, and I’m quite happy with the results considering the last one wasn’t too long ago.
I promoted ZTL a few more times, and got quite a few sales. Moving forward I will promote ZTL around 2 times per year to get better results and not burn my list by sharing the same product and content too often.
Worth mentioning is that I get $800-$1400 in commission per sale, which adds up even if I only get a few of them. I also get commissions from other IWT products on an ongoing basis.
I also tend to get a sale here and there every once in a while without doing anything. They sign up via my link through a blog post, find a video interview on YouTube etc, and then within 60 days buy Zero to Launch, and I get commissions. Love when that happens… thank you Ramit!
Selena Soo's INFLUENCE
My audience were very familiar with Selena Soo from The Branding Summit, which played a big role in how well the promotion of her online course, INFLUENCE went.
Selena is someone I’ve learned so much from when it comes to building authentic, powerful relationships with people and becoming friends with influencers in my field.
I’m happy to say that I crushed it with the promotion for her program too. YES, I became the #1 affiliate when it comes to sales, and I believe I was #2 when it comes to actual leads. Not too bad to do that well for two promotions in a row!
In order to get the most out of the promotion I did something by creating a bonus page for Selena’s INFLUENCE.
This promotion alone will brought in around $8,500 and some people purchased Selena's high end program Get Known, Get Clients as well which I got commission for.
Natalie Sisson's Freedom Plan
My goal was to get 5 sales for promoting Natalie Sisson’s Freedom Plan program.
Not only did I get 8 sales, but I also became her #1 affiliate for getting the most sales for the launch and earned a few $1,000 in commissions. Hope to do even better on the if we partner up and do something together in 2016... I’m a proud member of Natalie’s Freedom Plan program myself!
Selena Soo's Get Known, Get Clients
After becoming Selena Soo’s #1 affiliate for the launch of her online course, INFLUENCE, I was very excited for promoting her high-end program, Get Known, Get Clients to my audience (GKGC).
Even though I started the promotion kind of late (mostly due to not having internet in my apartment in Cancun!), I still managed to get quite a lot of leads from sending just one initial email.
Selena offered a detailed free report of how she went from $0-157k in her first year of business, and my audience loved it… and the opt-in rates were very high. I believe I sent her a few 100 leads from this first email alone to my list.
Then I ramped up the promotion a little bit, and also offered a few bonuses for signing up via my affiliate link as I usually do for affiliate promos of this kind.
My initial goal was to be the first person that got to 10 sales because then I would also win Selena’s grand cash prize of $5,000 … and I won, super proud of this (and for being able to support Selena with her launch of course).
I got 13 sales in the end on a $3,000-$3600 high-end program which is incredible.
Chandler Bolt's Self-Publishing Success Summit & Self-Publishing School
Since I was the summit strategist and partner behind The Self-Publishing Success Summit, and it was a pretty good fit for my audience, I promoted it to my email list quite a bit.
I also promoted Chandler's high end program Self-Publishing School in August, and some people who signed up for the summit, purchased the course as well (which I'm a member of myself).
I earned over $2,000 in affiliate commissions from this promo... in addition to a solid 5-figure payout from being the summit strategist and partner.
Bushra Azhar's The Email Persuasion Sequence
Bushra Azhar is a Zero to Launch graduate, one of Ramit's most successful students. When she reached out, and asked me to be an affiliate for her new course, The Email Persuasion Sequence, I thought about it for a little bit, but decided to say yes despite a busy schedule because I wanted to support her launch, and I already knew about the high quality of Bushra's work.
I got a few sales, and the promotion generated around $1,000... not too bad since it was the first time some people in my audience heard about Bushra, and
Bryan Harris' Get 10,000 Subscribers
I promoted Bryan Harris’ Get 10,000 Subscribers, and my audience loved it, probably because list building and virtual summits are very related topics. Even though I didn’t get the final numbers from the launch just yet, it should bring in around $15,000-$20,000 over a year.
Todd Herman's The 90 Day Year
I promoted Todd Herman’s incredible 90 Day Year Program, which will bring in $15,000+ over a year. Here’s a great video interview I did with Todd before the launch to create awareness for The 90 Day Year.
Worth mentioning is that not every promotion I did this year was successful. For example, I only got one sale from promoting Danny Iny's Course Builders Laboratory (but they refunded unfortunately), and I got zero sales from promoting Marisa Murgatroyd's service Take Flight Now.
Getting featured on bigger publications, websites and podcasts
I was featured on many bigger publications, websites and podcasts during 2015, without doing too much extra work, other than having a very inspiring story and valuable content to share.
For example, I wouldn't have been featured on Business Insider twice in 2015, and getting over 300,000 views combined in the USA (and much more worldwide since the articles got re-posted in Serbia, Croatia, Israel, Greece etc.), if it wasn't for my initial "success" with The Branding Summit that allowed me to finally quit my job, move abroad, and achieve the lifestyle I've always dreamed of.
And now I also have my own Wikipedia page, which is pretty cool and adds a lot of credibility to what I do.
Bigger Publications & Websites
- How one man dropped out of law school and built a business that earns him as much as $40,000 a month (Business Insider)
- Re-post from Business Insider on Yahoo Finance
- 11 tips to start earning money doing what you love, from people who have done it (Business Insider)
- The Fastest Way to Build a Following Online (by Alex Pirouz on The Huffington Post)
- How to Earn Six Figures From a Virtual Summit (by Dorie Clark on Entrepreneur)
- Where to Steal Ideas for Your Next Blog Post (Neil Patel's Personal Site)
- 11 Ways to Get Authority Links for Your New Blog (Neil Patel's Personal Site)
- Click Here: 16 Hacks That'll Get Your Call-to-Action Buttons Clicked (Neil Patel's Personal Site)
- How to Launch a Six-Figure Brand with an Online Summit (Internet Business Mastery with Jeremy Frandsen & Jason Van Orden)
- How To Make To $40,000 A Month Hosting Your Own Virtual Summit (Entrepreneurs-Journey with Yaro Starak)
- How To Use a Virtual Summit to Build a 6-Figure Business (The Suitcase Entrepreneur with Natalie Sisson)
- How to Create Massive Influence and Profit with Virtual Summits - Even If You Have No Audience (Side Hustle Nation with Nick Loper)
- Master Virtual Summits (The Art Of Adventure with Derek Loudermilk)
- Navid Moazzez Gives His Blueprint For Building Summits That Generate Up To $300k In Revenue (Growth Everywhere Podcast with Eric Siu)
- How to Run a Killer Virtual Summit (Content Warfare with Ryan Hanley)
- Navid Moazzez on Virtual Summit Mastery (Content Warfare with Ryan Hanley)
- Creating An Entire Business With Virtual Summits (The Authority Insider Podcast with Matt Wolfe)
- Navid Moazzez On Generating Thousands Of Leads Using Virtual Summits
- How to Turn Adversity Into Success In Life (The Grass Gets Greener with Melissa Wilson)
I was also fortunate enough to be interviewed by my friend John Lee Dumas for EoFire in December 2015. I can't wait to share the episode with you March 14 this year!
Virtual Summit Interviews
- The Movement Marketing Summit (by Aj Amyx and Andy Zitzmann)
- The WP Summit (by Jan Koch)
- Miracle Business Breakthrough
- Business Building Rockstar Summit (by Nicole Holland)
- Traffic Generation All-stars (by Anthony Tran)
- The Sales Funnel Summit (by Lauri-Ann Ainsworth)
Other Websites/Blogs/Books/Courses etc. (that I'm aware of)
- Overcome entrepreneur mindset barriers: 16 Successful business owners share how they did it (by Sonia Thompson)
- The Side Hustle Path Volume 4: 10 Proven Ways to Make Money Outside of Your Day Job
- Blogging Boost FB Group Q&A (by Elizabeth Bradley)
- Exclusive interview for Zero to Launch Accelerator – Primoz Bozic interviewed me about my process for creating and promoting epic guides (and expert roundup posts)… and it turned out pretty epic. The interview is currently only available for ZTLA students and students in my Virtual Summit Mastery program.
Building authentic, powerful relationships with other top performers in my industry
I have done this extremely well from the very beginning, but I took things to the next level in 2014.
Here are some of the extraordinary people that impacted and helped me the most in 2015:
I met many amazing people this year in person, had conversations with even more on Skype video chat, email, Facebook, Twitter etc., so if you’re not mentioned here, you still mean a lot to me and impacted my journey in some way, THANK YOU!
Gion-Per Marxer (Beecoding)
Gion-Per (or GP as I like to call him) has been my designer since late 2013, and I love working with him. He simply gets me, and I guess I get him as well.
GP is the man behind this website, thebrandingsummit.com, virtualsummitmastery.com and everything else when it comes to design for my business and brand. He also created all the summit pages for The Self-Publishing Success Summit and much more.
He is not only my designer, but also a very good friend, and he always pushes me when I need it the most, especially at times when I was close to giving up before my business finally took off.
I’m exciting to take our partnership to the next level in 2016 and possibly release a WordPress solution that will simplify for many online entrepreneurs to create their virtual summits even if they're not design or tech savvy. Stay tuned for more info!
If you’re interested in taking your business and brand to the next level, and want to invest in premium website design that converts, you can't go wrong with GP of Beecoding... but I can't promise you that he takes on new projects since he's very busy.
Roger Graves Jr.
I'm extremely grateful that the automation expert, Roger Graves Jr. helped me set up the Infusionsoft campaign for my first VSM launch. I couldn’t have done it without him, and his one of the main reasons this launch went so well. I highly recommend Roger for all your automation and Infusionsoft needs, he really knows his stuff, and is also helping quite a few of my VSM students with their virtual summit campaigns.
I had been a follower of Ramit Sethi and his awesome blog I Will Teach You To Be Rich for a year or two when I finally got an opportunity to add massive value to him and his team by interviewing some of his most successful Zero To Launch students for his upcoming first launch of the program, like Primoz Bozic, Naveen Dittakavi and Maria Brilaki.
That was in spring 2014, and I completed over delivered as you can see from the epic blog posts and podcast interviews I did with his students.
After that I felt so inspired by their success, so I actually bought Zero to Launch which was a very big investment for me at the time. Looking back, the $2,000+ I invested in ZTL is by far the best online business course I've ever purchased. It's like an encyclopedia with everything I would ever need about launching a successful online business from A to Z, so from time to time I refer back to the program, especially when I'm trying to validate new product ideas, and for product launches.
Then I got an opportunity to add even more value to Ramit by becoming one of his selected affiliates. I just said YES to the opportunity because I knew it would be a good fit for my at the time very small audience... I did actually get quite a few sales for Zero to Launch already in 2014, which was pretty cool.
Fast forward to last year, 2015... after I became the #1 affiliate for Ramit Sethi and winning his grand cash prize in January, he invited me to have lunch with him in LA. Of course, I was super excited to finally meet someone I admired for so long.
Here’s the invitation email he initially sent me:
Since I was going to Hong Kong at midnight the same day, I packed my bags in the morning, and then Ramit’s affiliate manager, Colleen, picked me up in front of my house in Pacific Beach, SD to drive me to LA.
We arrived to the hip restaurant Hinoki & the Bird, downtown LA around noon. It was a really cool place with outstanding food.
Before Ramit arrived, I didn’t really know what to expect. He arrived right on time, and even though he’s super successful, it felt just like hanging out with a friend over lunch.
I learned a ton from just hanging out with Ramit for 2 hours or so over lunch, and he actually gave me some compliments for the high quality content I create for my audience (including my epic business & lifestyle reviews).
Since then, I met up with Ramit again at the Zero to Launch Accelerator meet-up in NYC, and hopefully I'll meet up with him next time I'm in NYC as well.
Here's 3 epic guides Ramit and the IWT team recently released that I really enjoyed:
- The Ultimate Guide to Making Money
- The Ultimate Guide to Social Skills - The Art of Talking to Anyone
- The Ultimate Guide to Remarkable Content
Selena Soo is someone i’ve known for quite some time now, and I'm glad to be able to call her a good friend.
We even got to meet in person for the first time and record two professional video interviews during my last trip to NYC, which was awesome.
I supported Selena for two of her big launches in 2015, and became her #1 affiliate for both as I mentioned above.
I'm also very grateful that she supported me with my VSM launch by promoting it to her email list several times.
I can't wait to attend (and speak on a panel) on Selena's event Get Known, Get Clients LIVE, February 27th in NYC. It's going to be a total blast.
The Suitcase Entrepreneur, Natalie Sisson and I have become good friends over the years, and in 2015 we even got to live together for little over a month in Pacific Beach, San Diego... good times!
As I mentioned above I promoted Natalie's Freedom Plan program, and became her #1 affiliate, and she also helped out a bit for my VSM launch by having me on her awesome podcast.
I hope that we'll be able to support each other a lot in our projects moving forward as well.
Natalie recently published her annual review for 2015 as well. Check it out here.
Ever since I interviewed Todd Herman for the first time for my podcast (which is one of the most popular episodes), I have followed his work closely and learned a lot from him from just studying what he does.
The reason why I really can identify with everything Todd is all about, is because he's a straight shooter, and tells you exactly how it is, he has literally 20 years of experience and of course our mutual background in sports.
For example, when I was procrastinating, and having a hard time around May/June 2015, I spoke to Todd briefly via Skype chat that I was thinking about coming to NYC, but I'm wasn't sure because I'm going through a rough time, and that I wanted to focus on my business.
I don't remember exactly what Todd said, but it went something like this "You need to come NYC and meet some like-minded people. You're a catch... always remember that!"
I went to NYC and it was one of the most rewarding and fun trips of my life. So I'm very glad I got this little push I needed from Todd at the right time, otherwise I would have missed out on this opportunity.
I'm also a student and partner of Todd's 90 Year Program which I'm really enjoying because it's so actionable. I can't wait to take even more action and implement what he teaches in the program as we go through 2016 in order to achieve my biggest goals.
I hope that I will be able to meet up with Todd again in NYC soon... since we unfortunately didn't get to take a photo together when we met up during the summer I could include here ;)
Jesse Krieger has been a good friend of mine for many years, and it has been great to see his business and brand evolve over time to what it is today.
It seems like every time I speak to Jesse these days, he just published a new bestselling author under his publishing label Lifestyle Entrepreneurs Press.
He also supported me a lot during my VSM launch, and brought me many quality leads and a few sales as well. Hope to continue this partnership in 2016 and beyond.
I even got to hang out with Jesse and some like-minded people during his epic Bestselling Summit LIVE in LA. More about that below.
I connected with Primoz Bozic early 2014 through Ramit Sethi's circle of amazing people, and we've good friends for a while now, helping each other in our online businesses.
Other than running his own successful online business, Primoz actually works for Ramit Sethi's IWT today as well... which should show you that anything is possible, even if you're not a native English speaker.
One of the highlights of the 2015 was hanging out with Primoz and other like-minded people in NYC for about a week.
Primoz also supported my VSM launch, which I really appreciate of course.
I can't wait to meet up soon in NYC during Selena's event in February!
Ever since my friend Elizabeth Bradley introduced me to Regina Anaejionu's awesome content I was hooked, and she was one of the featured speakers on The Branding Summit... and my audience loved it.
Regina and I connected again in 2015, and did a pretty epic Virtual Summit Workshop for her very engaged audience in December, and super grateful for all the support to get so many people signed up in a short time (see below for more details on this).
Since the workshop was so well received, I'm sure we'll partner up and do something similar later in 2016 as well.
I'm guessing you haven't met many 5-time (soon 6-time) bestselling authors at the age of 22 years old.
I didn't know anyone either before I came across Chandler Bolt, and later became friends with him after we met up in person in San Diego.
That's also when we first started working on The Self-Publishing Success Summit, which turned into one of the most epic virtual summits of 2015.
Now, Chandler is running a million dollar online business (he got there faster because of the summit), and he's one of the most inspiring and hard working people I personally know.
I consider Jan Koch one of my closest friends and I've never met him in person yet... hope to change that this year if I spend some time in Europe.
Jan and I have been through quite a lot from June 2013 till now.
Here’s a few highlights:
- I’ve seen Jan quit his job and make way more in his business than he did at his day job. Just amazing!
- Jan has seen me quit my job and earn more than ever before with my virtual summit and the launch of VSM.
- Jan is one of my early VSM graduates, and he skyrocketed his business and brand in 2015 and became a thought leader his industry after creating The WP Summit. I know Jan is working on a new summit, which I'm very excited about.
Aj Amyx reached out to me after the success I had with the Branding Summit, to help him put together The Movement Marketing Summit, which turned out pretty epic if I can say so myself.
I met up with Aj and his former business partner Andy Zitzmann in San Diego for a few days, and we became good friends during 2015.
I also did a co-hosted Virtual Summit Master Class for Aj's audience which was very well received.
I can't wait to see what Aj will create in 2016!
I've never met Ryan Levesque in person and I haven't even done an interview with him (yet), but he wrote the best and most actionable marketing book of 2015, ASK.
I have just implemented a few of Ryan's effective strategies so far... I got some amazing results from doing doing a few simple tweaks and implementing the strategies which I let him know about on Facebook.
The "do you hate me survey" works like a charm, and you can always tailor it to your audience if you don't want to use the word "hate" for example.
I should probably invite Ryan on for an interview at some point this year, since I know my audience would find it extremely valuable.
I've followed Derek Halpern's Social Triggers since I started out online, and I've always enjoyed his blog content and videos.
I actually met up with Derek in person for the first time during a dinner with Ramit Sethi that Selena Soo invited me to.
Derek is a very authentic and transparent, and someone I always tend to pay close attention to. I really enjoy studying and learning from his epic product launches and the persuasive copy in his emails.
I hope to meet up with Derek again when I'm in NYC late February if he's around.
Here's 3 of my favorites from Derek in 2015:
- The Entrepreneur Assessment Test (I really enjoyed this one... seems like I'm an accidental teacher myself)
- 7 Lessons I Learned Building A Million Dollar Business (After 10 Years Of Failure)
- 2015: Be The Exception
I can't remember exactly how I first connected with the sales funnel architect, Stephen Esketzis, but it was after he interviewed me for his podcast we started talking a bit more with each other on a consistent basis.
Stephen is a young and very inspiring entrepreneur, based in Australia, and the head of content marketing over at ClickFunnels.
We even partnered on a pretty cool project where we re-recreated the entire Self-Publishing Success Summit funnel and all the pages inClickFunnelsand offered it to VSM Elite students, and as a downsell during my first VSM launch. It worked pretty well, so we might create different templates and funnels down the road as well.
Other Special Shout Outs
I would also like to thank some other awesome friends and supporters like, Bushra Azhar, Ben Krueger, Yaro Starak, Amber Vilhauer, Jon Schumacher, Roger Deveau, Dan Dynneson (thanks for all the help with growing my Instagram account) Catherine Newton, Reece Sims, Myke Macapinlac, Dorie Clark, Alex Pirouz , Jason Van Orden, Felicia Spahr, Rodrigo Flamenco, Elizabeth Bradley and Dan Munro.
I would also like to thank Hattie Brazeley for helping me with the free report and the affiliate email swipe copy for my first VSM launch. It saved me a lot of time, and I’m forever grateful for all the work you did during the launch.
Katya Nicholas took my amazing, professional photos... see more about the photoshoot in NYC below.
Thanks Eric Conley and Michael Alexis for helping me write The Self-Publishing Success Summit case study.
Finally, I really appreciate VSM student Edwin Ho for giving me a personal letter during my time in LA for Bestseller Summit Live where he shared how much I've impacted his life... one of the nicest things I've ever received from someone. Edwin has followed me since I started mid June 2013, so he has seen my transformation first hand, which is very cool and crazy at the same time.
And unfortunately something horrible happened to one of The Branding Summit speakers...
The incredibly inspiring, Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend is not with us anymore.
I was in complete shock, and really had to take a break from everything I was doing at the time (despite being in the middle of my VSM launch) when I heard to horrible news that Scott sadly passed away in September 2015, after being hit by falling rocks while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Scott was living his dream, traveling the world with his wife, Chelsea. While I can't imagine what it must have been like to lose your husband in front of your own eyes, I do know what it's like to lose someone very close since my younger brother passed away almost 3 years ago now.
This brought back a lot of memories of course and I thought about my brother quite a bit during this time. This is a big reminder to all of us that we only get one life to do something that matters, so be sure to make it count because there's so much to experience in the world, just like Scott pursued his life, and his legacy will live long after with the worldwide Live Your Legend community.
Here's Scott's very popular TEDx talk (over 3 million views) on "How to find and do work you love" which was featured on the TEDx home page shortly after Scott passed away (one of his own dreams).
I was invited to speak at live events for the first time
Podcast San Diego Guest Appearance
Jared Easley of Starve the Doubts and co-founder of Podcast Movement, was kind enough to invite me to Podcast San Diego to give a quick talk and share my story in 10 minutes or so.
Giving a quick talk at Podcast San Diego! Photo credit (Including featured image): Kevin Le Vuhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJUWLhPjAUw
Ramit Sethi's Zero To Launch Accelerator Meet-up in NYC
I was invited to be a panel speaker at this fantastic Zero To Launch Accelerator meet-up organized by Primoz Bozic. There was many inspiring people there, and I got to meet a lot fellow ZTL students in person which was very cool
Ramit Sethi was also there for a bit, and did hot seats with a few selected people, with a Q&A at the end.
Then I was on a panel together with Selena Soo, Primoz Bozic, Naveen Dittakavi, Nagina Sethi and Marc Aarons, and we answered questions from other ZTLA students.
The entire event was filmed, and Katya Nicholas took a lot of great photos as well. I hope to be back in NYC soon to attend the next one!
Here’s some photos from the event:
Going to in person events and live meet-ups
One of my big goals this year was to attend some live events and meet-ups to finally start meeting some of my friends and people I interviewed in person.
Even though I built my online business from the comfort of my living room in Stockholm, I definitely see the power of face-to-face meet-ups.
The next best thing if you can't do that is to do what I did for almost 2 years before I attended my first conference in San Diego... is to do video interviews (audio only interviews is not even close as powerful because you can't connect with the person you're speaking to the same way).
Social Media Marketing World
During my stay in San Diego, I also found some time to attend Social Media Marketing World, and spend a few days together with my good friends and clients Aj Amyx and Andy Zitzmann.
The first night we went to the Social Media Marketing World kick off party, and we had a blast.
I met many friends like John Lee Dumas, Kate Erickson, Sue B. Zimmerman, Andreea Ayers, Andy Crestodina, Greg Hickman, Rick Mulready, Jill & Josh Stanton, Ryan Hanley, Martin Shervington, Ian Cleary and connected with many, many more amazing people.
Unfortunately I don’t have photos with all of them, but below are a few at least…
Me together with the man, the myth, the legend, John Lee Dumas!
Me and the Instagram expert, Sue B. Zimmerman at #SMMW15
Mastermind Meet-up at The Roosevelt Hotel
I also attended a mastermind meet-up at The Roosevelt Hotel with some very successful entrepreneurs like Dorie Clark, Josh Turner, Don Gordon and a few others. Good times!
Bestseller Summit Live & VSM Mastermind Meet-up
One of the awesome bonuses I offered part of the first VSM launch, was two tickets to Bestseller Summit Live in LA by my friend Jesse Krieger and a VSM mastermind during the event.
I met up with my long-time friend Myke Macapinlac for the first time, which was awesome. I also met up with a few of my VSM students, like Niklas Myhr, Edwin Ho, Melodee Forbes and Melissa Wilson.
All I can say is that I had a really good time, and Jesse did an outstanding job with his first big live event (many more to come).
The first VSM Mastermind meet-up took place in LA, November, 2015!
Marisa Murgatroy's Internet Famous Meet-up in LA
During my time in LA in November, I also attended Marisa Murgatroyd's Internet Famous meet-up and met up with some like-minded people.
Preston Smiles in the spotlight at Marisa Murgatroyd’s LA meet-up!
Invested in my business and education
If you want to start a successful online business (or anything for that matter), you must invest in yourself.
Does that mean that you have to go spend $15k on a business coach? Definitely not, and I would never recommend you do that.
But it could mean that you have to purchase an online course, a book, go to a conference, sign up for an email service provider, and the list goes on and on.
People often ask me who I got to the point I am today in my business, and besides working extremely hard consistently over time and connecting with amazing people, it's because I invested in my business and education. Period!
I wrote about this in my 2014 annual review as well, and I'm sure this will be a recurring theme, year after year.
If you're on a very tight budget, I highly recommend reading or listening to more books. If you can't afford 3-10 bucks for a book, then head to your local library to see if you can find them there instead. There are no excuses... just do it!
When I was starting out, reading more books literally transformed my business and life... and I still read or listen to quite a few books each month.
With that being said, here's the main things I invested in during 2015 when it comes to my business and education...
Online Courses & Trainings
I didn't purchase many new online courses in 2015, but I did enroll in Ramit Sethi's new program Call To Action, which I'm really enjoying so far.
I'm also a member of several other online courses like Todd Herman's The 90 Day Year I currently going through.
Some online courses I get full access to because I'm one of the top affiliates like Bryan Harris' Get 10,000 Subscribers... that said, I would never partner up with someone if I didn't believe in what they are doing 100%, and most of the time I've had great results from taking action on what they teach in their program as well.
More Premium Tools & Services
Early 2015, I switched from AWeber to Infusionsoft which was quite an investment, which I used for most of the year, but I never really got used to Infusionsoft to feel comfortable with setting up complicated campaigns and launches. As I mentioned above Roger Graves Jr. helped me with everything Infusionsoft related.
Then after hearing a lot of good things about ConvertKit, I decided to make the move, which I'm very pleased with. It's not perfect (yet), but they are constantly adding new features, and they have a great and very responsive support team which I like.
I also started using SamCart for my shopping cart and affiliate program a few months ago, and I really like how easy it is to set everything up... you can literally have your first product created and ready to go within a few minutes. They are constantly adding new features and they have a fantastic support team.
Premium Looking Website & Design
I'm always been big on investing in having a premium looking website and design, and my awesome Gion-Per makes sure everything is on point when it comes to this. I spend several $1,000 every year on my websites and design for a good reason... I get massive ROI from it.
Here's just one example how I upped my game in 2015 when it comes to design...
Photoshoot with Katya Nicholas in NYC
I'm very proud of myself that I finally invested in taking some professional photos for my website and brand in 2015. A big update is also coming this year to my site pretty soon... stay tuned!
My good friend Selena Soo was actually the one who recommended the amazing photographer, Katya Nicholas, so I decided to go ahead and hire her… and it had always been a dream of mine to do a professional photo shoot around NYC…. now I can check this off my bucket list too!
Behind the scenes... taking a look at the awesome photos Katya took.
Here’s some of the best photos from the photo shoot with Katya:
(All right reserved, Copyright – Navid Moazzez)
Lifestyle, Travel & Live/Move Abroad
I ended last year by celebrating Christmas and New Years in Thailand. I didn't like Thailand as much as I thought I would, so I decided to start my new adventure in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico instead. Later I settled in Cancun for most of 2015 after spending some time in San Diego, Los Angeles and even Hong Kong. Pretty amazing year to say the least... be sure to check out my top 10 adventures of 2015 below!
My Cabo San Lucas crib... not a bad place to start the year!
I met up with Reece Sims in Cabo... good times!
My Top 10 Adventures From 2015
1. Skydiving in Cabo San Lucas
They say that a a photo can say more than 1,000 words... then this video from my Skydiving adventure in Cabo San Lucas must say more than at least 10,000 words. Amazing experience and I'm so glad I pushed through my big fear and just did it.
2. Dolphin Trainer For A Day in Cabo San Lucas
I always had a dream of swimming with dolphins, but why not go all in and become a dolphin trainer for a day? That’s exactly what I did and it was so awesome. I had a total blast.
Here’s some photos from my experience:
3. Swimming with whale sharks in La Paz
Ever since my younger brother passed away and I started my business, a common theme in my life has been that I’m not afraid of getting out of my comfort zone.
At first I didn’t think I would ever swim with the biggest fish in the world… but I guess I tend to do some crazy things lately, and I actually enjoyed it quite a lot, and it was a very cool but different thing to experience.
You can swim with whale sharks from November-March in La Paz in Baja California Sur. It’s about 2 hours from Cabo San Lucas by car, and there’s tours like Cabo Adventures that will take you there, including an authentic Mexican lunch.
At one point, I literally had 6-7 big whale sharks swimming around me. Just surreal, and the water in the Sea of Cortez is so salt, one of the saltiest seas in the world.
Here’s some photos from my Whale Shark encounter in La Paz.
Flyboarding is so much fun. Ever since I came across this sport when I was spending some time in Cabo San Lucas, January 2015, i wanted to try it out.
Even though it’s hard to get a hang of at first (it’s kind of a mix of snowboarding and skateboarding, but still a very different feel), it was one of the coolest experiences of my life and I can’t wait to do it again here in Cancun.
5. The Peak, Hong Kong
Best view city view ever at The Victoria Peak in Hong Kong… by day!
Best view city view ever at The Victoria Peak in Hong Kong... by evening/night!https://youtu.be/_M1xiunPmE4
6. Xcaret & Xplor Adventure Park
If you ever come to the Cancun/Rivera Maya area, I highly recommend that you visit Xcaret.
Just the fact that they were able to preserve the nature when they built the park is just amazing. The activities and the night show were also really fun.
Here’s some pictures from my Xcaret adventure on Christmas Day (probably my best Christmas ever):
Just like Xcaret, Explor was super fun, I had a great time with my friends, Zip-lining and doing a lot of other adventures in the park as well.
7. Chichen Itza, Tulum & Swimming in Cenotes
8. Sailing from Cancun to Isla Mujeres
Sailing for a day around Cancun and the beautiful island Isla Mujeres was so much fun and very relaxing... can't wait to do it again soon!
Here's some pictures (and a video) from my sailing adventure:
9. Spending time with friends in Los Angeles, San Diego & NYC
It was awesome to be able to spend a lot of time in the USA this year and meet up with with many of my friends... most of them I only connected with online before like Omar Zenhom and Nicole Baldinu of the $100 MBA, Megan Pangan and many more.
Me and the Swiss Nutritioneer, René Von Gunten!
The crew... amazing day, Sailing in San Diego Bay!
Primoz and I, chilling at the Equinox rooftop!
10. Making Cancun my home for most of 2015
Having a "home-base" for most of 2015 was great for getting a lot of work done, but also to be able to really explore the surroundings and get to know Cancun better as a "local", and not only as a tourist in the hotel zone... which is more like Mexico's Miami to be honest (nothing wrong with that though... it's also great!).
Here's a video tour of my apartment in Cancun, "MTV Cribs" style:
And if all this wasn't enough, I got to celebrate New Years in style in Cancun...
What Did Not Go Well This Year
Finding a great between work/business & lifestyle
I reached a point this year when I realized that I really need to start working on my VSM launch, and finally get things done.
I probably worked more hours than I needed to, because it wasn’t always that focussed work. I was checking Facebook, chatting with friends, reading a blog post etc… in other words, I was wasting a lot of time as well during the time I was supposed to work.
If I did more focused, deep work, it would not only allow me to get my most important things done much faster, but I would also find a better balance between business and lifestyle, and have more time to do fun activities.
I mentioned in my annual review for 2014, that I probably wouldn't be able to publish as much content on my blog in 2015 as I did previously, because I was focusing on other things, like launching and creating my flagship program, Virtual Summit Mastery.
I could have published more than I did with better planning and systems in place, but even though I didn't publish a lot of ongoing content on my blog or podcast, I still provided massive value to my audience consistently which is absolutely key... and I was featured on many other publications, websites and podcasts around the web which I shared with my audience.
With a better and more consistent publishing schedule in place, I will be able to increase my website traffic, and get even more email subscribers, so I will definitely try to publish more frequently moving forward.
Worth noting is that when I do publish something, it's usually an epic blog post with 1,000's of words like this one you're reading now, and those are very time consuming to write.
Besides the virtual summit case studies and my quarterly epic business and lifestyle reviews I mentioned above, here are the blog posts and interviews I published in 2015:
- The Top 5 Reasons To Create A Virtual Summit to Skyrocket Your Business & Brand Online in 2015 (and beyond)
- How to Write 1,000 Words Every Day and Massively Create Remarkable Content (guest post by Charles Bordet)
I also published and recorded several YouTube videos and interviews:
- 90 Day Year w/ Todd Herman
- How to Find Your Craft and Achieve Mastery with Arman Assadi
- Content Machine: How To Use Content Marketing To Build A 7-Figure Business With Zero Advertising w/ Dan Norris
- Day Job To Dream Job: How to Turn Your Passion Into a Full-Time Gig w/ Kary Oberbrunner
- Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success w/ Rory Vaden
- How to Become an Authority in Your Field & Build a Premium Brand w/ Joel Comm
- PAVLOK: How to Form Good Habits and Make Them Stick w/ Maneesh Sethi
- Duct Tape Selling w/ John Jantsch
- The Freedom Plan Hangout w/ Natalie Sisson
Writing my first book
Even though I didn't self-publish a #1 bestselling book in 2015, I still made great progress because I wrote so much content for my online course, Virtual Summit Mastery.
The first book I have in mind will serve as a lead magnet for VSM in some way, and I will make sure that the content in the book is different than the course, while still providing a lot of value.
I have many friends like Chandler Bolt, Jesse Krieger and Tom Morkes who are experts when it comes to self-publishing, so I will follow their advice when I get to publishing my first book later in 2016.
I would say it's realistic to say that I will start this from quarter 2 or 3.
Are you planning to publish a book in 2016? Let me know in the comments below!
What Are My Big Plans For 2016?
Do free virtual summit workshops / partner with other influencers to grow my email list
I did a few virtual summit workshops/master classes in 2015, but I want to do even more of this in 2016.
Because it’s probably the fastest way to grow my email list rapidly and provide a valuable training to a new audience to build trust with them right away (other than creating a virtual summit of course). You don’t necessarily even have to sell on the free workshop.
The one I did for Regina Anaejionu’s audience in December last year was just to provide massive value to her audience, that’s it. This spring, once I open Virtual Summit Mastery for enrollment again, I will give them an opportunity to join of course, but I didn’t pitch on the workshop itself, which I think many people in her audience appreciated because it’s different from what they are used to.
I created the landing page with LeadPages in a few minutes for the free workshop, and it converted incredibly well.
From just one free Virtual Summit Workshop I got over 1,100 new highly engaged subscribers on my email list.
This screenshot just shows the email list growth after a few hours of promoting the free virtual summit workshop!
The workshop I did for Regina’s audience was very well received and everyone loved it. Here’s what a few people had to say (including Regina herself):
Start running Facebook Ads to grow my business faster
Everything I've done so far online to build my business and brand have been 100% organic growth.
Now, in 2016 I want to start running Facebook ads and do some retargeting to get even better results faster since I have some money to invest into actually growing my business with paid traffic.
I'm far from a Facebook ads expert, so I will get some valuable help from someone I know to run my ads and set things up for my VSM launches and all that.
I can't wait to share the results with you later this year.
Continue to get featured on bigger podcasts and online publications
This is an ongoing process, and I’ve always looking to get featured on places around the web which is high leverage, and most importantly a great fit for what I’m doing.
Bigger publications I hope to get featured on soon:
- And more…
If you got an intro or know an editor/writer at any of the publications, please let me know. Since my story did so well in Business Insider, I have no doubt that what I have to share would do extremely well in those places too, and resonate with a lot of people.
A few of the top podcasts I hope to get featured on soon:
- Smart Passive Income (with Pat Flynn)
- Mixergy (with Andrew Warner)
- Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast (with Amy Porterfield)
- The Youpreneur Podcast (with Chris Ducker)
Re-design / update my website
This is something I wanted to do during quarter 3 or 4 this year, but unfortunately I didn’t have time to get to it, so it has to wait until the first quarter of 2016.
I need to write quite a bit of copy for all the pages on navidm.com, and then provide my designer with instructions. He already knows my brand inside and out, so it shouldn’t take too much time from my side. It should take a few days, and then he can get started on this January or February 2016.
Creating a completing my daily routine (and sticking to it)
Creating and completing my daily routine (and sticking to it) is something I’ve been pretty good at most of the time, but it’s not where I want it to be, especially during periods when I do a lot of work, like during product launches for example.
If you ask most successful entrepreneurs, they will tell you that their morning ritual is one of the biggest keys to success in business and life.
I’m always much more productive and get even more done in my business in less time when I do this.
As I’ve mentioned before in my epic business & lifestyle reviews, it’s all about finding the right balance, and working smarter, not harder!
Here’s what my current daily routine tend to look like:
- Have a big glass of water the first thing I do when I wake up.
- Meditation for 5-10 minutes on my terrace, overlooking the Caribbean Sea and watching the sunrise.
- Go for CrossFit/gym workout, a nice run on the beach or swim for 30-60 min in the pool
- Have a healthy breakfast, with fresh fruit, eggs and smoothie.
- Work on my most important business related tasks of the day.
- Read or listen to something that will help me in my business right now (for example study product launches and webinars).
- Find time to do something that’s not business related, for example go on adventures and spend time with friends.
- Reflect over the day, what I’m grateful for, and then plan tomorrow today (just write down my most important tasks to get done the next day) before I go to bed every night.
I personally like to wake up early, between 6-7am in the morning, and get my morning routine done, and then complete my most important tasks in my business before lunch time if possible, so I can have the afternoons free for other things.
With that being said… it’s ok if it’s not always perfect, but I’d like to stick to my daily routine at least 90% of the time, because I know if I do that, everything else will get much easier and better as well.
Do you have a daily routine? What does your morning ritual and daily routine you stick to every day?
Feel free to share in the comments section!
Considering, I lived in Cancun for most of 2015, I should already be able to speak Spanish fluently. The reason why that's not the case is simply because failed at practicing consistently and I made up stupid excuses like "I don't have time and I'm so busy etc.", but that's about to change in 2016.
I have a 90 day audio program I will go through every day for around 30 minutes in the morning, and then I can practice what I learn with locals in Cancun and when I'm traveling to Spanish speaking countries.
Do you have any great hacks for learning a new language quickly, especially Spanish?
Travel to at least 5 new countries I have't been to
In 2015 I "only" spent time and traveled to Mexico, USA and Hong Kong. The reason I didn't explore more countries is that I fell in love with Cancun, Mexico, and decided to stay much longer than I first intended... it was also great for my business to stay at one place for most of the year.
In 2016 my goal is to travel to at least 5 new countries I haven't been to. At the time of writing this post, I have planned my trips until March... Cancun until February or so and then NYC for Selena Soo's Get Known, Get Clients LIVE and a VSM Mastermind.
A few new countries on my wish list for 2016:
- New Zealand
I'll write more about the adventures of 2016 in my epic business and lifestyle reviews every quarter, and you can always follow me on Instagram or Facebook as well for regular updates if you're interested.
If time allows, I will also:
- Create an epic virtual summit
- Self-publish my first book and make it a #1 Amazon Bestseller
- Be more consistent with my blog posts and podcast interviews
Things may change along the way, but this is what my plans for 2016 looks like right now.
I have the first 3 months of the year planned out in detail, and it feels really good to know exactly how to get there, to make 2016 the best year ever, and top everything I did in 2015.
If you want a great, beautifully designed and very affordable resource to help you accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days, I recommend The Freedom Journal by John Lee Dumas. Over 4000 people can't be wrong!
Now It's Your Turn!
What went well for you last year? What is one highlight you're super proud of from 2015? What's your goals and plans for 2016?
Feel free to share in the comments - please tell a story and be as specific as you can!
Let’s crush it in 2016 and make it the best year yet! #bestyearever
Stay inspired, take massive action and live your dream… I know I am!
P.S. If you comment on this blog post with your goals for 2016, I will personally hold you accountable and follow up with you to see how you are doing for the first few weeks of the year. Seriously, that’s like getting a virtual mentor for free. So be sure to comment on this post below!