Shahab’s services break down into various elements in two distinct areas as a personal branding consultant and professional business coach who does trainings, webinars and one on one coaching.
“There are three key steps in my personal branding strategy which I call the ‘Three C’s’,” Shahab says. “Clarify, Communicate and Cultivate. I make it clear that personal branding is not about having a cute logo or deciding on the perfect business name or the right colors to represent your brand. These are all parts of the equation, but the core of personal branding is going on a deep journey of discovery to figure out what makes you truly exceptional and unique, and then finding ways to express it consistently and constantly in a systematic manner to your target audience. So the first step is clarifying that brand, unearthing what differentiates you from the crowd and your competitors. It includes extracting your unique promise of value that you know only you can deliver as part of your true authenticity as a business owner.”
The second stage is helping them communicate their brand to their target audience. “I teach my clients and students about seven marketing strategies that professionals should be using to reach their audience to make them aware of who they are and what they do,” he adds. “I coach and guide them to troubleshoot their sales conversation and sales process so that they can serve this audience the best way possible.”
To Shahab, “cultivating” means that once a business owner has clarified and communicated their brand to its target audience consistently and constantly, it’s then time to think about ways to expand the brand and build multiple streams of revenue – including passive income. In the Ignite Your Life chapter, he lists three steps to achieve the maintenance and expansion of one’s personal brand: 1) Focus on Quality, which includes a directive to always over-deliver what you promise and continuously plan your moves, measure your progress and correct any problems; 2) Update yourself, starting with asking yourself, “What have I learned today?”; and 3) Deal with people prudently, via such principles as following the Golden Rule, respecting everyone in your network, not taking negative comments personal and understanding your status as a role model.
On the coaching side, he works with professionals who have lost their self-confidence and/or motivation, or are not currently clear about their career or business goals. “At some point, all of us have felt lost and overwhelmed because we think what we’re doing is not fulfilling our life purpose,” Shahab says. “We feel stuck, with limited options, and we don’t know if the goals we are currently pursuing are the right ones.
“I have discovered through research that coaching is the second fastest growing industry in North America,” he adds, “and that is because it has the highest sustainability rate of all forms of training and consulting. I have always been inspired by the opportunity to work together with clients as partners, helping them as they go through a period of transformation. I love consulting, too, but that’s more about giving tips to a client and leaving the client to enact those principles. When you’re coaching, you’re working hands on with them to empower them to set goals and do all the planning necessary to overcome all inner and outer obstacles. I help my clients get creative to find solutions to their challenges, and in so doing, help them gain more of a consciousness about who they truly are, what they want to do and why they’re doing what they’re doing.”
Though he has engaged in many training courses and received numerous coaching certifications, his work is driven by his own unique methodology based on his last 16 years as an entrepreneur.
His extensive background includes earning seven figures in the field of Student Test Prep Strategies, a level of success that led him to sell over 1.5 million books published by Mobtakeran Publications, an educational book publishing giant in Iran. He was able to leave his job as a medical doctor and build a multi-million dollar business around his books. When he started leading seminars and offering workshops around the expertise he developed, he began earning $30,000 per day fees after five years.
Continuing his entrepreneurial success streak, he and his wife also founded Naamdar Medical Diagnostic lab, for which he served as a consultant on branding, marketing, sales and online presence. He and another partner later launched the Shokoufa Language Academy. Shahab’s unique methodology led him and his 30,000 clients over the years to achieve great success in many industries.
The road to Shahab’s initial years of entrepreneurial success in Iran is testament to the importance of following one’s instincts over the expectations of one’s peers and culture. A talented student, he finished first among 1.2 million candidates for the nationwide University Entrance Exam that many Iranians take when they are finishing high school. “The norm was that if you were a good student, you should go to med school, and I followed that common practice,” he says. “My older brother and sister are physicians and specialists, and I greatly respect their commitment, but I found early on that I didn’t enjoy the clinical setting at all.”
While attending med school, where he finished with a good GPA, he began getting requests for tutoring from parents of kids who had heard about his achievement on the national exam and his being accepted at Iran’s best med school. While attending to his medical studies during the day, he started teaching and coaching students in the afternoons, and he quickly developed a strong reputation in the field.
“Encouraged as I was, I began reading books on the topic of personal development and started trying to figure out what I used to do unconsciously that brought about my good results,” Shahab says. “During this time, I realized that I didn’t want to be a doctor and decided it was definitely not something that fired me up to go to work every morning. So I devoted all my time to coaching and speaking, and after five years, I was fully booked for the whole year. I was invited to hold workshops and speak at events and seminars, which ultimately led to me writing several bestsellers, appearing as a guest expert on TV programs and finally starting my own business as a personal development coach.”
Just as he has helped so many clients home in on the qualities that set them apart, Shahab quickly tapped into his talents as a motivator to take his educational work to the next level. “My style was different in that I incorporated motivational and inspirational concepts and material into my test prep coaching methodology. I wasn’t just about proper techniques and how to answer the questions. I was imparting more than simply knowledge and skills. I made sure these students were in a mindset of personal empowerment, constantly encouraged to fulfill their dreams and reach their full potential and purpose.”
Years later, once he and Katty decided to move to North America to pursue new professional opportunities, Shahab did a lot of soul searching. “In people’s eyes, I was really successful in Iran, making seven figures a year and living the life of my dreams,” he says. “But deep down, I felt something was missing. I started to think about my values, my mission, my purpose and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was proud of the businesses I had created, but did I want to do test prep, medical diagnostics and run a language academy, or was there something else I should be doing?
“I began working with my own coach and mentors,” he adds, “and realized that coaching and training was ultimately my sweet spot where my aptitude, passion and the market came together in an incredible concentric circle. My vision was to become an international coach and speaker and empower as many people as I could to find out what’s unique about them, and to use that uniqueness to help them grow their careers and businesses and transform their lives. When I moved to Canada, I started my new coaching and branding practice and then caught a big break by connecting with the legendary Brian Tracy and co-authoring ‘Ignite Your Life’ with him.”