In 2009, I got excited about the online coaching market. I really thought that in the next decade, there was going to be an explosion of coaching and online education.
As I was originally from Pakistan, I thought that this change would really help a developing country out of poverty. So, I moved from Europe to Pakistan to get into the online education space. Fast forward a few years, and I had to quit the Webpreneur Academy venture, which I founded, and stopped teaching people about wealth creation online as, frankly speaking, I was going broke myself.
In the meantime, I was seeing peers of mine who had spoken on some of the same stages in Dubai, such as Russell Brunson and Vishen Lakhiani, make millions of dollars for their ventures doing similar things. In the same time that I spent, with the same effort, they made millions while I spent money out of my own pocket helping people.
Where I had failed was that I was targeting some of the poorest people in the world (Pakistani GDP per capita is USD 1,500 per year) while others were targeting wealthier clients (US GDP per capita is USD 73,000 per year).
When you go for a market for your business, make sure they can afford to pay you. Seems obvious, but this lesson took me a few years to learn.
Yesterday, I signed up a client from New York for a few thousand dollars. It took me about 30 minutes to convince her that I could help her, and she said that I can help her generate 10 times what she is investing with me. In Pakistan it would take me a few hours to convince someone to part with USD 50 as they really had to check if I was legit or not, and for them earning USD 50 takes a lot longer.
I am still a teacher and a coach. But I have changed my target market from teenagers in developing countries (who take a lot longer to pick up the skills of entrepreneurship and have traditional careers that their parents want them to get into as well as limited ability to pay) to executives over 40 years old living in Europe and the US as they can invest in themselves and if I can help them bring in just one or two extra sales for their business, or help their career boost 10 % per year in their earnings, they make a return on their investment.
Solve rich people’s problems, and you will become richer quicker than if you solve poor people’s problems. It’s a little unfair, but that is how the world works – according to my own startup failures, anyway.
That is why you see so many more global businesses originating from a developed country like the US (Google, LinkedIn, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Microsoft) and Germany (BMW, Mercedes, Hugo Boss, SAP) than you do from Pakistan (???) or Nigeria (???).
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