A conversation with Darius Kadivar about his experience in the program.
Alzay: All right. So, Darius, we're going to have a conversation today, sir. And we're just going to recap your experience in the program. And this is your opportunity for brutal and honest feedback. It's how the program gets better. So, let's just start with a very brief introduction. So, what's your name and what's your company's name?
Darius: Right. My name is Darius Kadivar. My company's name is not yet defined. But in the meantime I called it Keymoss Production and my expertise is to create video for book traders for self-published authors. So basically that's what I do.
Alzay: So let's talk about, You've gone through the program here, you've had a good amount of time in the program. So what did you enjoy most about the program?
Darius: Well the coaching process in itself and interacting with other fellow members, I found your reactivity to responding to each time I find myself stuck in a problem I had immediate feedback, either in the shape of a video demonstration or through the Facebook groups. So that was quite something I appreciated.
Darius: And Also, once I trusted the process, what became exciting was that each module was like a stepping stone to where it was creating the product I service, which basically is machinery that has to operate on its own.
Darius: You got three major parts, Client Acquisition, Client Service, Client retention and also the communication tools that you provide are really great because they facilitate communication, not only with our respective clients but also amongst us as a group because we get to share a common language and a common mental approach to designing our different services, because we all come from very different backgrounds.
Darius: So having this common language is extremely powerful and useful to helping us all improve. And on a final point, I'd say that what I really appreciated through this problem that allowed me to expand my network on colleagues, which I hope will turn into friends also, 'cause this was really a dynamic group and I really got to interact and get to know some great personalities.
Alzay: Good. Good. I appreciate that. There's a point or two I'm gonna ask you about in just a minute but let's go to the next question here. Let's talk about what you enjoyed least about the program. What are those things?
Darius: Well I'd say maybe being in the hot seats? But I think everyone feels awkward at first, but in retrospect actually that's where you improve. So watching others in the same situation and doing this live as a group. Cause this is really teamwork and you can only improve by having these exchanges and testing on another.
Darius: So it's a friendly joust and it really helped me remain focused on what was the most important task of the day or the month, so depending on where you are in the program, that's an interesting way of doing it.
Darius: One shortcoming I may highlight, is that the program once you're through the six modules you've got a work flow, and that allows you to organize yourself to work and have your own life on the side. And when you haven't achieved the work flow, having the webinars on Tuesday, when you're focusing on what you have to say on Thursday, is a little bit overwhelming.
Darius: So I found that ... It's only ... and also with the time frame. I'm in Europe, you're in America, so it's a little bit hard to follow between the Facebook groups, the webinars on Tuesday and then in your mind you're thinking about Thursday. But once the work flow is established then you have space to look at it, and even if I ... that prevails even if you can watch the webinar online later on, but when you have Thursday on your mind it's hard to process all this information all at once.
Alzay: Right. Right. Right, I appreciate that. So there are a lot of touch points, what you're talking about are the Facebook lives that are on Tuesday. There's are group coaching calls which are on Thursday. And then there's just all the interaction that happens in the program and also in your own personal life, right? Your own life and business and just trying to ...[crosstalk 00:05:56].
Darius: And the time frame. Yeah. But once the workflow is created it's much easier.
Alzay: See, I appreciate that, right? Once there's a base workflow, then all those data points begin to have priority. Without that base work flow, it is like, it's madness, right? It's madness. It's complete madness.
Alzay: Got it. Totally got it. So in regards to your personal take aways, right? Seeing all the content, understanding all the process, etc. What's the one thing you take away from the experience?
Darius: That in order design the best product I service, it needs to be simple, not complex. And premium, not standard. That's easier said then done, and that's why your program exists. Why do we reach that conclusion? It's because once we go through the modules at some point we are supposed to interact with real clients, so we are connecting with them at first online, but the key is to have them on the phone, or meet them physically somewhere if we have that opportunity.
Darius: And by doing that what happens is that at some point they tell you the problem that they have, and whether they have an alternative. And we have the ability, to practice of course, and the templates that we have, to measure the urgency of their pain. And that's the key. That requires, of course, practice, but that's essential because once you're there then there's two scenarios.
Darius: Either you can - and you have to be honest about that, can you actually address this urgency? If the answer is yes then you have a scope of work, a time frame, and price, which you off the client. And it's then up to him. You can't save a patient who doesn't want to be saved, so if they feel the pain they're reason will ... you said something, I remember. They react emotionally and they decide with reason, something like that.
Alzay: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Darius: So what's interesting about this program is you have these tools to address this and if you can't solve this problem, well you tell them bluntly and you can part politely or refer them to another colleague. So it's really the takeaway is simple, not complex. Premium, not standard.
Alzay: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). And if you can get your head around that, you've already said it. You just said it. It's harder than it sounds, but if you can get your head around that it makes these conversations you're talking about a lot simpler.
Alzay: If you can do that part then your perspective client can do the other part, which is decide; Yes I like this or no I don't or yes I need this or no I don't, or what have you. But without then, again, it's a very messy conversation and neither one of you knows which way is up, you're just kinda confused.
Darius: And making the client make the decision, because the purpose of the conversation is to make a decision, otherwise you are just wasting each others time. So the more clear you are, and more practiced. You practice this, basically don't push out the same core point. You have to identify their pain.
Alzay: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative). Indeed. Indeed. I got it. Okay. So in your business, as you're thinking about your own business and how you want it to grow, what's next for you, Darius? What are those important next steps in your world?
Darius: Right. Well obviously I have to still close a deal. That hasn't happened yet, but what I would like to do, internally already is to do refine the onboarding. There's a number of things I need to internally, maybe transparent to the client but I need to do that, because creating a book teaser is not something that it can be easy in one shot. We can be inspired to do it, to work on a project, etc.
Darius: But when you have to deal with a dozen projects at the same time, you need to create boundaries.
Alzay: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Darius: And that's something that I need to be able to do and I can only do it if I refine this clients service. There may be templates, there may be video tools that can allow me to really deliver these book traders in a more simple way and at the highest quality possible, so I still have a lot of work in front of me.
Alzay: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Darius: And then to ... I think I've got the machinery, if this part is done, the machinery which we talked about previously put in place then the key is to test it and to see if it works for every client that corresponds with that avatar, 'cause the key is to deliver exactly in the same way and to proceed in the same way, otherwise I'm scattering myself in every direction.
Alzay: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Right. Right. Got it. Got it. Got it.
Darius: Whether I can still do it alone after this program or not, that's something that I may need to come back, I don't know. But at this stage this had been good initiation and I'll continue working on it.
Alzay: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So what would you say to someone who is considering joining the program? Right now there are folks that are on the outside looking in. The details of the program can be a bit obscure and mysterious, right, when you're on the outside looking in. What would you say to someone who's considering joining the program? What advice would you give them?
Darius: I'd say whether you already have a clear idea of what you want to do or not, once you enter the program just trust the process because it's rewarding. Be patient, Rome was not built in one day and you'll realize that each module is designed to answer those specific questions that you're asking yourself, or where you're stuck.
Darius: And at the end of the module you'll have a full picture of, really, what you're designing, which comes to shape like a statue that you're carving, and it's coming up. I like the idea of Michelangelo. So you're chipping off everything that is useless and getting to the core of the statue. [inaudible 00:14:19], like the french would say that you're creating.
Darius: So trust the process, be patient, and you'll get there.
Alzay: I'm glad you brought that up, 'cause that's the one thing that I wanted to follow up on. So you said "once I trusted process" that was phrase that you said earlier. What was - because that's a phrase someone else can hear and it goes over their head. "Trust the process? Whatever." Right? So what were, if you can articulate them, what were your challenges to trusting the process? What resistance did you have? Can you articulate those things?
Darius: Sure. Sure. Well there were limiting beliefs that I had. And for example, I didn't know that you could actually reach a point in the program where you don't have to worry about the plot, the storyline, or the book. Who's the author? I don't have to read to book to create my videos, so I was just struggling. It was very painful, 'cause I was saying "How am I gonna ... ?"
Darius: I can think creatively, I can be inspired by a subject and just go around and put pieces together and sometimes it often looks good, but I'm losing time and I could be doing something else. And even if I find it great, the client may not like it. And that's the problem we're all facing. It's not about what we like to do, but what the client needs.
Alzay: Right. Right.
Darius: So that's one limited belief, I think. That I was really struggling with that, because I think you remember I even showed you a few teasers. Book traders that I had created and after interacting with clients, you know? But it's not something that I sold them, but I was creating it because I feared that I wouldn't be able to actually give them what they want once they signed in.
Darius: So it's really about limiting beliefs and as you go through the modules and as you get to talk with other people, you realize that we're all doing the same mistake when we start. We're all doing the same mistake, you know? Whether it was Joan or Nicole and all that, we're all ... And it's amusing because we all have skills, we all have our professional background. Many of us have diplomas and degrees and everything, but regardless of our age, race, culture, background, whatever, it's really about the client and understanding who are trying to serve.
Darius: And the more we understand the client the more we'll be able to deploy all those skills that are somewhere in the back of our mind.
Alzay: Yes sir.
Darius: We're insecure about that. And actually it's amusing during some of the webinars because you have these very high profile CEO's I guess, or at least company managers who were part of your program and they were insecure. It was surprising to see them in that situation because you would have thought that they should trust themselves. And that's because they forget that it's not about their degree or their CV and all that, at least in the digital marketing world.
Darius: It's really about identifying the client and serving the client, and not the other way around so. That's what I got from that.
Alzay: I appreciate that. You gave an analogy. You said Michelangelo chipping away at the big block in order to find the sculpture, right? And those limiting beliefs ... that's the block, right? And so you gotta chip away at all those limiting beliefs, all those old thoughts, all those things that are in the way so you can actually find the structure. There's a beautiful statue underneath all that stuff, right? But there is some stuff you gotta chip away though, and it can be uncomfortable chipping away.
Darius: Exactly. Because it's about simplification, you know?
Alzay: Indeed. Indeed. Indeed. Indeed. I thank you for saying that. Now there's one more thing I'd like to hear you compare and contrast. You talked about this a lot personally, in your experience. There is some traditional consulting training that you've experienced. It's how most folks do it, it's how it's taught in most circles. This thing.
Alzay: And then in this program there was a completely different approach that you were introduced to and asked to adopt. Can you compare the two? Kinda, what are the one or two main difference between that standard approach and what you've experienced here inside the program?
Darius: It's really night and day. And I'm surprised. That was one of those big surprises. If I came to you it's because I was actually trying to solve my pain, and looking through the internet to find the program that answered that problem.
Darius: The difference, I'd say, is that in the workshop I was following here in France it's just based on referrals. So you're there, you're the expert. You can show off and pretend that you know everything. And somebody identifies ... not that you know everything. You do define ... let me put ... let me start again, sorry. Maybe you can edit this part. [crosstalk 00:21:11].
Alzay: It's okay. It's alright.
Darius: Yeah. The commonality is that you need to define an expertise. Okay? You need to know this one specific thing you need to know and do it great. The difference is, is in this French Workshop, it's only in referrals were as in the [inaudible 00:21:38] approach you're actually aggressively going towards the clients. And the key is not to justify yourself. It's just to have a conversation and see if you can help them.
Darius: I found that much more useful and much more practical then the French way because to find your best client you have to wait three years, in France. In the program you're doing it in six months, see? So ... but I think that it's because they are not using the designed thinking but this is something that is identified by the business press that I'm reading, and it's gradually entering all these different, what they call portals here in France. And they're trying to implement these programs and all that.
Darius: But I know that, for example, they had a whole program on LinkedIn but they expected the members to wait three years before doing that, and that's absurd.
Alzay: Right. Right. Right. Right. There is a way, I believe, there is a way of putting yourself in front of the very best opportunities. And that's what you're describing. I'm just saying the same thing in my own words, there is a way of putting yourself in front of those opportunities instead of waiting for them to come to you. There's some things you gotta do so that you are ready for those opportunities, but sitting and waiting for three years just doesn't make practical sense.
Darius: No, even the workshops. Our webinars, our group calls are an hour long. We would spend a whole day. Four hours in the morning, four hours after the lunch break. After the lunch break you don't wanna work. It's not practical. I mean, I had to, actually it's funny because I had ... at one point I suggested to the group to do a Skype call. It didn't even strike their mind to do a Skype call.
Darius: And I think this is really because designed thinking is something that is, in France at least, is only beginning to be introduced. Why have they waited so long? I really don't know. It may be different in England. In the U.K. or even in Germany, but France is still a relatively conservative country and probably because people don't speak english here ... except the president, so ...
Alzay: Got it. Well listen, Darius, there are a few things I wanna ask you offline so we'll stop this recording now. We appreciate it and good luck in the future, okay?
Darius: Look forwards to the future. Thank you very much.