After being accepted to law school in his native Sweden, Navid Moazzez figured he’d see it through.
“It felt right at the time, mostly because I didn’t know what else I would be doing,” Moazzez reflects. “Then as time went on, I started to realise that I didn’t want to be tied to a desk all my life, without much freedom.”
He dropped out in 2013 to start his own business.
Two years later, that business earns him as much as $US40,000 a month and allows him to work from anywhere in the world. He tells Business Insider how he did it.
Moazzez launched his personal website a few months after leaving school. He was inspired by people following non-traditional career paths and by books like “Think And Grow Rich” and “How To Win Friends And Influence People.”
“The thing is that I didn’t have a real business or was making sustainable income at all when I dropped out,” he explains. “I just did it anyway. At first, it was a way to document my own entrepreneurial journey, and inspire other people this way. I started from scratch without any experience or relationships in the online space, so I really had to learn a lot and build my authority and personal brand online.”
Moazzez started building out the website without a defined objective — his goal only was to share his experiences (“although I don’t recommend it to everyone”). Early on, he scored an interview with passive-income master Pat Flynn, which he says set the site’s tone and got some initial attention.
“I built some amazing relationships with some influential people and many more through online communities,” Moazzez says. “A Zig Ziglar quote that really resonates with me is, ‘You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.’ And that was exactly what I was trying to do.”
He also credits Natalie Sisson’s 30-Day Blog Challenge, during which he wrote 40,000 words, as a turning point. In 2014, he relaunched his site, and in April of that year, he added a podcast called The Lifestyle Architects.
“I’ve interviewed amazing people like Robert Greene, Cal Newport, Todd Herman, Chris Brogan, Joel Comm, Laura Roeder, and many more,” Moazzez says. “I love podcasting, and it was the best relationship builder ever for me — and free mentorship. But the problem was it did not generate much cash flow in my business or grow my email list rapidly.”
He started doing some research, and after hearing that people say they’d pay for his podcast, he came up with the idea to host a virtual summit on personal branding, which became The Branding Summit. He made it free with the intention of growing his email list, and about 3,000 people signed up. He also provided the option to purchase bonus podcasts along with admission to the summit, and quickly made 200 sales.
“I was selling the interviews and presentations from the summit — I had 88 world-leading entrepreneurs on it — plus exclusive bonuses like live Q&A calls with some of the top speakers, a private Facebook group, and tickets to a live event,” he explains. “It was a no-brainer offer at $US97, and as the summit went on I raised the price to $US147. Now it’s at $US197.”
“I started to make money while I sleep, when I was at the gym, the grocery store, up in the air on a plane,” he adds.
While focusing on his website, Moazzez had held down a part-time job at a bank to produce some income. As the summit began to take shape, he decided to quit. “Just like with law school, I had a gut feeling that it would work out,” he says. “Mid-November, I sent my boss a notification that I would quit my job, and on November 28, I had my last day at my part-time job. To make this day even better, it was most likely my biggest pay day to date. I made $US5,400 in one day!”
After making $US20,000 from his online business, Moazzez sold or donated most of his belongings until everything he owned fit in a suitcase, which he totes with him as he works around the world.
“I was never a minimalistic person by trait, or thought I could live this way, but I gotta say it feels amazing to just be able to live in Thailand, go to Mexico, or meet up with my friends in the U.S.,” he says. “Right now I’m in Cabo San Lucas, combining work with pleasure, and the view from my place is incredible. It’s not hard to feel motivated when you wake up to this every morning. And I know that I have a community to serve, and the more value I can provide to them, the more impact and money I will make in my business.”
“There will never be a perfect time or moment to get started,” Moazzez advises. “Take one small step today, act before you’re ready, take massive action, and just do it!”