AbdurRazaq is a highly successful network marketing professional that has achieved record breaking success in a short period of time. Based in Nigeria, he has built a strong international team and achieved many different accolades such as $ 10,000 a month in income in only 5 months which was the fastest in the history of his current company and in only two months later, he achieved $ 25,000 for the month. He earned over $ 100,000 in less than 12 months making him a six figure club member and in 18 months he became the fastest to ever accomplish his current rank.facebook.com/abdurrazaq.abdulaziz ››
Intro: You are now tuned into the Reignite Studio Podcast where entrepreneurs, home-based business professionals and thought leaders share their formula for success. Pick up actionable tips and inspiration which can help you grow yourself and your business and now it’s time to sit back, listen and learn with your host, founder of the Reignite Network, James Yates.
James Yates: Hey guys. Welcome to the Reignite Studio Podcast. I have an action packed interview today with the one and only AbdurRazaq Abdul-Aziz. AbdurRazaq is a highly successful network marketing professional that has achieved record breaking success in a short period of time. Based in Nigeria, he has built a strong international team and achieved many different accolades such as $ 10,000 a month in income in only 5 months which was the fastest in the history of his current company and in only two months later, he achieved $ 25,000 for the month. He earned over $ 100,000 in less than 12 months making him a six figure club member and in 18 months he became the fastest to ever accomplish his current rank. But it wasn’t always like this. Today, I look forward to having a real and raw conversation with AbdurRazaq about his successes but also his journey to this point. So a big welcome to the show AbdurRazaq. How are you today?
AbdurRazaq Abdul-Aziz: Fine, thank you James. It’s an honor to be here. Thank you so much for having me on the show.
James Yates: It’s an absolute pleasure. Look AbdurRazaq, I mean we have been talking about lining this up for a while so I’m excited that we’ve been able to make it work. I’m currently broadcasting from Sydney, you’re in Nigeria; well how phenomenal technology is these days. But look, let’s just get rocking and rolling for today’s show and I’d love for you to tell our audience a little bit more about your journey prior to network marketing and then how you found network marketing and then we’ll lead on from there.
AbdurRazaq Abdul-Aziz: Awesome. Thank you so much. You know they say better late than never so I’m excited that we’re doing this today. So, I first got involved with direct sales — it was a friend a friend of mine – I had come to Abuja to build my family business. My father started a cleaning company way back and I’ve never really worked for anyone or any company I’ve always worked with him and in 1999 I decided to come to Abuja to build a branch of our business. It was very difficult. Everyone will tell Abuja is one of the – it is the most expensive city in Nigeria, one of the most expensive cities in Africa. So after a while I got around – there was a chap, and we became friends and he was trying to get me to look at a business opportunity and each time he came I was busy, and he kept coming back so after a while, just to get him off my back, I said “Okay, I’ll go to the meeting.” And it was quite – I sat at the back of the room because I was really nonchalant but when the speaker at the front started talking about things like extra income, personal development it got my attention because at that time, as I said, I was just starting a new branch of our company; it was difficult because I was putting in so much time and effort but I wasn’t getting results yet so I felt okay this is an avenue for me to make extra income and to really develop myself personally. And so I decided to listen and I listened to the end and it sounded something good and I decided “Okay, you know what; let me go ahead and give this a shot” so that was how I got started. I was really struggling with my traditional business so I’d heard so many negative things about network marketing at that time but after listening to that presentation on that night, my mind began to open to the fact that I can actually help a lot of people, show them this opportunity and leverage on other people’s efforts and improve other people’s lives. So that was my biggest attraction and that’s how I got started in network marketing ten years ago.
James Yates: That’s fantastic AbdurRazaq. It’s great to here traditional business owner leads into network marketing. I think the common thing that you had is really common around the world which is “Do I really want to go down that path of network marketing.” You can hear positive and negative experiences from other people but I want to go back another step actually and almost go before you even got into business, before you even got into the entrepreneurial world. Had you ever thought of working for somebody else? Were you conditioned to work for somebody else? Or what led you down the path of really working for yourself from day one.
AbdurRazaq Abdul-Aziz: My father – I’ve never worked for anybody else. It’s my father — he started out life as a business owner. So I just found myself organically working with him. I remember he started out as an electrical merchant. He had an electrical shop where he sold electrical equipment, electrical items and then he transitioned into the cleaning business and when I was in – well in before I was in secondary school which a lot of people call high school, I used to help in mixing up chemicals for the different products that you use for the cleaning business and I used to go to the office, just stayed around and then when I got into university, I never lived in campus. I was always going back and forth from home because I had to go to the office. So he started me off as an entrepreneur, as a business owner so I’ve never looked for a job in my life, I’ve never worked for any company, never worked for the government, always worked with my dad and so when I graduated from the university after the one year government service — we call it National Youth Service Corps here in Nigeria, after you finish university you have to serve the country –so after that I decided to go back home and work with him full time and that was when I decided we need to branch because Nigeria had moved their capital from Lagos to Abuja and I felt Abuja was a very good place to go and invest our business in. So we talked about it with him and reluctantly almost – in fact what happened was when I told him about my intention he felt I was too young to take up the task. So I felt he’s holding me back and I decided to go back to school. I went to do a Masters in Business Administration and my intention was to actually look for a job. I think he read between the lines and just as I was completing my Masters degree he called me and said, “You know what, I think you’re ready now to go set up a branch.” So that was how I came to Abuja to set up a branch of our business at that time. So I’ve never worked, I’ve never really looked for a job. I’ve never done it. So it’s always been business with my father.
James Yates: It’s a fantastic story because I think a lot of our listeners right now – often we’re conditioned to going through a particular path that we only know and what we’ve been exposed to. I know a lot our listeners may have gone down the path of actually having a family that also worked jobs but I think whether it’s fortunate, however you want to say I think it’s a brilliant understanding of where you’ve come from because that’s given you obviously a phenomenal level or base understanding of the entrepreneurial world and what I would love to understand now; as you get into network marketing, what’s the initial experience? Do you gain the success initially or does it take a bit of time?
AbdurRazaq Abdul-Aziz: For me it was not immediate because first when I got started I didn’t understand – I was excited about showing people an opportunity that allowed them to make money but I didn’t understand the dynamics of network marketing. So I felt the more people that we showed the opportunity, the more you’re going to earn. I didn’t understand the concept of building an organization, building a team. So I didn’t enjoy immediate success. In fact, after about a few days, must have been between 9 and 10 days, when I launched with that company back then, I was involved in a motor accident which put me out of circulation for almost 8 months cause I had to get healed and it was at that time that I received a text message that the company I was involved with at that time was going to do their first year anniversary celebration in Abuja and so my wife and I went to the event and the highlight of the evening was the end of the celebration when people were called onto the stage and they were distributing cheques and I was so fascinated that the first person, the person who had won the top prize, had – on stage there was fireworks, it was really exciting. So I was just amazed, I was “Wow!” Everything that was going on in my mind was “I wish I was the person on stage.” So I asked the person who was seated next to me “What did that person do to achieve what he did?” And the person asked “Aren’t you a member of this organization?” I said, “Yes, but can you please tell me?” Because all the while I didn’t know so he said “Oh, the person obviously built their business and shared the opportunity and they were in the first position for that month.” So I went back home and that was when I started to build my business and like I said, I was just excited, I wanted to go on stage and I was just calling everybody sharing the opportunity and in the first 3 months I didn’t really earn much until I started to study network marketing; what is network marketing? How do you build a business? I started going to the meetings and I started to learn and about the 4th month, 4th month things started to happen because I was now building my team, I was duplicating myself because I think before then I was managing my business but then I read and I was doing the course about duplication and by the 6th month or so I was number 1 in the business! So that for me was education I started to learn more about network marketing, studying – having come from a background of owning business, traditional mortar and brick business, so it’s the concept of duplication that really kicked in for me that I started to see the results that I was able to achieve at that time.
James Yates: That’s brilliant and I guess the success that you have had of recent times is quite mind-blowing. Is that based on experience of going through the motions prior or did you mirror someone? What was the way that you started to get this thing moving at a fast pace?
AbdurRazaq Abdul-Aziz: When I joined my current company, of course I already had experience in network marketing so what I did was – in fact, the story was; it wasn’t really my business cause my wife started the business at first; I thought the business opportunity was best suited for women so I got my wife started. That was 2 months until I took a serious look. Now having been in network marketing, I knew exactly what I needed to do –to put in place. I went in with a mindset of achieving one of the top positions in a record time. I started targeting that for myself; 12 months from then I was going to hit a particular target in the company where I was able to leverage on the effort of everybody in the company. So that was my goal. I set the target and I implemented everything that I had learned about network marketing prior to joining my current company. It was all sort of like clockwork. I knew what I had to do and I just wanted to do it.
James Yates: It’s quite relevant in terms of if you look at Malcom Gladwell’s book “Outliers”. He talks about taking 10,000 hrs to master a craft. Well it sure sounds like the journey that you’ve had even prior being exposed in terms of your father and the entrepreneurial world and then coming into that network marketing experience and then still utilizing that; it sounds like a phenomenal journey that you’ve been on that’s continued to get better. The great thing that I love about your story is that; most people don’t see the behind the scenes stuff, they see you on stage achieving all of these records but it has been quite a journey, hasn’t it?
AbdurRazaq Abdul-Aziz: Yes, it’s hard work. It’s hard work James because here in Africa, here in Abuja, Nigeria, what I’ve discovered is that majority of people who are involved in network marketing do not really understand what it takes to succeed. They come to network marketing – people tell them of this sea of success that, like I said, they see the glory they don’t see the story. And they get really excited about earning big cheques in the company but they’re not ready to actually ready to put in the effort or they’re not patient enough to put in the effort. So over the years I have seen a lot of people coming to network marketing in Nigeria and they didn’t have the staying power because they lack the patience to learn a lot of – you know our people here; they don’t read a lot, we don’t like to study. So it was for me, when I launched my current company, like I said, I knew what I had to do so I was really open about it – anybody I approached I told them this is possible for you, however you need to make a commitment. I didn’t go in to build my business to make a lot of money. I had a target yes, but I also had the intention of building a solid organization. People who understand that network marketing is a distribution system; it’s a business that requires for you to put in at least two years – I tell people that you need to put in at least two years of hard work and then all effort that you put in, you start to see the results. But you need to get trained to understand the business. You need to have at least a level of understanding of the products. So you need to become a business person. And we find out that in Africa, a lot of people – of course we look for every type of people to enter our businesses; some people already have a job, most people don’t have a job so I more or less became a teacher. I remember the first 12 months in the business, I was so committed and every Saturday I was either doing presentations or training people organization every single Saturday. It got to a point that I actually even increased the level of activity and I was doing about 3-2 presentations every week; on Tuesday and on a Thursday and on Saturdays we were doing presentations and trainings and then eventually I started doing trainings on Fridays and then we do a presentation again on Saturday. So it was a lot of hard work but I knew the result was going to come so I wasn’t afraid to work and a lot of people are afraid to put in the work. They think network marketing is a hobby, that’s the way actually how a lot of people see network marketing here in Africa. They just think it’s a hobby, something that women do especially since some men they have real – they have that “Biased mind” that network marketing is a woman’s business. That’s what they think. But eventually – when I started out of course I had more women in my team – personally sponsored– but eventually, when the men started seeing the results they started to change their minds so we have a mix of men and women in my team.
James Yates: It’s really an interesting topic to talk about; Africa. Because I know this continent is a completely different ball game to be building and within that continent every country is another ball game as well. How do you go about building your business in Africa? Are we talking – is this literally, as you mentioned, meeting after meeting, face to face? Are you able to utilize the online versions? What do you do to build your business?
AbdurRazaq Abdul-Aziz: It’s a mix of both because of — here in Nigeria we have challenges in terms of power, so we can’t utilize online approach 100%. Not everybody is connected to the internet, first of all. We’re still expanding in terms of the density of people that were using internet conveniently at their home or on the go so it was more of a belly to belly operation. Going out there every single day; going to meet up groups – I normally visit a lot of hotels here in Abuja where meetings go on and I participate in them, I establish relationships and then from there I expose people to our business and I start to teach people that as well. So it’s a lot of personal contacts and that’s the great thing about one thing we have going here in Africa is that brotherliness. You can call anybody a brother and in fact it’s a way to draw people to you; when you call people “brother” or “sister” it’s a good feeling. We have that special bond and relationship here in Africa; you can walk out of the house and everyone will say “Brother”. Everybody is your brother so they don’t mind you to call them that. So that was a good thing that I used to my advantage. I went out; I met a lot of people. And then of course there are the type of people that are techies; people that understand computers people that understand the advantages of using an online system to promote the business and so I started to social media as well to contact my friends especially on Facebook. Still learning to do that. In fact, even yesterday we had a training among my team on how to use Facebook targeting. So once we started to build, we started to identify people who were familiar with the internet and there are some people who they don’t even understand it. They understand business and that’s another thing that’s going well for us here in Nigeria. A lot of people, Nigerians, love to do business. They’re very resilient, they are very tough. Even with the recession, we’re currently in a recession right now, but you still see people striving to make something of their lives. And as long as you’re able to guide them, to teach them, to train them, and show them that this is the way for you to actually build a business and they’re ready to learn. I have a good number of people like that in my team.
James Yates: What would be some of the things you’re up against? I mean, we’ve spoken quite heavily around there’s a perception of network marketing; there’s a perception that it’s perhaps a business for females over males initially. There’s all of that and obviously that can all be changed once there’s some social proof and I definitely see you as a massive advocate of this- what is still a first wave for network marketing going through Africa which is a huge education system in itself. What are some of the other things that you come up against when you’re building in a market such as Nigeria?
AbdurRazaq Abdul-Aziz: Get rich quick syndrome. A lot of our people have been hurt because in every type of business there’s always the good side and the bad side. Because of people not grounded; they don’t have good education, good information about what is a legitimate Network Marketing business. A lot of people have fallen prey to pyramid schemes. And they’re themselves or people that they know who have heard about “Network marketing niche”. It’s really pyramid schemes and so their reaction to that first is “No, I don’t want to get involved”, “I got involved and I lost a lot of money” or “I know my brother lost money, my uncle or I’ve heard about this type of schemes where people have lost money so I don’t want to get involved.” So that’s a big challenge and what I do is “I understand and I empathize with you. However, you need to tell me more about what you’re talking about.” And then gradually I show them the difference between a legitimate business and a pyramid scheme. And some of them, a good number of them turn around, some take a long time but eventually – like I had someone who when I started my current company, I invited him to take a look, who had been involved in another business before but I knew him from that company. So he actually was already open to network marketing but felt that he was closed-minded to other opportunities and so when I showed him my current business he said, “Oh, okay. I’ll take a look at it.” And then I kept following up with him and it was actually I was in London and I just saw a message from him. He said, “Look, I’ve been seeing whats been going on in your business. I know that you’re currently in the U.K. So what are you doing right now?” I said, “The same business I told you about a year ago.” And he said, “Really? That’s interesting and you’ve made good progress. Why don’t we meet? Let’s have a meeting when you come back so that you can tell me more about this.” So people look at you and as long as you’re consistent, they’ll come around. So apart from that, of course the recession right now – we’re in recession so it’s difficult for people to actually – they have saved up money so it’s difficult for them, especially when they are unsure if the business is legitimate so difficult for them to put that money. So it’s a lot of work showing people that network marketing is legitimate. And also it’s probably the most – the start up cost when you think about starting a traditional business it’s way lower. Some companies are a hundred dollars or one fifty, two hundred dollars you can start a network marketing business and when you put in your effort very quickly you can start to build a business. So those are the things that I show people about the possibility. You don’t have to worry about putting a huge amount of money down. You don’t have to worry about having an office and all of that. So that’s some of the challenges that we face here and after, and slowly but surely a lot of, well not a lot, but a good number of people are seeing the real deal. When I say the real deal I’m talking about companies who are legitimate network marketing companies. We see them here in Africa so it’s a good thing and the opportunity is open because nothing has really happened in network marketing in Africa and, like you said, I’m an advocate of network marketing because I believe it’s the last passion where anyone can hit a financial home run. It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter your background , the company. And with good work ethic. So I’m really moving into teaching network marketing to a vast majority of people. I’m thinking about coming up with a youth empowerment program; teach them – actually working with them. A young man right now is just taking over his mother’s business and my current company and we’re working together and he’s really showing me the possibility of working with the youth and getting them registered building network marketing businesses even from when their in school before they actually graduate from university.
James Yates: If there was one piece of advice that you could give the youth that we’re working with. There’s young guys that are coming through; ambitious people with big dreams. Knowing what you know, is there any key ingredient or one piece of advice that you could give to these guys that could supercharge their business from day one?
AbdurRazaq Abdul-Aziz: Yeah. My advice would be to learn business skills because in school they don’t teach us how to survive in terms of when you graduate, what are you going to do after you graduate? The school system teaches ‘Go out there and get good grades and then look for a job’. And there’s so many jobs out there really so my advice for the youth right now would be for them to start to learn business skills and start a network marketing business while they are in school they do on a part time basis because it can evolve and really become a full time income for them in the future so that’s what I’m going to advice the youth to learn business skills and one that they can learn and really apply almost immediately even while they’re in school is network marketing because it doesn’t involve you to stop whatever you’re doing. You can just create a few hours after your school work even if it’s 2 hours every single week; 4 hours, 5 hours and you can learn and earn as you learn and just keep going and you have a business that can assist you to earn some income even while you’re in school and then after you’re done you can take it to – because I’m so – it’s frustrating when you look at the number of graduates that we have, especially here in Nigeria, who don’t have a job and with the current situation that we have in the country right now even those who have jobs are losing their jobs. So just imagine if they had an opportunity in network marketing; if all the graduates got a job and they continued to do that on the side even while they have their job and when they lose their job they know that “You know what, I have a business that I can do.” I keep telling people that network marketing is a good opportunity because it allows for redistribution of income and not just within your location; it can happen all over the world especially if you get involved with a business that has that global appeal you can – e-commerce is the future so you can get involved. That’s my advice to the youth. Learn business skills while you’re still in school. Don’t wait until you graduate to get a job.
James Yates: It’s exceptionally sound advice and if you look at the experience that you’ve had with an industry that continues to grow, I get very excited about the foundation that you’re able to build over there already within this profession and provide hope to so many others and to get such an insight to Africa as well was brilliant. I think a lot of our listeners are really saying Africa is hotspot in terms of population plus desire, there’s plenty of desire and there’s plenty of people, how do we build? And I think we’ve got a lot of great skills and ‘Aha!’ moments coming out of this from speaking with you as well so I really appreciate that. Where does AbdurRazaq go from here? You’ve had a few phenomenal achievements already, but where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years with this industry?
AbdurRazaq Abdul-Aziz:: That is a good one. That is a very interesting question. Yes, I’ve been able to record some very good achievements right now. So I see myself becoming kind of a coach, a trainer generically for people in my company and outside of my company. I want to teach people, I want to train people in network marketing. I want to teach them business skills. I feel that people need to do the business the correct way and they need a structure to follow, they need to get the information correctly so that they can build the business the right way. So I see myself being a trainer. Of course I’ll just start locally and then gradually become an international trainer and coach in the network marketing industry.
James Yates: I think the network marketing profession will be exceptionally blessed to have you continue to educate and build on that foundation that you’ve already been able to accomplish. AbdurRazaq I’ve thoroughly enjoyed hearing such a diverse amount of content, at the same time hearing your journey and knowing that you are well and truly on your way to a huge amount more success so thank you so much for jumping on our show today and I’m looking forward to watching your journey very closely.
AbdurRazaq Abdul-Aziz: Thank you so much James. It’s been, like I said in the beginning , an honor and a pleasure and I want to thank you so much. You and your wife are also an inspiration to me. I see the work that you’re doing; you’ve been doing massive work in Africa and thank you so much for taking the time. Not many people will leave the comfort of their homes and go to Africa to help people in Africa to build a business and to see them succeed so I want to thank you for that on behalf of my brothers and sisters in South Africa and of course I know you’re talking to other people in other parts of Africa as well so we appreciate your presence in Africa and look forward to working very closely with you in the future.
James Yates: I really appreciate it. Thanks so much AbdurRazaq. Well, that’s it for the show today everyone. We really appreciate you tuning in and in the mean time make sure you get out, live your passions and do what lights you up. We’ll talk to you on our next episode very soon. Thanks so much.
Thanks so much for listening to the Reignite Studio Podcast with your host James Yates online at Reignitenetwork.com. We’ll catch you next time.