Episode 34 Interview With Omar Zenhom

Posted by site_master on November 09, 2016  /   Posted in Episode Transcript

Missions and Marketplace Podcast

Episode 34

Interview with Omar Zenhom

 Hello Everyone! I’m Priest Willis and this is Missions and Marketplace podcast episode number 34. Today I’m joined by Omar Zenhom. Omar is the CEO of Webinar Ninja and the chief talker with $100 MBA. Omar loves rooting for the underdog and telling it like it is. He is the business brains behind the operation with over 14 years of building experience. He was an educator and university manager for 13 years. Omar attended Wharton Business School and dropped out in frustration to build the $100 MBA. Him and his wife are on a mission to revolutionize business education forever. Omar is the curriculum developer, content creator and head instructor at the $100 MBA. This guy and his wife are truly building something that adds value to those who want to create a business, those who want to get into business or those who are just interested in hearing about business and the different workings behind it. I know and you’ll hear me confess this during our discussion – this is one podcast that I soaked up literally. I went to bed, listened to a lot of episodes; I woke up the next day and listened to a lot of episodes. And there’s vital information in here. I hope you enjoy listening to him and I hope that this conversation in itself adds value to you and your business. Without further ado, here’s my man, Omar Zenhom.

Welcome to Missions and Marketplace podcast. Join us as we talk to business and thought leaders to discuss their passion in and outside of business and how it drives them to give and be citizens of goodwill. Let’s get started.

PW:        Omar welcome to the program!

OZ:         I’m happy to be here!

PW:        Yeah, I’m excited to have you. Honestly, I say this to everyone. This is becoming like a Jimmy Fallon or someone type of thing where you tell everybody you’re excited for them to be here. But I’m truly excited for you to be here because you’re just someone – podcast that I’ve been just soaking up constantly. You are, for me personally, just one of my favorite dudes and you don’t even know it yet.

OZ:         That’s so sweet Priest! Thank you so much for that. It means so much. You know as a fellow podcaster, you know how much it means to hear that somebody’s getting something out of your podcast.

PW:        Yeah, definitely. It does mean a lot. Why don’t you tell the audience a little bit about yourself? Who are you? What have you been up to?

OZ:         Sure! I am the founder of the $100 MBA and the $100 MBA Show as well as a software called Webinar Ninja. Um I started my career in education. I was a teacher and a middle manager. I was a head of a department on education for a number of years – over 13 years. And uh I kind of dabbled into entrepreneurship while I was teaching. Uh I was trying to see if I can make that dollar online seem possible. I started back in 2000 before there was any PayPal or WordPress or anything like that. So you know, I read a lot of books and I experienced a lot, and made a lot of mistakes. Fortunately, I could afford those mistakes because I was in a day job; you know I was working in my career. But eventually I decided to leave education and start my own thing. I know there are a lot of people who are in a position like that right now where they want to transition into entrepreneurship but they don’t necessarily have the skills or the knowledge when it comes to marketing, sales, finance, had a valid business idea. A lot of us want to be sure when we do that and I wanted to create a space where people can learn and communicate and be part of the community; and that’s where the $100 MBA was born. Which is exactly what it sounds like – a $100 MBA education. So, you know, we’d launched $100 MBA Show, our podcast that you mentioned, in August 2014. It’s a daily business podcast. There are daily 10-minute business lessons. You know, we are fortunate enough to grow our audience and were able to get recognized by iTunes as Best of iTunes in 2014 which is an incredible honor and uh, you know after 2 years of hard work you know, we’ve reached a point where now we have about 50,000 downloads everyday which has been a great accomplishment for us…

PW:        Wow

OZ:         …to be able to reach so many people and to be able to help people as they grow in their business journey

PW:        You definitely have an amazing story and I love, kinda, your journey because in one sense, you, kinda, have this idea of who you think you are and what you’re gonna do for the rest of your life. And then obviously, there’s different veers that happen within your career. But when you take a step back you can see all along how you ended up being who you are. So, I mean, you were a teacher. So it was a natural – it may not seem like back then, but it was the natural transition to become sort of a teacher as you do podcasting cause I’ve listened to you talk about things. You know people putting questions about what happens if, you know, a client wants to do a charge back on a credit card and you’ll teach them something real small there. So you’re just like naturally a teacher so it comes real natural in the podcast, too.

OZ:         Yeah, I mean the only correction I would make Priest is that I probably wouldn’t say I was a natural at teaching…

PW:        [Chuckles]

OZ:         …because it took me a very long time. Because I remember my first days of teaching, I was terrified. I didn’t look my students in the eye, I had no classroom management, I didn’t know how to. I didn’t know the first thing about instruction you know or how to present a lesson and make sure that, you know, comprehension takes place. But the funny thing about consistency is that you have so many chances to learn- so many chances to get it right. And we’re in that classroom every single day- five times a day, six times a day. Yeah, you shake off those fears, you shake off those apprehensions and you know, year after year I got better. I started to get more comfortable with it; I started to find my own style. Um and then when I went into, you know, full time  entrepreneurship and I started the $100 MBA and the $100 MBA Show podcast, I realized that if I’m gonna compete in this marketplace, I have to leverage my strengths. I have to use my strengths and my strength is teaching, you know, like there’s not a lot of podcasters out there that could say, you know, they have a Masters in Education and have taught for 13 years at several levels. So I have that going for me, so wouldn’t it make any sense for me to do an interview podcast? So, ha-ha, I decided to do a lesson-based podcast and help people directly – ensure nuggets of 10 to 12 minutes of how to do something specific in their business, how to improve something, how to change a way, think about something. I just found my groove there and I think that kind of is our unique differentiator and that is why people listen.

PW:        What would you say, how was your first couple of podcast? Maybe even the one you didn’t launch; the beginning ones that you scratched?

OZ:         Sure…

PW:        Were you kind of nervous then? Or how did….

OZ:         Yeah, definitely. I mean I’ve been a podcast listener for some time you know, um for probably you know eight years or so when podcasting started. I always loved to listen to them and then I went to a conference. It was called New Media Expo and everybody – the buzz was about podcasting back then 2013. And I was like okay I should just start a podcast. And then I just thought podcasting was one way and you kind of have to do it this way, it had to be interview style. And we launched a podcast where we interviewed experts and it was great coz I got to meet so many people but I quickly realized I’m not really good at this. I’m not really good at interviewing. It’s not kind of natural and we just – we just hadn’t felt podcast. It just didn’t go well. We did it for about six months. We had about fif-, forty-six episodes and it was a good run and then you know Nicole and I, Nicole’s my business partner and wife, and we um, we went on a road trip and we just thought to ourselves like why is this not working? Like what’s going on? And the penny dropped. You know like we need to do something that leverages our strengths you know, like let’s teach instead of, you know, interview and we thought, you know, we both work in the business world and we thought about “hey, you know, people teach languages on podcast”. You know there’s Coffee Break French, Coffee Break Spanish which is a language teaching podcast. Why don’t we teach the language of business?” And that kind of was the birth of the $100 MBA Show and we took a lot of time in crafting that show. We took it really serious – we just said no to any or to our clients, we stopped launching any products or anything new. We took two months straight to kind of craft that show. We recorded probably episode one over ten times and edited it and had people listen to it. We just really want to get the sound right, the format right and just have its own feeling. You know, I was so glad that I took that time to do that and craft that and I know which is a good way to start that show.

PW:        It’s a really good story because a lot of times you listen to these guys who are pretty sharp in podcasting or sharper in podcasting and you know you tend to think “we’ll I’ll never be at that level so why do I even bother?” But you just mentioned that you had 46 episodes in the can essentially and you just decided “hey, this isn’t me” and you were willing to kind of make the adjustment. I think this is a lesson for myself and other entrepreneurs who are listening that “hey it’s okay to think that you have a strong playing going out the gate but, you know, be willing to make adjustments”. And, you know,  I always say this but knowing who you aren’t sometimes helps you to know who you are.

OZ:         It’s true.

PW:        Yeah and I think, you know, ultimately that’s what you and your wife, Nicole, decided is that you know this interview process is just isn’t us so more on the teaching side. Now, you were teaching in Dubai right?

OZ:         Yeah, I was teaching at the university there.

PW:        So you brought back the experience that you had teaching and teaching in Dubai and having the business background that you do, go on to brokers and all these other cool stuff. So, although you were nervous I still think you had the tools that kind of made it natural. More natural than some of the other people coz your nerves, Omar, may be far different than the guy that’s never done it. He may be a total mess so you have something to lay back on help.

OZ:         [Chuckles]

PW:        You threw it a little bit.

OZ:         Yeah, I mean next month we’re gonna be celebrating episode 800 of the $100 MBA show, it was just so so fun. But I cringe when I listen to the first 200 episodes of the $100 MBA Show you know, I was still finding my groove. I was still trying to find my voice with this new show and you know, you’re always improving and I would say that if you can’t look back and cringe at the work that you’ve done then you’re not improving. You need to have cringe-worthy work, you know. You have to have that in your arsenal.

PW:        Uh-huh

OZ:         And that’s okay. That’s fine. But you have to just, you have to put it out there and you have to try. You gotta keep on going. And one of the blessings I feel that I have with $100 MBA Show being daily is uh you know, it lets me to constantly improve my craft and try to analyze what I’ve done and really sit back and think. We spoke about sports a little bit before the show and one of the things that I love to remind myself is that you know in any sport, in any game, it’s hard to win a game or you know win the match, if you never take any time outs.

PW:        Uh-huh

OZ:         You need to take a time out. You need to just d– ju— “how are we doing? What’s going on? Are we on track? Is this going right? Do we need to replace things? Do we need to change things up, change the game plan?” You know you have to regroup and I’m glad that we did.

PW:        I like that. That’s the first time I ever heard that kind of analogy but that’s a really great way of looking at things is you have to take a time out for your business and assess who you do you think you are in this place. Coz sometimes you know when we create business plans and I’m sure you have as I have…

OZ:         Uh-huh

PW:        When you create a business plan and you look back a year later to see what you wrote a year previously. Those plans in a lot of cases have changed completely. Or…

OZ:         Oh definitely!

PW:        You know in some sense they’ve changed far different than what you what you thought of. So we really do have to take some time out to kind of reassess where we think where we think we stand. This kind of brings me to another question Omar. You know as you’re doing, you’re analyzing, you’re reassessing kind of your place in podcasting or business in general, do you find yourself comparing yourself to the “competition” or are you just keeping your head down, focusing on what you think your call is. How do you really get a better understanding of your place in this space?

OZ:         I would say um more of the latter. Like I think it’s very unhealthy for you to constantly be comparing yourself to other people because you’ll never gonna get anywhere because you have to do you. You have to focus on what you can do – your strengths, and produce your work. I try to block out the noise as much as possible because it will influence your work. Not only, you know, your whole self-esteem, but also just through constantly looking at somebody’s work or letting, you’re analyzing somebody’s work you’re gonna start copying them by mistake.

PW:        Uh-huh

OZ:         You’re gonna start doing it their way just because you’re influenced by them. And you don’t want that to happen when you’re trying to create your body of work. Um having said that, you know, I do have close friends that are in the podcasting world. Um we do have these discussions so we, you know, we kinda share our best practices, how do you market, how do you try to, you know, do new things, like what’s your work schedule like, you know, that’s healthy conversation but when it comes to the actual product you really want to make sure that you know you’re focusing on your thing and not really worrying about what everybody else is doing.

PW:        Uh-huh. So you talk about having Webinar Ninja which you started about two years ago I think it is, I’m not sure. Was is based on your previous businesses? Including this one where people started having questions about their very own businesses that was the catalyst of the $100 MBA Show or just in general, were you finding yourself consulting with other business owners and you just had “you know what, there’s a world of opportunity to start helping people here”.

OZ:         I loved webinars just because you know my background being in teaching I should do a lot of webinars for the $100 MBA, I just didn’t like the tools that I had to use to run a webinar. It was very cumbersome, very hard to use, there was a lot of moving parts. There was a lot of work just to run one webinar and I just uh decided to create something for myself – not even for sale. But then a lot of my attendees decide, you know, asked me you know “what are you using for this webinar” and I said you know “it’s just something that I just put together, just slapped together for myself”. And they just said to me you know “can I buy it?” and I thought “Mmmmhhmm Maybe. Let me let me see if I can put a sales page up”. You know I talked to my partner Nicole and we discussed it and I said “hey listen you know do you wanna get into the software business. Do we even have a product for sale?  Like is this even worth doing.” We thought, let the audience decide that. So we opened it up for data, we cleaned it up a little bit, made it for commercial use and we opened it up for data for just a hundred users. And we said hey you know let’s see what the reaction is and then forty-eight hours later we sold out so we were like okay there’s some – it’s a hundred, it’s not a lot but you know there’s some reaction. And then a couple of months after we made a few changes we opened it again for a hundred fifty users and sold them in twenty four hours and then were like okay. We started thinking about long term strategy for the software which we did and we started to expand its features and go cloud based and go browser based. It was a very fun experiment and I have to say that as much as I enjoy the show, Webinar Ninja has taught me so much through the struggles and the challenges that software brings. Uh it taught me so much how to be better entrepreneur.

PW:        Are you doing your own development with Webinar Ninja or do you work with a team.

OZ:         Uh no. We work with a team. Um we have a team of four developers and a UX designer, a couple of testers, as well as a project manager. You know we’ve grown. I mean we didn’t start out that way. We just started with one developer and I helped out a little bit. I know a little of PHP and HTML and CSS but I’m no way you know full time kind of developer guy, you know, it was something I just dabbled in. But um, you know, we started to grow our team as a user-based crew and, you know, at ten thousand users we need that kind of staff to be able to innovate and change and fix and help and things like that.

PW:        Yeah, let me be plain on this. So Webinar I get is webinars webinar – that makes sense. Just to talk a little bit about the product. This is me asking for myself but I’m sure…

OZ:         Sure

PW:        … there are entrepreneurs who are interested as well. This big idea of, well maybe it’s not new, but it’s this thing where people are creating virtual conferences now, right?

OZ:         Uh-huh.

PW:        Does Webinar Ninja sort of support that too? Where’s someone that creates a summit if you will?

OZ:         So Webinar Ninja is the software that allows you to do that. So some people use like some sort of add-on plugin or software for Google Hangouts which is like a web conference tool. So, we don’t use Hangouts, we use a software called WebRTC which is a technology called WebRTC which is the video uh streaming technology that we use. It’s a little bit more of the latest technology when it comes to live conferences because there is zero delay. It’s absolutely live. It allows people to interact in live time. At the same time it’s , you know, what’s kind of coming the future. You know Facebook live uses WebRTC. So we supply the whole software in terms of like you know your registration pages, emails that go out to your users when they sign up for the webinar or you know you can run the webinar within our software, you can make offers, you can, you know, give you know give incentives, polls, chats, things like that so we’re trying to make it as easy as possible to run a webinar so they can teach, build rapport with their audience and uh make a sale if they want to.

PW:        That’s really cool. So you have such a large following on all these different devices and I know you can do maybe some cross, you know, marketing through the podcasting. It may be Webinar Ninja – maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But how does someone else who is creating a widget, if you will, um or they’re having a podcast, how do they create the buzz to get to the point of — and maybe they won’t have fifty thousand downloads a day like your podcast…

OZ:         Um..

PW:        …ten thousand users like your webinar. But even if they want a fraction of that. Now we hear it generically like  “hey you can go out and put more on Facebook” but what are some real tactical approaches or more do you think someone should take? If I’m  a new business guy and I have a widget that I want to get into the space, what should my first focus be?

OZ:         So I’m a big believer of content marketing so you definitely need to – like the answer, short answer is it’s gonna take some hard work and I’ll just share some of the things that worked for me. And what I would highly recommend is understanding that you have to be the thought leader, you have to be the person that they go to to learn about your topic. So, say for example, you have an app that um I don’t know measures your heat rate or something like that you know. So you wanna be in the health and fitness industry. You wanna help people in the industry. You wanna be able to be you whether you’re providing videos or you know blog posts or podcast episodes or webinars or whatever you’re doing you need to produce content to show people that you can help them in this area and therefore your app will go hand in hand with your teachings. So one of the things I do and did heavily uh for the last few years with Webinar Ninja and the $100 MBA is, I do a lot of content marketing. I blog a lot on our blog as well as I do guest blogging which means I write for other blogs that have an audience I wanna get in front of. Audiences that you may not perceive as a direct, you know, audience. For example you know I guest blog at a Digital Photography School by Darren Rowse which is huge site about – these are photographers in the photography game. Some are pros, some are semi-pro but I analyzed the site, I realized that there is no other great article on how to go pro as a business, how to be a freelancer in photography and how do you actually monetize your craft. I looked at all the comments on the site and I decided “hey I’m gonna try to fill this need”. And I wrote a 2500-word article on how to go pro as a photographer, images and all and everything. I wrote it out before even contacting the site and then I contacted the site and say “hey you know I’d love to write for you and this is I analyzed your site, this is what I see this is what I think is lacking. I think you should fill these gaps either with me or without me. I wrote an article for you with this in mind and its attached in this email. Let me know if you’ll like to publish it.” You know that’s a lot easier to get a  yes out of when it’s already there and it’s all produced and they see the work that you’ve put into it. And I just did that over and over to many blog sites and was able to get in front of a lot of audiences and they headed over to my site at the end. You know, I give a call-to-action where I give them a freebie like in free guide or free video course or something like that and um I’m allowed to – it gives me a chance to build a relationship with them and build some rapport. And then I can let them know about my product or service.

PW:        Are these typically larger, more well-known blogs than just your run of the mill blogs. And…

OZ:         Well

PW:        …with some offense to anyone because…

OZ:         Yeah. To be honest with you Priest, I hit those big blogs but I also didn’t say no to any other blog. You know like I would – just to give you an idea. You know I would write about ten articles a week; I would write about five for other  blogs, five for my own blog. You know I would – I would really go to town and really dedicate the time to make this happen. Um and the reason why I do this is because I could understand that, you know, search engine optimization is huge. Google loves tags. You can write a great article and help people get shared. You know it’s really gonna help you and help you get found and help you not be ignored. So I – that’s really what I was trying to do and that’s just one strategy. And I try to get another podcast like I’m doing right now. I try to share my message to the people. I do a lot uh, you know, I do  webinars, things like that. So that’s kind of what I’ve done to kind of just in front of other audiences. And that just takes a lot of work, rolling up your sleeves and doing work.

PW:        It does. And I – in all transparency coz you know I am here to help my audience as well. I have a virtual assistant that I use. And these are real podcasts that I listen to typically. But I actually reach out or have the virtual assistant hand pick those podcasts to reach out to the different podcasters and ask to be a guest on their show and I’ll outline what kind of value I think I can give to their audience and all that stuff. Yes, some of it is self-promotion but to your point, it’s also meant to build up some um authority in that space or the particular niche that I’m going after – most of it of course is affiliate marketing. But, you know, the reason why I asked about the blogging piece and being on smaller blogs and again this was no knock to anyone’s blog, I think the first step is, one of the many for a lot of people, but you know because you hear about pinging and Google’s algorithm is sometimes looking at the guest posting and people will get pinged or hit for being a guest on different posts and their content won’t be regarded and all these different stuffs. And you hear conflicting stories out in the SEO space, so that’s why I asked.

OZ:         Yeah, I mean for me I was just trying to give people a chance as well cause I’ve been in that spot where like you can’t really make relationships cause people don’t know who you are, some  of our newer blogs.

PW:        Yeah

OZ:         Um the other thing is, you know, I also believe that yes you wanna get in front of people but I also wanna allow myself time and opportunities to get better as a writer. You know like the more you do the better you’re gonna get. So even if I write for smaller blogs that’s not gonna get, you know, millions of hits, that’s fine. As long as I’m in that mold, in that craft. I just see this as a long term strategy where it’s just like if I keep writing and I keep doing it, I’ll get better and then when I do hit the higher, you know high-traffic sites, the article will be more effective.

PW:        That’s good. I love how you think. I really do. Cause that’s exactly the way to approach it is  kind of sharpening yourself in terms of your writing or when you’re speaking to other people. You know making sure you get your message stronger and stronger every time you go. So, what is the one thing Omar that when you look at your business as a whole, you know all these pieces that you have as your business, what do you think separates you? Or what do you want me to see you as as a business person? Not just, even if I didn’t know anything about your podcast or your other businesses, what am I ready to take away from Omar? What does he mean to me? – and Nicole, let’s look at you guys as a team.

OZ:         One of the things that we try to do is try to make people understand that we’re here to help you and we’ve been in your shoes before and that this is not rocket science. You can make this happen whether its building a business, starting a, you know, building a product or doing a webinar, whatever it is. The other this is that we’re dedicated to make sure that you learn what your seeking. If you’re seeking to, you know, find a better website or hosting provider or if you’re looking to how do I launch my product properly, whatever. We’re trying to make sure that you can learn this information easily, effectively in a short amount of time. You know brevity is a very valuable commodity these days so if I can be able to teach somebody something in ten minutes, they’re gonna highly regard it more than something that takes , you know, a few hours.

PW:        Uh-huh.

OZ:         So, that’s kind of what we’re trying to do. Make things easy, make things a little bit simpler for people to understand. One of the things I always talk about is, you know, whether you’re doing this on a webinar, you’re teaching a podcast or whatever it is, it’s not just about the information. You need to make sure you’ll be able to  deliver the information properly, you know. You gotta be able to deliver in a way that people can comprehend it. And what is comprehension? Comprehension is two things; its understanding and retention. I need to understand the information, I need to retain the information so I can use it. So if I cram too much information in a topic or in a webinar or whatever it is, it’s gonna be very hard for you to remember every single thing. But if I  go like all in deep on one topic, on one area you’re gonna get it and you’re gonna remember it because I will have enough time to drill it home and be able to recall it and be able to do that. So, you know ,that’s kind of our philosophy in the way we see things in everything we do in our business.

PW:        You have a great education you, your background is awesome. But what do you think about a college degree or how important do you think it is in this sort of “new economy” that we’re in. So you probably…

OZ:         That’s a good question. I mean I would say that um I highly uh recommend if you are in this position, where you can take uh you know take a time out after high school, if there’s a way for you to not go directly to college. I really believe that 18, for a lot of the adolescents in the western world , they’re not really ready to make that choice of what they wanna do for the rest of their life. You know they’re not. It’s really hard and I really think it’s a good idea for people to maybe travel or do an internship or get a job and work somewhere and realize and understand what the real world is like. Understand what their role’s gonna be in the world. What can they add value they can add in the world. That’s gonna be a lot better. I think if they can take a year or two and then decide,” okay I think I wanna go into this area of the society or I wanna go to college or I really wanna start something for myself”. Personally I think that if you are a 100% sure that you wanna be an entrepreneur, that you wanna start a business, then I do believe that in a lot of ways , you know, a higher education may be a little bit of a waste of money because – especially if you’re in the States. In the States, you know, higher education is expensive you know. If you’re living in Australia or the UK, you know, it’s very much subsidized. You can afford to get your degree for less than five thousand dollars. If that’s the case you have no excuse. You can go get that degree and you get the experience of learning something and build a culture and understand the world around you. But the point is if you’re not from those societies, then you’re looking at a fifty-thousand dollar debt, a hundred-thousand dollar debt. So is it really worth it if you don’t need a piece of paper to get a job? If you’re looking to build something for yourself and be an entrepreneur which is a minority, that’s not the majority of people you know, then you may want to consider you know investing in yourself and learning. You know, I always say that, you know, that a higher education doesn’t have a monopoly in education. You could learn these things outside of school. You know there’s the internet now and there’s books and there’s all these things that you can retain this information. So….

PW:        There’s like MBA shows that’s taking over for college. Uh I want to name one… [Laughs]

OZ:         [Laughs] Yeah. So it just depends on what your goals are. If you do want to get into management, if you do want to work for a corporation, for a company, even a start-up you know a college degree can help.

PW:        Yeah. And the reason why I ask is, Omar, is because so many times especially in this business  – that space you know we always create these keywords. And then, you know, we throw them all over the place like passion. what is your calling? what is your passion?  You know when I always think about college kids, and I have two in college right now, so I don’t anybody to think this is a smash on college or whatsoever but I certainly think that college is an- and correct me here, I’m open to be corrected – but I don’t think that college is meant to naturally find your passion. I think it will ignite some things. I think it will help you along if you’re trying to figure out where your place is in the world. Although there’s others ways to do that too. You just mentioned about travelling maybe or going to school abroad. But you know college is kind of meant to teach you to work for someone, not necessarily…

OZ:         Yeah

PW:        … teach you to be an entrepreneur and find your “passion”.

OZ:         It’s true. And I would encourage young people that are in that stage – Whether they’re in university or college or, you know, they’re not. Stop asking yourself that question. Don’t worry about your passion right now. You’ll – that’ll come naturally. What you really need to focus on is “What kind of value can I add to the world? What unique value can I contribute?” And that’s how you can be competitive in this world. Is that you can understand that hey I have something that I am good at or something that I enjoy learning so therefore I can become better at. You know you may not, like I always give this example. It may or may not make sense to people but my parents are Egyptian. They migrated to the US before I was born and, you know, so I understand Egyptian culture, I understand Arabic, I understand this world right? You know I have a competitive advantage if I wanted to do a travel show about Egypt. That’s just something that I have coz I know the culture so I…

PW:        Uh-huh

OZ:         It would make more sense for me to do that right? Its uh something I like to do, something I can have a competitive advantage about. If you’re somebody who loves computer programming or development and it’s something you’ve been doing as a kid. It makes more sense for you to do something in that world rather than just drop all of that say “hey, I want to be a life coach”. Why? You can help a lot more people by teaching them how to be a developer, how to build a, you know, software company or whatever it is you know. So think about the value you can add to the world rather than what’s my passion? Cause that’s a very hard question, you know, to answer. On top of that, you’re gonna feel a lot of fulfillment and significance in this world when you are helping other people.

PW:        That’s really good. That is awesome awesome advice. It’s kind of ,you know, what I tell my kids. I, you know, my son goes to school for one thing. My daughter wanted to go political science. You know, in some sense college does help you go that route. Otherwise  it gets harder to go in some other ways for what she want to do. She’s speaking very fluent in Spanish and she want to literally sit up in the embassies, so you want to be able to make and actions and pull through college so she goes to that route. So I kind of understand what they want to do a little bit in that direction. However I was still the first to tell them  like if you ever want to take a step back and really examine what it is you want to do, I’m not gonna pressure or push you to go to college  and I think this is the first generation that has taken a step back and doesn’t make college seem like the be all. So I think someone  like you who has been through school and you’ve seen the successes  of it  and you’ve taken in both sides to be an entrepreneur and going to college. I think you’re the ideal person to kind of ask because you’re looking from both perspectives. And I think the advice and the input that you have there is really good. So let me ask something. You know you can totally plead the fifth on this if you want to coz you don’t wanna get up into anything that seems like it’s hating. But it’s not hating, I’m asking just a serious question here. What do you think – do you think internet stardom has become almost nauseating? And here’s why I’m asking this – cause I think a lot of entrepreneurs today are getting so wrapped up into the new app Fluffy and this that so much noise out there from entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurs are becoming the celebrities and they’re writing these books and they get lost in their own sauce and that I think that they lose focus.

OZ:         Yeah.

PW:        And so do you think internet stardom or celebrity has sometimes taken the focus away from some of these entrepreneurs or are you just saying “Priest, don’t be so cynical about this dude”.

OZ:         [Laughs] I’m somewhere in the middle. I do recognize that that’s happening but I do also recognize that we’re in a bubble right now. You know things are, you know, very popular now. Entrepreneurship is  sexy all that stuff. Everybody want to be an entrepreneur but they think they can’t be an entrepreneur. Yeah it’s all great and dandy but give it some time and all that’s gonna fizzle out and the cream will rise to the top.

PW:        Uh-huh.

OZ:         Those who are actually contributing to the world, those who are actually doing great work, those who are actually helping other people, you know, making a big spectacle, making a big show out of it and just you know out of promotion, they’re gonna go quick. And it’s funny coz you see these in podcasting all the time. You know people launch shows and like this is gonna be a killer show tada tada tada and then , you know, few months down the line they just can’t hack it cause it’s a lot of work…

PW:        Uh-huh.

OZ:         … and they just stop doing the show and then they’re gone. You know history repeats itself. We have these things happen in all markets. I just like to tell myself to be patient.

PW:        Yeah. And in podcasting you hit it right on the head. That is something that in some sense you didn’t think you really need any true commitment in, but you absolutely have to be committed to the podcasting game in terms of getting to know the people that you’re interviewing like here or just setting up your own identity within the space requires a little bit of thought. You, I mean, I know some people just think they can holler into their mike in their computer and just…

OZ:         Uh-huh

PW:        … start from there. Maybe it does in some rare cases but you really should give it some thought. Hey you know some of the things, Omar, that I really admire about you as we wrap up here is –  and you talked about this earlier about you and your wife Nicole being partners within the business and when you started your first podcast you transitioned away from that cause it just didn’t you work the way you wanted it to go in. But here you had a partner – your wife, someone that you can bounce ideas with and she could be critical of you and vice versa. Or you can encourage one another or root for one another. you know you always hear about the failure of husband and wife teams being too close within the business or something like that. How has that worked for you guys? How have you been able to really move forward and create some successful pieces in business working together.

OZ:         You have to respect each other’s strengths and each other’s roles. think that that’s the thing you have to start out with. You have to understand that our contribution to the business are these things and these are my things. So when  it comes to her things you know she has executive rights. If she wants, she has the final say. So when it comes to the production of the show, I tell her “hey, it’s my opinion but you make the final call because that’s your area and that’s for you to find”. And the same thing goes with me. So you have to have that mutual respect – professional respect. And you can’t really do business with somebody if you don’t respect them professionally coz you start to resent them. Like I really see that I’m married to my business partner and not the other way around. You know so you have to see it that way or its gonna really start to crumble. Coz if you start to say like you know “my wife, she makes a horrible business partner”,  like that’s not the way to go with it because you know when it comes to business she’s your partner first before she’s your wife. She just happens to be your wife you know. She happens to be your girlfriend or your partner in life. So that’s just something to think about. like you have to have that mutual respect professionally.

PW:        That’s really good. So what are you working on right now? Are you just continuing to build the podcast and your other businesses? Do you have something new on the pipeline? Anything you want to share with the folks?

OZ:         Pretty much we’ve been growing the podcast as much as we can and continue with that. We’re really excited about our new version of Webinar Ninja 5.0 coming out in early 2017 so that’s been a lot or work. But other than that, if anybody is interested in learning more about what we do, you can check us out on iTunes or Stitcher or whatever you’re using to listen to this podcast right now. The $100 MBA Show‘s our podcast.

PW:        How about Twitter or Facebook? Anywhere they can connect with you there?

OZ:         Um, mostly active on Twitter so you can tweet me @theomarzenhom, that’s O-M-A-R-Z-E-N-H-O-M. Uh on twitter’s usually where I respond to people.

PW:        Sounds good. Omar, it’s been a pleasure talking to you my friend.

OZ:         Thanks Priest. Appreciate it. Have a great day!

PW:        You too! Thank you.

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[Audio ends @ 34:25]


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