Episode 24: From Losing Half-a-Million Dollars & Going Broke to Making a Million and not even 30! (Millionaire Mindset)

October 14, 2019

When Bashar Katou’s restaurant, that he had invested half-a-million dollars into, burned down, he was down and broke, but not for long, he discovered the power of an online business and became a millionaire before the age of 30!

Resource Mentioned


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(Please let Bashar know you came from this podcast.)

3 Key Points

Change your mindset from “I can’t afford it,” which stops you dead in your tracks to “How can I afford it?” Then your brain finds a way.

Do whatever you have to do to make it work.

Not everything works for everyone, but you gotta keep going for it-even if you get scammed.


[0:51]  Today, my guest is Bashar Katou. Bashar originally is from Iraq, and he’s lived in the United States for 13 years. Growing up, he always knew there was more to life than just going to college, getting a stable job, and living an okay life. At 21, he and his brother started a pizzeria, which took off from month three, making them a great ROI. At 23, he wanted to take it up a notch. So he invested $250,000 in a full-time, dine-in restaurant and bar. And six months later, he realized he didn’t know what he was doing, and it was a mess. And he was kicked out of his own kitchen, it caught on fire, and he had no insurance.

And that’s when he came to realize that maybe an online business might be a good thing to do. And he has become an expert in Amazon FBA, and it changed his life dramatically and the lives of those around him. So he’s made it his mission to create awareness around the world of the missed opportunities. Owning a business doesn’t have to be what everyone thinks it is. With the online world, you can have a multimillion-dollar business operated from anywhere in the world, anytime, and his mission is to help impact the lives of 2,500 people. And that’s pretty cool. So welcome to the call, Bashar.

[2:17] Bashar Katou:  Well thank you. I really appreciate you having me here.

[02:20] Ellen Violette:   I’m happy to have you here. I follow you on Facebook and we’ve been connected for a while now, and I love what you do. I love how you inspire people, and I just know that today you’re definitely going to inspire more people. So, why don’t you start by telling me, why should people think about getting into Amazon FBA?

[02:43] Bashar Katou: Absolutely. So after I went through my business, and after I was in the retail world, or I guess the “traditional” business world. I did that for a long time, for probably nearly a decade. I was always in restaurants, my first job was at McDonald’s, and then after that, I went into restaurants. For our first business in the U.S. being a restaurant, and then my last traditional business also being a restaurant. One thing that I commonly kept hearing the last couple of years before my restaurant burned down, or at least the last year, was the term, I work from home. I work from home. And I didn’t understand what that meant at the time because to me, if you’re going to have a job, you either work for someone or you actually… You own a business. And either or require you to be at a physical location where you or your employees or colleagues are engaged in a service or a product. In exchange, you gain revenue for the business.

So, I was kind of left at the situation where I had nothing left to lose. I had lost everything in 2015 after my restaurant caught on fire. I was about $150,000 in debt, and literally no money to my name. I still remember my account. My business account was overdrawn by about $649, and I just didn’t know what to do next. The next thing was, let’s go get a job. I was 25. It’s not like I was 18, 19, or I’ll just say, you know, I’ll go back to college, study, get a degree, go do whatever it is with it. I was 25 and I had already passed that mentality of education. Like, the whole education thing wasn’t an option anymore. Going to college to get a degree wasn’t an option anymore. So it was either, let’s go get a traditional job with the skills that I had, which I probably could have landed an easily six-figure job, because I had a business experience for a long time. I could easily land a job being a manager at a restaurant, high-end restaurant, or anything in that industry. In the hospitality industry.

But I wanted change. I want to do something different. Right? Literally, this is how it happened. Literally, I was sitting one day in front of my computer and I said, You’re supposed to make me money, show me how. I started this researching. Researching, researching, researching, and I came across so many different things. But they all had one common theme, that they were mobile. You can operate them from anywhere in the world. You didn’t need the complexity of a traditional business. You didn’t need overhead, you didn’t need having an actual location, and you didn’t need employees. And you didn’t need a whole lot of money upfront. In the restaurant, the last retail business I had, we bought the place for nearly a quarter-million dollars. That was just to buy the place.

[05:56] Ellen Violette:  Yikes.

[05:56] Bashar Katou: You know, not [crosstalk] in another $200,000 that we put into it over the course of the three years that I owned it to remodeling and upgrading and things like that. So it was just very interesting to me to see that someone can start these things, and I would see little guy, 15, 16, 17, 18, and 20 year olds being able to live this life that they could operate a business from anywhere in the world, be their own boss, travel the world, enjoy life, and doing all those things, where it was just really annoying to me, honestly. At first, I was very envious. Because I was like, Where have I been? What was I doing? All those years, had I started an online business, had I started selling on Amazon when I was 23 years old, before I bought the restaurant, with a quarter-million dollars in my bank. By now, and I’m talking, past tense in 2015, by now, two years later, I’d probably had a business that was generating several million dollars a year. And…

[06:59] Ellen Violette:  But how did you have that much money at 23?

[07:03] Bashar Katou: So, it wasn’t all my money. It was my family.

[07:05] Ellen Violette: Uh-huh.

[07:06] Bashar Katou:  Our first business, and that’s kind of what really gave me the push, is that our first business, and it wasn’t just a push, but it was the ego getting fire, right? Getting fuel. I always had an ego. I always had, I still even remember a couple of my employees used to say, You have this cocky smile on your face, this smirk on your face, like you know something that others don’t know. And it was kind of annoying to them at first. But I kind of walked around like, I know what the hell I’m doing. Step away. Don’t tell me what to do. Like, if you’re going to criticize my business, get the hell out of my business, you know? So I had an ego and I wouldn’t take advice from anyone, and I was a little kid, so…

[07:46] Ellen Violette:  Right. Well that being the case, you wouldn’t have been very coachable at that point anyway. You had to go through what you went through for [crosstalk].

[07:53] Bashar Katou: And see, that’s the thing. Sometimes… And people say what? Like Bashar, where would you have been if you had not gone through the restaurants, you had not bought the restaurant. Sometimes, my mom’s sister and she’s like, man, all this money you wasted and this and that. Where would you have been? Like, oh, because she always wanted me to become a doctor, and then that’s what she want. [inaudible] I’m clearing nearly six figures a month. She still thinks that I should go back to school and become a doctor. I’m like, but doctors don’t make near what I make today, and I’m only twenty-nine years old, so… And that’s a thing, she’ll always sit and say, and she’ll like rub it in my face.

You know, she’s a mom. So what, all this money you wasted, all this time you wasted, what if you had gone to school? What if you had never bought that place? And I sit there and I say, and I’m like, what if I had never bought this place? That place. What if I had started into an online business? But then, the thing is, I wasn’t the same person I am today. I didn’t go to a traditional college. I didn’t get a college degree, but I definitely got a degree in the school of hard knocks. On my Facebook page, it says, studying Ph.D. at the school of hard knocks because I’m still learning, and that’s the thing. I stay miles, tens of miles away from people that say, I know what I’m doing. When someone says, I know what I’m doing, it scares the hell out of me.

I stayed away from them because I don’t care who you are. Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, richest people in the world, are still being coached. And to this day, when they’re worth tens of billions of dollars because there’s always new information out there that you don’t have, regardless of where you are. And I always say, if you want to go from your current position to a desired position, whatever that maybe, right? Maybe it’s losing ten pounds, maybe it’s making an extra $100,000, whatever that case may be for you. You need new information because the information you have today has only gotten you so far. So, you have to be willing to gain new information. You have to be willing to progress yourself because I don’t care where you are, there’s always the next level. Jeff Bezos is always working hard to go to the next level, although he’s worth $160 billion. I mean, I don’t even know… if you were to give me that much money, I don’t know how long it would take me to count it. That’s just a lot of money.

[07:53] Ellen Violette: I don’t think they do count it. Yeah.

[10:21] Bashar Katou:  Right, right. So… Just the thing, and that’s what a lot of people don’t understand, is that you need new information in order for you to go to the next level. And when I realized that and I accepted it, and when I left my ego at the door, my life started changing and things started happening in my life. Now, it didn’t happen overnight. I had to go through a struggle. I still fail every single day. And I do a little tips on my stories every day. And yesterday’s tip was, failure happens, and you need to expect it. You need to embrace it. You need to learn from it, and then just move forward because it’ll happen. I fail every single day. Sometimes people say, how do you do that?  I’m running Facebook ads, I’m launching products on Amazon and doing all these things. And I fail every day because I hit brick walls, and I have to think about… and then I have to test, and then just use whatever data I got, and then relaunch it, and just go at it again.

[11:22] Ellen Violette:  Exactly. And there are always things that come up that you didn’t expect to.

[11:18] Bashar Katou: Absolutely.

[11:19] Ellen Violette:  So then, how did that mindset… I mean, once that mindset changed, how did that then get you to Amazon FBA?

[11:29] Bashar Katou: Absolutely, so…

[11:29] Ellen Violette: Why don’t you say what that is? What is FBA?

[11:32] Bashar Katou: Absolutely. So FBA, Amazon FBA, FBA stands for fulfillment by Amazon. So, I always say that in order for you to go further faster, in order for you to get to the next level, in order for you to get out of whatever it is that you’re in right now, two major things have to happen. Number one, a mindset shift. Number two, you need to change the circle of people that you’re around. For me, it was just getting out of that restaurant. The fire is very unfortunate. I lost a lot of money. A lot of people were hurt because of me. My employees, the last two weeks, they did not get paid for like six months, because I just didn’t have money to pay them. [inaudible] I pay them everything, plus interest. But vendors… Now vendors and other big corporations, they can afford it.

But employees, people that are living paycheck to paycheck, literally relied on my business to pay their bills. I had a guy that was a manager at my restaurant, and he had to pawn his motorcycle just to make rent the next month because he didn’t get in his paycheck. You know what I mean? And those are the things that were happening, and to me, the circle of people, or my surroundings had to happen where they, because I was so invested in that restaurant. It was just a bad investment, you know? And I had to get out of it, and then people were telling me, you need to get out of it, you need to get out of it. And I’m like, I can’t, I’ve invested so much time, so much money. If I get out right now, I’m not going to get anything.

But it didn’t happen. It was unfortunate that I got out of it the way I did, because not only did it catch on fire, but I had no insurance to cover it. You know what I mean? And there was a lot of people were saying, Oh yeah, you’re a scammer. You know, you did this, you did it on purpose, you probably burnt your own restaurant. I’m like, okay, don’t you think I would have gotten insurance first?

[13:09] Ellen Violette: Right, right.

[32:10] Bashar Katou:  Before I do that? If someone was going to do that, they would make sure they had insurance.

[13:15] Ellen Violette:  Absolutely.

[13:15] Bashar Katou: So that was the thing, and it happened… It was very unfortunate at the time. And literally, sometimes we go through things and we don’t think that it’s possible to get out of the current situation until we have gotten out of it. But the one thing that has always kept me afloat was positive, positivity.

You always have to think about… and I am a true believer of everything happens for a reason. I don’t care what it is. When my restaurant burned down, I would be crying every day, every night, I was just very devastated. I mean, I had nothing else to go… Nothing else was going for me. Right? I had just met my girlfriend at the time, now my wife, and I had nothing to show for, so I started realizing that, you know what? Everything happens for a reason. And I would even tell my girlfriend at the time, now my wife, I’d be like, you know what? It happened for a reason. And she’s like, to me, dude, you’re crazy, what reason? Your restaurant [crosstalk [00:14:05].

You know what, I don’t know. I just believe in it. I think it was seven or eight years old. My brother told me one time, I don’t know what happened. I think I broke my foot, or something happened, and he was like, believe in one thing, and remember this, everything happens for a reason, and I haven’t forgotten it ever since until now. Everything bad that happens to me, I always go back and think everything happens for a reason, and then six months, a year from…. Later, I’m like, yup. That was exactly what happened. So, me getting out of that restaurant the way it did, it was very unfortunate. I’m still suffering because I’m still… Everything has been restored, I make so much more money, but a lot of relationships haven’t been restored. It is very unfortunate. But another thing that I’m still suffering is my credit. My credit score is barely 650, I still have bad things on my… All my credit that just have to go with time. But those are things that I’m just still working on.

[14:59] Ellen Violette: Right? [crosstalk] Yeah. I went through that too.

[15:02] Bashar Katou:   Yeah, absolutely. Although I didn’t file bankruptcy, it’s just… I’m still dinged. It’s been only four years. So, the thing that kept me in afloat was hope. [inaudible]. I had two options to go with. Right? Or “Screw it, give up, it’s done, that’s it.” Or “Dude, you’re fricking crazy. You’re only twenty-five years old. You’ve got at least another good sixty-five, seventy years in you.” Right? “And this is just the start.” I was like, “Nothing is going to stop me.” And that’s the thing, I bought… I made a post yesterday, and I think you commented. No, it wasn’t the one you commented, what you commented, about the one about mentors. But then I made another post saying, what is the one thing that’s stopping you from launching your business? And a lot of people were the said the failure of… Or the fear of failure.

If you’re a failure. And I’m like, dude, I’m not going to allow fear to stop me. And you know what? It’s a struggle. It’s a real struggle that I struggle with every single day now. Like expanding. I want to expand [inaudible [00:16:07] let’s say Facebook ads, I’m currently spending $600 a day, and really I should be spending $2,000 a day. But then I’m afraid, I’m like, well, what if… that’s a lot. And I mean, that’s 15,000, almost, a week. That’s a lot of money. You know what I mean?

[16:19] Ellen Violette:  Right. But you know what, I remember the first time I saw where some of the really big guys were spending like $400,000 a month on ads.

[16:19] Bashar Katou: Absolutely. Absolutely.

[16:31] Ellen Violette:  And I remember when I got into the One Funnel Away Challenge, and I was saying to one of my colleagues that has a support group for it. And I said, I know I’m going to need a support group when I get to the point where I’m spending thousands of dollars a day on ads because that will be terrifying.

[16:48] Bashar Katou:  Oh yeah, no, absolutely. [inaudible]. Literally, I hired someone, I don’t have to see my ads every single day not performing, and me dumping hundreds of dollars a day.

[16:59] Ellen Violette: Right, right.

[17:01] Bashar Katou:  [inaudible] I have the money to do it. I’m just scared, and the hell with this, go for it. What’s the next budget? I don’t know. What do we need? $10,000, let’s go for it. You know what I mean? So… [crosstalk]

[17:11] Ellen Violette: Right. But let’s just, let’s let people on what you were talking about when you said I commented on something else. I don’t just want to drop that. So let me just say that Bashar was asking about, how did you decide who to get as a mentor and it had something to do with what they charged.

[17:29] Bashar Katou: How to make sense of their fees.

[17:29] Ellen Violette:  Oh, how to make sense of their fees. So basically what I said was that when I started, there was a course that was like, the course. And I don’t remember what the price was. Maybe it was $497 or… I don’t know. But I took it, and it was with Alex Mandossian and it was Teleseminar Secrets. And I immediately took off, because what he was teaching was the way to go. Now it’s been replaced, more or less, with webinars, but it was kind of the equivalent to that. And basically what I was saying was, was do what you can afford to do and keep learning the things that you want to learn. And then if you can’t afford that person, find some… What I did actually there were a couple of times where I just found somebody I could afford, and even though it wasn’t exactly what I wanted, I still got something out of it that helped me get to the next level.

[18:18] Bashar Katou:  Absolutely.

[18:19] Ellen Violette: And then, I also went for free calls with the people who were higher up. And then that helped me get higher so that I could then afford to hire them. So it’s just, it’s kind of like a step ladder. You just kind of keep feeling it out. But anyway, I just didn’t want to leave people hanging with that.

[18:36] Bashar Katou:  No, absolutely. And the problem is, and that’s another thing I talked about the other day, is the fact that people just stop at, I cannot afford it. And see what you’re doing to your brain is you’re stopping your brain from performing. When you say, I cannot afford it, it’s done. I can’t afford it. That’s it. We’re going to move on. Right. And instead say, how can I afford it? Right? And then, your brain, all of a sudden it starts like, “Oh my God. Oh, okay, we can do this. I can sell this, oh, I’ve got a bunch of junk in my garage, I can sell. Oh, you know what? I can pick up some extra shifts. Or what about that gig that blah told me about? And I said, no, I don’t have time. Maybe now I’m going to make time because I have to. So..”.

[19:13] Ellen Violette:  Right. Or if you’re already online, what I did was, number one, JVs, use other people’s lists and two, affiliate offers.

[19:24] Bashar Katou: Absolutely. Absolutely. And I think what happens, a lot of people get comfortable. The whole thing with paycheck to paycheck. Dude that does exist. That’s not a thing. I don’t know what people are making that a thing. You know what I mean? I just brought in a new student, I was talking to a prospect about a month ago, a couple, right? And they’re both here in San Diego, and they are, among the two of them, they make $275,000 a year, right? In revenue. And they are living paycheck to paycheck. I’m like, how [crosstalk [00:19:59].

[19:58] Ellen Violette:  Oh my God, that’s insane.

[20:01] Bashar Katou:  I’m like,”The hell with your lifestyle. Are you kidding me right now?” I’m like, “Okay, but why are you complaining?” And that just saying, they complain about it. Look, if you’re making a million a year, and your living expenses are a million, and you… You got yourself there. It’s not like it just happened. You didn’t just get dropped there. You went there on your own. Don’t complain. Otherwise, start dropping things. And instead of driving an S550, drive a regular CLA that costs thirty grand, and your payment’s going to be $200 or $300. Your payment doesn’t have to be $2,000. instead of living in a seven-bedroom house, live in a three-bedroom house, or whatever, don’t take fifteen vacations a year. Don’t complain.

[20:42] Ellen Violette: You know what I’ve found, I have found that those were exactly the people who I’ve had the hardest time with. When they’re already making over a hundred-thousand dollars, it’s exactly what you said. They’re too comfortable, and they don’t want to change their lifestyle.

[20:55] Bashar Katou: Right, right. And that’s the thing. It’s like, well see, complaining does not help anyone. Look, I am prospecting every single day. I reach out to people via Facebook, organic. I get contacted by 50 people every single day from Facebook, and I’ve never…. I don’t care what kind of, even if my wife just left me, I will never say, if someone asks me how was your day, I’ll never say, Oh, you know, I made nothing, can’t complain. I hate when people say can’t complain. What do you mean you can’t complain? You’re breathing, you’re above the ground, right? You’ve got your arms and legs, and even if you don’t, the hell, I mean, even if you don’t have one of them, you got the other right? You’re still, we’re still alive. Dude, that’s a blessing, you’ve got so much you can accomplish, just stop being so comfortable.

Stop settling, stop being so negative. You just got to be excited. You got to be more, you to go out there and fricking crush it, man. And then, that’s the thing that a lot of people really don’t understand, and kind of don’t realize. And that’s why I was saying, in order for you to go to a different level, number one, your mindset has got to change. Number two, you need to change the around… Because, look, if the people surrounding you are all about, Oh, I’m going to go to… Like my boys, my boys that I call my boys that I grew up with, went to high school with, I’ve got three, right? All three of them work at a casino. They get paid about fifty, sixty-k a year. And they’re living okay. Right?

Sometimes when I sit there and I talk, every time I have a conversation, I sit with people and I say, “Where do you see yourself in the next three to five years?” And they stare at me like, “What are you talking about?”

[22:43] Ellen Violette: I know my brother does the same thing.

[22:37] Bashar Katou: And all of them are like, “What do you mean?” I know I’m going to buy a jet in three years. I know I’m going to become a billionaire in ten. And I’ve got steps to how to get there. Right? “What do you mean, you don’t know?” What does that mean? It’s just weird, you know?

[22:51] Ellen Violette: So, how does the Amazon FBA fit into your vision?

[22:56] Bashar Katou: Absolutely. So it really, it was, there was no vision about FBA, right? It’s not, to me, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing as long as I get there. Right? So really, Amazon isn’t the last stop. It’s just the first stop;  it’s just the vehicle to get me where I am. As I was saying earlier, when I was talking about that, it was just… I started researching online and  I knew I wanted to do something online. I didn’t care what it was. And for some reason Amazon just popped out at me. I never shopped at Amazon. I know that a lot of people had bought from Amazon. I was never into shopping and all that. And I was the kind of person that I liked going to a store, touching the product, thoroughly inspecting it, and then buying it.

So, I started seeing these people, saw the names. I’m like, wait, you can sell products, what? I thought you had to be like a multimillion-dollar company. I didn’t know that. Right? So, I started researching the concept, and it just started becoming more and more interesting to me. Right? And I think it was the kids with the Lambos that really lured me in. And then I finally said, you know what? Screw it. I just kept on watching, watching, watching. And literally, one day I called my girlfriend at the time, I’m like, “Babe, what is your credit card number?” (She replied)  “Like, what are you talking about?” I’m like, “I’m going to put $407 on your card.” She was like, “Excuse me?” I’m like, “I’m going to put $407 on your card.” And was like, ” I’m going to buy this guy’s course. He’s eighteen and he drives a Lambo.”

She’s like, “He’s a scammer.” I’m like, “I don’t care. I want to do what he does, and if I have to go steal from my mom’s wallet, I will do it just to give you the $500 back.” And she did not say no. And I went for it. It was probably the shittiest course I have ever taken. But it got me started. And people say, “Oh, I’m afraid. What if I get scammed” What if you get scammed? So what? Do you know how many times I’ve been scammed? Like who gives a shit?  You just need to go for it. If you get scammed, go to the next dude. You don’t know how many consultants, how many courses, how many things I took about Facebook ads until I found the guy that really transformed my business.

I’ve probably spent over $50,000 between marketers to courses to testing until I found something that finally worked.

[25:07] You just got to keep going for it. You know what I mean? [crosstalk]. You’ve got to keep trying. One thing, one day, will click. The whole thing that people… And even when I thought about it when I said, if it’s working for this guy, it’ll probably work for me. That’s a myth. Not everything works for everyone, but be willing to keep trying until you find the thing that will work for you, because one thing will work for you. I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s FBA, maybe if it’s writing a book, I don’t know what it is, but something will work for you if you just keep trying. Right? If you just complain, settle, don’t try, be scared, always be skeptical.

Well no shit, nothing’s going to work for you, because you’re not even trying. You know what I mean? So…

[25:49] Ellen Violette:  How did you get this to work for you, because I know people who have tried Amazon FBA, and I know they’d been at it quite a while.

[25:55] Bashar Katou: Right, so I didn’t have an option. And that’s the thing. I was desperate. My back against the wall. I had nothing else going for me. Like it was either do it or die. I was working as a dishwasher at Hilton hotels. I mean, from owning a half-a-million dollar establishment, running fifteen employees at once, to now working a dishwasher. I was wearing dressy shoes, and I’d be slipping everywhere, but I didn’t have forty dollars to go to Payless and buy proper shoes. Whatever paycheck I was getting, I was paying off my employees that were still owed money.

[26:27] Ellen Violette: And you were hungry.

[26:29] Bashar Katou: I was starving. I just went at it.  And you would think that, by now, I would have learned my lesson. Actually, really just ask for help, because I tried doing it on my own, and I failed a couple of times. I launched a couple of products that failed. So, I finally got this guy’s course, and I started with this concept called arbitrage. And that’s kind of what I teach now for the $7 thing that we were talking about. So it’s simply where you flip products on Amazon that… So let’s say you go to Walmart, and you’re walking down the aisle and they have something on clearance, right? You simply scan it, scan the product on Amazon, and then it’ll take you… There’s a couple of things that we look for, like a seller’s rank, how high or how low it ranks with an Amazon, how many sellers are selling this product, how much it is.

You look at what Amazon is going to charge you to fulfill the order for you, because you don’t want to ship directly to the customer. You want Amazon to fulfill the orders for you. And that’s what FBA stands for, right? Fulfillment by Amazon. So I started doing that, and the first month I started doing that full-time, I made $1,200 on Amazon in net profits.

[27:38] Ellen Violette: Good for you.

[27:39] Bashar Katou: And I was blown away. I still remember, the first sale I made on Amazon made me happier than the first million I made selling on Amazon. It was such a crazy feeling that I was able to go down to a store, pick up a product, ship it to Amazon, do nothing, absolutely nothing, and make money, because just a couple months ago there I was, I had to buy the food, prepare the food, cook the food, serve the food, clean after the customer, in order for me to make a sale. Right?

[28:14] Ellen Violette: And you got the 500 bucks back.

[28:16] Bashar Katou:   Oh, yeah. Oh, no. I mean, she’s been [crosstalk ] way more than that. After that. And then I got her into it,… She saw me, she was like, holy shit. “.” He just made half of my paycheck, and I work for this shitty place, screw all this,”She got excited, and that got her sister (who lives) in Vegas excited, and we found this one product that we were buying for $12, selling for $39 on Amazon. And it was this doll by this company called Miss Sophia or something like that, I don’t know what it was. But it was being sold at HomeGoods. Literally what I did is I called every single person. I called someone in Vegas. I called someone in Michigan, I called someone in I don’t know where, and I’m like, I need you to go to HomeGoods, whatever they have of this product, I need you to buy it off.

And we were just shipping it to Amazon and making money that way. But then I quickly realized that, you know what, now I’m getting money. Now I want to scale, right? I want to play big, [inaudible] to play big using that concept, the arbitrage concept. But I was able to make a couple of thousand dollars in the beginning, and that’s what I teach now to a lot of my beginner students. I’ll get someone that’s in college, or that was in my shoes three years ago, or a single mom that does just… Living paycheck to paycheck. She just wants to make some money, and she doesn’t have five, $10,000 to go invest in a business, hire a mentor, buy inventory. All that. So I created this program, I’m like, you know what? Okay, so I’m working with these high-level people, but what about me three years ago?

[29:45] Ellen Violette: Right, right.

[29:47] Bashar Katou: Okay, okay, now I’m playing big, but what about me three… if I don’t help me three years ago, then what the hell? That’s just messed up. You can’t forget where you came from. That’s why I launched this program. And people say, well, why the hell are you even charging for it? I charge $7 a month for it. And they say, why? I mean, bro, are you really going to get rich off of this $7? And I’m like, no, it’s not the money. It’s the principle. Because…

[30:12] Ellen Violette: It’s having the skin in the game, as they say.

[30:14] Bashar Katou: Right. Because when I first started, a lot of my cousins and friends were like, bro, what are you doing? I want to learn. I’m like, “Hell yeah, let’s go”. So I made all these videos, and I just gave it to them, and no one did anything with it, you know, because I was giving it to them for free.

Today I’m charging thousands of dollars for my coaching program, but people are getting a lot more results than when I used to charge $200, $300. Same exact program, but because they have skin in the game, but because they are invested, they feel obligated that they need to get an ROI. I literally bought a course four months ago for $7,500, right? In about two weeks, I had made double that money. And not because… I mean, yeah, the course content was amazing. But because I was like, dude, I just spent $7,500, I’d better get my money’s worth. So I literally just went to town to learning the steps and really making the steps, because I had invested in it. So, that’s why I charged seven dollars for it. Just to keep them committed, to keep them, on their toes and certainly if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, even seven dollars can make a big difference.

[31:15] Ellen Violette: Right. And what’s the name of the program?

[31:17] Bashar Katou:  So, it’s called Amazon Underdogs Mastermind.

[31:20] Ellen Violette: It’s http://ellenlikes.com/katou  So, do you have any closing thoughts, because we need to wrap it up?

[31:32] Bashar Katou:  Absolutely. Listen, one thing that I know that, if you are someone that is trying to get out of your current situation, go into something new, trying to do, accomplish something. If you think that you are destined for more in this life, if you think that you want to reach more, you can, number one. But number two, you have to change, as I said earlier, your mentality, and you have to change the people you hang, with because those are the ones that are keeping you down if they’re not lifting you up, right?

If your people around you are not lifting you up, they’re definitely keeping you down. Or at least they’re just keeping you from exploding and going to the next levels. Right? All the greats came from nothing. You know, Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett. I mean, literally every single great… What’s his name, the dude with Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg… It was a regular guy. I mean, yeah, I mean it was pretty smart.

[32:23] Ellen Violette: Yeah, a lot of those have been, were started in their garages.

[32:26] Bashar Katou:Absolutely. And that’s the thing. It’s okay in the beginning. You are going to eat shit for some time, but you have to be willing to eat shit for some time, to sacrifice this night out and that vacation and this hangout, and stuff like that, in order for you to have a better future.

I’ve literally stayed up forty-two, forty-three hours at a time working on my business because I knew if I go to sleep I would miss something. And I had had to keep going at it. But because I knew that there was a bright future, I knew that the grass will be greater on the other side, and just keep positivity and keep hope in your life. If you always think that, it’s okay, I am in a bad situation, but look at the positive, what positive can come from this that just happened to me, and focus on that instead of focusing on, “Oh my God, and this happened to me, and my life this, and my life that and this guy left me for that person.” You know what I mean? Focused on the…

33;27 Ellen Violette: Right, right. There are things that go wrong all the time. My husband and I were watching a movie the other night called Dreamer, about this horse that… it was a graded stakes, and great confirmation and everything… And everything that could go wrong. I mean, everything, and you just think, Oh my God, how can this ever turn around? And in the end they turned it around and he won the breeders’ cup and it was unbelievable. So there was always hope, as long as you stay in the game. So, I want to thank you so much Bashar for sharing this with us. One of the reasons I wanted to have you on was to give people… First of all, you’re so inspiring, and that’s the most important thing. And also, for people who do need a side gig, who are looking for something to help them get on their feet or have that extra money, so that they can pay to have their books published, or whatever it is they want to do. So, I want to thank you so much for coming on.

[34:26])Bashar Katou: Absolutely. I appreciate you having me here. Thank you very much.

Till next time. Bye bye.


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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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