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Congratulations, Ladan!

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Congratulations, Ladan!

Postby Lynn Terry » Wed Mar 28, 2007 9:31 am

Fellow member Ladan Lashkari, who has been an active member here at SSWT for over 2 years, was recently featured in Joel Comm's email newsletter. The very flattering article was originally written by Eric Holmlund:

Eric wrote:I want to tell you about a young woman who has
overcome some extreme obstacles on her brief but
challenging journey to internet marketing
success.

Her name is Ladan Lashkari, and when I say she's
a young woman, that's an understatement. At just
20 years old, she has a youthful look that defies
the maturity she's developed in such a short
time.

There are political, economical, and religious
obstacles that make it difficult for anyone to be
a successful internet marketer in Iran, and in
most cases even more difficult for a woman to do
so.

With respect for Ladan, I'm not going to get into
the details of the specific political and
religious barriers that many women face in Iran,
but just be aware that this story runs even
deeper than I'm able to write about.

If internet marketing was a wrestling match,
she's starting the competition with one hand tied
behind her back simply because of the place she
was born into the world.

Next obstacle: the language barrier.

Although you wouldn't know it from her articles
and sales letters, Ladan was not born into an
English-speaking family. She started learning the
language at eight years of age, and devoured
every English book she could get her hands on.

Even at such a young age, she began to realize
that her fluency in English would open up more
doors of opportunity throughout her life.
Throughout her teen years, this fervor grew as
she tackled the language head-on.

A true entrepreneur, she decided that she wanted
to become independent and produce her own income.
When her family bought a computer, she quickly
began experimenting with ways she could turn it
into an income stream. She tried all kinds of
business; teaching Windows, graphic designing
with PhotoShop, website design, and even learned
C++ programming.

Even though she was able to make money through
those avenues, she knew that there was a bigger
opportunity out there.

At sixteen years of age, she discovered the world
of internet marketing through the late Cory
Rudl's website. She bought and studied his
internet marketing course, along with other
ebooks and resources.

She knew right away that THIS was the business
she wanted to be in.

Her friends and family tried to convince her that
becoming a successful internet marketer in Iran
would be IMPOSSIBLE, and that she shouldn't
continue to waste her money. If you've ever faced
the negative energy of friends and family, you'll
understand that it's a powerful force that can
quench your enthusiasm and ultimately abort the
launch of a new business.

Fortunately, her father believed in her, and the
resistance of others made her more determined
than ever to find success.

After about a year of learning and studying the
business, she launched her first website, and the
rest--as they say--is history. But that history has
not been without its fair share of bumps and
valleys.

Jumping into business forced her to take her
English proficiency to a new level. For a long
time it was difficult to read and comprehend the
many technically-oriented ebooks that she
acquired.

And if reading comprehension was a challenge,
writing was an even bigger issue.
It would take her six hours to write and
proofread an article, but her determination paid
off. Today if you search for her name on a search
engine, you'll find a slew of her articles
indexed all over the internet.

And as if writing weren't enough, she wanted to
write her own sales copy. Anyone who's ever
successfully written a sales letter will concur
that being a good writer doesn't make someone a
good copywriter.

I'm amazed to say that Ladan is a good
copywriter. Being a copywriter myself, I wouldn't
say that if it weren't true. She applied the same
vigor to learning the craft, as she applied to
learning the language itself.

She studied articles and courses from the top
copywriters, and practiced until she had
developed her own style. While there is obviously
some innate talent at work here, I'd say that she
is also a testament that copywriting CAN be
learned.

Starting her business was the beginning of a long
uphill battle.

Because of the US embargo on Iran, she faces
obstacles that most of us wouldn't imagine. As I
mentioned, her culture has already tied one hand
behind her back. The language barrier effectively
tied the other one. And the following problems
essentially tied her feet...a situation that would
cripple most marketers and paralyze them from
moving forward in business.

Most people wouldn't jump into a new business
with their hands and feet tied. It's impossible,
right? Just don't use the word "impossible"
around Ladan...
To start with, she couldn't get a credit card.
That makes it pretty tough to buy anything
online, wouldn't you say?

My business relies on my credit cards for many
things. Not a day goes by without several
business-related charges to my credit card.

As I think about it, many of the products and
services that I use come from sites that ONLY
accept credit cards.

She can't open a PayPal account. Again, this
limits her ability to make online purchases. It
also rules her out of participating in a large
number of affiliate programs that only pay
commissions via PayPal.

Of course probably the biggest disadvantage of
not having a PayPal account is not being able to
accept PayPal payments. She estimates that this
one issue is costing her many thousands of
dollars in lost sales.

She can't get a merchant account, so it becomes
very difficult to sell anything online.

She can't have a bank account in US dollars. So
that rules out another possibility of making or
receiving payments.

To make matters worse, she can't have any bank
account that accepts wire transfers. This
cripples her ability to receive payments from
affiliate programs to her bank account, or from
merchant services for her own products. So even
if she can find a way to sell a product online,
getting that money into her own hands is a huge
obstacle.

She can't cash any USD checks. That rules out
most of the other affiliate programs.

She can't travel. It's almost impossible for her
to get a visa to travel outside of Iran. This
means that she has not been able to go abroad to
attempt to open up accounts, and she can not
attend any internet marketing seminars.
Those are just some of the barriers created by
the embargo. There are many more limitations
imposed by the Iranian government.

On top of these physical barriers, she also faces
another kind of discrimination that continues to
this day.

In a business built upon online image and
perceived trust, she has been severely
disadvantaged by the way much of the world views
Iranians.

As she puts it, "the reactions are not very
pleasant."

She thinks it's mainly due to the way the media
has portrayed Iran and Islam. This has made it
difficult to be open and build relationships
online, as she has found that even her own
subscribers, customers, and business associates
look at her differently when they discover she is
from Iran.

She says, "some people even act like I am a
terrorist".

She has received "hate" emails through her
websites and also on forums.

"I know who I am and where I stand," says Ladan,
"but what the media shows the world and what my
country's government does has nothing to do with
me. So I just wish people in the west -
especially the United States - would understand
this difference."

Let me ask you a few questions...

Do you have a credit card?

Do you have a PayPal account?

Can you open a US bank account?

Can you receive US checks?

Do you have the freedom to travel?

Could you go to an internet marketing seminar?

Maybe you didn't answer "Yes" to ALL of those
questions, but for EACH question you answered
"yes" to, you are starting one step ahead of
Ladan.

Let me ask you a couple more questions...

Are you fluent in English?

If you said "Yes", take two more steps ahead.

Do people view you as a terrorist?

No? Take three more steps ahead.

If this girl can do it, so can YOU. It doesn't
matter how old or young you are...it doesn't matter
where you live in the world... it doesn't matter
what other internal and external factors are
trying to hold you down.

You CAN succeed.

In spite of all her challenges, Ladan views
internet marketing as an easy opportunity to take
advantage of, and she encourages others to do as
she has done...

"I think there's nothing hard about it. It's the
perfect kind of business for people who want to
be independent and work for themselves in a
business that there's no limit to your success."

If you're just getting started, she has more
advice,

"When you are just getting started, you should
know it might take some time to make the amount
of money you expect, and you should keep on and
don't give up - no matter how people around you
try to disappoint you. I think this is the most
important and difficult part... it's where most
people give up."

In the three short years that she's been in
business, she's worked hard and implemented many
strategies that she's learned by studying other
successful marketers.

Out of everything she's tried, she deems
list-building as the most important component of
her business,

"Nothing is more powerful than building a
targeted responsive list and building a
relationship with that list."

While her income may not yet be on par with the
internet marketing superstars, she's earning a
living online that would impress even those of us
living in a more generous economy (she recently
earned $6300 USD in a month).

The thing that must be kept in mind is that she
is making more money than about 95% of the people
in her country, and bringing home more income
than her countrymen who have 30+ years of
experience in their careers.

I'd love to see what she'd be capable of
achieving outside the restraints of her county,
and so would she, which is one reason she is
considering a move to a locale more conducive of
her business--such as Canada or Australia.

She says the biggest key to success is,
"Believing in yourself, and promising yourself
that you WILL reach your goals and won't let
anything or anyone stop you."

When I asked her what makes her different from
those who fail, she said that her success is
derived from her persistence in facing and
overcoming challenges and obstacles.

She points out one of her favorite quotes from
Ross Perot,

"Most people give up just when they're about to
achieve success. They quit on the one yard line.
They give up at the last minute of the game, one
foot from a winning touchdown."

When she's not working on her business, she
enjoys reading self-improvement books (who would
have guessed?), dancing, watching movies,
spending time in nature, and going out with
friends.

In other words, she's just a normal girl with big
plans and an indomitable positive attitude.

Today she has more than 20 websites, and she
hopes to expand her business by 400% while
continuing to help others find their own success.

As Ladan says, "If a young girl who got started
when she was only 16 years old, with no previous
business experience, with English being her
second language, with less than $30 to her name,
in a country where you can't have a credit card
or PayPal account and is under a strict embargo
from United States, and so much more limitations...


If such a girl can succeed, how is it possible
that YOU can't succeed - while you may not even
have one of these limitations?"

Ladan will never give up.

I hope you don't either.


:arrow: View Ladan's Profile here at SSWT
:arrow: Visit Ladan's Website: Find Product Ideas

Beautiful! Congrats Ladan, on both this generous piece that will undoubtedly inspire many others... and your success!
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Postby theuniek1 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:01 am

That is truly inspiring! Simply amazing, Ladan, congratulations. :D

~ Teli
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Postby theuniek1 » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:04 am

On an almost off-topic tangent, I must say I loved watching her avatar evolve from having her face completely covered to showing all of her (very beautiful) face. :)

~ Teli
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Postby *Delecia* » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:58 am

Congrats Ladan!
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Postby Ladan Lashkari » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:33 pm

Thanks Lynn! :)

I hope this story shows people who are just starting out in this business that they really can make a nice living online easily.

They just need to believe in themselves and NEVER give up.

Wish you all the best,
Ladan
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Postby Ladan Lashkari » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:50 pm

Also thank you Teli and Delecia. :)
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Postby *Delecia* » Wed Mar 28, 2007 1:11 pm

Your welcome Ladan :)
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Postby WAHumor » Fri Mar 30, 2007 4:23 am

Ladan rules.
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Postby ChristyK » Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:12 am

Very inspiring. And every ounce of success is very well deserved. Congratulations!

Christy
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Postby Johnny » Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:36 am

Have read that quite sometimes back.
Very inspiring.
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permission to print

Postby TorontoCarol » Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:39 pm

Congratulations, Laden, you have given me a much needed boost to continue.

That article is inspiring and motivating. Do you think I would be able to print it at my motivatedtolearn.com website?
Carol
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Postby TorontoCarol » Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:40 pm

Sorry for the spelling error on your name Ladan.
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Postby TeriFitzgerald » Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:05 pm

Wow! Absolutely incredible!! Talk about facing adversity and
finding success! I am truly inspired.. :wink:

Enjoy each moment,

Teri
~
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Postby walker22 » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:41 pm

Hadn't been on the forum here in awhile and am so pleasantly surprised and delighted to see Ladan's story get covered by Joel Comm.

Ladan was the first person to ever respond to me in an online forum so I've always had a special place in my heart for her. She's so kind and such a breath of fresh air.

Congratulations Ladan!

Michael
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