Would you mind introduce yourself?
My name is Mohammad Mahdi Rabbani, I was born in Isfahan in 1984, to a very religious family.
I have a brother and a sister.
Actually, I became acquainted with studying and reading books At early stages because my parents and sister always had books in their hands.
When I was a child, books were the best toys and gifts to me. Occasionally, I cut books and put the words in books together and make new books and magazines for myself.
When I was a little child, we did not have access to the Internet, but I used to make books and magazines with scissors, tape, and liquid glue.
Who was your first role model in life?
My father mainly was a teacher; therefore I became acquainted with teaching, going to university, traveling, and presenting since childhood.
Traveling to teach was common in my family, but basically, My father was my role model in the study; He summarized his studies and readings and kept them in binding papers.
I was very interested in these binders, and the matter that the number of binders increased gradually over the time; It fascinated me, and I learned that I had to write down what I was learning too.
What role did your mother play in your life?
My mother was also a teacher and sporadically, her students came to our house and I saw and learned my mother’s teaching method.
When I saw my mother, I realized that a teacher is very effective and respectful to people, and then These things led me and my mind to become an educator.
What are the best and worst memories of your childhood?
I do not have many childhood memories, but one of my best childhood memory was the day that my sister bought me a book as a gift, and I was delighted.
Child books were not very thick those days, but I was interested in arranging and labeling them in the library.
In fact, I have a dark spot in my childhood, which was probably due to my ignorance and interest in books; I went to the bookstore and picked up the book and did not pay for it!
This memory bothers me a lot, nevertheless, when I notice my mistake, I paid for the books to decrease my guiltiness, but It still makes me upset and the fact that I had such limited access to knowledge bothers me more; actually My family was middle class, and we were not wealthy.
What was your biggest childhood chance in your opinion?
Familiarity with the public. I had the opportunity to connect with all walks of life.
I met the affluent people of the society, the middle-class people and the financially poor people as a child.
I saw our neighbor, and was in public school all my life, went by public transportation, so I communicated with various people.
Clearly, this part of my life was one of the bright spots that affected my personality.
I closely observed the difficulties, problems, and needs of people.
I knew the places that could be served.
Have you always been a top student during your education?
No. From elementary school to pre-university, I was not a freshman;in fact, I was more a middle ranked and never a week student also.
But I keep in touch with some of my teachers so far, and I still am visiting them, They give me advice and guide me in my life and I still learn from them.
Was your family strict about education?
No – my family was not very strict, and they also had not much control over my studies, and I was independent. I only learned lessons at classroom and did not study at home; in exam sessions I answered questions with those teachings and got grades.
The school atmosphere was not attractive and happy for me. I was not very eager to go to school. Furthermore, I disliked the way teachers taught because I disliked the way principal and supervisor communicated with the students.
Of course, I had good teachers during my education, those years were attractive to me, and they tried very hard to change my perspective.
Having the experience of good and bad teachers made me decide to become a teacher in the future. I wanted that my teaching techniques and communicating with students make studying an attractive process for them, so I have been illustrating this dream ever since.
Which subjects were you interested in at school?
I was interested in math and science lessons. I was talented in these courses and got good grades without additional endeavor.
On the other side, I disliked memorizing courses such as history and society, and so on.
Why did you like teaching as a child?
Literally, everyone around me were teachers and researchers?
I even went to work with my father, I was in the library and teaching space always.
I did not get acquainted with business, I did not see the engineer and the doctor up close. My childhood was spent in the educational space, so I imagined myself in this field.
I always thought I would be a great writer or a great teacher.
It has been in my mind since I was a child that I want to do something special.
As a child, I dreamed of doing a special job in the field of teaching and writing. Because I wrote a lot as a child, and I had a great interest in paper and notebooks.
I had an office collection and all kinds of paper.
What did you do in your spare time except reading books?
It was common in our city at that time, before elementary school, children worked as salesmen for themselves.
summertime I was a salesman.
Coincidentally, on a trip to Africa, I observed up close that one day a week, students leave their benches on the street and everyone sells everything that they have, books, food, stationery, and so on.
I inquired and found out that when the school is closed, the children are sold in the street.
As children, we could not wait to get to the box next to the house or at the end of the street with older children and do some sales.
my first income as a child was from selling cupcakes, tops and balloons, which are very enjoyable memories for me.
Tell us about your year of university entrance exam and field of study?
I had problems during school that accompanied me until pre-university and the time of the entrance exam.
I disliked memorization lessons, and I was only excellent at descriptive tests, but I could not test well. The entrance exam year was not suitable for me.
At that moment, there were 2 entrance exams, the state university entrance exam and the Azad university entrance exam.
My study field was experimental sciences, I was accepted to the state university entrance exam for the field of biology at the University of Isfahan.
It was not a bad string, but it did not appeal to me.
In the Azad University entrance exam, I took a mathematics exam and was accepted to Kashan Azad University to study civil engineering.
Due to my place of residence and family opinion, I chose biology, I also studied for one semester, but I realized that this is not my path, and does not have nice results in future for me.
all my family and friends insisted that I continue this field, get a degree from a state university.
But contrary to my family’s opinion, I wanted to enroll in an Azad university, and with this decision, I lost a lot of support.
Whereas I applied one term late for registration and I could not register, and I went to the head office of the Azad University alone for the first time in Tehran.
I applied several times to be accepted into the Azad University.
I insisted on the decision until they allowed me to register, but at this point; I had another challenge too, that I had to pay for university with no longer family support that led me into the world of work.
I had to work in the real world, and so I struggled a lot.
What was your first work experience?
I started with book vending. There were books about health, and I was supposed to distribute these books in pharmacies on that occasion, but at that time people did not sell books in pharmacies! There were about 30-40 books with white and red covers on topics of blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, sports nutrition, and so on.
I took them to pharmacies to keep them as fidelity, and if they were sold, I would receive their money.
Because I was a novice and pharmacies usually did not accept books, I was not very successful. Its income was only enough for my transportation.
After a while, I started doing drug visits. I got acquainted with pharmacies, I learned how to sell and visit.
before I was just told to go and distribute these books, and I did not know how to talk, how to dress and so on.
that’s why I was not very successful, but when I entered the drug clinic, they held classes and seminars for us; I went to Tehran, I saw how my colleagues dressed, so I learned how to dress, how to talk, how to plan sales, and others.
Then even I read my first business book at that time.
What business books have you read?
I started with Brian Tracy’s books. Books such as “Sales”, “Art of Sales”, “Psychology of Sales”.
These books influenced me a lot even more than university. These books are also written in simple language.
The point is, we should not take simple things easy.
I still have those books and I have read them a lot, that they scraped on paper.
When did you get married, and what was your job then?
I got married in my first year of university at the age of 19, I had no financial support and my only source of income was visiting.
I did not have a car and waited for a few hours to go to university by bus.
At the beginning, my income was just enough for transportation, and I often arrived at my classes late because I did not have the money to take a taxi.
But gradually, I was able to buy a car, rent a house as a visitor; later I bought a house by the income of a visitor.
I rented an office in Tehran and I became a sales manager, importer of a drug supplement that I distributed myself to.
Did you visit to improve your career?
Yes, everything I know today is the result of my experience as a visitor, if I am comfortably talking to you now, teaching, etc.
In fact Because I was a shy person, I could not speak well; I did not speak from school to university, and I was an introvert.
But my job as a visitor changed it completely.
Many people are now fugitives of it. Contrary Many companies are looking for a salesperson and a visitor, but when they advertise and state a visitor, there are few applicants.
I have had more than a hundred live TV and radio programs. I have held several seminars for 1,000 people in Milad Tower and elsewhere.
The visit made me a reader because in the past I was not interested in business books, but at the same time I started reading business books with the visit.
Visiting forced me to read specialized books, attend seminars, Participate in required courses(even though it was not common in our culture to attend required courses to learn a skill those through visiting despite all the hardships and disrespects that befell me.
In many places I was taken out of the pharmacy. Many places did not even pay me off.
I endured a lot of stress, but the same pressure built me up.
I learned to be friends with pharmacists.
Did you continue in civil engineering?
Yes, I continued, but because I was working at the same time, it took me a while to graduate, but I finally got a bachelor’s degree and became a civil engineer.
It was the time that I should enter the new business world, I had to become a member of the engineering system.
So I became a member, this course coincided with Mehr housing projects, and I volunteered for more experience in a workshop where several hundred apartments had to be built. Because I had not learned anything in theory at university, and I learned something while working.
I even took engineering software classes again.
Tell us about your work experience in the field of management.
I had an office in Tehran, I became a drug importer by myself.
I got a job and realized that I needed management skills.
I did not know how to work with people, I did not know how to build a team, and so on.
Afterwards, I started studying again. I registered with the Industrial Management Organization.
My classmates were great and valuable people, but I had empirical experience of selling at many markets.
Although I was young, my classmates liked me because of my experience, and quickly we became friends.
In these classes, I was able to sell sales consulting projects, And finally, I could do the career I always wanted at that year, teaching.
I ask some people why you do not work?
They answer because I have not yet found my favorite job.
I did countless unlovable jobs in different fields like construction, visiting or else.
These things increased my knowledge and experience, and I finally started teaching.
Did you have any teaching experience before taking on a sales and teaching consulting project?
In middle school and high school, I had teaching experience earning money.
But in sales consulting projects, I had to train educated people from expert to doctoral.
Did you consider yourself also successful in teaching?
Although I did not have enough self-confidence, I received good feedback and was accepted, and even my advice influenced the sales of those companies.
That’s why I continued.
I was also studying at the Industrial Management Organization.
And in this position, I decided to change my major, and realized that I was not the right person for the job.
I wanted to work on management, sales, marketing and trading strategies.
I was immersed in this space, and I was enjoying it.
I ran away from classes and studying in school, but I enjoyed the Industrial Management Organization classes, and they took extra classes; consequently I attended, I read business books for hours, and I did not get bored.
In every class and seminar with these topics, good or bad, local and foreign professors, I participated.
What is the field of your master’s degree?
When I became interested in the field of management, I wanted to have a university degree in this field; so that no one would tell me that you are an engineer, you cannot manage and many more.
Accordingly, I took an exam and was accepted into the field of executive management at Isfahan State University.
But this time, I went to classes with love and passion.
I became a manager myself, I ran a company, I had a car, my office was in Tehran and my university was in Isfahan.
The university also became a source of communication for me, I collaborated with my professors.
I met Dr. Sanaei, completed my thesis by his leadership and held a seminar too.
Previously, in my undergraduate course, I thought the university and its educational system were not proper; that was because I chose the wrong field.
Conversely, in my postgraduate course, my passion changed my perspective.
How did you get started with “khalaghiat” Magazine?
Besides that, I loved learning management disciplines and attending all kinds of classes, I was a graduate student at the University of Isfahan, I was also doing journalism and I made superb friends in “Hamshahri” newspaper, “zendegi irani”, and “khanevade sabz” magazine.
I wrote articles and collaborated with most newspapers and magazines.
At the same time, I realized how a lack of content exists there.
We did not have any practical journal in the field of management.
Only academic journals containing translations of Harvard professors’ articles and university dissertations and Only magazines with theoretical and motivational content.
There was no magazine that would benefit the market. There was no source to tell people how to get started on the market. How to do marketing? How to sell?
There was no startup literature at all those days. (Means the word startup and its process was not much familiar)
This made me express that there is no place for this content.
My friends and I wanted to publish a magazine with different titles. But getting a magazine license was not easy, and it was a long-term project.
I even went to the Minister of Guidance and got a letter that we want to launch a magazine. Although they wrote that it should be expedited, it was still locked in administrative work.
It occurred to our mind to use the available magazines that we already had.
It was a table magazine. I went with three of my friends, each of whom was a head in the magazine.
Finally, we published what we wanted with their permission. Then, four of us launched “khalaghiat” magazine into a parking lot.
We started with a few prefixes.
And from that prefix, we could cooperate with first-rate professors like Dr. Ahmad Rousta.
How Much Money Did You Make to Start the “khalaghiat” Magazine? Was there a good return on investment?
Our financial capital was zero, actually. We had no financial income, we only had human capital, my colleagues, and partners were very professional.
One of my friends was a printing master, one was a distribution master, a writing master, and a professional editor.
We were an occupational team, so we paid little.
This stage was a bright spot in my life, in terms of income, it did not bring me any income; sometimes I even paid for myself, but it was perfect for me spiritually, and it became the key to my entry into all my current jobs.
My current good friends and connections are all from “khalaghiat” Magazine. My investors all got to know me from “khalaghiat” Magazine. The point is, we do not always have to look for money directly, sometimes we do things to make money in the end.
If I wanted to think economically, it had negative feedback.
The 15-year endeavor had negative economic revenue, but I saw all aspects of it, and it brought me a positive return.
Because it was my passion and based on my interest in writing, we progressed rapidly.
When did you enter the field of publishing?
After the publication of “khalaghiat” Magazine, we realized that the content of this magazine is very attractive to people.
It is very well received, we thought, to produce deeper content? Content in magazines can not be long and too deep.
These contents were suitable for books, so we set up the publishing house.
But we only did this with one of my partners in “khalaghiat” Magazine because others were disagreeing and recommended us not to do it as well.
They said, publishing houses are going bankrupt, do not throw yourself into the publishing household.
But this time I listened to my inner voice. We started publishing with a small capital, about 30 million Tomans, 10 years ago;
Thank God, this work had a nice result for us.
As it took a long time to get a publishing license, we lost the market, so we used the same magazine launch technique, we used the existing licenses. At first, we published books with existing publications, such as Sharif, Peyk Saba, etc.
When we saw the results, we applied for publishing permission ourselves.
If we wanted to get a license at the beginning, we could not do anything and have a forward action, so we solved this obstacle in our own way and did not wait for the optimal conditions.
What was the first book you published in your publishing house?
The first book we published with our publication was The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.
At that time, no one knew Darren Hardy so much in our country. There was no translated book by Darren Hardy.
When we published this book, no one was willing to distribute it.
And I had to introduce and sell this book in my classes and seminars.
Then one of the distributors said that this book was great and agreed to distribute it because I had given him the first 15 books for free. And in the first order, he asked me to send 500 books, and then this book was reprinted regularly; It is currently one of the best-selling books in the field of personal development books.
For many years, it has been one of the best-selling books in the Fidibo app, even selling more books than the entrance exam and the novel. The book Compound Effect helped me a lot on personal branding. Because I was never a shopaholic to show my personal life and luxury items, and actually, my family reinforced it.
But the compound effect was very influential on my personal brand. Because I wrote an introduction to this book and put my name on the cover. Although I was not the author or translator of the book, I wrote my autobiography in the introduction, and this book has sold more than half a million copies so far.
I got many consulting projects through this book. I found investors through this book. When I was a graduate student, I wrote two academic books and scientific papers to prepare for my PhD, but because those books were not sold because the content was poor and not more than one volume; It did not work for my personal brand.
After the establishment of the publishing house, did you work only in this field?
No – we later started a company by renting a room in a science and technology park. Although I had good financial means; according to Diamond John in his book The Power of Money, he says: If you start a business with low capital, your success rate will be much higher than businesses that start with a lot of money.
By this perspective, I started a knowledge-based company in the field of herbal pharmacy.
Initially, we intended to extract formulas for combining herbs with medicinal effects, then to patent and sell them to pharmaceutical companies. This process was very difficult for us, it took us 4 years to register our first patent and then no one bought from us. That’s why we started producing without a factory, which had nice feedback, and it welcomed.
I used the connections and collaborations I had with pharmacies and drug distribution centers, and we also produced other drugs. At present, our pharmaceutical company is very successful in the field of herbal medicine, and we claim that it has more effect and less harm than similar industrial drugs.
How did you establish Vidone’s application?
The world was changing, and usage of magazines and books was decreasing.
Classes and seminars did not get many greetings.
I thought to myself, the world is changing, why do not we?
If we do not change our instructions and strategies, we will be driven out of the market, we will be destroyed;
It is better for us to destroy ourselves so that new technologies destroy us.
Hence, we offered the same face-to-face training online. For the first time in the country, we launched an application called Vidone (know with video), which can be taught via mobile phone.
Vidone was one of my fastest growing returns on investment. My previous business took several years (from 4 to 8 years) to reach the breaking point.
But about Vidone, though digital world affection, we reached the breaking point in less than a year.
I had never experienced this growth before.
Vidan is an application which we dubbed and translated the best courses of international professors, we included the courses of the best professors in Iran, Different courses in management, English, etc.
We tried to work only with first-class professors, and meet the content standards.
I currently spend most of my time on Vidone.
Is Vidone the last business you have?
Despite Vidone, I currently have other startup businesses abroad, in a European country and in some Arab countries. We also have an idea for Vidone called Money Making Machine or Sales Co-operation that we are working on. We thought that we were capable of intending to train these people to enter the labor market and each of them become a money-making machine; to have a strong website and social media, do affiliate marketing with very little capital.
This platform is for people in the country who are unfortunately unemployed due to the current economic situation.
I hope this idea can have an impact on the country’s entrepreneurship industry.
You read the story of my life.
My life was full of ups and downs, we published its story in a book called “divanegan servat saz”, which talks about the entrepreneurial fast train.
My life was like one of those trains, sometimes it peaked, and every so often it crashed.
I went bankrupt twice in my life, but I started again.
I started from below zero, I want to emphasize that it is possible to become successful in every situation and position you just need to make the right decision and change everything.