Interview with Hamid Safaei, Author & Coach

Author & Coach Hamid Safaei

Today, we had a chance to interview Hamid Safaei, who recently published First-Class Leadership, a manual on how highly effective teams can achieve breakthrough results. Below is an exchange between Hamid and FIND the CLIENT’s Brian Farrell about the book.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A very good question. I always wanted to do something significant for Mother Nature and mankind. I visualized myself as the one who was inspiring thousands of people. For a very long time (until I finished my master’s and passed the exam to start a PhD program in 1997) I wanted to be a professor at university. However, my affinity with leadership and working with senior leaders changed my perspective.

What was home like?
I am the 4th child in a crowded family. My parents never went to school. My father had to work very hard and was nonstop involved in many businesses to feed 10 children. He was a farmer and urged all of us to study hard to make it to a better level than what he achieved. And he was right. My mother was very often ill and we had a challenging life. We all came short on many things, but as I and my brothers and sisters often tell each other we never came short on loving and caring for each other. And my parents did whatever they could to teach us the things that matter most. Examples were: word is word, don’t do to anyone what you don’t want others do to you, and be kind and generous to whoever comes your way.

First-Class Leadership was recently published. What inspired you to write?
On Feb. 2nd, 2015 when my wife and son were visiting my parents in Iran I had plenty of time which I usually spent on them. So, I reconnected with myself and visualized what a fulfilled Hamid would look like. Then I wrote down as my mission: By 2025 I have achieved breakthrough results in the peace process in the Middle East. I knew and still know I am one of very few who believe in such a huge thing.  I broke this down into several milestones. The first one included a 3-year plan that should lead to connecting with at least 3 world leaders and publishing two books. First-Class Leadership was my second book and Your Journey to Fulfillment was the first. Just before my deadline I achieved all parts of the first milestone. The idea of publishing First-Class Leadership was a tool via which I could connect with world leaders and top 500 CEO’s. And it works!

Who or what has influenced your writing?
My publisher Gerry Robert has had an important role in shaping First-Class Leadership as it is. Whenever I got stuck, I reached out to Gerry and he helped me out.

Is there a message in your book you want readers to grasp?
Learn to lead yourself before even trying to lead anything or anyone else. Reconnect with the deepest level of your true self, identify your biggest why, find out what you love to do, develop your vision around your passion,  set a sound strategy to bring your vision to life and then implement like hell. First-Class leadership takes your hand in every step of your journey.

Since this website is about sales & marketing, talk to us about some of your favorite blogs and websites you visit for marketing advice.
Gerry Robert is the best person I have known when it comes to marketing. I follow his advice whenever I can. Here’re his website and blog:  and

I also admire Sir Richard Branson: and Bill Gates :

And here’s the link to my own blog:

Finally, any advice to writers just starting?
Don’t wait for the perfect moment to start writing. Start to write right here right now. Whenever something comes to your mind while you are not in a position to write, take a note of the idea and whatever comes to mind and save it in your notes/cellphone/email. Then explore on your notes. This is how I wrote a great part of my books.

If your audience visit my website they can download two free eBooks:

About Hamid Safaei
Best known for mentoring on leadership and personal development, Hamid Safaei is a certified executive coach who helps leaders, senior managers, and budding entrepreneurs overcome their fears: Fear of being found to be incompetent, fear of failure, fear of losing everything, fear of losing beloved ones, and so on.

Hamid is passionate about helping both individuals and teams to always be at their best. He has led successful business transformations for a number of Fortune Global 500 companies. Hamid is the author of bestselling First-Class Leadership and Your Journey to Fulfillment.

He has developed ImOcean Academy, a unique institute where he applies first-class coaching tools and techniques combined with best practices. He regularly publishes learnings on www.imoceanacademy. com and on subjects such as leadership, realizing goals and dreams, target setting, and bringing potential to fruition. His passion is to create a better world by and with better leaders.

His biggest dream is for peace in the Middle East, which he sees as a fundamental step for the peace on a global scale. Hamid aims to achieve breakthrough results in the peace process in the Middle East by 2025. Originally from Iran, Hamid Safaei lives in the Netherlands with his family.

How to Create Clickable Social Cards in Seconds

Every successful marketer knows that creating great visual content is the key to high customer engagement and strong brand identity. This is why content creators everywhere are now using social cards rather than regular images to drive more traffic from social media.

Social cards can be posted on all major social media platforms and used for many different purposes. What makes social cards so good at getting customers to engage with your content is the fact that – unlike normal image posts that simply expand when clicked – social cards send users directly to your chosen landing page.

Since creating social cards can be tricky, it’s always a good idea to use one of the free online tools such as AnyImage to help you.

AnyImage allows you to create clickable social cards in a matter of seconds. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at the informative infographic below.

Courtesy of: AnyImage

PCI FAQs and Myths

Today, approximately 75% of consumers prefer to pay with a credit or debit card. One of the biggest reasons why these transactions have become increasingly popular in recent years is because it’s so much easier for a shopper to swipe or dip his or her card instead of carrying the right amount of cash for every purchase. Yet, although card transactions are so easy for the consumer that most people never even think about them, the opposite is true for the merchants accepting those transactions. Behind the scenes, there’s a complex infrastructure humming to help guarantee all of those card transactions are as seamless and secure as they appear to the shopper. Further, it’s the merchant’s responsibility to maintain payment processing protocol to keep transactions secure and minimize liability risks.

To help make card transactions seamless and secure, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has implemented a set of data security standards that all merchants need to follow to accept card payments. If businesses are found not to be in compliance with PCI standards, the consequences can be dire. In addition to risking their customers’ sensitive financial data, merchants who do not comply stand to be hit with monthly fines on top of the penalties they may incur from issuing banks in the event of a data breach.

PCI compliance is much too important to ignore. However, because there are so many factors to PCI, it can be difficult for merchants to separate fact from fiction. For example, businesses that use an outside vendor to process cards may be under the impression that this alone puts them in compliance. Still, it remains their responsibility to ensure that they are following the guidelines to become and remain compliant.. This guide details some of the most persistent myths about PCI compliance. Take a look and make sure your business is doing everything it should.

eCommerce Giants And Their Social Media Partners

This article below was written by our friends at

With the rise of social media, all consumers have been adapting to the social networking platforms. They have engaged in micro-blogging, promoting content, downloading applications for their electronic devices and, overall, trying to enhance their social lives.

But beyond just using social media platforms for updating their relationship status, watching and sharing funny cat videos with their friends and family, all of the users have also found that there is another possibility when it comes to using the social media networks.

This has been the focus on an individual level.

At the organizational level, many companies haven’t quite adapted to the latest trends of using social media to promote their products and their content and the nearly infinite options that arise when it comes to marketing. And it’s incredibly easy to create something and then spread it all over the world, thanks to social media.

Either way, nowadays, spending on social media only makes up a small fraction of the budget in any business marketing strategy. According to recent research, on average, only 9% of the total companies’ budget was spent on social media. However, this number is set to increase to around 22% in just the next five years.

It’s obvious that sellers have been recognizing the power of social media and their ability to connect with their audiences. Seeing how the various social media platforms are an essential part of our daily lives, the companies had to adapt. We use social media to quickly find new information, to communicate, and more recently and more increasingly, for shopping.

According to recent studies, people around the world spend a total of over 110 billion minutes per day on social media platforms. And the top platform here is Facebook, shortly followed by YouTube.

We see every day how much impact these web-based platforms have on the economy, and of course, on the digital economy. Needless to say, in these times of digital economy, trying to set up a store and waiting for the customers to arrive is not enough anymore. Instead, all these companies have been finding new and creative ways to engage with their customers, to build relationships and create big and small communities. And the main difference has been social commerce.

With social commerce, people have increasingly seen features like user recommendations, referrals, customer ratings and reviews, and, perhaps most importantly, social shopping tools. All of these features make for a safe environment where anyone can contribute thanks to referral and positive and negative feedback and testimonials.

This is something that the eCommerce giants also noticed, which is why they started getting integrated with social media platforms and crossing a bridge. Thanks to its massive reach, we’ve seen eBay discount codes and Amazon listings pop up on our Facebook feeds.

According to a poll from the late last year, around 47.7% of users made their most recent purchase from this social media giant, which is far more than any other platform. Instagram ranked a distant second, and then there was Pinterest and the rest of the platforms.

Right now, you can take your phone and shop through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and even Tumblr, YouTube and LinkedIn. Or if you’re on the other end of the spectrum, you can also use Amazon’s new social media platform Spark and promote your content there. You can connect to other users who share stories and ideas and grow your business even more.

If you’re interested in learning more about the crossover from eCommerce to social media and vice versa, feel free to take a look at the infographic below.

Should a gift to my client have our company logo?

This article below was written by our friends at PointFast. PointFast helps Sales professionals seize their emails by tracking emails, links and file attachments.

Gift giving serves a vital purpose in the business world. So whether it’s Christmas, a big launch celebration, a promotion, or even a client’s birthday, there’s a reason to give. There’s a lot to consider in this gift-giving exercise. Who should we give to? What do we give? How should we give it?

For this post, I want to explore a more subtle, but important topic: should our client gift contain our company’s logo?

Why We Give
Let’s take a step back and remind ourselves of the ultimate goal: to drive revenue. Revenue comes from customers and customers buy (to a good extent) from trusted relationships.

So gift-giving to the client is the opportune chance to build the relationship, to show that we care. After all, without the relationship, there’s really not much left over.

Let’s be clear: if we think that we’re giving purely out of the goodness of our heart—then we should really be investing our time and money to a charity. Giving a thoughtful gift to a client is not charity work.

Give with Logo or Not?
Talk to anyone in marketing and they would instinctively say that any corporate gift should contain the company’s logo. This is really inferior thinking. Moreover, it’s really selfish.

Why? Because if our goal is to build on the personal relationship–not our corporate relationship–then we should not tie the gift with our company logo. We want to give with the perception that we want nothing else in return.

Giving a gift with our logo makes the gift only a half-present. We want the client to take the gift so that we can outlandishly remind them that we exist.

We don’t have to stoop so low. We in sales should take the high-road.

Imagine for a minute we gave the client a nice, titanium fidget spinner to help them destress. I’d prefer the client’s friend or colleague to ask, “Hey, that’s a cool stress reliever. Where did you get it?” than for that client to outright see my company logo. Why? Because then it allows the client—the person whom I want to build a relationship—to acknowledge me and my company for the gift. Acknowledgment is the first sign of appreciation.

Give for the Sake of the Relationship
It’s easy to just sit back and forget about giving. But I’d encourage you to give a simple gift with the goal of fostering the relationship. Just make sure not to stamp the company logo on it!