My guest on the pivoting entrepreneur series this week is Osmaan Sharif, from Rapid Transformation. According to Osmaan, every time he sees ice-cream he thinks of me!
How’s that for impact!?
I was a guest on Osmaan’s podcast earlier this year, talking all things Brand Before Logo. When talking about messaging and some of the common mistakes people make, I said that “sometimes people are too Vanilla for the Mint Choc Chip lovers” and for that, I’ll forever be remembered to him by ice cream.
In this series of blogs I’m sharing other people’s stories of how they’ve adapted or are in the process of adapting their business, brands, and message to “pivot”, grow and evolve.
I first came across Osmaan when he delivered a masterclass on Entrepreneurial Superpowers, and how understanding yours and other people’s can be an incredible asset in improving performance.
After having left the corporate world over the 11 years ago, Osmaan has been coaching, mentoring & training business owners like you, to create Rapid Transformations & results. He specialises in ensuring that you’ve got the right Design, Mindset & Strategies working for you & your team.
I spoke to Osmaan about his entrepreneurial journey and how he has evolved his business from corporate, to training business and to what it is today.
Where did your business journey start and why did you decide to pivot?
“I did the traditional go to university, get a graduate job, and then climb the corporate ladder. I was a HR Manager for Marks & Spencer & then had a variety of roles in the head office in Lloyds TSB.
I was always about helping people & that’s what I loved … not all the red tape & things around it.
Whilst at the bank, I went on a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) course for 7 days & I was hooked from there, as what I learned was all about helping people.
I went back to work & was using NLP whenever I could to help develop my team & colleagues. I then decided to take the plunge & go out there to share NLP through training courses & coaching through my own business.
That was over 11 years ago now!”
“When I first started my company, I called it ‘Ab Intra Solutions’ – as in Latin that meant ‘from within’ – NLP is all about creating changes from within.
That brand served me well for a few years but then I noticed that most of my clients would keep pronouncing the brand name wrong and most of all would just refer to me by name, or as the NLP guy.”
The power of listening
Osmaan began to listen to the words his clients were using when introducing and describing his work and it got him thinking, perhaps he could be branding and positioning himself a bit better.
“I wanted to decide on a direction to focus my business around, as initially, it wasn’t very niched. I would attract lots of people to my NLP courses from both the corporate world & business.
I decided to specialise in working with small business owners who have left the corporate world to become their own bosses (or planning to do so).
I debated for a short while to use my own name as a brand, but it’s not that easy to pronounce or spell.
I noticed that whenever people would ask me what I would do, I kept using the words ‘Transformation’ and ‘quickly … rapidly’.
The penny dropped. I thought keep it simple & call my business ‘Rapid Transformation’. ”
Osman decided to pivot and rebrand his business to become “Rapid Transformation” and become a performance coach for entrepreneurs and business owners, using NLP as part of his toolkit rather than NLP being the sole focus of the business.
He unveiled his new business at a charity night amongst friends, family, clients and his local network.
“After the launch, to get the message out about what I do and how I help, I was sharing videos, conversations and blogs, mostly on facebook. This is before facebook got so busy and you actually got decent reach! I began to target my messages more closely on who I wanted to work with.
In my blog posts I’d now use specific examples that would feature an ideal client, and position those blog posts to speak to the people I was looking to work with rather than just everyone.
I cringe now at some of my early blog posts where I was trying to talk to everyone. Like – if you want to relate this to a relationship – try it this way, in the office do this, if it’s your own business, do this.
Now I’m totally focused on my message speaking to my ideal clients”
What’s your entrepreneurial superpower?
Osmaan became known for his “Entrepreneurial Superpower” message. This is where I first found out about his work.
Using the Wealth Dynamics test Osmaan helps entrepreneurs learn more about themselves and then uses that in his performance coaching to help people design the right business for them, develop the mindset skills they need, and put strategies in action to grow their business.
Get out your own way
Then the time came for another evolution.
“I’d wanted to do a podcast for some time and actually, it was finding the right name that held me back. I was stuck on it.
I thought about “Rapid Transformation” podcast but it didn’t sit quite right so I really thought about what it is I help people do and the problems I solve; how I help people get unstuck or out of their own way so they can be at peak performance and grow their business.
I came up with the “Get out your way podcast” and it felt right. In my messaging I talked a lot about “getting unstuck” and it is what I help so many of my clients do.
Before launching the podcast I wanted to refresh my brand and website, so it all tied together, and now the core message has evolved to
Let me help you get out your own way so you can rapidly grow your business
Which speaks to getting unstuck and rapid transformation and mindset – getting out your own way.”
I asked Osmaan what he found most difficult during the rebranding process, he said:
“I think the hardest part was just letting go of the attachment that I had with my previous brand name as I had chosen it and thought it was great. It felt like a lot of work having to change things but I’m so glad that I did it and didn’t leave it any longer.”
What advice would you give to other businesses or entrepreneurs looking to “Pivot”?
“Decide why you’re doing it. If you think it would have a long-term benefit for your company then do it now – rather than waiting till ‘later’ as it will be more challenging then.
But also get clear if the change is because you’re just ‘bored’ of things and if so … is there a way to freshen things up without a whole new brand.
I did that only a couple of months ago when I wanted to change my branding. I kept the elements of Rapid Transformation and the messaging consistent but brought in my “Get out your way message” to align with my podcast. I freshened my brand up with a new ‘look’ & brought in my new ‘Get Out Your Way’ podcast at the same time.”
What is it that keeps you going on your journey?
“I love seeing the breakthrough moments with my clients and them getting out of their way to get better results and build their confidence too.”
What’s the best thing about what you do?
“I get to work on the most important part of the business – YOU & YOUR MIND .. as without that working in the best way … everything else will be impacted.”
You can find Osmaan via his website www.rapidtransformation.co.uk
If you are looking to grow or evolve your business and want my support to get absolute clarity on your offer, positioning, difference and messaging – get in touch – and become the obvious choice to your ideal clients.