Khatib Ali is a millionaire entrepreneur, author, and transformational speaker. This sales expert, mogul, and military vet has endured extreme lows that provided lessons to propel him to extraordinary highs. Everything from landing in prison and raising a daughter with cerebral palsy, to gracing stages with legendary philosopher Bob Proctor – he is now a millionaire who is helping others to take charge of their destinies through his book ‘Cows vs. Rhinos.’
Cows Vs. Rhinos is based on a scientific study indicating that 97% of the human population follows the herd and settles for what is before them – like cows. The other wealthy 3% establish visions, set goals, and attack them with full force like rhinos. Khatib Ali has helped over 500 people create six-figure incomes and his mission is to help others to recognize their inner power and become rhinos in life.
StarCentral Magazine recently caught up with Khatib to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started your business?
I was a military brat born on the Fort Benning Army Base in Georgia (United States). We moved around so much that I never truly felt at home and I always had to attend a new school and make new friends all over again. But, because of that, I developed the ability to meet people from different places and establish relationships because I had to do it so often. Eventually, I went into the military and traveled the world. When I returned, I worked in the automotive industry and I became extremely successful at it. During that period though, my first daughter was born with cerebral palsy. I would have to constantly go back and forth between working at the car dealership to visiting her in the hospital. It was very stressful. One day, someone introduced me to this product that would make it so she didn’t have to be in the hospital constantly, and I researched the product non-stop and fell in love with it. I told myself that I was going to enter the MLM industry and sell this product like crazy and make so much money that I would always be able to take care of my daughter. I discovered my WHY at that point. It was my daughter. She is the reason I entered entrepreneurship. Her condition, combined with all of my experiences traveling, building relationships, and being very successful in sales placed me on this path and I have been on it ever since.
What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your business?
Right now, I consult with multilevel marketing companies and automotive groups like Berkshire Hathaway. I am working with a company in Utah, helping them to get their products positioned across the globe. Currently, they are based in Ghana, Nigeria, the Philippines, and several countries in South and Central America, such as Peru, Colombia, and Costa Rica. Most of my growth is coming from establishing relationships with companies and helping them to fatten their bottom line, especially during the pandemic. I am doing a lot of work on the health and wellness side.
What social media platforms do you usually use to increase your brand’s awareness?
My social media platforms of choice are Facebook and LinkedIn.
What is your experience with paid advertising, like PPC or sponsored content campaigns? Does it work?
Paid advertising and sponsored content campaigns work for many of the companies that I consult as far as helping them to position their products and services. To be honest, the vast majority of my business comes from word of mouth because it is all based on personal, interactive relationships. I focus on that far more than advertising because it is more natural as opposed to artificial.
What is your main tactic when it comes to making more people aware of your brand and engaging your customers? How did your business stand out?
Videos. I do a lot of videos and I just focus on being myself and educating people on who I am, my thoughts, and my experience. I do a lot of personal motivation videos and a lot of zoom calls. A company will bring me in for public speaking on their company zoom calls and conference calls. Every business has their thing that works for them. For me, video communication is key and we have been doing that since 2015. My business stands out because I take a very personal approach when helping companies as well as advising people on how to grow and improve their lives. This way, we get to the core of people’s hearts.
What form of marketing has worked well for your business throughout the years?
The bigger thing for me is word of mouth. What I can say is that PR has been very good for me with my publicist Ivan Thomas (intrigue Media Group). Having a good PR team is very good because it helps me to get the word out and build that brand awareness which is so important. I would say those are the two things that help my company the most.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?
One of the biggest decisions was pulling away from a company that I had helped get into 15 different countries. The owner was too involved and too arrogant. So, one of the toughest decisions I had to make was pulling away. I won’t say the company’s name, but, we started off extremely well, but the owner wouldn’t get out of their own way. It was very disappointing, but a decision that had to be made.
What money mistakes have you made along the way that others can learn from (or something you’d do differently)?
Not focusing on my business income-wise and not putting more money into my business such as investing in PR, marketing, and branding. I had to learn that sometimes you move too fast and sometimes you move too slow and you procrastinate on financial decisions that need to be made. You have to invest the money into your business until your business starts to pay you. If your business isn’t paying you, you have to put more money into it. That is a lesson I had to learn.
What new business would you love to start?
One of my biggest future goals and a passion of mine is opening my own cigar lounge. I want to start it in Cuba or Colombia, and then eventually bring it to America. Cigars are a very important pastime of mine. Going back to when I was 21 years old in the car business, every time I accomplish something I light a cigar and enjoy it with some cognac. One of my first jobs I worked was at a cigar bar in Charleston, SC and it was called the Tinder Box. I learned that a lot of business happenes in cigar lounges and on the golf course. I like to think of myself as an aficionado. There is a gentleman’s aspect to it.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I usually tell people all the time that if I went back in time there is nothing I would do differently aside from reading more and doing more professional development. I would not be the person I am today without the experiences, even the negative things that happened in my life, so I wouldn’t change those. But, I would definitely do more personal development, starting real young at like age eight. I didn’t start personal development until I was about 21.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
I was told a long time ago – God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. I would say that is the best advice I was given. It is not all about what you know or what you have accomplished. If God has a place that he wants you to be and calls you to do something, he will equip you with what you need to carry out your purpose.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
I would tell them to write down their business plan. It doesn’t have to be something crazy, but write a business plan starting with identifying your WHY. Your WHY is something you would jump in front of a bullet for. If you can’t jump in front of a bullet for it, it is not worth it. Also, I always teach people how to get an EIN and how to lay the structure for their business. The main thing though is getting a good logo. When you set up your logo, it intensifies your passion and your vision because it is a symbol of what everything you are doing is all about. Every major brand is defined by its logo, from Coca Cola to Apple. You know exactly who they are. That is brand awareness. If your company name and logo are not strong, you are going to flop.