Ladan Lashkari: If this girl can succeed – so can you!

Edition #116

It’s been almost two weeks since I wrote the last edition of Eric’s Tips. I’ve been feeling lately that it’s time for something different, so I decided to stop writing altogether until I came up with something inspirational.

Last week I found the inspiration that I was looking for.

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.

Ladan Lashkari
Ladan Lashkari

I suppose in the online world, youthful success is not entirely unusual (I met a couple of 21-year-old internet millionaires last month in New York), but this story hasn’t even begun yet.

The fact that she’s a girl making money on the internet becomes much more significant when you realize where she comes from.

She lives in Iran.

When I came across that tidbit of information on one of her sites I was like, “are you serious?”

Make no mistake! like most Americans I’m ignorant in many ways! but I have heard a few things about Iran and its culture.

I know just barely enough to understand that a girl becoming a successful internet marketer in Iran is about the same as the Denver Nuggets winning the Superbowl! and yeah I know those are two different sports.

So I had to find out if it was true.

After several email exchanges, and some online investigation on my part, it became apparent that she is indeed the real deal. As I’ve gotten to know her a little bit over the past week, an incredible story has unraveled that needs to be told.

Maybe you’ll watch her life story in a movie some day, or see her on the front cover of Time magazine! either way just remember that you saw it on Eric’s Tips first ;-)

Ladan was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, and lives there to this day.

Tehran

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.

Tehran Iran

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.

You can learn more about Ladan and her business at these sites:

Ladan’s blog
Newsletter templates
Product ideas
List profit club

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.

As always, you can leave your comments here in the blog.

Have a great day!

=====
Update: This article was published 03/10/2007. In the years since then, Ladan moved to Malaysia, and continues to succeed in her business ventures.

278 comments on “Ladan Lashkari: If this girl can succeed – so can you!

  1. Jeanette

    Thank you, Eric, for sharing that story. I have been helping a young man in Uganda who has been trying to make on online business. He too has many of those limitation that Ladan has, but not all.
    I am inspired to tell him to keep going. We can make it. God bless!!
    Jeanette

    Reply
    1. Raha

      Hi.
      I’m an iranian girl too.
      please help me to making on online business.
      tnx my friends.

      Reply
  2. Eric Post author

    Cool. Let us know how it goes!

    Reply
  3. Hamed

    Please try not to mention about the things you’re not sure. Of course there are limitations because of USA’s embargo, but there are bunch of wrong information you’ve write here I see. I’m living in Iran, but can obtain a visa and travel to everywhere I would like to go around the world, and as you said Ladan went to Malaysia. I can have credit cards right from here including PayPal. Also there are no government or culture’s obstacle to prevent a woman from internet marketing. I’m just like… why do think like this? Why don’t you try to find the truth? Don’t rely on your spiting and ill-willing media such as TV channels and newspapers.
    Things you said here as a “surprise” are “routine” here, things like internet marketing by females (and even earn more than what Ladan does) and traveling to others countries. Ladan was not the first and won’t be the last female who did these jobs…
    My advance is go find the truth! The real truth…

    Reply
  4. Kofoworola

    This is quite inspiring, i’m going to take a cue from this story, thanks for sharing it.

    Reply
  5. Narges

    Hey Ladan,
    Your terrific story really inspired me cause I used to consider all the obstacles around me so huge and Im an Iranian girl too!!!!!!!!
    Im going to try my best to start my own internet busines soon… Im so proud of you girl
    Go stronger
    All the best,

    Reply
  6. Anonymous

    More grease to ur elbow,Ladan!……….ur story boosted me push harder!

    Reply
  7. saeadeh

    hi ladan.how are you?

    Reply
  8. Jimmy

    Hi Eric,
    I face some of the challenges she went through but at least my hands and feet are more free!

    I live in Ghana (West Africa) where PayPal is not allowed.

    What options do I have for payment processors?

    Can I go to let’s say the US, register a PayPal account and the return to Ghana to operate it?
    Please educate me.

    Reply
  9. Yinka

    Whao! This is incrdible. Her success story is an inspiration for me to be more determined.

    Reply
  10. Amin

    Hello, I’m an Iranin and I’m in IRAN while writting this comment. I want o point out a couple of things to you. First to Steven Lucas (at the first commnet). Steven, for reading and learning Persian there is no need to learn Arabic. You should learn PERSIAN. PERSIAN and ARABIC are not the same languages AND NOT THE SAME PEOPLE OR RACE!!!!!!!!. If you say these languages are the same that way you should say Portugal and English are the same lanuages. IRANIANS ARE NOT ARABS. UNDERSTAND THIS. Second Iran alone has 65 percent internet users in MidEast among 15 countires of MisEast eventhough unfortunately the internet connection speed in Iran is the lowest among even the middle east countries.(due to security reasons) and Third. I confess to all OF these LIMITATIONS that are mentioned at this article EXCEPT ONE. EVERYBODY SPECIALLY WOMEN IN IRAN CAN EASILY TRAVEL TO OTHER COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD AND GET A VISA FOR TRAVELLING TO ABROAD OR EVEN LIVING AT THERE.( IRAN IS NOT NORTH KOREA) ABOUT 500000 OF IRANIANS LIVE JUST IN CALIFORNIA STATE even the OWNER OF EBAY AND PAYPAL MR. PIERRE OMID YAR IS IRANIAN. You can easily search his biography on the internet. THANK YOU

    Reply
    1. reza dehghan

      thanks amin your comment is very eyeful about IRAN
      again thanks
      ya ali

      Reply
  11. Amin

    Hi Ladan,
    I’m from Iran like you. My previous comment has been removed.!!! Anyway, can you tell me how I can get an office address ,for example, in Canada to have ClickBank send my checks there.??? Thank you…

    Reply
  12. Murtuza

    I recently read a blog about ladan lashkari and i am very impressed and inspired by her courage and dedication in achieving her goals.However, i have a very quick question about how did she manage to get her payments for her sales,affiliate commisions etc.,its not mentioned anywhere in the entire blog,i would love to know about it as somewhere i feel paypal is not reliable in my country,in India and secondly i dont own and dont believe in owning a CC,as you rightly stated due to the fear of CC abuse.So my situation to an extent is similar to ladan as well and i am very keen to know that what she did to resolve her obstacle of receiving her payments from sales,commissions etc.Kindly reply at the earliest.
    Regards,
    Murtuza

    Reply
  13. Murtuza

    Hi Micah,
    sorry to reply late,i tried contacting ladan through her contact page of her site,but no response from her or her team’s end,any work around to reach her?,as my question needs attention in terms of starting to earn my first money online,lol…, no kidding…,please do reply.

    Reply
  14. mary

    Iran isn’t allowed to have nuclear eneregy,how it can have nuclear bomb?As igor said it’s just USA propaganda.OK,always USA can decide which country can have something???

    Reply
  15. Hessam

    any way but silent lamb!

    Reply
  16. Dane Blenner

    I really am impressed with how much you have worked to make this website so enjoyable. Thanks a lot for your effort. Many thanks to the person who made this post, this was very informative for me. Please continue this awesome work.

    Reply
  17. Ramesh

    Hi ladan
    I am a girl about 25 from Iran , I appreciate you becouse of your success in e commerce , I very very much like to know from where I can start my job , I want to be someone like you and I want to have your articles and e-books , How can I access to them ? Please guide me dear ,
    I am waiting to recieve your kind reply impatiently

    Reply
  18. Philomena

    Thanks Eric for sharing Ladans story of success. That has truly inspired me. I want to be like her and i know that one day i will.

    Reply
  19. mehrdad

    salam ladan khanom man tazeh dar ayte milyarderhaye iran ba esme shoma ashena shodam va vagean eftekhar mikonam ke yek khanoome irani an ham dar sene kam jozve milyarderha bashe movafagh va sarboland bashid

    Reply
  20. Arhajj

    Thanks, Eric, for this inspirational story. It is a true story, too. I just cannot imagine how a young girl with so many obstacles can succeed making money online on her own, and she makes a big amount of money too, which most of us here can only dream of so far. You are the best, Eric, for inspiring us to succeed in online business.

    Hi Ladan! I am glad that you have chosen my beautiful country Malaysia to pursue your IM business. Even though I am from Malaysia and have been trying to make money online in the last 3 years, I am still far behind. Hope to be able to meet you and learn from you one day. I truly concur with you that TALENT and INTELLIGENCE can be developed, but perseverance and determination are something that not many people have. Your perseverance and determination really amaze me.

    Reply
  21. felistas

    Thanks for sharing. This is such an inspiring story. I am from a country that also has restrictions and i am working to overcome them. I could be making more money than i am making now. God bless!

    Reply
  22. pooria

    Hi, among 1000000… people , some of them became Newton, Einstein, …. . This can not be the enough reason that all of us in Network Marketing business can success.

    Reply
  23. Muhammad

    Hi eric
    I’m a boy living in IRAN and I can’t have good E-trading too but the problem is not our culture the problem is US government’ policy. They don’t allow us to have E-trading they don’t allow us to have any international credit card and debit card they don’t allow us even have a PayPal because we don’t want to be US government’ slaves but one day we show to all the world that how IRANIANS can be the best E-trader in the world. In the 17th chapter of saint luke is written :”The kingdom of God is within man”Not one man and nor of group of men but in all men.
    Thanks

    Reply

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