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Welcome to episode #25 of The Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this episode I have with me Rana Shahbaz, creator of his personal blog as well as two software companies. He enjoys writing content that will help small teams grow into successful businesses. 

Top Talking Points

  • How to avoid the stress of feeling like your blog needs to be popular.
  • The differences between personal development and professional development.
  • Why you should be a life-long learner and how.

Resources & Links

Share Link for this episode

Connect With Rana at his personal blog ranashahbaz.com or on Linkedin

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Transcription of Episode

Ryan

Hey morning upgraders it’s Ryan. Before we get to the show, I have a quick question for you. Do you want to start a morning routine but you don’t know what to do or don’t have a lot of time? Well, I have an exciting announcement. I just launched my first product called the morning upgrade cards. It’s a journal type product, but in card format, and they help anyone start and stick with a morning routine. And you only need 20 minutes every morning to take a card pen to paper and answer the questions and follow the prompts. The morning upgrade cards make it easy to build what I consider to be the number one habit and that’s investing in yourself first thing in the morning with a morning routine. To learn more, go to morning upgrade.com forward slash cards. Thanks for letting me share and now on to the show.

Announcer

Welcome to the Morning upgrade podcast with Ryan cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan

Hey everyone, this is Ryan cote from the morning upgrade podcast today I’m very excited to be speaking with Rana Shabazz. Hey, Ronna.

Rana

Hi, Ryan, how are you?

Ryan

I’m doing great. Thanks. How are you?

Rana

Yes, I’m good. Thank you for having me on the show.

Ryan

Yeah, absolutely. I’m very excited to speak to you. Why don’t you start out by telling us what you do and and what your interests are?

Rana

Well, I’m really inspired of the power of internet. And I believe Internet has leveled the playing field and success depends on your game. So to play that game on the internet, most creatives probably need to WordPress as a tool. And I love WordPress and that’s where we happens to help businesses and creatives to build support and maintain their WordPress websites.

Ryan

Yeah, I love WordPress to our site Ballantine’s calm is on WordPress so big fan of WordPress. What do you enjoy doing? What do you what are your hobbies?

Rana

On a hobbies? Now current hobby is writing I guess I love picking up a question about blogging or personal development and complete a blog post. So that is that is I really enjoy nowadays. And that that’s a probably topra best hobby at the moment.

Ryan

Before we started recording, we found that we have similar interests. We’ve got kids around the same age that we are trying to take. We’re trying to instill personal development wisdom into them by you’ve got your blog, Russia boss calm, I’ve got my morning, upgrade comm blog, both personal development related and so you’re saying that you are you’re creating this blog for something that where your kids can read it, and I’m, I’m doing the same kids and everyone else, but with kids being the focus. So we’ve got that similar interests?

Rana

Yeah, that’s right. So on my personal blog, I got two blogs. One is for WordPress for my business blog, where we write about WordPress, but on my personal blog, because on my business, I’m involved in team training, and stuff. So on my personal blog, I just write about what I would like to share with my team and my kids one day,

Ryan

it definitely adds more adds meaning behind it like you’re creating something asset that will have, I guess, a legacy or impact on your kids. And whoever else reads it. That’s what keeps me going as you’re creating something that every month it’s growing. And me personally, I think about the ripple effect, because if the content we’re creating, it helps our kids, they might pass it along to their friends, maybe. But then you think about like just a random visitor to the site, they really resonate with one of the articles. And they might tell a few people and those people might tell a few people, and you just never know what kind of ripple effect you’re going to have with the content you’re putting out. So that’s I think about that it really gets me excited about, about creating this type of content, put out this podcast, speaking to people like you. So that’s stop mine. For me.

Rana

I started blogging, I first came across blogging about 10 years ago, what I experienced is if you are basically writing to if your goal is to get traffic from your blog, and have big numbers coming into your blog, it’s really hard. Blogging is quite competitive. So what you do is normally people I think start a blog and after a few days or a few months, they lack motivation to carry on with their blogs because until you have a you know good people coming in or you have a big community, it is quite boring. So that’s why I just during this lockdown, I reviewed my blogging plans and I made a clear plan that I want to write it for my team and my kids so I don’t have any pressure of writing or any traffic. So which is kind of, you know, ongoing motivation and inspiration, which is really helping me create to content regularly what I love, not just for the sake of traffic.

Ryan

That’s a great point on your blog. And this is a distinction that we haven’t spoke about yet on Morning upgrade. So this blog is about personal development. And I want to talk to you about your morning routine and habits and all that. But it’s a blog about personal development. But on your blog, you’ve got a chart where you distinguish between personal development and professional development, which I think is interesting. Do you want to talk for a minute or two about what you see the differences are there, and how come you broke it out like that,

Rana

while working with my team, I realized that, for example, they are a new professional starting to learn coding. So what I experienced is people who are doing great things and experiencing greater success in life, are not those who are just concentrating on their professional sites, I believe their personal sites, like how to communicate how to deal with people are equally or maybe more important than your professional skills. So that’s why on top of that, my hobby is blogging. And I believe, when you start a blog, the amount of learning is there, when you start your own professional blog, I believe everyone should have a blog. And blogs are they’re our modern CV. So when you start a blog, it is a huge learning curve. And whenever you create any piece of content, you learn a lot. So that is kind of why I put that blogging into personal development side of the table, within lifelong learning as well. So I believe anyone, any youngsters who are listening to this podcast, whatever they are doing, they should be working on their personal side of development equally, as well as professional development.

Ryan

Yes, I’m a big Jim Rohn fan, um, he passed away, I think 10 years ago, maybe longer. But he he used to have a saying where he would recommend that you work more on yourself than you do on your job. I think because not that not that the job is not, you know, you want to improve your skills. But I think the kind of ties into what you just said, where if you work on yourself, you naturally become better at your job. So used to recommend that there’s a really interesting

Rana

friend of mine recently, he’s a financial is a top, he got a big job in a company, which is a financial controller or something. And I was having a conversation with him, he was looking for a job. And he mentioned exactly what we are discussing here, why it is important to work on your personal development. But he was saying that whenever you are in these bigger jobs, it’s not your resume or your technical skills work is your contacts who do you know, basically, that is where it gets you through the door and work on these important jobs. So I think that’s another thing I noticed recently.

Ryan

What does your morning routine look like? Aruna?

Rana

Well, it is pretty simple. I’m not that organized as you are with your morning routine, or ideal morning routine for me is to you know, just to review my bigger goals, and make a list of about one to five tasks and to concentrate on those tasks to get it done. As long as I have done, at least in my you know, first half of the day, if I can complete at least one to two major task. That is I find my day successful. And another part of the routine which I’m trying to accomplish, it is hard, because of the way my business established that turn off all my devices basically, to concentrate on until at least 1pm. I don’t use phone or email, if possible. So that is something I’m working on. I haven’t been successful on that.

Ryan 

Yeah, that’s I can see that where you have like absolute focus or not being distracted by notifications or emails, what do you do during the time where your phone is? phone is off? And you’re not checking emails? What do you use that time for,

Rana

to basically complete any important tasks which can get me closer to my goal.

Ryan

So like working on the vision of your of your business, and the strike is the strategy and the growth of the business?

Rana

Well, four main task is, for example, if I if I’m working on a blog post, and I have completed a good piece of content in those three to four, four hours, I find myself my days is successful. Yeah.

Ryan

I like you mentioned the to do list. I’ve recently added that to my morning routine, I wrote down things that I want to do today, like speaking to you is one of them. So I get to cross that off now. But I do find it is very helpful in your morning to establish the tasks that you absolutely want to get done, like the most important things, and it’s very satisfying checking those boxes off. So I’m glad you mentioned that. So let’s talk about your business business a little bit more. Now. You’ve got a couple different ones. So answer this however you want. But what’s the hardest thing about your business right now and what are you doing about it?

Rana

Well, that’s a pretty difficult and heavy question. I think business itself is is a is a challenge. This is what I learned after 10 years of running business. I don’t call myself, business owner or entrepreneur. That’s why I call myself a lifelong learner. Because every day you wake up, you got to new problems, new metrics to solve, solve. So everything is difficult in business. But I think, currently we are what we are working on is building better systems, optimizing our systems to provide sustainable and better delivery all the time to our customers. Yeah.

Ryan

I do like the concept of lifelong learner. And I know you mentioned that a lot in your blog. I’m very big into self education, and never stop learning. Never No, never think you know, everything. What’s your approach to lifelong learning? How do you accomplish that?

Rana

I think the biggest biggest challenge in lifelong learning is deciding what you are, instead of deciding or finding out what you are inspired about. I believe once you find out what you’re inspired about, and then have a lifelong learning mindset, which means you know, picking something which can accomplish all your goals and dreams, and then getting 1% better every day on that that is like called lifelong learning. And if you follow these, these two things, I believe, sooner or later, you will find yourself master of that, in that particular category, your feet.

Ryan

I love what you just said, the 1% but also what inspires you I feel like you know, everyone loves sitting. That’s something to journal on, get a pen and paper, no phone and just think about what inspires you. I think that’s a great question to kind of ponder and journal on. So thanks for mentioning that. So I’ve got one more question for you, Rhonda. Then you, we can wrap up by you telling everyone how they can learn more about you and connect with you. What does the perfect day look like for you?

Rana

Just you know, getting up on time, completing at least one important thing I’m working on. And then spending time with family and friends, family and calling at least one friend and going for a walk. So these are five things if I have done this every day. I can call it safely that I have a good day

Ryan

of it. And it sounds very doable to so it’s even better. Thanks, Rana. I really appreciate your time. What really enjoyed speaking with you what’s the best way that people can connect with you or learn more about you?

Rana 

The best way is my blog, which is Ron shabazz.com. And I’m on LinkedIn as well. So if you are if you guys are on LinkedIn, it would be great to connect on on there.

Ryan 

Great. Thanks again and everyone. Thanks for listening. Talk to you soon.

Rana

Thank you so much, Ryan for having me. You’re welcome.

Ryan

Thanks for listening to the morning upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morning upgrade.com For more content

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