We hear many stories of successful Muslims excelling in business, but what happens when they shift their ethos to work towards acquiring wealth in this life for the sake of al-akhirah!
This is what the Muslim Entrepreneur Network promotes; it enables Muslims to find ways to excel so that they can use their wealth to better the Ummah.
At the age of 26 years old, Haroon Qureshi had built a 7-figure Amazon business in just 12 months. Haroon then quickly spearheaded the entrepreneurship and wealth generation space and partnered with leading entrepreneurs Com Mirza and Harun Rashid to form the Muslim Entrepreneur Network.
Haroon is an articulate public speaker within the entrepreneurial space and he, along with the Founders of Muslim Entrepreneur Network, aim to provide invaluable resources to the Muslim Ummah.
Without further ado, we bring you this interesting interview with Br Haroon Qureshi…
Tell us about the start of your journey which led on to achieving a 7-figure Amazon business?
When I was younger, I was somebody that wasn’t very confident about myself, especially from an academic perspective. In school, secondary school and college, I was somebody who always was on the lowest set of all the classes, always getting D’s and F’s.
As a child, I developed a mindset that I never really can achieve anything from a career perspective. For me, it was about having a mindset that I don’t necessarily need to be rich and I didn’t feel at that time that being rich is something that is perceived to be positive. I tried to justify to myself that I don’t need to make a lot of money and I can just get by.
However, at the same time, I didn’t want to go and get stuck in a job because I knew that I wasn’t going to get far working for a company. I had aspirations from a young age to do things on my own. When I was in school, it was pretty much the first time I actually started some sort of business of buying and selling.
When the early SIM cards came out, there was a time when they would never give you free text messages, but I found a company back then that offered free text messages when you top up and not many people knew about this so it was a big deal. So what I started doing was ordering loads of SIMs online and selling them at my school for five pounds. In other words, I found a good opportunity to make money.
I always had a mindset of trying to make my own money. I valued money due to the fact that my dad came into the country where he was a bus driver, then he went on to own his own company.
He always valued every single penny and I never used to like asking my parents for money. In my last year of university, I had a mental paradigm shift. I had shifted through the first and second year of university with a lot of help from my friends, but all of my friends went out to do a one-year work placement in the final year. I then decided to go all out, as this was my last year and I started to think about what needs to happen for me to actually get an A in all of my exams and all of my coursework. I went to my teachers and asked them to tell me what to do and how to get A’s. I achieved a first class degree which is the best possible grade you can get. This journey led me to see that I can actually achieve amazing results if I put my head into it and that the past doesn’t actually equal the future.
If there’s any area in your life that you want to get results, all you need to do is find somebody that’s already got those results and copy the blueprint, the formula and the actions that they achieved and if you’re persistent enough then you can get the same results.
So for me, the beginning of this journey of becoming financially successful was actually making the decision that I’m going to do this. I began to do research on the Amazon model which was much better than the general e-bay model because a lot of it was automated. For example, you don’t need to ship to the warehouse as Amazon had their own fulfillment center. I focused on building my listing and just launching products on Amazon. The sales started building up and I organically began making twenty to thirty to fifty sales a day. The sales just grew exponentially within three months and I was making eighty thousand dollars a month in sales which was phenomenal, masha’Allah.
From that point, I knew that I don’t need to work in a job anymore and I made the decision to go full time just working on my own businesses and helping out causes. I am still part of the Dawah organization and one of the members of the board in helping them with their projects.
Following your success with Amazon, you started the Muslim Entrepreneur Network. Can you tell us a bit more about how you started it?
I saw that there was so much potential with the Amazon business, where within a few months I got up and running and I was making good money.
There were a lot more people, like myself, that were in a similar position that really desired to become financially free. So I decided to put out a small advertisement to see if there was anybody that wanted to learn how to set up this business and needed help and support in growing it.
I had around thirty people who were interested and within a few months of them learning the business, they were doing really well. The results that they were achieving was phenomenal and within a few months, they collectively generated over one hundred thousand dollars in sales every month.
I knew that this system worked and I realized that it was worth helping and supporting and pushing out this business to the wider Muslim community and taking it from there. I had a lot more testimonials and social proof and the next time we promoted it went viral.
We now have a good couple of hundred students around the world that are focusing on running the Amazon businesses collectively from the data that we’ve got the service that we’ve done. My students are collectively generating over a million dollars in sales every single month which is just mind boggling.
What is the main ethos behind the work that you do?
When it comes down to the ethos behind the work we do, we wanted to have a focus on giving back to the world and working for the akhirah and this is the main thing we wanted to focus on. When we do have an increase in money there is a personal benefit which is that you are able to increase the quality of your life which is a good thing.
You can get a nicer house, a nice car and you don’t need to buy a house on a mortgage with interest. You can put your children into education without them going into debt. You are able to pay for things on the run without being a huge burden so there’s a huge amount of positive benefits that comes with it.
Secondly, there’s a community benefit with the excess wealth. You’re able to donate more to amazing causes such as the dawah causes or other charitable causes out there. Also, you have more time so you’re able to put your time into those projects and causes. The third benefit is an after benefit if your intention is pure, then the increase in this world could be a means of a lot of reward for you and increasing your rank in akhirah. As Muslims, we need to always aim for the highest.
So, from a financial perspective, we should be aiming to be among the richest people. Therefore, our ethos stems in giving back to humanity and really having a positive impact and leaving a legacy, Insha’ Allah, with the right intention of being rewarded by Allah .
What challenges have you faced in becoming an entrepreneur and running a successful business?
When you go into the realm of business the core strength that you need to build is dealing with problems. Most people fail in business because they quit and give up too quickly. The key part is actually learning to overcome problems and issues. There have been numerous occasions where a product of my own has been blocked by Amazon or my account has been shut. My business was shut down overnight by Amazon, but I’ve had to reach the level of rebuilding using strategies that were open to me and my talents and use the experience to learn from it and grow. The key thing is that we need to take risks and we need to push ourselves out of our comfort zones. The reality is, the more money you make, the more problems you’re going to have.
How important is it for a Muslim to be productive and how being productive has impacted your life?
From a productivity perspective, it has been vital for me to muster my productivity as there had been times in my life where I have achieved financial success and there have been times when by the end of the day I hardly ever achieved anything. I went through a journey of developing my productivity. I have high aspirations and recommend devising an action plan around those high goals so you know exactly what you want to achieve each day.
Make sure that you are physically in a good position; ensure that you are sleeping well and getting the right amount of sleep your body needs. Make sure that you are eating good quality food and exercise on a regular basis so that you are maintaining your health. I think if you do those three things, generally you should be in a good position.
From an Islamic point of view, make sure that you are connecting with the deen both mentally and spiritually. Time management is also important so that every week you are managing your time effectively and you know exactly what you want to achieve daily and are building a team around you to get as much done as possible.
Many Muslims view having more wealth in a negative light, what are your views on this?
Unfortunately, the majority of Muslims have a poverty mindset. Generally, in this country (UK), the last generation came where they had very little. So, money means a lot to them. The newer generation, I think, is more willing to take risks, however, there are two main issues in the Muslim community. One is that there is a misconception that ‘in Islam being poor is a good thing’ and it is not like that at all. Islam does not praise poverty, what Islam actually praises is the patience when someone is in a situation of poverty. So it’s very important that there is a distinction. As Muslims, we should aim to be wealthy as when we look at the lives of the people around the Prophet they were extremely wealthy.
The second misconception is that money is evil. I used to have this belief as it justified not having to aim for being wealthy, but the second thing is that money itself is not evil it’s just a material thing. And what happens in your heart is what is really important. So, if you give a million pounds to two different people and one of them has a bad heart, then the money is only going to magnify that person’s sins and bad doings. Whereas, the person with a good heart will have money that will increase that person in doing more goods. From that perspective, we want to create a movement of educating people about the reality of Islam and money and how Islam actually advises on wealth.
Do you have any future plans or projects in the pipeline?
The core project that we are focusing on right now is a membership site that we have developed to a membership platform which basically contains a library of entrepreneurial content. So, for example, we break it down into three core sections, one is what we call the inspiration zone whereby it connects people with other successful, interesting entrepreneurs because the way you are going to achieve results is by mirroring and following the examples of other successful people. In order to really develop a powerful mindset and be success-focused, it’s important that you study and connect with other entrepreneurs. The second is the knowledge zone and how to actually develop successful businesses and the third is the communities and where we really connect with the community and build to motivate them on achieving amazing results.
We also have other sections on Muslim Entrepreneur Network. We developed the courses at an affordable rate because there are a lot of courses out there that are premium priced and not everyone can afford it. We wanted to offer something that can be affordable and accessible to anyone in the world and, masha’Allah, we have hundreds of students already on Muslim Entrepreneur Network.
What tips would you give Muslims who are struggling to achieve their goals?
1. Surround yourself with other people looking to achieve the same things you aspire to achieve. Go into those types of environments to learn from those successful people so that you can really achieve the results you want to achieve.
2. Get a mentor to mentor and support you. If you can’t find a mentor at least invest in courses that teach you what you need to know to be able to learn and grow.
3. Have perseverance and never give up on the dream that you want to achieve. This is the key thing that you need to know for as long as you know what you want to achieve you can persevere and go beyond the issues that may occur down the line. This way you can achieve amazing results, insha’Allah.
What advice could you give to Muslims who want to become entrepreneurs and start their own business?
1. Invest in yourself, invest in education and learn how to run, develop and grow a successful business.
2. Make sure you take action as some people buy courses, but they do not take action. So, take action and follow through.
3. Be willing to learn and grow from your failures and be persistent. Never give up on achieving your goals and I think if you do those things and take action and keep doing, that you will get results, insha’Allah.
Hope you were able to take some useful tips from this article. Share with us your thoughts with us in the comments section.