Bashar J Katou

I could deal with growing up in war

It’s 2015 and I’m standing before a ruined restaurant. It used to be mine, now a wet ruin, still dripping from the firefighters…

The terror I felt in that moment, put me in the darkest place I’ve ever been:

I grew up in Iraq during the war and because my father was well off, I had a target on my back. I got kidnapped twice at gunpoint, and my father gave them everything every time. I always felt like I was ruining him just by being alive but he kindly smiled and never held it against me. ” It wasn’t my fault” and that was it.

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When we fled to America my father built another business and saved up money again. I always admired him for his entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to be like him. One day he came to me and said : “Bashar, here are $200,000. You never had the life your siblings had and I want you to have a good life. You can go to school and become a doctor like your mother wants, or you can start your own business, its’ your choice.”

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At the time, I had been going to college for a few months and I hated it!…

I knew what he gave me was everything he had. But I knew I would do something with it. After watching Bar Rescue with Jon Taffer I felt I could run a restaurant and so I opened one. I was so bad. I had no idea how to manage money,a team or a restaurant.Turns out, reality TV isn’t supposed to be educational.

So, when I saw the dripping ruin, I had ruined my father a third time and this time,it was my fault…

He didn’t even look at me anymore.

The war I could handle.

I got over the kidnappings.

But losing my father’s love made me nearly kill myself.

I swore to myself that I will fix this at all costs and build a business that not only I but my father will be proud of. So I took every job I could get, from dishwashing to Uber driving, I did everything I could.

 
One day, I found out about Amazon FBA on Youtube, because a 20- something in a tank top showed off a Lamborghini claiming he got rich on Amazon. I hated his guts but the idea of selling online intrigued me.

I watched more Youtube videos convinced I could do it alone and even borrowed $ 5000 from my girlfriend’s mother. By then, we were barely dating for 4 months!

 
But still not having learned my lesson, I lose all of the money on bad product choices…


And that is when I realise that doing things alone is not being clever.
It’s arrogant and dumb.

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I’m eating up my pride and decide to buy tank-top kid’s course with my girlfriend’s credit card because I am too broke to buy it myself.

It’s a crappy course that I finish in a Starbucks within 8 hrs but it gets me on track. I only wanted to redeem myself in front of my father by making it work and win back his respect, but so much more happened :

After having my first successes, friends were asking how I did it. I was just making six figures but I gave them a few tips. When I received an email from one of those friends one day my purpose became crystal clear:

“Hey Bashar, thank you so much for your advice!

Just wanted to let you know that I made $36,000 in profit in 6 months!

Thank you so much !”

I hadn’t spoken to him in months so this email hit me hard. A few pieces of advice changed his life forever.

That’s when I knew I wanted to impact even more lives like this.

Today, I’m married to the love of my life (how could I not marry the woman who believed in me when not even I believed in me?), run a 7-figure Amazon FBA business and a global 7-figure Amazon FBA educational company called BJK University.

We are working hard to give students everything I wish I had back then:

Live training calls, coaches to help students directly, always up- to-date material, in-depth training, tools to take the guesswork out of it. They never have to go at it alone so they never have to repeat my ignorant mistakes.

We’re here to disrupt the education system and make a dent in the universe. Today, we have thousands of students who change their lives every day and I’m so grateful for that. This mission and drive helped me retire my parents early and finally look my father in the eye again.

To this day, whenever we accomplish a goal, he’s the first person I tell, even when my wife is in the room.