Burhaan Pattel is a self taught digital marketing consultant and trainer. In 2014 after reading Tim Ferris’s book “The Four Hour Work Week” he set a 100 day goal to be self sufficient and to leave his home country and start traveling the world. He since lives in Bangkok running a 6 figure freelance business with clients in Singapore, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and the United States. He’s built his reputation for delivering to his clients what they ask and more. He’s been through the mud, been kicked when he was down and has bounced back numerous times over. Saying that he knows a thing or two about digital marketing is an understatement.
All my life, my parents worked hard to make a decent living. I was fortunate enough to not be short of anything growing up. My dad was entrepreneurial and knew what he needed to do to give my mom, brother and I a good home. He constantly bought, ran and slod businesses. Through adolescence, most of my weekends were spent in businesses. My mom taught high school during the week and worked with my dad during the weekends.
I was exposed to a pizza restaurant, retail store, wholesaler, plastic manufacturing and sweet store during high school and university. I packed fridges full of soft drinks, offloaded a truck load of soap and even helped to sell cassete tape radios, just to pass the time. What was really fun was selling fireworks during new years. It was nice to see people having so much fun celebrating the change of the year, but I could not understand why people would spend their money on something they would burn for enjoyment.
After university and after the 2008 recession hit South Africa, I was fortunate enough to land an IT auditing role at KPMG. Here I learned all about systems, process, hierarchy, formality, references and how important it is to document everything. In my heart I always knew that I was not cut out to be a corporate slave, so after 4 years of working the ladder, I decided to follow my passions.
I had loved woodworking and had found various ways to craft pieces of wood into beautiful clocks and shelves. I decided to start making custom furniture from my garage. This was early 2007 and Facebook was just becomming popular. I found customers from posts on Facebook and Gumtree, collected a deposit to make a piece of furniture and started my business. I remember the deposit I collected, I went to the hardware store and bought tools and materials so that I could make the the thing the client was asking for.
It was probably the most fun I had, even though I was broke. Evenually, I rented a space, hired carpenters, and got to work selling more. I learned a ton about people. Facebook and the internet was becoming more popular and I found most of my customers online.
Personal circulstances forced me to close the furniture business. Again broke, I went to work with my dad in a hardware retail store he had just bought. The store was massive. I remember having to count inventory and tallying up 11,000 different product types in that business. That business had it's best years while I was there.
Through all the years of bouncing against walls of life, I realized that my customers were coming from the internet. During a time when people thought that the internet was just a fad. I had kept close to the development of the internet from an entertainment point of view, and so I know how the internet had evolved from just being able to connect to the internet to send an email and live chat with people on the other side of the world through mIRC and ICQ. Despite all that knowledge I did not connect business with the internet until I had made consistent sales of my own. I knew that working online to provide services to clients and also sell my own products would be a possibility and so I set out to learn everything I could about SEO, website design, marketing funnels, Facebook and Google Ads, Youtube and content marketing.
Based on those early learnings, I landed my first freelance gig in 2014. Since then I live in Thailand and work with clients from over 16 countries.