AMDG. 
Albert Bridge is a road bridge over the Tideway of the River Thames connecting Chelsea in Central London on the north, left bank to Battersea on the south. Designed and built by Rowland Mason Ordish in 1873. Click here to find out more about this magnificent London landmark on Wikipedia

We apologise for the radio silence of late. Azam Marketing‘s CEO Nadeem updates our readers and lays bare the trials and tribulations of recent years below.


Today is the greatest day of my life (so far).

On this day, the 1st of November 2019, by the grace of God, I have finally succeeded in winning a battle that commenced when I started working in 1981 at the age of nine, a thirty-eight year long campaign.

For the sake of brevity I’m only sharing the most essential highlights of happenings over the last several years, but it is still rather lengthy and I apologise in advance for that; it’s necessitated by the considerable timespan it covers. What happened today only makes sense if I explain its backstory, none of which I’ve put pen to paper about before.

Several years ago I invested the revenues I’d earned from my endeavours over the decades into a very close family member’s business. The agreement was I would put up the money, he would (exclusively) put in the work (into starting a business in a sector he’d worked in for twenty years) and he would pay me a healthy monthly income. It would enable him to pursue a long-held ambition, which I wanted to help him with, and at the same time would provide me with the passive income stream I’ve been striving for my entire life and therefore free me to, at long last, prioritise goals for my personal and professional life I’d had to put on hold since my teenage years.

Having been taken advantage of by quite a few people before, I made sure everything was clearly and meticulously discussed and agreed beforehand, not only verbally but in comprehensive contracts approximately 25 pages long in aggregate.

Low and behold, I did not receive either my first month or the second month’s income. Or the fifth or the tenth or twentieth month’s.

For years, a large part of my life involved chasing this person to try to get my money. I went to his house a hundred times. I must have made over five hundred phone calls. I’m sure I wrote at least a thousand emails.

This fellow would always try to avoid me and, on the rare occasions when I did manage to get hold of him, had every excuse known to mankind to avoid paying me.

I discovered the business was being run abysmally and, with my entire life earnings and savings being dependent on its success, I had no choice but to do the one thing I didn’t want and have had to do more times than I can care to remember: put my life on hold yet again to work on someone else’s venture.

I therefore spent years working on turning around a business in a sector I had zero interest in (real estate) and became its CEO, Project Manager, Marketing Manager, Sales Director, Credit Controller, website designer, cleaner and general dogsbody, running many parts of a large, multi-faceted, and desperately-understaffed business from top to bottom, without even earning a penny in salary. I had no choice but to neglect my own baby, Azam Marketing, and that’s why matters have been lacklustre on that front in recent years.

As it became apparent the family member was unwilling to even half-competently run the business, the decision was made to sell it. After I spent thousands of hours turning it into an efficiently-run and highly profitable enterprise, we put it on the market four years ago.

To not make this post longer than it will be, I’ll skip over what happened in most of those four years but suffice to say everything that could have gone wrong went wrong.


My only desire was to exit from my family member's business and gain my freedom

At the start of 2018 I eventually found a serious buyer willing to pay a fair price. After protracted negotiations and contractual to-ing and fro-ing, the sale was scheduled to be completed at the very latest in June 2018, then various dates in July 2018; our absolute final, final, final deadline then became 31 August 2018. Deadlines came and went over many months and we remained entrenched in one legal and logistical rabbit hole after another.

The various participants in the sale, which included four teams of lawyers, three sets of accountants, plus agents, auditors, banks and the like, were made up of the most inept, uncooperative and egotistical professionals I have ever dealt with in my career, and that’s something three separate outsiders who also had to deal with them as part of the transaction kept fuming. To give an example, for me to get one key document from our own conveyancer would typically require a dozen emails and phone calls over a month.

The four sets of lawyers went out of their way to act in a way that would have resulted in the sale collapsing, contesting almost everything any of the others suggested. Their egos were the size of Jupiter and their willingness to compromise and charge ahead with the sale non-existent. (Their incentive was to drag out matters as long as possible, as they were making hundreds of pounds an hour.)

As the only person who had a bona fide passion to complete the transaction, I spent most of most days contacting some or other of the 24 individuals involved in the sale to encourage them to co-operate with each other and liaising between them to resolve the literally hundreds of obstacles that were being hurled in our path.

Each and every “final” completion deadline came and went: the last day of November 2018, Hanukkah 2018, Christmas 2018, 18 January 2019. As you can imagine, by now the buyers and their lenders were becoming extremely frustrated and, with Brexit looming on top of hurdles being presented in front of us by stakeholders at a faster pace than us being able to jump over the previous ones, the likelihood of them pulling out of the sale became catastrophically likely.

The intractable nature of the sale zapped any remaining milligrams of energy I had left. A specialist doctor in a hospital diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and insisted I take at least a few weeks off work.

I had no choice but to ignore him. I kept reminding myself of the “mind over matter” mantra/edict the presenters at every health and motivational presentation I had attended drummed into us.

By this point I’d endured several long years of the eviscerating uncooperativeness of the family member and now things had gone from bad to worse, with most of my days involved trying to get headway with several other narcissists and tyrants as well.

My mood plummeted to depths I’ve not experienced before. I stopped travelling on the London Underground on some days because the only solution that would present itself to me to get out of the never-ending quagmire was to jump in front of one of the trains.

For the first time since I launched Azam Marketing in 1997, I killed off my online presence: not posting social media updates, no blogging, no forum posts, nothing. Over the months quite a few people contacted me to ask where I’d disappeared to, but I had neither the inclination nor time to conjure and advertise A Merryful Life of Merriment, which is what an online presence typically demands, when the reality was I was trapped in muddy trenches fighting World War III. I resolved I would not “show my face” to the world ever again, and never write about myself on social media or make another media appearance (turning down a BBC News television interview etc.), unless and if I succeeded with this endeavour.

One of the most painful parts of the struggle was that the very few people I confided in about the situation were unsupportive to say the least. So-called friends who I’d enthusiastically helped time and again took little interest or told me the challenge was not surmountable and I should give up on it.

As literally everything I had depended on this – completing the sale would (a) free me up from being tied to the family member who was deserving of a gold medal for ineptness and unreliability, (b) put me in a position where I’d never have to work a day again in my life, and (c) thereby enable me to, at long last, pursue the burning ambitions I’d put on hold for literally decades – I obstinately ignored all the naysers.

Every morning – often after a night of unbearable insomnia – I’d muster every ounce of energy I could to get out of bed and go into battle again, spending the following ten to twelve hours working on the contractual negotiations and emailing, texting, phoning and going to meet the various participants to strive forward with matters.

This afternoon, I went to the Albert Bridge which crosses the River Thames. Here’s some images of this magnificent 1873 span:



I moved to London at the first opportunity I could, 27 years ago, to seek my fortune in the capital, like Dick Whittington. As I ended up living near the bridge, and hardly knowing anyone in the city, I would visit it from time to time after work. At night-times I’d gaze out at this glorious illuminated structure with London’s majestic skyline in its background and would vow I’d make a success of my life.

It was as chilly and blustery this afternoon as it’d often be when I’d go to reflect on my life on my beloved bridge as a fresh-faced young man.

I spent an hour praying on the middle of the construction.

I then opened up my bank account’s app on my mobile phone.

At 15:41 on the 1st day of November 2019, I saw that the proceeds from the sale of the business had finally been received into my bank account!

I was overcome with emotion. I was delirious. I was shaking. I stared for an eternity at my mobile screen as I could barely believe my eyes. The number I saw before me I would never have even dared dreamed of when I would stand on the same spot three decades previously.

Everyone refers to me as a “grafter” if they’re being kind or a “workaholic” if they’re being slightly less so and the bounty from this Exit represents the culmination of a lifetime of sweat to pursue my desire to be financially free.

I’ve been involved with quite a few major projects in my life, such as working with a company to launch them on the UK AIM’s market and another on the US Nasdaq, but nothing I’ve been in charge of has come close to the difficulty of this exercise. It’s taken the large part of a decade, a decade in which I did not take a single holiday, for me to get to understand the nooks and crannies of the failing business, turn it around, package it for sale, find a buyer, and plough through the contractual negotiations to get to today’s completion. The legal documents alone must total over 1,500 pages.

The impact on my life of today’s Exit, in a multitude of different ways, is impossible to overstate.

Today, for the first time in my life, I can say I am truly free.

Now you’ll understand why I’ve been AWOL in recent times.

I end this account by thanking God. During all those years of very dark days, days on which everything and everybody seemed to be conspiring against me, it was He who fed me with the willpower to struggle on.

“For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Amen.”

Never ever give up.

Nadeem


Coelesti Luce Crescat

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill.