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Rafi Chowdhury is the founder of Chowdhury’s Digital. He helps influencers become the go-to in their industry. Follow him @_rafichowdhury

Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)

Neil Patel

What’s the single best piece of business advice (unorthodox tips welcome!) that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?

“When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.” ― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

This is the single most important thing I keep in mind when I try to figure out why people do the things that they do. When I convince myself that people are not rational beings, I begin to think of creative ways to get them to do what I want them to do under their own terms.

However, we tend to have this attitude often times in business like the client owes us something or that they need to do things under our terms. Everything they say needs to be logical. In reality, they will often not be logical. It is our job to make sure that we see them through not just a lens of logic but also emotion.

What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?

I would say that it is not so much of a business mistake as much as it is how I viewed business and money and other such materialistic things. Once I learned how to cut down my expenses and live a minimalistic lifestyle, my business also seemed to improve as a result. I realized that I needed to focus more on relative income rather than absolute income. After reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris, my views changed quite a bit. I became a lot more focused on getting really good at just a few things and found more balance in business as well as my life.

What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?

Pray, drink tons of coffee, reply to emails, reply to the most urgent messages and meet with my sales people.

What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?

Partner with someone who already has cash. Try to leverage other people’s cash anytime you can. It is better to risk the cash of wealthy people to try out a new business idea than your own. If you don’t have cash you might starve to death. If someone rich doesn’t have cash…well, he may not get to buy a Mercedes but he will be able to stay in business.

Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?

Network with influential and rich business people and find a win-win way to work with them no matter what it takes.

What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?

When your business and your purpose in life are in-sync with each other, you are successful. At that point of intersection, you will know you made it happen. For me, this is not a one-time thing. I succeed on a daily basis and I fail on a daily basis. But, I really do not care much for success in its traditional sense. I try to be content, help others be content and help my community in any way I can. My faith in God is what makes me a successful person.