Most people have a set plan in life: grow up, get a degree, get a stable job, feed oneself – and their dependents – and eventually, retire.
And perhaps Neel Sarode, Creative Director at Kaizen Conversion and creator of Conversion Designer, initially had that plan, too, when he attempted to major in biochemistry. However, after a change of direction, he dropped out in his third year to pursue an entirely different world: the world of e-commerce.
“At a certain point, I was studying, studying, studying… And I really thought to myself: ‘Is this what I want to be doing?’” Neel recounted in an interview with Glorify App. It was on that very day when he decided to turn to the internet for advice. He learned about drop-shipping and eventually stopped pursuing his major.
“I had never before felt such a drive in my life to pursue something that I, myself, had found,” he continued. “It was always what my parents wanted me to do; I never really put my full effort in. When I finally found something that I wanted to do, I put my full effort into it.”
Difficult Beginnings for an Entrepreneur
Looking at Sarode’s achievements throughout his lifetime, one wouldn’t automatically assume that he didn’t have what it took from the very beginning. As with any choice made, Sarode’s abrupt change of career came with its risks.
His ventures didn’t go too well for him. He put out seven to eight winning products before the public eye during his year or so doing drop-shipping. However, he still lacked a firm grasp on the concepts of business and finance; he wasn’t tracking his finances properly. Eventually, he incurred a deep debt. Sarode was forced to resort to working as a deliveryman for Domino’s Pizza. Subsequently, he took on the work of promoting clients without charging any overhead costs. He closed his first client for $500. Unfortunately, promising said client many services – like website redesign and promoting his clients on Facebook and Google ads – didn’t go too well for him. He had promised an overwhelming number of services, all of which he failed to deliver; it was simply five steps ahead of where his capacities lay. At the time, Sarode was only familiar with dealing with website design.
“It was a local business,” Sarode recalled sheepishly. “I remember I had to go meet them in person. I was so nervous, my palms were sweating, I promised them everything in the world. It was my biggest mistake.”
He ended up having to refund those $500 dollars. That was when he realized that the art of commerce wasn’t as simple as it appeared.
An Eventual Shift in the Tide
Most budding entrepreneurs might recognize Sarode’s humble beginnings as a reflection of their own struggles. It isn’t uncommon that one should fail. This is especially so in the case of entrepreneurs who have opted to leave a life of generating a nine-to-five income for the path less traveled: a career full of risks.
But perhaps Sarode never would have gotten to where he is now if he had done everything differently.
The path he chose wasn’t the one that led him back to the beginning. Instead, he decided to push forward towards a niche: design. Particularly, the inner workings of designing for the purpose of e-commerce and conversions. All this was done by trial-and-error with his clients, and Sarode eventually found fulfillment in designing sales funnels for his clients.
A sales funnel, essentially, is a sales concept used to map the process a customer goes through before and when making a purchase. The term ‘funnel’ is used as an analogy because a large number of prospects are basically ‘filtered’ to a smaller number of customers who end up actually purchasing a product being promoted to them. A prospective customer would pass through each stage of the funnel: from awareness, to interest in a product, to making a decision to buy, and, finally, to acting on said decision to make a purchase. The sales funnel is important in detailing the right kind of steps to be taken in order to get a larger number of actual, substantial customers by the end of the last stage.
Neel found a knack for this, and he decided to pursue it.
His efforts took a full year to bear fruit. He was soon recruited by his boss at the time to build an agency with him in Arizona. Sarode took on the role of the lead designer at the agency which is now famously known as Bank Account Builders.
This was everything he learned had really taken root. He was given the opportunity to work with many multi-million-dollar businesses, influencers, and celebrities in order to build sales funnels and websites for them.
While his work with Bank Account Builders boosted his career to a new height, Sarode decided to take things up a notch. During his year working in Arizona, he went on to launch an education program: Conversion Designer. Conversion Designer was and still is dedicated solely for the purpose of education. Neel wanted to focus on sharing the skills and experience he had gained over the years – and, to date, he has taught over five hundred students to build highly profitable funnel-building businesses.
“I wanted to help others to learn how to design sales funnels from the comfort of their home, just like I did,” Sarode explained when asked about his work with Conversion Designer.
Turning Very Little into a Lot More: A Takeaway for Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Many still flock to Sarode for advice when it comes to funnel designs. A notable advantage Sarode brings for both his clients and his students lies in his perspective. He makes it a point to avoid generic designs, setting his clients’ websites apart from those of other competitors.
“Knowing what people are struggling with, and knowing if you’re able to build a solution to that is really the first step to creating software,” Neel said.
Sarode took his career further by partnering with a veteran in the funnel space, Jordan Franze, to create their joint agency in Kaizen Conversion North America. Kaizen Conversion specializes in creating profitable sales funnels and paid ad campaigns for its clients. The company has built over seven figures’ worth of sales funnels and websites for its clients. Among these people are celebrities like HoomanTV, Julius Dein, Russel Brunson, founder of Clickfunnels, WWF legend Hulk Hogan, and Ryan Deiss, founder of DigitalMarketer.
Indeed, Neel Sarode’s journey from knowing virtually nothing about the business of designing funnels to his status in the industry now certainly shows that growth is possible. And it’s possible for anyone. Spending an inordinate amount of funds to pick up a necessary skill isn’t the only option. But consistency and hard work certainly pay off.
As per Sarode’s principle, “If you don’t commit to what you’re doing, it won’t work out.”