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A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Bakhtiar has degrees in nutrition and pre-medicine. He is also the author of the popular book “The Total Body Transformation Secrets”
His passion for “body transformations” began with his own.
Dr. Bakhtiar, transformed his own physique from a scrawny, awkward kid to a Champion bodybuilder who holds the record of having a first-place title in every weight class.
Today, he is a proud husband and father of two beautiful girls and a devoted family and business man.
We sit down with him to discuss his journey on how he got started along with his failures and struggles.
Sam thank you so much for your time- how did you get started in business?
I was born in Iran and from the age of 3-11 I grew up there. However, due to the ongoing situation of bombings and the political situations- my mother didn’t want us to die and feared for our safety and lives which led us to move to Pennsylvania and immigrate to America. I didn’t no the language and had no friends. I loved playing football but American football is different from the football(soccer) I was used to and as a result, I had a hard time making friends. I remember, trying out for the basketball team but I didn’t make it and that crushed me. My mom, suggested I start training and practicing to make the team the following year. I went to a local boys club to train but I was inspired by the people that were working out and their physiques which led me to my passion for fitness. I loved the way fitness was helping me with my self- esteem, confidence and my physique was improving. I was using my allowance to purchase supplements and in 1996 I attended Penn State and got my Bachelor’s Degree in Life Science and later moved to California to become educated in becoming Chiropractor in 1999- my mom always emphasized I needed to be a doctor.
What became a passion at 14 has become my full-time career and I am proud of the success that we have achieved till date but there is still a long way to go.
Tell us about a hard failure you’ve had in business/life that made you feel like giving up but you powered through it.
2008 hit and I am going through the worst economic downturn. My house was under foreclosure and my ex-wife was pregnant but every single day I was still showing up to work giving it everything I got. At that time with our business, we were only doing 1 on 1 personal training but expanded into group training which has done very well for us in terms of retention and pricing. This led to people wanting to franchise this model and expand into other areas and regions but most importantly, it was something that people wanted. Even though 2008 was a tough time, I learned a lot from it and it made me wiser.
How do you suggest companies navigate the next economic downturn ?
Tony Robbins discusses this concept of being “winter proof”- people could either freeze during the winter or have fun by skiing and snowboarding. The principles I follow are:
- Delaying gratification which is super important not only financially but to be successful. Every decision has an opportunity cost and you have to consider the implications each decision has.
- Live within your means- people have the habit of overspending as soon as they get a little bit of extra income without understanding the consequences. Instead of spending- which leads to my next point of saving money for a rainy day or an unexpected circumstance, you’ll have a better chance of weathering the storm.
- Save money because in business if you have enough liquid cash, while your competitors are contracting and cutting costs, you can allocate spending to areas of your business which will bring in more revenue and take more market share from your competitors and expand. When the economy improves, you’ll already be way ahead of your competitors and dominate the market.
- Reduce liabilities- liabilities can be a killer if you don’t know how to control it. Make sure you are aware of things like debts and payables that can affect your business.
What is your legacy Sam ?
It’s being fulfilled. I have the materialistic items and can get what I want but at this point it’s inspiring people to excel in the areas of life I like to call the 5 F’s- Faith, Family, Fitness, Finance, and Fun. For me success is an obligation because we are God’s highest creation- if we are not using our full potential to succeed then it is disappointing; we need to improve ourselves daily and it’s our responsibility to do so.