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The Secrets Behind Making $1 Million With an Amazon Store (Episode 13)

The Secrets Behind Making $1 Million With an Amazon Store

In 2014, while on maternity leave, Sophie Howard realized she didn’t want to return to full-time work. 

So she started an Amazon store and sold $1M in products during her first year in business.

It was the ardent desire to stay at home to care for her expanded family that led Sophie to explore home-based business options.

How did she do it? 

With the popularity of internet businesses on the rise, Sophie enrolled in an Amazon Private Label Selling course. Whilst the course offered solid information to get her business off the ground, the advice was to start by procuring inexpensive, popular items from China.

Something about this didn’t feel right and so instead of following the trend, Sophie sourced and invested in a handmade product from Nepal. Her gamble paid off through strategic branding efforts and leveraging the skills she gleaned from her time in the workforce.

After the success of her first product, Sophie went on to launch 400 items and sold her first Amazon business for seven-figures. 

Over the next 2 years, she established and scaled multiple Amazon businesses. She founded and sold an organic tea business, Higher Tea, for multiple six-figures USD.

In 2016, Sophie founded Sell Global, a company that aims to help exporters increase revenue and sell premium products online through their done-for-you service.

In the same year, Sophie became a finalist in the Wellington Gold Awards for Emerging Exporter of the Year.

Sophie now leverages the experience she has gained in building multiple 7-figure Amazon businesses to deliver coaching along with a membership-based Product University called Blue Sky Amazon

Sophie lives in Wanaka, New Zealand, and has two young children.

What you will learn

  • The top tips for starting your own Amazon store why still keeping your day job.
  • What sort of products have made this Amazon store owner a millionaire.
  • How breaking the accepted standard rules led to a million in sales in year one.
  • The secrets behind selling an Amazon store for 7 figures.
  • The strange Amazon code no one tells you about.
  • Why being different works in business.
  • How the Coronavirus is helping sell more products on Amazon.
  • The power of keeping it simple and why it works for this entrepreneur.
  • The simple app for getting things done.
  • How the two core principles of self-care and business care are vital.
  • The daily routine of a successful entrepreneur.
  • How Sophie balances family and business life.
  • The importance of continuous life education. 
  • Why you can be a global leader and expert in emerging new niches.
  • How this entrepreneur delegates for business success. 

Transcript

Jeff Bullas: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Jeff Bullas Show. Today, I have with me Sophie Howard. And before we start chatting with Sophie, I want to give you a little bit of an overview of what Sophie's done over the last few years.

Jeff Bullas: So in 2014, while on maternity leave, Sophie realized that she didn't want to return to full-time work. Who doesn't? The ardent desire to stay at home to care for a new expanded family led Sophie to explore home-based business options. That's pretty important, this current situation we're experiencing around the world. With the popularity of internet businesses on the rise, Sophie enrolled in an Amazon Private Label Selling course. While the course offered solid information, the advice to start by procuring inexpensive popular items in China, she ignored this advice and instead followed something else. Sophie sourced and invested in a handmade product from Nepal.

Jeff Bullas: Her gamble paid off and through strategic branding efforts and leveraging the skills she gleaned from her time in the workforce, Sophie sold $1 million in products during her first year in business, which is pretty awesome. I'm going to find out more about that soon.

Jeff Bullas: After success of the first product, Sophie got to launch 400 items and sold her first Amazon business for seven figures. So it's not a starter business she successfully exited. The next two years, she established and scaled multiple Amazon businesses. She founded and sold an organic tea business, Higher Tea, for multiple six figures in U.S. dollars.

Jeff Bullas: In 2016, Sophie founded Sell Global, a company which aims to help exporters increase revenue and sell premium products online through a done-for-you service. She's been a finalist in the Wellington Gold Awards for Emerging Exporter of the Year in 2016. And Sophie is also a frequent speaker traveling around Australia, UK, and the USA, and has delivered conference presentations at numerous events. So welcome to the show, Sophie. I suppose you're known as the Amazon Queen of Selling. Is that correct? Is that the line you'd like to be known as?

Sophie Howard: I'm not sure. My business partners call me the Mary Poppins of Amazon,

Jeff Bullas: Well, you live in a beautiful part of the world, Wanaka, which is just near Queenstown about an hour out, isn't it. So one of my favorite places on the planet. And you are now an adopted New Zealander, I suppose, after originally being born at a very early age in Scotland. So you've been adopted by a beautiful country, which I just love visiting. So welcome to the show, Sophie. And I'd like to, I suppose, dive into a little bit, because a lot of people are wanting to start businesses online and that's what you've done. And you also got a new project happening, which we'll discuss a little bit later, but I think what I'd like to get into is your success in building an online business and Amazon using all their resources to help basically build a virtual business without spending any money on building your own warehouse, basically using Amazon's resources and also sourcing your product. So tell us about that journey. So it was in 2014, you're on maternity leave and so were you bored or was it just like...

Sophie Howard: Not bored, but I knew something had to be done a little bit differently. Otherwise, something was going to explode because there wasn't enough sleep or enough income with how hard I was working. So I was doing lots for other people, running around for managers at work, running around after children at home, and very early starts running on not much sleep. Everything was all just quite hard going. And so I could sort of see the track ahead on the staying at the day job option instead of what those senior managers' lives look like. And it didn't really inspire me. I'm not really big on status. I didn't really want to work 60 hour weeks. I'm not that motivated by money. I had a really nice job. And so I was working for the New Zealand government, so it was all fine, but I just thought if I make some effort and create a new business now, then that might give me a much better lifestyle.

Jeff Bullas: Okay.

Sophie Howard: I had to go look around and there were quite a lot of online things that just looked a bit baffling and not very like I would be good at them. I had a bit of a poke around at binary options, trading. This did not speak to me. These are not my people. And the same with like the crypto stuff. I mean, you can see that there could be strategies to buy and sell or trade or whatever, but you're kind of a little bit at the mercy of those markets and it could all just disappear on you. Whereas the Amazon and the products worlds, I'd rather like, because you're selling real products to real people. And the other thing that swung in the favor of the Amazon opportunity was that I met somebody locally, a friend of my husband was selling on Amazon. So I'd sort of seen it wasn't a scam.

Sophie Howard: It wasn't too good to be true. I could sort of see his business, his numbers and he'd left his job as an accountant doing it. So there was a connection a little bit closer to home than some of these things that you watch a webinar and it sounds too good to be true and you wonder if it is. I didn't have huge targets. I needed to make a few thousand dollars a month that have made all the difference at that stage. It was the difference of paying a nanny and working part-time for government, which hasn't gotten much leftover. Some income from home when the kids were safe, perfect. So it was never meant to be a big business. It was meant to just replace the day job income, but it went much better than that, which was nice.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah, okay.

Sophie Howard: So, it was a surprise!

Jeff Bullas: So you did an online course on how to sell on Amazon and the advice from that from my research was that they would tell you to source cheap products and sell them on Amazon and you went, "Let's do something different." So, you ignored the online training advice...

Sophie Howard: Yeah.

Jeff Bullas: ... and let's do something a bit different. So, what was your first product that you sourced from Nepal, wasn't it?

Sophie Howard: Yeah. So there's a funny code in the world of Amazon sellers, where nobody ever says what they sell. Which is not very helpful for your listeners, sorry. But it's just weird, nobody tells anybody what they sell on Amazon. None of my students even talking amongst each other, really, what they sell.

Jeff Bullas: Okay.

Sophie Howard: It's just a bit weird. And also I've sold that business. So, the new owner doesn't want me broadcasting what that product was because people will onto it. But it was just something really small and simple, it cost a couple of Dollars and I only had to buy 75 of them, or something, to get started. So, the other nice thing about that business model is you don't need thousands to get going, which is good. So, I just did a small order and then barely stayed in stock as sales just rocketed away. And I still do business with that supplier. He provides other products that he sells to me now, in another brand.

Sophie Howard: And then the things I did differently, I kept clear of China because I wanted to do more premium products than mass produced plastic. There are some really good quality things that come out of China, but I thought I would just do something a bit different. I wanted to build a brand. So, at the beginning, everybody else in Amazon was picking products on the numbers and the profit, and Alibaba, scan to pick up product ideas and find the suppliers. Whereas I thought, "Well, if it's that easy to find the factory and that easy for the factory to make the product without, really, the special brand around it, it's really hard to protect it or stop people copying.

Jeff Bullas: Yes.

Sophie Howard: So, I sourced and sold this handmade product, it was made by a charity in Kathmandu that employed disabled women. It was all very “feel good”. And then the packaging and branding was really beautiful. That was done by friends in Wellington, and then I charged an absolute premium for the product. So, it cost a couple of Dollars, but I sold it for $30.

Jeff Bullas: Right.

Sophie Howard: And nobody's ever copied me. So, one of the real challenges on Amazon is, if your product starts to do well, and it starts shooting up all the rankings; then everybody jumps on it and copies it. But I've done over a thousand different products now, and I've never had somebody... It's called hijacking, where they copy your product exactly, and then set up a competing listing. I've never had that happen to me. So, I've just kept doing what suits me and what works for me. And it's been kind of the less competitive products and just keeping clear of all the big crowds, really.

Sophie Howard: There's a whole industry how to outrank the competitive Amazon sellers. Advertise this way, or launch that way, or get reviews this way or, do 50 other marketing activities to get your product moving. Whereas, I don't do any of that. I keep it really simple, but just have more lower competition products and they will add up to be a nice little portfolio that's not too stressful or time consuming to manage. And in every so often I'll sell off a brand. I'm building a couple of new ones up at the moment and they're going really well. So, thanks to coronavirus; while everyone's been stuck at home, there's been a huge spike in Amazon shopping. I think there's $11,000 in sales a second, on Amazon at the moment.

Jeff Bullas: Wow.

Sophie Howard: And they are still a lockdown in the States. And they're predicting we'll, obviously, stay quite at the crazy spike it is at the moment. But it'll still be squarely solid growth after this because so many people will just get used to shopping online.

Jeff Bullas: Yes and that makes total sense.

Sophie Howard: And they'll start doing things like getting their grocery basics through Amazon, which they wouldn't have done before. So, Amazon's been a good platform and then I've done some other things on other platforms, as well. A little bit of Shopify, some subscription boxes, but usually the products start their lives on Amazon. It's a nice way to test the market without having to do all the other bits of the business to get it to initial customers.

Jeff Bullas: So, the route you've taken is more a premium, more handmade route, is that correct?

Sophie Howard: Lots of handmade stuff. So, I go to India at least once a year sourcing products. And that's been really good and I meet people that make really cool stuff. And I meet them firsthand and they're not online, they don't have websites, any of their supplies. So, it's a really good way to get your hands on unique stuff that other Amazon sellers won't. And also just build other brands, other home decor type products, I've sourced from India. And I'm selling them not just on Amazon now.

Jeff Bullas: Right.

Sophie Howard: Yeah, so premium brand is really important because if you just have a commodity that other people can get, then it's just a price war and it's all over very quickly. And then the person willing to take the lowest price wins, which is not really winning.

Jeff Bullas: No, it's not a fun game to play when you become the price taker rather than the price giver. And I really do like what you're doing, in terms of, doing something that you enjoy. Like you looked at different business opportunities, nothing actually ticked the box or made you feel comfortable, or it just wasn't you. I think the thing is a lot of people who leap in to start a business are going, "I just want to make money." And I think if you really going to pour your heart and soul in them, your heart and soul needs to be behind what you're selling. Whatever that is, whether it's a service, whether it's...

Jeff Bullas: I certainly remember when I started the blog, it was just a passion project. And I really didn't start up with anything except to have some fun along the way. And then it became a business. It was fascinating and still is today. Opening up my email is like opening a box of chocolates. And I do love that Forrest Gump saying; life is like a box of chocolates. And I think if you're true to yourself, that really can be... It's just amazing how life shows up.

Jeff Bullas: I've read a great book recently called The Surrender Experiment, by a guy called Michael Singer. And he wrote a book called Untethered Soul and it's awesome.

Sophie Howard: Oh, yes, yes.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. So, it's a pretty special book and also an incredible story, which is The Surrender Experiment book that he wrote. So, you started, out of the gate, pretty well. What were the biggest challenges? So, you've sourced the product and now you've got to navigate how to sell on Amazon. So, what are some of the biggest challenges you found with starting off on Amazon, that the listeners would like to know about?

Sophie Howard: I suppose, just any of those new business things that you work on, it doesn't matter what channel or platform, or if it's a product or service. You've just got this lurch where it gets harder, and worse, and more work before it gets better.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah.

Sophie Howard: So, you've got at least six months, pretty much. I think I quit my day job nine months in, but there were days where I was just burning the candle at both ends for a long time. And so, I've got a pretty determined way of doing things; I don't give up on stuff too easily. But when you're sleep deprived, it's really hard to be... And also, I had quite a stressful job. So, I was working in MFAT. So, the foreign office, which is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in New Zealand. So, quite stressful, big days, serious work, big trips, lots of overseas travel.

Sophie Howard: And then if you're trying to be creative and you're also tired and or stressed, you just can't be creative. That part of your brain just shuts down. And most businesses you've got to be a little bit creative, especially as the owner, you might have tasks to be done within the business that are just churn out something following best practice. But the original ideas and the thinking of a brand name, or making a decision which supplier to go with, if you're not really clear-headed, you just spin and then feel overwhelmed and then go back to watching a training video, which doesn't actually move you forwards at all. So I think when you're learning, it's really easy to stay stuck in learning mode and not enough doing. Well, certainly, I know everybody learns a bit differently, but I only really learn when I'm doing it and can watch training videos forever, and you get a bit stuck doing it.

Sophie Howard: I read books because it's so enjoyable. I read lots of books. I listen to audiobooks, listen to lots of podcasts. I wish I could just get paid to do that, I love it. I love soaking up all this stuff and then when I have to do the work I'm like, "Oh, where do I start? I've just listened to five books and got this inspiring podcast over here and was reading about this cool company over here." And I've got all these ideas for my own business, but just that sort of that first next step's quite hard of doing. So the book, it's a little bit over-engineered and I think it's been around for a while because it works, but it is a bit clunky.

Sophie Howard: It's that Getting Things Done by Dave Allen, which breaks down every project into a next action. And then I hired a girl who's in Sydney who works with me now who's really organized. She's a former lawyer. She's much more structured and very disciplined, very orderly. And so she helps me put all my scattered ideas into a system based on that Getting Things Done. There's an app called Todoist, which has got a version that connects in with that Getting Things Done philosophy.

Jeff Bullas: Great. Is that to-do list, is that an app?

Sophie Howard: It's called Todoist, Todoist. So it's a little app that syncs between your phone and your laptop and you can just assign tasks or see what tasks you set yourself. So it's not fancy project management, but at least it means you don't forget to do things. And we've tried. I mean, I still think there's a massive gap up there on the tech front for small business centers. A number of different things I have to log in and out with every day and connecting an app here to databases there, to email things there, to Pixels and Facebook. I mean, it's just hideous. And I'm not techy, it just drives me potty. So I outsource most of that, but you still have to understand your own business. But that Todoist thing has been the simplest and best way of us keeping good forward momentum on the stuff that matters and not forgetting stuff.

Sophie Howard: Otherwise, your head's full of trying to retain stuff to remember to do, and then there's not enough processing power to actually do any proper thinking. So it's good just to get all the to-do lists, all the back of mind nagging things out of your head onto a system. And so that was probably my biggest challenge, managing energy. Not so much managing time, but managing energy and focus when I was working on being productive, and then having a system to get all the work through to the other end where it delivers. So I've got all the time. I'm like this, I've just got handwritten notes all over my desk and then naturally I'm more creative than I am operational. So more starting than finishing by a long way goes on around here. But I have to hire finishes who despair of me. But I have just have to [crosstalk 00:17:21].

Jeff Bullas: Well, I think we sit in that same gap. Here at my team, my marketing manager in Hungary's attention to detail because I've got all these ideas. And sometimes my team says, "Jeff, we can't do all this. What are we really going to do? We need to get focused and we need to get some detail done." Just starting this podcast was like, "Oh my God. Okay. So I've got to navigate. How do I get it on iTunes? Where do we host the audio? Who does the editing?" And I knew that this is why I put off podcasting for about four years because one of the longest procrastination projects I've ever had. And I sometimes excel at procrastination, but I eventually realized, I said, "I've got the team now, I've got the editors, I've got the marketing attention to detail project managers, I've got a sound editor." So I totally get it. Really, you need those people to help you get stuff done.

Sophie Howard: Yeah. And it's really good because lots of people out there who love a bit of direction and some steady page work from home, they're really happy to do it. They love creating order out of the chaos. And I sound like we just create a bit of chaos with a lot of ideas, and that's good, but not many people can do both.

Jeff Bullas: No, you can't be good at everything. And that's what I think you've got to realize and be aware of your weaknesses and your strengths. And the challenge for me is trying to keep it as simple as possible because there's just incredible power in simplicity. Just like you said, you've come back from a 20-kilometer run and that's like your sanity escape, I'm the same. I need to go for a bike ride every day, pretty well. I also meditate. So it for me is trying to create silence amongst chaos, and I'll try and minimize chaos, all the bits and bobs. So it's really interesting to hear you sort of go "Well, there's so many apps and so many databases to do things with."

Sophie Howard: Yes, there's just so many and you can't even manage all the passwords for them because you think you've got it all sorted and then one needs to be renewed and then your system of how you cope with them. I've got that LastPass last thing. I've worked out it's really good just to have enough trust with one or two people that you can actually hand over quite a lot of the significant stuff. You can't be a control freak and then get anywhere in this game. But I just haven't had the trust. I've never been ripped off by a supplier or a staff member or any kind of employee. I've been lucky and managed them carefully and chosen them carefully, but I would not have managed anything if I had been doing it all myself.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. And I think that's one of the entrepreneur's biggest challenges is quite often businesses just start being a one-man band or one-woman band, and that is letting go of that control. And I've seen that up close and personal with people that have tried to hang on and control everything, and I think it's just a way to go to really provide a real emotional challenge is a real challenge.

Sophie Howard: And perfection as well, the software guys are really good now at shipping that minimum viable product, but a lot of other entrepreneurs won't release the course until they've done every last module, got every workbook perfect. And the thing just never happens because it takes too long. So perfection is not helpful, which nobody's ever accused me of, it's bad to say. But it's like 80, 20 rule for most stuff, but I'm really, really fast on the 80%. I never went to the job interviews where they say, "So what's your biggest weakness?" I never said, "Oh, I'm a real perfectionist."

Jeff Bullas: Yeah, it's cool. So you're up and running and you've got your... So let's go on to the next area. So you have the challenge, we've gone through some of those. Now what's happening is... You're doing well. So what happened for you saying... Was there any thought you were going to sell this business or was that part of your exit plan or is it just, it showed up? Someone knocked on your door, or sent you an email?

Sophie Howard: Just, it seemed a bit too surprising that I had this massive business very quickly. It's like, "I wonder what this business is worth?" So it's just a bit nosy. Like how much is this thing worth that I create it? Because it was all in US dollars, and I was living in New Zealand. So these numbers were huge by the time they got home to me. I was like, I think... So I did about 18 months, then I did that stuff. Financial year-end in March, so it was almost two years old, probably 18 months old. I had a full set of tax returns. Everything was up to date, filed, bookkeeping was up to date. And I've got a friend, Jock, who's from Sydney, who runs Digital Assets, which is now in the States. He's a business broker. I said, "Jock, what do you think this business might be worth?"

Sophie Howard: He replied and said, "I think I could get you seven figures for it if you want me to sell it," It's like, okay. That's it. I still had a mortgage and it was going to make a big difference to life. As seven figures US. It's like, cool. 18 months worth. A million dollars. I'll take it. You never know what's around the corner. It was profitable. It was going well. So it's like, I think I wouldn't mind that. Would be a really good feeling. And so we sold it. The first person who did due diligence for a couple of weeks and bought it. We went to Bali for three months with the kids before the oldest one started school. And that was it. And then we moved to Wanaka from Wellington.

Jeff Bullas: Right okay.

Sophie Howard: Built down here and big lifestyle change. Then I've got a horse again, go skiing with the kids. They have skiing for school every Thursday in the winter. So it's great living.

Sophie Howard: And yeah, it's this beautiful little ski town in the middle of the Southern Alps. It's beautiful, but there's no jobs here. There's no way you could afford a typical house here. They're all well over a million dollars and there's no jobs apart from a bit of hospitality. And so a place you have to arrive with some other income. So working online has been great. So when I sold the first business, I already had another one in the works, the Tea one, and another one as well. And so they've grown up, and I sold one of those. And then I've always kept on with new Amazon products the whole time. But then I started helping some companies with some consulting, but that was really hard to do from down in the bottom of the South Island with young children.

Sophie Howard: It's all just about hard. And to also just be answering your phone all day. That kind of client, consultant relationship didn't quite work for my plans of having this family centric, lifestyle business. It was suddenly back to being a consultant, and writing board papers, and proposals, and remembering to write reports, and just a totally different way. I just got quite used to running products and products for humans.

Sophie Howard: That's good in a business. If you can have a business without too many staff or too much communication time, you can actually get a ton of stuff done. So the consulting is hard at businesses because although it's lucrative, it's still really exchanging your time for dollars, still hours for dollars, even though it's nice. When you specialize and you can give them lots of good help. It's kind of lucrative, but it doesn't really scale. And then you've got to bring on staff to help deliver. So it kind of goes back to where you were as a day job employee, a little bit after a while.

Sophie Howard: And then coaching other people, helping them find products. That was the bit I really liked. Because there's so many new products. If you help a company you're trying to shoehorn their existing products onto Amazon, or seeing if it fits first and then helping them sell that product. Whereas helping a new entrepreneur choose a brand new product that suits Amazon, it's really well positioned and likely to do well. That's really fun stuff. And that's what I do all day, every day in my own business. Choose what to sell, rather than choose how to market something you've already got. So that was good. I started off doing that one on one, but then moved that to a group, and a course was a bit more leveraged way to teach because I was explaining the same principles to everyone, the same way.

Sophie Howard: So now I've got a way where we've got experienced coaches helping give people feedback on their product ideas and helping them get through all the steps between choosing a product and a supplier and then launching it. That's been a really nice best of both worlds. It still involves helping people learn how to do Amazon a good way, like the way I've done it, and I think still obviously the best way, and some extra help on the team and a business partner doing marketing. And that's been really good. And then it's all sorts of things. Wrote a couple of books, been on speaking tours around the place, teach around the world. It's been fantastic.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. So you basically took your expertise and you turned it into training. Is that the company? What's the name of that? Is that sell Global? Is that?

Sophie Howard: No, this is the Blue Sky Academy. And a company in Melbourne promote it, and we worked together on that. It's a really good partnership. So they're an education company and I was an Amazon person. So it's a really good match.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. And that's when we actually met, I think about nearly four years ago, initially. And I think you're in the middle of selling the tea company, I think it was on Amazon, and we did a little work together, and that was great to see your passion and expertise. You've scaled that by working with the company out of Blue Sky, Amazon, isn't it? So, you've got a new... You're basically trading time for money and you go, that's not working very well. So are you still doing any consulting or not?

Sophie Howard: No. I get really nice emails. I just offered to help a local New Zealand company for free because I really liked their product. They had a booth at the local agricultural show]. I was doing horsey stuff and it's like, "Oh, like your product, you should sell that on Amazon," and they're like, "Oh, but "we can't possibly afford to do it." I was like, "Yes you can. You don't need to spend very much. I'll show you how." So it's a nice little company that's... If we can spend half an hour and show them how to get started, then they can do it themselves a little bit.

Sophie Howard: But no, I don't really want to be a consultant. And I really like starting up new things. And I really like that education side. There's really good energy from teaching. You get a lot of feedback, and it keeps you sharp on your subject. Plus, it's just healthy for your brain to keep learning. And there's nothing like having to teach something to learn it really well. And so every Friday for four years now, in fact, maybe even longer. Four and a half, at least, actually. I've done a live broadcast every single Friday morning teaching something that I know about. Amazon, or e-commerce, or products, or supply chains. This morning was actually a guest speaker doing one on pay per click advertising on Amazon because so many of the businesses at Amazon people.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah.

Sophie Howard: But that's been really... Just once a week, learn something and teach it. And that's good for me, good for them. And that's just kept everything sharp because things do change quite quickly in eCommerce. And there's a lot of noise in the system. So you've got to really study what's noise and what's an important signal. There's a little bit flapping on all the Facebook groups, if anything ever changes on an Amazon policy or there's always, the sky is falling people, who are neurotic about everything, making a lot of noise. Or people teaching tactics that look a bit dodgy, but everybody's going crackers to learn how to do it as fast as they can.

Sophie Howard: So it's my job to stay on top of what's real, what's not, what works, what doesn't, what's interesting, what I've just heard 50 million times and it's someone just trying to sell you something. So just trying to have that critical thinking about what matters in business and trying to apply it myself and teach it myself the whole time. So some of that's beyond Amazon, but still all online, I just... I can't imagine a service type business or a face to face thing would ever be as appealing to me as just having a really neat online business where your product or your service sells almost automatically.

Jeff Bullas: Right. So you're providing this training to your community, is that what you're doing?

Sophie Howard: Yeah. There's a very nice community of Amazon sellers. And so the majority of that program's around Amazon choosing products, finding suppliers, all that kind of thing.

Jeff Bullas: Right, okay.

Sophie Howard: Launching brands, how to promote your product, how to build a brand and sell it, to all the stuff that I'm doing myself, I teach.

Jeff Bullas: Yep.

Sophie Howard: And then as part of staying on top of what works, the products business, I go and keep up to date on Shopify or Facebook ads, or other areas that you just by association need to know about and keep up with. Because they change a lot faster than Amazon. Amazon's lovely, it's so stable. The rules are very set, very clear rules and they change a bit. They're always closing off loopholes that the dodgy people are exploiting. So they're sharpening it up and tightening it up all the time, but you can see Jeff Bazos's game plan. It's pretty big and pretty obvious. All products in all countries forever, total global domination. So if you get a good product ranked and selling well, then that should have a profitable life of years ahead for you, not weeks or months, like some drop-shipping trendy fad thing that relies on you running really aggressive Facebook ads and monitoring them every day. It's not set and forget, but it's about as passive an income stream as I can see anybody can ever make, Amazon.

Jeff Bullas: Well, that's actually quite good to hear about, that Amazon's not changing its algorithms or rules too much. The challenge we often have as digital marketers, digital entrepreneurs is that it's, quite often, is the battle of the algorithms that you're constantly changing and social media, which is where I've been playing for years and also search engines. It's like, what did I do wrong? Google's dropped my ranking or, and you're going... Because it's all a black box, right? You don't know what's going on.

Jeff Bullas: And also, and since 2013/14, when everything moved from being organic on social to being pay-to-play, the algorithms... And it applies even to emails now, so Google Gmail put in tabs, so I totally get that. And that is the challenge. But it's great to hear that Amazon is keeping the rules pretty clear without changing them too often. And I think that's important. You're investing and helping them to actually grow a business.

Sophie Howard: Yeah, it's a venture.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah, so it's mutual. So I think Google's rate of change, and also the other social media rate of change, I find quite challenging, especially because the community is actually making them successful. So it's fascinating.

Sophie Howard: Amazon is consistently all about the customer experience. So if you're doing something like buying fake reviews so customers think the thing's better than it is, you're going to get hammered one day. It might not be today, but they'll be tracking who's in which Facebook group that sells reviews, one day woomph, off with your head, you got no warning, no appeal, gone. So it's really risky. And people do that because it looks easy and they'll never get caught or... they just do.

Sophie Howard: And the other one is all these funny launching things, people do. They give away hundreds of units a day to get onto page one, but then that's used once, the first page of results looks like, and Amazon won't like that. So people get away with all these rebates behind the scenes and god knows what they do. It's all quite an industry about getting products ranked, but it's not within the spirit of how Amazon wants customers to experience the products or sales.

Sophie Howard: So I go for these lower competition ones and don't do any of that launching, ranking stuff. Never have. And it's usually... well, when I had weight loss tea, which was just green tea and white tea, there were a bunch of weight loss teas that were basically just laxatives, for sale in the same category. And the FTC in the States, which looks at consumer affairs, did this absolute cull. They were like, all of these people have got these dodgy ingredients, dodgy brands, they're not registered, they've never had their product safety stuff approved. They're selling masses of it on Amazon. They've got thousands of fake reviews and Amazon just got rid of all my competition overnight and I was left as the only one.

Jeff Bullas: Okay.

Sophie Howard: It actually was just a... I think mine was called a detox tea. But I think when I started selling that on Amazon, there were 3000 searches a month for the search term tea. Sorry, 3 million searches a month for the search term tea, and 12 million searches a month for the search term, weight loss tea. So I did this detox thing that was all kind of herbs and green teas. And it was really nice, it had ginger and stuff in it, it was organic and it's a really good quality product. And it was still really cheap because they're not expensive ingredients. So I had a huge margin on a repeat purchase product, and the category to myself for a year or so, it was awesome. But that was because everyone else was gaming it, and they'd spent a lot of money playing a game that was whipped up, taken away from them.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. So-

Sophie Howard: So shortcuts and hacks, they never really work.

Jeff Bullas: So the recommendation I'm hearing here is keep it as simple as possible and keep your nose clean and play by the rules. And if you've got a great product, you've spent the time, you've been creative enough to source it, the good person wins at the end of the day then by the sounds of it. So that's great to hear because there are a lot... it's navigating... Just to go into trying to source a product, I've been on Alibaba years ago, it was just doing my head in, in terms of just trying... is this too good to be true? I'm thinking maybe it is. It's just so... So keep your nose clean, play the game, just be straight and-

Sophie Howard: Quality supplies. So I've had a few products from China, I must have launched a thousand products now and less than 1% would have been from China. A couple, but not very many at all. And so now I have nothing that comes out of China and that's just worked quite well for the kinds of brands I build. I think I can charge a premium price because it's usually a pretty good story. My top selling products are from Australia at the moment, actually.

Jeff Bullas: Right. Okay.

Sophie Howard: Leaves from Queensland on a ship and then off it goes, and can barely keep in stock with it. It's a really unique, really cool product. I don't have any direct competition really for it on Amazon.

Jeff Bullas: That's great. You've got a new project, which is an education-type project, is that correct?

Sophie Howard: Yes.

Jeff Bullas: I think it's very appropriate with what you're doing at the moment and what's happening at the moment. Can you tell us a bit about what you're doing, what you're launching? I think you've launched it to your own list initially, just to test it. Tell us a little bit about this new, exciting project that you're working on.

Sophie Howard: Well, it was based on a book I wrote last year, which was sharing my philosophy in business. Some of the stuff we've already talked about, like having a very frugal approach at the front end, having a quality product, playing it really safe, not tracing the hacks and the shortcuts, but building something of real value that's going to last for years not months. The kinds of products I've launched, and the way I've built my own teams, and the training products I've launched for Amazon, I think they've worked because I've been doing it a little bit differently from how a lot of other people would do it. Which is chase the mass market, pay to do the hacks and the shortcuts and the cheap launches.

Sophie Howard: The other thing that I've noticed in all the last six years of running various online businesses is that not all people suit all the different business models. When I watch people try to learn about Facebook or something, some people find the creative part really easy. They love playing around with Canva and images, and they find coming up with the offer easy, but they might find the analytics of managing the ads very hard. It's just really rare that an entrepreneur is good at all those different skills. Then that makes a huge difference to how likely you'll be to be successful with different types of business models. I'm quite a generalist, so amazon really suits me. But someone who's really analytical would struggle to do something like being a Instagram. There's a natural fit for certain personality and skill sets with certain business models.

Sophie Howard: The new project I've been doing is called Freedom Navigator, and it starts with a profiling quiz to help people understand more about their strengths, and their skills, and their personalities, then matching that up with the current online business models that are making money today. It's really neutral. It doesn't promote one business model over the other. It just shows what's out there today, and for each of the different profiles, which one's the most likely to suit you, that you're then therefore more likely to do well at, and enjoy, and not burn out or struggle. Always to feel like you're working really hard at it, but just something where you're more in that flow state, doing what you're naturally going to be good at.

Sophie Howard: It's been really fun because I've had this very privileged spot of A: Starting a bunch of businesses that have worked well, but B: Teaching about people who, some people get some things instantly, and other people, they really find it hard. Just trying to show that landscape of what's out there, what's working, and what's a good track to take based on your profile.

Jeff Bullas: This is an online course, is that what it is?

Sophie Howard: It's mostly online modules, but the same thing that I did with Amazon, which was to do a live session on a regular basis, some ongoing live coaching, which keeps everyone up to date. Because this stuff you can't just do a course once a year and then hope it's still current a year later, it's got to be kept alive because stuff will change all the time.

Jeff Bullas: The online course is one driven by the book that you wrote a year ago. Is that correct?

Sophie Howard: Yeah. Yeah. Freedom Navigator is the name of the book and the program.

Jeff Bullas: Then the start of that course is doing the actual questionnaire?

Sophie Howard: Yeah, yeah.

Jeff Bullas: Then you go into what? A series of what? Eight modules? Seven, eight modules?

Sophie Howard: Yeah. I think there's eight core modules, then there's a load of bonus bits as well. But the eight core ones teach things like how to think like a CEO. There's a huge run through of all the business models, and the pros and cons of each one. If you want a lifestyle business, there's a lot more options than if you want to build something that's going to be worth millions of dollars in a short space of time. It takes into account circumstances, and things like capital needed to get started, or really core skills. Obviously, some skills are more trainable than others, but this gives people that overview, and then skills like managing operations and start up businesses.

Sophie Howard: It's almost like a mini MBA for modern online business. All the core skills you just need to know to be successful with your own online business. Hiring and running virtual teams, marketing through Facebook and through sales funnels, creating a unique product and service, how to really understand if the opportunity for your idea is real, and even how to come up with those ideas of a new product or service, branding, the whole thing start to finish.

Jeff Bullas: This online course, and what I love that you've done is you've kept things as simple as possible. You've used Amazon's resources. You play the game straight and narrow, you're a straight arrow. Basically you're not going to get done over because you're playing by the rules.

Jeff Bullas: What you're really doing is you're taking what you learned from the Amazon online selling, and also your interaction with all your students and your community, and going, "Okay, so how can I actually add value?" Because it looks like you really want to add value to the people around you, which is great to see. Essentially, you're going from not only running a business, but also being an online educator and sharing your knowledge.

Jeff Bullas: Just to wrap it up, just in terms of what you would like to share, is there anything you'd like to share with our audience in terms of some two or three top takeaways in terms of what you've learned along the way in the last 6 years that just started Amazon, I think it is now?

Sophie Howard: Yeah, there's probably two things that I think are a bit neglected in a lot of the other online education areas. There's some really great courses out there if you want to learn how to run a Facebook ad agency or become a copywriter, there's great training. But the thing about running your own business from home is that there's a couple of things that are essential that nobody really shows you how to do.

Sophie Howard: One of them is your self-care and the state that you ... people like Tony Robbins teach how to get into the right state to be awesome or whatever, but just that routine for a very unstructured life. Nobody's giving you weekly meeting schedules, or telling you what you need to hand in, or paying you on a regular basis. Managing your own energy, and your own workflow, and your space, and your time, and your outputs is really reliant on that mental state that you're in.

Sophie Howard: That's managing your sleep, your food, your exercise is really, really essential. And lots of entrepreneurs have such unhealthy habits and then wonder why they're stressed, and scatty, forgetful or not coming up with enough content or something. So I think self care's really neglected for entrepreneurs. And I can tell, as soon as I've had a few bad nights with children not sleeping or something, my ability to focus and do good works just out the window. So, in a day job, you can... Not quite in zombie mode, but it's certainly a lot more forgiving to be an employee without having lots of focus. But when you've got your own business and you're driving it, you have to look after yourself really, really well. Otherwise, it's just not going to go that well.

Sophie Howard: So, that's the first one. And the second one is just to focus on profit. There's so many people bragging with screenshots and then they come to me, "I've got a $6 million Amazon account, but it's running backwards. Or they don't have a clue what their numbers are in their business. So, they're both not softer skills, but they're not like a core technical thing that you teach in an online module. Part of your philosophy of your online business is that you look after yourself and that you focus on bringing the profit in. And then you've got the right to have expenses, rather than go out and get a new sports car because you've had a good sales month, and then realize you can't pay your tax bill. Or all those fancy staff you hired actually didn't do that well for you in the end, and you've got to let them all go and you've run into a big financial hole in the process. Plus you borrowed some money. You've not got to repay.

Sophie Howard: So, those are the two things that, I think, if you've got your body and mind in a good state, and then you're really disciplined with the money, it should all go well. Nothing should go wrong if you're looking after those two things. And then obviously the ethics, and work rate, and productivity and all those other things have to happen, as well. But I think those two ones really interest me, because I see people just either super stressed or in big masses, and they are kind of avoidable.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah.

Sophie Howard: Not very exciting to have to teach because nobody gets really excited about better financial management. It's not a really racy subject.

Jeff Bullas: No, it's not.

Sophie Howard: They want to start a million dollar brand or something. But if you don't do that stuff ait all crashes in the back heap, and you run out of energy. And you don't see the positive results for your work, you need to feel like your business is working for you and improving your life. Not that you've just created yourself another job that causes stress.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. So, it's certainly interesting. So, you've just basically said self care and business care, essentially.

Sophie Howard: Yeah.

Jeff Bullas: And if you don't have the skills in business care, then hire people that are great bookkeepers will lodge your taxes on time, will let you know what's really going on. Can we just maybe go back into the self care part because that's an area that interests me. I have a fairly set routine most days. And I realized when I traveled, I was overseas for... Did a bit of a digital nomad last year. And I realized that I really miss my routine. So, if you're happy to, maybe, can you share a little bit of what your typical, daily, morning routine looks like? Just how it works for you.

Sophie Howard: Yeah. So the other thing I factor in with my routine is childcare. So, I have my children half the week and they're with me for one week and then they're with my ex husband for the next week. So, that alternates. So, almost on a fortnightly cycle. And then what I do is I don't set an alarm on the mornings where I don't need to, I get as much sleep as I can. But I tend to wake up quite early. And then I have a coffee, and then I go for a run. And I'm not strict with intermittent fasting, but I tend not to eat till after midday or 13:00, usually. I'll come back from a run, do some work.

Sophie Howard: And then the two main people that work for me are in Australia. So, two hour time difference. So, I have a call with them; one of them, both of them, something. It's all very loose, we don't have a schedule of calls or anything. I just ping on a Skype message, "Who's free for a quick catch up." And it'd usually be something I've been thinking about while I've been running, that I wanted then action. So, I listen to audiobooks when I'm running, about half the time. And maybe half the time, nothing. But I never listened to a novel, for entertainment. I'm always listening to podcasts or an audiobook. And I'll run for... Like today, I was for about two hours. I've done probably three, two hour runs this week. And then a few little walks just to clear my head.

Sophie Howard: But if I don't do that, I'm horrible, and cranky, and I don't sleep well and I'm just not very good at work. I really need exercise. This is the thing I've learned. And then cup of tea, bit off work, pot around in the garden, I often am walking while I'm talking on the phone. I don't sit at my desk very much. I'm usually out and about.

Jeff Bullas: Right.

Sophie Howard: Work in the lounge. There's actually a load of banging and crashing. I hope it doesn't come up too loud on the audio on this, but there's a builder turning my basement into a recording studio. So, I could do proper calls from a proper office after six years of being at the kitchen table. And then the days I've got the children, they come home from school. I pick them up at 15:00, and it's a hundred meters. I hop over the neighbor's fence and I pick the kids up on foot. I can wait till I hear the school bell and get there in time to pick them up.

Jeff Bullas: Okay.

Sophie Howard: And then hang out with them for the rest of the... I try not to work at night. I try to always have a few new courses that I'm doing on the go. So, I'm learning... Doing one at the moment about building an online community. So, I've always been an educator teaching the Facebook groups, my education programs; there's lots and lots of questions to me or the coaches. But not that sort of big family feel that I've been a part of another group. I'm trying to work out how people do that really good community building. I think mostly you just need to make it someone's job to be a community manager. Just really get that user generated content as part of the culture of your program.

Jeff Bullas: Yep.

Sophie Howard: So, that's the thing I'm learning about at the moment. And I'm learning about some things I've got on the go. Just did a Pinterest ads course, because I feel like that's cheap traffic rather than pesky old Facebook and their horrible costs. Plus they just turn you off with no warning. You can do everything right and you suddenly gone from Facebook, which is weird.

Jeff Bullas: Well, Google can do the same on their algorithm.

Sophie Howard: Yes, there is no ability to appeal, no humans are involved.. So, it's a real risk in business to only have one source of marketing, customers, or one product, or one client. Just too risky. So, I thought if I figure out Pinterest ads, I'll use that for my brands, and then I'll be able to teach it to my Amazon people. And the freedom to navigate people find that useful for some products. Not so much for services, but certainly some products really will soup interests.

Jeff Bullas: Right.

Sophie Howard: So, I always do a bit of learning every day or read something. And I think not enough business owners read enough. You're probably three or five books, that you properly understood, away from being an absolute leader in pretty much any field of business, there's not that much, especially in online business. Half of these things have only been around a couple of years. You can easily see everything, it's all transparent because it's all published and free in front of you. There's quite good courses on some of it, there's Facebook groups. You can master anything you want to learn really fast if you know how to learn. So one of the modules in Freedom Navigator is how to learn and how to have good habits, just to kind of keep that brain fresh and absorbing the stuff that matters and not getting stuck on stuff that doesn't matter. We teach a lot on mindset, another whole module on mindset and a whole module on productivity.

Jeff Bullas: All right, okay.

Sophie Howard: Those are core skills. If you can't keep your mind focused and clear on what you want, and if you don't have good work flow, it doesn't matter how great your idea is. You're never going to finish it.

Jeff Bullas: No.

Sophie Howard: Yeah. What else in my routine? We eat quite early. Children are six and eight, so we're not up late. And then I don't really do any Netflix, and I'm usually quite tired at the end of that day, So I try to do all my client calls, so if I've got coaching calls I try to do them in the mornings on the days I'm not going for a big, long run. It all somehow fits in, no two days the same, no two weeks the same. But there is a bit of a general routine there, like I say.

Jeff Bullas: Yep. Well I think routine is really important because it gives you freedom. Everyone thinks that routine can be not freedom, but it actually is freedom because it gives you a structure which allows you to actually be more productive. And I liked when you talked about that you quite often aren't listening to something when you go for a run, because I think the other thing is, as an entrepreneur and also just human beings, is giving yourself some silence. Because if you've got your head full of noise, how can anything come in? And I think that's really important. That's something I've discovered over the years. And I might listen to a podcast in the car, but if I go for a walk, I go for a walk. I'd take my phone with me, so if I got an idea I could actually write it down.

Sophie Howard: You meditate as well, don't you? Which is good.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah.

Sophie Howard: How do you do yours? Do you just do every morning, or what do you do?

Jeff Bullas: I do it pretty well every morning before the mind gets too active. The thing is, it's more about the practice. It's like saying, "Well, I didn't meditate very well because I had thoughts coming in all the time." But it's just like exercise, the reality is it's a practice. And I think the other part of it, one of the books I read years ago, The Power of Now, is just trying to be really... And this is the big thing now is mindfulness. And the Michael Singer book, The Untethered Soul, which was introduced by my first interviewee, Mellissah Smith told me about it. And I went and got it, bought it, read it. It's one of the top 10, one of the top books, I've read in my life.

Jeff Bullas: Because I think the other thing that I've discovered too, is that if you're aware of the chatter of the mind and the damage that's done... And talking to psychologist friend of mine, he called the mind chatter an evil uncle. They show up and knock on your door and start chattering, "Okay, well look what happened in the past, worry about the future." And they're going, "Well actually, if you had this person show up and come into your house physically and tell you these things that's going on in our heads, you would kick them out." You would literally kick them out of the house, because they're the evil uncle. And I thought it was just a great analogy.

Jeff Bullas: I think meditation is not just 20 minutes in the morning. It's also trying to be really just in the moment as much as I possibly can, and catch myself and be aware of the chatter. Like you're going for a walk and you're looking at someone that's like, "Oh, look at that person." Or, "How dare they park that way? They weren't thinking of other people." And going, "Hang on, what's this mind chatter going on?" And I think really good mindfulness starts with awareness. So I just really enjoy the silence and I try and give myself as much of it as I possibly can.

Jeff Bullas: There was a guest on my show recently, Danny Iny, his podcast came out today. He walks for up to two to three, four hours a day. So he structures his day, has got two young kids as well, but he gives himself the silence and the space. And the term he uses, it's not about the quantity of work, it's about the quality of your decision making. And I think that's really, really important. That's something that he learned from someone else, which is a venture capitalist out of Silicon Valley. So it's really interesting to hear your thoughts on routine and how you craft your day. I think it's important. If your day's full of chaos, you're going to be scattered and you're not going to make good decisions.

Sophie Howard: Yeah. The thing that kills me is too much international travel. So New Zealand is so far away from everywhere and I live at the bottom of the South Island. So I've got half a day just getting to the international airport to get out. And then I've got a 12 hour flight, then I've got another 12 hours, then I've got another flight. I mean, I'm just a wreck when I arrive. And I sleep on flights and I travel quite well, but it's just so much dead time. And then the time zones and jet lag. If I've got a week trip, I'm kind of out for a month because I've got to juggle childcare, backlogging, all the other work, I'm tired. It's just everything is thrown around by travel. And I love traveling, so it's a bit of a challenge. But I think in the future, I'll probably try and travel a bit less than I did over the last couple of years.

Sophie Howard: And I just don't like being away from the children for too long at a time. It's just exhausting, life on the road, but it's sort of invigorating and really fun at the same time as well. I've got a bit of a love hate relationship with that. I just went to the trade show in Germany to check that out. So I take a lot of my Amazon clients to trade shows and help choose products on the ground, which is really fun. We go to India every year. Last year we went to India, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. I went to Germany this year, there's somewhere else I went last year.

Jeff Bullas: So tell me, how do you run those? How many people would come on that road trip with you? How many did you bring with you?

Sophie Howard: The last one I think we had about 50. And those are the coaching clients who do a different program where they get some more help from me and my team choosing their products, and a bit more hand holding and that more of the advanced strategy than we teach everybody at the start. And so some of those people know I go to these trade shows and said, "I'm going, do you want to come and join me?" So, I take a couple of those trips a year and they're really fun. And I quite like going to check out new ones as well. So I just checked out a big one in Germany and that was really, really good.

Sophie Howard: So yeah, there's lots of travel, which is another nice thing about having an online business that you're at home with the convenience of home life nearly all the time, but when you want to be on the road, you can be. And that's really cool to have your laptop and wifi and off you go. In fact, I run most of my business off my phone. Then I've got two people working for me who cover the coaching and Amazon Freedom Navigator, all my Amazon products. And they pretty much run my life, they do everything.

Jeff Bullas: Right, okay. So you run a lot of your business off your phone. Tell me a little bit about that. I find that rather intriguing.

Sophie Howard: Well, I'll do a Skype call while I'm walking around the block, or I'll do instant messaging or email off my phone. So coaching calls are on my laptop, but all of the rest of it is just keeping an eye on things off my phone. I can check my Amazon sales off my phone. Most of my suppliers for Amazon products I talk to on Skype. A nice guy whose products have just run out of stock. He's out of lockdown, wherever he is, in about a week, so I'm just ramping up a big order from him for soon as he can ship it. So I do quite a bit of that. I definitely work kind of ladies hours, very part-time, but just quite intense hours. And I try not to do too much computer time. If I've got a call with my team, one of them will be taking notes and putting everything into Todoist and I'll be walking and talking. I think I do better thinking and clearer decision making when I'm not staring at a screen.

Jeff Bullas: Right, okay. So you've basically found a way to work as efficiently as possible that works for you.

Sophie Howard: Yeah, probably not very efficient. I don't want to assess, it's probably not that efficient.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah, but it works for you. And I think that's the important thing. It's not perfect, but it works for you.

Sophie Howard: Yeah, kind of. Sometimes I wonder what I'd achieve if I actually got myself properly organized. It's not my strength to be very organized, but I definitely have plenty of ideas. And I've always been able to find really good people to help me finish them, which is good. But I don't feel like I'm good at starting to finish. There's no order. My filing system is my desktop. I mean, people despair. I've got quite a lot of business flowing through and it's just an absolute hotchpotch. I don't know if I should really admit how messy it is, but I'm messy, my work's messy. I don't know.

Sophie Howard: I cannot think in a logical, orderly way. I just don't have a brain like an algorithm. And people do, and some people will remember what they called that file and even what system that filing system lives on. I don't even know if I'm on Dropbox or Google Drive or if I even ever saved it. I spend a lot of time redoing stuff that I've not been very organized on. But the big pictures there's that the ideas happen, it's just my personal document management. It's not am I clear, am I honest? Do I know the numbers? I know the important stuff that matters to me, but the stuff that doesn't matter to me is what I called that file and did I remember to save it. I'm not super-efficient, but definitely fast. I get stuff done fast.

Jeff Bullas: Great. Well, the results speak for themselves, Sophie. So I don't think you need to beat yourself up too much on not being a filing expert. You're the creator and the conductor, so it's just great. So thank you very much for sharing your story, your routines, how you started. And I think especially this time in the world's history with a lot of people wanting to start an online business, I think your new Freedom Navigator training is something that's very, very relevant and we will share some of that. We're going to have a chat a bit about helping you get that out to the world I think because it's really, really important for people.

Jeff Bullas: It is indeed, the digital world can give us incredible freedom. The tools are there, quite often they're free or low cost. So I look forward to sharing that with my audience and thank you so much for coming on the show and giving us your time. It's great to see you again after a few years. And it's just been fantastic to see your success continuing to unfold and your time is actually maybe even more relevant than it was even four years ago now I think in terms of what you're doing. So thanks, Sophie, so much for sharing and we look forward to getting this show up actually sooner rather than later because it's so relevant. Thank you very much for your time.

Sophie Howard: Thanks for having me on the show, Jeff. And lovely chatting as always, and I hope your listeners have found it useful in some way. I'm just sharing what's worked in business and ways that I've managed to cut through overwhelming choices, and so the more I can share of that the better. I'm just interested in business, so I love having chats with people like you who get business and are interested in seeing what helps people succeed at it.

Jeff Bullas: Yeah. Well, what I love about this, doing the podcast, which took me four years of procrastination to break through, is I get to chat with just really smart, great people that are essentially changing the world. We're still all human, we've all got our struggles. But at the end of the day, I think just seeing people that are on purpose doing what they love and working out how to do it and making life a joy and a success and just also being human along the way. And as we know, the human condition is not one of a smooth, easy path. It's one of learning as we go and being able to get through tough times, and sounds like you've been able to do that as well. So thanks, Sophie. It's been an absolute pleasure to have you on the show.

Sophie Howard: Good stuff. Thanks, Jeff. Talk to you soon. Bye.

Jeff Bullas: Okay, bye.

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