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Mindset Is Everything - Sellers, You Need To Get Your Mind Strait BEFORE Starting Your Amazon FBA Business - With Leslie Kooster
October 26, 2022
Mindset Is Everything - Sellers, You Need To Get Your Mind Strait BEFORE Starting Your Amazon FBA Business - With Leslie Kooster. We talk a lot about mindset and how you need to level up your mind before you can level up your business!
[00:00:00] : welcome to the cellar roundtable e commerce coaching and business strategies with Andy Arnott and Amy wees. Hey everyone this is Andy are not welcome to the cellar roundtable Amy is not with us today but we have a special guest Leslie coasters on Welcome Leslie, thank you for being here. So happy to be here. Let's dive in. All right, so the first thing we love to do is get your background kind of your, your story up to today, uh you can get as detailed as you like, we love, you know where you're born, where you're raised, kind of your, your whole journey to where you are today. We always love to, to dig dig into that. Okay, good, let's talk about it. So I mean my, my story for all the amazon entrepreneurs out there is basically that I've been an entrepreneur for a really long time and we're talking like 30 years, I started being an entrepreneur but it wasn't until like my mid fifties that I became quote a more successful entrepreneur regarding like financially So going back those 30 years, how it all started was I went traveling to the beautiful country of Indonesia and I was living in New York City at the time I was doing pr was working kind of in a corporate job, I had a situation happened where my apartment got robbed and which sucked but the good news is I had insurance and with that insurance money I decided to do something I always wanted to do which was to travel And Indonesia was just like I used to look at the map and I saw that string of islands from Java and Bali and I just felt a pull to go there and I did and I traveled and I loved it and I was there about seven months and then I had to come back to New York City again and this is like, I would say maybe this is like in my early 30s, something like that or 30 years old, maybe a little earlier earlier. So I was sitting on my bed, I had the new york times open which is how you looked for jobs back then because I needed to get a job or do something after the traveling and there just was not like one single job in the entire newspaper that I wanted and I had one of those like Oprah Winfrey lightbulb moments which went like, wow, I remember the beautiful clothing I saw in bali Indonesia when I was traveling and I wonder what would happen if I jumped on a plane and I went back to bali and I just bought things off the street and brought it back to new york city and tried to sell it at street fairs because in new york city there were tons of these weekend and holiday markets and things like that and my passion for not getting a job was so strong inside of me that it felt easier to get back on a plane and go back and just start like buying stuff and stuffing it into like big duffel bags because back then you could do that and that's what I did and that's actually how I just how I launched my business back from bali and I'm now design and manufacture women's bohemian style, colorful comfortable clothing um in bali Indonesia, I imported into the U. S. And you know at least for the last 10 years, 11 years, I then sell it online primarily on amazon. Yeah, I love that. So um you know that's kind of uh what's funny is a lot of successful entrepreneurs are kind of accidental entrepreneurs, right? They know what they're currently doing is not right for them and they kind of gravitate towards something else, You know, I started my career, I went to college as a to be a pilot, decided I didn't want to do that, then I, you know was an air traffic controller for 13 years uh and just didn't enjoy the job, I was always an entrepreneur, you know, had an entrepreneurial mindset, always did, you know, uh moonlighting and things like that and you know, I finally pulled the ripcord and got out of there and and you know, never looked back kind of similar to your story in that sense. Um one of the things that you know, I think that so many people um you know, just don't believe number one that they can be an entrepreneur and number two kind of don't see the opportunities that are right in front of them, right? I mean your opportunity that was right in front of you is like, you're like, wow, there's a lot of cool clothes in Indonesia. The price point, I know at least back then was you know, nothing, you know pennies on the dollar probably in terms of cost of goods um and uh, and so you saw that, you know, just, it's almost like arbitrage, you know, in that sense and you know, going in and buying off the street there and bringing it back here and, and, and you know, building that market and then seeing, oh I can just scale this and and then find that opportunity, so um in your case, you know, it was very serendipitous, but any tips in terms of, you know, what kind of things people should be looking for in their day to day life, that might where there might be some opportunity, whenever you think to yourself, I wonder if that's your opportunity. So it always starts with a thought and it starts just literally with that question, like I wonder if I quit the job, I wonder if I, you know, sold dog products because I'm totally into dogs, which is something I'm thinking about right now because I was thinking of like new if I change my brand, what would it be like, I'm so happy around dogs. So whenever you are thinking like, I wonder if that could work, I wonder if I go there. I wonder if that is your opportunity. So not what we all have to realize is that not everybody gets the same. I wonder if not everyone is all thinking, I wonder if I sold the dog products or I wonder if I jumped on a plane and went to Indonesia and so we tend to, like, whenever we start wondering, we start shutting it down because we then start thinking, well there's a million dog brands out there and like, didn't everybody already bring clothes back from Indonesia? There's nothing new and we start shutting down that question that we have or that you're that yearning actually rather call it yearning than anything else. And that is really what one needs to be looking for is what are you shutting down in your life and what are you yearning for in your life? And you know, again, in my case, I was yearning so passionately for not getting another job and um, I loved the experience of traveling and then I was like, I wonder if this could work and why not try it and I just jumped on an airplane and did it and you know, again, it goes from wonder and the thought and then of course we have to take action and action is the one thing that a lot of people don't do and that is the difference between people who are successful and people who aren't because it's certainly in my case my success did not come because um I was trained to do it because of, I'm already a great designer, it wasn't for any of those reasons, I've had huge amounts of problems in my business and continue to, by the way, I mean I am an amazon seller after all right, but it is, it's really that perseverance and the continuing of taking some kind of action, uh that is what is going to be your keys to success, I love that. So, you know, one of the things, you know, later in life, you know, I've been an entrepreneur almost my whole life as well, you know, started pretty young in college and just kind of taught myself how to code and do some other things and you know, one of the things that I finally in my forties now have come to realize is one of the biggest things that you need to tackle before you can even, you know, think about entrepreneurship or starting a business or things like that in my opinion, not to say that, you know, you can get lucky is self development, so, you know, you, you talked about a lot of people not being believing in, you know, being able to do things, I mean to me that was one of the biggest issues, uh you know, once I was in my forties, I did, you know, I think it was skill and luck, one of, you know how I got lucky as I was and continue to kind of see into the future, be really good at at seeing trends and, and things that a lot of other people can't, but I had a huge downfall similar similar to you in terms of, you know, not knowing operations, not knowing systems, not knowing some of these really basic things, you know, not having self development or self care or you know, things like, you know, I used to laugh when people are like, oh, I get up in the morning and meditate, I'm like, oh my goodness, this is some really weird boo boo things, but when you actually start to do it um and you see the impact in your life, it's so huge. I mean, one of the favorite books um that me and my wife and I recently did was the Miracle Morning, and if you guys listening, haven't check that book out yet, I would say that would be one of my top five, um you know, Rich dad, poor dad, another great one. Um the one thing, you know, I've probably read or listened to, you know, over 100 business books, so I have a lot to choose from. Uh, you know, pick five books and, and look at people who have been successful before you, it they'll usually have pretty good advice when it comes to, you know, great things to read. But did you kind of have that, that that same journey in terms of, you know, self care self development kind of, let's talk about what you did in those realms in order to make your make yourself a better business person. Okay, so I, you know, after like bringing my business, you know, it was, it was a slow, you know, elevation for me, I didn't go from like, you know, five figures to multiple seven figures in a year or two years. It actually for me my my rise, you know, just it went from 50,000 and 100 and then two and then four and seven and etcetera. And it's continuing to to grow of and after um like reflecting on how in the world did I do this because as I said before, I don't know no business background. No, no, no design background. I don't know even know how to sell, I sell Children's clothing. Um, and I decided to sit down and think about how I did it and what I did and that has now become a book that will be coming out in a few months called Seven keys to seven figures. And one of the chapters in the book is just what you're talking about, which is basically my last chapter, which is called Taking Empty Time because it is so essential to in order to build you actually also have to have quiet time and you have to have reflective time and you have to have self care time and that is something I actually always did because for me after that travel in Indonesia, I realized like my most important value in my life was freedom. That that was really what I wanted. I did not want a normal job because I refused to give up my freedom. So that was always my, my mantra. And for me that meant actually going to a spiritual retreat in the summertime in New Mexico and learning to meditate and breathe and uh living in a tent in all of these things and what I found is that by doing that every year and I continued to do that every year, even while building a multiple seven figure business that taking that time out and by the way I would go not for a week, I would go for six weeks, so we're not talking about just a weekend thing here. I found that as I was building a successful business and taking the downtime, my business was continuing to rise that there was absolutely no negative effect whatsoever of taking time off. And I really believe that that time off time is what has fueled my success and also has fueled somewhat of a balance in life as balances you can be as an entrepreneur right. Um, and it's not only because of the obvious things that we all know, such as stress is really horrible for our health and you know, we need good sleep and we need to eat well and we kind of all know all of this. So those are the obvious reasons, but I also believe there's a much deeper and more powerful reason for taking down time. And that is because in those moments of quiet and self care, we can actually hear what it is that we really, really want and what is really, really important to us. And if we don't take those moments to figure that out and it's not even it's not the right word, figure the right word is feel it out okay. If we don't take those moments to feel it out, then we're just basically on one of those, you know, you know, going around in circles and and just fulfilling our to do list all the time without really understanding what our deep values are, what we really want and for everybody that's different and success can mean so many different things and we need to follow, follow what that true success with value, success really means to us and without having self care and that downtime, you won't know what it is because you simply won't have the time to know it right. You know, you're not still enough to actually hear, right. It's hard to know even what, you know what you want on a day to day basis. If you don't give yourself that space to actually think about it. So I love that a few other things to impact there. You were talking about being away from your business and having it still thrive. One of my other favorite books of all time is Clockwork by Mike McCalla wits. If you haven't read that one, another great one, it's all about operations and systems which you know we gravitate towards whether it's politics, whether it's religion, whether it's you know business, we always gravitate towards the things we're familiar with or we already know right? But sometimes the best learning is when you go to the things that your weakest in right? So for me I knew that operations was really weak, I knew that finance so those are a lot of the that I consume now self care. You know I'm getting away from stuff like marketing and S. C. O. And some of these uh you know paid advertising all these things that I have got dialed that I've done for years which I would gravitate towards. But it's kind of like alright I already know this stuff, I'm pretty much an expert in those realms why am I continuing to you know sort of relearn stuff I already know. So um the other thing that I want to unpack there is um you know I think that as as entrepreneurs early on especially if you have some really big early successes which like I said I did and I think one of the reasons why is I was ignorant to the fact of how hard the business was, right, if you go, you know, if you've been an entrepreneur for as long as you have I that you and I have been, is you know how hard it is, right? But when you're first starting out, you actually do have an advantage in terms of kind of not knowing how hard it is and just, you know, being like I want to get to this thing or this spot or this product or whatever this is and I'm gonna get there, I'm gonna trudge through it and I'm gonna figure it out. Whereas you know, when you've done it for so long, at least for me it's kind of like, okay, I've got all this information I've got, you know, all this stuff that I'm so great at, but oh my God, this is gonna be so hard or this is gonna be such a big hurdle or you know, you're, you're kind of already talking yourself out of it for a lot of things. So um any kind of, you know, really big lessons that you've learned along the way that you can pass on to, you know, somebody maybe early on in the journey that might help them a lot, maybe some big mistakes that you made that you wish you, you know knew better or you know, yeah, sure, like that would be awesome. Yeah, the biggest mistake I definitely made is I never hired anyone to teach me what to do, you know that that was my, that was years, I mean, so I had the business for, I think it was like maybe even, I don't know 10 years or it was a while before. Like I even even had the thought that maybe I should get some help because I didn't even, I I just didn't even know when God help. I really didn't know I was, I really didn't know what I was doing and it was, it was the change that happened to me is I had I made a very conscious decision, I wanted to be more successful, I want to make more money, I want to improve the business and that was the number one that happened and then number two that happened is I began to be focused on the business because at the time I actually had two businesses and both were kind of mediocre. So that was the second thing I did which was to make a decision to focus and to focus on one of the businesses. And then the third thing that I did is I literally jumped on a plane and went to a conference and went to an amazon conference in Seattle and that was the beginning of the change for me. So this was the biggest step that I took that I would advise everybody to do is to really get help there and what I mean by that is to hire consultant or mentor. Um I like to say you should hire people who are, where you want to be and where, where you are now, so you don't want, especially in the e commerce space or we're in business coaching, I'm really talking about not life coaching, but when it comes to business coaching, you want to hire someone who really knows if you're an amazon seller, who knows the amazon world. So that's what I did. And so I wasted like years and years and years and years and years, I would say doing, you know, really mediocre. I mean I was, I remember at one point Like hitting 20,000 a year on Amazon and going woo, having no idea that like that sucked, right, you know, I didn't even know it was bad, I was like this is great and then it was only once I really took myself seriously and hired the right, help that things really began to take off, and then. you know, and the other mistake is not realizing and this is a big one for entrepreneurs not realizing, you're not just an entrepreneur, you're actually a ceo and that this is the point of this business is actually not a, not a hobby for most of us, all right, and we can, can't approach it as a hobby and like thinking yourself as a Ceo like myself, you know, here I was traveling to Indonesia buying pretty clothes, bringing it back, like I was not, I didn't think of myself as a ceo, I never thought of myself as a leader or any of those kind of things or even having a great idea, I just didn't want to get a job. But once you start to get into the business and and new entrepreneurs need to understand that your job is your business and it, it is, you are literally the captain of a ship and your business is the ship and your job is not to do all the work in the ship, You're not serving the food, you're not putting the fuel into it, you're, you're not really, that's not ultimately what your job is gonna be, it's gonna be being the captain of that ship and knowing what is happening inside your ship. And that is a real mindset shift because you need to be become knowledgeable or even understanding all these aspects. Like I love Mike McCalla, which you've mentioned mentioned, you just mentioned one of his books, you know, profit first, which you know, really, you know, I remember also when I started working with my consultant who I met at that amazon conference, by the way, that's how I started um working with my consultant. I remember like maybe six months or so into working with her, she said to me, do you pay yourself and I like it stopped me in my tracks. I was like what do you mean? Do I pay myself? And she said do you pay yourself? I said, well, you know, I use money on like plane tickets and buy stuff. No, do you pay yourself? Yes. And I'm like, am I supposed to be, you know, this is even things like this at the beginning of your business or even for me, I was years into a business, I didn't know these things. And you know, paying yourself is one of the most important things you could do as a business owner, otherwise, well you're just not going to be very happy. Let's put it that way. Yeah, absolutely. So if if you guys don't know, we've had mike on the podcast. So if you haven't listened to that episode, go search it out. It's a great one, of course, the other thing I love about Mike is, he's just hilarious. He's a really, really funny guy. He's got a podcast himself and, and he does some Youtube and, and uh, yeah, Mike's a great, he's one of those guys where you can listen to him and know that he'd be an awesome guy to go get a drink with. You know, he talks about getting hair plugs and you know, kind of no holds barred. So I really enjoy that. He's in your neck of the woods. I think he's in Jersey. Um, so yeah, really, really great guy. Um, enough about plugging Mike Markowitz, even though he is one of my favorites, um, one of the other major issues and I, and I see this all the time and when I was younger I kind of thought the same way, right, Everybody thinks that you need this massive amount of money to get started, right. People are like, oh I need you know investors and all these things and I think your story, my story is very similar. I think I started with putting my, my first order for amazon was, was put on a credit card. My, my first wholesale order was put on a private label order was put on a credit card and you know, I think it was like 3 to $500 I can't remember the exact number, but you know, I started really, really small, I mean granted back then, once again I saw the future. So I started on amazon in 2012 where he could pretty much put anything on amazon and make money. Um, but kind of, what, what have you done in terms of money, have you just bootstrapped, have you taken on investors kind of, what's, you know, what, what have you done in terms of raising or you know, having capital for your business. Uh, I've always believed in making a profit from the very beginning. So like literally when we're talking about going back to Indonesia, I think, I don't know, I spent $500 or something like that, which I had And I then literally did street fairs and I turned that 500 into cash and then I jumped back on planes. So I really bootstrapped my company and when you know, and as it's grown and grown and grown, I, I just have never believed in taking on an investor or bar or literally borrowing money, I don't borrow money. Um, and even now with running a multiple seven figure business, I do sometimes use a line of credit um, through my bank, but I pay, I pay this back regularly. I have never been comfortable with like running a business and being in debt all the time. It's not how I wanted to run it. So I don't think you need to run it now. I think there's two kinds of businesses though, that one can grow and one could be the kind of business that I have and maybe the one that also you, you have or had Andy, but the other businesses, the people are growing, our business is to basically to exit, okay, and when you're building a business business to exit that you plan to maybe exit in two years or three years or you know, under five years, it's a very different business model and there's investors involved and that's a whole other world that I just never dip my own toes into. So I'm definitely here to tell you, you can start a business on not much money, I think realistically now you probably should have around about $3-$5,000 to start to start a new business. Um but you can definitely do it, you, you buy, you can put it on a credit card or you use your own savings and then you just start and you start small. And I've always been also because of profit first, okay, you know, I, I know how to read my balance sheets, and I know how to read my income statements and I'm always watching my expenses all the time. In fact, that that is, you know, being the captain of the ship, that is really my main job is the money. Um and that's the part that I am the most involved in, you know, among other things, but that's definitely number one. So I think there's definitely ways to keep your business going and start businesses. I don't believe you need investors, I don't believe you need to do that, but that is another strategy. And I also don't want to say that's a wrong strategy, it's just wasn't mine. Yeah. You know, one of the things, uh you know that I love when you hear, uh you know, um I can't think of his name right now, creator of for the guy in shark tank, you know, he talks about how he just, he like was sowing his own clothes and he kind of, he made money to then scale the business right? You're not, you're not, um you know, getting money to scale the business, you're, you're actually proving the concept as you build the business, right? And I think there's something so powerful about that and I think that, um, you know, if I were to do it again, I think I would do it the same way because I think that you're proving your business model by having to scrape together, by having to be scrappy, you know, by having to kind of make money to grow to grow money, right? Rather than be like, you know, I have a million dollars and I'm gonna start this clothing company, Oh well, let's hire these influencers, let's hire the thing and let's order, you know, three containers full of product from china and you do all this stuff and you launch a product and it's crickets, no one buys it, right, because you haven't proved the model, whereas if you went the other way around and you, you built that revenue, you're proving the model and you're learning business. So if you're somebody new, you're learning how to grit through all this stuff rather than just being handed money, uh, and then, and then, you know, sinking the ship. So going back to your analogy of, you know, being the captain of your ship, who are the, the, who are, who are the, the first mates on your ship and how do you know when to throw them overboard. Yeah, You know, when you, when you have a business and you start, it starts to grow, you definitely need help and that's, that's another line that like as an entrepreneur one needs to cross over from being this entrepreneur to having maybe a bigger team and um I dragged my feet on that one for a really, really long time because again freedom was like, as I said, it was my number one value and I honestly did not want the responsibility of like other people or employees, so I still work just with contract workers. So I, I don't have any employees myself, but I do have contract workers and you know the, I would say the, you know, I have the team in Indonesia, you know who's making my clothes and I have a manager there and he's like absolutely critical to me and then I have the team in the US who, who's helping me with, um I have an inventory inventory manager, um there, then there's the, you know the listings and you know the keywords and then there's the ads and there's all, you know, there's so much different things to be doing for the business. I really try to um not hire too many people and to keep it as lean as I possibly can keep it because again, profitability is my most important value and and freedom along with it, but team management is, is hard and I honestly don't know if I've really nailed it yet and again, there's there's different ways to look at it. I don't know if, you know the book traction, for example, um that, that's a book who really talks about basically hiring and having employees rather than contract workers because you need a vision and people around that vision to build a vision. So there's, there's so many different ways to build a business, I suppose, and then you have to, again, it goes back to that empty time and it goes back to what it is you really, really want. Do you want a billion dollar business with a big team and to exit, is that what you really want? So you have to keep going back to what it is that you really want and then creating your business around that and you know, I've gone off track of that many times. I remember, you know, a few years back like, oh my God, I've become like an Excel spreadsheet human, like that's all I did, I felt like and it really, you know, in page ranking and all of that, and that just wasn't my strength and I was hating my business and I was, you know, it was weekends and you know, it was starting to look like that and uh I went to a conference, I went to a workshop from Ali Brown, she's one of my mentors, somebody I suggest people follow, especially if you're a woman entrepreneur and I remember going to her workshop and meeting at the time, I had not crossed over seven figures and I remember meeting other people there who had and who was able to run their business on 10 or 20 hours a week and I was like I want that, you know because again freedom, freedom, freedom, this is what I want And what I realized what I had to do to do that first of all is to understand what all the operations are and what all the tasks are to run my business. So I had of course correct, but it's not like you just go, okay I'm going to decide to work 20 hours a week, you have to do this systematically and for me what that meant and this is one of the best exercises anyone could possibly do is create an operations list and what that means is in excel to have each task that needs to be done in your business in there, who is doing it at the time and you know and what is it and you, You know once I did the operations list, I had, I don't know I had something like at least 300 tasks or something like that that needs to be done in my business and my name was in almost all of those slots of who is doing it. So it was from that moment and and seeing what was possible from these other women running multiple seven figure business is understanding if I need to change anything, it's not just like you just change it, there's a system to change it. And what that meant is operations, understanding one's operations, understanding what you do, what you want to do and who you could maybe hire to do it and this is a work in progress Alright. I am working on my operations list every, I would say every definitely every quarter and fine tuning this. I like that. So um yeah, one of the things, I mean I think a lot of people now, especially with the covid thing, you know, way more people working from home and I think that remote teams are actually growing in terms of popularity rather than declining, right? I feel like there's so many people like yourself like myself who who value kind of the freedom aspect of working for yourself. They don't want build themselves a giant billion dollar corporation where they've just built themselves a corporate job which is what they were trying to avoid in the first place. Right? So uh you know, if you decide that you know how like how much money is worth it for you, right? I mean can you survive off of 203 150,000 whatever it is, you know, so many people put um you know a a number up that they need to hit in order to quote unquote beyond happy. But sometimes that sometimes that number is is you know doesn't mean a thing unless you go back to some of the personal development stuff and and really get clear on what's going to make yourself happy. So you know, if you're if you're valuing freedom and flexibility, building yourself a billion dollar or $100 million business might not be the right path for you. So I think that's a good point in terms of getting really clear with that. Um The other thing that I would love for you to kind of talk about is in the beginning you were talking a little bit about your core values, things like that. Um I think that and this is just my perception of what I'm seeing in the world but that a lot more people now are buying rather than buying brands, they're buying from people uh that they share kind of some core values with. Um and then trust right, we're kind of making a full circle. I feel like in terms of people are so tired of the corporate, you know of the of the Walmarts of the world and even the amazons of the world, a lot of people don't understand which I just saw that amazon put a little tag on, if you browse a listing that's a local business, it'll actually put local business like on the product page which I thought is super cool. Um but I also feel like they amazon needs to promote small business a little bit more because they are replacing the mom and Pops right? Like the mom and pop close shop on the corner is being replaced by these online stores and a lot of people don't like amazon or walmart or you know, or these giant corporations which I kind of agree. But what they don't realize is a lot of the business that's going on there is supporting uh, the smaller, you know, Mom and pop, you know, some mom and Pops are doing 78 figures. But um, you know, these small businesses who exist there. I would love to see a little bit more of that. But talk about in terms of of you know, core values for yourself and how that kind of plays into your business and what you're what you're doing. You know, this is the world is like, I mean the world is always changing but we're in some serious change at the moment and people need authenticity. They are being so much more discerning about who they're doing business with, where they're getting their products from. You know what the background story is. People are sick of being sold to, they're sick. They're just sick of all the crap. Um, and this is going to get stronger and stronger. So core values who you are, what your brand is really about why you started your brand. These are the things that customers are are more and more interested in. I today sent out an email, my email to my customer list. I've always in the past been like nervous to share too many personal things with them. And today, you know I shared much more personal things like you know I had my husband quit his job, we just traveled in nine countries. I wrote a book like I was sharing like these personal things that have absolutely nothing to do with that. And then received responses like wow great email because I was being like real with people, so being real with people no matter what kind of business you have, if your culture, whether you're selling products, this is beginning to be like more important than ever. Um And and also beyond that, we're also all sick of living lives in our own lives, like it's it's so time for everyone to um connect with their spirits again with their with their inner self, whatever you wanna call it, their higher self, their their feminine nature, their you know, whatever you want nature, nature, whatever you wanna call it. Um And and get back to what's real and what's really super super duper important to you. Um And that and and I guess what I'm saying is like your core values and business and your business is not separate. And I think in the past things used to be separate, like you had your personal life and then maybe you went to your job right? And the two were like didn't really relate any longer, that world is kind of over. Um And it's crumbling before we see it. All right. I mean, in all ways we need like a holistic way of living anymore. Uh, and and that means really having the time and the quiet time to know what it is you really want, taking care of yourself and those that are important to you and and living the values that are meaningful to you and in your business too. Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, once again, I love recommending books because I've read so many, but start with the y or start with why I think it is Simon cynic um is a great book and and their whole premise of that book is, you know, that, that the most successful companies in the world kind of started with a vision and uh kind of a a or a I guess, you know there why was it was never cloudy, It continues to to always be clear. Um, and it was a really interesting book. It was kind of more, you know, slated towards bigger companies, you know, when I was listening to it, but I did take a lot out in terms of, you know, one of the things that, you know, you struggle with sometimes is like, oh, well, you know, you get a gut feeling when you're working with someone like they're just not right, right, They're just not right in terms of, you know, uh, I don't know how to describe it, but you probably know what I mean in terms of you just have a gut feeling that like, you know, working with this person is not going to benefit me and um I think that, you know, you really need to, you know, sometimes there's a, you know, a lot of talk about fire your customer, right? I think that it's, that's really important because I think that um you can't be afraid to say no to business, right? Because if it's not going to align with your vision, your core values, uh kind of what you're up to. Um I think that it's almost an obligation to to um to fire your customer to make sure that you're doing business with people who are once again, you know, up to what you're up to. So um in this book, start with why they talk a lot about Apple. Um I don't think Apple, Apple is a saintly company. Um but it's it is an interesting dynamic in terms of, you know, almost the cult following that Apple's had for so many years. Um I would say that kind of died off with steve jobs, but still really, really interesting. Um So yes, definitely uh it's not gonna work anymore having one personal value and then it, and then your job or something is against that personal value. I mean, listen, there's times we have to do what we have to do, but it's the world, the way the world is going, this is gonna work less and less and less and if you are starting a new business then um you need more than ever to know like how you are serving your customer and, and, and that is the absolute most important thing, who your audience is, who he is, who she is and what problem you're, you're helping them with their solving with them and appreciating them because that is all we really have and then showing who you are as a brand owner and your why, like you're saying um start with your why that they understand your why as well and what you're trying to do, it's it's almost again like things are just not separated anymore, it's all the same like your home life and your business life and your inner life and your outer life all needs to be following the same values that you have. Yeah, absolutely, so um you know, you were talking before we started how, you know, your, your main kind of focus and what you're doing a lot of work with our, you know, female entrepreneurs um what are kind of some of the main challenges um in terms of having this this journey as an entrepreneur um in in the the female side of things, which I know is a minority in terms of um you know, startups and and you know uh the just the entrepreneurial journey, you know, okay, when I heard this statistic, I was like what, and it goes like this, that only 90% of women entrepreneurs business owners do revenues of over 100,000 year, that's it, that's like crazy, right? 10% of women entrepreneurs have revenues of over 100,000. I mean I was like stunned when I heard that statistic and actually when it comes to seven figures it's 3%, so something is really off here that women business owners are not really building businesses that are financially successful and there's many, many, many reasons for this um you know, motherhood and ideas of this type of jobs women should be in and and there's there's a myriad of reasons, but the fact is this has to change and I very much want to help inspire women to make this change a lot of it, I really, I think has to do with women's relationship with money and how comfortable they are around money. Talking about money and saying they actually love money and want money because this is something that women are kind of trained not ever to say or talk about, it's kind of okay for a guy to make a lot of money and talk about money and be a money guy, but it's not cool for a girl to be like, you know, a woman money person, it's like somehow somehow it's off and because of this um almost like shame alright around wanting to be a successful money making entrepreneur, I believe this mindset is really inhibiting women to be building successful businesses um and so that's why I think women, you know, even though there's there's the same skill set needed to build a successful business as a, as a man and as a woman, a woman is needs even more I believe of the mindset work in order to step into that role because you start to wonder like, you know, she has to look at her identity as well, because you know for example an identity of a man to make a lot of money is sort of like that's what most people think an identity of a man is supposed to be, take care of their family and all of that, it isn't really the identity of a woman in general, still in our world and so when she begins to be successful um and and does more money than her husband, right, or partner or like you know, or much more money than you know her friends and things like this, it changes the identity as well, so these are the other issues that women entrepreneurs deal with, that men entrepreneurs do not deal with, I love that, because to me that is a empowering way of looking at it rather than, you know, oh well societies is you know, not not catering to to women in the workforce, which I'm not saying that's not the case at all, but I feel like in terms of uh you know what kind of message or what kind of mindset you're going to have uh moving forward is, what you're talking about to me is you know, changing the the personal belief rather than what other people think right, and I think that's super, super powerful, that that is like how I did it really, you know, because my story was was that I, you know, I grew up in a family where like the men are supposed to make the money and the women, you know, my mom had even had her own business, so it wasn't like not supposed to work, but it wasn't that important. And I grew up that way. And so I grew up like expecting my husband to make more of the money and for him to buy the dream house and all of that, and the way my my mindset was over years and years of that was that um you know, because you know, I'm the freedom person alright, I'm the one who wants to live like this, I don't want to give up my freedom and he's the one who's supposed to be working hard and being successful in all of that, that's not my job. And what I realized was that was a false belief, mindset belief that was based in my money story as growing up in my family, but it really wasn't based in any reality or truth, and once I started to realize, you know what I would like to make more money, I want to be more successful and I admitted to myself this secret that I wanted to make more money. It was like a secret that I got forbid I ever told anybody because it didn't it seem greedy or unfeminine or whatever you want to label it as when I finally became honest like this is what I want. Um that's when everything completely changed for me and that was the secret to where I am now is really having a mindset shift, what was possible and also I was also fearful that being successful was going to take away my freedom. That was my other fear, you know because I was so into freedom. Um and what I have found is the opposite alright that that's not true either being successful does not actually take away one's freedom or ability to go to a retreat or taking a lot of vacations or you know whatever freedom means or waking up when you want to or if you learn systems, if you learn Operations, if you run, if you're, if you run your business and you keep learning, you know, it's not about being, if you're smart, if you keep learning then you could build a business where you have a seven figure business and you are working 20 hours a week, this is so incredibly possible. Uh and that was a mindset belief that I had to change because I thought that wasn't true, I thought it meant I was going to be working 40 hours and never having my freedom. And I found out that that thought came from a fear that I had not from any truth. Yeah. So one of the things for me since we're kind of still in the mindset and I like that as my journey goes on. I feel like you know, these are my, some of my favorite episodes where we talked mostly about mindset because like I said to me, uh, you know, not knowing this to later in life, I felt was a huge detriment. But um you know, one of one of my coaches and mentors, you know, his thing was always garbage in garbage out, right? I'm one of those people who used to watch the news every day. Um, you know big into like watching politics and geopolitics and you know what's Russia doing today and you know all this stuff and you know really what I started to turn that off more and you know, go with more positivity and more, you know what I'm up to instead of like watching the world implode around me, which is honestly when you really step back and look at it pretty worthless right? Unless you know, unless you get the civil defense warning of a missile coming your way. You know, that's something you would pay attention to. But you know, everything today is so fear based and and you're worried about everything. So it's like that's what your your daily concentration is on. It's such a waste of energy. So my last thought for me is is be done with the garbage, you know, turn off the real housewives of Orange County, turn off your netflix and you know, go on Youtube and watch things like one of my favorite channels these days called mo diversity and it's literally, you know, some of the best minds in the world where they talk about discipline and mindset and waking up early and and hustling and having grit and all these things where you know, spend two hours a night watching that rather than the stupid, you know, next next episode of whatever garbage you're binging on right now and I promise you give it 30 days and you'll see such a big change in your life. Uh so Leslie on that note, kind of wrap it up, kind of what are, what are your last feelings in terms of of, you know, entrepreneurship, you know, how what people should do if they're if they're just starting out, you know, just a few quick tips and then last but not least let people know, you know where they can find you, you know, get, I would say get honest with yourself, like get really, really honest and again to get honest, you need to get quiet and and learn how to get quiet, like what that means to you. So journaling for example, a lot of women like to journal being out in nature meditation um petting your animal just quiet times a retreat if you can do it, find out what it is that you really, really want and don't do anything and don't start a business because of any idea of what you think you're supposed to be doing, do it because it's something because you can't not do it. I think that's the best way. If you want to be an entrepreneur it's going to be because you can't not be an entrepreneur because the alternative to that is not acceptable to you, so really go and become honest with what it is that you really really, really want, know that there is help out there and you will need it, I promise you you will need it. There's a lot of free help out there, there's so much free help out there. My God you can get confused with how much free help but honestly get yourself when you can a consultant or a mentor. Again someone who is where you want to be and was where you are right now so get the help and continue to be what I like to call an unquenchable learner Alright this that the successful people out there are the ones who are the most humble who will say they don't really know what they're doing exactly and this is the most honest place to be and it's the place where you will be the most successful and you'll be successful because you will learn things, you will go to motive er city, which I'm going to check out, thank you very much, um you know, you will hire the mentor, you will get into other mastermind groups, you will read books and you will take courses and that is the way to go and there is no end result, you know, I know, I will think the end result is, we're going to hit six figures, seven figures, eight figures and result exit, you know, it's really like being an entrepreneur is like being in the University of Life and it's the self development process of it, that is really is really what it's all about, there is absolutely no end result in it, I love that and and let people know where they can find you and what you're up to. Yeah, totally, so please, um for my clothing, women out, there are guys who want to buy their, their, their partners something back from bali, and best place to reach me is on amazon, so just check amazon back from bali or my website back from bali dot com and in terms of learning about entrepreneurship, I have a great book called seven sabotaging mistakes most women entrepreneurs make, so do check that out and you'll find that on my personal website, which is my name, Leslie kuester dot com, I have lots of free content, their videos blog, that's amazing, I love that you're kind of paying it forward in terms of, you know, it's funny, you know, a lot of people get slack for digital courses and books and things like that and you know at least in the amazon world, you know, a lot of people get tagged with like this false guru thing and things like that, and there are definitely those out there, I've run into them for sure, but there are lots of great resources out of there out there, a lot of great people who are just trying to pay it forward and those of you listening to this, if you feel like that's what we're doing here, I'd love if you guys rate review subscribe, you know, let people know about the podcast, we have Leslie uh on here and and so many other great guests and thank you guys so much for listening. Leslie, thank you so much for being on this was an awesome, awesome episode. I like how you know sometimes I I craft the episode, I kind of do an outline in this one, I didn't and I swear these are always the best ones because you kind of go down the rabbit hole and and kind of let the ideas flow and come up with something at the end. That's pretty amazing, so thank you so much. Um and uh as usual everyone who joins us live lad, thank you so much for being here if you want to join us live, we do this every Tuesday one pm pacific time, sell around table dot com forward slash live. We'll see you next time on the seller roundtable. Thanks thanks for tuning in, join us every Tuesday at one p.m. pacific standard time for live Q and a and bonus content after the recording at cellar Roundtable dot com, sponsored by the ultimate software tool for amazon sales and growth seller S c o dot com and amazing at home dot com.