Buy my new book – ‘Bring Your Product Idea to Life’

To celebrate passing the 200th episode of Bring Your Product Idea To Life, I decided to catch  up with past guests, to see what happened next in their product business, and where they are now.

Today’s guests were all on my podcast in 2021. It’s fascinating hearing where their business has taken them, the highs and lows, and how their advice for other product business owners has changed over the years.

One of the main messages that came out of it was the importance of perseverance, how businesses naturally evolve, building your range and being willing to pivot when needed.

The Bring Your Product Idea to Life Podcast  – Best Business Podcast Award, Independent Podcast Awards 2023

USEFUL RESOURCES:

2021 Podcast Episode 47 – Ruth Bussey – Ink and Scribbles

Ink and Scribbles Website

Ink and Scribbles Instagram

2021 Podcast Episode 57 – Joe Shortt – Trip Clip

TripClip Website

TripClip Instagram

2021 Podcast Episode 59 – Vanessa Afful – MBPH Aromatherapy

Made By Pure Hands Website

MBPH Aromatherapy Instagram

2021 Podcast Episode 71 – Nancy Powell – Herd Bags

Herd Bags Website

Herd Bags Instagram

2021 Podcast Episode 73 – Silvina De Vita – My Papercut Forest

My Papercut Forest Website

My Parpercut Forest Instagram

2021 Podcast Episode 84 – Creating and selling planners – with Janet Murray

Janet Murray Website

Janet Murray Instagram

2021 Podcast Episode 88 – Why your product needs to be on Amazon – with Cara Sayer, Snooze Shade

SnoozeShade Website

SnoozeShade Instagram

2021 Podcast Episode 89 – How to make wholesale work – with Sasha Gupta, Cheeky Zebra

Cheeky Zebra Website

Cheeky Zebra Instagram

This podcast was sponsored by Tonbridge Accountants

“Welcome to Tonbridge Accountants, where creativity meets clarity in business finance. 

Wendy and Laughton are not just accountants; they’re your partners in navigating the complexities of business finance. 

We simplify VAT, corporation tax, and crucial cash flow management, guiding you through decisions like company purchases or setting up a new business.

Our approach is personal. 

We work closely with creative entrepreneurs, providing a virtual finance office that ensures you have the financial support and clarity your business needs to thrive. 

With us, it’s more than accounting; it’s about empowering your creative venture with strategic financial insights.

Tonbridge Accountants is the partner you need to unlock financial clarity and freedom, allowing you to focus on what you do best: creating. 

We’re the missing piece in your creative journey, ready to transform your business finance into a strength.”

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Transcript
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Hi. Welcome to this week's episode. So a few weeks ago,

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you might remember that I released an episode where I caught up with four of

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my earliest podcast guests. So these were guests who joined me when the

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podcast first started back in 2020. So four years ago

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now. And we just celebrated the podcast's four year

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anniversary. In case you missed it, this was episode

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206, so if you didn't listen, you can go back and find it.

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And I had some really great feedback on this episode. It went down so well,

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in fact, that I decided that I would reconnect with some guests from

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2021 for you as well. I was really excited to

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speak with all of eight of these guests. Yes, eight. So not four this time.

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I actually was able to find time to record with

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even more guests from 2021. It was great to speak to them

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to find out what they're up to today, and importantly, whether their number

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one piece of advice for other product creators, which is the question I ask every

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single guest at the end of every single episode, has changed three years

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on. So the first guest we're catching up with today is Ruth

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Bussy. From Ink and Scribbles, Ruth creates emotional intelligence,

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workbooks, journals, and printable resources for children. Ruth was

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our first guest who sold both physical and digital products,

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and I'm really excited for you to hear Ruth's updates and her number one

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piece of advice for you three years on. Hi, Ruth.

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Thank you so much for joining me again. Thank you for having me. Oh, it's

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so nice to get to catch up. So I would love to know what has

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changed with your business since we last spoke back in 2021.

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I would say that it's gone much more

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digital than it was in 2021. So in

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2021, I did have digital items, but

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was more focused, sort of on the physical books that I was

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creating. So I think obviously because of COVID and

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everything kind of being more difficult during that time, it kind of

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pushed me down that path. But what I also find for me

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and what I do and what I create and what knowledge I share,

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digital is a much easier and faster way to

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get that out to people. So I've got hundreds of

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items that are now available to people, which is much harder to sort

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of package up in a physical item. So digital is

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definitely gone more down that road. I've also done

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more training, so I have diversified into service

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offerings as well. And I think it's

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just changed with me as I've grown myself, my own personal

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development, and also my kids needs because they've obviously changed over the years

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and they have. So it's sort of, you know, the business

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started up with my daughter and her needs and her anxiety, and

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she's in a much more different place. She's a teenager now, so she's got different

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kind of issues and we've come a long way for her. But

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I've also got my son now, who obviously presents different challenges that he

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needs support with. So they've sort of guided

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the way that the business has kind of developed as well. So, yeah, I'd say

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those three things are definitely the way that it's changed. Well, thank you for

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sharing all of that. And to be honest, I'm not surprised when you say that

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it's gone more digital. You were actually the first guest I had on who was

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selling a mix of digital and physical products. And I remember we

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spoke in our first interview about sort of the logistics of getting them

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print and bound and sent out to people, which I

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guess maybe looking back, does that seem like hard

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work when you think, how are you doing? Yeah, I started off doing it myself,

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which was just really time consuming. It's just very limiting.

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So then went off to find printers and

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that was much quicker. But then I'm a bit of a perfectionist,

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so they come out and then I'm looking through, and they're not all perfect.

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Some of them got dense. There's issues with a page is in

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the wrong place, all of those sorts of logistical things,

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which. Yeah, I just don't. I just don't deal well

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with that on a personal sort of stress level. I'm just. I just like it

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to be straightforward and easy. So, yeah, so the digital.

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And, like, I can just churn out loads. I can just. I've just got. So

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I've still got loads and loads of ideas of things to create for people. So

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a digital makes it much easier for me to put that out there.

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And as you say, it also makes it so much easier for customers because often

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if you're looking for a solution, you don't want to wait, you know, three, four

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days for it to come in the. I know that's not a long time, but

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do you know what I mean? In the world where we live in now, people

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just want things quickly and that's what's really nice. And it's more

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sustainable, of course, because you're not having to print that stuff

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as well. You know, there's much less waste. People can print it, you know, as

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many times as they want because some of the. Well, a lot of the things

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I produce actually are very reusable. And obviously, when

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children have, um, you know, an emotional challenge that

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they're going through, they don't. It's just not a one off, is it? You know,

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you need to keep going and going and going and teaching them the

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same lesson over and over so it can be used over and over again.

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So, yeah, I don't find that the digital nature limits me at

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all. I. I think, um, you know, not, not everybody has

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printers, but it's really easy to get things printed anywhere. You can

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take it to the local library. People have, obviously, their work

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offices, or you can just get it, you know, uploaded and printed and

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sent to you from an online printer as well. So I don't think that holds

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it back. No, definitely not. And also, it means you can print out, you know,

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what you want. Because I think that's the other thing, isn't it? I sometimes get.

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I sometimes get these downloads and I only want to print one or two pages,

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if you see what I mean. Because some of it, you think, I could just

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read that on screen, but actually this bit I need the printed version of. So

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I think that's really nice as well. And as you say, there's that flexibility around

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how many copies you need and. Yeah, I think that's all really. Yeah, I think

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the world's going that way. Yeah, definitely. Oh, thank you for

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giving us the update. The second question I have for you, Ruth, is I would

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love to know, what is your number one piece of advice for other product

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creators? Do you know what? I just think it's just got to be

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perseverance. It just. It just

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takes time. You know, you've got to be prepared to

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take different pathways. You know, you've set yourself

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out and you just think you're going to go down this one path and then

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obviously obstacles appear and you have to pivot and

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change and also your ideas develop and you start. Well,

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what I have found personally is that you start off with something and you think

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it's amazing. And then six months, a year down the line, you look at

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it again and you don't look at it quite the same way. You know, that

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it could do with an update, you know, it could do with.

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Yeah, a bit of a refresh. So I just

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think, just perseverance. I think when you

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persevere over a long period of time, like I've been

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going quite a few years now, you know, you

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just, you look back and the journey is just so obvious then that

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you start off with all this sort of

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idea of what you want. It to be and then where you actually are

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now and when you look back is entirely different from where you

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thought you might be when you started out. Does that make sense? It does. And

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as you say, I think that's actually really, really nice.

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Yeah. Yeah. But it's not, it's not all kind of just on a

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straight road, you know, it's, yeah, the path is winding.

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And that you can see progress as well because that's something that I'm realizing

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that as I'm doing sort of these interviews that everyone I speak to has been

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a couple of years on and things have changed and it's all for the whole,

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it's not always all positive. I know there's ups and downs, but you

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can definitely see like a, a journey like you say. And I think that's

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sometimes really good just to reflect because I think in our businesses it can be

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really tempting to think, oh, I haven't made any progress or I'm not.

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You know, you can feel stuck sometimes. So I think it's really good to look

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back. Yeah. And legit. You know, it's real. It's really an up and

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down journey, you know? You know, having your own business and

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creating your own products and, you know, there are days where you just

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think, oh, you know, this isn't going anywhere. So when

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you look back at it over a longer period of time, you look back and

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you think, oh, yeah, you know, I've come a long way. There's a lot of

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changes that's been made. I'm not where I thought I would be, but

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actually, you know, where I am right now is really good. So.

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Yeah, pat on the back, that's a. Really nice, positive

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night to end on. Thank you so much, Reeve. No problem.

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I really hope that you enjoyed hearing Ruth's update. Next up

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is Joe Shortt from Tripclip. Jo is the creator of Tripclip, which is a

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unique travel retail product. In our initial interview,

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Jo spoke about the process and challenges of designing, prototyping and

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manufacturing a completely original product. And let's see what

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advice he has for you now a few years on.

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So. Hi, Jo. Thank you so much for speaking with me again. No

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problem. Great to hear from you. Yeah, it's been a long time. So

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I would love to know. So what's changed for you and

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Tripclip since we last spoke? So

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TripClip has had,

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it's had its fair share of ups and its fair share of downs

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and it's been really interesting getting

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it to market. But I think products now

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that I know what's involved. I think you can get a product to

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market pretty easily.

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If it's cheaper than maybe the market leader, you might have some chance. If it's

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as new as trip clip, the marketing that I would need behind

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it just. It's a bottomless pit. You know, it would

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be just money. Nobody, especially getting it to market.

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The money's sewn up anyway. So

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yeah, I'm back working full time as a chef and TripClip is,

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is kind of my, you know, full time on my job, part time on

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my fortune instead of the other way around. But

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it's been really interesting to say the

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least. Anyone I meet just thinks the products insane.

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I've got two or three other designs. So

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the TripClip, the travel pro, is quite complex to

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make and can be seen as quite expensive.

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But the other two models that I've invented should be

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around 18 euro and the other one's 9.99. But I have

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no money left to get them. To get them to exist.

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So the only one that exists is the travel pro. And

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yeah, it's just been, it's been a lot of juggling,

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a lot of. Thankfully, I don't know any, any banks.

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It was all our own money. So I mean,

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I just couldn't imagine the stress of the strains of, of

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banks sending you these warning letters. And

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so I'm happy we've almost a two

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year old. He's a lot of fun. He'll be two in June.

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So been back working is great for

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my head because it's obviously my profession for

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30 years, so I can do it with my eyes closed. And

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TripClip is just in the background for now.

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Well, thank you so much for the update. And I have to say, I was

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really, I think I said before we started recording, I was really surprised by your

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update because when we last spoke, obviously people weren't traveling and

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it was quite a difficult time. A couple of years on, I genuinely thought

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everyone would have a TripClip because they are. And I'm not just saying

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this, but you know, I have one. I think it's so useful.

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So, yeah, I have to say. So I was surprised

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and what's, I mean, do you have any thoughts on,

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on why it hasn't taken off? Do you think it's the marketing that would be

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needed to get it widely known because it is so unique, as you said

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then that is really hard. Like the more I look at it, like first

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to market usually is a graveyard for products and then the big boys

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come in and see your idea and steal it. But

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maybe if I had a million sold or, you

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know, if it was more well known, the big boys might come and try

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and, you know, buy my. The dream would be license it off me or

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buy my patents, you know, but,

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yeah, I mean, I'm not that comfortable on social media and things. If I was

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a bit younger and comfortable doing it, maybe if

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I did something every day for the last few years, like the.

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The sales still exist. They're just not. They're not strong enough for me

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not to. Not to do something else. Because in the background you've

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got your trademarks and your patents at the moment

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to update them and things. It's all

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money. You know, I had investors lined up and things, but,

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you know, things just fall over and some days I play around

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the golf and somebody wants to invest and then the next day

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it's just. It's just all mad.

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I mean, a good influencer would. I'd probably sell. If they

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were big enough, I'd probably sell 100,000 units and with

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one good influencer, but, like, what they would cost me, I

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don't have. You know, they might cost me 100,000,

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but I might sell 100,000. That would be a euro

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a unit, which is nothing. But you'd have to have

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100,000 upfront and then it's. Nothing's a guarantee. You know, some

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people have said they've come onto my website and they were uncomfortable purchasing because it's

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so new. They were like, is it a scam? You know, I have

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striped payments. Nothing to do with me. You know, when you. When you buy something,

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you don't. You go off my website. Other people said it's a bit

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pricey and what they do is they go straight on to wish to look for

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the copycat for a fiverr. So, like, you

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can't win. No, it's really hard. And I'm sorry to hear it

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say hard. Yeah. I mean, originally you set up

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Amazon for me. That's been an absolute nightmare. They

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deactivated my account because they didn't have a UK VAT

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registration number, which I've taken me 18 months to get. And I got

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it yesterday. They gave me my VAT number yesterday, but my, my

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Amazon listing still deactivated. So

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they are an absolute nightmare

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to work with, to deal with. Oh, my God, they are

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absolutely. Yeah, that's kind of my life at the moment,

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Joe. I may have had strong sales. Like, I'd really love to go

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the Amazon route and FBI and still work away as a chef and

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the better, you know, to just send in the product, let them take

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their coat, let them be maybe a fiver unit for me

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and sort of reduce what I

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do professionally and go at it more. So I think the

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reviews on Amazon would have been brilliant,

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but I have it sus, now I'm going to work on

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it in the background. Just let it trickle away. So full

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time on my job and part time on my fortune

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for now. Brilliant. Thank you for updating

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me. And the second thing I'd love to know is based

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on all of your experience, because you have a lot, what would your number one

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piece of advice be for other product creators?

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Yeah. It is 1 million times

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harder than you think it's going to be. You've no

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idea. You've no idea because you think you can focus solely

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on this and like so many things happen

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in families and around you that,

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you know, when you're 100% on something,

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so much so you've no idea, you do a business plan, you think, yeah, yeah,

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yeah. You have this timeline and everything and life

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happening around you is just, you know, hopefully it's all good, but

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when it is, you know, when it is bad,

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it's just, it's, it's just nearly impossible to juggle everything.

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So your product or whatever may fail

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due to, well, financial

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finances for one. But yeah,

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it's, it's 1 million times harder than

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anybody is going to think that they're going to. If you think. If you think

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you're going to work for yourself and you're going to go off into the sunset

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in 18 months, it's 24 hours a day, seven days a

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week. You won't sleep, you won't eat

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and everything else goes on the back burner. So I just think it's,

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if I was doing it again, me being me, I would do it, but

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it's too much of a sacrifice. I would tell you almost

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anybody to just, if you have good money and

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a good job, maybe look into it, but just

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don't, don't leave something to do something.

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Definitely. Thank you very much for that,

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Joe. Not at all.

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Thank you so much for having me on again. It was great to see the

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little email for an update and I love talking about it. I mean,

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I just, yeah, it's still my passion. It's

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just a lot harder than

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we first thought. Even when we first met, I was like, yeah, Amazon, that's the

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way to go. 1000 units a month. Happy days.

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You'll get that. I really hope

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you found Joe's update interesting. I next spoke with

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Vanessa Afful Made By Pure Hands. Vanessa is an aromatherapist

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who makes her own natural products. When we originally spoke, Vanessa shares

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how lockdown gave her the opportunity to really focus on her massage

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product range. So it's three years on. Let's see what's changed.

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So. Hi, Vanessa. Thank you for joining me again. Thank you. Lovely

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to be here. So it's been a while since we last spoke.

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I think it's been coming up to three years, if I've got that right. I

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would love to know. Yeah, that's a really long time. And I would love to

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know what has changed of your business since then. I'm sure a lot.

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Yeah, well, basically of. So, since we spoke, we were talking

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a lot about my products. And I have

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launched three ranges. Two sets of rollerballs, one

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called aromatherapy, for to soothe, which is

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a set of four relaxing rollerballs. And then that was done

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in. I think that was 2022. In

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2023, I launched another set of

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rollerballs, and that collection was called aromatherapy for

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success. And that's quite nice for

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focus, for mental clarity. So

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those types of rollerballs. And then I launched an essential oil

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blend, arrange for Christmas, and I'm just developing it now to take

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it into everyday use. Oh,

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that's amazing. Thank you. And how are these ranges going?

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Well, the first one I launched, because I think

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when I did my first interview with you, it was when I appeared on your

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podcast, I was talking about rollerballs, and they were really

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popular. And so the idea that people can just buy them

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from my website or at an event I'm doing has been

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really, really done really well. Particularly sweet

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dreams. I think people are struggling with sleep. So that's been one of the

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popular one from the soothing collection

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and then from the success collection. Get focused.

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Those are the two that are super popular. Also,

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I launched another. I did a collaboration with one of the rollerballs called

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Bee Happy. It's a Bee Happy gift set. So it comes with

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a crochet bee by another small business called Mockingbird

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Makes. And it's a Bee Happy rollerball,

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and it comes with a pack of seeds. So that was also

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really popular. And we like to bring that out for

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World Bee Day and things like that. So, yeah, that's a really nice one as

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well. That is really nice. And of course, I know Shannon because she was also

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a guest on this podcast. Yes. It's such a small

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world. Oh, so that's amazing. So other than your rollerballs,

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is there anything else that's going on at the moment? Yes. So

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basically I had been selling my rollerballs and all the new

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products on my website. So I actually opened up a website shop

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now. So you can, the bespoke products are still

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there, but you can also buy products just from

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the shop page. But I'm going to start doing my first sets of markets

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this year and my first one is going to be in July and that's going

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to be with the solo craft fair and we're going to be at the South

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Bank. Oh, amazing. Oh, so anyone who's

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local to London or visiting over the summer can come and see you? Yeah. So

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I'm really excited because it's my first market. Shannon

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has actually been helping me out, giving me lots of advice and

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how to set up and the solo craft fair have been amazing. So

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yes, I'm really looking forward to actually showcasing all my products

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there. That's really exciting. And I guess especially with your products being

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ones that are. So I'm trying to think of the. Right word for this, but

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obviously because they're scent based, it'd be really nice of people to be able to

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come along and actually smell the products and get a real sense for them

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because I think you've done amazingly well selling scented

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products online because I think that must be one of the hardest things to sell

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on a website that is. And I think the

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way that I've got around it is I put tester sticks on my site. So

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you can order free test sticks, you just pay for the

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postage. So there's any of the oils, rollerballs or

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oils you want to smell. I can then send out those samples to

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you. But yeah, it's a big challenge. I noticed that when

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I've done events, it's like in my

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clinic or things like that, people, when they smell the rollerballs, want to buy

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them more. So it is a bit harder to get to convey that

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on a website. So yeah, I'm really looking forward to getting out and meeting

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people and it's. Really exciting to hear about your testers though, because I don't know

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if you did that when we spoke before. So I think that's such a good

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idea. I did, I did them for the bespoke products because I started

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to get, I think because we were in lockdown, I started to get people who

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weren't local ordering bespoke products. So I was sending out tester

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sticks then, but now I now use them for the

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shop products as well. And so yeah, there's a few other things as well. I

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now do a rest and restore kit as well, which comes with an eye

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pillow and some lavender products from a local lavender field. So there's

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lots more that I'm doing and it's so nice to

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bring aromatherapy to get it out there. Well,

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that's amazing. And yeah, so much has gone on, but I guess, yeah, it

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has been a long time, but I always feel when I do this, it has

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been a long time, but it hasn't. If you see what. Absolutely.

Speaker:

Time has gone very quickly. So my second question

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for you, Vanessa, and I did ask you this first time round,

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but this isn't a test. You don't have to say the same thing because obviously

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things have changed in the last few years, is what would your number one piece

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of advice be for other product creators? I think

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being part of a community, I mean, initially for me,

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it was getting a mentor, which I did get, and someone helped me

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develop my products and I use somebody in the

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aromatherapy industry, an organization, so they

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helped me get my products out there. But I think in this current

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climate where things are, we are in the cost of living crisis as

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we record product business are struggling. I think

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the community is much needed because if you're out there by

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yourself, you may think that it's just your products or you're doing something wrong.

Speaker:

So being part of a community, great. There are

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so many great product based communities out there now, and I

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think being part of that really helps you deal with the

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stress and the anxiety that can happen when you are a product

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business. Thank you so much. I think that's great advice because you're absolutely

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right. I think whoever you are and whatever your situation, it's just nice

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to know there's other people experiencing similar things. You just

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feel so much less alone. Yeah. Well, thank

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you so much, Vanessa. So we're obviously going to link to your website in the

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show notes so people can come and see your new range of products as well

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as your bespoke ones. And hopefully you'll get some visitors from the

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podcast to your store in July as well. Oh, thank you so much,

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Vicky. It's so nice talking to you again. You do. Thank you.

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So, after speaking with Vanessa, my next guest to catch up with is

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Nancy Powell from heard bags. Heard makes hard working reusable

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bags from plastic water box bottles. Sustainability is really important

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to Nancy, and we spoke about that a lot during our first conversation,

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and I think you're going to be really interested to hear how that's fed into

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what she's doing now. So, hi again,

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Nancy. Thank you so much for catching up with me. My pleasure.

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So I would love to know what has changed since we last spoke.

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Oh, kind of everything and nothing, I suppose

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heard is moving forward, got good

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sales. It continues to do well

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and wholesale, particularly I

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think in the last couple of years with customers like design Museum,

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London and New York Museum of Modern Art. That's a really,

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really good niche that herds kind of dropped into.

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And those kind of wholesale customers are fantastic because it's sort

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of like a big order and it creates sort of a revenue

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stream that requires less labor than those sort of

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individual transactional customers. But so heard

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continues, but everything else around herd has very much changed

Speaker:

in the sense that I've gone back. I'm juggling it alongside

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a full time job now, which is something that was different to when

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we last spoke with my. Lots of things

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sort of drove that decision. My professional experience

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is corporate sustainability and there's a lot of demand

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for that in the, in the workplace. There was a

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time, there was a moment when my husband's work was looking

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uncertain. So we decided, okay, I'll go back

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into formal workplace and maybe we'll hedge our

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bets. We've now ended up sort of with full time, two full time

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jobs and a business to run, but all

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good stuff. And I've gone back to work in

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corporate sustainability, which also sort of has

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created another enormous workload, but also feeds and

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provides, I suppose, lots of the stimulation I have for thinking about

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my own business. I work for HP who sell

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tech and I suppose they are

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obviously a much larger business than me, but they're still a

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retail business. And so there's lots of things that I suppose stimulate my

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thinking in terms of what I can take into my own business and

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the different things I can do. But also I kind of, it does

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make me think more frequently what does the future look like? You know, is heard

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going to be something that I continue evolve, wrap into something

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else? I don't know. And I'm really taking my time to make that

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decision. Thank you so much for the update. I think your

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wholesale, you know where your stock now is, by the way. So exciting.

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Yes, I just think how amazing. So congratulations on

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that. Fantastic. I think your job as

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well comes as well. I don't say no surprise, but I mean,

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when we spoke before, we spoke so much. I don't know if you remember our

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conversation, it was years ago now, but we spoke so much about sustainability and it

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was clear just how important that is to

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you and Mister heard. So it's, you know, it seems like a

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very obvious sort of fit that you're doing that kind of

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work. Yeah. And I think, you know, it's an area that every

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organization is looking at in a lot more detail, not just

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for regulatory reasons, but for many others as well.

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And it's also, aside from the content, it's

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exciting being in work. It's sometimes exciting

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to go into an office, be in teams, meet

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people and have that stimulus. And again, that's

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something that feeds everything else in your life, doesn't it?

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So, yes, it's busy, very busy, but

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it's exciting. Absolutely. And I think, as you say, as well,

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like, there's the one danger of working by yourself for yourself is

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you can become a bit of a silo. And I guess what's really good is

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that, as you say, you're going out meeting people and you learn and hear different

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things. I think that that must all just feed into everything you're

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doing. It does. I think lots of people, lots of entrepreneurs I've

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met through herd are very natural networkers,

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connectors, and can create community

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of people around them. That is not a natural skill set that I

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have. And I think work almost gives me a sort of

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enforced network, gives me an enforced sort of

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need to communicate, to kind of get out of myself a bit. I'm

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very happy in my own company. So it's, you

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know, I think different people. I think there's so many people I've met who

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would never go back to the formal workplace because they feel

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liberated in their own space. I feel

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very happy sort of straddling both worlds, and we'll see how

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long I can keep it going. But at the moment it feels like

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it's really working for me. That's amazing. And I think, yeah, that's,

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you need to do what works for you, and what works for everyone is totally

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different. So that's amazing and thank you for sharing your update. Now,

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before I let you go, Nancy, I would love to know, my second question for

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you is, what would your number one piece of advice be for other product

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businesses? So this is a piece of

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advice that I was given very early on in my

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career, and it doesn't relate to product businesses, but it's something that I have

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reflected on a lot in running my product

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business, and that's make decisions, that successful people make

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decisions. And if they make bad decisions, they then make a different decision to

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take them out of that bad decision. But don't be a person who's

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afraid to make a decision, because if you're making decisions,

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you're moving forward and I think that sense,

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particularly when you're, you know, when you're driving your own business, that

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sense of momentum is what's required. You always need to

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feel like you're headed in a direction, and if it's the wrong direction,

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take a different decision, change direction, change trajectory, but

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make decisions and don't be a fence sitter.

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That's brilliant advice. Thank you so much, Nancy.

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I hope you found that as interesting as I did. So I have also

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caught up with Silvina Devita from my papercut forest, who I was

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really excited to finally meet in real life earlier this year and ask her

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in person if she'd like to come back onto the podcast. Silvina hand makes

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original artworks, and when we first spoke, she was Etsy team captain for

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Brighton. Silvina still sells on Etsy today, as you'll hear,

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but has some other very exciting updates, too.

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So. Hi, Silvina, thank you so much for talking with me again.

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Hi, Vicky, how are you? I'm really excited just to be here. Oh,

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thank you. And it was really lovely to see you in person at top draw

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earlier this year. And, yeah, really excited just to share what you've been

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up to in the last couple of years with everyone. Yes. Thank you so much

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for having me back. I mean, great.

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I'm still happy just to still be in business and it was so lovely to

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see at top drawer and to see familiar faces. So

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it was really nice. Thank you. So tell us

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all what's changed since we last spoke almost three years

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ago now. Yes, we were just thinking that we

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last, the last time we spoke was 2021. So

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lots changed in the past three

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years after kind of

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full start in 2020 with my wholesale. I think we

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had a little chat that I studied my wholesale on January

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2020, and of course

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then the world absolutely changed.

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But thankfully in 2022, I really

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pick up things and now

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wholesale is a big, big part of my business.

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I was really, really lucky

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just to get a grant from the department

Speaker:

of international trade last year to

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do my first international trade show in New

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York. So in February

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2023, I went with my brand for the first

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time to New York, to New York now,

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and it was fantastic. And this year

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it February. Last month I went again for second time

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and it was phenomenal. So definitely the

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wholesale really grow and now have an

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international market. And then that means now that I'm

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employing two people who can

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work with me and they're both moms, they are incredibly

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amazing. I wouldn't know what to do without them. So,

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so yeah, it's been a lot of changes

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since 2021. Yeah, very good.

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That is a lot of change. And so the people who work for you

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now, what are they doing? Are they doing the making or other parts of your

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business? So they work like part

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time because as well they have their own business and that's what I think. I

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love that they are business owners as well.

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So it kind of works in some symbiosis. You know,

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we both like work each other, sorry, help each other, you know,

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in the work. So they

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sometimes help me packing when we have massive orders

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as well. Another one of

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them as well helped me a little bit with the admin, but we're

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rolling these kind of branches that basically as well

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they, we all branch. So then I can help them with

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their business. So I feel like, you know, it's just

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not only they just come and do the job, but I

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really want them, you know, to succeed in their own businesses.

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And what I can bring is just experiences of being doing this for twelve

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years and they kind of started maybe two years ago. So

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yeah, it worked really well. That does work really well.

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That's really nice. And that also leads me on to the other thing I wanted

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to ask if you were still doing because I think this ties in so nicely

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is are you still the lead for Etsy in Brighton?

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I stepped down in December after five

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years. That was, you know, five

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years long time and it just

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needed change. And also my team, the

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leaders that they were just doing it with me as well, we were five of

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us, we all decided to step down as a team. So we

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give the opportunity to other team and other people just to lead.

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But also, you know, after five years it feels that we as

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well needed just to take time for our own businesses. You know,

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me and the four leaders, our business was growing

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and we just needed just to take time, just to kind of maybe focus a

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little bit more. But absolutely still, you know, with the

Speaker:

community, I'm really interested in

Speaker:

the local businesses and what's happening recently.

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I've been invited to ECHQ, I think last week or

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a week ago, so still involved

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in the Etsy as a market and I'm really interested in how

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just to get the best for the platform, for other sellers

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as I think it's a great way for selling if you

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are a product business. Absolutely. And I can see

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why after five years why you would have felt the need to step down because

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it must have been such a big time commitment for you. Absolutely.

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And we were all like doing it pro bono. We

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were just doing it for free, like no one. And that's.

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We did absolutely fine and with all our heart. But it gets to the

Speaker:

time in some point, after five years, when, you know, with your

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families and the children and all the things with life,

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we felt that, okay, it's time just to, you know, as a unit

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or step down as well. So, still running

Speaker:

with lovely, lovely people, a lovely team is running it now and

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still going and doing socials and events. It's just.

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Yeah, we needed a little bit of a change. Well, thank you for updating

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all of that. And so my second question for you, Sylvaina, is what would

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your number one piece of advice be for other product creators?

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Well, I have three. Yeah,

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of course. Three advice, which I think it is really important.

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I'm going just to be concise. I think the number one will be,

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know your numbers. If you have a business,

Speaker:

you must be doing profit. And if you're not doing profit,

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it's a very expensive hobby. I say this to, like,

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all my friends who own

Speaker:

small businesses, you know, like, you need to know the cost of each

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product and how much you're doing in each sale. You know, it's

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very, very important to work your costs regularly. Maybe just

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check if there's other provider that can give you, I don't know, a better

Speaker:

price on boxes. So go back to them. Hey, can you just do a

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price for me? I think it's very important, the communication of the cost.

Speaker:

And it's something that is, yes, really boring. But we

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have just to do as a small business, just to keep, you know, the

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profit there and particularly how things are going at the moment. I think in the

Speaker:

UK, you know, it's an important one. I think the second one is.

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And also how great in being a small business

Speaker:

is, how great that we can pivot, that we can change

Speaker:

things. Something is not work. It's not working. Like, I don't know, a

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product is not working, just. Just dump it, you know, like, you can just do

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that or rework it or see why it's not working. Just, we

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have so much possibility to change as a small business. I think

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that, you know, because we can do that, you know, that there's an. There's an

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easiness just to the change. And I think the third one, which

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I think is the most important one, I will say take

Speaker:

dates with yourself. And I know this sounds quite weird, but I

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think book time off on the calendar,

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to go to an exhibition, to go to a museum, to read a

Speaker:

good book, or just to go for a walk

Speaker:

with an audiobook about business. I think it's very important for a creative

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mind to just take time

Speaker:

off, because as a creative brain, I think the

Speaker:

most wonderful ideas come when you're doing something else, like

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while you are doing the walk or doing a swimming or in

Speaker:

the shower. So I think it's imperative if you're stuck

Speaker:

in the business, to actually remove yourself and just say,

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well, I'm doing something else and the problem will work out on its.

Speaker:

So it always happens. Well,

Speaker:

thank you. I think. Yeah, that was three pieces, but they were all amazing pieces

Speaker:

of advice, so we will accept it. Thank you so much

Speaker:

and it was lovely to catch up with you. Thank you. Thank you for having

Speaker:

me, Vicki. Yeah, all the best.

Speaker:

So thank you to Silvina for sharing that at the end of

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2021, I spoke with Janet Murray about creating, creating and selling

Speaker:

planners. Janet is one of the UK's leading content marketing

Speaker:

experts and the creator of the Courageous Content Planner. When we first

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spoke, we talked about creating planners, of course, and Janet also shared some

Speaker:

great content marketing advice for products businesses. Let's hear her advice

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for you today. So, hi, Janet. Thank you for

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coming to speak with me again. Thank you for having me. So

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I would love to know, since we last spoke, which was almost three years ago

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now, what has changed? You were here before talking about your planner and

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so what's changed since then? Of course, lots has changed.

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So still selling the planner? I'll talk more

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about that in a second. But I've changed the offer

Speaker:

quite a lot. And one of the things that I

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was finding was that the price

Speaker:

of the planner, well, there are a few things, really,

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but because mine was a content and business

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planner, um, it's really important to me that if people invest in one of my

Speaker:

products, that, you know, it works for them and they get good results. And

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so something I always really struggled with was people be like, oh, I bought your

Speaker:

planner and like, you know, I haven't got a million pound business. And of course,

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we all know that, obviously investing in any

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resource for your business, you know, you got to do the

Speaker:

work. And so I've tried

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always to provide supporting resources. So

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social media, post templates, different types of content templates and

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training to ensure people actually don't just buy the thing that

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sits on the desk and they actually do it. And, you know, I think I've,

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I've got better and better, um, you

Speaker:

know, at sort of providing better resources and things.

Speaker:

But, you know, at the end of the day, you can take a horse to

Speaker:

water and all that. But you, you can't make them drink. But it makes me

Speaker:

feel better just to know that we've, you know, just tried. But one thing I

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was finding is when I was selling the planner only

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I wanted to move away from that because like I

Speaker:

say, just buying a business planner, if you don't actually use it, you don't implement

Speaker:

any of the stuff, you don't think about the strategy because for me, you know,

Speaker:

content, and it's all about publishing the right content at the right time, not just

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publishing any old content. So I

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decided to, so I had a stage because

Speaker:

I've been through different, different stages where you could just buy the planet or you

Speaker:

could buy supporting resources. And I decided this year

Speaker:

to just sell the planet and the supporting

Speaker:

resources and to make the decision to sell less but the price will be higher,

Speaker:

which has actually gone well in terms of revenue. And part

Speaker:

of the motivation behind that was to,

Speaker:

in the nicest possible way to discourage those kind of clients because I

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think pricing, sometimes

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it's one of your tools in terms of you attracting the right customers

Speaker:

for your product. And I was attracting people who were just like, oh,

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this is a pretty planner and oh great. My business is, you

Speaker:

know, and those people can often be the people

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that require the most customer service and the most, you know, they're asking

Speaker:

questions and wondering why they don't get one to ones for their, you know, 37

Speaker:

pound planner, whatever. So from a revenue point of view,

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it's worked really well. You know, I've not seen a dip in, in

Speaker:

revenue from the planner

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and I've also, I feel like

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personally, although I'm not quite sure now, but I feel personally

Speaker:

that I've come to the end of the road with that product and I've thought

Speaker:

about selling it and I've actually sort of made inroads to kind of selling it

Speaker:

because although I think it's a great product and it's got great, it's been going

Speaker:

for like seven, eight years, got big audience lists and customer list and

Speaker:

a lot of loyalty, there's a part of me that feels like I've taken it

Speaker:

as far as I could do and maybe somebody else could take it on the

Speaker:

next stage. So I have considered selling it

Speaker:

and making tentative moves towards that. At the moment, I'm still a little bit

Speaker:

unsure because for me it's about, it needs to be the right person or business

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that sells and I haven't found that yet.

Speaker:

And it's become, it's still a big part of my business,

Speaker:

in a way, it's become a bigger part of my business because I've

Speaker:

dropped. I had a lot of digital products that I used to sell alongside it.

Speaker:

So, yeah, I don't know if any of that's kind of helpful. There's a lot

Speaker:

there. No, it's really helpful. Thank you. That's a lot that's

Speaker:

changed. And with all you've taken all that into account,

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Janet, what would your advice for other people be?

Speaker:

I think when clients say to me about

Speaker:

increasing sales of products, the one thing I always want to look at is

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how can we sell more in one go rather than,

Speaker:

for example, there's a client I've worked with who's got a

Speaker:

pet product and I feel like they come back to me every year and ask

Speaker:

the same things. And I'm like, yes, there are

Speaker:

things that you can do to drive more traffic to your website or Amazon if

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you're selling on Amazon or whatever. But actually

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what might be a better way or a way to explore is to look at,

Speaker:

well, how can I partner with brands where I might be able to sell

Speaker:

more of them in one go, or how might I be able to bundle up

Speaker:

products together? So for me, I'm always looking at

Speaker:

what's going to be. The less work I take, the less time. So sometimes that

Speaker:

might be about, you know, what can I do to bundle products together?

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Like with products, how can I get rid of things that are actually taking up

Speaker:

a lot of time and energy but aren't my best sellers? It might be about

Speaker:

streamlining in my case, because it's a

Speaker:

business resource, something that I've

Speaker:

always done is tried to offer training to go alongside it and resources to help

Speaker:

with implementation. So it's about providing more value.

Speaker:

But basically what I'm getting to is how can you increase the.

Speaker:

What's the word I'm looking for the. Revenue from each sale. And how can you

Speaker:

do it in a way that doesn't involve you? Just

Speaker:

keep selling to, you know, one after the other afterwards? Does that kind of make

Speaker:

sense? Yeah, that does. I think it makes total sense because presumably, if

Speaker:

you've got these products, you need to be thinking about how to maximize what you

Speaker:

have. So I see a lot of people doing bundling that seems to be really

Speaker:

popular lately. A lot of my clients are looking, okay, can

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I sell this with this? Or this makes a nice add on to that because

Speaker:

I think just increasing your average order value makes a lot of sense as

Speaker:

well. Something I've also done this year, which might be quite useful

Speaker:

is I hadn't done as much audience building as I normally would have done at

Speaker:

this stage in the year. So I partnered with other,

Speaker:

with other sort of online, I don't

Speaker:

know, coaches or consultants or whatever, and I paid them

Speaker:

for me to deliver master classes, which you might

Speaker:

think, oh, you're paying to get in front of. But they were exactly the right

Speaker:

people for me. Different industries, and

Speaker:

it was cheaper than Facebook advertising. And, you know,

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it's advantageous to them because they're getting a

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masterclass. It's all above board because then, you know, I can make a

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pitch at the end and I've actually,

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again, it's not just about that in my case, that just one product that you've

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sold, but, you know, I've had a few much bigger clients that

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have come from that. That's been their sort of entry level product.

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So. So I think it's also just about, again, it's

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about thinking about different ways that you can get in front of new audiences and

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not just thinking, oh, Google Ads or Facebook ads are thinking about

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more creative ways, thinking about more cost effective ways to get in front

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of more of the right kind of people for you.

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That's so helpful. Thank you. I think you're right. I think that's a really good

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example of doing something quite different because I haven't heard of anyone else paying

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to deliver content on people's audiences before because I think often

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people are looking to get paid to do that. That's. No, I see.

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But I think knowing that they were the exact sort of right

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clients for you, that does make total sense. I guess it's also, there's something about

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just thinking differently. Yeah, it's added, it's

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a list builder, so I've added, like hundreds of new people to my

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email list. But also I made sales as well. And not just sales with the

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product, but also other sales that came off the back of it

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because they're new potential customers, you know, it's like a great way of

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growing leads for obviously, for particular type of businesses. Yeah,

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of course. And I guess knowing so that it, and also, I guess, comes back

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to the basics of sort of knowing who your ideal client is to even

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identify, you know, where to. Where to find them or, you know,

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whose audience they might already be in. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

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Well, thank you. Thank you so much for everything you shared, Janet.

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No, I'm glad to be of help. Thank you. And it's always

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nice to catch up.

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Some great advice, as always, from Janet. Next. I spoke with

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Cara Sayer from SnoozeShade about creating a unique product and selling it.

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With huge success on Amazon, SnoozeShade is a best

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selling range of baby, sun and sleep shades. Cara was really candid in our

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first interview. She shared a lot with us, and I'm delighted to say that she

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was just as candid in this catch up, too. Cara has some great advice

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for you that I just can't wait for you to hear.

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So thank you for talking with me again, Cara. Pleasure. Always

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nice to have a catch up. It is. It's been a long time, and

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I would love to know in the. I think we've worked out it's three years

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since you were last on the podcast. Love to know what has changed. What's new

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with you? God, what isn't new with me, really?

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I think just generally, yeah. I mean, in some

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ways, everything is new. In some ways, nothing is new. I think that's the thing,

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especially when you're running a brand which is kind

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of doing the same thing, if you know what I mean.

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But I suppose in terms of things that are new, I mean, I've just

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launched a new product which is going down really well.

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And what else? I mean, it's just

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every day is a new day, and we do something different. I mean, that's part

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of the reason I love doing what I do, actually, is just that, you know,

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I mean, sometimes it can be a real headache, if I'm honest. And, like, you

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know, like, even in the last three weeks, I've had about three things happen where

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I'm like, oh, my God, you know, my patience is being

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tested. And it's one of those things where it's like, you know,

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what's that thing? If it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger. And I'm quite

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often going, I'm strong enough. Leave me alone.

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Sometimes you just want to sit on. A beach with a cocktail and then, you

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know. But I think, if I'm honest, one of the things probably, that I've learned

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more is, like last year, for example, I did a lot of traveling with work,

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but actually, I lost what I didn't realize. I'd kind of lost sight of my

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numbers a little bit, and I didn't realize that some parts of the world weren't

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performing as well as they should be. And, in fact, they were actually a negative

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rather than a positive. So, like, the last probably, I'd say

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eight months have been spent really analyzing the numbers,

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really crunching. So, actually, one thing that is new is I've actually

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got a budget, which I've never had before, because,

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interestingly, when I used to work for other companies, I was an

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employee. You quite often had to have a budget, you know,

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but running my own business, I've always kind of just done it a bit more

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seat in my pants. And it's usually been, oh, well, I've got enough money coming

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in, so I can do this and I can do that, and that's fine. But

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like I said, I sort of lost track of the numbers. If I'm honest, I

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feel a bit of a moron for doing that. I feel a bit of an

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idiot. But I think it happens to everyone.

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And, you know, you get so sucked into that day to day kind

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of like stuff that you maybe lose that bigger picture

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overview. And I'm always the first person who will say that, you

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know, profit is, sorry, turnover is sanity,

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and profit is no, turnover

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is vanity, and profit is sanity. And I think,

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really, what happened the last few years, I probably just didn't pay enough attention

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to the sanity numbers and was looking too much at the. The

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vanity numbers. And I think it's always a good wake up call for

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any business owner to actually maybe have a session, like, working

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those numbers hard. And usually when I find out something's wrong,

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it's usually because there's been some kind of mess up with my accounts in some

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way. And then that requires for me to go in and do some super sleuthing.

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And that's what I had to do back last year. And then once I started

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looking into the numbers, I was like, hang on a minute. That doesn't make sense.

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Hang on a minute, that's not right. Or hang on a minute. And then when

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I then started, I was like, oh, my God. And I did literally have a

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moment last year, last July, where I was, like, thinking, do you know what?

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I'm just going to give up. I'm just going to stop the business. I'm going

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to go and get a job. But I am unemployable,

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so I think that would have been a bad idea. And then actually, what I

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did instead is I honed in on the numbers and very much

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started looking at things much more analytically, and I think that's

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really helped. Well, thank you for being so honest about that. And I think

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you're right. It's so easy to take your eye off the ball, whether it's the

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numbers or something. It's really easy, especially when things are something, isn't it?

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Yeah. We're juggling so many balls. I'm surprised we don't lose more,

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frankly, that go flying over our shoulder, and then we forget about them and forget

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to pick them up. Yeah. And then we get to go round scrabbling around wondering

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where we left them. I knew there was a ball. It went over that

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wall somewhere. Thank you. And also, I really liked

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what you said about how, like, nothing's changed but lots has

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changed, because I think you're right. I think with our businesses.

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Yeah. It can definitely feel like that, that a lot has changed,

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but actually not much has. Yeah. So that was a really good way. I

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like where you sum that up. My second question for you,

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Cara, and you've already given us some advice, so maybe see if you can

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think of something else. What would your number one

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piece of advice be for other product creators at the moment?

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So one of the things that I hadn't been looking at was my product

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cost. And I think what happened was that

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I just basically just kind of accepted, when

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I was told that the price had gone up, I kind of accepted that, like,

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oh, well, it must have gone up. But then, actually, when I started analyzing, becoming

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more analytical, so what I did was I was at one point,

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looking to find a new manufacturer because I was like, I can't sustain these, this

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level of cost because I'm not making enough money to run a business on. And

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that becomes quite a hard conversation to have, but it's an

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essential one. And I think that's one of the things I would say to people

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is, and I'm guilty of this for sure, is, you know, not that you're not.

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You're not running a business, but, like, you're not running a charity. You. You are

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running a business, and you must treat it like a business. And actually,

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if it wasn't to operate on a profitable turnover basis where

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you're supporting yourself, then what the hell are you doing? You know,

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because, you know, you're not putting all that hard work in so that you

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don't get any benefit. You might as well go and get a job. So it

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was a really hard conversation to have. But what I also did is I became

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much more analytical about the products in terms of, I was like, well, actually, hang

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on a minute. This product uses exactly the same amount of fabric. It uses exactly

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the same amount of trim. This product uses the trim that that product uses.

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And I produce, like, 50,000 of that color. So, you know,

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why is that one more expensive than that one, for example? And we just needed

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to have a kind of a complete rejig and then once, once we did

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that again, the cost did come down

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and I was able to carry on using the same manufacturer I've been using the

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whole time, which was great because I've got a long term relationship.

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Didn't want to have to leave if I didn't have to. But at the same

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time, I was literally, it was a bit like when I got divorced and I

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stopped using distributors because I was like, I'm really sorry. I either

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carry on working with you and I make so little money that I can't

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live or I shut the business down, in which case, either way, you're going to

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lose the business. So it's, you know, and I think sometimes you have to have

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these hard conversations. I don't like doing it because I always, and

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I like to feel if I'm having those sorts of conversations, I

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have to almost feel like my back's up against a wall in order to do

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it because I don't like, I don't like confrontation. If I'm really

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honest, I will do it, don't get me wrong. But, you know, I don't like

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that idea of I'm a people pleaser, so I don't like upsetting

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people, which is ridiculous because I do as well.

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But no, I think really keep it, keep a really close eye on, if you're

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a product creator, keep close eye on your product costs because, and also get

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your, whoever's manufacturing for you to justify those costs. Don't just

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accept them willy nilly, which is what I was doing. And,

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you know, and actually make sure you've got a plan that is like,

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well, this product should cost this much, this should cost that. And then if any

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cost increases or even sometimes it can also be, for

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example, one of the reasons costs have crept up was because the dollar

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rate had gone all over the place. Well, the dollar rates back down again now.

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So the price of the product should go back down. So it's little things like

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that where you need to just be aware of what's going around

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generally and don't just sort of absorb all the

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costs that you have. Maybe

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that's such good advice. Thank you. Because as a fellow people

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pleaser, I know, I find that hard as well to actually

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question and say, why is that like that? Why are you? Yeah,

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that can be really awkward. But I totally agree. It's so important because

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you need to have that sort of visibility and just know

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that this is why this is as it is. You don't, it doesn't matter if

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they. Turn around and say, because this particular item, that this particular ingredient

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component or whatever, has got 20% more expensive in the last year, you're like,

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okay, fine, but then it split. But you see, the thing was, for me was

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that my. There wasn't a uniformity of increases and so

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I wanted to know why they weren't uniform. And a lot of it was. I

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think, if I'm really honest, it was probably because we'd never been that analytical in

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producing the product in the first place. No one had, like, my manufacturer or me.

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So therefore we both sat down together and worked out. We were like, oh, yeah,

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actually that makes sense. And so we did work together

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and then it just all kind of came out, you know, came

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out in the wash, I suppose, to a certain extent. I think that's brilliant. Thank

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you so much, Cara. That's my pleasure.

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And thank you so much for that, Cara. And finally, I

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caught up with sasha Gupta from cheeky zebra. Sasha designs and

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sells fun and cheeky greeting cards. A real life. I've been following Sasha

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online since we first spoke, and I can see just how much her product range

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has expanded in such a short time. When we first spoke, she just started

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out of wholesale and it was great to hear where she is with both wholesaling

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and her product range. Another few years on. Hi,

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Sasha. It's so nice to talk to you again. Thank you. I was just

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thinking that it was lovely to see your face. Yeah, it's been a

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long time. I feel like I see you a lot all over Instagram, but we

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haven't spoken in a really long time. Yeah, I thought that, because when you

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messaged, I was like, yeah, we haven't actually spoken, but, you know, when you follow

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someone, you do feel like you're kind of still in contact, don't you?

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Definitely. But for everyone who sort of

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isn't as up to date on what you're doing as I am, I would love

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for you to share with us what's changed with your business since we last spoke.

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I feel like it's a lot and I would love for you to update us

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all. Yeah, I feel like it's a lot, too. I'm trying to remember when we

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last spoke. Do you know if I was just selling. I think I was just

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selling cards, potentially. You were. It was just cards.

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It was just cards then. That feels crazy to me now. So now we

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do. So, yeah, we've massively upped the product mix. So it's gone from.

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Because obviously one of the problems that I was having with just cards is the

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average order value, so low. So we now do

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cards, candles, mugs, notebooks,

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sweatshirts. And actually, I'm. I can tell you,

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because it's okay, I'm launching stationery in a couple of

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weeks as well. So, like, yeah, massively. If I had to say

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it out loud, I'm a bit like, whoa. It has changed a lot.

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I think cards have gone from being, you know, our whole business to, I think

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now. I looked at the product mix the other day and it's like 50%.

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Wow. Which is huge. That is huge. And in a

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relatively short space of time as well, because we last spoke three

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years ago and it was just cards, and three years isn't very long, Sasha.

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And in fact, it might have been two and a half, because I can't. I

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feel like maybe it was like two and a half. Do you know what? I'm

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glad you've said that because I'm always feeling as though, like, I'm not going fast

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enough and these changes aren't happening quick enough. So I

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actually appreciate you being like, no, that is quite a lot of new things to

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have in a relatively short space of time. It is. And especially

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for all those new things to be, like, 50% of your sales as well. That's

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crazy. I think. Crazy good. I mean, yeah, no, it's brilliant, but it has been

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crazy. And it's been a bit of a. Obviously, you have more product experience, but,

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like, it's quite a steep learning curve where I found it to be. And I

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think I have a business mentor. And the biggest piece of feedback she

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gave me was that I need to put more effort into productivity. She

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was like, I think you can spend. You rush it because you're so trying to

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chase your tail with stuff. And ever since, she kind of told me that I've

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really spent time in engineering product and making sure it works. And it's been.

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I actually think I heard someone else say that the more hours you spend on

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product development has a direct correlation in terms of your

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sales afterwards. Yeah, I can see that would make

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sense. So I've definitely been trying. I definitely don't spend forever

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on it, but I've definitely been trying to give it more. More time.

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Well, I think it's great. And, I mean, you have. You've just told us, like,

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all these products that you have. I have my mug, by the way. Look. Ah.

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That's one of my favorite things I ever did. I had to show you

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that because it is literally right here. I've just had a couple. I love that

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you use it. That makes me so happy. I love it, honestly. It's such a

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happy mug. So, yes, you have so many new products

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and I think when we just, when we spoke last time as well, you had

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just started wholesale with your product and you had like, quite big

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targets. How does, how's that going, if you don't mind me asking? Oh, no, of

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course. Always ask. So I worked with Terese, who's more business

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collaborative. She helped me so much. And now I'd say we

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have like a good, I'd say we have about ten regular

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customers now and they're ordering from us about

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every, say, two months, six weeks to two

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months. And that's like huge just because, you know,

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sometimes when you're direct to consumer, sales can be low because they're so

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dependent on social media, whatever

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else, it's just like, feels a bit more confidence to just keep

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the lights on. Do you know what I mean? Yeah, absolutely. And that's amazing because,

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yeah, when we spoke, you, I think you were just about to start working with

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Therese. It was so new. So that's amazing. She was

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so helpful because I was very like, oh, I don't know about all of this.

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And it turns out, like, I wouldn't say it's like a massive, my priority now

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is more direct to consumer, but the fact that I've got those relationships and they

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take us through, it's so valuable.

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Yeah, absolutely. I think you're right. It's just nice to

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know, isn't it? You've got those bigger orders to kind of take some of

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the empty on. Yeah. Yeah. And

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so thank you so much for sharing. I can't. That is quite such a lot,

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actually, in such a short, relatively short space of time.

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So based on all that you've done in last couple of years, I would love

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to know, and I know I asked you this before, but given that, you know,

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you've had so much growth in over the last few years, what would your number

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one piece of advice be for other product creators now?

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Actually, it would be, it's not

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focus, basically. So someone said this to me

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and it's like this analogy of, say you've got five coins a

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day. So say you wake up tired where I only have like five coins of

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energy, and it's just like, be really intentional about where you spend

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them. So before, I was spreading myself quite thin. So now at the start of

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each week, I'm like, what are the three things that are actually going to push

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the business forward? And I'm not allowed to make them everyday things.

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So my everyday things would be like the content, the emails, you know,

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business as usual stuff. And then it's a case of being like, okay, if

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I only have, I would think I would sleep last night. So if I've got

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three coins today, where do I want to spend them? And so being

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really intentional. And then it also makes me think, like, if you've only got three

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coins, Sasha, now you have no energy to worry about what's going to

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happen if it doesn't work. So it's almost just being a lot

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more direct with my focus of, like, just keep plugging away

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at the things and don't even give yourself the time to worry if

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they don't work because almost see it as the more you get after it,

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the more you'll have an answer one way or the other. And then once you've

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got that answer, even if you don't know right now what you'll do, if that

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doesn't work, by the time you get there, you will know. That makes a

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lot of sense. I think it's just doing something, isn't it? Because actually we can

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waste a lot of those coins on thinking about doing something or

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deciding whether to do something. Or, like, watching somebody else do really well and being

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like, I'm not going to do my thing or even yet also just being swayed

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by whatever somebody else is doing. And I definitely struggle with procrastination

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because of just fear. So now I'm a bit like, no, you've got

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so much to get done and you've only got this much to use it for.

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It's like the reframes just helped me, like, not waste as much time

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procrastinating. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. And I also

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think it's really nice for you to be so honest about, you know, that you

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sometimes don't do things out of fear because what we see of you online, you

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look, like, so confident and you're moving ahead

Speaker:

and. Doing all the things. So thank you for saying that. Because I think, like

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you were saying about sometimes you look at what other people are doing and you.

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And you go, oh, I couldn't do that. Or I couldn't be like them. I

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couldn't have that busy. So I couldn't, you know what? We spend way too much

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time, or we can comparing ourselves. So I think it's really

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nice when people just go, yeah, it's actually not that easy for me either. I

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just do it. I appreciate you saying that because I think when I,

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because I don't ever want anyone to follow me in line and be like, oh,

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she, she can do it because she's just not scared. That's why it's okay for

Speaker:

her. When in reality it's like, no, I am scared, but I just

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force myself to just keep going. And I think somebody else, the same woman,

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I think, is Chloe Slade, she always has this thing about your bounce back rate,

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and I've just been really working on that. And it's like, how quickly

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you'll get over something. So, like, for example, in a day, I

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might suddenly see someone else doing way better than being like, I should give up

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tomorrow. I'm hardly making anything compared to them. Whatever. And I'll have, like, this spiral

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of thoughts. And now I'm like, okay, how quickly can I get from feeling

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like that to just being like, okay, that's nice. Now let's go carry on with

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work. So I've made that, like, an active thing. I've started being, I

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found that quite helpful as well. That's so helpful. Thank you. Because

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I hadn't actually, as silly as it says, I hadn't actually thought about actually

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being aware of that because I think we all experience it, but I think

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actually being aware of, oh, I am feeling like this and how quickly can I

Speaker:

get over it is actually really, that's another really good piece of advice. I actually

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really like. Now I'm like, oh, let's see if I can get, like,

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get over this quicker than, yes, like, earlier. Like, it becomes this game and it

Speaker:

forces you to, like, I guess, bounce back quicker.

Speaker:

Oh, I like it. Thank you. Thank

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you so much for all of this, all you've shared in all your updates. I

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think we've got, as with like, your update, we've got loads in a really

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short space of time. Thank you. Oh, perfect. I really enjoyed it.

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Right, and thank you to Sasha for talking to me. Well,

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that is the end of our catch up episode and I would love to know

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how you found it. Did you like hearing everyone's updates? Are

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there any other previous guests you're curious about? I am wondering if it's a

Speaker:

bit too soon for a 2022 update, but let me know. You

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can contact me via the link in the show notes. And I am genuinely always

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really happy to hear from you, to hear your questions, to hear your feedback.

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So please don't be shy. Let me know what you thought about this episode and

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let me know which episode you would like to hear in future and have

Speaker:

a lovely rest of your day whenever you are listening to this. And I

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look forward to sharing another episode with you next week.