Is it really possible to build a highly profitable business in 20 hours a week? What about 10 or 4 hours?
Tim Ferris says it is, laying out his formula for making it happen in his well-known book The 4 Hour Work Week, but is it really possible for a Mum working from home with little prior knowledge of online business and marketing, or is it just a whole lot of hype?
In this weeks podcast, we interview Kiwi Mum Sophie Howard, who has created a 4 hour a week Amazon business for herself, Tim Ferris style, with great success.
Sophie started her business just two years ago, sold her first few products pretty quickly, then re-invested all the profits into making more sales. Now she has over 300 products on Amazon, and works on the business for just four hours a week (giving her time to start up a new venture or two!)
You have to be super-smart to build a 4 hour week business in such a short time.
If there was one thing we took away from this interview with Sophie, it’s the importance of doing your research and getting smart about your strategy right from the get-go.
Sophie invested in expert help and support to validate her business ideas from the outset. It was still a leap into the unknown, especially as she didn’t follow the standard formula laid out by the ‘experts’ about how to sell on Amazon, but Sophie clearly put a lot of thought into what she was about to do and talked to people with proven experience and expertise, before she leapt in.
Choosing the right platform and marketplace was key to Sophie’s success.
Choosing a business model and products that were easy to scale was the most important thing to Sophie when starting out.
The majority of the United States is online, so that was the market she decided on.
Amazon takes care of some of the really tricky stuff for you, like logistics, warehousing and fulfilment, and it’s the site where 60% of all e-commerce transactions occur, so it was the perfect marketplace.
Finally, Sophie wanted a lifestyle as well as a big business, so she wanted her operation to be highly automated. This had a big impact on the kinds of products she chose to sell, as well as her decision to build a great team to support her right from the start.
Hollywood Tea Party
You know you are doing something right when you get invited to the Oscars to showcase your product! Sophie’s Higher Tea range caught the eye of a scout and she was invited along to the Oscars to serve it up to celebs. This led to celebrity chef endorsement, product features on US TV shows and a brand that is in the spotlight and growing fast.
Paying it forward.
Because of the success of her business on Amazon, Sophie now helps New Zealand companies sell their products globally. She also offers an online course and coaching sessions for those who want to do what she has done on Amazon.
If you are intrigued and want to find out more about how Sophie does it, watch the full interview below or hit play on the audio at the top of the blog post to listen in via audio!
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Here’s what Sophie and J9 cover in the podcast interview:
- Sophie’s business model using Amazon – how it all started and how she learned the ropes
- Managing and running a business through Amazon within a 4-hour work week
- Things you should consider in choosing good products to sell
- How to sell products in Amazon – from getting products from the suppliers, to collecting your profit
- How Sophie helps New Zealand businesses become exporters by selling their products in the US through Amazon
- Her team’s role in running the business, how she delegates the tasks she can’t do, and how she found her team members on fiverr.
- The importance of investing in people and education to up-skill yourself and learn smart strategies for your business
- Amazon Navigator, Sophie’s online course with 8 key modules that cover what you need to get right to succeed on Amazon.
- More about Sophie’s tea brand, Higher Teas, and how you can have the same tea that was served up to those Hollywood celebrities!
Resources we talked about:
- Fiverr – a marketplace for digital services, this is where Sophie found her trusted virtual assistant
- Amazon – the e-commerce site Sophie uses to sell products in the US
- aspiringentrepreneurs.org – Sophie’s website where you can sign up for the Amazon Navigator Course or her 1:1 Coaching
- Serena Sandstrom – Sophie’s personal business coach
- Roger Hamilton – helps you identify your wealth profile and learn more about Wealth Dynamics
- Higher Tea – Sophie’s website where you can purchase Sophie’s organic tea in NZ.
Top tip for a 20 hour a week (or less!) business:
See the show notes above to discover how Sophie decided on the market, marketplace and automation that was going to get her to a 4 hour week business. Apply the same criteria to your own business ideas and see what it tells you about your ability to scale to a 4 hour work week!
Join the Conversation:
Sophie talked about how she built a successful business that gives her freedom to spend a lot of time with her kids and travel the world. Do you have a passion, skills, or products that you would like turn into a profitable business. How might you scale your product, skill or expertise like Sophie has? Share with us in the comment section below!
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