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Scaling 101: How Leslie Kuster, CEO of Back from Bali, Intentionally Scaled Her Business From 5 to 7 Figures on Amazon

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I want to make money. Yep, I said it, and you should too, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or business owner. It seems obvious, but, as my guest today will explain, that idea and saying those words out loud is what holds so many people back.

Leslie Kuster is the founder and CEO of Back from Bali, an ecommerce fashion brand that she scaled from 50k to multiple millions in just a few years. She achieved most of that growth on Amazon, a platform that is always challenging but can work wonders for your business if you know the ins and outs. She does and she shared them with us, including how Amazon has been changing its terms of service around images, what kind of SEO strategies will work well, and what it takes to connect with customers even when facing certain restrictions. Plus, Leslie has a ton of advice for all kinds of entrepreneurs, and women in particular, about what it takes to turn something that was more of a hobby into a business worth millions. Enjoy this episode!

Main Takeaways:

  • But Why?: Success in business comes down to having a vision and a “why” behind what you are doing as an entrepreneur. There are so many ups and downs, that if you don’t have a vision that will fuel you and motivate you through all of the hardships, then you will not make it through them. 
  • Expanding In A Limited Way: When you think about expanding your business, you typically think about how to create a more broad product portfolio. Rather than bringing multiple new products to market, look at the product or products you have that are working already and expand those in creative ways.
  • The Toughest Question of All: Trying to figure out where to invest your dollars is the biggest challenge for an entrepreneur. And when you are selling successfully on Amazon or on your website, you have to ask yourself is it worth it to try to drive traffic elsewhere? It’s expensive to be competitive in different markets, particularly fashion, where there is already overcrowding. So rather than throw money at a channel or website that is competing against a sea of other challengers, shift your focus to an area where you can create a niche or where you are already having success.

For an in-depth look at this episode, check out the full transcript below. Quotes have been edited for clarity and length.

Key Quotes:

 

“I think I had my first website in the 1990s. It was some kind of Yahoo website that then I was able to get onto Amazon very early. I think it was maybe 2007, 2008, 2009, something like that. And then it completely transformed my entire business.”

“I was doing about 50,000 a year on Amazon and I was starting to feel like I could be doing so much better than I was actually doing. In my life my focus has always been on freedom, which is why I didn’t want to get the job. And so what I realized at that point in my life is I did have freedom but I was limiting myself because I was not willing to work that hard in order to improve my business to a level where it was generating much more in sales. And I had a very honest moment with myself, where I felt like actually I want money and I want to make more money.”

“My goal is not to help women to have hobbies. My goal is to help women have real businesses.” And real businesses make money. And we need as women to become comfortable with that reality and understand what it means to have a business that makes money and what goes into it to make the money and to take ourselves away from these ideas of maybe depending on somebody else to give us the things that we want, or even the ideas of our fears that we won’t achieve what we want in terms of our businesses if we try.”

“You have to have a vision and you have to know your why… We need to really get into the deeper why you want to be doing this. What is it that is propelling you? Because entrepreneurship is not easy. I am dealing with issues right now, as we speak, with my Amazon business that are not easy. And this is the life of an entrepreneur, that it is really very up and very down. And so you need to have a big vision and a big why to keep you going, because otherwise why do it? You might as well get a job that’s going to pay for your vacations and your time off. So you need to know that why.”

“The beauty of being an entrepreneur really is it is a life long university in self-development from the inner to the outer, from the inner skills of your mindset, of connecting to who you are, what you really want, what you really believe and the outer skills of what you actually need to do to accomplish those and your vision.”

“One thing that I really learned is that when you have a product and it’s starting to sell, then what is really important is to then ask yourself how can you expand on that one product? So a mistake that sellers make is they do this product, maybe they should bring in this product and they bring in that product. But if you have a product that’s starting to sell, you actually want to really look at that product and you want to see what can you sell that is extremely similar to it or almost identical to it in order to expand.”

Bio

Leslie Kuster is a multiple seven figure ecommerce brand owner with a passion to spread her impressive business acumen to other women looking to build a business and make money. She catapulted her clothing store, Back from Bali, from 5 figures to multiple 7 figures through hard work and determination, and all in her mid-50s. Today, Leslie teaches female entrepreneurs how to create a business that aligns with their deeper core values, inviting ease and flow into their daily lives. On top of all this, you can expect her new book Money and Freedom: 7 Master Keys to 7 Figures for Women Entrepreneurs in 2022.


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Transcript:

Stephanie:

Hey there. And welcome back to Up Next in Commerce. I’m your host, Stephanie Postles, CEO at mission.org. Today I’m chatting with Leslie Kuster, who currently serves as a CEO and founder of the women’s clothing brand, Back From Bali and an author of a new book. Leslie, welcome to the show.

Leslie:

Thank you. I’m so happy to be here and excited.

Stephanie:

I’m excited to have you on the show too. So I want to go into your background first and then we can get into Back From Bali and the book that you are currently about to publish. So tell me a bit about you. How did you get into the world of e-commerce and building companies?

Leslie:

It’s really simple. I didn’t want to get a job. That was how it all started. So, we’re going back really quite a long time. We’re going back 30 years. And I had traveled through Indonesia and I fell in love with the experience of traveling and having freedom and not being in an office. But when I returned back to New York City, which is where I lived at the time, I needed to find a job and I just didn’t want to. And I literally had a light bulb moment where I remembered the beautiful fabrics and clothing I had seen in Bali, Indonesia when I was traveling, and I just had an idea, I wonder what would happen if I jumped on the plane and I went back to Bali and I bought clothing off the streets and brought it back to New York and sold it at street fairs or some kind of markets, I wonder what would happen.

Leslie:

And my desire to not get a job was so strong at the time that I just did it. And I literally jumped back, went back, bought, brought it back to New York, sold at street fairs and I was bombarded. Literally, women were attacking packing my booth. It was like chaos there because they had never seen such beautiful clothing. That time, 30 years ago, it was quite original to bring batik back. And that’s a long time ago, how my business started and why I started a business.

Stephanie:

Amazing. So how many pounds of clothing were you bringing back? I’m just imagining having 20 suitcases that you’re shipping back with you. What did that actually look like?

Leslie:

Oh, it was much more simple than that. This is in the days when you can bring back a lot of suitcases at the airlines, but I think I had one of those giant duffel bags. They’re the ones that you could put a body into it and maybe I had one or two of those. It was only me, so I didn’t have much. And then I sold out, I would sell out in a matter of a few weeks and I literally jumped back on the plane, would buy more and then sell out again. And then eventually I started more of a business. So eventually I started to go to expos and do wholesaling and to start importing clothing from Indonesia and selling to stores, which is an awful business.

Leslie:

And I really disliked it even back then. And so when the whole world of e-commerce started, which is then. I think I had my first website in the 1990s. It was some kind of Yahoo website that then I was able to get onto Amazon very early. I think it was maybe 2007, 2008, 2009, something like that. And then it completely transformed my entire business.

Stephanie:

Wow, amazing. So when I was looking into it a bit, I saw that through 2011, maybe you were making 50k in sales or something like that and then all of a sudden you had this moment where you’re like, “It’s time to make some real money. We’re going to scale this thing.” I want to hear a bit about where did that aha moment come from and how were you so confident that you were like, “I’m going to scale it now. Now’s the time.”?

Leslie:

My whole life changed at that point. I had this business for quite a long time. I was doing okay with it. When I say, okay, exactly what you just said, at that time I was doing about 50,000 a year on Amazon and I was starting to feel like I could be doing so much better than I was actually doing. In my life my focus has always been on freedom, which is why I didn’t want to get the job. And so what I realized at that point in my life is I did have freedom but I was limiting myself because I was not willing to work that hard in order to improve my business to a level where it was generating much more in sales. And I had a very honest moment with myself, where I felt like actually I want money and I want to make more money. And saying a statement like that is not actually in a way politically correct, and especially for women.

Leslie:

And you’re not really supposed to say it, even inside yourself, you’re supposed to say more things like I want to help people, or I want the money so I could send my kids to school or all of this… We have so many judgments over whether you should or shouldn’t make money and what the purpose of it is. But as I was sitting in that chair, I felt like I want to be honest and I actually want to make more money. I want to pay for my dream home with my husband. I don’t want to wait for him to have to buy it for me.

Leslie:

And I said to myself in that moment, “There’s just no way, I am not waking up on my next birthday doing over 100,000 a year, just no way. It was an epiphany moment and it just completely changed my whole trajectory of my life and my business. And it came from being honest with where I was at and that I wasn’t happy with myself and being honest about what I wanted, which was more money and more success in my business so that I can fuel the life I really wanted.

Stephanie:

I love that. I know you coach a lot of women as well, and I want to hear how many times you encounter this when you go out and you’re talking to women who maybe want to start businesses and they have these ideas. I know earlier on you were like, “A business is here to make money.” How many times do you encounter it where women want to do something, but it’s more just, oh, I want to, like you said, change the world. Be able to stay at home with my kids. I want to do it as a lifestyle thing instead of actually growing a big business and making money and having an even better lifestyle because of that.

Leslie:

I was speaking to one of my clients. It was one of actually our first conversations and she’s a jewelry designer and she had beautiful jewelry and everything. And she said to me, “I just want to make some extra money. If I can make $1,500 a month profit I would be so happy. And that’s really all I want.” And I said to her, “Well, I’m probably not the coach for you because that is not a business. My goal is not to help women to have hobbies. My goal is to help women have real businesses.” And real businesses make money. And we need as women to become comfortable with that reality and understand what it means to have a business that makes money and what goes into it to make the money and to take ourselves away from these ideas of maybe depending on somebody else to give us the things that we want, or even the ideas of our fears that we won’t achieve what we want in terms of our businesses if we try.

Leslie:

So there’s a lot of fear to even try at all, because maybe we won’t succeed. So there’s so many mindset issues. And one of the biggest things that I did in order to propel my business from 50,000 to multiple seven figures, which it is now, has to do with happens inside your head and your mindset and your belief, whether you think you can or can’t do something. I made a decision I was going to do it. And therefore there were steps then to take, but it all started with that decision and also that I really wanted it. It was what I wanted really badly.

Stephanie:

It seems like that would also be a continual every day of making that choice, wanting to get out there and do the hard work. You have that initial big decision of I actually want this, but then what does that look like afterwards? So how do you keep people excited that you’re coaching or show them that this is a long game that we’re playing here. It’s not just to make $1,500 a month. It’s not just to have a business for a year. This is a long game.

Leslie:

Yeah. There’s a few things, you have to have a vision and you have to know your why. So a vision is the big picture. And I think this is also a mistake some entrepreneurs make, that they feel sometimes that their goals or something or their vision is to, for example, just have a revenue goal or it’s just to create a fantastic new company with a wonderful new product, all wonderful goals and ideas, but we need a deeper vision. We need to really get into the deeper why you want to be doing this. What is it that is propelling you? Because entrepreneurship is not easy. I am dealing with issues right now, as we speak, with my Amazon business that are not easy. And this is the life of an entrepreneur, that it is really very up and very down.

Leslie:

And so you need to have a big vision and a big why to keep you going, because otherwise why do it? You might as well get a job that’s going to pay for your vacations and your time off. So you need to know that why. And in my case, it was so strong. My why was I didn’t want to get a job. I did want to make a certain amount of money. I wanted the freedom in my life. I wanted more. I wanted to build skills and know what I could accomplish.

Leslie:

If you are just like, “I’m comfortable. I don’t really have to,” if you’re blocked because of your money mindset, your money stories, such as people who go after money are greedy, all of these mindset issues are going to keep your business small. So the beauty of being an entrepreneur really is it is a life long university in self-development from the inner to the outer, from the inner skills of your mindset, of connecting to who you are, what you really want, what you really believe and the outer skills of what you actually need to do to accomplish those and your vision.

Stephanie:

I completely agree. It seems like there’s so many choices now that have to be made that maybe weren’t around 50 years ago or something, women are doing everything. They’re trying to be the best mom. They’re trying to work or grow a business or whatever it may be, balance a household. I read that essentially one woman is doing the work of 30 people. Back in the day 30 people used to chip in and help with kids and family and cooking and all this, and now it’s all on the women. And to me that always just makes me think, how do you choose and how do you not feel guilty around maybe not spending that extra hour with your kids. And once again, that is a mindset thing because that guilt and those ideas I think come from the community and the people around you and how you grew up and family, and then just history. And it’s hard to really be able to look at it all and not feel those feelings because they’ve gotten ingrained in women.

Leslie:

Oh God, that’s so incredibly true. And that’s why we have to get honest with ourselves and what it is that we really want and to see what those messages are, and are you living your own authentic life? Are you living your own authentic business? These are the questions we have to ask yourselves. Life is nothing more than inner work, truthfully. That is really the work. And then we manifest on the outside through our businesses or the choices that we make. And for women, we have the extra struggle of having children and taking care of children. And even if you don’t have children, there’s always extra pressure on women to empty the dishwasher and do the main cooking and organize what you’re going to do on the weekend for social life.

Leslie:

So we have more on our shoulders, which is what has kept women economically in not a very good situation because we’ve been too busy and not able to have the time to do the other. And I think it is essential now that women put focus on developing their businesses and their entrepreneurial life and skills, so they can have complete control and independence in their own lives. And that might mean getting more babysitters. And that might mean giving up some family time. You can’t have it all at the same moment. This is one thing I want to say, I don’t believe in balance, but I believe over time there’s balance. But maybe for that month there’s no balance. And maybe for that year there’s no balance. If you’re a young mother or something, maybe there’s no balance, there’s just your baby. And maybe you have a business and there’s no balance. There’s just your baby business. But over time there could be business. So I don’t think we should be looking for balance all the time.

Stephanie:

So I want to talk a bit about Back From Bali. I want to hear more about the behind the scenes there, what that looks like now; I know you’re talking about struggling with some Amazon stuff and moving to e-commerce. I want to hear what did it take to build an e-commerce business and scale it? What did that actually look like?

Leslie:

So, as I said when I started this journey, it was doing okay. I was doing about 50,000 a year on Amazon, which is actually not okay, but it’s not bad. But to be successful in e-commerce on Amazon first of all you have to realize how it was then is also different to how it is now. There’s been a big huge shift, but there are certain basic principles in selling on Amazon that are really important, that I don’t know if everybody really is aware of it and for example, listing optimization. And I don’t know if you want me to get into the…

Stephanie:

Yeah. Let’s dive into the detail.

Leslie:

details kind of things. As everybody knows, Amazon is basically a search engine, and so you’re typing in keywords to find whatever product you want. So therefore there needs to be a lot of research behind the product that you want to bring to market and understand what those top keywords would be that people are searching for. And so product optimization basically means that is you’re creating a listing, you’re creating the title. Amazon’s based on the title, the bullets, the description, and you are basically punching in those top keywords into the title, the description, and into the bullets in order to pop up in your optimization. And your pictures have to be a certain size and they need to be white background. Although now Amazon is now asking for more lifestyle pictures, and this is a change. I’m in the clothing category. So every category is different. This is very recent. This is as of maybe three or four months ago, that Amazon is now wanting lifestyle pictures in your listing, where before you are actually against terms of service if you put lifestyle pictures in.

Leslie:

So the fundamentals of building an Amazon business is having a product listing that is keyword heavy and supports the optimization of that listing. So, that’s incredibly important. And then of course it’s about understanding the data. So this is a completely data driven business, and Amazon actually supplies you with a huge backend of reports and data. And I think when I first started I didn’t even know about it, and I certainly didn’t understand what that meant and how you’re supposed to be using it. But one thing that I really learned is that when you have a product and it’s starting to sell, then what is really important is to then ask yourself how can you expand on that one product? So a mistake that sellers make is they do this product, maybe they should bring in this product and they bring in that product.

Leslie:

But if you have a product that’s starting to sell, you actually want to really look at that product and you want to see what can you sell that is extremely similar to it or almost identical to it in order to expand? So, for example, I sell sarongs, women’s sarongs, I sell women’s coverups, I sell women’s dresses, so if my one product, which is, for example, a peacock sarong, was selling very, very well, I would start to see, okay, well, what other colors does that come in and start to bring in other colors? What other sizes that come in? Can I sell it in a short sarong? Can I sell it in a plus size sarong?

Leslie:

And you want to start to expand your product line based on sellers that are actually working. And the only way to really know these things is to look at the data and look at the reports that you get from Amazon as to did that product sell. Is it selling because it’s in that color, but maybe it’s not selling because it’s in green, but yet the product is really great in black. So you can’t cancel that product. So this is the way you have to think as an e-commerce seller is really looking and studying your numbers and the data that you’re getting from Amazon.

Stephanie:

To go back to the keyword piece before, do you think they’re going to shift that just like you said they shifted the lifestyle rules? You couldn’t have that before, and now you can, do you think when it comes to a keyword strategy that they’re eventually going to change that? Because to me, they’ve always felt a little bit behind when it comes to Google and thinking about how search engines find products. And when I see some of the listings, I have a bunch of keywords stuff in the top of Amazon, I’m like oh, this is a short-term strategy. Like they’re going to eventually figure out how to do search in a way that’s not solely keyword driven. Google is not solely keyword driven anymore. And if you keyword stuck your website it may actually not help with search rankings and it may not do what you want anymore like it used to. How are you thinking about that?

Leslie:

I actually can imagine it will change because that’s the way humans think, you know what I mean? They think like I want to go to this barbecue this weekend and I need a white shawl to match my dress, and so therefore they’re thinking in that way, but what you’re saying also is that’s not the only thing that will get you a pay page one rank, and that’s absolutely true on Amazon. So just because your listing is optimized. And that’s really important, it doesn’t mean that’s going to be the only thing that’s going to get you on page one of Amazon. And that’s the goal for every seller, is to get on page one. And so the other ways what one really needs to do is to do PPC ads, which are Amazon sponsored ads. And in that case, again, you are bidding on keywords. So, again, that whole thing is keyword heavy also. So that’s something that I utilize a lot and sellers utilize a lot. And you really can’t run an Amazon business, or it’s hard to, without doing PPC ads.

Stephanie:

Got it. So when thinking about your own website versus Amazon, how do you think about the balance? Are you skewing traffic towards maybe your website sometimes more than Amazon or Amazon more than your website? How do you think about controlling both those platforms?

Leslie:

It’s a really good question. It’s something honestly I’ve struggled with a lot. So I started my website about… I would say about three or four years ago. So I had my Amazon shop going for a lot longer. And when I started I was gung ho and I want to do advertising. And I want to send audiences directly to my website and let Amazon do its thing and I’m going to build a whole new… And I’m going to build up the website and have major sales and everything. Well, this did not happen. All right. So I hired marketing. I did advertising, I did Google ads. I did Facebook ads. I did all the traditional ways one gets traffic to your website and I honestly did not find that it worked.

Leslie:

I felt that I would need to put in a tremendous amount of money in marketing and in advertising. I’m in a very competitive market, women’s clothing, and so Google advertising, for example, was extremely expensive for me. So if I wanted to really blow up my own website I would have had to put so much more money into it. So at some point I asked myself the question, “Is it worth it? And maybe is it better that I put that same money into my PPC ads on Amazon?” They already have 200 million users there and why not try to really blow up my own sales that are already doing well, rather than trying to put fuel on a fire that has only smoke. So, that’s what I decided to do. And I have decided to basically go all in on my Amazon sales. I continue my website. I continue doing more email marketing and building that up, but it is not where I put all my advertising dollars any longer.

Stephanie:

Got it. And then what about social media or new channels that are popping up? How are you thinking about those?

Leslie:

I also feel the same way. I have not built my multiple seven figure business by doing advertising outside of Amazon or by driving people there from Facebook or Instagram. I know other sellers might have, but that has not been my experience. So I really keep my dollars within the Amazon system. And I expand my products lines there, and yes, I’m on Facebook and yes, I’m on Instagram and yes, I’m on Pinterest and yes, I post and I keep all of those channels active. I’m on TikTok now. I have a very big following on YouTube. I have about 100,000 subscribers on YouTube. So I do all the social media, but I do not think that’s the reason for my e-commerce success on Amazon.

Stephanie:

If all your sales are coming or most of them coming from Amazon, then that’s definitely true. How do you feel about connecting with your consumer? Because that’s the only thing I think about when it comes to Amazon not having that first party data, not having that direct connection with your customer and if all of a sudden they switched either… I know their ads are already expensive and have gotten more expensive over the past couple of years, but if they switched something where it’s all of a sudden hard to find, your brand and then there’s so many more competitors in the marketplace, how do you think about getting to your consumer in other ways?

Leslie:

Well, as I said, I do have my own list, my own email list of my customers and I build that list regularly. So I am able to communicate directly with them. And you’re absolutely right, that’s the problem with Amazon is Amazon doesn’t actually allow you to contact their customers, but there are ways, which is, through certain services that Amazon approves and by using certain texts that Amazon approves, you are able to send follow up emails to every customer that gets a product. And so I’m dealing with customer emails a lot. So I am actually able to connect directly with Amazon customers. What I’m not allowed to do is I’m not allowed to pitch them. I’m not allowed to say, “Guess what? We just got in this new dress or outfit and I want to tell you about it.”

Leslie:

So I can’t do that. And the other way is that you have to deal with Amazon, which is on the product page itself. So, as everybody knows, they could leave product reviews, Amazon changed the word from reviews to ratings now, and there is a way for me to know what all of those reviews are. And I do regularly go through them all. Again, it’s a report that Amazon enables me to see, and I’m able to respond to those reviews as well if there’s problems and things like that. So I do feel there actually is some connection and I do notice also that I have a lot of repeat customers, because people tell me that, and I can also see how many orders certain customers have given.

Stephanie:

I could see having those emails from the consumers, from your customers, very interesting ways to connect with them. What if you were like, “Hey, I have this new piece of content. I’m headed to Bali again. If you want to check out where these clothes are sourced from and go here,” can you do anything like that, that sends them in a different direction? Nope. Okay.

Leslie:

On the website obviously I can do whatever you want with those emails but on Amazon absolutely not. There’s a lot of people that do against what’s called terms of service. So there’s a lot of sellers doing things that Amazon doesn’t want them to do. I have always run my business incredibly clean. I do not do black hat marketing at all, but there are sellers who, for example, will include in their packaging some kind of postcard or whatever, go here and you’ll get this.

Stephanie:

That seems smart. I don’t know if that’s black hat. I would totally do that.

Leslie:

Yeah, exactly. And there’s a lot of people who do do that. So there are ways. There’s a risk with Amazon. You don’t own the customers you said. They can change their policies. It’s something I had said to you, I’m dealing with a huge change in FBA, the Fulfillment By Amazon, right now that is really hard for me. I have to look at the results of it, I have to look at the results during COVID, and how my business has stayed alive during this time. So I feel very grateful for the opportunity to sell on Amazon.

Stephanie:

Cool. So where are you hoping to be in the next three years or so? What are your goals?

Leslie:

I’m interested right now in possibly expanding to Amazon India. And also I’m looking into Amazon Singapore, although they haven’t opened yet to clothing. I used to sell on Amazon Europe, and I live in Europe right now and I shut down Europe because it’s not a very supportive environment for entrepreneurs…

Leslie:

And the VAT, I felt very penalized here and so I just decided to withdraw, but I’m very excited about the potential of Amazon India. It’s actually, they’re saying, one of the fastest growing marketplaces and certainly the fastest growing middle-class. So I’m looking into that right now and I’m also looking into some other vendors that are outside of where I manufacturer now, but ultimately my goal is to exit and to sell my business. And most likely in three, four to five years Back From Bali will be available for sale.

Stephanie:

I love that. That’s great. That’s a good goal. So when you’re thinking about moving to other markets, what do you have to consider? You’ve already been in Europe, probably the harshest market to be in and try and sell in, but when you’re thinking about India or Singapore, how do you even approach that? What things do you have to do different? Do you think people there would be interested in the same products? What things do you have to consider?

Leslie:

Well, that’s really interesting. And Amazon India did approach me. So this is how this happened. So a few weeks ago they wrote to me, we had a meeting. Reason why they wrote to me is because little did I know, but Amazon was buying products from me at full price and reselling my products on Amazon India several years ago when they were first interested in entering and building out the India marketplace. So what they found was that my products were selling and that is why they contacted me to see if I wanted to go forward, because they’ve made certain trade agreements now with India, and they’ve opened up problems that were there several years ago and they couldn’t really invite many sellers in but now they can. So the first thing I asked was, “Okay, well, which product sold?” And unfortunately they didn’t have that data, which is….

Stephanie:

Come on, if you’re going to beta test, [crosstalk]

Leslie:

So to answer your question I will go with my most popular products and my product actually that’s a little bit less Bali centric actually and a little bit more general. For example, one of my bestselling products, it is a shrug, a woman’s shrug. It’s basically a little light cardigan, and I sell them in tons of colors and in all kinds of shapes and sizes. It’s one of my absolute best products, all the different styles of them. So I think I may start with those and then I’ll basically, again, look at my data and I will look at what are my best sellers and I will start with my best sellers.

Stephanie:

Awesome. That’d be really cool to hear how that goes and what those other markets look like as you’re exploring that. All right. I want to talk a bit about your book that you’re writing. I want to hear what is the book called and what was the inspiration behind it?

Leslie:

I’ve been in the e-commerce world, which basically means living behind your computer a lot. Which is something we are all doing, no matter what business you’re in, but certainly when I was building this business, certainly that’s where I spend my time all the time. And I started to feel like I have so much knowledge that I have gathered over these years and I wanted to share it. Especially in my situation, because I was in my early 50s when I made this big change in my life, and I really wanted to get out the message to women that it’s never too late. And just because you’re 50 or 60 or 40 or whatever, 37 some women even think, it’s never too late. And so I wanted to really write about what it takes to be successful and what are those keys? So the name of the book is Money and Freedom: 7 Keys to 7 Figures for Women Entrepreneurs. And I go through the different seven keys that were really the turning point for me.

Leslie:

For example, the key of focus, that’s key number two, I had two businesses at that time and neither of them were doing really well. And I realized that the problem was I was not focused. And that’s the why. So when I would run to one business, that business would increase and the other one would go down, run to the other business, that one would go up, the other one would go down like a see-saw in a playground. That was constantly the state of my businesses. And I realized that I had to make a decision, and the decision was I had to let one business go and I had to go all in on one of them.

Leslie:

And it was that moment, what I was talking about when I said, “There’s no way I’m waking up next year and not making a certain amount over 100,000 in revenue in my business,” that I realized I need to let one of those businesses go. And I did. And that was the beginning of my success. So my book builds on the different keys to success that really ricocheted my business, and I know will help other women entrepreneurs too.

Stephanie:

Amazing. And when is it going to be available to purchase?

Leslie:

Sometime in 2022. And if you’re interested in it, just go to my website, which is my name, lesliekuster.com, and there is a book tab there and just add your name to it and I will let you know. We’ll be doing a pre-launch.

Stephanie:

Amazing, so cool. We will definitely be on the lookout for that when it’s pre-launching. Leslie, this has been awesome having you on the show. We’ll definitely have to bring you back when you’re expanding into other markets, but for now, where can people find out more about you and Back From Bali?

Leslie:

Thanks for asking. So Back From Bali you can find on Amazon and you can find also on my website at backfrombali.com and you could find me, as I said on YouTube, Back From Bali YouTube, Facebook, Instagram. If you’re interested in really ricocheting your business, I do consulting, I also have courses so check me out at lesliekuster.com.

Stephanie:

Cool. Thanks so much.

Episode 147