EP 7 - James Thomson - Expert Insights about Becoming More Attuned to the Specifics of Being Successful on Amazon

Awesomers Origin - We'll talk to an Awesomer about where they came from, the triumphs and tribulations they have faced and how they are doing today. An Awesomer Origin story is the chance to hear the backstory about the journey our guest took on their road to becoming awesomer. These stories are incredibly varied and the takeaway is that awesomers come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, creeds, colors and every other variation possible. On your awesomer road, you will face adversity. That’s just part of life. The question as always is how YOU choose to deal with it.
James BIO:
James Thomson is a partner in Buy Box Experts, a managed services agency supporting brands selling online. Earlier he served as the business head of Amazon Services, the division of Amazon responsible for recruiting tens of thousands of sellers annually to the Amazon marketplace. He also served as the first Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) manager. Prior to Amazon, James was a management consultant and banker.

In 2015, James co-founded the PROSPER SHOW, a continuing education conference for large Amazon sellers, and in 2017 published a book "The Amazon Marketplace Dilemma" designed for brand executives seeking to control their brands on the Amazon marketplace. In 2018 he co-founded the Brand Authority Summit. 

He holds a Bachelor of Science from University of Alberta, an MBA from Vanderbilt University (Owen School), and a Ph.D. in Marketing (B2B pricing and Distribution) from Northwestern University (Kellogg School). James has guest lectured at more than a dozen top business schools around the world and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc., CNBC, Bloomberg, Internet Retailer, Globe and Mail, CBC, USA Today, and many more.

Go visit James, and learn more about his work at prospershow.com
and brandauthoritysummit.com


Amazon is a large and complex ecosystem which can be hard to navigate.

In Episode 7, we learn from James Thomson, former head of Amazon Services and partner and co-founder of Buy Box Experts and the PROSPER show, about his journey from being a top Amazon executive to starting his own businesses. You will also learn valuable key points such as:

  • How he created educational opportunities for sellers and brands to become more attuned to the specifics of what it takes to be successful on Amazon.

  • Why relationships still matter even in today’s technology-driven environment.

  • Outsourcing and delegating responsibilities to team members who can execute with excellence.

  • And why you should just break free from the traditional environment and just grab an opportunity and own it!

So listen up and learn valuable insights on how to navigate Amazon, entrepreneurship and living an Awesomer life.

Welcome to the Awesomers.com podcast. If you love to learn and if you're motivated to expand your mind and heck if you desire to break through those traditional paradigms and find your own version of success, you are in the right place. Awesomers around the world are on a journey to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. We believe in paying it forward and we fundamentally try to live up to the great Zig Ziglar quote where he said, "You can have everything in your life you want if you help enough other people get what they want." It doesn't matter where you came from. It only matters where you're going. My name is Steve Simonson and I hope that you will join me on this Awesomer journey.


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Steve: You can find all the show notes and details at awesomers.com/7 that's awesomers.com/7. Today our special guest is James Thomson who is a partner in Buy Box experts which is a managed services agency supporting brands selling online. Earlier he served as the business head of Amazon services, the division of Amazon responsible for recruiting tens of thousands of sellers annually to the Amazon Marketplace. He has also served as the first fulfillment by Amazon manager. Prior to Amazon James was a management consultant and a banker or a big background. In 2015, James co-founded the Prosper show, a continuing education conference for large Amazon sellers and in 2017, he published a book the Amazon Marketplace Dilemma, designed for brand executives seeking to control their brands on the Amazon Marketplace and boy it's a wild west environment for the big brands for sure, even for the small brands. In 2018, he co-founded the Brand Authority Summit. James is definitely, constantly got his finger on the pulse of what's happening on Amazon and the e-commerce ecosystem at large and we're thrilled to have him. Again this is episode number 7 and don't forget to subscribe. Share this with a friend and leave us some comments on how you like this episode.

Hey everybody welcome back to Awesomers! We're here on today's live podcast with a wonderful guest and it turns out that you can be an Awesomers and not even know it wouldn't you say that's true James?

James:  I'll let you decide what Awesomers means. I do what I like and I love doing what I'm doing so hopefully the story is interesting to those who are listening.

Steve: So yes that's the ultimate definition of kind of Awesomer - being able to choose what you want to do when you want to do it. That's a pretty good freedom lifestyle there so no question that James Thomson our guest today is absolutely an Awesomer and he's done a lot of really interesting things. James could you summarize kind of what you do today and you know what gets you out of bed in the morning?

James: I spent a number of years working in Amazon and during that time I got to work with literally tens of thousands of third-party sellers and when the time came for me to leave Amazon I decided to remain in the space and focus on how do we create educational opportunities for sellers to become smarter about what they're doing. So I have a lot of different things going on so to speak but they all have to do with how do we help brands, how do we help resellers become more attuned to the specifics of what it takes to be successful on Amazon. I know that you're doing a podcast and you run a mastermind and you're involved with sellers in your way, I'm involved in other ways working with companies that depend on the Amazon Marketplace in some way so.

Steve: Now it's a really important thing right because the Amazon ecosystem is so large and therefore complex.

James: Yes.

Steve: But not everybody understands or wants to understand the details of the particulars so my impression is that one of the things that you guys do really well is you help especially the larger brands tackle this very kind of nebulous ecosystem and help them understand how to put two and two together to equal more than four even you know maybe it's eight. I don't know.

James: I had the opportunity to work with a lot of brands early on when Amazon's marketplace got started and what I saw over and over again was companies thinking that selling online was like selling in any other site, selling in any other kind of channel they might sell and the reality is the Amazon Marketplace is rather complex and doesn't have the same sense of rules that a brand might be experienced with selling into a typical brick and mortar retailer. Quite frankly the more complex Amazon is, the more likely and I will continue to have a livelihood doing what I do and being able to find opportunities to help companies make sense of this market so as Amazon keeps growing and as brands keep growing frustrated there's an opportunity there.

Steve: No doubt about that. Well and there's been so many other things that you've done but before we kind of dive into some of those present-day activities, let's go back in time a little bit and talk about your background. So I always like to know where people come from because it helps the Awesomers origin story kind of put the pieces together at least for me it does and so where were you born James?

James:  I was born in England a long long time ago but I mean Canadians who happen to be living abroad briefly in England. My parents are social democrats. I'm a Social democrat and what that really means is not a socialist. What a Social Democrat really means is looking for ways to raise the water level for everybody. How do you make sure that you move forward but do it while you're pulling all your neighbors around you forward as well? So I like to think of the background and where I come from as being absolutely critical to who I am. If I was a pure capitalist I don't think I've been doing what I'm doing but it turns out that is a sort of Democrat I get to surround myself with really interesting people who are also like-minded trying to find ways to make the world better and even though we make the world better at only little tiny ways that the reality is you have to do it one person at a time and my background as a Canadian you know people make fun of the fact - oh you're from Canada. Yes but it's important to who I am. It drives my wife crazy that I wear Canadian paraphernalia all the time but you know that is who I am and I was fortunate enough. After going to school in the United States for grad school I ended up staying here and having a number of really interesting companies that I work for and you know we get into those specifics but the opportunity to end up in Seattle where I am today having spent time at Amazon and staying here now I feel like I'm in a little mini Canada living in Seattle. Pacific Northwest is a curious place where people kind of like to be left alone and do their own thing and kind of be good to each other and have time for each other and so I love being in the space that I'm in today.


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Steve: Yes it really is I'd like where you know you tie in the fact that you know just a little incremental positive forward impact to the world is a positive thing it's a good thing and it's ultimately the best and only way to get things done. Awesomers definitely believe in doing the right thing even when nobody's looking and helping others as best we can. So what did your parents do, just out of curiosity?

James:  My father is a university professor and he was training in England. My mother was a nurse. I don't remember when we left. I was all of a year and a half old when we left England but I spent almost the next 20 years living in Canada and it was a very stable household. I had an opportunity to go to college in Canada and then eventually moved to the States for grads school whereas I said I end up staying here. It's been more than 25 years that I've been here in the States. I've lived all over the place but I couldn't possibly imagine living somewhere where I'm happier than being in the Seattle area today. And certainly for folks who are familiar with what's going on in Seattle in the last 10 years with the growth of Amazon, holy smokes the city and the area has changed incredibly, incredible amount and quite frankly we are so over indexed and culture and opportunity to learn about other aspects of the world here in Seattle, I find it to be a remarkable place to raise a family.

Steve: So yes Seattle is also my home base and it is an extraordinary place to exist and to live and to kind of explore. I know you're extensively educated, James. Tell us about your university days and because it seems like there are a few steps in there.

James: I ended up going university for ten years and you know the typical path of somebody who has no idea what they want to do when they grow up and by the way, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I ended up doing a bachelor's degree and a master's degree and a Ph.D. They're very quantitative in terms of what I was doing and it all ultimately led to me being a management consultant after I after I graduated but quite frankly when I think about the kinds of skills that have helped me the most being in a position where asking a lot of questions around data and being inquisitive about just how the world works you know, I have my parents to thank for continuously challenging me on the status quo and asking me why do you think things work this way? What would you do differently? What data would you go and get to be able to show that the world could work differently? Quite frankly, it can be very annoying to some people, have people continuously challenging. But that's who I am and the reality is it's the only way to make the world a better place is to change it from where it is today so yes. Sorry, I'm going a little bit off your question.

Steve: But no no it's quite good.

James: I had the opportunity to go to college and I was fortunate enough to get a number of scholarships so I just kept going thinking at some point life would reveal itself to me in terms of what I want to do when I grow up. It didn't quite work out that way, and I ended up with a Ph.D. and I thought I was going to be a marketing professor but that really wasn't what I wanted to do in the end but I finished the degree anyway. Then ended up in corporate America doing a number of things that ultimately led me to Seattle where I ended up working for Amazon for six years.

Steve: Boy what a journey that must have been. So was there was there a defining moment maybe when you kind of looked at they either the management consulting or the Amazon thing and said, gosh this isn't exactly where I want to be but now I'm clear as to where I want to go. Was there something that stuck out to you?

James:  I think for me having had the opportunity to work both as a consultant working for very different types of clients as well as working in various corporations have very different approaches to how problems got solved. I didn't realize how important data actually was until I ended up in an environment where there was no data and I went to work for a bank at one point where I literally had no idea what was going on because there was no data to share. It all came down to who you knew who might be able to reveal a little bit of so-called truth about what might be going on. To me, that's not a very effective way of operating but it was the way that the bank worked. I ended up leaving because I was managing this humongous portfolio and I had no data on how profit we were, no data on who the best customers were. Absolutely no idea as to what was going on. I don't like managing by the seat of my pants and to say I hope it all works out. It's just not an effective way for me and so going from the bank to working at Amazon, we're on day one my manager said, “There's your computer. There's the data warehouse. Good luck. We'll see you after Q4.” and then I got into the data warehouse and discovered oh my goodness there's more data here than I will ever possibly be able to digest. I was in many ways in a wonderful place for the types of things that I need to be able to thrive. Now it turns out Amazon is an interesting place to work and there have been press stories about what kind of culture it is and for me, I ended up having to leave specifically because of I kind of like seeing my family once in a while. I'm not criticizing Amazon for the culture it has. It's very consistent in what it does and I knew what I was getting myself into and I joined. When I joined I was unmarried, no kids, none of that stuff and I ended up getting married and having kids and discovering I kind of want to have some balance so I used the opportunity of leaving Amazon to figure out what I want to do with all these skills that I've developed.

Steve: That sounds like a pretty defining moment right there all right. Understanding that gosh, my priorities have changed over this course of time and that in fact my family and spending time with them is gonna have to be put up a little higher on the to-do list.

James: I knew that I still need to have data in my life. I needed to be in a position where I was solving problems using data. Now that sounds fairly vague but figuring out what are the types of problems that we can solve using data, what are the types of problems where if you don't have data you really have no idea what you're doing. So I had been a consultant before I thought well that's what I'll start doing when I when I finish my time at Amazon it turns out there's a lot of people on the Amazon Marketplace who don't know what they're doing and or need a lot of help and are asking for help so early on after I left Amazon there was lots of opportunities to get involved working with companies answering questions and you know things have built from there. I've been able to do a number of other things since then but it's always been about Amazon, it's always been about helping people understand what's really going on or creating some clarity around the direction that they may be going that really doesn't make any sense once you understand what Amazon's all about.

Steve: There really is quite a landscape to kind of navigate when you're dealing with Amazon. In my mind, it's getting more complex not less. Even when you have better access to data analytics, they're adding more and more aspects of selling and different variables. We all know there's you know different terms of service changes that happen and you know big companies in particular but even small companies, everybody has trouble keeping up with it. I'm sure Amazon has trouble keeping up? How do you keep up with all of that kind of stuff?

James: Well I mean the reality is we have some existing relationships with folks at Amazon. Amazon has gotten to be so big and in the five years since I left that we often find ourselves having meetings with folks at Amazon where we are introducing someone from Amazon to someone else from Amazon. They don't even know that they both exist or that in fact that the businesses that are each and are so closely related. But they're basically stepping on each other's toes but they don't even know that there are other people's toes to be stepped on. Again I'm not I'm not criticizing. That reality is you've got a humongous organization and we only know little pieces here and there and in many ways the process of everybody external to Amazon. We all have to help each other because nobody knows exactly who all the right people are and the people within Amazon keep changing so often that I feel like I'm scrounging around like oh look here's some information. Well look you have information too. Oh, let's see how we can help each other versus oh yes there's a public set of criteria and here are the people who talked to you and blah blah. None of that existed and as you know well and so the process of scrounging around and trying to work whatever relationships you do have and when somebody says oh I'm leaving this role at Amazon you're like hold on before you leave there must be people back filling you. Who are those people? Please introduce me to those people. I mean that that kind of conversation being scrappy. I mean Amazon we had to learn how to be scrappy but I have to be just a scrappy outside of Amazon to deal with people at Amazon because there's so much change of processes and change of people within that organization.

Steve: To me one of those so-called gold nuggets that you just drop there, even in this modern world, even it's this technology-driven environment we live in relationships still matter. Relationships are the key to making things happen - short-term, long-term, what have you but especially long term. It sounds like you continued to work on those relationships and promote and engage in those relationships. I liked how you position it. Hey, how can I help you, right? Which is always kind of the best opening in any relationship is how can I be helpful to you.

James: I recognize that there's no way I can figure this all out myself. It is like putting a puzzle together in the dark with half the puzzle pieces. Somebody else out there hopefully has some of the puzzle pieces and somebody else can shine some light briefly on the puzzles but the reality is we're never going to figure this out ourselves so in many ways working in the Amazon  space and the culture of what Amazon is, it is a really good match for the types of values that are important to me around helping each other because we have to help each other. We absolutely have to.

Steve:  We still got to find the guy with the top of that puzzle box that shows us what we're actually putting together. That'll be helpful too. So maybe, James was there a day that you would look back and go you know this was my favorite or the most momentous professional day on the on the job, whether it was with your current company Buy Box Experts or an Amazon or perhaps when you were putting the other things like the Prosper show. Was there anything that you just kind of looked out and go wow this is really cool. Not so much that I've arrived but I'm excited to be here and I am appreciating this moment. Anything stand out to you?

James: I would say the most the most exciting day for me professionally was the very first day of our very first Prosper show so my business partner Joe Hansen, he and I we run Buy Box Experts together but we had been to a whole series of conferences put on by various organizations and we felt like there was this huge gap out there. Nobody was really educating Amazon sellers. There were events that had sessions but they weren't really educational sessions, they were thinly disguised sales discussions and then that's really not education as far as I'm concerned. So we went out crazy and said we can do our own show, of course, we can. I don't know squat about organizing a trade show and neither did Joe.

Steve: Perfect! You guys are right the perfect Awesomers for the job.

James: Let's find the space, let's get some hotel rooms, let's get some speakers and let's see if somebody will pay for some booths because we got to pay a lot of bills here but the reality is we put the first show together and I remember the very first day of that show, when I got up on stage to welcome everybody. I had walked around the room before anybody came in the room and there were like 700 chairs in this room and I couldn't believe this room was gonna be full and I got up on stage to welcome everybody and it was standing room only. There were people sitting on the sidelines and people at the doors trying to squeeze in and like it literally blew my mind. I'm like holy smokes this is amazing! We organized a party and more people showed up than we expected and then my next thought was oh crap we have this huge responsibility. This is not a party. This is an educational event and we got to figure out how do we make this work? How do we make sure that all the sessions are good and hopefully really good? And how do we keep everybody happy and then how do we get people to come back again and again? But for that split moment being up there on stage and there's like seven hundred plus people in the room and I see a few faces I recognized but most of these people have no idea who I am I have no idea who they are but they've decided they're gonna spend their time and their money and they're gonna come to this event. While the show isn't for everybody people have continued to come back year over year and it's amazing, it's a very humbling experience to be in where you realize there is demand for what you're offering but with that demand comes this responsibility and you can't just rinse and repeat. You've got to figure out how to bring it all every time and whatever you know how to do now you've got to figure out how to be able to bring even more next time. That's kind of scary because you keep pushing yourself saying well this is all I know how to give up myself right now but I know I got to figure out how to give more of myself next year and more of myself the year after that. By the way no matter what you do, thirty percent of people are gonna complain about stuff and some of those complaints you'll feel are completely valid and some of them you'll feel are completely you know unfair but you deal with all of them and you got to keep getting better and that part's really scary because nobody's seen the future but you still have to go towards the future and you got to figure out how to get better. We did the first day of the show its amazing we've since now done three successful shows we've managed to sell our conference but we're doing more shows and it's exhilarating but it's also a recognition at that point that you there's a lot of responsibility in your shoulders that you've thrown onto your own shoulders.  I'm gonna have a lemonade stand, sell a bunch of lemonade and then I get to go home. Yes, that's true but the reality is now everybody expects you to serve lemonade every day of your life until you figure out how to do something better than that and that that's kind of scary that's kind of scary so but it's also exhilarating.

Steve: This is the classic awesomer paradox right because you, first of all, you decided you're gonna do something that hadn't been done by you and your partner before and that is entering the great unknown which is you know that's something regular folks or normies as I often refer to them, they don't they don't necessarily go down that road. Awesomers are not afraid to take that risk. It's extraordinarily impressive.

James: Let me be clear Steve Awesomers are afraid to take that risk that they take the risk anyway.

Steve: That's quite right yes.

James: I mean there was a point where we were like - are we gonna lose our shirts organizing this conference? Who's gonna show up you within 30 days to go?  We didn't hit and sold anywhere near enough tickets to cover our basic costs and then there we are the day of and the room is overflowing and you're like oh my gosh this is scary.


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James: So anyways but it not that its false confidence but it gives you the confidence to say okay that was doable. What's the next chapter? What do we do next and by the way hopefully we make some money doing this as well because it can't just be out of the goodness of our hearts? Then you start getting into questions like ok I'm an Amazon seller sold a million dollar as a product but how do I make any actual money? That's the same kind of dilemma I'm big and successful yet I'm not really successful

Steve: I love the fact that the victory lap was recognized. Hey, this is really extraordinary look at all this and then that the avalanche of responsibility shows up quickly. It certainly does for me as well but I I'm appreciating the fact that you did take a moment to go this is a really nice you know experience that I'm having right now with the standing-room-only and seeing these people where again as you just described only 30 days earlier you didn't know if you're gonna have enough people to break even. I'm sure those conferences probably we're difficult to break even on initially but it's extraordinary what you guys put together.

James: In an even more humbling way it was super special for me because I invited my parents to come to the first Prosper show. My parents have no idea what it is I do it's hard to say well I sell stuff online and I help other people who sell stuff online. It's like well show me what that looks like. Well in a small way you know my parents saw me on stage and this room is full and they're there. People are there to listen to what I have organized so it was it was it was wonderful for me to help shine a little tiny light on what I do so my parents could say yeah my son he does this internet thing and I don't know what it is but he was up on stage and I understand that part. That was exciting for me.

Steve: Very tangible as a showing of hey listen I'm doing stuff and it must be important because other people are paying attention too. That's nice. I like that. That's a very good circle. Just as we begin to wrap this up do you have any favorite online tool that you like to use? You just can't get through your day or your week without hitting this tool or thinking about this tool?

James: I don't have any financial relationship with any of these tools but companies products that I use because it's critical to what we do - I'm a big believer in Jungle Scout. I really like being able to use a tool that pulls so much data quickly and allows me to get a quick overview of what a brand's business might look like whether it's the size of the business, whether it's how many competitors are beating each other up on price on the same listings you know that those kinds of things are very useful for the kinds of kinds of questions that I help answer for some of my clients. I'm also a very big believer in it's not so much a software tool as it is the concept of offshoring certain types of responsibilities and getting really really important really really good people overseas to help you with certain things. We didn't do any of that four years ago and then we started to say well gosh what's the worst that could happen? If this doesn't work if we outsource it. We very quickly realize there are some incredibly talented people. When I say offshore I should be more specific they don't necessarily have to be in another country but the process of how do you outsource responsibilities to talented people, who that's what they do they do certain types of functions that quite frankly I don't like to do or I don't want to do and in recognizing that you can actually delegate stuff to people who are really skilled and doing these things. Holy smokes talk about freeing me up from things that were holding me back. I'm never gonna be good at all the things I need to do to run my business so I couldn't live without outsourcing at this point. There's no way I could do that.

Steve: It is one of the best things when you finally understand the potential and you get it right. I don't know about you but most of us engage in some of these is like I'm tired of doing this and then we advocate the responsibility quickly and of course often that fails the first time. Myself I've had a hundred person office in the Philippines we still continue that business. It was so long ago but we continuously use various resources onshore doesn't matter. Your point about outsourcing clear delineated responsibilities to team members who can execute with excellence is so well made and I tell you for my own peace of mind and I wonder if you agree I wouldn't want to exist day-to-day doing everything. I just don't like doing some stuff. Other people on my team they love to do those particular items. Do you find that similar experience?

James: There are lots of things I don't like doing. I don't want to do them and if I can find somebody talented who's motivated to do those things and I can afford to pay them then we have a business transaction that needs to happen here right away. Now if I could figure out how to outsource you know cleaning of the house and doing other responsibilities, being a father and the husband, you know that would be even better. But the reality is I love doing what I do professionally and you know gives me a certain level of freedom to be able to focus on the things that I find most creative and most exciting. This is a good ride let's put it that way.

Steve: That is really an important lesson for everybody to take home and I do know that there are lots of resources out there that will help you know to put two and two together at this point it's become much much better to be able to, for example using a company like freeeup.com they will help you find a particular talent a particular role that you need within the company and it's a broad range of marketing types of things but very highly trained people and very good people with you know high levels responsibility. There's many more like that so I really appreciate that you sharing those insights with us. How can people find you know what you're currently up to right now James? What's the best way to find you online?

James: At one point I had 12 or 13 email addresses for different businesses. Probably the easiest way to reach me is through Buy Box Experts, the marketing agency that I run my partner Joe Hansen. I'm available at james@buyboxexperts.com. You can also check out the two different conferences we run; one is called prosper show at prospershow.com. We recently launched another conference called Brand Authority Summit which is brandauthoritysummit.com, an event aimed at senior brand executives. These are all parts of parts of my life today and they're all excited too for the sorts of things that I like doing so those are all ways for people to reach me or you can always find me on LinkedIn. I am very very active on LinkedIn and folks can find me there and the only James Thomson with no P who's been at Amazon so Thomson with no P at Amazon. You'll find me there.

Steve: Nice well thank you for that. It really is extraordinary the numbers of things you're able to kind of be involved in and not just you know kind of cursory involvement but high involvement and big impact and so on behalf of all the entrepreneurs out there you know I want to thank you for putting on such a great forum for people to go to. I hear constantly people talking about how positive the Prosper show was for them and I have no doubt your new show will be very similar for those brand executives who need it so much. Before we finally close any last words of wisdom for the Awesomer community out there?

James: You've got an audience of people listening who have already gone down the Awesomer path, many of them are already taking calculated risks doing certain types of things. I like to think about another the new college graduate who's trying to figure out how do you become an entrepreneur? How do you break in and do that kind of thing? you know the advice that took a long time before I was given the advice, but the reality is I think of opportunity as basically, it's a land grab that there are things out there that nobody owns and the reality is if you want to own it go and own it. You don't need permission to say hey I'm gonna do a conference or hey I'm gonna write a book or hey I'm gonna start an agency. Obviously there are financial implications if you take the time to do this and you still need to pay the mortgage and so on but if you can make it work just go do it you don't need permission and it's one of these crazy things where I think for anybody who spent too much time in the corporate world you're used to having to ask permission for everything please can I do this please can I spend this money. Well as an entrepreneur who's focused on you know what I'm gonna go and change a little piece of the world here and to change the world in a little way you don't ask permission. You just go do it and then hopefully people see what you're doing and say ooh I want to be part of that and before you know it lots of people want to be part of what you're doing and I've had people say well why did you start Prosper? How did you start it and the reality is it's like everything else that we do you just have to go do it. That's a hard thing to do when you grow up in an environment where you spend your whole life asking permission whether it's in grade school, whether it's in corporate America you have to ask permission. As an entrepreneur, don't ask permission. Validate the idea but then run. Just go do it right and do it and it's a very different way of thinking that quite frankly it took me 40 plus years to get around to the point to be able to say well why can't I do this. Wait a minute I'm just gonna go do it if I screw up I have myself to blame for it but if it works out I have myself to blame for it. So you know you just gotta go do it and that's a hard piece of advice for most people to swallow if they don't come from the mindset of recognizing that it's up to them to go create their own future.

Steve:  Well I tell you that is such great wisdom. Honestly the idea that what stands between people and they're kind of Awesomer future is really just them taking action. It sounds so fundamental, it's so simple but it's absolutely true I couldn't have said it better myself. Very well done James. Thank you again for joining us on the Awesomers podcast today. We really do appreciate it and we love what you're doing and we hope to talk to you again the future.

James: Thanks so much for having me tonight, Steve. Take care.


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Steve: Another great Awesomer story! Knowing the origin story for James is such a privilege and we're sure appreciating the fact that he took the time to share that with us. I really just love the fact that you know everybody's background is so different yet everybody can find their way to becoming an Awesomer and figure out you know how to change the world and definitely James is doing that. The prosper show attracts you know probably close to 1,500 maybe 1,700 sellers, I don't know the exact count but it's a lot and everybody who goes there the defenders, the attendees the speakers, everybody just has a great time and they learn an awful lot. It's a great way for him to continue to influence the market beyond his own business the Buy Box Experts and with this new summit that he set up called the Brand Authority Summit. We expect many big things for him in the future so thanks to James. Remember this is Awesomer  Episode number 7. You can go to awesomers.com/7 to see the show notes and details.

Well, we've done it again everybody. We have another episode of the Awesomers podcast ready for the world. Thank you for joining us and we hope that you've enjoyed our program today. Now is a good time to take a moment to subscribe like and share this podcast. Heck, you can even leave a review if you want it.  Awesomers around you will appreciate your help. It's only with your participation and sharing that we'll be able to achieve our goals. Our success is literally in your hands. Thank you again for joining us. We are at your service. Find out more about me, Steve Simonson, our guest, team and all the other Awesomers involved at Awesomers.com. Thank you again.