- Kyla Gardner
Kyla has published more than 35 books on Amazon, writing and designing many of them herself. She studied journalism in college and worked as a journalist covering crime and then human interest stories in her hometown of Chicago. Kyla transitioned into online business by working in Vietnam for a software company geared toward FBA sellers. When she was let go in 2017, she combined her writing skills and knowledge of Amazon to start a Kindle business. She now travels full time as a “digital nomad” and is working on her first novel set to be published under her real name.
Charles: 00:00 In this episode of the Business of eCommerce. I talked with Kylar Gardner about selling info products on Amazon. This is the business of eCommerce, episode one Oh eight, welcome to the business of eCommerce, the show that helps eCommerce retailers start, launch and grow their eCommerce business. I’m your host, Charles
and I’m here today with Kylar gardener. Kyler has published more than 35 books in Amazon writing and designing many of them herself. She’s currently traveling full time as a digital nomad and working on our first novel. I asked her in the show today to talk about selling info products on Amazon. So hi Kyla, how are you doing today?
Kyla: 00:41 I’m good. Thanks for having me. How are you?
Charles: 00:43 Yeah. Awesome to have you on the show. I love I love talking to retailers and I don’t know if you’d call yourself a retailer. Good folks kind of out there selling and doing things. It’s always kind of interesting to really get by, you know, the tactics and someone who’s actually doing it today. So super excited for this. Yeah, me too. So you, so currently you publish 35 bucks on Amazon, right? And these are all under, are they under your name or the under different names of, what do you typically do?
Kyla: 01:12 They’re all under fake names and quite a few different fake names as well because I batch them by the niche or the genre they’re in. So they’re mostly nonfiction. They’re pretty short around seven to 15,000 words and they come in all different formats. I sell eBooks, paperbacks, hardcovers and audio books.
Charles: 01:36 Okay, thank you. So I need to unpack this a little and the whole digital nomad things. There’s a lot here and this is super interesting. So first nonfiction, why, why are you publishing nonfiction under and what’s the terminal? Is there a different term when you say someone else’s name? Like a made up
Kyla: 01:53 A pseudonym? Yeah. Or a pen name. Yeah,
Charles: 01:56 Pen name. Why would you publish nonfiction under a pen name?
Kyla: 02:01 So I, when I started it, I just, I was just doing it for the money. I just wanted to see if I could make a buck on Amazon. And I wasn’t saying like this is, you know, a topic that I want to be known for as a writer myself. I just want to see if I can put it out there and it gets a good response. So that’s been my tactic.
Charles: 02:23 So you didn’t want us, so, so it sounds like if it didn’t do so you have a background in journalism, right? It’s kind of, okay. So it sounds like if it didn’t do well it was a complete flop. You wanted to just say wasn’t me.
Kyla: 02:36 Right. Yeah. So yeah. But then if it’s successful, I also can’t really take credit for it. So it’s kind of a double edged sword there.
Charles: 02:43 Got it. Okay. So how long ago was that that you did the first one?
Kyla: 02:46 About three years ago now.
Charles: 02:48 Okay, so you’re 35 in three years.
Kyla: 02:50 35 yeah. And I it’s about 50 if I include all the translations as well. If I outsource translations into like French, Spanish, Italian for quite a few of them as well.
Charles: 03:00 Wow. Okay. So that, so that is amazing. And what kind of topics are we talking about here? Like,
Kyla: 03:05 So it’s mostly kind of short, like how to guides. Self-Help does really well, like, you know how to have more charisma or make friends or meet people. Or like I have some in the pet care niche for different animals and pets. But it’s kind of like FBA in that people are a bit secretive about their niches because niche research is the first step, but also the most important part because if you find a niche that is hungry for content, most of the work is done for you there. Whereas if you’re really trying to push something that people don’t want or it’s oversaturated, it’s just going to be such a climb to get that to make money.
Charles: 03:45 Yes. Okay. So self-help and things like that, those are the ones that kind of, you see, you can see people buying that. Right. So you’re not selling to, you know, left-handed potato farmers, you’re selling to a very broad already existing audience. Right?
Kyla: 03:59 Yeah. Yeah, definitely.
Charles: 04:00 Got it. Okay. And what were you doing before? So even back up, what were you doing before this? How you even thought to start? Just publishing books on Amazon, like how did you get into this?
Kyla: 04:10 So you mentioned to have a background in journalism. That’s what I studied in college and then I worked as a journalist for about three years in my hometown of Chicago. And then I wanted to travel. So I found a job working for a software company. It was remote. We had three months of training in Vietnam, which was super cool. And then we could work from anywhere. So I was just doing customer service for them, but it was a software program that helps people sell on FBA, like look at their analytics and their keywords and all that. So I learned how to optimize Amazon, Amazon listings, and find keywords and find niches and all of that. So then when I left that job about a year later, I had both the writing background from journalism and then the Amazon background from the job. And it was so easy to just combine those and start a Kindle business.
Charles: 04:59 It’s funny, I love these like origin stories where it’s, when you tell it like that, it sounds like such like a straight road. Like I just did this and it’s like all these things just happened, this line. But I have a feeling it’s never really like that in real life. Like tell him backwards. It sounds like a straight line, but usually going forwards it’s like curvy, windy road is that kinda
Kyla: 05:17 Right and much more stressful like that in that version. It’s like I slept soundly every night cause it was all laid out and predestined. But yeah, when you’re on it, it’s so messy and you never know what’s coming next or what’s going to happen.
Charles: 05:31 Yeah. I think it’s a good message for people because every time it always sounds like, you know, like happiness and sunshine and all these things and it’s a straight line and like I just follow the path, but like it’s so it’s so not that where that kind of struggles along the way where you weren’t sure or kind of how a difficult time or was it wasn’t really some time?
Kyla: 05:52 No, no. My first book actually took me about months to finish and I don’t think it was actually the tasks I had to perform to finish it. It was the mindset of just writing a book and publishing a book sounded like such a huge intimidating task and it really took a lot to work through that and find that motivation and overcome the fear and the worry. And now I can like conceive of a book and write it and publish it and maybe less than a week. So that first one was really just, I just, you felt like you’re in the darkness, you know, and you’re just looking, what’s the path? I can’t even see where I’m going. I don’t know how to do this. So yeah, that was really hard in the beginning. And then of course as you grow and learn more, there’s also always going to be new challenges. Like now I have to learn how to do Amazon ads and I, once again, I’m in the dark and can’t find my way. So it’s just constantly a learning process.
Charles: 06:56 Well you choose fair. Like what, what is the fair initially in this, cause you knew how to write, you know, you had a background writing, you knew how to kind of work with Amazon. So where did that fear come in?
Kyla: 07:11 I guess you worry that or I worried that I wouldn’t, that I couldn’t do it. And I did start it when I was still working full time, so it was a side hustle. But I remember when I left that job and I started doing it full time, I had like a nice little chunk of savings. I was living in Thailand very cheaply and I didn’t have a lot of responsibilities besides myself. So I had all day long to work on this business and I felt like, you know, I have everything stacked in my favor and if I can’t make this work now, could I ever. So I put a lot of pressure on myself in that way of just feeling like I had that one really, really great opportunity and I wanted to take full advantage of it.
Charles: 08:00 Hmm. Interesting. It’s funny, some people feel like, like want that pressure. That’s like the only way you can do it is with that pressure and they wanna you know, burn the ships and know that this is like the one thing. But other people like don’t want that pressure to makes you feel anxious and you know, you have a difficult time doing it. It’s, it’s almost like you have to know yourself when it comes into this. And it’s very hard at the beginning. Cause if you’ve never done this, it’s hard to know how you’re gonna react to. You want pressure, you want to know like what do you know? It’s very hard at the beginning
Kyla: 08:27 Definitely. And then having no pressure as well. Once you become too comfortable, then it’s hard to find that motivation. So there’s definitely a happy medium somewhere where you’re not too anxious, but you’re also not too comfortable.
Charles: 08:39 Yeah. It sounds like it’s, so there’s right now and you feel a lot less pressure or just kind of, no. Is it more like you, you know, how to do it and it’s just kind of waking up, putting in the time, doing the reps and you kind of, you know, you know, this is how it’s gonna. This is how it’s gonna work once I do.
Kyla: 08:57 Yeah. For the nonfiction I think so. I feel like that and it’s also pretty passive. So that’s cruising along quite well. I feel comfortable there at the moment. But then I’m trying to now write a book under my own name. So once again, taking that next level, learning something new. And so then I’m once again uncomfortable and anxious and struggling again. So,
Charles: 09:22 Well let’s, that’s actually the way you do. You’re talking about doing that, right? So instead of going all in at the very beginning and Santa Ana right under my own name and I’ll put all this pressure on myself and it’s, you know, it’s going to be too much. It sounds like you’ve started off with like just enough where you had the pressure but you didn’t, you knew, okay if this fails I’m going to append, name a pseudo name sort of thing and I can just kind of wash my hands and pretend like and have a habit and walk away or it’s like doing it your own name. There’s a lot of, a lot of stuff, a lot of like emotional stuff that’s caught up in that. Are you going to tell your family and friends, Hey, I’m writing a book. Like you’re going to really like it. It’s hard to do at the beginning. Kind of come out with that big splash.
Kyla: 10:05 Yeah, for sure. And I did have a step in between where I wrote another novel under like my first real name, but a fake last name with like little stairsteps for the real name.
Charles: 10:17 Yeah. No, I like that though. Cause you’re not, you’re not just jumping in headfirst, right? Yeah. You’re really doing these stairsteps where if this fails, like okay, these are like an escape hatch and okay now we did it. Let’s do a couple more. Let’s kind of, okay now it’s getting a little, it’s getting a little more mundane and now you kind of go to, you’re using your first name and then now it’s the next big step from using a real actual name.
Kyla: 10:42 Right. And I was curious if you felt this at all, cause I think you started with drop shipping, right? Which is like can be a very anonymous business. So when you started spark shipping and you were like I’m the owner, I’m the face of this. Did you feel any of that as well if needing to make a splash and impress people and
Charles: 11:00 A hundred I feel a longest time. I don’t even think I told anyone when people, when people ask what I did, I just kind of was like ah, I’m and work with computers. People like Oh what do you like? Do you like work at best? Buy like we don’t really know what you’re doing. And like I just work with computers and like I just literally have like the strangest answer cause I didn’t, I didn’t know at that point and I didn’t really want to tie up my own self image in that cause it wasn’t. Same thing you’re talking about which is addressing it wasn’t sure if it would succeed. So I kind of did the same thing of you know, and like you said you had drop shipping, you can just, you hide behind the name of a site and it’s not, when you go to like a about us page, you don’t actually see the founder and like he has my bio, you just see like, Hey we sell some products.
Charles: 11:41 Here you go. So it’s kind of the same thing that allows you to level of, you’re doing it, you’re selling, but it’s almost like you’re trying to see if you can do it. And then at some point you’re like, all right, now let’s tie up my self image of illness and like let’s tie my name and like who I am. And that’s, and it really becomes, and then you actually tell people this is what I do, so I can totally respect what you did because I kind of did the same thing for all the same [inaudible] so which is addressing, yeah. So now, so now that you’re kind of getting some of these books out there, how do you actually go through that selection process? Like how do you find what you should be writing about? Cause it’s, it kinda sounds like you don’t, you’re not tied into one particular topic. This isn’t like, Hey, you’re an ex, you’re the expert in X and you’re going to only write about that. You kind of sound like you take a different approach to selection.
Kyla: 12:35 Yeah. I tried to find something that I think with some research I can write about, which is a lot like journalism. Like you find a topic and you don’t know much about it and then you go learn about it and you rewrite it for other people to read. So nothing super technical or like medical or health related or anything. But to find a niche, I would search a keyword or a niche idea on Amazon and look at the first page of results. Cause if you’re not on the first page, you don’t exist basically on Amazon and you see how those books are performing and also what quality they have. Do they have covers that could be better? Do they have some negative reviews where people are saying, I wish this book really had this topic or this aspect of the topic in it. And you could write a book with that in it and get better reviews. So you just kind of see where there’s a gap in the market that you could fill.
Charles: 13:25 Okay. So you’re really just starting just coming up with random, almost random ideas at that point and just typing them to Amazon and just see where down the rabbit hole you go.
Kyla: 13:34 Yeah. And you can, you know, use keyword tools and stuff like that. But I always found it more fun to just go down that rabbit hole of searching things on the internet. Like going to an Amazon page for the best sellers in, I dunno like women’s hobbies under an hour to read books and there’s the top 100 books in that category on Amazon and seeing what are all the different things that are under there that people are reading about.
Charles: 14:00 Hmm. I like the, I like the idea too of going through the other books, feedback about what they don’t do and kind of find like a whole [inaudible]
Kyla: 14:09 Yeah. Like how could you improve that product for the customer?
Charles: 14:12 Yeah. Okay. So you, how do you, do you sit down ahead of time and just start to generate these ideas and just ramp topics? Are you really just sitting down and like open it, go to amazon.com and then just starting down the rabbit hole, but do you or do you go,
Kyla: 14:30 I think in the beginning I’ve just sat down and said, okay, what do, what am I going to think of? And then once I started doing it, I would be more aware in my daily life of noticing a sign or something that someone would talk about or just hearing different things. And then I would be like, Oh, mental note, go research that on Amazon later. That could be a really interesting niche. So guess it’s just getting ideas from everywhere.
Charles: 14:53 Okay. So then once you get the idea, so you get the idea and then you start saying, okay, looks like I can do this, look at the competition. And you realize like there’s just in this category you’ve had to fail somewhat confident. You can rank within that first page at that point. And that’s what you know, let’s kind of go in on us.
Kyla: 15:12 Yeah. And then you would look at all the different keywords you would want to be targeting because that’s how I sell my nonfiction. I do use ads, but it’s mostly ranking for the keyword that when someone searches it, you want to come up at the top of the page. So there your book is the first one they click on. So for whatever topic they’re, you can find maybe seven to 10 keywords that you really want to target for that book. And then you would kind of write it based off of that.
Charles: 15:39 Okay. How would you, I’m an engineer, so I like, I like numbers. Where would you kind of percentage of the pie, where would you say you spend researching ahead of time verse writing, verse promoting? Like how do you slice that pie for a particular book?
Kyla: 15:56 Researching I think is will finding the niche and would be different than then researching the niche once you’ve found it. And finding the niche would maybe be
like 50%, because you really want to find, maybe not that high, but in importance at least 50% time, maybe like 35%. Then maybe another 35% researching the writing, they know, okay, I’ve got 30% left. That’s not very much. This is totally an extra. But I think writing is, is the easiest part for me because once I have all the information, I worked in journalism, so if I just set myself a deadline of I need to crank this out in a week, I can sit down and just burn through that information really fast. And then you, I sometimes design the cover, sometimes outsource it. There’s also writing the listing, which is like sales copy writing versus the actual informational writing of the book. Once you found your keywords, you kind of have to put it all together in the Amazon backend, which doesn’t take very long. And then in terms of promotion, that stuff that, that doesn’t take too much time either because there’s different promotion sites you can use where you just pay them to send your book to their list when it’s free or 99 cents. And then running ads as well through Amazon PPC.
Charles: 17:24 Okay. So when you say there’s different sites does a, they can promote your book too, so you don’t promote a CRO, you don’t have, you don’t try to generate your own list, but you find others with a list and they tried to promote your book to that list.
Kyla: 17:37 It would be a good idea to try and build my list, but it’s just something that I’ve never gotten traction with, especially because in the beginning I was testing out so many different niches. My books are kind of all over the place, so there’s not really one niche that I can really put all my books in. So I would have to kind of build all these different lists. And that’s just never been since they ranked for keywords. That’s never been a huge priority though. People always tell me that I should build a list and then sell like courses and upsell people on products and things. But I’ve never gone into any of that.
Charles: 18:12 So you just finding other folks that are willing to promote your books, but what did they get out of it?
Kyla: 18:17 My money, it’s just like 40 bucks, 75 bucks. And they have a list of readers who want discount books.
Charles: 18:24 Okay. Our particular TA. So you say if I’m doing self helpful women looking for hobbies or whatever, the niches, you’re able to find people that have women looking for hobbies and want to buy a book about it and they just promote it to their list.
Kyla: 18:39 They’re actually not that detailed. It’s usually because these sites also do fiction, which is much, much bigger than nonfiction. So they’ll, they’ll break down the fiction into romance, mystery, historical fiction, all these different types of fiction books. But then there’s just one category for nonfiction. So it can be a bit of a mixed bag if you’re finding the right readers through that.
Charles: 19:04 Oh, so nonfiction is a larger audience. I know, I know very little about this. I’m completely I’m getting education here as well. So not nonfiction is a lot larger of an audience.
Kyla: 19:15 Well actually I, I don’t know whether to say like how big the audiences are. But in terms of money, like romance is where the million dollar businesses are at. People make so much money in writing romance because in nonfiction you have a customer who needs to solve a problem and maybe they’ll buy your book and two other books and they read them and they solve their problem. Whereas fiction readers, like they’re just insatiable. They’ll read as much as an author writes if they like the author. So you can keep that customer coming back to infinity. So yeah, romance.
Charles: 19:54 Okay. Never thought. I’m mainly a nonfiction reader. I read a lot, but books to me are like tools. Like I’m going to like home Depot and buying like a, you know, a bunch of tools to do something. So like you said, I want to know how to do, you know, Amazon PBC. So I literally go there and just get the top three books, burn through them as quick as I can, and then those are my tools and I go on. But, so that’s interesting that nonfiction is a whole different off. Sorry. Fiction is a very different beast. Have you never, you’ve never thought of going into the fiction or is that just so different of a process?
Kyla: 20:28 I did try to go into fiction last year and that was also the same time I tried to hire writers to help me write the fiction because I don’t have a background in that. So they could write it much better and much faster than I could. But I just never was able to crack the marketing of it because it’s so much different than nonfiction because you’re not ranking for like the keyword mystery, which would be absurd. It’s you’re building a list and doing all these different types of promotions. So I was just never able to make that work without sourcing.
Charles: 21:02 Oh, it’s always interesting when each business, they sound so similar. Just like I am an author and I publish books, but just the marketing, the process of it is so wildly different because the audience is so different that the whole, it’s almost like a totally different business, but they sound from the outside or they sound very similar, but they’re really not it sounds like.
Kyla: 21:22 Yeah, no, they’re totally different. But it just sounds like books. I just write books. What’s the difference?
Charles: 21:27 So you started trying to hire authors to help with this and that. So that didn’t go well.
Kyla: 21:34 It did. It did not go well. I think another thing I learned about myself was that I don’t enjoy managing people and I don’t enjoy building systems and automating things. And I think I felt that to be a good entrepreneur or the right type of entrepreneur, I had to build a business that I could scale and then like automate myself out of. So I was just an owner. But I just kind of wanted to write and tinker around with stuff when I wanted to and not have this big team or this big machine. So I eventually shut it down and decided to just keep being a solo preneur and doing it all by myself. And I find that I’m just much happier with that.
Charles: 22:15 That’s interesting cause I feel like, I feel like when you go into this, and there’s not this like rule book of telling you what to do, but somehow in your head you make up these fictional rules that you must follow just from like you put them together and I’ve done the same thing and actually doing it and you’re conforming to these HUD rules and then as you’re doing it, you’re realizing I don’t have to do that. Like I can actually just do anything. There’s no one any more forcing me to follow this role. I’m only, I made up essentially make up a role and you follow your old made up role down this path that makes no sense. And then you realize, I don’t need to do that.
Kyla: 22:50 Yeah. Do you have any that you can think of right now that you followed? Made up rules?
Charles: 22:56 Yeah, probably a lot on things like hiring for example. Everyone, you know, very quickly people want to sh people want to see how large of a team you have. And I think people, people do that as a proxy of success where people don’t want to come. And you know, if you meet someone at a party and they say, Hey, what are you doing? You’re like you know, I’m an author, I’m a writer, I’m a business owner. People, what they actually are thinking ahead is they’re trying to gauge how large you are, how successful you are, right? But they can’t ask that question outright. So they ask these weird proxies like, well, how many people are on your team? So you start thinking of yourself, well, I have to build a large team to impress these random people that are using this for an odd proxy of success. But it turns out it’s not actually a good, right? Because you could have a, yeah, I’d much rather have a very large business with a smaller people working for me than a large business. It’s like barely breaking even each month. So you start to make up these things and realize like it’s not about headcount, it’s about profit and being happy and being sustainable and you start really digging into like what makes you happy. And it sounds like you kind of did that as well.
Kyla: 24:07 Yeah, yeah. It was definitely a process that I had to go through to realize that. And I think I am very much a people person as well and doing the solo thing can become quite lonely, especially when you’re traveling as well. So I was like so excited to have people to talk to as well. And peop coworkers again. I mean, I guess I was the boss, but I found that very fun. So then it was a bit heartbreaking for me to have to let them all go. But I do think that, yeah, just management is not for me.
Charles: 24:36 Did you have traveling? So you traveled full time right now this is, you’ve not, do you have a home base somewhere in the U S or are you just,
Kyla: 24:42 No, I’m homeless.
Charles: 24:43 You’re homeless. Wow. Alright. So you homeless and you just travel like every, you know, 100% throughout the year.
Kyla: 24:52 Yeah. Yeah. I was in Italy before this for the summer and now I’m in Thailand for a couple months and then I’ll be in Australia for that summer. So I kind of follow summer around the world cause I don’t, I grew up in Chicago and I’m, I’ve seen enough winters. I’m done.
Charles: 25:08 Yup. I am in Boston right now. It’s gray and rainy out so I can see you. Yeah. So we have fake light half, so it looks like it’s always fine. Yeah. But it’s really not. It’s very great. So what made you decide this is what you use? Decided you’re working and you’re in shock. Were you in Chicago when you were working full time and you just said, I just want to leave this behind and do my thing?
Kyla: 25:31 Yeah. Well you know, in America we don’t get a lot of vacation and like to even make it to Asia and back you’d have to use your full two weeks of the year just to make that trip cause it’s so far away. So I just, I knew I wanted to travel more and that was it. And I had heard of these digital nomads, but from what I had read online, I thought it was either travel bloggers or computer programmers who worked remotely. So I was just kind of looking into that and trying, I was Googling like how to make money online. But it was the digital nomads subreddit where I found that job that I got where I was just in customer service and that was a company run by digital nomads. So I got to just jump into the community and meet tons of people while not having to worry about, make my own, making my own income, which was great. So I really recommend that for people is like getting an apprenticeship or like a low level job with a remote company and get in that way versus putting all the pressure on yourself to, you know, I’m gonna start traveling and to become an entrepreneur and do all these things at once and it can really just be a lot at once
Charles: 26:42 I’ve seen a theme of this like stiff stepping. Right. It sounds like this is like, this is something, was this something you plan or is this like, like is this something you’ve always done this approach?
Kyla: 26:54 Well I feel like you’ve just enlightened me that this is my approach, so I’m not sure, have I always done this?
Charles: 27:02 Did you have so many people that, you know, it’s, it sounds like entrepreneurship just in the broad term, it’s like, you know, like this, like superhero and just kind of like jump right in and do everything and you figure it all out. But like I think a lot of people follow the same path of you just kinda try, you’re doing just enough where you’re never, you never saying let’s, let’s like, you know, flip off the table, start everything, very new. You saying, you know what, I have a job, but let’s try to just do it digital nomad job. Okay, that worked. Now let’s try to see how I like each thing you just kind of a step into the next thing. I like that. I like that way of doing things.
Kyla: 27:39 Yeah. It’s, it’s much more manageable that way. In both like a practical way. And then also a mindset way of just pushing yourself enough out of your comfort zone without tearing your whole life apart.
Charles: 27:53 Well, and you get to find out if you’d like it right. Because traveling living in Asia sounds great, right? Because it’s rainy and gray hat, but maybe some people might not actually like that. So you got to actually try it before you, you know, a hundred percent bought into us, it sounds like.
Kyla: 28:08 Yeah. And I, at first I didn’t, I just wanted to travel. Like being an entrepreneur was not, I just wanted to do that to fund the traveling. So once I had a job that was paying me, I was like, why would I ever want to start my own business? I can see all my new friends who have an FBA business and they look stressed and they’re working all the time and I just have to go in for nine to five and I get a paycheck. But then the company was sold and it was like a really hectic transition and I realized then, okay, well I, I can’t actually depend on a job to always be sunshine and rainbows and that sort of then my mindset changed of maybe I do want to work for myself and maybe that is the better option with more freedom.
Charles: 28:50 Okay. So you, you almost kind of look at an accident, accidental entrepreneur, you almost like forced into her life, it sounds like.
Kyla: 28:56 That’s really good. That’s a good like brand the accidental entrepreneur. Yeah. yeah, no, I hadn’t planned on it.
Charles: 29:07 But so you did it to almost create your, you basically started seeing w how you want to live and how you want to kind of just be each day and realized for you to do that you need to create your own thing to have that life.
Kyla: 29:21 Yeah. Which is a very like having that come from within instead of seeing just, you know, I want to speak on stage at conferences or something and doesn’t that look so cool? It was very much like an emotional and a very like motivating thing for me that I wanted deep down inside.
Charles: 29:40 Yeah. That’s affiliate. That must
Kyla: 29:43 Must be a diff, very different motivators. I talked to a lot of folks and when you start asking them like why they did it, they don’t really have this, you know, they don’t have like a to make money or you know, they didn’t want a full time jet sort of thing, but you more have like a picture of your life and just needed to get to that. And this was like just your vehicle though it sounds like. Yeah. And yeah, it’s, I, I really love working for myself. It, like we said before, it hasn’t been sunshine and rainbows. I really had to learn. Like when you’re getting a paycheck you can be a bit lazy I think because no matter your output, you’re getting that paycheck. Whereas as soon as I was working for myself, I realized I have so many bad habits. This is not good for my productivity. I don’t have a boss. How do I actually get things done when I’m only accountable to myself? So it was really a struggle and a learning process, but I felt like I went through so much personal growth with that as well. That it was, it was really great.
Charles: 30:41 Yeah. So, but now, now that you’re doing it, now that you’ve done the digital nomad, you have the books, you kind of have it all, I mean it sounds from the outside, like you have it all figured out. What’s next? Like it’s kind of like you’ve achieved this life. Is it just to keep doing this or is there something else that now you kind of, you reached that peak and now you’re trying to reach the next peak on the mountain?
Kyla: 31:03 Yeah, so I think this is a story that I see a lot of people go through where in the beginning of this, I just want freedom and I just need the money. And you know, maybe they’re drop shipping some product they would not use themselves. They don’t really care about it, don’t have a passion about it. It’s just the freedom that they’re really passionate about. And that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning and work on your business. But then once you get comfortable and you achieve that, you’re like, ah, this, you know, there’s whatever this product is, I don’t really want to jump out of bed and keep working on. I’ve just kind of built myself this new job. And then people start asking what kind of value do I actually want to add to the worlds and what am I really passionate about? And I think for me, I’ve always wanted to be a novelist and I’m starting to dip my toe into the water of fiction. I’ve been working on this book for a while and I would really love, I don’t have to depend on the nonfiction for an income for the next five to 10 years and I can transition into being a full time author under my real name and really make that my career as a writer. So that’s super scary. And it’s, yeah, it’s really hard and it’s just another stairstep that I’m going out.
Charles: 32:15 Yeah, it sounds like it’s definitely a pattern. I can see you still stepping. So, and the nice part about that is if it does, if it doesn’t work the first time, you’re not like betting the farm. So you always have another, another shot, another turnip, another shot up at bash. Right. Like, and you can try it again and you can say, let’s course maybe hiring a bunch of others didn’t work, but you didn’t bet the farm on that so you can course correct. So you always have that, that you can keep trying at this point.
Kyla: 32:42 Yeah. Which is even very inherent to info products on Amazon versus like FBA or physical products because if my book isn’t working, I can just unpublish it, write a new title, get a new cover, write a new description, publish it again. Maybe it’ll start selling and I don’t have like all this inventory I bought of the wrong product that I can’t make sell. I can just pivot and change things and really adapt on the fly.
Charles: 33:08 Yeah, because it’s just YouTube, it’s very child. He’s almost just come in in the morning and realized, you know what? That’s not the right direction. Let’s just one 80 over here and that’s totally fine. Yeah. Very cool. Before I let you run, actually I’m just curious, is it now that you have 35 bucks out there, that sort of thing, is it, are you making more money during the upfront publishing or is it something that you have this catalog where there was make residual income and at some point that would just reach this threshold where, you know what, I don’t have to do, I don’t have to, I don’t have to do this anymore. I can choose to write novels. It’s like how does that work?
Kyla: 33:44 Yeah. I, when I first started, I was publishing so many books and now it’s only every few months that’ll publish one. Because they, once they’re published and they’re ranking that kind of builds on itself that more people see it. More people are clicking, more people are buying, and that just reinforces it over time. So yeah, it’s pretty passive. Once they’re ranking. I do manage the ads a bit. But yeah, it’s, I like it for that as well because it’s really not a day to day grind. It’s just that really upfront work and then just managing it after that.
Charles: 34:18 Yeah. Very cool. So you build up a catalog and then you’re able to basically keep getting value out of that almost indefinitely. Yeah. Yeah. Very cool. All right. If anyone wants to kind of see what you work on now or if there’s anything you want to plug where, you know, what can people follow you or what can people check out what you’re doing now?
Kyla: 34:35 Yeah, so I will plug my novel that I’ve been working on. It’s a thriller about digital nomads living in Thailand. So if anyone’s familiar with the beach, it’s kind of like that. It’s the dark murder and mystery, but I’m just setting it about 20 years later. So everybody has laptops. So my website is Kyla gardner.com, and people can find me there.
Charles: 34:56 Awesome. Will tell them the show notes. It was a great chat and thanks for having come on the show.
Kyla: 35:00 Yeah, this is great. Thanks Charles.