What I've Learnt: Amanda Perry, Founder, SOUP Agency

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by Charlie Spargo

SOUP are experts at growing eCommerce stores, working with clients to make growth sustainable.

It was founded by Amanda, an experienced business consultant and coach who has an extensive range of outlets to share her expertise - through talks, newsletters, and her own podcast.

We heard from Amanda about the lessons her life and career have taught her.

 

Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?

I am a firm believer in practicing daily gratitudes. Even on those days when you feel you have nothing to be grateful for, there is always something, and reminding yourself of it can save the most testing day.

What's been your luckiest break?

Being selected for an eight-week trip to New Zealand to work with an industry leader where I worked alongside six other agency owners, with a film crew documenting the process.

What's your best failure?

My first business failed spectacularly and resulted in me being declared bankrupt - it's taken me a while to recognise it as anything positive, but I am grateful for the lessons it taught me and the strength I built as a result of the experience.

What is the best investment you've ever made, either financial or time?

My ops manager! I invested in my team from day one and hired for my weaknesses which has been the key driver in our success. I see so many people starting out and taking high salaries, but I always invested in the team and built the business through brilliant people.

Which book would you recommend others to read and why?

I love 'The E-Myth' by Michael Gerber. It's such a great book for demonstrating the importance of systems and processes in your business. Very often entrepreneurs are process-averse, so reading this was a real game changer for me and the way I have built SOUP.

What one piece of advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

It will get worse before it gets better, but I promise you it will all work out. PS, phone your mum.

Who or what has had the single biggest influence on your working life?

I would say in the beginning it was the fear of failure, then when I failed and hit rock bottom it was the realisation that I never wanted to go through that again that spurred me on and continues to drive me.

Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

In my previous life, I made Louis Theroux's wedding cake and also served Stephen Hawking sticky toffee pudding - which he thanked me for personally!

How will the COVID crisis change work for the better?

Honestly, for us it has been a wild ride as businesses switch to selling online. We went into lockdown with a team of six, and came out with a team of 16 - recruiting, training and demonstrating culture during a global pandemic was definitely a challenge, but one we accepted - and nailed.

What does success look like to you?

Success to me is about not needing a work-life balance, because they all merge into one. It's about never having that Sunday night dread and loving what you do, even when the days can be tough. Having been in a business that I didn't love, I can honestly say I will never allow myself to get into that situation again, that is what defines my success.