IIP 017: The Little White Lie That Created A $500,000 Business

Inspiring Innovation Podcast
Inspiring Innovation Podcast episode 017 Get it on iTunes

For Lisa Howell, founder of ‘Perfect Form Physio’ and ‘The Ballet Blog’, her $500,000 business all started with some lucky circumstances, and a little white lie.

But Lisa’s story and interview is much more than a “normal” inspiring-entrepreneurial-story of seizing an opportunity and putting hours over hours into building a successful business.

Lisa was willing to share with us, in the most honest and sincere way, a part of an entrepreneur’s life that is rarely discussed in the open. If you often find yourself reading about all these success stories, thinking, “this guy/girl was born for this, but I wasn’t”, and wonder if you have what it takes to see similar success – today’s episode is for you.

Lisa shares the “dark side” of entrepreneurship; fighting fears and doubts, self sabotaging your own success, countless nights of no sleep, and how it all affects you, your close ones, your health, relationships and happiness. And most importantly – how to deal with it, making the required changes to let you really enjoy your journey, and your success.

Lisa Howell
Lisa Howell

The Beginning

“I’ve been a healer for my entire life”, she tells me. Continue reading IIP 017: The Little White Lie That Created A $500,000 Business

A Disturbing Amazon Story

This is a story about a woman named Linn, who travels a lot and reads most of her books on Kindle (much like me). Some time ago, as she loaded up her Kindle app, she found out to her surprise that Amazon have destroyed her account and erased its contents (i.e. her books), with no notice what-so-ever.

You think that when you buy a book on Amazon Kindle you actually own it? Hell no, you are just paying for the (temporary) right to consume it digitally.

This story (which already unfolded and has been remedied) is quite scary, and is an eye opener to all these “Terms & Conditions” that we’re so eager to agree to, just so we can put our hands on the next ‘Hunger Games’ book (I prefer this one though).

Being locked out of her Amazon account wasn’t the worst part. The worst and most scary part is the response Linn received from Amazon when she contacted their support, as described on Martin Bekkelund‘s blog, who was the first to feature this story:

Dear Linn [last name],

My name is Michael Murphy and I represent Executive Customer Relations within Amazon.co.uk. One of our mandates is to address the most acute account and order problems, and in this capacity your account and orders have been brought to my attention.

We have found your account is directly related to another which has been previously closed for abuse of our policies. As such, your Amazon.co.uk account has been closed and any open orders have been cancelled.

Per our Conditions of Use which state in part: Amazon.co.uk and its affiliates reserve the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content, or cancel orders at their sole discretion.

Please know that any attempt to open a new account will meet with the same action.

You may direct any questions to me at [email protected].

Thank you for your attention to this email.


Michael Murphy
Executive Customer Relations

So, as Amazon’s Michael offered, Linn sent him some questions, such as – what the hell was Amazon accusing her of?

The emails went back and forth, but the answers repeated themselves: Amazon wouldn’t tell Linn what she did, or even if she actually did something. They wouldn’t tell her which account (allegedly) related to hers was violating their terms either.

They just shut her account down, told her to never try to open a new one, and called it a day.

A young guy looking shocked

The good news is that after this story got some media coverage (somebody said NBC?), Linn’s account was restored.

The bad news on the other hand, is that for better or worse – you can’t just march on to “the other Amazon store”. There is no other Amazon. In this day and age, as world’s authors are publishing more and more books solely on the Kindle platform, this is a disturbing thought.

P.S. Please don’t tell me that there’s always the iTunes book store. Not the same reach, and it’s limited in sooo many countries, that it ain’t relevant for now.