Sophie Bowman of convertyourfollowers: “Not everyone will support you behind your back”

Not everyone will support you behind your back. As my career took off, I heard a lot of things repeated that were said behind my back. Not everyone wants to see you win — it makes them feel insecure about their lack of ambition or success, and they take that personally. Be OK with knowing you’re going to […]

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Not everyone will support you behind your back.

As my career took off, I heard a lot of things repeated that were said behind my back. Not everyone wants to see you win — it makes them feel insecure about their lack of ambition or success, and they take that personally. Be OK with knowing you’re going to lose a lot of people you considered friends. Once you’re cool with that, you become dangerous. There is nothing more unsettling to simple minds than a person on their way up who couldn’t care less if you like them or not. You have to know when to cut people off, regardless of how long you’ve known them.

Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their life. Jeff Bezos worked in Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder, to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Croc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50’s.

How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?

In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.

As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sophie Bowman.

Sophie is a Forbes-published multi-award-winning entrepreneur and influencer based in Miami who started her first online business a decade ago so she could travel the world and work from anywhere without pants. You’ll find her showing brands and prominent individuals how to convert their social media followers to customers.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

My childhood was not a happy one. I’ll leave it at that. I lost my father young, but it taught me the importance of never depending on anyone in life other than yourself. Referred to as a unicorn in the business world thanks to a diverse skill set across multiple industries, it’s kind of fitting as my primary school in London was called Unicorn School.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“There is always a solution.” I live by this quote. The business world and the universe as a whole will always throw unexpected curveballs, but even in the darkest times, there is always the opportunity to pivot, adapt, and find a solution. I learned this when I was living in Morocco and didn’t speak fluent Arabic or French. Somehow, things always fall in — even to place. Panicking about situations only intensifies negative vibes around you, so remembering this quote will get you through life with a lot less anxiety and stress.

How would your best friend describe you?

As the kind of person you don’t ask questions unless you want an honest answer, and someone who will be the most loyal and loving friend if the same is reciprocated.

You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much?

Diverse industry experience, a lack of fear of failure, and perseverance.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion about ‘Second Chapters’. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before your Second Chapter?

I was taking on too many projects that weren’t always in line with my long-term goals. Overwhelm was a regular unwelcome guest in my daily life. Overwhelm was one of my triggers to let off steam by drinking too much, leading to burning the candle at both ends.

And how did you “reinvent yourself” in your Second Chapter?

When the clock hit midnight and catapulted us into 2021, I decided to take a sabbatical from alcohol. A lot of people don’t realize the dangers of ‘self-medicating’ with alcohol because it’s become such a ‘normal’ part of our culture, especially during COVID. The fact alcohol sales increased by over 50% since the beginning of the pandemic shows us that excessive alcohol consumption is about to become a whole other pandemic. I know of many other entrepreneurs my age who are literally drinking their lives away without realizing the damage they are doing to their bodies and minds. I’m not saying I’ll never drink again, but I decided to remove myself from the culture of regular drinking. I’d rather save it for milestone celebrations and celebrating big business deals. There’s nothing attractive to me about becoming someone who works all week to look forward to drinking the weekend away. That lifestyle is depressing to me.

Since taking a leave of absence from alcohol my mind, body and soul have reaped the benefits. Humans are so much more productive when they’re not slowed down by the post thirty two-day hangovers or alcohol-infused brain fog. I recommend anyone to try it. Your productivity levels during the week will multiply.

Can you tell us about the specific trigger that made you decide that you were going to “take the plunge” and make your huge transition?

It was a combination of factors. As you get older, you realize the negative effects alcohol has on your body and your physical appearance. I went T total for months last year and my skin looked amazing, I looked ten years younger. The brain fog cleared, my stomach deflated, and my energy levels and productivity were at an all-time high. Myself and my three closest friends back in London all lost our fathers to early alcohol-related deaths. It’s a weird bond we share, so we all actively decided to either limit or completely quit alcohol especially after seeing so many friends start losing control with alcohol consumption during quarantine.

What did you do to discover that you had a new skillset inside of you that you haven’t been maximizing? How did you find that and how did you ultimately overcome the barriers to help manifest those powers?

I’ve been handling social media for years, which is what gave me the insight to see a gap in the market and launch a new company which focuses on one niche — converting social media followers to customers. Taking a sabbatical from the drinking and partying lifestyle unleashed the superhuman focused Sophie I missed dearly last year. I was bored and needed a change. I was also frustrated as I need a lot of alone time to focus on my goals, recharge and work crazy hours to get everything done. Living in a shared house with frequent visitors was making me unbalanced. Moving into my own place again in January was like hitting the reset button. I can’t remember the last time I was this focused and happy. There is so much power in taking back control of your life and doing what your soul craves to make you happy.

How are things going with this new initiative?

Amazing! I am in my element. I meditate most mornings to start the day right, plough through my workload without any distractions, and chill in the evenings. I don’t recall the last time I felt so inspired and at peace. I love that this new business took off so quickly that I’m already in the position to turn down clients I’m not excited to work with- it’s a beautiful place to be.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My good friend James Kinney is an incredible business coach. Within a 15-minute chat between us in LA, he asked the right questions to guide me towards realizing a gap in the market I could build my niche business around while doing what I love. I can’t sing his praises enough. He is one of those rare unicorns of the business world. Another person I’m grateful for is Jamal; another business owner friend I can call on to bounce ideas off, and pushes me to my best.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

It is truly incredible how quickly the universe moves with you once you’ve chosen your new path. Everything has been falling into place quickly, and I couldn’t be happier. Luxury brands are lining up to work with me, and I get to do what I love. Massive opportunities are knocking on my door now instead of me going after them. It’s too early to drop the details of my two new projects, but I can tell you that 2021 is likely going to be the year that changed my life for all of the right reasons.

Did you ever struggle with believing in yourself? If so, how did you overcome that limiting belief about yourself? Can you share a story or example?

All. The. Time. I was not a confident child or teenager, which followed me into adulthood like a dark cloud. It made relationships challenging, so I focused on my career instead, and I am thankful for that. It took a lot of personal growth and working on myself to learn how to control the way I ‘speak’ to myself. I understand social media and have a proven track record of success, so it’s my safe and happy place.

I’m confident walking into any conference room because I know I more than earned and proved my seat at the table.

It’s relationships that make me question things and doubt myself, hence why I don’t waste my time on dating anymore. As much as I didn’t want to be an old party girl, I also didn’t want to be an older bitter single woman in Miami freaking out about my ticking biological clock. I prefer to spend time on finding solutions. I am not compatible with the majority type of man you find in Miami, so I made the decision to become a foster parent this year. There are over 500K children currently in the system in the USA in need of a loving home. I don’t feel the need to have my own child biologically when there are so many existing lives I can help change.

In my own work I usually encourage my clients to ask for support before they embark on something new. How did you create your support system before you moved to your new chapter?

I’ve always been a lone warrior but creating the Business Owner Society and NEXTGEN BOS last year with Jackie Nepola taught me how valuable it is to have a circle of like-minded entrepreneurs who have their s*@t together. We both have a passion for inspiring young people, hence how NEXTGEN BOS came to life. I have no patience to spend time around people who have no ambition in life or complain about their lives without making moves to change their circumstances. Having a group of like-minded people you can brainstorm with, collaborate with, and count on for personal referrals is a real gamechanger in business and mindset. I’ve learned so much about the importance of training your mind and implementing ways to make yourself happy from Jackie, and am truly grateful that our paths crossed. Fun fact: we actually met at a blogger event where I was speaking on the panel and took my beer on stage with me, to which her then sixteen-year-old influencer daughter said, ‘I want to meet her.’ She’s now my Goddaughter. Shout out to @miabellamercury for bringing us all together. I have a very close circle in London, particularly with my best friend and her children, husband and family, which I was feeling a little lost without here. I was actually planning to relocate from Florida until I became part of the Nepola clan. Having people around you who always have your back and believe in you makes all the difference in life.

Starting a new chapter usually means getting out of your comfort zone, how did you do that? Can you share a story or example of that?

As a business owner, you’re bombarded with messages that you should focus solely on taking on as many clients as possible to make as much money as possible. Years ago, I went out of my comfort zone multiple times to work in industries I had little prior knowledge in to challenge myself. I had pretty good success with all of them, but some accounts I didn’t particularly enjoy working on. Last year I stepped further outside of my comfort zone and started turning away clients who I don’t feel excited about working with from a personal (or business) perspective. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is liberating. I entered a MAXIM cover girl contest last year knowing I wouldn’t win, but entering anway. Having no fear of failure is a powerful ingredient to achieve success. Not caring what people think or say about you is spiritual growth.

Fantastic. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  • Trust your gut.

People love to share their opinions, especially people who have no real insight into your journey. They may even tell you all the reasons why your business won’t work, based on their personal experiences via friends of friends or failures. Follow your gut. If I’d listened to people, I’d probably still be teaching violent kids in London about to marry the wrong guy. That’s a terrifying thought…

  • Set tasks when you hire.

While leading a team for a self-made billionaire, hiring was one of my many responsibilities. One girl looked great on paper and seemed cool on video interviews, so we paid to relocate her back to the U.S. from Dubai. I realized within a day that we’d been completely catfished. After that experience, I started using tasks in the hiring process to test knowledge and creativity. We saved hours of wasted man-hours simply looking at the work applicants delivered. Most crashed and burned. I honestly barely look at resumes anymore. It’s easy for people to lie on a resume. It’s a lot harder to fake a project that speaks to the right target audience, written in the right tone of voice, incorporating the basics of knowledge they should have for the position they’re applying to fill.

  • It’s OK to fail.

We can’t all be perfect all the time. I used to be a complete perfectionist until I discovered failures are the best teachers. No greatness was ever achieved by people playing it safe and following what others do. I love brainstorming innovative ways to engage consumers on social media at little to no cost. There’s kind of a matrix algorithm in my brain that allows me to connect invisible dots and curate cool ideas that bring brands I work with huge success on social media. I’m not reinventing the wheel I just use my creativity to try new things using the ingredients in front of me. A simple contest I launched for a makeup brand two years ago utilizing influencer marketing saw the brand’s blog gain 63,000 unique visitors within 24 hours, and it cost nothing. I could have fallen flat on my face, but in business, people respect you more for trying something new, even if you fail. If and when you fail, own it, and move on. As a business owner, there is little more uninspiring to me than an employee who spends their workday trying to stay under the radar and never has the courage to pitch ideas or try new things.

  • Not everyone will support you behind your back.

As my career took off, I heard a lot of things repeated that were said behind my back. Not everyone wants to see you win — it makes them feel insecure about their lack of ambition or success, and they take that personally. Be OK with knowing you’re going to lose a lot of people you considered friends. Once you’re cool with that, you become dangerous. There is nothing more unsettling to simple minds than a person on their way up who couldn’t care less if you like them or not. You have to know when to cut people off, regardless of how long you’ve known them.

  • A mentor or coach can change your life.

Although the importance of having a mentor is pretty well-known today, it wasn’t a few years ago. Starting your own business can be isolating and stressful. Having a mentor (or coach) will help you get your thoughts out, evaluate your ideas, and get your mind right. I found an amazing life coach, Lisa Dwoskin, near me in Miami who is also a personal trainer amongst other things. Having someone around you who can help transform your fitness, health, mind and overall quality of life is a critical ingredient in the recipe to achieving greatness.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I’m working towards being in the financial position to quite literally change lives in the next year or so. I would love to inspire more people to foster children in the system and help them make it in life. Trying to make something of yourself when you’re young and don’t have a loving support group who taught you how to love and believe in yourself is a lot more difficult than it sounds. I taught alongside a lot of teachers who quite literally turned their back on kids who were in care. I myself was repeatedly told I wouldn’t make much of myself in life by those who taught me. I guess I got the last laugh — in fact, I may still send a signed copy of one of my Forbes features to my old school. Childish but satisfying. I honestly cannot wait to be in the position to support kids in care via building homes with carefully selected staff who run the homes like families and help them break into the entrepreneurial world via various initiatives.

What do you want to be remembered for the most?

Leaving a legacy. I want to build an empire, invest in changing the lives of children in America, and leave a legacy that lives on without me.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I share most of my work and life on Instagram — @sophiecbowman or you can contact me at

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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