Catch Tony Sagar on the #PirateBroadcast™
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[00:00:00] Russ Johns: Back at it with the #PirateBroadcast and we're here today to talk about Amazon, sleep and travel. Join us, stay tuned. Let's see if we can do this.
[00:00:21] Introduction: Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.
[00:00:31] Russ Johns: Oh man. After 500 episodes and a break, I'm out of practice. Tony, what's going on, man?
[00:00:39] Tony Sagar: How are you, Russ? And again, congratulations for the big Five-Oh-Oh.
[00:00:44] Russ Johns: Oh man. It's just seems so crazy. Life has been busy. Life has been good. I have been productive the last couple of weeks off. And so coming back, it feels great. And so now just for everyone, I'll be saying this for a couple of weeks until everybody understands what it's all about, but I'm going to be doing a Tuesday and a Thursday show. And then a Wednesday night and the Wednesday night is probably going to be an hour. So I want to make sure that everybody is dialed in, dialed into the #PirateBroadcast™ and what we're doing. And also I'm putting a lot more energy into the #PirateSyndicate and producing shows for other people. And helping in coaching and some of the things I'm taking on a few coaching clients. If you're interested, or you have questions about broadcasting, live streaming, podcasting, all of these things reach out to me and you can always book some firstname.lastname@example.org to actually connect with me. Tony and I actually have been on a couple of live streams, right, Tony?
[00:01:55] Tony Sagar: That's right?
[00:01:55] Russ Johns: Yeah, we had a great time over on Amazon and we were talking about some bedding. I would like to think that we could do it again, Tony, what do you think?
[00:02:03] Tony Sagar: That would be awesome. I'm planning some of that myself. I'm actually waiting for a bunch of samples to come. So since I've announced to my community of people that I know Amazon sellers, I've gained a lot of traction and interest. Their biggest problem is they want exposure and I'm looking for exposure and I'm thinking it can be a great mix, but what I like to do is I need to get the product. I need to actually physically use it if you're comfortable. And I want to be something that I would support, not something that really doesn't work for me. For example, if I don't have pets, I wouldn't want to do something that's pet related.
[00:02:44] Russ Johns: It has to be in alignment with what you enjoy, right?
[00:02:47] Tony Sagar: I love pets, but I just, I don't...
[00:02:51] Russ Johns: I'm not a pet person right now. I've owned hundreds, if not thousands of animals, I"m just not an animal owner right now. So Tony, for those that may not know you, let's do the intro here and let's make sure that people understand that you are a business owner and you're from up north, toronto area and you're doing some great work in bedding.
[00:03:15] Tony Sagar: That's right.
[00:03:16] Russ Johns: So tell us a little bit more about that.
[00:03:18] Tony Sagar: I'm Tony from Toronto and basically my sort of quick bio is that starting at the age of about 25, me and my brother had built a little retail mini empire here in the Toronto area. So at one point at our peak, we had about eight to 10 locations and we were selling anything from mattresses to bedding and bath and we were almost like a mini Bed Bath and Beyond. And it was about five years ago, we really made a drastic change because the landscape was changing and we pivoted to the online world and so my brother is no longer part of the business. Since that time I've taken charge and affectionately, even among my friends, I'm known as a sleep doctor, because whenever I meet up with a buddy for a beer, he's going to tell me he's got a neck problem and what pillow should he be sleeping with.
[00:04:19] Russ Johns: It's good to be known for something, you gotta be known for something. It was interesting because we were talking about on Amazon last time we connected, we were talking about wool pillows and wool as a fabric and I was joking around because I grew up on a farm. I grew up around the sheep and animals actually shearing wool it's a major process. They come back with these huge bags of wool, go out and get processed. But the wool in the pillows has been processed. It's been carded in all of these things to make it really amazing. And you pulled some out and it was, it just looks like an amazing pillow.
[00:05:04] Tony Sagar: Yeah, you know what, I'm actually, I rotate between about five different pillows in my own bedroom and I'm sleeping with that one as well. And one of the things that we're actually known for even before the wool and the wool you told was an amazing story. Like I'd love to have you on Amazon podcasts talking about that. When you said the word carding and things like that told me you really knew your stuff, which is amazing because I think wool is a product that hasn't been recognized enough in terms of the value that it can add to our lives. And here is actually a pillow that I actually brought in, which is a little bit different. This is all hundred percent down. Now at this time a year, because we're very sort of seasonal business, this is what more people tend to in, especially in Canada, where the colder us states, where they want something a little bit more soft. A little bit more textured, but almost like sleeping what we say on a cloud, and the only thing obviously with down and you can't open it up, you can't see what it looks like, but it's... because we've recognized one thing, everybody's sleep is unique. One size does not fit all. And that's why we carry such a wide selection of product.
[00:06:23] Russ Johns: Yeah. I love my down pillows. And I noticed that over the years they do a diminish in volume.
[00:06:32] Tony Sagar: That's right.
[00:06:33] Russ Johns: So what's a typical lifespan for a down pillow. When should I do a rotation on my pillow? It's like tornadoes.
[00:06:41] Tony Sagar: Depending on the type of fill inside. If you've got hundred percent down inside, a great tip is, you can take it out in the summertime, air it out to refresh the down. You can put it also in the dryer, a low heat for a little while. Put a clean, say tennis ball inside, or, they have the wool dryer balls, so it keeps it lofting up at the same time. So that might help. You know what I mean? And the other main thing is you always want to use a good quality pillow protector on there and wash that more frequently because certain pillows cannot be washed like down. You know what I mean? It will tend to make it go flat potentially or leak from the inside. Other pillows that can be washed, like we're talking about that adjustable wool pillow where you can open it up and even we sell bags of wool, even to people who want to fill it up and have it really firm. The thing with that pillow, it's still a hassle to wash. You know what I mean? The new machine, a lot of people might not have a commercial machine and you have tickets to the laudromat, especially. So we recommend, if you have a cover, some people use multiple covers and then change that frequently, because if you sweat, you know how it is. You come back in the middle of the night and your pillowcase is all wet. You know what I mean? And you gotta change that frequently. Just like you would change your clothes.
[00:08:06] Russ Johns: And it's amazing to me cause I didn't even think about a wool pillow. However, it makes perfect sense after you say it and it's yeah, why not? And it's amazing. Now I also have seen a lot of the memory foam pillows, certain sizes and shapes and things like that. What about those? What's the deal with those?
[00:08:29] Tony Sagar: Those pillows tend to work better for people who usually are buying it for that particular shape or position of sleep. Majority of them tend to be back sleepers, especially if you're a bigger person and you just sleep more on your back. You just want to stay in that position. We carry brands like Tempur-Pedic, which are really well-known, but again, If you're moving around all the time and you need something you can grab and take with you on that sleeping journey, a big, heavy Tempur-Pedic pillow might not be the right pillow for you. So I recommend that you go into the local shops near your, wherever you live and try to go in and really see the position that you'd like. The feel, we're finding a lot of the people who love that wool pillow and I'll send you one and you tell me what you think about it. They liked that because the fact that they find the down can go fairly flat and the alternate puffing it up in the middle of the night. So this has more body to it than the wool pillow. It's not hard as a rock as memory foam, but can be and then it that sort of balance in between.
[00:09:38] Russ Johns: Yeah. I just really think that there's an opportunity that we can actually discover more about our sleep. Howard says sleep is so underrated.
[00:09:53] Tony Sagar: I'm ready for a nap right now.
[00:09:56] Russ Johns: For some reason, it's crazy because I thought that taking time off and not getting up every morning and doing the show would allow me to sleep in. And I think I've been able to sleep in one day this whole time. So it's crazy, but Ken says, hey, the big TO, my birth city.
He's in Malta. Yeah. So I love Toronto. Toronto has the longest road in Canada. Isn't that right?
[00:10:26] Tony Sagar: Yep. Young street, and then we just had a federal election last night. So everybody's talking with the politics.
[00:10:33] Russ Johns: Oh man.
[00:10:34] Tony Sagar: But you know what? It feels so great. It feels like literally Canada and the US, it's like a little brother and a big brother, we have the longest undefended border. It's just an amazing relationship.
[00:10:46] Russ Johns: I love Canada. When I was a musician, I used to play a lot in Vancouver and and that part of the world there. So it was really great to be able to spend time in Canada and Toronto. I've been to Toronto a couple of times and I love Toronto. We've got a couple of people in the room. Hi from France. Amenia thank you so much for being here. And Tracie, the famous Pirate Producer. Tracie she's here today.
[00:11:18] Tony Sagar: Thank you so much, Tracie.
[00:11:20] Russ Johns: And I have to apologize for Tracie. I've been totally slacking off and doing updates and things like that. And I haven't been telling her stuff. So it's holy cow, we got to get caught up, got to go back to work. Elise, she had an injury, so send her some healing vibes and prayers and help her get well. She's in South Africa. Tim is here. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for joining us, Tim. Thank you. Was on the show with Tim the other day and having a great time. Tony, I have to go back a little bit. So how did you discover sleep and pillows and this whole business? Was it a selective process or you decided one day, wake up and say, I want to create a sleep store or whatever it was that you started. How did that whole thing take place?
[00:12:17] Tony Sagar: I've always had trouble sleeping and a lot of people have trouble sleeping and it's more complicated right? There could be stress, there could be a million things involved. And I want to say, how can we come up with real alternative products that could potentially help people sleep better rather than just the same old thing you can get at the mass. And that's how for me, the process began. And that's what I was telling you earlier, I actually sleep with six different pillows and this pillows I bought from all over the place to experiment because everybody's sleep is different and it's like buying running shoes. It's not easy. And that's great where if you can get the sort of knowledge and content that can help you make the right decisions, you're going to sleep better. Yeah.
[00:13:10] Russ Johns: Yeah. If you can, if you could find the combination of the pillow and the bed and it makes so much difference. It makes so much difference. So I have to imagine that challenge was sleeping was cause you've traveled so much in, I think 30 countries you've ventured off to and did something in your earlier life?
[00:13:32] Tony Sagar: I feel like as a youngster, literally, I thought my job was going to be in the traveler. I thought that was the job you just travel around and I've been trying to make that happen. I've been to close to actually 40 countries, 30 of them. I've been pretty much solo, which is great. You go follow it's a different dimension. I've got my itinerary planned out. Usually all I plan on is, hey, I'm going to arrive in this country and this date. And then my entry point, I gotta be back at work in two weeks. So I'm leaving from this date, from this port and in between I can figure it all out. And that's what I do. My last trip to Africa where I've always wanted to volunteer at an elephant sanctuary was very intense. It was spiritual. I think that's what led me to this point in my journey of going plant-based in my diet. And I think when we travel, we just experienced so much of ourselves. You know what I mean? I remember going to Iceland and meeting local people and, just going into places that I've never seen or whatever I've mentioned, if, especially if I was with somebody else and they didn't want to do the things and this and that, it's just, I feel blessed.
[00:14:48] Russ Johns: That is awesome. That is awesome. What surprises you while traveling, because obviously sleep is still important and the bedding and the conditions of sleep and the noise and the different circumstances, different environments, all of that has to feel a little unique. So how do you adjust for that?
[00:15:11] Tony Sagar: Honestly, I would say the best part of traveling, especially even solo is you learn to love yourself even more. I remember in Africa, I was going on one of the hardest rides I've ever been on. It was a white water rafting ride. And I didn't know they were going to be live alligators in there. And I was kinda we're going to be capsized and and I had to take a, like a two hour trek up a mountain soaking wet to get back to civilization, but there was a couple that was newly west from Colorado. And then they asked me, they were go like, hey, do you like traveling alone? And I said, yeah, I've been to, this is my six African country. I can pivot. I can go here. I can go there. And this and that, because it gives me a certain, I dunno, a love and appreciation for myself that I'm not worried about anybody's approval or things like that. Sometimes there's lonely moments for sure. But you just, you know what you embrace them. It's like in that famous book, atomic habits. Yeah. You just embrace those moments and be in the moment and you move on and I'm so thankful for that mindset and being able to travel.
[00:16:23] Russ Johns: Man, that's a great story. And I've always enjoyed the discovery process when you go to a city that's unique, especially walking cities for me are really special because I love the idea of walking down the street, walking into a bakery or a coffee shop or a cafe, or something that's local, has local flair, going to the local museum and seeing what the culture was. And just how the city evolved was always one of the things that I always enjoyed when I was traveling a lot. And it's one of those things that you have to just unpack for yourself. And so what's something that really strikes a chord with you when you go to a city or what, is there something that you gravitate toward that you'd like to discover while you're in a city?
[00:17:21] Tony Sagar: I would say it's really the people, I use an app called show around and it's similar to many people may have heard of couch surfing where you'll get local people who will actually, they want to meet somebody and it'll show you. And that's really amazing. I remember I was sitting at a, an open air bar in the ruins of Greece one time with the local people for the website and I would've never found this place on my own. You know what I mean? I would have to spend hours researching and stuff and on Google and these guys, it was amazing to be sitting on a slab of stone from the Roman days and learning about people and their culture. And I think that's the beauty of it for me.
[00:18:11] Russ Johns: Yeah. That is beautiful. That is awesome. And the conversations have to be, fascinating as well, especially when you're traveling and people that connect with travelers, there's a certain bond that takes place.
[00:18:27] Tony Sagar: Yeah. A lot of people I'm still friends was over the years on Facebook sometimes. And we might be at a bar somewhere in, in Ukraine and a fellow American bought me a beer and I bought him a drink and we became friends. And you hear these stories like all over.
[00:18:44] Russ Johns: What's the most real. Africa, you went to Africa most recently?
[00:18:49] Tony Sagar: Yeah, that was my, really my highlight, because I've always wanted to go to Africa and I believe I'm going to be reincarnated as an elephant. I truly believe that.
[00:18:59] Russ Johns: Oh wow.
[00:19:00] Tony Sagar: And Africa is where the elephant and life in general originated from. And I did the research. I realized, unfortunately, the Asian ones were the cousins, a lot of the Asian ones, they don't even have full tests and things like that because, and I said, I got to go to Africa. I got to feel them and touch them. I'm trying to meditate with them if I can.
[00:19:22] Russ Johns: And you got to do that?
[00:19:23] Tony Sagar: Yeah. As much as possible. And I think one other place I'd definitely recommend on my last trip that really stood out for me was I went to a place in Morocco, right on the the sea called Tangier. It's a beautiful place in Morocco, a lot of people speak French, which is a second language and it's right on the coast. It's only about a an hour or two ferry ride away from the south coast of Spain. So you get people coming in, Europeans, they can even take the car, put your car right on the ferry you can drive in for the day or night and there's miles and miles of unspoiled beaches right now. You know what I mean? But they're still developing, but they're not as developed as what we're used to, and it was just, it was breathtaking.
[00:20:09] Russ Johns: What city shocked you most? That surprised you?
[00:20:13] Tony Sagar: That surprised me? Yeah. I would say the area that surprised me the most was the French Riviera and the south of France, just being able to go up those cobblestone alleyways and mountains and what they've built in those areas like antiques and Monte Carlo was the glamour and it was really this is selfie central. If you want to take a picture.
[00:20:44] Russ Johns: You got to take a picture. Got to take a picture of this. Hey, I want to say hello to Ashton. Hey, good morning, you guys, Ashton Smith. Thank you so much for joining us and Jenny Gold is in the house. Hi Russ and Tony. And then one of our favorite friends, Marcia, great to see you both again, two favorite friends. Awesome. And I'm just excited about this whole possibility of travel and discovery and connecting with different people all over the world. That's what the #PirateBroadcast™has done for me personally, at this point in time. And if you're ever getting into Arizona and you ever come down, Tony, you're always welcome to join us down here in Arizona.
[00:21:26] Tony Sagar: Will do for sure. I have to meet Marcia, as well.
[00:21:30] Russ Johns: Yeah. Come down here. I saw Howard over the weekend Howard Kaufman from ORL and had a great time. And I just think that there's so many things that are taking place. The retail businesses evolving and changing, e-commerce is growing. We're becoming a smaller globe, so to speak. All the connections that we have and the opportunities we have to connect are amazing. And it's really changing and not necessarily all change is comfortable. However, if you gather up and you collect your senses and you get used to change, just like traveling from country to country and open up to the idea that, hey, this is a process, it's a discovery process and we can all enjoy it. So I really appreciate you being here, Tony. And so how do people get ahold of you? How do people discover you and where can we connect with you?
[00:22:26] Tony Sagar: Sure. The best way to connect with me is to send me an email email@example.com. Or I'm on Facebook, on LinkedIn, you can just find my profile, we can connect. And I just love meeting new people and connecting because unfortunately until we can do more meetups, virtual sort of networking is the way of the future. And I want to do both. I think once you've made a virtual connection, that it's just so much easier when you meet in person.
[00:22:58] Russ Johns: It's interesting too, because I'm sure that if you're online enough and people see your face, and all of a sudden you show up at an event, they recognize you as well.
[00:23:10] Tony Sagar: Sometimes it's those side benefits.
[00:23:13] Russ Johns: It's like Tony, where's your pillow. You're grabbing your pillow, man. So now you're on Amazon as well. We were talking about Amazon before the show. So before we wrap up and go away here today, talk a little bit about what you're thinking about doing with the Amazon show. And as you grow and evolve in that direction, what are your thoughts?
[00:23:37] Tony Sagar: Sure. I just came on board as almost a case study, in a sense, in terms of the influencer side of things, because I'm so busy being a seller and looking at different businesses and things like that. I'm in the process of getting more product because I buy a ton of stuff on Amazon and testing it out and seeing if I can get to a two to three time a week sort of live stream, but more important than that, what I think is more possible is just uploading a video of your Amazon purchase. So Amazon has made that a lot easier for me to your phone or your desktop, and that can help you as well, because that's going to come down and I'm unclear if that will apply for affiliate income. You know what I mean? Because your product review but either way, I rather just, I find if I can find the moments to do things that are more streamlined, it'll be great. And instead of trying to bite off more than I can chew.
[00:24:36] Russ Johns: No, you don't need another job, do you?
[00:24:38] Tony Sagar: I need a vacation.
[00:24:40] Russ Johns: You need a vacation, so where's your next trip going to be?
[00:24:44] Tony Sagar: I think I'm gonna come down to the US, have a lot of family. There's a lot of weddings that have been delayed all over the U S I just love being down there. I spent a lot of time and when I was younger and in California and Chicago, a lot of family in New York. I'm just looking forward to it.
[00:25:03] Russ Johns: Good deal. Good deal. Tony, I think it's been an amazing opportunity to connect and hang out with you. And I look forward to us doing it many more times. Don't be a stranger. And now that you're a pirate, we can actually go back and Marcia says, next trip, Arizona.
[00:25:22] Tony Sagar: That's right. I'm going in the winter cause I know it's cooler.
[00:25:27] Russ Johns: When the snow starts flying, you do the same thing. You just come on down. Thank you so much for being here, Tony. I love the fact that you're first back on. 501, we're here, we're doing some great stuff. And also, this whole show is possible because of Tracie, the production that she helps out with and the #PirateSyndicate. And I just want to make sure that people understand and appreciate that that's what I do in my spare time. That's what I'm not doing on the camera. I'm working behind the camera to help other people produce results. So if you, or anyone, wants to, or pursuing a show or a podcast or something along those lines, reach out, connect with book russ.com and let's book a time and talk about it, find out what you're doing and what you're looking forward to. And also, #enjoytheday. Tony make a connection. You're online, Tony. So if people connect with you, they reach out email you, whatever it happens to be because you know why #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree, so you #enjoytheday. Take care Tony.
[00:26:38] Tony Sagar: Thank you. Thank you.
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