Nathan Hirsch Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Nathan Hirsch
Nathan Hirsch is our guest today, on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots free podcast interview.
He is only twenty seven years old, but he seems to have packed in several decades of work and hustle in such a short period of time.
He has been an entrepreneur in the eCommerce industry since 2009 and has grown into a leading expert in the field with experience managing multi-million dollar businesses.
But of course we are most interested in what he is doing today.
What is getting him excited everyday when he jumps out of bed?
Well he is the Founder and CEO of FreeeUp a company that he started 2015 after spending 7+ years interviewing, hiring, and training remote workers.
How The Dots Joined Up For Nathan
He decided that there must be a better way for eCommerce companies to hire remote workers without having to spend hours interviewing and finding the most reliable people.
A year later and FreeeUp is a rapidly growing company interviewing hundreds of worker applicants each week and providing remote workers for hundreds of clients.
He has found a gap in the market place and filled it with his experience and passion allowing it to flourish.
And with his extensive knowledge in creating business systems and processes, personnel management, hiring remote workers, the Amazon Marketplace, and advanced sales tactics this is going to get bigger and bigger.
But does he see this as his legacy work, or simply something that is moving him closer and closer towards his goals?
And what does he enjoy the most in his work….the creation, or the customer satisfaction?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Nathan Hirsch
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Nathan Hirsch such as:
How Nathan has developed the abilities to bounce back from every failure that has hit him, ensuring that he has learnt from those hard-times before moving forward.
The story of the trip to Myrtle Beach, where he suffered a huge client loss and identity fraud all within a few hours…tipping his world on its axis.
Why you should always look to start hiring as soon as you can in your business, to allow yourself free time to do the stuff that you are best at.
Why he has set up his company to have three levels of staff, to boost the quality of the work, and to maintain greater control on standards and systems..very wise decision indeed.
How To Connect With Nathan Hirsch
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Full Transcription Of Nathan Hirsch Interview
Are you tired of the same routine the nine to five the mundane? Or perhaps have lost touch with the dreams and passions that lead to a life that’s a wow and simply don’t know where to start. The Join Up Dots has the answer. Dream starter Academy is the number one group mastermind online today showing our members how to create their own business lifestyle or dream job teaching you how to find your thing, teaching you how to build income around your passions and giving you a life where you leap out of bed with a said above. surround you 24 seven with the greatest entrepreneurs, business owners and dreamers online today who are ready to help you get going. They followed the simple steps laid out for them and saw their lives changed forever and you can do the same. So are you ready to change your life explode your income and create the dream life that you’ve always dreamt tough thing. join with us today by heading over to Join Up dots.com and look for dream starter Academy. We look forward to working with you see you on the inside.
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK. David Ralph.
David Ralph [1:34]
Yes. Good morning to you. Good morning to you, everyone across the world. This is Episode 660 of Join Up Dots. And yes, it’s a UK podcast. But we accept everyone you know, we’re not in podcast land building a big wall, right across the top of the demographic sort of get get into us. If you want to listen to us, you can because we have got content that’s going to inspire and motivate you To get a dream life and that’s what it’s all about. And our guest today is somebody that is really sort of rocking and rolling and doing his own thing. And he’s only 27 years old, or at least I think he is, but he seems to have packed in several decades of work and hustle in such a short period of time. He’s been an entrepreneur in the e commerce industry since 2009. And has grown into a leading expert in the field with experience managing multimillion dollar businesses. But of course, we’re most interested in what he’s doing today. What is getting him excited every day when he jumps out of bed? Well, he is the founder and CEO of free up a company that started in 2015. After spending seven plus years interviewing, hiring and training remote workers, he decided that there must be a better way for e commerce companies to hire remote workers without having to spend hours interviewing them and finding the most reliable people a year later. And free up is rapidly growing company interviewing hundreds of worker applicants each week and providing remote workers for hundreds of clients. Good stuff. He’s found a gap in the marketplace and build it with his experience and passion, allowing it to flourish and with his extensive knowledge in creating business systems and processes, personal management, hiring remote workers, the Amazon Marketplace and advanced sales tactics, this is going to get bigger and bigger. But does he see this as his legacy work or simply something that is moving him closer and closer towards his goals? And what does he enjoy the most in his work? Is it the creation or the customer satisfaction? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show, to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Nathan Hirsch. Good morning to you Nathan. How are you?
Nathan Hirsch [3:39]
Good morning, David. I’m great. Thank you so much for having me.
David Ralph [3:42]
It is lovely to have you here sir. Because you are a man you are rocking and rolling. You can do anything in your world. You are American. So from your bedroom window, can you see the wall going up? Can you see the wall that is being built as we speak to keep half of the Mexicans out?
Nathan Hirsch [4:00]
Oh my god, don’t even get me started on politics right now. I live in Florida. But it’s been a rough year.
David Ralph [4:08]
Can I say though, so we’ll move on from this but from our side of the pond, you brought it on yourselves. You voted him in, you voted in him. And now you’re all running around going, Oh my god, what’s he doing?
Nathan Hirsch [4:20]
He could not agree with you more, we have no one else to blame.
David Ralph [4:23]
You have no one to blame other than yourself. And that is the kind of entrepreneurial spirit isn’t really about the the good things that go your way or your choice, the bad things out of money, your bad choices or things that didn’t just pan out? Are you somebody that can sort of bounce from positive to positive or do you need a little bit of moaning, groaning and wallowing in it every now and again.
Nathan Hirsch [4:46]
I get frustrated, I get upset, like anyone does. But I do try to look at things as as positive as a whole. I mean, even my worst business decisions, my worst mistakes, there are learning blocks that have really helped me in the future. So you really have to have that positive outlook that it’s gonna be okay. You’re gonna have backup plans, you’re gonna learn from your experiences and you’re gonna make better decisions going forward.
David Ralph [5:08]
And have you always had that point of view always just now with experience after being in the game since 2009?
Nathan Hirsch [5:16]
That’s a good question. I mean, when I was first becoming an entrepreneur, I failed so much that it was hard to. It was hard to imagine getting to that point of success and knowing everything’s gonna be okay. But now that I’ve kind of gone through eight years of that ups and downs and Every business has them. I always know that when I’m hitting it down, that I have the problem solving ability to get back that up at some point.
David Ralph [5:40]
And is this something that you share with people and they because it certainly you say that to me and with the growth of my show at the moment, which is quite simply exploding after a plateau of quite a while it just wasn’t going anywhere. I will not in agreement with everything you say but but want to be entrepreneurs. They kind of get seduced by the we can show you the 1000 a day systems, we can show you this come across to this webinar and follow us and we can, it seems kind of easy. So do you think there is a realism out there? Or do you think it’s a bit of a fantasy world and we need people like you, Nathan to stand on the podium down in Florida and preach realism?
Nathan Hirsch [6:23]
The the biggest question is, are you willing to go all out? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to succeed when you fail? Are you ready to pick yourself back up? Are you willing to tweak, adjust problem solve, get back on top? And a lot of people just aren’t willing to do that? How many times can you fail before you give up because I’m at a point that I could fail endless amount of times, and I’m gonna get back up and keep trying. And those are the people that end up succeeding.
David Ralph [6:49]
I agree. I agree totally. Now what I want to do, I want to take you to a moment in your life, which probably wasn’t as positive and then bounced back to where we are today, but I understand a little bird told me about one of the worst moments in your your business life happened as you were strolling across Myrtle Beach weave sand on your feet. Tell us about that. And why did it knock you to you? Yeah, hills and back?
Nathan Hirsch [7:13]
Sure. So I quickly went from a broke college student to running a multimillion dollar business out of my college dorm room, and I was making more money than I ever had in my entire life. I had set up my processes and systems made really good hires, spent countless hours working on my business. And it was finally time to take a vacation because in your in the initial year to have a startup you don’t get many times much time off. So I took a vacation with my business partners. We had one vendor that we were buying a lot of products from sales were through the roof. Everything was working great. went on a trip to Myrtle Beach and day one on the trip. I got two phone calls back to back within four hours. One telling us that our only vendor was shutting us down within a week so our entire business had no no suppliers and More. And then number two was from my accountant telling me that someone had stole my social security number and filed a huge tax return and sending the money to someone else. So within four hours, I thought I lost the entire company that I spent two years building and then I had a my, my identification stolen as well.
David Ralph [8:19]
So did you instantly go into meltdown mode? Or did you go into a bar, put your feet up, have a few drinks and think to yourself, I think things are gonna be alright, things are always alright in the long run.
Nathan Hirsch [8:32]
I didn’t necessarily think it was gonna be all right, I thought that I might have to start another company. So I didn’t know if the first company was going to survive. I was still on vacation. I was still with some good friends of mine. So I’ve tried to make the most and enjoy that vacation but which is tough to do and I had it in the back of my mind. And as soon as I got back from the vacation, I really just went back to work to do everything possible to get back on top.
David Ralph [8:55]
So for the people listening out here is this a story where you kind of put all your eggs in one basket instead of diversifying, because we hear all the time that the way to create a successful business is by niching down really, really tightly. But to have a business where the bulk of your income is by one supplier one contract. Is that is that sort of, do you look back on that and think what hell was I doing? Is that something that we should tell the listeners, you should think carefully of putting your eggs in many different baskets?
Nathan Hirsch [9:27]
Yeah, that’s the moral of the entire story. You should be diversifying your business in every way from multiple suppliers, multiple revenue streams, even in terms of hiring, which is something that I’m very passionate about. If you hire one person to manage every aspect of your company and that person leaves, it might take you six months to recover from that. Whereas if you have a bookkeeper or a marketer, right or whatever it is, and just divide up the tasks. If someone leaves which inevitably is going to happen in life, you’re protected and you can just focus on replacing that one aspect and then There’s lots of other ways to diversify your business. But once you get to a point where you’ve, you’ve established the idea, and you know that the idea works, you really have to focus on diversification.
David Ralph [10:11]
Now, it’s quite simple to save. And coming from a corporate land like I have, we always used to talk about single point of failure, there always had to be some kind of plan, if so, and so decided to leave if this client left, whatever, but in entrepreneurial, and when you’re kind of doing everything yourself. And you are bootstrapping at the beginning. I would think a lot of people would be reluctant to be able to sort of hire people to fill those roles that we’re talking about the failure points, is that narrow minded as well? Is that something that they should look at actually spending even if they haven’t got the cash flow coming in at that time?
Nathan Hirsch [10:51]
I mean, if you don’t have the cash flow, and you can’t hire someone, I guess that’s a little different. But I think back when I started my first business, and I went to my accountant and he’s like, Alright, so you’re about to start hiring soon. And I was like, why would I do that? That’s gonna take money out of my pocket. I enjoy what I’m doing. And he just laughed at me. He’s like, he’s like, you’re gonna have to hire someone Sunday. And I and I always think about that. And I deal with a lot of clients who the business is their kid, they they’ve done it themselves for 1234 or five years. They’ve never hired someone else. They, they’re scared to do it, they think someone else is going to mess up. When really, in my mind, it’s the opposite. A lot of times you can hire people that can do parts of your business better than you can. And it’s tough to get away from that mentality. But it’s also there’s that life factor. Do you want to enjoy life? Do you want to work seven days a week? Do you want to work 80 hours a week, and you do have to put that time in at the beginning. But at some point, you built this business for a reason to get that freedom and to get your life back. And you can only grow to a certain level without making good hires. You really there’s very few businesses that get to $50 million a year with one person I don’t even know if there’s any businesses that do that. So Hiring and hiring strategically and diversifying your hiring is a huge part of running your business. And it’s in my mind the number one reason why businesses fail or don’t expand.
David Ralph [12:10]
Now, we have had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of entrepreneurs on the show now and there seems to be a timeline. And it seemed and I’m going to put it through to you. I know that you haven’t heard this timeline. So you’re on testing. And you can you can say yes or no, but it seems to be a business really starts to become a business something that is recognised in the third year, where it seems in the first year the entrepreneur is literally doing everything themselves absolutely kidding themselves in the second year by kind of start getting an idea of what should be doing where the 8020 years where the income is coming through, but they’ve kind of messed things up. There’s too much spaghetti to untangle overnight, but by the third year best starting hiring out It’s a cleaner kind of business than it has been up to that point. Would you say that a kind of a three year timeline is acceptable? And it is what most people building a business should logically think is gonna be right for them?
Nathan Hirsch [13:14]
Yeah, it sounds about right. I mean, in my experience, I’ve started hiring people around the end of year one. But I mean, that’s a very small team. And I mean, right now I’m in year two or three up, and I have a 20 person internal team. And I’m fortunate enough that my business has accelerated quickly. And I think a large part of that I credit to my amazing team. But yeah, I mean, it just depends on the business and how profitable you are and how solid your original idea is. Because a lot of times that original idea you had for a business looks totally different by the time you get to year one or year two, and how quickly you can make adjustments and make tweaks really follows through to how quickly you can hire people.
David Ralph [13:54]
My business has come full circle in year one I knew exactly what I was aiming for. In Yeah, to be honest, I kind of got lost and bogged down with everything. year three, it’s become what it should have been at the beginning, but you only kind of learned that from experience. Now with your company free up, obviously you are the founder of free up and you are the CEO as well. So you got to two badges they’re
Unknown Speaker [14:19]
way away is
David Ralph [14:20]
give out listeners, I suppose the better question give our listeners an understanding of what free up is all about? Why is it got three E’s? First of all? That said That’s a big question. And what would they hope to gain from actually working with your company?
Nathan Hirsch [14:35]
Sure. So free up as threes. The 30 stands for e commerce, which is my background and we’re mostly we mostly have e commerce clients, although we have plenty of clients that are not ecommerce that just like our workers, but the concept is simple. over seven plus years of my first business, I was spending 40 50% of my time just on HR stuff, posting jobs, going through resumes, doing interviews, dealing with turnover replacing People training and all that. And it was a huge hassle. And it was expensive. And it wasn’t a good use of my time, I always thought I should be focused on sales and marketing, because that’s what I’m good at. And that’s where any business owner should really go to expand their company. So I wanted a better idea because you can go on the Upwork, freelancers, monster.com in the world, and always post a job and get 100 applicants and go through them yourself. And that’s really what the industry is right now. And I wanted to change that. So at free up, we get hundreds of applicants every week, we have a great interview process that I created based on 15 years of hiring. We have 15 pages of communication guidelines our workers have to memorise and get tested on because we know how important communication is, especially if you’re not in the same office as someone else. And then we make the top 1% of workers that get into our network available to our clients on a first come first serve basis. So our clients love it because it’s free to sign up free to be a client. And then whenever you need a worker you fill out a quick form inside our software. request goes to us, we fill that request within a few minutes, or I’m sorry, within a few hours or even minutes, depending on the time of the day because we have these workers ready to go. And you can get that graphic designer, that customer service person, that consultant at your fingertips whenever you need them. And the cool thing about us is not only do we offer both us and non us were both us and non us workers from five to $50 an hour, but we’re very hands on to make sure you have a good experience. And we’re insurance against turnover because turnover is the thing that sets back companies not only is it expensive, but it might take you six months to recover from someone leaving your company. So with us, we have backups. If anyone quits, we cover all retraining costs, we get you a new worker right away, and we make sure you never take a step backwards for HR reasons. So we’re there to save you all the hassle up front and protect you on the back end.
David Ralph [16:50]
Right. Okay, I know from the environment that I’m in, but there are many, many content providers they can make content quite easily, but at Actually marketing it and bringing it to sales is very difficult. Is that something that your company are proficient in? Is it or is it sort of back office stuff administration? Or if somebody is looking for somebody to start running Facebook ads and AdWords and all those kinds of things? What would I get?
Nathan Hirsch [17:20]
Sure. So we have three groups of workers, we call them lower level, mid level and experts. If you’re hiring a lower level person, they might have five years of customer service experience, or five years of Excel or whatever it is. And they’re really there to do what you tell them to do. I mean, they’re going to know they’re going to have their background, but the way you want something done is going to be different than another client. You tell them what to do, and they’re yours. So I would consider that the back end people. The mid level people are more specialised, they might be writing for a certain niche or do focus on one small part of Amazon or one small part of eBay or whatever it is. So those you’re hiring for to be an expert at that specific thing. Then you have the upper level workers, who are more of your consultants, they do social media marketing, Click Funnels, they might be ecommerce consultants, very high level people in that 30 to $50 an hour range that you can hire to do audit to your company or consult you on your business or execute your game plan bigger game plans on expansion. So we really had that wide range, which is a lot of things that our competitors either focus on one or the other.
David Ralph [18:25]
I think that’s very wise. So you somebody could develop a understanding with your company and they could literally own up or contact you and say, just for two weeks, I want somebody to do X Y Zed. Two weeks later, they could get somebody else they could sort of pick and mix could be
Nathan Hirsch [18:42]
exactly I mean, we have clients that’ll hire five full time customer service people ongoing we have clients who might hire a worker a few hours a month, and we have clients who do a lot of short term projects or that might hire an expert to execute a strategy up front and then maintain it going forward or hire a project manager that they I only want to talk to one person because they don’t have a lot of time. So they hire a project manager. And then they build a team using that those lower level workers. And the project manager manages, manages them ongoing. So the client is paying top dollar to get everything done. So it’s not really my job to tell you how to run your business. I’m happy to give advice based on my experience, but we can provide any workers that you need to run your business successfully.
David Ralph [19:24]
Right. Okay, Nathan, I’m going to say a word to you, sir. I’ll probably say sent two words down the microphone to you, which a strike fear into most entrepreneurs across the world. So you hang on to this. And the two words I hear all the time that terrify people is India and Philippines. Yours, your staff? are they based abroad? are they based in America? Because no matter You know, I’ve worked with a few Indians and I would say 5050 even though they speak English as a communication problem, and you really have to, you know, lay it all down on the line. where somebody from perhaps America, you could speak more one on one and they would understand it. What what’s your staff like?
Nathan Hirsch [20:07]
Sure. So we’re about 40% of us, 40%, Philippines and 20%. scattered around the world. I would agree with you. I’ve had the same experience with hiring people from India. Although I will say that people on my team are the exception they are they’re really good. And it does all come down to communication. At the very basic level. If you don’t speak English at a very high level, you don’t get a foot into our interview process. On the more extreme level, we don’t accept having to chase down our workers or have to ask for updates. We have our new worker orientation that we teach, we have those 15 pages of communication guidelines that are based on my past experience as a client, because I am I was a client, I am a client. So I know what clients want. So we’re only looking for people that have that, yes, they have those skills and experience but they can also communicate at a high level because I don’t care how talented you are. If you can’t communicate with me It’s never gonna work out.
David Ralph [21:01]
No, I agree with you. I agree with you totally. Now I’m gonna play some words now and then kind of motivational words that we do on Join Up Dots. And then we’re gonna come back and tell the more to your story. Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [21:12]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [21:39]
Now, he was talking about his father was pretty much corporate guy wouldn’t take a chance. You’ve been entrepreneurial since the earliest days. Were you surrounded by entrepreneurs in your family? Was it a natural journey for you to go on?
Nathan Hirsch [21:54]
Sure. So my parents were both teachers. But my mom did start a kindergarten preschool when I was at A very young age. So I kind of I experienced that entire adventure from when she started it with just one at her and one employee to her retiring last year with a pretty large business that she retired from. So I was I saw that side of it and I saw my dad who was a teacher, he was fortunate enough that he never got laid off. He actually had the same job the entire time that I was growing up, he taught at the high school in my town. So I got to see kind of the safe side and the adventure side, back to back. But also the benefit of being a teacher is you do get a lot of time off you get those summer vacations and different holidays off and stuff like that. So I never really saw my parents at least working that corporate job nine to five only getting a few weeks off every year. But what they also my parents made me get jobs at a young age. So I did experience that on a personal level. I started working at Firestone and errands which is kinda like a rental centre up north. And I hated it. I thought it was the worst thing ever. I don’t know if you’ve ever worked retail before, but it’s a lot of hours. And it’s not that much fun. So I kind of saw that my parents being teachers and having that free time, but I never wanted to be a teacher because I was rebellious. And I never wanted to follow in their footsteps. I saw my mom starting a business. And then once I got into my own jobs, I saw that corporate side and I was like, no, that’s not for me.
David Ralph [23:19]
It’s funny you say that, because in our family, we’ve got a retail business. And once in a blue moon, absolutely. once in a blue moon, if I are decimated with sickness or whatever, because I’ve known the business for years and years and years, I will go, Oh, I will go in. I’ll go in and I’ll cover it for you. And I go in and it’s like a hobby for the first two hours, I think, Oh, this is quite fun. And we have a cup of tea and we you know, start doing stuff. By the time I get to about 11 o’clock, I think how can I park with this for the rest of my life? How can I you know, it just drives me mental. The customers drive me mental. The business drives me mental. I just couldn’t do it anymore. So are you totally unemployable now
Nathan Hirsch [24:01]
It’s funny. So when I was in college, I had this mentality, I got good grades in college, I was on Dean’s list and all that. And I never wanted to get a real job. So it was half of me it was like, why am I even doing this, although college was a lot of fun, and the other half of me was like, Alright, this is a good backup. Because I’m a logical person. I know that businesses fail more than they succeed. And I always kind of had that in my back pocket. But at the same time, I want to do everything possible to never have to rely on that degree. And so far, so good.
David Ralph [24:29]
And so it’s interesting. So you were going through university, you were going through graduating, but part of you was thinking, I’m not gonna use this anyway. How did you kind of keep up the motivation to keep studying?
Nathan Hirsch [24:42]
Well, I did go to school for entrepreneurial on small business management, which was a new programme at the time, and I was one of the only kids I was actually running a business while I was taking the courses. So the courses were helpful. I still think that most of the stuff I learned was either from my family or past real life experiences. For example, if Firestone, they have a great customer service training programme. So a lot of the customer care skills I have today I learned there, or just from trial and error and doing my own research and figuring it out. I was never the kind of person to watch a podcast on how to do this and then follow what everyone else was doing. I always wanted to figure things out by myself. But yeah, I mean, it was a very interesting ride, taking courses and knowing that I didn’t want to really get a real job watching all my friends, create resumes and apply and get rejected or get accepted and all that knowing that when I graduated, I had my company waiting for me. And when I did get closer to graduation, I did have that choice to make because my parents wanted me to go in and get a real job. They were very supportive no matter what I did, but that was definitely the way that they were leaning. And I didn’t want to do that. And so I had a pretty tough decision. And when I graduated, I made the decision to go focus on being entrepreneur knowing I had my degree in my back pocket.
David Ralph [25:57]
Now of course, once you are Isn’t this a big thing difference between what you’re doing and a, say a solopreneur. Now, I can see why people like being solopreneurs they create their income, whether online or offline, and they pretty much control their time and there’s nobody else to be affected by their decisions. Once you get to a point, like you have with Bria, you have got responsibilities to your staff, you know, it’s, it’s gonna be quite difficult for you to just go, I’m gonna go down on the beach and just sit there for, you know, four or five hours, even though potentially you could just do it if you wanted. Do you find those responsibilities difficult? Would you like to be the solopreneur person that’s just kind of swarming around having life or do you like to see this, this company grow around you?
Nathan Hirsch [26:42]
Yeah, so I’ve kind of had it both ways. When I was running my Amazon store, it was very much me and my small team and nothing else really affected us. And it kind of got boring to be honest. I didn’t feel like I was helping anyone or contributing to society at all. I mean, I was paying my staff and Support supporting their families. But that wasn’t a huge team. And it’s one of the things that I love about free up. I mean, not only am I helping 500 plus businesses grow, and those entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by providing them workers, but I have a network of 300 plus workers that they’re relying on free up to provide for their families, not to mention my business partner and my internal team. And it is a lot of responsibilities. And it’s something that if anything, was to keep me up at night. That’s it. I mean, I don’t want to let these people down. I know, I’ll be okay. I mean, if free up went down, I’d figure it out. I’d started another company or whatever it is, but other people don’t necessarily have those opportunities. So for me, it is a lot of responsibility that I take really seriously and I take pride in. And it’s a lot more rewarding at the end of the day than running that solopreneur business to me at least.
David Ralph [27:49]
So did you look at it now. You know, you say you could start another company quite easily. Did you see that? Do you see that there’s business opportunities coming along like buses, but you can jump on to the next one, or do you have to wait a period of time to find the right opportunity?
Nathan Hirsch [28:05]
Yeah, I don’t want to pretend that I can just snap my finger my finger and start a new successful business tomorrow. But I feel like I know enough about processes and hiring and finding small errors in the market and brainstorming and I work really well with my business partner Connor, who I’ve worked with. He was actually one of my first hires. And I’ve worked with him for over seven years on both by companies that we we’d figure it out, and I don’t know what that business would be. Or it might take six months or a year to figure it out or know what direction to go. But I don’t see myself getting a real job. I don’t know what free up will be my last company. I hope it is I hope you grow into the billions. But I’m confident that if it if something does happen, I’ll figure it out. Going forward.
David Ralph [28:46]
I think you have got a good chance of really making it something I was speaking to a guy the other day called Michael soccer, and he is the CEO of crew. And what they do they say that they’re a kind Exactly like you, they’re a middleman. They’re a quality control person for freelance designers and web designers, where so many people go to like Upwork. And you literally have to make the decision yourself and work one on one with that member of staff crew sit quite nicely in between and make sure that there is time management. There’s project management, there’s quality. So I think what you’re doing by doing exactly the same thing by sitting in the middle and making sure that the customer service and the customer satisfaction is of the highest is kind of what’s needed. Now, I think the early companies they, they failed because I haven’t breached that gap from old retail customer service quality to where we are now.
Nathan Hirsch [29:45]
I agree. I mean, at the end of the day, no matter what business you you have, it’s about quality and customer service. If you don’t provide quality, eventually you’re going to get burned and go down or someone else is going to come into the market that provides a higher quality And you’re gonna go out of business quickly. And if you don’t have customer service, especially at the beginning, it’s really hard to get off the ground. I mean, if your first five customers or your first five clients are incredibly important, and if if they hate your service, they’re going to tell everyone else and you’re in a hole before you even get going. So to me, you really need to focus on quality and customer service. And the best way to have a successful business is to have those as your main values.
David Ralph [30:25]
Now, obviously, with the sort of click this button, buy this course that we see online, where would somebody position themselves to bring that customer service to bring that personal element into it, because I’m starting to see online but there is a movement back to having a human in in the automated system somehow. So it’s not the case that you just click, you get it into your email inbox and somebody makes money at the other side, but it’s something along the line that bridges that back, that gap in sort of personality and personal attention. So somebody starting with a very small business, should they be looking at interacting personally with every member of their client base? Or should they be looking at automating as much of it?
Nathan Hirsch [31:09]
I would I mean, my my background is customer service. So I valued that at a very high level. I mean, even my initial clients have signed up on free up. Yes, they you can sign up on my site, you can request a worker, and sometimes don’t even have to talk to me. But if the person wants to, I want to talk to them, I want to know their needs. I want to assure them that I’m going to do everything possible to make them happy. And the other side of it is how do you handle things when things go wrong? freelancing isn’t a perfect industry, it’s not one size fits all. Same thing with shipments if you’re buying something online shipments, kid loss, stuff is going to happen, workers will mess up but if you build enough hours, something is gonna happen. And it’s really how you handle those situations. Do you get defensive? Do you say this client isn’t worth it or no, you agreed to pay me blah, blah, blah and argue back? To me. That’s not the answer. To the client isn’t always right. But it’s in your best interest to make sure the client is happy at all times.
David Ralph [32:05]
And do you see in the same way as I do that there is certainly a movement towards more personal interaction. where, you know, five years ago, I don’t think you’d ever seen a webinar, for example. So now you’ve got webinars, you’ve got podcast, you’ve got all that ability to actually see someone and actually hear their voice and connect.
Nathan Hirsch [32:27]
Yeah, it’s huge. It’s definitely the direction we’re going. And that’s really the million dollar question is how do you get in front of people in a new, different exciting way that’s engaging, that keeps people going and has that personal touch that you’re not just a robot sending a message?
David Ralph [32:43]
What would you do then? If you had the choice of webinar, YouTube videos, podcasts, would you do one would you do all of them? Nathan, I’m handing it over to you.
Nathan Hirsch [32:55]
Hey, um, so right now I do podcasts and webinars. I really want to get Get into YouTube. I haven’t found the time for it yet. I’m hoping that in the next six months, we get some really good content out there. So I think YouTube is the answer. If you can be successful on YouTube, if you have the time and you can put out quality content there, you can really attract a very large audience and be successful. And I think YouTube ads are also undervalued, as well, you can be really successful there. So, I mean, my time is spent on podcasts and webinars because I have an amazing PR manager, as you know. And I like to tell my story, and I like to help entrepreneurs out. But I’m looking to YouTube to really make a difference over the next year.
David Ralph [33:38]
As a not some kind of irony, Nathan, but you run a company that’s free up but you haven’t got the time to do YouTube videos. Is it something that you can get one of your staff to do it for you?
Nathan Hirsch [33:50]
It is I do. I so I have an internal team of 20 people and we have a million projects going on and being an entrepreneur is all about prioritising. It’s something I take very seriously. It’s something I consider myself good at just because I have a lot of experience. So to me, there are certain things that I want to get done that I won’t share right now. But I want to get done before I get on YouTube. And it because I want to have a good foundation, I don’t want to get out bad kind of content, I wanted to be consistent. I don’t want to have to go for a week and then realise, oh, I have to pause for a month and then go back out there. Or when I execute something, I want to execute it the highest possible level. So I do have some really cool marketing stuff going on for the next one to four months. And depending on how that goes, I should be able to launch right after that.
David Ralph [34:40]
That’s fascinating as well. So you even the content has to be a high level where I would say a lot of people nowadays are certainly we’ve been like the Facebook Live streaming, it seems like they press a button and they just blur and they just get it out there. And I think that a lot of it is almost unwatchable is like they haven’t planned it out. There’s no straight To me, he’s just some free fooling. You think there has to be quality all the way through your content, whether it’s on video, whether it’s on podcast, whatever.
Nathan Hirsch [35:10]
Yeah, I don’t want to do anything unless I’m doing it at a high level. I mean, even on the development side, and we’re we’re constantly updating our software. And we’re actually switching like payment processors. And that’s a whole project. I don’t want to do anything at a low level, it’s not good for anyone. It’s not fair to the people that rely on me, the people that count on free up the clients of mine, I want to do everything top notch and it does require planning and and sometimes when you have an idea, it’s good to sit on that idea and let it develop a little bit before you actually actually execute it. I mean, I just had a meeting yesterday when my business partner Connor, and we have a lot of projects that are wrapping up. We have a lot of projects that we’re about to start because we have that good basis. And then at the end of our meeting, we just brainstorm we just talk about things we want to do in the future and put it in the back of each other’s head. And then in a week, Connor might wake up and be like, you know what I thought Have this and then we’ll talk this out and get it a little further down the line. And then when we have it at a really good place, that’s when we focus on execution and creating that plan.
David Ralph [36:09]
Don’t you hold back Bo navan? How do you hold back? You know, I always I’m a bit of a leaper. Like I always sounds brilliant, it sounds good, let’s do it. Bang. Why don’t you sort of let it sort of just lay fallow for a while I’d be wanting to get in now i’d be getting Connor and going ignore Nathan. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Let’s get it out by some afternoon.
Nathan Hirsch [36:30]
Yeah, don’t get me wrong. I move at a very fast pace. I mean, if you look at free up two months ago, it looks completely different than it is right now. And we do move quickly. But our project list is very long. We do have an internal team but even that has limitations and we’re always adding people to it. So prioritising is key, and a lot of times, it makes sense to do something before something else. If we don’t like our signup page and we’re in the process of redoing it right now. And it’s still better than it was six months. ago, I might want to complete my signup page before I focus on marketing, because it might be a wasted effort to drive a lot of people to a page that isn’t as great as we would want it to be or might not have as good a conversion level. And that’s just one very basic example. But a lot of times you have to look at projects and how they affect other projects, and make sure you’re doing them in the correct order to not waste time, energy and resources.
David Ralph [37:22]
So you don’t struggle with looking at the sexy stuff out there looking at, you know, comparing yourself with other companies and thinking, Oh, god, look at that website. That’s amazing. We should we should have something like that. And I look at what they’re doing. You just want a happy head down Myrtle turtle and doing it.
Nathan Hirsch [37:40]
No, we I mean, we look at our competition. But there’s a lot of times you look at competition, and they might be a huge company like Upwork. But I could go through works website and be like, I like this. I don’t like this. Let’s do it this way, and really change based on that. I don’t recommend copying people. It doesn’t always work out, but you can almost learn from them and learn from their mistakes and and your experience using them or what other clients or customers say about them and what they like and what they don’t like and build a better version of that.
David Ralph [38:09]
Yeah, but how do you not beat yourself up? How do you not go the normal route of comparison? looking at stuff thinking, you know, we should have done that by now. And if I need, we’ve got that, how would you sort of sit back and just do what you need to do?
Nathan Hirsch [38:23]
Yeah, I mean, I had the mentality of prioritising I do do that a little bit. I mean, our development, development always kind of runs behind the ideas. You’re never at a point where you’re caught up in development. I mean, we have 50 pages of new ideas that we want to launch. But you also need developers to implement them and actually build it on. So to me, it’s about just continuing to come up with ideas continuing to look at competitors, continuing to find better ways to do things and then slotting them in if you have project one to 20 and you come up with that new project, where does it fit in? Does it go at number four, number 19. And really just having that logical mindset about it rather than the emotional side of it. What
David Ralph [39:03]
gets you excited in a professional way, I don’t want to go down the personal route. But in professional life, what truly gets you excited about what you’re doing.
Nathan Hirsch [39:14]
So whenever you’re starting a new company, you never know what the customer feedback is gonna be and the customer feedback at free up since day one has been overwhelmingly positive, we really have found a way to solve a need. We have high quality workers that by now have proven that they do the jobs that are very high level. customers tell us that point blank, how satisfied they are. And to me that’s incredibly rewarding. And being able to continue to scale that from when we had five workers to 50 to 200 to 300. And growing at the pace that we’re growing, which is over 900% in the past eight months without losing that quality, which is really hard to do and a lot of businesses lose quality as they get bigger. That makes me excited for the future that we’re able to refine our processes while expanding at the same time. Yeah, but
David Ralph [39:58]
knowing hundred percent does that not scare you. They do not think to yourself. Yeah, because we see rapid growth companies die over time, where one year they are absolutely flying and the next year, it’s almost like a plant that has outgrown itself, you know, and it even starts to wilter does that sort of not frighten you such rapid growth?
Nathan Hirsch [40:19]
It does. And that’s why I’m so focused on the processes and improving it as much as we want to market and push clients in and, and get beyond. I could do five podcasts a day and do nothing but YouTube videos, our processes need to grow and need to be more defined as you grow the process up to grow with your expansion. So every time we do a new marketing effort, or focus more resources on something external to drive traffic, we need to go back and do audits of the existing processes, making sure they can handle it, making sure we have enough workers in the network. Make sure that the checkout process works and the signup and every part of like the ticketing system for requesting workers, how do we improve that So the reason that businesses fail because they grow too fast is because they lose the quality. And the reason they lose a quality is because their processes aren’t set up to expand that fast. So I’m constantly looking at how we can improve the processes we have while expanding at the correct level.
David Ralph [41:17]
Well, let’s play some words now from a guy who created a couple of companies that are still doing quite well one of them hasn’t gotten a shine, but he used to have, but he’s still at the top of his game, Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [41:28]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn Half. And that will make all the difference.
David Ralph [42:03]
I would say you buy into nyfa
Nathan Hirsch [42:06]
I do buy into it. Um, it is good to look at your past and where you came from and how how you got to this point. And it’s also I mean, everyone has those things that they look back and they wish they could have done something differently. And a lot of times those things that maybe hurt you or that didn’t go the way you want, or those bad decisions you made, ended up being good decisions or good experience to learn from, as you get farther and farther away from that initial time. And that’s something that I’ve learned, and something I take very seriously just based on certain things, certain decisions that I’ve made, because I was lucky enough to start a business at a very young age, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t have really a mentor to point me in the right direction. It was a lot of trial and error and and those arrows hurt and they stung and you always are like wow, I wish I could go back a week. But if you start to realise that you’re continuing to build rather than just going on Up and down, up and down. It makes a much brighter picture for the future.
David Ralph [43:04]
And have you ever hide yourself an actual personal business coach or mentor?
Nathan Hirsch [43:09]
I have not my business partner Connor believes in that more than I do. Although I’ve met some of his mentors. I don’t know for me part of the thrill of being entrepreneurs figure it out for yourself. I mean, there’s more than money. Money isn’t everything. And yes, you can learn a lot from other people. And I do like learning and i and i do listen to things. But I when I listen to something, if someone’s telling me how to do something or their past experience, I’m taking small nuggets from that as small directions to go rather than the whole picture that I need to copy him and do everything he says in order to be successful. I know my personality is different from yours. I know mine is different than Connors, there are certain things that work for me that don’t work for other people. So I need to take small pieces of knowledge and apply them to how I can run a business rather than just going out and copying people and following a mentor. And that’s really my mentality.
David Ralph [43:59]
I would say to any Everyone but don’t hire a business coach become a podcast host because it literally you get 700 business experts giving you advice. I’ve learned two or three things from our conversation today. But you think our must do that going forward. So it is it’s all those small nuggets of gold. And I think it’s, it’s far more valuable to have such an eclectic mix of business experience coming your way, then just choosing one person and going with what they found was right, because it doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s route, does it?
Nathan Hirsch [44:30]
Yeah, it just, it doesn’t apply to everyone. There’s no one thing there’s no one marketing guide or one way to run a business or one way to talk to people. There’s different situations with different businesses and different environments with different people running them, and you really have to adjust to those ways of doing it.
David Ralph [44:47]
So looking at the Steve Jobs timeline, the joining of the dots Do you see a big.in your life when you look back at it and go Yeah, that was that was almost my aha moment. It could have been a bad day. It could have Being a good Doc, but it was spot on.
Nathan Hirsch [45:03]
Yeah, I mean, my bad moment that kind of changed my life when I was when I decided to open an office for my Amazon business and get away from the remote workers. And I think that’s really why I started free up it is I saw that all of a sudden overnight, I added overhead, I’d added people on salaries that were paying benefits and that hiring people 50 hours a week, a lot of times, you only get 20 hours of productivity. And there were just so many negatives that I thought were going to be positives before I had that experience. And it really led me to get rid of that go back to being online, go back to being remote, and then focus, find a way to help other people learn from my mistake without actually having to go through it. And that led me to free up. And I think before that experience, I really thought that my original business was going to be everything that I was going to do for the rest of my life and because I had had nothing but success. Yes, I had that Myrtle Beach incident. But that was a Five years before that, and I thought that no one could conquer me and I could never make a bad business decision and I was on top of the world. But just having that big down after being five years into the company, was huge for me. And it made me look that maybe, maybe Amazon does have its limits. Maybe I’m not going to be selling on Amazon for the rest of my life. And I still run my store. But I saw that there were limitations and then not everyone can just open up an office and then just become this, the next Google. And that really led me to free up to find another business that I’m even more passionate about when I thought that I could only be passionate about that original baby that I started so that’s really the point of my life that I look at as a complete game changer that really just turned the direction of where where my business adventures went.
David Ralph [46:47]
A strange how businesses become your true love when you’re working on them. They’re the most gorgeous girlfriend or boyfriend you’ve ever had. And then five years down the lane line, you look at them and you think they will be ugly really compared to that Beauty I’ve got now this look at this one this one’s got, it’s got everything I want in it is how it’s strange how you do change as a person alongside your business business has changed, but you’d kind of match the pace somehow, if you get what I mean.
Nathan Hirsch [47:15]
Yeah, I totally agree and your mentality what you care about and what you value changes to. I mean, what I valued when I was a broke college kid was, wow, I need to figure out a way to make money and provide for myself and not be relying on my parents and all that. And now I’m at the point where it’s like, yeah, I might, I might have a business idea that could make a lot of money, but how in my mind, it’s how much fun is it going to be? Am I going to enjoy building this business? Is it gonna affect other people in a positive way? Or am I just doing it selfishly, and there’s a lot of different factors that and in different ways that you value things and things that change over time.
David Ralph [47:48]
So just before we send you back in time on the Sermon on the mic, if I said to you, you’ve got no chance of growing any other business three up is what it is now. No more growth. stability for the rest of your life. Would you accept that? Or would you go Oh, bit boring. I need to I need a challenge.
Nathan Hirsch [48:06]
A bit boring. I need a challenge. I I’m a workaholic. I love working. I love expansion. I love growing. I don’t think I could ever be stagnant like that.
David Ralph [48:17]
Right? So that’s a no, that’s a no. So free up is on its way up or you’re jumping.
Unknown Speaker [48:23]
David Ralph [48:24]
Brilliant stuff that is ambitious at the highest level. Well, this is the bit that we’ve been leading up to. And this is the Sermon on the mic when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Nathan, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m gonna play the theme. And when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [48:55]
with the best bit of the show
Nathan Hirsch [49:11]
I’m going to talk to myself when I was in high school. Dear younger Nate, I have some unfortunate news, you’re not going to become a professional baseball player, I know that you’re very passionate about it. It’s just not what the future holds for you. But it’s okay. You’re gonna have a lot of great adventures and success in the future. I know High School is hard, high school is hard for everyone. And you don’t know what direction Your life is gonna go or whether you made the right choice for college, or where or what major and career direction you’re going to go. And I know you’ve been very rebellious and fighting back against teachers and parents and their advice and you do have that entrepreneurial spirit, but I’m here to tell you that it’s going to be okay, you pick the right college, you’re going to have a great time and learn a lot and it’s going to be worth it. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes. There’s going to be trial and error that you’re not even going to begin to imagine at this point. But you’re going to be successful, you’re not going to find yourself working at Aaron’s full time like you are. Now, that’s not what your future holds, there are going to be lots of other opportunities that you’re going to jump on, that you’re going to realise you’re passionate for. And work is going to be fun for you. And I know that’s one of your biggest concerns is that you’re going to be stuck at a job that you’re forced to do for 4050 hours a week just to get that paycheck, and it’s not going to be worth it to you, but you are going to find businesses and jobs that you’re passionate about. And one last thing before I go, money does not equal happiness. I know that having two parents as teachers doesn’t live the most luxurious lifestyle and you want more, but I promise you having money does not make you any happier. It’s about people that that you surround yourself with the ways that you help other people and what you actually contribute back to the society and being a business is not about just writing yourself a paycheck. It’s about that helping other people grow and having success with a group of people is way more fun than than having success just by yourself.
David Ralph [51:07]
knifing what is the number one best way that our audience can connect with you?
Nathan Hirsch [51:12]
Right on free up calm with three years, you can actually book a calendar appointment right with me, I’d love to talk to you about your business and how I can help you. You can also sign up as a client for free mentioned John’s name, get $1 off your first worker, check out the free up blog, we talk a lot about hiring remote workers building company culture managing teams. And you can also check out the online hiring mastermind Facebook group, where we give lots of tips and advice to entrepreneurs who might be hiring for the first time or struggling hiring remote workers. And we’re there to really help you and guide you. So I look forward to connecting and hopefully I can find a way to help you and at least one small way,
David Ralph [51:49]
Great stuff and we will have all those links on the show notes to make it easy for you. Nathan, thank you so much for spending time with us today. joining up those dots and please come back again when you have more dots. To Join Up Dots. I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Nathan Hirsch, thank you so much,
Nathan Hirsch [52:09]
David. Thanks again.
David Ralph [52:12]
And that was Nathan Hersh of free up now, I’ve actually got to sign up with Nathan and his team. I liked what he was talking about all the way through, I think about in the freelance world, and certainly in the grow your business world, there is a lack of quality between you, the customer, the higher and the potential member of staff, you can go to many different virtual recruitment sites, you can go directly to India, you can go direct directly to Philippines, America, Canada, wherever, but it seems to be very much that you talk to somebody and you take a flyer. I like that middleman approach. It’s the recruitment consultant is the dating agency is the one that’s trying to match up for the best effect. I think he’s got something there with Hurry up, I’m going to hire him as a client. And for anybody out there who is growing their own business, I certainly consider from my experience of what I’ve listened to, you should consider it as well. Thank you so much for listening to Join Up Dots, please come over to us, please drop us an email, tweet us, Facebook, whatever. As I’ve been saying, on the last few shows, we are here for you. We want to build up the communication we want to help you from this end so that you can step forward into entrepreneurial life or just building more income streams or whatever you want to do. That’s what Join Up Dots is all about. I can’t emphasise it enough. We’ll see you again soon with another episode. Cheers. See you later.
Bye. David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life, head over to Join Up dots.com today Download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.