[00:01:32] A.J. Lawrence: Now, the other thing I have to say about Outsource, I actually am a member of it. I use the program, I love the weekly updates, their ongoing additions to the course material and their playbooks as they call it, is amazing. So I cannot say enough about this. I may be a little biased here. But let’s give a warm welcome to entrepreneur, educator and expert in remote hiring, Nathan Hirsch.
[00:02:00] Hello, Nathan.
[00:02:01] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah, thanks for having me. It’s good to be back.
[00:02:04] A.J. Lawrence: Well, tell you what. Last time you were on the show, I guess it was right before you sold your last business. Do you wanna maybe bring us up to date? You know the sale and then starting of Outsource School?
[00:02:18] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah. So I think last time I was on, I was talking about FreeUp, we’re probably in year three or four of FreeUp. I mean, we started FreeUp in 2016 with a $5,000 investment, creating a marketplace that was a competitor to Upwork and Fiverr. And we thought it was a lot more hands on and more of a white glove service. And we scaled that to $12 million in 2019. We were acquired at the end of the year, which was kind of cool going through my first transition and definitely changed a lot, both on the business side and the financial side, but also my life side as well.
[00:02:53] I bought a second home in Colorado, I’m living there now. You can see, I haven’t exactly bought curtains for this room yet so the lighting in here is a little weird. But yeah, I mean, life’s good. And obviously there was a pandemic in the middle, so kind of dealing with that in the same way that everyone else is.
[00:03:09] And since we sold FreeUp, my business partner Connor, and I decided to keep working together and we started a company called Outsource School where we teach people all of our secrets, tips, processes, systems around hiring virtual assistance so they get a huge competitive advantage over anyone else in their market who isn’t hiring VAs on the same level.
[00:03:31] We started a software company called SimplySOP, which is a tool for creating standard operating procedures processes for your remote virtual teams. And then on the other side of it, we started HG ventures, which is a company where we go in to other digital businesses that are already profitable, already generating revenue, come in for a minority stake and help them scale. Help build their team, help build their marketing processes, take everything that we we’ve learned from the past 10+ years and help them take it to the next level.
[00:04:02] So those are kind of the three things that we’ve been focused on since of sale.
[00:04:07] A.J. Lawrence: Now very good timing with, you know, as most of the world has joined us location-independent folks over the past year, you guys hit it right. The good timing on getting Outsource School out there for it. Was this in process before everything, and then it just sort of hit the timing? Or how did this happen with the timing?
[00:04:31] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah, nothing was in place before we sold FreeUp. I mean, even when we were going through the sale of FreeUp, we didn’t actually know the deal was gonna go through until we signed the documents. We were kind of in the mentality that until it’s finalized, we need to act like the sale’s gonna fall through and stay focused on FreeUp.
[00:04:48] And I think it was a testament to Connor and I doing that. The last month we owned FreeUp, which was October 2019, we had our best month ever in the four years there. So we were a 100% focused on FreeUp until the moment that we sold it.
[00:05:02] When we did sell it, it was right before the holidays so we took some time off, spent it with our families. This was pre-COVID so we were able to travel and all this stuff there. And then come January, we talked about it. We said, Hey, do we still wanna work together? Are we sick of each other? What do we wanna do from here? And luckily, he wasn’t sick of me and vice versa.
[00:05:22] And we started doing research on what we wanna do next. Do we want to invest in businesses? Do we want to go into real estate? Did we wanna start another startup? Do we wanna partner with someone else on their idea? Did we wanna take a year off and travel again? This was pre-COVID so we talked about it and we kind of kept our options open.
[00:05:39] We started reading books and listening to podcasts and seeing what options were out there. And meanwhile, people started reaching out to us. People who had, over the four years, seen us build a team, interact with our team, saw us get acquired. They wanna know if we could teach them our systems, our processes.
[00:05:57] So we kind of created a minimum viable product of Outsource School where we taught people our interviewing, onboarding, training, and managing process. And we took it to market. We didn’t know what the reaction was gonna be, if people would like it or hate it. And COVID ended up hitting right when we were about to launch. We launched at the end of March, right when Tom Hanks got coronavirus, same week.
[00:06:20] And luckily people liked it. And then we started building on it and adding to it where now it’s a membership where we’ve got lots of cheat sheets and trainings, and we come out with new stuff every month. We’ve got an active Facebook group. We do live coaching, all helping people hire rockstar VAs and keep them around and hire them for roles inside their business. And once we kinda got that off the ground and hired a team there, we started experimenting with what else we could do. And that’s when the idea of SimplySOP and HG ventures came.
[00:06:50] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, I think that is really cool. You rolled some craps walking into the casino, that’s for sure on that. Coming into it in January then launching in March, did your target customer or the customers who’re actually buying, were you surprised at who they ended up being? Because I hear stories all the time of people I know who were focusing on folks like us, oh, I had this business about how to be better location remote. And then all of a sudden large companies were coming to them and they were like, we don’t know how to work with you. So were you surprised with the type of customers you ended up getting in the school?
[00:07:30] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah, yes or no. I mean, we knew the digital product space. A lot of people knew me from the e-commerce space and the marketing space, which is probably the majority of people we got. Every once in a while, you’re surprised.
[00:07:42] I mean, we have brick and mortar stores that are part of our community, or you’ll go on a podcast. Like I was on a credit repair podcast and all of a sudden we started getting lots of credit repair companies joining Outsource School. So there’s been some random stuff like that that are maybe outside of what I expected. But I think the majority of our members are in the digital space. They’re eCommerce sellers, they’re marketing agencies, or coaches, or consultants, they’re running a SaaS. Those are mostly our ideal clients.
[00:08:12] A.J. Lawrence: What I liked when I was going through your properties and looking at it was, I’ve seen not quite as structured or at least well structured, but there are quite a few VA, how to use VAs, outsource, but you really talk about bringing them into your specific company.
[00:08:33] You talk about onboarding your VA, you talk about making them part of process. Would you like to kind of walk us through? What you look for for your customers? How to help them go through in this?
[00:08:51] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah. So, we have a very unique hiring process, it’s something that took us 5+ years to master. But we’re also focused on valuing people’s time as well. You could go interview every VA for 4 hours, but the average entrepreneur doesn’t have time to do that. So everything that we’ve built is designed to not only do it well and at a high level, but also do it in the fastest way possible.
[00:09:16] So we have four parts of our hiring process: interviewing, onboarding, training, and managing. And so with the interview process, that’s a 20-30 minute interview on slack. No zoom, no video. For onboarding, 20-30 minute meeting on slack. For training, we use SimplySOP, our software, which saves a lot of time.
[00:09:36] We also have a lot of other tactics to train VAs faster, but also to catch a VA who’s not getting it early on so that you don’t spend two months training them only to realize that they can’t do the job. And then with managing, there’s so many parts of management. Whether it’s weekly meetings, whether it’s firing a VA, whether it’s dealing with issues, and every single part of managing, we break down into very quick step by step.
[00:10:00] So our meetings with all our VAs are short and they’re consistent. If we have to fire a VA, we give our members a checklist. Hey, do these steps, let the team know, move on. So everything is designed to be systemized and quick. And those are things that you can input into any single business out there.
[00:10:18] A.J. Lawrence: Really nice. As the membership, you have all these step by processes, you have your own SOPs that can be easily integrated in other companies, do you walk through- so if I’m coming on board, do you kind of start here and then branch out the degree of difficulty of how to do this?
[00:10:39] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah. So every member is starting at a different place, right? We have some new entrepreneurs hiring their first VA who have never even talked to a VA before. We’ve got 8-figure entrepreneurs in there who have multiple companies and remote teams, and everything in the middle.
[00:10:53] So what we do is you get access to everything once you join. But we also have an accountability call or an onboarding call once you join, where we’ll talk to you or talk to your project manager or whoever it is, and come up with a game plan to go through our trainings, our cheat sheets, and something that makes sense to you.
[00:11:10] One really cool thing about joining Outsource School is you get our interview, onboarding, training, managing process, but you also get specific trainings and systems on how to hire a VA for lead gen, or for sales calls, or for customer service, or bookkeeping. And how you do it for each role is a little bit different. There’s different processes you have to be in place.
[00:11:31] So if someone already has a team, but their bookkeeping is a mess, they’ll start on bookkeeping. We’ll help them implement that before they go to the next thing. And same thing, maybe they’re trying to go on more podcasts, or if they’re trying to hire their first VA, we make sure that they focus their time on the interviewing and onboarding process.
[00:11:47] It’s that’s really step one. So although you get access to everything, we do create a custom roadmap for each member.
[00:11:55] A.J. Lawrence: And I like that a lot because what I’ve seen a lot is people who focus on the ability to bring you talent or find you talent. But using them, I always find there’s so many different pathways. And a lot of times what I like to say is I like to basically steal something and then make it mine.
[00:12:17] So like, I just wanna make sure that whatever, whoever I hire, whatever role I’m putting together, 60% of it works and then we can figure things out. So I was really reading, and as someone who just bought a podcast here, if I can take your process about getting onto podcast but then take it with your sales process and make it so we can go get more guests. I was like, wow, that would save me a lot of work. So that I found really cool.
[00:12:50] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah. And like you said, everything can be tweaked. So we do have a lot of people who use our podcast outreach formula, which is designed for VA to get you on podcasts. But flip it and use it to get guests or lead generation.
[00:13:03] For example, we have a lead generation formula. Well, lead generation could be a lot of different things. You could be going after clients, you be going after partners, you could be going after influencers, you could be going after anything random. But the same process still applies and the same systems and the same cheat sheets, it all goes in there even though you tweak it.
[00:13:20] And that’s kind of what we found is we try to stay away from like, this is how you run a clubhouse room with a VA, like super specific like that. And more about, hey, here’s how you create a bookkeeping process with the VA. Sure, if you’re in the UK, you might have different books than if you’re in the US, but the same processes to get a VA to do it is the same.
[00:13:41] A.J. Lawrence: I liked it cuz it kept reminding me as I was looking at it. How familiar are you with EOS?
[00:13:46] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah, I know EOS decently. Well, I think I have some other books back here.
[00:13:49] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, I know. I’ve been looking I’m like I have that one. I have that one. They’re really cool. What I found interesting though is as people talk about the rocks or your core objectives, you really focus on that next step underneath. Here are the pieces that are gonna help you create all the different parts of your processes that move them towards your bigger goals. So that’s a really interesting position you guys have.
[00:14:18] Also, since we had talked quickly before the show, everyone, just check out the show notes and we’ll make sure we include it, there’s an offer for outsourceschool.com to go join and check out some of the material. You can wait the end of the show, but if you wanna put it and pause and go check, it’s down there in the show notes.
[00:14:38] So let’s jump onto the process cuz this is something neat, cuz I’ve played around with Process Street and other ones. How do you see this process software fitting into this now?
[00:14:54] Nathan Hirsch: So a quick background, and I talk to other entrepreneurs, it seems to be the same way. Like with your SOPs, you have them on Google docs, you have them on Venmo, and they’re kind of scattered around. And when we sold FreeUp, we were handing over 50 pages of Google docs saying, hey, here’s our customer service SOP, here’s our billing SOP, here’s our marketing SOP.
[00:15:16] So when we sold FreeUp and we kind of reflected, we were like, it’d be great if we just had a tool that had all our SOPs in it, but also allowed for video because video SOPs are great. A lot of VAs learn very quickly from video, but they get outdated very, very quickly. And then you have to hire a video editor, you have to refilm them.
[00:15:34] So we’ve kind of created SimplySOP where you can do text, but you can also create videos that mark it step by step. And this way you can sub in and out steps very, very easily in the software. You give your remote team access, you can remove access, you can connect your partners, all of that stuff.
[00:15:50] So when we did our research, a lot of the other SOP softwares out there do a lot with workflow or more like project management, task management. We just wanted to create the simplest tool out there for creating and managing and sharing standard operating procedures with your virtual team. And that’s kind of the way that we’ve built SimplySOP to do.
[00:16:09] You can connect it with Slack. You can connect it with Trello or Asana. But we’re not trying to do what they do. We’re trying to just focus on SOPs and that’s really what we’ve been working on in the past six months or so. And if you join Outsource School, you set SimplySOP included or you can get it separately if you go to SimplySOP.com.
[00:16:26] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, I noticed the annual has it all bundled in, so that’s cool. I’ll probably be doing this right after and you’ll have one more customer definitely from this. Cool.
[00:16:37] Now in taking these things, what I found very interesting is you’re leveraging all these things, you’re putting together with processes, with hiring VAs, with the SOP software into your venture efforts. And the way you’re going about it is really interesting, sort of a performance based effort as a venture, bringing your capabilities to it. Maybe talk about why you’re looking at using that as your way of investing into businesses?
[00:17:11] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah. So you’re talking about HG ventures, which is Connor, my business partner and I, we’ve acquired minority ownership in a few different companies now and we’re looking to add to that. But you have to remember the way that Connor and I run businesses is very unique. We have no office, no overhead. We hire 99% virtual assistants.
[00:17:31] A.J. Lawrence: Mm-hmm.
[00:17:32] Nathan Hirsch: But we also don’t start the business with a lot of money. We started three companies now with $5,000 or less. And with that, we’ve never been one to make huge investments or take huge risks.
[00:17:45] Like for SimplySOP, we don’t dump a 100K into a software, build it, and then take it to market. We put a few thousand dollars into software, minimal viable product, and then take it to market and then use the revenue to build it from there.
[00:17:58] So for us, when we’re looking at people to partner with, we’re looking for other people who are running very lean companies who have gone through the minimal viable product, who have established something, but don’t necessarily need the cash. I mean, if someone’s looking for 250K to get their idea off the ground, like we’re probably not the right people.
[00:18:17] We’ve also never really done that before. We have no experience taking that sum of money and creating like a concept before taking it to market. So we wanna stick within our comfort zone. And we also know that we have a lot that we can add, whether it’s building remote teams, whether it’s marketing efforts, systematizing processes, building a business to be sellable.
[00:18:37] It’s something we’ve done in all our businesses. And it kind of gives you the option to sell it if you want to. So we’re looking for entrepreneurs that are doing 30K+ a month in profit, where we can come in for a minority ownership somewhere in that 10-30% range. We’re not gonna be on the org chart. We’re not going to take call client calls. Or if someone doesn’t show up for work, like you’re not reporting it to us.
[00:19:01] But we are there on a strategic level and we are there to help you make good hires and get those systems and processes into place. And we kind of have a system that we put you through to get your books in order, to go through your team, to go through your systems and your tech, and set the yearly goals and quarterly goals and break them down.
[00:19:18] We kind of run all our businesses very, very similar, and we want to take other businesses and help them plug into that process and really support the owner in that way. So that’s really what we’re looking for. And if anyone’s interested in that or wants the application for that, we have an FAQ. Find me on social media, Nathan Hirsch, and just reach out.
[00:19:36] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, I’ll make sure everything is down below. Now, what I really like about this is, as someone who’s been on this entrepreneur journey to call it nicely up and down all over the place, I’ve sold a few businesses and then now interviewing and talking. As a marketing person, having talked to a lot of entrepreneurs with their business, most of us, especially when you get past that half a million net close to your 30 net, we are so focused just on this concept of getting the business moving – of growing it, of getting it going – that it’s only later on that we start seeing the benefit of putting in the structures and processes you bring to the table.
[00:20:28] And as someone who’s succeeded on the way down, but after the fact cuz it never felt like it when you have something that’s worth like 9 million but you end up selling for three because you have to go on the way down to catch it.
[00:20:44] If I had implemented some of the processes just from your site, some of the even basic ones, I would’ve been safe to hell a lot of pain and a lot of sleepless nights. So I could see very much the value of coming in on the way up. People like yourselves, who’ve gone through the process, so you’re able to go like, it’s crazy. It’s okay. So, can you talk about like where someone should start thinking about you? I know 30,000 in net, but like what’s going on in their lives that then all of a sudden you come in and really make this a better world for them?
[00:21:28] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah. I was talking to an entrepreneur yesterday who’s making pretty good money in his business. But he’s also working 12 to 14 hours every single day. A lot of the processes are in his head. His books could be a lot better. And it seems like he’s spending a lot of time on the hiring and the turnover and stuff like that.
[00:21:46] The truth is what separates a lot of great businesses from not so great businesses is just good hire and then maintaining talent. I mean, turnover, crushes, businesses having people that you can’t trust, that you can’t rely on crushes businesses.
[00:22:00] Yes, part of how we come in is on the hiring side and helping set up the right teams and systems and that’s step one. But we also have a good amount of experience on the marketing side. I mean, we scaled FreeUp from a $5,000 investment to doing $12 million a year. We had good teams, but we also had very good marketing systems and process as well.
[00:22:20] I think every business is a little bit different where they are and what they want to accomplish. We find that that some businesses have gotten to a certain level, but then they’ve kind of plateaued or stuck. Or the owner got to this point from hustling and working really hard. But now they’re at 14 hours a day and it’s tough to work more than that.
[00:22:37] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah.
[00:22:37] Nathan Hirsch: Or they’re just missing key people, a strategy in place, where when a bottleneck comes up, it takes them a long time to get through it, where we can come in with our expertise and get through it with in a much shorter period of time.
[00:22:50] It’s not necessarily a blanket statement. We’re looking for that entrepreneur who wants to take it to the next level, wants to have someone in their back pocket that has the experience. And we’re looking for win-win. We’re looking for something that is obviously worth our time, but also is good for the entrepreneur.
[00:23:06] And we have different ways to structure it. So if you’re not happy with us, or we’re not happy with you, you can opt out of it and vice versa. We’re not interested in taking someone’s business hostage or anything like that. We wanna find a good partner that can create an opportunity where both of us benefit and work together for years to come.
[00:23:23] A.J. Lawrence: No, I like that. In my past, and on and off, I’ve done work on a performance basis. But you’ve taken it to that next level. And when done right, the margin is very complimentary. It’s a higher margin for you, but you’re also creating higher value in exchange for that. And that’s a nice step up from Outsource School. That step of like, okay, this is your training ground. You guys get to be involved and actually help people take that step, and probably be part of your lead gen for this type of effort.
[00:24:04] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah, and there’s quick wins in there too. We have a company that we’re working with now that the owner was just spending a lot of time doing bookkeeping every single month and trying to understand the numbers.
[00:24:14] Well, we got them a bookkeeping virtual assistant. We set it up so at the end of every month, they get a monthly report, the same way that we’ve done it in all of our business. We go through the monthly report together, we talk about each line item, help make decisions based on what the actual numbers are.
[00:24:28] And it’s one less thing the owner has to deal with that’s just taken off their plate within the first week or so of working with us. And once we do that, now we can focus on the next thing. And so there’s a lot of small wins in there to help get the owner’s time back to focus on big picture initiatives.
[00:24:45] A.J. Lawrence: One of the things I really like about how you go about promoting it is your use- from going over the past show- your use of FreeUp is your use of affiliate marketing, partnerships there. Would you walk us through what you see the value and sort of who you’re looking for as affiliates?
[00:25:04] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah. Affiliates, partnerships, influencers, that’s really how we grew FreeUp. We came from the Amazon space where Amazon gets you all your customers, right?
[00:25:15] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah.
[00:25:15] Nathan Hirsch: So we pay Amazon their 15%, they get us customers. And so, when we started with FreeUp, we didn’t really know anything about marketing. We had to build our own brand, get our own customers, and so we did a lot of research. We did a lot of trial and error and we came up with processes that work with virtual assistance running it.
[00:25:33] So, doing content swaps with other communities, communities that have the same ideal customer as ours. We talked a lot about the digital customers, the eCommerce sellers, the marketing agencies, the coaches, the consultants. Our community is very similar.
[00:25:46] So getting in front of our community and getting us in front of their community, and looking for win-wins. There’s lots of different ways to market a business. I would say the entrepreneurs that are like us, that run lean businesses, that are going out there with the minimum viable product, probably aren’t dropping 20K their first month on Facebook Ads.
[00:26:06] So if you’re not going to spend lots of money on ads right away, you have to look for other ways to promote your company. And whether it’s getting in front of podcast or speaking at a conference or partnering with someone else that has a community. You have to be able to get in front of other people’s audiences, especially in that first year to not only get your product off the ground, but also to test your minimum viable product and see what tweaks and changes you have to make before you invest money in that.
[00:26:34] A.J. Lawrence: Something that I found really interesting from the last time you were on the show, you talked about being a short term thinking entrepreneur. You started laughing the moment I started saying that.
[00:26:46] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah. So the way that I’m a short term entrepreneur is, I’m still very focused on the long term and I have long term goals and I don’t do anything short term to jeopardize the long term. For me, it’s more quick action steps.
[00:27:00] Like this week, it’s a Monday morning when we’re filming this. I woke up and I went through and I said, okay, what do I have to do for Outsource School this week? What do I have to do for HG Ventures this week? SimplySOP this week? Like what are the core things that come when Friday afternoon rolls around, if I’ve checked all these boxes, I’ve put us in a very good spot to go into the next week.
[00:27:20] And I talked to a lot of entrepreneurs, and my business partner Connor was like this long ago when I first met him. And we both obviously improved a lot as entrepreneurs where you’re so focused on these huge goals and big things that are going on way down the line. But you don’t focus on what do I actually have to do today.
[00:27:38] And one of the things that I do every day is I like to wake up early. I’m in Colorado now, but I actually work on Eastern time.
[00:27:44] A.J. Lawrence: Nice.
[00:27:44] Nathan Hirsch: Cause I like getting on early before everyone else is online, and cranking out whatever my most important thing is that day. And I almost do the same thing in my personal life.
[00:27:55] Like I had some yard work to do this weekend. I got up, the first thing I did was the thing that I didn’t want to do and just get it outta the way. And then you kinda have the rest of the day to enjoy, or in business’ case, work on other projects or more long term projects.
[00:28:08] A.J. Lawrence: Yeah.
[00:28:08] Nathan Hirsch: If you get the most important thing done every day right when you wake up, that’s more than what a lot of entrepreneurs do. And that consistency can lead to some big, long term results over time.
[00:28:19] A.J. Lawrence: Very cool. Now, where did this come from? Because I know for myself, I’ve picked up habits both good and bad. But from process and workflow, in response to where my businesses have been, I always say it’s like, well, as your business grows, it’s not that it gets easier. It just gets more interesting. You’re no longer losing sleep to payroll and survival, you’re losing sleep to more as existential. But where did this type of focus come from your being an entrepreneur? When did you start focusing on this?
[00:29:01] Nathan Hirsch: It’s weird. So it’s kind of my personality. I don’t know if it’s ADD or whatever, but I’m not very good at working like eight straight hours on a particular thing. It’s one of the reasons why I really didn’t want to get a real job to begin with. Like that just sounds awful to me. If you go back to college, if I had a big project, I was never one to wait until the last minute. I would just slowly chip away at it, like 15 minutes, 20 minutes a day, and then it eventually just gets done.
[00:29:30] And I’m kind of the same way in business. If I have a big project, I’m not working on it all day on a Wednesday. I’m chipping away at it a little bit each day, and then it eventually gets done. And that’s just more of how I enjoy working and I’ve found is more productive. And I also think it gives you a big chance to kind of think about things differently on different days.
[00:29:49] I might do a little bit on Monday, a little bit on Tuesday, and then Wednesday I review the things that I did already and come up with a new idea to make it better. So I think it’s more of a personality thing than anything else.
[00:30:00] A.J. Lawrence: Okay. Given that it’s a personality thing, has the process become more structured? I’m just gonna dig it a little bit deeper in here because the way you articulated it was very good and very interesting and something I think we all as entrepreneurs should think more about. I always use the Mark Twain eating our frogs first thing in the morning. But well thought out and I wanna push on it because as an entrepreneur, I don’t think many of us get that process in place until much later in our journey. Did you use it and then found it worked and it kind of snowballed or?
[00:30:42] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah. Everything evolves over time, right? When I was in college, running this Amazon business, I wasn’t waking up at 7:00 AM and getting stuff done early. You slowly adjust things and you evolve and you get feedback from people, feedback from your team, from your business partner. Connor and I have pushed each other to become better entrepreneurs over the years.
[00:31:00] And so yeah, everything gets tweaked even year to year. Last year was a big year of just figuring stuff out. Like, what do I even wanna do after this acquisition? And this year, I’m a lot more focused. I’ve kind of tried different things and I have a much better concept of it. And even the FreeUp years, again, we didn’t know how to market.
[00:31:21] So there were certain things like figuring out, Hey, how many podcasts should I go on a week? There’s certain things you figure out, but then you just see what you like, what you don’t like, what works, what doesn’t, and you solely tweak your routine and your habits over time.
[00:31:36] A.J. Lawrence: How do you look at success? What is success to you?
[00:31:41] Nathan Hirsch: To me, it’s about freedom. So being able to do anything you want whenever you want. It’s something, again, going back to why I didn’t want to get a real job to begin with. I don’t work very well under authority or under people telling me what to do or when to do it. But then also helping other people.
[00:31:56] When we sold FreeUp, we took $500,000 from the sale. We gave it to our internal team in the Philippines. Hopefully made a big difference in their lives, made sure their jobs were secure and they weren’t gonna lose out there on their bonuses or their raises or anything that we didn’t put in place. And making sure that the new owners that we were selling it to were gonna take good care of them and were good people with the same value. Not just about how much money can we get.
[00:32:20] So, I think one of the things that’s kind of changed is, at the beginnin since I kind of grew up in a, not a poor family, but my parents were teachers. We were kind of middle class. But I went to school with a lot of people who had a lot more than I did. And so that always wanting more, which I think a lot of entrepreneurs have.
[00:32:38] But once you get something realizing tha getting all this success by yourself isn’t that much fun. You wanna make sure that other people get to the top with you and experience some of the success for the hard work that they put in.
[00:32:51] So to me, it comes down to, yes, you need to obviously be able to take care of yourself cause it’s hard to help other people if you’re financially in debt or whatever it is. But also making sure that when you do have that success or you have the opportunity, where it’s a project like FreeUp, you can have other people contribute that they get to the top with you.
[00:33:09] A.J. Lawrence: Well, that does remind me kind of helping people up as part of Outsource School. In the pricing offers you have, you bake in a donation. Can you talk about your efforts there?
[00:33:24] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah. We have a lot of great relationships with people in the Philippines and I think that, I mean, if you’re listening right now in the UK or US and you think that COVID is bad for you, imagine what it’s like in a third world country that hasn’t even started getting vaccinations yet, where they’re probably not ordering Uber Eats and the finances are limited.
[00:33:44] Even before that, we love giving back to the VA community. One of the coolest things about FreeUp was paying out millions of dollars every year to VAs around the world, and people showing me their houses and their cars and things they were able to buy with that money and provide for their family.
[00:34:00] So when we sold FreeUp and it was definitely hard to say bye to a lot of people that we’d worked with for years, we wanted to stay a part and continue to give back to it. And we can talk for hours about yes, Connor and I worked very hard and yes there were failures we overcame and lessons and all of that, but at the same time, there’s a luck element involved.
[00:34:20] I mean, we were born in the US. Right there, that’s an advantage over a lot of people out there. I had very supporting parents who made sure I had meal every day. There’s a lot of things that I think you take for granted, especially when you’re younger, and we alway want any business that we start going forward to have an effort that gives back.
[00:34:39] And so we partnered with Teach for the Philippines, which is one of our favorite charities. 3% of all Outsource School sales goes to them, helps provide education for children in the Philippines that wouldn’t otherwise get it. And we’re super appreciative to the people who have joined Outsource School and have helped us contribute a lot to that.
[00:34:57] A.J. Lawrence: It’s a great cause and I was very impressed in seeing that, cuz I’ve seen other efforts and sometimes a little like the 1%. But you guys, it really bakes into who you are. What’s something you’re seeing right now, and since you hit a trend right before it became a huge thing with Outsource School, what’s something you’re seeing now that you really are looking forward to be more involved in?
[00:35:24] Nathan Hirsch: So one funny thing that’s out now is clubhouse, and everyone’s like all about clubhouse. For me, I’m kind of treating clubhouse like a podcast. Like I only wanna show up if there’s a scheduled date and time. And I think that a lot of people disagree with me here, but for me, I’m kind of at the point of my entrepreneurial journey that I only want to run businesses that don’t rely a 100% on me. Like if I stop doing podcasts for two weeks, sales aren’t gonna plummet. If I don’t go on clubhouse, my business still runs because I’m running ads.
[00:35:55] Like those are kind of what I’m focused on. So I’m trying to take the long term picture of it. Like, yeah, sure. Could I go on clubhouse for the next week and spend 12 hours on there and maybe land a bunch of Outsource School clients? Maybe. But for me, what’s the long term play there? At some point, I’m not gonna be able to spend my time on clubhouse.
[00:36:13] So for me, I’m much more focused on what’s changing, evolving, in terms of things that are long term that allows me to create multiple businesses or run multiple businesses that don’t a 100% rely on my time than the next fad or tactic that comes out.
[00:36:29] A.J. Lawrence: No, and I like that. Especially your use of your resources that you’re building up from the school to then be able to not only have the software, but then be able to take equity stakes in businesses going in. It allows you diversification and kind of a really nice way of moving towards that not reliant upon your own efforts. Is there anything else you would like to share with the audience because I know I took a ton of notes.
[00:36:59] I’m gonna jumping into your school signing up soon as we get off this, I look at my watches if that’s gonna change. But is there anything else you would like the audience to know?
[00:37:09] Nathan Hirsch: Yeah. The key to business is hiring. People can talk about funnels, people can talk about the latest marketing tactic, if you can’t hire your business is only gonna go so far. You have to be able to hire.
[00:37:21] The earlier you learn to hire, the easier everything else is going to be going forward. And so whether it’s Outsource School or something else, you have to have those hiring systems in place. And when you’re able to consistently make good hires anytime you want to, it just makes everything easier going forward.
[00:37:38] A.J. Lawrence: As someone who has learned the hard way, a really good hire can make things amazing. But a lame hire is painful and can wipe millions off of your ability to sell a company, as I’ve experienced myself.
[00:37:56] But yeah, thank you. And I really look forward to diving more into Outsource School and learning how to better hire for my company. So thank you, Nathan.
[00:38:08] Nathan Hirsch: Thank you. Looking forward to working with you.
[00:38:12] A.J. Lawrence: So everyone, if you wanna learn more about how to take your business to the next level and scale to 8 figures or beyond 8 figures, head over to the show notes to find the links to Nathan’s websites and Outsource School.
[00:38:25] Remember, I’m a member and I use it regularly. The community’s great and their playbooks really, really do help in my running of my business. So please full recommendation here.
[00:38:38] And while you’re there checking out the show notes for Nathan, why not follow Beyond 8 Figures on social media too? It’ll help us reach more of you, amazing entrepreneurs, and create a stronger community that we can all focus together on growing and creating the legacies that we’ll be proud of. So thank you. And I can’t wait to talk to you again soon.
[00:39:05] This episode of Beyond 8 Figures is over, but your journey as an entrepreneur continues. So if we can help you with anything, please just let us know. And if you liked this episode, please share it with someone who might learn from it. Until next time, keep growing and find the joy in your journey. This is A.J., and I’ll be talking to you soon. Bye-bye.