I AM CEO PODCASTProductivity

IAM327- Remote Hiring Expert Connects Businesses with the Right Fit

Podcast Interview with Nathan Hirsch

Updated 9/9/22

Nathan Hirsch is a 30-year-old 10-year entrepreneur and expert in remote hiring and eCommerce. He started his first eCommerce business out of his college dorm room and has sold over $30 million online. He is now the co-founder and CEO of FreeeUp.com, a marketplace that connects businesses with pre-vetted virtual assistants, freelancers and agencies in eCommerce, digital marketing, and much more.

He regularly appears on leading podcasts, such as Entrepreneur on Fire, and speaks at live events about online hiring tactics. Nathan Hirsch also founded Ecombalance.com a monthly bookkeeping service for Ecommerce Sellers/agencies and OutsourceSchool.com where he teaches his hiring processes

  • CEO Hack: Waking up earlier
  • CEO Nugget: (1) Be open to feedback (2) Manage people in a better way
  • CEO Defined: Go to the top with other people and leading them in the right direction

Website: https://freeeup.com/

Website: Ecombalance.com

Website: OutsourceSchool.com

Personal facebook – www.facebook.com/nathan.hirsch
Nathan Hirsch page – www.facebook.com/FreeeUpNathanHirsch
Facebook company page – https://web.facebook.com/FreeeUpMarketplace/?_rdc=1&_rdr 
Personal twitter – https://twitter.com/realnatehirsch
Company page – https://twitter.com/freeeup

Outsourcing masters – https://www.facebook.com/groups/outsourcingmasters/ 
Personal LinkedIn- https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathanhirsch/ 
Freeeup LinkedIn- https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/10455467/

Personal LinkedIn – https://www.instagram.com/realnatehirsch/ 

https://www.instagram.com/freeeup_/ – freeeup
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqoq7EGvwLQXgiYuIG8_iMg – freeeup


Full Interview

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Transcription

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Nathan Hirsch of Free Up. Nathan, it's awesome. to have you on the show.

Nathan Hirsch 0:38

Yeah, thanks so much for having me. Great to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

Super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Nathan so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing.

Nathan Hirsch is a 30-year-old 10-year entrepreneur and expert in remote hiring and eCommerce. He started his first eCommerce business out of his college dorm room and has sold over $30 million online. He is now the co-founder and CEO of FreeeUp.com, a marketplace that connects businesses with pre-vetted virtual assistants, freelancers, and agencies in eCommerce, digital marketing, and much more.

He regularly appears on leading podcasts, such as Entrepreneur on Fire, and speaks at live events about online hiring tactics. Nathan, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Nathan Hirsch 1:22
I am ready and pumped up. Let's do it.

Gresham Harkless 1:24

Let's do it. So kick everything off. I want to hear what I call your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Nathan Hirsch 1:30

Yeah, so growing up, my parents were both teachers and I always grew up with the mentality that I would go to college get a real job, work for 20-30 years, retire and that was going to be my life. It was never more evident than during the summers when I was working 40-50 hours a week and all my friends were outside playing.  I learned a lot about sales and marketing and customer service. I also learned that I just hated working for other people. So when I got to college, I looked at it as a ticking clock. I had four years to start my own business or I was gonna go into the real world and have bills and read and I was gonna have to get a job and might not be able to turn back.

So I started experimenting and created a Book Business. I started a referral program, actually got a cease and desist letter from my school because I was competing with the school bookstore. So that was my first glimpse into being an entrepreneur. From there, I pivoted a little bit, I learned a little bit about Amazon from selling these books. This was back in 2008, before the gurus and the courses and no one really knew what Amazon was. So I thought it was cool. I could have this 24/7 storefront, I just had to figure out what to sell. So I started experimenting with the outdoors equipment, and sporting equipment. I just failed over and over and over.

It wasn't until I branched out of my comfort zone and found the baby product industry that my business really took off. So if you can imagine me as a 20-year-old single college guy selling baby products on Amazon, that was me, and I got a lot of weird looks. It was fun. I was making money for the first time. I thought I should probably pay taxes. So I met with an accountant and the first question he asked me was, when are you going to hire your first person? And I shrugged them off, like, why would I do that? That's money out of my pocket. They're going to steal my ideas. They're going to hurt my business.

He just laughed in my face and said, you're going to learn this lesson on your own. Well, sure enough, my first business comes around the fourth quarter, and I just get destroyed. I'm working 20 hours a day, my social life goes down, my grades plummet. I get to the other side and I think, man, I can never let that happen again. I need to start hiring people. So I know nothing about hiring. I post a job on Facebook. This guy messages me for my business law class. I say you're hired, didn't even interview him. He ends up being an amazing hire. He's my business partner Connor, have a picture of him somewhere over here. But he's on my Amazon business. He's the CEO of Free Up.

So I hit the jackpot right from the beginning. There I am thinking man, this hiring thing is easy. You post a job on Facebook, someone shows up you make more money, and your life becomes easier. I just proceed to make bad hire after bad hire after bad hire, quickly learning that college kids are not very reliable. Moving into the remote hiring world, the Upwork and the Fibers and I made some good hires. I have some people that are still with me eight years later, but I also just hated how long it took me to post a job, get 100 applicants interviewed and one by one. I kept looking for something faster and when I couldn't find it I said you know what, I'll build it myself.

That's really how the Free Up marketplace came about. Where we get 1000s of applicants every week then the top 1% get on our platform and make them available to people quickly with no minimums, no maximums 24/7 support on the back end. No turnover guarantee where if they quit for any reason we cover replacement costs. I really launched Free Up with $5,000 as a side project with minimum viable software and really grew it from there to where we did 9 million in revenue last year.

So that's the short version of how I went from broke college kid to books to Amazon to eventually Free Up.

Gresham Harkless 5:12

Nice. I love that story. I love the whole lessons learned throughout all that because you just kept experimenting, and now you have Free Up, which largely came from an experiment. You hear a lot of the really great products and services that come about because you're testing out something and then it blossoms from there.

Nathan Hirsch 5:28

Yeah, I mean a lot of entrepreneurs think that they know what's going to work or they know what the market wants, or they know what's going to sell it. The truth is you just don't until you do a lot of trial and error. There are books you can read and there are some courses you can take and you can cut corners here and there. But there's no substitute for just trying different things, different low-risk, high-reward situations, really reading the market and asking for feedback.

When we started Free Up, we didn't plan three years in advance, because who knows where it was going to be like in three years? We focused on getting that minimal viable product out there, getting feedback and making improvements over time based on that feedback. It leads to some pivoting and some tossing and turning, but you eventually can read the market and get to where you want to be.

Gresham Harkless 6:11

Exactly. I absolutely loved that. I wanted to hear a little bit more about Free Up. I know you talked about exactly how the process goes. Is there a certain type of industry that you find that is the type of person I should say entrepreneur or business owner that is a really good fit?  Or is it just a mix and what you feel is your secret sauce and sets you guys apart?

Nathan Hirsch 6:27

Yeah. So I mean, we started off in the Amazon community because I was a longtime Amazon seller. Then we expanded to e-commerce businesses, so Shopify, eBay, and then we expanded into marketing. So marketing influencers, marketing agencies, and marketing trickles into every other business out there. So now we work with every different online business, real estate agents, nonprofits, software, companies, you name it. So if you're a business owner in 2019, you can hire remotely. There are a lot of benefits for hire remotely.

So for us, we want to make it as easy as possible. For us, the vetting sets us apart, we only let on 1 out of every 100 applicants that apply to get on our platform to offer services to our clients. We have virtual assistants, freelancers, and high-level agencies. So depending on what people want, I would put our speed against anyone out there. You put in a request, we fill it within a business day, you can meet the person, interview them, make sure you like them, and if you like them, you can hire them. If you don't like them, you could pass and provide us feedback and we get you someone else based on the feedback.

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So it's a pretty fast and efficient process. I would put our customer service against anyone. My calendars read on the website, people that cover my Skype, email, and live chat 24/7, if you have even the smallest issue were there. And that no turnover guarantee. I haven't heard of anyone else that has that yet. Where if someone quits, we cover all replacement costs and get you a new person right away. So those are the main four things.

For me, it's all about time, because as an entrepreneur, you can always make more money, you can't get your time back. So anything that gets you access to talent faster to me is a win.

Gresham Harkless 7:59

Absolutely. I would say for anybody that definitely uses Upwork, or I forgot what it was called before that when they joined Elance and ODesk. Exactly those services, a lot of times you put in an application, or you put a post a job, and then you get like 100 applicants. So you don't really have the opportunity to shift through all those people. It's great to hear that you guys are doing that.

I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you about what I call a CEO hack. This might be an app or book or habit that you have. But it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Nathan Hirsch 8:32

So I like to wake up early, I mean, I'm up at like 6- 7 am every day, some days even earlier than that. For me, that's my quiet time when my brain is fresh, I don't have any stress from hours before I have hopefully a good night's sleep and no one else is waking up for a few hours, my assistants aren't bothering me, and I can just get projects done. I can plan for the week ahead.

I didn't used to do that I came from a business I started in college where I could sleep till 11 am every day and you feel late all the time. Now there might be a random day maybe I come back from travel on a red eye where I do sleep in a little bit and you almost feel like you never get caught up. So for me waking up early, it's just been a huge key.

Gresham Harkless 9:12

Yeah, definitely. Like you said before the world starts to wake up, you get to wake up and get and knock out whatever you need to get done. Then by the time the world wakes up, you've already done so much to get the day started. So I love that CEO hack.

Now I want to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or piece of advice or if you can hop into be a time machine what would you tell your younger business self?

Nathan Hirsch 9:35

Oh, man, great question. So in my first internship, keep in mind I've never had a quote and quote real job after college. So my only working experience was these internships that I had and I had this one manager who was a great manager on paper in terms of the numbers, a store did pretty well but he was an awful manager in terms of the day-to-day and working with people. He used to micromanage, he would talk down to people, he would be aggressive and make you feel uncomfortable. No one really liked working with him, but he got stuff done because he would threaten people and make sure that he got stuff done or fire people that wouldn't listen to him.

So when I first started being an entrepreneur, I didn't know how to be a boss, I didn't know how to manage people. So what did I revert to the only managerial experience that I ever had? And I can tell you, it led to 50% turnover, it led to a lot of pulling out my hair, a lot of wasted time and energy, a lot of people not wanting to work with me, and it all clogged the pipe, so to speak of what we're trying to do. So it took me years and years before I started asking for feedback, and really focusing on myself, how can I improve my managerial process? How can I become a leader instead of a manager.

I feel like the old way of talking down to people, and I'm the boss, and what I say goes and you need to listen to me just doesn't fly anymore. You're gonna be very tough to retain people. It's gonna be very tough to grow a business if you don't learn how to manage in a better way. I wish I learned that a few years earlier.

Gresham Harkless 11:02

Yeah, but better late than never. That's what they always say. It's funny, I always heard a symbol of power and strength was always like the rock for the longest, just like it sounds your first manager was, but now they say it's like water because water is permeable. It can go any around and through anything. It can also connect with anybody. Sounds like that's some of the shifts that you made.

Nathan Hirsch 11:23

Yeah, I completely agree. I mean you got to adapt. I mean, certain people get managed in a different way, times change things, and social media becomes more private. There are so many different outside factors you have to take into account.

If you're not constantly listening to people, it's going to be tough for you to make those adjustments.

Gresham Harkless 11:39

Absolutely. So it's great to hear that you were open to feedback and actually took that feedback and implemented it as well too.

Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote, CEOs on this show. So Nathan, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Nathan Hirsch 11:54

Oh, man, for me, it's all about making sure that you go to the top with other people. I think before I was so focused on money and how successful the business was, and getting to the top. But it wasn't until I looked at the big picture. It's like, I don't want to be at the top of myself, I want my assistants and my business partner and our partners and our clients to all grow and get better, too.

So that's what a real CEO does, he not only gets himself to the top, but he brings everyone else along them with them for the ride and really leads them in the right direction. So for me, that's what being a CEO is all about.

Gresham Harkless 12:28

Absolutely, I think that's very well said. I truly appreciate that definition. I truly appreciate your time. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know. And then of course, how best they can get a hold of you.

Nathan Hirsch 12:41

Yeah, so back in the day, I'll share with you one of my biggest mistakes. I hired a manager the day I thought it would be a good idea to hire one person, teach them how to do everything, and spent six months teaching them how to do it. On the flip side, I had this one supplier that I really liked working with. They were 85% of the business. I said you know what, I don't care about the other 15%. Let's focus on this supplier, spend a lot of time setting it all up, and have my business on autopilot. One person is managing everything, that one supplier is crushing it, go on my first vacation and probably a year, or a year and a half.

On the first day, the manager quits on me and a supplier drops me, know it was brutal. I went from this whole business I had created to starting all over again. But I learned a very valuable lesson about diversification. When I came back, I started building relationships with lots of different suppliers when I started hiring again.  I had one person for customer service, one person for listing, and one person for repricing. So if someone quit, I could just replace them right then and there.

I didn't have to spend six months onboarding them again. So for me, that was a huge lesson. I think a lot of entrepreneurs fall into that trap one way or another. Maybe hiring is hard and you make some bad hires. And you finally find someone you like so you have that tendency, just load that person up with everything. You got to diversify in all aspects of your business and really protect yourself.

Gresham Harkless 14:01

Yeah, that makes perfect sense, especially in this day and age and with so many opportunities to hire people and find people just like you that you have ways to be able to diversify on a lot easier basis and probably at any other time.

Nathan Hirsch 14:14

Definitely. You mentioned how people can find me, I'm really easy to contact if you go to freeup.net. With three E's. My calendar is right at the top. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, therealnatehirsch.

You can check out my podcast the Outsourcing and scaling show, and check out my group outsourcing masters. If you do want to hire people create a free account and mention this podcast for a $25 credit to try this out.

Gresham Harkless 14:36

Awesome, awesome, awesome. We'll make sure to have those links in the show notes. Again, it's free with three E's .com. So we'll have that in the show notes as well.

Nathan, I truly appreciate you and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Nathan Hirsch 14:47

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Outro 14:48

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

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This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Nathan Hirsch of Free Up. Nathan, it's awesome. to have you on the show.

Nathan Hirsch 0:38

Yeah, thanks so much for having me. Great to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:41

Super excited to have you on and what I want to do is just read a little bit more about Nathan so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And Nathan Hirsch is a 30-year-old 10-year entrepreneur and expert in remote hiring and eCommerce. He started his first eCommerce business out of his college dorm room and has sold over $30 million online. He is now the co-founder and CEO of FreeeUp.com, a marketplace that connects businesses with pre-vetted virtual assistants, freelancers and agencies in eCommerce, digital marketing, and much more. He regularly appears on leading podcasts, such as Entrepreneur on Fire, and speaks at live events about online hiring tactics. Nathan, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Nathan Hirsch 1:22

I am ready and pumped up. Let's do it.

Gresham Harkless 1:24

Let's do it. So kick everything off. I want to hear what I call your CEO story. And what led you to start your business?

Nathan Hirsch 1:30

Yeah, so growing up, my parents were both teachers and I always grew up with the mentality that I would go to college get a real job work for 20-30 years retire. And that was going to be my life. And it was never more evident than during the summers when I was working 40-50 hours a week all my friends were outside playing. And I learned a lot about sales and marketing and customer service. And I also learned that I just hated working for other people. So when I got to college, I looked at it as a ticking clock, I had four years to start my own business or I was gonna go into the real world and have bills and read and I was gonna have to get a job and might not be able to turn back. So I started experimenting and I created a Book Business. I started a referral programme actually got a cease and desist letter from my school because I was competing with the school bookstore. So that was my first glimpse into being an entrepreneur. And from there, I pivoted a little bit, I learned a little bit about Amazon from selling these books. This was back in 2008, before the gurus and the courses and no one really knew what Amazon was. So I thought it was cool. I could have this 24 hour 24/7 storefront, I just had to figure out what to sell. So I started experimenting with outdoors, equipment, sporting equipment. And I just failed over and over and over. And it wasn't until I branched out of my comfort zone and found the baby product industry that my business really took off. So if you can imagine me as a 20 year old single college guy selling baby products on Amazon, that was me, and I got a lot of weird looks. It was fun. And I was making money for the first time I thought I should probably pay taxes. So I met with an accountant. And the first question he asked me was, what are you going to hire your first person? And I shrugged them off, like, why would I do that? That's money out of my pocket. They're going to steal my ideas. They're going to hurt my business. And he just laughed in my face and said, You're going to learn this lesson on your own. Well, sure enough, my first business he's in comes around fourth quarter, and I just get destroyed. I'm working 20 hours a day, my social life goes down, my grades plummet. And I get to the other side and I think, man, I can never let that happen again. I need to start hiring people. So I know nothing about hiring. I post a job on Facebook. This guy messages me for my business law class. I say your hire didn't even interview him. And he ends up being an amazing hire. He's my business partner Connor have a picture of him somewhere over here. But he's on my Amazon business. He's the CEO of Free Up. So I hit jackpot right from the beginning. And there I am thinking man, this hiring thing is easy. You post a job on Facebook, someone shows up you make more money, your life becomes easier. And I just proceed to make bad hire after bad hire after bad hire. Quickly learning that college kids not very reliable moving into the remote hiring world the Upwork and the fibres and I made some good hires. I have some people that are still with me eight years later, but I also just hated how long it took me to post a job get 100 applicants interviewed and one by one and I kept looking for something faster. And when I couldn't find it I said you know what, I'll build it myself. And that's really how the Free Up marketplace came about. Where we get 1000s of applicants every week that then top 1% Get on our platform make them available to people quickly with no minimums, no maximums 24/7 support on the back end and no turnover guarantee where if they quit for any reason we cover replacement costs and and I really launch Free Up with $5,000 as a side project with a min one viable product, minimum viable software and really grew it from there to where we did 9 million in revenue last year. So that's the short version of how I went from broke college kid to books to Amazon to eventually Free Up.

Gresham Harkless 5:12

Nice. I love that story. And I love the whole lessons learned throughout all that because you just kept experimenting, and now you have Free Up, which largely came from an experiment, you hear a lot of the really great products and services that come about because you're testing out something and then it blossoms from there.

Nathan Hirsch 5:28

Yeah, I mean, a lot of entrepreneurs think that they know what's going to work or they know what the market wants, or they know what's going to sell it. And the truth is you just don't until you do a lot of trial and error. And there's books you can read. And there's some courses you can take and and you can cut corners here and there. But there's no substitute for just trying different things, different low risk, high reward situations, and really reading the market asking for feedback when we started Free Up, we didn't plan three years in advance, because who knows where it's going to be like in three years, we focused on getting that minimal viable product out there, getting feedback and making improvements over time based on that feedback. And it leads to some pivoting and some tossing and turning. But you eventually can read the market and get to where you want to be.

Gresham Harkless 6:11

Exactly. I absolutely loved that. And I wanted to hear a little bit more about Free Up. I know you talked about exactly how the process goes. Is there a certain type of industry that you find that are the type of person I should say entrepreneur or business owner that is a really good fit? Or is it just a mix and what you feel is your secret sauce and sets you guys apart?

Nathan Hirsch 6:27

Yeah. So I mean, we started off in the Amazon community because I was a longtime Amazon seller, and then we expanded to ecommerce businesses, so Shopify eBay, and then we expanded into marketing, so marketing, influencers, marketing agencies, and marketing trickles into every other business out there. So now we work with every different online business, real estate agents, nonprofits, software, companies, you name it. So if you're a business owner in 2019, you can hire remote, there's a lot of benefits for hire remote. So for us, we want to make it as easy as possible. So for us, the vetting sets us apart, we only let on one out of every 100 applicants that apply to get on our platform to offer services to our clients. We have virtual assistants, freelancers, and high level agencies. So depending on what people want, I would put our speed against anyone out there, you put in a request, we fill it within a business day, you can meet the person, interview them, make sure you like them, if you like them, you can hire them. If you don't like them, you could pass and provide us feedback and we get you someone else based on the feedback. So it's a pretty fast and efficient process. I would put our customer service against anyone my calendars read on the website, people that cover my Skype, email, live chat 24/7, if you have even the smallest issue were there. And that no turnover guarantee, I haven't heard of anyone else that has that yet. Where if someone quits, we cover all replacement costs and get you a new person right away. So those are the main four things. For me, it's all about time, because as an entrepreneur, you can always make more money, you can't get your time back. So anything that gets you access to talent faster to me is a win.

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Gresham Harkless 7:59

Absolutely. And I would say for anybody that definitely use Upwork, or I forgot what I was called before that when they joined Elance and oDesk. Exactly those services, a lot of times you put in an application, or you put a post a job, and then you get like 100 applicants, so you don't really have the opportunity to shift through all those people. So it's great to hear that you guys are doing that. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. And this might be an app or book or habit that you have. But it's something that makes you more effective and efficient.

Nathan Hirsch 8:32

So I like to wake up early, I mean, I'm up at like 6- 7am Every day, some days even earlier than that. And for me, that's my quiet time when my brain is fresh, I don't have any stress from hours before I have a hopefully a good night's sleep and no one else is waking up for a few hours. My assistants aren't bothering me, and I can just get projects done. I can plan for the week ahead. And I didn't used to do that I came from a business I started in college where I could sleep till 11am every day and you feel late all the time. And now there's might be a random day maybe I come back from travel on a red eye where I do sleep in a little bit and you almost feel like you never get caught up. So for me waking up early, it's just been a huge key.

Gresham Harkless 9:12

Yeah, that's definitely like you said before the world starts to wake up, you get to wake up and get and knock out whatever you need to get done. And then by the time the world wakes up, you've already done so much to get the day started. So I love that CEO hack. And now I want to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. And this is a word of wisdom or piece of advice or if you can happen to a time machine what would you tell your younger business self?

Nathan Hirsch 9:35

Oh, man, great question. So I grew up so in my first internship, keep in mind I've never had a quote unquote real job after college. So my only working experience was these internships that I had and I had this one manager who was a great manager on paper in terms of the numbers a store did pretty well but he was an awful manager in terms of the day to day and working with people he used to micromanage he would talk down to people he would be me in an aggressive and make you feel uncomfortable, and no one really liked working with him, but he got stuff done because he would threaten people and make sure that he got stuff done or fire people that wouldn't listen to him. So when I first started being an entrepreneur, I didn't know how to be a boss, I didn't know how to manage people. So what did I reverted to my only managerial experience that I ever had. And I can tell you, it led to 50% turnover, it led to a lot of pulling out my hair, a lot of wasted time and energy, a lot of people not wanting to work with me, and it all clogged the pipe, so to speak of what we're trying to do. So it took me years and years before I started asking for feedback, and really focusing on myself, how can I improve my managerial process? How can I become a leader instead of a manager, and I feel like the old way of talking down to people, and I'm the boss, and what I say goes and you need to listen to me just doesn't fly anymore. And it's, you're gonna be very tough to retain people, it's gonna be very tough to grow a business if you don't learn how to manage in a better way. And I wish I learned that a few years earlier.

Gresham Harkless 11:02

Yeah, but better late than never. That's what they always say. And it's funny, I always heard a symbol of a power and strength was always like the rock for the longest, just like it sounds you're, your first manager was, but now they say it's like water, because water is permeable. It can go any around and through anything. And it can also connect with anybody. So sounds like that's some of the shifts that you made.

Nathan Hirsch 11:23

Yeah, I completely agree. I mean you got to adapt. I mean, certain people get managed in a different way, times change things, social media becomes more private, like there's so many different outside factors, you have to take into account if you're not constantly listening to people, it's going to be tough for you to make those adjustments.

Gresham Harkless 11:39

Absolutely. So it's great to hear that you were open to feedback and actually took that feedback and implemented it as well too. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote unquote, CEOs on this show. So Nathan, what is being a CEO mean to you?

Nathan Hirsch 11:54

Oh, man, for me, it's all about making sure that you go to the top with other people, I think before I was so focused on money and how successful the business was, and getting the top, but it wasn't until I looked at the big picture. It's like, I don't want to be at the top of myself, I want my assistants and my business partner and our partners and our clients to all grow and get better, too. So that's what a real CEO does, he not only gets himself to the top, but he brings everyone else along them with them for the ride and really leads them in the right direction. So for me, that's what being a CEO is all about.

Gresham Harkless 12:28

Absolutely, I think that's very well said. And I truly appreciate that definition. I truly appreciate your time. What I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know. And then of course, how best they can get a hold of you.

Nathan Hirsch 12:41

Yeah, so back in the day, I'll share with you one of my biggest mistakes. I hired a manager the day I thought it would be a good idea to hire one person, teach them how to do everything, spent six months teaching how to do it. On the flip side, I had this one supplier that I really liked working with they were 85% of the business I said you know what, I don't care about the other 15%. Let's focus on this supplier, spent a lot of time setting it all up, have my business on autopilot. One person is managing everything that's one supplier is crushing it go on my first vacation and probably a year, or year and a half. And on the first day, the manager quits on me and a supplier drops me, know it was brutal. I went from this whole business I had created to starting all over again. But I learned a very valuable lesson about diversification. When I came back, I started building relationships with lots of different suppliers when I started hiring again, and I had the opportunity to I had one person for customer service, one person for listing, one person for repricing. So if someone quit, I could just replace them right then and there. I didn't have to spend six months onboarding them again. So for me, that was a huge lesson. I think a lot of entrepreneurs fall into that trap one way or another. Maybe hiring is hard and you make some bad hires. And you finally find someone you like so you have that tendency, just load that person up with everything. You got to diversify in all aspects of your business and really protect yourself.

Gresham Harkless 14:01

Yeah, that makes perfect sense, especially in this day and age and with so many opportunities to hire people and find people just like for you that you have ways to be able to diversify on a lot easier basis and probably at any other time.

Nathan Hirsch 14:14

Definitely. And you mentioned how people can find me I'm really easy to contact if you go to freeup.com. With three E's my calendar is right at the top. You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, therealnatehirsch, you can check out my podcast the outsourcing and scaling show and check out my group outsourcing masters. If you do want to hire people create a free account and mention this podcast for a $25 credit to try this out.

Gresham Harkless 14:36

Awesome, awesome, awesome. We'll make sure to have those links in the show notes. And again, it's free with three E's .com. So we'll have that in the show notes as well. So, Nathan, I truly appreciate you and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Nathan Hirsch 14:47

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Outro 14:48

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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