Podcast

How to Know When You’re Ready to Outsource—with Nathan Hirsch

By , March 23, 2020

Remote hiring expert Nathan Hirsch explains how to know when you're ready to outsource and shares some tips on how to outsource effectively.

Trying to cut labor and operational costs? You may want to outsource less critical operations so you can save money and focus on the core aspects of your business. But how do you know where to start? How do you know when you’re ready to outsource?

In this episode, I interview Nathan Hirsch, a successful entrepreneur and expert on remote hiring and eCommerce selling, about the ins and outs of outsourcing. Nathan is the co-founder and CEO of FreeeUp.com, a marketplace that connects businesses and pre-vetted freelancers in eCommerce, digital marketing and much more. Nathan explains why outsourcing is a win-win for both business owners and hirees, outlines his proven method for deciding which tasks are your highest priority to outsource, identifies common mistakes to avoid when bringing outside talent onboard, and shares some practical tips on how to delegate effectively to free up your time.

In today’s rapidly changing world, outsourcing is indispensable for businesses that strive to scale faster than ever before, and I’m so excited to share this eye-opening interview with you.

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Download the audio file here.

How to Know When You’re Ready to Outsource—with Nathan Hirsch

Nathan, thank you so much for joining me on the show. 

Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Since we scheduled this episode and now we finally got you on the show, there’s even more exciting news to your business, past and future. There’s much that you have accomplished and we have known each other for quite a while. We’ve been in the JVM Group, which is a mastermind group that we’re both part of. Tell our audience a little bit about your history, how you got started in business and the different ventures you have been involved with.

Growing up, my parents were both teachers. I grew up with the mentality that I would go to school and get a real job, work for 30 years and retire. That was going to be my life. My parents always made me work these summer jobs where I was working 40 to 50 hours a week. I learned so much about sales, customer service and managing people. I also learned how much I hated working for other people. I hated watching the clock. I hated having a boss. 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 going to go into the real world, get a real job and never look back. I started hustling as soon as I got to college, I took the thousands of dollars that I made, I should say a few thousand dollars that I made to my summer jobs and bought people’s textbooks.

When they were going to sell them to the bookstore, I offered a little bit more money. I created a referral program so people would tell their friends. Before I knew it, people were lining outside my dorm room to sell me their books and I got a cease and desist letter from my college telling me to knock it off because I was stealing too much of their business. That was my first glimpse into being an entrepreneur. I thought it was cool. I could sell these books online to different distributors, different bookstores and Amazon.com. This is back in 2008. There were no courses, there were no gurus, no one knew what Amazon was. What I thought was a good idea at that time that I could sell products I didn’t have.

I didn’t have any money to buy inventory, I didn’t have a place to store these products but I could get them shipped from the retailer, from the distributor to the end consumer and then make the difference in the profit margin. Years later, I found out it was called dropshipping but at that time, I had no idea what it was called. I started experimenting. I experimented with stuff I was familiar with. Sporting equipment, video games, computers, typical college guy stuff and I fail over and over. The only thing I get to sell were these books. I finally branched out of my comfort zone and I come across a deal on baby products. All of a sudden, this Amazon business takes off and I wish there was some rhyme or reason that I’d figured out the Amazon algorithm but none of that existed.

There was a lot of trial and error. No one knew what Amazon was. This business is taking off, I’m getting busy, I’m doing everything myself. It finally gets to the point where I have to start hiring people. Who am I going to hire? I quickly learned that college kids are unreliable and on the backend, 30-year-olds didn’t want to work for a twenty-year-old entrepreneur. That’s how I got into the remote hiring world, the Upwork, the Fiverr. I hired some good people but I always wanted something faster, better and where I didn’t have to post a job and get 50 applicants and interview them one-by-one. That’s what I came up with the idea of building my own platform which is FreeeUp where we get thousands of applicants, top 1% get in, make them available to people quickly, 24/7 support on the back end, no turnover guarantee if someone quits.

LTB 37 | Getting Ready To Outsource
Getting Ready To Outsource: Growing an actual brand that’s not relying on Amazon is very important.

 

FreeeUp covers replacement costs. I started offering it to the Amazon sellers who liked it and told their eCommerce friends. We eventually branched into the marketing space as well. I grew FreeeUp from a $5,000 investment to doing over $10 million to $12 million in sales a year. We talked about this before, one of our clients, The HOTH, reached out to us and we went through a due diligence process, and we were acquired. Now, I’m working on a new venture called Outsource School, which will be an education platform on how to use virtual assistants and how we built FreeeUp with 35 full-time VAs and no US employees.

You’re still going strong. Everything you said is a piece of your life.

It’s crazy. If you had asked me several years ago if I’d be selling baby products on Amazon, I wouldn’t have believed you. If you asked me a few years ago if I’d be running a freelance marketplace, I wouldn’t believe you. If you asked me a year ago if I would have been acquired and started a new company, I wouldn’t have believed you. Life has a funny way of that happening.

I want to dive into a couple of areas but first, let’s speak about the Amazon world itself. I know you have been there for quite a while in the earlier years. We have a lot of customers in this space. Where do you see that space growing from those third-party sellers? There’s a huge shift from selling brands through your private label brands, but where do you seeing the market going with Amazon and all the fees and everything that’s associated with?

I got into dropshipping and at that time, I thought this is awesome. This is what I’m going to do for the next 30 years. There were many advantages. It’s cashflow-positive. I don’t have to buy inventory. I don’t have to deal with returns. We were growing and doubling and then all of a sudden, it became more competitive. Amazon cracked down on dropshipping and we had all our eggs in one basket. We didn’t go out of business but we weren’t doubling every year and we weren’t growing a brand. At that point, I had two options. One was to go the private label route which was a little bit newer, I got in the way before that even existed. Two, go and start my own business, my own brand off of Amazon. I was almost a little bit scared of doing the private label. That’s why I pivoted away.

In hindsight, there was a ton of opportunities in private label and that’s continued to grow since then. Amazon continues to get harder and harder especially for smaller sellers. Growing an actual brand that’s not relying on Amazon, it becomes even more important. People that are on Amazon were not only taking a big risk but I think are going to suffer. Everything is going in the direction of the brand. Building an actual community to sell products to and having Amazon as one part of your business and who knows. Amazon could wake up any day and change any little thing but it’s not going to get easier for sellers out there.

One of the things we teach is we call it the product branding playbook, which is understanding how those big brands are doing it. There’s a process of how you get a brand off the ground. Amazon is a great way of testing the marketing, being able to see what your initial feedback is on the product and on the brand. There is much more for brand engagement that you could do outside of Amazon, either even sending traffic to Amazon but building out other marketplaces or your own marketplace in order to be able to build up brand loyalty with your followers, so there is a demand for your product. I wanted to get your initial feedback. Those people that are still successful and a lot of the people that have used the FreeeUp outsourcing are those private label sellers, correct?

Yes. FreeeUp had a lot of people that had nothing to do with Amazon, whether they were a software company or marketing agency, whatever they were. Private label is something we targeted, especially early on. I agree with everything you said about a brand. Growing the FreeeUp brand, we didn’t need an eCommerce store with the checkout but a lot of the other stuff was the same. We put out a ton of content. We partnered with different people that were in the same space but did something different. We would promote to their audience and we’d let them throw to ours. We’d have these joint ventures.

Hiring is a necessity. If you want to hit $1 million to $5 million a year, you have to hire people. Click To Tweet

We partnered with micro-influencers who would promote FreeeUp to their community. We created our affiliate program and referral program where people would get a kickback when they refer people to us. A lot of that stuff, and I know eCommerce is slightly different, but it’s growing the brand from the ground up that organic method and all the paid ads and everything else can come in later. In my way of doing it at least and what I’m going to do Outsource School and other future ventures because I feel like we have a good playbook is how do you build it organically and have a following that from there, you can experiment with more and more things.

Let’s speak about the business model of FreeeUp. What you did is providing outsource talent for business owners. This is a new phenomenon, meaning to say, the last couple of years if you looked back 10 or 15 years ago, people are controlling on the work that needs to be done for their company. They were trying to control people in-house and working closely with them. Eventually, besides seeing executive assistants and different positions that freelancers could do for you. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen tremendous growth and full-time outsourcing positions or at least tasks and skillsets on platforms like FreeeUp and the others that you mentioned before. What changed and what do you see in the marketplace? How are people taking advantage of it and therefore seeing the success in their business because of that?

It gives you much flexibility as an entrepreneur. If you go back many years, you are limited to the people in your town and the towns around you. You needed to buy office space which costs overhead and you had to hire people full-time for competitive salaries. If you didn’t, other people would and it put you into a box. Fast forward ahead, you can hire people part-time, full-time, and project-based. You can have people working at different schedules around the world. ECommerce and FreeeUp was 24/7, so we had people working around the clock in different time zones. It gives you different price points. You can hire people at the high and low range. You don’t have to commit your full hours.

From the freelancing side, they don’t have to drive to work every day. They don’t have to put all their eggs in one basket where if one person fires them or ends the contract and walk, they now can have multiple clients or stack up to their portfolio however they want whatever makes sense for them. It has a lot of benefits on both sides. I think both sides are starting to realize it more and more. It’s even trickling up to bigger and bigger companies because it first started off being the sole entrepreneur who couldn’t afford a $50,000 a year full-time US employees.

They would hire a VA. How you got big entrepreneurs or big Amazon sellers, whatever it is, who either are completely outsourced. FreeeUp was 35 full-time VAs, we had no US employees or you’ve got the combination where they have an office staff but they also complement that office staff outsourcing and using freelancers so they don’t have to hire everything in-house. They can keep their highest-paid people focused on high-paid tasks. If you’re paying someone $80,000 a year, you don’t want them spending 25% of their time on $5 an hour tasks. You can get them an assistant in the Philippines who can let them refocus their time. There are a lot of benefits. Everything is going in that direction. Technology is a big piece of it and I’m excited to see where it all goes.

You’ve seen many people sign up on FreeeUp or start using a virtual assistant or some of those on talent and they’re doing phenomenally well. There are others who maybe tried it, then it failed and they moved on. What would you say, from your experience, you were a business owner that started outsourcing before you had that company? What is the differentiating factor between those two? How do you go about what’s the mindset and what are the actionable, practical ways of delegating?

With Outsource School, we’re going to launch a course with my IOTM Method. It stands for Interviewing, Onboarding, Training and Managing. To me, there’s a certain way that you go about each of those things. One of the biggest mistakes that I see people do not do is the onboarding phase which is setting the expectations right from the beginning. You have to remember that if you’re hiring VAs for the first time, you work with full-time employees. The VA that’s working for you or working with you, they’ve had other clients. The way that the other clients want things done, probably not exactly the same that you want things done. Picking that extra time to get on the same page with this is how we work, communicate. This is what’s expected. These are the due dates. This is good and this is bad. Making sure the VA is on the same page with it and can handle whatever level of pressure or responsibility you’re putting on them is huge.

Holding them to those expectations afterward and communicating and giving feedback when there’s something is going well or not going well. When people report an issue to FreeeUp and they’d be like, “I know that VA, he’s good. What’s going on?” It was almost always a case of the person not setting any expectations for the VA was doing his best based on the information he had or the person would disappear with no instructions and expect things to get done without spending the time to communicate and do that training process. There are lots of other mistakes that people make along the way and will go over more of that in our course. That’s the main one that I see being made all the time. It’s also one of the easiest to fix to spend an extra 30 minutes going through expectations before you jump into the training and the actual work.

Getting Ready To Outsource: One of the biggest mistakes people do not do is the onboarding phase which is setting the expectations right from the beginning.

 

If somebody is reading this, as a business owner or a leader within a company or running a team of people part of a company, what would you say is the first step figuring out what they should start outsourcing? How do you go about that?

We have this cool method, do-delegate-ditch. Imagine four squares and you got four boxes and you’ve got love/hate and then you’ve got good-at/bad-at. You’ve got tasks that you’re good at and you love, which you should be doing for the foreseeable future. You also got things that you’re bad at and you hate and you’ve got things that you might be good at but you don’t like doing that. Figuring out where things fit in that box and trying to eliminate the things that you’re not good at and that you hate doing. First is a great way to go about it. Another way is creating a list of everything you do on a day-to-day basis putting $1 value next to each task. This is a $5 an hour task or a $20 an hour task and then how many hours you spend each week on those tasks. You can identify this task is taking 10 hours a week but it’s a $5 an hour task and my hour and the rate’s $500 an hour. That’s the task that I need to outsource first. I need to get 5 hours a week back.

That’s the first step people should do in order even to figure out what they want to start outsourcing.

That’s the first step in terms of that. Before that, I have them take a look at their budget, how much they made last month in profit, and how aggressive they want to be. If they want to be aggressive, they’re investing 40%, 60% of their business into hiring. There’s a lot of successful businesses that did that to keep the ground running. If they’re more conservative, it’s 10% to 30%. I tend to be around 25%. If you know how much your money is making and you know the percentage of that money you want to go into hiring, then you can take a look and say, “Do I want to hire followers, doers or experts?” Followers are more VAs in that $5 to $10 range. Doers are more specialists like graphic designers, bookkeepers in that $10 to $30. Experts are the top of the top, the $30 and up. Where am I going to allocate that budget? Do I need two 40-hour-week VAs? Do I need a graphic designer? Do I need a marketing agency to come on? That’s where most of my money is going. When you look and you figure out your budget and then you figure out what you’re hiring fits into that budget, it gives you a better sense of what tasks you can pick to outsource.

Once you decide that you want to start outsourcing, the proper way of delegating is the key. The way you train an employee, the way you start, every person has their way of doing. You could do the same task for three Amazon sellers and doing it differently based on the demand of the business owner or the person giving you the task. What’s the best way now with technology? Is this screen sharing? Is it a different video sharing? Is it people do the SOPs? How important are those tools now?

I like to do everything in writing because stuff changes all the time. If I have to make a new video every single time, that’s not a good use of my time. With that said, what I’ll do is I’ll create a document for SOPs and then I’ll have the VAs make the video and keep the videos up-to-date. It almost gives them practice. It’s one thing off of my plate. It shows me how responsible they are and how well they can do a task all-in-one. The way I like to structure SOP is at the top, you put as much information about your business and the task as possible. For example, I hired a bookkeeper at the beginning of FreeeUp and I had to fire three bookkeepers before him.

At the top, I explained FreeeUp, I explained each bookkeeper is fired, why I fired them and my expectations with him. He had all the information upfront. He knows exactly what I was looking for and what I wasn’t then was step-by-step. These are when I need the monthly reports. This is how you do it. This is how you do QuickBooks, whatever it is. At the bottom, you put the do-not-do-thing for any reason, “If you get an invoice for $1,000, don’t pay that. Run it by me before you do anything.” Whatever that do-not-do thing, that little cheat sheet, maybe it’s don’t-email-seller performance or don’t respond to them if that email comes in and they’re not in your emails. Make sure you put that at the bottom. That’s how I break it down. Information steps do not do this.

A lot of people have this delegation horror story. Most of our business owners had this story and then they decide that you can never outsource. I have to control everything myself. It’s the fear of happening. How could somebody overcome that?

You can still build a company organically if you continue to get in front of your target audience the right way. Click To Tweet

It’s a little bit crazy to me because hiring is one part of the business. Let’s say that you marketed your product and let’s say you ran Facebook ads and that didn’t go well. Are you never going to run ads again for your business? No. You’re going to learn from that and you’re going to make some adjustments and either try or revisit that at a certain time. The fact that people will hire and then have a bad experience and be like, “Hiring is not for me.” The second you do that, your ceiling is only as high as a business owner. They only get so far as a solo entrepreneur. If your business started doubling, would you even be able to handle that? Hiring is a necessity.

If you want to hit $1 million, $5 million a year, you have to hire people. Instead of focusing on all the things you can’t control and all the things that went wrong, focus on the things you can control. That goes back to my IOTM Method, which is figuring out how you build a good interview process, a good onboarding process, a good training process for and a good managing process for after the hire and keep tweaking that. Keep making it better over time and learn from it. If someone gets through that process and they’re good, great. Go back and say, “How do I find more people like that?” If someone gets through it and they’re terrible, go back and say, “What things can we add to each step to make sure that person doesn’t get that far in my process?”

Let’s speak about you personally growing the FreeeUp company business before you sold. The question is you started out of the passion of outsourcing. You started doing that. You had a rigorous interviewing process to make sure that you’re only hiring the top 1% into your mix of people available. How did you grow the company? What were some of the marketing strategies you have used that you could share with our audience?

Going on shows like this one is huge. It’s a great way to get in front of your key audience, thousands of entrepreneurs or your customers at once. We created a referral program early, which is one of my best business decisions. Not only did I create the program, but I also created a way to track it. Anyone that you referred to, you get $0.50 for every hour that you build to them forever. I also told everyone about it. If you remember the first phone call you had with me, I can promise you at the end of that phone call I told you about our referral program. Every person I talked to, I made sure they knew about it. I put it all over the website, every newsletter, everywhere that we could and it worked. The people would contact me and say, “I was at a conference in China. I’ve never been to China. The people were talking about FreeeUp.” That was part of it. We created a hit list of influencers and micro-influencers that we thought would be a great partner that we wanted to promote FreeeUp.

We reached out to them and we got rejected a lot. We were persistent and had a lot of good wins there and people that would promote us out. We did a lot of content, both internal content and extra content, writing guest posts to other company’s blogs, to get in front of her audience doing videos, different joint ventures like that. Those are the four ways we grew FreeeUp. Even in 2019, when we were doing over $10 million a year, we spent $1,000 a month on ad revenue and that was retargeting. We grew FreeeUp to $10 million organically without any money on ad spend. I won’t say any money on marketing because we had internal people. We had graphic designers, content writers, all that stuff but it goes to show that you can still build a company organically if you continue to get in front of your target audience the right way.

That’s helpful because a lot of people start a business and they think out of the box and how much they have to go out there and spend on ad spent in order to acquire customers when low-hanging fruits could be something or as a simple referral program. Somebody is using you, likes the service and they could be opening the doors for ten others because they’re not sure how to go about it. It’s a missed opportunity.

Everyone wants more leads. In my mind, I want more partnerships because if you have partnerships, the leads find you. If you’re constantly chasing one-off leads, you can do that all day and you’ll never be satisfied. You need partnerships.

Let’s fast forward. You’ve got the company to one in revenue before you sold?

LTB 37 | Getting Ready To Outsource
Getting Ready To Outsource: You can’t sell your business and regret it for the rest of your life. If you do decide to sell, you have to be at peace with that.

 

About $12 million.

What crossed your mind and decided, “I’m ripe to start speaking about selling.”

I didn’t go away into 2019 thinking that we would sell FreeeUp. I have a business partner Connor Gillivan. As an entrepreneur, there are only many ways that you exit a business. You either run the business forever, you go out of business, you get an investor which I’ve never wanted to do, I don’t want to work for someone else or you get bought out. It was always an option, although we weren’t going to spend any of our time going out and trying to chase buyers. If someone came to us, we would hear them out as we hear about any business opportunity. One of our clients, The HOTH, reached out to us and said, “We want to get into the freelance space. We want to build a marketplace. We don’t want to build it from scratch. We love FreeeUp. We’ve been using FreeeUp. We’d love to get a little bit more information from you, present you with an offer. If that number makes sense to you, we can proceed forward from there.”

We were open to it. We gave them part of the information they wanted. They came back with an offer that we felt was more than fair if not aggressive and then became the due diligence time. We always said from the beginning, if we were going to sell FreeeUp, we couldn’t sell it to someone who’s going to destroy it. We couldn’t sell it to someone with less experience than us. Connor and I have no experience growing a business from $10 million to $50 million. We want someone who does, who can take FreeeUp to the next level. We love FreeeUp. We continue to love to FreeeUp. We love the clients, the freelancers, the partners and the internal team on the platform. We wanted all of them to be in good hands. Every time they would fire due diligence at us, we would fire right back. We want to know everything about their past companies or past success or past failure. What were their plans for FreeeUp? How do they treat their internal teams? How are their customer services in their other companies? Everything.

We were impressed. Marc Hardgrove and David Martin are great entrepreneurs. I look up to them a lot. They purchased other businesses. The majority of them are successful. They’ve grown businesses from $100,000 to over $22 million a year. They had that experience and they treat people well. We visited their offices in Tampa, which is 1.5 hours from me. It was a great culture. If we had an office, that was a culture that it would be and people loved working there. They won Place to Work of the Year in Tampa for X amount of years in a row. We loved it. We loved how they treated customers and their reviews and all of that, then became the mind-numbing part, the lawyers and our lawyers tried to protect us and vice-versa. That part sucked. Everything else was smooth. Even with the transition, going into the last day, we wanted to make sure this was going to be a good deal.

One of the things that were also important to us that I left out is we took hundreds of thousand dollars from the deal. They gave it to our internal team in the Philippines, make sure they were taken care of. More importantly, we made sure their jobs were secure and that they would all have a job after the sale. That would provide even more stability. No one lost their job from that. Going into selling it, we went to their office and signed the paperwork and all that. We knew right away that we had made the right decision. Coming in, although the internal team was sad and we’re going to miss them and that’s by far the worst part, within a week or so, the internal team fell in love with them. They treated them as well as we did. The systems and processes they’ve already implemented in a short time, they’ve had the business have been incredible. It’s way faster and better than Connor and I could have done it at this point. We’re excited for FreeeUp and for them. We think it’s going to be a win-win for everyone, for us, for them, the clients of freelancers, the partners and especially the internal.

I know that some of the stuff is confidential. You can’t share the exact transaction. As far as going through the process, there are parts that are more exciting than others, meeting and shaking hands, visiting offices is the exciting part. When it comes to the nitty-gritty and the details of the deal with the attorneys, that’s the back and forth and sometimes even the unknown, how the other party will respond. My question to you is now that you’re after the deal, looking backward, is there anything that you would do different or it’s too early to say? 

It’s on the early side. I’m only 40 days out, but I’ve been nothing but impressed with them over the past 30 days. Everything that we said to, everything that we agreed to whether it was in agreement or a handshake, they’ve been great with, they’ve treated the team well. I’ve personally checked in with all 35 VAs on the team and not only have they been happy with it, but they’ve also been happy. They said it’s cool. All this new software and new stuff that they’ve been implementing. These VAs in the Philippines, they love FreeeUp. They eat, sleep and breathe FreeeUp. They’re sad that they’re going to miss us but they’re excited about the future. They’ve already booked flights to visit the team in the Philippines in a week, which is cool. I’m happy. The outside of that part is I said going in that you can’t sell your business and regret it for the rest of your life. That’s no way to live life. If I thought I was going to regret it, I wouldn’t do it. If I do decide to sell, I have to be at peace with that. I’d have to think I made the best decision or what I thought was the best decision, given all the information and all the people involved. I truly believe I did that. Once you make that commitment, there’s no going back.

Everyone wants more leads. Aim for more partnerships because if you have partnerships, the leads find you. Click To Tweet

How did it feel the first day now going back or not being involved in the operations?

My first day not being involved in the operation was good. It’s different. My lifestyle is different. I’ve gotten to learn about real estate and work outside of school. For the past few years, I’ve eaten, slept, breathed 24/7 FreeeUp at all times. Not only do I get to take a little breather, I had the holidays, and I got to spend time with my family but I also get those creative juices flowing, try other things, see what I like doing, and spend more time in my personal life. I have a wedding to plan. I got engaged last year and I know their stuff too.

For the audience reading this, when a business owner is in their business for a couple of years seeing some success, seeing where the way to market is going is always should I sell? What piece of advice could you give that person? How to arrive at a decision that they’re ready?

I’m not sure that I’m the best person to answer that because I sold one company. I don’t think that makes me the expert at selling businesses. You have to be okay with it. If you’re not going to be okay with it, you’re going to regret it, you can’t make that decision. You don’t want to live in regret for the next 70 years of your life or whatever it is. I think that’s part of it. It’s more than money. If you’re selling it for the money, then you have to reflect it and make sure that it’s going to be good for everyone. The other side of it is making sure you’re selling it to good people because regardless of how good the agreement is, you don’t want to have to fight people in court. You don’t want to deal with the nonsense afterward. You want to sell to people that have the same values, core, and beliefs that you do. It’s a personal decision after that.

How does a day in your life look like now?

I woke up early. I was up at 6:00. I went to the gym for an hour, worked on some activities for Outsource School which we’re trying to launch soon. I have a course I’m taking on real estate and reading some books on that. Going through balancing, taking some time off, reading, learning, working on Outsource School. I still have a week left in the FreeeUp transition, although we’re wrapping up now so there’s not too much left for me to do. I checked in with The HOTH, the FreeeUp people and made sure they were good. That’s my day.

What I got out of this interview a lot and what our audience should pay attention to is figure out what your activities are on a daily basis. Figure out, could you be more profitable? Could you be able to free up a lot of your time by outsourcing? If that’s the case, figure out how you will go about it and finding the right outsource agency to provide you with those talents in order to be able to achieve that. Let’s close with four rapid-fire questions. Number one, the book that changed your life?

I’m finishing up Built to Last , which I think is fascinating. Getting what is the difference between a successful company that’s been around for 100 years and a company that was successful for 30 years and then crashed? There’s much stuff to think about like a succession plan and core beliefs versus being able to experiment and try new things. It’s a fascinating way to look at business in general and it’s quickly becoming my favorite book.

It’s a great book. I recommend it a lot. Some people get misconceptions when they see what the title is. Even if you want to sell, you’re still building a business to last. Number two, a piece of advice you’ve got that you’ll never forget? 

LTB 37 | Getting Ready To Outsource
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

In my last week of college, I had a bunch of job offers. I was running to the Amazon business. My parents were teachers. They wanted me to take the security, healthcare, and all that. I talked with my aunt who is an entrepreneur and she told me, “You’re young. You can take chances. If you fail on your entrepreneurial endeavors, you can always go out and get a real job but you owe it to yourself to see how far you can go in the entrepreneurship side.” Great advice I never looked back.

Number three, anything you wish you could go back and do differently? 

I opened up an office back from my Amazon business for absolutely no reason. I brought overhead to do a business that I didn’t need. It was a dropshipping business and it caused drama. It caused extra wasted money and I had to drive to work every day. I created a 9 to 5 job for myself. I wish I had never opened up an office.

Number four, the final question, what’s still on your bucket list to achieve? 

Luckily, my fiancé doesn’t listen to all my podcasts, but she is Vietnamese. I am secretly learning Vietnamese to surprise her at some point in the future hopefully. That stays a secret, although now it’s in the public eye.

Nathan, thank you for joining us. I know your time is valuable and that is why in the name of our audience, we will forever be grateful for sharing some of your time with us.

Thanks for having me.

My pleasure.

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About Nathan Hirsch

LTB 37 | Getting Ready To OutsourceNathan Hirsch is an entrepreneur and expert in remote hiring and eCommerce. He is the co-founder and CEO of FreeeUp.com, a marketplace that connects businesses with pre-vetted freelancers in eCommerce, digital marketing, and much more.

He has sold over $30 million online and regularly appears on leading business podcasts, such as Entrepreneur on Fire, and speaks at live events about online hiring tactics.

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman

Meny Hoffman is the Chief Executive Officer of Ptex Group, an Inc. 500/5000-ranked marketing and business services firm headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.

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