Outsourcing to Scale Your Side Hustle with Nathan Hirsch of Freeeup.com

Ep. 269: Outsourcing to Scale Your Side Hustle with Nathan Hirsch of Freeeup.com

If you want to replace your day job income before you actually quit, today's episode can really help you out.

Before I introduce you to today’s guest and why what he does is something you’ll want to pay attention to if you want to replace your day job income before you quit, I want to share why I think what he does is so important.

If you’ve listened to this podcast for any amount of time, you know that my story in a nutshell is that at 35 years old, I found myself sitting in my beige, windowless office at my day job basically having a panic attack about having to do that same day over and over and over again for the rest of my life, feeling super guilty for not being appreciative of living out the American dream of good grades in high school, graduating from college and working my way up the corporate ladder to a job with great salary and benefits.

So I decided to start my own freelance web design business as a side hustle, quickly burnt myself out because I wasn’t charging enough and there was no way I’d have enough free time outside my day job to replace my income (and there way no way I was gonna leave my salary behind).

Then I pivoted to teaching entrepreneurs how to DIY and earning revenue from affiliate marketing, and then people starting asked me to build their websites for them… And with some help from my business coach I decided to say yes, and then over the next three of years I side hustled, earning my money from a mix of affiliates, courses and 1:1 web design services, started making enough money every month to replace my salary and cover business expenses and taxes, and I was able to quit my day job without taking a pay cut.

What I don’t talk about too often is that I didn’t do it all on my own.

About one year in, I finally hired a virtual assistant.

About 6 months in, I’d tried to hire one… I’d been listening to all these online business podcasts that talked about outsourcing, and how fantastic and amazing it is to hire VA’s from the Phillipines because the cost of living is so low there compared to the US that at the time you could pay $250 a week for a 40/hour a week virtual assistant.

So I tried it, and it just wasn’t a good fit for me – for several reasons, all of which are my fault, by the way:

  1. I had to be way more organized than I was to be able to outsource to people and at the time and I was totally winging it and putting out fires every single day.
  2. There’s a significant time difference between the Phillipines + where I live and so it took longer to get things turned around once I delegated it when I was worked to when they saw it when they were working, asked me questions that I’d answer when I was working and they’d see the answer when they were working and now two days have gone by and they haven’t even started… so I’d end up just doing it myself.
  3. There were a few communication issues, again, on my end because I’m super wordy talk too fast.
  4. I didn’t have 40 hours of work to give them, but they were looking for something full time for one person.

So that whole thing did not work out for me.

And then I was introduced to a company that unfortunately is now closed, but it was basically a boutique VA agency for female entrepreneurs, based in the US.

I was assigned an account manager, I would give her the tasks + instructions and she made sure the person on their team with that expertise knew what to do and got the work done. I paid $600 for 15 hours a MONTH (as compared to $600 for 40 hours a week) but it was well worth it to me.

My business could afford the expense because I wasn’t even paying myself a paycheck at all – at the time I was investing everything I made back into the business.

They were able to manage my inbox and my Facebook Groups while I was at work, post and format my blog posts, set my weekly newsletter and they even were around at the beginning of Pep Talks for Side Hustlers and published the podcast for me.

When I look back on it, I was also spending money on things I didn't need to spend money on and doing things I didn't need to be doing which took up a lot of time and weren't making me money… but that's a story for another day.

So when I quit my day job and I actually started paying myself a paycheck, I went looking for ways to reduce my expenses, and they'd raised their prices, and I could no longer justify to pay that much for 15 hours a month.

So I took back all the work into my business myself, and then the person who I was contracting with as a project manager on my web design projects wanted more hours so I gave the work to her, and that’s what we still do today and all is right with the world.

What I want you to know is that I didn’t do it alone then, and I’m not doing it alone now.

So if you’re listening to this and you’re thinking, “Yeah, the whole outsourcing to another country thing doesn’t sound right for me, and the whole paying $600 for 15 hours a month thing also doesn’t sound right to me, and I’m not sure I need a dedicated team member right now – but I know that if I’m really gonna grow I need to get these things off my plate, but how do I find the right person…

Then I’m super excited to introduce you to today’s guest, Nathan Hirsch of Freeeup.com* – where you can hire affordable, pre-vetted freelancers with no signup fees, no minimums so that you can get more done faster.

Nathan is a 30-year-old serial entrepreneur who built his first company to over twenty million in sales using virtual assistants and freelancers. He created FreeeUp.com* to address the frustrations he had with finding the right freelancers to help him grow his business.

Nathan and I are talking about:

  • How Nathan competed with the college bookstore as a side hustle.
  • How he used virtual assistants and freelancers to grow his Amazon store to over 20 million in sales.
  • What his hiring experience was like when he was first hiring employees as a new entrepreneur.
  • Nathan’s “Top 1%” philosophy
  • The number one thing you must commit to for a great hiring experience.
  • How to get ready for your first hire.
  • The three types of hires and how to choose the right one for you.
  • Why Nathan chooses to grow his business organically, without relying on paid ads, and how he does it.
  • Nathan’s advice for someone who is struggling to grow their business
  • The one belief Nathan had to change about himself to get where he is today.

My favorite quotes from Nathan:

  • “Instead of trying to turn every weakness into a strength, I hire an expert who already has success with it, already has systems for it, to come in and execute it. ”
  • “Figure out what type of people you are working with and work with them the right way.”
  • “Focus on low risk, high reward situations.”

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Bio:

Nathan Hirsch is a 30-year-old serial 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 built his first company (Amazon business) to over twenty million in sales using virtual assistants and freelancers.  “I always wanted a faster way to find talent, I hated browsing through 50 applicants every-time I posted a job on the other marketplaces. I built FreeeUp to address the frustrations I had. FreeeUp receives thousands of freelancer applicants each week to join the marketplace. We interview and vet them, take the top 1% (based on skill, attitude and communication), and make them available to our clients quickly whenever they need them.”

Connect with Nathan:

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Hi, I'm Shannon!

If you want to learn how to build a website (or a web design business), market yourself online and get traffic + customers so that you can go from side hustle to self-employed, you’re in the right place!

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