In today’s episode, let’s listen again to Joe’s conversation with Nathan Hirsch, the co-founder of FreeUp – a solution platform to finding & hiring pre-vetted freelancers online, only allowing the top 1% into the network out of hundreds of freelancer applicants every week.

Nathan talks about how he co-founded a solution platform that caters to businesses in need of skilled freelancers to help business owners with website design and development, graphic design, sales and marketing, social media, and web content. He also shares how referrals reign in new clients, screening the best freelancers, and the challenges of remote work.

What to Listen For:

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 00:53 Welcome to the pod, Nathan!
  • 02:11 Started with selling books
  • 03:30 At 20 years old, Nathan started his e-commerce business
  • 05:21 Recruitment through referrals brought in more clients
  • 06:34 Freelancers aren’t exclusive with Freeup
  • 10:03 Is the Top 1% the basis for hiring freelancers?
  • 14:00 Big mistakes from people who fail to hire the right freelancers
  • 17:11 Client contracts can go as an Hourly or Fixed Price project
  • 20:50 Finding a technical co-founder if you aren’t a technical person
  • 24:26 To be a good business partner you can never say, “I told you so.” 
  • 27:24 FreeUp is a platform for remote work 
  • 30:17 How to find the best remote workers
  • 33:00 Find Nathan online!

Episode Resources:

Podcast Transcript:

Joe Howard: [00:00:50] good. People will welcome back to EWP MRR, WordPress podcast. We got Harry Potter on the podcast this week, also known as Nathan Hirsch. Nathan, why don’t you tell the listeners a little bit about what you do in the WordPress.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:01:03] Yeah. So, I mean, I’m a time entrepreneur. I started back in 2008 and I scaled up an e-commerce business and I scaled it using virtual assistants and freelancers.

I got pretty good at it and I always just wanted a better, faster way than the Upworks and the fiber. So three years ago I created my own platform free up. We get thousands of applicants every week. We vet them for skill, attitude, communication, top 1%, get on the platform. And then we make them available to people quickly, whenever they need them on the backend 24 7 support in case they have even the smallest issue and a no turnover guarantee.

If someone quits for anybody. We cover replacement costs. So that’s what our marketplace is all about. That the pre-vetting the speed that the customer service and the protection. Obviously we have a lot of WordPress developers and developers in general on the platform. And we work with lots of clients that have that for their own site.

I mean, the free up site is in WordPress, although the backend is much more complex. Um, so yeah, I mean, we do a good amount with WordPress.

Joe Howard: [00:02:01] Yeah, very cool. Uh, all right. So you started doing, uh, your own e-commerce site before you kind of jumped into, into free up stuff. And you hired some freelancers and contractors along the way.

What were you selling? What was your e-commerce store about all that?

Nathan Hirsch: [00:02:15] So I started off with books and I was competing with my school bookstore and I created a referral program before I knew it. There were lines out the door of people trying to get me their book, sell me their books. To the point where I got a cease and desist letter from my college telling me to, to knock it off.

So my parents were teachers. I didn’t want to get kicked out of college. So I tried experimenting with other stuff that I was really into, like sporting equipment, video games, computers, typical college guy stuff. And I just failed over and over and over. The only thing I could get to sell were these books.

And it wasn’t until I branched out of my comfort zone and, 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 millions of dollars of baby products on Amazon, that was gotcha.

Joe Howard: [00:03:02] Nice. And building this business kind of, when you were younger, you obviously kind of gained some experience.

To get you to where you, you, where you are now running a running free up. So you’ve hired a freelancers. You’ve hired people along the way to help you. Maybe not necessarily. Full-time all of them. Some people, uh, may need more hours, but some people only need for a few hours a week or, you know, 10, 20 hours a month, something like that.

So how did you, uh, how were you at doing that when you started this e-commerce business?

Nathan Hirsch: [00:03:35] I was 20 when I, when I started and I mean, I tried hiring people in person. One of my first hires was actually this guy in my business law class. I didn’t even interview him. I hired him and he was an amazing hire.

Hard-working smart. He’s my business partner today. We’ve been working together for eight years. I, I hit the jackpot right from the beginning. And then I just proceeded to make bad hire after bad hire, after bad hire, quickly learning how tough it was to hire people in person. And that’s when I went the remote hiring route and you’re right.

I mean, I didn’t need people full-time I needed a graphic designer here and a listing person there, but then I also had full-time roles like customer service and filling orders. It was all drop shipping. And this was before Amazon software. So there was a lot of manual. And yeah, I just went more and more towards the remote hiring space.

I love the flexibility. I, I ended up opening up an office and quickly getting rid of it, realizing I had made a mistake and, and going back to that remote world and the free up really started because I had built this really good hiring process, took me four or five years. I had some great freelancers in my Rolodex, so to speak and I started offering them to other businesses.

Hey, you need to graphic designer. I got your guy right here. They would just email. I didn’t introduce them. I spent about $5,000 on this software. That was the minimum viable product. People could clock in, clock out. Clients could see freelancers on their side and, and that was it. And we’d introduced them to freelancers and they loved it.

They didn’t have to spend two weeks, uh, posting jobs and going through applicants. They knew we backed it up. And then we ran out of freelancers and we had to start recruiting it and really building out the platform. So that was really the.

Joe Howard: [00:05:07] Cool recruiting freelancers. How, uh, I maybe at this point, you know, free up, uh, I guess somewhat well-known in the WordPress space now.

So, you know, maybe people are coming to you and applying to get applications in the door now, but when you started doing free up, what was the, eh, What was the solution to getting people and having freelancers come find you to set themselves up on the platform?

Nathan Hirsch: [00:05:31] Referrals. I mean, now we get about 2000 applicants a week to get on our platform, but a lot of it is referrals.

I mean, we got from the beginning, freelancers really liked it because they don’t really like competing. It’s 50 people for every post on Upwork and Fiverr anyway. So we’d bring clients to them quickly that we had a fast hire platform where people would do 5, 10, 15 minute interviews and get started right away.

They loved that we created a program where you get 50 cents for every hour we bill or the PR anyone would refer bills forever. And same thing on the client side, any client you refer. So people started telling their friends, telling their freelance communities, their Facebook groups there. I got invited on podcasts and it really took off from there, but that’s how we got the referrals and the recruitment office.

Joe Howard: [00:06:14] Yeah. Cool. Uh, so this, it seems to me, it’s funny. I was just talking about someone about this yesterday, that their sites like this exists, where you kind of have two pools of people. You have the people who are doing the hiring, who need to find a freelancer, and then you have the freelancers who are looking for work.

When you started free up, was there like an issue where you were like, you had to figure out which side you were going to work on first, where you like, did you decide to go and get freelancers to, you know, just sign up, you know, maybe it’s for the free accounts to attract businesses? Or was it kinda the other way around you were looking for businesses or was it both at once or what happened there?

Nathan Hirsch: [00:06:51] Yeah, I mean, you’re, you’re completely right. Whenever you have a marketplace, you kind of have your both sides and then you have the software, that whole thing. Together too. So you’re kind of like balancing everything. It’s funny before I, there was some point last year around the third quarter, where for the first time in the, the three, three free ups, about four years old, um, we were like really low on freelancers, but outside of that, we’ve been like pretty well balanced.

And, and when we, we just spent money on recruitment and advertising and all that, and we fixed that pretty quick. The cool thing about freelancers is it’s not perfect inventory, right? It’s not like. You have 2000 products you got to get out of your warehouse. Like these freelancers they’re, they’re getting projects outside free up there.

They’re not exclusive to us. They have project that started stopping just because they’re booked up one day that client could disappear the next day. So we always want more freelancers in the freelance. Are okay. If we, if we have a slow week, like week after labor day, even though it’s actually kind of been a busy week, but it’s not your typical week, if things are slow here and there, they’re kind of used to that.

And that’s part of like the freelancer lifestyle. So for us, we always want to have more supply than demand. I mean, if a client comes to us and they’re like, Hey, we want to WordPress developer. And we say, Hey, we’re out of WordPress developers. That client, it’s probably not coming back. But if we have too many WordPress developers, those people, if they’re good, we’ll, we’ll find clients elsewhere as well.

For us, we, we always tend to lean more on the supply side by that. I think that makes sense. Uh, you mentioned the front end of free up is built on WordPress, but the backend is a little bit more complex. Um, what’s the backend built with and I guess. Secondary question to that is I’m not sure how technical you are, but is this something that you built or did you have some of your freelancers and contractors help out to build it?

I am not technical with my business partner is he handles all the developers. Um, so the backend is no JS. I’m sure it’s a bunch of other languages like JavaScript and stuff in there too. But the way we did it is we have our WordPress site. You can go through the pricing, which is like ballpark pricing.

It’s got the about us. It’s got all the information there, all the different pages in town, our blog, it, which is also a WordPress site. But then if you click log in, it actually redirects you to, um, what we call time clock free up time clock. So that’s a no dot JS. They, you have a login and they kind of, it’s kind of like a slick redirect to a more intense software.

People can put in requests, there’s a ticketing system. They can do the freelancers or profiles, the affiliate programs, they’re all the billings there. So it’s a, it’s a lot more stuff that you probably wouldn’t be able to do in WordPress, but the WordPress makes us look nice. And the cool thing that we did on the backend was we moved node to story block.

And again, I I’m talking out of the limited information that, that I know, which essentially makes it so we can edit our time clock, like a WordPress site. And we don’t have to have the developers go and change every little thing. My business partner, who’s an expert at WordPress. He can go in and just adjust story block depending on what we want to do.

Joe Howard: [00:09:46] I am I’m on the site now it’s free up.com F R E E up.com. To me, the thing that that really shined out is something you already mentioned here, but it’s the top 1% how you’re really looking at the top 1% of applicants to accept onto the. Onto the platform. Was that kind of the baseline of the business model when you started, were you kind of like Upwork, you can go and do the same thing you can do on free up, but we just want to kind of just focus more on like more of like the elite freelancers and kind of take away the 99% of noise and say, okay, like our community and our platform is similar to Upwork.

It’s just kind of like the premium version of it. It was that kind of, you know, yeah. It was at the foundation of the business model or it, or was it a bit more.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:10:29] Yeah. I mean, the foundation was, we, we don’t accept that everyone, which just the best of the best, we’re just a marketplace for experienced freelancers and that we vet people for skill, attitude, and communication.

That’s always been the core of our hire. We think that I know that if you just hire people for skill, you get burned all the time. There are people that are just not good to work with, even though they’re talented. So for skill, we don’t need everyone to be a 10 out of 10. Someone could be a five. Someone can be a three out of 10.

Well, we care about is that they’re honest about what they can and cannot do, and they’re priced accordingly. So we have skill test. We put them through. Then we have attitude. Attitude is so important. We do one-on-one interviews. We want people who can take feedback and not get aggressive. We want people who are.

Passionate about what they do. If I hire a WordPress developer, I want them to love developing WordPress sites. Just like I love being an entrepreneur on that level. And we also know that not every client is rainbows and butterflies. Right? Well, you’re going to deal with tough clients out there. So we want people who will be the bigger man, the bigger woman, that’ll be more professional that doesn’t get aggressive.

The second something doesn’t go their way. So all of that goes into attitude and then communications everything. If I hire you today. And you have a great skillset and a great attitude, but you and I can’t communicate. It’s not going to go very well. So communication, we have 15 pages of communication, best practices.

Freelancers up to memorize and get tested on before they get on our platform. And once they’re on our platform, we hold them to those same expectations. We’re not a place to experiment new things on our clients. If someone’s taking on requests that they can’t do at a high level, if they showing signs of bad attitude, if they’re not communicating, if my team has to chase them, if clients have to chase them, if they’re missing duties, Personal issues are interfering with work.

We’re very quick to block them from getting more clients or remove them from our platform. Now the top 1% thing that wasn’t a day. One thing that I think that came a year down the line, we kind of looked at the numbers and what we were taking and it came out to roughly 1%. So we did that. Okay. We get bigger and we want, we need to change it to 2% or 3% where we’re always going to be honest with our community on what it is.

I don’t think that whether, what the exact percentages is a big part of our selling point, but as of right now, I mean, we do let in one, out of every a hundred applicants.

Joe Howard: [00:12:44] For the communication piece. I think that’s huge. I feel like I’ve, I’ve, uh, done a lot of hiring myself in my role and I’ve made definitely a few mistakes along the way.

And a lot of those mistakes we’re hiring someone with great technical skill, but not with grit. Uh, I guess I’d say communication skill, but that was just kind of part of it. Like wasn’t great soft skills. It wasn’t like great communication, like more focused on like getting their own job done and not as focused on like the teams results.

Like those kinds of things were definitely. It definitely didn’t work out after hiring people who just didn’t have those skills. So it’s, it’s cool that you’re focusing, not just on like the technical skill, but across, you know, all aspects of what, you know, someone who’s needs to do a job, uh, and add value to a business should do.

Yeah. The. Mistakes that people make when hiring, especially part-time people are, I’m sure you’ve, you’ve seen them across the board. Um, and there are a lot of agencies and freelancers, uh, listening to this podcast who maybe they’re starting to think about hiring. Maybe they have a few members on the team.

But, you know, maybe it’s a better option instead of to hire full-time people to go and hire some, uh, some part-time people for some smaller tasks, or maybe even to start someone off as a part-time person, maybe move them to full-time eventually. But, uh, yeah, I guess I want to ask what, uh, some of the big mistakes you’ve seen from, uh, from people who are trying to hire, uh, freelancers and end up being unsuccessful.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:14:12] Yeah. And let’s talk about it more in the sense of a developer. I mean, not giving test projects before you jumped into the big thing. I’ll see, I’ll see clients who will hire someone for a 30 page website, and the guy will take a few weeks a month, whatever it is. And then the website is not the way they want it.

And they realize they can’t work with that person where a better approach is hire them to build one page. Give them feedback, make sure they can adjust your feedback and that it goes good. Give them two more pages. Repeat, give them three more pages. Break it down a little bit more. And yeah, if you like, I have a graphic designer that I’ve been working with for a year and on and off different projects.

I trust her. She knows what I want. I’ll give her bigger projects, but you got to build that trust little by little, I think a big part of it too, is setting expectations, getting on the same page with the scope, the due date, not just the due time, but the due time zone. It’s due next Tuesday at 2:00 PM Eastern time.

Get it in writing. Don’t get it. Don’t turn it into a, he said, she said down the line where both of you were talking about a phone call from three weeks ago, that neither of you really remember what, what is included in the scope. What’s not included in the scope, but I think a lot of freelancers go wrong and we have a lot of best practices for freelancers.

They’re not really rules of our platform. They’re just best practices. That is advice from us to help them have success with clients where Hey, if a client gives you a scope and you agree and you get an all a writing and a client wants to throw more and more and add the scope and push the limit, don’t just keep going with it.

Pause work, take a step back. Get on the same page. Get any new pricing, any new new due dates. Make sure you’re good and only then proceed forward with work. A lot of times you’ll see that the clients will just keep pushing, keep pushing, keep pushing, freelancers, keep giving, and then it just blows up into a huge mess.

So getting on the same page on what’s included and what’s not included is huge. And there’s also some level of diversifying that’s important. I remember I made a big mistake back in the day of hiring one person to really run my whole business. I spent six months training. He did everything. He was a rockstar.

I could sleep better at night as an entrepreneur, he quit on me while I was on vacation one week and it was devastating. It took me months to recover and I had to diversify. I had to hire two people for customer service, one person for listing one person for repricing. And the next time someone quit, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

So WordPress is getting easier and easier. There’s a lot of VAs that can do WordPress, but they can also do social media. They can also do customers. Don’t fall into that trap of hiring’s hard. You make some bad hires. You finally find someone you like and you load them up with everything. That’s going to put your business at risk.

You want to diversify as much as possible. That doesn’t mean you have to go crazy with it. 20 emails a day. You don’t have to hire five customer service reps, but within reason, diversify for your business and protect.

Joe Howard: [00:16:56] Hm. Yeah. I like also what you said about giving bite-sized projects. Uh, that’s something, I feel like a lot of people like they’ll do, you know, they’ll start off small with it.

They’ll immediately jump to the like 30 pages, like 50 pages, like go and do this. Like I’ll check on your next week. And that’s maybe something you can do once you’ve worked with someone for a month or three months or six months, once you’ve gotten to know them. And you know, like if you give them that project, it’ll get done by that due date, because you’ve already tested them with one page and then three pages and then five pages and worked your way up to 50, as opposed to just going straight from, you know, zero to 50.

Foul swoop. Yeah. Remote teams. Yeah. Yeah. Go ahead.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:17:35] One thing that actually happened today, so in the furniture didn’t do anything wrong here. Client was on our pub platform. He was using the platform for the first time and he, it was a $5,000 project. I’m pretty sure it’s a WordPress site, but, or some, some website.

I wasn’t really involved in the details of the project, but he’s a developer so that you can do hourly or fixed price in our platform. If you do hourly, they get paid by the hour. It’s billing. Our billing periods are Wednesday too. Yeah. We charge the client every Thursday and able week to dispute anything before we pay the freelancer that Thursday.

But once that dispute period is over, we pay the freelancer. You can’t dispute any longer. Obviously we’re going to within reason, make the client happy, but it’s not fair to us or the freelancer for a client to come in and say, oh, the past three months I’m disputing. And it’s like, no, you had your dispute period.

Now we also have fixed price on the platform where we’ll charge you upfront. So if it’s a $5,000 project, we’ll charge you 5,000 upfront and we’ll hold you we’ll hold that money and ask. You can release it by milestone. You can release at the end, you can figure all that out. Whatever you want to do. So a client was a few thousand dollars into that $5,000 project.

He’s been billing hourly. He’s three weeks in. He’s getting a little concerned, cause he’s like, I’m paying all this money. I haven’t seen any results yet. And with that, we obviously recommend doing fixed price because it makes more sense for that type of project. And again, the Prudential didn’t do anything wrong.

He was a little bit newer to the platform, too. He was doing the work. He wasn’t planning. On manipulating the client or anything like that, but we moved it over to a fixed price project. The client felt a little bit better. We’re holding the money. The freelancer even feels a little bit better because he knows we had that money there.

And that way you don’t run into something where we build someone for six weeks and they’re not happy with the end result. And then you have to back them. And it’s a whole mess. So just knowing when you should hire people hourly for maybe more ongoing work or whether you should do something fixed price, especially with newer freelancers.

Yeah. Gotcha. Um, any advice on like when you should be going hourly and when you should be going, uh, like a fixed rate project, is there any kind of separation there or is it really just kind of context dependent? I, the, the bigger, the project, the more I’m doing fixed price for, for me personally, It also depends how much ongoing work there isn’t and what that relationship is.

If I’m doing a larger project with a new person, I’m pretty much always doing fixed price. If I’m doing larger project with someone that I’ve been working with the while it could go either way, if it’s more consistent work, it also depends on their, their hourly rate too. If I’m dealing with someone in the Philippines and their hourly rate is five to 10 bucks an hour.

Probably not doing fixed price. Like I’m going to go week to week with that. If it’s someone in the U S and I’m paying 75 bucks an hour, I’m going to feel more comfortable with fixed price. So definitely in context definitely depends on the exact situation you want to err, on the side of caution. Um, and yeah, that’s kind of my.

Joe Howard: [00:20:17] Yeah, I think, I think that makes sense to do a huge project. Hourly means, you know, the, the projection you have is never exactly how long it’s going to take. It’s just a projection. Uh, so if it ends up taking, you know, 20% longer, that’s, you know, could go fall far outside your budget. And honestly, the bigger the project, the more you should have a good grasp of exactly what’s needed in the project.

And it kind of makes sense to have more of a project based pricing, because you’re like, this is what we’re doing. Here’s so much. Let’s go for it. I wanted to actually kind of go back. This is kind of like going off the rails a little bit, but you mentioned, uh, I think towards the beginning of when we started talking here that you have kind of a technical buddy or a technical co-founder, I guess yes.

You know, someone who you’ve worked with, who’s kind of the technical arm of things. I know a lot of people, including myself who are non-technical founders of businesses, um, but who are always interested in how to like how to meet their technical co-founder or like what. Environment, they can put themselves in, in order to, you know, found a technical business without necessarily themselves being technical.

Um, I think you mentioned that you two met in college, but I just wanted to grow to go back over that and just kind of see if we could dive into that a little more.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:21:25] Yeah. I’m not sure if I’m the best person to give advice on how to find your partner. I kind of mentioned the story before. He was in my business law class.

He shot me a message. I didn’t interview him. I hired him. And then I eventually made him my partner. I mean, it’s not a bad way to go hiring someone, working with them for a little while and then making them a business partner. That’s kinda how I did it. Um, and it’s almost one of those things. You, I almost feel like I got lucky and I’m like scared to add another partner because we’ve all heard those horror stories.

Connor you and I have been working well together for, for 10 years. Let’s not mess this up. So that’s kind of where it’s at. I’ll also add while he’s technical, when it comes to WordPress, he’s not technical when it comes to other coding and he kind of taught himself to work, to do WordPress in the past. I don’t know, four or five years when I first met him.

He didn’t know what WordPress was. So that kind of more developed over time. Finding, uh, anyone technical working with people, technical is tough. I mean, I wouldn’t make a business partner technical. I wouldn’t make a technical person, a business partner until I worked with them for a while. I mean, developers, they disappear, they go over estimates.

They, they, some of them, and I hate putting everyone in generalities, but in my experience, we’re going to develop. We have a dev partner who has a small percent equity in the business. And he’s kind of like the third person. He works part time. He’s got a full-time job and he, he kind of does behind the scenes stuff, but he doesn’t understand business as well as Connor or I, so it’s tough for me to have a business relationship with someone that doesn’t understand all the things that go on in a business.

And for me to lock myself up with this person, It’s taught to do, and we kind of have a separate arrangement where he makes money if we were to sell free up. And I won’t go too much details into that, but it’s a little bit different than a standard partnership. So you have to keep in mind. The last thing you want to do is have this great idea.

You add in a technical partner, you give them equity in the company that you can’t take back. And all of a sudden you realize that they’re not the right fit, but they don’t have the same vision. They don’t understand the, the business mindset behind it. And that can be a tough position to put yourself in.

Joe Howard: [00:23:22] Yeah, I totally hear that. Um, as a non-technical founder, myself who brought on Nick as our COO and man he’s stellar, I see how I was not even saying enough of like what his real position is because he’s kind of our COO and our CTO. Um, but, uh, yeah, I mean, we met because I hired him for a totally different role and he totally just grew into this kind of.

S almost second in command. I wouldn’t even say second in command. I’d say like in command. So yeah, but I think that makes a lot of sense. Uh, this is something, I feel like a lot of people it’s hard to give advice on because it’s, there’s so few scenarios that I’ve seen where. Like, you know, someone more business centric meet someone who’s technical.

And then a week later they’ve started a business and it’s all of a sudden success. Like a lot of the time, it’s just like someone you’ve known for a long time, or you just happened to work together a little bit with, and like, you’ve kind of known over the last little while and just kind of happen.

Organically. So my advice for that kind of stuff is always, like, I tell people like, start going to word camps now, like start going to a conference here and there, like get involved in the community because that’s how you find co-founders or technical people. Like that’s a big help just to be visible in the space and part of it so that when you hire someone, you don’t have to go out and do the hiring.

You just kind of have your network of people around. You can say like, Hey, I’m looking for. Someone to help with this and know anybody. Uh, and that’s often a good way to do it.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:24:53] Yeah, completely agree. I mean, man, finding a partner so tough that that trust factor just has to be there. Even if they’re not under there.

I mean, it’s good to work with them. Like do some projects together, hire them, like you said, like figure, figure some stuff out and make sure that you can actually work together. And I mean, everything’s good when the business is going good. Right. If you guys are growing, you guys are making money. It’s easy.

God was here and be all buddy, buddy. But what do you do when you have a bad week, a bad month, a bad quarter problems come up. Issues comes up. One of you make some mistake, which is bound to happen. And actually one of the best business advice, I went to baby bathwater this year, which is a great networking event on an island in Croatia.

And I heard this. It was, if you want to be a good business partner, you have to have the mentality that you can never say. I told you so it’s like, one person has one, one way to go. The other person might have a different opinion. Neither of you really know what the right answer is. It could be a third thing.

It could be one of them. At some point, you’re going to have to make a decision and you’re going to have to go with that decision a hundred percent. And no matter what happens with that decision, you can’t back up and say, oh, I wanted the other thing you pulled you. So it shouldn’t. If you are doing that, that partnership is not going to work out.

So I mean, Connor and I would w we’re all entrepreneurs together. I mean, you know this, like you’re making it up as you go along. You’re, you’re getting as much information as possible. You’re trying to make the best decisions with everyone’s interests in heart. And hopefully it works out that way.

Sometimes it doesn’t. You make tons of failures, tons of bad decisions along the way, and you have to be able to learn from them and move on quickly without playing the blame game.

Joe Howard: [00:26:25] Yeah, totally. I always just say, I’m just stumbling successfully, man. People always say like, oh, what did he do? What are you doing?

What’s the secret to success. That’s the stumble successfully. So I want to see it. I don’t want it for you, baby bathwater. I’d never heard of that, but I just, I looked it up cause I was like, did he say baby bathwater? Did I, um, did I hear that wrong? I went on the site and on the homepage of the site, it says, yeah, the name is odd, but don’t let that fool you.

So it looks like an entrepreneurial conference. A cool I’ve been to an island off the coast of Croatia as well for different kinds of. But, uh, so it’s funny that you went for this one, uh, baby bathwater. I’ll have to check, check this out a little bit. All right. Uh, last thing I kind of wanted to touch on was just removed.

Working remote life. Uh, I assume almost all of the people on your platform are hiring and working remotely. Maybe someone happens to be in the same city as someone else. They could meet up and do something, but it looks like I’m free up the basis is remote work, um, for almost all of these hires, um, how have you kind of push the platform forward, keeping that in mind, uh, and like what’s your.

Take on remote work and how you do it.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:27:34] So we definitely keep it in mind. And we’re a platform only for remote work. Um, I mean, just for like even liability reasons, like, we don’t want someone traveling with someone else if they do. I mean, that’s not that much we can do about it, but we’ll, we’ll turn down tickets.

Like we had someone the other day wanting to hire a, like a real estate assistant to, to print stuff out and mail it. And although they were probably perfectly legit that that’s not really something we do on our platform. So we turn that. Not all clients are remote. Some of them have offices. I think a lot of them are all the freelancers are pretty much remote.

They might have a co-working space or something like that. I mean, they can be anywhere they can move in at any given time. We work with a lot of digital nomads, which I think is the coolest thing ever to just be able to run your business and have no house and then travel around the world and all that.

I mean, I’m remote. I practice what I preach. This is my home office. I can be anywhere at any given time. 45 virtual assistants in the Philippines that I hired from my own platform that do the day to day other clients could have grabbed them first, then. I use about 20 freelancers from my own platform that don’t really work for me.

I’m just one of their clients. They have clients inside free, up outside, free up, they’re all remote. So I I’m a big proponent of the remote lifestyle. I think everything’s kind of going in that direction. I mentioned I opened up an office and I hated it. I kind of felt like I created a nine to five job for myself that I had to drive into every day.

And I think that that’s where everything’s going. Yeah. We live in a pretty amazing time and I think more and more people are taking advantage.

Joe Howard: [00:28:56] Yeah. I, I definitely see the advantages of having an office and having in-person interaction. Obviously it’s worked for the majority of like human existence in the modern era.

Like that’s how it works gotten done, but yeah, we’ve definitely developed, and now we have these new tools and can do more without necessarily physically being in the same space for sure. Um, I find that when I am, when I’m hiring people, I always have this. Inkling in the back of my mind of, I want to make sure this person is going to be a, or maybe I want to say has the right skills to be a solid remote worker.

I think a lot of people apply to positions at WP buffs. And the first reason is because it’s remote because they can work from home because they can work the hours that they want, which is great. That’s what we want to offer people, but I don’t want it to be people just applying. Because they think it’s going to be like an easier job because it’s remote because they can hang out at home and do it.

How have you, when building free up, uh, and you said, you know, you have this great, no bedding process for people. What’s the piece of it. That’s really trying to lock down. Is this person going to be a solid remote worker? Does this person? Cause I find some people, they work better in person. Like a lot of my friends, like going into an office, definitely not my thing, but some people like that, they feel like it’s more beneficial for them.

How does the process of free up work so that you can really find the best. Workers and the best remote workers.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:30:24] Yeah. So I actually made a Facebook post about this the other day of why we’re just not a marketplace where people that want to try out freelancing, we’re a marketplace for experience freelancing, and it’s not like we have anything against them.

Everyone deserves an opportunity. Everyone needs to get experienced somewhere, but it’s got less to do with the skillset and. Being a freelancer is hard when you’re a graphic designer. You, you can do graphic design if you work for another company, but if you’re freelancing and you’re a graphic designer, you’re not just doing graphic design, you’re running a business, you’re doing the marketing, the lead generation, the finance of bookkeeping, the customer service, the re the issue resolution.

There’s so much that goes into it. And there’s also the big time management component. I mean, working from home can be distracting. It’s not for everyone and not everyone can handle that big bucket of being a freelancer. We don’t want you to come on our platform because you’re a great graphic designer and you want to try out working from home and take on a bunch of clients, and then you realize it’s not for you and you drop them all and we’re mad at you and you don’t really end up well and the clients get it.

Don’t like it either. I mean, go out there, get some experience, make sure you can actually. Handle being a freelancer, make sure you can actually handle working in the home and being productive and getting stuff done. And, and, uh, yeah, I mean then come and apply to the free platform and just cause you don’t get in way.

It doesn’t mean you’re, you’re banned for life, but yeah, that’s kind of where we’re at.

Joe Howard: [00:31:41] Yeah, I dig that. I think that just making that explicit and just separating your platform as not Upwork is like, that’s this different differentiator. It’s like freelancers come to us once they’re a established freelancer, uh, and want to kind of scale that and grow that and really make it there what they want to do for work, as opposed to, you know, oh, I’m a full-time employee.

But I kind of want to do my own thing. Maybe I should try freelancing. Um, so I dig the way that you differentiate yourself in that. Cool. I think that’s a great place to finish things off here.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:32:13] It’s free to sign up. There’s no monthly fees. There’s no minimums.  However you want. If you want a high level or a high price person, low-price person, whatever it is now, the top one is my calendar.

You can book a meeting with me or my team. Oh, well, we’d love to talk to you about your business and how we can help. And you can also go to our Facebook group outsourcing masters. We post a lot of great content to help you hire better, smarter, and we’re really on your side. We want you.

Joe Howard: [00:32:36] Very cool. Uh, I’m sure there are a lot of agencies and freelancers out there who right now are saying. I got a lot of stuff on my plate. And you know, we all know if you have too much stuff on your plate, something that you’re juggling too many things, something’s going to fall through the cracks. So if you need people to do little part-time pieces of your business, you know, that’s how you grow. That’s how you scale a team, make your business less stressful and more efficient.

Cool. Where can people find you online? Social media website, all that jazz.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:33:03] Yeah. Real Nate Hurst, Instagram and Twitter. I’m pretty active on LinkedIn and Facebook feel free to add me. Um, and yeah, our Facebook group outsourcing masters is really where the action.

Joe Howard: [00:33:13] Nice. I’m going to join that right after this call outsourcing masters. I’m going to check it out and join you in there. So if you’re, uh, accepted, please hit the accept button for Joe Howard. When you see them come in.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:33:25] You got it, man. Really appreciate you having me on.

Joe Howard: [00:33:28] Yeah, for sure, man. Uh, last thing I always like to ask guests to do is to recreate just a little five-star review from our listeners here. So if you wouldn’t mind giving them a little ask for five-star review, I’d appreciate it.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:33:43] Everyone that’s listening right now. Take 30 seconds. Go to iTunes or wherever you’re listening to the podcast. Leave a five-star review. I know Joe really appreciates it helps me out and other guests out as well and get us more exposure. And, um, we’d really.

Joe Howard: [00:33:56] Awesome, man. Thank you. If you’re leaving a review. Uh, make sure you leave Nathan’s name in the comments and something you learned about the episode. Uh, we’d love to take a little screenshot forwarded to him. Thank him for helping us to get some reviews as well. Uh, you can go to WP mrr.com forward slash iTunes, redirects you right there and make we’ll make it nice and easy for you.

If you’re a new listener to the WP MRR podcast, you already binged all your favorite TV shows, waste so much time on Netflix and Hulu and all that stuff. Why not binge something that will help you move your business forward? We’ve got tons of old episodes and content, uh, dozens of interviews and Kristy, and I have done a ton of episodes together.

Go through, listen to some old episodes. Help your own business grow, uh, by listening to some topics that are very specific to the challenges you’re having right now, WP mrr.com forward slash podcast. If you have questions for them, we would like to do some more Q and a episodes. Christie and I, so shoot us any questions you have yo@wpmrr.com.

Uh, we will. Get back to you and then answer your questions on the podcast. Uh, WP mrr.com. If you’re an agency or freelancer and wants to influx your business with a little bit more monthly recurring revenue, tired of rollercoaster months, a lot of revenue one month, none the next month. How do we make it more comfortable?

We sell 24 7 care plans. We have open-source WP buffs, and we will teach you how in the video course. Go take advantage of the 75% discount we’re doing right now, uh, on WP mrr.com. Nathan, thanks again for being on man. It’s been a real.

Nathan Hirsch: [00:35:33] Thank you.

Joe Howard: [00:35:34] Alright, we’ll catch y’all next Tuesday later.

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