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Hey Nathan, I’m very happy to have you here today. What experiences growing up shaped you into the entrepreneur you are today?
When I was younger, when I was in high school, my mom got me internship with the Errins Corporation which is kinda like a rental center. I got to learn firsthand under the CEO. I learned a lot about business, about how to treat customers, on what to do, what not to do. I also saw the CEO, how much flexibility he had, how much he loved his job. And I also got to experience the 9 to 5 grind and working weekends and all of the things that go into corporate life. And it made me really not want to do that, but to get to that CEO level, where he had the freedom to be on the golf course and still run his business from his phone. I always wanted to aspire to do that because I knew that the alternative was getting into the 9 to 5.
My biggest influencer was my mom. She started a business, when I was very young. She was a teacher and she didn’t like the school that she was working on. She thought that it wasn’t great for the kids and the parents weren’t happy. So, she ended up starting her own school and a lot of the parents switched over. And I kinda saw her grow her school and move to different locations that were bigger and bigger as I continue to grow up. And she recently retired last year. So, I got to experience not only how hard she worked but the dedication it took, how much she loved her job, what kind of things to do, what kind of issues and problems she ran into, like leases expiring, and stuff like that. I really got a feel for what it was like to run a business.
Right now, I am working on FreeeUp.com, the hands-on way to hire remote workers. What I wanted to do was to make it easier to hire. Because in my first company, I realized, I was spending so much time on HR, and I just didn’t want to do that anymore. And I always wished that there was a better solution than going on job boards and posting jobs and getting a lot of applicants and then not having to do that whole interview process. So, what I did at FreeeUp was I made it so we do all the work for you. We have a great interview process that I created myself. We have 15 pages of communication guidelines that workers have to memorize and get tested on. So we know that these workers are pre-vetted before we get them first come, first serve to our clients.
It really is an awesome experience when you start a new company, you’ll never know what the feedback is going to be like. It’s been overwhelmingly positive and it is something that I am really dedicated to for years to come.
The start of my project is I kinda mentioned before, I ran an Amazon business for years. I started a multi-million Amazon business out of my college dorm room. And I just didn’t like the whole hiring-interview process. I remember being in a room with my business partner Connor doing interview after interview, first round, second round, and then just sitting in a meeting afterwards being like, “Is this person good?” And we’ll be looking into more resumes, and then spending time doing that. It took up so much time. I remember getting so frustrated when we would spend all that time and then all of a sudden that worker would quit two weeks into the job. Then we’ll just start right over. I hated that experience and I wanted a solution.
Our products and services are unique because there is nothing else like it out there that does that pre-vetting for you. But also, it is hands on along the process to make you have a good experience. A lot of the companies are just too big. They don’t have that hands-on approach. They also don’t have that turn-over guarantee. If you use our platform and a worker quits, you just have to start right over. They don’t help you in anyway. They don’t get you someone new. They don’t cover any of the costs. And on top of that, we’re also the only fast hiring platform that I know of. We allow our workers to interview with our clients for 10 to 15 minutes because we have already prevetted them. And just like clients come to us to skip interviews and to make that process faster, our workers come to us to avoid long interviews as well. So it’s the only fast hiring platform that I know of.
Who are your potential customers?
Our potential customers, right now are focused on ecommerce but we have a lot of non-ecommerce clients as well. It’s really business owners that for one way or another, either they hate doing interviews, hate the whole HR process – don’t have the time for it, or people that just need access to talent quickly. If you have a one-time project, you don’t want to spend a week recruiting for that 2-hour project. It would just take so long. So, those are really our clients – business owners.
Give the readers the best entrepreneurship advice you have.
The best advice I have is to diversify. I learned this lesson the hard way back in my first Amazon company. We were completely relying on one vendor and then all of a sudden when I was on vacation, and I tell this story to a lot of podcasts, our vendor dropped us and then we really had to start over. So two years’ worth of work was out the door. And so, I learned from this to diversify in all aspects of your business. That means on the hiring side, make sure your whole business isn’t relying on one person, and I they quit you’re screwed. On the revenue side, make sure you’re not dependent on one thing. Make sure you have multiple sources of revenue. Make sure you have different suppliers. Don’t make your business completely relying on one person or one thing.
Which tools do you use?
I use Skype. I’m the fastest person on Skype I’ve ever met. It’s a go to for me. I can talk to people from all over the world very quickly, have calls, have chats. And that’s really the go to for me. I also use Jira for our developers because organizing developers is a little bit of a process. And it’s a new tool that I was put on to really help with that sort of thing.
Teach us something about hiring.
So you have to motivate your team because the biggest thing that kills companies is turn over. So, the goal when you hire someone is you want them to be there long term. Even if they are not full time, even if they are one-time projects. You want someone you can give work back to in the future. Someone you can depend on. It’s just like having a really good mechanic or really good plumber that you want, you want these people in your back pocket. So, the way that you do that is by treating them well and a lot of clients don’t realize that there are two sides of it. Yes, you are paying them and they need that money to survive. But they also have lots of opportunities from other people. So, what separates you? What separates you is building a really great company culture where people want to work, people want to deliver, where they feel like their work is rewarded. So, just doing the little things like telling them how much you appreciate them. getting their feedback, ask them what they like and don’t like. Really introducing them to a team, rather than just letting them do specific tasks that they have no idea how it affects the company. And also let them know when they do something well, help increase your sales or does something else. Show them how their work affects the overall big picture.
Where do you see yourself and your product in a couple of years?
I really see FreeeUp growing. We’ve been growing at a very rapid pace. We obviously are only as good as our workers, so we want to continue to recruit high level workers to help us along the process. And I really see this growing. I mean, there is no one out there that has those hands on solution to all the hiring nightmares that we have today. And the end goal – I don’t know. I’m very much a short term business person, I’m always looking at the next day, the next week, the next month, more than next five years because if you had told me five years ago that I wouldn’t be selling as much on Amazon, and that I’d be more focused on FreeeUp, I wouldn’t have believed you. So, I don’t know what the future has in store but I’m extremely excited about what FreeeUp has to offer.