Gareth Herman lived in a tool shed only a year before he turned his life and business around! Now, he is turning a million a year in his practice and marketing firm. He leads us through his journey and offers valuable hacks and advice to think like a millionaire in your life and business. Hope you enjoy the candid conversation.
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The Six Figure Practice with Sasha Raskin, is an online program and community for helpers such as counselors and coaches, who are building their private practice. If you’re looking for a clear, step-by-step road map for creating and marketing your private practice, you're at the right place!
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My name is Sasha Raskin. I’m a Number 1 Best Selling Co-Author in 12 Countries, a Doctoral student in Counseling Education and Supervision, a coach, a psychotherapist and an adjunct faculty at a graduate counseling program at Naropa University.
One of the things I’m enjoying the most is helping other therapists and coaches build their successful private practice so that they could actually help the clients they were taught to help, and thrive themselves. I’m almost always fully booked, so my ability to work with individuals is limited. That is why I’ve created this program to deliver powerful results and create a community where you will feel supported by each other!
This program's primary goal is to help you build a thriving private practice, in a fun and authentic way. Counselors and coaches invest an incredible amount of time, money, and effort into building their helping skills. However, when their training ends, they usually find themselves lacking the business skills that are needed to start and run a successful private practice, feel isolated, discouraged and not knowing where to start.
I believe that to be truly helpful to others, therapists and coaches have to learn to thrive themselves and definitely know how to get clients whom they can help.
This is where this program comes in. If you're willing to learn and work hard, a 6-figure private practice is within your reach in a year - 2 years. This program will give you a clear outline, and detailed instructions on how to get there.
From living in a storage to 1 million in revenue_ Interview with Gareth Herman (coach and marketer)
Sasha Raskin: Hi, Gareth.
Gareth Herman: Hi. Great to be on here, great to talk with you.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, it's been a while since we connected and I'm glad to hear that so many good things happened since we last talked. So this is the six figure practice podcast and we'll be talking today to Gareth Herman. You will talk us through what you're doing in the moment. But we know each other the good old networking days in the local Boulder Chamber of Commerce, you were coach and I was a coach and a therapist. And I think this conversation will be very interesting for the people who are listening because you were a coach and you phased out of being a coach to something better, well, bigger, and you have a very unique perspective looking back at the whole journey not being in it right now.
So a great way to start is for you to share where have you been there and what are you doing currently.
Gareth Herman: Absolutely. Thanks. Thanks for teeing that up. So this was several years ago, I started off as a coach, my coach business was called North Star Consulting and my target audience was small business owners and I was helping them with their marketing and their operations and also around their mindset and their emotions around their own business growth. So when I started that I was literally living in a tool shed up in North Boulder because I was able to live there for $300 a month. I literally ... I think I made $20,000 the first year I did coaching and grew my coaching practice significantly over time.
And really what I realized as I learned the business lessons of building a service based business and growing it was that coaching for me as a business model was actually a stepping stone to a larger vision that I had for myself and a larger business that I wanted to build. So I actually was using it as a source of cash flow to then fund my next venture, which I've been working on for the past three years. I started Magic which is a performance marketing agency and in 2018 with a business partner. And the purpose of Magic is to scale up conscious magicians and businesses, and so we do that through paid advertising and digital marketing.
And we've done some pretty cool things in the past three years, for example, we ran Marianne Williamson’s presidential campaign and we also ran the decriminalized Denver campaign which decriminalized psilocybin in the City of Denver for any of those mental health and psychedelic listeners out there.
So it's been a wild ride, and we've grown now from just being me and my business partner initiating the business to we have 16 employees, we have about 30 contractors that we work with, we did a million in revenue last year and we're on track to do two million this year. And we're in this stage of really building out our management team and layer now. And the business is really set for the next stage of growth and scale, so we're talking at a very interesting time.
Sasha Raskin: That can be a good name for a book I guess, from a tool shed to a million dollars in revenue in less than how many years would you say?
Gareth Herman: Well, let's see, when I started the coaching business was beginning of 2016. So four years, yeah. I mean, it was the point ... I was literally like I had a bicycle, I didn't have a car and I would go down to the library and I would get books by like Tony Robbins and People. I couldn't afford, I didn't have an Amazon account, I couldn't afford it so I was just getting books from the library and biking everywhere. I had like one nice shirt. I was eating rice and beans and lettuce and hot sauce, that was my main meal of choice.
Sasha Raskin: Well, speaking of sauce, what do you think is the main ingredient in that success, in that transformation?
Gareth Herman: I would say that personal development is the foundation for business success. So what I did, and I was criticized for this by some of my peers, is I really focused on my mindset, my emotional intelligence. I started living my life like the person in the next stage of life would even before I had it.
Sasha Raskin: Yes, the fake it till you make it.
Gareth Herman: Right, yeah. And I would ... I started doing a morning routine or I started living my life like a CEO even though I wasn't a CEO. So even though I was a coach I was already reading books on how CEOs operate their lives, how CEOs operate businesses and embodying those practices. I learned about visualization and goal setting and habit tracking and strategic planning, time blocking, task management, priority management, strategic planning, the whole nine yards. And I started actually running my coaching business like the CEO of a large company would run their business.
Now not to say that you should take a corporate strategy for growing a small business, but those mindsets and the principles and how you would live your life, I mean, there's serious lifestyle changes I made in terms of when I went to bed, I started having a bedtime and a morning routine, I stopped drinking, I would lay out my tasks for the next day, I would have created long-term goals and short-term goals and a strategic plan to make that. I would schedule my time and block it and block time for ... and I would get coaching around things that I had resistance towards, for example, marketing and sales I hated doing as a coach, and I literally like would get so anxious I would feel like I would throw up like trying to talk about my services and meet prospective clients. And so I also invested in coaching in my own mindset to help me on that journey.
So I would say the foundation is personal development, and that's what ... because it's all about the identity, right? If you think about the iceberg model, everyone wants different outcomes and the outcomes come from actions but those actions come from habits which come from behaviors which come from beliefs, and beneath the layer of beliefs is the layer of identity and who you believe you are and that self-image, and so I feel that the shift needs to happen internally first for those external results to become available to you.
Sasha Raskin: So you focused on the mindset really, right? The business that you're going to build is an extension of you, right? And the way you do one thing many times is the way you do all things, so take care of your own goal first. We actually do that in the first model of the six figure practice program, mindset, just like let's take care of all those beliefs. At least start the journey, right? Good luck with taking care of it in a week, but definitely start asking the questions.
Gareth Herman: And just to build on that if I may.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, of course.
Gareth Herman: So mindset is a piece of it, I would say that there's the mind, there's the emotional body, your physical body, and I would also call sort of your essence or your spirit. And I would say that actually, and that maybe we're just using different terms, but all of those layers are very important to work on in my opinion. So for example, connecting to that more the spirit level like what's the why, what's your motivation, what's the purpose, what's the fuel, why are you here is really important. Also your physical body, I was changing my diet and not drinking coffee and working out and doing all these things to impact my physical state, because that was the easiest way to impact my emotional state and my mindset was to go do a workout or connect with peers and also then working on the emotional layer of whatever happened in my past. And then all of that influences the mindset then of the beliefs and so on and so forth.
So I feel like that humans are this complex thing and we have all these interrelated systems, and I personally believe you have to be working on all of them all the time in order to create success for yourself or live your best life or go up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to that self-actualization trajectory.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, for sure. I think the people that could benefit from today's podcast mostly probably are already at some point of growth that is happening, and if you're a mental health counselor or coach and you're already at the point where you may be reaching that ceiling of being self-employed and are thinking, "Well, how can I grow this? Maybe remove myself a little bit as a bottleneck from this thing so I won't need to do it all on my own but I'll still be able to grow," I think you have a lot of good things to say about that.
And also I think you have a lot to contribute to the people that are just at the beginning. So if you go back to that first year of being a coach, and you said that it was an important jumping stone towards what you're doing today, what was most helpful in that period in terms of growing besides mindset, in terms of strategies?
Gareth Herman: Well, I would say that for me it was all about marketing and sales, those were the things that helped me get to the next stage, because I feel like most people that are passionate about something naturally look at those materials. Like, if you're into coaching generally you love coaching and it's exciting and you study it and you get better at it naturally, and then there's things that are outside of your comfort zone and I would take inventory about what are those things outside of your comfort zone - they could be different, right? Some people could be marketing, sales, operation, legal, finance are usually the different buckets that are the ingredients of a successful business.
And so most people, myself included, do what's called hiding in your business where you hide in the buckets that you're comfortable with and that you love and you avoid the areas that are uncomfortable that will help you grow. So for me I was awesome at operations, great with finance, legal, no problem at that stage, and I was awesome at service delivery. And it was really all about marketing and sales that were my main challenges, and that's where I really had to push myself to get outside my comfort zone. That's why I had a coach myself to overcome imposter syndrome, social anxiety, fear of rejection, all the stuff that I'm sure you're familiar with.
So I would say that that in addition to having mentorship. I got my uncle to be my millionaire mentor, and so we set a goal, "Okay, I'm going to be millionaire by the time I'm 30 years old, and so can you guide me on that journey?" And so he was able to give me advice. So getting the mentorship, getting the books, trainings, investing in myself to learn about marketing and sales. And so I got a sales mentor as well to help me study sales and I just hit the pavement really hard. So I used a very 80/20 strategy of clearly defining who's my target audience, what's my buyer persona, identifying where those people were, and then also where are groups of those people and employed a channel marketing strategy.
So with those two strategies I just went super hard in the pain of going to events and going to places and joining groups where I knew there would already be my buyer persona or target audience, there'd be groups of them. And so that was my most direct approach of just finding those people, building relationships and making asks. That was the 80/20. And I think a lot of people avoid that, they go and they want to like do social media or post some stuff online or do these things that are less, maybe send out a newsletter, an email, but really the easiest thing to do is just ask for referrals, ask your network for introductions and show up to where your customers are.
And actually one cool tip if you're at that stage is that you can actually do a two-in-one where you can say that you're doing market research and interview who your target audience is to (a) learn more about them and then publish a sort of report that solves a key problem that they have, which automatically positions you as an expert and also sets up a potential session with the person that you did the market research with or at the very least you can ask them for an introduction. So that was a cool strategy that I did early on.
Sasha Raskin: That's wonderful. So you're saying something that I think should be pretty obvious and yet many coaches and counselors totally miss it, which is loan mo of what you don't know versus more of what you do know, right? Many coaches and counselors just get more and more trainings about helping people, right? If I'm a coach, well, I can just read more books about being a better coach or if I'm a counselor I'm just going to get training after training, and completely avoiding the fact that they have not probably received any education in business in terms of sales and marketing and probably have some strong aversion emotionally to even hearing those words, right? I'm sure that at least part of the people that were listening to you and just now and hold sales and marketing there was like some reaction right there.
And the second one is finding someone that knows the road ahead, that's one, and also to keep yourself accountable. I remember when back in the days I was very impressed with how accountability was structured into your day. You shared, I don't know if you still do that, like literally every morning talking to your partners and keeping each other accountable.
Gareth Herman: Yeah, they're actually involved into a whole business called exponential which my brother isn't running now. But what we found was that at a certain stage of personal development it's you understand the mindset stuff, you understand the goal setting, you understand taking action but then the X factor is actually doing what's in your plan and executing it. So we would do ... I mean, we started off so hardcore, it's like a hundred dollars for each daily habit that you missed you had to pay to someone, or you could do an ice bucket challenge, dump ice water over yourself, for each weekly goal you didn't hit, or we just call each other three times a day to make sure that you weren't self-sabotaging yourself. I mean, we tried everything in order to make sure that we could actually do the thing.
And it's ironic, now I'm sort of at the point where I'm doing the opposite, where I've done that to such an extreme that I'm now sort of looking at loosening up and relaxing and letting go and trusting and surrendering. But that stage of the game it was about pushing through the emotional resistance and taking the action. Having social accountability was a key component of that, and you can get that with a peer group, a coach or a mentor, an advisor. But to your point - don't do it alone.
You can waste years of your life, it's so painful for me to see a lot of coaches because it's a very clear framework and roadmap of how to grow and scale a coaching business, you do not need to revamp the wheel. And I just can't recommend that people ... don't try to do it alone and it's not something that ... if you want to stick to your lane of coaching then hire an expert or someone else to show you the way, because it's been done, it's not that hard and it'll cut years off of your timeline to get that support.
Sasha Raskin: Well, if someone is listening and thinking or watching, "Well, yeah, and working with someone else would cost money. I can save that money if I just do it all on my own." What would your answer to that be?
Gareth Herman: Well, I would say that that is some short-term thinking, and that's a breakthrough that everyone gets to have, and this goes back to the identity piece, because if you believe that you are successful of doing the thing then you can see this as an investment and you will get a return on that investment and there's a longer time frame. So for example, let's say a course cost $5,000, $10,000, $1,000, whatever it is, understanding that, and this is the business owner mindset, this is why the identity is so important, because as a solopreneur everyone's focused on the cash this month or the cash this quarter or how much money is in my bank account. And then there's a mindset shift that needs to happen when you go to a business owner where you understand that making investments and getting returns and even leveraging debt to grow the business and there's this internal sense of confidence and security that you need to have in place to know that if you make an investment you'll get a return. And that's just a foundational shift that people go through.
My experience is that everyone just has to go through that, and it can take people years or it can take people months. It just depends on how quickly people can recognize that, see that and snap out of it. But most of the times people have to suffer in order to really have that breakthrough. They need to suffer for a long time before they're like, "You know what? I'm finally ready for change." And that's the main driver. And my wish, my hope is that people could see that sooner and quicker that if they just made an investment they would save themselves a lot of time and money and overcome that sort of emotional experience that gets in the way.
Sasha Raskin: It's interesting that you say that, I just like an hour ago I had a consultation with a potential client who became a client, and at the part, when talking about the investment part I started with a disclaimer, "Well, I'm not the cheapest coach." And it kind of unfolded into a bigger conversation about money, and I thought that person sign up to be a coaching client and ask them, "Well, what's your takeaway?" Which is probably a little tip for the listeners - never end a consultation call with money. A nice way to end it is just to ask for a takeaway from the conversation. And he said, "Well, yeah, if I want to be successful I need to invest the money." And I totally agree. I pay my coach 2400 a month. And yes, please take my money, because I'm buying dollars with a discount. It's that simple for me.
Gareth Herman: And I think that there is business considerations to take. For example, we built our first website on Squarespace and that was a great investment of just a little bit of time to sort of get us to the base level where it needed to be, but then we knew that the next website that we did we need to pay someone else to do it. And so there is a time to DIY hack and just get your game to the next level, but once you're established at that level then you always need to make an investment to go to the next one. So let's not make wrong for anyone for DIY-ing, bootstrapping, that's a really important part of business. And then the phrase that I love is to think about what got me here isn't going to get me there.
Sasha Raskin: Exactly.
Gareth Herman: And so to really have that discernment of knowing when, when is bootstrapping actually getting in the way of my growth and when is it serving me. And that's just a muscle and a skill that you get to learn over time as you go through that a lot of times. Because it happens at every stage in the game, even now, I mean, I'm thinking about making certain investments for my business that are going to cost a lot of money and at the same time it's the same thing, it's a new level, new devil. It's almost the same pattern repeating itself where you just add a couple zeros to the numbers that you were worried about a couple years ago, and it's the same thing all over again.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, exactly right. So tell me how did you gradually transition, or not gradually, from being a coach to running a marketing agency?
Gareth Herman: Yeah, so my coaching business I realized that for me, this is why, again, going back to personal development, getting clear on that vivid vision for the future, getting clear on your why, setting your goals and having them be smart goals written out helped me actually realize that my coaching business was a stepping stone to get me to the kind of impact and the life that I really wanted to have. And then I realized that every business is hard to start and takes a while to become successful. And so if I wanted ... so my thinking to myself was, "Swing big early in the count. I'm 26 years old. What if like instead of being too afraid to really go for the thing I wanted, what if I just went for that instead of trying to build the stepping stone?"
Sasha Raskin: Interesting.
Gareth Herman: So what I did with my coaching business is I kind of ... I sort of leapfrogged it, and I'll share the story with you, because I was also pragmatic, I wasn't just like, "I'm going to trust in my inspiration and just fully put my heart and soul into everything, into something and have no financial foundation." So my leapfrog approach was I was actually doing landscaping before I was doing coaching. So I was making $12 an hour landscaping. And then I realized I could do a hundred dollars an hour coaching at the time, I think that was like what I was charging when I started off.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, that's an X10 jump. It's not a bad jump.
Gareth Herman: Yeah. So then what I did is I started ... I would try to get as many coaching clients as I could so I could stop doing as much landscaping. So at a certain point after a time I was doing no landscaping gigs and I just had my coaching. And then from that base I then started working on my marketing agency with my business partner. And I actually worked on a series of different start-ups, but I wanted to create a scalable business and have a larger impact in society. And I also wanted to create a large amount of financial security for myself and also my parents, I have a vision for this farm that I want to recreate that I grew up on.
Sasha Raskin: Oh, that's funny. Me too, farm here too, yeah. It's funny.
Gareth Herman: Yeah, I was born on a farm in Southern Portugal and I would like to get back to that community-oriented, nature-connected lifestyle. And so I said, "Okay, if I want to achieve that goal I need to have financial resource in there to make that happen." And also I want to create that financial resource in a way that's in alignment with my values and my vision for making the world a better place. So coaching business was then cash flow gig while I was working on scalable start-ups, and I went through about two or three that I failed at before building Magic. So that was then my model for what I call leapfrogging where you get your financial foundation set so that you can think and play big without being in fight or flight, bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy, scarcity mode.
Sasha Raskin: I think one of the most dangerous biases that we have is the all-or-nothing approach or the either-or, it's either I'm going to devote myself to this one thing and completely abandon my day job or I just need to stay at my day job, for example. Well, no, you can actually go your passion project while you still have your cash project, right? Until that one becomes both. It's a great approach.
Same with DIY by the way, you can do it do it yourself completely or you can do it done for you completely or you can do it done with you, which I think something that you mentioned with your uncle, was it? That mentored you. He didn't do the work for you but he showed you where to go, right? Pointed you in the right direction. So I think there's a sweet spot, right? Yeah, you can build your website but why not have someone tell you how to write the text so that the website would be actually doing what it's supposed to do, to have people call you, right? Or build the website yourself but, for example, in our program we have a lesson called how to build a website in 17 minutes, so just follow the steps and you'll have a website done in 17 minutes, done, faster than any other counselor or mental health therapist out there.
So what would be your advice to coaches or therapists who reached a point where they're full, they have more than enough clients, they're already turning people away and they still want to grow, right? They're just maxed out in terms of their capacity and time. What could be maybe the biggest obstacle to their growth and what could be the next most logical step for them?
Gareth Herman: Well, based on how you responded to my previous answer, my generic answer would be mindset and that identity shift of going to really an entrepreneurial or business owner and operator mindset. But if people are already well-versed in the inner game then I would answer more tactically and say that if you already are really good at understanding that sort of identity shift that needs to happen to go from being fully maxed out to managing and running a business and you get the inner game piece of that, I would say tactically there's going to be two sides of the business, "There's going to be service delivery and there's going to be sort of marketing and sales. And in the middle is operations, HR, legal and finance, are the sort of the in-between that hold those two together."
But the two things to focus on are creating a methodology for your practice, right? So whatever you do creating a five-step process, ten-step process, the unique methodology that you have. And creating SOPs or standard operating procedures so that anyone, a highly skilled coach or whatever, can use that methodology so that it's scalable, repeatable and trainable so that you can always be confident that you're going to be able to on-board new talent and have them deliver service at quality. And then at the same time, over on the other side, you also need to have a systematic process for generating new leads, nurturing those leads and converting those leads into sales. And that's what I would say to be the foundation.
And you're always going to be stressed because you're always going to either have too much ... too many clients and not enough talent or you're going to have too much talent and not enough clients, and both of those are a painful position to be in, and welcome to the rest of your life.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, be careful for what you wish for, right?
Gareth Herman: Yeah, exactly.
Sasha Raskin: So one thing that you're saying - team, that's unavoidable if you want to keep on growing without burning out completely, right? It's not about ... well, I think Dan Kennedy said it in a very nice way, he said, "At least in North America it's not that big of a deal to create a successful business," right? Definitely different for different people and from where you start from, but what is a big deal is to create a successful business while having a great lifestyle, right?
So are you just creating another job for yourself where you're busier and more burned out or, the second thing you mentioned, do you create the systems that could be put in place, assessed and improved with time and delegated to different people? So can you share a little bit about the team part, how did you go from right at the beginning of Magic, right? How many people were you? It was you and two other people. What was the next step in terms of growing a team? And what were you three doing, what were your responsibilities?
Gareth Herman: We did everything - take out the trash, do marketing, do sales, deliver the service that we were providing. We literally did everything. And so the first thing that you want to do is to be aware of everything that you are doing. So what I would recommend there is creating an inventory list, taking inventory, taking stock of yourself - what are you actually doing every day and learning how to just set that up into different buckets. Because you'll find that some of your tasks are administrative, some of your tasks are finance-related, some of your tasks are operations, some of them are service delivery and most people don't even know what they're doing all the day, they roughly do, but if you actually write it out that's the first step.
So what you can then do is you can create a role, so then assigning a set of tasks and responsibilities to a role and then you can hire for that role. So for example, some low hanging fruit oftentimes for coaches are a bookkeeper. That may sound obvious but not to some, or someone else using an app or an administrative assistant for scheduling or things like that. And then you keep on getting those sort of low value tasks off of your plate. You can also do a sort of dollars per hour audit of how valuable is this task, once you have that audit complete you can start assigning dollar values to it.
And so then you want to get rid of the bottom of the bucket as quickly as possible - all the admin stuff, all the stuff that's out of your expertise, you're not good at. Until you get to the point where you need to replace yourself, so that if you need to train another therapist or coach that is ... the first couple hires are extremely important and this is where you can screw it up, so this is the most important part to pay attention to is what are those first real hires because they will either make or break your business in that very vulnerable stage. So what can be helpful in that is being very clear about what is the vision of the business, what are the values of the business and using those plus more so a character assessment to assess that first hire that comes on to actually support you with the actual service that you're doing. And I would rate technical ability as actually lower or less important than the character and the values alignment.
Sasha Raskin: Oh, I so agree.
Gareth Herman: Yeah. Now when you're starting off you kind of need to hit the nail perfectly on the head, meaning that you hire someone that can hit the ground running with very little training and be vision and values-aligned and really show up powerfully. Now, and as you grow you have more time to find not the right people and train them and so on and so forth. But that's what I would ... I would say that interviewing so that there's sourcing like those people, interviewing them and qualifying them and making that hire. And I would say that I just gave you some tips for interviewing.
The next tip I would give is do contract to hire or do a dating period before you actually bring them on full time and/or you can also leap frog that. Let's say you just contract someone like, "Hey, I'd like you to take two clients off my plate a week. We're going to test this relationship out and just have you take one or two clients off my plate and see how it goes." And then you can sort of increase their contract or you can bring them full time, but please date before you get married in those first couple hires. It's really important.
Now with the team stuff, so that's the stuff on hiring, then it's also about role clarity - clearly defining what success looks like for them and actually having a great job description where you're saying like, "Hey, this is actually what I want you to do. This is what success looks like." And then having a recurring meeting structure with them to check in on them, to see how they're doing emotionally, and that's where you get to use your own coaching or therapeutic skills in supporting them in their role but then also helping them set their goals, hit their own KPIs and check in with them frequently. So that's on the talent side.
And then back to the systems, that's also where you start to get those systems in place because those are the two things that happen in tandem - it is building out the systems, bringing on the people because the people need to follow the systems and those systems need to be able to scale and be trainable. So those pieces of the puzzle need to happen at the same time.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, how does it feel to delegate so much? One of the biggest obstacles I think for entrepreneurs who understand that they need a team to grow is the reluctance to do so, right? It's either I'm the only one who can do a good job at it, or it's like a lack of trust or thinking that it would be more complicated to explain how to do something than actually doing it yourself, what would you say, and I guess it's back to the mindset piece, how to work with that fear of delegating?
Gareth Herman: Yes. I would say first off normalize it. Everyone struggles to delegate and what you mentioned or I'll just name some, there's actually I think seven common limiting beliefs to delegation, that's going to take more time than if I were to just do it myself, they're not going to do this as good as I could do it, they could make mistakes, I like to have control over it, quality. I can't name all seven of them, but everyone's going to go through all of them so just say like, "Hey, it's completely normal." And then just if you can identify them see which ones you have and then work through them, that will enable you to effectively delegate. And to effectively delegate means to clearly define the desired outcome. If you want people to use a red pen, you got to tell them to use the red pen. So it sounds simple, but clearly define the outcome, provide them with the tools, training and resources to succeed.
Then there's an important piece of stepping away and actually letting them do the thing, potentially even make a mistake and have to learn from it. And then follow up with them and make sure they are learning and growing and improving. And that's part of growing up as a business leader is you have to realize that you're going to hire people and they're going to screw things up and you're going to be responsible for them and you're going to have to deal with the client that's upset, and that's part of being a business owner and leaning into that and accepting that. It's like if you have a people pleaser that needs to make sure that everyone's going to be happy all the time, you got some inner work to do because not all your clients are going to be happy all the time, neither are your employees, and that's part of being a human is dealing with the interpersonal stuff in terms of growing a business.
Sasha Raskin: Nicely said. So how does life look like right now? You have more moving pieces together, how many hours a week do you work? I'm curious.
Gareth Herman: That's a great question. I usually work from around 8:00AM or 9:00AM to about 5:00PM or 6:00PM, Monday through Friday. So I don't know how many hours that is.
Sasha Raskin: Math is not good with ... business people and math ...
Gareth Herman: I would say that's like probably on average 10 hours a day, so 50 hours a week.
Sasha Raskin: And what are the parts that you enjoy the most?
Gareth Herman: For me it's kind of like what we ... I don't know if we're saying this before, they call it that it's almost like building Legos for adults. For me it's actually, and this will be different for everyone, so just because this is it for me doesn't mean, you know, my business partner is so different than I and he loves different things, but for me it's sort of the strategy and the creativity of creating the direction for the business and understanding where we need to go next. I will literally go on walks in nature, I will do meditations and I will get intuitive hits around what are the next things I need to do with the business and I love that creative experience of just being in creation, of contemplating something, having an insight and then being able to take massive action on that because it's not just me but I'm taking leveraged action through my team that's exhilarating and thrilling. And that's a big piece of it, just having that joy and experience of creation, of coming out of inspiration into action.
And then I also ... yeah, I love the working with people, helping them grow, mentor and train everyone on my team, helping them in their personal lives, helping them in their professional lives. Just seeing people grow and transform is really rewarding for me. And I would say those are the top two things that I enjoy.
And then I will nerd out on things like, for example, I love building systems and processes and so I will ... if I have a new problem to solve I love to architect a new workflow or how it's going to work and then work with the team to implement and execute.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, you're looking to the side because you have a wide board there.
Gareth Herman: Yeah, I have a large screen which I usually do all my work on.
Sasha Raskin: Gareth, if someone is listening or watching and thinking, "Well, I have this, I'm on this crossroad, I can keep let's say 20 clients a week. I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing. I can just start saying no, a waiting list or send people away. Or I can potentially grow it into something else, either do one-to-many or for groups, reduce the one-to-ones. Or hire other coaches or counselors," what would you say are the questions they need to ask themselves to decide if this is the right thing for them?
Gareth Herman: Yeah, so I love it. Tony Robbins actually addressed this, he says, "Create your life plan before you create your business plan." So in the corporate world you have what's called the golden handcuffs where you go to college and you graduate and you get this job and then you have the beautiful girlfriend or boyfriend and then you get the dogs and then you get a house and then you need to make more money. And then next thing you know 20 years later you have a midlife crisis because you did all this stuff to have the money to afford the lifestyle but then you realize that your job is your main lifestyle, you hate it.
So the same thing could happen with your own business which is building yourself into a business model that traps you, and that's the entrepreneurial handcuffs, which is if you're not cognizant of how business models works and the impacts they have on your lifestyle you can build yourself a job that you hate even though it's like scaling or growing or making a lot of revenue or is societally successful. It can make you miserable. So what I would encourage people to do is to do a wheel of life assessment and look at health, relationships, spirituality, business, finance, everything that's in the wheel of life and assess like where you are and where you want, what you want it to be and what you want it to look like. And then also to look three, five, ten years down in the future - what do you want your lifestyle to be like?
And once you have that vision go back and look at your current business model and use that to make a decision about how do I chart the course from here, because you will most certainly have to work a lot more if you try to create a scalable business for a number of years before it can get to the point where you can sort of replace yourself out of all of those roles and so on and so forth. So it's a lot of work to really go down the business builder path, and it could be really nice to just stay as a coach or a therapist where you get your waiting list, you suddenly you become much more selective, you can charge more money and you can have a much better lifestyle and make a lot of money and do the thing you love. Or you can be into having a larger impact and providing an income for others and having more of your services be available at scale, like you said, the one-to-many, online, courses, workshops, train the trainer, hiring other people to do it for you. There's all these ways that you can have a more leveraged impact, but it's a very different lifestyle, mindset and journey that you go on as a result.
So it really depends on what are you optimizing for, what do you want your lifestyle to look like, and then choosing the right business model for your lifestyle and vision.
Sasha Raskin: I love that. And sometimes I think there is resistance to change because of the grief that comes up with taking a new path, right? It's like letting go of the old path. And in your journey it looks like there is a distinctive chapter of coaching and then the other part which is running a marketing agency but you're still doing coaching today.
Gareth Herman: Absolutely. I mean, that's the number one skill that I'm trying to impart on my own managers now is how to coach, because at the end of the day our business is it's a service-based business and it's we have clients and we have our employees, and it's all people. And actually I'm even trying to train my account managers on how to deal with clients because everything that comes up in a client-customer relationship is all the stuff we all deal with relationships. There's like emotional manipulation, there's not clean communication, there's guilt, shame, blame, all the things that come up and you create all these nasty dynamics. So whether it's conflict with another teammate or a client or whatever, everyone's always going through something or on their own personal edge in their own role of taking on too much work because they have low self-worth or having something to prove or they're people pleaser or ... you know all that stuff that gets in people's way. That's exactly all business is and that stuff coming of all the time.
Sasha Raskin: Yeah, so I totally agree. And that's how next journeys happen, right? When you go to next level you take with you all your skills from the previous games you played. The next game would definitely include all of those, right? So in a way nothing ever ends. That's how I see it. Well, it can sound like a cliché, but that's how I feel.
Gareth, it's been such a pleasure talking to you. I know that ... well, you're such an expert on marketing, maybe there's some way that the listeners or the people who which can get some of that expertise ... well, we talked before that probably your services would be too costly for therapists and coaches, and you mentioned you have a product that can show them how to do that on their own.
Gareth Herman: Yeah, if we go back to this piece of the conversation, once you start having more talent or more capacity to serve then you suddenly need a scalable and repeatable way to get more customers if you want to grow, right? Because you can't just rely on referrals, that should be the foundations of growing your business. But at some point you want to have control over how many more leads come in and how much more sales come in, and that's when people usually step out of ... there's two options for that - usually people go with outbound sales or they'll do marketing essentially. And we could go into a whole sort of strategy for how to do that or how a coach would do that, either in terms of inbound marketing and outbound marketing and the different strategies there, we could unpack that a little bit more.
But with what you're referring to is my business, Magic, has a program called the digital marketing accelerator in which we teach people how to build their first Facebook funnel to get new leads and customers with inspiration and purpose, and using marketing that's ethical and vision and values-aligned, all along the way from the copy to the targeting and so that you can feel good about your marketing as opposed to feeling it's this slimy nasty thing that you're trying to do.
So it's an A to Z process. Essentially if you can't afford to hire us as an agency, most of our clients are paying us around $20,000 a month and are spending about a hundred thousand dollars a month in ads, that's sort of the scale that we're playing at. For most businesses they need a lot less for that, and so we've taken our agency process, compressed it into several steps that you can DIY. Again, going back to that concept that we talked earlier of how can we just DIY till we get to the next stage where it can make sense to bring on either a contractor or a freelancer or someone you find on Upwork, and then you eventually get to the level where you need an agency or you build an in-house team, and that's the progression there.
Sasha Raskin: Wonderful. Gareth, I wish you all the best. This has been fun. I'm excited to hear what's next. Where would you like to be three years from now? What do you imagine?
Gareth Herman: Yeah, so Magic is sort of at the scale now where we've entered the marketplace and entered a beachhead as a niche in terms of performance marketing and paid advertising, and so there's a couple opportunities for expansion for us, and one is to continue to expand our services to be a go-to source for people, so that would mean adding on additional channels of marketing, different kinds of marketing, maybe even going into branding, creatives, video production or into web development and sort of what's the entire digital package and becoming a full service agency, still serving these same existing clients. And the other thing is innovating on ... or another piece is innovating on who we serve.
As I mentioned I think before we started talking or as we did is that we're really passionate about elevating human consciousness, we see that plant medicines are a big way to do that. And so becoming more involved and we're sort of known in that industry as having the most marketing expertise and how to market plant medicines and psychedelics, services and products, so that's a vertical that we're going to continue to grow into.
And on the other side also reaching more into the corporate space, working with CSR, corporate social responsibility, essentially to work on sustainability and social impact campaigns for larger companies, and that's something that I would like to see us do in the next three years. And that's more of the reach. The other two pieces of the strategy that I mentioned are already happening if you will.
Sasha Raskin: Exciting. Thank you so much, Gareth.
Gareth Herman: Thank you. It's been a pleasure.