and Robert have a wonderful conversation about how Lindsey became an entrepreneur to take better care of her family and just figured it out. She found so many authors hated marketing and she decided this was a problem she could solve. Lindsey figured out what she wanted and then she figured out who to serve and she created a business to make that happen.
A little bit about Lindsey...
Lindsey Hartz was the owner, lead marketing consultant and book launch strategist from 2011 - 2021 at the Hartz Agency, a boutique marketing firm for authors dedicated to creating strategic marketing campaigns that help their words transform readers’ lives.
In 2022, she closed the agency and started a new venture, Ignite Faith Media, because she wanted to work with authors more comprehensively for the long-term of their careers and to provide deeper opportunities for authors and readers to connect with one another for growth and community in a suite of platform opportunities built by the company (private app, future podcast, future live and virtual events, future print and digital magazine).
Ignite Your Book Marketing is the first program rollout from Ignite Faith Media, and is a marketing mastery program for new or growing authors who are eager to reach more people with messages of hope and healing and are dedicated to building an impactful career and / or ministry out of their book message.
Her work there includes:
- a store for needed templates, masterclasses, and resources (coming soon).
- a 6-month group program where she and strategy coaches teach new and growing authors the art of marketing, launch, and business development.
- a 12-month mastermind where she and strategy coaches work hands on with a limited number of established authors to take their business and / or ministry to the next level of impact and income.
Robert Peterson 0:00
Today's guest is Lindsey Hartz. Lindsey was the owner lead marketing consultant and booklet strategist from 2011 to 2021. At the Hartz agency, a boutique marketing firm for authors dedicated to creating strategic marketing campaigns that help their words transform readers' lives. In 2022, she closed the agency and started a new venture, Ignite faith media, she wanted to work with authors more comprehensively for the long term of their careers, and to provide deeper opportunities for authors and readers to connect with one another for growth and community. Lindsey Hartz and Robert have a wonderful conversation about how Lindsey became an entrepreneur to take better care of her family and just figure it out. She found that so many authors hated marketing. She decided this was a problem she could solve. Lindsey figured out what she wanted. Then she figured out who to serve. She created a business to make that happen. Lindsey, thank you so much for jumping on the show today. I appreciate you joining me.
Lindsey Hartz 1:59
It's a pleasure to be here.
Robert Peterson 2:01
I usually let each guest share their own entrepreneurial journey. We'll just go from there.
Lindsey Hartz 2:09
Oh, gosh, that's a long story.
Robert Peterson 2:12
I'll give you an hour-long show. Go ahead.
Lindsey Hartz 2:15
I'll give you the highlights. About 15 years ago at this point, which is so amazing to me, I never wanted to be an entrepreneur. In fact, I'm married. We've been married 24 years, together 27. My husband always wanted to be the entrepreneur. I spent a lot of years in our early years telling him no, you need to be responsible. No, you need to make money. No, we need to be balanced. We were both in the corporate workspace, we both worked for a fortune 500 company at the time, and I worked at that company until my 30s. In 2006-2007, we just had a really tough year, there were a lot of personal circumstances that we're colliding with. One of the results of that was my stepping down and leaving my corporate career and coming home. At the time, my kids were about two and four years old. I can honestly say it was probably the first time in their entire lives that I'd spent any significant time with them because of my career, beyond pickup and drop off at school. I like to say that year, after it was really about me losing the identity of my corporate career and all my success, but gaining the identity of a wife and mother. While it was very, very, very difficult. I knew after a year or two that I would not go back to work in the traditional sense. I had to work, we needed to be a two income family. I started pursuing building my own business. It's pretty crazy to me, it took probably three or four years for me to figure out what I was going to do. The last 10 years have been pretty incredible. What I have done is built a book marketing agency. I'm still a little surprised that I'm still here as an entrepreneur, honestly left to my own devices. I prefer a paycheck every two weeks. Little more stability because as you know, being an entrepreneur is very ebb and flow. I can make a lot of money in three months, and then nothing for six months. It's definitely pushed me to grow personally and professionally. It's also really affected the dynamics in our home in the same way.
Robert Peterson 4:48
I love that. One of the things that I help people recognize is the freedom of entrepreneurship that you can design a life that you want, and then build a business to support it. Figuring that out for yourself, I love that you compared your husband's desire to jump out of corporate and entrepreneurship is irresponsible.
Lindsey Hartz 5:19
I was young, cut me some slack.
Robert Peterson 5:24
It's not at all a surprise. That's the way many of us have been taught that entrepreneurship is this wild, wild west or I guess the bigger misnomer is that our corporate jobs are secure and safe and that paycheck couldn't go away as fast as the ebb and flow and entrepreneurship.
Lindsey Hartz 5:48
It's interesting, I still have people in my life outside of my immediate family who ask me when I'm going to get a real job. The biggest misconception is they don't understand fully that what we are doing is basically the job of like eight people. I saw a meme of all things the other day that said something, I'm not going to grow up and be stuck in an eight to five job, I'm going to start my own business, dot dot dot works 80 hours a week, and I'm lying. It's about the freedom to choose your path and the freedom to really make decisions that allow us as entrepreneurs to serve people in a deeper way. Now, my corporate job was fantastic. I love the company and the culture, but I was working for their bottom line, not for any sense of purpose, or meaning in my own life. The biggest asset I gained from running my own business is the ability to impact people in the world in a deeper and meaningful way. I happen to do it through running a business. Through the authors that we support. All of us are very, I have a team. Now, I used to be me, myself and I for years. We're very adamant about sharing with them the highs and lows of entrepreneurship, because as an author, you're creative, and the whole business marketing side can be a little overwhelming. We just tried to share the reality of what it's like to persevere in a career like this. Ultimately, your mission and your why has to be bigger than what you see in your bank accounts. It is.
Robert Peterson 7:33
Absolutely, I love that, your daughters were your driving force to start something from home. I'm committed to staying home. We need more revenue. How do I create revenue, and that allows me to stay home. It takes a little bit to figure that out, it's getting easier and easier than probably when you started in 2006. That idea of designing and creating something to support the life that you want the freedom that you want the ability to drop my kids off at school, participate in their school events in the middle of the day, to take them to the doctor's appointments and do all these things without having to use my PTO, entrepreneurs don't get any of that. They can plan for those things, and they can build their business in their schedule, with much greater freedom than then a corporate job allows, in many cases.
Lindsey Hartz 8:37
Very true, although my kids are now 19 and 21. I'm not so sure they would agree that it was awesome having me around all the time, they really had trouble. I will say, I don't know, what relationship we would have had if I had been still in the corporate workspace. Now. It's important to know that I'm speaking from my family perspective. I know plenty of men and women who work corporate jobs and have incredible home life. I'm not knocking, working at home versus corporate worlds, for our particular family with a lot of the things that we had going on, we have a lot of we've just had some tragedy and trauma in our life. For us, I look back and wow, we really had the ability to come together as a family, and learn how to navigate really tough storms together. Honestly, the biggest gift we could have given our children was to see us present in those moments. See us wrestle through those moments and see us persevere. That even though sometimes we think gosh, did we screw them up for life, especially now that they both just moved out? I just sit here and I think how incredible my kids are, and I know I left him My Own Devices. I had been in the corporate world, I don't think we would have the deep relationship we have. I don't know that we would have been able to show them what it's to actually be an adult and the reality of the world. Adulting can be pretty hard. My sweet daughter, who is 21 year old, she's, Oh, my gosh, rents do and I'm like, welcome to the rest of your life. Tires are so expensive. Why is gas so much? Oh my gosh. I'm like, they're always in such a rush to grow up. I'm like, yeah, just mooch off your parents as long as you can. Being an adult is not all it's cracked up to be some time. It's a beautiful benefit. It also forced us to grow my husband and I mindset in our relationship and the way we parented and the way we communicated. We can talk about this later, we did have a brief stint where he did work for me after a layoff. That lasted two months. We can talk about that later.
Robert Peterson 11:02
Let's talk about the mindset. How did you transition that mindset from being a corporate employee to be my own boss?
Lindsey Hartz 11:14
At first, it was out of necessity, we were in a live situation where I could not continue working, there was no option. I know, when I left, I thought I would a couple of months after things have stabilized, I'll find another job. Life has a funny way of redirecting you. At the time, our son was about two and a half, three years old. He was diagnosed with some behavioral challenges that ultimately wound up to be autism. He has high functioning autism. What that meant at the time is that he kept brilliantly escaping everyday care. We put him in like it was crazy. They were finally, we love you. We love your child. We like that he keeps finding his way to the street no matter what we do. We're talking about serious lockdown, daycares, okay? They were not being negligent at all, my kid was just crazy. Brilliant. Then it was literally, oh, I can't go back to work. I'm the one that has to chase them down the street, naked. All that said, he's chilled out a bit with a lot of parenting, therapy, coping skills and all that sort of things. I couldn't go back. Sometimes our hands are forced, even if we're not fully ready. My perspective has always been okay, I'm going to figure out how to get through this moment, this next year, this next month. That's really all I did the whole time. Before I knew it, I found myself 15 years in of never having gone back to a true traditional workplace. I really wouldn't trade it for the world. People asked me about mindset and business plan and all that. I had an obedience plan. As a person of faith, I felt it was more important for me to find a way to earn an income in a way that fit my family, not leave my family to earn an income. No matter how hard it got, we both really persevered both with my husband's corporate job, and income and mine to make it possible for me to stay
Robert Peterson 13:25
There's still a mindset shift if you could have found an online job. Still, there. Obviously, there were significantly less opportunities in 2007 than there are in 2022 of work at home. jobs. You chose to do something for yourself and start your own business. Let's talk about that process. How did you end up in Cook marketing?
Lindsey Hartz 13:55
Interestingly, I didn't just start my own thing. A lot of people nowadays, again, my kids are of a different generation. They're all like, we're gonna do whatever we want more from home.
Robert Peterson 14:10
I have a 21 year old son, I understand entirely what you're talking about,
Lindsey Hartz 14:14
I believe in you. I am 1,000% Behind you, but there's some skills you need to develop first. For me, in the very beginning when my kids were very young, I bootstrapped it. There was a year or two where I literally had a drop in daycare in my home. There was a year I worked for an online magazine when online magazines were really not a thing pre I wouldn't say pre Facebook, it was more when Facebook was still that college oriented thing. Then there was a year I worked for our church, I did different things, trying to figure out what it was I could do to offer the world. Like I said before, it took four or five years for me to figure it out. For me, it was really about being aware and open to the relationships and possibilities that were coming my way. The biggest shift happened for me. Actually, when we moved, we lived in Texas and the Dallas Fort Worth area. For many reasons, we decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee, which is where we are now. My husband took a job at a nonprofit, which means our non-existent income from no longer working in corporate was now cut in half. We're like, Whoa, I really have to work. I actually got hooked up with a company, it was at the time called E AE help. It's now called belay solutions. I was one of the first four or five c level executive assistants, virtually, that they hired. I worked for about 18 months for that company. The clients I were assigned to are the ones that opened my eyes to the fact that I could do online marketing, which is what my skill set was in the corporate world, project management, marketing event planning, that sort of thing. I got assigned to a literary agent, and spent a year and a half reading delightful manuscripts, although some of them were a little interesting. Getting to see the behind the scenes of what it took for authors to write and create these proposals and these queries, and the business side of publishing. I also got assigned to a couple people that had online businesses. I remember thinking that's interesting and brave, I've never done that. The other part of this is more personal, I mentioned that we were going through a lot of challenging things. We were in a lot of therapy. One of my therapists assigned a therapeutic writing exercise for me, I had always written as a kid, and she had me start this writing process to document in a journal, some of the stuff that we were going through. I also started attending writing conferences. I had a blog back when blogs were, here's what I have for dirt. Today I mowed my lawn, relational stuff, that's how we were back then. I met a lot of authors and every author I met, were like, I hate marketing, I hate marketing. I'm like, Why? It didn't. To me, it was the easiest thing in the world. Basically, the book marketing agency started from a combination of opportunities and relationships I built in different areas, and me paying attention and going, Wait, I'm a marketer, I love to write, I love to read, and I have this tiny little bit of experience in the industry. Honestly, looking back, What was I thinking? I honestly, I don't know, it was just this insane leap of me going, I'm gonna try this. I actually called up eight of my author friends from blogging conferences, and I'm like, hey, look, I'm supposed to start this business. That has to do with book marketing and releases, I feel books are conduits to change the world.
Lindsey Hartz 18:22
They're great, what does that involve? I'm like, I have no idea. I'm not kidding. I don't know what it looks like, I don't know what I'm gonna do. I know I have the skills that you say you don't have. My first eight clients who are friends to this day, were my guinea pigs . What do you hate about this process? What's unclear to you? How can I help you? That's the other thing about entrepreneurship, I was doing what people would consider grunt work, having a master's level education in business and marketing. Sometimes you have to work through your pride a little bit and go, if I'm going to make this happen, I'm going to figure out where in this process I can improve. That means I'm going to sit there for a year going, Oh, my gosh, I'm still paying off my college loans. I'm answering someone's emails. For me, that's how it started. It was listening to my friends who are authors, and aligning what they needed with my skill set. Being brave enough to ask them, let me help you without a clear process.
Robert Peterson 19:31
So valuable, that entrepreneurship at the simplest level is solving a problem.
Lindsey Hartz 19:38
There's creativity in it and you paid for it. For me, honestly in the 10 years that I ran the marketing agency, every client was word of mouth referral, except for a few people who found me online because of interviews or past projects. It's been entered just for sure. We're in a pivot right now, instead of doing a done for you marketing agency, we're actually adjusting with the will say, the climate, in the online space with the pandemic, and everything that's affected people financially. Realistically, I'm getting to the age where I don't want to be in such a fast paced, high pressure environment. I changed it, which is another beautiful thing about entrepreneurship. I'm not so much a pivot person, I'm not doing this anymore. Let's burn it down to do something different.
Lindsey Hartz 20:39
That's a pivot.
Lindsey Hartz 20:43
More of a let's put a bonfire to everything and change everything completely differently. What we've done is we're building an online education company for authors to master marketing. Instead of me doing all these marketing campaigns and projects on my own with contractors, I've now brought on strategists from all the different areas that authors need marketing support in social media, email brands, speaking, launching books, creating products to actually earn an income and become author entrepreneurs. It's been pretty incredible to pivot in that way. Although I've been in business for 10 years, you're starting up all over again. I joke around that I feel I'm alternatively in an MLM, not that there's anything wrong with that, but some of them are a little sketchy. I can pay you in cookies right now. Just kidding, I pay my employees. My point is a very interesting place to be in at taking something that was very successful and going, this isn't working for me anymore. Forecasting that it wasn't going to work in the future, as well, of what's going on, financially, politically, all that stuff. Making that pivot. That is something that is very proactive about an entrepreneur mindset. In the corporate world, a lot of it was reactive, at the level that I was at, the C level executives were being proactive. When it trickles down to marketing, sales and support, we're reactive. For me, it's been a really cool experience to go, I can foresee this coming, and I can hopefully do something about it, to help authors still succeed, no matter what comes their way, financially or politically. It's cool to be able to do that.
Robert Peterson 22:42
It's interesting to burn down a revenue stream to create a new one.
Lindsey Hartz 22:49
I should mention, everything that I did in my agency that is still part of this new program is completely repurposing and reusing years of content and strategy to create this. It's more just a business model shift that it is completely pivoting to something completely new. It makes it slightly easier.
Robert Peterson 23:20
I like that. All of us should be longing for something slightly easier. You mentioned that your former business, you were building mostly on referrals. Now obviously, new business education? Probably needs larger numbers to satisfy what's your lead generation? Plan? How are you going to market yourself?
Lindsey Hartz 23:48
I find myself for the first time in the position of many of my authors, when you switch to a business model that relies on education versus one on one consulting or done for your services, your audience has to grow significantly, to reach the amount of people you need to reach in order to find vetted clients. What we're doing and this will happen this year, okay, October, November is when I was like, oh, I need to shut this down. Then I argued with myself about it for a couple of months. Then again, for me, I'm a little stubborn. For me, it was very much a necessity. Not only was I emotionally and physically burnt out, I was starting to have medical problems because of the amount of stress that I was under surgery and a six month medical leave. I'm not doing that again. I've got to change something. I love what I did. I was not operating in a way that was going to be healthy for me long term. I did it out of necessity. In January, February, and again, I'm a person who is faced with some of my decisions that might seem a little black to people, but they make very much sense to me from a prayer perspective. For me, it was very much a don't launch like you normally would. I basically did not have a launch for a massive business shift. I utilized my relationships, and again, called all my friends and said, Hey, I'm shutting down my business to do something new. Everybody was like, No, which was nice, I was talking about, but I was like, No, I have to, I have to, and you want to come along for the journey. What I'm trying to impress upon is a lot of entrepreneurs, we tend to isolate ourselves a little bit, dig in and do things ourselves. Man, my relationships have been the key to everything that I've tried to do in my business, because 20 people signed up with me telling them, this is what I'm gonna do. It's a lot of money. It's not structured, it's not recorded, it's not formatted. You're just going to be my guinea pigs, and we're going to support you for a year. They said, Yes. For a high ticket program. We're developing what you just asked, what's your launch process? What's your audience? Have you? We're building it? That's the key again, you have to be willing to take risks. I did not want to spend a whole lot of time creating something that I thought would work. I wanted to create something with authors that I know and trust, who I knew would be honest with me. Why would they be honest with me? I have served them well for 10 years. I literally had a call the other day where one of them was like, I love you, but this part of this program sucks. I was like, Okay, well fix it. They were being nice about it. They were actually accurate. It was actually an automation process thing that we needed to fix. For me again, it's like I don't know a lot. I'm very gifted at what I do. I'm also very open hearted and open handed about what the business actually looks like. I'm willing to test. Now that we've tested the program for four months, we're officially launching it next week. I'm starting at an event where there's about 1000 authors that are going to be in attendance online and off. They're a perfect ideal fit for clients. I sponsored the event. That's how I'm launching and building the audience. We'll have a lead generation and will have a giveaway of a scholarship. We have a whole automated email sequence once they sign up that educates them about the program and shows them testimonials. It's actual testimonials of people in the program right now. Some of this is yes, we need to grow our email list. Yes, we need to grow our social media. At the end of the day, asking people what they want and giving it to them, is what has made this program successful.
Robert Peterson 28:19
That's the idea of entrepreneurship is trying to work problems people have and solve it for them.
Lindsey Hartz 29:01
You made it better. They've really made the program better. That's what I was aiming for.
Robert Peterson 29:07
Absolutely, and your willingness to be open to everything, because entrepreneurs contend to have that stubbornness in them that I'm the expert. I know what you need. I have that openness to say, tell me what you really need. I really want to start here. To get you there, what is it that you really need? Being open to that, obviously, it's going to allow you to reach more people and have more influence.
Lindsey Hartz 29:38
Absolutely. At the end of the day, people are looking for people to partner with them and journey alongside them. With all the scaling and online business stuff that goes on some of it is not so relational, more transactional. People are tired of being forced into boxes. They don't fit in from a consumer perspective to write. Obviously, as a business owner, I have to sit down and think, Okay, how much income do I need to cover salaries to cover business expenses, and hopefully to have a profit? I have to backtrack and figure out how many clients I would need to sign up for the program in order to reach those goals. Then I have to backtrack to Okay, how many people do we need to reach in interviews? How many people do we need to reach on our email and social etc? That part is just business strategy. Never once in the entire process? Do I remove the relationship with people? It's a little anti-scaly advice, I still do sales calls. I still personally interview applicants, I send personal emails instead of automated emails. Does it take me more time? Sure. Remember, I'm about building relationships, not just treating people as transactions.
Robert Peterson 31:05
That's not to say that you can't scale. That's to say the typical scaling model says to not do some of those things.
Lindsey Hartz 31:15
We have scaled in ways we can, but we may intentionally leave relationship marketing, and relationship building in our sales and client experience process.
Robert Peterson 31:28
Let's talk about that value of relationship and connection and dig a little deeper into why is connection so important?
Lindsey Hartz 31:39
People just don't want to be treated like consumers, someone buying something from you. They want someone to partner with them, and help them figure out the highs and lows of their entrepreneur journey. I work with a lot of authors. Writing and releasing books is a pretty long process. On top of writing and releasing the book, you also now have to find your own audience, and maintain that audience and grow that audience and figure out how to make a sustainable income. The publishers are fantastic. There's varying levels of support, depending on what publishing model your list. Especially with the growth in social media, and digital marketing authors are required to learn these things themselves. There's no way around it. Being able to work with authors and help them balance the need, because a lot of authors are creative. They're creative and strategy for the writing. Then having to flip that switch and figure out okay, wait, how do I actually find an audience online? How do I grow my email list? How do I engage on social media without feeling weird? or spammy? They need someone to help them work through their limiting beliefs, in order to be able to do those things. I firmly believe I actually have a whole session, I teach on this, that everybody has marketing strengths, or ready communication strengths already. They just don't realize that's what it is. The pillar of our marketing campaigns and the way we train our authors is to find those strengths, and areas of opportunity, Shore them up, then create all their marketing content around their strengths. It doesn't feel as overwhelming and they'll actually do it.
Robert Peterson 33:45
Not just overwhelming. It has to feel legitimate. It has to feel authentic. For many people marketing just feels so yuck.
Lindsey Hartz 33:55
My own journey, I really had a really hard time asking people for money in the beginning. I kept waiting for someone to tell me Oh, it's okay. It's okay for you to charge that. That was part of the corporate mindset that I had to work through. I was used to being paid for performance and having to get permission for everything. Now it is suddenly, oh, wait, I'm the one in charge of that. Do I believe that my skills, talents and gifts are worth charging for? It was weird, I remember thinking, Okay, Why do I feel bad about this? I got paid at work. What? It's almost like I have to stop waiting for other people's approval of me to pat me on the shoulder and go, we're choosing you and we see this in you. I had to learn to see it in myself. Without that power should I?
Robert Peterson 35:00
There's so many people who are stuck in this idea that I need somebody else to help me. Which of course is significantly lower than the market. It's challenging to make that shift for Mr. Profit, even getting paid less value to start with, and then to try to shift that into the entrepreneurial space and say, No, my value is significantly higher. The value that my clients receive is 10 or 100 times what I charge them. Is it worth it? Absolutely. There's a game your mind plays with you, especially when you put those in there. My coach told me that the first time you say your number, if you don't, if it doesn't make you giggle, it's because you have to wrestle with these realities. If I charge a client $10,000 for coaching, it increases their revenue by $100,000. They're gonna pay that all day long. The value is really in the results, the values, not in the day to day hourly interactions.
Lindsey Hartz 36:21
The results are not always just tied to numbers, it's important to track data in order to make marketing and sales decisions, it's important to have a budget and income goals to keep the business viable and running. Those are all necessities. It's even important nowadays, as business owners, to really pay attention to the landscape. I was reading an article earlier today about how just to give an example, housing prices have been crazy. Where we are, we're benefiting from that right now. Selling your house. Behind the scenes, interest rates have gone up and banks are starting to lay off. Why are they starting to lay off because mortgage applications and refinances are going down. Now, people might be thinking, Lindsey, what does that have to do with your business? It has everything to do with my business, because layoffs are coming. If people are going to have to buckle down to pay basic necessities, are they going to have 15 to $20,000 to pay me for a book marketing campaign? Is the publisher going to have that expendable income? When you're an entrepreneur, you actually have to understand what's going on in the market. Politically, which is a little, who wants to watch the news and politics nowadays? You have to, because you have to be able to have the foresight to look at your business and figure out how to get ahead of the changes that are coming?
Robert Peterson 38:02
I think entrepreneurs, the challenges, they see everything getting more expensive, their instinct is to lower their price, and say, but yet, gas is more expensive. Food is more expensive, everything's more expensive. You should be more expensive, in some ways. Thinking about how inflation is impacting everybody around you, your dollar is not going as far. Their dollar is not going as far. It can be really challenging. That's why versus was the price versus price
Robert Peterson 38:43
is really good to have to be able to show.
Lindsey Hartz 38:45
I was just gonna say people are gonna look for more value, deeper value, more bang for their buck. They're gonna go to people that they know, a trust, which again, is why relationships are so important. They're not going to be so sucked into the flashy sales funnels that sometimes US marketers have. They're going to be very more deliberate about their choices, as an entrepreneur, our job is that, for me, it's always been part of my company culture, relationships, marketing, diving deep and automating what we can to be efficient but also still having relationships. I'm friends with probably most of my clients still. Not being afraid to adjust with the times is a key mindset that a lot of entrepreneurs have, and just having the ability to have that foresight and persevere through changes and provide something that people go okay with, I may not need that right now or I do need it but I can't afford it. I'm gonna do it myself. I hear that all the time. Marketing, I don't need a market. I can Do this, I can just send a few emails, I can grow my social skills, I'll be fine. Some people will, if they've learned enough about marketing, and built enough of an audience over the years that they can do some of that themselves. Most people will not understand what it's truly going to take to stand out in the online space and attract audiences and get them to buy, when consumers are going to be thinking, I need to pay my mortgage, I need to pay my electricity, I need to buy food, things is like a book a $25 book, that's going to be a luxury. In the season that we're facing. It's all cyclical, it'll come back around. My point is that we just have to be aware of where our consumers are, and adjust within reason. Again, do it from a place of strategy, I didn't make this decision without knowing that it would be profitable. We're roughly 910 months into this decision. We're just now getting to the point where we're breaking even.
Robert Peterson 41:12
One of the challenges for entrepreneurs is they automatically think of price, and you talk about value. The value, you can add bonuses read done for you things or add elements or break your $15,000 program into three parts. Then they can choose the pieces that they need. There's lots of creative ways to say, you don't need to make the whole investment but I love entrepreneurs that offer both a done for you service, which of course is typically more expensive. You're paying for marketing, and you're paying for the full package, or let me teach you how to do it services, which is a whole nother level. You can pick and choose the pieces, do I need more training in social media, do any more training in email marketing, and you can break a program down. There's lots of different ways without lowering prices, that you can change what you're delivering and change the way that you're serving your client, without devaluing yourself. As soon as you start lowering prices, you're competing for the bottom and you're hitting zero, which is not good for you as an entrepreneur, if your goal is to pay your bills and feed your family.
Lindsey Hartz 42:23
What's important to note about what we did is we provided them with teaching them Marketing Mastery. A lot of people were, Why are you doing that? They'll never come back to you. I said, That's not accurate. I've had clients come back to me plenty of times when we've done for you marketing campaigns, and equipping them, yes. The way we're equipping them is we're strategists helping them make decisions in the current landscape. Then breaking down, these are the three steps you need to take right now. Then they're doing the work themselves. When they get stuck, or something doesn't work the way they thought they come back to the strategist. All we did was give them what they really want, which is someone to tell them what to do, how to do it, how to navigate this, and do it with heart and soul.
Robert Peterson 43:26
Absolutely. It also is a business model that fits what you want to do and the work life balance that you want to have. That's even the more important foundation is, when I was doing the other service, it was stressful, it was overwhelming. I did it for 10 years. Now I need to make a change. This is the change that I chose to make for myself. Let's dig into that self care element a little bit. Obviously, your family care was your priority in becoming an entrepreneur. Now self care seems to be the priority in making this transition.
Lindsey Hartz 44:02
Some of that has to do with age, and then my later 40s. I keep thinking, gosh, my husband and I adore each other. We've had our share of crazy things happen to us our whole life. We met when we were 18 and 19. About a year and a half to two years ago, we were like a lot of people who get divorced when their kids leave, we should probably talk to our therapist about that. Not that we know, not that we were planning on it, it's just a reality. When you're in a room when you're in a marriage that has such high pressure. We've spent our whole lives dealing with Trump trauma. We need to figure out how to be around each other.
Robert Peterson 44:56
absolutely know what you're saying
Lindsey Hartz 44:58
I like You and You love me. Man, sometimes we're just weathering storms together. For us, it actually started in therapy of us telling our therapist, we don't want to be one of those statistics, we can adore each other. Then our relationship as husband and wife had suffered, we were always dealing with so many difficult things. Also, for me, physically I just started having a lot of problems. I'm sure some of that is age related, just growing older. When my OB who sees me once a year was like, Lindsey, you need this stop. She's like, I don't know what you're doing. Every year, you've come in here, become more and more stressed, more and more sick. I'm like, Okay, some person who sees me once. That's weird. If someone's telling me that, I'm like, Okay. Then I wound up actually having a surgery with that doctor. I came in two weeks after the surgery for a checkup. She's like, what happened? I'm like, What do you mean, she's like you. She's like, I've never in the, I don't know, 14 years, I've seen you seen you this calm. I'm like, all I did was sleep, and not work. She's like, you know how doctors are. Anyway, it was the impetus for me going she's on to something. As someone who doesn't see me in my day to day life is telling me there's a huge difference in me just getting sleep and not working than I need to take care of myself. For me, part of it was evaluating what it is about my business that was overwhelming to me and burning me out. It happened to be the den for your work, I'm actually a visionary. I'm a marketing strategist. All the ins and outs of the work done for your work was burning me out. I could love what I do and the mission behind it. I need to do this differently. The first thing I did was take six months off. People thought I was going to be back and like I thought I was going to be back in six weeks. Nope. I slept and stared at the screensaver on my TV for longer than I care to admit. I did nothing seriously for practically six months, except think good for you and pray, what do I want from my future? I want a relationship with my husband that we've not been able to have not because of us, but because of circumstances. I want to be able to travel. We've always wanted to make dreams come true. Instead of always reacting to all the tragedy in our life. It was a little mortifying that we were paying for college while still paying our own college loans still to pay off debt. How do I do that? Where I can be sane and healthy and whole. And that trickles out through my whole family. That's probably a profound awareness that I had spent my whole life taking care of everybody else. If I didn't start taking care of the meeting, it was gonna be bad.
Robert Peterson 48:12
It's pretty powerful. Starting to do this, women in particular, to serve others, they start turning their husband and they send kids in and out, they realize I forgot about me. Obviously, you as a couple have been able to recognize that together and made a plan together to say, Wait, what are we gonna say? Do we know each other anymore?
Lindsey Hartz 48:43
Opposites attract were completely different people. It's amusing at this point. We were very intentional about what we can do together and still give each other space. I know, for me, especially our therapists, asked us a question. She's like, my husband's name is Josh. She's like, Josh, what would you do? If you could do anything in the world? What would you love to do? What would you want to do as a kid that you never got to do? He was rattling off all this stuff. I knew about most of it. I've made some of the stuff you'd mentioned come true. I didn't know some of it. Then she asked me, Lindsey, what do you like to do? I'm like, I don't know. I work. I take care of my family. I loved doing it. I did not know how to answer the question. What do you want to do outside of those roles? I'm like, That is a problem. Do I know the answer? No, except for travel. That's what we made space to do. Part of selling our house, loved my house, was to make room to travel. We downsize to a townhome with no maintenance so that we can try to spend, why don't we really like the stairs, there's like three flights of stairs. What were we thinking? There's no yards. Now we have to walk our dogs like 82 times a day. But anyway, other than that, it's great. We're gonna try to travel like 10 days out of the month. Like why wait till we're 70? My husband works from home as well. All I'm saying is some of it's Asia, I've raised my kids, we've raised them, they're doing great, we're always going to be around for them. That man, we need like 10 years of vacation. They're gonna make it happen. We can do it because of our business.
Robert Peterson 50:43
Intentionality. Obviously, Doctorstill have intention to make. One, Oh. They don't act on it. Intentionally, in addition to saying, getting married makes you healthy and happy to do this. There are a few traits, you're willing to say. This is reality, institutional reality is extremely important.
Robert Peterson 51:45
Let's dig into that.
Lindsey Hartz 51:45
That was amazing. What we realized, his layoff happened after seven rounds of layoffs at this company over 80. Because of COVID. The poor man, he got the layoff and got COVID, all the same week. He spent six weeks sick right after that,, why don't you come work with me? You've always said you want to work with me? Let's see if we can do it. He was actually incredible. He's very operations oriented. I could tell and this comes to knowing your family well, and your spouse. Even though he had always wanted to be an entrepreneur, when he was younger, the reality of it was something that he was like, No, thanks.
Robert Peterson 52:35
You mentioned your husband had COVID?
Lindsey Hartz 52:46
He worked for me for a couple of months for operations, standard operating procedures shorten things up for me. I realized a couple months in that it wasn't his. He was really good at it. I could tell he wasn't happy, if that makes sense. He was trying really, really hard to help me and completely learn my business and industry from scratch, and he had come from like the IT project management world. It was a huge shift for him. About two and a half months ago, I looked at him and I said, Sweetheart, do you want to look for a job?'' He goes, Oh my God, yes, it was so funny. You said, I'm trying to help you. I love you. This is amazing. This is just not it wasn't fulfilling to him. In the way that it was to me. I wasn't going to hold him to help me. Now he has an amazing job at St. Jude's Children's Hospital. He's doing amazing things. I listened to him, I have no idea what he's talking about, he's one of those brilliant IT people. He also was like, I listened to you and had no idea what you were talking about. Again, we're polar opposite people. We're very impressed with one another, which is also great for a marriage. All to say, he was like, gosh, all these years I wanted to be an entrepreneur. He's like and I don't know, at this point in my life, if I have the mental fortitude. He's like, I've had to learn how to give you rein to do what you need to do, and not pressure you unnecessarily and understand the ebbs and flows of business and trust you inherently that you're going to make the right decision. That I can help when you ask for help. He's my biggest cheerleader and my biggest supporter, and my biggest funder, he pays a lot of our bills. It's been really cool to see our relationship evolve and that way, seeing each other in a different way where when we both worked in corporate, we never really got to see each other in action. That's been pretty cool too.
Robert Peterson 55:00
What was your most memorable date?
Lindsey Hartz 55:03
What was our most memorable date? Oh, gosh, I have a sweet spot for our college years, we had no money. We always went to Wendy's of all places. That was his favorite place. Then when we were younger and married, he worked at a movie theater as a manager. We always went back then got to see movies for free, like the night before they were released. One thing we still do is go see movies together. It's just a cool thing, we'd love to talk about him. Although now he's probably less enamored with my ability to figure out the movie in the first five minutes. That comes from reading countless, understanding so now we have a pact that I just will keep my mouth shut.
Robert Peterson 55:56
Lindsey Hartz 55:59
I love spending time with him. We go on fancy dates and all that stuff too. For me, it's always being able to be myself and just have simple joy with each other. What's your big dream? Oh, gosh. Personally, I really like to travel. I just want to see the world and see different cultures and experiences. Professionally what I hoped for Ignite your book marketing, for professional, personal is just travel and getting to experience really cool things with my husband and my kids when they come along. professionally for Ignite your book marketing, I really just want to help authors solidify their careers in a way that's meaningful and impactful because I believe books are a conduit to change, I believe they can really help people transform or see a new way of thinking and new way of finding hope. Our ability to help authors reach those readers and impact countless lives is really what I look for in the business. It's very rewarding. It really helps me use my skill set and a way where I can impact change on the world, not just take and consume and make money.
Robert Peterson 57:33
Thank you so much.
Lindsey Hartz 57:38
You're very welcome.