top of page

Thomas Helfrich

Thomas Helfrich

Gabriel Flores  0:00  

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the shades of entrepreneurship. This is your host, Mr. Gabriel Flores. Today I have Thomas Helfrich. Thomas, how are we doing?

Thomas Helfrich  0:10  

I'm good, is it? Is it 50 shades? 60?

Gabriel Flores  0:13  

Yeah, I'm actually like 51. So for those individuals at home, I'm just one more just letting you know no

Thomas Helfrich  0:21  

one more than Christian

Gabriel Flores  0:22  

Christian. Now Damas, we've been chatting actually, before this show start, I'm really excited about it. Because I think you have a lot of great, great information that you're about to share. But before we get into all of that, give the listeners at home a little background, who is Thomas.

Thomas Helfrich  0:39  

First of all, thanks for having me on. This is very cool to come on the show. Thomas Helfrich. Great. I live in Atlanta, Georgia. You know, modern day here, I founded a company called instantly relevant a couple years ago, where we really focused on lead generation in particular on LinkedIn, backing it up a bit, you know, kind of grew up in the Midwest, St. Louis. And, you know, spent a long time there went to school at Indiana University study does its Kelley School of Business there and you know, came out right at the end of the kind of the tail end of And so I definitely remember myself being a much better developer than I was. But that's, that's what you're doing. You're older, remember how good you were at things that you probably went back. And, but I always did, I always found that I talked well, about technology in particular about how it impacted what the business function was, and then the technical levels of what was going to need to change get there, that takes you on that consulting path. So that takes you on that, you know, advisory trip through, you know, KPMG PwC us to the world. And and, you know, along that way, you know, I developed an expertise around Intelligent Automation and AI systems. So all this kind of hype around HipChat GPT, like our company has been leveraging that stuff for opening eyes beta platform for almost three years now. So really get it well. I think my other name is Ai or so if you Google AI owner, you'll find a whole YouTube channel on AI. So if you really want to nerd it out, sometimes we can. But uh, but that took me this expertise. And during that kind of journey, through it, I discovered, you know, the challenges with marketing and lead generation and how inefficient it was not effective it was and how much just shakiness and just not good behaviors and no consultative effort. And so I formed a company around the principles of Intelligent Automation, where you accelerate a human with the right technology, right human right moment, and we apply it to this rule to help marketing be more effective find leads. And that's pretty much my whole life story. There's some golfing events and probably no real arrests or

Gabriel Flores  2:32  

gotta get the goal to get there. And yeah, try to not get arrested every couple of weekends, you know, we'll wild golfing. That's actually the most concerning part is actually fearful of getting getting pulled over after the Gulf.

Thomas Helfrich  2:46  

I claim or disclose nothing.

Gabriel Flores  2:49  

So for the listeners at home, you mentioned it, what is kind of let's go into a little bit more detail. And we'll talk a little bit about jet chat GPT, because I think it's really important for these folks to know, I was getting schooled about this earlier. But first, what is instant, relevant? Yes,

Thomas Helfrich  3:05  

instantly relevant. It's a it's a, we're a digital agency. But we're specifically focused on that our highest competency is around finding LinkedIn lead generation. And it's not typical to how most companies are doing this, do this with a mass email or mass and mail people or they endlessly spam people in their inbox. The way that I've built my network from about, you know, 1000 people two and a half years ago, 173,000 and followers is in a very short period is through is through the methods we do for our customers. And quite simply, what we do is we've worked with you to figure out who your ideal customer profile is, or persona you want to meet or should meet is, make sure your branding, all the other little, you know, blocking and tackling all those things are done. So when people you know, check out your profile, you're in good spot, end of the day, we end up commenting on your targeted list posts, and create a inbound effect. And so when people check you out, after that you've given them some you know, proper comments, some actual attention, we just make sure your profiles are also set up to convert. And then we take the messaging from there to get people to come to your call to action. So we typically focus on b2b services, or higher ticket items bigger where there's a relationship involved, where you need to be, it's more, you have to be more than known, like and trusted to buy, like that's what everything's known like trust, right? But it's actually not enough you have to be relevant to because I may really know it like you and you know, what you're selling I have no use for because it's not relevant, I'm never gonna buy. So you have to be relevant as well. And so when you combine outreach of commenting messages, good content, you know, you manage your social media and keep it consistent. And you combine that with that. Having a list of people that really care and your profiles are set up, people inbound, find you and they, they ask you what you do, and you go from there into your sales funnel. So it's really effective. It is certainly for those who are more strategic in nature and want to really get leads consistently over time.

Gabriel Flores  4:53  

Yeah, let's talk a little bit about your growth first, because you mentioned you use certain Certain products that kind of help fuel this growth, fuel this growth. What are those things that you know entrepreneurs can use right now products that are out there readily available to them? And why are they important to them?

Thomas Helfrich  5:10  

It's a it's a loaded question probably could do a whole series of podcasts. But the short answer, you should always be learning new technologies that could enable but watch out for technology fatigue and I'll come back to that but you're there's a lot of choices. At the end of the day though, I would definitely be leveraging something on the chat GPT side right now to help create your content, I would not turn that on automated with just take it and post it I would put your own brand your own words, your own bots, somewhere in there, just leverage it as a tool. It's a great accelerator. We use it all the time, but it's still human lead. The other things are like all the little things you need to do between Kalindi otter you know, the help do note taking we were discussing Fathom dot video and it's a thing it's plugged in to zoom that allows you to just to take highlights of what someone's saying. And when you do that you can speed up your social media builds and all the other things all those are important. Making sure you leveraging like Zapier is and with your CRMs and your MailChimp so the world it's it's having a technology stack that will automate as many of the pieces as possible that need to be but allow you the touch points to keep keep the human on the pulse of your of your customers. I'm speaking specifically a lot of like I said b2b services, longer sales cycle type relationships on b2c. Right? Some great copy great visuals, get a good landing page and rock the Google ads and get out there and learn that game. It's it's a slightly different play, but we find that the harder leads define are the b2b side. So that's where we focus in.

Gabriel Flores  6:33  

Yeah, and I would say most of the entrepreneurs, you know, especially those small businesses that are just starting starting now are really focused on that b2b side. Now, you kind of talked about automation, a little bit briefly talking about the importance of like, I I'm just kind of getting into it. So I would love to hear your perspective, what is the why is automation so important for an entrepreneur?

Thomas Helfrich  6:53  

Automation will speed up your, the mundane, right, the things that you still need to take care of. And and, you know, if the process is done correctly, it'll enable you to have more headspace more time to work on higher value activities, like sales or product development, or engineering or whatever have you depends on your business. I will see you shoes automation with carefulness. So I wouldn't leverage automation fully on, let's say, a LinkedIn profile, first of all, you're gonna get likely flagged and put into LinkedIn jail, you may want to use it for some aspects of it from, you know, endorsements or something like that, there's, there's ways to do that it's a much longer conversation, you should leverage it correctly with the idea that it's there to not replace your outreach, not replace your generation, but to just enable it a little bit better. But automation on things like, you know, when you have a customer list, and they've said, you know, hey, I'd love you to email me or whatever it is, yeah, you should have sent a drip campaigns and those kinds of things that work on that. But I will tell you, it depends on your business. Sometimes it's better to send 10 Really good emails in a week than it is to send 1000 automated ones. Because here's a tip I give any anybody starting a business, when you automate things, or when you do, let's say, for example, cold email outreach, I'm not a big fan of it. And the reason is, it has its effective when some people really know their market, they have great copy, they know what they're but that is not, that is the exception to the rule. Most people have terrible copy of very mediocre web pages, or landing pages, their personal brand, and their other company brand is maybe okay at best. And you don't think it as much as the truth of matter, it doesn't work because those fundamentals aren't in place. And so when you go do a cold email, cold email outreach, and let's say you send 5000 emails, and 100 people raise their hands of you, I want it, you're kind of happy. But you have to also realize you just spam 4900 people. And so over time, you're slowly bleeding your brand as a spam brand. And that's just not a good sustainable place to be. I would say it's better to get them warmed up, get them to get to know you be inbound interest, and then you're not spamming anybody, they're coming to you for the piece. So it's a slightly different thinking. But I would not start with cold email marketing. When you first start as an entrepreneur, even if you're into it a little bit without these other things in place. You're just you're chipping away at a brand that you've I worked really hard to build to.

Gabriel Flores  9:06  

So what would you say to an entrepreneur is basically if they use AI often is AI enough for creating content.

Thomas Helfrich  9:15  

It's not enough, it's a really good choice. And it's something that has to be part of your kind of stack day to day, but it's not the only answer. It's not there where it's going to do all of it for you. It's gonna do a lot it's gonna accelerate you, you do need a lot of you I would tell you to try to leverage it get its feel what you can do with it. And then But then today, it's probably not your core competency. So go outsource that to people who really know like an organization. I can shamelessly plug mine here but the truth is, like away plug it I mean, you could go to instantly irrelevant. It's totally is not sponsoring it today. They are not as

Gabriel Flores  9:49  

they will be on the newsletter. So go visit the shades of Go ahead and subscribe the newsletter, we will have this information.

Thomas Helfrich  9:56  

So I tell people depends on where you are in your journey and you're kind of Season of entrepreneurship, you should outsource things that are not core, and to the people who know what they're doing and leverage that time savings for the investment, because there should be some type of ROI on it. And I will tell you that you get your expectations, right, when you're doing things correctly, they don't typically happen overnight, you may get a couple of quick wins, whatever else anybody's promising you overnight success is, is really, it should be an immediate flag. There's just in particular with with social media with likes and follows and views, people can trick that with bots and other you know, things very quickly. And it doesn't get you anything, it'll make you feel better. You always likes views, but you'll even actually build any business from it. And so the relevance piece of the network you build on the content you create, and the outreach, you do matters way more, and it's way more effective for a long standing business that actually wants to grow. And, you know, and create the growth and kind of capital assets, it's going to need to kind of continue.

Gabriel Flores  10:55  

You know, that's a great point. And, you know, a great example is this podcast, I think, you know, the growth of this podcast, the beginning is bird on over episode over 100 been doing it for two years, continuously learning and networking with entrepreneurs, we listened to even just today with Thomas getting information about you know, jet chat deep TP and you know, Fathom video, these things really trying to improve what I'm doing as well, because I do want to create a company that's very sustainable. And that's why we established that nonprofit Latino founders, where we really are supporting, you know, our underserved entrepreneurs here in the Pacific Northwest. But you kind of talked about branding, and also, a lot of in fact, quite a bit of brand about branding, where do most brands go wrong with social media when their social media approach

Thomas Helfrich  11:43  

most brands go wrong by focusing on themselves, so we do this our is and in a lot of them go super cliche. So those are kind of the two main things and when you mix them both, it's just lovely, right? We are awesome, you know, we are the so the, the brand and you what you do has to really reflect what it is, is your culture and what you're delivering. And probably the third element, typically, brands get way too wide, too fast. So the narrower you can stay in deeper of a segment you serve, especially in your smaller business, the better you're going to be because you're gonna go to repeat it. And so where they go wrong, and social media is talking about themselves, and let's say there's a mix between what people do get somebody interact with you, you're gonna, you're gonna have to give them the attention first. And you have to do it in a very non salesy way. And if you're out there, as a business doing it, you know, the algorithms also are not going to share any of your posts, because they want you to pay, so you're gonna have to leverage, it's probably the biggest mistakes, people don't leverage their personal profiles well enough, and they don't take them seriously enough to make them really effective. Set up to convert, you know, in highly attractive for people to want to connect other people in particular in the early days, because people are going to check out your company, they're going to check you out. And if you don't check out then they kind of go the other way. So take take attention to your personal brand image, what we call it the your executive eminence, which is how you look what you're saying your thought leadership you put out there, those things matter in the sales cycle quite a bit. It for us, especially earlier stage companies and companies have with the owner, still the owner, founder still kind of at the helm.

Gabriel Flores  13:14  

And so how does one do that? How does an entrepreneur create meaningful content, you know, either on their personal brand or their, their personal site or their purse or their actual brain?

Thomas Helfrich  13:24  

It will, our approach is, you know, there's there's all kinds but our approach is to focus on the challenges your customers face, the industry faces, and, and talk about solving, how those problems affect people or how they solve how they're solvable and without actually mentioning that you solve it. Because then it becomes salesy. If you're just talking about in yourself what you do, then then you're you're, it's the people are going to dismiss it as not thought leadership and more of a sales collateral. And so focus on the problem and that exists, which means you gotta know your industry, you gotta know your customer really well, you got to know what it is and how you align to it, your point of view on that, if you do that, that will resonate with your customer base a lot better. It's not to say you should have some sales things Hey, we do those things you should have call to actions that are simple and you'd like learn more, but be creative with it without it being too much in your face.

Gabriel Flores  14:12  

You know, one of the things I think we've been hearing a lot on the news recently we talked about automation, but talk about AI is AI is something to be feared for by an entrepreneur.

Thomas Helfrich  14:24  

Oh no, I mean, if you fear it, I watched Terminator two anytime there's probably better movies I'm dating myself it's such a

Gabriel Flores  14:33  

it's a great movie. I might be two folks but Terminator is great.

Thomas Helfrich  14:39  

It was good it was performed at what time it was still one still watchable but you know if you're if you fear it, it's it's probably a bigger more systemic problem of fear of change or you know, not being willing to try to learn something new that's a bigger that's a much bigger problem. So if anything new or learning something new bugs you that's gonna be a habit. You got a break. I mean, that's entrepreneurs are ferocious readers and knowledge they devour knowledge, right? I mean, they just bring it in. And if you're not doing that you're getting behind to delve into. So leverage these technologies to accelerate you. And I encourage people, like, you know, the chat GPT, though it's terribly branded by name. It's, it's easy, they made it in a way that you're talking like to human, and you should treat it don't use it like Google use it like, you know, ask it to take the person, you know, you can use it to say, take the perspective as a customer and this thing, and there you're looking for this, what would the questions you'd have or, you know, be played devil's advocate to what I put here and ask questions back of what would be concerning, it does a really good job with helping you think through some of the challenges and problems in real time. And so you should be leveraging these technologies to create content to accelerate your, you know, your books, your back in all this stuff. And, but don't be afraid of that. That's, that would be a bad problem to

Gabriel Flores  15:52  

Yeah, and I agree, I've been leveraging your calendar li to schedule opportunities to schedule my interviews, using otter using Canva. Using you know, all these different opportunities. LinkedIn even now has the opportunity to schedule your posts, right pre schedule post, Facebook meta as opportunity as well. Leveraging I think these are very good grid smart ideas. In fact, Thomas, one of the things you're mentioning, too, is for entrepreneurs to kind of, you know, Sanjeev Loomba former guest says it's very well stop focusing on the me and start focusing on the you, because that's how you create value back to your consumer. Right? And it seems that's that's kind of where your team kind of focuses on. How did you build your team? How did you build this company? You know, instantly irrelevant?

Thomas Helfrich  16:40  

Well, we started with the first one, right. So you know, you have the vision, you what, you know, what you want to do as a company. And back then it was like, I was like, I at that point, right. So it wasn't just a company, it was more of a thing, I think I should outsource my content creation and manage my that was my initial thought before we before we started the company even. And so I found somebody through a tons of interviews on Upwork, I believe it was, which I tell people to go do it. But man, your consistency is going to be all over the map for a number of reasons. But within a few countries, you have several people and interviews. But I found somebody who just kind of impressed me. And they showed some other promise. And he's been with me the as my colleagues my operations in the Philippines now for almost three years. And and so I found the initial one, then after that, I said, Hey, who do you know, and then we brought people in that were kind of known and trusted, some work, some don't. But we built people through word of mouth reputation, and then execution. And so you have to build that you have, but you have to build processes in place to help people follow it. Now you get it, I don't get it right, every time there's plenty of improvement, and it becomes all the things you do later. But the earlier you can have a repeatable process, especially if that's your skill set and go create one and let people follow it and then improve it. It's definitely one of my weaknesses. But that's why I hired this guy to help me do it. So but that's how we built the team was it was kind of piece by piece. Now the other piece is getting the right people lined up to your services of what you're doing. And where they they're asking for technology exists. So I make sure that people understand tech, they know how to use it in the cycle to accelerate in their peccable customer service, those kind of things. Those are the highest, who you are how you act, how you behave your propensity learner higher valued than anything else on our team,

Gabriel Flores  18:22  

you know, mentioning, trying to get your service out into the right in front of the right people who is the typical client for your business,

Thomas Helfrich  18:30  

we really serve well, we have a range, right? So we do the range of the solopreneur. That's, you know, a startup founder or coach that's looking for more leads to, you know, one of the unicorn, you know, multibillion dollar value company, but we do a very specific thing for them with content creation, or some specific lead generation. Ours are really CEOs and founders that need an edge to find leads, and they need appointment set. And they need to do in a way that doesn't destroy their brand, or become spammy or kind of sleazy. They need their their strategic in mind, they're typically maybe you know, 100 or less people in employment. And then we have a few international we've really kind of honed in on the US market because they're, they get it they understand what to do with it. And they know it's competitive. That's a founder, smaller company that's funded doing well that needs to grow need scale, they don't want to hire when people hire us, they get a whole marketing team, in addition to lead generation, so you get like 13 roles available to and our idea was let's charge less than one full time employee for that.

Gabriel Flores  19:30  

Beautiful folks. And again, I'm not this is not sponsored by instant relevant, but please, please go ahead and look up this information again, if you find value in this conversation with myself and Thomas. And I'm happy to connect with Thomas and his team as well. I'm happy to share that information. Again. Check out the newsletter now Tom is what has been difficult about creating this company about being an entrepreneur.

Thomas Helfrich  19:51  

Well, you know, start at mid 40s. You got three kids, you got mortgage payments, you know, we've done a really good job to manage down debt and all the things there but you have the hardest part's been, you know, going for making really good money in the corporate world, and never really liking it, too. So to toe founder, right, so I'm writing a book on this topic called never been promoted, because I've never been promoted. So if you've never been promoted, don't worry about it, it's okay, you're gonna be fine. I don't think you want it anyway, I can explain that later. But the point is, you know, as I go through the seasons of life, right of, especially entrepreneurship, in, I have to say, so I think there's like three parts to entrepreneurs life is this unraveling, unbounding and unleashing, and on the unraveling pieces, where you're probably working somewhere, you just got laid off, you're trying to figure out who you are, what you can become what you can't do what you like, what you don't like, and you're just in do I have what it takes to become an entrepreneur. And that first phase is, is is fun, because you're like excited, and likely you're you know, you're still like still working, or you still got some money left. So you're, and that's the ideation phase. And once you figure that out, then you go in this kind of unbound piece and the unbound stages where you have roadblocks, you have excuses, you have fear, you have people that you probably should stop hanging out with you lots of things in your way. And that's a really rough one. Because there's a lot of emotional pieces with that. And there's a lot of self realization, vulnerability, the fear, and the last part being unleash where you're, you're, there's no safety net, you are the entrepreneur. But in that phase, which is seems very scary, is that you also realize you never had security, where you were working, it's you have it in your own abilities, as soon as you trust and get behind that you have it. So I part of what we do with all of our customers, is we take them through that journey, and I coach them with it as they some do marketing, some just do the coaching. But it's so important understand those pieces, because the difficult pieces are found in each of those phases. And oftentimes, you're the reason they're difficult. You it's your own biases, your own self reflection, and a lack of ability to talk about, you know, like the vulnerability or the how you feel or the burnout, you're gonna feel, or you're unwilling to go talk to a counselor, I mean, there's, like, you've got to open it up, you got to balance your mind, and you got to, you know, not that I'm a good specimen, you should do some push ups. Occasionally, there's, that's the hard part is balancing life while you do it, and you do need a coach, you need a mentor you and I've had one informally, I probably would have been smarter to hire one earlier. But that's the hard part is getting out of your own way.

Gabriel Flores  22:22  

You know, that is very true. In fact, you know, maybe having a mentor is so important, folks, I'll be completely honest with you. Mental Health Crisis is real thing, please bear, check up on yourself, check up on your friends and your family, I have a mentor, I'll be completely transparent. I was being recruited by a national health care system across the country. I went through the process, got the offer, had the interview, call my mentor. And I was like, hey, you know, I'm going through this, this phase of my life, you know, what should I be doing? And he really dropped some really good information and good knowledge on me. He really kind of asked me, okay, what's important in life? You know, I started drilling down, okay, well, you know, I don't want to travel as much, but I want to make some more money, you know, be financially secure for my family, and, you know, don't want to travel because I want to be close to my family, and so on and so forth. It's like, okay, so it seemed like family is one of your priorities. He's like, let me let me ask you this. He's like, what can you do at this organization? That is truly going to create a generational impact, will you will you go with this organization, you'll create this company, or you create this department, right? That's what you're being created for. And then you're going to leave in 10 years, and somebody else who's gonna come in, and they're going to redo it, and they're gonna have their own likes and images, okay, so your your resume, maybe is going to last 10 to 20 years. But being a family man, being with your family, being a father, with your kids, that has an opportunity of have a three generational impact, you're impacting your kids, you're gonna impact your kids, kids. And if we live long enough, we may impact our kids, kids, kids, that's three generations. And so that put everything in importance for me, right? Where it was like, Okay. Again, this is if you can name there's some of the biggest National Healthcare Institute and this was the biggest, this was probably the, my my creme de la creme it was, it was the one right. And but I think it's the importance of it is understanding what you believe is valuable as well. In fact, I'm very interested to hear from you, Thomas. You were in corporate America. Why did you start this company?

Thomas Helfrich  24:27  

I got asked to leave my job. 20 times. It's really true. I went from being like a, you know, I had a really weird, crazy career ride where I've probably I think, the one place I've stayed the longest is my four years. And it was the worst working environment I've ever had. I think I had like seven different bosses. I was just trying to like, you know, new young father and Oh, I hate to be I'm not gonna say I was, but I'm the every I've been like maybe 12 months to 30 months anywhere. And I went on this kind of crazy career right because of this Intelligent Automation pushing the AI systems. This kind of pushes you to go from like a manager at KPMG to the Chief Innovation Officer of nearly a billion dollar services company. And, you know, you're making like crazy money making over half million a year, like, you know, the people, oh my God, that's, but when you get there, and it's great money, but I wasn't really, I was happy. But I was also like, there's still that itch of like, I don't want to work for someone else's dream. And I mean, like, trust me, that is a messed up thing. When you like the job, I wanted to hit my early 40s. And in I didn't sell, I didn't take it wrong, but I was doing fine and doing well there. But all of a sudden, it ended two weeks after getting a bonus my six quarterly bonus in a row, like everything's fine all sudden the value was there, according to the you know, the owners and the leadership. And I was like, Where does that come from? And then just gave me an idea of like, and that's this is like, you know, so go from that number, over half a million to zero. And then you got to start up land, and then COVID hits. And next, you know, your home repair guy with a 18 inch gauge nail through your finger. Oh, my goodness. And that's not when the epiphany happens, by the way, because you become home repair guides what happens when you go. And so it's not when you have an 18 gauge. Now, that's not a big nail, but it is not small either. In your pin to the wall. You see, like Jesus Christ, that seems a bit. That's not when the epiphany happens. It's when you pull the nail out, you don't bleed. And you're like, well, that is surprising. I'm with my internally. It didn't even really hurt. It just made a sound like I was like, oh, like, sour I kids, why would daddy or you. Like it wasn't? That's not the epiphany epiphany. And I'm sitting there with a nail on my finger. And I'm looking at it. And I'm like, that was the epiphany. It was like, I'm holding it, am I what am I having to nail my finger for and I know AI will like what is it? What did I miss? So I took some a few weeks. And that's how AI nerd got started that YouTube channel during Carbonite. And I've since kind of pulled back from because there's no monetization path. And I was just having fun with it. But the truth is, I was like, There's got to be a better way to do marketing and sales, because you're always so people out there, you're entrepreneurs, right? One thing that drove me nuts in corporate world was like, I was always waiting for the lead to go do something with it from sales, or marketing, or whomever. And all they were good at was telling me how great they were doing a metrics or how many people they had working on the problem, but never actually delivering anything in. And so I just solved that problem. So I started this company, I was working for a company prior. And I'm sorry, I was wide bought started this company. And then I got hired because of all this content I was creating. And I took the job because like I had a whole team to go generate leads for myself to generate interest. And because I solve it on my own, I didn't have to worry about sales in the house I just started building in the the thing I really maybe blew my mind is that bug the company I was with it bugged them that I had a team that was working for me that I paid myself to go get me leads because their sales teams couldn't and like that ended up killing the relationship for about 20 months was like you're not providing so this is my point is you have to just take the initiative yourself, you just have to get out there and you know, in solve it, you're gonna have to find your methods to grow your business and there's no excuses. You're the only one honestly you have a team. You got it all up, you're on the hook for it. End of the day, you're on the hook to get it done.

Gabriel Flores  28:05  

That's a very, very good point. Have you ever had a moment of self doubt?

Thomas Helfrich  28:10  

Oh, every 14 minutes I'm halfway through his interview almost twice. Here's the day of an entrepreneur view. If you're a new person, if you're an entrepreneur listen up and because if I miss a part step let me know All right, you wake up, you are fired up because you're gonna get downstairs you got some meetings today you're gonna work on you know, the the landing page, you're gonna go talk about you think about your brand. You get your call, you get the kids out, maybe you know, you get your coffee, you take the dog for a walk, whatever, you got you down there, and you're rocking it and you're in and then it's, you know, it's morning and next thing you know, you're oh my god, I really needed this and you're kind of get add and you bring it back together. You start working through it and all sudden somebody cancels a meeting, you're bummed out, you're like this, I'm gonna go apply for four jobs, you go apply for four jobs on LinkedIn, no one ever calls you back, you know, they're not going to have the word entrepreneur on your LinkedIn. And you go there and then you're like, Oh, that's a greatest you know, I plug into their coffee, get coffee, come back. And then somebody else schedules a new meeting like sweet Yes, this is a greatest. You have your next one. Oh, it didn't really go well, man. I feel like I need a nap. You take a nap. You get back out we have a coffee and it's 11am it's that's just the morning. And you repeat in the evening. And throughout the whole time you're like, Why did I do this? I don't make enough I can see the math. I'm gonna get the Excel book out. Let me go see how much I'm gonna make when I'm successful. You're all over. And so the end of the day though, none of that matters. Just get in focus on one thing at a time and just do it really well and the next hour and so that's yes, that's a long winded fun answer of there's self doubt all the time but like that's normal. That's how you discover when you have self doubt you should ask yourself why and there's usually because there's something off like you know, your product or your service you're offering is not right or you know, you're charging too little or too much or you know you're there's something there really that's that vote take take it in discover what that why you have self doubt.

Gabriel Flores  29:51  

That is a great point. You know, you it's kind of interesting, because you came from you mentioned you came from corporate America then you're doing entrepreneurship. What has it been? anything easy about this transition.

Thomas Helfrich  30:03  

I mean, it's easy to get laid off, I just tell you to go for it at some point, and I will tell you, it's not an easy path. So it's so entrepreneurship isn't easy, but small, it's an exception. If it's easy. If it's easy as because you're very good at some things that typically, you're gonna have strengths or weaknesses, right and, and the more you're reflective of what those are, and then it gets easier. But you really have to, like, understand, it's not gonna be an easy journey. But I will tell you, every day I work, I work my ass off, and I don't feel like I'm working anymore. I feel like I actually have fun. You know, being an entrepreneur being here, and what you want those to make enough to pay your bills to have money left over to save to, no one can afford health care in the United States. So just accept that that's not going to happen. But I will, I'll give you an entrepreneur, if you've made it this point, this is one thing has been super effective. For me to Austin burnout and keep keep fresh thinking is I take every Wednesday, I'm gonna say off, but there's no meetings. It's a It's my Learn day. So I'll go learn. It might be anywhere from going fishing, or to learning Google animals. And the idea is don't take any meetings that day at all. And then you created yourself a Saturday in the middle of your week that no one expects you to have off and take it to go walk ticket to do other things. That break will make you go much harder on Mondays and Tuesdays and Thursdays and Fridays. And it will also aligns our culture and our team's all get four day workweek. So I did that from day one. I was like, You know what you need time with family, you need time to have fun. You want to go do a side hustle, go do it. But when you're working, work your butt off, but then check out and so but take that Wednesday, take it off take one day a week. I do recommend the Wednesday though because it's like it's perfect. It's just like two days on one day or two days on, two days off, and then you repeat it and it's like, oh, it's it's a better way to live.

Gabriel Flores  31:54  

Yeah, it sounds and I think that's what you're probably starting to see too is these alternative workdays, especially since the pandemic. And it's it is it's I truly I'm able to take some time off. Thankfully, I work for an organization that really supports a goodwill, good life balance. But granted, when I'm working, I'm busting my ass. Like, you know, me and Thomas were mentioning, after you know, I'm working today, I gotta I gotta travel. I'm doing a four hour drive tomorrow. And then the following day, and another four and a half hour drive. And then I fly out and I come back and I do another five hour drive. I mean, it's it's relentless. But at the same time, I think, you know, the sweet isn't as sweet without the better sometimes. And we're, we're definitely grinding now, what advice would you have for the listeners?

Thomas Helfrich  32:38  

Well, I mean, there's, there's been a bunch that I will tell you this. Resilience is probably the final attribute of an entrepreneur you have to have and the self doubt or the excitement, just manage the highs and lows with just a grinding approach to growth and pivot when you need to be smart, be smart about it and think through it, you know, you're not you're not a gambler, you're a calculated risk taker, that's a that's a big piece, though your spouse may look at it that way. But just to be clear, but the stick stick with it, if you truly believe in it. There is a there's real math behind if you can make it to your three that you're like 100% more likely to make it three or four and five. And the reason is because as you've had your brand out there and you've been out there longer people now associated with that and your your flow of deals and your messaging and how you get you get better at it. It's like almost like a school, right? You get buy into it, you're better at what you're doing, stick with it. seek advice, and honestly, I'm pretty actually easy to get on a call. Because all the you know, we don't take tons of customers, right. But when people do do a county, they meet with me still on our company. So I say I hand select right, but we find a good meeting of minds of people who just need help. I'm happy to meet with anybody for 30 minutes to hear what challenges they have? And if I can help them great. If not, I'll send them to somebody I know that can

Gabriel Flores  33:57  

love it. In fact, you know, that's a great kind of segue, how can the listeners get a hold of you? How can they find more information about Thomas and incidentally relevant, the new sponsor of the shades of entrepreneurship

Thomas Helfrich  34:10  

is brand colors just go to instantly our sites always changing also are the killer Taylor's kids are almost always naked to the last ones. But that's an easy way to get ahold of it. So you can you get a feel for our you know, just who we are as a company a little bit but the truth is just scheduled time that goes right to me. If you're on LinkedIn, you can find me through Thomas Helfrich that's fine as well. But just just reach out don't be afraid to just ask and say Hey, I heard you say we heard you on a podcast. I'll definitely find something fun and extra to give you just because you know if you made it this point, I think it's pretty cool. And I will I'll make sure anybody in your audience that does that I'll I'll give a little some some some kind of cool lead magnet or some fun fact

Gabriel Flores  34:49  

if they do if somebody reaches out to you folks, here's a little plug if you do reach out to Thomas and you connect with him and you say you heard from the shades of entrepreneurship. I will send you a free sweater send me So Thomas, you let me know if any of my guests reached out to you that's that's a free sweater coming your way. I might regret this. But hey, if you've gotten this far, we will certainly give you a free sweater. Tom is lucky. Luckily,

Thomas Helfrich  35:14  

it's a weak point for me. Yeah, the fall attribution piece. You

Gabriel Flores  35:20  

don't know what you're talking about.

Thomas Helfrich  35:22  

I was on that show. Anyway.

Gabriel Flores  35:25  

Man, that's great. Thomas. Is there any last words you'd like to say for the guests?

Thomas Helfrich  35:29  

No. Well, no, thank you if you made it this far. I mean, I, no one ever listens to all my content this far. So they've made it this far. You rock and either you have a clear obsession, or Gabrielle or or me.

Gabriel Flores  35:40  

Yeah, one of the two. It's,

Thomas Helfrich  35:42  

listen, let's reach out, find advice. Keep reading. And I love you're an entrepreneur, if you're listening, because we need more of them in the world.

Gabriel Flores  35:50  

We do. And I hope this I continue to hope this podcast, you know, as me and Thomas have been talking about continuing to bring value to the user listeners. Again, if you made it this far. I really do hope you did, because there's a lot of great content. Thomas has a very informative and formative guy and I happily connect you folks with them. So please follow me on the shades of E on all the social sites. You can also subscribe to the newsletter by visiting the shades of We will also have Thomas's information on the newsletter. So again, another good reason to subscribe because you'll have all this information there. Other than that, thank you and have a great night.

bottom of page