Episode #3

December 13, 2018

Welcome To The For The Close Experience Episode #3

Josh Harcus is a brand evangelist for Dmanna.com, preventing UTIs and reducing Dementia with elders. Chairman of Hüify. A top HubSpot sales and marketing partner, sales enablement Speaker and Author of “A Closing Culture”.

  • Josh’s journey starting to starting his company Huify. [1:38]
  • The ins and outs of the partnership model [14:15]
  • Becoming a HubSpot partner to grow your business [17:41]
  • Getting to the top of the directory and establishing the sales process [20:35]
  • Placing yourself in an ecosystem where you can grow quickly [26:05]
  • Becoming the team that steps in and does the job [27:10]
  • Little background to the big project Dmanna. [32:10]
  • Getting of our your way and finding a good use for yourself [39:02]

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Ali Mirza: Alright everybody! Thank you so much for joining us today. I’d like to, I welcome a very special guest on the show who happens to be a close personal friend of mine. A fellow that I had drinks with on an empty rooftop in San Francisco. We walk through the streets of San Francisco aimlessly like middle of the night.

Josh Harcus: It was such a good bromantic date.

Ali Mirza: It was, wasn’t it?

Josh Harcus: Such a good bromantic date.

Ali Mirza: A serial entrepreneur, the second highest reviewed HubSpot partner in the world, worked with clients like Fujitsu, Canon, bestselling author of A Closing Culture, founder of Hüify and now co-founder of Dmanna, the one and only Josh Harcus. Josh, thank you so much for joining us here on the For The Close Podcast. How are you doing today?

Josh Harcus: Good man! I’m excited to be here. This is an awesome Podcast and yeah! This is going to be great so, thanks for having me.

Ali Mirza: Thanks for that. I appreciate your time brother. And hey! Aren’t you guys almost ready to hit Diamond with HubSpot?

Josh Harcus: Yes! Yeah! It’s crazy. We’ve been in the HubSpot ecosystem for 6 going on 7 years now and we got as far as Platinum a year ago. And then, we were like we do really want to continue to pursue of trying to get this tiers and I don’t know we’ve been doing it so long. And then all of a sudden this year it just took off and now we’re just shining a diamond which is cool.

Ali Mirza: There you go. Alright, brother. Okay, first question I even got to ask you and before we even get into anything. What does the name or how did you come up with Hüify? I mean, and first of all spell it for people because like when you hear, right? The audience hearing it they say okay Hüify but first of all spell it because I always would pronounce it wrong until you corrected me. And where did you come up with that name?

Josh Harcus: [00:01:51.02] [Crosstalk] Yes! No. You’re good. Yeah, for sure! So, Hüify is spelled H-U-I-F-Y. And just to help people out we put the umlaut which is the double dots over the U so people know to say Hugh instead of Huffy or Huify or we’ve got a lot of random ones. You always know when spammer’s calling.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: Because they’ll be like “Is anyone from WiFi there?” and you’re like “Nope. Never heard of anything”.

Ali Mirza: Yep! There’s no WiFi here.

Josh Harcus: Yeah. There’s no WiFi here. But, yeah. So we came up with the name naming as anyone here probably listening to this Podcast especially knows naming your quote and quote “Project” at the time which hopefully going to become a company is really difficult and really wiser. You spend so much time banging your head against the wall. So, finally my motto has been just to always come up with words and just literally make up words. Because one, you’re unique and you’re different and you can get SEO for it.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: Usually you can find that domain and buy it. And then two, you standout. Again, you’re unique, you are completely different and people will remember you for that one thing. So, I put human and personify because that’s really what we help brands do is humanize and automate their approach. So I put the word human and personifying on word scrambler and looked for like the word with the least amount of letters and went down the list and it was like Hüify, I think that one could work, it’s 5 letters and I immediately went to GoDaddy and checked and showed up as available for the .com so I bought it and it was like that’s it! That’s the company’s name is Hüify.

Ali Mirza: There you go.

Josh Harcus: Everybody hated it except for Sarah. Sarah thought it was good. But everyone else hated it. They’re like “I don’t like it”.

Ali Mirza: So, wait. Who all hated it?

Josh Harcus: Oh! Just like my parents, they’re like “Really?” I mean, aren’t… it shouldn’t be like marketing or something? It’s not what you guys do like shouldn’t it be? I have a lot of friends and like people are like “No one’s going to know how to spell it” and it’s like who cares?

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: Like I don’t care if people how spell like. Like, sure I get it typing in the Google that makes a lot of sense, that’s pretty logical. But like by the time they have to spell it they’re probably be clicking on something on mind. And again, we knew that inbound was going to work where you were going to be drawing people in direct content not because we had our name in lights or anywhere or something like that.

Ali Mirza: Right. Right.

Josh Harcus: So, yeah. But this is kind of a, a very… this is not… we can keep the story PG so…

Ali Mirza: Okay. Oh yeah let me, hey! I mean this is rated R so you hit me with whatever you want to hit me.

Josh Harcus: Alright! So, I had worked in Hüify for… this is such a quick tangent. Basically, I started working with some Russian guys about 5 years after starting Hüify. And when I would talk about the agency they would always giggle and I never got it. Now, keep in mind if we’re to go back to the beginning when I launched the website we got an influx of Russian traffic, like I don’t know where and I had no idea why. Here I am like the online marketer who just starts his online marketing company and has no idea even where the traffic like. Why the traffic is coming from, where it’s coming from like I don’t know why we’re getting all this Russian hits. I’m Googling Hüify and Russian finding nothing and like, I’m trying everything. I’m like, did I named the company a bad word like why is all this traffic coming? Like there’s more traffic than there should be coming from Russia. And we knew obviously it was just coming from there but again we don’t know why. So, fast forward 5 years later after the company has already been doing well, we’ve already been Platinum success, all stuff with HubSpot all this. These Russian guys go finally, one night they had a little bit too much to drink and he goes “Alright, you know what Hüify means?” and I’m like “What?” he goes, “Hui H-U-I in Russian especially where I’m from in Belarus it’s slang for dick. So, your company in Russian Dickify and Hui is like spray paint like graffiti’d everywhere in Russia in like everywhere” so he’s like “You literally, so all of us Russians have been cracking up because your company name is literally means Dickify” so anyway.

Ali Mirza: That’s hilarious.

Josh Harcus: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: That’s hilarious. That’s good.

Josh Harcus: I was like, well, we have plans like Fujitsu they are pretty traditional so let’s not let that get back to them. But besides that who cares?

Ali Mirza: Right, yeah! That is hilarious. No that’s too good. Alright, well okay. So okay, you got the ball rolling. And you know what? I just, you know what I realized? When I learned while I was doing my little digging on yeah, I didn’t learn that but I know you’re a fellow settlers of the Tent Flare.

Josh Harcus: Oh, man! Hardcore.

Ali Mirza: If you ever want to lose just come and play against me because I like no prisoners, I will cheat, I will cut through the knees, I will…

Josh Harcus: Dude! I played the game two nights ago and this guy straight off at the city with no roads attached to it and in the middle of nowhere he’s collecting cards on it for multiple turns. We find and caught him and we were like because there’s a huge group of us playing with two big boards and I was like “Bro! How long you’ve been just sitting taking extra cards that it was an extra piece you just” and he’s like “Oh!? How that happened?”

Ali Mirza: Yeah, he played dumb. That’s all you have to do.

Josh Harcus: I’m like [00:07:18.25] [Crosstalk] [Unintelligible] robbed the piece on and just start collecting dude. What had happened?

Ali Mirza: Here’s my philosophy. That’s cheating if I tell you I’m going to cheat, right? I mean like…

Josh Harcus: I warned you from the beginning.

Ali Mirza: Yeah. I’m telling you I’m going to cheat. You didn’t catch me, that’s on you man.

Josh Harcus: Oh, that’s hilarious. Because I love, we’re going to have to play; we have to play a game for sure.

Ali Mirza: So, you’ve been… now, Hüify is out of North Carolina, right?

Josh Harcus: Yep! Our headquarters is in Wilmington.

Ali Mirza: Wilmington, North Carolina. And you did a stint out in San Francisco and you go back and forth and you’ve got offices all over and you’re always going back and forth. Talk to me a little bit about the kind of the mental cultural shift that you have to make going from kind of… I never been to Wilmington but you know I’m Atlanta, you know Georgia.

Josh Harcus: [00:08:09.29] [Georgetown?] [00:08:11.08] [Crosstalk] [Unintelligible].

Ali Mirza: Yeah, Atlanta is pretty cosmopolitan but as soon as you get like 10 minutes outside, right? It’s like oh, yeah. So, what is it like going from the good old boys being in the South?

Josh Harcus: You imagine North Carolina.

Ali Mirza: Wilmington, North Carolina you’re south of the Mason Dixie going all the way to like 2054 in San Francisco, right? What is that like? Do you have to do a mental shift like what’s that?

Josh Harcus: Oh, for sure. One, it’s super exciting. I mean, we’re all type A, strong, ready to go, energetic, excited so, to be honest like Wilmington that’s probably one of the main reasons why. Actually at the end of this year I’m probably going to… my time in Wilmington will significantly diminish just because we’re finishing up some business things here, I’m in the paths. I already sold a commercial building here; I’m in the process of potentially selling a company here.

Ali Mirza: Your headquarter, your office you guys sold that?

Josh Harcus: Sold it.

Ali Mirza: There you go.

Josh Harcus: Wiper bright literally like three weeks before a hurricane Florence hit we closed on it.

Ali Mirza: Oh, [00:09:18.06] [Unintelligible].

Josh Harcus: The only downside is I sold it to my CFO and his agency. So, [00:09:23.05] [Unintelligible].

Ali Mirza: Oh, that’s crap.

Josh Harcus: I could have end up getting he’s like “Yeah, yeah. I know you could have called the hurricane like that”. But because we’re really tied too so it’s like, I was like “Dude, I feel like I just gave you this like melon basically” but, thankfully we’re all right and thankfully that building didn’t have a lot of damage. Buildings surrounding it but not that one.

Ali Mirza: That’s good.

Josh Harcus: So, back to the original question now. Wilmington is a beach town so we’re right on the water, there’s a college here so there’s definitely some progressive like even lots. Yesterday there was this pretty cool banquet thing with some startup stuff. And so, there’s definitely some startup activity but it’s just not the same.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: When you go out to San Francisco as you will know especially because we’ve spent so much time out there together. Even as you go to a coffee shop and the six tables that are surrounding you are all having fantastically interesting conversations about business.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: This table over here, you’re just ears dropping, you can be fake reading a book the whole time you’d be super entertained or read your book or whatever, do it your way.

Ali Mirza: Right. Alright. Yeah.

Josh Harcus: But like this conversation over here is talking about how they’re letting go a CEO, this one is talking about this what they’re talking about. Anyway, that’s just not North Carolina.

Ali Mirza: Alright.

Josh Harcus: Maybe certain parts of Raleigh, the Triangle, I spent a lot of time. I’d probably go up to the Triangle once every week or every other week, sometimes even twice a week that’s about 2 hours away. And again, it’s just because that’s where the most startup’s are happening. Actually, ironically enough second to Silicon Valley is Raleigh, North Carolina for startup’s.

Ali Mirza: Right!

Josh Harcus: So, the most money is going into yeah and it’s a lot of, it’s a ton of medical, it’s a ton of healthcare, the ton of engineering, a ton of robotics like all other stuffs. There’s always money going into that.

Ali Mirza: Right. Because that’s where you got all the schools, right?

Josh Harcus: Yep!

Ali Mirza: And then they’re kind of stay where they got schooled at, right? Yeah, so.

Josh Harcus: Yeah, you literally have three of the top schools right there. You’ve got Duke, Chapel Hill and NC State. So those three just make that triad and that group where a lot of money is pouring into there. So, there is some interesting things, there is some cool things but honestly, it’s such a culture shift man. I mean, it is something where everyone here to a certain extent is operating with this mindset of I just want to work until like 4PM on a Friday and then I’m already out of the door like grabbing kids or whatever. And I’m not going to even answer my work email until Monday at 10 AM by the time I’ve gotten my coffee back into it.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: Which is fine. I mean, that’s your life like do it like that’s totally cool like do what you want to do, it’s just not what I’m about.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: And so, it’s kind of hard to connect. So, anyway that’s a little bit of a longer version of how hard that is to do that culture shift. But, yeah it’s for sure there, no doubt.

Ali Mirza: It exist. Yeah.

Josh Harcus: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: No. It’s just one of the things you just said. I guess you have to make yourself aware too and that was one with living here in Atlanta, having a lot of business connections here in the city but, I don’t actually do a lot of business in Atlanta, right?

Josh Harcus: Right. Yeah.

Ali Mirza: Most of my business. And it’s funny because most I’d say the 2 biggest core areas of my clients says Dallas, right? DFW and LA, right?

Josh Harcus: Makes sense.

Ali Mirza: It’s not maybe to the same drastic extent you got between North Carolina and San Francisco but it’s enough, right? I mean like I go on to my Dallas clients, right? It’s incredibly red, we’re talking pro-guns all this other stuff and I’m just going to keep my mouth shut. And there’s no recycling, right? And it was like are you done with your lunch, everything goes in the garbage, right? But then you go to LA, right? It’s just like it’s so…

Josh Harcus: A complete opposite.

Ali Mirza: All were opposites, right. We’re talking about global warming, we’re talking about this, we’re talking about that and like there’s no garbage can anywhere to be found, right? And you don’t know what to do with it.

Josh Harcus: Or straws.

Ali Mirza: Or straws.

Josh Harcus: I just know to keep my mouth shut because like, no matter what I’m going to end up offending somebody, right? Because I just don’t know, I don’t even know what to think anymore, right? Because I hear both sides of every story so. But it’s funny though, it’s something you got to be aware of. So, talk to me a little bit about… I mean you got Hüify quite big, quite quickly. And it’s something that I’ve known and I want you to share because I think that you’re an expert in this area. You don’t buy Coke from Coke; you buy Coke… the one of the most successful brands in the world, right? You buy Coke through their partners, right? And I feel and you tell me if I’m right or wrong. I feel that was one of your keys to success is the partnership model.

Josh Harcus: Without a doubt dude. Without a doubt.

Ali Mirza: Walk me through that. Walk me through the ends and the outs of partnership. Like I mean, for a lot of people that don’t know I mean, Josh is legit, scaled up a marketing agency super quick like super, super quick very, very big. I’m not going to share his numbers but Josh is legit, legit. How? Walk us through what partnerships are?

Josh Harcus: Yeah. For sure! So, really when you’re starting any business you’re trying to figure out how am I going to get leads? That’s the number one question. That’s really all that matters.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: All that matters. How am I going to get people interested who could buy whatever that crap I am trying to sell? If it’s a service, if it’s a product, it doesn’t matter. How do I get these leads? So, I had a mentor sit me down, I was launching Hüify. Actually I went to the same mentor before I left because I was working for a previous agency before I started Hüify.

Ali Mirza: Got it.

Josh Harcus: And the light bulb moment went off when I was sitting… we did this whole conference circuit so, here I am 2 months at a college. And because of just the chain of events, because of my background in public speaking and all that stuff next thing you know I’m on stage next to Google. Like in 2011 and I’m stage next to Google as we’re doing back to back presentations. And I did this free tools talk for young entrepreneurs or new entrepreneurs, whatever and I basically listed like 30 free tools that you could run your whole business off of. Now, all of those have like premiums plans and all have like pro plans and everything.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: But this is back in the day they were just getting started.

Ali Mirza: Right!

Josh Harcus: So, anyway HubSpot gets up in speed. This is like back in the day where they actually sent presenters to all of these random conferences just because they were trying to get the word out. They don’t do that as much anymore, you have to go through this crazy process to get a speaker. But anyway, so Ellie Mirman gets up, she gave this great presentation on Inbound Methodology and it was the first time I heard digital marketing put so simply that good old Joe, so and so who’s the director of marketing for Heavy Equipment Rental company in South Carolina. He understood what digital marketing was for the first time ever, the life. If you just watched, everyone just go “Wow! I get it.” And that’s where I saw the power of the inbound methodology as I was like that is so simple. I’m over here with my like 360 plans and like all these ridiculousness that I’m making up but I could just subscribe to this which is the same thing.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: It’s just could really to sync easy way to understand. But the key here was Joe, the same guy; his name was really Andy. We’ll call by his real name. So Andy, this is the real guy.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: Andy, he’s my first client too. Andy gets up “Hey! Love the presentation. Get this for the first time ever. Who’s going to do all this work? Like I get that you’re going to use the HubSpot system, I’m like I’m all about it, I’m schooled. But like this blog post, this emails, this social copy like all of this; I can’t do that. Who’s going to do all this work?” And she was like “Oh, you guys are. We’re going to train you how to do it”. So, that’s where the light bulb went after me where I was like, what if I start out an agency then just have training everyone how to do it like the agency that I worked for at the time I was doing. We actually trained and did all the work.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: Basically became an entire outsource marketing department. Now, fast forward 7 years later, that’s kind of a common thing now like that’s the norm; but at that time it wasn’t. So, we launched Hüify and one of my mentors was like you need to become a HubSpot partner because you need to use that ecosystem to grow your business. Wilmington ecosystem doesn’t exist.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: Like there’s no business here for you. Now, thankfully he was one of those businesses in Wilmington that helped me kind of kicked off that [00:17:50.29] [Crosstalk] [adventure].

Ali Mirza: Right. Right.

Josh Harcus: So, I guess he gave me an awesome, gave us an awesome try and it turned out to be one of our best case studies. That company is now referred to Untappd, I guess anyone is familiar with the beer app Untappd.

Ali Mirza: Yep!

Josh Harcus: Where you rate and review your beers. So, that was the company, that was my mentor who they later acquired Untappd yadi yada. So anyway, so because the launch is we help the doing everything. So, basically what happened was my reach that I would have normally had in Wilmington I mean, I worked two hard years here only to find out after 2 years of working and investing in this ecosystem there was no businesses who could really afford our services, it didn’t make sense.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: So, up until recently I haven’t had a client in North Carolina for like 4 years.

Ali Mirza: Jeez.

Josh Harcus: Hüify has because there was just no business that made sense. So again, getting back to your question about partnerships in discussion about partnerships. The reason why our business grew is because I talked to another HubSpot agency and said “How do you do this? How do you grow it?” And she goes, “Get to the top of the directory” she goes “That’s one of the most unutilized resources that HubSpot has”. No one really uses it except enterprise buyers ’cause they want to go through and they want to vend and they want to make sure they’re making the right partner decision.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: So, sure enough that’s how we got Fujitsu, that’s how we got Canon, that’s how we got all these big companies. There’s a list of companies that we didn’t closed but I even sold for 2 years straight, these are going to be some of the biggest deals HubSpot had ever closed. Unfortunately it didn’t, we didn’t get the semantics at that a different time because they put a junior rep in front of the CTO of the company. But anyway…

Ali Mirza: Yeah! That’s the reason what they need to do.

Josh Harcus: That makes sense.

Ali Mirza: Yeah!

Josh Harcus: Yeah! Don’t include the partner it’s not like it was his deal or anything.

Ali Mirza: Yep.

Josh Harcus: So, anyway. So, but it was all because of being in that directory having basically a third party if you will even though yeah, it was all based on reviews; that directory is a third party that saying this agency stands out over all these other ones.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: And so, all we did is build a sales process because we knew we were number two, so we knew that everyone came in and hitting all the top six, they would fill all the landing pages everything through the top six. So we said, as long as we’re on the phone with these leads faster than any other agency we went.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: And we have a good process that takes them all through it that is like really, really we always establish next steps, we always tell you what’s next, we always tell you how it goes, all this. So, we built that process and we did. In one year alone HubSpot has a case study on us where we six x’d our revenue in 1 year.

Ali Mirza: Jeez!

Josh Harcus: Because of getting on the top of the directory and establishing the sales process. We sold, outsold everybody, destroyed every lead that came in. Because again, we had it so dialed in, they were so onboard with us and so appreciative of all the value we had given them by the time they even talk to another agency.

Ali Mirza: Their mind was already made up. It was just academic.

Josh Harcus: [00:21:02.02] [Crosstalk] Yeah! Their mind was already made up. Yeah.

Ali Mirza: It’s just that well we have to speak to three people so we’re going to speak to them but their heart is not in it, they’ve already gone so deep with you, they’re just check listing and going through what they have to. But they’re… and it’s just surface level answers not going deep. And so, so really you used the partnership. One part to acquire leads another part to really establish yourself, right? Because HubSpot is lending you their credibility, right? So, it’s power of association, right?

Josh Harcus: Yeah!

Ali Mirza: Right?

Josh Harcus: For $4000 at the time.

Ali Mirza: Oh, I bet it’s probably with of [00:21:42.03] [Crosstalk] [one now]?

Josh Harcus: [00:21:42.16] [Crosstalk] Now it’s like ten dude, it’s like ten now. That’s [00:21:45.15] [Unintelligible].

Ali Mirza: But you closed one deal right? I mean since this is where… I mean…

Josh Harcus: Exactly! I put on a credit card.

Ali Mirza: [00:21:49.21] [Crosstalk] Because some people… Yeah.

Josh Harcus: I put it on my credit card just to get started. I was like I don’t have money, I don’t have $4000 lying around, are you kidding? I just started from nothing like we lived in a shack at that time.

Ali Mirza: So, that reminds me. So, I got this buddy Ryan Stewman and like literally polar opposite of you, right? But he’s like really, really like you.

Josh Harcus: We probably be best friends then.

Ali Mirza: Probably, yeah. But he’s like, but he’s so… so he like markets himself the hardcore closer, he’s got this huge following in a particular niche and whatnot and.

Josh Harcus: That’s cool!

Ali Mirza: Anyway. So, like end of story so and he’s very open about his background and he’s a former felon and all this other stuff turned his life around, really, really good guy. But maybe not when he was a felon than now.

Josh Harcus: No! But either yeah! Yeah, yeah I agree.

Ali Mirza: Long story short, like his whole thing was like when he was getting first getting started now he’s a multimillionaire; but when he was first getting started he wanted to do Facebook ads and so he’s like “But I don’t have the money” right? He’s like “How long can I run Facebook ads before Facebook charges me?” I said “Oh, 7 days” he’s like “Okay. I got 7 days”. So, he put his credit card number in, started running ads and knew he had to ROI because he knew that credit was going to bounce and Facebook was going to pull all his stuff, right? But he did it, right? And it’s about this belief in yourself, right? If you know how to do it right…

Josh Harcus: That’s…

Ali Mirza: And he ran a whole bunch of ads.

Josh Harcus: [00:23:12.23] [Crosstalk] [Front].

Ali Mirza: And he says that… because he was at this like mastermind and his credit card was already maxed up when he put the number in. And I’m sure maybe by now Facebook probably does some sort of authentication but back then it didn’t. He ran his ads, by lunch time he’d already made all that money back, right? And it’s just about if you have a good system and a good process believe and trust in yourself. Now, I don’t think that that’s the advice that we want to give in terms of going your last time, throw everything on your credit.

Josh Harcus: [00:23:37.18] [Crosstalk] Yeah, right!

Ali Mirza: That being said, I mean there is two sides of every story so and that’s pretty legit. That’s hilarious. I like that.

Josh Harcus: That’s awesome.

Ali Mirza: So, alright. In partnerships. Give me the high level. The do’s and don’ts.

Josh Harcus: Yep.

Ali Mirza: What’s and where’s the opportunity? Right? Okay, I’m trying to start our audience here.

Josh Harcus: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: Me, whoever trying to start their first partnership program. Okay, Josh you inspired me. What are next steps? Actions?

Josh Harcus: Yeah. All of it. I would say analyze the ecosystem. So, when we joined HubSpot. I’m not saying don’t join HubSpot. If you’re really interested, hit me up I’ll tell you all the pros and cons, be happy to once you did and make a really informed decision. At that time though, keep in mind this was 6 years ago there’s a fraction, “a fraction” of the agencies that are in it now. Like literally I remember going to events where there was 20 of us in a room and I even at that time BS right away there with a… I got one of our interns to use his email address so I could buy a student pass for inbound because I couldn’t afford the main ticket. Went there and I just went to all the partners sessions.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: And everybody is “Who is this guy?” I’m wearing like a student badge and I’m like asking more questions than anybody, making a scene almost. So, anyway I remember when there was like 20 people in a room and you could just sit and talk and analyze and there was the top agencies too. These people are the ones that are still ruling the ecosystem because they were first in. The next year the same event, thousands, thousands of people. I’m not even kidding because every agency came and brought couple people.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: So, you had a thousand agencies you had 4000 people in the room.

Ali Mirza: Right. Right.

Josh Harcus: And all of a sudden it was like “Wooooh!” we took over a huge auditorium just the next year. Year after look to that even bigger, year after that even bigger, year after that they actually had a get their own reserved spot like your own building outside of the convention center. So, what that means?…

Ali Mirza: Alright. So, HubSpot is good but it’s changed, right?

Josh Harcus: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: So, what can I?…

Josh Harcus: So what I’m saying… yeah sorry I’m getting little off. But basically what I’m saying by it it’s supply and demand.

Ali Mirza: Yep!

Josh Harcus: Like think about why are you trying to do this? You want to be in an ecosystem where you can be a big fish in a small pond relatively quickly.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Josh Harcus: Because as a, the pond grows you’re just going to continue to grow with it and you will remain the big fish and you will continue to eat better than all the other fish because you’re the biggest.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: So, what I would say is look at companies that you can sell, you can sell revenue for. So, I get a ton of HubSpot commission every year, it’s great, it’s awesome. We’re almost at like a $100,000 in HubSpot commissions alone every year, that’s just free money basically at this point.

Ali Mirza: There you go.

Josh Harcus: So, you’re going to get that residual from selling; we get 20% of every deal we sell with HubSpot. So, you’re going to get maybe some partnerships, you’ll get 40% but they offer less help. Whatever it is, right? You’ll figure it out. Then build a service around that that helps provide a ton of value but also utilizes that software tool so that way you can build a really streamlined service. We used HubSpot to build basically we call it bowling with bumpers; we write processed stocks for everything, we can bring a brand new team member and throw them at HubSpot, they watch a couple of trainings, they go through a couple how to docs, next thing you know they’re scheduling blog post for some client within a few weeks.

Ali Mirza: Got it.

Josh Harcus: So, there’s like a lot of great things for onboarding and kind of scaling up. So, that would be my suggestion. Basically Microsoft I think for every dollar Microsoft makes their partners make $8.

Ali Mirza: Really?

Josh Harcus: Just to give you an idea. Massive! Yeah, 60% of all of HubSpot’s revenue is managed by a partner. 60%. So…

Ali Mirza: So, HubSpot they themselves got big off a partnership program.

Josh Harcus: Fat! Huge! Your retention is outstanding. Gold double comp deals meaning they pay their own direct sales person and they pay their partner manager and a partner so you can even call it really triple comping if you really wanted to. No triple comp deals because they know that, that deal, that client company will stay on longer if a partner is involved.

Ali Mirza: Right. Right.

Josh Harcus: Because the partner will hold do all the stuff. And remember who’s going to do all this work, right? In the beginning that’s where you want to be as a partner.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Josh Harcus: You want to be that team that steps in. It doesn’t matter what it is, it could be finance software. Again, Zero is another outstanding company that built their whole company on partnerships. They focused in… Zero focused on accountants and on CPA’s. If they haven’t had done that we wouldn’t even know what they would be, we were just no QuickBooks.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: But because Zero focused on partnerships they sold all their licenses through accountants because accountants would say you want to work with me? Great! I’m going to put you into Zero and that business owners like “I like money. I don’t want to have zero money” and you’re like “No, no, no. It’s accounting software” and they go “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah! Do whatever you want. I don’t care”.

Ali Mirza: Yeah. Because once you hide that delicate genius you just throw it on them, right? You don’t want it.

Josh Harcus: Yeah. I’m not going to tell you how to swing a hammer; you just swing your hammer. You want to bring just more hammer?

Ali Mirza: [00:28:49.01] [Crosstalk] I just want to swing a hammer, yeah! Why would I tell you?

Josh Harcus: Yeah. Yeah.

Ali Mirza: So, okay. So, let me tell you back what I heard and you correct me if I’m wrong. Number one, find some sort of organization that’s decent, that’s got a good trajectory but not too big.

Josh Harcus: Yep.

Ali Mirza: Number two; make sure that organization is interested in a partnership program.

Josh Harcus: Yes.

Ali Mirza: Right? So, you got to have that mutual understanding. Number three, make sure that it’s a good product, service or whatever it is that they provide to the end consumer but the end consumer wants that but doesn’t want to execute it. And number three, be the executionist, right?

Josh Harcus: Yeah!

Ali Mirza: Be… build your… so then, and that’s how you can go back and forth double end deals, double dip make money on selling it and then you could also make money on servicing it. But then it will also create a lead flow for you because that… even people you didn’t sell just people that they sold are using the product now, they have to have someone execute for them, right? And there will always be that DYI’r but that’s the person with that mentality you don’t want as a client, right? So, is that kind of like a good 3, 4, 5, 6…

Josh Harcus: [00:29:58.05] [Crosstalk] Yeah! You do usually get away with selling that. Yeah! Yeah! You do crushed it.

Ali Mirza: [00:30:01.28] [Crosstalk] Sorry. Hit me back?

Josh Harcus: You crushed it.

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Josh Harcus: You hit all the points. And just to like piggy back on that again like the beauty of this is once you define what deals are good deals for you and that is something I would strongly suggest doing as any firm or any company you should define what deals are bad and what deals are good and seek to it. You’re always going to want to sell a new deal but stick to what deals are bad what deals are good. For the deals that are bad a lot of times if you’re good enough partner you can actually sell them whatever software that is without doing any other work with them. So, you can say “Hey! We’re not going to work together because of X, Y and Z you can’t afford us” like all that stuff but you can do this on your own or whatever, just buy the software. So, there’s been multiple deals where I’ve sold the software alone and not the services to back it up and I’d still get commission on those deals.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: So, there’s a lot of ways you can skin a cat once you’re in the place but you [00:30:59.01] [Crosstalk] [need that good].

Ali Mirza: Going to get there first.

Josh Harcus: Yeah. Get there first exactly.

Ali Mirza: Got it. Got it. Okay, well okay let’s… talk to me a little bit about pivoting because you got Hüify big, Right?

Josh Harcus: Yup!

Ali Mirza: And you’re the… you’re probably one of the only people that I know that a multiple times walked away kind of at the top of the game, right? Like kind of like what MJ did, right? And I don’t mean when he did it at ’94, I’m talking about when he did it at ’98. ’94, he was suspended. I don’t know if this is a Carolina thing to get to the top that just like bounced. But you guys got… okay, you’re here with Hüify and rather than like being someone like me that’s super greedy like “Oh! This is what we did; we’re going to do 2X. You said hey! This is good, this is growing, let me go to Dmanna” right? Talk to me about that, talk to me a little bit about Dmanna, tell me a little bit about that because I know that’s a big project you guys are working on right now.

Josh Harcus: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: And then number two, tell me how this one make that pivot to mentality but then where does that desire come from?

Josh Harcus: Yeah!

Ali Mirza: Because I’m a money guy, right? So, I’m trying to understand. Tell me.

Josh Harcus: Yeah! No, 100% So, man! I’m going to try to practice in. We’re going to be firing here because we’ve got a limited time and this is a huge topic.

Ali Mirza: Yep.

Josh Harcus: You could unpack this for hours. So, really it was complacency. So, both… so my wife and I Sarah, she’s my COO in everything. We run all of our companies together, every project we do we’ve done together and it’s outstanding, I love it! It’s not always rainbows and butterflies like any of partnership relationship.

Ali Mirza: Yeah. I work with my wife so I know.

Josh Harcus: Yeah! But you get through it and you move on and then you’re like “Man! This is freaking solid like this is great”. So, she… we both started getting a little complacent. I who is started the agency… agencies are not scalable, period; it’s based on human services. And so, I knew there was a ceiling to how big we’re going to get the agency without being a company of a hundred people or something like that. So, and there’s a lot of agencies that have gotten that big that grow their agencies today, they’re way bigger than that. And so, I was like man, you know I love the clients we work with, I love more than their products. Honestly, half the time more than even them because a lot of times you get… at the end of the day they decide what consulting, what advice they’re going to actually go with or not. It doesn’t matter how right you are and that’s the hardest part especially when you’ve seen it over and over and over and over and over because you’ve worked with so many clients. I’ve worked with over 70 companies all are different industries too. So it’s like I’m pulling from all those different industry knowledge, now I haven’t had to be in the trenches with that company and there’s so many things I don’t know about that company. But when it comes to marketing and sales woooh! Dude! I know it like I’ve seen it all.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: We’ve worked with these companies for so long. So, a lot of these guys that frustration of coming up against that was we’re just like saying enough is enough like we want to grow our own things, we want to be able to make a decision and see that impact take place. And so, we were already kind of feeling like the MDA that we had gotten from starting that agency, that MDA we got it, we graduated.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: Like we got the [00:34:19.26] [Unintelligible] [Intermittent]. What’s next? Whereas about we are kind of starting to feel. So, as soon as you feel that I feel like money comes in anything you’re passionate about like anything you’re truly passionate about the money will be there and I felt like I was not passionate about Hüify. So, once that started to happen we immediately started asking each other what’s next? During this whole time my wife has had over 30 urinary tract infections — crazy number, crazy! She gets them all the time, she is among this really high frequent group of women that get urinary tract infection UTIs all the time. So, during this we were just dealing with that and there was crazy pictures of her laying in the bathroom floor crawled up with pain meds and blanket over her like 4 in the morning in Dublin where she’s supposed to present in front of Dublin agencies the next day but can’t.

Ali Mirza: Jesus.

Josh Harcus: Because she’s immobilized with this. So, I’m having a cover, I’m having to jump and I’m trying to figure out. So, anyway she’s a chemist though, she got a chemistry degree and studied for years how to prevent urinary tract infections and found a solution. So, the last 2 years she hasn’t gotten UTIs because of the solution. And the reason why it’s not publically… even though there’s clinical trials that back this up, that’s how she found the research it was through these clinical trials and through these studies is with Big Pharma and everything it’s just not a priority. The priority is in creating antibiotics not in creating other ways of prevention or other cures.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: So, we came in the market with Dmanna which is this right here.

Ali Mirza: Okay.

Josh Harcus: There’s the whole thing.

Ali Mirza: The purple packaging. I like it.

Josh Harcus: Yeah. Purple package. And what it is, is it’s a solution of the daily amount measured of D-mannose, just that’s the substance that’s in here. A simple sugar or simple carbohydrate that binds to E. Coli and doesn’t let it become and infection. And in fact, if it’s actually causing the infection it causes it to release from your body and bind to the D-mannose and then get flushed through your body. So, it is like this crazy magical little thing. So, obviously I’m not the one who talks to doctors.

Ali Mirza: It’s magical!

Josh Harcus: So, it’s magical.

Ali Mirza: Well, that’s a sale pitch.

Josh Harcus: Yeah, right!

Ali Mirza: Yeah.

Josh Harcus: So, this… there’s 250 million people each year that get UTIs. Our mission is to lower that down to 50 million and this is something that’s a scalable world. We were in Japan. I got to think about it for a minute. We’re in Japan, Mexico, Cameron and India right now and, those were countries that reached out, those were people in those countries that reached out to us and said I need this here or we need this here or all my patients need this here or whatever. And again, antibiotics are kind of wrecking right now.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: And we’re getting this wave of resistance it’s about to crash down on us and stings like Lletz — the most common infection in the world, bacterial infection of the world are UTIs. Those are… that’s like a huge mission. Now it’s been crazy because even at the agency I’ve vowed to never take a healthcare client and here we are a healthcare company now.

Ali Mirza: [00:37:55.16] [Crosstalk] Starting. Alright.

Josh Harcus: Yeah! Starting it. And so, it’s been a road man. It has been nuts. I’ve called cold probably like a thousand senior care of communities and just been like blowing them up. It’s been crazy jumping into this. But I know I could talk for hours about this so you’d show me Ali all where you’d want to go with this.

Ali Mirza: I want to know how… like okay. So, you told me that okay, that the passion wasn’t there, right? And you made the pivot. Now for you maybe that the pivot was a little bit more apparent or I don’t know because you’ve got the personal attachment and you guys had something that Sarah stumbled upon or researched and found.

Josh Harcus: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: Talk to me from a perspective not of that from a perspective of I’m a founder, I’ve gotten my company to where it’s academic at this point, it’s running. How do I make that? Because I feel like most people are too close to choose to see the forest.

Josh Harcus: Sure.

Ali Mirza: Most people cannot get out of their own way, out of their own day to day. If things are good they’ll find a way to screw it up so they can feel need it.

Josh Harcus: Yes.

Ali Mirza: We, as humans indivertibly do that.

Josh Harcus: Yeah.

Ali Mirza: How does someone prevent that from sticking their nose into where it doesn’t belong and actually finding a good use for themselves?

Josh Harcus: So, I do feel like I can actually even though about that story I can tell you here how it seems like all of a sudden this mission got placed in my lap and it’s… there’s new calling came and it was like wow! It’s my wife and its health. And like just to be totally real like we were in the hospital 3 weeks ago because she went into a septic shock because of how many UTIs she’s had when she got kidney infection and kidney stones. And so like, it’s now at the point like I remember racing home to deliver some packages and then racing back to the hospital to be with her like it was like wow! This is as real as it gets here with this new company. At the same time that wasn’t the way it was when I was getting complacent with the agency. That was like my complacency or me feeling like, I don’t really feel like I’m excelling or growing or learning anything new. It was really learning anything new that was the main thing. I don’t really feel like I can learn anything new it was like these are the same situations where we can we know what to expect, it’s been 6 years of exact same, it’s what it is, this is what we do, this is how it is delivered, boom! So, that’s when I started pulling my head up and I started stepping away. So, the first step I would say to anyone who’s starting to feel this is replace yourself. Start putting things in so you can like you said step back and get the view before you stood at trees.

Ali Mirza: Right.

Josh Harcus: That’s where I would start. And then you’d be surprised how many up. If you’ve been successful in your other business people know about it. People know about it, your friends know about it, others know about it so you will all of a sudden get an overwhelming wave of opportunities that come inbound if you take the right steps to kind of replace yourself.

Ali Mirza: Put yourself in a position where you can open yourself up to other opportunities, right? And then that’s kind of how when they’ll come or you’ll see them.

Josh Harcus: Exactly!

Ali Mirza: Got it! But you’re in the day to day you’re not even going to be looking from things that pass in front of you.

Josh Harcus: [00:41:05.04] [Crosstalk] Yeah.

Ali Mirza: You won’t even notice that. Got it. No, I love it. Hey, brother. Well, thank you so much and I know you got to run.

Josh Harcus: [00:41:13.12] [Crosstalk] Same to you.

Ali Mirza: [00:41:12.27] [Crosstalk] [I know that should]. I’ve got a ton more questions and as I’m sure that the rest of our audience does as well. But where can they catch up with you? Where can they reach out if they wanted to ask you a few other questions whether it’d be regarding partnerships or anything with that nature?

Josh Harcus: Yeah! Honestly, I post the most on Instagram and that’s where I post a lot of stories of like behind the scenes on what I’m working on and what I’m doing. So, I would say it’s my full name so @JoshHarcus in Instagram or really any other social media at channel it’s the same handle. That’s probably the best place to be honest. So, just follow me there, hit me up with a comment and tell me you listened on Ali’s Podcast and we’ll go back and forth from there.

Ali Mirza: Awesome! Well, hey! Thank you so much. And that’s all folks and remember to comment, share, like, subscribe, tell your friends, tell your grandmother, tell anybody. And if you have any questions about partnership strategies please comment down below and we’ll be sure to get back to you. Thank you so much and as always we’ll see you next time.

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