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Nathan Egan Interview, Freesourcing – How to drive efficiency and stay competitive

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Freesourcing Explained – The Nathan Egan Interview

Hi Everyone,

Today I would like to introduce you to the definitive authority on the business practice of “freesourcing” – Mr Nathan Egan of FreeSource Agency.

Freesourcing is a methodology that Nathan teaches to business and organizations in order to drive efficiency and stay competitive.

I think Freesourcing is something many of us already practice – without knowing there was an ‘official’ name for it 😉

After working with Linkedin.com Nathan decided it was time to start his own company, building social media strategies for clients. He’s worked with some really top notch people including Forbes and Mandarin Oriental.  Nathan is 32  years old and operates out of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

I love Nathans answers – one in particular that struck me was what Nathan had this to say about being an entrepreneur:

Being an entrepreneur is a 24/7, 365 days a year type of situation, so you really need to understand that it is going to be your entire life. You are going to fall down and skin your knees, but don’t bother with pads. Get used to the sensation of the pain and eventually you will become numb to it and will be able to absorb the impact of the challenges you will face daily.

Enjoy the interview – I look forward to your comments.

Best wishes

Michael

Nathan Egan Interview

Nathan Egan

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1) Hi Nathan – thank you for being on this interview. You are founder of freesourceagency.com a business which you founded after first working with Linkedin.com – tell us how the company formed and what made you go into this niche?

  • In many ways, Freesource founded itself. When I was working at LinkedIn, my clients and prospects kept asking me to help them build social media strategies “on the side.” When I finally decided to leave LinkedIn, I left on Friday and collected my first client check the following Wednesday. Originally, it was just myself and it was very much a freelance concept – my mission was to help businesses make sense of all of the wonderful free resources (freesources) available on the web. Today, that mission is still the same even though things have changed quite a bit; most notably, we have 7 full-time employees and primarily service Fortune 1000 companies.

2) You are the creator and definitive authority on the business practice of  “freesourcing,” a methodology he teaches to help organizations drive efficiency and stay competitive. Could you delve a bit deeper into freesourcing?

  • Freesourcing is a business process much like outsourcing, crowdsourcing, insourcing, homesourcing, etc. Social media and web 2.0 services represent the most powerful shift in technology we have seen in our lifetime and the majority of these tools and platforms are available for free. The art and science of “freesourcing” has become necessary because all of these tools are useless unless you know how to use them. When you are freesourcing to the full extent of what is possible, you have optimized your business for the current market and this puts you in a position of power over your competition.

3) Can you share some of the biggest lessons you have learned personally and as a business as things have grown? If you were to start again, what might you do differently?

  • I have always been an entrepreneur, and I have probably written over 50 business plans for concepts that hardly got off paper. I thought I knew a lot about being an entrepreneur from experiencing failure, but I’ve come to realize how challenging it is when your concept comes to fruition, let alone does well.
  • My biggest takeaway from my experience is that you have to keep putting yourself out there to be successful. No one is going to do it for you; but eventually if you do it enough, you will find yourself in the right place at the right time. Most of those business plans I wrote that “failed” didn’t fail because they were bad ideas – it’s just that the timing wasn’t right.
  • If I were to do it again, I would just leave myself a little more time for planning.

4) Where do you see the business in say 5 years time?

In five years Freesource will have completely redefined the landscape for corporate B2B marketing, sales, and communications. In five years Freesource will be a 35 million dollar a year business.

5) You tend to focus on larger companies like Forbes and Mandarin Oriental, but do you have some strategies you can share with smaller entrepreneurs looking to get started?

3 Steps (in this order):

  1. Start small
  2. Provide tremendous value
  3. Network like crazy

My first clients were very small operations (mostly entrepreneurs and professional service providers) who were looking to learn how to use social media. I serviced them like they were big clients and leveraged their networks to earn more business, eventually becoming very big clients.

6) Do you have any suggestions for coping with set-backs, dealing with adversity?

Always look at things that don’t go “well” or “as planned” as learning lessons – if you have that mind-set, than everything that happens will have value.

7) How do you keep your business focus – Do you have any suggestions for entrepreneurs who are experiencing challenging times?

Focus is one of my biggest challenges and I have often found myself alone with that burden. I find it to be extremely helpful to ask those around you to help you find your focus as they can frequently see what you cannot. If your business is just you, ask your friends, partners or spouses for help.

8 ) Is there anyone that you look up to and model yourself on?

There are key people in my life that continuously push the envelope for what I know human beings to be capable of and they do it all while keeping their personal and professional life in balance. Without naming names, I look to those people when I need the extra motivation to keep going.

9) Do you have any favorite business related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?

I like short inspirational books that tell stories that you can apply immediately. One of my all time favorites was written by my good friends Gail Steinel and Mike Policano called “Excuse Me, Aren’t You In Charge?” (Amazon: http://bit.ly/3tuhPX
For straight up business support and honing your value proposition I recommend “Value Prop” by Jose Palomino (Amazon:
http://bit.ly/4dRiNA ).

10) What is the best advice you have ever been given?

My parents always told me not to be a follower – that is how I got to where I am today.

11) As someone who has achieved success at a relatively young age, what advice would you give to a Young Entrepreneur starting their first business today?

Being an entrepreneur is a 24/7, 365 days a year type of situation, so you really need to understand that it is going to be your entire life. You are going to fall down and skin your knees, but don’t bother with pads. Get used to the sensation of the pain and eventually you will become numb to it and will be able to absorb the impact of the challenges you will face daily.

12) What do you like best about the Internet?

I love how powerful the web has become. Software as a Service (SaaS) has completely redefined the computing and technology industry. I also love the incredible pace of change in the Internet space. I enjoy waking up everyday to see all of the exciting new ways the internet can be leveraged and my favorite thing is passing that knowledge on to my clients in meaningful and valuable ways.

13) What do you like least about the Internet?

Although I love the transparency of the Internet, I battle with the new challenges of privacy. While I like to sell and evangelize all of this technology for business purposes, I still have personal issues with disclosure of my location, being accessible 24/7, etc.

14) Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?

Whether personally or professionally, I will always be pushing myself to new extremes. I love doing things that I never thought I would be able to do.

Nathan Egan’s website: freesourceagency.com

Comments

  1. kwame boame says:

    Great entrepreneurial advice in this interview. Thanks for the interview Tammy.

  2. Hi kwame, I coordinated this one but Michael is the reason folks want to be interviewed 🙂 glad you like it!

  3. Thanks for the interview Tammy.

  4. Jose Anajero says:

    I liked what Nathan said – “I have always been an entrepreneur, and I have probably written over 50 business plans for concepts that hardly got off paper.”

    That’s quite encouraging for me personally because I found my right mentor after having worked on around 10 project ideas which all turned to be dead-ends.

    Thanks Michael for this helpful post.

    Jose

  5. Thank you for the interview

  6. That’s quite encouraging for me personally because I found my right mentor after having worked on around 10 project ideas which all turned to be dead-ends.

  7. pays to live green says:

    Thanks for all the great tips and resources for a beginning entrepreneur like myself.

  8. Marketing Man says:

    When the testimonial on your top bar reads “Freesource delivered service that produced immediate results” and the person making that statement is Carl Lavin of Forbes, then you know that you’re doing something right!

  9. This is a great interview with lots of advice. Thanks for sharing it.

  10. used tires says:

    From the interview Nathan sounds sound an incredibly smart man, I especially like the reference that struck out to you as well, as it stood out to me too! 😀

    Till then,

    Jean

  11. spaulsbookbag says:

    Thanks Tammy, I was consulting with some non-profits with all of the free resorces that are avalible… What a great Idea trully the outcome of how much free stuff is avalible online.

  12. Patrick Baynes says:

    I work with Nathan at Freesource. He is the man! Thanks for taking the time to interview him.

    For those interested, we do have a product out – http://www.freesourcing.org – its a directory we manage of all the free resources, or “freesources” 😉 available on the web. Check it, shoot us your feedback!

    – Patrick

  13. organize matbaacılık says:

    From the interview Nathan sounds sound an incredibly smart man, I especially like the reference that struck out to you as well, as it stood out to me too! 🙂

    This is a great interview with lots of advice. Thanks for sharing it 😉

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