A Random Gratitude Bomb for Blake Hartshorn

A random gratitude bomb for Blake Hartshorn…

​This morning while I was driving to my office…

I was thinking about Blake Hartshorn.

Some of you on my list probably know Blake…

He was the second person I hired for my health supplement company HLH…

And then after we wound down HLH…

He continued working with me on the affiliate network/agency side until about six months ago…

When those things became less of a focus for me.

At that point, Blake went out on his own…

And now he helps clients to monetize their data and manage their lists.



I’m not sure why I started thinking about Blake this morning…

But a lot of memories flashed into my head…

The first was me hiring him back in late fall of 2015.

At the time Blake was probably 23 years old and working at Capital One…

But I hired him to be my customer service manager.

We did the interview in the conference room of the Regus that I was working out of…

And one of the first things Blake pointed out was that from the conference room…

He could look out the window, across the street, and see the Capital One building where he currently worked.

So for Blake it was kind of this surreal moment…

Where he could physically see both his future and his past at the same time…

And Blake immediately accepted the job when I offered it to him…

Even though it meant he would be taking less pay.

Why did Blake accept?

He bought into the vision I painted…

And he wanted to do something bigger…be part of something bigger…and be bigger in his life.

Blake jumped onboard, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing.

About six months in, Blake lost the confidence of the Customer Service Team he was supposed to be managing.

I'll never never forget being at Coachella in the spring of 2016…

A​nd getting a Slack message from our bookkeeper…

Saying that Blake and Milai (another one of my team members who is also invaluable and who also deserves her own email)…

W​ere in the hallway of Regus…

Yelling at each other at the top of their lungs and causing a scene.

That was a breaking point for me…

I left Coachella early and flew back to Las Vegas…

Then I sat down together…

And told them I would fire both of them on the spot if they couldn't figure out how to work with one another.

In addition to that conversation…

I knew I needed to have an additional one-on-one talk with Blake too…

And I still remember this conversation we had very clearly.

We sat on a park bench outside the Regus…

And I told Blake that while I knew he was wildly talented…

It was clear that managing a customer service team wasn’t the right fit for him.

I said he needed to find a new role for himself…

And that if Blake wasn’t able to do that…

Then HLH wasn’t going to be a good fit for him.

It was a crappy conversation to have…

But Blake didn’t take this moment as a failure…

Instead, he used it as motivation…

And in the coming months…

He was able to carve out niche for himself that would prove invaluable.

Blake's strategy was to become a master in all of the things that nobody else knew how to do…or at least didn't know how to do well…

And that's exactly what he did.

​​​​He became a master at Cake – our affiliate tracking platform…

As well as Ontraport – our email marketing platform…

And he actively built and managed affiliate relationships for us too.

Before long Blake was doing highly technical work and helping to generate a TON of revenue…

And he became an indispensable member of our team – one of our leaders.

It still inspires me when I think about this…

Because again, Blake could have used that conversation on the park bench as a sign that he wasn’t good enough…

But instead he took it as a challenge…

Then he rose to meet that challenge head-on. ​​



In the year that followed, HLH had a lot of success.

In our first year we’d grossed $1MM but lost around $200k…

But in that second year we grossed $23MM and netted a few million…

And it was obviously a life changing year for me and my team.



And that takes us into the fall of 2017…

After I’d decided to wind HLH down.

We were now doing an agency + affiliate network model…

And Blake and I were at a restaurant near our office (we no longer worked at a Regus, we had a 5,000+ square foot suite now)…

Having a few martinis…

And reminiscing about the past two years.

During that conversation, I said something to Blake that really stuck with both of us…

Which was that, when it came to our time with HLH…

The impossible had become the inevitable.

What I meant was this:

That first year, when we were losing money and I just couldn’t figure it out…

It felt like building an eight-figure business was as realistic as me flying to the moon…

Yet just one year and twenty-three-million-dollars in revenue later…

We viewed that struggle as a wonderful part of the journey…

Just little inconvenient but necessary bumps along the path to greatness.

From our lens of hindsight…

It felt like “well of course we were always going to succeed”…

Even though early on, we had no idea if we’d actually make it or not.


So why am I sharing all of this with you?

A few reasons I guess.

The first is that I’ve gotta be real with you:

The single biggest difference between the first year ($1MM at a loss) and second year ($23MM at a profit)…

Is that at the end of the first year…

​​I started going to masterminds.

Specifically, I went to Ed O’Keefe’s Time Collapsing Event…

Which changed everything.

At that mastermind I met Braun Miller, who then introduced me to Steven Patton. The network Steven was with at the time would go on to drive over $15MM in revenue to my offers in the next year.

I also met Dane Alexander, who I would then partner with on some additional health offers that ultimately grossed significantly more than HLH ever did…

I met Ian Stanley, who helped me understand the value in monetizing my email list. My email list then contributed over a million dollars of PROFIT to my company in the next year…

And I met so many others people who became mentors, friends, and collaborators for life.

So, for the folks on my blog who don’t attend events or masterminds very often…

I want to be really explicit with you:

Going to the right masterminds and events is one of the single fastest ways you can level up your success.

And then the second reason I’m sharing this today…

Is just to express some gratitude to Blake Hartshorn.

We don’t talk all that often nowadays…

Not because there’s any bad blood…

But simply because we’re both busy doing our own thing.

Still though, I appreciate Blake so much…

I’m so thankful for the journey we had together…

And I’m so proud of the man and entrepreneur he's become.

Blake also happens to be a reader on my blog…

So I know this blog post is going to surprise him A LOT…

Which makes me happy.



And that’s it.

We’ve got our weekly Copy Accelerator training call coming up in about two hours…

Then I’ll be working on a variety of projects for the rest of the day (including my big needle movers of course).

– SPG

P.S. Oh and speaking of masterminds and events. By now you’ve probably seen that we’ve made a limited number of tickets available to our Copy Accelerator Event at the end of February. If you want to see what we’re covering or checkout the great lineup of guest speakers, here’s a link.

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