Hilary Johnson is a Business Growth Coach and the Founder & CEO of Hatch Tribe. Born from her own experience navigating the complexities of business ownership, Hatch Tribe helps women entrepreneurs build powerful, purposeful, and profitable businesses. Through training & community support, Hatch Tribe empowers entrepreneurs to grow their income and impact by becoming true leaders & CEOs.
Hilary spent the first 10 years of her professional career climbing the corporate ladder working in Sales & Marketing for some of the world's most iconic brands, including Miller Lite & Coors Light. She managed and activated multi-million dollar marketing, advertising, and sponsorships, which gave her real-life training on how to build big, world class brands.
But working for someone else forever wasn’t in the cards. For the last 11 years, she has launched, grown, and sold several multiple different businesses. From producing large-scale festivals & events, to running a mobile yoga business, to launching an e-commerce brand, to building a global community for entrepreneurs with Hatch Tribe.
Hilary believes in the power of entrepreneurship as a force for good - creating positive change in local communities and economies, while also shaping women's rights from the ground up.
Hilary is a keynote speaker and author of "A Girls Guide to Surviving the Startup with Your Mind, Body, and Soul Intact", an encouraging read that imparts road-tested wisdom for tackling the inner and outer work of being the boss. When she’s not working you’ll find her traveling the world with a single carry-on bag and hunting down the best bakery in town. She lives by the mantra “Live Loud. Eat Well. Travel Often”.
Intro: Welcome to the Lucky Titan podcast where you will learn how to fill your favorite platform with tons of your dream customers from some of the world's top entrepreneurs. I'm your host, Josh Tapp now let's get started.
Josh: What is up everybody, Josh Tapp here again and welcome back to the lucky Titan, today we're here with Hilary Johnson, you'll all remember her from our episode, like, what two years ago, Hilary? It's been quite a while.
Hilary: at least Yeah.
Josh: Hilary was actually one of our first guests on the show. You know, when we started this one we had, I want to say like 50 guests that were all referrals from Josh Steimle, I believe, you know, Josh Steimle Yeah.
Hilary: I don't know. Now, you're asking me that I'm not sure.
Josh: I'm gonna put her on the spot. I can't remember who connected us with somebody connected us. They sent me like 50 guests, and Hillary was one of those and I was like, Man, these are all rock stars. So I'm excited to have you back in because I really want to talk through your pivot, right because we talked about this pre interview of how, you know, for you, you were already planning on pivoting out of the event space, which is funny, because you kind of pivoted out of it into a different type of event, it almost seems like a
Hilary: fair point, yeah, we'll get to that. Yeah.
Josh: So go ahead and hop in and gotta give us a little bit of synopsis of what's been happening the last little bit.
Hilary: yeah, without a doubt, you know, so, hatch tribe, my company, you know, we work primarily with women entrepreneurs and really, the intention is to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect and to grow and we started by doing in person events at the time, I was living in Charleston, South Carolina and, you know, we were doing networking events mornings, like coffee gatherings and talking about business or, you know, evenings for happy hour and, and it was something that was truly formative for our business, I mean, there's no question hashtag would not be where it is today without having had that experience but after doing this for a couple of years, I really started thinking is this the pathway that we want to use moving forward to continue to grow and scale the business and so we actually tested doing in person events in other cities and by design, it was meant to be a test, like, we'll set it up and see what works and if we like it, and if we don't, and we ran it for a year, and I was like, hmm, I don't like this, I don't want to do it, I don't like the work stream, it's created, it's not how I see myself in the future growing this business and so pre pandemic, we were already in the mode of scaling out of that we were pulling out of doing those in person events, and we're starting to just, you know, slowly over time, just diminish it until they went away and then well, as everyone knows, you know, March of 2020, things changed and then we were like, okay, cool so we'll just not do those for a while and then we just never brought them back so it was an easy way to get out of it, we were already thinking of it but it fundamentally changed, like the core offering that we had with the company.
Josh: Yeah. Well, and it's cool, because I mentioned this to you, but like a lot of the people I've been interviewing recently, you know, they've had to make some some big pivots but yeah, to me, it doesn't really feel like a huge pivot, in a sense, because like, I mean, it was from event to event, but you're doing more of your own events and the way that you're doing them is so much more unique, and honestly, probably much more fulfilling for you because of the nature of what you're doing, you know?
Hilary: Yeah, I mean, I will say, I think that what happened like everyone else, you know, we shifted everything online and so you know, at the time, we had a membership site, we had boatloads of courses, I was doing coaching with business owners, I was running masterminds, and all of it went online and I will say the one beautiful thing that came from that, which is very much in alignment with our values, and with our intentions was to build a global audience and we were able to do that very naturally and, you know, don't get me wrong, it took intention around our efforts to be able to do that. But during that time, where we were shut down, you know, from being in person in any way, shape, or form, we're like, Great, let's get really intentional about how we build relationships with people outside of the US and really expand our region to other countries and do good work and, you know, we did like everybody else, you know, we had to make adjustments and make it work but you know, it did you have to, you have to make it work, or you just change and that's kind of the nature of the beast as a business owner.
Josh: Right. Yeah and I think the what's interesting is to watch people, when they tried to launch a business, they take a year, trying to get all the logos and everything in place, by the time you're there, it's like it's time to pivot. You should be like, for us, we undercut our employees, like every six months with this huge pivot or structural change or something that they're like, oh my gosh, surprise, they don't hate working for us but it's such an interesting thing, though, that, like the way that you talked about, you know, is there's kind of a natural progression to and a lot of times, I feel like the market just pulls you in the right direction but then there's kind of these outliers, like you're a unicorn, right, where it's like, how on earth did you grow a following that quickly, of paying followers, I guess, is what I would call it because everybody comes to us, like, I want to be a coach or a mastermind owner or whatnot and you and I both know, it's pretty difficult to get people to actually do Lay down cash for coaching so what's what's the secret?
Hilary: Oh, God, I wish I could say it was one thing. I think if I can connect to two thoughts to this one is like, when you initially said, you know, sometimes business owners will work on their logo and all of these things for so long that by the time they get it out to the market, they have to change it and I will say, that's one thing that we've done well, is just bring things to market, you know, so it's, we don't spend a whole lot of time over working the strategy so when I think about it, I'm like, you know, your strategy is really important, because otherwise you're wasting time, energy, money, resources, period but to me, strategy should be about 10 to 15% of my time, yeah, the rest of the time really needs to be in that execution and implementation as a company and so, you know, we we think about things, but then we move on them and we throw a lot of stuff at the wall so when you ask, like, what's the secret? I'm like, well, it's testing everything, you know so if we have an idea, we're like, alright, let's give it a go and let's see what happens and then at the end, we look and see, did we get results from it or did we not and I think, because we've had a very community centric type of organization, you know, we've just valued hearing from our audience a lot and that's been in person, it's been at events, it's been online, it's been on our social media, it's really creating much more of a two way conversation than a one way and so as it relates to coaching, of course, I have expertise, but I also don't have every answer, I don't purport to and I think that that's some of the magic as a coach is what you co create with your clients and so if you're running a playbook, you're really not co creating, for me, when I'm working with clients, it's very much listening and understanding them and deeply and then co creating what they need so I think we brought that, you know, as a as our spirit, you know, to everything that we do, and I think people have felt valued by that so instead of feeling like, they're being told they're doing something wrong, we're told they're doing something, right. It's like, I'm actually being appreciated for both and that's important, you know, like, all those things you think you're screwing up are actually the most powerful things because if you really listen, and you watch it, they teach you, and then it teaches you to run a better business and you know, like, you know, what you need to do more often than not, you just need some help getting there.
Josh: See the validation usually.
Josh: That makes me wonder, though, is like, do you sell first and then build, is that kind of your methodology ‘coz that’s what we do.
Hilary: 100%, Yeah, and I teach my clients to do the same. I'm like, let me get you about 20% of the way there, let's make sure you have like a decent sales story, and then go sell the shit out of it and then you know, if you sell it great, if you don't then like let's go retool it and don't build it before they come Jesus. No, not in the online space, it's insane.
Josh: Yeah. And I was just curious about that. Because I'm glad you coach your people on that. Because we I need to work better with the people we talk to, because they're our clients. You know, we work with a lot of podcasters and they're sitting here going, Oh, my gosh, so what equipment should I have? How should my studio be set up? How should I build this? I'm like, open your freaking phone, call somebody and record it, that's a podcast, the we're just record yourself on voicemails and people, you know, it's this overthinking process and the truth is, is nobody even cares until there's money involved, it's so curious to me to see like that you pre sell it and then you take time to build it, I have found too and it's kind of toys T or a kind of plays on what you were saying to or you were saying, you know, it's communicating with your audience and really talking with them more and we found that the only way to do that is to sell to them first, and then they'll start telling you, well, why isn't this in the offer or why do you even have to even use that, you know, and like for us, that's why we always say that everything we're in the middle of one of these right now is is why say this is literally right before this call I had, it's like the fourth person who's told me why isn't this in this offer and I'm like, Well, I'm gonna go put it in the offer, then why not, you know, not gonna cost us that much more so anyways, I just what you were saying really kind of keep that thought to me and I look at a lot of the people listening to the show, and they're probably saying, okay, what if I'm, like, terrified to actually watch it and I know, this is kind of things you specialize in. So yeah, how do you help people work through that to where it's like, just lunch?
Hilary: Yeah. You know, truthfully, what sits on the other side of that and for many of us, it's perfection, right so it's a desire to get things right and frankly, the older you get, like, I'm 42, I work with clients all over the age gamut but when I work with older business owners, oftentimes, we're already really good at what we do and so sometimes it is terrifying to put out something new because you're having to come back to it with like, a novices eye and you're putting yourself out there in a way where you're already you're not strong yet and it's like do I really need to go back in time and like go back to when I was super green and not know how to do things and it's such a rare emotion for many business owners, the more established they are and so I think that it's watching and really understanding the reason why someone's not putting it out there and most of the time, it's like it, there's some fear of failure, there's fear of judgment, there's like, I'm trying to get it perfect I want it to be just right and so, you know, to me, when I'm listening to that, I'm like, alright, let's just get to the smallest step so I pull them all the way back, and ask them to think of one thing okay, what's the next thing we need to do and I don't let them think about anything else in that table at all, you know so it's like, we're only going to think about like the next one to two things and then we're going to leave everything else down the line, just because we're not there yet, you're robbing the moment now and focused on the future and like a really unproductive way.
Hilary: So to me, that's the key is like, just come back what's the next logical step? Let's do only that step. Let's get you feeling really good about that step and then it's going to feed itself into the next one so it's not like Zero to Launch, like there's maybe 10 steps between there so let's just do like step number seven all right, let's go.
Josh: I can do that.
Josh: The funny thing is, is like they always get caught on the first step so it's good to have somebody like you to sit here and be like, okay, skip step one, let's move step two, don't be concerned about step one, right.
Josh: I'm curious on this one, too and I know, we don't have a ton of time today to talk so I want to ask this question is that, you know, when you're building a company, and like picking a product and building an offer, a lot of times people will come at it from I'm just gonna go as cheap as possible and they everybody goes, like Walmart strategy. That's how I feel like I'm gonna best bargain. How do you because I know you do this, like, how do you help people get to where the value leader, not that not the price leader?
Hilary: Yeah, this is a tricky widget because when you started talking about this, I was thinking actually about how we buy, because oftentimes, that mentality is showing up and how they're buying things for their business as well so it's like, well, I need to just find like, the cheapest person who can help me do this, or I'm just trying to find the cheapest thing for X, Y, and Z and so on one hand, they're trying to save money, right? So they're being like, you know, want to say scrupulous, that might not be the right word, but it's like they're in this they're scrutinizing every dollar.
Josh: yea, exactly.
Hilary: and they're being quote unquote, smart about that so there is some some value to that but sometimes it gets projected to the other side and because they've had in their mind like save, save, save, then they they don't think someone else will spend because they can't imagine themselves doing it either so I do think we have to decouple a little bit of that and, you know, in fairness, not everybody is your customer so if they do not have the money to do X, Y, or Z with you, they are not your customer move on because there's somebody else who is so like, when people apply to work with me as a coach, and I tell them what it's going to cost, there's some people who go like, whoa, you mean, and then they'll, they'll ask a question about the rate or whatever and then I'm like, yeah, and they're like, oh, yeah, I don't know that I'm gonna be able to do that ad I don't hard sell and never have done this, I'm like, You need to feel really confident about us working together and if you're not confident about the price, and go on, but as soon as I let them go, another client shows up, that's exactly what I want, they have the money, they're stoked to pay it. They're like, that's exactly what I was thinking and I'm like, pale. Yeah. So it just let it go. Like, offer the high ticket thing, because you know, you can do it, and you can deliver on the promise of it, and then go do it and if somebody's not buying it, they're probably not your customer
Hilary: Move on.
Hilary: and most people aren't, I mean, to be clear, the more expensive your offer gets, you're gonna have fewer buying people above you that can actually afford it and that's okay.
Josh: But it's really funny to me, because we coach a lot of people on how to like, sell straight from their podcast, right, like selling their guests or whatnot and they end up it's this this battle in their mind of like, well, how the heck am I supposed to sell somebody's net wealth or how to get the doors on the net wealthy, I say, well start a podcast. That's how you get in the door with wealthy people but the second thing is, why would they not pay $50,000 for something if you're actually providing real value, right because we end up running it. I just had a call about this earlier today. It's been a bit a long day, lots of calls but I was like, why aren't you selling this for $50,000 and they're like, 50,000 Yeah, yeah. I know, people spend all the time on this. It was for a retreat type situation like what you guys do but for the level of players, I'm gonna have like pro NBA players, MLB player coming in and they're like, not willing to charge 50k on it, you're just evaluating it by not making people pay enough to show it to this. Anyways, I digress. But what was so interesting about it is that there's that mentality barrier of, well, I wouldn't pay that right
Hilary: Of course
Josh: and breaking that is I always tell people, like, well, if you wouldn't pay it, go pay it so that you can then say, I would pay for it
Josh: so that you can break that mentality, I do the same thing all the time. I'm like, I don't even want this but I'm gonna pay you 30 grand because I need to break that barrier for myself.
Hilary: Yeah, I 100% agree with that, I've had people apply to work with me that have said, you know, and they often are coaches, and they'll say, you know, this is what I want to charge and then I'm like, Well, have you ever paid that yourself, you know, to work with a coach or blah, blah, blah and the answer's no and I'm like, Well, okay, you know, and then it's like, when we see the money issue show up mentally, then it's like, that's almost always it, they can't imagine it, because they haven't done it and, and again, it's not to be like frivolous with your money but it's like, if you're going to charge it, you really got to know the space, you got to be willing to do that work for yourself, and, you know, experience that transformation, and then know that it's possible that there are people out there who are going to buy it and there generally our I mean, as long as you're quite good at what you do, and you can deliver, you're going to find an audience.
Josh: Yeah. 100% and I love that too because, you know, I think the mentality of a lot of people is they try to sell the people like them a lot of times, yes, new entrepreneurs, like, like I did it everybody does is like, hey, I'm a new entrepreneur and you entrepreneurs really need to know this XYZ thinks I'm gonna, I'm gonna sell it, then you're like, okay, but you won't spend money, they're not gonna spend money, right, I love working with new entrepreneurs, I hate having to charge them, because they just they don't do it, they won't put the money down, right, and the people who will succeed so it's just interesting so like, your business is built off of helping people break that barrier so I'm excited to see how you guys keep growing the hatch tribe that way.
Josh: So you know, we are coming up to the end of the interview here. So I do want to ask you just a couple questions. So why retreats? What's so special about a retreat over like, a mastermind or something else?
Hilary: Yeah, I mean, so to get back to your earlier point, I mean, we went away from in person events and then two years later, we're like, let's do them, but in a different way and, you know, a pivot that we've taken, but you know, for, what we find is that, you know, when we're in the presence of other really successful business owners, it just causes us all to level up in such an interesting way and the things that you have been, you know, perhaps worrying that it's only us experiencing X, Y, or Z in your business, you're suddenly in the presence of like, 10 or 12 other women entrepreneurs who are going oh, yeah, dude, me too, like been there, then you're like, oh, nothing's wrong with me and like, there's such a blessing and a gift in that, but also, it's like the development of relationships and, and bonding with others, just over unstructured time is such a gift and, you know, most of us are really good at working but if you ask many of my entrepreneur friends, what they do for fun, they're like, yeah, what, like, hobbies yeah so they're, like, you know, between running their business and potentially taking care of their family and all these other things, they're like, you know, I don't take a lot of time for myself and so what we sought to do with retreats is make them a combination of work and fun and we do every time. So it's like, there's always something thrown in our agenda every day that is designed to have nothing to do with work, but really allowed to just like, get you out of your usual routine, and like, have some fun with other amazing business owner and so yeah, we just the bonding in person is incredible.
Josh: So are these female only?
Hilary: Yeah, right now, I know Josh, one of these days.
Josh: When you when you make a unisex I'll come because I'm like, I don't know if I want to come get my nails painted or whatever you're doing.
Hilary: We don't we don't get we don't paint her nails.
Josh: That sounded extremely sexist to me. I don't know why that came out.
Hilary: Okay, I'm gonna allow it.
Josh: It was my wife went to a retreat and it was like a spa day and so I said, yes. But yeah, sounds like something I'd love to be a part of, I love the retreats, because of what you said, right? It's that camaraderie you get from playing with each other instead of always working with each other and it is funny to me like how most entrepreneurs, I have zero other hobbies, I'm a pretty hobby. I love learning new things, right and I'm always trying new, new different things and I'll go to these masterminds a lot of time these people are like, I can't remember the last time I tried something new, like that is sad.
Hilary: Yeah, there's a bias towards learning and education in many cases, but it's towards things that are business related. So yeah, just took this course on, you know, whatever. Like I'm working on public speaking skills, you're like, Yeah, great, more things for your job instead of like, you know, oh, I've been woodworking which, like may have nothing to do with your work so finding something out of your lane, I think is important for the brain.
Josh: My wife called me on this about two years ago. She's like, I started an MBA program for fun. I was like, I want to learn, I want to learn that side of business and she's like, you're psychotic. Why would you do this for fun and oh, my, I don't know, it just sounds entertaining but two years ago, she's like, you need to start discovering new things, I recently just learned how to do the Rubik's cube because I was like,
Hilary: there you go.
Josh: I've always want to do that and it didn't cost me anything. I was like, Hey, I'm just gonna watch YouTube videos so I figured I can do a freakin Rubik's cube now look at me go right and it's things like that, that people just don't think about, like you can absolutely make time for those things and I think your retreat is an excellent place to do so especially if you're the type of person who feels like it has to be a work related expense or something right go to these retreats.
Hilary: Still deductible it's still a work trip. So
Josh: right exactly
Hilary: what it's worth.
Josh: Awesome, I love it. Well, can you let our audience know where they need to reach out to you?
Hilary: Yeah, of course, you can go to our website at hatchtribe.com and of course, all the socials were at hatch tribe and then if you want to hang out with me, I'm on Instagram, very rarely, but occasionally, HillaryPJ Oh, no, I changed it, Hilary P. Johnson.
Josh: so make sure you make sure you go check those out the hatchtribe.com will be the best place to kind of kick that off and Hilary, can you give our audience one final parting piece of guidance?
Hilary: Yes, I would say don't be afraid to go against the grain, you know, there are a lot of people out there espousing what they believe is the right way to build a business or the right way to grow or the right way to scale and you've got to know you, you know, you are a unique human, a unique business owner and yes, there are things that tie together virtually all successful businesses, but build it in your way, do it in your way, you know, you get one life and you might as well live it and your business is such a big part of that so listen to yourself, listen to your intuition and your gut and build your business your way tune out the rest.
Outro: Hope you enjoyed this episode of The lucky Titan podcast. If you've learned anything from this or any other episode, make sure you rate it and share it with another entrepreneur could help. Thanks again and I'll catch you on the flip side