DTL 016 | Sharon Hartwick | Dare to Leap

You Can Work Less and Make More with Sharon Hartwick

Sharon Hartwick is a LinkedIn marketing expert and runs an agency. She has over 20 years of sales and customer service experience and shares her journey of how she made the leap from an inflexible job to being able to build work around her life and family. She now makes more money while working fewer hours, something she never thought was possible.

You Can Work Less and Make More with Sharon Hartwick

Hello, everybody. So excited to be here with you today. I have an amazing guest to share with you today. Her name is Sharon Hartwick, and I’m going to tell you a little bit about her professionally. I’ll start with that. And then I’ll tell you a little bit about her personally, because I know her and she’s amazing.

So, here’s the professional bio part. Sharon Hartwick is a LinkedIn marketing expert. With over 20 years of experience in sales and customer service. She quickly learned she didn’t love the corporate methodology or structure and has never believed marketing or sales is just about talking to anyone who will listen to make the sale or close the deal. Sharon believes in finding the right prospects and building meaningful relationships to increase the know like and trust factor so that our clients are only talking to quality warm leads.

This enables her clients to close sales faster and have more time to play to their true power, creating the stuff their clients love. Now personally, if you are only listening to this on the podcast audio, I highly recommend taking the time to go take a look at the YouTube video. Because Sharon and I are both wearing tiaras. And Sharon’s is especially gorgeous because it is a dragon tiara, and we’re going to go get into why a dragon and learn a whole lot more about Sharon.

I know Sharon personally because several years ago, I had the great fortune of Sharon choosing to join my virtual expert training program. And Sharon accomplished several goals. I mean, she accomplished more than anybody else had accomplished in a faster period of time than anyone else in my program. Now, speed isn’t necessarily the goal of creating your own virtual expert business, but creating money so that you have that ability to live on it. That was a big goal of Sharon’s and Sharon, in fact, was able to do that faster than anybody else in our program to date. So, Sharon, welcome. I’m really excited to have you here with us today.

I’m very excited to be here today.

I just want you to jump in from wherever you want to on your journey. I already know so much about you. So, I just keep my mouth shut so that you can tell the story because I’m like Sharon is amazing. And I can tell you so many more things about her. But I’m going to just ask you to share with us your journey of wherever you want to start to, you know, when you decided to become a virtual assistant and a virtual expert.

Yeah, absolutely. My journey to entrepreneurship actually began decades ago. I mean, we’re talking probably around about the same time that you actually started your first VA business. I was a younger mom. I was about 20. At the time, I had a child at that point. He was about a year and a half. I was working in downtown DC in the corporate world as a manager in an office and doing all the corporate world things.

I quickly learned because I wanted that that corporate or that that executive income I wanted to climb the ladder. But I quickly learned that I couldn’t have my cake and eat it too, because I also wanted to be present in my kids’ lives and I wanted to be that that soccer mom. So ultimately, something had to give and I chose motherhood over the corporate career.

Like you said, 20 years, I’ve done many different things, everything kind of revolving around some form of customer service or sales. I’ve been very blessed and very fortunate periods in my life where I was able to be a stay at home mom. But during those times, I wanted to be able to contribute to my family, financially, as well. I never gave up on that dream of finding something that I could do from home, in order to make a substantial income to be able to contribute to my family.

I tried pretty much I mean, you name it, I’ve tried it, I tried making candles, I tried stuffing envelopes, I tried. Gosh, candlemaking, soapmaking. I tried the, the network marketing MLM. You name it, I’ve tried it all. And nothing was ever giving me the income that I really needed or desired to be able to contribute the way that I wanted to. So fast forward, you know, about 17 years, we had moved. This was in 2017, was when I gave birth to my fifth and final child. So, I have five children.

We’re a blended family, I had two that I brought into my current marriage, he had one and then we had two together. So, I have five children, four of which I’ve given birth, I gave birth to my last child in January of 2017. And later on that year, my oldest turned 18. Over the course of those 17 years of trying to find something it still never kind of worked out, I was blessed to again be able to be a stay at home mom, I worked a part time job just simply to kind of get out of the house and have a little bit of extra spending on later on that year.

My husband graduated from college in 2015. And then over the course of the next couple years, he kept trying to find or kept trying to get on a with a permanent, full time position with the US Forest Service, which was who he was working with, for at that time. But the prospects were not looking good of that happening. So, he started looking elsewhere for a big boy job as I like to call it, you know, the one with the benefits, and you know, all of that good stuff that our family needed. He ended up getting a job in Wisconsin.

We were currently at that time living in southwestern Virginia, where I’m originally from on the family farm. And then later on that year, we moved about six weeks after my grandmother had actually passed away, as well. So, my grandmother passed away and then we move on because he had gotten a job in Wisconsin very far from where he grew up. And in doing so, we were going to have to buy a house because when you have that many kids and you have a large dog because I have a large breed dog, I’ve got a husky it’s very hard to find a house to rent.

Oh, yeah, that’s when a dog and five kids.

Yeah, that’s gonna get to take all that on. And we did find it very difficult. So, we ended up renting a bit. And the, the Wisconsin DNR in the parks department, he started off as a ranger at the number two state park in the state. worked there for about a year and a half. But anyway, that’s getting ahead of myself. We moved six weeks after my grandmother had passed away, knowing that we were going to have to buy a house. I had to go back and get a full time job. So, we ended up commuting. I ended up having a commute each way. We moved up here. Got up here unloaded everything on Sunday. I had an interview on Monday and I was hired and started on Tuesday. So, you can kind of imagine the grieving process was none, it didn’t happen.

So, I worry you didn’t have time to grieve for your grandmother. Now or did you have time to unpack.

You know, nothing, we really didn’t have a whole lot of time to do much of anything. I went immediately into a job, there was an hour commute each way. Kids were in daycare, my youngest was in daycare, the kids were in school full time. And I would leave before they got up, and I would pick them up from daycare from home, feed them, get them ready for bed, and we would go to bed and do it all over again the next day. And the days that I did have off, were spent cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, laundry, all of those things that has to be done in order to prepare for the week ahead. I was really, really miserable. And I would cry the entire way to work. And I would cry the entire way home. Because when you’re alone with your thoughts for an hour in the car?

There’s lots of bad things that go on inside that space. So, I showed up at work. You know, I was constantly being referred to as an A player. I was very quickly moved into a position of training new people who came in. And so, obviously, I was a valuable employee. I came to work when I was sick. But when children are sick, they can’t go to school, or they can’t go to daycare, so somebody has to stay home with them. And it was me, because nobody can take care of them like I can. So, I would stay home with them. Eventually. It really got to a point where I was tired of being penalized for being a mom in a company that was supposed to be family friendly.

How were they penalizing you, Sharon?

The last straw for me was when they jacked my commission away because I had missed a half a day too much. Essentially what had happened was, and this was in July of 2018. I’m in the middle of the month, my youngest son was running a fever, so he could not go to daycare. So, I had to stay home with him. He’s fine. Went to daycare the next day. So that was one day, because they ran on a point system, which I know anybody who’s ever worked in any type of especially with like a call server call center customer service type job, they work on point system. So, there was one point.

Then at the end of the month, I got a phone call from the daycare. Actually, they called my supervisor, my supervisor put me on the phone, and my son had developed a rash and I had to come and get him. So, I had to leave work early. That was half a point. The very next day was the last day of the month, I picked him up, I took him to urgent care, come to find out he had hand foot and mouth. So, I ended up having to stay home with him for a couple more days because my husband is getting ready to go into like an eight day off stretch.

Everyone is resourceful. The vast majority of people are going to figure out how to come up with the money they need for the things they need or want. Share on X

Because of the way his schedule was at that time. He was getting ready to go into a stretch where he had eight days off. So, because I had missed that one full day, I had to leave early to go pick up my son and then I missed the next day That was two and a half days, which each day was a point and then a half a point. You could have two points in a rolling 30 days. And you were fine. But because I because of that half a point. It was like the middle of August I one of the supervisors had brought a piece of paper over to my desk. It was a reprimand and I had to sign it and they were taking my commission away from me. So, I signed to the piece of paper and I also wrote up my resignation notice and essentially told them where they could take the job and stuff it very nicely.

You guys I know Sharon. And she really does tell it like it is, so I can only imagine what exactly what she told them so good for you!

I was very professional about it but and very nice terms. I essentially told them where they could take the job and shove it. I got home that day and my husband knew that I was miserable. So, I pretty much called him, texted and told him what was going on. And what I was doing before I did it, got home started looking for a new job. I literally had calls and emails setting up interviews the very next day. So, two days after I put in my resignation notice, Facebook did its little magical thing. And Kathy popped up in my feed with her five-day challenge.

I had already attended a bunch of webinars at this point, of course, nothing that was like of any real value. So, I was like, Well, let me go ahead and attend to this. I actually also, because of the stress that I was under that Monday, when your webinar had started, I actually stayed home from work. I say sick, but the stress had actually made me sick. Because you know, when you’re not taking care of yourself, your body is going to make you stop and take care of yourself. And that’s essentially what happened. I got sick, wasn’t feeling well. And so I took off, and I attended the webinar live. So glad that I did. Because I was able to interact with you, I was able to interact with the other women that were already in your training program and on that phone call. And by the second day into that I was like, this is it. This is what I’m doing. I knew that whatever it was, this was what I needed.

What was it? What was it about what you heard that you went, Oh, this is it, this is what I want?

Because like I said, I had already tried for 17 years at that point, to be able to build a business on my own, I knew that I had skills I had, I had already invested in the thousands of dollars in skills training and things that didn’t work to include going back to college and student loans, but I’m still paying on, you know, that are just not serving me, I’m not using them. I knew that this was what I needed, because it was so different than anything else, like virtual expert training does not teach skill. It teaches women and a handful of men who already have valuable skills, how to build a virtual business, how to find, get, and keep those high paying clients.

So, that you can work smart, and not work hard, and be able to create whatever vision of success it is that you have. Because the vision that I had, when I first stumbled across this versus, the vision versus the vision that I have now are two totally different things. And I didn’t know that that was possible for me until after making the choice to do whatever it was that I had to do to be able to invest in this coaching and training program.

Yeah, I love having you on that webinar, you know, there are anywhere usually between 20 and 100 people on one of those webinars that I do. And there’s always just a handful who stand out. And they stand out so brightly and shine so brightly that I can’t help but notice them and Sharon was, Wow, she was like a sun high in the in the middle of the night. She was shining that brightly.

So, I immediately knew oh my gosh, this girl is going to be this woman. Sorry. You look so young Sharon. That’s why I call you girl sometime. And you don’t at all look like you could ever have had five children. Again, if you aren’t looking at YouTube go look because Sharon is a little Spitfire in every way. So, when I when you were on there, and you were like, just give me the link.

But what I didn’t know was that you didn’t have the money. You didn’t know where you were going to get the money to do this. So, can you talk about? Because that is what holds a lot of people back. Right? Yeah, if they’re like, but I don’t have the money to do this. You look at it in a very different way. So can you talk about that?

It was one of those where I always seek guidance in any major decision from you know, the universe, God, higher power, whatever you choose to call it, You have to know that there is something bigger than yourself on this planet. That it is a guiding force. For me it was God and I prayed to God. I was like, if this is where I am meant to be. This is what I am meant to do. Because like I said, Facebook and it’s magic.

And it showed up at the right time because had this come to me at any other time prior to when it did, there’s just no way that I would have been able to make it happen for myself. I am a firm believer in fate and everything happens for a reason. Everything happens when it’s supposed to in its own time, you can’t force anything. So I thought, guidance from my higher power like God, if this is what I meant to do, give me the sign, show me the signs that this is where I meant to be. I didn’t know how much it was going to cost. Really I didn’t.

So, I got really creative. I mean, I sold things in order to make it happen. If anyone who’s familiar with Marie Kondo, that’s essentially what I did was anything that wasn’t providing you value that I wasn’t using, I sold, got rid of it. Save the money, I happened to be just before my birthday at that time. So I was, I had some money that was given to me for my birthday. I saved that and I was like, Alright, God, if this is what I meant to do, this is what I have, I have X amount of dollars. And if it’s less than this, I will do it. You know, I made that promise to God.

And so when everything was all said and done, and now the way it runs now is it’s actually five days, when she when I went through it, the first time, I think was your very first one, it was five days. And then there was a bonus webinar, and you had to wait the entire weekend to get a Monday, where she did her sales pitch and told you what the price was going to be in the link assignment. So, not only did I have to go through the five days and sit on the edge of my seat, but then I had to wait a whole weekend. Come Monday, I was just like, tell me already. And when I found out how much it was going to be to invest in this for me and for my family? It was $3 less than what I had. And it was terrifying, because again, that was pretty much everything that I had.

You had it, because you had. Because you were determined to gather up all that you could, you did, rather than how many times do you hear and you know, you can tell me how you hear this from other people? What they say when they’re like, Oh, I don’t have the money?

Yeah, I hear it pretty much every single person that I talked to, and I talk to people because I am on your breakthrough specialist team.

Right! Sharon has excelled so much, but she actually works with me on three different levels. So, this is one of those three, and we’ll talk about the others, too. But she is a breakthrough specialist for my team and does talk with other people who are considering joining our program.

So, what do you hear from that a lot is, I don’t have the money, I don’t know where I’m gonna get it from, I can’t do this, my husband won’t let me. That one kind of triggers because this whole men not letting me do things. That’s a whole other story. But, even when it came to doing this for myself, I just, you know, I can share my experiences with them. And when you are, when you have enough faith in yourself and your own abilities, you figure out how to make it happen.

It’s really just, I don’t have the money or I don’t I’m not I don’t know how to come up with the money is just an excuse fueled by fear, because you’re afraid of whatever good or bad on the other side of that fear. For me, it wasn’t the fear of failure. That was not a not an issue for me, because I’ve fallen on my backside more times than I care to admit. I’ve lost everything more times than I care to admit in my life. So, the thought of losing everything didn’t scare me.

You know, you knew because you’ve been there before. And you’ve always survived.

I’ve always survived, I’ve always been able to come back from it and come back bigger, better and stronger every single time. So, it was one of those where I put my trust in God and my trust and my faith that this was the right thing for me that this was what I had, what I was this was the missing link. This was the missing piece of the puzzle, all of those years, because I needed somebody who was going to hold my hand and walk me through all the steps, which is essentially what virtual expert training it is the exact roadmap that you need in order to build a successful virtual business.

And I say that because not only did was able to go through the training and build a successful virtual expert business, but I’m also going back through those steps and using it to create a second business, which is another true passion of mine. In life coaching, specifically on developing self-love for yourself, whether it be weight loss, that you’re not happy with the way you look and learning how to lose weight, whether it is past traumas that are in your life, old stories from the jerk that we’ve dealt with in life.

And we’ve picked up those false stories along the way, because not only was I able to build my business, but I’ve also gone through a lot of self-transformation, since meeting you, and it’s just been this kind of constant business growth, personal growth, business growth, personal growth, because you get through building, you know, especially in building your business, where you’re at right now is only going to take you so far, then something is going to come up, and it’s going to slap you in the face.

For me, when I made that decision, I’m investing myself, I promise God, it is what it is, I got to do this. Because I didn’t have a job, I had already quit my job at that point. So yes, I did have to make start making money as quickly as possible. So that was, you know, Goal number one, and I worked with my coach in order to make that happen. Goal number two was to get through the training as quickly as possible, because it wasn’t so much, just to get through it fast. It was because I wanted to earn my certification.

So that I could call myself a certified virtual expert, and be able to have a boost in my own self confidence. That was ultimately really why that was my second goal was so that I had the confidence to be able to say, these are my rights. And this is why my rights are my rights. Because I had earned it. That’s a personal thing that I had to work through. It’s not that I have to earn the right to be able to set my rates the way they are, which was something that I learned through this process.

Yeah, so you have really learned a lot. And let’s go back just for a minute to when you started the training program, and you had these goals for yourself, that you wanted to get through the training program as quickly as possible. And you did break records doing that. And you wanted to earn start earning money as quickly as possible. So how far were you?

How many weeks, months, years, whatever it was, was it before you started earning money and just share anything you want about that is some people are probably now listening, going. Okay, tell me what it is? How fast can I actually start making money?

Yeah, and it’s really going to be I mean, everyone is different, obviously. For me, because I wasn’t working. And I was able to put my time into this. So, all the hours that I had to dedicate to my business, which at that time was between 30 and 40 hours a week that I was that I was dedicating for all non-billable at that time, because I didn’t have any paying work. But I focused all of my hours that I was working on each of the different lessons and getting those steps taken care of.

So ultimately, I was able to sign my very first agreement at day 29 into the program. Now it was sub-contracting, which, you know, it wasn’t my own direct client. But it was paying work at the time that I saw that I was able to start bringing in money while I continued to build my business and learn how to market myself to find, get and keep my own client.

One of the things that I would love for you to share is, that a lot of people are like, and I call it the butts. Yeah, but I have a bunch of kids. Oh, you have a sheerness too. Yeah. But I have a really tiny house. And I don’t have an office. Yeah, but Sharon didn’t either. So, can you talk about that?

Absolutely. So, I didn’t have a dedicated office space or space for a dedicated office. When you invited me to become a breakthrough specialist in order to have somewhere semi quiet, to be able to take those calls. I actually set up my office in what I like to refer to as the master bathroom. It really wasn’t the master bathroom. It was the bigger of the two bathrooms. It was actually a very tiny house that we ended up renting from my husband’s employer.

So, there were two bedrooms, kitchen, living area and two bathrooms. We had a son, my oldest, is an adult, so he’s off on his own. So, we had two kids in one room, kids in the other room and the living area was actually big enough that we were able to section off a portion of that and run curtain wire and just hang up some sheets. So that there was like a separate area for my husband and my bedroom. And so that second bathroom just so happened to be off of that space. So that’s why I call it the master bath.

And, oh, god, that is so funny. I love that so much.

What I did was I hung a curtain up on the wall, like this is a curtain behind me. Because there’s a door not about there’s not a wall, there’s a door on the other side of that. But I hung up a curtain, and I sat on the toilet, and I had my little laptop desk in front of me and I worked.

And that is you had your own throne! A Queen on your throne!

Just to show you that if I can work from the toilet. You can do this job and run your business from anywhere that you have a Wi Fi connection.

And by the way, nobody could tell it because we do a lot of zoom sessions with everybody in our program. And nobody could tell that Sharon was in the bathroom. She just having to share it with us one day. And we’re all like what? And it was just hilarious. So, Sharon, the word that I just wrote down was resourceful, you are incredibly resourceful. Tell us about that. How do you become that resourceful?

It is one of those where everyone is resourceful. In one way, shape, or form, everyone is resourceful. My resourcefulness really started when my husband was in college, he was working seasonally for the Forest Service. And the money that he earned during the summer, we had to kind of save in order to make it through the winter.

I am able to build a business around life instead of organizing life around work. That’s all I ever wanted. Share on X

So, I bought meats when they were on sale, I stocked my freezer, I stocked my pantry with all the stuff and then every day it was like, Okay, what do we have? What am I going to fix? So, pantry shopping was a skill that I learned on saving money so that we could make it through the winter and pay our electric bill and all of those things.

I’ve got five children whose birthdays start in October. I’ve got one birthday in October for a child. I’ve got two birthdays in November. I’ve got Christmas in December. I have another one now that’s birthdays and giving in Halloween in there, too. I got another birthday in January. And my husband’s birthday is in February. And then I have another kid whose birthday is in April. So essentially, it is non-stop money from September when school starts through Easter, especially Easter in April, depending on when it is that year. But every like is that going to the point of everyone is resourceful.

I mean, the vast majority of people are going to figure out how to come up with the money that they need for the things that they want or the things that they have to have. So, if you need food, you’re going to figure out where you’re where you’re going to get that the money for the food front, you’re going to figure that out. If your hot water you know, if you own your home like we do now. If you own your home, and your hot water heater goes out, you’re going to figure out how to get a new hot water heater.

If your car blows up tomorrow, you’re going to figure out how to get a new car because these are things that unless you live in a city and can take public transportation, which I do not. I live in the middle of nowhere, my nearest grocery store is 30 minutes away. So, you figure out how to come up with the money for the things that you want or the things that you need. Money is really just an excuse for “I’m scared”.

Yeah, and you and I talk about this a lot. It’s never really about the money.

No, it’s never about the money. It’s about all those other fears. Again, it was a promise that I made to God. So, I did it. And literally from the time I hit Enter to make my payment. My brain started screaming at me. Like oh my gosh, what did you just do? What makes you think you can be successful even though all of these other women have been successful? What makes you think you can do it?

And I literally had to look myself in the eye every day shaking because I trembled for about three days, my nerves were so shot. But as I started going through the process, and I started leaning on my coach, and I got more comfortable because I was making things happen. And so by looking myself in the mirror every day and essentially telling my brain to shut up, because I really did not have time to listen to it at that moment in time. I just put my head down, and I did the work. I literally did everything that I was told to do.

Yeah. And how has your life changed since creating your own virtual assistant virtual expert business?

Well, it changed dramatically. I mean, I was in a really, really bad place when I came into this program mentally, because, again, my grandmother passing and not being able to process all of that grief and everything. And I will not forget, I got a box in the mail from my coach on October 4, which happens to be my wedding anniversary. But it also happens to be the day that my grandmother passed away. So yes, happiest day of my life is also the saddest day of my life. And I got home that day, and there was a box sitting on the step, and I opened it up, and there was a beautiful card from my coach and the “You Are a Badass” book. And I literally dropped to my knees and started crying, because she didn’t know the situation.

Really. But that wasn’t timed like that. It was what it was, again, it was the universe, it was your higher power looking out for you. Wow!

Giving me what I needed in that moment. And so, it was what I needed. And she really had no idea what that meant to me. Because, again, I was in a mental space. And I am in your training, just about all the trainings you do. You ask people to imagine, where will you be six months from now, a year from now, if you don’t do this, I refuse to think about it. Because I may not be here today, had I not opted into investing in myself in this program, in order to create the life that I want it, the life that I had been struggling for so many years to create. And now I have it. I am able to build a business around life instead of having to organize life around the work that I do. And that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

So awesome. And you’re able to financially contribute more to your family like you wanted to?

Absolutely, I’m making more now. And that’s kind of the other funny thing was the employer that I was working for called me. I got a phone call about six months after I had stopped going to work. Essentially, that’s what I did. I was like, I’m not going back. I didn’t even finish out my two weeks. But they called me and asked me if I would be interested in coming back. That goes to show you that I was a valuable employee.

And even though I had no call no show to just quit, that they were interested in having me come back. About six months later, I got a phone call. And when I was done laughing, I politely declined. And I laughed, I thought it was hilarious. I politely declined and explained to them that I had my own business. And I was actually making more money, working less hours. Which is still true to this day.

How good did that feel to be able to tell them?

Oh, it was so empowering. I mean, it really like reignited that flame that I had to really keep going, because ultimately, when I started this, I wanted to work 30 hours a week, I want to make $40,000 a year. And I want to you know, because I figure between what my husband makes and what I make that would you know, put us around over six figures. But it would be able to live comfortably and have the extras and do the thing. But seeing with this type of a business that you can work less and make more. I’m like, awesome. I want you know and of course I proclaimed it to the universe. I will have a million dollar business. Where we’re going to work hard every day to make that happen and it will happen because I say so. And I’ve refined it.

Sharon, I know what’s going to happen. Because I’ve seen you are driven. And as I’m sure everybody can hear, you are driven, not only for yourself, but as someone who works with you. You’re an independent contractor, you’re a virtual expert on my team, you do the breakthrough specialist, as we talked about, you also are a coach in the program now. So, you became that same kind of coach that helped you grow. And then the third thing that you do for me is what you actually specialize in now. So, talk about that a little bit.

That’s the LinkedIn marketing, which it wasn’t what I started with. I actually went through a couple different specialties before Kathy called me up and said, Hey, you want to do this? You want to try this? I’m like, sure, you know, why not? I mean, worst case scenario with the noodle that doesn’t stick, which is I give that analogy to all of my coaching clients as well, when it comes to this niche thing, because everybody is scared of picking the wrong thing. I’m like, just pick one thing that you think you might be interested in, try it, if it doesn’t work, then you can always move on to something else.

And that’s exactly what I did. And it wasn’t necessarily because I wasn’t good at the other things that I had tried, I was good. And I enjoyed them. But everything that I ended up moving to was because I enjoyed it, and it was going to make me more money. And I’m one of those where if I like it, I enjoy it. And it’s going to make me more money. Why not? And the thing that I loved about LinkedIn marketing was it allows me to do all of the things that I love, obviously, you can tell I love to talk to people.

That’s why I do the breakthrough specialist is because I love building relationships with people and talking and learning about what they want, what they need, and finding out if this is going to be the right fit. I got started with doing your LinkedIn marketing. So that ranges you know, from I have to manage the project, manage everything that’s going on. So, project management is a skill that I use. I also do the social media aspect side of things. So, there’s tech that’s involved with that. But I also do messaging with people as my clients, but messaging with their ideal clients and seeking out new connections for them to just get them in front of more people and build those authentic relationships. It’s organic marketing, which Yes, takes longer than, say, throwing a bunch of money at Facebook ads.

But the quality of leads that you get when you do the organic marketing is far better than when people who click on an ad. It just allows them to be able to get those people on a phone call, find out you know, and be able to close those sales a whole lot here. So, it took everything that I love doing and allowed me to do it all because I always have way more balls than I should probably have in the air at any one given time.

Well, speaking of balls in the air, let’s talk about one of the things that I recognized early on in my VA career, which is once you learn how and I think you kind of mentioned this, once you learn how to find get and keep clients, you now know how to market just about any business online.

And as a virtual expert, who gets to choose your own time, like you do and set your lifestyle the way you want around that. You’ve decided, Hey, I really love life coaching and I want to add that on as something else that I do. So, before you became a virtual expert, did you realize you could also do another thing?

Before I started this program and built my virtual expert business? No, but it is definitely something that I have always felt a pull and a calling to. And that’s why when you asked me to be a coach, I was like, absolutely. And that’s why I am the jackhammer coach.

Yes, she is known as the jackhammer coach, actually she is the, you know exactly how it’s how it sounds is how it feels, and she gets amazing results because of it.

Yeah, because again, it’s not the work that is hard, it’s what’s going on in this six-inch space, that is the problem. And so even in business coaching my clients, through the virtual expert training program, I focused our coaching call on the mental work, the mental growth, the personal growth, all of those things. So those are skills that because I’ve been there, I’ve done that myself. And you’ve heard the expression, you can’t bullshit a bullshitter, I am the queen of excuses, ask my coach, she will hand downs, totally agree with it. I am the queen of excuses.

So, there is nothing that anyone can come up with, that I have not used or tried to use or thought of myself. It’s recognizing them for what they are, just excuses that are covering up something else. And so we really dive deep into what is what is standing in their way, and keeping them from achieving their goals and getting the results that they really, truly deep down want.  I havesome clients that have struggled, but they have recognized as my oldest son has over the years, because again, I coach like I parent, you know, I know what I know, what people are capable of, and I expect great things from them.

When we’re not getting the result we want, we really have to look at ourselves. Share on X

And when we’re not getting the results that we want, we really have to look at ourselves and be like, Okay, why is that it’s not, you know, because let’s just take this whole COVID situation right now. If you’re hearing this, like, two years from now, we were in the middle of the whole COVID situation, and my children were sent home full time in the middle of March. And I could have used that as an excuse to stop doing what I was doing. But it actually was a growing point for me, where I learned that life was just going to continue throwing things at me.

And so if I wanted to continue to grow and get to where I want it to be that I was going to have to get resourceful and get creative about how I was going to make that happen. I started expanding my team in my business, which you know, essentially means I hired other subcontractors, independent contractors to come into my business, and do the things that I don’t need to do or that I have a million excuses for why I’m not doing it just simply because either a I don’t want to do it or whatever mental block that I currently have is keeping me from being able to make this take the steps forward to do but they those are the things that need to get done. If someone else is doing it great. I don’t have to do it. It’s fine. I’m a firm believer that food always tastes better when someone else cooks it.

Oh, hell yeah.

I mean, it’s one of those where it needs to get done. I don’t want to do it myself. I’ve got an amazing team, I have an amazing talent that I have been able to find simply by being a part of this program and in our breakthrough sessions. And people say, Oh, so you hire people from the program? I can’t speak for anybody, everybody.

But I will not hire somebody who has not been through the virtual expert training program for the very same reason that you won’t, because I want the best I want somebody that I am not going to be able to because I’m kind of like you in a lot of ways where it’s like, I know it needs to be done, but I don’t want to learn how to do it. I don’t want to do it.

So, I’m just like, okay, and a lot of times I don’t know exactly what it is that I need. It’s just I have a general idea of okay, but again, because I just haven’t taken the time to learn how to optimize. I’m just like, Alright, so here’s what I’m currently doing and it’s not working. Here’s the general vision that I have. And then I just said, I give everyone the freedom to do their jobs. And, we’ll start off where I’m kind of looking at things. And then it gets to a point where I’m like, you just do it. I trust you, you’re going to go for it.

And isn’t that the beauty of working with a virtual experts and independent contractors? Because you know they do. They’re not employees, you do not need to manage them, they have their own expertise. And they can just go and do. I love it.

And we don’t so everyone into this program. So, I know that right anyone who’s in this program has been vetted, vouched for and they are a good person to work with.

Yeah, they’re already professional before they’re allowed into the program. They already are supportive. They already are anti-racist. All of those things that we enjoy working with. So yeah, we’ve vetted them already before. And then they got the training on how to work well, professionally and as a problem solver. And yeah, I’m with you, Sharon. Why not hire this? So, why the dragon? Why did that become your symbol?

Because, in going in my personal development, personal work on meditation is and I’m going to get very woo-woo here for a minute. So, if you’re not into Woo, you can ignore me, but I’m very into Whoo. So, I have worked with a couple different people on mindset and personal development. And because I tried the whole meditation thing and the mindfulness and it’s like, I just, I, I can’t do that.

But when it comes to spiritual guided meditations, and actually doing like meditative journey, that’s what works best for me. And I have some of the clearest moments when I do those things. So, the first moment when I realized that, that was what worked best for me, was one of the mindset tune-ups that you had provided to us. And the person who provided that was another whoo person.

She had some guided meditations and I was listening to some of those. And it took my calling on my guardian angels, which I was not surprised when my grandparents showed up. And I’m going to try really hard to not start crying. I was not surprised when my grandparents showed up. And they’ve never spoken to me in these meditative journey, but they’ve always had, there’s always been some feeling or image or thought, in guidance in those groundings and meditations, so it’s not something that I can do all the time, because it takes a ton of energy to be able to do that. I know the next time I did it, and I called upon my guardian angel, it was just my grandfather who showed up and he had a box for me. And when I opened the box, there was just light and an overwhelming feeling of love that came from that box. It lets me know that they’re there and they’re helping to guide me and that they’re with me no matter where I am or what I do.

And then another time I’d done a guided meditation and grounded into the earth and into the heavens and you know, all the thrilling and the stars and all that good stuff and then went down into the center into my heart chakra. And the color that is there is red. And it’s fire and it’s flame. And there’s an egg that I carry, it’s what it feels like there’s an egg that I carry around with me with all of the stress and the anxiety and all the mental Gremlins the things that the mental Gremlins like to throw at me, isn’t it an egg in that egg is a dragon, like my inner my inner being is a dragon.

So I’ve always had a thing for dragons.  I’ve tried to be the unicorn and I cannot be the unicorn and it is because I am a fire breathing dragon. I have conviction I have power I have an internal desire. And I have to keep it in check because I’m very passionate about things so when I do get very passionate, that dragon can come out and breathe fire, or the dragon can curl up around me and protect me. So, I like it when the dragon curls up and protects me, rather than fighter coming out. So that’s essentially where the dragon came from now.

I love that story. That’s fabulous. And, Sharon, as soon as you shared that you were a dragon in anything. I saw something on Facebook with an image and some t shirts and different things like that. I was like, Oh, of course that is Sharon! I immediately recognized you. So that is really fascinating that you came up with that. It’s that way in your imagery, your capability of visualization is just incredibly powerful. Thank you for sharing that with everybody.

Coach, that is where I come from with the jackhammer. Yes, I’m the jackhammer. I’m gonna tell it like it is. But everything always comes from a place of love. Because I don’t want to see, because I’ve done it so many times myself. I don’t want to see people settle for less than what they’re capable of just simply because they’re afraid.

Yeah, stop playing small, huh? As we wrap up. I’d love for you to share. If somebody wants to work with you on LinkedIn marketing, organic LinkedIn marketing, how can they find out more about that and get in touch with you?

Yeah, so you can find me on LinkedIn. I love connecting with new people there. Or the Hartwick Group on Facebook. That’s my business page. And there, you can join me every second Monday of every month. For a live Ask me anything. I come live, and you can ask any questions. I’m all about giving away the cow for free. I’m not going to hold back, I’m going to give you what you need to know.

And then if there’s something that I can’t give a quick answer to that needs more of a deep dive deeper, I do go live every Wednesday unless something comes up that I can’t, which I do tend to let people know in advance that I won’t be able to do it. But every Wednesday I do a live chat live where I dive into a more specific topic and give tips and tricks and can always visit me on my website. That’s HartwickGroup.com, and download my step by step guide to prospecting on LinkedIn there. And then while you are there, you can go check out my blog for a few words on how you can make the most of your LinkedIn marketing effort.

As someone who has turned over all over LinkedIn marketing, Sharon, that’s me, I can tell you that she does a fabulous job. I like to say that she comes with a batteries included, as you can probably tell by hearing her, I don’t have to wind her up and ask her to get going. She’s just always going. And I really value that.

And if you value that, and you’re looking for somebody to manage your LinkedIn marketing, I can highly personally recommend Sharon. So, how about for those people who are like, wow, Sharon is speaking my language. I really want to step into my full power. I want to stop playing small. I need a life coach or might want to explore what if I need a life coach? How can they get ahold of you about that?

You can email my email addresses on my website at info@hartwickgroup.com or you can find me on either Instagram, or Facebook and Sharon Hartwick Coaching.

We will put all of these links in the show notes. In thinking about your ideal client for the life coaching program, talk a little bit about who would be the kind of person that you would be like, Oh, yes, I can really, really help.

Yeah, my ideal clients are our strong women who have a very clear vision of who their ideal clients are. This is on the LinkedIn marketing side who have a very vision of who their ideal clients are, who are tired of throwing money at Facebook ads that aren’t performing the way that they want them to. And then when the day that Facebook you know, goes away or you know, whatever, but you have an odd burst into flames.

You have an alternate way to continue to go or your ad gets shut down. Which happens frequently for no reason. You’re a business owner that does paid advertising, you know that your ads get shut down. You know, you’re not able to receive a DM. There’s somebody I follow on Instagram who has been working, trying to get through to somebody on Facebook for weeks now because they can’t access their DM’S on Instagram or Facebook. I’m like, if you’re gonna have to email me. Um, and that’s really?

Yeah. Okay, that’s what you’re looking for is the LinkedIn marketing client.

Yeah, I love working with coaches, coaches and trainers.

So, in your life coaching, strong family values good and your life coaching? Who are you looking to help in their arena?

I help women who are perimenopausal or who have had hysterectomy, or have autoimmune disorders really work through the mindset that’s keeping them from losing weight, because I have gone through my own personal weight loss journey in the last six months. And it really, the only thing that was different this time was I had done all of the mindset work beforehand. I was able to commit to my why I wanted to get healthy, and to lose the weight.

It’s easy to say, you know, Oh, I can’t lose it because of my hormones that are all it can be done. You just have to make that conscious choice every day. And really stick to your goals. So, I’m all about overcoming the challenges that are keeping you from achieving whatever goals you want to reach, primarily like that I do the weight loss, but it’s really I’m not I don’t give out meal planning advice we just work on. Why can’t you say no to the Twinkie? It’s not hard you just say no.

Without white knuckling it. Because willpower in the long run. We all run out of it knowing exactly. Yeah. And then I will also throw in here that if you’re listening to Sharon, and you really want to become a virtual expert, too. And I would love the jackhammer style coaching. You can you can go to VirtualExpertTraining.com to find out more about our program. And then all you have to do is request Sharon as your coach, and she will be that coach for you. And we have many great coaches. Sharon is the only jackhammer.

I tell everybody we’ve got we have 12 different coaches, they ranged from everywhere from the White Glove treatment all the way to the jackhammer. Now. I’m the jackhammer and everything and there’s everything in between. And if you’re not sure what you need and a coach or who would best be the right coach for you. There’s a fabulous survey in the very beginning of the training that you go through and you’re like, Okay, this is what I need. This is what I what I what would help me best to succeed.

And I tell all of my coaching clients in our very first phone call that if there is something that you need that I’m not giving you, let me know if it is something that is within my capabilities to give to you. I will give it to you. If it is not, there’s gonna be no hard feelings. We will find a coach that can give you what you want. Because if you need the white gloves, that’s not me. That is not like not sugarcoating anything.

But if you’re tired of sugar coating, and you’re getting cavities, Sharon is there for you. Sharon, thank you so much. I could talk to you all day long. Even though I know so much about you already. I could still talk to you all day long. You are electrifying and inspirational.

About Sharon Hartwick

DTL 016 | Sharon Hartwick

Sharon Hartwick is a LinkedIn marketing expert. With over 20 years of experience in sales and customer service – she quickly learned she didn’t love the corporate methodology or structure and has never believed marketing or sales is just about talking to anyone who will listen to make the sale or close the deal.

Sharon believes in finding the RIGHT PROSPECTS and building meaningful relationships to increase the know, like, and trust factor, so that her clients are only talking to quality warm leads. This enables her clients to close sales faster and have more time to play to their true power, creating the stuff their clients love.

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