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Hilary Jastram of J. Hill Marketing & Creative Services is the editor to Ryan Stewman as well as other successful and high-producing entrepreneurs.
She became an entrepreneur by necessity – after being diagnosed with a chronic illness. And she’s hit the ground running since.
In addition to her copywriting and editing company, she operates Sick Biz – a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support, resources, hacks, and hope to entrepreneurs affected by chronic illness, pain, disability, and sickness.
In this episode, Hilary shares her story of being forced to become an entrepreneur due to chronic illness. She talks about why trusting more people is important if you want to scale your business. We also talk about why she doesn’t have a business why, and what she has instead.In order to scale you have to trust more people. - Hilary Jastram Click To Tweet
In This Episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast:
- Hilary shares how her life changed when she was diagnosed with a chronic illness, and how she started her company because of it.
- We discuss trusting more people in order to scale a business.
- She also shares the importance of finding out what you love to do – and doing it.
- She shares why she doesn’t have a why and what she does have instead.
- Hilary shares how her mentality changed from how much do I need to make, to what can I make?
- We discuss why you have to decide you don’t like where you are in order to make changes.
- We talk about the importance of surrounding yourself with the right people.
- We also discuss the dangers of using images from Google in your marketing.
Hilary’s Favorite Online Resources:
(Some of the links listed below are affiliate links, and I will receive compensation for you signing up for service using my links.)
Mentioned in this Episode:
Reach Out to Hilary:
- Hilary’s Website: JHillMark.com
- Podcast: Sick Biz Buzz
- Facebook: J. Hill Mark Writer
- Facebook Group: Sick Biz
Note: Transcripts are created automatically and are not 100% accurate. However, they help our visitors find relevant content using our website’s search feature.
Welcome to the show Hillary, thank you so much for having me. It’s an honor,
it’s great to have you on tell me about yourself outside of your business,
outside of my business, you know,
the business and, and work life balance is, is really kind of, it’s not true. So
I have a
family, I’ve got three adult children and husband and my husband and I live with my daughter who is 18, she’s the last little one in the nest. We’ve got two cats and two dogs, and he’s a veteran. So he works at one of the national cemeteries out here. So I have a lot of time to myself now to develop my business that I didn’t my businesses that I didn’t have when my children were little, so I’m kind of enjoying this little pocket of peace.
That’s nice. I can’t
wait for that to happen for me in a few years. I mean, I can wait, I can wait, tell me about your business and how you got started.
my first business that I started and that is running as a for profit
business is called j Hill marketing and Creative Services. And the emphasis is on three offerings, copywriting, copy editing, in any digital capacity and book editing, the book editing kind of found me and I talked a lot about that in my books and, and articles and things like that the found opportunity, but it’s really thriving. And it’s just going wonderfully, and I’m partnering with some publishers and have a great pipeline going. So that is where the crux of my focus has been lately on helping entrepreneurs tell their stories and get self published.
When did you know that you were an entrepreneur?
Well, so before I answer that question, my second business,
okay, okay. It’s all good. I know I’m losing track
is a nonprofit. And that business is called sick biz. And it is a business that I started in September of this year, that after I got my feet on the ground, in my first business, I wanted to create this nonprofit to help and support chronically ill and disabled entrepreneurs, by offering them resources, help and hope hacks, all sorts of different things. We’re developing a scholarship program, we are partnering with some wonderful business coaches to help them with some initiatives in their business, so they can continue to grow and get the coaching that they need. And it’s the business that I wanted when when I first got sick. So that is one. And that really, that leads right into your next question, which is, when did I know I was an entrepreneur. So I became an entrepreneur, out of necessity.
But I had known about entrepreneurship. When I was little, my father was a crazy entre, he would come home and say,
you know, we’re going to be millionaires. After
I sell all these these little pods of pantyhose, you guys are never going to want for anything, he would try and write computer programs. He taught himself how to code, it was crazy. He was in like a coin industry. So there was always something going now the thing is that he was not successful, I don’t talk to him anymore, because he turned out to be just a terrible person. But anyways,
that was my takeaway. And my exposure is that there, there was an option
to work for yourself. But from my lens, it was not a successful option
as I grew up, then I
determine that the most important thing to do was to continue to do the work, which is what I’ve always known how to do,
and make sure that I had a job, make
sure that I had a job so that I had that predictable income coming in. But I always dreamed about entrepreneurship, because I had passions and different things that I wanted to do when you’re working for corporations, you know, you’re really hemmed in, by the way they run their business and the structure of the business and all those things. And it’s very linear. So that didn’t really feed my passion. So lucky for me, I got sick. In September of 2014, I was diagnosed with transverse mellitus, which is the hideous sister of multiple sclerosis. And they’re watching me very, very closely for that as well. They throw me in the MRI to just for fun every six months to a year. But
when I got sick, I wasn’t able to work for anyone else anymore. And I tried. You know, I tried my
company I was with at the time even rolled in a little fiery red salsa, mini recliner for
me, so I can, I could sit in the recliner, and have my laptop on my lap and try to alleviate my vertigo. But it just wasn’t working. So I had no choice. We had to part ways and,
and I had to start my own business. So that’s what I did. I call myself The Reluctant entrepreneur.
I love that that’s a really good story.
aside from having a chronic illness, what’s your greatest entrepreneurial challenge?
My greatest entrepreneurial challenge is what I am working on. And I had to first work on in my, in my personal life,
which is trust. And I think a lot of us have issues with trust to we want to trust, there are blocks that are preventing us from trusting. So like my husband, right now, we didn’t get married until we’d been together over eight years. And so now I am expanding that goal into my business, that when you are your business, you’re the face of your business. It’s deeply connected to the passion in your heart, you need to make sure that you’re cultivating trust. And so that’s what I’m doing. I have a little band of people, and we all work together.
But it’s been
a long go, you know, I’ve
known these people, some of them for probably like, three years or longer, and I keep my circles small, but to scale in order to do so, you know, you have to trust more people. So that is a challenge for me, and I continue to work on it. What advice do you have for someone that is wanting to get started in business? Well, first of all, there’s the old saying that
you know, do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life. And I think that’s very true. I read an article that took the opposing view that you should ever do what you love, because then you’re turning what you love into drudgery and toil, and scheduling things out, and you’ll beat the passion out of it. And that is simply not true. To my mind, I refute that 100%.
If you have a boundless passion and energy, and you get tirelessly excited about what you’re doing, you are only going to continue to grow that. So the first thing is, find out what you love. And,
you know, I had a
wonderful conversation with a friend of mine. And he was on my podcast, actually.
And when he got sick, he had, he could not work in his, you know, in the corporate capacity anymore, either. And so he became an author, because that is a passion that he had deep inside him. And we talked about how weirdly, you know, you get this chance to examine your life and say, Well, I’m going to do something all by myself, you
get the chance to do what you love. So
that’s the first thing, identify
what you love, put your passion and your energy into it, and then figure out how you can use it to serve people or fill a niche.
Aside from that, wanting to work for
And aside from your family, and aside from pretty much being forced to do it, what is your why I don’t really have a why I have, why not?
And in fact, that why not only came about this year. So you know, when you’re in this industry, and you’re working with some very, very high producers, you hear about what is your why, what is your why, what is your why, and I can’t remember who said it, I can’t remember who flipped it. But they said, What is your Why not? And my Why not? Is Why can’t do this, too? Why can’t you do this to you know, were so busy trying to subscribe to what successful and what works. And let’s reverse engineer it. And let’s all jump on board then. Well, you’re not exploring your own personal Why not? And what I mean by that is your WHY NOT is your own spin and your own unique experiences and history and everything that your talents bring to the table. That’s your Why not? Why can’t I succeed in this industry? Well, of course I can. If so, and so can succeed. If anybody can succeed, you can succeed. So my why not is limitless. I flipped from being on unemployment that first year in 2015,
after I separated from
that really large regional furniture company. And it was January 1, 2015.
And that was the first day that Jay Hill marketing was born. And that was the first day it all came down to me. There’s no more checks coming for short term disability, there’s no more shifts being scheduled.
So I thought initially,
what do I have to make
more my family and and then a couple years later, I flipped that in it was like a light came on. So what do I have to make? What can I make? So it’s similar to the why why not mentality but it absolutely
unlocks this empowerment and abundance inside you. So what made your mentality change
from the not how much do I need to make, but what can I make,
I think it had to do with a number of things I looked at what I was doing, and the more that we achieve, the more that we win, the more that we close clients, the more that we serve people in ways that are meaningful, the more that we reach them, we feel up and more we allow this expanded empowerment to continue on and on and on and on. And it’s like these little stepping stones that are that are getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. And you start to realize, Hey, this is working. I’m not crazy for dreaming this. Because I’m living it, I’m doing it. I’m achieving the goals that I set for myself similar to that. And a lot of people may not see the connection. But you can only grow from a growth mentality from a positive mindset from an abundance mindset. You can’t say, Well, my life sucks, and everything’s hard. And it really hate this. And I hate that and I’m angry, and I, and I have this heavy energy bogging me down. And it’s blocking things you cannot move from that
into everything is going well.
You have to decide, I don’t like where I am.
And I’m going to do the internal work to change it. So that means defending your boundaries. And that means making sure that the people you surround yourself with in a professional and personal capacity are the ones who build you up are the ones who enforce you every single day. My Facebook feed and I have written about this is like the greatest litany of business and life coaches you have ever seen in your life. I get up every day I look at Facebook, it’s Yes, you can do it. These are my wins. I’m so happy about this collaboration is in this incredible. It is such a difference when those are the messages that you bombard yourself with.
I love your energy. I love your philosophy and your story. I love
that I’ve never had anybody tell me that they didn’t have a why they have a white knight. And I love that so much.
Sasson. Very awesome. So if you could have lunch with one business thought leader, who would it be?
Okay, now I’m speaking to Lori Brunner right. Now Lori. I know, isn’t she just the greatest. She took one of the winners on Shark Tank out for like a celebratory little ocean cruise where they pop champagne and whatever, you know, and I just want to tell you, Lori you know that we are spirit animals. Okay. So
she is on a sharp and very deliberate and there’s no bones about who she is. There’s no she defends herself. But she’s also graceful and she never ever crushes anyone’s spirit. Mm hmm. I’ve, you know, I’ve watched that show religion, Lee. And there are a couple of those people. I’m not naming names. There are a couple of those sharks on there that are they’re pretty Savage. Then they rip into these entrepreneurs
and my heart just kind of withers inside because I am an entrepreneur. And I know that you need that validation. You need to get it from yourself, first of all, but you need that validation to keep going forward. And so Lori doesn’t do that. But she’s also no BS. And she encourages people.
And I think she would be phenomenal because
the, in particular the nonprofit, I’m running sick biz,
I believe it can be structured like any other for profit business, just from the standpoint that it can be run more efficiently, etc. And so I would like a shark and Laurie would be perfect to look at it and say, this is great, but this is really how you could leverage the opportunity and better serve the community. I love that. She’s awesome. She’s so sweet.
And she always has nice things that people like you said, unlike some of the other sharks that I’m like, Oh, my gosh, I would have cried if they told me that. Oh,
so true. So
bad. So scary.
I get scared. Not scared
for the people. I gotta feel bad for them. Yeah,
what’s your favorite business book?
So this is a weird answer for you. My favorite business books are the books that I edit for my clients. So I call myself the entrepreneurs editor. And I probably have at least 20 plus books under my belt of entrepreneurs, whom I have edited their self published books. So it’s in each one tells a story. So and they’re all read like a minimum of five times before I send them off, and they’re finalized, and we self published or I work with the publisher or whatever the cases, but they each fill me up in very different ways. These are extreme stories and examples. The one I just edited was about a gentleman overcoming the craziest addiction I have ever heard about in my entire life. And the normalizing of the crazy making behavior, and it really unleash it just unlocked for me rather the the power of the mind. Now, when I was growing up, I was told that because I was a little bit of a hypochondriac, and a very anxious child. And I was told that, you know, the healing of these conditions is all in your mind. If you can convince yourself that you are sick, or you are anxious, you can also
flip it and say, I’m not sick, I’m not anxious. And in fact, I’m, well, I’m healthy,
I’m strong. I’m all
these wonderful things.
So this particular story, it’s called hustling from, two houses, and it’s the story of George baby. So I know I talk about I love all of the authors
that I work with George’s book stands out to me though, because he was able to stop normalizing such damaging behavior and, and it’s a testament to whether you overcoming addiction, a jail term cancer, poverty, neglect, abandonment, repeated abandonment,
whatever it is
the power to heal, and the power to change your life is absolutely in your mind. And that is what George talks about. So right now, that’s my favorite book.
Love. That sounds like a great book.
Oh, it’s crazy. I mean, there and George is a natural writers. So when I work with people who are natural writers, you know, sometimes I have to pull the story out of the author,
and I can tell it’s kind of an uncomfortable
process for them.
George was like, Okay, this is George coming at you with chapter six. And here I am driving
the car down, you know, and these scenarios to kind of the quote unquote, normal person I reading
He’s alive, astounded. So
I fully recommend
George’s book, it will be out shortly. We’re finishing up the back cover copy and things of that nature. And then within a couple weeks, that will be available. Awesome. That sounds amazing. So will it be out? I know we’re recording this episode. Well, in advance of when it airs. Will it
be out by the time we publish? Absolutely. Okay, perfect.
we’ll include the link to that in the show notes. Perfect.
What’s your favorite internet resource or app that just makes your life easier.
So you know, when you make the commitment to post and make sure that you’re cultivating your media which is super important, I just did a live Facebook video on that today about doing the work in your media, you have to make sure that you’re working
as efficiently as possible and you’re kind of just slugging along. So I
have a number of different platforms that I like especially for the copyright free images and their high resolution
people don’t understand sometimes that you can’t just hop on Google and Google and image and say why I like that one or I’m going to use that celebrities image or
whatever the case is no
you can get fined you can get shut down
Google can block anybody
from finding you you know on the on the on their search engine so it’s super important that you know these things it’s super important that you know the laws and they are
these are laws that support traditional advertising so the first thing is that you want to make sure you’re using copyright free images but you also want to make sure that you’re using high resolution images so I have a number of sites so one is on splash calm which has the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen and I could just like sink into it it’s like a it’s like a vivid virtual coffee table photography book it’s just amazing another is pixels calm and then pics eBay is another one.
And a super super duper weird one is gratis og roughy. So if you like irony and just like really strange kind of twisted jokey advertising, you know, like a man running around and like a dirty bunny suit talking in a banana. I mean, that’s
Yeah, you know what I’ll add
to that. I know it’s your favorite resource but I’ll add
to that pics. eBay dot com also has free high resolution
Yep, I thought I mentioned that one. But maybe I didn’t. Maybe I was you were just reading my mind. But that is exactly right. And then to use all of those with a super easy application is pick monkey pic monkey, and it costs like seven bucks a month to be able to make memes in there. And then you can play around with the contrast and the highlighting. And crop and resize and all these things. And when you do it very
regularly, it’s just a snap, it takes loading blog post, I can probably load a blog post now in like 10 minutes.
And it’s it just, it’s a snap. Awesome. Yeah, I like
pick wonky and Canada in all those super
easy programs that have built
in templates for you just pic
monkey have like Bilton template, so you can pop
pictures in you know, I haven’t really explored that piece of it. Because they usually so I, I do the media for myself, but I’m also Ryan students, editor. So anytime Ryan needs anything, he’ll just send me an email. And it’ll be it’ll have like, his content, and then a picture that he picks out, and then I edit it and whatnot. And I run my business. And very much the same way. I have a gal who does my memes that I, I pay her to do the means for my business each month. Because after a while, you don’t have time to
So yep, outsource. Yeah,
outsource the things that
you don’t like doing.
That’s so true. And I mean, I,
I wanna, I want to play, you know, in design and stuff like that. So it’s the things you don’t like doing and the things that and be honest with yourself. And not like, I’m gonna punch myself in the face. I’m horrible at this. But like, there are things we are not good at, okay, don’t come to me and say, do a layout because I’ll say, Oh, I’m very confused. I’m overwhelmed. Where do you want this palm tree? It could be been 30
different places it does this looks like.
You don’t want this. All right. Us people that actually have the specialty and expertise because otherwise you can damage your brand. Yeah,
definitely take a look at their portfolio. And maybe do just like one test image before you hand something over to someone and you’re like, hey, do all my social media posts for
the month and then you hate them all?
Oh, it tests her work ethic too. Because I’ve had people that I I’ll pay up front and say, okay, is for X amount of hours that needs to be done
and nothing is done.
You know, and I just think to myself, Well, okay, that was stupid. And it’s like you said, you want to sample people. And really, maybe that has a lot to do with the trust issue. circling back to that making sure that the people that you’re working with
get the chance to prove themselves but you don’t hand over the whole frickin enchilada. Yeah exactly. Another thing that you should do is give
them an example
of graphics that you like whether it’s stuff that you’ve made yourself in the past or someone’s brand that you really like that way they have an idea and they’re not just starting from scratch and hoping that you like what they come up with
yeah that’s very true so
former graphic designer here
I still design I just
don’t do it for other people okay anymore yeah I just do it for myself so where can listeners
find you online
the best place
to find me is probably through both of my Facebook pages but I want to also know that there’s a Facebook group for chronically
disabled entrepreneurs so the
the my marketing company my copywriting company is Jay Hill Mark writer and that you can find me on Facebook page there you can also find me on the Facebook page sick biz you can listen to our podcast to we’ve got we’re recording Episode 11 today called the sick biz buzz and it is the sickest podcast for chronically ill and disabled entrepreneurs. But we also do have a Facebook group and it’s filling up fast with with people who are working sick and who feel isolated and who need the support so if you are on Facebook search sick biz Facebook group and
request to join and find that support that you’ve been looking for.
Perfect. Well Hillary thanks so much for sharing your story with us today.
Thank you so much. It was so much fun and I
really appreciate being on your show.
Cindy Rodriguez is the host of the Start Fierce Business Podcast. When she’s not interviewing awesome entrepreneurs, she’s working on growing her startup, going to Disney World with her daughter, or reading a book.