Behind The Clicks Episode 1 Blog Featured Image

Meet Samantha – From Licensed At A Top Investment Firm To 2X Founder

Like many entrepreneurs, my journey started in corporate, which was a soul-sucking experience that left me feeling ill, unvalued, and unfulfilled.

It wasn’t until John and I were at the right place at the right time that we were introduced to what would soon be the motivator for our blog, which was the key turning point of our agency’s inception!

Tune into Episode 1 as I reveal the unfiltered bio of my life that you won’t find on our agency About Page.

What You Can Expect

  • Learn about Samantha Hawrylack like you haven’t met her before as she dives into her journey to becoming a 2x founder and digital marketing expert 
  • What led to the start of her agency, and what she can accredit to its inception
  • How corporate left her burnt out, ready for something new, but like most things in life, it wasn’t until a networking event and being at the right place at the right time that allowed her to find her true passion again and dive into the world of SEO
  • How a husband and wife team built the life they always wanted, it just had a few unexpected turns

I had no idea if it was going to work and how long I was going to be able to make it work, but I was really determined to do everything in my power to make it a great situation.”

~ Samantha Hawrylack


Click here for the transcript

 To kickstart our show, I thought it would be important for you to understand my story and why you can trust my digital marketing tips. So in Behind the Clicks fashion, I’m going to give you the unfiltered about me that you won’t find on our agency about page on our website. Now I’m going to get started by telling you about how I loved writing as a kid.

And for all of you who just sighed, hang with me for a minute. First of all, I’m not that old that it’ll take forever. And it’s actually just a quick little context for you. I used to write short stories all the time. It was the biggest bookworm. You would always find me with a notebook in hand or a book, and that’s how I used to spend my afternoons after school, my evenings, my weekends.

I actually won several writing and poetry contests in school. I’m not sure if you remember all of those contests that the teachers used to have us do in middle school where you would submit your writing And then if you were selected you would get published in a hardcover book and it was the biggest deal. But that was me and all of that was really important to me growing up but once I got into high school the love for writing and reading kind of softened as I was forced to write countless essays and replays and all of that fun, fun stuff that we go through in high school.

But all of that contributed to my love for writing and reading when I didn’t even know that it was. Fast forward to senior year of high school, I was trying to decide what I should do for the rest of my life, because you can definitely trust a 17 year old to make that decision. But I went through so many different careers that I wanted to do.

I started out with physical therapy because I was really big into softball and sports growing up. I did soccer and basketball and Softball, I even did some dancing, um, but I was really big into physical therapy, had a little part time job in town at a physical therapist’s office. And then I decided that I wanted to kind of go in the same route, but shift that to athletic training, followed by nursing.

Then I kind of realized junior year of college that that wasn’t for me. Um, as you know, noble and wonderful, that profession is all of those nurses out there to serve the biggest gratitude there is. Um, after that period of my life, I decided that I wanted to move into business because I was working for a online retail startup all throughout college.

And I really fell in love with the business side of things. And so that kind of initiated my interest in business. And then from there, I should add that, uh, my husband, John and I met in high school and at 17, been together ever since. But it was at that point, like junior year of college where, um, himself and I really dove into money and finances because we really wanted to start our life out together on the right foot.

So we actually ran into Mr. Money Mustache’s blog and Dave Ramsey, and that really inspired our interest in the fire movement. Uh, that’s financial independence and early retirement for anybody who’s not familiar and really getting our You know, savings and investing and debt under control. So that and studying all of that sparked my interest even further into business, but more specifically finance.

So I then transitioned from, um, being an accounting major to a finance major. Luckily the classes were very similar. So, um, from there I finished my finance degree and. Um, all the same time I was working at that online retail startup. So I was looking for potential companies that I could work for as I was graduating.

And there was one local that is known as one of the top investment firms in the nation. And I decided that it was my dream to work at this company. And I did everything that I could to Get myself a job there from, um, every networking event, which is always fun as an introvert. But I also, you know, um, talk to the recruiters and followed up and, you know, kept my LinkedIn and resume updated.

And once I finally got that interview, I was so excited. I spent weeks preparing with, or for the interview with, you know, the star questions cause they’re so fun. Right. But they were really big into star questions. So I made sure to memorize all of my answers to like 20 different questions. And then I was offered the job, which was at that time, one of the most exciting days of my life.

And I was so proud of myself and grateful for the opportunity. So, from there, I started in the position a month or two later, and part of the first three months of our time there was to get certified or licensed for the Series 7 and 63 exams, which are just finance exams, so you can, you know, uh, help clients with different investments and brokerages and all that.

And then, oh, if we could scratch that, I want to start this part over Haley. Um,

hopefully that helps. I’ve seen people do that before. Um,

so the first three months of this position, once I started was to get licensed for the series seven and 63 exams. So I could not only help clients with their investments, but also trade investments and things like that. So My whole life was dedicated to studying and passing those exams during that time, and I did on the first try, and that was, again, a really proud moment for myself because it was just so hard, and I just, I felt like I couldn’t understand options.

I don’t know if any of you are familiar with that, but That was a tough chapter for me in that whole experience. But after that, I was officially, officially a brokerage investment professional at this investment firm. And in total, I spent about a year and nine months there, but it definitely wasn’t everything that I thought it was going to be.

I ended up being very unhappy there. I was micromanaged and felt unappreciated and Um, actually every day driving to that job, I used to feel physically ill just because how we were treated and you can only deal with that for so long. So we were kind of turning our wheels into how I could get out of this job eventually.

And we ended up going to a networking event in Philadelphia for a book launch in the fire space. And we met all kinds of people there who had similar mindsets to us. in terms of finances and it kind of led us to start a blog which is now six years later known as how to fire all about getting your finances together financial independence and all those fun things and when we started that blog i had no idea kind of like the profound impact it would have on my life it is so much more than just a document of our journey, John and I’s, but it also led me to be able to start the agency that I run now, which I am so grateful for.

It also brought back that love of writing again, that I had all through growing up and allowed me to fuse my new passion, which is finance with my old passion, which is writing and reading. So I was able to fuse those. And then also I sat up every single night. Learning everything I could about SEO, email marketing, lead generation, copywriting.

There wasn’t a stone unturned. And that kind of snowballed, and after some time of doing that, I kind of came to a head where I couldn’t handle Scratch That Hailey. I came to a point where I couldn’t stand being in this job anymore, and I was turned down for a promotion that I knew I was perfect for.

Side note, it was writing and emailing clients. Um, and I knew that that if I didn’t get that job, that there really was no place for me in this company. And I was turned down for that job because I was told. that I wasn’t outgoing enough for the team, which is, which is cool. Um, I know they need to kind of keep their culture in mind, but I was really upset and disappointed.

And at that point between that and the feelings I was already having on a daily basis from this job, I basically had enough. I said, I’m turning in my two weeks notice and I’m going to take a run Not only the blog, but I want to get a couple of clients to make this a sustainable longterm thing. So I quit and it was the scariest moment of my life.

Um, I had no idea if it was going to work and how long I was going to be able to make it work, but I was really determined to do everything in my power to make it a great situation, not only for myself, but the family that I was building with John, our little family unit here with me, him and Simba. Um, But it actually turned out that neither of us planned for it to go so well.

Within two months, I was able to replace the income I was making at this investment firm. And within six, I was making a six figure income, which wouldn’t have come for, let’s say, 10 years at the investment firm. So it was unlike anything I was imagining for myself. And not only that, but I was able to see how my writing and SEO skills were impacting my clients.

and how valuable the combination of skill sets that I have could be for someone. So not only was I able to make it sustainable for myself, but I was able to feel very fulfilled and confident in what I was doing.

And it all kind of came full circle for me. Why did I enjoy writing as a kid? Why did I, you know, figure out the finance thing and go into financial services and start working in that area. It all came full circle for me because I felt like that was all meant to happen. So I could do what I am doing now.

And I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without the investment firm. So I’m definitely grateful to them, even though my experience wasn’t the best. So we’re going to fast forward to today. We’re about to hit our five year mark for SJ Digital Solutions. And like I said, six years for How to Fire this summer.

I have a multiple six figure agency with a small but mighty team and I get to help my clients get results every single day. That not only impact their businesses, but impact their real lives. And I couldn’t be more grateful for this journey or more fulfilled by the work I do. And I just wanted to take a moment as well to thank John for being such a huge part.

of this journey and my biggest support system from the time we were 17 to now 29, married almost eight years. Now that you know about my journey to get here, where I am right now, we’re going to spend the next several episodes talking about all of the things that I’ve learned in an unfiltered perspective. So you can get all of the tips, tricks and processes that you need to scale your own digital marketing.

Behind the Clicks Episode 1

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I have a multiple six-figure agency with a small but mighty team and I get to help my clients get results every single day. That not only impact their businesses, but impact their real lives.

~ Samantha Hawrylack

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