Adam Haritan Visits Piper Creative

Adam Haritan is arguably one of the most talented and passionate under-the-radar entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh. Two weeks ago, he came to Piper Creative to talk about his booming company, Learn Your Land.

A few years ago, Adam noticed a problem: there was no cohesive database of all the naturalists in his area or in Pennsylvania in general, nor was there a listing of their events. He started Learn Your Land in 2014 to solve that problem.

“I remember sitting outside in the sun with a notepad, just brainstorming things. I wrote down ‘Learn Your Land’ and circled it and knew that it would be something. I just had a feeling.”

When the site officially launched in the summer of 2015, Adam described it as “good,” and “fine.” It was going well, but while he was trying to maintain the database, he was also starting to lead his own nature and foraging walks at the same time, which began to gain more attention than the site itself. He decided to start focusing his energy on the walks, and put the database on the back burner. 


How He Runs Learn Your Land

Adam described his three methods of revenue generation: events, herbal supplements (which he makes himself), and his online course called “Foraging Wild Mushrooms,” which launched in May of this year and has already drawn in hundreds of students.

In terms of social media, Adam uses Facebook, Instagram, and most importantly, YouTube and email. He explained that his main goal of his YouTube videos is to get people to sign up for his email list, which he claims is the most important part of his business.

Adam first built his email list back in 2013 when he had a blog called “Wild Foodism,” where he would write about the nutritional benefits of wild foods. This blog eventually turned into Learn Your Land, and Adam simply copied the email list for the blog into the list for Learn Your Land. 

“Whenever I was learning how to run this business, I would study from other marketers, people who had podcasts or had written books on this subject, and I would always hear the same, common mistake they made early on: they didn’t build their email lists early enough.”

Adam told the Piper team that he had absolutely no business background whatsoever. He studied nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh and hadn’t taken a single business class, but as you can tell by Learn Your Land’s increasing success, this hasn’t held him back at all. 

According to Adam, his three secrets to success are to: study what other people are doing (but do your thing), pay (selective) attention to feedback, and have the enthusiasm, passion, dedication, and the willingness to work hard.


Study What Other People are Doing, Do Your Thing

When he was learning how to run his company and build his email list, he would observe what other people in the industry were doing. He signed up for email lists for other online courses just to see how they would market them, and then he would make note of what he liked and disliked about each company’s strategy and model his own list based on his findings and make it his own. 

Adam told Piper that when you are learning from other people, it is important to still do your own thing in the end.


Pay (Selective) Attention to Feedback

Adam expressed that he rarely pays attention to any analytics on YouTube. He even finds it hard to read through the comments on his videos because a majority of them have nothing meaningful about them. 

What he really cares about are the “likes” and “dislikes” on his videos; if people liked the videos or if they didn’t. Anything else is pretty much irrelevant.

Enthusiasm, Passion, Dedication, and the Willingness to Work Hard

Adam emphasized how important it is to have these things when running a business. If you don’t inject passion and enthusiasm into the things you are teaching or promoting, no one is going to listen. 

“There are a lot of people doing what I do, but I don’t think they’re willing to do the hard work or literally quit their job and dedicate the rest of their life to this kind of work, but I am.”

Adam advised the Piper team to ask themselves, “Why am I here?” and if they aren’t sure, then they should go somewhere where they are. If you find yourself lacking passion for the work you are doing, do something else. Find what you are passionate and enthusiastic about and dedicate your life to it.

“You have to ground yourself and work your ass off.”

Written by @Annie__Volk



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