Nathan Lamaster has quite a few titles and credentials, but the truest and most fitting thing to call him is a SerialPreneur. He currently has three different businesses in the works (thanks to some healthy boundaries set by his wife), but his mind is always percolating on existing problems and the creation of possible solutions. He knows how to listen. He knows what questions to ask. He cares about people. He has the courage to create and dream and aspire to solve problems that most of us just sit around and complain about. Because Nathan is an outside-of-the-box thinker, he has said a kindly ‘no thanks’ to a traditional, brick and mortar office space and makes WorkHub his professional mecca for creativity and creation.
Nathan grew up in Northern California where he originally dreamed of owning his very own surf shop. To supplement that, his original education plan was to study Business at California State University in Sacramento but that morphed to an interest in Psychology. After completing all his general education courses, Nathan was faced with having to buckle down and commit to a major in order to wrap up his undergrad studies. He happened upon a potential career path he had never heard of that had all the components of things he loved: Psychology, helping people, and being active. Nathan then focused all his energy on getting his certification to be a Recreational Therapist.
One of his passions is to get people woke to what being a Certified Therapeutic Recreational Specialist means. Recreational therapy is pretty brilliant. It utilizes anything that you do for enjoyment in a therapeutic way. Say you break your leg and you’re needing to do some rehab to get back to normal mobility. Nathan would find out more about physical activity that you enjoy doing (like breakdancing) and use that information to develop a scalable rehab plan that includes dancing to get you back to moonwalking like your injury never happened. He would also talk you through the healing process and address your mental health through recovery. Rec therapy can also be used to help people work through developmental disabilities and substance abuse.
When Nathan and his wife, Nikki, moved from Cali to Texas almost 8 years ago, rec therapy jobs were not so easy to come by. Nathan took a position that was over an hour away from their home and started worrying about job scarcity in his field and how that could potentially impact his future. On his daily commute, he started tuning in to a podcast that inspired him to take action called Smart, Passive Income by Pat Flynn.
One of the talks that resonated most deeply with Nathan was Episode 46: Building a Lucrative Business with No Ideas, No Expertise, and No Money with Dane Maxwell. Dane Maxwell built his empire by simply askinging questions. He started asking people what they did for a living, what they liked and didn’t like about their jobs, and uncovered a recurring issue in the real estate market. It was a deep frustration for realtors to upload listings to the MLS. They had to complete the process from a PC and couldn’t take care of things while on the road. This led to the development of an app to solve the issue and then evolved into a career developing software for real estate agents that was geared towards helping make their jobs easier.
“I started thinking about pain points in my own industry. Other Rec Therapists were complaining online about licensure and cost and being taken seriously. It got me thinking that I could solve some of these issues for people in the same industry as me.”
Hearing this podcast sparked ideas and led to the development of Nathan’s first business, SMART CEUs Hub. Recreational Therapists, like most other positions with licensure, are required to complete continued education courses to maintain their certification. This was a huge pain point for Rec Therapists. They complained, Nathan listened and developed a solution.
“My goal and focus has always been on helping people solve problems and hopefully making their life better.”
The mission of SMART CEUs Hub is to provide content to Recreational Therapists that is board-approved to meet their continuing education requirements, affordable and convenient to access. It started with only Nathan, but he now has 20 Recreational Therapists on the team with varying backgrounds and expertise providing diverse content for courses. SMART CEUs Hub currently serves around 3,800 Recreational Therapists in the US and Canada and even annually blesses a lucky, aspiring Rec Therapist with a $5000 scholarship at Indiana State University.
“The idea is to create evergreen content that can be resold over and over again. You don’t have to replace inventory. The goal is that you’re selling access to information.”
Once one of his big ideas had come to fruition, it sparked a movement to create several other business and professional development resources for Recreational Therapists, other aspiring/current entrepreneurs and other Recreational Therapists that are aspiring/current entrepreneurs. Here’s a list and some descriptions in case you want to check them out!
- The Rec Therapy Directory is a one stop ultimate resource site to help recreational therapists..
- CEU Cloud is a mobile phone application available on both Android and Iphones which manages all of your continuing education transcripts on the cloud, tallies up how many CEUs you have, and sends you automated reminder emails so that you never are behind on your license or certification’s CE requirement.
- The TR Entrepreneur Connection is a Facebook group created to help fellow entrepreneurial Recreational Therapists in their venture to start their own rec therapy businesses.
- The Rec Therapy Business Master Class is a program to help Recreational Therapists learn business skills that enable them to establish their own recreational therapy businesses.
- “The Entrepreneur Rec Therapist: The Business Education You Missed In School” is a book written by Nathan which is available for sale on Amazon.
- WorkHub’s Business Mastermind’s Group happens at WorkHub on the first Tuesday of each month and is led by Nathan Lamaster.
- Smartpunch is a product that Nathan is in the process of creating to assist healthcare professionals who have to open large quantities of medication packets without the use of sharp objects.
Nathan has developed an app called My CEU Wallet that is geared towards helping anyone whose job requires them to get continuing education credits. It’s a database where you can store and easily access information about how many credits you have completed and how many you are needing. You can send everything in an email to your particular board so there is no need for you to keep up with (and potentially lose…) physical paperwork. It gives you friendly reminders to complete your CEUs. It basically does everything but sign up and take the courses for you. Hold your breath for that, Nathan is creating a patch and investing in some artificial intelligence resources to solve that issue as well… kidding… but maybe he is?
WorkHub is the perfect setup for Nathan’s remote home office. It provides him with a work environment that is flexible, functional and allows him to be as social as he wants to be. After spending some years working from home and having only his two dogs to talk shop with, Nathan deeply appreciates being surrounded by all the other creative professionals at WorkHub.
“I’ve met so many cool people here. Being around like-minded entrepreneurs fuels creativity—we feed off of each other’s energy.”
Nathan isn’t all work and no play. When he isn’t crafting new businesses, he spends his free time working on his sharpshooting skills. Not so much at a gun range, but you might spot him at Grand Slam Arcade fighting for his rightful position as top scorer on the Big Buckhunter game board. He also likes to use his imagination for repurposing furniture/household items. One of his favorite restorations is an old, rusted-out grill that he transformed into a unique ice chest/beverage station complete with a bottle opener and trash can.
Nathan’s sweet family consists of his lovely wife Nikki, who you may know as Nikki Martinez of 89.5 KVNE Radio, and their daughter, Isabella, who will be celebrating her first birthday soon. Nikki is a perfect balance for Nathan and tries to nurture his creative and inventive spirit by supporting his dreams but keeps him sane by limiting him to three business ideas at a time. Good call, Nikki. After speaking with him for 30 minutes, Nathan is pretty much guaranteed to brainstorm at least three business ideas for you to get moving on.
If you want to talk shop about recreational therapy, entrepreneurial adventures, or how to become the top-scoring player on Big Buckhunter (highly skeptical he’ll divulge any of those secrets), connect with Nathan on social media and make some time to stop by and visit him at WorkHub.