Ontraport Stories

Learning Herbs

I’m not stuck to that two-week vacation thing; having that
independence and freedom is key.
The Entrepreneur

Director of Mystery might seem like an arbitrary choice for a job title, but when you run your own company you’re free to appoint yourself whatever you like. John Gallagher does the title proud; the once broke entrepreneur thrives on intrigue — shrouding every next move in mystery and whimsy.

LearningHerbs is herbs made simple. The family-run business offers an array of unique educational tools — board games, a storybook series, a starter kit and more — for people of all ages to get acquainted with herbs and home remedies.

“It's one thing to go to the doctor or seek modern health care for severe ailments or injuries, but for a lot of those common everyday bumps and bruises — cold and flu, that kind of stuff — we have the wisdom to take care of that ourselves. And we can do that with the plants that we grow all around us,” says John. “It's so easy to turn those helpful herbs into remedies that we can use to keep ourselves, our families and our communities healthy.”

The Gallagher family is the glue that holds the business together: generating ideas, creating content and drawing inspiration from one another as they strive to bring a multisensory learning experience into the lives of eager amateur herbalists — all from the comfort of their home in Port Townsend, Washington. The lush historical seaport town renowned for its many preserved Victorian buildings makes for a fitting backdrop; countless herbs are native to the area.

Thanks to John’s entrepreneurial lifestyle, for as long as his children have been around, the husband and father of two has never left an empty seat at the dinner table or at the high school play. In fact he’s able to jump in on any household errands on-demand. And should he and LearningHerbs Co-Founder Kimberly (his wife) need a well-deserved break or spontaneous vacation, they take it — no hesitation.

In the grand scheme of things, LearningHerbs is about connection: connecting with family while connecting people to nature. For John, there is no greater purpose or satisfaction.

“When I look back I'll see that not only have I done great work in the world, I’ll know that I’ve integrated it into my family, and they loved it and contributed to the experience”.

The Backstory

John’s foray into herbs started with the birth of his son, Rowan, and a plan to integrate herbs into Rowan’s upbringing. “When he was a baby I knew that I wanted to take care of him with herbs and naturals as much as we possibly could, and I learned about herbs and empowered myself."

I started with making a herbal starter kit — the Herbal Remedy Kit —
and I put lessons in there that were based on things that I learned
and the herbs that I started to use with my family.

Being from the Seattle area, herbalists weren’t all that hard to track down. John went to work and eventually learned enough to start teaching on his own. That’s when he realized that the vast majority of people had zero access to herbalism and training. And just like that, his very first product was born. 

“I started with making a herbal starter kit — the Herbal Remedy Kit — and I put lessons in there that were based on things that I learned and the herbs that I started to use with my family”.

The family inclusion aspect of the business stems from John’s father, who, before his passing, imparted some poignant wisdom to his son: Work hard, but always make time for your family. From that moment on, John swore off work/life imbalance for good, opting to run the LearningHerbs operation under one roof with all who dwelt beneath it.

“My son and daughter have never known an existence without us using herbs and home remedies as part of their healthcare,” shared John, “and at some point this turned into a family business.”

My son and daughter have never known an existence without us using herbs and home remedies as part of their healthcare, and at some point this turned into a family business.

The Triumphs

Since joining Ontraport in 2013, John has:

Automated his payment processing entirely

Launched a membership site, HerbMentor, to complement his herbal education business

Launched a number of successful side products:
·  Wildcraft, an herbal board game
·  Herb Fairies, an educational children’s digital book series

Made over $4 million in sales as of January 2017
Collected over 150,000 contacts as of January 2017
Sold over 7,500 units of his Herbal Remedy Kit starter product
Sold almost 80,000 HerbMentor monthly memberships
Launched a referral program

How Ontraport Got Him There

WordPress Membership Sites

The bar's been set high for membership sites over the years. Control and convenience are absolute musts — not just for John, but for his customers. Ontraport's seamless integration with WordPress grants John the ability to manage all content on both his main website as well as his membership site, HerbMentor. On his end, he's able to automate all membership access and recurring payments. On the customer end, all members are able to update their own payment and profile information as needed. Just a few clicks and it's done. The cherry on top? No more bulky plugins or compatibility issues. "I have this clean, neat plugin that speaks between all these WordPress sites and Ontraport, and it’s unlimited — as many sites as you want,” says John. “You can create and control anything."

Payment Processing

Time is an entrepreneur's most precious resource: time with the family, time to expand your product line, and time to please your customers. Ontraport's Payment Processing has afforded John nothing but. Everything is automated — from recurring payments to declined charges. It's all the perks of having a customer service team without needing one.

"When you have a customer service person, you don’t realize how complicated things can get — there are a lot of steps, for instance, when someone wants to buy something or refund something. With Ontraport you can automate the whole customer purchase experience. You can charge them, give them access to something, send them an email now and three more a week later, and you can tag them based on what they bought — all with the click of a button,” says John. “We used to have to spend way more time manually doing stuff than we do now, and that’s what’s so cool."
We used to have to spend way more time manually doing
stuff than we do now, and that’s what’s so cool.
Sequences + Tags
"With Rules and Sequences you can dream up anything — and make it so”. For John, whose entire business model revolves around selling digital and physical products, Ontraport is the engine under the hood. All of his intricate sales and marketing funnels — built using Sequences and Rules — are automated and running day-and-night. Together, these integral features keep new leads coming in, payments processed, content delivered, product shipment fulfilled, affiliates paid, and much more. Any time John releases a new product — be it a new video series on home remedies or an interactive board game — he uses these tools to build a product funnel as he dreams it, pushes play and sits back as Ontraport does all the heavy lifting for him.
“It’s something you trust, something that works, and something that has good support,” he said. “Otherwise you’re going to be backpedalling and spending more money and time and tearing your hair out and I’ve done a lot and I’m so happy and relieved that I’ve found a place and a good engine that’s running the whole thing.”
Dedicated Support


Entrepreneurs like John put so much of themselves into their craft; the support offered by the tools he chooses to keep his business running plays a big role in his success — not to mention his sanity.

“The most important thing about Ontraport that I have not ever found in any other software in 10 years is the support and communication. Any time you need someone, they’re there — by phone or by chat. They help you, they get back to you without asking, and they address your concerns,” he said. “I even visited there once and met everybody and it felt like a family and I feel like I have a great support network behind me.

I’m excited to go in and be able to automate things even more and take away like five manual tasks that we have to do. And why did that happen? Because Ontraport listens to feedback.”

Discover how thousands of businesses have grown using Ontraport.