I used to single-handedly run my business. At the time, this made perfect sense. The work I was doing could easily be managed on my own.
As I acquired more clients, I created a lot more work for myself. The growth was exciting, but eventually it got to be too much. Along with working a full-time, corporate job, I was putting in 15-20 hours a week with my company. Besides that, I was teaching yoga and attempting to maintain a healthy social life. Even though I needed to, I wasn’t willing to give anything up.
Unsurprisingly, all this added up to feeling pretty burnt out. The fiery passion that used to motivate me began to fizzle and fade. The worst part was the inability to give 110% to my employer, my customers or my students. It felt like I was never doing enough. I was rarely, if ever satisfied in any area of my life.
I caught myself slipping and decided to do something about it. My current method was simply unsustainable. I knew if I was going to realize my big dreams of running an impactful, successful business, it was time to start delegating.
Finding, hiring, managing and keeping good employees is no joke. You want trustworthy, hardworking mind readers (amiright?). But the truth is, no one’s perfect. And to grow, you have to experience some growing pains. Part of that process includes detaching from your baby and passing off some important responsibilities. Building an empire is kind of like dating. You have to kiss a few frogs before your find your prince.
I was lucky enough to snatch up the perfect girl to join my team. She’s my cousin, Katie. And I feel so thankful for all she does for me. Bringing her on was one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. But I had to do some work before I even considered hiring and training someone in.
Do you think you’re ready to grow your team? Admittedly, I’m not an expert on hiring or management. But through experience, I’ve learned a few things about acquiring your first employee and how to keep them and you happy in the process.
Here are 3 tips I hope will help you out:
Figure out what tasks you want to pass off. Make a list of everything you do to run your business. Go through each item to figure out which ones light you up and give you energy. Determine the responsibilities that deplete you or give you anxiety. Which of the undesirable tasks can you realistically ask someone else to do? From that information, you can start creating a job description.
Once you’ve figured out the stuff that needs to get done but that you’d rather not do, start looking for someone qualified to take on that specific work. Consider your existing network. Do you have a trustworthy friend or acquaintance who loves creating spreadsheets and is also looking to make some extra money? How about an ambitious cousin with a gift for graphic design? Would your retired aunt want a customer service related gig? Start talking to people about what you’re looking for. You might be pleasantly surprised by who shows interest.
Start with a trial period. When you find a good fit, establish a set period of time devoted to training. This could be paid or unpaid depending on the scope of the commitment. Katie and I took about 1 month to work out the kinks. We used those 30 days to answer questions, make proper adjustments and figure out a fair payment plan. This gives your employee the opportunity to opt out if they realize the job simply isn’t going to work. It also helps you clarify the role and whether or not you’re ready to successfully manage your first team member.
Delegating is powerful stuff. You can’t do it all. And why would you want to? There are millions of talented people out there ready and willing to lend you a hand. When you expand your team, you expand your ability to reach more people with your product or service. You’re better able to focus on the work you love to do. You get to stop agonizing over the crap you know you need to do but always put off to the last minute. Plus, you give others the opportunity to join you in manifesting the company of your dreams.
Only you know when a good time to start hiring is. Get clear on your big picture vision. What kind of company do you want to run? Small, medium or large? Figure out where you can let go and let someone else help you out. Then go back to the 3 tips I gave you and start your search.
Here’s to building beautiful businesses and helping as many people as possible!