4 Key Lessons for Hiring Your Dream Team

4 Key Lessons for Hiring Your Dream Team

When I started out with my online business in 2010, I was a one-woman show. I messed with the backend of WordPress to make new pages on my site, I duct-taped graphics together using Keynote, I wrote all of the content, I did all of the bookkeeping, I sent every email, I responded to all customer service.

Most of us start out in business wearing all of the hats, but if we keep them all on for too long, we’ll eventually stall out. 

4 Key Lessons for Hiring Your Dream Team

8 years later, we have a small but mighty team of people who help us run our 7-figure online business. Over the years I’ve identified what I and only I can do and what I truly love doing (one of those things is writing to you like this), and now someone else does pretty much everything else it takes to run our business.

There was a lot of transformation and trial-and-error over the 8 years in between, and today I’d love to share some of the lessons we’ve learned the hard way about growing a rockstar online business team so that hopefully I can save you some time and angst.

Lesson One: Hire before you’re ready.

I get it. Paying someone to do something can feel scary, especially when you’re not making that much money to begin with. But you will not be making that much money for waaaaay longer than necessary if you keep doing it all yourself.

Fact: Freeing up your time to do higher leverage things requires outsourcing.

Spending more time doing higher leverage things will increase your revenue.

When you begin outsourcing the things that aren’t as high leverage and pay someone less than you could make an hour doing your high leverage things, the math just makes sense.

Hiring someone before you feel ready jumpstarts your revenue, and while the numbers may not make sense on day one, sooner rather than later your increase in revenue from your not being face-down in minutiae will justify the hire.

The mistake most people make is that they wait until they feel ready to hire someone, and then they end up waiting forever with subpar results and revenue that feels paltry compared to the amount of time and effort they’re putting into their business.

(If you know in your bones that you’re not ready to hire yet, at least start making a list of things that someone could do for you now so that when you do hire someone, they can begin to take things off your plate immediately. But I would encourage you to have a little “come to Jesus” with your bones to find out if you’re just letting your fear get in the way.)

Lesson Two: Interview multiple candidates before hiring someone.

I know this one may sound like it’s coming from Captain Obvious, but if you have Golden Retriever-level enthusiasm like I do, it’s easy to fall in love. Fast. And then hire someone too fast without really giving it enough thought or considering all of your options.

I’m sure you’ve heard it before: Hire slow. Fire fast.

You’ve heard it before because it’s true. When it comes to hiring, slow your roll.

Lesson Three: Over-communicate to the point of being annoying.

Be clear. Be clear about how this person will get paid and how much. Be clear about her/his role and responsibilities. Be clear about your expectations. Be clear about when those expectations aren’t being met.

Despite my deep belief in psychics and the power of intuition, no one can read our minds, especially not our employees.

So if you want something, ask. The clearer you are up front, the less cleaning up of mistakes you and your team have to do in the long run.

Lesson Four: Don’t hire yourself.

Surround yourself with people who have different skill sets than you do. Yes, it may feel compelling to hire people who are just like you because you feel an immediate sense of kinship with them. But that won’t do you any good. Your business already has a you. You need people who can do the things you can’t do, or at least the things you don’t want to do or aren’t very good at. And if you hire someone just like you, they won’t want to do or be very good at those things either.

Look for complimentary team members, not clones.

If you follow those 4 tips you won’t waste all your time and money hiring (and then firing) the wrong people. Instead, you’ll be able to build a team that supports your vision exquisitely and makes you feel honored to work with them every day!

You’ll get a lot more traction with a team than by yourself. 

4 Key Lessons for Hiring Your Dream Team

Do what you can to get help as soon as you can, so you can help more people.

OVER TO YOU:

Which of these lessons is most helpful to you? What other questions do you have about building your team? Let me know in the comments!

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5 comments

  • Hi Kate

    This is great! I have done it ALL for 15 years and then I had my daughter…and it just became impossible. I just hired my first VA this week. I interviewed 3 people before I hired her and I noticed quite a spectrum of skills and fees from those I interviewed. I am wondering if you you have a team of VA’s at different skill levels ( and price points) for different tasks?

    Thank you

  • Becky

    Thanks for this post! Since you are in business from age 18, could you pls write something about the power of endurance and not giving up when frustrated. What made you stick with your business when you came across hurdles? Especially in network marketing people give up so easily. What made you stick with it?

  • This is such a useful article as I am currently writing a book and setting up a membership site and know I’m going to need a team sooner or later (or as you say, sooner rather than later). What I’d love to know is who a core team should be made up of? I know it depends on what I can and can’t do but all I know is I want to be the person behind it that people connect with through my writing and videos and I come up with the content. I have an amazing IT guy who I’ve hired on contract as of last month. My mom is an accountant (bonus right?!)

    I’m concerned that a copy writer will write what I’m supposed to be writing or am I incorrect? I guess a virtual assistant for more adminy THINGS? Any other role I have not considered that had made a big difference to you? Thanks for such valuable info as always!

    Regards
    Kerry

  • The one I found most helpful was don’t hire yourself that is key for me I need to hire a team that each has their own special talent and the second one is be cleared be cleared be clear about their duties responsibilities pay holidays everything that I have learned through my life be clear be clearer be clear have it in writing make them read it and sign it in front of you great advice I loved all of her points thanks Kate just love that

  • I need to hire someone to milk my goats. That requires me to be on the farm twice a day every day seven a week first thing in the morning and evening. Milking is tedious and time-consuming. I can’t get anything else done. It’s not easy finding someone that will work like that. I think I have to hire two people one for the morning and one for the evening. I am working on new products this winter for dogs. I want to sell ice cream for dogs and cheese snacks for dogs using my raw goat milk. I would rather be making the product for now than milking the goats. That would free me up for marketing and sales. Thanks for the come to Jesus talk Kate.

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