Want to be a successful entrepreneur? Then stop ‘grinding’ it out and start building the right team. Like, now.
When I started my marketing business, I was just coming off an eight-year career in private club management. While I certainly learned a lot, most of that time was spent learning about what not to do. I was miserable and depressed, experiencing major anxiety and panic attacks. After my departure from this position, rather than just finding a new job and going to work for someone else, I told myself I could be super successful all on my own. It would be just me, alone in my spare bedroom, ‘grinding.’ That would be all I would ever need.
I was very, very wrong,
There was no shortage of opportunity from the beginning, and in the first six months of opening my company, I took on 17 new clients. However, no matter how I tried to manage everything, I would soon have to admit to myself that I needed help. After more than a few sleepless nights, I decided to offer a part-time contractor position to someone who had worked for me previously.
My business continued to grow, so the task of finding good people and successfully training and integrating them with the team is one I continue to have to this day. My phenomenal team is very supportive of me as their leader and mentor, and as an entrepreneur and an individual.
I am a successful entrepreneur not because I grind harder than anyone else, but because of the amazing people on my team and the environment, I have created to support their success.
The good news? You can be, too.
The Truth About the Entrepreneurs Who Have Lasting Success
We’ve all heard the statistics. Only about 20 percent of new businesses last beyond the first year. Another 50 percent drop off in the following five years, and less than one-third are still hanging on 10 years later.
In his book, “The E-Myth Revisited,” Michael E. Gerber tells the classic tale of the new entrepreneur. His book was such a perfect encapsulation of my journey that it made me tear up as he described a person in a worker bee position at an already established company who is disappointed with their pay, their boss, and their workload. Telling themselves that they can do it better, they leave to open their own company. But the new business owner quickly becomes overwhelmed by thinking that if they can work 14, 16, 18+ hour days, they can be successful.
The truth is, this is counter-productive and self-limiting. If you want to be one of the businesses that make it well past your 10-year mark, you have to start by taking care of yourself, employing the right people to help you, and building repeatable, teachable processes within your business.
The Need Is Real
Not long ago, I was in LA for the Business Builder Mastermind program with Tai Lopez. At the event, approximately 70 entrepreneurs gathered to share their resources, connections, and general knowledge.
We were broken into several small groups during the day to share our top challenges in business and seek advice and support from others in the group. What was the number one problem shared from people of all levels, which included those who had just started our and those who were making millions of dollars a year? They were all saying, “I work too much; I need to find reliable, quality help.”
As entrepreneurs, we treat busy-ness like a merit badge. ‘I’m just SO busy with my business, there’s no way I can…’ Fill in the blank with something you have skipped out on in the past week or two because your email inbox was overflowing or some other project needed attention and you’re convinced you are the only one who can get it done.
While you may think that you are doing well for your business by being the person who runs everything, you’re actually doing the opposite. When you are overworked, not sleeping enough, and not stepping away to give your mind and body a break, your brain’s cognitive function decreases.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you will have to learn to share the workload
The Support System
I’m not going to lie to you and make it sound like you can just walk onto the street, find some magical unicorn employee who knows how to run your business as well as you do, and start vacationing in the Bahamas next week. But, if you employ a system to qualify new staff members and give them what they need to be successful, you can start taking more breaks and see your business scale to new levels of success.
Below are some steps to help you achieve this.
- Start writing down all the things you don’t want to do.
Don’t have time to sit down and make a job description? Just keep a notepad nearby throughout the day. While you’re going through your daily routine, write down everything that you would prefer not to do or could teach someone else. Within a couple of days, you’ll have a job description.
2. Get referrals.
When it comes to my business and the people who will be running it, my first choice is a referral. Come up with the top 15 to 20 people you know that have a lot of contacts, and send them an email telling them that your business is growing and you are looking for awesome team members. Include your job description and note they should be someone they would hire themselves.
3. Interview like you are dating.
I’m not suggesting you break any HR laws here! I am suggesting you think about interviewing more like the start of a long-term relationship rather than the completion of a professional checklist. Try asking, “What makes you happiest?” If someone tells you it is when they’re around people, don’t give them an administrative job that will keep them locked in an office alone all day, every day. No one will win.
I also highly recommend having every applicant take a free DISC test after the first interview so you can verify their internal motivations match the job description.
4. Have a training plan.
We’ve all had this first-day experience: excited to learn, but quickly thrown into the deep end without any training or resources to keep you afloat. How excited were you to come back on day two? Even the best employees will leave you if they don’t feel supported.
Pick up your cell phone and start recording training videos. You don’t have to find more time in your day to do this; literally, just start recording yourself doing it. Record yourself as you train, save all the videos with a title of the task you are performing and you now have a training library.
5. Treat people with respect.
Don’t hire an assistant and yell at them all day. Teach them how you want things to be done, and empower them to make their own decisions. Don’t bring on a manager and then constantly undermine their authority with other staff members. Set expectations for results and encourage them to find creative ways to reach them.
If you find a team of high-performing professionals, don’t micromanage everything they do. To be a successful entrepreneur, hire the best, and then be open to their improvement and innovation to get the best results.
6. Cultivate culture.
Every three months I host a staff social event at my house. Everyone comes over with their spouses, children, and dogs. We eat, drink, laugh, celebrate each other, and catch up. We have fun together.
Quarterly, my entire team gets together to go over the state of the company. We review the company numbers in full transparency, talk about the goals we hit or missed, and set new ones for the upcoming quarter, making sure the entire team stays informed.
Everyone is asked to contribute, and we take a break in the middle to eat lunch together.
Some of your company’s biggest innovations may come from staff that feel appreciated.
Stop and take three really big deep breaths; think of three things that you could get help with from someone else. Stop and think of three things that you missed out on recently because you were too busy working.
When you stop ‘grinding’ and ‘hustling’ 24/7, your brain can start to think more quickly. You can start to work smarter. You can start to be the successful entrepreneur you have always wanted to be!
This article was published from The Connect Magazine