Growing a Business from Entrepreneurship

There are very few people who excel in being both an entrepreneur and a manager, mostly because each requires different talents and abilities. The entrepreneur is charged with the vision and the necessary path to get there, and the manager organizes and oversees the details of getting there and finding the right people.

Prioritizing is of utmost importance, for as any entrepreneurial visionary knows, the initial spark of an idea evolves as you move toward its manifestation, and while there is always the straight path to the ultimate goal (even if that goal, itself, changes somewhat), the path often weaves and detours, often in directions unforeseen. Thus, while the ultimate goal is always in sight, the way to get there changes, requiring openness and flexibility.

Hiring the “right” person is always key, and I’ve observed that most people hire just skills and talents, but it’s even more important to see how well the potential hire resonates with everyone already on board and with any given project, which makes a much more valuable employee.

When I look for new people, I bring them in for a couple hours of work, and pay them for their time, to see how quickly they catch on, how fast and accurately they perform the tasks and their style of working. The last person I did that with worked for me for seven years, and she was an exceedingly competent person and an asset to my business.

But as good a worker as she was, through my interaction with her I realized the importance of getting along with co-workers, in the day-to-day workings and interactions, so it is also important to like that person and have personality compatibility. Otherwise, the work may get done, but the work environment won’t be relaxed, fun, creative and as productive as it could be.

When you are ready to expand, a good place to start is to write down the attributes you want for each position. I’ve already covered things like being open, flexible, fits in, has demonstrated they can do the work, is excited about the vision and mission of the company, has the talents and skills needed to do the job and is a positive addition to the team. What else is important to you?

By making the “right” hiring choice, you hire a talented, capable, relatable person who is an asset to your business, so treat them with respect and give them the space to do what you hired them to do. Otherwise, you may lose them.

After all, dictatorships breed frightened or angry people who eventually go elsewhere, while nurturing, supportive environments lead to loyalty, creativity and thriving businesses.

Which would you rather have?

But don’t rush the process of finding someone to fill the spot because it rarely turns out good, and it often ends up costing a lot more money to rehire and train another person. Or, if you pick someone for the wrong reasons — you like their looks or their clothes or their academic credentials or they are a friend of a friend — it rarely turns out good, either.

I discovered that firsthand when, in the mid-eighties when I owned a computer dealership with eight employees, I desperately needed a computer hardware person. I met someone at a computer trade show and hired him, not considering that he might not have told me the truth about his experience. His job was to determine what equipment was needed for a multi-user medical billing program, and I sold six clinics based on his recommendations. However, when we started to receive all the equipment to prepare it for installation is when I discovered his deceit. He, in fact, did not have experience in the systems we were selling, and it cost me over $50,000 to make good on the sales, but it was a lesson I never forgot.

It happened because I made a hiring decision from a place of neediness, which is never a good place from which to make any decision.

When you are ready and know exactly the type of person you want, then you will be better prepared to recognize the “right” person when they show up.

Hiring the right person can make all the difference in the world.

Wouldn’t you agree?

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