AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, Amy Porterfield here. Welcome to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. Thanks, so much, for tuning in. Today’s episode is so very, very important to your business.
It’s all about building out a dream team inside of your business so that you can spend more time in your areas of genius, the areas that you really excel, the areas that you love to spend time in where your skill set is the strongest so that you can make a bigger impact for your audience and a bigger impact on your bottom line.
I’ve invited a guest on the show. If you’ve every listened to my podcast, or if you know me personally, you know that I like to have guests on the show that are specifically going to focus on areas that I might need a little help on as well. So, I’m in the trenches with you.
I get it that there are areas of our business where we could be a whole lot stronger. For me, building a dream team is one of those areas. I’ve been very lucky to have amazing hires already in my business. But, truly, I feel lucky because I’ve never put a concentrated effort into the hiring process.
What you’re going to learn today from my special guest, it really is a process.
Real quick, before we dive in, I wanted to tell you about our new sponsor for today’s episode. This episode is brought to you by MeetEdgar.com Edgar is my social media scheduling tool of choice. It is the only tool I use to schedule all of my social media. Specifically, I focus on Facebook and Twitter with this tool but it goes beyond that if you want to look into it even more so.
I wanted to tell you how I use it. With Edgar, it’s not like a one-and-done kind of thing with social media posts. When you post on Edgar, you schedule something and it will post today. Then, you can repurpose that post and have it post again next week, the week after, and on and on. Your social media posts get repurposed. If you’ve ever followed any of my content you know that repurposing content is the key to consistency. You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.
Have you ever posted something on social media and it’s a really great post? You spent time to write the post and it has a great image linking to one of your favorite blog posts and then you think, “once that goes out, then what?”
The thing is, you don’t have to remember to post about it again next week on social media because Edgar will do that for you. The more you fill up your library with your own original content and with links to other people’s content, that means you’re consistently posting on social media. You can choose the dates and times and how often it will get posted; but, it happens automatically for you when you get it all set.
With Edgar you always have consistent content going out. I do it with my original content. I do it with different quote images that I’ve created. I do it with other people’s content. MeetEdgar is one of the coolest scheduling tools. And here’s the cool thing, you can try it out for free.
If you go to meetedgar.com/amy you will get a special offer. You can get started today and I’m telling you it is the coolest social media tool you’ll ever lay your hands on.
Let’s go ahead and dive in to today’s interview with Melanie Duncan. Melanie is a serial entrepreneur with businesses in a variety of industries from apparel to customized home décor. Starting with little experience, Melanie took her first business from the brink of failure and turned it into a multi-million dollar brand by embracing modern marketing techniques. And she’s never ever looked back.
She now runs a multiple-seven figure empire with her husband, Devin Duncan and they live the work-from-wherever lifestyle that so many of us dream of. When you hear the name Devin Duncan you might recall, if you follow my podcast, in Episode #85, I talk a lot about Devin because he is my business partner.
Because Melanie and Devin work so closely together (you’ll hear about that in my interview with her), I really do feel like Melanie is my partner as well. She’s always giving me great advice and this woman is so strategic that any little morsel that she gives me I’m always wanting to hear more. I always run with it. She gives amazing advice about building a business. I get to work really closely with Melanie because of my relationship with Devin.
In addition to building this empire with Devin, Melanie has also translated her passion and experience into her role as an online educator helping thousands of people start and grow successful businesses on their own. I love that she’s got this mission. Her mission is to get more people past the million-dollar mark in their businesses. That’s pretty cool.
We’ll talk about some of the programs she has and what she’s developed in her business. But she’s done all of that because she has built this dream team. She has a process for hiring that is extremely unique and it takes some effort and focus, which is why she’s been able to excel and find these amazing people that are the perfect fit to support her business.
I’ve seen her go through the transition of hating to hire and then loving the hiring process. I really want to get there in my own business and I think after you hear what Melanie has to share you too will want to get there. I cannot wait for you to dive in, learn more about everything Melanie does to find her dream team, and apply it in your own business. I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s go ahead and jump in.
Amy: Melanie, thank you so much for being here with me today. I truly appreciate it.
Melanie: Amy, I am very excited to be here. It is an honor to be on your show.
Amy: This is the second time you’ve been on the show. This time we’re talking about something totally different. So if you remember, I feel like it’s been a thousand years ago, that you talked all about Pintrest. Do you remember that?
Melanie: I do, that’s right.
Amy: But it feels like so long ago. So, today we are talking about hiring smart and having kind of a business plan around hiring. I have to tell you that I totally dread the hiring process. I have watched you over the last year go through hiring some amazing people and watching you spend the time and focus and making it kind of your mission to find these perfect people for your team. I feel things have totally changed in the hiring area of your business. Would I be right?
Melanie: Completely correct.
Amy: It’s amazing to watch. I get an inside view because, as you know, Devin and I are partners and I get to talk to you all the time as well. You are offering advice to me all the time so I get that. But my audience hasn’t seen the transition you’ve gone through so I thought we have to talk about this.
Before we get into it though, I want you to tell everybody a little bit about your business, what it looks like, and also what your team looks like.
Melanie: As you know, Devin and I have had online businesses together for over ten years now. I have gone through multiple different perspectives and shifts when it comes to the way I feel and think about hiring. For a long time it was something I was really overwhelmed by and kind of dreaded doing because I didn’t have a really good system or a particularly good track record.
But, through years and years of experience and trial and error I have figured out some really great strategies to make sure you get the right hires and have the right process. That has definitely made me a lot more excited and successful when it comes to hiring for my business.
We’re going to be talking about two businesses today. I do have an online information business very similar to yours, Amy, where I sell online products and coaching and information like that. But I also have two eCommerce businesses that I run from across the country. We’ll be talking about that a little bit as well. One is Custom Greek Threads that sells Greek apparel for sororities and fraternities. I also have Luxury Monograms, which is home décor.
Amy: The great thing is, there is a little something for everyone here because we’ve got the internet marketing side of the business and then you actually have physical products in the business you are running from “anywhere” in the world. That is so awesome. We’ll be talking about both as we get into these different tips you have.
Specifically, we are going to be talking about some tips, tricks, and strategies that you use to build your dream team. Before we get there though, I want you to talk to us a little bit about where you’ve seen many businesses go in the wrong direction when it comes to hiring. What have you seen that really doesn’t work?
Melanie: I think for most of us, particularly as business owners, we don’t have a real strategy for who we want to hire, how we’re going to hire them, or even the order in which we are going to hire people. One of the things I really wanted to talk about was actually making a dream team list.
One of the harsh realities of being a business owner is you end up doing a lot of the work that you really don’t want to do. Does that sound familiar?
Amy: Yes, and yes.
Melanie: That is probably familiar to a lot of your listeners. What can be very liberating, particularly in the earlier stages of business, is sitting down and writing a list of all of the different positions that you would love to have in your business if time, money, and managing was no particular challenge. What are the positions you would love to add?
Whether it is someone coming in doing customer service, that’s usually one of the first hires; or, if you’re an eCommerce owner, it might be someone coming in and helping with shipping and packaging. What are those dream hires? You can make as long of a list as you like. But, it’s really cool to start thinking about what would be possible if you did have that additional support.
What do you really enjoy doing? What are those few key things that only you can do in your business? Just because you can be doing everything in your business doesn’t mean you should be doing everything. So, delegation is key. But I think starting out by making a dream team list of all of those different positions you’d like to have within your company, you can then move forward from there and prioritize them.
Think about the first hire you want to make, the customer service person, because you are drowning in emails right now. After you prioritize that list, you can assign different revenue goals to each.
Amy: Tell me more.
Melanie: Yes, a lot of times the growth of your business is correlated to adding more people to your team. You’ve got to be careful with this because you don’t want to inundate yourself and hire a ton of people at the same time and not be able to train them properly. But a lot of times your business will grow as you grow your team because it starts opening up more bandwidth for you to be focusing on the things that only you can do and really excelling at them.
That is the first reason I do revenue goals. But, second, it holds you accountable. As your business grows, you might find you become busier and busier. Because of that you tend to procrastinate and avoid hiring someone because you are too busy to hire someone, or you have a big launch coming up or it’s a holiday season. There are all these reasons you don’t want to start a job search to find someone and train them right now.
When you have a concrete thing like an actual revenue goal, you hit it, and you have to make sure you don’t allow yourself to compromise. Go ahead and go forward with hiring for that position.
Amy: I love this. I’m doing this right now. There are a few positions I know I need to hire for but I am letting myself get stuck in all of the projects we are working on and knowing I need to focus on that so I plan to get to it later. But there’s really nothing that’s pinning me down saying I have to move forward with it.
Those revenue goals are right in your face. It’s like, “I did it. I’m at this revenue goal and now it’s time.”
Melanie: Exactly. You asked me specifically about some of the big mistakes that people make when they are trying to hire. I think one of the things we’ve done really well in our companies is sell the position. One of the big mindset shifts that I’ve made in the last few years is realizing I want to attract a top-level talent to my businesses.
This sounds terrible, but when I was first starting out I was asking who I could to do the work I needed help with for the cheapest amount. I just wanted to find someone good enough. I wanted to find someone fast and wanted it to be easy. I just wanted someone that could do the work for me and take it off of my plate.
I made a shift to realizing I needed to attract the top talent to my business. What you need to do to attract someone like that is very different than just posting an ad on craigslist, which is something we used to do for Custom Greek Threads in the beginning. We were looking for people to do production or basic-level stuff. We used craigslist to find our applicants.
We’ll be talking more specifically about how we go and find people now for our businesses, but to attract top talent, another mind shift is you have to actually sell the position and sell people on why they should want to work for you. I can give you some great examples but I don’t know if you want to talk about this stuff, Amy.
If you go to Melanieduncan.com/dream-team you can actually see an example of how we do this. But we pretty much create sales pages for our positions. We’ll run traffic to them.
Amy: They are beautiful. Melanie is constantly giving me great ideas for my business and I remember the first time I was hiring for a big position in my business and you sent over a link to one of your pages that you were hiring for.
I was so confused. I thought you had messed up and sent me a sales page, I needed the page where you were going to hire somebody. Then I started to read it and thought it was genius. One thing we need to make really clear and I think you will agree with me here, you put a lot of focused energy here. This is not something you do in one hour and you’re done with putting up the page and finding someone. There’s a lot of concentrated effort here.
Melanie: A ton of effort. And the more effort you put into it the better results you will get from that hiring process.
Amy: That’s so true. So you literally put together a sales page.
Melanie: We list a bunch of positions that we are currently hiring for or that we will be hiring for in the future so you can click on them and see that.
Amy: One thing you do really well is talk about the environment and what’s in it for them and why it’s so awesome to work in an environment like the one you’ve created. You also tell them who the job is not for (if your this, or that, or mindset, the way they do things, the kind of work they do), whatever it might be, you make it really clear who the job is not for as well as who it is for, right?
Melanie: Exactly. The most common mistake a lot of business owners make is create really boring position pages. They are completely devoid of personality. They don’t really speak to the company culture. I say company culture, my whole team is remote. It’s not like we are going into an office and we have free pizza every Friday.
Everyone is working from home or from wherever they want to work from so culture means something different to a remote team. But you need to realize when you are attracting top talent a lot of times you are pulling them away from other positions. They are not currently unemployed and looking for a paycheck.
You really have to sell them on why they should want to leave their current setup and come work with you.
Amy: Melanie’s is a perfect example. You also sent me a link for Derek Halpern’s, Ramit Sethi’s, and then Noah Kagan wrote a blog post that you sent me so I could prepare for this. That blog post was amazing because he talked about how to hire. A lot of things we are saying here are things he put in there.
But I loved that he showed an example where he had built a bar in his office. He is not virtual with his team. He then showed a picture of some cubicles that someone had posted on craigslist with “come get a job with us” and some ugly cubicles. Who would ever want to work there?
It is amazing what people have put out there to hire amazing talent. You’re going about it in a totally different, unique, creative way.
Amy: We’ll link to those in the show notes for sure. But I want to back up a little bit. One thing I forgot to ask you right at the top, you said earlier on that in the beginning you also dreaded hiring and then you had a mindset switch. You said you learned to hire to fit. What does that mean?
Melanie: A little over a year we actually worked with a hiring consultant named David Bonney. His company is called HiretoFit. We learned some strategies from him about hiring. We were already doing a lot of it and it was awesome to reaffirm that we were on the right track. But he is the one that was really responsible for getting me to see hiring in a different way.
You can check out his website, hiretofit.com. It is a whole movement that there are amazing people with exceptional talent that are just in the wrong positions. When you get the right people in the right positions incredible things are possible. I know it sounds very pie in the sky but he was the one that made me realize hiring isn’t just about filling butts in seats or filling positions and being done with it.
It’s about what you can add to your company and what can become possible for you and your business when you do hire people that fit the positions properly.
Amy: This is a really good time to just talk briefly about your online marketing business. What does your team look like today? I want to talk about how you actually went through a process with these new hires. Who do you have on your team right now?
Melanie: The best hire I’ve ever made, although he was very, very difficult to train, was my husband, Devin.
Amy: I was going to say, “wait a second, you don’t have any guys that I am thinking of.” But I forgot. That’s your best hire. You’re so true. You are so right.
Melanie: The best hire, the most difficult to train but the best hire!
Amy: That is amazing. I hope he hears this.
Melanie: It was probably the other way around. Our teams are pretty complex because we work together in a really dynamic way. Devin does manage a lot of the systems and tracking and paid traffic and metrics and all of that kind of stuff. That’s one part of the business. The part of the business that I personally hire for and train has to do more with content, marketing, and branding.
We have a mix, just like a lot of online business owners. We have people that are employed full time that we call our leadership team or our dream team. Then we have a lot of other freelancers and contractors that we use pretty much on a regular basis. My core dream team consists of my head of content, head of membership, and then head of customer experience.
Each of them manage contractors or other partial time people that help them with their positions. But the head of content, Jordan, helps me with courses and helps me with all of our outward facing content like our blog posts and anything that goes up on the website or social media strategy. We work together on that.
Amy: And she’s full time.
Amy: Got it.
Melanie: Then I have Cindy, head of membership, and she helps me with all of the content for our online membership program business class.
Amy: Which is amazing. Let’s just give it a little plug real fast because this is one of the best membership sites out there. I know this is off the cuff but tell people really quickly about Business Class.
Melanie: B us ine s s C la s s wa s ins pire d by our whole move me nt of #WorkFromWherever. It is the online business strategies to create a business that affords you the freedom to work from wherever. We teach everything from how to become more creative in your business and stand out to copywriting (we just did a big holiday sales and promotion guide), pretty much all sorts of different business and personal growth as entrepreneurs and online marketing strategies.
We create guides every month that are very cool and very dynamic with videos and lots of resources. It is fun and has a travel theme so the name is Business Class as that double entendre of luxury traveling and it is also a business class.
Amy: It’s so good. So, if people wanted to learn more about Business Class where could they check it out?
Melanie: They just need to go to melanieduncan.com/businessclass.
Amy: Perfect. So you have somebody full time helping you manage the content inside that membership site, right?
Melanie: Yes. I have managed all of the content on my own inside of a membership site. For a while we had a program called Online Educademy. But it is a lot of information and we really want to take our time to research each particular topic and boil it down to streamline the strategies. So bringing Cindy in was a really, really key hire for our team.
Amy: I think that was a really big one for you for sure. Then, you have one more full- time person. Is that right?
Melanie: Yes, I do. Femi. Femi is our head of customer experience or, more commonly known, customer service. But she is so much more than that. She is really our direct link between the content team, courses and all of that, the marketing, and then the actual customer.
Femi is the one that talks to a lot of people on the phone. She is the one that sees refunds or cancelation emails. She is really a wealth of knowledge and we try to tap into her and her feedback as much as possible.
Amy: Fantastic. So, one of the things that was really unique about you hiring all three of these amazing ladies is your hiring process. Before we get into the hiring process and something that you call project funnels, there is one story that you have to tell, and you tell it when it is appropriate as you talk about this process, but you’ve got to tell the cupcake story. It’s so good and I happened to be there when it happened so I remember it very vividly. So, tell us about the process and when that cupcake story fits in go ahead and tell us that too.
Melanie: That’s right, that was in San Diego. I don’t use resumes at all. I also don’t really use references.
Amy: That is interesting to me. Wait, time out. Reference and referral would be different to you, right?
Amy: Because I love referrals.
Melanie: A lot of times references, at least in the context I’m meaning it, is when people list particular people on the bottom of their application or resume that I can call.
Amy: Who would ever put someone on there they didn’t think was going to say amazing things about them, right?
Melanie: Exactly. So, it’s kind of a bias. My background is in psychology so I’m very tapped into research methods and it’s such a biased source of information that I’ve never found it to be particularly useful when I’ve called references.
I mainly focus on project funnels. Normally, the way our hiring process or application process works, we start off with a questionnaire. I just create a Google form. I like to make it branded and not just a template. That makes it part of the brand experience to attract the top talent.
I ask a couple of questions that kind of relate to the position and I always like to throw in some kind of, I don’t like to say trick questions, but some interesting questions that are beyond the standard, “What past positions have you held?”
I’ll ask people what their favorite business book is or what their favorite book is. I ask what movie they last saw. One of the questions that I love that I came up with is to ask whether or not they consider themselves a perfectionist.
Amy: I’ve been dying to ask why you ask that. I saw that on your survey.
Melanie: It’s a really big thing to me, in particular, because I have very, very high standards for everything that we do in our businesses and, honestly, in life. I do not consider myself a perfectionist because speed of implementation is key to me. I have found in the past that perfectionists sometimes (I don’t want to group everyone together) don’t move on good enough.
I am looking for people who can do good enough and for that to be literally good enough and then for us to move on and be conquering new things. I work very quickly and I work on a lot of different projects and I need people who are going to be able to get stuff done. I actually like people who do not call themselves perfectionists.
But it’s very interesting to see how people answer that question and then how they explain. I ask why if yes, or if no, why? I’ve really gotten some interesting insights from that question.
Amy: I’ll bet. I can only imagine. Right now you are such a twin of your husband. Devin is like that too. Something I’ve learned in working closely with him everyday, if it’s good enough then we are getting it out there. I think that’s why we’ve been able to do so much this year. I don’t think I’m a perfectionist either but he has helped me feel like I have the permission to not put everything out there that looks amazing and stellar and perfect all the time.
No wonder you guys are such a dynamic duo. That is a great philosophy.
Melanie: We start with the basic questionnaire questions. I will gather relevant information such as what they have done in the past and why they think they are the right fit for the position, some of the basic stuff. But I like to throw in some kind of interesting little twist questions.
Based upon that, I do a rating score. It sounds a little mean but I usually use a scale of 1-10 with ten being the perfect fit and one not being a good fit. I invite any tens to continue on to the project portion of the interview process. I will start with one project and will sometimes have eight or ten people that are in the actual application process.
I assign everyone the same project. I work with them independently or have whoever is going to be managing them work with them independently. I give them a project that is one of the parts of the job that they will be hired to do. That’s the best way to evaluate whether or not someone’s going to be a right fit for the position, to get them doing the work they will actually be doing. I try to break it down into projects.
It shouldn’t be too big of a project. It should be something they can complete in a week. Another little psychology tactic is that I don’t give them a due date. I tell them to please get it done as quickly as possible to the best degree possible.
I am also evaluating how good of work they can do in how short of a time.
Amy: This is good.
Melanie: Some people will take ten days to two weeks and turn in something that wasn’t nearly as good as someone who produced their project in three days. I’m looking for both quality and the speed in which they are able to get it done.
Amy: This is the part that I think separates you from most people in hiring. This is the part that takes a lot of time on your part to make sure you create the project, first of all, and then make sure they understand it and you are checking in and answering any questions. It is just a lot of work up front and, again, you’ve created a dream team and I’ve seen first hand how amazing they are and how well you work with them.
A lot of us, including me, make excuses such as the fact it will take so long, so we haven’t actually gotten to it. This is where the strength of being an entrepreneur really comes through.
Melanie: Another thing that I do when I reach out to them, I tell them they have been selected to move on to the project portion of the application process. I tell them they are welcome to email me any questions they have about the assignment but please know they will be judged on the quantity and quality of questions asked.
Another thing about me, I’m not a hand holder…
Amy: At all, which I love.
Melanie: I have some tough love in me. I am not looking for people who need a ton of clarification, who are going to be emailing me several times a day with questions, we are just never going to work together well. I’m looking for people who can ask great questions but also a minimal amount. I want them to be able to step up and work independently.
Amy: For sure, 100%. So if they are a ten they go through the project. And then what happens?
Melanie: This is where you get the “depends” answer. Depending on how many people are going for the position, we have had it sometimes where the first round of projects could have 15 people going through something. When I was hiring someone to help me with our courses I think I had 15 or so people create an outline for a particular topic.
From there, sometimes I will be able to weed it down to three people. Sometimes there will still be five, particularly depending on how complex the position is. If you are hiring a graphic designer, which I wish I had done, one or two projects can really give me a good feel, versus someone who will be helping you create programs that will be a key part of your content. You really want to get a feel for how they are at digesting information and how they are at organizing, structuring, and teaching.
For me, a big part is also visuals and how can they work with people on their team. On some projects that I’ve done that are really important I have actually given them a budget. I will tell them they have $100 to either write a post on my blog or use the funds to try to find a copywriter and a graphic designer for the blog post. I will actually see how they use resources.
Amy: Nice. That’s fantastic. I love that.
Melanie: To answer your question, they could go through anywhere from three to even five projects before we get to the interview portion.
Amy: Holy cow! That’s crazy but so fantastic. I feel that when you have gone through an entire process like that it says a lot about the person that’s going through the process. They are sticking with you and showing you they totally want it. They are dedicated. And then you feel really confident to turn them loose on all of your projects once you’ve hired them because you’ve seen their work through the last few months.
This could take a few months, right?
Melanie: Absolutely. My hiring processes for the really important leadership positions don’t take any less than a month.
Amy: This is a good time to talk about the cupcakes.
Melanie: Perfect. Thank you. This is about Jordan, specifically. When I was hiring my head of content we had a lot of really great applicants. They could do a really great job of researching and assembling information and all that good support I was looking for. I was in San Diego at the time, your home city, and staying at a hotel because I was speaking at a conference in the area.
I posted on Instagram or Facebook, or somewhere on social media so it wasn’t too stalkerish, but I had been posting about where I was staying because it’s a shared love of yours, mine…
Amy: We love this hotel.
Melanie: It’s called the Del Mar.
Amy: Grand Del Mar. I think they just changed their name but that’s what it was called when we were all there.
Melanie: Grand Del Mar. So one afternoon I was in the hotel room and there was a knock at the door. One of the porters was standing there with a big box of Sprinkles cupcakes, one of my favorite cupcakes. I thought it was so funny, maybe someone in the family or friends sent it.
I looked at the card and it was from one of our job applicants, Jordan, who was in the current process for the position. She said something like, “I hope your presentation goes well today.” I can’t remember exactly what the card said but it was “something sweet to help me through the weekend. I got two of each flavor so you and Devin don’t have to share.”
Amy: I remember it was really thoughtful because she thought about you and Devin. I know you don’t probably want to share with him but she did think about that.
Melanie: Yeah, I don’t think I shared with him.
Amy: I remember him calling that night, “Melanie’s a little sick right now. She ate so many cupcakes but she’ll be fine later.”
Melanie: No limit. It was fun. But it showed a lot. First of all, her attention to detail…I love sweets. I have a huge sweet tooth. I am always posting cupcakes or different pastries or things that I love on social media. I always have pictures of fun treats in my branding so it was a specific gift. It wasn’t just sending something out of the blue.
But it also showed that she wasn’t afraid to go above and beyond. She put in the extra thought and effort. She didn’t live in the area. She lives in Texas now but I can’t remember where she was living at that point, but not in the area. She had found a Sprinkles location in the area and had them deliver or figured it out. She knew where I was staying. She really put in the extra attention to detail and thought. That translates.
You know when people do that it’s not just a one-time thing but will translate into their performance and position as well. It absolutely has. She ended up getting the job. I say it’s not just because of the cupcakes but I don’t know….Maybe it was the cupcakes.
Amy: They played a little part at least.
Melanie: They definitely played a little part. Bribery is always welcome.
Amy: Amen sister.
Melanie: I can tell you, after working with her for a year and a half now I still see that same thought and attention to detail and thinking outside the box in her work to this day.
Amy: That’s so cool. I think those little acts that you see during the hiring process really come out in full force when they are hired. Paying attention to all of those little things that they do along the way, what questions they ask, how often they ask questions, if they do a little something extra special like that, I think it all matters.
Giving yourself the month or so to go through the process with any potential new hires allows for those moments to present themselves. I like the timeframe you are giving this as well.
I know you have a really cool hiring motto. Share that with us because I think it’s important for all of us to remember.
Melanie: I can’t take complete credit. I’m sure I read it somewhere or heard it from someone. It’s about being slow to hire and quick to fire. It sounds a little ruthless but I have to tell you, as a business owner, first of all most of us do not put in enough time and effort into the hiring process, which we just talked about, but also when you know someone isn’t a good fit, and you will know very quickly, you have to pull the trigger and remove them from the organization.
I don’t know a nice fluffy way to say it. You have to fire them. Honestly, it’s not doing you or them any favors to keep them in a position that doesn’t work. I see it over and over again. It’s so tempting, particularly if you’re someone that doesn’t like conflict, to try and force someone into a position for whatever reason. You think you might not be giving them the right projects. You try to make excuses.
You will know when the right person isn’t in the position and you have to fire them very quickly. It’s like a Band-Aid. It is really important. When you do have someone on your team that isn’t the right fit it kind of poisons the whole thing and you have to be the protector of that.
Amy: That’s so true. I think that’s the biggest lesson we all need to remember, the whole idea of going slow through the hiring process and quickly firing when you know, and we all know in our gut, when someone’s not right for our team. I love what you said, “it’s for them and for you.”
Don’t keep somebody on your team that you know is not a right fit. You know they probably aren’t comfortable in the position. You both feel it. You are right, most of us don’t fire quickly because we don’t want to create waves and conflict. We don’t want to make people feel bad. But we’re also building really important businesses doing really important things in this world and I think we’ve got to remember it and look at the big picture. Right?
Melanie: Yes. It works best for me to think about it as protecting my team. I have had people that were great. We thought they were going to be the right person and for whatever reason people change, positions evolve, you get someone and all of the sudden it’s not the right person in the right position. It affects everyone.
It’s not because they are a bad person or people don’t enjoy working with them. All of the sudden other people’s work gets tasked differently or they aren’t able to work with that person in the right capacity so it creates more stress for the other team members. I always think of it as I am the mama bear and I am the protector. If the wrong person is on our team it’s hurting the other people’s work and their enjoyment of working with me.
Amy: I never even thought about it that way, the whole of the team and the environment and the atmosphere that we are putting everybody in. It is so very important. I’m so glad you brought that up.
Melanie: A lot of times your other team members won’t tell you. I’ve noticed this. It’s very interesting because they don’t want to make waves or they don’t want to be complainers. But I’ve fired people before and told the team members after it was done that the person wouldn’t be there anymore. All of the sudden things will bubble up and they tell me they are so glad because of XYZ.
I find that interesting. You’ve got to trust your instincts.
Amy: That’s so very true. I can’t even tell you how incredibly valuable your entire hiring system is, everything starting from making the list of your dream team. That is the first thing I’m going to do this weekend, really spend some time on those people I would love to see on my team. I think we should all start there. Would you agree? Start with the dream team list and do a total brain dump around that?
Melanie: Absolutely. And it’s actually really fun. I think it’s a great step in the right direction for shifting your mindset because as you go through the exercise you start to see what’s really possible for your business. A lot of times, particularly if you are a solopreneur or have a more bootstrap team, you limit yourself in terms of what you’re building and the impact you’re able to create because of pure bandwidth.
You might want to do more video or you might want to increase your product line or do something but you are too busy right now. If you start thinking about having someone help you do X and passing other stuff on your plate off to person Y, all of the sudden it opens up your creativity in your brain and you start to realize what you are really passionate about doing.
Amy: Exactly. That’s really what it ultimately comes down to in terms of being an entrepreneur. Most of the people listening now run really small, lean businesses. But we’re all doing things that we would rather no be doing, if we are being really honest.
If you haven’t hired smart or spent any time really focusing on hiring for your team you are likely doing tasks and different things in your business that
- You don’t love, and
- That are taking you away from your strongest skill set and where your real genius is. With that, if you want to be selfish about it, get back the time to do what you love to do in your business by hiring an amazing team that will support you and your business and the people you serve as well.
Melanie, thank you so very much for being here. I know if you want to learn more about Melanie’s business and everything she has to offer you can go to Melanieduncan.com. In addition to that, we have some really cool links that Mel sent to me and I want to share with you where other people have put up some really cool hiring pages.
I want you to check out some pages on Mel’s site as well. You can go to http:// www.amyporterfield.com/87. The show notes will have all of the links for you. Again, thank you so very much for being with me. I’m so glad we had this conversation.
Melanie: It was an absolute pleasure, Miss Porterfield.
Amy: You have a wonderful day. Thank you, everybody, for listening. Bye for now.
So there you have it. I hope you found the dream team process just as valuable as I have. I truly am going to start implementing right away. I’ve committed that in the next 24 hours I’m going to write my dream team list and get it all out on paper so that I can look and see where there might be holes in my business or where I might need extra support.
I think that brainstorming session is where we all should start and I want to encourage you to make that commitment as well in the next 24 hours. We also mentioned a lot of links and I have even more things to link to that will help you in this process. So if you go to http://www.amyporterfield.com/87 you can get all of the links that we talked about in this episode.
Finally, one last word about our sponsor for today’s episode, MeetEdgar.com, my favorite social media posting tool. I’ve used it for years and think it is the strongest tool that you can apply to your business. Remember, repurposing content is exactly what you want to do in order to create more consistency in your business. It saves me so much time. I spend maybe 15 minutes a week on it and I fill it up. Then it always has great content.
One thing I’ve noticed with MeetEdgar since I’ve started using it is that I get so many more people to visit old podcast episodes because an episode from two months ago will show up in somebody’s newsfeed because it’s time to repurpose that content. Now people are revisiting old episodes and that means I get more views for my podcast, even on the older episodes. I love that because it’s all about the repurposing and the library inside of Edgar. If you want to try Edgar for free, go to MeetEdgar.com/amy and you can get started today.
Thank you so much for being here with me, I cannot wait to connect with your again soon. Bye for now.