Running a small business is not easy.
Running a small business ALONE makes it even harder.
You kinda know from watching other businesses grow that at some point you won’t be able to do everything yourself.
There’s just too much to do.
If you’re running an online business like me, any given day can be loaded with calls, meetings, emails to write, content to update, schedule decisions, tech issues and a range of other tasks.
You know that you need to outsource and delegate lower level tasks so you can focus on higher level tasks to grow your business.
But how do you find people you can trust, who get the job done, are self-motivated, and can deal with your moods?
It’s kind of like getting married…because business is often very very personal.
So you need to find the perfect mix of manager, therapist, and action-taker.
You need someone who gets it.
I never really got why it what it meant to have someone who “gets it” until I was the boss.
Here are the 3 qualities of a person who gets it.
No matter what position you decide to hire for first — all the way up and down the chain… these three qualities can make your team a dream team.
Even one person on your team (as you hire more and more people) who doesn’t have these “get it” qualities and you’ll experience some tough times.
Take note on the ones that can be learned and the ones that are often baked into a someone’s personality.
Back in the day when I worked with various sized teams in animation, video games and then even online, there was one thing that helped me make sure the work around me was getting done, moving through the pipeline, and was high quality.
I took ownership.
I became the boss.
I did it time and again at most of my day jobs (the ones where I didn’t suffered quite honestly).
The week I joined the LKR team, I became Laura Roeder’s boss and her silent partner. I cared about the future and livelihood of the company as much as if it were my own company.
Ownership is important because we make better decisions if we come at as if it’s our own.
Now of course if this is your own business, you are the owner, but consider playing “owner” with your client’s businesses.
2. No Blame
Total disclaimer here, but when I hear people blame others for problems or any sort of breakdown, it makes me sooo annoyed. I get that there can be a person to blame for a mistake. I get that. But what I don’t get is why the BLAMER is spending time pointing that out instead of coming up with a solution.
Declaring a no-blame zone in your business is actually a little like the Improv rule — you can’t say no. Instead of blaming, come up with one or two solutions right away to resolve the issue and move forward.
People who blame, stop the process. They halt launches. They halt progress.
People who bring solutions, overcome hurdles and get the launch out no matter what. They bring out the best in others. They understand that even though there is likely someone at the heart of a problem, it’s best to handle it after a solution is found.
I’ve had this happen numerous times throughout the years. Excuses for why work isn’t done or why it wasn’t done correctly.
Bottom line. You want solutions. Mistakes will happen. Systems will breakdown. But you always want people who are already thinking about solutions.
3. What’s Next
Once you start hiring people, you’ll start to see you also earn a new title–manager. Managing people is usually not a fun task for those of you who have never done it. Actually, let me be honest…it’s not fun at all as the business owner.
Even me, being used to that role for many years, I hate hiring people and then having to manage them.
Here’s why. I give someone a task.
Not only do I want them to be self-responsible and let me know when there are issues or questions with getting the task done.
I also want that person to look at the list and instead of simply check them off as they finish, I want them to do what I would do–ask what comes next.
Asking what comes next is a clearer way of saying be proactive.
Even a web developer…I like it when the person comes back to me and says, do you also need this for the page? Do you need a thank you page? Did you need me to hook this up to your autoresponder? Is this the updated logo? Should I update the copy on the page? Can I suggest a different font/combo?
You will find that your team is literally buzzing with energy and care when you have people who have most or all of these qualities.
Do You Have These Qualities?
Whether you’re the business owner, a VA, a website developer, a project manager, a social media intern, a graphic designer, or play any other role on a team…ask yourself if you’re lacking any of these powerful team traits.
Be honest with yourself or ask your clients.
I can assure you that even if you feel like you’re just a virtual assistant and have too many clients to take ownership of…your value on those teams and with those clients will shoot through the roof.
So many people just clock their hours, check off their task lists, and don’t really care about the businesses they work for…do you want to be one of those people?
And for you owners out there looking to finding and leading these amazing people means one more thing for you. You can’t be the parent who says–don’t swear, don’t smoke, don’t stay up late, and exercise…and then doesn’t practice what you preach. You have to get on board with the qualities and practice them too.
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Three more articles to help you hire amazing people:
The Ultimate Guide To Hiring An Awesome Virtual Team
The Advanced Guide To Growing A Thriving Virtual Team
How To Build Your A-Team From Scratch
I Want To Hear From You!
Do you have a team or are in the process of hiring one or more people right now? What challenges are you facing as you begin your search? What issues have come up with past people you’ve worked with? Tell me your team story in the comments below!