Why You Should Never Hire Yourself and the Person You Should Hire Instead!
One of the nastiest traps small business owners fall into is being a “Doer”. I’ve been there, and it goes something like this:
You know a bit about accounting, so you do your own bookkeeping.
You know your way around your website, so you post your blogs and make website changes.
You know how to solve problems, so you deal with every customer crisis.
Clients love you, so you answer the phone and handle all new client inquiries.
Yup, my friend, are a Doer. Michael Gerber calls this the “Technician” role. “The typical small business owner,” says Gerber in his best-selling book, The E-Myth Revisited, “is only 10 percent Entrepreneur, 20 percent Manager, and 70 percent Technician.”
In my business, I get paid north of $150 per minute to speak on stage. Nice coin. So, it’s pretty dumb to be spending my office time doing $12 per hour work. I need to outsource it.
Don’t Hire People Like You
Enter the second nasty trap small business owners fall into: trying to hire people like themselves. Busted - been there as well.
When I hired my first sales person I looked for someone like me - I wanted someone outgoing, charismatic, (good looking), extroverted, and able to dig up leads 24/7. I soon learned that type of person is a) hard to find b) expensive to hire and c) always looking for a better opportunity and quick to leave (which they did).
What I needed was not another me - I needed someone who was happy to pick up the phone and make the same phone call over and over and over. I needed to outsource a routine.
In the last six months, I’ve hired two people to our business, neither work in our city, neither fully understand what we do, both are incredibly valuable. They are hired to complete routines. Here’s the insight.
If you want someone in your office, you hire an assistant, front-line staff, manager, whatever.
If you want to get a $12 per hour task off your plate, you outsource a routine. Here’s how (the last two hires were completed in under 48 hours each):
- Practice the routine until you are proficient (you can't outsource what you don't understand).
- Document each step of the routine (create a shared Google Doc). [15 minutes]
- Post the routine on Upwork.com [20 minutes]
- Shortlist by time zone, price range, skills, and customer ratings. [20 minutes]
- Ask the top three candidates for a sample of their work or give them test work to complete. [20 minutes]
- Agree on a temporary hire for, say one month at agreed fee (don’t waste too much time negotiating - they are going to make you money). [25 minutes]
- Create a Task List (shared Google Doc) to keep track of jobs to be done (they update the list when the job is completed). [10 minutes]
- Now, here’s the trick! Do not add a second routine until they perfect the first one.
Total time to complete outsourcing: two hours.
If you want serious growth in your business, you need to get serious about getting low-value jobs off your desk.