What Goes Around Comes Around: Lift Others Up

We rise by lifting others. -Robert G. Ingersoll

I’ve always been an avid believer in karma, in helping others, and in giving back. I have worked in the casino industry for nearly five years now and if there is one thing that I have learned working in the corporate world and especially in such a tight-knit, albeit, strict environment, is that you cannot walk over people to get to where you want to be. The people who are successful and who nearly anyone would bend over backwards to assist, or hand an award, or promote time after time, are the team players. They are the ones who people know, not just because they are kind, but because they are willing to help others. They are the mentors and the role models…the team players. They are willing to reach out their hand to help others up even if it does nothing for them. They are not out looking for recognition. They lead by example. They are the type that people trust and look to for advice. The type that if they asked you to work on a project with them, you would agree without a second thought.

My mentor for the last few years has been a former manager of mine. She is an amazing leader, yes, she has plenty of achievements of her own, but even she would tell you that some of her most amazing accomplishments are the people that she encourages and mentors to do amazing things in their own professional and personal lives. She’s the reason that I wanted to and could go back to school and get not one, but two, undergraduate degrees. She is part of the reason that I am on my way to getting my master’s degree. She is the motivation that led me to advance in my career, she has always pushed me to focus on professional development. She has encouraged me to achieve things in my personal life as well, such as buying a house. She did not have to, and I certainly could never repay her, she did it because she wanted to. She has certainly won awards and accolades but that was never her motivation for helping others.

I recently interviewed a local entrepreneur by the name of Emily Breedlove, what impressed me the most about Emily was that everything that she does helps others. She spends much of her time helping entrepreneurs and has a passion for working to help women trying to become entrepreneurs. I mean, the fact that she took the time to let me interview her was proof that she does not mind to humbly help others and not ask for anything in return.

I am so thankful for people like Emily who contribute to their community and to other people. I am also so thankful for those in my current organization who are so willing to help others become successful. It costs nothing to create positive karma in your professional life. To be kind to those that you may meet who are interested in taking the journey that you have taken. It costs nothing to give back and be a mentor for others, but it could mean the world to the person you help to lift up.

Schusssler, S. (2010). It’s a Jungle in There. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Don’t Give Yourself the No!

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. -Wayne Gretzky

Don’t take no for an answer. Sure, that is certainly sound advice. However, the hard part starts before we even ask. Many of us shoot ourselves down with doubts and our fear of rejection before we even give anyone a chance to tell us yes or no. Ask, and the worst that happens, is you get a no, right? Sounds easy enough. Still, some of us give ourselves the “no” without even trying first. How many opportunities have you missed out on because you just dropped your head and shoulders and walked away at just the thought of hearing no? Maybe none, maybe a ton. I am sure that I have missed out on plenty but I cannot be sure, that is the problem. You see, you miss every single shot that you don’t take. I am completely guilty of being so afraid of the word, that at times I would rather not even ask than possibly hear the answer “no”. The fear of people not even considering my suggestions or ideas, has led me to kept my mouth shut more times than not.

As an entrepreneur, you must have conviction, you must have confidence. You cannot be afraid to share your ideas, to move forward in your plans, to ask for help or guidance, or to ask for someone to invest in your ideas or your business. You must be brave against a possible no, and learn how to move forward when you do hear the eventual and inevitable no.  You must have confidence to try to convince to someone to say yes. The confidence to learn from every no and still go out and take shots. How though? How do you build that confidence and resilience even when you are afraid of the no?

In her article at Entrepeneur.com, Jacqueline Whitmore, lists 9 solid tips to help you push forward and exude that entrepreneurial confidence needed to present ideas, talk to investors, or take that “no” and get the “yes”.

She says that first you must package yourself for success. Look the part, dress the best, and dress for the occasion. This one is a given for most professionals and entrepreneurs, but it is extremely important nonetheless.

Secondly, correct your posture. People can tell when you do not really want the yes. If you are slouching and just overall showing poor posture, you are obviously asking for the “no”. Sit or stand up straight. My mentor once prepared me for a presentation by telling me to imagine that I was Superman wearing a cape, standing up strong and confident, it worked!

Thirdly, do your best and worry less. I am terrible for worrying, I find that telling yourself that no is not the end of the world and a couple of controlled breathing exercises work wonders for this kind of anxiety.

Fourth on Whitmore’s list, focus on the future. By focusing on your goals and purpose, you can keep your eye on the prize and give yourself that little push to move forward.

Number five, embrace positivity. Being negative will not breed that yes. People can sense a negative person from a mile away. Be positive.

Sixth she lists, let go of small mistakes. Sometimes you will make mistakes. Sometimes you will fail. Sometimes you will get a no because you did not have all your ducks in a row. Pick your head up and move forward. If you can fix the mistake, do it. If not, well, then you cannot. Either way, let go and move forward.

Seventh, continue to grow and improve. Always seek to learn more. Knowledge can be a total confidence boost, besides, what better way to move towards getting that yes than knowing what you are talking about. Find ways to grow and improve yourself personally and professionally. Be an expert in your field.

Number eight, schedule time to play. In other words, take a break. Relax. Whitmore says that if you invest time in your hobbies, friends, and family, you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to conquer your next challenge.

Finally, number nine. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Sometimes you need additional tools, encouragement, or advice. Have the confidence to ask for it. This could be exactly what you need to overcome challenges or hang-ups.

Whitmore presents some very helpful tips to building confidence in her article, and it is so important to be comfortable and confident if you want that yes. The best advice that I can give is for you to take that confidence and use it to give yourself a chance. Realize that no is a very good possibility, but do not let that stop you from even trying, and when you get “no”, remember that it is okay to step back regroup and come back recharged with a plan to try to get the “yes”!

Most people immediately stop when they hit a wall and turn around. Most successful entrepreneurs try pushing on the wall a few different ways and then try to find a way around the wall. -Joshua Baer

Schusssler, S. (2010). It’s a Jungle in There. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Whitmore, J. (2014, September 30). 9 Ways to Show More Confidence in Business. Retrieved December 01, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/237634

Persistance is a Virtue.

Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in. -Bill Bradley

You hear plenty about persistence in the business world. The phrases such as “keep trying”, “never give up”, or “resistance is futile” may come to mind. Okay, maybe not that last one, but you get the point. From youth, we all hear some variation of the following mantra at some point in time, or even many times, “when life knocks you down, get up, dust your pants off and keep going. Persistence is one of those qualities that is admirable and can prove quite rewarding if pointed in the right direction. If you want something, go after it, if it does not work out in your favor, try and try again, stick with it until you get it.

When I entered the casino industry nearly half a decade ago, I entered bright and ready to go. I was determined to set goals, and reach them. After spending a year in finance, I knew I needed to make a move to get where I needed to be. I had watched for nearly a year, these guys in fancy suits buzz around the casino floor, wining and dining the high rollers, handing them bundles of cash, and treating them like royalty. After befriending one of them, a guy who went by the name Rico, I got the insight on the position and the department. These guys (and gals) were marketing executives and hosts. Their job was to treat the biggest spenders on the floor better than most people treat their own mother. Call them up, offer them complimentary rooms, money bonuses, and lavish trips and excursions. I wanted to do that! I shadowed the department, I talked to every person I figured could tell me more. I even signed up for a company course on my days off to gain more knowledge, I went so far as to walking into the office of one of the managers and saying, “Tell me how I get this position, I want this job.” Long story short, I applied for that position. Five times to be exact, before I even got an interview. My persistence and my determination got me an interview. Would an interview be enough though? I sat in the room with three other candidates answering questions, shaking in my boots, literally. The manager later told me from her point of view what she saw, “I looked up and saw that you were extremely nervous, your hands were obviously trembling, you saw me look and gently placed your hands under the table and continued to tell me exactly why you were the right person for the job, never missing a beat.” Needless to say, I got the job and I stayed in that position for three years, proving my worth, displaying my determination, persistently.

If I had given up at my first, “We regret to inform you that you were not chosen for the interview process” letter, I can guarantee that I would not be where I am today, working as a Senior Executive in that same department. Who is to say I would have gone on to receive two perfect performance evaluations two years in a row? Would I have been inspired to go back to finish college? Would I have two undergraduate degrees and now amidst my masters? I cannot say for certain, but I am sure that things would have turned out a lot differently and I am certainly quite fond of where I am.

The takeaway? Be persistent, keep trying, and give it your all. To this day, I still tell aspiring hosts, executives, and the occasional student that I have spoken with. “Don’t give up”. You may have to apply five times, but if it is right, it will happen. The hardest thing is to stay persistent, determined, and patience, but so many times it is worth it.

Take your marketing with you! Yes, you are going to need to market…

Marketing is a contest for people’s attention -Seth Godin

Nothing sells itself. I do not care how many times you have heard that saying about a product, it is just absolutely not true. Selling takes marketing in some sort of shape or form. Perhaps you have read in one of my previous blog posts that I sell clothes, women’s clothes to be more specific. You may also have caught on that I have a bit of a passion for marketing, although I sometimes do not have the time to invest as much as I would like into experimenting and implementing different ideas that I have. Marketing is important and it is a huge part of getting sales for my business partner and I. We make online sales, marketing and selling mostly through social media. However, the biggest chunk of our sales are made via network marketing. We meet new people, mostly through people we know or while going about our everyday life, and we introduce them to the brand and the clothing. One of the things we are still working on though is really effectively marketing and getting our boutique and our clothes out there in front of more potential customer’s eyes, and on bodies (at least in a dressing room).

In his book ‘It’s a Jungle in There’, author Steven Schussler talks about customers not buying what they don’t know exists. He discusses getting your product out there and into the eyes of potential customers. He tells a story about keeping a restaurant replica in his trunk at all times, so that whenever a potential investor made a comment on wanting to check out the concept, he could take them right out to his car and show them that very day! This anecdote really put the “yup” in my head and really reinforced the advice, “you have to wear what you sell”. It is something my business partner repeatedly tells me and I think it’s really something that all entrepreneurs should keep in mind and in practice somehow or another. If you sell a product or service, you should at all times, have that product or service at least visually available in some tangible form, a picture, a sample, something, anything! I cannot tell you how many times I have not even had my business card readily available or I was too shy to continue the conversation or hand my card over to someone who was admiring one of our dresses that I was wearing.

More than that though, that is, getting yourself out there and promoting or marketing your brand, product, or business, I think it is important to think outside of the box about your marketing. You have to stand out, you have to be different, and for obvious reasons. We all experience marketing being thrown at us from the time we wake up to the time we lay down and go back to bed (and perhaps in our dreams too). So as the entrepreneurs trying to make sales, we have to do something that makes potential customers stop for a moment and say, “hey, maybe” or we will never have the chance to get them to say, “yes”. In his article ‘6 Ways to Think Outside the Box When Marketing Your Small Business’, Dan Scalco (2017) gives a couple of ideas for entrepreneurs to think outside of the box in their marketing. Like allowing customers to get personalized products, promoting customer engagement, showing appreciation to customers in special ways, developing a loyalty program, utilizing the untapped market over at social sites like LinkedIn, or even surveying your existing customers and offering rewards.

These tips may sound like pretty obvious opportunities, but there are plenty of businesses who are not doing these things, which just goes to show that it does not take much to be a little out of the ordinary! Taking your marketing with you and thinking outside of the box a bit could be just what you need to give your business a boost. I know it is something that I will be trying to keep more front of mind moving forward.

Scalco, D. (2017, February 24). 6 Ways to Think Outside the Box When Marketing Your Small Business. Retrieved November 11, 2017, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/284269

Schusssler, S. (2010). It’s a Jungle in There. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Practice Makes Excellence.

When I think of excellence, I think of the well-known motivational quote, “practice makes perfect.” I think of fine tuning and I think of attention to detail. I envision training hard and practicing even harder. My mind goes off to visualize people who work hard with focus and determination to create the best that they can putting in their blood, sweat, and tears. I see people who never give up and who may fall but always get back up. People who do not settle for mediocrity, or average, or just enough. Excellence is setting goals and chasing dreams, shooting for the moon and refusing to just land among the stars. Excellence is going above and beyond. It’s giving your all and your very best, and then some. So yes, I think of “practice makes perfect, and sure, perfect is great in theory, but I think the concept of perfection does not take into consideration growth and the potential for even better. We should always strive for perfect but for true success, big-thinking success, we must realize it is not just some end point that we must get to but rather an ongoing journey. “Practice makes excellence”, is so much more realistic and encompasses the journey concept. We as aspiring entrepreneurs or present entrepreneurs must practice excellence and practice FOR excellence.

In “It’s a Jungle in There”, Steven Schussler says that he framed two quotes that inspire him and placed them above his desk, one of those quotes declares that, “The noblest search is the search for excellence.” To be a successful entrepreneur one must search deep within themselves for excellence and inspire those that work with and for them to shoot for excellence as well. Your efforts should be deliberately focused on and aimed at excellence. You must breathe and perspire for excellence. Success depends on it. Excellence is something that should be ingrained in all that you do, make, and sell.

I want my entrepreneurial venture to be an industry leader in excellence with a focus in quality and accuracy. I want excellent customer service to be what we are known for. I want to offer excellent products, excellent service, just exude and radiate excellence. The second quote which Schussler framed simply states that, “When you’re out of quality, you’re out of business”. No matter what entrepreneurial venture you are headed toward, be sure to never sacrifice excellence. I have watched what may be my future competition take shortcuts and make other moves that are ethically questionable, honestly this is part of what led my husband and I to want to start our own business. We saw the opportunity to do things right, to be excellent. Quality and the continuous dedication to quality sells. People want to know that you are giving them your best product or service. They want to be able to trust you and depend on what you are selling or providing. They want to know and believe and receive excellence.

We must, as entrepreneurs, practice all that leads to being excellent. Practice makes excellence and success depends on it.

Schusssler, S. (2010). It’s a Jungle in There. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

The Importance of Passion as an Entrepreneur: You Have To Have It

Passion, it feels good. I think back to projects that I have worked on that were fueled by my passion to do them and to do them well and compare them to the ones in which I just completed to say that I did. I find that not only are the results often sub-par when I lack passion, but my overall attitude during the process is typically terrible and I dread nearly every step that I take towards the finish line, and sometimes I do not even finish. Having passion makes it so much easier to self-motivate, to give it your all, to be proud of the finished product. Being a successful entrepreneur takes passion, you have to love what you do and love doing it. Having passion is exciting and just feels genuinely amazing. Waking up every day with purpose and loving what one does is truly success.

Passion, it looks good. People can tell when you are passionate, and it is surely something to be appreciated. People are more willing to jump on board with a passionate person. As an entrepreneur, this could mean investors or even clients. There have been so many times in my life and career that people have seen me be passionate about something and just offer up resources because of this. Passion helps to open doors of opportunity. According to founder and CEO, David Lucatch, of Yappn Corp, a translator service, the people he has seen achieve the greatest success in their personal and professional lives are passionate people that lead, support, and mentor others with that ‘zeal and zest’ for the work and the people. In this interview with Business Insider, Lucatch goes on to say that passionate people exude confidence. I am the co-owner of a small mostly online boutique, and it certainly takes passion and confidence to sell our clothes. Our clients want to see that we love our products, nobody wants to buy from someone who is simply lackluster. They want to buy and work with people who are energized by passion.

Passion, it spreads. Passion is a fire that spreads. In ‘It’s a Jungle in There” author Schussler says that as a leadership quality, one’s own passion is what galvanizes other into action. I want to be not just an entrepreneur, but also a leader, I want to motivate others in my organization, be a mentor, and encourage those around me to be great as well. I have watched leaders with passion inspire their teams to do amazing things that they had never imagined they could. Lucatch says that professionals who are excited create enthusiasm in their teams and with others. I could not agree more. I had a manager who cultivated me as I worked with her for three years, she was an effective leader and always stayed enthusiastic about our team goals. So even when I had outgrown my position she still inspired me to think outside of the box, create new projects, and even grow in my personal and professional life, all because she was a passionate leader. Passion is an amazing thing. Wars have been won, awards have been received, money has been made, and success has been grasped all on the flames of passion.

Schusssler, S. (2010). It’s a Jungle in There. New York, NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.

Smith, J. (2014, May 13). CEO Explains Why Passion Is The Key To Success. Retrieved October 27, 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/ceo-explains-why-passion-is-key-to-success-2014-5

Growing Pains: Scaling issues and how to avoid them

As a founder’s startup moves through the various stages to maturity, it is inevitable that they will face scaling challenges. Scaling a startup can create the opportunity for success for a founder. However, according to Entrepreneur.com there are challenges and mistakes that a founder could face that could sink even the most successful of companies.

First, that many founders end up scaling their startup completely too soon, they jump the gun, or they rev up production and growth without having a solid footing or customer base. The second, is that founders often make the mistake of choosing the wrong people to work or do business with. Thirdly, is putting huge efforts and money behind marketing and sales because they think that is all it takes to take their business to the next level. Next, competing on price just to gain the position as a low-cost leader, often sacrificing quality and profits along the way. Another mistake founders make is remaining stagnant in their management structure even throughout growth and movement through the various stages. Next, some founders choose to ignore issues, as if they will just disappear. Lastly, many make the mistake of not tossing or eliminating the things that do not work anymore.

So, with all of these potential mistakes to be made, how can a founder avoid them and circumvent the crash and burn? Make sure the market has sustainable demand. Focus on building a strong, long-term demand in the marketplace. Choose the right people, at the right time. Find the top performers and utilize their talents to help get through the growing pains. Develop these performers and reward them appropriately. Get better as the company grows and gets bigger. Put energy into creating quality and provide exemplary customer service. Grow, alter, and change the management structure to fit the company as it moves through the stages to maturity. Address issues as they arise and face them head on, ignoring problems does not work and could cause lasting damage. Focus on goals and the overall purpose and vision. If something does not work, either fix it or get rid of it.

Patel, S. (2014, December 22). 7 Scaling Challenges That Can Sink Even Successful Companies. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/240887

Transitioning from a startup to growth-stage company. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2013/02/11/transitioning-from-a-startup-to-growth-stage-company/

Investor Dilemmas: Crucial Capital

Capital is crucial. Should a founder self-fund or get financial capital from an investor or investors? There are several key points to consider when making this huge decision. Where the investor is getting the capital, how well the founder can access the investor, whether the investor can add some sort of value to the company, and of course, the potential risks associated with taking capital from a particular investor. A founder could avoid these questions of course, if they were to self-fund. Maybe they could start smaller and grow their business, however, this is not always an option as even starting “small” in some industries is very costly. If the funding is just not there or the founder has huge costly plans then an investor or investors could be the solution.

It is highly probable that with my entrepreneurial venture into the fire safety industry that I will need to obtain financial capital from somewhere. The most appealing form of investor to me is an angel investor. The benefits of going this route appeal to me more than going the way of a venture capital as I prefer to keep control out of the investor’s hands as much as possible minus some equity offering. Angel investors can also provide founders with advice and consulting services. They may also be able to provide some human capital which would be very beneficial in this industry. These investors also may have customer lead and contacts in addition to industry knowledge and skills. These benefits alone answer to the question of added value. According to Forbes, angel investors can be found beyond being referred by someone, there are several websites and programs that help founders connect with an angel investor.

Founders should do plenty of research and weigh the benefits and risks of taking capital from an investor. They should have in mind what taking that money could potentially effect within their business. Will they have to give up control, wealth, or both?

Newlands, M. (2017, March 14). 10 Ways to Find Investors For Your Startup. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/mnewlands/2015/07/06/10-way-to-find-investors-for-your-startup/#2c67b52f2a13

Wasserman, N. (2012). The Founder’s Dilemmas. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Hiring Dilemmas: Relationships, Roles, Rewards, Retention

Right people. Right place. Right time.

There are several dilemmas founders can face when hiring. In “The Founder’s Dilemmas”, Wasserman discusses that these dilemmas fall into the “Three Rs framework”. Relationships (whom to hire), roles (what positions to create or upgrade, when to do so, and the types of people to hire into those positions), and rewards (the compensation and equity that is used to attract and keep people).

Relationships.

Founders can take advantage of social capital and seek out hires from this pool that is already familiar to them, which comes with some benefits and of course some risks. Founders who hire close friends or family members may find that they run into the issue of avoidance when it comes to discussing the more difficult topics or the pain that comes when things do not go as planned within the company. I plan to hire some friends and family into my entrepreneurial venture but not without making certain that they have the necessary skills and drive, and with the understanding that personal is personal and business is business.

Roles.

As a company grows, founders will find that the business has new needs. I have worked for the same company for four years and new positions are created often and some positions are removed. It’s the ebb and flow of things. Not only will positions need to be created but some positions will need to evolve and change with added responsibilities. One of the harder decisions a found may have to make is to let someone go, maybe they are underperforming or maybe their position is no longer necessary, and of course this will come with a “what now”. Firing or turnover is often followed by hiring a replacement, though sometimes the question may be whether the position even need to be refilled. There is plenty to weigh when deciding which roles need to be filled and whom to hire to fill them.

Rewards.

Once a founder has established the needs of the business in terms of workforce, they must then decide how they will reward their employees. Salary, compensation, benefits, and bonuses come to mind. According to Harvard Business Review, rewards only influence temporary compliance. I beg to differ, at least a little. I believe that the success of rewards relies heavily on the individual and should not be the sole motivator or incentive. A company with a poor management team and terrible culture could give hefty bonuses regularly, but it does not mean that they will see productivity or morale shoot off the charts. It may be hard for founders, especially ones in fresh startups to find the balance, but the main idea that founders need understand is that some level of rewarding the A-players is important and that they must be certain to avoid rewarding those individuals that under-perform. This takes us to…we’ll call it the fourth R.

Retention.

Once a founder gets the most skilled, hardworking, dedicated employees, it is important to keep them. People leave managers, not companies. Employees want to work in an environment with strong leaders who respect and appreciate them. The A-players want to work with other A-players and they want to see their hard work mean something and matter somehow. A-players need to be coached, encouraged, and appreciated. Roles need to be defined, goals need to be set, responsibilities need to be established, results need to be measured, and a value needs to be placed on roles. Founders need to put time in effort in hiring and keeping employees to reduce pitfalls and dilemmas.

Recruitment, hiring, engagement, and retention are crucial to a success in a business. Employees are assets. Done correctly, it can create huge a competitive advantage. “Leaders who create great companies never do it alone. They always create a team of A-players.”

Herrenkohl, E. (2010). How to hire A-players: finding the top people for your team–even if you don’t have a recruiting department. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Kohn, A. (2014, August 01). Why Incentive Plans Cannot Work. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/1993/09/why-incentive-plans-cannot-work

Wasserman, N. (2012). The Founder’s Dilemmas. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

 

Role Dilemmas and The Hiring Pool

Role Dilemmas

Too many bosses not enough workers. This is a problem that founders may find themselves facing if they do not find a way to divide responsibilities and assign titles that address the division of labor. Startups with multiple founders may find that everyone wants to be CEO when it is just not possible.

This is something that I have experienced first-hand in my retail venture. When my business partner and I started up shop we decided on both claiming the title of CEO and then she would also hold the title of CFO handling finance/accounting and I would take CMO on and handle the bulk of marketing and advertising. This was the easy route, we both invested time and money into the business, mostly equally, so to us it was the obvious decision. It works and then it does not at the same time. If a decision deals with money or finances alone, she makes the call. If it’s a marketing question, I get to the solution. If a crucial business decision falls somewhere outside of those categories though, things slow down a bit, sometimes to a halt. The biggest problem is that we waste a ton of time waiting on a stance that is agreeable to us both, tossing the ball back and forth, with nobody really taking the lead on pulling the trigger, some decisions sit days or weeks, we risk missing out on opportunities or lose out on max return. We get along, but I know that if we ever want to truly grow, things will have to shift tremendously if the business is to reach full potential.

This type of hang up could certainly be avoided. Founders should take the time and care to establish roles and build a more hierarchical-centric versus strictly egalitarian way of running things especially if they want to see the company grow. However, they should be sure not to lean too far in and end up with an autocracy. A hierarchical model can still incorporate advantages of an egalitarian approach and make them work to the benefit of all.

The Hiring Pool

So once a founder has figured out their business structure, the next step is hiring the right people. Good employees with valuable experience and skills are amazing assets for a business. Hiring is hard, hiring great employees is extremely hard. Hiring the wrong people who lack important skills can be detrimental, not just to the bottom line and productivity, but these bad apples can certainly cause the good ones to run out of the door.

Founders need to locate talent pools with the skills that will help breed success. For instance, my dream venture of founding a fire safety company needs people who can work with their hands and be both consistent and accurate. They also need to be able to obtain new clients by providing information and selling the right products to the right businesses. Sure, some if not all of these skills could be taught, but with the right kind of recruitment strategy we could find A-players who already possess skills that would make the transition into our company easier for both us and them. Plus, timed saved is money made. A mechanic is good with their hands and technical concepts, a factory worker has skills like these as well. An individual from a similar company or a competitor would be perfect. A former entrepreneur who owned a B2B would have the skills to talk to other business owners who need fire safety services.

Wasserman suggests finding the pool right for the company in question and tapping deep into it, there will lie the best of the best. Researching and understanding talent pools is important and can prevent founders from having to deal with the headache of having the wrong people, not to mention reduce turnover, and save money.

Herrenkohl, E. (2010). How to hire A-players: finding the top people for your team–even if you don’t have a recruiting department. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Wasserman, N. (2012). The Founder’s Dilemmas. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.