Posts Tagged lessons
Among my friends it’s no secret that I love to read stories about the beginnings of great businesses and business men (and women!). What I love about them is the creation of something from nothing.
At the start it’s nothing but a series of electrical pulses through someones brain. It grows into a verbal conversation, or an email exchange perhaps. Then, pretty quickly, it throws an individual (or a few of them) hurtling down a path they had only recently know absolutely nothing about.
From that spark of electrical pulses many people create businesses or business empires that turn millions, or sometimes billions of dollars in income. It’s completely FASCINATING!
Along those lines I recently stumbled across a great article from the guys over at TheArtOfManliness.com that chronicles the beginning of their fledgling business that creates a cologne called “Moonshine.”
Check it out, it’s definitely worth the read! http://artofmanliness.com/2011/11/16/from-idea-to-reality-a-one-year-case-study-on-launching-a-successful-business/
In the last (nearly) 2 years at my company Spotted Koi I’ve had the opportunity to to hire several dozen people. Obviously not all of those people worked out but that is largely because of my inexperience in hiring. We’ve learned a lot int the last couple of years and I’d like to share what I can with you so that you hopefully won’t make the same mistakes:
- All Employees (and Contractors) have their ups and downs – If you have an employee who is having a bad week then it’s best to just sit down and talk to them, this can provide some good insight into what’s going on and, sometimes, just talking to them can take care of the problem. Either way, figure out if the person is having a bad day or if they are just not working out.
- Hire for Personality before skillset – of course skills are great and we ALWAYS end up looking for skills first but a personality that doesn’t mesh (or isn’t motivated) is a GIANT waste of time and resources. I’ve found that finding employees who have the right mindset and the right attitude but aren’t as good skill-wise are far greater employees. I’d much rather have a happy go-getter who needs a little guidance than an extremely skilled but lazy and pessimistic employee. Work should be fun to go to every day. If you’re the boss you actually have some control over that!
- Hiring is a crapshoot – until you’ve worked with someone no amount of interviewing will really tell you how they work. To combat this problem we test out applicants on test-projects before they get hired on.
- Fire Fast – You’ve probably heard this a lot but it doesn’t pay to be a wuss about it, if you have someone who can’t make the grade then you need to fire them ASAP, give them honest feedback about why they didn’t work out and move on. Easier said than done so think of it like you’re going skydiving. It’s best to jump out of the plane before you think about how scary it is!
Caveat: Like most things in life, as I learn a little more I also realize just how much I do NOT know. I’m sure there are plenty of things that I will learn even more about in the future so don’t expect this to be the end-all of advice on hiring.
SO, if you have some advice you’d like to share, please do that in the comments below so we can all benefit and fall madly in love with you.