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This is the single biggest mistake I made in my business… it's hard to tell just how much it cost me, but I think it was several years of growth (at a minimum)…

I would love to hear your experience (or your plans) on building a team… please leave a comment below (and please like my Facebook page here).

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84 Replies to “My Biggest Mistake In My Business (So Far)”

  1. Eric Louviere

    Reply

    Great video and points Jeff. Thanks for sharing. I’ve had the privilege of having hired people and it’s interesting how I’ve had as many as 20+ employees and then went back to none… then back to 20+ again… then back to none again.

    I believe this has shown more about myself than anything. I think It has shown that I build up a tremendous amount of momentum, grow fast, too fast… then rip it all down to start fresh again.

    But, here’s the major lesson for me. I’m not good at managing them. I’m not strong at the operations. And, I realized this is what I needed covered… someone to manage the operations and people.

    And, lastly, I have that now and am back to hyper growth again. It’s taken me many-many years to figure this out. And, like you, I like to focus on innovation, marketing, training, teaching and relationships.

    Thanks, your video really captured me and I appreciate you sharing 🙂

    ~Eric Louviere

    • @Eric: thanks for your perspective – there’s a lot of wisdom and experience in your words. I totally agree that much of this is about what’s going inside ourselves… it’s a quite a personal journey.

      And I agree about the managing piece – just because one is good at building a business doesn’t mean they’re good at managing people.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for those words.
    I definitely need to consider focusing on what are my skills .. and let others do .. other stuffs ..

    Eric

  3. Oh, this so resonates with me, Jeff. I was a bit slow at this one.
    I finally brought someone on board late last year, but I didn’t manage them properly. At the time, I thought it was them. But really, it was ALL me not being the best leader.
    I’ve since brought on someone else and it’s working really well. Having someone take care of the admin side of the business has been such a blessing. I now need to bite the bullet and get someone who can do design and techy things (which would definitely save me some grey hair!! 😉 ).

  4. Thanks for sharing Jeff. I’ve been learning from you since 2002 🙂

    Betty is awesome!

    I work with 14 virtual employees, but also hesitated to hire permanent or full-time team members for the longest time.

    I agree with you 100% that customer service and tech support is the first thing that you should outsource.

    Keep rocking it!
    Willie

  5. Great video. I agree hiring a team, and hiring the right people on that team is key for business growth. The challenge sometimes is not ending up trading four quarters for a dollar when you start out. At the end of the day, you want your business to be profitable and for those resources to contribute to growth and not minimize the profits in your business. Sometimes this takes a leap of faith. When I first started I remember paying my VA $100 a week to do my newsletter and it was scary because I didn’t have $400 a month in revenue – but I knew I never would have that or more if I didn’t start. Today that same VA is a full time employee on my team and I also have a manager of client experience. None of this would have happened without having a plan and taking a leap of faith in how these people could help me grow the business. I used to own a wireless store (2006-2012, just sold it) and I am amazed at the difference in mindset when it comes to investing in business when it is bricks and mortar versus online. So many online business owners don’t have the right mindset when it comes to investing in themselves and their company in comparison to bricks and mortar where you absolutely have to have skin in the game to play.

    • @Lisa: your point about the difference in mindset around investing in a business for many owners of online business is right on – and I was certainly guilty as charged for so long.

  6. Henk van der Wijk

    Reply

    This is part of the “work on your business, not in your business” story. Where time, knowledge and skill are always limited, outsourcing tasks to others implies leverage.

  7. Hi Jeff, nice video…

    I feel that I’m losing money too…

    In my case I’ve working along for many years and I have to do every thing my self.

    Now I have several difficulties to find people that have the same work at least as well as I had before. I’m feel that this work can made better my self.

    I have broken my heart in two parts… On one hand I feel that I can do better, but on an other hand I feel that It’s better that get the work on time than get as well as I can do it.

    An other problem is that in spanish market (this is my market) there are no people as well as prepared is in the english market… And how do you do to prepare this people, and how to do that they stay with you for years? It’s better pay per proyect or pay per hour? What do you think about?

    Regards…

    Roberto Cerrada
    from Spain

  8. Hi All,

    I must say I’m very surprised to learn that you two were “alone” for so long.

    My company is in website development business and while I don’t have problem with hiring, I think my biggest problem is charging. For some reason I always( always!) tend to charge less than the real value of work and quality that we provide. Once I realized this and gave few potential clients offer of around 30-50% more that I would normally offer, I realized that people were still trilled to work with us.

    My conclusion – always be aware of how much your service/product is valuable to your buyers and don’t charge less!

  9. Hi Jeff,
    One of my goals was never have to hire people and build a one-person business (this does not include hiring freelancers.) Your fresh advice makes me question my goals, as you present it as your biggest mistake. What s wrong with the one-person-business plan? Can’t we just have contractors for what we cannot do best, without hiring peopple?

  10. Hi Jeff, great video. I’m only 7 months into new business and have hired 4 full time staff and another 6 contractors. All the staff are behind the scene support staff, so I can focus on building strong relationships with clients. The next phase is to bring in protect management layer to the business so I don’t have to co-ordinate everything. The only way this was possible was by having an active network that I provide win win situations for. This investment has been at the expense of maximising my own income but I believe it will allow the business to maximise growth potential.

  11. Thank you for your video Jeff. It is my biggest fear – to hire the wrong people. I have had three Assistants /CS persons now – and the biggest mistake I have done is to hire people that do not want to be an assistant or customer service – but they want to be an entrepreneur like me. So I have spent most my time training them and then they leave to build their own company 🙂 I love them and respect their decision and dreams, but would love to have people that are happy as being a part of a team and not an entrepreneur.
    Would you be so kind to share how do you go about finding the right persons? Bisous, Gry

  12. Hi Jeff-
    I have an awesome team and it keeps growing. Met you at Brendon Bruchard’s experts academy which was awesome. I am 7 mos. into expert online space which I didn’t even know existed until my good friend Rena Hedeman told me about becoming an online expert. I am the #InstagramGal…since meeting you & claiming this space I have had a #1ebook “Instagram Basics for your Business”, been interviewed for a blog a radio, been asked to partner with Peter Davis who does auto-responses and just did an awesome Google Hangout w James Wedmore. I launched my BootCamp webinar after doing a free one and have converted 1/3 people who were on the call to paying clients. Thanks to your formular of success I am on my way to becoming an expert in my niche. I have had a small time from the beginning and it make all the difference in terms of being super productive and moving my vision forward. I would love to do an Instagram webinar with YOU some day! Sue B. aka The Instagram Gal

  13. Thanks for your sharing. With just one or two working occasionally for me through the years, my success was minimal. It was just too scary to go all out. I mostly did everything myself. Even PL was the first big expenditure and leap of faith I had ever made on the web. It was a great success even though used with snail mail.

    With my latest endeavor, thanks to your previous training, I deciding to go all out and have hired a manager, even before launching. He has brought so many ideas to the table, it has propelled my business beyond what even could have been imagined. As a result of him, on launching, there are few more ready to come on to the team. They will care for the spin off businesses that they will create and run.

    And I have to say, in a sense, you are on my team too. I could not even begin to attempt this undertaking with out your blue print to be able to frame the my non profit as a market disruption and get to and convert enough people fast enough to make it viable.

    Your videos and writings, well they are like mini support meetings.

    Thanks again.

  14. Doug Daniel

    Reply

    Hi Jeff, Thanks for the video. I am writing a book for online entrepreneurs about the importance of building a team and, if the business is not big enough yet, planning for the time when building a team does make sense financially.

    I’m probably two months from having quality material ready. So I hope you leave this video/post up for some time. You can be certain that I will sending all the traffic I can to your website as I possibly can.

    Doug

    PS I miss the PLATs terribly. DWD

  15. Great video, great advice. I hired my first person to help me design a product for sale. I know exactly what you are saying about being farther down the road.

  16. Kerry-Ann Powell

    Reply

    Hi Jeff
    Thanks for the video. I agree that it is so important to know when to outsource. The first person I brought on to my team was a tech/web/graphic designer. He is a small business owner and we work well together. He was referred by my life coach and I have literally never met him in person but we have been working together for years. In anticipation of my business growth I now have brought on videographer and plan to bring on an administrative/ customer support person.

    One of the things I have come to value is knowing what I don’t know and outsourcing it to the folks who do it well.

    Thanks Jeff.
    Kerry-Ann

  17. I now have 14 contractors working for me and am wondering about making my amazing project coordinator an employee. It seems that there’s a lot more involved in having employees vs contractors, so I need to look into it.

    I hired help for tech and design, first, and then, since we do a lot of writing for our clients, I now have a team of 8 writers. One of the other areas I’ve outsourced which has been a god send is invoicing and bookkeeping! OMG. But, it’s an area that you also need to really watch to make sure you have the right person there! It took me 3 tries to get the right billing person in place.

    One thing that I’ve found that may be helpful to others: In addition to getting good, economically priced folks in the Philippines for tech and design, I’ve also found very talented writers, project coordinators, and invoicing folks, here in the States, for $10-12/hour. Craigslist is a great source of good folks.

  18. Great advice Jeff 🙂 It’s great to think that having a team won’t complicate my life, because I think a little like you used to think, but now I’m changing my mind 🙂 I already hired someone to redesign my website, we’re starting in August, and I felt great when I made that decision, can’t wait to see my new website!
    xx

  19. Thanks Jeff. It is possible to have a small team when we work in the Internet with different products, but like you said it is great to have a good team so you can focus on your main genius.
    Sincerely,
    Henrique

  20. We are so up against this challenge right now (OK, I am!) My wife wants to hire a customer service person and I’m “we can’t afford it” she’s “we can’t afford not to” Tough call. We are definitely growing, are list keeps growing and their buying from us but still trying to figure out how we could afford to expand?!? On ward ho!

  21. Hey Jeff,
    Great video, I so agree, and right now I am too small to hire anyone, not even a VA which forced me to learn how to do all the techie stuff which I do all myself for financial reasons. Once I am bringing in more revenue, which is very soon, I will probably start with a VA to help with the techie stuff so I can have more energy and time for what I love doing which is the creative stuff. Thank you for sharing your experience, you are a true master and to tell you the truth, I can’t wait to hire a whole team of people…I LOVE thinking BIG and knowing I will help others create a great life doing what they love working with me because I am a born leader and whoever works for me will be in heaven 🙂

  22. PS. I meant to say works WITH me 🙂 Important distinction. All who work with me will be working for the greater good of all.

  23. Dave Reineke

    Reply

    Well Jeff I have to say that I have been following you for a while now and you always have good advice for everyone. I’ve started my own blog and I’m really trying my best to stay focused. Thank you for all the honesty you’ve give everyone and all the hard work you’ve done. My Dad writes children’s poems and he’s just had he’s operation for his hip and I’m trying post his poems online so others can see them. May you could check em out when you have time. Keep on keeping my friend

  24. Diamond Fernandes

    Reply

    Hi Jeff. thanks for the video and your insights.
    I think I made the mistake of hiring too soon.

  25. My fear of hiring was similar to the mental block I had about getting married – it’s a huge responsibility because you’re essentially feeding another family.

    Before I got married, bootstrapping was easy because I personally didn’t mind eating peanut butter sandwiches if things were tight. But I didn’t want my wife to have to experience that so I waited until my business was well established before I finally asked (and fortunately she said yes!).

    The same goes for hiring others. I like to wait until we are bursting at the seams because I feel a big sense of responsibility not just for the person we are hiring but for their family as well.

    I know it’s a mental block but it definitely slows down the “scaling” of my companies. With that said, we now have 17 full-time and we’re looking to make a leap in the next few months again so this post was good timing 😉

    Thanks Jeff!

    Stu

  26. Hi Jeff,

    Another valuable video. Yes, I’m not ready yet to build a team, especially financially. I’m running my music arranging blog for over a year now and I just put my first products as an affiliate on my resources page. Nobody has bought anything yet, but I know you need to be patient with this.
    I definitely am willing to outsource or work with other people once my financial situation is better.
    Take care, Hans

  27. Thanks, Jeff, for all your words of wisdom and all you have taught your people who are teaching me. I’ve had the privilege of being coached by Vrinda Norman, Dori Etter, and SARK, and Deepak Chopra and davidji and Dick Schwartz and others – and online marketing is a definite leap of faith for me.

    I have had a full time practice as a therapist, mediator and attorney, and at 66, I’m embarking on a whole new business – with a major investment in ME – and time, money, and psychological and spiritual growth. Letting go of control, asking for help and delegating are all part of my learning curve.

    Thanks for the reminder that it “takes more than a village” and we’re all here to support each other. Asking for what we need, and being willing to receive (and pay for the best team possible), is part of the trust and belief in ourselves and our dharma and what we are here to share.

    Thanks for being part of my team – sending wisdom and support in every email!
    With gratitude, Linda

  28. Been there done that. Now I enjoy working alone. Nobody cares about my business and customers more than me, myself and I. Ask, “do you enjoy being an employee?” Few truly do.

    • @Bill: wow, that’s a seriously limiting belief. It might not have worked for you in the past, but I suspect that has a lot more to do with you than anything else.

      There are LOTS of great employees who love their jobs. My customer support people do a far better job taking care of our clients than I could ever do. My operations people do a way better job than I could ever do… same with tech, design, accounting.

  29. Am just getting started with my 1st serious product. not much customer service yet. that will come, and I am ready & willing to hire someone for that sooner than I would normally think. I just would have to be able to pay that person.

    Tech & design has been outsourced for the last 3 years already. However, with my tech guy, his quality is great, and I like him personally, but his pressure to deliver is less than I would wish. Things just always – especially in the last few months – take more time than I want. He is not my employee, I work with freelancers in a network system.

    Am decided to hire (as employees) customer service and admin staff as soon as I can afford them.

    Don’t dare yet to run the risk to loose my tech guy and to hire someone – his expertise is great and his quality is always good, but the timing really is not what I expect and wish for. Maybe I should test one or two other freelancers, experiment with them in a(n open) competitition and then go with who feels best to me. Feel blocked here for months now.

    Would love your (Jeff) or anybody’s comment on this decision.

    Best,
    Holger (from Germany)

  30. Jeff, great video. For long time, I have worked alone trying to handle everything in internet business by myself, however as time passed on, I relaized that it becomes a major blocking point for growth or to scale further, because no matter how I am skilled or have experience in different areas/topics, my time, like for everybody else, is limited 🙂 Hence I started hiring freelancers and it is going allright till now. Depending on future growth and income, I am planning to hire full time employees as well. And customer service is absolutely one of the first to be handled by another professional 🙂 Looking forward to your other posts, thank you very much!

  31. Jeff, spot on I had that ah ha moment this last week. My to-do list was piling up and creating a feeling of being paralyzed myself. I have been hesitant because of the cost, but when I sat down and put a value on my time it was a no-brainer. For those that are hesitant about hiring an employee I am using Odesk.com to hire contractors. There are people in the US and also overseas that produce quality work. I have done this in the past and had great luck and just hired three more people this last week to outsource my admin, financials and customer service. Jeff thanks for reassuring me on my decision. Keep up the amazing work!

  32. I was listening to a video from Mike Koenigs recently who said: “Get fully invested in your customer’s success with your product and service”. As we scale up that means having support, skills and expertise beyond our own capabilities. It’s the customer, and lots of them, that feed our success.

    So much of the “internet lifestyle” is sold with the idea that you just hit that marketing button and money floods into your account, and you get to go live on the beach. (All about YOU winning, not necessarily YOUR CUSTOMER winning.) The idea of having to “hire” anyone to help you sounds like a LOSS of that freedom to many. And a lot of people are happy only earning enough that the DIY model handles. But really helping a lot of people means means having a business plan for big growth. It means recognizing when you need to put on the CEO hat to orchestrate the master plan and delegate the vital components of that success engine.

    DIY is like traveling on a bicycle. Having a smart team can be like traveling on a rocket!

  33. Hi Jeff, I love this advice. As someone who has a very small start-up online business, I have been “training myself” to delegate in anticipation of attracting the right team as my business grows. Every week I use Fiverr.com for some service – a Facebook banner, editing my newsletter or ebook, creating logos, transcribing my video lessons. It feels great, and it is very affordable for my tiny-budget startup business. I figure that if I get in the habit of delegation, it will be easier to continue the habit as my business needs (and income) grow. Thanks for the reminder of the steps of success that we can all follow. – Michelle

  34. hi Jeff, a lot of thanks for this video. I am at the very beginning of marketing on line. till now i invested in myself because my need was to understand ” the All system” to be able to begin to master it…I hired a technical support who did what i was asking for..but never helped me to avoid some mistakes….;-)) , and at this time, i was unable to know by myself what were my technical mistakes….So, i learnt the techical stuff ” cahin-caha )” and learnt from my mistakes. At the very beginning it’s a question of trust, but we are unable to really choose who we need….There is a part of chance and a part of perseverance beyond our mistakes and wrong choices…
    Now i master a little better the process, i must say to build a team is a condition of success. for this too, there is a part of chance ,of learning, and learning from our mistakes….I had some great chance in my trip inside marketing : to meet you, to meet some american people trustful and who are going to help me to do the right technical stuff, design stuff, to get a solid foundation, Then i will be able to focus on my services, e books ….i understand i have to hire rapidly and don’t spend time to try to do things by myself….It would be a waste of time and money. I think to build a team as soosn a s possible is the best way towards success. A team with people we can trust
    my main mistake was to be naive….and ..ignorant…;-))
    so, to sum up, and thanks to what i have learnt with you i am ready to work with a team from the very beginning, refreshing what was done till now to get a solid foundation for marketing. i had the chance to meet good people for this very recently.
    before to quit i must apologize for webinare’s bonus : i was not able to come back in time for the webinar course. i do regret and do apologize.
    once more, thanks Jeff for the good questions that work as a reallly good guide to go forward!! you are the GUide for me, it’s trust and with this inner feeling i can go on and don’t doubt for the future

  35. Hi Jeff,

    I enjoyed your video and the insights it contained. And, I liked the stream of comments especially Eric Louviere’s since his experience echo’s mine exactly.

    My wife and I talked about this very topic this morning overlooking the river by the place we are staying at in Sunriver.

    My biggest issue is utilizing the skills of my individual team members to the best of their abilities. I know clearly where my genius is and it is not in “driving the ship across the ocean”. I need help in operations and administration, but I often struggled with letting go of those areas and trusting. I ended up making a bigger mess of things until I finally learned to systematize it all, facilitate goal setting, hold people accountable and make course corrections.

    So, I now know it is not just in hiring staff, but it is in building a high functioning team.

    Regards,
    Bill

  36. Hi Jeff,
    Good video and excellent advice for everyone. Building a team will free you up assuming one has the discipline to stick to their unique abilities and drive their results.
    Enjoyed reading all the comments – especially the ones on having experienced hyper-growth and hiring the right people. The cool thing is there are solutions to these issues all ready in the market. If one looks for the solutions there is less to no pain for the future.
    Have a Great Week.
    Voss

  37. Hi, Jeff, thanks for this video. I’ve been going through a tough time for the past 9 months or so, as I went back to the mindset where I didn’t want to hire people for my area of expertise (software development) to help me with the work, and it was clear that this negative mindset was massively hurting my business.

    About three years ago I had a team of 10 full time employees, including 3 software developers. However, the developers began leaving for different reasons, and I just refused to hire new developers to replace them. I got myself caught up in a mindset of “it is too much work, I don’t want to teach people that are eventually going to leave, it’s months and months of teaching to get them to a high productivity level, etc”. So I ended up stuck with all the software development work, while trying to grow the business, learn marketing, generate sales, etc. Needless to say, this really affected my business and my personal life as well (I’ve been working 7 days a week, many hours per day, just trying to keep up).

    Fortunately, I started getting advice from a very experienced entrepreneur, and he helped me move past that mind block, which is a terrible mind block to have. I’m now looking at resumes hoping to hire one or two developers in the next week or so.

    A tip that helped get past this delegation issue:

    When you begin thinking about delegating something, first, start documenting what you do, how you do it, make notes of all the things that are important to you regarding that task, make a list of tools you use, etc. And once you have documented that task, create a final document with all this information and use this information to train the people you are bringing in. And while you are training them, every time you notice something that needs to be improved, first update the document and then pass that information to the people you are training.

    Many business owners pass this information from themselves to the people they are hiring, which then causes the problem that every time you need to replace a person, you have to invest a lot of time again in training. And the previous person took all the knowledge with her, that knowledge did not stay in your business.

    If you instead document this knowledge as a tool to delegate, the knowledge will stay in your business and it will be far easier and more pleasant to train new employees in your company.

    Hope this helps other entrepreneurs!

    Best regards,
    Arturo

  38. I am a newbie, and hope to get my family to help me as I have growth. I am not sure this is the best idea, though. I think it may be better to deal with qualified strangers! Then, if something goes wrong, it won’t hurt family relations. I am not there yet, but any comments?

  39. I’ve been presenting to groups for years telling them to build teams instead of trying to do everything themselves. I’ve always had a team ranging from 2-16 people, but someone has GOT to teach me how to put together an incentive program that KEEPS the team I build working with me. It never fails. I get core members to the point of full productivity, then some head-hunter comes along and lures them away with an offer they can’t refuse. Want to hire the best people to help grow your business exponentially? Simple! Do what the head hunters do and go to a service provider’s website that does what you do, dig through their portfolio of clients, call them on the phone and find out who the person’s name is of the company that worked on the project, and, voila, easy way to find the person that did all the work to make the company so successful. Forget about the person (me) that got them there. We’re just left to pick up all the pieces after their 1-week notice (if that). It’s a constant rollercoaster.

  40. Thanks Jeff! I do understand. Even now, I hire my own kids with pay (and a little “mom leverage”) 🙂 They are experts and professionals in their own right. I have a dream of a team in my head and hope that it will come to fruition soon. I appreciate your videos! Blessings to you.

  41. Jeff, I love your messages. Please don’t stop! I wanted and need someone to help me, but it is not easy to find someone with the passion or belief of Internet business. I’m stressed trying to run the whole show and know that it is holding me back. I’ve paid money to do my articles writing for me. I will be glad when I can reach the point of hiring for my business.

  42. Gerson Ribeiro

    Reply

    We just hired a new intern and work is going great! =D
    It’s so good to have a new person working with us, learning with us and bringing new ideas and experience so we all grow together.
    As my mentor Erico Rocha says: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with more people.”
    Awesome video Jeff! I hope one day I will be able to meet you in person. 🙂

  43. Hi Jeff, thanks for the video and for confirming that I am not the only person who struggled with taking the step to hire. I knew I needed to hire but could not afford to hire but then I realized I could not afford not to hire. “Do what you do best and hire out the rest”. My first hire was a VA to help with my newsletters, then a personal trainer, next a high school student part-time to perform non-income generating tasks around the studio, another personal trainer, and my last hire was someone to help with my social media. I am building a team with strengths that support my weaknesses. In building this team, I am finding that I am more relaxed and get to do more of the things I enjoy doing.

    Create Greatness Today,
    Dion

  44. Yes, team is important. Employee versus contract versus partner makes a hard decision as well.

  45. Hey Jeff, great video and a great lesson. I had this block for long enough already but started to hire other people last year. It helped me a lot and i am happy i am doing this.
    You inspire me to remove that block completely and hire more people so i could have more time to create products.
    Thanks

  46. Hi Jeff, Thanks for the video. For me it is a bit of a case of “cobblers shoes”. NOt so much not takning anyone on board but taking the “wrong” person on board. The reason I am lauching this new business is to address just that and yet I went and hired completely the wrong resource for marketing support. I needed a collaborator and someone to question and challenge me constructively to develop the marketing story and language to get me message out. Instead I hired a “real marketing academic” who instead of helping me create/build the story, just kept coming back with marketing theory and trying to put everything I said into the right words, not my words. Anyway stopped that, found an old client, who is a fan of what I do, and brought her onboard instead part time, she pushes me, challenges me and speaks from an experience of what I have done before. Now the momentum is slowly building. By the way the seed launch process has been a great support. Planning to launch in July but still only at 68 on the list so will keep at the list building and launch when we get past 100/120.

  47. Hi Jeff,

    This is one my biggest fears, when start to hiring…and who??? Where can you find good people to work with when you’re in a particular business like this is. I use to think that when you hire someone, you lose some kind of liberty that you gained living the internet lifestyle.

    But then, you start struggling doing all yourself, becoming the person for everything and not being focused in your main abilities.

    Thanks for remembering.

  48. Do you have any step by step instructions for starting up? You have been very helpful with all the videos, I just need a step by step guide.

  49. Hey Jeff!

    For me, I hesitate because of a (bad) past experience, which was having a lazy staff member, whom was happy top take his paycheque each week to go to the pub!.

    However, the reality is, I will need staff members in the future because of the very reason you said about doing the things you are good at…

    In fact, I look forward to that time…

    Llwyddiant!

    Joe

  50. Hi Jeff,

    This (a team) is something that I’ve been saying I need for the last two years, and am still saying. I guess you could say I absolutely DO have a block, and I think I’m quite aware of part of that block.

    Be it mental or not, the part I’m having trouble figuring out is how do I hire anyone when my business is barely supporting me?

    I find I always come to this cross-roads and I tell myself, “Okay, do this thing (whatever it might be), improve your conversions (or traffic or whatever it might be), I’ll start making more, and then I can outsource,” but ultimately what ends up happening is that thing ends up taking so much time to complete ’cause I’m the only person working on it, that by the time it’s done it’s been so long that site of the goal gets lost and quite often, ’cause nothing is for sure and everything needs to be tested, that idea didn’t actually get the increase conversions or traffic I was hoping for so I find myself back at square one saying, “I need a team. Can’t afford a team. Dig down, get your income up, then get a team,” and the cycle just repeats.

    If you have any advice on how to get over THAT hump, I am all ears!! Actually, I’m always all ears when you talk ’cause you’re awesome, and speak from a genuine place and are constantly giving real, applicable help. Much appreciated (something I don’t say enough).

    Thank you, Jeff.

  51. Hey Jeff.
    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I think many of the tasks that used to be outsource can now indeed be done in solo. Take for instance content creation. Nowadays there are powerful WordPress plug-ins to curate content, mesh them out, auto rewriting and etc. Many of these new tools are quite impressive and they do really work.
    On the other hand, some of the tasks, particularly those pertaining to customer service such as replying to customer questions and issues has to be outsource. As a rule of thumb, for my business, I basically want to subcontract tasks that I am not really good at or those that I don’t quite take interest in to third parties.

  52. I Think when you get some good jobs that make you hire someone it would be great, here in Brazil whe can hire youth folks that make a great work!

  53. That’s a great reminder Jeff, thank you. I help business owners build their dream team and add leverage to their business. What I see most often is, as you said, they wait way too long to hire help and then, they find themselves in a situation where they are literally drowning in their business and they hire quickly, “Band-Aid” style and expect immediate relief. This often leads to hiring the wrong team members and wasted time, energy and effort. While there are no guarantees when you hire someone (employee or contractor) you will set yourself and them up for success if you:
    1. start with the end in mind – be very clear on what it is you want to achieve, what is your business goal
    2. determine what skills and expertise you need
    3. have a robust hiring process, which includes giving them a test project
    4. request and speak with references
    5. establish great two-way communication with your team member
    6. provide clear expectations
    7. when they start working for you, have an orientation/training session and continually give/receive feedback and provide training, as required.

  54. Mark Coudray

    Reply

    Jeff,

    Another great video. Watching it I was reflecting over my own 40 years in business as an employer. For the longest time I held the limiting belief that no one could do this as well as I could. That may have been true, but the failure to realize is that the sum is greater than the parts. As I mentally rated my employees at 75% of me, 50% of me, 90% of me, I quickly realized that even though no one could match my focus and effort (in my mind), together they far exceeded what I could do on my own.

    This realization helped temper glitches along the way, and there are always glitches, screw-ups, and crashes of one kind or another. From this I learned to be more tolerant and understanding. Most of the time, the problems were a reflection of my own inability to completely communicate what was needed or it was the result of being to restrictive and controlling on my part. That was hard to swallow, but true nevertheless. The final AHH HA moment was when I finally realized that what I disliked or became most annoyed about in my employees was really a reflection of my own failings.

    We tend to externalize our view of the world around us from an egocentric position. When we really start to look at ourselves, closely and as objectively as we can, the insights revealed can be liberating.

    One of the great things I have enjoyed in knowing you over the years has been your ability to share these kinds of vulnerabilities and “damaging admissions.” We are all better for it. Thank you again for the work you do and for sharing it with all of us.

  55. Hi Jeff,

    The thing I see many CEOs/entrepreneurs blow in bringing on employees is that they don’t hold them accountable. Then they’re surprised they don’t get the results they want from them. They resent the fact that they hired them in the first place.

    So I recommend setting up a system of accountability as well as a probationary period and sticking to it to ensure a return on your employee investment. If you don’t do that as a leader, you can bet most of your employees won’t do it on their own.

    All the best,
    David

  56. Hey Jeff, in the dilemna now of trying to figure out how to find people who will truly care about my business and want to grow with me. I am not hung up on hiring contractors vs hiring staff right now. For me, that’s a no brainer when first starting out on a shoe string budget. I figure hiring people who are smarter than me in other areas, VA, social media, web design, tech support is the way to go. That allows me the freedom the create, write and market the business, my genius area. I want to hire some interns who are studying in these areas that are hungry for real time experience (resume building for them) while I gain from their “raw genius” and give them the opportunity to learn about running a business. It’s about taking the leap of faith, especially when you are starting out trusting in your online business to grow while having a small tribe. Gotta move forward to grow and learn my friend. Thanks for sharing your support and leadership! Linda

  57. Hey Jeff,
    Great advice. Thanks man!
    I was a bit like you, trying to keep control of everything.
    We’re almost ready to launch our first membership style website.
    I was spending hours and hours learning about optimizepress and wishlist.
    My brother / biz partner told me to “wise up” and hire an expert.
    We hired a developer on Odesk and within 48 hours he had done what it would have taken me another 2 weeks to learn and do myself.
    Yeah, we had to spend some money but it was so worth it!
    It freed me up to get on with other crucial stuff like completing the video sales copy.
    I think the mental roadblock when starting out is, the fear of spending more money hiring people when there’s not enough money coming in yet. But, I soon learned that was a false economy.
    Enjoyed your vid as always!
    Keep ’em coming.
    Cheers
    Sean

  58. HI Jeff, Thank you so much for continuing to share how you grew and manage your business. What I really appreciate about these videos is that you make it real for someone like me who’s just entering into this space. BTW: Betty ROCKS! Your first hire certainly created an extraordinary customer service presence. Betty certain stands heads above anyone in the industry. Thanks again!

  59. I have – and will continue – to outsource tech. It’s not my skill/strength and it’s better I hire experts to do it. I don’t need a full time team at the moment so I have “contractors” – I don’t think of them as contractors; they’re not full time but they are invaluable members of my business. In today’s world with easy access to so many virtual resources, there’s no reason not to outsource key functions that are not your core strength. We can’t be experts at everything!

  60. Kim Chernecky

    Reply

    Thanks, Jeff! This is a good reminder of how important it is to bring other people in to assist with the things we aren’t so great at, so we can focus on what we do best; creating! Great advice!

  61. Hi Jeff

    I have just started hiring using oDesk. I have two people transcribing camtasia videos that I’ve done. They get it about 95% right which saves me heaps of time on my final edits. I’ve found captioned videos really important for my market which is truly global. Captioned videos has been really well received for my freemium & it also means that I can provide a transcript download as well. Hopefully I will launch my full course to my list in the next month.

    Anyhow Jeff. I’d also like to thank you for all your fine teaching. I’m hoping that in the months to come you can be proud of another successful student!

    Ian

  62. Jeff great stuff. I have been following since I purchased PLF 2.0. I have always been scared myself to outsource and have listened to Ed Dale and Eban Pagan speak about this topic. I still have not brought anyone on board but will as soon as I can. Once again great advice.

    Matt

  63. Hi Jeff,

    Great video. I’m in the midst of figuring out what to give away first. It’s actually hard because of course, ‘no one can do it as good as I can’. 😉 haha

    This is another post this week about this topic I’ve seen. I think it’s a sign!! I better get on it. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

    Have a great week!
    Jennifer

  64. The challenge is to know when you will generate enough revenue to support an employee and when that managing that employee will take less time than actually doing the work yourself. The latter is a matter of staying in focus with respect to generate income. Even with a perfect employee, some administration is necessary.

    I am getting closer to the point when I have to think of where my genius should be spent on core business and I am going back and forth. I do not want to ‘kill myself’ in the process, meaning creating a situation where I need more cash than I can generate to sustain my business.

  65. Thanks for the useful message. One thing did particularly catch my attention–the apparent large amount of dead wood in the background of your video. If this land is your land, than as a wildfire survivor, I’d have to urge you to clean this up ASAP. Having a clean lot saved our house at Lake Tahoe from total destruction when a wildfire came through several years ago.

  66. Hi Jeff,

    Great video and information, thanks a lot!

    How have you found great people to manage your help desk? Do you have any advice on that?

    Have a nice day,
    Cedric

  67. Hi Jeff & Team
    Really enjoyed your message today and as I’m in the creative stage of developing my “connecting” business, I appreciate your message. I have actually gone as far as hiring a monthly bookkeeper to do do the month end stuff, while I handle the day to day (for now). I’ve come to know about you via a business coach, Heather Cameron of Ignite Your Business who has been studying your work for years. Looking forward to future learnings and shortcuts!

  68. I am so grateful to have learned of you and your expertise Jeff! You are fantastic! I am looking forward to one day standing and sitting in front of you speaking with you and learning directly from you!

    My best to you!
    Tony

  69. Arlen Miller

    Reply

    I go ‘hmmm’. This is the second video I have watched of yours. I’m not sure how I even found you. Maybe you were featured or mentioned somewhere and I checked it out.

    I just got an email from you and started digging a little. I guess I’m fascinated by this middle aged man, who seems so simple and common and stands in the woods talking to me. Very humble. I don’t know your story yet, but I am getting fascinated.

  70. Hi Jeff; loved your video about your “biggest mistake so far”. I’m sure there’s a lot of biz owners out there in the same boat. It’s happened to me as well: looking back, I wish I had planned for growth instead of having to be reactive to it. I have seen this situation so many times in the past 9 years with clients, but I also understand why it’s easy to fall into this “trap”. It’s because we business owners love what we do (or we should) and the day to day becomes part of our very being. Before we know it 5 or 10 years have gone by and we wonder why our business hasn’t really grown that much. Alas, we’re human.

  71. Dear Jeff,
    All about the EGO! What do I want to let someone else do? Where do I need help?
    Will I know enough to trust that THEY are good enough? Do they hold the same values I hold?
    And when will I ave enough money to pay anyone?
    Jut starting and I already have all these questions. I need to find the people who want what I have to offer first!
    I do love your videos!
    Much peace and love,
    Irene

  72. I experienced exactly the same when I started my travel blog and biz. I just wanted to do anything by myself and ended up burnt out by wasting energy on things I did not master nor I wanted to become an expert of. Like design, web development and management and more. It took me a while to realize that by focussing my strengths on the right things it will means boosting my biz and take it to the next level. This is what finally brings results. Thanks for sharing this video with your tips.
    Michela

  73. Certainly agree with having a team. Together Everyone Achieves More! We were not meant to do everything ourselves. We attract others in our life designed to fulfill their purpose as well as ours..

    Awesome message Jeff!

  74. Hi Jeff,

    Unfortunately may new entrepreneur think in terms of ‘saving money’ instead of ‘making more money’ and leverage their skills. As a result, they cannot stop micromanaging things.
    I’ll share your video with some of those fellows..
    Thanks
    Robert

    P.s. Just got “Launch” in my mail

  75. I think one of the biggest challenges is figuring out when to bring new people onboard. In my experience, I always wish I did it earlier rather than later!

  76. Thank you so much Jeff! I don’t have experience with it I was actually wondering about hiring or outsourcing. Sure enough I prove to myself that I can’t cover it all.. you are a hero working it out these years 🙂
    thank you for a lot of inspiration!

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