How to Build Your Dream Team – Episode 79

How to Build Your Dream Team

Building a dream team for your business is often an overwhelming and tricky task especially if it’s something new to you because there’s that learning curve you need to go through. That’s why I’m so excited to bring on Gina from Horkey Handbook to walk you through building your business’ dream team. And at the end of the episode, you will have learned how to identify if you need, what to prioritize, and how to assess the first people you should hire for your dream team. We also talk about some blocks businesses have and the exact steps businesses need to take on building their own dream team.

Important Links Mentioned in the Show:

Horkey Handbook Website

Horkey Handbook Facebook

Horkey Handbook Pinterest

Horkey Handbook Twitter

Horkey Handbook YouTube

Profit Pillars

Women in Business Retreat 2020

Business Masterclass – The Ultimate 4-Step Framework for Creating a Sustainable and Profitable Business

Angela Henderson Active Business Facebook Group

Angela Henderson Website

Angela Henderson Facebook Business Page

Angela Henderson Instagram

Prefer to read How to Build Your Dream Team? Here’s the transcript:

ANGELA:

You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, Episode 79.

Hey there, you’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. My name is Angela Henderson and on this show, we talk about improving your business, life or both, by having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks to help you grow both in life and in business. 

ANGELA:     

Well, hey there folks and welcome back to another awesome episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. I am your host, Angela, from Angela Henderson Consulting where I’m a Business Consultant and Coach helping women in business go from stuck, overwhelmed and working in their business to helping them gain clarity, strategies and systems they need in order to allow them to grow 5, 6, and 7-figure businesses.

In this day and age, it is super rare, and not to mention, basically unheard of for a business to; what’s the word I’m looking for? Run and/or survive as a solo operation. More often than not, you’re going to need to call on support to help you to grow your business. However, this is where things can get super overwhelming and even tricky for some business owners, especially if you’ve never hired a contractor or an employee before, managed contractors or employees, and needless to say, this a learning curve that often businesses push off from doing, but really shouldn’t because it could make or break the success of their business.

I’m super excited to bring on Gina from Horkey Handbook today to talk specifically about how you can build your own dream team. We’re going to be talking about what are some of the blocks businesses have when it comes to hiring their dream team, how you know when it’s time to start hiring your dream team, what to prioritize before you start hiring people for your dream team, and what should businesses do to assess what tasks they should hire up first. And lastly, we will go through the exact steps businesses need to take on how to build your own individual and amazing dream team.

But before we jump into this episode, I just want to let you know that this episode is sponsored by my new on-demand Business Master Class, The Ultimate 4-Step Framework for Creating a Sustainable and Profitable Business. In my 60-minute jam-packed, on-demand Master Class, you will learn my signature four-step framework for creating a sustainable and profitable business without sacrificing time with your kids, without the overwhelm or without wasting any more cash. I also dived deep in the four big business mistakes that everyone in business makes and why they’re keeping you from growing that sustainable and profitable business. And I also talked briefly about what is working in business now and why most of what you’re being taught about growing a business is outdated and wrong. 

To sign up for my on-demand Master Class, you can simply head to bit.ly/masterclasswithangelahenderson. And again, that link is bit.ly/masterclasswithangelahenderson. 

Alright. Let’s get into today’s amazing episode. Welcome to the show, Gina.

GINA:

Thank you. I’m so excited to be here.

ANGELA:

It is great to have you here. Now, I know it’s only been a few months. It seems like we’ve known each other longer than that, but we actually connected at the Superfast Business Live Event in Sydney that James Schramko was putting on. And since then, you’ve been doing quite a bit of travelling. Have you not getting into a little bit of worldly awesomeness?

GINA:

Yeah. So my first trip overseas was last summer to Prague and that was amazing. And then, this spring, at least spring here in the United States; end of March, early April is when we went to Australia to Sydney for the conference, which was amazing; such a great group of people; so fun to see that city. And then, we went to Auckland, New Zealand after that, and then came back home. But yeah, it’s beautiful over there. Can’t wait to go back.

ANGELA:

And speaking of home, that’s one of my first questions that I want to talk to you a little bit about in this instance is I always ask our guests a question before we get into the nitty-gritty about what we’re going to be talking about today because I think it’s important that they get to know a little bit more about you and kind of what you’re like as a person just for my business point of view. 

So my first question to you is I know you live in Minnesota, and for those that are listening that aren’t aware, Minnesota is a state in the United States. It is a northern state, which means it gets cold as shit there. So my question for you Gina is do you actually really enjoy the cold or are you more a warm-weather type of person?

GINA:

Oh. So I do enjoy the fact that we have four seasons here in Minnesota. And so, we are headed just at the end of our summer right now into fall, which is beautiful. Spring and fall are very exciting; kind of inspired times of the year because of the seasons changing. And I like that; I do not like the summer when we have really bad like bugs here, right? So your mosquitoes and your deer flies, which hurt like a [Crosstalk 00:04:47]. 

ANGELA:

Oh, yes.

GINA:

And then, in the winter, it gets quite cold and our winter can sometimes feel like it’s six months long. So one of the very interesting things about my story, which I know we’ll get into is that we actually head south for; it’ll be two months this winter. I’m 35, my husband is on his early 40’s and we have two kids that are going into first and second grade. And this will be our fifth year relocating for a part of the winter as snowbirds to enjoy some fun in the sun and we’ll actually un-enrol them from public school, travel down there, homeschool them while we’re there. And then, we come back and re-enrol them in the public school system. So it’s unique and wonderful and we’re so thankful and blessed that we get to do it.

ANGELA:

Gosh, that sounds absolutely fantastic because at least, like you said though, you, living in Minnesota is probably a bit more enjoyable because you got an exit strategy, really. And many of my family members back home in Canada, they are always looking at where can we get to Mexico or Cuba or Australia; somewhere warm because there is also a thing called, many of those listeners will know that I’m a Mental Health Clinician of 15 years. 

And one of the things we do know is in those colder months where there’s less sunlight, less vitamin D, that you do get hit with a thing called seasonal affective disorder where because your mood changes due to the seasons, where technically, you wouldn’t exhibit signs of depression and/or anxiety if the sunlight was there and you were rock and rolling. But when those cold winter months come, it can really impact people.

So I know a lot of my family, they might not suffer from seasonal affective disorder, but there’s a lot of people that are always looking at getting to that sun because they genuinely like, it’s like their body is craving it. So well done for you for being able to make that happen for you and your family.

GINA:

100%. Yeah. They sell lamps for that, so anybody that needs some extra lighting, let’s say, you’re filming some video or whatever; if you’re an entrepreneur working from home like us that have seasonal affective disorder, lamps…

ANGELA:

100%.

GINA:

Dual win for you for getting that into your skin and then also providing that extra light for you.

ANGELA:

Yeah. And it’s actually prescribed a lot over in Norway and Sweden, for example, where it’s like light therapy. People actually book in to go and have this light therapy just to keep your body, I guess, filled with those nutrients, you could say, from the sunlight. And then, in Norway and Sweden where it’s like 23 hours of darkness at some stages. There’s not a lot for your body to see sunlight in any way, shape or form. 

GINA:

So smart. It’s just like Alaska; that’s how their winters are, too, and they survive out there; they’re tough.

ANGELA:

They’re so tough. I always watch the; what’s that TV show, the Alaskan Highway or Highway From Hell. Yes, my husband and I, we loved that one. So, tell us a little bit more about, I guess, like you just started a little bit, but for the listeners that don’t know you, tell us a little bit more about you, and then, obviously, your business and what you currently get up to.

GINA:

Sure, I’d love to. So my name is Gina Horkey and Horkey is important because that is my married last name but it also kind of the brand name for our website. I started HorkeyHandbook.com, it is German. So we went over to Prague, by the way, we did a day trip, my husband got to come along and that was a work-base trip. As a virtual assistant, I support this really cool company that does programming training for developers. And the bus pull us all over to Prague last summer and we got to like team build and stuff and it was amazing.

ANGELA:

That’s fantastic.

GINA:

And anyways, yeah, talk about a perk of a job. And we took a day trip over to Germany and it was kind of fun because we saw our last name everywhere. They had added the Y when they came over to the United States, but that was just kind of a fun fact and fun travel trip, too. 

But anyways, the website was really created because I had a career in personal finance. I was almost a decade into that role. My husband had quit his job in 2013 to become a stay-at-home dad when our second child was born and I didn’t really like being in finance anymore. There was a lot of paperwork and hoops to jump when it came to being like compliant and standardizing all of the things. 

And about 20% of my time was doing the stuff I love, which was working with clients and doing financial planning and helping them to work towards their goals. And so luckily, I’ve been able to find what I really enjoyed in the career that I had before and spend more time doing it in the career that I have now. And all I knew at that time, in the beginning of 2014, is I just didn’t want to work in finance for another 30 years. 

ANGELA:

Yup.

GINA:

And so, I was looking for some other things to give a go and I came across freelance writing for the web. I did not know it was a thing that you could actually get paid to write content for websites and newsletters and white papers and press releases and all of those things.

And so, I came across it and I gave it a go, and writing is something that I’m kind of passionate about and was doing as a hobby anyways. And turns out that I was decent at it and I found some clients and I started doing that on the side of my full-time job. And then I came across an opportunity to do some customer service and email management as a virtual assistant for a client and it kind of snowballed from there.

And so, I shared, the first reason that I started my website was actually to have freelance writing samples be showcased there, so I had a portfolio for potential clients to look at. And then as I started to share about my journey, I continued to get asked questions about how I was doing what I was doing and I had shared income reports and things like that; just to be accountable and build some community and things like that. And I was able to leave my 9 to 5 behind within eight months of looking into this whole, crazy world of online business.

ANGELA:

Yup. Well, how awesome is that? And now, like you said, you’ve got your own business, which is fantastic. You got to travel around the world with your family, which is awesome, equally wicked. And now, like you said, you’re just continuing to grow your business every single month. So today, we’re going to talk about building your dream team, which again, could be a little bit maybe overwhelming for some. 

But in my opinion, like I’ve talked about in the intro is that most successful businesses cannot succeed by doing it themselves. And if you really look at it, and when I say succeed by themselves, I’m talking about literally, you’re the one who’s doing the social, you’re the one that’s doing the orders, you’re the one; like you’re literally doing everything; you do not have a single other person that helps you; not your husband, not your partner, not anyone. 

Because when you have like your partner helping you with orders or you’ve got someone doing that still help, it’s an extension of you. And so, I think is, I find it is very rare for successful businesses to be doing it on their own, and that ultimately, if you’re still kind of in that mode, I’ve often found with working with women in business as a business coach that they’re still in hobby mode, right? That they’re still kind of testing the waters or things they are able to kind of manage everything on their own.

But those are go from kind of hobby into that business/scale, they need to build a dream team around them and that’s what I want to talk to you about today, Gina, because it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be over complicated. But as we’re going to talk about it today, there are definitely some things that businesses need to be aware of when they’re getting ready to hire their dream team. 

But first, I want to talk to you about, Gina, is what do you think are some of the blocks that businesses have when it comes to hiring their dream team? Because I think that’s kind of, we need to kind of clear the elephant in the room because it’s important that we kind of start here.

GINA:

Yeah. One of the big ones, I think is that people want to do it all and they realize they can’t at that certain point, and so, they wait too long to take on their first or their next team member because they’re just busy in the day-to-day activities of doing the business. And maybe they haven’t taken a step back and really looked at how things are running and the opportunities that they’re missing by just being head down and doing the things, right?

And so, a lot of people just wait too long to hire and it’s actually best to hire when you are growing, but you’re not at full capacity, because what happens when you’re at full capacity or above is you really don’t have time to properly find the right person and then train them in, in order to be that kind of kickass team member that joins your dream team. 

ANGELA:

And I totally agree. You see it almost businesses start to become panicked, right? Is they know that they’re at capacity or they even start to exhibit signs of burnout, that overwhelm, they’re making mistakes in their business. Like, it’s a combination, not everyone has the same things, but it starts; like you can kind of start to see it, right? 

And again, if you’re able to kind of look at building your dream team before you get to that, I couldn’t agree with you more around that opportunity to kind of take ownership, but equally, take advantage of maybe if you’re in a slower season or you have more time in your hands to actually be productive and proactive about bringing on people who you need when times might be slower versus in times of worse panic and crisis situation.

GINA:

Well, we just live in this wonderful world wide economy that we get to choose really what we do for a living; if we have an entrepreneurial spirit at least, and we get to choose who we work with, especially when we’re contracting out or we’re hiring our own employees. And so, being able to do a good job by having kind of that clarity and that allowance of time and freedom and stuff like that is really cool. And so, the second point that I was thinking when I was preparing for this is a lot of people will get married before they go on the first date.

ANGELA:

Yes.

GINA:

The problem of being too busy, right? Is that they know they need help and they just kind of take the first person that comes along. And sometimes that works out and it’s great; it’s exactly who they needed and what they needed at the right time. But other times, they will try and fit a square peg into a round hole. 

And so, they took on maybe somebody that’s in their network; a friend or a family member, and that friend and family member isn’t actually qualified to do the work that they need them to do or doesn’t have maybe; one of the problems that I think that people run into is that they’ll hire somebody that they think is able to kind of self-direct and figure things out, only to find out that they really need a lot more hand-holding. And so, that’s kind of knowing what you’re looking for and what roles are you’re looking to fill, which we’ll talk more about later.

And then the last thing is it really has to do with that square peg and round hole is keeping people in roles that they don’t excel at. Like, I think, that’s a mistake that people make; when you don’t know exactly what you need from somebody or you don’t know what that person is for or just what they’re skills are, then sometimes, you can put them into the wrong roles when you really have the opportunity for them to excel somewhere else in your business or maybe it’s not your business that’s the best fit.

ANGELA:

Yeah. And acknowledging and giving yourself permission to go like, “I might have to let this person go because they’re not the best fit.” Where I think again, sometimes we get emotionally involved going, “Oh, I’m going to make this work,” and you’re like, actually, no. You’re just going to go, “This isn’t working.” You can still be kind and polite about it, but it’s just not working.

GINA:

And I’ve totally been guilty about that myself and it’s like, it’s another level of hell when you know that you need to do something, and you just, you don’t want to. And so, you keep trying to make it work, but you know, ultimately, that’s what you have to do. 

ANGELA:

Yup. And I think we all have been there, right? I think it’s that as you get better with building your dream team, and we’re going to talk about some of those things that are necessary to build it, is that you then are able to be a little bit more pickier. But again, you’ve got a different skillset, so you know you can let people will go quicker because you know what you’re looking for quicker. 

But when you first start out, I would just rather you start out somewhere. I know we’re going to talk about how you can start out a bit more effectively than kind of just going in on the deep end. And let’s talk about a little bit more about when; how do businesses, like we know that we said it’s better to do it if you can do it earlier rather than hiring your dream team when you’re in a state of panic. 

But how can businesses or when do the businesses know or need to start kind of assessing? Like, how do they know when it’s time to start building their dream team? Like, what are some of the characteristics that it would look like for a business owner so that if those out there listening, they can kind of go, “Oh, actually, maybe I do need to start doing this now.” So what does that look like?

GINA:

Yeah. I think if you’re growing and you know that you’re nearing capacity, let’s say you are a solopreneur and you want to continue to scale and grow with your business, then it’s something you should be thinking about because you’re going to hit a point in your business where you can only automate so many things. And the next step in order to keep on that growth trajectory is to add another person to your team. So that will be one situation.

The second is not having the time or desire to learn something new in your business that needs to be done. So as your business scales and grows, like, you’re going to enter different levels of success, which you’re going to need new tools and it’s just a whole new ballgame. And so, in order for you to keep up or to improve upon what you’re currently doing, you’re going to need to continue to enhance your skills. And if there’s something that really doesn’t float your boat, but again, you know it needs to be done, then sometimes, that is a great opportunity to bring somebody on to your team.

ANGELA:

Fantastic. And I also know that often, in another episode I was speaking about working in your business and on your business. The longer you continue to withhold yourself or not giving yourself permission to start building your dream team or whatever that looks like for you, ultimately, you’ll still continue to remain the employee in your business and not the CEO in your business because you’re having to do absolutely everything. So if you really want to kind of grow and scale and get into that CEO role, you’re going to have to start thinking about what does it look like to build this dream team. 

Now, for those listeners that are out there, Gina, that are kind of going, “Okay. Yup. I’ve been on waiting on doing this. I don’t know what to do and that’s kind of what pushes me over the edge is that overwhelm about where do I even begin?” Can you walk us through what kind of the steps are when businesses have decided to make that leap of faith and start to hire their dream team? What does that kind of look like?

GINA:

Sure. And before we get into that, one of the things I just want to clear up that I think is kind of a misnomer in history is that you have to hire a full-time employee, and that’s not true. I mean, you can hire a contractor or somebody else that’s self-employed that maybe helps you out a couple of hours a week or a month. So you can start small and even grow with that person or you can add additional people to your team that maybe specialize in different things. And take that process slower than adding a full-time employee tomorrow. 

ANGELA:

And I will note that in Episode 74, we talked about the five big mistakes that businesses make when hiring. So if you are, I can only talk about it from an Australian point of view from the legal side because it was an Australian lawyer that came on board. But just what Gina was talking about is exactly right; you can start small and hire contractors. You don’t have to have employees. But just be mindful, in Australia, with the laws around hiring, and again, I’m not a lawyer. 

But based on some of the talks that we had on that Episode 74 was around; if you make them kind of wear your uniform, if you’re referencing them as your team, if you’re making them show up to say team meetings on a weekly basis, if they make mistakes and you kind of eat them, like the hour of mistake versus them having to pay an hour of their time to fix the mistake, if they are spending their primary source of income is because of you versus say, they might work with other say, businesses, but their primary source of income is you, that’s in Australia where it becomes, you really want some; because that’s when they do become an employee.

Like, under rules and regulations, you have to pay them for super sick leave, annual leave, etc. However, let’s just caveat that if it’s like one or two hours, alright, and they’re just doing, like little, your risk is very, very low. But it’s as you start to grow and you start to increase their hours, that in Australia, you just want to be mindful about what entitlements that you have to start paying them for. 

Again, each country is going to be very different and what I encourage businesses is to check out like in America, in your own individual state, you probably have serving guidelines around that, which you might be able to talk about or not. But yes, so just be mindful that again, you don’t need to do anything typically right away, but just be mindful that as you build that dream team and they start to do more hours, there are different things to distinguish contractor versus employee.

GINA:

Yeah. I can speak to the US. I’m not an attorney either. I’m not a licensed CPA or tax expert, but I have looked into this quite a bit and I’ve been self-employed pretty much my whole life. And here in the United States, it’s similar in that they need to be self-directed. So if you are contracting with somebody and they work from their own home office or wherever it is that they work, they buy their own computer, they pay for their own internet and tools and all the good things, more than likely, they’re going to be a contractor.

But if you send them a headset and you’re paying for their internet bill and you’re directing what hours they have to work and exactly what tasks that need to be done, then more than likely, they’re going to be an employee. So when you are hiring contractors, I think, if they are more of a specialist; so let’s say a Facebook ads expert, you’re probably not going to be telling them how to do their job.

ANGELA:

Yes, exactly. Yes.

GINA:

Right? And so, they’re clearly a contractor and that’s just kind of one of the things to think about. But yeah, typically when you’re having somebody that’s just helping you out part-time, even if it’s; you’re training them, more than likely, they are okay as a contractor. We’ll let the experts say that for sure.

ANGELA:

100%. And that’s what I always say. Just one of those things that again, I know that being in business, my assumptions around employee versus contractor were very different. And so, it’s only been through nine years of being in business that I now have a better grasp on it. So for those of you that are out there new, for me, this isn’t to scare you or overwhelm you anymore. It’s about educating you to just, especially if you live in Australia, what you have to be looking for. And that’s all. And like I said, if you need to, head to Episode 74 at angelahenderson.com.au, and Jo, who is a lawyer in this particular field can help you out a little bit more on that.

Alright. So can you walk us through a little bit then about what steps businesses need to take when they’re getting ready to hire that dream team? Because I know there’s a few little steps that people need to be mindful of.

GINA:

Sure. I mean the first thing to figure out is what do you need help with, right? And I think the easiest way to get a handle on this is to take a look at your to-do-list and figure out what are the things that uniquely need to be done by you and what things can you delegate or outsource? Of the things that you can delegate or outsource, what are the things that you actually enjoy doing and aren’t ready to maybe hand over to somebody else and what things do you not enjoy doing very much that you would be super glad to give to somebody else? And have you ever studied the Eisenhower Matrix? Does that ring a bell for you, Angela?

ANGELA:

Dude, it rings a bell. But you’d have to re-lighten me, I think, because it’s probably been a while that I’ve tapped into it.

GINA:

So there’s a matrix that divides it into like four quartiles, right? And then, the top left, you’re going to have your urgent and your important tasks, and then you’re going to have urgent/not important, not urgent/not important, and important but not urgent. And those are usually like your growth opportunities, the things that are on people’s to-do-list for two-plus weeks or months that need to get done, but because they’re not urgent, they just end up sitting there.

But usually, those are things like, “Oh, I should really write a book to be this credible expert in my industry,” or “I should start this new marketing channel that I haven’t gotten around to because nobody has forced me to do it,” kind of thing. So it’s helpful to know what are the things that you’re currently doing or need to be doing that aren’t getting done or that can be done by somebody else. And then, it’s also helpful to take a look at those opportunity areas of what are the things that if I hired somebody to take some things off of my plate, I could actually do myself or what other things can somebody help me with that’ll help me to scale?

And then, I like to assess all of this by an ROI or return on investment standpoint because whenever you can make more money in your business, it’s going to be a no-brainer instead of it being this big expense on your budget sheet, it’s going to be an investment that you’re making in your business. So let’s say that you’re making $100 an hour because you’re the practitioner and you really enjoy doing XYZ at selling something, it’s providing a service, whatever it is that you do best.

And if you can take some of the admin work, let’s say, although team members can definitely do a lot more than admin staff, and you can pay somebody $30 an hour to do that, that will free you up to do more of $100 an hour stuff and then you will add $70 an hour to your profit margin. So that’s one example of kind of taking a look at how can we increase the revenue in our business by adding somebody to our team.

And those opportunity areas, it might be, there are things that you’re not doing that are going to result in direct revenue increases. And so, maybe it’s not freeing you up to do something different, but it’s allowing you just to bring in more revenue because you’re capitalizing on the opportunities.

ANGELA:

Yup. Fantastic. And so, once they kind of look at what help they need and what is the ROI going to be by outsourcing this particular help, what’s the next thing they need to dig into?

GINA:

So they need to write like a job description, right? What are you looking to hire for and this should really include what your budget is for the role, too? So if you haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about that, that’s an important part because as you start to have conversations with individuals, that’s something that you guys are going to have to come to an agreement on. And so, it’s a good idea for you to go into that conversation knowing what that service will be worth to you or how it would impact your ROI and things like that as well.

So you want to be able to detail out, not necessarily, “Here’s how you do it,” especially if you’re hiring somebody to do something that you don’t know how to do currently. But, “Here’s what I’m  looking for and here’s how it would impact my business if it was done right.” Right? So that when you’re going and putting that call-out, which is kind of the next step, either to your community or on a marketplace or a job board or using a service, that you know exactly what it is that you’re looking to be fulfilled as far as a role.

And I like to also throw in there personality traits that I’m looking for because when I’m working with people, I want to work with people that I like and I like them to stay around for a while unless you’re just hiring for a one-time project, which is also potentially true. But there’s a lot of personality tests that people are using these days. One of my favourites is the Enneagram Tests. Have you heard of that one?

ANGELA

I’ve heard of it, yeah. And what’s the other one that’s my favourite. I know exactly what you’re talking about. That’s where you need to be able to know what your personality is like, and then when you hire, marrying up someone because when you marry them up together, what happens is you are likely to have them from a retention point of view, longevity point of view versus hiring someone who are like pretty much are going to bash heads against each other.

GINA:

Yeah. And it’s just nice to have complementary skill sets and personality traits, somebody can bring something to the table that maybe you don’t have at that point. And then, the other part is it’s like kind of a bonding experience at the same time, too, right? If you take this personality test, and there’s a lot of different free ones that you can do, so it doesn’t take you a lot of time and it’s a good investment on your part and then you have them do it as well and you can kind of compare results and it gives you a basis for really starting a relationship and having a conversation as well. 

So you got to put that call-out and for those of us that have online businesses, one of the easiest ways to look for somebody is within your own community. So if you have an email list and you say, “Hey, I’m hiring for XYZ,” and maybe you have a Google form that you have people apply to, that have that job description written out, it’s super easy for them to be able to do. And sometimes it’s nice, like the personality test, to have them have to jump through a small hoop. Nothing super ridiculous, but something where it takes a little extra effort on their part where you can screen out people that are too lazy to do it and really not that interested in working with you.

And the nice part about putting it out there to your community is they’re probably already familiar with your business and they enjoy you and they enjoy your business. And so, they would be passionate about helping you grow. You can look at like a Fiverr or an Upwork or PeoplePerHour or some of those places. And some people have great results finding the right person. Other people feel like they have to dig through a million different applications in order to do so.

We train people to become kickass virtual assistant, so you can always come to horkeyhandbook.com and find one. We have a free service for that, so that’s another option.

ANGELA:

Fantastic.

GINA:

Yeah. And then, the next thing once that you have put this call-out and people and have started to apply is to really go through the applications. This can seem like a tedious thing and hopefully receive a dozen or two; you don’t want to probably have a couple hundred because that’s way too overwhelming. You want to have more than three so that you actually have some people to choose in between.

Ad this is a time when I would treat myself to maybe a pedicure or a nice cup of coffee or something where you can sit down and have the focus. Be pleasant; you’re treating yourself maybe with one of those things; that’s why I said pedicure because I’ll totally be on my laptop, right, while you’re getting a pedicure. But you’re carving out a space and a time for you to be able to focus on this because it is important; you want to screen these people, you want to see how they present themselves.

We actually teach our virtual assistants to do a video pitch and it’s just a great way for somebody to receive an email, click, play, and you get a sense of their personality in a few seconds. Then you can figure out, “Hey, do I like, know and trust this person?” So you can ask that; that could one of your hoops, like, “Film 30 or 60 seconds just telling me why you want to work with me,” kind of thing.

So then, you are going to look at these different applications. Pay attention to things like grammar, pay attention to whether or not they make some kind of personal connection with you, pay attention to what their skills are, of course, and if there’s things that you can connect that. And then, narrow it down to a couple of people; two or three is great. And then, you can either hire them for a paid test project or a trial period, depending on what it is that you are looking for help with.

I like to have at least two people that I pay to do something because it’s a different story when there’s money on the line, right? And that’s one of the reasons that you want to pay them as well is that ain’t nobody working for free.

ANGELA:

Exactly right.

GINA:

Yeah. Number two, when both people have some skin on the game, they take it way more seriously and it’s great then to be able to compare some results both on what they’re able to achieve on that project, but then also, you’re working style with them as well.

ANGELA:

Yup. Fantastic. And I do like how you said it’s great if you’re looking; I also feel like those VAs who’ve done that video pitch are, making them; they’re standing out from everyone else. And again, not only they’re making their life easier, but again, it’s making your life easier.

GINA:

Right. And it’s not that hard to do. You can use a chrome extension like Loom, for anybody that’s looking to submit a video pitch maybe to get hired yourself, there’s a little free nugget tool that’s valuable. And the biggest thing is that people, again, don’t want to extend that extra effort, and so, a lot of people will choose not to do it. 

And the other reason that people don’t do it is they don’t like to see themselves on camera, they’re super uncomfortable, it makes them fearful, and I think we just need to get over ourselves and do it anyways and just pretend like you’re talking to your best friend on the other side of the computer and you’ll survive and it won’t be that bad.

ANGELA:

Exactly. And sometimes, just push to the fear. So once they’ve kind of, you’ve got them, they’ve started to go, “Okay.” Written there; what do you need help with? What is the ROI going to be? You’ve written the job description, looked at their budget, we’ve put a call-out to the job, you’ve gone through the application during your pedicure, what has to happen? Now, we’ve gone; you’ve hired one or two people to kind of like test run it. Now, what happens?

GINA

Well, now that you have your pretty toes, you can decide who you want to extend a more formal offer to. So which person do you like the best? And then, you’ll go from that paid task assignment to maybe, you’ll still have them in a trial environment. Say, “Hey. I would really like to try working with you. Let’s get started over the next quarter or the next 30 days.” And what you’re hiring them for is going to determine what that period of time would be. But again, you can be kind of slow to hire and quick to fire if you need to, in order to find that right fit because this is something that you’re doing; you have to look at this as business decisions and not really personal decisions because you like somebody.

And so, you’re going to start working with them and you’re going to onboard them into your business. And that’s going to look different for everyone; some people are already super organized. I was going to mention this earlier; one of the ways that you know that you’re ready to hire is when you have a proven system of results on how you do things. So if you haven’t already, you should figure out what are the things that you often do over and over again and are they systematized and have you build out a written or a video process on what it looks like to complete them?

We again, train our virtual assistants to take over ownership of this part because a lot of business owners don’t want to do this at all. They know how to do things and everything they know how to do is in their head. And so, if we can help them to figure out how to take within their head and design a process that’s repeatable out of that, then we really help that person, right? To be able to train ourselves, but then, also leave them with this parting gift if we ever need to part ways of “Here’s how you actually train somebody else to do this thing for your business.”

ANGELA:

Yup. Fantastic.

GINA:

Yeah. So, we’re onboarding them, we’re coming up with our standard operating procedures, and the biggest thing I think is just setting expectations. So again, if you’re going with a 30-day or a 3-month trial with the right candidate, make sure that you have expectations on both sides of what would be a home run; it’s an expression we use in the United States a lot; what would make this experience amazing for both parties once we come to the end of this 30 or 90 days?

ANGELA:

Yup. And again, that’s a great and simple way that again, they’re not locked in for a long time, but they’re also, the expectations are lined up. So you can go back and simply reflect on that time spent. So that’s a great idea.

GINA:

Yeah. And it could be, if they are going to be more of an employee role in your business, they would fall under that kind of guideline based on the legalities of the country that you live in, maybe that first 30 days, they’re a contractor. But you know then that you want to get married and hire; make a more formal employer-employee offer at that time, too.

ANGELA:

And one of the things that I’m a firm believer working with women as their business consultant and coach, or even in my group coaching programs, I say the majority of VAs, contractors and even employees fail not because of them but because of us. And so, and what I mean by that is I see it over and over and over again is that they don’t look at; they don’t hire based on personality, they don’t have a job description, they literally just like throw a random job thing up, they haven’t put any time or effort into it. 

They then hire, they don’t even know who they’re hiring, really. Then they get shitty; I see it all the time on Facebook groups, even here at live events that, “Oh my goodness. I’ve hired, I’ve gone through five people and they just don’t get what I want.” And I’m like, “Well, there’s one finger pointing at them and three pointing back at you,” right? I just have to go and I ask them, like, “Well, how much time are you spending with them?”

When you walk into some, like in America, Walmart or Target; here in Australia, we’ve got Target or Kmart; you walk in any of those stores, there would be a manual that’s given to you on the first day. And it might not be the CEO, but it could be an operations manager, it could be who know who, but someone’s there to kind of guide you and answer questions. And so, I think it is important that again, it’s easy to try and blame others, but if you really want to hire your dream team, you have to be committed to hiring the right people and also nurturing them. 

And I guess that’s my next question is how important do you think it is for a business owner to again, host the hiring, teach, nurture and guide the new contractors, employees? Like, that’s kind of my viewpoint, but what’s your viewpoint, Gina?

GINA:

Yeah. I think it depends on if you’re hiring somebody that’s already a specialist at what it is that they do and they’re coming alongside you and helping you to implement something new versus you hiring somebody that’s just going to take over some processes and systems that you’ve already developed, right?

ANGELA:

Yes. But it would then, also, they’ll be hiring based on, from that point of view, someone’s a specialist, you’re probably going to pay them more because that’s their niche. Like again, so Facebook ads, I spend about $3,000 a month in ad management. But that’s not my role to talk about their own processes, their own procedures. Like, just run my ads, right? Like, I don’t; that’s not my specialty. 

But when I brought in my own operation manager or when I brought in my own VAs who are trying to grow my business, it is equally important that then I had to work out. And like you said, get, extract that stuff from my head and then that information. And yeah, like if not, they’re like, they’re gone.

GINA:

Right. The example that you gave, right, what’s the common denominator if you’ve gone through five people, it’s unlikely that all five people weren’t equipped to be able to help you build this thing if you had a clearer idea of what it is that you need to accomplish. And that goes back to the setting expectations; like what does it look like to be successful in this role, what is the end result, what are the activities broken down that need to go into the day-to-day work, and then, what’s the end result that we’re expecting, and are we keeping track of those analytics and those results and making changes over time as it’s working or as it isn’t?

Business, a large extent is a bunch of experimentation, right? We’re like throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. And so, oftentimes, we have to try more than one method, and then we get to double down on what is effective and we have to analyze that over time as well. And so, if you just tell somebody to go do something, and they get to decide how they do it, and there’s no metrics around whether or not they’re successful or a specific outcome that you’re looking for, it’s not going to probably be that successful of a relationship and role for them.

So I think that hopefully, you’ll find out through the hiring process that the person that you’re looking for is somebody that is excited about learning new things and that’s just a part of their personality is taking on new challenges because they know that’s how they grow and excel in the work that they do. 

Plus, it just keeps it interesting, right? I think that’s why we’re all so passionate about the work that we do as entrepreneurs and working online and stuff for those of us that do it because it’s constantly changing. Like, you can’t just get it down and then leave it and forget about it. You can, with certain things, but there’s always an evolution and we kind of have to keep up with the changes in order to continue to be successful in this role.

ANGELA:

All the time. All the time. And nothing’s ever stagnant. It’s always a work in motion. And the other thing that I do want to talk about is for those listeners that are out there, in my opinion of being in business for almost a decade now, with my first business, and now with this business is a lot of times I hear people’s barrier to being able to do this is like, “These people are going to cost a fortune.” Like, “Oh my God. You spent $3,000 on Facebook ads, Anj. We can’t afford that.” Right?

And so, what I want to say is you have to start somewhere. And this is where, again, I’m a firm believer, again, when you hire based on skillset; so I’m hiring Facebook ads based on skillset and I’m paying them for their years of experience and mastering the Facebook ads, right? But I have my podcast VA team is here in Australia, but I chose that because I wanted them to be on Australian time if I had any problems, that they were English speaking for me was important for this particular group of tasks that I had because my podcast is in English, right? So I pay them a higher dollar from a VA point of view because they’re in Australia, etc.

But then, you’ve got my VA who works my first business, Finlee and Me. She’s in the Philippines. I pay her $7 US an hour, which works up to probably about $9 Aussie dollars an hour. And she does her, because her skill set is basically; I’ve given her an outline of what I want her to post, how I want her to post, where she can find the content; like, it’s very easy for her to do it, right? 

But I get a lot of grief from people and I just want to say big, like, when you’re starting out, and even now, I still pay that lady; she’s been with me for almost, I want to say, over three years; I’d have to double-check. It’s been a while that she has been with me; is I’m still hiring a woman in the world that we all live in who makes more money than her husband. She’s got opportunity to stay home with her beautiful child and drop her off at school, right? Like, it’s okay to hire people other than people in your own country, alright?

And sometimes, you do have to also, I think, when you look through that processes of hiring is what are those skills, but also, how much can I afford right now? Okay? Because I do also see businesses get in trouble by hiring high ticket people, they don’t have the cash flow, and then, they have to let them go because they don’t have their systems in place. So I guess all I’m talking about is when you’re looking at this that it’s okay to hire people on Fiverr and Upwork; go to Gina, too, because Gina’s VAs will have a certain skill set also that you’re probably going to need or not need for your business.

But for all those haters out there that are like, “Oh, you’re taking jobs away from Australia and taking jobs away from America,” I don’t look at it like that. I’m hiring based on skillset and I’m also hiring based on giving women an opportunity to have employment and do the things that they love just like we do as entrepreneurs. So I look at things from a very different angle. So just want to throw that out there. 

GINA:

Well, good for you for standing up for yourself, too. I get that question a lot, like more on student side, but maybe they’re US-based; like, how do I compete with somebody that’s overseas. And my suggestion is never to have an us versus them conversation. We actually have people from the Philippines that have taken our course and are part of our community. So I guess I look at things a little bit differently and that we are a world like community or worldwide academy. 

People live in different areas that have various costs of living. So within the United States alone, there is a huge difference between living in California or New York City and living in like rural Alabama or something like that. So even within our own country, me speaking from the United States, there’s a huge disparity. And so, when I talk to people that are worried about getting underpriced by somebody that can afford to work for that $7 an hour, I just try and bring them back to what makes you unique and what can you offer?

And the fact that there’s like 28 million businesses in the US alone, right? And it’s just, we have to have the abundance mindset and not that of scarcity and I think you just have to look at, “Okay. I’m one person. I need a handful of clients and here’s what I need in order to make this a good exchange for value or for the work that I offer this client and here’s what makes it valuable to them.” And just go and find your people because there’s plenty of people that are looking for help.

ANGELA:

And there’s work everywhere.

GINA:

There is.

ANGELA:

And that’s what I mean though, is like, I said, I have hired from a combination. So my podcast team, my other VA here that does a lot of work for Angela Henderson Consulting, she’s from Australia because I wanted to be able to meet with her on Aussie time. But like you said, it’s about; I believe it comes down to that skillset, right? Is the skillset that Katie and Lyndal have here in Australia is very different to the skill set that I’ve hired for my other stuff, right? 

So, therefore, I’m happy to pay more premium dollar because the value that they’re adding to my business, and that was something that you just said I think that’s important is that to differentiate yourself in the space of VAs is again, like what is that unique point a difference that people are going to be prepared to pay $2, $3, $10 more than someone down the road. And that’s again, why I’m happy to pay Lyndal and Katie what we pay them because of the fact that I know they’ve got my back, I know what they’re really great at, and I see the ROI, right? 

So yes. Fantastic. Now, for those businesses that would like to connect with you or to find out more about you, how can they do that, Gina?

GINA:

Yeah. I mentioned my Horkey last name, so Horkey, H-o-r-k-e-y.handbook.com is where you can find us. And if you’re looking for a virtual assistant, there is a nice little menu icon; it says hire a virtual assistant or find a virtual assistant; something like that. It’s pretty clear when you make your way to our website. And then, if you’re looking for information about potentially getting started as a virtual assistant yourself, there’s a lot of great resources that you can look into on the blog and website, in general.

ANGELA:

Fantastic. Now, I’ve got one final question. And my final question is what do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started?

GINA:

I think just the opportunity that exists online. So I’ll try not make this a super lengthy answer, but the cost of college education in the United States and probably all around the world is just atrocious, right? It’s growing and inflating by a percentage that most average income earners are not going to be able to keep up with. And I remember going to college and I actually started when I was in high school in the State of Minnesota; picked up the first two years of my college education because I went when I was a junior and senior high school. And then, I went to a university and paid the rest on my own and I think I came out with like $10,000 in credit card debt, or not credit card, student loan debt, excuse me.

And that was in 2004, and I ended up in finances; my first real career before I became an online entrepreneur. And I have the same job as somebody that went to a private university in the Twin Cities and he had over $100,000 in student loan debt and we have the same job. And that was one of those “aha’ moments to me like, “This is crazy.”

So anyways, I just think that what you’re able to learn online these days is amazing and it’s only going to be more available and cost-effective as time goes on and allow you to learn all of the things, right? And so, I don’t know that we’ll force our children down this path of college education. If they want to become a surgeon, they’re probably going to need to go to college and medical school.

ANGELA:

Yes.

GINA:

But if they want to be an entrepreneur and dabble in content creation or online marketing or all of these things that we can’t predict right now, there’s other ways for them to break into that as well. And I think one of the things that holds a lot of people back that might be listening or that are thinking about getting into online business is they think that everything, for some reason, should be like free, if they’re not going to like a university in person. Like, we just have this expectation somehow, some call it entitlement that online education isn’t worth paying money for and that’s such a fallacy. Like, if you’re looking to learn new skills and especially if you’re able to then turn around and monetize them…

ANGELA:

Well, that’s what I say in my group coaching program, Profit Pillars. People are like, “Oh, it’s not free?” “No man. This is like almost a decade worth of me going around the world, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn and be with some of the best people.” And so, in some ways, my cost of best my business is probably more than what both of my college degrees were, right? Because I need to take that online course, go to the Maldives with James Schramko; not once, but twice; go here, go to Social Media Marketing World, etc. 

And I just like, so I am educating it, but because it doesn’t come with a bundle of package, like it’s a university degree, and I’m like, “No.” And that’s what I look at also when people like, “You’re paying me not just for my knowledge of running two successful businesses, but you’re paying me for my connections and you’re paying me for my ongoing learning that I bring back to my group coaching or my one-to-one sessions,” right? So it’s super important. 

Yeah. Don’t ask for shit for free and free only comes with a lot of downfalls, too, because you’re never going to get the full answers and support you need anyway. You’re going to be looking for that next free thing and the next free thing, and then you’re exchanging your time. And so again, sometimes, you just need to invest because as I’ve said many times on this podcast that I believe in order to experience the true transformation, it only comes when a transaction has happened. And that can be transformation from like super positive and “aha” or it could be also like there’s been things that I’ve paid for that I’m like, “Oh, that kind of not really what I expected,” but I learned my lessons from it and I still had a transformation from that transaction.

So I really think businesses need to get in a mindset that in order to grow, you can’t do it on your own, you can’t be asking shit for free and that you’ve got to invest whether or not that’s building your dream team, or building in a coach or whatever that is. You do have to still learn these things and you’re best learning from people who have already been there and done that. Just like you do you at a college education.

GINA:

And no offence, if you’re building a business, you don’t want people coming to you asking you for free.

ANGELA:

No. But yet, so many people think that they can. But that’s probably a whole another podcast. Don’t get me started, Gina.

GINA:

It is. Yeah. We should add up what our investments are because that’s a really good point. I definitely have invested more resources in building and growing my business than I did in my college education and I’ve never thought about that.

ANGELA:

Yup. It is. We do. And I tell people that’s why I charge what I do. Now listen, thank you so much because this is going to be really, really helpful for those people out there who are really solopreneurs at the moment and literally trying to do everything themselves, feeling that overwhelm and burnout. The steps you’ve given us today are a great way for business owners to be able to start going and looking at that.

But before we sign off though, obviously, you’ve given them the opportunity on where they can find you and we’ll make sure that we’ve got everything in the show notes. And I guess that’s just kind of how I wrap up. Before we sign off, just remember that my team and I will also be putting together the whole transcription for this episode at angelahenderson.com.au. And of course, I cover all sorts of related and life topics inside my very active Facebook community of about 6,000. So just head over to Facebook and type in Australian Business Collaborative and please know, we have people from all around the world in there.

But for the rest of you, have a fabulous day and I look forward to you joining me next week for another amazing episode of the Business and Life Conversations Podcast. Thanks again, Gina, and I hope everyone has a fab day. 

GINA:

Bye.

ANGELA:

Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations Podcast with Angela Henderson, How to Build Your Dream Team. www.angelahenderson.com.au 

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Angel Henderson Consulting

I'm Ange... proud Canadian, Nutella eating lover and pink is my favorite colour with a splash of glitter. I'm a business consultant/coach who has helped hundreds of business owners get all the pieces in place to have consistent 5-figure months and multiple 6-figure years... without burning out in the process.