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The SuccessLab Podcast: Where Entrepreneurs Collaborate for Success

Dec 23, 2014

Welcome to the SuccessLab Podcast episode #29. I’m in the lab with Juan Kingsbury, founder of Career Blindspot. We discuss how to find and hire the right people, and perhaps more importantly how to find your role within in your own company. A lot of times, as entrepreneurs we have to wear so many hats - initially it’s just something that must be done. But as you grow and begin to hire people on, how do you know what role you should play in the company and where you will be most effective?

  1. Can you give us a little background on you?
    • I’m 32 and for the last two years I ran my own consulting company now known as Career Blind Spot. I worked for about 6 years for a assessment company that provided personality profiles to other consultants that use them in their businesses. From fortune 500 to mom-and-pops, they would coach, help them hire the right people, deal with poor-performing employees, etc. As a background player or a third party I would help these other companies and one day I realized I have a learned a lot and I think for the most part I can do this just as well or better. About two years ago I made my official jump and cut the cord. A large part of my time is devoted to helping other consultants to help them figure out what they want to do.
  2. You work a lot with people who may not be entirely happy with their current job, how do you generally advise them on making changes?
    • There’s not a simple answer. But the reality is most people are too afraid to take that leap and go into something full time. I don’t think everyone has to be an entrepreneur. One thing I’ve found common among entrepreneurs is they don’t wait around but you don’t have to necessarily have your own business to take control of your career.
    • First, look around. Why are you dreaming about this other job or position? Why is this a mismatch? Self reflect.
    • Identify what kind of work you want to do? Where do you want to be challenged?
    • Decide to put your focus into what it is you want to do.
    • Ask what it will take to get you to that path.
  3. Along similar lines, a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with burnout and that can be a product of them not fulfilling a role within their company they are not really happy with. And some times that can be a simple shift. How can they determine that role?
    • First, go to where your mind enjoys doing things. Think about where your mind lights up. What do you enjoy doing? One thing that a lot of people don’t realize when they start a business is they have to wear multiple hats. So if you’re burned out as an entrepreneur, it’s because you are wearing too many damn hats, and it’s very real that you may have to do that. But you need to be doing the roles that are most important and hire out the rest. I heard a great quote the other day, “If you expect to be promoted, you need to be replaceable.” Because if someone can’t do your job, that means you can’t stop doing that job and move on to something else.
  4. If an entrepreneur is not in a position to hire, and has to do something they may feel resistance towards doing, how can they overcome that?
    • Do an annual review, and take a hard look at what it’s costing you to continue doing this and not get someone else. Of course in the immediate, you’re saving money by not hiring someone. And I hear this a lot, that the potential hire can’t do this as fast as me or as good as me. Run a cost analysis. If you’re doing something that you could’ve paid someone $10 an hour for, and you’re time is worth more than that, then you’re wasting a lot of money.
  5. Do you have any tips for hiring? Does this apply to contractors as well.
    • It’s going to be different for everyone. Most people are bad at it, unless that’s your job, most people just aren’t great at hiring. It’s like dating. Most people are not good at dating. You’re good at it when you filter out all the people who aren’t the right fit. You have to know what you want first. Then clarify how that job should be done. If you don’t do those two things first, you won’t attract the right type of person. So know what you want first, and not the superficial stuff like I want someone who will work hard and show up on time.
  6. Proverbial phrase - slow to hire, quick to fire. How do you know when it’s time to fire?
    • Again, know what you want. You have to have a clear picture of your goals. Identify what superior performance looks like. When you fire it comes down to, ‘Can this person do what they were hired to do?’ Then the next question is, ‘Are they willing to try?’
  7. Do you have a tip or tool you can share? Something you’re loving right now?
    • My tip is if you’re a business owner get better at sales. If you can’t convince someone that your product or service is valuable, then you don’t have a business. My favorite sales book is called “Selling Techniques,” by Bill Brooks.
  8. How can people connect with you?

This week’s Biz Hack:

This week’s biz hack is not so much a hack, but something every entrepreneur should be aware of when planning their 2015 marketing strategy. It’s something that could really be detrimental to your plan. So what is it? Last year’s tactics. Christopher S. Penn  actually talked about this in a recent blog post. His point was, we too often integrate past tactics and outdated knowledge into new plans, which often leads to ineffective marketing. Of course the big, overarching strategies are still very much relevant, but just look at how quickly marketing tactics have shifted in the past two years. To stay relevant, and effective, connect with customers and potential customers regularly. How, when, where and why do you they like to receive information from you? What do they most want to you, your industry, product or service? Christopher also suggests subscribing to a handful of email newsletters from key players in the marketing arena or in your industry. These folks usually keep a thumb on the pulse of what’s happening. Check out Christopher’s suggestions. A few he mentions that I absolutely love are Jay Baer’s One Thing for content marketing, Search Engine Land for search and SEO, and Social Fresh for social media. I also really like Content Marketing Institute for content marketing, SEO Moz for digital marketing, and of course Christopher’s newsletter, Almost Timely.

Action Items:

Review your 2015 marketing plan and be on the hunt for evidence of last year’s approaches. Highlight them or make note of them, then go spend some time reading some timely resources. Take note of new trends and tactics. Then revisit your plan with this fresh knowledge and make changes accordingly.

Quote of the week:

”The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” ~ Elbert Hubbard


You won’t want to miss next week’s episode. I’m in the Lab with Dan Tyre, employee #6 and a director at HubSpot. We talk about managing growth, hiring, firing and managing a team, and business mistakes to avoid. Dan is an energetic, quick-thinking, and inspiring guy with some of the craziest stories I’ve ever heard. We couldn’t pack them all into this episode, but it’s a really great interview.

For past action items, biz hacks, interviews and inspirational quotes venture over to