How You Should Hire Your First Employee

I’ll tell you what feels great: hiring your first employee.

Assuming you do it right. 

“Finally!” you’ll say, “I have someone to delegate to. I can free up my day to focus on what I love doing and what makes me money.”Now Hiring Sign

That’s part of what I mean when I always say it feels better to sign the front of the check instead of the back. That’s when you’re working ON your business, not IN it.

But let me tell you: you want to get this step right the first time.

So listen to my advice on when and how you should hire your first employee.



Listen closely, because this is the one time I’ll ever tell you to hire fast instead of hiring slow.

You’re an entrepreneur now. By definition, that means you delegate.

Maybe you started your own business a while ago and you’ve been working 24/7 to market, sell, train, write copy, research, take out the trash, and even mop. But that stops today.

Don’t think you can afford to hire? Dude, you can’t afford not to hire.

Your business isn’t going to grow until you start working exclusively in your zone of genius. That means you ONLY do the things that get you fired up and make you money.

So hire now. You still need to hire carefully, and I’ll get to that in a moment, but remember that it’s way easier to replace a hire once you’re already in your zone of genius.

Don’t Become Another Horror Story


I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard from business owners about the horrors of a bad hire gone out of control.

I’ve also lived a fair amount of these horror stories myself.

Do you want an assistant that will spend all day watching Netflix and only look busy while you’re in the room?

Do you want a trainer that will go around sleeping with your clients?

Do you want a trainer who will rip off your business model in the blink of an eye and try to open their own business?

No, you don’t want any of those things. And unfortunately, I can’t 100% guarantee that stuff will never happen…

But I can give you some tips on how to make it way less likely.

Fill a Need, Not a Position


Thinking businessman questionsWhat does it mean to be an “assistant”?

Or for that matter, a “trainer”?

I’m sure you have an answer for both of those in your head, but how do you know if that definition matches anyone else’s?

The truth is, you don’t: there are many different approaches out there, and everyone’s career path is different, so what you think a position does could be a total mystery to your interviewee.

That’s why you should hire to fill a need, not a position. 

For each position you’re about to hire, sit down and write out a list of the duties that person will need to perform. Integrate that list into every part of the hiring process – the job posting, the interview, the final decision – everything.

This list is especially important when it comes to experience and qualifications. It’s easy to be dazzled by titles and certifications and awards, but at the end of the day those things tell you almost nothing about a person’s performance.

So instead of getting dazzled, look for evidence that they have performed the duties you need in the past and performed them well.

Your Culture Starts Now


You may be thinking you’re too small to have a company culture right now, but guess what?

The minute you have an employee, you have a company culture.

I know an entrepreneur who went from being his own one man show to running an organization that employs several hundred people. The first guy he ever hired was a trusted friend who shared the same vision.

That friend is still with the company today, doing critical work and acting as a mentor to those hundreds of newer employees. 

If you can get your first hire right, the benefits can last for many years. So pick someone who fits your personality and shares your vision.

Don’t get me wrong…skills and qualifications are important, but honestly if you find the right person you can train them to do just about anything.

The one thing you can’t train is their passion. Only they can bring that to the table.Vision written on desert road

A passionate person who shares your vision is one of the best insurances you can have against the dangers of running a business. If someone personally believes in your vision, they’ll do whatever it takes to keep it alive.

Committed to your success,