Avoid this KEY Pitfall When Making Your First Hire

Updated: Mar 8

Your solopreneurship has grown to the point where you’re just under or over six figures, which is wonderful.

What’s not so wonderful is the time and energy that running your business demands.

It feels like it might be time to make your first hire.

But…you feel more than a little unsure about that.

You have doubts and apprehensions about investing in a first hire that will be able to fill big shoes - yours.

But there is a clear path to making your first hire a major success story. This is it in a nutshell:

Don’t hire someone to solve your problem when you need to hire someone to implement your solution-- a solution that you’ve articulated.

What is an articulated solution? You have a clear idea of how you want the new hire to deliver the solution even if the process and workflows that represent your unique solution live in your head (for now).

The Key Pitfall

I know a small business owner has fallen into the key pitfall when they express a certain sentiment to me. This sentiment has a few variations. Here are a few:

“I needed someone to read my mind!”

“I hired this person to save me time and now I’m wasting so much of it on them.”

“I wanted someone who just gets it.”

“I was so reluctant to make my first hire. I thought this person was going to need so much direction. And I was right.”

All of these statements indicate to me that this solopreneur has fallen into the key pitfall. And that pitfall is:

You hired someone to solve your problem when you need someone to implement your solution.

What? Isn’t that what we all do when we hire someone to work for us?

We have a problem, and we hire someone to solve it, period.

So...why isn’t it working?

One word. Delegation.

The Key Difference

The difference between hiring someone to solve your problem and hiring someone to implement your solution is one small but mighty concept.

I know, I know…what’s the difference? Sounds like I’m contradicting myself, right?

I’m not. The small but mighty difference rests in delegation.

Here’s how that works.

When you hire someone to solve your problem, you’re aware of what’s not going right in your business, but you don’t know what the process or the system is for creating the result that you want. So, you hire someone who has the experience and skills in line with the need, show them the problem, and wait for the solution.

BUT...when you hire someone to implement your solution, you’ve invested time into figuring out exactly how to solve the problem. You have your own systems and processes in place or you’ve leveraged expert consultation to figure out which systems, processes, and workflows represent that solution. You know what to delegate and how to delegate the work to create more time for you.

Now, you can hire the right person to implement that solution. And when you have so much clarity around both the problem and the solution, you’re extremely likely to hire the right person and to train them appropriately.

That means your first hire can make good on the promise of helping your business grow while freeing up your time.

When this happens, you feel that:

“They really get it.”

“It’s like they read my mind.”

“This is saving me so much time.”

“They really don’t need much hand-holding.”

Sounds like hard work

But it really doesn’t have to be.

Ultimately, contracting a business systems specialist (even if it’s not me) to set you up for the right first hire, equipping you for better delegation and give you a repeatable system will help you save more time and money.

Think of your first hire as a multi-day hike, a grand expedition. Sure, you could wander into the wilderness without any prep and see if you can find the path. Or you could spend some time packing the right supplies and studying your map. That pre-trip investment is going to make all the difference.