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How To Grow Your Business

Grow your business the right way

This isn't about marketing; that's another article. This is about growing your business when you're really ready to take a leap: when you're ready to hire.

Yes, you're an entrepreneur, and the day has come. Reluctantly, marvelous as you are, you realize you've got to get help. Your plate is full. No, actually itís been too full for too long. Something has finally triggered in you this need to hire someone, and likely it wasn't pleasant.

We entrepreneurs all share one thing in common: the feeling we can do it all. Okay, call it a "need" and call it the need to "c-word" but at any rate, it can't be denied any longer. You need to hire someone if you want to:

  • survive
  • have the business grow 
Now here's the typical dilemma. Since you were previously doing everything, with a heavy finger in every pie, it's tempting to think hiring another generalist-type is the solution. In fact, better yet, how about someone just like you!

However, this is exactly what you DO Not want to do!

Why? Because if there are two people who are alike, with the same skills and strengths, then one of them isn't needed. "But." you say. "I like me. I'm good at this. I know my ways. I can anticipate my actions, reactions and responses." 

And, perhaps to yourself, because entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs, you plan to find someone LIKE you, except no one could be as good as you, yes? However, I repeat, this is exactly what NOT to do.

First of all, you're good, but there are THINGS you aren't good at. Think about it . Maybe it's the bills, maybe its cold calling, maybe it's something else, but it's there. No one's good at everything, even if itís your shop and you designed it and set it up.

And yes, it's comforting to have someone like you - in temperament, for instance. Maybe you're a screamer, and scare people who aren't, so you want another screamer. Or maybe you handle things quietly to yourself, and wouldn't want a screamer around, but rather another cool head under pressure.

But here's the catch: According to Joseph Weintraub, management professor at Babson College and co-author of "The Coaching Manager": "Hiring more people like us may give us comfort but doesn't often provide the necessary balance of employees to run a business."

I, myself, with my own business and in consulting with others, am a strong proponent of using the StrengthsFinderģ Profile from the Gallup Organization to find the kind of balance that makes a business thrive. When you take this assessment, you're given your top 5 strengths, in descending order; and the chances of any two profiles being the same are millions to one.

These aren't strengths like writing, or speed reading. Nor do they relate to career field, education or academic training, such as being good at math, at English, or music. Instead they're terms that relate to innate talents and ways of viewing the world, and things that are important to us. Also things weíre naturally good at. Some of them are Focus, Relator, Harmony, Deliberative, and WOO (Winning Others Over).

Now I'm sure the wheels in your brilliant entrepreneurial head are already turning. ďAh! WOO, that's what I need! The outside sales person I've been looking for." Or maybe you need someone to do due diligence, which you hate and aren't good at (the two generally go together), and thought, "Ah, Deliberative. That's what I need. Someone who's cautious and, well, deliberative."

And were you heavily invested in international clientele, "Harmony" or "Relator" might be appealingly someone who can relate, who knows how to get along with others, who can bring diversity into harmony.

This approach may not be the most COMFORTABLE, but it can often be the most EFFECTIVE. Certainly if you have Deliberative for a strength, and go ahead and hire someone with Activator, there will be clashes. But there will also be productivity, new ideas, and possible profit.

Businesses don't make money, people do, and the people you hire are crucial to your organization. Whatever stage your at, keep in mind that more of the same is redundant. Stagnant even. Consider working with an EQ coach to help you choose people who "fit" - balancing traits, strengths, and temperaments.

About the author:

Susan Dunn, MA, is an Emotional Intelligence Coach and Consultant. Visit www.susandunn.cc to learn about her coaching, business programs, Internet courses, teleclasses and ebooks around emotional intelligence.

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