We often envision entrepreneurs as risk loving, restless individuals. Those who have hunger for independence, freedom, and unlimited potential. Most of us strive to become entrepreneurs ourselves; few have failed, others have succeeded.

Entrepreneurship is having the necessary skill set to succeed; it is acquired, not made. And we all have the chance to succeed if we possess this ONE skill.

But what is that skill?

Some self-employed folks you meet will make you feel what a great entrepreneur they are. But little do you know that they might have  worked so hard that they destroyed their quality of life completely.

Now let’s get this straight. A true entrepreneur is not someone who spends all his time learning about a marketing technique or doing boring accounting stuff. It’s also not someone who spends all day talking to clients.

An entrepreneur who is most likely to succeed is the person who spends the least amount of time working for the business. You might be surprised at this point, because we see most entrepreneurs live as taken by their businesses. A true entrepreneur is  a person who spends most of his efforts, 80% of his time or more working on his business. There is big difference in working for and working on.  

When we are working for the business, we become slaves ourselves, although we hire employees. When we are working on the business, we are seeking improvements everyday, aiming to figure out how we can better monetize and scale our business. It’s also about automating a process.

Working for your business is the main reason why many self-employed guys stay where they are. They never graduate to a higher level where they are truly entrepreneurs.

I’m not saying that you can’t be successful working in your business. The point I’m trying to make is that it hinders you from truly achieving breakthrough success.

So the #1 most important skill to becoming a true entrepreneur is…

YOUR ABILITY to filter people based on skill and commitment and get them to work for your enterprise.

Being an entrepreneur is about freeing up your time so you can focus more on the core of your business.

Its all about getting it right: The right people for the right project to get the best results. 

For example, let’s say your business model is email affiliate marketing, which means that the money that you make is generated from promoting offers via email campaigns.

Success in this business system comes down to your ability to perform the following functions:

  • Generating volumes of traffic to build a list. Ongoing traffic is needed to grow your list.
  • Selecting attractive offers and testing them to determine the highest converting offers.
  • Creating a compelling and cash producing sales copy.

If you take a look at the average email marketer, you will see that he personally does all of those three pillars.

He might make $10k or $15k a month, but does he really need to work 8 to 10 hours a day to make that kind of cash?

The answer is: No, he doesn’t. And he shouldn’t.

As soon as the email marketer has figured out how to make decent money in his business model, the next step is to scale his business. 

Scaling = Execution. You need the right people to execute your business model.

Note that you should have gone through executing your own business model yourself so you could be able to delegate it to someone. You won’t be able to judge the quality of work done, without you first undergoing the process.

The process of making a difference

Now that an entrepreneur has already determine the hows, he can hire one traffic campaign manager that will overlook his campaigns and  making sure he is able to continue growing his list.

Next, he needs someone who can find good offers.

Thirdly, he needs someone who can manage his lists and has copywriting experience.

However, while he could hire people with good experience, his business model always requires iteration. It is constantly changing. 

The most obvious route is to build a three-man team and have each person perform one role. That’s not a bad approach. Each person would only be focused on one skill and probably become very good at what they do. People are better at what they do if they only do one thing all the time. It is better to give one task to a person that he can perform with excellence, than multiple tasks that he can perform with average results.

Think of your pillar as a three-legged stool. if you take one leg out, the stool won’t be able to stand straight. The same is true with your three-person team. If one person drops out, you need to find replacement quickly and train the new person from scratch. That’s uncomfortable.

But there’s an alternative. You can hire two people and train each person on all three pillars. I would  not have both individuals work on the same pillar at any given time, because it  creates confusion and conflict in their workflow, but I want both to know how each pillars so in case one person drops out or is on leave, then  you have someone who can take over. That’s a good approach.

You could even have three people trained on all pillars. Don’t forget that someone will only be as good at a given task as how much time they spend on it. You definitely need a back-up. Don’t just rely on one person and hope he/she will be with you forever.

So I definitely encourage you to know your business model well before you build a team. I want you to be able to really know what you’re doing so you can train your people accordingly.

There is an exception though. It’s when it’s close to impossible for you to have the experience. In this case you’ve to hire the most experienced person based on portfolio, so track record matters. You also need good judgement to hire the right people.

Tips for becoming an effective recruiter and team leader

Don’t kid yourself. Becoming an effective recruiter takes serious focus on the following points (plus you will be able to pick better people when you have experience. For additional resource, you can take a look at my article on hiring through Upwork.

  • Know how your ideal team member looks like. Envision who would best fit in your offered position. You can consider characteristics such as years of experience and past projects. For example, you are hiring for virtual assistants position. Even though it is open to all genders, I recommend hiring females. On average, females are simply much more loyal and therefore will remain with your company for longer.
  • Spend some thoughts on the candidate’s. If you would hire someone to manage email campaigns, write ad copy and do other creative work, it’s good to have someone who has done all these kind of work before. Experience and execution matters. The exception is if and when you hire for basic tasks where it takes little training to get someone to the top.
  • Dig deep to see if the person really fits for your position. There’s nothing worse than hiring the wrong person and training them for two months and seeing them leave shortly after.  

Be clear on your base salary and profit share (if offered). Ask your applicant for an honest opinion on the salary you’re offering and whether it’s sufficient.

  • Form your sentences with WE, not I. I can achieve success at anything, but not together. ‘We’ or ‘Let’s’ is always better. Having a “togetherness” concept makes your team members have a sense of accountability for the tasks assigned to them.  
  • Learn how to motivate people. Each person who you work with has different motivation which must be triggered in order to create a great partnership. I have to say that it takes time before you know what motivates or inspires each of your team members.
  • Pay your people on time. Put yourself in their shoes.
  • Give your team member authority and control over your business. Most people work a lot better if they feel they’re in control. Nobody likes being a puppet. Trust in your team and give them adequate control so they can perform work independently and perform their job well.
  • Make clear that any feedback is welcome at any time. It’s really important to receive feedback, whether positive or negative. No feedback is not good. Any feedback, if used right, is worth it’s money in gold.
  • Promote someone if he’s doing a great job. If someone has worked hard in your business, you better give them a bonus or bump because they deserve to get one.

Be patient and polite to your team. Treat them with the same respect you want to receive from them. 

Let me know if you need help with hiring people and building a team for your business. I’d love to chat with you on this.


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