September 3, 2016

My 3 Best Practices for Hiring a Stellar Team


I remember the first person that I hired (I use the term “hired” loosely because I had absolutely no money to pay her). Let’s call her Amy. She had somehow found me on the interwebs and was my first official fan at least that I knew of. She wrote me an email letting me know how much she enjoyed my work and before I knew it we were setting up a time to chat about how we could potentially support each other.

She excelled at things like coding, organizing, and most of all she believed in my mission. I really thought I had hit the jackpot and in many ways I had. Amy was interested in learning from me and supporting me at the same time. She was an aspiring coach of her own and thrilled to get an up close and personal look at what it takes to have an online presence.

After several months of working together and pushing ourselves to the limit of what we could accomplish with little money and little sleep, my time with Amy was fizzling out. She was more empowered in her own career and no longer wanted to help grow someone else’s business.

Being the scrappy entrepreneur that I’ve always been forced to be, this was all I thought I could afford. Someone who would eventually move on and not remain invested in me and my brand. I never thought I would be able to afford people who legitimately did this work for a living and charged what they were worth.

Cut to June 2015. When all of those beliefs came to a screeching halt.

I was in the middle of producing my 10th large scale event, but this time it was bigger than it had ever been. I had over 20 partners, more than 10 volunteers, over 200 guests, and I was executing every single detail. From drafting contracts, sending invoices, doing all of the follow up, filling the gift bags to collecting the product, getting people to register for the event, and so much more.

Not only that, but I had just signed a huge contract with a skin care company where I dedicated much of my time being one of their spokespeople. It was a lot all at once, but I rationalized that carrying around this much responsibility was what every entrepreneur did.

It wasn’t until my nearest and dearest friends sat me down after I my event–which had resulted in a day-off-event meltdown for me–and warned that something had to change. I was completely depleted and the stress had shocked my system in a way that I hadn’t experienced before. I knew there had to be a better way. A healthier way. But I had no idea where to even begin. Before I knew it, I started realizing that there had been signs all along that I needed real support.

LIke many things in life, it became clear that I didn’t have to understand how I would find the support, or where I would get the support. I just had to have clarity on what I needed.
Now I have an amazing assistant, Michele, who I feel like I couldn’t run my business without. She handles my calendar, emails, and the administrative stuff for my events. Many of you may have emailed with her before if you‘ve written into the site.

I also have a super talented editor, Blair Badenhop who I work with every Friday for at least 3 hours. I dictate all of my material to her because as a part of my creative process, I need someone to help me birth my ideas. She also helps keep me incredibly organized with my content, mapping out editorial content months in advance–something that’s been a dream of mine since I started my business 6 years ago. We even create photo content together which we’ve been sharing on Instagram.

They are so worth the investment, which is why I wanted to share all of this with you. When it comes to hiring a team, I encourage you to keep the following 3 tips in mind.

  1. Clarity. Before you can start looking for your team, you need to have a strong understanding of exactly what you want them to do. There needs to be two categories, “absolute must-have” and “extra bonus.” Under the “absolute must-have,” you should have things that are non-negotiable. That means if you’re looking for someone that knows how to use WordPress and you find someone who’s not good at it, you can’t compromise. In the “extra bonus” section, you can include things that you would love to have, but you could do without.
  2. Spread the Word. Once you have that clarity, I recommend emailing 5-10 people you respect the most in business and see if they have anybody that fits these requirements. I also recommend posting it on social media because you’ll be surprised at how many people would jump at the opportunity to support you. And lastly, if you find this doesn’t work well, you can always try networking websites specifically for people who want to get hired.
  3. Hire an Expert. As you can see from my story above, it’s very easy to get caught up in someone wanting to work with you because they admire you. While this is really flattering, it’s not necessarily the best business move. The thing that makes my team great now is both of the people working with me are doing exactly what they want to do. I don’t have an editor who wishes she was a dancer or an assistant who wants to be a coach too. Blair and Michele are doing exactly what they want and we’re all happier because of it.
  4. Don’t Overextend Yourself. Although I was nervous to finally hire a legit team, I made sure before I spent any money that I could handle it financially. It’s my responsibility to be the kind of leader that makes my team happy. The more I show them respect, kindness, and the value they add to my business, the more synergy and cohesiveness I feel in the company overall. So before you decide to hire someone, sit down with an accountant or advisor to make sure you can afford to bring these people on board.

No matter what, it will become abundantly clear when you need to hire a team. The key is to be smart about making that very important investment in your business and picking people that will take you higher.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. Have you been feeling ready to get more support as your business expands? Tell me all about it in the comments below.

P.S. I’m hosting a very special event in NYC, A Deep Dive Into Self-Love, and would love you to come! Get the details here.

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  • Teresa Davis-Howard

    Hi Nitika!

    I have a daughter whose name is…Takita…sounds familiar to your name…:)

    I am a mother of 4 grown children, 10 grandchildren & have been married now for 4 years. I have entered into my space to pursue a life time goal of mines, one of which is the world of Voice Overs & the other, is obtaining a platform to be able to reach the general public in a way that is Inspiring, Helpful, Directional, Positive & Loving. I actually do that everyday when ever I speak to someone I know or don’t know. I am a People Person…:)

    The way I came across You, Nitika…is that I researched How To Become a Talk Show Host and out of all the ones that were listed…I was drawn to your Youtube Video which lead me to your website.

    I’ve read everything you have posted & felt very moved as well as motivated in my spirit about the things you have accomplished & shared.

    I have also signed up on your email listings & look forward to updates from You.

    I am a beginner, looking for direction to help guild me in my pursuit in obtaining my goals as well as being able to have a that platform to assist me in helping others.

    Any personal suggestions & directions you can send me will be greatly appreciated!

    I would love the opportunity to help, learn & grow with someone who would love to take me on as an intern. I live in Atlanta , Georgia should you know of anyone who like & need my help.

    I currently own my own Mobile Italian Ice business…Tropical Delights Little Jimmy’s Italian Ice…& having been doing so for the past 5 years. Before that, I had the awesome experience of working as a contractor over seas in Afghanistan for 3 years which is where I meet my husband.

    Today, I am soooo ready to take the next leap of Faith by fulling my life long dream & passion!

    It was a pleasure writing this comment to you & I look forward to being able to connect with you, Nitika!

    Wishing you all the best,
    Teresa Davis-Howard

  • Michele

    Thanks for your wisdom, Nitika. I think so many of us try to do it alone for so long and eventually just get burned out. But then when you decide to finally get help, where do you start?? It can get super intimidating so you’re just sorta stuck knowing you need help but not doing anything about it, lol. Thanks for these tips and for sharing your personal experience. Great post!

    • Nitika

      Haha I totally get that, it’s overwhelming at first. I think starting with making a list is always the best. What do you really want help with? What do you “hate” doing right now that you would love someone to take care of? What do you wish you had more time for? This will help you narrow things down so you can actually get the support you need! Lots of love xx

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