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Monday, August 26, 2019

10 things I have learned about having employees.

I am so excited to say that we are in our 6th year, almost about to enter into our 7th year of business. We've had our ups and our downs but really just all learning. Running a business is something else, let me tell you...

Ten things I have learned about having employees. 

1- Your employees will drain the life out of you... (until you find the right ones!)
Everyone says employees are the hardest part of running the business. Well no shit, I lost two years out of my life dealing with the crazy ones, and I keep experiencing it...  You will think you found one, a really good one, you pour your heart and soul into them. Love them, care for them, nurture then, then they turn around and stab you right in the back, and they'll do it hard. Keep your head up, I let the tough ones bring me down, they broke my heart. I had to step back and realize that those crazies were actually great lessons for me and you. The right ones will find you and when they do, you will have learned just how to keep that beautiful line drawn, the one called boundaries. You know, you are the one that fronted all that cash!

2- Establish Boundaries!
Ok, so you hired your staff because you loved them, right? Right.... wrong. You hired them because they are going to be a vital part in your business. Your vision isn't complete without the right people, we work so hard to developing a business plan, we work with mentors, read a billion books on our chosen industry, and we lay down serious amounts of money. We are ready!! Now let’s go find those perfect people to do all the things we plan on doing with our company! They start out great, really excited and then, they start wanting more for doing less. Those boundaries have to be part of your business plan. Nothing burns more than when a Know-It-All employee starts sending you articles about the real way you should be running your business. Get out of town. The moment that employee crosses that line, they need to go.

3- Red flags? No seriously it's a red flag!! No, it's not yellow, not orange, it's freaking RED!
Like we said above about establishing your boundaries, you have GOT to notice those red flags whipping in front of your face. I made the mistake of ignoring a lot of manipulation and realizing right after they put her two weeks’ notice in I should have protected myself a little more and fire her months prior to that shocking moment. She spent months manipulating me and slowly stealing information from my business. Every time there was a red flag my soft heart said, "Oh, that's cute, that's just how they are." I am a firm believer in loving people for exactly who they are. Just because I love everyone for exactly who they are doesn't mean I should employ them. Take note: If you start seeing red flags, protect yourself and make some changes before it's too late.

4- You will seriously start asking yourself why you thought owning a business was a good idea.
When the payroll taxes start pouring in, the employment taxes, social security, Medicaid, disability... you will realize that for a small business (in my case) you will be paying more in taxes than you've ever actually made in a paycheck. For my business we pay around $32,000 a year in payroll taxes PLUS about 12-15,000 throughout the year. There usually isn't a day that goes by that I say... Should I have pulled a solo act? I was making $100,000 a year alone... now I make $30,000... but then I stop and realize, it really wasn't about the money. I wanted to build something to help people, so if helping people costs me $70,000 a year... I'm good with it. My goal is to get each employee that works with us to a minimum of $80,000 a year, so I have some time to keep working towards that goal!

5- Respect your employees because they are your lifeline  
Think about all the things you hated as an employee... think... think... think... now do the opposite! Ok, let's be real. We do have to do things that suck for employees, but think about all the emotional damage that you went through. Don't do those things! Nothing kills me more than hearing people say, "Oh I couldn't go to (that family function) because I HAD to work..." "I had to cancel my vacation that I was planning for over three years because i HAD to work..." that sounds awful. In my business plan I have, "Do anything and everything in your power to keep family a top priority for your employees." They deserve it. If you respect your employees, they will respect you. Respect must go both ways. Just because you're the boss doesn't mean that you deserve respect, you need to earn it just as much as they need to earn yours.

6- I'm far from perfect
I keep thinking, I'm sure I'm doing everything right! What is the problem here? Well, even though I thought I was doing everything right, it was right by me, not for everyone. Being a boss is more about setting up some ground work and then tweaking it as your employees come in. Each one needs to be loved, appreciated, coached, and handled differently. They may be coddled a bit more than you ever thought you would need to coddle, but they're your lifeline like we just talked about. It's give and take. Do not expect your employees to give, give, and give if you only take, take, and take. It has to go both ways. 

7- Sometimes firing someone is better than letting them quit.
Sure, it's easier to let the toxic cancerous someone fire themselves so you don't have to go into the whole unemployment process, labor law jib jab. But have you ever thought about the fact that if you fired that cancerous person it would build up your other team-members? If that person was a true cancerous employee, they've been injecting toxic thoughts and behaviors into your other employees. They're stressed, they're frustrated... when they quit, they let out a sigh of relief and then all of a sudden you just hear it all. Try hearing it all from your team first and supporting them by firing that toxic person.

8- I didn't do that THREE TIMES and I regret it EVERY time... when will I learn?
Sucks. Without going into too much detail... it sucks. Remember how we talked about the red flags? Well I kept making them yellow flags to try and keep the peace. My first business is a cute little boutique salon that is WAY TOO BUSY and we needed bodies that I have trained. We can talk about one, thousands of dollars went into this person, hours and hours of training, tons of payroll... but this person wasn't the right fit after a year and a half. They created a lot of stress amongst our team, saying things that were hurtful, always bringing negative energy in, allowing the smallest things to set them off. That affected our team and I as their leader should have said goodbye. Instead, I worried too much about hurting their feelings, taking a job away from them that was exponentially helping their family, etc... But the most important thing I forgot, was taking care of the team who was taking care of me. 

9- Trust the process
It's hard to trust the process as the crappy stuff keeps happening. It's easy to let go and just be done. Throw your hands up in the air and call it a day. It's easy enough to say well 90% off small business' don't make it so at least I am part of the majority. Running a business day to day does suck sometimes. But focus on the good things. What makes you happy, what makes you tick? Do more of that. Try not to take things personally (unless of course you personally are responsible for the issue and in that case, try some accountability.) We pour everything we have into our business' so it's hard to not take things personally. But when you do, it can kill you from the inside out. Remember I told you I'm not perfect. I have things happen all the time that I have to shake off and let go. We will talk about how to let those things go in the future, it's super important for us to just trust the process and let go of the negativity. Keep pushing through and keep working hard. It's a process. Nothing good happened overnight, 

10- Know when it's time to stop.
This one is a hard one to swallow. Not everyone is meant to own their own business' and to manage a team. If you're realizing that it's not your strong suit and you've tried it all. Maybe it's time to step down and know that you're a baddass employee for a boss you respect. There is nothing wrong with being a #2 or #7 in a company. There's nothing wrong with not being the type of person to run a business. Don't beat yourself down, don't create a story to make yourself feel better. Just do you! If you have a bustling business but you can't seem to get a grip on how to fix what's wrong there are tons of resources out there that can help! Read some books, hire a general manager to take over some of your weak spots so you can focus on what you do best, or talk to a consultant. I'm here for you too! Reach out to Jordan@makingitawesome.com, and tell me what's happening. If I can't help, I'll help you find someone who can! 

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