Small Business Hiring Tips: Their Likes Must be Your Dislikes

In the early 1990s, I was a State Farm agent in St. Bernard Parish. (A Louisiana Parish adjacent to the east side of Orleans Parish) I had not been an agent more than four or five years. I vividly remember that day whereby we had a visiting agent named Jay Butler come in and speak to our business group. Jay Butler had recently retired. He was from the California area if my memory serves me correctly. His passionate purpose was to travel across the country discussing some interesting ideas and giving back to his State Farm “family”. Jay knew that he was in his final months fighting pancreatic cancer. Because he knew his time was limited, he actually worked 7 days a week graciously meeting with clients on Saturdays, Sundays or anytime.

Dislikes/Likes

Take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the center of the page. On the left side of the page start listing all of the things that you do not like to do in your current job. So, take some time, maybe pause from reading forward, and really think of all the things that you do not like to do and write them down.

Now after really working hard on listing the “DISLIKES”, now turn your focus to the right side of the page. Your “LIKES”. Vertically write down all the aspects of your job or your career that you really do enjoy and like to do. Maybe even love to do.

Although this idea’s simple, it is profound. Some of you won’t take this exercise seriously enough because you will be quickly looking for the easy answer. But, for it to be “the answer”, it has to be more complicated.

The Answer

1. Every day, when you wake up, you need to spend your time focusing on only doing the things you like to do. Resolve and commit to hiring and creating a team of people that their strengths are the things that you do not like to do, and let them do it. Did you really catch that last statement?

2. You cannot amass major income without first mastering the ability to delegate. But you need to delegate your DISLIKES to team members that are strong in that area. Their LIKES must be your DISLIKES.

3. You will constantly need to scout and recruit new talent. You don’t do that just once a year, because you never know when you will lose a team member. Things happen, people get jobs in different locations, sickness, health problems, death, accidents. Many perils in life can happen, so you must continue to look for people who would be an asset to your team. But what you cannot do is continue to fool yourself and live under the illusion that you will find the time to be strong in all the areas that you’re weak.

4. There’s a man by the name of Dan Sullivan. He’s the co-owner with his wife in their company, “The Strategic Coach”. And one of Dan Sullivan’s philosophies is simply this: If you spend your entire life focusing on your weaknesses, what you’re going to have at the end of your life is a long list of strong weaknesses, but they’re still going to be weaknesses. You are hard-wired for success. However, you have to determine what it is that you’re good at and focus the main portion of your energy on that.

The Jay Butler story is an excellent story about giving back to us in his last year of life, when he knew that he was terminally ill. The ONE GOOD IDEA that I’ll always remember is: focus on the things you do well and delegate the rest to others.

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