February 22, 2022
February 22, 2022
Written by Kira La Forgia, CEO of Paradigm People Operations Consulting™
When I started Paradigm People Operations Consulting in 2020, I started working primarily with female entrepreneurs. I quickly learned that women are waiting too long to bring people on to their teams, but it wasn’t until I hesitated for wayyy too long in hiring help for my own business that I started to really empathize with the struggle that my peers in the online space were dealing with.
But I couldn’t help but wonder, “why do women entrepreneurs wait so long to hire?”
I have hired and managed hundreds of employees in my career, interviewed thousands (probably), and made millions of mistakes along the way. But when it came to making the commitment to hiring for my own business, I was surprised at how much fear, self-doubt, anxiety, and procrastination came with it.
Where To Begin
I started with a 1099 contractor and she took SO much off my plate (even in just 10 hours a month!) and I quickly learned how much I was doing on my own. Simply said, 10 hours a month just wasn’t enough. Almost immediately after I started delegating to my virtual HR assistant, my business doubled in size. For six months, it was wonderful. I offered her an official part time employee role in the company. We quickly realized that the support I needed for Paradigm was just not going to fit into her lifestyle. The contractor role was PERFECT. She made her own schedule, the deadlines were flexible, and we enjoyed hanging out via Voxer.I was at a professional retreat when I realized I needed a higher level of help FAST. I translated the job description I created for my contractor over to a job ad, posted it on Indeed (using my signature method) and had 180 applicants within 3 days.*Keep in mind, growth and direction doesn’t have to be money or team size – for me, it was simply having the time to enjoy running my business again.
So why did I do this to myself?
If you’re reading this, and nodding your head then you know this feeling. Part of it is fear, part of it is not prioritizing yourself, but the biggest thing I’ve noticed is the part where we don’t think we deserve to delegate tasks to someone else. Men often don’t think twice about delegation, but we have been raised to think we have to be able to justify every time we ask for help, or make a decision that feels like a luxury.You are worthy of a high functioning, collaborative work environment. Just as much as the people you hire are.You have permission to pass along some tasks to someone else so you can work on growing your business. You can do it, you can handle it, you can set your budget, you can stick within those boundaries. Just make sure that you take the time to ensure that you are prepared to take on the responsibility of truly delegating tasks, hiring and onboarding thoughtfully, and stretching yourself to fit into a different type of entrepreneurship.
Outsourcing Versus Insourcing
Outsourcing is an investment in yourself, it gives you time and space so that you can invest in your business. Insourcing employees is investing in the foundations of your actual business. The biggest mistake women make when hiring is probably not what you might think. It is that they wait too long to take action and get support.They’re stressed out, tired, and scrambling… and then they’re accidentally breaking laws and are at risk of potentially getting sued. Misclassifying contractors versus employees comes with a lot of legal and ethical problems (and that’s a conversation for another time).Women entrepreneurs, especially in leadership positions, have the potential to cultivate, develop, and create mentorship relationships with our team. We can expand our impact far beyond our reach to our clients. Our team does SO much for our companies at the same time that our business is serving them. It’s really rewarding, it’s truly the greatest thing about being an employer and being a boss.
How Does Leadership Play Into This?
I’m not going to lie, having a team is not rainbows and butterflies 100% of the time. It’s not always right out of the gate that you can be an effective manager. You’ve got to work on your membership and leadership skills, but you will get better and better. You will make those calls quicker and save yourself money. And as a result, your business will grow more quickly because you have the bandwidth and the confidence to know that you can handle whatever gets thrown at you now that you have the proper support.
Here’s a few ways to know if it’s time:
- Starting with a contractor is an amazing first step. But if you have an established business, it’s really just putting a band-aid on a bullet hole.
- If you’re not using that time you gain from outsourcing in order to work on the growth and direction that you’re moving into*, then you’re kind of just throwing money away. It’s sort of like paying rent versus owning your own home. There is a time and a place for outsourcing. The best bosses know how to leverage their team of employees, and outsource highly specialized tasks to experts.
- You’re a little worried about the IRS because your VA is creeping more and more into the day-to-day of your business.
- You find yourself thinking that you wish you could hand off a task or an idea to someone else, because you know it won’t get done otherwise.
- You’re ready to be a real leader. You want to have an impact on your team. You want to be a boss. You’re ready for a different type of challenge.
So, Now What?
I know hiring employees can sound scary, but by thoughtfully hiring a team, we can set the standard for our business to create an amazing employment experience and become real, high value competitors in the employer and even the corporate space. If you still are questioning if it’s time to insource, fill out our contact form here and we will set you up with a free consult.