Hey, it's Denise here. Oh my gosh. Thank you so much for listening and all of your reviews and all that kind of stuff. And it really makes a difference, so if you want to just smash that review button and just say a couple of words, I actually don't ever really read them. I don't really read any of my reviews, so feel free to be as honest as you can. And I would really appreciate that, and sharing it is just... I just appreciate you guys so much.
Anyway, today we are talking about my million-dollar hiring lessons and how to grow a team that grows with you. Now, I have done a podcast episode before about, Do you Need a Big Team to be Successful? And the answer of that was absolutely no. I totally grew my business with a very lean team. And I still do, but I did do some hiring recently that made a massive difference to our business and to one of our launches, so I wanted to share that as well. So team, team, team, team, team.
Now, I see a lot of people with blocks around hiring, and that is cool, right? I had to unlearn a lot of stuff in order to hire a team. One of my big ahas that I realized was that being called bossy as a kid, as a teenager, absolutely made me wary about hiring a team. I really did not want to be called bossy. I didn't want to set like the... I don't know, I just didn't want to be the leader. It just didn't feel safe for me to do that. So, I actually have an episode called High School Money Blocks that is either out or is coming out. But that's, I talk a lot about unlearning that bossy thing. And I definitely see this in terms of people growing a team, they just feel like, "Oh no, I don't want to be the boss."
But there's a couple of other things that I think really hold people back from hiring and growing a team. One is the responsibility of it. The feeling that you are responsible for someone else's income and it has to be this big, scary commitment, that it's a one and done thing, and you'll never get another chance at it so you better do it right. I also see people really think it's an all or nothing thing. Like it's like, "Oh, I have to hire someone full-time or it doesn't count." And that's not true either as I'll tell you about.
I also think a big mistake is not taking your personality into account in how you like to manage people, or even how you hire people in the first place. And yeah honestly, I just see people screw this up all the time. So I just want to share with you my lessons about having a multimillion dollar business but still quite a lean team, and how I've made that work even though I don't like managing people, I'm a lone wolf, I have all those same resistances as anyone else, and yet I've still managed to do it. Okay?
So I started my business full time in 2010, right? And 2011 is when I was working as a life coach. And so it was just me for a very long time, right? Just me just doing my thing and doing everything myself. Like literally everything from the tech, I built my own websites, I built my own membership sites, I did my own videos, I did my own editing, I did my own social media, I did my own graphics, everything. I did everything, my own bookkeeping. And so what I learned was as you grow, you're just going to have less and less time for a lot of the admin stuff that happens in your business, and you want to leave your time for the income producing activities, but also to have some bandwidth and space and time off, right?
So when it comes to hiring, I always suggest that people find what stresses them out first, because we're all different. You might be surprised to hear that I still create more of my own social media, like all of it, pretty much all of it. And sometimes that's something that stresses people out so much that they outsource that in the first year. Things that stressed me out though, like I hated doing my own customer service. I hated doing my own bookkeeping. So the path to hiring is not like everyone else's and you might have made that mistake by going, "Oh, I need a virtual assistant. Everyone else has got a virtual assistant." Or, "I need to outsource my content." Without really looking to see what things stress you out the most.
I also recommend, especially if you've got kids, but if household stuff zaps your energy, then I would actually say to outsource more in your home life than your business life. Because for so many of us as entrepreneurs, it's so intertwined and yes, you can't tax it out to your cleaner. I can tax it out to a portion of my cleaner because I have a home office, talk to your accountant about that obviously. But for so many of us, our personal lives are so intertwined with our business that sometimes that spend could be done in a more efficient way that has bigger bang for your buck, okay? So when is the right time to hire and who should you hire first? Okay, I have got three lists for you, right? One is what is stopping you from making money at the moment?
What is stopping you from launching your course, from finishing your book, from taking on more clients? So for you, that could be tech. You might get so stuck with tech that none of those things are happening at the moment. Like people can't even buy from you because you decided to have it set it up, right? So in that scenario, hiring somebody to help you finish your course, to do the logistics for your course, to set up your tech. That would be the best use of your money, because it's stopping you from making money at the moment. Now what about things that could make you even more money? For example, this could be something like doing Facebook advertising, YouTube advertising, Twitter advertising, any of those things. So something that could be making you more money but you don't have the bandwidth to do, you don't have the energy, you don't have the skills, you don't have the expertise. That could be something.
And then I would look if there are things that are creating stress and taking up bandwidth for you. So for me that was actually not a business thing, it was a personal thing. For me, that was laundry. Laundry was just taking up so much bandwidth. And it was causing arguments because I was like, "I don't want to do any laundry." So Mark was doing it and then he was resentful about it, and then it was taking up his bandwidth that could be spent, I don't know, doing some quality stuff with me. It's all about me, of course. Okay. So there are the three lists, right? What's stopping you from making money in the first place? What's something that could make you even more money if you had the bandwidth? And then what is actually taking up all and sucking up all your bandwidth?
Okay. So for me, as I said, I started out as a coach and I just did everything myself, and I could do everything myself, right? And that's the point. It's a hard lesson to get out of, is that when you are a Jack of all trades, Jill of all trades, I prided myself on figuring out almost everything, right? So I was like, "I can make my own website. I can do my own things. I can create my own graphics. I can do all of these things myself." But there were some things that were stopping me from, from making money. For example, tech was something that I got to a point where I was like, "I can do it, but it's actually stopping me from making money because I'm not using this time for clients." Okay? "I don't have as much time for clients because I'm doing all these things myself."
The other thing for me, as I mentioned, customer service. I'm spending so much bandwidth dealing with customers and helping them with simple things, I'm not spending time on marketing and getting more clients. So, that was actually stopping me from making money. Bookkeeping was another one that was just like... I was just spending time that I didn't need to be spending time I'm on. That was a big one for me. Okay, so something that... So what I did, sorry, my first hire was a virtual assistant. I hired somebody from an agency in India and because it was much cheaper and like there's tons of ethics around this, by the way, there's heaps of people who teach how to do this in a good, ethical way. But it was from an agency and so they were like, oh, well you can have two virtual assistants.
And I was so blocked. I had no idea what to give them. I was just creating busy work for them. And it actually turned into more work for me, trying to figure out what to give them. And so that wasn't a very good use of my time and energy. And then, you know what, I screwed it up another couple of times. And I want to tell you about two very painful examples of how I totally screwed up my first hire. And in the second half I'm also going to tell you about what my team is like at the moment. All right. I'll speak to you in just one second after this quick break.
Crystal Cuskell...: Hello. My name is Crystal Cuskelly and I live in Washington State, USA. I'm a massage therapist running my own practice called Crystal Connection BodyMind Coaching and BodyWork. I am only halfway through Denise's book, Chillpreneur, and have adored every page of it, I feel more and more fired up with every chapter. And you know what, without even finishing the book, it has inspired me to start my own podcast. Yes. Denise helped me realize that I need to stop waiting until I feel ready to do something and just do it. I can't believe how inspired I got from only the first half of the book, and I cannot wait to see what shifts for me as I finish the rest. Thank you, Denise.
Dale: Hey, Denise. Dale here. I picked up on Audible a copy of Chillpreneur. And every morning when I walked my dogs, you were in my pocket telling me your stories and stuff that I needed to do. And every single time I came back from a walk, what did I do? I took your advice. I did things. I changed things. I followed things up. It has been one of the best books ever.
Denise Duffield: Okay. So, as I said, my first mistake was hiring two virtual assistants full-time and I had no idea what to give them and it just felt so horrible. Then I hired another assistant and this was a part-time assistant, and I also didn't know what to give her and I had no idea how to manage her, and so I just paid her and I didn't ask her to do anything for me. And this went on for, I think, about three months and then I just stopped the payments because I was like, "I literally am not even giving you anything. So I had to do some work around this. I had to, as I said at the start, work on my stuff around being a boss, had to get really clear on what was going to be useful to hand over to this VA.
Then what I did is I hired somebody who was a very experienced VA, virtual assistant, who wasn't super cheap, but she did that work for a lot of different people. So I didn't have to train her. I didn't have to tell her what to do. She was like, "Here are the things I do for my other clients. I do customer service and I do random little tech things, that's what I can do for you." And because she was working for lots of other clients, I didn't have to feel bad about little bits here and there because that's how she worked. And a lot of virtual assistants like that would be happy to try charge in 30 minute hour increments if they are doing similar things for everybody else.
So that was my lovely assistant Amber, who if you've been around my world for a long time, you might remember Amber. She was just amazing. And I just increased her hours over the next couple of years and I got to a million dollar revenue with just me and Amber because I had a very simple business back then, though I still do. It was Money Bootcamp. That's what I help people with.
So Amber was my right hand woman. She helped with all the customer service and if people lost their login details, Amber helped. And then she would help me with a bit of like putting stuff on the blog for me, and her role just kind of grew and grew and grew. So I really highly recommend that by the way. Just find someone who's an expert in what they do. Yes, they will be a bit more expensive, but you won't have to train them and you can dip your toe in the water. Because it's not all on nothing. You do not need someone full-time at the start, especially if you're just shit at managing like I was, and you don't know what to give them.
Start with someone who you can increase your hours with over time as you figure it out, and as you have that trust, right? The trust is so important. So after Amber, so it was all the things that was stopping me making money, just like all that customer service stuff and just the consistency as well, like making sure my newsletter went out on time. Then I started to experiment with what other things could make me more money. So this is when I started like upping the quality of my videos, getting other people to help me launch courses and launch books. This is when I started dabbling in Facebook ads for example. And this is one of those areas where sometimes it's a nice to have. It could be something that could really expand your business, but it's a really great way of cloning yourself as well.
So it could be just a way of giving you more energy, but giving you more leverage. Ads get you out to a lot more people. Getting someone to help you with your content could get you out to a lot more people. Getting someone to help you create a podcast could get you out to a lot more people. It might not be something that's a must do in your business, but it could be something that's just like yeah, really cool to do it.
Okay, so what does my team look like now? As I said, my home team is super important. I've got a whole podcast episode about what my home team looks like. So it was me and an assistant and then Mark came into the business. None of these people are full time by the way in our business, but I'll just tell you who it is. I am the CEO, but I'm a very hands off CEO. I do not manage anybody in the business. Mark, my husband, he is like my COO, I guess. He's like the operations guy and he manages all of our staff right now. So we have got community managers now, we've got three part-time community managers. We have like an almost full-time virtual assistant, we have bookkeepers, an accountant. We've got a marketing assistant who helps us with writing stuff and creating content.
Most of that still comes from me, but I batch it and then they create it and make it happen. So we've still all got a ton of gaps on the team, right? There's still not a lot of people for the size of my business, which at the moment we're about four and a half million. It's not huge, and again, none of them are full time, but the thing is everyone's in a different time zone. So we've got the three different community managers who help us in the Money Bootcamp group. They're all in different time zones. Our marketing assistant is in a different time zone, so we can batch create things, give her a bullet list and then she can create it while we're asleep. And our assistant is in our time zone, but everyone kind of has their own little remit of things to do.
There's not a lot of overlap, we're all virtual, none of us see each other in real life but it just works because we look at all the things that have to happen in our business. Like our marketing activities, we have to send out a newsletter, we have to send out social content all the time. And then our asset which is the Money Bootcamp, we have to make sure that people get what they need, they get the customer service, but then they have the community managers as well to help them. And then what I do is I bring people in if I need them. So I don't have like a full-time graphics person. We would batch that and either we do it internally or we hire that out for a short project.
Same with website. Most of our team can do all the website stuff, but we'll hire it out when we need like a new website or something big and technical. Same with video production, we'll just hire that in when we need to. So my team's still pretty small, to be honest. It's not huge. And if you want to see my org chart, I'll put it at denisedt.com/team. Just one lesson that I think I've learned from this is just to be really mindful about your personality and everyone else's personality.
You do not need to have a big team if you don't want to. You don't have to have a small team if you don't want to. It's what works for you. I am a lone Wolf so therefore I'm a hands off boss. And it just means that you have to hire to like fill those gaps and that strength, right? I'm really honest to people. When you come into the company, I'm not like your best friend braiding your hair. I will love and appreciate you, I'll pay you well, I will respect you but I'm just not that kind of person. So we just put that in the hiring. We don't have people who need a lot of hand holding. We don't have people who need buy-in from the CEO all the time and that attention. So a lot of our staff are similar to me in that they're lone wolves, but then they're competent in their area.
The biggest mistake I made at the start of my business was trying to hire people who were like me. And I didn't even mention it at the start because none of them worked out. They all quit after our onboarding session. I would hire them and go, "Wow, they sound so fun." And then I'd have like a two hour session. "Here's everything I do in my business, and here's all the secrets." And then they would quit. They'd go, "Oh, Denise, you inspired me so much. I'm actually going to quit and start my own business." And I'd go, "Oh." And so it's really fun, way more fun in your business to hire for your weaknesses, hire for the gaps, hire for a role that you might not necessarily like. Everything that everyone else does in the team, what I wouldn't like to do.
And then I guess that final lesson for me is I had to get over the fear of being bossy, I had to really unlearn that fear. Just like little Piper, my three and a half year old is being told she's bossy, I'm like, "Nope, you're a leader." And it's okay for you to have what you want, and it's okay to set up your business the way you want. All right, so as I said, if you're curious my org chart, I'll put [email protected]/team. But over to you, what do you need right now in your business? Is something stopping you from making money? Is something stopping you from going to the next level? Or is it something that's just not letting you have much bandwidth at the moment?
And if you're curious about my home team, well then I've got a lot of articles about that too, so you can just search for This is Exactly How Much Help I Have At Home. That's a podcast but it's also an article, so you can find that pretty easily too. All right gorgeous, this was a big one today because it's talking about, I don't know, stuff that people I think have a lot of resistance around. So never fear, I've got you, you've got this and I've got one more final thought for you straight after this break.
Donna Hamer: Hi, my name's Donna Hamer. I live on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia. My business is Donna DoLittle, Animal Communicator. I help people and pets connect using animal communication and energy tools. I joined the Money Bootcamp right back in the beginning. I was a single mom who was frustrated with the lack of money and direction in my life. I had read Denise's book, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch and was so inspired I joined the bootcamp straight away just to hang out with like-minded women who were making a difference.
My biggest aha since joining the bootcamp was that I didn't feel I was worthy enough to have the things that I've desired in my life, and I often caught myself sabotaging when I was doing well. I now regularly do upgrades, I celebrate the small ones and the big ones and tracking money has become fun. I quit a really well paid job to follow my dream to work with animals. I would have never done this without the support of Denise and the bootcamp. I highly recommend the bootcamp to anyone who is looking for a way to break through the barriers, holding them back from achieving what they want in life. The bootcamp is not just about breaking through financially, although that is a big one, the lessons talk can be used in every area of your life. So big thanks to Denise, she's a total inspiration and the entire group of Lucky Bees.
Denise Duffield: Hi and welcome back for my final thought. Today's word of the day is creativity. Creativity. And what stories do you have about being creative and being rich, being creative and being wealthy? Because you might see it as a binary choice. I can be creative or I can be wealthy and I cannot be both. And that's not true at all, right? It's just a story like anything else. But you might come from a family that values creativity or doesn't value creativity, but there's probably some stories tied up around money for you in that. It could be you have a starving artist story that you need to break. That I can be creative, but it means that I have to be poor and I have to be cold. I can't be comfortable. You might have a story that creativity only comes to you when you are uncomfortable, and you don't think you can be creative and safe, or creative and comfortable, or creative and luxurious.
And you know what? Money can buy a lot of art supplies, and you might have a story about that, right? That, "Oh, it doesn't count unless I'm being thrifty, unless I'm being creative." So creativity even might come with this thing of it has to come from scarcity because that's you being creative and resourceful, and creative doesn't come from an abundance of too much stuff. You have to make art with what you've got. That would be an interesting story to let go of, wouldn't it? Wow, that would be really cool. So an affirmation for you could be, it's safe for me to be creative and rich. It's safe for me to break the rules. It's safe for money to flow easily and creativity to flow easily.
It could be my muse visits me when I'm rich or poor. If you've got a story about that, that the muse only comes when you're desperate for ideas or it only comes at the final hour, it's safe for you to be creative and have an abundance of time and money. That would be a really cool thing to think about. If you are a creative, if you're an artist, please let me know what you think about this. Or if you're a writer or any kind of creative, or if you've buried your creativity because you think it's money or creativity, I want to hear from you. As always tag me, comment on my posts about this and share this episode with your friends and have those discussions about creativity, or just ponder it in the shower. And I will see you next week for another episode of Chill & Prosper. See you later.