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Growing your small business – hire like minds or not?

An entrepreneur’s first hire

Taking professional risks is all in a day’s work for an entrepreneur. You can’t get to where you want to be professionally without taking a few leaps, sometimes with your eyes closed. But when it comes to making your first hire, it’s best to jump with your eyes wide open. Because hiring your first employee isn’t always easy, it’s crucial that you know what to look for. Before you know that, however, you’ll need to understand how you see your business developing, growing, and succeeding.

So, should you hire someone who thinks like you or should you hire someone completely different from yourself? That depends on the nature of your business and where you want it to go. If you have your entire business model planned out perfectly without room for diversion, chances are you’ll want someone who’s more like yourself. That way, you both will have the same mindset, ideas, and professional views as you move forward. However, having a perfect view of your business, the industry, and how your company will progress is actually rare and, quite frankly, unrealistic. It doesn’t matter which industry you work in, it’s continually changing and evolving, and as a business owner, you need to as well.

Hire like a startup?

Starting and maintaining a successful startup requires a certain type of employee.  According to the Boba Guys, a startup restaurant, you should look for someone who has “a knack for problem solving, appetite for risk, and diversity.”

The nature of the startup means that you’re building a solution for a specific problem or when you notice that something’s lacking. Hiring a problem-solver can put you one step ahead of the competition, one step to finding that perfect professional solution, whatever it is. When interviewing potential candidates, look for someone with an “appetite for risk.” You don’t want someone who is looking for a steady 8-to-5 job where they don’t have to think about it until they clock back in the next day. That just isn’t the nature of a startup. It’s about taking risks and enjoying the ride.

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Boba Guys goes on to say that diversity is “an often-overlooked area when it comes to hiring the right employee. Companies often look for great cultural fits when it comes to hiring, but it’s easy to hire another employee in your likeness. Truly great hires are people who can bring a fresh perspective while enhancing the company as a whole. Diversity is also instrumental to keeping your focus from becoming too myopic. Hiring a crew of clones would only serve to widen our blind spots.” Hiring a person that brings diversity to the table can help you see things in a new light, encouraging inspiration and innovation. It’s about getting outside of your own head and realizing that there are other valuable viewpoints available.

As a startup or young small business, your future employees should be hardworking, open to new methods, and able to look at the current industry and see what’s lacking and what can be improved. It’s competitive out there, and one of the best ways to compete is to have employees that are essentially made for the startup business— the ones who thrive under pressure, strive for greatness, and are looking to improve your company rather than just tolerating it because it pays the bills. Owning and working for a startup requires passion, foresight, and inspiration. Once you find that, you know you’ve found your ideal first-hire.

Written By

The American Genius Staff Writer: Charlene Jimenez earned her Master's Degree in Arts and Culture with a Creative Writing concentration from the University of Denver after earning her Bachelor's Degree in English from Brigham Young University in Idaho. Jimenez's column is dedicated to business and technology tips, trends and best practices for entrepreneurs and small business professionals.

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