The quickest way to kill a startup is to get all the wrong kinds of people involved with it. Because startups are mostly fueled by the enthusiasm, skills, and energy of the people who are on board at the beginning, any wrong combination of the three can prove fatal. Frankie Lee would add that having the right kind of person contribute is crucial for scaling the business.
He would know, too. Frankie started ContentRemoval, the online reputation management company that helps celebs, brands, and influencers remove unwanted online content. But it wasn’t until he found an ideal operation director in James Thour that the business was able to grow.
Entrepreneurs should be incredibly cautious when choosing the people who will work beside them. It can mean the difference between smooth sailing and fighting to stay afloat. That’s why it might be valuable to learn how an experienced entrepreneur like Frankie Lee approaches recruitment.
Knowing One’s Shortcomings
Whether it seems natural to start such an outward-facing endeavor with introspection or not, thinking about personal shortcomings can yield precious insight into the needs of the business. That’s what Frankie does: he looks for his weaknesses that would hurt the business, and he recruits the people who are best able to compensate for them.
His early decision to hire James allowed him to be the big picture guy in his business; he had someone else to take care of the operational stuff. Someone exceptional at it, but more importantly, someone who was good at something Frankie wasn’t. The bottom line is to make hires that serve the business best because every hire is an investment.
Partnership Trumps Wage-Seeking
Every person that’s hired by a company has their own set of reasons and motivations for looking for the job. They have different expectations, but also form different relationships with their companies. Frankie will usually pay close attention to the type of relationship prospects form with their workplaces.
While someone who is there just for the paycheck might be a perfectly suitable candidate for a position, Frankie would prefer someone else. The ideal candidate would have to be young. They’d have to be ambitious and looking to get invested in their workplace. Frankie is looking for people who will be more of a partner than a worker.
Keep It About the Mission
Creating a mission statement for a new endeavor is different from starting an endeavor with a mission. It’s easy to say that businesses, by their very nature, come into being with a mission to create profit for their owners. Looking at what a business can do and seeing only the dollar sign is reductive. Profits matter, sure, but business can be about something else. That something should come into play when hiring new people.
Frankie wants his business to have an impact. He wants to make a change; he got the idea to start the business because he was helping two friends remove revenge porn content of them that someone posted online. That’s how businesses with a mission are started, and that’s what every new hire should serve and benefit.
To keep up with Frankie Lee, follow him on Instagram at @Frankielee.