May 2015 Motivate

4 Reasons I Hire Entrepreneurs

Written By: Collin Austin

Retention. Retention. Retention. As a business owner, this is a word you are going to hear over and over again. What can we as leaders of our organizations do to keep our teams happy? What benefits should we invest in for our teams? What perks do we offer? More simply, how do we keep great help from picking up and walking out the door?

If you are a young business, you have limited resources and are probably not in a position to offer extreme compensation and benefit packages. If you are a startup, you probably can’t offer much of anything. My suggestion? Stop worrying about retention and hire (future) entrepreneurs! I have been able to build a solid team by hiring those who want to be entrepreneurs. So, why do this?

These individuals don’t need a reason to get out of bed in the morning. They want to change the world! They want to make an impact on people’s lives and know what they are doing is meaningful. Why wouldn’t you want someone like that on your team?

As a young business, finding high quality team members at affordable salaries can be difficult. Entrepreneurs obsess about having an impact on the world, so as long as they can cover their basic personal needs, they don’t stress as much about how much money they are making. You can provide value to them in other ways. This brings me to my next point…

I can’t tell you how many people I have hired because they have told me, “Collin…I want to come work for you, help you build your dream and learn as much as I can from you.” It took me some time to get used to this, but people actually care about what I have accomplished and what I have to say. Understand that these entrepreneurial-minded individuals want to learn from you. They want to gain the experience, confidence, and risk-taking mentality you have developed, and of course, they want to learn from your mistakes so they don’t make the same ones when they venture out on their own. Ultimately, they want your mentorship. Hire these entrepreneurs, let them help you achieve your dream and in exchange, help them achieve theirs.

Richard Branson said it best, “Train people well enough so they can leave, but treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

Have many of the entrepreneurs I hired left to go do their own thing as predicted? Of course. Many of the entrepreneurs I have hired, however, stuck around longer than I originally anticipated (which is a great thing!). They often fall in love with the culture, the vision, what we have accomplished together and the family they become a part of. As an employer, my goal has always been to create a culture so incredible that leaving would be one of the most difficult choices in any team member’s life. Even today, when people leave our team to go pursue their own dreams, they do so with tears in their eyes (and mine) because they are leaving people they love.

Stop worrying about retention, and think about hiring an entrepreneur for your next hire. The value you receive during his or her time with you is worth the risk of them leaving one day.

COLLIN AUSTIN is the COE — “Chief of Everything” — of New Scooters 4 Less and a partner in local start-up Gulejo Coffee. Tweet Collin @RealCollin

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