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Chris LoCurto

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July 1, 2014

Knowing When and Who to Hire [Podcast]

Today’s podcast is all about hiring – when to hire, who to hire and how to bring on team members that aren’t directly generating revenue.

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As a solopreneur, when you’re trying to build a business, you’re wearing a lot of hats. In the early phases, when you’re just starting to create revenue, subcontractors are a great way to get tasks done without investing in a salaried position. Always focus on creating revenue before hiring.

Once you’re moving in the direction of bringing on a full-time team member, for me, it comes down to looking at either a sales person or an assistant. A sales person will cost justify immediately. If they sell something, you pay them. If they don’t sell something, you don’t pay them. It’s not a fixed expense. Now, here’s the flip side, what if you are the great sales person and don’t have enough time to do everything else? That’s when you bring on a administrative person. When the administrative stuff is off of your plate, you’re freed up to bring in more revenue. Make sure you’re just not covering their salary with the extra revenue, ideally the extra time will allow you to generate two to three times what you’re paying in salary.

From there, when it comes to hiring an accountant or graphic designer or marketing person it all comes back to cost justifying the position.

Accounting: I’m of the philosophy that in the beginning you do all of your own accounting so you understand the P&L process. As you grow and have a lot of receipts or invoices, utilize a small business book keeper that specialized in accounting and tax  services. Later on, when you’ve got team members generating outside expenses and using debit cards, etc. then it might be time to bring on a salaried accountant. Make sure that person doesn’t just understand the books but understands the P&L process. When it’s time to hire a CFO, this absolutely has to be someone that’s experienced and can show your team how to win and take the business to an entirely different level by guiding and leading. At this time, you’d have around 40 people on your team and would be generating at least a million dollars in net profit.

Human Resources: You’re not going to hire an HR person early on. I want you doing all of those interviews and as you hire leaders, they can do the interviews and get with you towards the end of the process. A big piece of HR is creating culture. How do you establish your companies culture? How do you make sure you’re bring on someone with the right culture? Force the culture that you want or your new hires will bring the culture from their last organization and force it on you. When you’re generating half a million dollars in net profit, that’s when it’s time to start looking for a salaried HR person. If you’ve got plenty of revenue, bring on a rockstar. This is someone who has plenty of experience and can show you how they’ve brought success people into businesses and helped grow leadership.

Here’s a recap of the whole process, from start to growth:

  • Start with subcontractors so you’re not bringing on full-time hires.
  • When it’s time to bring on a team member ask yourself, “What is the most important role I can bring on that’s going to create more revenue and cost justify itself?”
  • If it’s a sales person, they must cost justify themselves. If it’s an admin person, you’re freed up time will cost justify their fixed expense.
  • Make sure you’re adding people according to your needs.
  • Non-revenue generating positions must always cost justify. You need to have plenty of revenue so you can watch and make sure you’re doing the right thing for the business.
  • Later on, start bringing on heavy hitters that will explode your growth.

Question: What are your hiring questions?

 

Chris LoCurto

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June 24, 2014

Are Your Assumptions Making You Unhappy? [Podcast]

June 24, 2014 | By | 7 Comments">7 Comments

Today we’re talking about the assumptions we all have and make. Sometimes our assumptions lead to certain expectations in business or life that can cause us a lot of pain. We assume our employees or team members are performing a certain way, we assume our leader is giving us all the information we need to be successful, and so on. 

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How do you stop assuming? Start by discovering what your expectations are for your team and ask yourself,

“Who taught them?”

Did you teach them to do it the right way? Is it possible you’re just assuming they know how to do a task because it’s in their job description or it was on their resume? If you’re expecting your team members to be exceptional at what they’re doing but you’ve never shown them what you’re expecting, you’ll always be unhappy.

When it comes to your team, children or yourself, reset your expectations by asking that simple question. When you don’t take personal responsibility and ask yourself what your role was in the situation, it’s easy to be upset.

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Question: What’s a time when your assumptions threw you off?

Chris LoCurto

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June 23, 2014

Definition of Leadership

What is the definition of leadership? Technically, it’s “the action of leading a group of people or an organization.” If you want to know whether or not you’re a leader, turn around. If nobody is following you than you’re not leading.

Definition of Leadership, Leadership Definition, ChrisLoCurto.com

While that does suffice for an official definition, I can truly say I’ve encountered many people confused by that definition. There are many misconceptions about what it means to be a leader. In an attempt to clear some of those misconceptions up, here’s what leadership is not:

  • Leadership Is Not a Title - Titles don’t lead! So many people believe that if you have a title, you’re a leader. Having a title does not make you a leader. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes I see businesses make is to take their greatest salesperson and make them the sales team leader. Who ever said they could lead? I see this fail all the time.
  • Leadership Is Not a Dictatorship – Telling people what to do doesn’t make you a leader, it makes you a dictator. People don’t follow dictators, they do what they say with only the required amount of energy to make it happen. No loyalty, no respect, and no buy-in.
  • Leadership Is Not Selfish - Contrary to popular belief, leadership is not about the leader. It’s not about one person’s ideas, desires, focus, drive, etc. It’s not about someone’s ego and pride.
  • Leadership Is Not the Blame Game - Leadership isn’t playing the blame game in an attempt to shrug off the responsibility of being an effective leader.
  • Leadership Is Not Angry - Ripping someones head off is in no manner leadership. I can’t count the number of times I’ve watched, heard of, or been the recipient of a supposed leader losing their mind and yelling. All the while, the screamer usually never takes the time to find out all the correct information, thus losing all credibility, and any respect or loyalty.

Those are just a few examples of what leadership is not. Let’s take a look at what leadership is:

  • Leadership Is Selfless - A true leader first understands that leadership is not about them. It’s about the people they are trying to lead in a specific direction.
  • Leadership Is Successful - It is your job as a leader to make your team successful, not the other way around. You have to make sure that you are there for whatever your team needs to be successful. What does the team need? Do they understand their KRA‘s? Do they have questions about their processes? Do they have the tools necessary to be successful?
  • Leadership Is Visionary – “Without a vision, the people perish.” People have to have a vision to follow. Without it they are dying. Great leaders keep their team focused on where they are going, not just where they are.
  • Leadership Is Accountable - In my eBook, Why Your Meetings Suck, I talk about the most powerful meeting I have where I don’t play the blame game when things go wrong. Instead, I teach people to take responsibility and solve the problem. And when the reason the team member(s) failed is leadership, I take responsibility instead of trying to blame shift.
  • Leadership Is Rewarding - People repeat what they are rewarded for. Entrepreneurs and leaders are great at finding people doing things wrong, but not so much on finding people doing things right. If you want high quality team members, let them know when they’re being high quality team members.
  • Leadership Is Inspirational – It’s not enough to come to work everyday just for a paycheck. A person can do that anywhere. As a leader it is vital to inspire your team to something greater than themselves.
  • Leadership Is Mentoring - A great leader understand that their team needs instruction on their job, and life as well. Sometimes as a leader you have to be willing to spend time mentoring each team member. Believe it or not, most of your team members would love that interaction.
  • Leadership Is Protecting - People need to know that their leader “has their back”. There’s plenty of junk going on in everyone’s life, they don’t need it at work as well. Great leadership protects their team from gossip, back stabbing, lying, manipulation, etc.
  • Leadership Is Uncomfortable - You’re dealing with people and things can get messy. Sometimes it’s your responsibility to push others out of their comfort zone and stretch them past their own belief in themselves.
  • Leadership Is Personal - Great leaders understand that their business wouldn’t run without the people who have decided to invest their time and efforts in that business. You must care! Spending time getting to know each team member, their families, their hobbies, their strengths, their weaknesses, etc. will result in loyalty and respect. Hurt when they hurt, and celebrate when they celebrate!
  • Leadership Is Socratic - Understanding that you as a leader are not the only one with great ideas is vital to winning at leadership. You should be taxing the collective intelligence of your team when you need input, and believe it or not, even when you don’t need input. Be intentional about helping your team to use their creativity. Fostering this will cause them to think for themselves, which is a fantastic duplication process.

The goal of a team is to allow a business to do more than they can with just one person. Bad leaders get half the effort of their team. Great leaders need half the team of bad leaders!

Question: What’s your definition of leadership?

Chris LoCurto

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June 17, 2014

Key Results Areas and Your Questions Answered [Podcast]

June 17, 2014 | By | 5 Comments">5 Comments

We’ve received several questions related to Key Results Areas – KRA. Today we’re digging into the topic on the Chris LoCurto Show and answering your specific questions!

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A KRA is a job descriptions on steroids. They’re created to show the person performing the job what winning looks like. The KRA should outline three to six major areas, with four to five bullets under each area drilling down on specific tasks. To review sample KRA’s, check out this post: How to Create a Key Results Area In this episode I’ll be answering your key results area specific questions, like:

  • How to incorporate company vales into KRA’s
  • How to use a KRA during a performance review
  • How to adapt a KRA for coaches and athletes

The major goal of a key results area is to improve communication. When a new hire is made and the job description is under communicated, both the leader and the employee are frustrated. Neither party understand what the other is supposed to be doing. Neither party understand what winning looks like. If you don’t have KRA’s in your business, start today! KRA, Key Results Area, Sample KRA, I’ll also answer your questions on tithing, where to find new hires, and how to find a balance between patience and career growth in the podcast.

If you’ve got a question for a future podcast, click on the voicemail app to the right or leave your comment below!

Chris LoCurto

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June 16, 2014

8 Negative People You Should Avoid!

In LifePlan I share with people that we are the sum of our influencers and our past. Good or bad, how we’ve been influenced and how our past has impacted us, shapes our decisions to be who we are today.

Fire your friends and family, ChrisLoCurto.com

Who are we influenced by? Our Family, friends, teachers, leaders, and co-workers.

For most people, their family makes up the majority of those two areas. We would all love for our family to have an incredible, positive, and loving impact on us. Unfortunately for a lot of folks, their family has had a lasting negative impact.

Keep in mind I said for a lot of folks. Not everyone’s family has had that effect. In fact, I just had a gentleman go through LifePlan who had the greatest loving parents I’ve seen. So yes, there are wonderful loving families out there.

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 If you haven’t received your free copy of my new guide, Avoiding Conflict, then be sure to click here now to get it! It shows you how each of the different personality styles contribute to conflict.

I share with every LifePlan attendee who has had the negative impacts, we don’t make any monsters or any victims, we focus on discovering WHY. Understanding why you are where you are, and why you make the decisions you do, is the most powerful part of becoming your strongest self ever.

Until you go through LifePlan and discover for yourself how to best deal with any situation, you need set up healthy boundaries between you and those who are constantly bringing you down.

Do you have any of these people in your life:

  • The naysayer - This is the person who constantly says what ever you propose to do will not work. They have every reason and excuse in the book why you will fail at pretty much everything you try.
  • The know-it-all - No matter how much you know from experience, learning, or God-given wisdom, the know-it-all always makes you feel like you’re an idiot, and none of your thoughts or ideas have merit.
  • The drama queen - I do believe the old saying that misery loves company. Some will go out of their way to stir up as much drama as possible and suck others in. They tend to focus on folks whose heart cares for others, and tends to be too big to consciously protect themselves.
  • The taker - This person is always interested in what you can do for them. They are quite often a victim, and always turning the focus back on to them and what they are dealing with. If you are struggling with something, they will tend to tell you that it’s not that big of a deal, and you she see what they are having to deal with.
  • The impossible to please - Some people refuse to give a kind word to anything you do. If you have something that you are proud of, they will find 700 reasons why it’s not good enough. In turn, you hear every time that it is YOU who are not good enough.
  • The Manipulator - “I really need you to help me with…” is a common sentence used by the manipulator. They do a great job discovering who around them they can get to do things for them. If you push back, they will push harder to make you feel guilty.
  • The Judge - It is vitally important to The Judge to look good. So much so, they will do what they can to make you look less-than or insignificant. No matter what you’ve done, they’ve done it better.
  • The Self Critic - This is probably the worst negative person of all! This is the person inside of you who believes the lies that you are told, and has a tendency to tell quite a few lies to you as well. This negative person must be avoided at all costs!

The truth is we see these people in what we call friends, co-workers, leaders, etc.

Understand this – ALL people need a LifePlan! Everyone on the list above most likely doesn’t understand why they do what they do. Even if they have an idea, they don’t know how to deal with it. If you didn’t listen to Understanding Your Root System on the podcast, it will help to explain more.

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I’m not asking you to kick people out of your life, (although some people you might need to) I’m asking you to set healthy Boundaries and remove the authority the negative people have in your life.

Question: What advice do you have to keep negative people away?