You’re Hired!: Easy Tips to Help You Avoid BIG Hiring Mistakes

One of the big themes in 2015 that I’m seeing with all my clients is building a great team, which I love because no matter what the size of your business – you cannot do it all alone. Well you can, but you’ll be overwhelmed, tired, stressed and not having any fun 🙂

Why Having a Team is Important

Avoid hiring mistakes | Best hiring practicesHaving a team allows you to better leverage your time and talents – and focus on what you do best – so you can support your clients in getting the results they desire (and get paid well for it, too!).

Plus, you can work less so that you can have more time for other things that are important to you. Most importantly, all those tasks on your to-do list that never seem to get done will finally be crossed off your list.

To make this task a little easier for you, I am going to share some of the most common hiring pitfalls and how to avoid them. In my career, I have successfully hired hundreds of people and have encountered a few non-successes as well.

The Biggest Hiring Mistake Is…

What is that old saying- we learn from our mistakes? True, but I prefer to learn from others’ mistakes when possible. Here is a big one to learn from:

The biggest hiring mistake you can make as a business owner: hiring someone because s/he is like you.

I see this over and over – and in full disclosure, have fallen victim to this one myself. Sometimes you’re interviewing someone and she just resonates with you so closely. You find yourself really liking her and thinking you could totally be great friends. In fact, she is so much like you, you are sure this will be a perfect pairing.

What tends to happen is this: since the new hire is like you, she also likes to do the same things and has the same strengths, skills set and personality as you do.

Problem is – there is already one of “you” in the company. You hired that person to do specific tasks, and they are most likely the tasks you either don’t know how to do or don’t like to do.

So, no one is doing those tasks. But you really like the person so it feels bad to tell her that it isn’t going to work out. You think it might get better, so you put those tasks back over on your to-do list.

The result? They…Still…Are…NOT…Getting…Done.

How to Avoid Hiring Blunders

How can you avoid this? These tips below are key whether you are hiring a virtual assistant, a bookkeeper, a sales rep, an intern or a full time employee. Let’s get started:

  1. Know your own strengths and weaknesses so you can focus on finding someone who can complement your skill set. For instance, I know I love to create and I still have a little perfectionism in me. I know I need someone on my team who is more of a taskmaster and is going to push me to get things done – and keep moving forward.
  2. Clearly identify what tasks need to be done by someone other than you. Include the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform them, and the behavioral traits important to succeed in your company. These could be technical such as computer skills, customer service skills, or ability to handle multiple requests and deadlines. You are the boss so you get to decide what is important for your
  3. Write up a job description for the work you need done based on the information created above. It doesn’t have to be fancy or “corporate”- you just need it to share with potential candidates or for posting on various sites.
  4. Create a list of questions for candidates. This helps you get the information you need and enables you to be consistent with everyone you are speaking to.
  5. Look for candidates. This could be posting on job boards, submitting a request on eLance, asking colleagues for referrals, posting on Facebook, or reaching out to college placement offices. Where you look is going to depend on the type of team members you need.
  6. Conduct a formal interview with prepared questions. This can be on the phone, Skype, or in person – whichever works best for your business model. I recommend always having a phone interview before meeting with anyone in person just to make sure they meet the minimum requirements. If the team member is going to be virtual, then stick with the phone or Skype.
  7. Ask these two critical questions:
    1. What do you love doing that you would happily do even if you weren’t getting paid?
      You are listening for 2 things here;

      • You will find out what they are passionate about – THEIR genius zone, and
      • Their responses should coincide with the activities that are outside of YOUR genius zone (the things you don’t know how to do, don’t like to do, or don’t want to do).
    2. What questions do you have for me?
      • If they don’t have any- red flag! No questions = no interest in you – or your company.

Avoid hiring mistakes | Best hiring practices | Keys to hiringYes, these steps will take some of your time initially. However, I can tell you from experience that doing this upfront work will save you time and money in the long run.

You will bring on team members who are aligned with your needs and visions as a business owner, and who have the necessary skills, knowledge and ability to get things done so you can focus on running your business and serving your clients (you know…the reason you went into business in the first place!).

When you do the work up front, it also helps reduce the chances of having to let someone go- directly (“you’re fired”) or indirectly (“no, I don’t have any projects for you this month”).

Tell Me: What issues have you encountered building your team – and what did you do about it?


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What Will You Say YES To?

Is 2015 going splendidly for you so far?

Set New Year Priorities | What will you say yes to?This is not a post about resolutions or goals (nor is about whether or not you are achieving them).

This is a personal note that’s been weighing on my heart to share. And of course one really amazing tip for your business (you know I can’t help myself!).

Last year at this time I fell on the ice and got a concussion (ouch!). 2 weeks after that, I fell down a flight of stairs, well actually it was more like I went sledding without a sled, and tore my shoulder (double ouch!). It made for an interesting year. Last month, I finally had the shoulder surgery to repair the tears.

Everyone kept telling me that shoulder surgery was the longest and most painful recovery. I fought buying into that story, but I’ve got to say – they were kind of right.

I haven’t been able to drive the past 6-½ weeks. I just recently re-gained the ability to lift my arm up enough to reach the keyboard and type with both hands.

I’d be lying if I told you that the sprinkling of snow or icy pavement doesn’t instill a little fear in my heart.

But I’d also be lying if I didn’t tell you about the gratitude that I’ve experienced and has consumed me.

I am so grateful for my family who has taken care of me when I needed help.

I am grateful for my team, colleagues and mentors who’ve been there to support and encourage me.

I am grateful for my clients who continue to kick business butt on a daily basis and make me feel like a proud mama.

I am grateful for you. Thank you for “liking” my posts, following me on social media, reading and sharing my articles, connecting with me and for being part of my community.

I am especially grateful for something one of my mentors, Jeanna Gabellini, shared with me, which helped me have my personal best business year ever (despite everything that happened).

My YES statement… it goes like this, “I only say ‘yes’ to things that [fill in the blank]”

Here was my personal statement for 2014:

“I only say, “yes” to things that positively impact my time, money and peace”

How to choose your priorities | what to say yes toSimple? – YES.

Easy? – NO.

This was such a great mantra for me last year that I really wanted to share it with you.

My example might not be the most important to you, but it’s easy to change the scenario and the statement to reflect what is.

Write it or print it out and place it where you can see it every day. As business owners we have so much to think about and do. It’s a great reminder to focus on what really matters.

This year as I’ve been recovering from my surgery and reflecting on my goals and the road ahead, I’ve modified it a little.

Here is my personal statement for 2015:

“I only say YES to things that positively impact my time, money, energy and peace of mind”.

(I feel calm and happy just saying it)

As a result, I’ve already said NO to some amazing opportunities because they will take up too much of my time and mental energy. And I’m okay with it because I know that leaving that space open allows what I really want, to show up and get the time, energy and focus it deserves.

So, what will you say YES to this year? I’d love to hear it!

To Your BIG Breakthroughs and BIG Results!


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Want to Conquer Time Poverty? Enter Your Genius Zone.

Do any of these statements sound familiar?

  • Time trap | time poverty | DeadlinesThere just aren’t enough hours in the day – you’re always stressed because you never seem to have ample time to accomplish everything.
  • You zip through your day, going from task to task, but when the day is over, it doesn’t feel like you got anything done at all.
  • Your burgeoning to-do list is nearly driving you insane.

If this sounds like you, you’re experiencing time poverty. What on earth is that?! When you’re in time poverty, you’re always rushing through life, but you’re definitely not running at your productive best.

Not surprisingly, entrepreneurs encounter time poverty all the time. Overcoming time poverty is an absolute must if you want to truly enjoy success in your business – and in life.

Here are three of my favorite tips to help you overcome time poverty and start getting things done productively:

Enter your genius zone.

ID-100294722When you’re working on the things that you’re passionate about, you’re operating in your genius zone. It’s your sweet spot – where you’re most likely to get stuff done – and do it well.

Time just flies by and you’re ultra-productive. Why? Because you’re doing what you were meant to do – what you’re good at. Now that you’re in your zone, stay there – and delegate everything else.

Don’t force yourself to work on tasks that you don’t like or aren’t very good at. These types of tasks will waste your time and siphon your energy. Don’t let that happen!

You may sit on to-do-lists for months, telling yourself you don’t have the time. Be honest – you don’t really want to do these tasks, do you? And that’s why you’ve avoided them.

Remember: Work in your genius zone and for everything else, delegate, delegate, delegate.

Recognize your distractions.

Everyone faces distractions – social media, email, phone calls and texts…even free offers from programs you’ve purchased.

Sure, it doesn’t seem like much to interrupt your work flow to spend five minutes answering a text or email – but those five minutes add up, and before you know it, you’re out of time and frustrated…again.

Start by identifying what it is that distracts you most often. Once you’ve done that, you can develop new habits that will help you overcome these distractions.

Listen to your inner voice.

What are you really telling yourself? Your outward condition is a result of what you’ve been thinking about in your mind. Meaning, if you keep telling yourself you don’t have any time, you’re going to create that experience in your life.

Does your inner voice sound something like this, “I don’t have time! There is no way I’m going to get all this done.” Or, does it sound more like, “I have enough time to accomplish everything I need.”? It’s pretty simple to identify which statement is the more positive one.

Try this easy technique the next time you find yourself saying, “I don’t have time to do this!” Replace that phrase with this one instead, “That’s not important to me right now.”

You’ll soon have a surplus of time you’re spending efficiently, because you’ll only be focusing on the things that are truly important to you.

If you put even one of these simple suggestions to work in your life, you’ll be well on your way to greater productivity and a thriving, profitable business.

For a more in-depth look at time poverty – and what you can do about it – visit the Huffington Post to read my latest article.

What are you doing to conquer time poverty? Which of these suggestions do you think is most useful?

3 Companies that Make Their Clients #1 – and Why You Should be Doing the Same…

So often we hear about the Customer Service Hall of Shame – but what about companies that top the Hall of Fame list instead?

Here are three top companies that make customer satisfaction a main priority:

  1. Best Customer Service | Superior ServiceRitz-Carlton doesn’t just wait for the unexpected to happen – they plan for accidents and mistakes to help employees prepare for a variety of situations. This is a win-win since customer complaints are a reality, especially in the hospitality industry.
    Planning ahead gives employees a chance to turn a bad situation into a positive customer experience. “If-then planning” is a great way for companies of all sizes to be proactive. For example, if a customer has been waiting for over 15 minutes, then offer them a free item like a coffee or small appetizer.
  2. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is pretty passionate when it comes to customer experience. It shows, because Amazon consistently makes the top of the list when it comes to quality customer service. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. Once an online bookstore, it expanded its inventory to include the plethora of offerings you see today. And its customer service doesn’t disappoint – pretty much anyone who has ever returned a purchase knows how helpful their reps are.
  3. Zappos has become strongly associated with excellent customer service, and for good reason. Many companies today can’t wait to get their customers off the phone – in fact, some companies would rather not talk to their customers at all. Not Zappos. Instead, Zappos sees the importance in developing an emotional connection with their customers. Employees are even encouraged to wow customers by addressing unstated needs. Now that’s quality customer service!

You don’t have to be a big-name company to wow your clients – if you’re a small business owner, make client experience one of your top priorities.

Best Customer Service | Superior ServiceSwitch roles for a moment with your client – what would you want to experience? Use this quick role-playing game to find out what you can do to give your client an unforgettably positive experience. Remember how good it felt when someone went the extra mile for you? Do the same for your customers.

Don’t worry about being perfect there – shoot for excellence instead. In reality, nothing is ever “perfect”. Show your clients you really care by giving them an excellent experience that will keep them coming back for more. Maybe they’ll even send their friends and family your way, too!

For more tips on how to retain your best clients, please visit my recent article, “Love ‘Em or Lose’ Em: How to Get Your Best Clients to Stay”, on the Huffington Post.

What do you do to show your customers they are #1? Please share below.

The MOST Important Question You Can Ask

I recently read an article in Fast Company that shared the most important question to ask a new team member: “Describe a decision that the company has made that raises an eyebrow for you?”

I think it’s brilliant question – even if a little scary.

We spend a lot of time looking for and selecting talented people for our teams, whether they are full time employees, contract staff or virtual team members.

They come to us with a fresh perspective, aren’t hung up on the way “we” do things, and are pretty sharp (or else we wouldn’t have hired or contracted with them in the first place). So why not ask their opinion on what we are doing that just plain doesn’t work?

I know it’s a little scary. Being told what we aren’t doing well is a little disheartening, but it’s better to know than lose a team member (or a client for that matter). We get very comfy with how we do things, and perhaps need a reminder to stay sharp and focused.


Why leave this question to just new employees?

You can ask a similar question to your current team members and even your clients, coach or mentor.

If you like to hear the good along with the bad, you can use the following approach to get a well-rounded view:

  1. What are we doing that isn’t effective, that we should STOP doing?
  2. What are we doing really well that we should CONTINUE doing?
  3. What aren’t we doing, that if we START doing would make us even more effective?

When I did a similar exercise I received some great feedback that will definitely help me be more effective as a CEO and business owner. Since I won’t ask you to do something I haven’t already done, here is some of the feedback I received:

  • My perfectionism causes me to be a huge bottleneck for my team being able to complete their tasks on time
  • I believe “diamonds are made under pressure” but not everyone else does. Waiting to the last minute affects my teams productivity and sanity (and my check book)
  • Even though I help my clients create systems for their business, my own systems need to be documented in a way that others can manage them (and I can better delegate them)
  • I need better scheduling and invoicing processes for my clients

Confession time: some of these are the same things that drove my staff crazy when I worked in the corporate world (ouch!). While I’ve made some progress I still have some work to do. On the plus side, all of this is fixable (some easier to fix than others), within my control, and will lead to a better team member and client experience.

Give this a try and see what type of feedback you receive. I’d love to hear about it so please share in the comments how it went.

4 Simple Steps for Evaluating and Accelerating Business Performance, Productivity and Profits for 2014

2014 Mid Year Business Review and EvaluationIs it me or is this year zooming by?!

I’ve been having a lot of conversations with business owners the past couple of weeks and when I ask “how is your year going?” the response I am getting “I think it’s going okay”

If you haven’t already, now is a great time for you to review your annual goals and see how you are doing. Don’t wait until the end of the year to realize you are far from where you wanted to be.

Take some time and evaluate your business. Measure your progress, identify the gaps, and make adjustments as necessary to stay on purpose and on plan for the remainder of 2014.

Here is my simple 5 step Business Check-in process:

1. What were your Critical Musts (or goals) for 2014? (if you didn’t set Critical Musts for the year, refer to my CRITICAL MUSTS EXERCISE to create them for the remainder of 2014). If you haven’t set concrete critical musts for the year, take a few minutes to do that.

2. What is the progress you’ve made? This is where we need to look at the numbers. Depending on your specific goals they could be revenue, sales conversions, number of leads, your list size. Where you planning on adding new team members – how has that gone? Create a new product. Two things here, one – take time to celebrate all you have accomplished to this point. Even if you haven’t hit everything, every small step you make is getting you closer to your goal. Secondly, if you’re not on target, don’t beat yourself up. Just take some time to re-evaluate and get back on track.

3. What have been your learning’s that you can incorporate or leverage the remainder of the year? What gets in your way of achieving certain goals? Are there any themes? Maybe you noticed that when you speak at events you generate more interest in services, or that you really don’t like delivering teleclasses. Whatever they are, this is important to note so you can stop doing what isn’t working and start or continue other strategies that will help you achieve your goals.

4. Review your plan. Taking into account your accomplishments to date and learnings, is it still relevant? What needs to added, changed or removed? Here’s the thing- when we are behind, we tend to load up our plans for the remainder of the year thinking that during the summer break or 4th quarter we can catch up. What typically happens is we don’t catch up and then we end up with a bigger list of things that didn’t get done. So make the plan for the rest of the year realistic and focused on those critical musts and commit to it.

Now is also a good time to also evaluate your skills and resources. Your resources could be financial, your time or your team.

  • What do I already have to complete my goal?
  • What do I still need to complete my goal?
  • How will I get what I need to complete my goal?

5. Modify and recommit to your plan. Come out of this process with a revised plan that will help you reach your goals and commit to resourcing and taking action against it. What I have found helpful is to focus on one thing first. Since money is typically at the top of everyone list: what is the one strategy that will increase your sales/revenue between now and the end of the year? I know there might be ten ideas, but identify 1 strategy and 3-5 action steps you can take over the next couple of months to make it happen.

If you don’t feel you have the time or inclination to do this now, bookmark this page and come back to it in a couple of weeks. At the risk of sounding like the stern human resources director, this really is a “must do” before the year ends. The earlier you do it, the greater your chances of achieving or exceeding your goals. Plus you’ll avoid the 4th quarter panic that plagues many business owners.

I’ve quoted it before and I’ll quote it again: “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight” (Jim Rohn). But this only works if you know what direction needs changing.

Let me know how your business check-in is going.

If you’d like some support, you can sign up for one of my complimentary Business Breakthrough Audits where we will identify what’s working well, what’s not and what 3 actions you can take immediately to increase your profits.

Sign up here to book your Business Audit. There are a limited number of spots available, so don’t delay.


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Creating Steady Cash Flow | Business Cash Flow

Creating Steady Cash Flow: Top 12 Questions Business Owners Ask – Part 6

Creating Steady Cash Flow | Business Cash FlowFocus, Money (and lack of), Self-Doubt, CEO Success Style, Revenue Generating Activities vs. Non-Revenue Generating Activities, so many thing you need to think about as a CEO and business owner.

Where do you turn to? How do you balance it all?

In the last post of my series on the Top 12 Questions Business Owners Ask, I’m going to let you know my thoughts on these two questions!

11. There is so much information and so many personal development programs out there. I’ve bought them all yet I’m still not getting what I want! What do I do?

It’s normal to feel that way. When we go into business for ourselves, we do a lot of research and we buy a lot of programs and perhaps work with different coaches in order to get where we want to be. However, all the knowledge in the world cannot move your business forward. All the training programs on the planet cannot move your business up the ladder of success. The secret? You need to take action to get results.

One of the things I do when I work with people is put them on a ‘Download Detox’. This means that they cannot download any information off the internet and cannot sign up for any programs, whether free or paid, because all that information is getting in the way of ‘taking action’. When you are not taking action you are not getting things done and when you’re not getting things done, you are not growing your business.

12. How do I balance running a busy business and running my home?

This is such a good question as many business people are struggling to strike the right balance in our fast paced society today. For starters, you need to get really clear about what I call ‘critical musts’. Now, what are critical musts? Your ‘critical musts’ are those things – those prongs that are so crucial to creating a personal and business life that is both meaningful and fulfilling to you.

It’s not necessarily about setting goals e.g. ‘sell one coaching package this week’. It’s about creating specific intentions. For instance, one of my critical musts is having a happy and healthy home. So because I have that sort of focus, it becomes my compass almost. So if there’s anything that comes up that’s not connected to ‘my critical musts’ then I don’t do it. It’s not on my list and it doesn’t show up. It can go on the ‘some other day’ list but it’s not prioritized.

Imagine for instance that someone offered me the opportunity to do some high paying corporate coaching work abroad for six months at a stretch. Imagine that I was offered the opportunity to do public speaking on four different continents every month. Well, as this would mean lots of travel and time spent away from my family, I couldn’t do it except I could find some way to keep my family happy and healthy at the same time. This is one of the reasons why I leverage internet, social media and even webinar technology to reach my ideal audience.

In essence, keeping sight of my ‘critical musts’ helps me to juggle and keep things manageable. This principle can help you too. It’s all about clarity – being super clear and focused on what needs to be done and how.

For more information to help you create and navigate your road to revenue please visit my website at

Have comments? I would love to hear them below!

Business Revenue Questions

Podcast: Top 12 Questions to Generating More Business Revenue (Part 5)

In this super short and practical Podcast Series, Businesss Growth Strategist Kim Pisolkar, answers the Top 12 Questions People Ask when it comes to generating more business revenue and profit.

Business Revenue QuestionsListen below and discover the answers today so that you can have the fun, flexible and profitable business that you envisioned on opening day!

Do you know what vibe you are sending out? Let’s uncover the unconscious messages you are sending with this quick podcast.


Want to find what it will take for you to stop firefighting against your never ending to do list so that you can have the fun, flexible and financially successful business you desire? There is a way and you can get it here!

For more information to help you create and navigate your road to revenue please contact us.


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How to get in Sync with Your Business Partner

Teamwork | Partnership | Business PartnerBusiness partnerships can be a tricky thing, whether you know the person well (see my Huffington Post article on How to Run a Successful Business With Your Spouse) or found your partner through networking or other business opportunities. Sometimes we are thrown into these partnerships by an opportunity that is too good to pass up and while they may not all be the ideal pairings we need to be able to make the relationships work in order to have our businesses be successful.

Real Life Example:

A friend of mine recently told me about a partnership she entered with two other professionals to put on a free speaking series about their health related businesses. The goal was to educate the public while increasing exposure for each of the individual business. After two months of planning, multiple conference calls and nitpicking by one of the other speakers, my friend felt stressed over the event. It was taking more time than she had anticipated out of her already busy schedule. Everything from the posters to the invitations went through multiple rounds of edits. The nitpicking partner was in charge of promotion. Instead of focusing on exposure for the event she spend most of her time lining up a videographer to record the event and having professional head shots of herself taken so that she would be able to promote herself. She assumed the “if you build it, they will come” mentality about the actual event. The day of the event not a single person showed up.

What went wrong in this partnership?

Any new business relationship needs vision and boundaries. It is imperative that partners know what their individual visions are and how to mesh these into a vision for the company or event you are planning.

I encourage my clients to complete a simple exercise when entering any new venture:

  • Take 30-60 minutes each to write down your visions for the partnership.
  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • What are your goals?
  • Where would you like the business to be in five years?

Then take turns sharing what you wrote with your business partner. If your visions are similar, great! If they’re vastly different, talk it out and compromise until you’re both on the same page.

Other things to consider during the compromise stage:

  • How is communication working?
  • How are resources going to be allocated?
  • How is the pay structure going to work?

This exercise could change the trajectory or your business relationship greatly. Maybe you aren’t meant to be 50/50 partners; maybe you should try out a joint venture prior to forming a full on partnership.

From this unified vision, create shared objectives for what you want to achieve in the business that you can both be inspired and excited about. Whatever you do don’t enter the relationship until you’ve defined the roles and expectations for each person, this will save you stress and time down the road.

If you need help with this process, I have created a 5 step plan that will walk you through the process of creating a successful partnership and successful relationship with your partner. Just enter your name and email to get FREE access to this process and a FREE worksheet to keep you on track.

Do you have any tips or stories about partnerships you’ve entered in the past? I would love to hear them in the comments below.

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Creating Steady Cash Flow | Business Cash Flow

Creating Steady Cash Flow: Top 12 Questions Business Owners Ask – Part 5

Creating Steady Cash Flow | Business Cash FlowAhh, today we are talking about self-doubt and how it can effect your income as well as your cash flow.

After running your business for a while, having a few successes, it’s completely normal (and expected) to hit a few roadblocks on your way.

So what are the questions I get from CEO’s around success and self-doubt? Read on below.

9. I was so successful in my career and as a business owner I feel like a big, fat failure. I went to business because I thought I would get to be my own boss and make money. Will I ever be successful?

Well being in a traditional job and being a business owner are definitely different and yes, you can be successful at both.

My first tip would be to look at what made you successful in your career. What were the characteristics, what were the things you did, what were the things people praised you for? I ask these questions because those are the things that you may not be carrying over into your business. The things that brought you success in the past will be the things that bring you success in the future.

The second thing would be to look in your business for the fastest path to growth. What is it in your business that you can focus on that will bring the best growth, the greatest revenue and the freedom to do what you love?

10. There’s so much to do how do I stay focused?

One of the things that can get in the way of staying focused is what I call Entrepreneurial ADD, it’s what pulls us into multiple directions, leaving a path of work that’s unfinished behind us.

I want to give you a really simple exercise to help you become more focused and ditch that Entrepreneurial ADD. It’s called ‘non-negotiables’. You see, in life we all have non-negotiables. We renew our driver’s license, we go to the doctor, prepare our taxes. Those are things we make time for because we need to make sure they get done. There’s a penalty if you don’t do them.

So I’d like you to think about the non-negotiables in your business. What are the things that absolutely need to get done? Secondly, start blocking off time in your calendar in order to dedicate time strictly for working on those non-negotiables. Hold yourself accountable, and give yourself a penalty for not completing them, reward yourself when you do!

And if you are just joining us for this series on cash flow and income, you may want to head back to the beginning to read about; making more money, taking your business to the next level, putting systems in place, and expenses you should consider.

Have comments? I would love to hear them below!