|We were growing, so we hired someone.
And then, my partner took half the money and went on vacation. Our “employee” burnt out and found a job doing anything else.
I tried to hire someone else with the most detailed job description I could come up with:
“Wanted, smart people, to do work.”
I received 326 applications from India, none related to what I wanted.
I will spare you the details
And jump right to the punchline: the opportunity snuffed out shortly after igniting. Our nascent reputation suffered a fatal blow, and I learned a huge lesson: people need roles.
See, it is easy to get to work when you start a business by doing work. Hierarchy, roles, positions, org charts are for large corporations.
I hear this all the time: we work together as a team; we don’t need job descriptions or a hierarchy. And then, in the same breath: we need people to do their work.
But if they don’t know what their work is, how can they do it?
When I brought on a partner, he thought his role was to go on a few sales calls, nurture a few relationships and spend time on the beach.
When I hired a junior consultant, he didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t know what to tell him to do. It worked fine until he found something easier with more definition, with more opportunity.
The answer: they can’t.
If you are a one-person shop and plan to stay that way forever, you don’t need to design your organization, think about roles or positions, or decide who does what reporting to whom.
But as soon as you think about scaling your business, you must design your organization. As soon as you hire somebody, even a VA, you must know their role. Even if two people wear all the organizational hats, you have to define what those hats are and agree to them.
Without a hat chart, you are just a bunch of people doing work; you can’t scale, you’ll always be hustling. An essential entrepreneurial function is defining and assigning hats.
We’ve done most of the work for you, start with this “hat chart,” write your job descriptions, and save yourself my fate.