Do NOT “Get Stuff Off Your Plate”

Hey, this is Clay. Welcome to this episode of the Marketing Show.

Okay, so I was browsing around the web and I saw this picture… okay, I don’t know if you can see it. But it’s basically a picture of kids playing in a little, you know, house fort that they’ve made for themselves. I don’t know if you did this as a kid but my brother and I used to do this. We’d arrange couches. We’d, you know, take a chair and prop up the leg rest on like my dad’s easy chair. We’d, you know, put covers around everything and then we’d build this fort. And it was so cool. It was awesome. We had this project that we were working on together. We were excited about the project. It was real to use. We had this creativity and this energy that was just amazing. And then when we were inside the fort, we thought no one could see us. You know, it was just amazing. It was a wonderful childhood experience.

And when I saw that picture, you know, on the web, I thought about this phrase that people have a lot when they’re referring to hiring someone in their company. Okay. The phrase is this, “I need to get stuff off my plate,” okay. And that’s what I see most people thinking about and talking about when they’re referring to hiring someone in their business, maybe hiring a virtual assistant or hiring someone else to help them “get stuff off my plate,” and I think this is dead wrong. Okay?

I think this is absolutely wrong. I think it’s bad for business. I think it’s bad for the lives of the people you hire. And I think that it’s not going to help you grow where you need to grow. Okay. So let’s just talk about this. When you hire someone to get stuff off your plate, you’re basically saying there’s this junk or these tasks that I have to do and I want someone to do these menial tasks that I don’t like to do and I really don’t care how well they handle them. I just need someone to take my shit. Okay, I need someone to take my crap. I need someone to get stuff off my plate. I need to unload on someone.

What this results in when people do “I need to get stuff off my plate” hiring is it results in a vision bandwidth problem in your company. So if you’re hiring someone to get stuff off your plate, chances are you have a time bandwidth problem, okay. You don’t have enough time to do everything that you need to do in your business.

When you hire someone to get stuff off your plate, you end up having to do more work than you originally did just to manage them because all you did was unload a bunch of little tasks that may or may not be related. And that might temporarily relieve the time bandwidth that you have in your business.

But, I think you have a much bigger issue in your business than time bandwidth. In fact, most businesses have a much bigger problem in their business than time bandwidth. The problem that most businesses have in their business is not time, okay, it’s vision. Most business have vision bandwidth issues.

Let me give you an example. Back in the day, I hired someone to do support for my company, okay? I hired someone. I had all these support issues to do and I needed someone to get that off my plate. And I ended up hiring someone who had no vision for customer support. They had no, you know, necessarily, like they had no interest in it long-term but that’s the person I got because I was looking to just get stuff off my plate. That didn’t end up working out so well.

What I ended up doing is working with Tracy who now I worked with long-term. But Tracy came in and what she had was she had a vision for customer service. She wasn’t getting stuff off my plate, she came in with a vision for customer services, a bigger vision than I had for customer services. I knew all along that I wanted us to have amazing customer support and amazing customer service. But I did not have a vision for it other than that I wanted it to be good.

I had a vision bandwidth problem and I tried to solve it with a time bandwidth solution. Okay? So Tracy ended up coming on board and that month, okay, that month that I spent money to hire her that I thought I did not have at that time, our profits…

…tripled immediately, because we had a vision bandwidth problem and then it got plugged. Okay?

And I submit to you that in cases where you are looking to just get stuff off your plate, if you spend the additional money necessary to get someone who not only will take stuff off your plate but who has a vision, a long-term vision to address the things that you want to get off your plate, your business is going to do much better and you will transform from a company where everyone is sort of slaving away to do the things that you’ve gotten off your plate to a business where everyone is building their own fort and they’re being excited and they’re having fun. And that is a truly great company.

And just to sort of wrap this up, I want to say, just my little piece here, my little rant on the state of hiring in this online space, the information marketing space, this little community that we have, what I’m seeing here in this online marketing space is essentially a race to the bottom. In almost every single developed legitimate market, you see a talent war for the very best and brightest people.

In the online space what we see over and over and over again is the exact opposite of a talent war, we see people going to get the cheapest people they can possibly find in, I don’t know, places like India where they can pay as little as possible and shove as much stuff off their plate.

And in time, after time, after time, everyone I see who tries to, you know, initiate that race to the bottom to get someone to take the stuff off their plate and to pay the cheapest amount they possibly can to get someone again to hire someone off their plate, every time I see that happen, almost without exception, it fails.

What I would encourage you to do is hire the person who has the biggest bandwidth, the biggest vision bandwidth for your issues, the person who has a long-term solution, the person who has a vision for what you need handled. Okay, the person who can play in a fort and address the issue that you have.

So that’s the marketing show for today. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Hire employees who can work in a fort. Hire the best people you possibly can. Pay them as much as you can possibly pay them and build a truly great company. Don’t hire people just to get stuff off your plate. That’s it.