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The Experience Formula

Why You Should “Date” Your Co-workers: How to Hire Star Players Who Want You to Succeed Even More than You Do

“As soon as you can afford it, hire your weaknesses.”

That was Sara Blakely’s advice to a newbie entrepreneur on Shark Tank (Sara’s the billionaire founder of Spanx so she knows what she’s talking about).

Hiring your weaknesses is about hiring people who can do the tasks you can’t do or the things you’re not good at doing.

I also think it’s important to hire people to do the things you don’t want to do.

But for most entrepreneurs getting help in their business makes everything worse, not better — it feels like “jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.”

And that’s because hiring help isn’t enough. You need to hire right.

If your team is full of people with very different values and beliefs than you, if you hire people who don’t have the right personality and behavioral traits for the position, you’re setting yourself – and them – up for failure.

AND I guarantee you’re in for a wildly uncomfortable ride.

The way I see it, you have 3 options:

  1. Stick to the “if I want to get something done right, I have to do it myself” mantra and end up in Burnout City
  2. Shoot in the dark — keep hiring, and firing, and hiring again until you hit bullseye.
  3. Learn from others who’ve made mistakes in the hiring process so you don’t have to.

If you’re going for option #3 — and I recommend it — keep reading, I’ve got your back. 🙂

Dating Your Co-Workers

Hiring is a little bit like dating your co-workers (I think of my team as co-workers and not employees)…

You don’t rush the dating process and you don’t get married right way.

Same rules apply with hiring.

Don’t rush and don’t get “married” to your new hire right away.

It’s about creating a hiring process that lets you experience the REAL person behind the slick, put-together job seeker.

Right now, I have an extraordinary team at Live Your Message but it took a while to get here.

And I don’t mind admitting that I made some serious mistakes along the way (and paid for them!)

The good news is, I’ve learned a lot over the years and I’ve put together a process that quickly filters out those who aren’t a good fit so I get star players every time.

Best = Worst

First thing to know about hiring… lots of people are great when you talk to them.

They want the job, they need the job and they know just what to say to get the job.

But I’ve found that some of the best talkers are the worst workers.

So, it’s about testing their skills not their ability to talk their way into your heart — and your company.

A great way to do this is with a skills test designed around specific, role-related questions that let you get a feel for how they’d respond and take action in a real-world situation.

At LYM, we’ve designed something called an “Awesomeness Test,” which includes a number of challenging, role-related scenarios.

For instance, someone going for a spot in Customer Support needs to answer questions around actual customer scenarios we’ve had at LYM.

Same goes with those applying for a position in Marketing, Web Development, Office Management and the rest.

If you don’t want to design your own test from scratch or if you want to add to your current testing process, I recommend the DISC assessment.

This powerful test reveals personality type and behavioral style in 4 key areas — dominance, influence, conscientiousness and steadiness.

Your potential hire’s DISC profile will give you priceless information around things like analytical abilities, logic, social skills, reliability, leadership and a whole lot more.  

You can find free DISC assessments online.

Adding the Awesomeness Test and DISC to our hiring process turned out to be a massive game-changer and these days we can quickly and accurately evaluate if someone has the skills to do a great job and if they’re aligned with our core values and culture here at LYM.

Dig Deep

I don’t believe in traditional, “surface-level” interviews but I do think it’s crucial to have people go through behavioral interviews.

This is where you ditch generic, old-school questions like “Tell me about your last job” and start digging deeper.

Try asking questions that reveal behaviors, attitudes, and mindset, how they view themselves in the workplace, their level of accountability, resourcefulness, responsibility, and how they work through problems.

For instance, you could ask something like…

“Tell me about a time when you had more work than you could handle, what happened?”


“What did you like the least about your previous job and why?”

Their responses will give you massive insight into what’s going on below the surface and ultimately help you make the right decision.

BONUS TIP: Watch for interviewees who go on and on about how hard it was at their last job, and those who can’t stop putting down their previous boss.

These are the people who love playing the “blame game” and have a “Poor me, I’m a victim!” mindset.

This is NOT a good combination and if you detect this unprocessed emotional energy during an interview — or at anytime — be prepared to let them go.

In my experience, this type of negative energy eventually overflows and influences other team members and possibly even the entire company.

The techniques and tests I’ve shared here are part of the hiring process at LYM and the results have been nothing short of amazing…

Right now, every person on my team — every one of my co-workers — sees their role as more than a job…

It’s a mission, a purpose… a calling.

They believe in me, they believe in what we’re doing and that belief, commitment, loyalty and expertise is a BIG part of why LYM is now a mid-7-figure company.

I swear they all want me to succeed… sometimes even more than I do!

And I’m grateful for each of them, every, single day.

And speaking of the LYM team, we’re looking to add two very special people to our superhero squad so we can reach even more people and support the growth of even more amazing, difference-making businesses. 

SUPERHERO #1: Social Media & Client Community Manager

The ideal candidate will:

  • Have 2-3 years of social media management experience
  • Have strong copywriting abilities and an eye for beautiful graphics and design
  • Thrive on building people up and cheering them on to be their best selves and tackle their highest goals

Sound like this may be a fit for you or someone you know? Click here for the full details

SUPERHERO #2: Senior Executive Assistant (work with me!)

The ideal candidate will:

  • Have 3+ years of experience assisting C-level executives, managing schedules and booking speaking engagements for Marisa
  • Be SUPER organized and detail-oriented, with stellar office management skills & experience
  • Enjoy supporting our amazing tribe during 6-10 live events and workshops throughout the year & documenting “behind-the-scenes” moments for social media/marketing purposes

Sound like this may be a fit for you or someone you know? Click here to find out more.

NOTE: Even if you’re not interested in applying for these positions, definitely check out these job posts to see exactly how we position these roles and the “Awesomeness tests” we asked for each one.

We’ve found this formula very helpful for finding the best potential teammates who are interested for the right reasons and have even got responses like this from candidates: “I would just like to congratulate whoever has written the job posting. I’m all about producing thumb stopping content, but to be able to produce a thumb stopping job post via a job board is actually really impressive stuff that quite frankly I need to be apart of.”

Now back to you…

What’s your hiring process like right now and which of these hiring techniques sound good to you? Which one do you plan to include in your process?

And if you’re not at the hiring stage just yet, what’s your best (and maybe worst) stories around being hired?

Do share below… I personally reply every comment 🙂

Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

  1. John Avatar

    You hit it when you say to talk the back
    legs off a donkey (Irish expression) can
    land you in a load of bullshit (pls excuse
    the expression). The Americans say put
    your money where your mouth is.

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd Avatar
      Marisa Murgatroyd

      Lol I haven’t hear that one! I like it 🙂

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