Not a Superhero Entrepreneur? You'll Still Need a Sidekick
Think you can go it alone? Even a superhero needs a sidekick.
Not that you’ll need to save Gotham City from any bad guys. But when it comes to putting out fires at work or lending a hand when the going gets tough, nothing beats a right-hand man (or woman).
Here’s how to find the Robin to your Batman:
Attract the best
If you create an aura of success around yourself and your business, you’ll naturally attract the best and the brightest to work with you. Maintain a positive attitude that demonstrates you’re both productive and a pleasure to work with. Generate a business that reveals your ability to both look forward and learn from the past. Young, enthusiastic and reliable people will be drawn to you and eager to climb aboard your ship.
Recruit and mold
When you have a group of people excited to work, begin to mold one of them into your No. 2. Find a person who hopefully has as much faith in your business model as you do. Build a solid relationship based on trust and respect and let your Robin assist you in keeping the Gotham City of your business safe and sound.
Don’t be afraid to let your sidekick in on the intimate details of your business. If you’ve established trust with this person, you shouldn’t fear sharing information thoroughly. After all, in order to make effective decisions and contribute quality advice, your right-hand man or woman needs access to all of the variables to which you have access. This is the person you trust to run your business when you’re unavailable. This is the person you have confidence in to make important decisions, evaluate strategies and implement ideas.
Share the wealth
Express your gratitude by sharing your success. Of course, any employee you have should be compensated generously and rewarded for excellent work. Your Robin, on the other hand, should receive special attention and rewards. This person is more like a partner than an employee, and financial compensation should reflect this. Additionally, never use your Robin, or any employee for that matter, as a punching bag to unload your pent up aggression.
Should you work with and hire your friends to help run your business? It’s an age-old question with no exact answer. On the one hand, you already have established trust with your friend. This person cares about you and likely would lend support no matter what. Yet if you limit yourself to a circle of friends, you’ll be missing out on plenty of potentially great employees. Then think of your emotions. Could your friendship get in the way?
What were the must-have traits you required in your No. 2? Leave a comment and let us know.
Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.