The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question: “What important lesson can transform every entrepreneur’s business for the better?” is written by Ed Mitzen, founder of Fingerpaint Marketing.
I’ve been building businesses for 20 years, and the one lesson that has stayed true over time is this: entrepreneurs need to have the courage to hire people smarter than them.
Insecurity has no place in the entrepreneurial world and is a certain recipe for failure. By hiring people that challenge, outthink, and push forward the status quo, a company can reach levels of success that otherwise would have been unachievable.
At their core, businesses are a collective summary of their people. I don’t care if you own a McDonald’s franchise, a radio station, a beauty salon, or an advertising agency. A company is a summary of its talent, and very few businesses can ever thrive without hiring the best and brightest people.
To be sure, when you are just starting your business, cash flow is king. You can’t reach for the moon and bring on staff that are far above what you can afford. But the people you do hire have to bring an intelligence, passion, and work ethic that translate into a positive energy for the business. The people who survive the early years and help you get to a point of financial stability will always have a special place in any entrepreneur’s heart.
Now the hard part. Once you add these talented folks to your already amazing staff, you have to make sure they are appreciated and cared for. As your firm grows, so will its notoriety, along with the calls from recruiters to the very folks that you have tried so hard to find in the first place.
I’ve never met a successful entrepreneur who doesn’t understand and appreciate all of the amazingly talented folks who have contributed to their success. Those organizations that take their staff for granted, settle for mediocre contributors, and embrace “good enough” are the ones that don’t survive or grow year after year.