Keeping the Monkeys Off Your Back by Hiring Smart

When a project lands back on your shoulders (after you try to delegate it to someone else…) the monkey is on your back!

Finding the right team to ensure your back remains “monkey free” is not the easiest thing, but it’s incredible when it works!

The experts at Delivering Happiness (Zappos) say, “Hire slow, Fire fast”. I think this is a wise tip. Hanging onto someone who you can’t rely on is throwing good money after bad.

[Tweet “In #business, hanging onto someone who you can’t rely on is throwing good money after bad!”]

Here are three tips for finding the right members for your team:

1. Break it Down

Don’t try to find every talent and capability in one person. Break down your task needs (web design, web maintenance, blog posts, social media) and then seek specialists. Paying for someone to learn is not the best use of your money unless they are a full-time, permanent hire.

2. Start Slowly

Piling everything you want onto one new Virtual Assistant can be daunting for them. Start with one project (ie. edit and broadcast blog post and newsletter weekly). Several months ago, I started gradually with my new VA, Carolyn Crummey at VirTasktic. Because she knows Infusionsoft, there were dozens of things I could have piled on, but I tried to start slowly. (This takes restraint!)

3. Keep a Punch List

Right now I’m working on a new website with a wonderful designer, Derek Hart. Once we had something to look at, we developed a Google document that was a punch list of all the changes left to complete the website. We even broke it down page by page so it was simple to follow. It’s working like a charm to keep the project on track.

I can recall a few years back being most disenchanted with my business and the reason was… I was doing everything myself!

If this is you, start slowly and surround yourself with experts. And make sure that you keep the monkey’s on their back! You’ll be glad you did.

If you have a terrific supplier whose name you’d like to share – please post it in the comments below so we can get those monkeys off our backs!

See you soon, Wealthy Speakers!

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PS: We have a full section on hiring in The Wealthy Speaker 2.0 Chapter 7. Don’t have your copy yet? You can grab it HERE!


  • Would love a recommendation of a bookkeeper to help me with processing my travel expenses, expense reports, and invoicing clients. Any ideas?

    • Jane

      Hey Melissa, I would typically recommend that bookkeeping be the one thing that you keep local to your home town. It’s so much easier to exchange your books this way. Does that make sense?

  • I agree with Jane on both the larger concept of delegating tasks someone else can do AND to have a local bookkeeper. I find that is particularly helpful because she can meet in person with my CPA when needed.

  • If you haven’t learned about Kanban yet, take a look at it. The concept is that you create a visible representation of the work in progress, and categorize into (at least) 3 buckets: to do, doing, done. Your goal is to minimize WIP. I use an online version that lets each team member take a task from the “to do” list so you are able to see at a glance what work needs to be done and who is doing what. It’s a great way to manage work in a team!

    • Jane

      That sounds awesome Joanne! I’ll check it out.