It was time for my first hire. I had no HR skills, and I was terrified. A leap of faith later, I had hired an Assistant for 15 hours a week, $10 an hour, or $150 a week! At the time this was an enormous amount of money. I spent more than one night tossing and turning, worried I had made the wrong decision. I quickly came to see that my financial investment in this hire was the least of my worries. My biggest problem was me! I had a few habits to change.
Diane, my new assistant, worked 3 days a week, 5 hours a day. I would get up early the days she came in and hurry to the office (located in my walk out basement) to put away the filing before she came to work. My theory (habit of thinking) was that you can’t ask anyone to do something you aren’t willing to do as well. My fear (habit of thinking) was that she wouldn’t enjoy filing, resent me for giving her this nasty work, and leave my employ.
Two weeks into our work together Diane came into my office and asked me a very simple question, “Why was I doing her job?” “You hired me to do the filing, but it is always done before I get to work.”
Stunned, I replied, “So you are OK with filing?” Well of course she replied, “It is one of the things you hired me to do. Now quit doing my job!”
In discussions with entrepreneurs over the years, I have heard many repeat my old belief that no one wants to do a job that you aren’t willing to do too. Just because a belief, or habit of thinking is common, doesn’t mean it is useful.
The challenge, with any habit, whether it is a habit of thinking, which we call a belief, or a habit of behavior, is twofold. One is to recognize that is it a habit and thing more. Two, if it isn’t a habit that is serving you, change it.