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.

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