HireMyVA Podcast

HireMyVA Podcast 45- Is it a good or bad idea to hire friends and/or family?

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Dave Braun
00:00:00
Welcome to the HireMyVA Team and Business Building Podcast, where we help you to reclaim your freedom through hiring and thriving with Virtual assistants without breaking the bank. And of course, without breaking your bank. And I’m Dave Braun and I’m here with my partner, my co-host, and great friend, Larry Braoghton. Larry, how are you doing this fine day?

Larry Broughton
00:00:19
Awesome. Thank you, Dave. I love you, I’m glad that we are doing this again today. Thank you for living life with me and going on the journey.

Dave Braun
00:00:29
It’s a journey and it’s a blast. It really has been. It’s fun, man. All right, so let’s get into the question. We’ve got another great one. Is it a good or bad idea to hire friends and or family?

Larry Broughton
00:00:45
Wow. Hey, the eternal question, right? It’s interesting, Dave, you know, I think the gut reaction that a lot of people have is no, under no circumstances.

Dave Braun
00:00:58
Yeah.

Larry Broughton
00:00:58
Right? But then if you look at organizations, some of the most enduring organizations, think about the Marriott chain, think about Chick-fil-A. It’s a family-owned business, right? And their third generation. Third generation? Yeah. I think so. The least or third generation, right? Truett and Dan, and now their kids are in the senior leadership positions. It can work but it’s tough. Let’s just be honest. It’s tough to make it work. Are there success stories? Absolutely. Absolutely, there are. So maybe, it might be, what are the pros and cons? That come with this, right? Well, it seems to me, Dave, like the pros, like off the top of my head is that you kind of know what to expect with some of these folks. I’m talking, like—

Dave Braun
00:01:53
You kind of know the person. Right? You know, the person. The values and that kind of thing. Right?

Larry Broughton
00:01:58
Right. Exactly. And on the friend side, some of the most enduring partnerships that have seen, have been friends, they went to school together. Right? They’ve lived life together. Like you and I. We’re friends. We were friends before we got involved with this. Has it been sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows every day? No, it’s not. But we—

Dave Braun
00:02:18
It hasn’t? Well, man, it has for me. No, I’m just teasing you.

Larry Broughton
00:02:22
You’ve taken me to task a couple of times. Right?

Dave Braun
00:02:26
And vice versa. Yeah. Well, that’s because we care about each other. Right?

Larry Broughton
00:02:30
Right. But how is it done is the key, right? How is it done is the key, so you kind of know what to expect. So if I had to rate them, rank them, I would hire a friend before I’d hire a family member. This is me personally. So pros, you kind of know what to expect and in some cases, you understand what their strengths and weaknesses are. In some cases, the folks are gonna work hard for you. Now, there are other sides of the coin on all of these. Right?

Dave Braun
00:03:05
That’s right.

Larry Broughton
00:03:07
And it’s a shorter hiring process oftentimes. Some people forget when you hire family members. In many states, there are tax benefits of hiring family members. There is a deduction that the business can write off if you hire family members. And sometimes it does offer some stability. And particularly when it comes to success in ship planning, it makes it a little bit easier. And one of the benefits that I’ve heard now. I went out years ago, I used to have a business called tools for success. And I went and interviewed a bunch of multi-generational family-owned businesses. And I remember a couple of them saying that the trustworthy factor in most cases, now we’ve all got that weird uncle Bill, or, you know, the crazy cousin who is just off the rails that you can’t trust. But for the most point, what they said is that there is no one more trustworthy and loyal and reliable than blood. So there is that element. Are there other pros that come to your mind, Dave, on hiring a family member or friend? And then maybe we can touch on the cons.

Dave Braun
00:04:17
Yeah. I think you kind of hit on the speed with which you can have them help in your business, the familiarity that you don’t have to start from square one. The values that hopefully are the same. You’ll hopefully know what their work ethic has been like. Right? Over the course of the time. So yeah. There’s a lot of unknowns that you get—that are known, like immediately versus sometimes taking a little bit of time when you hire somebody who’s not a friend or family.

Larry Broughton
00:04:51
All right. Well, I’m gonna let you start then on the cons. This might be the fun one. We might get some good laughs out of it. So, Dave, what do you think are the cons of hiring family and friends?

Dave Braun
00:05:01
Well, let me start off with a story. So I know somebody very well who actually hired — like kind of a family friend who was not just a friend, not family, but a family friend, somebody who was more than a friend, but not, you know, blood family. Very close relationships. And the person was perfect for the job, executed so well, had so much capacity, but then had a particular medical issue and did not deal with it properly, wasn’t upfront about it, and all that kind of stuff. And it turned out that the person that I know had to actually let them go, fire them. And it ruined the relationship because of that. So even though they had the same work ethic, knew each other well, high amount of execution, there was a — maybe a hidden level of integrity or follow-through that was not there until a crisis happened and it wasn’t discovered until that crisis happened.

Larry Broughton
00:06:17
Yeah. Yeah.

Dave Braun
00:06:18
So basically, that’s one of the cons, is when the relationship starts going sour and you know, as a business owner that you need to make a change. That change can be very, very tough. And if you don’t navigate it appropriately, and even if sometimes you do everything that you can, there’s long-term potentially permanent damage to that friendship.

Larry Broughton
00:06:43
Yeah. In addition to that kind of difficult time firing someone or counseling or coaching them, like in this situation. Sometimes it’s subconscious, sometimes it’s not, is that family members may be likely to take advantage of you and push the boundaries a lot more like coming in late or taking these long lunches or whatever. Well, your family, you know, get off my back. And the con might be that it’s hard to — you might be bringing your work life into your home life a whole lot more. And another thing is sometimes it limits the diversity of ideas in the workplace. If it’s a family member that you were raised with, for instance, and you share the same ideas, you probably share many of the same life experiences. So you don’t get that diversity of ideas in the workplace. And there’s also when you hire team members from outside societally, we tend not to bring a lot of our personal issues into work. But if you’re hiring family members, it’s much easier for them to bring their personal issues into work. Like, Larry get off my back, you know the hard time that I’m having right now. Right?

Dave Braun
00:08:05
Yeah.

Larry Broughton
00:08:06
Another thing to consider is what do you do with the other team members? What’s the perception that they’re gonna have. Oh, that’s Larry’s child or that’s Larry’s brother, what do you expect? I can’t give them the same feedback or — you know what I mean? There’s that kind of—

Dave Braun
00:08:25
Yeah. There’s —

Larry Broughton
00:08:25
Unspoken, sometimes risk. What was it that you’re going to say, Dave?

Dave Braun
00:08:30
Yeah. I was gonna say, there’s always that perception, no matter what happens, there can be that perception by the other team members that there’s favoritism going on but it can also work. The other way is you as the owner can almost be overly hard on the friend or family too versus everybody else.

Larry Broughton
00:08:53
Yeah, that’s right. But on the other side of that coin, the family or friend may think that they do indeed have special privileges. So things could potentially go quite poorly if we don’t overly communicate this stuff. And these types of relationships can look like nepotism. So one of the great things I learned from Dan Cathy, who’s now the CEO of Chick-fil-A, was that what they would do with family members is that they had to work two years or —no, was it two or five years, outside the business at another organization before they ever came to work inside the organization. And when they came inside to work in the organization, they started out just like anybody else did. They had to learn how to run the stores. Yeah. And so they didn’t hire, you know — The kid who just graduated college was not gonna come in and be a regional VP, with zero experience.

Larry Broughton
00:09:51
And so they had to prove their jobs somewhere else. There are great organizations that have been built with family members, have been great organizations that have been built with friends. But the key is this, you gotta have the courage to have the tough conversations up front to say, Hey, here’s what the potential challenges and pitfalls could be. How are we gonna deal with this if this stuff comes up? And then you need to have the courage to accept that things could go awry and then it’s up to you to decide, am I willing to risk it? You know, risk this relationship? But I hope that you have the courage that if things go poorly to stay with the relationship. And I’m gonna be honest with you, you know, my former spouse and I worked with each other in a restaurant that we owned in Santa Barbara, and it was bad.

Larry Broughton
01:10:40
It was bad. It was bad. I wish we never would’ve done it. And it was on me. It was much on me as it was on her is that I felt like since we were married, then she knew how I thought. And if she knew how I thought that she would do things the way that I expected them to be. And I was not as good of a communicator then as I am now. But we can’t expect people just because they live with us, to know how we want things done, you know, telepathically. And frankly, we should want diversity of ideas in this. So great pros, got great organizations like Chick-fil-A. How many billions of dollars are they doing now? They’re doing—I forget how many billions of dollars, 4 billion dollars in business these days. They’re doing something right. But for every success story, there’s a trail of tears of hundreds that have not made it. Can it be done? Yes, it can be done. Tread lightly is what I would suggest and communicate effectively.

Dave Braun
01:11:51
Yeah. Communicate effectively. And part of that effectiveness I think is you’ve got to be clear in your mind and that you gotta make it clear in their mind when you’re having—you’re in there every day and the trench is doing stuff, but you gotta be clear in your mind when it’s friend time and when it’s work time. Does that make sense? So in other words, when the person puts the—you gotta put the boss hat on versus the friend hat. And that doesn’t mean that you don’t have these friendly conversations in the workplace. It does mean that you as the boss, so the speak have got to separate that out. You still have the friendly banter, like you would treat any other team member, but you’ve gotta make sure it’s clear in your mind when you’ve got the friend hat on and when you’ve got the boss hat on.

Larry Broughton
01:12:54
Yeah. I think I misspoke. I think I said Chick-fil-A’s doing 4 billion. I think they’re actually doing closer to 13—I think it’s close to 13 billion. Now, they’re the third largest restaurant chain out there right now. So, it’s pretty crazy stuff. And it’s a family-owned business.

Dave Braun
01:13:11
Yep. So, our thoughts, I guess we could wrap this up. Our thoughts say there’s pros and cons and tread carefully.

Larry Broughton
01:13:20
Tread lightly, communicate effectively. That’s a good combo.

Dave Braun
01:13:24
Yeah. I think so, too. Okay. Anything else, sir?

Larry Broughton
01:13:28
No, let’s do it. Let’s wrap this thing up. Let’s bring it at home.

Dave Braun
01:13:30
Close it up. All right. So thank you folks for joining us today. Remember building a team is the way to reclaim your freedom and Larry and I are here to help you. So three things we’d love for you to do right now. Don’t leave home without doing these right now. We really appreciate it. All right. Number one, subscribe to this podcast if you haven’t already done so. Number two, give us a rating and hopefully five stars, do what you want of course, but we’d love a five star. And then number three, most important, go to Hiremyva.com and you can learn a lot more about the course that we’ve got, the community that we’ve got, which is they’re both so powerful and they help so many folks. And the people that we’ve helped just had pretty much zero experience or awful experience with building a team. And without any experience, or even if you have bad experience, you’ll learn how to prepare for hire and thrive with Virtual Assistants. You know, we’re helping folks in there. We love helping people. We’ve helped a lot and we wanna help you too. So just go to Hiremyva.com for more information.

Larry Broughton
01:14:35
Yeah, that’s right. Hey, folks if you wanna do great things, you’ve got to be a great person and you do that by living a life of significance. Okay? So do yourself a favor. Do the world a favor. Go do something significant today. God bless you. God holds you. God, keep you. All right, folks. Go get ’em.

Dave Braun
01:14:52
All right.

Larry Broughton
01:14:53
Bye.

Dave Braun
01:14:53
See you later, everybody. Bye. Bye.

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