Hiring is like betting on horses! You may hire someone who is too slow out the gate, and they become a superstar, and you may hire what you think is a superstar that is a complete flop!
I recently took a trip to Vegas and I lost $200!
Sean…that’s not a lot!
That’s all I was willing to lose…but I have learned in gambling, you have to make bets. I’m not a very good blackjack player when I have twos, threes, fours, and fives. I’m in Vegas with my buddy and he likes to gamble. I don’t. Literally, I had two $100 bills. I make plenty of money, but I don’t like wasting money, and I feel like gambling, I’m at the table and I’m explaining it to my son who’s with me. “The reason why I can’t gamble and why I’m only spending this $200 is that these casinos have been here forever. They never get tore down.
They just get bigger and bigger. That tells me that the casino is always winning. I’m looking at a table of six people and see that most of the time five people losse and 2 people win.
So in my brain I just know that gambling just doesn’t make a lot of sense, but I tell you what I do bet on, is horses. And why do I bet on horses? Because hiring people and being in business is like betting on horses. I’ve bet on people and I’ve bet on ideas. We’re using some parallels here. Clearly, I’m not saying your horse.
When I interview someone I get to size them up, but there’s no perfect. I went with one of my employers one time to a horse race and I knew nothing. This person recently sold his company for $158 million and they were betting really big money.
But they didn’t know anything. They’re talking about how strong the legs are and the behind and all this. They had no facts. We were just taking visual looks down at horses and making a bet, and they were betting a lot more money than me. But this is what we do.
We do this with ideas and we do it with people. They all look good at the start. When I hire someone, to me, they look like a thorough bread, like I have the next Seabiscuit. Then I realize, I have a limping goat.
We don’t move on bad ideas. We move on good ideas. At the starting line, they look great.
And that’s why business is so much like betting on horses. I bet on employees and partners, I bet on ideas, and they all look really good at the starting line.
Then then the second part of that is, how did we move forward with this idea or this partner, based on very little facts? Many people don’t do business plans and move forward with very little facts. Now I’ve learned now to move forward with as many facts as I possibly can on a business.
I don’t have to completely guess. When I pick an idea, it’s no longer like picking a horse. I feel like it’s more like Warren Buffet picking a stock..but I have to tell you on picking employees, I’m still picking horses.
I’ll interview the person. I’ve done all my due diligence and I’m absolutely convinced I’ve got a superstar and within five days they’ve crapped the bed. Literally, I’ve done everything I possibly can. I’ll look at my partner and say we got a super star and my partner will look back at me and tell me, “we hope, we wish”. Then, we put an alternate plan in place. We’ve got it to the point now where we bring people in for five days and then thirty days. We put them up in hotels. We don’t even let them relocate anymore. Why? because we know we’re picking horses and 20 years later, we can’t guarantee you. We can’t guarantee that every person we interview is going to be great. It’s a guess. It really is now picking horses.
Quickly into the race, you will realize whether you have a winning horse on both of these (ideas and people). This is what I can tell you, you’ll know within the first 30 days whether you’ve got somebody who’s going to bring value to your company.
Why? Because they want to impress you in the first 30 days. In the first 30 days, if they’re a problem, they’re unreliable, they can’t solve problems, they need pampering, I don’t. They need the umbilical cord. Well, then you know, you don’t have a thoroughbred.
I’ve learned with businesses, I know within 60 days, definitely within 90, whether I’ve got a winner or loser. I don’t hold on to bad ideas. I want to make profit from day one, so if I haven’t made money within 90 days, I know I have a loser.
So this is what I’m trying to tell you. Business is not a perfect science. It’s not when it comes to hiring. You can do the best you can, you can do your personality test, you can do all these things, and it still doesn’t guarantee a successful hire. Number two is, I wrote a business plan book. I can get that side of it, really, really close, but it’s still a bet that the marketplace is going to grab on to what you have.
Quickly into the race, you’ll know if you have a winner or not. If you have a really bad 30 days, in my experience, mark my words on this, it only gets worse that that slow horse doesn’t turn into a superstar. You better pivot because it’s not going to get any better.