Never Regret Letting go of the Wrong People

Hiring someone in the US physically, and when you ask them, what do you know about us?

They say something like you make chocolate. And that is the answer. 

One of my favorite rules that I learned from mentors 30 years ago for hiring, and this is from the CEO of American Airlines, maybe means no.

Never regret letting go of the wrong person. In week one, observe their behavior. Like this guy on my friend’s team, anyone could tell something was up. 

He injured himself over weird things and riled up over cutting his finger. I let him go the way he acted.

If it’s not easy, yes, then you should move on. 

I recently hired people to work in production, which is a very critical role. As you’re handling the end product, you have to be good.

I had many people with tons of experience and somebody with the most impressive resume and mostly precedent experience. 

But I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. It was a gut feeling at that point. I did not feel good about it and had hired her.

You have to trust your gut. The guts got all that experience.

You realize in your subconscious that I’m guilty of this, I’ll hold onto people too long, or I’ll hire someone at a sympathy like Ray Dalio, who wrote the book about the principles and started the world’s largest hedge fund. One of the ten wealthiest people on the planet. He said that;

You can help people improve to the next level but you cannot rehabilitate broken people.

You can’t take people five levels up, but you can take them up one more step or two more steps. There’s a whole piece of his book. He was talking about getting rid of people. 

It’s just not worth it. If you have a mission and a vision of helping that one troubled person by paying them and employing them, you do a disservice to your entire team. You’re rooting the morale. 


Avoid People that aren’t a good fit

You’re ruining your company’s culture by keeping even one person around that doesn’t believe in the vision and mission. 

You have to be careful of people drip poison because maybe two or three years ago, I could tell you, I didn’t know if my team liked me. 

They do, probably. Now I feel like my entire team likes me. I feel like people like me. I feel like they think highly of me.

Because I’m doing more of what serves them, and I have set them up to serve the whole better, 

Find someone on steroids to create a little list and tasks where everyone is on the team. We all need to find an integrator or someone to balance out the stuff we don’t want to do when we’re not stuck working in the business.

Imagine you have Jonathan’s freedom from where he was years ago, where his house burned down.

Can you speak to your process of prioritizing and organizing the tasks processes you started to shed to others as they grew into them? 

Get a good integrator for this to move smoothly. Run things by doing five big things a day.

It’s a rule of thumb, have five critical tasks that could be big or small, and have weekly monthly objectives.

And then it’s the team that, that goes from there. They create the tasks and the objectives, and the goals.

Integrations of the people

Some people are creative, and then some people work hard, they care, but they’re not creative.

And it would be best if you had all, so the figure outers are the integrators. They figure out the glue thinker, and uppers are like the entrepreneurs– the visionary. 

And it would help if you had a few as you scale right now. As you scale, you’re going to need more.

Even though it’s not long work hours, there’s value to that. There’s value to that person. And it’s UN, it’s not something you can put on a timecard, and then if they get it done, we have people that work hard.

They do very well, and they work hard. That’s a separate skill set.

Cause the creative person will work hard for a few months, burn out, need a few weeks of break, and then work hard.

They go in pulses and cycles, and that’s the perspective. 

There are different styles of leaders, lift your team, not shouting down through the mountain, like, do this, do that.

There are people out there who could not stand not working. They would do something. If they had nothing to do, they would go around and go crazy.

The real question is how much it sucks to have to do everything. I was spending 12 to 14 hours in my factory working on trying to do marketing. At the same time, I had people coming in every three to five minutes, asking me questions while I could hear what was happening in the other room.

Is it that hard to let go or keep your sanity? How do you overcome it?

Both sides are hard. I think it’s just like choosing what you want to do, but you’re compromising your ability to see the higher-level vision. If you aren’t letting go.

It’s just saying accepting that people will never be a hundred percent as good as you, but with the right stack of people, they can be better than you. 

Your team could be better than you at most things now, even crazy enough, so even if they’re 80% good, you hire the right people who could be 200% good at some things.

I had a lot of courses because I formulated all the products I created for the company from scratch with no investors or the law. It’s a lot of ego in there.

I did it all, and there is such a relief to letting go of all responsibility and being like it’s all my team. 

And also, on the other end, I want them to do well. I want them to do much better to have incremental growth, and rewarding people feels so good.

Some of the most successful people found good people, kept them, and cared for them. It’s very hard as a founder. 

If you’re responsible for many things, keep them in check because having to scramble from task to task is much greater than the pain of something going wrong every once in a while.

Letting go should not be hard if you have proper systems and the right people. It’s relieving. 

For Example, a lot of finance stuff, it’s just little things like running calculations for nutrition back– It’s too complicated, nobody’s going to do it. 

But all it took was a five-minute zoom call to the operations person. She figured it out. It’s another problem. That’s probably another piece to it. Right? We often get in our heads and have the limiting belief that this is too complicated for this person.

And it’s essential to try, like at least try. And if that person can’t figure out those things, they might not be the right person or be in the wrong place. 

There is this girl at my friend’s company who is the head of customer service and is excellent at certain things.

She understands the health food industry and the culture around it better than people making the chocolate, and she’s in the Philippines. She took a whole course on Facebook ads. She wanted to learn it and to get good at it.

And then Jonathan pan talus–owner of the company– sat there and showed her how the whole thing worked. 

And she said no way, I can’t do this, and that’s okay because she’s excellent at something else. 

What parts resonate with your business and your products and services? Maybe there’s a takeaway. A thought an action you want to do based on what you’ve learned here. 

And this is Alisa, and now I don’t know Jonathan before, and I’m sure that I am projecting because it’s, it’s something I’ve experienced recently, but you have this vibe about you, this sigh of relief vibe, the way that you speak about I’ll never look.

Sometimes there is pressure to think that you have to teach everything when they’re more than capable of learning it independently. 

And sometimes you shouldn’t be the one to have all the ideas anyway, because somebody will have some better ideas than you do.

The thought that other people are doing everything, I’m not going to be productive anymore. And then, will anyone respect me if I’m not working hard?

The good news is there’s always more to do. There’s always something to do. If you want to be productive, you want to stay productive. You’re going to be able to remain effective.

It is essential to surround yourself with good people

Always be around the best people and have them rub off onto you.

Just like Jonathan mentioned, he likes to fly first class because the people you meet are different, and they kind of rub of the relationships you have and the deals there. And just the vibe, I suppose.

Jonathan told me, “When he was broke, he had like a thousand dollars in the bank account, and the business was struggling. 

He booked, had the Ritz Carlton, and I swear his business started doing well again within a week, something about being around the energy.”

You can get coffee at Starbucks, or you can get Starbucks, you get coffee at the Ritz Carlton.

They both cost the same, but what you’re paying for is the atmosphere. And there is a different energy.

I asked him what caused him to book the night at the Ritz.

You want to be around mentors like Josh and other folks a hundred percent, but stuff rubs off on you. I had been staying in a lot of really nice hotels. And I just decided to stay at the Western.

Dennis Yu

About the Author

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.

You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.

You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.