All business owners face this dilemma: Should I hire a friend? Of course, there is an added emotional dynamic when employing someone close to you. Those ties do require consideration. However, regardless of who you hire, consistent frameworks need to be in place. Without them, decisions and potential outcomes can become very messy. In this…

EP #7

Season 4 Episode 7: Should I Hire a Friend? — Live Coaching with Kris

All business owners face this dilemma: Should I hire a friend? Of course, there is an added emotional dynamic when employing someone close to you. Those ties do require consideration. However, regardless of who you hire, consistent frameworks need to be in place. Without them, decisions and potential outcomes can become very messy.

In this first installment of “Live Coaching with Kris” on my Leadership is Feminine podcast, I address the common question of employing people you know. As I coach a very successful business woman regarding this, we cover guidelines in employing people, clarifying expectations and defining roles, delegating not abdicating, and much more.

By the way, I’m very excited to add these episodes. I’m loving doing these live, anonymous coaching sessions with one of you, my listeners, recording it, and then sharing it so we can all benefit. It’s a blast! I can’t wait to share more of them with you all.

 “I think I need to hire someone to support me. Not someone I’m going to support. And that was incredibly delineating for me.” – Kris Plachy

What You’ll Learn

  • Impart your vision clearly
  • Don’t build for a specific person in mind
  • Clarify what you need and outline the scope
  • Define your values
  • Delegate not abdicate
  • Measurables
  • Follow-through plan
  • Timeline

Contact Info and Recommended Resources

Connect with Kris Plachy


  • Join Kris’ email list for valuable content by heading over to krisplachy.com and dropping your name in the signup box!
  • Get FREE help for managing stress: krisplachy.com/overwhelmed
  • Get How to CEO DIGITAL! This course is available for all entrepreneurs looking to increase their business mastery. Access includes weekly Q&A calls for additional help.

CEO Immersion (aka How to CEO LIVE!)

Five full days of complete immersion during which you’ll be coached and advised, and you’ll develop every team system you need to have in place to build an amazing team. You, and your person that helps you with all this (your Ops person), will leave with everything in hand, built, documented, ALL ready to implement. It will be a week of not just learning about how to do things but having everything developed so you can implement immediately.

The week is scheduled for late August, in Scottsdale, AZ. You must be at 7 figures to join because the complexity of your team is important for this exercise.

Kris Plachy: Well, hello, how are you? Welcome to Leadership is Feminine. This is Kris Plachy. I’m really excited today. Several weeks ago, I made an invitation to my listeners, which is you, if you wanted to get some coaching with me, please to fill out an application and several of you did. And so today I’m excited to introduce to you one of the coaching calls that we did together.

The woman that I coached here is like probably many of you. She is running a successful business, and it’s growing. And she’s really ready to start thinking about and bringing people into the business to help her get the work done, so that she’s not doing it all. And also so that she’s not doing so many of the things that she’s probably not as good at. She has an area of expertise that she wants to focus on.

So on this coaching call, we talked about where her business is, and the decision that she’s trying to make. And we talked about the common challenges that a lot of entrepreneurs face, when they start making initial hires. And not unlike many of you, she also wants to hire someone that she knows, that she has a relationship with. So no matter who we’re going to hire, there are always frameworks we want to have in place, regardless of who that person is. And so we talked through what those were, because it helps make this decision so much better for everybody if we have that in place before someone gets started, right.

So take a listen and see what you identify with. I think you’re going to find a lot of what we talked about will resonate if you’re running your own business. And we talk about why it’s so important to think about team design, when you’re also considering organizational and business growth. You need to think about both at the same time. So without further ado, let’s take a listen to this coaching call.

What’s your business first, before we start?

Guest: Okay, let’s start with that. So my business is Fitness Canada. So corporations are a little bit different here. I help women live purposeful lives in bodies they love. So I do post weight loss. I help sculpt and build dream bodies, through mindset, macro nutrition and muscle development. So personal trainer, nutritional coach long time, and now most recently, life coach. And I have an amazing platform, which has an incredible group of women supporting each other. And we are getting ready to scale.

So right now, I’m in the process of really finalizing and perfecting the onboarding, the offboarding, the communication. I’ve beta tested it with the members to see how much interaction they need to be successful and figured out like how many people, like, for every 50 new members, we need a new coach, like that kind of a thing. And we’re planning that… I’ll see what you think of this. I don’t love the Facebook ads marketing strategy. So I’m planning on affiliate marketing. Because my members are so vocal about what they’re doing anyway. And they’re way better on social media than I am. So why not utilize that and reward them for that? So I’m in the process right now with the legal team of setting up the affiliate contracts and what that will look like. And I’m super excited about it. And my membership is super excited about it, and so we’re going to try and launch that this fall.

And at that point, I kind of expected it to… I don’t have expectations, but it’s already, like, we’re not marketing right now, and we’re growing like wildfire. Right now, I can do all the things, I just don’t like to do all the things.

Kris Plachy: And you can’t keep doing all the things.

Guest: Yeah.

Kris Plachy: Where’s your revenue? Are you under 500? Are you over 500? Are you over a million?

Guest: So I did 92,000 Canadian last year. We’re on point to double that this year.

Kris Plachy: Nice.

Guest: And then once we start to scaling, sky’s the limit. But I also recognize that one of the products that I offer is right now has limitations with how much I can handle, and so I’m really working on my mindset about bringing in other coaches and not everyone needs to have a piece of me and, like, coaching coaches to be more like…It’s been fun watching Brooke build her business because she is an example to me of literally, this is possible. I’m just in a different market.

Kris Plachy: And the only reason I asked about revenue and this is for anyone listening, is it gives me a sense of the complexity of your business. And once you hit about 100k, which you’re over, right? Now you’re going to double, you need help. That’s just the truth. So what do you have right now helping you? Who do you have?

Guest: I don’t know if this is what you’re talking about, but I have a coach or someone who’s helping me through the software platform tech. So I meet with her once every two weeks and we run through a client experience channel, going through kind of my freebie and everything to make sure all the T’s and I’s are crossed. Aside from that, I have—and you’re going to hate this because the more I listen to your podcast, the more I’m like, I don’t know if this is the right thing. So I’ve hired multiple VAs from multiple VA websites overseas, local, all of it, and really struggled to communicate with them, the brand image that I wanted to portray, that I have. And I know that it’s on my end, it has nothing to do with their abilities. It was me and my lack of communication and organization that made those relationships not work. Well, you’re going to hate me, you ready?

Kris Plachy: [Inaudible 06:22] is new to me. I’m like, “Yeah, and…”

Guest: I have a member in my membership, who’s also been an athlete of mine for a number of years. She’s a waitress, and she’s in her 30s, and she’s looking for the next thing. And I want to develop her, I want to spend time developing her into someone that can build and help me, and I know that you want me to hire a professional?

Kris Plachy: No, no, no, no. I just have a question, though. Have you ever developed someone to be a leader?

Guest: Yes.

Kris Plachy: Good. That’s critical. So you’ve had other people work for you in the past that you helped become… that’s what you’re talking about. You’re not just talking about a tactical person, you’re talking about someone you want to bring in to help sort of over time? Is that what you’re talking about?

Guest: Naturally, she doesn’t have the same leadership, creative mindset that I do, which I think is, you know, she’s really good with figuring out tech and creating videos and doing that, but she’s not an expert in it, she’s never worked at it. So something that I’ve said to her is, “Hey, if you want to come in and apprentice and hone your skills, I’m not going to pay you to learn. But once you’re producing content that we can utilize,” I’m going to affiliate her and allow her to use her QR code on all of it, so that she can make a revenue stream that way. The more her content picks up, the more revenue, she’ll make that way. I basically told her, “I have a place for you.”

Kris Plachy: Listen, I don’t…Everybody gets to do whatever the hell they want in their own business. All I say to people all the time is there’s no such thing as too high of expectations. There’s no such thing as a terrible idea. There’s just expectations that are unclear or ideas that are unvetted, that’s it.

Guest: Okay.

Kris Plachy: If your vision is that you’re going to bring someone in, and you’re going to help her learn all the pieces and parts that you’ve been learning, right? How to upload classes and how to use your platform and how to, I don’t know, post emails, right? I’m trying to make…You’re an online business, I’m assuming you, sort of, right? So then your job to ensure that you…It’s not about whether or not she’ll be successful, because so much of that is up to her. You’re a life coach, you know mindset. And this is part of what we teach in How to CEO, there’s a difference between mindset and skill set and how that plays into performance.

So there’s only so much of that you have authority over. But what you have authority over is the direction, the structure, and the ownership process you put in place. So when you asked in your question, you know, I’ve tried to do this a few times, and I am not getting what I want. I haven’t been clear. That’s where we’ve got to start. And my recommendation to you is take her out of your head just for this process. So let’s not build something for someone. Let’s build something for your organization, your business. And where you are, it’s really easy to just think of it as you doing stuff with clients. And what we want to do is invite you, like you said in your question, to that CEO stuff, that CEO mind, which now we’re going to start thinking about your business is here and you are here. We have to ask, what does the business need? So the business needs support in these key areas because you aren’t going to do it in the long run, and you can’t. Did you listen to my podcast two weeks ago, Founders Curse?

Guest: Yes.

Kris Plachy: I’m the same way. I could, right now, go in and post a replay of a video. I could right now go and redo a landing page. But I absolutely should not be doing that at my salary. That’s dumb. But I can. So whenever we know what we can do, we have a reluctancy to release it, because then we have all our drama around mistakes, things aren’t going well.

Guest: And I’m pretty good at the non-perfectionist part. I’ve already told her that I…She has a… there’s a fear of failure there. And I’ve told her that that is not an issue with me. Fail hard often.

Kris Plachy: Fail together. Here’s the thing about when you bring someone into your business like this: what I would want you to do first, there’s really, I think, three exercises I would give you. The first one is you already said you have a very clear vision, to help women live purposeful lives in bodies they love, right?

Guest: Yes.

Kris Plachy: Beautiful, absolutely beautiful, right? Now we need to know, what are the three core principles, core values, core factors, and four ready for a team member?

Guest: Oh, okay.

Kris Plachy: Not for the business. So a lot of us tend to think about this is what we represent in the world. I love that about you. But let’s now think about what you expect of a team member. And you have to get really clear about that. Because as you’re teaching someone tactics and skill, if someone is willing, most people can learn anything. What you can’t teach is ownership, responsibility, initiative, follow through, communication.

So when you say I want to develop someone, what I want you to do is put these in two columns, we’re not going to develop her as a human. We’re going to develop her as the role that you’re designing, they’re different. Do you see the difference?

Guest: Yes.

Kris Plachy: So like, in my past life, if somebody is rockstar competent, but when there’s a problem, they look at me like, “Well, what do I do?” I’m like, “All right, I’m out.” Nothing. If you need me to think for you, I can’t. I can’t. And I’m not going to teach you how to be that person. So that’s what we’re going to be wanting to look for. You’re going to need to write the role, and the responsibilities of the role and what that role is ultimately going to be delivering for your business and how you’re going to know.

And then we need to make sure that you’re really clear with her and anyone, what you expect from a behavior perspective, how they actually do the work. That’s more the assessment that I would say over the 90 days is partnership wise, communication wise, work behavior and pattern wise, are you aligned? Because you can teach her how to post a post in your program, theoretically. If she can’t learn— there’s some people who really can’t do something, overskilled, they just can’t get it. But that’s so much easier to figure out than trying to change the way someone put their behavior on.

Guest: Yes, I know this person. Well, she’s been one of my athletes for a number of years, she has an incredible work ethic.

Kris Plachy: Awesome.

Guest: But just a lack of confidence in her own skill set. I did the same thing with her when she like, I knew she’d become a pro athlete before she did. And I had to convince her that it was possible. And that’s why I see this relationship working is because I’ve developed her as an athlete leader.

Kris Plachy: You have history. That’s great as a client. She’s not your client. She’s your employee.

Guest: Right.

Kris Plachy: And we just have to always we… I think it’s a conversation we have, like, “I love you. My relationship with you is really important to me, but putting you in this role, means we’re going to have to figure out what that looks like. I’m not your coach. If you need a coach, let’s get you one.” But you can’t do both right now. And you can every now and then pick on her brain on how she doing and what do you think, but be careful because…

I just went through this. I don’t know if I talked about this in my podcast, but I was hiring an executive admin about four months ago. And I met someone, and I thought she was amazing. I really did. And I was so excited. And I was really close. And I pretty much told her, “Listen, I think this is going to be great.” And after the call I had with her, there were a few things that she said, just like, “Oh, I need to ask my husband.” And something else, which that’s fine. Like, people get to do whatever they want. But what I noticed in myself was, I have a tendency to think I can like to fix people. And I can teach women how to be empowered to make their own decisions, right? Like, that’s my jam.

So I was already like, “Oh, I can’t wait for her to work for me. So I can…” because she was young. And I sat on my couch that night and I turned to Slack to my Michelle and said, “I think I need to hire someone to support me, not someone that I’m going to support.” And that was incredibly delineating for me. And so now I hired someone and she just supports me, it is amazing, right? So you’re hiring someone, and this is a critical hire, and I am not saying she’s not the best person for it. I’m just saying, let’s get it…It’s almost as if you would say to me, I’m going to go into business with my spouse. And you would tell me all the reasons why that would be perfect—because you guys know each other and your friends and you trust him and her or whatever, right? Like you would just know. And I would say, great. Let’s get a roll, what’s the accountability structure? What are the goals? Because that keeps it from getting messy.

Guest: Okay.

Kris Plachy: Okay. So your assignments are, let’s get those values. You said you have four. But those are kind of businessy values. What are they?

Guest: My values that I put into my business? It’s encouraged, educate, empower, elevate.

Kris Plachy: Okay, so would you fire someone if they didn’t share those values?

Guest: Yes, if they came into my business and spoke with my clients in a way that wasn’t encouraging or empowering. If they’re [inaudible 17:15] thing or you know?

Kris Plachy: What about it with each other?

Guest: Yes.

Kris Plachy: Okay. So the only thing I don’t hear in there is like work behaviors.

Guest: So when you were talking, the three that I wrote down that I caught that are important for me with a team member working on my business, would be ownership for them to feel like it is theirs too, communication and problem self-solving, taking initiative.

Kris Plachy: So sit with those, right. And then we need to write the role. The role is the name of the title.

Guest: And I’m not going to do VA, I’m thinking right now, I need someone to handle the social media content. And the social media, I want to give that away.

Kris Plachy: You need to delegate that.

Guest: Delegate, okay.

Kris Plachy: Not abdicate.

Guest: Okay.

Kris Plachy: So what is the difference?

Guest: One is me throwing my mess to somebody, and the other one is…

Kris Plachy: Can you even say that?

Guest: Yeah, having it over and saying this is how I want it done.

Kris Plachy: Yeah.

Guest: It feels different.

Kris Plachy: Yeah, it’s awful. But this is a brain dump. And you have to kind of be on to yourself, like, so maybe it’s a call with her to say, hey, here are all the things I want you to know. But what I really want to encourage you is you start documenting this stuff, so that as…because she probably won’t do it forever. And you might even want to treat it as a project with you. Like, you say, let’s do this for 90 days, you take my social media, I’m going to outline scope, responsibilities, expectations, and let’s do it for 90 days and see how it goes.

Guest: Cool, I love the idea of the 90 day, and then assessing and maybe even changing it to a different project. And I do foresee—and again, you might correct this train of thought but I do foresee training her and developing her as a good way of forcing myself to get more organized and…

Kris Plachy: It’s the best thing you can do. Hiring someone is the best thing you can do for yourself as a woman who’s running a business, for anybody listening if you haven’t hired anybody yet, but it’s awful. I don’t sell a bunch of bullshit. I’m telling you, it’s hard, it’s going to be hard. But listen to me, as soon as you figured this part out, your business can scale because then it’s not going to be reliant on you.

Guest: Right.

Kris Plachy: So values, scope. In that scope, we’re going to do it as a project, I would just really look at, okay, if I have this person doing this for 90 days, what is she going to do? How frequently is she going to post? What kind of posts? Is she going to post? Where she going to get the content to post? Where she going to get the image to post? How involved will you be in that? And then how will you be able to tell her that she’s winning?

Guest: Right. Yeah. And that’s something that I’ve already started to realize is the first kind of project that I gave her, there’s a result that I wanted, but it’s just her finishing it. It’s not like a building of such. So with the social media, there’ll be like an initiative and a reward system for the building of the membership for the…

Kris Plachy: You’ve got to really think about why the hell you even want someone doing social media. Why are you going to pay for it? Is it more followers? Is it more members? Is it more DMs? What are you trying to do here? Get that really clear in your head before you start paying someone to do it?

Guest: Yeah.

Kris Plachy: That’s why I believe so strongly in what I do, because I talked to so many women who are running 4, 5, $8 million businesses, paying people tons of shit. I’m like, what are you paying for? Their time? No. As soon as that locks in for you, it’s so much easier. I’m going to pay her for 90 days to grow my followers by 50%? I don’t know. I made it up. Or to grow clicks on LinkedIn bio.

Guest: And that would be the more so the goal, like, sure, followers are great. I could care less. But are those likes and those follows getting onto the email list?

Kris Plachy: Right. And how do they do that?

Guest: And how do we measure that? Yeah, there’s a link, but how many of…

Kris Plachy: There’s a link but how does…If she’s involved, is she going to DM people and say, “Hey, I’m so glad you’re here. Did you check out what we’re doing over here?” Like, what…? Because it’s not enough. I mean, the thing about social media is that people who do social media, like, you know, they just do the posts. Unless you’re going to ask her to DM them.

Guest: That’s totally within the spectrum of it.

Kris Plachy: Yeah.

Guest: Cool.

Kris Plachy: So anytime you say something, like, I want you to DM them. As an example, how often? By when? So, within a day of them liking my page, my profile, or following? Do you follow up three times? This is the stuff that we don’t think about, because we just think people will know what we think. And they don’t. So just, again, anything you put on there, just be as explicit as you can, because then it’s so much easier. You can go in there, you can look and see how many followers did we get this week? You can go look at your DMs and see like, okay, is it working? And the best news ever is if she’s doing really well at it, it’s such a win for her. It’s like, yeah, you get it!

Guest: Yeah.

Kris Plachy: It’s good news.

Guest: Yes, my brain!

Kris Plachy: I know, welcome. Yes, this is actually why How to CEO is 12 weeks long?

Guest: Okay, let’s just like throw this in here if you have a couple more minutes, I was looking at the CEO week intensive. And I don’t know if I’m…

Kris Plachy: You’re not ready for that.

Guest: Okay, thank you. It’s going to Hawaii, doing things that sounded nice.

Kris Plachy: That’s different. That’s a whole other… Once you’re a client in any of the programs, you get invited to Hawaii.

Guest: I’ve never been to Hawaii.

Kris Plachy: I’m going in week for purposes so not fun.

Guest: I’m going to a private southern Gulf Coast island in on Saturday. But that’s up in Canada, in BC so it’s not…What’s the 12 week CEO program? Where can I find out more about that?

Kris Plachy: So you just go to www.krisplachy.com/howtoceo. I’ll have Michelle send you the link too. How to CEO, it’s basically 12 weeks, you get all the frameworks you need, from what I just was talking to you about with you know, setting up your vision, your values, your expectations as it relates to behavior, designing roles, writing the job descriptions, writing a job posting, because the job description is different than a posting. This thing is a marketing document. Hiring processes, onboarding, 30, 60, 90 day, how to really think about what you want this person to be able to accomplish, and how you’re going to assess if they did a good job, then what to do, like, how to manage them, how to have feedback, conversations, how to coach as a manager, not as a life coach.

Guest: I’ve started the entrepreneurial management program three times, and I haven’t gotten past like the fourth.

Kris Plachy: Here’s what I’ll tell you about that. I love that program, but it’s all very high level. So what we do and How to CEO is different because it’s much more tactical. And then we provide 12 weeks of coaching and Q&A calls. So you come every week, and there’s a lot of other women there who are going to ask, how do I deal with this? And then it’s just a learning thing. And I’m super excited, we’re starting to set up a replay podcast, too. So if you’re a listener to a podcast, it’s just easier to listen. And it’s really reasonable, because we’re tweaking things. So I think it’s under $3,000 now, it’s really reasonable. I think it’s a definite… I wish I could catch everybody where you are, because so many women hire me when they’re 3 million.

Guest: And that’s kind of I know, I had a chat with Brooke, probably a year ago now. And she was like, “Set your system this up now. Or you’re going to have to burn it all down.” So like, stepped back from the marketing of it. And I haven’t created anything new this year. And I’m just systemizing and automating everything.

Kris Plachy: Brilliant, you’re smart to do it. I have a few clients who did that and started with me at like 200, 300, even. And, you know, it doesn’t mean…Usually, once you get to about 3 million, you do have to do it again, I’m not going to lie. But it’s a lot nicer to have to do it then, than to do it at a million when you’re just been scrapping your way through it, right? And then you look at the people you’ve hired, and you’re like, “Oh, God, these are not the right people.” You’ve got a really smart plan that you’re working. So, yeah, I mean, I know, we could totally help you with that, but, you know?

Guest: I’m excited to…

Kris Plachy: I should sell it to you. But listen, you should totally check out How to CEO.

Guest: How to CEO, is that open all of the time? Or is it something you launch?

Kris Plachy: Yes.

Guest: Okay.

Kris Plachy: Yeah, we’ve gone around and around on that. What I find is women have triggers. And when you have a bad trigger, you need the help, right? And what we usually do in the first three weeks of your participation in the program, because it’s a lot of content, you’re not going to get through it all, there’s no way you. What we want is for you to look at it and say, “Okay, this is what I need right now.” And then if you want to keep working with us, you can join the lab, and that’s our monthly…We have four calls a week open for people all the time.

But we usually find that the first three weeks, we’re kind of triaging something, there’s something happening in your business that you’re like, either you need to fire someone or you are desperate, you can’t hire anyone, or you’ve tried to hire people four times, and it hasn’t worked out. So I just decided finally I’m like, “Let’s just make it open.” And then you just do your 12 weeks. And so you’re going to be in this with women who are just starting, you’re going to be in this with women, because the office hours are open to everybody. There could be someone on the call who has been with me for years.

And so from that perspective, you really get a lot of interesting insight. And we just do team. We just talk about team, we don’t talk about how to make money. You go somewhere else for that. We really focus on the team design, team decisions, mind drama, when it comes to your team, dealing with difficult employees, outlining a role, setting proper expectations. This is really what we do. Yeah.

Guest: Awesome. That sounds amazing. Okay, you, it was so nice to meet you.

Kris Plachy: It was so good to meet you. So do you feel like you have kind of a crystallized plan here?

Guest: It’s not crystallized, but I’ve got some stuff to kind of…

Kris Plachy: Well, you’ll listen back. So that’ll be good, but values and the scope. Measurable, how are you going to measure? And then what will be kind of your follow through plan, and I would just outline how much time you’re going to do this for, so maybe it’s 90 days or something. Start there.

Guest: Okay.

Kris Plachy: Don’t build it for her, build it because you know, you’re going to always need a social media digital strategist. So you’re building something, that once it’s not just a 90 day deal, you’re really building a role that you could if it’s not her someday, maybe she takes a different role in your business, you’ve already done all that work.

Guest: I love it. That makes so much sense to me.

Kris Plachy: Yeah. Cool. Love it. Thank you.

We have a lot of exciting changes coming up here at Kris Plachy Coaching Group. And I don’t want you to miss out. From leaving social media, to offering live interactions only to people on our email list, I want to make sure you don’t miss out. Head on over to www.krisplachy.com and drop your name and email in our little box there. And that way you’ll get all the updates well before everybody else and even updates that nobody else will know about. See you there!

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