Hire for the Size of the Relationship, Not the Size of the Job

A valve broke in my dishwasher and water started to trickle into the basin when it wasn’t running. Overnight it filled the basin, overflowed into the kitchen floor and created a nice adventure for the next morning. Some buckets, towels, and four letter words later, crisis was averted. But it wasn't fixing itself.

Not a problem, I'd like to think I’m handy. Go on youtube and within 30 minutes am a plumbing expert and know how to uninstall the busted part, replace the valve, will take three tools, and about 30-45 minutes of work.

A full week later and I’m still “doing-it-myself”. That is, doing the dishes by hand.

Every first time DIY project takes 50% longer than expected, and requires 1-3 extra trips to Home Depot for more parts. I'm learning that this game development will be the same if everything is DIY, and that in some areas I need to call in the pros. For me at home; electrical and plumbing. For Clubhouse Games; graphic design.

The most consistent advice I’ve received for hiring a person or company is aligning expectations up front for a successful partnership. If you are doing this full time and need quick turn around, you don’t want someone who will get you a draft every two weeks. Can’t agree with that enough!

One of my favorite learnings from a dozen years in operations: Hire for the size of the potential relationship, not just the current job. One of the key principles that guided me was to find and develop suppliers who were at a similar point or slightly behind where our company was. You become a meaningful customer to them, they become a meaningful part of your business, and when business is good they have the runway to ‘grow up with you’ as we would say.

I’ve already forgotten that twice since starting Clubhouse Games. One of the most entertaining was when I was looking for a graphic designer and got introduced to a friend of a friend – who turned out to be a multinational marketing director. I was incredibly impressed, but needless to say we agreed that Clubhouse Games wasn’t quite ready for him! – Yet.

The concept is simple enough. If you have a small yard, do you call up the company that manicures the high school football field? No, you take the flyer from the Smith’s kid down the street. You get better service, he cares about you, and you care about him.

Now that I’ve been reminded, I’m excited to remember to hire for the size of the relationship, not the size of the job. Once I fix this dishwasher.

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