We were able to to grow mHelpDesk into a great product, service and company by surrounding ourselves with some of the best in the business. Over the last two years, we grew from a three person company to a 58 person well-oiled field-service software machine. Our goal now, is to create an extremely valuable company — and I strongly believe that in order to do this, we need to continue to pursue hires who have strong entrepreneurial roots.
Hire entrepreneurs? I know the thought crossed your mind, “But they’re just going get up and leave you for their next big idea.”
I don’t believe this is the case — and it starts with creating an environment where former entrepreneurs have autonomy, ownership and can excel. Our retention at mHelpDesk has been great. I believe it’s because we created a place where entrepreneurs can be entrepreneurial in the workplace.
We love onboarding former business owners or startup enthusiasts. They have an unmatchable ambition, the right mentality, they focus on solutions and are always looking for opportunity.
The Ambition to Win
Ambition. Either you have it or you don’t. More often than not, those who have walked the entrepreneurial walk have a growing desire to be someone or do something better. These kind of people — the ones who are constantly propelled to move forward — excel at mHelpDesk. We’ve got this can-do vibe around here that allows people who are goal driven, to ring the gong. This drive exists throughout the company.
We knew we had to hire, Tyree Cook, our 5th employee when he told our sales manager to “just give me a shot and I’ll show you.” He went even further and said, “Just hire me. You don’t even have to pay me.” Tyree shares more in the video below, but it was this ambition that we absolutely loved. He also happened to be the former owner of a venture-backed tour company in D.C. that was featured in Inc.com. And here’s where he kicks it into overdrive. Ty was promoted twice within a year and is now our Director of Channel Sales. He is our highest producing sales rep of all time and holds the company record for highest revenue generated in a month. And that’s why we like to work with entrepreneurs.
The Right Mentality
People who’ve run a business tend to think alike. We’re risk takers, we’re used to wearing many hats, we work around the clock, and the business is just another member of the family.
Ryan has talked about the need to go all in. As an entrepreneur, you might be doing yourself a disservice by NOT leaving your day job. Of course, there are smart ways to make this transition in order to minimize your chance of failure. The theory is: you don’t know what you are capable of until you only have one option.
When you have employees who have been in your shoes and experienced that sense of urgency to either succeed now or fail fast, they see the company in a different light. There is this sense of camaraderie that emerges. We’ve both been in a situation where all we want to do is succeed — and I am so grateful that my team has chosen to help push this company forward.
H.O. Maycotte brought up a great point in his Forbes article about scaling your startup:
“Look for someone who can see the holes in the wall, no matter how small, and who can invent ways to help others see them, too. Call them an idea person, a good salesperson, someone who is perhaps a little overconfident or overzealous, but whatever you call them, be sure it’s your company investing in their determination, the same way the VCs invested in you.”
When you first think of what entrepreneurs do, your response might be “they build companies.” Although this is true, that’s not why you hire them. You hire them because they taught themselves how to build a company. You see, it’s not what they know, it’s that they know what to do when they don’t know. They only think in solutions.
In our early stages, we put a lot of effort into molding our sales strategy. We knew we had a great product, but the sales weren’t reflecting it the way we wanted. We were so naive at first and thought that customers would come to our site and convert on their own without human interaction. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Our team immediately developed an A/B testing strategy to identify what we were doing wrong. In short, we figured out our process and determined that if we could show a customer a demo, there was a 50% chance the would convert. It seems simple, but perfecting a sales strategy can be extensive. Thanks to our problem-solving team, we were able to figure it out pretty quickly.
Neil Patel references a case study where a fortune 100 company increased their headquarters productivity by 41% while decreasing people who quit by as much as 90%. Those numbers are huge and it was the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) strategy that caused this massive shift. This just goes to justify that a results or solution-based strategy in any size company can really set you free.
The Right Opportunity
I met this girl once who told me about her foray into the startup space. Education was big in her family and she never even considered running a business. But after doing so, she told me she now sees the world in a different light — a light where you constantly think about the opportunity in your daily interactions with people.
So many of us have this dream of building something incredible and being successful. Of the billions of people who have that desire, only a handful try to build a company. We can take it down even further and say that of that handful, about 90% of the people who start startups fail.
This means that an incredibly small percentage of the world will build extraordinary companies. It also means, however, that for every one person who succeeds, there are nine ambitious, like-minded, opportunistic people out there.
I shared my goals and ambitions with many of the initial and ongoing hires at mHelpDesk. Some, especially the early employees, saw our vision and what we intended to create. They, in turn, saw their opportunity — to be part of one of the best companies in the field.
This brings me to my favorite part about hiring entrepreneurs — their stories.
Most corporations don’t really talk about where their employees come from or how they helped to build the existing company. Perhaps to some, they are seen as people who couldn’t quite make it on their own. But we see it differently. You see, the success of mHelpDesk directly aligns with the efforts of it’s employees — people who have owned small businesses or had their crack at a startup. Without you and your experiences, we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did. And we thank you for that.
With that, we’d like to announce the launch of our first employee series. Our success is directly aligned with hiring great people. That’s why we’re sharing their story.
The first interview is with Tyree Cook. Tyree talks about the success of his previous, venture-backed business, how he got to mHelpDesk, and why he’s here.
Last modified: November 23, 2016