Building a team is the only way to take your business to the next level, says Kathy Knowles, founder and CEO of Intuitive Strategies.

Unfortunately, hiring the right people is also one of the hardest things you can do in business, especially for “solopreneurs” who are so busy and aren’t confident others can do the work the right way.

You can cultivate a team you can trust, says Kathy. You just have to embrace hiring strategies that require you to do some homework up front… but will pay off big time as your business grows.

We talk about…

  • Why knowledge, experience, and ability are just part of an effective employee
  • The structure you need in place before you can hire anybody
  • Referrals you must avoid at all costs
  • The surprising way to handle salary questions in job interviews
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in This Episode:

Episode Transcript:

Davina Frederick: Hello and welcome to this Solo to CEO podcast. Our goal is to provide a mix of powerful thought-provoking and practical information to assist you on your journey from Solo to CEO of a high impact, high revenue generating business so you can create the lifestyle you desire. I’m your host Davina Frederick, and I’m here this morning with Kathy Knowles, founder and CEO of Intuitive Strategies. Welcome Kathy.

Kathy Knowles: Good morning Davina, I’m so excited to be here. Thank you.

Davina Frederick: I’m so excited to have you here. So tell us a little bit about Intuitive Strategies?

Kathy Knowles: Yeah. Well, I help business owners hire the right people and really build high performing teams. And what that comes down to is when they know how to hire the right way or when I assist them in hiring the right way and when they recognize and develop the complete potential in their people, their business just completely grows and explodes. And they have clients who love them. I absolutely love what I do.

Davina Frederick: That’s wonderful. I think that is such a key factor in that transition from working as a solo to growing into a CEO is really learning how to cultivate a team and trust a team to support you as you grow your business. And I know it’s a huge issue for a lot of solos, how do I cultivate that team? How do I find those quality people? And so we’re really going to dig into that and ask for your help in helping sort of sort out how you go about cultivating a quality team to support us as we grow business. So what kinds of things, let’s break it down and say, where do we start? If you’re a solo in a business and you’re doing everything yourself and you have a lot of fear around cultivating a team, tell me this, what do you think the number one mistake people make when they make their first hire? What do you think the number one mistake is they make?

Kathy Knowles: Yeah. I think what it is, is number one, hiring someone they know.

Davina Frederick: Oh really?

Kathy Knowles: Oh yeah. Or even talking to someone they know and they say, “Oh, my neighbor down the street is looking for a job.” Or hiring the first person that walks in the door because the person that’s doing the hiring, they don’t really know what they need. I see it happen all the time.

Davina Frederick: So, they become like an employment agency for everybody who needs a job?

Kathy Knowles: Yeah. Absolutely.

Davina Frederick: They feel sorry for other people.

Kathy Knowles: I know. And then the challenge is, Davina, especially if it’s a friend or a relative, now you have them within your business. You know that they’re not really the right fit, you know there’s something off. And you love them, you care about them, they’re friends or family. So you keep trying to change the role from what it should be to suit them. Now, you’re sitting there two or three years down the road going, “Oh my gosh, what did I do here? What did I create, and how do I change this?”

Davina Frederick: Yeah. Yeah. Wow. Number one mistake, don’t just hire somebody because you have a need. So does that kind of come up because people wait too long to make their first hire?

Kathy Knowles: Yeah. I think it’s actually a few things. I think number one, they wait too long until they are in the middle of a meltdown. They’re so stressed out, they can’t do what they really need to do because they’re doing all of these other roles. And they keep looking at their time and they don’t have enough time. So that’s one thing. And again, I’m going to go back to clarity. You’ll hear me in this call a lot today just really go back to clarity. I think another thing is they don’t spend enough time to really say or articulate what exactly do I need this person to do?

It’s interesting, I’ll talk to my clients especially when I’m first initially starting to work with them and they’ll say, “Oh, Kathy, I am just so fed up. I hired, I don’t know, Amanda, and she’s not doing at all anything that I want here to do. She’s not accountable. She’s not this, and she’s not that.” And then I’ll say, “Well, what do you want Amanda to do?” And they can’t really answer me. It’s like having fuzzy elevator pitch. If you can’t say what your business is, this is the same thing. If you can’t say what the expectation is, the outcomes of what this person should be doing, then you don’t know the position well enough yourself. And I’m not saying they have to do the job, but they do have to know the job in order to be a strong leader and manager for that person in that role.

Davina Frederick: So, they have to be very clear on what it is that they want the person or the position, what they want the position to do for them before they hire? So that clarity.

Kathy Knowles: Yeah. And not only clear in the tactical side or the technical side, the knowledge ability. But more so and probably more important, clear in the soft skills. When I talk to my clients a lot of times it’s not about the person not being able to do the job, it’s about the person’s soft skills not fitting in with the company. So it’s almost like you need to know what super powers in some ways does this person need to have. I hear people say all the time, oh, we can’t have drama here. Well, in some ways, that’s a soft skill. People being on time, people being able to communicate well with the customers or the clients, people being able to understand sort of like that whole intuitive thing in order to be one step in front of someone else. All of those things are really more soft skills than they are tactical skills.

Davina Frederick: Right, right. I know I’ve invited you to speak with some of my clients before. And one of the things that you have spoken at length about with us and our groups are core values and starting from a place of core values. Can you explain that concept and why that’s important?

Kathy Knowles: No, I love that. And wasn’t it powerful that day with your group?

Davina Frederick: Oh, yeah.

Kathy Knowles: I thought we were going to talk about several things, and we just stayed on core values the entire time.

Davina Frederick: I know, I know because it is so important. It’s so important. It affects so many aspects of your business not just cultivating your team, but it’s huge.

Kathy Knowles: Yeah. Well, what’s so interesting about core values that we don’t think about, a lot of times when I speak to my clients about this, I kind of feel their energy or their eyes roll back in their head because they’re thinking, “Oh my gosh, we’re going to have these values written on the wall,” just like a vision and mission statement. And the truth is, it’s not that at all. It’s already the way you are showing up every day to take care of your clients. It’s almost your hidden MO of the way not only you run your business, but the way you run your life. And I love Simon Sinek, and if those that are listening to this aren’t familiar with him, just go check out some of his YouTubes. They’re unbelievable.

But Simon Sinek says all the time that values plus behavior equal culture. So a real easy way to get a feel for what your values are is to look at one of your favorite clients in the whole wide world. And look at the way you more or less breakdown what is most important for you when you work with them. And Simon Sinek says too, it should be something short and sweet, and it should always start with a verb. So I have five, I keep mine very, very simple. And number one is to put people first because I’m in a people business. Number two for me is to deliver highest value. Number three is to do the right thing. Number four is to implement systems and processes. And number five is to measure client success. Because if I’m doing the first four, number five should just more or less come naturally.

And now all I need to do is measure it and see if something has falling into the cracks, do I need to implement another system and process? Have I always done the right thing on this one? Have I always put my clients first? Did I deliver the highest value? So they all really work together.

Davina Frederick: I love that, I love that. And I found it to be such a terrific exercise. I started from the place, my brand is the indispensable trusted advisor. And I help my clients position themselves as indispensable, trusted advisors clients clamor to hire. So I looked at it and I said, what does it take to be an indispensable, trusted advisor? What does it mean to me to be an indispensable, trusted adviser? What do I teach my clients? How do I show up as an indispensable, trusted advisor to my clients? So that core values exercise was powerful. So powerful because I realized that not only does it apply to my team, but it also applied to my clients and to me. I mean, it’s my core values, but it’s also the type of people I attract, the type of people I want to work with all the way round as a team and as clients. These are the kind of people that I like to work with, that I want in my world.

Kathy Knowles: Yeah. And I think that’s why that exercise is so powerful because we don’t realize how much we show up in our business the same way we show up in our life. And then when you do that core values exercise, because I remember Davina as you went through the exercise yourself and you read your core values, you and I have known each other now for what, four years or so. And I could so clearly see those being your values. And then earlier, because I came early for lunch that day as we were eating lunch, I was listening to conversations around the table. And I was part of those conversations in the board room. And it was really beautiful that as people went through the exercise, their core values at the end of the day were matching up to their discussions during lunch.

Davina Frederick: Right, right, right. So it’s a very natural sort of thing?

Kathy Knowles: Yeah, very natural, very natural.

Davina Frederick: So, it’s about bringing that really to your awareness when you are going through the hiring process, thinking about. Because the worst thing is hiring people and bringing them into your business and into your world and into your life and having to work with them every day and finding out that they don’t share your core values, those things that are so fundamental to you. For instance, for me it’s critical to have people that show up and do what they say they’re going to do when they say they’re going to do it with a high level of integrity. And so there’s nothing that irritates me more than to have somebody on my team that can’t do that, that doesn’t show up when they say they’re going to, that doesn’t perform when they say they’re going to.

You’re not going to last very long in my organization if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t take that, doesn’t have that level of integrity. If you’re much more casual about that, it’s just not going to work well with me because I’m not casual that way. And some people are, some people it’s just like, hey, man, get things done when you get it done, whatever. But not me, I have certain expectations. So it’s going to be very important to me that characteristic. It’s good to know that at the outset because a person is not going to be very happy working with me if they don’t have that core value. So it’s not just about me, it’s about a person that I’m bringing into my organization as well.

Kathy Knowles: I want to address that even further because them not being happy, it’s about you not being happy. It’s the way you match your clients up with who you are based on your core values, your clients aren’t going to be happy. And overall, life for not many people will be happy. That’s how powerful that is.

Davina Frederick: Right, right. I love that as a starting point for people just sitting down and really thinking. Does that kind of figure into the name of your company and sort of how you came up with the name of your company as Intuitive Strategies, is this sort of because you believe that people really need to look a little deeper than just the mechanics of hiring?

Kathy Knowles: Yes, absolutely. It’s so funny because in coming up with a name, so I worked in corporate for 23 years. And I could interview someone over the phone and make the decision to fly that person into town. And I would just know that that person was the right hire. There was something deep in my soul, I knew they were the right hire. I’d walk down to the CEO’s office and I’d say, “Hey, look, I know the resume doesn’t look good, but this is the person we’re going to hire,” kind of thing. And somehow I just sort of always knew the inner workings of the organization. And we had seven different departments, 200 team members and 85 acres of property. So it’s not like that’s an easy thing, but I just always knew it.

And I think somehow I was taking something deeper in. I was matching those soft skills with the culture. The CEO, I knew his values. And by the way, I aligned with his values. So it was very easy for me to not only hire in a very strategic way but also higher in a very intuitive way. And that is truly Intuitive Strategies, the way I want people to look at their business because it takes you to that deeper level with your clients and with the people you hire, with your community, it really does.

Davina Frederick: So, let me ask you this. You have probably hired close to, if not more than a thousand people through the course of your career, right? So can we as solos having never, some people or solos have never hired anybody before. How can we tap into that intuitive part of ourselves and trust that? Because I think one of the struggles that a lot of solos have is trusting themselves to hire somebody. There’s a lot of fear around being responsible for hiring a person and bringing them on, trusting them and also worth being responsible for bringing this person into their organization and having this person deal with their clients, all of that. So all that’s involved with that. So what kinds of things can they do to sort sharpen their intuition? I know there are tools and things like that that they can use to help them, but tell me some of the things that you would advise?

Kathy Knowles: Yeah. I love that question Davina, and thank you for answering it because that really is the truth. It’s the fear. And not only the fear of what can happen on the business owner’s side, but the fear of this person is leaving one position to come join you. And it’s important. And so I think part of it is our life is made up of stories, it really is. When we look back on where we’ve been and we’re with a group of people, it’s fun to tell stories. So I love behavioral based interview questions. So for me, when I do, I just several layers of interviewing by the way. I can teach an organization my seven-step process, which is called find and fill formula. Or many times, the organization will just hire me to go out and directly recruit for them, and I’ll send them one candidate.

And the way it looks is that when you do behavioral based interviews, first of all, you don’t tell the candidate too much about you yet. They have the job posting, so they read that or whatever it may be. But don’t give away the farm, so you say. Go ahead, be kind, but jump into the interview process and allow it to be a storytelling session. So for me typically, the first interview is done over the phone. And I’m really interviewing them to see if maybe they will fit in with the culture of the organization. I’m interviewing them to see where they are in their knowledge base. Can they really do this job? Then by the time I go into the second interview, now it’s about tell me a story.

So let’s say that we’re looking for people like with you Davina, integrity is very important to you. So maybe one of the questions would be something like, tell me about a time when you were expected to step away from something that you believe in and do something within your organization that you didn’t feel so good about? And of course, this is off the cuff right now, but it gives you an idea, right? So now this person would say, “Oh my gosh, I had this boss and she asked me to do this, and it didn’t seem right.” So this person’s going to tell you this story.

And then the next question would be something like, “Well, what did you do about that?” So this candidate would tell you what they did. The next question would be, how did you feel? What would you do differently? So now this person is telling you a story, and it’s very easy for them to explain the story. And you can really tell where their integrity aligns with yours. And you can tell that this has really happened to them because they’re bringing their minds back to that time. So it’s a very powerful thing to do, and it really allows you to be connected in that moment with them. And that’s when the intuition and strategy aligns itself.

Davina Frederick: And I love the what would you do differently question because it is one thing for them to tell you a story from their perspective of what happened because we all know you’ve heard there’s two sides to every story. And the truth is somewhere in the middle. And of course, as an attorney and I work with a lot of attorneys, we know that there are a lot of, there’s lot of versions of the truth, right? But that what would you do differently, that is a very powerful nuance because now you start to see and they got to think, what would I do? Now, I’ve got to actually, I can’t tell a story about this. I’ve got to think about what would I do, how would I answer that?

Kathy Knowles: Yeah. And the truth is sometimes because we want to be good people or we don’t want to lose our jobs or whatever that looks like, sometimes at that point in time we may have made the wrong decision. So asking, what would you do differently now, that’s a completely different conversation. We see it happen all the time in the world. We’ve stepped into something and now we would do it completely different. So, yeah, what would you do differently, describe a time when, tell me about a project that you, that would be something very powerful too. Or you could even say give me an example of a time when you. So those are great ways to start off or to dig deeper into where they are and allow them to tell you about a story.

Davina Frederick: So, you have brought up through this process, you have brought up what I think is mistake number two that I think a lot of people make when they’re kind of at the beginning when they’re hiring people. And that is getting into telling their own stories. So instead of asking questions and being curious and leaving space for the other person to talk, they start telling about their business and telling their own stories and talking about what they need and revealing their own insecurities about the business. I mean, they’re so relieved to have somebody show up that might be there to help them that they just start kind of going, “Oh, I’m so glad you’re here, so this is what I need. And this is what I’m doing in the business,” dah, dah, dah, dah, as opposed to actually interviewing and asking the questions to find out if this person is a good fit. And oftentimes settling maybe for the first one or two people that walk in the door not thinking that maybe it’s the seventh person is the ideal person. Do you find that they stop too soon in their search?

Kathy Knowles: They do stop too soon. Sometimes when I get clients that are really super desperate, again, they’re in that place where they waited way too long. And they didn’t have the right person in that spot to start with, even talking about a paralegal. So now you’ve been a month or two without a paralegal, the last paralegal wasn’t the right one. And the offices in the shambles, and the associates or attorneys are trying to do all the work on their own. So now there’s desperation involved. So I’ll have people talk to me and say, “Well, I thought I’d get someone in two weeks.” And many times, it takes more time than that. It might take four, five, six weeks because I’m not just talking to one or two candidates, I’m talking to 20.

And with some of the questions, for instance, here would be some really powerful for you. Like you said, integrity is important, accountability is important. Attention to detail is important for you Davina. And I would think in a paralegal role, all of those things would be very important. So you could ask a question like, tell me about a project or an accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant to date? Lead me through that process. What was the end result? And the awesome thing is with their answer, which may have taken by the way, five minutes where you’re just being quiet, 10 minutes maybe even. You’re going to find out about their prior successes, their sense of ownership, their confidence in their work. Do they give credit to anyone else on the team? How detailed were they as they were going through this process? And so it takes time to ask these kind of questions. So for me, that second interview will be an hour to an hour and 15 minutes long.

When we ask an applicant something like, if you want to know about their decision making process, like what’s the most difficult decision you’ve made in the last two years? And they’re going to tell you. And then you would say something like, well, how did you come to that decision? And what was the result? What was the result of that decision, and what would you do differently next time? Because maybe they were disappointed in making that decision. But again, now you’re hearing how much detail did the candidate give you. Does the candidate’s logic fit in with your firm? How was the decision made, like was thought put into it, was it a little bit risky, was it innovative? How did they make that decision? And especially if it was a decision in regard to the client, is that something your client would appreciate?

So that’s why when we go through this process, there’s no quick fix. It’s finding the right person. And I really pride myself. What I do differently than recruiting firms is I act more like I’m the HR person, and I physically work there. I really get to know the organization, I really get to understand the values. I understand not only the skillset that they’re looking for, but the soft skills that they need. And I send them one candidate, one. And that’s the candidate they hire.

Davina Frederick: One? Wow.

Kathy Knowles: Yeah, one.

Davina Frederick: Wow. And so, you’ve got to be pretty confident, if you’re sending them one, you’ve got to be pretty confident. And you’ve really done a lot of research to know that that is the person. You use tools and things like that like personality tests

Kathy Knowles: Yeah, I do, I do.

Davina Frederick: Do we call them personality tests? Are they personality tests, are they, what do they call it?

Kathy Knowles: Yeah, it’s personality profiles. And I know sometimes, especially today, I think personality profiles really get a bad rap. I’ve used many, and the one I use now is Wiley Disc. But over the years, I’ve used four or five different kinds. And I don’t really use them to say, before I interview someone, I don’t say, “Oh, I want you to do this personality test.” I mean, we’re very far in the process by the time I asked them to do that. And then at that part, by the time I asked them to do that, now I’m planning on sending them over to my clients. But the beautiful gift about that is it opens up communication.

I mean, let’s face it Davina, communication not only in our business but in our lives is the thing that the moment it falls apart is moment everything falls apart. I mean, there’s nothing more important than communication. And what this tool does is it gives us a very strong ability to be able to see where the person’s strengths are, where more of those weaknesses are, and most importantly, how two people or a team of people can work and communicate together. And it is very powerful.

Davina Frederick: Yeah, I do think that. I think they’re important in terms of how … One of the challenges I see is when people are hiring particularly in small firms or small organizations. I’m referring a lot to attorney kind of stuff, but it could be coaching, consulting, medical business, any kind of small service-based business or whatever. But you do have to take into account the personality fit for the job, then certain skills and personality types for certain jobs. You’re going to have people who really love organization and really love those kinds of organizational details. And they want everything color coded and tabbed. And then you have other people that they just love the chaos but put them in front of people and they just light up. You’re not going to want to put them in a job where they’re in a cubicle all day trying to organize things. So I think that those kind of tools are really, really helpful in getting the right people in the right job, right positions.

Kathy Knowles: Yes, I agree. It’s almost like in our business, we wouldn’t want our CPAs to not be super detail-oriented and be capable and able to more or less sit in a place all day long and work with numbers. They are truly two different types of skillsets. And that’s why really one of the hardest positions to hire for is sales because you need someone in sales that has a strong enough ability to not only build the relationship with the clients, but to also be able to ask for the close of the sale. So they must be very sort of action-oriented and very capable and comfortable being out in the world. And the details on that side are still important. And a lot of times, it’s hard to find that that quality in a person.

Davina Frederick: Yeah. It’s not enough to say I’m a people person, is that what you’re saying?

Kathy Knowles: Yeah.

Davina Frederick: Because people person is not enough in sales, you have to also be a closer. You have to be able to close.

Kathy Knowles: And not only you have to be closer-

Davina Frederick: I learned that the hard way myself years ago.

Kathy Knowles: Yeah, yeah. And not only do you have to be a closer, but you still have to be enough of a people person and enough of a relationship builder that you’re paying attention to the little details too because the little details matter.

Davina Frederick: Right, right. One of your talks, you gave a really interesting example too where you were comparing a couple of different sales people. And you were talking to two really good qualified salespeople, but you were evaluating them based on culture of the company and how the culture of the company matters as well. Two qualified salespeople, but one just fit the culture of the company in much more powerful way than the other one did. So that really matters as well.

Kathy Knowles: It does really matter. And the really cool thing is, I just found this out yesterday Davina, is they hired the first person, which I did feel like she was probably the stronger culture fit because this is an organization that’s a startup and they are very detail-oriented. It’s a group of scientists and PhDs. So they’re very detail-oriented. So the first person I sent them, she was much more detailed herself and she’s the one that they chose to hire. And they are planning on hiring their second person in the summer, July or August. So they let the other candidate know that he’ll be at the top of the list for them to interview, which I thought was really very kind and sweet. So that’s how closely these two came in together, it’s just that one had more of that attention to detail. So they had a stronger comfort level with her first, and they would still consider bringing the second one on board when they’re up and running a little bit more. It’s exciting.

Davina Frederick: That’s terrific, that’s terrific. Let’s see, we’ve covered a couple of sort of mistakes, and I want to ask you, is there any other … The first mistake was sort of hiring someone you know. The second mistake was, we talked about sort of doing the talking and telling the stories and not letting the other person, not really letting them tell stories and listening and asking those questions, doing that behavioral interview process. Tell me a third mistake you think that those solos make when they’re making those hires, when they’re first kind of learning how to hire people?

Kathy Knowles: Not onboarding properly. It’s a huge thing. And I know that we’re solo entrepreneurs stepping into having our first team member. I understand that, so it’s not like you’re going to give a two-day training to someone. But it is really important that they start off, and number one, they’re super clear on their salary and how that’s going to work. It’s amazing how many times the very end an offer will fall through because there’s not enough clarity in regard to the offer. I actually talk about the offer in the very first phone call. And I want to make this really clear too, because in some states now you can no longer ask specifically about their salary.

So when I work in the state of Florida, I live here in Florida. The question I ask is what’s the highest salary you’ve made in the last two years? And then when I know that falls in the guidelines of what my client is looking for, I’ll say, great. If it doesn’t, I’ll be very up front and say I’m sorry, that’s not the base we’re looking for, this is what we’re looking at. So the conversation may end right there. In other states, New York, Rhode Island, I know for sure, I think California as well, you cannot ask them that question. So the question would be something more like, we are planning to pay in an area of 62 to 65,000 per year for this position, would that fall into your needs? Would that work for you? And then they’re going to tell you yes or no. Many times they’ll say, “Well, I’m making a 63 right now.” That’ll be the conversation, but you’re not allowed to ask.

So very clear to get that even though it’s not comfortable, get that salary question out of the way the very first interview. And then number two-

Davina Frederick: That is so-

Kathy Knowles: Oh, sorry, go ahead.

Davina Frederick: That’s such an interesting, I’m sorry to interrupt you, that’s such an interesting approach because I’ve always heard you wait till, you don’t want to talk about money until after. Because you want this person to be, they need to be thinking about you and how they’re going to help you and what they can bring to your organization. And I’ve always thought that’s a little bit from the job candidate’s perspective, that’s always a little bit unfair because you’re kind of leading them down this path. And what if they spend two or three interviews with you and get to the end of it and then find out this job only pays X amount of money. And they can’t really ask because the minute they ask, you look at them and go, “Oh, you’re only in it for the money.” Well, yeah, quite frankly.

Kathy Knowles: Yeah. Right. Well, we all have to make a living, right?

Davina Frederick: The perception the minute you ask about the money is from the employer stand point is, oh, they don’t care about me, they just are here for that paycheck. So it’s interesting that you say just bring it up at the beginning, this is the range and let’s not waste everybody’s time. If this isn’t a range it, it’s up to both of you then.

Kathy Knowles: And I think it’s really important to know, typically for me in a job posting, I do not put salaries in there. And the reason why I don’t is because what if, even for my clients, what if? Let’s say someone said, “Well, I can only pay 50,000 for whatever this says.” And this person came in and they were amazing and I found out they were at 52, I would sincerely call my client and say, “Look, I know this is what you said and I really want you to reconsider because this is a value this person can bring to the table. And I believe it, I know it. And just interview them please.” So that’s why I never put salaries in an actual job posting. By the way, my favorite places to post or indeed ZipRecruiter and LinkedIn.

So a lot of times in LinkedIn. I’ll go out to groups and I’ll say, “Hey, this is what we’re looking for.” That’s one question that people always ask me, so I’m sorry to kind of side track.

Davina Frederick: No, that’s great. No, that’s great. I was going to ask you that, so that’s great too. I would also say about putting the salary in the job posting. The thing that I think would be a challenge with that too is if you put it in the job posting, you’re going to have a whole lot of people who are going to go, “Oh, wow, that’s a lot of money, I’m going to post for that job even though I’m nowhere near remotely qualified for it.”

Kathy Knowles: Yes, very clear.

Davina Frederick: You know I have no experience whatsoever in the X field, I’m going to go ahead and apply for this job because, look at that salary.

Kathy Knowles: Yeah, yeah. That happens a lot too, the dreamers.

Davina Frederick: Yeah, yeah. Hey, you know. When we talk about, this podcast is geared toward women entrepreneurs. And I read a study recently that men are more likely to apply whether or not they meet the qualifications, whereas women have to meet, in their minds, they’ve got to meet at least 90% of the qualifications on the ad before they apply as opposed to men who if they meet like 50% of the qualifications, they’re like, “Yeah, I’ll apply.” So women are kind of their own worst enemies in that way. Do you see that in what you’ve done with recruiting?

Kathy Knowles: I do. Yeah, I do. And I think that’s one of the reasons too, Davina, why they’re actually changing the laws in some states to make it more fair in some ways for the women. It’s interesting even for me, when I first became a women business owner, I would walk into a room and there would be something about my energy where I would almost feel like I need to act like the men. And we’re not men, we’re not men, we’re women. And I think something that’s really important is that we truly bring to the world the magic that we can give and what that is. We show up being very much who we are and we know that we are enough. I want women to start thinking like men and say, “You know what, I only fit into 50% of this. But hey, I’m going to apply because there’s something inside of me that I know I can do this.”

I just think it’s important that we don’t act like men, that we bring our magic and we also bring our value and knowing that we’re enough. It happened with me, and I see it happen with so many other women.

Davina Frederick: Right, right. And you and I both are, let’s say we’re old enough to have worked in the 80s, let’s say that. And we are familiar with shoulder pads, I love shoulder pads, by the way. I love shoulder pads.

Kathy Knowles: I do, too.

Davina Frederick: And big hair is like this … I was born for the 80s with my hair, so that was great for me. So big hair, big earrings and shoulder pads. So I loved all that in the 80s. And it was definitely a man’s world in corporate especially in the 80s. But we’re at different times now. And you do find that, it excites me when I see younger women who really don’t even, they don’t even grasp a time when things were different. Because they’re just sort of used to working with women and being around women all the time and so many women. Even though they are still so many discussions about a lot of things going on between men and women in the workplace these days, but we have come a long way in a lot of ways. And so I love more and more women showing up and owning their own businesses and creating their own business and being CEOs of their own business.

Kathy Knowles: I love it too. And I love it too that we empower ourselves with working so closely with each other. Because there’s so much value that women receive from being with other women. There’s strength in that, there’s power in that. And that’s why I so appreciate the way you show up in the world Davina and the group that you’ve created because there’s so much power there.

Davina Frederick: Oh, thank you. Thank you so much Kathy. I would love to be able to get into a conversation with you about women working with women and cultivating teams and how you work with women and manage women. But I think we’re about out of time today. So we’re going to have to table that conversation. That’s a whole other podcast, we’re going to have to come back and do it on another day.

Kathy Knowles: I’m into that, I’m into that. Just let me know.

Davina Frederick: All right, we will do it. So, any final thoughts that you want to leave us with regard to this sort of hiring? And also I know we didn’t touch on, we talked a lot about sort of that first hire today, but in the journey from solo to CEO, we have a lot of people who are a little further down the path than that first hire. A lot of things you’re talking about though that you shared today really apply not just to that first tire, but that second, third, fourth hire and cultivating that team in those first several say 10 years of cultivating a team. It’s not too late, right? You can still apply what we’ve learned here today even if we’re already a little bit down the road in building our team, right?

Kathy Knowles: Well, it’s interesting because I work with startups. And some of the businesses I work with, they’ve been around for a long time. They’re very good at what they do. They have 30 or 40 team members, and they’re not really running smoothly. All pistons I guess aren’t moving together. And so I work with those types of organizations a lot where they just say, “Kathy, something is broken, and can you come in and look at this?” And sometimes it’s about moving team members to a different piece of the puzzle. Sometimes it might be about letting someone go, many times actually it’s about letting someone go and then let’s start all over and hire the right person. And that one orange in an apple cart throws the whole thing off, it really does. It’s amazing what one wrong hire can do to an organization no matter how big it is.

Davina Frederick: Right, right. It sounds like we’re going to have to have a serious podcast, aren’t we?

Kathy Knowles: Oh, goodness.

Davina Frederick: All right. Well, on that note, then I think we’re going to wrap it up today. But I learned so much every time I talk with you about this subject. And I love it because this is a huge, huge topic. It is the thing that is one of the biggest challenges for business owners that are growing their businesses from moving from solo to CEO and really trying to create that high impact, high revenue generating business. And the bigger impact they that you want to make in your business, really you have to embrace a team, you have to embrace. Whether you’re actually hiring employees or you’re cultivating an outsource team of independent contractors to help you, you really are always looking at working with other people and how can I work with other people to make a bigger impact in the world and take my message out there and really serve more people with what I do.

So even the information that you share with us today can apply even in working with those kinds of teams, virtual teams. And so I really appreciate what you shared with us today, and I look forward to future conversations with you. Thank you so much for being here.

Kathy Knowles: Oh, thank you Davina, I had a great time. Thank you. Thanks everyone for listening.