Lose Your Watch, Get A Talent (Advise for Well-To-Do Business Owners)

The other day I was having dinner with some of my friends when one of them asked me how they should hire, and most importantly retain, talent. Now it is important to note the context in which this conversation took place to get rid of some misunderstanding.

Dinner is more than just an occasion to eat.
It is also a time to connect, learn and ask questions.

My friends in the room are all developers. Many of them are, in fact, more well to do than I am. In fact, one of them is wearing a watch, which if memory serves me well is valued at RM 700,000+ minimum. Of course, his is an exceptional case, the average price of the watches in the room is probably RM 200,000. It was on this basis that I started my advice.

I tell them, “Just pretend that you have lost a watch a year.” At first it caused some confusion, but soon it become clear. Assuming that your watch is RM 240,000 per year, it translates to RM 20,000 per month. I am sure you would agree with me that an executive who can command a pay of RM 20,000 should be quite a talent himself and is quite capable.

We should hire people like these and give them a clear set of goals. If during the 3 months probationary period they are able to achieve their targets, then we know that these are the people we should keep. Otherwise, after the three months probationary period we can try other candidates.

Give your talent a clear goal to chase after… and you will see miracles.

How many quarter are there in a year? Four. Assuming that we need only one of these candidates, then there is a 1/4 chance we will be hiring a talent within the year. 25% chance! If let’s say within the year we are still not landing a talent?

The short answer is – repeat process. That’s 1/8 change of hiring the right person. 12.5%. I think by now you would agree with me that there is a high chance that you will land yourself the right candidate within the next 24 months.

The key here is to reinvest in your business. Many small and medium enterprise do not walk the talk when it comes to this matter. They make that few million ringgit (under RM 5 million) and spend the money on themselves instead of in their business.

The result? The business doesn’t grow and they are wondering why. That small profit that you are making is actually “seed money” for you to expand your business. Just like how you need some seed money to start your business, expanding your business also requires capital.

If you prefer to spend the money on yourself instead of in your business, in searching for talent to help you grow, the choice is up to you to make. Just that now you cannot be wondering why your business is not growing anymore, you know the answer now – it is because you are not feeding it!

Simple logic: What you feed, grows.
What you don’t feed, doesn’t.